Friday, January 31, 2014

Film Strip Friday-Dating Do's and Dont's for Teens

Todays film strip a 1950s educational film about an awkward teenage boy learning how to ask a girl out on a date.  All I know is I want to go to the Hi Teen carnival!

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Cinema Spotlight-WC Field's It's A Gift

“The advantages of whiskey over dogs are legion. Whiskey does not need 
to be periodically wormed, it does not need to be fed, it never requires a 
special kennel, it has no toenails to be clipped or coat to be stripped. 
Whiskey sits quietly in its special nook until you want it. True, whiskey 
has a nasty habit of running out, but then so does a dog.”

WC Fields

WC Fields is of course notorious for his dislike of children and dogs, whether the dislike was true of the real Field's or just a part of the curmudgeonly character he played is a mystery. However, despite the fact that the second part of this sentiment troubles me a bit, I remain a big fan of Field's.  His movies are some of my all time favorites and he gets my vote for funniest man of all time. 

My favorite Field's film, 1934's It's A Gift, has among other merits a canine character that I think is one of the best in cinema history.  In the film Field's plays his typical role, a middle aged hen-picked husband with a fondness for the bottle.  Harold Bissonette is saddled with a shrewish wife, a love struck teenager daughter, a rambunctious young son, and bothersome neighbors as demonstrated in this famous porch sequence.  Poor Harold just wants to take a nap but an escalating parade of interruptions makes it impossible.

The Bisonnette family also has among its number, an all american family dog.  A pit bull mix  named Buster.

Over the course of the film Harold inherits a large amount of money from his uncle and as a result of sells his New Jersey corner grocery store and packs his family up, dog included, to drive across country to the California orange grove of his dreams.  Over the course of the road trip the family gets involved in a number of humorous entanglements.  My favorite of which involves the family inadvertently picnicking on a private estate.  Over the course of the meal Fields and the dog get into a tug of war with one of his wife feather pillows.  Field's wife's line:  "Harold those where my mother's feathers?"  Field's response: "I didn't know your mother had feathers." 

By the end of the film Bisonnette family has sold their ramshackle orange ranch for a fortune and the film ends with Harold and Buster sharing an orange over breakfast in their mansion.  A great shot of man and man's best friend.

I just wanted to add a note I am working extra hours and may not make it around to all your blogs. 

Monday, January 27, 2014

Historical Hounds-Football and Bulldogs

English bulldogs have long been associated with Football.  Very early photos of American football teams show dogs seated with the players

This photo of a turn of the century team shows a Bull Terrier type dog seated on a players lap.   Dogs as mascots for college sports teams became popular in the late 1800s.  Handsome Dan:

a bulldog owned by Andrew B. Graves became the mascot for Yale University sports team when he began following his owner to sporting events and became a popular fixture in the stands.

The most famous dog and team association occurred later with the University of Georgia.    The original University of Georgia mascot was a goat, but in 1894 a white bull terrier named Trilby owned by a student began spending time with the team and enjoyed catching footballs thrown by the students.  She quickly became the teams mascot and may have began the teams association with bully breeds and white dogs.

Image Source

After Trilby a wide variety of dogs served as University of Georgia mascots, sometimes changing from game to game.  Then in 1944 a local physician began attending University football games with his brindle and white bulldog, Mr. Angel. 

Add Image Source

 Angel enjoyed meeting players and spectators alike and became the teams mascot from 1944-46, cementing the teams association with English bulldogs.  Mr. Angel's reign was followed by English bulldogs Butch and Mike.  Then in 1955 the current UGA line became with UGA I "Hoods Ole Dan" who attended games in a red jersey.

Since UGA I there have been 9 UGAs, all white English bulldogs.  Concerns about the health of the line have been raised as UGA 7 died of a heart complication and UGA 8 died of lymphoma.  The UGA's receive excellent veterinary care and spend games in a climate controlled dog house, due to the breeds tendency to over heat.  The current UGA, known as Russ, has served as mascot since 2012 and has many fans.

