Sunday, March 28, 2010

Gert - the tomboy

So, talking about the blog yesterday triggered the fact that I really haven't recorded a whole lot of her memories - the blog has become more daily life. Figured it was time to get the story from her point of view.

One of my favorite stories that she tells is from when she was 10-12 years old. There was a garage by her house in St. Joe which had a flat roof, flanked on one side by a nice telephone pole with foot holds. Mom, being a bit of a tomboy back in the day, climbed up the telephone pole and was sitting on the tall roof when her Mother spied her. Now, Bubie was so mild mannered and easy-going that this must have almost put her away for good. But, she kept her calm, came out to stand under where Mom was, looked up and said, quite pleasantly:

'Daugher! How did you get up there?'
Mom replied 'I climbed up here.'
Bubie played her cards right, kept her calm and said with a tone of awe, 'Show me how you did that...'.
So, Mom climbs on down (she's laughing here as she tells me this story again). When Mom got back to the ground, Bubie swatted her and said 'Now, don't ever do that again!' And Mom never did.

Friday, March 26, 2010

More on the Bubie and Zaidie saga...

Well, lookie here! Another one (thanks Brad!). We're zeroing in on dates now. So, here's a rundown of who's who in the photo (l to r):

Aunt Ruby, Bubie, Uncle Herman, Zaidie, Aunt Rose, Uncle Al, and Mom.

Mom says she was 16 at time which would put Bubie right at 48! I find that amazing! Bubie is 4 years younger than I am right now in this photo - and she still looks like the perfect Bubie! Quite the handsome family.

Bubie and Zaidie made it just short of their 65th anniversary when Bubie died. My parents made it just shy of their 66th anniversary when my Dad died. The world goes round.

Mom's parents - Minnie and Sam Jorban

Was cleaning up my Yahoo mail (over 2000 emails - good grief!) and found, buried under the 'Js', this fabulous picture - thanks to cousin Brad Jorban - Brad, forever the funny man titled the email 'I know what you're thinking. Is it Minnie and Sam or Angelina and Brad? Funny funny dude.

Mom and I have spent a good hour trying to figure out when it was taken. We though originally that it would have been at their 50th anniversary but then we dismissed the thought. Whenever it was taken, we both find it gorgeous. Mom said she remembers the dress as being a black, silk outfit with that sweater shaw that went just around the shoulders - quite a fashionable number back then. Bubie looks to be around 60 or so to me. Mom looked at it and, the first thing she said was 'look how young she is.' Of course, pretty much everyone is young when one is 93 (or 52....).

Bubie and Zaidie had the best grandparent's house in the world. It was a brick house in St. Joe, Mo on Sylvanie street (1216 Sylvanie Street, to be exact). Around the corner was the St. Joe Museum where we children spent many hours during our summer visits. It was also within easy earshot of the railroad, and, unfortunately, within 'noseshot' of the cattle feeding stations...smelly...

I remember one time when we were visiting, it was a hot, steamy night and the wind was blowing the stench from the cattle fields right past the screened in porch where I was trying to sleep. Ugh. I must have been 9 or 10, no older. I know it was an endless night and I was miserable. Dad came out at some point and found me awake and shaking in anger at the timed trains which were disturbing the small amount of sleep I could grab - I credit this house for the start of my lifelong insomnia. Anyway, Dad came out because the trains and heat were getting to him too. He decided we should take a ride, just the two of us. We went to the White Castle where we had pie and milk for me, coffee for him. I think it was around 2:30 am or so and I remember that the crowd was interesting (that's what I thought pimps were back then....).

Anyway, we bought Mom some Cherry Mash candies, I think it was a full box. Yes, Dad loved Mom that much - he was always buying her favorite candies when he could get 'em. So, we finished there and were heading back home when we spotted a train. I still remember him pulling the car over at the railroad crossing, knocking me on the shoulder with a 'come on, let's get out.' I got out with him, he looked at me, laughed, and shook his fist at the train; must have been before the finger was invented.... I laughed and did the same. Somehow, that little action, and the bonding of that moment, stayed with us both. Dad remembered the story as much as I did. In that small moment, a great memory was born.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

On Malapropisms

So, spent a while this morning trying to dig up the term where an incorrect word is used as a substitute for the correct word - such as 'Cinderella' vs 'Citronella.' I always thought is was a spoonerism, and, after much searching, have determined this particular issue is called a malapropism. And, it's hereditary. Here's some of mine:

For all intensive purposes - should be 'for all intents and purposes'
'I'm not talking 'bout the linen - should be 'I'm not talking 'bout movin in' (from Hall and Oates song)
I pledge allegience to the flag for Richard Stands - always wondered who Richard Stands was.

