Monday, April 30, 2012

Z is for Halloween at the Zoo

     Wow!  Can't believe we finally made it to Z.  I am glad I chose memories as my A - Z theme because it has been fun taking a walk down memory lane, even if challenging at times.    To wrap up this journey, I have decided to reminisce  about taking the grandkids trick or treating at the zoo.


     Our local zoo sponsors an enormous Halloween party every year.  Back when our grandkids were younger, two of my sisters and I would take all seven of them every year.  I am a huge fan of the zoo and loved going as much as the kids.    And any time I get to spend time doing something special with my grandkids is the greatest joy of all. 



     The zoo was a wonderful, safe alternative to door to door trick or treating.  Every few yards was a different company or organization sponsored booth where the costumed characters would hand out various goodies, treats and gifts to the kids.   There were always plenty of fairy tale characters walking around to interact with the kids also.   It was so well planned that it was always fun for the whole family.






     One of the areas that our kids enjoyed most was the maze made of hay bales.  That was just one of many favorite spots where the adults got to catch their breath for a few minutes. 











 


      Just like this A - Z Challenge, the Halloween trips to the zoo have come to an end.  There is an age limit for the kids trick or treating and our kids are all too old.  I miss those trips and the excitement on my grandchildren's faces as they talked to the fairy tale characters or got a special treat at one of the booths.    Luckily, life goes on to different challenges and more exciting adventures.

Until next time....that's my view.
Kat

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Y is for Yearbook

     Since graduation is fast approaching for many students, I thought it fitting for my Y memory to be about my high school yearbook.  You remember those books that we couldn't wait to get so everyone in school could sign it and write those cute little notes that meant so much at the time.  Such are the memories of youth.

   
     This is Milltown School where I graduated.  The building is no longer there but the memories will remain forever.   There were 26 students in my graduating class and less than 400 from 1st grade through 12th.  This was before city schools were consolidated into 1 county school.  Our ball teams were called the Milltown Millers and our yearbook was the Mill Wheel.


     This was our yearbook committee.  I'm the one sitting at the table with the bow in my hair.    What was I thinking?








      And remember those senior pictures that you keep around just for laughs?    Talk about big hair!  Well, at least I didn't have a bow in it!







     So, that's my trip down memory lane through the old yearbook.  Have you looked at yours lately?


Until next time...that's my view.
Kat

Friday, April 27, 2012

X is for Xyster and Other Strange Words

     I have to admit that up until now I haven't  had too much trouble coming up with daily memories for the A - Z Challenge.    Notice I said, up until now.  Today is X and X nearly put an end to me successfully fulfilling the challenge.    There are not a lot of words that begin with X and most of them that do are not exactly words that you can work into a normal conversation, or story.  But not to be outdone by a simple X, I have picked out 3 words beginning with X and the memories associated with them.

1.  Xanadu

     I love this word.  It just sounds fun.  The dictionary defines Xanadu as an idyllic, beautiful place.  What could be better?  Most of you will probably remember the movie, Xanadu, starring Olivia Newton-John.  But where is your Xanadu?  I would have to say mine is the beach around sunset or at daybreak when it is quiet and you can walk along the surf looking for shells.  To me that is the most peaceful and beautiful place on earth.  That being said, my best memory of my Xanadu  would have to be when some friends and I stayed in a Bed and Breakfast on Tybee Island, GA. and walked along the beach at dawn looking for seashells.  

2.  X-ray

     Most everyone has had some type of x-ray during their lifetime, so to most of you probably not a big deal.  For me, it's a pretty big deal.  I have had so many x-rays in my lifetime that it is a wonder I don't glow in the dark.  Who knows, I may have some hidden super radiation powers that I haven't discovered!  Without going into a lot of detail, lets just say that 10 surgeries along with so many CTs, MRIs, ultrasounds and regular x-rays that I've lost count puts me in the category of way too many x-rays for one person.  Needless to say, most of my memories associated with x-rays are not good ones.

3.  Xyster

     This was an interesting word I found in the dictionary that I could connect with.  It is defined as a surgical instrument for scraping bones.  Even though I can't say I ever personally saw this instrument I feel very safe in saying it has been used on me several times.       I have degenerative disc disease, cervical spondylosis and stenosis in my spine which has resulted in five back surgeries.  In the first two surgeries doctors trimmed part of a disc in my lower spine and scraped the vertebrae  surrounding it to make room for nerves which were being pinched.  The third surgery was total removal of what was left of the deteriorated disc and fusion with a metal cage (screws and rods).   Fourth surgery was a metal fusion of 2 deteriorated disc in my cervical spine and to scrape out around the spine to slow progression of stenosis.  17 months later the fifth surgery was necessary because of a spot that didn't fuse properly after the first cervical spine surgery.   More metal fused to my spine.   I can say with a fair amount of certainty that a xyster was used in each of these surgeries.  By now the doctor may have one with my name on it!

