One of the coolest things I remember as a kid about eating out in the 70’s and 80’s were the novelty gifts you could collect. We didn’t eat a lot of fast food when I was little, but when we did, I loved getting a Happy Meal. I remember one Happy Meal container in particular that was green, plastic and round like a space ship. It came with the decals to stick on and decorate yourself. My sister and I set it up for my hamster, Dolly Dimples to play in.
Looking back I guess we were more of a McDonald’s family when we did eat out because we also had a full set of melmac dishes with Ronald, Grimace and the rest of the gang for the 4 seasons.
As an adult I find myself being completely giddy when I find the collectible drinking glasses from the 80’s. The vibrant colors of the cartoon characters always make me smile. A few years back I found a pair of vintage Miss Piggy drinking glasses that I bought for my vintage shop. While they are cute to look at, if you were growing up in that time, they bring back happy memories. Memories of Saturday mornings and simpler times when cartoons were made for kids!
And thankfully, some people kept these delightful retro pieces just to look at. Myself, I enjoyed and continue to enjoy using mine.
My sister was a big Care Bear fan and I am sure she would have wanted these if we would have had a Pizza Hut near us.
This is one retro novelty glass that if I ever come across will be all mine. I know it sounds selfish, but IT’S PAC-MAN~
Here is a little round-up in case you are searching for something special:
Goulash or Galoshes? Have you had either? I’ve experienced both. To me, the only thing they have in common is the fun swishy sound they make when the words come off the tongue.
Goulash is something my mom cooked often for us growing up. I like it best on chilly nights. It is a comfort food that can go a long way, is affordable and is also a great dish to take to a family in need of a meal. I will share a recipe at the bottom. But this post is about the other swish – the one made with rubber and not noodles.
As a child in the 70’s, I remember one pair of galoshes. They were a kid friendly color, although I can’t remember which one. There was a fun stretchy band that hooked the front closed. We live in Pennsylvania and so I honestly can’t remember if I was wearing them in the spring for rain, or if we were keeping my shoes dry in the snow.
Recently a favorite shopping spot for me, the Nomadic Trading Company, which is actually a large warehouse with antiques, vintage items and salvaged pieces brought in hundreds of pairs of vintage, new in the box Shoes. I bought a few pair for fun to add to my vintage shop. But the pair that caught my eye were called Rubbers! I had never heard that term for shoes and had never seen shoe rubbers that were so styled.
And so, here is my little collection of these shoe covers through out the years.
Looking out my window yesterday, there was no doubt how the expression, “April showers bring May flowers,” came about. But there is another expression that you may not be privy to if you have never lived in Pennsylvania. “Onion Snow,” is a term created by the Pennsylvania Dutch. This sounds like something from Shrek, but it actually dates back to the earliest Farmers Almanac’s. And it is true to its name.
The birds were chirping and the crocus were popping. But today, SNOW and even a tiny burst of hail. I am sure there is a scientific reason why the onion snow is a good thing. Do the robin’s find humor in it?
I am thinking probably not. The photo below looks like winter, but the robin tells the story, it was spring!
We have had Easter’s where our the girls have been in pretty sundresses with spaghetti sleeves. And we have had egg hunts in snow boots. Perhaps this year it will be Easter dresses, since the onion snow is happening over Palm Sunday weekend.
If there weren’t a reason for the snow to fall in the spring, it probably would not happen every year. So I looked to see what I could find. The onion snow is also referred to by the Dutch as, “sapling blenders.”
This late in spring snow is said to make the sap flow longer from the trees, giving is more syrup and deliciousness. Maybe this is a fair trade-off, it is only 1 onion snow per year. But who really knows which snow is the final? I am hoping today is “the” onion snow.
Looking some traditional ways to greet spring and Easter this year?
