Feb 14 2012

Happy Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s Day is filled with love, but that love isn’t all between lovers. At this time of year, love overflows for all types of people. Maybe the cold of winter makes the warmth of friendship more enticing: we pull each other close like old sweaters, tried and true. For my Sunbonnet Smart followers, many of you know I also blog at BlogHer. Having interacted with bloggers who have become good friends, I have issued forth the following…

Valentine Ode to my BlogHer Followers

Vir-gin-i-a, you were the first,
You taught me what a “friend” was.
Then Julie came and said, “Hello.”
And Darcie’s turn, it next was.

Lainey skated into my heart,
I met “IsThisTheMiddle,”
While Allison’s blue shirt I saw,
and Hypo’s advice I fiddled.

Isabel gave me lofty thoughts,
Next, “LetThemEatGreat,” said, “Hi!”
CookingwithKary came out to play
then Elaine the Nurse, “high five!”

Jane added media class
While Suzie patrolled our BlogHer
And Nancy Wurtzel ruined me for life
with Michelle Bachmann’s corn dogher.

Gina, GILRED, always so sweet,
but watch out for Mood Swings aplenty.
Sabrina’s purple made me smile,
next I met Talking Thirty.

Chivalry Rocks won’t show his face,
With us, can’t say I blame him.
And Thousand Points of Sauce,
is the latest to get her Flame on.

So, there you have the followers of
a baby blue Sunbonnet
and here’s a Valentine for you,
with a little Sunbonnet on it.

Much Love,

Fondly, Robin

NaBloPoMo February 2012



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Jan 26 2012

May Your Hearts Beat in Sweet Unison

There is a saying that “Youth is wasted on the young.” Reading recently on BlogHer, it occurs to me that perhaps, rhetorically speaking, marriage is wasted on the young. When I read how many problems young married couples have, it seems like the lofty goals anticipated for marriage don’t always lead to the happy homes intended. People grow and change, sometimes growing together, sometimes growing apart. The levels of maturity can vary along with all of the skills that it takes to successfully navigate through family finances, illnesses and life and death transitions.

So, although the natural order of things is to marry when young and start families, it would seem that marrying later in life would not only be better targeted for success, but would result in more satisfying unions built on a mature realization of what life is all about. In other words, I wouldn’t really say it is wasted on the young, but rather, that marriages occurring later in life should be celebrated with more fanfare, not less. In other words, when it comes to marriage later in life, both the bride and groom go into it fully informed. They have arrived!

But, see how older brides are treated. Google “older bride” and take a gander. One web site made it clear that older brides, instead of just planning for a lovely celebration, must also defeat their possible constipation along with that of their groom. What!?!? Having enough probiotics for the digestion is for everyone, not just older wedding parties. I can’t imagine confusing late in life nuptials with late in life dietary habits. Don’t young people have constitutional issues? Do we interrupt the ambiance of The Magic Room to inquire of the bride and her father if they are eliminating regularly to avoid bloating on the wedding day?

Portlandia’s Spyke and Iris plan their Cool Wedding

What other advice can we gather for older brides from bridal web sites? Well, first and foremost, older brides are told to be tasteful. Never mind that some young brides overestimate the tensile strength of satin to conceal one Big Mac too many and others bag “blushing” while wearing outfits more suited to pole dancing. Bridal sites somehow feel age relieves one of common sense. Why does an older bride have to be told she needs to be tasteful? While young brides are promoted as princesses with every detail to their whim and fancy, older brides are begged not to offend.

The older bride is far less inclined to wear something tasteless, by her very nature. “An older bride in a young and sexy dress will not look right,” one bridal site intones. Many young brides, however, do not “look right” in young and sexy dresses. And since when has it become fashionable to tout your sexual allure on your wedding day anyway? What happened to being demure with a veil to seclude the bridal blush? When did bumping and grinding down the aisle get established so guests can sample what the groom will soon cherish as his own?

