Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Frugal finds and fixes, and some letting go

Fixing: Besides fixing the jean buttons yesterday, I'm trying to cure a bad case of salt stains that afflicted my old-but-otherwise-okay winter boots. I gave them a spa morning on the balcony, with repeated vinegar-water spraying and wiping, and it did help quite a lot. I may give them a return appointment if tomorrow's sunny again.

Fun find: Another mostly-there craft pad of punchouts and boxes.
I like printed bits and pieces for gift tags and card making.
Money well spent: A doorbell for the apartment, ordered online. Beats listening for people politely tapping. You can even change the ringer from ding-dong to tunes, if you're in the mood.

Still blessedly free, more or less: Radio stations. Watching monarch butterflies migrate past the balcony on September evenings. Wearing fall clothes you already have but that it's been too hot to wear since May.

Letting things go: I do make thrifting mistakes, or end up with too much the same, or trade up to something I like better or that's a better fit. So I'm filling a bag with clothes and books to re-donate.

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

The Intentional Thrifter buys some un-mom jeans

I finally decided that my thrifted-two-years-ago lone pair of blue jeans were getting too baggy and worn, so today I took a look through the thrift-store jeans rack. Two pairs looked like possibilities, and only one of those fit. Happily, that pair had this week's coloured discount tag, so the final price was a dollar fifty.
One of the two waist buttons came off in the fitting room. The other button, bizarrely, appeared to have been resewn, but backwards. I fixed them both when I got home. The jeans are in good shape otherwise. They're a skinny cut, ankle length, not baggy. Yay.

Here comes the "good reasons to thrift" part of this story. These jeans are from the same Canadian designer as the grey suit I posted about earlier this year. Jeans on her website are listed at about $150 Canadian (U.S.$115). That's a little bit scary, K-Mart Shoppers. I mean, these are pretty nice jeans, and I was happy to find them, but I don't know that you'd look at them and think they had been hand-sewn by elves or something. They are made in Canada, not overseas, so that may partly account for the high price. And some people just like to shop in boutiques and have the money to do so...and, apparently, to pass them on to the MCC thrift store when the buttons get loose.

Well, I send them my unbaggy and sincere thanks.

Sunday, September 16, 2018

From the archives: How Charlotte Mason might have taught a lesson on ecosystems and biogeography

First posted September 2014. Lydia was in Grade 8.
Subject: Ecosystems and Biogeography.

Group: Science. Class III. Time: 30 minutes. By Mama Squirrel.

Book used:  Exploring The World Around You, by Gary Parker.

I. To increase the student's knowledge of biotic and abiotic factors.
II. To show how all living things are connected to each other.
III. To give some account of the different biogeographic realms, using Australian marsupials as an example.

By way of introduction, I would ask the student to tell me the meaning of an ecosystem, and, for any ecosystem, name some of the things included; for instance, in an aquarium, we would have particular plants, animals, but also factors such as light and temperature. (Don't forget the tiny organisms that we can't see unaided.)  We can label any of these factors as either biotic or abiotic.  How do the different "factors" interact with each other? (Example: plants releasing oxygen for the animals to use.)

I would have her read orally from Exploring The World Around You, page 11, the paragraph about the interaction in an aquarium ecosystem.

Then, after narration, I would show a map of the six (original) major biogeographic realms: Palearctic, Nearctic, Neotropical, Ethiopian, Oriental, Australian.  Recently this map has been updated.  I would give the student a printout of the updated map, and read from the accompanying article.  "Our study is a long overdue update of one of the most fundamental maps in natural sciences," lead author of the new research in Science, Ben Holt, said in a press release. "For the first time since Wallace's attempt we are finally able to provide a broad description of the natural world based on incredibly detailed information for thousands of vertebrate species."  

After narration, we could talk about why scientists believe it to be important to divide the biogeographic realms more accurately, and what has allowed them to do that. Something hard to think about: would creationists and evolutionists think about biogeography somewhat differently?  As an example of a creationist approach, we would read the rest of the chapter, about Australian marsupials. 

Adapted from Class Notes, as printed in various Parents' Reviews.

From the comments on the original post:
"This is wonderful! And the question follows - how can the homeschooling mother find the information needed to teach these kinds of lessons to her students, and how is she able to do that in the minimal time she has available while also managing a bustling household. Is it wishful thinking for us?"

