Tuesday, April 28, 2009

28 April 1955 “Insurance, Hospital costs, Diets, Letters and the art of Conversation”

From Time Magazine:

Patients are "alarmed by the confusion and the cost of a system in which the doctor competes with the hospital for the patient's pocketbook," Dr. Basil C. MacLean, New York City Commissioner of Hospitals, told the New England Hospital Assembly in Boston. Furthermore, said MacLean, some hospitals seem "to be designed on the pattern of a clip-joint nightclub," charging as much as 60¢ for a couple of aspirin tablets that they buy at 60¢ per 1,000. "If the voluntary hospital system is to continue," warned MacLean, "shock therapy is needed to cure it of its schizophrenia." [I just assumed the overpriced hospital fees were always there. Apparently, the practice to gouge and therefore require insurance to cover 100 dollar Tylenol was just starting out in 1955. Look out world, it’s going to get worse.]

This bit about insurance was also surprising to me:

A major extension of insurance to cover long-term illnesses now excluded was approved at a joint Chicago meeting of Blue Cross (hospitalization) and Blue Shield (medical care) representatives. By year's end, most of the autonomous local plans are expected to offer combination policies (for extra premiums of about $1 a month for an individual, $2 to $3 for a family) to provide up to two years of care for long-lasting disorders now excluded, e.g., mental illness, tuberculosis, incurable cancer, alcoholism. Most plans now exclude these illnesses, and limit protection to about 70 days' care for acute conditions. Policyholders will still have to pay 20% of the costs out of their own pockets.

That means, this sort of coverage would only cost us today around 7 dollars a month. I become so disillusioned when I look at how the insurance industry has lead to the current overpriced medical system. I am really numb with anger at how it has left our country in it’s current state with health care. The insurance lobbyists are the most powerful and plentiful in Washington.

I have been going through the 1955 Diet book and it seems full of nothing but good sense. I found this bit rather good:

“Another reason why no specific time limit is placed on the diets is that reducers who slim down on short-term diets are prone to feel that the battle of overweight is won, once and for all. It never is or hardly ever. Fat will come right back again if eating is unrestrained and daily meals pile up a calorie surplus. Permanent weight control depends upon reeducating one’s appetite and eating habits. Foods provided in this book are meal plans that are common to average American diets. That way the transition to higher calorie diets, after weight is reduced, will be easy and natural. Diet containing exotic ‘health foods’ or strange and unusual things to ear are all too likely to make the reducer feel that there is some wonderful short term magic in them. There is no such magic, and the road to lifetime weight control lies in intelligent eating and a wide variety of common and delicious foods of the familiar kinds provided by the following meals.”

Again, accountability. You can eat normal easy inexpensive foods. You don’t have to eat odd bars or weird flax covered tofu wads (unless you like that). But, really, these meals are simply plain meals you would serve for you family and they would be on a ‘diet’ with you, as you would want everyone to have a healthy weight and you control that up or down with the PORTIONS of the meal.

The book gives this list of “Eat-all-you-want foods”. They are 3-percent-carbohydrate vegetables which give a very large amount of satisfying bulk but surprisingly few calories.

Here they are:

Asparagus, Beans (green or wax), Broccoli, Cabbage, Cauliflower, Celery, Chard, Chicory, Cucumbers, Endive, Escarole, Greens (beet dandelion mustard turnip), Kale. Lettuce, Mushrooms, Parsley, Radishes, Rhubarb, Romaine, Sauerkraut, Spinach, Summer squash, Tomatoes, and Water Cress.

So, eat up gals!

I thought this was good advice for those who like to snack or need to eat at night (I know Jitterbug mentioned having that feeling):

“Save a serving for a snack. If you just must eat something before you go to bed or in the middle of an afternoon, let the snack be a serving from lunch or dinner (not breakfast) of the day’s diet. You overdraw your diet, make repayment by not eating the ‘borrowed’ food at regular mealtime.” [Don’t you love it! It is just good common sense and also applies to saving money! So many people do say, “don’t eat after 8” which is true, but if you are taking a certain amount of calories and you save some of them to eat after 8 you are still eating that same amount in the day and your body doesn’t know if it is 8 at night or 12 in the afternoon. I asked my friend who is a doctor and he said, that if you are eating say 1200 calories a day then it doesn’t matter what time during the day that you eat it as long as it is restricted to that amount between the morning and evening. So, for any late night snacker, just reserve some of your lunch for that late night ‘ice box raid’.

