Monday, November 05, 2007


It's chilly here tonight, and it makes me want to buy pajamas, just like every year. I don't wear pajamas, but when the weather gets cool, I suddenly want some. I don't want the last ones I bought, of course, but some new ones - fleecy, cozy, comfy, soft, cuddly pajamas. Maybe with snowflakes or some other motif that's much more appealing in the abstract than it is in reality.

I have this recurring fantasy about padding around my house in these perfect pajamas, complete with the matching slippers, looking as cute as the models, drinking tea in the early morning hours while I lounge in the sun porch, thoughtfully watching the world go by - toasty warm, snuggled under a down comforter that's making me just a tad too warm with those jammies. It's a fantasy. Bringing this fantasy into reality requires more than just whipping out my debit card to get some cute new pajamas.

1. I'd have to put them on when I got up in the morning and why would I do that instead of just putting on whatever I'm going to wear? Much like Martha Stewart, I'm into the idea of just getting ready to meet the day once you're out of bed. I put my robe on when I get out of the shower - it's like a big terry cloth towel - and once I'm dry I get dressed. I'm just not a run around in my robe/pajamas all day kind of gal.

2. I don't "lounge." Maybe once a year when we get a big snow I sit in the sun porch with a cup of tea and watch the snow fall. But, you can do that for - what? - 10 minutes, maybe? I just don't lounge. It's boring. What do you do while you're lounging? I get the idea of letting your mind wander, but my mind does that while I'm engaged in something productive. I can't just sit there for very long before the urge to get up and do something strikes.

3. No doubt, as soon as I got the pajamas on and the tea made and was ready to lounge I'd realize I needed to go outside for something. Can you go outside in your pajamas? I don't know the answer to this. I grew up in the country - we could have run around in our birthday suits and no one would have seen us. But this is the city - a street goes by my house. A street other people drive on. Regularly. I don't know the rules on this. But, it seems kind of weird to be trotting around in your pajamas and robe outside. Plus, it's no doubt going to be frigid outside when this snow-filled fantasy takes place, and I'm not dressed for the weather in pajamas. So, now on top of everything else, I'm essentially a prisoner in my own home. Of course, I'm quite happy to stay in my home for days, but once I *have* to, it's a whole different thing.

4. I won't even bother to go into the whole deal about looking as cute as the models. Why distress myself?

But, still, those pajamas... they feel so nice... I can just imagine how wonderful it's going to be to be enveloped in that cuddly stuff. Just looking at them makes me feel cozy - imagine what the real thing would do.

Of course, what I should buy are some men's long underwear if I really want to stay warm. Why are men's long underwear meant to keep you warm and women's are meant to look cute? Can't we have cute and warm? Of course, if I spent this much time worrying about how cute my outerwear was I'd be much better dressed than I am on the average day.

Maybe the cute and warm thing goes to the heart of the pajama question. It's all part of the same package.

No doubt when the weather gets really cold I'll be sleeping in the same patched 15 year old sweatshirt I sleep in every year. That's how you keep pajamas cute for that special day when I want to lounge with a cup of tea.

Still Time

There's still time for you to participate in this survey. It will only be up a couple of more days and your opinion would be helpful if you're willing to share.

This is the survey I mentioned a few days ago about attitudes toward mental health. Anyone can participate in it and it's pretty quick - about 10 minutes. No personal information is gathered - they're not even asking for your name. What we learn will help shape our messages and determine our focus as we encourage people to be mentally well.

You can still participate. Feel free to forward the link to family, friends, coworkers, or others. Thanks.

St. John Kansas Tea

Sunday afternoon Julie, Susan, Jan and I went to tea in St. John, Kansas. It's about an hour from Hutchinson. Julie and I have been two previous years. It's a nice event.

This year it was held for the first time in their museum, for which the previous 10 teas they've done have been raising funds.

