We're two sisters who are craft book publishers and found ourselves in the midst of an avocado grove. We bought this house where we planned to conduct our publishing business and in the deal got 4 acres of avocado trees thrown in. Now we're not only publishers but ranchers as well! This blog is all about avocados and anything else that strikes my fancy.

Friday, February 5, 2016

Eat More Bananas!!

This is the prompt for this week's Sepia Saturday. When seeing this photo and the woman in a swimsuit, it brought me back to 1958 when I wanted more than anything to be a lifeguard. I was about 16 at the time and had just finished a red cross life saving course. I loved to swim and I felt that I would be a great candidate for the lifeguard post at our local pool.

I didn't have the muscles of Gertrude Ederle:

or the figure of Esther Williams:

But I was a really good swimmer and I did have my life saving badge. I had even taught swimming to kids at the YMCA (that's me on the far left, not doing much teaching here):

So I applied for the job of lifeguard with the Parks and Recreation Department and then received this letter:

After receiving the letter and feeling totally dejected, I received a call from the Rec Dept telling me again that I hadn't been in the running. He said I just didn't weigh enough. When I asked what I could do to get the job in the future, he said "Maybe you should eat more bananas".

Was he kidding? I was never sure. And now I'm thinking several decades later, would that have really worked - eating more bananas?

According to Chris Freytag on the blog GetHealthy.com, I don't think so. He maintains that "the only thing you need to be aware of is if you're consuming bananas like a chimpanzee (you consume a large quantity of them daily!) then yes, you will need to be concerned about weight gain. If you choose to consume bananas daily, a general guideline is to consume no more than two per day."

So I didn't get the job and I didn't go on to eat lots of bananas.  In fact, I wondered if maybe the real reason I didn't get the job was because I was a girl. I found this article in the Aug. 30, 1992 L.A. Times by Kim Kowksy:

"After 16 years on the job, Sharon Law still faces daily reminders that she is not only a lifeguard—but a female lifeguard.
When she takes a shower after work, she tapes a handwritten sign on the locker room door that says "female inside." To fit into the shorts issued by the county, she has to cut out the lining designed for men.
And when she responds to a call for help, she finds it is coming from a male swimmer who then refuses to be rescued by a woman, preferring instead to struggle to shore alone.
The lifeguard service is a men's club—it is, was and always will be," said Law. "When I first started, I wanted to be one of the men, but I've come to the conclusion I'll never be a fully initiated member."

Aha, that was it really. It wasn't because I didn't weigh enough, or eat enough bananas. I was just a girl and it was a boy's job. The article above was written in 1992. Maybe things have changed by now, but I doubt it. The most female lifeguards you'll see will be on reruns of Baywatch.

Here's my official life saving card. This one from a course I took in college and passed with flying colors.

I never became a lifeguard but I'm pretty sure I could save a life if I had to.

Friday, March 13, 2015

My Favorite Dog Photos

This is our prompt photo for this week. What a cute dog she's holding. But I wanted to talk about my favorite dogs. Since I've already posted a blog about my own dog, I'm not going to feature her again. But here's my favorite film dog - Uggie:

Uggie is the star of the film, The Artist which won an Oscar for Best Film last year. He is the cutest dog ever. If you haven't seen the movie, you should rent it. It's wonderful. The real star of the film is Jean Dujardin, shown above. He's pretty cute too, but Uggie stole the show.

I dug through my treasure trove of old photos and came up with the following dogs with their owners:

Doesn't he look like he might be an entertainer with a dog act? I think I've posted this photo before and mentioned that I couldn't figure out what that stick is. Maybe the dog jumps over the stick. I hope it's not for discipline!! On second thought, I think it's not a stick at all, but the edge of a bench or chair.

This man would like to be an entertainer. He's saying "Sit, Stay" But that's about all he's trained the dog to do. Hope he didn't quit his day job!

I love this chubby little diapered baby sitting with his pet dog. Looks like they're having fun in the sand, check out his back paws.

Two kids and their dog sitting by the river. Maybe they just finished having a picnic. Doesn't get much better than that.

This old guy loves his dog. What a fine canine he has.

And here's a room of someone who really loved dogs. He had just about every breed pinned to his wall. Do you think he's trying to decide which dog to adopt, or just admiring all the different types. Maybe his landlord didn't allow pets, so this is his answer to a petless home. 

