Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Did You Know Tuesday: Ziegfeld Girls and Pogo Sticks

Here's a fun retro trivia tidbit for you.  Remember pogo sticks?  They were a fun and popular toy in the 1950's - 1970's, and they are still around.

Here's a peek at a 1969 Sears catalog page featuring pogo sticks.

This toy was invented in 1919.  It was promoted by the Ziegfeld girls in their stage show in 1920.  They performed a theatrical wedding ceremony on pogo sticks.  I tried and tried to find pictures of this, but could not!  But it is amazing to picture.

The Ziegfeld girls were theatrical glamour girls. They starred in Ziegfeld Follies, directed by Florenz Ziegfeld, on Broadway.  These shows were a mix of variety show, musical review, and vaudeville. Here is a photo of some Ziegfeld girls from this vintage:

So there you have it ... a little bit of pogo stick history!

I had a pogo stick as a child.  It was fun, and I could keep going for a few minutes.  Did you enjoy pogo sticks?  Were you good at using them?  I'd love to hear from you in the comments!

Monday, June 29, 2015

Music Monday - "God Only Knows" by the Beach Boys (1966)

I have always loved the Beach Boys.   They are second only to the Beatles in my list of musical favorites.  I change my mind from time to time about my favorite of their songs, but I keep coming back to "God Only Knows."  This is such a beautiful song, written by Brian Wilson and Tony Asher, and featured on the album Pet Sounds.  The lyrics and harmonies are beautiful.  The song begins:

"I may not always love you
But long as there are stars above you
You never need to doubt it
I'll make you so sure about it
God only knows what I'd be without you"

I also  love the instrumentation, which includes French horns, violins, cellos, and even accordions.

This song was featured in the Brian Wilson biopic Love & Mercy.  I saw the movie this weekend, and if you love retro music and the Beach Boys, it is a must see!  I think it may be my all-time favorite musical biopic (and this is a genre I love).  It is beautifully written, with strong performances from Paul Dano, John Cusack, and Elizabeth Banks.  The way that love brings Brian Wilson back to his life, and ultimately saves him after a breakdown, is both moving and uplifting.  I've included the trailer from the movie for you:

Do you love the Beach Boys? Have you seen Love & Mercy? I'd love to hear from you in the comments, below.

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Weekend Window Shopping at Birdhouse Books - Children's Books and Vintage Valentines

Hi fellow fans of all things vintage! I have a few fun little vintage additions to my shops to share with you.  As always, you can find these goodies online:

Birdhouse Books on Etsy
Birdhouse Books on eBay

Saying Thank You Makes Me Happy is a cute little Happy Day Book illustrated by Francis Hook.   You will recognize her illustrations from 1960's Northern Tissue packages.
The Family That Grew is a 1963 children's book about adoption by Florence Rondell and Ruth Mitchell.
This cute little unused parrot Valentine reads:  "Hi Valentine - you fill the bill."
This vintage Valentine features a mouse holding an apple and dialing an old fashioned telephone.  This is a card for a teacher.
Here is another mouse card for teacher.  A little dressed mouse stands at a blackboard with a pointer.
This is a cute card from the 1920's.  It features two little girls, and the card opens from the center of the heart to reveal a garden with a white picket fence.
This Valentine, also 1920's, features pink roses, and it's very sweet.  (Would look great framed!)
This Valentine may be my favorite this week.  A little wide-eyed girl on ice skates holds a heart.  "A Token of Love."  This is a 1920's card.
I hope you enjoyed peeking in the windows of my shop with me.   I always love hearing from you in the comments, below.

Friday, June 26, 2015

Dear Abby: ThunderShirts and Summer Fireworks

Dear Friends,

It is me, your favorite Doxie-Jack, here to spend a few minutes with you visiting and catching up.

My friend Barbara wrote:  "Abby, can we see you modelling your Thunder Shirt? We have heard about them, but really don't know exactly how they work. Perhaps you can explain, as many pups out there are afraid of loud noises, fireworks & of course, thunder."