So, here are the spring meal plans with the various daily caloric intakes. I will post the various recipes in my next post.

 

spring 1000 calorie plan spring calorie plan 2 spring calorie plan 3 spring calore plan 4

Since I have begun some correspondence with various followers, I have of late really begun to think of the art of letter writing. According to my book on Etiquette from 1952 under the correspondence chapter,

“Letter writing, like conversation, is often spoken of today as a lost art.”

Even then, with more frequent travel, automobiles, and the telephone, the letter was beginning to be viewed as fleeting. However, the letters of 1955 certainly outnumber those of today and even in their casual manner, certainly have more info in them to peruse and study. The etiquette book states,

“Though few of us today are writing the sorts of letters that will be studied and collected by historians in the future, we all do a certain amount of letter writing.” Yet, how we today, find the simplest letter home from a young bride interesting and often, between the lines, are volumes spoken.

I found some old letters I had mailed home from my time in Paris and England in the early 1990’s. Even then the concept of email was far away. I found that the post cards I wrote home were more detailed than many emails I wrote in 2008 and certainly more so than a text. Here is what I wrote on a post card home on my return to Paris from England:paris post card

                                                      29 July

“I am back in Paris. It is so bloody hot! England was wonderful and where I was staying in Hampstead was a  lovely little swimming hole in the middle of the Heath. It was fenced only for women (so, men couldn’t peek) and had to be reached through a curving tunnel of foliage. It was so Victorian, I utterly loved it. All of those English women, young and old,  just bobbing around without a splash. The water was green like pea soup and ducks shared our pleasure. It is good to be back in Paris, besides the heat. Having a wonderful time, will write later.

P.S. This is a wonderful park where I eat my morning bread. The old people sat in the green metal chairs are as solid and beautiful as the ancient stonework.
Love.

Certainly, in 2009 on such a trip, one might toss off a few emails: It’s hot. Liked England and swimming was fun :) So hot here, but nice park ';)

Somehow, down the road if one were even to have copies of old emails, would they ever bring back the images of those lost times? That calls up another issue, will we have copies of all our old emails to one another? Will they be left in boxes for others to find and love? I know I never print my emails out. They are fleeting, like a quick “Hi, how are you?” to a stranger.

I am not saying they are bad, but we really have sort of lost a form of communication. Are we heading back to a series of grunts and hieroglyphs to communicate? Are single letters and punctuation standing in for facial expressions the new form of letter writing? It does make one think.

Here is a sample ‘bread and butter letter’ as it is called in the book:

letter It certainly would be nice to receive even this short letter in the mail. Most likely one would thank another with an email or maybe a text or call, or possibly, not at all.

I don’t want to say one is good or one is bad, but what we have now is the ability to have BOTH! They did not have the convenience of email and texting in 1955, but we have that and the ability to send letters, why not use them in tandem? An email and a quick call is nice to make sure one is arrived safe or for urgent information, but the ability to express oneself in letter form, and the joy of reading of one’s experience through their words is slipping away. I do think that language is an important part of being a human being. I wonder, will letter writing ever disappear altogether? What do you think? Do you like getting and or writing letters? When was the last letter you actually received. Do you know more about each other because you CAN communicate more easily, or do you actually know each other less as you have no need to delve into your own thoughts and feelings at length, but can just sit for hours on the cell or im-ing talking about nothing and making ;0 :) all day? Could it be the easier communication becomes the less we have to say to one another? As we have less time to think and consider what we would like to say and therefore discover ourselves who we are and what makes us happy or sad? And in our constant calling and talking on cell phones, do we need to create drama in order to have something to say to one another?

I promised photos of my dining room and they are coming, believe me, but I did give myself until the first of May to complete my project. Sometimes things come up and I am glad for my new scheduling lifestyle.

