I am conservative because…

I grew up that way….

When I am brushing my teeth, I still only run the water enough to wet my brush and my dentures, then turn the water off.  It is a left-over habit from when we lived “back on the farm” before we had running water in the house.  I didn’t know how rich we were back then.

We grew everything from potatoes to strawberries.  And what we grew, we canned!  Back than, I hated the process of canning, but loved the canned goods.  I have not so fond memories of washing hundreds of glass jars.  This was when you put a big pot on the wood fired cook stove and heated the water to when it was nearly boiling, you carried it to the “Pantry” and set it on the end of the big slate sink.

My Mother was the strongest woman I have ever known.  She planted a one acre garden, with food.  She also had a section that she planted in flowers.  The woman had a Green Thumb, every thing she planted, grew.  Plants, birds, and animals loved her, birds would land on her hand.  She knew every species of plant, and could name every bird.  She worked in that garden, weeding, hoeing, and harvesting for hours a day standing with her back bent with her legs straight.  I would last for half an hour, with a lot of coaxing, maybe an hour before I was sitting down, out of breath.

The only things we bought at the local grocery store was, salt, sugar, and flour.  There was no bottled water in the store.  If you had tried to purchase it, the grocer would look at you like you were crazy.  It still seems a little crazy to me. Remember that pantry I talked about? Well we put a big metal milk can of water on the “side board” and dipped out what you needed for you chore of the day.  Those milk cans didn’t magically appear on the sideboard, we had to do one of two things:  1. Go out to the well, prime the pump, and actually use our arms and pump the handle up and down, to get the water to pour into our pail.  Oh, by the way, once out pail was full, we carried it into the house. 2. Place several of the milk cans in the back of the car, head down to the artesian well and if the minnow is still swimming around, dip water out and put it into the milk can, load it back into the car and drive it home, and start all over again when that was gone.

There was no such thing as a shower, or even a bathroom.  If you had to go, you went out the back door to the “Out House” and did you business.  On the farm we had what I used to call, a “Three-holer,” that was three holes, one tiny one for small kids, one big for the man of the family and one in-between for the woman.  It was smelly in the summer and freezing in the winter, what fun!

I remember my absolute thrill when my Dad brought home an army surplus folding canvas-like bath tub!  After heating the water on the stove, I would slide into a bubble bath, pure heaven! Of course, I only got to do this on Saturday night.

We washed clothes on Monday, always! Rain, or shine, winter or summer, we hauled the old Washing machine out plugged her in and did the heating of water again, filled it with boiling water, added plenty of bleach and soap, sorry, can’t remember the names of the soap.  You always started off with all the white things, they were stuffed in and you waited for the clothes to get clean enough to pull them, gingerly (remember the boiling water) out of the water,  and stick them into the ringer to crush a lot of the water out of them. Watch your fingers!  My Mom had a two tubs set up to rinse them in cold water and put them through the ringer, put them in the second rinse, back through the ringer and then put them in a basket to take them out to the cloths line to hang them with wood clothes pins.

I have not so fond memories of bringing them back into the house-frozen stiff, and not that dry to hang them up over the stove on yet again another cloths line, this time with out the pins. I have to admit they smelled wonderful. Damn, just talking about it makes me tired.

Oh!  By the way, you aren’t done with your wash day.  You kept adding clothes to that same water gradually adding them by the color of the clothes, once the sheets and towels were done, you added your other clothes until you got to the dark clothes, which were pitched in last.  The theory was that all the bleach was gone by the time they were washed.  That might have been why all the men’s jeans and work shirts got lighter until they were streaked.

When they started getting holes, they were patched and worn them some more.  Nothing was thrown away if it could be re-used.   Now that was recycling!  I still keep a box of folded rags for cleaning.

We had animals, too!  My Mothers motto was “Every part strengthens the part” and no part of any animal was wasted. But that is for another time.

If you like my stories of “Long ago” let me know, because, I am not quite older than dirt, but getting there, and love to re-live the “Good old days”.

I am an author and have 8 books on Amazon.com, they are available on digital and print on demand paperback.  Just type my name, Brenda Colbath in the search area and voila! you will see all of them.  They are only $.99 so you won’t go broke getting them for your Kindle.  If you have to hold the book in your hand and turn the pages, you can order them, they cost a little more.

