Sixteen years of Treehouse talk

Sixteen years of Treehouse talk

Wednesday, January 05, 2022

Wednesday Hodgepodge: Fringe Benefits

From this Side of the Pond

1. Share one happy moment/memory from the holiday season. 

Mr. Fixit and I had a rare night away, at a hotel where we had the swimming pool all to ourselves.

What, you were expecting something actually Christmas-related?

2. Let's be reasonable with our expectations going into this new year, k? What is one thing you'd like to accomplish/improve/complete/do in 2022? 

Oh, there are some huge things.

But let's keep it simple.

I hope to be able to remember my library PIN code this year, when I have to sign in to renew books. Because I don't, usually.

3. Every January 1st (since 1976) Lake Superior University has published a list of words they'd like to see banished from the Queen's English. Words may be banished due to misuse, overuse or just general uselessness (go here to read more about how the words are chosen). Here are the words/phrases they'd like to see banished in 2022-

wait, what?-no worries-at the end of the day-that being said-asking for a friend-circle back-deep dive-a new normal-you're on mute-supply chain

Which of these words/phrases do you use regularly? Which of these words would you most like to see banished from everyday speech and why? Is there a word/phrase not on the list you'd like to add? 

I don't see much wrong with "asking for a friend" or "wait, what?" (maybe I missed something?); but some of the others can deep dive right into the dumpster.

Wait, what, was I on mute? Sorry.

4. Best thing you ate in the month of December? 

That I made, or that somebody else made? That's always a tricky one.

Well, I thought the brown sugar button cookies turned out pretty well.

5. January 5th is National Bird Day. Are you a bird lover? What's your favorite bird to see in the wild? Choose a phrase from the list that follows and tell us how it relates to your life currently...eat like a bird, bird's eye view, early bird, bird-brained, free as a bird, a little bird told me, or kill two birds with one stone.

We like watching and trying to identify birds, but bird-feeders are discouraged here due to rodent issues, so (other than robins, who nest enthusiastically under our deck or anywhere else we let them, and the tiny little birds who try to squeeze through any possible holes in the siding) we don't get many birds out back. Most of our birding activities take place on walks, or sometimes in the car when a flock of something swoops by. I like seeing any particularly colourful ones, as many of the birds we see (or don't see) around here are more into camouflage.

I occasionally often do bird-brained things. But I try to make up for it.

6. Insert your own random thought here. 

We went thrifting yesterday, and for under ten dollars I came home with five Brother Cadfael mysteries, two bags of file folders, and a floral scarf with ugly fringe made of embroidery floss knotted at intervals along the hem. I snipped off every clump of fringe, and poked out the little thread ends that were stuck in the hem, and now I have a very nice scarf.

So I guess you could call that Beyond the Fringe?


Linked from The Wednesday Hodgepodge at From This Side of the Pond.

Thursday, December 30, 2021

Mama Squirrel's Reading List: Books Read in 2021

These are the titles that Goodreads says I read to the end this year. A number of them, especially the mysteries and other fiction, were rereads. There are also books that I haven't officially completed...they'll have to go on next year's list.

As always, just because a book's on the list doesn't mean I recommend it, but only that I got through it.


What were my top five new-to-me books for 2021?

1. Reading Buechner: Exploring the Work of a Master Memoirist, Novelist, Theologian, and Preacher

Munroe, Jeffrey


2. Ten Ways to Destroy the Imagination of Your Child

Esolen, Anthony


3. How to Think: A Survival Guide for a World at Odds

Jacobs, Alan


4. Why French Women Wear Vintage: And other secrets of sustainable style

Guinut, Alois


5. The Lazy Genius Way: Embrace What Matters, Ditch What Doesn't, and Get Stuff Done

Adachi, Kendra 


Faith, Thought, and Education

The Living Page: Keeping Notebooks With Charlotte Mason

Bestvater, Laurie


Ten Ways to Destroy the Imagination of Your Child

Esolen, Anthony


Seeking the Kingdom: Devotions for the Daily Journey of Faith

Foster, Richard J.


