The View From My Window

The world as seen from my window and through my eyes

On the shelf October 4, 2011

Filed under: The Adventures of "Fat Chick" — auntlelo @ 8:31 am

Fat Chick: “It’s been two years since I’ve gotten near her computer. Two years!”

Henrietta: “Maybe you shouldn’t have let your beak overload your better judgement. You see it’s gotten us all placed firmly on the shelf. We’re ruined! We’ll never get our audience back! It’s so very shameful…”

Fat Chick: “As if that wasn’t insulting enough, she put us on the top shelf with an ANGEL! Makes me think we’ve been sent to goose heaven or something. How COULD she do it?”

Gregory Pecked: “I told you to watch yourself around the lady at the desk. She may seem nice, but, she’s got an unholy temper now and then. And can she bear a grudge! After all, it’s been two years!”

Fat Chick: “I know, I know. Maybe I’ll tell her we’ll be good. REALLY good. I won’t eat her jelly beans, or her chocolate, or hijack her laptop and make snide comments about people, places and things. Maybe, just maybe, she’ll relent.”

Henrietta: “If she takes us down from the shelf, we’ll have to have a good dusting. She hasn’t done THAT in two years either, I can tell you.”

Gregory Pecked: “Well, what are you waiting for? Start flapping your beak and beg her for mercy!”

Fat Chick: “Oh yoohoo! Hey! You down there at the computer! Lady at the desk! Please, please can we come down now? Haven’t we been banished long enough?”

Fat Chick: “My table! Oh how I’ve missed you! What’s this? Could it possible be…chocolate?”

Henrietta: “Oh no, don’t do it. You know how she gets when you pilfer her stash of chocolate! You’ll get us banished again!”

Fat Chick: “She’ll never know. Just a taste…”

Henrietta: “Here we go again. Some things NEVER change.”

 

Back from the dead? October 3, 2011

Filed under: Random Musings — auntlelo @ 6:58 pm

I haven’t thought about this blog in a long time. About two years, actually. There was a time in my life when writing about ceramic chicken friends, short stories about my life and my views about everything from weather to people kept me entertained. Then I allowed a negative comment or two kill the pleasure for me. For two whole years…

Well, enough of that! I need to sharpen the old virtual pencil and start to harass my friends and family again with shameless puns, imaginary chickens and all sorts of random hilarity. So, here goes.

Today’s random musing is about how hard it is to get used to the technology in a new car. Case in point:

I got a new SUV a week ago. I love it. It’s a Chevy Equinox and it has everything from soup to nuts. I particularly love the fact that the iPod now hooks into the system and we have this wonderful display that allows us to manage our songs from the dash. It also has a terrific navigation system (thank you OnStar). It also has a one disc CD player. This is where I ran into problems. I like to believe I’m somewhat intelligent, but, while I was able to figure out how to load the CD, play the CD, work through the tracks of the CD, etc., I was completely unable to figure out how to eject the CD!

Twenty minutes. This is definitely an issue of usability, not stupidity.  I really, really believe that everything else about this car is terrific. They obviously added the eject button as an afterthought.

Maybe we’ll have more random musings in a day or two. In the meantime, I’ll take a feather duster to the chicks in the office and see if they have anything new to say after two years!

 

Songs remind me of people October 31, 2009

Filed under: Short stories from my life...so far — auntlelo @ 11:19 am

You know how it is when you’re listening to the radio and a song comes on that immediately makes you think of a special time or a special person? I’ve been doing housework this morning and have bumped into several songs that immediately made me nostalgic about a person in my life. In case you’re one of those special people, here are a few of those:

Dreamweaver (Gary Wright): my brother-in-law Mike, it always seemed to be playing in his Camaro when he was in it.

Sundown (Gordon Lightfoot) , I Can See Clearly Now (Johnny Nash), and Bridge Over Troubled Water (Simon and Garfunkel): my sister Vicki, who bought this sheet music and played it on the piano a lot when she was a teenager

Country Boy and Rocky Mountain High (John Denver), Whispering Hope, This Old House, Mountain Dew and almost any old family song we ever sang together: my brother Kenj and my cousin Kevin. Some of these songs will forever remind me of growing up in a house filled with music and their band. I yearned to be a part of their band, but, was obviously just a little kid and not old enough to sing with the big guys. Being in a band just wasn’t meant to be for me.

