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Monday, December 25, 2006

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Men We Love

Funny thing happened yesterday while I was out getting the mail. The clouds I had seen in the dusk sky were suddenly billowing and turning a funny shade of orange. Turns out, they weren't clouds at all, but the beginnings of a rather large structure fire. I am used to things burning here in California, but I have never seen a building go up in flames.
It is a humbling and awesome thing to witness a fire of this size. The fire started in an old train station turned warehouse/processing facility for the lemon crop that used to be abundant in this area.
Firemen at fire
At first I thought that the construction site at the end of my street was on fire, then it looked like it was the houses directly behind them. The fire was actually 3 blocks over, but was so large it appeared to be much closer. I heard they could even see it from Camarillo, which is about 15 miles away!
We walked over to find out what was burning, both out of curiosity and to assess our own danger level and as we came within a block of the blaze, the flames were so hot that they warmed the very chilly air and made our faces hot. The flames themselves must have been several hundred feet high!
We watched as the firetrucks rolled up; first one, then two more, then many until the entire neighborhood was alit in red and blue flashing lights and the eerie orange glow from the fire. It is impressive to watch the firemen do their job. They do not rush, they work with a sense of urgency and purpose that is comforting in an otherwise caotic situation. We are lucky to have these guys!

Monday, December 11, 2006

Note to Mammalettie

First I have to tell you I like your "handle" => Mammalettie. It sounds very nice! OK, now the real reason for this entry! Please accept my apologies if you felt I was knocking you, or anyone who puts their child on Ritalin or similar based on the sound diagnosis of a doctor. There is a real medical condition that requires this medication, and any responsible parent would choose to give a child medicine when they need it (IMHO).

What I am flapping my gums about is the "bandwagon approach" that seems to be prevalent in many schools, where you have teachers, principals, administrators, dingbats and hedgehogs advising parents to go get some drugs for their kids so they will just sit quietly and not make any noise, thank you very much!

Not that I am excusing disruptive behavior either, but it seems to me that what used to be accepted as "boys being boys" behavior has now become abberrant behavior, even though, to my knowledge, boys are still being assembled much as they were in the past and are just not as nice and quiet right out of the box as girls are!

Reading your letter, it is obvious to me that the choice to put your son on Ritalin was not taken lightly and that you tried alternatives before deciding to go ahead with medication. I think you approached it just right, and I hope I would have done the same had my son really needed it.

I don't really view this issue as one of ideology, where I am "for" or "against" using medicine. That would be just silly.

I do object to kids being treated that aren't sick, because somebody is too lazy to take the time to raise the kid, or worse, based on some politically correct notion of how things ought to be.

See?

RH

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Ugg!

For all you Ugg fans, I have a treat for you...An Ugg of Australia coupon code! I am passing it on just as it was sent to me! As you know...Ugg never offers coupons, so this one is a treat!
Rare UGG Australia deal! 30% off any one item in the handbag, outerwear, or accessories collections with code UGGF&F30! Expires 12/16.
Nite Nite!

RH

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Follow Up On Diagnosis Male

Note to Nancy! I am curious as to what sort of comments you are getting from your son's preschool teacher, and in what situations. If you care to and have a minute, let us know! That goes for anybody else who has something to add too!

Re: "Disruptive" behavior: I wish I had written more down when my son was young! THANK GOD my natural rebelliousness kicked in and I never considered putting him on hyperactivity drugs. My son grew out of the "bouncy" period and I have much more experience now with things "boy". (I only have sisters and female cousins, so a boy was really new to me.) After observing my friends' boys, my son's friends etc., I have to say that my son was absolutely normal, if not on the tame side.

Little boys bite, climb, enter a room like they are storming the Alamo and seem to love to grab anything within reach. They view furniture as an indoor jungle gym and would rather climb over a sofa than sit on it, or better yet, climb up on the back of the sofa and then jump off as many times as they can get away with. Some friends of ours have a 5 year old boy who always climbs our stairs on the outside of the railing. He also bites his big sister (for which he received Cayenne on the tongue, which has discouraged further incidents). Running while making loud noises seems to be a big hit as well. My own son went through a six month bout of that, during which time he insisted on wearing his "Batman" costume to pre-school every day.

EVERY DAY.

He would also put on several layers of clothing underneath. I was helpless. He insisted on Batman and would put up such a fight that in the end I just let him be Batman and said to myself, "OK, so my kid's a bit weird". I mean first off, can you imagine going to school wearing the same outfit twice in a row? The other kids thought it was cool, though, and since then I have heard similar stories from other moms (Superhero can vary, however.)

In the end they sort of grow out of it by themselves (with the proper guidance) and become very interesting young people. It never ceases to amaze me though, how differently they view things than girls. I was a bit of a Tom Boy when I was a kid and yet I never came close!

But back to all that hyperactivity...It has also occurred to me that parents seem to be hell bent on having their children learn to read as early as possible, and as a whole we seem to be shoving the 3 Rs at kids earlier and earlier. Book learning is not something that is easily done while climbing a tree, in fact I would strongly advise against it. Book learning requires you to sit still and focus, which girls are better at in the younger years. So boys will naturally come out of it looking like the troublemakers who are preventing the teachers from giving the overeager parents what they want! (The ability to brag to their friends that Johnny and Janie could read when they were 16 months old.) In the end, it doesn't make a lick of difference in the overall scheme of things whether you learn to read, write and 'rithmatic at 3 or 4 or 6. Really...It doesn't. Send the poor kids out to play!

And PLEASE let the boys be boys!

RH

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Breaking News: Jews & Muslims Spontaneously Combust Upon Hearing "Merry Christmas"

Crate & Barrel was one of the first national retailers to react to the reports today of the apparent spontaneous combustion of several Jews and at least 1 Muslim upon being greeted with "Merry Christmas" by a careless Christian.

STLtoday - Business - Story: "Crate & Barrel has Jewish, Muslim and atheist customers, said spokeswoman Betty Kahn. 'We would definitely not say Merry Christmas,' she said. 'It's all about holiday shopping, getting together with friends and family.' "

Although there have been no reports of Atheists suddenly going up in flames, there have been cases throughout history that suggest that wishing an Atheist "Merry Christmas" may cause them to melt, much like the "Wicked Witch of the West". According to a C&B spokesperson, "We wanted to be sensitive to our Atheist customers, just in case," he/she/it said. "Besides, Atheists tend to spend more money, since they can't take it with them."

Still, panic broke out in some largely non-Christian areas of larger metropolitan areas when word spread that a cashier at a fast food restaurant was wishing people Merry Christmas with wild abandon!

"Where are the authorities?" people demanded, "How can they allow this?"

Authorities finally apprehended the fast-food restaurant employee, who turned out to be a recent Canadian immigrant not proficient in American.

Luckily, a spokesperson from Crate & Barrel was on hand to set the Canadian straight. "You see", he/she/it explained, "Here in America it is considered offensive to say "Merry Christmas" to those who burn up or melt when they hear those words". "Of course we don't want to ignore Christmas altogether, because we rather like all the money we make, so we just ignore the whole Jesus thing, because we feel that the spirit of the holiday has less to do with him, and more to do with Fine Dining Accessories On Sale Now at Crate & Barrel".

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving Everybody!

May your day be full of Happy Times, the makings of Warm Memories, and Family and Friends.



Thank You to everybody who sacrificed so that today's celebration is possible, and Thank You to everybody who bothers to read my silly little blog!