How to Think: A Survival Guide for a World at Odds

Jacobs, Alan


Surprised by Laughter: The Comic World of C.S. Lewis

Lindvall, Terry


Book of Hymns

Manser, Martin


School Education, and other volumes

Mason, Charlotte


Reading Buechner: Exploring the Work of a Master Memoirist, Novelist, Theologian, and Preacher

Munroe, Jeffrey


Disciplines of the Beautiful Woman

Ortlund, Anne


You Are What You Love: The Spiritual Power of Habit

Smith, James K.A. 


Poetry


The Griffin Poetry Prize 2013 Anthology

Buffam, Suzanne


The Trouble with Poetry: And Other Poems

Collins, Billy


The Book of Marvels: A Compendium of Everyday Things

Crozier, Lorna


The Victorian Triumph and Other Poems

Rogerson, Isabella Whiteford


Poems

Rogerson, Isabella Whiteford


Laurentian Lyrics and Other Poems

Bourinot, Arthur Stanley


Pattering Feet

Bourinot, Arthur Stanley


Among the Millet and Other Poems

Lampman, Archibald


Lyrics of Earth

Lampman, Archibald


Lifestyle, Simplicity, Finance, Organizing


The Lazy Genius Way: Embrace What Matters, Ditch What Doesn't, and Get Stuff Done

Adachi, Kendra 


Simple Matters: Living with Less and Ending Up with More

Boyle, Erin


Project 333: The Minimalist Fashion Challenge That Proves Less Really is So Much More

Carver, Courtney 


The Conscious Closet: The Revolutionary Guide to Looking Good While Doing Good

Cline, Elizabeth L.


The Joy of Missing Out: Live More by Doing Less

Dalton, Tonya 


Joy at Work: Organizing Your Professional Life

Kondo, Marie 


Spark Joy: An Illustrated Master Class on the Art of Organizing and Tidying Up

Kondo, Marie 


Living with Less: How to Downsize to 100 Personal Possessions

Lambert, Mary


The Ultimate Guide to Frugal Living: Save Money, Plan Ahead, Pay Off Debt & Live Well

Luther, Daisy 


An Edited Life: Simple Steps to Streamlining Your Life, at Work and at Home

Newton, Anna 


What to Do with Your Money When Crisis Hits: A Survival Guide

Singletary, Michelle


Decluttering at the Speed of Life: Winning Your Never-Ending Battle with Stuff

White, Dana K.


Clothes, Style, Home Decorating, Sewing, Crafts


Iris Apfel: Accidental Icon

Apfel, Iris


Wearing Vintage

Bardey, Catherine


New from Old: How to Transform and Customize Your Clothes

Emerson, Jayne


The Style Strategy: A Less-Is-More Approach to Staying Chic and Shopping Smart

García, Nina


Why French Women Wear Vintage: And other secrets of sustainable style

Guinut, Alois


Love the House You're In: 40 Ways to Improve Your Home and Change Your Life

Rien, Paige


Weekend Sewing: More Than 40 Projects and Ideas for Inspired Stitching

Ross, Heather


Small Space Living: Expert Tips and Techniques on Using Closets, Corners, and Every Other Space in Your Home

Sandenbergh, Roberta


William Morris and the Arts and Crafts Home

Todd, Pamela


The Arts and Crafts Home

Turgeon, Kitty


Mysteries

The Crime at Black Dudley (Albert Campion Mystery, #1)

Allingham, Margery


Mystery Mile (Albert Campion Mystery, #2)

Allingham, Margery


Police at the Funeral (Albert Campion Mystery, #4)

Allingham, Margery


Flowers for the Judge (Albert Campion Mystery, #7)

Allingham, Margery


The China Governess (Albert Campion Mystery, #17)

Allingham, Margery


4:50 from Paddington (Miss Marple, #7)

Christie, Agatha


The Secret of Chimneys (Superintendent Battle, #1)

Christie, Agatha


Murder Under the Christmas Tree: Ten Classic Crime Stories for the Festive Season

Gayford, Cecily


Law & Disorder (Camilla MacPhee #6)

Maffini, Mary Jane


The Dead Don't Get Out Much (Camilla MacPhee #5)

Maffini, Mary Jane


Little Boy Blues (Camilla MacPhee #3)

