Friday, August 30, 2013

Summer Has "Fall"en

Such a melancholy time of year, yet it’s my favorite. The days are still a little too warm, and the nights aren’t cooling off enough yet, but I can feel the season creeping in. Crunchy leaves. Crisp nights. The smell of wood smoke from the fireplaces.

It also means: Time for school. *sigh* Now that Lia has started Kindergarten, I’ve been getting some of the old feelings back that used to accompany this time of year…

The only tradition I enjoyed about the “back to school” time was the new clothes I’d get. My mom would take my brother and I shopping and pick out a few new outfits. The new clothes couldn’t be worn until school started. I still remember one particular outfit that became a favorite. The skirt was a rich light brown with a touch of red. The blouse was cream with green leaves all over. Loved that outfit. This was back in the day when girls HAD to wear dresses or skirts. No pants! It wasn’t until I was a sophomore in high school that the dress code changed.

Along with school clothes, we’d also get to pick out new winter pajamas. I LOVED flannel pjs! I’d usually have a couple sets of pants/tops and a couple long nightgowns, all flannel. It would be a while before it was cold enough to start wearing them, but they were waiting for me!

Now I see all the back to school stuff in the stores and feel like I should be getting some new clothes and pajamas. Maybe pick up a couple notebooks and a new set of pens while I’m there. I LOVED getting a fresh box of crayons at the beginning of school. I don’t think schools even supply them anymore.

Ah well. Goodbye Summer. Hello Autumn. Come in and have a cup of hot chocolate.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Squeez Cheez Saved My Life

OK. It didn’t really save my life, but it sure helped in a tough time. And it was called Squeez A Snak, made by Kraft, back in the late 60s and early 70s.  I loved it. It came in several flavors, the cheddar/bacon one being my favorite.

In the early 70’s, I had my wisdom teeth removed. During summer vacation, of course, so I wouldn’t miss any school. It wasn’t like it is today…go to the oral surgeon, you’re knocked out, wake up with all 4 teeth out, recover with some fine meds. Mine were done one visit at a time. By our family dentist. Local anesthetic. I could hear it all and smell the blood. It took at least 2 hours each time. I’d go home and when I had healed enough, I’d go back for another round. Nightmare.

I don’t remember any pudding or ice cream being available. Soup, maybe. No coddling here. I was so sore and so swollen and bruised that nothing really appealed to me anyway. About the only thing I could try after a few days was the squeeze cheese on toast. I’d butter the toast and spread the cheese on it and let it sit there and get soft and mushy. Then I could sort of gently suck on it and get it down.

I guess my parents felt sort of sorry for me, because when it was my brother’s turn to have his wisdom teeth out a few years later, he got to go to an oral surgeon. When it was time for my kids to go through this, of course it was through an oral surgeon. And I made sure there was jello, ice cream, pudding, whatever they wanted. Squeez A Snak was no longer available, but I doubt that the kids would’ve wanted any. Snobs. J

Friday, August 16, 2013

Tea, Anyone?

I am a total Anglophile. I love all things Brit, but have a special soft spot for Victorian Britain. And Regency Britain. And Miss Marple Britain. The style, the grace, the tea. Coffee is my main drink, but I love the thought of a real tea party. I’d love to go into a tea shop (Tea Shoppe) and get a plate of cute little cakes and a pot of tea. I remember trying to have a tea party when Sarah was little and we used her Playskool Tea Set. I think I used apple juice instead of tea, and had little goodies to put on the plates. I think Sarah was highly unimpressed. I think Lia might be more appreciative, but I’m gonna wait a couple more years.

In my mind, tea would take place in the sun room of the cottage. So bright and lovely with all the plants in bloom. Small table, white cloth, the best china, of course. Little bread, butter and cucumber sandwiches with the crusts cut off. Petit fours of all colors. Cranberry scones with lemon curd. Two pots of tea: one with orange spice and the other with mint. Cubed sugar and real cream. I’d wear my pastel dress and cream straw hat with the flowers in the front. No gloves. It’s casual.

If it was a nice day, the table would be set up in the garden in the white gazebo. Hanging pots of geraniums all around. All my besties would be there in their summery dresses and hats. We’d have our tea and chat and solve all the world’s problems in one afternoon.

