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Monthly Archives: November 2011

These Boots are Made for Walking!


The season for the wearing of boots is upon us.  They are being featured in every shoe store, department store, and leather boutique.  Boots can be practical, warm, frivolous, necessary, sturdy, ridiculous or unique.  Heights vary from ankle, mid-calf, knee-length, over the knee, and mid-thigh.

You can wade in streams with those hip boots made of rubber or climb mountains when wearing hiking boots.  Some appeared to have tire rubber for soles, while others are of the softest suede.  Whether ridged or slick soled bottoms they are all called boots.  People on construction sites wear work books usually with steel toes to protect their tooties.  You can’t really dance in those.

I’ve seen children and sometimes their Mom’s in colorful, floral, cartoon designed, rain boots, sometimes called galoshes (a very old-fashioned word).  When I was a little kid galoshes were always red and always refered to as galoshes.  They were never high fashion as the designer, rubber boots are today.  In those days, you wore your galoshes over your shoes and were always admonished to take them off as soon as you got to school, or you would get sick to your stomach, run a fever.  The belief was that you were attacked by these maladies because your feet couldn’t breath.  I don’t know if there is any basis to this warning, but I wouldn’t want to take the chance of throwing up in front of my friends.  The whole concept of feet breathing is pretty weird.

My relationship with boots is truly a Love/Hate one.  They are such a pain in the neck as well as the pocketbook every time you venture out to buy a pair.  Perhaps I am just not sure what size to buy, or the purpose intended for the boots.  Maybe it’s that I want one pair to suit all my needs.

Do I want them to protect me from the elements?  Would they look just right with my black leather skirt?  Should they be tailored or slouch, leather, nylon or suede?  Black, brown or Grey?  What is it that I want?

Sure everyone wants hot looking, stiletto heeled, knee-high, boots.  Ones that lace up and fit your leg closely.  Is that what I buy?  NOT.  I did have a pair a long time ago. They were great looking, and I strutted my stuff, but no further than chair to chair.  Forget about standing around looking cool, I needed a wall to lean against when I wore those darn boots.

Another thing to consider when buying boots, they never fit your calves correctly.  Don’t we have enough sizes to worry about without having to consider the size of our calves, geesh?  So now its the shoe size, length, width,  and also the circumference of your chubby calves.

Ok I won’t go back in history.  I won’t tell you about all the money I have spent on all kinds of boots that barely got worn, or how even the most sensible of tall boots did not zip closed when I got them home.  (By the way I do shop online for boots.  Big Mistake).  My newest acquisition, a pair of knee-high/over the knee, black suede, slouch boots, are so wide I can fit two legs in each boot.  Never the less I will wear them happily.  They are flat soled, soft suede, warm and come on and off easily.  These boots are made for walking!!

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Posted by on November 30, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

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The Anniversary Waltz


Until you’ve been blessed to mark the passage of time, you cannot believe how quickly the second-hand sweeps around the clock face.  A second, minute, hour, day, week, month, suddenly years. 

Here I sit, a decidedly mature woman, feeling like it was only a relatively short time since I was sitting in a hotel room, near Kennedy Airport, celebrating my Honeymoon night, when in fact it was forty-seven years ago.

At eighteen years old, married only a few hours, it seemed that life went on forever and we had all the time in the world.  Yet we were in such a rush to get on with it.  Wedding, honeymoon, children.   Eager to attack the struggles of life.   It appears that is the way of youth, then and now, and why we tended to run head long into life changing decisions without  care or fear.  Life happened to us sans plot or plan.

Our honeymoon on Puerto Rico was an example of how impulsively we did things.  The destination chosen because I heard another young woman at work speak about when and where  she and girlfriends were going on vacation.  How else does one pick a place for a memorable event?  We lucked out.   The La Concha Hotel, located on the Jewel of the Caribbean, Puerto Rico, was a magical place for our Honeymoon.

