Thursday, September 28, 2023

End Of The Season

There are only three days left. I am speaking about Major League Baseball. Most of you know that the Detroit Tigers are my team.

We have not done well this year. However it looks as though we will be in second place in our division when it ends.

We have a young team now. And it looks like we have some really good players nnow. Going into next season my hopes are high. Barring any major injuries we will have a winning team.

The sad part of the year is that Miguel Cabrera is retiring. If you have not seen Miggy (as we fondly call him) play you really missed something special.

Miggy became a baseball player because his mother was a softball star in their home country of Venezuela. Baseball scouts began to notice him when he was still a child because he was such a good player.

He was chosen by the Florida Marlins. He was still a rookie when he hit his first home run which won the game.

The Tigers pulled off a fantastic trade to obtain Miggy. All Tigers fans were happy but we had no idea that were looking at one of the best players ever.

Any time Miggy comes up to bat I smile. He always has a big grin on his face. He knows he is a man playing a kids' game and he enjoys himself.

Over the years he has racked up a lot of impressive statistics. He has hit 511 home runs, 3168 hits, 624 doubles, 17 triples, and 510 runs batted in. He has been MVP twice and the batting Triple Crown winner. To win the triple crown a batter has the most home runs, highest batting average, and most runs batted in for the season. 

Now Miggy is 40 years old. His knees and back hurt. He has decided it is time to stop playing. He will certainly be elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame as soon as he is eligible. Hopefully the Tigers will find a place for him in their organization.

I will miss him.

Monday, September 25, 2023

Watermelon Day

 I have so many happy memories of being a child. This is one of the best.

During the summer Saturday nights were special nights. The farmers came to town to purchase what they needed from the grocery store and the feed (for animals) store. It was a small town so there were not many other stores there.

What we did have was the free show. The free show was a big movie screen with a bunch of benches set up for us to watch. And it cost absolutely nothing.

I got 25 cents each week for allowance. Five cents went into the collection plate at Sunday school but the rest was mine all mine. Before the show started I would stop at the store and buy a bottle of pop and a candy bar. It took half of what was left but it was worth it. Besides I would get back a penny when I returned the bottle for the deposit. That penny was worth two pieces of bubble gum.

I loved sitting outside watching those movies. It was just like being at the theater. Except we had the stars above us.

The reason the free show was there was to keep the kids busy while their parents shopped and socialized. The fire station was where the men would gather to play cards and discuss manly things. The women stood off to the side talking about children and whatever else they talked about.

We lived just a block and a half down the street from the free show so I always went. Unless it rained. Then us kids would join the adults in the firehouse.

At the end of the summer came the best day of all. It was watermelon day.

On watermelon day all the farmers brought part of their harvest to town. Someone donated a cow and someone else donated a pig. They were both roasted in a huge pit dug in the ground. They started cooking a day or two before.

Then there were tables set up. They held cooked potatoes, corn on the cob, fresh salads, vegetables, fruits, homemade breads, pastries, cookies, cakes, homemade jams and jellies... you name it, it was there. And watermelon.

After eating more than you could possibly eat, you had to go back for a huge chunk of watermelon, then another one, and so forth. It was everyone enjoying the bounties of the harvest.

There were games like sack races and other fun group activities. When the sun went down there was the free show.

The very nicest thing about watermelon day was... IT COST NOTHING. It was just people getting together and enjoying each other and the offerings from the land. It is one of my favorite memories.

Friday, September 22, 2023

Halloween Songs

 Halloween will be here soon. It is a celebration of the time when the earth and the afterlife are supposedly so close that sometimes spirits cross over. Some religions believe Halloween to be evil. Other folks (like me) believe it to be a time for fun and imagination. 

A lot of Halloween songs are not scary. They can be silly and even goofy. Some are normal with a surprise ending. And some are scary. Take your pick. As always they can be found on YouTube.

The Witch Doctor by David Seville

Little Ted Man by Ugly Kid Joe

I Put A Spell On You by Broken Peach (also the three witches in Hocus Pocus and by Screamin' Jay Hawkins}

The Time Warp from Rocky Horror Picture Show

Fiddler's Green by The Irish Rovers

Long Black Veil by The Band

Teddy Bears' Picnic by Jerry Garcia (trust me it's scary)

Season of the Witch by Donovan (the Joan Jett version is good too)

Grim, Grinning Ghosts is from Disney's Haunted Mansion

Vampira by Bobby Bare

Monster Mash by Bobby "Boris" Pickett ( Boris Karloff did it too)

Laurie (Strange Things Happen) by Dickey Lee

Shudders and Screams by Ben Colder

Ghost Riders In The Sky by Marty Robbins (and many others)

The Martian Hop by the Ran-Dells

The Theme Songs for The Addams Family and The Munsters

Ghost Busters by Ray Parker Jr

The Blob by The Five Blobs

The Danse Macabre Op. 40 by The Philharmonic Orchestra

Miller's Cave by Bobby Bare

This House Is Haunted by Alice Cooper

Joe Bean by Johnny Cash

Can you tell I like Halloween? Feel free to let me know what I left out.

