HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ME!

To You Josie and our promise:

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I’m officially old in calendar years, but I feel in my prime, somewhere in my beginning forties where I had a sufficient background on which to stand firm and build more height in my thinking.

This is the front of my jacket and at the end of this quagmire, is a photo of the back of my jacket. Why am I talking about birthdays, being old, feeling quit positive about building thinking for the future? Why make such a big deal over the jacket front and back? The answer is quit simple. When you have writers block you take a desperate leap. I promised my lifelong friend I would do some writing by Sunday or else. Or else what? I would break my promise. I never make promises because I refuse to break them. I am oh so very careful not to make even myself a promise. How would anyone know I broke a promise to myself? Me, I would know.

The jacket you see before you holds bits and pieces of my life. Remember, it’s my birthday and I get the top billing. One gold and white porcelain pin has my first initial painted on it in 24K gold. What a big deal when I was presented with this pin.

It was my tenth birthday and I was having a party in our backyard with all of my friends. One little beige box stood out from all of the rest. The card said, Happy Birthday to my best friend. Signed, Guess Who? Dear Best Friend, I wrote many times in my head to thank you, but, who are you?

The two teddy bear gold scatter pins belonged to my mother. I lost time for a time after they became mine and drove myself nuts trying to find them. Whew. There they are forever! Perhaps.

The cow pins remind me of my cow collection. The cows in my collection are mostly cow creamers. You fill the cavity with cream and hold the cow by its tail, tip and pour the cream into coffee or tea. The big earthquake in ’94 wiped out my collection and now I have only a few unbroken ones to remind me of my now non-existent cow creamers collection.

I notice that several of the pins I fashioned myself. I pinned them on the jacket for safekeeping. I have made a few more and must find them in drawers about and pin them on the jacket. I really did think I was finished with Jacket pinning and collecting. But as I now see it, not yet!

I remember being pinned in College. It was a marvelous catch to have someone’s pin on your shirt, blouse, sweater, apron, or on your evening gown. I nick named it a badge of courage, which to me it did so indicate, and it certainly gave you the security that someone cared for you. His pin announced that there was no doubt about it! She’s mine!

There is a pin that says: Good Morning Class. I Love You! This pin is very important because I always loved my classes, and each year brought new challenges. Whatever came into my doors, I began to love. Individually some were harder to love, but as the days rolled by and the class began to formulate, I loved them all and I love them still.

There is a panda bear pin from China and a lady pin from France. I have travel pins from many places, but I have them on a vest. We were on a rather intriguing cruise with many and varied stops. I started with an empty vest, wore it to dinner, and asked our dinner partners to remember the emptiness of the vest. On the last evening of our voyage, I wore the vest full of pins I collected at every stop. There was quite a bit of excitement at the presentation. I’ll find it and tack it on to the end of this post. I do not promise, but I will…

I hope to be adding more pins on both back and front of jacket, plus the arms. I will also add to the travel pins.

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If you ask, I will continue to post the progress on the jackets

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My Father’s Vest

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When my father died he had several vests. One I gave to my niece, and one I kept for myself. Over the last few yeas, I have seen the magic flow everywhere this garment goes and usually it goes with me. I once walked by a large store window wearing the vest and that day it sparkled and prisms shot out in yellows and greens. It is not my imagination, and if it is, so be it. From whence it comes is not the reason or rhyme as to why it exists, but you will want to know why. My father was a small man in physical stature and a giant in my eyes and the eyes of many others. He brought the magic of success everywhere he went and in everything he did. Some of his magic remains in the fibers of the fabric that makes this vest so special. He inadvertently left some of his essence behind.

I went to a very elite gathering last year and met someone who knew my father. When it was established that my father was he who was so revered in the community, the man who had known him said to me, “ I can’t believe I am standing next to Marty’s daughter.” Oh how proud was I to be standing there, hearing what an honor it is to be Marty’s daughter. THE VEST and me.

When I adorn the ultra soft gray vest, the warmth becomes love, the ruggedness becomes confidence, the previous owner comes to give strength, approval, a non judgmental aura, the proof of validity, mental acuity, support, stability, and an altering positive feeling of self.

If I feel the least bit anxious about the day’s coming events, I dress with the vest and the day becomes my oyster. I know that this vest will wear out in the future with sagging threads, holy holes, and the tatters of a job well done. Each thread will be coveted and be re-knitted into a vest for the family. Each will take their turn at the lessons it has to share. It is hoped by me that this vest will continue to have the strength and power it shares with me for as long as the power remains in the belief.

