Posts filed under ‘everything else’

Gonna Party like you’re 99 – !!!!!

 

I have been thinking about this post all week- how do  I write about my  mum and her life  experiences   and loves. I decided to   let her words tell the tale of the time before – before she was my  mum and a young child and woman in her mid twenties.  I  think she said it best in her book ( published for family  only and written to  my  daughter when she was a wee one) in  the foreword :

Cover Design Chris Ritchey

It is sometimes safer to write about other people than about oneself and easier to shape their lives into a consistent pattern. When you come to examine your subject, in this case my life, more closely the process is somewhat more complex and daunting than I originally thought. Every human life is at once so complex, yet simple, so perplexing yet clear, superficial and yet plunges to the depths that attempts to present it as a unified whole may take more talent than your Nana has but I will try.

 

The times before when she was a young girl  scrumping apples with  her brother  Mark , that didn’t bode well as you  will see:

Parrot snout ( his nickname  for her) , tell me whatever you do- if you see anyone whilst I climb to the top of that tree”

“Ok, Mark, I will stand underneath whilst you throw the fruit down”.

What a wonderful bag I collected. The sunshine was brilliant and I got caught up watching the butterflies, I seemed to be lulled with the peace and tranquility of it all. “ What was that I could see? Could it be the policeman’s helmet appearing over the fence and two eyes taking in the scene!”? My voice froze, I could not warn my brother, not a sound came from my throat. I tried and tried to make the sound come “ Oh! Vi don’t muff this one” but I took to my heels, the bag of lovely fruit spilling and scattering in the orchard joining the feast for the wasps. I made for the hole in the fence and bolted without ever looking back, leaving the policeman underneath the tree waiting for an unsuspecting boy to descend.I was terrified, would I once again be shunned and ostracized by all and sundry? My  brother  angry  gave me  clip round the ear and said “ I will never take girls along again!”

 

The opportunity  for higher learning denied , although passing her exams and obtaining a scholarship, the family  could not afford the extras .

digging for victory

Her first job at the Express Dairy  when she was 15 as a window dresser  and in charge of the shop –  she too became one of the ME TOO      – this generation didn’t invent  sexual harassment…… https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Me_Too_movement 

 The visits of Mr. B { a travelling Superintendent for the company } grew more frequent, I grew more apprehensive. I longed to confide my fears to someone, my sister Renee was too young, my mother would have advised and helped me but I just couldn’t bring myself to tell her…what could I tell her as nothing had yet occurred. Events came to a head one afternoon, Mr. B called in; he had a very nice shiny new car and invited me to go for a ride with him that evening. I said I was unable to do so.

”OK then some other time maybe!” Meanwhile he made some coffee, opened a tin of pineapple chunks (4 1/2 d) and a carton of cream (2d) he offered me some. I don’t really know what happened then, but I was suddenly held in a vise like grip, the small table upon which the pineapple and cream were sitting went over, juice spilling all over me! The fingers with the hairs were groping and fumbling, I was shaking with fright, and my overall was off ….my brass buttons “pinged” as they hit the floor.

Sometimes the unbelievable happens, it did a customer came in the shop door. And the bell really saved me! The lady bless her never knew what she did for me that day. I didn’t stop to lock the shop up but tore off on my bicycle, not daring to look around. I turned in my resignation and applied for a position in the G.P.O. (General Post Office)

Mum managed to  get a placement

The training school was in Holborn, with dummy switchboards. It seemed there were nothing but aged old dried up spinsters ladies were teaching us,( how unkind and thoughtless we are when we are young.) The wonder of it all when we finally finished our training and passed as “thirty six hour girls” ( you were only allowed to work for 36 hours to start with hence the expression). We were then directed to our “local” telephone exchanges. During this training time which took three months we weren’t paid. How my mother coped not only not having my wages coming in to help but to give me enough for fares and lunches must have been so very difficult for her but somehow she managed.

The meeting of the young man who would eventually  be her husband and my  father.

. After one of the dances, as was the custom then, we were standing clapping waiting for the band to start up again; a chap around 5ft 9, quite well-built with terrifically strong-looking shoulders and periwinkle blue eyes and with blonde hair, one curl of which had fallen across his forehead. He came over and whisked and danced me to the other end of the room.

 

Then War!! Mum volunteered for special duty  and ended up  at the Ministry  of Information


Three of us would be required to man the emergency switchboard, which was housed in the basement of the building; this was called the war room. A big square room, around the walls were telephone boxes which were connected with a direct line to all the important ministries for example, the Admiralty, War Office, Air Ministry, Foreign Office, Ministry of Supply etc. etc.

In each telephone box sat a high-ranking official who would be in communication with his respective Ministry. The censors and press officials were they’re sorting and sifting through thousands of reports coming in from all areas of Britain and the world.

These people were tremendous and treated the operators extremely well Lord Reith had taken on the job of Minister of Information; he had been head of the BBC. Winston Churchill, who was then 1st Lord of the Admiralty, used to come through on his direct line “ Good Morning, give me the Minister please” short polite and always to the point. The town clerks and mayors of today in local council could well take a lesson from those gentlemen of yesteryear.

Sir Walter Monkton was there; he was a good friend of the Duke of Windsor who was in France at the time. The Duke would call quite frequently to have a chat with his friend. I enjoyed my work immensely it was extremely busy especially if any kind of action, naval air or army was taking place.

