Nurturing Thursday

I couldn’t help but share this video that was shared with me. It has a great message and makes me laugh out loud every time I watch it! I hope you enjoy it as much as I did. And my apologies in advance for those I have already shared this with!


Find more inspiration at “On Dragonfly Wings with Buttercup Tea”

Daily Prompt: Papa Loves Mambo

What sort of music was played in your house when you were growing up? What effect, (if any) did it have on your musical tastes?

Oh, my stars! When I opened up my email and saw this Daily Prompt, I actually laughed out loud.  The words to that song, Papa Loves Mambo, popped right into my head along with several others from the mid-1950s. At that time, most of the music I listened to belonged to my older brother (11 years my senior). I, of course, had songs such as “How Much is That Doggy in the Window” and other popular tunes from singers/actors such as Burl Ives, Gene Autry and Hopalong Cassidy. But the ones I remember most and thought of first when I saw this prompt were my teenage (then) brother’s records. I assume they were pretty much the hits of the day. Sometimes when I want to be silly around people now, I’ll start singing or saying the words to such tunes such as these:

Green Door

Me Make Um Pow Wow

Istanbul (not Constantinople)

Okay, if you’re through laughing, you can pick yourself up off the floor. Sheesh, I was only about six years old. Obviously, they were my formative years because the words and music stayed with me! Of course, it wasn’t long after that (probably somewhere around 1957-1958) my best friend and I taught ourselves how to jitterbug to some of these 1950s hits by watching American Bandstand!

Yes, I really do like a lot of the 50s music. But the truth of the matter is that I have always liked and will always prefer the sounds of the 1960s and 1970s. And that’s just the way it is — I mean the way I am! I’m not about to start listing all my favorites from my teen years. We’d be here all week!


The Daily Post photo challenge this week is to capture something unexpected. You can also interpret the theme in other ways: a street scene or landscape that just doesn’t look quite right, an impromptu portrait of a loved one, or any other image that reveals a sense of surprise.

We were walking along the West Orange Trail in Winter Garden one morning and happened upon the scene in the picture below.  Here in Florida, the Florida State Seminoles and the University of Florida Gators are heavy-duty football rivals.  I have no idea how long this has been here.  I’m not much into sports but I definitely agree with the message on the sign:

Tough Times Don’t Last

That’s something we should all remember as we go about our daily lives.

2013-10-07 10.25.07

For more things UNEXPECTED, click here!

My Downtown Playground – Part 3

Downtown Van Wert, Ohio

Downtown Van Wert, Ohio

Growing up in a small town in the 50’s really did have that Mayberry feel to it. Most of the kids knew each other and hung out together at one point or another. It’s true when they say that everybody knows everybody else in a small town. That’s pretty good for the kids. I won’t speak for the adults – I didn’t live there as an adult!

School Days

School days were pretty regimented. Girls had to wear skirts and boys had to wear long pants. There were rules and regulations and the adults were treated with respect. By golly, it actually gave the teachers an opportunity to teach instead of constantly worrying about discipline and lawsuits. Okay, this isn’t intended to be a soapbox entry so I’ll get back to the story.

I walked to and from school each day, just under a mile each way. No, really! If I didn’t walk, I was riding my bike. At least it wasn’t uphill both ways although it did feel like it most of the time. Especially on Tuesdays and Thursdays when I had to take my violin. Those were the days I was always sick but couldn’t get my mother to believe me for some strange reason. But I walked to and fro through some of the coldest, snowiest days. This was Northwest Ohio after all. I will never forget the one afternoon I was walking home through the very deep snow. Try to picture this. I was always very small. I was probably not even four feet tall yet at ten years old. Here I am walking through the park on my way home after school. Suddenly I disappear into a snow bank. I’m not buried but I’m deep enough that no one can see me and I’m having a heck of a time trying to climb out. So, as panic began to set in and I didn’t want my body to be found in the spring thaw, I finally managed to claw my way out and make it home. Not one person I told my story to seemed the least concerned. I still remember that and I still remember the reality of my fear of the possibility of not being able to get out.

