Wednesday, June 30, 2010

30 June 1956 “I Wanna be Teacher’s Pet”

rockwell_HappyBirthdayMissJones1956 Here in 1956 I happened to notice this cover of the Saturday Evening Post with the usual Norman Rockwell painting (one of the most underappreciated artists of our time, in my opinion.) I couldn’t help notice the sweetness of the image. Nothing new for Rockwell, of course, for even here in 1956, sometimes his images portray more of what one wishes the moment to be than what it may have actually have been. Yet, Rockwell in true artist style, shows us what we would hope or wish to be. His art had that element, not unlike the Religious painters of old, Michelangelo etc, the figure and moment in glorified rightness. No angst nor in your face representation of the lowest aspects of our society, but the higher form we are, as humans, able to obtain. It is harder, one must work at it, but there is a Divinity in it. Even if one is not religious, to be hopeful and kind is surely that which any truly advanced species would hope to achieve.
But, I digress, this is a ‘short post day’ and here I am off rambling nonsense.
My point was that, even though I am childless here in 1956 as well as 2010, I worry of the public schools systems and the future of our world through the children. When I think of what public schools (well possibly not all, but it seems many) are really just great baby-sitting factories. Many children are either raised first by day care, then the public school with tv and computer thrown in. It is odd to me how in a way we have just produced an almost factory like child rearing system of day care/public school/computer tv. Many parents today are of they same system, themselves never having had a more ‘traditional’ system of one parent there at all times.
I think I see this evidenced often in shops when I see the mothers often bargaining or trying to just pacify the child. It is as if they have such little time for themselves that they would rather just give the child something to keep them quiet. Are children even really being raised anymore? I know they are being taught to be good American consumers from an early age, that is for sure and the reinforcement I see of the parents in the stores certainly puts the cherry on the cake, as it were.
Today a teacher could never spank a child. A teacher has almost no power over their student. Most of their lessons, even in later grades, are about trying something ‘fun or entertaining’ to get them to learn. Whatever happened to : sit down be quiet raise your hand if you have a question and listen to my knowledge and then lets test you on it? Obviously somewhere along the lines we abandoned this method and not for a better one when you compare American children scholastically with other countries.
I just wonder if in our perpetual search for fun, entertainment and the need to  ‘get away from the rat race’ if we are not really doing ourselves a disservice. Work has become a dirty word and only has meaning if you go to it for long hours for money. Work, in your spare time, such as art or learning things because you want to better yourself, seems an idea as old as the dinosaurs in 2010. Yet, here in 1956, though I see the conveniences rolling in everyday in magazines and tv, there is still that sense that work, making meals from scratch, entertaining and working hard so your guests are happy and comfortable, working to teach your children and yourself more each day, is still very much apart of our life. Yet, in a decade or so, our children will laugh at our ‘knuckle down and get to work’ attitude and replace that with drugs and ‘freedoms’ which will ultimately result in today with Reality shows glorifying those that chose the road to addiction, as if they are the movie stars, those to be emulated.
50shighschool Many today would see this high school image and think, “they look so old, what squares” when really I see young ladies and gentleman with reality on the tips of their fingers, ready to go out into a very real world, not an endless contest to be cool and hip and ‘Forever 21’.
So, I guess really this image of the happy well behaved students and the appreciated teacher here in 1956 made me not want to look into my 21st century crystal ball. Today, I think, I will close my eyes to what I know is coming and smile at the little girl in her plaid dress and tin lunch pail with the apple behind her back, anxiously awaiting the smile of her
I don’t want to know that in my own time the term ‘school girl’ often means this.sexyschoolgirl
Have a good day all.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

29 June 1956 “ A Plane Crash That Changed the Way We Fly, Gardens: Victory Garden vs. 50’s Garden, A Green Bag: why not antique?”

