Wednesday, March 21, 2018



f.t.l. = failure to listen

blab, blab blab, blab
or the Stienfield version…..
yada, yada, yada, yada

Those words come about 8 words into a conversation. Sometimes between husband and wife.  Sometimes between child and parent.

Raised voice does not break this barrier. The only thing that seems to bring one to the here and now of this barrier, is a question.  What do you think? How do you feel about that? Do you agree?  Which is a signal, with the deer in the headlight look.

Do you say yes and worry about what you just agreed to? Do you say… maybe to save face…  “I don’t know?”  Which might get you in trouble with: “what do mean you don’t know, I just spent 20 minutes explaining it to you!!  Or you can use my line.. when I get caught spacing.. “Good point, I will have to give that more thought.”

We all are guilt of f.t.l.  Some are so busy thinking of what we are going to say in the answer.. we space their words. Especially if the person is so long winded that you can not add words in edgewise.. 

Some find the conversation is so boring they are like the kid looking out the school house window.

Listening is a fine art, that is getting lost. Not only in the above occasion but even more so now.

With everyone so angered at others of the different point of view, especially political. No one listens anymore. They are too busy shouting over the other person. Maybe , just maybe if each would listen to the other, they might …just might….find a common ground.

So think about it next time.. you are in a conversation..  f.t.l….FAILING TO LISTEN.  You have to have your mouth shut and pay attention…. To listen well.

Reminds me of a sign my daughter in law has in her kitchen….


Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Lot's wife

Lot’s wife

Genesis 19:26 King James VersionLot’s wife, alone of the four fugitives, disobeyed the angel’s warning and looked back at the destruction of the doomed city. As a result, she “became a pillar of salt”

I am beginning to feel like Lot’s wife..  scared to look back…  The difference would be she looked back at a sinful town… that was about to be destroyed.

Where as I am looking back at once was.  Where people ..  at least most of them.. were kind to each other.  Were concerned about others health.. and welfare (not the system, but of health) …   Where woman didn’t HAVE to work to keep a household going.  Where things were not fake.  Be it the news or otherwise.   Where children were safe in schools, and people were safe in churches.

I am not saying there were not bad people.. after all .. way back we had Al Capone and the rest of those type. We had bank robbers and murders… But it was hardly a person who knew such people.  And everyone was busy just trying to make a living and have some joy in life.

So as I look back, will I turn into a statue of salt?

And looking forward doesn't look everything that I held dear, to be true...... is no longer true... 

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

There was a brave little girl

There was a brave little girl
Just imagine being 6 years old and people hate you..  They are yelling at you. Threatening you.  All of the adults.
Yet you hold your head high, and walk calmly in to the building with the tall gentlemen who are there to make sure no one harms you.   It is 1960… and you are black. And these adults are all white.
There is suppose to be 6 of you. But two stayed home.. and 3 others went to another school.  You are the only one who remained.

Thru the threats of poisoning you, a home made casket with a black doll in it is pushed by you… yet you remain strang.  You go to school for a year, in a room with you the only student, with a white teachers.  There are other white children who join the school after you go for two days.. Other white adults who decide to be in the building with you.  

Your family is told.. they can not longer buy groceries at the store they have been for years. Your father loses his job. There are threats against your family.  Yet there are others who stand up for you and your family. They find your father another job.  And in time a year … life calms down and others calm down… and life goes one..

One such child was Ruby Bridge. No not Ruby Ridge..  BRIDGE.. Ruby Bridge. The first black child to go to a white school in New Orleans, Lousiana. 
At first she thought it was Mardi Gras time. With the crowd, after all Mardi Gras has loud adults… but then coming closer .. she could their the words..

And what does this little child do?  She prayers for them.  Her teacher saw what appeared to be Ruby talking to the crowd, but when she asked Ruby about it.. she said she prays for the adults .. each morning and each evening..   and what is that prayers?

