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Cutting the Cable Cord

I remember the first time I became aware of cable television. I was in high school and my father was upset that the town was allowing a cable company to dig up our grass to install the lines for cable. He argued with the city to get them to plant new grass to fix the mess they made out of our lawn. The grass grew back long before the town ever got cable. Each time it seemed like we would get cable, the company would go out of business and another company would eventually take over and then it would happen all over again. It wasn’t until I graduated from college that I learned my town had finally gotten cable.

At the time, the price of cable seemed relatively cheap in comparison to prices today. I remember my parents trying to decide what movie channels to pick and eventually realizing that they were paying for a lot of channels that they never watched. Once married, cable was a must as most places didn’t get channels on free television. If you lived near a major city, then you were luckier that most people. We usually chose the most basic cable plan. Later, we would choose a plan that also included the internet.

We recently completed a two-year contract that rolled into a month to month contract. Of course, the plan increased by $16 a month. When I looked into what a new two-year plan would cost, I saw that they would increase us another $25 a month, or $199 a month for the same plan. What is even worse is that if you were a new customer, you could get the same exact plan for $79 a month. So, to reward me for my loyalty, you will charge me $120 more a month? Ummmm….no thank you.

So we started looking at our options. The first thing we did was keep track of the channels that we actually watched. Out of 254 channels, we watched maybe 25 on a regular basis. We looked to see what options were available in streaming television and checked out Sling and Hulu. We ended up signing up for a free trial with Sling and picked the package that contained most of the channels that we watched. The only down side is that they do not have any local channels and we like watching the weather and traffic in the morning before going to work.

We then contacted the cable company to see if they would make us a deal, but they wouldn’t. Actually, the price kept going up instead of down. We then called back and asked what the price would be to increase our internet speed and drop cable. The person we talked to this time was very helpful and explained that we would need a different internet cable coming into our house for the fastest cable and we would get 15 local channels. The price was half what we were paying. We chose that plan and officially cut the cord.

After the install, we have fast internet where we can stream Sling television and also get the local channels for morning news. The surprise that we learned was that there are more than a hundred free channels that we also get as well. Many of the channels are from throughout the region. Some of the channels are from the UK and Japan. They apparently have agreements with Public Broadcasting (PBS) to stream their programs. The reality is that we have not missed cable at all. To think of all the money we wasted with cable and all the channels we never watched. I only wish we had known this sooner.


I’m Not a Good Nurse

Remember when you were little and people would ask what you wanted to be when you grew up. My answer up until the age of 9 was that I wanted to be a nurse. That changed after I spent 11 days in the hospital with double pneumonia. I was kept in isolation and because there wasn’t a room available on the children’s ward, I was given a room on the geriatric floor. The sounds at night were very scary to a 9-year-old. I was also having to get multiple blood draws and because I am hard to draw blood from, I was stuck over and over again. To a 9-year-old, I couldn’t understand why the nurses let me be hurt by the people drawing blood, so I decided that nursing was not my calling.

My husband finds it funny that I ended up working in the medical field. Yes, I work around nurses and know that all nurses are not mean, but I also know that I made the right decision not to become a nurse. My husband had the first of possibly three surgeries on his arm earlier this week. His arm had been feeling numb and tingling for the better part of a year. Of course, he being who he is, he didn’t tell me. He was worried that it was cardiac related. When I found out about it, I made him get an appointment with a primary care physician. He hadn’t been to a doctor since he left the military. His doctor I am happy to say is wonderful and has put him through a variety of tests. The good news is that he is better than I thought he might be. The bad news is that the numbness and tingling meant he has to have surgery.

I am fine with all of the things needed to be done prior to having surgery. I went with him for his MRI and made sure that he got his pre-op clearance physical and labs done in plenty of time for the records to be sent to the hospital. I also made sure he got copies of everything in case something was missing the day of the surgery. The surgery was scheduled for mid-morning and he had to check in 2 hours prior. They let me stay with him up until they were taking him to the surgical suite. I was given a number to watch the board to keep track of what was happening with the surgery. The one issue that I had with the surgical board was that the information was not real-time. By the time he showed up as “Procedure in progress” it was actually over and he was in recovery.

