Thoughtful Thursday ~ 12/31/20

New Years Eve!!! Yeah buddy. One of my favorite days of the year. And not just this year but for as long as I can remember. To me, New Years Eve is magical.

I may have mentioned this before but my parents were social creatures. Raising kids in the 60s, 70s, and even 80s was sort of fend for yourself. The “go outside to play and don’t come back until the street lights come on” mentality which really meant run the streets like wild filthy animals. Guess we were social creatures too.

Back to my parents. They went out every single weekend to some place or another. They belonged to so many organizations I lost count. Sometimes these events included bringing the kids along but more often than not, these were adult only gatherings. New Years Eve was always a dance at Martinez Hall. BYOB with set ups provided and a swing band like Adolph Hofner or another local band.

Dad would make black eyed peas from scratch no canned stuff like I get today. He’d fill thermos full and take these little paper cups so that each person (if they wanted) got a spoonful at midnight. My mom wasn’t much of a dancer. My dad on the other hand danced with all the ladies never leaving the dance floor.

While the cats were away, we mice played. By mice, I mean me and my brothers. We’d have snacks and what seemed like endless soda. We’d play board games and/or watch News Rockin Eve. We had fireworks! Always! And WITHOUT adult supervision.

I remember some bitterly cold New Years Eves shooting bottle rockets down the hill on Howerton about 1/2 a block. We never hit a car driving down Dollarhide thank goodness. But we sure could have. Except mostly the streets were deserted.

I also remember holding roman candles, arm straight out to my right side while I looked left, eyes closed. One star, two stars, three stars! Boom, boom, boom. All this despite the instructions which clearly say do not hold! Again fortunate that I never blew a finger off. Or worse! We were lucky.

One year, not sure when only that I was not of driving age, our neighbor Mr. Jerrold was three sheets to the wind. He had his own cache of firecrackers too. He called us to come outside to see the show. He had a pile of “black cats” in the middle of his driveway. And an acetylene torch! Which he fired up to light the pile. After all the popin subsided the grass continued to burn. Doh! My brother, Jimbo Pete ran over to help him hook up the hose and put the fire out. Wild and crazy times! His wife was mortified by his behavior and kept apologizing but us kids thought it was the best show ever!!! Yeah buddy.

Damn to be young again. Haha.

Yesterday as I filling out paperwork for nine months no interest on new tires, the clerk wished me a belated happy birthday. He then said something like “my back hurts, don’t ever get old”. I replied “considering the alternative, I’ll keep getting old”. Chronologically only. In my mind, I’m forever that tween who lived life to the fullest with all the zest she could muster. I think I lost her for a bit in 2020 but she’s back. Now to keep it that way.

Wishing you all the best in 2021. May the New Year be peaceful by hook or by crook, in every nook and cranny! Cheers to you and yours!!!

As always, more to come.

Texas Has a Sense of Humor ~ 12/3/20

Well my vehicle registration came due 11/30/20. With the Rona restrictions, I wondered how I’d get everything done. I knew about the drive through contactless inspections at the oil change place but I assumed incorrectly, I’d still have to go in person to finish the transaction like I have done every year since I was 18.

Last week while on vacay, I got the inspection done. There are four bays at Take 5 Oil, one exclusive to inspections and on that day I drove right in. I politely refused the water while I wait cuz ya know Rona. Your lips to God’s ears but my lips won’t touch a water bottle that is not my own. There were six or so workers. All of them but one have masks on. And guess which one I got? C’mon guess. Yep, you’re right! The mo-fo without a mask.

Now mind you, I had my mask on and my sanitizer. I also distanced as best I could, really extending my hand as I gave him my insurance card. After the inspection was done, he took my debit card. I had to wait for him to ring me up and I watched him like a hawk as he scratched his face with the hand holding my card. Sacrebleu!! Bastards!!!

When he gave me back my insurance card and debit card with the proof of inspection, I dropped all of it into the pocket of the driver side car door. I touched the items with only my thumb and index finger. I proceeded to sanitize my hands and arms up to my elbows, then drove away.

I figured by the time I got home, the Rona had died. Plus I had no plans to lick my cards or the paper proof of inspection. I was grumbly as I walked in telling the kids that of course only one mo-fo without a mask and he waited on me.

Pony: Did you say anything?

Me: No!

Pony: If it upsets you then you should have told him “back off scarecrow”, I want someone wearing a mask.

The scarecrow reference is how I dealt early on with Tiff’s Treats. Lol! I’ll never live that down.