While I'm not a football fan, Im obviously a bulldog fan thanks to my darling Bob:

So if I was going to root for a team it would definitely be Georgia.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Silent Film Sunday-WC Fields

January 29, marks the 134th anniversary of comedienne WC Fields birth.  One of my favorite film stars from the 1930s, Fields always makes me laugh.  Here is a younger Field's in one of his first film appearances, 1915's Pool Sharks.

Friday, January 24, 2014

Film Strip Friday-Are You Popular?

Continuing our series of educational film strips from the 1940s, 50s and 60s here is Are You Popular?    A late 1940s gem this film explores the dynamics of popularity and dating, apparently parking is a no no but skating parties and weenie roasts are great ideas.  My favorite line "Why is Caroline so popular......because she seems as interested in girls as in boys."

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Tasty Tuesday-Coconuts!

Three months ago, on my old blog, I wrote a post 7 Tasty Tips for Seniors, 
about supplements that benefit older dogs.   On the list I included coconut oil.   Coconut oil  has many health benefits for dogs: its good for healthy allergies, digestion, metabolism, arthritis, immune system and cardiovascular health.  In fact the only problem with coconut oil for dogs is the price of the products that are designed specifically for dogs.  For example, one 8 ounce jar of a popular brand of coconut oil designed for pets, is $16.97, considering that the Whole Dog Journal recommends that coconut oil dosages be 1 tbsp for ever 30 lbs of weight, that is a pretty exorbindant price.   With two large and three small dogs one jar would only last me a week.  That is why for years I didn't used coconut oil for my dogs, even though I was aware of the benefits.   Then I decided to order Nature's Way Coconut Oil on Amazon, this product is only $17.58 cents for 32 ounces, and like the dog specific product it consists of of 100% extra virgin organic coconut oil.   It does come packaged in a plastic jar, which is a slight down side since, plastic is not considered ideal for packing.  However, considering the saving it is well worth it.  Plus the taste is very appealing to dogs.  You can see in these pictures Weasley and Bob were practically trying to open the jar.

 When you begin using coconut oil for your pet's health.  Make sure you start with a very small dose and then gradually increase it.   If given too quickly stomach upset will result.

Coconut oil isn't just good for pets, it offers all the same health benefits for humans as well, and it makes a great moisturizer.  Since I started buying coconut oil I have used it every day to wash my face, no soap just coconut oil.  I just rub it on my face in the shower and rinse it off.  Oil dissolves oil and make up and moisturizes the skin.  Now, I don't want to sound vain, but I am about to turn 36, and most people think I am a bit younger.  I'm not sure if its the coconut oil or the sun screen or luck but as I want my clothes, and not my skin, to look vintage I am going to keep slathering it on.     

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Silent Film Sunday

Today's Sunday Silent Film is from 1906, A Winter Straw Ride, produced by the Edison Manufacturing Company.  I love the winter costumes on the ladies in this film, how much chicer winter wear was in the past.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Style Saturday-A 1930s Dress and Hat

Ain't nothing like the real thing, baby

                                        Marvin Gaye

   Usually when I dress vintage  I wear reproduction clothes.  Plenty of vintage aficionados apparently consider reproductions a cardinal sin, but I love them for their practicality.   Since clothing from my favorite decade, the 1930s, is 80 plus year old it tends to be extremely delicate, not that easy to wear when caring for five dogs and three cats, working as a teacher, or commuting around the city.  I love the look of all of my reproduction dresses and there ease of wear, but as Mr. Gaye sang there still is nothing quite like an original.   An authentic article of  article clothing has a history and uniqueness to it that cannot be duplicated.  