I thought so highly of my third grade teacher, Miss Spridgeon. Gosh, she was so pretty. I suppose I was called the teacher’s pet because I was always volunteering to clean the blackboards for her. She really set me on Cloud 9 when she told me one day that I reminded her of Grace Kelly. Everyone, even kids, knew who Princess Grace was. I look at my pictures and I just don’t see it. But I keep telling myself it must be in there somewhere! HA! No wonder she made the top of my favorite teachers list! And all the while I’m sure it was a ploy to build my confidence. It worked!

4th Grade

Mrs. Weck’s Fourth Grade Class – Franklin Elementary School

Naturally, recess was our favorite time of day and it came once in the morning and once in the afternoon. Since that time all of the playground equipment we played on has long been destroyed as being unsafe for children —

The Swings

The Swings


The Maypole


The Merry-Go-Round


The Monkey Bars

A lot of the time was spent playing girls after boys. Yes, you read that right. Girls after boys. We would chase the boys around the playground. What would we do when we caught up with the ones we were chasing? Why, we’d hit them on the arm, of course. What else would you do to the boys you liked? Silly!

Since my best friend, Mary Beth, lived across the street from the school, a lot of our afternoons were spent participating in the national pastime:


I don’t know about the rest of the nation but watching Dick Clark and his American Bandstand is how I learned to jitterbug! Of course when you’re 8-12 years old there’s really not much call for the jitterbug. Truth be told, it was years later before I discovered that I had learned it backwards from the TV! It turns out it didn’t matter anyway. By the time I was ready to rock and roll we were experiencing the British invasion and we were twisting the night away or doing the Bristol Stomp among other dances!

Summer Fun

School’s out, school’s out, teacher let the monkeys out. Now who on earth made that one up? And to think we used to chant that when we were kids. We didn’t even know we were insulting ourselves. Kids sure were naïve then.

We had about three months of what we called freedom. And one thing is for sure, we didn’t spend it lying around indoors in front of a TV screen. Almost every day, we’d be out the door early morning, meeting up with friends either at somebody’s house, at the YWCA or at the school playground for a day of play. Our days consisted of roller skating or swimming at the Y. We would play ping pong or checkers at the Y or badminton at someone’s house. We would go to the school playground and play on the swings or the jungle gym or the merry-go-round. Or we would just walk around town and visit friends. We were always on the go. The rest of the time we were off riding our bikes.

Riding Bikes


There was lots of bike riding around town. I don’t remember which Schwinn model I had. I just remember it was turquoise and chrome and had the carrier on the front like the one in the picture. I sure loved that bike! A bunch of us used to gather over on Race Street. What an appropriate name. It had a sort of incline. I don’t think I’d go so far as to even call it a hill! Man, was I crazy. I used to get my bike going as fast as I could and then do crazy things like let go of the handlebars or take my feet off the pedals or both! Sometimes I would hold the handlebars and stand on the seat. I think back now and my poor Guardian Angels were working overtime. One little rock in the road and I would have been a grease spot on the road. But all went well. I still marvel at our bravery (stupidity!). Ah, the foibles of youth. Youth knows no limits. There’s no such thing as mortality when you’re a kid. I suppose that’s why we can usually get away with so much more.

There was the time Mary Beth and I took off on our bikes one day. She wanted to show me where she used to live in a little town called Middle Point about 7.5 miles from Van Wert. So, sure, why not! Did we give any thought to the traffic? No. Did we give any thought to the time away? No. Did we give any thought to food? No. Did we give any thought to water? No. Did we give any thought? NO! So off we go. Two 10-year-old girls alone on their bikes on the highway. I don’t know what we were thinking. Oh, that’s right, we weren’t thinking. We pedaled for what seemed like hours. We were hot, tired, thirsty and hungry. So, we decided to turn back around and go home. We learned a hard lesson that day. It’s a miracle neither one of us ended up sick or hospitalized. We were literally on the point of exhaustion. But we survived and lived to tell the tale! And we never tried another stunt like that again!



There’s nothing more fun for young girls than getting together and spending the night together to giggle and talk about growing up, watching TV and driving their parents crazy. Something inevitable is always bound to happen. Not anything drastic but usually just enough to get into some kind of “trouble”!

