Look It is SUMMER and this SHOULD be addressed…

Why isn’t anyone in the media doing a segment on barbecue grill safety?  Did you know kids can get killed if one falls over on them?  How is one to make the backyard safe when doing these activities short of standing by the grill every second?  The reason I am asking these questions is that a few years ago in my home town, 2 kids were killed when one fell on them–and it was IN USE and the kids were just running by or something when it fell on them.

In this story, the grill was NOT in use:  http://houston.cbslocal.com/2012/04/16/texas-boy-dies-after-being-hit-with-200-pound-grill/

Would chaining these grills to a fixed object help?  Firefighters and health professionals, what would you suggest?  Feel free to comment here.

This stuff really bothers me when I read about it.  ***Special thanks to Kate Higgins for inspiring this***.  She was hurt in a grill accident, but she’s fine.  No kids were hurt in that one.

Nana and Easter…

It’s funny how at this time of year, I think of my Grannie Ainsworth a lot.  She would start cooking deserts the night before at the latest…I remember those huge tin tubs filled with dyed eggs–and believe me we needed that many eggs!  Sometimes more than 30 people who show up and we ate in shifts!  Sometimes Grannie invited neighbors in too and there was always enough food to feed a small army!

My favorite was porcupine meatballs!  Still is! When I look at my grandson right now, I wonder what he’ll remember when he’s older.  The girls will get to hunt too! I’m going to be coming back from vacation and will spend Easter Sunday at my mother’s and I’m hoping everyone shows up.

Grannie always went to church and then went right back to the kitchen! I remember those wooden pews in the Fundamental Baptist Church and those old oscillating fans–with the red blades and such.  I also remember times I sat with her on the back of the truck, eating eggs until I thought I’d explode!  I also remember when I was really small that Grandpa Ainsworth helped me get the ones out of the trees because I was too short to reach!

I also remember the Saturday prior.  We’d sit around the TV and watch all kinds of music shows.  This included Hee-Haw and a lot of Gospel music.  For those not born yet, prime time TV usually had little to pick from. It was football, baseball, music, etc…I remember black and white TV‘s as well as when we got our first color TV.  Here’s an example of what we saw too:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=endscreen&v=7tsvaAIcMnc&NR=1

But this was my particular program to keep still for!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NqbDZjC5bdE

And I always got a kick out of his lady too! She sang about topics nobody would touch!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YgylOni0JSI

I remember how Mom made dresses for me back in those days too, and I loved them. She’d buy me one for Easter, but the ones she made were pretty cool!  I never had the knack for sewing that she did or the knack for cooking she and my Grannie had. I thought it interesting that Grannie could make such perfect things and never use a measuring cup.  I never saw her with one until I was older.

Once we got through at Grannie Ainsworth’s house–we went for round 2 at Grannie O’Neill’s too!

I still remember what a #2 can is and such too. Who else does?  Better yet, who remembers those big boxes of commodity cheese or the chicken that the USDA gave out?  Now that was some good stuff! My dad made a great batch of chicken and dressing with that chicken!  Below is a pic of my Grannie and Grandpa Ainsworth…I miss them both.

Grannie and Grandpa Ainsworth

Nana Learned a Lesson on Thanksgiving…

Sometimes misunderstandings can lead to a lot of grief this time of year. I totally misunderstood something one of my boys said–well actually, I misinterpreted what he said, but let me start at the beginning.  I got off work and got home late on 11/21…Spent 2.5 hours cleaning up the kitchen that one of the boys messed up…No one EVER confesses to such messiness but I did clean it up.  About 30 minutes later one of the boys comes in and puts some food in the refrigerator which I felt was food for Thanksgiving Day.  So much for that.

I then heard one say they were spending Thanksgiving with the ex…Knowing my boys, that translates into they are cooking T-Day dinner at MY HOUSE.  I had to be at work at 2 p.m. and nothing was done by 11. In fact, nothing was cooked.  Nobody wanted to get up to go to our local truck stop, which had turkey dinner and all the trimmings either…I went alone.  I worked my fanny off thinking my ex was in my house enjoying the day, with me not getting anything.

I came into the house and found out that the ex never showed up and nothing was ever cooked.  The boys decided to can the idea. The part I misunderstood was the part about the ex eating with them in MY HOUSE.  THAT complicates things since the man tends to go through all the food in the house if I am not there–OR he leaves some of  his stuff there which irritates the hell out of  me and I’ve told him NOT to do that.

Anyway, while I was feeling sorry for myself at work, a man who had come to my defense once thinking someone was disrespecting me as a lady entered the store. I wasn’t being disrespected, so that was cleared up quickly.  He didn’t understand what Thanksgiving was about and hadn’t eaten in a day.  He said, “America sucks!”  I knew something was up so I followed him outside and asked him what was going on.  He didn’t know how to get to the Salvation Army so that he could eat a hot meal, and I didn’t know how to get there from where I was, but I remembered how he tried to “stand up for me” when he thought I was being yelled at.

