In my mind, I'm five years old having a high old time wandering and wondering. In reality, I'm now in my late 60s, wowza! I tell you a lot of creativity is still to be found in this old young self. In you, too, whatever your age. Welcome to my barefoot world!
I am grateful for being able to open the door and walk out into our backyard at any time of the day and night. I am grateful for being able to pluck a persimmon off our tree, wipe it on my sweater, and munch on it as I wander around the backyard looking for forgotten things that put together will become something else. I am grateful for the Husband being the main dishwasher and coffee maker. I am grateful that we are able to afford the utility bill so we can turn on the heater during the chilly season. I am grateful that Daddy took the risk to sign a work contract with the Hawaiian sugar plantations and then decided to stay in Hawaii for a bit more (about 18 years) after his contract was over. I am grateful that Daddy chose to become a U.S. citizen when the government offered it to him and many other Filipinos who were serving in the U.S. military during WWII. I am grateful that Mama said “yes” to Daddy’s proposal of marriage and said “yes” to moving to the United States wh
The U.S. 1950 Census was released this month, if you’re into genealogy. Unlike the last census, which we answered online, hired hands went house to house in 1950 to note certain information about the residents. I found my family in Section 35-8 of San Benito County, California. That section’s enumerator began her or his (first name is either Alma or Alan) task of interviewing households on April 5, 1950. On the day of the interview, the enumerator noted that Daddy was 45, Mama, 28, and Brother, one year old. They lived on a ranch on Wright Road, just northwest of Hollister, where Daddy was a farmer’s helper who had worked 50 hours the previous week. I wonder if they paid rent or got their housing for free. The federal minimum wage in 1950 was 75 cents an hour, according to the Department of Labor. Mama’s name was spelled wrong, Francisco instead of Francisca. Our surname was written with two r’s rather than one. No big deal there. I don’t know why Daddy spelled Echaore, while Un
I am partial to the color orange these days. According to some people, orange represents joy, enthusiasm, creativity, and all sorts of things positive. Sounds good to me. When nephew was four or so, he liked to take his stuffed cat with him everywhere. I sometimes frustrated him because I couldn’t understand what he said his friend’s name was. “Owen’s Cat” was what I heard. “No,” he replied. “Owen’s Cat.” Back and forth we went. I couldn’t get it. One day I happened to look closely at nephew’s stuffed cat as he said, “Owen’s Cat.” Oh. The cat was orange. Orange Cat! Auntie Susie was such a duh! These orange and yellow flowers have begun to multiply in the front yard. I like that. I think they’re called pot marigold also known as calendula.
Mama and her friend Yuki posed for a photo on our front yard one fine sunny afternoon. They're wearing short sleeves so it may have been late Spring or early summer. From the size of me, I'm either going on three years old, or several months into being three. Look at those solid legs. I wonder if they already showed signs of crookedness. I love this photo. All you see is my back, my dress isn't completely buttoned, and Mama is watching me be intrigued about something. I don't seem to notice a picture is being taken nor does the photographer seem to mind that I'm in the shot.
Colors, Oh my! Vibrant and deep. Shades of color, So many Subtleties. 3D! My gosh, Everything has depth. -- Su-sieee! Mac This, I tell you, is what I've been experiencing since Friday afternoon when the eye patch was removed from my left eye. Oh my gosh! What will it be like when the cataract is removed from my other eye and a corrected lens inserted. Oh me, oh my! And, now I can add my pirate photo to that of the Husband's and our dads. Daddy's cataract was removed in the late 1960s, way before the procedure of inserting an intraocular lens was a thing. No doubt, he would've loved having his sight fully back in his left eye. Arrrrr, mateys! Come check out one, two, or all three of these memes with me: All Seasons , Mosaic Monday , and Say Cheese . Many thanks to the hosts, Jesh, Angie, and Jenna.
