Thursday, March 31, 2011

Looking Forward to Shag Time

Not being from the east coast originally, I too, was only familiar with the Austin Powers term of Shaggin.  Then, I spent 3 years in  South Carolina in the early 1990s.  Now living in North Carolina I can say it was love at first sight.  I fell in love with Beach Music and with the Carolina State dance The Shag.  It put a smile on my face.

Wikipedia defines Beach Music:

 " Beach music, also known as Carolina beach music, is a regional genre which developed from various musical styles of the forties, fifties, and sixties. These styles ranged from big band swing instrumentals to the more raucous sounds of blues, jump/jive, doo wop, boogies, rhythm and blues, reggae, rockabilly and old-time rock and roll.  Beach music is closely associated with the style of swing dance known as the shag, or the Carolina Shag, which is also the official state dance of both North Carolina and South Carolina. "

I can tell you, it's a good fit for this Motown lovin' lady
At every festival, that has music, there is a dance area full of Shag dancers.  I love it.   Our own Newport Pig Cookin' Festival starts Friday in the park.  There will be the fragrance of roasted pork all over town, but what I look forward to the most is the live music and Shaggin'.  No, this girl does not Shag.  If it had made it to Michigan, back in the day, or if I had traveled to the coast, I would have most certainly learned to Shag.  I do enjoy watching the dance floor full of dancers of all ages.  It looks like once a Shagger always a Shagger I hope it puts a smile on your face as well.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Thank You Miss Taylor

I can't let the passing of Elizabeth Taylor happen without saying, "Wow, what a woman!"  She may have been the last true Living Legends from the glory days of Hollywood.  She gave much, in her talent and in  the cost to her personal life.

For all that was happening behind the camera, the marriages, divorces, illnesses, and tragedies, on screen she was electric.  I remember when my girlfriend across the street would come over to spend the night, during the mid to late 1960's.  We watched late night ( 11:30pm) movies on Friday and Saturday night.  If Elizabeth Taylor was on, we were thrilled.  We got our Pepsis and Popcorn all ready  to watch Raintree County, A Place in the Sun, Butterfield 8 or my favorite Cat on a Hot Tin Roof.

Add Paul Newman to a movie with her and we were there. Many we watched over and over, never growing tired of her.   It was during the filming of "Cat" that she lost Mike Todd.  Her performance in this movie is outstanding.  This was just one of the movies for which she received an Academy Award nomination.  There would be 5 in total with 2 wins. 

It was because of Cat on a Hot Tin Roof  that I discovered the playwright Tennessee Williams and the controversy surrounding that play.  No one does the hot, steamy south quite like Tennessee Williams.

She turned heads and dropped jaws with her affairs and marriages.  Eddie Fisher, Richard Burton, John Warner  and the one that had me scratching my head... Larry Fortensky.  For all of the negative press, she kept on going. Her charity funded hiv/aids research when it was in it's infancy.

I'd like to leave with this quote from Maggie the Cat.

"What is the victory of a cat on a hot tin roof? — I wish I knew . . . Just staying on it, I guess, as long as she can."
Cat on a Hot Tin Roof

This lady will be at the top of her class for all time.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Just a Random Rant

Trojan Condoms with Fire and Ice lubricant.  I was watching TV just now and this was the commercial.  Really?   Do I have to know that? This is mid afternoon.  Isn't their target audience supposed to be at work now?

 I get tired of his and her sex lubes, mail order enhancement meds, and the almighty impotence drugs that show the couple walk off into the forest to magically appear in 2 bathtubs.  I've walked in a few forests in my life and never once found a bathtub.  We also have the flying maxi pad and any number of tampon absorbency ads.

I have told Daughter # 1 that I do not envy her the questions that will come from my 2 grandsons, at 8 and 9 years old.  My biggest complaint is, if these products just have to be marketed, do it after 9:00 p.m.  Do not put them on family programming at family viewing times. 

These, to me, are products that will find their buyer whether they are advertised or not.  I found maxi pads when they weren't advertised on television.  I found them because I needed them. Believe me,   any man with erectile dysfunction will find that little blue pill.  He does not need to be shown how to walk through a forest in search of a bathtub. He will traverse vast deserts in fact, to get that magic pill. 

Remember the Playtex bra commercials we watched as teenagers?  The model was a mannequin form or a woman with a sweater on under the bra.   Have we come a long way baby!!

