Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Fun and Funny, a Nostalgic End to St. Patty's Day...

So, yesterday being St. Patty's day, I decided to have some fun & put my hair up in some shamrock printed ribbons I found at the craft store a couple of months back. Not as fancy as Barefoot Gardner's do's, but still fun!

I tried to get a decent picture, but hell.... It seems I don't take decent pictures (either with somebody else holding the camera, or myself!) any more. Go figure.

Well, of course I had to work on St. Patty's day. None of that partying & beer-swigging for me! *grin* That's ok. I'm not a big fan of beer unless you're using it to cook meat or bake bread or some-such. Instead, I was at work till 9:15. This is where the funny & nostalgic part comes in. One of my coworkers mentioned that an upstairs neighbour of hers moved out & promised that she could have one of the dressers they didn't want to take with them. She went into the apartment to retrieve the dresser, and found lots & lots of books left behind as well. As she was looking through the books for some good ones, she found that at least several beloned to the library itself, so she boxed up all the books she could find & brought them over to the library with her, to go through at a more leisurely pace, either for the donations bin or to return to the library's collection.

I was helping her with the last box last night after everybody else left at 6 pm (there are only 8 of us that work past 6 pm on Mondays, my coworker CM and myself, MeB and Judy (reference), DP the security guy and Joe the computer guy, and GK and Steve were the night's circ assistant's). Anyway, CM was on the desk for the first shift of the night, so I was pawing through the books deciding to put in the sale bin, the donation bin, or toss, and I came across 3 old yearbooks from one of the other High Schools in the area. They were 1997, 1998, and 1999. I realized what a chance I had with that 1997 yearbook. I knew a couple of folks that went to West, and in fact the first guy I kissed went to West & should have graduated that year! *grin* Oooooh, what a chance to see what kinda doofy pic he took for his senior pic. And, Yep, it was a doofy one!

So, this is a slightly-fuzzy pic of the guy I shared my first kiss with. (Yes, Mom, I DID kiss a guy before DH, and NO, actually, John wasn't my FIRST boyfriend, OR my first date.) ROFL I can't get over that stupid propeller-topped beanie on his head! I knew he was a bit of a clown & joker when I met him and on the one occasion we went out AFTER we first met, but I didn't think the guy would wear a propeller-topped hat in his Sr. pic. *sigh*

The irony is, my first boyfriend (a class-mate & friend through school), my first date (another guy met at a different party than the one I met John at, prior to meeting John), AND my hubby are/were all very serious guys. In fact, this is part of the reason I didn't give my first boyfriend more of a chance, he was too serious. And too shy to make a move to even hold my hand. (Or, maybe he was just too scared that I'd crack him over the head with a book if he tried anything. Either way, we never even held hands in the 5 days we were "going together" in 9th grade.) The other reasons I didn't give my first boyfriend more of a chance were A) my dad had forbidden me to date before I got to 16, and B) I honestly didn't feel I was ready for a relationship at the point that Dustin asked me to be his girlfriend. I felt it was kind of rediculous to pretend to be boyfriend & girlfriend and only ever see each other at school & never go do things together, and not even be able to introduce the guy to one's parents. Anyway, so I told Dustin that I just wasn't ready. *shrug* Part of me wonders, though, what might have happened with him if I'd given him more of a chance. (And, if not then, at least later, because I found out later that he never stopped holding out hope that we'd get back together, at least while in HS.)

Then there was Denton. Denton was the other guy met at a party (a birthday party) that I snuck out for a date with. He preceeded John (in the above pic) by at least 6 months. I was only 15 when I went out on that date with Denton. He was sweet, and serious, and somewhat shorter than any other guy I've ever been attracted to. And, after our date he asked for a hug. I would have liked to see more of Denton as well, but Dad caught on that SOMETHING was going on, and I wound up grounded for a month. (I don't think Dad ever knew for certain that I'd gone on a date, but he knew SOMETHING was up.) Anyway, I didn't dare call Denton after that, and he never tried calling me, either.

Then came John. I met him at another friend's birthday party. (I was still only 15.) It was a co-ed party, with a girl's-only sleep-over afterwards. Just before all the guys had to be kicked out, I was saying bye to John & giving him my number & he asked if he could kiss me. *grin* I said yes. Ooooooh, sweet first kisses! Not a whole lot to say about John except that he was funny and charming and obviously a bit of a clown. We called each other every couple of days for about a week & a half, then met up once at the skating rink just up the road from my dad's house. That was the last time I talked to John. He wouldn't return my phonecalls after that. I was peeved for a couple of days, went to TaeKwonDo one night & kicked the crap out of one of the wall-mounted pads, and got over him. (Though, a part of me wonders now if his parents saw something happening that they weren't thrilled about. His dad was a preacher at a church in town.)

