Wednesday, March 31, 2021

Happy 112th Birthday Grandpa Harper!

 Today I am celebrating my maternal Grandfather, Wirt Ross Harper.  I am almost a month late doing this one since I had to finish up the post on my paternal granddad.  At least I am getting this done before March ends. ;-)

Wirt Harper was born March 5th, 1909 in the tiny hamlet of  Winfall Virginia.  A spot on the map between equally miniscule Gladys, VA and the "megapolis" of Rustburg, the county seat of Campbell County.  His  father, William Robert Harper was 27 years old and his mother, Jennie Vie Tucker Harper was 23 years old at the time of his birth.  Grandpa was the oldest son and second in the birth order with an older sister named Ollie.  There were 6 more younger children-Royal, Lillie Vie, Robert, Raymond, Ernest and Tucker, all born between 1913 and 1924.

Wirt was named after his grandfather, his mother's father, James Wirt Tucker.  The family business was being a miller it seems.  James Wirt ended his working life as a miller(started out as an Overseer on a plantation, then did some farming and then worked in a grist mill).  James' son(Wirt's father), Robert was a miller from the age of at least 25.
Wirt and some of his brothers worked in sawmills when they were young men.  Wirt's brother, Robert, had an accident in a sawmill and when I knew him years later he walked with a limp.  Safety regulations were practically non-existent back then in the 1920's and 1930's.  There weren't many jobs in rural areas during that time for a young man so you took whatever job was offered.

All the Harper siblings were musical I am told.  Ollie and a few of the younger brothers played the piano, Royal was famous in town for being a very good guitar player.  Wirt also played guitar.  
A big pastime in rural Virginal was and still is baseball/softball.  Amateur baseball leagues were in every town.  Besides church that is how the young folks socialized.

Granddaddy Wirt played for the team from Brookneal(another tiny town in that area of Campbell County)in the Dixie Youth League.  There was also amateur teams for young adult men. Wirt is the second from the right kneeling in the front row in this photo taken in 1937.  My mom wasn't even 3 years old and Wirt was 28 in this photo.

Here's a photo of Granddaddy taken in his 20's.

And here is a photo taken with his older sister Ollie........

This might have been a special occasion like some one's high school graduation(Ollie and Wirt were 2 years apart).

And here is Wirt(on the right)with his friend Joseph Warren Sublett when they were young men.

Warren went on to marry Wirt's older sister Ollie.  Warren lived to be 101 years old and Ollie 96.  I don't think I ever heard Warren talk more than a dozen times.  He was not much of a talker as opposed to Ollie who was quite social.

Sometime after my Grandmother Lillian Vassar graduated from high school in 1932, Wirt and Lil got married.  Lillian's parents who by that time owned "Roxabel" after leasing the farm out from the owners to farm that land for years.  Each of the twelve children of my Vassar Great Grandparents were given a piece of the farm when they married, so Lil and Wirt set out to build a home on their patch of land.

Here is the log cabin my Granddaddy Wirt built(probably with the help of his younger brothers)where their little family lived until my mother was 5 years old.  They gardened and Wirt did a lot of hunting during this time at the height of the Great Depression to feed their family.
Mom was born in the Summer of 1934 so by the time she was 5 it was 1939.  The Depression was still very bad in rural areas with few jobs and folks scraping by.  My grandmother saw mom out in their "yard" one day playing with a snake and she knew she had to get her family out of there if they were going to flourish.

Grandma Lil had to beg family to loan her money so they could move their possesions down to the urban Norfolk Virginia area and rent a small house.  There were opportunities at the shipyards over on the coast as the US was starting up production on ships for the war that was coming.  Wirt got a job quickly as the Norfolk Shipyard as a "helper".  By 1942 he was a sheet metal worker there.

This is the first home my grandparents lived in, in the Portlock section of South Norfolk(now part of Chesapeake, VA).

Wirt's job was secure all through the war years and Lil stayed home and raised my mother(who was an only child).  Once the war ended the shipyard left many workers go as the work dried up and my Granddaddy was one of those laid off.

But he was a jack-of-all-traders kind of guy and had many skills, being good with his hands.  He may not have been educated but he always had some business going.  I know he owned a barbecue pitt shack and a locksmith business. among his many jobs.  He owned an automotive radiator business and advertised it on the side of his car......

He also had a shoe repair business when my mom was in high school........

Granddaddy Wirt was a "fun" dad according to my Great Aunt Hilda.  Mom and Hilda were first cousins(Grandma Lil and Hilda's mom, Rosabel, were sisters).  Her parents, Rosabel and Raymond moved to Portlock after my Grandparents and mom and Hilda went to school together until Hilda's  parents divorced in 1949 and Hilda was sent away to live with her grandmother(my great grandparents)back at "Roxabel".  Wirt would do fun things with my mom and Hilda was always included since her parents were otherwise occupied.  At a family reunion Hilda told me she loved my grandfather like a dad and wished he had been her father.

