"That ordinary life is an admirable thing in itself, just as imagination is an admirable thing in itself. But it is much more the ordinary life that is made of imagination than the contemplative life. He who has seen the whole world hanging on a hair of the mercy of God has seen the truth; we might almost say the cold truth. He who has seen the vision of his city upside-down has seen it the right way up." ~~ G.K. Chesterton, Saint Francis of Assisi
Monday, August 31, 2020
Monday, August 24, 2020
I found this in Frederick Buechner's memoir The Sacred Journey, where he remembers a hungry, cold, wet supper during his infantry training. Just before this he has been talking about St. Francis of Assisi and his Canticle to the Sun--"the madness of throwing away everything he ever had or ever hoped to have for love of the creation no less than of the creator...."
"With a lurch of the heart that is real to me still, I saw suddenly, almost as if from beyond time altogether, that not only was the turnip good, but the mud was good too, even the drizzle and cold were good, even the Army that I had dreaded for months. Sitting there in the Alabama winter with my mouth full of cold turnip and mud, I could see at least for a moment how if you ever took truly to heart the ultimate goodness and joy of things, even at their bleakest, the need to praise someone or something for it would be so great that you might even have to go out and speak of it to the birds of the air."
Thursday, August 20, 2020
Thrifting has its unexpected side.
I bought this longer-style sort-of-stretchy white shirt yesterday, from the women's shirt rack. When I looked up the label, I found out it's from a men's collection! I should have guessed that from the buttons on the wrong side, but the sort-of-stretchy thing fooled me. Oh well, I won't tell if you won't. (Update: we also discovered that it was a you-paid-how-much?? shirt, so we're going to try to resell it. If nobody bites, I'll wear it.)
Wednesday, August 19, 2020
Here are the questions for this week's Wednesday Hodgepodge.
Answer on your own blog, then hop back to From This Side of the Pond (click the graphic) to share answers with all the other world wide webbers. See you there!
1. Five years ago this month hubs and I relocated from New Jersey to the Palmetto State. What were you doing five years ago this month?
'Well, Jack, and where are you off to?' said the man. 'I'm going to market to sell our cow there.' 'Oh, you look the proper sort of chap to sell cows,' said the man; 'I wonder if you know how many beans make five.' ',' says Jack, as sharp as a needle. 'Right you are,' says the man.
Thanks to Jack and the Beanstalk, "to know how many beans make five" has become a synonym for "to know what's what."
This year I'm not only less certain how many beans make five, but whether they're still going to be in my hand the next time I look4. During this season of spending so much time at home, what distractions get in the way of being your most productive? Or have you been extra productive since this whole thing started?
5. Give us a list here of your top five anything.
Sunday, August 16, 2020
It's National Thrift Shop Day.
There are some annoyed people out there who feel it's wrong-handed to dump on limited-budget fast-fashion shoppers, and who blame that situation at least partly on the gentrification of thrift stores.
Let's pick that apart carefully.
Yes, thrift stores went through a change. I've mentioned before that, years ago, I'd walk into the Salvation Army store and things wouldn't even be priced. The woman behind the counter decided what she thought you could/should pay for the pants. A little strange, and sometimes reversely discriminatory (people with little money don't always look like it), but that was it. Then the old stores closed, and new ones re-opened in shopping plazas and places further out; the price of the pants became fixed, and, often, higher. The new locations and higher prices, as well as the rival for-profit stores, did somewhat change the customer base.
But as most people do realize about charity-based thrift stores, they do not exist primarily to give people with low budgets somewhere to shop, although that is one of their benefits to the community. They exist to raise money for their organizations, and/or to provide training and work/volunteer opportunities. If a thrift store decides to brand itself as a "boutique" to attract new customers, that may not help someone who just needs pants, but it may also be a matter of survival for the store. The rent has to be paid, and those of us living through 2020 can hardly be unaware of how little it takes to push businesses, including non-profits, over the edge.
Thrift stores, in spite of the predicament they've been put into of having to figure out what to do with the mounds of donated stuff, are nevertheless proud of their ability to help "green" the planet a bit. If people can be encouraged to use some of the stuff that already exists instead of feeding the corporate sausage machine, that's a good thing, right?
But, the argument goes on...and I'm trying really hard to see the logic in this...the thrift stores haven't "done their job" (whatever that is) for people under financial stress, and so these same people are not only entitled to buy fast fashion, but should buy fast fashion.
Sorry, I'm not buying it.
Does that argument not sound demeaning to you? More of an us-and-them thing than we had going in the first place? Me, I''m privileged to thrift a good cotton t-shirt...but you, you go buy the piece of new rayon junk. And never mind what the factory conditions were for the women who sewed the shirt, or what that gigantic order of shirts did to make the planet a bit worse off.
I'm all for not judging where people buy their clothes. How would I know where you bought yours unless I asked? How would you know where I bought mine unless you asked? If you can travel to one store or another easily, that might even outweigh (to some extent) the benefit of, say, ordering something ecological online and having it shipped; or having to travel a long and inconvenient distance to a thrift store. I used to live next to a discount store, and it was very handy.
But supporting fast fashion, and bashing thrift stores, as a way to support human rights?
Take it from someone wearing a pair of one-dollar jeans.
Wednesday, August 12, 2020
2. Tell us about a time you felt like (or you actually were) in the middle of nowhere.
3. What's something you're smack in the middle of currently?
4. What's a food you love to eat that has something delicious in the middle?
Sunday, August 09, 2020
Season(s) covered: September through November 2020
The planning process: I posted earlier about starting to think about fall clothes, here and here. Along with many other people, I am looking at a fall with few opportunities for trips, outings, or occasions. At this point, even a casual run into the public library is a no-go, and eating inside a restaurant seems to be reserved for the brave. The outfits shown here are as my-real-life as I can make them.
Where I'm shopping: Most of the clothes were thrifted unless otherwise noted (because we are able to access thrift stores). Some of the accessories and jewelry came from antiques malls or markets (because ditto).
Would I really wear a skirt to Food Basics? Yes, I would. Next?
Colour Inspirations:This scarf (from the antiques market)
And these apatite-bead bracelets (from Fierce Lynx Designs in New Brunswick)
Wednesday, August 05, 2020
3. August 4th is National Chocolate Chip Cookie Day. Will you/did you celebrate by baking a batch? Eating a batch? Nuts or no nuts? Homemade or store bought? Soft and chewy or do you prefer your cookie to snap when you bite into it?
4. What are you starved for?
Sunday, August 02, 2020
"'The sea may kick up her heels a trifle,' said Mr. Pipes. He scanned the blue expanse all around them. 'A blow could follow a calm such as this....However, no sense our worrying over the future; we are in God's hands, my dear, not some storm's.'" The Accidental Voyage: Discovering Hymns of the Early Centuries, by Douglas Bond.