Sue Spitulnik

Flash Fiction and personal thoughts



Pantyhose — Hurray

I am old enough that when I started wearing stockings they were held up with a garter belt. Nothing worse, except maybe a corset, which thankfully I never had to wear. A garter belt was on my dislike list because it often twisted, rode up my back, or showed beneath my skirts. Ugh! When panty hose came out they were a God-send though I can’t say they didn’t run as easily as the pair of stockings. I’m sure with today’s modern technology they could make a pair of stockings that don’t run, but then they wouldn’t sell as many so I doubt that will happen.  Continue reading “Pantyhose — Hurray”

Protect Your Ears

After a day of ice skating in the cold, 15-year-old Chester Greenwood came up with an idea to keep his big ears warm. Partnering with his grandmother who sewed tufts of fur between loops of wire, Chester soon had a working model of earmuffs. On March 13, 1877, he was awarded a patent. He was a prolific inventor, but this is the invention he is most known for. For almost 60 years, Greenwood manufactured these ear protectors, which provided jobs for the people in the Farmington, Maine area which is now known as the “Earmuff Capital of the World.” [courtesy National Day of Calendar] Continue reading “Protect Your Ears”

Warm Feet

National Sock Day was declared to celebrate matching socks. The calendar says if a pair can stay together through washing, drying and sorting it is a magical thing and worthy of note. I think it has more to do with the human that takes them off rather than any magic, but I do know some people who need magic to have it happen. Continue reading “Warm Feet”

The picture for today makes me laugh. Check out the looks on the people’s faces on the right hand side. They seem to be astonished the people on the left are in their underwear. Since I was a little kid I have wondered why it’s wrong to be seen in your underwear when it usually covers more than a bathing suit does. Now imagine the people on the left to be in bright-colored bathing suits and you’ll understand what I mean. Sometimes bathing suits are even skimpier. Oh well. Continue reading

Where Did It Go?

It’s National Lost Sock Memorial Day. How many individual socks do you have sitting on top of your dresser? They lie there waiting, in hopes their partner will be found hidden in a folded sheet, or in a dusty ball under the bed.

My husband has a few and I do to. It’s funny, because I buy the same brand of sock for him year after year. He has brown ones and black ones. I can only tell them apart by the hue of color according to the age of the sock. Which means, they could be matched with each other at most times, but yet, I still have these poor single socks with no mate.

According to the National Day of Calendar, this day is thee day to throw out the single socks and have a little memorial for them. It also suggests you could use them as dust rags, or make hand puppets out of them. I remember making hand puppets when I was a kid. We got out my mother’s button box and found just the right button for the eyes, and nose. Do kids even do that today?

I have a special young man in my life that is a sports reporter. He wears mismatched socks on purpose because he says it’s a good ice-breaker or conversation starter when he’s out in public. I can’t say as I’ve ever seen it do anything but get weird looks from people. My grandson also wears mismatched socks, but he has a better reason. “Grandma, I just pick the first two out of the drawer that I can reach.” Maybe it’s because his mom doesn’t take the time to match them. Either way, it is his form of personal self expression.

If you don’t do it today, the next time you do laundry, give each one of those single socks a little kiss and toss them in the trash. By now you should know the other half of the pair is not going to show back up. Maybe they are in washer or dryer heaven.

Get The Clothespins

It’s National Hanging out day. The title got me. I expected to have to explain spending time doing nothing with a friend. Instead, I get to remember how my mother taught me how to hang out the laundry.

We had two clothes lines in our back yard when I was growing up. One ran from the barn to the back of the house and the other from the back of the house to the corner of the side porch. Underwear was always hung on the latter one so it couldn’t be seen from the street or the parking lot next door. Underwear was still unmentionables in the ’50’s and ’60’s. The other line was for sheets, towels, and regular clothing. That line also got more sunshine. Sheets hung  in the sun and breeze felt and smelled good when you put them back on the bed, but they were stiff.

I can say if I hung laundry like the picture shows I would have been reprimanded. We had a clothespin bag you could hang over the line by its hook and push it along as you took out a pin. If hanging wash cloths, you would secure the corner of two wash cloths under one pin, pull the cloth our straight, then add another. If all the wash hung in one layer it would dry faster. I liked the snap clothespins better than the push on type. You youngsters might have to google images of clothespins to see the difference.

My sisters still have clothes lines. They live on “back” roads outside of their respective towns. I live in the city suburbs and have heard the town frowns on clothes hanging out.  I have some neighbors that do it, all over the age of 75. I have succumbed to the easy way of laundry, the clean wet clothes and sheets go right into the dryer that sits next to the washer. They don’t smell fresh when they are dry, just hot. And no, I don’t use scented dryer sheets like you might suggest because I’m not into chemical fake smells. Some parts of me are pretty fussy.

When my son was an infant I used cloth diapers (Jeez, I’m old!) and we didn’t have a dryer. I would hang those diapers out in the wind, freezing temperatures and standing in the snow. He was born in February. When I would take them inside they would be frozen stiff, but when they thawed out, naturally, I would shake them, smell the freshness, and fold them with love. It was a good time in my life. Pampers or Huggies were available in the early ’70’s, but were only used on vacation or for the babysitter. How times have changed.

