“New Old Stock” Kitchen Linens Dilemma

It’s been a while since I “raided” my stash of vintage estate kitchen towels that are in new, never used condition, most which still have the original price tags. Because we do our dishes by hand we use about three kitchen towels daily including one that lines our dish drying rack. Some have been in service for many years withstanding weekly laundering. A good old-fashioned kitchen towel will fade gently over years, not two washings like so much of what is sold today, and becomes more soft as time goes on. Then, after their golden years the perfect fading and softness gives way to becoming too thin to be absorbent. At that point they get transitioned into dusting rags or bedding for our degus. Sometimes I’m not sure if one is too special or unique to use, like this circa 1960s kitschy towel with an important message:

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When Life Hands You Lemon Boys

My adventures in securing potted annual flowers and tomato plants, with Lemon Boys being the most desired began early this morning. It’s strange seeing how much has changed since I was out and about a year ago. For example, a century old church was razed and there is a new apartment building being constructed. Marijuana dispensaries with names like House of Hash (Maine legalized marijuana) have popped up near the mall/big box store area where I was headed. The super friendly and helpful older lady who has worked the cash register at the Big Box plant nursery for over twenty years is no longer working there, and the two younger replacements weren’t helpful. No one knew where the tomato plants were but I finally found three sad ones on mostly empty shelves. I knew I was done with that place. The nice lady was the only reason why I still went in the past. Since the pandemic I’m less tolerant of things that wear and tear on my psyche. Bye bye Big Box store! I did notice some pretty, low priced hanging flowering plants on my way out, though. Not for me, I’m done, so over that chain of questionable repute. Onward!

But I knew what that meant. I’d have to go to the very nice locally owned nursery with the horrifying chaotic overcrowded narrow parking lot situation where I once almost got run over by an elderly lady on a moped.

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Out Picking Again!

For the first time in a year I went to the outdoor flea market and indoor antique shops. It feels so good to be able to go out picking things other than the dandelions from my front yard!

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Enjoying the Best from 2020

I know I said my little series about how I decided to go to college in New England and not New York would be coming up next, but I’ve decided to make it “soon”. I like to intersperse my more essay-oriented posts with snippets of joy and photos.

Tonight we’re having the last batch of the heirloom sauce I made from the tomatoes in our garden. If you’re interested I posted the recipe here. There is (almost) NOTHING better than homegrown tomatoes. I honestly can taste all of the sweet memories of last summer and early fall. When your food is picked fresh it also still has much of the life force within it. If that sounds kooky just try some and I bet you’ll experience what I mean. Plus they’re loaded with love!

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How I Overcame My Fear of Writing Publicly about PTSD

Part three of my previous post, How Being Pissed Off Saved My Life & Career:

How I Overcame My Fear Of Writing About PTSD

When I first went public with my PTSD in 2016 on my old blog it was one of the most freeing things I had ever done! The responses I received exceeded my expectations. More importantly some confided in me that they, too, suffered from PTSD nightmares like I have. What led up to my sharing it was the realization that it wasn’t a shameful secret and that acknowledging I have PTSD isn’t an admission of weakness of character! For some of us it’s a big part of our lives and not because we are weak or wish to define ourselves by our problems.

Yet, over time, despite wanting to write more about it here I haven’t, for the following reasons I told myself:

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How Being Pissed Off Saved My Life & Career

Or, how being true to myself emboldened me to take steps to save myself from petty villains in positions of authority.

First: How I Quit Smoking in 1999

I had my first drag of a cigarette at age 13 while spending part of the summer at my family home in Seaside Heights, New Jersey. It was a hot, humid evening in 1980. Bruce Springsteen was playing on the Boom Box underneath the pier. My friend’s feather earrings blew around in the sea breeze as I decided to break my square streak and have a smoke. She was petite, blond and beautiful and I was definitely not. I was dark, brooding and quickly became hooked because my fictional hero, Holden Caulfield, was a smoker as were all the kids I was hanging out with. This includes the kids at home and at school so socioeconomic status wasn’t a barrier or predictor. I was smoking between one and two packs a day. I had a “smoking den” back at home which was the fire escape staircase at the end of the hallway with a window view of Queens. I started out with Parliaments, then Marlboro Light, then Reds. I smoked on the way to school, between classes and even when we walked from our school building on East 70th and Third to the Park for gym class. As you can imagine, this was very unhealthy and I frequently was winded when I tried to exercise.

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Yankee Thrift: Spending with Love and Not for a Love of Spending!

Let a man have a genius for spending; and whether his income is a dollar a day or a dollar a minute, it is equally certain to prove inadequate. — Horace Greeley, 1850

I’m looking forward to spending money this spring and summer! There are restaurants and places that were off-limits due to Covid in 2020, so we saved that money to spend that much more this year now that we’ll be vaccinated and restrictions more relaxed. (Yes, we will still be masking up when not dining and distancing per CDC.) We have “spending money” in our budget and it’s reserved for those things we don’t need but certainly love to do, but it is always within our means. We invest it in experiences that enrich our lives or satisfy our appetites that also support our local economy. Whether that budget is a hundred dollars one year or thousands another, the focus is on what we love and not a “love of spending”. I’m like you and so many who will say that they love so many things so that how can one not be good at spending beyond their means?!

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