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Saturday, June 17, 2017

Father's Day, and an anniversary

Tomorrow is Father's Day, and the day after, June 19th, would have been my paternal grandparents' 69th wedding anniversary. I promised you all some more family photos, and what could be better than vintage wedding pictures? Grandma gave me copies of all of these to keep forever.

June 19, 1948

The bride and groom with the maid of honor, grandma's cousin Clara, and the best man, grandpa's brother Johnny.

You guys.....wasn't my grandmother beautiful? And her dress...!!! Just lovely.

I also got a copy of their wedding announcement that ran in the newspaper. Back in those days, they spared no detail when describing a wedding in the society columns. Here are a few excerpts I thought you might find interesting:

Miss Margaret Martin Weds Mr. Czmiel in Rites at St. Louis Catholic Church, Dillon

In an impressive service on Saturday morning, June 19, at the St. Louis Catholic church in Dillon, SC, Miss Margaret Martin became the bride of Joseph Stanley Czmiel of Chicago. Rev Lawrence Sheedy of the Dillon church assisted by Rev. Maurice Shean of Rock Hill officiated........

......The lovely little chapel was decorated with tall floor baskets of white dahlias and gladioli. Sprays of ivy entwined the altar rail, where burning candles were placed..........

....The lovely young brunette bride, given in marriage by her father, was beautifully gowned in white slipper satin, with sweetheart neckline and long fitted sleeves ending in points at the wrist. Her full skirt, attached to a fitted bodice, ended in a wide cathedral train. She wore a fingertip veil of bridal illusion edged in rose point lace and caught to a halo of tiny beads. The bride carried a white prayer book topped by a white purple-throated orchid, and showered with satin ribbons.....

The bride had as her only attendant her cousin, Miss Clara Lou Hardwick of Aynor. She wore a blue taffeta dress fashioned with sweetheart neckline, fitted bodice and full skirt, and carried a colonial bouquet of yellow rosebuds encircled by Shasta daisies. She wore matching taffeta mitts and, on her head, a bandeau of roses and daisies.

Mrs. Martin, mother of the bride, wore Eleanor blue crepe with softly draped hipline and self embroidery, and on her shoulder, a corsage of pink roses.

Mrs. Czmiel, mother of the bridegroom, was gowned in beige. She also wore a corsage of pink rosebuds.

Immediately afater the ceremony the bride's parents entertained with a wedding breakfast at their home on Marion street, which was made attractive with numerous arrangements of white gladioli, dahlias, and snapdragons. The bride's table, centered by a triple tiered wedding cake tipped by a miniature bride and groom, was especially lovely, decorated with gardenias tied with maline and white satin ribbons......

.....During the afternoon, the bride changed her wedding gown for a dressmaker suit of white gabardine with which she wore black accessories and the orchid from her prayer book. Following a brief wedding trip the young couple will be at home in Chicago.

There was plenty more I left out, like who provided the nuptial music and the pieces they played ("Oh, Perfect Love" by Gurney and "Ave Maria" by Shubert, as well as the traditional marches), the usher/groomsmen names and where they lived, and who greeted guests, worked the bridal register, presided over the dining room and "assisted with hospitalities" at the reception. There was also a bit about my grandmother being a recent graduate of Winthrop University, and my grandfather being a veteran of WW2 and serving in Europe.

Clearly, wedding announcements were a big deal back in those days!

A year later, on June 12, 1949, my grandparents' first child was born, my uncle Paul.

A perfect picture for Father's Day: my grandpa with his first-born son.

Grandma was a pretty young mother. And look at the telephone in the background!

Grandma sewed all the fancy lining and ribbons on this bassinet.

My great-grandmother, Emma Martin, visiting Chicago when my uncle Paul was born. She's on the left, and my other great-grandmother, Angeline Pierog, is on the right. Can anyone guess what kind of car they're posing beside?

My grandfather's sister, Ann Czmiel, and his brother, Johnny Czmiel, with their new nephew.
I hope you've enjoyed these old family photos! I had so much fun looking through them and picking out ones to share here!

Happy Father's Day to all the dads out there! Go show your family some love, especially the older generations if you're still lucky enough to have them in your life. I feel very fortunate to still have grandma around at her grand old age of almost 90 years old.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Family photos

I'm home from a quick visit with grandma last night.  We spent some time poring through old family photos and I brought a few home. Here's one I especially wanted to show you all.

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My grandfather, Joseph S. Czmiel, in WWII. He was in the US Air Corps and served in  the 466th Bombardment group in Europe. Wasn't he a dapper looking man?!

Monday, June 12, 2017

Special Day

Eleven years ago today I married my best friend, and I've never once regretted it. I did good.

Happy Anniversary to us!

 On the jetty at Huntington Beach State Park, June 2006.

He's my favorite. ❤

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Friday, June 9, 2017

Nine days!

I'm on vacation! I have nine whole days off work starting today! I don't have big plans, and will probably spend most of it at home, but I'm just glad to have a break.

Monday is our wedding anniversary so Gregg is taking the day off with me. I'm not sure yet what we're going to do, though. We've decided to postpone a trip until September or October when the weather is cooler and the rates are cheaper, since we will probably go somewhere on the coast. One year we went to the mountains in southwest Virginia in June. It was pretty up there, and naturally not so hot, but mountains don't really do much for me--I'd much rather be at the beach.