The first nurse he had in recovery was rude and totally out of line in regards to how she briefed the second nurse who came to cover her for lunch. It was like my husband was a total inconvenience to her. The second nurse asked questions and joked with my husband making him feel more comfortable. I went so far as to ask her if she could keep watch over him until he was released as the first nurse was not very polite. She said that she would and she did.

I was fine getting him home, making sure he was comfortable and took his pain meds.  I got him ice for his ice packs and pillows to keep his arm elevated. And when he was hungry, I made sure his food was something he was able to manage one-handed. But when it comes down to having to look at the wound and change the dressing. I am not a good nurse. I know that it is psychological, but I get absolutely queasy dealing with someone’s wound. I don’t want to look at it and I am afraid I will hurt him.

It hasn’t been too bad so far, but I keep reminding him that this is the reason I didn’t become a nurse. He laughs and say’s he didn’t marry me for my nursing skills. I laugh and tell him it’s a good thing I knew I didn’t want to be a nurse when I was 9. If I had become one, I have a feeling I would be more like nurse #1 instead of nurse #2.

Scanning Project Surprises

The scanning of family photos that my husband made his winter project came to an end shortly before the remodeling of the man cave/media room began. Once all the photos were scanned, my husband brought up a packet of photos that I realized I had never seen before. It was several photos of he and our son taken in California when our son had joined him for a long weekend while he was on a two-week business trip.

The photos were of the two of them at Legoland. We had told our son when he was younger that if we were ever near a Legoland, we would take him there. I had originally thought we would find time to visit the one in Florida when we lived in the south, but things had never worked out. So here were photos taken when my son was 17 and his dad took him to Legoland, fulfilling a promise made a long time ago. While my son was too big for many of the rides, they still had a great time. They also weren’t the only father/older son there. Looking at the photos, I saw two happy people and realized that it was probably the last time the two of them were in a photo together.

We have gotten away from taking pictures together and use our phone most of the time to capture events in our life. Very few of those are of more than one person in the picture. And even fewer have my son as a part of them. While cell phones are great to capture a moment, we should pull out an actual camera to capture family times that we can  look back on and remember everyone together. Time is too precious and there are too many memories left to make.

Stuffy, Tissues and Soup

So I caught a winter cold from work. One person has been sick going on three weeks. I am entering week two and my husband is still in week one. It is mainly a sinus and head cold. Not much coughing or sneezing. Just stuffed up and not sleeping well. At first I thought it was just due to the fact that we had been outside the day before raking and bagging the leaves. While I love looking at leaves, I tend to get stuffy when I actually play with them, so I hoped that it was just too much time outside, but I wasn’t so lucky. By the next morning, I felt horrible.

mrs_grass_noodle_soup_mix_smBefore I made him sick, my husband asked what I wanted and I said I wanted Mrs. Grass chicken soup. It was what we were given whenever we were sick growing up and I even now I always want a bowl when I’m sick. There is nothing quite like being curled up on the couch in your pajamas with a warm blanket and a mug of Mrs. Grass’ soup. Unfortunately we didn’t have any in the pantry so my wonderful husband went to three stores until he found it. 🙂

He started to make it and I told him to make sure the golden nugget was dissolved all the way. He said there wasn’t a golden nugget. I thought he was joking. Mrs. Grass is all about the golden nugget. It’s what makes the soup taste so yummy good. And makes you feel better. He brought me the box and showed me there wasn’t a golden nugget anymore. The picture above shows the golden nugget, but my new box didn’t have it. I immediately Googled it and learned the company got rid of the golden nugget earlier this year. What the h#%l were they thinking??? Put the golden nugget back…..really. I’m sick and now this.

