Best Advice of the Week: Making “Toe Peeks” Unnecessary

April 30, 2011

Whenever I think of something I have discovered that I might share as “advice”, it always next occurs to me that maybe everyone else already knows that!  So, if you have always done this, just bear with me because I’m sometimes a slow learner and this is something I just discovered.

For me, one of the most common conditions that could interrupt a good night’s sleep was being either too hot or too cold.  I always started out with the sheet and blanket covering me.  Then, if I got too hot, I would throw the blanket off.  But, of course, pretty soon I would wake up again because now I was a little chilly, so I would pull the blanket back over me.  Sometimes, instead of this off and on routine, I would stick a foot out from under the covers and that would adjust my “thermostat” just enough.  But, of course, as soon as I would fall asleep that foot wouldn’t continue to peek out, so I was doomed to wake up again to make another adjustment.

Of course, not every night was like this, but I also probably don’t always remember when this happened because I made the adjustments while only half awake.

But I have now found a fix for this dilemma that works well for us and I thought I would share it, in case there are some who haven’t already thought of it.  My solution is that I replaced the standard weight blanket on our bed with two thin blankets.  That gives us another level of “temperature control”.  We have both found this to be a great assist to a good night’s sleep.  And if I do happen to wake up and am still a little chilly even with both blankets over me, I keep another thin blanket (this one twin-size) in the nightstand drawer so that I can throw it over me too.

Hubby is almost always too warm, so this has worked great for him too, because he can easily use just one of the blankets along with the sheet.

A good night’s sleep always make whatever the next day brings easier to handle, doesn’t it?  Happy sleeping!

When clothes lines were as important a line of communication as telephone lines!

April 27, 2011

I received the following in a forwarded e-mail today and it brought back great memories of watching my mother hang our clothes on a clothesline to dry.  I especially remember the wonderful feel and outdoorsy scent of the newly washed sheets when they had just been put on the beds.  They were heavenly!


1. You had to wash the clothesline before hanging any clothes – you walked the entire length of each line wiping it with a damp cloth.

2. You had to hang the clothes in a certain order, and always hung whites with whites, and hung them first.

3. You never hung a shirt by the shoulders – always by the tail! What would the neighbors think?

4.. Wash day was on Monday . . . You never hung clothes on the weekend especially not on Sunday for heaven’s sake!

5. You hung the sheets and towels on the outside lines so that you could hide your “unmentionables” in the middle (perverts & busybodies, y’know!)

6. It didn’t matter if it was sub zero weather … clothes would “freeze-dry.”

7. You should always gather the clothes pins when taking down dry clothes. Pins left on the lines were “tacky!”

8. If you were experienced, you would line the clothes up so that each item did not need two clothes pins, but shared one of the clothes pins with the next washed item.

9. Clothes off of the line before dinner time, neatly folded in the clothes basket, and ready to be ironed.

10. IRONED?! Well, that’s a whole other subject!


A clothesline was a news broadcast

To neighbors passing by,

There were no secrets you could keep

When clothes were hung to dry.

It also was a friendly link

For neighbors always knew

If company had stopped on by

To spend a night or two.

For then you’d see the “fancy sheets”

And towels upon the line;

You’d see the “company table cloths”

With intricate designs.

The line announced a baby’s birth

From folks who lived inside –

As brand new infant clothes were hung,

So carefully with pride!

The ages of the children could

So readily be known

By watching how the sizes changed,

You’d know how much they’d grown!

It also told when illness struck,

As extra sheets were hung;

Then nightclothes, and a bathrobe, too,

Haphazardly were strung.

It also said, “Gone on vacation!”

When lines hung limp and bare.

And told, “We’re back!” when full lines sagged

With not an inch to spare!

New folks in town were frowned upon

If wash was dingy and gray,

As neighbors carefully raised their brows,

And looked the other way .. . .

But clotheslines now are of the past,

For dryers make the work much less.

Now what goes on inside a home

Is anybody’s guess!

I really miss that way of life.

It was a friendly sign

When neighbors knew each other best

By what hung on the line.


Old and New Easter Memories

April 25, 2011

We spent Easter with DD and her girls in Chicago.

We attended a beautiful service at their church.  The music was especially beautiful, as it always is at Easter.  Once again we have been reminded that Christ died for our sins so that, even though we are all sinners and not worthy of Heaven on our own merit, His sacrifice assures us that we can one day live with Him in Heaven.

As we had the traditional, at least in our family, ham dinner, Hubby and I told them stories about our memories of Easters in our childhood.  The girls were a little incredulous that when I was a little girl, I always not only had an Easter dress, but also a hat and sometimes even gloves!  Now you don’t even see grown women in hats on Easter very often.  I miss the hats.

This picture with its obvious cracks is the only picture I could find on my computer where I am wearing a hat.  It was Easter 1967 and I was expecting Gunny in August.  I’ve always loved hats and am really sorry for their demise for both men and women!  (and, no, ball caps don’t count as far as I’m concerned)

So, anyway, it’s always fun for me to try to think of some project or craft I can do with DD’s girls when we are together.  So I took two dozen store-bought sugar cookies and lots of frosting, peeps, and all kinds of sprinkles for us to do some cookie decorating on Saturday afternoon.

It was fun but it was also messy!

All three of the girls really got into the cookie decorating.

But because Mimi is quite a bit younger, she asked for a little extra help.

As Lulu demonstrates, we all ended up wearing some of the frosting!

Coco even got her face involved!