However all was not fun and games  my  19-year-old mum working at the Ministry  of Information you  got the  war news before most and one day:

 

HMS Southampton

her boyfriend’s ship

Damaged during air raid on warships in Forth Estuary.One bomb penetrated three decks. Casualties.

came through the ticker tape

NOTE: ” The Man who Designed the Spitfire” again little life coincidences. The Spitfire first saw action on that October 16th 1939 protecting the Royal Navy and my Dad.

On 16 October 1939, Junkers Ju-88s of 1/KG 30 led by Hauptmann Helmuth Pohle attacked British warships in the Firth of Forth. Nine of the Ju-88s were intercepted over Rosyth by three Spitfires of 603 Squadron, each of which attacked Pohle’s aircraft which was hit repeatedly and crashed into the sea

https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2010/09/25/long-time-passing-gone-to-fighting-part-6/

However she too was in peril and felt the Nazi Blitz…


It must have been only 9: pm. There seemed to be a great deal of activity outside. We used to be able to tell by the sound of the aircraft engine whether it was one of ours or one of the Germans.

The whistle of the descending bombs and the following explosions was terrifying. We sighed a breath of relief when hearing that explosion didn’t have our name on it. This night I did not hear the whistle nothing suddenly a complete and utter silence. The bricks seemed to be crumbling and falling all around. I tried to hold onto something. I only grabbed at empty space. The air was filled with dust. I realized the house must have received a direct hit and the three people who had been near me had disappeared. I tried calling the silence was eerie and shocking. I had bricks and wood and plaster all around me “was I going to be buried alive?”

 

There was one sound, a hissing sound coming from somewhere beneath me. “A fractured gas pipe perhaps”. I remembered hearing accounts of people being gassed to death before they had been dug out from all the rubble. I groped all around in that black darkness and found a pipe, maneuvered myself and sat over the leakage. Bricks were still falling but I had heard human voices Maudie and her mother and sister (Barbara) everyone was at least alive. Then came the sound of faint movements. These became clearer and what seemed to be hours later a chalky white face appeared, Mr. Cushing’s. He had been on ARP duty outside and seen his own house go up!

Many hands helped me out; I was the first and escaped with hardly a scratch but was holding a very sore backside and apparently hysterically asked the first aid warden “ can you get gassed in the posterior” he obviously thought I was a little balmy. Mrs. Cushing fared the worse and Maudie and Barbara were very badly bruised and shaken, seeing the remains of what was left of the house. Just one heap of broken bricks, shattered glass and matchsticks only remains of doors and beams. The marvel is that we escaped at all.

These things happened  before I  even knew this wonderful woman who was  to  be my mum.

After the war years came family  years – chock a block full with  uncles , aunts, cousins  a lots of laughter. As always there were  some bad and terrible times   but always through it all was my  mum constant , loving and keeping the wolf from the door and being there for me.

MY mum may  not have amassed a fortune but I don’t know any  other person who  has, through the years  gathered so  many  friends and such  love, due to  her just being her . Never a day  goes by when there isn’t at least one card or letter coming through the mail from some far-flung corner of the globe. She is Aunty  Vi or Aunty  Janet, mother in law  and sometimes the “Dame”

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Best of all she is my  mum, and her  grandchilden’s

and her Great grand children’s  NANA!!!


 

Happy  Birthday  Mum this one is for you !

 

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February 11, 2018 at 1:45 pm 3 comments

10th Anniversary- That Woman blog –

TEN YEARS! a lot has happened since I put up  that first post

https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2008/01/21/to-blog-or-not-to-blog/

As I  wrote that first post, I had no  idea that in a few short weeks my  world would fall apart .

 

I started off that  January  21st 2008 with  an ideal and a hope to  make a difference.

https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2008/01/  and continued to  explore my  own way  forward from the conflict of CRA  https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/category/cra/ and with  “reports and studies”  on Lorain’s well being, visiting  the theatre and my  mentor and her quote of “this too shall pass” !

BUT then:  my  world did  fall apart and I  found not kindness, or compassion but selfishness -even in death. I found my  world upside down and I was in a state of disbelief .


https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2008/02/28/all-it-takes-is-a-phone-call-to-start-you-screaming/

 

 

After the horrendous news  given so  clinically  of my  son’s cancer , I continued to  write for my  own sake – to  take me away  from my  own  terrors  for a brief  while. The blog became a  cathartic tool to give me strength to  deal  – week after week , month  after month  documenting the days the events and the back story of the approximately  64 categories on this blog,  the 1,559 posts to  date with  at least  another 150 in draft form .

Drafts– they  reside in the not yet published stage for many  reasons- in some cases I  hesitate to  publish – are they  a “bridge too far” – should they  not be consigned to  hard copy – Would people really  understand and believe ( even with  documentation) ….. remains to  be seen


https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2014/07/03/july-3rd-the-story-the-book-chris-ritchey/

and a few that will have to  wait until I am dead so  I  do  have the last word

ED Note: I wonder if my  family  will have the guts to  press publish 😉

If I can  pat myself on the back, the millions ( yes millions) of words written by  me in  10 years  – I can truthfully  say  every  single thought, opinion and happenstance is accurate and truthful ( to  the best of my  knowledge) I have documented  and or linked to documentation throughout those years the reasoning for my  opinions etc.