But, how about something natural that packs just as big a punch, but in a more subtle way? Maybe even something that causes pause when seen and stir’s the heart when read about. There is such a thing and it is the pansy. Soon they will be popping up in stores, along sidewalks, in window boxes and inside beautiful pots. They are tiny, soft, delicate little flowers with brilliantly painted vivid colors of purple and yellow.
What is it about these tiny but mighty little flowers? They are everywhere, not just in your flower garden or in a pot; they are in fashion, home decor and even in dessert.
Pansies have been romanticized, written about and visualized for years. Margaret Mitchell, Nathaniel Hawthorne and even Shakespeare made reference to this lovely little flower. Master painters including Van Gogh and Georgia O’Keeffe have had them sit as their subject. And we cannot forget Alice, one of my all time favorite characters, as she danced around and sang “All in the Golden Afternoon.” Their very name means, “thought,” or “free thinker.” And I love learning that about the pansy because it is now perfectly clear to me why Alice, while being in a huge flower garden, would be with them.
Now that pansy season is coming, how will you incorporate them into your lifestyle? Maybe you will keep your hands out of the dirt and invest in some wall art featuring their beautiful petals for a pop of color in your space, or deck yourself out from head to toe, with some of the fashion suggestions above. Those are all fun ideas. But if you do decide to grow some of these flowers, here are some things you can do with them,
Make and Bake some beautiful cookies and indulge in their blossoms:
Or make a gorgeous ice ring to bring to the next baby or bridal shower:
Despite how awesome they are, pansies are easy to grow. They don’t cave easily to insect and bad soil. But you must remember to water them regularly. And at the end of the season, maybe save a few to press in a poetry book for someone else to discover years down the road.
Ans P.S. if you hear someone call them Johnny Jump Ups, yep, that’s right to. Those are the wild sort.
March Madness, Sweet 16, Final Four or The Big Dance? If you feel like you are jumping through hoops to figure it all out; relax this all began in a more simple way than you might imagine. “March Madness,” made it’s first appearance as a print article in Illinois when writer, Henry V. Porter, penned the term for a state-wide high school basketball tournament. He wrote: “A little March madness may complement and contribute to sanity and help keep society on an even keel.” Three years later, he followed up with a poem, “Basketball Ides of March,” which read in part: “A sharp-shooting mite is king tonight/ The Madness of March is running.”
In the 80’s these terms, including March Madness, once designated for a much smaller scale, grew up and developed a life of their own. And it continues to grow.
Why do I care? I don’t play basketball and I don’t even watch it on t.v.
But, when I was in 1st grade, I won my first blue ribbon. It was for shooting a basketball into a hoop on field day. That was a long time ago, 1979, at Jupiter Christian School in Jupiter, Florida. Not just an accomplishment because I was a petite first grader who had never shot a hoop, but also because I was a little girl who had to wear a dress to just above the knee and panty-hose. I was pretty impressed with myself. I may even have that little ribbon somewhere in my parent’s attic.
And there you have the full extent of my love for the game. BUT, for some reason over the years I have been inspired to make photographs of local hoops and courts. There is something so beautiful and simple about a hoop hung onto a garage or standing alone at an old park where everything else is outdated or gone. A hoop and a ball lead to countless hours of entertainment for 1 person, a handful or even a dozen at a time, who come to hang out and play.
Last year I was so surprised when the trendy basketball show, Survivor’s Remorse, chose my image, Fall on Court, for use on their season 3 set. Because it was part of the show, I think it is a great addition to the March Madness gift guide.
Not a basketball player and want to be a little more, “In the know?” Go down to your local park and join a pick up game.
A basketball pick-up game is started with little or no planning. Players might be invited ahead of time, but passer’s by can also join in. The rules are not strict, the game is for fun. Usually there are no referees, they are less structured and for “FUN.”
Happy Pig Day! While in kindergarten, our bus driver stopped at his farm on the way to school and allowed us to see the baby pigs and their mom in the barn. That is my first Pig memory.
Did you even know National Pig Day existed? It does and it falls on March 1 every year.
