Friday, June 24, 2016

A FRIDAY CHAT ( about this & that )

Good wonderful Friday morning all !

Don't just stand there - come in !!!

There's tea in the kitchen - and coffee - and water of course
( tea and coffee and water - tea and coffee and water - tea and coffee and water )

I'm repeating it because because that's what I've started doing.
When I need something like oh I don't know - lets say scissors
By the time I walk into the kitchen to get them I've completely forgotten what I've gone into the kitchen for.
I stand there wracking my brains for a bit - shrug and walk away and it's only when I've left the room that I remember I needed scissors.

So now I say it repeatedly.
Scissors - scissors - scissors.
Sometimes I'll say it repeatedly and then notice something else as I'm walking by and be totally thrown off - but usually it works.

So lets see
Last week I left you off where my Mother used to cut our hair and someone mentioned that they used to get perms.
And that reminded me of something dreadful.
We were staying at my grandmothers one weekend and one of my grandmothers ( Nana Estelle - you can read about my 2 grandmothers HERE ) decided to take me to the hairdressers to get me a perm.

Our Father  ( who art in Heaven )

I was 5 years old when I walked in
And I was 85 years old when I walked out.

I looked like a miniature little old lady.
It was horrid.
Very very short and very very tight little curls.
Like Little Orphan Annie.

( so there would be proof forever more )
I tried to find the photo but on my way to look for it I noticed fluff on the floor and got the vacuum out instead )
I'll try to find it though, I promise because I could never write in words anything as funny as that picture.

One last story about hair and then I'm done with that subject.

I'm a natural blonde ( or was a natural blonde I suppose ) but in my late teens I decided I wanted jet black hair.

A quick visit to the pharmacy took care of that and off I went on a night out on the town with a group of friends - my long flowing raven hair blowing in the wind.

I personally thought I looked very exotic...........Italian or Spanish - until someone pointed out that I still had blonde eyebrows.

I had never considered that.
Which left me realizing you can take the blonde out of a dumb blonde but you can't take the ...............

Another memory hit me last weekend.
I can remember the family ( and when I say family I mean extended as well ) all piling into 2 cars.
Probably 20 of us - like a clown car.
Back in the 60's we didn't wear seat belts - and I can vividly recall adults sitting on the actual seats and us kids piled down on the floor at their feet.
OMG - how dangerous.
OMG - how exciting !
You could fit 3 - possibly 4 adults in the front ( one large seat - no " bucket seats " then )
and 5 or 6 in the back - babies sat on laps with a hand draped across them - and then you stuffed kids into all the spare spaces
You know, the way you pack a suitcase when going on a trip - we would have been the socks so to speak.
All the adults would be smoking and hacking up a lung so it was probably the safest place to be down there.
Our destination would be the country side - where water was to be precise and as soon as we hit the country roads the kids would pile out and clamber up onto the roof of the cars.
Trees and branches would be ducked under and we'd sit up there like Kings of the Road.
Breathing the clean air.
Yelling like Tarzan.  Giggling until we nearly fell off.
Upon reaching the beach area all the adults would tumble out - and coolers and folding chairs would be taken out of the trunks.
We'd spend the entire day there.
Koolaid and p & j sandwiches would flow.  Or koolaid and chopped egg salad.  Or koolaid and cheese slice sandwiches.
With ripple chips.
RIPPLE - not ruffle.
It was ( and is ) one of my fondest childhood memories.

How we survived I have no idea - but survive we did.
Actually we thrived.
When I look at how careful we all are now I look back wistfully and think of those summer days.
Dangerous ?
Yeah - our childhoods were pretty dangerous looking back.....
But crowded spaces make for close families.
The state of the world today - in 2016 is a far more frightening thing to reflect on.
So much division and fear that all I want to do is crawl into the back of a chevy - curl up on the floor at my grandmother's feet and stay there for an entire summer coming up only when the coast is clear and the scariest thing is a tree branch whacking me in the head.

When you're raised in an era of tearing down walls - watching them being built back up is heartbreaking.
Whether it's necessary or not is beside the question for now.  Just the very act of it fills me with an emotion that I'm not quite sure how to articulate.
But it's heavy.
The feeling is heavy.

Hope you all have a wonderful weekend everyone !
Maybe I'll talk John into going to the country - and I'll sit on the roof as soon as the city roads are behind us !
I need some Old Fashioned fun this weekend.

Love - always love

Friday, June 17, 2016

A FRIDAY CHAT ( about this & that )

Good beautiful sunny hot Friday morning everyone !

This blogging thing has become so sporadic for me that I'm not sure anyone even reads it - I may just be blogging to myself ( much like I talk to myself in real life ) but these random thoughts keep pushing at my brain until I have no choice but to sit down and type them's the only way they leave !

I know that hair ( chin especially ) is an ongoing theme in my world ( and my blog ) but I've never mentioned the actual hair on my head.
Which grows like weed.

I had it all chopped off last month and it's long again.

I think I'd have to have it cut - and I mean cut not trimmed - at least every three weeks.

