Friday, February 28, 2014

Earring 0010 - Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome

I believe that I saw Tina Turner wearing these earrings in "Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome." If she hadn't, she should have worn them. They are perfect for Tina, Donna, and now me.

When I got the earrings, these were the first pair that I picked out. It wasn't until today that I was able to wear them. They are powerful earrings because they make such a statement. Bold and yet delicate. It felt good to wear them, even with my blonde hair.

This afternoon, I spent some time with the youngest of my brothers, Roger. He is seven years older than me so there is an age gap. Even though we didn't play together growing up, we play together now. We both like to go on country roads and we both like to go to a casino now and then. I told him about my blog and surprisingly, he knew what a blog is. My brother is not computer savvy at all but he knows how to check email, check the weather, and able to play some card games. He has no desire to learn about the computer even though I've offered several times to help him along. Guess we have to have some differences!

He told me about the playroom in the basement and that before my sister and I came along, it was all theirs (all four of my brothers). It was so funny that the first thing he said was about all of the forts they built in the basement. The next thing he said was that mom used to make treats and bring that along with a glass of milk or Kool Aid for everyone to drink. Roger reminded me about the tunnels that you could go through from one of the rooms in the basement that would lead you outside. I had forgotten all about that until he reminded me.

We talked about the coal burning stove that we had. I said I remember when we used to have coal delivered and the guy who brought up put it through the window. Roger said there was a special container the coal was put into and one year it blew up so dad went to fuel oil. I can even remember changing from fuel oil to natural gas (I think) because at one time we had a fuel oil tank outside and then one year it was gone. I might have been ten about that time.

Hopefully, Roger and my other two brothers will allow me to record their memories when we get together next time. I'm going to stir the pot and get them going! One of the things I'm going to do is record their conversation. I think at some point in our lives, this will be a lasting memory for us and one that we won't be able to repeat. Look out world for our next family will hear a lot of laughter from our small crowd.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Earring - 0009 - Spring is Right Around the Corner

Then close your eyes and tap your heels together and think "spring is right around the corner." Not one for winter getting me down, I have to admit that this is a long winter. It's probably because we have a week of cold and then a few days of nice weather. With the weather as it is, road trips watching for bald eagles has not been appropriate. It's been too darn cold and if I get stuck somewhere, I don't want to have to wait around in the weather for someone to come and help me. So today I decided to have Donna help me via her earrings and wear a pair of earrings that spoke "Spring" to me...

Between the colors and designs, Spring was part of my life today. It changed the whole atmosphere at work too! The sunshine probably helped some but deep down I know it was the earrings. Donna had beautiful, long black hair and I'm sure these just accented everything about her. Her husband, Chuck, was a lucky man to have her and I know Donna felt the same way about him. Like these earrings, they were a good match for all types of weather.

This morning my sister and I talked about our playroom in the basement. Pretty sure our brothers, who were all older than us (the youngest was seven years older than me and the oldest was 13 years older than me). used the basement for play but not when my sister and I got it as our playroom. It was a huge room. All of our toys were there. Mom made sure we had old blankets and sheets to play with to make forts. Sometimes mom would even help us get a fort started. The only thing better than an inside fort is an outside fort during summer. That's a whole nother story. Mind you that I used the term nother which spell check does not like. It doesn't matter if it likes it or not, that's a word we grew up with and I'm sticking too it.

One of our favorite activities in our basement was to play school. We had so many old schoolbooks you would have thought we were a school. Dad used to take us to the dump. Back in the 1950s everything was thrown in dumps when you didn't need it anymore. After a while, if no one took the items, then they were burnt. Funny thing is about the dumps is that it was in areas where no one lived. Now one of the dumps has new, expensive houses sitting on top of it. Well anyway, dad went to the dump every week. Mom gladly sent my sister and I along with him. We had a blast because you never know what you can find.

One summer, the schools had dumped out their old books. I still can't imagine why they did that because there is always someone who could use the book. Some of these books were textbooks and some were library books. I still have a couple of those books. One of them is a geography book and the other is a book of poems. Dad would only let us take so many otherwise we would have filled the car with books. These books filled our bookcase and it made quite the school for us. We had a couple of old desks that dad rummaged up from somewhere, probably the dump.

Ann would come over and we would play school. We couldn't always agree on who would be the teacher because we all wanted to be the teacher. Guess we must have taken turns. We played school until it became too much commotion for mom who was upstairs.  That probably means we were pretty noisy and it meant that Ann had to go home. When we played in the basement, our snacks were usually Kool Aid and a sugary treat on a plate.  The reason it got noisy was that even though it was only the three of us, we pretended there was a whole classroom of kids there. It was always their fault when it came to the noise.