Of course the company wants you to know that it tastes the same. That might be a good way to spin it, but it didn’t taste the same. It just tasted like box soup. Not yummy. 😦 And I am sure that is why my cold has lingered. The little golden nugget would have made me all better by now.

Decking the House for the Holidays

Growing up, our Christmas tree always went up on Thanksgiving. It was an absolute huge fake tree that had color coded branches that had to be put together in a certain order. It took hours, especially when the colors started fading, but the end result was a beautiful tree that visitors always thought was real. The decorating of the tree would take place throughout the day, in between cooking and eating and socializing. When I married, I told my husband of this tradition and while he didn’t understand the need to put the tree up on Thanksgiving, he humored me because he loved me. It also helped that he enjoys the holidays and making the house look festive. My mother always said that once we were settled into a place of our own, we could haul the huge tree in its huge box (think bigger than the biggest refrigerator box you’ve ever seen) to our home and carry on the tradition of the tree. When my husband saw the size of the box in my parents store-room he stated that he didn’t think we would ever have a place big enough for the tree and I whispered that it was fine because we could always start new traditions.

Our first tree was one that was maybe two feet tall and we put it on the middle of our coffee table. We chose some of the family ornaments that we had brought with us and gradually added new ones as well.  Every Thanksgiving we decorated the tree while the turkey was in the oven. At the end of the day, we would turn the lights on the tree and everything seemed peaceful and calming. The only time our tree didn’t get put up on Thanksgiving was when my husband had been deployed on a peace keeping mission to Kosovo and actually returned home the day before Thanksgiving. We picked him up at 3:00 am and he spent most of the next 48 hours sleeping. I put up a few things while he was sleeping, but it has always been something that we have done together.

Decorating the outside of the house has always been his territory. He can see in his head what he wants to do with the decorations and while he will ask me my opinion, I really leave it up to him. The only thing I insist on is that the lights be multicolored. I am not a fan of lights being one color, so he goes along with me on that.When our son was young, he went all out, but as we have all gotten older, we have kept the outside simple, yet welcoming. One of my favorite holiday looks was the first year in our house in Kansas. We purchased real pine garland and outlined the front of the house with it and had the lights shining out from the branches. Large burgundy bows and a huge wreath completed the look.

holiday-lightsOne year my husband was off and I had to work, so he decided that he and our son would get the lights up outside early. When I pulled up, I noticed that our neighbor, who never seemed to get his outside lights up all the way, had actually put up lights. Lights that looked like ours. My husband was sitting on a stool in the garage with strings of lights laying in rows on the floor, testing bulbs because they wouldn’t come on. I noticed there were no lights on the house.

“What’s wrong with the lights?” I asked getting out of the car.

“They won’t come on. I’ve been checking the bulbs. But every time I find one, another goes out.”

Hmmm, I thought, that’s what happened last year and we had to buy new lights. I got into the garage and I noticed that the lights on the floor were the lights from last year. You know, the broken ones that we couldn’t fix so we had to buy new ones. I stepped back out of the garage and looked at our neighbors house. “So Robert put up lights too?” I asked.

My husband looked at me, “Yeah, we helped him. His didn’t work so I gave him our old set.”

“That’s why they look familiar.” I replied. I looked back at the strings of lights on the garage floor. “Do you remember last year, when you couldn’t get the lights to work?”

He grunted, “That seems like every year, but yes I remember. We had to go out and buy new ones.” He looked up at me looking over at the neighbors lights and the light bulb went off. “Son of a !@#$%!!!”

“Yeppers!” I replied walking back to my car. He began rolling up the broken lights before joining me in the car where we went to buy new holiday lights for the outside of the house.

“At least Robert won’t look like Grinch this year.” he said nodding to the lights.