BTW, Amazon let’s you read the firs two or three chapter FREE to see if you like the book.

 

 

 

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Children’s Books or Adult Books?

Both are fun to write.  My first book that I wrote and published was a children’s book called “The Great Adventures of Ruby & Nolan in Space” and it was a written as a Christmas gift for two friends that were getting too old for Barbie and G.I. Joe toys.

The gist of it is that the whole family is offered an opportunity to travel to an uninhabited world in far off galaxy. The program was intended to not only settle the planet, but to discover valuable assets for Earth.

Ruby and Nolan were thrilled to have this great adventure as long as they could take their dog Pebbles and their Uncle Dawnzella, who the called Uncle Dawnzereli,  unfortunately she couldn’t go with them.

This is the story of how a family copes with a life changing decision, do they drift apart or become closer.

This is a fictional story that lets you peek inside the lives of this family of four that makes that decision. The family makes the journey together. However, this story is mainly about two pre-teens adventures in space.

The family is settled on the new world in their home, but kids will be kids.

Well, why don’t you just read a couple of chapters?

Chapter 1. The adventure begins.

“Come on Ruby, hurry up.”  Nolan cried.

Frowning, she quickly turned from the sink; the front of her wet apron covered with soap bubbles which were falling. “Keep your britches on, Nolan you know our chores have to be done before we can leave.”

Ruby was tall for her age, a little over 4 feet, with long wavy Brown hair that fell nearly to her waist, big Blue eyes.  Her slim figure showed that she was on her way to becoming a beautiful woman, way too soon for her parents, especially for her Daddy’s comfort.

 “Okay, okay, what do you want me to do to help?” He asked, sounding a little exasperated standing there trying not to look impatient, but, losing that battle. 

Nolan was not as tall as Ruby, but growing fast enough to overtake her in a year or less.  Standing with his hands on his hips; his blue eyes sparkling over an impish grin under a shock of curly light brown hair. 

“Why don’t you go and get our backpacks, swords, and sheaths?  I am nearly finished with the dishes and will pack a lunch for us, so we won’t have to come back until dinner time”. 

He hurried to get everything Ruby asked for, as she finished the Breakfast dishes and packed sandwiches, water, and treats.  Their parents Ty and Robin were away helping a neighbor, as they were the unofficial leaders of the New Seattle settlement. 

Chapter 2 is an introduction so I will just give you a little more.  

Chapter  3 Kids will be kids  

Ruby finished her chores and met Nolan out front with their lunch. Nolan handed her, her backpack, her scabbard, and sword, which she fastened at her back.  He had his sword belted at his waist.  Ruby’s sword is a little longer; also made of wood, and she keeps a sharp knife securely strapped to her ankle, hidden by her slacks and boots. 

Nolan had his sword at the ready and immediately tried to get through Ruby’s defenses. However her defensive moves are still a little faster than his, and she was able to disarm him in several minutes.

“You are getting better, every day Nolan, it won’t be long before we are evenly matched, then we can take on Dad and Mom, but right now, we’d better get going before the day is over,”  Ruby said a little out of breath. 

They started out around the hill, for the climb to the top, to check on the solar panels.  It would take them the better part an hour to do the climb.   Ty insisted that they are checked on every week, and most of the time Ruby and Nolan did the climb as part of their chores.  Off they went climbing up around large boulders and up the established trail to the top of the hill.  About half way up they paused and sat on a couple of boulders, sipping water, they talked about what they would do after this chore was done.

“I think that we should go check out our hide-out, to make sure some wild animals haven’t broken in and destroyed our stuff,” Nolan said.

“Okay, but I’d be surprised if it has been disturbed, and the large animals usually do not venture near our encampment.  The hunters have started to go further to hunt for meat.  “Let’s get started,” Ruby said pushing herself up and they started up the hill again. 

Chapter 4 Oh. Oh.  This is not good.  

When they crested the top of the hill, they stood stock still and stared at the wreckage in front of them.  They were shocked to see several of the Solar Panels bent nearly to the ground on the metal rods holding them, and at least two of them had big tears right through the Panels.

