Friday, December 5, 2014

12-5-14 Mother's Table

I had three people over for dinner last night. My Mother would have been pleased.
I had a table cloth on the table.
I had four individual salt and pepper shakers on the table.
There were two kinds of pickles, and olives. Cranberry relish.
Two vegetables and a green salad were served.
Two platters of meat, white and dark turkey with gravy.
White potatoes and yams. Rolls and butter.
Carrot cake and Pumpkin pie.
Her Mothers tooth pick holder  was out with picks.

She would have been disappointed in the paper napkins.
She would not have liked the salad dressing bottles on the table.
The Coke cans were  bad.

I had cloth napkins at Thanksgiving and turkey napkin rings.
My Mother set a proper table and taught me to. Kinda.
I left home as a teenager. I moved to LA. My ID was good, but it was not mine. I was not of legal age. I held lots of jobs in LA, lived in lots of apartments. My last job in California was with Miss Elliott of California, a dress house. That was a lot of fun. She designed Couture, one off clothing. I was able to buy what did not sell in the show room shows. My Mother and I always dressed well.

After I married, my husband and I agreed we would live on his salary and I would stay home and raise our children and make a good home for us. This I did. Some times in the hustle and bustle I would get a little sloppy about setting the table properly. But my children were always clean and neat, although I do have some school pictures of high water pants and tight dresses. I had a good time baking cookies, making curtains, and refinishing furniture.

When my Mother would come to visit the bread would come out of the wrapper and go on a plate. The milk would go in a pitcher. The silver ware would be on the sides of the plates. One time we were living in a log cabin in the mountains and I had my hair in braids, my Mother was not amused. She thought I looked like a hillbilly. I look at those pictures now and she might have been right. My children were healthy, they had lots of good mountain air, land to run around on, a dog to play with, spring water to drink and great schools. Not bad. Not long after that some of the dream ended and I went back to work when my youngest child was in elementary school and we moved in to town.

So I still can set a fine table, if I care to. I have the china, cloths, napkins, rings, all the stuff needed. If I get lost trying to remember it all I have a "New Joy of Cooking" cook book, in it  they will show you how to set a proper table for lunch, brunch or dinner !!
Bon appetite

Saturday, September 27, 2014



Today is my 2nd, maybe 3rd day of rain.
This time of year I get Mountain Rain Showers. These showers are famous for sneaking up on you. It can seem like they come out of no where. If you are in the mountains they will roll up over a hill and catch you. In town where I live they can rain like crazy for ten minutes with full sunshine !! Sometimes they put down enough water to set the gutters flowing. Another time the sidewalks hardly get wet.

I have been trapped in side of a restaurant at noon with thunder shaking the dishes on the tables and lightning flashing all around us. Once in the mountains in Colorado the people in the kitchen came out and stood by our table with the waitress and watched. It was raining so hard we could not see across the street. It only lasted 25-30 minutes, thank you, when we left there was 2 inches of water in their parking lot ! It seemed like it went around us in a circle two or three times before it cleared the mountain tops and moved on.

The last two nights the thunder has come in about 4 am. One thing I am noticing today is a big rain drop once in a while. Steady rain, but once in a while, every 10-15 seconds a bigger drop. The rain has been steady for 4 hours today. We need the water but I am afraid it is raising cain with the NHRA Drags out at Rocky Mountain Race Way. Today is their big night.

I took out a wood stove a few years ago. I just stubbed off the metal chimney. I still have the chimney out side and in side I have a plate and a cylinder hanging down about a foot or so from my ceiling and it is closed off. When it rains sometimes I hear it. Today I hear a drop occasionally. It is fall and I wonder about bigger drops. I have had hail this year, so ..... winter is coming.

2 years ago a Wood Pecker thought he would see if there were any bugs in the chimney. That was a hoot ! My neighbor said he had tried his also.

It is always good to be aware.

Thursday, July 10, 2014



It is so important in our lives. I have gone through times when I paid little attention to mine. And at other times I have lingered for hours over little details.

This morning I am thinking about shaving. In particular face shaving.

As I grew up I was surrounded with women who dressed well, smelled nice and looked good. They bought me fine clothes, taught me how to wear them, and taught me good grooming habits from a very young age. Wash (soap and water are cheap), Powder, Spritzed, Slip, Camisole, Underwear, Socks, Shoes Shined-Polished (I don't want to hear that every one likes dirty tennis shoes). Hair Clean and Brushed, Nails Cleaned every day with a brush, soap and water and a file, Teeth, Brush morning and night. AND Lotion all over.

