Images of Apricots

A friend and fellow teacher that lives down the road called and said she had all the apricots we could pick. We grabbed boxes, bags, sunscreen, and hats and headed to her house this morning. We picked for ourselves and family members. I think the images can tell the story.

Smells of Summer That Take Me Back

The other day while preparing to face the hot sun I covered myself with sunscreen. I had a generic brand, but just that smell of the lotion took me back to childhood and summer. I remembered Coppertone in the signature brown bottle. That day as I was working in the garden I made a mental list of other smells that did the same. Of course, you were either a Coppertone girl, a Sea and Ski girl, or you bravely put iodine in baby oil and slathered your body with that. Forget covering up, skin cancer, or sunburns. It was all just part of the summer ritual. (It was much later that the unforgettable smell of coconut and Hawaiian Tropic came on the scene.)

When I get anywhere near a pool I am back at the Kellogg public pool. The distinct chlorine smell reminds me of green mesh bags, suits that never quite lost that smell, hours of hanging out, pruny hands from staying in the water so long, and a beach towel soaked in chlorine that lingered while riding home on your bike.

I return to my Grandma Woolum's yard when I smell dill. Whether it was when I ran my hands over the maturing dill growing in the garden, or going to her cellar where it was drying it is a smell that is reminiscent of fresh cucumbers, Mason jars, and making dill pickles in August.

The pungent smell of campfire smoke reminds me singing songs around the campfire at Camp Neewahlu, roasting marshmallows with friends at Rose Lake, and gatherings up the river when we were old enough to drive and stay out later. Days later I could pick up a jacket or a shirt and the campfire scent would still be there.

When we had hot spells while growing up all I wanted to do is sit in the basement or go swimming. Then the skies clouded up and a summer rainstorm moved in. Summer rain smell is so distinct it is almost hard to put into words. You just know that smell. It is a mixture of wet pine needles, dampened dust, or rain dripping on maple leaves. Where I live now clouds gather above the lake and the air carries that smell of thunder and heat mixed with lilies and phlox. It is the smell of reprieve and a gentle reminder that autumn is just around the corner.

What smells take you back to childhood summers?

Summer Reverie

Glorious light from the east

illuminates dewy shades of green and white,

Under an umbrella of maple and pine

the fragrance of lilies fills the cool air.

Creating a sweet melody

the crossbills perch on a faded birdhouse.

On this summer morning

pull up a chair and dream.

Three Saturday Surprises

Today the Saturday bouquet has a mix of dahlias, roses, sunflowers, cosmos and other colorful blooms. It is a surprise that we have this many beautiful flowers in this hot, hot , dry weather.
Here is the second Saturday surprise. I would like to give The Blogger for Positive Global Change to Crafty Green Poet. Her blog is here and she uses her poetry, reviews, and opinions to remind us of what is needed to keep our world a green and healthy place. The two parts of her blog I love the most are the crafts she shares using recycled materials (I already have a list of projects to do with students connected to writing in the fall. ) and her haiku. She is very deserving of this award.
The third Saturday surprise is a creation by JEJ. He is a very resourceful person. He used a CB home base antennae we had behind the shed, a saucer from a plant pot, and a blue bowl we use for camping to design a lovely birdbath for our feathered friends that are searching for water on these hot days. Because we do have dogs and cats, the birds are hesitant to use our other ponds and fountains in the heat. This is a perfect set-up. I wonder if people living below us think we have a new Verizon receiver in our back yard. I love it and I can't wait until morning to see how the birds respond. It is easy to fill, but cleaning it out may be a challenge. Oh well, out of sight, out of mind!

Sibling Assignment # 29: Working Hard in the Silver Valley

My dad as a young working man walking in Kellogg after finishing a shift.

Silver Valley Girl assigned Raymond Pert and me the following topic: Share some information you learned about the history of the Silver Valley as an adult that you had no clue about growing up as a student in Kellogg, and then how this information changed your thinking about the Silver Valley.

Raymond Pert’s is here. Silver Valley Girl’s is here.
I also decided to link this to the Sunday Scribblings word this week which is phenomenon. The unusual or significant occurrence of being overworked is a phenomenon for many today.

