Friday, October 02, 2009

JnJ's anniversary

In 1964 my brother got married in Texas. It was Joan and my senior year of high school and mom n dad told us we'd be going to Texas for the wedding. Mom drove there with Gram but Joan and I flew there with Dad on a Friday night I think it was. Dad was apparently scared to death of flying because he got bombed before we left LAX. But he did manage to write me a great poem about using the plane barf bag... written ON the plane barf bag... I wish I still had that poem. It was so funny. "If this bag you have to use, please don't puke upon my shoes..."
We landed in Dallas/Ft Worth and had to take a "puddle jumper" to some town about 40 minutes away by air. Dad had his hands white-knuckled to the armrests on the last plane. It was so bumpy and a great thrill ride if you are 17 and excited to be flying somewhere. But for Dad it probably brought back memories of military flights that he hated to recall.
The wedding was fun but my brother had a silly dazed look on his face that day... I would later learn we ALL would have that silly dazed look when we got married. It is just a look you get when you're getting married.

We all posed for a family photo at the reception.

My mom's father (Grandpa Dennehy) and her sister Stasia Cadieux and brother Eddie Dennehy came as well from Chicago. My dad would tell his in-law family that they were all a bunch of dirty damn democrat hoodlums and crooks, and Uncle Eddie or Grandpa Dennehy would say, "Well, at least we ain't from da land of da fruits and da nuts like youse guys in Louse Angelsss". It was always so fun hearing dad talk about mom's relatives. not.
Anyway, it was the 60's. We were all nicely dressed for the occasion, me in my sack dress with fabric belt, Joan in something quite more stylish as usual. I am on the left by Dad (with his big white hair he sported in those days). Joan is on the right next to Gram. A few years later there would be a famous bride that had the same look as Jean did that day... Priscilla Presley! Dark hair, dark eyebrows blue eyes.
I recall Jim telling his sisters (us) to stay away from his buddy Roger, the Eskimo, because he drank too much and wanted a wife to take back to his Alaska igloo, and Jim didn't want one of us to be her.
So Happy 45th Anniversary tomorrow, Jim n Jean!! Hasn't it been an adventure!!

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Grandpa Matthiesen

Here's the story as I know it of my mother's mother's father: my great-grandfather Lauritz Matthiesen (sometimes found spelled as Mathisen, or Matthisen. My mom always pronounced the name as "ma-TEE-sen").
I was fortunate to make the acquaintance of a gal from Denmark recently who graciously came to my home to translate a few old documents for me which allows me to put this story together. Many of the old documents are written with the old Gothic alphabet, but my friend was able to scan them and sent them to her dad in Denmark and he helped translate as well.
Lauritz was born in Hojrup, Denmark, June 22, 1852. He was born to farmer Soren Matthiesen and Ellen Juul Matthiesen. The following photo is scanned from a scanned copy of a photo of Lauritz, date unknown.

The next photo is from an old postcard-like photo that on the back is written in Danish "home of Lauritz Mathisen" (in Denmark) and it states it was sent by "sister Dorthe and family" and states in Danish "goodbye dear family". It is not stamped so it probably was enclosed in a letter when it was sent or it was hand carried to America. My mom told me her grandpa Matthiesen told her many times the story of his leaving home and walking across a big field to go to the city and turning many times to wave to his mother standing outside their home. He would tell that the last vision he had of his mother was a speck of white handkerchief she waved at him as he left and kept waving till he disappeared from her sight.

We have documents that tell that Lauritz was baptized in the Lutheran Church Feb 7th and vaccinated Oct 1853 (smallpox I assume since that was used since the 1700 and before).
He was confirmed April 28, 1867 the first Sunday after Easter that year. In the "church book" it is noted that he "does well for knowledge and behaviour." the next Sunday he did communion for the first time. These notes were made in Ribe, Dec 1867, as part of a document or "Book of Character" that all boys had. Lauritz kept his when he came to America and my mom passed it on to me.
My Danish friend's dad told us all children got a book of character as they were leaving school. It contained rules and regulations that were of importance to the person owning the book. If one disobeyed the rules or lost the book and did not report it to the police, you could be fined or go to jail for a few days on nothing but bread and water.
We have a document stating "at the requested time, his papers are not in order and he has been asked to leave immediately and return to (the town of )Ribe... per Varde police January 1872."
Lauritz did obtain a Royal Danish passport in April 1872. On it is stated that all military or civilian citizens had to offer assistance to a Danish passport holder. He apparently came to America in 1872, possibly with his brother "Mads" Matthisen who was born in 1848.
The history of Denmark is interesting. The Southern part of the country was at times part of Germany and at other times it was part of Denmark. The Matthiesens were from the Southern part and were Danish as my mom told me, but some of the documents and pictures are in German.
The next photo has no date or names on it but the photo frame in in German from the town of Tondren, in the area that was at times Danish and at other times German. This couple could be Lauritz's parents, or they might be Lauritz wife Meta's parents.

