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Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Nostalgic November - 2015

November 17 - The games we play.

The hubs and I watched Pixel the other night.  It is not an academy award winner in my eyes but it was kind of cute.  It did, however, bring back some memories of games we used to play.  Donkey Kong and Pac Man weren't my specialty but I did play a mean Burger Time.

I was really thinking more of the games I played as a child.  We did not have video games or arcade games and most of the games I played I used my imagination.

This is me (yes, I am sucking my thumb), age 4.  I am laying on the floor in our living room surrounded by my dolls.  I am exhausted after playing a game I called Orphanage.  I used to take all my dolls and put them in the closet by our front door.  I would pretend I was a nun in an orphanage and I would knock on the door and then open it, pick up one of the dolls and say, "Look what someone left on our doorstep!"  I would take the doll, dress it and pretend to feed it and then put it down for a nap.  While that "orphan" was sleeping, I'd do the whole thing again with another doll.  That game would take hours.

I also played Library with all of our books.  I'd pretend to check out the books and then put them back on the shelves again.

One of my favorite games was bakery shop.  I would take my parent's poker chips and spread them out on the kitchen table and then get empty salt and pepper shakers and pretend they were filled with different kinds of sprinkles.  No calories there!

I certainly don't feel like I was deprived as a child and I have some pretty fond memories of those days.  How about you?  Any favorite games from your childhood?

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Nostalgic November - 2015

November 5 - I'm not sure I taught my children how to fold fitted sheets.

I was folding some sheets after I washed them tonight and it brought me back to a time when I was a child living at home and watching my mom fold sheets.  I can see the kitchen so clearly, after all it was a house I lived in for 20 years.  I remember my mother taking out the ironing board and standing it in the kitchen and then plugging in the iron.  I asked her why she ironed them and she said it was because my dad liked crisp sheets.  After they were ironed she would take the fitted sheet and almost like magic she would tuck the ends in, fold the flap down and end up with an almost square sheet.  The top sheet was easier of course since the edges are all straight.  Once folded she would stack them in the closet, which was organized with all the sheets and towels neatly on the shelves.

I, on the other hand, have an iron and an ironing board but probably the last time I touched them was when we moved, 19 years ago.  Well, maybe not that long but I don't iron as a rule, and I certainly don't iron sheets.  I do fold the fitted sheet and the top sheet and put them and the matching pillow cases all inside one of the pillowcases to make a package of sheets.  I've tried to keep the closet neat but I kind of lost the battle on that front.  It's on my list of things to do now that all the kids are out on their own.

But that brings me back to the folding of the sheets.  Have I been a bad mother?  Have I neglected an important part of their upbringing?  Will they be able to make it through life without knowing how to fold a fitted sheet?  I suppose if it is really important, they can Google it, although I just did and the video I looked at is not at all the way my mom showed me.

Maybe it's not really the folding of the sheets that I am thinking about.  Maybe I'm just afraid that my kids won't have fond memories of me doing things from when they were little like the ones that I have of my mom.  It seems to me that I was always too busy working, trying to be super mom and I didn't slow down to take the time to teach them the fundamentals.  I just did it all myself because it was quicker, easier that way.

Maybe times have changed and it's not so important for the sheets to be folded a certain way.  Maybe they will not need that particular skill.  Maybe they do have memories from their childhood and I just don't know them.  I don't know if I've ever told my mom about watching her fold sheets.  Maybe I should.   

Monday, November 2, 2015

Nostalgic November - 2015

November 2 - Yesterday you met the Restani side of the family.  That was my mother's side.  Today I'll share the little I have about the Stagnaro family, my father's side.  I guess because he was a male, they did not think he needed any family pictures?  I am not sure who has them all, if there even are any.  I know I have only been able to gather a few.  

The couple on the left are my father's parents on their wedding day.  They had 5 children, two boys and three girls.  I am not sure who the other couple is.  I do think that my dad looks like my grandfather.  I am sorry that I never met either one of them.  They passed away long before I was born.