We did everything there was to do.  The first morning we ordered room service, and ate in bed.  It was a nutritious breakfast, veal cutlet parm with a side of spaghetti.  Only the stomachs’ of teenagers could handle such fare for breakfast.  There was no one there to tell us we weren’t allowed.   We were married!

I went to my first Casino at that island hotel, and there you have it.  I felt like Gina Lolabrigita on the arm of Sean Connery.  My new husband had very dark brown hair and sparkling, blue eyes.  He stood behind me as I played black jack and got excited when I won.  My big winnings – all of forty dollars – a lot of money in 1964.

A rented Volkswagen Beetle was the mode of transportation to help us race around the island. One beautiful, blistering, afternoon, we were doing  just that, sightseeing, when we began bouncing all over the road.  A flat tire.  My Knight jumped out of the car, found the trunk, which was in the front, pulled the jack out, gasped.  Instructions written in German.  It took a while to discover you didn’t jack up the Beetle from the fender, but rather from the side.  Finally the tire was off.   Leaving me on the road side he went strutting down a hill, tire rolling in front of him,  confident he would  find a tire shop.  He didn’t speak a word of Spanish.

Not ten minutes after he left, the storm clouds gathered.  It was like something out of a mystery novel.  A young woman left alone in a disabled car, on the side of a lonely road, when startled by an unexpected rumble of thunder and clash of lightning.   It got pitch dark, and so it came, the down pour.   A deluge of loud, hard, blinding, rain.  In seconds water streamed over the hill, causing six-inch deep puddles in about twenty minutes.  Just as quickly the sun returned and chased the flash storm away. 

 Sometime later my hero returned, with his patched tire.  His wool pants looked like they were smoking.  Steam rose around him.  Hot sun was quickly evaporating the rain water from the drenched pants.  Quickly, the tire changed, we proceeded on our way without further incident.   The only casualty, the woolen pants, which when dried had shrunk in length to just above this ankle bones.  We got some strange stares when we walked back into the elegant hotel.

Another of our Honeymoon memories was when we took a ten passenger island hopper over to St. Thomas.  Not to say the plane was small, but every one was asked their weight, when seated, in order to balance the little puddle jumper.    Way before the days of terrorists caused security measures, the cockpit was separated from the passengers by a short curtain which remained opened during flight.  You could have running conversation with the pilot as he few this antique bird.  It was on this trip to Blackbeard‘s castle that we were asked if our parents were coming on the hop with us.  The lady who inquired was visibly embarrassed when we informed her we weren’t with our parents, we were adults on our Honeymoon.

These and more memories make me smile today as I sit with my Knight while we watch television these  forty-seven years later.  We are not doing the Anniversary Waltz this evening , his hair is no longer dark, but those blue eyes are still brilliant, now framed with smile lines.  He still can make me laugh so hard, tears come to my own brown eyes.   I look forward to much more memory making with him. 

Happy Anniversary, Jim.

 
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Posted by on November 23, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

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Bloomers, Panties, Lingerie


Women's panties or knickers

Image via Wikipedia

At one time certain undergarments were called unmentionables.  This was after the era when people didn’t wear undergarments at all.  A lady would just have to lift her skirts to perform some necessary and at times not so necessary, but perhaps pleasurable functions.

Then came the time of pantaloons, bloomers, panties and all types of lingerie.  They all had their place in subsequent eras.  Some were functional.  Many seductive and alluring.  I’ve had my ups and downs with underwear, :).    There were also nylon pettipants.  They were pretty and usually the legs edged in lace.  The pettipants legs ended just above the knee, and you didn’t need a slip when wearing them.  They were fairly short-lived in popularity although truly sexy.  Another seductive look that few people got to see were the slinky boxer short underwear that women wore in the late 40s.  They make a come back now and then.