I know the youth of today are not as sheltered as my generation was.  I would have been mortified to be watching TV, at 12 or 13 or older with a guy and have these commercials interrupt the program we were watching.  The Monkees, Mod Squad or That Girl.  

If the young teens are not a bit embarrassed by them, maybe it's our fault.   I know my daughter has the remote in her hand to change the channels on these ads, when her boys are watching.  I have always believed in the "need to know" theory and at their ages, they do not need to know.  I swear there are some things I don't need to know.  Is it just me?

Thursday, March 17, 2011

The Little Blue Dress That Wouldn't Quit

I know this is a bit corny but maybe, if you're a Mom you will think it is "too cute" as well.

I bought this little Health Tex dress at Sears, as a single Mom, so very proud of her daughter starting Kindergarten in 1980.   5 years later, the "hand me ups" not downs, get passed on to my sister for her daughter.  We did not plan that she would wear that little blue dress for her first day of school, but she did.

By the time I learned my niece wore it, I had remarried and had two more daughters.  Their apparel future was then written.  I knew that dress was destined for greatness.  I know it did not shrink up.... these kindergarten girls were growing taller.

Daughter # 1, niece in the middle, back row is Daughter # 2 and in front of the fence, Daughter #3

After my younger daughter wore it, in 1991,  that dress was retired, to hang in the back of her closet. It hung there until 2009, when my niece's daughter started kindergarten. My sister drove it from Michigan to Nashville the summer before, to make sure she had it.  By then not even tights could cover the fact that it was too mini and it was missing it's belt.   It was with a sad heart ( OK, not her mother's who was not sold on this idea) that the dress missed it's first First Day of School in our family.  * Correction:  My sister just emailed me that her granddaughter, this little cutie, wears a unifrom to school so that's the reason the little blue dress didn't make it to school on her First Day.

It was 29 years old on it's last photo Op.  It's been to every young woman's graduation Open House hanging proudly by the usual display of childhood photos and the punch bowl.   Now it's time to retire.

I did send Health Tex an email about the little blue dress.  They didn't write back.  I guess they don't care about the life of just one little dress from their tons of children's clothing sold during those years.  You would think they would be proud of such an accomplishment.  Every time we saw it march out the door, we were.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

I've Recovered....

Wow, my 4 day mini vacation to Colonial Williamsburg turned into the flu on the 3rd day so I was in bed, in the hotel, for about 24 hours.  When we got home on Monday, I was still sick and only a litttle better on Tuesday but good today. I felt bad for Terry that he was left buddyless for the second half of the last day in the villiage.  He doesn't mind going off on his own, so he did. 

The interpreter for the Governor's Palace was a tiny little thing that sounded just like Katherine Hepburn.  I would have believed anything she told me.

I personally enjoyed the Fop.  The Fops were well educated... had been to Europe "on the tour" and always wore the latest fashions.    Of course, they wanted everyone to know they did, so they were very unruly and loud. Being young, all of this was done with Daddy's money..and in a time when the average colonist traveled no more than 100 miles from home in their entire life.  Only the young women were attracted to them.  hmmmmm, I think there are still a few around today.  Those children of celebrities that have no talent, just a name. 

I'm a history addict and didn't know that Williamsburg, Jamestown and Yorktown are so close together.  All within a 20 mile area easily.  It was not possible to see everything in a 4 day weekend, but now that we live this close (about a 4 hour drive), I know we'll go back.

Now I need to get caught up on what everyone else has been posting.  I do want to thank eveyone that stopped by while I was gone.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Long Live Hair Pieces

I had to join in the fun of posting my fake hair experience too.  Kathy, from Reflections by Kathy (see her button on my page) posted about wearing wigs in the 1970s.  My hair fad came in 1968, when I was Senior in high school.  There were not many that were that brave, but enough, that I had to join in.  I think this picture was about 1970.  It looks like I was going for a Mrs. Daniel Boone look-a-like, but that really was unintended.

That dress touched the ground, but under it were lace up knee high "granny boots".  My remember they made my feet stink horribly so once those babies were on, they stayed on. My own hair was wrapped into a big pinned bun on top of my head and this mass of curls was then dug into the bun by attached combs.  Yes, by the end of the day, I had a headache.  Another case of suffering for vanity.

