Where Was the Broccoli?

As you all recall, your elementary school did not serve lunch, so twice a month Margaret and I sent out order forms to each child in the school, calculated the amount of food and beverages to purchase, placed our orders, and bought the supplies from the vendors. One vendor happened to be a local nursing home, who had the best price on the hotdog rolls.

Reflecting back on those lunches, I am astounded that we were able to feed those young children such unhealthy lunches: pizza (not too bad) or hotdogs (bad, bad, bad), soda (so much sugar and no nutritional value), and potato chips. In my defense, I will say that I did not craft the menu. It was thrust upon me by my predecessor, Gladys. I naively agreed to take on the task for one year year but ended up cooking hotdogs and storing soda in our garage for years.

I bet a million bucks that those awful lunches that every kid loved would never pass muster today because those lunches were full of way too much sodium, sugar, and fat, and not a single carrot or piece of fruit to be found.

Now we are so much smarter.

I Don’t Get It

I once wrote that my hope for my children was that in the end, they have “a good life with plenty of laughs and good memories.” I will add that I don’t care if they live in a small home or a huge mansion, if they have fancy cars or a single second-hand automobile, and I don’t care if they wear designer clothes or outfits from Target. All that matters is that I have raised happy, independent children, each with a strong sense of right and wrong.

I taught them to be truthful and kind to others, so it was difficult to watch when their friends were unkind or made disparaging comments on the playground. I am hearing about this happening already in preschool and it breaks my heart.

Cursing was not spoken at home, and when one of them hurt the feelings of another, they were taught to write a note of apology. So it has been with a heavy heart that I have watched our country being led by a man who clearly was not raised with any of those values—where money was worshipped over integrity, and people still believe in him.

As I watch our country’s reputation erode throughout the world, our clean air and water get dirtier, and our climate continuing to warm unchecked, I know that the experiment to elect an outsider has failed miserably. And I truly don’t understand why everyone in this country does not see this.

Elijah Cummings said two important things:

  • “I’m hoping that all of us can get back to this democracy that we want, and that we should be passing on our children so they can do better than what we did.”
  • “When we’re dancing with the angels, the question will be asked, in 2019, what did we do to make sure we kept our democracy intact? Did we stand on the sidelines and say nothing?”

I will fight.

This Will Make Your Head Spin

Yesterday I finally solved the mystery of Dad’s cousin, I.J. (Izzy) Wagner, who was one of the most influential men in Utah. You may recall that I wrote about him three years ago. (Wow People I have Met) I have been trying to figure out the connection between our two families on and off for years and am thrilled to have finally unraveled the pieces. I realize it is an eye-rolling event for anyone but me and possibly other genealogy addicts, but nevertheless, I wanted to share my news.

The key was Dad’s extensive family in Boston, a fact that was news to Dad when I told him that his paternal great-great grandparents resided in the capital city of Massachusetts. That grandfather was a man named Harris Wolfson, who came to America from Russia in 1900 along with his wife and five children. He became a teacher of Hebrew. Dad’s grandfather, Misha, was Harris’ grandson.

I learned that cousin Izzy was the son of a man named Harry Wagner who also immigrated to Boston from Russia, so I focused on that family. Izzy’s mother’s obituary told me that her mother was a woman named Leona Wolfson, so I believed the Wolfson family was the key. (Izzy’s mother was named Rose.)

It was not until yesterday that the case broke wide open when I examined the ship’s record for Rose’s brother-in-law Abraham and learned that Abraham was heading to the home of Grandpa Harris, his wife’s uncle. This (along with many other minor details) confirmed that Grandpa Harris was the brother of cousin Izzy’s grandmother, Great-Great-Great Aunt Leona Wolfson.) Are you dizzy yet? As confusing as this appears, I have actually simplified all the dots that I connected.

I know, I know, who cares! But I am thrilled that I solved my human crossword puzzle, and you should again be warned that I am relentless in my search for answers. I can eventually find almost everyone, so I guess when I said in my high school directory that I was a private investigator, I was really not lying.

Perhaps I should have been sent to the Ukraine to help untangle the web of deceit that is being uncovered in the impeachment investigation.

P.S. Izzy is Dad’s 2nd cousin twice removed.

No More Flipping!

Our mattress had been feeling a little uneven, so we decided it was time to turn it. At one time, mattresses were two-sided, so it was possible and recommended to flip them several times a year to prolong the life of the mattress and to avoid those dents which are created from our bodies lying in the same spot night after night. With most mattresses having those nice padded areas on top, flipping them over is a thing of the past, so Dad and I decided to rotate ours 180 degrees. This was much easier said than done.