I remember one night Mary Beth was spending the night with me. My mother had this beautiful black ceramic cat that curled around a glass fish bowl. Instead of keeping fish in the bowl, she had several colored glass balls in the bowl. I loved that statue and knew better than to mess with it. But I had company and, of course, wanted to show it off. Well, wouldn’t you know, instead of just pointing out the piece, I just had to pick up the bowl. CRASH it went and shattered at our feet. Of course, it just had to be one of Mom’s favorite pieces. Once she determined that neither one of us was hurt, she made us go to bed – lights out for the rest of the night. Bummer! Poor Mary Beth. She had nothing to do with it. Ah, but we survived!

And then there was one time when I was sleeping over at my friend Carrol’s house. It was a Friday night and guess what was on TV? Here’s your first clue!


Picture this. Here are two little girls all decked out in their pajamas huddled on the sofa in a pitch dark living room in front of the old black and white TV. Shadows bouncing on the wall from the TV. Godzilla We are so intently watching Godzilla. Yes, I said Godzilla. Everyone else has gone to bed. It’s just the two of us – or so we thought. We’re getting to a really scary part of the movie and BAM! Up from behind the couch roaring his head off comes Carrol’s older brother. Picture two little girls screaming their heads off and waking up the entire house. I don’t remember how long it took him to stop laughing. And, if I remember correctly, Carrol and I were the only ones not laughing when it was all said and done. Yes, folks, that stuff really happened in the 50’s. Kids were gullible. I’m here to testify to it.


There are so many thoughts and stories to be written down and shared about living in and growing up in a small town in the 1950’s. It was a wonderful time. It was a different kind of time. I feel very blessed and fortunate to have been a part of that time. There are so many more things I could write and as time goes along I’m sure I will. I hope you’ve enjoyed my brief little trip down memory lane. Your thoughts and comments are always appreciated. God bless.

Only Wrong Once!


 It just goes to show that sometimes you can be too close to something to actually see it.

I believe this article about my parents came out in the Toledo Blade sometime late in 1958. Reporters for the the Blade were always passing through Van Wert, Ohio and, for some inexplicable reason, often found our family newsworthy.

I still have the bracelet and earrings that match the necklace Mom is wearing. Oh, what I wouldn’t give! Even as a child, I loved playing with her jewelry. But that’s another story!

When I reread this article, I just noticed for the first time that there is a misprint. Guess it got past the reporter, editor, typesetter, etc.! See what happens when one of your jobs has been as a proof reader? I’d better not say too much, though. I’m sure I would run across my own misprints if I were to review my entries.

Nicky and Me

We’re together three years now.  Our relationship has undergone adjustments.  I watched him develop and mature and grow to be even more handsome and loving.

I remember the first time Nicky sauntered into my life.  It was early evening.  He walked in slowly, tentatively.  At first I didn’t think he noticed me.  He is breathtaking.  I keep watching him.  He sneaks glances my way but never moves toward me.  I watched him for a while and then I watched him wander away.

I couldn’t stop thinking about him.  I didn’t want to think about him.  It was way too soon.  George had only been gone a few months and my heart was still tender.  I didn’t feel ready.   I didn’t know if I could go through that again.  But I wanted to see this enticing guy again.  I started hanging out looking for him.  Sometimes he would show up and sometimes he wouldn’t.  Each time I saw him, he seemed a little friendlier.  After a couple of weeks, I decided he was shy and I would have to take the initiative.  I discovered that he was just as apprehensive.  After three more weeks, we moved in together.

I enjoy reading before going to sleep.  Nicky lies down with me and cuddles while I read.  That I like.  But he can be pushy at the most inopportune times.  He has one routine that makes me crazy but I live with it.  He’s worth it.

“Nicky, stop it.  It’s three in the morning,” I moan as he slowly climbs on top of me.  “I have to get up in two hours.  You can sleep all day.”

He pushes my hand.  When that doesn’t work, he nuzzles my neck.  He moves up to kiss my eyelids, the tip of my nose, then my cheek.  He won’t take no for an answer.

