Howdy, Pilgrim

Hi there, guys and dolls! Looking forward to your holiday break? Well, who isn’t? I, for one, am thrilled to be getting away from the neighbors. Don’t get me wrong, I love people (okay, to be honest I love to gossip about people, and there’s no point if you don’t know any people, then you have no one to gossip about, or to for that matter), but I have to admit at this time of year there’s a certain family that certainly gets into the Thanksgiving spirit.

Lil, just before ‘the incident’

They’re the Sampsons, Lil and Bill, along with their adorable (no, obnoxious is more like it) children, Miles and Priscilla (actually their real names are Trudy and Tony, I’ll explain further down). You see, Lil is convinced she and her brood were pilgrims in a past life. I think it all started when they moved to the neighborhood about three years ago and she was bonked on the head from a falling lamp outside the back of their moving van. Um, it was with the Mayflower company. I truly believe poor old Lil was never the same.

Even the turkeys sense a change in Lil and fly the coop…

Now, I wasn’t there when it happened, but it is now a suburban legend and the tale gets told at all the Thanksgiving tables throughout the neighborhood of how following the minor head injury (according to Lil, no medical services were needed, no siree, she was just fine) she started speaking funny, in old English or something, calling the children the names of pilgrims, talking about their long journey over treacherous seas to their new home (rumor has it they had moved just across town, I think they had to cross a bridge). Then she just snaps out of it, with plenty of time to get ready for Christmas. It’s now a yearly occurrence (in a funny way we all kind of look forward to, like a holiday tradition all on its own).

Miles and Priscilla (aka Tony and Trudi). Me thinks they are not amused..

Anyhoo, as Trudi and Tony (aka Miles and Priscilla) are getting older, they begin to dread the upcoming season. Lil dresses them up as the pilgrims she believes them to be and then threatens them there will be no Christmas if they don’t behave. Dutiful, they become. It’s quite the spectacle. Bill goes along with it, he’s terrified that if he doesn’t, she’ll throw him in the stockade. She’d do it, too.

So think of it this way, no matter how loony your family get together will be, it probably won’t be Lil’s historical, hysterical holiday.

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, autumn, blogaday, Characters, creative writing, Creativity, daily blog, diary, Domestic life, England, entertainment, Family, family life, Fiction, Fictional Characters, flash fiction, Gossip, Historical, historical fiction, Holidays, home life, Humor, journal, long read, neighbors, Nostalgia, nosy neighbors, Pop Culture, postaday, Relatives, short story, Social Mores, Socializing, stories, suburbia, Thanksgiving, Uncategorized, Vintage | Leave a comment

What I’m Bringing to the Holiday Table….

Hi there, guys and dolls! Can you believe that Thanksgiving is almost upon us? And yes, another time for families to gather around and share their goodwill and love, sigh. Also, for lucky me, the gamut of relatives asking me why I’m not married yet, is there someone on the horizon, all that wonderful heartwarming stuff. It’s quickly followed by a tsk, shake of the head, and the muttering of how come such a girl like you… Yay!

Now who the heck wouldn’t want to eat this (okay, me, but I still like to bring it to social shindigs)

This year, I mentioned to my Mother I’d be happy to bring my world famous (okay, actually infamous, I still don’t think it was my contribution that sent Uncle Bill to the hospital, I blame Cousin Rose’s turkey, but that’s another story) lime jelly salad, complete with radish roses. After Mother finished laughing, then crying, she suggested that maybe I should just show up at a reasonable hour and with a good date, this time (I still have no idea what that means…). Excellent, the holiday fun and games have thus begun.

But who the heck should I bring (um, subject to the inquisition)? How much to I have to train about what not to say and god, remembering all the little white lies I’ve told everyone over the past year (I swear, I only do it to keep the peace and not have them worry about me, okay pinky swear, but that’s kinda the same…). Getting out my little black book (fine, it’s a tome, but still) didn’t prove to be inspiring. I can’t ask Tom like I did two years ago (I still say that he didn’t give that fungus to Aunt Tina, no matter what she says), or Frank (I think he was married to a commie, could you imagine – wait, that might be fun, no, you’re right, one of the Gramps would have a conniption), and if I never see Doug ever again, that’ll be too soon (not to mention his unruly halitosis).

