Sixteen years of Treehouse talk

Sixteen years of Treehouse talk

Wednesday, May 27, 2020

Wednesday Hodgepodge: Waving from the heat

Welcome to the middle of the week and your friendly neighborhood Hodgepodge. Jump over to the host blog, From This Side of the Pond (click the graphic) for more entries.
From this Side of the Pond

1. The US of A celebrated Memorial Day this past Monday. Does your family have any military ties? If so, tell us about them.


A few, but they're not my stories to tell.

2. Cole slaw, potato salad, baked beans, potato chips, mac and cheese, macaroni salad...your favorite BBQ side? How many of these do you make from scratch vs. buying from the deli?


I'd eat any of those. The pasta things I'd make myself, and Mr. Fixit sometimes makes hot potato salad. Cole slaw, probably pre-shredded. Beans: Bush's Original. Not very artisanal.


3.  I enjoyed asking this question back when the Hodgepodge was a regular thing...Lake Superior State University posts a list each year of words they think should be banished from the Queen's English for misuse, overuse, and/or general uselessness. The 2020 list includes-quid pro quo, artisanal, curated, influencer, literally, I mean, living my best life, mouthful (word used by foodies to describe texture of food in their mouth), chirp (basically an insult, you can read more on the website), jelly (short for jealous), totes (short for totally), vibe, and OK Boomer (internet response from millenial to older generation).

Of the words/phrases listed which would you most like to see 'banned'?


Some of these I hadn't heard. Artisanal and curated have been contenders for a few years now, but they still have their uses. But literally...yes, I literally think we could literally lose that one...literally.

4. I'm sure next year's list will be filled with words springing out of this weird season we're all in currently. What word or phrase associated with the Corona would you be happy to hear less often?


All of them, starting with "Corona" and "virus."

5.  The month of May wraps up in just a few days. Bid her adieu in ten words or less.

May sidled in without much promise, but now she's cooking.


6. Insert your own random thought here.


I finally found flour and yeast, and now it's too hot to bake.


But I did make Bisquick peach crisp in the microwave. I used frozen peaches and heated them for a couple of minutes with half the brown sugar, then added the remaining ingredients and finished it off. My total time wasn't as long as suggested, though, so if you're making this, keep an eye on it.


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

Monday, May 25, 2020

Summer Clothes: Botanically Brighter

As it often does here, the warm weather has come on full force, with only a flick of the hand at spring. Time for a changeover.

A few months ago I used our Rosina Wachtmeister poster as inspiration for a grey/pink winter wardrobe. It makes sense to start with the art or other things in your own home, doesn't it?--because you probably enjoy having those things around you. This print we thrifted about a year ago has a good mix of shapes and colours for summer clothes.

Two scarves from Ten Thousand Villages. Thrifted shirt.
Most of what I'll be wearing for the warm season isn't that different from the Briars and Brambles post from the end of March, and the outfits here. It's not like I've had the chance to go shopping much lately anyway. I did order two t-shirts almost a month ago...maybe they'll arrive soon.
So...no numbers, just some photos. I might do something more detailed later in the season.

Read the rest of the page here.

Sunday, May 24, 2020

Wildlife Sighting

Photo by Mr. Fixit (see the fawn?)

Quote for Sunday: In each place the whole Maleldil

“Where Maleldil is, there is the centre. He is in every place. Not some of Him in one place and some in another, but in each place the whole Maleldil, even in the smallness beyond though. There is no way out of the centre save into the Bent Will which casts itself into the Nowhere. Blessed be He! Each thing was made for Him. He is the centre. Because we are with Him, each of us is at the centre...In His city all things are made for each. When He died in the Wounded World He died not for men, but for each man. If each man had been the only man made, He would have done no less. Each thing, from the single grain of Dust to the strongest eldil, is the end and the final cause of all creation and the mirror in which the beam of His brightness comes to rest and so returns to Him. Blessed be He!”  (C.S. Lewis, Perelandra)

Tuesday, May 19, 2020

Wednesday Hodgepodge: About the Numbers

Here are the questions to this week's Wednesday Hodgepodge. Answer on your own blog then hop back to From This Side of the Pond (click the graphic) on Wednesday to share answers with all your friends and neighbors. One two three go~~


1. In a single sentence tell us something about your 40's. If you haven't reached that milestone yet tell us (in a single sentence) something about whatever decade you're in now.

