Friday, November 27, 2009

Come September

We're in the middle of watching another Rock Hudson and Doris Day movie, but before we started this one, we watched Come September with Rock, Gina Lollobrigida, Bobby Darin and Sandra Dee (who married after the movie).

It was a light romantic romp of a comedy, good escape in gray weather and a grayer economy.

Rock plays an American millionaire who visits his Italian Riviera villa every year and when he does, spends his time with his Italian girlfriend. Only this year, he arrives early and finds his staff running the villa as a hotel complete with teenage American coeds on semester break.

He and his girlfriend can't get a moment alone, and are caught up in teenage love dramas and mischief. Rock's parental advice to the teenage girls regarding what a boy wants totally backfires on him when Gina gets wind of it, but that's all I'm saying. Check it out at your library and have some fun yourself.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Berkshire Hosiery

Berkshire has been making hosiery since 1906, back when nylon was unknown and stockings were silk. In 1977 the Mayer Hosiery Company, another long-time hosiery maker, purchased Berkshire to form Mayer Berkshire Company. The company has taken pride in keeping its manufacturing in North Carolina rather than farming out production overseas as all too many apparel manufacturers have done. This detail shows in the quality and long-term consistency of their products. Berkshire makes close to 100 styles of nylon and nylon/spandex hosiery and pantyhose, including fishnet, thigh high, ultra-sheer, back seam, control top, toe-less, opaque tights, and on and on. All are made in the USA and more than reasonably priced. Combine that with our low shipping rates - $3.85 for up to $50.00 purchased, then free on orders $50.oo or more - and you have real bargain.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

In the News

Occasionally, the front page news provides me with a good laugh tather than gloom and doom. Such was the case tonight when I saw MSN's headline: "FBI on the lookout for an elderly "geezer bandit" on the loose after robberies." The article describes the gent as appearing to be in his 70's. I know plenty of folks in their 70's and they don't look nearly as old as this guy. He looks old enough to be Butch Cassidy. That thought got me to researching Butch -- his sister and doctor appear to have claimed he did indeed return from Bolivia. Hmmm....

Other news: stock up on Eggo waffles while you can -- Kellogg's is predicting a shortage through the middle of 2010 and will be rationing stores.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Little Pink Dress Update

Marty here. Little Pink Dress, our vintage website, is slowly growing. Most categories, with the exception of Dry Goods and Accessories have items for sale. We figured that it would be late fall/early winter before it was "fully stocked" and that's still looking about right. The other day we had a customer ask about combining orders between the two sites. Brabarella's shopping cart is different from LPD's, so that's not possible if you're trying to do it yourself. However, if you let us know what you want, we can send you one invoice and combine things that way. You may notice that LPD's shipping rates are slightly higher than Brabarella's. That is due to the fact that we have flat-rate shipping and what we sell on LPD tends to be heavier-weight than what we sell on Brabarella.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Contempt and the Thrill of It All

Yep, our two movies this week were a couple of oldies, both from 1963, vastly different from each other -- Contempt was a French existential drama modeled slightly along the story of Ulysses on different levels (aren't many philosophers French? I know Marty has some in his heritage). It starred Brigitte Bardot and Jack Palance, directed by Jean-Luc Godard, and as we were watching it I knew we'd seen it before. Marty had no recollection until the very end. Still, I'm glad to have watched it a second time because the second time I was all of a sudden able to follow the story line as it evolved.

On the other hand, The Thrill of It All, with Doris Day and James Garner, was rather irritating to me at times -- I tend to bristle at stereotyped roles a la Hollywood. It was a comedy though and it did deliver -- very funny in certain parts. James Garner is the doctor, Doris his wife and she ends up being a hit actress doing commercials for Happy Soap. James isn't so happy but the ending is, so watch it and just have fun (when you're not rolling your eyes at the absurdity).

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Veteran's Day

To all the fallen soldiers, the ones who never came back, the ones who returned and the ones still there -- THANK YOU.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009


Went to Giving Tree Gardens today with my girl Janice, after meeting her in Sandwich at Paul’s for tea. I love taking people there; it is a special place, and always lifts my spirits. That I was with a friend only made it better.