My response:
"I don't try to teach every lesson this way; I do try to beef up some chapters or lessons, like this one, that seem like they could benefit from a "CM touch." While I don't have a really bustling homeschool these days, I am (obviously) not a scientist or geographer, so I think that should be reassuring! Mostly I just read through the lesson carefully, look for narration points or places where you could include map work etc. In this case, the book (written a few years ago) included a small map of the biogeographic divisions. When I looked online for a better map, I came across the updated information and thought it should be included in the lesson."

Friday, September 14, 2018

Wear your closet: not purple today

A final entry in Encircled's #wearyourcloset challenge. The "blouse" is my Encircled Chrysalis Cardi, which I have to admit I do not wear often, so it fits the challenge! The suit came from a thrift store, and the necklace is a thrifted scarf clip.

Quote for the day: Frye on the power of practical decision

"It follows that such a cliche as 'teaching the student to think for himself' is not a simple conception either...In real thinking we first study a given subject long enough to enable its laws and categories to take possession of our minds, after which we may move around inside the subject with some freedom. There is no real thought outside such disciplines...Of course a thinker should be able to return to society with an enormously heightened power of practical decision, but by that time he has lost interest in thinking for himself." ~~ Northrop Frye, "The Critical Discipline," an address to the Fellows of Sections I and II of the Royal Society of Canada, June 1960, included in his book On Education 

Thursday, September 13, 2018

Poetic thought for the day: "Until we recognize a grandeur"

"Not with the mean and vulgar works of man,
But with high objects, with enduring things--
With life and nature, purifying thus
The elements of feeling and of thought,
And sanctifying, by such discipline,
Both pain and fear, until we recognize
A grandeur in the beatings of the heart." ~~ William Wordsworth, The Prelude, Book I

Wear your closet: unbuttoned

I usually wear cardigans either buttoned up or hanging loose. But Encircled's week of use-what-you-have reminded me that belts work too.
Cardigan thrifted earlier this year, put on hold till fall.

Quote for the day: Tellers of our own story

"Christians are going to have to become better tellers of our own story. Young people are not going to be argued into Christian chastity or browbeaten by moralistic maxims. Beauty and goodness, embodied in great art and fiction, and in the lives of ordinary Christians, married and single, is the only thing that stands a chance.

"If we don't do it, the culture will do it for us." ~~ Rod Dreher, The Benedict Option

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Wear your closet: turn it around

One way to stretch a small wardrobe: wear things backwards. It works more often than you'd think.

Sweater dress, thrifted yesterday to replace my older dark green sweater dress that was pilling.
Turned backwards and pulled up a little, with leggings. Easy.

Quote for the day: Travels with St. Luke

"As they walked, Luke kept them informed of the history of the area, pointing out where Octavian and Antony had met Brutus and Cassius in  battle.
"How is it that a physician knows so much about history?' Silas asked.
Luke smiled at him. 'An educated man should know about many things. And besides, history is the most fascinating of subjects. Have you never read Thucydides' history?'
Silas frowned. 'I never heard of him.'
Luke shook his head. 'What a bunch of dolts I am forced to travel with! One of the most famous Greeks of all time and you have never heard of him!"
Timothy spoke up. 'I know who he is. I read his history in school.'
'Ah,' smiled Luke, 'all is not lost! Here we have an educated young man. Now tell me, Timothy, have you also read anything by Xenophon?'
'Only his Anabasis.'
'Then you are in luck. I have a copy of Memorabilia. You will have to read it. It is marvelous.'
And so as the four men approached the city of Philippi, Luke and Timothy were lost in a conversation about history and philosophy. Paul silently contemplated the great challenge that lay before him, and Silas complained about the blisters that were developing on his feet." ~~ Lydia, Seller of Purple, by Robert W. Faid (1984)

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

The Intentional Thrifter: Find and replace; wearing your closet

I am trying not to add extra clothes to my closet, but this plum-coloured sweater dress is a replacement for another dress that had gotten very pilled. So that's okay.

I'm still looking for belts and shoes, but haven't seen any that I like or that fit. It might take awhile.

I've thrifted some books recently, but they're mostly for gifts and I don't want to spill any secrets. Things I did not buy today, although it was close: a photo book about midcentury modern style; a boxed set of the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy books; a paperback copy of Watership Down (I might still pick that up at the end of the week). 

