TO BE A CATHOLIC

12 01 2012

When I was a kid I always had a desire to be a Catholic.  Not for the obvious reasons that everyone else has.  Instead, for me, it was because those people – those Catholics seemed to do whatever they wanted to do in their lives.  This was not so in the Southern Baptist Church I attended.

I didn’t mean they did anything wrong, but it was just the fact that they were in charge of their own lives.  Those Catholics could go out and dance and drink or smoke or gamble and no one ever fussed at them for doing so.  I didn’t want to do anything wrong in my life.  It was just that every time I went to the Southern Baptist Church, the people in the Sunday School Class and the people in the Church itself always seemed to find something wrong with the way I lived.

They acted like if a person had a beer, they were on their way in that basket to Hell.  And if they smoked, that was equally as bad.  Seemed like it was o.k. for men to smoke, but those ladies just better not do that.  No way. My parents went to the horse races every year and had a great time.  They saved their money all year for that treat.  And my parents danced very well.  They had a great time dancing in their lives.  And the worst thing we all did was play cards.  My sister and I played cards with our friends almost every day.  Sometimes we even played other card games besides Old Maid. Solitaire was a definite favorite.

When I went to Sunday School, the teacher would bring up these things and all the other girls would look in my direction.  Just infuriated me!

My parents worked in the yard together and then might sit down and have a cold beer.  And after dinner, they might just have a cigarette together.  We were always betting about things in my house.  ‘I’ll bet you washing the dishes that I can jump those 3 steps’.  And those card games were going to get us yet.  I considered that my family were all very nice people.  We had a great family life every single day.  And I didn’t think all those things I mentioned were really sins.   Someone just made that up.  I didn’t see anywhere that dancing was wrong or that gambling was a terrible thing.  Not if you did it in a normal way.

So, I wanted to become a Catholic when I grew up because it was a straight line to God.  I wouldn’t have to have anyone else in my life that I had to answer to except God.   And if I lived the way a Catholic was supposed to, I would be on a straight road to Heaven.  And that was what I was looking for.

I am a very independent person and I always wanted to be in complete charge of my own life.  Period.  End of that subject.   I joined the Catholic Church when I became an adult and have been in charge of my own life ever since.  The only one I have to answer to is God.

But, you know what?  When I die, I will be the only person standing before God.  There won’t be a committee or a Sunday School Class or a group of people there with me telling me what I am doing all wrong.  Nope.   It will just be me and God.  Just the two of us.  It’s going to be just great!

 





BIRTHDAYS AT MY HOUSE

20 09 2011

Hi again:  We have a lot of fun with birthdays at my house.  We also have a good time celebrating Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, and all other necessary celebrations.  There are a lot of people in my family and so we really enjoy the visits with one another.  Everyone has such a good time just laughing and teasing and talking and visiting about everything from politics to old times.

We only celebrate birthdays every 3 months.  And it doesn’t have to be any particular time during that three months.  We might have it on the first weekend or the last weekend.  Never know.  We just try to do it when the most of us can come.  And then comes the presents.  And those are some presents, too.  We trade gifts back and forth.  I usually give the kids some money, but it isn’t much.  Then everyone usually gets some candy or treats of some kind.  After that, it is ‘hold the buggy, betsy!’  You just never know what might be in that sack.

For instance, one of my daughters and I trade a cheap, ugly statue back and forth, so we are going to get that if it is our turn.  That’s for sure!  Another child and I have been trading an ugly puzzle that no one could possibly work.  It is all in shades of black and gray and not even a good picture.  He originally got it at the dollar store, but we trade it every birthday.  Then, one son gave me a bag of plastic balls and said, ‘have a ball’.  Another time, I got a gold brick.  I have also received a stimulus check in the amount of $2 million.  I am still trying to cash that.  It came from one of my grandsons.

So, as you can see, presents are just for fun.   There is no great expense to this.  No one has to spend much money.  Sometimes they even make their own birthday cards with cutouts from magazines.  Always fun stuff.   We don’t usually put a limit on the money for birthdays.  No need to.  No one is going to spend much anyway.  And it is well known that not everyone has to get a gift for everyone.  Sometimes we have a lot of birthdays and there is no reason for anyone to be obligated.  It is all just for fun anyway.

I buy a cake at WalMart and put everyone’s name on it  Then we all sing, Happy Birthday to Everyone.  After that, we enjoy visiting some more and have our ice cream and cake or ice cream cones or whatever all those kids want at the time.  We have colas or tea or coffee to drink.  And a great time is had by all.