Warm Wishes,

RH

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Rosie O'Donnell Is An Ugly Person

Rosie O'Donnell

I am not talking about her appearance. Today on Live with Regis & Kelly, Clay Aiken of American Idol Fame tried to silence Ms. Ripa by reaching over and covering her mouth with his hand. Ms. Ripa responded appropriately by giving Mr. Aiken a mild reprimand, and then trying to lighten things up with a joke.

"I don't know where your hands have been".

I heard the replay on the radio and it was a graceful but firm maneuver out of an awkward situation. That really should have been the end of it, with the exception of Mr. Aiken enrolling in a basic manners course.
Kelly Ripa

Enter Rosie O'Donnell on The View, who has managed to make the whole incident about herself by accusing Ms. Ripa of "Homophobia", on National Television no less. Talk about blaming the victim. That woman needs to have her head examined and then go to some anger management courses. Here is why:
  1. What Mr. Aiken did was rude. He was invited onto a show and basically told his hostess to shut up. He is her junior both in age and in accomplishment, and she deserves respect. Mr. Aiken did not give it to her.
  2. Ms. Ripa should not have to justify her reasons for not wanting somebody putting his hand over her mouth. That is nobody's business but her own, and to have some aggressive loud-mouth criticize her for somebody else's failure to respect her own personal space is just gross.
  3. Ms. O'Donnell is a bully who does not respect anybody else unless they adhere to her wayClay Aiken of thinking. It isn't right that she fling accusations and "labels" at people to further her own agenda, especially on national television.
It is important that the rest of us do not put up with this, because there is a lot at stake. It has become commonplace to accuse people of being racist, sexist, homophobic, anti-Semitic .... Etc. as a method of silencing and intimidating them.

These tactics are a form of oppression, plain and simple. There is nothing "tolerant" about Ms. O'Donnell, she is attempting to impose her way of life on everybody else, come hell or high water.

To use a political analogy, There is not much difference in a dictator from the left and a dictator from the right.

RH

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Cutting Off Your Nose to Spite Your Face

I bet the American Indians wish that Gloria Allred had been on the Wagon Trail back when the West was being settled, for if she had, nobody would have gotten past the Mississippi. In fact, they would all still be there arguing about who has to do the dishes.

When the men went out to hunt so that they may eat, Ms. Allred would be waiting for them not with a hot fire to prepare the evening meal, but with a lawsuit and camera crew, ready to vilify the men for excluding women on the hunting trip as well as cruelty to animals. This is the lady who sued the Boyscouts for not allowing girls and Kmart for having boy's toys in one section and girl's toys in another. Because we all know that girls would eschew Barbie and the Easy Bake Oven if it were not for the male dominated society.

My point here is not just to point out the absurd, or even cast out the baby with the bath water. Some of what came out of the feminist movement is good, and was very much needed. But we are now engaging in a war on boys, which is really a war against ourselves and is going to lead to the unraveling of our civilization.

I know many believe this to be hogwash, but it is something that I had started to notice before I ever heard any mention of it in the media. It is subtle, but it is there. Before I was even conscious of any notion of a "War on Boys", I would hear statements by teachers and principals in the schools, that just seemed downright unfair. Some of them were just shy of openly hostile towards boys, and of course, typical boy behavior was NOT TO BE TOLERATED. (In case you haven't noticed, women have taken over the schools, so the boys are in real trouble if they get stuck with some nasty feminist types.)

Then we have those who openly say that we no longer need men as they trot off to the sperm bank to fulfill themselves and their wish for child. They make their own money, they explain, they don't NEED to have the father around.

Well OK then!

But what kind of a statement is that? Women didn't like it much when we were thought of as simply instruments of child bearing or sexual gratification for men, and now we are doing the exact same thing! Combine that with the ME generation attitude and it seems that women have somehow gotten the idea that it is all about them.

I just wonder what the child is going to think when Mommy tells him or her that she doesn't NEED a daddy. Most likely Mommy will give junior some new-agey cock and bull storey about how special they are because they don't have a daddy. What Mommy really should tell junior is that Mommy is so incredibly self-centered and selfish that she felt she had to produce another human being for her own personal gratification.

Think that is harsh? Try this: Think of your own father. Now get rid of him. You don't need him. What's more, you don't get to know him either. You don't get to know who he is, what he looked like, or even his name. Forget about camping trips and baseball, your mother decided all that was not necessary. You may even have two Mommies or two Daddies (in which case the child is ripped off one Mother), and you should be grateful because otherwise you could've ended up in a ditch somewhere, and it is much more important that whichever combination of adults lead fulfilling lives than you know where you come from or get to know the person who made you.

Stop being so selfish will you?

RH

Mother's Little Helpers

It occured to me that the "Boomers" are extremely rigid in their thinking. Even when the evidence is piling up against them, they cling to the notion that the social changes they brought about are somehow "enlightened" and to question them is to brand yourself some sort of Right Wing Nutcake (My apologies to Right Wing Nutcakes).

At least out here in California. And Massachusetts too...but let me get to that later.

So I have taken to giving my profession as Housewife when somebody wants to know what I am up to all day. The responses I get are very interesting. If a discussion of my profession starts, invariably, "Mother's Little Helpers" come up. What is meant by this, is that being a housewife is so incredibly unsatisfying that it was necessary to prescribe Valium in order to cope. We wouldn't want to go back to THAAAT!]

Hmmm.

Has it occurred to no one that the number of Happy Pills we are on now as a society makes "Mother's Little Helpers" seem like placebos? (and we don't even get Valium!). Hey Boomers! If your social changes were so great, why is half the country on drugs? Shouldn't we all be on a natural high?

Kids are floundering left and right, standards have gone down the toilet (because, god forbid somebody gets hurt feelings) and nothing of any importance can be meaningfully discussed, because sometimes hard choices have to be made, and that usually means somebody's feelings get hurt. Which makes you a racist. Or a Sexist. Or an anti-Dentite.

We are so caught up in this nicey nice baloney that we have become a nation of liars. BIG FAT LIARS. Left, Right, Up, Down. It's all peace, love and let somebody else pay for it with the 60s crowd. I think it's time for a national Time Out for the Boomers. They need to go to their rooms and think about what they have done. Maybe when they come out they will open their minds and see the other side of the coin.

RH...GenX and PROUD OF IT

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Look what else I found!

Howdy Howdy!

If you are not a cosmetics counter free gift freak, you may want to skip this one. If you regularly monitor the newspaper for the lasted department store ads for free Chanel, Estee, Clinique etc..., this is a major find! Here's the deal: (at Macys.com)
>>NEW! Estée Lauder The MakeUp Artist Professional Color Collection
Worth over $250! Yours for $47.50 with Estée Lauder fragrance purchase. It happens only once a year…the season's greatest gift of all.<<
Here's the Link: Free Gift
...In case I messed it up, just click "Beauty" from the Macys.com home page, then scroll all the way down and there should be a link to the offer. If you have trouble let me know! OK enough of this shopping talk!

Free Gift by Estee Lauder
RH

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

MACYS ONE DAY SALE

Save Save Save!

I just bought a new bedding set - a 24-Piece Room Ensemble in a Bag! Bed in a Bag! It has curtains too! Anybody who needs anything home-decorish or jewelry-wise or clothing -wise , hop over to Macys.com ON THE DOUBLE!!! This is their biggest One Day Sale of the year and after today, prices go up for the Christmas Fleecing! My new bedding set :
- Canyon Crest "Simsbury Stripe" 24-Piece Room Ensemble in a Bag For $199!!!

- Then I got this cute little Snoopy Radio for a stocking stuffer $14.95, it's a while supplies last deal and they offer it to you when you check out!

