Friday, February 5, 2010

5 February “Some lovely finds, crocheting a scrubber, a misunderstanding and apology, and a toast to a life lived”

This morning I drove into town to go to an Estate Sale. I was presently surprised. I noticed, right off the bat, that 1950’s midcentury furniture is starting to have more value, even here. I spotted a  chair with the price tag $5000.00 (not five hundred, mind)

The house was a darling little ‘cape’ style obviously built 1950’s. Though the Cape has many old houses built from the 1600’s and on, this was in a little development down by the sea of little homes in the ‘manner’ of  a cottage with a very 1950’s feel. There was a darling little breezeway connecting the kitchen and garage.

I was drawn to this sale as I saw the word “Sewing Machine” in the add. I was happy to see a lovely Singer, probably from the 40’s in a pretty case, but they wanted 200 dollars for it, and it was not quite the model I wanted. (I am saving my pin money for a Singer Model 401 or 500 with all its lovely accessories. I shall find it!)

If you have not been to these type of estate sales, let me explain them. You go into the house and it is very much set up as a house. The drawers are still full of things, priced of course, beds made and such, all priced. So, you rather feel, after the initial shock of feeling as if you are an intruder, as if you are a guest. I often begin to feel I can sense the person. And, by the time I had left two hours later, I felt rather acquainted with the old owner. I found out her name was Ann, as some of books of hers I bought had been inscribed to her. And I found out, from the nice lady in the basement, tending those things for sale ( I found this lovely metal cart and little lock box and lazy Susan and these old Saran wrap boxes) that the woman, Ann, who owned the house had literally died two days prior. She was 101 years old and had been a teacher of English and Literature. I felt so much more akin to her.

Many of the things I bought seemed odd to the older ladies who were running it. They wondered, was I a dealer, and when I explained to them, of course dressed in my tweed skirt, hose, matching coat hat and gloves, that I liked vintage fabric, buttons and such because I use them and make my own clothes. They thought it sweet, but you could tell they were, themselves, not interested. One lady said to me, in her jeans, and sweatshirt, “Oh, you look nice, did you just come from something” “No,”says I, “this is just how I dress”. She laughed and said, “I just told someone if they move to the Cape one nice thing is you don’t have to ‘dress up’”. I smiled.

One lady, however, when she discovered that I was not a dealer, did not have a shop and had not intention of doing anything with the things I bought but to use them, kept following me about and chatting with me. I came to find out that she collects and sells vintage fabric and buttons. She gave me her card and I am going to check out her things. She also told me she sells sewn things made from vintage materials and said, if I were a good seamstress, which I told her she would have to be the judge of that, she would love to ‘hire me’ to do some sewing for her. I told her I would think about it. I am not sure I have the skill to sew for someone to resell, but it would be a good source of pin money and very 1950’s to do so. I am just not sure I have the time. SO, we shall see.

SO, here are some  pictures of my finds. After digging though this plastic boxplasticbox , I couldn’t believe I found this box of pen nibs pen nibs . When hubby and I were first married he wrote with his typewriters (and still does) while I used a jar of ink and pen nibs such as these for all  my writings and journals. She had quite a record collection and when I began to go through them, another lady and gentleman turned to me and said, “Oh, it’s mostly classical. You would think with all this hip furniture (she had some nice mid century modern pieces) there would be some Beatles or something.” I just smiled and proceeded to sit on the floor and begin collecting up my pile of records to buy. I found quite a few and hubby especially loves “classical” music. I also found this wonderful Edith Piaf record and this great Burl Ives.edithandburl Some lovely piano pieces and some Opera arias for me.

I fell in love with this sewing/knitting bag and this fabric and tablecloth.sewingbagandcloth Here are some of the treasures I found. I just love ‘digging through’ the boxes to find the treasures once I get them home! box1 box2 box3 In this picture you can see a treasure I found neatly tucked into a little brown bag into one of the boxes. They are the pink garters. Ann obviously, as you would, cut them out of things as they wore out to sew onto later. These will come in handy for me, as Sometimes I like to add garters to things for my stockings.variousnotions And you can bet those old trims and things will end up on my dresses and clothes! This is a great little lock box and the tape dispenser, which you can barely see, if so heavy and going straight away onto my desk in my little sitting room. I wondered if it sat upon Ann’s desk as she taught English all those years?lockbox Aren’t these gloves dreamy? The pair with the cut out hole design are the MOST soft buttery kid I have ever felt. gloves Here is the most darling little tin biscuit tin and I also found two boxes full of vintage Saran Wrap. The tin will either go in my pantry or my sewing, not sure. The saran, when it is empty, will hold new rolls of saran, as I think the colors and graphics will be happy living in my new (when I build it this spring) walk in pantry.biscuittin look how darling the graphics are on the saran wrap (also on the box it says Dow made in Pennsylvania. I wonder if it still is?)saran This doesn’t look like much now, this metal cart, but it is so light and easy to pull around. And when I redo my kitchen, I wanted a metal cart with rollers to keep things on. I have to share (next post) a wonderful film form 1949 showing the perfect layout for a kitchen. metalcart It changed the way I am planning my kitchen. This tray will paint up a treat, as well!

