Pondering sensuality vs. sex

Sometimes I look at the younger generation – yes, the college-aged ones I teach – and I ponder things a bit. I ponder where imagination has gone in this era of instant-entertainment gratification, of youtube, iTunes and Netflix. I ponder where the line is for shock, for indignation when it comes to language on the foul end of the scale. Don’t get me wrong, I have a sailor’s mouth myself, but when Britney casually throws around “You better work, bitch” and Jay-Z tosses out the n-word, I ponder whether we’ve lost the potential impact of those words by frequency and flippancy of use.

And I ponder, will these kids ever really grasp what is truly sexy? I’m not talking sex here, I’m talking sexy. Something that builds desire, inspires the imagination, draws from deep within. Take sexy in the movies, for example. Not naked. Not graphic. No full-on porn someone downloaded from the Internets.

No, no, no … I’m talking about breathtakingly sexy. Sensuality versus sex. The kind of sensuality that leaves your lungs empty and your mind ready to implode with the possibilities. Those of you who, like me, are racing towards middle age (and older) understand what I mean. Sex in film isn’t all bad, don’t label me a prude – we’ve all seen Body Heat and 9 1/2 Weeks. And, um, liked it. And we know the difference between erotica and porn by now. But, in this age when so much that was taboo is becoming part of the everyday, I ponder what is being missed by those coming of age now.

Do they recognize sensuality and desire and what is truly sexy? Especially in film, those subtly sexy scenes or moments that need no nudity and no graphic sex to deliver. I think they are missing it, in the world of easily-downloadable porn and R-rated flicks. I fear their impressions of sensuality come straight from Fifty Shades of Grey and its ilk. And that’s a bit breathtaking all on it’s own. And not in a good way.

So, let’s talk sexy, shall we? Can we begin with Ghost? There is a reason that people still talk about the scene with the pottery wheel. We can’t get it out of our minds, years later. Pottery throwing turned foreplay? You betcha.

Who needs full-frontal? The Age of Innocence, with Daniel Day-Lewis and Michelle Pfeiffer, examines the story of would-be lovers in late-19th-century New York. If you think a ladies wrist can’t be erotic, watch the scene where the pining gentleman unbuttons Pfeiffer’s character’s glove and kisses her wrist. Holy hell, ladies, it will leave you surfing the Internet looking for gloves with buttons. And Daniel Day-Lewis pictures on Pinterest.

And there’s a touch of nudity in Titanic, but think about it: Do you remember Kate Winslet’s assets or do you remember the steamy car window with the sweaty hand print? I thought so.

But, for me, the ultimate sexy scene in film is well, pretty tame. It’s what made me ponder gratuitous sex in film a bit this holiday seaon. It’s part of a film you’ve all seen. Over and over and over and over.

And over.

It’s a Wonderful Life is a holiday classic that most Americans love, but one scene simply takes my breath away every time. In a good way, too. Most of the ladies reading this know exactly what scene I’m talking about while most men are currently staring at their screens, confused – yep, girls, the phone scene. Watching Jimmy Stewart and Donna Reed’s characters slowly draw closer and closer to each other while they desperately try to focus their attention on a shared phone conversation with their friend – with Stewart’s lips in her hair, you can just feel his need to kiss her radiating off the screen until finally he can stand it no longer. He simply must kiss her. It’s damn tangible.

Sigh. Now that’s sexy.

And not an R-rating or naked breast in sight.


View it for yourself and decide if it rates for you in the sensuality vs sex face-off.


O. M. G. Check out my friend Sandra’s amazing dessert table

Did I say HOLY COW yet?

Did I say HOLY COW yet?

Holy cow, check out the dessert table my friend put together for another friend’s wedding. Sandra Denneler did Rachel Farha’s big day right. She has set the bar and I now fear the girls will expect something as good for their Barbie and sleepover parties in the coming months… Sandra, come help!

http://www.projectdenneler.com/2011/06/you-are-sweet-to-my-salty. html is the link!