The (or .com) clothing company is doing a Wear Your Closet challenge this week, through their Instagram page. You pick seven items of clothing you "never wear," spend the week seeing if you can find ways to wear them, and post photos to Instagram. Encircled also sends you styling hints during the week. (If you still don't like the seven items after all that, you have permission to give up and give them away.) Am I participating? Not officially, because I have already thinned out the things I doubted I'd wear again.

But this week's return to sweater-weather, combined with the Encircled challenge, reminded me to try new things. I've already worn a new-to-me sweater with a grey skirt I picked up in April but didn't wear much; and layered a slightly-too-short denim shirtdress with a top and leggings. Today I noticed that an old favourite pullover goes very well (in a cheerfully-clashing sort of way) with the last scarf I bought, and that's what I wore to sort books.
So that's how I'm wearing my closet.

Thursday, September 06, 2018

Quote for the day: First, last, and Wordsworth

"Any temptation I might have to say 'this is my last word on the subject' is checked by the realization that it is probably also my first word. For I find myself constantly returning to the assumptions and intuitions of my earliest critical approaches...I suspect that every critical or creative effort in words is a beginning, a reconstructed creation myth. Its model, for those in my field, is Wordsworth's last work, published after his death at eighty, and bearing the title of 'Prelude.'" ~~ Northrop Frye, preface to On Education (1988)

From the archives: Serious Times (book review)

First posted September 2011
"God calls us to live large on the very stage we find ourselves.  God has placed us in this very situation to infuse it with meaning and significance.  This enables us to live for Christ now rather than waiting for a set of circumstances we imagine will allow us to serve him in the future.  This simple but profound attitude has marked many of the great lives...."
The best book I've read lately...really the Serious Times: Making Your Life Matter in an Urgent Day, by James Emery White, published in 2004.

I'm not sure if I'd ever read anything by Dr. White before.  I didn't go looking for him.  The book turned up in a pile of "religious non-fiction" I was pricing at the thrift store.  I liked the look of it and decided to buy it myself.

The Amazon reviews are pretty right on.  To say it's an entertaining book (as someone there said) might sound like you were doing it an injustice (I mean, the title is Serious Times); but it is written in an engaging and readable style.  Good thought stuff, good faith stuff, good life stuff.  I especially liked the chapter on "Developing Our Minds."  Here's a quote from that chapter:

"Beyond engaging various fields of thought, it is critical to be able to think about our faith in relation to its significance.  In dialogue with the world, the deepest question regarding the Christian faith is 'So what?'  This simple question gets to the heart of not only thinking Christianly but communicating Christianity itself....The Christian mind must understand the significance [of the resurrection] in order to offer it to the world.  If we cannot, we will have lost our place in the most critical of conversations--indeed, the only conversation that matters."
This one is a keeper.  I'd like to figure out a way to use it for an adult Sunday School class.  It would also be a great addition to a highschool worldview course.

One more quote:

"By nature we tend to adapt, to conform, to our surroundings.  There are only two forces shaping us: one is the world and the other is the will of God.  If we are to avoid becoming in the surrounding culture, we must take a stand.  That stand comes through the renewing of our minds....Taken into prayer, ideas become real, life-changing, dynamic.  Then, and only then, they change my life."

Wednesday, September 05, 2018

Quote for the day: Northrop Frye on the subversive career of an English teacher

Image result for "prince caspian" doctor cornelius 
"At his trial Socrates compared himself to a midwife, using what for that male-oriented society was a deliberately vulgar metaphor. Perhaps the teacher of literature today might be called a kind of drug pusher. He hovers furtively on the outskirts of social organization, dodging possessive parents, evading drill sergeant educators and snoopy politicians, passing over the squares, disguising himself from anyone who might get at the source of his income. If society really understood what he was doing, there would be many who would make things as uncomfortable as they could for him, though luckily malice and stupidity usually go together. When no one is looking, he distributes products that are guaranteed to expand the mind, and are quite capable of blowing it as well. But if Canada every becomes as famous in cultural history as the Athens of Socrates, it will be largely because, in spite of indifference or philistinism or even contempt, he has persisted in the immortal task granted only to teachers, the task of corrupting its youth." ~~ Northrop Frye, keynote address to the Ontario Council of Teachers of English, October 30, 1980. Published in Indirections 6 (Winter 1981). Republished in Frye's book On Education.

