Charlie and I got up around the usual time and went outside to the patio.

Charlie, nose to ground, has the past few days been snooping around each plant container, obviously on the scent of something. Probably a squirrel, his nemesis.

I don’t know what on earth he thinks he will do if he ever manages to catch a squirrel. He only has two teeth. I guess he could try to lick them to death with his long tongue.

But that’s my Charlie boy. He has always been the “hunter.” The protector of his mama.

If there is the scent of a critter out there, he is going to hunt it down to the best of his ability.

Vintage Mason jars

I liked the way the light played through these vintage Mason jars. It is unfocused, but the bokeh effect is interesting to me.

Below is the way the sky looked this morning.

Sky and clouds

When I was a child, I remember laying in the grass staring up at the sky. Trying to decide what I could see in the formation of clouds.

Those were simpler times. We tried to see how far we could blow dandelion fluff. We dug in the dirt. Made mud pies.

We were outside much of the hot summer playing with sticks and stones and whatever else we could find. We were creative in entertaining ourselves.

I wonder if children still have lemonade stands and stand in the blistering heat hoping someone will fill their pockets with nickels and dimes?

I suppose nickels and dimes would be a big disappointment these days. It  would probably have to be quarters or dollar bills now due to inflation.

Garden angel

Did you ever arrange quilts over tables to make tents?

Somewhere in the vague depths of my memory I am playing with a Barbie doll under my great-grandmother’s kitchen table that I’ve covered with an old scrap quilt. Thunder is growling in the distance.

It felt so safe and cozy in that small confined space. 

Even back then I loved creating a cozy little house.

What are some of your best childhood memories?

***

Dandelion facts & tidbits: Did you know that dandelions grow roots as deep as 15 feet into the soil? The common name dandelion comes from French dent-de-lion, meaning “lion’s tooth”)

Did you ever wonder what that dandelion fluff actually is? The white floaties originate from a densely packed seed head that resembles a fuzzy ball. If you look closely, each seed head has dozens of umbrella-like extensions. Located at the seed head’s center are the seeds.

Did you know that their seeds can sometimes travel 100 miles on the wind, and even drift over the sea to repopulate islands decimated by volcanoes.

Weird little factoids. I am always curious about the genesis of things.

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48 Comments

  1. Your lesson about the dandelion was sweet. On my blackboard I have a picture I drew of two dandelions blowing in the wind-the little fluff-seeds blowing away. And the caption under the picture is,
    “Some see a weed,
    Some see a wish.”

    We used to pick dandelions and make a wish and blow the seeds as far as we could! Fun time to be a child!

  2. I might be one of your older admirers as I’m 71 but I recall one yr my brother who was 12 yrs older than I and a cousin bought me a bunch of penny candies and decorated cardboard signs and set up a candy store for me! The hit of the neighborhood. . My mom had limits on how many houses far away I could go and I respected that. One of my greatest memories was in the fall and you could rake leaves and burn them curbside. My mom would put potatoes wrapped in foil in them and let them bake. They were soo good
    When my daughter was little she’d take sheets and make forts under our big table and we’d crawl under there w her little tea set and have cookies and camomile tea. . Such a fun post today.

  3. Brenda and all, I love everyone’s posts! They brought back fond memories of playing with my dolls on a blanket in the back yard and having ‘shows’ with the neighbor kids. And catching fireflies in the dark was the best.
    It makes me sad how small children play with their I Pads and other electronics. Don’t they want to *hold* a doll, a ball, etc. ?
    I loved the dandelion lesson – thanks Brenda!

  4. Two of my grandkids, age 12 and 9, had a lemonade stand two weeks ago. They sold out within a couple of hours. You won’t believe how much money they made!!! $28. Twenty eight dollars!!!
    I was busy and couldn’t help or oversee, after it was over I realized they had sold lukewarm lemonade!

  5. One of my most favorite things to do when I was really young–five, six, seven– was to wander in the pasture behind the barn on the farm I lived on. The smells of the vegetation, the “cow-pies” and the buzz of insects are the things I remember most. Even then I was happy being alone and in nature. I also liked the sand box I had then. I just realized that was the only sand box I ever had–only for four short years ’til we moved to town when I was eight, right after my step-father died suddenly of a heart attack. He was only 34. Hmmn, I find that interesting that I never had another sand box to play in.

    I love hearing about Charlie’s antics. He doesn’t know that he’s too small to tangle with a squirrel but he does know he has to do his best to protect you.
    It has rained here the last two days and cooled off significantly so I am anxious for a little sun now to dry things enough to go out and dig in the dirt. I have to re-plant my kitchen window box as plants just fried in the awful heat we had for so many days so I bought some wax begonias on sale yesterday. Also got some smallish hostas for $2. each at a nearby garden center to replace some the deer ate in my front bed.
    Hope your week goes well, Brenda. Take care.

