Google+ Followers

Monday, February 25, 2013

Foods I loved, Before I Knew Better

My in laws loved to entertain. My mother in law Elaine, was a great cook, and hostess.  It was a huge family, many friends, and many excuses to entertain.  I was thinking about all the foods I loved and how those foods are not eaten anymore.  Oh, I understand why.  Too much cholesterol, sugars, carbs, fats, carcinogens.  I know... still I miss the foods of yesteryear.  I thought I would mention a few.

Cotton Candy, pink sweet clouds of sugar that melt on your tongue, heavenly.  Remember days of  kids parties and the circus?

Roumaki, this was chicken liver, marinated wrapped in bacon and broiled crisp.

Chopped clams, on a half shell.  No fillers used, lots of clams, topped with bacon and baked.  Served in lovely white sea shells.

Cheese Fondue, made by my cousin L. Many kinds of cheese and beer.  We dipped hard crusted bread until coated.  Thank you for the memorable Christmas cookies, all that butter put to good use.

My father loved herring in cream sauce and herring in wine sauce,  kippers, lox wings, and thick cut potatoes fried golden brown.  Sour cream was used on potatoes, soup, fruit.  Mashed potatoes made with cream and butter.  Sweet potato pies topped with marshmallows, any time of the year.

Chocolate bobka cake made with thick chunks of chocolate and walnuts topped with powdered sugar.  Whipped cream cakes 8 inches high with strawberry filling, any day of the year, not just on your birthday.  What foods are long gone from your table, but not your memory?  Write and tell me, we will miss them together.  Carrot anyone?

Friday, February 22, 2013

The Drill About Fire Drills

Little girls who grew up in the 1950's wore dresses or skirts to school.  Pants were for playtime.  You changed into play clothes when you came home from school.  This became a very inconvenient matter when we had a firedrill. We lived  close to an army base.  If the base was bombed,  we would be a target.  We were sent under our desks, crawling on the floor, covering our heads with our hands.  Not a dainty pose in a dress. I do not know who sanctioned this lunacy but that is what we did during fire drills.

A shelter drill was different.  We went into the hall of the school building and stood with our noses touching the wall, waiting for the bomb to hit the school.  There were glass panels  above the wall we were sniffing.  If they broke, when the unspeakable happened,  we would be covered by shattering glass,. makes sense to me.

I grew up, became a teacher, and now I was incharge of my class and fire drills... oh my.
In H.S. it is easy to take your class out for a firedrill.  The students see this an an opportunity to talk, smoke, or cut class.  The difficult part is returning to the building with your class intact.

In elementary school the gongs ring, and the children get frightened.  The big decision is, is there time to grab the coats?  The answer varies depending on where you are in the building when the bells ring.  Firedrills are timed events, and the Principal must clear the building in a certain amount of time.  Trouble will find you if you get out of the building late.

I was teaching 2nd grade.  We were on a different floor, and different side of the building, when the bells rang.  It was raining and nasty, chilly outside. If we returned for the coats, we would not get out in time.  Executive decision,  if the building burns to the ground, I saved the kids.  I must add, I am cold in the heat of the summer, but a fire drill is no joke.  If it were real my coat was not so important.  I took the class outside, down the block, around the corner to my assigned spot.  There were classes everywhere.  Twenty five seven year olds and a damp freezing teacher, without coats.

A parent I had never met approached me.  He said " why did you take the class out without coats"?  I said, " saftey is my concern, we never know when it's a real fire". This got my classes attention.  The parent said, " it's cold and raining, you had no right to take them without their coats".  The kids eyes got big, maybe a fight was coming!  I said, " do you see the man standing in the middle of the street stopping traffic?  He is my Principal please discuss this with him."  Then I took the children back into the building.  I was later praised by my Principal for my polite response.

Finally there is an evacuation drill.  You leave the building and stay out, till the police and fire department  say all clear.  One year I had a Principal who was handicapped, she needed a walker and assistance, she was not really  mobile.  She was , also NOT a beloved person.  If there was a bomb scare we evacuated the building.  What better way to torment a disliked Principal then to call in bomb scares.?  It terrified the teachers, and children.  The bells rang and out we went.  This time we had our jackets and coats.  We marched out and waited.  We were outside, 10 minutes, 20 minutes, 1 hour.

The kids needed the bathroom, they were tired of standing, and were hungry.  I had a cold, and was running out of tissues.  The police, and fire department came.  the Principl  was carried out of the building on her chair.  The neighbors came out to offer us assistance.  We had several of these drills until the unpopular Principal retired.  After a while the kids enjoyed the break.

                           Fire drills save lives, a necessary evil, like taxes I guess.

Please share this with every teacher you know!

Monday, February 18, 2013

Sorry, The Ocean is Closed

When my children were small, we spent the summer days at the beach club.  This sounds fancy and expensive.  It wasn't.  The beach club was owned and operated by the town.  It had cabanas which were small rooms with showers, and dressing areas.  Each cabana was shared by several families.  Only on the weekends were all members present, and sometimes not even then.  During the week it was mostly mothers, children and their guests.