The talisman of my life….

So what does one do in times of such crisis? Why break out the Mystery Date board game. You see, some consult the tarot, a magic eight or crystal ball, even the sacred Ouija (no thanks, when I asked if I would ever get married, the danged plank flew off the board in my direction, almost took out my eye, only to land legs up on the floor and die a quivering death – never again!). I think Mystery Date may have all my answers. And heaven help me, it didn’t let me down. You see, I remembered the last time I played it was with Biff, you know, my buff body builder friend. Yes! Handsome, dapper and a no pressure date for me, as long as he gets plenty of turkey and can watch the tight ends in peace on game day, all would be well. Sure enough, he was thrilled to be coming. In fact, he was thrilled at the idea of being able to show off his new skills to a crowd (albeit, a tough one, it is my family after all) – bartending! Manna to my relatives! Get them well plied and I’ll be the best Coast family member of all times.

Biff, may or may not want to wear a shirt when bartending for my family. We’ll see…

So then of course, I had to have him come over and practice. I must say he has a fantabulous set of skills. He was stirring and shaking like nobody’s business. Only thing, I may have to bribe him to keep a shirt on til at least the third round, I’m not sure if Aunt Mabel or Cousin Pete might disapprove in front of everyone while privately trying to snatch him up before dinner… eh, it’s a tossup.

Now I’m all set. Happy Holidays are on their way, can’t wait to watch the festivities!

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, Alter Ego, Americana, autumn, Bartending, blogaday, board games, Characters, cocktail culture, cocktails, creative writing, Creativity, daily blog, Dating, diary, Domestic life, Drinks, entertainment, Etiquette, Family, family life, Fiction, Fictional Characters, flirting, Games, historical fiction, Holiday food, Holiday Parties, Holidays, home life, house party, Humor, journal, long read, Nostalgia, Parties, Pop Culture, postaday, Relatives, Retro, Social Mores, Socializing, suburbia, Thanksgiving, Uncategorized, Vintage, weekend | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Slightly Flawed and Almost Friendly Advice

Hi there, guys and dolls! Fancy that, it’s Friday, and not a day too soon. I’ve received some great letters from some great women with great problems. Let’s get to their challenges, shall we?

Dear Barbara Jean,

I don’t think Betty will be bored for long…

I feel like I’m in a rut. Everything feels like the same old, same old thing. I think I need to do something and call on your wonderful wisdom to help me. I’m feeling antsy and wonder should I change my hair or should I change my husband? What would you do?

Bored Betty in Boise

Dear Betty,

Let’s see. I think I’d change my hair first. It’s much less of a hassle and it’ll grow back if you don’t like it, whereas to get your husband back if you don’t like the other fish in the sea out there could be a lot of work. Plus, your problem could be changed in a two-part method – change your hair, then if your other half doesn’t notice or disapproves, then change him, too. You certainly won’t be bored then!

Here’s to shaking things up a bit, Barbara Jean

Who told Wanda about what?

Dear Barbara Jean,

I’ve just heard some unbelievable gossip in the neighborhood and I don’t know who knows about it and who doesn’t. Also, in this most delicate matter, I’m not sure who will side with whom. How do I know whom to tell and whom not to tell? It’s really too good to just keep to myself.

