Monthly Archives: September 2011
Recently I’ve been obsessed with doing all the things I’ve ignored throughout our blistering summer. And there were a lot of things that just had to be done from painting the house trim, to mowing the lawns, to do all the boring things that make living in a house livable.
For instance … the other day I was getting ready to leave the house when I discovered that my cell phone battery was running on empty. I realized that there was just enough time to do a quick charge and still be able to make my MetroBus. Until I went to the catch-all drawer!
Go one, admit it you also have a drawer in the kitchen where you store all the little chargers for a gross and a half of modern conveniences, not to mention batteries, rubber-bands, paper clips, flashlights, marking pens and emergency candles and matches for when the power fails.
So I ran to my c-a-d and opened it to find a tangle of cords and loose ends that resembled a vipers’ nest. And it was probably just as deadly. OK, so I don’t always rewind the charger cords when I put them away. All right … so I seldom rewind the charger cords when I’m done with them. The least charger manufacturers could at least color code the cords. But no, they’re all the same … industrial black. Except the cord for my Kindle; it’s easy to find because it is white.
So I had to sort through ten different cords before I found the one for my phone. And I missed my MetroBus.
So I skipped going out and stayed home to clean out the catch-all drawer. And for the life of me I don’t know how bread crumbs, dried cranberries, and a couple of faded M&Ms got into the drawer in the first place.
Now that I think of it, maybe I should have labeled the various chargers before I put them back in the drawer. I also don’t know how the plastic lizard got in the drawer.
Recently, a friend posted a blog referencing childhood chewing gum memories … and that got me thinking about my own childhood gum experiences.
* If you got caught chewing gum in class at a Catholic grade school, the nuns made you stick the gum on the tip of your nose for the rest of the day.
* Gum stuck in your hair can supposedly be removed by applying peanut butter, mayo, Listerine, cold cream, Vaseline or ice to the gummed up hair. Unfortunately no one told my mother before she grabbed the scissors.
* Never chew gum that you found stuck on the bottom of a desk or table. People also use those surfaces for storing their booggers.
* You know you’re not a kid anymore when you discover gum can be exchanged while kissing.
Anyway, my favorite gum was the licorice flavored BlackJack Gum.
Being a compulsive Googler, I naturally had to research my gum choice, and I discovered that Black Jack was the first flavored chewing gum ever made dating back to 1884. I also discovered that chewing gum is not new. Man (and woman) has been chewing some form of gum-like substance since the Neolithic Period. They know because scientists found a 5,000-year old piece of birch bark tar (probably stuck on the side of a rock) in Finland. What’s this obsession with people digging around under tables and chairs‽
Breaking news … I just discovered that some perverted genius is coming out with boxed gummy boogers for Halloween … GROSS!
Tuesday, September 11, 2001, 07:50 CDT — Since mom and I had cut the grass and done laundry the day before, I planned on sleeping in. But mom got up early and let the cat in and he naturally jumped on my bed and woke me up. This gave mom the opportunity to say, “Oh, you’re up too. Why don’t you make us some French toast for breakfast?” I slumped out of my bedroom and on the way to the kitchen I turned on the TV to see what was happening on NBC and the world. The scene on the TV was one of chaos and I called mom in from the kitchen. As we sat on the sofa the second plane hit the south tower and we were riveted to the TV. We spent the rest of the morning sitting on the sofa and crying. I never did make that French toast.
September 11, 2011 — Today I visited the 9/11 Remembrance Memorial that had been assembled on Art Hill in front of the Saint Louis Art Museum. It consisted of almost 3,000 3 x 5 flags on metal poles that had been arranged with perfect military precision … horizontally, vertically and diagonally … across the lawn of the hill. There was a flag for each of the victims of the attacks, and each flag pole showed the name, photo and details of the person it honored. A lot of the people who visited the flags of friends or relatives left messages or flowers taped to the flag poles.
Halfway up the hill I noticed an elderly gentlemen who had been walking up the hill searching from flag to flag. He stopped by one flag and knelt on one knee holding on to the flag pole. As I passed, I could see the tears streaming down his face. There was no way anyone could walk on dry-eyed.
The scope of so many flags spread across the hillside had an undeniably emotional effect on all of the viewers.
As I began to walk down the hill to go home, an actual parade of young and old, military and civilian, man and four-footer … moved toward the memorial carrying flags of their own. (Many dogs wore red, white and blue neck bandanas or tiny flag patches on their bandanas.)
