Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Dreams of Flying

Have you ever had a dream that you can fly? Just lift up your arms and away you go into the sky to fly around and look at the town below you? I do have these dreams that I can fly now and then. I love these dreams. I always wake up with a happy feeling. Last night I had one of these dreams and I took my younger son (who died in November 2005) with me. I had never taken anyone flying with me in my dreams. I asked Cavan if he liked it and he was hesitant at first, but he said he did like it. I told him that I liked it too and that I could fly anytime I wanted. I told him that he could do this too, just by putting his hands up into the air and giving a little jump. I've never been afraid in my flying dreams. I've always enjoyed my flights around the town or around the ceiling of a big room. I'm not much of one to try to interpret my night time dreams or to even put much meaning into them. I just enjoy them. Well, most of the time I enjoy my dreams. I have had nightmares that I don't enjoy at all. I've read that when you dream about flying it means that you have been liberated from something that is troubling you. I didn't know I had anything troubling me yesterday or this past week. Maybe I was troubled by this beading project I'm trying to work out. I've remade this necklace twice and I still don't like it. Maybe today I will get it figured out. And maybe tonight I will have another dream about being able to fly.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

More Memories from My Closet - Trip Out West

On August 5, 1962, my grandparents, Grandpa & Grandma Smith, took my sister Cindy and me on a train trip to the Seattle World's Fair, Disneyland and the Grand Canyon. I was 13 years old. We boarded the Santa Fe train in Chicago. We had a car that we slept in and we were on the train for three days, as it went through the northern states to Seattle, Washington. I remember waking up one morning as we went through Montana and hoping that the train wouldn't fall off the tracks into one of those huge valleys! We got to move around the train and my sister and I remember sitting in the Dome car. I also remember talking to a lady who had a ladybug pin on. I admired that pin and she gave it to me. I would still have it, but in 1998, our house in Dallas was robbed and all of my jewelry was stolen.

We stayed at the Doric New Washington Hotel in Seattle and we went to the World's Fair. I don't remember much of the fair. I do remember that Cindy and I wanted to go up in the Space Needle, but the lines were very long and someone told our grandparents that there was a three hour wait and they didn't want to wait in line. So, we never went up in the Space Needle. We were there for two days.

While we were in WA, we went to Puget Sound. Cindy and I remember getting frozen bananas that were covered with chocolate.

We boarded a bus that went to Portland, OR where we stayed at the Imperial Hotel. I don't remember much about Portland. Cindy remembers that at some point during our trip, we saw a vending machine that dispensed drinks in cans (or maybe they were in bottles). We had never seen a vending machine, but we wanted one of the drinks. We got ginger ale or Club Soda. It was awful, but we felt we had to drink it since Grandpa spent his money on it.

Bob was surprised that I was 13 and I had never seen a vending machine. I grew up in Lovington, IL, where the population was 1,200 people. I didn't know about many things until we moved to Springfield, IL around December 1962.

From Portland, we went on to San Francisco. We saw the Golden Gate Bridge and we stayed at the Belleview Hotel.

Next, we went to Disneyland in Los Angeles. I don't remember anything about Disneyland, but I'm sure we rode on some of the rides. We went to the Chinese Theater in Hollywood. I remember this was a bus tour and the guide pointed out famous people's homes. We also went to Knott's Berry Farm and Ghost Town. We stayed at the Biltmore Hotel.

We got back on the train from Los Angeles and we took the southern route on our way back home. I remember stopping at the Grand Canyon.

We arrived in St. Louis, MO, on August 18th, Cindy's 12th birthday.

