Friday, September 15, 2017

I'm on my soap box...

In October of 2015, we decided we didn't want to be slaves to yard work any more because
neither one of us are spring chicks and we wanted to add some curb appeal.
We called Lawn Detailing and Landscaping for a quote and some ideas.  The owner was a very nice and knowledgeable young man.  We loved his enthusiasm. Below is a photo of the wall in progress 

And the completed wall around our front natural area.  This was no easy task.  It took lots of man hours from Adams very competent crew.

 He also planted daffodils, azaleas and 3 crepe myrtle tress in 2015. Nothing was in bloom at the time, so here is an enhancement.  We have been extremely pleased with this wall.  We have had many folks stop to ask for the contact information of Lawn Detailing.

All of the above is the back forward to August 28, 2017, the first day of 
schools in our city.  The elementary school bus stop has been on our corner for many, many years.  In our city parents or teenage siblings of elementary children (I think under grade 4), must be at the bus with their children in the morning. In the afternoon, the  bus driver will not let the children off the bus if there is not an older sibling or parent waiting.   There are about 6 school age children who catch the bus here.  

Pardon me while I step up on my gigantic SOAP BOX!!

In the afternoon, all the moms and all their underage school children come to our corner at ~4:15 to wait for the school bus.  There are 4 moms who stand around gabbing while their children run all around our yard.  The kids walk all around on the decorative wall, and run in the natural area.  The moms do nothing. For some reason, this year one of the moms has decided the wall is a bench for her to sit on while her 2 children run around our yard and all over the wall.  She is either talking to the moms or on her phone. Last week I came home from an errand to find the older brother of one families sitting on the wall.  I pulled up next to him, politely said 'please don't sit on the wall', he looked at me like I had 3 eyes.  I said again, 'do not sit on there it is not a bench', he did not move.  Finally, I said, 'this is my house, that is my wall, and I do not want you sitting there'.  He just looked at me.  When I backed up to turn in to my driveway, he finally stood up.  Next time I saw him he was with his mother standing on the other side of the street.
  What is wrong with people? Do they no longer respect private property?  
Needless to say we cannot stand out in the yard every day to tell teenagers or adults who should know better not to to sit or stand on the wall.  I wanted to buy an indiscreet sign to put in there area.
All I can find already made said no trespassing, no parking, etc. Neither said exactly what needed to be said.  I found a place online, ordered a two sided garden flag.....placed it here where they like sit.
The street sign area is where the moms gather...and by they way they have worn down our grass there too.

We both feel bad  that we have had to resort to this but sometimes you just have to 
stand your ground and 
wave your 
It is really a shame that any property owner has to remind folks to respect their property 
We should not feel guilty for putting the sign in the yard but we do.  Why should we have
 to teach manners and respect of property to adults?  Clearly they don't have boundaries and are not teaching their children to respect others property.  

Tuesday, September 5, 2017


In January of this year, I received an invitation to my 50th High School Class Reunion.

I attended William  G. Enloe from the second half of seventh grade all the way through to graduation.
Enloe was one of the first schools built in the suburbs of our city.  It served as  a junior and senior high school.The class of 1967 was small ~265 students and most of us had known each other for half our lives. It was a new school that opened in January of 1962.
I absolutely loved every minute of high school, our colors were green and gold.
Our mascot was an Eagle, the football field was called the Eagle's Nest.
Our fight song started out
Cheer for the green and gold,
Cheer loud and long for Enloe
Cheer, Cheer for Enloe High.....

As I read the back of the card, (which is in the tiniest font I have ever had the (dis) pleasure of trying to read), I thought about all the things that have happened in 50 years.
The big thing being computers and the techie world.  Our 50th reunion has
gone techie for sure.  One of my classmates set up an entire website with all the
senior class members.  We were invited to log on quickly and catch up with everyone either via the open website or private email. I must say this site works like a well oiled machine.  Since I signed up
I have connected with so many classmates and learned about the amazing things they have done with their lives.  We have doctors, lawyers, veterinarians, authors, bankers, pastors,
social workers, artists...a lot of them, and all around good citizens of the world, at least one
Animal Blogger...Me!!
Yay classmates. On Saturday night 9/30/17 there will be a slide show presentation of all the photos submitted by classmates. Of course the invitation made me think of many things that happened..significant and not so significant..during high school.

