Princess Diana review contains affiliate links
royalty reading challenge

Today we have a guest poster for the royalty reading challenge, my aunt Elaine. She is reviewing Diana, by Sarah Bradford.

I chose to read and review “Diana” by Sarah Bradford for a very practical reason. I wanted to find a book on royalty without leaving the senior housing building in which I live, because at the beginning of March, it was still snowy and slick outside and I didn’t want to walk on that ice and snow. When I went down to the library, this was one of two books about royalty on the shelves. The other was about a queen about whom I knew nothing and in whom I had no interest. So, “Diana” it was.

I don’t recall when I first became interested in Diana as a person. Since I was in a very remote part of Africa at the time of her wedding, I know it was some time after that. I returned to the U.S. near the end of 1988, but I’m sure that Diana was far from a priority to me then because of the stressful situation in which I lived at the time.

Since my niece had such interest in royalty, particularly British royalty, I rather imagine that she introduced me to Diana and the other major players in the ongoing saga of life among the members of the British royalty. But I don’t recall exactly when that came about.

I must say, I found this book a bit difficult to read for several reasons. First of all, the author is British and as such used vocabulary with which I was unfamiliar. Secondly, either she alone, or all British authors used a different system for quotation marks than we use in the U.S. For a direct quote, she uses a single quotation mark. For a quote within a quote, she uses double quotation marks – just the reverse of us Americans. Maybe this is typical of all British authors. But as a proofreader, I found myself mentally correcting this each time I read it, which, as you can imagine, was often. She also went to great lengths to prove the heritage of the main characters in the book. Perhaps this would have been interesting to those in the United Kingdom, but I found it very uninteresting.

How can I possibly summarize a book of 443 pages (although admittedly the last 75 or so were reference pages) on one short page? I can’t do it justice, so I will simply hit the highpoints.

* I found myself thinking repeatedly that Diana was set up for failure, perhaps not deliberately, by the royal family. Why couldn’t they understand the need to give her guidance or an orientation of some kind to life in the royal family? Particularly because she was only a teenager when she entered life as “a royal.”

* I feel sorrowful when I think of the pain with which Diana lived throughout her life, first through the rejection of her mother when she moved away from the family at the time Diana was a child, and later by Prince Charles’s rejection. It seems to me that Princess Di never really knew true happiness.

* While I soon came to understand the adultery involved in this marriage, at first primarily by Prince Charles, and later by Diana, I had no idea how pervasive it was until reading this book.

* Of all the put-downs Charles managed to effectively hand Diana, other than his ongoing relationship with Camilla throughout the time he and Diana were married, I would think the ultimate putdown was his unwillingness to allow her to care for him after his accident while playing polo, and his departure into the care of Camilla. What a slap in the face that must have been!

* One of my favorite quotes: The Queen loved what she [Diana] provided for the royal family – all the prestige, but Charles became increasingly jealous of her. “Their storybook marriage had become a night-time soap opera, Palace Dallas.”

* I was surprised to learn that both Charles and Diana were lacking in emotional maturity. For much of her life following the storybook marriage, it seems to me that the media wanted us to believe that the problems were all Diana’s, other than the ongoing adulterous relationship Charles pursued with Camilla. But I learned that he had many of his own insecurities.

* I ache for the pain inflicted on their sons by Charles and Diana’s infidelity and lack of harmony. One of the most poignant passages in the book, other than the chapter on her death and the events following it, was one telling of the effect the lack of harmony had on Prince William and Prince Harry. Reading that Diana sat sobbing in the bathroom with Prince William pushing tissues under the door to her, wrings my heart. And to read that Prince Harry pounded on his dad’s legs, saying, “I hate you. I hate you. You make Mummy cry.” How heart wrenching is that? It’s hard to understand how these young men could be anything like “normal,” whatever that may be, and yet William at least seems to have a very good grasp of life, and a very positive relationship with his wife, Catherine.

* Apparently Diana searched for peace in all the wrong places. She tried several religions, without success, but there is no indication that she ever sought peace in Jesus Christ.

Princess Diana Charles wedding balcony

I well remember the evening of the fatal accident. I was folding clothes in my condo when the news of Diana’s accident scrolled across the bottom of the television screen. Knowing my niece, Susan, was such a great fan of Diana’s, I called her, getting her out of bed to tell her. How sad those events were!