And just what do these nagging bridal sites think older brides are going to choose? The G-string Wedding Dress shown recently by Kavia Gauche at Berlin Fashion Week? Oh pa-leeze!

May Your Lives Be One Glorious Sunset

All in all, older brides need to be choosier in selecting their bridal sites for advice. While many “lesser sites” may point to giving away bottles of Milk of Magnesia as table favors, Martha Stewart reigns supreme in the older bride arena as well as in all others. On her web site, Martha receives an e-mail from a 60 year old bride inquiring what would be “right” or politically correct for a bride of her age having her second wedding. Martha answers that except for a veil, the rules of etiquette are the same and TIMELESS for a bride of any age. There you go. Taste is taste and class is class no matter the age of the bride and groom.

 

NaBloPoMo January 2012



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Dec 25 2011

What we do for each other just makes the holidays! Driving all over to find just the right gift. Spending weeks trying recipes and planning menus. Hustling, bustling, phone calls, flight arrangements, driving for hours, new clothes, washing old clothes, knitting, sewing, cleaning, stringing lights, talking about the in-laws, smiling when they arrive and doing the happy dance when they leave. WHOA! What a lotta fun! It’s just amazing what we do and what we have done for us in return during the holiday season.

Although everyone complains about the commercialism
of the season, seems that most people have the loving
spirit during the holidays, for what’s it all about
if not for love?

The most endearing stories come about this time of year. And ones that are told for generations. Like the one I tell about my Dad. There was a tradition at our house when I was young that the tree arrived with Santa in the night after the kids were asleep. We went to bed and the living room was just like it had been all year. When we awoke, there was the tree with decorations and presents underneath, all the more magical because we hadn’t lived around it for a month.

It wasn’t until YEARS later I found out Mother and Daddy didn’t have the money to buy a tree. My Dad would go out after we were asleep, therefore, find a Christmas tree lot that was closing and get a tree cheaply. One year the cost was fifty cents. Then, even though they were probably exhausted, they spent all night decorating it so we would be surprised in the morning.

Too much of a good thing is just right!

When I look back over the years, dolls were such a big part of Christmas morning. Big dolls, little dolls, Teddy Bears and any other humanized animal shape you could imagine that could be talked into wearing clothes.  Little girls I knew loved them and loved all the accessories that went with them. That just made Christmas.  A new doll. When I was pretty little, I remember wanting a Betsy Wetsy, oh! so badly.

I could fill her baby bottle full of water, jam it in the hole that interrupted her cherub lips to feed her. Then, predictably the water would run out into her little diapers, so I could change them and start over, just like real life. My Dad had an Aunt Ishy, her nickname as I couldn’t say “Elizabeth.” Daddy told me to take Betsy Wetsy, recently fed, to Aunt Ishy and let her hold the doll. She was the fun Aunt and the one who would naturally let out a Whoop! when Betsy’s diapers became wet. And Aunt Ishy did not disappoint. She had had three sons, so being the only girl in the family, I was welcomed, even if my doll wet on her.

Then, I wanted a Revlon doll. I was fascinated by her fingernails that had nail polish to match her lipstick. I guess matching lipstick and nail polish would figure because she was made by Revlon. New dolls were definitely something to which to aspire. The latest and greatest were the object of envy by girls trying to keep up with other little girl Joneses.

Sporting a delightful deckle edge, this photo from the
1950s shows the importance of dolls on Christmas morning.

For all of us who grew up “back then,” there will always be something special about a new doll on Christmas morning. I know I get tingles when I think of how I felt. Why, I’m even reliving it right now. Always wanting to share, I have found a way for you to have the feeling as well. I want to give you a new doll on Christmas morning. Right here, right now.

Do you know Dolly Dingle? The forerunner of the Champbell’s Soup Kids by renown artist Grace Drayton, Dolly Dingle fascinated me as a child as my mother a folder of them from her own childhood. I have remained a devoted fan to this day.

So, here is one of my favorites, under your computer “tree” and wrapped to open by clicking on the image below.

