Saturday, March 28, 2009

Are You A Twit?

And I thought this was the Blue Bird of Happiness!!
I think I may be having an Andy Rooney moment here, but just what is all this fascination with Twitter? I can understand it being a kid thing, but really now, members of Congress twittering during a Presidential speech! Or is that tweeting? It's all just too nonsensical to me.
But I did have a good chuckle when I took out my good old Webster dictionary. Here's a few definitions of twitter to amuse you as well:
  1. to make a succession of chirping noises
  2. to talk in a chattering fashion
  3. to tremble with agitation

And I guess one who twitters would be a twit, and we all know what that is.

Enjoy your weekend and don't forget to twitter me what you are doing.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Going Home Again - Covina 1956-1958

My first home of my own was an apartment on First Avenue in Covina, just off Rowland Avenue. I wish I had a picture to show you. It really was a cute little place, two bedrooms and one bath. But the big plus was that it had its own fence-in yard, grass and all, nice to have when you have little kids. Susan was a toddler and Mark just a baby when we lived there. We would have been there longer but the apartment unit was sold a few months after we moved in and the new owner didn't want children in the units. I wonder if that would work today? I did a Google Earth stroll down the street to see if I could come up with a picture for the blog. It looks like the original apartment complex no longer exists and has been replace by much larger and much uglier units. While I lived there I worked for Pacific Telephone in Alhambra. I made a whopping $53.50 a week! Good times....Good times.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

A Sad Farewell

I received an email from a friend of mine today with news they had to put their beloved dog Sheppy to sleep today, 105 years old. A good life led for sure. This news reminded me of the poem Jimmy Stewart wrote about his dog Beau. It's been awhile since I have read it and it is as wonderful today as the day he read it on Johnny Carson's show. So this is for the family that loved their Sheppy so very much.
"Beau" by Jimmy Stewart He never came to me when I would call
Unless I had a tennis ball,
Or he felt like it,
But mostly he didn't come at all. When he was young
He never learned to heel
Or sit or stay,
He did things his way. Discipline was not his bag
But when you were with him things sure didn't drag.
He'd dig up a rosebush just to spite me,
And when I'd grab him, he'd turn and bite me. He bit lots of folks from day to day,
The delivery boy was his favorite prey.
The gas man wouldn't read our meter,
He said we owned a real man-eater. He set the house on fire
But the story's long to tell.
Suffice it to say that he survived
And the house survived as well. On the evening walks, and Gloria took him,
He was always first out the door.
The Old One and I brought up the rear
Because our bones were sore. He would charge up the street with Mom hanging on,
What a beautiful pair they were!
And if it was still light and the tourists were out,
They created a bit of a stir. But every once in a while, he would stop in his tracks
And with a frown on his face look around.
It was just to make sure that the Old One was there
And would follow him where he was bound. We are early-to-bedders at our house--
I guess I'm the first to retire.
And as I'd leave the room he'd look at me
And get up from his place by the fire. He knew where the tennis balls were upstairs,
And I'd give him one for a while.
He would push it under the bed with his nose
And I'd fish it out with a smile. And before very long
He'd tire of the ball
And be asleep in his corner
In no time at all. And there were nights when I'd feel him
Climb upon our bed
And lie between us,
And I'd pat his head. And there were nights when I'd feel this stare
And I'd wake up and he'd be sitting there
And I reach out my hand and stroke his hair.
And sometimes I'd feel him sigh
and I think I know the reason why. He would wake up at night
And he would have this fear
Of the dark, of life, of lots of things,
And he'd be glad to have me near. And now he's dead.
And there are nights when I think I feel him
Climb upon our bed and lie between us,
And I pat his head. And there are nights when I think I
feel that stare
And I reach out my hand to stroke his hair,
But he's not there. Oh, how I wish that wasn't so,
I'll always love a dog named Beau. This poem is from Jimmy Stewart and His Poems by Jimmy Stewart, published by Crown Publishers, Inc. in 1989.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

VIA -- Bravo!

