Archive for the '52 week challenge' Category
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52 weeks of Personal Genealogy and History

I’ve seen a lot of movies in my lifetime.  The most memorable were those I shared with others.

When I was very young.. say 2 or 3.. before my eldest little brother was born, I went with Grandma and Grandpa, in Grandpa’s truck, to see Bambi, at the drive-in.  I cried and cried when bambi’s mother died and I think we went home early. I can’t really remember that part.

When I was young, my mother, brother, and I went to see the original Star Wars movie, on a city bus.  The line we stood in wrapped around the round building more than once. It was like waiting in line for an amusement ride, but the ride was much longer than a roller coaster would take us. It was fun and memorable.

Also, when I was young, the neighborhood kids piled into my mom’s Chevy Impala and she took us to see ET at the Loma Theater. That theater is now a big bookstore, the last time I saw it.

Grease showed at the Tuesday night dollar movie and mom and I went to see it over and over.. more than twenty times.  The first time we sat in the front row.  It was amazingly fun for a kid.  Even when we had to walk.

As I grew older, movies were an every week part of my life.

There are some movies, that when they are on tv, you just don’t change the channel:

  • An Officer and a Gentleman
  • Top Gun
  • Lethal Weapon (any of them)
  • When Harry met Sally

Now, I rarely go to movies.  I netflix tv series because I don’t really watch television.  My favorite actors are Kevin Costner and Meg Ryan.  Did you know she was in Top Gun? Who were you watching? LOL

My all-time favorite movie is No Way Out with Kevin Costner.  Field of Dreams was pretty good, too.  As was Message in a Bottle. hehe :)



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I was never hospitalized more than a day until just before I gave birth to Katie Lynne, with a kidney infection, near her due date.

But I was my mother’s “emergency room child.”  There is a hospital, in San Diego that has an x-ray of my entire body, one injury after another.  I wouldn’t say I was klutzy, but I did challenge myself to do things I shouldn’t have done, like roller skate or ride a bike. Simple Things.  Sprains, strains, twists, ace bandages and lots of ice in my life.

When I was younger, I would stay with grandma, when I stayed home from school.  I would bundle up in grandpa’s recliner and grandma would make me honey lemon tea or I could drink warm jello.  There were always plenty of popsicles.

Of course, you also had to take that gross Yellow Triaminic.  That was the punishment. Gross medicine.

The last weekend of my junior year of high school, ready to start my senior summer, I turned my foot over on the softball field and went back on crutches with the ugliest swollen bruised multi-colored foot and ankle that whole summer.

Today, I am physically disabled, with my back. I have  degenerative disc disease (crushed disc) L4-L5.  My back upper muscles do not stay in and my back need multiple daily adjustments.  Pain is just part of my life.

I’m plagued with headaches and I have fibromyalgia, which is generalized pain with hot spots that can’t be touched on my hips and my shoulders. I also suffer from chronic insomnia, depression, and anxiety about anxiety.

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Texas Tech alumnus Rick Husband was the final ...

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The first real disaster that impacted my life was when a jetliner crashed into a close neighborhood near our home. I guess it was 1977.

The next real disaster that I recall, from my lifetime, would be the American Hostages in Iran. It was a very long and scary 444 days. I, personally, found it selfish to celebrate holidays during this crisis.  There was so much going on.  No one knew if they’d be killed or released.

At this time period, we were going through a major gas/oil crisis, in the United States. We had to buy our gas on odd/even days based on the last number on your license plate.  Gas was still limited and the lines to get gas were down around blocks.

I believe this is when we had water shortages, as well and were only allowed to water our lawns or wash our cars on odd/even days, based on our addresses.

In 1979 Brenda Spencer opened sniper fire on a elementary school, near our home.  She killed many before they apprehended her.  It was a very sad day.  I think she said it was Monday and she hated Monday’s.

In 1986, we lost the Space Shuttle Challenger to a terrible disaster.  We were watching the launch, with a teacher on board, for the first time, and the space shuttle exploded.  It was a terrible event.  I think the hardest part was being in school and not at home with my family to be sad together.

Of course we have the 9/11/01 disaster that I can’t go into right now. Its still too raw to my heart.  There are many terrorist attacks I am leaving out of this post.  I do not believe all Muslims are extremists. I have Muslim friends.  I do believe, however, that training of extremists is still going on and that there will be more terrorist attacks worldwide. (I still pray for the families of the USS Cole, Okalahoma City, and the World Trade Center.)

In 2003, the Space Shuttle Columbia disintegrated upon returning to Earth.  Parts were found all over the western United States. It was another horrific thing to watch on our television.

Natural Disasters:

Flooding of 1979 in San Diego. My date could be wrong. I know it was in the late 1970′s.  The San Diego River rose to cover most of the valley. It disconnected travel, flooded the major shopping centers, etc.  It just seemed like it was never going to stop raining.

