Simple, Spiritual, Outdated Living in a Vintage New England Home on the Southern Coast of Maine

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Beautiful Ice Crystals On My Window




Doesn't that look like a face? Maybe even John Lennon?? : ) These cold works of art on my home office window and hearing a songbird this morning, albeit it very briefly, made this late February feel a little warmer less frigid than zero.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

"Don't let your grey give your age away." Why not?


This salon is in my town and I don't think this sign is good kind marketing. Not everyone has a problem with being a certain age. I don't try to hide my age at all. Even for those who color and cover their grey, age isn't something about which to be ashamed. It might bring in the crowd who agrees with the sentiment, but it's a real turn-off to me.

Things that really bug me!

This morning while making my bed I thought I saw a spider which turned out to be a metal part to my eyeglass case, but it reminded me of brushes with pure evil.

Directly after I graduated college in 1990 my boyfriend and I drove cross country from Maine to Seattle to "see America" and try life out on the west coast. (He's still out there, I left six months after we arrived.) My wholesome Mainer boy quickly went from 80s preppy to grunge while I had traded my straight edge punk rock roots for becoming a granola girl. Throughout both of those "stages" I always embraced eating and living as naturally as possible and had worked at health food shops and co-ops while still in school.

So when, one day alone in the cute cottage hovel we were renting I saw a gigantic spider the size of a rat, I had an instant personal transformation. Besides screaming like a little hippie girl faced with something akin to war, in a blind rage I drove to the supermarket and stocked up on non-non-toxic Raid. When I came back I nearly busted the door open like an actual raid and went gangbusters spraying. 

In retrospect I may have had some PMS issues at play, but I knew right then that town or time zone wasn't for me similar to when my husband was stationed in the south and I discovered flying cockroaches and had to rule out that part of the country, too. I'll take 10 months of winter in place of those two any day! Plus, the cold kills more bugs!

One night in Louisville, KY after leaving an event where my husband and the other Marine recruiters were manning a booth I had treated myself to a giant roasted turkey leg to enjoy when I got back to our apartment. For those who don't know me, I am a neat-nick, so cleanliness isn't an issue and can't explain what happened next. I was sitting on the couch when, out of the corner of my eye, I saw a huge black thing on the wall. Petrified I slowly turned to see it raise its wings. And it flew. I freaked!

My husband wasn't due home for another few hours. I called the maintenance after-hours emergency number and convinced the guy to come over and take care of it. I was never the same after that.

Fast forward to six years ago when my husband and I were renting a house out in the Maine sticks. I was doing my laundry in the basement and saw a spider semi-reminiscent of the Seattle variety (not as large but it had hair on it) as I had started to walk downstairs. 

I have grown over the years and learned to address these events with calm maturity. I went back upstairs, picked up a wooden baseball bat (totally organic pest control) and proceeded to stomp back downstairs cursing at the spider like the New Yorker I still am. "Don't you F with me, B! I'll get you!" Of course I'm totally laughing at myself and had no intentions of swinging the bat unless it tried to jump me (and spiders do jump!). 

It was fun and games until I realized that my landlord was doing yard work right outside the windows and likely heard everything.

Anyway, just some random spider and bug stories I wanted to share!

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Mr. Peanut/Beth's Peanutty Slaw, 1970


This recipe is from Mr. Peanut's Guide to Nutrition, 1970. I'm eating a bowl of it right now and it is insanely delicious!



I doubled the cabbage but cut back on the fat per serving although it's still very rich:

10 cups chopped (I prefer it to shredded) cabbage (220 calories)
1 cup mayonnaise (1,580 calories)
3 teaspoons salt
1.5 tbsp maple syrup (75 calories)
4 teaspoons vinegar
1/2 cup crunchy no sugar added peanut butter in lieu of chopped peanuts (750 calories)


The crunchy peanut butter works really well because you get more of a blended peanut flavor but you still have some chopped bits with each bite. Makes 8 servings with 330 calories each if you have it for lunch or 16 sides at 165 calories each. I LOVE THIS!

Nutrition Advice for Kids, 1970s vs Today Part II: Mr. Peanut

Copyright 1970, Standard Brands Inc.
Earlier I blogged about a far-out booklet, Mystery at the Food Power Tower from the 70s to illustrate the differences in advice to kids about proper nutrition and a healthy weight. Here we have another glimpse through the Monocle of Mr. Peanut. The present-day CDC advises kids to NOT count calories. (So, should you "count calories?" Nah. It's easiest to just follow a healthy eating style and pay attention to your body).


Mr. Peanut advises kids that YES, you should count calories but here we also see the importance of weighing in (although Mr. Peanut doesn't hold back his displeasure of what he sees!)

Here we see TV used an example of what can lead to weight gain if enough energy isn't burned otherwise, or food consumption isn't lowered to match a sedentary lifestyle.


A calorie chart is provided so kids and their parents can use it as a guide.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

How To Handle Your Women, 1959, Industrial Supervisor

Despite the sexist theme of the cover, the article itself, written by a woman, is overall surprisingly sensible and feminist.