Memories Tied To Food

As part of our decluttering and reorganizing the basement, we have started to tackle the many photo albums and loose photos that we have. The first thing I did was take all of them out of the musty smelling, old albums. My husband then started to sort them into family photos, his growing up, mine growing up and ours. And also those from before we got together, his military photos and my vacation photos. The goal is to sort through them. Eliminate the duplicates. Yes, there really are three photos of me in kindergarten. And then they will be scanned and saved on a thumb drive for viewing whenever we want.

koolaid-popsicleLooking through my family photos, I was struck by how many of them were tied to food. One of the first photos of me was when my mom brought me home and she is holding me in her parent’s kitchen. For my first birthday, I was placed on the table and my birthday cake was in front of me. Clutched in my hand was a piece of cake. There are other photos of us outside in the summer, faces dripping with ice cream or snow cones. I remember that they were made by my mom, who would crush up the ice in the blender and add Kool-Aid to sweeten it up. Or we would make homemade popsicles in ice-cube trays. Other photos were taken at family events, but the one constant in many of the photos was the food.

I grew up in a large blended family. My father was married before and had four children. He then married my mom and had myself and my brother. Money was always tight, but I don’t ever remember being hungry. Sunday dinners would be a big roast, potatoes, some type of veggie and milk or Kool-Aid for the kids. Dessert would be something my mom made, be it cake or cookies or pudding. That roast would make an appearance several more times during the week as leftovers. One of my favorites was roast beef and gravy over bread. The bread would make the meat stretch for several meals. Wednesday really was spaghetti day in our house. Remember the commercials in the 1970’s about Wednesday being Prince spaghetti day?

We didn’t really eat out. A treat for us would be pizza or sliders from White Castle. Pizza night would be the first Friday of the month, which was also my dad’s payday. I remember my mom would order the Family Pizza from Cold Spot. It was always thin crust and always Italian sausage. I remember that the family size was huge and fit in the back of our station wagon. Pizza night was also the only time we got to drink soda. Mom would open a bottle of Pepsi and split it among us kids. Leftover pizza was reheated in the little toaster oven. We didn’t have microwaves back then. To this day, pizza doesn’t taste good to me unless it’s reheated in a toaster oven. If not, I’d rather eat it cold.

white-castle-sliderAnother rare treat would be when we would get sliders from White Castle. I remember that my dad would get a bag of 30 sliders and some fries. Each of us kids would get 3 sliders and some fries. When I moved away, I missed those little burgers. In the south, they had Krystal, which were just like White Castle. I got used to eating them and when they built a White Castle near us in Tennessee, I couldn’t wait until they opened. Once they did, I went for my slider fix and promptly discovered that I liked Krystal’s better. Taste buds change I guess.

My family was also a part of the clean plate club. Whatever food my mom put on our plates, we had to eat. And it didn’t matter how long it took you to eat. I remember getting vegetable beef soup for lunch and eating everything but the mushy vegetables. My mom wouldn’t let me leave the table until I ate all of it. I also remember the gallon of milk and my glass being filled over and over again to get me to swallow the vegetables. To this day, I will not eat vegetable beef soup. It is also probably why I find myself not wanting to eat many vegetables and may be why I am lactose intolerant. And I know that it is what contributed to my continual fight with my weight for most of my life. But it is also why I always let my son stop eating when he wanted. He doesn’t know what the clean plate club is and that’s a good thing. I guess there was a lesson learned in there along the way.

When I went away to college, I remember my dad slipping me $20 for pizza whenever I came home for the weekend. He always whispered for me not to tell my mom. Since she never slipped me any money, I have a feeling she knew. There were  plenty of pizza places around my school that sold it by the slice, so that $20 went along way back then.

The food pictures didn’t stop when I married. There are the photos of the cakes that I made for my son for his birthday. I remember the Thomas the Tank Engine cake took me 4 days to finish. We were living in Louisiana and it was so humid that I could only ice a little of the cake at a time. I kept having to put it in the refrigerator to keep from melting. I also remember the pain in my back and shoulders from being hunched over as I iced it. It turned out really well and the pain was forgotten. Of course, it all came back when he asked for the same cake the next year. But it was worth it to see how happy he was.

