Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Buying Stuff I Didn't Know I Needed

It may be obvious from looking at my threadbare wardrobe that I don't enjoy shopping for clothes.  My style, if someone had to label me, could probably be described as a cross between a twelve year old who wants to grow up to be either a lumberjack or a comic book collector, and that nutty chemistry professor we all knew in school who favored comfortable shoes.  Maintaining my look sort of limits my shopping venues, as you can imagine.  I've never liked to shop for shoes either, since my experience is that a shoe that looks cute on a woman with a size six foot does not look anything but silly when enlarged to a nine and half and worn with pants with frayed cuffs and unmatched socks.  Because I don't like to wear shoes that would reduce my already slim chances of out running a bear, my shoe options are even more limited.  Without shoes and clothes to exercise my shopping muscles, I stay in practice by shopping for stuff at junk stores.  It's amazing how easy it is to find things I really want that I didn't even know existed!  And I get to keep my clothes and shoes on while in the store.  

On a quick trip to the big Peddlers Mall in town today, I managed to score this beaded wire dog wall thingy with two hooks for hanging things.  For just four dollars I am able to own this hand crafted beauty! Just think, some one made this, on purpose.  Four dollars is the price of a Starbucks coffee, so just imagine, I could have an aromatic hot beverage made from the scientifically roasted beans of plant grown in the tropics, which has been consumed by humans for hundreds of years and has evolved into the taste and mood stimulating perfection of Starbucks, or I can have this thing.  Wait...  When I showed it to Brandon this evening he looked for several moments before he said "it's... amazing".  Yes, yes it is.  

When I picked up a little cookbook called Welcome Back to Pleasant Hill, published in 1977, by the chef at the hotel that was originally built by the Kentucky Shakers, and I randomly turned to a recipe for breakfast bacon cookies, I knew I had to have it.  Published the year I was born, by someone just down the road, and featuring a cookie with bacon?  Three dollars is a bargain, right?  The book is organized by season, and includes the recipes for food that is ready in the garden during each season.  There is even a recipe for pickled watermelon rind, and wassail bowls, both things I've been curious about recently.  There are selected journal entries from the Shaker records, too, and most of them are about the weather, harvest, and preservation of the food they worked on that day.  It will be interesting to compare notes with folks from the 1800 who were gardening so close to home.  

In honor of the Thanksgiving season, I also bought a small horn-o-plenty for a couple of dollars, thinking I might be able to jazz up the holiday decor by creating a overfull basket, Hallmark pilgrim style.  It looks like a funny hat, but the kittens wouldn't model it for me.  

Puck was more accommodating.  Say Happy Turkey Day!  I've had two dollars worth of laughs torturing my pets with the horn already.  

My first table arrangement didn't have quite the traditional Martha Stewart quaintness I was hoping for.  

I got a brand new five foot long rag rug for eight dollars, a baggie of thread on bobbins for a buck, and a stack of felt leaves for two dollars.  Can you tell I'm proud of my thrifty finds?  My thought with the leaves is to use them as trivets for Thanksgiving dinner, avoiding putting my ratty looking pot holders on the table under hot dishes as I've done in the past.  I'm glad I started practicing with the horn arrangement now, because now I know a Chiquita banana sticker, almost rotten pears, and some crusty carrots just aren't enough.  My horn needs more o-plenty.  

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