Sunday, May 23, 2010

23 May 1956 “Fashion, Plants and Natural Fertilizer, Chickens, Good ole’ Music and A Night with A Boomer”

There is something fun about these men’s shorts, knee socks and loafers. My hubby has often been called ‘old man’ by his friends when he wears his Bermuda's with socks and loafers in the summer. I just laugh, because quite honestly, for me, I found a man’s ability to simply do the sensible thing a true style. Rather than fall to the dictums of slouchy pants, underpants showing and endless sockless sandals ( I have to say, men’s hairy feet sticking out of flip flops and ‘wife beaters’ with hair jutting all sorts of places is the fastest way to turn me off. Even when I was a young thing, it was always the individual who cared more about the practical or simply ‘old man’ dressing that turned my head. In my day, grunge ruled and I couldn’t stand to see another hairy bony knee jutting pale from the hole of purposely torn jeans or the loose swing of an un-tucked flannel shirt. So, for me, the old man socks and shorts, I rather like.
For the most part, my hubby is usually in trousers even in summer. Shorts (and socks and shoes) are really only for really hot days. Of course, when we are sailing, deck shoes without socks is just practical, not a fashion statement. The shoes were made for the decks of boats to not mar and sockless is the rational move, when one is in and out of water. Practical and really this very valid way of living has simply become a ‘way of dressing’. There is nothing wrong with it and I am not complaining, but I do think it funny (or I laugh to myself) if someone in say Kansas in the middle of winter who has never stepped onto the deck of a boat revels in his sockless loafers as a particular cache’. Again, image and presentation takes precedence over practicality or reason.In some cases, the clothes do not make the man, but the man makes the clothes. Not bad, so please don’t become angry at me, as I know there is much ‘Prep style’ out there. I ,myself, was rather preppie and I suppose could still be considered leaning that way (I wore loafers with my dress and cardigan last night), I just find it interesting how things which start with a particular reason or purpose will simply become the ‘fashion’. Or as if dressing a particular way is meant to represent your political leanings and status in life. Therefore, simply ‘buy the image’ and ta-dah, there you are.  Just an interesting notion is all and I really like fashion and myself wear 50’s clothes, so please don’t think I am making fun or not being kind, really. It’s just my hubby wears deck shoes, no socks and Nantucket reds, because he is going to be ON a boat, bought the trousers on Nantucket as a matter of course and will be getting his feet wet. No pre-conceived notion of ‘how he looks’ while others may do the same for the reason of the perception. It isn’t bad, it just is an interesting point, I think. And goes to show how the power of advertising to groups of people work. If one wants to feel affiliated with that group, simply come to our store we sell that image. And, in my own modern beginnings with this project, it was a natural matter of course for me to think, “Oh, 1950’s well I had better get all the clothes and the dishes etc” because being OF the modern world it is second nature to think first of purchasing and how we represent ourselves than to honestly focus on what is ‘behind’ that or how one may take or simply have had a lifetime of something to make it that way by association but not by pre-meditated choice. If any of that makes any sense. But, I digress…
1956simplicity This 1956 Spring suit is so crist and trim. How could one not feel a million bucks in this. There is just such a sense of purpose without an air of ‘I am so cool’ about this sort of dressing. You love clean lines and the finished look of gloves and hat and jewels and are confident in yourself and could care less rather the group of 14 year olds at the Mall think you are ‘wack’. Fun. And although this model is modern day thin, I think a fitted suit with a thin belt at the natural waist (maybe a bit thicker for we heavier gals) is rather flattering and does more wonders for a fuller figure than the muffin top of low rise jeans or the horrid ‘jiggle’ one is witness to in velour workout pants.
Now, for the garden. My seedlings are still coming along nicely and I will not be putting them out until after Labor Day. Every day they go outside an hour or so longer to get adjusted to the direct sun and the cooler evening. Trying to take an indoor started seedling (especially a hot plant such as tomatoes or peppers) usually leads to their demise. They burn in the sun or wilt in the first cool night.
tomatoeseedlings3 This shot of my tomato seedlings looks rather like an enchanted forest, I think. They are still happy inside, though I have started them on a natural food, as they are not getting the nutrients from the ground. I used dried Kelp which you mix just as a traditional chemical feed (but don’t use that because it is bad for you, the ground, your pets and you!) There is also a great food called “Garret Juice” which is an invention of the well known organic gardening expert whose books, radio show and television segments provide a wealth of organic gardening information. But, you can also make your own. Here is the recipe from Garret himself:
To make your own, here are the instructions:
Mix the following in a gallon of water.
Garrett Juice (ready to spray):
1 cup compost tea
1 ounce molasses
1 ounce natural apple cider vinegar
1 ounce liquid seaweed
For Garrett Juice Plus and more fertilizer value add: 
1- 2 ounces of liquid fish (fish hydrolysate) per gallon of spray.