Another game we played was church. My sister wanted to be a priest and I wanted to be a nun. Ann was Lutheran and she was fascinated when we played church. Susie loved giving communion to us. She really did want to be a priest. Think she is disappointed because it was unattainable for her.

Every once in a while, one of the brothers would come downstairs by us to make us mad. They would do silly things that bothered us. My brother Roger was the worst when it came to that. He was the youngest of my brothers. Now we are very close but I never thought we would be because he picked on me so much growing up.

Tomorrow's earrings are already picked up and I can't wait to wear them.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Earrings 0008 - What do you think these earrings are?

I see parrots and my sister sees flowers. We can all look at the same thing and may never see the same thing. Donna, when you bought these, what did you see? When you look at them, what do you see? Been a long day and short night...good night and yes, it was a good night.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Earring 0007 - Easy Got Easier

This morning these earrings almost came out of the drawer by themselves. The etchings on them look like drawings and I thought I saw a river and a path. After looking at it again, all I saw were etched lines. I have no clue why these look like they have purple and blue in them. They are silver earrings displayed on a black coaster. In a way, I wish they had purple in blue in them because it makes them even more distinct. Donna had a lot of earrings where the lobe would be covered. Funny thing is that my favorite earrings cover most of my earlobes. I'll have to ask my sister-in-law for a picture of Donna so I can see what earrings she is wearing in the picture, just out of curiosity.

My imagination has always been powerful. Didn't have any invisible friends when I was young so my imagination must have some limits. In fact, when this was discussed as teenagers, I was envious of kids who had invisible friends. Makes you wonder why some children have these and others don't. What's even funnier is that I've never asked anyone in my family if they had invisible playmates. It could have been because we did play together and there were always so many neighbor kids at our house.

There were a few reasons why kids always played at our house. The basement was the biggest reason and in a later post, I'll tell you about our fantastic but simple basement. Another reason was because of our big yard. Besides the yard being so big, our parents let us play in the yard. We had a swing set and two sand boxes. One of the yard's attractions were our rabbits. Every year the kindergarten class would visit our home to look at the rabbits. Just one of the things that happened but I don't ever remember going to anyone else's house to see pets. We also had a garage that we could explore. That's another story in itself.

The biggest attraction had to be how our mom treated the neighbor kids. She always made sure everyone had a treat. For years, she would set up tea parties for us girls. My dad would bring out my wood child's table and chairs and my sister Susie, my friend Ann, usually one other girl would be around, and I would sit at the table. Mom served the tea in tea cups and we had little deserts to go with the tea. Mom did a lot of catering for weddings. She made the best tasting wedding cakes around. Besides that, she made floral arrangements and often made the corsages for the wedding. Every once in a while there would be leftover flowers and she would make a flower arrangement for our tea party. I wish Ann was still alive to share this memory with her but she's probably having tea with my mom as I share this with you.

Tomorrow, I am going to pick out the earrings first and then choose my clothes to wear. Kind of excited thinking about it and it may mean that my alarm clock will have to be set a little earlier!

Monday, February 24, 2014

Earring 0006 - Dinosaur Eggs

Don't these earrings look like dinosaur eggs?

If you're interested, there's a cool site by National Geographic about dinosaur eggs Still being a kid at heart, it was pretty interesting to read about dinosaur eggs. My sister loved dinosaurs growing up. She knew what all of the names were of the different dinosaurs. While she was learning their names, I was with my mom watching the Godzilla movies. My favorite is still "Mothra vs Godzilla" and it brings back memories of other old science fiction movies.

It was much easier to pick out earrings this morning. Having them sorted into groups took out some of the stress of finding the right one. Have to admit that this was not my first choice this morning but it was the right choice. When there's so much to choose from, it's hard to make a decision. So many times we walk away because there's just too many to choose from. Kind of like cable television and saying there's nothing to watch when you have 130+ channels. Maybe we've made our lives so much more difficult by creating so many choices. In a future post, I'll talk about how I've eliminated some decisions by keeping things simple. Yes, I am anal retentive!

BTW - Donna probably did not think these looked like dinosaur eggs. They're really pretty earrings and the coloring is what caught my eye. They also reminded me of elegantly decorated Easter eggs.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Earring 0005 - Silver

On weekends, my plan is to wear earrings that I don't usually wear. We can always use something new in our lives to keep us alert! Besides black, Donna love silver, which means her most favorite earrings would be black and silver. This afternoon, I spent time going through the earrings and putting them into plastic drawers. To keep things simple, I kept them in their bags which my sister-in-law so graciously put them when she was sorting them. One of the things I noticed was that every pair of earrings had a back on them. That is like almost impossible unless you're at a store buying earrings. My own drawers of earrings have lots of earrings missing backs on them. Don't know if Donna or my sister-in-law, Sandy, made sure the earrings all had backs, but thank you!!!

