TV Time in the Neighborhood

Hi there, guys and dolls! How’s your week going? That’s nice. You know, I agree, it’s been a long week. Maybe it’s just time to gather the family or friends around and see what’s on the tube tonight. Let’s see what the TV Guide has to say for February 20, 1957 while the set warms up…

Image result for the adventures of hiram holliday
Oh, what’s Hiram up to now…

THE ADVENTURES OF HIRAM HOLIDAY – This week Hiram becomes involved in Scotland Yard’s investigation into the theft of engraving plates used to print the British pound notes. Sounds like a great way to make money to me!

Now I just have to get off the sofa and change the channel… Would you get another drink for me? Thanks.

Image result for father knows best
Don’t you just love the whole Anderson gang?

FATHER KNOWS BEST – Bud and Kippy want to travel for new experiences and write exciting stories. They want to go to Hillsborough by themselves and stay overnight in town. Jim & Margaret agree since both boys will be there. Kippy backs out at the last minute. Well, this one should be a good one. Wonder what Kathy will get up to as well? Those rapscallion youngsters!

Your turn to go to the next channel. Don’t worry, I’ll get up and make the popcorn!

Image result for the adventures of ozzie and harriet
Keeping up with the Nelsons…

THE ADVENTURES OF OZZIE AND HARRIET – Ah, life. Its own adventure when you have a family like the Nelsons. Ooh, this one is called ‘The Reading Room.’ I’d love a room just for reading. And one just for primping, too. But Ozzie finds that it’s lonely at the top. That’s because Harriet converted some upstairs space into a reading room for Ozzie. Now he feels left out of family activities – mainly watching TV.

Image result for i've got a secret
Oh, don’t we all…

Which reminds me – was there something in particular you wanted to watch? How about –

I’VE GOT A SECRET – Okay, I’m going to spoil it, because I’m just so excited! Tab Hunter’s on this week! Wonder what his secret will be…no, I don’t think he’ll share that one, not yet anyway.

Thanks for reading and stay tuned for more posts. And don’t forget to give my Poppy Cove Mysteries a try if you haven’t already.

Toodles, Barbara Jean

Posted in 1950's, 1950s fun, 50's television, Americana, blogaday, Blogs, Classic Television, Creativity, daily blog, diary, Domestic life, entertainment, Historical, historical fiction, home life, Humor, journal, Nostalgia, Pop Culture, postaday, Raves and Faves, Retro, Sitcoms, suburbia, television series, Uncategorized, Vintage | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Boss Says I am a Gem of an Employee

Hi there, guys and dolls! What a day I’ve had. You know, not all Workday Wednesdays are the same. This one certainly had its highs and lows. Settle in for my bumpy ride!

All was fine and good when I arrived this morning. Brrring goes my telephone and there’s Gloria from the switchboard, frothing at the mouth with boffo news for me. She had heard from Debby, who heard from Debbie that Suzie heard from Susan that I was being praised from the big boss for my stellar work habits and attendance. And, there was mention of a raise!

Gloria sharing good news with me

Glory be, I almost dropped the phone. A raise? Unheard of in our office. Why, with all the talk of ‘always room for improvement’ and ‘work hard to climb that ladder’ it was unheard of to simply receive a raise without crying, begging or lying about a sick mother (it has been done, just ask Trudy – how else do you think she got that snazzy new car…). Well, I was tickled pink! Oh, what would I do with my new found fortune?

The next thing I knew, I found myself standing at the window of the local fine jewelers on my lunch break. And then at the counter. And then, trying on some oh so precious rocks. I will say, they did become me! And why not, I say? Charge it, I’ll wear them out the door!

Lunchtime splurge – I can almost afford it

I must say as I walked down the street, the sun glinted off my gems, blinding all who came near me. I felt pretty darn glamorous, I must say. Like a million bucks! Just like my new raise would have to be to pay these suckers off, but that’s okay, I’ll do it over time, it’ll be worth it. After all, did you hear I’m getting a raise? Sorry, had to say it again.

Back to the office I get, and the big boss is standing in front of my desk, all pleased as punch with himself. He says he wants to talk to me. Well, I’m all for that! And he starts praising me, my punctuality, work effort (I don’t think he’s been paying attention around the office, but frankly, who has…), all that good stuff. In the meantime, I’m still just dazzled by my new trinkets and almost listening to him.