Please God, try to forgive these crackers. Because even if they say those bad things, They don't know what they're doing. So You could forgive them, Just like You did those folks a long time ago When they said terrible things about You.

From the mouth of babes… she is in her 50’s now.. but the story as I read it.. made me wonder.. why don’t we adults have as much compassion for our fellow man..  If only… if only … we could and would

Tuesday, March 13, 2018


Why do we hate children?

Ok, you read the heading.. but this is not all people… nor all children… but enough that it doesn’t say much for the human race….

There are children who are going to walk out of their classrooms this week…because they are tired of being targets of adults..(those 18 and older)…. School shooting after school shooting.

If memory serves me right, the first one was done by children..  two boys… one about 8 and the other about 12?  And this is so many years ago… what at least 20?  They are probably out of jail by now… WHY wasn’t something done then? Why with all the research, we do  find out how a bug lives its life… hundreds of thousands of dollars….. but our children were not worth finding out how the shootings don’t  happen again… So forward to Columbine … Sandy Hook, some smaller groups and lately… the one in Florida last month.  Isn’t it time? Isn’t it time to find a solution??  The children think so… so they are going to walk out in protest. They are tired of Congress’s  “you are in our thoughts and prayers”..  they want solutions!! They want it NOW!.  I say Bravo…to those children.. the 18 and under… of high school.. who will march for the younger ones of Sandy Hook age..  But I also want them to take it one step further… make a pak, with all your fellow students.. to talk to those who are left behind…  Left behind because they are different… they wear different clothes, dye their hair different colors, are left to eat alone at the luncheon table.. or in the yard outside… Talk to them.. listen to them.. find out what their life is like.. Yes, it is different from what yours is.. raised different than yours.. but doesn’t make them any less valuable.  Maybe, just maybe if you listen and understand them, you will find out, while they are different .. they have a lot to share with you..  And will no longer be the FREAK KID… you thought..  If FREAK KID means different.. maybe YOU ARE the FREAK KID to them.  Some school district put these kids in a difference school, called alternative school…  and you know, they excel at those schools because they don’t have to be tormented or bullied by the so call Normal kids.
Is this going to stop things.. NO.. but it is a start.. because maybe.. just maybe when that person is an adult, he or she will understand.. everyone is important..

Then there are the adults who have a short attention span with children… small children.. who seem to feel throwing, slapping, slugging small children will change the situation that the adult can’t handle.  A crying child.. is hurting already…hungry, wet, pain… before the adult loses patience.  Some are the parents.. and some are boyfriends.  Why single women think a young male is suited to take care of a small child is beyond me.. And there sure is enough articles in the papers… to back this up to the contrary.   Surely young mom, you can’t think that YOUR boyfriend would NEVER do this.. Are you really willing to take the chance of losing your child to shaking, punching, slapping, throwing them like they are a doll?

Then we can take the foreign countries to task.. One such PRESIDENT who oks bombing with gas bomb where there is not only hospitals but a lot of SMALL CHILDREN.. HE KNOWS THEY ARE THERE.. AND DOESN’T CARE.. because if he did…knowing the children are there, he would find another way….  Why does he fear children so much? 

Africa adults, not only kills the young, but also kidnap the boys, and drug them to become their warriors, so they … the adults don’t get killed.

Why does the world… in our times.. hate children…
To those who hold their children dear… who weather the crying, fit throwing.. wailing of a sick child, and hangs it there .. because they love their child, they value that child’s life… each and everyone of them.. You are the ones who hold out hope by the rest of us. Thos of us who hope and pray, common sense, love will prevail… and hopefully some day.. will live in a world where everyone does.
And to the Step parents who treat their step children with the love they do with their own.
To the grandparent who steps up to the plate, for their child… by taking in the grandchildren, and giving them a loving home..  BRAVO… 

Wednesday, March 07, 2018

Growing up in the 1950's

Growing up in the 50’s

Going barefoot all summer..
Hopping and jumping the first time
On the hot tar road..

