Auntie Ann

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This is a recycled post, originally from June of 2006.  Once again, my glads are blooming, and I thought I’d repost this one in memory of  Auntie Ann.

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My gladioluses are blooming in the back yard by the door. Whenever I see “glads”, I think of Auntie Ann. She was my only “Auntie” … all the others (and there are many) are “Aunt”.

Auntie Ann was my godmother. To me, she was always old … she was my grandmother’s best friend for more than 80 years, but no blood relation to me. She had no grandchildren (her only child being a bachelor), but she had many, many godchildren, and she loved us all.pinwheel.jpg

Auntie Ann always had time to play. Her husband, my Uncle Bill, was a housepainter and wallpaperer, and she and I used to spend hours on end going through his old and outdated wallpaper sample books, making pinwheels and cutting out pictures of flowers or cowboys and gluing them onto paper to make “mosaics”.

Auntie Ann could sew anything. She made me dresses all the years I was growing up; I still remember one in particular. It was made from “dotted swiss” fabric, white with little tiny raised red polka-dots. It had puffy sleeves and a full skirt, and a bright red sash belt that tied in a big bow in the back. I was about 7 years old when she made it, and I wore it until it was so short that my teacher wouldn’t let me wear it to school any more. I loved that dress. My Barbie Doll had one just like it that Auntie Ann made from the leftover fabric.

On Thursdays my grandmother, my mother, and Auntie Ann would get together at one another’s house (they took turns). They would have lunch, and “do” each other’s hair. Sometimes it was just a wash and set, other times it was perms or color, but it was ritual — every Thursday, except on Thanksgiving or if Christmas fell on Thursday, and then they would do it on Wednesday or Friday. When I was very little, before I started school, I would be included in the day. Grandma always made me rice pudding when it was her week, and Auntie Ann always had blueberries to put in the fruit salad. When Grandpa retired and he and Grandma moved to Florida, Auntie Ann would always make sure to have blueberries AND rice pudding if I was coming to visit. She never forgot. I think of Auntie Ann whenever I eat blueberries, too. They’re still one of my favorites.

Auntie Ann’s birthday was the day before mine, so we always celebrated together. On my fourth birthday, Auntie Ann and Uncle Bill gave me a card with a clockface on it that said something to the effect of “It’s Time for Your Birthday!”. The hands on the clock moved, and Uncle Bill sat me on his lap in his recliner and taught me how to tell time with that card. Then he walked with me to the corner drugstore and bought me a watch for my birthday, he said “because any four-year-old that can tell time ought to have her own watch”. I had that watch until I was 16, when I left it by the pool at a hotel in Jacksonville, FL on the way to visit my grandparents in St. Petersburg. By the time I realized I’d left it, we were back on the road and about 2 hours away. I was heartbroken.

blueglass.jpgAuntie Ann collected stamps and coins. She tried very hard to help me develop an interest, but I just wasn’t into it. All her coins and stamps were stored in this magical closet in her dining room. I call it magical, because it’s where she stored her games, and the little blue china tea set that I was allowed to play with when I visited. It was real glass, and I was allowed to have my sandwich on the blue plate, and drink my “tea” (mostly milk) from the blue cups. I still have one of the cups, on a display shelf in my kitchen. My ex-husband threw the rest of the set away as “junk” many years ago … I don’t think I’ve ever forgiven him for that.triominoes.jpg

Also in the magical closet there was a game called “Tri-Ominios”. Auntie Ann was the only person I ever knew who had a Tri-Ominos game. We would play almost every time I went to visit. We also played checkers, dominoes, and Parcheesi. Like I said, Auntie Ann always had time to play.