Anyhoo, eventually he gets to the part about rewarding me for such exemplary performance, and steps out of the way and reveals what I’m getting. A new typewriter….Whaaa? Not a raise, a danged piece of office equipment.

The only gold I’ll be able to afford – at least Trudy seems amused…

Fortunately, the jewelers were still open by quitting time. They were quite moved by my sick mother routine, followed by the unlashing torrent of tears (thanks, Trudy – the emergency coaching lesson in the ladies’ during afternoon coffee break paid off…) and bye-bye jewels and hello, keys….

Gotta go, ribbon’s tangled again in that new infernal piece of um, I mean, the terrific new machine!

Thanks for reading and stay tuned for more posts. And don’t forget to give my Poppy Cove Mysteries a try if you haven’t already.

Toodles, Barbara Jean

Posted in 1950's, 1950's Ads, 1950s business, 1950s fun, 1950s glamour, Accessories, Alter Ego, Americana, big business, Blogs, Careers, city life, creative writing, Creativity, daily blog, day job, diary, entertainment, Fiction, Fictional Characters, flash fiction, Historical, historical fiction, Humor, long read, Nostalgia, Office life, Office work, Pop Culture, postaday, Retro, Uncategorized, Vintage | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Madge is Not My President

Hi there, guys and dolls! Hope your weekend was full of fun and romance. The highlight of mine turned out to be Bridge Night, which you all know I love. And not because we play the card game (that’s the dullest part – then again, maybe one day I should learn to play…), but for the shenanigans that surround our own little Peyton Place. Settle in, I’ll tell you about it.

Kind of like Madge getting ready for Bridge Night…

Usually, we take turns who hosts the Monday night event, but most often than not, it ends up at Madge’s (no one wants the hassle, the mess, getting the women out the door after they had too many, that sort of thing). You see, Madge likes to think of herself as the leader of the pack, the Queen Supreme of the neighborhood, and what better to exude her powers than at bridge. She takes the game very seriously (I think she’s the only one of the gaggle who does), and so she decided to name herself President of the Official Monday Night Bridge Club, complete with capitalization!

Anyhoo, we all file in around 7ish, about the time the married ones have been able to placate their husbands to pipe and slippers domesticity and us single ones have been able to drag our sorry butts home from work after a TV Dinner or weekend leftovers. Immediately, we were assailed with the overwhelming sent of disinfectant and plastic. All the furniture in her living room was covered in clear slipcovers (for goodness sake, her sofa and chairs are vinyl to begin with!), no ashtrays, drinks or snacks to be seen and not a thing out of place. There was this eerie silence as we all wondered what the heck was happening. Susie (the most timid of the group) turned pale and ran out. Nobody paid much attention, she was always like that anyway.

Before we could get started, Madge called us all to attention and told us that she had decided that we needed to get a little more organized and had assumed her reign. She then said there were just a few little rules we had to abide by in order to continue our weekly event. Oh my!

Obviously, Bertha’s out

First of all, there would be no smoking. She was tired of picking up the butts and the smoke in the air (with that, Bertha was out the door – there was no way she could get through a game without her weekly cigar, no way). Then there would be no snacks, as we were all getting to be too husky (speak for yourself, Tub o’ Marge, er Madge) and it would behoove us to pay more attention to the game.

Oh, the list goes on – no spitting (really, I could go for that one, I mean, who of us spits, although there was often a mysterious ‘ping’ that came from the urn in the corner which I thought was Madge’s Aunt’s ashes, guess it was a spittoon…), no swearing (gol darn it, it’s a card game for cripe’s sake) and no funny decks or cheating (What the heck? – It’s a card game that no one in the neighborhood knew how to play except for her – there’s nothing but cheating!).

Pretty sure even these cards wouldn’t be allowed

Then came the double whammy mushroom cloud of the evening – no gossiping as it was distracting to the matches, and no alcohol, either being served or from your own flask.

