Saturday, December 26, 2009


I think I'll go in the Chocolate business! I have oodles of Brownies, Fudge, Chocolate Pretzels, Chocolate mints and Peppermint Bark! I gave some to my neighbors who oohed and aahed to me but wondered what in the heck they're going to do with it after I left. I probably lost some neighbors over it except for the bachelor on the corner who fairly drooled when I presented it to him.

Like how much can you eat? Unfortunately on Christmas Eve, I had a good dose of heartburn so now I look at chocolates with a jaundice eye.

Chocolate goes good with wine, cookies (I have oodles of those also)and crackers.
Chocolate mints taste good in coffee also. I tried it. Yum!

Is there anyone out there would like some? How about you?

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

The Lazy Woman's Guide to Holiday Festivities

#1 - Draw up a list of expectations/jobs for each day.
#2 - Pick up 2 things in the kitchen and move them to the bedroom, the bed is a good place.
#3 - Play a game on the computer.
#4 - Start to decorate the tree. The kitchen is forgotten for now.
#5 - As the belt has snapped on the vacuum cleaner, a big hope that the guests won't notice that the rug is dirty.
#6 - Bake a cake. However, the butter needs to soften so read a book for awhile.
#7 - Move some more things to the bedroom as well as the clothes from the dryer.
#8 - Time to eat lunch.
#9 - Telephone a friend. Now bake the cake and hope it doesn't fall.
#10 - Finish cleaning the kitchen.
#11 - Read mail and open Christmas cards. Call family.
#12 - Read emails.
#13 - Check the list and see if you can cross off anything!
#14 - Clean off bed so you can get into it.

Etc, Etc., Etc.

Saturday, December 19, 2009


We're up to eight inches, the first blizzard of the season! I did some more Christmas decorationings but hate it when I can't go out. I'm feeling so trapped so got on the telephone. Called Patty and she is baking cookies. Bill is working in Vineland with ten inches snow there. Hope he decides to stay there overnight but you know these men like "what's a little snow?" and of course, is coming home. Talked to Kristinn and she is also making cookies - maybe this is a hint for me. She said Gabe was collecting ice cycles and getting her to put them in a baggie in the freezer. How cool is that?

Finally saw the Blind Side on Thursday night. It was good! Sandra Bullock does a good job. The book had some other stuff in it not in the movie. Last night, went out for dinner with friends and to another movie called "About the Morgans" or something like that. Not much depth but some funny parts. It's either feast or famine for me.....a lot to do or nothing.

Tomorrow, I will bake!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Wrapping Gifts and Planet 51

Abby, Alex and Becca came over this afternoon to wrap presents for all the little cousins in Texas and Virginia. Abby & Alex wrapped and Becca taped everything. So a big job took a short time with everyone helping. After cookies (mint chocolate oreos - our favorite), we decided to try and find a movie. Well we did and with a huge bag of popcorn and a large drink to share, spent a couple of hours watching Planet 51. The kids loved it and I got to take short naps. On leaving, we all had to hit the restroom but as it was crowded, I dropped them off at a restaurant in the area and then, we hastened over to Friendly's for a bite to eat. They finally made it home around 7:30. They all gave me hugs and kisses and told me what a great time they had AND when can we do it again! It was a great day for me as well and look forward to the next time.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

A Poltergeist is Using my Printer, Oh No!

Grandpop always claimed that we had Poltergeists lurking in our house on Trenton Avenue. His one example was about a book that fell from the bookcase. He was in the kitchen drinking coffee and heard a thump. On investigating, found a book on the floor in the middle of the room. The bookcase was back against the wall. So claimed a "mischievous spirit" did the dirty deed.

His "friendly spirit" was up to no good and visited me last night. I woke up at 3:30 listening to the printer barfing page after page to the floor. I let it run its course and started collecting seven pages of print - all on Jonas Cattell! So, do you think Jonas is trying to tell us something? Or maybe it was Grandpop, disguised as a Poltergeist encouraging us to continue our research!

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Cricks, Cracks and Ouch!

It's hell getting old. Everything hurts esp. in the morning when you get up gingerly because if you don't, something will crack and sometimes, POP! Then you go over and over and decide just what you won't do next time. We have a saying, "if it doesn't hurt, it doesn't work!" So look for the golden years ahead.

I read in the newspaper this morning that a gentleman of 104 years who still works part time then sails on the river in his down time. I guess that's the secret of living long and feeling good. He still drives to his job in Philly. The Division of Motor Vehicles renewed his license as he passed all the tests for renewal which is awesome, I guess.

So the sun is out and I'll take my butt out for some walking or something. Maybe, I'll live 'till 104!

Friday, October 16, 2009

High School Reunion

We had our 60th reunion today and I certainly had an awesome time. Believe it or not, we had 66 classmates attending after all this time. With spouses and others, the count came to 96 so I think that's pretty good for the class of 1949! One of the things I noticed was that the GIRLS looked better than the GUYS! LOL!

This time, we steered away from the speeches and spent quality time with long lost friends exchanging stories and catching up on our lives. I think the only announcement came from the Wait Staff telling us to take our seat. :) Many people brought old pictures, yearbooks, etc. All in all, a successful day!

Friday, October 9, 2009

Kids Say the Funniest Things

Edna was telling me about her 7 year old grandson, Ian. His parents, Randy and Laurie were asking him if he knew what wonderful thing would come next April? Ian thought a minute then said, "April Fool's Day and Easter!" "No," said Randy. "It's something that has 2 eyes and 2 ears." "A hamster" guessed Ian excitedly. I cracked up here. So they told him and he called Edna and George that he was going to have a little brother. Then he added to Edna "I hope Mommie feels better soon. She's not been feeling good for 2 months." Edna reassured him that it would pass. Later on, they attended his ball game and his grandparents were talking to another woman who thought she had a virus and wasn't feeling good. Ian piped up "If you keep on feeling sick, it's because you're having a baby. That just happened to my Mom!"

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Jackson and Beyond!

I couldn't believe the temperatures in Jackson Hole! I checked the internet before I left and took 2 pairs of cords plus a couple summer slacks. It would have been better to take all summer clothes but you never know. The temps were in the 70s and I was in heaven. On Thursday, Denise cooked all day as they had promised to "cook" for Nicole's team with parents for Saturday night. She made 5 pans of lasagna, meatballs and gravy along with dozens of Brownies. I helped some but not much. We left Jackson early on Friday and drove 5 hours to Laramie. Now the altitude in JH is 6100 and I usually have trouble breathing but in Laramie, it was 7100 so of course, I had nose bleeds. I'm sure I could never live out there. We stayed with Nicole in her 1-bedroom apartment sleeping every which way. They lost their game on Friday but won on Sunday. About 60 people attended the dinner and it was a big hit. We gave the left-overs to the team as didn't want to cart it back again. Ellie's Birthday was on Friday and as she and Brooke didn't come with us, we celebrated it on Monday evening. Brooke was playing Powder Puff football at school and tore her ACL as well. She will have surgery in a week or so. Now, both of them have knee braces. We ate out some and also at home. I got home on Wednesday afternoon and am just getting back to the swing of things.It seems to take me longer each time. The old broad is slowing down, I guess. I have a lot of pictures and have to upload them to here (if I remember how....LOL). I guess Bonnie told you that she called me and left a message that she received the Pac-n-Play. I called her back and she talked to Joe and Denise as well. Time for beddy-bye so will talk to you again.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Barbara, Bill & I in GreensboroPosted by Picasa

Posted by Picasa

This is the storm damage to my house from the summer of 2009.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

1968 - McGuire AFB - 2nd Time Around

When you finish your stay overseas, you are given a choice for your next base and naturally, we wanted to come back home. However,Verne and Joan Wells and family had orders first. As they flew into McGuire, your grandparents picked them up and they stayed a couple of days in Laurel Springs. There's a couple of pictures floating around somewhere.