We do this same thing on other holidays.  Only we usually have a limit of $5 for gifts.  When my own children were younger, there was a limit of $1 for presents for Mother’s Day.  No reason to spend more.  I didn’t want anything anyway.  I usually got typing paper or envelopes or something in that range.  One year, my daughter who had grown up and was working went to get me a present for $1.  She saw a mirror that stood up in the bathroom.  It said, ‘Hi Gorgeous’ so that was what she wanted to buy for me.  When the clerk took her money, my daughter was laughing and saying that she was buying it for her mother for Mother’s Day.  This made the clerk mad and she said my daughter had no respect for her mother and made my daughter feel really bad.  I thought that was truly ridiculous.  Since when did the amount of money spent for a gift have anything to do with respect.  I treasured that mirror for many years.  It was always one of my favorite gifts.

So, next time you are thinking of giving a family party, you might want to bring out some of these ideas and use them.  Makes for a lot of fun and a very close family.  Have a Happy Birthday and make it fun this year.





SALADS

17 09 2011

As usual thinking about times long ago.  Although to me, it isn’t long ago at all.  People just assume that everyone ate salads forever.  That is not true.  It was the early fifties before salads became popular.  It was then a popular thing to say about salads,  ‘I’m not a rabbit, you know.’    There might be a mixture of lettuce and tomato on the table now and then, but usually it was just sliced or cubed tomatoes as a side dish – and that’s a new phrase, too.  But there were no salads at all.  Then someone came up with the bright idea that we could combine some of those greens and lettuce and tomatoes and all that other good stuff and we would call it a salad.

My mother had been cooking for a good many years by that time.   So she gave this salad business a try.  Worked out pretty well, too.  Almost everyone seemed to like having a salad with our dinner.  Then it became the thing to do to have the salad before the meal.  So we did that for awhile.  There were only two kinds of dressing.  We could either have white – which was mayonnaise or white salad dressing sold in the grocery store.  Or we could have the yellow which was the only kind of salad dressing available to buy at the grocery store that was actually a salad dressing for actual salads. I really think it was a form of french dressing or perhaps thousand island.  There were a couple of off brand type salad dressings but we ate this on crackers or bread as a snack before salads came along.

We ate a lot of tomatoes that were locally grown and they were really really good.  Not like the ones of today.   Someone told me that all the acid has been taken out of the tomatoes of today and that is why the taste is gone.  Don’t know that is true, but it makes sense to me because the tomatoes definitely do not taste like they used to.  That someone also said that is why the tomatoes don’t rot as fast.  And also why if you are canning today, you have to add some sort of acid to the tomatoes you are canning or they will not can properly.   I didn’t know that one either.  Things sure have changed since my canning days.  Oh, I hate canning.  That was such a chore and kept me in the kitchen for days at a time. (You might enjoy reading my blog about jars, jars everywhere) My mother-in-law grew vegetables for me.  Then it was up to me to come get them, prepare them and can them.  And I always said very nicely ‘thank you’.  She was a wonderful gardener and could grow absolutely anything.  But I sometimes wished she hadn’t been so good at it.  I had all those babies to take care of and canning was not exactly what I wanted to do every day during the summer months.   But you should always be grateful for anything you have, so I was properly grateful and meant it properly too.

But getting back to whatever I was writing about before the tomatoes came along, I think it was salads.  It is very nice nowadays to go to the local store and pick up a package of salad to have for dinner or lunch.  I have never found any problem with any of the packages yet.  Just grateful and properly so for them also.  Glad someone else is doing the picking and the washing and the preparing these days.  And also glad there is such a good variety of salad dressings in the grocery store.  Whole shelves full of them.  How fortunate we are in this country.

Well, that brings up something else to write about another day.  I went to Russia one time and we are so very fortunate every day wherever we live in this marvelous country.  Will write about that one.  Also will write about dieting before diets became popular.  Have a good evening.





9/11 AND GOD

11 09 2011

I noticed this past week that all the news  carried the story that the New York Remembrance of 9/11 would not allow clergy to pray during the service.  I, like many others in this country, was appalled at that.  But then, there was really nothing we could do about it anyway.

And we can all say all those remarks that we have heard a million times about how this country was founded on Christian principles and how we all should pray at a time like this.  But then, like I said, we couldn’t do anything about this anyway.  But we still have our own thoughts.

But then, this morning I was watching the service in New York and I, like many others, was very impressed with the marching Scottish band, and the sound of the drum.  And then, the young choir that sang the Star Spangled Banner the way it should be sung.  That was wonderful!  And then, the unfurling of the flag that had been at the World Trade Center.  All of that was just marvelous.  I was very impressed with the whole service.  And that young man who talked about his father not being there when he graduated from high school and how he had helped his younger brother to learn all those things his father would have taught him.  That was a truly grand speech.

