Throwback Thursday #21 – Sense of Style

Welcome back to Throwback Thursday. Maggie’s topic is terrific this week. I think I could write for weeks on this topic.  Maggie asks that this week we explore how we developed our personal sense of style. If you want to join in, it’s easy:

  • Write your own post sharing your memories and leave a pingback to this post in the comments.
  • You can use the photo above in your post to make it easier to find.
  • Tag it with #TBTMemory or #IRememberWhen.
  • If you do not wish to write your own post, feel free to tell your story in the comments below.

This week Maggie’s prompt is: Sense of Style

“This week we are revisiting our foray into fashion and how you learned to express yourself through your outward appearance and adornments.  At what age did you become concerned about the clothes you wore? Did you get hand-me-downs or new clothes? Were any of your clothes made by hand? If so, by whom? Were you allowed to select your own clothes and assemble your own ensembles? At what age did you start buying your own wardrobe?
What fashion fads did you adopt? Did you have certain colors you loved to wear? Were you of the hippie generation of perhaps a child of the 1980s? What was the wildest or craziest outfit you ever wore?
What about jewelry? Did you have piercings? Were they done by you or by others? What jewelry fads so you remember?
Now think about your hairstyles. What cuts did you sport? Did you ever color your hair? Did you try to alter your hair in any other way (cutting, ironing, shaving, curling)?

How has your taste changed over the years? Feel free to share photos if it helps illustrate your look. Have fun!

My post follows: _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

I don’t remember clothing being much of a concern as a young kid. I was a skinny bean pole, as they called me. We always had school clothes and play clothes. It wasn’t until my second year of high school that girls were allowed to wear pants to school. I was very aware from a fairly young age that we didn’t have money. I was the only girl so there were no hand me downs. I got summer clothes as birthday presents and winter clothes as Hanukkah presents. At the beginning of the school year I typically got a few outfits, because over the summer I grew so much taller.

Like Maggie, I made clothes for my Barbie. I learned how to use a needle and thread as a very young kid. It was fun to take scraps and make things. Maybe that’s why I still like sewing to this day.

My mom usually picked out my clothes. I think it was 6th grade when I started being a royal pain in the tuchus and refused to wear certain things my mom bought. I never liked frilly or girlie things. I wore a fancy dress only under protest. Simple dresses were my thing, until junior high school. (7th and 8th grade). I had a couple of great friends and we would play models when we were together.

I spent my babysitting money buying clothes I liked. I wore tent dresses. Mine was similar to this one, but much fuller. You could easily have made two dresses from the fabric on this one dress. I wore short dresses all the time until high school. At school we had to have our skirts measures in PE. If the length was shorter than three inches above your knee, you got sent home. I was sent home often. At some point dresses with matching “bloomers” came out. They were awesome. You could hike up the matching bloomers when not in PE and it just looked like you were wearing a mini-skirt. Then for the check-in you lowered the bloomers.
60s 70s Colorful Mini Tent Dress XXS - Pretty Sweet Vintage

I wore peasant blouses and tie dye shirts as a teen. Of course when on a date, the mandatory dress code was hot pants and a halter top. When maxi skirts came into fashion I rarely wore them. I had one I liked though. It was black leather. It would get super hot as the day went on. I’ve hated shoes all my life. I only wear them as necessary. Boots, on the other hand, were fun to wear.

When I wanted my ears pierced the first time, my friends did it for me. One friend put an ice cube on the front and the back of the earlobe. The needle was “sterilized” over an open flame. When the ear was super cold, a potato was held on the back of the earlobe and a needle was pushed through to do the piercing. I am super sensitive and it was always a struggle to sleep with pierced earrings. I got used to it, but over time I would get annoyed and take out the earrings. I would then go to the mall and get then to re-pierce my ears. I can’t count how many times I did that. A few times the front was open, but the back was closed. I learned to jam the starter post through my ear and started the protocol all over again. A couple of years ago I was purging jewelry and since I hadn’t worn any earrings in a decade, I decided to gift my collection to family and friends.

