Wednesday, February 01, 2023

Pre-Spring: Clothes and Inspirations

Spring here can be more like a second winter, which is not as enjoyable as a second breakfast. But in February we do start to see longer days, more sunshine, and the occasional green thing trying to come out. And in March, I'm planning to spend a couple of days in a spot that gets springier weather.

Arthur Lismer, "A September Gale on Georgian Bay"
Thrifted sweatshirt and scarf
OPI Nail Lacquer in "Tickle My France-y"
Vintage earrings

Travel Things

So I'm going to work backwards, both in climate and in number of clothing items, and start with a very small carry-on wardrobe for warmish weather.

The Wendi's Day Hodgepodge

From this Side of the Pond

1. Tell us anything you want about your January. 

OK, since you asked: I have a new book out. Getting there was pretty much my January. Also a good chunk of my December.

2. 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 2023 list includes GOAT, inflection point, quiet quitting, gaslighting, moving forward, amazing, Does that make sense?, irregardless, absolutely, and it is what it is.

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? 

GOAT? I had to look that one up. Greatest of all time? I guess that goes along with "amazing," unless it's amazing grace.

Irregardless...yeah, that one's been argued about for years, irregardless of its non-meaning. (And as I'm typing this, my spellcheck is red-lining the word, it doesn't like it either.)

Moving forward, I'm going to quietly quit my stoicism, because it is what it is.

3. February 2nd is Groundhog Day. What's something that feels repeated in your life right now? 

I have about three CDs sitting near the small player near my computer, and I keep forgetting to take them downstairs and switch them out with something else, so I just keep listening to the same three over and over again. At least they're not Sonny and Cher.

4. What's a food you love that's named after a place?

Nanaimo Bars.

5. What's the best season of the year to visit your city or your part of the country? Tell us why. 

Living in an Oktoberfest-happy region with lots of beautiful maple trees, you might think I'd say fall. But if you were coming to visit, I might say summer, because there are music festivals and flea markets and buskers and all kinds of free things to do.

6. Insert your own random thought here. 

This is a difficult day, because it's a year since the passing of my blogging/reading/homeschooling/believing friend Wendi, usually referred to here as the DHM, who was also a great fan of Nanaimo bars. This is what I wrote about her then. She gave us a great deal to remember her by. Wendi, if there were any flowers out there today, I'd go enjoy them for you, but it's freezing cold and snowy, just like it was this time last year. I'll just have to appreciate the icicle hanging by the wall instead.

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

Saturday, December 17, 2022

Christmas Cookies as Improv

A long time ago here, we made Christmas cookies from one of those magazine articles that use one dough and many variations. This particular one was based on the book One Dough, Fifty Cookies, by Leslie Glover Pendleton; but you can find other kinds of dough-with-variations in cookbooks and online.

This year, having a small number of people to make cookies for, I decided we would revive the Master Dough, though without the very fancy variations given in the magazine. Crissy and Elizabeth got their fancy aprons on to help us.

Mr. Fixit, who likes gadgets, got out the hand mixer and mixed the dough. Actually the stand mixer would have been a better idea, as it wasn't really strong enough and he had to finish mixing it by hand.  What goes into this particular recipe? One pound unsalted butter; 1 1/3 cup sugar; 1 tsp. salt; 3 egg yolks; 2 tsp, vanilla; 4 3/4 cups all-purpose or unbleached flour.

We happened to have a box of red and green holiday Rice Krispies (gift from daughter), so I worked two cupfuls of those into a quarter of the dough, and pressed it into an 8 inch pan to make bar cookies. I stuck them in the oven to bake at 350 degrees, but I don't think I gave them quite long enough, because the middle ones ended up underdone. If I were doing this again, I'd leave the bar cookies until the end and then they could have all the time they needed. Later I drizzled the survivors with a bit of powdered sugar glaze.

To one-quarter of the dough, we added half a cup of hot chocolate mix and a cupful of mini chocolate chips, plus a bit of extra water to moisten it. We rolled those into balls, but did not flatten them; they flattened a bit in the oven (375 degrees). They also got a bit of glaze, but that was probably unnecessary as I decided afterwards to dress them up a little more with a squirt of white icing and a few sprinkles.