Anyway moving along. And eventually getting to a point. Kinda, sorta, maybe 😉

Kimbo told B that we could pay online. He just did. The inspection results were automatically communicated. Well alrighty then!

So just now, I went to Two Steps, One Sticker. Kick Up Your Heels for the New Texas Two Step. Sure enough, I was able to pay online. They will mail me my sticker in @ two days. I still might not get them by 11/30 but once the payment is all the way processed, I will have a virtual piece of paper via email for law enforcement. Yeah buddy. Now we’re cooking. With gas!

Finally to the sense of humor part. Or maybe just funny to me being so very easily amused. Dare I say lockdown giddy. As if the website naming Kick Up Your Heels for the New Texas Two Step wasn’t enough, they have a Dude, Where’s My Sticker? tracker. Get it? Dude, Where’s My Sticker?

And now, I am finally done. This silliness was brought to you by one J-Dub McGillicutty who was on vacay with too much time on her hands. Take that Tommy Shaw! 🙂

As always, more to come.

Friday Confessions ~ 11/20/20

Made ya look :). Nothing to see here. Move along. Haha!

Storytime: Childhood Memory.

Wait! What? I can hear you. The disbelief is obvious and audible. Captain Duh! Or is it reverse? Duh! Captain Obvious.

I have this memory as a kid of crying … faking crying at the tops of my lungs to get mom’s attention. I’d wake up with in the middle of the night unable to go back to sleep. I’d start with a whimper then increase in volume. If mom didn’t appear at my door, I’d crawl out of bed and walk down the hall to stand at my parent’s bedroom door – faux wailing.

I really have no idea why … why I woke up and why I wanted my mommy but didn’t want to be seen as a baby. Sometimes I remember thinking hard as if willing her to read my mind and come to my room without me crying. The telepathy never worked. The blubbering always did. Mom would take me back to my room and rub my back until I eventually fell back asleep. That part is a pleasant memory. Back rubs are the best!! I eventually grew out of this behavior. Thankfully.

As always, more to come.

Life Lesson ~ 11/13/20

Story Time: Life Lesson by J-Dub

Ha! Friday the 13th. If I was the suspicious sort, I’d be holed up under the covers until 12:01 am when it is safe to come out again. For the record, I considered doing just that. I even took the day off. But instead I am diverting my anxious energies into writing. I’ve got a boatload of nerves to shake off. I’ve been cooped up with nothing but time to overthink. Anyhoo, without further ado, here is my story for the day.

I am the youngest of eight from a blended family who grew up on Howerton Street, in Highland Hills on the southeast side of San Antonio Texas. Though SA is a big city, we stayed in our bubble. Most if not all of my neighbors on a four block radius belonged to the same parish church, St. Margaret Mary’s.

I was raised by this tribe. My parents knew personally and socialized with the parents of my friends & neighbors. Idyllic, we had our own Cheers before there was Cheers. The local equivalent was called H&R – the Family Bar. No joke but I digress. Today’s story is not about that gathering place. However, I do reserve the right to have a H&R story in future editions of story time.

Back to topic. I couldn’t get away with anything. Constant neighborhood watch. My daddy couldn’t get away with anything either. Which brings us to today’s Life Lesson.

This particular day was a day like any other. Grandma J had come to stay with us for the week. The adults were sitting in the living room talking. Little pitcher with big ears aka Jilly was eavesdropping.

I can see the scene. The Harvest Gold carpet. The hideous floral couch in the same yellow tones. The wagon wheel coffee table and end tables. The bookshelf with encyclopedias. All mom’s knickknacks. We had one of those houses where the doors were always open, never locked.

Mr. T our neighbor came to visit and say hello to Grandma. He walks right in unannounced big as day. I can see his frame taking up most of the front door. Then this happened …

Daddy: Hello Bob (as he shakes his hand and claps him on the shoulder in a friendly greeting) haven’t I told you the front door is for whites only.

Grandma J (before Mr. T could say a word): !&!*!))_!!LL!**!CGHIILK!__P~ which is my attempt at writing what sounded like expletives in Czech.

We had no idea what she was saying but she jumped off the couch, finger pointed at my dad, telling him what for !@!@!@!wee!!*chika@***&*&^%$$!! All 4’9″ of her to my 6′ tall father. Then she ended with English and we understood.

Aloysius I did not raise you that way. We are all God’s children and your front door is for everyone. How awful to say something like that. You bring me shame!

Mr. T intervened. He said it was their schtick. That he had even said the same to my dad going through his front door. Mexicans only. Dad chimed in that it was a joke, not serious. But Grandma was not having it. These are the words I carry with me to this day.