Has this blog accomplished anything changed thinking , made a difference. If I am honest NO!-


The hypocrites  still exist  getting on  with  their lives , falling on their  on their knees to  pray   and get their blessings from a church that has its own issues

https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2013/03/11/the-cardinal-letter-h-for-hypocrisy-pappish-style/

– no  sanction for the pain they  caused  for those grieving  the loss of their son , brother and uncle .  https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2010/12/11/december-11th-the-beginning-of-the-beginning/


Homes  and buildings in Lorain still are falling down, inspection processes are still a shambles thanks in part to  the procedures and the courts,  deals are still being dealt, government ( no  need to  say  more)

https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2015/09/17/the-follow-up-a-tale-of-two-houses-city-council-Loraine/

General Gillmore portrait

Lorain’s history  consigned to  files in a cabinet. Not one piece of Lorain Lorain’s tangible history  has been appreciated or  saved by  the thousands of words written about those early  pioneers.

https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2014/10/23/generally-gillmore-the-last-post-lorain-part-12/

Hardly  anybody  really  cares- scandals ( especially  with  this year’s White House) pile on and are forgotten , replaced with  even more poor behavior.

https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2016/02/17/is-trump-the-toxic-avenger-or-dynasty-destroyer/

Society,  as we  who  were bought up by  the  post war ( WW2)  generation thought  it should be, society  has not lived up the  “greatest generation” standards.

Source :https://backpackerlee.wordpress.com/2015/03/27/traditional-british-fish-and-chips/

The saying (which  the Brits will remember) – “today’s news is tomorrows fish  and chip   wrapper” – still holds true today. Although no  longer allowed due to  health  and safety  standards – they  can’t wrap up your  meal in newspaper anymore.

The premise is still the same  “the news today  is soon forgotten  consigned to  the garbage can”  – it can be resurrected come election time  in some cases but happenings that would have been unacceptable by society  in decades prior are  accepted for the most part.

Cartoon by Dave Walker

https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2010/12/14/the-media-and-the-blogger-ad-it-up/

Oh! there will be a blow up on social media , posts and outrage BUT it is soon calmed , a new issue will take its place. We did our bit we were outraged on line thinking.  The perpetrators of  course have realized this new way  of protest and the fact  we  the public have a short attention span.

As my  mentor Jean Schaeffer said ” this too will pass”  she was right. So  why  bother , even the documentation linked to  from other blogs  , newspaper links  to  various stories  disappear  from my  site . I learned too late to  make hardcopies in those early  months.

I have documented the past 10 years, the good, the bad, the ugly,   and just maybe in the time to  come a researcher  will come across these thoughts and opinions and get the “true story” – who  knows – worth  a try  anyway. Well 10  years , I  am not sure I  have another 10 years  and the blog’s fate is day  to  day……………… but come what may  I  will probably  have the last word- remember  don’t speak ill of the dead 😉 just not done….

 

January 21, 2018 at 3:27 pm 5 comments

Money where your mouth Is – Part 7


Part One- https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2016/05/17/money-where-your-mouth-is-part-one/
https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2016/06/03/june-3rd-your-truth-chris-ritchey
Part Two- https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2016/06/17/money-where-your-mouth-is-the-process-part-two/
Part Three- https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2016/10/17/money-where-your-mouth-is-part-3/
Part Four- https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2016/10/28/money-where-your-mouth-is-part-4/
Part Five – https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2016/11/15/money-where-your-mouth-is-part-5/
Part Six- https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2016/11/27/money-where-your-mouth-is-part-six/

It was just over a  year ago when we were working to create a garden from the muck  and mire   lot next door. We could have just  taken down the large dangerous tree and mowed grass.

However, for many years I had had to block views from that lot- when it held one of the “rentals” of Lorain and finally the vacant lot of “long grass and critters – of both two legged and 4 legged kind.
Apart from the fact, I had made promises to the City of Lorain ,   we would make the lot desirable and would enhance the ambiance, stop the 4th street cut though from the alley and parking of marine and construction vehicles and accumulate trash, I needed to be able to find at least a little joy in looking out of my windows. I no longer wanted to shudder at the construction parking lot and marinas we had put up with for many months, the  tenants from hell in the little brown house as it slowly deteriorated. I wanted a little peace and not angst . Part 1 through 6 will tell you of that journey.

We were almost finished with the hardscape and clearing of  lower lot in July of last year (2016)when illness struck and the 2nd phase of the lot behind the fence had to take a step back.
Lower front 2016

and then same time  2017

The illness held up Phase 2 for at least two months. There we were with dump trucks full of in fill dirt needing to be moved and levelled, 9 trees- fruit and evergreen -to be planted and Lilly pond to be dug. What a mess we were in.

Also when we took down that very large tree so close to our house we realized that side of the house needed to be painted ( well Klinar of the Building Dept. didn’t have to tell me that I could see it.) This meant more expense as the whole house need to be painted.

I can’t say I didn’t have two willing helpers whilst their “Poo Bah” was in hospital – they worked that dirt….