The rest of the dough was rolled into balls, and we made thumbprints (actually end-of-a-cake-server prints) in each one (and baked them at 375 degrees). Some of them were filled with jam before baking, which you have to be careful with as it can leak over, but this time around we had no problems. We filled the hole in a few of them with sprinkles, which turned out not to look too great, so when they came out of the oven I pressed a green chocolate-covered candy (you know which ones) in the middle, and they went on the plate for the glaze drizzle as well. (I did all the glazing at once.)

And some of them got a peppermint Hershey's Kiss, which turned out WEIRD and NOT GOOD, like something from Cake Wrecks. I'd made Kiss cookies before, but I couldn't remember whether we'd put them on the cookies before or after baking. Suggestion: don't do what Elizabeth did here. Let them bake plain, squirt some icing on top, and add the Kisses after baking (we replaced the burned Kisses with unbaked ones). We also happened to have snowflake dragees from Bulk Barn, so I pressed a few of those into the icing. Yay for last-minute rescues.




And that's it! Just enough cookies and variety to keep us going over the holidays.

Wednesday, December 07, 2022

Wednesday Chocolatepodge

 From this Side of the Pond

1. The Hodgepodge lands on National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day. Have you visited the memorial? Any desire to do so? Have you visited other WW2 sites and memorials? Do you think we do a good job of teaching current and younger generations about the events of WW2? Do you think it matters? 

I live in Canada, so no to the first two questions.

I don't know how well younger people are being taught about that war, especially as there are few people left who were old enough to serve; there are more still around who were children and can tell things from that perspective. When I was in high school, that war was forty years ago and it already seemed a long time back; but high school for me was also forty years ago, so there's that.

And yes, I think it matters.

2. Many books, both fiction and non-fiction have been written with WW2 as the setting. Is this a 'genre' you gravitate towards? Share with us a book (or two) you've enjoyed that is set in some way around WW2. If you're not a reader, how about a movie? 

Not as a "genre," but yes, I have read various books involving WWII. Connie Willis's Blackout/All Clear are probably the most recent novels I've read. Also Herman Wouk's The Winds of War.

3. According to Better Homes and Gardens Magazine there are seven popular color trends for the holidays this year. They are- red and white, Victorian blue, pops of pink, rich shades of green, rainbow hues, black and white, and nostalgic retro colors. Are you 'trendy' when it comes to holiday decorating in 2022? How so? Does your tree have a 'theme'? 

I wouldn't have a clue! I just figure Christmas decorating should be about Christmas. We only have a half-size tree this year anyway, so we just used what fit on it.

4. What's a current trend you buck? 

See #3, I guess.

5. What's your favorite chocolate something? 

The foil-wrapped chocolate ornaments we bought at Dollarama to help decorate the half-size tree. Which I guess we'll get to eat in January.

6. Insert your own random thought here. 

I just posted my reading ambitions for 2023. It keeps me sort of accountable. Do you prefer planning reading ahead or taking it as it comes?

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

Mama Squirrel's Reading List for 2023

Alphabetically by author, this time. Some of these have migrated from previous years' lists, but that doesn't mean I'm not still going to try.


The Lazy Genius Kitchen: Have What You Need, Use What You Have, and Enjoy It Like Never Before

Adachi, Kendra 


Wordsworth: A Life In Letters

Barker, Juliet 


The Medieval Mind of C.S. Lewis: How Great Books Shaped a Great Mind

Baxter, Jason M.

 

The Story of Arthur Truluv

Berg, Elizabeth


How It Went: Thirteen Late Stories of the Port William Membership

Berry, Wendell

 

The Longing for Home: Reflections at Midlife

Buechner, Frederick

 

The Principles of Art

Collingwood, R.G.

 

Clear Light of Day

Desai, Anita

 

Birder's Handbook: A Field Guide to the Natural History of North American Birds

Ehrlich, Paul R.

 

How Not to Be Wrong: The Power of Mathematical Thinking

Ellenberg, Jordan

 

Walk in the Woods: Portrait of the Ojibway Prairie Complex

Gervais, Marty

 

A Thinking Love: Studies from Charlotte Mason's Home Education

Glass, Karen

 

The Aptitude Myth: How an Ancient Belief Came to Undermine Children's Learning Today

Grove, Cornelius N.

