Monday, March 30, 2020

The Toilet Paper Shortage of The 1970's.

Toilet Paper, Sold OutDue to the Coronavirus, many people swarmed the stores, stockpiling essentials such as disinfectant wipes, paper towels, and toilet paper.  Even Amazon, Walmart, and other online folks have sold out and are finding it hard to restock shelves.

This is not the first time parts of the country have weathered a toilet paper shortage.  If you lived in Hawaii back in the early 1970's you are familiar with this shortage.  If not, yours occurred a bit later.

Back in 1971, dockworkers on the west coast went on strike.  This meant nothing came in or out. Unfortunately for those who lived in Hawaii, this was a major issue because most everything is shipped in for use including most processed foods, gas, clothing, and electronics.

The strike shut down every port along the west coast and was due to the offered contract not being good enough for the workers.  In Hawaii, there are stories of people going out to restaurants and bars to steal toilet paper from their bathrooms so these places assigned one person to give out a few pieces of toilet paper to each person going to use their facilities.

There are other stories of fancy hotels finding their toilet paper disappearing and in response they hired  security guards to protect their supplies.  Of course for some, rolls of toilet paper because the standard housewarming gifts.  Even radio stations got in on this. When they played a certain song, the fist caller would win a roll and the roll was delivered in a Rolls Royce.  Talk about fancy. The strike lasted for 134 days while they waited for strike to end and supplies to arrive. After this event, many people built a closet to store toilet paper in so if it every happened again, they'd be prepared.

Then in 1973, during the massive gas embargo where people waited in lines for hours, Johnny Carson is said to have made a joke that caused people to panic buy enough toilet paper to wipe out supplies in the stores.  Apparently, a congressman from Wisconsin commented that the United States was falling behind on supplying toilet paper consequently there might be a shortage in a few months.  Carson's writers decided to create a joke based on that which he told on his show.

The next morning, his watchers headed over to the stores to stockpile toilet paper in preparation for the "imminent" shortage and they bought every roll their local stores had leading to a major shortage. Although Carson later assured people it was just a joke and untrue, people continued to panic because the stores had empty shelves.

Hope you enjoyed learning about two other toilet paper shortages.  Let me know what you think, I'd love to hear.  Have a great day.

Friday, March 27, 2020

Relaxing Bath

Bath, Bubbles, Cartoon, Cellphone, Clean Every so often, when things get too stressful and I need to relax, I've been known to create a relaxing atmosphere and take a bath.  I will tell you, I never have my cell phone on when I'm taking a bath because I do not want to be disturbed.

The first thing I do, I set out some of those small battery run candles all over the bath room so I get the flickering without a possible fire hazard.  I picked up a supply of them over at Joanns along with lots of rechargeable batteries.

I make sure I've set a small digital device safely on the sink to play romantic music in the background.  This helps set the atmosphere for relaxation.  At this point I lock the door to the bathroom so I don't get any interruptions.

Then I add some bubble bath that smells really good or perhaps some bath salts but I seldom do bath oil because of the slick feel it leaves in the bath tub and on my skin.  I don't like feeling greasy so no oil but if you like bath oils, feel free to use it.  I love adding warm water to the tub and adding the bubble bath in after it's filled about half way.  Once the tub is full, I slide in and make sure I have a pillow that can be washed when I'm done to place under my head.

I let the warmth seep into my body while I listen to the beautiful background music.  I sometimes pretend I am in Paris listening to musicians playing just beyond the wall.  This is my perfect opportunity to use one of those sheet masks so the heat provided by the water, opens my pores and my skin just drinks in the liquid on the mask.

I admit, I'm one of those who loves lounging in the water until it is cool and I've turned in to a prune with wrinkly skin.  After I get out of the tub, I wrap myself in a towel, remove the sheet mask and dry myself off.  The remaining heat in the bathroom is perfect for helping my skin absorb lotion to keep it soft and nice.

By the end, I feel so nice and almost brand new.  Unfortunately, I don't have the time to take a bath as often as I'd like but with everything shut down, I have more time because most of my evening activities have been cancelled.