This year the theme was a pioneer one, with the tea pourers wearing prairie bonnets and such. I have to confess that when I first read about it, I couldn't quite imagine what that would be like, but it was lovely.

Each of the tables was covered with a quilt. I could not imagine anyone letting their quilts be used this way. I would never be willing to do that. Fortunately, at our table, there were no mishaps.

We had three young sisters sitting at our table who were just delightful. They were all dressed in costumes and while I was taking pictures of the entertainment I happened to capture this photo by accident. I love it. The young lady looks so happy.

They were beautifully mannered young ladies and a delight to be with today.

Of course, I was tickled to get to see Susan. I miss her living in Hutchinson, but she has settled into life in Valley Falls quite nicely it seems.

There were displays in the museum of everything from clothes and hats to toys, and some extra displays around town to see.

My one complaint about St. John's tea is that it's a buffet and I don't like that when I'm going to tea. It's far easier, of course, but it just doesn't feel right to get up from the table and take my plate to the serving tables and serve myself. Others do it that way, too, for the ease. And they're very successful - they sell out three different seatings every year on this one day - and I always want to go, so it's not enough to keep me away.

I was more than a little sugar logged - as I often seem to be when leaving tea. When I started doing teas as a fundraiser for the MHA I realized why tea is always heavy on the sweets and short on the savories - the savories are much more work.

It's far easier to make more sweets, so that's why you get tons of them wherever you go to tea - from the Empress in Canada (the place to have tea), to the average tea room anywhere, to the fundraiser teas. I am proud to say that when I do tea I make an effort to have enough savories and sandwiches compared to the sweets. The tea I do is the only one where I think there's the right proportion of sweets to savories.

But, I expect that wherever I go to tea. And this was a lovely way to spend an afternoon.

The entertainment today was Barry Ward, who was fabulous. He and Tony McGee performed some original songs and they were really wonderful. I was sorry we didn't have more time to hear more from them.

That's Barry on the right.

I am always impressed with people who write their own music. It's not as easy as it seems. Long, long ago - in what seems like it was another life - I wrote songs and sang them with friends in front of people none of us knew. Trust me, it's a terrifying proposition.

I spoke with Barry briefly afterwards and discovered he has recorded some music with Jim of the Prairie Wranglers and had just met Martha a few days ago. You may remember Jim and Martha's wedding this summer. He had also met Andrea at Winfield. It really is a small world.
After the tea, we went to see the antique toy display at the bank about a half block away.  I absolutely loved these little cookie cutters. I have a couple of these little pans, but I've never seen the cookie cookers. I covet them. I know that's not flattering, but it's true.

Another favorite were these paper horses cut out by a mother to amuse her children. The tag says "Animals made by Anna Minnis' mother for her children to play with. Note pattern and carbon paper."

There were some really interesting antique toys, and this lady demonstrating one of them. There was a ball on a string on the bottom - you bounced it and the chickens appeared to be pecking at their food.

I think some of these toys belonged to her. What really struck me was that kids today wouldn't get this toy on many levels - not the least of which is that most people wouldn't know how chickens peck at their food. It's sad, but true.

I was amazed at this toy cast iron stove and all the little parts that were still on top of it all these years later.

They had many cool things...

There was another collection displayed at the library - old fashioned irons. They were incredibly heavy. Some had numbers on them that indicated the weight of them - one was 18 pounds and belonged to the owner's mother. I don't like to iron with today's irons, so I know I wouldn't have wanted to use one of those things. Our foremothers had great upper body strength is all I can say.

Of course, you know I couldn't go to any tea without sharing photos of the table settings with you. I loved, loved, loved the quilts.

And, a bonus in the day - blog reader Deb Thomas, who I first met in Hillsboro, came over and chatted with me today and even brought me a Christmas ornament. I'm working on the tree so I'll soon be able to press that into service. It was fun to chat with her again. I also ran into some ladies from Pratt who've been to the MHA tea and also a couple that I've seen at many teas in the area. It was a fun day.