For disease and insect control add:
¼ cup garlic tea or
¼ cup garlic/pepper tea
or 1 - 2 ounce of orange oil
Check out his site for many valuable homemade natural plant solutions even a homemade fire ant killer. His site is HERE.
Something else I do for my indoor seedlings is use my aquarium water. I am not sure if any of you keep fish, but I have a 30 gallon aquarium in my little sitting room which contains a variety of tropical and goldfish. Really, you should not mix the two, as goldfish prefer colder water, but I have always kept the tow successfully. I also have real plants in there as part of the overall aquaculture, so occasionally, I will scoop out some of that water and it is like Mother’s milk to plants. In fact hydroponics (the growing of plants in water rather than soil) almost always has a part of the system going through water in which fish and vegetation live. Some do this to the point that the fish being reared are also food, a very full system. I have no room for such grand schemes, but why not let your pet fish help out in the garden? Or give you an excuse to get a small aquarium full of gold fish. The simple 10 cent feeder goldfish make fine pets and wonderful natural fertilizer! And what child doesn’t like to watch fish swim, including ‘grownup children’?
Well, here are more pictures of my seedlings.cucumberseedling I am rather proud of my cucumbers. You can see here the little fruit already forming. And these are still living inside, but they get daily trips outside and I have witnessed the bees pollinated the buds obviously successfully. I think this picture, as with some of my other seedlings, would really make great art blown up and mounted on a wall, don’t you. And what a fun way to get color inspiration for decor.
Now, for my outdoor plants. my grapes have started budding out. grapes1 I am very happy with these vines I purchased. I was able to find at a local wholesaler 6 year old root stock. Grapes will not begin to bear their fruit until their third year, so if you plan on grapes and want fruit your first year, you will need 3 year old stock or later. If the seller doesn’t know then go to someone who does or buy online from a small affair.
radishes My radishes are getting close to being ready to eat. You can also grow radish seeds and pick the greens early, as they are also yummy, good on salads and full of vitamins. And a great ‘instant gratification’.carrots My carrots.snowpeas My snow peas are doing very well and I will soon be sticking in cut branches for them to climb on. It looks so pretty when the old branches get covered with the vines and then you are using up what you pruned from early spring.
Now, for my chickens. I can’t believe how quickly they grown. This little one day old darling.chick5 have become this.chicks6 They have little wings and feathers everywhere. They really like listening to my old music and often perk up when I put it on for them in the morning after they get their feed and water.
Speaking of music, here is some modern musicians swinging it ole’ school. I love Ruby Turner.
Another interesting modern expression of good orchestrated big band, is Jools Holland. He was the founder of the Squeeze, one of the early ‘new wave’ bands back in the late 70s. He was their keyboardist and is brilliant. Today (and really since the 80’s) his music is much more big band. Here he is:
Now, nothing against New Wave or ‘Cool for cats’ (one of the squeeze’s big hits) but the simplicity of the orchestration of that form of modern music to this level here is eons apart. Just simply fun and brilliant.
Last night we were visiting an old friend who is in from DC visiting his family here on the Cape. With some wine we ended up discussing the ‘modern world’ until the small hours. Our friends father is, to me, the epitome of the ‘it’s all about me’ Baby Boomer generation. First, let me state I am not nor do I believe that all Baby Boomers are selfish or what have you, but merely I have found, through my year long study, a certain element of ‘entitlement’ that really began with the Baby Boomers. Most likely due to their being that first generation in the modern world with so much of the New world. But, I digress. He has a very specific view point that seems to not be able to vary from only how things directly affect him. For example, we were discussing how insane the level of not only pornography, but really harmful severe twisted forms of brutality and sexuality one can so easily find online today and how that would be to young children. Both my hubby and our friend recounting that first timid realization of a ‘girlie magazine’ found hidden in the bathroom as the innocence to their view of ‘porn’ as a young teen. We were saying that it must have some damaging affects on a young mind to come across, while young and very curious, the things one CAN find online. His father’s response was, “Well, I don’t think it is that bad. I never really get accosted by pornography. I don’t think it is as bad today. It doesn’t happen to me on my computer.” To which we replied, “Well, we are talking about if anyone is curious and wants to find it, it could not be easier”  “Well,” he went on, spoken like a true self-involved person, “I think you’re wrong because I don’t find it on my computer”. Yes, we all thought and later discussed, but if you wanted to look it up, merely type anything in Google and there you go. But, because it was not an assault on him personally, he felt the problem did not exist.
Both our friend (he is an E.R. physician) and we are childless. And we were discussing if shall always remain that way or one day ‘dive into children’. We honestly were and are concerned about raising children in the modern world. His father was also upset with me, or rather ‘disappointed’ when I said our education plan for our child, (if he were to exist) involved homeschooling until high school and limiting severely technology until say8-10 as we felt that would then allow them to have built up the ability to self-amuse and study with books and basics before learning of the simple pleasure of video games and computers. He told us we were bad to not want to put more ‘smart children’ into the public school system to help bring the overall level up. I laughed and said, “I feel a social conscience, surely, but not to the point that I would wish to sacrifice my own child for the sake of ‘bringing up’ an average of the local grammar”. There are most likely many good public schools, I am sure, and I am not saying they are all bad. But, I am also concerned about the socialization that happens at them and I think the best way to get that ‘annoying teen’ who is texting, sexting, not doing his studies and irate towards adults is to send him out into a sea of his peers doing just that. But, at the end of the day, we are NOT parents and therefore really know nothing about it, so again I say, “what do I know?”
Well, here I am trying to get back into the swing of my usual longer posts. I have many projects I am working and and will share the complete construction of my Chicken house when it is finished. Have a wonderful day and Happy Homemaking.