Finally, I am trying to figure out who I could give these to:

14k White Gold 1/2 ct. t.w. Diamond Studs

They are only $199.00 which seems like a deal to me for diamonds (I am not a big fan of Jewelry, but I can't resist things that sparkle...). Anyway, GET SOME EARLY CHRISTMAS SHOPPING DONE NOW!!! I GUARANTEE PRICES ARE ONLY GOING UP NOW!!!

OK Gotta Shop Some More!

TA TA

RH

PS...Because I ordered, I got a free shipping code from Macy's ($100 or more purchase) which I will share:
XN05Q0QT1DDF (Not sure if you can just use code alone, or need link in email...so I included link just in case...PPS...if anybody uses it and finds it is no longer valid...please let me know so I can take it down. PPS...don't tell Macy's where you got it!) ;)

Friday, November 03, 2006

Glorifying The Single Mother

"Changes in family structure - notably a doubling of the percent of families headed by a single woman - can account for a 3.7 percentage point increase in poverty rates, more than the entire rise in the poverty rate from 10.7 percent to 12.8 percent since 1980."

Remember when Murphy Brown got pregnant and decided to not get married, instead opting to raise the child alone? Remember how Dan Quayle criticized her and the big feminist outcry that followed? Well...(and may God forgive me for saying this)... Dan Quayle was right.

Single motherhood leads to poverty for many women (and for the rest, probably exhaustion). It isn't good for women, and it certainly isn't good for children. Yes, I know, there are a few Murphy Browns out there with the financial resources to outsource their childrearing duties, but for the most part, it is not a desirable situation.

I am saying this not as a criticism of the single mothers of the world, being on my second marriage, I was one for a period, too. (Only technically, however, since my ex-husband and I share custody and cooperate most of the time, which makes it easier than going it alone altogether.)

So what do we do? We can't turn back the clock, nor would we really want to... But the evidence seems to be saying that it is better for all involved (yes, for men too) to be married and stay married when children are involved. Should we make it harder to get a divorce? Dust off the old Home Economic classes and add some Dr. Phil to the curriculum? How about presenting a more realistic picture of marriage, as not all champagne and roses when in reality it is more Gun's and Roses? If couples knew what to expect, maybe they wouldn't throw in the towel so easily when the initial gloss wears off.

Still not completely sure myself, although I have gained some insight from my own mistakes. I do know that I would not want to be raising children on my own; There is nothing glamorous about it.

RH

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

On Service to Husband and Family

Every so often I get letters from visitors who disagree with or disapprove of the concept of a Retro Housewife. Since I love a good debate, I welcome these letters as it gives me a chance to talk about the ideas behind Retro Housewife (And what woman doesn't like to talk!). I got a particularly meaty letter today from a young lady in Australia that I would like to comment on here. I shall comment point by point if I may!

>>What I don't agree with in your site is the idea of service to your husband/family.<<

  1. Service to husband and family should not be confused with servitude. Nowhere do I say that a wife should be her husband's servant! I assume equality of status in a marriage, where both husband and wife value and respect the other's contribution. When you really get down to the nuts and bolts of what marriage is, you will see that on its most basic level, marriage is a life strategy; a man and a woman combining resources and (hopefully) forming a stable partnership for the purpose of raising children, as well as having a life ally who will be there for you through thick and thin. You can just as easily talk about a husband's service to wife and family in his role of breadwinner.

  2. Division of Labor in a world with constraints on time and resources. (i.e. Reality) Wouldn't it be nice if we could all be philosophers and artists, spend more time perfecting our golf game or composing symphonies! While this is certainly possible for the wealthy, most people in the world find themselves in the unfortunate position of having to earn a living. Which leads to the question: "How do we divide up all of this nasty work in order to maximize the outcome?" (The outcome being well-adjusted, healthy offspring, wealth acquisition and life enjoyment.) If you happen to ask an economist (which you did), they would start blathering on about specialization, comparative and absolute advantage, which for our purposes, I will simplify to mean each person should specialize in what they do more efficiently and are better at than the other.

  3. When children enter the picture, the woman is just flat out better at it than the man. (Mr. Mom and Junior notwithstanding). We can make them, feed them and I believe are better equipped to deal with them for long periods of time than men are. Meanwhile, by the woman taking care of the issues of home life, the man is freed up to focus on maximizing the resources he can make available to his family. The total "outcome" should be greater than if either party tried to do it all on their own, or each spouse worked outside the home part-time and in the house part-time.

  4. The problems started because somewhere along the line, society failed to value the contributions made by women to this equation properly, and then somebody looked over the fence and saw greener grass. We then found ourselves in the position of saying "Everything that men get to do = GOOD" and conversely "Everything that women have do = BAD", and the so-called feminists decided that they absolutely have to run into the office everyday or their lives would have no meaning.

  5. I am saying "What men did and women decided they needed = not everything it's cracked up to be" and "What women did and decided they hated = Maybe not so bad after all and definitely important and required for a stable society".

  6. So who is really the feminist here?
To be continued!

RH

Sunday, October 29, 2006

The Backlash - Will Mars and Venus Ever Call a Truce?

It has always struck me as odd that men have not launched a counter attack to the Feminist Movement, and for the most part have existed in a rather confusing and contradictory limbo, unsure of the role women and society now expect them to play. For almost 40 years now, women have been beating up on men, complaining about nearly every aspect and behavior that is male, while strangely doing their damnedest to be like a male.

As it turns out, the backlash is now in full swing. And it ain't pretty.

The first hints of this backlash were to be found in some of the newer men's magazines, such as Maxim or FX, which started to write about women much in the same way that Cosmopolitan and other Women's Magazines have usually written about men. Not outright hostile, but definitely adversarial and condescending.

Then there is the phenomenon that is the Tom Leykis. I learned about TL while flipping around the radio, looking for something in English to keep me company on a long drive. I am somewhat embarrassed to admit that I am hooked, and that I listen to the Tom Leykis show much more than I should. I am horrified by what I am hearing, but I can't turn it off. For those who aren't familiar with the show, it could be described as "Men's Liberation" and advocates the single life for men. No marriage, don't even let a woman move in with you and "get her claws" into you. This show has plenty of followers and is gaining popularity.

This is bad folks, very bad. I can't say I blame the guys after the years of abuse we women have been dishing out, but there's going to be a revolution and it remains to be seen just how bloody it's going to get!

RH

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

When The Cleaning Service Cleans You Out!

Sigh.

I hate it when I am confronted with other people's dishonesty. I finally managed to arrange a monthly cleaning service to come to our home and give me a hand with the bigger cleaning jobs, and they steal from us. This is a tragedy for two reasons:
  1. Somebody I let into my home betrayed our trust and committed a crime, which, I fear could still be happening because it is quite possible that we have not realized the full extent of the theft.
  2. I have to fire the cleaning service because I will obviously never let them on my property again, which means that I am back to cleaning everything myself. Not that I mind it, but the sad fact is that I could clean nonstop and still never get the house clean, because as I clean my darlings are busy mussing it up again. (Darlings=husband, kids, kid's friends, dogs.)
So, tommorow we get to begin the excrutiating process of trying to limit the overall damage, filing a police report, deciding whether to get the insurance company involved and generally feeling less safe in our own home. It's not about the monetary value of the initial theft, it's the fact that once you know somebody is a thief, and they have had full access to your home, the possibilities for damage are huge!

Ugh Ugh Ugh.

RH =(

PS...Kinda makes the Coyotes seem like a better choice of company. At least they make no bones about the fact that they would gladly have you for dinner...