When I grew up in the Silver Valley we spent time in fourth grade studying Idaho history. I knew some information about the Cataldo Mission. I learned all the counties so when we played license plate game I knew them by the letter and number. I knew we had natural resources and we were called the Gem State. As I grew older there were things about the Silver Valley I just carried with me. I heard stories of gold in Murray, the big fire in Wallace, and often read the brown Historical Site signs to learn more as an adult. Then I became a fourth grade teacher in the Silver Valley and I taught those same important facts about Idaho.

What I didn’t learn about the Silver Valley as a child or as a first-year teacher was the importance of work ethic. Through conversations with my sister as she has researched the Silver Valley for her novel I have learned that the people in the Silver Valley have always worked hard. My dad worked his five shifts at the Zinc Plant every week, oftentimes was on call in the evening, and moonlighted on week-end nights at the Sunshine Inn to save money for his children to go to college. My mom was a wife, teacher, mother, Sunday School teacher, member of PTA and the local teacher association, and did college courses and workshops. She worked hard.
I was surrounded by adults during my growing up years that also worked hard. It was the acceptable norm for the people in The Valley I knew. Homemakers working at home often did volunteer work, helped out with babysitting, or ran the consession stand at a Little League game. It was rare during those years that I remember a family going on a big trip for a vacation. Many families had a lot up the river or a place at a nearby lake. That was their place to relax.

As a child I did chores, babysat, and had summer jobs once I was old enough. I also worked part-time when I was at college. I just worked because it was what everybody did. When I finished college and began teaching it was a continuation of school and the work involved. I always felt like I needed to work harder to be better. I remember Mom bringing schoolwork home so I knew I would do that. I continued my education in the summers and went back later and earned a Master’s degree. I had high expectations of myself and I worked and worked and worked. I didn’t see it as a job though. I saw it was an extension of my learning.

How did I change my thinking? There was a point in my adult life that I was overworked, overstressed, and exhausted. I went to talk to a counselor. After I shared my concerns she told me something profound. “Everybody doesn’t try to fill a week with as much work as you.” I was alarmed. I think I always felt if I worked harder my other difficulties of life would be fixed. She then asked me about the work ethic of my family. As I began to tell her about my hard-working grandmothers, parents, and people that surrounded me she helped me see that strong work ethic is good, but there needs to be a balance.

My thinking changed that day about my family and the people I knew in the Silver Valley. Everyone in the state, country, and world didn’t work that hard. I had a higher regard for the working people in my life, but also remembered that many of these people played hard. As a child I thought they earned a cold beer, a night out bowling, or a pack of cigarettes. It had been a hard week at work.

It has created a challenge in my life. I am constantly struggling with that balance of work and rest. I am still surrounded by people that have a strong work ethic. There are times I get this feeling in my gut and know there is something else I should be doing. I am focusing on improving that balancing act. I know I can leave work at school that isn’t done. I can stay in the house when it is 100 degrees and not pull weeds and deadhead. It is okay to forgive myself for not reading my whole basket of books for summer learning. Maybe it is because I am older, but I like to think it is because I am wiser.
This post was inspired by Otis' guest post " Remembering Where I Come From" on Mommy Dearest's blog here. I don't wear Red Wings, but "comfortable teacher shoes".
To read other Scribblings about phenomenon you can go here.

Making My Day and Lake Roosevelt from Another Point of View

Looking north toward Kettle Falls and Canada on the eastern side of Lake Roosevelt.
Mommy Dearest made my day by recognizing the "Silver Valley family of bloggers" for the Blogger Refection Award. The blogging family is myself, my brother at Kellogg Bloggin' and my sister at Silver Valley Stories and you can go here and read her heartwarming words. I appreciated her line "this family is Good People".

Rondi at May's Day recently also recognized me with the Blogger for Positive Global Change award. It gave me a good feeling inside to know I made a positive impact on a fellow teacher and that pictures of my bouquets made her smile. You can read about it here at May's Day , a lovely blog that shows me another part of the United States I want to visit. I will pass on the award on another post.