So, bacon not included, how many famous or popular pigs can you think of? The first one on my list is the little girl pig from the children’s book, “If you give a pig a pancake.” I really enjoyed reading this to our kids when they were small
There is something so sweet and funny about a pig being able to dance and frolic gracefully on her hooves. The piggy in, “If you Give a Pig A Pancake,” does that well in her birthday suit; something Olivia Pig would never consider. Olivia is a refined pig always dressed in her signature color, red! And she was a favorite of our daughter’s and started the on going question in our home, “MOM, can I have a pig?”
Next, I thought of Charlotte’s Web and WILBUR! Ahhhh dear dear Wilbur. He really was Some Pig. And he might have been the most famous pig ever. In fact Wilbur paved the way for BABE, who I must admit, I was never a fan of.
The last famous pig I have to mention was the beginning and the center of one of the most Infamous fights ever. The Hatfields and McCoys began their feud over a pig that was or was not stolen, (depending whose side you are on.) There was a trial that took place in a cabin. I don’t have a photo of the famous swine, but I do have a photograph of the cabin that I took while traveling the Hatfield McCoy geo-trail.
Hopefully this post gives you some inspiration to celebrate National Pig Day 2017. Curl up with a nice book or your famout PIG movie.
And if you need a themed snack to go with it, how about some chocolate covered bacon…. SWAP for Turkey of course!
According to the National Holiday blog, “the day was created in 1972 by two sisters, Ellen Stanley and Mary Lynne Rave. Ellen was a school teacher in Lubbock, Texas and Mary was from Beaufort, North Carolina. According to Mary Lynne Rave, the purpose of National Pig Day is “to accord the pig its rightful, though generally unrecognized, place as one of man’s most intellectual and domesticated animals.”
My aunt has a flair for decorating and if I were to sum up her style in one word it would be, “special.” Her sister owned a Hallmark shop in a very tiny town and sold what are now, Vintage Annalee dolls. These little dolls could be found all over the home for every season. In her collection, there was such a large variety of characters and sizes. There were small ones that sat on table tops, tiny ones that could suspend in air and even larger ones like the life-size reindeer that are still placed around the home in winter. These are my favorite. The old vintage Annalee dolls have become a family tradition. And now, the grand children are growing up, enjoying these kitschy whimsical characters.
In today’s world, Annalee dolls can be found in lots of places including big box stores. They are made in China and I assume made quickly for mass and cheap production. The little faces are still adorable and look cute sitting around the house, but for me, it’s just not the same.
So let’s look at a little history of the Annalee dolls and why the vintage ones, like my aunt’s decorating are more special.
Like so many success stories, the Annalee company started out of necessity. These sweet-faced dolls were created by Annalee Thorndike, during the depression. As a teenager, she loved to make dolls, but it was a hobby that she had let go. She didn’t pick doll making back up again until the family farm was failing. The doll making became a family business. This crafty home based business model was cutting edge at the time. It has since become a beautiful back bone to small business in America.
There were 3 important ingredients that blended perfectly to build this unique and wonderful story: need, passion and talent. All 3 being equally important, makes me wonder if the farm would have succeeded would Annalee have ever gone back to the “making process?” And if she did, would they have become such a hit?
Learning that much of the doll making process was done in an old chicken coop on the farm, warms my heart. You can see the inspiration and love of the farm animals in many of her creations. And if you look at the dolls, some look like they have attitudes or a mischievous expression; and some have angelic smiles. I am sure her own children’s personalities and moods were in many of the hand painted faces.
Mice became a muse for the company in the 70’s. When my grandma down sized, she gave me her small collection of 3 mice. There is a tennis player, a baby in a diaper and a little lady holding a pot of flowers. The mice are worn and old but I enjoy them.
Hopefully you can see why I have a love for the older dolls. In a world where everything is stamped out in mass quantity overseas, the Vintage Annalee Dolls were literally created by the hand’s of a family sitting around the table. Even if the older ones are a little tattered or their outfits have faded over time, the story, the memory and the love that created them make them more appealing. These little guys and girls have a family history, they have roots, they are an example of The American Dream.
