Wednesday, April 26, 2023

Wednesday Hodgepodge: When birds nest in the treehouse

From this Side of the Pond
1.  April 26th is National Audubon Day, honoring John James Audubon, the French-American ornithologist, naturalist, and painter known for his detailed study and illustration of birds in their natural habitats. Do you have a bird feeder? Any birds in your home decor? Have you ever owned a pet bird? What's your favorite bird?   

We live in a condo townhouse, and the rules discourage birdfeeders because the seed attracts other critters. Most springs we host a robin family under the back deck; I don't think there's any building going on there yet, but probably soon.

Our powder room is bird-themed! We have a French birds poster on the back of the door, a stained glass piece on the wall, and occasionally a ceramic bird or bird-shaped candleholder on the back of know.

2. What's something you took to 'like a duck to water'? 

The best answer would be swimming, wouldn't it?--but in this case no, I was ten before I could even get my feet off the bottom. And we won't even talk about driving.

When I was seven, I took a camping trip through northern Ontario with my grandparents, parents, and sister. Most of the way we drove, but we also travelled to Moosonee on the Polar Bear Express. I did not think the view of "hydroelectric dams and isolated homes" out the train window was that interesting (and there were no polar bears), so my mother pulled a puzzle book out of her bag and introduced me to hidden words. By the end of the trip I was a pro.

3. Empty nest, nest egg, proud as a peacock, free as a bird, birds of a feather flock together, or the early bird catches the worm...choose one and tell us how it currently applies to your life. 

My mind is somewhat of an empty nest today, so I'm going to skip that one.

4. Pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, flax seeds, chia seeds, sesame seeds, poppy seeds...your favorite seed and a favorite food or dish made with that seed or topped with that seed? Have you tried all the seeds on the list? Any you don't care for? 

I've probably had them all either accidentally or on purpose. I can take or leave the chia and flax seeds, but I like all the others. Sometimes we buy a poppy seed-filled loaf from the bakery at Eurofoods, and that is a pretty intense hit of poppy.

5. Something in the past week that made you 'happy as a lark'?

Larking around with some summer clothes plans. And then finding a dark blue purse at the thrift store that should fill in the gap I mentioned there. It was in very good shape, but had a problem with one of its metal bits, so my husband is working on that.

6. Insert your own random thought here. 

I really think the winter coats are going away this week. Loud cheers.

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

Monday, April 24, 2023

A Just-Enough Warm Weather Wardrobe

I'm posting this on the tenth anniversary of the Rana Plaza building collapse. Since that tragedy, April 24th has become known as Fashion Revolution Day.

Most of the clothes that most of us wear, most of the time, are products of the global garment industry. Unless you raise sheep or weave your own cotton, there aren't too many ways around that. Even buying mostly-thrifted clothes doesn't exempt us from needing to care about worker abuse, or chemical processes that damage rivers and soil. The fact that technology has now advanced to spray-on dresses is also beside the point. It's only when we stop thinking of the fashion industry as a big anonymous entity, and ask "Who made my clothes?" that we can begin to care about things like the well-being of employees. And that leads us to ask further questions, like "What plants or animals were used to make the fabrics for these clothes, and how were they processed and handled?" "How can we use the clothes we have well?" And finally, "Where will they go afterwards?"

Giving donated clothes a reprieve from that final destination seems to be something I'm good at, and I'm happy to pass on anything that I've learned. But there are a lot of clothes out there (literally tons of them) that the earth and our closets would have been better off without. And (sermon's almost over, I promise), we need to remember that we're humans living our lives in clothes, not mannequins, not subjects to be photographed. That doesn't mean "wear ugly clothes"; we still have choices about colours and styles. But when we've got enough things to wear--let's let that be enough.

Enough, she said

Our summer travels are mostly day trips, maybe to the beach, walking in the woods, or visiting flea markets and small towns. Although I'm not packing for summer at a cottage, or even an extended trip, I'm planning a small-sized wardrobe anyway. That makes it easy if I do need to pull a few things together for a night or two away. 

Filling in a gap (something new)

I wear a lot of grey in the fall and winter, and by spring I'm ready to switch over to navy blue. Navy is easy to find in thrift stores, almost too easy; it can also end up looking like a uniform if you overdo it. One thing I thought would help pull my navy things together was a pair of everyday sandals. I chose a pair of Keens in the same style I bought a couple of years ago.

Old ones, new ones

You can read the rest of the post here.

Wednesday, April 12, 2023

An Eclectic Wednesday Hodgepodge (Eclectic has 8 letters)

From this Side of the Pond

1. April 13th is National Scrabble Day...are you a fan? Do you enjoy word games in general? What's an eight letter word that tells us something about your life currently?

Scrabble, Bananagrams, word puzzles: all yes. Did you know there was a Scrabble for Juniors board game as far back as 1958? I won a Juniors set in a television show birthday draw (the Uncle Bobby Show, for you Ontarians) when I was three or four...never too young.

Eight-letter words? I went looking online, and found this page with a fascinating array of double-Z words. Which is puzzling (see what I did there), because there's only one Z in a Scrabble game. I suppose the other would have to be a blank.

Out of 80,000 playable eight-letter words, you would think one would jump right out at me. I think CONTINUE would be a good one for this month. 

2.  Do you have a junk drawer? Is it full? Do you know what's in it? What's in it? 

My mind is my junk drawer. That's why I like to play Scrabble.

3. When does time pass quickly for you? When does it pass slowly? 

Quickly: driving places.

Slowly: driving home.

4. These eight vegetables are in season during spring-asparagus, broccoli, cabbage, carrots, celery, collard greens, garlic, herbs. What's your favorite? Any on the list you refuse to eat? Last one on the list you ate? 

Favourite: carrots. I made some carrot spice cupcakes for Easter.

Broccoli (and cauliflower) unfriended me awhile back.

5. What's the oldest thing you own? Tell us about it. 

A couple of books that are older than Canada. 

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

Wednesday, April 05, 2023

Happy Hodgepodge

From this Side of the Pond
1.What would you say is the most difficult task when it comes to spring cleaning? Have you completed that task this year? Any plans to get it done?

We just keep cleaning things, more than "spring cleaning." I did put away the winter coats today, because even if it does snow past this point (which it could and has), I would prefer to shiver.

2. Your favorite pastel color? Favorite thing you own in a pastel shade? 

As in, the colours of candy Easter eggs? Probably pink, maybe green or blue. Favourite about the rabbit collection, they're all in pastel shades. Especially the baby, who seems to be sleeping through the noisy bongos and tambourines.

3. Do you like ham? Do you fix ham year round or is it mostly just a 'holiday food'? Baked ham-ham and eggs-ham and cheese sandwich-scalloped potatoes and ham-Hawaiian pizza....what's your pleasure? 

I like it, but it's not something we eat all the time unless it's on sale. Mostly we just bake one of those mini-hams with a little water in a roasting pan. But I like using up the leftovers in quiche. Or on pizza.

4. Do you celebrate Easter? What did Easter look like when you were a kid? What are your plans for Easter this year? 

Yes, absolutely. And my first Easter looked like this.

5. Something that makes you feel hopeful amidst all the chaos and confusion this world brings? 

Spring waking up the earth. (Is that enough anthropomorphism?)