Last Sunday we did a road trip to the other side of Lake Roosevelt. We drove south on Highway 25 from Kettle Falls then headed up a country road that winds high above the lake. When we face west we can gaze across the lake and see our house from another point of view. The flat sandy land close to the shore is a row of houses below us. You can see roofs among the trees which is where our house it. Ten years ago we could see our house. It is amazing how quickly the pine trees have grown. I like to study what is behind my house across the lake. Bangs Mountain, which I took pictures from on another post here, is in view above the trees. The picture above shows a bay further up the road from our house. It is a favorite cove for fishermen, houseboaters, and sightseers from across the lake like me! The view at the top of the post shows when you look north up the lake toward the bridge at Kettle Falls. The lake widens and creates a beautiful bend in the landscape. You can see the mountains north close to Canada.
This last picture was taken as we were heading south and descending down the mountain road. I love the mix of grass, mountains, the lake, and trees in this picture. This view is close to Barnaby Island. What a road trip and what a way to appreciate the beauty that surrounds me.

Reminders of Grandma West and August

The two flowers that always remind me of my Grandma West's garden are dahlias and glads. I know August is just around the corner when I have these two flowers blooming in my garden. I always plant dahlias and glads because of those memories of Grandma's breathtaking flower garden in Orofino, Idaho. Last year the grasshoppers destroyed most of the dahlias, but we planted them in a new spot so I think they may be safer. Hopefully with the next round of blooms I will get a bouquet with both flowers. Other signs that August is just around the corner are the cucumbers just about the right size to begin making pickles, the freezer filling up with ziplock bags of raspberries, zucchini ready to harvest, and green beans twining up the poles.

Inspiration and Beauty on Puget Sound

"Education is to nourish your soul and transform your life."
Ruth Simmons, President of Brown University

My day of learning started with this quote. It was a perfect way to start a day exploring best ways to teach comprehension to students. In a room with about three hundred teachers I listened, talked, shared ideas,read, reflected, and was energized by Stephanie Harvey.
The other quote that stayed with me after I left today was:
" Every effort must be made in childhood to teach the young to use their own minds.For one thing is for sure:If they don't make up their own minds, someone will it for them. "
Eleanor RooseveltWe ended the day enjoying a walk at Saltwater State Park with a spectacular view of Puget Sound.

Lifelong Learning With Stephanie Harvey

If you are a teacher of reading you may have heard of Stephanie Harvey. Her first edition of "Strategies That Work" written with Ann Goudvis was a book teachers read and reread to try to unlock the mysteries of teaching reading comprehension to students. Now she has published a second edition that gives teachers more tools for teaching comprehension for understanding and engagement. I am sitting in a hotel room in Seattle and get to spend the next two days with Stephanie Harvey. As a teacher I have always been a lifelong learner and this workshop will be like a mini college course in teaching reading comprehension. I have my pen and notebook ready for "class". All of us have helped a reader. It may have been a student, a child, a friend, or a grandchild. When students can't understand what they are reading, we often don't know what to do next . I look forward to new learning the next two days that I can take back to enhance my own reading comprehension in the fall. Besides I get to spend quality time with four other teachers from my staff. That always makes a workshop even better!

Sibling Assignment #28: Thirteen

Thirteen years ago I said good-bye to this house.

