Ah, the rural life. Critters, events, opinions and trivia.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Beauty products from our youth

Recently, I recalled a beauty product from my youth. It was called Tangee lipstick and when a wearer put it on, it would turn to a unique color based on the chemistry of the wearer. For many of us in the 1960's, Tangee was the first (and sometimes only) makeup we were allowed to wear, since it produced a "natural" look. Nevermind that my particular chemistry made Tangee lipstick appear to be an unattractive bright orange on my mouth. Tangee was like a lipstick "mood ring".

Much to my surprise and amusement, I saw a recent catalog from The Vermont Country Store and they are selling Tangee lipstick. They are known for reviving and selling products that have been off the market for many decades. I'm thinking of ordering a lipstick to see what color it turns to these days.

The catalog also advertised "Evening in Paris" perfume, in the bright blue bottles. I think every one of our school teachers received an Evening in Paris gift set for Christmas each year. My recollection is that the perfume smelled rather like an evening in Paris with a prostitute, but our teachers were very kind and expressed great pleasure with our holiday offerings, bless their hearts. I'm also thinking of ordering a bottle of the fragrance to see what it really smells like these days.

I am also racking my brain to think of other products that have disappeared since my youth and might be suggested to the Vermont Country Store for re-vitalization. They did bring back AquaNet hairspray and many other "oldies but goodies".

The Vermont Country Store is a great resource for those of us "baby boomers" who are trying to recollect aspects of our youth.

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Lessons in humility

Per Wikipedia: The term "humility" is derived from the Latin word "humilitas", a noun related to the adjective "humilis", translated not only as "humble", but also alternatively as "low", or "from the earth", and "humus", humid.

My Old English Sheepdogs fill my life with joy in many ways. They also ensure that I don't run the risk of becoming over-confident.

A recent example:
A beautiful late Summer day and I will be joining friends at a gathering to promote dog rescue. Many dog rescue groups will be in attendance and we (New England Old English Sheepdog Rescue) will be pleased to join them. It is our hope to: educate the public attendees regarding the nature and variety of rescue dogs available; suggest that rescuing a dog is a wonderful alternative to obtaining a puppy from other sources; engage individuals who may we willing to act as foster homes for our dogs pending their adoption.

To accomplish that goal, and to attract attendees to our booth, I brought my energetic OES Rescue, a 2 year old named Zen. Zen is an unusually large OES both in terms of size/height and weight. He and I have not completed his entire obedience training, because I broke my wrist before we finished the class. He is for the most part, well behaved but in exciting public situations he is challenging to control -- he wants to play with everyone and every dog.

After years of study and practice, and obedience competition with former OES Rescue dogs, I assume that I have some level of competence in handling my own dogs. I understand the importance of providing strong leadership, especially for large dog breeds. I understand the importance of helping my dogs understand that I am their leader. I thought I had mastered those concepts with Zen -- HA!

I was speaking to a lovely couple who had expressed interest in becoming a foster home for Old English Sheepdogs, and I was explaining that many of the dogs in the Rescue program are already trained for the most part and just need some "polish" and gentle reminders of appropriate behavior.

The gentleman of the couple smiled and looked at Zen, then said to me:
Do you know that your dog is peeing on your leg?" And indeed he was. Zen had chosen that moment to assert his own leadership role and wanted to tell the world that I belonged to him. It certainly left me feeling "humble", not to mention "humid".

Good thing I have a sense of humor and a high threshold for embarrassment. Previously, Zen had urinated on his toys in the yard and on our female OES, Brie. Clearly he wanted to make sure that his possessions were clearly identified.

I returned from the day's event realizing that I should never assume that my leadership role was understood by my dogs, and that it requires regular reminders to show who's in charge.

Sigh. When I get a chance, I should post my many other lessons in humility, taught by my beloved OES Colby during our days of Obedience competition. At this point, I should be the most humble person on earth....

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Thanksgiving decoration

This weekend I was in pain big-time. My doctor prescribed higher dosage pain meds and gave me a shot - short of euphoria, but would probably allow me to take a bullet to the body without flinching.

Yesterday, when I got home and realized I could move without excruciating pain, I thought I would do a load of laundry. Did that and went downstairs to pick it up. To save myself a trip, I thought I would get the Thanksgiving wreath from the next room, and hang it on the front door as I went up the stairs.

So far, so good. This morning there was a knock at the front door (nobody that knows me comes to the front door). It was the UPS guy laughing his head off. He said "Are you making a feminist Thanksgiving statement with your decoration?" I had no idea what he was talking about until I looked at the wreath. Somehow, when I transported the wreath on top of the laundry basket, my bra had become hooked to the wreath. So there, draped on my front door, was my underwear. Good thing UPS made a delivery, else my bra would have been there until I changed to the Christmas wreath.

Many folks in my generation had mothers who insisted that we always have proper, mended and clean undergarments in case we were in an accident.

I bet my mother never counted on them being used as holiday decorations....

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