If you like a story, please vote!
One of my favorite blogs and a story about one of my favorite teachers.
Granny passed away in the evening of January 10th, 2009. Sunie Blake Wood, Granny, was born on April 27, 1905. It's always been amazing to me what she's seen in her lifetime. I am very lucky to have been able to know my Granny well into adulthood. Many people don't get that luxury. Especially when their Grandmother doesn't start their family until after 40!
I am okay with Granny's passing, it was time. The worst is her phone number. I had to dial it this weekend to contact my Cousin and it sent me into a tizzy. The number has a distinct pattern. It's comforting. The number changed area codes 10 or so years ago(?). But the pattern has been with me from forever. Grand-daddy and Grandmama (we all started calling her Granny when the next generation came around.) moved into their house a week or two before I was born. I remember a green wall phone at my Auntie's house. We dialed the number on the rotary-style phone. I don't know exactly why we were calling as my Aunt and Granny were only a driveway apart. But I remember my sister and my cousins instructing me on the dialing. Maybe we were calling over to ask our parents for permission for something. I don't really remember the reason, I remember being instructed about the dialing.
Go forward a bit and it was the same green, this time a phone with buttons. It was my Cousin H and I, I remember her telling me the numbers. I think we were calling to see if someone would come over and watch us in the pool. Why was I the one always calling?
I've never saved Granny's number, I always dialed it, the pattern was good. Even with the area code change. Even this week when the number was often busy, I would re-dial the entire number. There is something soothing in patterns.
It's the only number (other than my Aunt and Uncle's) that hasn't changed my entire life. It was a number I dialed when I needed soothing, when I needed some sort of rightness in the world In the last few years the number wasn't answered by Granny but it was still her number and often the nurses would rely the conversation. And if I yelled, Granny and I would talk. I am not sure if anyone knows how much I dialed that number when I needed a hug. But I did. I dialed her often.
I got bonus time when it comes to most Grandmothers and for that I will always be thankful. I also got to know her a bit more in the past few years knowing that I would lose her. Once your Granny turns 100, you tend to think every day is a bonus and you don't hold back. It still doesn't mean that I won't miss her. Her number will be someone else's in a few months. Granny or a nurse or a family member will not pick up. No one will be happy to hear my voice, my story or to hear one of us to tell the other to "behave!" I will miss Granny. I know it's well past her time to rest. But can someone connect her number directly to heaven?
I have another conference call to complete before I can call the work day done! I needed a break and found something fun to do over at Yarn Crawl.
The things I have done are in bold.
1. Started my own blog
2. Slept under the stars
3. Played in a band
4. Visited Hawaii
5. Watched a meteor shower
6. Given more than I can afford to charity
7. Been to Disneyland/world
8. Climbed a mountain (Not sure if hiking counts but it was a moutain)
10. Sung a solo
11. Bungee jumped
12. Visited Paris
13. Watched lightening at sea
14. Taught myself art from scratch
15. Adopted a child
16. Had food poisoning
17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty
18. Grown my own vegetables
19. Seen the Mona Lisa in France
20. Slept on an overnight train
21. Had a pillow fight
23. Taken a sick day when you’re not ill
24. Built a snow fort
25. Held a lamb
26. Gone skinny dipping
27. Run a Marathon
28. Ridden in a gondola in Venice
29. Seen a total eclipse (I think, not sure but I think there was one as a kid)
30. Watched a sunrise or sunset
31. Hit a home run
32. Been on a cruise
33. Seen Niagara Falls in person
34. Visited the birthplace of my ancestors (Granny is an ancestor. Not sure how far back this one required)
35. Seen an Amish community
36. Taught myself a new language
37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied
38. Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person
39. Gone rock climbing (indoor)
40. Seen Michelangelo’s David
41. Sung karaoke
42. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt
43. Bought a stranger a meal at a restaurant
44. Visited Africa
45. Walked on a beach by moonlight
46. Been transported in an ambulance
47. Had my portrait painted
48. Gone deep sea fishing
49. Seen the Sistine Chapel in person
50. Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris
51. Gone scuba diving or snorkeling
52. Kissed in the rain
53. Played in the mud
54. Gone to a drive-in theater
55. Been in a movie
56. Visited the Great Wall of China
57. Started a business
58. Taken a martial arts class
59. Visited Russia
60. Served at a soup kitchen
61. Sold Girl Scout Cookies
62. Gone whale watching
63. Got flowers for no reason
64. Donated blood, platelets or plasma
65. Gone sky diving
66. Visited a Nazi Concentration Camp
67. Bounced a check
68. Flown in a helicopter
69. Saved a favorite childhood toy
70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial
71. Eaten Caviar
72. Pieced a quilt
73. Stood in Times Square
74. Toured the Everglades
75. Been fired from a job
76. Seen the Changing of the Guards in London
77. Broken a bone
78. Been on a speeding motorcycle
79. Seen the Grand Canyon in person
80. Published a book
81. Visited the Vatican
82. Bought a brand new car
83. Walked in Jerusalem
84. Had my picture in the newspaper
85. Read the entire Bible
86. Visited the White House
87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating (fish count yes?)