plane crash56 A TWA Lockheed Constellation and United Airlines Douglas DC-7 collide in mid-air over the Grand Canyon in Arizona, killing all 128 people aboard both aircraft in the deadliest civil aviation disaster to date; the accident leads to sweeping changes in the regulation of cross-country flight and air traffic control over the United States.
This was a horrible plane disaster and really, for the first time in our growing modern world here in the 50’s, we are faced with the challenges of modern travel. Air traffic patterns are becoming such that we must begin to treat them with the seriousness we have done with the opening of all our highways this decade as well. The world is growing faster and we more restless. Living in your own neighborhood and a 20 mile radius is all but gone. The modern world of travel is upon us.
There is still much debris in the Grand canyon area where this crash took place. Many people today even find such things hiking, but are not allowed to remove it without a permit. This image has an eerie sad quality. What appears to have been a ladies purse over 50 years later among the rocks and debris of the canyon.planecrashpurse
Well, when thinking of our mortality one can also think of the future. And no one is more positive of the future than a Gardener. I think someone once said planting a garden is like believing in the future. We plant and plan for that moment when we can cherish and eat our harvest.
I have been both thinking about and doing a lot of gardening lately. Here in 1956 one may find themselves more interested in the ornamental than the productive, at least my magazines seem to portray that. These halcyon post war days are about ornamentation of ourselves, our homes and our yards. Yet, as an older homemaker and a war-bride, I would still make room for the veg and fruit in my garden, I think. Though many wives were probably happy to plant petunias and leave the peas for the grocer to deal with, my own personality tells me I would have held onto some of my Victory garden urges.
If not from the very practical point of view of saving on summer grocery bills, the satisfaction of eating from your own plants would be too much to let go. So, here happy in the boon of the American mid-century, I am still happily cultivating my fruit and veg.
kidsvictorygarden Here we see some proud young boys in their wartime Victory garden.  The importance on the food they are growing (here tomatoes) over the care of ornamental perfection is evidenced in the tall grasses and weeds behind them. When growing is food, we tend to forgo the ornamental somewhat in lieu of providing for the table.
So, on a very basic level we could say 1940’s war time Victory Garden meant: Survival. Lawns and rose beds were given over to veg and fruit. The 50’s Atomic Garden was the host to many new ‘helpful’ chemicals to rid the garden of pests and provide more energy for the biggest blooms and greenest most weed free lawn. The dichotomy of the two can surely serve to aid modern gardens to this: Balance. As in all things, Balance. So, give up some of that lawn, which requires so much water and chemical to some veg or even lovely flowers that are also edible. I have a tea garden started that looks as ornamental as anything, Hyssop, Bee Balm, Lemon Verbena, Chamomile, Echinacea, all of these are beautiful perennial flowers  you can enjoy esthetically. They also have the added benefit of making great tea. Snip the leaves and blooms and steep fresh and also hang to dry come fall and enjoy your bounty through the winter. Herbal teas are not cheap in stores, so grow your own. All of these plants flourish in pots as well, if you only have a deck or terrace or an urban windowsill.
Yet, I too have only ornamental, for what would love be if it were all utility? I adore Hydrangea and as far as I know they provide nothing for the table except exquisite bouquets, but what a joy they are, indeed.
Here are some pictures of my garden thus far. lavender2This is a lovely edible lavender variety called ‘Kew Red’ whose blossoms can be added to soup stocks and meat dishes. They smell wonderful, but are not as perfumey in food as a more aromatic sachet type lavender would be.lavendarflower
I adore my little French finger radishes.radish5 They grow like the dickens and they are spicy but not so much so that you can’t use that at breakfast time. They are great in omelets and the greens are wonderful in sandwiches and salads. I highly recommend these as they are SO easy to grow and I am on my third planting already, that is how fast they grow and we eat them! And I cannot stop taking photos of them. There is something intrinsically beautiful about them.radishsnowpeas Here they are with a fresh batch of Snow Peas. snowpeas2These have also been a wonderful crop so far this year. We eat them as fast as they grow and I am going to give over a spot later in the summer to another larger batch of these so that I shall have some left to freeze. So tender and sweet!frenchbeansHere you can see my row of French Runner Beans. They are coming along nicely, but you can see they need a good weeeding. Yet, I have noticed this year my new veg garden is much more about utility than beauty. I think the ornamentation I once sought in the veg garden will find its way back, but now I am all about production and yield.tomatoeplantsHere you can see my 42 Tomato plants growing. I think these need a new place next year (you should rotate your crops anyway) as this spot does not get enough sun, I think. They seem to be taking longer to bloom than they should be.
The blackberries are ripeningblackberriesI dug these last summer and brought them from the other house once we decided we were moving back here to stay. These are a thorn less variety that I love and could not find anymore this year. I hope to mail order some next early spring as they are great producers and no thorns! It’s heaven!
here are some of the flowers in my Tea Garden. A lovely Hyssop bloom. hyssopTheir leaves impart a wonderful licorice/anise scent that I love in teas. I have anise and licorice plants as well. echinaecaHere is that beauty, Echinacea, that makes a nice calming herbal tea and the blooms are wonderful. There are many varieties now avialable, including a chartruese I would like to try, but this is the old school antique wild version that I felt would be more true to flavor in tea. beebalmThis is my coveted Bee Balm, which is Bergamot. I have the normal Red Bee Balm that is more common as well, but it is this plant with the lavender flowers that produces the bergamot scent I adore in Earl Grey tea. I will mix this plant with plain black tea I can buy in bulk from our local tea shop to make my own “50’s Lady Grey” tea.
And, of course, for the ornamental, you cannot go wrong with Hydrangea. hydrangea1The soil conditions on Cape Cod are such that the most brillant blue blooms are made. These are just beginning to color, so they are not as vibrant as they will be by the end of July.hydrangea2
And, as I really consider them part of the the Garden, my chicks are coming along nicely.chickensHere you can see they are beginning to resemble little chickens and I am starting to see who is going to be roosters and hens. Those unlucky boys will either make it into my oven or for sale, as they are all more rare ‘blue’ variety of purebred chickens that would be good show quality. So, first they will get their chance to be sold locally to any aspiring 4-H-er who might like a prize Blue Rooster to show next Summer at the Fair. I will do a separate post just about their new home. It has been a few months in the making and been rather an undertaking and is almost done…almost. Come Fall, these little darlings (well the hens at least) will be providing me with all the eggs I can take and more, hopefully.
lavenderbasket             I thought I would take a photo of my shopping basket on my latest marketing trip to our local farm. To me, it was just a normal day, but to others they were amused. This is an old 50’s metal and canvas marketing basket that I use often. The day of the farm, there were many people there and as I stood in line, with my vintage basket filled with potted lavender and French tarragon and rosemary, they seemed to love it. Don’t get me wrong, most of the people on the farm had their ‘bring along bags’ but they were a motley assortment of various chain store bags sewn out of that odd plastic type fiber ( I am sure you have seen it almost all stores now offer these for sale, of course the irony being producing more and more bags for people to buy is not really cutting bag on waste-but I digress). The uniqueness of my basket made it look like a ‘magazine display’ one person told me. I thought that true, as I looked at it, but for me it was just a normal marketing day. This got me to thinking how with very little money and effort ( I think my basket cost all of 5 dollars at a junk shop) we could buy old already manufactured items to be our ‘carry all’ bags. But, again, we are a consummer culture. We hear the latest thing is to carry your own bag, so we simply buy the bag. We don’t try to make it or buy something old or use what we may already have. (I know that is not true for most of you, but I am speaking in the terms of the general populace).
So, my point was, here were many people admiring my shopping experience when it would be so easy for them to have the same type of experience. The idea of simple beauty or calm order seems unique and extraordinary and is only commonplace in photo shoots in the home and living magazines of which we cannot get enough. There may be much modern irony in a cluttered home filled with unused plastic items and expensive gadgets then piled with magazines full of images of the ‘perfect home’ as if it is only something to look at in a magazine. Like an animal in the zoo, “Oh, look honey, a coffee table with a neat stack of magazines and no clutter or remotes” “Oooh, look at that, book shelves neatly stacked with books, how novel, no clutter or piles of things”.
I think many of us allow the clutter to become just the normal background noise to our life. I know I have done so. Even now, after a year and a half in the 1950’s, I still have area’s of my life that I am ‘getting to’ to sort and organize. Not until the task begun in January of 55, did I realize what an undertaking it was. The decades of modernity have a heavy price tag both in the cost to our bank accounts as well as to our homes and physical realms. Clutter of mind and home; disorganized thoughts and bank accounts, it all seems common today as milk at the door in glass bottles in the 1950’s.
So, if you feel that in any way, pick a closet or even a drawer today and attack it. Take it all out, sort, donate, throw away or sell and put the money in your pin money jar. Then, the next time you find something cute or lovely in your home you had forgot about, an old basket, maybe the Easter basket you had as a child, woven and tattered, why not use that for marketing? Or if you’re at the yard sale and you see an unloved receptacle of some sort, plop down that quarter and go shopping in style, leave the icky plastic-cloth bags blazoned with the corporate logos on the shelves of the stores where they stand. Being unique and living a lovely life isn’t hard, it just takes a moment to think before you pass that money or debit card over the counter.