Here are some Spring Time Vintage Annalee Dolls I have rounded up for you to start your collection.
If you are a maker, who is not, “making money” at your craft right now or yet, I hope you keep going. The world might miss out if you stop. Not everyone will have such major or as we call it now, viral success. But if you have something special to share with the world don’t stop.
I savor inspiration when it comes my way. I think to be inspired is sort of natural high for us as humans. I find inspiration in so many places. Nature, music, books, people, conversation and prayer are some of the first places I look to find inspiration. The forest and its fragrance are something that inspire me.
Years ago I read The Greatest Salesman in the World by Og Mandino. It is a very short but epic book. Mandino is well-known for writing books about being inspired, successful and happy. While thrift shopping a few weeks back I came across, The Choice, also by Mandino.
While reading The Choice, I felt convicted about my time and how I Choose to spend it. My husband’s favorite author, Annie Dillard said, “How we spend our days is how we spend our lives.”
Let that sink in. Does what you do really matter or make you happy? I have been pondering that a lot lately.
In the book, Mark is a young father and husband who climbed the corporate ladder successfully, fast and strong.
Mark realized he was missing precious time. One of the big ones, he missed seeing his son pitch his first no-hitter.
When we are the super stars at work that the boss depends on, there is a price to pay. The same goes for being the over spent volunteer, coach, tireless artist and of course the stay at home mom who feels like she needs to be superwoman to add up. It feels almost unfair that if one thing is going Amazing; chances are something else is suffering. Having it all… what does that even mean? At this point in my life I have changed my definition. I think to have it all is to find balance among all of the things that are important to me. It forms a perfect circle. The hard part is then being able to drop the things that are not.
We think our kids want stuff. And they do. But if we dig deeper, what the people we love really crave and need is TIME. Time cannot be bought. Time cannot be returned and time cannot be redone. The moment is the moment. We try to manipulate time. But as the saying goes, “it is what it is.” You are either present or you aren’t.
Mark was inspired, by what my friends and I like to call a “God moment.” His son ran down the driveway to embrace him on Father’s Day as he was leaving to golf with work buddies. Right then and there, his life would change forever. He made a choice to put what really mattered first. He chose to leave the corporate world completely. What did he decide to do instead? Become a writer of course;)
His family embraced the change and moved to a property with a lighthouse. This lighthouse becomes a background for the writing in the story.
Mark’s book is written in the lighthouse and typed on an old Underwood typewriter left by the previous author; a beautifully interwoven piece to the story.
The book Mark writes, is about living a successful life and it takes off an incredible journey straight to the top. He is once again at the top of his game. And there are some struggles that come along with it.
This book was written in 1984 and there is a story within a story. It is a mystery of sorts and in the beginning really had an old school Scooby Doo vibe. I don’t believe that was his intention. It might just be part of my childhood amusing me while reading. There was No Mystery Bus! But this mystery takes a turn in style, almost a premonition to the writing style of, “The Shack,” which will soon be a movie. The shack is an excellent book and if I may suggest, Please read it before the movie comes out.
Mark is given a profound choice to make and he does. I won’t divulge that here. I will say this, I think most people will initially think the title of this book was based on, “The Choice,” he is given in the mystery part of the book. I don’t agree.
I believe the greatest choice, the hardest choice was the one Mark made in the beginning when he listened to his heart and dumped the corporate world to live a life of meaning beyond just money.
Do you love the timeless feeling of classic automobiles and trucks? What if you could go to an event that was specifically an “Old Ford Truck Show?” I know I would go, with my camera in hand.
Walking through and seeing all of the high polished colors and sleek designs is something that draws most people in. And for me, I also like to see the owners of the vehicles. It’s funny sometimes to see how much they match their “ride.”