I began to feel more and more akin to ‘Ann” the longer I spent in her home. Sad, then, that I could only ‘know’ her now. I am sure we would have been fast friends, but I could hardly wander into random homes asking to ‘befriend’ various people. But, had I done that, Ann and I would have seen eye to eye, “Beatles, indeed. Let’s put on Edith Piaf and talk about Moliere instead”.

Now, on one of my blog posts someone had asked me if I knew of the patterns for those crochet scrubby things you use on pots and pans. Well, I didn’t and I have never crocheted a stitch, at the time. So I found some patterns and today I found our local yarn shop. I am so happy to have it in our community. It is called the Black Purl (how adorable is that, sense it is on the sea and of course Purling is a knitting term).

Here is the blog where I found the pattern and she did say to share it so here it is:

Crochet Pattern: All Purpose Scrubbie

Here is a scrubbie that is soft enough to shower and wash your face with and still tough enough to clean dirty pots and pans. I wouldn’t recommend using it for all of these at one time, so be sure to make enough to go around. No matter if you are a beginner or an advanced crocheter here is a pattern you can enjoy. It doesn’t take much yarn and can be whipped up fairly quickly. For extra scrubbing power, add some nylon netting.
crochet scrubbie

Skill Level:
beginner crochet skill level

Finished Size: 3” (8 cm) diameter

Medium Weight Yarn (approximately 30 yards)
Crochet Hook H (5.00 mm)
crochet yarn size 4

Crochet Pattern: Scrubbie (make 2)
Round 1: ch 2, 6 sc in second ch from hook, place marker: 6 sc
Round 2: 2 sc in each sc around: 12 sc
Round 3: (2 sc in next sc, sc in next sc) around: 18 sc
Round 4: (2 sc in next sc, sc in next 2 sc) around: 24 sc
Round 5: (2 sc in next sc, sc in next 3 sc) around: 30 sc
Round 6: (2 sc in next sc, sc in next 4 sc) around, sl st in next sc, finish off: 36 sc

With a yarn needle, sew two circles together.

Row 1: ch 19, sc in second ch from hook and in each ch across: 18 sc
Row 2: ch 1, turn, sc in each sc across, finish off: 18 sc

Using photo as a guide, sew strap to scrubbie with a yarn needle.

If you needle help with this pattern, let me know by leaving a comment!

Share and Enjoy:

I went into our yard shop with enthusiasm and hope and came out with a skein of white cotton, a crochet hook and some knowledge. They were so kind, that one of the ladies sat down and showed me a chain stitch and then how to start the circle that will be needed for the scrubby. Here is my beginning. It will take some work, but I am determined. crochet1

I also found out that they have classes on Saturday and open days on wed and Friday every week where you can stop in with what you are working on, have a good gab and help one another out. The owners and others there will help you out if you are a newbie and have questions. Now, how is that for local community! I am rather excited on the whole.

Now, here is a video on how to do the basic single crochet (Which I just learned today. I don’t actually know how to follow the instructions on the above scrubby, but those who can will and  I will learn at my next trip to the yarn store. For now I am going to make a circle and then some chain stitches and hook them together and see what I get.

I thought this tutorial was good for a circle, though it was different than I was shown, but I might try it.


So, after my lovely morning out and my feeling so proud to have found some things and met some lovely people in my community, I opened my blog to find the following comment. I am not ashamed to tell you that I sat right down, after my elation of my finds and feeling so akin to the poor dead Ann and cried.

I think there must have been a misunderstanding in my last post (which really was just a film made in the 1950’s by Redbook Magazine) as this was the comment which saddened me, indeed.

Born in 1932 said...

I liked your blog a lot better last year when you were just a gal attempting to live a retro life. What a shame, that you now view the 1950s through the jaded eyes of 2010, instead of seeing them for what they were, a time of optimism and hope after the war years. Your socialist views seem to have clouded your vision of the 1950s and have caused you to view things in a bitter way. To say that our generation "sold out" is a great personal insult to us housewives of the 1950s. it is all well and good for you to play your game of make believe, but please do not insult those of us who lived though the 1950s with pride. Do not judge, because you have not waled a mile in our girdles, not matter how much time you spend playing dress up.