     So that is my words for  X.  Hopefully Y and Z will be a little easier and more fun.

Until next time...that's my view.
Kat



Thursday, April 26, 2012

W is for Our Wedding Day...a Comedy of Errors



     Looks like the perfect family photo following the perfect wedding, right?  Well, the perfect family part is right but the perfect wedding...hardly.  Truth is, we are all laughing in this photo because of all the little things that went wrong that day.  For any brides-to-be out there who fret and worry over every little detail, take a deep breath and relax.  Details aren't really as important as you think.

     I had planned every detail just the way I wanted it.  It would be my dream wedding.  It had certainly started out that way.  I had found my dream wedding dress in Bride's magazine.  I loved it and knew the one I bought would have to at least be a close knock off.  I was working in a bank in Louisville at the time and one day at lunch some co-workers and I were walking down 4th Street and stopped to look in the window of a bridal shop.   I nearly fainted from shock when right there in front of me stood a mannequin with MY wedding dress on.  Not just a close copy, but THE actual dress I had fallen in love with.  Things were off to an amazing start.

     Fast forward a few months to our wedding day.   It was a hot, beautiful, did I mention hot, June day.  Probably the hottest day of the summer.  I arrived at the church early to see that everything went off as planned.    First delivery to arrive was the cake.  It was beautiful!  Covered with daisies, as was planned.  I love daisies and that was the flower of choice for my entire wedding.

     Next came the florist.  After decorating the sanctuary and placing everything just so so, she brought my bouquet and the rest of the flowers to the basement where I was getting ready.   "I'm so sorry," she apologized, "but there was a problem with the flowers.   My supplier was completely out of daisies.  I had to substitute astors."   I was heart broken.  Astors were not daisies.  How could this be happening on my perfect day!  She tried to explain that astors looked similar to daisies (and they do), but she kept apologizing.  I knew it wasn't her fault so I told her it was okay and not to worry about it.  Then I just had to get over it and move on in my own mind.  This wasn't going to ruin my day.

     The time arrived and the ceremony went off without a hitch...or so I thought.  If you look closely at the candelabra in the background of  our pictures you will notice there are no flames flickering.   Apparently, when Kenneth's brothers came out to light them they wouldn't light.  They fooled with them for sometime and I was told someone from the audience even came up and tried to help without any luck.  We later found that the florist had forgotten to remove the plastic covers or pull the wicks through them or something along those lines.   Whatever the reason we had no candle light during the ceremony.

     Moving right along, the ceremony is over, pictures were taken, and the reception was wonderful.  We are preparing to leave for our honeymoon when we realize the preacher has gone back to Louisville without giving us our marriage license.    Being young and dumb naive as we were, for some reason we thought we had to have our marriage license before we could leave.  What if someone didn't believe we were really married!  I'm not sure what we thought was going to happen.  Anyway, we began to call the preacher's house (this was before cell phones).  No answer.  We decided to go back to Kenneth's parent's house until we could reach him.  For 2 hours we try to call and finally reach him.  He and his wife had gone out to eat before going home.  Of course he laughed and assured us we were legal and didn't have to have them.  He would sign them and send them to us.     He didn't sign them until the next day and when we got them he had
 put the wrong date on them...just where he signed them, though.  They were correct on the actual wedding date.

     We have since been able to laugh at all the little mishaps that made up our wedding day.  It just goes to show that the important things are not the material details.  What's important is the love between 2 people that want to start a life together.  In spite of all the funny moments it was still our perfect day and 40 years later I wouldn't change a thing. 

Until next time...that's my view.
Kat

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

V is for Romantic Vacation

     With Kenneth being a dairy farmer, vacations have never been a normal thing for him.   Unfortunately, cows have to be milked twice a day, every day, all year long, so getting him away from the farm has always been like pulling teeth; I had to drag him kicking and screaming.  Okay, maybe I exaggerate just a little, but let's just say he didn't go very often. 

     When our son was little he and I together would occasionally talk Kenneth into a short vacation and the three of us would get away for 2 or 3 days.  After Tim grew up, Kenneth and I would sometimes try to get away for our anniversary for a nice romantic weekend.

