30 July 2009

The bandanna bikini

Thursday 30 July 2009

Long ago when we lived in Delaware, after Daddy married our nanny, our new mother taught Jessy and I at home as though we were girls of 250 years ago. And so to make it fun we dressed in our Colonial outfits, (even Mother) and sat every morning in the little tea room, read prayers, had lessons in two or three subjects a day (always including reading) and then had tea at 11.00. After that we had homework time and after lunch we went out to play in the yard, or walk the beach, or swim in the pool, or practise our crafts with Mother. And one of the crafts we learned was hand sewing. Mommy had begun to teach us and our nanny too, so when our nanny became our new mother she continued our sewing lessons. We made bonnets and capes and pockets and aprons as well as several sizes' worth of Colonial dresses-- and we still do make them and as a result I have six full outfits, most of which I wear to work Mommy's Colonial-themed ice-cream shop, and we still attend reenactment events when we can (even England, like last year).

Jessy and I were always encouraged to experiment and try new things, in art, music, and crafts. A few summers ago Jessy had the bizarre idea of making a swimsuit. She chose an old blue bedsheet, made pretty good patterns from a bikini she already owned, cut it out, hemmed it, did beautiful work really, and then one summer's day she bravely pranced out of the sewing room in her very pretty bedsheet bikini. The halter top tied in back and behind her neck and the bottom tied in knots at her hips. It was actually bvery cute and fit her surprisngly well.

I was somewhat envious and quickly set to work on my own. Jessy's sheet was a Martha Stewart one from K-Mart that was part polyester, but I used an old and rather well-worn white percale sheet (actually from my bed). And instead of making lace and sewing it to the corners to tie it, I just twisted the corners of the leftover fabric and managed to tie them at my back and at my hips. It was very cute and we were all impressed-- all of us except Mother who raised her eyebrows and made a sly smirk that I still remember. Then Jessy, who had already gone swimming in hers, prodded me to test it. Of course we went into the pool before trying it out at the beach-- it was much safer, and you can imagine why it mattered. Jessy was only 11 then-- she turned 12 later that summer. But I was 13-1/2. And there is a BIG difference between a girl almost 12 wearing a swimsuit she made out of a piece of dark-blue cotton-blend and a girl of 13-1/2 wearing one she made out of a well-bleached, well-worn all white cotton bedsheet. Let us just say that once I stood up, and Jessy and I had a look at how I looked in it dripping wet, it was the last time I would wear it in front of my parents!

One of the several things we learned that day (besides the value of garment LINING!) was that it's fun to make our own things. We've since made plenty of our own clothes, though not much in the way of swimwear intended for a public beach. Recently Jessy has been collecting colourful cotton bandannas and this past week we each had an opportunity sit down at the sewing machine and put some of them together. First Jessy made a skirt-- it's very '60s really, all bandannas, all the same size but of different colours and patterns, turned on edge, creased once, and sewn on an angle so that it flares out off her hips. She also made a very cute bikini top out of two of them sewn together which she wears just tied (snugly!) round herself. She has the figure for that, you know.

I don't have a figure that would tolerate anything like that, but I started a bikini bottom out of two bandannas that really made Jessy envious this time. We experimented some more, tearing stitches out a few times to redo and get it right. One I went so far as to finish before finding it was much too low-cut (it would not reach enough to tie!) so I altered it for little Lisa who absolutely loves it. But we did get it right and now we each have two. I will probably make at least another one soon.

It's very simple really. You bring two 20" square cotton bandannas (use a print that's opaque!) together at one point. Lay the point of the one that will be the back over the one that will be the front, then slide it up till you have enough doubled fabric to serve as a lining. I prefer to cut off the point itself and then fold in what will be the leg openings, front and back, till the crutch is about three inches wide (as much or as little as you dare-- this works for me). I fold them each on a little angle so that near the top of the front and from about halfway up my bottom they are not folded under any more but just one layer of fabric. You don't use elastic so it's really crucial that you get the fit right. As it turns out the front is always a little lower and therefore narrower than the back. If you get this wrong it looks terrible (the one that became Lisa's was like this). Sew the straight seam across what will be the bottom and then the leg openings, which you can along the sides. We each have double-stitched these.

