Thursday, March 6, 2014

Halupkies and Fond Memories from my Childhood

Today is the start of my halupkie making season.  It is when I start making halupkies for the different events at Salem UCC, such as the one this Saturday, March 8, our Annual Mardi Gras.  Now I know we are a couple days late, sorry, but Salem has a program where we volunteer in the community the first Saturday of the month.     It's called the First Fruits Program.  I volunteer at the Catasauqua Library.  So we had to move Mardi Gras to the 2nd Saturday.

There will be lots of good food, including my halupkies, along with haluski, hot dogs, barbeque and much more.  I think we might even being having a breakfast.  Along with the food is a big  FLEA MARKET and a wonderful "Tricky Tray" or some say "Basket Raffle".  There is also a beautiful afghan, made by one of my bff's Roseanne, that is being raffled off.  Plus a bake sale and a children's corner.   There is even rumor that TWINKLE STAARR the Clown might appear to do face painting and balloon animals.

But back to the halupkies.  Many people have, over the years, volunteered to help me.  I always turn them down, saying that my kitchen is to small. I really don't need the help.  Those are both true.  But the real reason that I like to do them by myself is that they bring me closer to a childhood memory of my Grandfather, George Temos.  Uncle Georgie to my counsins, Pappy to me. 
Pappy with his passion - his car

He was a tall man.  I was looking for a picture of him and almost always his head is cut off in the pictures.  It was always tan, he worked at the Bethlehem Steel as a rigger.    He died many years ago when I was young, somewhere around 5th or 6th grade.  But I always remember him is some of the traditions I still keep.  His family was from Poland, the only one in his family to be born in America.  He would not teach me Polish because he said we are in American - you speak American.   The only polish I can remember is dobro pivo, which means good beer.  I guess I really don't need to know anything else! 

He was the only male figure in the family, I have never met my dad, so he was everything to me.  He use to teach me to fix things, he would say, "you never know when you might not have a man to help you."  So when I make halupkies, which was one of the Sunday Dinners he would prepare, I think of him.  He taught me to brown the hamburger first, that comes from growing up on the farm, all our meat was well done.  More importantly he taught me how to roll them so that the don't fall apart. After you put the hamburger and rice mixture in the center of the cabbage leaf it is - fold the bottom up - fold left in - right in and squish the top down into the center with your finger.  Every time I hear the squishy sound I think of him saying "That's it Beverly, you got it."

So you see, my kitchen is quite crowded, and I am never really doing the alone, Pappy is right here with me saying - Beverly, you got it.

Love you Pappy........and that's another day in Catasauqua
 

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Snow by any Other Name Would Still Be.........

Out of the bosom of the Air,
      Out of the cloud-folds of her garments shaken,
Over the woodlands brown and bare,
      Over the harvest-fields forsaken,
            Silent, and soft, and slow
            Descends the snow. - Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

At first we look for snow, it's poetic,  we love when snow blankets the ground on Christmas Eve, but when it goes on and on we start to get a little testy about it.   In general I don't mind it - but I hate the ice.  I hate trying to walk on ice and I hate shoveling it.

On Sunday I thought it would be a great day to take Petey for his first ever walk since the snow started blocking the side walks.  It was warm, the sun was shining and I was antsy.  I have been having problems with my knees so whenever it is snows or is icy I don't walk Petey because he pulls too much sometimes - I don't want to slip and fall and take a chance on hurting myself more.

When I got the harness Petey got so excited - he couldn't contain himself.  I don't think I ever saw him so excited.  Parke helped me get Petey down the porch and to the sidewalk.  Oakley (a cat) was on the porch so that's always an experience in itself and I am having problems stepping down with my knees.

So off we went.  I must say we were both disappointed.  I could not get off the block, the corner at the end of the block was not clear.  There was no path to cross.  I was very surprised considering it is a bus stop for the kids.  I could see that all the corners were clear up ahead so I was really bummed.  I didn't want to take a chance walking on the ice to cross.  I would of went around the block but the path down the street was narrow and Petey and I are wide.

