Remembering Life before air conditioning


Everyone takes it for granted, but I remember life without air conditioning. When I was a little girl, I  used to go to the pool to cool off.  It was a welcome relief. There’s nothing worse than being too hot in the summer.

We had a big fan upstairs in our unfinished 2 story house,  but I never felt a breeze from it. It made a lot of noise. We kept the windows wide open, but all that did was let you hear the neighbors next door talking, laughing, or arguing.  We had an unfinished porch and we’d sit out there when the sun went down. It gave a little relief.  I kind of miss the old backyard porch, but I don’t miss the unrelenting heat.

Ice was something we’d use. You’d put it across your wrist, or just in a wash cloth. I spent as much time as I could at the pool.

When restaurants started to get air conditioning, you’d go there to eat to escape the heat, and then  the mall.

Finally, my parents decided to install the air-conditioning to our house.  My allergies weren’t as bad, and I didn’t have to escape to the pool anymore. I could actually pull the covers up on my bed at night because I wasn’t so hot. I could stay inside more.

Like anything else, I got used to it. I almost forgot about the big fan and the misery. But not quite.

When my own children were teenagers, sometimes they’d say, “ I don’t like the air conditioning, open the window.”

I figured they really didn’t know what they were talking about. Just spend a few years in the miserable heat.

 

Air Conditioned sign

Air Conditioned sign (Photo credit: Caroline on Crack)

Do you remember life without air conditioning? Are you the type of person who doesn’t like air-conditioning.

 

 

 

Don’t ever leave your key in the ignition when a toddler is in the car


The day my daughter took my her little brother for a ride in a mini-van

 

I will never forget the day my daughter figured out how to drive. She was around 3. I went in the house to get something, and left my kids in the car for only a  minute or two.  Somehow my daughter maneuvered her way into the driver’s seat. (In those days she wasn’t required to sit in a child’s seat.)  She also figured out how to turn the key sitting in the ignition of the van.

 

When I came out of the house, the big van was rolling down the driveway. My daughter looked like she wasn’t a bit surprised that she was powering the car down the driveway.  I ran to the open window of the driver’s side. I looked back. My son was in his baby seat looking like it was perfectly normal for his big sister to be driving him down the driveway.

 

I ran and tried to get to the steering wheel, but I couldn’t get to it.  The car was going very slowly. It ran over my foot. I still kept going. We went out the driveway heading for my neighbor’s car parked in their driveway across the street. I ran and ran. Finally I got to the steering wheel and pushed it toward the parked position. We were 1/2  inch from my neighbors car.

 

It was like being in the movies. I was so relieved!  The only consequence was my foot hurting for a couple of weeks.

 

But this could have been a real tragedy. A car could have been coming down the street, or she could have run into my neighbor’s car. I recently heard of a case where the outcome wasn’t so good. A woman left her key in the ignition and as a result the child had an accident and is now brain damaged. That sad story reminded me of this past incident.

Steering Wheel

Steering Wheel (Photo credit: Wikiped

 

Lesson: don’t ever leave your kid in the car by themselves with the key in the ignition. Not even for one second.

 

Kids are smarter than you think.

 

Silence is golden: 10 pet peeves about cell phones: Any additions?


Cell phones and smart phones are really fun.  I rely on my cell phone as much as anyone else. The only reason I haven’t gotten a smart phone yet is because I don’t want to pay the extra dollars for it. I am also afraid I will become one of those people who I am complaining about in this post. Constantly looking down at my phone, or using it when it’s really inappropriate. I think it’s rude when people prefer their phone to me. .

Here are 10 places I wish people wouldn’t use their phones

1. Movie theater:  I am there to enjoy the movie. I find the light from your phone very
distracting. If you want to stay in your own little world, stay home, rent a video and don’t
put on your freaking phone. There is a reason they run that cute little feature before the movie starts about keeping your phone shut off!

2. Dressing room: Don’t talk on your phone in the next dressing room over when I am trying on clothes. It is depressing enough for me to be looking at myself in the full-length murder. It is annoying to be taking off my shoes, pulling up pants that don’t really fit me, and getting frustrated with the price of everything. I don’t need to hear your personal conversations. I don’t want to hear your arguing with someone on the phone or discussing a matter that requires  professional counseling.

3. Gym: This is especially directed to personal trainers or class instructors. . I may be old, but I’m not stupid. I see you with that phone that you think is hidden, playing games, or checking your email. (while I’m working my fanny off.).

4. Restaurants:  When I am enjoying a meal I paid for I don’t need to hear you talking in 3 volumes up to someone.

5. Traffic: Don’t talk on your phone while driving. People are really risking getting in an accident.  Don’t text. Everyone knows this by now, but they still do it.