Lauritz settled in Chicago, Illinois, and became a naturalized citizen of the USA on October 26, 1880. He had to renounce allegiance to the Emperor of Germany at that time.
My mother told me many times that her Danish grandfather's first wife died giving birth to their child, and the infant died as well, so Lauritz buried them in the same casket. This always struck Mom as odd for some reason because she'd say, "imagine that!" as if this practice was odd. Maybe it was.
Anyway, Lauritz married again to Metta Maria Christina Thomsen in Chicago. I have an old Danish vaccination record from her in Denmark dated 1863. It is in German. I believe she was born in 1856. She was always called Meta, and she was a member of the South Jutland Settlers organization of Chicago for many years. (Apparently Denmark is known as Jutland, and the southern area that was fought over by Denmark and Germany is South Jutland.)
Meta bore Lauritz nine children but apparently only 6 made it to adulthood. This I found out from viewing online a census that listed Lauritz and Meta and 6 kids but indicated Meta had bore 9 children total with 6 living. (The US census used to ask personal questions!)
I have three documents from a Lutheran Church in Chicago "The Independent EV Luth. Bethania Church" telling of baptisms of children.
One is for Charlie Soren Mathisen born Sept 24, 1882, and baptised Dec 18, 1882. Another is for Ingebor Marie born Oct 14, 1883, and baptised Nov 1885. (I think that is an error because all 3 documents were signed by the same guy on July 31, 1885. Ingebor must've been baptised in Nov 1883 because they did infant baptism).
The third is for Christian Thomsen Mathisen born June 1885 and baptised July 1885.
Then I have a receipt for burial for a Christian T Matthisen dated Dec 18, 1888 at Oak Woods Cemetery on Sixty-Seventh street in Hyde park, Illinois. The receipt says six dollars was received from "Lawrence Matthisen" for interment of the remains of Christian T Matthisen.
(It's funny how "historical documents" change things. We overlook mistakes like that and history changes a bit. Anyway, I find it interesting.)

The above photo shows the Lauritz and Mette Matthisen family in Chicago in 1909. From top left is Louis born 1892, Celia Willimena born 1890, Johannes Jack born 1894, Ella Julia (my grandmother, mom's mom) born 1886, and Thomas Christian born 1889. Seated left to right are Meta, Charles Soren born 1882, and Lauritz.
The only ones I ever met were Uncle Charlie because he moved to LA and lived not far from Gram Powers. Uncle Charlie was a painter and did a lot of work for Dad and his father. In 1963 Mom took us kids on another trip to Arkansas and Uncle Charlie went as well to see his brother-in-law Grandpa Dennehy. I must tell the story sometime of "travels with Charlie." It was quite entertaining!
I also of course knew Ella, my grandmother. But mom has left me stories about almost all of her aunts and uncles, and I may write them here someday.
Below is Lauritz in 1926.

And the next photo is Lauritz in 1938.

Lauritz died in Chicago Sept 20, 1941. Just before the start of WWII for America.
I have more to tell about the Matthiesens but will save it for another day. I get long winded. But hope you've enjoyed the family history lesson. If any of my cousins dispute the info here, I will let you know about it.
What say you, Marilyn??

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Gram Powers

Tomorrow is Sept 3rd, our beloved "Gram's" birthday. Wendy also shares this birthday. Gram was born in 1896 in Louisville, Kentucky.
Here is a photo of her about 1 or 2 years old. The photo jacket has "Louisville, KY" printed on it.

Gram's parents left KY for LA about 1900. Gram always said she was 3 when they moved to Los Angeles. But she always talked of LA being "home" not Kentucky. One of her first LA memories she recalled was being up on her dad's shoulders during a parade in LA when the President of the USA went by. I think it was McKinley, but you can look it up if you need to know.
Gram was the first of 4 children. Here is a picture of Gram with her brother Eddie and her sister Elizabeth. Gram may have been 9 or 10 here, I am not sure. But I know Gram was 12 years older than her second sister Helen who is not in the photo.