This week’s sibling assignment came from Raymond Pert. We were to write about thirteen. You will find Silver Valley Girl's thirteen books to read about the Silver Valley here and RP's soon here.
This week I have been shuffling through pictures, calendars, and boxes of memories from my adult life. I came across my date book from thirteen years ago. As I looked over photos and checked on events I recalled the summer of 1994 was the summer of change. I left the Tri-Cities area of Washington state after teaching there fourteen years. During that summer I taught a course at U. of I. in Coeur d’Alene, I went to visit Z2 shortly after her birth, interviewed for a teaching job, packed up my stuff, sold my house, loaded up my dogs, and moved. I must have just been on autopilot. Just reading all those events today puts me into meltdown mode. I left behind good friends, good times, and a school I loved, but I wanted a change of scenery. I wanted to relocate closer to my hometown of Kellogg, Idaho, a smaller school district where I felt I could make a difference, and after a difficult divorce I also wanted to retreat to a quieter place. When I interviewed in Inchelium, Washington I had to find the town on the map. I didn’t realize you crossed a ferry across Lake Roosevelt to get there or that there is another set of Twin Lakes in Washington. I went from a school of a thousand middle school students to a K-12 school of 250. Since Inchelium is located on the Colville Indian Reservation I learned a high percentage of the students were Native American. Between the move, the new job, different cultural traditions, and isolation I certainly got a change of scenery. Now I love the small school setting and the family feeling at the school and the community. It was a smart move and I have never looked back with regret.

When I first relocated teacher housing was available close to the school. As I was leaving Kennewick my friends kept saying, “You’ll never make it. There are no latte stands, banks, or plant nurseries. Can you even get a fountain pop?” I did make it. Later I moved from the community up the lake about sixteen miles. You do learn to live without certain things and trips to town are very organized! It was a treat to get a latte, a bouquet of fresh flowers in winter, or dinner out in Colville. I was blessed with gorgeous scenery, no commute, and a football field for dog runs each night.
Thirteen years ago when I started another chapter in life I retreated to a much quieter existence. I learned to notice my surroundings, be thankful for quiet, clear nights with stars in the sky, and appreciate the companionship of my dogs (which now have both died). I cherished the times when I could visit faraway friends, browse a bookstore in Spokane or plan a family gathering. I put energy into reading, teaching, and learning. Yes, it was the right place at the right time for a retreat.

Reflecting on Five Inland Empire Bloggers

I was touched recently to be awarded the Blogger Refection Award from La Tea Dah at Gracious Hospitality. When I was thinking about beginning a blog hers was one of the first I read. Through beautiful pictures, scripture verses, quotes, and good writing she teaches all of us about gracious hospitality and how to take time to enjoy your surrounding, rest, and reflect. If you haven’t visited her blog take time to experience it. This award was started by a sixteen-year-old girl at Lothlorien, Realm of the Lady of Light! This is how she describes the award:
As for my award, it is called The Blogger Reflection Award. Why? The reason for the title is because this award should make you reflect on five bloggers who have been an encouragement, a source of love, impacted you in some way, and have been a Godly example to you. Five Bloggers who when you reflect on them you get a sense of pride and joy... of knowing them and being blessed by them.

My five nominees are women who blog about things that matter here in the Inland Empire (one of which has been named honorary Inland Empire Girl). When I was in the early stages of my blogging each of these women encouraged me with thoughtful comments that gave me the confidence to continue each day. Each of their blogs have reflected encouragement, humor, and love plus set an example for me.

Silver Valley Girl: Yes, this is my sister at Silver Valley Stories. She has shared stories about her Christian faith, her love for the history in the Silver Valley where we grew up, and impacted others with her stories about events such as the Sunshine Mine Fire, saying good-bye to her former house torn down to make room for condos, and daily events in her family. She created the sibling writing assignment the three of us do once a week and still finds time to work, be a mom, perform in theater, and garden. She has also been an encouragement and source of love to me.

Mommy Dearest: After I met MD on Brodh2o through my brother’s blog I also began to read her insightful articles in the Spokesman-Review. This is a woman that does an incredible balancing act of covering crime for the paper during the day and being a mom and wife to a family that means the world to her. Her blog shares the simple joys of motherhood, great tips for quick housecleaning, videos of her many talents, and her views on topics of concern today. I was moved by her post about daycare centers in Idaho. I always know when I go to this blog I will laugh, cry, or leave with something to think about.

Katrina at Notes on a Napkin: Again, Katrina was a blogger I began reading even before I joined the blog world myself. This mom takes everyday events from family life and turns them into fascinating prose for all audiences. I have seen her son dance on YouTube, teared up when she paid tribute to her husband on their anniversary, and laughed at her posts on toilet paper, Spam,and conversations with her children. She has moved to fewer posts to balance her work and family, but the quality reins! I always leave her blog wanted to read more.