Well, that did it. The next thing I see is mass hysteria stampede out the door. Women in tears, panicking to get out the door, looking for a safe place, as Madge’s had turned out to be the new hell. Mind you, I sat through the whole thing, amazed at what maniacal Madge had dreamed up (that, and I couldn’t peel myself off the plastic cover without making a rude noise, worried that she would interpret it as the sound of swearing…).

Eventually I was able to make my escape while President Madge was reviewing her notes. As I fled out the door, I could see the lights on in Betty Ann’s house. Why, there was music, carousing and general mayhem happening! Add in the smell of cigar smoke (and I do believe possibly the presence of that wacky tabacky, too), the string of cuss words and I think the faint ring of what sounded like a spittoon, plus I believe a sailor or two.

Hurray, Monday Night Bridge Club had moved to Betty Ann’s!

Thanks for reading and stay tuned for more posts. And don’t forget to give my Poppy Cove Mysteries a try if you haven’t already.

Toodles, Barbara Jean

Posted in 1950's, 1950s fun, 50's housewife, 50's Husband, 50's Slang, Alter Ego, Americana, Bridge night, Characters, creative writing, daily blog, diary, Domestic life, Fiction, Fictional Characters, flash fiction, Games, Historical, historical fiction, home life, Humor, neighbors, Nostalgia, nosy neighbors, Parties, Pop Culture, postaday, short story, Socializing, stories, suburbia, Uncategorized, Vintage | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Advice for the Valentine Hearted

Hi there, guys and dolls! Do tell, is your Valentine’s Day going swoonily? Mine is, of course. More ardent admirers than I can shake a stick at. And who to choose for my dinner and dancing date tonight? Sigh, so many men, so little time. Anyhoo, that’s my dilemma and I’m sure I’ll come up with a solution or two. In the meantime, let’s help a couple of inquiring minds.

Dear Barbara Jean,

Ack, help! I went to a new beauty salon to get a special ‘do for Valentine’s Day with my sweetheart. It was a disaster! The dryer overheated with the permanent wave solution and scorched my hair all off! And this was the year I thought he’d finally propose, too. What is a girl to do?

Burned up Belinda from Boston

Oh which will Belinda choose?

Dear Belinda,

Oh my, I do hope you weren’t hurt! You don’t say that you were, so I’m guessing that it’s not a permanent thing (other than the wave, or lack there of…). After you have your lawsuit started of course, go out and get yourself a fine and dandy wig. There’s so many fantabulous styles and colors out there, go ahead and live a little. Who knows? A new ‘do might get you to the ‘I do’ even faster!

Ready to throw the rice, Barbara Jean

Dear Barbara Jean,

The girl I love has accidentally booked herself to babysit her sister’s child on Valentine’s. And I had a special dinner all planned with candles, chocolates and flowers. Gee whiz, Barbara Jean, I’m upset. What do I do now?

Romantic Ronald in Reno

Dear Ronald,

Maybe this will be Ronald’s result…

Well, don’t you sound like a swell guy! I do wonder, though, how does any girl ‘accidentally’ volunteer to babysit on Valentine’s Day….hope she feels the same way about you. Oh well, maybe she’s just not very bright. I say, take the romantic plunge, Ronald and take the date to her sister’s house. Wait til she has the little gaffer settled down and show up and turn on the charm.

Wishing you Valentine Smooches, Barbara Jean

Keep your letters coming! I love to help or hinder any way I can.

Thanks for reading and stay tuned for more posts. And don’t forget to give my Poppy Cove Mysteries a try if you haven’t already.

Toodles, Barbara Jean

Posted in 1950's, 1950s fun, 1950s glamour, advice, advice column, Alter Ego, Americana, Beauty, beauty disasters, Beauty Salons, Beauty Treatments, Blogs, creative writing, Creativity, daily blog, Dating, Domestic life, entertainment, Etiquette, Family, family life, Fiction, Fictional Characters, Hairdressers, Historical, historical fiction, Humor, letters, Love, Nostalgia, opinion, Perspective, Pop Culture, postaday, Retro, Romance, suburbia, valentines day, Vintage | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Rippling Still Waters with Mary Wesley

Hi there, guys and dolls! And here we are – already Raves n Faves Thursday. Nice going, everybody! Today I’m going to share with you some books of one of my favorite authors, Mary Wesley. She didn’t get her novels published until she was in her seventies, but her books are anything but staid and retiring.