Recently, we’ve had many earthquakes and tsumani’s.  Pakistan, Indonesia, and yesterday Japan have been hit very hard.  There is a nuclear power plant in Japan that has lost its cooling system.  To avoid a meltdown, the Japanese have decided to release radiation into the air.

Of course, there was Hurricane Katrina that leveled New Orleans and left many people stranded and many dead in their homes.  I don’t understand why anyone chose to rebuild there, with the levy system still not fixed.  Another storm and it all repeats itself.  Mayor Nagan left buses parked and stranded people in his city.  Then they voted him back into office, from their remote locations where they had been evacuated to.  Absolutely ridiculous to me.  Before Katrina, we had Hugo and slam into Charleston and Hurricane Andrew destroy Homestead.

Its a Natural Disaster that our military troops are overseas, standing in harms way, fighting a holy war that isn’t ours and we can’t win.  Yes, I still remember what they are fighting for.

We live in a world of many disasters and I think there are many more disasters to come.

(This is in no way a complete list. I know I’m missing reporters who have been brutalized, and the whole mess in Guantanamo Bay.)


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Sounds – 52 Weeks of Personal Genealogy & History

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Aside music, which I will get into, the sounds I remember the most are water running near where we were camping, and Great Grandma singing while she cleaned, cooked, or knit. In Great Grandma’s car, we listened to Simon and Garfunkle or Charley Pride.  Great Grandma had real records (LP’s and 78′s.) I remember the album cover opened and we’d sing Primary song’s from church together. (The lyrics were printed.)

Music has always been a very big part of my life. Great Grandma taught me Jesus Loves Me before I could talk. Her favorite song, that she sang all the time was In The Garden..

I am a product of a 60′s teenager.  My mother was 17 when I was born. And divorcing.  My mother is a Hippie.  My young life, with my mother, was filled with 60′s and 70′s Rock ‘n Roll. Country Music was forbidden. I didn’t know who Elvis was until he died and I heard his name on the news.

When I was a teenager, in high school, I started going to Youth Dances and had my big introduction to a larger array of music genres.  It was the 1980′s.. where music was perfect!

It was still uncool in the 80′s to like Country Music if you were under the age of 50.  But I loved it.  Almost all of it.  Modern Country Music.

Alabama, Reba McEntire, Randy Travis, Tanya Tucker, Kathy Mattea, Keith Whitley, Dwight Yoakam, The Judds, Steve Wariner..  I was a dancer.. I liked it all..

At the same time, I was a serious study nerd and I loved New Wave Music. I wore penny loafers!  I wore dress shirts with pink ties.

As we move into the 80′s and 90′s, we have Martika, Wilson Phillips, Richard Marx, Madonna, Men at Work, Duran Duran, Eurythmics, Thompson Twins, Depeche Mode, Oingo Boingo, Culture Club, Madness, and more..

I’m lucky, today, to still hear a lot of this music. It cycles back through the generation of my children. Its on their Ipods and mp3 players.  Their likes are diverse and for that, I couldn’t have asked for more with music and dance.

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You know you are getting old when you can’t remember what age you were when certain technology became available.  When I was young, we lived in the age of the tv dinner.  The tv dinner was introduced to give families meals around the television.  They were awful.

My first stereo had a turn-table and a 8 track player.  Google that if you don’t understand.

I have always been behind technology advances.  My grandmother lived until just after my second child was born, which makes me a young adult, by then.. but interestingly enough, she never had a microwave oven or a computer.

The first video (yes, they used to play videos) I ever saw on MTV was Men Without Hats – Safety Dance.  Google that if you don’t understand.

The first cassette tape I purchased with my own money was Cyndi Lauper – She’s so unusual.

The first and only 45 record I ever purchased was REO Speedwagon – Can’t Fight That Feeling.

My generation stood in lines wrapped three times around a building, to see Star Wars.  We ate peanut butter Reeses Pieces just so ET could get back home.

My generation saw parachute pants and break dance competitions..  and we saw the Space Shuttle Challenger explode on National TV, in a classroom.

We did have rabbit ears on black and white televisions, but I think color televisions were available when I was younger. I’m not so sure about that, though.  Maybe I should Google it.

My favorite part of technology today is duh! GOOGLE.

We live in an instant information world.  I can’t imagine living without my laptop by my side.

I am Generation X.

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This is an interesting category. I played with all of my friends toys.  I never owned a Barbie doll.  I had a Kate Jackson doll (Charlie’s Angels.) Shelley Kyle had enough Barbies to entertain us both and then some, though. :)   She had a Barbie Dream House and we played there for hours. She, also, had a Mrs. Beasley, like Jody from Family Affair.

I didn’t have a Cabbage Patch Kid. I had a Doll Baby that I had to stuff and sew up myself.

I did have a Rubix Cube and a Simon.  My brother had a wheel-o.  They still make these today.