When this is together you just sit on it on your bed, bring up the front and back start rolling from the point inwards to your body, neatly and tightly till you can pull it closely about yourself, and then tie them at your hips. (The first few times I stuck a paperclip on the rolled-up front so I could then do the back.) You might need to try it several times till you arrive at how you like to wear it. If you can't get it to tie right or fit right after three or four tries you probably have the two bandannas lapped incorrectly-- the front too far up or the back too far down. Actually when mine fit right there is quite a lot of material rolled up and it actually makes it very comfortable.

Of course if you make it like this, it doesn't matter what size you are. A 20"-square cotton bandanna, like the ones at Dollar Tree, where we got them, when folded in half diagonally has a sine/cosine of 28 inches. That's each half, front and back. If you can't tie it round yourself having over 55 inches to reach round your hips, maybe you shouldn't be wearing a bandanna bikini!

Jessy's first one is made of two identical bandannas in that very common East Indian print on baby-blue. Her second one is made of two in the same watercolour pattern but of varying colours. Both mine are in the East Indian print, one dull brick-red in back and yellow in front and one in navy-blue in back and the same baby-blue as Jessy's in front. The one I gave to Lisa is pink and pale green (her two favourite colours anyway... see how that works?). Jessy is making one for Mother now too-- of course Mother is only 27 and has a beautiful bikini body as well. She admitted the other night she had tried making a handkerchief bikini at about the same age I was when I made my first failed attempt out of a white bedsheet-- though the handkerchiefs were a linen blend (dry-clean only! --ha!) she learned the same lesson about translucency when wet-- and that's why she looked at me sceptically before I had tried out mine in the pool!

I wore the brick-red-and-yellow one to the beach today, along with a plain swimsuit top in the same medium grey as the print on the bandannas. It was very comfortable to lie out in and I went down to stand with Lisa (in hers too) by the water as well. Two ladies asked where I'd got it. Most everyone else seemed to like it too.

(But no, I did NOT go into the water in it!)


26 July 2009

The stupid questions men ask me

Sunday 26 July 2009

Everyone knows what kind of chat rooms I visit on AOL. If you haven't noticed, most of them are ones I have created. I don't mind-- it shows me a slice of life I might not get anywhere else. (Now the question is why I would want it!) I will start a room like 'Nice YG Naked at Home' and see who IMs me. Of course you may guess-- I might guess the same thing, but I would like to think it's other 'YG's or maybe guys my age who just want to have a nice chat about something that isn't naughty or sexual at all. Why do people assume it is? Must I conclude that everyone out there is interested only in sex?

But, no. I won't. It's a form of judgement. I am not Christian if I fall into that trap. I prefer to go by the evidence....

Here for your enjoyment then are some of the dumbest (and most typical) questions I get asked online... and some of the best answers I have given (or would like to give!) to them.

Q. Why are you naked?
A. I'm comfortable.
What other reason could there be?

Q. You home alone?
A. No.
I almost never am!
Q. Who is there with you?
A. Rest of family.
Q. Your family see you like that?
A. Sure.
None of them are blind!

Q. Ever get caught like that?
A. Define 'caught', please.
Apparently some people my age are not allowed by their parents to be naked in their own rooms.

Q. Are you a nudist?
A. Define 'being a nudist', please.
I really do not know what they intend with this question. But the best I have got to this was: 'Someone who enjoys being a nudist.' To which I replied, 'So a nudist is someone who enjoys being a nudist?'

Q. You alone?
A. In my room.
Why do they ask me this? Is it because they will feel more at liberty to take advantage of me if I am home alone? Little do they know--!

