Archive for the ‘Nostalgia’ Category

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I was breaking up with Alex. We’d been together for nearly four years when he started doing weird things, like giving me pasta containers for Christmas. I didn’t need pasta containers and I didn’t want pasta containers. Then he went out and bought a car and a house without even telling me he was in the market for either. Red flag, right?

We agreed to have a date and break up like civilized people. We met at an Italian restaurant in Uptown Minneapolis, had a lovely dinner, and discussed the demise of our relationship. No one was angry, but I was a little sad. Not heartbroken, but a little sad. I’m not sure if he was sad or not, but if he was elated he had the good sense to keep it under control.

As synchronicity would have it the song Sara by Starship played quietly throughout the restaurant. I put my hand on Alex’s and said, “you’ll think of me every time you hear this song.” He said yes, he would.

I haven’t heard the song since that night. I can only assume Alex hasn’t either, giving him no reason to ever think of me again. It was the perfect break-up song, at least.

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It was cold outside and I wanted to bake something, because there’s nothing better on a cold winter day than a hot oven and fresh bakery.  I made a batch of Mom’s chocolate chip cookies.

These were the cookies I grew up on.  These were the first cookies I learned how to bake.  On the first night at my first apartment I mixed up and ate a whole batch of this cookie dough (raw eggs be damned!) as an act of independence.  Mom’s chocolate chip cookies are still following me around, giving me a cozy feeling on this winter day.

I’m not going to give a recipe because these cookies would have no significance to you.  These aren’t just chocolate chip cookies, they’re Mom’s chocolate chip cookies.  There must be dozens of recipes for “Mom’s chocolate chip cookies” because nearly every mom in the universe makes chocolate chip cookies at some time or other, even if they come out of the grocery store refrigerator case.  What makes them special is that they’re the cookies your mom made.  And they’re delicious.


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The other day I was reminded of a song I haven’t heard in a long time.  Decades ago when I first heard it I loved the lyrics and seldom used three-quarter time.  When I heard it recently I couldn’t get it out of my head for days, which wasn’t a bad thing because it’s such a lovely song.

What’ll I Do was written (or released, I can’t be sure) in 1924 by Irving Berlin and has been recorded by dozens of artists since ~ Frank Sinatra, Judy Garland, and Linda Ronstadt to name a few. It’s a sad song about a failed romance and is usually sung in a dreamy, swoony fashion.

I came across a version of this song that tore my heart out. Not only is the music divine, the artist and video capture the loneliness and melancholy of the song completely. I surprised myself when I chose Willie Nelson’s rendition of What’ll I Do as the best I’d ever heard. What do you think?

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Hello, from the Auntie B’s Wax World Headquarters.  I greet you this way because I’ve been busy making all sorts of things to sell at shows and stock in stores and my Etsy shop.  Mostly I’ve been working on the bottle cap products, drink charms mostly, and some magnets.

Just a smidgen of what I’ve been working on.

The thing about making my bottle cap items is that the process is mechanical and deliberate but doesn’t require a lot of thought.  Attention, yes, but not thought.  Sometimes I work in silence, letting my mind wander to anything from my to-do list for the weekend or the vacation I want to take years from now.  But there’s another way I can let my mind wander while I’m pressing, gluing, applying resin, and beading.  I escape through radio shows.

I’ve talked about my penchant for radio shows before.  I can get caught up in a murder mystery, be haunted by ghosts, and even travel through time.  While my eyes and hands are occupied with the task at hand, I’m also entertained with countless stories while getting things done.  I like listening to a story without having to look at a screen to see what’s happening.  Sure, I could do my work in front of a TV, but why, when I can have the nostalgia of radio shows whenever I want.

Lately I’ve been listening to the CBS Radio Mystery Theater.  I remember when I was young and the family was coming home from a weekend at Grandma’s house ~ the car would be dark and my dad would turn on the radio so we could listen to Mystery Theater.  He knew how to keep a car with three young children quiet.

Over thirteen hundred radio broadcasts on one site. I’m in entertainment heaven! Click the image to download or stream some shows for yourself.

With technology what it is today, I can listen to Mystery Theater whenever I want because all 1399 episodes running from 1974 to 1982 are available for streaming or downloading.  I fill up my iPod with at least one hundred of these stories at a time and tune in whenever I have a gross or two of bottle caps to work on.

I love the old-fashioned radio shows.  Try them out and let me know what you think.

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We had a long, hard winter, and for that reason alone it’s hard to get into the heat these days. I’m not complaining by any means; the warmth feels good after so many months of cold, damp weather. But when there’s a task to be done, a task that requires a lot of exertion, you’re gonna break a sweat these days no matter how scantily clad you are.

I just had such an experience. Sweat was pouring out of my little red face while I put forth the effort it took to complete the task. When I was done I wiped my brow and sat still for a while. It seemed the longer I sat the hotter I got! I’m not sure what that phenomenon is but I can attest to the fact that it’s valid.

As I sat, sweating more and more with each minute of trying to cool down a song came into my head. As it played through my mind I began to feel better, not only cooler but more relaxed. The song is Cool and Green and Shady and it’s sung by John Denver.

John Denver?! you say. Yes. Don’t judge my John Denver loving nerdiness. This song wasn’t a top forty hit but I’d say it’s one of my favorites. I especially love the clarinet solo.

If you’re feeling especially warm or just want to calm down and catch your breath listen to this song. I guarantee you’ll drift away…

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Picture this: a young woman in her early twenties decked out in leather pants and thigh-high boots and only a camisole covering her upper body.  Her long hair is brushed away from one side of her face and held fast with a sparkly barrette.  The other side of her face is partly covered by the long mane of intentionally chaotic hair.  She’s heading into a popular danceteria in Minneapolis to watch one of her favorite bands play live.  The Suburbs.  The dance floor will be packed with hot, sweaty bodies, hers included, slam dancing to Baby Heartbeat and Music for the Boys.

That young woman was me.  Those were days that will remain in my mind as some of the most fun days of my life.  But things are different now.  I’m older, and slam dancing is not only unfashionable, but also dangerous for someone who may or may not have the brittle bones of a woman in her fifties.  However, being a woman in my fifties doesn’t keep me from loving the music of my youth.  I wear jeans and a sweater instead of leather pants and thigh-high boots.  I have a neat little bob hairdo instead of a longer, wilder mane.  But in my head and heart I’m still that slam-dancing girl.  I remember what it was like to walk into the dark, smoky venue that was First Avenue.  I remember the adrenaline and the thumping bass that became one with my own heartbeat.

My little DiscMan and über fancy speakers set up in Craftland

I got home early from work today and headed straight for Craftland.  While listening to the music I slam-danced to thirty plus years ago to I deplasticized and flattened 144 bottle caps for future drink charms and magnets.

The beginning of a beautiful craft.

Doing a different thing to the same music.  Recalling old times while living my present life.  All is good.

Remember yourself this weekend.

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