Saturday, February 28, 2009

Friday Fill-Ins #113

This week I forgot all about it being Friday. How could that happen? What about TGIF and all that? Too many naps, I think. Oh, well, here goes this week's Friday Fill-Ins on Saturday (and the last one for February):

1. I'm awake, I'm out of bed, but I won't be coherent until I've had my coffee. Lots of coffee.

2. Why do I have such exquisite taste and not enough cash to indulge it?

3. How does this computer work, anyway? Or this TV, automobile, bicycle, toaster, doorknob? I admit I'm extremely mechanically-challenged.

4. Every morning, I put moisturizer on my entire body.

5. I consider myself lucky because we got out of the stock market just before the recent economic downturn.

6. One day we’ll see the Grand Canyon, the Grand Canal in Venice, and our grandnieces and grandnephew in Florida.

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to (well, that's pretty much taken care of itself), tomorrow today my plans include trying to get all the shopping and errands taken care of before the storm hits later tonight and Sunday, I want to stay in out of the rain, and get some reading done!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

The State of the Wardrobe

Last night the President gave his first big speech since the election – the "not-the-State-of-the-Union-Address." And it was, by most accounts, a huge success. I watched. I had gotten into the habit of ignoring presidential addresses on nationwide TV. I mean – did anybody really watch those excruciating sessions with W? Even his own party faithful must have found those painful. I think President Obama's maiden voyage was pretty encouraging – he sounded very much in charge, made a lot of good points, and also a lot of promises that are going to be difficult to live up to. Well, we'll see what happens there. But the man can certainly make a speech, can't he?

And he looked a little older, I thought. A little more gray sprinkled in with the darker hair. A few more lines on the face already. The office does age the man, they say. All that responsibility. His country depending on him for answers to all their problems. Not to mention all those secret CIA documents about the extra-terrestrials living amongst us! I'm sure that would turn anybody gray. Well, anybody but Ronald Reagan.

OK, enough of that. Let's get to the really interesting stuff. What was Michelle wearing?

Michelle Obama is beginning to drive me crazy. She's a very attractive young woman, and we all know she's got a nice, well-maintained, athletic body, with great arms. But does she have to wear sleeveless dresses ALL the time? Even in the dead of winter? I keep thinking of my mother's invaluable maxim that to be well-dressed is to be appropriately dressed.

Also, all her outfits seem to look so much alike – I'm almost certain I've seen last night's dress before, and I haven't even been paying really close attention. Now I'm not eager for the second coming of Nancy Reagan or anything like that. And we're all glad she's frugal and prefers ordinary, unfussy fashion. But Michelle, you're the President's wife – for his first major address before Congress and the nation we wouldn't have been too pissed off if you'd sprung for a new outfit. Please, please – at least once in a while – would you ditch that J Crew catalog and go do some shopping!

Wish You Were Here

This would have been my parents' 67th wedding anniversary. I wanted to put up a photo in honor of the day, so I went searching through my albums. I knew I wouldn't find a wedding photo because there weren't any. My mom and dad were married in 1942, two months after the bombing of Pearl Harbor and just before my father enlisted in the Navy. It was a sudden decision, with the ceremony performed at the county courthouse – no fancy trappings or guests. And no commemorative photos.

But just finding a photograph of the two of them together was a challenge. Neither of them really liked having their picture taken, so they rarely sat for professional photographers. This shot is one of the earliest I found – taken in 1939 when they were high school sweethearts. They "went together" for a number of years before he popped the question. According to my mom's version of the romantic tale, he told her if she'd just get a job they could get married!

Well, she never got that job – her only ambition was to be a housewife and mother. And it took the uncertainty of a World War to push my father into action. They were happily married for fifteen years – until he died of heart failure a few months before his 37th birthday. My mother never remarried.

Yes, he was very tall – unfortunately, his height is something I didn't inherit. And although in this photo my teenaged mother looks like she's dressed herself from Salvation Army bins, she ordinarily had a much sharper fashion sense!

I miss them both.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Blue Monday: King Street Blues

Thanks to Smiling Sally for hosting Blue Monday. For more blue offerings, or to participate yourself, please visit her blog.

These are a couple of shots of the King Street Blues restaurant in Old Town Alexandria VA. I've never eaten there, never even walked through the door. But the outside always grabs my attention. I understand there are more of these grotesque gargoyle-like figures inside, and I'm not sure exactly what that would do to my appetite – or my digestive system!