When I go for a drive and see laundry hanging out, I admire the person that took the time to do it and remember my younger years.



It’s National Dress Day. The calendar says to recognize the day by remembering your favorite dresses and the events you wore them for and/or post a picture of you in one.

I’ll give away my age by admitting when I was in school, girls had to wear dresses or skirts. My senior class held a sit-in to have the rules changed so girls could wear pants to school. It certainly makes sense for students to wait for the bus in pants instead of skirts during the winter months, but the sad part is, unless you work in an office, so few ladies wear dresses anymore, we have lost some of our femininity. My husband, in recent years, has made the comment, “Wow, I’d forgotten you had legs.”

I love TV shows and movies that showcase the beautiful clothing once worn; Downton Abbey, Victoria, and My Fair Lady are some examples. I happen to believe women’s clothing styles have evolved backwards. In the old days we should have worn pants and t-shirts because they are easier to take care of. Now days, when we have all the modern tools and techniques, we should be wearing the frills and hoops of the 1800’s. Please don’t throw a tomato at me, I know we wouldn’t be comfortable, but we sure would look good! Now that I think about it; can you imagine trying to drive to the grocery store in a long full skirt. I guess I need to rethink my fantasy.

When I was younger, I loved to get dolled up in a dress and heels. Then the back gave out on me. I have worn nothing but sneakers or flats since 2000. I feel silly in a dress with my ugly shoes. Oh well, better to be comfortable. I also remember, way back in grade-school, waiting years to grow into a dress my older sister had worn. When I finally did, it was so out of style, my class-mates laughed at me, but I didn’t care at the time, it was my sister’s dress and I loved it.

I love to drive by a church in the inner city as the service lets out just to admire the ladies’ outfits. They still know how to dress to praise the Lord. And their hats add something special. I wish I knew where they shopped.




Buttons, Buttons

Do you remember your grandmother or your mother snipping the buttons off shirts that were headed for the rag basket and then collecting them in jars? Maybe you even played games or strung them for ornaments and crafts.  The buttons were fun to stack into piles, sort by color or size, or scatter/slide across the floor or table making up different games each time.

My mother had a tin of buttons; we called it the button box. And yes, my friends and I got it out every so often and sorted through it just like the above paragraph says. I remember a set of four little blue bows made out of plastic that were buttons. They were so pretty, but I never found a use for them. There were also coat buttons, a couple of buckles that had been saved from  belts, and lots of little white buttons off men’s shirts. To this day I still cut the buttons off of shirts I am discarding, or off clothing I am making a memory quilt out of.  I can’t help myself, they may come in handy some day. Most of the clothing I buy has an extra button attached in case I lose one. I keep each one of those buttons in a specific drawer in a jewelry box my grandson gave me. I have even used one of them once. They are pretty to look at all jumbled up together in a pile and I can picture each piece of clothing they belong to.

When my husband gets dressed in the morning he often grumbles about the size of the buttons on his shirt collar and cuffs. I often remark I don’t know why, with men as top fashion designers, they don’t effect a change in the size of those little tiny buttons. Sometimes I button them for him and I have trouble with them; I’m sure the public would accept the change graciously.

My mother died forty-six years ago today. At the time I didn’t know it was National Button Day. I still think almost daily of the part she played in my life. Now I’ll think of her every time I see a fascinating button or any kind of button for that matter. She would love the fact buttons are now used on purses and as quilt decorations, not just on clothing.




National Thrift Shop Day

I know someone who would never dream of wearing another person’s cast off clothes (because of germs.)  My feeling is if you give them a good wash, your body will never know the difference and your wallet will be happier.

I am jealous of the woman who can eat all day, and not gain any weight; or the one who no matter what she puts on, looks great.  I don’t fit in either category, and I like to eat.  Therefore, when I go to a thrift shop, the clothes that have the best selection are the size I have grown out of.  I didn’t get the exercise gene either.  I need to learn portion control, but what fun is that.  I am also short, so finding a pair of pants or dress that I don’t have to hem is almost unheard of.  The result is, I really don’t enjoy shopping.

In my locale we have Goodwill stores and multiple privately owned thrift stores.  We even have one that caters to the crafting crowd whose proceeds go to help local senior citizens.  I know some people who buy all their business clothes in thrift stores so they can afford to have more outfits to wear.  They are mostly those thin ladies I find irritating.  They are also the ones who stop at the second-hand shops on a weekly basis to make sure they don’t miss something good.

Last summer I bought a beautiful needle felted sweater at a craft show.  I was told the original sweater came from a thrift store.  It’s a beautiful maroon and has a huge dragon fly and flowers on the back.  I wear it proudly.  I also have a couple of blouses that I always get compliments on, an old leather coat that is going raggy on the cuffs, and a “new” one waiting for this winter; they are my “finds” from second-hand shops.

Every once in a while I get into a sewing project that requires nylon, leather, or silk.  Rather than try to find new pieces of fabric I go to the thrift store and buy something inexpensive that I can cut up then put the remains in my rag bag to wait for the next idea to strike.

If you are looking for bargains in the clothing or household area, visit your local thrift shop.  You may find an unexpected treasure.

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