Monday Mish Mash of Thoughts

As we enter into Thanksgiving week, I have so many thoughts prattling on in my head.

  • First and most importantly, I am so thankful and grateful for so many of the blessings in my life. My health, my family, my friends, and my access to so much that so many people in this world must do without truly humbles me.
  • Intermixed with those thoughts are great feelings of sadness and distress over the state of our country. There are incidents of gun violence every day and yet the support for guns in this country is stronger than ever. To see that Kyle Rittenhouse was awarded an AR-15 because he was found not guilty makes me physically ill. This is not about the verdict, but the twisting of what the verdict means. This is about the message sent after the fact.
  • I always try to temper my thoughts about trials in the news because I know I am not privy to the evidence presented in court. But I am concerned when I see that a man who confessed to raping four young women was given only two years of probation as a punishment. What message does that send? Crimes against women in our country continue to escalate. It makes me so concerned about my four granddaughters who will live in this world.
  • There seems to be a new trend of groups of people (some armed with crowbars) storming stores and stealing merchandise. There is little to be done when 80 armed people storm a store and wreaking havoc. I never understood wanting to take something I did not earn or pay for.
  • I am thankful to have received the vaccine and the booster when so many people in the world have not had access to one. And yet so many refuse the vaccine and numbers are again escalating throughout the world.
  • Today I went to the dentist. It made me wonder if other people with a history of vertigo dread the dentist. Not because of the dentist, but because of the reclining position and moving up and down in the chair. I am so grateful my vertigo has improved.
  • Tomorrow is my last physical therapy appointment. My therapist is moving to Colorado. I am thankful I was the recipient of her care and guidance and I wish her well on the next chapter in her life. Sometimes timing seems to be perfect.
  • I am thankful for this community and our ability to exist in harmony, even if we differ in beliefs. In case you did not realize it before now, I consider this a place where I commune with friends and I hope the best for all of you.

I am not sure how much I will be blogging this week, but I will be in and out. I send you all good wishes whether you celebrate the holiday or not. I am thankful for your presence in my life.

There is always room for kindness.


Song Lyric Sunday – (Let Me Be Your)Teddy Bear

The prompt from Jim:

This week the theme is songs that feature Lion, Tiger, Bear, Eagle, Shark suggested by Paula of Light Motifs II.

“(Let Me Be Your) Teddy Bear” was written by Karl Mann and Bernie Lowe and recorded by Elvis Presley in 1957 for his movie “Loving You”. The song reached #1 on Billboard’s Top 100 and also hit number one on the country and R&B charts.

The lyrics for the song contain the words bear, lion, and tiger, so it is a good fit for today’s prompt.

Dewey Phillips, the Memphis DJ who introduced Elvis to the airways in 1954, was invited to California to visit Elvis. According to various articles, Elvis played a copy of “Teddy Bear” (scheduled to be released in June of that year) for Phillips, warning him not to take a copy. Phillips snuck a copy of the song into his luggage and upon his return to Memphis, played the song on air before the studio release which infuriated Elvis. Demands for the record poured in that the studio and distributors could not fulfill. This put a tremendous strain on the friendship between Dewey and Elvis.

In June of 1957, RCA released a single with songs from the movie’s soundtrack track. “Loving You” and “Teddy Bear” were both included, but there was no designation as to which was the A side vs. the B side. Requests for “Teddy Bear” far outweighed the other and less than a month later, it had reached #1.

A false rumor spread that Elvis had a collection of Teddy Bears. Fans started flooding Graceland with gifts of teddy bears. There were so many, the bears were taking over the mansion. The day after Christmas in 1957, Elvis donated the bears to the National Foundation for Infantile Paralysis. (There are some who believe this rumor about Elvis’ love for teddy bears was the inspiration for the songwriters to write the song.)

Even though this was one of Elvis’s most successful songs, it has been ignored by the industry for rewards and inclusion in ‘top hit’ lists throughout the years because of the silliness of the lyrics.

The video below includes the lyrics.)

Song Lyric Sunday is hosted every Sunday by Jim Adams. If you would like to join in the fun, check out his blog for the rules and to take in all the other music posted by other bloggers.