Gram was about 16 or 17 in the next portrait and then you can see her wedding photo. She married J A Powers on May 6, 1914, in LA. She met him in or near MacArthur Park when groups of kids would hang out to meet each other. She told me that cops on horseback would come around at curfew at night and make them all leave the park. Gram lived with her folks apparently about that time in LA off Main street near where the San Antonio Winery is now. There is an old brewery too where her dad worked. The house still stands where she lived.

When Gram married JA, they lived with JA's mother in LA. One of JA's older brothers, of which he had 3, came to visit and put the make on Gram. It was brother George, a womanizing drunk. This, among other happenings, put Gram over the edge, and she packed her suitcase and went to her folks house. She knocked on the door and her mother answered but would not let her come inside! Her mother told her, "You married him; now go back and live with him!" So gram went back to grandpa but insisted they get a home of their own, so they did.

The above photo is Gram in 1932. She was very active in the Eastern Star ladies organization; Grandpa was a 32 degree Mason, and they led their lodge for a time.
Gram was fun loving and very smart and active in Republican politics, PTA when her kids were in school, and an active partner in grandpa's business.
It was always fun to be with her and she seemed to love spending time with us kids. The photo below was taken in LA's Chinatown sometime in the 1960's. The lady with us was Gram's friend Mae who we saw often. Mae's husband and grandpa both died about the same time in 1952 from mets from prostate cancer. Gram later told me that grandpa, Mae's husband and another friend all got treated by the same quack doctor for "prostate cancer" using some new experimental treatment, and they all died about the same time. All I know is he died too young at 59 or so.

Gram loved to tell me "Your children are not your Children..." which is taken from the book The Prophet by Kahlil Gibran. She said God could take them home to Heaven any time. Gram had a baby daughter who died in the Spanish Influenza pandemic in 1919. She and Grandpa and my dad who was 2 lived in San Pedro at the time. The baby died and no one could come get her body because the undertaker parlours were too busy to go out to get children. Gram told me of having to ride in their car holding the dead baby while Grandpa drove to the undertakers. Gram also knew "the state" could take away your children if you neglected them. She told me she'd seen this happen too as a PTA officer.
Gram lived to be 96, saw family born and buried, married and divorced, happy and unhappy. She survived earthquakes which she dreaded, and saw much "progress", but she always seemed to be glad to be alive and upbeat when we visited.
Some people just stay with you always, even after they've left this visible world; Gram is one of those people for me... with me always!!

Sunday, August 09, 2009

40th wedding anniv party

Last weekend our 3 beautiful children gave us a 40th wedding anniversary party at Kim's house. It was wonderful! Especially wonderful is the fact that they each profess to still love us in spite of our poor parenting skills as they were growing up. They each took a turn in front of the guests telling stories of growing up in our care, how we nurtured and loved them with wire-hangar spankings and motherly F***bombs... which apparently worked because those techniques helped shape them into wonderful adults! The good memories of our camping trips and other travels with their Kelly cousins was fondly remembered as well.

Kids don't come with handbooks telling the parents exactly how to nurture each one, so it is all a crap-shoot if you ask me. Learn as you go. But we tried hard and worked ourselves into grey-haired grandparents, Thanks be to God, and the result is good.

We are all doing OK and are thankful for that.

The evening was a lot of fun, the food was excellent, all our grandkids were there and it will be fondly remembered for a long time.

An added bonus was having Lara visiting from Australia. She lived with us in 1988-89 as an exchange student. She and her mate Tom are in the US for a month visiting. They arrived here, bought a van then they drove to Ohio to buy up bikes to ship home and sell. Quite an adventuresome pair! The reunion has been sweet!
Here's Lara with us the night of the party (and Braden getting into the act too):

A real highlight for Mike and me is the photo we were given of all our kids and their families. Tara's mom was the photographer and, with her sharp skills on the computer, everyone is looking at the camera! Thanks to all for agreeing to do that photo shoot. It probably was not easily done what with a few known wiggle worms present! Hopefully a few cold ones eased parental nerves afterwards at home! Thanks, again, Kids; the photo now hangs over our mantle and I love it!
Here's the fab photo:

God willing, and the creek don't rise... we will make it to 41!

THANK YOU AGAIN, children of mine; it was SWEET!