I watched in amazement as the world, and particularly those living in the United Kingdom, mourned the death of “the People’s Princess.” And I couldn’t stop the tears from flowing as I watched Diana’s young sons, accompanied by their father; their grandfather, Prince Philip; and their uncle, Charles Spencer, walk behind the flower- and flag-covered casket. Among the bouquets on the casket, the most poignant one was the arrangement that had a card attached with one word written in childish scrawl, “Mummy.”

Having lived in a third-world country previously, I could only think of how much good could have been done with all the money that was spent on flowers. I had forgotten, but was reminded in the book, that as the hearse carried Diana’s body out of the city of London so many flowers were thrown that the driver was forced to use his “windscreen” wipers to clear his line of vision.

Unhappy and miserable in life, is she also unhappy and miserable in death? We have no indication that Diana ever turned to the Prince of Peace who could have provided that which she sought throughout her lifetime.

Thanks, Elaine, for an insightful look at one of my favorite royals.

Thanks to Crave for a brush to review. All opinions my own.

With four women in the household, we use quite a few brushes. And with long hair, it’s important to use a brush that is comfortable with hair prone to tangling. So, I was excited to review Crave Natural’s Detangling Brush.

Crave Detangling BrushWhen my brush arrived, I ran it through my hair and immediately noticed how good it felt. Yes — it felt good to brush my hair. The way the bristles are arranged make them feel like they were massaging my scalp. It was really relaxing, and it felt great!

I was destined not to keep the brush, though — all the girls were interested in it. I may just have to invest in a few more, because they feel so good, and went through my hair without any snagging. I didn’t hear any complaints from the girls, either, and they all have hair much longer than mine.

Crave Detangling Brush

The Crave Detangling Brush smooths the cuticle layer of hair, making it smooth, vibrant, and shiny. It’s easy to clean, and can be used on all hair types — even extensions. The bright color makes it fun for kids and teens. The short handle is a bit different, but I got used to it quickly.

I think this would be a fun gift for a tween or teen — maybe something different from candy for the Easter basket …

royalty reading challengeMarch has come to an end, and that means it’s time to wrap up the Royalty Reading Challenge. This month, I read The Diana Chronicles, reviewed here, and also Prince William, Born to Be King, by Penny Junor.

Prince William born to be king JunorJunor begins by calling William one of the most interesting people in the world, and there I have to disagree with her. William is dependable, respectful, and does his duty — meaning I think he’ll make a good king, but he is not too interesting. Princess Diana, now there is someone who is interesting. Would she have made a good monarch? We won’t know that, but she was volatile for sure.

Points I picked up about William:

  • He was named William, Prince Charles said, because “it is not a name that now exists in the immediate family.”
  • Junor contends that Diana sometimes changed her children’s nannies because she became jealous of their influence over the boys. She says that this was very hard on William especially, saying that after nanny Barbara Barnes was dismissed when he was four, “he became less outgoing, less trusting, less inclined to make himself vulnerable.”
  • William was boisterous and naughty as a child, whereas Harry was more subdued. But as they grew up, the roles tended to switch: William becoming more thoughtful and deliberate, while Harry became the “wild child” we’ve seen described in the press. Much of this was probably due to their growing awareness of their roles in life.
  • William seems to be the best of both his parents: he has Charles’ sense of duty and also Diana’s ability to relate to most anyone and empathize. Unlike Charles, he blends well with his peers (at Eton, he was elected to “Pop,” an honor given only to the best-liked and most successful boys there). And unlike Diana, he is very stable and dependable. He seems to be unscathed by his parents’ highly-publicized problems, and in fact he seems to have deliberately learned lessons from their difficulties and is determined not to repeat their mistakes.
  • One theme running through the book was how close William and Harry are, especially since Diana’s death. Their personalities are quite different, and yet they complement each other well — they “almost parent each other.”
  • Academically, William “wasn’t a star but he was certainly competent, and he could certainly hold his own.” Harry, on the other hand, apparently has tremendous struggles academically but does great with people.
  • Friends report that if you want to understand William, you should look at his relationship with Kate’s family, the Middletons. They’re “nice, straightforward people,” uncomplicated and normal, and they’re not royal.
  • William likes to control as much of his life as possible (understandable, given that many things are beyond his control). He and Kate took great pains with every aspect of their wedding, wanting “a day that is as enjoyable as possible, for as many people as possible.”