At least that is how I feel about this dress which I got from Vera Vague on Etsy at the end of last summer and it was the most I ever spent on an article of vintage clothing, but I loved the detail of the tartan trim and the length was just right for a person of my height, I'm only five feet tall. Vera Vague was very helpful and allowed me to buy the dress on layaway and I was super excited when I had finished payment and it arrived at my door.  The dress is fairly delicate and I haven't worn it very often for fear of damaging it, but I love it all the same.   I wore it to brunch  on an unseasonably warm day before Christmas and took these photos.   Unfortunately the shoes I have on really don't match, a solid brown pair would be better and is on my list of future purchases, but I still like the look.

Outfit Details

Dress from Vera Vague on Etsy
 Hat from Adeline's Attic on Etsy
Shoes from Mod Cloth
Bag Thrift Shop

Friday, January 17, 2014

Film Strip Friday-How To Be Well Groomed

The 1950s are a fascinating decade for any history enthusiast and are viewed by many as  halcycon days of domestic bliss, economic success, and hopefullness for the future.   While I don't share that idealized view of the decade, I never the less have a bottomless love of cultural artifacts from the era, and to my mind no cultural artifact embodies the hillariously sunny and conformist attitude of the 1950s more then the educational film strip. 

Now by the time I was going to school in  the 1980s and 90s, the film strip was already a dinosaur and I can't  remember ever being shown one in class.  However, my father often regaled me with tales of the hilarious educational films he had viewed in his youth, and as he had previously worked as a film librarian he even had a few old film strip reels that he showed me over the years.  I remember him laughing until tears ran down his face no matter how many times he viewed them.  With the dawn of you tube my father  was delighted by the plethora of educational film strips available for viewing and would often send them to me.   January tenth was the second anniversary of his death and I thought a fitting tribute on my blog would be to share a vintage film strip each Friday.   Every time I see one I am reminded of my father and how he inspired my love of all things vintage, retro and kitsch.   

The following film is an instructional guide on how to be well groomed made by Coronet Films in 1949.  


Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Time Travel Tuesday

Time for the time warp!  Here is dear Norbert and Dad 11 years ago, Norbert was about 12 weeks old and Dad was 24:

 Here they are just a few months ago:


Monday, January 13, 2014

In Honor of His Belated Birthday, Elvis His Animals and a Recipe

While I am a fan of old style music, I admit I'm not much of an Elvis Girl.  I prefer the songs of George and Ira Gershwin and Cole Porter as sung by Fred Astaire, still I have a healthy respect for Elvis.  He is a kitsch icon and I think he had amazing style.  Remember Diana Vreeland famously said "bad taste is better then no taste at all" and you certainly cannot say that Elvis had no taste.

Just look at his amazing gold and turquoise living room!  Image Source
Apparently Elvis was also an animal lover, after a fashion.  He had many dogs over the years 

most famously a Chow named Getlow.

 In typical over the top fashion Elvis did not stop at dogs, his pets included horses, geese, goats, chickens, snakes, myna birds and most misguidededly of all monkeys.  Elvis's favorite pet was a chimpanzee names Scatter, who was his companion throughout his 1960s film career.

Image Source

  Elvis dressed Scatter in clothing and allowed him to drink alcohol, which may have contributed to the poor animal's early death.   Sadly, Elvis did not realize that primates make innapropriate pets and continued to own monkeys until his death in 1977.

Despite his irresponsible pet ownership habits Elvis sang some rather sweet songs about dogs, such as A Dog's Life:
If I had my life to live over
I know just what I'd like to be
A pampered pet of a rich brunette
Sitting on my mama's knee
Someone to love me, someone to care
Rubber duck dubble little fingers through my hair
I need a dog's life
What a life, that's good enough for me
That's good enough for me
If I had a bone to be picking
A picking chicken or a steak
Curled up there in an easy chair
Man, that won't be hard to take
I'll always be faithful that's what I'd be
Never bite a hand that feeds me, no siree
Just lead a dog's life
What a life, that's good enough for me
That's good enough for me
I'd find me a pink little poodle
And lose my noodle over her
I chase her 'round all over town
Just to ruffle up her fur
Nuzzle her muzzle, a hole in her paw
Greatest case of puppy lovin' you ever saw
It's called a dog's life
What a life, that's good enough for me
You heard me say it now
That's good enough for me
That's good enough for me

In honor of his birthday, which passed on January 9, I made the Elvis Sandwich, which happens to be one of my husband's favorite recipes.
 Scaled down for two I used 1 banana and 4 tbsp of peanut butter and 2 tbsp pf butter, you can add a few slices of bacon if you wish, which is apparently how the King, ever decadent, liked it.   