The Husband and I encountered danger yesterday—strawberry sauce. Oh my gosh! I modified a recipe that called for 2 cups of diced strawberries. The recipe probably meant a dry measuring cup, but I overfilled a two-cup liquid measuring cup. The strawberries went into a small saucepan with juice from a medium-sized lemon, a half a cap full of limoncello (in place of vanilla), and about 2/3 to 3/4 cup of superfine sugar. The sugar is a guess because I poured directly from the box, stopping only when it looked like it would be too much. I brought the concoction to a boil, stirring occasionally, then simmered it for 15 minutes. We ate the strawberry sauce over a slice of toasted sourdough bread and a healthy sprinkling of ground almonds. Mmmmmmm. Once upon a time, I would've eaten all of the sauce in one sitting and then promptly fall asleep in a drunken daze. The Husband said the sauce caused his eyelids and the bags under his eyes to sweat. When he was a kid, sweet tart
1. My last name starts with the letter E . When I spell it to someone, I sometimes say "E as in Europe". I'm not trying to trick the person. That's simply what pops into my head. 2. I figure customer service people can spell Europe . Am I wrong to think that? 3. Mama pronounced the letter E as "A". That's how she learned it as a kid in the Philippines, a U.S. territory (then), which had been a Spanish colony in Mama's grandparents' time. "The old-timers spoke Spanish. They tried to teach me," said Mama. I wonder what Mama was interested in instead. 4. The silliness it was when Mama asked 12-year-old Susie to spell a word that has one or more letter E 's. Oh my gosh! Let's suppose, Mama asks, "How do you spell Elephant?" "E-," I start. "What kind of E?" she asks. "E." I say. "E as in A. or E as in E." "E!" 5. Before I understood th
Earlier this week the Husband and I attended the funeral service for dear friend J's sister, Rosie, who was much loved by her family and friends. Two of her nieces told loving, funny, and cheerful Rosie stories to us all there. They called Rosie the fun-loving auntie who, from their stories, you can tell the nieces thought of as their second mother. It was heart-warming to hear as I'm childless as well, and, once was the fun-loving auntie. That's life sometimes, bittersweet. The family considered Rosie to be the lumpia king. She made the best and it sounded like she always kept lumpia (similar to an eggroll, for those who've never tasted lumpia) in the freezer ready to fry at any time of day or night. Hearing all that talk about lumpia got me wanting some so when the Husband and I got home, I took out lumpia wrappers and leftover lumpia filling from the freezer. I managed to roll sixteen lumpias from the mix. Hurrah! But what do I do with the rest of the wrapp
Hi ya! Hey ya! Hope all's well with ya. All is well with us. I'm still playing catch up so I'm back to reaching into my archives for a while more. Have fun out there. Today's post (edited) was first published on April 11, 2015. = = = = = = = = = = = = = Knock, knock. The Mama opened the kitchen door, which was the back door at our house on 44 Shore Road. I sat at the kitchen table, keeping her company as she prepared dinner. Uncle Frank! The Daddy's younger brother. He carried a tree stump in his arms. "I cut down a tree in my back yard," said Uncle Frank, putting it down next to the kitchen counter. "I thought it was the right size for Susie." I was four. Either Uncle Frank or the Mama held my hand as I climbed onto the stump. Yaaay! I had a wonderful view of the counter. I don't remember much of those very early years. But, I must've been in the kitchen a lot with the Mama. Enough so that Uncle Frank thought I o
This faded photo of the Daddy was taken in 1946. That's all I know about the photo because the Mama had printed the year on the photograph. Technology has finally allowed me to see the image a bit more clearly. Until today, I thought the Daddy was standing in a desert or someplace in Los Angeles. Now, I think the photo may have been taken somewhere nearby Hollister, soon after he moved here. The Daddy had been living in Hawaii for 18 years or more. He said that after the war, he was homesick for family. He had no idea if the family in the Philippines was alive, but he knew Uncle Frank was in Hollister, so he bought himself an airplane ticket to California. While serving in the Army during the war, he became a U.S. citizen, which I suspect made it easier for him to travel without questions. In a year, the Daddy would go visit his mom and siblings in the Philippines. He told me that if his girlfriend was still unmarried, he would propose to her. I don't know know if he was