Junor clearly has some biases — she favors Charles over Diana (“he was angry and incredulous that his mother could have done such a thing)”, and doesn’t appear too impressed with Americans, either (she asserts that girls didn’t think William was all that good looking, “except perhaps for the Americans who fell at his feet”). She also calls Matt Drudge of news compilation site The Drudge Report “a US blogger with a gossipy website.”

Sometimes I wondered about her conclusions — having written a book about Kate Middleton myself, I knew from my research that William and Jecca Craig had apparently had a very serious relationship. However, Junor mentions it for only a few sentences, saying “it has long been asserted that the Craigs’ daughter, Jecca, was an early girlfriend, but friend is much closer to the mark.” No reason given as to how she reached this conclusion.

Some editing would have been helpful, too: she tells us that the Middletons are “extremely wealthy”, yet within seven lines we learn they are “resoundingly middle class.” Most of the way through, there is a section with photos. After that, there are several chapters which feel like last-minute add-ons, and pretty much data dumps (facts about Prince George’s arrival, the Canada tour, etc). And many chapters in the book consist largely of lengthy quotes from friends and associates of the prince.

I’ll have to say that Princess Diana’s biography was much more interesting than her son’s. But he comes across as a decent, caring, competent young man who will make a good King someday.


Did you read a book for the Royalty Reading Challenge? If so, let us know your thoughts in the comments. If your thoughts are lengthier, I’d love to run them as a guest post — just email me (under “about” tab at the top of the page). Or if you write a post on your own blog, add your link here.

In case you missed it, check out Melissa’s fascinating review of a book on Queen Elizabeth II’s Coronation.

Thanks for participating! I have enjoyed the month and hope you have too. I’ll plan to do this again next March, if a royal book intrigues you between now and then …

Menu Plan Monday

menuplanmondayMenu Plan Monday has arrived, spring break edition.

Spring break is not looking like much of a break — obviously, the kids will all be home. The oldest has planned 3 college visits, none less than 2 hours away. So, that will be fun, but it will make it a challenge to get dinner on the table those three days. Here is the plan:

Monday: Digiorno Pizza — yes, that’s right. Good deals on them lately, and perfect for a night with probably under an hour to get dinner ready.

Tuesday: Chicken and Broccoli Pot Pies — not exactly this recipe, since I don’t like to use store-bought bread dough due to transfats and all that unhealthy stuff. Maybe make my own biscuit dough, and personalize various ones of these for those who don’t eat meat, those who don’t like broccoli, etc …

Wednesday: fish. For the kids, this is some type of breaded fillets. For the adults, baked tilapia.

Thursday: Lasagna Soup — delicious and cozy.

Lasagna SoupFriday: Hmmm … no ideas yet. What do you think? Baked potatoes maybe?

I have some over-the-hill bananas which I used last night in making chocolate banana bread — really delicious! Note that I use 1/2 whole wheat flour, and substitute 1/2 applesauce and 1/2 canola or olive oil for the butter. This disappeared within 30 minutes of coming out of the oven.

More ideas at OrgJunkie‘s.

Childhood Memories Friday

Simplicity Patterns

My mom is visiting this week, and brought along a pile of nostalgia, largely featuring vintage Simplicity patterns.

Remember sewing in the ’70s? I do — it seems like more people used to sew then, although maybe it just seems that way to me since we did in our family.

Simplicity Pattern 9441 vintage '70sLet’s begin with this one. I never sewed it, but my mom made me the outfit on the top left — both the top and pants in purple corduroy. It was my “Seymour Owls” outfit, since purple was the school colors. I remember wearing it, quite shyly, as a child when my dad invited members of the basketball team to our house.

Simplicity patterns 6640 vintage 1970sNext, it’s on to this one. My mom made the dress on the right for both my sister and me. The bottom was quilted fabric. We wore these in formal photos, and our aunt made us dolls with matching dresses — this was the pre-American Girl era :)

Simplicity pattern 9136 vintage 1970sNow, the pattern of my sister’s and my famous Bicentennial dresses. Mom made the dress at the bottom right — mine was yellow with flowers, and my sister’s was orange. We wore them a lot during 1976, and they’ve gotten wear since then as well when my girls needed to dress like a city founder for a school report.