They didn't have a lot of money but my mom had a rich childhood with her parents.  Here's Wirt and mom posing with their catch of the day from a fishing excursion.  This must have been taken shortly after they moved to Portlock.

When my mother was in high school Wirt decided to buy a house lot in the neighborhood where they lived and build the family a new house by himself..........

Here's my mother practicing her majorette moves on the property.  You can see the concrete blocks stacked behind her that Granddaddy was using on the exterior of the house.

Here's a photo of the complete house dated 1949.

It was cute and Pepto Bismol pink. lolz

Another view of the house from 1963.......

That's my brother in the foreground and my grandparents in the background.

It was a modest  home with 2 bedrooms and 1 bath, a living room, a small dining room and a small kitchen.  There was a fenced in yard and a one car  detached garage with a covered area next to the garage. The property backed up to another yard/house where my future father lived with his sister and mother.  My parents went to high school together and were friends as teenagers.

At some point after going into the 1950's Wirt couldn't work anymore.  He drank a little too much(the curse of the Harper men)and he smoked cigarettes.  He started having lung issues so he retired and became a house husband and my grandmother Lillian got a job working for Sears in the carpet department and was an award winning saleswoman.

Wirt still kept busy and worked at his carpentry sklls.  When the 1950's rolled around and the Soviets became a threat like many Americans he had a bomb shelter built in his back yard....except he built it himself.

Here I am at Christmas of 1964 in a Native American dress-up outfit playing a drum.  That "hill" behind me is the bomb shelter(with two bird houses sitting out from it).  My brothers used to play submarine inside of it.  Wirt also built a concrete fish pond in the back yard with a stream that ran in a loop from and back to the pond with a waterwheel to power it.

Another of Wirt's projects with a speed boat he built in his driveway.

Here I am in April of 1961 sitting in it on an Easter visit.  Wirt was mightily proud of that boat and took us out to sea in it many times in the Summer.

In 1966 my grandparents decided to move to Chesapeake and build a modern home(mid century style)in a better part of town.  Wirt didn't build this one but he drove the construction crew nuts because he would show up every day to watch the workers to make sure the job was done correctly. lolz

This is the back view of the brick home they had built.  That's me between my Grandmother Lil and my mom coming down the patio steps.  Soon after this photo, Wirt put up a glass greenhouse, build a fountain by the driveway and had an extensive woodworking shop put in their two car attached garage.

After they moved into the new house Lil started getting sick and Wirt's breathing got a lot worse.  Grandma Lillian was diagnoses with metastatic cancer.  She had a trailer home put up back in rural Virginia where they were from for Wirt to live in near his kin after she died.  Wirt was very dependent on Lillian so she tried to take care of things for him before she passed.

We now think that my grandmother's cancer, my grandfather's health issues as well as my mother's health issues were either caused or exacerbated by Asbestoes poisoning from when Wirt worked in the shipyard.  He was exposed at work(long before anyone thought it was a carcinogen)and then brought it home on his clothing to his wife and child.

My grandparents were deeply in love and stayed devoted to each other throughout their lives.

After Lillian died in 1967, Wirt just gave up on living.  He ended up in the hospital and died exactly 5 months to the day after Lil in 1968.  He had COPD, Emphysema and his death certificate listed his causes of death as Chronic Nephritis, Uremia and Asymmetric Septal Hypertrophy(a heart issue).  The death report should have read he died of a broken heart.

Even though he died when I was 9 I remember him fondly as a sweet, quiet man.  He was a great storyteller and loved playing with and entertaining his grandchildren.  Wirt had a wicked sense of humor and was a practical joker.  There was never a dull movement when Granddaddy Wirt was around.

He loved his family and would do anything for them.  I know you are up in heaven with your sweetheart Lillian doing the things devoted lovebirds do and watching over what's left of your family down here.

Hugs and Kisses Granddaddy,


Tuesday, March 30, 2021

The End of Last Week at Rite-Aid & Ibotta Tally w/Dublin Bonus Total

 First my last transaction at Rite-Aid from Saturday.......

2 x Colgate toothpaste on sale=$7.00
2 x Sally Hansen nail polich clearance=$4.98
1 x Maybelline lipstick clearance=$1.47

Coupons Used
2 x $3/1 Colgate In-Ad RAQ=$6.00
1 x $3/2 Colgate L2CQ=$3.00
1 x $2/1 Maybelline eye product IPQ=$2.00
Coupon Total.....$11.00

$13.45-$11.00=$2.45 +.32¢ tax=$2.77 paid with Bonus Cash.
I earned back $7 in new BC($3 wyspend $10 Colgate, $4 wyb2 Sally Hansen).