My mother and grandmother always called the underwear that covered one’s butt, bloomers.  This even after the age when they were traditionally called panties.  I have conflicting thoughts about this.  Panties is a much nicer sounding word than bloomers.  It invokes visions of Victoria Secret‘s models, rather than the likes of Suffragettes.  Now of the two the Suffragettes brought women up out of the dark ages, fought for women’s rights and won us the right to vote.  The VS models tend to objectify us.  But ask most women who they would rather be compared to.  Well you know the answer.

I remember an incident when I was about fourteen years old.  It was a time when it was quite common for people to have conversations from a third floor window to the street below.  My BFF, Susan, and I were going to Macy’s 34th street for a little shopping.  In 1960, Macy’s was still the kind of store where even poor people could shop on occasion.  I was waiting in front of Susan’s building for her to show up when her mom, Carrie, called down to ask what I was going to buy at Macy’s.   My mother had giving me $10.00 and I was sent to purchase her underwear.  You could get 4 pairs for $10.00.  Totally uninhibited I yelled up, BLOOMERS.   Carrie thought this was quite funny, and told me to have a good time.  You see Carrie was second or third generation Italian/American.  They called them panties as opposed to the first generation American, who still called them bloomers.

I find the use of the word panties is oft-times incongruous.  Are they still panties when they are a size eight, nine or ten and made out of sturdy cotton that go all the way from covering your belly button to the square cut across the thighs?  I call those briefs or utility underwear.  Why utility underwear?  Because they stay up no matter what activity you’re engaged in. You wear them when you are doing heavy house work, wall painting, or landscaping.

Panties are often silky or lacy.  French cut leg, which means they are cut high up on the thigh.  They also sit on your hips below the belly button, and always make you feel sexy.  Then there are thongs.  We women wear thongs, not because they are comfortable, there is very little material to a $14.00 pair of thongs, and how can a 1/2 inch wide string going up the crack of your butt be comfortable?  We hate them.  We wear thongs because men like them on us.  Go figure!

An entirely different category includes undershirts, camisole`, bras, braselettes etc.  These can also be added under the lingerie umbrella.  But that will have to wait for a whole nother blog.  Its evening and I’m changing from bloomers to panties.

 
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Posted by on November 18, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

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The Beautiful Changes


More than those landmark events, a birth a death a storm, it’s the almost unseen, seen, happenings that alter our thinking, ultimately changing who we are, forever.

I was in King Kullen, such a long time ago, purchasing cheese and crackers for a get together with friends. Feeling happy with the anticipation of the coming evening.  That’s when the aficionados come over to our house, and we watch boxing together.  I love these nights, especially when the fights are exciting.  Food, friends and fights were running through my mind when a shrill voice drew my attention.

A woman in her late forties was screaming at her companion.  The companion, a white-haired, confused looking lady, whose hands fluttered nervously while clutching her equally wrinkled black pocketbook.  No doubt it was a Mother and daughter.  It was easy to size up the situation.  The daughter had long ago surpassed her limit of patience and now things were careening down hill.  By the expression on the elderly woman’s face it was apparent she had no idea what she had done to cause this.  Helpless to do too much more, I allowed them to go ahead of me online. 

This scene changed me in a small way.  It forged the memory that forever made me a kinder human.  I no longer got impatient with those who were moving slowly or taking change out of their purse with arthritic fingers, to pay for their purchases.  I have the luxury of smiling at them, or bending to pick up something that may drop, because I can still bend.

Just like there are happenings that impress me with being the wrong way, there are things of note that continuously teach  a better way, if we only pay attention.  Have you ever heard an adult correcting a child in a quiet tone rather than screaming at them?  This is a hard one to learn for those of us who have a temper, but it is the right way.  Examples of a softer, gentler life can be found all around us if we look.  Without too much effort we can adopt some of these habits and make them our own.