I, in my anger filled tears, reacted straight away and wished I had not.  Things said in anger and haste are often only defense against what we hold dear. I don’t think I could hold the 1950’s housewife generation any dearer or with any more respect than I do presently. I have found the strength and determination of their generation SO inspiring to me, that I have patterned my life after it as much as I can.

I am not sure where the idea came to her that I feel that the 1950’s generation ‘sold out’. Perhaps I was not careful with my words, but I felt it important enough to make this statement here, in the midst of my blog, that that could not be any more false. And need to make it very clear:


I hold that generation very high in standards. Any selling out I felt happened with their children, the Baby Boomers, and not that THEY sold out, but that they were unfortunately ‘lured’ by the siren song of turning their backs on their parents generation. SO, I blame neither, but am sad that it happened.

I find many things of that 1950’s generation to be things I am striving to return to. In fact, one of the reasons I wanted to start the Apron Revolution website was so that we could encourage one another in these things and to also keep ourselves AWARE of the modern world so we can try to change it for the better.

Now, in this country, Socialism is a dirty word. I have never said I am a Socialist and not sure exactly what 1932 meant when she called me thus.  Perhaps we should, in the future, discuss exactly what Socialism DOES mean to us? Our definition of it and such.

I, on the other hand, feel that what I want in our return to the 1950’s is not government aid and hand outs (which is often what is meant by ‘socialism’ in this country) but in fact to the world where we could have production and supplies and business more IN the U.S.A. Currently, that is not the case. There is more and more production leaving, but I won’t get into that. I want us to be more like that generation in their idealism, smarts and ability to live within a changing world and to also have that world create and make what it needs WITHIN our country. So, if that is Socialism, than perhaps that is what I should be called.

I, honestly, don’t like titles. To brand oneself a Republican or Democrat or Socialist, is to take a side. I think as a unified country we should have no sides but to work as one. We all live in the country and want it to be successful and I think to act with our minds and hearts rather than to follow behind the line of ‘this group or that’ is rather  very American, but enough said about that.

I hold much respect and honor and am proud to attempt to do even half of what that generation was capable. I don’t play ‘dress up’ to mock but to celebrate and uphold. To me it is almost a uniform to which I am proud to wear. I may not ever be of the same fiber and strength of that generation, but in my emulation of them, with my uniform (as a soldier wears the uniform of his forefathers) I take on the pride and respect of it. I never mean or intend to offend and hope, if I have, to be forgiven.

Please know all I do is out of RESPECT and to feel that I can help my own Generation (generation X) and other generations to not be only a faceless non brand, but to want to make a change and to live in a way that is something  of which to feel proud. SO, again, apologies where they are due and hopefully misunderstandings cleared up.

And I am glad, ‘born in 1932,’ that you have  ( up until now of course) found my words interesting enough to read since last year. To that I am honored to have one of the ‘real ladies of the 1950’s’ deem to view my meager words, ideas and oft times rather silly attempts at what I am sure you have excelled, a great honor. I copy to honor not to offend. And, if you have not given up on me, hope you can forgive me and still be a part of our community. We need you and your generation to help and lead our generation to better understand our past and build a better future.

Now, on the subject of that generation: on the way home, feeling so happy to have felt a part of the departed Ann’s life, I stopped and  bought a bottle of champagne. I plan that tonight, with hubby, I am going to listen to some of Ann’s records, thumb through her books and toast the good ole gal. I want to feel I have, in some way though I never met her,  taken on a piece of her to hold onto and keep her alive.

No matter what you believe in religion or afterlife, if we can, any of us, just take a moment of our life and remember and hold onto those who have gone before us, even if they were strangers we never met, than we have made a sort of memorial for the past generations. Those who were not in the history books but everyday men and women like we, who loved their books and dog-eared them in places, kept that little glass bottle from the World’s Fair, or a pressed flower given, when young, and kept to molder in old pages. If we, those of us alive, take the time to care for those things and save them from the trash and landfills, we can keep them alive in our hearts and actions. And then, maybe if we are kind and good and want to make a difference, one day that little post card we loved and kept in the mirror of our dressing table will land in the hand of someone one hundred years from now. They will smile and wonder and we will live on just a bit more.

SO, to you Ann, 1909-2010, we salute you. Your love of classical music, Edith Piaf, sewing, and your passion for the written word lives on. We drink a toast to you and your life well lived. You were not in the limelight nor in the History books, but in the brief years of my own life, you shall live on. And from your own little book of Emily Dickenson, inscribed with your name,  I give you these words while I sit amongst your things that I have “gathered these to-day”:

IF recollecting were forgetting,

  Then I remember not;

And if forgetting, recollecting,

  How near I had forgot!


And if to miss were merry,

And if to mourn were gay,

How very blithe the fingers

  That gathered these to-day!