Q. What do you have on?
A. Panties.
Almost always the only thing I might have on if I'm 'almost' naked. Sometimes it's just a scunci.
Q. Is that all?
A. You asked, and I answered. Why do you ask again?

Q. Are you passive?
A. No.
Anyone who has chatted with me before would know this!

Q. R U horny?
Yes-- this is almost always how this is asked.
A. No.
I've had no reason to be, and anyone who asks like this isn't going to be able to change that!

Q. Do you like older men?
A. I like mature, respectable, interesting people.
This usually does not produce any response at all-- it's a conversation-ender. So we can see where he wanted to go with it. The sad thing is that the guy has judged himself negatively by this criteria-- I've had no hand in it.

Sometimes not saying what they want to hear is more fun than answering them.

Q. How far have you gone with a guy?
A. To the mall in Lynnhaven... it's about 60 miles.

Q. Can I see you?
A. Sure. Come on over.

Q. How come you're not completely naked?
A. I didn't know there was a rule.
Think about it-- why might a girl who may be naked not be? --because she is shy? --because is a tease? --because of some more fundamental reason? The least little brain power makes this question unnecessary. But, as ever, you'd be surprised....

Q. Do you like being naked?
A. Who would be naked if she hated it?

Q. What is your cup size?
A. I don't need to say, do I?
Q. I am curious.
A. Why curious about that?
Q. Just am.
A. Okay.
This usually ends here. If it continues...
Q. So what is your cup size?
This shows the density of many men online.

Q. How old are you?
A. Under 18.
Q. How much under?
A. Enough that if 'legal' is an issue for you, I'm illegal. If not, we can chat.
This is often a conversation-ender too. I doubt these men believe there is anyone so articulate at under-18 to formulate that answer. Many of them have accused me of being actually older and just teasing.

One answer is common to many different questions.

Q. When was your first time?
Q. Do you like sex?
Q. Are you a virgin?
Q. How much do you weigh?
Q. Your BF see you naked?
Q. You ever do more than kiss?
Q. Any guys get you naked?
A. No lady would answer that. No gentleman would ask it. Am I not a lady or are you not a gentleman?
Most guys are stunned by this and won't answer. If they do it's usually, 'Sorry.'

The one big question gets the worst answer of all. I get this so often that I have the answer saved as a text string that I just copy-and-paste into the IM block. And, yes-- it's usually a conversation-ender-- more often than not-- so their response to it is itself the very reason I don't answer it.
Q. Do you have a pic?
A. I do not share my pic with strangers online.

If you care to IM me, and you've read this, please don't repeat the mistakes of the past! LOL

The mother of all thunderstorms

Sunday 26 July 2009-- NJ shore

The mother of all thunderstorms is about to descend upon us. I sit here in my little attic room, facing west-- away from the ocean-- with scarcely a breeze to move the sweat on my skin. The weather has come round to the Northeast-- it's the side this house is exposed to least. I worked this morning and after the beach I had a shower, so I was clean about an hour ago, but in this intense humidity and stillness that's of little help now. Jessy has been a good angel, playing with J.J. and Lisa since Mother and Daddy went out to dinner. They've been gone a while, so they've gone somewhere else too. This is Sunday evening so the traffic coming back up from Beach Haven will be a nightmare. They probably elected to stay down there, doing shopping or something, till later, which is wise. It's not like we don't have it under control here.

She made them a microwave pizza and they've been sitting down watching 'Mulan' in the TV room, Last I went down, for more iced tea, little J.J. was sitting at his small table surrounded by Transformers half acting out scenes of the movie with them. Lisa was stretched out on the carpet, stark naked, against her fluffy floor pillow, like a miniature princess. This is Jessy's influence-- I always say so. Jessy loves being pampered, even if she has to pamper herself. She's a bit frustrated still having to be in panties till tomorrow, but you can tell what she'd be wearing if she could be and she's such a good-natured little angel that it's hardly a hassle to her really.

