Monday, September 07, 2009


Our stories matter... Your stories matter… For you never know how much of a difference they make and to whom.
Caroline Joy Adams

My dad was a great story teller. I loved sitting at the table listening to him recall memories of his youth. There was the time that his dad brought him a pet baby alligator. It didn't move all day. When my grandfather came home, he asked where the alligator was. My dad, thinking it was dead, had buried it. My grandfather explained to him that it was just hibernating. Well, when my dad dug it up, it was definitely dead.

My dad grew up during the Great Depression in Capone's Chicago. His stories ranged from raising chickens, helping family, to a stolen truckload of candy that somehow wound up in the garage - I think they were Baby Ruths. Let's say my grandfather might have been a little shady. His stories included World War II, where he served as a tail gunner in the Army's Air Corp. Having been stationed in Africa, when he was returning to the States, he tried to bring 2 monkeys home for my cousins, but he got stopped.  He saw Mussolini and his mistress hanging.  The Army fed them steak before each mission.

I could sit there for hours listening to his stories. He has been gone for twenty six years this Labor Day. Only 3 out of 13 grandchildren were born at the time. We were all still so young. I had just graduated college, and I was the middle child. I miss the storytelling.

Storytelling seems to be becoming a lost art. Everyone is so busy, running from here to there, with so much on their plate that we forget to tell the stories. Stories of where we came from, stories of lessons learned, stories to be proud of whom we are. I am trying to continue the storytelling - telling my dad's stories to my nieces and nephews, so that they will have a glimpse of this wonderful man. I also know that for the storytelling to continue, I need to add my story, the story of growing up in my family. Like when my brother and sister thought it would be fun to use the laundry shoot as a slide, why we called my sister chimp, or how every night my dad would yell upstairs "Wake up Judy and tell her to go to sleep." She always fell asleep on top of the bed with her clothes on. Her kids say she still does it.

What stories are you passing on? What stories do you have to tell? Share them!

Money Savings Tip

Here are some cheap stain removers from stuff you have laying around the house. Always test the stain removal product in a hidden area first to make sure it does not damage fabric in any way (bleach, fade, etc.).

  • Ink - Hairspray - Put piece of paper towel behind fabric.  Spray spot with hairspray until saturated.  Blot with paper towel. Launder as usual, but check to make sure stain is gone before you dry. If it isn’t, repeat above steps until stain is gone.
  • Gum – Freezer – Put the clothing in the freezer for about 6 hours. Chip off the gum from the clothing. If any gum remains, use vinegar and a toothbrush and scrub off remaining gum. Launder as usual.
  • Rust – Rhubarb – Cut rhubarb stalks in one inch pieces, put in water and bring to boil. Let stand for 15 minutes. Take rust stain clothing and let it soak in solution for 1-24 hours depending on stain. OR Lemon Juice and Salt – Keep in mind this method can bleach the clothing. Sprinkle stain with salt, then squeeze lemon juice over stain. Spread the garment in the sun to dry.
I’d love to hear your cheap stain removers. Please post any that you may have to share.

Aunt Janet's Famous Sayings

I picked up a saying from my dad.  When we were young and slightly misbehaving, he would say stop it, cut it out, behave yourself, or whatever was appropriate "Or I'll put my nose between your teeth and I won't let go."  It would always make us stop what we were doing, think about what he said, and tell him that it doesn't make sense.  Smart man - he got the results he wanted.

You have something to share,
Aunt Janet


  1. My dad doesn't tell stories, he lectures most of the time. And here I wish I could remember more of my past so that I can share with my boy. Growing old and losing brain cells. LOL.

    Would love to hear more of your growing up years.
    It's what shapes you. Cheers

  2. So many uses for rhubarb. Great tips!

  3. Everyone - I found out that Elizabeth is an expert on rhubarb! Check out her site at

  4. Thanks Gaia! How come it seems like my dad's stories were more interesting than mine? But I guess I do have some interesting ones. Like the time I was at our recreation park (like a forest preserve), and I couldn't turn around in the road because it was too narrow. My brother turned it around for me, but forgot to put it in park. If I didn't jump in the car and slam on the brakes, the car would have gone in the lake. hehe I'm so happy I hit the brakes and not the gas.

  5. It was Blessings from Heaven at that moment in time. Cheerio


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