Another thing that you may not recall is that Edna Brown walked Pepper to Frankfurt airport and sent him home in a dog crate. Do you remember the path that led from Gateway Gardens to the airport? And of course, we remember how Pepper arrived with all the wood in his gums, trying to get out of the crate. Poor thing! I remember Dad and Grandpop pulling the slivers out. Pepper must have been scared to death.

We soon moved to Falcon Courts North and I know that you remember all of our neighbors! Jim & Ruth Maloney next door had seven kids or did I lose one? We used to play pinochle with them. Jim used to get upset because Ruth & I would chatter all through the game and we would still win. In 1970, she and I worked on the census. I think we were paid about $1600 which came in handy. I also volunteered for the Red Cross. Our job was to visit at Walston Army Hospital and get the patients interested in playing board games or read to them. Then, there was Girl Scouts. Taking the troop to Camp Ockinicken in Medford, we stayed in one of the cabins. It was in March and during the ellipse of the moon and you were all so excited!

During Air Force Day, the Rice's would congregate at our place and go on base to see the planes, demonstrations, etc. One of these times, Uncle Kirby gave Dad a cat that we named Frisky. Dad never cared for cats period but he loved this one. Frisky was a good "watch" cat too. He prevented a catastrophe when Dad fell asleep on the couch with a cigarette in his hand. Frisky came upstairs and woke me up by walking on my face and meowing.

Joey had a newspaper route and he used to throw the papers out of the back of the station wagon. Somehow, I always got involved even though it was his job. I don't think it lasted too long. Do you remember horseback riding with scouts at that farm in the back of housing? We have lots of memories about McGuire, don't we? You had the Teen Club and who was that guy over at the chapel you called Lord? Waiting to hear your memories!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Home Again!

Just read every one's blog so will be sure to comment later on. I came home to 103 emails, most of them junk.

Barb and I flew down to Unc Bill's on Wednesday. We had perfect weather and even US Air (swear) gave us little to gripe about. Donna set me up with her gay guy, Dale to cut and style my hair so I left as an old bag and came home as a warm (hot) woman! Does feel good to have someone fuss over you, doesn't it? We stayed in Greensboro until Friday and then, took off for the house on Lake Norman which is an hour and a half away near Statesville. Their house at the lake is so comfortable - has only 2 bedrooms but is roomy enough. We took a boat ride, tooled around in the golf cart, drank lots of wine, Susan! On Saturday, drove over to another friend's house in the cart with Donna carrying Bill's martini and her wine and Barbara and I in the back with more of the same sloshing all the way. My brother just roars along. Friends are from N.Y. and she is a former teacher.

There's a house right next door that shaped like a barrel and Powell Seymour (Bill's former partner) owns it. As they were in residence, I asked to see the inside. It's really neat. Consists of 3 floors, each with its own balcony. It has a circular stairway throughout that wouldn't be for me but I liked the concept.

Sunday, Barb and I tried out the jet ski and I didn't even fall off! Of course, I was behind my brother so that helped. Donna fished all day and didn't catch a thing. We did a lot of reading which is sheer pleasure for me. Anyway, I'm home until the end of the month and then, will be going out to Jackson for some of Nicole's games.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Animals We Grew Up With......

As a little girl, we had a gray and white cat called Cappy short for Captain Cook. Addie must have named him. We had a German Shepard named Butch and a canary called Flicka.

Poor old Cappy was prone to disaster with fighting squirrels and other cats, chasing birds and returning home with chunks out of his fur. Not having a car, Daddy took him to the vet in a basket on his bicycle and the dumb animal jumped out about a mile from home. Two weeks later, he came limping in. Whatever was wrong with him medically, he was cured. Guess he had some adventures of his own trying to find his way home.

Butch lived with us a long time and didn't meet his maker until the late 1950s. He was a great companion. I think we got him around the time Bill was born - like every boy should have a dog. He used to follow us to school until one of us would turn around and take him home. Many a time, he followed us into the movies, to the bank and everywhere in town. Everyone knew him. It was interesting that all the dogs in town were known as Shannon's dog, Pratt's Butch, Colgan's Blackie. Our dogs, cats, etc. didn't need a license, shots or whatever. They were just there to love and take care of us. Mom used to say that if a burglar came to the house, Butch would let him in. Such a big protector!

Flicka was a pretty yellow bird who couldn't sing or talk. Her life with us was relatively short and one morning, found her dead with her little feet in the air.

We had other pets thorugh the years but when people talk about theirs, these are the ones I think of.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Macho Macho Man

On Friday morning, four trucks came rolling down my street...a cherry picker, tractor, dump truck and small pick-up truck. All for me and my tree! Five guys - wow! With their itty-bitty tee shirts, jeans, sun glasses, muscles and hard hats and yes, good looking to boot! :O My maple tree was reduced to branches and dust. Interesting now I can see all the way down the street. I shall miss the shade it brings but not the problems it has caused. I think I'll plant a Crepe Myrtle in its place.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Bring Your Lawn Chair...

Every Wednesday evening in the summer time, Laurel Springs has a concert at the Walt Whitman Farmhouse. This past Wednesday, a steel band performed. I love Caribbean's such a happy sound. At the intermission, they invited the audience up to the band shell to see and try the instruments. The "drum" guy was from Trinidad and makes his own drums. It was interesting to hear the different sounds made with his sticks or whatever they're called. I asked him if he was familiar with your Drum Cafe experience, Kath and he wasn't although was very interested in the concept. I also was talking to a guy with a "Les Paul" guitar. It was very old and worn but he said that he couldn't refurbish it or it would lose its value. All in all, a very good evening.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Another Family Reunion

Some of the cousins decided to have a family get-together as it has been over ten years since the last one. Unfortunately, only four families could make the trip. My cousins, Mike and Sandy along with their children Michael, Chrissy and Stephen and their assorted mates and children. His sister, Ruth and son Tom with June and their children. My sister Jeannette and Tom with four of her children (Pat, Betty, Pam and Cyndy) and my brother Bill and Donna from North Carolina. Bill and Patty came with their four. This year, we went to Bell Haven Campground and rented a pavilion. It started out as a rainy day but soon the sun came out. All of the kids had a ball. Bill rented a 4-seat paddle boat and his girls along with Joey (Pam's son) enjoyed it for awhile. Billy and Stephie (Pam's) had fun just digging in the sand. Good conversation remembering old reunions dominated the day. Uncle Bill took loads of pictures and I have forwarded them to you.