I had to buy stuff to absorb the overage using those Colgate Qs caused me to have so buying something that gave back BC(the Sally Hansen)was a no-brainer.  Then I found a clearance Maybelline item in the clearance bin and I had a $2Q so more overage on that item to bring my supposed OOP even lower(no OOP really because I just rolled Bonus Cash here).

A nice little moneymaker.
Plus I was able to submit for $2 more in rebates since the Neutrogena Wipes(the second set I bought last week)came back on my account.  Since I had already finished the Dublin Bonus on Ibotta I didn't count this $2 in rebates below. ;-)

So the Dublin Cash Bonus ended Sunday on Ibotta.   I had to do 40 rebates to earn a $10 Bonus.
Here are the rebates I did/what I earned back/what the item cost.(I didn't figure in the sales tax as it would be more work and a minimal amount as food, medicines and some toiletries are not taxed in my state.  It would add less than $1 to my costs.)

1 x Wheat Thins/$1.00/$2.18
1 x Townhouse crackers/.75¢/$2.50
2 x Annie's mac and cheese/.40¢/$1.50 after Q
1 x Kraft mac and cheese/.10¢/.98¢
1 x Gerber teethers/$1.50/$1.96
1 x Starbucks drink/$2.68/$2.68
1 x Sunsweet essence/3 rebates $2.15/$3.28
1 x Kandoo wipes/$.75¢/$1.88
1 x Quaker oatmeal packets clearance/.75¢/$1.50
1 x CB slice cheese/$1.50/$2.98
1 x CB block cheese/.75¢/$3.18
2 x CORE protein bar/$2.24/$4.48
1 x Schick Hydro razor/$4.00/$4.97 after Q
1 x Arnicare gel clearance/$2.00/$2.00
1x 3 Amer. Greeting cards/$3.00/$1.47
1 x Gillette antiperspirant/$1.00/$1.97
1 x Degree clean bars/$1.50/$4.97
1 x Degree Men's body wash/$2.00/$5.47
3 x Got2Be Metallic hair chalk/$7.50/$0.00
1 x Wheat Thins/$1.00/$2.56
1 x Townhouse crackers/.75¢/$2.50
1 x Annie's mac and cheese/.20¢/$1.00
1 x Kraft mac and cheese/.10¢/.98¢
1 x Gerber teethers/$1.50/$1.96
1 x LifeAid drink/$2.00/$2.48
1 x Sunsweet essence/3 rebates $2.15/$3.28
1 x Country Crock sticks/$1.00/$2.98
1 x Country Crock tub/.75¢/$2.18
1 x 3 Amer. Greeting cards/$3.00/$1.47
1 x Snickers bars/.50¢/.78
2 x Breakstone cottage cheese/$1.00/$3.98
1 x Old Spice spray deo/2 rebates $4.00/$5.99
1 x Ken's dressing/.75¢/$1.19 after Q
1 x Perfect bar/$2.25/$2.00
2 x Neutrogena wipes/$2.00/$0.00 BC

SubTotal spent OOP.....$85.28
$35 in free gift cards used brings that down to $50.28 OOP

Earned back on regular Ibotta rebates.............$51.02
Earned back on assorted small bonues.............$5.00
Earned back on Dublin Bonus........................$10.00
Earned back on Shop Kicks for these items...$14.40
Total earned in rebates....................................$80.42

All the items above plus a $30.14 moneymaker.  Yah, I'll take it. 8-)))


Monday, March 29, 2021

This Week on the Dining Table

 The "Mmm...Tacos" Edition.......

Saw this tote bag on my foray into Walmart last week and had to take a photo of it.  Now don't you want tacos too? lolz

Onward to the meal planning!

Moving On-
This is what was planned....
1. Sunday--Pizza, Salad
2. Monday--leftover Chicken Parm sandwiches, Asparagus
3. Tuesday--"Sort of" Rueben Sandwiches, sauté Cabbage
4. Wednesday--Beef Stir-Fry w/Noodles
5. Thursday--Pork Tenderloin Sandwiches, Squash Casserole
6.  Friday--Leftovers or Fend For Yourself
7. Saturday--Assorted Leftovers

And this is what really happened.......
1. Sunday--Pizza, Salad
2. Monday--leftover Chicken Parm, Asparagus, Sweet Potato Wedges
3. Tuesday--Fend for Yourself or Nothing(We had a big lunch out)
4. Wednesday--Primo Subs
5. Thursday--Pork Tenderloin Sandwiches, Squash Casserole
6.  Friday--Beef Stir-Fry w/Noodles
7. Saturday--Fend for Yourself

Last week saw 3 nights of home cooked dinners, 2 nights of leftovers/planned overs or FFY, and 2 night of Take-Out/Eating Out. 