Merry Christmas to each and every person who finds
this page! I hope all of your problems are little ones.

Click on the Dolly Dingle above to download a PDF for your own personal use.

 

(And fair warning. Don’t leave her alone on your
computer screen with any Christmas cake on your
desk. Look at what I saw when I came back into
my office. Whoa! Scary!)

 

MERRY CHRISTMAS
and the best of holiday seasons!

NaBloPoMo 2011



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Sep 07 2011

This antique postcard has always reminded me
of Laurette and Julie.

(…continued from August 31, 2011)

Yes! It was true. I was reading an article detailing the passing of one of my favorite childhood friends, Laurette. And death is very final.  All of the good intentions I’d had about finding her, saying, “Hi!”, and sharing old times would remain forever unrequited. She had transited on to another place while I was left to think about it all. It was a real wake-up call that has not gone unheeded. I learned much from the whole process. That is, taking Laurette for granted all those years, that she would always be alive and well for me to enjoy once again and then finding out that the reunion would never happen.

Our lives are intertwined, whether or not we can see each other.

I couldn’t stand the thought of eternal separation. I search the Internet until finally I was able to find one of Laurette’s siblings. I called immediately and was not disappointed. By finally making contact with a member of the family I was able to find out about Laurette and also about Julie. What a relief to make a connection with someone who knew and loved those girls! We had a great talk and signed off looking forward to getting together. I was so glad I had found out about Laurette and reestablished a relationship with her family.

From what family members said, Laurette was looking to
her next existence, when it became time to pass over

I learned that Laurette was in fine health, but suffered from an unexpected freak accident. And this is where a second wake up call from her rang loudly in my head. I was reminded that each of us lives on the edge of the next moment, never knowing what may happen and never having our next day promised to us.  We must all be grateful and enjoy each moment as an unfolding miracle. Change, good or bad, can happen very quickly.

Routine things can become remarkably notable in a hurry.

Laurette was just going to drink a cup of hot tea, like any of us might do. No skydiving, no riding a motorcycle or anything out of the ordinary. But, she had an accident happen and it eventually proved to be fatal. The accident occurred on a Friday night.  By the next Thursday, after several operations, she slipped away, dying with her family gathered around.

Tulips for Laurette. I know that wherever
she is, it is always springtime.

The power of the human spirit was exemplified by my friend Laurette. She had the funniest sense of humor and wry smile that, when she locked eyes with me, always caused me to laugh. She had, although it never once became apparent, a congenital physical difficulty that most people don’t have to entertain. Never did she complain or see life as anything but a lark, for the years that I knew her.

(To be continued Wednesday, September 28, 2011….introducing Laurette’s Favorite Toy…a vintage pattern to purchase and print out.)

 

Elizabeth Kubler-Ross was a pioneer of death and dying discussions at a time in the 1970s-1980s when the separation process was not common public dialogue. Her powerful insights are not only comforting, but offer a change in reality perception as acceptance and integration of the dying processes are verbalized and even embraced.

If you are in a process dealing with the transitions
of life, or if you have an interest in in expanding your
understanding, hover your mouse over the link below:

Tunnel and the Light: Essential Insights on Living and Dying



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Aug 31 2011

They say all things are connected. I have found that to be true.

Life is amazing sometimes: the way things work, or don’t work or when they work, or how they work. For instance, when I was in junior high school, I was lucky enough to be friends with two girls who were sisters, Laurette and Julie. And they were amazing people, so much so, that I have always remembered them fondly, for what is now, almost fifty years.

In fact, while most other memories have faded, having lost their importance and receded with time’s advance, Laurette’s infectious laughter and Julie’s wry smile are easy to recall and respond to in kind. Whenever I think of those two girls, I can’t help laughing, half a century after the giggles of junior high lost moments. And because Laurette and I were in more classes together, we became closer and good friends.