If you would like to see more photos of this trip, here is the link --

Tillie the Toiler

In a previous blog I wrote this week, I mentioned that I found some paper dolls that my mother had drawn. I called Mom to tell her that I had found her Tillie Toiler paper doll and she corrected me by saying it is Tillie the Toiler. Our conversation then went on to other things and she didn't explain anything further about Tillie the Toiler. I started thinking about this paper doll and I wanted more information about it. This morning, being a huge Google fan, I Googled "Tillie the Toiler" and found out that it began as a comic strip in 1921 and ran until 1959. It was created by a cartoonist Russ Westover. This is what Wikipedia said about the comic strip:

Tillie (last name Jones) toiled for a fashionable women's wear company run by clothing mogul J. Simpkins. Or usually did, anyway—she'd occasionally quit or be fired, as the plotline, which ran at breakneck pace and didn't always make perfect sense, required. During World War II, in fact, she even joined the U.S. Army. But she always came back to Simpkins. Mostly, she worked in his office, but she also did a little modeling. Whatever she did and wherever she went, however, she was impeccably dressed in the very latest styles. (Except when she was in the army, of course.) This helped her in the pursuit of charming and often wealthy young men, who came and went at an alarming rate, providing grist for the story mill. She did, however, have one steady male associate, Clarence "Mac" MacDougall, a short, bulb-nosed co-worker who loved her persistently even though she returned little of the feeling.

Tillie the Toiler also appeared in comic books as a cut out paper doll and her fashionable clothes.

The comic strip inspired two films of the same name.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Cooking & Baking

I love to cook and bake and I don't care if it is over 100 degrees outside, I will make homemade soup and a pan of baked muffins -- from scratch, of course. I was taught to open a cookbook and follow a recipe when I was growing up, so I still do this.

This morning I was trying to think ahead about meals for the day. I don't always do this, but I had no plans for the day and I felt like doing some cooking and baking. As I was looking in the refrigerator and freezer to see what I had on hand, I saw many plastic containers with this and that in them. Well, not really "this" and "that". I had some veggies left over from various meals that I put in one container in the freezer. Good for soups. I had a container of frozen strawberries that I put in there when we were leaving on a trip and we had no time to eat them before we left. I found a strawberry muffin recipe I plan to try later today. I can't eat them, as I no longer eat sugar, but the members of Emanuel Lutheran Church LOVE my homemade baked goodies I take for coffee hour! And I had two containers of pasta sauce, left over from previous meals, that I had frozen. Pasta and sauce will be on the menu for dinner tonight. I had eight containers of food sitting in the freezer and refrigerator. Today was a good day to clean them out!

I am making some chicken/rice/veggie soup with some old carrots that were either use them or toss them in the garbage and the container of the frozen veggies. And I had a roasted chicken carcass with some good meat left on it that I bought for another meal. I can usually get two or three good meals from a little roasted chicken I buy at the grocery store. I put it in the freezer after the meal and use it for soup. I had some leftover rice in the refrigerator that I added to my soup. I added a can of Rotel this time too. I guess this is "Everything But the Kitchen Sink Chicken Soup Recipe".

OK. Time to quit writing about my wonderful soup and go eat some. YUM!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Boxes of Memories in My Closet

Over the Labor Day weekend when Bob and I were sitting for my grandkids, my two granddaughters, Caty who is almost 10, and Carson who is 7, wanted to play with some paper dolls. A year ago when we were sitting for them, I found some paper dolls online at Caty and Carson wanted me to print out the same paper dolls for them a couple of weeks ago when we were there. When I was talking to my sister later, we remembered that I had some paper dolls that our mother had hand-drawn when she was a little girl. I knew I had them somewhere in a box in my closet. I had looked one other time and I couldn't find them. Today I had nothing special planned, so I decided to look for those paper dolls again. I have several boxes in my closet that contain things I have saved over the years that were mine or items belonging to my boys. I enjoy looking through those boxes from time to time. I love reading my diaries from junior high and high school, looking at photos of my boys when they were little and looking at their papers from school. Today, I found those paper dolls. Here is a page I scanned. The paper doll, named Tilly Toiler, has three pages of clothes. I also found two autograph books from 1961 and 1962. I hadn't read them in many years.

Here are some of the autographs from my dad (Rollin Smith), my cousin Larry when he was six years old, my Grandpa Smith, and my Grandma Smith.