I am not one of these stylishly-dressed women with elegantly-decorated homes who swear they acquired their every single AMAZING possession via flea markets or thrift stores. Their homes are usually white, their clothing black. Do you know what I mean?
What is it with all the decorating magazines that feature “Thrift Store Style.” Clearly those people are not from “these parts.” (Sorry, I am a bit obsessed with this topic.)
I really like thrift stores though. I don’t like gambling, but I do get a teeny, tiny electric (gambling?) thrill every time I smell that unique thrift store scent. I walk into a disorganized, messy, smelly space and see Possibilities (and junk). I have the chance of finding a treasure, the next Hope Diamond, or maybe just some cool books (or junk).
Books are my major weakness. We have so many and we need no more. Yet I still crave the occasional unexpected thrift store book-find to keep me going. I discovered Flicka, Ricka, Dicka and Snipp, Snapp, Snurr at the thrift store. Also, the amazing Cynthia Rylant Cobble Street Cousins series. I found Science Experiments You Can Eat there too.
Today I went in searching for books for our school’s charity used book sale. I know, you’re not supposed to SHOP for that! You are supposed to purge, not acquire. But I rationalize it this way: I get the addictive thrill of thrift store book shopping, and when I buy, I have the satisfaction of knowing that my money goes to a good cause. The books I buy will be sold at a sale benefiting a different good cause! I am using books to help two worthy charities (and myself because it is fun).
I found a lot of great kids’ books today, but my favorite find was a giant collection of Origami books that had been dropped off mere moments before. I left the 3D origami books behind (seemed too complicated and time-consuming), but bought nearly all the rest – for $5.00!! I gave them $10 because it was for our local pet shelter, and it was a much better option for me than adopting yet another cat …
I hope you all like Origami and paper crafts. I see big inspiration here!
What a glorious sunny, warm (but not too warm) day it was in Arizona’s mountains today. Finally we had our first real late-spring day! It might be the last for a while judging by the forecast of cooler temperatures and yet more unbelievably strong winds again for this week.
The sun was gently warm, its blue sky background scattered with just enough gentle puffy white clouds for interest. Leaves are emerging on trees, but not yet on the Gambel Oaks. Stems are greening up and little leaf buds are miraculously presenting themselves on plants that look deader than dead.
Encouraged by the relief from the strong spring gales and finally warm air, I decided to take the Big Frost Gamble and join the throngs headed for the nursery. Somehow I resisted the temptation to buy everything green and flowery and bought only the necessary plants – but I know I’ll be back!
My 9 year-old and I spent a lovely day planting pots and window boxes while my husband washed cars (his number two favorite hobby after cleaning garages). My 7 year-old son made a mess map in the mud with a hose, forming lakes, islands, peninsulas and bays, each with its own name. My 4 year-old went to the park with her best friend and best friend’s mom to feed ducks and play on the play-ground.
It was a fine unplugged day!
One benefit of no TV that had never occurred to me when I began this experiment after the birth of my daughter nine and a half years ago, is the lack of exposure to “sexy teens!” I am shocked sometimes when I see how some teens and tweens, dress and act. I really am not a conservative person, in fact I consider myself to be quite liberal, but I do believe that 9 year-old girls are emotionally girls and NOT women. What ever happened to childhood?
Some might think it backward (please don’t flame me), but I am SO relieved that my 9 1/2 year-old daughter still believes in Santa and the Tooth Fairy. She still plays dress-up and fairies with her little sister and like-minded friends. She is not on Facebook, nor has she ever expressed a desire to be. Don’t berate me for “stunting” my daughter’s social and technological development. Believe me, I am sure she will “develop socially” as soon as those hormones hit her system! She also knows how to use a computer just fine thank you.
There are certainly many factors involved. Her stage of physical development, her personality, and the fact that she attends a very small Montessori School all surely play a role. But I do truly also believe that part of the fact that she has not yet become interested in “popular teen culture” is that she is not exposed to TV shows and commercials that cause her to emulate those behaviors.
My good friend friend just sent me a link to a review of an interesting-sounding book by Leonard Sax, the author of Boys Adrift: The Five Factors Driving the Growing Epidemic of Unmotivated Boys and Underachieving Young Men. His new book is about girls: Girls on the Edge: The Four Factors Driving the New Crisis for Girls-Sexual Identity, the Cyberbubble, Obsessions, Environmental Toxins. I urge you to read the review and see what you think.
Meanwhile, I hope that my little girls stay little girls for as long as they need to.
Lately I have been extremely impressed with my 7 year-old son’s Lego-building skills. Homework completion however, has reached an all time low.
Lately I have been extremely impressed with my procrastination skills. Mandatory Boring Tasks completion however, has reached an all time low.
He sat ALL AFTERNOON at his desk with homework in front of him reading books.
I sat ALL AFTERNOON at my computer with bills, bank statements and half finished snail mail letters in front of me fiddling about (not very “unplugged” of me).
Wouldn’t you think that my son could just come up with a simple poster about a book he loved
(we’re not talking 200-page PHD dissertation here).
Wouldn’t you think that after 20 years of intense homework I’d be able to buckle down and write my long overdue letter, an essay for a contest, or even update my pilot logbook (that used to be my obsession in the old days when I wanted to be an airline pilot).
I think my son is struggling with his first experience of being overwhelmed and behind.
I think I am struggling with a mid-life Mom Crisis of not being sure of my role in life besides that of laundry and cooking machine.
Excuses, excuses, excuses.
Fall is here again. The air is cooler, the light whiter, the maple that I planted last year for some fall color is doing its job well. What little monsoon rain we had this summer (hardly any) is now gone for good and I am watering with a hose to keep things alive until the first snow.
The husky perfume of green chilis tumbling in their roaster fills the air outside of our little local grocery. Pumpkins are appearing everywhere, as are spooky decorations from early and eager Halloweeners.
The now frosty night air smells of pinyon and cedar smoke. The stars shine brighter and the Milky Way is visible between the tall pines like a sparkling river.
The children are eager for snow and skiing and the imminent winter closure of the golf course behind our house. This vast expanse will become their winter playground for nature exploring, chilly hikes followed by hot chocolate, sledding, snowmen, and frisbee games with the dog.
Although not a natural baker, even I begin to dream of pumpkin bread, muffins and homemade caraway rolls.
Can you tell that fall is my favorite season?