The entire flag project was conceived by a local man and his wife who began putting the flags together in their garage. Soon they had many friends helping them and in the end, 290 people worked to get the flags in place on the hill.
The memorial began at sunrise with mayor and other city officials … and our own first responders many of whom had answered the call to work at Ground Zero. The day ended with a concert at the foot of the hill.
When two meteorological forces meet, somethings got to give. So when the remnants of Lee ran into the remnants of Katia, Lee decided to backtrack and send his rainfall west — which means we’ve been hearing the pit-pitter-pat of rain since last midnight. The heavier rain actually went further west before wrapping around so we ended up with a steady very light rain that I always call a flower shower. And you could see its effects on all the flowers this morning.
The marigolds were very merry …
The zinnias looked like they had received a last-minute reprieve for a fall blossoming life …
And the Rose Of Sharon (a hardy member of the hibiscus family) continued it’s nonstop growth to becoming a proper hedge.
And that made all the honeybees hum-hum-hum as they flew from blossom to blossom.
All things considered for the HOT summer we had, the flowers gave their all to make the front garden the talk of the neighborhood. And now hopefully they will blossom like crazy as they enjoy the autumnal 60s and 70s we’ve been receiving.
Well, yet another birthday anniversary has come and gone; and to quote Yvonne De Carlo in her show-stopping number from Stephen Sondheim’s Follies “I’M STILL HERE!” To age myself slightly, I’ll actually admit to seeing the original Broadway production at the Winter Garden Theatre in 1971 when it was still being played without intermission.
It was actually the first of many Broadway flops I saw over the years. But I really didn’t think it was a flop, and I actually saw it again in July of the next year when it played the Saint Louis Municipal Opera for a week after it closed on Broadway and before it opened in Los Angeles. It flopped in LA, too. So I guess that’s why I relate to Follies as one of the ongoing themes of my life … a lot of flash and frolic over a slightly bittersweet core, but still a flop to many.
But that was then and this is now … so what did I do to celebrate this year:
Well, I finally looked at my very first birthday cards. These were the cards that people sent to my mom and dad after I was born. You might say mom was a sentimental hoarder. She saved all the cards that people she loved had sent her over the years. I didn’t get around to cleaning out that card drawer until a couple of months ago. That’s when I found a cardboard box at the bottom of the drawer that was filled with all the cards she had received for the births of all of her three sons. These were mine …
I received a lot of birthday greetings in the mail and on the internet. One was from my Congresswoman, but it think that might be because she’s running for reelection next year. I also got a lot of swag in the form of coupons … for a free order of fries with the purchase of a sandwich and drink at Penn Station, a dollar off a combo meal at Wendy’s, a FREE dinner at the Boathouse, and a free combo meal at Taco Bell. Guess they must think I have trouble feeding myself in my advancing years. I also received $$ off coupons on a pair of shoes, and a free soda at AMC Theaters. Hey, coupons are almost like money.
Then I bought myself a fancy Birthday Cupcake with a butterfly on top at my Schuncks Stupidmarket to have with my birthday dinner tonight. The dinner was nothing fancy, just leftover ground beef with peppers and onions that I turned into Spanish Rice by adding some leftover brown rice. I always make it a point to clean out my fridge and freezer on my birthday.
Also when I was in the store I also saw a hand dipped caramel apple that had my name on it. Literally, it actually had my name on it.
And since I haven’t had a hand dipped caramel apple covered with pecans in umpteen years or more, I just had to treat my self to one. And like I said, it did have my name on it! Unfortunately, with the Spanish Rice and the fancy cupcake I had to save the savoring of the apple until tomorrow.
And I can’t overlook the fact that my canine companion Mlle. Renee took me for a long walk today. She also gave me a licky-kiss she said was from a cat that she knows. ? ?
And that was what I did on my birthday. And while I might sometimes look at my life as flop Broadway musical as Follies was once labelled, I take comfort in the fact that today it is considered one of the great Broadway musicals. It has played around the world and been revived multiple times.
And like I said, “I’M STILL HERE!”
She was born on September 4, 1912 and christened Anna Rosalia
She was the second oldest of ten children …
She had to drop out of grade school to help her mother care for her younger brothers and sisters.
In the mid-30s she met her forever sweetheart Leo and two weeks before they were married in September of 1938 he sent her this birthday card …
And after that, she saved every card he ever sent her until the day he passed away.
It was one of the few things she set out to do that she didn’t accomplish.
She passed away on her way to 95!