     Once I can tear Kenneth away from the farm, we always manage to have a wonderful time together and much to his surprise, the farm always manages to get along just fine without him.  Even though they have always been too short, we have managed to have some really nice romantic vacations together.  This is the story of one of those romantic weekends that didn't turn out quite as planned.

     We had reservations at a nice hotel in Pigeon Forge, TN.    We checked in the first day with plans to stay 3 or 4 nights.  That night we walked around the shops and ate a nice dinner in one of the local restaurants.   Bright and early the next day we headed out of town to Dollywood.  It was a beautiful day but really hot and if you have ever been to Dollywood you know it is miles and miles of walking up and down hill.   I'll note here that this was several years ago and we were much younger.  All in all, we had a fun day and took in all the sights and sounds of Dollywood.  We were having a great time together and laughed and talked as we headed back into town after a long day.  We were hot, tired and very hungry so the first thing we did upon reaching Pigeon Forge was find a place to eat.  We decided to go to the 50s style diner that is right in the middle of town on the main strip. 

     We had been seated, had ordered and received our food.   It was so cold in there I was shivering, but even that couldn't put a damper on my happiness.  And then it happened.  In the blink of an eye a perfect day went from magical to horrible.

     All I did was try to get up out of my chair and the pain hit me like a knife stabbing my spine.  Not only was the pain excruciating but I couldn't straighten up.  So much for a romantic vacation.

     I wish I could say it got better and we were able to finish our weekend, but that didn't happen.  Sadly, we had to come home early with me laying in the backseat because I couldn't straighten up and couldn't stand the pain sitting up.     Not exactly the romantic getaway I had planned.

     This wasn't the first, nor the last time my back problems have upset plans, but it was definitely the most disappointing time.

Until next time...that's my view.
Kat
    

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

U is for Under the Big Tent



     Every generation of teenagers has their favorite hangout.  Even within a generation favorite hangouts may vary according to geological locations.   My generation was no different and for many teens of my day our favorite hangout was, without a doubt, the skating rink.

     Growing up in a small town we didn't have a lot of options when it came to hangout spots.  There was the local restaurants, the movie theater in a nearby town, or the skating rink.   In the winter we were forced to go inside to the first two choices but when spring brought warmer weather we could hardly wait till the skating rink was up and ready to go.

     We didn't have the luxury and convenience of an indoor skating rink where we could skate year round.  Our skating rink was a huge circus size tent that was constructed every spring in a large lot down by the river.  From my upstairs bedroom window in the house we lived during my mid to late teenage years,  I could actually watch the progress as each board of the wooden floor was laid in place.  The anticipation grew as I watched, checking each day in hopes it would be finished.  I loved the skating rink and so did nearly every kid between the ages of 5 and 20 within miles.   It was the one place you could go alone and yet never feel alone.  Better yet,  you could go with a date or a group of friends.   You could always find a friendly face.

     George Tower, the owner, offered skates for rent but most of us had our own skates.  The girls skates were usually white and every year we would buy a new pair of fuzzy pom-poms to tie on the toes, each trying to find a new color different from everyone else.  The last ones I remember having were a soft baby blue.  I loved those pom-poms!

      Our skating rink may not have been fancy by any standards, but it was our magical place.  It was where we hung out, skated, laughed, cried, made friends, lost friends, found boyfriends, lost boyfriends.  It was our place to be kids, to grow up and to learn about life.  It was the place that kept many kids out of trouble and where others got into trouble.  It was the place to be...it was our place.

Until next time...that's my view.
Kat


Photos courtesy of Microsoft Office Free Clip Art    

     .

Monday, April 23, 2012

T is for Take Two: A Fresh Look

     Today's post  is for GBE2's week# 49 prompt - Take Two: A Fresh Look.  It also fulfills today's A to Z Challenge letter T.  So with a few tweaks to make it current, here is the second post I wrote when I started my blog in August of 2011.

The Lost Art of Being a Lady

     After my mom was killed in a car accident last summer, my sisters and I faced the difficult task of going through her belongings.  Mom lived a simple life, so there wasn't a lot of fancy or extravagant things to go through, mostly clothes, a few nick-knacks and a little jewelry.   Among those humble belongings, I found a piece of mother that will stay with me the rest of my life.

     Tucked away in a dresser drawer was Mom's stack of ladies cotton handkerchiefs.  She never went anywhere without one of these hankies in her purse or pocket.   I don't think I ever saw her without one.  And now, you will always find a cotton hanky in my purse. 

     Back in the day, as we all like to say, a lady would never be caught without a beautiful cotton hanky on her person.  Whether it was tucked in her belt, pocket or in her purse, it was always close at hand...ready to dry a tear, or to catch the eye of a nearby gentleman when it was dropped on the floor.  After all, how many gentlemen would stop to pick up a paper tissue?