Recently I received my free Starbucks VIA samples. Now I have to tell you I was a bit of a skeptic on this new instant brew. I have never been a big fan of instant coffee. For some reason it always conjures up a vision of cheap hotel rooms. (Well that's a story for another day...) VIA comes in two flavors, Colombia and Italian Roast. I was amazed at how good they were, though I think I prefer the Italian Roast. Maybe it is the Italian influence. I don't know if Starbucks is still offering the free samples but if they are you should check it out. If VIA is not available at your local Starbucks you can purchase it on-line at for $9.95 (12 serving package). So much for my first commercial venture. How did I do? Have a great weekend friends, see you all on Monday. Ciao!

Friday, March 20, 2009

Going Home Again - Covina CA 1955-1956

I couldn't locate a photo of the house on Covina Hills Road. I am sure they are in a box somewhere . The view in this photo is pretty much as how I remember the place.
I didn't actually live in that home very long as, unexpectedly, I was about to start my own family not too long after the move in.
I can't remember exactly when my folks bought the property out in Covina, maybe in the late forties or late fifties. We would drive out to the property on weekends from Rosemead and spend the day and have picnics. It was all very rural and we had a ball climbing around in the trees and climbing the hills.
There was an old mine located across the street and up the hill. It was a good hike to get up to the mine but tons of fun to explore there.
When I was in Girl Scouts I earned my Wildflower badge collecting various specimens that grew wild on the property. In recalling these adventures I can almost hear the sounds of the red wing blackbirds, feel the warmth of the sun on my skin and smell the fresh clean air. Good times.
About midway through high school I my parents began making plans for the home they were to build during my senior year. Mom's dream home it was called. When construction actually began I was asked to look at tile and wallpaper samples and choose what I would like for my room.
This was the house I came home to after my summer in Europe. And I never even had to lift a finger in move.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Happy St. Patrick's Day

Just spent the morning with a group called Wings of Hope, check them out at their website It is an interesting group that has been around since 1962. I am looking forward to working with them on a regular volunteer basis. Today was basically just meetings and meeting the people who are on staff there. I have been assigned a project which won't begin until next month. So I will let you know more later. I urge all of you to check out volunteer opportunies in your own local communities. A good place to start is at There are lots of organizations that could use your help and it can be almost anything from giving a little of your time to contibutions of cash or goods. Get involved and and do something good today. We all have a few free hours a month and some of us have even more time to donate.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Going Home Again - Rosemead, CA 1938-1955

Family Home c. Early 1920's
The photo on the left probably was taken not long after the home was built in the early 1920's. The one on the right was taken a few years ago by my daughter, Linda, when she visiting the town where I grew up. This is the photo that more closely resembles the home when I lived there.
This home was built on part of the original Savannah Ranch that my great-grandfather settled when he came to California from Arkansas in 1850.
This was the house I was brought home to after my birth at St. Luke's Hospital in Altadena, California. I don't remember that day but I do remember walking to school (K-6) that was just three blocks down the street. I always thought that it was neat living so close to school.
We had a huge backyard, a portion of the yard was covered by Wisteria. I remember each Spring those beautiful purple blossoms hanging down like miniature Japanese lanterns. The surrounding yard had orange trees, apricot trees and adjacent to the property was a peach orchard. We always had healthy snacks available on the tree of our choice.
There was always something to do: dig a hole, climb a tree or build a fort. Across the street was a vacant lot where all the neighborhood kids would gather to play the sport of the season.
My 7th and 8th grade school years took me a little further away from home but I was still able to walk to school. When it was time for high school again I walked, in a different direction, maybe four or five blocks, though by that time we would take a longer route home through the town and stop at the corner drug store for a drink at the soda fountain. Sometimes stopping by the Five & Dime or the local ice cream parlour.
I lived in this home until I graduated from high school in June of 1955. After graduation I went to Europe for the summer to study at the University of Lausanne in Switzerland. While I was gone my parents would move to a new home and that is next week's story.