The last Wednesday Hodgepodge, and Mama Squirrel's summer reading list

From this Side of the Pond
I have not Wednesday-Hodgepodged for awhile, but I'm glad I didn't miss this one: it's the last-ever Hodgepodge. (First time we participated: July 2015.)

1. What has been the highlight of your summer so far? (It's still summer, people!)

That would be the trip to the U.S. in July, which was a sort of working holiday, retreat and reunion all at once. Some of our family also had a nice one-day holiday on Lake Huron.

2. What do you wish you'd done more of this summer? Less of?

Eaten more peaches: the ones we had were amazing.

I spent half the summer finishing a spring-term online course, and then a couple more weeks working on a writing project. So I could say I wish I'd done less work, but I really don't wish that, because Things Got Done.

 3. Something you're looking forward to on your September calendar?

My fall term online course, Designing Curriculum for Adult Learners, starts today. (So I'm procrastinating by answering the Hodgepodge.)

 4. Best/favorite book you've read this summer?

In June, I finished two education textbooks, a book of Denise Levertov's poetry, and the business book Scrum, which I'm still pondering.

Here are my four favourite books from July, August, and the first few days in September (because it's still summer):

Ulin, David
The Lost Art of Reading: Why Books Matter in a Distracted Time

Walsh, Peter
Let It Go (about decluttering)

White, James Emery
A Mind for God

Willis, Connie
To Say Nothing of the Dog

 6. Insert your own random thought here. 

Our family has now been online for twenty years. Definitely a life-changing decision, to dial up that first connection. Our two youngest cannot remember life any other way. It's been good, bad, strange, useful, productive, time-wasting, annoying, and amazing by turns. Right now it means that I have to go and work on my online class.

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

Tuesday, September 04, 2018

Quote for the day: And that's all there is to say about that.

"I do not know of anything except the arts and the sciences that can tell us anything about reality." ~~ Northrop Frye, preface to On Education (1988)

The Intentional Thrifter had good intentions today

I knew I shouldn't even have gone into the thrift store clothing section today. I am in a no-clothes-buying season right now. But I did, and there it was: a sort of snakeskin-print grey and blue-grey cotton tunic sweater. I'll make room, okay?
I took a whole bag of books in to the store, and came out with one (plus the sweater): Northrop Frye, On Education.
Am I the only one who finds it funny that the cover shows a tree and a bitten apple? In this case, the fall was caused by listening to the snakeskin.

Friday, August 31, 2018

Can you have a capsule reading wardrobe?

I have never been one to minimize on books. But you probably knew that already.

So recently I was thinking through that clothes problem of "if I buy one more thing, I'll have to get rid of something else, and I really don't want to, because I like what I have." I have a similar issue with books: they come home, by ones and twos; or long-awaited holds drop into my Overdrive account; and, like taking an overfilled buffet plate, I sometimes don't get more than a taste of them before the next clear-out. I do finish a lot of books too, but sometimes they go by too fast.

I made a list of what I need to and want to read and re-read in the coming months, including some bit-by-bit books. Where do I want to be, reading-wise, when 2020 rolls in? I have textbooks, they're high priority. Bible reading as well. But then what? Do I want to be here in a year and a half and say that I didn't crack the cover of Pilgrim's Progress in that time? Or that I made no steady progress through a Charlotte Mason volume? Or that I never did finish Wendell Berry's Sabbath poems, or The Invention of Clouds?

 It's a pretty serious-looking list, but it's not impossible. Here's the thing, though: if I start throwing in more books, even good ones, something good I wanted to read is going to get edged out. See the parallel?

Of course plans can change. Books turn out to be boring, and pants ride up. Replacements are sometimes necessary. But in the meantime, I'm looking at books that didn't make the list, and thinking, "Do you really deserve shelf real estate if I have no plan to even look at you until 2020?"

Some of them do, because I know I will pull them out when I know just where that quote is, or because I suddenly want to re-read that Elizabeth Goudge forest scene. Some of them are just treasures.

Others...they're falling into the "so many books, so little time" category. Like thriftworthy clothes,  great titles pop up all the time in our sorting space, between the romance novels, the diet books, and the multiple copies of Eat Pray Love.  But I'm just one reader with just so much time. Knowing which books I'm looking forward to reading (textbooks included) makes it easier to thin out the rest.