If there is no time to take a bath, I've been known to take a hot shower while using a sugar or salt based skin scrub to get rid of dead skin and I make sure I use a good lotion at the end.  I do take time to set up the flickering lights and the background music to make it more than just a shower.  Let me know what you think, I'd love to hear.  Have a great day.

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

8 Ways To Relieve Stress.

Candles, Heart, Flame, Love, ValentineRight now, many of us are feeling extraordinarily stressed.  The kids are home but you have a job that requires you to go in and work.  The trip you have planned for the summer is on hold because the airline has cut back on flights, or that cruise you've dreamed of is on hold.

I just found out they are eliminating all passenger flights from my local airport until May 1st.  Only cargo and medical are allowed on the flights so I'm pretty much stuck here for the next 6 weeks.

It is stressful seeing the numbers climb higher while the local and state government are telling you to stay home, avoid being with other people and now you are expected to make sure your kids do their school work they are getting at home.  We need to practice stress relief so we can handle this situation better.

Exercise is considered one of the best ways to relieve stress.  When you exercise, you are lowering certain stress hormones such as cortisol and it releases endorphins that improve your mood and exercise can help you sleep better at night.  Sometimes it just isn't possible to get outside with the social distancing restrictions, but one can use videos from YouTube or Amazon Prime to exercise to.  I have a collection of videos I alternate between to get a well balanced workout every week.

Consider lighting a scented candle or releasing essential oils into the room to create a relaxing atmosphere.  Some recommended scents include Lavender, Rose, Orange blossom or ylang ylang.  The idea behind the scents is that they help people relax by lowering anxiety and improve your ability to sleep.

Begin keeping a journal where you identify things you are grateful for.  When you list the things you are grateful for, you are focusing on the positive rather than the negative and it helps decrease your anxiety.  Some people suggest, you write down what you are anxious about but that can make certain people more stressed and that's why focusing on the positive is better.

Find some videos on Youtube or TicTok that make you laugh.  It is said that laughter is the best medicine and research has shown that laughter can help release stress and anxiety while making you feel better.

Don't be afraid to put on some happy type music to enjoy in your house.  It is suggested people listen to slow paced instrumental music because it can lower stress hormones but it has also been found that if the music makes you happy, it is equally effective at lowering stress.  I love listening to music from the 1960's because it always makes me want to dance and move around.

Another activity recommended to help lower stress is to practice deep breathing and mindfulness.  Deep breathing can help release anxiety and slow your heart beat so you feel much more relaxed.  The mindfulness keeps you focused more on the positive rather than the negative and helps keep you anchored in the moment rather than in what ifs.

Finally, go spend time with your pet if you have one.  Pets snuggle and love you for being you and they help your body release a hormone to make you feel better.

At work, we've been told not to work past quitting time, spend time on ourselves, and take time to relax.   In addition, to exercise, I've begun reading more, added in coloring, and I try to dance at least 20 minutes every day.  This time of uncertainty is going to last a while so we need to get into the habit of putting ourselves first sometimes.  Let me know what you think, I'd love to hear.  Have a great day.

Monday, March 23, 2020

Yes, You Can Still Visit Museums, Even Now!

Monalisa, Mona Lisa, Corona, VirusMany, many people are stuck at home under either self-isolation or government mandated. I am not in either category because my school has said that we will be having professional development days beginning today until further notice.

We have to figure out how to keep students learning while they are off till May 1st which is about 6 weeks from now and almost to the end of the year.  I know many schools are under the same directives so many of you are at home with your children.  If you have sufficient bandwidth, you might want to use this time to help enrich your children's knowledge base.

Today, I'm going to share the names of several museums offering virtual tours so you can explore places you would never otherwise see.  I realize virtual is not the same as being there but it does offer opportunities for learning.

1.  The Louvre in Paris France.  This museum is known for the number of artworks the French people saved during World War II.  Since the Coronavirus has swept Europe, this is one of the museums offering virtual tours for everyone.  They offer a tour of the Egyptian Antiquities dating from the Pharaonic times.  There is also a virtual tour of the original moat of the Louvre.  The Louvre began as a fortress  in 1190 to help protect the city of Paris and you can see the original moat.  The final area is Galorie D'Apolleon whose ceiling has a painting of the Sun King or Louis XIV.