What got put into the freezer last week....
*  1 hunk of Coho Salmon
*  2 lbs. Shrimp
*  1 large Frozen Lasagna
*  1 lb. of Ground Beef

What got taken out of the freezer and used...
*  1/2 pack of Beef strips
*  1/2 pack of thin sliced Pork chops
*  1/2 bag Stir-Fry Veggies

We spent $101.10 on food/toiletries/HBA/paper goods last week-1 small trip and another even smaller trip to Weis(PMITA)Markets, 1 trip to Walmart, 1 trip to Dollar General, 1 trip to Ocean State Job Lot and 1 trip to Discount Outlet. This brings our food/toiletries/paper goods Grand Total to $317.32 for March so far.

There are 2 shopping days left in March.

I've earned $188.18 on Ibotta in March.
I've earned $1.05 on Checkout51 in March.
I've earned $9.00 on Coupons dotcom/Paypal in March.
I've earned 3,568 points from shopping on Fetch in March($3.56)
I've earned 10,200 point from food shopping on Shop Kick in March($40.80)
I've earned 0 points from food shopping on Swagbucks in March.

My savings percentage for last week was 36.42%(without "regular" Rite-Aid trips)for March and the monthly savings total for March comes in at 52.53%.(w/out R-A).  Last week was a not so good week percentage savings wise but we can't hit it out of the ballpark every week/month.

Leftovers going into this week--Beef Stir-Fry, 2 helpings of Squash Casserole.  That's it.

Here is this week's "food plan".....
1. Sunday--Fend for Yourself
2. Monday--Rigatoni w/Meat and Mushroom Sauce, Caesar Salad
3. Tuesday--No Clue Yet ;-)
4. Wednesday--Halushki
5. Thursday--Chicken, Veggies TBD(Hubs is cooking)
6.  Friday--Tempura Shrimp, Cole Slaw, Sweet Potato Wedges
7. Saturday--Leftovers

What do I need to buy to fix everything on this menu?  Except for Tuesday I am good.  Will probably dig something out of the freezer for that night.  

What is getting fixed and served at your house this week?

Was last week's plan successful, did you go off plan or did you not even plan what was going to be eaten last week?

Any great deals on food at your stores this week?  Weis deals won't change until April sometime after Easter so other than maybe buying a discounted ham this week and a dozen eggs I am good.  I might wait and buy those 2 items later in the week so they would go on April's tally.  If I even buy the ham since I still don't know where/who we'll be doing Easter at/with.  Things are still very much up in the air here for the holiday meal.


Sunday, March 28, 2021

Happy 112th Birthday Granddad-Part 3

**This part of the story was difficult for me to write but it is the true account of my memories of that time. **

Part One of this post is HERE.

Part Two of this post is HERE.

So we left off in the Spring of 1973 being dropped off at my newly found out about grandfather's house.

I really don't remember much from that visit.  Kathe his wife made us lunch and there was a tour of the house granddad had built himself(he was in the Army Corp of Engineers during the war so he had some building skills)and then some chatting and he showed us his photo albums.  Mostly I played with his dog, Teri.

My brother got taken back into granddad's bedroom and shown various war mementos(stuff granddad had taken off of dead Nazis and Japanese soldiers since he fought both in the European and the Pacific theaters).  Stuff he assumed a 20 year old man would enjoy seeing, including that machete in the photo I shared in both previous granddad posts. ;-)

My brother told me a few years ago when we were reminiscing over that trip to meet our grandfather that while granddad was showing my brother his war artifacts he asked my brother, "I was wondering why none of you kids(meaning me and both my brothers)never tried to contact me".  My brother, without missing a beat, reply, "Well, until a couple of days ago we didn't know you existed!" And that was the truth. 8-)  I suppose old granddad had no idea how controlling our father(his son)was and how our mother had to hide her association with granddad fully from our father by not even letting on to us kids that he existed.  If she had, one of us would have eventually slipped up and dad would have found out and our home life would have been a LOT more unpleasant than it already was at that time.

Here is a photo granddad either gave me on that visit or mailed to me later that year........

This is a photo from Christmas time of 1968.  It's Granddad Frank on the left with his father, Frank, who was my Great Grandfather.  I believe this was taken at Great Grandfather Frank's daughter's house near Staunton, Virginia(my grandfather's sister Mary).  I know from a letter Granddad wrote to my mom that Frank's father, Frank, Sr. was staying with his daughter Mary around this time.  Mary was a psychiatric nurse for a time at the Western State Hospital in Staunton, Virginia.  Eventually Great Granddad Frank, Sr. was moved back to Orange County New York were he had grown up and returned to by 1922(when his and his wife's youngest daughter Eleanor was born). Frank Sr. died in June of 1969 in  Orange County, New York.  Until a few years ago this was the only photo I had of him and due to my father's estrangement from his father I never got to meet him even though he didn't pass away until I was 10 years old.

I do remember playing with Granddad's pets on that first visit.....

He had a German Shepherd named Teri and a gray striped cat named Mosby.  Being a history(and specifically military history)fan the car was named for Colonel John Singleton Mosby,  the head of the military unit called Mosby's Rangers".  