Wagging Wanda from Wichita

Dear Wanda,

Wow, now you’ve got me wondering and I don’t even know anyone in Wichita! I wish you would have told me, not that it would change the advice I’m going to give in any way whatsoever, I just want to know… Anyhoo, when you get together with any of your neighborhood gal pals, let them speak first, maybe they’ll be itching to spill it themselves. Watch for signs of ants in the pants behavior, fidgetyness, or that they outright tell you. If they sit there like clueless bumps on a log and don’t say anything, chances they don’t know anything (about that, or maybe they’re just dim bulbs all round, I don’t know your friends…). And what the heck, if the conversation’s boring, spill the beans and get the ball rolling. One big tip – whatever you do, don’t be the one to tell the parties involved by accident. I speak from experience. You’ll never be privy to the good gossip ever again, and that juicy secret you have on this particular misadventure will be nipped in the bud before you have enough time to fully enjoy the salacious dirt on this go round…

Don’t be the loose lips that sink this ship, 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, 50's housewife, 50's Husband, 50's Slang, Adult Contemporary, advice, advice column, Alter Ego, Americana, Beauty, blogaday, creative writing, Creativity, Domestic life, entertainment, Etiquette, family life, Fiction, Fictional Characters, flash fiction, Gossip, historical fiction, home life, Humor, letters, Marriage, neighbors, Nostalgia, nosy neighbors, opinion, Perspective, Pop Culture, postaday, Retro, Romance, Scandal, Self Esteem, Social Mores, Socializing, suburbia, Uncategorized, Vintage | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Entertainment for Busy Hands

Hi there, guys and dolls! Welcome to Thursday. Bet you never thought it would get here, did you? And do I have some great Raves n Faves for your listening pleasure.

I love radio plays, and isn’t BBC a wonderful source? My writer girls (Andrea and Heather) love to catch as many as they can while they are free, but it’s usually for a limited time. Thankfully, along with their fantabulous collection of books and other listening entertainment, Audible.com has a great selection of them, and yours forever for the purchasing. Here’s three of the best to cast your ears to while doing housework, running errands, doing your nails, relaxing or whatever you want to do with busy hands…

THE CAZALETS – Penelope Wilton narrates BBC Radio 4’s epic dramatisation of the treasured family saga, Elizabeth Jane Howard’s five book chronicle of the upper-middle class. Cazalet family begins in 1938, as siblings Hugh, Edward, Rupert, and Rachel join together for another family holiday at Home Place, their house in the Sussex countryside.

During the course of The Light Years, Marking Time, Confusion, Casting Off, and All Change, the progress of their lives, and those of their children, will be charted. As their stories unfolds we gain a vivid insight into the lives, hopes, and loves of three generations during the Second Word War and beyond.

Dramatised by Sarah Daniels and Lin Coghlan, and with a large cast of actors across all five books, this remarkable radio event adds a new dimension to Elizabeth Jane Howard’s extraordinary chronicles. The first four Cazalet novels sold over a million copies, with the fifth being published in 2013, shortly before the author’s death.

THE FORSYTES – Joseph Millson and Jessica Raine star in a brand new BBC Radio 4 full-cast dramatisation of the first two books in John Galsworthy’s saga of the Forsyte family in the early 20th century.

This dishy gem spans decades of a wonderfully scandalous family, where things change, yet stay the same. No doubt you’ll recognize members in your own family, and maybe, just maybe some of your own human foibles you’ve committed along the way (I know I sure did….).

RAYMOND CHANDLER – The complete collection of landmark BBC Radio dramas of Raymond Chandler’s Philip Marlowe mysteries. Philip Marlowe is the archetypal noir detective: wisecracking and world weary, hard boiled yet honourable. This volume includes all eight dramatisations of Raymond Chandler’s groundbreaking crime novels featuring his iconic hero.

The Big Sleep: Marlowe is consulted by a wealthy family man with two big problems: his children. Farewell My Lovely: Marlowe’s search for an ex-con’s ex-girlfriend leads him into danger. The High Window: when a rare gold coin is stolen from her collection, Mrs Murdoch hires Philip Marlowe to find it. The Lady in the Lake: businessman Derace Kingsley hires Marlowe to find his estranged wife, Crystal. The Little Sister: commissioned to find Orfamay Quest’s missing brother, Marlowe is drawn into the glamorous film world of Hollywood. The Long Goodbye: Marlowe befriends a drunk named Terry Lennox but comes to regret doing him a favour. Playback: hired to follow the mysterious Betty Mayfield, Marlowe soon finds that he is being tailed, too. Poodle Springs: newly married Marlowe puts his bride aside to look for a gambler on the run.