Friday, February 20, 2009

Friday Fill-Ins #112

Wow, I almost forgot about it being Friday. It's been that kind of week. So, quickly, here goes another Friday Fill-Ins:

1. Give me a sunny day with no laundry to do and I'll be perfectly happy.

2. Whenever I'm feeling depressed, my hubby always tries to cheer me up (and it usually works).

3. I wish I could believe we're done with winter for this year.

4. A Lindt Dark Chocolate Lindor Truffle was the last thing I ate that was utterly delicious. And dark chocolate is a great antioxidant, right?

5. To live in this world you need strength, adaptability, and a good sense of humor. Of course, a ton of money is a big help, too.

6. Other than this one, The Millions is the last blog I commented on.

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to finishing the book I'm reading right now (Land of Marvels by Barry Unsworth), tomorrow my plans include shopping for more books (haven't hit the bookstore since last week!) and Sunday, I want to get some reading done! Ya think I might be a bookworm or something?

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Movie Musings: Hot, Hot, Hot

M and I have been watching a lot of TV lately – a habit I'm really trying to kick. But since we "went digital" back around Christmas time, we've been blessed (surely that's not the right word) with dozens (nay, hundreds) more channels than we used to have back in the bad old pre-HD days, including a dozen or so that show nothing but old movies. And since movie-watching is one of M's favorite pastimes (he'll watch just about anything that flickers), it's very hard to pry him away from the tube in the evening.

Last night, we watched Body Heat, the 1981 neo-noir crime drama written and directed by Lawrence Kasdan. Hadn't seen this one in years – possibly not since the 1980s. It's a sort of updated take on Double Indemnity, with William Hurt and Kathleen Turner in the Fred MacMurray / Barbara Stanwyck roles. And early on in the film, Kathleen Turner delivers one of my absolute favorite-of-all-time movie lines:
"You're not very smart, are you? I like that in a man."
And William Hurt's character, the subject of her remark, really wasn't very smart – in fact, he was stupid, stupid, stupid! But I won't say any more about that – you should go watch it for yourself.

The movie had a lot more nudity and graphic sex than I remembered – and both Turner and Hurt were, of course, nearly thirty years younger and in great shape. So they were nice to look at. But there was a lot of coupling. And panting. And sweating. And soaking in tubs of ice (no, really!). All very hot and steamy. Well, it was set in Florida during a heat wave. And as I was watching, it struck me that they all could have saved themselves a whole bunch of grief if they had just invested in a good air conditioning system.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Stitching Memories

Isn't this adorable? And don't those colors just scream 1970s? Back then, mushrooms were all over the place – along with owls, for some reason. I guess the mushrooms were supposed to make us all wise as owls (probably shouldn't pursue that line of thought).
I bought this kit on eBay a while back, separated out all the various colors of yarn, put in a few stitches, and then promptly stashed it away! But I found it again recently. It's a vintage "Swif-Stitch" kit – a form of long stitch or straight stitch, and I figured it was so easy, even I could probably work it without screwing up too much. I did a bit of needlepoint back in the day, but it's been a real, real, REAL long time since I attempted anything involving a needle and thread.
It has a few stains and creases here and there – but hey, I'm a little the worse for wear, too. And once the stitches are in, I don't think the problem areas will show. Besides, while I'm playing with it, I get to indulge in another of my favorite pastimes – wallowing in nostalgia!

Friday, February 13, 2009

Friday Fill-Ins #111

Well now, I guess it's Friday again, isn't it? Not sure what happened to Saturday through Thursday this week. Anyway, hope everybody has a nice Valentine's Day tomorrow, and gets lots of their favorite love tokens (mine are chocolate and diamonds, just in case anyone around here might need to know). And here goes another Friday Fill-Ins:

1. It seems like by the time I remember to do my Friday Fill-Ins every week, it's almost not Friday anymore.

2. Could you put that back where you got it when you're done, please?

3. If I thought you would take me to Paris I'd start packing!

4. _____ is what I think of most when I think of you. Well, that would depend very much on which "you" we're talking about, now wouldn't it?

5. To me, Valentine's Day means the best kind of holiday – I don't have to cook an elaborate meal.

6. Love gives me strength. No, wait a minute – love keeps me warm and makes the world go 'round. So I guess spinach chocolate gives me strength.