     In today's environment, being a lady has almost become a 4-letter word because of feminists movements and independent thinking, etc.  I'm not saying that's all bad.  We certainly had a lot of room for improvement and changes needed to be made.  But in the process of becoming equal with the male species, have we also lost much of our femininity?  Have we become so tough and independent that we have totally forgotten how to be a lady?   Being a lady is about being kind, sensitive and caring.   It's about knowing when to be soft spoken and when to be heard:  standing up for injustice while being sensitive to the needs of others.   I believe we can  be strong and independent, without giving up the basic traits of a lady.  My mom was a lady.

     Carrying a cotton hanky in my purse may seem like a trivial thing to most people, but to me, it's my link to the past.  It's a piece of my mom that I will carry with me always...a reminder of days gone by... memories of a special lady...and hope for the future because of the lessons she taught.  Thanks Mom.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

S is for Snake

     Snakes are not what I consider a fun or even an interesting topic for reading or writing.  As a matter of fact, I would prefer to never think about snakes at all.   Are you beginning to get the idea here that I don't like snakes?  Well, you would be absolutely correct.  I loathe snakes.  If I ever got bitten by a snake it wouldn't matter if it were a rattlesnake or just a little green garden snake.  I would die of a heart attack whether it was poisonous or not!  I am deathly afraid of them.

     That being said, with today's letter being S and my theme for the A to Z Challenge being memories, I couldn't resist telling you this little story about me and a snake who dared to intrude on my territory.  Just remember to keep in mind as you read it that I am one scared chick when it comes to snakes.

     It  was a beautiful warm, sunny morning and my then probably 4 or 5 year old son was still sleeping.  I opened up the front door to the old farm house we lived in at the time to let the fresh air come through the screen door, as I did most mornings.  I happened to glance out on the porch and what do you think was slithering its way along the edge of the porch?  Right...a snake!  The large concrete porch that ran across 2/3 of the front of the house was level with the front yard.  And right there crawling along the edge where they met was this snake!   This was the same porch where my precious little sleeping angel loved to sit and play with his cars and trucks.  What was I going to do?  There was no way I could let Timmy out on the porch knowing there was a snake close by!

     I knew I had to overcome my fear and do something, so quickly I turned and ran out the back door to the tool shed.  Looking through the tools and gadgets available I grabbed a hoe and hurried toward the front yard.   Upon reaching the front yard, I gripped the hoe and raised it over my shoulder, holding it at the ready to chop as hard as I could.  Then, as stealthily as I could, I started my search...step by step, inch by inch, combing the yard until I found the snake.  My heart was pounding in my throat as I planted my feet and swung that hoe toward the ground as hard as I could.  By the time I stopped swinging that snake was in so many pieces he was nearly unrecognizable!   Still shaking, I returned the hoe to the tool shed and when Kenneth came in from the barn I made him get it out of the yard.   It was now safe for Timmy to play on the porch.


Until next time...that's my view.
Kat

P. S.  For those who are wondering it was probably some kind of garden snake or something but not sure, can't remember now if it was brown or black.  It was around 12-15 inches long.

Friday, April 20, 2012

R is for Reading

     I have always loved to read.  Books, magazines, blogs, whatever, I enjoy reading it.  I believe my love of reading can be traced back to my second grade teacher Mrs. Babcock.   Without a doubt I would have to say Mrs. Babcock was my favorite elementary school teacher.  I loved her and was very sad when halfway through that year my family moved to New Albany and I didn't get to finish the year in her class.

     None the less, Mrs. Babcock remained my favorite teacher.  She was one of the sweetest women I had ever met.  Because I walked to school she often let me stay after school and erase the blackboards.  She and I became great friends.  Every few weeks after school she would travel to Corydon to the public library to get new books for our classroom.  With mom's permission, Mrs. Babcock would take me with her and let me help pick out the books.  We would have so much fun and I so looked forward to those trips.  Reading was very important to her and she lovingly instilled in all of us just how important it was in our lives.

     I will never forget my first public speaking attempt.  Our class had to put on a  program for something; not sure if it was a school board meeting, pta or just what the event.  My part in the program was to memorize a children's book and recite the  whole thing to the audience.  Luckily, it was a short book.  I wish I could tell you I remember the name of the book, but I can't.  All I remember is that it was something about building a wooden stile over a fence so kids or animals or the farmer or somebody could get over the fence.  I remember it was very repetitive.  If anyone recognizes the book I would love to know what it was.   I think I did okay, but what I do know for sure was how Mrs. Babcock encouraged us and gave us confidence because she believed in us.