He is so absorbed in his own wants a drop of spittle cascades and lands on my chest.  He’s oblivious and keeps rocking slow and steady.

Finally, when I don’t respond, he loses patience.  Smack!  “Ow,” I mumble in a groggy voice.  “That’s enough, stop it!”  I manage to turn on my side, forcing him off me.

He sits next to me with a heartrending, bewildered look of rejection.  Each time it’s the same thing.  He pouts, I pity.  “Oh, all right, come over here,” I mutter as I reach out for him.

He lies on top of me once again.  This time he just purrs and catnaps like the beautiful cat he is.

Nicky 9-12

Well, What’s So Funny?

We all do it at one time or another, sometimes alone but usually when we’re with others. Animals do it. Babies do it. Do WHAT, you say? Why, laugh, of course. Until recently I hadn’t given the act of laughter a second thought. It either happened or it didn’t. I’ve been down in the dumps lately for one reason or another. I recently received an email with a link to an article on laughter and just blindly clicked through. It turned out to be a documentary video by filmmaker Albert Nerenberg about Laughology.

About WHAT? Laughology? I had never heard of it either. Neuroscientists, psychologists, medical doctors, and just people in general have taken an interest in laughter, including laughter as medicine. There are even Laughter Yoga groups. I Googled laughter yoga and over 2,000,000 links appeared. It seems it’s a form of Yoga employing self-triggered laughter. There’s even a Laughter Yoga group close to me. I bet there’s one close to you. It’s international! And why not? Laughter is a universal language. Where does laughter come from, how does it originate? Is it from the heart or the head? I could write a book. Oh, wait, the experts have already done that! So, I’ll just blog a little on the subject.

Babies begin to laugh by about the age of 2-3 months. They’re not taught. I mean, really, have you ever seen anyone stand over their infant and say, now, here’s how you laugh. Follow my instructions. Do as I do. I didn’t think so. In fact, studies have been done that show that blind babies, deaf babies, and babies who are both deaf and blind, laugh on their own at about the same time as babies without these impediments. Watch little children. They seem to laugh at almost anything and everything. I once read that children laugh on average about 400 times a day. By the time we’re adults, we’re lucky if we’re laughing 4 times a week.


The timing of this couldn’t have been better for me. As studies have shown, and through my own personal experience, people are stressed to the extreme. Stress kills laughter. If you’re stressed, can you deny the truth of that statement? And, if you’re not stressed, please write and let me know how you’ve managed to be the only one avoiding it. How long has it been since you actually and honestly laughed out loud. Oh, sure, we occasionally laugh with our friends or over a funny movie scene. But I mean when was the last time you experienced an honest-to-goodness roll-on-the-floor belly laugh with tears running down your face. Can you even remember? Do you really care if it’s not dignified? Should one care? Stress destroys laughter and promotes heart disease. Now, that’s not anything to laugh about.

Dr. Madan Kataria, known as the Laugh Doctor, said “When you laugh, you change, and when you change, the whole world changes”. It’s true there are times when we must be serious. But being too serious is actually a kind of disorder. Just look around you. People walking around with their cell phones plastered to their ears or texting like mad. No breaks from the stress of the job or life’s responsibilities. We’re wired 24/7. Just listening to the media reports can set your teeth on edge. It’s just not healthy. I’m no medical expert but I know when something is not good for me. And I know when something is good for me. And laughter is definitely a good thing.

I plan to make a very conscious effort to bring laughter back into my life on a daily basis. Along with laughter comes joy and the bonding with friends. I shouldn’t even need to mention the positive health aspects. Laughter is contagious. Just take a few minutes and watch the following YouTube video of Mr. Doug Collins, said to have the most contagious laugh in the world:

I watched and was laughing along with him so hard I had tears. It was wonderful! If you were able to sit through that and not laugh out loud, then I suggest you seek help! There is so much more that can be said about laughter. I am amazed at how much interesting material there is not to mention personal opinion and experience. This probably won’t be the last post I have on this subject! Laughter is — or should be — a major part of our lives. Make it so.

Please share your thoughts and comments below.