Which reminds me.

My Mother used to cut our hair ( and trust me on this - she was no hairdresser ) until we were old enough to hold a small fist up to her nose and hiss " back off lady "

This usually occurred right before school photos were taken - so that in most of my photos I'm smiling with bangs that are cut on a complete angle.

One year she decided to cut my brothers hair the night before the first day of school.
I watched on a stool in fascination knowing this was not going to end well.
It didn't.
He took one look in the mirror - shrieked and ran looking for something to hide it with.
All he could find was a gray woolen winter cap - which he promptly put on and went to bed.
That hat stayed on his head for weeks - he wore it to school everyday.
Looking back I'm wondering why he just didn't put a baseball cap on - but maybe that wouldn't have hidden enough.

Something else my Mother did - always - was put too much water in our " tang "
Trying to stretch out fake orange juice?
I never knew the difference until one day at a friends house - when I took a sip of hers and realized that we were being ripped off.
I remember asking her why it tasted so different than ours - it was delicious !
" your Mom's putting too much water in hers " she wisely advised me
" tell her and she'll stop "
To which I promptly did.
And to which my Mother reacted by telling me she certainly did NOT put too much water in our tang.
Why the very idea
And that if my friend jumped over a cliff would I follow suit.
Why would I suggest such a thing.
I mean she was REALLY offended by the mere suggestion !

But for some reason it DID stop tasting so watery shortly after.
I wish I'd kept in touch with that friend.
I could use someone with such wisdom in my life today !

Another thing we used to do back in the 60's ( and I'm quite certain no one does it today but who knows ) was to grab a hotdog from the package - cold - as a snack.
When I told John about this he was absolutely horrified.
I mean disgusted.
John says - How did you all not end up in the hospital?
Suzan says - Huh?
John says - It's raw meat for God Sakes !
Suzan says - It's a freaking cold cut rolled up in a tube !

BUT I had a friend who used to grab a chunk of raw minced meat and happily chomp on it.
I could gag remembering that - but she loved it.
( this was before anyone knew of steak tartare - which is just as disgusting to me )
She would also munch on raw potatoes.
She could have had a complete meal without ever turning the stove on.


Where was salmonella in the 60's and 70's ?

I used to think Salmonella was caused by eating bad salmon.......true that
You know - like Tuna-ella

I also had a cousin that would eat raw onions like apples.
My aunt would peel it and he'd eat it while tears ran down his face.
Why in God's name my aunt would do this I have no idea but I can tell you he never had a cold.
Not once growing up.
While we all coughed and blew our noses while munching on apples and bananas.

And now that I'm remembering food from my childhood - I never knew what a decent steak was until I got my first job and went out for dinner with a girlfriend.
She wanted steak -
I wasn't so big on the idea but decided to go along with her.

Steak in our house was always this big slab of very unappealing meat cut in half - fried until it was like a piece of liver on our plate.
Served with mashed potatoes and cream corn.
Or green beans ( string - with pimento - hated them )
Vegetables ( unless they were roots like carrots etc always came from a tin )
Anyway I never realized a steak could be so delicious !

I remember telling my mother about it - and telling her that the meat was supposed to be pink !

Pink?  She was quite horrified !
You'll get sick - You'll end up in the hospital !
I never did.
Nor have I ever told her that I quite prefer it red today.
Except now I feel so guilty eating animal that I seldom do.

Lets see now - what other ways did my mother try to save money?
Well there was one year when she felt she hadn't bought enough gifts for my youngest brother for Christmas.
I could split a gut in half remembering this story - I really could.

First of all she always went nuts at Christmas - truly - she never had to add anything but this particular year she felt he needed something more.

Christmas eve came and a neighbor who had just lost his wife brought his son over for dinner ( being Catholic we always celebrated - ate -  went to mass - opened gifts etc on Christmas Eve ) I was already an adult so I remember this as vividly as yesterday brother in the midst of tearing open presents screamed out -

" Hey - Santa Claus snuck in my room and took one of my old toys and gave it back to me "


I looked over at my Mother who was shaking with suppressed laughter.

I told my brother that maybe it was the same toy and Santa hadn't known he had it -

No - he assured me - it had the same mark on it from when it fell off his dresser -

" that's why I don't play with it anymore "

" what a rip off " he grumbled

The spoiled brat always got to go to a barber though LOL

Anyway what horrified my Mother most was not that she had squashed my brother's admiration for the man in red but that the neighbor had witnessed the whole Santa fiasco

Neighbors were very important in our childhood.
Well as much as neighbors were allowed to be.
When things got too loud my Mother would run around closing all the windows.

Not because of any concern for them............but because it was none of their Damned Business what was going on in our house.
Don't ask.
It's an Irish thing............

When I moved into my first apartment I remember the couple next door in a blow out fight - holy cow - the things they were saying to each other was unbelievable.
I heard every single word.
With a glass at my ear on my bedroom wall -
I'm hear to tell you that little trick works !

