An accounting of some ventures in the life of grandma and grandpa for the kids, grandkids, friends and those who drop by for a visit.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

She Turns Four!!

A birthday party for a special little princess.

Grandma and grandpa Omas looking on.

Playing a hand game with the king.

A gift from the prince to the princess

Time for the birthday girl to open her presents.

Serious cake and ice cream eating taking place here.

This young princess is a veteran of many fine parties,

Whoever came up with the idea of a birthday party and cake and ice cream should be knighted.

The King and princes join in celebrating.

The Queen Mother said let them have cake and the Prince is getting down on that cake and ice cream.

Gathering to divide the spoils.

Pretty big candles for a little princess to blow out all at once.

Gathering around the table for a sing-a-long.

I can be a princess, too.

Words of advice from one princess to another.

Just enough time before the party to practice a few dance moves.

Granddaughter points out the pictures that grandpa needs to pay attention to.

Baby sister gets a present, too.

Mom made a beautiful cake. The theme of the party was princesses and princes.

Dad helps out by unloading and loading the dishwasher.

The oldest grandaughter turned four and Mom and Dad put on a great birthday party. The kids gathered at the other grandma and grandpas house for and afternoon kids' party, then the adults and kids gathered at Mom and Dad's house Sunday night for a party of family members. Then the kids did a slumber party for the grand finale. Granddaughter had a great time and of course she liked the presents and very respectfully thanked each person for their gift. Pretty sweet of her.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

It has been awhile since I have posted. I caught a cold a few days after Christmas which settled into my chest. When I was a three year old I was sick with whooping cough for several weeks. I remember that cough well. One really does whoop when one coughs with whooping cough. I have heard older people say how much they suffered listening to their child cough when they had whooping cough. I can feel for them, but, as one who had whooping cough, the parents' torment is nothing compared to surviving whooping cough. Not all of us who had it survived. Today some people talk about not having their child immunized. They might be right, but if I did nothing else, I think I would at least have my child vaccinated for whooping cough and polio. I write the foregoing because many of us who had whooping cough have problems as adults with a cold that settles into the lungs. I coughed for weeks and still have some nights when I get little sleep because of the lingering cough. Last weekend over a three day period I was coughing so hard that I passed out four times. My wife grounded me from driving. Probably a good idea. I don't think anybody wants a Dodge Ram 1500 pickup barreling down the highway with a driver behind the wheel who is unconscious. I know I would not. But I am feeling better so hope to get out and maybe do something interesting enough to make blogging worthwhile.

For those of you who are my age you may remember your childhood when we caught every childhood disease imaginable. Remember measles? We could catch the German measles, also known as the hard measles or the black measles. Those measles could put one down for a couple weeks. Or one might catch the red measles also known as the three day measles. I had both of those. I know I had the red measles at least three times. Remember the mumps? Now those were bad. I caught the mumps on one side of my throat during the 3rd grade and missed a week. Went back to school for a few days just long enough to make up my missed work after school and then came down with the mumps on both sides of the throat. I think we referred to that as the double mumps. I was out of school for two weeks over that and the school was talking about holding me back for a year because of all the class time I had missed. I spent several days after school making up work. Looking back on that I now realized how many days that poor teacher had to stay after school while I finished assignments. I am sure I did not appreciate her doing that at the time and probably did not even think to thank her, but now I understand the sacrifice she made. Thank you, Mrs. Silvera. I was fortunate to have had the mumps after the Major League Baseball season was underway so that I could listen to the Game of the Day broadcasted on the Mutual Radio Network while laying in bed. When one has the mumps, one just wants to lay in bed. TV was just beginning broadcasts at the time in Spokane. I still think the radio entertainment was superior to the entertainment we get on TV today.

I never had polio, but were our parents ever worried! When I was a kid, we played hard outside all day long during the summer. Sometimes I would have terrible leg pains (not cramps) from playing so hard. Grandparents referred to those pains as growing pains. I don't know what they were all about, but I just know they were terribly painful. Mom and Dad would come into my bedroom and massage my legs for sometimes hours. I know now they were terribly worried that I was catching polio. In the heat of the day, parents would call us kids in for quiet playing because the theory circulated that if a kid got too exhausted from heat and exercise, he/she was more susceptible to catching polio. We put a lot jigsaw puzzles together and played a lot of rummy. And we read a lot. Kids don't read as much as we used to. Hey, what could one do. If the baseball game was not on the soap operas were and, well, I just wasn't into the soaps like my grandmother. When I lived in Valpo we played a lot of workup--a baseball game. Or sometimes we divided into teams and made hitting into one of the outfields an automatic out because we might only have five or six kids on a team. We had one kid who had crippled legs, but he could stand with his leg braces. He had a good arm and he pitched for both sides. He was pretty good and he liked doing that. That way he could play baseball with the guys. Worked real well.