  1. estate sales always make me sad. especially the rowdy ones, where you can tell the other patrons are merely raking through to snag anything of value. after spending an afternoon buried amongst dancing gowns in the closet of one departed lady and watching how other people behaved there, i came home quite distraught and haven't been back to one of those sales since.

    at least Ann's things will be put to good use, and every time you do take them out you will remember your impressions of their former owner.

  2. What a lovely way to honour Ann. I'm sure all who loved and cared for her would be comforted to know that her possessions were being used and loved by you, as would she.

    I wouldn't blame you if you 'packed up' your blog and website after being affected again by hurtful comments. You have your real, 'face-to-face' community that I'm sure wouldn't say such to you in person. I'm sorry your happy day was almost spoilt. It's hard to take when it's such a misunderstanding of what your purpose and discoveries really are. I'd be devastated if you were to shut down your writings to protect yourself but it'd be understandable to not want to expose yourself to that pain.

    Thanks for all you do. (Linda)

  3. Linda-thank you, but I should not want to be too dramatic. I did, indeed, feel hurt. I was on a 'high' of celebrating the past, and felt so 'connected' to the world that the simplest comment as 'playing dress up' really hit me the wrong way. Sometimes, we homemakers need a good cry, right. I would NEVER let such a thing make me run away, however. What sort of example is that to set? Would the 1956 woman, when she was a young wife in the war, have let her emotions or hurt feelings stop her from 'fighting the good fight?' NO, we cry, then laugh at ourselves, put on some Edith Piaf or, as now, hubby and I are trying out the Chopin Claudio Arrau, which he was very excited, as it include one of the pieces he (my hubby) used to play and get to cooking. IN fact, I am just taking a little break while my chicken browns. I saved last nights drippings form a chicken stew that I slowcooked in the oven. Today, I deboned some chicken thighs and am pan frying both side in the left over drippings. They will then get stuffed with rice and leftover cornbread (I added the cornbread while I was cooking the rice, it was mostly crumbs, but what is stuffing, but crumbs!) that will then get some salt and pepper, thyme and bake for 30 minutes. One can lose oneself in their life if they allow themselves to have a life. Here I am, creating dishes (I will take the bones from those thighs and boil them tonight for stock for stew) create a lovely meal and later, after we have had our chat and toast to good ole' ann, I will sit down with my crochet and try that out. I do feel, though I am not as hardworking perhaps as the real thing, that I do honestly live the spirit of those 50s gals and I am just all the more determined to do better! I am afraid, whenever I am challenged, I just try harder. Thank you for your concern.

  4. 50s gal,

    What delightful "finds" from the estate sale - I particularly admire your saran wrap boxes. I store my saltines in a vintage saltine tin, and my pinesol and Ole English are decanted into their vintage glass bottles before being placed in my cleaning caddy. Your teacart sure looks a treat - is it on wheels? I am curious to see how you will use your teacart. How delightful that you are planning a pantry - an absolute necessity, in my opinion. I adore your bog and all of your ideas. Keep up the great work!

    *Kindred Spirit*

  5. You are a trooper, dear girl! I oft wonder at how offense can be taken from your posts. You are learning and, as you said, we need those that have gone before us to help teach us and mold us into respectful being of yesterday for tomorrow. I wonder, too, if these random trollers are lurking, simply waiting for their 15. When they don't get it, jealous that you have made something of this community (though never in the name of Fame!), as they had simply lived day-to-day, they fly off the handle and take it out on you. I, for one, and I know the other ladies and gentlemen here agree, have learned so much from you, about myself and my world that I can never go back to the mindless, faceless society that bore me. Amazing how a few vintage changes in one's life can turn you topsy-turvy, eh?
    Ann, as all that have lived good lives before us, shall be remembered and missed. Because of you, she may have gone even further in death than in life.

  6. I can't wait to see the film about planning a kitchen! Thanks for all you bring to us!
    Barb from CNY

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  8. 50's gal-I am sure there must have been some sort of confusion on the part of '1932' for your opinions, musings, teachings and this entire blog has been nothing if not an honouring and tribute to the 1950's. Please do not take it to heart (I know easier said than done!). To put it less eloquently, it stinks to have a stinker leave a negative comment but they are out there raining on peoples parades everyday. I actually feel sorry for those who need to be unkind to others so they can feel better about themselves.
    On a lighter note, don't you just love estate sales, there is nothing like them!
    Have a great weekend!

  9. Lovely post.

    I haven't ever been to an estate sale like the one you describe. Sounds interesting. It is also so nice that you value the items you bought. Dear Ann. Bless her. And bless you. :)

  10. Simply a lovely, wonderful post! I loved it!! I felt like I was with you, treasuring the well lived life of Ann and all the treasures that will live on in and through your life. How wonderful that you found those ladies and that store that are there to help you when you need it, or simply to sit, chat, and crochet when you want to do so.

