50 Little Things

I am taking the advice of Mer and doing a list today for fun. Might be harder than I think. I am going to attempt to list 50 little things about me. I know many of these may be things already known, but let’s see if I can find some new ones.

  1. I like Yoko Ono.
  2. Today is my husband’s birthday.
  3. I am studying Spanish on the Duolingo app.
  4. I have a banjo.
  5. I own a scooter I am going to ride as soon as it’s fixed.
  6. I know how to solder.
  7. I like Eminem.
  8. I live around the block from my childhood home.
  9. I collect old phones and radios.
  10. I do not like Journey.
  11. I am an amateur radio operator, licensed for 20 years.
  12. I am a Dudeist Priestess able to perform weddings, funerals, etc. 
  13. I love Shakespeare plays.
  14. I love almost all vegetables.
  15. I like to follow Cleveland baseball.
  16. Surprisingly, I like tv shows such as: Wagon Train, The Rifleman, and Gunsmoke.
  17. I am distantly related to Dave Mustaine of Megadeth.
  18. I like Metallica
  19. There is a picture of me wearing a dashiki in my high school year book. I  love colorful clothes.
  20. I used to be on a golf league. I LOVED it. I was a terrible player, but really enjoyed playing. 
  21. I was arrested at 18 for disorderly conduct. The police had to wake me up to arrest me…..
  22. I had my first child when I was 19. He is going to be 34 this year and is a great person. 
  23. My husband says I can’t whistle, but I can.  A little. Badly. For a very short time. hahahaha
  24. I have seen Weird Al in concert almost every year since 1996.
  25. I taught Sunday school in the early 90s.
  26. I like square dancing even though I never do it anymore. Since junior high.
  27. I was a competitive swimmer for 6 years.
  28. OMG How is it not on the top of the list?? I LOVE THE BEATLES! I was in discussion about Yoko today so she was on my mind first. But the BEATLES are IT.
  29. I  LOVE Frank Zappa. He is fantastic. I hadn’t felt love for a musician like this since the Beatles. The Beatles are always first, but then FRANK.
  30. I am a HUGE Harry Potter fan. I have all the clothes to dress up, three wands, of course all the books, regular and large print for when I am older. Anything I can get my hands on Harry Potter makes me happy.
  31. I have three brothers, one a year and a half older than I, one a year and a half younger and one seven years younger.
  32. I stopped smoking 2 years ago this May on my birthday. 
  33. I didn’t care for the movie The Revenant.
  34. I am very afraid of spiders. They can just go to hell. Or away from me. Either one is okay.
  35. I like to fish.
  36. I love to read. Duh
  37. I can change a tire.
  38. I am almost 53 years old and I do not dye my hair. I have a little gray hair but I earned it. I am not going to dye it. It’s short anyway. 
  39. I have been to Alaska.
  40. I do not carry a purse. I haven’t since 1994.
  41. We have a clock in every room, including the bathroom. Do you guys, too?
  42. We use 24 hour time on our digital clocks. 
  43. I do not like bananas.
  44. I love donuts, but don’t eat them because I can’t stop. 
  45. I like to crochet, knit, and cross stitch.
  46. I do not smoke crack.
  47. I watch MeTv with my husband almost every night after he gets home from work.
  48. I like sparkly stuff.
  49. I have the ashes of my last two kitties on my coffee table.
  50. I think this was a fun post for me. Thanks Mer!

Home

My husband and I finally got my father’s house totally cleaned out this weekend. My dad died in May last year and the final thing to do for the estate is to sell his house.  We (my brothers and I) needed to empty it out first. I’ve slowly been cleaning it out. Piece by piece. Giving different things away, keeping things for myself, throwing other things away. The things in the house were all fairly new. He had the whole inside of the house redone in 2007, so memories cleaning out the inside of the house were only a few years old. The outside of the house has been a different thing.

Nothing on the outside of the house has changed in the 50 years my parents and then my father lived in the house other than getting siding put on in the 70s.  Nothing had been changed but nothing had been maintained either. The grass was cut by my father growing up and then a company when he was too sick to do it anymore, but other than that, nothing was done. Bushes were overgrown, weeds were everywhere, piles of wood and rotted wood were all around the small property.

That has all been cleaned up. The house looks just like it did when we were kids. All three of my brothers have been there at different times to pick things up or to do some work on the yard. Each of them reminisces about different times growing up. I hear the stories, I see the house, I start to feel sad that it will soon be sold.

But I remember that my brothers and I are lucky. We all grew up together in the same house. We never had to move as kids. Never had to switch schools. My parents continued to live there after we all moved out so when we came home we really felt like we were HOME. I moved around the block from my parents in 1996 and was lucky enough to be with my mother a lot during her last year of life. My father lived there until last year when he died. We are lucky to have those 50 years of memories, not all good, but many happy ones also, to reminisce and laugh about with my brothers.

So I am starting to get used to the idea of someone else living there. I still live around the block and pass the house quite often.

I hope whoever buys it, enjoys it. It’s just a small house with a little fenced yard. It was much more to us. It was home.

My childhood home, looking much as it did when my parents bought it in 1964.
My childhood home, looking in 2014 much as it did when my parents bought it in 1964.

 

 

My favorite childhood toy

Bacon, over at PigLove, had a suggestion to write our Blogs, today, 30 June 2014 (My son’s 32nd birthday, by the way), about our favorite childhood toy. It’s all for Bacon’s Show & Tell.

The first toy that came to mind was my pogo stick. I got this in the year of purple, sixth grade, so I must have been about 11 or 12. I call it the year of purple because that Christmas my parents somehow got the idea that I REALLY like purple. They kindly bought me a purple parka, purple turtle neck, purple corduroys, and purple glittery sox. This was 1974 or 75. I didn’t like purple. In addition to all the purple clothing, I got a purple pogo stick. I might not have liked purple, but I sure did love that pogo stick!

