“Her hat is a creation that will never go out of style; it will just look ridiculous year after year.”

The sky got black almost as quickly as in a science fiction movie just before the aliens arrive, but the rain came instead; it fell in torrents. Gracie stayed in the car while I was at my library board meeting, and I had left a window open for her. I don’t think she was thankful. The inside door and the seat were soaked, but Gracie, being both smart and practical, had moved over to the dry side. On the drive home, I splashed through flooded streets and had to be careful about hydroplaning. Right now the day has an eerie light, but it has stopped raining for the meantime. Gracie is resting from her ordeal.

Today is my errand day and I have only finished two of five, but the rain just started again, not so perfect for grocery shopping. How sad that makes me.

I have never been a hat person. My mother sometimes forced one on me at Easter, a hat in a pastel, usually pink or blue, with small flowers. I always felt a bit self-conscious. I’d put up my hood on the coldest days when I walked to school, but I seldom wore a real hat. On rainy days my hair got wet. I remember my mother trying to make me wear one of those silly transparent hats which tie under the chin and fold up to fit into a small pouch. I always thought of them as old lady hats kept by them in oversize purses in case of rain emergencies. I have earmuffs, and I don’t mind wearing them. I have a couple of baseball hats which I actually wear at baseball games to keep the sun at bay. When I lived in Ghana, I had a straw hat I wore for a bit, but I felt like Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm so I stopped wearing it. My neighbor across the street always wears a similar hat when she works in the garden. She looks a bit like Ma Kettle working the farm.

I have a hat collection. That always makes me chuckle a bit at the irony.

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21 Comments on ““Her hat is a creation that will never go out of style; it will just look ridiculous year after year.””

  1. greg mpls Says:

    its hard to not to think of mixer covers when i see some older woman in one of those plastic jobbies. then i get to wonder
    about mixer covers….and their cousin, the toaster doll.

    • Kat Says:

      That’s quite an extended family. There’s the egg cozy in so many styes, the mixer cover so like its cousin the rain hat and, my personal favorite, the extra roll of toilet paper lady who sits on the top of the tank always dressed in an exquisitely crochet ball gown.

      • morpfy Says:

        For the upcoming Holiday,heres a receipe to warm ya up and try with the leftovers,,,
        Tasty Turkey Chili

        1 large onion
        2 tablespoons corn oil
        1-1/4 pounds fresh ground turkey (ground without skin)
        1/2 teaspoon garlic powder or 2 large cloves garlic, peeled and minced
        2 teaspoons chili powder
        1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
        1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
        1 15-ounce can pinto beans
        1 15-ounce can black beans
        1 14-1/2-ounce can diced tomatoes in juice, undrained
        1 6-ounce can tomato paste
        1 14-l/2-ounce can chicken broth
        1 cup frozen corn kernels
        4 to 5 green onions (scallions)

        Peel and chop onion with the help of your assistant.

        Pour oil into Dutch oven or large saucepan.
        Place pot on burner.
        Turn heat to medium.Heat oil for 1 minute.

        Add onions to hot oil.Cook over medium heat,stirring occasionally with wooden spoon,for 5 minutes,or until onion is almost clear.
        Add ground turkey to pot.tir with a wooden spoon,breaking up large pieces.
        Brown turkey for 5 minutes,stirring often.
        Stir in garlic powder or garlic, chili powder,black pepper,and cumin until well combined.
        Open cans of pinto and black beans;pour both into large strainer.
        Place strainer under cold running water.Rinse beans thoroughly and drain.
        With wooden spoon,stir beans,tomatoes and their juice,tomato paste,chicken broth,and corn into pot.
        Heat 5 to 7 minutes,or until thoroughly hot, stirring often.
        Rinse and slice green portions of green onions.You should have about l/2 cup.
        Stir green onions into pot.
        Remove from heat.
        Ladle hot chili into bowls.Serve with green salad and cornbread.

        Yield: 8 one-cup servings.
        🙂 🙂

  2. Caryn Says:

    Hi Kat,
    Hats and matching pocketbooks were the only things I liked shopping for at Easter. I hated Easter dresses because they always had that itchy nylon stuff around the sleeves and waist to make them pouffy. It made me break out. 🙁 But hats and matching pocketbooks had none of those drawbacks. They always fit and they always looked good on me. Hats and pocketbooks were one of the few positive clothes shopping experiences I had.

    I am three-legged lame from something I did to my right foot so I’m hanging around the house doing none of my errands. Especially not grocery shopping. I, too, am sad about that.

    It’s raining here and it’s damp and cold.
    Have a great day.

    • Kat Says:

      Hi Caryn,
      I was never a big lover of pocketbooks either. I figure they just wasted one hand carrying them. I still feel the same way. I use a leather backpack, not a pocketbook, and have for many years. My current backpack is black leather, very soft leather, and was made in Vermont. I bought it in a leather shop in Hyannis where I’ve gotten my last three bags. In Ghana I used a shepherd’s bag which was woven and slung over the shoulder.

      It is still raining, and, alas, I have yet to grocery shop. I just pushed Gracie outside for the first time since this morning.

      Ugly day here. I’ve been reading most of the day with a nap sneaked in a bit earlier.

      Hope that right foot gets better!

  3. Birgit Says:

    Luckily hats for kids were out of fashion when I was young. Now I’m known for wearing jelly bag caps in winter.
    Just curious, did any (possibly online available) newspaper publish your Peace Corps plaque memorial photo with hat? We’ve seen the plaque, but the hat is far more interesting.

    • Kat Says:

      I had to look up jelly bag cap and the first site I was sent to was a translation from English to German: Zipfelmütze. I then got a definition on another site. They look like gnome or Santa hats which is what we call them, I think.

      They didn’t ring a picture of the hat, just the plaque. You’d think they’d realize what was more interesting!

      I tried to find picture on line but now matter what I plugged into Google, I didn’t see one.

  4. Kat Says:

    I copied and saved your recipe as I so love chili, but I am not a lover of beans so I’ll just omit them when I make this.

    Corn bread is also a favorite of mine, and I don’t have it anywhere near enough.

  5. Bill S. Says:

    I still wear my Bolga hat from 41 years ago. It’s a bit worn, having been in the pool many times in the past few years. My skin dr. advised wearing a hat more often. Maybe I should have done that when I lived in Bolga….

    When we return next year, I hope to buy a new Bolga hat, good for the next 40 years.

    • Kat Says:

      That hat looks the worse for wear, but with the sentiment attached it will be hard to move on to another! Lots of hats in Bolga now. I have one of the new ones, looking just like your old one, on my wall.

      I never thought about the sun being a problem when I was in Bolga. I didn’t wear a hat at all. When I went back, I noticed none of the volunteers wear hats even now.

  6. Bob Says:

    Except for the Queen of England and Cowboys, both men’s and woman’s hats have gone the way of buggy whips. I remember when my mother would get very dressed up, such as going downtown for a luncheon with her friends, at the Zodiac room of the flagship Neiman Marcus store. Those funny looking hats either had feathers, flowers and sometimes including a veil. I think the woman’s millenary business is as dead as the woman’s foundation business. For those readers under 50 that’s the business of making and selling woman’s girdles and corsets.

    My father had one fedora hat that he kept in a box on the top shelve of his closet. He would only wear it when he traveled to New York for business in the winter time in the 1950s. Like Jack Kennedy, he stopped wearing hats in the 1960s along with most men younger than 40. All my aunts and their friends also stopped wearing woman’s hats at about the same time. My uncle Sam always wore a hat, felt in the winter and straw in the summer, until his death in 1975 at the age of 75. He had a supply of spats in his closet just in case they came back into style. Thank goodness that never happened.

    I have a collection of baseball caps from various companies and teams. They are now called ‘gimme caps’. They live on the top shelf of my closet incapsulated in a large plastic bag. My kids will probably throw them away after my funeral like we did with uncle Sam’s spats.

    • Kat Says:

      Men and boys wear baseball caps, and I have seen a few watch caps in winter, but you’re right. Not many hats being worn these days. My mother too had flowery hats and some with veils, very thin almost wispy veils.

      My dad wore his fedora to work every day. I remember him coming home at night in his long overcoat and wearing his hat. He’d put the hat on the shelf in the downstairs closet so it would always keep its shape.

      Baseball hats and memorabilia are huge in the collectible business. My nephew, who is 30, started collecting baseball cards when he was young. He has a valuable collection now and many have autographs. He sells repeats on e-bay and makes good money.

  7. Hedley Says:

    I send best wishes to you as England and Sweden meet again this evening in a Friendly International

  8. Bubba Says:

    just what I wanted to hear…..Only 40 more shopping days till Christmas

  9. Coleen Burnett Says:

    Hey Kat!

    My grandmother, who died before I was born, actually made hats for a living – – prob in the 30’s and 40’s when a hat was a HAT. I am not fond of pocketbooks either. I have rounded shoulders and the darned things never stay put. For that reason I adore pants with nice big pockets.

    Been doing my usual volunteering at the local Red Cross chapter. We were devastated by Sandy, but it warms my heart to see Red Cross workers from all over the country helping us out. I think they are getting a dose of Jersey culture… 🙂

    Stay well…

    • Kat Says:

      Hi Coleen,
      I’m glad to hear from you and that you’re okay.

      Hats were definitely hats back then. Women wore them everywhere, and I think that lasted into the mid-1960’s. I remember my mother wearing one to the mother’s club at the school I attended. She had to borrow some as she didn’t have near enough for the meetings (one didn’t repeat a hat!).

      I wear sweatshirts a lot and often lock my bag in the trunk and carry my money in the pouch. It’s easier than having to keep track of a bag.

      Keep in touch. I do worry.

  10. Rick Oztown Says:

    Wonder how many of your readers would need a Google search to know who in the world Ma Kettle is/was and how she fit into any aspect of your life? (what an example)

    • Kat Says:

      I love old movies and have seen a few of Ma and Pa Kettle’s. She always wore the same hat in all of them. Her image came right to my mind when I was thinking of hats. She was a hoot!

      • Rick Oztown Says:

        Well, now those of us who might not have two nickles to rub together (or a bent pin…remember those as an entry to some old short subject venues on film) can see an example (and possibly more via a quick Google search) here:

        “Ma and Pa come home after their fun and exciting trip to New York City. Only to find out that they’re going to be grandparents. Kim is expecting a child. As Tom worries the whole Kettle house is happy with the family’s newest addition. Right in the middle of breakfast the Kettles receive a telegram delivered by Alvin, the Western Union delivery boy, from Jonathan and Elizabeth Parker (Kim’s parents) declaring that they are coming to see the newborn! Ma hushes everybody, but to her surprise the in-laws have just come and are oustside. Ma goes to greet them but the Kettle children try to help by fighting over who gets to take their luggage in. The Parkers are refined Bostonians and their first impression of the Kettles leaves them in an awe. Ma and Elizabeth don’t get acquainted very well – the reason why the Kettles leave their ultra-modern house to their beloved ramshackle farmhouse!”

  11. Kat Says:

    Now I’m watching this! I haven’t seen a Kettle movie in a long time, but it is exactly as how I remember them!


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