 Generally, when they did this climb, they would take the time to view the whole valley through their Binoculars.  It was kinda fun to see the changes their neighbors make to their homes.  Usually, they bring back news of a new barn or shed.  They always marveled at the amazing tableau before them, with cleared, planted land surrounded by huge trees that seemed to reach for the sky.  They didn’t as yet remember the names of all the trees, but they did know that they were perfect for climbing and had been campaigning for a tree house to be built in one near the River; one that they could fish from. 

“This is not good.” they both said in unison. 

“Geez, Dad will be angry, when he sees this” Nolan cried.

“I wonder if we can we straighten them again?” Ruby said as she started straining to push up the panel; even when Nolan helped, they only managed to get winded in the effort. 

“Okay, guess we will have to report it to Dad; good thing they all weren’t damaged.  We are still getting plenty of power with only two panels down”.  Nolan said.

“Let’s look around to see if we can find tracks of what did this damage,” Ruby said.

So they started walking kinda bent over looking for tracks, hoping that it wasn’t a large animal, and if it was, hoping it was not still in the area, especially with them armed with only wood swords.  Ruby didn’t think that her small knife would be very helpful.  After several minutes of looking, Nolan suddenly stood up and shouted: “Hey Ruby, come look at this.”  Ruby hurried over to see what he was hollering about, thinking that maybe he found a rabbit or deer tracks. 

As she looked at the tracks, she sucked in her breath in shock, “Nolan, those looks like claws.  This can’t be; we’ve never seen any birds large enough to make these.  We need to take pictures, and measurements, so we can prove to everyone that we didn’t imagine this.  Dad will want to know what did this damage.” Ruby said while fishing her camera out of her backpack, and snapping several quick pictures of the damage to the panels and the claw marks in the soft ground.  She also dug out her tape measure and carefully wrote down measurements on her notepad.

While she was doing this, Nolan continued to search the area; suddenly he excitedly dropped to his knees and started wiping mud off a large oval shaped rock wedged under a thick bush.  He cleared a small area about the size of a baseball, took off his glove, and was marveling at the colorful pattern on the smooth surface that actually felt and looked like glass.  As he was marveling at the colors and running his finger over them, he realized it was quite warm, and he felt a slight vibration. 

Want to read more of Ruby and Nolan’s adventures? Go to amazon.com and type in the title in the search area. The adventure continues in Book 2,3 and 4 and book 5 is on the way.  R and N cover Book 1

 

 

 

 

 

Treasured Memories

I was sitting here at my computer wasting time instead of working on my books.  A thought occurred to me, if it is work, why am I doing it. Then I remembered why if gives me pleasure.  My mind wandered back to another time that also gives me pleasure.

The times I bathed, powdered, and snuggled with my children, before putting them to bed for the night.  They got a warm bath with bubbles and toys. After bath-time they got powdered, and put in clean PJ’s, then covered with their warm bed-clothes. Then it was story time.  I loved reading and used different voices to make it fun for them, and read until their little eyes closed and sleep claimed them.  I don’t remember of making up stories, nor them asking for them.

When my Grandbaby came along, she was different, not better, just different. She loved to have me make up stories.  Everything else was the same, except the making up of stories. I can’t remember any of the ones I made up, and probably she doesn’t, but she might remember me telling them.

A couple of my fondest memories was of Aurianna setting on my lap as I winning simple solitaire and when the cards started falling over the screen in uneven lines sayin, “Make it do it again, Gramma.”

Another fond memory was of her saying, “Gramma, make the car talk again.”  I had a Chrysler that talked to me, saying things like, “A door is ajar.”

She is all grown up now, but writing is akin to telling her stories, of course some of the stories I tell now are for grown-ups, but I still love to tell children’s stories.

To see and read my stories you can go to Amazon.com and type my name Brenda Colbath in the search and they will all pop up.  You decide if you want to read children, young adult, or adult and they are all there.  There are 2 more on the way. I’ll let you know when they are available.

 

Dear Son

This letter has been a long time coming, but I think that it is at the right time.  Since I wrote the “Dear Daughter” letter so long ago, this one has been forming in the back of my mind and in my heart.

I see posts on Facebook that you are sometimes depressed and unhappy, and it breaks my heart.  You deserve to be happy!  You were a good child and you are a good man.   What you have become and done with your life makes us so very proud.