Starring Toby Stephens as Philip Marlowe, these stylish, suspenseful dramatisations – full of witty, ironic dialogue and colourful characters – bring the beautiful, corrupt world of California in the ’40s and ’50s to luminous life.

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 1930's, 1940's, 1950's, 1950's California, 1950s fun, 1950s glamour, 50's Novels, 50's Slang, Adult Contemporary, Alter Ego, audible, Audio books, Authors, BBC, blogaday, book series, books, British Mystery, California, Characters, city life, cocktail culture, daily blog, detectives, Dialogue, diary, Domestic life, entertainment, family life, family saga, Fiction, Fictional Characters, Historical, historical fiction, Hollywood, home life, Humor, jealousy, journal, Love, Marriage, murder mystery, Mysteries, Nostalgia, novels, Podcasts, Pop Culture, postaday, radio drama, radio play, radio serial, Radio Shows, Raves and Faves, Readers, reading, Retro, Romance, romantic suspense, Scandal, stories, suspense, Uncategorized, Vintage, World War Two | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

What Should I Be if I Ever Grow Up?

Hi there, guys and dolls! So how’s your workday Wednesday? Yep, I thought so… Mine is like that, too. Times like this I wonder what else I could have done to keep me well heeled and wasting time until Happy Hour. Okay, to be honest, I wonder what I actually do as a day job. As I’ve said, I show up, plunk a few keys on my typewriter, chase down the coffee delivery boy for a doughnut or two, share the water cooler gossip, figure out where we’re going for lunch, play dodge the junior execs, explain to the boss’ wife that ‘he’s in a meeting’ (hah, I haven’t seen him in years) all the while shifting around this same ratty carbon copied letter that’s dated about three years ago.

Oh, the stuff dreams (or nightmares) are made of…

Gives a girl a lot of time to think while filing her nails. So I recall being a little girl with big dreams. Oh, don’t get me wrong, I love my writer life of my Poppy Cove folk and love to tell their tales, but I’m talking about the day job until my brilliant true writer career blooms. And yes, the excitement of working in this big steel tower in the big business of well, something (I still have no idea what this place is all about), this mysterious big city life is certainly one of the dreams I had as a young girl playing grown-up, but of course there were others, too.

She looks like she can land on her feet

Such as a skater. Gliding gracefully across the ice, doing jumps, Salchows and twirls, all the while smiling so hard my face hurt. All the while wearing glitter and sequins. How could I not want to be this? Well, first of all, I had to master being able to stop, and not by slamming into the boards face first, screaming out of control. By the way, coaches don’t like that. That’s fair, I don’t like being cold or landing on hard ice. There’s not enough makeup in the world to cover those bruises on my er, assets. That’s enough of that.

The romance of healing the sick (really?)

And gee, think of Florence Nightingale. What could be more romantic than cooling the fevered brow of the handsome young millionaire that just happened to catch the flu or broke a leg on some daredevil skiing accident or race car disaster? Just think how grateful he’d be, helpless at your capable healing hand. Make him all better and he’ll whisk you away to his mansion, right? Um, more like midnight shifts dealing with bedpans and cranky old biddies who complain about scratchy bed sheets and flat pillows. Sheesh, hospitals aren’t hotels, for god’s sake! Enough of that, too!

I could have been a stewardess. Just think, the mile high club and glamour in the skies. Maybe that young millionaire didn’t hurt himself and was jet setting, just looking for coffee, tea or me? Just think – traipsing up and down a narrow aisle while that the plane bounces around in turbulent skies, pouring hot drinks, delivering food, answering to a passenger’s every whim. One good bounce and I’m sure I could, manage a good spill of coffee, tea but not me in his lap!