My father would smile and agree that the vest is a semi shrine by the wearer. He would enjoy that it is being used and highly praised. I will tell you that each of you have a special garment in your array of garments that have the same powers of my father’s vest. It is up to you to find it. It may take a little time, or it may take long. Just do not be too quick to find it and don’t give up on the journey. Please report back to me with the garment you find that will give you the added joy of new powers.

 

 

 

UNEARTHING MY GRANDMOTHER’S RUSSIAN SILVER FOX FUR JACKET

I knew what I wanted from my grandmother when she was ready to give it up and I told her. When I would visit her in windy cold Tule fogged in San Francisco, she would let me wear her fur coats. Never ever before or after the wearing of the furs did I feel more regal. I came from a very warm climate in Southern sunny Los Angeles, so when I would arrive for a visit to Grandma Dora and Grandpa Joe, it was a quick hello and a whisk off to buy me undershirts, a sweater, a jacket and some socks.  When Grandma Dora passed away, I received as physical remembrances of her, a half used lipstick, all of her undershirts, which I Tie- dyed, and her Russian Silver Fox jacket. What treasures, all of them.

Before I continue with the unearthing of my grandmothers silver fox jacket, let me tell you I began having a flashback of visiting in my grandparent’s home and being given permission to search for treasures in the downstairs basement which had, to the naked eye, basic furniture and all the signed books from My Uncle Irving Stone.  But, leave it to a child in a candy store, or that is how I felt being given searching rights.  I unearthed from the very recesses of the closet that held her silver fox jacket, a box full of little bits and pieces of jewelry.  They did not have anything connected to them or did they relate to each other in any way, but they were unusual and one of a kind pieces. When I showed the unearthed box to my grandmother she was very surprised and told me she had forgotten about the box since her mother who was in the pawnshop business, put it there before she died.

We had a wonderful, more than wonderful, an astonishing and brilliant afternoon picking through each piece and enjoying guessing where they had been and what they had adorned. She finally made the statement that I could pick three items to keep. Oh my, I leapt and pranced and ran around the box picking what would be mine.  Not so fast, not so easy, lots of moans and groans and picking became the hardest work imaginable. I must tell you that I learned then and there, that my grandmother stuck to her word and never, ever gave in to pleading.  I learned from a master grand dame and I never forgot her secret desire peeking through to give me the moon, but she stuck to her three pieces.  I took the three pieces and they hang framed in my living room ever since our encounter that foggy cold afternoon in the basement of their Ocean Avenue home.

Now to the saga of the Russian Silver Fox jacket.  I never thought my request to have it would come to pass.  Why?  There are many, many San Francisco relatives who I thought wanted it, too.  Who I thought would be chosen over me. Why I thought that they would be chosen and not me is another story.  But to my joy and delight I have had the jacket for 47 years.  It was worn, stored and worn again and again stored. Then, PETA: People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals became very vocal and very physical in the early 1980’s, so the jacket went into semi-permanent storage until yesterday.  I opened the bag containing the jacket and little hairs began to fly. I threw it in re-cycling. I went in the house in psychic pain. I saw all the faces of those who had wanted the jacket. I saw my grandmother looking at me. I remembered my fervent desire to own my grandmother’s precious possession. I ran outside and pulled the jacket from the trash bin and shook and shook the jacket; hairs flew. Albeit, less and less hairs flew as I continued to shake.  I put the jacket in the drier on air dry.  I took it out of the drier, took it outside and shook it again.  The more I shook the more beautiful it became. I thanked all of the Russian Silver foxes that lent their hides to make this jacket.  I did not apologize to PETA because after all, this jacket was before PETA’s time, then, again, the concept of cruelty to animals should have always have been observed.  Now the beautifully fluffed jacket is hanging in a closet downstairs.

At this writing I wonder if I am really going to wear the jacket.  I know I am, I just do not know when.  When I wear it, it will sing out about the relationship between my grandmother and me.  It will show that I was chosen to receive this gift by someone who valued my request. I will wear the jacket with one of her tie-dyed undershirts and complimented by lips wearing the half used lipstick she left behind. I will once again feel glorious and regal. I will melt into my grandmother.

Today’s Bits and Pieces: A-16’s Cooperation and Kindly Responses

The A-16 clothes size (14-16) issue is being solved. I received return emails from the managers, and the buyer for the stores.

They really do want to make their customers happy. They have been notified by me that I will be in there at the end of next week and to please have sizes I can wear and I mentioned I was bringing some friends ranging from 12-16 in sizes.

They want me to call them and tell them what to truck in, but I don’t know what to ask for, so I said, please just have some cute, up to date in style, travel pants in the sizes requested. I thanked them in advance.

I am reporting to you that they are very obliging and helpful.