You were the happiest baby, and such an easy child to have around.  You were so content playing in your playpen with your toys and the only time you cried was when you were hungry.  You weren’t real happy when kids buried your cars.  You didn’t need to have a great abundance of toys or attention.  You were always able to entertain yourself.

I really tried to help you understand the genes that unfortunately that you got from me.   I know that you struggled with some of them, like anger management.  You did as good handling it, probably more than me most of the time.

We know now that there were a lot of things that you needed and wanted from us and probably we should have known what they were or tried harder to discover them.  The problem with being a parent, as you now know is that there is no manual to help you do the right thing at the right time.  Hindsight has shown us that we missed the mark, sometimes a little and sometimes by a country mile.  For that we are sorry, but as you know “you can’t go back” and there “aren’t any do-overs”, in life.

There are several things that you need to know.

We are so proud of the man you have become!   You have succeeded in the parenting game so much better than we ever did and we are awed with how wonderfully your daughter managed to grow into a wonderful kind, well rounded woman amidst the heartache of divorce at an age that sets the stage for adulthood.   You put everything that you wanted and needed aside to make sure that your daughter had everything that she needed to have the very best start in life.

She loves you so very much and wants you to be happy.  We also love you so very much and also want you to be happy.  You deserve it!  You have made so many people so happy, now it is your turn.

We know that you have overcome many things and your latest hardship was a big one.  You faced it with honor, humility, dignity, and did everything that was asked of you, no matter the cost to you personally.  At the same time you made your daughter your first priority.

We know that you know that we are here for you, and will always be, you just need to ask.

We Love You More

All the jobs I’ve loved and hated before

All the jobs I’ve loved and hated before

In my long young life I have worked at many places some were nice and some were not so nice.

My first job was picking potatoes.  I was only allowed to pick on Saturday and Sunday as Mom wanted one of her kids to graduate from High School.

The pay was peanuts: $.20 a barrel which holds about 3 bushels.  A “section” was about long enough to fill one bushel basket with potatoes.  By the way, the best way to pick the fastest was to stand and bend over at the waist and pick them up one by one using both hands.  I could pick about 20 or 30 barrel a day.  My mother could pick 100 barrels a day.  Amazing woman!   The funniest thing that happened was when one of the pickers put his arm around my Mother to get a little kiss.  He had obviously drunk his lunch or he never would have tried that with her!  She brought her fist up from her waist and laid him out, cold!  No one ever bothered her again.  We didn’t know we were poor.  I loved canned Franco-American Spaghetti cold from the can for lunch more than sandwiches.

We also picked beans and it was harder than potatoes and no more money and it takes a lot more beans to make a bushel than potatoes.

My first real paying job was waitressing!  I was so green and naive and the owner was a really nice guy, but had a cracked sense of humor.  He told me that the Crullers (long round donuts) were called “Male Donuts”.  I called them that until someone took pity on me and explained it to me.  I got a lot of tips because even though I was not a great waitress, I laughed at myself along with them.

Another job was at a new Shoe Store.  My boss told me all about this new shoe that was called “a pound a pair”.  I was fascinated with it and soaked up all the best-selling points.  One day a guy came in and I started telling him all about them, eve had a pair on his feet before he again took pity on me and introduced himself as the owner of the store.  My boss was laughing so hard she nearly wet her pants.  He was impressed though, unfortunately I didn’t get a raise.

I once worked as a waitress for Howard Johnson in South Carolina.  We were supposed to carry everything on a big tray, even if it was a pat of butter!  One day everyone was all in a twitter because the big guy himself was coming in for lunch.  Nobody wanted the honors of waiting on him.  I volunteered and everyone said empathically NO!  I was told to hide in the back room and not to come out under any circumstances!  That job didn’t last long as I was responsible for more broken dishes than the money I earned.  Oh well!  I hated the job and the uniforms!