We stripped the bed of everything—the new comfy topper, the sheets, blankets, and spread—and positioned ourselves for the task of rotating our very heavy king-sized mattress. The four posters on our bed added to the difficulty.

The procedure involved a lot of pushing and pulling and grunting and groaning and complaining, but in the end, with the mission accomplished, our bed felt almost as good as new. It was quite the workout, so I did not feel the need to ride on my bike that day, and Dad threw out his knee in the process. He avoided “work” (aka golf) for a few days, but this morning, with a brace on his leg and a few Advils in his body he was off to the links.

I read that rotating a mattress is still recommended to be done twice a year. That won’t be happening. Dad said we will buy another mattress before he will put himself through another rotation or pay a professional mattress flipper to do it for us.

Five and Counting

I have lived in five states, but South Carolina is the only state where I can be assured that it will not snow every year, and where I have the opportunity to meet (or at least hear speak) each candidate running for president. My list for the 2020 election is currently at five (Klobuchar, Harris, Biden, Buttigieg, and Bullock), and as the February primary approaches, that number will definitely increase.

This past weekend I met Governor Steve Bullock, who is unfortunately not well known since he jumped into the race later than the others and has not been in any debates. I knew little about him, so as we were driving to our meet-and-greet, I went to his website and reviewed his positions. Dad and I arrived early, as did Governor Bullock, so we had time to chat with him before he spoke to those in attendance.

I liked him and am upset that only those at the top of the polling and fundraising are getting much attention so early in the process.  Many of his views align with mine, and I think the fact that he won as a Democrat in a Republican state makes him a strong candidate to consider.

I don’t have a preferred candidate yet, so I would like the chance to hear from more than just the leaders of pack. I am also bothered that at least four states, including my own, have cancelled the Republican presidential primaries. While I am not a fan of South Carolina’s candidate, our former governor and congressman, Mark Sanford, I believe it is wrong for the Republican Party to not give the other three declared candidates a chance to run against Trump.

There are too many people making decisions for me. Mommy is not pleased!

P.S. I have it on good authority that Elizabeth Warren is now advertising on the Kid’s Learning Channel along with Tom Steyer, so I will probably have to bring Bryce to get a selfie with her.

It’s Time for Him to Go

Three times in my life I have witnessed the impeachment process, but the first two never moved as quickly or made my head spin at the rate as the Trump impeachment.

The Nixon impeachment was the story of the Watergate break-in and clandestine meetings with Deep Throat. I was in high school when it began and in college when it all ended with Nixon resigning in disgrace. It took a long time. You all saw the movie.

You were all young during the Clinton Impeachment—ages eight through twelve—and the subject brought up topics which I was not prepared to discuss with any of you. Did we talk about it? I was mad at Hillary for not throwing Bill’s clothes off the Truman Balcony as a show to the women of the world how she felt. It ended with acquittal in the Senate.

Now you are witnessing yet another president going down the path of impeachment, but this time, the charges are so much more serious and the pace of evidence being uncovered is happening at lightning speed. Listening to the news accounts and watching the rapidly-changing polls now favoring the investigation and what I believe will ultimately be the end of the Lord of the Lies Administration, it will not be as long a process as the other two impeachments.

I am not sad to see him go because he is an ignorant, immoral, and cruel person, but it is sad that we must go down this path again. I read the entire Mueller Report as well as the much easier to read transcript of the president’s discussion with the Ukranian president and the Whistleblower report. I think America is reading those last two documents because they can be read during the commercial break of their favorite shows.

In case you don’t understand the process, here is a great chart which will help you understand the process.


Choose Your Campsite With Care

It’s time to pretend we are moving again, so I have been going through closets, cabinets, and various cubby holes deciding what stays and what goes. The first hit was a bunch of clothes which I donated to a local thrift store whose profits goes to a homeless shelter.

Next, I donated sixteen wine glasses to one of Dad’s golf tournaments, which he had a nearby printer engrave for him. That freed up a shelf in the kitchen.

Now I am working on organizing my photographs. I purchased a box which contains sixteen sleeves, and each one holds the contents of one album—minus duplicate pictures as well as just awful photos that have no idea why I chose to immortalize in a book. I have been referring to old school pictures to date them based upon hair styles.

One particular photo of Jamie appeared at first to be of her swollen little face when she had the chicken pox, but upon further examination of her hairstyle, I concluded that the picture was taken several years after that nasty illness visited us.

I realized it was when Jamie went “camping” in the backyard and decided to make a nest from a pile of leaves. I remember that she came inside and mentioned how she was relaxing in a cozy bed of green, which I later learned after her skin reddened with a horrible, unbearably itchy rash turned out to be poison ivy!

Poor Jamie! She could not bear anything touching her skin but a soft nightgown. The look on her face told the story of her misery!