Why is it Called Cold Cream and Where Did it Come From?

Sometimes I suddenly wonder how a common product or item got its name. Thus with cold cream. Is it because we need it more in winter, when our skin is drier?

My statement may be accurate, but after searching for the real answer, it seems cold cream was named  because of the cool feeling it gives to the skin upon application.

Interesting. In the summer I use Noxzema, for the momentary chill I feel when I spread it upon my face, stressed from the day’s heat. I use cold cream more in winter, as it seems, to me, more soothing, warming.

What Exactly is Cold Cream?

Cold cream seems to differ from lotion due to the cream’s higher water content. It’s basically a mix of some sort of oil, and water along with an emulsifier and a thickening agent. Cold cream is specially formulated for cleansing, without depleting moisture from the skin. It’s sometimes referred to as cleansing cream.

But my mother and many others spread thick layers of it upon their faces at bedtime. To fight the ravages of aging.

These days, sometimes scents, glycerine or other ingredients are added to increase the aesthetic and therapeutic effects.

How Long Has Cold Cream Been Around?

The invention of cold cream has been attributed to Galen, a Roman physician, who reportedly mixed molten beeswax with olive oil nearly 2000 years ago.

In 1846, American pharmacist, Theron Pond began to experiment with women’s beauty products. According to the company’s site, Ponds Cold Cream and Vanishing Cream, designed for skin which tended to be more oily, became very popular as World War II began.

Now the most recognized brand on drugstore shelves, women continue to discover the healing and beautifying properties of Pond’s cold cream, dry skin cream, and related beaut products.

A Mother’s Tradition, Passed on to Daughters

As a child, I felt so grown up when my mother let me spread cold cream on my skin at bedtime. It was common in the 1960’s for women to sleep in rollers, looking like electrified ghosts, with their heavy white cold cream masks. No doubt the product protected their face from aging, the curlers made their hair beautiful for the start of the following day. But I don’t know that young husbands approved of the bizarre bedtime rituals. But wives weren’t expected to be sexy 24/7 back then.

Thankfully today, we know a thin layer of moisturizer is normally sufficient. Blow driers have pretty much eliminated the need for sleeping in rollers.

There are now many products on store shelves for preventing excessive skin aging. But these days when we all need to simplify our lives, cold cream seems to be making a comeback. Many women, including Australian singer, Kylie Minogue, are finding it a favorite beauty product.

I wouldn’t want to return to the days of archaic bedtime rituals, but I must say it’s fun to occasionally don on a bathrobe, put my hair up in rollers, cover my face with a thick, soft plaster of  lightly scented cold cream, and paint my nails a pretty shade of pink.







Mister Rogers and Tom Hanks Two Thoughtful Educator-Entertainers

Can’t wait to see A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood. Haven’t gone to the movies in years, but this one should be worth a step out into the chilly autumn weather.

When I picked up Parade Magazine the other day, I thought I was looking into the face of Fred Rogers, but it was actually a very well made up Tom Hanks. What better personality to portray the icon of children’s TV programming?

Parade asked Tom to name five things he learned from studying the life of Fred.

Slowing down was the first thing Tom mentioned. Movie making is normally highly frenetic. That’s contrary to what Mister Rogers was about.

Tom commented that the show was indeed designed for kids. It addressed difficult ideas of physics and of human relationships in a manner to which children could relate.

The cardigan sweater, the Converse or Sperry topsider tennis shoes, reflect the fact that Fred was comfortable in his clothes and in his own skin, it seems. He took on difficult issues of race and marital relationships with simplistic, yet poignant words and acts.

I was surprised to learn he was from a wealthy family, though I suppose I shouldn’t have been. Thoughtful individuals with the confidence and freedom to follow their goals find it easier to get their messages across. Think JFK.

Fred’s health tips include:

Rising at five am to a glass of hot cranberry juice – to answer every piece of mail he received from young viewers.

A daily 20 minute swim.

And here’s my favorite take away:

A framed quote from Fred Rogers:

“That which is essential is invisible to the naked eye.”

That’s true in any neighborhood.

Have you seen the movie? Did you watch Mister Rogers as a child?

I haven’t yet seen it and admit I only watched Captain Kangaroo as a kid, though I did see clips of Mister Rogers, and heard of his shows from others.

I have to see this movie at some point, and I plan to look for DVDs of the shows.

Book Review of Drive Thru Dreams by Adam Chandler

This tale of the history of the fast food industry was quite entertaining and enormously informative.

Among other fascinating facts, I learned that Ray Kroc was quite the tough guy. The McDonalds Brothers got ripped off, though thier name will go down in history.

The Colonel was a true fast food pioneer, but he toiled endlessly to reach the top, then, when the interstate highway system was constructed, the chain’s locations on small town main streets suffered, necessitating a revamp, financially and logistically.

By that time the Colonel was in his sixties, yet he tirelessly took to the road in his own car once more, plugging franchise opportunities to small-time restaurant owners.

