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A Prompt

Things have been insanely busy around here for a few weeks. Saturday will be the culmination of Stage One of a new business venture/lifestyle change. Details about the weekend on Starting Over Designs, more details here as I figure out who I want to be when I grow up. IF I decide to grow up πŸ™‚

In the meantime, The Daily Post put up an excellent prompt today that I feel compelled to participate in after a very late night with Joel Salatin’s You Can Farm.

Handmade Tales

Automation has made it possible to produce so many objects β€” from bread to shoes β€” without the intervention of human hands (assuming that pressing a button doesn’t count). What things do you still prefer in their traditional, handmade version?

So many things are so much better when done by hand that I don’t know quite where to start, so this list might get long.

I love to bake bread but haven’t yet tried to figure out the trailer oven for anything more complicated than quiche and now it’s way too hot to even consider! Baking bread or rolls using your own blend of flours for that perfect Toasting Texture is an art everyone should try to master. Home-made pizza with sauce and crust made from scratch is a detectible feast!

I saw a young couple at a craft show back in March who were selling custom moccasin shoes. Having a pair of shoes built just for me was an intriguing proposition and I had them make a duct tape cast of my foot for a future order, which I placed in May. The more I looked at their pictures and dreamed of my custom shoes, the more I became enamored of the idea of doing it myself. A bit of research led me to Bonney & Wills, the school where Dustin learned to make his mocs. If I can swing the funds, I want to take this class in the Fall when work slows down and I can take a week off from my current busy life.*

I much prefer spinning my own wool into yarn and knitting my creations to buying yarn, even locally sourced yarns – the satisfaction of taking a project from raw material to finished product is amazing! I understand that local farms need support, so I buy my raw materials from them and am planning a project that will support my local wool processing facility. You’re going to be hearing a lot more about these projects in the near future as I expose my Green Side…

I’m going to add transportation to the end of my list because walking or biking anywhere is preferable to driving during the heat of Summer. My little town is flat as a board and I don’t have AC in the car. I should be walking more, but the heat has been incredible, making sidewalk and pavement too hot for Sabu’s feet. Neither of us is as tough as we used to be πŸ™‚

Stay tuned for more Crazy Stuff that I’ll be making by hand with a little bit of help from my friends.

Check out the Daily Post for more great prompts!

* I took a pair of riding boots to the shoe repair guy a couple of weeks ago to get new heels put on – I hadn’t worn the boots much, and the foot was fine, but the heels were worn down to the wood, something that has never happened so fast for me in the past. While talking to the guy, he lamented the fact that shoe manufacturers are using crap for soles, whatever is cheapest, because people throw their shoes away instead of having them repaired. He brought a boot out from under the counter that had the sole falling apart and said that European shoes have a life expectancy of 5-7 years from the date of manufacture because they are using materials that biodegrade after that time to save room in their rapidly-filling landfill sites. These brands include two of my favorites, Clarks and Dansko. Grrr! I keep my shoes much longer than 5-7 years (it helps that I tend to favor Classic styles over the flavor-of-the-week in fashion) and that really pisses me off. I take my shoes to be repaired and now that I know I shouldn’t expect much life out of my second-hand, snazzy, European shoes, I feel cheated.

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Posted by on July 31, 2014 in Prompts

 

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Guilty Pleasures

Yesterday’s Plinky Prompt:

Tell us about a guilty pleasure that you hate to love.

I try not to feel guilty about anything these days, but there are some things that I don’t talk about and they all revolve around entertainment. The Narc hated TV, depriving me of Knitting Time with his antics and now I may be going a bit overboard with my quest to get caught up with my favorite shows. And my knitting.

My Number One Guilty TV Pleasure is Duck Dynasty

Duck DynastyMake no mistake, I am not a redneck. Much. I don’t even know where I first caught a glimpse of these bearded dudes or what led to watching and becoming hooked, but there you have it. What appeals to me the most is that everyone is fully dressed for each episode and they treat each other with love and respect. Sure, there are practical jokes and teasing, but you always know that they truly love each other. And you never see boobs to distract from a poor story line like some other “reality” shows.

The Robertsons seem like a pretty well-adjusted family living the American Dream – patriarch Phil invented a duck call that went global, passed the little enterprise on to his sons who have grown the business into an empire. But they are still Real People; there are no divas (at least not where the film crew lets us see πŸ™‚ ) or ostentatious demonstrations of wealth, no cursing or nasty behavior, they just seem like they could be your eccentric neighbors. Who like to blow up shit. And fish and hunt a lot. Yeah. I know these guys.

Next up is Dexter who I discovered through Netflix because I am too cheap to pay for ShowTime –DexterWho doesn’t love a show about a serial killer masquerading as a blood spatter analyst? Clear back at Season One I was fascinated with the character who admits in Episode One that he doesn’t have emotions like normal people and has to watch others to gauge what his reaction should be to “normal”situations. He compares himself to an actor who is surviving by flying under the radar with his job at the Miami PD while fulfilling the needs of his Dark Passenger.