I'm taking apart the first album of the Mama's. Not her first one ever, but the first in a long line of albums. Sigh. What's with the so-called "acid-free/archival" pages in this album? The cellophane breaks apart when I take out the photos. So much for trying to use my hands with delicateness and refinement. For some reason-yet-to-be-identified, I'm saving the 3x5 pieces of paper (with a single punched hole) that were used as dividers between photos. The how-can-I-repurpose-this part of me has prevailed. I don't know what to do with the photos after I've scanned them. For that matter, what am I going to do with the scanned photos. May be why there are long intervals between scanning sessions. And, for a session to happen, I need to play my era of Rock & Roll and Latin music so I can wiggle and waggle in my chair, as I do this rather sad and joyful exercise of remembering stuff in photos. For instance: the rainy wedding day of a cousin; o
Today is the anniversary of the day that we celebrated the Daddy's birthday. He would've been 112 this year. The Daddy was born on July 15, 1905, but most of his formal papers show July 25. This is my theory for the discrepancy: His baptismal document, the only legal paper he had about his birth, was in Spanish, the primary language of the Philippines back then. Spanish was not the Daddy's family's first language. And, I suppose nobody cared when the Daddy signed a contract in 1928 to go to Hawaii to work on the sugar plantations, nor when he joined the Army during WWII or he became a naturalized U.S. citizen. When the Daddy was born, the Philippines was in transition from being a Spanish colony to a United States territory. The Daddy said that when he was a baby his parents ran him up into the mountains to hide during the war. The Daddy was surprised when I told him that it wasn't Spain the Filipinos were fighting, but the United States. I'm not sure if ev
The Mama used to tell me a story about the time that the Daddy carried me on his back while they picked tomatoes one summer day. I was maybe two years old. "You cried and cried," the Mama said. "You kept saying, 'Go home, Daddy. Go home.'" The poor Daddy! And, all those other poor workers around us who were forced to listen to a tiny, fat crybaby of a girl piggy-backing on her poor Daddy's back. The poor Daddy! How did the Parents ever get me to stop crying? Did the Daddy take the Mama and me home and go back to work? Did I eventually calm down, get off the Daddy's back, and find a way to entertain myself so the Parents could work in peace? I don't know. The Mama never told me what happened. She simply laughed after telling me. Why am I telling you the story? I don't know. I find myself tearful all of a sudden lately. C is for crybaby me. Not pitiful me though. C is the letter for this week's ABC Wednesday , a weekly meme that is keep
We are on a new adventure—the Mama, Molly the Cat, the Husband, and I. The Mama's body is failing. Thank goodness, her spirit is not. She's stubborn. That's a positive. Yesterday afternoon, she faced reality. She fell! "You need to use the walker," I exclaimed. "No! The dead people used it," she said, referring to the walker gathering dust in the garage. She used it once upon a time when she was healing from a broken hip. Somewhere along the line she let a friend borrowed it, which his wife returned after he died. "We will get you another one," I said. It was 5 o'clock in the afternoon. Fortunately, for us, we found a bare-basic walker, without the sparkles and whistles, at the pharmacy. Thankfully for us, the Mama allowed herself to use the walker. I loved that at one point, as she slowly made her way down the hallway, she stamped her feet and scolded her legs for not working with her. Last night, Molly the Cat gave the M
The Mama flanked by the Cousins! Indeed, yes. The Mama, the Husband, and I are in good spirits today. I think Molly the Cat may be, too. She got to eat roast chicken for lunch. The Mama is so in the pink that she did not complain about going to the doctor's this afternoon to get her shot for her anemia. Yaay! We had an impromptu visit from the Cousins on the Mama's side of the family. We don't see them often, but when we do, it's loads of happy conversation and laughter over a meal. That, I think, was the best medicine for the Mama today. It's the letter I on ABC Wednesday , a fun weekly meme started by Denise Nesbitt several years ago, and continued onward by Roger Green and the ABCW team. Check out the other participants, and maybe join in yourself, by clicking here . I'm also sharing at Warm Heart Wednesday , a meme hosted by Jenny Matlock at Off on my Tangent. Click here to visit.
