Jingle Belle

I wear my Jingle Belle apron but once a year, saving its seasonal outing for that special invitation. This go round, the wearing was to Christmas dinner at Heidi and Phil’s, our adorable neighbors. Just in case there was a scarcity of appropriate apron-wear, I brought a tiny valise filled with a selection from my collection.

Christmas is also the once-a-year outing of my black pumps with the diorama lucite heels.
Purchased from a JCPenney catalog many years ago, they are man-made cheap-o’s, and by now, style-wise a tad dated. I care for them like I would a piece of art, which they are to me.

Tie One On…an apron, of course!

Holiday Miracle

As late shoppers scurried, my brother-in-law’s aorta shredded. A healthy fellow who began his day with self-directed yoga on an ocean-side deck, he had no inkling of a health crisis, much less his aorta peeling like a Vidalia onion blossom. But that’s exactly what occurred and he is now one day into recovering from open heart surgery. ‘Tis a miracle that he is alive.
This is a photo of Dave and Carol that I took Thanksgiving, both the picture of health and happiness. Prayers appreciated this picture is their future.

Tie One On…an apron, of course

Christmas Jewels

Two blocks down and one block over from my home is the Beauty Chalet, an old fashioned beauty parlor with two wash, cut and curl stations and four chairs with attached bonnet dryers. For years, my mother-in-law had a weekly appointment at the parlor, and I was her transportation.

As her escort, I’d usually just take her into the salon, leave and return an hour or so later. Except in December, when I would stay through her appointment and after, because that’s when Ellen Donaldson and Judy Krasovec, the owners, put up the jewelry tree, a wall hanging made entirely of costume jewelry donated by their customers.
The first time I saw the tree, I asked Judy about its history. Her eyes shimmered with tears as she recalled the women whose jewelry made up the tree and how all of them were no longer here to enjoy it.
To see the tree in person is mesmerizing. Tiny colored lights create prismatic reflections in Lucy Caffaro’s Austrian crystal earrings, dazzling the Eisenberg earrings donated by Mary and Dorothy Dunlap, and illuminating the jewelry of Leotus Seybold, Nona Miller, Erline Darris and Maurine Miller.

My mother-in-law died two years ago, but come December, I still walk down to the Beauty Chalet to experience this truly beautiful display and tribute.

A Little Dab’l Do

As we were gallivanting in Denver, our home was invaded by mice. Within a day of our return, the clues came quickly: a nibbled packet of airline peanuts left out on the kitchen counter,
a chomped on English muffin,
a skittering sound in the kitchen trash can (no photo – when Prince Charming investigated, the mouse tried to jump out, scaring the ever lovin’ out of both of us – that can is no longer, tossed out the back door and never to return). So on the day Michigan dissolves the death penalty, we instituted it.

Before this rodent invasion, I thought of the word nibble rather sweetly: a loving nuzzle or the only way to eat an Oreo. But with this infestation, I’m thinking more like the wiley witch in Hansel and Gretel. Nibble, Nibble, little mouse, who is gnawing at my house? she’d coyly asked the hungry children as they munched on her yummy home. Her plan – to lure the nibblers into a trap – is now my mission. Only one problem. Mouse traps are yuk.

But traps work, according to Andy Murdock at SoCo Pest Away, if you follow protocol: put a dab of peanut butter on the trap’s trigger to get the mouse to investigate and set two, three traps 6-8″ apart. Why’s that? Because, says Andy, a mouse wary of trap #1 gets careless around #2. But, how does it know to be wary? Because (and I hope you’re not eating as you’re reading this), rodents witnessing another rodent get “trapped” will avoid traps for the rest of their lives! It gets worse. Female rodents teach their babies to scurry past traps, and a generational avoidance mechanism called Trap Shyness results and is tradition for decades in rodent families. Ohmygod.

The idea of mice running along my kitchen counters is nauseating enough, but settling in for years and years got me up and going…to the Dollar store, where mice traps are 4 for a buck. I bought two packages, figuring we’d set a mine field. Well and good, only we could not figure out how the doggone things work! We had to google for instructions we could finally comprehend, and the result is a countertop set with these:
I have no idea what I’ll do tomorrow morning if the traps are sprung. but I’m sure Andy does.

Tie One On…an apron, of course!

Night out in the Big City

We live less than two hours from Denver, but you’d think it was double that the way we hem and haw over going up there. So when we do make the drive, especially on a week night and with the threat of snow, the purpose must be special…more special than my new purse needing a night out.