Seventh Grade
 2nd semester
My thirteenth birthday was the week classes started at the brand new school
The remainder of the year was spent learning my way around the huge school
 and meeting some new friends.
Eighth Grade
seemed to revolved around Algebra
Ninth Grade
Oh was that a fun an exciting year.  Corning Glass out of Corning, NY
opened a plant in Raleigh. We had an influx of new students from the North.
 No one understood what anyone was saying. Lots of what did she/he say to each other.
I'm so happy to say back in the 60's there was no peer pressure.  We all found new things
we liked about each other and were all willing to accept each other as  we were.
The newbies and the oldies at Enloe all taught each other so much.
They were such fun and so eager to try new things and share with us things the knew.
I met the teacher who would greatly influence my life, Miss Kilby.
President Kennedy was assassinated  in November.  I will never forget I was sitting in
Civics Class when the announcement came over the loud speaker.
Mrs. Seaboard, a substitute natural science  teacher, had a nervous breakdown in class one day.
There were signs, she told us she heard voices and 'they' were coming to get her.
 We told the other teachers and finally they took notice but not before she locked the door.  She  would not let us leave when the bell rang.  She was sitting at her desk cutting up an apple with a knife.  Told us not to move. There was a shared door between her room and the room where the football coach taught history.  He noticed a problem.  Authorities were called.  The coach opened the shared door motioning slowly for us to get up one at a time and come to him.

Tenth Grade
Biology and dissecting...not my cup of tea. I thought the teacher was picking on me.
She continued to call on me when my hand WAS NOT raised.
Turns out she liked me and was trying to get me to speak up more in class.  I think she lived to
regret this effort to bring me out of my shell.  I never shut up after that.

Eleventh Grade
We had a very popular, handsome and well known student teacher in Anatomy, Roman Gabriel.
He was a star quarterback at NC State University.
He wasn't much older than his students.
If there had been computer registrations back then, the requests from girls to take his Anatomy class would have crashed a computer system.

Senior YEAR
I was very excited to be elected as a Senior Class Marshall

I thought 7-11th grades were good but my senior year was the BEST.
I had wonderful teachers, great classes and lots of fun too.
One thing that stands out was a work day we had for a senior project. WE had to
be there very early before breakfast.  Food was promised.  I don't know who brought it but it was day old donuts and hot mountain dew. N A S T Y!! But we had fun.
I rec'd my graduation present on my 18th birthday.
It was a baby blue 1967 Mustang with a navy blue vinyl top, bucket seats.
I was on the prom committee. Our Senior adviser, was Miss Kilby.
She had the best ideas for prom and decorations.  It was to be garden party with lights everywhere and gazebos, paper lanterns.
However our funds were limited, so I volunteered my Dad's (he was an electrical contractor) services to set up the lighting.  It was magical.
My parents were two of the 4 chaperone's for Senior Prom.
My parent's were great dancers (1940's dancing) but oh did my friends enjoy watching them.
I wasn't embarrassed because I had been watching them dance all my life.

And thanks to all the excellent teaching by Miss Kilby, I made my prom dress and it was one of a kind.
I thought everyone enjoyed high school as much as I did; however, over the years I have learned my high school experience was rare and I do treasure every moment.

Our beloved principal, Mr. Khady who is now 92, is supposed to be at the reunion...
I have only been to one other reunion, my 20th

Have you been to any of your high school reunions?

Saturday, August 26, 2017

I was almost a Flower Child

First just a brief background on this story.
In 9th grade a teacher entered my life who taught me so many valuable lessons in life.
Her name was Miss Kilby she was my homeroom teacher and my home economics teacher 9-12th grades.
My mama was a good cook; however, she was the baby of 7 children.  She was born when
Annie Ma (her mother) was 44 years old. Needless to say by the time Mama was old enough to learn to cook Annie Ma was worn out no time for cooking lessons then.  Mama cooked basics.
Miss Kilby taught me about food, nutrition, how to prepare healthy food, and how to plan a weekly menu.  To this day I still use what I learned.   I have an Excel grocery list in order of how the grocery store is laid out.  On the back of the list is my weekly menu
 (FYI: yes I am a wee bit OCD purrsonality.)  My spice rack for the most part is alphabetized too). 
Miss Kilby also taught me how to make sew.

