Thursday, June 2, 2011


Dear Loved Ones
Welcome to Helen Hartman’s Summer Blog Party Open House!

At the very first suggestion of a party, you know Helen consulted the experts:
No help there.
My Cousin Patje did come through again with this little cookbook:


Contrary to… the truth… Helen does not photograph recipes because she is lazy. She does it because she dares not type them out and risk getting an ingredient wrong and there by IMPROVING them.

Yes. They are suggesting you roll cream cheese in paprika and disguising it as a tomato for a party snack!

I know my cousin will pardon Helen if she looks elsewhere for party advice.
Having chosen June 3 there was no doubt where I would go
Ida MAXINE Barrett Shorter
My Mom
Yes, she’s drinking a beer in the shower.
If you try to drink wine or a cocktail in there you risk slipping and spilling!

My mom gave a ton of good advice through my life.
She was, in our tribe called ‘family’ the tribal wise woman
(as opposed to moi who is the tribal wise ass woman)
So am drawing on a few things she actually used to tell us in hopes it will make my guests feel welcome;

Treat your family like friends and your friends like family.
This means you’ll be doing dishes after the party.

Use your good silver today. No sense someone else getting more joy out of it when you're gone than you did when you were here.
It’s not polite to point out that some of these tea spoons seems to be neither Helen’s silver or her silverplate nor is it smart to suggest some of them might have ‘migrated’ via Helen’s oversized purse from the tables of her neighbors.

At a party, always drink one less drink than you think you can handle (of course at some point you have to drink more than you can handle to find that limit!)

What? You thought the drawing stuff on the faces of passed out drunks started with YouTube?


Keep sweet tea in the fridge, a civil tongue in your mouth and a double barreled shot gun in your bedroom closet.
 Y’all ARE going to behave yourself at my party, right?

Hmm, I know there are a lot more – was never wear a placemat as a hat in there? 

Not sure, but it should be.
I do recall her edict to us girls not to sleep in underpants…
 Something about breathing, which makes me think she didn't really understand how things like lungs worked.

On this, the anniversary of her birth, I can't think of anything better to wish for you than you follow her example.
Enjoy what you've got while you've got it. 
Test yourself. 
Go commando.
In other words:
In loving memory of Maxine Shorter:
Live Life to the Max!

Open House Link Party Rules:
Link your blog here.
That’s it. If you drop by any time before Sunday June 5, 
leave your calling card then check out someone else's link. (Oh, please don't link any, um, questionable material)
I’d LOVE for you to put a link back to Dear Helen Hartman in your blog but am not checking.
Please feel free to leave a comment saying what your blog is about and why it is brilliant and not to be missed.
Also, if you should chose to become a follower, I might not make you do the dishes!

Visiting Common Ground for Vintage Inspiration Friday


  1. You've already got a link to my blog (Mid2Mod) on your page, so I think I'd like to discuss special shower accommodations. Your mom had this party thing all figured out. However, since I don't like beer, would you consider putting one of those white plastic benches in the shower so I can enjoy my wine and/or cocktails safely? And while you're at it, some cute little anti-skid self-adhesive things on the floor...

  2. I'm not drinking a beer in a shower, but I do have a glass of wine next to my laptop. I'm sure your linky party will be a HUGE success. Can't wait to see what other vintage fanatics post. Right now, my blog is all about outfiting our special treehouse with vintage items. The girls and I are moving into our special leafy-dwelling on Saturday.

  3. Oh, what the heck? I wanted to play with your Linky Tools! Nevermind that I was already in the bloglist.

  4. Thanks Kim and Dana - am so anxious that no one will come out to play. It's an experiment - not really ready for a regular link party. Have no idea why my mom had her photo with a beer in the shower, she was in her 20s and the girls were all gathered and ya know...

  5. Hello Helen:
    What great fun all of this is and we are sure that you will be inundated - and exhausted by the time it is all over.

    That said, we shall have a wonderful time seeing who is here although we shall most likely pass on the cheese tomatoes!

  6. Love the post! Thanks for hosting the party. :) Have a great weekend, all!

  7. No, no Helen! "IT" has to breathe which is why no underpants. And although I've never drunk a beer in the shower, I'm not dead yet! Thanks for the fun post.

  8. Thank you for stopping by my blog and leaving such a sweet comment, I linked to your lovely blog party and became a follower! I will edit my post to put your link there.
    Have a fantastic day!
    XXXX Ido

  9. Thanks for the invitation to this fun link party. I am sending a link to your blog to my friend. She will totally get a kick out of you! Have a lovely day! :)

  10. LOL Sandy - hey it's the weekend, maybe you can cross that beer and bathing off your bucket list!

  11. Thank you Ido!

    Tanya - the more the merrier!

  12. Thanks for joining in everyone - I told myself to be happy if I got 12 links for a first time out and so it's pretty cool to have done it and a little more.
    Steph- am following you now!

  13. I love this page, Annie! Love Helen Hartman's advice, and your commentary makes me laugh! Thanks for the invite and thanks for following me too!

  14. Soo funny! The pic of your mom is great and her advice is even greater still! t. xoxo


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