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Coyote Hunting and Vice Versa

We live on the edge of our town, on the forefront of suburbia so we often encounter the area's former inhabitants; coyotes, possum and even on rare occasions, the mountain lion. Coyotes are frequent visitors however. We see or hear them several times a week, and I have even looked out my window and seen one skulking by.

Coyotes around here are about the size of a lab but probably weigh less due to the fact that they probably get more exercise chasing down their food. They are shy and stay away if you are bigger than they are, and if you are smaller than they, you are lunch. Our Beagle had a close call with them one night, so we keep her very close now. Not so with our other dog Oslo, who relishes a good coyote chase 'n tangle. He weighs 3 -4 times more than a single coyote, so they have a healthy respect for him.

Last night I decided to join Oslo in the nearby field to see if I could get a closer look. My husband followed us in our SUV and positioned it such that the headlights would shine on the field.

Oslo and I tramped out into the field and were soon staring at a pack of 3 coyotes. We stared at them, and they stared at us. Instead of chasing them, Oslo stayed right at my side, until one of the braver ones started to approach, then he took off after it and chased it back. Meanwhile, I noticed that one of the other ones was making a wide circle around me at which point I realized that I was being hunted. Still, I felt safe because the car was near and Oslo was back by my side, so I did my best impression of a coyote howl, flapped my arms up and down and generally made a fool of myself. This seemed to offend them because they started to trot back into the darkness, and Oslo and I climbed into the safety and domestic warmth of our SUV.

Although I never felt threatened or that I was in real danger, the realization that I was "hunted" is a bit creepy. These creatures are wary of humans, but they would not hesitate to make a meal of one if they thought they could pull it off. I think I will stay out of the fields at night from now on, now that I have been reminded that wild is still wild, and wild is usually hungry.

RH

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Digging to China

Do kids still dig to China these days? Probably not, I have a feeling that the CC&Rs would not permit it. The other day I started thinking about the time I dug a hole to China!

One morning when I was around 5, my best friend Peggy and I decided that we would try to dig a hole through the middle of the earth, and pop out in China!

We picked the perfect location right next to my sandbox, got the shovel out of the garage, decided it would be easier using "digging sticks" (I distinctly remember the shovel being taller than I was) and got to work. We dug and dug and scratched and scraped and talked about what China would be like and wouldn't they be surprised when we popped out of the ground, and wouldn't it be funny to walk upside down!

At the time I had the attention span of a 5 year old, so when my mom called us in for lunch we dropped our excavation equipment and ran in for lunch, never to complete the project and surprise the Chinese with our sudden appearance.

Maybe I didn't forget, maybe I was forbidden by authorities hostile to any warming of American/Chinese relations (or by my mother who didn't want a gaping hole in her backyard). Anyway, Nixon stole my thunder and we only got about 3 feet of the way to China.

I will never forget trying to dig to China, and for a short while actually believing it was possible, and just trying to do it even though the odds were totally against us (in the form of what my father would say when he came home and saw his back yard dug up and piles of dirt everywhere). In fact, from now on, whenever I have a big project looming, I am going to call it "Digging to China" and approach it with the same blind optimism that only a child (and the insane) can muster!

After all A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step!

RH

Friday, September 29, 2006

And Then There is Hollywood...

Just a quick comment on this story: The ladies pictured throughout this article are not thin, they are emaciated, skeletal. Kate Bosworth, whose figure I envied in Blue Crush, looks like her head is too big for her body, and might just fall off.

Then there is a Kim Raver (in the magazine) who went from being a knockout in 2003, to a walking skeleton (and looks like she aged 15 years in 3, and appears to also have had a nose job, for god knows what reason.)


These women are not attractive in their current state. They do not make me want to be them, or buy anything that they are "spokeswomen" for; (Bosworth pushes Revlon, a cosmetics company that is apparently trying to position itself as the makeup most frequently used by morticians.)

I am not sure who these people are who are responsible for this "pressure to be emaciated", but I hope they get hit hard where it counts: the wallet! Get these skeletons off the magazine covers please, I like to read them for a bit of escapism, not to learn that there numskulls who are willingly starving themselves to death.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Brooks Brothers Coupon Code 25% Off 3 Days Only!

Brooks Brothers Code
Hi All!
UPDATE TO THIS OFFER! CURRENT BROOKS BROTHERS COUPON CODE IS: friend46
Updated Brooks Brothers Friends & Family Event And I keep Current Brooks Brothers coupon codes here.
This sale is so good I had to post it! A Brooks Brothers coupon code for their 25% Off family and friends sale! If you need some **nice** clothes, or your husband needs some new suits, shirts ties...etc. to make a spiffy impression at the office, then Brooks Bros is your place! The sale ends October 1 so get a move on! They also have adorable clothes for boys, in case you have one of those budding executives at home!

Here is a link to the F&F Sale: Updated Brooks Brothers Friends & Family Event

Use This coupon code: FRIEND21. (I have set the link to open a new window so you can copy and paste the coupon code. Not sure if it is case sensitive yet..)

Also, while I am at it, there is another Brooks Brothers coupon code for free shipping: CJBBFA06

I think that last digit is a Zero, but copy & paste to be sure. (Use ctrl c to copy and ctrl v to paste, after you have highlighted the code with your squeeker!)

Free Shipping at Brooks Brothers !

So, what with the yoox code and the Brooks Brothers codes, I expect you to all be VERY WELL DRESSED! (And Broke! But Not as broke as you could be!)

RHBoys Brooks Brothers Suit and Tie
PS. Here is what your boys will look like wearing BBs clothes, in case you haven't seen them non grubby for awhile!

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Fires of Mordor?

The Day Fire Burning at Night
Why No! This was the view we had this evening while taking our dogs for a walk. Fire burning away up on the mountain top; Called the Day Fire, it has been burning since September 4th, and every few days it peeks over the mountains just to say hello, and to remind us all not to piss off Mother Nature!

RH.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Fat is going Global? Follow up to Comment on "How Americans Got So Fat"

Unfortunately, chubby does seem to be contagious; Since I posted that blog article on Ample Americans I have heard a number of news items referring to other countries in the world that are "weighing in" on the topic.

The last mention I heard was of France! Quelle Horreure! Please, Please say it isn't so! I have always admired the French for their ability to eat, drink and be merry with abandon and still maintain their status as the world's epitome of chic! What is the world coming to? Porky Parisians? Jenny Craig and Weight Watchers on the Champs de Elyesse? Mon Dieu!

Not to mention the fact that mankind now seems to find itself in the ludicrous position where half of the world population can't seem to let go of the late-night-chip-chomp while the other half goes to bed hungry at night.

Just image what would be possible if all of the energy and resources that we fatties waste through the process of getting fat, and then getting un-fat could be put into making sure everybody in the world has enough to eat.

I have always found that the best way to forget (and solve) your own problems is to try and help somebody else. Don't know why this works, it just does.

So! Instead of standing in front of the mirror obsessing about your weight, figure out how you can help just one person in the world. Instead of devouring that package of cookies, read an article about Darfur...and then write two letters: One to this guy Musa Hilal, Sudan, North Darfur and one to Omar Hasan Ahmad al-Bashir, President of Sudan. (Best address I could find: Sudan, Khartoum c/o National Assembly People's Hall - OMDURMAN.) Postage is $0.84 to Sudan from the US.

What to say in the letters? Keep it simple and just ask them to stop killing people. I realize this is absurd, but so is killing people really. Maybe these guys will get curious about why they are getting so much mail from random people and stop and think (not) or, maybe we can keep them busy trying to sort through all of the mail so they have less time to organize their raids on the people of Sudan.

