Thursday, July 12, 2018

Smokey, Charlie's Dog

Marie's youngest brother, Charles, was in the Navy for over twenty years. They got to live all over the world. They have such fabulous memories of their travels and various homes. One of their most fond memories is of Smokey, a Wire Hair Terrier. I do not at this time have a picture of him or of Charlie and Nancy's kids when they were young, but when I get them I will add them to these posts. Charlie alluded to the fact that this is just Part 1 of the Smokey Series. This kind of thing I just love.
As I told the Closed Group of Charlie's oldest sister, I really messed up by not recording Charlie as he told us Smokey's story in person. He was here for Marie's 103rd birthday this month.
This story begins in our living room after a hot day of visiting and helping repair Marie's granddaughter's car. She lives over 700 miles away from home so that project was big and important. It was now time to relax and visit.
This is the beginning of Charlie's story called, "Our Dog Smokey."
"Smokey was a dog we added to our family when we were stationed in Spain. He was a wire haired terrier. He was the runt of the litter, but that's what the kids wanted so that was that.
Nan and I started teaching him easy tricks such as sit up, roll over, and turn around. Then we started to try more difficult tricks such as speak on command and progressed to counting by barking to hand signals and voice commands. One finger is One bark, Two finger for two barks, etc. He could count to three and subtract from three to one at first with voice commands then to just hand commands.
Nan taught him to close doors because the kids would run in the house and fail to close the door. One day I came home from shopping and I had my arms full. I told Smokey to close the car door. Little did I know that our neighbor was in the front yard watching this. Smokey had jumped up and pushed the door, but it did not close, so I told Smokey to go back and close the door which he did.
My neighbor came over and said that if he had not seen this with his own eyes that he would not believe it. He said, "I wish I could train my children to what he just did!"
Smokey did not like to be penned up in the back yard and would dig his way out of the fenced yard. I finally took two pickets off the fence at the bottom so that he had a way out. When I did that he stayed in the back yard until one of us came home and then he would greet us in the FRONT YARD!!" I capitalized front yard, Charlie did not. I still cannot get over how smart Smokey was.
"We were moving to Dallas from Austin and put the house up for sale and put it in a real estate dealer's hand.  We told the Realitor to leave the dog in the back yard when they left the house. They put him in the back yard and proceeded to lock the house and put the key in their lock box on the door handle. She looked down there was Smokey. She was sure that she had left him in the back yard, but she unlocked the door and went in the house. She opened the sliding door and put Smokey in the back yard. She left the house, locked the door, put the key in the lock box and lo and behold there was Smokey. She proceeded to call me and swore that she had left him in the back yard! I told her that it was ok because he had his own key. (Can you imagine the poor lady's state of mind?)
We used to play hide and seek with him and the kids would go hide and he would go find them. He sometimes would cheat by peeking to see where they were going so I would have him cover his eyes with his paws 'til they were hidden. Then I told him to go find them. He would always go to the last place he found them and then would search the rest of the house and as always found them all.
All the things we taught him were done without treats after each trick. He would do them for anyone as long as they spoke clearly.
He loved to play games that the kids played and tried to do everything that that did, We lived across the street from a playground and there was a slide that the kids were using. He would climb the slide ladder and slide down with them just like it was a natural thing that dogs did.
When it was bedtime the family would say prayers before going to bed. We taught Smokey to lay his head in my lap and cover his eyes while we prayed. Every once in a while, he would uncover his eyes to see what was going on. I would scold him and tell him to pray and he would cover his eyes until we were done."
Part 2 of Smokey's story will arrive soon, I presume. When It does, I will print it up and put it on line for all of you to read. Hope you enjoyed Part 1. This story is definitely part of the Aubin Family History.