Putting these earrings away reminded me of one of my favorite times as a child. Remember now, I was extremely active+++ and anything my mom could do to keep me entertained for more than five minutes was an extraordinary accomplishment. On rainy days (friends always came to our house on these days too!), we used to play a game called button, button, who's got the button. Mom would bring out the button box and give us a couple of buttons to play with. After the friends all went home, mom found me playing with the buttons. She had the best button tin there ever was! It was loaded with all sorts of buttons. Mom realized that I was entertaining myself by playing with the buttons. When my sister was old enough, she played with them too.

These weren't just buttons in that button tin. The big, black, coat buttons were usually soldiers or guards. The buttons with pearls in the center were princess; the best and biggest of these was the queen. The king was a button that had a design in it. My buttons had sexes too. The pretty ones with girly colors were all girls; the darker ones were all boys. Other then the soldiers/guards, I didn't play with the big buttons. My favorite were the small, unique buttons - the one-of-a-kind.  I cannot tell you how long I would play with the buttons but it must have been about a half hour each time. Mom could tell when I was getting tired of playing buttons because they were ending up all over the TV room. She would quickly put an end to the button playing at that point and shush me down into the basement to play or outside if it quit raining.

When mom passed, I got her button tin. Not sure if any of my family realized it then, but I told my dad that I was taking it and nothing more was said. I had that tin for a long time but when I got my first divorce, my ex either threw it away or gave it to someone. It still saddens me that those buttons who all had their owns lives may be gone forever. However, on a good note, last year, my sister gave me a button tin!!! It's not as big as mom's but my sister spent some time finding buttons to put in the tin. I don't play with my buttons but I do like to take them out and look at my treasures and wonder if someone else had played with these buttons like I had done with mine. Here's a picture of my new button tin:

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Earring 0004 - Swirl of Dots

Donna must have liked dots as much as I do. I can remember the 1950s when dots were "the" thing. My mom even had a polka-dotted swimsuit. She had a lot of dresses and blouses with dots in them too. When dots came back into style a few years ago, I got my first dotted blouse. Donna had a lot of dotted earrings. Picking the right one this time was really easy.

Mom was a stay-at-home mom like most moms in the 50s. Like Ann H. liking to come to my house to play, the neighborhood ladies would come for coffee klatch (pronounced clutch) at least once a week. Our house was bigger than most of the homes in our neighborhood so it had the biggest kitchen and biggest kitchen table. Of course, there was a reason for that, we had the biggest family in about a six-block area. After the ladies got their kids off and some chores done, they would come over and sit at the table for a good hour or so. Mom usually made a dessert to go with the coffee. Often, it was a cinnamon coffee cake. It was so good warm and dad always put butter on most of us picked up his habit too. Dad worked nights so he was sleeping when the ladies came. To this day, I don't know how he ever slept through their chatter. If you have ever heard a chicken coop when someone walks through it, that is the way these ladies sounded. No offence to them but that's what it sounded like to a three to five year old kid.

There were no strangers in our neighborhood. Mom always baked a cake or made a hot dish to take over to the new neighbors, which made instant friends. Mom's friends became life-long friends even when we moved 25 miles away, these were her friends. The new neighbor ladies were always included in the coffee klatch and in all of the rest of the gatherings.

The reason I can remember my mom's polka-dotted swimsuit was she had a swimsuit coffee klatch when we were out tent camping one year. All of her friends came out and were wearing swimsuits. Mom looked pretty darn good in her swimsuit and I was proud of her even if she didn't go near the water. Somehow, I don't think the ladies were drinking coffee at that coffee klatch. That part is a vague memory but I don't remember any coffee!!!

Can't remember too many of Donna's outfits because I moved away from Minneapolis quite a few years ago. Donna is my brother's mother-in-law. So I was able to see her on special occasions. The older we got, the less we saw of each other. She still puts a smile on my face even though I haven't seen her for a few years before she passed. Gosh, I love good memories.

Friday, February 21, 2014

Earring 0003 - Facets of Life

You would think the pretty piece was the earring for this time but look again. The earrings are simple earrings on the upper left-side. The black button made it almost impossible for me to find a matching pair of earrings. However, if you look closely, both the earrings and button are faceted.