Sunday, August 02, 2009

all together again

At a birthday party for William, we all gathered and had a family photo shoot. It was difficult to get all persons looking forward, smiling, keeping their hands to themselves.. hahaha.. but the expert photographers kept clicking away, and this is a good result. It is excellent because all of us were together and that rarely happens these days. Here you see Mike's mom with Mike and me, our kids and their spouses and their kids. Thanks to Pam and Moe for hosting us all, and thanks to God for this season of enjoyment of each others company.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

According to Jordan I needed a new cell phone last week, so 'we" picked a phone that has a camera (imagine that!!) and it actually opens up to reveal a very tiny KEYBOARD!! How cool is that too?? What will they invent next? So Autumn came over to spend the night and helped me figure out some stuff on the phone. We took a self portrait using the camera flash and sepia tone setting. What fun! This afternoon I have spent two hours trying to get the phone pictures from the phone memory card into my laptop. No easy task. But I finally did it. HA! how do you like me NOW?
We are over-run with zuccini... so there is another loaf of zuccini bread baking right now. smells mighty fine, in the a/c, on a hot day.

The girls spent the night with us and this morning we took more timed pics with Papa's camera. How come watching that red blinking light on a self-timer camera makes everyone laugh like crazy?? it's magical.
We are easily entertained. The girls skunked me last night in a game of Monopoly too. And I have a hard time beating Jordan in CLUE now. Am losing my touch, darn. But that's ok.

We're having guests from OZ this weekend. The girl who stayed with us as an Australian exchange student is coming to visit with her husband. it will be nice to see her again, and our girls are so excited for her to meet their families. I hope their traveling timing works out so they can see TnT as well at the end of the month.
Be well everyone!

Sunday, July 05, 2009

happy 4th

It's been a nice 4th of July weekend but I sure miss the Idaho Kelly's that are not here yet and the 2 KY Kellys as well who stayed home while Bill visited here. and a couple of other kellys didn't join us,but everybody's got to do what they got to do as 'they' say. I am just thankful for the times I can hang around before the heat takes its toll on me for the day and I have to retreat to the a/c.
Here's a brief look at our weekend;
oh, watch it! It ain't that long! grab a beer or an iced tea and just watch it!!!!
(It takes longer to post these things that it does for anyone to watch them. that's why I appreciate them so much when others do it. thanks. you know who you are!)

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Twins 2nd Birthday

On our second birthday in 1948 we got dolls and buggies to play with. These photos are from a bunch of old photos my cousin Marilyn sent me this week. The 4 photos here were taken on the front lawn of our house on Harcourt Ave off Jefferson Blvd in LA. Grandpa Powers had build 2 brick houses side by side on lots behind his office on Jefferson. We lived in the 3 bedroom one and Frank and Enid lived in the other 2 bed room home. The houses shared a common driveway. I think we only lived there 2 years before we moved to another new house on Virginia Road in LA, across Crenshaw from Gram's house. The only memory I have of living here is one late afternoon I stood crying and screaming at the gate of the driveway at Gram and Grandpa Powers to come get me and take me with them. They had come over to get Frank and Enid to go out somewhere. They were all getting into a big car and I could not understand why they ignored me!! Dad finally hollered at me to get my ass into our house and be quite. So I must have done so, otherwise I'd be dead now. hahaha.
MOm years later told me another story of living in this brick house. Enid always had bulldogs around. The dogs would live in the house and she would cook food for them, sometimes not feeding Frank but always feeding the dogs. Mom and Dad could look out a window from our house across the driveway into a window into Frank's dining or living room. One night when Frank and Enid were gone, Mom and Dad watched Enid's bulldogs eat a box of chocolates that had been left open on a table. the dogs soon got ill and crapped all over Frank's house. Dad must've gotten a huge laugh out of that escapade.
Anyway, in the above pictures, I do not know me from Joan. We both seem to have same style shoes, so I can't just say I am the one in the orthopedic shoes. But I may be the one on the left because it seems the twin on the left has her left leg sticking out funny like it is just an outrigger for balance, and that is always a good clue to find myself.
Now... you all gotta admit these photos are CUTE, right??? They should NOT bring hysterical laughter.
more later.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Hair-do hell

Joan on left, Jayne on right. our natural hair in 1951.

This was 1953 probably, with John, and Dad is shown in the background.

Then in 1954 we got perms. Jim truly thought we looked lovely as you can tell by his face.

Jayne on left, (pissed off evidently)at Christmas 1955 (i think.) HORRIBLE perms!

