Featured Post

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

She'za My Birthday, Too!!!

Anyone who knows me, knows I admired Lucille Ball a GREAT deal.

Remember the episode where Lucy and Ricky are in Italy?  She misses Little Ricky a great deal and it was his birthday and she wanted to call LONG DISTANCE back home to wish him a Happy Birthday.  Of course, back then, they had to place a call with an overseas operator and it was a big deal (not to mention a big price-tag...much to Ricky's dismay). 

Several attempts were made and each time someone from the lobby had to yell upstairs to the Ricardo's room that they were about to put the call through, so Ricky and Lucy would come racing down several flights of stairs (the elevator...she no worka) and, each time, it turned out to be a false alarm and back up the stairs they went.

After several failed attempts, naturally, Lucy broke into a wail.   A little shoe-shine boy who was bugging them for a shine took notice.  He approached Lucy and told her 'she'za my birthday today, too'.   Through the weepiness, she gave him a piece of candy and he dashed off thrilled.

A few minutes later, he came back with a little girl and informed Mrs Ricardo 'she'za HER birthday today, too!'.    Well, what a coinky dink!!!    The little girl got a piece of candy, too.

Yep....it didn't take long before the boy, and the little girl returned with MORE friends.   Lucy said 'let me guess!!!  It'sa ALLLL your birthdays, today too!!'.  She got an idea to have a birthday party for all of them with party favors and candy and, vicariously, celebrate Little Ricky's birthday.   Best of all, the phone call FINALLY came through during the middle of their party and all the children sang Happy Birthday to Little Ricky as Lucy held the phone out.

Sooooo....what has this got to do with Cuenca or me living in Ecuador?


I just thought you should know "She'za my MaMa's birthday today!".  

Yep, the odometer rolled over to 83.  But, as my mean, wicked sister informed me on my birthday this year....though we may say we've turned 39 (as in mine and Jack Benny's case), we've actually completed 39 years and starting our 40th.   GRRRRRRR   She has been struck from my Will with a GREAT BIG FAT RED PEN!!!

So, I guess Mom is entering her 84th. 

I thought she might get a tickle by publishing her birthday on the internets (note to George W Bush...there is only ONE internet) and those who read my blog from all over this flat earth.

A few interesting factoids about my Mom (oh, btw, Donna is her name):

  • Born March 26th, 1931, in Port Angeles, Washington
  • Smack dab in the middle of The Great Depression
  • Youngest of 6 (3 girls/3boys)
  • Had a job at a Bank handing out customers monthly statements
  • Married Dad in 1949 at age 18
  • Moved from her childhood home to Dad's property and is STILL THERE....65 years later!!  EEESH!!!  (I've lived in over 20 houses so far!)
  • In the nearly 56 years of being together (Dad passed away of prostate cancer in 2005), she made over 20,000 breakfasts for him.  That means another 20,000 or so lunches, too...about 15,000 of those packed in a metal lunch pail along with a thermos of coffee.
  • Add to that, over 25,000 lunches for us 4 kids, over 20,000 dinners of various sizes depending on who was still living at home, over 100 birthday cakes, more than 50 Christmas dinners which must mean the same number of Thanksgiving dinners as well.   There's no way to count how many home-baked pies, cakes, cookies, and breads she made!!!
  • She sewed and darned socks (DAMN SOCKS!)
  • She was home when we came home from school.   Usually in the middle of ironing clothes that were hung on a rack next to the wood heater (only source of heat in our house) or engulfed in 'As The World Turns' soap opera on our black and white television (on which we got FOUR channels).
  • She grew a large garden of peas, corn, carrots, raspberries, squash (ick), rhubarb, and potatoes.
  • She went out to abandoned logged off areas and found prized patches of blackberries, kept some and sold many gallons to local restaurants.
  • She made her own jams and jellies, canned peaches and pears, and plucked apples from our two trees.
  • In 1965 we rode in our 1958 Chevy station wagon to So Calif to see relatives, go to Disneyland, and see the Rose Parade (Walt Disney was the Grand Marshal that year).  Again, in 1969 in a pickup and camper...this time Neil Armstrong was the GM of the Rose Parade.
  • She cleaned the house with her mighty Kirby.
  • She did all the laundry.  In the early days, when she got her first 'automatic' washing machine, it only washed...it didn't spin.  She fed the clothes through the wringer/rollers with a hand-crank then hung them out to dry (weather permitting) or inside near the stove, then ironed the wrinkles out of everything.  
  • She managed the business side of Dad's logging operations, handling payroll, accounting, and paying Uncle Sam.
  • After 3 of us 4 kids went out on our own, she took a job handed 'down' through the family where she drove over 100 miles every day, from town to town, store to store, to pick up rolls of film for processing and deliver them to a halfway point where they were handed over to another driver who drove another 100 miles to the processing plant.   A few days later, customers photos were delivered using the same process, but in reverse order.
  • She and Dad trekked to Alaska in one of their motorhomes.  This was after they took the motorhome apart piece by piece down to the chassis, documenting and mapping every piece, and successfully re-constructed it all!!!
  • They also motored around Canada and the United States to places like Arizona, California, Branson Missouri, and Wyoming to see the grandkids.
  • She combed beaches for clams and oysters.  She's made hundreds of gallons of clam chowder and let me tell you, it's the BEST in the world!!
  • She plays games on the computer (she now has one better than MINE!) and keeps in touch with everyone with email.
  • To this day, she uses a riding lawn mower to mow the field out back.
  • At last count, she has 5 grand and 3 great-granchillen.
  • Today, she makes her millions by playing Bingo 8 days a week and loves to watch ball games on her COLOR television!!!

