Before you brag.

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We’re all really proud of our kids’ accomplishments. I know that I am.

I try (not always successfully) to temper my instinct to tell the world about the amazing things my boys do. And believe me, they do a lot of amazing things. I’m sure yours do, too.

A moment that reminds me to stop and think about sharing…

One day, years back, we were driving down the road in the minivan. All the boys were in the back. One of them (I’ll protect his innocence though you have a 33.3333% chance of guessing correctly) said he was going to solve the Rubicks cube and then about 30 seconds later it was done. Done! It was remarkable. He was clearly a genius.

A genius, I say!

He handed us the cube. We gushed. We blushed. It was remarkable. I was about to call my mother (on my very modern flip phone) to share the news of our prodigy.

And then we realized he’d peeled off the stickers and re-placed them.

And then. We were glad we hadn’t called anyone and bragged. But secretly we were really pleased at his life skills. That he figured out how to most efficiently reach his goal of having each side of that darn cube be color coordinated.

I have to say that he’s gotten quite good at solving the cube in the ‘traditional’ way. But there is nothing wrong with being a little scrappy in this life. In fact, I have big respect for people who can figure out how to problem solve.

So yes, we were still proud. Just different proud.

A dream come true.

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nightgown What brings more joy than discovering a product that meets a need you have? Especially when you had no idea that there WAS a product that met that need? Seriously, exciting. So here’s what happened…

I was walking through Target. I was there to return some sandals I bought on impulse last week when I was killing time before going to see my dad for breakfast. I was early and there’s Target right down the street and, well, it seemed like a good idea at the time.

So I went yesterday to return the gold platform sandals (okay, fine, I should have known) and while I was there I decided to pick up some dishwasher detergent, shampoo, dental floss, soap, and a pair of peds.

And while I was walking past the intimates, I saw something.

Gilligan O Malley Sleepwear‎ with built in support. BUILT IN SUPPORT!

Lounging free and easy just doesn’t feel quite right.

For those of you without older kids, you may not understand why this is a thing. But trust me, it’s a thing.

Talk about a product that solves a market problem. OMG, this is so awesome. And this nightgown is soft and comfortable and wonderful. I love it. OH and did I mention that it was on sale for $7.48? It was.

I think there’s a real market for this…even at full price.

G’night all!

I don’t understand.

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I try to understand why so many people react so quickly and are so mean online. I try to understand why people so blindly agree with their friends without researching or thinking about or considering the issue that they’re agreeing with wholeheartedly.

I do understand the desire to support friends. But I don’t understand hate. I don’t understand outrageous criticism of strangers or others without knowing the facts. I just don’t.

Bakelite

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Bakelite Bracelets

I knew a little bit about Bakelite. I knew it was one of the first plastics and it was developed in the early 1900′s (as it turns out 1907). I knew it was used as insulation material and a lot of consumer goods. What I did not know was that it was developed by Belgian-born chemist Leo Baekeland. I had always assumed the name came from how it was produced (baked??) but never thought it was named after someONE. Love that.

I love vintage shopping. One of the things I look for often is napkin rings and scarf/belt rings and there are some really nice bakelite ones out there. The prices have skyrocketed over the past few years, however. I keep an eBay watch for them, too. (And I’ve bought some nice scarf/belt rings that are waiting for the right project.)

I don’t buy bangles but I do love to see them, so I keep a search open for that, too.

Anyway, I took this pic of bakelite bracelets at a huge show we went to recently because it was so organized. The other thing I noted at this show was that at least 10 dealers had huge bracelet displays. And, oddly, I’ve seen fewer and fewer on eBay lately.

I think the dealers bought them all up. And now, there’s a glut in the marketplace.

My guess is that pricing is going to drop substantially and soon.

I could be wrong. But if you love bakelite bangles, keep your eyes open.

Family time.

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When I was a growing up, the only television was in the den. Well, that’s not 100% true. We had a really small black and white with a pop up top in the kitchen. I remember this because I used to watch that TV when I cleaned the kitchen after dinner each night. Well, to be fair, I watched TV for an hour or more and then cleaned the kitchen. But that’s off point.

We had one reasonably sized TV.

