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Golliwogs and Christmas Eve and Nannies and such

When I think of my Nannie – I think of green houses and the smell of tomato plants and wood – heated in the English sun.  I think of checkered table cloths and mint sauce.   I think of salad cream and endless hours on her bed listening to the stories behind every piece of her jewelry in her jewelry box.

She sent this to me a couple of years ago – can you believe it’s 79 years old?  She got it on her 13th birthday … I’ll share with you the note and the necklace:


The reason I started thinking about my Nannie – (other than she often finds my mind) is that I was looking for soap.

I wanted to wash my hair – do old fashioned ringlets for tomorrow and put my Christmas Eve PJ’s on.

I’m running low on shampoo and conditioner – but even lower on soap. WHERE do the re-gift/half ass body wash gifts go when you need them?  I searched under my sink and gave up.  Nothing.  I must have tossed or re-gifted.

I did find ‘our’ soap.

I mispronounced it one year as ‘Mongolia’ and it’s been a running joke ever since.

This is how my Nannie smells.  Cross between Magnolias and Imperial Soap.

Anyway – she sent me a lot of it.

I was never going to use it.  I’m VERY sentimental – and smell is my biggest memory jogger.  I would sniff it from time to time – but tonight – I needed soap, so I used one.


I thought I’d treat myself to a little spa after my shower – I used a sample of something I definitely couldn’t afford otherwise.

My boss orders expensive grooming items from a shop she receives samples from in return for, which I’m sure, is an insane amount of money that she spends.  (To her credit, she’s rocking her 60’s and has better skin than me!)

Anyway, I dipped into this:


And chose this:


And looked like this:


I washed it off and removed the towel, and don’t I look 1 year younger? LOL!


ok, so I hadn’t even brushed my hair yet.  But I bare all for you.

When I had the face mask on at first, it was SUPER dark – which brought me back to my Nannie.  I was thinking of black face.

The last gift she sent me was this:


Which, I’m sure, is really going to offend some people.


In my day (now I sound REALLY old) I had a ‘Golliwog’ and LOVED it.  It was treated no different than any of my other toys.  I treasured it.

Golliwogs appeared in my books that I poured over – so much so, that one of them – (I can’t find it! I looked – know it’s here  somewhere) had a story in it that I had etched into my skin:


It was about a kind fairy, with a crippled wing.  Because she was so kind to all creatures, she was given the gift of a new wing.  (The heart? My first tattoo – in the very early 90’s since I was told I was heartless – I could point to my ankle and say ‘nope!’)

I had the tattoo artist work from the original art.

Fairy Stargold I believe?

The point is – I didn’t know black from white.  I didn’t know Golliwogs were offensive.  They were black dolls to me – and adored.

Yet now I keep my black doll behind my bathroom door on top of my filing cabinet so as not to offend anyone.


So it’s Christmas Eve and I’m inundated with warm memories of everything that was precious and feeling wrong for holding some of them precious.

I’m not even going to google ‘Golliwog’ because it will taint the innocent memories I have.  I was a kid – and color was not a factor.



Baby tooth wishes and Le Ballon rouge

Something reminded today me of the short film ‘The Red Balloon’.

I smiled and asked anyone and everyone in the near vicinity if they had seen it. No one had.

I was shocked!

What a classic.

red balloon








I explained the premise and went on to add that when I was younger – when the helium began to exit my balloons, I’d pretend they were following me.

Why do I share these things?? We’d already established they hadn’t seen the movie, how does ‘I pretended my balloons were following me’ not sound completely insane??

Anyway, this did start a walk down memory lane for myself and a co-worker.

She shared that she was convinced her toys had parties when her eyes were closed.

She would open one eye ever so carefully in hopes of catching them in the act.

That suddenly reminded me of a very similar childhood memory.

I had placed a tooth under my pillow and awoke to not only a coin, but a little note from the tooth fairy!!

Tiny, scratchy letters explained that explained that I was to be granted one wish.

Looking back, I’m thinking that was a really risky experiment on behalf of the letter writer – depending on what I wished for.  What if I really wanted an elephant??

I was loosing baby teeth for crying out loud – my head was so far in the atmosphere no balloons, red or otherwise, could reach me – my wishes were pretty out there.

I wrote back to the fairy … my wish?

I wished that my dolls and stuffed animals could come to life.




I walked to school the next day with a friend and excitedly told her that by the time I got home, probably my toys would already be alive!!!

I could not WAIT!

You know – I don’t remember much more than that.

I don’t remember being disappointed that it didn’t happen either …

I reckon I just figured she had something more important come up – or perhaps my mom confessed.

Either way – I was filled for a brief time with a magical feeling and such innocent excitement.

It was that time in my life when I believed with my whole heart such things were possible..


I just called and asked my mom about this. I asked her how she handled my wish … she said she moved my toys around in the night so that when I woke up, they would be in different spots.

I don’t remember that.

I then asked ‘What if I had asked for a pony??’  to which she replied ‘Well, I’d probably have got one for the day and then explained that it couldn’t stay.’

This is where I get my love of magical things from.

This is why I chewed up carrots and spat them out on the porch so my son would believe in reindeer … why I sprinkled glitter around the fireplace then walked through it to leave jolly boot prints.

Probably why I write and certainly why I love to read.

And definitely why I still believe anything is possible.



P.S. I just received an instant message from her as I was about to hit ‘publish’  it reads: “Oh, by the way, I deny writing the letter, the tooth fairy really did do it.”




Selling the galaxy far, far away …

Read a great blog about the Star Wars purchase.  My first reaction to the news was much like Darth Vader’s “Noooooooooo!”  George Lucas sold out?!  My son’s reaction was excitement that there will be more movies.

My comment on the blog was “It’s like your dad suddenly adding something to a yard sale that you were never allowed to touch in the house while growing up”.

Star Wars was something (depending on your age) that was ours!  I know I got a little possessive over it. But I suppose that’s the point.  Disney says we now have to share.

I guess the new generation wins.  They’ll get to experience the thrill of sitting in the theater, getting goosebumps when the 20th Century Fox drums start to beat.  I just hope the fanfare isn’t the best part of the movie experience.

Wait!!  It’s Disney … does that mean no more Fox drums?!  :-O

Hopefully that’s part of Fox that Disney owns.