The impetus was to meet Corinne Joy Brown, the new editor-in-chief of SHINE, Denver’s premiere lifestyle magazine, who in her spare time wrote an article about my apron journey for the Feb/March issue of Colorado Expression magazine. Corinne Joy (that’s her in the middle) exudes a warmth and hospitality over the telephone that in person is quadrupled. She is so lovely, I forgot I was jealous of her coat and hat: a haute vintage velvet cape and matching beret.
Here we are at the Michele Mosko Fine Art gallery for an exhibit opening I’d read about in the Denver Post (and the second reason why we drove up to Denver). On the right is Michele Mosko, who just happens to be Corinne Joy’s sister! Funny how the Big City turned out not to be so big after all.

Tie One On…an apron, of course!


I did not need another purse, but then I spied this gem. A hybrid of functionality and design, it is a cross between two of my favorite things: a train case and a lunch box.

As luck would have it, we’re driving up to Denver tomorrow for a Big City evening- dinner and a gallery opening- and I’ll be toting this purse, a more wonderful accessory does not exist, EXCEPT…for a purse hanger.

Purse hangers were the popular gift to give and receive back in the days of my junior high years, but haven’t been around for eons. ‘Tis a mystery why they fell out of fashion, because a purse hanger keeps your bag close at hand and off filthy floors.

The hanger from which my little jewel will a’dangle is from fancynancyhand
, an on-line business. fancynancy turns out to be a Virginia girl, who is as nice as nice can be. And surprise surprise, in addition to designing purse holders, she is a JAG with the United States military. A true steel magnolia! Choosing which fancynancy holder to purchase proved impossible, so I bought all three. M-m-m, perhaps two more purse purchases are in order.

Tie One On…an apron, of course!

Hanukkah Jingle Bells

On the eighth night of Hanukkah, our tradition is to invite non-Jewish families to celebrate the final night of our holiday. Once the candle lighting and latke eating are over, we all sit in the living room, the glow of the menorah’s candles the only light, and sing the dreidel song. A child’s song, it’s easily adapted to a round, like row, row, row your boat, and within one go, everyone knows the words. As far as catchy holiday tunes go, the dreidel song is the Jewish Jingle Bells.

This year’s celebrants included Mimi, Isabelle and Amber, a trio clad in their Hanukkah aprons, and a rambunctious quintet of five little boys. Every year, I take a picture of each family, a photographic growth chart, which becomes a part of our collective history.

Menorahs are their own art form, with artists worldwide uniquely interpreting the 9-candle candelabra. Terrie and John, who joined us for night number six, gifted us with a ceramic menorah handcrafted in Mexico, which we filled with candles and lit night eight. They also brought a lovely merlot. Menorah & Merlot, my favorite M&M’s.

Tomorrow I’ll clean the menorah of candle drippings, put away the decorations and file the latke recipe. Next year, may our celebration be in a world at peace.

Tie One On…an apron, of course!


Rejoice! An unexpected snow storm provides the season’s inaugural donning of my mama’s mink. The rarity of weather inclement enough to wear my inheritance is such cause for celebration, by the time this photo was snapped, I’d already shoveled the walkways twice. Never mind the sight/fright I was to the paper delivery fellow at 5:30 am.

Living where the average yearly moisture amounts to 13″, I tend to greet snow flakes like a visit from Elvis. Unlike when my sons were young and my snow euphoria was child oriented, in their adult absence, I focus on the aspects of snow that are personally pleasing: clearing a walkway and eating snow ice cream.

Basic Snow Ice Cream Recipe: A simple stirring together of snow, sugar, vanilla extract and milk. For a creamier, richer taste, replace the sugar and milk with sweetened condensed milk.
The admonition to only eat of the second snow fall is not without its point, but where a second snow isn’t likely, the only caution to which I cater is don’t eat yellow snow.

Tie One On…an apron, of course!

About The Apron Book

The Apron Book reminds us of everything we once loved about aprons and then shows us how to make them ourselves. Each page is a delightful montage of full-color photographs of new and vintage aprons, tidbits of advice, recipes and tips for collecting and preserving these textile artifacts. You’ll also find the images of apron lovers past and present and their apron stories, plus four basic apron patterns, detailed and illustrated sewing instructions, and a host of variations for sewers of all skill levels. As a bonus, the Basic Bib Pattern is packaged separately and tucked within the book’s pages!

The Apron Book

There is no other book like The Apron Book, which celebrates the humble yet lovely apron and the spirit of the men and women who wore them, and at the same time provides the inspiration and the tools to reinvent aprons for the here and now.

According to EllynAnne, aprons don’t hold us back, they take us back…the very reason for the apron’s status as today’s hottest collectible.

“What is the allure of aprons? They tell the stories of our domestic lives. As you wander through these pages…you may get misty eyed as you read these women’s words. Or you may be inspired to sew your own aprons. …Or you just might be inspired to start your own collection. And you may find yourself tied to EllynAnne’s apron strings…in the most positive way imaginable. Enjoy!” ~ Ellen Levine, from The Apron Book’s Foreword.