J’Belle at Notes from the ‘Kan EWA has her chows busy typing up posts that reflect on beautiful places around the world, her love for family and friends, gardening, and her North Idaho roots. Whether she is sharing personal views of a recent novel, displaying beautiful pictures of her roses, sharing recipes with a new dad, or taking us on a bike ride along the Hiawatha Trail she reveals a keen knowledge of the world and what is happening around us. I have been touched by her prayer to the nation, picture collections of her children on their birthdays, and her words about the garden she created in memory and hope. Those chows do amazing work!

My last is Marmite Toasty at Twaddle Everyday Rubbish. Marmite would say “this is the ramblings of everyday life in a madhouse”, but she gives us stories that make us laugh until we cry about toilets, her chicken Janet, and a gift from Starr. She reveals her “memories that are stacked on the shelves of her mind” which show a woman that is full of love, strength, and gentleness. She is a forgiving soul that has a house in England full of sons, laughter, animals, jugs of flowers, and smiles. Her Mother’s Day post impacted me that day and still does today.

Thanks to each of you for encouraging me. If you want to pass on this award return to Lorthlorien's site for what to do.

Sunday Scribblings: Wicked

The word for Sunday Scribblings this week is wicked. My favorite use of this word is the slang term in the British Isles for "excellent" or "great." My dogs are wicked watchers.

I can’t say Shelby and Annie are guard dogs, but they do love to watch. Sometimes we can’t even tell what they are watching. A perfect example of the wicked watchers happened yesterday. They sat at the gate and after about a minute of intense watching, we figured out two of our cats were below in the bushes. They wanted the cats to come and play. Last night Shelby was watching a tree. She stared so intently at the tree we figured a stray cat was up there. No, she was just watching a pretty little bird. That is all she did was watch and observe. It was wicked. Their favorite watching place is on our bed. The window above our bed has the best view of the gate. If JEJ is gone they will watch out the window for hours. They take the job seriously. They will rest their chins on the window sill and just stare. If he is arriving in a vehicle they usually hear that long before they observe him coming down the driveway. This is when I hear the wicked bark. It is an excellent bark that announced that someone is home. I have been told they do the same routine when I am gone.

When we travel they once again are wicked watchers. Shelby, being the herding dog she is, always notices animals. Of course it helps that JEJ says, “Shelby, look see. Cows, horses, sheep (fill in animal)”. Annie watches for the destination. She understands when we are close to a place that they will get out for a run. She is definitely a wicked watcher when we arrive at my mom’s house. How do they always know where we are? We may give it away when JEJ says, “ Look! Are we at Mary’s house?” I know voice inflection helps with the wicked watching.

There greatest feat as wicked watchers was keeping four eyes on their dog food. The food used to be in the patio. For awhile every morning they would run out and sniff around and we would discover food was missing. We figured it was a raccoon. One evening the dogs got excited and wanted out. We figured this was our time to check on the raccoon. We should have figured a bit more before we let them out. The food stealer this time was a skunk. The wicked watchdogs were stopped in their tracks. The wicked skunk did what skunks love to do. He left a wicked stench that stayed on the dogs' fur when came into the house.

I believe at that moment is when I, Inland Empire Girl used my wicked tongue. Then I mixed up a wicked brew of skunk odor remover.

If you want to see other wicked reponses go to Sunday Scribblings here.

Rain , Relief , and Summer Bouquet #14

Very early this morning I awoke to the smell and sound of rain. It was not just a drizzle. Relief. Later when the light was peeking through the clouds I could see white fog lifting from the lake. Relief again! It was so pleasant to sit outside this morning in the cool rain. I walked around the house to see if the rain had actually helped. There had been enough that plants were drooping over from the moisture. Not too many roses are still blooming , but I found a blossom that had gotten a nice morning shower. The trumpet vines were turned toward the light in such a way that they acted as rain catchers. Birds were using these flowers as little drinking fountains.
Later in the day it cleared, but still stayed cool. I was able to pick flowers that would last longer that a day in a vase because there had been some moisture. Although the hot weather causes hardship, it also helps flowers like the sun-loving zinnias burst into bloom. I was able to gather enough today for a bouquet.

