Sunday, May 29, 2011

Fashion Fools

I enjoy dressing up and looking nice. I like to watch shows about styles and I like to have knowledge of the latest in fashion. I am not a trendsetter nor am I interested in being one. I thank my parents for that. Although I grew up in the era of Ben Casey shirts and Dr. Kildare blouses, colourful cardigans worn backwards and kilts with giant safety pins, I owned none of these items. Mom would say, "Why would you want to look like everyone else?" and dad added, "Waste of money, they won't be wearing those stupid shirts next year."  Both were correct. Besides that, they pointed out that Germans don't need kilts.

Perhaps it was my 35 cent an hour babysitting income that convinced me not to argue. I prefer to think that I was being mature and sensible. Oh, who am I trying to kid? The population of young girls began demonstrating their preference for one or the other of these hot young t.v. doctors by wearing the appropriate shirt. I became increasingly envious. This was my generation's version of the current vampire movie, Jacob or Edward fan alliances. As for the skirts, I can't say I really cared. I was just very attracted to the giant kilt pins and I still am.

As a teen, I memorized the women's clothing section in the Eaton's catalogue which arrived at our door each season. I was like the small child who pores over the "Christmas Wish Book" except that instead of toys, I would select clothing and accessories, saying to myself, "I'm going to get this and I'm going to get that." What I got were homemade sweaters that either my mom or I knit, and an occasional new skirt or party dress. As I became older, a family friend came to the rescue. She enjoyed sewing and created some more fashionable blouses, jumpers, dresses and a most magnificent, skating skirt lined with shiny green sateen. I felt like a superstar as I skated up and down the creek behind our house spinning and swirling.

Just as trends didn't make sense then, some don't make sense now. For example, I think that if the words "spectacular", "stupendous" or  "magnificent" fit across your butt, you probably shouldn't be wearing the pants with those words on them. It reminds me of a tractor trailer I saw recently with the words "wide load" on the back.

The sporting of pajamas in public also has me mystified. Are these the same pjs that have been worn for sleep? Do people go out in public and then wear that germ infested nightwear back to bed?  Do they have a collection of pajama pants which they put on just for going to the shopping mall or other really special occasions?

Of particular concern and relevance to me has been an ongoing trend, women's shirts with stripes. Why are the lines always horizontal? They not only make a person look twice their size, but depending on the kind and location of said stripes, they stretch and get distorted across portions of the female anatomy.

Recently, I saw the latest in summer fashion. It consisted of a long sleeved blazer type jacket, a long sleeved shirt, a scarf, shorts and a pair of high heeled shoes. Basically, a suit with shorts. Cute, but how does this make any sense? If it's hot in the summer, who wants to wear a jacket, long sleeves and high heels? If it's cold enough for a blazer, who's going to want to wear shorts with bare legs?  Is the added scarf meant to keep the legs warm? I suppose that some women will be sporting this style just to be part of the newest craze. Perhaps it'll even be the same ones who are currently walking around with "astounding" written on their back sides.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Mice, Lice and Other Fun Infestations

What is it that causes adults to remember some childhood good times, a few embarassing moments, but all, and I mean all, scary, bug, or vermin related experiences? Here are my stories.

During my family's early years living in the city, we rented a series of two room flats, usually on the second level of someone's house. At one particular location, I slept on a cot in the kitchen. I recall hearing scratching sounds and rustling noises during the night. After one restless sleep, I mentioned this to my parents who informed me that it was mice. It's tough for an eight year old to sleep well after receiving such information. There were no visions of sugarplums dancing in my head. Instead, I had nightmares about mice, waltzing across my young, sleeping body.

I also have memories of school headlice checks. Those shishkebab skewers through the hair became a regular event back in the days when there were actually school nurses onsite. As soon as my mom heard of a case of lice anywhere in the western hemisphere, she began looking through my hair as if she hoped  to find gold. She found neither lice nor gold but felt appeased as she located and disposed of the occasional speck of dirt.
In order to escape the city, my parents took advantage of invitations to peoples' cottages. We enjoyed the swimming, the saunas, the social life. I was a kid. I liked going out and collecting frogs. It was fun to see how many I could line up on a large rock that jutted out of the lake before they would take their leave and jump into the water. One day, I found an extra large one, a bullfrog. I set him down and admired my lineup. Suddenly, he turned and gulped the small frog beside him. I watched in horror as little legs dangled from the bullfrog's mouth. I quickly grabbed the rest of my froggy friends and tossed them back into the bushes. Tears streamed down my face after I witnessed this act of cannibalism.
Another incident happened when I was ten years old. We had relocated to a better neighbourhood and now rented two rooms and a kitchen. My parents' bedroom was large enough to double as a seating/entertainment area and they even managed to squeeze in a  full-sized tree at Christmas. At last I had my own tiny room and a convertible sofa bed. One morning, I noticed some rather large spots on my pillow case. Odd. I didn't think my hair was that dirty. My parents first discovered them...bedbugs. They traced the source to one of my recent sleepovers at a family friend's. After emptying a rather large can of RAID and opening the windows, while fanning the smell, they discussed their fear of potential eviction. That night, I slept on the floor. The next night, I was the "bait" to see whether the invaders were gone. They weren't. This time, it was all out war. All crevices, creases and the wooden frame were treated. Traumatic!

Perhaps these sorts of incidents toughened me up. I once earned money picking dew worms at a local golf course. It was hard work but didn't seem icky. When I went to an art camp with a group of adults, the cabin was full of mice. Some women freaked out. Others moved into tents. I went to sleep. At work we had visiting scientists bringing roaches, reptiles and assorted wildlife. Interesting. 

Recently I made a hotel reservation for my friend Mona and me. She was concerned and asked whether I had checked the web for bedbugs at that location.

I'm still laughing.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Papa's Progressive Parties

Most people have encountered progressive dinners at some point during their lives. How about a progressive birthday party? We recently had occasion to celebrate hubby's landmark birthday. We celebrated, we celebrated, and we celebrated. In fact, our celebrations covered thousands of kilometers. Here are some of the photos of our many gatherings.

HOME with family

CHURCH with church family


SHARING a birthday with Dan and family

         Happy Birthday from the "Red Lobster Chorus"               

MORE family                          


HAPPY BIRTHDAY ADAM !  May you have many, many more...just not this year.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Planes, Automobiles and a Graduation

Last week we went to another land. It was called Oklahoma. We went there for a very special occasion, a graduation. Here is the lovely family we visited. The dad, Matt was graduating from law school.

People attended from many distant places like Vancouver, Toronto, New York and Oklahoma. The planes were all late. The cars were also late. Far away lands like Oklahoma sometimes have scary weather and this causes delays. At last, all the siblings and the papa were gathered together.

The aunt, uncle and cousin from New York also arrived. Everyone was excited and proud.

When Matt first tried on his graduation robe, he looked very handsome and distinguished. Everyone said "ooh and ahhh." Papa said, "He looks just like Martin Luther."
There were many graduation functions and parties. There was an awards ceremony, a party for friends and family and then, the official ceremony. For the ceremony, there was a traditional southwestern band of bagpipers in kilts.                 

            At the end of the graduation, we took lots of pictures.

                Papa was proud and so was Matt's stepmom.



Thursday, May 19, 2011

Theory of Relativity

You know what they say. One picture, is worth a thousand words (or in this case 3 pictures). Here is a series of photos that leave no doubt whether or not any of these people are related.

Well? What do you think? Are they or are they not all family?