88. Had chickenpox
89. Saved someone’s life
90. Sat on a jury
91. Met someone famous
92. Joined a book club
93. Lost a loved one
94. Had a baby
95. Seen the Alamo in person
96. Swam in the Great Salt Lake
97. Been involved in a law suit
98. Owned a cell phone
99. Been stung by a bee
100. Rode an elephant
This is not my list of things I want to do but it was pretty fun to see how many I could bold on here.
Wanna play along? Leave a comment!
Facebook is great for catching up with people but I still like reading blogs. There is a new one that I've been reading and it's a great trip down memory lane as it's written by someone in the town I grew up in. Today she wrote about board games, I love board games and it sparked a few good memories of board and other games I adored as a kid.
Mastermind I think my mother's other daughter received this for Christmas and I ended up playing it more. I loved it! It's a game I'd like to play today. I remember playing this with her, my cousins and my parents.
The Little Professor Handheld Calculator I loved this and played with it until I think I wore the numbers off of it! I adored math until I hit Algebra II in 10th grade. I probably would have hated Geometery if it weren't for the cute boy who sat next to me and we did our homework together on the phone every night. However, we never had a date until the following year and dated off and on for the next 5 years.
Merlin OMG! I adored this game. I played with it until it broke. I think I might have even received a replacement for it. It was magical. The lights, the sound, the fact you could make your own music!
Perfection I remember annoying the adults because the game pieces popped out and all over the place. Which caused a great ruckus because usually it was the 4 grandchildren crawling on the floor to find the pieces. And this was SO not the way to act at Granny's house.
Simon (and the small and larger one) I think I had the smaller one. Not sure which one of the 4 grandchildren had the larger one. It was a blast! Another game that drove the adults insane!
There's also Monopoly, Trouble, a similar game called Headache, Chutes and Ladders, CandyLand, Battleship, Operation and Sorry! This are the games I remember from my pre-teen years. Most of these I remember receiving for Christmas and taking them over to Granny's to play with the cousins. I especially remember a weekend long Monopoly game with my Cousin H. I think she won.
As I was looking for some of these links I came across the following, it made me laugh!
IF YOU WERE A LITTLE GIRL IN THE 70'S...
1. You had that Fisher Price Doctor's Kit with a stethoscope that actually worked. I did not have this but I did have Candy(?). So did Cousin H and we did their hair ENDLESSLY! It was only the bust. I couldn't find a link.
2 You owned a bicycle with a banana seat and a plastic basket with flowers on it. CHECK
3. You learned to skate with actual skates (not roller blades) that had metal wheels. This included the kind you attached to your regular shoes.
4 You thought Gopher from Love Boat was cute (admit it!) I don't think I thought this.
5. You had nightmares after watching Fantasy Island. HELLO! I thought Scooby Doo. Okay still think Scooby Doo is too scary. I didn't even watch Fantasy Island!
6. You had either a 'bowl cut' or 'pixie', not to mention the 'Dorothy Hamill'People sometimes thought you were a boy. Nope! With this head of curls that was not possible.