  11. Update to ANN:tonight, after dinner, hubby and I sat and listened to some of her records (I got some lovely piano music) and I rummaged through her 'treasures' and hubby read out from some of the books I got of hers. I got a wonderful COMPLETE book of Voltaire, such a lovely edition (with her footnotes and scribbles here and there). Hubby would read something out then laugh and read what she had written in the margins. The best was 'Words, Words, Words" which is rather fitting of Voltaire. We drank a toast to her and now I feel her things are truly mine.

  12. I went to an estate sale near my old house, the woman had died at the age of 90 and she was the original owner of this little story and 1/2 brick house.

    It was like stepping into a time capsule, the couch was from the 50's, thekitchen with it's 50's stove was quaint with original cupboards and such., and she had the cutest little bedroom upstairs.

    It quite saddened me at the time, that this tidy little woman who took such tender care of her things was gone.

    I did find a leaf shape carnival glass that matched my great grandma's that was given to me by my mother, I ended up buying it.

    But to this day, I remember that quaint house, even it's dutch style dining room table was so cute.

    Mom in Canada

  13. The reason "socialism" is an evil word to that generation, and to me as well is:

    Nazism, known officially in German as National Socialism (German: Nationalsozialismus), is the totalitarian ideology and practices of the Nazi Party or National Socialist German Workers’ Party under Adolf Hitler, and the policies adopted by the dictatorial government of Nazi Germany from 1933 to 1945. {From wikipedia}

  14. Bravo 50sgal, Thank you for your wonderful example of fortitude. Boy, you do accomplsh a lot. How creative. (LInda)

  15. I'm so glad that you discovered such lovely items!! Which opera singers are on your recording?

    There seems to have a few trolls on this blog lately! Please don't let strangers affect your day. You are so inspiring and I love reading your musings!

  16. I often follow blogs because I find that I can relate to the blogger in some way. If the blogger deviates from that, I can be jarred a little. Of course, never enough to judge or scold; in fact, I look at it as an opportunity to open a dialogue and discuss the differences, but not all agree. Like Renee mentioned earlier, some people revel in giving their 2 cents and it is very easy to type and 100 times harder to convey our true meaning. I truly dislike the internet sometimes on that point.

    Regardless, it is the connection to the past that moves you and your personal way of connecting is no more or less important than someone else's. It is not your fault that you weren't living in the 50s and short of a time machine you can't remedy this. In that same vein, you are looking back at that time (and trying to experience it) with the memories of someone living in our time, which is SO very different in it's views.

    My masters thesis is on women in the 50s and no amount of research or personal introspection puts me any closer to living in that time either. All we can do is continue our personal journeys and be glad that we didn't have to live with the oppression of the time, but still have the choice to glory in the wonders that came out of the 50s. I am sure there are many women who lived in the 50s that would be flattered that you doing what you do.

  17. Anon-how lovely. I think, really, those sort of purchases are little 'memorials' to those who have gone before us of the 'average' person.
    Lori-I looked up Socialism on Wiki and what you describe is nationalsocialsim and was a specific platform of the nazi party. I found the first entry in wiki interesting, it reads:Most socialists share the view that capitalism unfairly concentrates power and wealth among a small segment of society that controls capital and derives its wealth through exploitation, creates an unequal society, and does not provide equal opportunities for everyone to maximise their potential[4] and does not utilise technology and resources to their maximum potential nor in the interests of the public. (their words not mine) Interesting, as I have actually never looked the word up before. I think England and Canada and other countries are actually socialist countries, arent' they? I am just curious.
    I don't think I am any "ISM" except, that I would like to see our country (not through the governement, mind) allow for the 'small guy' the business owner, would be manufactuer and of course the hardest hit today, the farmer, have a chance to make/grow/sell within out country without competition from China which is a COMMUNIST country and I don't think I need put the definition of that one down.
    Anyway, it is an interesting discussion and I like to see what people think of various things. See, I had NO idea that people associated Socialism (which again, I have never said I am not that I advocate for this country)was a Nazi establishment. I think England might be surprised to hear that comparrison, since they fought so hard against his tyranny. But, I like this, open discussion among ladies of what we percieve.
    But, beside any ISM, don't all of you think it would be nice to get more of what we make and sell BACK in our country and really, we wouldn't have to worry about the government when we realize WE really make decisions with our dollars. I really think we could make a difference, even if we have to ruffle one anothers feathers a bit, if we ladies hash it out amongst ourselves, as we are the shoppers, maybe we could make a dent and allow more local business/farmers a chance to get back 'into the swing of things'. I hope, anyway.
    Housewife07-Ljuba Welitch (the Bulgarian soprano) I have her doing two sences from Don Giovanni as well as others. Good stuff.
    Tart Deco-so true and it really, I can only view my 'version' of 1950 from my standpoint of being born and raised in the modern world. I am lucky, I think, to have been raised by 'old parents' who were, in fact, 1950's parents to my older siblings. Even though I wasn't around until the 1970's they had raised a family starting in 1950. I sort of got a good combination of their values mixed with the greater freedoms of the modern day. My mother was always encouraging me to travel and do as much as I can. I miss her dearly (she is alive but with alzheimers).