The 1950's brought all kinds of hairdos, and home or professional perms were all the rage at times. There was a home perm brand called "Toni". The commercial featured a pair of twins and the refrain was "which twin has the Toni?" You might imagine the teasing this brought about when Mom began to get us perm brillo-pad-heads. I was so upset after one perm that I recall going into Mom's bathroom for an hour and wetting my bangs down to plaster them against my forehead so they would not be curly. I hated having poodle-head but we did what we had to do to fit the times.
Oh, the price of beauty!

Saturday, June 13, 2009

We planted sunflowers in April with Braden. Sunflowers are cool to watch grow. Some days you'd think they grew a whole foot more when the sun shines. Even in our recent June gloom days, they have been growing. Braden is amazed each time he comes over at how "giant" they are getting. Some times he doesn't see them for 2 weeks. The first part of this video was taken May 6 on a sunny day when Grandpa picked him up from preschool and brought him over for a few hours. The rest of the video is from yesterday; a June gloom day, but the amazement at the sunflower growth continues.
Sorry for the beet crop failure, Mikey. I will take the blame for not reading the directions and soaking the seeds overnight before you almost killed yerself planting the seeds. (OY! Ira! Are you killing yourself??) live and learn!

Sunday, May 31, 2009

More old car stuff

As you can see, I found a few more views of Jim's tank he had in 1960. Dad had a truck, Mom had a station wagon, Jim had his tank, and Dad also brought home a Corvette on occasion that he and Frank owned together. And that would be Joan clowning around in the photos. (I never clowned around.)
Then I found this picture:

The photo is dated May 1961. It is an old junker sitting in the weeds out in our back acre, between the barn and the brick incinerator.
Jim, tell us the story of this old antique. How did you sneak in this hunk of junk, and how long was it there before dad blew a gasket and had it hauled away? just askin.
I don't recall anything about it. But I am sure it would make a good story. Tim wants to know. (Don't you, Tim?)

Monday, May 25, 2009

happy B'day to Sister-twin-friend

Joan said she'd buy me lunch ifn I put my 7th grade ugly picture on my blog instead of just showing ugly pictures of everyone else. I insist I have no ugly pictures of anyone else! I just have this one of me... November 1959.... The summer after 6th grade, we got ducktail haircuts, got our long hair cut off to have a "cool" summer. The only way to tame the hair was to use Butch Wax. Butch Wax was cool in 1959. The connotation is NOT so cool in 2009.

it has been a good journey with a twin. She has been there for me in many ways... helping me to roller skate, ride a 2wheeler, decking a kid on the playground at school once when he made fun of my limping.
We had fun confusing people who could not tell us apart at times.
Here's us in 1948:
and again with Big Brother:

Here we are in 1986, heading into our 40's:
and, how did this happen so fast... here we are banging on the door of our 60's. I was recovering from yet again another surgery while she helped me recover nicely, (and helped Mike as well...)

We still scratch our heads simultaneously, pick up a cup to drink at the same time, blurt out the same thing at the same time unrehearsed. it is a twin thing; can't explain it, it just is.
So Happy Birthday tomorrow, Girla; here is to many more good times.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Grandpa Powers

The photo above is J.A. Powers and Evelyn Kaelin Powers in 1915 or so. J.A. and Evelyn were my dad's parents. J.A.'s birthday was May 22. He was born about 1892 or 93 in Washington State. He was the 4th son, and his parents must've run out of names because they just gave him initials for a name. Just J and A. Fill in the blanks yourself. The first thing that comes to mind is of course... Jack Ass. What a dis-service to do to yer kid.
Anyway, I was only 5 when Grandpa died. But Gram told many stories about him. They married when Gram was only 17. Gram told me they met in and around McArthur Park in Los Angeles where the kids used to gather to meet each other on week-end nights. They first lived with J.A.s mom in LA, and soon a playboy brother of J.A.s came to stay awhile with mom, and made a move on Gram. Gram packed her suitcase, went home to her mom's house, said, "I made a mistake; I don't want to be married anymore." Gramma Kaelin would not let Gram back into the house and said, "get the hell back to your husband; you married him, so go live with him". So Gram went back to J.A. and said, "We need our own place", so they moved out to their own place soon afterwards. J.A.'s mom was a buyer-fixer-upper of houses and made a lot of money that way, so I think Gram told me they'd live in one of Old Lady Genung's houses till she sold it, then they'd move again.
J.A.'s mom's name was Old Lady Genung because one day in Washington State she caught her husband, Old Man Powers, in the flat bed of a pick up truck canoodling with another woman. So she divorced Powers and married Genung, a batchelor lawyer who was a good friend to Old Man Powers. (After grandma Genung died, Old Man Genung got sick, married his nurse and the nurse-wife inherited the fortune when he died. The Powers brothers tried to sue to get a piece of the pie that had been their mother's fortune, but the court ruled against it.)

