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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.

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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!

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Throwback Thursday #12 – TV Memories


Lauren is running the time machine this week and she is taking us back to the days of black and white television (at least for me). Click through to her post to read the rules and join in.

This week’s prompt is: TV Memories. Here’s what she had to say:

For those of us old enough to remember, the 1950’s were a time when people were transitioning from the radio to television as a means of entertainment. People sat around in the living room, watching the one television they owned. Most often it was a large box with a grainy black and white picture. Think back to the first TV shows you remember watching.

Was watching television a part of your family entertainment? Was it used as a partial babysitter? Do you remember specific shows you liked as a kid? Did you need to take turns with your siblings to choose what was watched, or did the parents have all the control? Were you around in the pre-remote-control days? Whose job was it to change channels? Were you a Saturday morning cartoon junkie? Which was your favorite show? Were you warned about sitting too close to the TV? Did you ever bug your parents to buy you some item advertised repeatedly on a program you watched? Do you ever watch reruns of the shows from your childhood?


I have written about my introduction to television several times. For recent followers, suffice it to say initially we had only one television – black and white of course – and we only received one station.

There were certain times of day the television was strictly for the adults. First when the morning farm report was broadcast, then anytime the news came on.

There were other shows the adults were more interested in, but I watched along just the same. The first was Sing Along with Mitch. Now in my head, this is where we saw “follow the bouncing ball” but I discovered there was no bouncing ball in this show. I am not the only one who thought it was there! We all gathered around the tv and sang along regardless. Here’s an old clip:

On Sunday Night (or was it Saturday?) my grandmother always watched the Lawrence Welk Show. I was not a fan of Welk, but I did enjoy the Lennon Sisters. My grandmother loved it though. Maybe this is where I picked up my love of the music from this era.

Some of the earliest shows I remember watching were McKeever and the Colonel, Flipper, Fury, Car 54 Where Are You, My Mother the Car, Mister Terrific, Mister Ed, Disney, Dobie Gillis, The Patty Duke Show, The Flying Nun, Lassie.

One of my very favorite shows was Topper – a show about a couple and their Saint Bernard who were killed in an avalanche and came back as ghosts. It was THE BEST but I am sure not too sophisticated by today’s standards.

My favorite game show was only on for one year I think. It was a hidden picture game show called Camouflage.

So many shows would follow and it would take forever to post them all. I loved shows that included music like Ozzie & Harriet (in hopes Ricky would sing at the end), the Monkees, Bandstand, Soul Train, and Where the Action Is.

Action shows ranged from Buck Rogers to Zorro to The Lone Ranger to Time Tunnel to Lost in Space to The Avengers to The Man from U.N.C.L.E.

Drama shows like Ben Casey, Dr. Kildare, The Fugitive, Perry Mason, T.H.E. Cat, and Highway Patrol were all family favorites.

Of course, we also loved to be scared with shows like The Twilight Zone, Outer Limits, Night Gallery and all the great monster movies like Frankenstein, Dracula, and King Kong.

Kids shows started with Captain Kangaroo and included all the great cartoons. I always liked the odd ones like Top Cat and Snuffles the Dog from Quick Draw McGraw.

Early television was a huge part of American culture, and the 1960s was just the beginning.

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Veteran’s Day 2021

Sometimes other people say it best. These lyrics by Rod McKuen say it well. (Lyrics from Justsomelyrics.com)

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Soldiers Who Want To Be Heroes number practically zero
But there are millions who want to be civilians
Soldiers Who Want To Be Heroes number practically zero
But there are millions who want to be civilians

Come and take my eldest son, show him how to shoot a gun
Wipe his eyes if he starts to cry when the bullets fly.
Give him a rifle, take his hoe, show him a field where he can go
To lay his body down and die without asking why

Soldiers Who Want To Be Heroes number practically zero
But there are millions who want to be civilians
Soldiers Who Want To Be Heroes number practically zero
But there are millions who want to be civilians

Sticks and stones can break your bones; even names can hurt you
But the thing that hurts the most is when a man deserts you
Don’t you think its time to weed the leaders that no longer lead
From the people of the land who’d like to see their sons again?

Soldiers Who Want To Be Heroes number practically zero
But there are millions who want to be civilians
Soldiers Who Want To Be Heroes number practically zero
But there are millions who want to be civilians

God if men could only see the lessons taught by history
That all the singers of this song cannot right a single wrong
Let all men of good will stay in the fields they have to till
Feed the mouths they have to fill and cast away their arms

Soldiers Who Want To Be Heroes number practically zero
But there are millions who want to be civilians

**********

To all who served, you have my sincere gratitude. You gave up a lot to stand up for those that could not stand up for themselves. I wrote the piece that follows back in 2013. I hope we always sincerely honor those who served. Not only by words but by deeds as well. There are many, many veteran organizations who could use your support. In a time when words seem too little, make yours count.

*********


It starts with a tearful goodbye and a lonely car, bus or plane ride. It is filled with questioning – am I doing the right thing, will I be missed, and will I come home? Images of family, friends and children you don’t even know come into your mind – even those in countries you cannot even imagine. The decision to serve your country is not an easy one. It holds a promise of a better life even though many never live to see it. It is a life where fear is cloaked with hope. A soldier doesn’t question; they depend on the patriots at home to keep the government accountable. They answer the call again with every waking day. I am forever grateful for the experience and am haunted by the lives lost – both mentally and physically. I will never forget our graduation day when some of my classmates were still being called into service. I hope we don’t forget those whose choice was made for them. On this day, I honor all who started their day with that tearful goodbye and the families that are forever changed by one young person’s decision to serve.

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My Mother’s Daughter

Mom in the Smokies

This morning my mind drifted to my mother and her two sisters. Everyone said my mother and one of her sisters looked alike – they didn’t. They did favor one another, but they looked very different. My other aunt looked much different than her other two sisters.

One of my aunts was a school teacher. One summer I spent some time with her, but we never really established a strong connection. She was a lovely woman, but was more focused on things being just so. She took me to her gym – I remember sitting on a machine of moving rollers designed to eliminate cellulite I think. I was about ten or eleven. It was all a strange experience to me. Her life was far removed from the way my mother lived.

My other aunt was a chemist. She was very smart and very unassuming. She was married but never had children. Looking back, I think she was a bit of a hoarder, but was surrounded by the things that made her happy – books and family letters and memorabilia. I do not think she ever threw anything away – especially not letters or pictures from family. She made most of her own clothes, maybe from the same pattern. She lived on a dairy farm and led a simple life.

My mother fell somewhere between the two. She was a hard worker. There was no money for her to finish college, so she spent her life doing blue collar work. Her last job was working for the post office as a mail carrier. She had a foot route and she loved it. She got to know the people on her route and she loved being outside and getting exercise. It was a hard job, but she really did enjoy it.

This morning it struck me just how much I am like my mother. I did not get to go to college right out of high school. I joined the Air Force instead. My mother had already been diagnosed with terminal cancer so having a job was important. My mom never put on airs. She was herself in all situations and places. She loved to be comfortable and was happy in jeans or sweats. On occasion she would dress up and put on makeup and jewelry, but it was rare. Her family was everything to her.

She was always a country girl at heart, and I guess I am, too.