Maffini, Mary Jane


The Devil's in the Details (Camilla MacPhee #4)

Maffini, Mary Jane


The Virgin in the Ice (Chronicles of Brother Cadfael #6)

Peters, Ellis


The Devil's Novice (Chronicles of Brother Cadfael, #8)

Peters, Ellis


The Pilgrim of Hate (Chronicles of Brother Cadfael, #10)

Peters, Ellis


An Excellent Mystery (The Cadfael Chronicles, #11)

Peters, Ellis


The Raven in the Foregate (Chronicles of Brother Cadfael, #12)

Peters, Ellis


The Holy Thief (Chronicles of Brother Cadfael, #19)

Peters, Ellis


Brother Cadfael's Penance (Chronicles of Brother Cadfael, #20)

Peters, Ellis


Unnatural Death (Lord Peter Wimsey, #3)

Sayers, Dorothy L.


Fer-de-Lance (Nero Wolfe, #1)

Stout, Rex


The Man in the Queue (Inspector Alan Grant, #1)

Tey, Josephine


The Singing Sands (Inspector Alan Grant, #6)

Tey, Josephine


Children’s Books

A Long Walk to Water: Based on a True Story

Park, Linda Sue


Chagall: My Sad and Joyous Village (Art for Children)

Loumaye, Jacqueline


The Long Way Home

Benary-Isbert, Margot


Elsie Piddock Skips in Her Sleep

Farjeon, Eleanor


Fiction, General

The Tryst

Hill, Grace Livingston


Re-Creations

Hill, Grace Livingston


At Home in Mitford (Mitford Years, #1)

Karon, Jan


A Light in the Window (Mitford Years, #2)

Karon, Jan


These High, Green Hills (Mitford Years, #3)

Karon, Jan


Out to Canaan (Mitford Years, #4)

Karon, Jan


A Common Life: The Wedding Story (Mitford Years, #6)

Karon, Jan

 

In This Mountain (Mitford Years, #7)

Karon, Jan


To Be Where You Are (Mitford Years, #14)

Karon, Jan


The Dean's Watch

Goudge, Elizabeth


A City of Bells (Torminster, #1)

Goudge, Elizabeth


The Sister of the Angels (Torminster, #2)

Goudge, Elizabeth


Perelandra (The Space Trilogy, #2)

Lewis, C.S.


Sarah's Cottage (Sarah Morris Book 2)

Stevenson, D.E.


Vi

Thúy, Kim


Reunion

Uhlman, Fred


To Say Nothing of the Dog (Oxford Time Travel #2)

Willis, Connie


Books I wrote or worked on (because those count too)

Canadian Companion to the AmblesideOnline Poetry Anthology: Arthur S. Bourinot, Isabella Whiteford Rogerson, Archibald Lampman

AmblesideOnline Educational Foundation 


AmblesideOnline Poetry Anthology Volume One: Beginnings (AmblesideOnline Poetry Anthology, #1)

AmblesideOnline Educational Foundation 


AmblesideOnline Poetry Anthology Volume Two: Walter de la Mare, Eugene Field, James Whitcomb Riley, Christina Rossetti (AmblesideOnline Poetry Anthology, #2)

AmblesideOnline Educational Foundation 


AmblesideOnline Poetry Anthology Volume Three


AmblesideOnline Poetry Anthology Volume Four: Alfred, Lord Tennyson, Emily Dickinson, William Wordsworth (AmblesideOnline Poetry Anthology, #4)


AmblesideOnline Poetry Anthology Volume Five

AmblesideOnline Educational Foundation 


AmblesideOnline Poetry Anthology Volume Six

 AmblesideOnline Educational Foundation 


Minds More Awake (Revised): The Vision of Charlotte Mason

White, Anne E. 


Ideas Freely Sown: The Matter and Method of Charlotte Mason

White, Anne E. 


Everything Else


Zen in The Art of Writing

Bradbury, Ray


The Bullet Journal Method: Track the Past, Order the Present, Design the Future

Carroll, Ryder


Serious Creativity: How to be creative under pressure and turn ideas into action

de Bono, Edward


How to Have Creative Ideas: 62 Games to Develop the Mind

de Bono, Edward


Stranger Planet (Strange Planet, #2)

Pyle, Nathan W.