Charlie and Nancy Aubin

Thursday, June 7, 2018

The Healer

Today Marie made me so happy. She had told me this story years ago and of course, I didn't write it down. She was very bright and happy this morning. After breakfast I took a chance and asked her about the time she burned herself. This is how the story goes:
Marie's grandfather Joeseph H. Aubin and his wife.
This picture was in an album of Marie's.
Note the paper clip holding the photo.
Marie was home alone. She said that her husband had gone to his parents' house to play cards with his brothers. She added, "cards, cards, cards. Never got tired of playing cards."
She was "carrying" her first child, Marie, and was in her first trimester. She and Ray lived on the fourth floor of a cold water flat. She had decided that she wanted a cup of tea and heated water for it on the stove in a pot. She did not say tea pot. She just said, pot. When the water was boiling, she was going to pour it in a cup for either tea or coffee. She did not specify what she was going to make. In the process of pouring the scalding water, she hit the sink with the pot of water. It slopped the terribly hot water all over her pregnant belly. Of course, soaking her clothes in the process. She said that she had called her mother. She told Marie to call her pep'e. or pe'p'ere or grandfather in Canadian French.
She did that because he was known as a healer. He told her to mix soda and bluing (laundry bluing) and smear on her stomach. The lady from the floor below brought some ice. The healing began immediately. I have never heard of such a thing. Marie called work and told them she "wouldn't be there for a couple of days." Missing work was almost a disaster at time in her life.
Marie went to the doctor and the doctor told her that if she had been further along she would have lost the baby. I question that because generally the first three months are often the times when ladies lose their babies. However, when she told me that this morning, I do remember her telling me that before.
Since Marie is disabled, I do her personal cares. She has always said that the only thing she has to show for the horrible burn is a "cauliflower" scar. There is no scar, there is however, an almost indiscernible naval. I'm thinking she was burned so badly that her naval was scarred over and now no longer seen.
Since Google is my best friend now days, I asked it what the ingredients of laundry bluing was. "Laundry bluing is made of a very fine blue iron powder suspended in water (a colloidal suspension.)"
Another site said that it contains a pH balancer and a biocide to prevent the buildup of algae and bacteria. There you go! How did he know this? Probably was something handed down for generations in his family. It may have in fact saved Marie's child that she was carrying.
Photo of bluing.
Still selling.
What do you have in your house for burns?

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Squirrels, Dogs, Cats And Marie

When I thought that I had heard all of the Marie Stories, I found out that I was completely wrong. This morning her son, Roger and his wife, Virgie stopped to say good-bye to Marie before they left to go home to Texas. Marie has been very very ill these last few weeks, but a couple of days were wonderful gifts to us all. She was verbal for the first time in a very long time and also was alert and aware of her surroundings and knew her boys.
This morning the four of us were sitting out on her deck and the reminiscing started. Then a new story popped up that I had never heard before. Of course, I couldn't wait to share it with you all.
I was aware for many years that Marie loved animals. I also knew that Fran had to put a stop to her feeding the neighborhood cats as well as the wildlife that lives in the timber next to her home. She didn't realize how much it was costing to feed the o'possums, squirrels, cats as well as dogs.
Roger started telling about Marie years ago when she lived in Massachusetts feeding critters IN her home! 
Marie allowed two families of squirrels to come into her home. She fed them table scraps until one of them bit her. She immediately stopped the "squirrel soup line" and told them to get out. Her boys knew not to hunt squirrels unless they were deep in the woods, because the ones close by were hers.
Then the story started to get more and more detailed. It seemed she had countless numbers of cats and dogs that lived in her house. They had designated closets that each cat knew which one was theirs.
One day a Husky dog decided to come into her home uninvited seemingly because he had heard the "free food rumor" started by the squirrels. Roger said that the Husky left with two cats on his back. The owner of the dog tried to get Marie to pay her vet bill. Evidently the cats were very territorial and their attack caused the dog to have 142 stitches. True to form, Marie held her ground and did not pay the vet bill!
This was a new story for me and of course, I told Roger he was making it up. Since Fran was there and verified it I am putting it on line for posterity.
Marie Rose Aubin Lizotte 96 years old.
Another Marie story is probably still waiting to be written. When I hear it, I will post it.