Mosby also holds the moniker of "The Grey Ghost" of the Confederacy. Go look him up if you are interested.  He led quite an interesting life.

So we came home from Fairfax the next day and life bumped along as usual.

That Summer the younger of my two older brothers graduated from college.  My Granny Paul came to stay with us and drive out to VPI to attend his graduation.

This is the last photo I have of Granny with me and our dog, Annie, taken before we drove out to Western VA, taken in front of the huge new 5 bedroom house we lived in.

Later that Summer my parents took me to a CPA convention with them in Dallas, TX.  It was sort of fun because they had kid activities and outings but I was at an awkward early teen age.

Granddad sent us Christmas presents that year and he wrote often and sent me more photos. This photo is of his "third" wife Kathe in the yard by her rose bushes with Teri the dog taken in 1972.  That's granddad's van in the lower driveway.

He also sent me this clipping from his local newspaper of him voting in an election on Nov. 4th, 1969. 

St. Mary's Catholic Church was the oldest building in that district of VA used as a polling spot and granddad took great pride in always being the first person at that polling location every year to cast his ballot.  He got his picture in the local newspaper most election years casting the first ballot there.

Summer of 1974 rolled around and it was a hard and lonely time at my house...both my brothers were out of the house working in different parts of Virginia, my parents had suddenly sold our house in Norfolk in 1973 and moved me to Virginia Beach.  I was 15 years old and knew no one in that area but they kept me in the private high school I began attending in late 1972 in Norfolk.  My father was "away" on business and my mother would check herself into a private psychiatric facility in Norfolk frequently. If mom was home, my father was never home during the weeks and she'd drive me to a bus stop during the week to get to school.  If mom was not home my father would be home during the week to drive me to the bus and home but he would always be away on the weekends.  I never knew which of them would be home and for how long.   Mostly I felt like I was left alone in this new house with just our family dog, Annie, for company.  I didn't drive yet so I was pretty much trapped there.  I couldn't do any extracurricular activities as I'd miss my only ride home nor go anywhere or see friends on the weekend as nobody lived nearby or drove yet.

That June of 1974 after moving to the new house in Virginia Beach my father invited granddad to come for a visit.  It was the only time my father would let granddad stay with us.  Here is the only photo(besides the one cousin Judy sent me of my father as a baby with his dad)I have of the two of them together.....

This photo was taken on Father's Day of 1974.  The first Father's Day they spent together since 1941.

Granddad only stayed a few days and I remember he drank a lot as did my father.  I think the reason my father "let" granddad come stay was so that he could throw it up into  his father's face that despite him abandoning his wife and kids, my father had made himself  into a "successful" man.  He finished college at night and graduated from ODU the year before my oldest brother graduated from high school, got his CPA license and was a partner in one of the most successful firms in the state by this point.  "Take that old man", should be the caption of this photo! ;-)  My father was still very cool toward my grandfather during this visit.  It took quite a few drinks in my father to get him to stand this close to his dad.

My parents(or one of them)thought it was a good idea to send me to stay with Granddad for a few weeks later that Summer(a sort of get her out of the way while we work on our shit situation).  So after school let out for the year I was put on a Greyhound bus in July to Fairfax and Granddad picked me up at the station and took me to his house.  

I was very much into oil painting during this part of my life and I had brought my painting case full of supplies with me.  Granddad noticed my interest in painting so he took me to an art store near the beginning of my stay and bought me an easel and canvases so I could paint while staying there.  He set me up a "painting studio" in his basement.  There was a radio down there so I painted the hours away listening to the top 40 hits of the Summer of 1974.

It's funny how all these songs have the work "rock" in them. lol  I can't hear these songs and a few others without being transported back to my grandfather's basement.

A typical day was spent after breakfast down in the basement painting, then lunch, then more painting before dinner and some tv watching before bed.

Kathe was home for a few days before she left on a trip to go visit her daughter and grandchildren in Florida.  I suppose she hung around awhile to make sure Granddad and I were hitting it off ok before she left us.  Kathe worked at the Braddock Elementary School in their library.  She did a lot of reading to the small children in her position.  She asked me to paint her a picture she could use in the Fall to tell a story for the kids, which I did.  I suppose she left it at the school or took it when Frank died and she moved away because I don't have a photo of that one.  I also don't have a photo of the painting I did for Kathe.  She loved birds and had a birdfeeder near the basement door which Frank called "Kathe's Cafe".  I did a painting of that for her after she left for Florida.  that one was quite good for someone of my age who had just taken up painting.

Here's a photo of me standing near that bird feeder on the brick patio at Granddad's house.  Notice my only "nice" dress is the same one I wore the Summer before to my brother's graduation. lol

Granddad said he wanted me to paint a portrait of Teri his dog as well so here is that one.....