 

Parable and Paradox

Guite, Malcolm

 

Rallying The Really Human Things: Moral Imagination In Politics Literature & Everyday Life

Guroian, Vigen

 

The Jewel House: Elizabethan London and the Scientific Revolution

Harkness, Deborah

 

Dove Descending: A Journey into T.S. Eliot's Four Quartets

Howard, Thomas

 

The Narnian: The Life and Imagination of C. S. Lewis

Jacobs, Alan

 

The Truth and Beauty: How the Lives and Works of England's Greatest Poets Point the Way to a Deeper Understanding of the Words of Jesus

Klavan, Andrew

 

The Lovely Treachery of Words: Essays Selected and New

Kroetsch, Robert

 

Invitation to the Waltz

Lehmann, Rosamond

 

The Art of Repair

Martin, Molly

 

The Return: Fathers, Sons, and the Land in Between

Matar, Hisham

 

Peas, Pigs and Poetry

Mead, Fiona

 

Trees of North America

Mitchell, Alan

 

52 Prepper Projects: A Project a Week to Help You Prepare for the Unpredictable

Nash, David

 

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

Nicolson, Adam

 

A History of Ancient Britain

Oliver, Neil

 

Why God Makes Sense in a World That Doesn't: The Beauty of Christian Theism

Ortlund, Gavin 

 

Signposts in a Strange Land

Percy, Walker

 

A Plato Reader: Eight Essential Dialogues

Plato

 

The Fabric of Civilization: How Textiles Made the World

Postrel, Virginia

 

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

Ramsey, Russ

 

Absence of Mind: The Dispelling of Inwardness from the Modern Myth of the Self

Robinson, Marilynne

 

Unto This Last and Other Writings

Ruskin, John

 

Democracy in Canada: The Disintegration of Our Institutions

Savoie, Donald J.

 

The Collapse of Parenting: How We Hurt Our Kids When We Treat Them Like Grown-Ups

Sax, Leonard

 

Beauty

Scruton, Roger 

 

A Whole Life

Seethaler, Robert

 

The Wild Idea Club: A Collaborative System to Solve Workplace Problems, Improve Efficiency, and Boost Your Bottom Line

Silber, Lee

 

The Child That Books Built: A Life in Reading

Spufford, Francis

 

And Soon I Heard a Roaring Wind: A Natural History of Moving Air

Streever, Bill

 

Birding with Yeats: A Mother's Memoir

Thomson, Lynn

 

Paul

Wangerin Jr., Walter

 

What the Robin Knows: How Birds Reveal the Secrets of the Natural World

Young, Jon


Wednesday, November 30, 2022

Grey Days of November (Wednesday Hodgepodge)

From this Side of the Pond
1. Sum up your November in ten words or less. 

My orchid retired, but we bought a holiday bucket tree.

2. Are you hosting any holiday parties this year? Attending any? Party pooper, party animal, or life of the party...where do you land when it comes to parties? 

Our small group at church is going to have a (small) dinner potluck, which will be the first time in however long that we've potlucked with anyone. Perhaps the world is slowly coming back to normal.

3. Do you purchase holiday clothing of any sort (sparkly tops, Christmas jammies, Santa suit, etc). 

I was looking at a sparkly silver turtleneck yesterday at Value Village, but Mr. Fixit thought it might not be something I'd be happy actually wearing, and I figured he was right. But, right nearby, there was a grey J. Crew merino sweatshirt with kangaroo pockets, which does not sound that festive, but I'd rather have a  J. Crew merino sweatshirt than a pair of Santa Claus jammies. Besides, you can always add a scarf.

4. What's your go-to recipe when you're asked to bring an hors d'oeuvre to a party? 

I don't know, I've never been asked to bring an hors d'oeuvre anywhere that I can think of!

But I have taken a bowl of sweet potato hummus to a couple of evening events, so I guess that qualifies. All the links I had to it here on the blog seem to have disappeared, so I hope I have it written down somewhere. Basically, you blend cooked sweet potato with a can of chickpeas, and add a few things like lemon juice, cinnamon/other pumpkin spices, and some sweetener.

5. December 3rd is National Play Outside Day...what might you do to celebrate? 

Take a walk?

I just hope the weather's better than it is today (totally gross).

6. Insert your own random thought here.  

What we're reading to each other during Advent:

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

Wednesday, November 16, 2022

Wednesday Hodgepodge, Fast Fast Fast

 From this Side of the Pond

1. When did you most recently need to 'think fast'? Elaborate.

Trying to finish this on Wednesday evening, between a couple of loads of laundry and waiting for my husband to come back from doing an errand.