Years ago when our moms were alive, we had themes. We had Crazy Hats, Miss America and even Limericks. My mother's family side was full of fun but the main characters are gone. Hopefully, we can resurrect some of it and plan for a bigger one next year.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009


I always loved trees. There's something about trees that form an umbrella over you and yours, bring you shade and lovely to look at in their seasonal colors. Most of the larger ones can be found right here in New Jersey. One of my pet peeves while living in Abilene was the absence of a decent tree!

However, my trees - the Maples, Oaks and Spruce scared the living daylights out of me with the last storm/tornado. Yeah, they waved their branches at me and then, one by one, their branches came crashing down. Tonight I met with the Expert Tree Man and he will take down two of them and trim the others back. So what can you do? Just remember how you enjoyed them on sunny days.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Berchtesgaden, The Salt Mines and Travels

And you must remember going to Berchestgaden with Grandmom and Grandpop. I'm not sure if this was before we went to Grandmom's ancestral place, during or later. It seems to me that it was the same trip. Wells were in Berchestgaden the same time and one night we went out for dinner with them. There was an Oompah Band and the group members came out into the audience and got different people to come up and dance. I think Verne Wells was picked. It was hilarious with all the band in lederhosen and the women in their country dresses slapping their thighs and dancing around. I'm thinking that Grandpop was picked too. I recall he was perspiring and laughing. From Berchtesgaden, we went over to Munich and up to Hitler's Retreat at the top of the mountain. Remember the buses that drove up. One would go up and another down. There was just one place that they could pass each other. And we'll never forget the Salt Mines, the train, the sliding board that Grandmom on laughing so hard, wet her pants and wouldn't slide no more. Augsburg, Austria was next and we visited the catacombs under a church. I think we were there just the one day. And finally, we did King Ludwig's Castle, drove through Oberamagau and on to Chiemsee. After we drove back to Rhein Main and a couple days later, we took off again to Belgium and Holland. In Holland, we visited the Minature Village at the Hague, to Ann Frank's house and to Vollendam where all the residents dressed in their native costumes. And how about all those windmills? Do you remember the hotel in Amsterdam where the boys, Dad & Granpop slept in one room and we slept in another and the breakfast was huge with cold cuts, hard boiled eggs and coffee. We stopped in eat again in Brussels. I reminded you that I had limited French so should be able to translate to get some food. We no sooner sat down in the restaurant and the waiter comes over and says "What will it be, folks?" Haha! It seems he had worked on a cruise ship that spent time in New York City. At that same place, we met that English couple, Elsie & Syd Smith and kept up a correspondce with them for a while. In fact, I exchanged Silver Dollars for Churchill coins at one time. Later on, Syd died and Elsie emigrated to Australia with their daughter and I lost touch with her.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

An Unexpected Pleasure

Last April I received a reminder from the dentist for a check up. One thing let to the other and I finally made an appointment. Only, I didn't go to my regular dentist but chose another. Bill and Patty had been urging me to go to their dentist and the location was closer to home. With much dreaded anticipation, I entered the office and was pleasantly surprised. The hygenist was VERY friendly, VERY gentle and VERY knowledgable. All the equipment was upscale. Dr. Emily Stein was young (isn't everyone?) but I liked her immediately. My teeth (what's left of them) were x-rayed, cleaned and examined. All in all, a good experience. So on the way home, I stopped and treated myself to a Gelati!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Chapter Two

Before we left for Berlin, Dad cautioned me about a nightclub called "Race's" (Sp.) and of course, I told him that we weren't going on that kind of trip. Our Chaplin, Father Hinckley flew into Templehof and met us at our hotel. The following day, we went to the conference and that afternoon, Father Hinckley informed us that he's going to take us out on the town to this neat nightclub called Race's! Well! What could we say? So we polished ourselves up and went out. Race's was a huge dance hall with the orchestra at one end and water fountains keeping in time with the music. Booths were scattered all around the hall and on tiers so you could look up or down to see other patrons. We were on the first level. In all the booths were telephones and ours rang constantly from other patrons asking us to dance. I did dance with a turbaned fellow and others from all over. It was like the United Nations. Our most popular girl was one who was about 8 months pregnant! I guess she had a glow about her and everyone wanted to share in it. The waiter kept filling our glasses up and when we saw the bill, we realized we were drinking champagne instead of wine. Fr. Hinckley had to bail us out. We finally left there dog-tired and half looped. One of the girls fell up the steps to the hotel and we helped her up laughing all the way.

The following day, we took a bus trip to East Berlin. As soon as we got to Checkpoint Charlie, a Russian interpreter/guide got on. Right off, he told us that we couldn't take pictures or he would confiscate our cameras. We were not to speak to any natives or give them any cigarettes. Of course, someone on the bus took pictures anyway and somehow got away with it. There were a lot of pock-marked buildings and hardly anyone on the streets. We were only taken to a park where there was a statue of Mother Russia. I'm sure we saw other sights but they were in controlled areas. We saw a lot of soldiers, jeeps, etc. When we finally got back to the check point, Russian soldiers went over the bottom of the bus with mirrors to make sure no unhappy citizens joined us. Needless to say, we were relieved and happy to get back to the West.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Some More Memories....

Our time at Rhein-Main was to end in 1967 but along with our friends, decided to extend another year. We didn't make anymore major trips but on the weekends, would follow the Special Service Bus to places around the countryside. Taking our lunch, walking in the woods and villages gave us a different slant of country life in a foreign country.

Do you remember when we went to Heidelberg with the Girl Scouts? Another time to the Capital at Bann? One of my memorable trips involved the Catholic Chaplin. If you recall, Joan Wells and I belonged to the Catholic Women of the Chapel. Our Chaplin heard of a conference in Berlin and thought we would like to go. I think six of us made the trip. Dad took me to Frankfurt to catch the train. While in the train station, I saw some GIs and commented to Dad that one of them looked like a guy we knew from home. Dad poo-pooed it but I went over for a closer look and sure enough I was right so we had a mini-get-together catching up. How cool is that seeing someone from home? We finally boarded the train and it was a "sleeper" with four bunks to a tiny room. Of course, we didn't do much sleeping. In the morning, it was crazy trying to get dressed in this rocking train. Just try putting on panty hose and bumping into each other while doing it! Then, we noticed that the train was slowing down and watched it move to a side track. To our surprise (although it shouldn't have been), Russian soldiers came in and checked our passports. It seemed we were in the East German sector and had to pass through there to West Germany. The soldiers were very polite but it was still intimidating. As this is a long story, I'll continue it in the next chapter. LOL!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

The Empty House

Everyone has left me to go home. Wow! It was just tremendous having company, seeing Elle along with Gabe, Sophia and Aidan and of course, Abby Alex, Becca & Bill who I see more. I enjoyed Ocean City with part of my family and would have been in heaven if the rest had shown up. On Sunday, other friends popped in to wish Jane a Happy Birthday. She had a suspicion as we always celebrate her birthday in some fashion. Later on in the week, we celebrated Kristinn's and Rich's. We are definitely into birthdays here. And today, we sent Jane & Rich on their way back to Dutch Harbor. Safe journey, kids!