Fire and Rain

"I've seen fire and I've seen rain,
I've seen sunny days that I thought would never end."

James Taylor

Today was the first day in a long time I saw rain. I also saw the evidence of fire. When I studied the outdoor thermometer early this morning it was below 80 degrees. What a change. When I looked at the sky it was hazy with smoke from forest fires. I am relieved for the cooler weather. It meant I could work in the garden weeding and deadheading without wilting and getting a sunburn. I am also apprehensive for the thunderstorms that may come tonight. It is always a balancing act with summer weather.The headlines of the paper today said that the firefighters got weather help. The Bulldog Fire is north of us about thirty miles. The Tunk Grade Fire further west is close to Omak which is about 100 miles away. It is the largest fire in the area and has burned 16,000 acres. A ban was put on open burning in our county today. Our fire danger is high.

We live in a community with our own water system. The well pump quit working today so our system tank was half empty. All of this is a concern to homeowners that live in a rural area that is very dry. Everyone in the neighborhood is conscientious and ready to help. I love that about Martin Creek Community.

I'll sleep better tonight because the weather has cooled. I will hopefully get to work more outside tomorrow. I will also watch the sky, weather reports, and fire updates to see what is happening in our area. I will lay awake though if I hear the sound of thunder and the sight of lightening. Also I dread the smell of smoke as it fills the night air. This is what the fire season holds for us in northeastern Washington.

All the pictures of the Tunk Grade fire are courtesy of Jed Conklin/The Spokesman Review. The firefighters are seen above through their fire-retardant-covered windshield along the fire line near Omak.

Geraniums: Cranesbills or Pelargonium ?

Pelargonium is a genus of flowering plants which includes about 200 species of perennial, succulent, and shrub plants, commonly known as geraniums. Confusingly, Geranium is the correct botanical name of the separate genus which contains the related Cranesbills. Both genera are in the Family Geraniaceae. Linnaeus originally included all the species in one genus, Geranium, but they were later separated into two genera by Charles L’Héritier in 1789. Gardeners sometimes refer to the members of Genus Pelargonium as "pelargoniums" in order to avoid the confusion, but the older common name "geranium" is still in regular use. (from Wikipedia)

I don't know about you, but for years I thought the pretty annual red and pink flowering plants that you put in planters and borders were the only geraniums that existed. Then I read an article in a gardening magazine about ten years ago and learned about both types. I always now call cranesbills perennial geraniums and the ones pictures above "just geraniums". These geraniums now come in so many different colors and gardeners can plant Martha Washingtons, ivy, or just geraniums. Our geraniums work well for us because we bring them in each fall and winter them over. We also propagate them for new plants, and enjoy them year round. Each year we try to find a few new or unique types and colors. They are the easiest plants to propagate with some healthy cuttings, some root hormone, and potting soil.

If you haven't grown scented geraniums, they are a treat in any garden. When the leaves are scratched they have the scent of rose, mint, lemon, or other lovely smells. They are said to deter mosquitoes, but I don't know if that is true for sure. We have lots planted around, but we have never had too many of those pesty bugs before. Maybe I should take a plant camping and see if it really does work. Cranesbills are a good choice as a border plant because they spread and have pretty blue or purple flowers in summer.

Just geraniums also seem to be a plant right now in the hot, hot weather that are hanging in there with blooms still opening. Whatever kind you have or whatever name you give them- geraniums are a perfect addition to any garden.


A mouthful of language to swallow:
stretches of beach, sweet clinches,
breaches in walls, pleached branches;
britches hauled over haunches;
hunched leeches, wrenched teachers.
What English can do: ransack
the warmth that chuckles beneath
fuzzed surfaces, smooth velvet
richness, plashy juices.
I beseech you, peach,
clench me into the sweetness
of your reaches.
-Peter Davison
Beautiful words for a juicy, delicious subject.

The Many Talents of Z2!

