Saturday, April 18, 2009

18 April 1955 “News, TV, Beauty, Transference, and Bunnies”

Here is a movie life magazine from April 1955. It is interesting that the main image of the the star (Marilyn Monroe) is actually artwork and not a photo.

The first large-scale Asian-African conference, also known as the Bandung Conference, took place between today April 18 thru April 24, 1955 in Bandung, Indonesia. It was a meeting of Asian and African states, most of which were newly independent, which took place between April 18 and April 24, 1955. The conference's stated aims were to promote Afro-Asian economic and cultural cooperation and to oppose colonialism or neocolonialism by the United States, the Soviet Union, or any other "imperialistic" nation. In later years, conflicts between the nonaligned nations eroded the solidarity expressed at Bandung. [I guess these areas of the world were just not meant to be aligned. Though they saw we western cultures as imperialists, and I am not defending all our practices, it is interesting to note that these areas in this conference certainly did no better at managing their own countries. That is not a judgment good or bad, merely a fact. An interesting one. ]

One of the conferences concerns was over the trouble and conflict between the USA and Communist China. [again, isn’t this funny, considering our current state of affairs with China?]

mr wizard This is an interesting ad for the children’s program Mr. Wizard’s World. It looks really interesting and it seems the level of science he explained to young children is very high. Are any of you old enough to know this show? I know they redid it on Nickelodeon in the 1980s, but am told it was not as advanced as the 1950s version. Here is an episode:

going up 1 I found this little mini article interesting on three points: 1) The talk of a woman in a career outside the home and her chance for advancement. 2) the beauty tips and advice 3)The use of an Asian-American model. Three things one would not ‘expect’ in a 1951 magazine. Interesting stuff and the models hair is darling, I like this cut, only with really short bangs. And, honestly, this is just good advice that no one gives anymore. I mean, look nice. Take a few minutes and comb your hair and put on lipstick, it costs very little time and you ARE better received by those around you and it could help your career, as it shows you are put together and are able to manage your time to be both on time for work, as well as looking good. Subtle cues, that even if they are looked at as old-fashioned, still trigger a subconscious response in all of us. Something to think about.

I have been worried of late that my finding comfort in living in the past might become me merely hiding from the reality of the day. It would be so easy, for me at least, to just slowly meld into happy days of homemaking, gardening, petticoats and sewing. I thought I would miss the ‘outside’ world more than I do and have found I am even more self-sufficient even in entertaining myself.

It is true, then, that I can and could continue to live comfortably in a world of my own making, but there is a part of me that feels a pull towards sharing this joy with others. To somehow touch those who may feel the same way, or merely feel lost or unhappy or just a modern ennui and not know why. For, really, that was me. I wasn’t depressed or unhappy with anything in particular, I just sort of felt as if life was going along and I was caught in the current of it. Now, the simple direction of planned days is like a canoe and paddle: I can manage and navigate the eddies and currents of Life’s river. You see, I feel caught between happily slipping into my own little comfortable shell of self-discovery where I could slowly slide into a quiet contentment and yet I feel impelled to share my findings and to help other’s see the glory of such simple things. That is the balance, for sure. Or, perhaps, in my sharing it makes the doing of the new ways, the scheduled days, the continued learning of long forgot skills, more enjoyable. Although, I do have to say it would be so easy to just slip happily into my little cocoon I am building in my home and garden and happily hum away to myself for my remaining days, petticoated and gloved, snipping roses from the garden, cleaning, cooking and baking and entertaining. I can see how Tasha Tudor did it. Yet, I really feel that these skills, this very valid area of education IS important and COULD really help a lot of people. So, on some level I feel a responsibility to share that knowledge I am gaining. To let others know how sometimes it is the ‘new Prozac’.

Now, I know that homemaking is not for everyone. Yet, I really think a lot of homemaking skills can help anyone even if you are in a career and full time job. Saving money on home cooked meals prepared ahead of time, having clean and well cared for clothes to look nice and not have to buy more, all of these are good for anyone in any walk of life, even if you are rich enough to have a house full of servants, you would want them to have such economy and skill to make your life nice, so I honestly believe that the Homemaking Skills really do touch a part of all of our lives.

I also have noticed, somewhat, among some of my female friends a sort of ‘oh, well that’s not real work’ feeling. They are not coming right out and saying it, but honestly I feel that they somehow look at my project sometimes like I am a darling little child or an interesting pet, ‘Oh, that’s cute’, I can almost hear them think. When, honestly, does serving food to strangers somehow have a greater value because it gives you actual money? Isn’t it actually easier to just get up and go somewhere where you are told what and how to do something and then just go through the routine of it? You are tired from it, but you can just sort of zombie your way through it, without too much thought, collect your paycheck and go. Homemaking involves constant thinking and really no money (except what you are saving your family of course)I find it amusing that many people think housework is mindless drudgery, when in fact you make the schedule yourself and can change it up how you like to become more efficient. Now, if you are middle management, a receptionist, or a cafe worker, how are you going to do that? You HAVE to do what your boss tells you and you have to run a business the way someone else says. The ability to run and manage a home, create and design a world in which you and your family dwell, plan, shop, prepare and serve meals on time, these all require brains, talent and skill. Yet, so many people, ESPECIALLY women, seem to think it is mindless as they stand behind counters handing out food or sitting at desks typing into computers. I am not saying that they are not skilled, and I know work is hard and challenging, I have been a working girl but I also see Homemaker as a real career. One is not better than the other, but they are both valid. I have been a business owner and being a homemaker is very akin to that in personal management, creativity and guts.