I went to wig styling classes to learn how to do that.  Those curls took forever to do too.

After I had cut my hair, I also had a smaller hairpiece that just perched on the back part of the crown of my head  to add height.  It pretty much blended in. Then they were gone.  Another fashion fad hit the dust.  I'm surprised they never made another appearance.  They could have done well in all that big 80's hair.

I had that dress for years.  After I had children, it was stuffed and became the body of a witch for Halloween, on my front porch.  Minus the boots.  I think they had to be burned.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Please Share

My mother never showed me these pictures.  After we lost her, 4 years ago, my sister and I found them while we were going through her papers.  And....being a genealogist, there were a lot of papers.  She would go on and on about great great Grandpa Easter's third cousin, twice removed, etc,.etc, but she didn't show us these.  I wish she would have.

These were taken in 1947.  She was 17.  At 18 she was married. She moved from Missouri to Michigan as a teenage bride, leaving all she had ever known.  3 weeks after her 20th birthday, she had me.  She never talked about her teenage life much.  I know she didn't date.  She worked, selling tickets, at a movie theater and that's where she met my father.  Life with him was rather trying.   For the last 30 years of her life she suffered the agonies of Fibromyalgia.  But right here......there is hope, joy and a warm summer day.   She is every bit a pretty as the other pin ups of the 1940s.  I don't think she knew that.  I wish I could have told her.

During my teenage years, she would join me and my girlfriends that had spent the night.  She would sit on the bed with us, asking all about our dates, boyfriends, dances, movies, etc.  She enjoyed hearing about them as much as we did going.  We never thought she was invading "our space".  Years later, the girlfriends would remember how she did that and how they enjoyed it too.  My sister and I did so much more, socially, than she did.  Homecoming Dances, majorette, proms and more proms, homecoming court and bridemaids.  I know it brought her joy.

I would swear there is nothing left to share with my daughters.  I've been told TMI Mom.  TMI..  My youngest daughter asks the questions.  Any questions about my past.  I always give her an answer.  She said she knows I will tell her to mind her own business if I don't want to talk about a certain subject, but I am pretty open and have not found that subject yet.  Maybe I didn't ask my mother the right questions or just maybe, she didn't feel as comfortable discussing herself.  It was a different generation.  You know us boomers...  We let it all hang out.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Men, What Can I Say

Because I am a long distance Mom and Nana, I have to be content with stories from my daughters, to lift my day and to keep me informed on the daily events in their lives. 

Daughter #1 called this morning.  Here is the update.

     Last night Brett ( age 9)  had  math homework. " I don't do math" she said  "Story problems give me a headache " so his Dad was helping.  Do you know, in math subtraction, they don't "borrow" anymore.  I don't know what they do, but they do have to show their work on how they got the answer.
      So after much discussion, she hears Brett ask his Dad, "How did you get that answer?"
       Dad .... " My brain just knows it."
       Brett, after a pause, " Yeah, well, that's not gonna work on my teacher."

Second Story:

 The husband was standing out in the snow, by the mailbox talking to a neighbor.  Daughter # 1 runs out, gets the big white envelope with pink hearts on it and runs back inside.  That's a  Victoria's Secret package.  She and I have both been managers of Victoria's so our husbands know those would think.  That night at dinner (Logan's Steakhouse) she asked him..  "How do you like my new pants? This is what was in the envelope."  

He said, "I ordered Carhart pants from Meijer ( a big grocery/clothing store). I thought it was my order." 

"No", she said, " it's mine."

His last comment.  " Are you sure?"   ( She is 5'2" 110, while he is 6'3" 250 )  There is that outside chance she could be totally wrong and be wearing his Carhart pants, dragging the legs behind her.

God Bless them.  They have to walk around and function all day with those brains.  My own dear man asks me some doozies too.  Of, course, right now, I can't think of any.  When I was working, my girlfriends at work, and my LARC friends would share "Stupid Man Stories".     I have asked Terry if men share those kind of things too and he swears they do not.   I think I will keep this title and  can go with it from time to time when I hear a Stupid Man Story.   This is not to say we do not love them dearly, but seriously, do they hear the things coming out of their mouths?

After 29 years of marriage, I am only now realizing I should have written those things down, like you do in a baby book.  Every bride should be given a "Things My Husband Has Said" book for a wedding gift.