Laurette and Julie were special because their family was special, and their family was remarkable, tied together by cooperative efforts to get along and get the best out of life. I was lucky enough to be included in the fun as Laurette, Julie and I became friends. It was a very special time in junior high school, which was 7th, 8th and 9th grade in the 1960s. As the years went by, those three years became even more special because Laurette and Julie both went to a different senior high school than I did when it was time. I never saw them again, although the memories of many outings, sleepovers and a week at the ocean were often recalled with pleasure.

Spring is time for housekeeping, inside and out.

Life just has a way of going forward, so, it was strange when I kept thinking of Laurette in the fall of 2010. I didn’t know why then and I don’t now. The fun we had together kept coming back to me and I wanted to find Laurette and Julie and say, “Hi!” I had done Internet searches before, never finding either one. I was determined that this time, I would sit at the computer and look until I found them. But, life was complicated in the fall of 2010 and so, I didn’t get to it. Thinking, “Well there is always tomorrow,” pressing matters came first and finding Laurette went to the back burner.

So, finally winter was over and with the exhilaration of spring, I decided to find Laurette, once and for all. I looked and looked, following many “Laurettes” on the Internet, none of them mine. But then! One day I was staring at the names Laurette and Julie along with the names of their parents and siblings. My quest was ended, I had found Laurette.

The problem was, the article spoke of her in the past tense. I was in shock. Could it be that Laurette had passed away?

(To be continued next Wednesday, September 7, 2011….)



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Dec 20 2010

What a great e-mail video I received over the weekend. If you love animals and all of the love they give back, you also will love this spritely version of “Deck the Halls.” Imagine the work it took to get everyone to sing on cue. Here’s hoping this enhances your holidays.

Fa-La-La-La-LA  La-La-La-La!

Felted animals, made with wool roving and teased
into shape with a needle, are easy to make and
very appealing. If this interests you, hover your
mouse over the link below:

Little Felted Animals: Create 16 Irresistible Creatures with Simple Needle-Felting Techniques



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Nov 06 2010

Hello to Marilyn in South Carolina!
Thank you for sending this great tribute to Grandma’s Apron.

The History of Aprons

I don’t think our kids know what an apron is. The principal use of Grandma’s apron was to protect the dress underneath because she only had a few. It was also easier to wash aprons than dresses and aprons used less material. But along with that, it served as a potholder for removing hot pans from the oven.

It was wonderful for drying children’s tears, and on occasion was even used for cleaning out dirty ears.

From the chicken coop, the apron was used for carrying eggs, fussy chicks, and sometimes half-hatched eggs to be finished in the warming oven.

When company came, those aprons were ideal hiding places for shy kids.

And when the weather was cold Grandma wrapped it around her arms.

Those big old aprons wiped many a perspiring brow, bent over the hot wood stove.

Chips and kindling wood were brought into the kitchen in that apron.

From the garden, it carried all sorts of vegetables.  After the peas had been shelled, it carried out the hulls.

In the fall, the apron was used to bring in apples that had fallen from the trees.

When unexpected company drove up the road, it was surprising how much furniture that old apron could dust in a matter of seconds.

When dinner was ready, Grandma walked out onto the porch, waved her apron, and the men folk knew it was time to come in from the fields to dinner.

It will be a long time before someone invents something that will replace that ‘old-time apron’ that served so many purposes.

REMEMBER:

Grandma used to set her hot baked apple pies on the window sill to cool. Her granddaughters set theirs on the window sill to thaw.

People now would go crazy now trying to figure out how many germs were on that apron. I don’t think I ever caught anything from an apron – but love…

Lots of heartwarming thoughts with that e-mail circulating about. Although it’s one of those anonymous postings that’s traveled around the world because it strikes a chord with so many people, this one seems to have a beginning. I found what appears to be its origin here. And there are many links to enjoy in that on-line article, so set time aside to browse.