Yesterday, was laundry day, but I had to take all three dogs to the vet. I also had to go pick up the last of my new chicks. This resulted in a lot of driving about and I did not get as much done on my room as planned, and to top it all off, my drill broke! Yet, I am learning to take it all in stride, because at the end of the day, I still had clean sheets on the bed, a nice meal on the table and had time to whip up a batch of brownies from scratch. I really do find now when I have a ‘busy day’ that throws more things in my path, having now got to a certain level of things that I will make sure get done, it makes the chaos of unexpected things more bearable and I can still enjoy the day. Gussie spent most of the day with me, running errands and holding dogs at the vet, and though we had a day full of ‘to-doing’ it was all done with fun and laughter. A smile and understanding friends certainly makes the day go by nicely.

We also, the three of us Gussie, Hubby, and I, have a new nightly ritual that I look forward too and it really does help to wind down the day. After we eat dinner together, Gussie gets tea on while I serve up whatever is going for dessert (last night blonde brownies and ice cream). Then, I take out Pockets ( my darling little parakeet, another purchase for this project) who sits on my shoulder.  We sip our tea, eat our dessert surrounding by the dogs and the bird, and talk. It is so nice to just talk. With no tv to watch ( I have really even stopped watching my vintage tv, as I just forget about it and have little time for it) we have time to talk. Even if it is about nothing, we always find things we have been thinking about to discuss. Much like the joy of reading a blog, the conversation is a great way to catch up and also express our thoughts which might lead to new ideas we can work on the next day. Conversation, really, is so important (to me at least). I also find it is nice to expect a certain routine, it gives a nice structure to even a hectic day. Looking forward to time together to relax and making sure it is as important to get done as making dinner, really does make for a better quality of life.

I used to try not to be too critical of things like watching TV, but honestly I have to say now, in my current frame of mind, I find almost no reason for it. I enjoy watching movies occasionally with my friends, but is my life less full because I don’t have ‘my shows’ to watch anymore? No. I have to say that for my household, we enjoy the time together much more and have so much more quality time to share with one another without it. I began to think in 2008 that my mind was not as sharp as when I was younger, as I was always reading and considering things and contemplating life. Now, I realize, I was just becoming mentally lazy. How can I expect my mind to work better if I don’t use it! But, I didn’t have to. The TV and computer did it for me. It told me what to do and eat and buy. It told me what I should wear whom I should like or hate. 

I certainly could write a letter expressing everything we did yesterday and find it rather interesting to share.  Were I too have come home, ate dinner while we watched TV, and then continued to watch it, we would have said few words to one another and really not get to know one another. Sometimes the people we live with we begin to know so little of, as we waste our time together with the TV. I am sure there are couples who say few words together ,who eat together and sleep in the same house, but spend most of their time together in front of the distraction of television. I really do think if anyone watches a lot of TV, they should just try one night a week where there is no TV and you have tea/coffee/cocktails and just talk about your day or what you want to do or what you think or what book you read or blog or interesting article or what you want to read or do. I know it sounds simple or obvious, but I didn’t realize how much time I didn’t spend with those in my home until the TV went quiet. Just something to think about.

Well, I have ironing today and more dining room finishing touches and planting some trees in my little orchard. What a glorious beautiful day. I hope all of you enjoy yourself, no matter where you are or what you are doing and why not look forward to the evenings end with a cup of tea with your family/friends and a great conversation.

Happy Homemaking.

25 comments:

  1. I'd love to correspond with you.

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  2. Cheryl-by all means, email me (there is a link on this page) and I will email you my address. I have a few people I now write and would gladly appreciate another.

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  3. Thank you again for taking the time to post a thoughtful blog entry.

    We look on in dread at the U.S. health system and hope our country isn't headed that way. I don't wish to sound mean but from what I know it's a real worry and a disaster.

    Great common sense advice in the 'dieting' book.

    Over the years I've been engaged in much letter writing though more recently I've 'pruned' this activity because it became a pressure and I neglected some areas in my home to keep up with my correspondence. My parents now live 4 hrs drive away and we write to each other. It does take a lot of time and effort for an interesting long letter. I also write many thank yous which are far less labour intensive but still seem to be appreciated by the recipients. (I LOVE getting your 'letters' in the form of this wonderful blog. Thank you again!)

    I wonder why Gussie lives with you (if she's there for conversation after dinner)?

    I absolutely agree with your tv comments. Keep them a comin'.

