Saturday, July 31, 2010

"A Canning We Will Go"

I have been having SO much fun canning pickles over the past couple of weekends.  So far, I've made 2 dozen jars of Spicy Garlic Dill Pickles.  I had never canned pickles before, so I scoured the Internet to find a recipe that sounded good - Oh, and EASY too!  I think I found a great one.  Those that have tasted the pickles have said they are really good - and they think I'm fibbing when I say this was my first time making pickles.  It's been fun!
Because the pickle making has gone so well I decided to look at recipes for other things as well.  I found a yummy sounding recipe for Peach Almond Jam.  So, this morning I bought some peaches and made it.  I can't even describe how delicious this jam is.  Wonderfully sweet peaches combined with almond extract.  Summer in a jar!

Next weekend my friend Kathy and I are going to try spicy pickled green beans!  I'll let you know how they turn out!

Friday, July 30, 2010

Things That Make You Go Hmmm...

You would think at this stage of my life I wouldn’t be surprised by the things that people do. Yet, I’m still amazed!

I wonder how so many people don’t think about how their words and actions will affect others. I try to make sure that I don’t intentionally hurt those around me. In fact, I often fret over whether or not something that I’ve said or done may have hurt or upset someone. That's right... I actually THINK about conversations that I’ve had and replay them to be sure I’ve not offended. Yet, I don’t seem to be afforded the same kindness.

I know that people don’t usually set out to hurt me… but the result is the same, nonetheless. Just needed to rant… Thanks for listening.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

I Was So Happy

on Sunday night.  The series "Mad Men" returned for the fourth season. 
image from
We abolutely LOVE this show!  Extremely well written and the actors do a fine job portraying their characters.  We will be looking forward to Sunday nights on AMC at 10pm.

If you aren't already hooked on this show, put the first few seasons on your "Netflix" list!  It's great! 

Sunday, July 25, 2010

My Godparents - Sentimental Sunday No. 49

My Godparents, Orie & Ginger, were my parent’s very best friends. Today would have been Ginger’s birthday. I miss the fun times we had and all of the celebrations we enjoyed.

Dad and Orie worked together at MGM, and later at Walt Disney Studios. I’ve written about my Mom and Ginger in a previous Sentimental Sunday, as well as Orie. You can read those posts here, here and here. They were hilarious together. Not a day went by that they didn’t speak, even on vacation… because we went on vacation together. Usually we went to Las Vegas – but a couple of times we went to San Diego. It didn’t matter where we were – as long as we were all together.

Ginger spent hours with me telling me stories, watching old movies, and working with me on my ballet.  Orie talked to me about gardening and taught me how to make fried green tomatoes and zucchini and pizzelles.  He gave me an appreciation of the most excellent italian food and meats and cheeses, and his sister's taught me to make some of their family italian recipes.  Those were fantastic times full of love and learning and the simple fact that they all spent that time with me made me know how much I was loved.

I was a lucky girl. I had the best parents ever – along with the best Godparents. I love all of them still – even though they’ve all gone on to that vacation in the sky without me. I know that when my time comes they will all be there waiting for me, and we will once again laugh and celebrate together.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Love Letters - Sentimental Sunday No. 48

Another special gem that we found when cleaning out the garage was a love note that my Grandpa Porter wrote to my Grandma Julia about one month before they were married. At 26 years old, he was 10 years older than she when they married.

While not as full of heartfelt emotion as the letters my Dad wrote to my Mom, it is beautiful and simple in the sentiment of how much he loved her.

The photo above is obviously a few years later, after the arrival of their only child, my Dad.
November 9, 1918

My Dearest Julia:

I received your always welcome letter. As for my love toward you, it is as strong as a heart could make it. It is all for you as there is no other who could fill your place. In my estimation it is a true love that never grows cold.

I remain yours until death parts.

With love and kisses,
Finding this letter was bittersweet, as they divorced in 1941. I always thought they didn’t like each other very much. But, the fact that my Grandmother saved this letter all those years probably indicates that she fondly remembered that time, early in their relationship, when they were very much in love.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Live Aid Anniversary

This week marked the 25th anniversary of Live Aid.  What a spectacular world event it was all those twenty five years ago.  It was a wonderful day of music and fellowship, but more importantly a day for the world to become more aware of the tragedy happening in Africa.  Unfortunately, things are still not perfect on the beautiful continent.

image from 

Sir Bob Geldof was the primary organizer for Live Aid.  He continues to work for aid in Africa and stopping poverty around the world.  I think he's a pretty incredible man, and I'm in awe of him and his humanitarian efforts.

Richard and I are remembering Live Aid by watching our DVD set of the day.  So many fun performances and really great music.  And, some of the things we laugh at because they are "just SO 80's"!  All in all the day holds happy memories for us and we're enjoying reliving some of them this weekend.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Love Letters From Sea - Sentimental Sunday No. 47

Here is another letter written to my Mom by my Dad while he was in the Navy. This letter was postmarked December 1, 1941. Just six days later Pearl Harbor will be bombed. The letters to this point look normal with normal postmarks. Letters after that date will bear the seal of the Navy Censors.

30 November 1941
Bremerton, Washington

My Darling Beloved Wife:

I wrote you a special delivery air mail letter yesterday so that you would know that I’m still alive. I sent it ashore with a guy that got paid off and I hope he mailed it before he gets back to Chicago. I went in to Bremerton last night and I bought you another Christmas present. It’s something you once told me you wanted, but I don’t think you’ll guess what it is. It’s large, but not heavy, and looks almost real but isn’t. I could tell you what it is, but won’t; not until Christmas. But what I will tell you is that I love you so very very much and would give anything to be able to hold you in my arms.