Friday, January 10, 2014

See Beautiful-Tell Your Pet Their Story

As my dogs and cats get older it gets more and more important to celebrate and savor my time with them.  Recently, I read a book about a common dog health problem, I will review it at a later date, and the book talked about taking the time to tell your dog their life story.  The author recommended getting down on the floor with your dog or cuddling up together on the couch and telling them the story of their life, including as much of the details as you can remember and involving other family members and friends if they are close to your dog.  Your dog will bask in the attention and you will be reminded of wonderful moments you may have forgotten.   While the book recommends this exercise for older dogs or dogs with an illness, I see no reason not to start with a dog of any age.  You can begin telling your dog their story the day you bring your puppy home for the breeder, or spring him or her from the animal shelter, or adopt them from a foster home.  

 While I made a photo book of little Weasley's first year of life using shutterfly

 I've never really sit down with my dogs and cats and told them their story.  Well this year I'm going to start.   While this blog certainly can't came one one hundredth of all of my darling pets stories I do have some key memories that stick out.

Tubby, I remember the first night you came home.   You cried and cried in the crate and we weakened and put you in the bed you crawled right up on my head and stayed there.

 Norbert, I remember when you were about two and we would go to the dog park park every day.  One day you were having such fun you forgot to check for your dad and I.  For a moment you thought you were lost, you spun around and around and then ran over too us so happy to find us it broke my heart.  I was reminded again of how much you depended on us:

Ping, I remember taking you on a bike ride over the Brooklyn Bridge.  You were so relaxed in the basket.  You loved going down the bridge and feeling the wind in your face.   It seemed like everyone in Brooklyn stopped to pet you.

Bob, I remember when you were a baby and we took you in a relatives swimming pool.  You couldn't swim but you loved the water and you still do.

 Weasley, and I apologize for this one, I remember when you were taking your puppy training class and there was a group of family members in the front row watching their dogs.   You were tooting so much, as you often do, that everyone in the front row had their shirt pulled up over their nose.

 Baby cat, I remember, when your father and I adopted you as a kitten.  We were all set to name you Totoro after the Japanese animation character.  That night watched Bringing Up Baby on AMC, you watched the movie with us, and that decided your name

Scooter, I remember when you were a tiny black kitten.  We were staying with your Great Aunt Antonia and she was eating a pork chop.  She got up to go to the sink and you pulled the pork chop right off the plate and started eating it.  It was bigger then you.

 Ernie, I remember when we had just adopted you and you had to have your leg amputated because before your adoption you have been hit by a car.   You were so sick and we had to give you so much medecine that sometimes you hid for us.  Other times you would sit there and let us give you the medecine you seemed to know we wanted to help you.


Thursday, January 9, 2014

Thankful Thursday-Good News for Tubby

I want to thank everyone for their good thoughts for Tubby and the positive vibes may have helped because we got good news!!!!!!!  Tubby's white blood cells are normal!  (Sorry for the nearly five years old picture but its one of my favorites)


Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Wordy Wednesday-Lets Help Tweedles

Our good friend Tweedles  recently had some major health problems and major bills to go with them.  She is feeling better but the bills are still around.  In order to help Tweedle's mom with all the green papers blogville is having an auction.  

 The auction will be at auction for petz blog which is a new site that is going to help raise money for all our sick friends will bills.  The auction starts today.  Since we are big readers here
 we have donated some books.  Please check out the new site so you can help dear Tweedles.