There was the website, book and now a TV program on "*&^!! My Father Says".   We wives knew our husbands did that long ago.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

So Many Books, Too Little Time

Being an voracious reader, I have devoured an enormous number of books in my life.  I don't hesitate to say, in the thousands.  For most of my adult life, aside from the first year after babies were born, when you have to  figure out how to bathe to go to the bathroom with the little darlings, I have averaged about 2 books a week.

My earliest book memories are reading Trixie Belden (girl detective)  novels at about 10 or 11.   My sister, (3 years younger) says I never climbed trees or played outside with her because I was always reading.  I broke my leg at 11 while riding my blue Schwinn bike.  I was in a hip to toe cast for 3 months.  Books were my companion.  I limped for some time, which reminds me,  we moved  during that time and some classmates thought I was recovering from polio.  That was early 1960s so it was on everyone's mind.  We would line up in school, for the sugar cube with the polio vaccine on it.  Was permission from the parents even requested?  I somehow don't think so.   I think they just did it. 

During that move, we lived with friends of my parents while they were involved in the move.  It was at their house that I found Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe and  Marjorie Morningstar by Herman Wouk.  I was 11.  What was I doing reading Herman Wouk?   I'm not sure which came first, the books or the broken leg but after that I was a reader.

It's difficult to pen down a favorite or even a top ten list of my own.  They tend to change when I find a new one or I forget a good one.  Always in there though, is Wuthering Heights, The Great Gatsby, and  East of Eden.  I would also choose The Thorn Birds, Gone With The Wind, and one I found this past winter, by Kate Morton,  The Forgotten Garden.

Surprising to me too, is that I have not joined the electronic book market.  I've not tried it, so I can't say I don't like it, but I think I wouldn't.  I like the feel of a book in my hands but I can see that those huge ones would be much easier to read on a Kindle or a Nook type thing.  I'm not so much a Stephan King fan anymore... say not for the last 15 years really, but his "The Dome" sounds interesting.  I even bought the paperback version and turned it in to my resale book shop.  The thing has to be 3 inches thick, looks like a textbook and weighs a ton.  So I guess I'll never know about that one.

All kinds of subjects interest me.  I will hit the best sellers, the top 10 lists, Oprah's books, biographies and non-ficiton.  I separate autobiographies/biographies from non-fiction because I have read some that I am sure took artistic license.  Then again, some of those tales, you can't make up.  I saw Meredith Baxter on Oprah yesterday and she broke my heart.  While she was filming "Family Ties" , looking like the perfect Mom, she was living in an abusive home.  Her on screen husband, Michael Gross was there too, along with 3 of her children,  so I tend  to believe this one.  I'm on the hunt for "  Untied: a Memoir of Family, Fame and Floundering".   I also collect First Lady Biographies and Autobiographies.

I always travel with a book in the car, to any appointments, on vacations, and to events.  When my daughters were little, they didn't have nap time, they had "Quiet Time".  They had to stay on their beds but they could look at books if they weren't tired.  They are all readers.  My grandsons sneak flashlights under their covers at night to read.  Their Mom says for that, there is no way they will get in trouble.  Their other grandma pays for baskets.touchdowns and home runs.  This Nana pays for books read and  every few months, I send them new flashlights.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

The Highwayman

Today is  Take a Break Day.  When I take a break, I always do it with music.  I hope you enjoy her and this story, as much as I do.  It's a wonderful poem about a true love.  Loreena sings and writes Celtic ballads.

Loreena McKennitt singing " The Highwayman"  by  Alfred Noyes

The Highwayman
The wind was a torrent of darkness upon the gusty trees,
The moon was a ghostly galleon tossed upon cloudy seas,
The road was a ribbon of moonlight looping the purple moor,
And the highwayman came riding--
The highwayman came riding, up to the old inn door.

He'd a French cocked hat on his forehead, and a bunch of lace at his chin;
He'd a coat of the claret velvet, and breeches of fine doe-skin.
They fitted with never a wrinkle; his boots were up to his thigh!
And he rode with a jeweled twinkle--
His rapier hilt a-twinkle--
His pistol butts a-twinkle, under the jeweled sky.

Over the cobbles he clattered and clashed in the dark inn-yard,
He tapped with his whip on the shutters, but all was locked and barred,
He whistled a tune to the window, and who should be waiting there
But the landlord's black-eyed daughter--
Bess, the landlord's daughter--
Plaiting a dark red love-knot into her long black hair.