Now the uniform of the next job was up my alley!  A t-shirt and a pair of little red shorts (I was a lot smaller then) and a pair of rolling skates!  I was a Car Hop if you didn’t guess that already! Girls my age (18) weren’t supposed to serve alcohol so when someone ordered Beer we served it in the plastic cups that milk-shakes were served in.  I got tons of tips and several invitations to go out on the guy’s boats for an ocean cruise.  Now, I am naïve, but not stupid!  Out on a boat on the ocean miles from land with a couple guys and no way to walk home?  I let them tip me real big, but no cruises.

Hey I dated one guy for a couple of weeks, and he seemed nice until two Men in Black Suits knocked on my door with guns under their jackets and nice gold badges in a wallet asked me a lot of questions about that guy.  I spilled my guts!  And the next week I packed up and left town.  My Mother didn’t raise no fools!  Well, I did have two brothers.

I moved to Hartford Conn and went to work for Hartford Fire Insurance as a Keypunch Operator.  What a fun job, setting all day punching holes in cards that the guys across the file cabinets used in the computers?  I put a question behind computers, as they were the very beginning of computers.  My boss used to tell me “A change is as good as a rest” when she pushed something new on me.  This great piece of advice was from a woman that drank her lunch every day.  I lived with two room-mates and that was so much fun.  One of them was such a ditz that the other girl and I helped and encouraged her to get married as fast we could.  The other girl was nice but evidently Mom took such good care of her that she was incompetent at anything that had to do with cleaning.  While I slaved every Saturday washing all my clothes by hand and hung them out to dry and ironed everything she seemed to always be neat and clean for work.  I made the mistake of borrowing one of her blouses and discovered that she never washed anything, when most of her clothes were dirty, she mailed them to her mother, who washed starched and ironed them and mailed them back.  She also failed to get up and get ready for work so many times and we had to pay a taxi that I started to leave her to pay it by herself.

I once got a job even thought my typing skill was minus 10 words a minute!  I got the job because I knew how to set a tab.

Working in the Shoe Shop was an experience that everyone should have! My job was to zig zag the backs of Ice Skates, Bowling Shoes, and Golf shoes on an industrial sewing machine.  I would do about 30 pairs at a time and cut them apart.  I was and am still very fast with my hands and I am ambidextrous.  I wanted a raise from 1 cent a pair to 2 or 3 cents a pair, so when the boss (not the sharpest tool in the shed) came by with his stop watch to time me (supposedly without me noticing) I did a lot of movements and not much work, until he left.  I never got the raise and as a matter of fact, I was escorted to the door and told that they didn’t need me anymore.  There were three very good reasons.  1. I talked up Unions.  2. One of the Supervisors called me out of the bathroom to tell me to get back to work!  I picked him up by the front of his shirt and put him up against the wall with his feet dangling and told him never to call me out of the bathroom again.  3. Another Supervisor thought that we should date and dogged me everywhere. I dodged him but when he got too friendly at work. I told him NEVER to put his hands on me!  Unfortunately for him he attempted it after I saw him put his arms around the girl next to me and fondle her boobs.  I attempted to give him a vasectomy without the anesthetic. If he was slower with his hand I might have accomplished the deed.

When I explained number 3 to the Unemployment Department I was granted full unemployment benefits.

This brings me up to the time I settled down; got married and raised a family! Stay tuned for the next chapter to follow about 20 years later.

Are General Physician’s becoming obsolete?

Now let’s think about this! When was the last time that you visited your GP and he/she actually examined you? Never! You are untouchable. You are invisible! Medicine is a corporate business; caring personalities do not enter into it, anymore. In and out in 15 minutes or less, (you can’t even get a good burger that fast) they have to churn out patients by the dozen so that the payments on the yachts are made on time.

Let’s go through a typical GP visit. You are not a new patient, they have your history before them, or at least they could if they cared to read it.

“Hi (looks down at your chart, because he/she doesn’t recognize you) John Doe, “Why did you come to see me, today?” Jeez, I had to tell everyone but my pastor, someone should have passed that on to you!

The cute little person in the adorable scrub outfit took all your vital statistics and asked you again “Why do you need to see the Doctor?”, and when you called for your appointment, several weeks ago, you were grilled by that Oh so nice voice on the phone “Why do you need to see the Doctor?”

Just try to get out of telling her/him specifically why you want an appointment! Not going to happen! I have tried several different tactics to keep my personal information to myself until I see the GREAT AND POWERFUL DOCTOR and to no avail. I finally tell them I need 15 minutes and it is none of your business why or what ails me, it is personal. Unless you have got your medical license you do not need to know.