Oh yeah, the gladioluses. To the best of my knowledge, Auntie Ann never had a job outside the home. But she and Uncle Bill owned a couple acres of land in the next town, and they planted it all in gladioluses. They spent weeks on end every year lifting and separating the bulbs, and replanting them. They sold the flowers to florists and funeral homes. And always there were glads in her house.

gladfarm.jpgAuntie Ann died in her sleep in 1982. She was 93. Uncle Bill did likewise a week later. He was 97. She got to hold my son when he was a baby; my daughter wasn’t born until 1984. I miss them both, but my memories of them will live on forever.

Perfect Album Side

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A local classic rock station here in Raleigh (WRVA 100.7 “The River”) is advertising a promotion called “What’s Your Perfect Album Side?”.  Listeners are being asked to make up a list of 6 – 8 songs (classic rock format) that would be on their perfect album.  Random submitters are being asked to come to the studio and deejay a 30 minute spot around their songs, to be played in the early-Sunday-morning time slot.

I have no desire whatsoever to play deejay.  But it did get me thinking about my “Perfect Album Side”.  Look below to see what I’ve come up with:

To start off, let’s set the mood at mellow with Rob Thomas and Carlos Santana doing Smooth:

Since we’re on the “smooth” track, we can follow that with Alannah Myles‘s tribute to Elvis Presley, Black Velvet.

A tribute to The King needs to be followed up with the man himself.  Here he is doing my favorite Elvis Presley tune ever: Can’t Help Falling in Love.

Rocketing forward in time, and back to my home state of New Jersey, I get goosebumps whenever I hear The Boss (that’s Bruce Springsteen to my non-Jersey readers) sing I’m On Fire.

Staying in the same era, we have Journey singing their silky classic, Lovin’, Touchin’, Squeezin.

After listening to that, I believe that Steve Perry from Journey would agree with Billy Preston: Ain’t No Sunshine (When She’s Gone).

Finally, an acknowledgment that these are the songs of my youth, which is long-since past (thank heaven!).  Bob Seeger & the Silver Bullet Band said it best, with Like a Rock.

Well, there it is.  My “perfect album side”  Since all these songs fit the description, let’s take the title from the first cut, and call it SMOOTH.

A call to all you bloggers out there – what would be on your perfect album?  Blog it, and let me know!  For my readers who don’t blog (there are a couple), put yours in the comments.

Just a Few Thoughts

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A thought from Mostly Cajun’s best friend Chrissy:

“A taxpayer voting for Obama is like a chicken voting for Colonel Sanders”.

What more is there to say?

I bought Dick Morris’ new book, Fleeced, yesterday.  I’m only on the second chapter, but let me tell you, it’s scary stuff.  Admittedly, I’m not a great fan of John McCain; however, there is very little I can think of that would be worse for this country than an Obama presidency.  This book crystallizes all the reasons that we cannot allow Obama to win in November, not the least of which is posted today at The Other Side of Kim:

…if you’re stupid enough to stay home as a protest or vote for Bob Barr, helping Obama get elected, you deserve to live in North Korea.”

Judge Stevens is 88, Ginsburg is 75, Kennedy is 72, Scalia is 72 and Breyer is 70.

MoK at Six Degrees of Blondness, regarding recent Supreme Court decisions, in particular the one granting rights to Gitmo detainees:

I think future generations will look back at this generation and wonder what the hell we were smoking: coddling illegal immigrants, refusing to use our energy options, giving citizens’ rights to terrorists, falling for the global warming hoax, all the craziness. I’m sure they’ll think there was some hallucinogenic poison in our water, to make us act so obviously against our own best interests. They’ll be mystified why we didn’t rise up and get rid of the dopes in Washington who are doing this to us.
After all, we’d only have to tar and feather fewer than 600 lawyers (Congress, the Supremes, the Prez) to take our country back. We could do it in a night if we had the guts. But we don’t.

Ahhh, nothing like leaving our legacy for future generations to clean up.

Statistics

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I am constantly amazed by the traffic I get here. I average about 200 hits a day (a little less on the weekends). Some days, I get as many as 280 hits. I want to thank all my regulars for their contribution to my hit count. When I check my sitemeter, I get a picture of where my visitors come from, and which posts are attracting the most traffic.