Any Peter, Paul and Mary song and the Beatles Red Album: my sister Chris. She was the flower child of the family. Loved the folk musicians from the 60’s and early 70’s (and still does). I nearly wore out her Beatles album when I stayed with her for a week in her basement apartment on Broadway. It was my first real Beatles experience and I’ll always associate that with Chrissy. I was horrified to think I would have to leave that Beatles album behind when I left to go home, but, Mom ran over my cat while I was gone and bought me the double album to make amends on the way home. Sad, but, true.

Any and all songs by Waylon Jennings and Willie Nelson: my Mom. She was a rabid Waylon Jennings fan.

Yackety Sax (Boots Randolph): my Dad.

A Daisy A Day: Granny Hamilton. She used to always request that song of my brother’s band when they were together.

Any song by Bread, “Coast of Colorado” (Skip Ewing): My husband. The truth is, there are about a million songs that remind me of my husband, but, these are the first couple that came to mind. In addition, the Nancy Griffith “Lone Star State of Mind” album, because I listened to it almost non-stop driving back and forth to Brookfield for visits before we got married.

Killin Time (Clint Black) and It’s Me Again Margaret (Ray Stevens): my son Mark. He loved Clint Black when he was a kid. He also used to lip sync to a Ray Stevens tape and I even have him on video doing the “It’s Me Again Margaret” song.

Boyz to Men songs: my son Bobby

Any Kathy Mattea song: our daughter Heather

Sweet Child o Mine: my son-in-law Josh

November Rain (Guns n Roses), lots of Metallica Songs, Creed, Altar Bridge, etc.: Allen, my guitar playing son

Broadway show tunes: my daughter Annie

Dolly Parton songs: our daughter Ashley, she went through a phase at about the same time Heather went through the Kathy Mattea phase and Mark went through the Clint Black phase. Have her on video too…

Are there any songs that remind people of me? Probably. Feel free to comment on that if you think of any!

 

 

Memories of Grandma Higgins October 12, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — auntlelo @ 7:19 am

At long last I am back to the blog. I had promised in an earlier post that I would give equal time to the memories of grandparents. I started with the ones I grew up next door to on the farm, Granny and Grandpa Hamilton. This post is about Grandma Higgins.

Grandma Higgins was the grandparent who lived in town. I never knew my maternal grandfather, he died when my Mom was 13. Grandma finished raising the last of their 8 children on her own. During my childhood, she lived with my Uncle Kenny and my Aunt Pat, two of my Mom’s siblings. For many years they lived in a white house on Center Street in Fulton. Here’s what I remember most about Grandma Higgins:

  • When I was little, Grandma Higgins always wore house dresses. I never saw her wear pants until I was close to being an adult. This was very different from my other Granny who never wore dresses.
  • One of the things I remember most about Grandma Higgins was her spaghetti. It was different from Mom’s, but hey, I never met a noodle I didn’t like. When I ate lunch at her house, she always set all kinds of sandwich fixings on the table along with the main dish. That’s where I learned the significant culinary delight of crushed potato chips on top of my spaghetti. Mmmmm.
  • Grandma Higgins actually had a room in the front of her house that was the “company” parlor. The piano was in there and the fancier furniture. She also had the heaviest telephone I’ve ever seen in that room. It must have been from the 40’s or something. You couldn’t have possibly had a long phone conversation on it cause you couldn’t hold the receiver up to your head that long…
  • Seems to me that both sets of grandparents always called me by my full given name “Lori Ann.” Except for my Uncle Kenny who used to annoy me by calling me “Laura Ann.” Except, that is, when I was going through my Laura Ingalls Wilder phase where I thought it was cooler to be Laura than Lori. 🙂
  • Grandma Higgins always went on vacation with us and would ride in the front seat next to my Mom and Dad. Some of my best vacation memories were of Grandma Higgins being with us. In a previous post I told the story of the crabs. Yes, those were great Grandma stories.
  • She collected postcards from all her trips. I think she had quite an impressive collection.
  • I remember her talking a lot about her brothers and sister. They had really interesting names like Gus and Pearl. A couple of them were more common like Lawrence and John. I always felt like she was really close to her sister Pearl because she talked about her the most.
  • She had a really pretty smile.
  • Although I never heard her play or sing, I understand that she was my musical grandparent. She was in a band when she was young and played the guitar and sang. Makes me sad that I never heard her.
  • Her house always seemed to have some of her kids or grandkids around. My Aunt Rosie and Uncle Bo lived just up the street and my cousin Kevin seemed to grow up at her house. Or ours. We always knew there would be someone dropping in when we were there.
  • She cooked lunch for all of her grown kids who worked in town every day. (This is why she always had lots of variety on the table). My Mom and Dad were there and my Uncle Kenny and Aunt Rosie. Some of the others would drop in if they were in town. It was almost like a miniature family reunion every day!
  • Whenever I had a doctors appointment, I would spend the day at Grandma’s house in town. She had some ancient Lincoln Logs and a set of Chinese Checkers at her house. I always tried to remember to bring some of my own toys—I wasn’t a Lincoln Logs kind of gal.
  • At Christmastime she always had Russell Stovers chocolate orange sticks in the front living room. It was always really cool in there and she would let me go have one or two in the afternoon for a treat if I was a good girl. I was ALWAYS a good girl. 🙂
  • She had a porch swing and that was my favorite part of her house.
 