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

The Intentional Thrifter shops for parts

I bought four things at the thrift store this morning: a wooden organizer box, a set of four cloth placemats, and two personal-planner binders for a dollar apiece, just for their innards. Total, seven Canadian dollars (U.S.$5.42 right now).

Here is the box. Nothing special, just useful. 
Maybe for paper?
Maybe for hot pads? 
The lid could also be useful.
Here are the place mats.
One by itself would look nice with this strawberry plate.
One of the binders was six-ring, but the included paper fits my own planner perfectly. Also included: some Stephen R. Covey planning advice. Just a bonus.
 The other notebook had a special binding system with plastic buttons, so the paper doesn't work in a regular binder. But we did end up with a bunch of loose paper for grocery lists, Scrabble games, and phone messages. Also some sticky page markers.
I can't use these dividers and page protectors, but I'll leave them by the elevator in our building, where people share stuff like that.
And this small pile of stuff is going in the garbage. The pen didn't work, and I didn't need the other hardware and plastic inserts.
But I still got my money's worth.

Sunday, August 26, 2018

Minimalism is not animism, so don't throw that baby out with the bath products

Some people are turned off from KonMari-style decluttering because of Marie Kondo's Buddhist worldview. They get nervous about holding up a sweater to see if it sparks mix religions, that sounds a lot like reading auras. And they definitely don't thank their shoes for a good day's work. It's like the Zen cookbook that recommends asking the carrot how it feels like being seasoned today.  In our Western view, shoes and carrots do not have feelings.

But it's an interesting question: can you encounter a philosophy, use its good practices but disagree with some of its fundamentals? That comes up often with Charlotte Mason: can you embrace her educational principles without giving credit to the Holy Spirit? Tough call, because she drew on philosophers, writers, and educators both inside and outside of the Christian tradition; but she believed that God's Spirit inspired all such insights. I think it's hard to pull off a secular CM education and not miss something vital, but there are those who disagree and do it anyway.

So, is there a non-Buddhist version of KonMari, beyond the cliche of not talking to socks? Are there places in this philosophy of tidying where wisdom crosses cultural and religious lines?

Thought One

One reviewer said that "spark joy" is simply asking who we are, what in our lives made us acquire these things, and who we think we would like to be from this point on. What are our true priorities? In Anne Tyler's novels, including her latest one, Clock Dance, characters have a habit of disengaging themselves from their built-up, overstuffed lives...running away for awhile to gain a new perspective. Sometimes they return home, sometimes they don't. Since running away is not always practical, we need to find other ways of looking at ourselves, and one way to do that is by examining our homes and possessions. If we can climb out from under harmful stories or false expectations, and begin to "know ourselves" (I think that's Marcus Aurelius oops, no, Plato talking about an inscription at Delphi), we may not want to live any longer with stuff representing those stories. The author of Goodbye, Things says he did not really want to read hundreds of books,  that he was not enjoying his large camera collection. For him, those things were props that said "I want to be that person." For other people, belongings from the past say "I was that person, and I am still that person. Or, I will be that person again."

Someone else (I can't remember who) pointed out that it's easier to ask what things in your life might "spark more joy" for someone else. Kitchen utensils and bedding might spark joy for a refugee family or fire victims. When we downsized, I let go of many large toys and books that families with  younger children could use. The dollhouse my grandfather built was a pivotal one for me, because holding on to it said that I stilll recognized the work he had put into it, and also remembered the fun that our girls had playing with it. But, in the end, it was a large, cumbersome wooden object that we could not possibly use or fit into our apartment, and it would not do anybody any good sitting in storage for someday-grandchildren. Time to let go.

Sometimes, ironically for Western objectors to animism, we hold on to objects because we're afraid of not having them around. They are emotionally powerful, imbued with the history and meanings we give them. Books are often like that...we want to hold on to the exact book someone once gave us, or that we bought for a quarter in a little secondhand store. I have my share of those. But perhaps, sometimes, it wouldn't hurt to lean a bit Eastern in our ways of letting go. Have a little goodbye party, if you need to. Be Miss Sadie and have a hat fashion show before you give your new friend all your mother's hats.