The Friday's Hunt , a photo meme hosted by Teresa of Eden Hills , is a lot fun. She gives you three items to photograph each week, and you can choose to do one, two, or three of them. I had a photo last week that would've been perfect for all three items this week. Oh well. Starts with C I've decided to use my archives for the alphabet item. I took the photo of this cow in November 2014 during a hike with the Husband. Moooooooo. Week's Favorite The Only and Older Brother surprised us with a visit on Sunday. He brought BBQ for lunch, so I'll excuse him for not waving to the camera. I did get him to smile. Just as good. (Yes, that's a smile.) Inside One of my goals this year is to reduce the clutter in the house. Everywhere. Everything. So far I've accomplished sorting and organizing the business cards and library cards that I like to collect. Baby steps, but at least they are forward steps. We're supposed to have rain over the
Yesterday, Georgy, of Jubilee Street and Remember Freedom , wrote a post on her former blog that sparked a memory bubble. (Thanks, Georgy. ) That's watching "Bonanza" with the Daddy on Sunday evenings. It came on after "The Wonderful World of Disney." I can't recall if the Daddy watched that with me. If he did, that was nice of him to let me watch it. We watched TV nearly every evening together in our favorite spots. The Daddy sat on his recliner while I laid on the floor with my legs on the couch. I had a good excuse for being near the TV. I was the Daddy's channel changer and fixer of the horizontal line on the TV screen. P.S. I'm linking up with Art Every Day Month Day at Creative Every Day. P.P.S. Monica, hostess of the NatureFootstep Digital Art Meme , invited me to link up. So, I shall. Thanks, Monica.
Is it coincidence that there are dates in both the Husband's and my family that are common? Or, is it synchronicity? I prefer thinking it's the latter. I also prefer not figuring out how it's so. That said, November 15, for example, is special for both the Husband and me. November 15 is the Husband's Dad's birthday. Jim would've been 97 years old today. Happy Birthday, Jim! November 15 is the Mama's and the Daddy's wedding anniversary. They would've celebrated 68 years together. Happy Anniversary to the Mama and the Daddy!
Pretty pink hollyhock, isn't it? It's part of the second growth from Ninang Pat's hollyhocks. She cut the plants back last month. She was surprised to see more grow. Ninang Pat gave me some seeds for red hollyhocks. Hopefully, they'll grow for us. Ninang is the Ilocano word for Godmother. When I was baptized as a baby a long time ago, I had the good fortune of having six godparents—three ninangs and three ninongs (godfathers)—formally sponsor me. Informally, I had twelve godparents because the spouse of each godparent is also considered a godparent. But, actually, I had 9 or 10 godparents, because one or two of the ninongs were bachelors. Have I told you this before? With all those godparents, I was not spoiled with lots of gifts, although one bachelor ninong was very generous with candy when he came to visit. Ah, the fattening of Susie. Ninang Pat is the last of my godparents. She married Ninong Pablo when I was three. For the longest time, I was confused
Hello. I'm participating in a new weekly meme today. The Good. The Random. The Fun. It's a Monday meme hosted by Random-osity . You blog about a good, random, and fun thing that happened in the past week. Yes, I know today is Tuesday. What can I say. THE GOOD My high school graduating class—San Benito High School (aka Hollister High School) Class of 1971—established a scholarship about nine years ago. We have the distinction of being the only alumni class at the local high school to sponsor a scholarship, thanks to Rudy, Debbie, and Debbie who had the vision, heart, and diligence to make it happen. In the last eight years, we've given $14,000 in scholarships to 10 Baler graduates. (Baler, or Haybaler, is the high school mascot.) Whooo-hooo! On Saturday we held our annual Class of 1971 Scholarship fundraiser in town. It was another successful luncheon, silent auction, and raffle. Each year, we get a bigger turnout with newer faces showing up. It felt