Thursday, November 26, 2015

Thankful to be a Child of the 70s: Round 2

The 1970s don't get enough credit, so I'm here again this Thanksgiving to point out some of my childhood favorites. To read last year's piece, click here.

My Room Decor

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When Grandma Katie was put in the nursing home, Mom redecorated the downstairs bedroom for me. Dad purchased a single bed from an auction at neighbor Pauly Walter's. Read about him here and read about Grandma Katie here.

Mom bought a Holly Hobbie bedspread and matching window shades. This was the first bedroom that I remember calling mine. Prior to that, I slept in the living room. A crib was in there, and when I got older, I slept on the pull-out love seat because I was too chicken to sleep alone upstairs.

It was in this decorated room that I developed my fear of lightning storms and Big Foot. Long story.

My First Record Album

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I bought a 45 of the Carpenter's "Top of the World" hit at the Ben Franklin store in Huron one Saturday morning. Mom had given me two bucks spending money while she got her hair done.

A few years ago, I bought a Carpenter's greatest hits album and loaded it on my iPod. When I played the song in preparation for this post, I remembered almost every word.

If someone had told me to write down the lyrics, I'm not sure I could have. But the memories flooded back upon hearing the music. Funny how the brain works. Click here to hear the lyrics. 

For those that don't know, the brother-sister duo of Richard and Karen Carpenter were known for the harmonic tunes. Karen Carpenter died in 1983 with complications due to anorexia. Read more about that here and here. It was during the 80s, my high school years, when eating disorders became a topic of public concern. The Denver Post ran a book review piece about the Karen Carpenter story. Click here to read it.

A Candy My Family Liked

picture from https://s-media
The combination of chocolate and caramel was found in a Rothchild's nugget. The tasty tidbit is similar to a Rolo.

The company's marketing campaign including a silly saying performed in a British accent. Click here and here for a couple of those commercials. I know, corny, but catchy.

My dad and brother Elliott would often repeat the famous line, "Not now, I'm right in the middle of a Rothchild's" to anyone they talked to. They even answered the phone that way sometimes. Read more about my brother's antics here.

The Rothchild's saying lightened anyone's mood. I wish this candy was still around. Don't know what happened to it. Or the Marathon Bar. Or Freshen-Up gum. Or Melody Pops, the sucker with a whistle.

A Favorite Saturday Morning Show
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The time travel show, "The Land of the Lost," started in the 70s, not the early 90s when Hollywood attempted a re-make. I never watched it; maybe I should have. Watch a trailer of the 1970s version here.

The graphics? My goodness. So fake. But back then I didn't care. I liked the story line, or should I say, the older brother.

The music? Too upbeat for what happened to this family.

My husband Chris says the Sleestak creatures still give him the creeps. You can see the critters here in the entire first episode.

What memories do you have of these 70s icons? For my younger readers, feel free to critique my child-of-the-70s favorites.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

My Hotel Pet Peeves

The holiday season brings travel for many of us that require a stay in a hotel. I prefer Holiday Inn Express for their breakfasts, workout rooms, and overall service. But I still have a few pet peeves. Some due to my own quirkiness. Enjoy.

Bed sheets are tucked in military style. My toes and feet prefer freedom, so I go around the bed and pull up the sheets and blankets before I even hop in.

Mirror with no table in front of it. I can't put on make-up by it then, and I don't use the bathroom mirror because it's too steamy if someone has showered. The light in there is too bright anyway. Yes, you read that correctly. If the lighting is too good, I'll start picking zits, a bad-bad habit. Girls at college would tell me, "I never picked zits or split end until I met you!" I'm so over that, but now, due to my age, I look for facial hair—especially those little black whiskers that feel like they're an inch long.

The heat and air. Hard to regulate. And sometimes there's a clicking noise.

No noise. We sleep with the soothing hum of a floor fan at home, so we run the air fan in the bathroom or turn on the manual fan on the heat and air unit. Without that running, if it's too quiet at night, I hear every creak. Or door opening. Or toilet flushing. Even if hotel guests are a bit noisy, the low hum of a fan will drown out the sounds—if the dreaded clicking sound doesn't emerge.

Lack of towels. I want three. One for hair and face. Another for body. One for my pillow—to catch the drool and soak up my wet hair. Front desk personnel seem perplexed whenever I ask for more. 

