From Sport Panties to Thongs

Posted May 29, 2012 by cathyso3
Categories: Fun, Life

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We’ve come a long way, baby! Can you imagine wearing the “fine white cotton pantie” under slacks and with play clothes?”

Definitely not sexy according to today’s standards.

Look at that Barbie doll waist on the sketch of the flannel slacks and white shirt! No way would those sport panties fit nicely under those slacks without revealing a bulky panty line.

Maybe the elastic sport girdle is the answer. According to the add, it’s for the “young figure.” I guess if you have an old figure you’re out of luck. Go figure!

Fashions come and go. Sometimes they even make a comeback. (These fashion disasters reappeared in a box of old love letters from my parents and grandparents. Hmmm … I wonder what that signifies.)

It looks like yesterday’s girdles have morphed into today’s body shapers. Thank goodness the “sport pantie” is a thing of the past and underwear has become smooth and sexy. Thank you, Victoria’s Secret.

It’s interesting to take a peek into the past and see how fashions have evolved. One thing is for sure. Over the years, lingerie has gotten smaller, but the prices have gotten bigger!

Cheers, Chairs, and ALL THE WORLD

Posted May 25, 2012 by cathyso3
Categories: Writers and Illustrators

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The world is smaller than you think. Look around. More often than not, there is someone or something that sparks a light of familiarity from another time or place.

Last weekend we attended UW-Madison graduation and spent time celebrating on the Memorial Union Terrace, overlooking Lake Mendota. We sat in the famous “sunburst” chairs as we raised our cups to give cheers to the graduate.

“Mendota Blue” Sunburst Chair

This week I began book inventory in our school library. I reshelved the book, All the World, written by Liz Garton Scanlon and illustrated by Caldecott Honor medalist, Marla Frazee. There is one particular double-page spread I take special pride in pointing out to students. Marla Frazee created an illustration of a café with sunburst chairs and tables – chairs and tables exactly like those on the Wisconsin Union Terrace.

In this beautiful book, whether you know it or not, a familiar part of Wisconsin has been represented. It’s a small world after all!

Party-Hearty

Posted May 22, 2012 by cathyso3
Categories: Fun

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This past weekend we embarked on a journey of social engagements that will keep us busy until the end of July. This isn’t normal for us. Our social calendar is what some people would consider boring. Suddenly, after years of boring, we find our calendar jam-packed with graduations, showers, weddings, dinners, weekend guests, and a vacation.

We have a conundrum. With all this social activity, who’s going to cut the grass and weed the garden? Who’s going to chase the dust bunnies in the house and the ravenous rabbits in the yard? Who’s going to take out the garbage and recycle bins and bring them back inside? Who cares? I surely don’t.

It would have been nice if these events had been spaced more evenly throughout the year, but since they’re not I’m going to take advantage of all the invitations to enjoy time with friends and family. We’ll take care of the rest later after we rest later.

Sometimes boring is good, but not this summer. The party-hearty journey has begun!

The graduate enjoying a cool beverage at the UW-Madison Union Terrace.

Party-hearty with these picture books!

Bumble-Ardy by Maurice Sendak

If You Give a Pig a Party by Laura Numeroff

I’m Invited to a Party! by Mo Willems

Miss Spider’s Tea Party  by David Kirk

Food, Friendship, and Books

Posted May 18, 2012 by cathyso3
Categories: Life

Tags: , , , ,

Yesterday I had lunch with my friend, Karen. I’ve known her ever since I can remember. She lived one house away from me on Vliet Street in Milwaukee. We were together almost every day. We played in the hollow across the street. We climbed trees there. We sledded down Buffalo Hill. We walked to the old Washington Park Zoo to see the animals. And we dressed-up in our mom’s clothes and strutted up and down the street.

Karen and Me

When we entered kindergarten, we went to different schools, but we still remained friends. When I was in second grade we moved, but we remained friends. When we moved out of state, we remained friends. After years of living long distances from one another other, we are now living close enough to meet for lunch. We are still friends.

Lois Wyse said, “A good friend is a connection to life – a tie to the past, a road to the future, the key to sanity in a totally insane world.”

That’s a perfect description of Karen.

During lunch she took out some old pictures taken on Vliet Street.  There was the hollow with its climbing trees, the zoo, and her backyard. Oh, the memories!

So many years have passed since we first became friends. We’ve changed – yet we haven’t changed. We talked. We laughed. We made profound observations about life and family, and then it was time to go.

Friends are good for the soul. On cloudy days, they can make the sun shine. Hug your friend today!