6.  Nature path : When I am walking in the woods by myself, the last thing I want to hear is somebody yelling on top of their lungs on their phone. I prefer the sounds of the birds and the wind rusting the leaves of the trees.

7. Library:  I used to like to go to the library to browse and get some peace and quiet. Now, people are allowed to talk on their phones, and I can’t do a thing about it.

8. Public Restrooms:  Can’t I even do “my business: in peace. Can’t you wait until you’ve flushed the toilet?

9. Play or live concert:  I can’t believe the amount of phones that appear in the dark at these events where I’m paying big bucks.

10. Looking for a tenth one. Any suggestions? Comments would be appreciated.

I know I might as well get used to it because things aren’t going to change any time soon. People have to be constantly entertained. It almost seems like they’re afraid to be alone, even for a few minutes. That’s life in the 21st century.  What do you think?  Agree or disagree?

Sometimes, Knowing I’m Just an Animal Creeps Me Out! How about you?


The Shaggy Dog (2006 film)

The Shaggy Dog (2006 film) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

As I sat in a restaurant happily chowing down on my tuna melt, I looked around. Everyone else in the restaurant was also chomping down on their food. Some were doing it more politely than others.  When you think about it, it’s really disgusting. We’re all put together the same way, need food to eat and that’s how we get energy. It goes through our digestive system the same way; and you know how that ends up.  Just like the other animals. Of course, we have a more sophisticated way of doing away with our waste.

Women get pregnant and have babies just like elephants, dogs, cats, cows, horses, and other mammals. Horses seem farther ahead. When they have a foal, it stands right up. No waiting for a year to a year-and-a-half.

Human beings are born with bigger heads. Their body has to catch up with their heads. That’s really weird. It’s like we’re the space aliens, when you think about it.

Sometimes, when I realize we are all just animals, I get creeped out. I know some of you may say, we’re spiritual, and that’s how we’re different. I say, ” how do you know animals don’t have their own way of being spiritual?” Maybe we’re not smart enough to see it.

They have families, just like us

Animals even form family groups, just like us. When we had birds, it was interesting to notice that both the mother and father bird were very attentive to the babies until they pushed them out on the perch. After they did that, they acted like they didn’t know them at all.

When I went whale watching in New England, it was interesting to learn that they form very strong family groups. They follow each other across the ocean. There’s real loyalty in that group, just like human beings.

The chimp family at The Columbus  Ohio Zoo has an established family group: mother, father, kids, grandparents and great grandparents. When one of the babies was sick and taken away, the grandma and mother were obviously depressed. They just laid around until the baby returned to the family group.

Watching little kids is like watching puppies or little monkeys. They play just like other animals. They like to explore and touch each other and innocently destroy anything in their path. Any eighteen-month kid will stick about anything in their mouth. Once they learn to walk, they are like little puppies that need to go to Obedience school.  It’s a good thing our little kids smile disarmingly at us; otherwise, we might throw up our hands and walk away.

Go to the zoo and watch the chimps. Better yet, watch the human animals watching the chimps. And why do we like to watch other animals in the first place? I get creeped out when I think about our DNA being 99% like the great apes. When you look into those zoo ape’s eyes, from a distance, they do look almost human.

What’s really strange is that human beings keep other animals for pets. They like the love they get from the creature. It’s less complicated than a human relationship. (Unfortunately, this human being sneezes their brains out and breaks out in hives from cats, dogs, etc;, or I’m sure I’d have one too.)

In the Animal Kingdom they destroy each other, just like us

Just watch the animal kingdom on TV. They are always going after each other, and protecting their territories. They tear each other to ribbons, just like human beings.

How are human beings different? They’re smart enough to have discovered weapons that will destroy the whole human race. That, terrifies me. So, I try not to think about it. We also fade away, just like other animals. The older I get, the more I really try not to think about that.

Movies about people turning into animals still scares me

When I was a little kid, my family went to the movie theater to watch the original Disney movie, “The Shaggy Dog.” It’s about a kid turning into a giant shaggy dog. Everyone else was enjoying the film and laughing. I burst out in very loud sobs, and my parents had to take me home.

A classic 1941 werewolf movie, “The Wolf Man,” that  I caught on TV at age 8, scared me to death for at least 2 years. If I see that movie is playing on TV, I won’t put it on. Even though it’s only a movie, I don’t want to revisit it.

Am I the only one that gets creeped out at the idea that we’re only animals?

What creeps you out? Care to share?