Monday, June 28, 2010

28 June 1956 “Cream Cheese and a Bagel, what’s that?”

Though Bagel baking was happening in our country since the Jewish immigrants brought them over to New York, to most of America they were not a normal part of their life. This quote shows the seriousness of bagels early on to the Jewish culture.
The American bagel industry established formal roots in New York between 1910 and 1915 with the formation of Bagel Bakers Local #338. This exclusive group of 300 craftsmen with "bagels in their blood" limited its members to sons of its members. At the time, it was probably easier to get into medical school than to get an apprenticeship in one of the 36 union bagel shops in New York City and New Jersey.
And even though prepackaged bagels first became available in grocery stores in the 1950's (With the introduction of frozen bagels in the 1960's) most consumers did not have a reason to eat a bagel.
This quote from a landlord to a new Bagel shop owner in 1966 says it all about average Middle class America and Bagels, One bagel maker  who opened a bagel bakery in a suburb of Washington, D.C., in 1966, remembers his skeptical landlord nervously questioning, "Who's gonna spend seven cents for one of those things?"
In the early 60’s in New York, Bagels were becoming ‘hip’ to the point that a restaurant called the Hip Bagel was opened by a local prominent restaurateur.
The Hip Bagel was started in the early 60s by a man who became a very prominent New York restaurateur, Shelly Fireman. Mr. Fireman later went on to open CafĂ© Fiorello at Lincoln Center, as well as Trattoria Dell’Arte across from Carnegie Hall as well as the Brooklyn Diner and Redeye Grill, Shelly’s New York and Bond 45. Today his restaurants employ more than a thousand people.
hipbagelsketch This is a sketch from a Hip Bagel Patron by an artist called Schulenberg. He kept sketch diaries for many years and there is an interesting bit of him and the Hip Bagel HERE.
So, what did all we non-Jewish and or non-New York or New Jersy American’s do with all the Philadelphia cream cheese we were buying? creamcheeseadWell, here you can see the beginnings of the ‘ad as an article’ in my 54 issue of Better Homes and Gardens. This appears as an article and the recipes are even fold outs that you can cut and fit into your recipe box. Though this is obvious product placement there is still an innocence about this form of advertising compared to what we have today. For, though the recipes clearly say to use Philly brand, you could certainly use whichever you like.
So, get your own favorite brand of Cream cheese and add some vintage spice to your party or your life in general. (click to enlarge images)creadcheeserecipes1creamcheeserecipes2creamcheeserecipes3
And, as always, Happy Homemaking!

Sunday, June 27, 2010

27 July 1956 “New Blog Schedule and 1956 Computers”

As I have been rather lax of late in my posts and with continued good advice from some of you, I have decided to try and make an ‘official Blog Schedule’. I simply used to make time each morning as part of my normal home making schedule, but have increasingly found the call of the garden, chickens and my Barn Project (more to come on that) too tempting.
So, my proposed new schedule is to try and post something everyday. On Tuesdays and Fridays I will do my usual rambling photo filled posts. The rest of the week I will simply put up an image or video or recipe etc a single item of interest to us, 1956, the Home and general vintage living. This way, at least, we can keep our conversations and insight going everyday. I know we have the Forum for this as well, but I rather like way our conversations have unfolded in the past on the blog and hope to keep that and rekindle the old ways. (See I am already nostalgic for 1955 and it was only last year! I suppose I am just a hopeless romantic)
Well, then, today (as it is not Tuesday nor Friday) Will be the first simple post. Enjoy, comment and thank you if you are still sticking around.
ibm350disk Hubby emailed me this picture. He said it is a 350 disk Storage unit for IBM. It holds the equivalent of roughly TWO mp3 files! So basically, two songs from your i Pod would fit on this. I looked up the Computer this was associated with and found this interesting film about the IBM computer in 1956. We often forget the impetus for the computer was warfare and protection. This film has that mid-century feel of living with that fear. I suppose when you consider two world wars, people had become used to the idea of their world being taken away rather easily. Ironic, as well, that all the power and work that went into systems to protect or create fear now allows us to bob along to our favorite songs on our iPod or sit and blog about what we had for dinner. Sometimes 1956 seems Centuries away.
Well, there you go. Simple information but I shall try and do so each day. Let’s do discuss, though. The impact of computers on our current life. What do you think our life would be like today if the computer had never been invented? Is our casual use of technology today for entertainment merely a part of our consumer culture, or is it an almost pacifier for us to not think and worry about what is actually happening with technology in the military? Are we any safer than those felt in 1956 or are we just more distracted?