2. The Guggenheim Museum in New York City has an online collection of 625 artists 1700 works listed in a searchable database.  The museum has several collections one can access dating from the late 19th century to modern times.  In the information page, you can see which collections are found at the museums and examples of each collection so you can look at a specific artist.

3. The National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC is open virtually. You can check out the Degas (he drew the dancers in Paris), Raphael, and open air painting in Europe from 1780 to 1870.  In addition, there are collection highlights, online editions, family interactive activities, and teacher resources.

4.  The British Museum offers virtual tours via Google's Arts and Culture app while you can check out certain pieces of art online.  I put in Tudor into the search engine and got back sketches of people from that time and some bank notes but I got better results when I typed in Queen Elizabeth paintings.  You have to know what you want to find things but it is fun to explore.  This might be a place to look for certain artists.

5.  The National Museum of Natural History has quite a few virtual tours available to view. You can choose from permanent exhibits, current exhibits, past exhibits, and a few other tours.  These tours let you walk around the museum as if you were there but you don't have to leave your home.  If your kids like dinosaurs, check out the dinosaurs in the museum.

6. NASA offers two different tours, one for Langley in Virginia and the other explores the Glenn Research Center in Ohio.  If you saw the movie "Hidden Figures", you can explore the Katherine Johnson building named after the main character in the movie in Langley while there are 10 different virtual tours at Glenn center.  Have a great time exploring both, especially if you have someone into space.

7. The Vatican is also offering some great virtual tours including one of the Sistine Chapel. This site offers six different 360 degree tours of places like the Sistine Chapel, Raphaels rooms, Niccoline Chapel, the new wing and two other museums.  So much to explore, especially if you've never been there before.

There are so many more museums offering virtual tours and the ability to look at online collections during this time of crisis.  On Wednesday, I'll share some zoos that have opened virtually to everyone.  Let me know what you think, I'd love to hear.  Have a great day.

Friday, March 20, 2020

Traveling Without Leaving The House Including Photos.

Right now, the government has closed down restaurants, events, and even travel.  Italy has totally closed it borders while many countries have instituted a 14 day self isolation rule if you arrive from another country.  I decided I could still go places without leaving my living room.

I had someone take my picture in front of a green piece of cloth.  I actually had three pictures taken, one in a sweater, one in a t-shirt, and one in a tank top.  I then hopped over to to find photos of things I wanted as the background.  The photo you see in the above photo is of a temple in Indonesia.  I used iMovie to combine the two, added a title, and then took a screen shot.  At the end, I had a neat travel photos as if I'd actually been there.  This is really the best one I made.

This photo uses a background from Paris.  It's the Montmarte path and I used the picture of me with a sweater because it looks like fall and perfect for the photo.  Yes, my forehead is cut off but that is normal when my mother takes pictures so I figure it looks quite normal.

This is the final shot with a background of a volcanic eruption.  The shadow you see on my body is from the person who took my photo against the green cloth I hung over a wind.  Although, my head is cut off, I really enjoy it a lot.  I plan to try a few more and maybe I'll include them.

I want to go to so many places but with things the way they are, who knows what the future will bring.  In the meantime, I can travel in my mind and have a blast creating fake photos.  I am supposed to visit Australia, New Zealand, and Fiji this summer but I don't know if I'll be able to go.  So I"ll have fun in my imagination with these photos.

If you want to create your own photos, just follow the simple steps.
1.  Take a digital photo of yourself against something green.  It could be green cloth, or green paper, or even a green sheet.  Take a variety of photos, make sure you are in the middle of the frame.

2.  Open iMovie.

3.  Lay down the background by importing the background photo you want.

4.  Import the photo of yourself against the green background.  

5. Click on the two rectangles in the upper right quadrant.  This should bring a list down and you'll select green/blue screen to meld the two

6.  Add a title in the lower area.

7.  Start the video and pause it.

8.  Snap a screen shot of it and you are set.

I hope you have fun making your own travel photos.  You can do the same thing using the iMovie app.  The only difference is when you choose a photo, you'll see a + and ....  If you click on the ... you'll get a list of things including the green/blue screen and continue.