I started blogging around that point, so my forties are pretty much in-my-face here. It was the decade I started as mom-of-Squirrelings and ended as mom-of two-moved-out-and-one-teen-still-at-home.

2. Life begins at forty. Agree or disagree? Tell us why. And if not at forty, when?


No idea. Wouldn't it depend on your own life?

3. Share a favorite book, song, or quote with a number featured in it somewhere. 


Will you still need me, will, you still barbecue hamburgers for me when I'm 64?

4. A picture's worth a thousand words, a stitch in time saves nine, back to square one, catch-22, on cloud nine, my two cents...pick a number phrase and tell us how it applies to your life currently.

Courtney Carver's Project 333 wardrobe challenge, something I've been doing in a more-or-less way for over four years now. I've found, however, that I enjoy the creative side of a small wardrobe, and the positive aspects of thrifting as my own take on fair trade, more than I care about using it to stop thinking about clothes altogether and move on to higher purposes in life. I'm not a very good minimalist in that regard. 

5. Last time you drove more than 40 miles from home? More than 400 miles from home? Where were you going? Was it before or after this current season of social distancing?

That's about 64 km...the L'Harmas retreat on Lake Erie, last October, and a couple of other day trips after that. We stick close to home most of the time.

6. Insert your own random thought here.


I did not expect to run out of flour this week, and I also did not expect the supermarket to be cleared out of all but the biggest sacks (more than I have space for and can handle). I settled for a box of biscuit mix, and I've been digging out my recipes that use it.


Apple muffins, adapted from this recipe

Linked from The Wednesday Hodgepodge: Numbering the Hodgepodge.

Friday, May 15, 2020

Come Unthrifting Again (Part Four)


Part One: A Mini Top-Half Wardrobe

Not because I'm making a lot of Zoom calls, but because the bottom half of most of these is going to be jeans. Or shorts when it warms up.

One blazer (the one I "unthrifted" last time); one off-white cardigan; the dark grey shirt from this week's unthrifting (it has roll-up tab sleeves); a short-sleeved blue-grey t-shirt; one scarf, one necklace.
T-shirt, scarf, necklace
T-shirt, shirt
T-shirt, blazer, scarf
Shirt, scarf
Shirt, cardigan, scarf
The scarf a bit differently
A little crazy, I know...The blazer over the cardigan over the t-shirt. The nautical thing. I'm not sure it works so well with this t-shirt, but I  I have a striped one that might look better.

Part Two: This and That

So...fourteen votive candles. All-purpose handy things. I'm just going to keep those in the cupboard, and keep my eyes open especially for a few extra votive-sized holders. When the time comes that I can do that.
Disposable knives, spoons, and forks. Those are going to get bagged up and donated the next time we hear of a kids' class that needs craft supplies (like a VBS).
A Staples mini-mini-binder and refill paper. I think I'm going to put that in my purse. Post-It notes and Post-It page-marker thingies: those can go with our box of office supplies. A six-inch/15 cm magnetic ruler advertising a community college: I'm going to attach that to the side of the fridge, so that I don't have to guess at how big I'm cubing the potatoes.
And don't forget the empty shoebox and other plastic holders.
This hasn't been a bad unthrifting trip!

Thursday, May 14, 2020

Come Unthrifting Again (Part Three)


OK, where were we? A couple of books down, two to go? Some school supplies sorted, some still in the box. The candles and plastic cutlery still unaccounted for...I'll take care of that tomorrow.
I'm wearing the scarf again, with a navy sweater. 
I haven't gotten to Gardner yet, but it's in the pile. 
I read through the table-setting book, and thought it was really fun, and surprisingly timeless for a 1985 book. It was a good reminder that you can use almost anything to dress up a table: baskets, cool jars, dishtowels as napkins. The fancy food in the photos motivated me to turn last night's ham into tonight's quiche, because for us, that's fancy. However...I think I'm going to pass it on now, with my thanks for the lessons.

