RDP #41 – VINTAGE STUFF – Marilyn Armstrong

RDP #41 – VINTAGE

Each time I get one of these “Vintage” things, I think I should post pictures of Garry and I. We are definitely vintage, though today has been a yeoman’s effort at house cleaning — or at least cleaning the kitchen, living room, stairs, and foyer.

Photo: Garry Armstrong – circa 1928

It would have been less strenuous if Gibbs has not thought this was a great time to go swimming in the water bowl. Each time I cleaned up the gallon or two of water all over the floor, I’d turn around and there was another gallon there. And of course, the water bowl was all full of mud and the VERY clean kitchen floor had his muddy footprints on them. So you could say we have a thrice cleaned kitchen and hallway floor.

Qing dynasty rice bowl, typically used by field workers. The blue chicken is a cultural thing. The bowl is almost 200 years old — and it isn’t even close to my oldest piece of pottery.

This was the day I moved cabinets to get behind them (ew!) and under the feet (double ew!). Next time I have the courage of my convictions, I’ll move the piece in the middle where I store the pots and pans, as well as the dog, treats et al. It doesn’t get moved because it’s heavy. There’s a lot unloading of other things before we even think about moving it. Not an easy job for a couple younger than we and a huge job for us.

Ana McGuffey – 1946 – Mme. Alexander – Doll’s faces are intended to embody the “adorable” factor of real toddlers.

There are an awful lot of vintage things around this place, even discounting Garry and me as the primary vintage couple.

See the pictures for other vintage items and wave to us as the vintage couple who seem to collect stuff even older than we are. Old, older oldest?

INERTIA – IT’S HOW WE START THE DAY – Marilyn Armstrong

Inertia – For which the counterpoint are Dogs

I had a really bizarre dream about dogs and being somewhere else with one of them and realizing I had a cat at home and had not arranged for anyone to take care of him. I called my son and he seemed unsure about that other cat, probably because we don’t currently have any cats but actually have three dogs. Eventually, I woke up because the aforementioned three dogs were throwing themselves at the bedroom door.

Inertia will keep me right where I am. In bed. I don’t really need to get up today. Garry needs to get up, but I don’t have anything urgent to do, not counting what I’m doing right now (writing), starting the coffee up … and giving treats to the dogs.

If I don’t get up and give a cookie to the dogs, they will break through the door and Duke will be standing on Garry’s chest, slobbering on his face. Remarkably, Garry has less sense of humor about this than he did 25 years ago. Back then it was pretty funny.

It was only 8:30 when I woke up screaming. It wasn’t screaming because the dream was so bad. I was screaming because I’d twisted one leg and it really hurt and both my arms were asleep. I had to go to the bathroom which was complicated by two arms that wouldn’t work — dead to the world — and one twisted leg.

Yet I managed to go back to sleep for one more hour. Because 8:30 is too early for me to get up unless someone gives me a good reason. That is no doubt why the phone range promptly at 9:30. Dentist. Monday. Reminder.

I knew there was something on Monday. I thought it was getting Bonnie clipped, but it turned out that’s on Friday and Monday really IS the dentist.

Should I get up? Inertia was mumbling in my ear. “Don’t do it. It’s a cruel trap. You can get at least another hour in bed.”

Between the single bad dream, my twisted body, I’d turned off the A/C and really needed to turn it back on … and anyway, I have a computer next to the bed … I decided to just take a peak at the computer. It’s the secondary part of the morning inertia thing.

At this point, it is already 10:30. Garry showed no signs of stirring. This is not unusual. He used to get up every morning at one or two. For everyone else, that’s the middle of the night. For him, it was the beginning of the day because he was on The Earliest Show and he needed to be curried, combed, and dressed for television. Now, he wears stretchy pants and something on top, depending on weather and if he has plans to do anything beyond petting dogs.

I shouted in his better ear that he had a thing at CVS. He needs to get a meningitis vaccination so he can have his cochlear implant. Apparently when they cut holes in your head, meningitis is a bad thing to get. I have had viral meningitis and I can tell you that it gives you a headache that is like every other headache you have ever had and all the rest you will ever have in the future in a single headache so horrendous that your eyes roll around in your head and can’t focus. Blinking hurts. Did I mention the nausea and the rash?