A True Story
Recently, the place didn't have any extra towels. All used up in the pool area. Guess what they gave us? The extra bath mats. Kind of stiff for a towel. 

I can't remember where that happened. Maybe it was the hotel in Effingham, Illinois. Yes, that is the name of the place. We were on our way to Ohio to visit Lawrence and Tammy, Chris' brother and his wife. It took us an hour and half and nearly ten stops in three different large towns to find a hotel in the middle of July 2014. The hotels were booked. All due to a bagel festival.

Yes, a bagel festival. Don't believe me? Click here

Any hotel pet peeves to add to the list? Or how about sharing one of your funny hotel stories with our readers?

Sunday, November 8, 2015

His CB Handle was the Auditor

Veteran's Day is special in my family, but not for the usual reason. It's my brother Elliott's birthday. 

He was college-aged by the time I was born. And my sisters were young teenagers.

When he moved home to farm with Dad in April 1971, he lived less than two miles away from the home place. I was 5-years-old then.

Elliott is the one sibling who saw me almost every day of my growing up years—unlike my sisters who came and went throughout their adult years.

May Elliott's wife, five children, and thirteen grandchildren enjoy these memories from his three little sisters.

Tidbits from Childhood 
Priscilla's said 
Elliott kept the Sunday bulletins. He stored them in cigar boxes in his bedroom. He collected the eraser end of pencils. He drowned out gophers by pouring buckets of water down the hole.
Brenda said
When Mom & Dad would leave us kids home alone for a few hours, Elliott and I tended to pick on Priscilla, the middle child. Guess we got away with it because she never fought back.
 Melodie said
My earliest memory of Elliott is when he and his fiance came home and gave me a doll. I have no memories of Elliott without Doris, his wife. I turned four a few days before their wedding. I wrote about that in this post.

Doris and I were in a roll-over car accident before they had any children. As Dad made phone calls to authorities about it, Doris cooked lunch, and I sat in Elliott's lap with my arms wrapped around his neck. I can still see our reflection in the glass of the china closet in the dining room.
That's the tender moment I remember with my brother, 20 years my senior. Soon after he had his own children to provide affection to. 

Elliott, a Tabor College graduate, congratulated by sisters Brenda & Priscilla

Farm Work
Brenda said
I would drive the small tractor, and as I slowly drove past each bale in the field, he would use two hooks to hoist those heavy alfalfa bales onto a flat wooden pallet of sorts called the stone boat. Strange name, but Dad confirmed that's what they called it. After a full load, the bales were placed on a conveyor and sent put into the barn loft. Elliott worked up a sweat stacking those heavy bales.
Priscilla said
I would drive the tractor when we made bales. When, not if, I would plug the baler, the bale hook Elliott had in his hand would go into the air. I don't remember what he would yell.
Melodie said
I too have have memories of Elliott's yelling at the hogs or cattle. He never cussed. Never. Instead, he made up his own crazy words when he was mad—especially at the hogs. Things like, "You stupid, flyswatter, snot-driven, pan of no-good slime." That wasn't exactly what he said, but it would be crazy nonsense like that.

At top: Elliott's birthday in 1971 with me on his lap. Bottom: Elliott in July 2015.

A Numbers Guy 
Brenda said
Elliott was and is such a math wiz. He'd try to help me, but I think he had a hard time coming down to my level of understanding.
Melodie said
I earned good grades in high school algebra and geometry because Elliott and Dad would take turns yelling at me. I say that light-hardheartedly because they both just talked loud. I'd hear, "It's just like the other problem. Do the same thing!”
Or if a new concept emerged, Elliott would say, "Do it like the teacher did in class? He showed you, didn't he?" And yes, Mr. Frank Podraza showed us.
the family, long before me (not sure who the fella is in the back)

Melodie said
Playing Scrabble with Elliott is a maddening endeavor. He uses words that no one knows and is able to put them going vertically and horizontally—and they all match up as words!
Elliott has always been academic minded. He's well-read, loves a pun and a play-of-words. Mom was always proud of her son who could tell a joke and never ruin the punchline.

Do your siblings have any quirky childhood collections like my brother? Any games you avoid with them because they are too good?