2. The Hodgepodge lands on National Fast Food Day. What was the last fast food you ate? What's your favorite fast food? How often do you grab fast food? 

As opposed to, say, just going out for coffee? That would be last Saturday in Toronto, when we met up with our oldest daughter (the Treehouse Apprentice), toured a pioneer village (pretty quiet, it's the off-season although they're getting ready for some Christmas events), and then got burgers at a nearby McD's.

Fast food isn't so much a "grab" for us; more often it's a stop along the road.

3. Life in the fast lane, get nowhere fast, on the fast track, not so fast...pick one and tell us how it applies to your life in recent days. 

Nowhere fast might apply to the past month: it's been pretty quiet

4. Are you a fast walker? fast talker? fast worker? fall asleep fast? stay fast asleep without too much trouble? 

Most of those.

Also a fast reader, when I want to be.

5. What is one 'hard and fast rule' in your house? 

Coffee.

Besides that?

Look for it used.

Besides that?

Pray about it.

6. Insert your own random thought here.  

Too late, he's back and the sheets are done.

But if you want some extra random, here's a list I just made of the books I've read this year.

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

Books Read So Far in 2022

This Year in Reading

If you went just by numbers, it might look like I spent this year doing little but re-reading mysteries, Grace Livingston Hill, and Mitford books. Actually those were my speed reads, a.k.a. some much-needed macaroni and cheese. 

I don't remember reading any new (or new-to-me) fiction this year that really knocked my socks off.  (I hope to do better on that in 2023). The best books I read were non-fiction,  especially the ones listed under Christian Thought, and some of which took me most of the year to get around to reading (after I finished reading everything I had to on William Morris). But those were almost all astonishingly good, especially Adorning the Dark, Breaking Bread with the Dead, and Lifting the Veil; also Philip Yancey's memoir Where the Light Fell, which had some unexpected parallels to Jan Karon's Home to Holly Springs which I was re-reading at about the same time. So, not always just macaroni and cheese.

The most practical book was The Lazy Genius Way; it's something that could be applied in many different situations.  It's a good complement to Dana K. White's decluttering books.

("R" is my code for re-read.)


Not Done Yet

George MacDonald, the Best from All His Works

MacDonald, George 


Songs from the Silent Passage: Essays on the Works of Walter Wangerin Jr.

Peterson, Eugene


Faith, Hope and Poetry: Theology and the Poetic Imagination

Guite, Malcolm 


Disappearing Ink: Poetry at the End of Print Culture

Gioia, Dana


My Utmost for His Highest

Chambers, Oswald 


Ourselves (R)

Mason, Charlotte


The Conscious Closet (R)

Cline, Elizabeth L. 


Cookbooks

Alton Brown's Gear for Your Kitchen

Brown, Alton 


Bare Minimum Dinners: Recipes and Strategies for Doing Less in the Kitchen

Helwig, Jenna 


Saving Dinner (R) (we're currently cooking our way through this book)

Ely, Leanne 


Getting Things Done 

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

Adachi, Kendra 


The Folding Lady: Always Solutions, Never Problems: Simple Home Hacks Room by Room to Make Life That Little Bit Easier

Liard, Sophie


Minimalista: Your Step-by-Step Guide to a Better Home, Wardrobe, and Life

Gill, Shira


Tiny Habits: The Small Changes That Change Everything

Fogg, B.J. 


Organizing for the Rest of Us: 100 Realistic Strategies to Keep Any House Under Control

White, Dana K. 


Effortless: Make It Easy to Get the Right Things Done

McKeown, Greg 


Shop, Save, and Share (R)

Kay, Ellie


Clothing and Style

Dress Your Best Life: How to Use Fashion Psychology to Take Your Look -- and Your Life -- to the Next Level

Karen, Dawnn 


How to Not Wear Black: Find Your Style and Create Your Forever Wardrobe (R)

Murphy, Anna 


Toss the Gloss: Beauty Tips, Tricks & Truths for Women 50+

Robinson, Andrea Q. 


The Ultimate Book of Outfit Formulas: A Stylish Solution to What Should I Wear? (R)

Lumbatis, Alison 


Education, Homeschooling, and Charlotte Mason Things

School Education: Developing A Curriculum (R)

Mason, Charlotte M. 