So back we went back pass our house and down Walnut Street for a bit and back.  I would of love to gone farther and I am sure Petey would of to.

A funny thing about snow removal and where I live (the house next to me is half in Catty (Lehigh County) and half in North Catty (Northampton County).  Between the neighbor and I we have 3 cars - we park on Howertown Road.(My mom is out back in the driveway)  When the snow got higher and higher we started piling in back of the neighbor's one car and in front of the neighbor's Daughters car.  I was in the middle.  Yesterday North Catty removed snow on Howertown.  They removed the snow in front of the daughter's car because that is North Catty.  But Catty stopped removing snow on Howertown at Walnut.  So the snowpile at the corner reminds me of the "man without a country"  it's the snowpile without a town, but then......that's another day in Catasauqua.

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Harry Potter Loves Jello

Harry Potter Loves Jello is a quirky way our Pastor came up with to remember the Sundays in Advent.  Hope, Peace, Love and Joy.  And, may I say that it worked because this year everyone remembered,  in order,  the Sundays of Advent.  Advent is the start of the Church's year  - easy to remember - its starts with an A - Also if you ever get confused between Advent and Lent, remember ABC, Advent Before Christmas.

As I sit here aching from back to toe after toting 12 Christmas totes down 2 flights of steps I must remember that it is not just the decorations that get us ready for  Christmas, it is our hearts that we really need to get ready. 

Since Thanksgiving I have been busy taking Autumn stuff down and putting Christmas stuff up.  I went shopping at Target Thanksgiving night for some great doorbuster deals for my Grandchildren.  I even shopped a little on Black Friday.  I must say that after working 35 years on Black Friday it felt good to be off.  (I did have off a couple of years ago, but I was laid off at the time so it did not feel so joyous) 

I have decorated at home and I have decorated at Church and am almost  ready  for Advent to begin.  My Advent Candle Ring is still in the attic and I will get it down tomorrow, as soon as I get the rest of the junk off the dining room table and the Christmas table cloth on.

Parke and I had the annual Christmas decoration fight.  He says I have too many, and I agree, but some decorations bring with them memories.  Some of the memories I want to keep, like all the decorations my son made for me when he was in school.  Or the manger from my Grandmother's house.

I like good memories, I like Christmas and I love the Baby Jesus.  So here's wishing you Harry Potter Loves Jello, oops I mean Hope, Peace, Love and Joy this Christmas season.  May this year bring you some fond memories and may your heart be ready to accept the love that comes from God this season in the form of a baby.

and that's another day in Catasauqua.


Thursday, November 28, 2013

Another Thanksgiving in Catasauqua

Thanksgivings are the best.  The smell of turkey in the oven - the filling, which is known as stuffing to others, is one of my favorites.  Not to mention cranberry sauce.  I use to make my own but I found the joy of Giant's cranberry orange relish through my bff Cathy, who ironically made her own this year.

Thanksgiving is the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade, which is on right now,  it's football for Parke later today.  And if you are a true Catasauquian it is the famous Thanksgiving Day Game between the Catasauqua Rough Riders and the Northampton Konkrete Kids.  I went for many years when I was young, until it became my turn to cook.  If you are not from Catty then you cannot understand the importance of the game - it is Tradition.  This year Catty Football has been doing great and Saturday Catasauqua will be playing in the PIAA Class 2A State Quarterfinal for the first time in school history.  So stay safe Roughies, do not use all your best moves today save them for Saturday.

Many years ago I lived with a "non-rough rider"  who got very angry (there is a dent in the kitchen wall yet)  because my son wasn't home in time from the football game, he obviously did not respect tradition.  Game first - dinner later.

I saw another tradition this morning while walking Petey - the toilet papered house of a senior.  I like Thanksgiving - its the calm of the storm before the frenzy Christmas shopping.  It's the forgotten holiday - we leap from Halloween to Christmas with a pitstop for turkey and gravy.