Do What You Are : Discover the Perfect Career for You Through the Secrets of Personality Type

Tieger, Paul D.


Wednesday, December 15, 2021

Wednesday Hodgepodge: Smile, Darn Ya

 From this Side of the Pond

1. How young is young? In the past, according to various organizations who decide these things, age 60 was the 'border age' to old. The World Health Organization has done new research recently and divided up the categories as-0-17 (underage), 18-65 (youth or young people), 66-79 (middle-aged), 80-99 (elderly senior), 100+ (long-lived elderly). Your thoughts on this particular breakdown, and also your thoughts as to where you land?

Well, it's nice to be called "youth," when I occasionally get asked now if I want the seniors' discount.

Is there really a point to making a separate category for those over a hundred, when we have high schoolers lumped in with retirees? It sounds a bit like the pirates in Muppets' Treasure Island: Old Tom, Real Old Tom...

2. TIME magazine has declared Elon Musk person of the year in 2021. What say you? If you want to know more about how they choose you'll find that info in the link here. If you were choosing, who would be your person of the year? 

I'm staying away from that one!

3. I read here ten habits of extremely likable people which include-they greet the world with a smile on their face, they ask questions, they're consistent, they put the phone away, they remember names and use them, they keep an open mind and don't pass judgement, they're authentic, they're kind and generous, accountable for their mistakes, and they send thank you notes.  

So, are you likable-lol? Which one of these habits could use some further developing in your own life? What is one habit/quality you'd add to the list? 

I know some extremely likable people who reserve their grins, who don't ask too many questions, and (yes) who can't always remember names. I happen to be one of the last group, and it's deeply embarrassing, I want to be one of those legendary people who "never forget a name," "never forget a face," but the reality is that I can't always put the two together, so I hope you won't find me too much less likeable if I need a quick kickstart. After that I'll probably also remember the name of your dog, what class we had together in high school, or where you used to sit in church.

4. One non-holiday related task/job/goal/dream on your to-do list that you hope/plan to make happen before the new year rolls in? 

Finish a writing task that got postponed several times and is now dragging out, even though it's not such a big job--it's just gotten shelved so many times that now it feels bigger than it is. Like cleaning out a room that isn't really that big a deal, but that makes you shudder and procrastinate before you jump in and do it.

5. Share with us some of your holiday plans. 

Mostly at home. But that's not so bad.

6. Insert your own random thought here. 

How about a random I-wish-I-could-travel wardrobe? This week's Treehouse post.

Linked from The Wednesday Hodgepodge at From This Side of the Pond.

Monday, December 13, 2021

Winter Travelling Wardrobe: A Little at a Time

We don't go travelling much in the winter, but the opportunity might present itself. And of course there are the times you don't expect to have to go anywhere, but suddenly you do.

A recent Vivienne Files story showed how one might build a travel wardrobe as necessity requires and time permits, starting with a travel outfit of a heavy Fair Isle-patterned sweater, turtleneck, and black cords. (We will assume that the person would also be wearing an outdoor coat, hat, and gloves, and that if the snow or slush were anything much, that she'd switch the short boots for something more durable.)

Crocheted beanie, handmade. Gloves, gifted some time back.

I don't have a Fair Isle sweater, but I do have this Arnold Palmer pullover. (I found it in the men's section at the thrift store.)

And here it is having its Vivienne Files moment, with a turtleneck and pants. All my cords were worn out by the end of last winter, but I do have some grey pinstriped jeans that would work. Also in the photo (as in the original story): short boots and a smallish purse.

Wednesday, December 08, 2021

Wednesday Hodgepodge: The Imaginative Sense of Christmas

Welcome to this week'sWednesday Hodgepodge. Click the graphic to join the rest of the Hodgepodgers at From This Side of the Pond.

From this Side of the Pond
1. 'Tis the season to be jolly....so are you? 

I'm working on it.

2. Do you trim a tree this time of year, and if so is yours all done? What's something in your home-closet-life that needs to be trimmed in the new year? 

We did that yesterday.

Our tree skirt is a thrifted tablecloth. Other years we've used an afghan.