Memories of Granny and Gramps July 23, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — auntlelo @ 7:23 am

It was a typical ride to work conversation between my husband and me. We frequently talk about topics that range from politics to family issues to work to reminiscing about our childhood. Those chats that allow me to reach back in my memory for those precious little memories are my favorite. We had one of those this morning.

The topic: what do you remember most about your grandparents? Ahhhh, what DON’T I remember? Granny and Gramps (Hamilton-paternal grandparents) lived next door to us on the farm. Grandma Higgins (maternal grandparent) lived in town. I remember always having a special place in my heart, even as a child, for old people. There’s nothing in this world any better than growing up next door to them.

Today I’ll share memories of my paternal grandparents. What I remember most about my paternal grandparents and growing up on a farm in Callaway County:

  • Their house always smelled of apples. Granny cooked some nearly every day or so. They would save the peelings on the backporch and Gramps would feed them to the hogs.
  • Gramps would sit in his big red chair and peel an apple with his pocketknife. He would always end up with one long unbroken spiral. I was fascinated.
  • Granny always churned butter in her Daisy butter churn every afternoon at 4 o’clock. I knew it was every day at 4 because she started running the darn thing during the only 30 minutes of cartoons on TV every day…
  • Gramps and his Ford tractor, stenciled and painted with the words “Gramps Special” on the front, running around the farm. I used to get to ride on the tractor with him in ways I am certain would be against the law today. 🙂
  • Learning how to cook fried eggs (eggs I had helped gather) standing next to my Granny in her kitchen. I LOVED FRIED EGGS with lots of pepper.
  • Granny handing me an empty tin can and telling me to go dig a few worms and we’d go fishing at the pond. She’d wear a big hat and wasn’t afraid to get her hands messy handling her own fish!
  • The old 4 door Ford that always smelled kind of funny. My sister Vicki and I were playing with the kittens in the front seat one day, kicked it out of gear and rolled it down the hill till it hit the smokehouse. It knocked it partway off its foundation. No more playing with kitties in the car after that…
  • Playing house in their basement with the old iron cookstove and my Granny’s old dishes. Those same dishes now sell for a fair chunk of change on eBay, when you can find them.
  • Grandpa telling stories. Lots of stories. Granny complaining that he’d told them a hundred times and it was different every time he told them. Me looking up at him with big eyes, hanging on his every word and thinking he was the most interesting person I’d ever met.
  • Granny’s fried chicken. It was the best I’ve ever had and to this day cannot be duplicated no matter how hard I try.
  • Grandpa carrying George, his pet black snake, around his neck and completely freaking us out.
  • Granny’s pet sow, Patty Pig, who was big, ugly and would chase you round the hog lot with her mouth open and her teeth showing. When I was pre-school age Gramps used to put me on her back to see which one of us would squeal louder, me or the pig.
  • Picking blackberries with Gramps every summer.
  • Granny listening to the Cardinal baseball games on the radio. It was her passion all her life.
  • Playing baseball with Gramps and hating it. He was good—really good and could knock you off your feet cause he threw the ball so hard.
  • Granny’s garden was massive and she had flowers all over her yard. She had a bunch of honeysuckle growing all over the back corner of the yard and it was so big I used to crawl underneath and play, completely hidden. As I got bigger I decided I needed more space and borrowed the hedge clippers and cleared out some more room underneath. When Granny noticed the lower half of her honeysuckle was dying off, I was banished and told to find another place to play…
  • Gramps was a bee keeper. He had bee hives in the orchard at the far end of the garden. I hated having to go to the garden to help weed or pick veggies because I was afraid of the bees. But, the honey was divine.
 

Fat Chick reports on a visitor to the office May 1, 2009

Filed under: The Adventures of "Fat Chick",Uncategorized — auntlelo @ 4:10 pm

Fat Chick: “Guess who showed up in the office today? The Lady at the Desk made an appearance and caught all of her work friends up on all sorts of things! I listened in so I could tell everyone all about it!”