     I will always be grateful to Mrs. Babcock for sharing her love of reading with me and the others in my class.  Teachers like her plant and water the seeds that grow into a thirst for knowledge that never gets satiated no matter how old we get.  She opened doors to the world for me and many others and she will always hold a special place in my heart for that.

     Monday, April 23 is World Book Night.  Volunteers all over the USA, including me, will be giving away copies of popular books to recipients who don't read much, maybe because they can't afford the books or maybe because they don't know about public libraries.   Please share your love of reading with someone who needs a hand.  Show them a book can open up worlds of possiblities!  For more info on World Book Night you can visit their website at http://www.us.worldbooknight.org/

 


Until next time...that's my view.
Kat


Thursday, April 19, 2012

Q is for Quarry and Days Forgotten

     In 1885, The J. B. Speed Company opened the Milltown Quarry in the small town located on the Blue River in southern Indiana where they manufactured some of the best limestone found.  Workers for this company were treated well, paid salaries larger than competing quarry companies and often rewarded their employees with large bonuses.

     In 1901 the J. B. Speed Company purchased land along Speed Road in Milltown, built houses and rented them to their workers at reasonable rates and opened a company store.  In 1924 the company donated land for the new school which many years later I graduated from.

     I know by now you are wondering what kind of memories  I have of a quarry that operated before and after the turn of the century, right?  Maybe you're thinking I must be a lot older than I look; really preserved well?  Not exactly.  Let me get to the point.

  
     First off, my Grandad Seacat was one of the workers at the quarry.  He is in the above picture that was taken sometime early 1900s.  My Grandad is the last one on the right in the first row.  This was my mother's dad.  Grandad Seacat is the only one of my grandparents that  I got to know very well.   The rest of my grandparents died at various times when I was younger.  Grandad Seacat was quite a character whom I   will tell you about sometime in another post.    For now we are talking about the quarry.

     In 1953 (the year I was born), the quarry closed leaving large open caverns abandoned in the hillside along the highway that by-passed Milltown.

    
     This is what it looks like today, but not the way I remember it.  Back in the day when I was a teenager the caves were still open with roads leading from the highway right into the caverns.  Some of them you could drive quite a ways into.  This was one of THE hotspots for parking, I mean exploring!  Very educational.  Of course, I don't know from experience, just hearsay.   Okay, maybe I saw the inside once.  True story.  I was on a double date, first time I'd been out with this guy.  By the time we got to the quarry we had pretty much decided we were better friends than dates so while the other couple made out in the front seat we sat and talked.  That was it.  Actually, he later ended up setting me up with one of his friends.

     Teenagers today don't have the chance to watch for bats in the caves, much to the relief of their parents, I'm sure.  Another part of local Americana gone.   And, as you can see, I really do have personal memories of the old limestone quarries that sit today as a reminder of days gone by.

Until next time...that's my view.
Kat




          

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

P is for Price Is Right!

      If you read my blog post for the letter L you will remember I said there were more Las Vegas stories and I would save some for later.  Well, it's later.

     When we planned our trip to Vegas we wanted to be sure we got the full experience, including shows.  We checked out different shows and venues and found one that we thought would really be fun.  The game show, The Price is Right, was at Bally's.  We were so excited.  What if we could get on stage and win some big money or prizes!  Maybe we would get to meet the host, Drew Carey!  Okay, before I go any further I need to explain something.    We were so excited because we thought this was the real Price is Right and that Drew Carey would be there and it would be like the TV show.  TV shows sometimes go on location...right?  So we thought that's what we were paying $49.50 a ticket to see.  Needless to say, boy were we wrong!

     All afternoon we had anticipated the evening, hoping that one of us would get picked to go on stage.   Brenda even talked the rest of us into all of us dressing alike.  She thought we would draw more attention that way and come nearer getting picked.  So, we planned our outfits and finally the time arrived.


     Here we are in all our glory, heading into the auditorium where the show was to be held...still without a clue.  Finally, the doors opened and we go in and found our seats.  I remember thinking to myself that it sure was a small crowd for a big TV show.  Still didn't hit me that maybe this wasn't quite what we thought it was.  

     Then it starts; lights go down and the curtain opens.  The MC was introduced and it certainly was not Drew Carey.  It wasn't even anyone we had ever heard of.  The games start and suddenly the small crowd begins to make sense.  This was not even a good knock off of the real show!   They did call people up to play various guessing games but there was not one person that won anything worthwhile.  All they kept winning were points.  Points?  What were they for?