3. Are you 'dreaming of a white Christmas'? Is that a possibility where you'll be celebrating?

Almost for certain.

 According to this site the top ten places in the US you can count on for a white Christmas are- North Pole Alaska, Crater Lake Oregon, Yellowstone National Park, Winthrop Washington, Aspen Colorado, Ketchum Idaho, Mt. Washington New Hampshire, Whitefish Montana, Duluth Minnesota, and the Lake Tahoe town of Truckee California

Of the snowy spots listed which would you most like to visit? 

None, thank you. I like warm weather.

4. December 8th is National Brownie Day...will you be celebrating? How do you like your brownies-chewy or cake-like, frosted or plain, nuts or no nuts, a piece from the middle or give me the corner? As a child were you a member of a brownie troop? 

Last question: yes. 'Nuff said.

I like brownies, but cinnamon rolls are good too.

5. Share a favorite line or two from a Christmas carol.

Let all mortal flesh keep silence

And with fear and trembling stand;

Ponder nothing earthly-minded,
For with blessing in his hand,
Christ our God to earth descendeth,
Our full homage to demand.

6. Insert your own random thought here. 

I was reading something about how we understand poetry, especially poetry that has a lot of literary allusions or seems generally difficult or obscure. Is it enough just to say that if it sounds good, then it is good even if it's essentially meaningless, because poetry isn't supposed to have "meaning?"  In poetry, are we limited to either something like Anne Shirley's "I'd just feeeeel a prayer", or Marilla's "learn your catechism?" At Christmas, should we settle for wall decorations and throw pillows that bleat a vague "Believe?"

George S. Williamson, who wrote a book on T.S. Eliot's poetry many years ago, put a plug in for a third option, saying that "Neither an emotional nor a musical effect, if it is really such, can be founded on incoherence. This study assumes that poetry as meaning is neither plain sense nor nonsense, but a form of imaginative sense... Indeed, we can speak of the meaning of a poem as its mode of apprehension or as a synthetic principle controlling the elements in which its feelings take shape. On a lower level it is no more and no less than the metrical syntax of the poem. Without it a poem will function at random; without its consideration any discussion must be aimless, at best peripheral. Without it a poem cannot have an apprehensible being." (A Reader's Guide to T.S. Eliot, by George S. Williamson)

Poetry must certainly have meaning; just a different sort. It's not nonsense, it's imaginative sense.

Just like mystery and angels and the Incarnation don't have to be fully understood or brought down to everyday terms to be real.

Wishing you all a considered and coherent Christmas.

Thursday, November 11, 2021

Thinking Ahead: Books On My Reading List for 2022

(Last updated December 30, 2021)

Some of these are carryovers that didn't get located or started or finished this past year (or the one before that). But there's always hope.

Adler, Mortimer J., How to Think about the Great Ideas: From the Great Books of Western Civilization 

Collingwood, R.G., The Principles of Art 

Desai, Anita, Clear Light of Day 

Dreher, Rod, Live Not by Lies 

Earley, Justin Whitmel, The Common Rule: Habits of Purpose for an Age of Distraction  

Eliot, T.S., Complete Poems and Plays 

Froese, Paul, On Purpose: How We Create the Meaning of Life 

Frye, Northrop, Anatomy of Criticism 

Frye, Northrop, The Great Code 

Frye, Northrop, Northrop Frye on Shakespeare 

Fujimura, Makoto, Refractions: A Journey of Faith, Art, and Culture (2009) 

Fujimura, Makoto, Art and Faith (2021) 

Gardner, Howard, Good Work: When Excellence and Ethics Meet 

Gill, Shira, Minimalista

Guite, Malcolm, Lifting the Veil: Imagination and the Kingdom of God 

Highet, Gilbert, The Art of Teaching 

Jacobs, Alan, Breaking Bread with the Dead: A Reader's Guide to a More Tranquil Mind 

Jauss, David, Words Overflown by Stars: Creative Writing Instruction and Insight from the Vermont College MFA Program 

L'Engle, Madeleine, Herself: Reflections on a Writing Life 

Levitin, Daniel J., The Organized Mind: Thinking Straight in the Age of Information Overload