Front Porch Fix-up, Part Duex

Short front porch update, just the post box… it needed a facelift:

Icky mailbox.

Icky mailbox. Poor mailman.

Yuck, right?

So, (sorry I didn’t take in-progress photos like I should) it was lightly sanded, the hardware removed and then it took a few coats of plain old white spray paint. I should probably care more about low VOC, and I tend to inside the house, but for this project – nope. Set up shop on a plastic tarp outside on a windy day and sprayed my cheapo $2 white gloss to my heart’s content.

Then, a little bit of sticker magic … and it was ready to hang!



Oh, and congrats to my winner from the last drawing for the Stella and Dot earrings! I wasn’t sure how to announce it as I had entries on facebook and here. I’ll streamline the process more next time, but for now, I hope MollyMom is enjoying those rockin’ earrings!

Aunt Dee’s Pea Salad

My Aunt Dee was one of those mysterious types, kind of glamorous to my younger self. She lived a days drive away in the South, she had a Southern drawl, she was on (at least) her third or fouth husband – and she’d lived for years in uber-glamorous California. She was funny, too, and loved to laugh. She also loved to eat and go out for dinner – especialy if it was for BBQ. Needless to say, I adored her. I waited anxiously each Christmas and birthday for her package to arrive, because I knew it would be crammed full of cute toys and cool clothes.

Oh, and she loved to hug and would call you “hun.”

And when she cooked for family, it tended to be fattening, full of flavor and always delicious. Only Aunt Dee could take a healthy spring salad and make it fattening with tons of Mayo and cheese. And we still make it, years after her passing. When I have my two little girls help me out with this simple, layered recipe, I like to think that Aunt Dee is looking down on my little kitchen and sayin’ “Good job, hun!”

 This is a great salad now that spring peas are available at farmer’s markets and the stores. It’s also a cool salad with frozen peas for hot summer days.

Pea Salad

Pea Salad ingredients mingling in a trifle bowl.


Aunt Dee’s Pea Salad

This is a simple layered salad. Base the amounts you use on how large your container is. I generally use a large trifle bowl, as shown, but you can also create individual salads or a small one in a serving dish.

You will need:
-Shredded Lettuce
-Mayo (I love Fit and Active fake Mayo from Aldi)
-Peas (fresh best, frozen good, canned bad)
-Shredded cheddar cheese
-Green onions, chopped

Just layer each ingredient into your bowl, and try to “end” or “top” it with a last layer of mayo and cheese. I like to make it the day before or very early in the day – so the flavors have a bit of time to mingle.

Love it, love it!

Layers of chic-ness!

Layers of chic-ness!

Been a bit under the weather toward the end of the week, so I have done more surfing than writing. But, had to post this, briefly. Love The Sartorialist and this image just struck me. I wish I could pull something like this off!

A wintery taste of summer

This blustery, winter morning I went into the laundry room and found the following on the chalkboard…

A Snow Haiku
by Belle

The snow is falling
Children playing in the snow
Marvelous snowfall


Gathering wildflowers, summer 2010.
Gathering wildflowers, summer 2010.

Well, the snow (and snow days) might make my daughter want to wax poetic, but it’s starting to make me twitchy. I am starting to think about trips to the lake, sitting on the deck at the cabin, swimming in Buffalo Creek (Okla.) and enjoying a warm evening breeze as I sit on my front porch swing with a glass of Coke and a magazine.

So, for all of us that are longing for the days when we complained about the heat and humidity, I thought I’d share some pictures I shot in July 2010, at Botanica Gardens, Wichita. I hope it makes shoveling the driveway a bit easier later today…

Botanica butterfly, summer 2010.
Botanica butterfly, summer 2010.


Little bits of sunshine, summer 2010.

Little bits of sunshine, summer 2010.


Lovely floaters, summer 2010.

Lovely floaters, summer 2010.


Toss in a coin, summer 2010.

Toss in a coin, summer 2010.


Burst of color, summer 2010.

Burst of color, summer 2010.