We left chairs at the cabanas, but mostly the towels, lotions , toys, bottles ,food, soaps, and brushes were all brought each visit.  The facilities at the beach club included a large pool, a kiddie pool, bathrooms, showers, lots of sand, a snack bar, and the ocean.

Walking from the cabanas to the beach was a hike.  We also dragged chairs, blankets, strollers and children.  You found a spot, and hoped your kids did not need to return to the cabanas for bathroom, or injuries.  We had a particular friend who just refused to make the trip.  She would declare, " the ocean is closed".

The cabanas were rented by neighbors and friends.  There was always lots of laughter, friendship, and gossip.  Sand  water and children were a match made in heaven.  These were tanning years, skin cancer was for the future.

One morning I was down at the ocean early.  We had a brand new kite.  The beach was still quiet.  The birds squaked and fished.  The waves hit the beige sand, sea weed and sea foam was everywhere.  The water, warm and salty.  The kids were excited about flying their new kite.  I remember the breeze and sea smells, and white clouds.  I sent the kite up.  The breeze captured it, and the tail danced.  I was flooded with memories of my own childhood.

I saw someone frantically waving their hands and shouting at me.  It was a woman, sitting on a beach chair, under a big brimmed hat and umbrella.  Down came the kite.  We walked over to see what the problem was.  She told me NOT to fly the kite near her, because it was going to hit her.  We were quite a distance away.  I assured her, there was no problem, she would not be hit, and we walked away.

Again I ran with the kids, and the kite, into the wind.  It rose.  The kite was magestic, the kids joyful - could this get any better?  Two curly haired children laughing at the shore...

Then, the wind changed.  The kite fell and landed on the woman's head.  She was unhurt.  I admit I laughed  till I cried.  Sorry- they should have closed the beach that day.

This is for all the friends, and all the summers we spent at the beach!

Friday, February 15, 2013

Where Did You Go Dr. D... Dr D.?

News shows celebrate  viewers that are 100 years or older.  They talk of the large parties, and how the doctors and health care professionals all attend.  The younger me thinks doctors at the party?  The Grammy me says, ofcouse that is where our meaningful relationships and time is spent.  This is the future, if we even make it.

This blog is about my  ex-allergist Dr. D.  He was a good friend, and a real support system.  The office was a first come first serve.  He offered samples on new products.  He would check your ear or throat of you had an ache.  He accepted my insurance and renewed all my prescriptions.  You could share your concerns and in return he told stories about his family.  I never felt ignored or rushed.  Many of his patients were seniors, and I saw him go to the parking lot to give an injection to a patient unable to get into the office.  He was an inventive  man, who wrote cook books, did charity work and ran several offices.

My mother, a patient received a letter saying Dr. D sold his practice and other doctors would take over.  I never received this letter.  The office never had a problem finding me for billing.  He included a phone number and good wishes.  My mother called, to try to say good-bye.  It was sad and odd.  How could a man who shared such a personal bond with his patients not shake your hand and say good-bye?

I googled him.  I found him working as a psychologist.  He was working with teenage boys.  Where did you go Dr. D.....Dr D.?  Seniors don't like change, not one bit.

Thanks for your support, please share the blog with your friends.

Monday, February 11, 2013

I Have Been a Grammy For a Year Now... What Have I Learned?

We grow older, do we grow wiser?  What have I learned this past year as a new Grammy?  There seems to be more options, decisions and choices to make  about child raising. There just might be more choices, in life.  When I attended college women were limited in careers.  I could be a teacher, a nurse, a counselor, or a secretary.  Few women in those days became lawyers or doctors, or sales executives. The jobs of today were not even invented then, and clearly not calling to women.  Today, unlimited choices.

The same is true for parenting.  You can bottle feed, breast feed, pump, or all of the above.  Your child can share your bed, stay in their crib, or share your room,  in their crib.  You can feed your child only organic food, prepared food, make your own, or just breast feed.  Many many more choices, and no right or wrongs, only belief systems, and lots of books to support it.

I have tried to understand and stay current on all the variables.  My mother in law, would not have liked this. I try to stay open minded and adapt.

I have learned that love and worry both expand when you have grandchildren.  I have a love and worry umbrella. It is constantly inflated to include the new baby, the future baby, and their parents.  It is ever growing, as my precious "P" is ill or unhappy.  You love more you worry more.  Grandchildren are the true addiction of choice.

I have learned that I do not rule the world. ( I already new that, I just hate to admit it.)  My pediatrician used to say, " mother's do not cause illness, mothers  do not cure illness).  This is truer when you are a grandparent watching the action unfold.

Finally I have learned to talk out my concerns, with my friends.  Their issues are my issues, and we support each other.  It is bonding with my friends and admiring their dedication and unfailing loyalty to their grandchildren, that binds us.  My friends are wonderful grandparents and I hope they are always appreciated.

I do my best, grandpa too.  I try not to interfere, and to censor my opinions.  Do I succeed?  As our late mayor used to say, "How Am I Doing"?  I try hard...  very hard,  I really do.