I couldn't finish this post without adding a photo of my own dog (even tho I said I wouldn't) but I was feeling guilty. So here she is with her owner.

Check out other favorite pets by clicking here:http://sepiasaturday.blogspot.com/2015/03/sepia-saturday-270-14-march-2015.html

Friday, October 17, 2014

Shoe Sign Boys

Oops - don't read this again. I posted it by mistake.

This week's theme is street sellers. Pictured is a Chinese man who will make a pair of shoes while you wait:

When your shoes are finished and you've walked in them a bit, you'll need to have them shined. No problem - anywhere you go in the world, you'll find a shoeshine boy on the street just waiting to accommodate you. This photo is from a trip I took to Rio in 1970.

But where are all the shoeshine boys? All those chairs at the ready and only one boy has shown up. I have a feeling the boy having his shoes shined is a shill trying to entice some real customers.

Here's a video I found that goes along with the theme quite nicely:

Remember to keep your shoes shined. Give these boys a break.

Walk along the street and find other tales of street-side marketers at Sepia Saturday.

Friday, September 5, 2014

Music, But No Monkeys

The photo prompt this week of the organ grinder is the perfect theme for me to show off photos from my recent trip to France. But first you have to listen to this music as a way of introduction:

It's music from the film Amelie (one of my favorite films) and has a wonderful French flavor, perfect as an accompaniment to my little tour. (This video goes on and on, so just listen to as much as you want. Wish I could figure out how to edit YouTube videos. Do any of you know?).

I visited my daughter, Megan and her boyfriend, Jean Patrick last month and had a wonderful 10 day stay in the North West of France. Everywhere we went there was music of some kind.

This is a street musician in Dinan (in the Brittany area). I'm not sure what instrument he is playing but it looks a little like a dulcimer. It's probably a medieval instrument because this town is definitely medieval.

And in the same town, we have a one-girl band. She played everything. There's not an appendage that isn't in use. What a talent.

More from Dinan (that town was just full of street musicians). This was a man playing what looks like an organ grinder type thing but he didn't have a monkey on his shoulder. Instead he had a woman who sang along with him and the curious instrument.

Even at the local farmer's market, there was music. This guy was really good. I wish I had had a video camera to catch his tunes. You'll just have to trust me. He was good.

My daughter's boyfriend (now fiance!!) Jean Patrick is a musician in France. He plays the piano, keyboards and is a talented composer. He played a little concert for me during the visit.  He was preparing for a music festival he was scheduled to appear in Algeria.

And last not but not least, here's my daughter who was goofing around. We were visiting a chateau in Cande (actually the place where the Duke and Duchess of Windsor were married). They were having an exhibition of unusual musical instruments and Megan was trying her best to get some music out of this little child's piano turned into a experimental instrument.

Hope you've enjoyed the musical tour of France. To check out other organ grinders, monkeys and musical stories, click here:  Sepia Saturday


Thursday, August 7, 2014

Whatever Happened to J.H. Hudson?

It's amazing what you might find in your box of photos and letters that just might fit a Sepia Saturday prompt. When I saw the one of the prison inmate, I remembered a wonderful photo that I once found in an antique store. The identification card above is from Joliet Prison from 1912. Nothing could be found on the internet about this poor man. I wonder what ever happened to him.

Mr. Hudson sure looks a lot older than 25. And look at that nice suit he's got on with the stiff crisp collar. He doesn't look like a criminal to me.

Look at the 4th column from the left where it says "Color of Left Eye". Don't they want to know the color of the right eye?

According to this ID card, he escaped from prison in 1913 and there was a $50.00 reward for his capture. Was he ever found? I picture him running through the swamps with the bloodhounds after him. Let's hope he escaped and lived a long crime-free life.

There's nothing on the card about his crime. Maybe he was in for arson - since it states that he had burns on his face and forearm. mmmm. Could this be?