Playing with blow fish, while our parents
Purse seine on  3 rd beach in Middletown.

Clam bakes in the evening..  the whole day
Spent playing on the beach.. while the adult
Set up the fire pit and put the clams, chicken,
Corn, and sea weed over the burning rocks.
Covered with seaweed and sand until 5 at night.

Haying with the folks, in the hot sun. Going
Down to the town pump with a large canning
Jar to get cold cold water to drink.

Fishing off the rocks for striped bass.. and
Getting 6 or more.. in 3 hours time.

Going to the dump with our dad and bringing more home than we took to the dump.

Cranking forever it seem, to make ice cream in a wooden bucket with ice and a metal can in the middle… Putting strawberries in as it started to solidify  

Riding my pony, Bucky thru the tree nursery, to the canel.. and laying on his back watching clouds form while he ate grass…

These are the memories of a good childhood.
Spacing out the not good memories.

Tuesday, March 06, 2018

I lived on an island….

I lived on an island….

Not a Gillian like Island.. but an island never the less.   Even the state I was raised in.. has Island in the name..  It is the smallest state, with the largest or longest name.. State of  Rhode Island and Providence Plantations… Providence being the state capital …which is the main land connected to other states.  

But I was raised on Aquickneck Island which was a combo of 3 towns… and roughly 15 miles
Long and about 7 miles wide. So one could walk across the island easy enough.  And connects to the main land by 3 different bridges along the island.

The towns were Newport, Middletown, and Portsmouth. (for those non east coast, that is pronounced like Portsmith not Ports  mouth)… with several Islands around it that belong to Newport County.
Prudence, Patience, Hope, Jamestown just for a few.  

As a kid, it was wonderful..  I was born in the hospital in Newport, but raised my whole kid life
In Middletown.  In my time.. we all went to our local schools but come high school we went to Newport. There were 3.. the Catholic boys..  DeLasalle , Catholic girls ..St. Catharine’s
And the public high school Rogers High School.
Everyone in the county went there.. at that time. Now there is 3 high schools.. each town having their own.  Going to school was a hour ride or more.. because we were the first ones on in the morning.. meaning we traveled all over the town and then headed to Newport.. And the last one off the bus for the same reason. I could walk to school faster than taking the bus. And I did it often in the Spring and Fall.

Middletown was about 3 miles long. So we could walk where ever we wanted to.  Just our parents didn’t let us, unlike it is now days. So we pretty much stayed in our own neighborhood.

It was the best of times.  We worked hard. My brother and I.. we lived on a tiny farm. Horse farm. So that meant haying for summer fun. We would go to different fields that the folks had got permission to cut the grass and bale it. Well, bale it later in years. The folks threw the hay on the back of the old one ton truck we had. And my brother and I would stomp it down. When we got old enough, we got to drive the truck very slowly.. idle .. up and down the aisle of hay, while the folks threw it on the truck. My brother and I would stomp it down before we left the field. Then Dad would drive home and we were on top.  Now days that would be child abuse as we could have fallen off.  After all Dad was going top speed of 25 mph. Once we got to the house, he would back up to the barn area.. where we would either add to the stack there.. or start a new one.. Seems it took 3 stacks to last the winter. As they would be as tall as the barn. As the folks threw the hay on the stack, we would stomp it down. When it was the proper height, they would tarp it with a canvas tarp.
At times we would climb up on the barn and run across the roof and jump on to the stacks.. which got us into big trouble, because when we came down off the stack, it seems some of the hay would come with us. Didn’t take long to learn that was not a fun way, by the time Mom got finished with us.  

Mom had a garden. Of which we seem to be a big part of that too. Digging, planting.. and of course the real fun stuff…. Weeding.. all summer long, weeding. All kinds of veggies that we didn’t like (egg plant for one) that we had hope would not grown.. which seem to grow in great bounds.

