Short Thought 214 (crazy)

I’ve come to the conclusion that when people live with or in crazy for too long they often lose the ability to see it for what it is. So when someone else comes along and takes issue,  pointing out that whatever is going on isn’t normal or sane or healthy, they will typically balk, resist, or defend. Either living that way is all they’ve ever known or somewhere along the way their vision became skewed.

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Cobbling together a new watch!

I never used to have/wear watches, not for many years, but then I picked up a few inexpensive ones from yard sales. As with most things (accessories) I like to have choices. But for some reason the bands seem to break in short order. IMG_20180708_095821_kindlephoto-2355441So now I have a couple watch faces lounging about with no occupation. I found a purpose for one that has suited me well, attached right on the outside of a purse.

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Five years ago I bought this inexpensive bracelet online.

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This is how it looked

I soon realized the peacock stuck out too far for my taste and I was never going to wear it. So I broke the peacock off the bracelet and glued it to a pin.

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But then I had the bracelet part doing nothing. I couldn’t bring myself to get rid of it. It had potential. But I didn’t know what. The bracelet is hinged and opens & closes which I thought was so interesting. It’s not high-end but it wasn’t ready for the garbage.

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The other day I got an idea to attach one of my watch faces to it. I had the perfect one. All I needed was wire and pliers, both of which I had.

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I wrapped skinny (high gauge) wire around the part of the watch that holds the band and over the bracelet. I did the same at either side of the bottom.

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It looks great!

 

Short Thought 213 (quality/quantity)

I’ve long preferred quality over quantity when it comes to people but for some reason I’m blocked when it comes to extending this philosophy to non-human things. Intellectually I get it, the virtue of investing in higher-end things – food, clothes, electronics, etcetera – that will last a long time and/or serve you well but emotionally I struggle to practice it. I suspect that secretly I’m not convinced.

Fond garden memories from childhood. Um, not really.

You know how you always read heartwarming stories of people’s memories of their mother’s or grandmother’s gardens? About those carefree, neverending days of summer when they ate fresh, crisp green beans off the vine or nibbled on just-picked strawberries? How they helped their mother or grandmother and were rewarded for their efforts with fresh treats? Well, my mother had a garden but I didn’t do any of that. I thought everything that came out of my mother’s garden was disgusting. She didn’t trust her younger children such as me to participate in the vegetable garden either, relegating them to lesser, joyless yard tasks like digging plantain leaf and dandelions out of the lawn or collecting gumballs by the hundreds. Heart-warming no?

I always remembered my mother having a vegetable garden and I always remember her complaining about it. The terrible soil, the hard work, the marauding birds & squirrels, and so on. Gardening was not about pleasure. Most of the produce was subsequently canned (an arduous process my mother undertook each year in a hot kitchen) and eventually served limp and waterlogged with little or no seasoning. I’ll grant you I was a child and children aren’t typically known for their love of vegetables, but the way they were cooked sure didn’t help.

When one of us kids complained about  the taste of the vegetables at the dinner table my mother would invariably, defensively respond,

“That came from our garden!”

“It came from our garden” was supposed to be a conversation-ender, as if everything from the garden was above reproach.  Even the family salad, which, by the time it got to you at the table of many, was bitter leaves floating in the heavy-on-the-vinegar dressing at the bottom of the mud brown, chipped, ceramic bowl. Which you had to take.

I would be an adult, one who ate in restaurants and learned to cook, before I could appreciate vegetables, fresh ones in particular. The childhood associations had to wear off first and then I could find out for myself what vegetables were actually supposed to taste like. I simply didn’t know how good they go be. Other people helped. I didn’t know what a green pepper could taste like till a woman I knew offered me some from her garden when I was in my late twenties. I was reluctant, based on the lip-curling memory of the taste of uncooked peppers (why that one was served without the usual overcooking I couldn’t say), when she assured me that I should try it cooked as it became “a different vegetable.” It was true. Proper cooking took the edge off the pungent raw green pepper taste.

Over the years I tried more and more vegetables and was often surprised. Of course, a number of these were never served at our family dinner table, certainly nothing too exotic. I tried okra for the first time about five years ago. Wow! I loved okra. Who knew?

My mother considered me a “picky eater” and it took many years of eating foods not cooked or served by my mother (vegetables may have been a low point but it’s not like the rest of the cuisine was delicious) to discover I was, if not the opposite, definitely not picky. There was a world of food and vegetables to discover and I now consider them one of life’s true joys.  I’ve never lived anywhere I could have my own full-blown vegetable garden, but I am delighted by the small amount of food gardening I’ve been able to do. There’s such pride in growing things, food especially.

Vegetables, mostly from the store, have made regular appearances in this blog’s four+ years. Here’s a few.IMG_20180619_125250

 

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NOTE: I’m back to sketchy internet access; please forgive any delay in responding to comments.

Short Thought 211 (attraction)

When we were in our teens, my best friend and I talked about guys a lot. Her ideal type was a tall, blue-eyed, blonde, very Nordic in appearance. Not long ago I saw a photo of her with her husband online. He looked nothing like the kind of guy she was so attracted to back in our teens. She looked very happy.

Short Thought 210 (women aging)

I find it interesting and sometimes perplexing how other women view their own aging. Some years back I was talking to an older woman, who was missing a front tooth. She said the only reason she would get it fixed was so as not to scare children. She acted resigned about her appearance. She said, “If you can’t be the best, why bother at all.” I was too surprised to respond but thinking about it, I know I appreciate it when other women (and men) take care of their appearance, no matter their age.