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Laura Ingalls Wilder Would Have Loved Sephora

8 Aug

007725Just like me. I finished On The Banks Of Plum Creek and thought, “Man, we are so alike.” Really, truly, I thought me and Laura Ingalls Wilder would have been BFFs. For sure. I always wanted to live like a little hobbit in a mound of dirt house and she did. And when she survived The Long Winter, I was right with her. Man, I hate it when you can’t walk outside to the store and get your frozen pizza fix on because of the minor problem of a blizzard. Or when the electricity goes off because of high winds. You can’t watch Step By Step on TGIF, WTF!!! She just got me. Reading on my bed, eating my Little Debbie Oatmeal Pies, I tore through historical novels and always came up with the same conclusion: We would have gotten along. The Secret Garden, no prob. Mary was me, just back then. Heidi, yeah, samesies. Anne of Green Gables, wasn’t that my biography?

I got along well with my posse of literary girlfriends. And I was pretty sure they felt the same way. My plot line of middle class girl living in small town America was pretty unique. I had a diary filled with mystical thoughts and deep observations, and my top ten boys’ list was pure poetry.

So I imagined days with my friends shopping at the Dollar General for sugar sticks that you dip in flavored sugar. Riding bicycles to the pool in the summer and ending the afternoon with shaved ice at the Tropical Sno. Besties for ever, Laura and I.

It wasn’t until I watched Back To The Future III that I realized we weren’t exactly, uh, on the same page. I had romanticized the idea of living in more primitive times that I forgot their water was pretty gross. Lady Speed Stick wasn’t in high demand. And that whole leg shaving thing, what gives? There was a good year when I just imagined switching lives with these characters and being completely grossed out. Weekly baths. The whole women’s reproductive cycle problems thingy (I always just compiled that into one word: Yuck.) Teeth. That was a big part of my squeamishness. We had a pioneer day in fourth grade. It was fun eating out of a pail for one day. It was enjoyable trying a dandelion on a cracker for one day. Bonnets worked, again, for one day. (ONE DAY is the key here.) But then I wanted to go back into my house with no cracks or bugs crawling about and curl up with a game of Mario Paint on the Super NES. I sucked at cross-stitching, I’d be no good during that time period. I’d stick out sorely, watching people, judging them. It just wouldn’t work.

My dreams of meeting my different century friends were squashed. Thanks Michael J. Fox for jump starting that reality. Now, anytime I read Jane Austen or Charlotte Bronte, I get lost for a moment and then jolt back to shuddering thoughts of bloodletting and major B.O. Yeah, I don’t even seem to care about the lack of women’s rights at that time, much more concerned with the lack of clothes changing.

Still, I always try to bring a character to my realm, very Lost In Austen.¬†Elizabeth Bennett would love a good bargain at Century 21. Laura Ingalls Wilder would just love the lipstick options at Sephora. Never mind vaccinations or central air or the right to vote, but I just know Little Women‘s Jo would have enjoyed Tampax tampons. She just would.

Favorite candy of all time

24 Oct

Something about a Mamba…oh yeah, it’s AWESOME. It’s candy and when you open it, there is three packages of candy. And then you open that and there is seven pieces of candy inside the wrapper inside THAT wrapper. Just like those Russian dolls, pure beauty.

This Wednesday’s Listing: CANDY

For a bit of change in the middle of the week, I’m declaring LIST DAY. I know, I know, it is often called Hump Day (which often just sounds disgusting) or what many bloggers call Wordless Wednesday. Instead, I want to make it wordier. But with pictures. And be able to satisfy my OCD.

Lists are great. I always carry notepad paper in my purse just for this purpose. When I am expected to take a note or write down an address, I panic. I can’t write on my list paper! This is not bullet-point presentation worthy.

So today, I write about my favorite candies of all time. Halloween is just around the corner and the ultimate, No. 1 best thing about the holiday is the haul of candy.

On top of that list, is the Mamba. Maybe the fact that they named a candy after such a ferocious snake makes it a tad cooler. The absolute real reason for me it is so cool? The wrapping. I mean, Starbursts are great and all, but they have nothing on Mamba candy. It’s much longer (which means more candy), and inside the main wrapper are three wrapped candies. And inside each those wrappers are several wrapped candies. Compartmentalized. Each flavor (the raspberry is the best, BTW) was a bit plastic fruit tasting (which I love). There was only two problems with the candy. First problem is the flavors were separated. So you would have to open them all and destroy the neatness that I so enjoyed. Secondly, if you ate the whole bar in one sitting, you had the worst jaw ache ever.

I always wanted to eat the orange and lemon flavored candy first so that I could savor the raspberry. They were divine.