Her books are full of unexpected characters that appeared on the surface as average, even boring. But nothing could be further from the truth. Twists, turns, quirks abound. If you haven’t read her books, here’s a chance to get acquainted with her works. And if you have, maybe it’s time to revisit your long forgotten literary pals. Just click on the images or the titles to be taken to Book Depository links to the books.

Jumping The Queue
Jumping the Queue

JUMPING THE QUEUE – Matilda Poliport, recently widowed and largely estranged from her four adult children, has decided to End It All. She has cleaned her cottage, given away her beloved pet goose and burnt any incriminating letters. Now all that remains for her to do is eat her picnic, take her pills and swim out into the ocean. But her meticulously planned bid for graceful oblivion is interrupted when she foils the suicide bid of another lost soul – Hugh Warner, on the run from the police – and life begins again for them both.

Life, however, is never that simple and awkward questions demand answers. What, for example, was Matilda’s husband Tom doing in Paris? Why does Matilda’s next door neighbour see UFOs in the skies of Cornwall? And why did Hugh kill his mother?

The Camomile Lawn
The Camomile Lawn

THE CAMOMILE LAWN – Behind the large house, the fragrant camomile lawn stretches down to the Cornish cliffs. Here, in the dizzying heat of August 1939, five cousins have gathered at their aunt’s house for their annual ritual of a holiday. For most of them it is the last summer of their youth, with the heady exhilarations and freedoms of lost innocence, as well as the fears of the coming war.

The Camomile Lawn moves from Cornwall to London and back again, over the years, telling the stories of the cousins, their family and their friends, united by shared losses and lovers, by family ties and the absurd conditions imposed by war as their paths cross and recross over the years. Mary Wesley presents an extraordinarily vivid and lively picture of wartime London: the rationing, imaginatively circumvented; the fallen houses; the parties, the new-found comforts of sex, the desperate humour of survival – all of it evoked with warmth, clarity and stunning wit. And through it all, the cousins and their friends try to hold on to the part of themselves that laughed and played dangerous games on that camomile lawn.

Harnessing Peacocks
Harnessing Peacocks

HARNESSING PEACOCKS – Hebe sits in the darkness and listens to her hypocritical grandparents and her older siblings discuss how her unexpected pregnancy must be terminated to avoid the shame it will bring. Determined to raise her child, she flees into the night with only her mother’s jewellery to support her.

Twelve years later she is living happily alone in Cornwall, whilst her son attends an expensive private school. Hebe has harnessed her two great talents – cooking and making love – to make a living for herself, but when the separate strands of her life become entangled the even tenor of her days is threatened, and her world changes forever.

The Vacillations Of Poppy Carew
The Vacillations of Poppy Carew

THE VACILLATIONS OF POPPY CAREW – Poppy Carew has just been dumped by her unscrupulous boyfriend, Edmund, when her beloved and eccentric father dies, leaving Poppy one last request – that she ensure he is buried in style by a ‘fun’ undertaker – and one large fortune.

Carrying out his wishes, Poppy finds not only a fun funeral parlour, and an equally fun wake peopled with very generous old ladies who all seem to know her father very well, but also several eligible young men, all of whom are keen to get to know the new heiress. And when Edmund remembers the charms that he quickly forgot in the arms of his new lover, Venetia, there are suddenly too many choices for Poppy Carew…

Not That Sort Of Girl
Not That Sort of Girl

NOT THAT SORT OF GIRL – When, on the night of their wedding, Ned asks his new wife Rose to promise that she will never leave him, Rose is quick to give her aristocratic husband her word: keeping it, however, proves harder.

For even on the day when she has promised to forsake all others, Rose’s heart is with the true love of her life, Mylo, the penniless but passionate Frenchman who, within five minutes of their meeting declared his love and asked her to marry him.

Whilst Rose remains true to her promise never to leave Ned, not even the war, social conventions, nor the prying of her overly inquisitive and cheerfully immoral neighbours, can stop her and Mylo from meeting and loving one another.

Thanks for reading and stay tuned for more posts. And don’t forget to give my Poppy Cove Mysteries a try if you haven’t already. 