Then, again, maybe my own modern thoughts on homemaking are still similar to these and I am merely transferring my own feelings onto them. They probably aren’t thinking like that at all and I am just trying still to show myself, to prove to me, YES this is real work. And you know what self: IT IS! Perhaps I need to start each day with an affirmation. Maybe between getting the coffee on and the frying bacon I should stand outside and breath in the morning air ( a homemaker is often the first to breath the fresh lovely morning air) and herald the day with my ‘creed’; outstretched arms in my dressing gown I shall call out to the great homemaking spirits of the world, “I am Homemaker, HEAR ME ROAR!” Well, if the petticoats and white gloves don’t make me the crazy lady of the neighborhood, that might. So, again, the very problem I may have found with what I think others perceive of me may, in fact, be my own coming to terms with preconceived ideas and norms. Another layer of change and personal development from time-travel. Maybe university kids should take a year of time-travel as part of their education as well as a year abroad, not a bad idea, huh?

Vintage friend and I were taking a Gardening break yesterday, when Gussie got home. She ran in, rather excited, to announce that if I wanted, we could have three new additions to our family. Three baby bunnies! I guess Easter did come, after all!

She works on a local farm and they were discovered and were going to be ‘destroyed’ I guess the story of Farmer McGregor is true, Farmers DON’T like bunnies. So, we rescued them. I bought some bottles and kitten formula ( I am told that is what is used) from our local pet store (we are lucky to have two local pet stores on the cape) to take care of our new young ones. They did not take the milk right away and we were worried. We then used an eyedropper and they liked that but prefer to lap it up from our hands, so darling.

I can’t help feel a little like the mother in this situation, as I love the idea of we getting to raise them, vintage friend Gussie and I , but can’t help see it will be mostly Me doing the work, as I am the one home and will most likely not lose interest as fast. It did make me think that I would definitely be the ‘type’ of mother that would not scream if my child brought home a wounded or lost animal (well, I might scream for joy). Perhaps, I just remember my own joy as a child with such finds. The countless baby mice, birds, frogs, tadpoles, turtles etc that marched through my childhood years are too emblazoned in my memory with joy, happiness, and sorrow that I would not want anyone, child or otherwise, to miss that opportunity.

I am sure there are some that would say it was ‘cruel’ to take in some wild baby bunnies, but not as cruel as their being drowned or whatever ‘famer McGregor’ would do to them. I think the experience of contact with a wild animal is a wonderful thing and a part of our human experience. Another element that is not a part of our modern world, we are so very disconnected from everything. Certainly, there is that in all of us, as a species, that which makes us curious to know and understand the animals around us. Somewhere in the deep ancestry of humans burned a desire to capture that wild animal, love it, and care for it and eventually we had cows and chickens etc. I can’t help but think of ancient pre-history days of ancestors huddles around caves decorated with paintings of great hunts flickering in the orange glow of their fires, while a small wild dog pup or orphaned fawn curled dutifully at their feet. The connection of human to animal is too deep for me to just ‘put the things out’. So, I will let you know how they survive. It is true they may die, but that, too, is part of life. We could raise them and set them ‘free’ but I have a feeling my wild rabbit is going to be as ‘wild’ as Beatrix Potters pet rabbit.beatrix potter and her pet rabbit It is funny that I somehow always manage to feel akin to odd women who were somewhat loners (Beatrix Potter, Tasha Tudor etc) Admonish away, I can take it.

Here are some photos of my dogs (who adore the bunnies) and the new babies. I made them black and white, as I feel they are more keeping with my vintage theme.

sophie and bunnies1 Here is my Italian Greyhound, she has been a mother in the past ( a good one) and I think her motherly instinct (despite her now being fixed) kicked in. This is my little Chihuahua who is never not entertaining.monty and bunnies He loves all things smaller than he (Napoleon complex, I believe) For example, my parakeet will often fly down next to him and they will hang out in his little bed. The bird sitting happily on the edge of it, while Monty sits down and stares at him as if he is Elvis. You can see how intent he is on them. They recieved many kisses form the dogs. monty and bunnies 2 Aren’t they adorable?!

Oh, by the way, they are called ‘Winken, Blinken, and Nod”


Having these little darlings around even got me to take out the old drawing pens and pencils. Here is a quick pen and ink of two of them.bunny drawing 1 Of course, you cannot help but anthropomorphize them. Here is one as a little girl in her petticoat.bunny drawing 2 Then, of course, I had to have a hep cat modern man in his dungarees relaxing in his atomic chair with his pipe. moderne bunny drawingThey look more like mice, but that is because the little bunnies ears are so small! No wonder I didn’t get my blog done yesterday! Now I will have to schedule in some drawing time to sketch the new babies! I will have to add bunny photos and sketches to a section of my Flikr site.

Well, I promised myself to get to the point that I can at least move the dining room table and rug and dishes into the new dining room by this Monday, so I have a big weekend ahead. The weather is also nice, so I have to get more vegetables into my garden. I will show some progression pictures of that project as well. Now, I am off for my Saturday hair washing and setting. Teru mentioned pin curls, which I find hard as my hair is so long, but I am going to try them today. If it turns out nice, I will remember to get a picture. Have a great weekend, everyone.

And, as always, Happy Homemaking!

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