7. You had rubber boots for rainy days and Moon boots for snowy days. No. I only had Duck Shoes/Boots which were unfortunately sited on someone at lunch Tuesday. Are they making a comeback? I must say they are better than Crocs!
8. You owned a 'Slip-n-Slide' , on which you injured yourself on a sprinkler head more than once. The neighbors had one but we weren't allowed . . . to dangerous. Yet riding on those go-carts, mini-bikes, handle bars of my sister's bike, swimming in the Bay without parental supervision . . . none of that was considered a problem.
9. You owned 'Klick-Klacks' and smacked yourself in the face more than once! What the heck is a Klick-Klack?
10. Your Holly Hobbie sleeping bag was your most prized possession. Nope. Holly Hobbie was Cousin H's thing. I was Raggedy Ann, Mother's other daughter was Pink Panther. We tended not to duplicate the same characters.
11. You wore a poncho, gauchos, and knickers. Yes, yes and yes.
12. You begged Santa for the electronic game, Simon. I think I even have that list for Santa somewhere.
13. You had the Donnie and Marie dolls with those pink and purple satiny shredded outfits, or the Sunshine Family. I don't remember these.
14. You spent hours in your backyard on your metal swing set with the trapeze. Oh yeah! I had a Jungle Gym! Rings, trapeze and a climbing rope.
15. The swing set tipped over at least once. Just once. After that Dad dug holes, buried the poles and poured cement. Viola!
16. You had homemade ribbon barrettes in every imaginable color. Oh yes we did! and we made them ourselves, in our school colors even!
17. You had a pair of Doctor Scholl's sandals (the ones with hard sole & the buckle). Yes and I even got the hand-me-downs from the older cousins.
18. You also had a pair of salt-water sandals. No clue.
19. You wanted to be Laura Ingalls Wilder really bad; you wore that Little House on the Prairie-inspired plaid, ruffle shirt with the high neck in at least one school picture;and you despised Nellie Oleson! Not me, the older girls but I was the tom-boy.
20. You wanted your first kiss to be at a roller rink! Well, DUH!
21. Your hairstyle was described as having 'wings' or 'feathers' and you kept it 'pretty'with the comb you kept in your back pocket.When you walked, the 'wings' flapped up and down, looked like you were gonna 'take off'. Of course!
21. You know who Strawberry Shortcake is, as well as her friends, Blueberry Muffin and Huckleberry Pie. Knew of them but never owned.
22. You carried a Muppets lunch box to school and it was metal, not plastic.It had a thermos inside. Some were glass and broke the first time you dropped them. No Muppets, I didn't like them. Too scary. I have Rageddy Ann and Andy. And I cried when I dropped the thermos.
23. You and your girlfriends would fight over which of the Dukes of Hazzard was your boyfriend. Nope, no reson to fight. They were mine.
24. YOU had Star Wars action figures, too! No. I just stole the kids next door's!
25. It was a big event in your household each year when the 'Wizard of Oz' would come on TV.Your mom would break out the popcorn and sleeping bags! Oh yeah! but I never watch the scary Monkey Scene. EVER! and since I have the DVD (thank you Carol) I skip that part.
26. You often asked your Magic-8 ball the question: 'Who will I marry.Shaun Cassidy, Leif Garrett, or David Cassidy? Or Scott Baio and Erik Estrada for me!
27. You completely wore out your Grease, Saturday Night Fever, and Fame soundtrack record albums. How can you forget Pac-Man Fever?
28. You tried to do lots of arts and crafts, like yarn and Popsicle-stick God's eyes, decoupage,or those weird potholders made on a plastic loom. I was just told by a childhood friend she still hangs the popsicle sled I made her in 1983. And those potholders were not weird!
29. You made Shrinky-Dinks and put iron-on kittens on your t-shirts! Um, no. I did have those Crazy-Shirts with the iron ons that you could personalize. And I did those baked stained glass window things.
30. You used to tape record songs off the radio by holding your portable tape player up to the speaker. Of course!
31. You had subscriptions to Dynamite and Tiger Beat. No, I just bought them at the store as a treat.
32. You thought Olivia Newton John's song 'Physical' was about aerobics. It is too!
I think the Christmas season, reading the blog about board games and playing cards last night with my SIL made this little "you know you're a . . " all the more fun! Any favorites that you remember?