Until last year I didn't know Thanksgiving was once moved on the calendar - I found out in the funniest of ways with bff Cathy again, at the movies watching Holiday Inn, an old Fred Astaire/Bing Crosby movie.  When they showed November the Turkey kept jumping back and forth, it is when FDR had decided to fiddle with the holiday.

Food traditions have changed for me over the years, we still have Turkey and I make my grandmother's filling.  I have added Mrs. Werner's, my ex-mother-in-laws sweet potatoes and now Parke's mother's Cope corn casserole.  A few years ago I added my famous chocolate chip cookies for the Grandkids, and this year I even made my Grandmother's apple tarts for my Mom.

Thanksgiving is also time to give thanks.  I am thankful for my Mom and Parke, I am thankful for my son, Robert and his wife Amy and my wonderful grandchildren, Katie, Joey and Bobby.  I am thankful for soooo many BFF's to numerous to mention, plus I don't want to forget anyone.  I am thankful for my church, my job (even though I had the BIGGEST hissy fit that I have had in a while yesterday) and my home.

I am thankful for Catasauqua and for you dear reader.  May you take today to just be blessed, rest, eat and be thankful.

Go Roughies, and that's another day in Catasauqua.



Saturday, November 2, 2013

Volunteering in Catasauqua

My Pastor, Pastor Michael Smith, of Salem UCC in Catasauqua, along with his wife, Meghan, have initiated a volunteer program called "First Saturday".   Every first Saturday of the month volunteers from Salem go out into the community and volunteer at various places. 

This Saturday I chose The Catasauqua Public Library.  Along with BFF's, Cathy, Tammy, Don, Carol and Carol we ventured out this morning and reported for duty promptly at 9:30 AM.  We chose papers that assigned us to different jobs. 

First Tammy and I worked on the video section pulling out duplicate movies.  Then later I was assigned to stamping DISCARD into the books that the library puts out as free for the taking.  Now, if you ever saw me at work with the VOID stamper, you know that I love to stamp.  So stamped I did.   I was in my glory.  In between stamping and dating the books,  I perused around the library and found more books that I hadn't read by my favorite author, Janet Evanovich.  I didn't know that she wrote these other series so I was so excited that I renewed my Library Card and borrowed "Metro Girl" to read. 

Cathy working
Then, in the discard pile I found another book that I wanted to read! A book I never heard of by Jacqueline Susann entitled "Yargo".  It is kind of a "Valley of the Dolls" meets "Star Wars", looks strangely interesting.

 Oy,  all I can say, good thing I wasn't assigned to an Animal Shelter, because I probably would of came home with 2 more dogs and cat.  This way I only came home with 2 books and a renewed Library Card and renewed love of the Library.

Thanks Meghan and Pastor Mike, for getting me off my butt and getting me out there into the community, into my community.  And that's another day in Catasauqua.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Behind the Scenes at the ROXY

The Roxy in Northampton was and still is one of my favorite places to see a movie.  It's not a multiplex - it is not even a duplex - it is a good old fashion movie theatre.

The theatre was first opened on Feb. 1st, 1921 as the LYRIC Theatre by Harry Hartman who previously had several other nickelodeons in Northampton.

As a child my Mom took the cousins and I to see movies there.  I saw every Elvis movie at the Roxy and for some reason a lot of gladiator movies to.  I remember seeing Ben Hur - it must of been a special showing of it because we even got a program book.  I still have it somewhere.

If you want to read about the history of the Roxy - they have a website -  http://www.roxytheaternorthampton.com/roxyhistory.htm

Why do I still like the Roxy - $3.00 movies and the best buttered popcorn in town!  But today was special - We Sing - North Catasauqua's Community Choir held rehearsal there.  We will be preforming tomorrow October 20, 2013 at 3:00 PM.  The concert costs $5.00 this year, but only because we are raising money for a good cause. A diabetic alert dog for Matt Globosits.