We used to go to a pool when I was a little girl - we'd swim in it for hours - jump in - holding our nose - little bathing caps on our head.
Recently I was in my old neighborhood and passed it.
The water doesn't pass my ankles.
Why we held our noses I have no idea.
And why we wore bathing caps when there was no way we could have gotten our hair wet in an inch of water is beyond me as well.  We'd have had to press our little heads into the concrete to even dampen it.
But those are such incredibly fond memories.

I meant to tell you the story about having our pool cleaned but now I've gone and talked too much once again - it'll have to wait for another Friday.
John's off to the hairdresser ( he doesn't go to barbers )
I offered to cut know to save some money - but he wasn't having any part of that
Some things are sacred.
As they should be.

You all have the most wonderful of weekends my friends -
Love to you all
Hugs too

Friday, June 3, 2016

A FRIDAY CHAT ( about this & that )

Good Morning All !

I've been working non stop the last month or so - on the house - the garden - furniture - but other than instagram I haven't been diligent with taking photos.

I did a beast of an armoire ( she's now a beauty ) that I should get around to posting and I've just finished a little chest.........maybe next week - for now I'm just going to sit around and chat with you and take a break !

Soooo..... you know my ongoing problem with chin hairs ?
I've mentioned it in passing on a few posts.
Well I was at the pharmacy a while back and found a mirror that magnifies by 15 percent !
No more problems !
I was actually excited to get home and get to work on those few stray hairs.



I sat down on the couch - brought my knees up to my chest - placed the mirror on my knees and positioned my face - tweezers in hand.

And then I screamed.

Grizzly Adams was staring back at me.

John says - from the other side of the couch - What the hell's the matter now ?
Suzan says - I'm like a gorilla - my entire face is covered in hair.
John says - No it's not - don't be ridiculous
John says - I'd like to be able to get through just one show.......just one of them without you interrupting with your foolishness - your face is not covered in hair.

But it is - and I had no idea.
I've been blissfully living my life totally unaware of that fact - grumbling now and then about a hair or two that I missed when putting makeup on.

I plucked out two or three and gave up.

And now I'm wondering - if anyone has really great eyes - can they see that?
Failing eye sight has it's advantages I must say.
That's why you can only hang around with people your own age - a young whipper snapper would probably spot that flaw immediately.
Dear God...........really just Dear God.

Suzan says - I look like Grizzly Adams
John says - Who the hell is that?

Jesus Mary and Joseph.
Growing up in a large extended ( and boisterous ) Irish family - that expression was heard often.
Usually shouted out.
So it was JESUS - MARY AND JOSEPH ! this and JESUS MARY AND JOSEPH ! that.
I never considered it blasphemy because our Priest would say it himself - with a thick brogue - as he sat at my Grandmother's kitchen table smoking cigarettes and having a glass of whisky.
But this is the way I always think of it
JESUS !  MARY !  ( and Joseph )
Like Joseph is an after thought.
I always picture Joseph kind of just walking 2 steps behind with his head bowed.
Skulking around there somewhere in the background.
Just a random thought I thought I'd throw in there.

Anyway one day in school ( elementary ) someone slammed the door and I jumped - yelling out
Jesus Mary ( and Joseph ) !
To which the " sister " - ( sister Mary something or other ) came swishing down to my desk with a ruler in her hand ( the nuns in our school used these as weapons - tools of the trade so to speak )  holding it up in the air in a threatening manner

- You will NOT use the Lord's name in vain in this classroom ( leaving a young impressionable mind to think it was ok to do so outside of the classroom )
- But Father McKinty says it all the time - I replied

To which the ruler came smashing down on my desk so hard that it snapped in half -
I don't know how much the Catholic School Board spent in rulers -  but they were constantly being smashed in half by furious nuns.
They had anger issues - I swear to you.

Later when I told the story to my Grandmother - she pff'ed it off - saying
" What the hell does she know - she's not even Irish "

You can imagine the shock I felt upon learning that my Grandmother wasn't born in Ireland.
Her Father was.
Irish blood is the strongest blood on the planet.
Don't believe me?
Go to a St. Patrick's parade.  It flows like guinness.  I've seen Asians claim to be Irish in March.

The other night John looked at me funny.
Suzan says - Why are you looking at me like that?
John says - You have dark shadows under your eyes
John says - What ?  You're tired that's all
Suzan says - Now I''m going to go to bed thinking of Quentin and Barnabus
John says -  You're getting worse you know - with this constant jibberish
Suzan says - The show !  Dark Shadows - don't you remember it ?
John says - I think you make half this shit up

My brother and I would literally run home from school - gasping and out of breath to make sure we didn't miss one second of the terror this show created in our worlds.
Between that and Batman and angry nuns swinging rulers around - we spent a couple of years like little jittery nervous wrecks.
JESUS - MARY ( and Joseph ) !

Now I'm in a nostalgic frame of mind.
So before I bore you to death with my ramblings of way back when I think it's time to sign off.
Hope you all have a wonderful weekend my friends !

Hugs - and love