  6. Being born in the 1950s meant that I grew up doing a lot of the same kinds of activities as others here, playing tag, hide-and-seek, and so on. So I’ll share something a bit different that we also did. When I was 11, in 1966, we moved to a suburb of Cincinnati — we actually lived on the Kentucky side of the Ohio River — and we had a lot of neighbors who had tents and little campers and went to state parks on weekends for camping outings. My dad was not an outdoorsy guy so we didn’t expect him to be interested in camping, but he jumped right into it and we got a little pop-up camper. It was not roughing-it kind of camping — most of the campgrounds had a water spigot and an electrical outlet at each campsite, so our moms cooked great meals on electric skillets or Coleman stoves outside on the picnic table, and there was always a big bath house with showers so we didn’t get too grubby. Everyone had strings of lights in the shape of Chinese lanterns or yellow smiley faces or M and M’s that hung from the fronts of the campers and glowed at night, and we’d all walk through the campground looking at how all the campers were decorated. Also at night, parents and kids all sat in a big circle around the campfire and anyone who wanted could do some kind of entertainment. My brother did a comedy act with corny jokes, the older men came up with riddles that no one could solve, and my sister and I and some of other girls our age would sing the hit songs of the day, such as Proud Mary by Creedence Clearwater Revival and Harper Valley PTA by Jeannie C. Riley. Most of us weren’t good singers, and we just clowned around, but we discovered that my younger sister actually could sing! She went on to perform in school musicals, sang at weddings, and majored in music education in college. For our family, we couldn’t afford more expensive vacations to hotels, so, going to the state parks in our little camper was a wonderful way to go on little trips.

  7. I am also in my 60s I grew up in the hills and mountains of WV. How I loved climbing those .Living close to the coal mines we would dig and find chunks of coal in our yard. Houses were few and far between back then. I would walk one mile to my friends then back again. My mother never worried about me walking the main road we had only one car per hour drive on our road. And we knew every one that drive that road. No stranger danger back then. Moved away 40 years ago first to Michigan and now here in Ohio. But I also will always keep those memories of my simpler times. I also would take care of injured birds and other injured animals. That is what led me in to becoming a Registered Nurse.

  8. My grandmother had a charming little house, you would have loved what she did with the spaces. Her colors were mostly blue and white hues. I used to set up a tea party under her dining room table, the only table in the house – and there was a (fake) crystal chandelier overhead that I believe were real diamonds. I thought it was awfully special to be able to play under a table that had diamonds overhead – and apple juice tea in little teapot and cups.

    1. What wonderful memories! I think blue and white decor is so calming. I keep telling myself I may decorate that way at some point.

  9. Just a quick thought, my oldest grandaughter, who’s now 16,so this was 4-5 years ago,was complaining of having nothing to do,I said go outside and play.
    She looked at me like I was nuts and replied and do what???? Just shook my head,its all about electronics now.
    Im 63,went out in the morning, home for lunch and dinner and back out until the streetlights came on!
    No worries, everyone knew you.

    1. It seemed to be a whole different world back then. Bad things still happened to kids. But now we have social media and they can find them there. That’s scares me.

  10. Definitely did tents with blankets. There was a rather wooded park next to our neighborhood (big deer bucks would wander out sometimes! in a big city!) and the crazy swirling mass of childhood of our neighborhood–about 15-20 kids ages 5 to 15–would explore the woods and create adventures. There was a mulberry tree on a very steep hill, with its roots mostly exposed. We would squeeze inside the roots and say we were in the space capsule. One day, a weird guy came staggering by the space capsule–it was the ’70s and the wooded park was popular then (and now) for druggies. But at that time, we were still free to roam, and there were so many of us that a single lost druggie was no match for the crowd of kids. Safety in numbers.

  11. I’ve loved reading everyone’s memories of their childhood! I remember most of the games mentioned, and we also played Simon Says, 7-Up (by oneself with a dodge ball against the school building), and Chinese jump-rope (made of rubber-bands; don’t know why it was called that). When we got a little older we would have neighborhood water balloon fights. Now I rarely see children outside playing, except for maybe on perfect weather days. Love your blog, Brenda!

  12. My Dad would get a big pile of sand every year so that the neighborhood kids and my siblings could play in the dirt. We also had a swingset but the rope swing and Tarzan swing were more fun. We played croquet, basketball, badminton, hopscotch, hide and go seek, 123 red-light, circus, school, house, and ate baked cookies. My parents even got 2 bouncy balls to share. My bf and I played dolls alot too. Sometimes her Dad would take out his accordion and play it for us. We even went to each others relatives to visit. All the other neighbors were boys…mostly my cousins. I was scared to go to the store bc their dog bit 2 people when he got loose.
    My sisters were older than the 3 of us younger ones. They use to invite their friends over to play baseball b4 two houses were built. I use to stare at the guys and go and tell if they dared miss behave. Lol. What fun times we had! Sadly my bf was murdered and my cousin that always dressed up as a clown when we played circus is up in heaven too. I feel very blessed that I still have my parents to talk to! Brenda, many thanks for a wonderful post! I hope your having a great day!