My childhood summer was spent running between the pool and the library. After we headed for a swim, my cousins and I would hop on our bikes to the Dollar Stretcher in downtown Webster City. For some Lik-M-Aid Fun Dip. After consuming so many of these sugary treats, I still wonder why my teeth aren’t filled with holes. The fact that you could eat the dipping stick was part of the fun. This was not a candy that my mom would ever buy for me, so it was fun being naughty and consuming flavored sugar.

Three flavors for your cavity enjoyment.

The kids on the package are having such fun. So it can’t be that bad for you, right?

Warheads. (I am especially listing this because my brother might be reading.) I enjoyed these? Maybe? The question marks come because older brother Steve kind of forced his will on these. I didn’t want to put one on the tongue, but I didn’t want to be considered a pansy either. Sour doesn’t begin to describe these. Pure torture. Of the good kind. Not to sound ignorant or anything, but I really thought at one time these were produced by the military. No joke. It was somewhat of a torture device.

Sour, sour, sour. That is all.

While gum isn’t always considered a candy, as much as I chewed and swallowed it, it was. We would ride our bikes to the local Fareway and spend a good majority of our allowance money on the different flavors Bubbilicious offered. My favorite was the Tornado. I didn’t mind cotton candy either. I just hated that after 30 seconds of chewing, it was just a grey giant wad of flavorless gum in your mouth. Oh well, you just added another piece to the gigantic piece and kept chewing.

Watermelon and Grape were always safe flavors in the bubblegum arena. And delicious, too.

Other gum of notable reference:

Big League Chew. If your dad was as into baseball as mine, you got a package of this every once and awhile. Which was fine by me. It was shredded and had a very “pink” flavor to it. Way better than the stabbing pain of eating a piece of gum from one of his baseball card packs.

And this:

I always tried to save my bubble tape. Bad decision. It always dried out like jerky after a couple days.

And this:

Because it was SO PRETTY! Too pretty to eat. And the wrappers made such fancy bracelets.

As mentioned before, my dad was really into baseball. So of course, he was on a league and I would always go to the games. One reason: Lollies. I would find a dime, and I had sweetness in my hand. Unfortunately, the chalky candy would be easy to bite into, and alas, your candy was gone.

Memories on a stick.

Favorite parade candy? That is easy. Gotta be the Frooties.

Each Fourth of July, I would decorate a paper bag to fill with these treats. I did not care about any other candy. These were supreme and came in at least 10 different flavors.

Favorite pool candy? Laffy Taffy, duh.

You could buy so many for a dollar. It was the best bang for your buck. Back then, they had vanilla flavored ones. Don’t know if they still do??? They were divine.

My sister Emily had a big hankering for anything in gummy form. Swedish Fish were her main desire. So whenever we stopped at Cub Foods Grocery Store, we always scooped up tons. There were bears, root beer bottles, sour sharks, strawberries, animals, the list would go on and on. We just knew we were in candy heaven.

Always a pretty sight, gummy candy.

For a more “adult” candy treat (if there is such a thing) I will bring you my favorite all-time chocolate bar. The Mars Bar, American-style. I cannot tell you how upset I was after it was discontinued. It was a perfect concoction of caramel and almond. I went to Europe backpacking and found Mars Bars. I was so excited. I picked up no less than five to eat while I was in Ireland. While the European version is delightful, it tastes more like a Milky Way. Not the same. I have heard rumors that the U.S. delight was relaunched in 2010, but I have yet to find it. Until then, I settle for a Snickers with Almonds.

You mean the world to me, you are my everything, I swear the only thing that matters … maybe not that extreme, but I do love a Mars Bar.

I could go on and on about candy. There are so many more to list. Runts, Brach’s individual candies, Jelly Belly’s, Sour Patch Kids, but I don’t have time. I have TV shows on the DVR just shouting my name.

I will leave you with one candy that I can’t decide if I even liked. It would stay in my teeth and the Later part was not my favorite by any means. Happy Candy-ing.

The taste was great. Just chewing was a challenge and cleaning out your teeth was always a problem. It just seemed like more work than they were worth.

What happened to my Lite Brite?

17 Oct

Loved our Lite Brite, but … I could only make art through the paper templates that came with the kit. I sucked at trying to make a masterpiece.

Monday, I couldn’t concentrate. Instead, I kept thinking, “Now, what was that thing called?”

There are many items from my childhood that get first billing. My pillow Rainbow Brite doll. Hollywood Hair Barbie. The entire My Little Pony collection I acquired (including the creepy, yet awesome horsies with bedazzled sequined eyes.)

After trying to recollect the names of several treasures I owned, I came across a few of them on YouTube. I also came across the many (and I mean many) toys I had hoped would be under my Christmas tree, but weren’t. The commercials that convinced me so on Saturday mornings drove me insane with wanting. The Sears Christmas catalog didn’t help either. (All those pages full of beautiful toys that I never knew I had to have until the moment it came in the mail in October.)