I might have been able to find out more about Mr. Hudson if that lazy prison guard had asked him for his birth date or even measured his cheek width. I just didn't have enough info to work with. So I guess we'll never know what happened to him. Maybe he escaped like this enterprising prisoner:

Escaped Inmate Caught Hiding In Portable Toilet
Authorities swarm escaped inmate Cesar Sanchez in Rockdale Friday evening several hours after he jumped from a moving prison vehicle. (CBS/Todd Sherman)
Authorities swarm escaped inmate Cesar Sanchez in Rockdale Friday evening several hours after he jumped from a moving prison vehicle. (CBS/Todd Sherman)

ROCKDALE, Ill. (CBS) – A state prison inmate was captured Friday evening, hiding deep within a portable toilet, several hours after he escaped from a van while being transported to Stateville Correctional Center.

As I dug deeper into my box of goodies, I was looking for a performance review that my mother received when she was working at a prison - another item I could relate to the prompt. But alas I couldn't find it. In the late 1950s she worked as secretary to the superintendent of the California Institute for Men in Chino, California.

The weird thing is that besides her secretarial duties, she also led group therapy sessions for drug addicted prisoners. How this happened I'll forever wonder. She had no experience or training as a counselor. That prison must have been pretty loose. I doubt if this could happen today. But I'll bet she was good at her job. Maybe better than a highly educated counselor.

I found another photo from another member of my family who was briefly incarcerated in a photo booth. It's my daughter, Megan when she was about 6 or 7. I love her variety of expressions. She really seemed to know what it would feel like to be a prisoner. 

Walk the corridors and look into other cells by clicking here Sepia Saturday.

Friday, July 11, 2014

Sepia Saturday #236 Hair Dryers of the 60s

This is our photo prompt for this week's Sepia Saturday. Wow, doesn't this hooded hair dryer bring you back.

But the hair dryers I remember most are the bonnet style ones used outside of the beauty parlor. This type you could use in your own home. They looked like this in case you're a man and never used one or you're too young to remember the 60s:

It was such a revelation. You could pin up your hair on those giant plastic rollers that you attached to your head using a big metal hook trying not to stick the end through your scalp. 

I used to wash, then pin up my hair at night and then intend to take the rollers out before I fell asleep. But there were nights when I was just too tired to do that. I'd turn off the hair dryer and then fall fast asleep with the giant rollers sticking into my head. How on earth did I sleep? Then if I left that plastic bonnet on all night - Horrors - I would wake up the next morning just before getting ready for work and my hair would be completely sopping wet. The plastic bonnet acted like a steam chamber and I was cooked!  

I would have to call my work place and say that I wasn't feeling too well because I couldn't go to work looking like this:

But the nights when I did remember to remove the rollers and bonnet I would look like this the next day:
I think the wet dog look was cuter. And look at that coat. OMG, where did I get that? Don't worry the collar was faux fur (I think). And what's that bouquet of feather dusters?

But you must admit I did get great height on that hairdo. But I didn't get the optimum hairdo height. That honor goes to my mother-in-law's friend (I've posted this photo before) but doesn't it work nicely here as a finishing touch to this hair raising story?

For other dryer stories, click here sepia saturday.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Sepia Saturday #234 Unusual Swimwear

The theme for this week's Sepia Saturday is all about people wading in the water. So I went through my collection of photos and came up with a few bathing beauties with unique swimwear. The first photo I've posted previously but it's so perfect for this week's theme that I decided to post it again.

This is a little treasure I picked up at a garage sale years ago. Here are three lovely bathing beauties enjoying some water sports accompanied by a herd of buffalo.  It's such a fun collage. I wish I knew who did it - he or she had a great sense of humor.

Doesn't it resemble the theme photo - random people having fun in the water?

Then we have Mabel (doesn't she look like a Mabel?). She's got on her new swimwear and just might touch her foot in the water. She won't go in all the way because she'd totally ruin that lovely hat:

To continue with the fashion show, we next have Gloria (I call her goofy Gloria because she's just such a card). She's designed her own swimwear which looks kind of like a Project Runway challenge (for those of you who might not get this TV show - it involves fashion designers who have to create designs using things such as kelp from the beach or...I think you get the idea).

And last but not least is Mary. She can't wait to get to the beach. I wonder if she'll slip her shoes off when she hits the surf. But she's going to have to drag Harold kicking and screaming. He's just not the beach type. He looks like he would like to be anywhere else but here.

Mabel had a nice swim cap, but wait until you get a load of these (This video just keeps going and going and I couldn't figure out how to edit out just one of the videos - so watch as much as you have time for):

Wade over to Sepia Saturday for more swimmingly fun stories.