Anyway, what with the nature of this surgery, he gets vaccinated. I’ve had the disease so I don’t need no stinking vaccination. I’ve got antibodies. Also, no one is cutting holes in my head. At least, no one told me about it.

By now, the door is straining. Bowing. They aren’t huge dogs, but you add them together and they amount to more than 100 pounds of power pup.

“I’m COMING,” I said. “I’m on my way. Calm your paws, you little furry monsters.” All that did was get them more excited.

“She spoke!” they barked. “She’s ALIVE. She’s coming!”

In retribution for my slow appearance this morning, one of them ate the instructions for the new router. Good I already installed and registered it, eh?

And so our prompt free week begins with a new prompt from Fandango. The word of the day is inertia. It isn’t only a word. It is a lifestyle

Why do only humans feel getting up is so urgent? Unless you have to report to work, one hour is as good as any other hour, right? The dogs have even less to do than me, unless getting me into the kitchen is their version of a job.


Since this is new, here are instructions and they are pretty simple:

Welcome to June 1, 2018 and the inauguration of Fandango’s One-Word Challenge (aka, FOWC). It’s designed for those of us who are suffering from withdrawal after WordPress bailed on its daily one-word prompt.

I will be posting each day’s word just after midnight Pacific Time (US).

Today’s word is “inertia.” Write a post using that word. It can be prose, poetry, fiction, non-fiction. It can be any length. It can be just a picture or a drawing if you want. No holds barred, so to speak.

Once you are done, tag your post with #FOWC and click on the Mister Linky thingie below and then visit others who have participated. (This is my first time trying Mister Linky and I hope it works. If it doesn’t, let me know in the comments.)

I will be writing my own response to this prompt in a separate post, so be sure to look for that.

GROWN-UP TOYS – BLACK & WHITE SUNDAY

BLACK & WHITE SUNDAY: PLAYTIME


Monochrome with red dress
Portrait of a 1948 composite doll – by Madame Alexander

There’s a reason why I take a lot of pictures of this doll. She was one of Madame Alexander’s originals, named after the girl in the McGuffey reader which was used in American schools for almost 100 years. She was also one of the most popular faces ever produced, with a sweetness that later dolls never matched … and is completely missing from modern dolls.

She was also my best reconstruction. Because she is made of composition material — basically glue, sawdust, paint, and a lot of careful hand molding — she needed quite a lot of repair. Both her feet were eaten away by moisture. I repaired them well enough to fit into shoes, but not well enough to stand on their own. I repainted much of her face. Her wig is new and I sewed the dress and smock myself. I know it isn’t a huge accomplishment, but I don’t sew, so it was a big deal for me. I also made her hat. She is as close to the original as I could create.

TRIPLE THREAT – A PHOTO A WEEK CHALLENGE

A Photo a Week Challenge: Threes

Three  identical (almost) Margaret O’Brien dolls, from Madame Alexander, all dressed in original clothing. Hard-plastic, strung dolls from the late 1940s.

STUFFIES AND TEDDIES AND BEARS, WITH DOLLS!

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Teddy Bears, Dolls, Toys

Robby the Robot
Dolls
Technically, these belong to the dawgz. But Garry likes to play with them!
Teddy with Hewy, Dewy, and Louie

BUSY, BUSY – PART BETA

We got the taxes done. Bonnie was still feeling poorly. We came back from getting taxes done and lo and behold, she is feeling better. Better enough to want my sandwich. Which I gave her. Because she hadn’t eaten in days, so what kind of doggy mom would hold back on the sandwich? I thought maybe we’d try her out on upgraded canned dog food. She ate a little of it. Gibbs happily ate the rest. But cold cuts? That she was definitely into. She is still looking a bit peaked, but it’s a far cry from yesterday, so I moved the vet appointment to Wednesday.

What seems to be going on is that she eats something. I have no idea what, but I can guess. The dogs have a fully enclosed yard. Big space for two smallish dogs. Then, she eats something. Paper? Tree bark? Dirt? Whatever it is, it blocks her up and she gets all bloated and sick and then, a few days later, she’s better.

I would take her to the vet if I thought there was a chance of them figuring out what’s wrong with her. This isn’t the first, second, or third time this has happened. Last time … almost a year ago … it was a $600 bill. No medication. Just “wait it out.” Which we did. She got better.

