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Sunday, October 19, 2014

Monday Memories: My First School


My first school was Clayton Valley Elementary in Concord California

I attended school there from Kindergarten through 6th grade beginning in 1955
The principal's name was Mr. Gas the first 6 years.  
Later when I was in the 6th grade we had a new principal, Mr. Martin.  
Neither was feared by me. 

Here is a view of the front of the school  that I have taken from the web
It is no longer a public school, its now a private school and it looks nearly the same.


I can well remember raising the flag here as part of the Safety Patrol team.  In back to the left the large building was our Auditorium and lunch room.  It was called the Multi-Use room.  We also had indoor gym and I remember learning folk dancing inside those four walls.  At the far end from your view here, inside there was a stage with a dark velvet curtain.  The tables for lunch were folded into the wall and brought down every day.  The Janitor had a large key to unlock it and then pull it out where it made two tables.with attached benches.  



Below  these are the classrooms just off the right of the photo above.  They were the kindergarten rooms.  This is the view from the back side of the classroom where there was an enclosed playground dedicated to this class alone.  
It was bright inside with all the windows.  

My teacher in 1955 was Mrs. Logston
She was older and had gray hair.  I liked her but don't remember interacting much.  We were mostly herded as a group. There were several helpers every day, probably mothers.  


It was purely a play time, there were no lessons

  I remember the day was a morning session only.  We had to take a nap in the middle of the morning for a brief time and we stored our towel/mat in wooden built in cubbies. Each cubby had a picture and our name was below the opening.  We stored our mat and sweater or coats in them and papers to take home.

There were tall wooden easels for painting with a tray in front to hold pots of poster paint that was mixed from powder.  Large brushes were used and huge sheets of paper were tacked up.on the board.  We didn't paint often enough, it was my favorite activity.  Each easel was free standing and build like an A frame.  Children painted from both sides.  

Long short tables and chairs were arranged in a U pattern on one side of the classroom.  We played with clay some days and I remember doing finger painting at the table.  A starch was poured on paper and drips of color added by the teacher.  Our clothing was protected by wearing a backwards men's shirt. 

At the tables every day most of the children had graham crackers for a snack.  Some children brought in money for milk with the crackers and they were seated separately at a round table.  There were very few at the table.  Most children only had the graham crackers. 




These were the classrooms for the older grades.,  Notice that the whole wall was windows.  The classrooms were very light.  This was the back of the building.  They were all connected by a network of covered hallways 


Here you can see the covered hall on the left side and  window side on the right./  There were no fences like you see here when I went to school.  


Here is a photo of the covered hallways.  In California the weather was mild so it was only rain we had to contend with .  I remember walking up to the school after hours or on Saturday or during the day in summer and roller skating on the smooth walkways.  



 This picture clearly shows the pipes that held up the ceiling and the horizontal pipe that kept us off the lawns back in my day (these are pictures off the web and I have no idea who these people are)

The horizontal pipe is important as we often sat on them, walked on them and laid across them on our tummies and did little forward rolls.  All illegal of course.  But the school grounds were open so they were available to us to play at during the summer and before and after school.  

Here you can see how light the classrooms were.  The ceilings were high and green blackboards lined the front wall and the wall to the right where the door way was out to the open covered walkway 






Another shot below of the outside windows.  You can see how high the ceilings were!


I have found all these photos online on the Facebook of the private school.  It's amazing how well built it was, it was almost 60 years ago that I first went to school there and it wasn't a new school.  


Read here on Memory Monday about other people who wrote about their first school




Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Early Memory

 I have been invited to join a brand new blog party called 

Memory Monday


This is right up my alley!  I hope to contribute often.

The first assignment was "What was your first memory?"


This was not my first memory, but it reminded me of my first memory which was attending a birthday party somewhere.  There were a lot of balloons, decorations and a long table with chairsfull of children.  I was about two.  I have a photo and have often wondered if I remember because of the photo or not.  

If I am only remembering the photo, I must choose a memory where there is not a photo.   I must choose it from the house we lived in but since I was unaware of age, my memory could have been anywhere from ages  two to four.  I have lots of memories of that residence.

I can remember eating an openfaced mustard sandwich sitting in the open glass sliding doorway feeling the sun on my face.  I loved bread and mustard!

I remember not wanting to take a nap and happily looking at picture books in my bed and another time jumping on the bed.

I remember riding double on my sisters bike (I'm sure that was forbidden) and that would be closer to age 4 as she was two years older.


As for the photo above, it was a shock to see it as I have no memory of ever seeing it before.  That is my mother in the doorway, my uncle behind her, acting up for the camera, my three sisters and my cousin sitting at the table at my grandparents home in Oakland.

It's a party, I see streamers and part of a cake with candles.  I don't know whose party, the cake is in front of Patty and an empty chair but as her birthday is Christmas Eve there are no decorations for Christmas up, so it cannot be hers.  Two cousins are missing, Susie and Terri. Terri also had a Dec birthday the same as my mothers, Dec 15, but the house still would have had Christmas decorations up.  So my guess is the the missing cousin SUSIE should be seated in the empty chair next to Patty in front of the cake.  I should have been a detective!

   I remember so many items in the room, but that ceramic doll on the table was interesting because it was a napkin holder.  I loved it.  The napkins made her skirt!  I well remember the oriental print on the wall and, peeking into the kitchen, I remember those really nice padded striped kitchen chairs.

I just discovered the photo and was planning to save it on Ancestry dot com where I've been doing a lot of research, but now I'll have it here.