Grandma J: If you want to joke then always make sure the joke is about something funny. And that? That was NOT funny!!

There was an apology that followed from my dad to all of us who were witness. You’re right maminka. I am very sorry for my unkind words. In all the years that followed, I never heard daddy say anything remotely like that again. He learned his lesson. We all did.

As always, more to come.

How Many Pumps of Hand Sanitizer Does it Take? ~ 11/12/20

… for Jilly to quit MSU. And for those who are not familiar with the acronym, MSU = Making Stuff Up.

I went for my dexa bone scan on Monday. I was apprehensive because I had an idea what the outcome might be but also because of … ya know … COVID. I also did not want to pay for parking but that caused no anxiety. Just a pet peeve.

I arrived 30 minutes early and sat in my parked car until 15 minutes ’til. That’s huge for me because my usual MO is 15 minutes early is 15 minutes late. I am wiggy about timeliness. I was all masked up with my own personal hand sanitizer which I used after opening the door despite having my paper towel which promptly gets tossed after a single use. I run around with a roll of paper towels and other assorted safety measures in my bag.

I walked down the hall to the imaging suite which I have been to many times before. There are circles six feet apart designating where to stand but since I was alone in the hallway, I went right on up. But the big double door entrance was closed with tape – BIG yellow X. To the right side of those doors, there is a single employee behind a card table with a make shift file folder set up. Appointments only he says. I confirm I am their 8:00 appointment. He asks some questions about where I have been and if I have any symptoms. He took my temperature and then told me to go in. Inside the place is barren. No end tables or magazines anymore. About eight chairs all spread more than six feet apart.

There used to be three people doing intake but the middle desk is closed too, just like the big double doors. Each open desk has plexiglass shields and only the small opening to slide your cards in and out. The holders for the pens had labels, sanitized or used. Same strategically placed circles on the floor to stand in while you wait for intake to be available. Since I was first, I went right up. Two more came in after me. Still felt safe. No one hacking up a lung. Even better.

The two who checked in after me, went in before me. Then a guy came in wearing his mask over his mouth only. Sacribleu! Pull your mask up man! I screamed in my head. I almost left because after him, even more people came in. Despite being apart, I want no part of people these days.

But before I could skeedaddle, they called my name. In the back, it was the same as before. The rooms are large and spread apart. My test was one of the easy ones. Yet dangerous as hell all the same/ Ask me how I know? Well FB of course. After my scan, the ads came rolling in for Algae Cal … some holistic non prescription bone density increaser. In the comments of that ad, someone wrote about lethal doses of radiation which is why they only scan one hip, not both. I remembered that from 2018 then promptly forgot. During the test, when I asked her why just the left hip? The tech responded doctors say they can get same outcome with one so they limit the patient’s exposure. Nice! I thought. But not anymore. After seeing that comment, I am never getting a dexa again.

Fortunately I was in and out as they say. When I left, I was directed to a single exit. Fire hazard much? Yep only one way in and one way out. All those extra steps yet I was on the road and back home before my 9:30 meeting. Bizarre. COVID may have made people more efficient.

Walking down the hallway to exit was surreal. The hall had started to fill up with masked up people as more places opened for business. All doing something similar in screening then limiting how many people could be in the waiting room at the same time. Fewer creature comforts. Like chairs.

I got my results the same day by logging into my health portal. ABNORMAL. Well duh. What else did I expect? There has been interval bone loss on the newest bone mineral density scan. I recommend continuing vitamin D supplements, we will need to repeat the bone mineral density scan in 12-24 months. We can discuss further at next visit on 16th or please call if there are questions or concerns.

And I promptly cancelled my appointment on 11/16/20. Yeah buddy. I am officially a mess. I will keep taking my vitamin D and go back in February for my regular six month check up. Regard repeat scans in 12-24 months. Uh no. See above. #neveragain!!!!

BTW the doctor misspelled mineral and density. I had autocorrect do its’ thang after my copy paste. Except on thing. I left thing as thang. Should I be concerned about her misspellings? Phrased another way, does correct spelling in medical records make one a good doctor? Why surely!! LOL. Now that’s enough. Silly Jilly.

As always, more to come.

Story Time ~ 10/15/20

In the midst of pandemonium, I missed Write Club 2020. I am seriously bummed y’all. I had solicited and received feedback on my 2019 entries. All good stuff that I had planned to incorporate. But alas, the time has passed. I will be sure to be on the look out for 2021. Mental note to self, start checking in April/May. I’m going to go back to catch up with the fun frolics. Here is the link for anyone who would like to do that too.