Thursday, June 24, 2010

24 June 1956 “Popeye, Color TV, My Vintage Predicament”

This cartoon came out this year, 1956, and most likely was made for TV. Though the majority of children would watch it in Black and White, color TV is available but VERY expensive. THIS is a great site I happened upon where a gentleman discusses Color Tv in America and features his two vintage color sets one of which is from 1956. Just thought it a fun summer afternoon cartoon.
I am not sure if the modern consumer in me keeps resurfacing, but I am, of late, been feeling the urge to really replace more and more of my daily life with working vintage items. As you may or may not know, we finally recently have gone down to one car. It has not been any inconvenience as of yet, but I have been thinking at some point in the future, how lovely it would be to have a vintage car. Am I merely wishing to replace my reality or to hide from what I don’t like about the modern world in one of make believe? Or, can one really alter their own reality enough so that, though safely and with all rationale live in their own present time (medicine for example and computers) yet truly continue to live out in another? Who can say?
I guess I have come so far into what was once a project, that I find I am not sure anymore. I had also mentioned in my last post that this year has seemed more turbulent than last and a follower asked for me to elaborate on that. Since then I have been trying to find ways to put it into the tangible; to find a way to express it. It is a double edged sword, really. I am happy to have made my website and my forum and to continue on here. But, now with my growing projects outdoors and the garden and my return, though tentatively, to writing some fiction and painting for myself, I wonder if I am spread too thin.
Last year I was able to focus on each day in 1955: Read the news of the time, catch an occasional show from the time, and of course continually focus on my cooking and cleaning skills. There was a simplicity and innocence to my days that seem to have gone in a sense. I don’t mean to say I am not enjoying myself but in some ways feel the balance between all that I have added has me often feeling guilty about this or that thing. If I have not updated the blog or not attended to the Forum. Yet, part of my busy building project is to allow myself not only a home for my growing chickens, but an expansion on our barn that is to be my ‘creative central’ where I can paint but also write here as well as other things. To have a meeting place for my hopeful one day ‘Vintage Club’ or Local chapter of The Apron Revolution. So, there is a method to my madness, but now smack dab in the middle of the year, in the middle of Summer I wonder if I have allowed an innocent little project to steamroll me into an odd position.
Thus, the recent feeling of even trying to alter my physical world through more vintage items. On some level, I feel that is really just the old “modern me” who finds herself daily so busy and always doing that the old ease of the modern world can sometimes seem such a draw. “What to change your feelings, feel better or become a new you? Easy, go shopping. Just buy up whatever you want to be and feel and ‘ta-dah’”. So, not really certain.
But, overall, I am still very happy and content. I do feel rather bad as if my posts are so few and not very entertaining nor informative of late. And, I really do wish for that to remain such an important part of my life, so I suppose if I know some of you will hold on while I am ‘under construction’ as it were and not think I have abandoned my project or lifestyle. I know I have not shared sewing lately (although it has been happening) nor my garden nor food etc. Some mornings I will set the breakfast table and think, “The Gals would love to see this” but then forget to photograph it. I made some lovely blueberry filled crepes the other morning with fresh strawberries and cream that looked a treat, but nary a photo to share.
Then I wonder if the more I do honestly slip into my little vintage world I feel less and less the automatic need to document every action in it. That is a very modern aspect of our lives today, documentation. With the ease of digital cameras, computers, video etc, we find endless aspects of our everyday lives being documented. I have even noticed on YouTube that people will make a video of themselves opening a new product and their reaction to getting it out of the box. Does that not seem rather overkill?
Once people shuddered at the appearance of the slide projector and wheels upon wheels of vacation or baby slides, now we are so used to seeing and taking images and video, it is just a part of our life. I wonder if I had to use an actual 1956 camera to document my life, how much of it I would actually photograph.
So, here I am in the middle of 1956 wondering which of my actions are modern and which is me simply becoming so settled into my new ‘old’ life, not sure which is the best way to turn. I do know I shall forge ahead with all my usual. Having a schedule and such has made my life so much more Open to do MORE that I could not do half of what I do now and still have a clean house, folded laundry, dinners on the table and sewn dresses and also garden, build, write and paint. I just need to find the happy medium that doesn’t leave all of you out of it. And, as winter approaches and the days our shorter and I am, again, inside more, I am sure you will be sick of the hearing my days. Perhaps I shall write 10 page treatise on how I scrubbed my kitchen floor or the best sauce for chicken croquettes ( I do make a mean croquette, if I do say so myself).
So, bear with me and I hope you are all so busy that you don’t notice my absence. Or, better yet, join the Forum and I can catch up with you there.
So, have a great day and Happy Homemaking. If you are in the mood for a fun summer vintage film, I just added Mr. Peabody and the Mermaid from 1948 with William Powell and Ann Blyth on the main page of the site under Movie of the Week. It is a fun way to approach the male mid-life crisis. Enjoy!

Saturday, June 19, 2010

19 June 1956 “Fishing in Time’s River and Esthetics: How Much are they Part of Time?”

Today I have thought of Thoreau’s words:
“Time is but the stream I go fishing in. I drink at it, but while I drink I see the sandy bottom and detect how shallow it is. It’s thin current slides away, but eternity remains.”
Certainly the meaning for me may be different than what he had in mind, but the overall affect of not being to concerned about the past and present actually does seem to be relevant to me. Odd, that I should say such a thing when you think how much the past has come to me, but I don’t think I am truly ‘trapped’ there. Rather the opposite, really, for having set myself the task of being ‘trapped’ in a year in the past, my whole Future and perception of my Present has opened up and changed. By treating Time like a river into which I can toss my line, as it were, and snag out fish of interest has allowed me a perspective that puts me on the banks of time. I can watch it rush by me or look down and see the source of the stream or toward the horizon and peer into what rapids or turns in the river might lie ahead. I even sometimes feel I have fashioned a raft and Huckleberry Finned my way about wondering at the way things are today. Rather they are right or wrong, much as Finn did with his good friend Joe and what was to happen to him when they touched shore, I happily cast my line and only reel in and keep that which I choose.
I know this month has seen me very little up0n this screen. Time, too, has such an elastic quality when one can immerse themselves in the home. It makes me realize the 50’s housewife probably didn’t quite understand her hippy daughter away at college explaining to her how she was ‘wasting her time’ and ‘letting her youth get taken away’. When one is ‘at home’, as I am, and is filled both with the work of it (and it is work) but also reveling in the very creative joy of nesting and gardening, sewing and creating, it can be a timeless place. I am sure the old homemakers of yore never felt their time was a wasted endeavor (those who did not feel trapped by it of course, if one is called to be a doctor or lawyer, then by all means go free) when they had enjoyed themselves along the way.
I think today modern people tend to measure their ‘success’ or how far they have come by how much they have accumulated. I think I once heard, “whomever has the most toys at the end, wins” not a surprising mantra in our age of materialism and consumerism. But, really, when one measure life and its accomplishments in the moment, you can see how silly this incessant drive to have things can be. If I am blissful as I prepare a meal, try out a new recipe, feel accomplished in the arrangement of the table and meal I have prepared, even if only my hubby and I see it, is it less valid? When one can learn to measure their happiness, contentment and joy in the moment ( and that includes reveling in your moments prepared by you earlier, such as breaking the seal on that jam you set last fall) this anxious rush to buy and need goes away. Why shout at the shop girl because they don’t have your new gizmo. Why feel the need to keep going out and buying the next cell phone, the new i-Pad, every new thing, just tossing aside what you have replaced it with. We can be like big children so interested in the next toy, we just let drop our beloved toy of only moments ago. But, we are not children, we are (or are suppose to be) adults.
So, my excuse, if I am indeed making one, is that I have found my moments strung together like lovely little pearls and I have not wanted to break their pattern for then they might fall to the floor. But, I must also remember to stop and share with all of you as well.
My garden is growing rather nicely. I sprayed by grapes and hopefully they will make it, if not then next year I will be prepared for the bugs. The garden is such a good lesson in patience and our need to prepare and wait. Another reason, that as we have moved away from the land and the garden, it is natural that we should be so impatient. When our food is frozen and nuked in minutes, who understands patience?
My chickens are growing rather large. They have moved to their intermediary pen, as I finish up their final home. We have one very friendly little pullet (future hen) we call Buttons ( as she is intent on removing any button on your clothing when you hold her) and she always manages to get out. But, I don’t worry, because she is so tame, she merely lets herself out and then wanders the yard as I am gardening or working on my construction. My dogs, of course, love her and when my Italian Greyhound gets too feisty, buttons merely turns and pecks, as if to say, “To me, you are just one big button to be removed” and then continues on her way, scratching and eating slugs and bugs.
I think I will leave you with these pictures of what is considered the latest in beautiful for bathrooms. Then, lets ponder, how much of our personal esthetic is simply derivative of the time in which we live. Are we So connected to our media and advertising that our very desires for what we consider ‘beautiful’ today really just the dictates of the latest magazines, tv shows, internet? Even those of us who are now incessantly trying to recreate a vintage home, is that a new to buy up and own a time we respect? It is the simple solution that we are used to? We have so much at our fingertips and so much or our life is instantaneous, do we think we can buy up the honor and respect of a time gone by through acquisition? I don’t know, I have struggled with this thought’s as I have had my own esthetics thrown about these past two years. I find my style or desire change and then I look at some older modern magazines I like with interiors ( as an experiment) and soon found my tastes returning again. It is interesting to ponder, none-the-less.
And I am not placing any value judgment on it, right or wrong, but it does become interesting when you begin to dissect ‘why you like this or that style’.  It does seem to have greatly influenced our 1950’s counterparts, as many of the bathrooms I see in magazines look like the Before in a modern magazine today. Do we really find these ugly? Do we simply change our tastes, supposedly a core element in ‘who we are’ by the subconscious accumulation of information that we are bombarded with in the modern age? What do you think? Is your esthetic from your parents? Your teachers? Someone you admire or a great house you love? Or do you know really know why you gravitate toward one thing or another. Interesting to think about.
bathroom1 bathroom2 bathroom3 I thought I would throw in two living rooms as well for us to consider why we might find it ugly or not.  The second has a much more current modern feel due to its technique of keeping to almost two colors with only white accents. livingroom1  livingroom
Until next time, Happy Homemaking.