Thought Two

A big part of KonMari is finding homes for everything that remains in your home. That implies not only that you have good reasons for keeping whatever you do keep, but that you can find enough space for that number of things. It's like admitting that you're never going to be tall enough to pull off stiletto heels: you have the floor space and cupboards that you have. As I've posted here before, right now my wardrobe limits are four drawers, half a closet, and (currently) a suitcase that is holding a few transitional summer things. When the t-shirts are folded, and you see them all lined up in the drawer, you can't imagine either that you don't have enough shirts, or that you would be able to put more of them somewhere else. There is a sense of gratitude, of contentment, and of order.

Recently my daughter gave me a zippered case that she wasn't using, that she thought I'd like. She was right: it is just the right size to store the small amount of makeup I own, and it fits perfectly into the dishpan which fits in the cupboard under the sink in the bathroom. It's such a pretty design that yes, it does spark joy when I pull it out. I don't need more than that.

Thought Three

Christians have been instructed to live lightly here; to set their hearts on things above; to view their time on this earth as full of delights, but still only as a taste of what is to come. That doesn't mean we should all become nomads without possessions, or that having just one of everything is always best. We are instructed to show hospitality, and that implies that at least some of us should have extra forks and plates, extra beds or blankets. I think that sometimes God even leads people to buy houses with extra rooms, or to buy a van rather than a small car. What that does not give us is permission to pack those spaces with clutter and garbage, things that don't work, things we never really needed. (I do know people whose garages are piled high with donations collected for others, or whose pantries are stocked against emergencies, and those are different matters. One point Marie Kondo makes is that even hospitality or disaster supplies should be kept current and useable, and checked regularly for mildew, mice, moths, whatever.)


I read a comment that blamed Marie Kondo for causing a recent increase in the amount of stuff given to thrift stores and thrown in garbage dumps. That's like criticizing a weight-loss trend for a resulting downturn in fast-food revenues. And if there is a glut of donations right now, I think it's due more to demographics than KonMari. Baby Boomers are all downsizing, and their kids don't want their stuff.  Drastic dumping is a sad symptom of our consumerist culture, but it may be the only way some people can get free and start fresh. Don't blame Kondo for overstuffed houses; just thank her for getting them cleaned out.

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

The Intentional Thrifter calls a halt

In previous eras of my life, I have gone months at a time without buying much of anything for myself (except for books, and those don't count). Sometimes that was because we were on a tight budget. Sometimes it was because we weren't going anywhere that sold clothes. (Our usual grocery stop these days is at the Large Store That Starts With W, but previous supermarkets just sold food.) Sometimes I didn't need anything, or had no idea what I needed. During our  previous two-and-a-half-year thrift store volunteer stint, I think I bought one pair of shoes and a purse there, along with some Christmas decorations, a few girls' clothes, and a lot of books. In any case, I seemed to get by.

For the past year, clothing temptation has reared its head because I'm at the thrift store twice a week. (And also before that when we were downsizing and dropping by there so often.) I don't care much about bringing home books these days; I can admire and then happily put them out in the store to let them earn somebody else's money. But show me a nice scarf for a couple of dollars, and I'm undone.
Or, heaven forbid, a purple skirt that was on its last week before dropping to clothes oblivion.
It's suede. Unwashable, impractical, and $2.50.

Usually I do err on the solid and useful side, though. Like this grey sweatshirt-fabric circle cardigan. (The pink part is the lining.) I've tried out similar jackets and cardigans before, but the sleeves were always too tight, or something else wasn't quite right. This one I could happily wear everywhere, every day.
Oh yes, and a navy-and-frosty-grey pullover. Like Oliver Pig and his ever-growing Christmas list, I didn't strictly need it, but I wanted it, and it would go with everything (maybe not the suede skirt). And there was one free sweater spot in my drawer. Done.
And done. With the exception of a needed pair of shoes, tights and particular underpinnings, and a plain belt or two (that would be helpful), I am calling a moratorium on clothes (and scarf and jewelry) shopping, new and used, for the next three months. There are always going to be beautiful things cycling through the thrift store, but right now I have more than enough to enjoy, and if I brought anything else home, I'd have to say goodbye to something else.

Thrifting for the next while will lean towards home stuff (we could use an everyday tablecloth) and crafty stuff for Christmas holidays. And maybe a few good books.