Remembering my first hair stylist: My mother


My hair in braids

English: blow hair dryer Italiano: Asciugacape...

English: blow hair dryer Italiano: Asciugacapelli a casco (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

When I went to the beauty salon the hair stylist put me under the hair dryer, and it reminded me of my mother.  I was a little girl during the 1950’s.

My mother was a determined hair washer. She didn’t finish the procedure until my hair squeaked.  She used some type of white shampoo that came in a round container.  It had a distinctive odor because I can almost remember the smell.

I liked it when my mom gently brushed out my wet hair, and used the old silver hand- held dryer to dry it. I liked the soft hum of the dryer, and the feeling of the warm comforting air. I remember that the coils inside the hair dryer gradually lit up when you turned it on.

I don’t think she was terrific at cutting my bangs. In all my old pictures, they are pretty short and a little uneven. I remember sitting in a chair while she attempted this tricky procedure.

Every day, when I was little, we’d go into the bathroom, and she would style my hair. We’d both look into the mirror. I vaguely remember our reflections. She always wore a “house dress”—an easy slip-on dress. If I was going to school, I had on a dress, or a skirt and blouse.  I remember her being so much taller than me. (When I grew up, I towered over her.)

We both must have enjoyed this, or why would I remember it?  She was gentle, but firm. My mother was like that in everything she did. She was a born leader, but didn’t garner our respect by being harsh. To this day, I’m not sure how she did it.

The hairstyles varied between a pony tail, two pigtails and sometimes two braids. My mother worked carefully to get my thick wavy hair into those rubber bands. She didn’t pull and tug. My thick hair didn’t fit into braids too easily. No matter how hard she tried, a stray piece of hair would escape. By the end of the day, it was a disaster. ( She only did this particular style when I begged.)

When she was done with styling my hair, we’d go onto the kitchen. She would take a ribbon, sometimes two, and smooth it with steam from the tea kettle. She’d carefully put it in my hair, and firmly tie it around my hair style for the day. Then, off I’d go to school,

It’s funny what we remember about our childhoods. I guess it’s good to know those people, so important to us, can be conjured up by the sound of a hair dryer in a beauty salon.

What are your memories of your childhood that you’d like to share? It doesn’t have to be about hair!

Selling memories at a yard sale


My husband is a nice city boy, but you would never know it. He likes country music, and having yard sales. I really think he likes all the people, and rearranging stuff. He’s one of those working types.

I noticed his love of yard sales shortly after I  married him. This was in 1973, when yard sales were not as socially acceptable as they are now.

I was sitting in our old rented town-house,  I looked out the window, and there he was, outside with a bunch of junk. He was pricing stuff that was more suitable to be put in File 13, otherwise known as the garbage can.

Not only was he selling junk, but he was selling stuff we still needed. Like casserole dishes, appliances, etc. At one yard sale, he even sold the guitar that my parents bought me for my 16th birthday. (Okay, I never really learned to play it, but c-mon. He did ask me just before someone purchased it. I agreed under pressure.)

Not a lot has changed in 40 years. He’s having another one today. Okay, it’s a great idea of getting rid of clutter, but he just sold a perfectly good lawn chair. For $2.00.

Going down Memory Lane
It is funny how we attach memories to stuff. Like my son’s soccer ball, or an old picture that we tucked away in the corner. How about my exercise ball that I haven’t been on in two years. Chances are I’m not going to jump on it any time soon. .

There is a rocking horse that my parents bought for their first grandchildren. It eventually found it’s way to my house.  My kids rocked the heck out of that horse. It fell apart, but my husband put it back together in time for the yard sale. The old steed doesn’t look too bad.

I’m hoping maybe one day there will be a little one who wants to rock it back and forth. But, it’s pretty used. Would they want to go on an old beat up horse?  Wouldn’t it be better to get a new one?

I can still see my parent’s excited faces when they bought the thing. Who knew the horse would outlast them by years and years?

I know if some little kid comes up, puts his arm around it, and begs his mom, I will be a goner.

I refuse to let my husband sell  those 3 grimy Cabbage Patch Kids. How could I ever get rid of Greasy Foo Foo and Loraine Loraine?  I do apologize, but I seem to have forgotten the other one’s name. I hope I haven’t hurt her feelings. I only know she was loved to pieces.

It is  now the end of the day, and somehow he managed to make a profit out of a lot of random stuff.  Some of it was in good shape though. Some of it was tools, plugs and extension cords .

We practically gave away a perfectly good carry-on bag. It’s too big for me, and I’m never going to use it again.