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to probably watching one of these movies we've recorded lately but never managed to watch, tomorrow my plans include just staying in and staying warm if we really do get the dreaded "wintry mix" that's predicted and Sunday, I want to get some reading done!

Monday, February 9, 2009

Blue Monday: Bookmark Blues

Since I've been working on a post about bookmarks for Joy's Blog this morning, I thought I'd continue that theme for Blue Monday and show a few of the blue-ish bookmarks in my collection.

This is one of my favorites and one I use all the time. I like the cute kitty theme, and the ribbons with shells on the ends keep me from losing track of the bookmark and the book.

This one is from the 1960s or early '70s. I'm not sure exactly why we were all so taken with that old-fashioned girl look, but this is pretty typical of the era. Probably the Holly Hobbie influence.

And these two are among the oldest bookmarks in my collection. The "This Is The Place" marker is probably from the 1920s, and the smaller one is a bit older. On the reverse side of the larger one there are ads for a couple of books published by The Century Company of New York – The Lost Prince by Frances Hodgson Burnett, and Straight Down the Crooked Lane by Bertha Runkle.

These are some that my mom accumulated back in the 1980s when she belonged to a book club for readers of romance novels. Apparently they sent her bookmarks with every selection because I've got dozens of these things!

And this last one doesn't have a huge amount of blue, but the sentiment makes it one of my favorites.

For more Blue Monday offerings, please visit Smiling Sally's blog.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Friday Fill-Ins #110

Wow, here it is after 5PM as I'm beginning this (got a late start today), and the sun is still shining brightly outside my window. Makes me feel like spring is just around the corner, no matter what that darn groundhog said! Maybe this won't be the winter that wouldn't end, after all. Anyway, time for another Friday Fill-Ins, so here goes:

1. Please don't tell me how much you love winter – I'm ready for spring.

2. Can you please not expect me to make sense before around 11:00 in the morning? And only after several cups of coffee, too.

3. The color pink makes me want to jump into my time machine and whisk myself back to 1954!

4. I have a craving for a decaf mocha cappuccino and some hazelnut biscotti.

5. If my life had a pause button, I'd pause it whenever I wanted to, of course (who wouldn't?).

6. Eyes are the sign that a potato has started to germinate. Just go forage in my kitchen and you can see plenty of examples!

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to staying in and watching "Monk" and "Numb3rs," tomorrow my plans include the usual round of shopping and errands, and maybe watching one of our Netflix DVDs (I think we've got "Mr. Brooks" right now), and Sunday, I want to finish at least one of the four books I've got going at the moment (I really need to get some reading done)!

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Wordless Wednesday: Kayla and Friends

For more Wordless Wednesday offerings, please visit the website here.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Blue Monday: Collins Bag

I'm a packrat inveterate collector. At one time or another, I have collected comic books, postage stamps, marbles, ceramic cats, dolls, paper dolls, nutcrackers, Teddy bears, postcards, greeting cards, matchbooks, dishware, glassware, Pyrex ware, sewing patterns, and vintage clothing. To name a few.

And one more. Collins bags. Enid Collins designed and manufactured handbags in Texas, starting in the mid- to late 1960s, until sometime in the 1970s. There were basically two types of bags – wooden box purses, and canvas bucket style bags. As a teenager, I fell in love with the small box bags – they were about the size of a large paperback and encrusted with sequins and fake jewels. They were eminently impractical for day-to-day toting. And they were quite pricey by my working-class standards. Even so, I managed to cajole my mother into buying me at least two that I can remember.

Alas, those original two bags apparently fell victim to one of my mother's frequent clear-outs, because today they are nowhere to be found in all my "stuff." But a few years ago, while browsing eBay, I was bitten by the Collins bug once again and started building a very nice little collection of the boxes. This is a photo of one of them with a bit of blue on it – it's one of the bigger box bags, about 12 inches long – called Pavan II (all Enid's designs were named). As you can see, it's not in mint condition, but it's still one of my favorites. I was always more interested in the wooden box bags than the buckets, but lately I'm starting to look at the fabric bags with a new eye. I suppose they mostly appeal to women of a certain age, and oh yeah, I'm there now.

Thanks to Smiling Sally for hosting Blue Monday. For more blue offerings, or to participate yourself, please visit her blog .