Toodles, Barbara Jean

Posted in 1940's, 1950's, Alter Ego, Authors, blogaday, books, Characters, creative writing, Creativity, daily blog, Domestic life, ebooks, England, entertainment, family life, family saga, Fiction, Fictional Characters, First Novel, Historical, historical fiction, home life, long read, Love, Marriage, Nostalgia, novels, opinion, Pop Culture, postaday, Raves and Faves, Reading, Retro, Romance, stories, Vintage, World War Two, Writers, Writing | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Entering into the Modern Age

Hi there, guys and dolls! Momentous Workday Wednesday! Behold the wonders of modern science – they have installed the future in our office. And it only took up one floor!

I must say it was very exciting. The last few months we have had all of these crew-cutted egghead types with thick black glasses running around muttering to themselves, saying things like, ‘that doesn’t compute,’ ‘we need more data,’ and all these other phrases that actually make no sense. But today we all got to see what they have been working on on the 9th floor. THE COMPUTRON!

THE COMPUTRON sort of looks like this…

What a sight! All these bells and whistles, lights, sigh, such a spectacle (actually, it’s kind of ugly – big, boxy and noisy. Smells weird, too. Like burnt dust. Maybe it’s thinking too hard…). We all got the grand tour. But you know, I think these computer smarty guys possibly have spent too much time indoors inhaling computer fumes. They told us that one day, computers will be so small we’ll hold them in the palms of our hands and use them for everything, in fact they’ll even think for us! We sure had a good laugh about that one, I tell you!

Computing requires serious and intense training

They gave us a demonstration, asking the computer what the weather was outside. One guy punched a bunch of keys on a board like a typewriter that put a bunch of holes in a card. He then fed it into a slot in the behemoth that made all these noises like it was passing bad gas, lighting up and groaning along. Then it spit out another card with the word ‘raining’ on it. Um, it was spotless, a clear blue beautiful day out there. Oops. Then he tried again, asking the computron if it liked working for a successful company. The card that spit out said, ‘Yes, please unplug me from this company and install me in a successful one.’ Hhm, we’ve never seen the boss turn that shade of purple before. Interesting….

Then the bespectacled not-so-hunky geek then turned to his rapt crowd and asked if one of us wanted to ask a question. A million hands went up and he chose Sally (I think it had to do with the fact that when she raised her arm she wiggled her finger, giggled and jiggled at the same time – she has great talent). Her question was if she would have at least one date for Valentine’s Day. The poor brush-cut fellow turned four shades of red, cleared his throat and prepared the question.

Then he put the card in the machine. All of a sudden, it started to smoke and stutter, the lights strobing, and then it died. It started up again and in a great fury, spit out punch cards a mile a minute, gave one final urp and died for good.

Sally sure liked her answers

We all stood around, not sure what exactly to do. The computer guy picked up a card, read it and swooned. Eventually one of the poor brainiacs was able to inform us the basic gist of what the cards said, albeit with great sanitization. Who knew computers worked blue?

At least Sally was pleased – she works hard at her assets…

Thanks for reading and stay tuned for more posts. And don’t forget to give my Poppy Cove Mysteries a try if you haven’t already. 

Toodles, Barbara Jean

Posted in 1950's, 1950s business, 1950s fun, 1950s glamour, Alter Ego, Americana, big business, blogaday, Blogs, city life, creative writing, Creativity, daily blog, Dating, diary, Fiction, flash fiction, Historical, historical fiction, Humor, journal, Nostalgia, Office life, Office work, Pop Culture, postaday, Retro, Romance, Uncategorized, Vintage | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Well, Bowl me Over

Hi there, guys and dolls! Well gee, isn’t wholesome fun just the ticket sometimes? Don’t you believe it. There’s always some saucy and scandalous behavior in the midst.

Image result for bowling 1950s
It’ll be fun, they said….

So there I was, minding my own business with nothing much to do on a Saturday night (okay fine, I admit that sometimes that happens, hope you’re happy…) when Midge called up and said the whole gang was going bowling and why don’t I come along? Wasn’t sure who this whole gang was, but sure, I’m game. Not that I was doing anything else anyway.