Alrighty then. Time for another installment of what the Swedish Death clean has conjured up for me. Memories. Well duh?

1986 Call Center in my cubicle. Carol purposefully turned away since she didn’t want her picture in our newsletter

The picture above was taken for a weekly newsletter. Look at all that paper on the walls and my desk would ya? Now I do almost everything online. When on the rare occasion that I need to write something down, because that is how my old brain really works the best, I have to hunt for paper and pen. Given the choice, I prefer the sleek streamlined way of handling things now. Still remnants remain like the online Post-Its which cover my desktop much the same way the paper Post-Its outlined my screen. The functionality continues to improve.

Not much more to say regarding the photo. Except maybe that I miss my friend. We parted ways in the late 80s/early 90s when she moved to the Norfolk office and I chose to stay in good ole SA. I always wondered what would have happened if I had taken that leap. I had an opportunity to relocate twice, once to Norfolk and then to Phoenix. The Norfolk office eventually closed. Phoenix of course is still going strong. Many people who migrated to Virginia lost jobs, moved to yet another location, or came back to SA. Many of those cohorts have otherwise moved on. Everything has changed.

Waxing philosophical, time to get my house in order for the next chapter. Once I figure it all out, I’ll be sure to release the hounds. Ta-ta for now.

As always, more to come.

Mish Mash 10/8/20

A ramble from Dubsie inspired by the many thoughts popping like pop corn. Made the old school way. In hot oil, in a skillet with a non-see-through lid. Pop! Pop pop pop pop pop … you get the drift 🙂

Make new friends but keep the old, one is silver and the other gold

Man that’s what I should’ve said for #SoCS last Saturday. A gold standard Girl Scout sing-along-song. To be sung in rounds. Make new friends but keep the old, one is silver and the other gold. Belated ear worm alert.

Speaking about Girl Scouts, here is some nostalgia for ya in the gallery below. I was told Jilly don’t you dare get rid of those. Instead these were sent off to a good home. Museum quality stuff right there I tell you what. Boy howdy!!

Back to #SoCS, I was originally going to write a poem.

old is new

left is right

up is down

Look at these clowns

Oops my thought bubble escaped. Does anyone get my thinly veiled innuendo? Or am I being obtuse?

Them Dems. I am not a Dem, I am Jill. A women in her mid 50s. With the right to make up her own mind and change it if needed. As crooked as they come instead of straight down the line. In this case, in my humble opinion, crooked is good. To be lumped in to either side and painted with abroad brush is a crazy maker.

I’ve scrolled through the Internet and things are not pretty out there but that’s life said in my Frankie Sinatra voice over of voice. It is what it is. Life has always been a mixed bag but now we know about “stuff” in real time. The world is more in your face mutha-fuckers. The question is what, if anything, can we believe?

How do I deal with this insanity? I laugh! A-lot! At totally inappropriate things. In private mostly and with close family and friends who do not judge me. Sarcastic mister (missus) know-it-all as the Red Hot Chili Peppers once sang. And seriously folks, with the utmost sincerity, I do not wish ill on anyone. I am not at all happy by the turn of events. I do not say “karma” instead of ha-ha-ha you get what you deserve. None of us “deserve” any of this sH!t.

As always, more to come.

Story Time ~ 10/1/20

My Swedish Death Clean continues. I wonder what people must think considering I have been writing about organizing and cleaning out for over a year. Even pre-Covid. Well the last hidey-hole for useless junk was my former office. We had created this little alcove with sliding door off the rarely used dining room. In that office is where I earned my degree. I have many good memories of old school balancing the books and other assorted “office” practices of yesteryear. I had a mammoth PC and AOL dial up. Anyone memba that? LOL. And I have no business laughing. We’ve kept our original AOL email despite having upgraded to Spectrum’s high speed.

Now that Lulu Belle has a job, she needed a place outside her bedroom from which to work. Wah-la, the old office was a primo spot. Speaking as someone who knows, working and living in the same small space is no bueno. One needs the distinction aka “work, life, balance” otherwise the 24/7 WORK can drive a gal bonkers. I finally gave up the ghost as they say and ordered a docking station for my work laptop & new work headset. I had been in denial, very sure we’d go back. Stubborn as I was, I worked off a TV tray in my living room, sitting in B’s favorite chair. Now that I know going back is not likely, and we’ll need to have privacy, I could no longer plop myself in the middle of the living room. Instead, Pony’s old bedroom is my new work locale.  Converted when the original office was abandoned.