Let me know what you think, I'd love to hear.  Have a great weekend.

Wednesday, March 18, 2020

Only One - Make That Three Cases So Far But It Is Still Scary

Rabbit, Hare, Snowshoe, Bunny, Wildlife This Coronavirus is quite scary even here in Alaska.  I live in a village of 800 people that is one flight away from Nome or Anchorage.  Although there was only one confirmed case of the Coronavirus here in Alaska, it was a pilot who arrived on a cargo plan and promptly turned himself in.

Just the other night, two more people were diagnosed with the Coronavirus.  They got it when they were out of the state.  I fear there will be even more cases as people return from spring break because many left the state.   I have a co-worker who is currently in Hawaii with ten confirmed cases.  By the time you read this column, there will be more cases across the United States.

I think those of us in Alaska are just as worried as anyone else in regard to this virus because there are many things that are more difficult for us.  For instance, many villages have clinics manned by health aides.  If they have to test anyone for the virus, the sample will have to be flown by plane to Anchorage to a state lab and even then I don't know if they are set up for this.

Most of us order supplies from Target, Walmart, or Amazon and  they have to be sent to us via mail.  If you live in the bush that means the mail is sent via airplanes and not by truck because we don't have roads.  If the government closes down domestic travel, we might not get our supplies unless they allow cargo to operate.  If domestic flights are shut down within Alaska, that in and of itself would constitute a hardship for everyone in the bush.

This would mean people couldn't get to appointments at regional hospitals, medicines might not make it out since they have to be shipped by mail, supplies for stores arrive via plane, and our world is highly connected to planes.  For those of you in other places, you have stores you can get to.  You have hospitals somewhere fairly near and pharmacies you can head to if you need a refill.  Stores are able to arrange for deliveries from wholesalers via trucks but here?

I think it is the uncertainty of the future that has made it harder.  As a teacher, I know school has been cancelled till March 30 for the moment but each day I keep an eye out to find out if that is changing.  We talk about putting everything online but the reality is that we do not have enough internet because unlimited does not exist outside of major cities.  This means many students will not be able to use online videos and resources to keep up with classes.  I suspect we'll have to resort to packets and worksheets.

Am I scared of what is coming?  Both yes and no.  Yes because I don't know how far restrictions are going to go and no because things cannot be changed.  What will happen will happen.  I am scared I might not get out of town this summer to see my parents or family.  One conference I planned to attend has already be cancelled.

I'd love to hear how others are feeling about this.  Let me know what you think, I'd love to hear.  Have a great day.

Monday, March 16, 2020

The First Racers Arrived.

The town I am in is towards the end of the Iditarod race which started earlier in the month.  The first few racers arrived in town today on their way from Kaltag to Shaktoolik on their way to the finish line in Nome.

The first person arrived around 10 this morning, well ahead of other racers.  Thomas Wasmer, from Norway, arrived at 10:08 this morning and spent 5 hours giving his dogs a break before taking off.

He took off just before the second person arrived.  It is kind of interesting that they use a drone to keep an eye out for arriving team.  The spotter yells that the next team is coming and everyone anxiously stares at the horizon looking for them.

As soon as a team arrives, they park where they are directed to by officials.  The musher pulls off the doggy booties and several vets swarm to the team checking them.  They look at the paws, listen to their hearts, to make sure they are healthy.

One the physical is completed, the dogs are then fed and watered.  The musher sometimes eats at this point before heading off.  Once the musher has completed everything, they head off to the next checkpoint.

I popped down around 2 or so this afternoon to take pictures and enjoy watching some of the leaders arrive and head out.  This is a huge event in town.  A bunch of us wandered down to check things out.  Yes we had fewer than 50 people gathering but honestly, we don't believe the virus has any chance of arriving until after everyone comes back from spring break because many went to other states with outbreaks.