Pre-frosting-on-her-face, Coco was already giving us an innocent look like, “Who me?”

Mimi admiring some of their handiwork.

It was fun to see how creatively they used the decorations I had supplied.

I was especially charmed that they based some of the decorations on the peeps I had taken that I really intended just to be used to cut up to make flowers!  How appropriate that the blue peep has a nest of blue eggs.

So all two dozen of the cookies got done without too much permanent damage (except my sweatshirt may be too stained to be salvageable).

After we cleaned up, the girls and Papa went out on the deck to take a breather.  But apparently, they weren’t too tired to try to make DD and me laugh one more time.  We heard a tap on the glass door and were startled to see this:

Some great new memories for all of us.

It made sense …

April 22, 2011

… until I really read it!

Last week there was an article in the paper that suggested a refrigerator could be cleaned in 20 minutes.  That certainly caught my attention, because keeping the inside of our refrigerator clean has never been a 20 minute job for me.

The author did a minute-by-minute run-down of how this could be accomplished.  As I scanned through her list, it didn’t strike me as unrealistic … until I got to what she suggested you would do during Minutes 16 and 17 “Plug in the refrigerator.  Returned the drawers.  Put the food back in, wiping down jars and bottles.”  In two minutes?  Really?

I’m pretty sure this article is only realistic instruction for refrigerators that have about a tenth of what is in ours. There probably should have been a disclaimer on the article that it for the refrigerators of singles who eat out most of the time.

I should have known it was too good to be true.  I’ve got to close now … and go spend a half day cleaning the refrigerator.  Two minutes … really?  Sigh.  Not a chance.

Stamped on the memory of a little boy

April 20, 2011

A friend’s son was visiting them recently and he laughingly mentioned that he had thought they were on food stamps when he was little.

My friend was shocked!  She and her husband are long-time business owners, for goodness sake.  They have definitely never needed food stamps.

She asked him where he could have possibly gotten that idea?  He said when he was a little kid it just made sense to him that the “stamps” they received at the “food” store must be what people were talking about when they talked about “food stamps” .

Of course, what he was really talking about were the S&H Green Stamps that were given out at the grocery store when you checked out.  I remember taking mine home and faithfully pasting them in their little books and then taking my rubber-banded bunch of filled books to the stamp store (there were several around town) and “buying” things.  I especially remember that that is the way as a young mother when we didn’t have much disposable income, I was able to get our first set of the “in” dishes of the day, Corelle.  And, btw, this same friend told me that she still has champagne flutes that she keeps in their original box from the stamp store.  That’s kind of remarkable to me since I think the trading stamps went away about thirty years ago.

So, anyway, the son is an adult now and knows that Mom and Dad didn’t have to use food stamps.  But don’t you just wonder how many people that little guy may have told his mistaken idea?  I’m sure his parents have.

This reminds me of when we went to orientation for Gunny’s kindergarten class.  The teacher told us, “I promise not to believe everything your child comes to school and tells me, if you will promise not to believe everything your child comes home and tells you!”  Good idea.

Sleeping in the Doctor’s Office

April 15, 2011

The big, old house where my family lived the first nine years of my life had previously been the home and office of a doctor.

His examination room became my bedroom.

In my bedroom on Christmas night with my new doll baby and festive clown pajamas that I received from Santa.

It was a big room and I liked it that it was in the center of the house — next to Mama and Daddy’s room (that, btw, had been the doctor’s waiting room), and close to the bathroom and the stairs that everyone else sleeping upstairs had to come down — I never felt alone.  Important to a little girl in a big room by herself.

I don’t remember ever questioning that my room had a sink in it.  Maybe that is because the only times the sink was actually used was when Mama and my sister Martha Lou experimented with developing their own pictures a couple times and made my room a temporary “dark room” and used the sink for the processing.  Other than that, it was just ignored.

I wish I could now go back and look at that house with adult eyes.  I realize now that it had some very unique features like that sink.

I guess it’s fortunate that when that was my bedroom, I was too young for it to occur to me all the interesting things that had probably taken place in that very room like births, surgeries and even deaths.  That’s a good thing because I think thoughts like that, especially of deaths, might have kept me from sleeping peacefully.

Myrtle’s Easter Eggs

April 13, 2011

At book club last night our friend *Myrtle told us a really cute story:

When Myrtle’s children were little they were going to have an Easter egg hunt with the neighbors who had four little children of their own.  The adults had hidden eggs all around the yard and were now sitting in lawn chairs enjoying watching the children doing the hunt.

The neighbor’s youngest, about three, was a little young to really get into the hunt, and was just wandering around watching the other children find eggs.  He finally wandered over to where Myrtle was sitting, and Myrtle told him that she knew there were still some Easter eggs to be found and he should just look harder.  He stood there a minute apparently finally understanding a little of the concept that the eggs were hidden and he would have to guess where they were.  So with this new idea of looking for something in a place not expected, he reached up and patted Myrtle’s chest.  Nope, that wasn’t one, so he wandered off to look in other places.

We all laughed long and loudly at Myrtle’s story.

Later in the evening, we were discussing books in general, and how much harder it was to lay in bed and read a book if it was a large, heavy one. Myrtle was lamenting how hard it is to balance a heavy book on your rib cage while lying down.

At which time another friend commented, “And, of course, you want to be careful that the book doesn’t fall over and break your Easter eggs.”

I love my book club.  They not only enjoy reading books and discussing them, but they enjoy laughing together too.

*Myrtle’s name has been changed to protect the privacy of the owner of the “Easter eggs”.