So here I am, and it’s not so bad. Maybe one day I’ll even know what the heck we do around here!

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, Alter Ego, blogaday, Careers, Characters, city life, creative writing, Creativity, daily blog, day job, diary, entertainment, Fiction, Fictional Characters, flash fiction, historical fiction, Humor, journal, long read, Nostalgia, nurse, Office life, Office work, Pop Culture, postaday, Retro, Romance, short story, skater, stewardess, stories, Uncategorized, Vintage | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

The Joneses Need to Keep up with Me…

Hi there, guys and dolls! You know the saying, “keeping up with the Joneses?” Well, the only Joneses I know personally (that would be Jay, Jill and their children Johnny and Janey yeah, that’s right…) quite frankly bore me to tears.

Don’t get me wrong, they are lovely people, really and truly they are. The backbone of society. People who are fine examples of who we should all be, in that nuclear family. Blah, Blah, Blah. At least they have each other and a hours of home movies of every little thing they have ever done and boy howdy, do they love to share them with you.

Which was exactly what happened to me last night. I got cornered at the market by Jill who really felt we should catch up. Little Janey grabbed onto my leg as if her life depended on it. I tried to gently shake her off, but no dice. Eventually after I said I would pinky swear to come over did she let go of her vise like grip to clamp her clammy hand (why, oh why was it so sticky, maybe I really don’t want to know…) around my finger, almost pulling it off. Charming child…

Ain’t that lil Johnny special?

Anyhoo, the next thing I knew I had agreed to show up at their house and bring the popcorn. They had a bunch of new vacation films they were just dying to share with me. After they were out of sight, Sally May came up to me, handing me a condolence card she had just picked up. She had been roped in last week and felt that I needed more sympathy than her dyspeptic aunt. Great!

So there I went, a big bowl of hot buttered popcorn in my hands and a prayer on my lips for, “Please God, let the projector break down and let me go home.” Guess what? My prayers were half answered. Something broke down, but it wasn’t mechanical…

And there they go. There’s about an hour’s footage of this…

Turns out they recruited (coerced) half the neighborhood to attend. At least we could get it over all at once and so many of these home movie veterans had the wherewithal to bring their body weight in booze. And the screening begins Let’s see, there were movies about them going to the beach, getting on a plane, having a barbecue in the back yard (isn’t Johnny the clever little chef…), Janey on the potty (really, I didn’t need to see that…) Grampa taking his teeth out and pretending to gum everyone to death (please, no…), it goes on.

First sight I saw after my home movie nightmare. Probably the best scene of the night.

And that’s when I lost track. Somewhere between the gummy Grampa and the projector smoking and melting another reel, I fell into a deep, dreamy sleep full of the Jones family antics. In a blind panic, I woke up just as my dream Janey was biting dream Johnny’s head off with dream Grampa’s chompers. Next thing I knew, all eyes were down on me. They had turned off the projector and turned on the lights when they heard me slide off the couch and clunk onto the floor. Just had time to dust myself off, pick myself off, and start all over again. That is, out the door and straight for home. Another successful night at the Joneses…

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 Movies, blogaday, Characters, creative writing, Creativity, daily blog, diary, Domestic life, entertainment, family life, Fiction, Fictional Characters, home movies, house party, Humor, journal, long read, neighbors, Nostalgia, nosy neighbors, opinion, Pop Culture, postaday, Retro, Socializing, suburbia, Uncategorized, Vacation, Vintage | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Autumn, the Burning, Yearning Season

Hi there, guys and dolls! Ah, autumn – little crispness in the air, the splendor of nature’s glory in the changing of the leaves. The pain in the you know what as they fall and clutter up the yard…sigh. And you know in my neck of the woods where nobody minds their own business, one must keep up with the Jones, the Smiths, the Garcias, everyone.

Hence my leaves. I’ll admit I’ve left it, hoping they would just rot and become next year’s soil, but I got really tired of Millie, Val, Sal, Milly (the other one) and even Betty Sue who usually couldn’t give a toss what state my yard is in tsking and shaking their heads at me in utter disgrace that my lawn wasn’t neat and tidy, all the leaves raked away, not somehow offending them with their untidy display.