Thursday, March 12, 2009


Some fun facts as a preview to my new Friday Series, "Habitats for HumAnnieT". After making a list and checking it twice I find that I have move eighteen times in seventy-one years, lived in three states and two countries, counting the good old USA. I guess that means I knock the dust off every 3.9444 years. Whew, no wonder I am tired!!!!
The above figure does not count a two-month period I lived with my friend Barbara while I put my house back together after renting it out for about six months. You will hear more about THAT move in future postings.
Until tomorrow my friends... have a wonderful Thursday.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Forward to the Past

My daughter, Linda, called me the other day and thought I should write about all the places I have lived these past seventy-one years. She is of the opinion that I have moved around a lot.
The more I thought about her suggestion the more I liked it. So beginning this Friday I will start my journey back in time and highlight a residence each week.
This is going to take some thought and organization on my part but it should be fun. I wish I had pictures of all the houses I lived in, but I might be able to come up with a few. If you don't hear from me it might be because I have fallen into a storage box and can't get out.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Happy Birthday Mom

This month my Mom would have celebrated her 113th birthday. She died forty-one years ago when she was seventy-two. I got to wondering how she would have interacted in this computer age we live in today. There is no doubt in my mind that she would have owned a computer if for nothing else than for shopping.
She loved to buy gadgets that she would see advertised on TV and I know she would have gone crazy for QVC. So it's easy to see her ordering all kinds of items on-line and eagerly awaiting UPS delivery.
I have a harder time seeing my Mom with a My Space account and soliciting friends from near and far. But I may be wrong. I only say this because she was such a private person, even to the extent that she really opposed answering the long-form questions from the US Census.
I remember saying, "Mom, you have to fill this out, it's the law." And her answer was always, "It's none of their business!" Fiery little rebel, that one.
It's funny because I often think back to my ancestors and try to imagine living in their time. Crossing the plains in a covered wagon would take a lot fortitude and belief in one's self. Expressing ourselves in the world today takes less fortitude and a whole lot of belief in others.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

And You Wanted to be President?

Now I'm not sure a woman really wants to hold this job. Not even two months in office and already they are counting President Obama's grey hairs! I think I know why our Founding Fathers wore wigs. It is said those in office age eight times faster than normal due to the stress.
Friday's Tip:
Give your cell phone a good wipe with a sanitizer cloth frequently -- it is one of the most germ infested items around. Just think of all the things your hands touch, including shaking other's hand, and then we cradle this cell phone to our face... Uck!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Barbara Bush

Just heard that Barbara Bush had heart surgery today. Get well soon. I am sure she is in good hands and surrounded by her loving family. I always got a kick out of her directness. Being politically correct just isn't in her make-up. I think there is a certain comfort in knowing exactly where you stand. Don't change a thing, Barbara and speedy recovery.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Beep, Beep...

... and the little Nash Rambler went beep, beep. Anyone remember the Nash Rambler? It probably would be a best seller if it were made today. With Ford Motor Company's sales down 48% and General Motors down 52% maybe it is time for them to join the ranks of AMC, Studebaker, Packard, Oldsmobile, Stutz... oh, the list goes on and on and on. There have been over two hundred American automobile manufacturers that have hung up their wheels since the early 1900's. So it appears that the U.S. manages to prevail despite the demise of their automobile manufacturers. Could it be that Americans have just had their fill of new cars and are finding out that their two, three, five or ten year old car is getting them from point A to B just fine. Cars cost more today then my first home cost in 1960. That fact still blows my mind. Beep, beep....move over, I want to pass.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Paradise Lost

It's Monday and I don't want to talk about the economy, war, health care or the education of our children. As a Marie Antoinette may have said, "Let them eat cake." Yep, that's exactly how I feel this Monday. Last night I indulged myself in some fluff TV and watched Thin Ice in which Tom Selleck portrays Paradise Chief of Police, Jesse Stone. Jesse if you don't know is kind of a male counterpart to Jessica Fletcher. Must have something to do with the 'Jess-name factor'. Since there was not much substance to engross me, my mind wandered a bit and I got to thinking about Tom Selleck's looks. Yes, he has always had that handsome model-look, but it struck me last night that for a man who recently celebrated his sixty-fourth birthday he is maturing into a very good looking older man. This caused me to think about other older men that seem to get better with age. Clint Eastwood is going to be seventy-nine in a few months and I actually think he is more handsome today then when he was in his twenty's. Life has given his face a shade of character that is most becoming. Not to mention that twinkle in his eye that leaves no doubt he has enjoyed the many and varied aspects that life had to offer. Paul Newman always was blessed with unbelievable good looks, even in his eighties the blueness of his eyes never seemed to fade. Old gals may slow down but they still notice the finer things in life. Just saying...