Wednesday, May 13, 2020

Justine on justice

Wednesday Hodgepodge: Seeing is Believing

Here are the questions to this week's Wednesday Hodgepodge. Answer on your own blog, then hop back here tomorrow to add your link to the party. Here we go-

1. Ever played the game Farkle? Are you a risk taker? In games only or also in life?


I have not played Farkle, to the best of my memory. Is Yahtzee close enough?

Everybody's idea of risk is different. I wouldn't go bungee jumping, but I did get engaged to my husband after dating for a few weeks.

2. What's your favorite thing about your yard or whatever outdoor space you may have?


The evergreens we can see from the deck.  They make it feel like we're out of the city.

Also the fact that the deck isn't fifteen floors up anymore. 

3. Tell us about the most interesting building you've seen or been in.


That's a hard one. What makes a building interesting? As in, built out of ice cubes or held up with chicken legs? Eccentrically decorated? Or historically significant? Happy or creepy?

There's a nearby historic site, a Victorian mansion that is known for its trompe l'oeil artwork on the walls. That's the best I can do right now.

4. In this current season of social distancing, what's something you've come to realize you take for granted in more ordinary times? Do you think you'll make a conscious effort to appreciate whatever that 'it' is once normal life resumes?


Having a conversation without worrying about how close.

5. Share a favorite song with a springtime flower in the lyrics somewhere.



6. Insert your own random thought here.


Trompe l''oeil: cheat the eye. How do you know whether what you're looking at is the truth or just something cleverly constructed? 
The contemporaries and rivals of Zeuxis were Timanthes, Endrocydes, Eupompus, and Parrhasius.This last, it is said, entered into a pictorial contest with Zeuxis, who represented some grapes, painted so naturally that the birds flew towards the spot where the picture was exhibited. Parrhasius, on the other hand, exhibited a curtain, drawn with such singular truthfulness, that Zeuxis, elated with the judgment which had been passed upon his work by the birds, haughtily demanded that the curtain should be drawn aside to let the picture be seen. Upon finding his mistake, with a great degree of ingenuous candour he admitted that he had been surpassed, for that whereas he himself had only deceived the birds, Parrhasius had deceived him, an artist. --Pliny the Elder, translated by John Bostock
Grapes, curtains, vases of flowers...let's not stop looking for truth.

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

Tuesday, May 12, 2020

Come Unthrifting Again (Part Two)

What I've been doing with the unthrifted stuff:

My serious reading for today. Very worthwhile! Discusses reasons that we really don't like to learn (but have trouble admitting it): it's hard work, and it interrupts our status quo, shakes up our beliefs! Nevertheless, we need to learn, and keep learning how to learn, especially if we claim to be educators.
This was something I found after our days of doll-sewing here were at an end. The patterns are nice, but (like the cookbook below) too many of them call for non-optional ingredients I don't have, like t-shirt ribbing. After an enjoyable walk through the photos, I decided to pass this one on to another family.
Moosewood Cooks at Home is a great cookbook full of lovely, mostly-vegetarian food, most of which I know I'll never make (even if and when shopping becomes less of a planned military maneuver).  I went through it yesterday looking for ideas, and realized that almost every recipe has something in it that my husband either can't eat or just dislikes; and after almost thirty years together I know where those boundaries can be pushed and where they can't.
So I guess that one's moving on.

Most of the markers and pens still work, so I sorted them into the spots where those things go. I think we have a lifetime supply of highlighters and plastic pencils.
Oh, and I'm wearing the shirt and the scarf.

Monday, May 11, 2020

Come Unthrifting Again (Part One)


Another random assortment of things I didn't buy this week:

Two business/education books; a doll sewing book, even though I'm very short on fabric; a cookbook I've had for a long time but hardly ever use; and an oversized book about party and picnic table settings.
An H&M scarf printed with feathers, and a dark grey cotton-linen shirt
Half a pack of votive candles, and a boxful of disposable cutlery (our kids used to use that for school lunches sometimes, but nobody here takes a lunch now, and disposable cutlery is Frowned Upon anyway)
More school-supply discards from my daughter

Now you are to imagine that I somehow managed to stuff all that into the tote bag.

Stay tuned as I sort, upcycle, re-jig, and maybe dispose of once and for all.