Lewis, C.S., The Signature Classics (seven books in a bindup) 

MacDonald, Thoreau, Notebooks

Nicolson, Adam, The Making of Poetry: Coleridge, the Wordsworths and Their Year of Marvels 

Peterson, Andrew, Adorning the Dark: Thoughts on Community, Calling, and the Mystery of Making  

Peterson, Andrew, The God of the Garden: Thoughts on Creation, Culture, and the Kingdom 

 Peterson, Jordan B, Beyond Order: 12 More Rules For Life 

Ramsey, Russ, Rembrandt Is in the Wind: Learning to Love Art through the Eyes of Faith 

Shakespeare, William, Selected plays 

Toews, Miriam, All My Puny Sorrows 

White, Dana K., Organizing for the Rest of Us

Wood, Michael, Shakespeare

Wednesday, November 03, 2021

Wednesday Hodgepodge: Breads, Brights, Books

Here are the questions to this week's Wednesday Hodgepodge. Answer on your own blog, then hop back tomorrow [click the graphic] to link answers with your friends and strangers. See you there! 

From this Side of the Pond

1. Three things you're grateful for this first week of November? 

1. The bread machine we thrifted recently. Our third, actually, but we haven't had one for the past few  years. So far we've made bread (duh), sub rolls, dinner rolls for Thanksgiving, burger buns (we just used the sub roll recipe), and pizza dough.

2. The colours of fall outside our back door


3. A thrifted jacket in a bright colour.


2. Is Daylight Savings Time a thing where you live? Do you think we should continue setting the clocks forward and back? Why or why not? If you could add an extra hour to your day would you want it added morning-noon-night? Do you think it likely you'd be more productive or more likely that you'd just waste more time? 

I think it just makes life more confusing.

3. Who is  your favorite author? Your favorite book by your favorite author? 

Depends on the day and the season. Pilgrim's Progress is a longtime favourite.
But this year has also been a good one for reading poetry, and I'm very happy to finally have the AmblesideOnline Poetry Anthology on our shelves. This is a project I helped with over the summer, but it took this long to get my own set of the books. (Shameless plug?)

4. It's National Sandwich Day...will you celebrate? How often do you eat a sandwich? What's your favorite? 

Years ago this area had a sandwich franchise with an artery-blowing option full of cheese and black olives. But that's long gone.

If we were having lunch out, I'd probably order a club or a grilled cheese. At home? maybe peanut butter and banana.

5. Have you started your Christmas shopping? If so when did you start? If not when will you start? Do you give more or fewer gifts than you did five years ago? 

Yes, a little, because we keep getting reminded this year that if we don't order something early, we might not get it at all.

6. Insert your own random thought here. 

Worst idea ever: television sets over dentists' chairs.

Linked from the Wednesday Hodgepodge at From This Side of the Pond.

Thursday, October 28, 2021

Nuancing our way through the holidays (clothes post)


For almost a year she has admired the Sophisticated Lynx bracelets, from Fierce Lynx Designs. The Vivienne Files first described them as having "the nuances of color...deeply hidden in the stones, revealing themselves only to the attentive observer." That intrigued her so much that did her own version of the V.F. story. But she finally has her own set of bracelets, and now she's going to observe attentively and plan a mostly-thrifted early-winter wardrobe around them.

In a time when everyone is, supposedly, more focused on going out and doing things than they have been for awhile, she begins at the other end, with an oversized poncho sweater that's definitely a homebody. The big  collar is a bit overwhelming, so she prefers to wear it tucked in.
She found this red and grey cardigan at a flea market. 
It's less couch-potato than the poncho, but still very cozy.
She was going to include a grey cardigan, but with the popularity right now of shirt jackets (isn't "shacket" an ugly word?), she decides on a more structured fleece jacket.

Wednesday, October 27, 2021

Wednesday Hodgepodge: I'm Afraid I've Let This Go

 From this Side of the Pond

1. Is Halloween a big deal in your neighborhood? Was it something you celebrated as a child? With your own children? Do you like candy corn? 

