Thursday, January 29, 2015

The Dude, the Husband -- A Keeper

My Alphabe Thursday theme -- The Dude, The Husband

The Husband and I were watching Celebrity Apprentice earlier this week. (Yes, indeed, we're hooked on this show even though we know we ought to avert our eyes, but we can't help it.) And, we both noticed that one of the female contestants looked like she had a makeover.

"Her mustache used to show," the Husband said.

"You noticed it, too, did ya?"

"It was obvious," he said.

"Not really," I said, turning my face to him and pointing above my upper lip. "This is obvious."

"I don't see any mustache," the Husband said.

"How can you not?""

"Because you're so sparkly."


"I don't see anything but you're sparkliness."

Sighhhhhhh. The Dude is a Keeper!

And, a few years ago, this keeper decided to play at being a bell keeper. No. Make that a bell ringer!

Today is the letter K at Jenny Matlock's Alphabe Thursday. That's where I shall be checking out other K posts. Come join me by clicking here.

Jenny Matlock

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Cut the Stems, Then Plant Them

My ABC Wednesday theme: The Mama and Her Authentic Green Thumbs
. . .and Fingers
Clip. Clip. Clip. 

That's what the Mama has been doing among her geraniums lately. Pruning off old and decaying branches so that new growth will take place by spring. Just doing her magic among the geraniums, both in the front and back yards. 

Always the recycler, the Mama doesn't throw out all of the pruned branches. No, sir-eeee, Bob. She snips off the geranium stems to plant in bare spots in the yard, front and back. They take root, then several weeks later. . .Voila! Flowers!

Which stems have a chance of rooting, you may ask? Because, I surely do. Shrugging is her answer. So, I watch her choose the stems to plant. Her selection is based partly from her many years of gardening and horticulture experience. Part is from a feeling, an instinct. And, part is from the geraniums telling her.  At least, that's what I like to think.

The Mama is humble. She is surprised as everyone else when plants under her guidance burst forth with abundant flowers and fruits. Just because she plants something, she realizes they may not grow.  She does her best to help them along, as well as hopes and prays.

I'm hooking up with ABC Wednesday today. It's the letter C. Click here to read other C posts.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

#3 Book Review for My 2015 Reading Challenge

On Sunday night, I read The Happy Hollisters, being that it was published in the year I was born (1953), a category in my 2015 Reading Challenge. The Happy Hollisters was the first of the 33 titles of the Happy Hollisters series written by Andrew E. Svenson, under the guise of Jerry West.

I had bought the book several years ago at our local thrift store on a whim, because I was born and raised in Hollister, California and now living in Hollister again. As a kid, I remember seeing the series at the public library, but I bypassed the Happy Hollisters for the Nancy Drew series. If I had known that the Hollisters solved mysteries, I may have become a fan way back when.

I like the Hollister kids, from 4-year old Sue, to 6-year old Holly, 7-year old Ricky, 10-year old Pam, and 12-year old Peter. Each character has lots of positive energy and common sense.  One of the things I like about the Hollister kids is how they feel bad after doing something wrong, apologize, and seek to make amends. I also like how the kids take care of each other.  For instance, when one of the older kids sees Sue playing near the lake, he tells her that she should not go near there without an adult. The more I think about the characters and theirs actions, the more I see how the author had unintentionally taught the readers about personal responsibility, self-initiative, courtesy, respect, and other positive values.

Okay, the plot. The story starts with the Hollisters moving to a new town where Mr. Hollister has bought a hardware/sports goods/toy store. All of the children's toys have been packed in the smaller of two moving vans that never arrives at their new home. Mystery #1: What has happened to the van?  When they find the van, it's empty, which leads to mystery #2: What has happened to their toys?  Mystery #3 is even bigger: Someone is coming into their new home every night. Who is the prowler? What does he/she want? How is he/she coming in?

All the Hollister kids are involved in unraveling the mysteries, with Peter and Pam taking the lead. In every chapter, something is happening, and it's not always about solving mysteries. For instance, in one chapter, the kids build a dog cart so that the Hollisters' dog, Zip, can give them rides. In another chapter, Pam and Holly go rowing on the nearby lake, loose their oars, and float to the island in the middle of the lake. There, Holly falls into quicksand and Pam quickly brainstorms ways to save her sister.

Reading this book got me into the mood to read more childrens' books. When I was at the library yesterday,  I picked up several books in the children's section. So, stay tuned for more children's book reviews.

Note: FCC and you need to know that the link leads to Should you click it and happen to purchase anything there, Amazon may reward me with a bit of change. 

Monday, January 26, 2015

Lola Julia

Lola Julia was my grand aunt. And, a grand aunt she most definitely was. (Lola means grandmother in Ilokano, the Mama's language.) Lola Julia was a one-of-a-kind woman. Once, the Mama said that I was like Lola Julia.  That's one of the best compliments I have ever received.

Unlike most Filipino women of her generation, Lola Julia had a career. Her father encouraged her to get an education. She became a nurse. During World War II, she worked at a hospital for mentally ill patients. When the Japanese solders took over the hospital, she and the other nurses pretended to be patients.  By the 1950s, she was in the United States working as a nurse, first on the East Coast and then on the opposite side of the country. In the 1970s, Lola Julia retired from a supervisory nursing position for a San Francisco hospital.

Lola Julia married late in life. She was in her late 40s or early 50s when she married Uncle Sam. She knew him when they were youngsters in the Philippines. They were second or third cousins. I got the impression that they were kinda smitten with each other back then. By the time, they met again in the United States, over 30 years had passed.

They wedded twice. The first time was a civil ceremony. Because they weren't married by a priest, Lola Julia did not consider them being legitimately married. She laughed as she told me how she kept coming up with excuses to keep Uncle Sam out of her bed. Finally, he got the idea and quickly agreed to get married in the church.

Lola Julia was magnanimous to a fault. As long as I knew her, she made generous loans to relatives and friends, which were sometimes not repaid. Relatives didn't bother her too much when Uncle Sam was alive. He didn't mind loaning you money as long as you agreed to his interest terms  which were far higher than the banks.  After Uncle Sam died, relatives boldly charmed Lola Julia for large loans.

I cringe when I think about the time she paid me to clean her backyard. The yard was full of weeds and junk that needed to be thrown away or placed in her garage.  I definitely earned my money, but I still felt like I had taken advantage of her.

When I married the First Husband, Lola Julia was among the few people who did not blink twice that I was marrying a much older man. She told me that the perfect age for a husband was twice my age plus seven years. And when I said, I was five years off, she assured me that I was close enough.

Today would have been Lola Julia's birthday. She would've been a sweet 107 years old.   

Happy Birthday Lola Julia!

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Through a Church Door

Can you tell I'm looking through a church door? It's a small, old wooden church in my town. I've always wanted to go inside and look around, but peeping through its door is the closest I can get for now.

When I took this photo, I did not expect to get any reflections. I was totally surprised to find double reflections -- me taking the photo and a a close-up of my face and camera. The photo is a little bit spooky for me.

Want to see other photos of reflections? Come join me at Weekend Reflections.