We had chickens besides the horses. The horses were shown at horse shows.  American Saddle Bred for starters and then in the 1950’s, Holy Smoke came to the barn.. from Ireland. He was a steep chase jumper, but got injured on the ship over to the USA.. so was sold at auction. Mom bought him for $100.. which was like $1000 now. And Mom showed him many years. He was grand champion jumper of New England.  Some people were jealous.. and some men came to see if they could give him a shot in the middle of the night to drug him.  Which was a shock to them to find two girls sleeping and giggling in the hay loft above.. they ran, but dropped the needle in the driveway.

The chickens produced eggs but also for fryers.
Mom would order 200 chicks. Dad had fashion a metal ring in the basement, with a heat lamp over the top of it. It had shavings in it. The chicks loved it.. Weird as the US postal service use to deliver them in a 4x4x1 foot box… They were so cute.. I still love the smell of them, when I go into a feed store these days in the spring..and they get their orders in.  When the chicks got big enough to jump out of the circle it was time to put them in the coop.  And a few weeks later it was time to kill the roosters for fryers. Dad would chop off the head… my brother would chase them down and bring them back to him.  Then dad would douse them into a boiling pot and out.. taking them in to the shed to hang them by their feet. Then Mom and I defeathered them. Which wouldn’t be too hard to start with, but the pin feathers sucked.  And Mom made sure I got ever single one of them. We usually did about 25 at a time.  Dad wouldn’t eat chicken for at least 2 weeks.

Over all life was good… now that I look back and see the difference between my childhood and the ones of my great grandchildren.. I realize what a great childhood we had. So much less stressful.  There wasn’t any peer pressure. And we were so busy doing chores and homework, we didn’t have time to get into too much trouble.  Mom and Dad were pretty strict, so we didn’t go far from home.. We didn’t have to worry about some one taking us.. well, come to think of it.. Mom and Dad threaten us with the Gypsies that could come thru town and take  kids.. when we weren’t being good. 

I sure wish I could give my childhood to my great grand children.  Even my grandchildren who are raising their kids.  It was a good life.  We didn’t have a lot.. but we didn’t know we were not well off. Dad worked for the government as a mechanic. So we had enough.. Mom managed the money. Her grocery bill was $10 a week. Even when we were teens it was like $15.  I would watch her make out her list of food to buy. She canned a lot. This was before freezers… at least for us. I think I was 15 before we got one.

The islands that were around Aquickneck was where my father was born and my grandmother. My father was born on Jamestown.  My grandmother was born on Prudence Island. My grandfather was raised on Jamestown, and he would court my grandmother during the week while she taught school in Jamestown.  Then weekends she go home to Prudence. He would row a boat over to see her on weekends during the summer. The bay was too rough other wise.
They got married in New York at the church called. The Little Church on the Corner.  

I am glad I grew up with I did.. I never would have made it now.

Wednesday, February 28, 2018


Good bye, Olympics  and hello March.. and hello March Madness…  just when the King and I thought we would be getting our channel back… it will be short lived.

We have been trying to remember to watch our game shows which were transferred to the afternoon.  And it also is in competition with another game show that the King likes.

And trying to find the news.. is it on at 4 or was that 3? Or is it at 10pm.. 

The good news is that basketball usually is shorter. I don’t remember if they have two games on each night or what.  Or is that during the day.. But we might get national news at regular time.. or not..

With all the snow we have been getting , it has been shoveling. for me.. and pushing for the King, with the 4 wheeler… of snow.. and watching there is nothing to do outside. So it is either movies or old westerns.. And trying out other channels for news.
Hopefully the snow lets up and maybe even have Spring peeking thru in a week.. maybe? Well, maybe?

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

The First Generation of Guns...

The First Generation of Guns..