And, lastly came the man who is now my hubby. Another serious guy. We met while working at the fair. Mom had persuaded me to take a job working for one of the food companies at the fair during the summer between my Jr. & Senior years of HS. I was 17. Two friends from school were also working for the same food-service company that had a half-dozen booths around the fair-grounds, and they knew I was kinda crushing on this guy who was working at the ride right next to my food booth. I was selling pizza, he was operating the gravetron. My friend Bo pointed me out to him one day and told him I was crushing on him. (Or, was it Adrienne??? I don't recall for sure, now.) By the end of the fair, we were hanging out during our breaks and I'd given him my number and he said he'd call me when he got back to town after the Palmer fair. (He was following the fair down to Palmer to continue working for one more 2-week period before coming back to NP for the winter & finding a steadier job.) It took him a couple of months to call, he lost my number & finally found it where it'd fallen behind his sterio at his parents house. (Whom he was living with until we got our first apartment, 4 months after we married and 6 months after DD was born.)

It's funny because I didn't think DH was such a serious guy, when I met him. I didn't want to be with a serious guy. My dad was (and, frequently still IS) too serious for me, and I wanted to find a guy who could lighten up a bit. I thought I'd found that with the guy who is now my hubby. *wry smile* Then again, he seems to lighten up, but frequently at the wrong moments as far as I'm concerned. In so many other ways, it strikes me as true that a girl often marries a guy who's a lot like her dad.

(Which, once again makes me wonder what life would be like with Dustin, who's even MORE like my dad than DH is, even down to spending 10 years of his life in the Air Force as a mechanic. And now working for the Feds as an Air Safety inspector. But, I think Dustin is much too conservative for me, these days. I think I've become too liberal for him, even if we were willing to disrupt our families for each other. Which, we're both smart enough to know would be a very stupid move, though I once again consider Dustin a friend and enjoy email-chats with him every few days or so.)

Anyway.... That picture above has prompted a lot of nostalgia, and some wistful thinking. (I kinda wish Dustin HAD kissed me back when, at least then I'd know.) I kinda wish I knew whatever happened to Denton, and where John's at now. It's all rather funny to think about now. But, I did tell DH that he's got NOTHING to worry about, me wishing I was with John still..... Maybe he was charming & funny, but I don't think I'd do well trying to settle with a clown who wears a propeller-beanie for his senior pic. *grin*


On completely unrelated news.... The temp has dropped again. *sigh* It was 0 deg. when I let the dogs out at 7:50 this morning. And the wind is blowing to such a degree that last night's predictions were of wind-chill-related temps down to -40 for today.

On the other hand, at least the sun feels warm!!! Standing at the window with my face towards the sun, you can feel a bit of it's heat. And we're just a couple of days (literally, on Thursday!) from Spring Equinox when we'll start seeing more sunlight than night.


I've been slowly making my way through my seed catalogs, trying to figure out what I want to grow this summer. I'm hoping to be able to get all my seed from one company, but it doesn't look like I'll get to do that. I'm also kind of thinking that maybe I should order more than I need now, so if I don't have the $$ next year, at least I'll have SOME seed set aside. Gina, can you tell me if that's wise???? I know that some seed doesn't save (potatoes, being one that comes to mind), but I thought I'd heard that it's easy to save extra dry-seed for subsequent years if it's put in an air-tight container like a jar with a fitted lid. So, if I don't use all my chard seed, can I do that & have some for next year????


Gina had also asked that I post some books giving the history of the Great Depression. I've started reading up on this era, hoping to gain a little wisdom from the experiences gone through by those who lived it. (And, more & more I wish I'd been old enough to ask appropriate questions of my Mom-Mom & Pop-Pop when they were of an age to still answer those questions with accuracy. As it was, by the time I was stumbling through some semi-formed questions to ask, they were to the point where they either couldn't or wouldn't remember any real detail to pass on to me.)

So, here's my list.

American Girl's "Kit" books. (Light reading, geared towards girls, but shows how families & communities worked together & helped each other through a very tough time. Just don't plan on gleaning much, if any, new information from this series of books. It wasn't written for that purpose if you're over the age of 12.)

_Women of Valor: The Struggle Against the Great Depression as told in their own life stories_ by Bernard Sternsher (This book doesn't really go into detail of how the average person survived the era, it's actually a lot of exerpts from the memoirs of a lot of prominent women of the era, including Eleanor Roosevelt, Francis Perkins (the first woman to serve on a presidential cabinet, under FDR), and Dorothy Day. A good read. Just not a lot of info there.

_The Hungry Years: a Narrative History of the Great Depression in America_ by T. H. Watkins (This is the book I'm currently reading, but as I'm only in the first chapter, I don't have a lot to say on it yet. The prologue, though, gave some good info on the reasoning behind the stock-market crash of 1929, and how the depression started. It was scary-interesting to see the parallels with the stock-market goings on of this past 10 years, without taking into consideration the current realities of Peak Oil and Climate shift, of course. I'll have to get back to ya when I finish this book, which could be quite a while seeing as it's at least as thick as that last Harry Potter novel, and reading a heck of a lot more slowly.)

_Daily life in the United States, 1920-1939 : decades of promise and pain_ by David E. Kyvig (I haven't even checked this one out yet, I simply looked it up in our collection. Looks like it may be interesting.)