How we speak, think, act and move can be altered in subtle ways to improve ourselves and the beautiful world around us.  I was reminded of all this by the poem printed below.  I will try to make some beautiful change today.  Its not going to be easy, but I’m gonna try.  As the saying goes, fake it until it becomes real.  Wish me luck.

The Beautiful Changes by Richard Wilbur

One wading a Fall meadow finds on all sides The Queen Anne’s Lace lying like lilies On water; it glides So from the walker, it turns Dry grass to a lake, as the slightest shade of you Valleys my mind in fabulous blue Lucernes. The beautiful changes as a forest is changed By a chameleon’s tuning his skin to it; As a mantis, arranged On a green leaf, grows Into it, makes the leaf leafier, and proves Any greenness is deeper than anyone knows. Your hands hold roses always in a way that says They are not only yours; the beautiful changes In such kind ways, Wishing ever to sunder Things and things’ selves for a second finding, to lose For a moment all that it touches back to wonder.

I apologize for this fabulous poem not being in poetic form.

 
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Posted by on November 16, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

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Birthday Cakes


A birthday cake

Image via Wikipedia

I love Birthday Cakes.  I love them if they are home-made or store-bought.  I love them when the Birthday Cake is an apple pie or a donut.  Whether they are covered in icing or shaped like a loaf of bread smeared with cream cheese.

It needn’t be served on the actually day of one’s birth, but it must be sometime within two weeks before or after.  There could be as many as ten or twenty people sharing it, or just one other singing to the recipient of the Cake.

My only steadfast requirement is that there must be a candle stuck in the Birthday Cake for one to blow out.  If you don’t have a candle you can’t make your official first wish.  The second wish comes with the cutting of the first slice.  Wishes made on your Birthday go straight up to Heaven.  So make it a good one.

I love Birthday Cakes that are decorated with pink or blue whipped cream flowers, strawberry or peach filling, and has the first name scripted across the top.  I love Birthday Cakes that are lopsided and baked with the help of a child.

I guess you get the idea.

Birthday Cakes represent, to me, that someone cares.  They wish to celebrate your time on this earth.  They seem to say, by virtue of the Cake, I am happy to know you and want to help you get a wish today.  I want to be close to you and sing to you dear one. 

It’s those wonderful twenty-four hours of the year that everyone, even strangers, will shake your hand or kiss you in congratulations.  You’ve managed to live another year.

I saw a loved one blow out the candle on his Birthday Cake the other day.  I don’t know what he wished for, but I know it was just the perfect wish.  He was surrounded by his children and grandchildren.  He’d spoken to his other child earlier in the day who sent love from afar from the Delaware branch of children and grandchildren.

It was the oddest thing.  After he blew out the candle on his Birthday Cake the room seemed all the brighter.  It was the glow of happiness on his face. 

Birthday Cakes are a wonderful thing.

 
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Posted by on November 13, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

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To Vote or Not To Vote


There is always that question, especially in a non Presidential year, whether to take that fifteen minutes, perhaps half an hour, to perform ones civic duty and venture out to vote.

I’ve heard all the reasons and excuses  why it doesn’t matter, and perhaps thought that some might have a bit of validity to them.  You’ve heard and said them as well.

“They’re all crooks, My vote doesn’t make a difference, The guy I want is going to get in whether I vote or not, The guy I want will never get in, What does it matter, nothing changes.”

Many of these things run through my mind, and a few others, Its cold, its raining, its sunny, I’ll have to get dressed, I will have to put my make-up on if I go and vote.  It all boils down to I’d rather sit on my lazy butt than strike a chord for Democracy.

Ok, I could get preachy here and tell you all the reasons why it is important, and its the right thing to do.  I could tell you that men and women have died, and others continue to put their lives on the line in order to protect our right to express our collective voices in the form of voting for our representatives.  But I’m not going to do that.  I’m going to tell you about my voting experience today.