    1. Wow, I’m so sorry that your best friend was murdered. We always think it will happen to someone we don’t know. Was it someone she knew or a stranger?

      It was overcast here today and not so hot, so that made me happy.

      1. It was her husband that beat, raped, and then murdered her bc she was leaving him for good! He use to beat the crap out of her! When he was asleep, she would quietly and quickly get out of the house with her son and come over to my house. Sometimes with her pjs on. She would feel safe at my house bc I wouldn’t take any of his crap and he knew it! She went through hell with him, but now she’s in heaven and at peace. He shot himself when he heard the sirens getting closer. Scumbag!

        It’s been pouring rain since last night, but it’s still muggy out!

  13. I was born in 1962…growing up, I played outside all the time. Hopscotch, roller skating, riding my bike, baseball, Four Square, jumping on pogo sticks, climbing trees, making forts (inside and out!), Barbies, dolls…all were played outside in the warm months. In fact, mine and my best friend’s favorite place to play Barbies was on our front steps and porch. We stayed out there all day. The only time I really watched TV as a kid was when I was home sick from school, and all that was on was Bozo’s Circus or Garfield Goose, and then The Price is Right. 😉 Nothing for kids on in the afternoon – just soap operas. I find it very sad that most kids today are growing up with their nose stuck to a screen. I see babies in strollers holding their parent’s phone or tablet…I guess looking around at your surroundings isn’t entertainment enough. (Said sarcastically.) Last weekend when we went out to eat, a couple with a little one in a high chair (looked to be a little younger than 2), immediately propped up their phone with a cartoon running on it, right in front of the baby. She hadn’t been fussing or making any noise; it was just the parent’s immediate action to do that after plopping her in the high chair.

    1. Sad about that baby. They’re training them young. The only time I’ve seen Andrew pitch a wall-eyed fit in public was when we took him to a restaurant and they didn’t have wifi for his tablet. He’s four years old.

  14. I don’t know how I happened to discover your blog, but it is so very refreshing. Your writings along with the photos take me back to a simpler time.
    Running in the rain with or without umbrellas with the neighborhood kids. Playing hide and seek, of kick the can at dusk. Climbing trees and building forts in the woods. Just a few that came to my mind.
    Keep up the good work. Your topics are always interesting. I look forward to reading them. Thanks for putting a smile on my face.

    1. I’m so glad to put a smile on your face. Many bloggers in this genre write mostly about DIY projects. I’m not as talented as many of them, but I do love to just write about life .

  15. I’ve read your post for quite awhile but never joined in the conversation till now. I found tears flowing reading your and everyone’s comments. My sister and I did many of the same things. Especially the blanket over the clothes line and paper dolls. My sister passed away in December so these memories are very special to me. Love your site!

    1. I’m so sorry about your sister. I just found one of my sisters around Christmas 2017. We live in different states and have never met, but we talk on the phone. I’m so glad you are joining in on our conversation!

      1. Thank you. I really relate to your blog because I too am a sixty something single lady. I have a cat instead of a dog but feel like you do about our pets. I like a simple style in decorating as well. And when you talk about the weather I am usually experiencing the same because I live in southeast Kansas!

  16. I enjoy these stories and memories from the past. I grew up in the 40s and early 50s. My parents didn’t have a lot of money, but neither did anyone else in the neighborhood, so we too, had to “invent” our own fun. Playing jacks and jumping rope was a big past time. Also playing catch with a small red-white and blue rubber ball my Mom bought me from the dimestore. Hopscotch if someone had chalk to draw on the sidewalk. We too, sat outside on hot days, under a tree, with our paper dolls, and coloring books, drinking Kool aid, and eating soda crackers, having a picnic. Played Annie annie over, (throwing the ball over the house, and another kid on the other side tried to catch it.) Remember “Captain May I”, and Hide and Seek was fun, this was played most often when 5 or 6 kids were around to play at the same time, and more fun if it was getting dark out. My older brother traded comic books of his, with his friends, so he had different ones at different times, and sometimes I was allowed to have one of them. My favorite was “Felix the Cat”. We played school, and house, with dishes and dolls. The neighbor’s had a swing that hung from a tree, so we took turns on that, but we did ask to use it first..Yes, those were softer, fun, special days, No TVs, no phone in the house, no car in the drive way..But we all had enough…………

    1. We “imagined” a lot. I think that was good for us. And helped us as we became adults. We had to think. Kids these days often use something to think for them.

