Wednesday, January 31, 2024


Remember outhouses? They were the little buildings a person would visit to eliminate waste from the body. Every home had one. After all everyone had waste to eliminate.

I hope to never have to use an outhouse again. They are cold in the winter. They are hot in the summer. They always stink.

Most of them were little wooden structures behind the house... quite a ways behind. Inside was a wooden bench with a hole in it to deposit eliminations. Some were fancier than others. On the farm my grandparents' outhouse had three holes along with a little one off to the side for smaller members of the family. 

Toilet paper was considered a luxury. Every year the mail order companies mailed big thick catalogues for people to order goods. Most of the catalogues ended up in the outhouse to use to clean oneself. 

In order to keep the accumulation of eliminations down lime would be poured generously occasionally. I think that may have smelled worse than a normal day out there.

Halloween made targets of outhouses. Teenagers routinely tipped them over. It was difficult for the owner to set it right again.

My father heard a rumor one year that our outhouse was the target. He and my brothers moved it forward so that anyone who tried to tip it over would instead end up in what was under the outhouse. No one showed up.

I do remember one year as we were driving home a bunch of high school boys were busy hauling someone's outhouse to the main intersection of town.

My father-in-law decided it was time to change the location of their outhouse.  He was also in a bit of an ornery mood. There was no door on the outhouse. So he set it up facing the highway. Anyone driving by could see what you were doing. My mother-in-law made him fix it.

I do have one funny story about outhouses but that will come at another time. Right now I want you to understand why I hate outhouses with a passion. I want indoor plumbing..

Wednesday, January 24, 2024


I enjoy watching movies and television programs. I have favorites of course. 

I watch these to be entertained. I do not want to have to think or look for the hidden meanings. I want mindless enjoyment.

I drive my children crazy. I am like a little kid. I can watch the same thing over and over if I like it.

One of my favorite movies is Grease. Back in the days of VHS I bought it. Then I watched it over and over non-stop until my children threatened me with no more television privileges if I did not give them a break.

So now I try to watch my favorites in my room by myself. I can watch them as often as I wish.

Saturday, January 20, 2024


My little family and I were going on vacation. I had two toddlers at that time.

Both of my sisters and I had been shopping for last minute things. The vacation began as soon as my husband got home from work. We were having a good time.

As we drove up to my parents' home so I could drop my sisters off we were laughing and singing. By changing stations on the radio we heard a song that was a favorite to all of us. We had heard it three times in a row. What fun.

We pulled up in front of the house and Daddy rushed out. His eyes were all red. Since he worked in a chemical factory I thought there must have been a spill.

He hurried over to the car and told me to turn it off. I told him I was not staying but he insisted that I turn it off. So I did.

He told us that my brother had been killed in Viet Nam. I thought I would cry immediately but I was shocked instead. He was my little brother. 

In full disclosure I had felt for more than a week that we would be called home from vacation for his funeral. Feelings like that happen to a lot of people and never come to pass.

I gathered my two little boys and went in to see how my mother was. Did she need a doctor? There on the couch sat my littlest brother and sister. Others were in various places around the room. No Mom.

I went to the phone to call my sister-in-law to tell her that if my husband stopped over there after work (which he planned to do) to have him come to my parents' house instead of going home.

I looked again for my mother. Since she was not there I assumed she was lying down. I took my boys outside so they would not be a bother to others.

When my husband arrived I was still sitting on the front steps keeping an eye on my boys. He ran to us to find out what was wrong. He was sure it was a mistake. He and my brother had been quite close.

We gathered the boys and went inside. Mom was sitting on the couch with my brother and sister. I went to her to see what I could do for her.

As we talked she asked me why I had not said anything to her when I was in the house before. She had been sitting there the whole time!

I have no idea why I did not see her. Maybe it was just too much for me to see both of my parents crying.

Monday, January 15, 2024


My Nephew died a few years ago. He was not yet 50 years old. 

I did not know how ill he was. He had promised his mother who was bed-ridden that he would not die before her and he intended to honor his word.

He was her only child and they adored each other. He held on longer than he should have been able.

My Sister who was his mother was in a nursing home. She had a stroke several years before and could not get out of bed. She told me she has made him promise not to die before her.