One thing, though, that needs to be updated from this article is how aprons are making a come back. The warmth and love that comes from the kitchen and good, nutritious food is not lost on the present generation. People are turning in droves to healthier lifestyles and eating at home with a seated meal at the dinner hour. Homemade biscuits and the aprons worn to catch the airborne flour are the natural accompaniments and it is a blessing they are showing up more and more. Just think of the memories waiting to be made! The old Pillsbury ad that said, “Nothing says lovin’ like something from the oven” did say it best.

Welcome an apron back into your life, if they ever went away. Looking into the future of Sunbonnet Smart, I can forecast a great many apron patterns coming along. Cooking like your grandmother will get that much easier the minute you put one on and tie the strings around in back.

If you love aprons, the styles and the colors
like I do, then preview this book by hovering
your mouse over the link:

  The Apron Book: Making, Wearing, and Sharing a Bit of Cloth and Comfort



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Sep 20 2010

Louise L. Hay

One of Louise Hay’s important claimss is that many people do not love and care for themselves.  They carry the burden of self criticism around in their heads in addition to all of their other problems.  When negatively self-imaged people realize that self dissatisfaction short circuits daily progress, they can then worked through the self-imposed burden by intentionally creating a positive self image. Working on creating a positive self image can be done by saying affirmations throughout the day. Affirmations are short positive sentences that address problems head on. When we realize we have a problem and work to solve it, the battle is half won.  Saying positive affirmations creates new thoughts patterns and establishes better tomorrows.

Try saying this simple affirmation from Louise Hay: “I love and approve of myself.” The harder it is for one to say, the more one needs to say it. Try saying it throughout the day and before you go to bed at night. I did in the 1980s. From this simple beginning, I was able to change my life and face the future with a great deal of confidence.

I have introduced many friends to the book and her system of saying affirmations to program one’s brain, so to speak, into creating a positive outlook that in turn creates more positive experiences. It’s one of the most valuable concepts I can share with you today. I know it sounds too simple to work, but just try it, and try it again, and again. I bet you can feel yourself relax.

If you would like to watch the trailer from Ms. Hay’s movie, click on the play button:



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Sep 19 2010

First published in 1984, it’s current today.

I first met Louise L. Hay in the 1980s. I say “met” because when I read her book, You Can Heal Your Life. I felt like I knew her personally. I was in one of those life valleys where things are overwhelming and there seems to be no way out.  It’s been so long ago now, I can’t remember exactly how I found out about Louise Hay and her ability to speak to those in trouble or in pain. Once I grabbed on to her philosophy to take control of one’s life, I never let go.

Before she figured out that a positive outlook bodes well for bringing in more positive experiences, Louise Hay had a difficult life.  She freely speaks of these difficulties in her books, on her web site and her movie, also titled, You Can Heal Your Life. And she speaks of conquering troubles in a soothing voice that exudes the confidence of a person who has met challenges and won.  When I first found Louise L. Hay in the 1980s, she was in her 60s. With the passage of the years, she is now in her eighties, robust, healthy and appearing remarkably younger than her years. Truly she has discovered secrets worth knowing for organizing life’s difficulties into triumphs.

If you would like to preview Louise L. Hay’s book, hover your mouse over the following link:

You Can Heal Your Life



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Sep 18 2010

With whom do you live communally?
That’s who’s family to you.

It’s fashionable now to take about, “redefining the family,” as family groups now are more popularly acknowledged to include more than just a mother, father and kids. But families have always existed that didn’t fit that rigid paradigm. People have been forming families for mutual interdependence and community for years that answer to what’s now been “redefined.” Life is full of surprises and what we can count on today, we might not have tomorrow. The same with our families. Things ebb and flow. There will be gains and losses, but Sunbonnet Smart will be here to give you attention whenever you drop by. We’re family to you!

Pirates have a family on board each ship.

So, whether you have a large family or a small one, or whether it’s just you and Sunbonnet Smart, let’s get together on the Internet to blog, to chit and to chat. Holidays especially. We’ll keep the light on for you, tea in the pot and cookies in the oven!



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NaBloPoMo November 2012