Monday, September 28, 2015


I'm in the process of beginning a new Grammy's Gang series. If you're not familiar with my wonderfully funny and factual children's books, you can acquaint yourself with them by
checking out the Flo Barnett books on the right side of this blog.

The new series, Grammy's Gang Around the World, will begin by introducing children ages 2-4 who attend preschool to the children in the U.S. I am in need of actual photos of both boys and girls in these age groups who are typical of the country or nationality of their family heritage. They must be clear shots that either depict a child at play or in a preschool setting. The photos will not be returned and no royalties will be forthcoming if included in the book.

However, if your child's picture is accepted and ultimated included, he or she will receive a signed copy of the paperback and an eBook version as well. Their names and addresses will not appear in the book.
At the end of the book, if you choose, your family name will be added to the contributors page.

My mission is to bring the children of the world together through visual familiarity. I think it's the first step in having youngsters accept and embrace diversity rather than fear it. Please help to make this goal a reality.

If you are interested, please contacted me:
I will be happy to answer any questions you may have.

I look forward to your participation. Join me to take a small step to someday reach world peace.

love ya'll

Flo Barnett
Grammy's Gang author


So Beckham's real birthday is today, September 28. Although he'll only be celebrating at school with a cookie cake, and then presents from mom, dad, and his two brothers after dinner, he's been partying since Friday.

First off, after school he had a flag football game played in the mud! How cool is that for a birthday present! Next he played with friends on the street until dark!

On Saturday, he attended a friend's birthday party in the morning,  followed by lazer tag and bowling in the afternoon.  Afterwards all his friends came by for cupcakes and more football playing until none could tolerate another down and went WILLINGLY in the house to shower and go directly to bed.

Sunday church service at a new and very fun play made the start of Beckham's day extremely special. He couldn't be happier when in stead of returning home for lunch, the entire family went to KFC for chicken, mashed potatoes and gravy, biscuits, and such, Yum!

In late afternoon, Kaden and Tyler, his cousins arrrived along with another friend, Lincoln. Muma, and Pupa came bringing gifts and a giant football cake. His uncle, Big Bar, and aunt Kelly presented him with a blue, full-sized football! Goodness gracious, how much more could one boy take!

It had rained the entire weekend so the backyard was perfect for, of all things, more FOOTBALL! The four older boys dashed into the muddy field, played their hearts out for two solid hours, and were covered in mud from head to toe. WOW! HOW COULD ONE BOY BE SO LUCKY!

After changing into dry clothes, everybody gathered around the cake for song and celebration! Digging into the sweet dessert put the topping on a perfect sixth birthday party that lasted three days and still wouldn't be completely over until today!

Happy birthday, Hammie, my sweet six year old grandson. You deserved all that fun and much, much more! I wasn't there in body, but I enjoyed every single minute of it in spirit!

Always and Forever!   Grammy

Monday, September 21, 2015


After Baba and Mom finished preparations for Sunday’s chicken soup and noodles, my mother went about her cleaning chores while my grandmother concentrated on Saturday’s dinner menu. If she wasn’t sure of what to make, she’d occasionally ask for my input. One of her meals on my ‘favorites’ list was steak smothered in onions. It just happened to be Mom’s favorite dish as well.

My brother, Dan, however despised onions. So when steak and onions were served, he carefully removed every speck of the hated vegetable before eating the meat. He never complained because he loved steak.

Baba would make a quick run to the butcher shop located just behind Utes’ Grocery Store to purchase the freshest cuts of round steak. She’d usually pick up two or three pounds of kielbasa since it could be refrigerated for several days without being compromised. My grandmother would never think of freezing anything for convenience purposes.

                        STEAK SMOTHERED IN ONIONS

September 9, 1944 was no different than any other Saturday with regard to cooking and chores. Although Mom was nine months pregnant with her second child, she helped Baba in the kitchen then went upstairs to clean out her refrigerator and mop down the floor. She hummed along as she smelled the wonderful aroma of steak and onions baking in my grandmother’s oven. Dinner was less than an hour away, and Mom looked forward to sitting around Baba’s table with her entire family enjoying one of everybody’s favorite meals.

Unfortunately for Mom, her water broke, labor began with a vengeance, and she was relegated to her bed to birth her baby daughter, yours truly!
Luckily Dr.Ruth Stimetz was our neighbor. After an urgent call from Baba, the kindly doctor appeared at the back door eager to render her services. According to what I’ve been told, I stubbornly refused to leave the safety of my mother’s womb without a fight. After an hour or two though, I made my debut to a happy, awaiting audience. Unfortunately Mom never got to eat her steak and onions that day!

                         ORANGE AND QUIRK BABOVKA
                         http ://

In Prague, the word for this delicious, fragrant dessert is ‘babovka.’  In our family, we called it Baba’s pound cake. Although the recipe I’ve provided uses orange for flavoring, my grandmother usually preferred lemon. Whenever she made it, the whole house smelled of citrus goodness.

On the day I was born, the babovka was already cooling on the back porch. Right before dinner, Baba planned to sprinkle powdered sugar on it and serve a thick slice to each one of us.

I’ve been told that in all the excitement of my pending birth, my grandmother barely had time to set out the steak and onions before Dr. Stimetz called her to assist. Zedo and Uncle Tom ate their meal as usual while Dad, holding my two-year-old brother, Danny, paced in the hallway outside the bedroom. When my cry pierced the air, Dad, Danny, Zedo, and Uncle Tom stopped everything and came to see what I was. I think they were all happy to welcome a baby girl into our growing family.

No one ate the pound cake because Baba forgot about it until days later.