Over time, there were less photos. Or maybe the photos are different. When before we were recording our family as it was growing, we are grown. The photos we take now are mostly of our pug and of the places that we visit. Sometimes those places involve food, but mostly they remind us of the happy times we spend together.


Halloween Reflections

halloweenI have been thinking about my dad a lot lately. He passed away in October of 2006 and he was a fan of Halloween. Halloween was always fun. I remember how our costumes would be homemade and when we were small, my dad would take us trick-or-treating. As we got older, we were trusted to go on our own with other kids in the neighborhood, but the one thing we had to do was check in at our house every half hour and be home at the time he set. If we were late, the punishment was no candy until he said we could have it. We were always on time. I remember the elderly couple that lived down the block who put out full size candy bars on a snack table on their porch with a note to “Take just one. We know where you live.” We always thought they were watching us from inside the house and they did know where we lived, so we only took one. There was another couple that would had out $1 bills to each child. Back then a dollar to a child was a lot of money, so everyone tried to get to their house first before they ran out of money and turned out their lights.

abbottcostelloOne of the things that I used to do with my dad was watch the old Abbott and Costello movies that used to air on one of the Chicago stations on Saturdays. As Halloween got closer, they would have a horror movie marathon and we would always watch the Abbott and Costello ones. They were Abbott and Costello Meet the Mummy, Meet the Invisible Man and Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein, which is where they also met Dracula and the Wolfman. We also watched the Godzilla movies from Japan. You know the ones where the dialogue was dubbed and never matched the action on-screen. They were wonderful campy movies and a great time with my dad. On Halloween, my dad liked scaring the neighborhood kids. One year he grew a beard and dressed up like the Wolfman. He hid out on the porch and after the kids would ring the doorbell, he would start growling and rise up out of a chair and the kids would run away screaming.

Once I married my husband and our son was born, I looked forward to taking him trick-or-treating and introducing him to those classic movies. Our son was diagnosed with an allergy to nuts and nut products when he was very young, so we had to navigate Halloween candy in order for him not to get sick. In the beginning, it was easy to switch out his bag of candy with one that was safe for him to eat and he was none the wiser. Of course my husband and I would have a sugar fest with the candy that he originally brought home. When he was old enough to realize that we had been switching out his candy, he stopped going trick-or-treating because it really wasn’t fun for him. When I asked him what he wanted to do instead, he said he wanted scary movies and snack food, so I introduced him to Abbott and Costello and Godzilla and we would snack our way through the night.

Now that he is older, he still wants scary movies and snack food on Halloween. While his idea of scary movies and mine are different, he will humor me with Abbott and Costello and Godzilla (the originals, not the new ones). And I’ll show him pictures of his grandfather dressed up like the Wolfman and tell him how he used to scare the kids in the neighborhood. Good times.

Ahhh…The Sounds of Nature…When Did It Get So Loud

Growing up, my family lived in a large city for the first 14 years of my life. We always had our windows open in the spring and fall. I can remember waking up to the sounds of the birds singing and going to sleep to the sound of the crickets and locusts. I used to listen for the patterns in the sounds and wonder what they meant. Were they calling for their kids to wake up for school or to come home before it got dark out like my father did by whistling for us? When we moved 30 miles away to a much smaller and rural town, I didn’t notice a change in the sounds. We still had the birds and the crickets and the occasional squirrel who was hanging out around the big walnut tree on our corner, but that was it in terms of nature.

GatorWhen we lived in the south, especially Louisiana, we often were a little too close to nature for me. I remember reading through the information given to us by the military base housing office that told us to be on the lookout for snakes, which were usually poisonous, and armadillos, which could carry leprosy. I didn’t think I would have to worry about armadillos, but hmmm I was wrong. They loved the bulbs on rose bushes, so whenever we planted some, they would be pulled out of the ground by the next morning and the bulbs would be missing. When a neighbor mentioned that he had seen an armadillo tugging a rose bush down the street, we stopped planting roses. When we traveled around the state it wasn’t unusual to see signs that said “Alligator Crossing” and “Do Not Get Out of Your Car if You Break Down. “ Which really meant “Hey, you might get eaten by a gator if you get out of your car.” We even have pictures of a small river along the road and what looked like a piece of wood in the water.  It was actually the eyes of the gator watching the road. Okay, message received.