Donna worked a long time in her lifetime. I realize now why she finally retired. It wasn't so she could enjoy the good life, it was so she could match up her earrings with her clothes and shoes. It took me 20 minutes this morning to find the "right" pair of earrings. It taught me a good lesson. Even though I thought I had enough time to find earrings to go with my outfit, it had to be the right pair, which takes so much more time. I think Donna's solution was to have a lot of clothes to chose from. She was always dressed to the hilt even if she was in a pair of jeans. Wait to you see the earrings that are meant to be worn with jeans!

 My mom had a different shape than Donna but mom also always dressed to the hilt. She never went out the door unless she had her lipstick on and looked presentable. Thinking back, mom pretty much always wore dresses. When pantsuits came into the picture, she wore those too but always preferred her dresses. Mom didn't have as many earrings as Donna and she didn't have her ears pierced either. I only have a couple of mom's earrings.

My mom's sister, Auntie Marianne, was another one to dress to the hilt. Auntie M looked like Judy Garland especially with her large, dark brown eyes. When I start going through my pictures again, I'll post a picture of Auntie M and you'll be able to see what I mean. I don't think Auntie M had as much jewelry as my mom but she didn't need them because of her eyes.

I didn't get my style from my mom, my Auntie M, nor Donna. Growing up, I was a tomboy. Mom always sent me outside to "help" dad. Guess I was a little hyperactive (maybe a lot) and that was her way of dealing with me. I loved to help dad so it wasn't a problem for me. Dad taught me a lot of mechanical things so I learned how to use tools. Dad was a good repairman. Even though I don't consider myself a repair person of any kind, I can use tools. In fact, I'm the only one in my family who is mechanical. My four brothers (all older than me) didn't get to learn from dad the way I did. When I think about it, even my sister, who is four years younger than me spent more time with mom than dad...that's cuz she was the "good" girl. Guess being a problem child had its advantages.

My commitment to myself is not to spend so much time finding the right pair of earrings to go with the outfit; now it's to find a pair of earrings that I want to wear and the clothes will play second fiddle.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Earring 0002 - Swirls of Color

Did Donna have déjà vu when she was picking out her earrings? The background on these earrings is my shirt. I've looked for a pair of earrings to go with it and have struggled because I could never find the right one. It took me two seconds to find this in my treasure box. Amazing because the colors are perfect! Thanks Donna!

As a young child (below age 5), my closest friend was Ann H. Ann was a perfectionist. She was a year younger than me. Her family was very artistic and so was Ann. Ann had cool coloring books and it was one of the few things that we did at her house. Usually she would come over to my house because we had a playroom in the basement. But on rare occasions I was able to go to her house. We would sit at the dining room table and color. Because I didn't stay in the lines, Ann had color books just for me. She kept the good ones for herself but it was still fun to color with her. I couldn't sit still if my life depended on it and coloring was no different. So everything was done in a hurry even though I didn't have anything else to do. Mrs. H. would tell Ann to share her color books with me but it never happened.

Because of my coloring experience with Ann and later at school, I didn't think I was artistic. Now I wish that I would have taken all of those art classes in high school instead of taking all those business classes! Art classes never interested me until I was about 40 years old. Walking by a painting study, I saw a sign that said painting classes and a class schedule.

Don't know what I was thinking but the next thing I knew, I was inside the store and talking to the owner who has a painter and also the instructor. She told me that anyone could paint. I laughed at her and she said that she was serious about it and that I could paint. She supplied everything, all I had to do was pay for the class and show up. I talked my sister into doing it too. Susie was not artistic either. Barb Halvorson from Winona, MN was the instructor. In a classroom of about six of us, we all painted the same oil painting. The first one we did was using Bob Ross's style.

Who would have known that with this instructor, anyone could paint! I've been painting now for almost 20 years and love it. The instructor showed us step-by-step how to oil paint. This opened my eyes to a new world...I was an artist.

My first painting:

Only have had my new phone for a couple of weeks. Pretty soon I will know how to use it to take better pictures. But this was my first painting and probably my favorite.

Can't wait to pick out my earrings for tomorrow...

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Earring 0001 - Pearls

Pearls, a girl's best least that's what my mom taught me. My mom loved pearls, whether they were real or not. Mom had some really good pearl necklaces and then she had some that she let my sister and I play with when we were kids. Now I wonder, did she know we were playing with them? I remember the first time a pearl necklace broke. It happened in my mom and dad's bedroom and I broke it. I can still remember how bad I felt because mom was upset about it. Bet you any money, the pearls that laid all over the floor weren't costume jewelry because of how my mom acted.

Just before my mom died, I bought her a pearl necklace and it's now in my jewelry box. Maybe if one of my grandsons get married, it will be a gift for his wife.

Another memory of pearls is when we lived in Buffalo City, Wisconsin. My cousin taught us how to open clams and find pearls. The pearls weren't too pretty but they were beautiful in my eyes.