Simplicity patterns vintage 1970s 8244 peasantFinally, a pattern I sewed. This is my 8th grade home ec pattern — we all made the top, I think, and I also made the skirt since I already knew how to sew thanks to 4-H. It was the 1970s, and the peasant look was “in.” My skirt and top were light blue with little flowers. I loved that outfit and wore it so much — I made the pattern at least once more, for my Easter dress one year. That one featured the over-skirt thingie the lady in the top row center is wearing. I would not try pulling off that look now, but at the time, I loved it.

I like noticing how the pattern prices increased over the years — here, from .75 up to $2. Have you priced patterns recently? They’re ridiculous — many like $12 or so! Of course, stores often run them on sale for .99 or so, so that is when I buy them.  Sewing one’s own clothes was fun for me for many years, and I sewed matching Easter and Christmas dresses for my girls when they were little. But I don’t think I’d ever sew my own clothes anymore. It seems like clothing is one thing that hasn’t increased a lot in price over the years. In many cases, I think you would spend more sewing an outfit than buying it on sale.

Easter 2002 homemade dresses

Easter 2002 — the older 2 in homemade dresses — AWWW :)

How about you? Any sewing memories?

Rationing and Revelry: The Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II review contains affiliate links
royalty reading challengeToday we have a guest poster for this month’s royalty reading challenge, my friend Melissa. She is reviewing Rationing and Revelry: The Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II, 1953 , by Janie Hampton.

Long to Rain O’er Us

Its Coronation Day. The preparations have been made, the invitations have been sent, the dress is perfect, the jewels are sparkling. It should be a perfect day—every princess deserves it, right? Fifty years ago, a real princess awoke to a real coronation day that was gray and raining and chilly, but somehow it still turned out the perfect day. It must have been Princess magic.

Coming of age in war-torn England, a veteran of the blitz herself, Elizabeth was raised for a life of service and with the expectation that dignity and grace should always rule the day. Crowds of people, hungry for a little star-power and a reason to celebrate had camped in the streets for days that June day in 1953, in hope of catching sight of the new Queen as she made her way to Westminster Abbey. In the few years since the end of World War II, the people of the British Isles were still under heavy austerity measures–rationing, reconstruction necessary from the bombing of England was still underway and the much beloved King George VII had just died. There had not been much to celebrate for some time. But finally the day had come and the new Queen delivered the pomp and circumstance necessary and a genuine reason for her war-weary people to genuinely celebrate.

In the last years of the reign of George VII, Princess Elizabeth and her sister Margaret, were the closest thing England had to bona fide stardom. Although she had been born third in line to the throne, and as a child, no one had expected her to ever be a front line royal, that all changed when Elizabeth was 10 years old and her father inherited the throne from his brother Edward, who, chose Mrs. Simpson instead of the kingdom. As Elizabeth grew into young womanhood, she was the serious young royal, but a trend setter too. She was discreetly photographed and set fashion trends — her choice to wear khaki socks with her Girl Guide uniform changed the uniform for the entirety of the British Empire. It is astonishing as well to realize that Queen Elizabeth was and still is the single-most photographed and recognizable woman in the world. She is an icon and emblem of all things British, and has been so for many, many years, predating even her time as Queen.

In the post-Diana age of strobing paparazzi cameras, it’s hard to imagine a time when the BBC struggled to figure out the boundary between good taste and good coverage. But so it did happen in 1953 on the eve of Elizabeth’s coronation. How much coverage, who should do the commentary–if indeed anyone should do it at all– and how intrusive could and should the cameras be were significant issues facing the BBC. Sometimes the discussion was at the direction of the Queen herself, who knew that in a new technological era, it would be imprudent to shut the television out. It’s funny to realize how cutting-edge with regard to media coverage the young queen was.

The Kindle Single book, Rationing and Revelry: The Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II, 1953 , by Janie Hampton, is a short tribute to a war-weary people who looked to the monarchy for stability and celebration, and to the monarch who delivered on that promise. Of course, many of us today weren’t there to remember the events of the day, and we aren’t British anyway. For those of us who love all things royal, however, Hampton sets the day in perspective and gives an insider look at both the ceremony itself as well as how Coronation Day played out to the commoners, many of whom watched television for the very first time to catch the events as they unfolded live.