Most likely a good image of Ned in his younger years. Yep, the signs were there…

Fine. I’ll recruit some help. I got out my little black book and came across Ned. Oh, darling Ned! I haven’t seen him since last fall when the leaves needed raking. He loves doing that stuff. And cheap! One nice dinner, a little snuggle that I thoroughly enjoyed and accounts are settled til the next round of yard work needs doing. Yep, Ned is it!

And really, I don’t know why I wait so long before seeing him again. If I remember correctly, he’s a real sweetie, kinda cute in the Archie, red hair and freckles kind of way. Loves the outdoors, fresh in every way (as in smells clean but also tries a little something on which I’m always game for – heck, if he doesn’t, I will and honestly, I have no problem being that kind of girl ;-)).

I was happy with Ned at this moment

So Ned shows up and all goes well. We get a little work done, Milly and Betty Sue walk by and give me a nod of approval, not only for getting the yard work done, but for picking such an attractive helper. Jealous much, ladies? Fine by me. I’ve worked long and hard to hand pick my stable of stallions, er, friends, helpers, whatever…

And of course, we take a little break. There’s a nip in the air and body heat is the best way to keep warm, I always find. Anyhoo, after a little canoodling I do find it’s getting hot. No, not like that, but there’s actual heat, as in fire, as in smoke, crackling, flying ash and cinders! Holy smoke (yep, had to use that pun)! It seems that we’ve got a roaring bonfire. And then all in a brilliant flash I remember why I hadn’t seen him since last fall. Ned’s red hair isn’t the only fiery thing about him. Danged fool was loco for flames and almost burned down the neighborhood! Quickly I got the hose, bucket and ran around screaming, and managed to get the blaze out. Then I told Ned the Guy Fawkes imposter to take a hike.

Meet Ned the pyromaniac. Sheesh, not going to do that again, again…

Of course, now the back yard looks worse than before with the sooty pile of the now extinguished bonfire. That’s okay, once it’s cool I’ll just spread the remaining leaves back over top and it’ll look like it did before I started raking the leaves. Millie, Val, Sal, other Milly and even Betty Sue can just lump it!

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, Alter Ego, Americana, autumn, blogaday, creative writing, Creativity, Dating, diary, Domestic life, entertainment, Fiction, Fictional Characters, flash fiction, flirting, Historical, historical fiction, home life, household chores, Humor, jealousy, long read, neighbors, Nostalgia, nosy neighbors, Pop Culture, postaday, Romance, short story, Social Mores, Socializing, stories, suburbia, Uncategorized, Vintage, weekend, yard work | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Half-Wit Wisdom

Hi there, guys and dolls! Looky, another weekend is almost upon us and you all know what that means – time for me to share a little half-wit wisdom that isn’t always wise to follow. Let’s read who needs some help today…

Dear Barbara Jean,

Meg, just before her husband got home

I am really in a pickle. My husband came home early and caught the door to door vacuum cleaner salesman ‘showing me his wares’ so to speak. Luckily, we were both still dressed, just engaged in a little ‘hose play’ you might say. Now my husband doesn’t trust me and stays around the house all day. He’s underfoot and I can’t get anything done. Not to mention having to explain the weekly visits from the pool boy, when we don’t have a swimming pool. Also, the washing machine repair man’s due to come by in a couple of days. As you can tell, having my husband around really puts a wrench in my social life. Barbara Jean, I don’t know what to do.

Mischievous Meg in Michigan

Dear Meg,

Bravo, darling! I have to hand it to you, you run a very efficient household, what with all the many help dropping by and doing their part. I agree that having your husband hovering just won’t do. And trust me, you don’t want those fickle salesmen and delivery boys to wander off. When the fresh divorcee from down the street learns that the pool boy has a vacant time slot, it’s hard to get him back. Trust me, I know from personal experience. I say call his office and get the lay of the land. Chances are there’s some little lass in the secretarial pool pining away for her own office ‘pool’ boy (aka, your husband, and don’t tell me you really care, missy, I’ve got the gist of your ‘home visits’), and once you anonymously put a bug in her ear to call him in for a ‘closed door meeting’, he’ll be back in the office again.