I was the kid, excited to go to a friends house and play PONG.  My friends hated it, though.

My most favorite toy was my bicycle, with the banana seat.

I could ride wherever I wanted.  I would go to Morley Field and hit a ball against the wall, watch a tennis match in the cement stadium, or cloud watch.  During the summer, the municipal pool was open.  I about killed myself taking the swim test to be able to be in the deep end.

But I did it.

One Christmas, I received a brand new Teddy Bear. I traded, over-night, with my friend, for her stuffed Monkey. We couldn’t have sleepovers, so we let our babies do it.  Something happened in the middle of the night and I moved and I was never able to trade back.  I didn’t miss my teddy bear but to this day, I feel guilty that I never returned that monkey. I still have that monkey. I took it everywhere with me, in case I were to run into his owner, again.  I wonder what her name was today.  I wonder if she remembers mine.

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Bob Bell as Bozo the clown

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When I was real young, it was Captain Kangaroo, Bozo the Clown, The Mickey mouse Club, and The Brady Bunch.

When I stayed home from school, at Grandma’s, it was I Love Lucy, I Dream of Genie, Match Game, Family Feud, and Young and the Restless.  That was my Grandma’s show.  We also watched Adam 12 and Emergency.  The Twilight Zone scared me silly, too.

At night, I remember Mash and Hogan’s Heroes.  I didn’t like Hogan’s Heroes.  I was too young to understand what they were finding so funny.

Like clockwork, there was Wheel of Fortune, Jeopardy, and every CBS radio station newscast ever to play.

Today, I rarely watch tv.  Do you wonder why? :)

I like series tv on DVD from Netflix.. Dexter, Lost, Will & Grace, Grey’s Anatomy

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My favorite meal that Grandma made was Beanie Weenies.  Seriously.  They were boring.  Pork N Beans, cut up cheap hot dogs, and Government commodity American cheese.  I make them once in a while (as close to it as I can) just to feel close to Grandma again.  No one else will eat it, though.

My favorite meal at my Great Grandma’s house was her salad and peach flavored jello.  She put celery seed in the salad and always sliced the lettuce thin like in shreds.

My favorite foods, today, are related to bread and cheese in every way.  I think a good Calzone and IBC root beer is better than someone bringing home flowers. :)

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I grew up in 1/2 of a little house on the other side of the tracks..  It was former military housing from World War II.  It was a converted two bedroom, one bath duplex with one big open room, in the front, facing West, where the sun went down.  A wall divided one bedroom into two tiny bedrooms.  We made do and did without when we couldn’t.  My grandma was the glue and we all stuck to her. :)

Grandma's house

I added some of the duplex next door so you can see what it looked like when we lived there.  The right side has been updated.  The left side is what was original.  The square windows with the crank style mechanisms.  Our porches were red and grandma repainted them every year.

When we first moved in, that little front patch of grass/weeds between the front and back door was a huge pepper tree.  The roots of that tree cracked all of the sidewalks and made its way into the plumbing, so it had to be removed.  It was one of those grand climber trees that made us all the perfect play spot in the neighborhood.  The tree removal didn’t stop that. We all seemed to congregate outside my grandma’s house for kickball, because we had landmarks that made pretty good markers for bases.  I was the only girl on the block except during school breaks and summer, when Susan Bebb came to play with us, too.

Down the road, at Bobby’s house, we had a “no girls allowed” fort.  I wasn’t considered a girl for many years, I think. (giggle)

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Week Three: Cars you’ve owned or remember

My first car was a real beater.  It was a Glorious 1968 Chevy Nova. Green and Rust colored.   I loved that little car to its death.  It, eventually, was passed to my grandparents and such and is a pile of rusted metal in some salvage yard today.  At one point, while I owned it, the passenger door didn’t work.  Everyone had to get in on the driver’s side.  We didn’t care. It got us from A to B and many of us to school.

I learned how to drive in mom’s Malibu Classic Station Wagon.  The Beast.  When you learn to drive in a beast, you can almost drive anything with an automatic transmission.  My step-father, Dan Summers, taught me how to drive that big boat.  I remember driving through this tight section of concrete pylons, at the stadium and then he said, “now do it in reverse.”  I thought he was crazy.  It was the best lesson I’ve ever had, when it comes to driving.

My first experience with a standard transmission was in my friend Angie’s truck.  One day, she found out that I didn’t know how to do it and she pulled over and made me drive.  I could have killed her that day.  We were near the international airport in San Diego and there are all these steep hills, right there, going where we were going.  I stopped at the top of the hill, second car in line and found it funny that the car behind me stayed at the bottom of the hill.  I, eventually rolled that truck, backwards, all the way to the bottom of the hill.  Smart man that stayed down there.  We played Chinese Fire Drill, and she got the truck up the hill.

I’m a Toy Girl today. I drive a Toyota Sienna and more than LOVE it.

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