As a holiday, I can take or leave it. This is the third place in a row we've lived that, for various reasons, never attracts many trick-or-treaters even when the weather's good; so we buy one small just-in-case package of candy, and usually end up eating it ourselves. Watching a somewhat scary movie is about the extent of our observances.

2. Are you a scaredy cat? About what? 

About the same amount of things as Zero Mostel here.

3. Last time you were somewhere that should have been busy but felt like a 'ghost town'? 

Last weekend! Mr. Fixit and I went away overnight to a town that is always super-busy during the summer, but right now seems to be experiencing a worse-than-usual off-season. It's a place that we usually visit during the day, so we're familiar with the breakfast/lunch places but weren't sure where to go for dinner. We found a place that sounded good (and reasonable), and it was.  But here's the funny thing: while we were sitting there, it was like deja-vu: Mr. Fixit said, isn't this the place...and I said, yes, I think so. We brought The Apprentice here she was four months old, when we were still such new parents that we didn't think that adding a baby to our usual adventures should be much of a hassle, and the three of us went out to dinner, at a place I couldn't have told you where, and she screamed her head off through the whole meal, for no particular reason except that she was four months old. We had to take turns eating and walking up and down and inside and out with the baby. And that was the same restaurant where we ended up this time.

The next morning we got up, ate some free breakfast in the lobby (okay, but not great), and thought we'd check out a small farmer's market we'd read about online. We got there, and it was closed for the season (the website was wrong).

So we thought we'd drive to an antiques barn just north of town. But the door was padlocked and there was no sign of anybody.

So we thought we'd check out a gallery of photographs upstairs in the town library. The library was open, but the gallery was closed. They were very apologetic. By this time we were just laughing, it seemed like everything in town was shut down.

But we did stop into a Salvation Army store. That was open. And we found a watercolour painting by Beatrice Hogan, an artist we used to know slightly through family connections. Anyway, we just really liked the painting, and for eight dollars, it was totally worth it.

And then we went to our usual breakfast-lunch place and had some decent food before we left town.

4. Do you like chili and if so how do you like it? Beans or no beans? Meat or no meat? Beef or chicken? Spice or no spice? Favorite toppings? 

Beans, any kind of meat (or no meat), not too spicy, some cheese. I usually make a basic recipe from the Tightwad Gazette books, but sometimes we experiment with white chili.

5. Would you describe yourself as a night owl? What time of night qualifies? What are you doing while everyone else is asleep? Do you then 'sleep in'? Define 'sleeping in'. 

When I was single, I used to stay up late, but marriage to someone who had to start work early reformed me.

"Sleeping in" means getting up at 7:30 instead of 6:45.

Linked from The Wednesday Hodgepodge at From This Side of the Pond.

Thursday, August 26, 2021

Wednesday Hodgepodge: Always Learning

 From this Side of the Pond


1. Is school back in session where you live? Is everyone in person or does your system still offer a virtual option? Are kids wearing masks? 

Classroom schools here don't open until September, but some homeschoolers I know have already started.

I don't want to go into what the classroom schools do/don't right now.

2. Something you still do 'old school'? 

Blog.

Pay cash.

Hang clothes up to air-dry. 

Wait for Mr. Fixit to unlock the passenger door, because our car doesn't have power door locks.

3. One lesson you've learned in the 'school of life'? 

Read the fine print.

4. When you were in school did you pack a lunch or buy a lunch? Your favorite thing to see on the lunch menu or inside your lunchbox back in the day? 

When we were in elementary school, most of us walked home at lunchtime unless there was choir practice or some other activity. In high school I usually packed a lunch but sometimes bought pizza in the cafeteria--the school wasn't near any place to buy other food, and we weren't supposed to leave the school anyway until that so-privileged final year.

When we did take lunches in grade school, my mother used to get creative with cream cheese and maraschino cherry sandwiches.
 
5. August is National Family Fun Month. Tell me something fun you’ve done this month. 


Went off for a couple of planned-at-the-last-minute days out with Mr. Fixit.

Bought some Bernat Blanket yarn to make a throw for our couch. The yarn has a very newfangled cushy fleece feel to it, so I suppose you could say that's old-school crocheting with a new twist.

6. Insert your own random thought here.

Reading is like an all-you-can-eat pizza buffet. When you think you've cleaned your plate, you wander back up and they've added something new to try.