Miss Kilby was Senior Class Adviser the year I was a senior.
She made our senior year so exciting and filled with fun.
At the end of my senior year in high school, Miss Kilby received a job offer in San Francisco.

Now for the rest of the story:
1968 was a big year for me!
 My hubby and I started dating in March of 1968.

In September 1968, I am  just a few months shy of completing my education at
Hardbarger Junior Business School.  Little did I know but Miss Kilby had married, was not teaching any more.  She and her husband had started a import/export company in San Francisco.  She had been keeping up with me. She sent me a letter telling me about her company.  In the letter, she invited me to come to San Francisco to work as the office manager of their company. 
She said if I accept their offer I could live with them until I was comfortable enough in  San Francisco to live on my own. Needless to way I was flabbergasted and honored and just so very surprised. 
REMEMBER this was 1968 San Francisco invited 
all to come out and told us we could wear a flowers in our hair.  
 Everyday SF made news even over here on the EAST COAST.
Of course my parents were in total shock at the wonderful offer and they actually loved Miss Kilby as much as I did.....
BUT DEAR FRIENDS there was no way on this EARTH they would let me move to 
San Francisco at the tender age of 19 1/2.  I graciously declined the offer and Miss Kilby was very understanding.

Along about the same time give or take a month or so my now hubby was offered a job in San Francisco as an auditor at a large company.  
It wasn't until many months later that we told each other about or job offers.
Needless to say we were both totally astonished at each other's news.
He was 24 at the  time and could have easily moved to SF...but thankfully he chose to stay in 
North Carolina.

I never once regretted not moving (not that I had a choice at the time).
In the mid 80's we stopped in San Francisco on the way to Hawaii.
Our daughter said SF was her favorite city.
Life happens as it is supposed to happen.
However, it is rather interesting how San Francisco kept popping into our lives.

Wonder if I would have owned a Flower Mobile

I'm 100% sure I would never have worn flowers in my hair...they make me sneeze.

Her offer gave me such a great confidence boost as time approached for me start my job interviews.    She was an inspiration all through high school and after.
If I'm ever asked who was my favorite teacher or what person inspired you the most in life,
my answer is always

Saturday, August 19, 2017

Hair dos: Frosted

In 1965 all the girls I knew were frosting/highlighting their hair either at home or the hair salon.
It was another one of those"everyone is doing it" conversations with my parents.
My parents didn't have a clue what frosting was all about. They didn't even realize that one of my aunt's hair was frosted until I told them.  My hope was this would work in my favor.
Daddy asked his sister about the procedure and if it was safe for my hair.  She told him she would talk to her hair stylist about it.  The verdict was back.  The hair stylist told my aunt if a person's hair had even a tinge of red natural coloring in it that frosting that hair would basically turn the hair a kind of orange color.  I had natural red highlights in my hair...I lost that battle.  When talking to my
friends about the procedure, I  learned it was a bit of an ordeal and could be painful.
Of course 1965 no Google so no way to find out any information.
I knew the hair had to be pulled through something but not what or how.

Today Google tells me a frosting kit contains

1. Metal tipping needles

2. Bleed proof inner liner 

Seems my parents did KNOW BEST!! My mom never put any type of coloring or highlighting on her hair.


Circled tipping guides for highlighting
Double stitched visor prevents drips
Includes needle
  • 6 Pieces
  • Kit Includes 4 Caps Plus Metal Tipping Needle,
  • Double Stitched Construction,
  • Bleed-Proof Inner Liner,
  • Perforated Outer Liner,
Now fast forward to the late 1990's early 2000.  My mom and I were having lunch one day.  She asked me if I had noticed that I had NUMBER (her words) of gray hairs popping up here and there.  She particularly noticed that I had a gray streak running right down the center of my bangs. 
 She goes on to say I've been having my hair dresser put a rinse on my hair to cover my gray.  Have you thought about trying it?  My reply was No I haven't.  I burst out laughing while reminding when I wanted to have frosting/highlights done years ago, it was not allowed and that I actually liked how my hair was graying. It was the frosted look I had always wanted and it was a nice silver gray....and most of all FREE, painless and no chance of bleeding with my natural frosting/highlighting.  She eventually discovered the rinse she was using on her hair quickly washed out after a few shampoos. I think my gray hair made her feel old. LOL
 Eventually we both had naturally silver highlights.