I am clear now and haven't put anything on after the shower. I went round down there checking windows-- an odd thing to do with no clothes on! --but Jessy had them all closed and the draperies drawn on the beach side. It's because of the storm. Peering out I saw sand blowing round. The beach is entirely empty and the sky is gone threateningly dark. I will be glad for this storm because it should cool us off after two extremely hot days... but it is scary to see in its early stages and the little ones were upset with the sight of it.

Thunder rolls hard out at sea. The whole house rumbles with it. If we lose power the AirPort will still work, as will the security system and that whole computer network, but the little ones will lose the TV in the TV room as the generator doesn't carry all the outlets here. I was thinking of having something to eat but won't risk it till I know it's passed. I wonder why Mother has not called yet-- I wonder if they do not see this storm as it looks up here. They may only be in the restaurant. Jessy and I were to go to a party tonight but it sure looks like it won't be on. I wouldn't go there and linger round a hot sweaty house with too many idiots drinking too much for anything in the world.

Mother rang Jessy-- I have had the news of it. They just got to the car and will come up the Island directly. Daddy took her out in the old Buick-- the '65 convertible. It's funny-- in those wide bucket seats they sit about three feet apart! Petite Mother looks like a little girl! But the hood is new and they won't have leaks (like in the other one) though they have no AC in that car and will be sweating rivulets when the arrive! Jessy and I will put the little ones into the bath (one at a time now, for Lisa will not share with her brother any more) and cool them off. Mother will have a good long soak in her own. Daddy will check all the windows and phone half the people he knows out of worry-- it's what he does. I will stay up in my room naked and sweating. And chat online if I can.


15 July 2009

Full house

Tuesday & Wednesday, 14-15 July

Jessy, Josie and I left the castle early in the morning, went over and collected Becky, and got up to the Landing (house at Lewes) in time for lunch. Mother had a nice sandwich platter waiting, of which we girls ate pigs' shares. Well-- I am never much for breakfast and we had got nothing more than a bagel or so before we'd left. We had a nice visit and got to show Becky and Josie round our childhood home, including Mommy's cherished formal flower garden out back, newly rejuvenated by Mother (and a bit of paid help). They were especially touched to see Mommy's memorial stone, just a little statuette of an angel on top of the small square marble tablet lying over where her ashes rest. I was glad to be there at Lewes again-- I have not been there in some months. But I do not need Mommy's beloved house ot her gardens or the actual sight of her memorial tablet to remember her, you know.

We caught a ferry at 3.40 for Cape May. Neither Josie nor Becky had ever been on it. This is how provincial some of the people we have met in the Eastern Shore are. The ferry is a fun ride and Cape May is always a nice stop just for a day-- yet none of them have ever ventured two hours north to even see it. For them it is only a dotted line on a map. Jessy and I indulged them and we all went to the forwardmost gate and pretended to lean out like that scene in 'Titanic'. At least we did till we were scolded for it. Then we went up to the deck and leaned out over the railing there, which is more permissible. Needless to say those two dozen photos will make it on to three or four FaceBook sites shortly!

We did not stay for supper in Cape May but drove up directly to the Island and got settled in at the beach house. Jessy and Josie got the idea to stay in the little attic room, the one on the ocean side, where Lisa and J.J. usually sleep, and that might have been sensible. But in the end we all ended up sleeping all over our own room, the one on the western end of the house-- and when I say 'all over' I mean ALL OVER, for after a long game of 'Apples to Apples' we fell asleep where we were, mostly on the floor, though Becky was half up on top of my bed and when I woke up I found Josie curled up on her side with my foot under her pillow. The place was atrociously sweaty. Jessy and I got out of the house, in costume, for our shift at the shop, leaving Josie and Becky a note. They came down for breakfast at about 9.00, in swimsuits under their shorts and t-shirts, and the went to the beach. Jessy and I met them there-- still in costume of course. Of course people stare when we walk down the beach in-season, dressed like 1750s working girls. We put on smiles and carry hand baskets from which we give out discount coupons. The cards are for a free breakfast or sundae if you buy three, because Mommy always said she'd rather have families than dates. It's a different kind of clientele, one that tends to come back a few times during a vacation and then again and again, year after year. Besides giving away one out of for makes more business sense than giving away half, you know.