Wednesday, August 18, 2021

Wednesday Hodgepodge

From this Side of the Pond
1. Monday, August 16th was National Roller Coaster Day. Are you a fan? Did you celebrate? Last place/time you rode a roller coaster? 

I used to like them. Last time was more years ago than I can count, probably at Canada's Wonderland north of Toronto.

2. Tell us about a time in your life where it felt like you were figuratively riding a roller coaster. 

Besides now?

3. Favorite treat to eat at an amusement park or state fair? 

Hot pretzels.

4. Are you easy to get along with? Elaborate. 

Wow, that's pretty hard to answer for yourself, isn't it? And it depends on who you're dealing with...spouse, friends, neighbours, business people, telemarketers?

I saw a meme recently that said you should try to be the person your dog thinks you are. I don't have a dog, but it's still good advice.

5. Something on your calendar to see-do-read-accomplish or just enjoy before month's end? 

Yes, several things, but not stuff I can get into here. Some of it involves poetry. Some of it doesn't.

OK, to read: Effortless, by Greg McKeown. It's the sequel to Essentialism. Because of the other see-do-read-accomplish, I'm finding that getting it read is a bit effortful. But I'm trying to get it finished before it disappears on my Overdrive account.

6. Insert your own random thought here. 

Happy National Thrift Shop Day for yesterday. I bought a one-dollar scarf to celebrate.

Linked from The Wednesday Hodgepodge at From This Side of the Pond.

Monday, August 16, 2021

Inspired by Estuaries (A Fall Clothes Story)

This mostly-thrifted travel wardrobe is posted in honour of National Thrift Shop Day (August 17th),  and is inspired by similar stories on The Vivienne Files.

Their sister-in-law is an artist and designer who works in natural and hand-dyed wools on beeswax-coated board. Recently she sent them a notecard with a photograph of one of her pieces, inspired by a summer on the St. Lawrence Estuary.

www.kathywhiteart.com 

"Do we have any estuaries around here?"

"No."

"Could we go somewhere that's sort of like an estuary?"

"How about Owen Sound?"

"Oh, cool. We could go see the Tom Thomson Gallery, and do some hiking."

"I'm in."

What will she pack? She starts with this teal jersey dress. 

No, it's not a silly idea. She knows lots of different ways to wear it.

By itself with a belt and a necklace

With a long cardigan and ankle boots (and tights, of course)

(There's another way you can wear the cardigan)

Under a vintage ultrasuede coat

Tucked into a black skirt
With a denim jacket

With a blanket scarf/shawl and black jeans (leggings would work too)

Under a teal pullover, with a scarf (and tights)
With a poncho and a grey beret
Well, she can't just live in the dress, especially if they are going hiking. She already has leggings and black jeans in the pile, so she adds a black square-necked top, that can go with either the skirt or the jeans, and a long-sleeved grey t-shirt. (If they were going to stay another day or two, she would put in a blue t-shirt as well.)

 How about this tunic top? It's nice to have a different colour along.
That makes nine items of actual clothing, if you don't count ponchos and outerwear. Ten with an extra t-shirt. Nobody can accuse her of overpacking. Overdressing, maybe, but not overpacking.
She has a few other outfits in mind (besides the dress). The black top and skirt can go under her jean jacket
Or under the purple coat.
The black top and jeans can go with the long cardigan.
Or with the poncho.
And any of the t-shirts she brings can go with the jeans and her jean jacket, or under the teal pullover.

The tunic top can go with the jeans, or the leggings. Or it can get tucked into the skirt.

She is taking three pairs of shoes and boots: her new teal ankle boots, her thrifted Kate Spade snake print loafers, and her Allbirds Mizzles, bought last year, that are good for walking on trails.
Here are her coat and jean jacket. If she's smart, she'll remember to pack her warmer jacket as well.
The poncho and blanket scarf
A couple of other scarves, her beret, a purse, and a belt
She remembers to put in this other scarf (it's a bit warmer)
And some jewelry
And she is absolutely going to bring her Fierce Wisdom bracelets.

Well, that's settled, then.


Thank you, Kathy!