The old rocking horse

There’s another day to the yard sale. Probably, I’ll put out some of the old white dishes, and someone will buy them.

But, I hope the  rocking horse doesn’t catch anyone’s eye.

Is there something you regret selling at a garage or yard sale? Please comment.

10 good reasons to have children


Cute Kids in Children's Costumes

Cute Kids in Children’s Costumes (Photo credit: epSos.de)

1. You are patient, kind, and love children. You find them fascinating and fun.

2. You have a strong marriage or relationship  and want to share your happiness by having children.

If you’re single, independent and secure,  that may work too.  (I’d like to hear from you if you’ve accomplished that.)

3. You are a mature adult, and can put yourself second to others. It is amazing how you can have room to love your children. It’s a great feeling, natures’ way of putting you lower on the totem pole.

4. You like to get on the floor and play. It doesn’t hurt if you like play-doh, paint, and all that fun stuff. How about those little people toys?

5. You like fun activities like going out to the zoo, dressing up, and watching plays.( Ones they put on), There’s nothing like seeing activities through a child’s eyes for the first time. How about the surprise and delight when they get on that merry-go-round for the first time?   It’s like being a child yourself….all over again.

6, You aren’t having a child to recreate your life. They are not there to give you a second chance at athletics, academics, or a social life.  (Please don’t yell at your kid when they’re playing sports.)

7.You don’t care about having the best clothes, vacations, etc. Unless you are wealthy, of course!

8. You don’t mind tending the sick occasionally. It comes with the job description. Have a relief person when you get sick yourself.

9. You don’t mind being a disciplinarian. It is necessary. It’s the hardest part about being a parent.

10. Be prepared for your heart to break when they get more independent, and would rather spend time with their peers. You’re only a hero to them for part of the time.( When they get older and realize your human too, it’s always a little sad. )

Was I good at all these things? I would have to say no. . My report card would show I had weaknesses and strengths, like anyone.  But, these are conclusions I came to when all was said and done.

Maybe it can help you.

Anything to add? Disagreements? Please comment!

.

Extreme Makeover: Weight Loss Edition…Nyla’s Story


Nyla

I  like the “Extreme Makeover: Weight Loss Edition.  Chris Powell,  the trainer, actually seems interested in making transformations among people.

But, there is something nosy and wrong  about watching extremely obese people begin to work out. They sweat, pant, grown, and look like they’re about to die.

But, it is great to watch them make progress, and “transform.”

Nyla, the recent episode struck a chord with me. I like watching strong women succeed.

This woman started out at 438 pounds. There is no doubt that she got this big because she has emotional problems.

It all stems from the fact that she was abandoned by her father when she was very little. Now, she can’t remember him, and he doesn’t really know her. Somehow, she’s found his loss so hurtful that she’s eaten to make up for it. ( It seemed hard to believe that missing someone you never really knew would upset you, but who’s to say what hurts other people. )

At first, she is really happy that Chris is going to help her. But what she finds out how hard it’s going to be, she gives up. More than once. She seems to be afraid to face her fears. She gets to a point, then gives up. She is afraid of failure.

One of the things Chris has her do to face her fears is to move the opposite way up a down escalator. To me, this seems a little, well….extreme.

She refuses to do it.

More than one time they butt heads. I like Nyla because she is a strong-minded woman. She’s not a mealy-mouthed type.

Everything is going up and down, until Chris hires a private investigator to find her family. Although her father is dead, she gets to meet the rest of his family. This closes the chapter on her feeling awful about the whole thing, and she gets a new family.

My favorite part is when she gets a dance lesson from one of the instructors from “Dancing With the Stars.” Being able to move rhythmically has nothing to do with being overweight!

Without ruining the whole show, let’s just say that she looks pretty good at the end although she can stand to lose some more weight.

Somehow, you’re pretty sure she’s going to succeed.

Experiencing Ikea for the first time


English: Logo of Ikea.

English: Logo of Ikea. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Today I went to an Ikea store. It was shopping on another level.

First of all, I dislike shopping. I just don’t have the patience for it. Usually, if I’m going to shop, I know exactly what I want, go get it and leave as fast as I can.

Anyway, someone I know needed a lot of furniture,  so I went along for the ride. I thought it would be a good way for me to practice patience, and see something different.  I didn’t know I was going to step into another world.

The first thing I noticed was how enormous this place is; it’s like a little city. That made me cringe before I even walked in the door. I’m not big on big huge places. First of all, my sense of direction is not one of my best qualities. I don’t like to get lost. I knew I was in trouble when I noticed there were arrows pointing you to different departments.