Love to help keep the marrieds happy, Barbara Jean

Dear Barbara Jean,

My mother is good friends with the class geek’s mother and they are always trying to set us up. He’s kind of goofy looking and in the after school robot and computron club. All he talks about is that one day we’ll all have these little tiny computers that do everything for us. He says they won’t be the size of a house or need to use ticker tape or punch cards. He and his friends will figure it out one day and be really rich because they’re really smart. Do you think he’s right or just kind of weird?

Not quite sure how they’ll shrink this down, but okay….

Confused Connie in Colorado

PS – He also says that he likes me almost as much as he likes computers and that his mother thinks I’m good for him, so he doesn’t mind me hanging around. I think that’s a compliment?

Dear Connie,

Hmm, interesting question. You know, I think he means well, and in the name of research, I had a scientist friend of mine help me out. He put your letter on punch cards and fed them into their state of the art, solid state logic machine. The answer was astounding (his words, not mine). The results indicate you should stay with your nice geek, in addition to my geek’s advice. He says that he too has heard that computers will be the wave of the future, and by golly, those who will get them to be pocket sized will be the richest men in the world.

Don’t forget me when you’re rolling in the dough, 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, 50's housewife, 50's Husband, advice, advice column, Alter Ego, Americana, blogaday, Characters, creative writing, Creativity, daily blog, Dating, diary, Domestic life, entertainment, family life, Fiction, Fictional Characters, flash fiction, flirting, historical fiction, home life, Humor, letters, long read, Marriage, Nostalgia, opinion, Perspective, Pop Culture, postaday, Retro, Social Mores, Socializing, suburbia, Uncategorized, Vintage | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Don’t You Just Love Lucy?

Now that’s some television!

Hi there, guys and dolls! Raves n Faves Thursday is here, the day for me to gab about some of my favorite things.

I love to laugh and I love television. I walk up to the set, turn it on, go back and sit down, wait and watch that little dot in the center warm up to the full screen, then walk back up to the set and turn the dial to the proper channel I want to watch, go sit back down, realize it’s not the right channel, get back up, change the channel and turn up the volume, go sit back down, then get up again and fiddle with the rabbit ears at an awkward position while trying to see the screen. Sigh, you have no idea what I’m talking about, do you? Oh, go ask your mother, or grandmother. They’ll explain it.

Anyhoo, now or then in the 50’s, it doesn’t matter, I still love Lucy. Here’s a list of some of my favorite episodes in broadcast order that will be sure to give you a giggle or two.

Look, a health drink!

Lucy Does a Commercial (Season 1, Episode 30) Originally aired May 5, 1952 – Dear Lucy, always looking for ways to get into show biz and/or get a job, so why not both? And what could be healthier than a vitamin drink? Turns out “Vitameatavegamin” has some added, um, benefits that could preserve that stuff forever….hic.

Job Switching (Season 2, Episode 1) Originally aired September 15, 1952 – Don’t you just get tired of men saying that women’s work is easy? Yeah, right. The men stay home and make a mess of things while Lucy and Ethel take on jobs at a chocolate factory. Seems like a breeze til they have to do it. Somehow a trip to an all you can eat chocolate bar may not be a dream come true after all!

Lucy and the Fashion Show (Season 4, Episode 20) Originally aired February 28, 1955 – Oh, the glamour! Lucy and Ethel get to meet designer to the stars Don Loper and hobnob with some of the most famous Hollywood wives of the era. The episode is hilarious and it’s so much fun to see the cameos of the LA ladies who lunch and watch how Lucy shows them how it’s done (okay, not really, but so very entertaining)!