As far as hair goes, I either had a very straight short cut or long hair. I was in my forties before I ever went to an “expensive” hair salon instead of a Supercuts, type of place. I would iron my long stick straight hair in high school. It was the thing to do. In the summer, I would use Sun In to give myself blond streaks.

We were crazy back then, and would drive to the beach and fry ourselves in the sun. I almost always got sun poisoning after a day at the beach. I would blister and peel. When I recovered, I would do it all over again.

Other than earrings, I rarely wore jewelry. I liked jewelry, I bought it, I would wear it a few times, and then stick it in my jewelry box. I have gifted most of my pieces, but for some reason, I still hold on to some items.

There were many hair styles and fashion styles as an adult. I’ve done the neon clothing, the midriff shirts, the jeans every day, etc. Not, I’m all about comfort.

 

Throwback Thursday #20 – Decorating Your Space

I’m baaaack. It’s 2022 and we’re still here enjoying the process of remembering things about our past. If you want to join in, it’s easy:

  • Write your own post sharing your memories and leave a pingback to this post in the comments.
  • You can use the photo above in your post to make it easier to find.
  • Tag it with #TBTMemory or #IRememberWhen.
  • If you do not wish to write your own post, feel free to tell your story in the comments below.

This week’s prompt is: Decorating Your Space

Think back to the time you were deciding on what your environment should look like. Did you get to decorate your bedroom as a kid, or did Mom and Dad make all the decisions? This week, I’d like you to think back to when you decorated your own space. It could be a bedroom at home, a dorm room, a first apartment, or possibly a first home. Can you still see the room in your head? What did you do to make it special to you? Was your goal to rebel against what your parents would have liked? Did you get to paint the walls your own color? Did you plaster posters all over the place? Were you able to get new furniture or did you have hand me downs? Did you add things until there was no more room, or were you a minimalist? Please share your decorating memories with us.

I really hope you never needed to do this though.

My response follows: * * * * * * *  * * * * * * * * *  * * * * * * *

I remember the first time I got to have a smidgen of say-so in my bedroom. As a young child, my younger brother and I shared a bedroom. Then when I was about eight, the boys had to share a bedroom and I got my own. My mom wanted me to have a girly girl room. I was not a girly girl though. She wanted bubble gum pink walls and ruffles everywhere. I finally agreed to a soft pink without the ruffles. It was heaven to have my own space. I didn’t have tons of toys, but I was always trying to make things. The room was often cluttered with cardboard, crayons, glue, and paper. I used my room as my private sanctuary.

Years later, when we returned to CA after living on the east coast for a year, I was told I had free reign to decorate my bedroom. It was the second smallest bedroom in the house, but I was thrilled. I painted my walls bright yellow and bought an 8 by 10 bright orange throw rug. (The rug went wall to wall in the bedroom.) I was allowed to get some new furniture. I picked out the bed I wanted. Because the room was small and I wanted to be able to have friends over, I chose a corner unit with two Hollywood beds on rollers. After some searching, I found this picture. It is very similar to what I had. Mine was solid gold with the brown table. I purchased neon yellow, orange, and green flowered sheets to go with my beds.

I do remember putting up posters of the Beatles, the Monkees, and Herman’s Hermits. My mom didn’t care how I decorated my room. Stepdad # 7 wasn’t with us for very long in that house. He didn’t care for much of what my brothers or I liked. He liked twangy country music and played it loudly. Needless to say he was not a fan of my music choices. I was able to hide in my room and listen to my records in peace.

I never lived in a dorm. But when I was first married, my spouse and I moved into a small, very old, rental property his parents owned. It was around 500 square feet. (at most)  We were told we could do any upgrades we wanted to. I tore out the ugly old carpeting and painted the old, damaged floors. I think the strangest thing I did, looking back, was to put up contact paper in the kitchen area. I loved the Sears, Neil the frog design. I found images of the cookie jar I owned, and the canister set I had. I couldn’t find the contact paper. You’ll have to image a wall of these frogs on it.

 

I’ve never been a minimalist. I am happy if my environment is comfy and full of things that bring me joy. I redid many of my rooms during the pandemic. I still like lots of color and lots of my own creations in the rooms. I don’t think I’ll ever put up frog contact paper on my walls again though.