Either way, they will know someone is watching and that usually makes people a bit nervous!

RH

Thursday, September 21, 2006

New Yoox Code! Secret Link to Private Yoox Sale

Yoox is having one of their secret sales! This sale is NOT available via the home page...you have to know someone who knows someone.... Here is the link: Secret Yoox Sale Link!

Plus, Free Shipping is still going strong AND there is a 5% Off yoox code!
I want to spend my husband's money at yoox with my 5% Off yoox code: HAPPYWEEKEND

Hee Hee, I AM BAD today!

So let's see...what do we have at the sale?
Dolce & Gabana Balconette Bra
Anyone for designer undies? Lots of Dolce & Gabana Lingere...Still Costs WAY more than one should spend on underwear, but sometimes you just gotta do it! We're worth it right? - This Balconette Bra is quite cute and actually reasonable at $28.00:


Habit Mini Skirt If you have the legs for it, there are also some cute 60s retro a go go looks (Boots ARE required!) There are also a bunch of nice, staid styles that you can pass off as "But honey, I needed something warm to wear to the PTA meeting"! (VALENTINO Cashmere sweater).

Or, if you really want to get creative, (and a little naughty) start with some of the lovely D&G unmentionables, and then finish out your look with just a hint of naughty school girl (CLEMENTS RIBEIRO Blaser and Knee length skirt)! Hubby won't remember to ask how much it cost! ;)

RH

Monday, September 18, 2006

Retro Housewife and The Ladies who Lunch: Flubber Fingers & Hurt Feelings

Retro Housewife and The Ladies who Lunch: Flubber Fingers & Hurt Feelings

Awhile back I wrote about messages that get left on your machine which are meant for somebody else! Well, it happened again! This time it was a co-worker to (absent) co-worker call talking about some computer gibberish...but this time she left a number! So, being the chatty sort, I phoned her up and thanked her for her message, but declined her help with my computer! Nothing earth shattering really, just kind of funny.

RH

Oh and By The Way...

I've got Video! Retro Video! I am so excited! Of course it'll take me forever and a day to get them all up on the site, and I have a lot to learn about how one goes about getting video on one's site, but I actually have one up already!!! Tea Party Video

Arranging the Tea Table

It's about a Tea Party!





How wonderfully quaint!

It is in apple format....sec...I have the real name here... (They Officially Call it "QuickTime" and you can download the QuickTime Player here for free).



Then, may I invite you over for a real retro Tea Party?
Actually, it is a lesson on how to host a tea party...(please note, one does not throw a tea party!)

Anyway Enjoy!

RH

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Why Girls Will Be Girls

My mother loves to cut articles out of the newspaper and mail them to me, even though I get the same newspaper she does. I guess she figures I probably missed the really important articles, so she cuts them out, sticks them in an envelope and sends them off. On occasion I will read the article on the back side by mistake which can lead to some pretty funny conversations later.

Now my mother has her own photocopier so she has expanded into magazine articles (before she was loath to rip pages out of a magazine), and so it happened that she managed to pass along a Newsweek article entitled "Why Girls Will Be Girls". Sounds controversial, doesn't it? Seems the medical profession is breaking out of its politically correct shackles and is interested in the truth again.

A UCSF psychiatrist is publishing a book that will actually say that women's brains are different than men's and that nature plays a big role in making us gals the way we are. Gasp! Imagine that! (BTW, the UCSF psychiatrist is a woman, of course, because no man could possibly get away with saying things like that without risking life and limb (Freedom of speech, my fanny...But that is a whole other topic.)).

Dr. Brizendine studies hormones and how they affect our moods and perception of the world. She says there are biological reasons that girls like to play with dolls and teenage girls become obsessed with talking on the phone/text messaging and shopping. (BTW, we are also less aggressive and better at reading the emotions of others....GEE WHIZ REALLY??)

But more important than the girls do this, boys do that conclusions, are the improvements that will hopefully come about in medicines and treatments for women when the medical researchers stop considering women "small men".

If we really are biologically different, then it is very likely that our brains will respond differently to drugs and other medical treatments. There are no politics at the cellular level; a cell's gonna do what a cell's gonna do! If it turns out that hormones make women want to bake cakes then I for one would like to know the truth and not what the Feminist du Jour would like to be true.

So to all the supporters of the Unisex brain, calm down...It is really not the end of the world if women are different than men, just chalk it up to diversity and go on doing whatever it is you were doing.

RH

Friday, September 08, 2006

How Americans Got So Fat

Sounds horrid, doesn't it? But it is also true! We are, as a nation, fatter than everybody else. It was actually one of the first things that struck me coming back to the US from Europe this summer; people in the US are much, much heavier than they are in Europe. Not only that, we are much fatter than we were 30, 40, 50+ years ago.

Living in Europe will make you thin. I know this from personal experience having lived in Germany for 5 years. I am naturally 20 - 30 lbs lighter in Europe than I am here (unless I am dieting like a mad woman). I even dropped about 10 lbs on my last trip. Why is this? I think there are 3 major factors that work against us here. When you live in Europe, you walk. You walk to get places, and you walk for the sake of it. Also, the bicycle is actually considered a mode of transportation and is not just for children and men in black shorts and helmuts. I know of a grandmother who rode her bike to the store, the next village, etc until she was 85.

The second and third reasons are matters of quantity and quality of food. The first meal I had in Germany seemed tiny when it arrived at the table! Our portion size here is about 2x what you get there, and what you get there is more than enough to fill you up.

Which leaves me with quality of food. For that, I would like to point out a column that I found in a Chicago newspaper from August 31, 1951. (I posted it here, if you would like to take a look.) The column is a food column featuring a weekly recipe. In this issue, mothers have written and phoned in asking what new and exciting things they could give their kids for lunch. Here are a few examples of what was suggested: Sandwiches filled with: Cottage cheese with chopped pimiento, Cottage cheese with green pepper, and even Cottage cheese with anchovy paste.

There is not a kid alive in the US that would eat that today. Today's kids want and get "Lunchables" (which in my opinion are not food at all), chips, McDonalds, Jack in the Box, Taco Bell, and the list goes on and on.

Cottage cheese sandwiches may sound a bit odd to us today, but they are simple and nutritious and they are made out of real food. The kids back then would probably wolf them down as fast as they could so they could run (using their own 2 legs) outside and play. I was lucky enough to have a childhood like that, and somehow, I think that is how they should be.

RH

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Back to School - In The Home Stretch

The moment that parents secretly wait for, (and not without a bit of guilt for doing so) is nearly here! Back to School!

Family vacations have been taken, swim courses successfully completed, summer movies have been endured and about half of the beach has been relocated to my carpets, patio and utility room. The lazy days (for some) are drawing to a close.

***

One last, final burst of energy is required to acquire the necessary trappings that go with getting 2 teenagers off to school. The new Back to School wardrobe has to be found in the farthest corner of the last store in the mall, and the myriad assortment of binders, books, pencils, pencil sharpeners, calculators and notebook paper must be duly tracked down and checked off the list.

On top of that, my daughter requires an assortment of survival gear, fit for an Eskimo and in coordinating colors of course, for a 5 day school camping trip!

WATER PROOF! NOT WATER RESISTANT!

Luckily, we had the list ahead of time and purchased all those supplies on the internet. (Me kneeling and praising Internet God)

Then there is the stack of official forms an inch thick that get sent home from the public schools. They are the same forms which I filled out last year, but for some reason I have to do it again. The school packets have also become full blown marketing channels for a variety of businesses who are just gearing up to begin the exploitation of a completely free work force in the name of "fundraising".