There were little Swedish  sayings sprinkled throughout the store. It said, “Haj” when you walked in the door. It means something like “welcome.” It can’t hurt to increase your vocabulary, even if it’s in Swedish.

I did like the fact that there were places to eat. Where else can you get a hotdog for a dollar?  ( I heard a little boy tell his mom, “I need a hotdog right now.” )There was also a higher class cafe with regular food prices. Not only can you learn how to speak Swedish, you can eat the food: Swedish meatballs, and Norwegian salmon. They also have a nice variety of American food!

There were also a few toys  kids could play with scattered here and there. (A nice touch). Sort’ve like the smart phones all their parents are playing with while waiting in line.

I saw a lot of merchandise I would consider buying if I was going to furnish my house.  Since I’m in my sixties, this isn’t a priority in my life right now. I’m more interested in just having fun.

The furniture was pretty reasonably priced, and it had nice clean lines. That’s kind of my style—simple but stylish. Those Swedes know how to make furniture. I also liked the simple kitchen and bathroom cabinets displayed.

There were all kinds of people there. It was a hotbed of diversity, different ages and nationalities.   I saw women with very young infants nestled in front of them with clever little contraptions. I also saw pregnant women. The maternity clothes are very interesting, they aren’t trying to hide their motherly state. I guess that’s a good thing.

The cafe was pretty cool. Since this is a Swedish company, you could buy some Swedish food; Swedish meatballs, norwegian Salmon, and just regular wraps and food. The desserts looked terrific. Also they sold Swedish chocolate

After you get what you want, you have to go down to a place to order the stuff. You put it in a computer, print out the list, and take it over to a worker.  He or she gives you the choice to pick it out yourself, have someone else pick it out, and then get it delivered.  The reason the stuff is so reasonable is because once you buy it, you have to put it together. (They do have referrals of others who will put it together if this isn’t your strong point.)

After I was done with this place, I was exhausted. Too big, and too much merchandise.
If I do feel the need for some stuff for my house, I will definitely go to this place. (They are not everywhere, I’d have to go to Cincinnati, Ohio.)

Do any of you like Ikea merchandise? Are there really people who put themselves through this turmoil for fun? Should we go shop at a store that is Swedish instead of American?

What do you think?

English: IKEA exit When you've had enough shop...

English: IKEA exit When you’ve had enough shopping, there’s always the exit. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I Used to be Fat: TV Review


I Used to Be Fat

I Used to Be Fat (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Sometimes, I really like to watch those weight TV shows. They seem to motivate me. I really would like to take off some pounds. Like everything else, you have to work at it.

I watched a teenage oriented show on MTV entitled I used to be Fat. The young woman on it had been fat all her life.

When we meet her parents, and family we understand why. Although I do believe some people have a tendency to put on weight, the environment plays just as big a role.

They have all the creamy bad stuff in their pantry and refrigerator. Several different types of pancake mix, creamy stuff, and generally bad. They all put it in a big sack to give to the food pantry. (I suppose it’s not okay for them, but okay for the poor.)

Anyway, this young girl has a trainer who is merciless on her. The first day she is running across the football field. When she’s done with that, she’s going up and down the stairs of the stadium. ( I think he could have just had her run back and forth across the football field on her first day.)

Her father, who is overweight himself, tried to motivate her. He obviously cares about her, and that’s a good thing. I think it’s the case of the pot calling the kettle black. I think it would really motivate her  more if he was earnestly trying to take off some of his bulk. It looks like he’s making a half hearted attempt.  Her mother seems to be out of the picture. She does take responsibility for her kids being overweight.

The trainer and father point out that losing weight is a mental exercise. She keeps saying she can’t, can’t, and can’t. Finally she starts saying, “yes, I can.” (Sound familiar).

There is one scene where she goes to a restaurant with her brother and friend. They order all that bad stuff that they serve in restaurants:  hamburgers, french fries, and fried food. They seem to enjoy taunting her with it. She orders a salad, but you know those restaurant salads, some of them are loaded with hidden calories. At least she’s trying.

Finally, she manages to run a marathon, and succeeds. She goes off to college, and after about 3 more months she’s lost 79 pounds, and looks like a different person. (She could’ve picked a more flattering outfit to show off her good points.)

Her parents at the reveal still look pretty overweight. That was a disappointment. It means she’ll go back to the same lousy food environment when she comes home.

This program reminded me that losing weight is such a mental exercise, and that negative self talk is such a defeating thing. If you can find some determination, you can change things for yourself. (Even if you’re over 60)

Even thought this show was about a teenager, I still found it full of good information. It’s things I knew, but needed to be reminded about.