So I show up at seven, dressed in a little low cut wrap sash blouse, which just would give that little hint of lacy decollete every time I took a turn and some tight little capri slacks that thanks to my new triple action girdle, fit like a glove made of rubber bands (I couldn’t breathe, but I looked good). Rented a pair of the warmest, dampest shoes at the counter (doing my best to ignore the ick factor) and joined this so-called group of hoodlums.

The bowling gang did not look like this…

Turns out it was her church group, and not just any of the usual, moderate gathering, but of the reverent, severe and teetotalling variety. No drinking, no swearing, no frolicking, no smoking, no misbehaving of any sort. Now that’s all fine and good in theory, but um, really? I don’t think I’ve ever gotten through an hour alone (and don’t get me started about work or family gatherings) without committing any one or a number of those blessed misdemeanors.

Golly, I was so distracted by trying to be ‘good’ that all I could do was throw gutterballs. And I’ve been known to get a 300 a time or two! I had to keep readjusting my bossoms to keep from distracting the congregation (I could hear a couple of the thoroughly decent young men in deep ardent prayer and breaking out in a sweat every time I wiggled as I threw, too – how disconcerting). This was not the crowd for me.

Then I took a look down the alley and saw this nice, firm forearm picking up the pins. Well, that’s a healthy strong specimen, at least from what I could see. Time to investigate, I thought. And what’s that I hear from behind the “employees only” door? Wild rock n roll? Now I definitely need to check this out.

Image result for bowling 1950s pin boy
I imagine this is what the tall dark and handsome pinsetter looked like when he was just a pinboy…

And wouldn’t you know – a pinboy (or should I say ‘man’) working behind the scenes at the bowling alley. And a tall, dark and handsome type. One nip from his flask as he read me beat poetry and I found my crowd.

You could say I was bowled over, but that boy set my pins straight, so to speak….

Thanks for reading and stay tuned for more posts. And don’t forget to give my Poppy Cove Mysteries a try if you haven’t already. 

Toodles, Barbara Jean

Posted in 1950's, 1950s fun, 50's Slang, Alter Ego, Americana, blogaday, Blogs, Characters, cocktail culture, creative writing, Creativity, daily blog, Dating, diary, entertainment, Fiction, Fictional Characters, flash fiction, flirting, Historical, historical fiction, Humor, journal, Nostalgia, Pop Culture, postaday, Retro, Romance, Scandal, Social Mores, Socializing, suburbia, Uncategorized, Vintage, weekend | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Suburban Scandal Solutions are Here

Hi there, guys and dolls! Well, haven’t I been the busy beaver since I’ve started doling out my rather so-so advice? How did all of you get along without it before? Probably much better, come to think of it… Anyhoo, let’s see how yours truly can shed a little light on some dark problems today.

Dear Barbara Jean,

Sarah’s mother – does she or doesn’t she?

I sure hope you can help. It seems to be that my mother is the talk of the town these days. All the neighborhood ladies are saying that my mother is cheating at Bridge. Actually, any and every card game going. It’s getting to be embarrassing, and I think they might be right. I mean, they haven’t proven anything yet, but they’re all talking about it, so there must be some truth in it then, right? What am I to do?

Suspicious Sarah in Stockport

Dear Sarah,

Hmm, you haven’t really told me what has you so embarrassed. The gossip or the cheating… If it’s the gossip, just get over it. There’s bound to be some floozy or boozy who will soon put some kind of toe out of line and they’ll be the new neighborhood fodder. If it’s the cheating, well, I’d say get over that, too. Who the heck doesn’t cheat at card games? Isn’t it just an excuse to sit around a table and drink with bad for you snack foods? I’d say relax and get your mother to give you a cut of the profits. Maybe she could teach you a thing or two about not getting caught with something up your sleeve.

Wishing you a successful bridge night, Barbara Jean

Dear Barbara Jean,

Somebody’s husband seduced by Mindy’s pie

We’ve got a serious problem in our little suburban neighborhood. Mindy, a recent divorcee in town, has been baking some indescribably delicious pies that none of the husbands can resist. All of us (from 82 year old Mabel to the 21 year old Tammy) have caught our husbands following their noses to the amazing fresh baked aromas coming from Mindy’s kitchen window. I have to admit her pies do taste great, but she says they have a secret special ingredient that she won’t share, saying it’s been handed down through generations. Barbara Jean, it’s driving us mad. How do we get her to tell us what it is that makes her pie taste so darn special? We’d like to get our husbands back, too.