I was surprised to learn of the rain that day. As the Queen traveled down the London parade route, full of the most appropriately solemn dignity, the rain might have dampened the spirit of the crowd, but it didn’t. The crowds cheered at the dignitaries, riding in their landau coaches, and at the band that played Waltzing Matilda for the Aussies, and for the foreigners who came to share the occasion. Among those dignitaries, however, there was one unexpected surprise. The loudest and longest cheering (some said it was even louder than for the new Queen) was reserved for the Queen of Tonga. A 300 pound Polynesian woman, Queen Salote of Tonga rode in an open carriage, shrugging off the rain. Smiling at everyone, she was joyful, dismissive of the pelting rain, and waving madly at the crowd. One onlooker said, “You could see she wasn’t going to let a small thing like the rain ruin the day. We didn’t know who she was, but we still loved her.” She captured the feelings of the Londoners and the mood of the day like no one else. She gave vent to the jubilation of the crowd and made the day uniquely exotic and celebratory.

This short book captures the feelings of an era when modern life was just coming into focus. Television was still a novelty and not widespread. Those families who did own a television threw open their homes to their neighbors to share the day. Children gathered and played outdoors, while the adults ate goodies that hadn’t been seen in English homes for many years—cakes, pastries, and an abundance that made the happy day truly a holiday. Well-wishers from around the globe shared in the day, but not live. The Australians had to wait for specially-created newsreels to be delivered via air mail. Americans and Canadians saw the coronation, also on specially air-mailed film. I don’t suppose they would have imagined a day in which I went to youtube and watched all those long-ago coronation videos, archived for a completely different era and place. (And yes, I did do that, and yes, I LOVED watching them, and yes, it made reading the book even better!)

Queen Elizabeth II coronation

With the perspective that fifty-plus years gives us, there are those who criticize the Queen today and the royal family for being “too expensive”. I suppose we have forgotten how devastating World War II was and as Americans, I believe we had a very different war-time experience anyway, that the Londoners who were pounded by the loss of architecture, humanity, and dignity. The British use the Royal Family—then as now—as a defining paradigm of what it means to be British. Through thick and thin, the Queen has maintained her dignity for the most part. Sometimes it does rain on a Princess’s day, but the Queen has remained a stalwart champion of service, dignity and grace. And for my 2 cents worth, I think the British get more for their money from the Royal Family sometimes than Americans get from our Presidential families.

Thanks, Melissa, for a fascinating look at the Queen’s coronation! Join us April 1 for a wrap-up of royalty reading month. If you’re planning to join in, keep reading … :)

Thanks to Purex for providing Purex Crystals Fabulously Fresh to review, and also the coupons for the giveaway. All opinions my own.

I’ve written before about how much I love Purex Crystals. They are a product that’s so easy to use, relatively inexpensive to buy, and yet they add so much to the laundry experience. They smell absolutely wonderful as you shake them into the washer, and when you open the washer after the cycle is over, the great aroma continues — for weeks, not days.

Purex Crystals Fabulously FreshPurex has come up with a new fragrance of crystals: Fabulously Fresh. They do smell great — very floral. I wanted to take a photo of them in the midst of newly-budding flowers, but alas, I live in Indiana — currently the land of eternal winter, apparently. So, I had to snap a photo of them in a snowbank. Hopefully it can encourage flowers to bud soon?

Some things you might like to know about Purex  Crystals Fabulously Fresh:

  • They do not reduce the absorbency of towels (I know that some people do not use fabric softeners just for this reason)
  • They are safe for children’s sleepwear, athletic wear — all types of laundry
  • They keep your clothes smelling great for days — not hours. You can vary the amount of scent easily by adjusting how many crystals you shake into each load of laundry

To celebrate this new aroma, Purex is holding a Fabulously Fresh Wardrobe Sweepstakes. Enter, and you can win a $1000 spring shopping spree and a year’s supply of Purex Crystals.

That’s not all that Purex is giving away. They’ve sent me coupons to share for these delicious-smelling crystals. Enter using the rafflecopter form below by April 2, and I’ll choose 2 random winners April 3.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Book Chat

Book reviews may include affiliate links.

book chatMy reading this month largely consisted of 2 royal books for my Royalty Reading Challenge. I  have already reviewed The Diana Chronicles about Princess Diana’s life, and am currently reading Prince William: Born to be King, which I’ll review on April 1 when I wrap up the challenge. If you’ve read a book related to any aspect of royalty this month, stop by and join me.

royalty reading challenge

A Godward Heart: Treasuring the God Who Loves YouI also was able to read A Godward Heart: Treasuring the God Who Loves You thanks to the Multnomah bloggers’ program.  The author is John Piper, and over the past few years I’ve seen things by Piper pop up on Facebook. He’s a pastor, and he always seems to have meaningful, “meaty” things to say. This book was no different, and I really enjoyed it. It was typical of Piper’s “non-fluff” style and consists of 50 short devotions on a wildly divergent range of topics. I do mean divergent — we veer from a meditation on a specific verse to thoughts on a bridge that collapsed in his city to thoughts on C.S. Lewis and Robert Louis Stevenson.