The Convivial Homeschool: Gospel Encouragement for Keeping Your Sanity While Living and Learning Alongside Your Kids

Winckler, Mystie 


This Country of Ours: The Story of the United States Volume 1: H. E. Marshall's "This Country of Ours" - Annotated, Expanded, and Updated

Marshall, H.E., and Breckenridge, Donna-Jean 


Christian Thought

A Mind for God (R)

White, James Emery


The Common Rule: Habits of Purpose for an Age of Distraction (could have been under Getting Things Done, but I had to put it somewhere)

Earley, Justin Whitmel 


Downstream from Eden: The Amazing Gift of Water for a Thirsty World

Knight, David L. 


Saving Leonardo: A Call to Resist the Secular Assault on Mind, Morals, and Meaning

Pearcey, Nancy R. 


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

Peterson, Andrew


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

Jacobs, Alan


Lifting the Veil: Imagination and the Kingdom of God

Guite, Malcolm


Searching for Sunday: Loving, Leaving, and Finding the Church

Evans, Rachel Held 


Biography

On Our Way Rejoicing (R)

Trobisch, Ingrid 


Where the Light Fell

Yancey, Philip 


To A Different Drum (R)

Hamilton, Pauline G 


William Morris / Arts and Crafts books

Peacock & Vine: On William Morris and Mariano Fortuny

Byatt, A.S. 


The Art of William Morris in Cross Stitch

Hammet, Barbara


Living with Arts & Crafts (R) (and a couple of others I can't think of right now)

Shaw, Ros Byam 


At Home with Beatrix Potter: The Creator of Peter Rabbit

Denyer, Susan 


William Morris and Morris Co.

Van der Post, Lucia 


Literary Criticism

The Well-Tempered Critic

Frye, Northrop 


Poetry

Polishing the Petoskey Stone: Selected Poems (R)

Shaw, Luci 


Rivers Among Rocks

Gustafson, Ralph 


General Fiction

Dandelion Wine (R)

Bradbury, Ray 


Piranesi

Clarke, Susanna 


Passage

Willis, Connie 


All the Light We Cannot See (R)

Doerr, Anthony 


C.S. Lewis books

Out of the Silent Planet (The Space Trilogy, #1) (R)

Lewis, C.S. 


Perelandra (The Space Trilogy, #2) (R)

Lewis, C.S. 


That Hideous Strength (The Space Trilogy, #3) (R)

Lewis, C.S. 


The Last Battle (Chronicles of Narnia, #7) (R)

Lewis, C.S. 


Mitford Books

A New Song (Mitford Years, #5) (R) (I think I might have re-read #4, Out to Canaan, as well)

Karon, Jan 


Home to Holly Springs (Mitford Years, #10) (R)

Karon, Jan 


Come Rain or Come Shine (Mitford Years, #13) (R)

Karon, Jan 


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

Karon, Jan 


Bathed in Prayer: Father Tim's Prayers, Sermons, and Reflections from the Mitford Series

Karon, Jan 


A Continual Feast: Words of Comfort and Celebration, Collected by Father Tim (R)

Karon, Jan 


Jan Karon's Mitford Cookbook and Kitchen Reader (R)

Karon, Jan 


Mysteries of all Sorts

The Cluttered Corpse (R)

Maffini, Mary Jane 


Death Plans a Perfect Trip

Maffini, Mary Jane 


The Four False Weapons (Henri Bencolin, #5) (R)

Carr, John Dickson 


At Bertram's Hotel (R)

Christie, Agatha 


Hallowe'en Party (Hercule Poirot, #32) (R)

Christie, Agatha 


A Presumption of Death (Lord Peter Wimsey/Harriet Vane, #2) (R)

Walsh, Jill Paton 


Whose Body? (Lord Peter Wimsey, #1) (R)

Sayers, Dorothy L. 


The Unpleasantness at the Bellona Club (Lord Peter Wimsey #5) (R)

Sayers, Dorothy L. 


Strong Poison (Lord Peter Wimsey, #5) (R)

Sayers, Dorothy L. 


The Five Red Herrings (Lord Peter Wimsey, #6) (R)

Sayers, Dorothy L. 


Have His Carcase (Lord Peter Wimsey #8) (R)

Sayers, Dorothy L. 


The Nine Tailors (Lord Peter Wimsey, #9) (R)

Sayers, Dorothy L. 