Monday, June 14, 2010

14 June 1956 “Safe Pest Control and Rustic Holidays?”

Today that little curser is pulsating back at me. The blank ‘page’, well screen, just keeps returning my stare. It is not filling up with little words and phrases as it is usually want to do when I sit at it. There are so many things I have discussed with myself to write about here and then just let it go. Not sure why, really.
It could be the rain ( I can’t remember the last sunny day?). It could be my growing list of items to work on this summer to prepare for fall. It could be the Garden ( I know have a pest problem attacking my grapes and my new green bean shoots) Perhaps I will share of the ‘homemade’ bug sprays I am going to try. I will let you know how they work. Here are some of them:
Try herbal sprays against any leaf-eating pests and make note of what works for future reference.

  • How to Make: In General, herbal sprays are made by mashing or blending 1 to 2 cups of fresh leaves with 2 to 4 cups of water and leaving them to soak overnight. Or you can make a herbal tea by pouring the same amount of boiling water over 2 to 4 cups fresh or 1 to 2 cups dry leaves and leaving them to steep until cool. Strain the water through a cheesecloth before spraying and dilute further with 2 to 4 cups water. Add a very small amount of non-detergent liquid soap (1/4 teaspoon in 1 to 2 quarts of water) to help spray stick to leaves and spread better. You can also buy commercial essential herbal oils and dilute with water to make a spray. Experiment with proportions, starting with a few drops of oil per cup of water.

  • How to Use: Spray plants thoroughly, especially undersides of leaves, and repeat at weekly intervals if necessary.

  • Garlic Spray
    • Protection Offered: Good results, with quick kill, have been noted against aphids, cabbage loppers, earwigs, June bugs, leafhoppers, squash bugs and whiteflies. The spray does not appear to harm adult lady beetles, and some gardeners have found that it doesn't work against the Colorado potato beetles, grape leaf skeletonizers, grasshoppers, red ants, or sowbugs.
    • How to Make: Soak 3 ounces of finely minced garlic cloves in 2 teaspoons of mineral oil for at least 24 hours. Slowly add 1 pint of water that has 1/4 ounce liquid soap or commercial insecticide soap mixed into it. Stir thoroughly and strain into a glass jar for storage. use at a rate of 1 to 2 Tablespoons of mixture to a pint of water. If this is effective, try a more dilute solution in order to use as little as possible.
    • How to Use: Spray plants carefully to ensure thorough coverage. To check for possible leaf damage to sensitive ornamentals from the oil and soap in the spray, do a test spray on a few leaves or plants first. If no leaf damage occurs in 2 or 3 days, go ahead and spray more.
    I think I shall simply ‘check in’ with all of you today. Perhaps, if you are all still reading, you could discuss in the comments if you feel like it.
    tentcamping  A friend of mine commented to me (personally) about my last post and said that it made her reflect upon vacation/holidays. She (in her 20’s so only her perception as she was not around in the 50’s) said that it made her think how she thinks of vacations and family holidays in the 1950’s as people camping in tents, or small trailers (Not the huge RV’s of today) or the rustic cabin as opposed to what many feel today is the vacation where one spends a lot, is pampered (message etc) and lay about. rusticcabin She pointed out that often camping and rustic trips of the 1950’s must have almost been MORE work than simply being at home, yet families did it and presumably had fun to boot. While today we see lines of unhappy children at Disney land or running about poolside at expensive resorts while the parents lay about. Not very much bonding or coming together.
    This really made me think how that, even how we holiday today, really is a sort of description of how we work as family and community unites. Not much ‘pulling together’ and ‘working’ on our vacations, really just more relaxing. I know many people work crazy hours and do feel they need to be lazy on holiday, but I wonder, are they just trading one sofa and tv for another? Is a vacation now more about spending than doing? I don’t know, you tell me. I would love reassurance that it is not. Is there any fun in not adding some fun challenge? Is it just no longer in our modern make-up? What do any of you think? Do we think we vacation differently as a unit than we did in 1950’s?