Today is my niece Z2's thirteenth birthday. The day she was born was as hot as today . I was staying in Kellogg and Dad and I suffered through the heat while Mom went to help out in Meridian, Idaho where my sister's family lived. My niece has many talents. Above she is spending some quality time with Grandma before a family picture. She has always had a way with fashion and been the one that loved frilly clothes and up-dos... right? She has always been an enthusiastic child, especially when she learned to say "cheese" before a picture was taken. Here my nieces were preparing to celebrate at my wedding reception. Z2 loves the finer things in life. She is a talented musician, vocalist, actress,and dancer. Here, at an early age she took dance lessons from her Uncle Raymond Pert at my house. The outdoors is a place Z2 loves to embrace. A few years ago we went camping and she hiked, swam. and did glamour shots on a log at Sherman Creek. You can't keep her out of that camera lens. Z2 is also very helpful. When her father needed the back-end of a cow in the current melodrama he is acting in and directing- she came to his aid. While he is milking the cow, she had a carefully choreographed part with her leg . Have you ever seen a lovelier cow leg and black hoof?
She is also a good teacher. Here when she was visiting Memorial Day week-end she patiently taught her sister the proper way to make and enjoy a s'more. Finally her sister decided to try a s'more for the first time. We have all been blessed with Z2's talents, sense of humor, love of nature, and enthusiasm for life for thirteen years. It is fun to have another teenager in the family. Have a great year Z2! Happy Birthday!
You can see Silver Valley Girl's post ( her mom!) about her birthday here.

Skull Busters, Dippity Do, and Suffer to Be Beautiful

The topic for Sunday Scribblings this week is hair. I am going to date myself tonight as I think back to what we did to have beautiful hair before the time of curling irons, electric curlers, blow dryers, or those crimping irons. What I know for sure is that we suffered. Women in my age group and older may recall having their hair done up in bobby pins, clippies, brush curlers, multicolored plastic curlers or pink sponge curlers. We then slept on them. Who had time to sit under a hair dryer like the ladies at the beauty shop? Besides, not too many of us in my neighborhood had those fancy portable Sunbeam Hair Dryers at home.

When my mom moved from brush curlers to the plastic ones with a thing that snapped each of them in place, my dad called them skull busters. We laughed recently when we found a picture of Mom in her famous curlers. I didn't think she would appreciate that picture on my blog tonight! For me the ritual was washing my hair on Saturday night and Mom "doing up my hair" in bobby pins. Later I think they fell out too easily so she used silver clippies. If I had a home perm I think the curl lasted quite a few nights. I guess I only had to suffer to be beautiful on Saturday night before Sunday School the next day.
All this hair care required tools. We had to have curler bags, clippie and bobby pin boxes, pink picks to hold brush rollers in place,hair nets to keep our styles intact, and fancy, lacy roller caps. We took our hair styling serious. The worst nightmare at our house often times wasn't the "sleeping with curlers in your hair" torture. It

was the moment my dad was barefoot and stepped on a clippie, a brush curler, or a bag of plastic curlers in the bathroom. We brought out the Cuss Box when that happened. My brother probably had his moments of annoyance as a bobby pin had to be fished out of the toilet or curlers fell in the bathtub. They always seems to be where they didn't belong.

When I was older suddenly everyone wanted just body in their hair. Dippity Do was the product that helped when we rolled our long hair in orange juice cans or huge plastic rollers. We kept our bangs straight with pink hair tape. I remember not having pink hair tape one time and using scotch tape. Not a good idea! The pink mark across my forehead took days to fade away. Then we ratted our hair, smoothed our hair, lightened our hair with lemon juice, and grew out our bangs. It was amazing the rituals we suffered through in becoming a woman just to be beautiful. I laugh now when I hear someone say, " I am having a bad hair day." Try having a bad hair decade! There was relief when it was cool and hip to wear bandannas over your hair and it didn't mean you were in some gang!

Today I'll take an occasional curling iron burn or hair that needs a trim over bobby pins, skull busters, and Dippity Do! To find other Sunday Scribbling posts on hair go here.