I do plan to go visit my grandmother and aunt next week, and stay overnight. They live across the state in Aiken, SC. It's almost a 3 hour drive so I don't go nearly as often as I should. Grandma recently sold her house and moved in with her daughter, my dad's sister. She'll be 90 years old this August and is finally beginning to have some minor issues with living alone. She saved two sets of "good" dishes for me when she packed up her house that I'll be picking up, and I've also asked for copies of family photographs. I have absolutely none from my dad's side of the family, and that's a shame. If I don't do something about that while grandma's still around, I won't have the chance. And it will be good to spend time with her, too.

For the rest of my nine days off, I plan to relax, spend time with the puppies, go for some bike rides, and maybe do a few things around the house that I never get around to at normal times--like clean out closets and donate things we no longer use to Goodwill. My friend Marian has talked about having me and a couple of other friends over for a pool day at some point, and another old friend (that I haven't seen in forever) has invited me over to see her new house and to catch up next weekend. I seem to have plenty of options for enjoying myself. I'm kicking it all off today with lunch at Tubbs with one of the Karens from book club.

Have a great weekend, everyone!

Saturday, June 3, 2017


It's the last day of  Employee Appreciation Week at Ye Olde Corporate Bookstore.

What a joke. Especially at my particular location.

The official celebration consists of three things. First, an extra 10% added to our employee discount for a week. Which can't be combined with any other deals or specials going on. They're basically saying, "We appreciate your hard work all year so much, we're going to give you an incentive to spend back some of the money you've earned with us! Thanks!"  The second part of the "celebration" is one employee meal for the staff. A meal where there's only about $4-5 to be spent per person. The total will barely pay for a sandwich platter from Subway, so the company suggests that we turn it into a potluck and just use the funds they provide to buy the main entrĂ©e. They want us to do extra shopping and spend our money there, and they also want us to provide most of our own appreciation meal! Lest you think I'm being ungrateful, I'll point out that our store is the smallest in our region, and it alone makes more than 3 million dollars a year. It would be completely different if we worked for a small, locally owned business with far fewer resources.

The third thing that should be happening this week never will: store managers are supposed to go out of their way to thank everyone for all the things they do well. That would actually be nice, but our manager is completely and utterly burned out and mentally checked out. She's a nice enough person, but is obviously long past the point where she should have either found another position or taken early retirement. She never thinks to thank anyone for anything, ever. Nor does she notice what's going on around her most of the time at work. I don't know of anyone who feels appreciated there. I certainly don't.

Appreciation and validation are so important at work. I realized how much I miss a more supportive atmosphere last month when two managers from other stores in the region visited us for a week. We have some problems at our store (not the least of which is high turnover) and the two people they sent train new managers in the district. They were sent by the district manager to work at our store for a week to observe, make suggestions, and try to figure out where some of the problems lie. Both of the people he sent were mature, professional, and helpful. And on three separate occasions, I got big praise from the two of them. I've become so accustomed to never hearing any positive feedback that all three times I found myself blushing and then glowing with pride for hours afterward. Every day when I left work that week, I felt like I was walking on air. Of course things went right back to normal as soon as they left. But it was a great reminder that I have been (and can be again) so much happier at work than I am right now! The lack of appreciation is high on my list of grievances, and reasons why I'm looking to move on.

So Employee Appreciation Week falls a little flat for this employee!

Friday, June 2, 2017

Thank you, France

Look out, Cro, we may just have to take him up on his offer and become your neighbor! France and Canada both are looking better and better in these evil times.

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Finishing up May

My weekend off was wonderful.  I didn't do much but relax and enjoy myself. I did do some cooking, and I ate big beautiful salads like this both days:

I also took a trip to the newly opened butcher shop on Saturday afternoon and grilled quite possibly the best barbecued pork chops I've ever made that night. They were seriously delicious.

While I was out shopping on Saturday I bought myself flowers. Aren't they pretty on the table? The tomatoes in the bowl came from the farmer's market.

I was off again today (I get three days off this week because Monday was a paid holiday) and I got some errands taken care of. First of all, I took Ginger to the vet to get her yearly steroid shot. Every summer about this time she has an allergy flair that makes her miserable until she has one. My normally stand-offish girl actually made friends with an old lady and her puppy while we waited to be seen. She liked them so much she sat beside them instead of me while we waited! She has good taste, I must say. The woman was kind and kept gently petting Ginger's face, and the puppy was absolutely adorable. I think Ginger was telling him that the vet is nothing to fear. :)

Things took a scary turn for a moment after Ginger had her shot. Our doctor (an excellent vet who doesn't miss much) noticed two tiny drops of dark colored urine when they were about to lift her back off the table. He said, "Hey, what the hell's this?!" and grabbed a syringe to collect the tiny sample. My poor girl had a UTI and we had no idea! Just to be sure it wasn't caused by kidney or bladder stones, he did an xray too. Thank goodness she didn't have any stones, and so we have to give her antibiotics for 2 weeks and then take her back for a checkup. I was so scared while they had her in the back doing scans. It's hard for me to describe how much we love this dog.

After the vet drama, I went to the bank to make a deposit and then did a chore I'd been putting off for way, way too long.


Is that 70's song about Workin' at the Carwash, Hey! playing in your head right now? Good.

The end result:

My Scion is shiny and clean again! I vacuumed out the inside (which it desperately needed) and wiped down the interior with special car wipes. It's funny how a car seems to run better when it's freshly cleaned!

Other things I did today: finished my application for the SC Guardian Ad Litem program, mailed out the rent check, had lunch at a new Mediterranean restaurant in town, and rescued my husband when he ran out of gas on his way home from work. The old truck he drives to service aquariums has a broken gas gauge and about once every other year he'll misjudge and need to be bailed out. Fortunately I was at home and only about 2 miles away when it happened this time.

Not too bad for finishing up the month. Steady on to June!