Doesn’t that sound nice? 

Friday, August 9, 2013

Book Report August 2013

The Razor’s Edge by W. Somerset Maugham

I had never read any Maugham before. This book was one from my mom’s library. I really wish I had read more of her books and had discussed them with her before she died. I really enjoyed this book, which takes place shortly after WW1 and ends roughly 15 years later. I have to admit skimming the philosophy talk toward the end of the book. I would be very interested in seeing the 1946 movie that was made based on this book. I can’t imagine what the 1984 version was like with Bill Murray. I know that movie was panned and from what I read about it, it had little to do with the book. The book tells the story of Larry, a young pilot in the war, who basically separates himself from the world in order to find peace of spirit.
~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~
The Mason Williams Reading Matter by Mason Williams

I have always loved the music of Mason Williams. When this book came out in 1969, I bought it as a gift for my brother. He loved it, and so did I. I really regretted not buying a copy for myself. Much later I found a copy in very good condition at a thrift store, but didn’t read it again until recently. OMG. Talk about a “bathroom book”. We have a friend who uses this term for something that can be written while sitting on the toilet. He uses the same term of derision for music that has no talent or thought behind it. I couldn’t believe this was the same book I raved about back in ’69. It had some amusing stuff in it, but I KNOW I COULD WRITE SOMETHING LIKE THIS. I can do stream of consciousness writing…I can repeat random words to fill a page….I can dash off nonsense like you wouldn’t believe…but I doubt that anyone would pay me for it. Phooey.
BTW, his music STILL ROCKS totally….

Friday, August 2, 2013

A Subject I know Nothing About

I don’t care about cars. Make, model, color, whatever. For a long time I didn’t even know the difference between make and model. A Chevy was a Chevy. A Malibu was a Malibu. Two different cars. I just want to get from Point A to Point B in relative comfort and safety. And we’ve never had a new car, we always get them used.  A/C is a must. Automatic transmission is a must. Everything else is optional. For years I drove my dad’s old station wagon (don’t ask me what kind) and it didn’t have a working radio. It did have A/C, but it would leak icy cold water on your foot every time you went around a corner. I learned to take corners with my foot off the pedal and out of the way.

That being said, there are some cars that appeal to me visually. And if someone were to gift me with one of these cars, I would accept and say thank you very much. So far, that has not happened….

There is the cutest little blue and white car that I see around town that Marv said was a Metropolitan. Tiny little thing. LOVE THAT CAR! I know nothing about it except that it is cute and adorable and I want one. But only if I could put a huge key on the top, like one for a wind-up toy. And I’d want it to spin around in the wind while driving it. And it would have to be magnetic so I could lock it inside the car when it was parked. And of course I would call it “My Toy” but would not pay good money for a stupid vanity plate that would most likely be stolen immediately.

I think Cubes are adorable too. I like the lines of them. Kind of like if all the sharp corners had melted a bit. If I had one, I’d call it “Cube-Bert” but it would be spelled like the video game of the 80s: Q*bert. I LOVED that game….

Smart cars are beyond cute. You just want to take them home and hang them on your Christmas tree. From the very beginning, I thought they looked like huge tennis shoes. Kind of like the ones worn by Jeremy Duncan in the comic strip “Zits”. Just one big shoe. Somehow put laces on the hood. I’d probably call it “Nike” or something like that.

That’s another thing. We name our cars. The old Ford Galaxy that my parents gave us when the kids were little was enormous, kind of off-white, and we called it either “The Beast” or “Titanic” depending on our mood. Then there was “The Brown Bomber” a truly ugly Crown Victoria that had the bad habit of stopping on you unexpectedly and not wanting to start again. Usually in the middle of traffic, or middle of nowhere, neither of which is good. The current car I drive is a Prizm that I call “Winky the Wonder Car” or just “Winky” for short. It got that name because it can get into the smallest parking space from just about any direction. We recently got a white Yaris to replace the truck. I wanted to call it “Casper” but Marv wants to call it something else. So right now it remains nameless. Maybe just pronounce the name like a pirate would: “Yarrrrris!” Maybe get a stuffed parrot and attach it somehow, or fly a Jolly Roger.