Gaudy Night (Lord Peter Wimsey, #12) (R)

Sayers, Dorothy L. 


Busman's Honeymoon (Lord Peter Wimsey, #13) (R)

Sayers, Dorothy L. 


St. Peter's Fair (Chronicles of Brother Cadfael, #4) (R)

Peters, Ellis 


The Leper of Saint Giles (Chronicles of Brother Cadfael #5) (R)

Peters, Ellis 


The Rose Rent (Chronicles of Brother Cadfael, #13) (R)


Peters, Ellis 


The Hermit of Eyton Forest (Chronicles of Brother Cadfael, #14) (R)

Peters, Ellis 


The Potter's Field (Chronicles of Brother Cadfael, #17) (R)

Peters, Ellis 


The Grass Widow's Tale (The Felse Investigations #7)

Peters, Ellis 


The House of Green Turf (Felse, #8)

Peters, Ellis 


Somewhat Corny Christian Fiction (including a strange way to spell Esther)

Rose Galbraith

Hill, Grace Livingston 


Where Two Ways Met

Hill, Grace Livingston 


Marigold

Hill, Grace Livingston 


More Than Conqueror

Hill, Grace Livingston 


Partners (R)

Hill, Grace Livingston


Amorelle

Hill, Grace Livingston 


The Christmas Bride

Hill, Grace Livingston 


Kerry

Hill, Grace Livingston 


Matched Pearls

Hill, Grace Livingston 


Ariel Custer

Hill, Grace Livingston


Ester Ried's Namesake

Pansy 


Ester Ried Yet Speaking

Pansy 


The King's Daughter

Pansy 


Echoing and Re-echoing (The Ester Ried Series Book 5)

Huntington, Faye 


Wise and Otherwise

Alden, Isabella MacDonald 


Children’s Books

The King's Shadow

Alder, Elizabeth 


I Saw Three Ships (R)

Goudge, Elizabeth


Miss Twiggley's Tree (R)

Fox, Dorothea Warren 


Wolves

Gravett, Emily 


A Place to Hang the Moon

Albus, Kate 


Christmas Farm

Ray, Mary Lyn 


Truly Miscellaneous

Crissy Doll and Her Friends: Guide for Collectors (R)

Gunther, Beth


Doctor Who: Impossible Worlds: A 50-Year Treasury of Art and Design

Nicholas, Stephen

Tuesday, November 08, 2022

Rugs and Roses (Early Winter Clothes)

I have two clothes goals right now. One is to make better use of basic/neutral things--to remember to wear them. The other is to wear more of my favourite colours, like the shades of our vintage Namda rug, and this detail from a William Morris tapestry. Too hard to do at the same time? Here goes. 

Wednesday, October 26, 2022

Wednesday Hodgepodge: In Season and Out

From this Side of the Pond

1. In two or three sentences describe yourself to someone who has never met you. 

Squirrels collect and store whatever they find, sometimes to their own detriment. I do collect some physical things, but I'm more likely to run around collecting up words and ideas. 

When my little backpack is full, I try to put them back together and give others something to chew on. Metaphorically speaking.

2. Will you celebrate Halloween this year, and if so tell us how? Let's play this or that-chocolate candy or fruity candy? pumpkin seeds or pumpkin pie? Halloween party or scary movie? hay ride or corn maze? carve a pumpkin or paint a pumpkin?

It's not a big deal for us, and we hardly ever get trick-or-treaters. 

We might watch a semi-scary movie and eat some of the little chocolate bars that we bought with the full knowledge that we might get, like, one kid knocking on the door.. 

The stores are full of pumpkins right now, so I bought a small one and turned it into pumpkin bars yesterday.

3. What's something that scared you when you were young? Are you still afraid? 

Ferris wheels...ski lifts...escalators. And yes.

4. Your favorite soothing drink? 

I suppose coffee is disqualified?

Celestial Seasonings Bengal Spice tea, a.k.a. caffeine-free chai. Drinking it reminds me of past poetry teatimes with our kids.

5. Are you thinking about Christmas yet? Does this make you feel happy or stressed? 

How 'bout we keep that one for another hodgepodge.

6. Insert your own random thought here.  

How is it that fall doesn't technically end until the winter solstice? I think we should have extra seasons, like they do in Japan; because right now we're getting near the end of orange-leaves-on-the-trees, heading into I'm-not-sure-what-season-November-is-but-it's-cold, and looking towards get-out-the-boots.