Alrighty back to cleaning out the old office for Lulu. I found the below.  Picture is worth 1000 words. I’ll add my own words too. Tis my tale to weave 🙂

Curls

See the key? That’s for our 83 Mazda which we haven’t had in over 30 years.  Weird that cars even had keys. Not a fob or push start to be found in those days. The cash envelope has almost gone the way of the dinosaur. Cash? COVID-landia calls for cards.  Inside I stored the curls from Pony’s first hair cut (yes I’m that weirdo who saved his hair since 5/2/90).  When I tried to give his hair back to him he said “What? No, I don’t want that! Get it out of here”.  The credit union once located in C building when we only went to D building is no longer around as well. It was moved off campus, then bought out. And look at that area code folks. I’m that old to remember when 512 covered the entire city.

To close, here is a picture that brings me joy. Inspired by finding those curls. If you’ve seen the 10 days of joy, no explanations post going around FB, this picture is one of mine. The envelope, key, and curls are in the trash. Look how far we’ve come. Much love from Me and my Pony Boy!

 

Awww that’s my baby

As always, more to come.

Story Time ~ 9/24/20

A Lost Art by J-Dub

I had quite the collection of dolls. These are not from the E-Bay collectibles. These were cleaned up and sent to St. PJs.

The dolls’ outfits tell a story.  The aqua/white dress and the red with cherries dress were handmade by my Aunt Annie. From scratch without a pattern. From material scraps left over from shirts made for me.

I’ll never forget the summer when my brother and I stayed with her &
Uncle George. My mom was in the hospital for the mastectomy; her first bout
with breast cancer. As the two youngest, we were shipped off to save us from
seeing anything bad that might scar us.

I was six going on seven. I had no idea the extent of mom’s illness. All I knew
is I wasn’t happy to stay there two whole months. I remember adding big X’s in
red crayon across the calendar moving closer to the date circled in purple to
signify our return. I was miserably homesick. Sewing was something done to
distract me. I helped very little. Mostly I watched in amazement. What a
talent. A lost art.

George & Annie owned the local meat market. We went with them to work and
we played around doing our best to stay out of trouble. Closing my eyes I see
the double wooden doors open wide and the two swinging screen doors with the
Buttercrust sign. An old time cash register sits on a bar that had candy jars
in rows right next to it. The front part of the store was a small grocery with
only two rows of shelves for canned goods, cleaning supplies, or paper products
and an even smaller produce section in the corner. On the back porch sat the
picnic tables for patio dining and a six foot long cooler with the sodas. All
in glass bottles. Treats we rarely got at home. And of course I can still smell
the smoke and BBQ.

The market closed up @ 3 pm and we’d go back to their place. There were
animals to take care of and supper to make before what seemed like the longest
evenings in my life. Out in the sticks, there was awful reception. And TV was
for lazy people anyway per Auntie. We played lots of board games. And of course
I had my dolls. Treasures. No wonder mom couldn’t give them away.

For all the coping mechanisms out there now, childhood play still ranks
supreme. Though at the time, I had no idea. Now I believe playing with my dolls
is what helped me deal with things my young brain couldn’t fully understand.  I mentioned I was six going on seven. Mom survived the breast cancer and even had a 2nd battle with breast cancer when I
was nine. She eventually would pass away from cancer of unknown origin when I
was 33. But that is a story for another day.

As always, more to come.

Story Time ~ 9/17/20

Charlie by J-Dub

We didn’t have fancy electronics. Instead we rode bikes, played on the swing set, and made up elaborate stories with dolls, puppets, and assorted stuffed animals. If memory serves, this particular puppet came from a set “Wynken, Blynken, and Nod”. As you can see, he is dressed in pajamas. I named him Charlie. He was my favorite toy for a few years. Maybe that explains why mom kept him.

He was in my treasure box that I stumbled upon once again while conducting the Swedish Death Clean. Many times I tried to refuse taking him with me. Each time I tried to throw him out, mom would pack him back up and take him home to her house. She didn’t have the heart to do what I am doing now. In the big scheme of things, I hope I am sparing my children the work that comes with handling my estate. It’s all just stuff anyway. Plus Lulu and Pony said they didn’t want him. Instead, Charlie was cleaned up and sent to Goodwill. Hopefully someone gets as much enjoyment from him as I did.

I have other dolls too that could be worth some money. They are classics/vintage … supposedly. Which is why I am I’m still trying to figure out this eBay thing. Or maybe I will make a for “real” final trip to Goodwill or St. PJs. This stuff is exhausting. But the good kind of exhausted. Where after all is said and done, you feel an emotional weight was lifted.

As always, more to come.