Happy Day! Happy 2009!
I'm not quite sure how it got to be Christmas. I have made this statement about each holiday and event throughout the year. It seems like this year has flown by at lightening speed. '08 is as fast as The Great 8, Alex Ovechkin.
This year has been a year of change here in the Got Gauge household. From new jobs, new house, new routines and new habits, it's been a year packed with changes. The most I think either of us have ever experienced in the course of 12 months.
We started the year with the Husband in the hospital with Legionaires pneaumonia. Nothing like ringing in the New Year wondering if he'll be around to ring in another. The other day one of my SILs said, "well anything we do for this New Year's will be better than the last." It took me a full 2 minutes to remember where we were last New Year's Eve. I blocked it out.
Shortly after he recovered, the Husband quit his job of 20 years. OMG! I was so very nervous. He previously worked at an independant garage where it was more like family than an employer. As the spouse, I was not overwhelmed by the response I received from them during his illness. It was exactly as giving and wonderful as I'd expected. From offers to come over and take care of the dogs, coming to the hospital, everthing. But no word whatsoever about when is he coming back, how much sick time he had or anything. Oh yeah, there was reassurance from the owner and the entire family that I didn't need to worry about his paycheck. And a firm offer that if we need anything, anything at all, just say the word. So I wasn't overwhelmed at the time because that's just how I knew they would respond. And now he wants to quit? OMG. It was lots of deep breathes on my part. I knew I needed (and wanted) to support his decision. But it felt an awfully lot like a child leaving the house for far away lands. I was very happy that he decided it was time for him to leave the nest but scared out of my wits for him! And for me! Thankfully, as I knew it could be done, he burned no bridges. But we both still miss that old job and family.
It is said that March comes in like a Lion and out like a Lamb. And so it did, in the first week of March, the Husband started his new job. And on St Patrick's Day, I started mine! I am pretty sure that if I hadn't been traveling for work those week in March and April, there might have been a bit more of a struggle. We both had our own ways of dealing with change.
I'm not quite sure what happened to April and May. But this point I had my new workout rountine in place and that really helped with my stress level. So far, I'm sticking to the rountine I started in January and kicked up a few knotches in March. It feels good to get in a hard workout every day. And although I lost a bit of routnine in the Fall, I've picked it back up and feel like I can keep it going into 09.
In June, the Husband finally admited that he was never (or at least not in the next 5 years) move South to the water. And I kind of like him so I guess I wasn't going to go without him. And we decided a good compromise would be to move further out of the city and closer to our golf course. We spent the last weekend of June looking at a few places and put a contract on this house at the beginning of July. And even more change was underfoot. As we were sitting at the dining room table writing the contract on the house, my big boss called. I nearly stroked when she asked, "do you have a minute?" in a voice that's reserved for monumental conversations. I responded, "why yes, just sitting here putting a contract on a new house." To which she said, "well than I'm glad I caught you." **GULP!** I was a contractor and was thinking the worst but happy the ink was not on all the papers. Her next sentence, "because I think you will really enjoy the news." OMG! was this really happening. I shrieked when she offered me a full-time job. I'm quite sure that I completely violated all rules in the what-to-do-when-you-get-a-job-offer handbook. But who cared!
July was marked by my annual trip to Cliff Island Maine, home of the brother of the Survivor winner! Yes, I am 2 or 3 degrees away from Bob Crowley. L, my BFF, that grew up summering on the island is only 1 degree separated from him. How much fun is that? By the time we get back there next year, I think they will be tired of the connection and might not really be up for Survivor Cliff Island style! I think we should hunt for an immunity idol. And you are immune from doing the dishes!
So for my birthday, I started the new phase of my job. Not many changes other than now I had a vested interest in learning more and feeling more attached to the organization. August (coincidentially another 8) was faster than Ovie during last night's game. Between getting settled in the new job, preparing the house for sale/rent, packing and generally that craziness of just too. much.