Also we would appreciate some good vibes headed our way we are getting the results of Tubby's latest blood work.  His last bloodwork about a week ago revealed low white blood cells, half what they should be, and I am really worried.   Tubby is acting fine but low white blood cells can be an indicaiton of something pretty scary.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

All Natural Treats from Wylie's Naturals

 Its been so cold here that we have been doing a lot of this:

The good think is its given us some extra time to catch up on our snuggling time and to try some of the new treats we got for Christmas.   On our Friday snow day after we spent some time playing in the snow (not Ping she wouldn't even get off the deck) mom opened our bag of Wylie's Naturals Pork and Pear treats and we got to be taste testers.

 Mom and Dad got these treats for us in November at the New Jersey Pet Expo.

Wylie's Naturals is made locally in my home state of New Jersey.  The ingredients for the food and treats are all bought locally and our human grade.   The dog food mixture is made up of 40% meat 30% vegetables and 30% carbohydrates and is  free of preservatives and additives.   

Wylie's naturals treats are made from meat and fruits or vegetables and the biscuit type treats are made from wheat free oat flour made by hand from plain oats.  One thing mom really appreciates about these treats, we didn't try the dog food, is that they have a nice short list of ingredients.  Our Pork and Pear treats contain only Pork and Pears with no mystery ingredients on the list.  We enjoyed the treats so much that mom couldn't even get a shot of us gobbling the treats, we were done to fast.  All she got was this picture of Tubby gazing longingly at the bag:

An important thing to remember about Wylie's is that since there are no preservatives you need to refrigerate the treats after opening the bag.  Wylie's Naturals foods and treats are available online on their website    and local pet shops in New Jersey such as the Montclair Feed and Pet Supply. 
For cats they also have a new Lola Line of cat treats  
unfortunately they were all out of cat treats when we went to the expo.  Overall we give these treats a four paw review.

Friday, January 3, 2014

Snow Day and A Belated List of Goals for 2014

 Today I experienced one of those rare treats unique to children and school teachers: Snow Day!!!!  At least 3 of the dogs (Bob, Norbert, and Weasley) enjoyed it too.

The snow day gave me some extra time to think about my New Year's goals. I'm relatively new to New Year goals, in fact I've never really made any before, but this year I felt it was time to start.  With an extra day at home it seemed like a good idea to write them down:

1) Worry less: This is the most important one.  I'm a chronic worrier and it robs me of living in the present.  Currently I'm very worried about Tubby's low white blood cell count and what that could mean.   However I'm trying really hard to focus on the present with regards to Tubby, myself, my husband, and our other pets.  Whatever happens we are happy and together now and that is what matters.

2) Spend less: (Vet bills aside).  I really want to increase my savings this year.  Its a challenge with a high mortgage and a lot of pets, but I'd like a bit more of a cushion in case something goes wrong.  Particularly seeing as I never insured my two oldest dogs and two oldest cats, big mistake there which I've learned from and won't make again.

3) Walk more: Particularly with Weasley who loves going on nice long walks.

4) Try more restaurants in jersey:  At least this should be fun.   I eat out a lot in New York but there are lots of interesting ethnic and old style restaurants in my home town of Jersey City and the surrounding towns that I've never tried.  As a bonus most of them are pretty cheap.

5) Learn to cook Korean-I love Korean food but I have never really attempted to make it at home.  This year I want to make the attempt.

6) Learn how to give myself a decent manicure-I like the look of painted nails but I hate getting manicures at the salon.  I get bored sitting in the chair and I don't like the expense.  I'm a slob at painting my nails myself but hopefully practice will make perfect.

7) Expand my vintage wardrobe (without breaking the bank) and continue to be brave about what I wear-I have a long list of dream vintage items I want to own and I hope to acquire some more this year, whether the genuine article or reproductions.   Sometimes I feel a bit self conscious dressed up in my vintage wares but I am getting braver and I hope to keep doing so, after all life is too short to not wear just what you want!

We hope all our friends have an amazing 2014!

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