This a photo of J.A. about 1942 or so during WWII. He is looking at photos of his 2 sons on his desk at the office. Might've been wondering if they'd come back from war or not. Both eventually did.

Another photo shows J.A. at home in his chair; this is how I remember him, always in a suit, sometimes with a hat on. I do have photos of his last year, when he was fading away from prostate and bone cancer; Gram got him a wheelchair that I used as well every time I'd come home from another polio surgery. But I'd rather recall him as a well gentleman, in good health, having fun with grandkids and making jokes very often.
He and my dad were gone too soon.

In 1952, J.A. was president of the Los Angeles Home Show; probably a showcase for contractors and suppliers. He lived long enough to fulfill this office. He was very ill and in pain when this photo was taken. The photo above shows Gram, J.A., Dad, Mom, Aunt Enid and Uncle Frank.
Ever wonder if people really R.I.P?? Both his sons would divorce, but Gram never remarried because J.A. told her the men would probably want to marry her for her money. Sure enough, Gram told me their family doctor proposed after J.A. died by saying, "So, Evelyn, why don't you and I pool our resources?" hahaha,, some damn romantic proposal, huh? She said no! But she did give him most of J.A.'s suits because he was the same size as grandpa.

Grandpa also told Gram that the tax people would come after her to find out why she was left so much money when he died. He told her to emphasize that his brick business made a lot of money in WWII because he bid on jobs that he could quarantee would be finished promptly, and his word was good, so he was able to make a lot of bread. Gram said that's exactly how it came down, and she was off the hook quickly with no problems. She loved him and thought he was a very wise man. Happy Birthday to him.

family stories... pass them on!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Life goes on but still surprises me

That's my Big Bro in pic above... at 12 yrs old.
Yesterday my big bro was 65! I cannot believe it!! Mostly I do NOT WANT to believe it because then that makes me a lot older too!!!! I wonder where the time went, and how did it go by so quickly? And what was I so busy doing that I didn't notice time flying by?
Life used to look like this:

That would be my twin, me with the crooked left leg, and older bro'; twas 1950 on the stairs in our house in LA when we lived 2 blocks from Gram and Grandpa J.A.
We had a TV set with a huge glass bubble magnifier over the small screen. If you sat directly in front of the set, you could see the black and white picture. If you were off to the side, which 2 of 3 kids would be if they all tried to watch TV together , you couldn't see diddly. I recall Joan and I never could see diddly but Big Bro saw everything.
I paid him back later on when I would always "suit up" for Phys Ed classes and get an A or B in the class although I could not do hardly anything athletic, and he would bring home D's and F's in PE just because he would not put the dang PE clothes on!!!
He later wrote a book, a best seller: "How To Fail Phys Ed and Piss Off Your Dad".
OK. I tease a bit. that was a lie.

Later on Big Bro looked like this:

He got a car that was like a rolling tank. I don't know what it was because I never paid attention to nor was impressed with cars. Can't tell one from another. But Bro seemed to love this car. I think that is the one he tricked out to have speakers on the outside of the car, so he could blast his radio tunes to the outside world. Yes, the whole Valley loved hearing "Mule Skinner Blues", or Elvis asking "Are You Lonesome Tonight" while Bro' lip-synced the lyrics to any broad that would look his way. Those were Happy Days!! This photo also reminds me that Mom made Bro take me n sister to junior high and drop us off every morning before he went to high school. He would yell from his room (the guest shack across the driveway) as soon as he stepped out all groomed and hair slicked down with brylcream... "Twins! Bring me my cocoa and get yer asses in the car!!" We had to have a huge mug of hot cocoa waiting for him before he could drive us to school. Hey, it was better than walking! So what if we spit in the cocoa... oops, that NEVER happened.