Monday, September 18, 2023

The Big C

I have not given you an update on my daughter in quite some time. She has had a really rough time of it as you can imagine.

For those who are new or just do not remember my daughter was diagnosed with an extremely aggressive form of breast cancer. She underwent chemotherapy for what seemed like forever. Of course she lost all her pretty blonde hair. 

The chemo left her weak and tired. On top of that the shunt they put in to make it easier for the nurses administering the chemo was installed wrong. They had such a hard time using it that my daughter considered stopping it after a couple of months. She said it was just too painful. Finally the doctor did surgery to put in a different one.

My daughter needed a special drug for her chemo. Her insurance would not cover it. One of the nurses was kind enough and tenacious enough to find a program that paid for it.

My daughter decided to have a double mastectomy because the odds of it traveling to the other breast were high. She just wanted to be done with it.

The surgery went well but she did not seem to recover very fast. Maybe I expected too much. She usually heals quickly.

After the surgery there was more chemo along with radiation therapy. The radiation burned most of the skin from her armpit. 

When they removed her breasts they fitted some contraption under the skin to prepare for transplants eventually. They caused so much pain the doctor had to remove them. My daughter said it felt good to be able to breathe pain free again.

So finally after a few months she had surgery to put in the implants. What they do is remove tissue from the abdomen and place it in the breast. 

During the surgery and recovery she received 14 units of blood, 2 units of plasma, and one unit of something else. On average an adult has around 10 units of blood circulating in their system.

On about the third day of recovery someone finally took a look at one of the 6 drainage tubes that my daughter told her was bothering her. My daughter was lying in a pool of blood. When the woman went to gently move the tube to one side it exploded outward similar to an erupting volcano. It sprayed the woman, my daughter, and all over her bed. The only thing it missed was a little stuffed animal that was wearing the St Benedict medal my daughter was not allowed to wear but wanted close.

They covered the implants with folds of skin that had been saved from her breasts. After the first examination by the surgeon she was told that one flap of skin looked like it was dying. They would watch it for progress.

 It seemed to be getting better. Instead it died. Another surgery removed that flap of skin. My daughter insisted on going home. She felt she was not getting the care she needed at the hospital. She felt more comfortable at home.

She has kept her doctor's appointments and is doing what they prescribe. 

One day she noticed that the implant was exposed where the bad flap had been. She notified the doctor. He immediately performed another surgery because the implant actually fell out.

There will be another surgery in a couple of months to either make another implant or somehow pull a muscle from her back around to use as an implant. I do not understand.

Internally and emotionally my daughter is so much better. Physically she still has huge limitations but she is no longer afraid she is going to die.

I am not looking for sympathy and it drives me insane. I only wished to let you know how she is doing.

Saturday, September 16, 2023


 When I was a child westerns were what we watched when we got home from school and all summer. Cartoons were only available Saturday mornings. 

Of course I had some favorites. The Cisco Kid was special. He and Pancho righted all the wrongs they encountered. At the end of each show they had a little conversation that ended with "Oh Pancho Oh Cisco". Then they rode off to the next adventure.

Hopalong Cassidy was another. He and his horse Topper took care of many bad guys.

Roy Rogers was a favorite of most of us kids. Dale Evans and Pat Brady were sidekicks. Did you know that Dale Evans wrote the theme song Happy Trails one day as they were on the way to film the show? She was a talented author and song writer. Pat Brady was known for his Jeep Nellybelle and provided comical behavior for the show. He also a singer in The Sons Of The Pioneers which was co-founded by - you guessed it - Roy Rogers. Roy Rogers was well-known as a horseman too. You will never see anything more beautiful than Roy Rogers riding Trigger at full gallop.

Gabby Hayes was the ultimate sidekick. He mostly appeared in western movies so whenever he was in a television cowboy show it was a real treat. He even had his own TV show for a time. He did not star in any of the features but he played the host of the series.

I vaguely remember Wild Bill Hickock but I do remember his sidekick Jingles. His real name was Andy Devine and he had a strange voice and usually was reluctant to enter an adventure that might be dangerous. He later had his own children's show on television called Andy's Gang sponsored by Buster Brown Shoes. It had Midnight the Cat and Froggy the Gremlin.

Annie Oakley was a female western star which was almost unheard of then. She could ride and shoot with the best of the men.

The Lone Ranger will end my list. It is the story of a man who rode with his brother and other Texas Rangers into an ambush. All were killed except for him. He was found half dead by a young Indian who nursed him back to health. Tonto remembers that the ranger had befriended him when his village was wiped out. When the ranger recovered from his injuries he and Tonto travel the Southwest helping people who are the victims of outlaws. He is called the Lone Ranger because he was the lone ranger to survive.