As you can see I grew up with women who took care of themselves. I can remember helping my Grandmother cut hairs that grew out of moles on her face, and shaving the back of her neck so she could pull her hair up. My Mother freckled in the sun, so she wore long sleeves when we went camping, and wore a hat and we have dry skin so we use lotion, a lot !

I watched my Dad shave and wanted to use his electric razor. He would laugh and let me, "maybe when you get really old". Well I guess I am "really old" because I can shave now.

Almost every morning I can take my Bic Silky Touch Razor and shave my chin. I do it dry, think it is a bit like dermabrasion. I run my fingers along my jaw line and there they are, Grandma's mole hairs, almost in the same places I remember cutting them for her. I talk to her and have some memories of good times and shave them off. Back and forth, up and down. Feel my smooth skin and then shave my upper lip!! This is a little tricky, if I get too close it is red, not good and it looks like your great Aunt ?? over from Europe where they don't shave!
I would like to tell you about a girl from Italy who moved to Ogden in 1940 something and went to my elementary school. She was beautiful. I remember her very long curly dark hair, and the sweet tea her Mom had in the fridge for us. She was my first Catholic friend. I attended Mass with her in the Cathedral in Ogden. In 7th grade a few of the girls started shaving their legs. My Mother said I didn't need to and I was too young, she thought it was a little "fast" and did not want me too. This Italian girl wanted to because she was very hairy. I had not paid any attention to that before. "Oh Cheryl You would not notice, that is just how you are, but this is of concern to me. Will you still be my friend if I shave my legs ?" "Of Course". I had not realized that it was a coming of age thing with a lot of girls. She also had pierced ears, but that is another story.
Every week or so I shave my cheeks, yes my cheeks! I have a great East facing window in my bathroom and as I wash my face the light catches the FUZZ !! So I go up and down my cheeks and when I bang my razor on the edge of the sink there is fuzz in the sink ! It also helps keep Elvis's side burns in line !! I have always used a razor between my eyebrows and on their ends. I am not sure if I have uni brow but at this age I do not want to find out.

I see women out and about and I wonder if they just don't care, or if maybe their men like being poked with their  women's stiff hairs sticking out of their chins ?? Can you imagine, I can see them from the next table !! They must not use make up, I can not imagine make up not showing up the FUZZ. Maybe they think that is something you have to put up with like having wet panties. That is another thing we do not have to put up with and we do not need surgery ! I do not have wet panties and my man does not have wet spots on the front of his slacks ! These things are so easily fixed. And rubber bands are not involved !

So don't be afraid to grow up. You can shave your legs, your face and any where else you want too. I remember when the men's swim team shaved their legs in Junior High, Maybe High School, WOW was that fun. Bic lady shavers are cheap and you will be smooooth!!

Sunday, April 20, 2014

A Pebble

We need ants.

Off and on in my life I have wondered why we need ants. They usually show up in my house where I do not want them.

50 years ago I lived in the mountains southwest of Denver, Colorado.
I had an old Peony bush that would not bloom. It came with the property I bought. I watered it and fertilized it and it would get big buds but no flowers.

One day and older women was looking at it and told me what a fine bush it was and how lucky I was to have it this high altitude in the mountains. I told her I thought so too, "but it gets nice big buds and they show color, but they will not open." "Really" she dug in the soil around the plant, " that's your problem, you do not have any ants !". She proceeded to tell me that peony's have a heavy sap on their buds, this keeps them shut tight. You need ants to eat the sap so they will open." I told her I had relatives in Denver who had peony's so I could probably get some ants and transplant them."Yes, but be careful, you want the ants that are around their bushes. Don't get red ants, you need the little ants" So I did. My children's Great-grandmother had peony bushes so I got ants from her. She knew all about needing ants to get them to bloom. "Every  one knows that." I think she was a little put out I hadn't ask her about my peony that would not bloom.

So there is a pebble

Saturday, April 19, 2014


I think you acquire wisdom by living. That is why our Guru's are old !

I love to learn. When my children were young my first husband went to school and I went to class with him,  once in a while. Denver Community College was great, the instructors were good and the adult students were interesting. One Comparative Religion Class taught me about people I had never met before. There were people from all over the world in that class. It was great living in a big city like Denver.

Later, when I owned my company, I took at least one seminar a year.
Sometimes the whole staff would go. It does us all good to hear that we can succeed. I felt I was growing in my sales and marketing  career and would hear something different in the seminar presentation.

