Saturday, October 31, 2009

Happy Halloween October 31st!

I tried to respond to some of your blogs yesterday, but blogger had kicked me out and I couldn't find my password until today ha ha on me.

I hope all of you have a safe and fun Halloween! Post photos and tell me what you did on your blogs so I can read all about it. =)

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Happy Halloween!

I've been so busy lately, but because I vowed to start celebrating holidays again, I went out and bought far too many sweets and such to put on my holiday Halloween table.

Of course, all the good Halloween decorations are packed away again in the closet unil I can get the painting and such done, but I simply had to keep a little bit out.

So it's not fancy like the photos of other peoples' tables I posted before.

But I love the way the faux fall leaves catch the afternoon sunlight and simply glow.

And it cheers me up every time I see my one little spot of holiday cheer.

So I hope you all are doing very well, and enjoying this Fall season.

Enjoy each day the best way you can.
Happy Halloween!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

1950’s Halloween Costumes and Fun

I found some more delightful and frightful mid-century Halloween photos to share with all of you.

Love the early color photos. Clowns and skeletons seem to be popular here, and is that a pirate and a space man?

Oops hope I didn’t post this one before? Anyways, love the home-made robot costumes! I bet they were the talk of the neighborhood that year:

Looks like these nice ladies are setting up a large snack treat table. I hope they have caramel apples too!

I think this photo has something to do with being safe at night, because it looks like they are wearing reflective tape around their sleeves and pants cuffs. Mickey Mouse and Felix the Cat! Great costumes. Do many of you know who Felix the Cat is?

And how many of you remember these early treat bags? I remember one house handing out these filled with candy. Wow, I couldn’t believe someone would give out not just one piece of candy, but a whole adorable little baggie filled with treats!

Mighty Mouse and maybe the Lone Ranger. I suppose not all of you remember Mighty Mouse either? I must be getting old!

A Halloween parade! Lucky them. I recall a Halloween parade when I was in Kindergarten or maybe it was first grade, parading around in our costumes at the school playground. I was so happy to be a colorful gypsy that year. Do kids do that any more, or have they stopped celebrating Halloween at school?

Goodness! What is that costume with the big head? Any clues? Very creative. And a leopard, bearded cowboy? Knight? Pirate? And Elvis with sideburns? Ha ha I don’t think that is Elvis in blue.

This photo looks a little familiar too, but we don’t mind looking at it again, do we?
Is that the Green Hornet I see, top right? A clown, a spaceman, two, actually, a bunny, the devil and… I can’t tell on the right lol…

Tricks or Treats bag. Looks familiar, I might have had that style of bag way back when:

Other than someone in her pajamas and the overalls (?) made from feed sacks (the burlap kind, not the other kind) and the Halloween decorations in the background, I’m not sure what’s going on here:

Uh oh, who else remembers Zorro? Am I really that old? The best! The Space Ranger in the background is priceless! I forget the name of the hound dog character to the right:

And finally I came across this add for candy bars for Halloween. Who got full sized candy bars? I think I remember only ever getting one, and I’m not sure about that either. Cute ad, Baby Ruths are the best!

Monday, October 19, 2009

Choosing A Plumber and More - HELP!

OK I have to face it. I’ve been doing everything but facing it. I’ve tried to forget it by spending endless hours shopping eBay. I’ve tried to avoid it by spending endless hours thinking up creative blog posts and reading your blogs. I’ve convinced myself that a magical fairy will fly into my window and give me the right answer:

How do I choose the right plumber, and then, a contractor?

Here’s the deal. The plumbing in my house sucks. I mean, it’s bad really bad. And it’s not getting better. I need to get the whole thing redone. Yikes.

But here’s another thing: About 15-20 years ago, my folks did get the whole works redone, because the plumbing sucked back then too. To the tune of $4,000.

OK, as long as it worked afterwards, not too bad, right?

But after a few years went by, the same problems started to happen again: The kitchen sink stopped working (try to plunge it, and the water came out from under the wall into the garage). The shower and tub stopped draining (the bathroom sink water fills up or backs up into the shower and tub). They used to drain slowly, now they hardly drain at all.

None of the sink or tub stoppers work any more, and the sink in the bathroom, I discovered, is leaking into the cabinet beneath it.


I had a plumber here to stop the leak in the bathroom sink before, and the toilet that didn’t stop running, and got his advice on the situation. He told me I needed a whole new plumbing job, to the tune of $4,000-$5,000. Of course.

But he was a bit of a jerk who wanted to cut access holes in my kitchen and bathroom floors to access the pipes. The other guys used the crawlspace on the side of the house.

It’s not the money. $4-$5K I can deal with, IF it all worked again, and didn’t start back up in a year or three.

But here is the other thing that stops me: A few years ago, a dear friend of mine got ripped off to the tune of $30K when he had to have his home rebuilt after one of the fires here in southern California. And my friend has been a contractor himself for almost 50 years, so if it happened to him, what about me?


Friends’ suggestions have been to call in a few guys, have them do something very minor, like change a washer, and get a vibe or feel for them.

I’m quite good at getting vibes from people, so not a bad idea.

But I looked in my yellow pages and online, and funny, I can hardly find any plumbers around here. Did I look on the wrong pages?

I’m an overworked eccentric who almost never talks to her neighbors because, well, I am an overworked eccentric. And they don’t do a lot of socializing with other neighbors. We all kind of do our own thing. So I can’t ask them for recommendations.