  18. Tart Deco- What a wonderful topic for your Masters Thesis! May I ask what your area of study was? And what, if anything, have you done with this education? (Sometimes study is valuable just for the sake of learning but if you can parlay your passion into a living all the better.)

    50'sgal- I love estate sales like the one you described. It's been so long since I've been to a good one. It seems that here in the Midwest they are very seasonal and are held in the Spring and Summer. Sometimes I don't find anything I'd like to buy but just being in the home is comforting somehow.

    Sounds like Ann was an interesting woman. I bet she's looking down thankful you appreciate her things and thus her life. I remember going to a sale when a woman about my age and I started talking. She felt the sale was depressing, that a person's life would as she said, "come to this". But I don't see it like that at all. Tossing the things in the trash is depressing but for someone to value them enough to buy them, take them into their homes, and as you said, make them your own- this is validating another person's life.

    Please do post the kitchen info. We are remodeling our kitchen and, as I have a very old home, would love to see the ideal kitchen of the 40's.


  19. I think it is ideal for homemakers to be able to discuss important issues of the day...and philosophical ones, too.

    We are not pretty dolls or maids or cooks...but complete persons. We can do many things, of course, but we can also think.

    As long as we can discuss these things with one another, we are mature and lady-like. As soon as someone starts name calling, we degrade ourselves.

    I LOVE the discussions in your comments section, 50sgal. They are mind exercises in a world of ... tastes great, less filling. And my pet peeve...LOSER (with the L on the forehead). Primitive and so uncivilized. Not that I feign much smarts, but my goodness...what have we become??

    Anyway, I have "hosted" an estate sale for my grandparents' home and some contents. It was the most unreal situation I've ever experienced.

    It is awesome that you are remembering Ann. Believe me, it is very important to her family. I would go so far as to say, if one runs across obvious family at an estate sale, one could express condolences or looks of sympathy if it feels right.

    One woman (an angel perhaps?) walked me all around the property that day while asking me many questions and I had the opportunity to tell her lots of stuff about my grandparents, memories I had...even the pear tree in the back yard. Makes me wonder...

    Anyway, we realize there is more depth to you, 50sgal, than gloves and cookie jars. You go girl!


  20. I think the main problem that people have with socialism, no matter what definition is used, is the idea that any one person, or group of people, would have the power to take something from one person and give it to another in order for things to be "fair". In this vein, big government and big business are not good, nor healthy for a society, because they should not have this much power. The PEOPLE are the ones that should hold the power. I know I've mentioned before that this is the point of distributism. The people, upholding ethics within society, are the ones who help each other as the need arises, with everyone doing their part for the success of the whole, not the government; this includes NOT encouraging people to be leeches (I'm referring to people who ARE being leeches, not people who truly need help) upon society. The PEOPLE are the government, not some entity that separates itself from the people and does whatever it wants to; it is their responsibility to truly represent us. The PEOPLE are the ones who take care of each other within their community, not the government. This is what the Founding Fathers intended for this country, and we need to hold onto this or we'll lose what history has proved to be one of the best forms of government - one run by the people, for the people. Any form of government socialism that takes this responsibility and power away from the people is a bad thing. No form of government will be perfect so we need to hold onto what is best and do the best we can with it, not say, "This doesn't work. We need to switch to X.", because X won't be perfect either.

    One of the ways to get this back, and make our country stronger again, is by supporting and helping our neighbors, and community in which we live, by shopping at their stores, vegetable stand, meat market, etc. We need to get back to real and personal interactions, not impersonal, faceless entities.

  21. Thank you, I do not know Ljuba Welitch, I will look her up!

    I'm from Canada and I get what you are saying. I'm not a fan of big capitalism (and it seems lately that anybody that isn't is being called a communist or socialist). I think a balance of capitalism and government regulation is healthy. For example, Canada didn't get into a mortgage mess because banks are regulated and therefore, could not offer interest only loans. As a matter of fact, starting in 2011, they want every home buyer to put a minimum of 10% down on a house instead of the current minimum of 5%.

    I'm also sad by the state of health care in the US. I think everyone deserves to have care, no matter what their income. It also creates less crime and violence because the poor are being more taken care of. Where I'm from, the province of Quebec, it is mostly middle class with a lot of benefits (1 year maternity leave, paternity leaves, provincial and federal child allocations until the child is 18, a great program for parents to save for college which gives lots of interests (that's what my parents did), etc.). It's the highest taxed province in the country though, but like I said, we get services for it, plus we have hydro electricity which is cheap.