Here are some terrific friend books for beginning readers. They are all series. Read one! Read them all!

Frog and Toad

Cork and Fuzz

Henry and Mudge

George and Martha

Mouse and Mole

Houndsley and Catina

Mr. Putter and Tabby

Pinky and Rex

Iris and Walter

Cowgirl Kate and Cocoa

Minnie and Moo

Ivy and Bean

Where the Wild Things Are No Longer

Posted May 15, 2012 by cathyso3
Categories: Literature

Tags: , , , ,

Much has been written about Maurice Sendak. He’s been called a curmudgeon and cranky. But those who were lucky enough to know the real Maurice Sendak saw him as a warm, clever, and brutally honest individual with a unique vision.

I met Maurice Sendak through his books and illustrations. With sparse text and sometimes controversial illustrations, Sendak captured my imagination and pulled me into his stories. His skillful use of words and attention to artistic details begged the books be read and examined again and again. Sendak’s writing was unconventional and wildly fun.

Maurice Sendak was a talent beyond compare. He understood what children wanted and how to give it to them. He touched the hearts and souls of his readers. I will miss his creative genius.

Some of my favorites!

Teacher Appreciation Week

Posted May 11, 2012 by cathyso3
Categories: Fun

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The teacher’s lounge is filled with cookies, cake, fruit, salty snacks, and candy. It’s Teacher Appreciation Week – also known as The Week You Gain Five Pounds.

Normally, the parents in our school are thoughtful and very supportive, but during Teacher Appreciation Week, they go all out. Besides the goodies in the teacher’s lounge, the Home & School Association treat the teachers and staff to a delicious dinner. Along with the meal, everyone is presented with a gift made by the Pre-K through Eighth grade students.

This year we received note cards. They’re something every teacher can use – for thank yous and for those “we need to talk” moments. I love these note cards!

Pictures were taken of art projects classes worked on throughout the year and made into note cards. Creativity abounds!

Some days being an educator can be disheartening. Then something wonderful happens — a smile, a completed homework assignment, an “aha” moment by a student — that makes you remember why you chose teaching as a career. It’s nice to be recognized by students and parents, but I’m glad Teacher Appreciation Week comes only once a year. Otherwise, we’d all have to join Weight Watchers!

A special shout-out to all you caring parents and students!

Best Mother’s Day Ever

Posted May 8, 2012 by cathyso3
Categories: Laughter, Life

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Mother’s Day came early this year for two reasons. We’re in Boston helping our daughter, Beth, move (#10) into her new condo, and Boston has some of the finest restaurants around.

On Saturday evening after spending the day painting, packing, lifting, pushing, shoving, and grumbling at one another, we took a well-needed break. Beth decided we should celebrate the two Ms – Mother’s Day and Moving. She made reservations for dinner in the North End — a neighborhood known for its history and great Italian restaurants.

Luckily, Beth’s place is within walking distance of many Boston attractions. That’s a plus because parking on the streets is a rare commodity. We followed parts of the Freedom Trail, and just around the corner from Paul Revere’s House was our destination.

We stepped inside Mare Oyster Bar. It was cozy with seating for approximately forty-two diners and seating for twelve at the bar. The staff was friendly and very accommodating. For the first time that day, we were able to relax and have a decent conversation with one another.

Even though raw oysters are not on the top of my list of favorite foods, it’s a must to try at least one oyster. Duh … It’s an oyster bar! I will say my choice was delicious. Each of us chose a different entrée. Beth ordered the Truffle Crusted Tuna with grilled eggplant, wilted spinach, and sweet baby peppers. Tom ordered the Seafood Cannelloni filled with shrimp, scallops, and swordfish with a lobster cream sauce. I ordered the Pan Roasted Halibut with asparagus and morel mushrooms.

Maybe it was because we were ravenous after a day of hard labor, or maybe it was because we savor good food – especially when someone else is preparing it, but we all agreed upon one thing. Dinner was fabulous!

Afterward, we joined the locals and tourists milling around the narrow streets. Before heading home, we made one more stop. If you’re in the North End, you can’t leave without popping into Mike’s Pastry. We didn’t pop in because the line into the shop was half-way down the street. With a little know-how, Beth managed to make it quickly through the line. Pastries in hand, we were on our way home to enjoy them.

Chocolate Chip Cannolo and Pistachio Nut Macaroons

Whether helping our daughter move, celebrating a special occasion, dining at a fabulous restaurant, spending time together as a family beats all. This was the best early Mother’s Day ever!


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