Nana Remembers the Steps…

I remember well when Dad put these steps in...

I remember well when Dad put these steps in…

I remember being around 5 years old and bugging Dad to take me to the store with him at one point when he was working on these. He’d take us to the store, Mann’s Grocery and we’d get either a Nu-Grape, Pepsi, RC or a Dr. Pepper on those hot summer days. He built these so we could get in and out house easier–especially since his youngest daughter (MOI) was such a bloody clutz…  Today they will be covered–but not removed. We are having to put in a wheelchair ramp for my mother now.

Ironically, he built the steps for the same purpose this ramp is being built–to make going into and out of the house easier. My mother fell a few days ago and has broken her back in two places.  Age has ravaged her, but it has not broken her spirit. She is slowly making her way up another set of steps into the unknown–just as all of us will.  Hopefully, we’ll have her around for a while longer. I’m not ready to let her go. Thankfully she is up, alert and eating again but we were very scared at first.

And soon, these steps will be covered, hidden from sight just as my dad now is.  Yet I feel his presence in my life today.  I remember the love he had for us, not wanting to see us fall and get hurt, when he put those steps in.  The ramp being put in is also a poignant reminder that one day I will be an orphan, and the little girl in me is not ready for that right now anyway.  For now though, I am grateful that the day I dread is not here–and hopefully not for a very long time.

Nana’s Helpful Hint–and you MAY NOT NEED a PLUMBER!

Okay…Bathrooms are a pain in the ass to clean.  They are even more of a pain if you don’t live in an apartment complex with a maintenance person OR a halfway decent super…I’ve known too many people that had to wait a week for the super to show up or wait through a holiday weekend for a bloody plumber.  Before I go further, you need to know that if you use PVC piping on your plumbing neither lye nor things like Draino or Liquid Plumber are good for the lines.  DON’T USE ‘EM!  Over time, that can cause major problems especially if you live in an area like I do with hard water…Again, it’s a pain in the ass to fix! But if you’re too afraid to try what I am about to tell you, then call the plumber…It’s much safer–especially if you’re prone to making problem situations worse by trying to play Mr. or Ms. Fix It!

That being said, I am going to give you something to try FIRST.  Do NOT pick up that phone until you do unless you want to spend a minimum of $200.00 that you might not be able to afford.  There are only TWO things you need for this concoction…You need 1-30 oz. bottle of CLOROX bleach.  DO NOT USE STORE brands. The concentration of chlorine varies and this works best.  Then you need about 32-40 oz. of COKE CLASSIC. AGAIN, do not use store brands and such. If they don’t have COKE CLASSIC, Use ORIGINAL PEPSI. This is for the acid content and either one is pretty strong by itself.

CAUTION: Above all make sure the area is WELL VENTILATED.  The smell of this shit can knock the hide off of a buffalo AND/OR cause the meanest billy-goat to humble himself very quickly!
If it is a sink, try to plunge it to get rid of excess water first. If you can’t just do the best you can.  If it’s the toilet, same thing.  After you do that, pour in the soda first.  It looks freaky at first but when you add the bottle of bleach it will clear up. Wait a few minutes and it will start bubbling like mad…Once the bubbling slows down and/or stops (about 45 minutes) try putting hot water down the sink.  If it’s the toilet, flush it.  If it works, then great! I just saved you a fortune and you can thank me later.  If it only speeds up the draining (or flushing a little) then repeat it one more time.   Either way it’s worth a shot before calling the plumber. I know because I used this on my toilet tonight. BOOYAH! Have a great Sunday!

 

 

A Little Flash to the Past

Some conveniences are ones I really don’t need during certain times of the year. I prefer line-drying my clothes in the spring and summer…My grandmother did it and my clothes seem to feel cleaner and smell fresh that way.  Many days I spent at her house when she was hanging clothes out to dry and it was time I got to spend with her.  Now in the winter it’s a different story, but when I hang things out here, I think of her and those times.

I remember the Sunday dinners where “the horde” came to eat–and I’m referring to 30 + people. We’d watch football or music shows depending on what was on TV.   On Saturday Night it was usually “Hee Haw“, “The Grande Old Opry”, “The Happy Goodmans” or some other music show the grand parents watched.  My grandfather didn’t care if it was religious or if it was a Mariachi band on TV, he’d watch it anyway.  To my knowledge, he wasn’t particularly religious either.

We used to ride to Mann’s Grocery with him in the old truck.  He’d buy me a Pepsi or Dr. Pepper…One of the favorite drinks was Nu-Grape on a hot day too.  He had his own little silver flask behind the seat of the truck.  On one particular day he pulled that out and said, “This is Grandpa‘s soda water but don’t tell  your Granny I have it!”  I just kind of blew that off.  Well my brother went and told Granny about it and she came UNGLUED!  She was really mad that he drove us in the truck and drank at all.

She knew the dangers of drinking and driving, but back in those days it wasn’t uncommon for people to drink their alcohol behind the wheel.  This was around 1970 this happened. I remember it because I wasn’t in Omaha, NE yet…We went there in ”71-72.

Anyway Grandpa thought I TOLD her and yelled at me. I started to cry and Granny came out and yelled, “And she ain’t the one that told me either, Ira! It was Jamie!”  That would be my older brother.   Grandpa said he was sorry but chewed my brother out later!  Needless to say, he never drank out of the flask when we were with him after that.

I can remember the times my uncles acted up at the table too.  She raised 5 boys and a girl (my mom) and I don’t know how on Earth she handled my uncles! They were a trip!  One day I’ll share some of those stories too–but my youngest son Kevin reminds me of a combination of a couple of them…However he got my Granny’s knack for cooking!!! Thank God someone did! I certainly didn’t–and I’m not good at gardening either.  My mom and my Granny could do anything like that!