I am very happy to talk about ThunderShirts!   I have no affiliation with them, but am available if they ever want a real life spokes-dog.  :-) The ThunderShirt is made of a sturdy, felt-like material.  Momma wraps it tightly around my body with velcro.   It fastens securely at my chest, and around my belly.   The gentle pressure of the shirt makes me feel like a baby who has been swaddled.   I feel secure when I have it on.

Because of my background (rescued stray) I am very frightened of loud noises.   My list includes thunder, fireworks, tree surgeons, and roofers.   Before, I would pace and hide and almost make myself sick because the noises upset me so much.

Now, when the noises start (or on nights where we KNOW there will be noise, like 4th of July fireworks), I get my ThunderShirt on.  Momma still puts on music and fans to make happy noise to distract me as well ... but this really helps.  We keep the shirt in the bedroom closet, and I go sit by the closet door when the noise starts ... I know my shirt is waiting there for me.  Thankfully, I have Momma trained and she always goes right there to get it for me.

You can read about the shirts at the official website:  Thundershirt.com.  They are available at any pet supermarket or pet specialty store.

Fireworks have been legalized in our area this year, so we are already thinking ahead to ThunderShirts and the summer holidays!

How are you doing this week?  Do you have any questions for me?   I look forward, all week, to chatting with you here.  I always love to hear from you in the comments, below.

Love from your friend,

Abby xoxo

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Throwback Thursday - Jungle Gyms

When I was a kid, we had jungle gyms.  They were on the playground at school, at public parks, at campgrounds ... and I never met a jungle gym I didn't like.  You see that little girl climbing on the top of the jungle gym below?  That is exactly what I would have done on this climber.  You rarely see these now, with playground safety concerns, but they sure were fun!   Do you remember retro jungle gyms?  Were you a playground daredevil who hung upside down on jungle gyms and stood up on swings?   I'd love to hear from you in the comments, below.

Book Review and Giveaway: Axel & Theo: My Dog is The Emperor of a Faraway Galaxy

Mother Daughter Book Reviews is pleased to be coordinating a Blog Tour for the lower middle grade book "Axel & Theo: My Dog is The Emperor of a Faraway Galaxy" by Amberly Kristen Clowe from June 22 to 28, 2015. This one is a great choice for reluctant readers!

Axel and Theo - Blog Tour Button  

About the Book

Axel and Theo: My Dog is the Emperor of a Faraway Galaxy  
Title: Axel & Theo: My Dog is the Emperor of a Faraway Galaxy | Author: Amberly Kristen Clowe | Publication Date: November 15, 2014 | Publisher: Smooth Sailing Press | Pages: 44 | Recommended Ages: 6 to 10  

Summary: Theodore Howard wants a white flag. The kind of white flag that will show Riverwood Elementary’s biggest bully, Theo’s given up on ever surviving the fourth grade, and achieving his dream of becoming a real-life astronaut. But, Theo’s seemingly pathetic future gets a glimmer of hope in the form of a very talkative weenie dog named Axel. Theo learns that his best friend on four legs, is actually an alien from the planet Doglin, and just when he begins warming up to the idea of having an alien for a best friend, Axel is kidnapped by two cats from the planet Catlat. Theo chases after Axel and his kidnappers, embarking on an adventure he could have never imagined.

Amazon * Goodreads

Book Preview

My Book Review

Readers of my blog will know that I am slightly dachshund-obsessed.  From the moment I saw the cover of Axel & Theo: My Dog is The Emperor of a Faraway Galaxy, I wanted to read this book.  The cover art even features a little boy and his red smooth dachshund buddy.

This is a charming read for children.  It will appeal to early readers as well as reluctant readers a bit older.  I think the reading range of 6 - 10 years is spot on.

Young readers will love the story of Theo, who escapes a bully with the help of his brave dachshund ... and then ventures to outer space on a great adventure with him.  Axel, the brave dachshund, is the emperor of planet Doglin.  Unfortunately, Doglin is being threatened by cats who want to rise to power.   How the boy and dachshund escape danger and emerge victorious is a fun read.

The book is very clever, with short chapters and dialogue that moves the story along.  Descriptions are creative and sure to appeal to a child.  For instance, on planet Doglin flowers smell like rib-eye steaks so they appeal to dogs, and the ocean is full of strawberry soda.