Oh, yeah, about everybody got chickenpox. Ouch. I hated the itchy sores left. My next door neighbor lady, Mrs. Fisher, had her grandson live with her for a year while his dad and mom worked in the oil fields in Saudi Arabia. This was in 1949 or 1950. Arthur got scarlet fever. I still am not sure what that was all about, but I know he was a real sick kid for a long time. He missed a whole year of school and had to repeat the grade. Seems like there was always Pink Eye going around. I think we dabbed a solution of borax water with a cotton ball in our eyes. Maybe it was something other than borax, I am not sure right now. I will have to ponder that for awhile. I know I had pink eys a few times. Oh, how could I forget ring worm. Had that at least once.

When I was in the sixth grade in Valparaiso, there was an outbreak of diptheria in a neighboring town and several kids died. Wow. Things happened fast. There was a rumor that we all were going to get shots and before we could forget about the scare of that rumor lo and behold a nurse shows up at school and everybody got a diptheria shot. Forget about parental consent and all that bull roar. We were lined up and shot. Even the wimps had to stand there and take it like a man or woman as the case may be. They did at least afford us the comfort of not being shot in front of our classmeates. We were taken to the cloak room (remember how they smelled like wet wool in the winter?) adjacent to the classroom and shot in solitude. Thinking of shots we all got vaccinations for tuberculosis.

The vaccination was something that was even inflicted upon us as teachers early in my career. I was standing in front of my history class in Payette when the school nurse came in and said I needed a vaccination. I protested that I had been vaccinated as a kid, but my protest was of no concern to the nurse. She said raise your sleeve (I was wearing a shortsleeve shirt) and she vaccinated me right in front of the class. I thought that was a little wierd.

When I was a little guy I had a lot of ear aches. Mom or Dad would put warm oil in my ear and then stuff a wad of cotton into my ear. We had hot water bottles in those days rather than heating pads and I often had to lay on the hot water bottle to bring relief to my ear. And side aches. Remember those? We were so active outside that we would have a lactic acid build up (didn't know the cause for side aches until I took a health class my freshman year in high school). All the kids in my neighborhood suffered from side aches. We just knew that we got them when we ran for too long or too hard. I wonder if kids today ever get side aches?

Moms have always fretted over their children's health. I was fed every morning what my Mom and her eight siblings were fed--one quarter of a cake of yeast (actually not bad), one tablespoon of blackstrap molasses (the sulfur had not been extracted and therein lay the health factor) and one tablespoon of cod liver oil. Gag. I started with yeast to coat my throat and ended with the molasses to hide the flavor of the cod liver oil. I cana tell you that blackstrap molasses did not taste all that good. All of that and I cannot say I benefitted in the least. I still caught about every childhood disease known to kids and lots of colds to boot. Oh, yeah, they allowed me to drink coffee when I was five for a year and then after I was thoroughly loving my cup of coffee in the morning decided that the coffee would stunt my growth. They must have been right. So they started me on Ovaltine. I must say it was a poor alternative, but there was a neat decoder a kid could send for to use in connection with a favorite radio program sponsored by Ovaltine. Funny thing is that to this day I now cannot stand the taste of coffee. Go figure.

I remember getting a cold and cough when I was a little kid and Dad would rub camphorated (sp?) oil on my chest. That seemed to really help. Smelled good. Sometimes Dad would make a mustard plaster and put on my chest. My God! but that would burn. Was suppose to loosen up the phlegm. Worked. I often wonder what his recipe was.

I always dreaded getting a really sore throat. I can remember my Mom and Dad on a couple occasions going to the local doctor and having their throats painted with iodine. I can't even imagine. Do you remember getting a cut and having iodine put on it? Geez, that hurt worse than the cut, by far. When my Mom had to have her tonsils removed, Dad walked (we did not have a car) her to the doctor and she sat in his chair at the office and without anathesia of any kind the doctor reached into her throat and cut out the tonsils. Dad walked her home and it took her a couple weeks to heal. The doctor's office was only a block and a half from our house. His office was just in the front of his home. Kind of like a big enclosed purch. Oh, he did make home visits. I remember him answering a call several times to our home. He carried a black case just like in the movies.