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Marie's New Old Specialty

Years ago Marie felt that it was her duty to teach her new daughter-in-law new tricks of the trade (about being a good housewife) albeit I was in my sixties. She told me tricks about gardening. She also attempted to teach me how to cook for Fran. She also did NOT try to teach me to crochet because I told her at the onset that was not my forte. She, of course, was amazed that any man or woman did not only crochet or knit, but did not want to!
She used to love to talk. She would talk non stop even when we needed to leave she would continue talking. When we would come back in the room she was still telling the same story. That is how I have been fortunate enough to write many of her life stories. One of her favorite things to do was shop through Publishers Clearing House, and many of the various catalogs that she received in the mail. She would buy See On TV Only things that were pieces of junk in our opinion but it was her money and I told Fran just never mind that is her only way of shopping. She was not able to go to the Dollar General or Wal-Mart very often. As she got older she was not able to go at all.
Marie was a lady that always wanted to do her part for others. She knitted and crocheted hats and mittens for the needy children for years and years. She also baked for bake sales for various charities. This is all leading up to the day that Fran's brother-in-law's family gathering took place after his funeral. I considered him my brother-in-law also because we liked each other and fought about politics and community goings on like brothers and sisters do and laughed about it. Marie liked him also and depended on him and his wife if by chance she needed something while Fran and I were gone.
Marie said that she was going to bake a cake for him; we were a bit apprehensive about it because of her poor eyesight. We told her that was very nice of her. We took the cake to his home. We watched people eat her cake with smiles on their faces. I couldn't take it, I had to have a piece of her cake. It was delicious!  So of course, afterwords we stopped at her house to visit. I told her how people enjoyed her cake. Then the teaching of LuAnne began by explaining about her purchase of a microwave Bundt pan for "baking" microwave cakes. She would order one and get two for the same price without realizing that she had to often pay extra shipping costs for the second one.
I wasn't the only one that got the lecture, her son's wife, Virgie, also got the lecture as well as her "free" pan.
One day I thought why do you have to have a special pan for the microwave, so I made one in a regular Pyrex pan. It was fine, except not like Marie's.
I'm an Amazon shopper and one day I realized that I had enough points I could get a microwave Bundt pan free with my points. Then Marie got sick. Then I was here more than at home. Then I didn't want to bake any more. I was busy and I was sad.
One day she asked me if I had found her microwave Bundt pan. I told her that I had not, but I would look for it. No Bundt pan. So today I brought my unused Amazon free microwaveable Bundt pan and made a cake. I watched YouTube and the lady with her husband telling her what to say (reminded me of home) showed a trick she used for even baking. I did it. This is a very short video and the prize cake that turned out. I hope she will taste it.

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Marie's Sister, Antoinette

Marie calls her sister Toni others spell her name Tony. I have not been able to find resources to give me information on Tony. I have two pictures to put on this web site at this time. I am sure I have some of her in group photos.

I wanted to do a story to finish the stories of Marie's siblings, but I am sorry, I have no information.
She has a daughter and granddaughter living in Chicago at this time.
The pictures that you see are not cropped or edited. They are in Marie's huge book she calls her Family Book. She has added hundreds of pictures and memorabilia throughout the years. As I get more information on Tony I will add it.Please feel free to inform me on Tony's life to make Marie's Memories complete as far as her siblings are concerned.

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Marie's Grandson Roger, Jr.

Roger Jr. came to visit us with his three children and his father to help Marie celebrate her 95th birthday. He will always stand out in my mind because he was the first person I ever saw watch a movie on his cell phone. I know, I know, but I'm from the country!
Sabrina, his oldest daughter fell in love with cucumber salad, Brandon learned how to pick, stem and clean green beans from the garden. And loved to eat them too. And Jasmin was five. She was a five year old with the "I miss my daddy and want to be with him all the time attitude". However, Grandma Lu helped out when Francis, Roger, Sr. and Roger Jr. wanted to go fishing. We made cookies!
Tired Dad and baby
Every time Roger visits our house he gives me a bad time about my coffee or lack or it. We have jabbed each other about coffee over the years. He has a good sense of humor which is important to me. He, like most of us has had bumps in his road, but again like most of us picks himself up by his boot straps and continues on with his life. Marie's grandchildren are made of strong stuff and I congratulate them on that. She would be proud of all of you!
Sabrina's graduation
A lot of water has gone under the bridge since then his last visit, Sabrina married and has three children, adding three great great grandchildren to Marie's list. Brandon has grown up and away and is in school in Nevada. Jasmin lives in Texas and is beautiful.
Roger has a wife, Kelly, and has  two sons with her.
Roger Sr., and Roger went to Sturgis a few years ago and had a ball on their trip. They rode their motorcycles and had a ball experiencing getting to know the lawyers, doctors, and businessmen who also ride bikes. And of course, got to wear their Harley gear.
A long long time ago, Marie's son, Francis taught her other son Roger Sr., how to be an auto body mechanic. And so Roger Sr. taught Roger also. Roger now is doing that for a living.
Brandon and Roger
When Roger and Kelly and then only Ryan who is now four came to help Marie celebrate her 100th birthday, Roger did us all a favor and made a video with Frank Sinatra singing in the background "The Young At Heart." I embedded that video in Marie's blog post that celebrated her birthday.
Kelly and Roger added another boy, Andrew who is now a year and a half old.
Here are a few pictures to help Marie and her family remember Roger and his family:
Roger Jr. teaching Ryan how to impress Grandma Lu
Ryan and Andrew
Yup, that's Roger!
Roger and son Brandon