In Kansas, there were hundreds of deer that lived on the military base. Going into work in the morning, the deer would actually line up at the crosswalk and the guards at the gate would stop traffic to let the deer cross. It truly was a sight to see. The base was also a stop for Canadian geese and they would cross the road by the thousands several times a day to get from one pond to the other across the street. If you were late getting to work because of the geese, you wouldn’t be written up because it was normal. There was a little red fox that would come out of the woods at the end of our street hunting for food. One day, returning home from work we discovered the fox had dined on a bunny and left the remains scattered throughout our yard. Mmm okay. He needs to eat, just wish it wasn’t in my yard.


(Not the same hawk, but you get the idea.)

In Maryland, we live close to the water. We have the Chesapeake Bay and at the end of our street, there is a section of a river that runs into the Bay. This is the closest that I have ever lived to water and it brings us even closer to nature. We have the usual birds such as the doves that sit on the chimney and coo for one another and the cardinals and blue jays that squawk back and forth and chase one another from one tree to the next.  But one of the sights that we often see are seagulls, hawks, blue herons and both bald and golden eagles.  These birds are huge, and while beautiful, they are also rather scary when they swoop down low in their search for food. And when they find it, you have to hope they won’t drop it, which was the case with the hawk that had a black snake in its claws and dropped it in the neighbor’s driveway. Yep. Right in the driveway. I watched from across the street and the snake slithered away, so the hawk missed out on dinner.

At the end of the street, where they are building new houses, I saw a wire in the road and drove around it. After I passed, I worried that someone might drive over it and it could puncture something under the car. I decided to toss it to the side of the road. I turned around and as I was driving back, I realized the wire was moving. Yep, the wire was another black snake about 5 feet long. At least it was going in opposite direction from my house. But still, too close for me.

At night, I have to keep an eye out for the frogs who somehow show up in our back yard. I don’t want our pug to think it is a food source, been there once and do not want to go there again…shudders at the memory…tries to think happy thoughts 🙂 Anyway, stepping out on the deck, the sounds of the night are almost overwhelming and just plain spooky. I’m glad I don’t know all of the animals and bugs making the sounds because I would be even more spooked, but when did things get so loud? You hear all of the crickets and locusts, but then you add in hundreds of frogs and who knows what else, and the noise level is unbelievable. It is unlike anything I have heard before. If the weather is cool and you want to sleep with your windows open, there is no way you can do so with the amount of noise you hear. And if you add in the steamy heat from the humidity and rain which often makes steam rise from the ground, it also looks like something out of a horror movie. Let’s just say I hurry the pug along on his evening potty trips and get back inside. I really don’t want to see a river monster (think 1950’s horror movies) making its way back to the water.


Reminiscing About Movies

Let me start by admitting that the last movie I saw in a theater was The Incredibles. The original, not the second one. That was in 2004 or 12 years ago. We went as a family and I remember that my husband and I laughed more than our son, which seemed to be the case with most of the families that day. The parents got the jokes, the kids, not so much. What I enjoyed the most was that our family spent an enjoyable day together with a movie and then dinner out. We seemed to do more of that back then. Of course, our son was younger, so he still spent time with his parents. 🙂

Growing up we didn’t go to the movies. With six children, my family couldn’t afford it. On the weekend after dinner we would gather in the family room and watch Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom or whatever movie was being shown on ABC, which was usually family friendly. Some might think that we were somehow deprived of a childhood experience. For me, I didn’t feel like I was missing out. It truly was a case of what you don’t know can’t hurt you. Once I married, we still couldn’t afford a trip to the movies. We might go to a matinee once in a while, but it wasn’t something we did very often. My son wasn’t a Disney kind of kid so he wasn’t big on movies either.

