Tuesday, July 21, 2015

More About Audiobooks

 Read all about the process of making our audiobooks.  I was interviewed on the Library of Erana blog. I also talked a bit about our terrific producers, Aaron Miller and Jean Ruda Habrukowich.  Stop by and read all about it here: http://tinyurl.com/nl5v269

And read about doing research here: http://tinyurl.com/npw7y8y 

Thursday, July 9, 2015

The Northern Girls

When I was in seventh grade, Northern Tissue began advertisements using the Northern Girl (later called American Beauties) illustrations by Frances Hooks. I adored these pictures, and when the prints became available, I bought a set. I think they were $1 for all five.

I had no idea what I’d do with them, but when Kim was born, I figured I had the perfect place for them—especially when the baby looked so much like my own baby.

Now this was in 1967, when DIY wasn’t even heard of. Most of my friends with new babies filled their rooms with new furniture and decorations. We couldn’t afford new.

Larry’s folks gave us a changing table as a baby gift.

We bought a well-used crib. I found an old Edison in a thrift store after reading in Consumer Reports that it was the best brand. But it was brown. We found a Kant-wet mattress on closeout sale. Again, Consumer Reports rated it highest.

I really wanted a Fisher-Price dresser (chifferobe) with drawers on one side and a small closet to hang her little dresses. The popular one was in avocado green with yellow and orange knobs. (The one below is actually much prettier than the one I coveted, but it shows the idea.)
Unfortunately, all new furniture was way beyond our budget. So we found an old beat-up chifferobe at a thrift store. Then we painted the crib and dresser in a mint green. We bought large wooden ball knobs. We painted half in hot pink and the other half in bright yellow.

The curtains were white, sheer Priscilla tiebacks my mom bought for my bedroom when I was twelve.

I matted two of the Northern Girls in green and framed them in yellow on either side of the windows.
The other three went into one yellow mat with a green frame over the crib.
One of my favorite photos of Kim as a baby looks a lot like the baby in the middle.

When we cleaned out the closets this week in order to install new carpet, the prints showed up. A couple are worse for the wear, and all of them have yellowed. But it was nice to see them again. They brought back memories of when our daughter was very small.

Unfortunately, I have no photos of her room with the furniture and pictures.

For years, I felt guilty because we couldn’t get new stuff for our baby. However, today, I have a new appreciation for our creativity. Kim had a darling room, fit for the princess she was!

Were we ahead of the curve, or were we just cheap?

When we bought our first house, we turned an impossible bedroom into an elegant retreat. Maybe I’ll tell you about it next week.

Friday, July 3, 2015

Let it Go

My brother and I are cursed with incredible memories. We never forget anything. In my case, this ‘gift’ makes it very hard to get rid of ‘stuff.’
We just re-carpeted the whole house and are now in the process of putting everything back. We decided to weed out a lot of the things we really don’t need anymore. But…
What about the items friends made for us? We may not have used them—yet, but we might someday. And after all, thought and effort went into them.
What about all the old photos? We’ve scanned a lot of them, but we have nearly fifty albums plus two plastic file cabinets full. Somehow, we became the repository for all the family photos from both sides of the family. We’ll keep the ones commemorating special occasions, like weddings, but what about the others?

We uncovered grandparents’ and parents’ mini-albums of the formal photos from our wedding and Kim’s. What about those? We have the large one of ours, and Kim has her big one. What about the rest?

There are also quite a few formal portraits of other family members with no children. They are all gone now, so what do we do with those pictures?
I love the song from Frozen, “Let it Go.” I wish I could. All these treasures have sentimental attachments. Some were wedding gifts. Others were presents for our twenty-fifth anniversary. I still remember the people who gave them to us. I smile each time I recall these old friends and family members, and I don’t want to part with their gifts.
Fortunately, we have a large house, but someday, we may want to downsize. What then?
We are taking a little time as we put things back in place to evaluate what to keep, what to toss, and what to give away. I’m sure we’ll still end up with far too much stuff!
I need to start sorting through my shoes. Does anyone wear size five wide? And I really intend to read all these books—someday.

Time to get back to it. Does anyone have any suggestions as to how to get this done quickly? Never mind. I probably won’t take the advice anyway.