    Wednesday, June 9, 2010

    9 June 1956 “Becoming Our Own Domestics and Living In Our Own Five Star Hotels”

    maidandlady I was thinking today how I treat my “work time” and my “me time” ( a very modern term, I know) quite separately. And although the ME in that statement might seem rather 2010 more than 1956, I believe the 50’s homemaker, without the psychological explanation of what she was doing, was rather doing the same thing. To treat that ‘work time’ as very much real work seems an almost alien concept to most modern people. When you understand that you suddenly see why it is so undervalued or not valued at all. Why people consider it only drudgery, even people who have to work very menial ‘paying jobs’ most likely consider the Home Arts more chore than challenge, more Criminal than Career.
    This was how I came to see this in myself today. I was about my usual ‘daily routines’ and had just collected up all the washcloths, dishcloths, etc, that I change out. I collect them up daily for their eventual weekly wash day. After that I go about and lay out their ‘new’ replacements. As I laid out, on my freshly cleaned sink, the new dry iron and folded dish rag, I felt as if I was the ‘maid of the moment’. That I was, in fact, the domestic ( a very real job) and that the “ME Time” Me was reaping the rewards of such a thoughtful and efficient housekeeper. Certainly my historical counterpart felt very much the same in that she had a job to do, she did it to the best of her abilities and then had time and made time to read, relax, craft, make herself up, be dressed for the shops and when hubby was home, have time to show off her skills at cooking and baking at home gatherings and enjoyed keeping her hat and gloves on and being ‘treated’ as the lady in her friends home for their gatherings. No over analyzing needed. Her job was real, seen so by society and therefore she did it and also had a Life. In many ways we have no ‘outside’ life and we still make no time to do, ugh ‘housework’ that’s drudgery. Why make your bed, it’s just going to get messed up again any way, right?
    Well, many people rush about all year and give away a week or two a year to go on holiday. For that chocolate on the pillow and those few moments to read by the pool or share a nice meal with loved ones. For me, and I think for the 1950’s family (at least many of them) such treats were enjoyed as a part of normal daily life. Even breakfast, for example, was a place where people daily were treated as if in a lovely little diner or restaurant. Again, you, the Homemaker, might be the chef and then waitress, but if you do a good JOB then when you magically become the breakfast guest along with your family, won’t you be happy for those flowers on the table or the few kitchen plants you keep in lovely ceramic holders that you trade out for centerpiece. To have that nice ironed linen napkin on your lap as you sip your fresh squeezed juice? Why, the syrup is heated so as not to cool the pancakes and your little butter pats are soft to the touch, what great service! Conversation (no texting or tv), laughter and sharing of one another’s life or plans for the day.
    We’ll send something back in a restaurant if it is not right, we will complain about dirty silverware or smudged drinking glasses. We will be upset if a  store does not have what we want or the dressing rooms are a mess. Yet, our own lives and home, the place we spend much of our time, we care less about. There we put up with and in some cases simply expect the worse service, that most wretched food and the poorest conditions of cleanliness and overall atmosphere. It’s just a place where the tv and computer lives, where we can flop about eating corn chips from bags or pizza out of boxes as we watch our ‘shows’ (re-runs we have seen a million times) and not care a scrap about it. Go to a hotel or a restaurant on vacation and expect that, no way? So, do we really only deserve a week a year as payment for all the work and stress we do have through the rest of the year? Or, do we deserve better? And if so, can we make it better? I think so.
    Think about the things you like to do on Holiday/Vacation. Do you like a quiet peaceful cabin on the lake? Do you like to pamper yourself with nice meals and dressing up? Make a list (yes the list returns again, it is SO helpful) of the things you and your spouse/and or family enjoy or dream of as Relaxing, Fun, Pleasure, Pampering and then see if there are not ways to make that a part of your daily life. Your life at home.
    Simply preparing yourself and getting into the habit of the thing is half the battle. If you are a Stay-at-home, then certainly we have much time in the day to make our homes thus. But, even if you are a ‘working gal’ with a little prep and routine, you would be surprised how much of your ‘me time’ at home when not at work can be served by being your own domestic for part-time during each week. Think about it, just take even 1/2 an hour of your tv/computer time and dedicate it to being your own maid and you will find cook ahead food in the freezer, ironed napkins in the linen drawer, time to slip that sectioned grapefruit and juice on your breakfast table with hubby that morning if your ‘little maid’ saw fit to do it before going to bed and putting it in the ice box.
    I think Breakfast is a fun way to introduce a change in how we view and eat our meals. Many may not want to try out the big dinner at the table, so why not try the early morning family breakfast? This article in my 1953 Better Homes and Gardens  tells us: “Yes, Breakfast Can be lovely!” and it goes on to tell us
    You can have attractive breakfast tables-meals as memorable as those served in the dining room. With planning, such a meal is little more work than the usual hasty, makeshift breakfast. These tables are set simply but well-just right for happy, family get-togethers in the kitchen.
    breakfasttable1 Round table with yellow plastic surface and comfortable wire barrel chairs encourage pleasant family circle meals in the Mandel Hopkins Dutch blue breakfast nook. Black wire lazy Susan in table’s center is a combination step saver and efficient server. Here it holds the entire meal. Scalloped wire place mats match the lazy Susan.
    (Click on the images below to see larger and read corresponding text)
    breakfasttable2 breakfasttable3
    So, even if you were to just try (assuming you don’t already) having at least one meal at table With nice china, water pitcher, food in serving dishes (no boxes or bottles of dressing-no advertising or packaging) you might find yourself slowing down and enjoying your food and your company. And it isn’t really just food, no that is really just the tip of the iceberg, to how we can change little bits of our home life to feel more as if we are on vacation or just simply ‘enjoying our life to the fullest’. We need to sit down and have a good but firm talk with the domestic in us, telling ourselves we not only Need but Deserve to have a well run ship and nice accommodations and meals. You would not visit an hotel that treated you poorly, was dirty or had bad service/food/ambience, so why return again and again to a home that does not feel welcoming or only serves as a sort of fast food restaurant with tv and computer and a freezer full of unappetizing frozen food. You might be surprised how well you do when you slip into your little ‘maid mode’. Give it a try, you might like what you find.
    I had intended to talk about a good Vintage Fashion Primer, but I think that will hold until next time. I think we all need to get out our pens and pads and start jotting down how we would like to live if we had a maid or were in an hotel and then think about how we can serve ourselves. And, after all, who better knows what you really want than you?
    Until next time, Happy Homemaking.