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Hair dos

.....are a big deal to all females no matter their age.

As a teenager, I was always on a mission to find the next big product to enhance my hair. 
Around about age 13 many of my friends were always talking about
rinsing their hair in beer.  Evidently after this drenching one's  hair was shiny, luscious and manageable their hair.  I was itching to try this but alas there was no beer in our house.
 I had resigned myself to the fact that my hair would never be as shiny, luscious or manageable
as my friend's hair. One late hot afternoon, I came home from school to find that the men Daddy hired to pour a cement slap at our garage door had finished the 2 day job.
I decided to go check things out. As I approached, I noticed they had left lunch trash in the area including a BEER can. I picked it up to find it had not been opened and judging by the
hot can it had been there awhile.  Oh lucky days I had a can of beer I could use on my hair.
I had approximately 3 hours to wash, rinse and  roll and dry my hair.

For all you youngsters reading this is how we dried our hair when I was a teen
This was my least favorite dryer because I used really large rollers and it was hard to get
this bonnet over all of them.

Thankfully we finally purchased a table top version of what the beauty salons used


I knew nothing about beer or how it smelled nor did I even think about it being HOT BEER.  I wasn't sure how much to use so I went with more is better the entire can..  
Let me just say there was not enough shampoo in the house to get that nasty hot beer smell out of my hair.  The house smelled like a brewery!!
 I watched the clock ticktocking away while waiting for my parents to come home,  I knew I was up the creek with a holes in my boat and no paddle.  5 o'clock came and I heard Daddy pull in the drive way. He walked in the house sniffed a bit and bellowed do I smell beer and where did it come from and did you drink it.  I told him my pitiful story....he tried his best not to laugh but I could tell he was about the explode with laughter.  He said well what have you learned?
My reply was, I hate beer!  To this day I still cannot stand the smell of beer.
As for the workman drinking on the job and leaving the beer at the job site...let me just say
their boss got an ear full and to the best of my recollection Daddy paid for the materials for the concrete slab but not the labor.

Too bad we didn't have Google back in the 1960's it would have saved me a lot of grief.
This is what I found and for sure there were not any shampoos back then fragrant enough to cut the smell of hot beer.

Raise your hand if you have your very own hair do story.

“For a hygienically acceptable application, at the end of a shower, pour a flat beerover your hair straight from your roots,” says Mena. “Let it sit for 3-4 minutes andrinse with cold water to increase shine. To avoid the stench that can come with beer, follow-up with a fragrant conditioner.” 

Hair dos
to be continued

Sunday, August 6, 2017

Telling time

Raise you hand if you remember watches and clocks with real numbers 
not LCD or digital green numbers!! Ahhhhhhh come on don't be shy
just because you were born before 1970 is not a crime nor does it mean you are dinosaur, it just means you know how to tell time correctly.  I remember learning to tell time and it was a bit
of a struggle but I learned.  It was kind like learning the multiplication table you just had to stick with it and commit it to memory.  

Our daughter was born in 1971.  
 By 3ish she knew her numbers up to 20. By 4 or 4 1/2 she wanted to learn to tell time. So we worked on it at home learning on the hour, quarter hour and half hour on a clock with numbers.  She caught on quickly so we talked about shopping for her first watch.  She wanted an her friends had.  We were skeptical but we did look at all styles.  I'll never forget when she and her Daddy were looking at an LCD/Digital clock with this time on it

He asked her what time it which she replied and I quote

"one one dot dot one one"
It was at that moment we knew she would not be getting an LCD/digital watch. 
Yep she learned to tell time totally and perfectly on a watch with numbers.  At the time, she probably thought we were just being mean.  She finally got a digital watch at about 7 or 8 years of age. When asked the time, she would say Eleven minutes after eleven or 
Eleven, Eleven.
To this day anytime we see a clock with 
11:11 on it the memories are sweet.
None of us own a digital watch

 The summer before 4th grade, we told her she had to memorize the multiplication table.  She said "none of her friends have to do that in the summer." Anytime I said 'none of my friends have to do that, or all my friends are doing thus and so' to my mom she always asked me, "if all your friends were jumping off a roof would you do that too?" I asked her that very question, I got a crazed look but she did memorize the multiplication table that summer. Needless to say she was beaming, when she found on the first day of school that memorizing the multiplication table was required. 