In keeping with not being sure what season we're in, yesterday I thrifted a sleeveless linen-blend dress, more or less for next summer. (And did I have a hard time photographing a black dress on a dull day? Eventually I gave up and hung it on the bathroom door. Not elegant, but at least you can see it.)

But we can always layer up until then, right?

Wednesday, October 19, 2022

A Weekend of Good Cheer (Overnight Travel Wardrobe)

Her favourite clothes site, The Vivienne Files, has done lots of posts on Tote Bag Travel. And this weekend she's getting her opportunity. She's been asked to address a group of educators at an overnight retreat; and her topic is William Morris, of all things. William Morris was not a teacher, but he was an observer, and a thinker, and a maker, and a learner. He cared about history, he cared about nature, and he cared about people living with beautiful things around them. So there's lots to say about him.

She has a list of extra things to take along, like art books to display; so she wants to keep her own luggage  to a minimum. She figures out what she wants to wear on the drive there and for the first evening: black jeans, a grey top, and a vintage cardigan, along with her Allbirds Mizzles because the weather's been wet and there have even been a few flakes of snow. 

She has a warm jacket, hat and gloves along as well, although they may be a bit much in the car.

She decides to take a satchel instead of a smaller purse, because she's going to be carrying things around like notes, her tablet, and a re-useable coffee mug. Also a pair of scissors, because the participants have been told they're going to be doing something crafty. William Morris would surely approve.

Here's the tote bag she's using for clothes. 

What's inside?

A pink turtleneck, a scarf, a black moto jacket, and a pair of burgundy lace-up shoes.

Plus nightwear, socks, a toothbrush, and those sorts of things. That's really all she needs.

Well, and a favourite pair of earrings.

Bracelets and a watch. She might not wear the bracelets (too clunky when she's doing her talk), but she's going to slip them in just in case.

Her daughter just gave her a bottle of Sinful Colors nail polish in a sparkly shade called Hush Money. Odd name, nice colour. (She'll do that before she leaves.)

So, rain and cold be darned: it's going to be a cheerful weekend with good friends.

Wednesday Hodgepodge: Squash those annoying thoughts

From this Side of the Pond
1. What's something you wish you'd figured out sooner? 

You don't have to put everything you own in your suitcase. The things you don't take will still be there when you come home.

That sounds like I spent my childhood as a refugee or something, but really it was more about being completely clueless as to what one might actually need for a weekend away vs. what might be stuffed into one's vintage hard-sided junior suitcase. Like a week's worth of library books, vs. an extra pair of shoes.
Book I thrifted yesterday

2. Something from childhood you still enjoy today? 

Complete transparency here. Over the last while we've been able to buy those variety packs of small boxes of cereal at the local supermarket. The kind that we used to break open on the lines and eat right out of the box. We don't do that anymore (I think they took the lines out years ago). But, while I would not be buying an entire box of Frosty Frooklers or Frooty Flippies, an occasional single serving does break up the "usual" of Semi-Healthy Oaty Circles or Shredded Shrickles.

3. Are you a fidgeter? What's the first thing that comes to mind when you hear the word fidget? 

Fidget the Bat in The Great Mouse Detective.

You did ask...

When we feel fidgety  we go to the flea market.

4. Your favorite fall vegetable? How do you like it prepared? 

Butternut squash, I guess. It's the least loathsome of the tribe.

I slice it up, cook it in a little water, then add butter, sage, pepper, and brown sugar.

Fall table things (pumpkin candles are vegetables?)

5. What's something you find mildly annoying, but not annoying enough to actually do anything about? Might you now?

Life is short. If it's mildly annoying, it can stay mildly annoying.

Mildly annoying: hands with wrinkles.

On the other hand, I did clean out my baking cupboard because I was tired of having the same spatula always fall out when I opened the door. 

6. Insert your own random thought here.  

After much summer same and September standard, it's time for October Out of the Ordinary. Having long graduated out of the junior hard-sided and tossed my '80's parachute luggage, I've worked my way through a series of thrifted and scrounged backpacks and carry-ons, and...I still haven't found what I'm looking for. But I have figured out how to stuff a duffel for an overnight Charlotte Mason homeschooling retreat, which is what I'll be doing this weekend.

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