    Sunday, June 6, 2010

    5 June 1956 “Elvis, Vegetables, Dogs-n-Chicks”

    Elvis is really beginning to get up steam. Tonight he will appear on the Milton Berle show. Though other ‘teen heart-throbs’ such as Sinatra caused a stir among the young, Elvis was really that beginning. I know many people like Elvis and I do to, but I wonder if this is really that beginning of the modern media machine that takes over a person and sells them to people. At this point in time, the wars are over and the youth don’t have to worry about their friends dyeing or any general fear as just 15 years earlier was a very real threat. And the sad thing about it is, the industry machine; this taking a person and marketing them as a product obviously does affect the person (Elvis died from Drugs and was very badly misused and ill-treated) Is this what music has become today? Did it start innocently enough here only to become a vehicle to create a craze to sell sell sell and simply to separate the youth from the old? Now, does each generation need to always shock to make their point or to prove ‘they have arrived’? It seems so. It is too bad that again we could not see the earmarks of where we are today in our oversold, over-produced marketed world. Why can’t music just be good and fun to listen to or make you sad and cry or make you feel impassioned or even just tap your feet? Why must it be a battle line in the sand between generations? Does that make it easier to market to groups? Twice as much revenue if more ‘styles’ are needed overall? Tweens like this, teens like this, 20-30’s like this, etc and on and on.
    I do feel with our modern technology some of this is starting to crack, in that anyone out there now can be heard and are not at the mercy of the ‘big industry’. It perhaps really is a time of change, maybe we really are at the cusp of a new ‘Retro-Renaissance’ (now I better copyright that term so I can make millions every time someone says or types it, right?) I hope that we can begin to move away from the conglomeration of our species and into a new way of thinking of pure and simple joy without the care of ‘shock and awe’ or ‘Me me me’.
    Well, enough of that, how about some garden talk: As many of you know, I have been busy both out in  my garden and building my structure for my chickens. They both are very time consumming and add to that my usual chores of cooking/cleaning/marketing as well as trying to keep up with our blog…well, I have been a very busy gal for sure.
    My garden is coming along nicely. Yesterday morning we had waffles with strawberries from the garden.strawberries1 These are so much sweeter than store bought ( I did a taste comparison) Of course our local farm also has strawberries to pick, which I will have to take advantage of, as my little patch will not produce enough to put up jam. But, next year I will plant twice as many and hope to one day provide all I need from my home with those. Then I can spend my money at the farm for blueberries as they take up more room than I have here.
    I also picked a few radishes to serve with dinner last night.radish1 These are an old heirloom variety called French Breakfast. They are meant to be long and thin (these actually could have been picked sooner) and their greens are lovely, much like the peppery taste of arugula and great on salad. Last night, though, they were so pretty in their natural state, I just served these and fresh farm tomatoes (hot house started at local farm) raw with our roast beef.roastbeefdinner Now, for those of you who don’t eat meat, this may not look very appetizing, but Hubby and I are very much the ‘rare beef’ eaters. It has more true flavor this way. And the mashed potatoes have fresh basil from my garden (It has done So well from seed, I pick from it everyday to cook with!) and garlic chives as well as some of the chopped leaves of the radish. This was just a sampling of how we shall be eating like kings come late summer!
    Oh, and just for fun, some more shots of my radish. I just really enjoy photographing my vegetables and plants. There is some intrinsic artistic value to me in something that I created by planting from seed, nurturing and then documenting it.radish2 radish3
    My chicks are also getting big and impatient for their new home. One set of eggs did not hatch when I originally hatched my chicks and the main I purchased them from felt bad and mailed me another dozen free. So, I put them in the incubator and out of a dozen, two hatched. I have two new chicks to add to the fold (when they get older, now they are living in a box on my desk). My little dog loves all small living things. I honestly don’t think he would hurt a fly. He loves the chicks and begs to be put in the box with them for as long as he can stand the heat of their heat lamp.montychicks1 Here he is curled up resting in the box with them. The two chicks think he is mum and when he goes in the box, run up to him to huddle under his ‘feathers’.montychicks2 This little grey one seems to be his favorite. It needed help getting out of the shell and is a little bit ‘the runt’ he watches it very carefully and will not move quickly for fear he will step on her.montychicks3 Here you can see the two little chicks ‘under his wings’. The light is red, because their heat lamp is red and we did not use a flash for this shot. So, we have many things happening on our little ‘mini farm’.
    I have so many other things ear-marked and notated down to blog about, but again, I need to get back out and get to work. I hope you enjoy this smaller post and I shall next time talk more about food and I think discuss fashion. We have been having a talk of a good ‘vintage primer’ on the forum that I really think deserves more in-depth look here on the blog.
    Well, happy homemaking, all.

