Doll Downsizing and Lasagna for Everyone!

Dolls in My Collection

Dolls of many nations convene in my home!

These photos were not easy to take.  Have you tried getting strong willed dolls to say “cheese” in  twenty different languages?

My great-aunt brought me dolls from her trips to Europe when I was a  girl.  My mom found dolls for me at the New York World’s Fair (1964-65).   I’ve picked up dolls on my own travels, and friends who know I love dolls have given me some too.

The photos represent about half of my collection.

The D word pops up again!  Downsizing of my doll population.

Who gets to stay?

When I started downsizing, I read some advice in Sue Patton Thoele’s The Mindful Woman: “Really see the stuff you’ve accumulated.  Keep only what you need and love.”

“Keep only what you need and love” has been my guiding  mantra.

The couple below is staying for sure. My aunt brought them to me from Italy, around 1960.  I can look into their faces and be six years old again. I remember holding them. Admiring their clothes. Setting them up on my painted bookcase.


When Healthy Choice invited me to try their baked entrees, I let my Italian doll friends have a taste of the lasagna.

Delizioso! they proclaimed.

I thought the lasagna was quite good too. And with so many dolls to take care of, I love having  foods that are quick to make. The dish is low in calorie. My dolls don’t seem concerned with calories, but I am.

Read more about all the Healthy Choice Baked Entrees here.


Healthy Choice Lasagna


As for the rest of my international doll collection…

Dolls are not easy to say goodbye to.  They have personalities. They gaze up at you. They seem to know what you’re thinking, even if you don’t speak the same language.

I read an article on de-cluttering that said if you have to stop to question keeping an item, that means it needs to go.


My downsizing rules state the opposite.

If I’m in doubt, I mull.  A few days later, if I’m still feeling sad about giving up an item, I keep it. Maybe not forever but for now.

So along with my beloved Italian couple, the rest of the dolls are staying.

Lots of mouths to feed.

Lasagne per tutti!

More Dolls

Dolls Encore!

Dolls and Dolls

Small Dolls

Disclosure: I’m participating in a Vibrant Influencer Network Healthy Choice campaign. They sent me coupons for Healthy Choice Baked Entrees and payment in exchange for my honest opinions about the product. All opinions are my own and were not influenced, nor reviewed, by Healthy Choice prior to posting.


Memory, Menopause

The Lost Toys: Baby Sue and a Canvas Print Giveaway

Am I the only one who wonders about her lost toys?

The doll in the picture is Baby Sue. She was the first baby doll I remember.

I loved her so much I gave her baths, slept with her, took her on baby carriage rides, and washed and ironed, with my mom’s help, her clothes.

I still remember how flexible she was, with bendable rubber legs and arms; the intent expression in her eyes; and the the way her painted on brown hair never got mussed up.

So why did I abandon her?

I know I moved on to fancier dolls: Chatty Cathy, Tiny Tears, Kissy, Barbie, and a nutty doll named Shrinking Violette.

And my mom, like most moms, was anxious to clear out, to share our old toys with kids who needed them.

But in recent years, I’ve thought about Baby Sue more and more.

At best, she’s in someone’s collection somewhere. I don’t like to think of the worst.

At least I have this picture!

And when Easy Canvas Prints approached me about a free canvas for me and one as a giveaway, it was an easy choice whose picture was going on that canvas.

I miss you Baby Sue!

What about you?

What toys would you love to have back  again?

Giveaway:  The good folks at Easy Canvas Prints are offering  a reader a free10 by 8 canvas print. To enter the giveaway, please leave a comment saying you’d like to win (by September 3 at noon E.S.T.)  Due to shipping costs, the winner must live in the continental U.S.

Need any cool signs. check out their other sites: Signs on the Cheap,  Banners on the Cheap,  and Magnets on the Cheap.

Here’s the portrait  that Easy Canvas made for me. I love it!  Of course yours doesn’t need to go on a shelf. They’re great for walls, too.  (It looks even better in real life. The photo I posted below doesn’t pick up the texture of the actual canvas.)



The Think Quick Forever Love List: A Game for Menopause and Other Occasions

Think quick!  Name as fast as you can, in random order, ten things you have loved since you were two (or so):

1. Dolls

2. Pretzels

3. My mother and father

4. Peter Rabbit and Tom Kitten

5. Icing (on cakes, cookies, spoons, beaters, and in the middle of an Oreo)

6. Coca-cola

7. Raincoats, umbrellas, and shiny boots

8. The beach (early days spent in Ocean City, Maryland)

9.  Lying flat on my back in green grass

10.  Flannel pajamas and  nightgowns, especially brand new ones

Mine’s not an overly creative or unique list, but I played by the rules and wrote it fast.  And don’t forget, you have to list things you have loved ALL your life, as far back as you can recall.

If you’re sad or angry or confused or if menopause is getting you down, make your list!  Focusing on what you have always loved will remind you that you’re still in the game, loving still, never stopping.

After you make your list, write it on your heart but POST it on your refrigerator and your Facebook page. Give those who love you the chance to bring you a bag of pretzels, a pin for your doll, a photo she took years ago of your dad, or whatever is on your very own Think Quick Forever Love List.

In a group setting, this game makes a fun ice breaker and also works nicely for the beach vacation when conversation is running slow after five days. (Cold beer helps motivate the players.  Substitute fudge if you aren’t a drinker.)  Share your lists and analyze away. Be nice though.

Photos:  The dolls are Kathy (on the left) and Bunny, two favorites from childhood.  Kathy is the naugty one. She’d even sneak my mother’s cigarettes.  Bunny is her sidekick.  The pretzels are brand new. Cliff loves them too. Open a bag and the Pretzel Eating Race is on!