And a host of others. Those who know me well can hear these almost daily when I'm in my car, singing a song. I'm famous for it. I get that from my Daddy. Comforting to know the pear doesn't fall far from the bush.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

On Cinderella vs Camomile

Ok, so John and my Dad share a lot of good traits, and a lot of funny ones too. It constantly strikes me how similar they are in a lot of ways - probably why I totally adore John so much.

Anyway, Dad could never remember the name of citronella candles. Every year, before summer, he'd make sure I bought 'Cinderella candles' and, of course, every single year, I would just ROLL over this.

So, tonight, John comes to me and says 'We need more of those camomile candles.' Of course, I just rolled over that.

Monday, March 22, 2010

1st day of Spring; 1st day of boating!

John and I were fabulously happy on Saturday, sailing around the Chesapeake in 70 degree weather. It's been gorgeous all week around here - perfect sailing weather with light winds pushing us around for 4 hours. We fortified ourselves with our newest invention: pineapple infused-vodka and club soda (PVC for short). I've taken to infusing vodka now which is a great time, albeit, not my smartest move ever as it's quite easy to take 'just a little sip' to check the flavor. Note to self: move the vodka infuser out of sight...

The marina had a nice sock-burning party when we returned which signaled the start of the boating season (no need for socks any longer!). So, we took Rita and Matee over and mingled a bit. The ladies (and John....sigh....) drew lots of 'oohs and ahs' - Rita was particularly darling, if I do say so myself. More PVC was had....

Spent the night on the boat and got up yesterday, grabbed some breakfast and the ladies and headed over to Chesapeake Beach for a sit on the sand before heading home. The girls had a blast speeding around the sand, chasing each other. Found a few sharks teeth. Nice morning.

We've rented a house for a week in June down at Chesapeake Beach so drove past it to check location -fabulous! Mom will be coming with us (figured it was easier to bring Gert to the beach than try to get her covered for 7 days) and the house is 3 story with an elevator - waterfront balconies on all floors and a patio to boot. Bay front (50 feet from water) means lots of fishing, crabbing, and general merry making. We'll even be able to bring Namaste down for the days but there's no dock so we'll run her back to the marina every night - not a bad way to spend 30 minutes...

There's a little dive bar (just our speed) right around the corner so we expect that's where we'll be rolling for happy hour. The house is right on the boardwalk so we envision taking Mom out daily for a roll along the bay. There's even a pier where we can set her up under an umbrella for some fishing and crabbing. I believe a great time will be had by all! We're all very excited about heading on vacation together - we'll take the small girl dogs with us but, sadly, the boys will have to remain at home this time.

Friday, took Mom out over to Kentlands to get her a few things she needed. She gets out of the car, looks down with her one good eye and spies a shiny dime. Cool! Found MONEY! The funniest thing was that, just that morning, John sent over a picture of a $10 roll of quarters he found down at the marina while walking to the bathroom. So, the day netted us $10.10. Sounds like a lottery number.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Spring has sprung...

...And Gert is springing right along! We headed up to Frederick yesterday for a few hours of rolling around their River walk area. Mom and I love to look at that painted bridge up there - fascinating thing and we see something new everytime we go.

Decided to take Rita along on the journey although not sure how much enjoyment she got out of it. She's very timid around strange men and Frederick is full of them (really strange men...) so she spent a lot of time in Mom's lap. Both ladies got ice cream treats; Butter Pecan for Mom and a doggy sundae for Miss Rita (complete with 2 bones, hold the whipped cream please).

Rolled through an antique store where Mom told me the history of most of the items (see sorta has first person knowledge..). Saw a bunch of stuff we used to own up there. Spent a lot of time saying 'gee, I wonder where that is....' We have a HUGE attic so should get up there and get some stuff on eBay. John did organize it last year so at least it's walkable now.