They more than made up for the weed letter from the City of Lorain and Building Dept. complained to by the “King of Construstruction” ( which of course turned out to be Swiss Chard, Morning Glories and Mint on my property poking through the fence in the alley .


https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2016/08/09/municipal-manipulation-lorain-e-again/
One thing leads to another, apart from educating the city inspectors as to what is a weed and what is food we then had to stop  put screening around the chain link fence to contain the garden and plant tall “ornamental grasses “ to stop prying “alley commandos” from their vigilante inspection process”
The offending weeds ( spot the weeds in the fence ??)
and the same view after the screen of prying eyes fame

More expense and time and effort.

October 2016 found things getting better and the garden crew ( Gavin and Braedyn) were busy digging and the fruit trees were planted along with the layout for the “Lilly ponds”. The snows stopped work, but Spring found the need to put in a gravel parking spot and gravel along the alley – yet more money – but the fruit trees started to blossom, the Lilly ponds and dry stream bed feature brought flowers and smiles from behind the fence

Lilly pond and dry stream bed
Spring/Summer was busy this year peach blossoms in the mini orchard turned to peaches, apples, plums and cherries blossomed but another year is needed.

Scarecrows to guard the crops.
and planting to be done , ponds to be filled


Slowly the grass came in enough on the back lot-

then came the weed whacking and tidying

Sunflowers bloomed and sheds for tools put together

 and the corn grew,

Lily pads and still ponds thrived the sunlight

Roses Lilacs and rhubarb…

And a Scotch Broom sweeps clean 😉

So here we are 18 months later $20,000 dollars poorer – this put up a fence and a mini orchard and just mow turned into something much , much more than envisioned.  I am more relaxed and happy as I look out of the windows although the project that nearly killed the gardener…

but we have kept our word to the city administration and to ourselves remained true.

After Phase One we sent an update  of the front lot project to  the City  Of Lorain- we had used 6 local businesses, 10 ( men employed by  contractors) and spent $11,045.50

Phase Two  , we used  5 local businesses , materials, labor  etc came to  another $8,935.00 and still climbing ….

 The collage: Today Oct 2017:

 

Before

 

Soon the snow will fly  and next spring , hopefully all being well, tweeking will be done  and the gardens will continue to “bear fruit”.  Some have mentioned we were stupid to  put that amount of money  into  an empty  lot in “Low rain”  but this is our neighborhood, our home . We certainly  can’t make a difference on other neighboring streets, or  the “downtown” but we could make a difference on this old block, give the school kids and teachers a better view , show a little pride  and  put our money  where my  mouth is ! After all I  can’t criticize unless I am prepared to  do  my  bit to  beautify  this old neighborhood.

October 16, 2017 at 12:39 pm 3 comments

Food for (my ) thought -literally can make you fat

Or one woman’s plumpness- one woman’s memories
spag
Sunday found me making a Spaghetti Bolognese for myself- mum can’t abide spaghetti and my husband likes more “American” style ( bring on the Prego) so as I was cooking ground beef anyway I decided on an individual “spagbol” lunch

http://everythingthereistoknowaboutspagbol.blogspot.com/
I was transported back through time to a little Italian Café in London’s Soho . I was in one of my first jobs ( I used to go through jobs like chickens wings at a Super Bowl party) It turned out one of my friends was also working in the area so we used to pool our Luncheon Vouchers for lunch – For those that are unaware of a Luncheon Voucher – outside the UK
luncheon

“luncheon voucher is a voucher for a meal given to employees as an employee benefit, allowing them to eat at outside restaurants, typically for lunch. In many countries, meal vouchers have had favorable tax treatment. Vouchers are typically in the form of paper tickets.”

The proprietor could not help but be dismayed as to the way we ate his
“spaghetti” ( We used to use a knife and fork and cut it) One day, he could stand it no longer and promised if we tried to eat our pasta the proper way ( which he would demonstrate) until we mastered the skill he would not charge us for our meal. Needless to say it took weeks 😉 We progressed from cutting to using the fork and spoon method to finally the twist and twirl without slurping up errant strands or slavering sauce down our chins. I then changed jobs again and could no longer get my free meal .

Food always the comfort and I have realized when “cooking- ( sometimes successfully sometimes not so successfully I equate the dishes with people and memories .

digging for victory

digging for victory


My mum during the war was part of the rationing generation. Having to stock up and make things last has stayed with her and 75 years later she still stockpiles as evidenced by my cupboards “just in case”. Mum can make a roast last for three or more meals.

roast%20dinner%20comp
Roast on Sundayhttp://www.telegraph.co.uk/food-and-drink/recipes/the-ultimate-sunday-roast/ followed cold meat and bubble and squeak- shepherd’s pie and Cornish pasties and then if any is left over we have mince. I will say now she will make the items to freeze so we don’t have to eat them all at once. However, she has decided at her time of life that she hates leftovers so I am left with eating all the leftovers. ( sigh)

My husband on his ranting about our cooking with butter will not eat what we eat. Unhealthy!!!!! – mind you HE is the one with the stents and cholesterol – seems according to the heart Dr. and our Dr. when I asked how could he ,with his horribly healthy diet, have blockages “food consumption only affects cholesterol 3% – 20% –

sticky
this writing is making me hungry for a sticky toffee pudding
http://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/3682/ultimate-sticky-toffee-pudding
and that reminds me of the Goring Hotel London http://www.thegoring.com/ and Cousin Pat. goring-hotel-london_11

My memories are everywhere in this kitchen making strong tea and thick toast and butter with chunky marmalade – My Auntie Ethel and a little cottage in Lincolnshire .