  17. Brenda and Charlie,

    Good morning! How lucky you are to have Charlie protecting you and keeping you company. I love this post, it reminds me of making forts, making mud tacos with the leaves of the morning glories in my grandparents bask yard, baking cookies, collecting bottles and walking to the penny candy store.

    I hope that you have a wonderful day! Stay cool.

  18. I’m an Air Force brat so my childhood my childhood memories are from all over. In France we lived off base for our first year there. Our first day there my sister and I played in a thin layer of snow in our landlady’s potager. We found a tin can and spoon and filled the can with snow and made snow castles. At Pope AFB in NC we would go across the street from the housing area, cross a creek via a pipe of some kind and play in the woods. Those were the days when your Mom would send you out to play after breakfast and not expect you back until lunchtime. After lunch we’d be sent out again to play until our Dsd got home. Rainy days we had tea parties and forts built by putting a sheet over the kitchen table. Much simpler times and I miss them so!

    1. I imagine you had a more well rounded childhood living in various parts of the world. I usually played alone, and I recall trying so hard to build a fort in a tree, but it never materialized.

  19. I would make paper dolls and clothes for them, then cut away to my hearts content and add them all to a shoe box to play outside with in a fort we built. In we i mean other children on our street too cause we all played together morning till night. And read in a treeehouse. Good memories and happy peaceful summers.

    1. Oh yes, how could I forget paper dolls! Loved them. Loved making clothing for them. Putting all the “clothes” in a box to keep.

    1. Life seems so complicated these days. There’s always something I see on TV that people buy and I have no idea what it does or what it’s for. Then I know I’ve gotten old! But really, how much do we need? I don’t want to talk to a voice that does things for me. Seems ridiculous to me. Less electronics seems a healthier choice to me.

  20. We used to take blankets and use the clothesline to make tents with them and then sleep outside at night in the summertime. We also used to go down by the creek and made a “fort” and we spent hours there playing we were in the woods or wild west. I come from a large family, 4 brothers, 4 sisters, and I was the oldest. We had huge imaginations, and we were not allowed to sit in the house and watch television during the day, my mother felt it was important for us to be outside in the sunshine and to invent our own entertainment. She was right, it was a wonderful childhood.

    1. There was no creek where I lived and played. I don’t think kids get enough play outside unless it’s organized sports. I always thought putting kids outside and making them come up with something to do made them more creative as they grew up. More willing to look outside of the box down the line.

  21. Factoids . What a great word .

    I remember my mom letting me take the old cotton quilts and spread them out under the apple trees. The cotton ones were cooler and I had the dog and cats to keep me company while I read or colored. There were sometimes peanut butter sandwiches or graham crackers with flavored frosting in between and iced water or koolade.
    At least it was cooler under the trees.
    We lived on a farm so there was always
    lots of work to be done no matter what the thermometer said. Even for me as a child there was my own list of chores to do.

    1. Factoids is a real word. Of course I looked it up, because I’m a curious person! The only air conditioning we got was from the trees. Or a fan. I gathered eggs. I don’t really recall any other chore as such. And I too had the many dogs and cats as playmates.

  22. I love this post!
    I have all of your memories too. and I grew up loving small. and simple. popcorn and rain and reading all go together for me. and the taste of banana popsicles and dreamsicles! that’s underlined in red. so I probably spelled it wrong but I can actually taste it in my memory even now! I neve see them anymore! and I loved playing jacks. and hopscotch and blindman’s bluff! it seemed the games just started getting good when we were called inside because the sun was setting. we played out all day long! I even read outside! (but then we didn’t worry about ever being kidnapped!)
    happy memories. all good wishes to you and your little protector! xo

    1. Where did dreamsicles go? I loved dreamsicles! I still look for banana popsicles, but haven’t seen them in stores for a long time.

      1. Not sure but I think WalMart carries those popsicles.

        And now days, if kids tried to make mud pies someone would yell how unsanitary and germ filled the dirt is as if it wasn’t then! lol

      2. If you go to Arby’s, they have an orange/vanilla shake that tastes just like a dreamsicle. They are delicious!

  23. At least Charlie tries to protect you from those dangerous squirrels! My dogs take no notice of them running right by!

    I have memories of childhood fun outside on summer evenings….red rover, softball, hide-and-seek, croquet, riding bikes, catching fireflies, or just eating popsicles. I played in the mud too, Brenda, making pies with my friend Mary Rita. At that time the baby boomers were plentiful and the neighborhood was full of kids. I don’t see any of that anymore… You are right…those were simpler times!

    1. I played alone unless it was a weekend and then sometimes second cousins came to visit. I don’t recall red rover at all. Never played croquet I don’t think. I did chase fireflies and rode my hand-me-down bike gifted from one of those cousins across town to the library to choose books.

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