One of the best things I heard was to not be afraid to fail. Failing means you are trying. That idea may not be right now, maybe at another time. Or not, it does not mater, just get on with it. At least you had a thought !

I think of my self as a smart self sufficient women. The people in my life are there by choice.

Recently I was reminded that as smart as you may think you are, there are still things to learn. And as wonderful and complete as you think your life is, there are some ragged edges out there that you have put away in a box and not dealt with.

My second husband Gary and I had a wild and crazy life for 10 years or so. Then we sobered up and had 15 years of wild and crazy life !

He taught me to 4 wheel drive and I thought I had gone to heaven !!!
I love to drive, but the power and torque of a 4 wheeler is really something. When you learn what that truck will do, whoa baby !
We went 4 wheeling. We owned O'l Ugly Truck a 4 wheeler that would take you anywhere you had guts enough to drive. We played in the sand. I spun a tire off the rim. We climbed rock faces. We started out in tents, breaking camp every morning. On our last trips some of our friends had large motorhomes and we had a camper on a truck pulling O'L Ugly.

We bought a house. At 40 it was a reason to get married. The market was good so we refinanced a few times. Bought some toys, enjoyed life, took trips. Gary got sick and died. I took care of getting the wills, the durable power of attorney for health care and living will,
got every thing signed, notarized and filed with every one. I had done this when I had my Mother living with us before she died, so I knew what to expect.
The wills were fairly straight forward but the power of attorney that the VA had was really extensive. I was glad that Gary was well and in his right mind when we went through that. It basically said I do not want anything done. We each had a lawyer so every thing was filed with both offices, all Dr.s etc. Gary died in 2010.

Well, My Lawyer died two years ago. No problem right, Gary's Lawyer and good friend is still around and I can still call on him.  No, he died this January. OK, no big deal I will get another Lawyer if I need one ... my old CPA is a tax attorney I can ask him for a referral.  Problem solved. Now I find out if I die tomorrow all my assets will end up in probate because my will is not valid. It leaves everything to Gary ! My living will thing is just that, a thing. My kids are not on every thing. Smart women, huh.

So, smart women is meeting with a smart women, who went to school and became a lawyer and works for one of the big firms in town and specializes in estate planning. Yes I have one. See, at least I can still learn !

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

First Story - Life Pebbles

I was born in 1941 to parents who were in their 40's.

After Pearl Harbor The entire nation wanted to do something
anything !

My Father joined the Navy. My Mother wanted to join the Waves.
But she was pregnant. NO ! - Yes ! Pooey.
Daddy went off and returned as a recruiter. He was too old to go to sea. He said he fought the battles of Reno, Nevada and Idaho. It was his job to get the boys off the farms and show them the world.

We lived in  housing in The Ambassador in Salt Lake City, Utah. I remember individual apartments with a common  dinning room. The kids harassed the cook, climbed thru my bedroom window and on to my dresser and jumped on my bed until the slats broke. I remember running and having fun. There were lots of men with lots of brass on their uniforms. My Father drank whisky, smoked cigarettes and used profanity in his every day life. So I thought this was normal. One day I was standing on a table. Mother was marking a hem for my dress. I was probably 3 years old. A large man came to the door looking for Daddy, he was in a Navy dress uniform. I ask if that was " old son of a *&%##" ?" I  heard my Father and the  adult males refer to each other this way. My Mother was shocked that I knew these words and how to use them !

My Mother was raised in an era when you chose your words carefully. One of the first things you noticed about my Mother was she was well dressed and used correct English. "Well put together" would describe my Mother. She wore hats and gloves and loved good clothes. My Mother worked from the time I was 5 until she retired when she was 62. She worked in up scale women's clothing stores and she and I wore the latest fashions.

When my Mother and her sisters were growing up you and your Mother made your clothes. I remember a trunk in our basement that had some of those clothes. There were pin tucks and small bows and fine cotton. All made by hand. Irons were heated on wood stoves. Horses pulled wagons and my Mother was a bit of a tom boy. But her Mother made sure she and her sisters all knew how to sew a fine seam. My Mother made her living sewing in the alteration's departments. My Grandmother could put 9 stitches on a quilting needle and think nothing of it. They taught me to do needlework and sew.

I had a good child hood. I grew up strong willed and confident that I could do anything I wanted to do.

As a women today I still believe I am in charge of my life. I would like to share some of the things life has taught me. Perhaps you can use some of my life pebbles to carry you on.