Dark in the dark old inn-yard a stable-wicket creaked
Where Tim, the ostler listened--his face was white and peaked--
His eyes were hollows of madness, his hair like mouldy hay,
But he loved the landlord's daughter--
The landlord's black-eyed daughter;
Dumb as a dog he listened, and he heard the robber say:

"One kiss, my bonny sweetheart; I'm after a prize tonight,
But I shall be back with the yellow gold before the morning light.
Yet if they press me sharply, and harry me through the day,
Then look for me by moonlight,
Watch for me by moonlight,
I'll come to thee by moonlight, though hell should bar the way."

He stood upright in the stirrups; he scarce could reach her hand,
But she loosened her hair in the casement! His face burnt like a brand
As the sweet black waves of perfume came tumbling o'er his breast,
Then he kissed its waves in the moonlight
(O sweet black waves in the moonlight!),
And he tugged at his reins in the moonlight, and galloped away to the west.

He did not come in the dawning; he did not come at noon.
And out of the tawny sunset, before the rise of the moon,
When the road was a gypsy's ribbon over the purple moor,
The redcoat troops came marching--
King George's men came marching, up to the old inn-door.

They said no word to the landlord; they drank his ale instead,
But they gagged his daughter and bound her to the foot of her narrow bed.
Two of them knelt at her casement, with muskets by their side;
There was Death at every window,
And Hell at one dark window,
For Bess could see, through her casement, the road that he would ride.

They had bound her up at attention, with many a sniggering jest!
They had tied a rifle beside her, with the barrel beneath her breast!
"Now keep good watch!" and they kissed her. She heard the dead man say,
"Look for me by moonlight,
Watch for me by moonlight,
I'll come to thee by moonlight, though Hell should bar the way."

She twisted her hands behind her, but all the knots held good!
She writhed her hands till her fingers were wet with sweat or blood!
They stretched and strained in the darkness, and the hours crawled by like years,
Till, on the stroke of midnight,
Cold on the stroke of midnight,
The tip of one finger touched it! The trigger at least was hers!

The tip of one finger touched it, she strove no more for the rest;
Up, she stood up at attention, with the barrel beneath her breast.
She would not risk their hearing, she would not strive again,
For the road lay bare in the moonlight,
Blank and bare in the moonlight,
And the blood in her veins, in the moonlight, throbbed to her love's refrain.

Tlot tlot, tlot tlot! Had they heard it? The horse-hooves, ringing clear;
Tlot tlot, tlot tlot, in the distance! Were they deaf that they did not hear?
Down the ribbon of moonlight, over the brow of the hill,
The highwayman came riding--
The redcoats looked to their priming! She stood up straight and still.

Tlot tlot, in the frosty silence! Tlot tlot, in the echoing night!
Nearer he came and nearer! Her face was like a light!
Her eyes grew wide for a moment, she drew one last deep breath,
Then her finger moved in the moonlight--
Her musket shattered the moonlight--
Shattered her breast in the moonlight and warned him--with her death.

He turned, he spurred to the West; he did not know who stood
Bowed, with her head o'er the casement, drenched in her own red blood!
Not till the dawn did he hear it, and his face grew grey to hear
How Bess, the landlord's daughter,
The landlord's black-eyed daughter,
Had watched for her love in the moonlight, and died in the darkness there.

Back, he spurred like a madman, shrieking a curse to the sky,
With the white road smoking behind him and his rapier brandished high!
Blood-red were his spurs in the golden noon, wine-red was his velvet coat
When they shot him down in the highway,
Down like a dog in the highway,
And he lay in his blood in the highway, with the bunch of lace at his throat.

And still on a winter's night, they say, when the wind is in the trees,
When the moon is a ghostly galleon tossed upon cloudy seas,
When the road is a gypsy's ribbon looping the purple moor,
The highwayman comes riding--
The highwayman comes riding, up to the old inn-door.

Over the cobbles he clatters and clangs in the dark inn-yard,
He taps with his whip on the shutters, but all is locked and barred,
He whistles a tune to the window, and who should be waiting there
But the landlord's black-eyed daughter--
Bess, the landlord's daughter--
Plaiting a dark red love-knot into her long black hair.
Alfred Noyes
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