That winter was not a very snowy one from what I recall. I put on all my new purple gear and went out to try out the REAL gift! I pogoed up and down the street and was even nice enough to let my brothers try a go.

I don’t have that pogo stick anymore. I kept it all year and the next and then I was a teenager and on to my new hobby of collecting anything Beatles and I didn’t seem as interested in my pogo.

It sure was fun that year of purple though.
purplepogo

Home

I live in Greater Cleveland, Ohio. I grew up in the same suburb where I live now. I like where I live okay. The suburb has changed somewhat, though. For me, it’s going to change again soon.

I live in a college town. Not a big place, but not somewhere where everyone knows everyone else. I grew up here. I now live around a small block from where I grew up. I can almost throw a stone from my back yard and have it land on my parents’ front lawn. Okay, the yards are not very big, so that’s not very impressive, but you get the idea.

I did live in the city of Cleveland proper for about 10 years and I really enjoyed it. Everyone on our block knew everyone else. People walked to the store and sat on the steps. Our kids went outside to play at other kids’ houses since all the parents knew each other. If a child misbehaved you can bet the parents would be calling your parents and there would be a punishment. You never heard “my little Johnny wouldn’t do that!” We all knew each other’s children too well. Our children went to school together and families attended mass together (there was a Catholic school across the street, where most of the neighborhood kids attended). It was very much like my experience growing up in the 1960s and 70s, but in the 1990s.

The street where I grew up had several families with children. Our next-door neighbors alone had eight children to contribute to the group of kids on the street. Most families at the time had three or four kids. We had a large, great group of kids to play all kinds of games.

Of course, as you grow up, things and neighborhoods change. We kids grew up and moved away. Many of our parents stayed in our childhood homes and when we came home we still knew all the neighbors. Slowly, the older residents passed away and their houses were sold. A few parents moved to Florida to retire, but five of the core parents still live there. Our next-door neighbors’ parents lived for many years next to my parents until both the neighbors passed away. Mrs. Smith (now Myers), Mrs. Gortz, Fran and Ray (I forget their last names), Sharon, Kenny and my father were all still on the street.

My father passed away last year and my parents’ house is about to be put on the market. Last weekend I sold my father’s motorhome. We as a family, my parents after retirement and my father after my mother passed away have always owned a motorhome. Seeing his house now without one in the drive way is a shock to me. I then realize that soon the house will be owned by another family. My family has lived there for 50 years exactly. My friend Connie’s mother will now be the longest resident of the neighborhood. I will pass the house often once the new people move in.

It is very emotional. I moved so close to my parents to be near my mother, who watched my children and with whom I spoke every day. There are some darker reasons I’d rather not go into here, but I wanted to be near my mother. A month after I moved in my mother found out she had cancer and she died within ten months. So, that was a difficult change. Now the house will be totally out of the family and I am having a hard time some days with that.

All neighborhoods change and grow. I hope that a young family buys the house and enjoys living there as much as our family did. Unfortunately, I don’t think they will have quite as much fun. There aren’t as many children there now, kids don’t play outside as much.

I am getting old. I’m starting to sound like those stereotypical old people: “Why, in my day….”

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Helter Skelter

Merry posted a contest with a Beatles theme. She is asking readers to pick from a list of Beatles songs (all Paul songs, I notice) and write or draw a post based on that song. Well, Merry is my Beatles Buddy and this was hard to pass up.

I considered the songs listed and vacillated between Maxwell’s Silver Hammer and Helter Skelter. MSH would be easier I thought….but then I do love Helter Skelter and that song, in a twisted way, helped introduce me to the Beatles.

I was about 13 years old, I believe when I started liking the Beatles. My friend and I had listened to Ringo’s solo albums for a couple of years before this (my friend’s aunt’s records). I had listened to my aunt’s Beatles albums when I stayed with my grandparents once. But we were just casual about them. Oh the band Ringo used to be in.

This was all in 1976 when, as I said, I was 13. A friend and I were voracious readers. We both had seen the made for tv movie “Helter Skelter” that year and decided to read the book. We read all about the Manson family’s twisted interpretations of the Beatles songs. Helter Skelter in particular seemed sinister after reading what the song represented to the Manson Family. (I could go on forever about the whole Manson family thing, but that’s a whole post) We had to hear more of this song and these Beatles.

We must have borrowed the record album from the library because her aunt liked the mop topped early Beatles and although my aunt had this album I did not have access to it. Anyway, we fell in love with the Beatles and became lifelong fans. It didn’t hurt that there was a second smaller wave of Beatlemania that year as rumors swirled that the Bealtes might get back together for this or that charity or show. They had only broken up six years earlier.

Years later, I met another life-long Beatles fan, Miss Merry. We became fast friends bonding over the Beatles those first few months. We now attend Beatles related shows and got to see Paul McCartney live in concert together! He played Helter Skelter that night, too.

This summer we are going to see Ringo Starr and his All-Star Band. We can’t wait!

The song was written by Paul McCartney. It is one of Paul’s most rocking Beatles tunes. He puts loud almost heavy metal guitar in this song with a driving vocal, almost screaming, “Helter Skelter, we’re comin’ down fast!”

Paul has said that Helter Skelter is an amusement park ride in England and also means topsy turvy.

The song certainly takes you for a ride. From beginning to end this song rocks out. It also has one of the first fake fade out endings in rock. Give it a listen and take a wild ride courtesy of Sir Paul McCartney.

Helter Skelter