See? Not all babies are alike…

Return Home from Europe (Season 5, Episode 26) Originally aired May 14, 1956 – I loved the Ricardos’ and the Mertzs’ adventures across America and Europe. The shows were all so much fun and there’s so many more to share, but I thought this one where Lucy tries to smuggle home some wonderful delicacies to be so creative and doesn’t always get the credit it deserves. Plus, it’s probably something I’d try…

Well, doesn’t Ricky look surprised?

Lucy Does the Tango (Season 6, Episode 20) Originally aired March 11, 1957 – The country life! Yeah, not sure it’s for me, either. But heck, that Lucy’s going to try. Such an egg-citing episode (see it for yourself and you’ll know what I mean), and nothing beats the look on Ricky’s face as it all cracks up!

Now, there are so many other episodes I could go on and on about and there are some that are more famous, but these are a few that I wanted to share with you. Why not drop a comment or two and tell me what you love rave about as your Lucy fave?

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

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When the Boss Cat’s Away….

Hi there, guys and dolls, workday Wednesday is already here! And what a doozy it is. You see, all kinds of mayhem happened while the boss took a little vacation out of town. Not that we don’t get up to nothing and nonsense when he’s there. In fact, we’re not really sure who he is exactly. There’s this portly man who runs walks around like he owns the joint, smokes a cigar, makes a few indecipherable commands, signs some papers and leaves. So, we figure he’s the boss. Anyway, he wasn’t around much this week, and let me tell you what we got up to.

It all started when the bottle on the water cooler ran out. Well, nobody knew where the refill was, including the so-called water boy, whom we believe the sole occupation for this fine, spotty young man is to go around the building replacing cooler bottles. Anyhoo, the bespectacled youngster we nabbed walking through the secretarial pool had no idea what we were talking about (to be honest, nobody recognized him, so maybe he wasn’t the water cooler kid, who knows). So we called on Big Bertha to take charge. Now Bertha’s about 6 feet tall and almost as wide. She runs the office in the most friendly, yet assertive manner. Heart of gold, but hoo boy, don’t get on her bad side. Say a junior exec gets a little more familiar than a steno girl wants, or the boss denies a raise. We call her in and let’s just say, they see things her way.

Well, that kid sure knew how to refill a water cooler…

Okay, so Bertha’s thirsty and sends this young freckle of a boy to get the water replaced pronto. He skipped to it and goodness, he found a bottle fast off in the corner from one of the bigwig’s offices. He replaced it promptly and fled the command of Bertha before she could find him other things to do (still have no idea who he was). And didn’t he do a fine job. Turns out it was just a little bit of bubbly!

And this is how the day degenerated into full blown shenanigans

And as soon as word got out, the lineups to the cooler were around the floor, snaking through the secretarial and steno pools, and wouldn’t you know that Jill and Frank were hovering as usual, although before long they were sagging off and napping in the corner. And what fun the shenanigans became! There were the mail cart races (Tim and Midge one by a nose, literally over Sam and Madge, although there was controversy due to the fact that Midge’s nose was so big it crossed the typewriter ribbon finishing line just over Madge’s ample, er, chest. The desk hurdles were great fun ’til someone almost lost an eye (got to watch those letter openers) and passing the paperweight (think of that pass the orange game, body to body and you’ve got it) was a regular laugh riot. Of course, there were a few things I wanted no part of, such as brassiere and girdle slingshot shot-put (those suckers had to stay on; for god’s sake, I remove them, I’d never get my wiggle dress done up to get home) or a round of kick the pickle, for even after it was explained to me, I still don’t know what the heck that was or where anyone found an enormous pickle in the office in the first place.

I just want it known I did not participate whatsoever in a round of kick the pickle

About 4 o’clock, the cooler was drained again, and we all started winding down. Most of us stumbled out by usual quitting time, although there may be a few still there, pulling in an all-nighter at the office (rumor has it that another bottle was found, but that may be an urban legend).

So, how was your day?

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

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