Plan #21 – Find photos of 80s bathing suits

First, I suppose, one has to determine if they say “bathing suit” or “swimsuit.” Apparently I say bathing suit; David does not. Now that we have that important discussion out of the way…

Reminiscing about growing up in Huntington Beach got me thinking about high school bathing suits. There are a couple of styles that stand out distinctly in my mind, but as far as the internet is concerned, they did not exist. I, of course, am quite sure that they did.

bikini bottomsFirst: the classic two-piece of my high school days. It had a fairly standard top, and fairly standard high-cut bottoms (which I think were usually shirred down the front like the ones shown here, actually).  The important distinction is the length of the strings on the top. Instead of just tying behind you, as a normal bathing suit would, these strings were extra-long. You would criss-cross them behind you, thread them through the sides of your bottoms, then bring them around and tie them in the front.

Did this only happen in a tiny part of the world? How is it that the entire internet does not have a picture of this? I am usually an excellent Googler – no, seriously, I am; you can ask anybody – and I have not figured out a way to describe this suit that Google can understand. I am embarrassed to admit how much research time I invested in this in the wee hours of the morning today.

Second: my all-time favorite one-piece suit, circa 1983-1984. OP made these one pieces that were actually skimpier than a two-piece in some ways. This particular one was actually my sister’s, although I coveted it. It was black with white pinstripes that came to a V in the center; the straps were white. The classic OP details – besides the little “op” on the front hip – were a) that the back and front were connected at the hips by three strings and b) that the front was a very deep V.

I don’t know what I was thinking, borrowing that suit from Gina. She had way more of a figure than I did, at that point; instead of showing cleavage, that deep neckline probably just showed each of my ribs. (I’d had a terrible case of mono my junior year – got hospitalized, had parades of medical students in to study me, couldn’t eat or drink – and I was down to 93 lbs.) But every time I wore it, I felt perfect.

Yeah, that bathing suit doesn’t seem to have made its presence felt on the interwebs, either. I found one pretty close to it:

Source: a fantastic site called, which you should go to because it is amazingly comprehensive and super cool.

I never would have worn these bright pastels, though, and I remember the neckline as much more drastic. Whether it was actually different or not we may never know, but the black-and-white suit of my memories was way cooler.

As long as we are on the subject of 80s bathing suits and the beach, I suppose I should be required to put up photos of myself from that era. I could only find ones from my trip to Corfu in 1988:

on the beach
Lori and what must be an Irish or English woman, working on our tans.

I only had a one-piece when we got there, which was not conducive to tanning, so I think Deb and I skipped eating for a day to buy these old, stretched-out bikinis at a local shop. (I have no idea why I have my foot on a piece of paper. I may not even know it is there.)

What’s hilarious is the difference between how I looked and felt before and after we spent each day on that Corfu beach:

Lying in the hot sun for hours makes me a wee bit cranky and disoriented, but you do what you have to do to get that beautiful bronzed look. Then you get melanoma and are forced to stay out of the sun for the rest of your life. It’s definitely a trade-off.

Plan #16 – Get those photos stored safely!


Photos. They are an incredible joy; they can be an incredible pain. I have so many photos stored in so many places: On my phone. In my email. On my home computer, my work computer, my laptop. On SD cards. On CDs. Slides and negatives and prints, in boxes and bags and piles and – believe it or not – scrapbooks.

Over the years, I have been organizing my digital photos using a product I love. It goes by Forever Historian now, though it was once Memory Manager from Creative Memories. It lets you sort your photos into “Albums,” tag them any way you like, and search for them easily. It even recognizes faces after you label them once! You can rank your photos, write notes about them, edit them, and share them, all from one program. I’ve been using it for years now, and I really like it. (I’ve also used their Artisan program for photo projects for years as well. In fact, all my blog headers have been made on Artisan!)

I still have had two little problems with digital photo storage, though. First, I am not good at backing things up. I have known for ages that I should be backing stuff up online, but how?? Kryptonite? Dropbox? One of the photo services like Snapfish or Shutterfly?

Apparently the people at Forever have got our backs. They have integrated Historian with a permanent online storage program, so now all I need to do is upload the photos I have in Historian right to my Forever online account. In fact, I even got an app for my phone that automatically backs my phone photos to the storage account without my even having to think about it. I have just barely started using it, and I already love it. I’ll keep you posted as I transition the photos to that account and learn all its ins and outs. I’m totally psyched to get up to speed.

Now, if only I could get Forever to organize my future scrapbook room for me, I’d be set!

Plan #11 – Corral my favorite books


As part of my ongoing guest room update, I moved a couple of bookcases back into the room from other points in the house. One is serving as a nightstand/shelf for books that guest people might be interested in (such as random fiction, anthologies of trivia, and all our old high school yearbooks). The other is my stash of Books of Yore.

You see, I am obsessed with the past. Growing up, my two favorite authors were Laura Ingalls Wilder, author of the Little House books, and Louisa May Alcott, author of Little Women. You may have heard that Quinland’s middle name, Rose, was chosen because of ties to both of them. As I got older, I became interested in their lives and their journeys as writers, and I started collecting books about them as well as adding to my collection of books by them. (Don’t ask how many editions of Little Women I have. Each one is different in some way!)

In the last ten years or so, I began my love affair with Jane Austen. Inspired by the 2005 Keira Knightley version of Pride and Prejudice, I read all of Austen’s books and fell in love. Again, I have begun to collect books about her as well as books by her. I have a few fan-fiction sequels, as well, though thankfully I can get my fill of those online. (I stumbled upon the ones I have at a garage sale. Can you imagine? I simply had to buy them all.)

Around the same time, I started to read L.M. Montgomery’s Anne of Green Gables series. I enjoyed them tremendously, but when I read her Emily of New Moon series, Emily replaced Anne in a heartbeat. I love those books. Something about Emily and her quest to become a writer just resonates with something inside me, though I fully admit I haven’t shown anywhere near the passion – the need to write stories – that she did. Someday… someday.

All these old books about young people got me interested in old educational materials, and I’ve started to pick those up when I find them. I have a set of McGuffy’s Readers (a reproduction set, of course), but I’ve also found some really interesting textbooks on specific subjects at antique shops and estate sales. It’s fascinating to see how straightforward they are. No bells and whistles and games and illustrations for those kids! Just stuff to memorize and questions to answer, the way God intended. (Just kidding. In case there was any confusion on that point.)

Historical fiction; biographies; old school books… hooray! I love that bookshelf. Every time I see those books, they make me happy. They spark joy. I purge my books on a regular basis, but those ones are definite keepers.