This evening, I joined Patty to see Bill's softball game. It was his last one for the season and I thought I might be his lucky charm but it was not to be. But it was fun and I enjoyed being there. Coming home, I stopped at Rita's Water Ice for a Gelati. Yum!

So, the house is empty and I have to get back in some kind of exercise routine. Before she left, Jane and I walked around town and she took pictures of houses she liked and houses she lived in. But the walking was a slower pace and I really have to start MOVING!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

And Then...

In 1966, Grandmom and Grandpop came to visit. We had just purchased a new Nash Rambler station wagon so were all set to go on a road trip. Grandmom wanted to visit her grandparents' birth place in Marienweiher, Germany. After much researching as it was a small village, we found it on a Deutsch road map. A friend of Joe's, Rob (Mike) Michauk came with us. He was born in Hamburg and his family came to the states when he was a little boy so was fluent in German. Dad had to get clearance as it was just 5 kilometers from the East German border. The scenery was breathtaking. We drove over this hill and looking down saw the village sitting there between the hills. The odd thing about it was that I had in my possession a
postcard with a picture of it that was sent from one brother to the other and dated 1907 and the oddity was that the village looked just the same. It gave me goose bumps. Marienweiher is a farming community with the pigs and geese walking through. When we drove down, the men of Marien. came over and admired the car, wanting to look at the engine, etc. We felt like celebrities. I guess you just didn't see many new cars around there. Mike located a Max Ott who owned a gasthause and even though it was past lunch, fixed us some bratwurst,bread and of course, beer. Through interpretation, we learned that he was related to Grandmom Brumbach (Zaph) and there was just one other brother who was ill and lived in another area. There is a story about the town and its name but I won't go into it now. We were shown the family homestead, the grave of the first Brumbach who was also mayor of the town and the church. It was a wonderful day.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Our Life as We Knew It!

As a Flight Mechanic on a C-130, Dad flew with the same crew and all became friends. Major Bill Price was the Flt. Commander, Capt. Holland, navigator; Capt. Bob Appleby, navigator and Dad. There may have been others but these are the ones I remember best. I'm not even sure about the name - Holland but something like that. Bob Appleby, when not working/flying could be found at the Officer's Club on base. He was always getting into trouble. Do you remember how the housing was on one side of the runway and the base on the other? A slightly inebriated Bob called Joe one night to come and get him. It seems he was stopped by the Air Police for "running into the landing lights" at the end of the runway. Another time, he rang our bell at 2am and wanted to stash an Octoberfest Sign that was outside the club. I think we had it in back of our bed for a couple of weeks. You would wake up and see these buxom ladies holding 3 glasses of beer and cheering! Not a pretty sight first thing in the morning.

Willie Shaver was in a different squadron than we were. His first name was Columbus and all the guys called him Chris. One day, they took another guy's Volkswagen Beetle and carried it across the railroad tracks, Willie laughed & laughed telling us about it. The guy couldn't understand how his car got from here to there.

Jim Alexander had a wooden leg. He was in a motorcycle accident early in the service but convinced the A.F. that he could do his job. He was a plane mechanic and would climb all over to get the job done.

Our social life consisted of bowling in the Mixed Doubles, going to the club for dinner and dancing, taking short road trips around the area and house parties.

We girls had home parties too: crystal, china & Hummel figurines. A lot of us brought Hummels home. Funny, the German people did not consider them an expensive item and you might find them in a store such as K-Mart but of course, we loved them. Clocks of every type were popular as well as paintings and beer steins. Dad flew all over to Thailand, Greece, Okinawa and always brought back souvenirs. A couple of us were involved with scouting and we held Day Camp in the summer within the base. The base provided us with tents, fresh water and all kinds of supplies.

Annually, the squadron held a picnic. As there wasn't any grills, the guys dug pits and brought in spring cots to use and it worked great. Nothing like being creative!

In the spring time like all famiies everywhere, we were over the ball field cheering the kids on.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

The 60s and Base Housing......

We stayed in Langen about eighteen months then moved to Gateway Gardens on the base. The building was made up of six apartments with a stairwell in the middle. On the lower level was another apartment. Ours was on the first floor and quite nice with three bedrooms. I remember going to this huge warehouse and picking out furniture for it. And, how about the television that only had German programs? We watched Bonanza with all of the characters speaking Deutsch. The Browns lived on the second floor during our years there and we enjoyed their friendship. Above us at one time, a family of four boys roller-skated across their bare floors and became a nuisance. But we all survived and later on, they got transferred. At Gateway Gardens, Bill started kindergarten and was a reluctant student. It took him an hour to walk three blocks as he would stop to play, get dirty and come back home with some excuse why he couldn't go that day.

The Air Force had its rules too; one being that we couldn't wear mini-skirts to the commissary or other base facilities, another: "no stretch pants" - the kind with the strap under your foot. I guess they thought we would incite a riot among the single airmen. If you were caught, they would give your husband some kind of reprimand that went into his record.

At G.G., I learned to play pinochle. Eight of us would get together on Monday nights at each others' house. I made many friends there as Wells moved on base along with the Alexanders. We had a lot of house parties or gatherings. Our children were all around the same age. Another family who still lived "on the economy" were the Shavers - Carolyn, Willie and their four girls. They lived on a second floor apartment in a village about thirty minutes from the base. We would all go out there and attend the fests in the village which were held quite often and proved to be a lot of fun esp. with the Oompah bands. Another time, the guys helped Willie move a piano up to their floor. They finally accomplished this with the help of a case of beer.

Carolyn, Edna Brown and I were all Girl Scout leaders and took part in many events going on in Germany. Carolyn and I attended a big conference in Garmisch for four days. C. had been learning German but was very limited. However, we muddled along. She used to say that the only thing she could remember was "are you going to wash your clothes on Monday or Tuesday?" And that didn't get us very far.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Rhein Main, Germany

As I mentioned in early 1964, Dad received orders for Germany. We were excited as well as apprehensive to be going so far away. Do you remember all of the "shots" we had to get? Billy caused a riot by kicking the needle out of the medic's hand. After packing our Hold baggage and the moving truck left, we headed for Grandmom's house in New Jersey. Dad stayed with us for a couple weeks and then left for Rhein Main. We stayed with your grandparents until late September. While there, we visited Joan Stone (our neighbor in Lake Charles) who was based at Westover A.F. Base in Massachusetts. We stayed with her a week and gave grandmom a much needed break. I remember Joan had a Volkswagen and we crammed everyone in - that was eleven of us. In the beginning of September, you went to Laurel Springs school for about three weeks and then we left for Germany.

Our first home was in Langen about twenty minutes from the base. We rented a second floor apartment from Fritz & Anna Werner. It was a big airy apartment with three bedrooms. In about three months, our small amount of furniture came in. Fritz went into shock when he saw our huge refrigerator. He had a small one that went under the cabinet. However, his family really loved us and went out of their way to make us welcome. There was Lisalotta and their dog, Barry as well. Later on, a Greek couple moved into the basement apartment. Prior to that, Anna had a little store set up with treats you could buy. Another family, George & Darlene Keeney moved a couple of doors away and Benders next door so we were becoming an American-Deutsch Street. One of the things I recall was the Soccer tournaments down the street. I'm sorry I never attended. We did most of our socializing with other couples in the Air Force. Another thing that amazed me was the number of bicycles on the street. You would see Grandmoms peddling along the street with sacks of groceries in their baskets. While living in Langen, we met Joan and Vern Wells and their two boys - Curt and David. I think this chapter is going to be long so will stop for now.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

And on to Georgia!