    I agree that we should bring back the sense of community though and that government in itself can be corrupted and not perfect, but when you give 80 million dollars to a CEO that screwed everybody up, there's a problem in my opinion. But I'm merely a Permanent Resident so I'm just seeing things from my Canadian perspective.

  22. I think what upsest me, too, is that one of the reasons the welfare state has grown is BECAUSE capitalism took more jobs and individual hope away as well as moving things overseas, so all these people were out of work living in ghost towns and we couldnt let them starve. The corp did nothing, so the gov had to step in to step up the welfare. Now we are so far into the welfare state that there are generations born in it. SO in one sense they have socialized medicine as do some elderly but the middle class, still pay all the taxes and yet are without healthcare. We are paying for the people who are jobless BECAUSAE Of the corporations actions. SO really, a good mix of common sense is what we need and NO MORE ISM (capitalism socialims communism ism-ism) we need good honest truthful world where we can all have a shot and NOT everyone wants to be Donalad Trump (I shutter at the thought!)

  23. I wasn't saying that I agree you are a socialist...I don't know enough about you. I am only saying that the "post-war" generation (and their kids) had it drilled into them that socialism as wrong because of the Nazis. I heard it from my grandparents. However, the definition of something is sometimes FAR from the reality of it. Communism, on paper, looks like a wonderful idea...but we have all seen the reality. The Soviet Union was a nightmare, and the Russians are still suffering the after effects from that disaster.

  24. Sarah H: I am still working on a double Masters in Library Science and Music History to become a music librarian (I hope). I have written 2 major papers towards my thesis and working on a 3rd that compares the climates after WWI and WWII and why it seems that women in music were supported more after WWI than after WWII.

  25. Oh, no Lori, I didn't think YOU were saying I was a Socialist, just referenceing born in 1932's comment is all. I know, and look at CHina where we get all our products, now they are becoming an odd mix of capitalism with even more dictatorship roles of communism. All very odd.
    Tart Deco-so intersting. I have known so many people who go into Library Science! Interesting topic. It certianly seems, or always has to me, that Post WWI was as it was BECAUSE of the virtual breakdown of what society and the world had come to mean, a war like that had never really been fought before and people were so shocked to their very core that women's freedoms and such were more open, look at the drastic move in Fashion, SO when WWII came along, now it seemed the crazy freedoms of the post wwI era were no way to behave and a 'return to the old ideas of family' began. In so many ways 1950's was like an odd atomic reinvention of the Victorian era, at least I think so. Even the fashions are almost exact copies of 1850's fashions excpet with legs bared and shorter hair. Very interesting double Masters. Good luck. Everytime I thought about going back to school (I did Art History) I always talked myself out of it. I was lucky enough to have my parents foot the bill for my undergrad and didn't want to incure any of my own debt as the fields I found interesting woudl never payback the loans needed to get it (another bone of contention, how pricey univeristy is in this country)

  26. So true! I would LOVE to go to school for Wildlife Care and Conservation. A noble and worthwhile cause/career, no doubt. And how fulfilling! But what is the likelihood that I would find a job in today's economy that would pay off my loans while allowing me to live without waiting for the next paycheck? So screwy!

  27. I found a website that has a page listing online American stores that sell American made goods. I'm passing it along to anyone who might be interested in making the effort to buy from smaller businesses that sell American made products, especially if you can't find these smaller Mom and Pop type of stores in your own hometown. I'm looking forward to making my way through this list to see what new stores I'll be shopping at.


    Thank you again, 50sgal, for the inspiration. Just get me fired up, and I'll start finding resources, and finding creative ways to do things differently. :) I'm sure there's more on the web to be found, but this website has a ton of stuff right there, so it will definitely be a good start.

  28. Thanks for sharing your experience at the estate sale. I have been to similar sales and relate to your feeling of knowing Ann after being at the sale for 2+ hours. I appreciate your recipes and will add your blog to my list to follow.
    Blessings, Donna

  29. Is it a “nice” thing not having to dress up? I think not, I enjoy myself much more knowing I’ve spent some time on looking nice.

    What a lot of treasures you have found! I love finding such used treasures too, and feel so rich when I come home with my finds. I’ve planned to blog about last years favourite finds soon. I have always loved to write with a pen, and have always had one at my job. When my colleagues borrowed it they have always returned it with the words “I cannot write with that, give me a normal ball pen”. I don’t think it is hard to write with, in fact I find it much easier and it gives you a prettier handwriting. I have to find my pens at home again. I love the way you honoured Ann.