Later, in another state and another time... Bro took to the road in another fashion and has been hooked ever since. Oh, he did have one set of 2-wheels that I remember from our days on the one-acre orange grove we grew up on. I remember my mom yelling her head off one time when Bro did wheelies through her rose garden by the back door, then jammed out the gate to the open highway laughing his head off.
Here's a pic I found of him:

He, of course, is now to blame for the motorcycle bug that infects so many young men in our extended families. (I think he is proud of that legacy!) Way to go, Big Bro'!
So ride happy with bugs in your mugs from grinning so wide while flying down the highways of life, Guys. This shirley includes YOU my Big Bro'!

Happy Birthday!!

Monday, May 11, 2009

Had a nice Mothers Day

Yesterday we went to church at the 10:30 service. The pastor is a Harley-ridin dude and kinda funny at times. He wanted to give a few prizes at each service on Mothers day. he asked his brothers what should the prizes be for? One suggested a prize for the mom with the most tatoos, another said get scales and give prizes for the fattest and skinniest moms. But instead he gave a boquet of flowers to the mom who had the youngest baby (9 days) and the mom who was in labor the longest (3 days) and the mom who had the biggest baby.. 10 lbs 8 oz...ME! hahahahaa,, I won for Kimmy!!! Thanks, KIM!! I took her the boquet. and she cooked us a dinner of BBQ chicken, rice, sweet potatoes and salad. Very yummy!!
Hope all you moms had a good mothers day. If your mom is already in heaven... hope all your memories of her are sweet.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Friends of 32 years

We were able to have a getaway with our friends of 32 years... 32 years! ... and they ain't sick of us yet! imagine that! And we still love them mucho! They are fun and we so enjoy their company, and they invite us great places!! :))
So we go when we can...
we went to Palm Springs for 2 nights and saw the Palm Springs Follies. It is a variety show, singing and dancing... and all the performers are seniors! Senior citizens I mean!! The favorite is 85 years young and does an outstanding tap dance! The headliner was John Davidson. He could roll our sox 30 years ago and we still think he has "it". He just got older and better. Now he has grey haired groupies!!
It was a 3 hour show, lots of laughs, lots of amazement that old guys and dolls can hoof it like they did. More power to them I hope they stay out of wheelchairs for many years to come.
We could not video in the Follies show, but here is a short video of us and our friends Syl and Ray.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Laughing is good for health

We have a house guest for a few weeks; a nurse friend from Massatwoshits who is escaping the cold NE for a few weeks. She is creating lots of laughs every day. We recall the episodes of times we worked together at a local hospital and almost died laughing... like when we had to clean up cat diarrhea in the hallway of rehab at 9 pm with hospital patient size 4x4 tissues (that's all we had on hand for free) (damn, we would've used a few bed sheets.. but we could not access those OR towels because it was a REHAB unit and those items can be used in unsavory ways)I digress... the rehab patients would feed this damn stray cat any food it would eat, and were not allowed to let it into the building... but if you tell a rehab pt to not do something... well... let's just say they turn deaf... the cat got in one evening when Mikey and I were on duty. When it was cat-shit-clean-up-time... EVERYONE was miraculously in bed fast asleep... and we had to go into action. I can still recall the foul smell. yuck!

Last week I planted beets as part of my garden project... and asked Mikey to talk to them everyday so they will grow well. She is out there everyday talking to them... I don't know what the heck she says, but no growth yet... hmmm. I better get PIA into action to film her and see if she is talking nicely to them or cussing them out.
see Mikey on my youtube page.
More later.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

No bitching allowed

This passage is in my morning devotion today... Tim's comment on the last post prompts this:

" 'In order to suffer without dwelling on our own affliction," Thomas Merton once contemplated, "we must think about a greater affliction, and turn to Christ on the cross. In order to suffer without hate, we must drive out bitterness from our heart by loving Jesus. In order to suffer without hope of compensation, we should find all our peace in the conviction of our union with Jesus. These things are not a matter of ascetic technique but of simple faith."[1] If there is a hint of bitterness in your heart toward anyone, think on Jesus. He bore that bitterness".

This sums up why I try to not bitch too much about pain days... except to Mike and Joan because they are the (un?)fortunate ones who have to put up with me the most. When I was a kid, my Catholic-trained-but-not-practicing mom would always say to me, "Offer it up! That's what my mother used to tell me!" That was her solution to all my crying about polio problems. (That felt cold and uncaring, but did help lead me to love God, believing that He cared!)
Gram would often say to anyone who even sounded like they were complaining, "Aw, quityerbitching" and then she'd laugh. Without saying it, I think she knew we all had more than we deserved.