We spent just two years in Lake Charles and were transferred to Robins A.F. Base in Warner Robins, GA. I had been denying but was pregnant with #4. It seems like my 20s were spent being in that condition. Arriving in W-R, we had to take an apartment in a row house for about three months and then moved to a duplex on Whitehead Circle. It was all base housing. The concrete row house was damp and crowded as the rooms were small. The house on Whitehead Circle was pure bliss. We were situated at the top of the circle and had a huge yard for the kids to play in. Joey was just three years old and loved to wander around the yards and turn on every sprinkler, much to the dismay of the neighbors who left their car windows open. We had a family of nine children living in the next house. He was a Secretary for AA and his telephone number was one digit off from mine so can you just imagine how many "drunks" would mis-dial and call me. Needless to say, we got an unlisted number. It was here that Aunt Liz and Uncle Ben came to see us for a couple of days and ended up staying a week. We had such a great time! They were on their way home from a vacation in the Caribbean and stopped in. Guess everyone drove then. Bill was born in September so now we are a family of two & two! I think we finally figured out what was causing all of these pregnancies! LOL! During the second summer, Dad brought home a "retired" 20-man life raft and "blew it up" with the vacuum cleaner. It made a great swimming pool for kids. The big family next store moved away and Hourihan's moved in. Do you remember the baby alligator they had? Their kids were Corky and David. I think after work, their dad was a boy scout leader so was always thinking of fun things to do. The early 60s also brought John F. Kennedy's assassination. I was housecleaning when it came over the television. Horrible!

We stayed in W-R until 1964. And then, went on to Rhein Main, Germany. What do you remember about W-R?

Monday, May 18, 2009

A Short Vacation with Friendly Folks

At Last! We got away for 3 days to my very special B&B in the Poconos Mountains of Pennsylvania, Cranberry Manor. There were five of us "girls" --we'll always be girls! Aunt(s) Jeannette & Mary, Maggie, Shirley and me. After borrowing Bill's GPS, we managed to get there without getting lost. Jeannette was my navigator and was a big help. Once we left the turnpike, we drove through quaint villages, up and down hilly roads and saw lots of guys on John Deere tractors....hmm! We arrived at our destination around 3:30PM on Friday and were greeted with the smiling faces of our hosts, Sharon & Ric. (Bill and Patty were there the previous week and were told that "we" liven-up the place when we come...haha)! There are five guest rooms and all were filled for the weekend so we couldn't get in too much trouble. Maggie had brought tiny little water pistols so we hammered Jeannette and Shirley a bit. Barbara, another friend was on our floor as well so made for fun and games. On Friday evening we attended a Murder Mystery dinner and enjoyed that. Maggie, Barbara and Jeannette all had parts so made it more fun.

Saturday morning, Sharon prepared sliced bananas with carmel sauce, banana & nut muffins and mandarin orange upside-down pancake with sausage. Yum! But too much for me along with lots of coffee, cranberry (their own) and orange juice.
Saturday, we went into Stroudsburg for our annual spa treatment....facials and massages - sure felt g r e a t!!! Saturday night, ate local and Sunday morning, Sharon made grilled pears with cinnamon, a coffee cake with oranges, cranberries, etc and an omelet with grilled slices of tomatoes sprinkled with cheese. I swear once you eat breakfast there, you're not hungry until dinner time. Ric had to show us his Cruzin Cooler which is basically a cooler on wheels with handlebars and a small motor. Aunt Mary had to try it out, of course! We finally headed out for home stopping at various flea markets and antique stores. All in all, a successful weekend.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

And then, we moved......

After two years, Dad got orders for Robins A.F. Base in Warner Robins, Georgia. We moved in June and Bill was born in September. This was Our 1st house was a row-house where we stayed for three months until we got into base housing. Lived in a nice brick duplex on Whitehead Circle. We were located at the top of the circle. Bill was born in September

Wednesday, April 29, 2009


I can't remember how he came into our lives. He probably was a stray and just hung around or maybe Dad brought him home. He was a black rather long-haired mongrel part friendly and part smart. He knew he found a family finally. Kathi officially adopted him as hers. Louie was named for Louisiana and shortened because of his sex. He knew how to drag the trash out of the can and hurl it all over the kitchen. Not very smart, I guess. He was also known to get car sick and proved it by barfing all over Dad's neck when traveling to N.J. for vacation. He hated to be wrong and slunk around until he was forgiven. We "snuck" him into motels with "no dogs allowed" signs and fed him out of can lids. Louie taught us to love everybody and just a pat on the head would make him happy. He was loval and loved us. Getting orders for Germany, he spent his remaining years with Aunt Liz in N.J.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Bronchitis - My Annual Affinity

I thought I had escaped it this year as I got past February and March without a whiff! But not to be! The onset was Monday last and I'm still working with/on it. Except for the incessant coughing, I'm in good shape. And this is why I haven't been blogging! This too will pass!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Lake Charles, Louisiana

In late summer of 1958, we drove down to Lake Charles, La. Chennault AFB was a SAC base. The ride had to be somewhat hectic with 2 little girls and an infant. In route, we stopped in Tuscaloosa, Alabama for the night. We usually tried to stop at places that had a restaurant close by. Kath, this is the place that you made the big hit with the owners. He was the coach for the Crimson Tide - Bear Bryant. For the uninformed, we checked in the motel and went to eat late in the evening. There were only a few people there. When our dinners were served, the chef had put parsley on our plates for decoration and Kathi in her 3 year old voice said, "Someone put grass on my plate, me don't like grass!" There was a pregnant silence then customers started to giggle. When we were leaving, the owner came out and asked what little girl didn't like grass? We were somewhat embarrassed but he made things easy for us, walking back to our room with you on his shoulders.

Lake Charles was so different from New Jersey. We weren't used to the bugs, roaches, snakes, water bugs, etc. and the heat! When we first arrived, the base provided a temporary rental. Dad went to the Red Cross to borrow money until our finances got straightened out in two weeks time. Unfortunately, the R.C. started hassling us for the $100 even though they were agreeable for the time limit. Since that experience, we always looked the R.C. with a jaundiced eye. Within our agreed time, we repaid the loan and and rented a 2-bedroom house about a mile from the base.

Our first friends were Joan & Bob Stone and Larry & Mary Homan who lived next door. Mary and I would plan a lot of things together as she had 3 little girls who were pretty much the same age as you. But I'm getting ahead of myself.