As a side note the Lone Ranger's brother left a son named Dan who spent a lot of time with his Lone Ranger uncle. Dan became a father to Britt Reid. Britt Reid was the Green Lantern.

Hi-Yo Silver.

Saturday, September 9, 2023

Old Gadgets

Have you ever used old gadgets that younger people have not even had access to? I will talk about some that I have used. 

Can openers. I have used the old can openers that you punch into the top of the can and use the sharp blade to cut around the top to create the opening that allowed you to get the contents out. There were the punches that opened beer cans by pushing the point through and making a triangular hole to drink from. They were called church keys. They could also be used several times around a can to remove the lid but it was not easy to do. Then they invented a small opener that was placed at the top of a can and had a handle to twist. As you twisted the two attached parts slid together to fasten it on the can. By twisting the handle the opener would travel around the top of the can to open it. Later they made an opener with long handles that were squeezed which punctured the can. A wheel-type handle being turned moved the opener around the top of the can causing it to open. Both of the previous openers were especially hard for us lefties. And all of them left sharp lids that I cut myself with many times. Thank goodness for new electric openers that do not leave sharp edges.

Washboards are a wooden frame holding a corrugated metal piece. To wash your clothes you stood the washboard in the edge of a washtub filled with hot water. When the clothes (one piece at a time) were soapy you scrubbed them up and down on the washboard to mix the soap with the dirt so it will leave the clothes. Then you wring the water out by hand and drop the clothes into a tub of rinse water. Diapers get two rinse tubs. Again you wring the water out and put the clothes in a basket to take to the clothesline to be pinned up and dried by sun and air. There were wringers you could attach to the tubs and hand crank them to get more water from the clothes. They were clumsy and more trouble than they were useful. It was not unusual for the tubs to tip and spill when using the wringers. 

Then came wringer washers. Electricity was a wonderful addition to doing laundry. The tub of the washer was filled with hot water and soap. There was an agitator in the tub that swished the clothes around in the soapy water. When the allotted time for washing was over you turned off the agitator and put the clothes through the electrically operated wringer into a tub of rinsed water. Often the wringer was rotated to wring rinsed clothes to another rinse tub. Then the clothes were put through the wringer again . With the water wrung out the clothes fell into a basket and were taken to the line to dry.

Clothes did not dry with no wrinkles. They had to be ironed. When they came off the line clothes to be ironed were sprinkled with water and rolled to evenly distribute the moisture. Ironing day was also an all day affair. The first irons (besides hot rocks) were heated on the wood stove. They needed to be replaced often so there were often two heating while one was being used. Along came electricity and some nice person found a way to heat the iron that way. Eventually irons had dials to regulate the amount of heat. Next was an iron that sprayed steam on the clothes. No more sprinkling.

I was going to talk about wood stoves and cleaning rugs. I have run out of space. Next time. Do you have an odd gadget that you find interesting? Please share.

Monday, September 4, 2023

Songs For Children

 I love children's music. I have ever since I was a child. I have happy memories of my mother singing to me. My father would whistle and once in a while fancy that he sounded like Bing Crosby. Music was a staple in our house.

Here are some favorites. At least most of them can be found on YouTube.

Pineapple Princess by Annette Funicello

Daddy What If by Bobby Bare

I'll Stay In The House by Jimmy Boyd

Scarlet Ribbons by The Browns

Hula Hoop Song by Theresa Brewer

Cuban Pete Sally Sweet by Desi Arnaz and Lucille Ball (the video is fantastic_

Mr Sandman by The Chordettes

Que Sera Sera by Doris Day

I'm Gonna Knock on Your Door by Eddie Hodges

Happy Trails by Roy Rogers and Dale Evans

At The Codfish Ball by Shirley Temple and Buddy Ebson (really anything from Shirley Temple)

The Lion Sleeps Tonight by The Tokens

My Boy Lollipop by Millie Small

All of Schoolhouse Rock

Swingin' On A Star by Spooky and Sue

Bug That Tried To Crawl Around The World by Johnny Cash

Your Nose Is Gonna Grow by Johnny Crawford

Centerfield by John Fogerty

This Land Is Your Land by Woodie Guthrie

Little Bitty by Alan Jackson

Pretty Irish Girl by Sean Connery (from Darby O'Gill and the Little People)

Witch Doctor by David Seville

High Hopes by Frank Sinatra

Tippy Toeing by The Harden Trio

Iko Iko by The Dixie Cups

Bimbo by Jim Reeves

Minnie's Yoo Hoo by Carl Stallings

Ragtime Cowboy Joe by The Rank Rangers

The Marvelous Toy by The Chad Mitchell Trio

How Much Is That Doggie In The Window by Patti Page

Oh my goodness. Look how many there are already. I have so many more but I must stop. If you have a favorite I left off the list please let us know.