I wait with anticipation, to see your responses.
Thanks Linda for the JusJoJan prompt and Pamela for the word today.

Throwback Thursday #19 Superstitions, Amulets, and Charms


It’s Maggie’s turn to host Throw Back Thursday. For our 19th post she has chosen superstitions, amulets, and charms.. I will return in 2022 to give you a new topic. If you want to join in, it’s easy:

  • Write your own post sharing your memories and leave a pingback to this post in the comments.
  • You can use the photo above in your post to make it easier to find.
  • Tag it with #TBTMemory or #IRememberWhen.
  • If you do not wish to write your own post, feel free to tell your story in the comments below.

This week’s prompt is: Superstitions, trinkets, and Charms

Maggie asks:
What makes you feel lucky? Is it a four leaf clover, a rabbit’s foot, or a lucky penny? As a kid I was given a rabbit’s foot as a gift. I assumed it was not real and accepted it. Once I found out it was really a rabbit’s foot, I cried and threw it away. I was always on the look-out for four leaf clovers. I had no idea why they were considered lucky. I remember picking dandelions and blowing on them, in the hopes that a wish would be fulfilled. You had to get everything off in one blow, for your wish to come true.

Person Blowing Dandelion
Over time I had a variety of tchotchkes that were considered to be lucky  I don’t know that I ever believe that luck was tied to them though. I had pennies I had found and slipped them in my shoe for good luck. I was given a horse shoe charm to add to my charm bracelet. I was told it would bring good luck.  And of course, like every kid in my fifth grade class, I had a dammit doll. They were supposed to bring the best of luck to their owners.

Image 1 - DAM Troll Doll Black Hair 1977

What are you superstitious of? Will you walk under a ladder? What’s your lucky number? What if a black cat crosses your path? I can’t say that I am now,  or ever was superstitious. I remember jumping over cracks as a kid. (I never believed it would harm anyone though.)  I have accidently broken mirrors, and assumed that it meant nothing more than the need to get a new mirror. In jest, I often say knock on wood, for good luck. But then, I also say, knock on tile, if that is what is nearest me. Walking under a ladder doesn’t bother me at all. I do it whenever I have to water my back yard. The Little Giant Ladder has been up for months waiting for me to paint my balcony. I have not been up to painting, so there it still stands.

I can’t think of a lucky number. But 5,416  sounds good to me.

I often had a black cat growing up. Midnight, was all black with white front paws. The worst thing I could say about her was that she liked to bring in presents she had killed. She would tuck her front paws underneath her and pounce on her prey. I was home alone one night and she caught a bat. She brought it in through the doggie door. It was headless, but still flapping. I went screaming next door to get my neighbor. He grabbed a gun and followed me into my house. Lucky for me, by the time we returned it was dead. My neighbor picked it up and tossed it into the trash.
Where did you learn ideas concerning luck? Do you still have superstitions in your adult life? I honestly can’t remember my mom ever believing in any superstitions. My friends taught me the few I knew. I am not afraid of Friday the 13th, and never have been. I believe the only thing I was very afraid of while teaching middle school kids, were the rainy days. They acted like five-year-olds and would run and scream out in the rain.  The corridors were covered between classes, but they chose to get wet. 

Since this is the last week of the year I am curious – do you make resolutions, eat specific foods, or have traditions or superstitions to usher in the new year?
At Rosh Hashanah I try to think of something I can personally work on. It is more a way to be a better person. I no longer make resolutions. When I made New Year’s resolutions in the past, I always felt like a failure. Why set myself for failure? I have never made any specific foods for the new year. I never knew that was a thing. I do not drink alcohol, so the new year means hot chocolate as a beverage. But that is true for every night that is chilly. On New Years, I might indulge in whipped cream on my hot chocolate. 

Happy New Year 2022 decorate with LED cotton ball on wooden background

May this year bring more health and happiness to everyone.

Throwback Thursday #17 Buddies, Friends, and Pen Pals

Maggie is our guide today as we look back through our memories. Maggie has chosen Friendship as our topic.  I’ll be back next week to provide another topic.