The telephone number assigned to me must have belonged to a fish market before as one day I received a call from a restaurant ordering a list of seafood/fish and I started to interrupt like "wrong number" and he said something to the effect that I could talk when he finished......I did...he hung up! As Dad was still in food service, Mary and I got to know all of the butchers and guys in the commissary so they would point out the better cuts of meat and lower the price somewhat at check out which was great on our limited income. Dad was a Staff Sargent and Larry was an Airman 1st Class. Another time, we were on our way to the base in Mary's Volkswagen when the gas pedal got stuck and we whizzed through the base gate with the Air Police just looking at us. Funny the things you remember.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Comedy Hour(s)

A good friend had won tickets for a show and invited me. She asked if I had a rain coat or poncho and if so to bring it. Did you ever hear of Gallagher? He's been around since the 70s but I never heard of him. I was mystified re the rain gear and noticed that the theater ushers were giving out ponchos to the people who were seated in the first 10 rows. As we were further up, we didn't need them. Gallagher started out by running up and down the aisles throwing Easter candy to the audience. He reminded me of a guy who was stuck in the 60s with longish gray hair and bald on top. He talked about getting old, politicians, the way kids dress, and all the things that is happening today. It was so funny the way he explained it. I usually am amused but found myself laughing uncontrollably. On the stage, he had all kinds of food like slices of watermelon, pumpkin, cabbage, cottage cheese etc. and while talking to us, he would make all kinds of pies in those aluminum pans and place them on the stage. He kept up his repertoire for 21/2 hours without a break. The last half hour, he had about 6 kids come up on the stage. Putting the pies on a table, he gave them a sledgehammer, directions for the best effect and they smashed the pies! Most slop, pieces went into the audience so the rain gear. It was gross and hilarious at the same time. Regardless, I enjoyed myself but was glad that I wasn't sitting in a lower seat. Interesting to see that some people were dressed up in costumes. Reminded me of Jimmy Buffett's Parrot Heads.

By the way, Netflix has him on a DVD so I sent for one.

Monday, April 6, 2009

I'm Counting the Days...

For warm and sunny days
Until June when my kiddies come in for the Jersey shore
For the time I will be slim and trim
Until my next 39th birthday

And, I am counting the books I have read this year. The count is up to 23!

Nothing is impossible. All is doable, right?

What are you "counting" for?

Monday, March 30, 2009

Tired Old Ass!

I have always like showers vs. baths but I discovered a product I love and aptly named "Tired Old Ass" Bath Soak. So when I wake up all achy and stiff, I head for the bathtub for my TOA soak. It positively rejuvenates me. It's made up of a blend of salts high in iron along with oils of rosemary, eucalyptus, etc.

My discovery took place in Vermont at the Country Store so I checked the label and now buy it direct from the manufacture and it's less expensive. So if you're run down from too much mental stress and/or physical activity, get yourself some Tired Old Ass! You'll be glad you did. Check out:

I sound like an advertisement! LOL!

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Back to the Story...

When Kathy was almost 2 yrs. old, we moved to the 2nd floor apartment in Westmont. Dad started moonlighting - getting a second job bar-tending at a club in Lindenwold. So he would work at the base during the week and on Friday and Saturday nights, work at the club. The problem was that all of his old friends were not married yet and wanted him to go out after work. That went over like a lead balloon, believe me! In all fairness though, he was so bushed after working as well as driving to the base, that he made a good case for himself and got out of it mostly. At least, that's what was told to me. I could kill his so called friends. Sometime, I would go out and sit at the bar until he got off. We got to know the owners well (their last name was Papp) and periodically, I worked in the coat room for tips. We usually asked Mary Jane to babysit the two of you.

Kathy, you used to crawl on your stomach like a commando. Your sister, Jane never crawled at all. She started standing at 8 months and walking at 9 months. We used to watch you, Jane walk right under the table without hitting your head. It took your sister only 12 months to walk. You both stayed in cribs until almost 3 yrs when I decided you needed a bed to sleep in. We found a second-hand one that was advertised in the paper so bought that as well as a small rocking chair for $25. Grandmom went with me to look at the stuff. A lady was moving to an apartment and didn't have room for all her things. I think Grandmom paid just $2.50 for the rocker.

During this time, Grandmom came down with cancer in her thyroid gland.
She was only 58 years old and we were really worried. I was also pregnant and nearing my time when we found out. Grandpop told us as G'mom didn't want to worry us. She went through surgery and recovered in time but it was our first scare with anything like that. As the Military Champus program had just started that allowed babies to be born at civilian hospitals, Joe was born at Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital on the outskirts of Camden. He cost us a big 25 dollars so was more expensive than both of you. He was also born with a right club foot and when only 2 days old, had a cast put on from his knee to his toes. Every Monday, I had to take him to the doctor who removed the cast, exercised his leg and put another on. If you remember, Grandpop also had a club foot. I wasn't too worried as Grandpop's foot turned out okay. When he was 6 months old, we were transferred to Lake Charles, Louisiana.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Monday, March 23, 2009

My Life as it is!

Retiremennt isn't all that it's cracked up to be - yet we all desire it. You gotta have a plan or schedule. You just can't afford to let your life drift slowly by when the highlights of the day are eating, errands and TV.

I have a list. Sometimes, I can't read my writing as I jot down things whenever the idea hits me. Then I spend another 20 minutes trying to decipher my words.

Procrastination is another part of retirement. No deadlines now and you know you'll get it done sometime. So all of you who are still out there working your butts off, remember to have a PLAN for that day when you can stay home, read lots of wonderful books, eat, exercise once in a while, watch TV and make lists!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Tribute to my Sister, Addie!

Today, in the mail, I received a small book from my sister's friend, Margaret White. Margaret was Addie's dear friend from their teaching days. The dedication of the book was to my sister. I was in tears reading the inscription.

We never called her Addie, it was always Adeline. She was my older sibling with 17 months between us. Growing up, she was always the Boss and demanding that Jeannette and I do as she wanted. She was the boldest of us and the most adventuresome doing things we only thought about e.g. sleeping on the roof, hiding from relatives, etc. She could tell a good story and we were enthralled by her descriptions. She could take a single sentence and make it the most interesting thing we ever heard. Looking back I think she must have gotten this gift from Dad who was a fascinating story teller as well. Like the rest of us, she loved to read and always had a book close by. Her temper got her into trouble, mainly with Mom. We argued and fought like all kids have done forever. One time while we were doing dishes, she threw the coffee pot at me. I ducked and it went through the china closet breaking the glass. I got in trouble for ducking! However, when our brother Bill arrived, she was 14 and took care of him when Mom was working and was a good substitute mother.

In high school, she played Guard on the Girls Basketball Team. After high school, she went on to Trenton State College and became a teacher. Her degree was in Physical Education, probably called something else now. Being athletic, she played Lacrosse, Soccer and Field Hockey and played on many club teams in New Jersey.
After teaching locally for 2 years, she applied for a position in Bremerton, Washington. Our parents were devastated that she was moving so far away. (I had already married and was living in Louisiana). While there, she met her future husband Bob Hause, a fellow teacher. She married at home the following June and relocated back to Port Angeles,WA.