I fear that our chicken coop has seen its last winter. Poor thing's roof is sinking. I think Mom and I will head out today and look at new sheds, which we'll have to get before we level the old coop. There's so much junk out there; wonder if I can have a 'chicken coop sale.' I know, for a fact, that there's an old motorcycle and at least 4 bikes out there that are useless - all of em!

Planning a REAL garden this year. It will be in the back 40 area which gets full sun and will be full of beans, zucchini, tomatoes, and other assorted sundries. Looking forward to going out back for produce this year. The deer fence I have planned should be more than enough to protect our harvest. I'm even considering laying a path so I can roll Mom out there and she can keep me company as I tend the thing. I'm ready for summer!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

We have lift off!

Managed to get Gert moving again yesterday so we tottled on down to Montgomery Mall to roll aroud for a while, after we dropped off John's lunch (which he forgot) and after I turned around the car about half way there to get some shoes (it's not important to note whose shoes they were....).

Had some lunch at the mall - a kiddie meal suffices for Gert as it's just the right size.

Rolled over to Mom's favorite store, Crate and Barrel, where we found a blanket she loved but wouldn't buy. So, it's her Mother's Day present from me and, as you can see, we came home and broke it in, along with a fresh bourbon and coke.

Bobbi and John joined us for cocktail hour on the verandah (that's deck in Md speak) and a great afternoon/ (early) evening was had by all.

As an aside, I've made it into print on my friend Peggy's found money blog!

Saturday, March 13, 2010

You'd think I'd be brigher...

I was feeling a bit badly about not letting mom get a new coffee cup and tray the other day (although we did buy yet another tray...) so, went back to return a lamp and ended up getting her a nice bone china coffee cup and another matching tray. Queenie was set up this morning. She was quite happy. She's got 3 trays now; that is IT!

Friday, March 12, 2010

Another day in paradise

Only a new convertible owner will put the top down in the snow! That's John in his new ride - it looks like the daddy to my mercedes. Beautiful car and already is proving to be a lot of fun.

Got Mom out yesterday to get her nails and toes done - about time . We headed off to the Home Place to look for new pictures for the newly redone kitchen but to no avail. I did, however, under much duress, buy her yet another tray on which I am to serve her coffee and snack in the afternoon (yes, those are her words, not mine). As we were going through the store, Mom was trying to buy about everything. Just as I seem to love tote bags, she's got a 'thing' for trays, pretty plates, and coffee mugs. Now, I have so many coffee mugs that I just purged the cabinet of the clunky ones - we both are into bone china (yes, we're fussy about our coffee cups). But, I noticed the amusement of the fellow shoppers as I, once again, took something out of her hand and said 'We really don't need that.' She'd grab it back with a 'Yes, we do.' Which explains why we now are the proud owners of another tray, another pair of scissors (well, we did need that....), some beautiful tea towels (didn't need) and a lamp which doesn't go with the green in the living room. And, we never got our pictures that we went in for. Figures.

Below pictures are proof that she can still make a mean chicken...

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Another glorious weekend in Key West

So, got Mom set up with 5 caregivers so John and I could head out on a mini-vacation for 4 days to Key West. Gert and all the caregivers survived; in fact, Mom was pretty looking pretty good when I came home. What a relief as she didn't do so well last time we were gone - but that was a 7 day trip and that's just too long to leave her, even though Sharyn was here for all 7 days and Sharyn's as on point as I am.... Anyway, huge thanks this time around to Carina, Ruth Ann, Mark, Bobbi and, of course, Sophia. You guys make our lives so much easier, and pleasurable!

Anyway, John and I flew off to Fort Lauderdale Feb 26th and grabbed a car for the drive to Key West - sweet talked the counter agent into a Mustang convertible which was a joy to drive but not much fun in which to be a passenger. The passenger seat is almost bolted directly to the floor so the top of my nose was 'eye to eye' with the top of the dashboard. I looked like a 4 year old in a car seat too big! And, sadly, John got to drive on the way down....oh well...

We made just a few quick stops before shooting down to KW in 4 short hours - that car moved!

Weather was cool but certainly better than DC - days were around mid-60s until, of course, our last day when it was 72 at 8 am...