At the beginning of the series, I felt like I was emotionally dead, hearing the Narc tell me every day that my emotions were not normal, that my anger and “hysteria” were unfounded and that I needed to get counseling to “deal with my issues.” I believed that the problems with our relationship were mine, that he was the sane one, but as time went on and my Inner Voice started shouting that all was not well in Narcland, I began to see the Narc as the person who was faking his emotions. His affect was so similar to Dexter’s that I found myself wondering just what he was capable of. It was scary how cold and calculating the Narc was when I could see behind his mask.

Season 8 (the final season) is about to start, but I’m still back at Season 6, so don’t post any spoilers in the comments πŸ™‚

Next up is Breaking Bad, the story of what a desperate man can be forced to do –

Breaking BadThe evolution of Walter White (and Jesse Pinkman) is a fascinating look at our society today and how we can justify anything to reach our goals, even if we know it’s very, very wrong.

Walt, a high school chemistry teacher, is diagnosed with cancer in the first episode. Knowing that he has only months to live and no savings, he sets out to make some money fast to provide for his wife, son, and unborn daughter. He chooses a path that no one in their right mind would choose (cooking meth) but he’s desperate. One thing leads to another and he evolves into a man willing to kill to protect his family and his secrets.

Bryan Cranston is amazing in this role. His expressions tell so much more than the story. You find yourself liking this guy, even after he’s just shot someone. You can see how a desperate situation can go sideways and wonder if you would be able to do the same if the end cause was noble.

Jesse Pinkman, on the other hand, evolves from a low-level street thug into a man with a heart and Aaron Paul plays the part to perfection. You just want to feel sorry for Jesse, take him home and make him eat freshly baked cookies. Then you remember that he killed Gale. Whatevs.

This is all rather dark, eh? I also like dark fiction, most recently J.A. Konrath (aka Jack Kilborn) and his Jack Daniels series and horror novels. Dude is seriously twisted to be able to write such dark shit. I can’t stop reading. I wonder what that says about me?

That about wraps it up. If you don’t count Tequila, Pepsi or chocolate, smoking is my only vice. I don’t count my love of wool in all its forms, fabric, fiddles or sewing machines among the Guilty Pleasures because there’s no reason to feel guilty about things that make you happy and don’t harm anyone else. Sabu might argue that if there was less Stuff taking up space there would be more room to play ball inside, but she’s not getting a vote today πŸ™‚

 
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Posted by on August 21, 2013 in Happy, Prompts

 

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Daily Prompt

I haven’t followed a Daily Prompt yet because, well, mostly they suck, IMHO, but today is a good one:

If the world worked on a barter system, how would you fare? Would you have services to barter? Would you be successful, or would you struggle?

If money had never been invented, everyone would have similar basic skills and I would likely have ended up working for someone else for room and board, being a female who was not born into money.

But, assuming the economy collapses right where we are and goods and services exist only in short supply, I am well set to be able to take care of myself. I was raised to be interested in how things work and to not be afraid to take things apart to see how they work. Or maybe taking things apart came later. Whatever, I’m fearless if something doesn’t work properly – you betcha I’ll take it apart and see where the problem is and fix it if I can.

I have all of the basic skills that seem to be lacking in people today: I can cook, sew, quilt, knit and spin; reason out the best way to solve a problem; grow, harvest and preserve foods of all kinds; raise some livestock breeds (no chickens yet, but I really want to get some); maintain my home and surroundings. And I can do all of these things without electricity. Start a fire with flint and steel? Yeah, I won competitions doing that shit. I rock at obscure, anachronistic tasks. Make candles from beeswax? Check. Render beef suet to make soap? Yep. Weave a blanket? Of course.

It amazes me how few people can do something as simple as sew on a button or hem a pair of pants – these are basic requirements in a society that does not have disposable clothing like we have now. In fact, I can take wool freshly shorn off a sheep (I won’t claim that I can actually shear a sheep myself because I haven’t done it, but I think I could do a passable job after all the bunny shearing I’ve done) wash, card and spin it and then knit it into an article of clothing (hat, socks, sweater, mittens, etc.) which boggles the minds of the Muggles when they see it the first time. You may pooh, pooh, but think about it – if we are reduced to making our own clothes just to survive, I’ll be the one in the toasty-warm, properly-fitting cabled sweater while many of my neighbors will be naked or draped in an uncut piece of cloth, if they can find it.

If nothing else, I will be able to sell my services for room and board to those who have housing and land but no knowledge of how to support themselves on it. I can even play a fiddle tune to keep the beasts entertained.

Yeah, I’ll do just fine.

 
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Posted by on July 8, 2013 in I totally Rock!, Prompts

 

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