Once all this is done, however... Once this is all over, millions of mothers across America will breath a sigh of relief as schedule and routine return to their daily lives.

Finally!

Finally!

After almost 3 months of "vacation", we will finally be able to get the house clean!

RH

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Yoox Code - Yoox Code YOOOOO HOOOOOO

Armani Blazer at yoox

A little late in posting this...busy with back to school and all, this yoox code is only good thru tomorrow: weekendyoox

(The code itself is kind of a clue)

Now is a good time to shop as they are having a NEW SAMPLE SALE: UP TO 90% OFF Michael Kors Pink Satin BlazerCAVALLI, MARNI, DIESEL, D&G, PUMA AND MORE (their words, not mine) plus an Extra 60% Off Spring Summer Collections, and the fab new fall collection is in.

So, if Paris or Ivana stole your ticket to the fashion show, get it at Yoox instead!

Monday, August 21, 2006

Men will be Men! : An Open Response to the Retro Housewife and Her Lunch Ladies at How to Get Rid of Things: The Blog

An Open Response to the Retro Housewife and Her Lunch Ladies at How to Get Rid of Things: The Blog

My Dear Jonathan,

How you do go on! It would not be ladylike for me to address the first part of your letter in an open forum, so let me get directly to the point of "Laziness". The reason you seem to have so much expertise in "Getting rid of things" is that you have allowed them to be there in the first place! I am not sure what a house husband is, having never encountered one in the wild. It seems to me that such a beast must only exist in the rantings of the sorry pseudo feminist journals! I believe a more appropriate term for you is "bachelor", and from the look of things, one that is in desperate need of a wife. While you do seem a bit rough around the edges, it is nothing that can't be fixed by the right woman. Perhaps I will send a few candidates your way?

Yours,

RH

Hollywood and the Potty Obsession

Pleeeeeeeease Stop!

It's not funny! We recently sat through the movie "RV" which was erroneously listed as a "comedy". It should be listed in the evidence file for those making the case that Hollywood has run out of talent and Robin Williams should retire quickly.

Here is the thing: we all use the toilet, it is a well established, well documented fact of life. Watching Robin Williams get covered in feces is not funny, it is disgusting. It is also a sign of desperation on the part of whatever monkey wrote the "script". 5 year olds think potty jokes are funny but even they grow out of it! If that is the only thing you can come up with, please find another job.

Robin Williams is a genius as a stand up comedian, but it seems he has run out of ideas. There is something to be said for retiring while you are still on top before senility has fully taken ownership of your brain.

And while I am pointing fingers, Mike Meyers should also shut the door to the outhouse. It's not funny, it just stinks.

RH

Monday, August 14, 2006

An Open Letter to: How to Get Rid of Things: The Blog

How to Get Rid of Things: The Blog

My Dear Jonathan,

While I do appreciate your mentioning Retro Housewife on your Blog, I must take issue with your claim that I am setting feminist progress back (50 - 100 years I believe). Au Contraire! I am advancing the feminist movement, catapulting it out of the doldrums, getting the gals off the hamster wheel and back home sweet home where we belong!

I have, in the past been stuck at work, stuck in traffic, stuck in a rut and once, just plain stuck (nevermind), but have not felt "Stuck at Home". I have the power to make everybody in my family happy just by cooking up something yummy for dinner, or bringing home ice cream and a good video from the market.

Is it really progress for women to try to be like men? Is a job as an office manager, bank teller or corporate cubical captive really that much more rewarding? I think I shall go ponder that some more over coffee.

RH

PS: At least you kill spiders....there is hope for you yet, young man!

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Yoox Code is Back!

Just a quick note to let you know that the YOOX coupon code for 5% Off is back until October 10th! Here are the details: (See recent blog entry for all current yoox promotions)
  1. 5% Off + Free Shipping on all orders. 5% ends 10/10 Free shipping Ends 10/2 25, 2006

    YOOX Code: HAPPYWEEKEND Ends 10/10/2006

  2. Extra 60% Off Spring Summer Collections until August 31. (No Code Required)

Michael Kors Retro Skirt
Here is a cute 50s style skirt from Michael Kors... Costs a pretty penny though!
Nose Sneakers at YOOX
Ralph Lauren Cardigan and Nose Sneakers (Really!)

There are some really cute kid's clothes, so if you have fashion conscious teens, have them take a look...(you never know with them though, designer is not always designer with them!) The Kid's and Junior's section is much more reasonable....(Sneakers were only $30...All the kids in Europe were running around in those things.)

Well Ta!

RH

Monday, August 07, 2006

Honey, What Are You Thinking About?

I had a major revelation this evening.
Men it seems, really ARE thinking about nothing. At least when it comes to what we suspect, hope and possibly fear they are thinking about. I still can't really grasp the implications of this fully; I can think of situations where I myself have posed this famously female question, sure that he must be pondering how he was ever able to live without me, and how deep his love for me is, only to receive the old "Nothing Really" response.

Depending on my mood at the time, I would assume that he a) is having trouble expressing such strong emotion adequately b) is really thinking about some other woman, c) is secretly mad at me or d) must be sick.

It just never occurred to me that he is actually thinking about nothing special.

My revelation occurred this evening while sitting around chatting with a male friend of ours. The topic of relationships, communication and THE QUESTION came up (since our friend is newly single) and I made a comment that I still am never sure what my husband is thinking even after all these years.

Without missing a beat, my husband and our friend said "Nothing!!" in unison, and rather emphatically at that. None of the usual suspects (see assumptions a-d above) seemed to provide any satisfactory explanation to the fact that I now had TWO men claiming that they are thinking about nothing.

Neither of them appeared to be bottling up repressed emotion, there is a copy of the Victoria's Secret catalog on the coffee table that has been left untouched and both are in very good moods.

I am getting the thermometer.

RH

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Ironing is very European

Several months ago I ran out of spray starch so when I was at the market, I headed towards the laundry detergent isle in pursuit of a new can. I scanned the shelves for spray starch and found the usual 50,000 different kinds of detergents, fabric softeners and bleach, but no spray starch!

This can't be, I thought. People still iron here don't they? I admit that in the past ironing has been one of the chores that I did on an "as needed only" basis, and only after all other wrinkle removing remedies had failed. Thus, my depleted can of spray starch was a tad on the old side.

Since my husband's promotion however, ironing was back on my weekly task list as he was now expected to show up in more presentable attire than the casual cool & crazy clothing that was the norm in his prior position. Which puts me back in the detergent isle, searching for the darn can of spray starch.

After about 10 minutes of reading every product name on the shelves, I happened to glance at the very bottom shelf. There I spied the familiar cylindrical cans of spray starch, looking rather bland and unassuming in the midst of all the brightly colored rainbow boxes of new and improved miracle powders, liquids and gels. Spray Starch! They even carried it in two types: Original and Heavy! (I bought a can of each).
German Laundry Starch
Fast forward to my vacation in Germany this summer when I was in a German grocery store looking for detergent for our RV. The very first thing I saw, right at eye level, was an entire shelf dedicated to ironing and starch!German Liquid Starch They had far more than just two kinds, too!German Spray Starch They had liquid starch, and spray starch in at least 4 different strengths, and starch to put in the wash, and starch for silks, starch for rainy days and starch for when you get the blues....(for a stiff upper lip??).

What does this mean? Are Americans running around wrinkled and creased? If they are, I had never noticed...Germans do seem to look well pressed, and my mother-in-law did seem to have a slight obsession with me ironing her son's shirts (or not ironing them to be exact)...But bottom shelf treatment in the US compared to the coveted eye level shelf placement in Germany?