     The show was almost over and none of us had been called.  Just as they called the last round of names we heard Libby's name.  Some of our old excitement returned.  She didn't have to go on stage or do anything.  Just because they had drawn her name she won 20,000 points and she could see the girls down front to exchange her points for cash!   We thought we had hit the jackpot.  20,000 points!  That had to be at least $2,000, maybe more!  We had decided before the show that any money we won we would split and go shopping!  Trouble was, this was our last night; we had to fly out early in the morning and it was already getting late.  How would we have time to spend it all?  We just couldn't contain our excitement.

     We all go down front to wait for Libby to get our money.  There's a long line so 3 of us decided we would go to the cafe next door and get a table while we waited for Libby and Kelly.  Off we go to find a table, all the while planning how to spend our windfall.  According to Kelly, when they finally got to the front of the line they were telling the girls handing out the money how excited they were and just couldn't wait to spend their money.  The girls were taking their sweet time and finally Kelly told them, "We have to hurry because we leave in the morning and we won't have time to spend our money."  She said the girl looked at her funny but never said anything.  She just handed Libby her cash.

     After what seemed like an eternity they finally met up with us at the cafe.  We were bursting with excitement waiting to see how much money we had to spend.  When they walked up to the table I think the rest of us all asked in unison.  Libby looked at the soft drinks we were drinking and without cracking a smile said, "Not enough to pay for these drinks."  We nearly rolled in the floor laughing!

     20,000 points equaled $10 in cash.

     So much for our big shopping spree.

Until next time...that's my view.
Kat
 

    

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

O is for Over the Hill

     My family is notorious for surprise "Over the Hill" parties.  You know the type people throw when someone hits those milestone birthdays ending in 0.

      One of my sisters had mine when I turned 40.  It snowed about a foot that night, was extremely cold and not many showed up.  Since it was a surprise I didn't have a camera and therefore, I don't have any pictures of that one.   What a shame (hehe)!   The gifts were all gag gifts and those of us who braved the weather had a great time.  I have to admit that the only gift I remember is one of our friends who works at a car lot gave me a new Corvette!  It was plastic and fit in my hand.

     We had one at my house for sister Jane when she turned either 30 or 40, my memory isn't what it used to be and I can't remember for sure.   The weather was beautiful, we had a large crowd and we were able to have it outside.  Gag gifts were hilarious.  Some people are extremely creative when it comes to joking about getting old.  I do have pictures of this one somewhere but they aren't on my computer and I didn't have time to look for them.  Sorry Jane.




     When Kenneth turned 60, we planned his and had it at sister Jane's.   He had no idea and was really surprised.  He thought we were just going for dinner.  Surprise!  All our friends were there and we laughed  until we cried at some of the gag gifts he got.   And I do have pictures of this one!




He loved this cow from his brother and sister-in-law.  It plays music and he still has it on a shelf in the bedroom.   Some of the gifts were really funny, but not suitable for sharing publicly.  LOL!





     Last, but never least, the biggest surprise was sister Brenda's when she hit 50.  Now, I must precede her party story by saying that she does not like aging.  She is fighting it kicking and screaming.  That being said, a big party was probably the last thing she wanted.  She got it anyway!  You know what they say about paybacks!   She was probably the most surprised of all of us and she got her biggest surprise right after coming in the door.  Once she had gotten over the initial shock, her son walked out of the kitchen.  He lives in Miami and she had no idea he was coming in.  He flew in just for her party.  That was the best gift she could have gotten.

Brandon



This is the shirt I got her so she wouldn't forget her name!
  

          Lots of food, lots of friends and lots of fun.  The Williams sisters  definitely know how to throw a party.  So next time you hit one of those big birthdays that end in 0...watch out!  It might just be your time to get surprised; especially if you are "Over the Hill"!



Until next time...that's my view.
Kat

Monday, April 16, 2012

N is for New Shoes

     When I was very young and any of us needed new shoes mom would take us to Marengo to the big dry goods store on the corner.    For those of you not old enough to remember dry goods stores,   they were the early version of department stores.  In other words, they carried a little of everything.  

     It was always fun to shop for new shoes because what child didn't love to get new Mother Goose or Buster Brown shoes!   Not that we cared that much about the shoes but you knew there would nearly always be a special free gift with the shoes; some little trinket that to us was like treasure.  Especially with Mother Goose shoes.