  1. Great post Donna. Your garden and little chicks are getting so big, it really is hard to believe!

    As for having kids today, I have been giving it a lot of thinking as of late. I agree that there is so much 'bad' out there, why would one want to subject a child to it (and I, like you, want to home school, and severely limit computer and television use)? On the other hand, having children, and raising them right, where they have values and good morals, could be a necessary push in the right direction for our society. When I am gone, I don't want the world to continue to go downhill, I want someone to continue to fight (or just respect) for what is already here.

  2. Cedar-I feel the same way, but we are still on the fence about children. We shall see how we feel over the next two years, I think.

  3. About your friend's father, you can't improve a school by putting more smart kids in it. Take it from someone with experience (both as a student and from working in schools), when a kid is ahead of grade level, teachers often work to bring the child down to the same level as the rest of the herd. Being ahead is considered "bad for socialization" and "unfair to the rest of the kids."

  4. I'm with you on the homeschooling. My husband (who has been a teacher for over 20 years) and I are both from the later part of the baby boom but don't really identify with that generation. Our kids are all grown, but we agree that if we did it over or if we were to find ourselves raising grandchildren, we would definitely homeschool them and limit tv, video games, etc., while exposing them to real world experiences and diverse people--they definitely wouldn't be cloistered and would probably have a better "socialization" than that received in school. I've always felt that school is such a false world socially, and these days our culture is so toxic and hyper-sexual. I agree with Harper about the smart kids--teachers are supposed to teach to the middle, as well as having to spend so much time dealing with the troublemakers.

  5. Unfortunately it sounds as if that friend's dad is one of the people who believes, whether he realizes it or not, that parents aren't qualified to teach their own children unless they have a Master's degree in education. Which is really sad. I'm living proof that homeschooling is a fantastic choice and I don't have socialization problems.

    That whole bit about putting a smart kid into public school to bring up the average intelligence is laughable! Smart kids don't do well in most public schools. I'm a fast learner and I would have been bored to tears in a public school setting! So bored that I would have been in trouble all the time. How is that helpful to society?

    And besides, it's the homeschoolers who are helping to lead the charge to a return to homemaking, being entrepreneurs and being debt-free. Most elements of a "vintage lifestyle" are our normal!

  6. Thank you 50sgal for your great post. It's always a thrill to hear from you!

    My husband has been a teacher in public schools for around 30 years and we delightedly homeschooled our now married children. I can't recommend it enough. It's truly an enriching, tremendous experience (for all parties.)

    Sounds like you and thoughtful Cedar would be absolutely wonderful parents. The other commentors too have much wisdom to share. Thanks. Linda

  7. Thanks for the recipe for Garrot Juice. i have to say, as a novice LAZY gardener, I always 'forget' fertilizer (i would only use natural/homemade...never chemical) and bug repellant. last year i let the bugs devour my broccoli and pepper plants with a ' least i didn't spray any chemicals'. this year, i'm going to be better...more of an 'active lazy'!
    your chicks are cute...can't wait to see them (tomorrow!!)
    hope your back is getting better and don't do anything foolish before wednesday afternoon!! ;)
    oh, and i say, just because you don't have kids doesn't mean you can't have an opinion on how YOU WOULD RAISE YOURS...i'm sure your friends had ideas of their own before their kids arrived.

  8. We get the socialization question from family as well, despite the fact that they are impressed with his good manners and lovely social skills. What more could you ask for?! My response is always that school is for learning, not socializing.

    We've been homeschooling our 12 year old from the beginning, and love it. If we couldn't do this, there are some really small private schools(ten to a class) which do a good job at keeping school for learning. Most of these tend to be Christian. If you can find a very small conservative private school, this may be a good option as well.

  9. The ending of your post reminded me of son aged six or seven in first grade, he came chocked home and said ”Mum, the new boy in our class took me to the library and typed ”SEX” in the computer (probably Google), and then we saw a lot of nasty, naked people!”. Poor boy, and I don’t mean my own son, I mean the other boy. He was already lost! His mother drank and didn’t care about him, his father was living far away, he just hung around with much older teenagers in the streets and in internet-cafés. My son quickly forgot about the nasty, naked people. I had “parental filter” on all our computers when he was a child, and as he grew older, I told him about love and sex, and the sex you see on the internet – that it is far from the sex between two people loving each other and that the size of diverse bodyparts are not real. ;) I knew he might search for things at friends and might get a wrong or even bad view/opinion on some things.

    I don’t quite see your point in being childless because you are “concerned about raising children in the modern world”! You, of all, want to change the world, so you should have a child to raise help you in changing the world. You should also have a child because you want to and because you love children and cannot imagine living without them! Believe me, when the become teenagers you CAN imagine living without them, ha! :)


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