Talk about cultural differences!

Friday, July 21, 2006

There's No Place Like Home

It has been a great vacation this year and we visited many beautiful places, ate great food and had adventures with the different languages. Still, I can't wait to get home! Just finished packing for tonight and tomorrow we will get up early and drive to the airport.

See you back in the States!

RH

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Yes, Venice Is Worth The Trip

Just wanted to add a quick note before they come and toss us out of our hotel room! It's just me and the kids now, hubby had to get back to work and we are staying a few days longer in Germany (We are going to go to a spa!! but more on that later).

Venice was absolutely magnifico! I took pictures but they don't come close to doing it justice. Here is a picture taken from the ferry boat on the Grand Canal:Gran Canale in Venezia, Italia!

And here is a picture of St. Marks Square:


There is no other place like this in the world. Make the trip if you can.

RH

PS...I am off to nab some great spa secrets which I will share on RH. I am a beginning spa goer so you'll have to be patient!

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Where to Park an RV in Venice, Italy

Aren't I just full of useful tips? So, when I left off we were headed to Venice proper in our 5 meter long, almost 3 meter tall RV that we rented in Munich. The RV we rented in Munich GermanyIt is sweltering hot and I am wondering if Venice is really all it is cracked up to be, and wouldn't we be better off heading toward some nice beach somewhere? So we wind up at the central bus station right next to the first canal. There are a few public parking spaces, but most of them are earmarked for civil servants of some sort and have ominous looking signs showing your car being towed away.
We actually considered taking a calculated risk and parking our gigantasaur in one of them with the rationale that they would have to go to considerable effort to tow the RV, and would most likely have to move other cars to get at it. We were pretty sure that no Italian would be in the mood to take on such a project since they were still in the throes of winning the 2006 World Cup the night before, an event so large that time stood still in Italy for a bit, enemies became friends and just about everybody stopped what they were doing to drive their cars through the streets honking and waiving the Italian flag. I can't even think of a comparison for the US. Moon landing maybe?
Anyway, our good sense got the better of us and we decided against it. Then I saw a mechanic with a garage that would clear our RV and had the bright idea that maybe it was time to have the oil changed on our new rolling home. I think I am not the first one to try this, however, because he was on to me right away and was in no mood to do any work. Italy was the world champion after all.
He did give me directions to a place where he claimed that "Tuto Wohnmobile" (Italian/German meaning "All the RVs") could park. Since I speak not a word of Italian, I just tried to decipher his enthusiastic arm movements and we set off in the general direction that he seemed to be the most excited about.
After driving in the same circle 3 times, and unsuccessfully trying to fit ourselves in to one of the big parking garages (parking for normal sized vehicles seemed to be plentiful), we headed back to the big long bridge and decided to see if there were any more exits past the one on our circular tour. All of a sudden the flaw in our plan became obvious. We were not thinking like a bus! I mean, what place in the world has more tour buses rolling in than Venice, Italy? So there we had our answer and we just followed the line of buses into a roofless parking paradise the size of several football fields and were directed to our very own parking spot. The end.

PS, if you should happen to try this, answer "Yes" when the attendant asks you if you are going to take a boat ride. You have to decide yourself what your answer will be to the second question, but the first one is a definite "Yes".

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Europe American Style

We all know that Americans love their RVs, and that there is a formidable army of RVEAs (Recreational Vehicle Enabled Americans) in the US ready and able to hit the road at the drop of a hat, but did you know that it is quite a comfortable and economical way to see a bit of Europe?

It never occurred to me before this trip as the thought of trying to maneuver a 20 foot long vehicle through the streets of Europe gave me nightmares. When my husband suggested it, I smiled politely and gave him my best "Sure, let's look into it" (which really meant: I would rather chew sand). But look into it we did, and after his assurances that I wouldn't have to drive the thing, my enthusiasm grew. When I asked Ernst, our friendly German RV rental agent, whether he lost many of his RVs to unmarked, medieval tunnels or Parisian drivers he assured me that RVs can go everywhere with no problem.

OK, Fine. So we rented one, and off we drove, out of Germany, through Austria and into Northern Italy. Destination: Venice! Yup, that's right, the city with no streets. Perfect place for an oversized, bulky vehicle.
View of Venice, Italy from Camping Fusina
Stop snickering! It turned out to be great! See, we rolled into a camp site across the water from Venice around midnight, plugged in and got a good night's rest. There is a ferry that will take you directly from the camp site to Venice proper, which is the sensible thing to do. So we got into our RV and drove to Venice. TBC

European Survival Note!

Hello All!

I am writing this from my hotel room in Frankfurt, Germany. Sounds a bit glamorous, doesn't it? Before you get too envious, I guess I should rephrase. I am holed up in a hotel room, waiting for the portable air conditioner to bring the temperature down to a reasonable level. We had to change rooms and pay 20 Euros more per day to get this little wonder so that we would be able to sleep at night.
The Portable air conditioner

It is 90+ degrees here, and very humid and since this is a place that is normally geared towards keeping warm, hot weather can be unbearable. Air conditioning is almost nonexistent and since the Germans are perpetually afraid of drafts, air circulation is not that great. When I read the hotel had a sauna, I didn't count on it being the elevator!

Last night was spent with the hotel windows wide open, which let in a little cooler night air, but also gave us an up close an personal audio of the Frankfurt night life, which seems to slow down around 3:00 in the morning. This morning we packed up all of our travel guides, souvenirs and accumulated junk and
switched rooms. (Did I say portable air conditioner?).

We switched on the box, only to find that nothing got any colder. The fan, on top speed, created a little breeze, but there was only enough room for one of us to huddle in front of it. Then we noticed a small, red light flashing on the control panel. A HA! We then deduced that our little air conditioner was trying ever so hard to speak to us, to tell us that it had been sorely neglected and would really like to cool us off if only we could fix what ails it!

The little water drop next to the blinking red light was our clue, and we decided that it either needed water, or had too much of it somewhere. Since we have never had a thirsty air conditioner at home, we chose the latter.

After a few minutes of pulling and tugging on this panel or that, we indeed found a drainage container that was overflowing with greenish water. We dumped it down the toilet and then I gave it a thorough scrubbing to remove the fancy, European algae and we slid it back into place.

Magically, the little blinking red light was gone, and cool air was pouring out the front! Freude schöner Götterfunken, Tochter aus Elysium!!

Here is a picture from our hotel room before the night life starts hopping..

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Shopping Tip - New Yoox Code

7/27/2006 Yoox Code Update! - Alert! A new Yoox code became available today for free shipping on the week-end!?? You get your own personal code to use on this page. Buy Something nice for me while you are at it! =) Ta!


Update to the Yoox code sale: There is a 60% Off sale going on right now at yoox.com. Just thought I'd let y'all know! Yoox sells REAL designer duds for still a lot, but not quite a house prices. You can get real steals at the sales though! They have a really pretty site too as well as pretty ads:


As far as I know, there is no Yoox code needed!



7/18/06 Howdy Howdy! Boy have things been busy! I found another one of those spiffy secret codes for YOOX so I thought I'd share. Here's the low down: 3 Day only Exclusive Promotion: Free Shipping (YOOX CODE applicable from June 28 to June 30). Exclusive YOOX CODE = enjoysummer@yoox

How to use the YOOX Code: Make your purchases, insert enjoysummer@yoox in the YOOX CODE space on the first page of the checkout and click New Total. Remember the code is valid thru June 30, 2006 only. Here's some more Yoox specials and other online coupons.