This is one of the first mushers heading off to the next checkpoint.

He is off to Shaktoolik.

 He is heading down the slew, ready to go under the bridge and then out to the trail.
This team just came in and are being parked.

I thought I'd share a few pictures of the mushers on the Iditarod trail as they head towards Nome.  I hope you enjoyed it.  Let me know what you think, I'd love to hear.  Have a great day.

Friday, March 13, 2020

2020 Ice Carving Championships

 It is the time of the year again when people come from all over the world to create award winning ice sculptures.  People came from China, Monaco, Russia, Iceland, Ireland, and so many other places.

Competitors are giving a specific amount of time to create their finished product but it depends on how many blocks, how complex the design is, and a couple of other things.  A sculpture that involves one block of ice is given three days to finish.

Judges usually come in after 9 PM to judge each sculpture using only white light.  The colored lights that make the sculptures more interesting are not added until after judging.

The place keeps barrels of water around to be used to put pieces together.  It acts like glue.  All the pieces were finished and judged by March 3rd.

The sculptures are usually available till the end of March unless the temperature warms enough to cause the structures to melt but it is recommended people view them by mid March.  One reason the competition is in Fairbanks Alaska is that there are a couple of ponds which produce clear ice.

It is amazing how these artists take a vision as they see it in their minds and transform it into a three dimensional shape that is big.  Some of these structures are like 15 to 20 feet long and 8 feet or more tall.  I wish you could see them in person as they are so awesome.  I hope you like some of the creations I've included with you.

I love the guitar with its beautiful wings. 
 This one had not been judged yet.  You can tell because it has no colored lights.
This beautiful lady is so alive.  I don't know if that is a child she is holding but she looks as if she is caught in mid movement.

The sign indicating it is 

Notice the detail on this sculpture.  It is fantastic.

This carving has already been judged and its lights applied so you can read all the words and see the decorations carved into it.

 The last picture is crazy.  The eye looks as if it is staring at you .  I love going to visit the Ice Carvings because they are so different every year and so many seem alive.  I hope you enjoyed looking at the pictures.  Let me know what you think, I'd love to hear.  Have a great day.

Wednesday, March 11, 2020

The Serum Run 2020

 The Serum Run is a recreation of the original serum run carried out in 1925.  It was this run that inspired the world renown Iditarod race.

In case you didn't know, the serum run happened when diphtheria spread throughout Nome out on the Bering Sea back in 1925.  Although there was plane service, authorities were not sure planes were reliable.  Instead, they relied on 20 teams of dog sleds to carry the anti-toxin from Nenana, near Fairbanks, to Nome.

It took them six days to cover the 674 miles of countryside in one of the worst winters on record.  Nome needed the serum or over 100 percent of the population could die from it.

The dog-sleds used the same route the United States Postal Service used to transport mail with their dog-sleds but it usually took them 25 days to complete the run.  The 20 teams spread themselves out along the route because the serum had to be there in no more than six days or it would loose its efficacy.

The serum left Nenana and they went through extreme cold, blizzards, snow, and horrible weather to get the serum there.  The driver on the second to last leg made a calculated risk to go across the unstable ice on the Norton sound.  By doing this he cut time off the trip so he could hand off the serum to the final driver who got it to Nome about a half day before it expired.

To commemorate the 95th anniversary of the original run, a bunch of people decided to run the whole train from Nenana to Nome.  The teams left Nenana on February 22, 2020, planning to cover 30 to 50 miles each day.  They hope to arrive in Nome on March 10th and so far it looks like they are on track.

This group is not traveling straight through.  They stop off and spend the night in various villages so they can conduct clinics to vaccinate dogs, show a mushing movie, or hanging signs and doing trail work.  They arrived in our village this past Friday night, showed the video, and got to spend the night in the teachers lounge because that was the only room available.

I didn't know they were there until I walked in to retrieve my coat, (my room was filled with students so I couldn't go in there) and there they were.  I wasn't the only one who wandered in but they hadn't settled down for the night.  The next day, I stopped in and took a couple of pictures of a few of the dogs parked behind the school.