Baked potatoes – my childhood ( and I have never had baked potatoes since that were so good ) and cocoa coming in from Guy Fawkes Night and the chill in the air to Mrs. Cushing’s lovely warm kitchen( London England) – ( my cousin’s paternal grandmother) She of the white hair and cherubic face – she should have been a model for the ultimate Mrs. Clause .

marys_lemon_meringue_pie_02330_16x9 Chocolate Chip Cookies ( the best) and Lemon Meringue Pie http://www.bbc.co.uk/food/recipes/marys_lemon_meringue_pie_02330 will take me back to the 7th grade and New Brunswick Canada when a young teacher ” Miss Calder” came to live with us.
pavlova
Pavlovahttp://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/711658/strawberry-pavlova I can’t say I, or even my mum, have been successful in making the perfect Pavlova but as we try memories of Susan’s Pavlovas , Sunday afternoon tea time complete with her spread of new potatoes sliced ham and salad spread before us Ipswich, Suffolk England .

oliver
http://www.jamieoliver.com/recipes/beef-recipes/steak-and-kidney-pudding/ Steak and Kidney Pudding -well that would be my own Nana ( on my mum’s side) when she lived with us in South Harrow Middlesex England – she had long white hair she used to pull up in a bun and the brightest blue eyes- she had a hard life and was nearly killed being strafed by a German flyer during WW2 as she was collecting wood.

untitled
But figs, dates, pomegranates,
https://wimshulcooks.wordpress.com/2013/01/28/wimshul-cooks-bakes-tu-bshevat/

chocolates and wonderful fresh cream cakes and éclairs from the bakery – cheese and watercress sandwiches was my more wealthy grandmother on my father’s side – It as all very exotic in her home silks and fringes an Aladdin’s cave to my eyes. The home of “children should be seen but not heard in Hendon EnglandNanny Bunyan

300868-1-eng-gb_359-470x540
Cooking egg and chips http://www.deliciousmagazine.co.uk/recipes/the-ultimate-egg-and-chips/ takes me back once again to being a little girl and sharing Saturday night tea time with the Braynes in South Harrow, Aunt Lilly’s lovely fairy cakes which I have never managed to make successfully bring such happy innocent times.fairy

british-food-full-english-breakfast-large
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/only-in-britain/the-15-most-british-foods-ever/full-english-breakfast/
Cooking the “English Breakfast”- Dusseldorf Germany and my Uncle Austin running along the Rhine embankment with pennies in my hand to buy sweeties from Frau Bloomers sweet shop.

black
Chocolate Gateaux http://allrecipes.com/recipe/8095/black-forest-cake-i/ I make a fairly decent Chocolate Gateaux – memories of Nikki as a two – year old and the Mohne mohne Dam of Dambusters fame Germany https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/M%C3%B6hne_Reservoir
and her insistence she be allowed ‘gatoes” before she would eat a sandwich! and my cousin John
cheeseandonionpie_89625_16x9
From Germany back to England and Devon Cheese and Onion pie http://www.bbc.co.uk/food/recipes/cheeseandonionpie_89625 gracing cousin Dawn’s table at the farm. The table used to fair creak under the weight of all the dishes – How much fun I had riding the tractor over the fields to the pub- my husband playing darts in the Cider Shed getting blotto.

Not all food brings back pleasant memories – the smell of creamed corn turns me into a puddle of nerves and tears. Hopefully none who read this ever have to go through a stem cell transplant the smell of the preservative used in the gathered stem cells stinks like creamed corn. The odor permeates everything including my brain and takes me to a time of hope and hell with my son Chris. You won’t find creamed corn here in this house.
christmas-pudding
Another banned from memory and kitchen food is Christmas Pudding http://www.bbc.co.uk/food/christmas_pudding I make a mean Christmas Pud but no longer – because the memory of Chris ‘s job of always lighting the pudding can’t be replicated and only mum and I ate it anyway – the memory still too raw……..In fact our previous traditions when it comes to celebrating have been exchanged for new ones .
lobsters-pot
Chris – whose love of lobster and shrimp is always celebrated on special occasions – the lobsters in the pot bearing the names of those evil and wicked individuals who have added nothing but terrible negatives to our lives.( Good job I am not Elizabeth the 1st). He and Jim wiping out the buffet of seafood at the Bomber Squadron Cleveland Ohio.

Yes food for thought and cooking the food of comfort – as the memories come flooding in so do the calories. Yes! you can gain weight just by going down memory lane and find yourself all over the world. ………. bacon_butty_4-570x564
http://www.mrbreakfast.com/breakfast/oy-yanks-introducing-britains-bacon-butty/

Now I am going to visit Granddad with a bacon buttie grandad

February 7, 2017 at 7:22 pm 1 comment

Lorain – History Mystery-Her name was Clara- Pt 5

212-w18thres

Part One https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2016/12/27/lorain-history-mystery-her-name-was-clara/

Part Two https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2016/12/28/lorain-history-mystery-her-name-was-clara-pt-2/

Part Three https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2016/12/29/lorain-history-mystery-her-name-was-clara-pt3/

Part Four https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2017/01/05/lorain-history-mystery-her-name-was-clara-part-4/

As the solving of the mystery continues off site, I am uploading the next two pages. Readers will notice the very delicate condition of the paper -literally falling apart . I have done what I can to help stabilize the paper .

ok2res

Clara- Oklahoma continues….. Judge Hartwell..????