If you want to join in, it’s easy:

  • Write your own post sharing your memories and leave a pingback to this post in the comments.
  • You can use the photo above in your post to make it easier to find.
  • Tag it with #TBTMemory or #IRememberWhen.
  • If you do not wish to write your own post, feel free to tell your story in the comments below.

Maggie asks,
“Who was the earliest friend you remember? What drew you to this person? What kinds of things did you do together. Did you have pen pals? Have you maintained long-term friendships from childhood. Did you have autograph books? How about high school yearbooks signed by friends? What kinds of things may have made you sever friendships? Are you a friend collector – the more the better – or are you content with the intimacy of a few close friends? How does your personality (shy or outgoing) affect the friendships you develop? What is the quality you desire in a friend?”

My mind is racing with thoughts. As a young girl, my friends were mostly kids in the neighborhood. My next door neighbors were two boys and a girl. They were all a little younger than I was. It was fun to hang out with them though. We stayed outside most days and did silly kid things. I can’t say we were close friends though, more friends of convenience

After a new neighbor moved in, I finally had someone my age to hang out with. It was different having a girl my age to do things with. Her family allowed her to come over and play, but there were limitations on my going to her house. My mom was the only divorced woman in the neighborhood. In the era I grew up in, it had its stigma. I hung out with girls at school, but we never went to each other’s houses. I can’t say close friends were a part of my young life. I was much more of a loner. 

In fifth grade, we had pen pals as part of a class project. I wrote to a girl in South America. We continued this for the entire school year. All the correspondence went through the school mail. After the year was over, the pen pal letters stopped. I was a little sad about that.

School was the best place to try to make friends. But I learned quickly about not sharing many details of my home life. I never had a really close friend until middle school. Then two other girls and I became a tight little group. Looking back, I wonder if it was coincidental that they too had divorced parents. I never thought about it at the time. 

Z, Q, and I spent a great deal of time at each other’s houses. We talked about everything and I was gloriously happy about having real friends. We maintained our friendship through middle school and high school. Z and I went to numerous concerts, professional basketball games, and anything going on at the Forum. (Her mom had tickets to almost everything there.) I think we were attached at the hip, as they say. When we weren’t together IRL we were on the phone with each other. I had no phone in my room, so the rest of the family would bug me about talking too much. It was glorious to have such close friends.

We grew into young women and they both entered serious relationships. I felt like odd man out again. Q changed schools and ended up marrying her high school sweetheart. Our contact lessoned, but I felt we were still friends. She moved away and we lost contact many years ago.

When I purchased a yearbook, each year of high school, I made sure to mark off space for my best friend Z to write. I paid for my own yearbooks and treasured them. When I purged belongings after retirement, I decided to keep just my senior year yearbook. There are numerous signatures in there I have limited to no recollection of. 

I left high school early, got engaged, and went to junior college. Z was my maid of honor at my wedding. We were still the best of friends. My daughters are both in their late 40’s. I still have the baby trophies Z gave me as baby presents. She was very happy for me.

 

Shortly after my second daughter was born Z’s mom called me to tell me Z had been in a horrible car accident and passed away. I was beyond distraught. How could a 21-year-old woman be gone? My best friend, the young woman who knew more about me than anyone else in the world, was gone. It affected me in many ways. (Some, I have just learned about.)  Even though this was a tragic ending, I am forever grateful for our friendship. We saved each other numerous times. We had each other’s backs. I knew someone cared. I was sure I would never again have that type of friendship.   

Being a young married woman meant time for friendships was minimal. I had a few “couples” friends, but it wasn’t a close, share everything, friendship. I had contacts in college, but again, there was no time for friendships.

When I started teaching, I became good friends with another teacher. I knew she was a wonderful caring woman. I felt safe talking to her and enjoyed her company very much. We were friends through both life, marriage, and death experiences. When she moved across the country post retirement,  I felt a great loss. We had been friends for over thirty years. 

