Monday, December 19, 2011


Hello everyone!  I am posting this from my daughter's home in Connecticut.  This will be the first Christmas I have been able to spend with her and her family in five years.  I have been here since November 17th and I am thoroughly enjoying the grand-kids.  I posted these stories last December and will probably make them an annual post.
Before you get started I want you to know in the first story there are “spoilers” for those of you who may still BELIEVE.  So don’t read any further.
I was in the second grade the fall of 1949, and I had a horrible revelation foisted on me by a mean classmate at school.  My parents found themselves with an hysterical child, ranting on and on about a stupid boy and his stupid ideas.
I was VERY angry because he had snidely said,” Only BABIES believe in Santa Clause."  This boy was a “know it all jerk” and made my life miserable for the entire day. 
I was extremely upset, but what I did not realize at the time was that Mom and Dad were devastated.  I was too young to be robbed of this beautiful concept.   They weren’t ready to let their baby grow up.  By the end of the day they had hatched a plan to thwart this young man’s intentions.
The first was to have a conversation with the boy and his father.  Since my father was the superintendent of that school district, this was a sobering event for the bully and his dad.  I was never bothered again.
The second strategy was what ended up being the most memorial event of my young life.  They set out to PROVE that Santa did indeed exist! 
Mom and Dad told me this story several times over the years and now I am sharing it with you.
On Christmas Eve it was snowing and we went about our usual tasks of setting out milk and cookies after figuring out the most likely place for Santa to get into our second floor apartment.  It was finally decided that he would probably come in through my bedroom window because it overlooked the roof of the grocery store next door.  Cookies and milk was set on my nightstand and the window was unlocked so Santa could easily gain entrance. 
I will never forget what my eyes were awakened to the next morning.  It was cold in my room because my window was slightly ajar.  There was snow accumulated on my windowsill and footprints made of snow just below the window on my rug.  The footprints led off into the front room and were slowly melting from the warmth.
I bounded from my bed and bumped into my parents who were standing there pointing out the window with amazed looks on their faces.  I turned and looked out the window and THERE on the rooftop of Schindler's Grocery Store were the long straight marks of Santa’s sleigh and tiny reindeer tracks. 
Just outside and below my window was a large round place smoothed out where Santa had obviously set his large sack of presents.  I WAS ECSTATIC!  It was the best Christmas ever and turned out to be my last because other kids were determined to make this BABY grow up on their timetable not my parent’s.
What I didn’t hear that morning was my mother gasp as she placed her hand over her mouth.  What I didn’t see was that the sleigh tracks came across the roof and drove right past (over) a chimney in the middle of the roof.   Dad in his frantic early morning effort, with a close-line pole, had failed to notice the irregularity.
Nevertheless, it had the desired effect and proved to be one of my favorite stories to be told each Christmas.  Their expression of LOVE was the best present I could have ever received.  Christmas is supposed to be about the expression of LOVE.  I think that a lot of the people in this world have forgotten that.  
kt 2010
Now here is another one:


When I was in high school (late 50s) my mother (ignoring Dad's vociferous protests) bought us a REAL tree.  Up to then we had had a series of really BAD silver tin-foil trees with an annual changing of the color of the ornaments to be used.  One year they were a horrible magenta!

I was delighted that we were going to have a REAL tree. Mom even had it flocked with fake snow.  It was a magnificent tree!

However, (yep, you knew the however, was coming) what she failed to consider was the budgie cage filled with 6 young parakeets.  Our loving couple had blessed us with 8 eggs that fall, 6 of which hatched into adorable little trouble-makers. We thought it would be cool to watch the process but, hadn't a clue as to the problems we were inviting into our lives.

The first thing that happened is that the male (Sam) dropped dead a few weeks after we purchased him a beautiful yellow mate (Samantha).  Apparently, we had waited too long to get him a mate as he couldn't handle the stress.  I guess he knew what was coming as the brood that hatched was a real rowdy bunch.

One day, one of them figured out how to open the cage door (my mother swore that I left it ajar after feeding them) and the whole lot escaped (except for Samantha, who was glad they were gone).  I heard my mother yell, "Noooooooo! Nooooooo! The Christmas Tree!"

I rushed into the front room to find her shooing the flock from her precious tree. They were busily plucking off flocking and pine needles.  The front room was more flocked than the tree.  Thank God my mother didn't have a gun because she probably would have shot the birds, me, and then herself!

By the time we caught all 6 (took about an hour during which time my mother was uttering all kinds of obscenities) the poor tree looked a little sad.  There was white flocking and pine needles in every part of the house.  My mother was livid.

The next day the parakeets were gone (all of them) cage and all.  I never had the courage to ask her what she did with them.  I had visions of her taking them to the Chinese restaurant at the shopping center  down the street (Sorry, was that not politically correct to say?).

We went back to fake trees the next year.  A green one this time!


                         HAVE  A VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS EVERYONE !!!