Addie and Bob have one son, Rob who now lives in Seattle, She taught Phys Ed for a number of years then English. Sometime during teaching, she went back to school earning her Masters degree in Psychology. Addie and Bob had many friends in their area. I talked with her periodically but didn't see her very often so we never developed a close relationship which I regret. In 1993, Addie died of cancer; she was only 64 years old.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Back to NJ and Another Baby on the Way

In early February, the Red Cross got in touch with us that Joe's Dad had died so they sent us home. I never knew my father-in-law well. I met him when we were engaged and at our wedding. He was 55 when your father was born. We were scheduled to return to the states in June anyway so just came sooner. On arriving, we stayed with Grandmom and Grandpop until we found a place of our own. Joe was stationed at McGuire AFB. Shortly after, I found out that I was pregnant with number two, Kathleen Anne - another favorite name. I was surprised as I still nursed Jane. At that time, we were told that you couldn't get pregnant if you were nursing. Wrong! We rented a house in Browns Mills for about three months to be closer to the base. Then we moved to an apartment in Laurel Springs and finally to an apartment in Westmont where we stayed until we were transferred again. In Westmont, we met Bill and Floss Knapp with their children Billy and Donna who lived across the street. But I am getting ahead of myself.

We had gone out with Uncle Kirby and Aunt Em when I started having cramps. At this time, we lived in Laurel Sprimgs. Uncle Kirby was kidding me saying things like "This is it, you're gonna have the baby today," etc. Dad and I came home and later went to the movies to see some film with John Wayne. When we got home, I was in a pretty lot of pain so took Jane over to Grandmom's house and started for the base that was 27 miles away. Dad was so nervous and kept asking me about the intervals between pains so lied to reassure him. Needless to say, your delivery came in four hours so cut Jane's time in half. I stayed in Ft. Dix hospital just two days and came home. Two babies in diapers! What fun! You were a serene baby though and always smiling. You only had fuzz on your head and I used to tape bows on your head to show that you were a girl.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Aspiration vs. Inspiration

Can you aspire before being inspired? Can you have one without the other? That is Wednesday's question. Give me your happy thoughts!

Friday, February 27, 2009

And then...........

Finally, we arrived back home in Chaumont. Conrads were ecstatic along with Goldia and Earl McCoy who were our closest friends. You had many visitors, all wanting to hold you. As I may have said previously, Dad and I were the youngest parents in the squadron. So babies were a novelty. McCoy's youngest was ten, Conrad's Arlette was ten or so too. As you grew Jane, Grandmere Conrad wanted to feed you nothing but milk for the first year and balked when I gave you baby food. (She said food was bad for your digestive system). Once or twice, I would run out to the base, leave some food for you and she told me that you didn't like it. Haha!

When Dad went to work, Claudie would invite me over for lunch which was their main meal. They said that I needed good food and wine so I would have lots of milk for you. They actually spoiled me by eating with them daily. Grandmere knitted you a vest to keep you warm and I kept it for the longest time.

In the evenings, we drove to friend's homes for dinner and cards. We played a lot of poker those days. We would prop you up in all the coats on the bed and you slept through it. One night, while coming home, Dad had to stop and take a leak so we stopped by the side of the road (men are so lucky, aren't they?) There was a shout! I jumped out of the car and Dad had fallen into a gully. There weren't any street lights out in the country so you took your chances.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Manatees, Bottle-nosed Dolphins & Alligators - Oh No!

Had a great trip. Floss, my friend met us at the airport. It's so much fun catching up and remembering old times together. Her house is so nice with high ceilings and openness that you only see in Florida. We went to see the manatees at the electric power company about an hour away. They like the warm water there. The days were warm and sunny. I could get used to that. We stayed with her for two nights and then took off for Jeannette's friend in Northport. The following day, we met our brother in Ft. Myers and headed down to Naples another couple hours south. He and his wife, Donna live on a golf course in a gated community. It's very beautiful with lots of trees and foliage. One day we took a sail on a large catamaran that was fantastic especially when they hoisted the sails by hand. We visited the Everglades and saw lots of nasty alligators sunning themselves by the roads...ugh! In the national park, we saw the dolphins, all kinds of birds and sea life. We ate out a lot, took mile walks in the mornings, tried to get sunburned (didn't work) and just loafed around. I showed Bill our blogs and he said that he always wanted to write and will name his Bill's Martini or some such.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Musings - Taking Another Sentimental Journey

It is my plan for 2009 to reconnect with friends. Tomorrow, I leave for Tampa, Fl. to see an old friend who lived across the street from me way back in the 50s. We kept up our correspondence through the years and I would see her periodically but this is the first time I have gone to see her. Florence (Floss) is a very talented woman. She taught me so many things when our children were small. We did a lot of crafts then and often found ourselves at the Farmer's market looking for bargains and eating ice cream. One such time, Kathy lost her shoe. She was only two and kept tugging on my hand to tell me. I finally noticed her limping and realized what happened. Retracing our steps, we found that some kind person had put it on a shelf. What a relief I could just see it mashed and dirty. We laughed alot about it. Living in Westmont when Dad was stationed at McGuire, we found many things to keep us occupied both physically and mentally. Along this travel, my plans include friends in Port Charlotte. And finally, to my brother's in Naples.

Sometimes I wonder if we ever outgrow our friends? There are little pieces in your heart/life that belong just to them. So I guess I answered my own question, huh?

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Jane Marie is here!

We were so excited to have my pregnancy confirmed. We had been married for nine months and wondering if I would ever get pregnant. It was a very happy time. Everyone got involved, gave me all kinds of advice and literally took care that I ate the right sort of food, etc. The Conrads were ecstatic but aghast when I told them that I had to go to Germany to have the baby. We talked and talked of names...big decision. One evening, Joe said "let's name a girl after my mother" and that's what we did. A boy would be named after him although he preferred to name him after Grandpop but that's another time. Jane, I flew to Wiesbaden, Germany two weeks before you were due. Chaumont did not have a hospital so all of the pregnant ladies got to fly in some sort of air force cargo plane. What great cargo, huh? We checked in at a hotel that costs me twenty-five cents a day. This was during the occupation of Germany and of course, we were in the American zone. We were scheduled to see the doctor a day after we arrived. I was told that first pregnancies usually went full time so figured I was there for the long haul. Looking back, I remember all of those "fat" ladies at the hotel. I had gained twenty-three pounds but still didn't look that big. Three days after I arrived, I started cramping and they insisted I go in. I got to ride in a cadillac ambulance to the hospital. LOL! My first cadillac! Well, I probably went in too early but the nurses kept me. I remember women who seemed to be in great pain and here I was reading a magazine thinking that this isn't so bad. Clueless! Then a couple more hours, my tune changed. Needless to say, you were born at 2AM after twelve hours. You weighed 5lb 8oz., 18 inches long. Such a tiny little girl. Dad finally arrived driving eight hours from France. He was so happy that you were here...such a proud papa! I stayed in the hospital three days and then we left for the long trip back to France. Before we left there, we had to stop at the American Embassy to add you to my passport. Wiesbaden gave you an American birth certificate and also a German one. Do you still have it? The ride back to Chaumont was tortuous. My butt was killing me and I couldn't get comfortable. You were good and slept all the way. I'll continue this later.

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Autograph Books and Games

Autograph books were a big thing in grammer school. All of the kids had them but mainly girls. Some of the sayings that were written in mine were: Yours till I D K! My heart (a drawing of a heart) pants (a drawing)4 U! And my all time favorite was Yours till the ocean wears pants to keep its bottom dry!