These were just paintings done on cheap board canvases.  Not my best work but it's not bad.  Granddad had this one put in a substantial frame and hung on the wall in his den.

He also had a metal plaque affixed to the frame with the dog's name.  Granddad called his property "Brookside".  It was a little over 4 acres of land.  One day after lunch he made me go hike it with him and Teri.  Mostly the land was all overgrown with high weeds(3 feet or so).  Having been a city/suburban girl I didn't know not to hike in the woods in shorts and Granddad didn't warn me.  A couple hours later I started feeling/finding ticks all over me!!!

About 10 years ago Granddad's old house went up for sale and I found some photos online from the sales listing.  Here's the bathroom and it looks much in this photo as it did back in 1974.  I remember that window very well.  Granddad had an ashtray, a pack of matches and a pair of tweezers sitting on the window sill.  Until that hike around the property I didn't understand why. The reason became very clear to me after that hike.  ick.

Another thing interesting was that the spare bedroom I was sleeping in.  I found out the first night that this bed was where Teri the dog(and sometimes Mosby the cat)slept at night.  I was laying in bed the first night there and Teri nuzzled the door open and jumper right on me in bed. ;-)  From then on I had to lock the door(the lock was barely functional)to keep her out.  Teri also drug in ticks onto the bed so I had to do a bed tick check every night. 8-(

Most days while staying with granddad after Kathe left town we had lunch out at some small place he liked to go in a strip mall.  He was on a first name basis with the waiter.  Granddad always had at least two wine spritzers at lunch(3 parts wine/1 part club soda or 7-Up).  He'd have as many as 4 some days.  Then he'd drive us home.  He also would throw back a couple of drinks after dinner at home.  One day I wanted a dish of ice cream after lunch at the restaurant and he told the waiter to put creme de menthe over it.....alcoholic creme de menthe. lol 
I felt uncomfortable with him driving after drinking but what could I do?  I couldn't drive and there was no one there to tell about it.

So after about 10 days staying with him, and another trip to the restaurant for a 4 drink spritzer lunch we went home.  I painted until dinner as usual listening to those dreadful 1974 hits on the radio.  That evening Granddad had quite a few more drinks of hard liquor and got quite maudlin and teary eyed.  He made me sit beside him on the sofa and just babbled on about what he did wrong in his life while I tried to make myself tiny and disappear and wished for this to end.  He started kissing me and saying how much he loved me and all his grandchildren.  He started crying and kept drinking.  Then he planted a wet kiss on my mouth and tried to French Kiss me.  To say I was shocked was an understatement!! I didn't even know what that was until later.  I immediately excused myself, trying to be composed about it, saying I was tired and went into my bedroom.  locked the door and put a chair as well as my suitcase against the door too.  I don't think I slept that night, sitting up in bed, half scared to death and mightily confused.

The next morning Granddad acted like nothing had happened(he was so soused he probably didn't remember)and he fixed breakfast.  Over breakfast I told him I needed to call my mom.  He let me call and left the room while I did.  I told mom I was homesick and  wanted to come home early(as in now!)so she arranged for a bus ticket home.  I told Granddad that I was homesick(what a lie!...I didn't want to be there OR home)and I wanted to go home.  The next day he drove me to the bus station and I left for home.

Up until a few days ago when I told Hubs this part of the story(I felt he needed to know before I told the world on the blog)I had never mentioned this incident to a living soul.  I figured if I told my parents either they would do nothing(as they were too involved in their own shit)or not believe me or worse yet, never speak to Granddad again as that chasm of a rife between Granddad and my father was still wide and as raw after 33 years when it began.

I prefer to think that this episode was alcohol induced and were it not for the liquor it never would have happened.  I don't think the event scarred me too much and I wouldn't go so far as to call a molestation.  I was more shocked about it at that point I was NOT a sexually active teen at 15 years old and wasn't even thinking about that sort of thing.

Anyway, we didn't see Granddad again until 1977 when I graduated from high school.  My mom was back in her private psychiatric hospital then and had gotten a day pass to attend the ceremony and Granddad had come down from Fairfax.

This photo was taken the night before at the awards ceremony in the high school auditorium.  I got my honor medal, gold tassel and a theater award that night.

My father never even bothered to show up to either event but one of my brothers did(the other one was out at sea for his job).

Here I am at the graduation in Chrysler Hall with my mom.  This would be the last time I ever saw my Granddad.

I spent that miserable summer after graduation working at Zero's sub shop living alone at home(or with a friend who got kicked out of her house by her mom so I let stay with me)before being driven up to college by my oldest brother and my father and being dropped off at my dorm.
I got through that year, barring that suicide attempt by my mother, came home on the bus and got a job for the summer as a substitute newspaper carrier for a couple who had something like 6 paper routes who wanted to take a long vacation.  I saw some crazy stuff working the predawn hours at those apartment complexes chucking newspapers. ;-)

Granddad would write me often wondering why I didn't write him back.  First off what kid that age wants to write letters to a grandparent they hardly know? How could I explain to him(or would he want to hear)about how shitty my life was during those years(late high school and freshman year of college)?  I didn't have any "fun" news just misery.  Hard times at school, trying to fit in and not fail, acting out to get attention from either parent, not knowing if I'd have money to eat from one day to the next, no support system except for after I met Hubs at college(he was my rock).