Here is a little virtual Old Ford Truck show, that you don’t have to leave your house to go to and you can shop without having to build a new garage.
I thought I would start with a BAM! Because who knew food trucks were around in 1919? And it was a Ford.
And what goes better with a food truck then an ice cold Coca Cola? I had no idea that their delivery trucks were Ford. This old Ford truck is from 1935.
These Old Ford Trucks that were at one time new, also served our country. This is Priscilla Taylor, next to a 1943 Ford truck. She was an African American truck driver serving in the Women’s Army Corps
Why am I drawn to Old Ford Trucks? I am not a man and I wasn’t alive when these trucks were new on the road.
Well, my daddy’s first truck was a 1951 Ford International. When he saw one, that was just like his, I went back to take photograph’s so that he could enjoy reminiscing that experience daily with them framed on his office wall.
Ford trucks are of course THE classic for the USA. The trucks from the 50’s were nostalgic, big and everything a good country song looks like.
In writing this post and searching for old Ford trucks, I had the wonderful discovery of this black and white documentary photographer, William Gedney. I cannot believe as a photographer, I did not know his work before. But doesn’t this vintage photograph, “Boy in driver’s seat of truck,” really give a complete picture of life as a country boy behind the wheel of one of these brutes in the 60’s?
These classic Ford International trucks, Custom Cab, have been preserved with a shine and luster that would no doubt make their original owners smile. I love the turquoise blue and white together. It’s nostalgia and America all rolled into one.
Did you or do you own an Old Ford Truck? I would love to hear about your love affair with this classic object in American history.
Did you even know there was such a thing as National Popcorn Day? I am diving into some of these less known but indulgent holidays this year on my blog and I have to admit, popcorn is one I can get in on.
My 40 year history of popcorn goes something sort of like this.
It was the 70’s when I first remember eating popcorn., And I remember it because it was an event. It was Jiffy Pop on the stove. If you have never tried it, it’s amazing for a kid to watch the foil grown into a balloon and for me it was equally entertaining to listen to the shake of my moms hand back and forth on the stove and then the sound of the popcorn popping.
Next I remember our family getting an air popper. It was awesome, there was even a place on top to put your butter and melt it (this was before microwaves). This meant that instead of a family sharing one little Jiffy Pop popcorn pack, there was almost like an endless supply. I vaguely remember hearing my dad say to my mom one night after I inhaled a bowl, “where did she put it all?”
When I was tween, growing up in Daytona Beach our mall had a gourmet popcorn stand where you could choose a box of your favorite. My daddy always got caramel. This was good stuff. The smell wafted down the mall and it was visually stimulating to look at all those popped kernels with the added deliciousness.
The next popcorn wave – trend that I remember is when the fun tins with puppy’s and kitty cats on the outside became a thing. These were super fun to receive as a family gift, there were dividers inside for 4 different flavors and at the end, my fingers were always orange from chowing down on the cheddar.
When I was a teenager we got a microwave and the next huge cool way to cook the kernels. And it didn’t just become a thing, it was the thing. It almost seemed like every air popper vanished. It was pretty good, I ate it because it was there. And then, it became a “healthy food” or so the diet guru’s said and so you could smell bare naked popcorn, which to me smells more like burning hair, cooking at every office around lunch time. And they said you could “eat the whole bag”
We got rid of our microwave a few years ago and I am so glad. It forced me to get out the air popper (which I think is the one my mom got when I was younger) our popcorn is so good. And now, we buy sprinkle toppings. It’s a thing if you haven’t tried it, butter, cheddar, ranch. You can even have buffalo style.
Every year our son, who is on his way to Eagle Scout, sells at least $500 worth of popcorn, pre-popped and flavored, microwave and air pop kernels~! We are never without.
I think popcorn has stood the test of time and always will. Why, It’s Cheap, fast and super easy to make it into anything you want.
You don’t have to go all out, but it would be easy to make a little buffet tonight for National Popcorn Day.