With Easter coming, today's devotion reminds me even more of why I love The Lord Jesus and truly believe in Him. And as a mother and grandmother, I can just touch the edge of the pain of the enormous sacrifice God the Father gave to have His only Son die for all of mankind's sins...
would I freely offer one of my family members to bail you out of a mess you got yourself into by your own shitty choices???????
Don't hold your breath waiting for that to happen... you'd be circling the drain, headin for a loooong dirt nap before I'd do that.
That's why I didn't get to be God...

Friday, March 27, 2009

taking a pain day here

Today was a "pain day'... a day when I don't do very much except lounge around resting, trying to lessen muscle pain caused by doing way too much without taking resting breaks. I recall the days when I could go like hell all day long, plop into bed at night and wake refreshed for another busy day. it hasn't been like that for a long time now though. To live well with any chronic condition... as in post-polio in my case... one has to live differently, with new methods, routines and habits. It is an ongoing journey to try to perfect those new habits that help me live well. Sometimes the urgency of the situation calls for pushing through the fatigue and pain to get a job done... like I did at work this past week. Got the job done, but am paying for it today. I have to accept the fact that there may be more times like this... and just also accept the fact that I am wlling to take pain days as necessary, although I try to keep them to a minumum. The following video shows the icing on the cake of today... an almost ruined dinner... that turned out ok in the end; we did eat it and it was acceptable. no need to send Grandpa to In-n-Out for dinner.
Grandpa is almost through with the painting and detail work and the carpets will be cleaned in 2 days... then on Saturday our house guest will arrive from Boston... one of our favorite Massholes, Nurse Michelene! She wants out of cold NE and into warm SoCal, so she will be with us 3 weeks. (Please God don't let us have a freak snowstorm or she will freak out!!)
I will make a video of re-done rooms later in the week.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

March 19 Saint Joseph's Day

Any old Catholic will know March 19 is St Joseph's day... 2 days after St Patrick's Day. I bring this up because I have a story to tell about St Joe.
Our great-grandma Dennehy (or Dennehe) was mom's grandma from Ireland. She was originally Anastasia Hurley and married Michael Dennehe. They were both from County Waterford, Ireland, and came to America about 1880. I don't know if they knew each other in Ireland, or met on the boat over to America, but they got married in New York then went to Illinois where Michael's older half-brother John Dennehe was already settled. It is said Anastasia wanted the hell out of Ireland because when her parents would die, her older brother would inherit everything and she would have to work for him, owning nothing. Irish law at that time was different, and the place was still under the English crown. No wonder so many got the hell out of there.
Anyway, Old Anastasia died about 1914 before my mom could know her. But the story goes that as Anastasia lay dying she had not spoken or opened her eyes for several days. A death vigil was held at her bedside (the family probably couldn't wait to crack open the best whiskey and start the wake..) when all of a sudden Anastasia sat up, opened her eyes and said, "I SEE SAINT JOSEPH! He's standing by my bed!" St Joseph was known to be her favorite saint of all time. And then she died shortly thereafter. My mom must've told me this story a hundred times. So... did St Joe come to get her, or was this just another Irish bullcrap tale? huh? huh?

Friday, March 13, 2009

Friday the 13th

March 13, 1971, a baby boy arrives right on his due date... a Saturday morning if I recall correctly. His daddy had taken a Lamaze class with his mommy, but the hospital where Mommy worked didn't yet allow dad's into the delivery room. So mom had to go into the freezer of a delivery room with strangers to get Timmy out. When Tim arrived (his name had been settled on long before by his mom) his dad was brought to the hallway door so mommy could shout out, "We have our Tim. We have our Tim!" Dad thought mom shouted, "We have Twins!!" So dad became confused and was looking for Tim's other half for a few days.
Timmy John was so darned cute!!

Then he got a little sister who admired him greatly.

He wanted more so he prayed for another sibling... perhaps a brother this time.

So when Mommy brought home another baby and told Timmy it was his "new little sister"

... he replied, "So can we take back Kristy now?"
And THAT started the sibling war.
But Tim had been trained well

... that the world is ok if you just keep a cold beer and a weapon handy.
And when that doesn't work, just plod through the tough years, keep on truckin', take the wire hanger lickings, the loud yellin sprees, the nutty-ass teachers... and learn from the good teachers who are all around you, keep on praying, and the sibling war subsides and turns into love eternally.