    Have a great day! From, Linda

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  4. Oh how wonderful to revive the art of letter writing! I remember receiving letters from pen pals when I was younger, and it was always so much more exciting than later in life when it would just be an email.

    Do let me know if you fancy a young, british housewife pen pal!

    It was interesting to read about your healthcare system also. It makes me much more grateful for how things are here in the UK :)

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  5. Linda-Thank you so much for enjoying my blogs as letters. I suppose, in a way, I am writing to all of you here from the past. Also Gussie lives with us as she is my friend and also my niece. My sister is much older than me and Gussie is close to me in age and we are actually closer like sisters, as she has never called me auntie, except in jest. She also loves the past and has lived with us since we moved back from the city. She liked my idea and volunteered her time as 'part time gussie' It really makes it seem as when we do our housewife Gussie work together, how it must have been with a real gussie, as a middle class housewife with one live in maid would certainly have had a friendship bond, I imgaine. I know servants such as that were always being left money in their wills along with the children. When we visit after dinner, of course, she is no longer gussie as she has magically turned back into our dinner guest.
    Seraphim-I would adore a penpal from the uk. If you email me at myyear1955@gmail.com I will give you my mailing address.

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  6. Hi 50SGAL;
    I wanted to ask you about where you find your books, manuals and magazines? Do you have favourite ones? I live in Australia so we may not be able to get the ones you have but its a fantastic idea to ga back and read from our recent past. As I am sure you know an have said we don't want to go back and live there - in Australia you had to leave your job if you got married for example - but we can learn about ways of doing things that are helpful now - I agree!

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  7. I have always loved antiques and books. I have been collecting periodicals and books for some years, some were from family memebers, inherited, the others I rummaged at local antique book stoes, tag sales etc and of course ebay is a great source, or if you happen to know the title you are looking amazon does have connections to used and out of print books. Of course, I say support local first then ebay before amazon. My interest in 1950s magazines started fairly recently, as before I collected edwardian and early 19teens periodicals. Let's just say, I love old things especially anything I can read. I hope that helps. I always encourage any study of the past to better understand where we are now, how else can we tell how we got here?!

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  8. What a lovely time to be a vegetarian! All of those tasty veggies sound marvelous and I may have to get into the habit of buying something other than my usual mix at market. I have to say, I thought having oatmeal and whole wheat toast every morning would have gotten old by now, but it is still so delightful and healthy. It's become a great start to a hard day at the farm. When lunchtime rolls around, I find myself taking my break a good hour later because I haven't yet run out of fuel and I'm simply not that hungry. Ah! The beauty of eating a healthy breakfast. Thanks for that.

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  9. Thank you for kindly answering my question about your dear Gussie. Funny that our family situation is little similar.. in reverse. I'm the much older sister,(same parents) and my (married) daughter is living with my married sister for a little while. My daughter and sister have always been close. My sister loves introducing her nephew and neice to others to witness their surprised faces when they see a strong, strapping, tall young man and a trendy young woman instead of cute littlies. They have never called her Auntie either. :)From, Linda

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  10. Great post! I remember my mother corresponding regularly with her mother-in-law while we were growing up. This wasn't all that long ago - the 70s and 80s - but long distance phone calls were expensive and only for bad news or very special occasions. Every other week, she write to Nana. And every other week, there was a letter from Nana in return. That's how my Nana received every bit of news about her grandchildren - through letters. She must have lived for those envelopes in her mailbox!

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  11. Such an interesting post, as always.

    You know, no one even writes thank-yous anymore, even today when it can be financially difficult for people to send gifts to others. It's probably petty of me to notice, but my grandparents are always so excited when I send thank-yous that they call. No one writes letters, you are right. It's sad...

    Our healthcare system in the US is not perfect, but it is still the best in the world. Canadian & European acquaintances come here for health care because they must wait interminable months for basic care, and are denied care for things like breast cancer and glaucoma until it reaches a "certain point". It is not really the health-insurance companies that have caused the trouble so much as the government sticking its cloven hooves into things, mandating things and such. Not a popular opinion, but true.

