Friday, June 26, 2015

Memory Lane part 2

Here’s the second part of the “remember when” things I miss from times long past:

Paper cutter
My grandpa had one of these in the back of the general store he and grandma had. The back of the store was where he had his butcher shop. The cutter had butcher paper that he would use to wrap up the various cuts of meat. I was fascinated by this thing, but forbidden to touch it. I think we had this somewhere in the garage when we moved out to California. Don’t know what happened to it. It would really have come in handy when the kids were little and we were up til midnight on Christmas Eve wrapping tons of presents.

Pick-up sticks
These were the real deal. Made of wood and pointed at both ends. HOW DID I SURVIVE CHILDHOOD WITHOUT POKING MYSELF OR MY LITTLE BROTHER IN THE EYE??
Maybe it was because we were taught to use the brains God gave us. Anyhow, loved this game. Played it a lot with my brother. Last time I looked for this with Lia in mind, they were made of plastic with knobs at both ends. Bleh.

Slacks stretcher
O..M..G..did I use these a LOT!! My mom and grandma must have had tons of these, and every laundry day, there would be many pairs of slacks with these things through the legs, hanging on the line to dry so you wouldn’t have to iron them so much. As I got older and was doing my own laundry and helping with the other, I used them as well. (BTW, this was before permanent press. Hard to imagine, I know) There have been times when I’ve had a pair of pants that still require ironing a bit and have wished I had a couple sets of these.

Transistor radio
I don’t remember how old I was when I was given a small transistor radio of my very own. I do know it was grade school. I loved my radio like it was my best friend. It had an ear bud, too. I could listen to any music I wanted at any time I wanted. In the summer, I would go to the little airstream trailer parked in the driveway and hide out there and read and listen to my radio. I especially remember ‘Don McNeill’s Breakfast Club from high atop the Morrison hotel’ which is a pretty weird program for a young kid. But I loved it. It was like being part of a grown-up party. 

Of those 4 things, the one I would most like to have again is my little transistor radio. I know, there are all sorts of high-tech, new-fangled gadgets that have all the music you’d ever want to listen to at hand. But then you can’t scroll around and see how far away you could make your radio reach.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Memory Lane part 1

There have been a lot of these “remember when” pics floating around. And yes, I’m old enough that I DO remember most of them. Here is the first batch of favorites:

Card catalogs
I loved these! I used them all the time at the library. I would have a specific subject or book to look up, but would also find myself just going through some of the cards before and behind the specific one. See what other titles were like the one I was going for, or other subjects. I could spend a very enjoyable time just going through the catalog, jotting down all the books I wanted to look at. You can’t do that with a computer. You have to put down exactly what you want. Maybe I don’t KNOW exactly what I want. I just want to stroll. *sigh*

Evening in Paris perfume
I LOVED this scent! I was pretty little and I had a very old partial bottle that was probably my grandmother’s. I loved the blue bottle, of course, but I also enjoyed the scent. I would put a tiny little amount behind my ears and imagine myself to be a very fancy lady going out for dinner and the theatre. Notice how I spelled ‘theatre’? Just like a fancy lady would.

I loved my jacks. They were REAL ones, made out of metal. You step on one of those barefoot and you learn a hard lesson! I was never very good at actually playing the game, but I loved how they spun. I got some for Lia, and of course they are out of plastic now. And huge. They still spin pretty good, though.

Tabletop juke box
It was a pretty rare thing for anyone in the family to actually put money in one of these and play a song, but I enjoyed flipping through the pages to see how many I recognized. Never got tired of doing that. Sometimes I would just flip, flip, flip, back and forth until I got yelled at to stop.

Of these 4 things, the one I would most like to have available again is the humble card catalog. I really mourned the loss when the library got rid of it.

Friday, June 12, 2015

Last Drop Of Alphabet Soup

Can’t remember when I started this thing, but I’m gonna end it now. And I promise I won’t do this series again. Once was enough, twice was too much.

T – Terpsichore
One of the Muses. Goddess of the dance. Strangely enough, she is usually pictured as sitting and strumming a lyre. Giving the dancers something to dance to, I guess. You’d think she would be out on the dance floor herself. Showing how to REALLY boogie. Maybe she was tired the day they took pictures…

U – Ushabti
In ancient Egypt, it was a funerary figurine placed in the tomb. They were meant to represent servants or slaves that would serve the buried person in the afterlife. Some tombs had several, some had scores. For some reason, I just really like the idea of all these little figurines. I think they’re neat. I wouldn’t mind having a collection of them. I would probably have to make them myself, though. Might be my next art project. Really don’t expect anyone to put them in my casket at the end though.

V – Velodrome
An arena for track cycling. I don’t remember how old I was when I saw this in the Olympics. I couldn’t believe how fast these guys were going! I thought it was insane! They’d start out flat on the ground and then go way up on the sides! And the crashes!!! I can barely ride a bike in the normal way.

W – Weber
One of the best inventions ever. We’ve had our Weber all our married life. This thing lasts forever. One year we even did the Thanksgiving turkey on this. Did not turn out well. We discovered it’s not a real good idea to try and grill during the winter. And certainly not a large turkey.

X – Xu
A Vietnamese coin. One of the BEST uses of the letter “X” in word games! Saved my bacon many times! Also, if you google this coin, there are some really pretty ones, mainly the ancient ones.

Y – Yang-chin
A Chinese hammered dulcimer. Lovely sound. I urge you to look this up on youtube and listen to some of this music.

Z – Zarf
I learned this word when a friend skunked me at Scrabble with it. It’s the cardboard sleeve they put on your hot drink at Starbucks so you don’t burn yourself. It originally meant the decorative, usually metal, holder in the picture at left.

And there you have it folks. Another stroll through the alphabet. Toodles!!

Thursday, June 4, 2015

June 2015 Book Report

Stephania (1953) by Ilona Karmel

Stephania is a hunchback whose spine started curving while she was in a concentration camp and unable to get medical treatment. After the war, she went to a hospital in Stockholm to see if her back could be straightened. Her room mates at the hospital were a woman recovering from a badly broken leg and a teenage girl suffering from polio. The 3 women become close in the course of a year, but it’s proven that nothing will help Stephania.
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Davy Crockett (1955) by Stewart H. Holbrook

From the YA section of the library. A good little biography. Naturally, I read it with the image of Fess Parker in my mind.
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The Girls on the 10th Floor (1958) by Steve Allen

What great bunch of short stories! I’ve always admired Steve Allen. He was an incredibly intelligent man. Good writer!
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The Illyrian Adventure (1986) by Lloyd Alexander

The first book in a series for YA readers. Vesper Holly is a female teenage Indiana Jones. Very intelligent; absolutely fearless; good little diplomat. Vesper and her guardian try to prevent civil war between Illyria and Zenta.
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A Solo in Tom-toms (1946) by Gene Fowler

Great autobiography of the author and his childhood in the late 1800s and early 1900s. Wonderful read. It was such a different time in this country. Some of the great western legends were still alive. Definitely makes me want to get more of Fowler’s books.