Thanksgiving, Part 1


Recently my youngest sister moved to Seattle, where her former boyfriend, now fiancé, got a job. That was part of the deal. She wouldn’t leave her family in Southern California without a ring. She is braver than I!

I’m writing this on Friday, November 11th. Tomorrow, the Tharp “girls,” which includes Mom and the three of us, are going wedding dress shopping.

On Sunday the whole family is gathering for “Thanksgiving dinner” since we won’t see Kelley on the real Thanksgiving. Kelley doesn’t know this, but the four of us are flying up to Seattle for the real Thanksgiving to surprise her. We’ll just have pizza, but we’ll be together. Isn’t that what Thanksgiving is about?

In conclusion, it is the tiny moments in life, like wedding dress shopping and Thanksgiving dinner, even if it means eating pizza, can be the most special. As long as your family is by your side.

Common Denominator


This post’s inspiration came from the deacon of our church, who is very liberal. I can’t promise that this will be the last politically-based post, but at least the last for now.

I just have some thoughts. You know that I didn’t vote for president. I wasn’t going to vote for Hillary, but didn’t want Trump either, though I was rooting for him deep down.

Well, he won. I was so happy. Now, seeing the protesters and riots, They can’t give the guy a chance, I complained to Mom. She had a good point.

We didn’t exactly give Obama a chance.

My point is this: We are all Americans. We might have different ideas on how to do it, but isn’t doing the best for our country a common goal?  Maybe that’s easy for me to say now.  Maybe that’s how I should have felt–and acted–eight years ago.

“How’s My Hair?”

I only had one and a half semesters of high school of high school before I got sick, and those months are fuzzy (my memory gets bad as I near the time of my illness, so I will talk about junior high).

Ah, school dances. They defined your social standing. Although at 12 and 13 I had plenty of friends, some who were boys, I had no “boyfriend.” At the time, it was so disappointing. There was one boy that his friends came up to me and told me that he liked me. Although I secretly liked him, it was something that not even my best friend knew. I was too embarrassed. He was a poor student, overweight, and a face full of pimples. I had my pride.

Dances at Corona Fundamental Intermediate School dances were very casual. No fancy dresses, although there was primping and you had to change out of what you had worn at school. Not doing so was just uncouth.



When you got there, the gym/where we ate lunch when it rained was decked out with streamers and balloons that, since I was on the student council, I had help put up.

Junior high dances are extremely awkward. Usually girls on one side of the room, boys on the other. This dance lived up to the stereotype. Just the couples danced. The rest of us sat on the bench catching up on gossip.

The occasion was far from the glamorous afternoon we’d all envisioned.  No amount of primping—all that time crammed in front of the girls’ bathroom with hairbrushes and Bonnie Bell lip gloss and gasp, mascara wands in some hands—takes the awkward out of a school dance.

Style Rules for Condiments



Style goddess Coco Chanel said, “Before you walk out the door take one thing off.” Bottom line, don’t over accessorize.

How do relish and fashion advice fit together?, you ask.

I see condiments as accessories to, say, hot dogs. They are unnecessary but add some “interest” to an outfit, as Stacy London puts it. The only condiment I care for on hot dogs is mustard, and I could actually take or leave hot dogs, period (I promise I’m not Communist).

Again, using hot dogs as a metaphor, some people go condiment crazy, which, in my book, is a no no-no. Dad is an offender. We now have a Portillo’s (if there are readers in the Chicago area they know the restaurant I’m talking about). If he gets a hot dog or bratwurst I can’t believe how cluttered his “outfit” is. Hot mustard, onions, sweet peppers, hot peppers. Over accessorized 101.

So, whether we are talking about fashion or hot dogs, in my opinion, we need to follow the old less is more rule. It’s just good taste.

Bridge Over Troubling Waters

Mom and I really look forward to “Project Runway” every week, which we watch on the TV in the kitchen. Friday at lunch. It’s almost a tradition. We critique the fashions and make predictions. We also look for Swatch at Mood. If Dad is eating his lunch at the bar in the kitchen, he gets glimpses of the show and provides commentary, which usually isn’t flattering.

I admit that I’m not the most creative. How can the designers get a challenge, two minutes later begin to sketch, thirty minutes later get fabric. And the challenges! The one that sticks out in my mind was where the designers had to create a dress that would look pretty under black light.

The worst for me would be the avant guarde challenge, although I would definitely say “uncle” before point. One of those challenges was to create a dress that’s inspired by a New York City bridge. All of the avant guarde dresses come out bizarre, but I guess that’s the definition of avant guarde.


This dress won the “bridge” challenge. See what I mean?

Maybe the moral is this: I think it would be fun to be a designer, but you have to have an ounce of creativity. Guess not.