Enjoy!

RH

Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Ms. Magazine | Decoding anti-feminist writer Caitlin Flanagan

Ms. Magazine | Decoding anti-feminist writer Caitlin Flanagan Or, How "Feminisim" Was Kidnapped and Held Hostage In Hairy Armpits.

I am a feminist. And judging by the essays I have been reading on the Ms. Magazine website tonight, I am a radical feminist.

I am not quite sure how to classify the ladies who wrote those lovely essays, even though they seem to have appointed themselves as the guardians of "feminisim", but I am quite sure that they have very little to do with anything feminine. I don't think they even like women.

Take for example Hillary Frey's comment on a quote by Caitlin Flanagan: "There was no way to see an article containing the statement “when a mother works, something is lost” as anything but an attack on working mothers. Scores of moms took notice."

Excuse me? There is no way to take the statement "When a mother works, something is lost" as anything but an attack? Is she saying that a mother is worthless? I contend that you could take that statement as an acknowledgement of the importance of the mother's presence in raising the children.

This is where the "radical" comes in. Instead of fighting tooth and nail to do everything BUT raise children, a real feminist will drag her self esteem out of the gutter conquer her fear of lipstick, lace and everything pink, and stand up and fight to re-establish the value of the traditional feminine role.

Just what the hell is so terrible about the kitchen anyway? The kitchen is where everybody wants to be! If you don't believe me, throw a party and watch everybody do their darndest to squeeze themselves into the dreaded room.

The kidnappers of feminisim are not really afraid of the kitchen, they are afraid of the female in the kitchen. Why? Because they themselves consider women to be inferior to men, and thus equate anything associated with women to repression and even suffering. Therefore, anytime some brave gal pokes her head up and says, "Hey, I want to be a Housewife" the kidnappers of feminism will be on her like a pack of piranhas. But believe me, if men suddenly decided they were going to do all the cooking, those very same women would be clamoring for the apron.

I contend something IS lost when a mother works, that there is incredible value in dedicating oneself to raising the children and creating a home. Consider this: Imagine in your professional life you are assigned responsibility for a major, long term project, involving hundreds of thousands of dollars, the outcome of which will decide the fate of your company.

How many of you would hire an uneducated, minimum wage assistant who couldn't care less about the outcome of said company, put them in charge of the project for 8-10 hours a day and then insist to your boss that everything will be fine because you spend 1 or 2 hours of "quality time" with your project in the evenings?

RH

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

New Developments in Child Rearing: Baby First TV, Baby First Cigarettes, Baby First Chemical Weapon Assembly Kit!

I was just contemplating whether I should make an entry in my blog and was leaning towards going to sleep instead, when a commercial came on my Tivo'ed Monk episode for a fantastic new idea they are calling "Baby First TV". Now why didn't they think of this when my children were babies? I was forced to park my kids in front of taped episodes of the Jerry Springer Show when all that goo gooing and silly smiling at me got on my nerves, or when their incessant yowling interfered with my soaps. (A good transvestite on transvestite brawl would make them forget they were hungry in seconds flat!)

"Baby First TV" is appropriate for babies as young as six months old! Just think how much time I wasted talking to my children, when if I had only waited, I could have begun avoiding them a good 3 or 4 years earlier! Miserable little creatures, always wanting my attention, getting into things and making messes! If you ask me, they are long overdue for "Baby First Cigarettes"! I'd just like to see them try to cry for hours while coughing up a lung! Maybe then I would have had my peace and quiet!

Even better, Let's just skip "Baby First TV" and "Baby First cigarettes" and go straight to "Baby First Chemical Weapons Assembly Kit". Why wait around with long, drawn out solutions when some explosive chemicals and instructions written by the geniuses behind the "Baby First TV" concept would surely do them in in 20 minutes or less? How lucky the new mothers of today are! With the proper choice in cable company, and subscription TV, they will be able to avoid their children all together!

RH

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Snails and Beer

Retro Housewife and The Ladies who Lunch: Snail Safari

I have to do a quick follow up on the various remedies that have been suggested for my snail problem. I am currently trying out setting out a bowl of beer (no pretzles), which I have now heard from several different, unrelated sources attracts snails and causes their untimely, drunken death.

My first night, I caught not one snail! Not sure if they just ran out on their bar tab, or just didn't show up but my beer trap was completely devoid of snails!

Yesterday, my sister and her 2.5 year old daughter were visiting, and I managed to convince my niece to collect snails and put them into the "Snail Aquarium". She did a fantastic job, but I'll be darned if the things didn't squirm their way out again!

Which leads me to wonder whether I have chosen the wrong type of beer. I am using dark beer, but perhaps a Pilsner would be more appropriate? Does it matter whether it is domestic or imported? Am I "serving" the beer in the wrong type of bowl?

If anyone has experience with drowning snails in beer, please enlighten me!

RH

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Happy Mother's Day!!


First, I would like to wish all of the mothers out there a very happy mother's day! Hopefully you got to sleep in and got served breakfast in bed, (or, didn't get served breakfast in bed if your kids are younger than 12...you KNOW what I mean =))

Hats off to you for doing the toughest job in the world! These are for you!

RH

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Going Shopping...

Hello All!

For those of you who like to wear designer labels, and like it even more when you get a deal on them, this post is for you! I found out about a secret coupon code for YOOX which will give you free shipping until May 22. I thought I would share it with anyone itching for some Prada or Armani! www.yoox.com Free Shipping Link w/code topaff06 . I am not sure if the code is case sensitive, but to be safe, make sure you type it in just like it is.

Here are the instructions that came with the yoox code:

This is an exclusive YOOX CODE that will give your users the opportunity to save on the standard shipping costs (minimum $7) for every order placed on YOOX. There is no minimum order requirement to avail of the free shipping offer!!

How to use the YOOX CODE:

Use the link to enter the yoox site thru the private gateway. Make your purchases, insert topaff06 in the YOOX CODE space on the first page of the checkout and click New Total.


Enjoy!

RH

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

The Warranty Mafia

Is it just me, or has the whole warranty business gotten a bit out of hand? I say this because it seems to be the birthday of several of my large appliances, and all of a sudden, they are getting more mail than I do. A lady from Sears also called to offer me extended "protection" for my washer/dryer and fridge.

Apparently, the life expectancy of my quality appliances is about two years, after which terrible, horrible things can be expected of them from which I can protect myself for only $250. Instead of forking over the dough, I told the nice lady that if they break down, I will buy new ones, and I am sorry to hear that the quality of their products is so poor.

What ever happened to selling a quality product that will last a life time, or at least 10 years? Must I live in fear of my dishwasher? All I wanted were some nice, energy efficient appliances that would assist me in my daily chores. We didn't buy the cheapest appliances, we paid a pretty penny for our mechanical friends and I am offended that I am now being told to buy protection from them.

Anyway, I am happy to report that they are, in fact, still fully functional but just to be on the safe side, I am keeping the knives away from the dishwasher!

RH

Friday, April 28, 2006

Retro Housewife and The Ladies who Lunch

Here is the Recipe Page from the "Recipe Housewife" and The Ladies who Lunch


It is slow going, but I have successfully scanned and converted some of these wonderful recipes. I will try and add a few new ones each day!



These recipes are from military wives both American and from many other countries. They were asked to contribute their favorite recipes using the following criteria to guide them:

  1. The recipes must be liked by members of their family,
  2. The ingredients must be easy to find!

Sounds good to me! I will be trying some of them out and will report back my findings. If anyone else tries them, I would love to hear your comments! Hope you enjoy! RH