She's a strong woman, that Mom of mine!!  Though she'll NEVER admit it!


Enjoy the photos!!!

Oldest to youngest, Mom on far right.

Wedding photo 1949



Mom (top) and her sister slash best friend Edna
Mom with granddaughter Sara
Mom with granddaughter Sara (yep, same one)

50th Wedding Anniversary
'Rosie' (Donna) the Riveter

75th Birthday
80th Birthday


  1. hi dano!
    so enjoyed reading about your mom! those memories are priceless! I remember my mom ready with
    hot cocoa after walking thru the snow from school. also helped do the laundry with that roller machine!
    had to be careful or you popped the buttons off the shirt! (still HATE ironing!) :] joyce in Cuenca !

  2. Wow! This is wonderful! Well except the comment about the mean, wicked sister :-) Mom will love this! Love, the mean, wicked one

  3. A well done tribute, beautiffuly and humorously wrtitten!! It sure makes me want to hug my mom ( who would be 101). Signed, One who works with the mean, wicked one!

  4. Dano! What a beautiful tribute to your beautiful and strong MOM, you are so fortunate to still have her and good on you for knowing that and writing this fantastic piece. The pics are lovely. And yes, I too enjoyed the humour and especially the reminder about Lucy, a huge fan that I am too!

  5. Well done! I actually was hunting for info on living in Cuenca when I found your site and the tribute to Mom was a refreshing trip. Partly due to fact my mom is same age and I can identify with most of the memories and the Port Angeles WA. Celebrate! Best wishes to you and your family.
    La Conner, WA

    1. I guess I need to say the same thing. So MANY similarities, and simple, gracious joys contained in this post, and yes, I love Lucy, too. Also, checking out the Cuenca life for myself and family. Thanks for this post.

      John M.

  6. Dear Dano, Happy Birthday to your mother Donna!!

    Dear Donna, Happy Birthday to you!!

    Thank you for sharing the detail of a remarkable life and love


  7. Happy Birthday! (2 days after my own) :-)

  8. Now we know where you got your good looks from.

  9. Only ONE photo of mom and her funny looking son???

  10. Only ONE photo of mom's funny looking son???


Wanna leave a comment? PLEASE DO!!

It's not very intuitive, so let me help you...
1. Write your comment
2. From the list of Comment As, just select Anonymous
3. If you want me to know who you are, simply type your name inside the comment box, at the end.
4. Press the Publish button
5. Click the box I'm Not a Robot
6. Press the Publish button again
7. If a 'test question' comes up, answer it and press the button
8. If you passed the 'test question' press Publish

About Me

My photo
Palma, Mallorca, Spain
This is all about my transition from an American lifestyle and culture to my newest adventure, life in Spain, in the city of Palma on the island of Mallorca in the middle of the Mediterranean sea!! I moved from the USA to Cuenca, Ecuador, South America and lived there for 7 years before moving here to Spain in early 2018. To read about my adventures in Ecuador, check out my other blog "Ahhh Cuenca!!". I'll be recapping some of my day-to-day experiences (and mishaps) to highlight what it's like to live in Europe....across the pond.

Total Views