But then former President George  Bush stepped up to the microphone.  And he read from a letter by President Abraham Lincoln that told of a death in the Civil War and how he was writing to comfort the survivors of the lost one.  In that letter, President George Bush quoted that Abraham Lincoln PRAYED TO GOD  that the survivor would indeed be comforted.     Thank you, George Bush.  Thank you from the bottom of our hearts.  By doing this, George Bush injected GOD right where he should have been all along, right in the middle of that service honoring all the dead from the 9/11 World Trade Center Memorial.  What a marvelous thing he did for all of us since we couldn’t  do anything about it anyway.

And Thank You, Dear God, for all the things you have done for all those survivors.

 





PANTYHOSE

3 09 2011

Back in the 1950’s, there were no pantyhose.  In fact no one had even heard of such a thing.  Here I go back to old times.    But anyway, we women wore garters and they were truly awful.   Especially if you had skinny legs like I did.  Nothing was going to hold those baggy hose up anyway. But that ring of elastic was the best we had at the time.  And it was either too loose and the hose fell down or it was too tight and the veins in your legs quit working.  Take your choice.

And if it was hot weather and those hose stuck to your sweaty legs, then all was lost anyway because the wonderful marvelous hosiery probably had a run in it or maybe even two or three.  Then you had to start all over again, trying to pull those horrendous hose up your legs with that garter attached.  What a mess!  Of course you could pull on the hose first and then put the garter over them, but that was a massive operation in itself.  If you had a run, you could put nail polish on it and it wouldn’t run anymore, but then gossipy people might start talking about the red spot on your leg.  Have to watch out for all those kinds of people you know.

Then garter belts came along and they were a wonderful improvement if you could get the things to work right.  First you had to either pull it up over your body and make it fit right or clasp it in the front and turn it to the back.  By the time you were finished with that, you felt like you were playing in a band somewhere what with all the clacking and zinging going on.  But, when you once got all that straightened out, then and only then could you put the rest of our clothes on.  Then you attached the hosiery to that wonderful zinging garter belt and you were in business.  Of course by this time, the hose might have acquired a run or two considering all that you had been through.

Several years later, those wonderful pantyhose came onto the market.  At first of course they were just considered tights for little girls, but then someone – probably Mr. Swiffer- thought up the pantyhose using nylon hosiery and that was a marvelous invention – just like the Swiffer is today.  Not that you can compare the two of course, but I have written a blog you might like entitled Dear Mr. Swiffer.   and then another one about having a household blower to blow the rest of the dirt out of my house.

But back to the subject of the pantyhose – could get dressed in a zip and a zing and ready to go.  Great improvement over all those other massive problems.  And then, then, then came the knee hi’s.  Now that was a real step in the right direction.  But of course no one ever  owned pants or could wear pants even at home until the middle and late 50’s.  We all wore skirts before that so we had to wear the full length hose.  Period.   Was required.  Even in hot summertime,

But now with the pants suits and the ‘allowing’ of wearing pants outside the home, we were free to use the knee hi’s.  And today, I wear something called socks which I think I started out wearing when I was born.  But you know what they say – the more things change, the more they remain the same.

How about the no shampoo days.  Will tell you about that one next.  Meanwhile, you might really like my books about the 30’s, 40’s and 50’s.  Each of my books is $10 no postage.  Or 3 for $25.  Look them up on my website booksbybet.com and order straight from me.  You will really like them.  Great reading, great fun and lots of living history.

 

 





PRAY FOR OUR NATION

2 09 2011

Our nation seems to be digging a deeper hole every day.  Of course we can all lay the blame where we wish, but the reality is that we are getting in deeper and deeper all the time.   And this hole doesn’t seem to have any bottom.  People are hurting in lots of ways.   Some are out of jobs.  Some are destitute for other reasons.  Many have family or health problems.  And nothing seems to be getting any better.

A friend of mine thought about this for awhile and came up with an idea that makes a lot of sense.   How about a bumper sticker for every car in the country.  How about one that says, PRAY FOR OUR NATION.  Wouldn’t that be a wonderful thing if every car on every street in America had this bumper sticker so we could all be reminded to pray and pray and pray some more for our nation.

If we all follow this example and PRAY FOR OUR NATION, God will hear us and grant our requests.  He is just waiting for us to turn to him anyway.  Why not now.

If you can, order a bumper sticker somewhere that says PRAY FOR OUR NATION.  Printers can all print up bumper stickers for a very nominal fee.  Or you can purchase them on the internet at a reasonable cost.  If you order one from a printer, how about ordering several and passing them out to your relatives and friends and anyone who has an automobile with a bumper.

Let’s inundate the country with this slogan.  PRAY FOR OUR NATION.  Then we will soon see Bumper stickers on every car in America!  Tell all your friends and relatives to do the same.  Pass this word along.  Tell your church friends and your Sunday School Class and your preachers and everyone else you can think of.  Let’s put this slogan on every car in America.  The quicker the better.  PRAY FOR OUR NATION!!!!