Saturday, September 08, 2012



This question about the old Dick Van Dyke show of the 60’s occasionally comes up in the list of “search engine terms” that people have used to find my blog. Apparently because I had mentioned some famous sit-com characters in my “dangers of smoking” article, inquiries about Rob and Laura Petrie and their possible cigarette use are highlighted on search engines, with a link to my website.

Well to answer once and for all: yes! Rob and Laura did smoke! Both of them! Even though Rob mentioned at least a couple of times that he didn’t partake of this habit. But there were episodes where he was actually smoking, and even his sweet, pretty wife lit up at least twice during episodes that I remember. In one, they were driving home from a party or restaurant or something, and Rob offered Laura a cigarette and she said she would love one. And then they both sat there in the car, talking and smoking, like it was nothing! And then in another episode, “Laura’s Little Lie”, she was upset about Rob finding out that she lied about her age on some insurance forms, and she sat down on the couch and lit up a cigarette. (And then she goes into the kitchen and makes coffee, ugh.) They both smoked in real life, too, and battled alcoholism as well.

I can’t find the one in the car, but here is a clip from “Laura’s Little Lie” (it’s about six minutes into the video). And here are videos of both of them smoking (with Rob and Laura, and then with Rob, Laura and Sally). Although they were still in character, this wasn’t part of the actual storyline but was a pitch for Kent cigarettes, one of their biggest sponsors. No wonder almost everybody I knew while growing up smoked—even my parents, their friends, my grandpa and my future in-laws. I just thought “that’s what grownups do.”

So yes, Rob and Laura smoked, and they both drank coffee and even alcohol. I’m sure they drank tea as well. I’m sure they didn’t have premarital sex though. And of course they never used naughty words. It was a great show—one of my favorites!

Thursday, September 06, 2012


Happy September! I hope my two readers are doing well. Here is a bit of news you can’t live without: I got two more dolls! Yes, it’s true. They are both American Girl dolls—Rebecca and Marisol. The reason I bought these particular dolls is because they have a particular face mold I discovered I like way better than the American Girl “Classic” face mold. Why, you ask? Well read on.

For a long time I didn’t even realize there were difference molds for these popular 18” dolls. I thought they all looked alike, and I wasn’t particularly fond of them anyway—I have other dolls that size that I think are much prettier (Magic Attic, West Coast Kids, etc.) but I know that mainly because of marketing, American Girl is Number One when it comes to sales. (Even though I never heard of this line until I was in my 40’s, but that’s another blog.) As a doll collector, I still wanted to try one out, though. But no way was I going to spend over $100 which is what they are in the catalogs. So I was thrilled a couple of years ago when I found Samantha at a garage sale for $5. I was so impressed with her quality that I surfed eBay and bought two more used dolls: Kirsten and a “Just Like You” #12 with long blonde hair and brown eyes (see previous post below). Samantha and Kirsten are part of the historical line, and I also wanted a more modern girl, so that’s why I got a Just Like You, the cheapest one I could find.

Then I recently began watching more and more YouTube videos on American Girl dolls (there are so many good ones!) and someone showed close-ups of their dolls where she talked about the “Josefina” mold first used on the historical doll with that name. For some reason I really liked this person’s dolls with that particular mold as opposed to what she called the “classic” mold. So I did a bit of investigating, and learned that the “classic” mold was the first one created for American Girl. Introduced in 1986, the original dolls were all historical, and consisted of Kirsten, Samantha and Molly. Most of the Just Like You dolls have this mold as well. It has large eyes, a thin nose and most closely resembles a Caucasian background. The Josefina mold has a slightly larger nose with fuller lips and more oval eyes.

I did some more research and found that several other dolls use that fuller-lipped mold, including Rebecca Rubin (from 1914), along with Marisol Luna, Girl of the Year from 2005. I remembered how whenever I looked through the catalogs, I always thought that Rebecca was prettier than the others, and now I knew why. And after doing more research, I decided that I was nuts over Marisol too!

So then I had to start the process of getting hubby to let me spend more money, which wasn’t easy since I had bought another reborn this year (see post below about Chelsea) and was still working on selling garage sale treasures and things on eBay to pay for her. But after promising I would continue to sell, and try not to buy anything else for the next three months, he agreed. I found some “pre-loved” bargains, and now these girls are home with me and I love them! They are a little scuffed and need their hair restyled, but at least Rebecca came with her dress and boots, and both of them have that darling face. I call it the Gaze Factor—if I want to sit and stare at a doll’s face, then she’s definitely a winner.

The photos below show my new Rebecca and Marisol together, along with my classic Just Like You next to Marisol. Which do YOU prefer? I suppose the classic mold is fine, especially if that’s what you grew up with and are used to, but I definitely find myself gazing at Marisol. I also posted pictures of my modern girls in the kitchen (the set is the Our Generation brand from Target—so cute!) It looks like they have finished almost all the cupcakes.