I would enthusiastically recommend this book to children who love fantasy adventure stories, and to adults who love dogs.  Five stars from me - and four paws up from my doggie friend Abby! 
More Buzz About the Book
"When I saw the subheading of this book — My dog is the Emperor of a faraway galaxy, I knew I had to read it. After all, how often do you see a sci-fi kid’s book? Being the sci-fi nut that I am, I couldn't pass this one up. I was not disappointed."~ Shari T., Amazon
"Fun book!! The story is imaginative but told with enough familiar themes to make young ones think, "I can see how this could happen!!" And in a world jam-packed with princesses and girl power, it's nice to see fun stuff for boys, too." ~ Valerie S., Amazon
"What a nice story! Got this for my son and he chuckled through it all. He loved the characters and their adventure. He is looking forward to the next one." ~ Nathalia G., Amazon
"It is a great book! My kids loved it (as did I). I can't wait for the second adventure!" ~ John, Amazon

About the Author: Amberly Kristen Clowe

Krissy-CloweAn avid story writer since elementary school, Amberly Kristen (Krissy) Clowe truly discovered her passion for writing after enrolling in a college, children's literature class, where they read and analyzed children's books. After completing her BA in early childhood education she began her teaching career. "After my first year of teaching second grade, I had so many ideas swirling around in my head, I had to write. I might have gone crazy if I didn't!" Clowe tells. Axel & Theo is the first chapter book series written by Clowe, though she already has two other children's picture books in print, and another due for publication in 2015. Today, her children provide the inspiration to her many stories, along with everything else she loves in life.

Website | Facebook | Goodreads


Axel & Theo Blog Tour Schedule

June 22

June 23
June 24
June 25
June 26
June 27
June 28

* Blog Tour Giveaway *

Prize: One winner will receive a $25 Amazon gift card or $25 PayPal cash prize, winner's choice Giveaway ends: July 5, 11:59 pm, 2015 Open to: Internationally How to enter: Please enter using the Rafflecopter widget below. Terms and Conditions: NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW. A winner will be randomly drawn through the Rafflecopter widget and will be contacted by email within 48 hours after the giveaway ends. The winner will then have 72 hours to respond. If the winner does not respond within 72 hours, a new draw will take place for a new winner. Odds of winning will vary depending on the number of eligible entries received. This contest is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with Facebook. This giveaway is sponsored by the publisher, SmoothSailing Press and is hosted and managed by Renee from Mother Daughter Book Reviews. If you have any additional questions – feel free to send and email to Renee(at)MotherDaughterBookReviews(dot)com.
 a Rafflecopter giveaway
  MDBR Book Promotion Services
I received this book from Mother Daughter Book Reviews in exchange for an honest review.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Did You Know Tuesday: Slinky

Here's a fun Did You Know right out of your childhood toy box.  The Slinky toy was invented in the early 1940's by naval engineer Richard James.  It was originally marketed in Gimbels depeartment store (Philadelphia), and it was an immediate hit.  Richard James and his wife Betty marketed the toy until Richard left his wife in 1960 to move to Bolivia as an evangelical missionary.  At that point Betty took over the company, and the business soared.

The average Slinky has 63 feet of wire ... and it is the state toy of Pennsylvania.  (Who knew that there are state toys?  Neat!)  I found a fun 1962 commercial for Slinky.  Near the end of the commercial, you'll also see a cute Dachshund checking out a Slinky dog toy.   Do you remember Slinky?  I'd love to hear from you in the comments!

Monday, June 22, 2015

Music Monday - "Summer Breeze" - The Isley Brothers (1974)

If I ever make a 10 favorite songs list, "Summer Breeze" will be included.  I love the Seals and Croft originals original (1972), and also love the Isley Brothers cover (1974).  Pop culture has brought the Isley Brothers version back to the forefront with me.  It was featured on Scandal last year.  It also must be on some type of tape loop at Chipotle.  Every time I go in for a Sofritas (spiced tofu) bowl, this song plays.  I take that as a sign ... at least as a sign that I should share this with you.  Enjoy!

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Weekend Window Shopping at Birdhouse Books

Hi vintage friends!