I think we have what will be known as the first generation of parents to send kids to school and wonder if they will come back.  Words of regret said in a heat of anger.. JUST GET DRESS AND EAT.. Get out there before the bus gets there!!  That will ring hollow in their minds… if something does happen.

We send our sons and daughters off to war.. Grandchildren.. and expect that the worse can happen… and pray that it doesn’t.  We know it is a possibility when we are fighting a war some where.

But our children?? No, we have always thought until recently, that they were safe in school… they were safe in a church… but no longer..  We are becoming like the rest of the world … where no one is safe. And the worse of it all.. the enemy is us.. not another country.

Nowhere seems safe anymore.

And having teachers have guns?  How can we think a teacher is prepared to shoot, when the man who did have a gun at that school.. stayed outside when he heard the shots and the 17 killed?  AND HE WAS AN OFFICER..  A teacher goes to college to learn how to teach.. not to shoot another human being!

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Shine, shine that silverware

Shine, shine that silverware…

As a kid.. one of my jobs as I turn 10 was to clean
Mom’s silverware… twice a year… Once for Easter and once for Thanksgiving..  Which the last one lasted long enough for Christmas dinner.

Now that might not sound like such a big job.
But you got to understand my mother and her family.
They were big into the full fledge silverware.. Because the word silverware does not just mean forks, knife and spoons..   There is a total full fledge gambit.

There is the said silverware.. but there was also, serving spoons, forks, (setting for 12) and there were salt spoons,
And the desert spoons and forks. And the salad forks.
Oh, we aren’t done yet… there is the serving dishes holders.. It is a silver thingie with tiny legs and a top all that were sterling silver.the glass bowl sits inside of it. Oh, yeah, forgot to mention all of this is STERLING SILVER.. and it isn’t unless it says so.  And if it didn’t say so, it wasn’t own by the Kaull family.

We are still not finished here… as we have the platter that the turkey sits on, and the smaller platters, and there is the bread plate and there is the salt and pepper holders, and there is the teapot and the platter or what ever (it surely had a name of its own) that the teapot sat on.. and then there is the sugar bowl with top.. and the spoon that goes with that.. And the creamer…  I think we are finish.. at least I can’t think of anything else.  Each November around the 15th, it all came out of the closet, and put on the sink counter and the kitchen table.. stacks of it..   And when each piece was done, it was put on the dining room table.
And one does NOT wash it after you are done getting the tarnish of the year off.. and then rinse and let sit. It has to be not only dried .. each piece.. but dried well. Polished.. So not to get any spots on it.  (with the master sergeant better know as Mom, checking each piece.) This was usually a 2 day job.  Use to drive me nuts as she didn’t use all the pieces.. especially at Easter time.. but each and every piece had to be done..   As a child… I HATED THIS CHORE..   I almost said job, but job you usually get paid … but child labor doesn’t pay in the home for the family.  And this was far from the only chore that I had. So it isn’t one of those deals where one does chores to pay for room and board.

When I grew up and moved back home to be closer to the folks because of my husband’s health and for them as well, as they were getting older… I got hooked in to the November ritual. Which by the way, after I left home, the Easter cleaning was dropped. AND it seems that only a few used pieces were done for Thanksgiving.  Humm… Some how it didn’t seem so bad when I did it as an adult. It was like visiting my childhood… and I didn’t HAVE to do it.. But it was highly recommend, if you know what I mean.  And some of them were pretty dark..  as she brought out ALL of the silverware..  after all… Cis knows how to do this.. lol.. and it still takes two days.

So Monday night, brought back a lot of memories of those days..   As I had inherited (no, thank God, not the silverware, .. my brother and sister in law inherited that) … but a trophy that Mom has won in 1949 I think it says..  I have had it for ….oh, my gosh…. 27 years. I use to put half dollars in it.. and a couple years ago, I decided to put it up on the top of the cabinets in my kitchen…. And like anything else in my house.. everything over 6 foot tall seems to get forgotten.  I got it down Monday afternoon.. and GOOD GRIEF, my mother must be rolling in her ashes on the farm.
IT WAS BLACK!!! With tarnish. 