I don’t get it. This is not an “international” forum. Most of what I discuss would be meaningless to anyone outside of the US, or at least, North America. Some of it is just meaningless, period. But as you can see, 40% of my traffic is from outside the U.S., and 31% from overseas.

As if the breakdown by country wasn’t odd enough, check out the top 5 favorite posts, according to SiteMeter:

26% http://morningglory2.wordpress…ies-and-the-men-who-love-them/
14% http://morningglory2.wordpress…unday-top-ten-list-sandwiches/
12% http://morningglory2.wordpress…2007/02/04/favorite-toys-meme/
12% http://morningglory2.wordpress…the-good-the-bad-and-the-ugly/
5% http://morningglory2.wordpress…05/07/greensberg-tornado-pics/

And according to WordPress:

Top Posts (of all time)

For the ladies, and the men who love them, 9,337 views

Favorite Toys Meme, 6,433 views

‘Perfect Major’ Quiz, 1,875 views

Top Searches (of all time)

lipstick, sandwiches, map of new jersey

Most Active (unsure of the timeframe here)

For the ladies, and the men who love them, 237 views

Favorite Toys Meme, 143 views

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly, 112 views

For whatever reason, the post about lead in lipstick is the number one, top ranking post of all time (well, of the 3+ years I’ve been blogging). There have been over nine thousand hits on that post since I put it up on October 30 of last year, 7-1/2 months ago. Why?

The lipstick post is followed by one about my favorite sandwiches, one on toy nostalgia, and one on little-known facts about New Jersey. Huh? The Greensburg, KS tornado pictures get a good number of hits, even though it’s been more than a year since the storms, and the ‘Perfect Major” quiz has been popular since I put it up, getting at least one hit every day.

I just don’t get it.

DST Reminder

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daylight-savings-time.jpgJust a reminder that Daylight Saving Time ends late this year; the clocks won’t change back to Standard Time until the first Sunday in November. Check out this post if you want a reminder of why they’re messing with a system that was already confusing at best because of the spotty participation both nationally and globally.

Does Iraq observe Daylight Saving Time? If so, when the clocks change my daughter will still be 8 hours ahead of me. If not, she’ll be 9 hours ahead of me. Or will it be 7 hours? I’m so confused. I think it’s nine. We fall back. So if it’s midnight here, it’s 8 AM there. When the clocks change here and not there, it will be 11 PM here but still be 8 AM there. That’s 9 hours. I think. But only if they don’t observe DST there. And I’m not sure if they do or not.

UPDATE: According to the map, Iraq does NOT observe DST. So the time difference between NC and Baghdad will jump to 9 hours after the clocks change. Right?

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Thought For Today

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warning.jpgThe problem with America is stupidity. I’m not saying there should be a capital punishment for stupidity, but why don’t we just take the safety labels off of everything and let the problem solve itself?

TGIF?

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tgif.jpgI’ve recently started doing a large share of the bookkeeping where I work. Years ago, I was a full-time bookkeeper (I love that word – 3 sets of double letters right in a row – but, I digress). Now, it’s a half-time thing, since we’re such a small company.

Anyway, one of the things I’m doing now is paying the company’s bills. This requires me to print checks.

The trickiest part of printing checks is remembering how to load the check forms into the printer. To assist me with this difficult task, I printed a file folder label and stuck it on the front of the printer. It says:

 

LOAD CHECKS FACE DOWN

TGIF

HIGHEST NUMBER ON TOP

 

This is because the printer actually turns the paper over before it starts printing, and it prints the last check first and the first check last, so that when they stack face-up on the collection tray, the first check will be the one on top. But folks have questioned the “TGIF” part of my reminder.

Thank God It’s Friday? What does that have to do with anything? Do you not print checks on any day but Friday?

Actually, TGIF stands for “Top Goes In First”. Otherwise, the checks will print upside-down.

Now you know.

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