September was a mess. I was traveling too much (in hindsight it was probably good to be out of the house). Somehow we managed to get our house rented (great realtor!), move into the new place, close on the new place and still have our health. We ended September celebrating the Husband's 40th birthday.
In October the Husband was settling into his MUCH longer commute by feeling like the balance of the longer commute with the feeling this house brings is a good one. I traveled much of October and by Halloween had spent more nights in a hotel bed instead of my own. I still didn't know which light switch was to which light. We closed the pool that first week after getting in it twice. Just enough to almost wish the winter and spring away.
November brought travel restrictions to my job. I have mixed feelings. I hate that we are having to watch the budget so closely but so very happy that they are doing everything possible to keep the employees employed. The plus side is I get to stay home, the downside is my job has been turned on its head and there is a great, big challenge. Did I say I get to stay home? November was good. I got settled into the house and felt less like I was on vacation. I still feel like pinching myself when I look around me. I am not sure that will ever go away.
We are still going to the Capitals games. Not sure what we will do next year. It's an expense that many of us our having to look at very closely. I prefer to be Scarlet and worry about that tomorrow. December is coming rapidly to a close and it's been a good December. We decorated more this year than ever before. And cutting down the tree will be a new tradition.
This Christmas Eve we went to a new church for Christmas Eve Mass. It wasn't like the Children's Mass at St. Ann's. I felt so bad for all the children there, the homily was so dry and so not child-friendly, I was fidgeting in my seat. I laughed out loud when the kid behind us started saying "Mom! I want to go home. Please." It was such pleading that you couldn't help but think "from his mouth to God's ears!" We will try another church.
After Mass we popped into a local dive-ish bar for an appetizer and some beers. It wasn't our usual Christmas Eve dinner at Artie's. But it was fun! After dinner we came back to the house for a fire and old movies. Some parts of the tradition stayed the same. Christmas Day was spent relaxing and a surprise visit by old friends.
Somewhere along the way, I pulled a muscle in my neck. You know that pop and warm feeling you get sometimes at the base of your neck? Well, it feels that way all the time. So the husband is golfing and I'm going to take a muscle relaxer and nap. I hope this starts feeling better today because I have too much to do to enjoy this holiday season!
So that's where Got Gauge is this holiday season. I have not knit a great deal this year. Small items, scarves for special people. I'm currently doing a latch hook rug for the laundry room. It's cheesy, a picture of a sunflower on a blue background. But it's in preparation for a large rug I want to do for the guest room. Not sure if it's the look I want, but I like the pattern. 2008 had so many changes, I am hoping at 2009 will be more settling in and getting into a routine. Boring can sometimes be a wonderful thing. And in 2009, I will only buy yarn that is needed for other people's gift items.
Wishing all of you a wonderful Christmas! May you be blessed with friends, families and tidings of joy! (what are tidings?)
So I got up this morning full of "I'm going to do this, that and the other thing." So far I've managed to drink coffee and catch up on Facebook stuff. That's it. Nothing else.
I have to hit Target, Borders (need to print that coupon) and Wegmans. And I have to figure out the church in Middleburg to go to Mass tonight. And I should clean, do laundry and perhaps take care of some work emails. I also need to drain the hot tub, clean the tub and the filter and the cover. **sigh** maybe I'll have breakfast first.
Shopping is all done for the Doggie Kids! They will get spoiled as usual. I just hope they haven't been snooping in the guest room closet for their gifts!
No, it's nothing overly personal. Well, it is personal but it's not embarrassing. Okay it might be embarrassing but it's not going to get you arrested. Hmm, that is a possibility. Let's just say if it's appropriate to share, share. If it's not, just send me an email! I'll keep it to myself. Promise!
I love Christmas. I love the lights, music, decorations and the warm, cozy feelings of Christmas. We go to Christmas Mass on Christmas Eve and make sure to take time out to remember the true meaning and spirit of the holiday. I can't stand when Christmas is abbreviated to "XMas". Other than that, I love all things Christmas. Oh and I don't like Candy Canes that don't taste like good, old fashioned candy canes. They are meant to be peppermint people and only peppermint.