In September 1978 granddad Frank died and my brother got me from college to go to Fairfax for the viewing/wake and funeral.  I refused to go to the viewing.  After losing what I thought were 3 grandparents between the age of 7 and 9(1 turned out to be a step grandparent)I had a very difficult memory of viewings.  Those horrible events are etched into my psyche.  My aunt Marilyn tried to convince me to go but I said no and I meant it.  I did attend the funeral.  They buried granddad Frank by his beloved St. Mary's Catholic Church, where he always was the first one in the precinct to vote.  He rests there alone as Kathe went on to marry a fourth time(in 1981 to John Rose who died in 1989).  Kathe ended up dying in Benson, Arizona in 2009.

I have mixed feelings about my paternal grandfather.  I only knew him for less than 6 years though he died when I was almost 20 years old.
Some days I wish he had taken a different path in life that hadn't cause the emotional and psychological damage it did in my immediate family but then again, if he had, I may not be here.  I do wish I had had the presence of mind at 15 years old to ask him some hard questions on that trip to stay with him.
On the bright side he did spark my enthusiasm for genealogy.  He would often write me letters about his ancestors and even did some genealogy work on his tree back in the day before the internet when you had to go to library archives and courthouses to dig for all your information.  

What I found interesting if not amusing is Granddad really admired HIS Great Grandfather, Robert Spencer Bowman, the first one on his paternal line to immigrate to America from Ireland in 1855.  Old Granddad was about as far from being like his Great Grandfather as a person could get.  Robert Spencer Bowman settled in upstate New Year, was a volunteer fireman in his community supported and never left his large family(had a large family cemetery plot to provide for them all upon death even)and was faithful to his wife until his death in 1901.

I hope Granddad Frank is truly at rest now. 


Saturday, March 27, 2021

Lots More Rite-Aid Shopping on Friday

We had to go to Hershey for my dermatologist appointment on Thursday.  Usually I like to hit one or two Rite-Aid along the way I don't usually get to while we are down there but the appointment took a lot longer than expected and the doggies were left alone at home this trip so we didn't have time.
I still have things I wanted to pick-up this week at R-A so I went out on Friday and hit 3 stores.

2 x Clairol hair color on clearance=$4.38
2 x Neutrogena make-up wipes 20% Gold discount=$11.18
2 x Colgate toothpaste on sale=$7.00
2 x Russell Stover candy eggs on sale=$1.00

Coupons Used
1 x $5/2 Clairol hair color ManuQ=$5.00
1 x $3/1 Neutrogena face IPQ=$3.00
1 x $3/1 Neutrogena face L2CQ=$3.00
1 x $4/2 Colgate toothpaste L2CQ=$4.00
2 x $3/1 Colgate R-A in ad Q=$6.00
Coupon Total.....$21.00

$23.56-$21.00=$2.56 +.38¢ tax=$2.94 paid with Bonus Cash.
I earned back $7 in new BC($6 wyb2 Neutrogena, $1 Russell Stover).
I had a $4/2 Colgate L2CQ that gave me $3 in overage combined with the In-adQs and .62¢ in overage on the clearance hair Color.  Then I earned back .82¢ more in BC than I paid on the Neutrogena items.
I also submitted the wipes to Ibotta and earned $2 in cash rebates($1 per pack)turning this transaction into a $6.06 moneymaker.

I also bought this on the same card at a different store.  I still had a $3/2 Colgate L2CQ on that card...........

2 x Colgate toothpaste on sale=$7.00
1 x Pirate's Booty snack 20% Gold discount=$2.79
2 x Sally Hansen clearance nail polish=$2.98

Coupons Used
1 x $3/2 Colgate toothpaste L2CQ=$3.00
2 x $3/1 Colgate R-A in ad Q=$6.00
1 x $1/1 Pirate's Booty IPQ=$1.00
Coupon Total.....$10.00

$12.77-$10.00=$2.77+.18¢ tax=$2.95 paid for with Bonus Cash.
I earned back $7 in new BC($3 wyb $10 select Colgate, $4 wyb2 Sally Hansen). I didn't expect that the clearance Sally Hansen items would give the BC so that was a nice surprise!  I had to throw in the Pirate's Booty or my Qs would have been .02¢ more than my subtotal but I love that stuff so I didn't mind(plus I had a coupon for it too. ;-)
Spent $2.95, earned $7 so a $4.05 moneymaker.