Got a great hotel room right off Elizabeth street, just 1 block up from the Conch Republic. Gorgeous B&B with a continental breakfast and complimentary top shelf happy hour thrown in. And, to make matters sweeter, I talked our way into $50 less per night than we originally book AND a bigger suite! Sweet it was! Hotel was the Key West Harbor Inn for future reference and the room was the Jamaica room. The thing had a shower to die for....

We kicked around Key West for a day and then decided to do the trip over to the Dry Tortugas on the 'Vomit Comet' - well, that's what the crew called the 78' catamaran, Sunny Days. The wind was blowing at 15-20, seas were high with 5-6' swells and, of the 25 passengers on board, there were only about 6 of us standing at the end. John and I were bright enough to fuel our bag with saltine crackers which are a thing of beauty when one's stomach is tossing to and fro. I shared some with a few other passengers before I realized that we were going to NEED them. And, forget about bloody mary's on that ship - ugh. The trip to the Dry Tortugas did spur an eHow though:

How to Prevent Motion Sickness

Here's another quick one I wrote up:

How to Save Money In Key West Florida

Fort Jefferson was awesome though as we kicked around the island for 4 hours before setting off back to KW. Sadly, we didn't get to snorkel which is, reportedly, fabulous snorkeling as the waters were too churned up and it was too cool out. The Gods were with us on the ride home though as the weather cleared and it was a much smoother ride.

We spent the 2 hours on the ride back sitting on the stern of the catamaran, talking to Andy, one of the mates. He had us in tears the whole way home with his stories. He also told us of the best place in KW to get fresh fish - Bo's Fish Wagon. So, of course, once we hit shore, it was time for that free happy hour, showers, and off to feed.

Now, if you're interested in high class restaurants on the water with tablecloths, candles and $14 martinis (yes, that's true...) don't even bother reading the rest of the paragraph. But, if you're like us and prefer the true island ambience, a local's paradise, and the freshest fish outside the water - here you go. The fish here was, bar none, the best fish I've ever in my life had. Grilled Mahi that was caught just hours before was lovingly prepared with their 'special' spices which Andy assured me was not just Old Bay and, man, it wasn't. Sadly, they don't sell the mix outside the restaurant or we would have been toting a lot home. John got his requisite burger which was the best on the island also. Great food and a wonderful time, sitting at the bar on the street watching the 'tourists' go by.

After dinner, we waddled off to Duvall Street where we took our places in the window of the Bull and Whistle for a few hours before hitting another couple of bars and calling it an early night around 8:30 or so. Went back to the room and collapsed, tired, full and happy. Until...

John and I both woke up at 2:45 am with one thought on our mind - PIZZA! Yes! We were in KW and HAD to have some Angelina's pizza! This is the best pizza in the northern hemisphere, only being bested by a slice I had somewhere in Scotland, or possibly France one time - it was downed with one of the best beers I've ever had, hence the loss of memory....

So, we climbed into our clothes and headed out to the streets right as the drunks were coming in. Angelina's closes at 3:30 am so we had plenty of time for slices and beer before slinking back to our hotel room for the rest of the night. Woke up at 7, fat and happy.

Basically spent 3 days doing the above, with some wandering the streets and shopping thrown in before heading to Ft. Lauderdale for the last night of our 4 day tour.

On thing I love about John is that he's as impulsive and adventurous as I am. So, as we talked, we devised a 'non-plan' - we decided to 'wing it' and cancelled the Ft. Lauderdale hotel (where we stayed last time) and just wander up Rt. 1 N until we found an oceanfront hotel for the night (hopefully with an oceanfront hot tub) so we did just that. We rolled into Pelican Cove on Deer Key and got a great room. Spent some time in the hot tub before heading up to get cleaned up for dinner. Had a magnificent time, standing on a pier on the Gulf side of the key watching a gorgeous sunset before heading off to another local spot for dinner. Alas, no dolphins or manatees in sight...

All in all, a great trip was had one more time. It's such a joy to have someone fun to travel with - truly a joy.

So, it's time to plan our next trip. We're thinking maybe of taking Mom to the outer banks in June for a week - that way, we can get a week 'away' and have Mom with us at the same time. It's a win-win situation! Or, there's that Baltimore cruise to Bermuda in July...Wherever we end up, we'll have a blast - just like this time. What fun!

Below is my favorite graffiti from this trip. KW has the best graffiti...