    As someone with several chronic illnesses despite my young age, I'm extremely thankful for America's healthcare system. Our nearest city (Pittsburgh) has more MRI machines than the entire nation of Canada. When I had a breast cancer scare last fall, I was able to get into the cancer center for screenings and care within a week, and a top surgeon within days of my ultrasound/mammo/MRI (the MRI because it was that big of a scare). Not perfect, but better than anywhere else. I'm so grateful for it (and I say that as someone still paying off medical bills from a necessary surgery several years ago). Again, if the government would let well alone, as it is supposed to do, we'd be much better off, all of us!

    How *do* you handle busy days? Not only do I spend quite a bit of time at doctors' offices, we (for instance) just returned from almost a week in Nashville. I've been running nonstop since we got back and feel like I'll never catch up, between work and the house, though of course by pushing myself I've gotten it all done (confession: travel really knocks me for a loop). I could use a Gussie of my own! But you'd be proud: I've put in more hours than usual already at work this week, unpacked, done the laundry, cleaned house (messy pets, hee), and planted the lily bulbs which arrived while we were gone, all in two days, in addition to practicing a new vintage hairstyle and variation on the same and planning menus for the next month-ish (and catching up here, which is like a break). Actually...I think I've impressed myself, and I've always been a hard worker!

    Finally, just curious: do you cook any Cuban foods? They were quite popular in the 50s. It also tends to use inexpensive & fresh ingredients, which makes me wonder if its popularity was due not just to its exotic nature but the economy of it in a postwar world! I came across something else about the 50s and food while on vacation, but can't recall now...Sigh.

    Oh, one last thing (really!): I'm a decorating nut but have put some things off because of uncertainties. No more! Two weeks ago I finally just pulled out a can of paint and turned our back-door entryway a lovely shade of dark robin's-egg, a little lighter than our kitchen's turquoise walls; I also primed the entryway in preparation for whatever ends up there and to cover up the red paint splotches I'd put in a few days before as tests (too red, though it's my favourite colour). Thanks for the inspiration, 50sgal!

    Sitting on the floor, cleaning up the trim (which had been freshly painted a couple of weeks prior), I thought to myself, "50sgal might be quite happy to see the 'havoc' she is causing to be wreaked on homes across the nation. What a darned shame, hee!" Because of course it's a good thing (especially the lack of boring and lifeless "neutrals"), and I'd only procrastinated for fear of choosing the wrong colour. As it is, the tiny room is close enough in colour to the kitchen that it now seems like an extension of that room and looks quite pretty indeed.

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  12. PS: Wore my gloves while in Nashville and got some looks, but none cruel; mostly of surprised, and pleasant-seemed at that. Easter Sunday, my gloves were a HUGE hit with the little elderly ladies at church, one of whom asked where I managed to find them. She left church with a new determination to figure out ebay, I can tell you that!

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  13. Agree about the television - I used to just have it on all the time, even if I wasn't watching it. What a waste! I now only watch if something is on I want to see.

    Perhaps if you are finding 50's tv and movies less interesting now what about a trip to the theatre? It was a regular outing for middle class families in the 50s to go to their local rep theatre - at least here in England. Going to see a Tennessee Williams play (or Chekov/Wilde/etc etc) would be an excellent excuse for wearing a vintage evening outfit!

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  14. Jitterbug-that is wonderful about the letters!
    Jen-wow, what a great comment. Well, I wasn't actually talking about the 'quality' of the healthcare, that I find very good ( I live in Paris remember!) only it is that not everyone has acess to it. It is also funny, the way in which we view ourselves in this country. My hubby told me about a story of an english gentleman who was ill because of cancer. It was probably not covered as much here as it is there and he said he didn't want to 'waste the resources' on himself but better for someone younger with the disease. I just found it, culturally, interesting. I am not saying one is better than the other and if I am sick I want to be well, but it is interesting to see that your very mindset on things we think concrete like healthcare, is actually thought of differently dependent upon your cultural surroundings. I hope you have got better!
    I know, what have I started with my encouraging DIY? Well, I am glad. We ladies should all get out a bucket of paint and 'go at' something in our house. Good idea tying the colors together as it makes the room feel bigger. I really am a big supporter of carrying a color scheme throughout the house. It doesn't all have to be exactly the same colour but variations, it feels more finished and less chopped up.
    I am proud of you for your hat and glove wearing. I just read in my household book, that gloves are to be washed while 'on the hands' and then laid out or put on glove stretchers to dry. It makes sense, but I wouldn't have thought of it. That is why it is good that all of we ladies help and give advice to one another. I do want to attned our local theatre and will be soon as they are doing Much ado, but they are currently running 'school house rock' and although my 2008 self knows full well what that it, I think it is not very 1950s. My hubby is considering getting a job locally (even though it would mean less money than working in the city) and then we promised ourselves one day a month in the city. Theatre dinner friends etc. We shall see. Right now, I am so into my home and garden that WWIII could be going on and I'd just be quitely humming away to myself, painting ceiling beams and planting my new roses.