So I went back and got more SH nail polish on Hubs card(along with a few other things).......

2 x Neutrogena make-up remover=10.86
2 x Colgate toothpaste Gold price lower than sale price=$6.06
2 x Russell Stover candy eggs on sale=$1.00
4 x Sally Hansen nail polish clearance=$5.96

Coupons Used
2 x $3/1 Neutrogena face item IPQ=$6.00
1 x $1/2 Colgate toothpaste ManuQ=$1.00
2 x $3/1 Colgate R-A in ad Q=$6.00
Coupon Total....$13.00

$23.88-$13.00=$10.88+.65¢ tax=$11.53 paid for with Bonus Cash.
I earned back $15 in new BC($6 Neutrogena, 2 x $4 Sally Hansen, $1 Russell Stover)making this a $3.47 moneymaker.

Lastly I bought this on my card at the third store I hit.....

2 x Neutrogena make-up remover=11.18
2 x Sally Hansen Pure nail polish clearance=$4.48

Coupons Used
1 x $3/1 Neutrogena face item IPQ=$3.00
1 x $3/1 Neutrogena face item L2CQ=$3.00
1 x $1/1 Sally Hansen Pure nail color IPQ=$1.00
Coupon Total....$7.00

$15.66-$7.00=$8.66+.52¢ tax=$9.18 paid with Bonus Cash.
I earned back $10 in new BC($6 Neutrogena, $4 Sally Hansen)turning this into a slight .82¢ moneymaker.
I was shocked to see this Pure type SH nail polish on the clearance section as it is sort of a new line.  They had it regular price in the nail aisle except for this one shade.  I only bought it because I had a stray $1/1 Pure SH IPQ which made it better than free after BC earned.  I am kicking myself now for not printing TWO of those Qs when I had the chance as it would have made it a $1.82 moneymaker using 2 coupons. lolz
I bought the wipes instead of the liquid make-up remover(even though the wipes cost more)in hopes that my Neutrogena Ibotta rebate comes back soon so I can submit for another $2 in cash rebates.

So here are the totals for my Rite-Aid Pillaging this week.....
Total spent in Bonus Cash(so far)......$33.08 including sales tax
Total earned in Bonus Cash(so far)....$51.00
Total earned on Ibotta................$2.00
A $19.92 moneymaker(so far)for the week!  8-)))

Friday, March 26, 2021

Frugal Friday....the March 26th Edition

Here are the few things that qualified as frugal wins over the past week here in Sluggyland.........

*  I forgot one thing from a couple of weeks ago(some days I really miss my mind!lol)--We had a 15% off Ollie's(Good Stuff Cheap!)discount coupon to use.  Hubs found flea and tick treatments for a ridiculously cheap price(compared to buying it from the vet's office) + the additional 15% off so I made him buy enough boxes of it to get us almost through all of 2021.  It just makes sense as it was a great discount(and it's one we've used before so we know it's good), it doesn't take up a lot of space and it won't expire before we use it up.

*  I hit Rite-Aid a few times this week..........

See previous posts on R-A for details on all this.

Needless to say I didn't spend anything out  of pocket there.

*  Hubs and I went to Ocean State Job Lot on Monday to pick up a new dog tie-out for the backyard.  I used one of my free OSJL gift cards(earned from buying food off the Eat Free Table-you pay for those purchases and get a gift card equal to what you spent).  I have so many of those gift cards we used part of one for the tie-out even though I prefer to use them on food.

I did pick up some food while we were there too.  The 3 bottles of oyster sauce and the Jordan almonds cost ZERO because I used some off a free gift card on those.
The other 4 items to the left were on the Eat for Free Table...2 cannisters of Ocean Spray Vanilla Chai flavored dried fruits and nuts, a jar of orange marmalade and a bag of dark chocolate w/lingonberries.
Those 4 cost $11.96 total out of my food budget and earned me back an $11.96 gift card. ;-)
And that vanilla chai trail mix stuff is SO GOOD!

* I forgot to mention yesterday when I wrote this post that on last week's trip to the Discount Outlet we got 2 freebies..........

A couple of packs of Gerber baby food.  I added this to the food bank donation pile which I am hoping to drop off this coming week.

*  I found money!

I found this nickel at Rite-Aid last Saturday by the front register counter.

Then I found this penny at the check-out in Dollar General later that same day.

I was back at Rite-Aid on Monday and found this .16¢ in change in front of the second register counter on the floor.

Then I found another penny back by the vitamin aisle too.

I was back at Rite-Aid to pick up an Rx on Wednesday and found 2 pennies where the shopping carts are corralled.

Total Found This Week.... .25¢
Total Found This Year.....$1.90

Other than working on an Ibotta $10 Bonus(I need 1 more item to finish and then I'll post about that) that's it from here for this past week(and beyond).

Any frugal wins on your end lately?
We want to hear about them all!