_Down & out in the Great Depression : letters from the "forgotten man"_ edited by Robert S. McElvaine. (More the story of the hobos that traveled the US during this era. Not exactly the info I am really looking for, but may provide something of interest. Of course I haven't actually checked this one out yet, either.)

_Since yesterday : the 1930's in America, September 3, 1929-September 3, 1939_ Frederick Lewis Allen. (Haven't checked this one out, either. This at least appears to be a first-hand relation of that decade by somebody who actually lived it. I hope it's not dry reading.)

_The worst hard time : the untold story of those who survived the great American dust bowl_ Timothy Egan. (Another that I haven't checked out yet. The last of the books I've found, as yet, to read RE: the depression.)

I'd LIKE to find some first-hand memoirs written specifically by middle-class women who attempted to keep their homes & families together in this era. I KNOW there were folks who did keep it together, even if just barely. (I know, because I know that both Mom-Mom & Pop-Pop were 14/15 at the beginning of this era, and I know that their homelife seemed to be pretty steady, if maybe spartan.)

I'm also trying to find books on Russian/Soviet life from the last 40 or 50 years. This area interests me, seeing as how they've weathered some pretty spartan times as well, AND the fact that the climate in much of Russia is similar to the climate in Alaska in many ways. Reading and learning how folks have used their Dacha properties to grow sufficent food to suppliment their meager, government-provided diets seems like it'd be good information to have.

Thus far I have just two books that look like they may hold information of interest:

_Postmarked Moscow: An American Ambassador's Wife Looks at Life in Russia Today_ by Lydia Kirk (Wife to the Ambassador to the USSR 1949-1952. Any information in this book is almost 60 years old. This is one I was fortunate to find in the booksale bin, so I've got it in my possession to peruse at my leisure.)

_Fifty Russian Winters: An American Woman's Life in the Soviet Union_ by Margaret Wettlin. (This one was first published in 1992. Somewhat newer info, and as it covers 50 years, it may well contain something usable for the current situation. Also a booksale bin find to be perused at my my leisure.)


Ok. That's all I've got for today. (As if that wasn't enough?!?! *grin*)

Have a Blessed Day!


barefoot gardener said...

First, I love the hair! So cute.

I, too, have the hardest time taking pics of my own hair.

Second, the stories of your early "loves" were just sweet! I don't have nearly such nice memories of my past beaus, unfortunately.

Isn't it funny how we pick guys that are a lot like our dads (even the parts of our dads that we don't like)? I did the same thing with the Mr., though I am not allowed to say that to him...he gets a little miffed.
Great post, all in all.

whimsicalnbrainpan said...

I enjoyed hearing about your past beaus. :-)

Kati I know that I've seen a cookbook about cooking in the depression. Let me hunt around a bit and see if I can't find the title. It might come in handy.

Connie Peterson said...

Cute hair!

I have a copy of a book my dad wrote about him growing up in the depression - want a copy on cd?

Connie Peterson said...

Or ......... I could print it out and mail it to you!! That might be easier!

Fr. Peter Doodes said...

Hi Kati,
Regarding your remark about "Reading and learning how folks have used their Dacha properties to grow sufficent food" comment, I have managed to get hold of the seeds for two Russian tomato (bush) plants. Odessa an early tomato from Odessa in the Ukraine and Aurora which comes originally from Siberia. They both, I am told, germinate very early and crop in a very short summer.

Assuming I don't kill them with kindness I will let you know how I fare.



PS. Am I the only male environmentalist in the world who reads others blogs?

Gina said...

I had to laugh at Peter's comment! There are a few others, LOL!

Many seeds can be saved for 5 or more years, although germination rates may not be as productive. I'll have to do a bit of research to see which are the best, but I think, if they are given the right storage conditions, most seeds can be saved indefinitely. Mainly, the right conditions are cool and dry. I've seen the suggestion that you keep those little silica gel packets (the ones that are in shoeboxes, etc.) in with the seeds and it will keep the moisture from rotting the seeds.

Earlier in the year, I slurged on the homesteading package from Baker Creek Seeds. It was pricy (in the long run it was cheaper per pack of seed), but they sent a lot of extra seeds and a great variety of heirlooms. Plus, they offer both a northern and southern climate package (although they may not mean extreme northern!!!). They claim the seeds can be saved for 4-5 years. So far, the ones I have tried seem to have a pretty good germination rate (ironically, the one that doesn't was one of the extra tomato varieties I ordered separately from them-Egg Yolk tomato-I thought it sounded cool anyway). I guess it will be a bit of an experiment. I do know that seeds have been found many decades (even centuries) later and they were sprouted.

Thanks for all the book suggestions! I have read some of the Fox Fire books which are centered on se US (mainly Appalachia), they have some recollections from the depression, but it is mainly people already living in poverty.

Your hair does look cute! I love the bows. And, your stories about your beaus very sweet. Like BG, mine aren't so fond. Your high school sweetie was a cutie!