When he sold the chain, the man who started it all was taken advantage of in the end.

The overall fast food story follows the course of most American business over the past half century.

Companies pulled to success by the bootstraps of creative, determined, individuals, have been taken advantage of by corporate interests who, today, reap immense profits with only pennies going to those whos dole out bags of hamburgers, cups of Coke or Pepsi, or the new innovative menu variations that cater to the changing culture of fast food consumers.

But what would we do without our fast food in today’s hustle culture? We baby boomers can reminisce all we want about leisurely family dinners prepared by our mothers, where each of the day’s events were discussed in depth, wise advice given us by our parents, as we anticipated the dessert course, served on decorative plates.

The reality is, try as we might, not many families have work schedules that permit formerly  common civilized rituals.

So, should we praise Ray Kroc and pass the Big Macs?

I wouldn’t go that far, but I do recommend reading Drive Thru Dreams. It’s a documentary style book but it won’t bore you. Expecting to scan it as I do most non-ficion publications, I drooled over the interesting details on every page.





Happy Belated Birthday Ringo – Peace and Love to the World

Can you believe Ringo Starr is 79? His birthday was yesterday, and he’s still sober, still touring, continuing to release positive vibes into our world.

According to an article in yesterday’s Parade magazine, on impulse one year the ex-Beatle, lifelong musician begun a unique tradition of asking his fans, and hopefully everyone, to say “Peace and Love” at noon on July 7, his birthday, every year.

Perhaps “with a little help from his friends”, someday we won’t need to in the words of former Beatle, John, “imagine” a world of people living life in peace . . .

Happy Belated Birthday Ringo – Peace and Love forever, for everyone.

Pass it on!



Sap is Flowing – Spring Shouldn’t Be Too Far in the Future

Vermont makes the claim for best maple syrup, but it’s made all across the northeastern states, and the Midwest. New techniques have lessened the labor, I wonder if they’ve changed the flavor.

We didn’t buy the real stuff when I was a kid. As I’ve aged, I’ve decided it’s better to eat less of the best food products than to overindulge on lesser quality kinds. So I favor dark chocolate and when I crave syrup I usually spring for a pint of the local stuff.

I’m a patron of the Vermont Country Store, but I’ve not ordered syrup from there. Had to share their lovely catalog cover though.

Last Rays of February Reflect Upon a Doorway to the Past

As winter ebbs, (we can hope) the warm sun shines upon the fading paint of a boarded up doorway. The home itself, I believe to be solid.

Though it could use a bit (or a lot) of cosmetic surgery, sighting of homes like these are so much more inspiring to me than viewings of many huge new houses currently constructed without solid foundations or distinctive character traits.


County Fair Floral Favorite

Designed for the “new job” category, this entry in our local fair’s floral arrangement competition caught my fancy, and that of the judges’ as well.

Love the shiny new lunch box, bright red and yellow blooms, with matching tool handles. The arrangement shouts optimism for a fresh venture.

For those too young to remember – working men and school children opened heavy metal boxes  like this one to see what surprised their mothers or wives had carefully packed for their noontime meal.

Today’s equivalent – the fabric bags with features to hold food temperatures steady are probably an improvement, but I do miss seeing the heavy duty ones with secure snaps, like the big black one carried by my dad, or the ones with TV characters carried by my classmates.

Autumn Chore or Income Source?

It’s that season of the year when objects frequently fall from the sky. Leaves drift down lazily, nuts pummel rooftops and lawns.One of the most prolific of trees that shed both leaves and nuts in bulk is the black walnut. 

The species is not a homeowner favorite, as it makes yards messy. But its nutmeats are quite a delicacy – if one can extract them from the small, thick shells. Is the labor these trees create worth the complexity of the nut’s taste, its value on the open market? Let’s consider the prospect.

I’ve always lived where there were walnut trees. One of the most tedious chores is picking the messy orbs from amid the grass each autumn. Gloves or a scoop of some sort are required, as the green of the outer coatings turns to a messy black as it decays. And it might be a good idea to don a helmet – due to the risk of being hit by the constant barrage of new nuts from above.

When I was a kid, we spread them in the drive to let the traffic tear the messy coatings away so we could collect a few nuts and crack them. There is a man with a machine available locally now, who will hull the nuts, for a low cost. But I’m not aware of a simple solution for shelling them.

Black walnuts are one of the most expensive to purchase. Their slightly bitter, complex flavor is wonderful in brownies, ice cream, and other gourmet treats.

Yet most of ours would go to waste if not for the industrious squirrels that carry them away almost immediately after the hulls have been removed or have rotted away naturally.

If only there were an easier procedure for removing the delicious nut kernels from nature’s tiny round safes, we might have a significant source of income supplementation. Or we could at least make use of them for our own culinary creations.

But most years, I must admit I pick up a pricey package of shelled black walnuts from the supermarket, to save the difficult task of processing the ones I could enjoy free of charge. Sadly, the stress of modern life often keeps us from being as frugal as our grandparents.

