‘Tis Better To…


Today is “Giving Tuesday.” In our culture of me, me, me, isn’t that refreshing? I bought a wheelchair, making a donation to Free Wheelchair Mission. I think it was $80. Not much money. And providing, someone with “new wheels” changes that person’s life, yes, but it changes their family’s life as well. It’s like a trickle down.

What’s neat about charity is any amount makes a difference. You can donate a million dollars to a hospital or play Free Rice, where for every answer you get right on games, ten grains of rice is donated to The World Food Programme. Ten grains of rice doesn’t seem like much but depending on how much you play, people in developing countries will get bowls of food!

See what I mean about any amount making a difference?

So, did I inspire you to participate in Giving Tuesday? I hope so!

Is It Summer Yet?


Okay, maybe Southern California doesn’t get THIS cold, but it sure feels like it. Courtesy hercampus.com

This post comes with a warning. Readers in certain parts of the country, especially where you get snow and extreme weather, may be disgusted by what I am about to say. Read on at your own risk.

I am always cold. I don’t know why. Maybe because I am always in one position, but right now the thermostat is set at eighty-one and I have goosebumps! I love fall and winter. The crispness, the bright sky, the occasional rain. I love it all. From inside the warm house!

Last night was 49. I had two blankets. One of them being an electric one! In my defense, it wasn’t turned on, but that will come later.

If there is such a thing as reincarnation, please, God, make me come back as a lizard. I could scorch myself on a rock all day. My dream.

Wednesday we leave for Seattle to surprise Kelley for Thanksgiving. Fourties every day we are there. Mom has packed accordingly, but please wish me luck!

The Great Indoors


Now this is my idea of a campground! Image courtesy of mappir.com

Luckily, we weren’t a camping family. Mom camped with my grandparents and uncle, when she was young, which I so wish I could have seen. Today, she is…let’s say…very indoorsy.

I don’t understand the whole camping culture. Mom goes to REI for things she needs for running, and they have everything for the camper: Tents, mosquito nets, sleeping bags. People do this for fun?! I sure have a different definition of “fun.” For me, it means sleeping in a hotel and not living off the land. Catching fish means retrieving a can of tuna that someone has tossed my way.

A slumber party favorite (heck with the slumber party, I just watched it a couple days ago) is “Troop Beverly Hills.” Now, that troop and I have similar ideas of “roughing it.” Or “glamping,” as I’ve recently heard it called.


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.

“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.


Courtesy Adverticia.com

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.

Over and Out

Again, I apologize.

It ends in less than 24 hours! There is a light at the end of the tunnel. The 2016 election just might go down as the most irksome (My feelings are stronger than that, but I had to use the word) in history. At least of my lifetime. Don’t you agree, worse than the whole “chad” mess in 2000?

I found this quiz on Buzzfeed, and it tells me that lots of people share my excitement for tomorrow.

Here’s the link.  Have fun!


Style Rules for Condiments


Courtesy food.com

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.



I’m so sorry about the subject of this post. If you are like me, you had enough long ago!

It’s as if you are bludgeoned with it! You have commercials where Hillary is attacking Trump. Change the channel and you have another one where it’s the opposite. Luckily, because California is so liberal, the candidates don’t spend much time focused on us. Unfortunately, Dad is a HUGE Fox News fan and that’s all they talk about.

I have already voted. That makes it worse, because I still have to listen to it. I voted to keep the death penalty, raise cigarette taxes, as well as on probably ten other propositions.

I left president blank. You know that I am a Republican. I couldn’t believe my choice of candidate.

As bad as Trump is, I like Hillary less. Besides the trustworthiness issue, she doesn’t seem genuine. While talking to people on the campaign trail she looks forced, like it’s an effort to be there. Like she has little in common with the common folk.

Thank you for allowing me to vent. All I can say is Tuesday can’t come soon enough.

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.