Just a Suggestion



Dear WordPress,

In my opinion, as I’ve said, I don’t think the one-word prompts are fun. I also said that I’m sure I’m not the only blogger who feels this way. Did you run out of ideas? If that’s the case, I have some.

  • Did you have a security blanket or stuffed animal as a kid? Why were they so special?
  • What decade were you born in?   Do you like the music from then? Why?
  • You just won the lottery. What do you do with your fortune?
  • Write a dialogue between you and your pet. If you don’t have one, an animal you know.
  • What is your middle name? Do you like it?
  • Are you an optimist or pessimist? Why?
  • What’s your favorite memory from your favorite season?
  • What are your thoughts on the election?

It’s A Small Disappointment


My sister’s boyfriend works for ESPN. Since Disney is their parent company, he gets passes to Disneyland a few times a year. Oh, darn. Mom, Dad, and I used them over the summer. We just went to walk around, though did go on a few rides. I asked to go on Small World. Dad grumbled, but obliged.

I obviously can’t get into a boat. There is one with a lift, but it was being used at the time. It was 4:55. As the clock ticked, I wondered how in the world the employees did it. That thing would drive me crazy. Eight hours!?

Our boat came before five. As we floated along, listening to that song, which I was extremely annoyed to have in my head when I went to sleep hours later, I started noticing things. As all of the dolls sang, their “jaws” would clack, the outfits looked a little tired, and when you looked over the boat’s railing you saw all the mechanics beneath the dolls.

I was a tad disappointed seeing that, as I said, that was my favorite ride as a kid. There was “Disney Magic” at work. But as an adult, you become wise to it. Wouldn’t it be nice to keep that childlike innocence all of our lives?

Strong Like Ralph

I must have ten or eleven. I would have been off-track. Dad, along with his daughters, ate lunch at Taco Bell. Although I loved the restaurant, I almost dreaded going there. We might see him. Ralph was an employee of the restaurant, wiping tables or sweeping the floors. Although Dad always chatted with Ralph, to me, Ralph was awkward, borderline scary. Ralph had Down syndrome.

Was I scared because Ralph was different from me?

I’ve obviously grown up. I don’t know if it’s being disabled myself now, or just maturity, but I so admire people with any disability, especially an intellectual one. Part of my old thinking could have been because I didn’t know anyone with Down syndrome. But thanks to shows like “Born This Way,” which I highly recommend (Tuesday at 8 on A&E, though it’s on haetis right now), or inclusion in our schools, I’m glad the old “stigmas” attached to people with any intellectual disability are slowly going away.


I so wish I could find Ralph. I would give him a big hug.

Sweet Dreams

I love food! It can be any type of food.

I was going to tell you my favorite food, but I can’t narrow it down. Luckily my mom is a very careful eater. Most of the things we have for dinner come out of Cooking Light magazine.


Sure, it looks pretty, but to me “rainbow eating” means a pack of Skittles. Courtesy:

However, I’m a HUGE sweet eater. It could be anything. I probably undo all of Mom’s work at dinner with my “sweet” after dinner. It could be anything where sugar is the main ingredient. Homemade ice cream and chocolate chip cookies are my weakness.   Dad, Sarah, and I call poor Mom an enabler, but she has a point. If we would stop eating it, she would stop making it.


Oh, alright. But just to be polite. Courtesy:

I feel so guilty eating my after dinner sweet, but as soon as that sugar hits my tongue all of those feelings melt away (no pun intended).

Halloween is coming. Just great.

The Greatest Generation

Like most days, I have to ponder the prompt topic until the afternoon, when it’s time to write. I read the word “value” and had no idea what to do. Sure, there are some values that I hold dear, but that’s not a very interesting post: Erin’s values. But it hit me when I read the Photo Challenge prompt, “nostalgia.”



A few generations ago was called the “Greatest Generation.” Probably my grandparents’ generation, who were born in the late 30s to early 40s. I love anything from that generation, mainly the clothes. There was a war going on, which I forget.

I actually did my 6th grade History Day project, which is just like Science Fair, but you guessed right, regarding history on that period of time. I chose The Home Front as my topic. I interviewed my Great Grandma, and she sent me some ration stamps (she was one notch below a hoarder).

I didn’t realize it then, but now as a wise woman of 33, I wonder why must we have so much “stuff.” I’m just as guilty as anybody. My closet is almost exploding. A lot of it I have never worn. But why must they introduce a new iPhone every couple months? Is it that different? I’m not going to get started on Black Friday.


I love the movie “Forrest Gump.” In it, Mama said something that is so true: “There’s just so much a man really needs. The rest is for showing off.”


Thank you for setting us straight, Mama.