We were unable to tell her that her only child had died for several days because Covid limited visitors to her. She was devastated. 

My sister died a couple of years ago. They are together now.

One thing that gives me comfort is that the last thing I said to either of them is that I love them. Now I drive everyone I care about crazy by making sure the last thing I say to them is I love you.

But that is not what I am writing about. One of the few things I really like about my cell phone is my contact list. All those numbers I used to keep stored in my head are now safely stored on my cell phone. 

The thing is that every once in a while I see my nephew's number or my sister's number. I know I should delete them. I cannot bring myself to do it. Is there a right time to do this? 

Friday, January 12, 2024



I live in an electronic house. By that I mean that my son has installed many modern features. The locks for the doors are computer operated. The lights are all operated by voice command. The televisions are operated by voice command. The bathroom fan measure the amount of humidity in the air and automatically turns on when needed. Our kitchen range and refrigerator are both connected to our computers and therefore our cell phones. There are motion detecting security lights outside.

It is all so convenient most of the time. To turn off the lights when I am in bed all I have to do is say, " Alexa, turn off the light." She replies, "Okay." and does so.

Coming into the house after dark all we have to do is tell it to turn on the lights and suddenly I can see.

Now all this sounds like fun and it is. I have a problem though.

I have a problem with names. I can be thinking of a correct name and another name comes out of my mouth. I have one lovely daughter. She just had her 50th birthday. I have called her by her own name maybe half a dozen times in her life. Not to worry though. I call my oldest granddaughter by my daughter's name.

So there are several different names for our electronic devices. They must be addressed by name to make them work. Do you have any idea how hard that is for me?

And then there is the TV in the living room. Why I keep wanting to call her Chloe I do not know. It is not the name of anything except in my mind.

Friday, January 5, 2024


 My son just called. His neighbor's house burned last night.

My son woke up in the middle of the night to all the noise outside. He went out to take a look and saw that his house was on fire too. 

He had to practically force the firemen to put out the fire on his house before it burned down too. They got the fire on his house out. Next come repairs. And there will be a lot of them.

The most visible is the siding on his house. And he just had it replaced. Part of his roof will need some attention.  There is some water damage inside. His upstairs window was blown out by the force of the water. There is a bedroom up there. The carpeting was ruined and he was dumping buckets of water out the window as he was cleaning up. 

I am certain there will be more found as they begin the work.

The important thing is that my son was not hurt, the dog was not hurt, and insurance will pay for the repairs.

Wednesday, January 3, 2024


As I have told you many times I am the oldest of seven children. I had two younger sisters and four younger brothers. 

As was common for that time many babies are born in a short period of time. One brother was only one year younger than me and the next was barely one year younger than that one. 

My family are composed of tall people with big bones so there are no runts in the lot. We are not abnormally large but you would never mistake us for tiny.

As with any big family the oldest child often has more responsibilities than the other children. I did not mind. Actually I am a little bossy so it worked well most of the time.

One night my parents were at a Boy Scouts leaders' meeting. I was left in charge of my siblings. The two older boys really did not need a babysitter. At times I thought they needed an animal trainer as boys in their early teens often do.

The two of them began picking on a little brother. He was about eight years old and one of their favorite pastimes was to pick at him. This night was no exception.

I saw that they were getting a bit carried away so I decided to put a stop to it. Then I realized that they were not going to be easy to stop.

I decided to separate them. That might make them calm down. It did not.

So I managed to get the younger of the two into the kitchen and onto the floor. Then I grabbed a wooden kitchen chair and held it over his stomach.

Just like in the cowboy shows we watched I said, " If you take one more step I'll break this chair over his stomach!" 

My brother paused. Then he leaned forward as if to come at me. I faked a move to smash the chair on my brother.

Imagine how surprised I was when the chair fell apart in my hands.

My brother was howling like I had mortally damaged him. 

Immediately the boys left to go tell our parents that I tried to murder them. I on the other hand was foolish enough to try to hide the evidence. I threw all the pieces of the chair out the back door.

Now please do not ask me why I thought my mother would not miss a kitchen chair or wonder why there was a chair in pieces in our back yard.

My parents came right home. We were all properly checked for injuries. Then we were all properly punished. 

What fun a big family is.