SoCS – Black and White Photography

Linda is back with a new challenge for us this week. Pop over to Linda’s place to join in: Life in Progress – check out the rules and the contribution of other bloggers.

This week, the prompt is:

Your Friday prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is “black, gray, and white.” Use one, use ’em all. Bonus points if you use all three. Have fun!

My interest in black and white photography started becauseI had an interest in hand coloring photographs. If you have old family portraits around, you may well have some portraits that were hand painted by a studio artist.

To hand paint a photograph, you must start with a black and white photographs. Sounds easy enough except the oil must be applied to fiber paper rather than the traditional resin coated paper. That was a problem.

I was living in southern Maine at the time so I leafed through the yellow pages(remember those?) and found a black and white photographer who specialized in fine art black and white photography. (I later found out he liked photographing nudes thus his claim of ‘fine art’).

I went to the studio and met Everett. He was a nice man who was willing to teach me how to print my own photos and the basics of hand coloring.

I took my little Pentax K1000 and my gray card and started taking photos. I went back to the studio where I learned how to remove the film from the camera and load it into a developing tank all in complete darkness. After processing the film, it required drying time because developing is a wet process.

After developing the film, I learned how to use the enlargers to print my photos. In those days, all the paper was graded which meant you could not use filters in the enlarger to compensate for contrast adjustments. I fell in love with the darkroom.

Everett was kind enough to rent his darkroom to me for $5 an hour. From that day forward, every Wednesday after work I spent at least three hours in the darkroom processing own film and printing my own photos.

This was the kind of creativity in which I could totally lose track of time and all the world’s distractions.

I no longer have access to a darkroom and digital photography has almost replaced film photography. But for the diehard lovers of silver gelatin prints, it is all still out there.


Throwback Thursday #13 – Snack Time

Welcome back to Throwback Thursday. I am your hostess this week. Lauren will be back next Thursday for those not celebrating Thanksgiving. If you do celebrate, drop by after your afternoon post-Turkey nap.

If you want to join in, it’s easy:

  • Write your own post sharing your memories and leave a pingback to this post in the comments.
  • You can use the photo above in your post to make it easier to find.
  • Tag it with #TBTMemory or #IRememberWhen.
  • If you do not wish to write your own post, feel free to tell your story in the comments below.

This week’s prompt is: Snack Time

When I first traveled to Europe, I noticed that the pastries were not sweet like they are in the US. There were great confectionery shops in Switzerland and they made the best truffles and the best hot chocolate I’ve ever tasted. We Americans love our snacks, but what about outside the US. Do people snack as much as we do here? If so, what are some favorite snacks?

Consider these questions when you write:

Did your family snack? Were your snacks homemade or purchased from a store? Did your family bake or make treats for the holidays? What was your favorite? Are you a sweet or salty snacker? What candy or snacks did you like best? Why? What snacks did you deplore? Are there any candies you loved that are no longer made? Do you snack now? How has your taste for snacks changed over the years?

When I was growing up, most of our snacks were homemade. My grandmother made cookies – usually oatmeal and raisin or peanut butter. She baked them, then stored them in old coffee tins in the freezer. As young children, we did not have free reign in the kitchen – we asked before we took anything to eat.

In the winter, we hoped for heavy snow so we could make snowcream. Snowcream is an ice cream-like dessert made from snow, milk, vanilla, and sometimes eggs. It was a remarkable tasting concoction and took much less time than churning ice cream. We did churn ice cream on occasion. We had an old manual ice cream churn. Rock salt and ice were packed around the barrel and a manual crank was turned and turned and turned until the base ingredients would finally freeze. I loved it, but it was a lot of work!

I can remember all of my siblings and me sitting around my grandmother’s chair while she peeled apples in an old pie tin. She could peel an entire apple and the peel would be in one long strip. She would then core and slice the apple handing each of us a piece, then peel another until we all had our fill.

My mother always made us a banana salad. Banana salad is made from a banana sliced lengthwise, spread with mayonnaise, and topped with chopped peanuts. Sounds strange, but it is so good. Now that I can no longer eat peanuts, I still make it but top it with cashews instead.