I've added some cute vintage children's books and Valentines to my shops this week.  You can find them:

Bubble and Squeak by Philippa Pearce is a 1978 Scholastic paperback about gerbils.
Roundabout Train by Betty Ren Wright is a little picture book distributed by Burger King.
You Read To Me, I'll Read To You is a book of poems for children by John Ciardi -- illustrated by Edward Gorey.
This cute vintage Valentine features a pink elephant who is dressed as a waiter.  "Hi there cookie - you are just what I ordered Valentine."
 A little bee buzzes by in this vintage Valentine:  "Be My Valentine, Honey!"
 A little girl wears flowers in her hair and holds a sweet Siamese cat.  "You're the purr-fect Valentine for me."
I would love to hear from you in the comments.  Wishing you a great weekend!

Friday, June 19, 2015

Dear Abby: On the Delicate Matter of Puppy Potty Pads

Dear friends,

I have been excited all week about chatting with you here.  I will be sitting down each Friday to answer a question readers have sent.  If you have a question you would like me to answer, please ask in the "comments" section below.

Mary wrote and asked this question:  "A friend of mine has a really bad problem with her little boy Maltese who is named DD. DD doesn't like to go outside to potty. He prefers to potty on drapes, shoes, or behind chairs. My friend bought DD some potty-training pads but DD doesn't like to use them. What should my friend do? Thanking you in advance."

Dear Mary,  I am sorry that DD doesn't like to do his business outside.  I enjoy my constitutionals with time to keep track of all the neighborhood news and visit with friends.  I have puppy potty pads for "just in case" times when weather makes it dangerous to go outdoors - ice or thunderstorms.  (I certainly would not want to venture out when it is loud and stormy!)  My advice for training DD to use the potty pads is the same thing I would do to train a pup to potty outdoors.  I would advise keeping DD right by your side constantly, with his collar or harness on.  Then, at frequent intervals (starting at an hour, then 2 hours, etc.), I would snap his leash on and get him either outside to potty or to his potty pad.  I would make sure he knows the word "potty" - and I bet he would like a little bit of kibble or crunchy treat when he does his business like he is supposed to.   Please keep us posted how this goes!

If other friends have suggestions for DD, please leave them in the comments as well.  Thank you!

I'll close for now, but will leave you with a little vintage doggy humor, courtesy of an old postcard.  It is apropos for the blog theme today!
Have a great week and talk to you again next Friday!


Thursday, June 18, 2015

Throwback Thursday - The Banana Splits

If you were a child in the late 1960's, you will remember the Banana Splits.  This Saturday morning tv show was produced by Hanna-Barbera with costumes and sets designed by Sid and Marty Krofft.  It ran from 1968 - 1970 and featured four anthropomorphic animals who had adventures (some scenes at amusement parks) and sang bubblegum pop music.  A little trivia -- the characters were named Fleegle, Bingo, Drooper, and Snorky.  I've included the tv theme song intro below.  I think this was filmed at Six Flags Over Texas.  Do you remember the Banana Splits?  I'd love to hear from you in the comments, below.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Did You Know Tuesday: Betsy Tacy Meets King Kong

Here's a fun question for you:  what do the Betsy-Tacy books and King Kong have in common?    Answer:  Their authors were married!

The Betsy-Tacy books are a children's series that take three friends (Betsy, Tacy, and Tib) from age 5 into their 20's.  They are set in Minnesota, from the turn of the century to the 1910's.   They were written by Maud Hart Lovelace between 1940 - 1955.
King Kong was written by Delos W. Lovelace in 1933.  He was a reporter for the New York Daily News and New York Sun, and wrote over two dozen books.
Maud Hart Lovelace and Delos Lovelace met and married in 1917.   He was the inspiration for the character Joe in the Betsy-Tacy series.  These books are my favorites;  I have them in print and also on Kindle.  If you haven't read them, they are charming and a lovely read for children and adults alike.  I feel like I am always recommending them.  They are really special to me.
I would love to hear from you in the comments - Betsy-Tacy books, King Kong, children's literature ... Have a great day!

Monday, June 15, 2015

Music Monday - "Sugar Shack" by Jimmy Gilmer and the Fireballs (1963)

I heard this song on the radio this weekend and knew it had to be today's Music Monday selection!   I've always liked this tune - it's fun, and very much belongs to the time when it was recorded.

