Memory: Trick or Treat for UNICEF

When I was living in my first apartment, going to the laundromat was a new experience. There was always a very young girl there, seven or eight years old at the most, who begged for quarters for the machines. (Yes, back then, the washers and dryers took quarters. ) She had short, mousy brown hair, with bangs that framed her huge blue eyes. Eyes that were pools of suffering.

Early in the month of October, I started seeing the girl all around the plaza (there was a supermarket, a drugstore, and other small retail establishments in addition to the laundromat) and other places in the neighborhood. She carried a Trick or Treat for UNICEF box. The misery in her eyes broke my heart. She used the UNICEF box until Thanksgiving.

Maybe her parents/guardians didn’t force her into begging for money–and you know whatever she collected in the UNICEF box didn’t go to the United Nations Children’s Fund–but my heart tells me they did. And she hated it.

I sometimes wonder what happened to her.



Movie: The Flower of My Secret

My husband said, “It’s about a romance author.” So we watched it.

This 1995 Spanish film is about the falling-apart life of a famous, best-selling romance author. The opening is freely based on a short story by Dorothy Parker. Miles Davis composed the soundtrack.

  • The main character, Leo, wants to expand her repertoire. Her publisher wants her romance novels. They reject her “darker” work, saying it violates her contract.
  • Her marriage is disintegrating.
  • A script she wrote and threw away has been made into a movie–without her knowledge or permission.
  • The people on whom she thought she could depend either betray or abandon her.

The film is filled with interesting characters, passion, and even some melodrama. There are incidents you see coming; plot twists you may not.  It is in Spanish, with subtitles.

Four stars.

Musing: Hairbands

I started to let my hair grow before the pandemic hit.  It has gotten quite long. I keep spending money on things to keep it out of my face.  Pony tail holders, barrettes, etc.  The one thing I really want is a hairband that works as well as my glasses.

Not one hairband stays in my hair. My glasses do, though. Putting my glasses atop my head is a bad habit, I know. It stretches the bows (temples) so the glasses don’t fit the face as well. I know this. But the top of my head is a convenient place to store my glasses with the bonus of working as an excellent hair band that actually works.

Someone with more know-how than I have should invent a hairband that uses the same premise as eyeglasses.

Looking Out My Window

I love to sit on my living room sofa and look out the window.

I live a block or two from a city park that is atop a hill. I can see only a sliver of the park through the trees and neighboring houses.

The road wending through the park is no longer open to automobiles. Pedestrians only. That made it nice when the Chromos were young and we would would through the park to the other side and the statue of famous authors for whom the park is named.  Except, of course, for the dog poop and shattered glass. And the people who think the DOGS MUST LEASHED signs don’t apply to them and their pooches.  Don’t get me started.

Anyway, sometimes I’m startled by what appears to be a vehicle driving or a pedestrian walking on the ridge pole (roof peak) of a neighbor’s house. The house is just the right height for the ridge pole to align with the road. It took me a few times to figure out what I was seeing.

This particular neighbor also has numerous birdfeeders and may also spread birdseed on the ground. There are flocks of birds who hang out on the wires in front of the house who then swoop behind the hedges. Sometimes the flapping of all those wings is startling.  It’s Hitchcock-esque.




Memory: Milk

As a child and teenager, I loved milk. Whole milk.

When I was very young, a milkman delivered to our house, twice a week. We got the pasteurized milk in glass bottles with green tops, while my aunt & uncle next door got homogenized milk with red tops. That meant at our house there was always an inch or so of cream at the top of the bottle, and no matter how much I shook the bottle to blend the cream into the rest of the milk, there were disgusting thick white clumps on my Alpha-Bits in the morning.

As a teenager, we got milk in waxed cardboard cartons from the supermarket. Homogenized, thank you G*d.  My mom always had warm-from-the-oven homemade cookies waiting for us when we got off the school bus late afternoon. A tall glass of cold milk was the perfect accompaniment.

Then I moved out on my own. With room mates.

See  that  stove?

An  antique  Norge.  Best  stove I ever  had.  Pilot  light.  Kept  the  whole  top  of  the  stove  warm.  Great spot for raising bread dough. Bad spot for a room mate to leave the milk. All day. A second room mate would come home, see the milk on the stove and put it back in the refrigerator. I would come home and pour myself a glass of . . . clumps. Made those clots of cream from my pre-homogenized day seem almost palatable.

Which is why I can no longer drink a glass of milk.