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  15. I LOVE real letters, both reading and writing them. The last letter I received was from you, which I received yesterday. :) You saved my day with a letter from 1955, what a blast from the past! A real letter and from my favourite era. What a treat! I will write to you soon. I have no time nor energy these days, but I am reminding myself how much I enjoyed writing a real handwritten letter to you the last time. Sitting at my desk armed with a mug of tea and sometimes looking out of my huge window to get inspiration. Some weeks have passed since my last letter to you, so now there are things to tell and thoughts to share. Is the handwriting in your letter your normal handwriting or have you obtained a “vintage styled” handwriting for your project? It looked very nice. I’ve learned that handwriting too many years ago, but we learned two different handwritings in school so I kept the last one, which is not so elegant. I can still write the other one, but it is difficult, since I am not used to it anymore. I have a vintage letter rack at my vanity desk in which your letter now stands. It makes me happy looking at it. I have very few real letters, only two love letters from DH and now one from you.

    I have nice girlfriends with whom I share good and bad, thoughts and feelings, just like in old-fashioned letters. I write long mails (and comments, which you might have noticed). I hate all those modern abbreviations, like U for you and R for are. You’ll never see them in my texts or mails, but I do use smileys in my mails. When was the smiley invented? Is it old enough to use in mails for you? I suppose it was invented in the sixties, but I might be wrong.

    I wouldn’t miss my tea-time with DH, neither our dinners together as a family. Son is not that good at joining our dinners every day, but normally he does – teenagers are a race of their own. ;) As mentioned before we rarely watch TV in our house. Son watches some movies now and then, and normally we watch a nice movie on Sunday evenings to end the week in a nice way and to relax after working hard in the weekend before going to work again. The average TV time watched in Denmark is 2,47 hours a day! I don’t even watch so much TV in a week!!! I cannot imagine spending so much time in front of the TV! I always have nicer things to do. Yesterday, DH and I sat for about 45 minutes in our garden swing, then some of our friends came and I made latte (an exception from our weekend rule ;)), and all of us sat in the garden and had a lovely time, just drinking and talking. I’m sure I am born in the wrong era.

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  16. Sanne-I am so glad you recieved my last letter. That is my normal hand writing but it does take on a vintage feel, as I am using an antique fountain pen that was my grandfathers. I love how the ink feels, although when I sit to do my coorespondence besides my blotter, paper, pen etc I always have a little glass full of water, as the pen is so old every three or four sentences I need to stop, dip it in water and shake it on a spare piece of paper. It gives one time to pause and consider what they are about to write. As there is no erasing or back space in letters, you do feel as if you need to take the time to consider your words before you permanently set them to paper.
    What a lovely day it must have been latte's in the garden with friends and DH. Today it has been beautiful and I am taking a break. I planted all of my fruit trees in my little orchard today. It is very small but I can see it from the window by my desk in my little sitting room.
    We usually have a Sunday movie (vintage of course) as well.

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  17. I also enjoy writing and receiving letters. I started in my high school punk rock fanzine-swapping days, and have continued with many friends. I am often told that mine was the only birthday card/valentine/etc that people received, and that motivates me to keep it up!


    Unrelated, but I thought you might enjoy these photos:

    http://www.jsonline.com/multimedia/photos/43905442.html?c=y&index=1&page=0


    -Allison

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  18. Good post, definetly alot of things to think about. My grandmother and I write letters back and forth to eachother and when I call her its almost akward, because we dont have anything to say to eachother because we've already written it to one another! I think letters will slowly fade away, like free television and good heathcare and education systems. Its sad, even now our newspaper is going out of business. The whole paper for Denver Colorado, isnt it sad?