I need both bathrooms redone by a contractor, and new kitchen appliances installed, in addition to getting all the electrical plugs changed for new ones, and a couple hanging lamps hardwired in the ceiling.

But plumbing first.

So dear friends, I thought I’d at least ask all of you, to see if you had any more suggestions. Because I can’t wait much longer.

And if you have no suggestions but read though my whole desperate post, I thank you!

Thanks in advance.

Signed, I Need A Shower and Stinky in CA. Ha ha.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Vintage Halloween Table Decorating

This is sort of a mix of photos, but I wanted to get into the spirit of the upcoming special day.

What are you doing for Halloween?

Friday, October 16, 2009

“Packed Away” Because It’s So Special


Here is a question for all of you:

Do you keep things packed away “because they are so special??”

For years Mom, and I, used to keep our very special things carefully packed away. I mean, they were special, so we didn’t want them to get damaged or messed up. Carefully stashed, nice and neat, free from getting dirty or tainted or stained or dusty.


Then one day I realized:

When would we get to enjoy these special things if they were kept packed away? What special, special occasion might ever happen to warrant these special things being brought out of their special safe place?


I suppose there are some good reasons to keep things packed. In case of a fire or flood, you never know when you have to grab and run.


Or to pass them on to children or relatives. Will they love and cherish them, do you think?

I have no kids, so it’s not like I need to “keep them special” for them.

So I decided to start enjoying as many of the “special things” as I can.


But here is another downside. When you start pulling stuff out to “enjoy it”, it starts to take up a lot of surface space:


And then it grows on beds.


And more beds.


And it starts to spread on the floor:


I’m the kind of person who prefers one item on a table, streamline, slick, zero clutter.

I’m allowing the pink room to be the special things display room, but it’s spreading already.

Now I love my stuff, and all those “special things”, but I appeal to all of you:

Do you enjoy your stuff?

And then…

How do you deal with your stuff?

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Forrest J. Ackerman Pulp Fiction and Science Fiction Writer, and My Aunt

Every so often, as I grew up, Mom would tell me about my Aunt and her correspondence for many years with Forrest J. Ackerman also now known as Mr. Science Fiction, or “Forry” to his friends.

My Aunt was an aspiring writer herself, and loved science fiction among other genres, but somewhere in my Aunt’s early years, she started writing Forrest and they corresponded for years. How few or many I do not know at this time. Perhaps my Mom wrote about it in her Life Story, but it was for quite a few.

At any rate, Mom used to tell me how after Aunt and Forrest became friends, Forrest wrote a story that incorporated her families’ names into the story. And somewhere down the years my Aunt did send a copy of the pulp called The Spider, as seen at the top.

The episode in question was published November of 1941.


However, the printed author name is a shared pen name called “Grant Stockbridge”.

I did some online research about this and came up with this information from The Horror Timeline:


Followed immediately by The Great Depression. In the economic down-turn of the next decade radio plays and pulps took people's mind off their problems and saw the creation of such as the hugely popular The Shadow (1930) and The Spider (1933), both dark vigilantes, wreaking havoc on the underworld. The former started as a radio narrator of the 'Detective Story Hour', leading into success in magazine (edited by Frank Blackwell) and novel (the first written by stage magician Walter B. Gibson) formats, with over 280 novellas detailing his exploits. In early 1932 the Shadow appeared in his own radio show, and was portrayed by Orson Welles in 1937-8, and Lynn Shores directed the first movie in '37, followed by two serials. The Spider first appeared in The Spider Strikes, written by R. T. M. Scott, but was soon the work of

'Grant Stockbridge', a pseudonym for several writers,

most frequently Norvell Page, totalling 118 novellas (and yes, the first movie serial appeared in 1938, the sequel in 1941). Both of these characters can still be found today, mostly in reprints and comics (and the lacklustre 1994 version of The Shadow), but the best preserved of the group appeared in 1939 and is just as well-known as ever.

And a reference here: Grant Stockbridge: pseudonym of Norvell W. Page

But I see no mention of Forrest using that pen name except that it was a shared one as I mentioned. Interesting. I may have to email some Ackerman fans who might know.

I double checked, and indeed, the unmistakable names of my Mom’s family are in that issue. Each name changed by one letter, I suppose for anonymity, but still obviously my family names.

I went to visit this Aunt years ago, and she also told me how she wrote to Ackerman for many years, so I don’t doubt that it was he that wrote this story, as far as I can tell from family history, but we all know family history can sometimes be wrong.

At any rate, it will be interesting to see if I can find out more about this.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

A 1950’s Interior and Design Video Retrospective

Grab some popcorn, sit back, and enjoy these wonderful videos featuring Interior and product designs of the Mid-Century era.


Here are three wonderful videos about 1950’s Designers:

Part 2:

Part 3:

And here is a populuxe video called Design For Dreaming:

1960’s Easy Lounge Style Living:

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

I Want I Want I Want

I wanted this small pink bullet planter. It’s only 6 inches high! So cute!

But it sold for more than I was willing to pay for one little item.


Do you often see wonderful things you really want, but either cannot afford all of them or you know you have too many of something already?

I wanted this Melmac Branchell dinner set:

I mean, it matches the pattern on the silly artwork I did several years ago!
Melmac Attack:

Artwork post HERE.

But, the seller was selling each different set of cups, plates, dishes, etc separately, so the whole thing would have been far too expensive to bid on and win.


And I wanted this atomic, Caulder-esque 13 inch long tray:

It was listed for only $10!

But it sold for $35. And I have too many things to set out on my tabletops and dressers and buffets and such.