    Wednesday, June 2, 2010

    1 June 1956 “June is Bustin Out All Over! The Basic Seven and More Talk on Nutrition and Food”

    June IS bustin out all over and this muscial Carousel, was realeased this year, 1956. It stared Gordon MacRae and Shirley Jones. An interesting story is that Frank Sinatra was actually cast
    to play the male lead and at the time they were shooting it in CinemaScope 55 (which was a larger format version of Cinema Scope introduced in 1955) which meant all the scenes had to be shot twice, one in Cinemascope and once in Cinemascope 55, so he apparently walked off the set saying, “You’re not getting two Sinatras for the price of one”. The irony being shortly after they dicsovered a way to only shoot the scene once. I guess there were even Diva’s ( or Divo as the case may be) back then. It is a great musical with many wonderful songs, such as “If I loved You”
    caroselalbum The soundtrack to this film is wonderful. You can get it on the original vinyl (how I prefer it) HERE, or the CD HERE or even download it HERE. And if you don’t have the movie you can get it HERE, if you like. I think they are around 8 U.S. Dollars.
    So, Summer is on it’s way. I hope all had a wonderful Memorial DayAW081256 weekend. We had sun and steak tips and Gin and Tonics, so a usual ushering into the official Summer season here on Cape Cod.
    I thought we would continue discussing more on nutrition. In the last post I mentioned the Basic Seven Foods in the early 50’s Betty Crocker cookbook. Most of you may have it, but for those of you who don’t I have scanned some relevant information here. You simply click on the image to read it.basic7 I think this a very smart, realistic and healthy grouping. I think it more detailed than the 4 food groups I grew up with. I like, for instance, that is says” 1 serving of meat poultry or fish each day. Occasionally dried beans or peas instead.” So the 50’s diet was not martini’s and fat steaks everyday with piles of potatoes and butter. It was, if the homemaker paid attention in her Home Economics courses and her cookbooks, savvy to good diets.
    I think what I am continuing to find is that if one looks at what was known and suggested as good healthy eating at the time, when can actually maintain a simple, healthy diet that could be very cost effective. Today, the diet industry is big. It really took off in the 1950’s and there were some scary ‘pills’ and quick reduction plans starting, but by and large people would be skeptical of that. And that seems to be a main element we modern people have lost. We are skeptical of many things, but when things are simply fed to us through the various media channels or magazines we gobble them up like Gospel. The endless diets and diet plans, all the pills. The adverts for prescription drugs would certainly have been seen as suspicious then, why would a drug company advertise prescription drugs? In a way, we think we are more savvy today, but the people of the 50’s and earlier had a certain dose of healthy skepticism. They seemed less likely to be duped. But, as the decade progressed and we became more consumed with consuming and ease (as I said the first instant cake mixes were often not used because the wives felt guilty for the ease and when they changed the labels to read, Just add an egg, it worked). We have slowly, through the past generations, been conditioned to the expectancy of change. We expect to hear this week that eggs are bad so do this and buy this and eat this way, next week, “Oh, did you hear milk can kill drink soy milk” then “Now we see soy in abundance is bad for you, what do we do next TV, Computer, News? Lead us”
    50sgrandma I think we all need a good dose of ole fashioned ‘Grandma’s no-nonsense skepticism. “Well, it sounds suspicious to me, eat your eggs and toast and get to work! Who needs fancy tv dinners, eat your greens and you will be okay”. (I love this picture, if this is any of my readers relative, I hope you don’t mind I used the picture, so darling.)
    I mean really, if we just stop and think logically, eating basic foods in lower quantities and exercise is all we need to do. However, today that ease is complicated with a myriad of ruts and potholes in the road that the 1950’s were only beginning to see. Entertainment is forefront in our lives. We NEED no we EXPECT to be entertained ALL the time and so through these vehicles of entertainment, the bits of time we must sit and wait for the next entertaining things, we hear all the nonsense to buy this or be like that. You are fat you must be this thin take this pill drink this drink, buy this idea followed by adverts for processed fatty foods and dial up pizza. We are easily lead because of what we have become to think the normal amount of passive living.
    When you look at a basic diet such as the Basic Seven, it couldn’t really be easier, nor cheaper. Just think, you could go to the market and simply just not go down many aisles. All the frozen prepared foods (though frozen veg is an okay option when it is just the veg frozen and not all the additives or cream sauces and French fries/chips are not a replacement for a green or yellow vegetable) the processed kids cereals, the cookies aisles all that. I find now how simple it is to buy key ingredients (flour, milk, egg, butter, cream, sugar, meat, veg, fruit, grain-rice, oatmeal, etc) all the things we need and even which shall taste good and give good variety of plate and palette are at our fingertips. You want some fun exciting cracker with dill and cumin, then whip up a batch of basic cracker dough, add it in and bake, in 10 minutes you will have them and you can store the rest. You want a delicious decadent chocolate dessert, okay, make it from scratch and have a 50’s serving, not the 1/4 of a cake you get in cafe’s and restaurants today. And with all that make sure you are eating your veg and fruit.
    basic7twoOkay, so if you refer to this chart (which if you have the old version of Betty Crockers picture cookbook-which they have also reprinted and is available anywhere, really, then you can turn to the Meal-Planning’ section to find this.    bettycrockerbook4 You can buy it in the store HERE as little as 6 dollars, or go to your local book store and support them. This is a good basic 50’s book, though and easily laid out in a binder form. I feel like a teacher, “Refer to your chart on page 33 of your Betty Crocker text”. Anyway, simply click here to enlarge it. You can see they say, “The basic Seven is Easy if you follow this pattern”. It even gives the suggestion for ‘adequate’ meals, so even you haven’t enough of one thing one day, you can think at least you are doing the basics. It is also very interesting to point on that for Dinner on the Complete List, it includes green or yellow vegetables AND salad with raw vegetables. Even at this point they were aware of the import of vegetables in the raw as part of a balanced diet. And one might think, “Oh, that looks like a lot with the bread and butter and piece of pie or cake for dessert”. Well, if you eat half a pizza you are eating as much if not more than a 1950’s version of this dinner. You would have a 1950’s bowl of soup, not the giant mixing bowl sizes we have today. Your meat would be between 2-3 oz serving. And a slice of good whole grain bread with some butter is much more healthy for you than the processed and chemical-ized action in a store bought or take away pizza or Chinese food. It also points out that the dinner is good after a ‘full day’ which means you have been active.
    When I think how someone might get upset by the idea of the carb (bread and butter) with dinner, it is silly when you think of merely drinking a starbucks drink at your break is probably like five slices of bread and butter. And, butter, if you buy properly, is a very natural product. IT is simply the by-product of milk production, so if you could find a source where they use milk that is not from hormone injected cows and if you make or buy a good whole grain bread that is not full of preservatives, you are not that far removed from your foods beginnings. That is what I have been coming to realize: The closer you get to your foods source, the healthier it seems and easier to prepare. Butter is just made from the separation of the milk and cream, very pure. Bread is simply grains and liquid baked into nutrition. Now think about any packaged food, all the chemicals, the way it has to be made, any meat in it was probably made form a slurry of various animal parts (all the animal, whole chickens head, feet) you just don’t know what you are eating. Yet, in the 50’s, if you were not eating a Swanson Tv dinner every night, you were just naturally eating food closer to its pure source. A cut of meat for protein, veg cooked and raw, even desserts were homemade from butter, flour, eggs, pure ingredients meeting and combining to make a good tasty form of calories and vitamins.
    I think the more we take control over the aspects of our lives that we can control, the better we can live and enjoy our time. Then, when we are enjoying our Entertainment, it will feel well earned and we may even find ourselves entertained with our own actions in the kitchen and home. I know I have and I laugh when I think of how much passive tv/computer time I used to use and wonder at all the time I lost that could have been spent simply DOING. I mean we can really do almost anything to entertain ourselves that can also enrich our minds and increase our skill sets. Why just watch tv when you could build that dollhouse, sew those dresses, make a garden, go to the library and study African tribal pottery. The world is out there with so much information and fun and yet we let so much of our lives simply pass by in front of our eyes as we passively sit there. Our food, in a way, is an example of this. Why bother to learn to cook or control your food by choosing your food yourself, just buy some stuff in boxes with pictures of the meal on it, nuke it and shove it down your gullet while you watch your ‘stories’ for the 15th time. Hey, it is your life, but really, I know, it’s so much MORE fun and rewarding to just be more active in it.
    So, be more ACTIVE in your life and your food. Think about what you are putting in your mouth and your mind. Use your hands and your brains to make and do and NOT just click the TIVO button or press enter on the computer. You will find yourself so much more fulfilled and less dissatisfied. When you remove that element of covetousness often found through the media, “Oh, I wish I looked like her, or had that beautiful house, or lovely yard, or that yacht, car, hot movie star boyfriend, lifestyle etc etc” Who cares! There is so much YOU already have around you that is wonderful and can be improved upon and increased with your own access to knowledge, information, and skill. So our ACTION still exists here on the blog. It is becoming more and more important to me than ever.
    Until next time, happy homemaking, cooking and just take 20 minutes of your tv/computer time and try something new: learn one easy pure dish to make, read up on that subject you like, paint a picture, plant some seeds, do anything that YOU control.
    I will leave you with two cute 50’s ideas/kitchens for a simple eat-in bar for those early morning meals before school/work.
    kitchenbar1 kitchenbar2
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