We sat with Becky and Josie in their swimsuits only for a few moments and then went up to change. We had successfully got out of working this evening (whilst I am typing this) and so spent the afternoon off on the mainland seeing 'Harry Potter 6' (sad movie, and very dark). We went shopping and got back here.

Tomorrow we will be working the evening shift. We hope to be on the beach most of the day. I always wonder if I will run into any of my online friends there... they ought to know by now how to find me. Till then I wish them luck! (ha)


13 July 2009

An update

Monday 13 July 2009

I have not been on much lately as I have been busy with this and that. Jessy and I have been working pretty regularly at the breakfast & dessert place, in costume of course! Our shifts are pretty much the same, usually Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and then one or both of the days on the weekend. Most often it's been Sunday. This weekend Jessy and I arranged to be off and drove home Friday night, to hang out with the girls at home (meaning Terncote). On Saturday five of them came over and we had a sort of meeting of the girls' club. That evening I had dinner with Stephen and his family whilst Jessy went over to Josie's. Jessy and I went to church on Sunday and had brunch with Rita and Josie after lunch Becky joined us at home. We just hung round the pool and so on. On Sunday evening Josie stayed over as Jessy's guest. As I write this they are both out back, still, even though it's past 7.00 pm.

Josie is the one who has embraced the freedom of being naked round the house as much as Jessy and I have. She even does it at home. Her mother is single and not dating and her younger sister is only about 9 and thinks it's silly, so at least till her mother gets home she will be naked in the house (Jessy and I have been there; we know it's true). The two of them are cute-- I served tea this afternoon and they both sat at the outside table with their ankles crossed and napkins in their laps and used all the most perfect table manners. I understand why Mother does not want us undressed at the dinner table but for me it is no bother especially when we are being proper in every other respect. I promised them some frozen pizza later wen we decide to watch something down in the TV room.

This weekend Daddy and Mother and our little ones are at the house in Lewes-- they sailed down at the end of last week and now the boat rides her mooring off the beach on the Bay (you can see it from the Ferry). Little J.J. always hates the lifejacket and I heard he had to receive some stern words from Daddy about it-- the rule is he is either down below (and that means NOT on the ladder!) or wearing the lifejacket on deck. He has grown grudgingly used to it and plays at typing knots, doing puzzles and 'making wine' (playing in a bucket of seawater in the cockpit). Meanwhile Lisa in her own lifejacket scampers all over the deck and is nearly impossible to restrain. I think being on only 34 feet of boat bores her and makes her feel confined. Mother did say on the phone that she allowed Lisa to take off her swimsuit-- provided she got enough sunblock all over, you know-- and then teased Jessy and me, saying that it reminded her of us and that Lisa's tendency is our fault. I laughed at that. But like Josie she just enjoys the freedom, and it's only harmless.

Tomorrow Jessy and I, with Josie and Becky, drive back up to NJ. We will stop at the house in Lewes for lunch and take a late-afternoon ferry to Cape May. Then of course we will have to work Wednesday, usually our one guaranteed off day, whilst Becky and Rita either sleep in or bask on the beach. There is one good thing about our schedule though and that is that the place is only open 7-11 am and 7-11 pm, which leaves the entire middle of the day open for fun in the sun. Of course it's a public beach and there's no chance for sunning all bare as we do here at Terncote. --though I am sure that after this weekend none of us desperately need more of that (especially in some places!).

I shall make every effort to keep up with my blog a little more frequently than I have been doing over the last month; but honestly it's been very busy this end!