I enjoyed that these devotions were short, because most invited deep thought. A few quotes and thoughts I liked -

  • “If God and his word are your highest values — your greatest desires — then whatever helps you know them and experience them deeply will be good — not easy, and maybe not even morally right (like slander from your adversaries), but good in the sense that God ordains it to give you what is absolutely best — the illumining effect of God’s infinitely valuable word.” (I also have to love another writer addicted to the dash)
  • “We cannot answer every why question. But there is always this answer: My faith is being tested by the Lord who loves me and will help me. And our Lord never wastes his tests. Whether we believe this truth is, in fact, part of the test.”
  • One chapter has an interesting discussion on “Does anyone standing by the lake of fire jump in?” Piper brings up the popular (and irritating, in my opinion) instance of people saying, “Well, if (fill in the blank) means you’ll go to hell, then I don’t even want to go to heaven” or “I’m going to hell for saying this, but I don’t care …” Really? Piper goes into things said in the Bible about hell, and points out “No one wants this,” regardless of glib things they may say.

Take a look at what others are reading at 5 Minutes for Books.

Menu Plan Monday

menuplanmondayMenu Plan Monday time again. My mom is visiting here this week during her spring break, so hopefully she will help some with cooking and even with menu inspiration. Our own spring break is next week, and I am in a bit of a menu rut. It has probably been a long winter most places, but it has been here for sure!

I have a bit of a dilemma. I am totally out of chicken breasts, which is one of the main meats I cook with. I always buy them when they are $2/lb or less, which they often have been at Meijer –  until recently. Meijer must be raising their prices, because they haven’t been at that price in quite some time. I saw that they are at a good price at Gordon Food Service this week, so I think I’ll stop in there. Any tips you’ve found for buying chicken cheaply? And no, I don’t like to buy whole chickens — too much work!

Monday: Duggars’ Taco Soup  — Mom requested this after seeing it previously on the menu. It is good.

Tuesday: Cheesy Chicken Tater Tot Crockpot Casserole — requested frequently, and no wonder because it’s delicious (and I love that it’s easy). I skip the bacon.

Wednesday: Ginger Chicken Stir Fry with Asparagus and Shiitake Mushroom — tore this out of a magazine lately; it looks good. I’ll be leaving out the mushrooms because I hope others will eat it (I’m already taking a chance there with the asparagus … pray for me …)

Thursday: Quesadillas — middle daughter requested them, “just tortillas and cheese.” I’ll probably also have salsa, some chicken — hmmm, any more ideas?

Friday: I have half a bag of Bob’s Red Mill black bean soup mix left — I think I’ll make that along with a loaf of bread in the the bread machine. Spring break begins for us today! How about you?

What’s making up your menu plan Monday this week? More ideas at OrgJunkie‘s.

Childhood Memories FridayApril 1977 — quick, what are your memories?

Offhand, I probably wouldn’t have any. But that’s the beauty of photos: they take us back to a time we might otherwise have forgotten. So, let’s look at a photo of Easter 1977, specifically April 10.

Easter 1977One thing I note is that the shrubs are green. That is making me really envious this year, when there’s little green to be seen where I live. My sister is wearing a maxi dress very typical of the era. I’m assuming she’s shading her eyes from the sun? We had many of those fuzzy hair ties, the better to adorn our pigtails with. At 12, apparently I had outgrown pigtails. I’m holding my year-old sister, who appears to have an Easter bunny.

Ah, that mint green suit. I had decided I wanted to make a suit for sewing in 4-H. My mom thought it was a bad idea, but I insisted (and got a red ribbon, if I recall correctly). Mom always made my 4-H pattern first, so she could have an idea of where trouble spots might lie. So, I’m wearing the “trial run” suit. The one I ended up making was rust colored. Of course, I’m accessorizing it with white knee socks that are struggling to stay up, and some awful “old man” shoes.

What do you remember about 1977? Or perhaps the photo stirs up a few memories for you …