John Lennon – the End of The Daily Prompt – and Finish Line Writers’ Challenge

retrospective on the demise of The Daily Prompt: Such a sad day. But as I entered the library and approached the computer this morning, I spotted a display of bios of famous rocker/philosophers.

Picking up John Lennon The Life, a thick work featuring much minutia on the complex experiences of this infamous Beatle, as sometimes happens when seeking insight, I instinctively opened to a page featuring just the though I need.

Sorry for the run-on sentence but here’s the quote I discovered:

“If the Beatles or the Sixties had a message, it was learn to swim. Period. And once you learn to swim, swim. The people who are hung up on the Beatles’ and the Sixties’ dream missed the whole point when the Beatles’ and the Sixties’ dream became the point. Carrying (it) around all your life is like carrying the Second World War and Glenn Miller around. That’s not to say you can’t enjoy Glenn Miller or the Beatles, but to live in that dream is the twilight zone.”

Though I wish it could continue, I believe John would advise us not to mourn the loss of The Daily Prompt, but to use the experience to come up with creative ideas for the future of our own blogs and creations.

Here’s an idea I’ve tried once before. Like the idea? Add a second sentence to the prompt below. Follow The Penny Mason Post if you’d like to see this challenge continue.

Finish Line – A Writer’s Challenge

Simply add another sentence to the prompt using the comments section: (family friendly, please – no inappropriate language or violence)

As Allia followed the corn picker through the darkness, down the curving county road, she held her breath and dropped back as the six row vehicle rounded each corner of the two lane highway. Suddenly the tractor pulling the farm equipment came to a halt. Rather than the sideswipe incident she had feared, however, their procession had halted because _________________________________.

P.S. Whether or not you choose to accept the challenge, I appreciate all my readers and am doing my best as time permits to visit all of you too. And thanks again to WordPress for getting my site up and running once more, after last week’s glitch, so I could stay with The Daily Prompt until the last post.

As John recommends, we shouldn’t hold onto the past, but can still enjoy what’s been created. The Beatles broke up but learned to create in their own special ways. They learned from each other and we enjoy what they accomplished together and apart.




Another Classic Form of Communication Bites the Dust

First it was the pink princess phone, soon, I suppose, I’ll have to give up all my favorite means of connecting with people:

Guilty as charged. WordPress is breaking our hearts today, with the announcement of the end of daily prompts. I hope we all spend a lot of time exploring each other’s posts and liking or following blogs that resonate with us so we can stay connected.

Penny Mason Publications was created with the goal of providing fiction and non-fiction works supporting themes of positive living in today’s times.

I stray into a variety of topics from time to time, (love to post photos and essays featuring the beauty of nature), but my mission for this blog is to connect those of us, of all ages and backgrounds who love ideas and items that were created with care, by people proud of their craft.

And we should all be proud of our craft, whether we are a writer, carpenter, nurse, cashier, gas station attendant . . .  (remember when they pumped gas, in the days before customer service sailed into the sunset, leaving in it’s wake the term, “for your convenience”).

I love to celebrate:

Classic, timeless products, like soft cotton clothing that comes in cute patterns and a variety of sizes (how many millenials know there used to be half sizes, before one size fits all became the dream of corporate accountants (and others in top positions), not simply of clothing, but of personalities and ideas.

Many older items still work decades after they were made (when companies cared more about their reputation for efficient design than the salaries of CEO’s),

The same can be said for furniture – many older designs were comfortable, a pleasure to view from across the room, and were sturdy enough to be passed on to future generations, unlike the furniture a friend of this blog posted about yesterday, that’s nearly broken before being unpacked at the store.

And, most of all, we need to learn to savor the simple moments of our lives, as were able to do in mid-twentieth century America.

Sweeping social change would need to occur to give us the sense of well-being so many middle class Americans felt during those days of financial security for even most low level workers, of affordable health care, and fewer essential expenses, when money in a savings account earned one interest without minimum required balances and fees.

But there are some things we can do in our own lives to keep that fight-or-flight feeling away – the one so many of us suffer from these days – the one that can trigger health concerns.

I doubt we will return to Leave it to Beaver type tranquility in my time, if ever. Frankly those days were far from perfect for some segments of society, and much of the world.

What we can do is focus on what was positive about those times, regarding products, personal habits, government and corporate policies that promoted opportunities for startup businesses and a more fair distribution of profits.

And we need to remember to simplify our lives, make less unnecessary commitments, save time for serenity and for fun. I’m off to seek out a new fun flower find before bedding season is over.

I know most things come to an end, but I really hate to lose these timeless wordpress traditions. I’m mourning the decline of real books, newspapers, and so much more, now this . . . I’m a big promoter of peaceful protest so let’s try a media blitz to plead for the return of the wordpress daily prompt, and photo challenge! I sure hope it succeeds.