After all my mental procrastination, I dropped the rake, went inside to apply some light, day time appropriate, make-up, grabbed Jim and headed for the school where I have been casting my ballots for the last forty something years.  It is a comfortable feeling to walk into the same building  where your children attended school, beginning at five years of age, and all the way up to eleven.  The halls sing with the memories of their voices, pig tails, gymnastics, plays, moving up ceremonies, awards, and of course Bongo. 

Bongo was the dog who shared our lives for twelve years.  He was a pup when the children were young.  Many times I would get a call from the secretary at Canaan Elementary asking me to come get Bongo.  He would escape from our back yard, tracked down the kids, and was creating havoc in the school.  I think he was more blood hound than the Spaniel mix he had been purported to be.  You have no idea how embarrassing it was to retrieve him from the principal’s office.

For many of the last November elections Jim and I weren’t in the country and we had voted by absentee ballot.  This was the first time I was voting by the new method.  No more of those big voting machines that you entered, closed the curtain, and clicked the levers.  Now you vote by coloring in circles next to your choices, put it in a cardboard folder, walk over to a small machine that is supposed to suck out the ballot, and register your vote.  Ok, sounds good, right?

A big part of voting in our democracy is that your choices are secret.  No one knows who voted for who.  In the age of modern technology that is no longer the case.  For me, anyway.

The helpful older man who stands by the machine to help you vote, to make certain you are voting in the correct district,  removes the cardboard folder from your hand, jams the machine causing my ballot to spit out, now without its jacket, and he gets to view exactly how I voted while I feed the now jacketless paper ballot back in, correctly.  Good thing I don’t give a damn who knows how I vote.  Aw, such an improvement over the old style inside the curtain voting machine!

Anyway to get back to the point of my story, as I was leaving the school I ran into a neighbor who I had not seen in years.  We chatted for a few minutes before she exclaimed, “My God you look the same as you did in 1971.  I can’t believe it.”  (The reason you must put on your make-up before going to vote.) With all modesty, I told her she was nuts.

Naturally,  when I left the school, I was walking on air.  Now I remembered the reason why one should always take the time to go out to vote.  I wonder what I will wear next year?

PS.  My candidates were elected.

 
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Posted by on November 9, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

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Can-Can


Jules Cheret, Moulin Rouge, 1890 Art Nouveau p...

Image via Wikipedia

I believe everyone knows the melody of the Can Can which was made famous by those voluptuous nineteen century dancers performing at the famous Moulin Rouge in Paris.  We have seen pictures, postings and most enticing paintings by  Henri de Toulouse – La Trec.

This brilliant artist, hobbling around on stunted legs, (which he broke as a child),  frequented the cabarets of Paris capturing for all time the feel of the young, bawdy, dancers.  With their chubby limbs flinging high in the air to that unforgettable melody they would turn around to lift full ruffled skirts and scandalized the novices in the audience with views of their full derrieres, encased with even more ruffles.  They teased and taunted the gentlemen of high society.

During his short time on this earth, (he died at 36), Henri was drawn to the raucous sounds and sights of the hardest living among us.  The prostitutes, harlots, and dance hall performers of that era.  He depicted them in the most garish of shades, never quite hiding the sharp angles of face and body.  Always with bright lipstick smeared across their mouths.  He lived his life cavorting and drinking with these oft-times falsely cheerful women.  I wonder if he loved or hated them.  In all probability, they gave him the companionship and acceptance that the so called high born ladies did not.

Today, when you hear that melody played, and we all do often, does the vision of these racy, giggling, women come to mind?   Do you think of nineteen century Paris, cobble stone streets,  slow, trotting, steeds being urged along by the coach driver, or an educated, undersized, bearded artist,  conversing with illiterate henna haired ladies of the evening?

Or…………… do you hum along to the Shop Rite commercial and hurry to the nearest supermarket to load up a cart with the bounty procured at the Can Can Sale?  Two cans of Campbell’s Chunkey Soup for $3.00!

 
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Posted by on November 3, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

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