Determined Deirdre in Detroit

Dear Deirdre,

Well. Are you sure that it’s the divorcee’s baked goods that are attracting the men and not a ‘pie’ of a different kind? I wonder. And then, on the other hand, do you all really want your husbands back? Might be an opportunity to play the field and let Mindy deal with all of their dirty socks, lazy behaviors and bad habits for a while. Be sure to really think about it….

Always one to keep the divorcees busy, Barbara Jean

Keep your letters coming! I love to help or hinder any way I can. 

Thanks for reading and stay tuned for more posts. And don’t forget to give my Poppy Cove Mysteries a try if you haven’t already. 

Toodles, Barbara Jean

Posted in 1950s food, 1950s fun, 1950s glamour, 50's housewife, 50's Husband, advice, advice column, Alter Ego, Americana, baking, blogaday, Blogs, Bridge night, creative writing, Creativity, daily blog, Domestic life, entertainment, Etiquette, flirting, Food, Games, Gossip, Historical, historical fiction, Humor, jealousy, Marriage, Men in the Kitchen, neighbors, Nostalgia, nosy neighbors, Pop Culture, postaday, Retro, Romance, Scandal, Social Mores, Socializing, suburbia, Vintage | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Sew New, Sew You

Hi there, guys and dolls! Ever yearn for the good old days? To slip back in time, to an earlier era that calls to you. Now you know you are always welcome in mine by just popping open a Poppy Cove Mystery (or two, or three, for that matter – yes, four and five will come…really, they will…), but there’s another way to carry on the fifties (or the twenties, thirties, forties, even earlier, for that matter), and that’s by creating a fantabulous garment that suits your nostalgic heart.

So for today’s raves n faves, I’m sharing with you a lovely gem that I’ve found – EvaDress Patterns. This talented and hardworking gal has created some beautiful garments and hand-drafted patterns that will certainly appeal to your vintage soul. Now my era is the 1950’s, so that’s where I’m focusing my raves n faves, but be sure to check out her website to see the other many stunning patterns ranging from the 1860’s up to the 1950’s.

1950’s French Dress

Here are five of my particular choices, reminiscent of the years 1950 -56. Just click on the title or image to learn more about the items. By the way, all of the photos are from the EvaDress Patterns site. May they inspire you to create something that is timeless and uniquely you!

1950’s French Dress – Now isn’t this one honey of a frock. So sophisticated with its princess seaming, giving it swish and sashay. So delicate and commanding all at the same time. Look at that alluring neckline. I can see the Valentine’s Day candlelit dinner from here, can’t you?

1951 Evening Gown

1951 Evening Gown – Care to dare even that little bit more? I don’t care if you have no idea where you would wear this, because for goodness sake, with a dress this glamourous, make it and while you are, build the plans around it. A gown with this much life in it deserves to have the occasion be created around it. A night at the opera, you say? Sure. How about that swanky cocktail party that you wanted to go to where you know that your ex (or exes, for that matter, I don’t judge) will be and you want to knock him out? One little flip of that skirted hip should do it!

1951 Kimono Blouse B50-7225
1951 Kimono Blouse

1951 Kimono Blouse – Now isn’t this a wonderful go-to blouse. Perfect for so many occasions and every season. Just gaze at the flattering collar and wrap neckline, just darling. Make it in a nice crisp cotton, perfect for daytime, or in a luxurious silk for some drama of the flaunting kind. Slim cigarette trousers, wide circle skirt? Yep, this blouse will pair with them both and give you that vavoomy quality we all love to enjoy!

1953 Shorts, Bra, Skirt & Shirt Sp50-4310
1953 Shorts, Bra, Skirt and Shirt

1953 Shorts, Bra, Skirt and Shirt – Planning a winter getaway? Even if you’re not, summer will come before you know it and wouldn’t it be nice to be dressed for the season’s success! Think of the day you could have – lounging by the pool, in the pool, then drinks and nibbles later. And won’t you be prepared with your gorgeous ensemble!

