Still walkin’ my socks off …

Today’s all-day rain gives me a brief respite from walkin’ my socks off to reach my goal. But, I managed to get 12 miles/19 kilometers done over the weekend – 8 miles/12 kilometers more to get ‘er done and reach my goal. Yesterday the wind was very blustery, and, just like one day earlier in the week, the winds were calm when I left the house, but kicked up mightily just a half-hour after I arrived. The weatherman also promised a sunny Sunday – I was outside over three hours and the sun must’ve slept in.

I’ve been thinking about Christmas stockings since deciding on this title for today’s post. Over the years, Christmas stockings have played a big part in the holiday ambiance for me …

… Like having a Christmas stocking when I was a little nipper.

On Christmas Eve, I dutifully left my stocking next to Santa’s milk and cookies so he wouldn’t forget to fill it (hint, hint). My parents loaded it up with goodies to keep me occupied so they could sleep in on Christmas morning, and, after I was sound asleep with visions of sugar plums dancing in my head, the sock would magically appear at the end of my bed. I was told (warned) that when I woke up, to just get my sock and let Mommy and Daddy sleep in since it was a holiday. I always got an orange and an apple in the toe and only on Christmas, Easter and Halloween did my parents allow hard candy, so I could always count on a candy cane and perhaps a Pez dispenser and candy for inside it. I always got some chocolate wrapped in gold foil that looked like gold coins. Chocolate was the exception as to candy – I don’t know why that was?

My parents never knew my grandmother had a stash of Laura Secord “humbugs”, those yummy brown-striped hard candies, that she always kept in a little tin in her apron pocket. Sometimes she had a crinkly cellophane bag of peppermint balls that looked like mothballs – she would tell me to go outside to eat it as it smelled so strong and you couldn’t bite it, but had to wait for the candy ball to dissolve and “we don’t want to give away our secret, right?” The stocking candy was a treat because our Christmas candy set out in dishes around the living room had no appeal to steal one or two. Those hard candies were shaped like presents and had gooey stuff inside them … now if they had been Smarties (like American M&Ms) … well they would have been worth swiping.

Since the orange and apple were boring, they would be put aside, so I’d hone in on the treats and explore my sock. There would be crayons and a coloring book, maybe a jar of bubble soap and a bubble wand, or jacks, or a Slinky, even some Silly Putty to make stretchy faces out of my favorite comic-book characters in the funny papers …

… and, when I was really young, there were always a Golden Book or two.

My favorite stocking stuffers were new Barbie clothes, either bought at the store, or outfits that my mom would knit while I was at school. Here is a photo of Mom and me posing on Christmas Day when I got my first Barbie and a case for her clothes and accessories. (Please no comments on my hairdo which looked like I stuck my finger in an electrical socket because my mom made me sleep on pincurls on Christmas Eve – ugh.) I’d say this photo was taken around 1963.

Life sure was fun back in the day. I don’t know why I still don’t have that Christmas stocking, because I’ve hung onto many treasures from my childhood. I’m a “saver” not a “thrower” so that is why when folks say “do you use a treadmill all Winter?” my answer is “I’d love one, but where would I put it?”

The socks of Christmas Past.

When I decided to incorporate some memories about Christmas stockings into this “Still walkin’ my socks off …” miles-tally post, I actually went downstairs to root around in a few of the red Rubbermaid tubs with green lids where Christmas decorations we gathered through the years are stored; these festive-looking tubs have remained unopened for ten years. I knew I had saved some felt stockings and sure enough I had.

In fact, there was a treasure trove of red-felt Christmas stockings – some were brand new.

I saved stockings from work as well (pictured above and below). I always made up socks with little gifts for my bosses through the years. I filled those Christmas stockings with fun little things I’d pick up for a song and some goodies as well. I found one for both Robb and me downstairs.

My boss usually sends me pictures of how he decorates the office since he took over that chore after I stopped working on site in 2009. I packed away some of the socks with our office Christmas decorations. So, he hangs one sock outside my office door …

… and another paired up with his in the lobby.

Spreading cheer, whether chocolates or cookies, was something I did for all the holidays at work when we still worked at the Firm prior to leaving on our own on January 31, 2003. My mom and I used to make up something fun for the staff members on all the holidays and Christmas was no exception. Usually it was a big gingerbread man in a bag with curling ribbon and a Christmas message, but several times we made up these mini stockings.

I had to use initials as some names were too long to fit up top. I’d decorate all the socks over Thanksgiving, in between decorating here at home. I’d have socks laying all over the floor while the glitter dried, then we stuffed them with chocolates and a mini candy cane. I always had to have extra socks on hand in case someone quit, or got sick, and a temp came in their place. That happened a few times. Then, two days before Christmas, I would arrive earlier than usual and creep around, leaving treats or stockings at each desk before anyone arrived. One year I did a poem modeled after “The Night Before Christmas” using all the names of the staff personnel. This was before we had internet access at work, so I had to go buy the book, as I did not remember the whole poem, having not heard it since I was very young. I typed it up and xeroxed it onto Christmas paper.

Thanks to the rain I had a walking respite, so I could finish this longish post I started last night. Onward and upward for finishing up, but for now, perhaps I’ll play with this Silly Putty that beckoned me to buy it at Meijer a few weeks ago before I have to start work. 🙂

P.S. – Don’t forget to hang up your sock!!!

About Linda Schaub

This is my first blog and I enjoy writing each and every post immensely. I started a walking regimen in 2011 and decided to create a blog as a means of memorializing the people, places and things I see on my daily walks. I have always enjoyed people watching, and so my blog is peppered with folks I meet, or reflections of characters I have known through the years. Often something piques my interest, or evokes a pleasant memory from my memory bank, so this becomes a “slice o’ life” blog post that day. I respect and appreciate nature and my interaction with Mother Nature’s gifts is also a common theme. Sometimes the most-ordinary items become fodder for points to ponder over and touch upon. My career has been in the legal field and I have been a legal secretary for four decades, primarily working in downtown Detroit, and now working from my home. I graduated from Wayne State University with a degree in print journalism in 1978, though I’ve never worked in that field. I like to think this blog is the writer in me finally emerging!! Walking and writing have met and shaken hands and the creative juices are flowing once again in Walkin’, Writin’, Wit & Whimsy – hope you think so too. - Linda Schaub
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62 Responses to Still walkin’ my socks off …

  1. Fred Bailey says:

    K Mart $2.92 !!!! Wow!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. We never did stockings at home. We didn’t have a fireplace to hang them. It wasn’t one of our traditions (and we had a lot of them!). I never did them as an adult either. I worked for a very large company and we didn’t do much there either. There was the company tree and some people exchanged gifts or had a secret Santa exchange but I don’t remember a lot of that kind of giving going on. When I was a manager there I had 35 people reporting to me. That would have been overwhelming.

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    • lindasschaub says:

      We didn’t have a fireplace then either Kate. There is a fireplace now, but it is electric and does not give off heat, just flame movement and embers colors, so nice to look at but kind of useless. I used to put stocking hangers on it. I will take your advice a few posts ago and take a few things out next year, among them the stocking hangers. We had about 25-30 staff members at any given time, and that included the paralegals and the accounting people and at the height of the breast implant litigation, we had several temps doing overflow work as we represented Dow Chemical and Dow Corning, two of the major Defendants. My first law firm we did the secret Santa one year but it didn’t take off. Also, we had separate Christmas dinners for the attorneys and the staff. They had something where we drew names that night and we chose wrapped presents in chronological number – you could take someone else’s present with a lower number and it led to fights and one girl, after a few drinks, started crying. You weren’t missing anything. 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

      • Office parties were deadly. Especially the ones without spouses. As a human resource person I didn’t want to see that stuff so I always left early. Nothing worse than seeing an execs tongue down an administrative’s mouth! Seeing it required I would address it. I had to do that once. I kept my social life outside of work.

        Liked by 1 person

      • lindasschaub says:

        I know exactly what you mean Kate. When I worked at the ad agency … well no words for what happened there. One girl dancing on the table before the night was over and trying to take off her dress which was a mini dress to begin with – it was circa 1978-1979 and then people pairing off … I “get” what you are saying and we’ve commented before on this topic and nothing amazes me anymore.

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      • A women fell face first into a plate of mashed potatoes. That is the highlight of one dinner.

        Liked by 1 person

      • lindasschaub says:

        Just amazing. I liked seeing everyone all dressed up at the beginning and by the end of the night, looking bedraggled and a bit incoherent.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Laurie says:

    Those grandmas…always slipping their grandchildren forbidden treats! It’s our way of getting revenge for when our parents slipped our kids forbidden treats and we got frustrated. It’s karma!

    Only 8 miles to go?!?!?! That’s awesome! You will finish ahead of schedule. I guess you will have to come up with an even more audacious goal for next year.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      I agree Laurie! I rarely saw my grandma without her apron, so there were always treats lurking in the corners of her pockets when I was growing up.

      Yes, only 8 more miles to go, so feeling more comfortable now about finishing my goal. I knew we might have some bad weather this week – we had an all-day rain and a rapid freeze overnight. If it is black ice, I’ll skip a walk. An Arctic blast Wednesday and Thursday won’t affect me if it is clear on the pavement and no black ice and Friday is supposed to be fine, weekend crummy. Hopefully, I’ll finish this week. I will add more miles to my goal next year, but no 80 like I did this year. I’m willing to walk but the weather was problematic from the beginning of January – just erratic and unpredictable. When I retire, the sky can be the limit – if it rains in the a.m., I’ll go out when it’s over. Then the sky can be the limit. 🙂

      [The oddest thing – I forgot to press “send” and this response was still in my notifications area. My computer had a meltdown earlier today and I am thinking I may be going to Windows 10 sooner rather than later. I have the Windows 10 laptop here, but I revived my Windows 7 computer after it crashed for no reason, so I’ve been bopping back and forth to the new one re: updates. ]

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  4. What a fun post! I can’t believe you did so much for the people in your office for Christmas. Amazing!

    We have only 10 miles to go to meet my goal. (Notice it is not John’s goal.) I decided that if you could walk 1000 miles last year, I could do 500. We have plenty of time to get in those 10 miles before the end of the year. We were stopped by rain today. There were no green spots near us on the radar map, but it began to rain when we’d gone only 1/4 of the distance.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      My mom and I had fun doing that Anne – we did it almost ten years. Christmas, Easter and Halloween were the holidays we made the biggest effort – St. Paddy’s Day and Valentine’s Day we made slice-and-bake cookies with the holiday motifs on them, put them into small baggies and used curling ribbon to match the cookies. For Easter we did “nests” one year. Land O’ Lakes Butter had a recipe – you took Chung King chow mein noodles, mixed with marshmallows and fashioned them into bird “nests”, then filled them with jelly beans and/or Cadbury mini speckled chocolate eggs and put them into a Baggie and tied with curling ribbon. The most fun treat we did was buying everyone an Easter basket with a handle – basket was colorful wicker and 2” X 3” big. We went to a party supplies store and found chenille chickens which I had on my Easter basket as a kid. We put paper Easter grass in and filled it and bought Saran Wrap in pastel colors as it was easier to work with. I wish I had taken pictures. The staff loved the treats and looked forward to them. Plus I had candy on my desk in festive dishes for all the holidays. I used to wear pins and earrings for various holidays and now I am “Peanut Lady” – before I was more like the “Holiday Lady”. When we left the Firm and went on our own, I still brought candy but no more festive items, except the stockings. Here is the nests picture. Before Robb, I worked for a litigation attorney and the Human Resources Director … she also taught Sunday school. She married a Jewish man and converted to Judaism. She taught Sunday School and she deemed these Springy treats could be used for Passover, so she asked for the recipe and used them every year for Sunday school kids and her Passover table. https://www.landolakes.com/recipe/18764/jelly-bean-nests/

      That is great that you did 500 miles – congratulations! Feel proud of yourselves. The first few years I walked I only did 300, then gradually raised it a little more each year. I will lose some time this week due to the rain and possible icy precip tonight, then bitter cold. I’ll still walk in the cold if it is not icy though.

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  5. Rebecca says:

    Nice Christmas memories! I know your co-workers enjoyed the special treats you left for them. I got my first Barbie in the early ’60’s. She had hard hair and came with about three wigs. I still have her stuffed away in a drawer somewhere, though her wigs are long gone. Little Golden books and Dr. Seuss books always seemed like such wonderful gifts to me. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      Thanks Rebecca – glad you enjoyed the memories. I wonder what happened to my sock as I have saved so many other childhood treasures. We liked doing the treats for my co-workers and did it for 10 years. It was a medium-sized office but a close group of girls and it gave us something festive to do for each holiday. I gave my Barbie and case filled with clothes and accessories to my diner boss’s granddaughter. She used to come into the diner to visit him while he/I were working and she was the apple of his eye. Sometimes I wish I had kept it though. I loved the Golden Books too – those two in the picture I kept with gift wrap in a cupboard. I used to always give a Golden Book with a baby gift but it has been ages since I’ve been to a baby shower. I didn’t read Dr. Seuss as a kid, but saw “The Grinch” movie – I can appreciate his quotations as an adult though.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Joni says:

    I remember the golden books and still have a couple down in the basement. My sister had the same black Barbie case as she had Barbie, but I had the blue double sided one as I had both Midge and Skipper. I think workplaces used to be more into Christmas back then. I remember the whole hospital being decked out and every department vying for first place in the decorating contest. The lab staff used to hand paint a mural along the outside hall every year. And there would always be a staff Christmas tea with fancy tea cups and treats and lunch potlucks. You probably can’t do that kind of thing now, plus nobody even has time for meal breaks. I bet your mom enjoyed helping you out with all the holiday treats.

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    • lindasschaub says:

      Hi Joni – I just heard a story about Christmas in the workplace on the news today. The article said that most people would rather the company skipped a holiday get-together and hated the Secret Santa gift exchanges. It is too bad it is that way now. I started the bake sale at my first law firm I worked at to raise money for the Ethiopian famine and we raised $250.00 matched by the partners – everyone was bringing in baked goods or treats and paid for goodies on the honor system. At the last Firm, people always brought in cookies or cakes from Thanksgiving to Christmas. My mom and I did this for ten years and had fun trying to be creative each year – at Easter we did small baskets with chenille chickens on the side and covered with pastel Saran wrap and also “bird nests” with jelly beans in them. Halloween we did pumpkins filled with treats and a mini spider webs with a spider web on top. It was fun. I only had Barbie, no friends, but I did have furniture and a house of some type, all made out of cardboard that I got for Christmas one year. You had to put together the house/furniture.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Joni says:

        I think that’s because many people don’t like their workplaces and/or their co-workers. We tended to work for the same company for years but they job-hop a lot, so there’s not the same level of commitment either way now. I seldom went to the Christmas dinner, even if it was a free meal, usually because it was in a different town I’d have to drive to in bad weather and sometimes because I didn’t have a spouse to bring if spouses were included. I mean think about it, what does everyone’s spouse have in common – nothing, not even shop talk. No wonder most people dread the annual Christmas party and would rather forget the whole thing. When I worked at the hospital, it was often so busy before Christmas with admissions and discharges that no one had time to socialize over tea and cookies anyway. Although I do remember having a carol sing at Lunch and Learn in the Resource Centre one year and that was fun.

        Liked by 1 person

      • lindasschaub says:

        I think eventually they will be a thing of the past quit honestly. Lot of companies stopped them last year due to the Me Too Movement. After Robb and I moved out on our own, the building we’re in has an annual Christmas party. It is from 4:00-6:00 and appetizers and wine and they have it catered by one of the restaurants owned by the building (Rattlesnake Club). They have poinsettia trees and plants as door prizes, but that’s about it. I went a few times – no spouses/partners. I agree with you. My mom had a ten-day course of antibiotics at a hospital for her cellulitis one year – they discharged her on Christmas Eve and the doctor said “you’ll have better care at home than here tonight and tomorrow”. At least he was honest – he said they had lots of pot luck offerings. But a hospital is not the same as people still have to work, but they would have a skeleton crew more or less.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Joni says:

        Most of the administration people were of course long gone. The days leading up to Xmas were always so busy and stressful, it sometimes wasn’t worth getting the day off. No one could take vacation time at Xmas, you either got Xmas Day off or New Years but never both, and often had to work Boxing Day too. There would always be some kind of crisis to deal with, or a needed shipment which hadn’t arrived. Not fond memories for sure. When I retired it was November, and I was so happy that year that I had time off over Christmas!

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      • lindasschaub says:

        I can see why they would not schedule too many people off and I have to say that there has always been some kind of crisis that came up at the last minute before a holiday over the years, whether it was Christmas, Thanksgiving – always people want to wait for the last moment. I have never seen it to fail – the only time I could always count on leaving timely before a holiday was at the diner … we closed two days a year Christmas and Thanksgiving. The sign went up, the door was locked an hour before closing. I was long gone as they closed at midnight.

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      • Joni says:

        My retail job was worse for the last minute crowd. People coming in with no refills left and the doctors office was closed, leaving everything to the last minute as they realized their bottle was empty, and could we just advance them some narcotics, plus I’d always see a long line at the front cashier of people buying last minute gifts like chocolates. We’d close the door at 6pm and I’d be so exhausted I’d barely make it through Christmas Eve mass and would be in bed by 11. Boxing Day would be a repeat of it. I remember one Boxing Day in particular when all we did was answer the phone, are you open? No actual work got done as there was only one tech on and the phone rang constantly. No wonder I never liked Christmas. I don’t really understand people, Christmas comes the same time every year, get organized. If it’s a true emergency, that’s different, but a lot of it was self-inflicted.

        Liked by 1 person

      • lindasschaub says:

        I know the CVS where I go for my flu shot is all automated to screen calls so I’m guessing that doesn’t happen as often now. I will call to see if the vaccine is in – takes ten minutes to go through the calling tree. I had to get some salve for my eye after a mild scratch a few years ago – they were busy when I dropped off the prescription and said to call later in the day – the pharmacy robocalled me, said that it was filled and to come in – three times I went in and not ready yet. I hear the ads for last-minute items at CVS or Walgreens and the same for Mother’s Day too – now they even sell flowers at CVS and Walgreens. They advertise it all the time. I always wonder why people wait too. I used to think people waited for their Christmas bonus, but most people shop online or use credit cards anymore. You were glad when the holidays were over.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Joni says:

        Oh that still happens. On our system you pressed 1 to get the automated and order it yourself, but 2 to speak to a technician. The bulk of older clientele did not use the automated. Lots of younger people liked it but it assigned a wait time, usually 24hrs for refills, but often people would come in the next day and it wouldn’t be ready because we had to do all the waiters first, ER or hospital discharges, palliative care/pain, then the deliveries so the driver could take them out, then the blister packs (delivered), so the people who were courteous and gave us lots of notice, lost out over those who just popped in for refills and decided to wait, add in all the interruptions for OTC consults and flu shots, (who had to take their place in the wait queue but don’t make them wait too long as they advertise you can just pop in for your flu shot), plus never enough staff on, and some techs who would routinely call in sick, and you have a recipe for disaster. Oh and screaming babies came first too. The other factor was Dr’s faxing in Rx’s and the patient coming in expecting it to be ready ten minutes later, and being told a long wait time of say an hour because there were so many people ahead of them and saying but my doctor said it would be ready. I found working for an independent much better, more staff and better organized. The reality is you can’t be all thing to all people. Do you want it done, or done right? I hear some Michigan hospitals promising less than a 30 minute wait time for ER patients, and I think, what is it a pizza place? Any place who promises a rushed diagnosis isn’t a place I’d want to go when you’re really sick. You could easily wait five hours or more here in ER for non-urgent cases. They triage heart attacks and strokes and high acuity, everyone else just waits. And we don’t have many walkin clinics here either as an alternative. It’s a totally messed up system.

        Liked by 1 person

      • lindasschaub says:

        I hear that ad for the 30-minute wait at the Michigan hospital all the time … it is for DMC (Detroit Medical Center) and they used to play that ad on one music station I listened to in the past. We have the same issue with the flu shots – supposed to be walk-in, get the shot, and no need to make an appointment, but I try to go on off-hours to avoid the crunch. I can see you had your hands full. And, I just today read a story about a man who went twice to the E.R. complaining of searing pain in his stomach area – both times they said it was digestive issues and it turned out it was gall bladder cancer and he died three months after being diagnosed with it. Very scary isn’t it?

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  7. Joni says:

    PS. We never did stockings when I was a kid, as we didn’t have a fireplace and neither of my parents were used to that tradition. Although my mother remembers getting an orange and candy, it was placed on a chair. I do remember the dishes of hard striped Christmas candy being on the coffee table though. We always had Pot of Gold chocolates, which I still buy at Christmas.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      We didn’t have a fireplace at that time; there is one now but it is electric and gives off no warmth, just a glow. I never plug it in as it has no on/off switch, you have to plug it into the wall to light it up. It is just for show. We used a stocking holder on the mantel. I remember Pot of Gold chocolates. I think my grandmother had them and on the lid inside it showed what each chocolate was inside. Those hard candies had a name, but can’t remember what they were – you’d break your teeth on them!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Joni says:

        Yea the hard candies were awful. I don’t remember anyone except maybe my Gramma ever making a fuss over them. They still have the types listed on the lid of the Pot O Gold box. I think another reason my parent didn’t do stockings was they didn’t have much money back then for all of us. Although, Christmas was the only time of year my parents ever splurged it would have been an added expense. We always had plenty of food and toys of course, but my little brother used to count the presents under the tree to make sure it was even steven! I’ve seen what some people spend on stocking stuffers now and it’s crazy like $100 for gadgets and stuff. When my parents had grandchildren they spoiled them with so much stuff, but I wonder if the kids even remember that or appreciated it??

        Liked by 1 person

      • lindasschaub says:

        Yes, those Christmas hard candies used to stick together all the time. They came out of the package stuck together. But they looked nice in the dishes. There were chocolate mint straws and they were kind of hollow peppermint candies and tasted good. They weren’t bad but hard candy was basically off limits.

        My grandmother would have her brothers and sisters come to Toronto from Ariss to visit and they always brought a box of chocolates so she always had them in the house.

        We were not rich and even though I was an only child, I really was not spoiled, and think of back in the day … my parents would probably have bought the books anyway. I had a basket of Little Golden Books that I read and re-read. My mom would knit cardigans for my regular dolls or caps and booties for the baby dolls – they might be in the stocking too. I could only pick two things from the Eaton’s or Simpson’s catalog for Christmas. My parents got one item and my grandmother the other item. I really don’t feel I was spoiled. The price of electronic gadgets is ridiculous and I see very young kids using a phone. That amazes me.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Joni says:

        My mom made (sewed or knit) some of our doll clothes too. But my best Christmas present was the year I was nine and got about ten store bought outfits for Skipper, Barbies little sister. Each one came in it’s own box complete with shoes and accessories. I can still feel my delight in opening the stack. I think my parents spoiled me that year as I had to go into the hospital over Christmas break and have nine teeth out (five molars and the rest baby teeth) under an anesthetic similar to tonsils – I was upset I wasn’t allowed to take my dolls with me, but my dentist was smart in being proactive as I never had to wear braces. What was your best ever kids present?

        Liked by 1 person

      • lindasschaub says:

        Joni – I think my favorite Christmas gift was my doll named Tilda Jane and my mom used to sew and knit her clothes. My grandmother had a treadle sewing machine and we were using it at our house as my grandmother didn’t sew … it had been her mother’s machine. When I got Tilda Jane that Christmas, my mom had made Tilda Jane and me matching dresses and cardigans. The dress was a pattern of gray and white blocks … sleeveless with a red cumberband-style tie at the waist. She made the exact same dress for Tilda Jane. Plus she made us matching cardigans which were a fuzzy wool with a one-button pearl closure. I can remember it like it was yesterday. Such joy and I don’t know why there were no pictures of us … I will have to look again as no one ever asked me that and I recently looked through the old pictures as I was looking for a picture of a me and a Christmas stocking and don’t recall seeing Tilda Jane, however, it might have been an earlier version of Tilda Jane in a picture and I glossed over it. My mom said for some reason I carried her by her feet and dragged her head on the ground. I wore the hair off and damaged her face. So my parents bought another doll (but not like TJ) and took off her head and sewed it onto Tilda Jane’s body. There were stitches around her neck where the “surgery” was performed. I don’t recall what the original Tilda Jane face was, just the later face and I kept her for years. My mom used to be on me for clutter so she likely said to get rid of her and i did – she would gasp if she would see the clutter now. If I had a picture of TJ in her later years, that would be a great story to tell wouldn’t it? I have to say that the Barbie case with Barbie and clothes was one of my best presents too. I also have a picture of the year I got Thumbelina and a beige-colored pram … don’t recall which was from my parents and which from my grandparents (they each bought one present that I pointed out that I hoped Santa would bring). I had my tonsils, adenoids and nasal polyps out in 1972 and the ENT did that during Watergate week (June 1972). i was the oldest kid in the pediatric unit. The one tonsil grew back as he left a root in there and I had it removed but this time in outpatient surgery on December 22, 1987. Because I was an adult, he said there may be complications, and there were, in my ears – he had advised taking time off after the surgery so I had scheduled myself to be off from 12/22 until 01/02/88 and take sick days (we got 10 days annually and if we didn’t use them were paid for them, so I used the entire ten). I did not decorate that year at home and I have a picture of me eating red and green jello for Christmas dinner. I am going to use a picture from that day in an upcoming post taken that day – not written the post yet, but still have it in my mind. I have to look again and see if I have Tilda Jane’s earlier photo and recognize her body … it would be a B&W picture but she was a funny color of pink, not a normal skin tone and a soft body which was not like other dolls who were a hard plastic – even Thumbelina was a hard plastic. When I got braces on my teeth I was older – they pulled my upper rear molars out to use my wisdom teeth as rear molars while I had the braces regimen (almost 3 years). I had the wrap-around-each-tooth braces. The bottom rear molars they kept as it did not appear the bottom wisdom teeth were coming in. However, just six months after getting my braces off, the bottom wisdom teeth started coming in and they had to be pulled as they were impacted and would shift my teeth. I had it done over Memorial Day and I was black and blue on my face, and neck. That was a whole story with the maxillofacial surgeon too.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Joni says:

        Tilda Jane sounds like a blog story – best Christmas gift ever – you could ask your followers what theirs was? Chatty Kathy was a good present too – and I kept her for years but finally regifted her to my niece during the Cabbage Patch craze when adoption was popular.

        Liked by 1 person

      • lindasschaub says:

        I am going to look tonight on Shutterfly where I have those pictures stored after I scanned them in (also on a flash drive) and see if if I can tell if it was her body. I think I only saw one or two pictures which might have been Tilda Jane. I remember my mom saying she had no idea where I picked that name from – no TV character and they knew no one with that name and she came with no name. I remember Chatty Cathy and I had her too and I drove my parents crazy pulling the string over and over again to hear her talk. Think how novel those dolls were back then – you pull a string and a doll talks and you wound up Thumbelina at the back of her neck and she twirled her head like a real infant. I remember I had a milk bottle for her where the milk looked like it disappeared from the bottle as you tipped it to feed her. Nice memories. That is a good idea – I should think about it for next year Joni. I am trying to keep my posts at 1,400 (to make it even) … I am trying to just do about six more posts to the end of the year; don’t know if it is doable though. I have three or four ideas that I’ve not had time to sit and write and they lots of pictures too. I remember the Cabbage Patch craze … people were lining up to get them at the stores and they were in limited supply. That happened with the Beanie Babies one year too, but not as great a scale as the Cabbage Patch kids.

        Liked by 1 person

  8. AnnMarie R stevens says:

    Dear Miss “Onward and Upward”……………………….I enjoyed reading your Red Stocking Blog tonight…………………………..You’re going to surpass your 2018 walking goal by a lot of miles this year!

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      Hi Ann Marie – glad you enjoyed it. I thought it was a fun way to spotlight Christmas stockings alongside my miles-to-date tally. No walking yesterday, nor today either … too dark outside right now and getting late, plus we have had a sleety mix, so I’m dashing out to run the car and dashing right back in … brave aren’t I? I suspect you are headed to the treadmill at the exercise room at the apartment this morning to also avoid a slip and fall.

      Like

  9. AJ says:

    My brother used to wake me up so early to open our stockings! I have that exact little golden book and my grandma had made me a glove puppet of the characters to go along with jt

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      Waking each other up was acceptable, but don’t wake up your parents! How funny AJ! I had no siblings, so was given enough stocking stuffers to occupy myself and let my parents sleep in. My father worked six days a week and had a 50-mile round-trip commute daily from Oakville to Toronto, and my mom got up every morning with him in the 4:00 o’clock hour, so I can’t blame them for wanting an extra day to sleep in. I loved the Little Golden Books and this was one of my favorite stories … the other book was bear-related too. The reason I had those books here and handy was because whenever I was invited to a baby shower, I always put a Golden Book on top of the wrapped present and attached a rattle or teething ring to the ribbon used to secure it, instead of using a bow or a gift bag. I bought those books to have handy … it seemed back in the day I was always getting a baby shower invitation for coworkers, friends, neighbors … I’ve not been to a baby shower or even given a baby gift in at least a decade!

      Liked by 1 person

  10. What a fun post Linda! I have never heard of Laura Secord “humbugs” before but I sure do remember the gold foil chocolate coins!

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      Glad you liked it Diane. Because I’m a “saver”, not a “thrower” I decided I could put together something fun with a topic of socks from Christmases past. I know there were more socks downstairs had I dug a little more. The Laura Secord candy company was big in Canada and I think they were acquired by someone and so they don’t go by that name anymore and they would be comparable to Sanders or Russell Stover here in the U.S.. The “humbugs” were hard candies that were brown striped like a bug, maybe the size of a quarter and had a butter-rum/mint flavor – they had a taste all their own. I think their origins were British as you can buy them in the UK and suspect some of the UK followers may agree with me when they read this post Those chocolate coins were fun and so good … now I was always allowed to eat chocolate, maybe not so risky to teeth as the hard and sticky candy. I still got cavities though, likely from my grandmother’s treats. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Memories of stockings never leave do they? Well done on doing all of those miles too ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      No, they sure were happy times when we were kids weren’t they Zena. Thank you and I hope to be done this week and am near the end, but the weather may not be cooperating much this week. I have three weeks to finish, so don’t anticipate a problem! Hope the book tour is going great and you and Munch will be home to relax a little for the holidays.

      Like

  12. Shelley says:

    Aw, such a delightful post! Your memories are precious, and that photo! I love your hair – and those stockings…to die for navy, right, just like Barbie?! I’m so happy you’re reaching your walking goal, ‘cuz, there’s no room at the inn for a treadmill so you say! And, watch out, the bitter cold is on its way to you! PS – I still have my childhood stocking. I don’t hang it. But I made our family’s stockings (Mr.’s, Mine and the two kiddos) and a tree skirt. They all still make it out of the box for decorations each year. I agree with you stockings are a fun tradition!

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      Glad you liked this post Shelley – it was fun putting it together. I can’t figure out what happened to that sock as I have saved so many other things through the years, or my mom saved them for me. My hair – well nothing against curls of course, however, my mom would wash and set my hair on pin curls for special occasions as my hair was stick straight and she wanted it to look special. Boing – those curls had a springy effect! A least 50 pin curls and 100 bobby pins and a kerchief on my head … my poor head to sleep on Christmas Eve! I only have four more miles now – so I think if the weather is good, I’ll wrap it up tomorrow. It was brutally cold this morning – “real feel” of 2 degrees and gusty winds.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Shelley says:

        Yes, I enjoyed the post. Hair was such a deal back then (I guess it still is). My mom had curly hair and her and her girl friends would iron it with the clothes iron to straighten it. Girls and the things we do!
        I hope you got your 4 miles in!

        Liked by 2 people

      • lindasschaub says:

        I think we always want what we don’t have Shelley. My mom had curly black hair and my father had mousy brown, straight hair and I got my father’s hair. I do remember ironing hair. I did get my last miles in – exactly … I did not walk over today as it was still-cold (10 “real feel” when I left). I have met my goal. I’m glad for that and I’ll see how many more miles I’ll rack up before year end since we have three weekends and Christmas Day where I can go on longer walks.

        Liked by 2 people

      • Shelley says:

        Yes, we do! CONGRATULATIONS!!!! I’m so happy for you!! I knew you could do it! xxxxxxxxx

        Liked by 1 person

      • lindasschaub says:

        Thanks Shelley – I thought it was touch and go for a while after that big snowstorm set me back an entire week. We have some freezing rain tomorrow morning so I will rest on my laurels and stay put.

        Liked by 1 person

  13. My brothers and I always got an orange in the toe of our stocking too (I guess it must be a thing). I always put it aside… but after all the junk we consumed that day, it was very appreciated later in the afternoon. Our stockings were the only thing we could “open” before we had breakfast and our grandparents arrived. It was torture to wait… then it all seemed to be over – except for the piles of torn wrapping paper – in seconds. Now, my husband and I have a gift-free Christmas which – at our ages – is really appreciated. One thing that has remained the same, though, is that I always have an orange (often from our tree) at some point during the day.

    Liked by 2 people

    • lindasschaub says:

      You’re right Janis – it likely was something from “our era” and my mom said they felt lucky to get an orange in their stocking as they were so costly when she was growing up, so a tradition handed down. I never had siblings so I had to occupy myself with my sock til my parents got up. I do remember all the shaking of the packages once I no longer “believed” and they were under the tree ahead of time … all over in a flash. Do you have pictures from every Christmas … basically the same pictures really, standing or sitting by the tree with wrapped and unwrapped presents.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Yes, I have lots of Christmas pictures. Maybe since I am the only girl sibling, I got to keep the old family photo albums. One of these days, I’ll make photo books for the three of us so we have copies of all/most of the precious pictures.

        Liked by 1 person

      • lindasschaub says:

        Yes, it’s nice to go back and revisit the pictures Janis. I scanned all the albums, which I also inherited by virtue of being the only child and also have my mom’s pictures of her parents and grandparents and some really vintage pics, all in good shape. I have all my travel albums as well – some when I was young with my parents and others when I traveled on my own with tour groups in the 70s/early 80s. I found I never looked at the albums as they are hard to get to as I have a small house and they were stacked in the bottom of a cupboard, so two years ago I scanned in every single image – the problem is, some are six photos on one page. I can take a screenshot of the photos and enlarge it and you would never know it was not that original size – pics were often much smaller years ago. I put the albums on Shutterfly and made a flash drive of the scanned items (well over 1,000 images) … it is one of my retirement projects to sort and arrange the pics to easily view them. I’ve been able to include many in my blog posts and share with other people so it was well worth the effort (the entire Thanksgiving weekend of 2017) … I am going to write a post about the old pictures sometime in the new year.

        Liked by 1 person

    • Prior... says:

      thanks for sharing this orange tip, ladies – I think we will add oranges and fresh fruit to our neighbor trays this year

      Liked by 1 person

  14. Prior... says:

    fun post – great play on words – (I am a little late to get here to read it = but still fun)

    Liked by 1 person

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