Friday, January 30, 2009

Jobs & Titles

I was thinking of all the different jobs I have had in my life and thought I might compose a list.
Change maker in the arcade at the Nevada Lodge (I was kindof babysitting there also)
Maid at a motel in Crystal Bay (I got fired before I received my first paycheck)
A cheese server at the Alpen Pantry (San Jose)
Clean & prepare dinner for Mr. Robertson 2x a week (San Jose)
Various cleaning jobs (San Jose)
Waitress @ Nevada Lodge (pre and post Chet)
Keno writer @ Nevada Lodge (pre and post Jessica)
Pillow sham maker (Tahoe City and Lake Shastina)
Home maker, mother, wife
Homeschool teacher
Piano/flute teacher (current)
Various cleaning jobs (current)
Photographer (future)

It's funny how we let ourselves become defined by our 'job.' I'd rather tell someone that I teach music than that I clean houses.
But really, we are who we are no matter what job we happen to be doing.
When we are getting to know another person, asking what they 'do' gives us a starting point in learning about them... What if, when you met someone new you chose to never ask them 'what they do' and decided to just get to know the person without any accompanying titles?

Sunday, June 3, 2007


Once when I was about 5, I decided that no one appreciated me so I was going to run away from home. I packed up all my money, which was some change that I put into a little coin purse, said good-bye to my poodle Pepe and slipped out of the back yard gate. I walked all the way around the block and started having second thoughts about being on my own. I crept back in the gate went back into the house and found out no one had even missed me. I never told anyone either.

April and Cheryl liked to put on little shows for the family. I recall one show where Cheryl was a bumbling magician (on purpose) the things she hid up her sleeve for her stunts would fall out, she'd drop things, etc. I thought it was hilarious.
My sisters made me dress up as a little Indian girl. I was to sing and dance. They made me a costume out of newspaper. When my big moment came, I stepped out in my costume and began my act as they had rehearsed me to do. All of a sudden my outfit fell off. I was embarrassed.

We lived in a neighborhood where every one's backyard was surrounded by tall fences. If you peeked between the redwood slates, you could see into at least 3 other backyards. Dad was quite the gardener. He had mums, roses and other flowers planted out back. I remember helping to water them. One hot day, my sisters saw that I could make a 'fan' out of newspaper. Boy did they flatter me about my skill. Pretty soon I had made two fans, one for each of them. Before I knew it they had me fanning them both while they were sun bathing!

Saturday, June 2, 2007

Friday, June 1, 2007

Early Memories

Reno (when Dad was raising me alone)
My earliest memory is walking up a big hill on my way home, holding my dad's hand. We were returning from the grocery store, in Reno. One day I shared this memory with dad, he laughed quite a bit at what I called a "big hill." I guess he didn't think it was so big. I was probably 3.
There was a black woman who babysat me for a while. I remember yelling at her that 'she wasn't my mother.' I don't remember anything else about her... except she was rather large.
One time while we were living at the same house, I got in trouble for leaving while my sister April was babysitting me or at least responsible for me. I really don't remember where I left from or where I was going to beyond the fact that I was looking for a bathroom in a hurry!

Random memories from Sparks, Nevada
(I know we lived here by the time I was 5 years old with my Dad's new wife Marie)

My address: 14 East O Street
My phone# 358-7993
Amazing how you can remember certain things!

I loved my baby dolls! I loved counting them and washing their hair and putting pink foam curlers in their hair. One brunette doll that I had was the main recipient of my little girl hair salon. I would keep her in curlers for a long, long time (like an hour- I remember watching the clock) and her hair would not keep the curl!
I also would wash their clothes and when they were dry I would iron them. I had this little ironing board and iron. The iron would plug into the outlet but it barely put out any heat.
One time my real mom sent me some doll clothes for my birthday. I especially remember a pair of leopard spotted straight legged pants. Right after I received those doll clothes, I took all my dolls out to the front yard and set them up under the weeping willow tree (that was my tree! I always think of it when I see a weeping willow. It was kind of like a play house to me when the branches hung down long.) I proceeded to play house with them for a long time.
At some point I became aware of these teeny tiny red bugs crawling on me. They were so little that I had to stare to see them. I was mesmerized by them, even started talking to them. "Hello little bug, does your family live in this tree?" When I went inside with them all on my arms, my step mom made me stay inside.
I played with Barbie dolls too, when I was a little older. I had a shiny black case for them and all their clothes (have you seen the movie Crazy in Alabama? Do you remember the hat box she carries around? That's what my barbie case looked like.) The only outfit I remember was a drum majorette costume. In those days Barbie's legs were stiff and her eyelashes were not made of real hair, she also wore alot of eyeliner.
I loved to play alone... then again I didn't really have anyone to play with. I certainly didn't pine for anyone at any rate. I had a pink metal kitchen set that I loved! I found a Christmas picture of it recently. I would fill my little sink with water and do dishes. At Easter & Valentine I would take all my candy and put it in the fridge on it's shiny metal shelves. Then I would take a bite of each piece... if I liked it I'd eat it, if not I'd put it back in the fridge partially eaten. After a couple of days my fridge would be full of half eaten candy with little baby teeth marks in them. (Jessica gave me some candy the other day and I still do the same thing, except for the putting them back in the fridge part.)
I tended to get so involved in playing alone that I would wait until the last possible moment to go to the bathroom. Big mistake. To avoid getting in trouble I would toss the soiled articules in an obscure corner of the room. Another big mistake. I didn't avoid trouble very well.
The only other play that I liked to do alot involved singing, dancing and little 45 records. I had a couple of favorites that I would play all the time... in the privacy of my room.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Story tellers in my family

Who are the storytellers in my life?

In my family my dad liked to tell stories. They weren't stories of aunts & uncles, they were stories of criminal activity in the casinos... the Purple Gang, Frank Sinatra, Fitzgerald.

Fitzgerald owned a casino called the Nevada Club in downtown Reno. I think Dad met my step-mom Marie there. Fitz also owned the Nevada Lodge in Crystal Bay (Tahoe). I met my husband while I was working as a waitress @ the N.L.

Dad told how someone (from the Purple Gang maybe?) shot F. and he spent the rest of his life in a wheelchair. He had his own personal elevator in the Nevada Club that no one else ever rode. I vaguely remember F's wife. After he died, she would come to the N.L. during the time I worked there.

The other stories I remember my dad talking about usually involved a farm he grew up on in Oregon. He would talk fondly of his father. Grandpa was gentle and quiet. He died of emphasema when I was 4 or 5.

My step-mother would tell me interesting stories of her childhood. She was the youngest of 8 (I think) kids raised on a sugar cane farm in Hilo, Hawaii. Her stories involved siblings-both good and bad; playing on the farm; and a previous marriage & miscarriage.

My mom is a pretty good story teller. I've only heard her stories for the past 15 years or so since I didn't grow up with her. I'm not in many of her stories since I wasn't there.