Here’s the ad for Carrs of Carlisle biscuits… just in time for the summer wedding season of 1956.

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The copy reads: Today is her day of days — tomorrow she will be a housewife. And she will want everything of the best for her home and husband.

Ah, the misogynistic days of the 50s.  I hope we’ve finally shunned the H-word and its image of domestic drudgery.

Married to a house? Is there a Facebook status for that?

Oh wait. It is the twenty-tens. We’re all just bumblin’ through together. 

Put on your lipstick and smile. Meet Babylonia Aivaz and her bride-to-be.

 Do you take this warehouse? 


Toni 7/13/17

The Good Wife Rules, pub. 1955




If we were having coffee, I’d say that I almost wrote 4/3/17 when I signed off this post.  What a scatterbrain.

Maybe that’s why this never happens to me.

April kind of went by in a blur.  But, oh! May! The flowers and birds are happy-go-larky.

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Nature always inspires me.  So does Wendell Berry~ poet, farmer, environmentalist.

The Peace of Wild Things
When despair for the world grows in me
and I wake in the night at the least sound
in fear of what my life and my children’s lives may be,
I go and lie down where the wood drake
rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds.
I come into the peace of wild things
who do not tax their lives with forethought
of grief. I come into the presence of still water.
And I feel above me the day-blind stars
waiting with their light. For a time
I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.


Wild things and totes work for me. Hey, I ain’t no drag, I got a brand new bag.


How did I ever manage without it? It’s gentle on my shoulders ~ a-a-h ~ and the best part?  I know where everything is. And I mean everything.


Do you have a pen pal? Here’s mine. What a sweetie!!!


We’ll be together soon. Until then, I’m on turtle watch.


So, what are you (screen) watching? I’m finishing up Offspring, the Australian series. And The Great British Baking Show~ you know, the Downton Abbey of cakes and torts. Did you watch it?  It made me crave cheesecake tiers and lady fingers and sponges and macarons and frangipanes….well, you get the idea. I really love that tent and everyone under it.


I just finished (virtually) traveling to every US state with Stephen Fry, in a traditional British black cab. He gets right under the skin of American life~ the good, the bad, and the ugly. Give it a try. On Netflix, one of many intensely good documentaries.

Oh, this. Skip the movie, A Man Called Ove. Read the book. Precious.


Speaking of books, I checked out (and renewed) way too many books at the library this month.  Plus all my requests on OverDrive seem to come in all at once.
If you’re anything like me (and I suspect you are), you have a TBR list. Mine is out of control.


There’s time enough, but none to spare.

~Charles W. Chesnutt

How will I read them all?  Will I?  And then I read this. 



What are you reading now?  I’m between a thriller and a hard place.

I’m super excited about the new Richard Russo book that comes out this month. Trajectory, his new collection of short fiction.


Summer’s here! I’ve got my seed catalog dog-eared. My head is in the clouds dirt.  I can’t wait to see the garden grow….

…to the strains of Nestor Torres. I saw him perform, what a talent.
He’s on my Pandora, non-stop.

OMG, I finished listening to S-Town!!!! SO good. Did you? Can we talk?
Tell me, what’s up with you? It’s May….got plans?

 Toni 5/3/17

The road to success is always under construction, says Lily Tomlin. AND THAT’S THE TRUTH. *mischievous raspberry sound*

My Italian aunts were short and wide and wore flowery housecoats that snapped up the front.


They looked a bit like overstuffed chairs but I say that in the nicest way.


I associate them with Mary Tyler Moore even though they weren’t ever independent career girls with perky hair.  But they told me, every Sunday afternoon, that I could be in that charmed club.  They never stopped encouraging me, reminding me that I’d make it too.


Last night, I saw Lily Tomlin at the theater. She followed her own road to fame.  She lit up the stage for two hours, a smile too big for her face.

Who doesn’t like Ernestine, the uptight Bronx phone operator?

Or Edith Ann, the precocious five-year-old who sits in an oversized rocking chair offering philosophical pronouncements on everyday life?


Recently Ms. Tomlin was given a Lifetime Achievement Award.  I can tell you, she’s not leaving the spotlight anytime soon.

At an age when most actresses struggle to get work, Tomlin is on a roll. Watch her in the movie, Grandma.

She takes the lead as a broke, washed-up, lesbian poetry professor (very un-P.C.) who tries to raise $600 in one day, to pay for her granddaughter’s abortion.

I came to appreciate my aunts more and more over the years. Sterling women, just like Lily Tomlin. Honest and true, their warmth undeniable.


Tomlin closed the evening answering personal questions. Clearly a trailblazer,  she’s got some dandy stories, stories no one can tell the way she can.

She waves goodnight and giggles. Her face breaks into an wry grin, just like when she’s about to slip into character.


Yep, she’s one of us, just way more interesting. And she made it. After all.

Toni 3/3/17