I was behind the stage years ago and the owner had posters and newpaper articles of all the headliners that performed at the Roxy.  Since they did some remodeling some are gone but still backstage is awesome.  It's like how I  imagine Broadway in the old days to be.  I have a terrible urge to sing:



Overture, curtain, lights
This is it, the night of nights
No more rehearsing and nursing a part
We know every part by heart
Overture, curtains, lights
This is it, we'll hit the heights
And oh what heights we'll hit
On with the show this is it

Tonight what heights we'll hit
On with the show this is it

In case you don't know what that is from it is was Bug's Bunny and Daffy Duck sang in the beginning of the Bugs Bunny Show.

The wood, old posters, old furniture, the brick, the darkness - stepping out on stage - the bright lights - the feeling - priceless. 

If you can --join us tomorrow at the Roxy for We Sing's Concert.  If not enjoy a movie there sometime, because it is THE ROXY.

and that's Another day in Catasauqua........







Thursday, October 3, 2013

The Praying Mantis's of Catasauqua

In my front yard
My first encounter with the magical Praying Mantis was a bug collection for school that one of my cousins was doing.   They had just stuck a pin through it and were watching it pray as it was dying; and my heart went out to this poor little insect that was so close to God it would pray.  Now that I am older, I still marvel at the praying mantis especially since I moved to my house on Howertown Road in Catasauqua.

Each spring a bevy of the creatures hatch from cocoons that they laid in the bushes and always 1 or 2 hang around all summer and fall and I can continue to watch them grow.  They are an odd insect.  Last weekend I went up to one on the bushes out front and said hi, and then watched it turned its head and those two big bug eyes look at me.  It was like a bug horror movie, I backed away.  But since then I found our some interest facts about the praying mantis.

1)  The belief that it is illegal to kill a praying mantis (a crime carrying a $50 fine as a punishment) has been floating around since the 1950s, and no one has an idea where this bit of insectoid legal apocrypha came from. There is not (and never has been) any federal or state law prohibiting the killing of praying mantises. They're certainly useful insects that are best left alone since they eat a lot of other bugs we consider pests, but they're hardly an endangered species. (If they were endangered, killing them would carry a fine far heftier than $50.) Maybe because they're considered beneficial insects and have such an unusual posture (they're prayin', fer gosh sake!) people literally thought it a crime to kill them.

2) Mantids are closely related to cockroaches and termites. These three seemingly different insects – mantids, termites, and cockroaches – are believed to descend from a common ancestor.

3) Female mantids sometimes eat their matesYes, it's true, female praying mantids do cannibalize their sex partners. In some instances, she'll even behead the poor chap before they've consummated their relationship. As it turns out, a male mantid is an even better lover when his brain, which controls inhibition, is detached from his abdominal ganglion, which controls the actual act of copulation. (There is so much I want to say here but I am biting my tongue on this one)

4)  Mantids are unique among insects in their ability to turn their heads a full 180 degrees
Try to sneak up on a praying mantis, and you may be startled when it looks over its shoulder at you. No other insect can do so.  (This is I know since it scared the heck out of me)

5)  The word "mantis" comes from the Greek word meaning prophet.
Over in the bushes in the front yard

6)  The European Mantis (mantis religiosa), a native of Southern Europe became the official State Insect of Connecticut on October 1st, 1977!

7)  Did you know that most of the about 2,000 species' of mantids worldwide are found in Asia?
There are about 20 U.S. native mantids. Two species, the Chinese Mantis and European Mantis, were purposely introduced to control pests in farms and gardens.

Now I always thought of them as a harmless creature until I saw the video of one them killng a hummingbird. Yes a bird - you can check it out here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=neFuXVumxK8  

Well, I guess that's it for now, sorry I haven't been blogging much, I guess I gotta get back in the swing of it.  In the meantime, that's another day in Catasauqua