I went to a show and saw Honky Tonk and when she ran her fingers through Clark Gables hair and kissed him I got so homesick for you, I almost died. Then I had a hamburger and a cup of coffee and came back to the ship in time to hold 6pm sick call, some speed! I had to look in every store in Bremerton to get you that present and only one had it and I got their last one.

We’re going up North again and then come straight home, (I hope). Honey, I’m so sick of the Navy, and being away from you makes me feel like running away. If I weren’t a short timer, I would. I’m patriotic. I’ve fought for liberty for 3 years, in fact, and I even got leave a couple of times. (puny pun) There hasn’t been anything new going on and the ship is so dead it looks like a tomb. The Chief went over again last night and he hasn’t come back yet. Boy, he’s sure a two timing old turd. I hope he stays over.

What’s new at the rancho, Sweetheart, and how is my darling wife getting along? When you’re not busy tell her that her husband adores her and is terribly in love with her and is awfully anxious to be home with the little redheaded angel. I love you darling. Every time my heart beats it beats twice as hard because your heart is my heart so I have twice as much love for you. I feel like a shadow darling. I feel as if I left myself behind when I had to leave you. I’ve never felt like this before in my life, at least not until I met you. And, for myself I think love’s grand and being married to you is the most wonderful thing in the world. I love you darling, I love you, I love you, and if they don’t get me back to you by Christmas I’m going to want to punch somebody in the snot locker.

Well my darling, adorable, beloved, loving little angel, Mrs. John A Porter, I’ll have to close now. This will be the last letter I will be able to write before I see you (20th). Bye darling and please take care of yourself. I love you angel. I adore you.

Your loving and adoring husband,
He was able to see her at Christmas time, because there are letters dated in January indicating that they had spent time together.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Ya Ya 10th Anniversary

July 2000 was the first meeting of the Ya Ya's.  We've been going strong for 10 years now!  On Wednesday night we celebrated our anniversary by "allowing" the "men folk" to join us for some Ya Ya fun. 

We played The Newlywed Game and the guys had a little game of their own to play ~ Ya Ya Trivia.  Brenda, our hostess, created that game to see how well the husbands listen to us when we come home after a Ya Ya night.  Charles & Todd "cleaned up" on that one!

Our wonderful hostess & host ~ Brenda & Todd

Adrienne & Joe

Kathy & Charles

Larry & Laura

Richard & Me

Unfortunately, Jamie & Jake were not able to join us.  (Sad face)  Jamie had to work.  We missed them both, tremendously.

Brenda's husband Todd commented that now he understood what she meant when she would come home and say "My cheeks and sides hurt from laughing so much!"  We all had a super fun time.  Thank you Todd for putting up with all of us "crazy ladies" in your home - and thank you to all of our husbands for being good sports about the evening and playing along with the games.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Independence Day

We had a super fun 4th of July, filled with good friends, tasty food and fun fireworks.  It was a great day!
Rob, Dodi & Scott


John & Alyssa ~ Hey!  He is taller than she is now!

Richard bringing over some chairs for us to sit during our "show".

Dodi, Sunny & Alyssa.  Poor Sunny was really NOT digging all the booming sounds in the neighborhood, or the flashes in the sky.

Dodi & Kerry

We ended the evening with this delicious "Patriotic Cheesecake" made by Dodi.  It was SO good!

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Love Letters from Sea - Sentimental Sunday No. 46

Mom and Dad were married September 13, 1941. This is the first letter I have that was written after they were married.
October 5, 1941

My Darling Wife,

I have been thinking about you hour after hour, and missing you more and more with the passing of each lonely minute. It seems as though the minutes are hours and the hours are one year. Oh darling, I miss you so. I feel as if I just can’t last another day until I see you, although I get a little comfort in just sitting here and thinking of you, but again I begin to miss you so much more.

You know sweetheart, I feel sorry for some of these fellows on here, not being able to love their wives as much as I love you. After all, you’re my greatest happiness and you’re all I’ve ever wanted and just having you to love and adore is happiness enough to overcome all other hardships of not being able to be with you all of the time. It won’t be like this in exactly 11 months and 29 days. That’s when I get paid off and then I can be with you all of the time.

My darling, I love you so very much. If only they would pay me off now I’d be so pleased that I’d probably say I liked the Navy. But, as long as I have to stay in I’m going to do my work and keep my nose clean.

If you miss me darling, as much as I miss you, then I know you must feel awfully empty and lost. I feel as if I’m alone in the world when I’m not with you. You’ve even become a part of me. You have my heart and soul. In other words, I am a zombie when away from you. I feel like I’m dead and I know I act it.

Well my darling, I must close and go eat chow, or else I won’t get any, so I’ll say bye now and I love you with all of my heart and soul. I love you. I love you.

Your loving and adoring husband,

I love you.
I love you.
I adore you darling.
So sad that he thought he would be out of the Navy by October 1942. (He had enlisted in the summer of 1937 when he was only 17 years old) Of course, we now know that Pearl Harbor was only 2 months away from this letter.

Dad stayed in the Navy until 1944 when he was honorably discharged due to critical injuries sustained in an auto accident while transporting a patient from Long Beach to San Diego.
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