                                                    PUPPY LOVE
PUPPY LOVE (When We Were Kids, Bk. 2) is the second chapter book of this series. I originally wrote it for tweens and teens. However, because it takes place in the Fifties, I soon discovered that the baby boomers, folks born 1941-1944, are just as enamored with the story as the kids. PUPPY LOVE takes people back to their own childhood, which makes them able to identify with Betty Lou and Danny Kolinski on so many levels.

When Betty Lou and Danny experience their first taste of puppy love, they haven’t a clue how to deal with it. One minute Lou couldn’t be happier to have Bobby Stupar’s attention, and in the next instant she was pushing him to the ground in disgust. When Danny realized Emily Salay liked him, he was elated. However when school started, he avoided her so his friends wouldn’t tease him. When Emily discovered his inhibitions, she dropped him like the proverbial ‘hot potato.’
Only when Baba told Betty Lou the story of her dog, Millie, and her puppies, did the girl understand the highs and lows of first love.

I hope you will try some of Baba’s favorite Saturday recipes. As a family we looked forward to every meal because we knew how much love and caring went into the preparation. We were never served anything that came out of a box or can. With Zedo seated at the head, we respectfully gathered around Baba’s kitchen table to share blessings, food, and conversation. We cherished this time together and were excused only when our plates were emptied and our stomachs, full.
I also hope you get a chance to read Puppy Love and the following three books in the series, Playing Hooky ,Pimples and Periods, and the newest addition, Promises. You won’t be disappointed, I promise.


Monday, September 14, 2015

Our Troubled Youth

Today's youth are troubled and, in my mind, I'm trying to figure out why when they are born into an advanced society with so many advantages.

When I was a kid, most folks had an elementary school education, worked for minimum pay in less than favorable conditions, and oftentimes found themselves on strike because of unfair labor practices. Money was scarce,  people stood in food lines to acquire basic necessities like flour, butter, and cheese, and our men went to war, many of them never to return again.

I was ten years old before our family purchased our first television set. Programs aired from 5:00p.m. until 8 o'clock, and as far as I can remember, consisted of newsreels and Howdy Dowdy. We went to bed early listening to the radio. My favorite broadcast was Inner Sanctum. It always opened with the sound of a squeaking door that sent chills up my spine. The Thin Man was another program which featured detective stories that were always solved in thirty minutes, and the good guys were always victorious.

We lived in our maternal grandparents' home, and were surrounded by our relatives whose dwellings were only a few blocks away. We attended the same church, went to the same school, and played at the same community center. Nobody was a stranger, everybody knew everybody, and looked out for one another. The adults socialized at the Slavs Club on the weekends, while the children gathered for sleepovers being supervised by the grandparents. When Baba said it was time for bed, no one dared make a peep until the sun rose the next morning.

I was never exposed to drugs during my youth. I don't believe anybody I knew or hung out with was either. We never even thought of drinking beer or having sex. As a matter of fact, I'm not even sure we knew what sex was let alone be interested in experiencing it. We never used the words vagina or penis because we had no idea there were such words. We called both 'pee pees'.

I'm sure many of you reading this would consider our growing up years sadly wanting, and our ignorance during that time in our lives, terribly naive. And in many respects, you'd be absolutely right. But in our defense, we lived a simple, carefree life with strong familial bonds,were schooled in our faith and values, and enjoyed a ton of wholesome outdoor exploration. We were always in the company of folks who had our backs, and would never do anything to contaminate our bodies and minds. Our troubles consisted of getting a C on a spelling test, or having to skip a matinee because we didn't have the quarter for admission.

After jotting these memories down, I've discovered I've actually answered my original question, Today's youth are troubled BECAUSE they are born into an advanced society with SO MANY ADVANTAGES!

Monday, September 7, 2015

IN LABOR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Every Labor Day I'm reminded of the three times I was IN LABOR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! With Joy, since she was my first, even though I had a spinal and didn't feel anything after that, I thought it was extremely painful and vowed never to have another child as long as I lived. Having a bunch of hemroids certainly had a lot to do with my determined decision.

However thirteen months later I found myself in the same predicament, but with totally different results. My contractions started at 11:00p.m. and at 12:43a.m. my son Barry popped out so quickly I was afraid the doc wouldn't catch him in time! 

Okay so a girl and a boy, done with having kids, right? Oh no, 8 YEARS LATER, I was pregnant once again. Not happy about it, but ready to become a mother for the third and final time!

I was positive I'd told the nurse I wanted a spinal, but somehow that info. didn't transfer to the new person on duty when the shift changed at 6:30a.m. I kept waiting for the shot, but it never came. All of a sudden I was wheeled into the delivery room about to give birth naturally. I had no training in that type of delivery and never imagined what I was in for.

The contradictions increased one hundred fold and I felt every freakin one of them. I started screaming that I needed a shot and the nurse said it was too late for that. That's when I began cursing my husband, the doctor, the nurse, and anybody else I could think of. What galled me the most though, was when the nurse offered my husband a seat to help alleviate HIS STRESS. I wanted to punch both of them right in their midsections to let them feel just a smidget of what I was going through.

As Kristy, my second daughter, was literally being yanked out of me, I actually felt her whole body coming down the birth canal, and was certain my insides were about to come out as well!

When she finally arrived, I wanted to know what the hell just happened. My doctor smiled at me and said I had delivered a beautiful baby girl the natural way. After a few choice words, I looked into her sweet face and decided NO MORE LABOR FOR THIS CHICK, EVER!

So, to all the mom-to-be, and to all the moms that are, I say 'bah-bumbug' to labor, both the kind that involves work for cash, and the kind that involves pain and suffering in order to bring a child into this world who will take everything you have, especially your heart!