Mom was also the best divinity fudge maker in the land. The funny thing is I did not care for divinity fudge. It’s hard to make. But around Christmas time, when we made chocolate and penuche fudge, I was right there. The hot syrup was dropped into a cup of cold water to test for either the soft ball stage or the hard ball stage. We always got to eat the test candy that was dropped into the water.

Our favorite treat from the store was a small Coca-Cola with a bag of salted peanuts to put into the coke. Another classic Southern snack. And sometimes we had Moonpies – a cake-like treat layered with marshmallows and chocolate – always best when enjoyed with an RC Cola.

There wasn’t a lot of extra money to use for buying snacks. We had three small stores in the area so gathering pop bottles to return for the 2 cent deposit was how we got our spending money. We loved to buy penny candies – peppermint sticks, red hots, fireballs, jawbreakers, and bubble gum (mostly for the comics included). Cracker Jacks were another favorite but mainly for the prizes in the box! I loved getting tattoos.

My favorite candy bar was Zagnut – toasted coconut and crushed peanut candy bar. They are harder to find these days, but they are still around in the south at least. I was not a big fan of Mallo-Cups. Sugar Daddy (a hard caramel lollypop – or sucker as we called them) was a good candy that lasted a long time! I also loved BB Bats – a taffy sucker – and Kits – hard taffy squares.

When we traveled to Switzerland, I discovered how much better the chocolate is there. (In America, much of our chocolate has wax in it.) I had a white chocolate truffle in the train station in Zurich and I doubt I have ever had another piece of candy that ever tasted as good.

I could go on and on with this subject. I’m sure I have skipped over a lot I should have included. The truth is, l still love a good snack. I love a good rich truffle or a dish of vanilla ice cream (I actually eat frozen yogurt now). The only real candy bar I eat these days is a Mounds bar. I love coconut in any of its forms.

I fear I have a terrible sweet tooth!


Song Lyric Sunday – Isn’t She Lovely

The prompt from Jim:

This week the theme is songs that feature the lyrics of either Birth, Death, or Life.

“Isn’t She Lovely” was written by Stevie Wonder to celebrate the 1975 birth of his daughter Aisha Morris. The song was released on the album “Songs in the Key of Life” in 1976.

The intro of the song starts with the cries of a new born baby (not Aisha, however). The track ends with the sounds of Wonder playing with his baby in her bath – an original recording of the two of the two interacting. Wonder refused to cut the song’s length which kept it off the Hot 100 charts, although it still became one of his most popular songs.

A shortened promotional version was eventually given to the radio stations. It’s popularity and air play pushed the song to the number 23 spot on the Adult Contemporary Chart.

Wonder was not married to Aisha’s mother, Yolanda Simmons, but he refers to her lovingly in these lyrics:

Londie, it could have not been done
Without you who conceived the one

It was around this time that Stevie Wonder announced his plans to move permanently to Ghana, the place he believed his roots to be. His plan was to focus on humanitarian efforts there. His wardrobe changed to reflect the internal changes he was feeling. Brightly colored Dashiki Tunics became his wardrobe of choice. He did not move then, but has recently announced his intention to do so again. He does not want his grandchildren to grow up in a country of injustice.

All of the instrumentation in this song is done by Stevie Wonder with the exception of some of they keyboards done by session musician Greg Phillinganes. The original bass line was done by session bassist Nathan Watts but was eventually replaced by Wonder’s own keyboard bass line. (See original article

“Isn’t She Lovely”
Lyrics from

Isn’t she lovely
Isn’t she wonderful
Isn’t she precious
Less than one minute old

I never thought through love we’d be
Making one as lovely as she
But isn’t she lovely, made from love

Isn’t she pretty
Truly the angel’s best
Boy, I’m so happy
We have been heaven blessed

I can’t believe what God has done
Through us he’s given life to one
But isn’t she lovely, made from love

Isn’t she lovely
Life and love are the same
Life is Aisha
The meaning of her name
Londie, it could have not been done
Without you who conceived the one
That’s so very lovely, made from love, hey

Song Lyric Sunday is hosted every Sunday by Jim Adams. If you would like to join in the fun, check out his blog for the rules and to take in all the other music posted by other bloggers.