School games were: Pile on Lumber, Hop-scotch, Tag, Red Rover and Drop the hankerchief. Jumping rope was very popular along with Double Dutch using 2 ropes and then we had singing games that went along with the jumping.

At home on Trenton Avenue, we played games outdoors until it got dark. The street was full of kids and Berger's house next door was our meeting place. Catherine Berger was our natural leader. She was about six years older than me. We played Lay-Low Sheepie, Kick the Can, Wire ball, Step ball and some of the ones from school. Among our other activites at home were climbing trees, building a tree house, trying to ride Berger's cow, going to the matinee on Saturday and playing marbles. In the evening with our parents, we would listen to the many shows on the radio, play anagrams (beginning of Scrabble), Checkers and Chinese Checkers. A lot of times, Mom and Daddy would join us. On New Year's Eve, we would go over to Berger's house and have a party. We would also write down a wish for the coming year and Cass would keep them until the following year and of course, we would open them, laugh and repeat it for the next year.

What are the games you played in grammer school and other places? Any favorite memories?

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Chaumont 11

We were in Chaumont from 1953-1955. Just to see how smart you are....who was the President at that time? In 1954, we could see signs and scrawls on fences and other buildings deploring the executions of the Myron & Ethel Rosenberg in the states. As May 4Th is May Day in France, we were not permitted in town as an incident may occur. A lot of demonstrations were taking place.

The base would consistently issue rules regarding our conduct, dress, etc. For instance, we were not allowed to wear jeans in town. Most of the French women wore skirts and pants/slacks of any kind were frowned on. As we were guests in their country, we had to conform or stay home. We griped a bit but stayed true.

Every Sunday, the French citizens would dress up in their best and stroll around the city/town. The church in town was only attended by a few old women. The little kids would pee in the gutter and their parents just smiled. We were aghast, of course!

We rode the bus to the base and had to get checked in at the AP gate. For some reason, I was always stopped. They thought I was French.

Have to stop here.

Monday, January 26, 2009


We were finally living in town although I didn't venture too far out in the community. There was a little bakery across the street and we loved to buy warm loaves right out of the ovens and have them with our hot coffee in the morning. Now, these loaves were about 2 ft.long and cost just a couple cents. You could buy big round ones as well. Because Joe was gone most of the day, I found myself over on the other side of the house with the Conrads. Germaine always insisted that I eat lunch with them and I learned more and more French. Lunchtime was the main meal of the day. We always started out with cold meats followed by some sort of beef, chicken, etc. with potatoes, then vegetables and finally, cheese and fruit. No wonder they needed a siesta in the afternoon. You were given a clean plate with each course, plus different wines (red or white) After dinner, you had coffee with some kind of liquer or brandy. One weekend we were all invited for dinner (lunchtime). Germaine was making escargot and of course, we had never had it. Pierre insisted that we try it. He said that the best way was to put it in bread and pop it in your mouth! Now Pierre could understand a pretty lot of English as long as you didn't speak fast. So now he turns to Joe and asks how he liked it and your Dad never at a loss for words said very rapidly that it tastes like something he would like to throw down the toilet! And kept say Bon, Bon and Pierre smiled and said that he knew he would like it. We had a private chuckle over that. Albert Lambeth would speak fast all the time but would mix in some French phrases and all would be well. Pierre & Germaine were my family away from home. They drove us everywhere and intoduced us to their friends. He showed us the wine cellar which was a large warehouse with huge barrels of wine. The wine came in by truck with long hoses attached. He also gave us keys to his cellar and told us to help ourselves which we never did. Joe would buy him cigarettes at the base and I would give Grandmere cans of fruit cocktail which she loved. Lordy, let's end this here.

Friday, January 23, 2009


We stayed in Dancevoir for three months. Joe had this old Crossley (car) that wouldn't start in the morning so more than once, one of the local farmers would pull it with his tractor to get moving. This was embarrassing to say the least. Finally, Joe decided that he could park the car up on the hill, coast down and away we go! All of our friends were scattered over the countryside and on the weekends, we would go visiting. We went to the base movies everytime the picture changed. There wasn't a whole lot to do.

In late March, we moved to a 3rd floor apartment in Chaumont. We really liked it. A friend of Joe's, Al Lambeth lived on the 2nd floor. His wife came over for the summer and when Barbara left, we moved down to their place as Albert moved back to the base. I think our rent was $28 a month. We rented from the grandmother (grandmere) who lived below us. We lived in a winery and Pierre Conrad, his wife Germaine and family lived on the other side of the building. They had 4 kids; Jean Pierre (18), Claudie (16), Francois (13) and Arlette (10). I became good friends with Claudie and loved being around the younger ones as well. We had a large bedroom-sitting room with a fireplace at one end. We shared the bathroom with Grandmere. This was a large room with a high-sided bathtub. You had to light the gas jet to heat the water and many a time, it scared the bejesus out of me when it lit because it made a loud pop! There was also a "douce bowl" and Joe used it to wash his feet until Grandmere caught him and made him stop! The "water closet" was down the hall and the toilet paper was scratchy! When Barbara was still there, we played canasta a lot in their place as it was larger. Pierre always supplied us with wine or champagne but that's another story for another chapter.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Horoscopes or Horrorscopes

My horoscope says I'm going to have a new career! Why would I want that? I really just want to focus on today and the immediate future. My lucky birthday numbers are 3, 5, 9, 15, 23, 29 and 35! Wow! I can't even remember the numbers to notice if anything happens on one of my lucky days. Do you think people believe in this crap? Just bear with me as this is one of my soap box days. It also said to plan a passionate evening for two! No comment!

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Unfortunately I lost the photo!

I thought I uploaded a picture of Bill's kids but obviously, I didn't!

Monday, January 12, 2009

What did you wanna be when you were a kid?

I went up and down the scale and could never make up my mind. As I went to Catholic school, all of the girls wanted to be nuns. That didn't last long, esp. after we discovered BOYS! I guess I wanted to be a teacher for the longest time. Then, some of us in high school decided to join the Navy and become Waves, I think we liked the uniforms. LOL! Funny, I remember girl friends knowing exactly what they wanted to become and I was somewhere out in left field. Today, I think young people are more involved in decisions that affects their future. Most of the kids in high school in the 40s worked, got married and had families. We were a class of 220 and probably just a third went on to college. Hmmm! Comments?

Friday, January 2, 2009

Cooking 101

When Dad and I were first married, I knew Nada about cooking. I could bake anything but that didn't bode well for dinner. My first catastrophe was making chili. I loved it and I knew just how to make it except I bought dry kidney beans and didn't know that you had to soak and cook them. I just threw them in the pot with all the other ingredients and couldn't understand why they were like stones. Dad came home to find me crying at the stove. Needless to say, he cooked dinner and took over that chore until I learned. Another young southern bride in our squadron had a recipe that included rice. She read that it needed to be rinsed off so threw it in the sink and was horrified when it went down the drain. LOL! As most of our friends were older, I soon learned and Dad was always a good back-up if I didn't understand something. Did you ever have any like experiences?