I knew he wasn’t acting normally because he is usually very friendly.  I asked him what happened and he told me.  To make a long story short, this man is from Australia and he’s writing a book–traveling on foot across the U.S.  I explained to him what Thanksgiving means to various cultures  and that those who judge one another in an  unkind way have not learned that many people in this country have not learned that we all bleed red yet.  He felt a little better after that and my co-worker and I bought him something to eat.  It was the least that we could do.  Isn’t this what Thanksgiving is about? Sharing?

He smiled before leaving and was telling another man, “Now I know what Thanksgiving is!,” then he turned to us and said, “Thank you for giving me something to be Thankful for!”

Then it made the pain of the misunderstanding go away, and that got resolved later.

The moral of this is that things are never as they seem and someone ALWAYS has it worse off than you do…It is my fervent hope that the injustices to the homeless in the area gets taken care of soon.   As I said in an earlier post, winter is coming.  Too many people in Midland, TX have lost their homes (even though they make a decent salary)  due to the price-gouging on the rent and the hotel fees there.  Somewhere along the way some of these people who run the hotels, apartments and rent houses have lost sight of the fact that the boom will one day bust  They had better hope that Midland has a  kinder spirit toward them should they ever fall upon hard times.

 

Missing Grannie…Especially at Easter…

Well, the family is all mixed up about tearing down my grandmother’s house.  I think it can be lived in, but nobody seems to want to take the time to give it some TLC.  I was quick to remind my son, who in his youthful haste said that it does need to be torn down, that it is hard to fathom that when so many little feet trotted across the white and gold linoleum floor of her living room over the decades–including mine and his.

My Grannie made us all go to church with her.  I didn’t like that stand, sit, stand, pray, sit, stand ritual–especially with long songs between stages.  The preaching did not bother me though.  The preacher we had would weave stories that kept us thinking and reflecting.  We did not get bored and fall asleep with him.  Grannie told stories about her youth also.  My sons were blessed to hear some of her stories also.  She told us all many stories of her childhood–and it is my youngest son, Kevin, who seems to have the memory of an elephant because he retells them once in a while–as does Brian and Eric.  Now my mother is sharing hers with us–along with Grannie’s so I guess you can say we have a rich oral history being handed down.

I can remember times when over 30 people would show up for Easter Sunday Dinner.  The smell of chocolate pies and her porcupine meatballs seemed to be luring the horde of relatives in from places unknown on that day of the year.  She served different types of food, and would often have worked on the meal since pre-dawn.  She would have a huge pan of meatballs, and later would have an even bigger pan of chicken and dressing.  I loved potato salad and deviled eggs…There was always homemade macaroni and cheese–until Kraft came out with a good, convenient alternative.  As usual, I could help get things and lick the bowl and/or the spoon!

Once the horde arrived, the adults ate in the dining room (in shifts–taking turns) while the kids were in the living room.  Grannie would often wait on everyone until the last person ate, and then she would sit down with her red, white and blue goblet full of iced tea and a plate.  Once she did that, everyone helped themselves, unless one of my aunts decided to do that to  keep traffic down in her tiny kitchen.

I remember when she painted the floor of the kitchen.  It is dark green with yellow.  Looking at it now, it is so hard to fathom how so many people could get through it to get to the dining room because it is tiny.   I remember sleeping through many a Texas thunderstorm on her bed.  The sound of the rain on the tin roof made it so relaxing to me.  There are times I wish that I could go back to those days–especially when my Grandpa Ainsworth was still among us.

Often I couldn’t reach the eggs hidden in trees higher than I could reach so he would lift me up to get them.  We would sit by the truck and eat a couple of eggs before the hunt was over and headed back to the house.   By four o’clock, people were eating again–if  not still napping!   All of us (the kids) rode in the back of the pickup truck.  There were no laws against it then, and depending on how the driver is behaving, you will not find a lot of policemen in that area saying much about it now because that might be the only vehicle a family of six owns in many places.  It is their sole mode of transportation and their work-truck 9 times out of 10.

Sometimes we’d stop at Mann’s Grocery to get a soda.  Then we’d get turned loose out in the yard, and sometimes we’d make ourselves sick eating so many mulberries or green plums off of the trees from my other grandmother’s house across the street.  Yes, some of the kids liked the green plums.  Not me…Now the grapes were another story.  I would really chow down on those–and ruin my supper every time, but Grannie didn’t say much because it was fruit and not the candy bars…Besides, after running off all that energy, we’d eat again in about an hour anyway.  My oldest brother would have dinner at Grannie’s–and then go across the street to my other grandmother’s house and eat again! Where the heck he put all that is beyond me to this day!

I found some pictures of myself from when I was little that I will share one day when I can scan them.  I was wearing dresses my mother and Grannie had made for me for school.   I often wonder what happened to that little girl in those pictures.  I also wonder if there are porcupine meatballs in Heaven…If there are, I’ll beat my brothers to her door when I get there~!

I miss her right now and no one will ever be able to fill her shoes or the void that her being gone has left in my life.  I cherish those memories.  Make sure you keep record of those for your families too–whatever your faith may be or whatever special days you have together.  You only have them once.  I hope you all had a blessed day and will have many more to follow.