Monday, July 31, 2017

I have a secret....

.....I have always loved music or anything to do with music.
Early in life I was a Christmas Angel in our church Christmas Program.
I was 6 1/2 years old when I got my angel wings. In spite of my best efforts to be a good angel,
my wings were a little crooked and my hands were not at all centered over my head.
When I look at this photo, it makes me think of the song in the early 70's
I did have an angelic smile; however, it is hard to be a good angel when you are wearing 
atrocious socks.   My stint as an angel was short.

When I was in the 4th grade, we moved to Cary, a small city just outside of Raleigh.
My family loved watching The Lawrence Welk Show on TV every week.  So much music
so many beautiful voices and instruments.  I especially loved to watch
Myron Floren, play the Polka on  the accordion.   I loved how the music sounded.
I begged and I pleaded to take accordion lessons. My parents told me I was too small to
be able to handle that large instruments....then lo and behold they did a little research and found out 
children my age played what was called a Junior Accordion.  A little more research and they found a place to buy the perfect accordion for me. It was very much like this one below.
It came in a beautiful case just the right size for me to manage.
They found an accordion teacher, Mr. Ruggiero,  not to far from our house too.
My lessons began in the fall I was thrilled.  There were about 4 other students 
in the class. I practiced a lot too.    Turns out I had an ear for music and caught on fairly quickly.
My little fingers were racing up and down that vertical keyboard.  
The only problem I had was all during my lesson my teacher opened his mail.
He did not seem to be paying attention.  Sometimes I would watch him and YIKES
I'd loose my place and miss a note and boy did he pay attention then.
We had our first recital in the Spring.

There were no lessons over the summer but we did have things to practice to keep our fingers nimble.
I was very good about practicing in spite of the fact that all my friends were coming to the door asking me to come out to play.  I got so bored doing the required practicing.
I loved "Lady of Spain" that I heard on the Lawrence Welk show  almost every week.  I decided to try to play it by ear w/o sheet music. Much to everyone's amazement I was successful at picking out the notes my ear.    Needless to say I was very excited and could hardly
wait to show my teacher.  When he asked us to show him what we had been practicing over the summer I did, then I said I had a surprise. I played "Lady of Spain" completely w/o any music.
I was beaming with proud when I finished only to look up and see Mr. Ruggiero frowning.
He scolded me right then and there and told me never to pick out a song by ear.  I forgot all his reasons but one being I needed to learn to read all music before I ever ever did that again.
I was very embarrassed and discouraged.  Neither of my parents played music so they pretty much had to go along with what the teacher told them.  I continued my lessons for another year
but basically my enthusiasm had been squashed.  I no longer enjoyed it and wanted to stop taking lessons.  I had a ~$250.00 accordion (back then you could not rent instruments you had to buy them).
Needless to say anytime Lawrence Welk show came on TV I went to my room to read...
it was a very sore subject in the house for some time.  Maybe I should not have played w/o sheet music but I still to this day feel like the teacher could have handled it differently.

To this day when I tell folks I used to play accordion most have a most quizzical look on their face as if to say WHY the accordion?  I say Why Not.
Many years ago I took dulcimer lessons which I enjoyed.  I was working and practicing was hard.
I think the guitar would be fun to learn but I have not acted on that yet.
My husband's Uncle learned to play guitar after he retired  and my brother in law
took piano lessons in his mid 40's and had recitals with children.  He is retired now too
and still loves playing for his own pleasure.
I'm retired I have time I guess I just need to want to do it!!

To this day I love music especially instrumentals.  I wish I had continued the accordion.  Maybe someone reading this with more musical experience than I had can enlighten me on why my teacher was not just a wee bit more encouraging or perhaps someone had a similar experience when trying to learn something new.


I'm on my soap box...

BACKSTORY: In October of 2015, we decided we didn't want to be slaves to yard work any more because neither one of us are spring chi...