At work, the conversation often turns to what plans people have for the weekend and I noticed that movies really aren’t mentioned much. Even those who have small children don’t seem to want to see the movies in theaters any more. One of my co-workers asked why no one goes to the movies. Most people admitted that they would rather watch a movie on Netflix or cable when they have time. For me, I rarely find movies that I want to spend money on. If I see something on tv that looks interesting, I might go online to read about it or watch other trailers. If the reviews aren’t good, then I will usually take it off my future watch list. If it still looks like something that I want to see, I’ll keep it on my list. And when it comes out on Netflix or cable and if I am still interested in seeing it, I might watch it.

Club ChairMy husband watches movies more than I do. He always asks if there is something I want to watch and I know that he will sit through something I pick, but I usually don’t want to see anything. We have different tastes in movies. If I say there isn’t anything that I want to see, he will choose something that has things that blows up, has car chases and lots of bad guys. In other words, nothing that I would want to watch. And that is fine. The last move we watched together was Spy with Melissa McCarthy. I literally laughed throughout the movie. But what I remember most was that my husband and I spent time together, sitting in our matching club chairs, each with our own movie snacks and our pug looking back and forth between us hoping for snack from one or the other or both. That was more memorable than the movie.

Boxes of Memories Part Two

On the back of one of the boxes that we needed to sort through were the words, “Biggest Regret,” written on it. Many of the boxes had been reused for several moves, so I had no idea what was in it. Asking my husband, I received the response that it was his biggest regret. Curious, I opened the box and found the china set that had been in my family. I looked to my husband to explain and he said that in all of his life, the one thing he regretted was when he told me that he thought the china pattern was ugly. He said if he had said nothing, we probably would have used the china, but instead it was packed away.

Japanese ChinaThe back story is that the china pattern had been one that was selected by my grandmother (my mom’s mother). The china was designed by a Japanese company. She originally purchased 24 place settings and planned to give a set of 8 to each of her daughter’s when they married. So when my mom and dad married, my mom received a set of 8. I am not sure if my aunt’s ever received theirs. I don’t think so because somehow, my mom ended up with a set that served 18. (That isn’t my china in the picture).

The china was only used on the major holidays, so that was Easter, Thanksgiving and Christmas. I can remember being afraid that I would break a piece and suffer the wrath of grandma, which was never a good thing to witness. A gravy boat ended up broken one year and you would have thought that it was the end of the world. I remember wishing that more people would be invited so that she would run out of settings and we could have paper plates. That never really seemed to happen. I remember that holidays at my grandparent’s house meant that my grandfather would sit in the living room, watching the football game on television, usually the Bears and the Packers, and it would take him hours to eat his meal. The rest of us would have finished eating the main course and moved on to dessert and get ready to go home and my grandfather would just be ready for dessert. He would load this tiny little china dessert plate with pie and cookies. It always looked out of place in his hands.

After moving away and starting my own family, we couldn’t afford china and that was okay with me. My mom used to tell me that one day I would get her set and I never really thought much about it. One time, when we went up home, my mom decided to serve dinner on the china, and it wasn’t even a holiday. Once seated, my husband whispered that the china was “ugly.” Of course, he didn’t know that he would be lugging that ugly china back home with us because it was being gifted to us. Ever since that day, the china has sat in a box in the basement of whatever home we lived in.

So that is my husband’s biggest regret. He regrets calling my family’s china ugly and causing it to be stored away. Honestly, I haven’t given it much thought, but now that I know that he has regretted it, I might start using it on special days…or not.

roads bel travelled

Exploring open roads without breaking the bank


Sharing my happiness and lifestyle with others.

Meg Kem Magic

Discover the magic of beauty!

Going Gently

Moments in life...


two guys making out & trying to make it

I Should Be Laughing

Moments in life...

Art By Yukari

Moments in life...

Just Joshin

Moments in life...