After we finished our homework (or after we said we’d finished our homework, because seriously parents did not check back then. If I’m going to be truly honest, I don’t check on my kids either. I don’t track their teachers’ pages or assignments. It’s their responsibility. I do ask them. But I really have no idea if they’re telling me the truth. But as a wise friend reminded me today, they’re going to be on their own soon enough. They need to be able to figure it out.)

Alright, let me finish my sentence. After we finished our homework, we would gather in the den to watch Laugh In or Mission Impossible or Get Smart or The Prisoner.

Sure, we stared at the screen. But dammit, we were together.

Fast forward to 2014.

We have a TV in our main living space. But each of us also has “TV” on a variety of devices that we can access from our bedrooms, the bathroom, the kitchen, office or wherever else. And that’s exactly what happens.

Everyone is watching on his (or her – that’s me) own. It’s particularly anti-social.

And it’s the reason that I sometimes hate the Internet.

Being realistic, it’s not as if I think I’d be having deep and lasting conversations with my teenage sons during House of Cards. But, it could happen!

Plus, it’d be particularly awesome to know what the heck my kids were watching. And yes, I could see what they watch on Netflix if I wanted, but we all know that there are lots of other things and other ways and… well, let’s not be naive here.

My point is not that I don’t approve of what they watch. My point is that I would love to have more time together. I know they’re growing up. And growing up fast. But if this was 1975, they’d at least be stuck with me if they wanted to watch a TV series. Which they are currently not.

I have a great memory. But, oops.

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photo credit http://www.sxc.hu/profile/the_mutt photo credit http://www.sxc.hu/profile/the_mutt%5B/caption
I remember everything. Everything.

I can tell you about things that happened in nursery school. My teacher’s name was Mrs. Snyder. David Zells ate paste. There were twins named Fish. In first grade, Mrs. Weinberger (who was just out of school and got married that year) was the nicest teacher ever. I can name the people in my class. I actually ran into a woman who is now a successful attorney about a year ago and I said, hey you were in my first grade class.

My second grade teacher was Mrs. Johnson. She was really short. One of the boys in my class (in second grade!) was taller than she was. She taught us how to spell community. Miss Paperman was the teacher in the next class over. She and my Aunt Phyl are friends still. I lent her a book of plays for the Thanksgiving assembly. I don’t remember why. My class did a rhythmic thing with sticks sitting criss-cross applesauce on the stage. I can still do the performance flipping the sticks.

Third grade, Mrs. Weiner. That was a tough year. She gave me a really hard time about sucking my thumb. In front of everyone. All the time. And yes, I know third grade is too old to suck your thumb but you know what? I was insecure and that teacher did not exactly help. Miss Ossen was my forth grade teacher. She was great & we had a student teacher whose name escapes me (it starts with an H) but I’ll remember soon, I promise. She was very pretty. I met my friend Sarah in that class – she came to our school part way through the year. Sarah and I sang Leaving on a Jet Plane at the talent show. I got sick and threw up at school one day after a lunch of orange juice and an orange. In the middle of the hallway. You can imagine.

I also broke my foot that year riding my bike. My friend Randy was supposed to sleep over that night but the whole hospital thing messed the night up.

I could go on. But I think you get the point. I remember stuff.

The other night, Andrew and I went to Gypsy Sally’s in DC to see an old friend perform. He was a high school friend. I saw some old friends who I keep in touch with and it made me smile. There were some people I hadn’t seen since high school and it was a lovely surprise to see them. And then. Being introduced to a guy and saying “really nice to meet you” and hearing back “Oh, we know each other from school” and not remembering him.

So embarrassing.

I tried to remember him. I really did.

But I didn’t. And don’t.

He was nice, though. And it seems like he’s had a good life.

I remember what I bought for lunch every single day in high school. A Tastykakes fudge bar and a coke. (Sorry, Mom.) I remember my English teacher, Mrs. Hartley and her nice though slightly crooked smile. I remember French class with Mrs. Jones (and my wonderful friend Laurie) and I remember working on yearbook and canned food drive and the junior prom when my date, Marc, left with another girl.

Seriously, I remember everything about everything. Except this guy.

I looked him up in the yearbook last night. It didn’t help.

On the other hand, I had a blast seeing all my old friends with their huge glasses and huge hair and remembered it all.