Giacomo and Natalia Stagnaro

Great grandparents

Aunt Elizabeth on the left
Aunt Hilda and Uncle Al are the
bride and groom

Aunt Irene and Uncle Lloyd

My aunts and uncles on my dad's side are a little less familiar to me than my mom's brother's and sisters, although I do have some memories of them.

I remember going to visit Aunt Elizabeth in San Francisco.  That was a big thing once we moved to San Bruno.  We hardly ever went to the city!

Aunt Irene and Uncle Lloyd lived in San Mateo.  He owned a chocolate company (Boldeman's Chocolate) and we used to get boxes of "pokies" when we went to visit them.  Pokies were like M & M's.  Once upon a time they sold "pokies" at the candy counter in Sears.

Uncle Richie

My Uncle Richie used to come and visit us all the time.  I think he looked like Marlon Brando in the Godfather.  

BBQ at Aunt Hilda's

Aunt Hilda lived in Mountain View and had lots of fruit trees.  We used to go there for BBQ's with the family and would come home with bags of fruit.  

My dad was the best.  He was so proud of his plants that he had growing all over the garden.  I miss him a lot.    

That's the family.  I am trying to document as much as I can and gather as many pictures as I can so that our kids will have some idea about their family history.  We'll see where this Nostalgic November takes us!  

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Nostalgic November - 2015

November 1 - Nostalgia:  A sentimental longing or wistful affection for the past, typically for a period or place with happy personal associations; and: Pleasure and sadness that is caused by remembering something from the past and wishing you could experience it again.

That's the theme I'm going with for this November blog set.  Interesting, one of the groups I participate in on and off has "Ancestors" as it's first prompt for November.

Here are a few of mine:

Gramma with Auntie Annie, Mom,
Auntie Alvina, Uncle Ray and Uncle Bob

The picture is poor but this is my grandmother, Bertha, with her five children.  My mom is one of the babies on her lap (she is a twin).

When the kids were older and started families of their own, they would gather at my grandparent's house on Sundays. My uncle, Johnny, is missing from this picture.  Either he and my Auntie Annie weren't married yet or he was away in the service.

Grandpa and Gramma with the first set of grandkids.  There would be a total of 13!  Sadly, I never knew my grandfather, Emilio.  He passed away long before I was born.  I hear he was quite a character.  Fortunately I knew my grandmother well.  She lived with us for a while as I was growing up.  She has been gone for about 25 years now.

Uncle Bob, Auntie Minnie, Robert

Uncle Bob and Auntie Minnie were my godparents.  They have both passed away as well, but I remember them fondly.  They had 5 boys!  They lived in San Francisco so we didn't see them as much once our family moved to San Bruno.  I remember some parties they had in their big basement with music and dancing and going to see them on holidays.

Uncle Phil, Auntie Alvina,
Phil Jr.

My Uncle Phil and Auntie Alvina lived DOWN the street from us.  They are both gone now.  When I was little I would go visit them all the time.  I especially enjoyed visiting them after they had a party because there would be the best leftover ham sandwiches!  Maybe because she used Best Foods mayonnaise?  Maybe because they were leftover?  I'm not sure, I just remember they were good.  I called her "Auntie Me" because I couldn't say Alvina (maybe the family called her "Vee?"  I always thought he looked a little like Cesar Romero, especially when he got older and his hair turned gray.  They had one son.  

Auntie Annie and Uncle Johnny

Auntie Annie and Uncle Johnny used to live UP the street from us.  They had one daughter.  When I turned 21, Auntie Annie took me to Reno for the first time.  We had a blast.  He was a bartender and she was a waitress.  Their life always seemed so glamorous.  Maybe because of the dark lights in the bar?  Maybe because it was a "forbidden" place for me?  They have both passed away.  

For some reason I don't have (or can't find right now) a picture of my Uncle Ray and Auntie Bernice.  They lived in "far away" Salinas and we rarely saw them.  They had two children, a boy and a girl.    

My mom and dad

This is my mom and dad.  Aren't they cute?  Best role models ever!  Mom is still alive at 92, but my dad passed away over 30 years ago.  I still miss him.  There were four girls in our family.

That's my bit on Ancestors and the first post for Nostalgic November.  It's kinda fun remembering the past.  Hope you'll join me on this journey!