So out came the silver polish.. barely even touched it.. have some Tarnish remover.. that didn’t even faze it.
Ok.. back to the polish.. Wright polish.. been used by Mom for YEARS.. still hardly anything.. And yes, I use the most important of all removal.. that I used well over the years.. good old ELBOW GREASE…  for those who don’t know what that is.. it is where you put on your polish and rub like hell.. hard and fast and harder yet.. keep going..  Yet that didn’t faze it much either.  Ok.  Google, what can you give me..  Tomato ketchup.. nope, what a joke that was.. lemon and lime soda.. yeah, right… filled it up with that.. and again hardly anything.  Tooth paste they said.. nope… Then one I had heard of.. and I did do it with something one time..  That is boiling water, put a sheet about 2 feet long of silver foil, (can’t spell the hard to pronounce word) in it.. and then 4 tablespoons of baking soda and let soak … in a not metal pan..
That believe it or not.. actually works.. You have to be kind of fast.. as you let it soak.. for about 10 minutes, and then turn it.. back and forth.. and pour it in.. Oh, I guess I didn’t tell you.. this trophy is a pitcher.  I loved it as mom use to make Kool-Aid and put it in there when we were kids.. and with ice it would stay cold for a long time.  So that is why I asked for it.. plus it has about our horse HOLY SMOKE winning the championship of jumping. At an old stable, called Mayfair that no longer is in Middletown. A stable own by friend of my parents…Charlie Walker. The place where my mother worked in her 20s and met my father… So it has a special meaning to me.  So I was glad that my brother let me have it after the folks past away.

Any way.. at 1pm on Monday it was a black piece of silver and this is what I got it to look like after hours and lots of ELBOW GREASE.. along with the combo of baking soda, boiled water and silver foil.

Tuesday, February 20, 2018



I hate blogging about another shooting… What is there to say that has not been said before?

Disclaimer: We have guns in our house.. My husband hunts.  We have them for protection as well. While here in my little town.. we have not had home invasions…but there have been several in Spokane. Which is 75 miles from us.. Border of Spokane Valley, it is about 55. And other crimes from there has been seeping towards our town. So it is a concern.

But my thoughts are not on that, so much as I am about the fact that nothing is done..  As pointed out by many, is …. The Congress person say.. we don’t want to say anything now.. after all the families are hurting. So congress person.. WHEN is it proper time to talk about it. After all Sandy Hook was how many years ago? And all the others between.  AND YOU STILL AREN’T TALKING ABOUT IT.

What is the answer.. again, I don’t know. But there surely has to be something done… And Congress rescinding Obama’s law of mental checks for gun owning.. is not the way to do it.. My friends who also own guns.. want to protect EVERYONE’S  right to own guns.  I am sorry… BUT NOT EVERYONE SHOULD OWN A GUN.   And I know that having a law that prevents the mentally disturb, the domestic violence person.. will NOT stop it all.  But at least it would deter some.. Something is better than NOTHING.  So let’s start at something.

The NRA has fought for over 40 years, bought and paid for each of the Congress person who votes in their favor.  But surely… surely .. they can not be happy about children especially, being killed. And because they have the heads up their arses…in their rights to protect gun owners.. they are part of the problem.  NRA: If you don’t want all your guns taken away.. then DO SOMETHING.. come up with a better plan. To protect the hunters and alike.. yet keep the children and mass killings from happening anymore.
Because some day.. some day… NRA… all guns will be taken.  And that is not right for the 90% of the people who don’t kill others. Who have a good reason to own a gun..

And you know who I am maddest at?  It isn’t Congress.. but us.. you and I.. because we keep voting in these Congress people, when they refuse to do something.. Your Congress person votes to protect NRA???  Then vote them out.. Find someone who uses common sense.