1956 Swim or Play Suit & Skirt Sp50-3613
1956 Swim or Play Suit and Skirt

1956 – Swim or Play Suit and Skirt – Gosh! Swim, play, do both! Even frolic. This was one of the first images that I came across and I fell in love with the flirty images. Can’t you just feel the sunny glow radiating in this sketch? Don’t you just adore the wrap neckline and bubble shorts design? And with that wrap skirt, you’re good to go for lunch with any cabana boy of your choice in a snap!

Now which should I start on first? Maybe I need to get my Margot and Daphne to help me decide…

Thanks for reading and stay tuned for more posts. And don’t forget to give my Poppy Cove Mysteries a try if you haven’t already. 

Toodles, Barbara Jean

Posted in 1950's fun, 1950's, 1950s fun, 1950s glamour, 50's Fashions, Alter Ego, Americana, Beauty, blogaday, cocktail culture, creative writing, Creativity, daily blog, Designer, diary, Domestic life, entertainment, fashion, flirting, Historical, historical fiction, Holidays, Inspiration, Nostalgia, Pop Culture, postaday, Raves and Faves, Retro, Romance, sewing, Uncategorized, Vintage, vintage fashion | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Do Not Push His Buttons

Hi there, guys and dolls! Welcome to the ups and downs of Workday Wednesday. Let me introduce you to a man who surely knows how to ride ’em. Heck, he even runs them. Just don’t push his buttons…. yep, you’ll be sorry.

Meet Ned, the elevator operator in my big downtown office tower. He’s one stand up guy and masters his domain. Want to get that memo up to the boss pronto? He’ll express you right to the top! Don’t want to be stuck in the elevator with that Junior Exec with halitosis and dandruff? Oops, that’ll be the next car for you, sonny. I love Ned.

Ned and Fred at the controls

Well, the time has come for Ned to think about undoing his brass buttons – retiring. And who better to take over the illustrious career, but Fred, Ned’s nephew in law. His wife’s sister Bernice’s kid. You know, the one that no one thought would amount to anything. But now he’s really going places. That is, if Ned will let him handle the controls, that is.

Fred’s been training for a week and he is yet to be allowed to touch the floor selectors or come to thing of it, anything in the elevator car. The kid just stands there, grinning and looking all pleased like at Ned and his skills.

That all changed yesterday. Ned handed over temporary command of the position. Fred was in seventh heaven, agog with the responsibility. For fifteen minutes. Ned agreed to take a coffee break, to see how the kid would handle the controls. He slapped Fred on the shoulder and told him, “Son, don’t let anyone push your buttons. Take control of the job and it will take care of you!”

The minx Etta Mae

That’s when Etta Mae came in. Such a little minx. She’s the new girl in the steno pool. So sweet and unassuming (in reality, she’s charmed the pants literally off every member of the accounts payable department and has moved her acquisitions onto receivables…). She took one look at Fred, smiled and ran her fingers down all the shiny little buttons on the panel as soon as the elevator doors shut.

Fred was so taken by the homespun hussy that he didn’t even realize what she had done. The bells, whistles, lights, stops and starts of the car on its long and hazardous journey just sounded like the charms of cupid to him. By the time Etta Mae got off at her floor, Fred was wearing her lipstick on his lips and collar, she was wearing his hat and both of them were greeted by a steamed Ned.

Thanks, Fred…

Thanks a lot, Fred and Etta Mae. Ever walk down twenty-five flights of stairs? How about up them? Now I can say I have. Ned fired Fred, closed up the elevator for the day (didn’t I say no one was allowed to press his buttons) and took him home by the collar to mommy Bernice.

Think I’ll try the Matterhorn in kitten heels next…

Thanks for reading and stay tuned for more posts. And don’t forget to give my Poppy Cove Mysteries a try if you haven’t already. 

Toodles, Barbara Jean

Posted in 1950's, 1950s business, 1950s fun, Alter Ego, Americana, big business, blogaday, city life, creative writing, Creativity, daily blog, day job, diary, entertainment, Fiction, flash fiction, flirting, Historical, historical fiction, Humor, Nostalgia, Office life, Office work, Pop Culture, postaday, Retro, Vintage | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment