Our Clothes Are A Mirror Of Who We Are

” She had a womanly instinct that clothes possess an influence more powerful over many than the worth of character or the magic of manners.”   Louisa May Alcott

Our clothes and style are a mirror of who we really are, aren’t they?  When we wake up in the morning what we wear indicates how we feel, where we are going and our attitude about the next twelve hours.  

For men more than women, I think, sometimes dressing becomes routine as soon as their feet hit the floor. They throw on their favorite well-worn jeans, T shirt, slip on flip flops, loafers or old sneakers and are ready to face the world and what is out there waiting for them.

Most women are different animals all together. We plan, organize, accessorize and treat clothes as an extension of who we are. Our clothes don’t actually make us, but we make the clothes our own.  

Copyright Sandra Hart© 2017. All Rights Reserved

I Had A Dream

I had a dream that I awoke to a world of rationality, patriotism, non-partisan peace among men and charity to those who mean no harm. Love, hope for the future and for those willing to roll up their sleeves and work hard the opportunities were there.  The churches and synagogues were an integral part of  jointly helping their rebounding communities ….and I felt safe. Malice, greed and hatred were words unfamiliar to us.  The year was 1947 and I was 8 years old.  

This morning I opened my eyes and the forward flight of  seventy years brought me back to reality that has no dream attached to it, but all the realities of our 2017 collective nightmares.  How did this happen?

I have lived through 14 presidential elections, my family’s preferred candidate not always getting elected, but my parents were patriots who lived through the depression and respected our Constitution and the democratic process.  With hate and malice toward none, they placed patriotism and love of country before politics. I am grateful for their strength that has allowed me to move forward in my life, sharing their same values.

My father always cautioned me that if I couldn’t say something nice, keep it to myself.   “There are other ways to give positive reenfircement than hurting someone with negative speech or actions,” he would say.  “Think before you speak. Always give someone the benefit of doubt and a chance,” he advised. “Do as your faith guides you, not as ‘they’ do.”

Well, it is evident everywhere I turn, all of this sage elder advice from my father years ago has evaporated in today’s divided political and hateful rethoric. 

 With  fake news running rampant on the internet and passed around greedily like Krispy Kremes, everyone salivating to get  their ‘two cents’ in to see who can be the most hatefully  divisive, politicians holding up the democratic process because they angrily feel like it, Facebook ‘likes’ attached to vile negative posts, it seems we are doomed to perpetual division. 

Where oh where has my country gone? Is everyone drinking denial Kool Aid? Hey folks, if you know civics, we have a new democratically elected president.  The electoral college has spoken. I understand, reality bites for some, but acceptance and support of our Constitution is part of the privilege of living in this great country.

 

I am off Facebook and only sharing my blogs. I have turned off the television and instead I am reading more and working at my own craft and thank God everyday for the beautiful  adoptive children in my extended family life who wouldn’t be here today if their birth mothers had had an abortion. 

 I am boycotting my once respected union peers out in Hollywood. I want to see them ply their craft and I care not a twit their stance on politics. Whether folks agree or not with you, fellow actors,  award events are not the platforms to share your political rage. Just because you can, doesn’t make it right, or even interesting.  

So, I don’t know how long my withdrawal from the political insanity will be, but  with malice toward none I am giving the new president a chance to keep us safe, improve the economy, and move us forward. If he doesn’t, then, lucky me, democracy will allow a change. 


In the meantime, for someone,  do or say something kind today, will you? One small step for mankind may collectively save all of us in the end.

Artwork by Norman Rockwell

Copyright©Sandra Hart 2017.      All  Rights Reserved

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Five Most Meaningful Words

“In my opinion two of the most meaningful short sentences that create positive human emotional response in the English language are ‘I love you.’ and ‘Thank you.’ ” – Sandra Hart

Having coffee in the stillness of the morning today, I was thinking about my grandchildren and how the world and even traditions are changing. For them, they are experiencing great things through technology and yet, great emotional and social losses because of it. 

My most cherished book at age thirteen was Emily Post’s Book of Etiquette. Almost every girl I knew had a copy. To be able to navigate all social settings it just was the required guide to have as a young woman. Emily Post’s book first published in 1922 and updated on a regular basis to keep up with the changing society, was the standard book of reference to have as a young woman on etiquette for all occasions. 

For most of my formative years it was my rescue to navigating thank you notes, large and complicated table settings, wedding gifts, invitations, resumes and even writing to the judiciary, government officials and titled persons. Anything and everything dealing with life and occasions, even proper death condolences was covered.  

Throughout the years I tucked between Emily’s pages thank you notes from friends or important pieces of my emotional trivia. It became sort of a social cookbook of my life and it was the one book that I never wanted to part with. 

I would love to share my traditions with my granddaughters with the more modern and updated versions by Elizabeth Post, but I don’t think they would be interested. An etiquette book probably would gather dust somewhere in their room. Times have changed. 

If you are a grandparent, do you agree? We are witness to grandchildren and their generation who seem to be caught up with their heads in the vortex of the isolation of visual entertainment and keyboards, forgetting all about one-on-one social etiquette, or interest in sitting down to write a thank you note? 

I love getting a thank you call, but my heart would sing to have the postman deliver an honest-to-goodness note in their handwriting that I could slip between the pages of my social cookbook. A thank you that indicates they have taken the time to let me know they love me. 

What a great loss in human connectivity these techno kids will miss and sadly, may never be able to understand or recapture.
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Copyright©Sandra Hart 2017. All Rights 

Who Are You, Really?

I recently have started vlogging in conjunction with my weekly blog here on WordPress. Easy for you, you might think. With all of my television background and time spent in front of the camera it should be natural. Yes? No. 

For me, it has been an extreme learning curve. 
Previously, I have been in front of the camera as an interviewer or newscaster. On television and film, I have always assumed my character and perhaps only small parts within that make believe I have found myself. All of this technique and experience is so much different than being just old me. Even on Romper Room I was a teacher and not really myself. 

Time and again I have heard famous actors reveal how shy they really are, or how difficult it is for them to expose themselves as ‘real persons’. I kind of understood them, but now I really know what they mean. It takes a lot of ‘unlearning’ to expose the ‘real me’ in my vlogging efforts.  

All of this brings me to wondering if any of us even in our sixties and beyond know who we really are. Are we defined by our careers, our race or sex, beliefs, age, our talents or our roles as parents, breadwinners, or whatever face or hat we put on in front of the mirror? Is that a reflection of what others see in us as to who we are?

These past few election weeks have been a real eye opener to me. A few Facebook friends that I thought I knew have shown such an ugly side of who they really are that they have shattered the mirror. I have been quite taken back at times. Hiding within the darkness of social media has enabled the worst in some people. Do they honestly see themselves and realize what image they are projecting?  Do they know who they really are?

Previously, I always had confidence in knowing who I am, but vlogging has made me aware that maybe, after all these years I’m not so sure yet.    

I do hope that some of you are further along with that than I am and are willing to help me along my way. Or maybe it is as Shakespeare has said, 

So I am off on this new adventure and learning vlog by vlog. One advantage of talking to myself in front of the camera in an empty room is that at least I know somebody’s listening.

Copyright©Sandra Hart 2016. All Rights Reserved.

Let’s Give Peace A Chance

This last week has been a hard one. With all of the anticipation of the election here in the United States and the result causing a frenzy the likes of which I have never seen before in my lifetime was hard on all of us. 

I hate to admit it but I was born during Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s Presidency. So you do the math. I have lived through many presidential races and elections. When I was old enough to vote, my choice was not always the people’s choice. but I excepted it. I supported whomever was in office and I moved on. 

This past week was radically different-something that really was a revelation to me. I think to all of us. Social media has given rise to hate filled rhetoric. 

Formerly our news came from television, newspapers and radio and we relied on those outlets for unbiased reporting. We could make up our own minds in the privacy of our immediate friends and families. Today with existing platforms, we can spew hate behind a post. 

The infighting got so bad on my Facebook page that it was not fun to log on anymore. My daughters and some of their friends felt the same way. Their solution? Unfriend those who were going over the top with hate- filled speech. So two nights ago, with a click, I culled my friends and kept those who may have had other persuasions than I do, but were reasonable in their objections. Now I am free at last to return to Facebook. 

In this democracy there are winners. The winning candidate and those who voted for him. But in a way, we all should feel we are winners, because if the President-Elect does a terrible job, we have the power of our vote to change the POTUS. The people do have the ballot box power and the privilege to decide who speaks and governs on our behalf.  

I have never picked my friends by political persuasion, race or religion and I’m not going to ever go down that road. So, please, let us all move forward and enjoy life and the things that bring us together. Accentuate the positives in our lives and know we do have the power to rise above and accept our differences. 

Let’s give peace a chance.