Hen on the Mend: “Excuse me Fat Chick. I hate to interrupt when you’re so excited, but, I believe that it is my job as a professional to report on any medically related news. After all, I was engaged specifically for that purpose, if you recall.”

Fat Chick: “Alright, alright, don’t get your feathers in a twist! I’ll report on the interesting things and you can report on how the scar’s healing.”

Hen on the Mend: “Well, I suppose that rather puts me in my place now doesn’t it? Well, let’s see if I can make the health report a little more interesting. I’ll list the things I noticed when she came in.”

  • I noted that while getting around very well, the Lady at the Desk isn’t able to get across the street quickly enough to avoid being hit by a car. Or a bicycle. In fact, most other pedestrians. Glad she decided not to risk it when the cement truck was coming down the street!
  • It was good that she was excited about walking up the hill between McReynolds Hall and Jesse. However, I heard that nice man who’s doing her work for her say that they had to walk really slow and stop a couple of times on the way up. She must not have been practicing her walking uphill lately!
  • She reported that she isn’t taking drugs anymore. I wish she wouldn’t put it that way. Sounds suspicious. She should say she is no longer having to take her prescription medications to make her feel comfortable. That’s really good to hear, especially since she was driving! I noted that when she parked she pulled way too far forward in her parking space. Wonder if her eyes are still dilated?
  • She also reports she’s continuing to lose weight and is very happy about that. However, she did have her usual work treat from Chipotle today, so I’ll have to stay vigilant when she returns to make sure that doesn’t become a habit again!

Fat Chick: “Okay, my turn!”

  • This woman has been closed in for far too long. All she could talk about was what movies she’s watched and, oh my gosh, if she referenced something from the Biography Channel one more time I thought I would have to lay an egg!
  • She was only here for about 5 minutes and already seemed to have broken her computer. That nice blonde fellow down the hall had to come and fix it. Good thing he was around. Wonder if he’s missed having to do that lately?
  • Let’s see, she was terribly excited to see Jason, Josh, Karen, Lisa, Nancy, Jamie, Jeremiah and Paul. She was really sorry to have missed Ryan, Genevieve and Dr. Smith. Isn’t Dr. Smith that man that’s supposed to be making the children behave while she’s gone?
  • She smiled a lot while she was here. She was either really happy or she’d been drinking before she got here.
  • She got all excited thinking several of the folks had dressed up in her honor. However, she soon realized that one had a meeting in Jesse Hall and that another said it was Friday and she hadn’t done her laundry.
  • She wondered who is living in their office and hanging their laundry in the ladies room? This is a new addition. She wanted to know if she saw anything she liked if she could wear it next?
  • She kept mentioning someone named Ana who was wearing a particularly cute shirt today and that she’s been missing the funny emails from Chris. She mentioned something about sick pigs and I personally couldn’t figure out why she would think that was funny, but, the Lady at the Desk does seem to have a very odd sense of humor.
  • She was thankful she remembered how to sign her name when that nice lady named Val asked for her signature. She tends to forget the most basic things these days. Like, for instance, that she had made an appointment to get her haircut this afternoon. I think she thought she’d just be at the office for a couple of hours, but, that woman just stayed and stayed…barely made it on time!

Hen on the Mend: “All in all, she seems to be doing pretty well. Wonder when she’ll be back in?”

Fat Chick: “She says soon, she hopes. I’m personally hoping it will be awhile. I’m just getting used to roosting in the big blue chair!”

 

Watching lots and lots of movies April 6, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — auntlelo @ 6:53 am

I just completed my first full week at home recuperating. The first part of the week was spent feeling somewhat miserable. In fact, there are lots of details that I don’t remember. However, I now seem to have fallen into a bit of a routine which includes a lot of rest (per doctors orders). This requires that I move from chair to sofa, sofa to recliner, etc. all day long so I don’t get sick and tired of any one position. I also take short walks around the house or up and down the driveway. I have my laptop on my lap most of the day and still read and respond to lots of email. Facebook has become a nice social diversion.

While doing so much resting, I find that watching movies seems to be the most fun for me right now. Last week I watched:

Lonesome Dove
Dirty Dancing
Pretty Woman
Roadhouse
Enchanted
Becoming Jane
Miss Potter
We Were Soldiers
Footloose
The Patriot
Run Silent, Run Deep
Elizabeth: The Golden Age
The Golden Compass
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

Amazing how many movies you can watch in a week when that’s about all you’re allowed to do.  I’m probably going to have to branch out and rent some movies soon. Even though there are hundreds of channels on DISH, they all seem to offer the same things over and over again. Any good ones to suggest?