     Okay, so how many of you out there will admit to remembering Mother Goose shoes and the big plastic goose that laid the golden egg?  I loved that big plastic goose because every time mom bought me a new pair of Mother Goose shoes I got to do whatever it was that made the big golden egg roll out.  I have to admit I can't remember what you did to get it out...maybe raised a wing or pulled it's beak; not really sure.  Whatever it was it got you the large plastic golden egg that was filled with candy and trinkets.  To a 4, 5 or 6 year old it was like a 16 year old getting the keys to a new car!   It was like getting an Easter basket any time of year!    It was...well, you get the picture.

     I don't know about you but as high as shoes are nowadays I think all shoe companies should give us a golden egg every time we buy a pair of shoes and it should be real gold.  I'll have to say though, that even if they did it wouldn't have the same excitement as it did back in the day.  There could never be another Mother Goose that laid the golden egg.  It just wouldn't be the same.

Until next time...that's my view.
Kat

Clip Art courtesy of Microsoft Office Free Clip Art 

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Then and Now

Written for GBE2 week #48 prompt - Now

     Not wanting to miss this week's GBE2 challenge but not having a lot of time with the A to Z challenge, I decided to do a short Then and Now.  This June my husband and I will celebrate our 40th wedding anniversary so I thought it would be fun to look back at then as compared to now.  So, here goes.

Then...


     Back then I thought I was the luckiest girl in the world and that it wasn't possible to love Kenneth any more than on that day.  He was so handsome and kind and for some reason he was in love with me.  I was on cloud nine.

Now...


     And now...I'm still the luckiest girl in the world and I do love him even more now than I did then.  We have both grown over the years (in more ways than one, but we won't go into that) and I now know the true meaning of unconditional love, something I don't think you can fully understand when you are just a kid.  I wouldn't trade one day with this man for anything in the world.

Until next time...that's my view.
Kat

Saturday, April 14, 2012

M is for Mom, Whom I Miss Very Much







     In just a few weeks it will be Mother's Day.  I am not looking forward to it.   This will be my family's first one since Mom was killed in a car wreck last July.  So, in honor of Mom, I would like to share with you a poem I wrote for her several years ago.  Mom...this is for you.

A Mother's Love

A mother's love is like no other;
A power you can't explain.
No matter what the sacrifice
She never will complain.

Her love is everlasting.
You never have to fear.
She'll share your joy, and feel your pain;
She always will be near.

She'll pick you up when 'ere you fall,
She'll kiss the pain away.
 She'll always lend a listening ear,
And know just what to say.

Her tender touch can soothe your soul;
Her smile can warm your heart.
She shares life's special moments,
Even when you're far apart.

There's few things in this world today
On which you can depend.
But Mother's love is certain,
It's a bond that knows no end.


Until next time....that's my view.
Kat







 




Friday, April 13, 2012

L is for Las Vegas Lunch

     In trying to think of a memory starting with the letter L I couldn't help but remember the fun and adventures we had when The Fab 5 went to Las Vegas.  For those of you who are new to my blog, The Fab Five are my 4 best friends, Brenda, Kelly, Libby, Linda and myself.   It was the summer of 2008 and and I had never been to Las Vegas before.  Even though I am not a big gambler, it is a fascinating place.  I was awestruck.  To say we had a good time would be an understatement.  We had so much fun that I won't even try to tell all about it in one post.  I will save stories for later.  For now I am only going to tell about one of our lunches.

     We had spent the morning walking around town sightseeing and were in the MGM Grand when we decided to eat lunch at the Rainforest Cafe.   The atmosphere was amazing.  You really felt like you were in the forest with the trees and animals.  We enjoyed a delicious lunch as we laughed and talked about this and that.  Somewhere in the conversation I just happened to mention that it was Kenneth and my anniversary that day.   Next thing I know, here comes the waitress with a gigantic dessert.

      My friends had decided since Kenneth and I were apart for our anniversary that at least I needed to celebrate.  Now when I say gigantic,  I mean HUGE.  This thing was called The Volcano, complete with lava.  Let's just say we all shared it and we still didn't eat it all.   We laughed so hard we couldn't speak.











     Just imagine piles and piles of rich, creamy vanilla ice cream, surrounded by walls of fudgy,  chewy brownies, topped with mounds of luscious whipped cream, sprinkled with nuts and drenched in chocolate and caramel syrup!  It was heaven in a bowl!

So if you are ever in Vegas, don't leave without trying to conquer The Volcano.  I bet you can't eat it all!

Until next time...that's my view.
Kat






Thursday, April 12, 2012

K is for Kalightoscope (and yes, I spelled it right)

     Christmas memories are always some of the best memories we have.  At least for me, anyway, because I love Christmas.   For one reason it means I get to spend time with my grandkids.  This memory is about Christmas 2010 when we planned something a little different and had the most wonderful time.