    It makes me sad to hear that someone has misunderstood you again and accuse you of playing “dress-up”. What I love about your life is that you take it so serious. I’ve never had the feeling that you play “dress-up”, I’ve always felt that you have been very respectful to the fifties and the people living back then. Have you heard from 1932? I’m behind with your blog and the website, due to my holiday, you know. :)

    Thanks for the scrubbie recipe, I’ll see if I can figure it out. I will make several of cotton for cleaning my face in the evening. Such a great and reusable idea, since it goes right into the washing machine.

    You should take a look at my blog: I’ve blogged about Austria and how they live, much like your life in the fifties indeed. I’ve also posted some lovely photos of the houses and snow. I will write more and post more photos from Austria the coming weeks.

    And I’m VERY honoured to write about my vintage-styled life – vintage gal of March, here I come! :)

    Sanne – back from Austria!

  30. I just wanted to write and show my support of you 50sGal. When I went back and read the comment you spoke of I was saddened and also a bit angered. I have been reading your blog since the very beginning (really! I think I found it in early Jan. 2009). I've seen how you've changed and learned so much. I'm not sure how anyone can justify calling what you do 'playing dress-up'. It's so much more. I've learned so much about the 50s from your blog. I can only hope that Born in 1932 has continued to read your blog, accepts the olive branch offered and apologizes in turn for her hurtful comment.

  31. Hmm, I'm inclined to think that 'born in 1932' isn't a regular reader of your blog....or else is incredibly dense. Oh well.

    I've been teaching myself to knit over the last few months and someday I want to learn to crochet as well. We have a yarn shop here too that offers knitting classes, and what they call a "knit along" on Saturday mornings that are similar to what you described. I have yet to go, but plan to soon.

  32. I am going to go either wednesday or friday this week and take that pattern I show in the post for the scrubby. This week, in spare time, I have been practicing crocheting discs and circles, just to get the feel for it, and trying some youtube tutorials, so I feel I will have a little grasp to get it when I go. I am excited to see who is there and to meet some new ladies, you never know there may be some future Apronites waiting to be found!
    50s gal

  33. That scrubbie ... is it double? I have tried to figure out the recipe, but it is hard for me to understand it in English. I can make my own recipe, but want to know if it is single or double layered. I think it will be really lovely made in cotton for cleaning my face in the evening, and I have some white and pastel coloured cotton yarn.

  34. It is doubled. I believe it is two discs together. I am going to learn how to make it this friday at an 'open knit' at our local yard shop.

  35. OK, then it is very easy for me to make, thank you for answering. :) I think it is very cosy to crochet. I'll make two discs, one with a "handle" and then crochet them together at last. Perhaps I'll one day find time and energy to shoot a photo.

    I love your new-found community, open-knit. In Denmark many churches have needlework afternoons, but undfortunately these are always held during my work hours.

  36. 50sgal,

    Catching up on posts, I was reading the comments of the ladies at the estate sale you visited and how they asked you if you had just come from something. I have gotten asked that quite a bit and have noticed a trend to that mode of thinking in my lifetime, as I have always enjoyed dressing up. If I received comments, they used to be, some years back, that I looked nice or that someone liked my outfit. Now days, it is more often what was asked of you or something similar. At school the other day, a teacher commented on my attire and asked if I was doing something special that day. The very same day, I had lunch with my mom, dad, and sister. Being quite used to both Mom and Dad now dressing almost exclusively in jeans, I took no notice. My sister, however, was on a break from work and was wearing jeans. I inquired on this asking if it was now acceptable there. Of course the reply was “Yes”. All three of them declared how they loved “casual”, while Mom told of the days (she used to work at the same office as my sister) where they used to have to wear heels and dresses or skirts, etc. I sadly thought it too bad how society has declined so. Maybe it is because Mom and Dad HAD to dress for so many years, Dad in three-piece suits in the hot summers, that they now crave the casual; so, I cannot judge. Nonetheless, I do not like the societal decline.

    Oh my goodness,

    Just got to the end of the post and read of 1932’s comments. How rude and judgmental people can be. I’m so sorry that the comment had to come and ruin your beautiful afternoon. Things such as that serve to remind me to not be judgmental, as only God in Heaven knows all.

    So, Rock on, 50sgal! Rock on!

  37. I know you don't see your old posts often, but I wanted you to know that my grandfather was only 1 year older than the Ann you wrote of. He was an incredible man, as I think most of that generation was. Here's to Ann!


  38. Rue-I have just noticed this comment. I am sure your grandfather was a wonderful person and truly that generation is so special. Some how they were just made better then, I don't care what anyone says. Who today would live as they have? I can only attempt 1/100th of the dignity, truth, conviction, and hard work they had. Yet, we must hold them up as a rule to strive towards, even if we never quite make it.


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