Here are a few of those toys I came across after hours of worthwhile searching.

I definitely had this. Still do. Precious Places gazebo.

Precious Places. Awesome. I had most of the set, besides the mansion. You used magnetic keys underneath the connectable pink road to control the characters. I enjoyed my time as mayor and dictator of PP.

Lady Lovely Locks. She and her duo of friends started my mad quest of childhood memorabilia.

Lady Lovely Locks rocked my socks off. The dolls came with little animals with beautiful tails (weird) that you could connect to your own hair. Awesome. I had … Maiden Fair Hair … never understood, since she was a brunette. Anyhoo… I remember having some sort of meadow-like play-set that I have yet to find on the Internet.


Maxie … yes, Maxie. If you don’t know her, you don’t know shit. I received the doll (the one on the left in the party dress) as a Christmas present. I enjoyed dressing her and undressing and redressing her in that one dress she came in. Because she was a giant compared to a normal Barbie doll. Perhaps she was built in a more normal proportion, but she towered above all my other dolls. I also had this freakin’ sweet locker (below) that opened into a shower room, rock on Maxie. (P.S. I also had the Elizabeth doll from Sweet Valley High. Anyone else have a hard time convincing Barbie to let Ken go with her to the prom?)

This locker room was better than any trick Barbie had up her sleeve (furniture-wise.)

Speaking of Barbie, anyone else have the Barbie head? Well, I didn’t. I had a Maxie doll head because I was different (or weird.)

Toward the end, she was almost bald. Her hair was so frizzled and full of Play-Doh (don’t ask me how) that I had to cut off all her hair and give the head a proper burial in the kitchen trash can.

Did anyone else have stock in Oh! Jenny. I sure did. There was the house, mini-van, farm, mall …

If you did not have the pleasure of owning the Oh! Jenny van, I will give you a quick briefing: Um … uber amaze-balls. The van is a home on wheels. No, not a trailer you go camping in. A house on freakin’ wheels. The van portion is full of bedrooms and a bathroom complete with a staircase that you connected to the roof. You turned the roof over and it was a full living room/game room/ and huge kitchen. Oh yeah, you stored your speedboat and cooler on the top (not your dog.)

One of my fondest moments was playing with paper dolls. What ever happened to them? I had a box full of these wonderful friends (er…toys.)

My favorite papes (paper dolls in Carrie lingo) were Jem and the Holograms. If you don’t know who I am talking about, Wikipedia them. Totally worth your while. They had a horrible cartoon, complete with a soundtrack (which was probably written in five minutes.) I loved it, though. Jerrica/Jem and Rio, how I loved making these paper dolls make out in obscene ways. (Cue to sigh: Oh Rio!)

One toy that some of my cousins had (and I didn’t) was the game Mall Madness. I sure wanted it though. On the top of my list every Christmas. I’m pretty sure the reason why I didn’t receive this was because my mom thought I’d become an obsessive shopper. Unfortunately, that happened without the game.

I also used to watch Shop ’til You Drop! It was on right after Supermarket Sweep, another Emmy-worthy show. What ever happened to quality programming?

I remember receiving a couple toys secondhand from garage sales. There was this:

I was pretty sure I was destined to be a fashion designer after completing a few of these sketches. Who wouldn’t love bell bottoms and a flowered top paired with a flowing hat?

And this:

Aurora and her Crystal Castle. My brother had the matching Castle Grayskull with all of its characters. While he was busy trying to murder all of my beautiful Castle defenders, I was trying to have He-Man fall in love with the princess (for her personality, of course.)

When I wasn’t playing with non-Barbie related toys, I was playing with my Barbie toys (whaaat??? That didn’t …. whatever.)

I had Barbie, the rocking rock set (complete with ’80s style cameras and microphones), but no Rockers. I had the tape though. I might still …

With an older brother, I had to be interested in his toys too. So we shared Ghostbusters … well, he had all of the toys besides Janine (I thought she was da bomb.)

I just wanted Janine and Egon to end up with one another. Nerds belong together.

We also spent many hours playing video games. At first, we had an Atari. This was my favorite game:

And then we got a Super Nintendo. I spent hours playing this game. Rather, I filled up all my brother’s potion bottles and made sure he had 999 gold coins before he played. I cared deeply about his well-being.

The one toy that eluded my collection was one PJ Sparkles. She sparkled, she shined and she was beautiful. Why, oh why, couldn’t I have her?

Beautiful and bright.

I could keep listing and listing … my wants, what I had, and so and so. Or I can go on another tangent with some of my brother’s and sister’s toys. Emily had great ones … Polly Pockets, Little Pet Shop, Furbies, Family Corners, Little Tikes dolls …


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