In addition to the mushers and their sled-teams, there were quite a few snow machines to provide support.  One person had already been hurt when a snow machine ran into her on the trail.  She ended up with a broken leg and couldn't finish the run.  Someone got her dogs into Nome where she is from. Many of the people involved have done the Iditarod while another is using this run as part of his thesis for his Master's. Along the way, they've talked to decedents of the men who made the original run.

It is said the 1925 event inspired the Iditarod which allows dog-sled teams to run from Anchorage to Nome in late February or early March.  The people behind the Iditarod began to push for this race as a way to preserve trails in the bush of Alaska and to preserve dog-sledding because people were switching to snow machines and snow machines are not as reliable as dogs.

Officially, the Iditarod began this past Saturday at 10 AM.  One mushers had to withdraw due to health issues so her husband replaced here and hopefully, the mushers will hit here in another week or so.  I plan to take pictures and share them with you once the mushers have gotten here.  So let me know what you think, I'd love to hear.  Have a great day.

Monday, March 9, 2020

No Bands, Just Dancing.

In the rural part of Alaska, we don't have marching bands.  We don't usually have cheerleaders at this time of the year because most play basketball.  We do have half time entertainment but not the usual marching band or band music.  Let me explain the local event and then I'll explain in more detail about halftime.

 For the last week, my school has hosted the 1A regional basketball tournament to determine which schools would be heading to state to play against others across the state.

There were over 250 students and coaches staying in just about every room in the school. Furthermore, family members came in and stayed with friends, family, and with anyone they could. so they could watch their children play.

Games ran from 9 am to 11 or midnight every day beginning last Monday.  I know how long the games went because I kept books for many of the evening games.

Saturday, they changed things up.  In the morning, there was some sort of clinic so the participants could refine their skills.  In the evening they had a boys and girls competition showing how well they could handle the ball, dribble, sink the ball in a lay-up, elbow, and free throw positions.

I don't know who won because I didn't stay to the end of the night.  I was tired but I did stay long enough  for the half time show.  The half time entertainment show, happened every night during all the evening games.
 When the buzzer rings and the teams head off for their half time meetings, men swarm down from the stands, grab chairs, drums, and sticks.  They form a line toward the back of the floor.

You can see some in the picture to the left, towards the back.  They begin playing the drums while singing in the local language which might be Inupiaq, or Yupik.

Students came down from the stands to begin dancing.  It began with a few, and then more and more joined until there were a bunch of people on the floor.

The girls always dance behind and are more sedate, even during the second time through when the men sing louder and drum harder.  The boys are in the front, with their stronger movements, and they are likely to move, squat, and become quite involved in the story being told by the dance.

Every dance tells a story.  Some songs tell about hunting, or berry picking, or basketball, or taking care of children.  I've even done one about chewing tobacco.

You don't have to know the language to dance.  You just have to follow someone who knows the dance.  They don't frown at you trying. You don't have to be perfect, you just have to try and enjoy yourself.

Yes, having dances are quite traditional to the point that many villages host dance festivals in the spring.  Bethel, Alaska hosts one of the largest festivals with dancers coming from all over Alaska and sometimes from other parts of the world.

This is part of the life in rural Alaska.  I'll be sharing information and a couple pictures on the Serum run which is not the Iditarod itself but a replication of the run that inspired the Iditarod.  I hope you have a great day.  Check back on Wednesday for the more on the Serum run and Friday I'll be sharing some photos of the annual ice festival held in Fairbanks.  Let me know what you think, I'd love to hear.

Friday, March 6, 2020

Daylight Saving Time Begins This Weekend.

Time, Time Management, Stopwatch Unless you are fortunate to live in one of the few places that does not follow Daylight Savings time, you will have to make sure all clocks are moved forward one hour.  I realize that most people rely on digital devices for discovering the time so they don't have to worry about resetting those but if you have a clock on your stove you might have to change those.

We know the idea has been around a very long time but it hasn't been used regularly until the 20th century.  Even over the past century, the rules for when it commenced and ended changed according to the rules implemented by the government among others.