Write to me tell me your experiences, I would love to publish them as comments.      Judy

Friday, February 8, 2013

The Child Who Misbehaved On Romper Room

The internet provides me with a constant stream  of  "do you remember the 50's"  blogs and pictures.  I revisit Howdy Doody, Bandstand and Captain Kangeroo.  Then I remembered Romper Room.  For those of you who do not have a clue,  Romper  Room was a show for preschoolers.  It featured a teacher, about ten, 4-5 year olds and a very big plastic bee called DooBee.  DooBee was the moral conscience , and would remind the children to be a good friend, be kind, and listen to your parents.

At the end of each show, the teacher would look into her magic mirror, and name all the friends she saw that day.  I swear she NEVER saw me.   She   never said my name.  Maybe she said my name on a day I was not watching.  My mother insisted she said my name, but even then I knew it was ALL make believe.  Even little I knew the score.

My mother received a phone call that a neighbor's son, was going to be a guest on Romper Room.  This was BIG.  What made this more surprising was, this was a very poorly behaved wild child.  He kicked, and bit, he hit and ran.  He was the right size and age- but nothing like the passive children who appeared on T.V.  I must have been a preschooler myself to be home watching this event.  We tuned  in and heard the famous, " Romper bomper stomper boo, tell me tell me tell me do".

There was our neighbor, small head, large glasses, sweet smile.  The teacher was wearing a shirt waist dress, and short curly hair.  The children danced with DooBee, he stood perfectly still.  The children marched, he ran.  I thought I  saw him kick the bee.  I did see the teacher push him once, to get him to stand in line.  Strangely he did not return for the rest of the week.  I guess he got stung.  Romper Room the true birth of reality T.V.  Welcome to the 50's.

Please share my blog with all your friends!

Monday, February 4, 2013

The Coffee Table

The coffee table was bought for my Grandma Anna.  She spent a short time in an apartment before she moved to a nursing home.  The table was light brown oak. It has two drawers and carved legs and top.  It was neither expensive nor antique.  It was colonial in design.  Just your ordinary coffee table.

When Grandma moved to a nursing home the table went to my mother's basement, with the other unused furniture. It was a quiet life.  The next time the coffee table was noticed was when my son moved to a studio apartment in the city.  He needed a table and did not care much about the age or look of it.  Those years we saw the table rarely.  He covered it with books, magazines, videos and take out food.  It was well used, if not well seen.

The next change was personal.  His girlfriend, soon to be his wife, moved in and different books, and healthier food, covered the table.  When they moved again, the table went with them.  They reglued the parts, and life for the table continued.  Baby " P" came and now the table was full of pacifiers, wash cloths and baby books.

The baby is learning to walk and she uses the table for balance, and to take her first baby steps.  Now they need more room.  My son called and said, it is time to get rid of the table. Do I want it back?  My heart said yes, my basement, which is stuffed and tight now, said no.  The table lived a long and useful life.  It was enjoyed and appreciated by 5 generations.  What more can a brown wood coffee table hope to accomplish, or be?  Good bye.... from all of us, and thank you, coffee table!

Please share my posts with your friends......      Judy

Friday, February 1, 2013

Growing Fruits, Vegetables, and Eating Stickers

Spring means planting my garden.  I am ready even if the weather isn't.  The challenge is my tiny backyard.  In my heart, I am a big time farmer.  I believe I had a past life traveling west in a wagon, with my family. I grew food, and herbs and medicines to sustain the community.  As you see, I have an active imagination.

Restrictive as my postage stamp size property is, I manage topsy turvy tomatoes, great sunflowers, a fig tree, with delicious figs, a thirty five year old grapefruit tree, and avocado trees.  Sometimes I do lettuce and pumpkins, too.

It keeps me busy, planting, and watering and fussing from May to October.  The joys of planting! I have recently taken an interest in organic, and genetically modified gardening. ( I admit it is because of baby P).  I have grown weary of biting into those tiny paper stickers.  I did some research and here is what I found.  The little labels on fruits and vegetables provide the grocer and consumer with lots of information.  If your fruit is numbered 4----,  it means it was grown conventionally.  If it is numbered 9----,  it is organic. If your fruit has an 8----,  watch out, it was genetically modified.  What was it supposed to be?  What did it start out as?

The little stickers are edible paper.  This is for those who bite first and look later.  The glue in NOT edible.  The paper will not get you sick, but the glue might.  You are instructed to remove the label, and wash well.  Try telling a child, or husband that.  If this seems like hocus pocus to you, me too.

Buying quality produce should be easy and relatively inexpensive because it is good for you.  Potato chips, soda and burgers are easily available, well advertised, and inexpensive.  Let's put some warning stickers on french fries, potato chips and soda.  Maybe fruits and vegetables will seem more appealing?. Let's offer fruits and vegetables at drive through windows, at menu special prices?

I came across a quote by Dr. Martin Luther King, an unlikely gardener, that I thought sums up how I feel about gardening and food in general.  " If I cannot do great things, I can do small things in a great way" Garden hang on,  I am coming, soon.