It is women owned and operated – a mother, daughter, and sweetest redhead manager. Judith was on the grounds doing fall cleanup, and stringing lights for the solstice season. The shop has the most exquisite jewelry and some random gifts mixed in. Judith’s daughter, Rachel, is doing awesome tee shirts screen-printed with original photographs and inspirational quotes. The business has evolved over the years, the first time I was in there I bought my nephew a mezuzzah for his bar mitzvah. I still owe his brother one, but by the time Luke was bar mitzvahed, Giving Tree was doing mostly jewelry. At one time, Judith also had a cafĂ© on the lower level – I can only imagine the dreaminess of that space.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Brussels Sprouts

Last spring I planted Brussels Sprouts in our garden, not realizing how much square footage they would eventually grow into. I just knew that I loved buying the stalks so much last year at the farm stand (actually it was the roasting, not the buying I loved so much, but anyway...), that I'd grow my own this year. I planted 6 which ended up taking up about 1/3 of our small garden. But no matter -- it's now harvest time and last week I harvested and roasted my first bounty. I went out with a huge kitchen knife, trying to be discreet about it, being Halloween and all. Those babies are tough stalks to cut with a knife, you really need a machete or a hand ax and that's what I'll use the next time, yet again, discreetly, although Halloween is now past.

Many people don't know that Brussels Sprouts grow like little trees with huge leaves and at the base of the leaves near the stalk is where the sprouts grow. I stripped the sprouts from the stalk, washed them up, and put them in a roasting pan with olive oil, kosher and/or garlic salt and fresh ground pepper. Gave them a toss to coat them well, and put them in a 350 degree oven for about an hour or so.

They go down like candy, so tasty and sweet, and will definitely give you a belly ache afterward if you're not sharing (I'm the only one who likes them here), but I'm willing to make the sacrifice, for the season is short and when you eat locally and seasonally, you must seize the good eats while you can.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009


This past Sunday I spent a lovely hour or so at Borders browsing magazines before buying my intended purchase, Heidi Swanson's cookbook, Super Natural Cooking. I don't normally buy new cookbooks, most of mine were gifts, thrifted, or very carefully considered -- I like simple, tasty, healthy recipes -- not a lot of ingredients, or time consuming preparation. Heidi's book fits the bill. After checking it out from the library several times and renewing it several times, I figured it was time to buy it (plus the coupon burning a hole in my pocket made it all the more tempting). To get a taste of some of Heidi's recipes, head on over to her blog, and prepare yourself for some mighty good eating.

** book image from Random House

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Halloween Weekend

This year I got as far as an actual costume for Halloween but ended up not dressing up. Crazy, because so much of what we sell is great for costuming -- think theater festivals, Renaissance festivals, fairy festivals, Carnival, etc.

We did do a couple Halloweeny things though -- Friday night we went to a "Vampire History in New England" talk at a local library. It was to be followed by ghost hunting for actual ghosts (the library has an old wing that I am very familiar with and I would not be surprised to encounter some ghosts from my past there). However, we left after the vampire talk as it was so disappointing -- I like to learn something new and stories of old New Englanders mistaking consumption for vampirism is nothing new. The lack of spooky atmosphere (the bright lights were on), the difficulty hearing the "storyteller," and no vampire-y costuming didn't help the cause. So, we came home and watched a World War II movie about the Dutch resistance.

Saturday morning we went to our favorite diner for breakfast (get the number 1 for $5.99 -- 3 eggs any style, 2 bacon, 2 sausage, home fries and your choice of two (huge) pancakes or french toast. The artist who moonlights as a waitress there is great, and the crowd is always interesting, from the regulars, a Rip Van Winkle (after his 20 year sleep) lookalike sitting at the counter next to the wanderers -- a biker dude, and the occasionals like us.

Afterwards it was on to Plymouth for the last outdoor farmer's market of the season. Plymouth reminds me of a smaller version of Salem on the south shore. It's got some good, spooky history. Before we left, we wandered through the ancient cemetery (ancient for the New World) on the hill where many famous names from early American history lie.

Fortunately, in writing this blog post I stumbled across the site for Dead of Night Ghost Tours, so I am off to dreaming now -- of not having to wait for another Halloween to encounter spirits and mystery.

** image from Dead of Night's website, designed by the daughter half of the team...