According to resources I've read, Benjamin Franklin is the one who came up with the idea when he lived in Paris as the American Ambassador.  His idea simply said that people would use less energy during summer months if they had one more hour of sunlight during the evening.  It didn't take off until World War I when Germany implemented it as a way of saving energy.  Others in Europe followed and finally the United States adopted it in 1918 but ended it when World War I ended.

The United States reinstated Daylight Savings time during World War II but this time they called it "War Time" and the country stayed on it year round. Once the war ended, states, cities and towns had the option to follow Daylight Savings time if they so chose.  Due to the chaos this created, the United States Government finally created the "Uniform Act" of 1966 that required any state following Daylight Savings time to begin it the first Sunday of April and end it the last Sunday of October.

In 2007, the government changed the rules again to begin Daylight Savings time the second Sunday of March and ending the first Sunday of November which is why it didn't start till March 8th this year instead of the first.  There are at least two states that do not participate and other states working to become exempted.

There are a few things about going on Daylight savings time we don't think about because they may not effect us directly.  For instance, television ratings tend to drop in the spring just after it goes into effect.  This has to do with the amount of light available and the changing temperatures.  During winter, people are more likely to come home, switch the television on and enjoy watching an evening of programming but when the clocks change, these same people are more likely to run errands or enjoy outdoor activities.  One study showed that television shows lost 10 percent of their viewers on the Monday night right after the change.

On the other hand, both the bbq and golf industries love the change because the extra evening daylight means more people are out golfing or having barbecues so the industries are making more money.  In fact, the candy makers also love it because the additional sunlight, even in October, allows children to be out a bit longer collecting candy.  More light + more children = more candy given out.

Research has also discovered that SAT scores can drop immediately after the time change because it messes with teen-agers sleep patterns so they get less sleep.  They found there is a 2 percent decrease in scores at this time of the year.  It has also been found that people are more likely to have more accidents, more heart attacks, and more cluster headaches.

In addition, one reason given for using Daylight Savings time is that it saves energy.  According to a study done by the Department of Transportation, Daylight Savings time results in a one percent savings of energy every day but according to another study done by the University of California, people use between one to four percent more electrical power during this period of time.

Personally, I hate Daylight Savings time because I live in Alaska and by the time we go on it, we already have a nice amount of day light.  It really doesn't make any difference up here.  Let me know what you think, I'd love to hear.  Have a great day.

Wednesday, March 4, 2020

First Fashion Houses, First Fashion Designers.

Women, Jetty, Lake, Pier, FashionFashion is a big thing with the various houses, the fashion weeks, the frenzy, and all the things associated with it.  Of course many of us end up relying on off the rack from Target or Walmart because we don't have the funds for the more expensive things.

Have you ever wondered where the houses, the shows, and the designers came from, how they evolved?  I have because I'm interested in history in general.  I am not the most fashion conscious due to living where it is super cold and many of those wonderful outfits don't keep you warm at -58 including the wind chill factor.

John Redfern, an English tailor is credited with building the first fashion house.  He opened his first establishment in 1850 on the Isle of Wright.  Although he trained as a tailor, he began by opening a drapers place.  In case you don't know, a drapers establishment sold fabrics and notions to others, kind of like Joann's or Hancocks without all the crafty stuff.

About 20 years later, he started offering garments made out of silk and women's outfits for mourning. As time passed, he added yachting outfits and other creations for women since the Isle of Wright was the center of yachting activity.  This lead to him being classified as the first designer of tailored women's clothing.  In opposition to another leading designer of the time, he set up establishments near his clients so he'd be closer to them, rather than having them come to him.

Eventually, he had two fashion houses in New York City and one each in London and Paris.  By 1882, He became Tailor by Appointment for the Princess of Wales and within three years, he was also Tailor by Appointment for both Queen Victoria and Queen Emma from the Netherlands.  John Redfern considered himself a ladies tailor and he had it printed on all his advertisements.  Many of his tailored outfits appeared in Harpers Bazaar Magazine.