    I think its amazing what you hear when the tv is off. Not even outside noises, but conversations, and personalities, I actually hear my cats personalities now! I can see that they have a little soul or person or something in them, they're not just a dumb animal (they never were to me) but its like they are little people.You probley know what Im taking about with your dogs. Its almost like going outside and looking in your own home for a change. The things you see and hear!

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  19. Interesting post, 50'sgal. Regarding the insurance industry, I think our healthcare is excellent, as Jen described (best of luck to you with your health issues, btw), but it's "excellent" for those who can afford it. It makes me so angry that so many hardworking are too poor for insurance and have to accept second rate medical care. I realize it's even worse for those in other countries. All those poor people in Mexico who were infected with the Swine flu (sorry, 50's Gal, you may haven't heard of this as it's recent news) were at the mercy of their own luck. It's just not right that life saving medical resources are invented but not available to all.

    As for letter writing, I think the internet has helped me write more. My best friend moved to Japan this summer and I love writing to her. If it weren't for the internet I wouldn't do it as much as it would require a trip to the post office for the special postage. My friend uses Skype to call more often than write but she enjoys my emails. What you said about historians finding emails is funny. I can only imagine what someone would say if they read my emails to my friend in Japan. I also keep up with a few other friends and cousins using email. Maybe I'm just one of those people.

    S

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  20. Hi 50s Gal
    I saw this site and thought yo'd enjoy it!

    http://www.bigbeautifulbarbarabrown.com/index.html

    Full of vintage made-to-measure dresses. Check out the customer gallery too.

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  21. Paris? France? As in good ol' "gay Paree"? How did I miss *THAT*?!

    And I'm fine, it could be so much worse. There are people suffering with more than I have to, it's just something to learn to deal with and overcome.

    The stories about people being denied care because they are older are quite common coming out of Europe (the UK especially) and Canada. We hear it all the time. I'm originally from Michigan, the suburbs of Detroit, and Canadians came over all the time for medical care that they couldn't get in Canada because the government refused care...Sometimes for very simple things! It is very sad. I'll confess that when people rip into our healthcare system, I get very frustrated and angry! Sometimes we don't know how good we have it, I guess.

    DIY is great, I've always been a decorator/nester type, even in apartments. Heh. Paint is the easiest and best makeover, too, if you ask me! Plus there's something so satisfying about running that roller across the wall, watching the colour change...

    Thanks for the tip about glove-washing! I didn't know that and will do so accordingly from now on. Glove stretchers are something I need to find.

    Roses? What kind? I have "Peace" (how apropos!) and LOVE it. It's gorgeous. Unfortunately, the deer like it too...

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  22. Yes, I lived in Paris a short time in the early 90's. I loved it and always planned on living there again, but have not as of yet. Hubby and I have toyed with a trip this fall while I am still in 1955, what fun with the luggage and all, but we shall see.
    I think our healthcare is supreme, I am just sad it is not available to everyone in that healthcare is SO expensive.
    I have many different variety of roses, but I just got four new shrub roses to plant along the fence of my veg garden. They are called 'Queen Elizabeth' and are the most lovely soft shade of pink, very 1950's I think, particularly since that monarch came to the throne in the 1950s.
    I have seen glove stretchers at antique stores before and will get some if I find them, as now they would actually be used AND pretty to look at.

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  23. Oh, Queen Elizabeth is very pretty, we've seen that as well. They're the almost confection-like pale pink ones, right? Our home is red brick, and I'm not sure how they'd look...

    "Peace" was actually smuggled out of France just before the Nazis arrived, IIRC. If I knew how to split up a plant and send you a small one I would, though ours is less than a year in the ground...Maybe it's too young yet.

    Also, will ask again about Cuban food. :) Have you cooked any? I have one Cuban cookbook, it's wonderful, and there is a website by the same gentlemen with recipes. I'm going to make some cookies from it this week, I think (I make a schedule of menus well in advance so I don't have any excuses for not making supper!).

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  24. I had forgot that you mentioned that, but no I have not tried cuban food. I should and need to find recipes. I know that cuba was a destination in the 50s for holiday. My friend recently went to Cuba on holiday and said it is amazing how much of it is very 1950s as after we cut them off from the usa, they had to keep all the old cars and fridges etc.

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