At that time, for I had held office for a couple of terms of “Justice of the Peace” and to this day I am known as “Judge”

Well Barton opened his office and as time went on we met often and became very good friends. About six months after his arrival at B ( torn missing (artmore???) I was surprised to learn that he had over $3,000 in a large tract of land just south ( torn missing) here and I was surprised, for it is very unusual for a young lawyer just little over a year out of school to have $3000.

I found out years later after just how he happened to have that money. ( torn)…most of you remembered the Oil Boom we had in this section of the state in 1904

ED NOTE there was an oil boom in 1904… so now we can surmise the location in respect to the state
http://www.okhistory.org/publications/enc/entry.php?entry=PE023

okoil-cleveland

In the first three decades of the twentieth century discovery after discovery was made in the Sooner State. In 1901 came Red Fork Field and the emergence of Tulsa as “the Oil Capital of the World.” The Alluwe Field and the Cherokee Shallow Sands District soon were discovered, as was Cleveland, the first major discovery in Oklahoma Territory when it was opened in 1904, as were the Muskogee Field and its associated pools. The following year Glenn Pool, one of the greatest oil fields ever, made Oklahoma a national leader in oil production and induced several major energy companies to tie the state into their major oil transmission pipelines.
It should be noted that one of the oil fields there is a town/city called “Bartlesville” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bartlesville,_Oklahoma

Well Bruce Barton sure cashed in on his $3,000 investment and he told me he sold for 375,000 Well he invested this money wisely and bought up more land and in six or seven ( torn) from the time he first came to Bartmore ( torn) was said to be one of the wealthys men ( torn) I might add that Bartmore ( torn and missing)… thriving city of about 20 odd (missing) ……… and success had…….

ok3

Clara -Oklahoma – Continued..Page three

Bruce Barton in any way. He and I had become great pals and each year planned on two or three fishing trips. It was on one fishing of our fishing trips that Bruce said “Judge why can’t we combine those ( missing) (offices???) of ours. I said why what do you me ( missing) Well said Barton, why not move over into my place and just paint on the door Hartwell and Barton. I laughed and told him it would just spoil our fishing trips. But Bruce said “Well that is to be understood that when ever Business interferes with fishing we will close up the office. That was in 1906 that the firm of Hartwell and Barton started and it meant a great deal to me for it was thru Barton I believe rather successful and made quite a lot of money ..(torn) .. never anything like him.
He never talked of his early life and( all) I know was he was born in Massa(missing) (chutsetts???) and he had no living relative . He was a heavy(/) stock holder in the Weste( missing) Light and Power Co

ED NOTE: there was a Western Light and Power Company in Colorado
http://www.cityofloveland.org/departments/water-and-power/about-us/history-of-loveland-water-and-power/history-of-loveland-light-and-power

And had controlling interest in three or four large corporations. He gave freely to charitable institutions .. ( missing)

And there you have it….. some things check, some names are similar and so it continues …..

Pages in 2/3 in Black and white enhanced
ok2bwok3bw

January 13, 2017 at 4:23 pm 2 comments

Money Where Your Mouth is – Part 4

tree beforetreeres

The Tree Phase One of the Plan

Part One https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2016/05/17/money-where-your-mouth-is-part-one/

https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2016/06/03/june-3rd-your-truth-chris-ritchey

Part Two https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2016/06/17/money-where-your-mouth-is-the-process-part-two/
Part Three https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2016/10/17/money-where-your-mouth-is-part-3/

It took a few weeks, after we were notified, we had been successful in our bid to purchase the lot at 1125 aka ( Highway 1125) for the property to transfer .

The first thing we did was to ask for bids to remove the gigantic tree close to our house. We had stated in our “plan” to the city this would be done. The tree almost 90 feet tall was failing, it was less than 10 feet away from our house and if it had fallen it certainly would’ve taken out at least two homes. Estimates came in from nearly $5,000 to the lowest at $2,500. We went with a local company Tree Pro.
https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2016/03/30/a-tall-tree-tale-ends-lorain-dudes/

tree collage

Since other trees in and around our original property had to be taken down in recent years due to decay and literally falling over, based on the holes left behind by their removal, I knew
oldtreewillow

the loss of this gentle, yet worrying, giant was also going to be missed. I knew we would no longer get the benefit of shade on our balcony and mum’s flowers would have to be changed out and air-conditioning would be cranked up come summer, the tree provided so much shade to our lot and home. I love trees, always have done, it breaks my heart to lose them.
windowcol

What I hadn’t realized , this tree with its huge trunk and outstretched branches, some of which could be trees themselves, blocked from my view, through the den window, from all manner of issues in the neighborhood. How secure and serene my view whilst the maple had stood guard. The lifestyles of others hidden from me. I was lost in a world of bark, butterflies , leafy limbs, squirrels , birds and living things – my non human neighboring so much more pleasant than reality!

“What the eye doesn’t see and the mind doesn’t know, doesn’t exist.” D H Lawrence

All of a sudden – windows were opened to more than just sunlight and heat. Stark reality invaded my home, no longer could I sit at the desk in the den -protected from view and protected views- as fingers pounded the computer keyboard on a daily basis . The goldfish bowl of life opened me up to view, it was and is intrusive to my little world . The bamboo blinds helped but still there was a nakedness to the views which I hadn’t experienced in the 40 years of living here all because of the absence of the tree.