I think I have covered all the childhood diseases that most of us caught as kids. I am glad there were immunizations for my children so they didn't have to suffer through some of what us old timers had to deal with. But, we survived okay somewhat worse for the experience.

I used to get canker sores when I was a little kid in Spokane. They hurt so bad. Dad had the answer for them. Old time remedy. Alum powder. My God, that hurt. I think the alum powder burned the canker sore so badly that it cauterized the sore. It worked, but oh, geez, that hurt. Thinking about that for some reason reminds me of brushing our teeth. We pored a little baking soda and some salt in the palm of our hand, wet the took brush, dabbed it into the mixture and then brushed our teeth. I remember one day Mom brought home a can of Colgate powdered toothpaste. Man, did we ever think we were uptown.

Maybe I will post again some of my childhood memories. I think I am unusual in one sense. I have very clear memories of some parts of my childhood dating back to when I was eight months old. At a later time, I will post some of those memories.

Oh, one quick memory of losing the first tooth. My sister tied a string to a very loose tooth that I was afraid to pull out. It was just barely hanging. She convinced me that the easiest way to deal with the problem was to tie a string around the tooth, then to the door knob and then slam the door. My God, I was dumb. I actually agree to that. It did work, and she was right. It didn't hurt and the next morning I will be darned but she was right again when a dime showed up under my pillow in place of the tooth I had put there. That was in the good old days of Santa Claus, the Tooth Fairy, and the Easter Bunny! Oh, by the way, a dime could buy a kid a lot of stuff in those days. A package of Twinkies was only 7 cents and bubble gum with a baseball card or an African animal or native person cost only a penny. And a haircut 75 cents, but I never had to pay for those.

Love you all,
Papa Coyote

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

What If

Could it really come to this?

Ohhhh, me, oh my. I hate these winter colds. I seem to get one or two a year. Sometimes I can get to the sauna early enough to kill the virus, but not this time.

I finally gave in and went to the "Doc in the Box" and got a prescription of codeine-laced cough syrup and Azithromycin. At least I am not coughing as much. Maybe I will get some sleep. I can tell you sleepless in the coyote's den is not nearly as sexy as sleepless in Seattle.

After we had spent all those hours decorating and cleaning the house. J had spent all those hours converting her production facility back to living and sleeping rooms in the basement for our daughter's family, What if I had said, upon seeing the two littlest granddaughters with runny noses, "Nope can't come in. Go back home. You will cause grandma and grandpa to get sick." Never crossed my mind really. We were so pleased to have all the family under one roof for a few days and nights. Well, grandma would still have me running the ridges behind the house looking for a meal. That scenario equates to Papa is in the dog house. I would be in so much trouble. Well, at least kicked out of the house. Now grandma and grandpa do have colds, but we will recover. The doctor did tell me to get lots of rest. I told grandma that she was under the same orders, but she does not respond well to orders. I do and I am resting.

Love you all,
Papa Coyote

Sunday, January 3, 2010

The Family Christmas Dinner

After days of decorating and cooking---well, of course, you understand, MamaCoyote gets all of that credit. Papa tries to lend a paw when appropriate, but, well, I just am not much of a decorator. We had twenty-eight family members coming for dinner and dad gum it all, MamaCoyote was in full enteraining mode. Having eleven kids eleven and under made the day all the more exciting. We even had three nursing mothers in the house all nursing babies several times a day. I could never see what all the fuss is about with mothers nursing in public because there just is nothing to see unless one would rush in and jerk up a blouse or sweater. If one were to do that, then he/she should be arrested. As I type this I am hacking and coughing. I started coming down with a miserable cold the day we left for McCall for some rest and relaxation. Well, that is about all I did. Rest, and well, can't say much for the relaxation part. First time in all the years that we have gone to McCall that I did not XC ski, but did get a couple books read and many FB games watched. Yearn for the old days when there were only four bowl games and they were all played on New Year's Day. What was for dinner? Lots!! Everybody brings some part of the dinner so you know how that goes. Lots of tasty stuff. MamaCoyote cooked a huge prime rib to perfection and included roasted chicken and ham. We had squash pie which we call pumpkin pie. Psst: Don't tell John. No one had a chance of going home hungry.

Until next time,
PapaCoyote loves you all