I'm right in the front, by the way!  Karan is two years older, Janet 4 years younger.  Across the table from me is Patty a year and a half younger than me.  My cousin Jackie who is near Karan's age. I'm going to date this photo about 1959-60.






Monday, September 29, 2014

Beautiful Florida


Sometimes I just need to share a particularly glorious fall sunset.  There is lot's of pink in this one! 




This was a few days ago
 Bill and I sat
out in a gazebo
and just enjoyed the colors against the silhouette of the tree.

Linked to:
Pink Saturday


Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Beachy Sunset


There is nothing like a beautiful sunset.  It's especially nice when you are on a date!  



This last hospital stay we almost lost my husband.  He had begun bleeding out of an artery and had lost so much blood he almost died.  His blood was too thin from his blood thinner they couldn't do surgery right away.  They gave him unit after unit of blood all day and night until 3 am the next morning.  They went in and coiled off part of his kidney.  If he hadn't stopped bleeding, they were going to take the entire kidney.  

The recovery was very slow and after two weeks in the hospital he had barely recovered enough to walk.  They sent him home too early.

He developed so much fluid in his legs that on his followup doctor visit two days later, his doctor sent him to rehab.  

Bill was in the rehab center for a week because he had so much fluid on his legs and feet.  He also need physical therapy to relearn how to use his legs and being able to move well on his own.  He worked hard and improved his walking and was able to easily rise from a sitting position and strengthen his arms.


We discovered after a week in rehab, if you can walk, you can go out for a bit with someone responsible.  Rehab is not like a regular hospital stay.  Upon learning that, I whisked him off and we went home for the afternoon and he got to watch the Bucks play football and then we went off to the beach to see the sunset.


 We had a light supper afterwards at Dennys where they serve breakfast 24/7.  
It was lovely.  He came home just yesterday, discharged completely.  I hope he can stay home for awhile.  

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Where the Red, Red Roses Grow


My mother sang this song to me when I was growing up.  I can remember  her coming in and sitting on the bed if I was restless and singing this song.  It was only later when I began singing it to my children that I wondered about it.  I found out it was a song her mother sang to her.

When my grandmother was dying we gathered around her hospital bed and visited and chatted.  She had pneumonia but was in good spirits.  We talked about many things.  Questions were answered and one that I asked her, if she remembered this song.  I had made up a line for it because I didn't remember it exactly.

She remembered it word for word.  She was 90 years old, the day before she died and she sang it to all of us for the last time.

There is only one recording of it on Youtube.



The song was published in 1926
just two years before my mother was born.  She was the last baby in the family
so I wish I had asked about other "lullabies"  that she sang.  

Here is the link

Sunday, August 10, 2014

A Little Landscaping Music Please!



It's summer so landscaping is the usual order of things..except in Florida! 

I really only intended to have the kid from around the corner come over and weed this area.

We had purchased landscaping fabric to cover it up but hadn't decided on what to put over it, Mr. Me was wanting rock and I was wanting mulch made from cut up tires.  Both were pretty expensive.

So I hired the kid to come and weed before I had some guests overnight but he never showed up.  Ten days later, yesterday he knocked on the door.  As I was describing what needed weeded I asked him if he wanted to lay landscaping fabric and pour mulch over it.  He was fine with that and said he would give it a go.  We settled on a price and I went off to buy mulch.  



Normally I would have purchased plants first but needs must and I had the kid here working so I 
decided that the plants could be placed later.  Lets just get it started. 




For someone who was only 18 I think he did a great job and two thirds less than the price I was quoted
by two neighbor men who do odd jobs.  

As it was I gave him extra and he did the work for $20.00 an hour.  



He even placed everything back where he liked it and picked up all his trash 
and swept the area clean.



So it's a bit sparse until I decide on plants.  Unfortunately in his haste to finish he covered up about six of my fledgling plants I had been babying along, including my Easter Lily bulbs that have bloomed twice now. 
I had pointed them out but it was at the beginning of the job and I wasn't 
supervising since he was doing so well. 


The mulch is GOLD much not the red mulch  since our stones are goldish on the front of the house.  

It's much prettier in person.  



He moved my little stepping stones to a more practical spot. I think I will put a path way here.  Its right in front of the doorway.  

He was every bit as proud of the job as I was!  He took before and after pictures and was planning to put them on his facebook!  

I forgot to take the before pictures. (wink wink) the "before" looked pretty overgrown and ugly.  

Happily the rain finally arrived today, soaking the lawn that is growing on a pure sandbar...and it will green up nicely before my next set of guests arrive! 


This is what it looked like on Google a few months before we bought it.  



Sharing with

Saturday, August 2, 2014

By the Sea Summer Mantle



 We live by the sea


It's about time for a change of scenery in our living room.  With all the heat and occupation with other issues this summer the winter cowboy scene was looking pretty tired.

With company on it's way I got busy 
and 
spruced it up and summerfied it! 


Again my grandfathers oil painting is the feature to bring light and color to the dark rocks.
I had a sea motif last summer with my mermaids and Grandpa Selleck's painting
 but with different items.


My mermaids are now surrounded with starfish and shells this time.



The bubble candle holders are back

 Mermaids are swimming into the painting 

And swimming out.


The Mosaic I picked up in North Carolina last winter was specifically purchased  for this and rests next to the pylon

It reads:   The sea appears golden against the sun-lit sky


I love seeing his signature on the painting.  My Gandpa Selleck was very special to me.
The painting was given to my parents for Christmas in 1957


Linked to

Twirl and Take a Bow
Ivy and Elephants