This time, I thought maybe I should skip the $600 and wait it out, at least a few days. What happens when we do go to the vet is that they poke around and find nothing. They take x-rays. See nothing. Offer to run several thousand more dollars worth of tests, which we really can’t afford and usually, they find nothing.

So this time, after she decided she could eat a pound of cold cuts, we thought we’d give her a couple more days to see how she fares. She isn’t vomiting. No diarrhea. No fever. She is willing to eat … if we have food of which she approves.

This is where my desire to be a great dog mom bumps into my desire to not bankrupt us. So I deferred the vet appointment to Wednesday. Let’s see how she is doing in a couple of days. These are times when I fervently wish my dog could tell me what’s going on. Is Bonnie sick? Not so much as five hours ago. Why is she unwell? I’m guessing it’s something she ate … but I have NO idea what, though my guess is paper. She steals it, hides it, and chews on it. Gets sick.

We are getting a little money back on taxes and Bonnie looks better. So it’s already a superior day to what we expected. I hope this isn’t one gigantic hold-out for an upgrade in food prep.

DOLLS

WEEKLY WORDPRESS PHOTO CHALLENGE | NOSTALGIA | THE DAILY POST


The world has changed in myriad ways — huge and subtle — since I grew up. When I was a kid, none of us, regardless of how much money our parents had or didn’t have, got everything. You wanted everything, sure, because kids always want everything … but you got something. In my house, since we didn’t celebrate Christmas, birthdays were the big gift-giving day.

Annabelle - 1952, Mme. Alexander
Annabelle – 1952, Mme. Alexander

Each year on my birthday from when I was three until I was eight, I got one really nice doll. When I was five, I got “Annabelle,” the 1952 special doll from Madame Alexander. She would be my favorite for the rest of my life. Over her long life (she was born in 1952) she has been rewigged, restrung, repainted, and redressed half a dozen times.

I really played with my dolls. They were my friends. I talked to them. I told them everything and I took them everywhere. Everything I did, felt, hoped for, and feared, my dolls knew.

My dolls understood. Always.

Toni (22") Revlon, 1953
Toni (22″) Revlon, 1953

When I was six, I got Toni. She was Revlon’s “flagship” girl doll with hair that could be “permanent waved” using a doll version of the Toni Permanent Wave kit. The set was just tiny plastic rollers and sugar-water and they didn’t really curl hair. They just made it sticky … which attracted ants. So then you had to wash it and you were lucky if the wig didn’t come right off her head.

Madame Alexander as herself - 1985
Madame Alexander as herself – 1985

There was Betsy Wetsy — also from Revlon, I believe (Tiny Tears was made by American Character). Those were the memorable dolls. Lots of little 8″ Ginnie dolls too and too many outfits to recall. Ginnie was in my day what Barbie was to the next generations of girls. It is perhaps a reflection of how the concept of girlhood changed during those years. By the time I turned 9, it was all about books.

From then on, I got books for my birthdays, though usually one other “special” thing too. One year, my beloved bicycle arrived. It was much too big for me to ride. I was a tiny wisp of a thing, but also, the only 9-year-old with a titanium frame Dutch racing bike. I had blocks on the pedals and I had to ride standing up because no way could I reach the seat or use the coaster brakes sitting down. But I grew a few inches. So, by the time I was an adolescent, I could reach the pedals without help. And, I knew I had the greatest bike ever. Tiger Racer and me … we flew!

When I was 11 I got a little transistor radio. It was a big deal, the ultra high-tech of the late 1950s. I was the only kid who had my very own portable radio. After that memory fades …

I slept with my dolls.

As I headed into my 50s, I began searching for the dolls with which I had grown up. Collecting is insidious and doll collecting even more so. I developed a bizarre lust for dolls. I didn’t know I had become a collector until I began to buy reference books so I could identify dolls by model, year, manufacturer, etc. Reference book are the significator of any kind of collector. When your reference collection is far more complete than the local library, you are a collector. Accept it. Deal with it.

These pictures are a sampling of the dolls. I tried to capture something of that ephemeral sweetness the dolls of my generation had. Perhaps show a hint of why they still give me a warm glow when I look at them. They never argue, always forgive. And they never complain and don’t mind if you drag them around by one leg with their foreheads scraping the sidewalk.

I participate in WordPress' Weekly Photo Challenge 2016
I participate in WordPress’ Weekly Photo Challenge 2016