Thursday, December 1, 2011


My granddaughter, Kallie (pronounced Kay-lee) is birthday is 23 on December 2nd.  Therefore, I had to come out of my "vacation mode" to wish her a HAPPY BIRTHDAY.

Unfortunately, she probably won't be able to see this as she is in Japan training for her upcoming deployment in Kuwait.   Yes, I said Kuwait, I'm not too thrilled about that, but at least it's not in one of those other places.

This is baby Kallie before I knew her.
Anyway, back to the birthday girl.  When I first laid eyes on Kallie it was the summer after her kindergarten year.  She was helping her mother pack for moving; and this adorable little girl was writing the contents of the boxes on the outside (and doing a darned good job of it).  She was a little waif of a thing with sparkling blue eyes that danced with excitement.  You see, her mother was moving because she was marrying my son and Kallie was delighted.  Every time I saw her she was laughing or smiling. 

It wasn't hard to get to know this sweet young girl as she was cute and funny and so easy to love.  She started calling me grandma right away and the next thing I knew she was mine!
The little mother.

Kallie at her mother's baby shower.

 When Gene William came along she was a great a big sister and a little mother to him.


The next few years were full of all kinds of movies, miniature golf, swimming, ball games over nights, and the like.  She was my little buddy.

Click here to read about why I gave her the nickname "Little Turtle."

Then, the summer after she graduated from grade schools I took her on a trip to the Kenai area of Alaska.  My friend, Carol, and her grandson, Stephen, went with us.   Kallie had only met Stephen once, but the two of them were instantly great friends.

The kids and I camped out (in a tent) on the shore of a huge lake, explored the area, and cooked out over an open flame.  I talked to them about bears and how they should make a lot of noise as they walked along.  Of course this was no problem for either one of these kids.  Whenever they got too far ahead of me I would yell "Yoah!"  and they would yell back "Ho-Ho."  The woods echoed with our version of the Seven Dwarfs song.

At one point Kallie and Stephen found some interesting tunnels in the underbrush.  These tunnels were fairly large and when I asked them what they thought made these tunnels they both looked at each other then freaked out as the realization hit them......Both of their heads (sporting the biggest eyes I have ever seen) spun towards me in unison as they quickly backed away from a tunnel entrance and said, "BEARS?"   "That would be my guess," I replied.    From that time on they were a little more careful where they explored.

Just before we ate dinner I heard a splash and peals of laughter.  They had been jumping over a small stream that ran close by our campsite, and, of course, they fell in.   Two giggling, but cold and wet kids showed up within seconds.   After we ate, the fire was used to dry shoes and the like.  That night as we were snuggled into our sleeping bags we heard all kinds of grunts, snorts, banging and rustling.  Good thing we had hung our food high up in a tree as the tunnel makers visited the campgrounds that night.  I guess that is why everyone else was camping in trailers and campers.  Everyone but us, that is.  Oh, well!

The rest of the trip was spent covering every inch of the Kenai that we could.  We took a boat ride out of homer to an island and saw Orcas on the way.  We panned for gold at Homer.  We saw glaciers,  eagles, and moose.

In the picture to the left, Kallie is cracking up because I borrowed a fish from a guy at the market so I could pretend I caught one.

After that trip Kallie started to grow up and I didn't get to see as much of her as I would have liked, but she had other interests.  She still mowed my lawn for me and would visit often but it was never the same.  Then she got a car and, well, you know the rest of the story.

In what seemed like minutes she was graduating from high school.  Before I knew it she was attending junior college.  Then she knocked me off my feet by telling me she had enlisted in the Air Force and would be leaving for boot camp soon.   That just about took the wind out of me. The next thing I knew she was finished and assigned to Andrews Air Force Base on the East Coast.  My baby girl was all grown up and heading out into the world.

Kallie in her BD?s(Or something ike that.  The military is full of acronyms).
Big brother Justin, Kallie, and little brother Gene at her going away party.
(Justin was doing something to GW's neck that is why he has a funny look on his face.)
I really admire her for what she did.  Here was this young woman leaving the small farming area where she grew up in small towns which had very little of anything let alone the large variety of ugliness that can be found elsewhere.  The first time she was without her family for more than a week was when she went to boot camp.  She must have been scared to death, but she never showed it or spoke of it.   I know she was homesick because she called me and her mother almost daily.  However, she never complained.

From Andrews she went to Korea; from Korea she went to Hawaii; from Hawaii she went to Japan and from Japan she will go to Kwiate.  She tells me that she loves military life and is planning on making a career of it.  I will ask her again when she gets back from Kuwait as I think she is finding it difficult to leave new friends she makes along the way.

In DC when her brother and I visited.
Enjoying the beach in Korea

Exploring Hawaii.

Don't ask!


Kallie, I thank God that my son married your mother.  My life has been made rich simply by you being in it.  I miss you terribly and pray that you will be given leave to come home before you are deployed.

S#*!  This took me two days and a lot of C.R.A.P. (new readers that means Computer Related Attacks by Poltergueists) and forth to finally get this to post right.  That's what I get for taking a vacation.
12/1/11 kt