My dearest friends now are ones I met online. I am grateful for their friendship. Maggie, in particular, has been the best friendship in the world for me. We were fortunate to meet once, at a retreat. To be able to hug this wonderful woman was sheer delight. We talk often, sharing our ups and downs. We share about struggles and triumphs our families are dealing with. I never would have believed that such a strong supporting friendship would occur at this stage of the game. I was confidant that I would spend my retirement in seclusion sans any deep friendship. I thank the universe daily for the gift of our friendship.

 

 

Throwback Thursday – # 16 Enjoying Art

It’s my turn to try and have you look back into the recesses of your mind. Maggie gave us the terrific topic last week of fantastic things we remembered. My choice this week for the topic on our  Throwback Thursday Memory Blog Hop is enjoying art. Maggie and I rotate posting this challenge every Thursday. Participation is easy. If you want to join in, you can…

  • Write your own post sharing your memories and leave a pingback to this post in the comments.
  • You can use the photo above in your post to make it easier to find.
  • Tag it with #TBTMemory or #IRememberWhen.
  • If you do not wish to write your own post, feel free to tell your story in the comments below.

From the time we are little kids we like to create things. Children from all cultures make art. Our art quickly becomes a way to express who we are.  At its best, art is a way to express your feelings and thoughts. Art can calm us, excite us, and reflect what we are feeling.

Art is not only what you make but also what you appreciate and enjoy. Art can be a collection or a piece of whatever brings you joy. I’d like you to think about the feelings you have about art. These are some options as to what you may want to write about.

Did you, or did you collect every piece of art your children/grandchildren ever made? Do you collect art pieces that bring you joy? Do you look for calendars that have beautiful pictures because they are a treat to look at? Do you prefer journals with beautiful art on them?  Do you enjoy going to art festivals and/or museums? Do you collect anything specific? Do you have special pieces of art other than paper items?  Do you have an artistic talent? Have you ever taken classes to improve your art? Is there an artist you would love to meet? 

My response follows:
 _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

Like every kid, I was always drawing. I never had much talent and even stick figures were a challenge to me. I turned my lack of artistic talent into a lifelong fear of creating art. I rarely volunteered to draw anything. But, I loved viewing art. I would look at art books in the school library. I never checked them out because I figured I would be teased by my older brother. It didn’t bother me much until a teacher would ask for a drawing or some other artistic creativity to accompany some assignment. It seemed unfair to judge my intellectual  abilities by my artistic abilities.       

When I started teaching, I often required my students to add artwork to their assignments. Without fail, I would be asked if their artistic ability counted on their grade. I would always draw a dinosaur on the white board and tell them, they must draw better than I did to pass. They would laugh at my drawing and sigh a huge sigh of relief.  I liked making them enjoy the process more than the product. There have been many talented artistic students in my career though.  Some even went on to art school. 

When I was in college I was FORCED to take a music class. I had to play a simple song on the piano at the end. I learned to read notes. I learned the black and white keys. I learned about music theory, but playing the piano was painful for me. I learned to appreciate the artists who create songs and played instruments more than ever.   

My grandparents had a few art pieces in their home. I sadly never paid much attention to them. What I did enjoy were the family pictures all around. Those were pure art to me. My aunt and uncle had art on all their walls. There were many pieces that I could stare at for hours. They would take me to art museums which was an amazing gift to me. There are quite a few wonderful museums here where I live. I have learned to appreciate a great variety of art.

When I moved from my small house to the house I am in now, I wanted to fill the walls with art. I actually bought a piece of art before I bought a couch. I often purchased calendars I liked produced by artists I admired. I would frame the pictures to fill a wall. It was/is an easy way to have art I enjoyed on my walls. My sewing room is filled with prints and calendar pictures from an artist I love.   

I have been scrapbooking for many years. I never thought of it as art. It’s only been the last few years that I have grown to realize, it is a different kind of art. While I cannot draw, I can be artistic. I decorate bowling balls for my garden. I create quilt tops that are not as polished as others, but they are art to me. I sew clothing and household items which are artistic to me. I do wall treatments that are unique to me. I am grateful that I am able to be artistic in other ways than drawing.

Art is very important to me. Every room in my house has some type of art that I enjoy.