Kelly and Ryan and Roger 100th birthday
Jasmin, Roger, Andrew and Ryan

Sabrina, Roger, and Brandon

Can't start to young I guess!

Monday, April 16, 2018

Marie's Brother, Joe

For a long time I couldn't remember seeing any pictures of Joe. Then one day I decided that Marie's huge photo album/family Bible/keepsake holder etc. should be made available to her family in her closed group. I was amazed at the amount of information Marie had in this "Family Book."
Joe was in the Navy. Marie has pictures of Joe with his brothers in uniform as well as friends from the service. As I was posting pictures for her from her book I wondered about Joe. All I knew about him was that he had been sick. This is what I found out. He had gotten tuberculosis when he was in the service. He spent several years in the hospital recovering. He had approximately three quarters of one lung removed during that time. His niece said, "Even that didn't stop him. He was always a positive person. He learned how to crochet and did other forms of needlework". His sister Pauline, had a beaded bag that he made while he was in the hospital. I was told by another niece that he crocheted doll clothes at home. Marie made doll clothes also.
He worked at Anwelt Shoe Company after he was discharged from the hospital.When he retired they moved to Fort Pierce, Florida where he and his wife, Rita lived for the remainder of their lives. They had two children; two sons, Wayne and Larry. Larry is deceased. Wayne and his wife are EMS in Alaska.
 "Joe continued to crochet and make tablecloths and pocketbooks." She said he also made rosary beads for members of his church. He and Rita made all sorts of string bags, hobo bags, clutches, etc. Another niece told me that Joe and his wife loved to cook and bake and enjoyed playing cards.
At one time one of his nieces had a nasty automobile accident that caused her to have twenty-nine operations on one of her legs. Joe took some of her crocheted toy animals and sold them to people that he worked with.
He mesmerized his nieces and nephews with his magic tricks with quarters. What a fun man he must have been and so very kind.
One of his visitors said that they had a swimming pool at their house and they had contests to see who could go longer under the water. Even with his bad lungs she said, he beat her. What great memories.
Joe loved to play golf. He could only play 9 holes, but that was great fun for him. When they had company visit them in Florida the park where they lived had a par 3 course and he would take them golfing.
Now for the fun part of Joe's hobbies; He loved model train sets and had quite a set up in his basement. He had so much fun with them. He had the train actually go into the bathroom. If you needed Toilet Tissue he would have his train deliver it to you in the bathroom! So much fun. My husband said that he can only remember seeing it once when he was young but it was great.

The impact on me was his height. He was very tall. In one picture he was kneeling in front of a group with his big ol' arm around his baby sister, Lucy. I said at the time I posted it, that that picture said, Love.

Joe loved his family and friends. He is in many pictures, but I chose these to show that were scotch taped and glued in Marie's album. I did not crop or change anything so the picture of Joe is exactly like it is in her book as is the picture of Joe and his wife Rita. I would have loved to have met him.
Other pictures were supplied by his son, Wayne and his wife, Debbie. I also did not crop or edit these pictures on purpose.
Here are some comments about Joe's wife Rita, she was always very kind. She was always ready to help someone if they were in need. She and Joe were well suited in my estimation. I think the world was a nicer place because they were part of it.
 I would like to thank Marie's family for their stories and their assistance in their helping me with the pictures.