When his sons took over the business in 1892, they expanded beyond the tailored look into general garments and turned their Paris location into a full service couture house.  Their other houses carried their Paris creations and continued doing local tailoring.  Unfortunately, the houses went out of business by 1940.

One of Redfern's major competitors was Charles Worth whose name says it all.  Charles Worth was born about the same time as Redfern in England.  He apprenticed with two different textile manufactures so he learned all about fabrics.  At the same time, he spent time in museums checking out historical portraits to learn more about fashion.  Eventually, he moved to Paris in 1835, where he landed a job with a textile company as a salesman.  He soon convinced his boss to allow him to open a small dressmaking department with himself as lead dressmaker.

He created prize winning styles for the Great Exhibit in London in 1851 and the Exposition Universalle in Paris in 1855 and this lead to him opening his own firm in 1855.  He opened his establishment at the same time as Napoleon III came into power, married, and his wife patronized the House of Worth.  Worth was known for known for his use of luxury fabrics and trimmings with historical detail, and his attention to detail.

He promoted himself as the best out there, designing for Sarah Bernhardt, Lillie Langtree and many others of the time.  He insisted that his customers come to him in Paris if they wanted his clothing.  As he aged, his sons took over the business , continuing to produce world class fashions until 1952 when his great-grandson retired from the business.

Most of us have heard of Charles Worth with his Worth gowns but few of us have heard of Redfern.  I don't know who was really the first designer with the first fashion house but either way, they both created a new way for women to have fashion.  Let me know what you think, I'd love to hear.  Have a good day.

Monday, March 2, 2020

Fashion Trends of 2020

Girl, Fashion, Makeup, Beauty, Model When I was growing up, I remember my father commenting that fashions cycle.  In other words, a style that was popular in the 1920's might reappear in the 1960's with a fresh twist but the basic line was the same.

It appears there are elements of styles from the 1960's 70's and 80's making a comeback in this year with a twist to make them modern.

From the 1960's we will see psychedelic floral patterned materials to give them a cool look.  The floral patterns are being made with bright, vibrant colors and the edges are smudges so the flowers look more abstract.  If you look at pictures of fashion from the swinging scene of the 1960's, you'll see psychedelic patterns showing up in everything from daily dresses to airline uniforms.

In addition, straw bags are making a come back.  They are considered the perfect match up with jeans and tank tops during the summer so you'll see them worn everywhere rather than just remaining in the beach.  You'll also see crocheted pieces showing up in everything from beach wear to being worn over t-shirts.  I saw several brand name Australian bathing suits made out of crochet so they had that retro look.  Just one piece of advice, please make sure your crocheted piece is lined so nothing peaks out for the public to see.

Fast forwarding to the 1970's, the denim skirt is back in fashion matched up with knee high boots, t-shirts covered by a regular button down shirt.  You might want to check a relative's closet to see if they have any denim skirts in their closet you can steal.  Furthermore, denim jeans have moved to being more flared than they have been recently.

Collars have become larger and more pointed to show better over the layers of sweaters and jackets.  In stead of wearing the regular t-shirt, replace them with the skinny ribbed shirts that are more fitted and look so much sleeker.  These ribbed shirts often have contrasting collars or details creating a statement about the wearer. To complete this outfit, look for bags that are retro in nature with geometric cutouts, suede, stripes, or woven.

From the 1980's they are grabbing some of the more flashy elements.  Combine polka-dots with solids or mix the polka dots with stripes or even zebra stripes depending on how daring you are.  In addition, suits have that flowing look rather than being formal and stiff.  The suits are large and not fitted.  Rather than wearing a button down dress shirt, wear a t-shirt and finish the suit off with a pair of sneakers to complete the relaxed look. One last change for fashion is adding in micro mini's and hot pants for those hot summer nights.

Remember, these are the trends seen in the most famous fashion shows but you can take the basic trends and make them yours.  In regard to the polka dots, look for something that is you and match it to the solid colored pants or skirt to make your statement.  I seldom like the fashions I see on the walkway but I do mix and match things to create the look I like.

Let me know what you think, I'd love to hear. Have a great day.