I knew the tree was a hazard, I knew it was dying slowly, I knew it had to go but I didn’t know how much that tree had added to my happiness and how desolate the outlook when it was gone. It softened and protected .

Tree and root

Tree and root


The wood hauled away the stump ground down leaving the “ashes” of what was once there.
ground

But even in its death throes still it made its presence known, gigantic roots extending throughout the lot next door, reaching for the water source we knew was to be found beneath. The trunk and upper branches lost to the chipper and lumber yards but the roots would not give up so easily . The clearing of the lot and new landscaping would be compromised. My only hope to replicate the privacy , beauty and well-being that had been taken away by the chainsaw would be in some ” creative” plantings”. The tree was so large it will take many, many months if not years to retrieve the ambiance and peace of mind the old maple afforded us ……..

To be continued…………….

October 28, 2016 at 7:24 pm 4 comments

Lorain – Common Core? values and math? PT 4.

UPDATE: According to Lorain County the following information 2835 Pearl Ave will not be demolished and will be receiving some much needed repair work to make it a better rental or sale property.

and actually the reason given for the CDC not filing for tax exempt : ”

Also, tax exemptions can not be acquired if property is rented for profit, regardless of CDC non profit status. This is why the CDCs you mentioned did not file for property tax exemption. They were renting the majority of the properties for income; little was used for office space for the most part”

Readers might remember that is why we in Lorain are paying taxes on 642 Broadway

the then for Profit business Follow the Fish rented ???? the space https://www.facebook.com/FollowTheFishArtAndAdventureTrails I have no update on that aspect of their business arrangement with the City of Lorain since the article April 15 2015 ( oh my ironically tax day) https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2015/04/15/money-for-old-rope-a-taxpayers-question/

Part Onehttps://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2015/06/15/lorain-common-core-values-and-math-pt-1/
Part Two-https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2015/06/22/lorain-common-core-values-and-math-pt-2/
Part Three- https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2015/06/25/lorain-common-core-values-and-math-pt-3/

Community Development – not for CVSI- the math doesn’t add up!

artwork Chris Ritchey

artwork Chris Ritchey


Oh! back in the days of ” we can do this – we can make a difference” the Charleston Village members knew we had a tough job if we were to turn this neighborhood around. We knew we weren’t popular with the Community Development Dept. at the time.

” They (CVSI) are nothing but a middle class clique”

according to Chuck Urindriski(sp)

I won’t go into telling you the obstacles that were put in our way by Community Development Dept. at the time. Why? when they were bending over backwards to get South Lorain group recognized as a CDC

“A community development corporation (CDC) is a not-for-profit organization incorporated to provide programs, offer services and engage in other activities that promote and support community development. CDCs usually serve a geographic location such as a neighborhood or a town. They often focus on serving lower-income residents or struggling neighborhoods. They can be involved in a variety of activities including economic development, education, community organizing and real estate development. These organizations are often associated with the development of affordable housing.”

lorainPhotos
South Lorain CDC- description :
http://www.loraincounty.com/slcdc/

“The South Lorain Community Development Corporation assists homebuyers by providing new and rehabilitated housing opportunities for low-mod income, market rate and first-time, income qualified families and individuals. The SLCDC promotes and encourages private sector commercial investment in the South Lorain Neighborhood.”

1850 Washington

And then there was Community Development bending over backwards for Direct Action for Central Lorain http://www.loraincounty.com/directory/display_5235.html

Direct Action, a non-profit, builds and rehabs commercial and residential properties to generate revenue to provide home ownership counseling, educational and safety programming, youth recreational programs, and other activities to revitalize the Central Lorain neighborhood.”

cityhall castle
You would have thought with the interest Community Development had in apparently recognizing the historic worth of “downtown Lorain” and putting in the tools back in 1987- their interest in South Lorain ( a struggling neighborhood and business community) and Central Lorain- also a struggling neighborhood and business community- the mere fact a whole group of people were banding together in a grass-roots effort to promote, stabilize , research the history and therefore historic tax credits etc. and use our own money to rehab the homes would have been met with delight! Far from it!
prudoffres
Once again, we were naïve, we didn’t understand the unwritten rules- no place for this grass-roots group- we had no paid Director ( through government funding) , we were a democratic volunteer organization – the will of the majority- and therefore it seemed the proverbial loose cannon and maybe just maybe this “middle class clique would not fit the “plan”- lack of “control” and we asked too many questions – did not accept the status quo ( in my opinion that is having dealt with Community Development as it was for decades.)

It was the mere fact Lorain Community Development Dept. (at the time) put so many obstacles in our way and were very unhelpful when we went to them for advice etc. we exist today. We basically said, fine we will do it ourselves. You see we had people in the “village” who had expertise in various areas of government, research and who knew the protocol.
Homes tour
We raised money through opening our homes, put in our own money and did the paperwork for our own 501c3. It wasn’t easy, we as a neighborhood were unique, according to the IRS because we had not gone through the regular route of “local government” such as South Lorain CDC and Direct Action. But we managed independently of Sandy Prudoff, Chuck Urindriski(sp) and company of the City of Lorain Community Development Dept. and in 1993 we received , after a great deal of paperwork, our 501c3 and incorporation.

