Time-Out for Tenderness

 Photo by Robert Eklund on Unsplash

Children and their pets create bonds, strong and true.

Wherever a pet can be added to the family, daily affection and relationships enjoyed by all can be worth the effort required.

 

Top 10 Reasons

 

Warmer weather and sunshine now appear more often,

as springtime completely floods the countryside.

What does this mean for our neighborhoods and communities? Why, it’s time to organize a pet show, of course!

A short 1930s film of California kids shows us how it’s done:

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Town Once Famous

Pontoon Boat Sunset by Rob Lee is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Lake Wobegon is a fictional town created by Garrison Keillor. And while he authored several books from 1981-2014, his radio show, A Prairie Home Companion was his claim to fame.

 

Anyone born from, say, 1950-1970, likely tuned into the weekly program or heard its American folk music playing from a home radio often enough to recognize Keillor’s familiar voice.

 

Comedy is best when it contains a measure of real life experience and human fallibility.  This is precisely how

A Prairie Home Companion brought the imaginary town

of Lake Wobegon to life each week around the globe.

 

I thoroughly enjoyed the author-narrated audio version of News from Lake Wobegon for several years after receiving it as a gift. One of its finest stories is here for your pleasure:

 

 

 

Further proof that some celebrities still care about their fans:

 

And He Still Lives Here!

 

 

 

Hello, Operator?

Photo by R.D. Smith on Unsplash

 100 Years of “Ma Bell”

 

Do you ever miss the feeling of cradling a Western Electric Bell telephone in your hand, holding the handset up to your ear, listening to the voice of your loved one on the other end?

 

And, how about the tingling ring that danced down the hallway when someone called your house?

 

Take a step back with me now as we revisit the early days of “modern” phone technology.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Joy of Life

French Countryside by Funky Tee is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

The spark that gives us vigor to live in the present moment with a sense of joy is known by the French as Joie de Vivre.

 

Magazine About the Joy of Living

 

Melancholy music suspends us in time, illuminating the hidden cobwebs in our spirit.

One such touching melancholy piece is titled,  Joie de Vivre

The composer is George Davidson, a brilliant musician who grew up off the coast of France on the island of Guernsey. 

He specializes in romantic favorites, French love songs, show tunes, and original compositions.  Please listen and enjoy:

 

 

 

 

 

Rewinding a Fashion Statement

St. John gold Chain Belt by leyla.a is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

A recent trend uses a popular wardrobe accessory in a novel way: the chain belt draped over women’s swimwear as jewelry.

 

Laws of nature dictate summer sunshine warms metal quickly.

You decide.

Should chain belts be saved for cocktail dresswear, or venture out to the pool and ocean by adorning swimsuits this season?

 

 

 

 

Women’s chain belts were a thing in the 1980s-90s when huge shoulder pads & double-breasted styling were standard attire.

Does the Lady of the House in your home have one of these chains tucked away somewhere in the closet?

 

If not, you can find great styles here on Etsy:

 

Vintage Chain Belts

 

 

Summertime Strawberry Splendor

“Strawberries” by ewan traveler is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Realistic aromas can waft from vivid strawberry photographs. Peer for mere seconds before your mouth waters and senses rise with a pleasing dopamine rush!

 

An absolute favorite memory of my youngest years is the fresh strawberry season when both sets of my farming grandparents (living only about 2 miles apart) would grow their own bounty.

 

The first was a respectably-sized patch, laid out in a sloping plot, atop a steep hill. The second was a sprawling, large, flat patch, set in a sandy plot that felt as hot as the blazing desert.

 

The thrill of waking each summertime morning to the fragrance of these juicy jewels was beyond words alone.

 

 

Curiosity ~ Arnold Edinborough by Irina Gheorghita is licensed under CC BY 2.0

 

I’d roll out of bed and go straight to the kitchen, where there would be talk of what time the first pints of the day would be picked from the large patch.

 

Some had to be captured before the midday sun rose high above the beds and scorched them. Others would need hours of rays before their full color appeared. Then there were always a few of the most delicious ones, harvested just before dusk and nightfall, if someone had energy to go out one last time.

 

As talk and coffee flowed, breakfast sausage or bacon flash-fried in the skillet. Soon, cracked eggs were dropped into the hot drippings, and lacy edges would form around the rims.

A glistening bowl of tender, ruby-red berries made the table’s centerpiece; enough for all to generously garnish their plates.

 

Piecrusts or lightly sweetened shortbread biscuits would be baked later, for desserts to serve after the supper meal.

Finally, freezer jam was made from the last of the crop.

 

Strawberry Jam for Beginners

 

I realize the seasonal harvests of each region, such as gooseberries and morels, plums and pears, peaches and pecans, watermelons and corn on the cob, persimmons and potatoes, and numerous others – all provide their own heavenly experiences. Without a doubt, I richly enjoyed many.

 

Every able child deserves the chance to regularly work into a full sweat and get their hands in the dirt during planting or harvesting. As a result, the flavor of their efforts will come through on a plate of fresh goodness, at the table of kindred spirits where loving hands are joined together in gratitude.

 

 

“Strawberry plants” by Anz-i is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

 

 

 

Zany Xanadu

Vintage Ad #1,868: Xanadu! by jbcurio is licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0

The most dazzling romantic musical fantasy in years!

 

Within the film are time travel scenes of the most unlikely culture contrasts seen on the big screen (like the big band era vs. disco – with ELO (Electric Light Orchestra) filling much of its double-platinum motion picture soundtrack album.

 

Xanadu Title Track: Olivia & ELO

 

My biggest arguments in support of the movie’s cult following (a significant fan base yet today) are the pairing of two bigtime stars: Olivia Newton-John with Gene Kelly, and performances by the late Andy Gibb of the legendary Brothers Gibb legacy.

 

The Brothers Gibb

 

Disclaimer: PG-13 warning for language in last few seconds of video. Thank You. 

 

 

 

 

For Good Measure

Every tool bench has a tape measure of some kind.

Each dressmaker or seamstress has one as well.

They’re obviously useful collectibles even today.

 

Luckily, I spent a lot of fun times playing with these as a child when the adults were too busy to care!