      Kalightoscope is a Christmas event held at the Galt House in Louisville.  It is a beautiful display of sculptures and lighting made in the form of enormous Japanese lanterns.  It is the most unusual and most gorgeous display I have ever seen.   Having seen all the advertising for it, I decided it would be fun to take the kids.  So, on the day they were coming home for Christmas we made arrangements to meet my son and his family at the Galt House.  

     First we oohed and awwed through the Kalightoscope display which was located on the Belvedere right outside the hotel.   It was the most amazing sight.  Upon exiting the display you walked right into the World Market Craft Fair set up in part of the hotel.   From there we explored the hotel which was beautifully decorated leading the way to the Gingerbread Village.   All of us were like kids in a candy store trying to take in the sights and be sure we didn't miss anything.  It was so much fun that I would like to share it with you so here are some of the pictures I took.






                                          


                       














 














     













Until next time...that's my view.
Kat
    
    

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

I is for Indiana Cave Country



      I couldn't take a trip down memory lane without including a story about the area where I grew up.  I grew up in an area of southern Indiana known as cave country.  Many caves can be found throughout the country- side, but many of them are unsafe.  Those you stay away from.  Fortunately, many of them have been explored extensively and are open to the public for guided tours.  These caves have been huge tourist attractions for a long time, evolving over the years into much more than just spelunking.  

      Within just a few miles of my hometown is Marengo Cave, Wyandotte Caves and Squire Boone Caverns.  Marengo Cave was the closest, only about 6 miles.  I only remember going through the cave once, but also remember that it was really neat.  The Crystal Cathedral  was amazing and as a child I enjoyed the gift shop.  While I was in high school they put in a swimming pool next to the cave and I understand now they have added other attractions such as mining for gold.  If you are ever in the area it would be well worth your time.

      Squire Boone Caverns didn't open up to the public until after I had moved away from the area.  I have to admit I have not been there but know it would be interesting for history buffs.  This was the homestead of Daniel Boone and he is buried in one of the small caves.  The old mill has been restored and a village with gift shops and other attractions can be found there as well as cave tours. 



      The caves I remember most are Wyandotte Caves.  As upper elementary students we took a lot of field trips to Wyandotte Caves because they were part of the Harrison County Forestry system and offered lots of educational programs.  The cave tours we took were not the ones most people want to take.  We took the educational tours where many of the passages were so narrow the only way to get through was to crawl on your stomach.   We would get dirty from head to toe and loved every minute of it.  Since we were pretty much left to explore on our own we would get in our little groups of friends and go exploring.  What fun we had!  And of course we always had to hit the gift shop taking home all sorts of rocks, wooden boxes and various trinkets.   You would have thought we had found hidden treasure!



   
      As a child I never appreciated the significance of all these caves being so close but now realize that my little area of southern Indiana is a paradise for spelunkers, history buffs and anyone who enjoys outdoor activities.  If you ever travel through the area I highly recommend you take a little time to explore a cave.

Until next time...that's my view.
Kat




Monday, April 9, 2012

H is for The True Meaning of Home

A to Z Challenge,  Memory for  H plus Week #47 GBE 2 Prompt - Home   

      Home is where the heart is.  It may sound cliche' but it is absolutely true.  My family was certainly proof that can't be denied.  Home is not defined by a house or any other structure where you may happen to live.

      In the 18 years that I lived at home, we lived in more different houses than I care to count.   To be honest, I really can't tell you exactly how many because I'm not sure how many we lived in before I was old enough to remember.  Let's just suffice to say that it was a lot.     During my first 7 years we lived in 3 different towns and the rest were spent in the first town which is the one I consider my hometown.   To give you just a slight idea of how frequently we moved - halfway through the second grade we moved to New Albany and moved back to Milltown the summer after third grade.  In that one and a half years we lived in 3 houses.  Many of our moves would be just down the street.   Enough said.

      I'm sure by now you are asking yourself why we moved around so much.  Good question.  It was never because we were vagrants or that we had to move for any logical reason.   It was simply something my mom liked to do.   She would no more than get one house fixed up perfectly until she would find another one she liked better.  So, we packed up and moved.

      Having said all this, I have to add that I had a wonderful childhood.  It never occurred to me or any of us that we had any less of a home than kids who lived in the same house all their lives because we didn't.  We were happy and loved and no matter how long we lived in a house mom and dad made it a home.   Mom always fixed a home that was warm, cozy and welcoming.  My friends always loved visiting at my house and did so quite often.   Home for us was wherever  the family was and we had the best home anyone could ask for.

Until next time...that's my view.
Kat