We were never listed on the City of Lorain website as one of their sponsored , non -profits, CDC’s or organizations such as South Lorain CDC, Direct Action CDC and Lorain Growth Corp. CVSI – never received or applied any monies from Community Development – contrary to some of that opinion! But whenever a grass-roots organization was needed for a study or grant funding- we were the first to be contacted.

We have however, through the years sent them a copy of our Annual Report and our Tax Filing status. In fact we have had in recent years after the Foltin administration( which was adversarial in nature) a partnership with the City of Lorain. A partnership which continues today ( hopefully) .

I believe our independent nature ruffled more than a few feathers. We have never received any of the numerous grants as did South Lorain CDC- For example The Stocker Foundation write in their report of 2007 they had given $15,000 to South Lorain CDC using the new houses built in their Annual report
stockeres
Curious I went to the Lorain County Auditors site to see what had happened to those properties knowing the South Lorain CDC IS NO LONGER A CDC , NON- PROFIT OR ORGANIZATION.

It seems the city had transferred these properties over to the South Lorain CDC in 2006– they were transferred back to the city in 2011 and then the city transferred them to Direct Action of Central Lorain.

Direct Action of Central Lorain has also received numerous grants throughout the years as an example another of Stocker Foundations annual reports 2008
stoc da2008re
Memory came back into play concerning issues with the City of Lorain and Direct Action-
http://chronicle.northcoastnow.com/2013/08/14/action-slow-for-lorain-houses-demolition/

“Mason said earlier this month that he was frustrated by the delay and that Direct Action was slow to provide paperwork regarding the use of HUD money without producing new houses.

“Something doesn’t smell right,” Mason said of Direct Action, which owns 13 properties in Lorain besides the Lakeview property, according to the Lorain County auditor’s website”

That Woman decided to check the auditors site this morning and to her chagrin found Direct Action of Central Lorain owned 15 properties
DAres
I say to my chagrin because Direct Action of Central Lorain owes over $77,000 in back taxes on those properties and has seemingly done for many years:

1015 West 14th- $4,033.48 annual tax bill $489.22
1140 West 18th -$7,589.57 annual tax bill $622.54
1722 Washington -$4,466.16 annual tax bill $877.40
Washington lots – $2,469.21 annual tax bill $157.72
Direct Action headquarters 1850 Washington – $47,828.35 annual tax bill $819.60

1849 Washington -$5,222.13 annual tax bill $509.46
1037 W 22ns – $5,437.60 annual tax bill $751.10

question-mark
THAT CAN’T BE RIGHT – DIRECT ACTION IS A NOT FOR PROFIT AND THEREFORE DOESN’T HAVE TO PAY PROPERTY TAXES.
I contacted the City of Lorain – I was told the City of Lorain cancelled their contract with Direct Action ( CDC) in August of 2013.
So I contacted the Lorain County Auditors office. There wasn’t any paperwork filed for tax exempt status on any of these properties – OH! OH! been there and done that before .
2_Black_River_Historical_Society_and_Moore_House_Museum

Howard Goldberg of Lorain Community Development Dept.
http://www.morningjournal.com/general-news/20121210/updated-goldberg-resigns-lorain-city-post-under-cloud
had neglected to file exempt status on over a dozen properties- a fact brought to light when Black River Historical Society ( now Lorain Historical Society) was caught up in the mess see pages 4 and 5 in the following PDF

http://www.loraincounty.com/lorain/agendas/2008/December_4_2008_packet.pdf

Looks like somebody didn’t do due diligence and the paperwork to file exemptions on these properties belonging to Direct Action of Central Lorain.
No exemptions – no taxes …. Oh Lorain all that money and what do we have to show for it?

Ironically, Patrick Metzger who used to be the Director of South Lorain CDC , now in charge of

“The county’s Land Reutilization Corp. — most refer to it as the land bank — was incorporated in May 2012 as a way to deal with structures in need of demolition, identify tax-delinquent properties and redevelop those properties to restore them to their “tax-paying, useful life,” says Patrick Metzger, assistant director of the land bank and director of the Lorain County Port Authority, which is its administrative agent.

will be taking down his old headquarters as 2835 Pearl Ave,( which also owed back taxes. The old South Lorain CDC offices is now owned by LORAIN COUNTY LAND REUTILIZATION CORPORATION and owed
Unpaid Taxes: $39,355.90
Full Year Tax(includes any unpaid taxes & special assessments): $43,396.95
Total Taxes Paid to Date: $0.00 (once again according to the Auditors website.)

Guess South Lorain CDC didn’t file for an exemption either with the Lorain County Auditor and now it has been taken for TAXES???? among other issues I am sure!

My head is beginning to ache BUT good news is Charleston Village Society gets a PASS– We succeeded in our paperwork and managing to stay “profitable ” for the past 22 years we have been a non-profit without a paid Director, without grants and without relying on the previous Community Development Dept.

We have been transparent in all our dealings and reports – we didn’t fudge numbers and we didn’t and haven’t budgeted on “projected income” and when we spent money , every dollar went toward the designated project. We may not have much but we still have it and our records with the IRS are up to date.
PassFail-Small

June 30, 2015 at 6:23 pm 5 comments

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