"Sugar Shack" was a 1963 song by Jimmy
Gilmer and the Fireballs.  They hail from New Mexico and started as an instrumental group.  I had never seen a photo of the band, and pictured them as looking like Maynard G. Krebs, the Beatnik character played by Bob Denver on The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis.  Instead they are a collegiate looking group of young men.   This song was a big hit in 1963 and won a Gold Record Award as Top Song of 1963.  I love a song that tells a story, like "Sugar Shack Does," and it is just fun.  Enjoy!

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Weekend Window Shopping at Birdhouse Books

Hi vintage friends!  

This is another new feature at my blog.  I will be posting on Saturdays to give you a peek at what is new at Birdhouse Books.  You can find all the items pictured here in my shops at Etsy and eBay:

Birdhouse Books at Etsy
Birdhouse Books at eBay

On to walk through the shelves and see what's new!

Jack and Janet is a 1963 school reader from the Reading for Meaning series:

Up and Away is also a 1963 school reader from the Reading for Meaning series.  It is meant to be read along with Jack and Janet.

I Read About God's Love is a 1962 vintage Basic Bible reader, Grade One:

This lovely embossed Christmas postcard is from 1911, made by A.S. Meneker.

This pretty, colorful Christmas postard is Arts and Crafts style, and it is Whitney Made.  (It's also one of my favorites this week!)

Who doesn't love an anthropomorphic Valentine?  This baseball theme card says: "Sock it to me, Valentine - be mine."

 This cute, unused vintage Valentine has a Humpty Dumpty theme:  "You make me FALL for you."

The cute Cocker Spaniel on this Valentine says:  "You're TOPS with a capital T - just the Valentine for me!"

A cute little boy in a sombrero peeks out of a multi-color basket on this Valentine card: "No use to hide."

Heidi by Johanna Spyri is a 1952 vintage children's book by Winston Pixie Books.  Hard to find in this hardcover edition!

The Phantom Tollbooth is a vintage children's book by Norman Juster.  This was made into a 1970 movie starring Butch Patrick a/k/a Eddie Munster from The Munsters.

Through the Looking Glass and What Alice Found There is an undated vintage book by Lewis Carroll.  It's a Junior Deluxe Edition, and quite a charming edition.

I've enjoyed window shopping with you, and hope you enjoyed seeing the vintage goodies, too!

Friday, June 12, 2015

Dear Abby: An Introduction

Dear Friends,

This is my first post at View from the Birdhouse, and I am looking forward to chatting with you weekly here.

My name is Abby, short for Abigail.  I am 5 years old, and our vet says I am a Dachshund-Jack Russell Terrier mix.  I am a very good girl, and I have many opinions.

I am a Texas girl.  I was only a year old when I was found as a stray dog living in a Walmart parking lot.  A good samaritan took me to his friend who volunteered with dachshund rescue.  I stayed with her for some time as a foster dog.  My Momma saw my picture by chance online and fell in love with me.   (This is where the story starts to get good!)   She wanted to adopt me, but I was far from her home.  A volunteer brought me to Georgia in an RV.  I got out of the RV and immediately kissed my Momma.   It was love at first sight.  

Momma had a sweet senior dachshund named Barney Fife.  He adopted me as a baby sister the minute he met me, and we got along beautifully from that moment until he passed away at the age of 17.  I still miss him.  So does Momma.

I am a very good companion and help with finding vintage books to sell, listing them, and joining Momma in activities ranging from reading to weekend naps to watching Downton Abbey.

I love children, cats, and small dogs.  I am friendly with big dogs but they make me a bit nervous because I am little.  I am very scared of thunder, fireworks, and loud noises, and wear a special Thundershirt when I need to calm down.  It works.

I will be posting here on Fridays and would welcome your questions.  I can answer questions about dogs, books, television, movies, music, holidays, naps, anything vintage, food and recipes.  I have lovely manners and can answer etiquette questions. I can give romantic advice!  I do not discuss politics or sports.  I would love to have questions or topics from YOU.  Please leave them in the comments, below.

Till next week,

xxx's from Abby