I know I am a mean bitch, but, if I am only going to get 15 minutes anyway, what does it matter.

Also I am old! I remember the days when you could go see the Doctor in a few hours or at the longest the next day. I also remember when they could actually stitch up a minor wound in their office. If you were injured you went to his/her office and if it were major and needed hospitalization you were sent to the hospital. There were very few “Specialists”.  Sometimes your GP was also your surgeon!

Not so today! You tell them what is wrong and they immediately, well not that soon, send you to a “specialist” or the hospital. Hopefully it isn’t your arm or leg that is hurt, because the hospital will charge you the other two!!! BTW the Specialist usually is not so busy that they can see you within a week. Also they don’t really listen either!

Doctors really do not want you to look up anything on the internet to try to understand about your condition or what the ramifications of any medication that they propose to write a prescription for you to fill at your local pharmacy.  Don’t get me started on pharmaceutical Companies!

I recently became acquainted with Urgent Care! You can get in to see a doctor or a PA in usually the same day. They call you by name and seem to really care about you. Recently I received a call from the PA, a couple of days after my visit to inquire if I was feeling better. When was the last time you got a call from your doctor?

What we need now, is an online virtual doctor that you can talk to and they will listen just like their real life counterparts, and can refer you to a hospital or specialist with specifics on how to reach either one. Doctors will have to become good actors like the “Doctors” on TV selling their Snake Cures. It would save much time, money and aggravation for the patients, and in this fast paced environment it will fit most people’s lifestyle.   Imagine sitting in the comfort of your own home and chatting face to face with your smiling friendly “Doctor”! You probably won’t even notice the difference in the care and concern, it may even be better!

What do think about it? Let me know, I am interested really, please talk to my assistant first and I can give you at least 15 minutes and will almost immediately send you to the proper specialist!

Dreams are a wish your heart makes!

So why does an “over the hill” old fart think that she can write?  You ask or didn’t ask; here’s the answer!   Because I want to!  I need to write! 

When I was little, I dreamed of many things that I wanted to become; baseball player for the New York Yankees (I was 12 before I realized that girls couldn’t play baseball), that pretty much ended my dreaming, I only wanted to escape into books and become all the main characters. What adventures I had with no one telling me that I couldn’t be anything I wanted to be.  I lived in those books!  So much so that when I stuck my nose in a book my ears turn off!  Literally!  Everything around me disappeared and I was the main character!   This got me into a lot of trouble when my Mother asked me to do something when I was reading, I only heard her when she slapped me up side of the head.    I also wanted to graduate from High School, because at that time, I thought that it was my ticket to success.   Well, another dream crushed, damn! 

When I was in the 6th grade we moved to a different town and consequently were bussed to a two-room school house, until I was in the last month of the 8th grade.   The teachers were, okay, but were not interested in, nor had the time to teach grammar.  In the last month of the 8th grade, the school district closed the school and shipped us off the school in “town”. 

The first day on English the teacher started talking about diagraming sentences and a whole lot of other things that I was totally in the dark about.   It never made any sense to me, and to this day it still is somewhat of a mystery.  Thanks to spell and grammar check I hope I can sound reasonably intelligent.

One of my English teachers required us to write one full page of anything we wanted to write, be it prose, a story, or even copy something from a book (with acknowledgement).  So I had a little fun with him; I wrote stories that ended in cliff hangers, and when he asked (in fun I am sure) what happens next, I would laugh and tell him he would have to wait till next week.  Near the end of the school year, he took me aside and told me that I should do something about my writing.  The sad thing is I can’t even remember his name. 

No matter!  I am now working on a couple books, but have put them aside to concentrate on a short story that I am doing as a Christmas Gift for some friends that have been very good to me.   It has their whole family as the main characters, on an adventure that takes place on a newly discovered planet in another galaxy.  Oh and there is a Dragon!

Another book is based on my 30 year Real Estate Career.  It is a murder mystery and some people will recognize themselves in it, but with different names.  Some will laugh, be proud, and some will be unhappy at my portrayal of them, even though it is accurate. 

 

 

 

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