Copyright©Sandra Hart 2016. All Rights Reserved

Take A Bite Of The Golden Apple

Who knew when I was raising my kids in a little one square mile town on the Jersey Shore that my family was destined to be a migratory one. My children eventually flew away one by one to find their dreams and new opportunities. I slowly closed the New Jersey chapter in my life and winged it snowbird style to Florida to experience my freedom years.  

This time of year, though, I always try to think of the upside of being a mother whose children have left me with an empty nest – it gives me lots of places to visit when I find myself in the unbearable summer heat of my tropical paradise and longing to see young faces again.

For a few days now I’ve been in Chicago visiting my daughter and enjoying as much as I can in this beautiful city of wind and water. Before attending a play at the Athenaeum last night we crossed the street to the Golden Apple restaurant for a little pre-theater dinner that gave me a déjà vu culinary journey.

The Golden Apple is the closest food experience in Chicago that reminded me of a New Jersey diner. Unforgettable. (One known fact about New Jersey, other than it being the birthplace of Frank Sinatra, it’s the New Jersey diner experience.)  

If any of my readers are fans of PBS’s program ‘This American Life’ you should be familiar with the Golden Apple. Moderator Ira Glass encompassed an entire show interviewing patrons at the Golden Apple. 

The restaurant in itself is a tiny community within a community. Local patrons go there and mix with unnoticed celebrities on a regular basis. You might say it’s a comfort zone with comfort food at comfortable prices. Something that is harder and harder to find these days. 

I guess I could share with you that I had a nice talk with the owner, we exchanged selfie’s and promised to ‘like’ each other’s Facebook pages. And I could also share that as we were about to walk into the theater a man came running across the street, a handsome old silver fox, to tell me how beautiful my dress was and that he loved the color of my hair and maybe he could take me out to dinner sometime, but those are separate stories themselves. 

I’m not quite too sure how to explain my meanderings today, but I guess it’s just that life is always an adventure and living each day to the fullest is the best reason to stay around a little longer. The unexpected moment just around the corner makes it all worth while.

If you do not allow yourself to open up, no one will ever see the beautiful flower inside of you. 

Copyright 2016 Sandra Hart. All Rights Reserved

Living A Life Of Purpose

Living A Life Of Purpose


When  my children were growing up our house was home to a myriad cache of animals, four- legged and otherwise. I think the only creatures my salary was not feeding were those without legs and crawled on their bellies.

Dogs, cats, water fowl, rabbits, gerbils, turtles and birds, both wild and caged, were given TLC and a haven in our home. After a long day at work, I was never sure to whom or what I would be feeding and giving a forever home when I opened our front door, kicked off my high heels and threw the keys on the entry table.

I admit, my three children and I are all animal lovers. My daughters drooled ‘dog’ and ‘horse’ when letting their parents know they were getting the hang of expressing themselves as humans, but honestly, I point my now over-fifty finger at my middle child, Alison, for the menagerie on Ballinswood Road. Her first word relating to a four-legged creature (that should have been a red flag for sure) was an omen that her family then and now would have to accept her compassion for animals big and small.

Today, five decades later, Alison is still caring and giving shelter to rescue animals on her 75 acre thoroughbred farm, Tower Hill Farm, near Lexington in Paris, Kentucky. It’s a family affair – the three of them working as a team, she and her children giving a home to retired race horses, fostering dogs through the local humane programs and caring for and nurturing their own horses and pets.

A single parent of two active teens with a full-time job, I touch base with Alison daily on my iPhone, finding her most often in the barn late at night caring for the horses after a long day at work, followed by chauffeuring her children to and from their sporting activities. The phrase ‘a farmers work is never done, from sun to sun’ rings true for my daughter. Her passion for animals and caring for abandoned creatures sets her above and beyond most. Out of her own pocket she has been funding this humanitarian cause for years, because it is what she was called to do.
Veterinarian, farrier fees, feed, hay and other related expenses for these rescues are all a part of Alison’s humanitarian efforts to save these beautiful animals from the reality of being sold off at auction for slaughter to meat/dog food industries, or sold to medical industries for experimentation.

With all of the chaos and hate around us in the world that is out of our control, I would like to see something positive happen that IS within our grasp right here. Right now. I have set up a
GoFundMe account to help these animals in need and to assist Alison in proving a safe haven for others as well as these horses and foster dogs in need of a deserved forever home.

If we can assist Alison by raising at least $2,500 for hay for the rescue horses it would be a great support for these beautiful animals who don’t deserve to be cast aside.

Thanks ever so much

Sandra Hart
Hay For Horses Go Fund Me Account won’t you please donate now.