Lost Arts studio

A lot of the fiber arts I enjoy are things like tatting, netmaking, chair caning, and even weaving, where people will come up to me when I demonstrate and solemnly tell me, "That's a lost art."

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Location: SW Outer Nowhere, Michigan, United States

On the Internet, nobody knows you're a chicken. (With apologies to Peter Steiner.)

30 November 2007

Simple Pleasures

Quite a few years ago, in a used bookstore, I bought a book that shaped me.

I found it in my favorite kind of used bookstore: old couch near the front, wooden shelves bolted to the ceiling and walls so they couldn't teeter, a huge science fiction section, more books crammed into less space than seemed possible.

There were shelves all along the walls, shelves that wrapped around corners, shelves in what had been a tiny closet. There were multiple copies of out-of-print paperbacks by authors I was discovering one by one.

There was a book called Simple Pleasures, by Nora Gallagher, with a dedication to Isabella Beeton, and sections called things like "Things to Do to Put Color in Your LIfe", "Things to Do on a Rainy Day," "Mean Things to Do (Simple Perversions)", and "Odd Things to Do."

It contained directions for things like "A Walk Around the Block" and "Sand Therapy." Even things I disagree with, like "Catching Mice Whole," have charming titles.

(Mice got in my silverware drawer. Once. After bleaching the inside of the drawer and all of the contents, I became a serious ender of mouse lives. I'm sorry for all the dead-mouse karma I'm accumulating, but I am NOT having mouse droppings in the spoons. NOT.)

This is the book that introduced me to Gaudy Night and Lord Peter Wimsey. This is the book that contains the phrase " . . .towels as thick as forty baby rabbits laid ear to ear," which has led me on a lifelong unfulfilled towel-quest. And it's the book that supports my stand on *buying myself flowers. ("If you can afford anything, afford flowers.")

It even has advice on doing Ghastly Tasks, like balancing the check book or cleaning the refrigerator. ("Do it when you are obsessed about a lover . . You can curse his or her name while opening the vegetable bin and discovering those things which should probably be donated to science.")

There are simple pleasures everywhere, and I'm grateful to have acquired the habit of expecting them.

*My husband is a great guy, but if I waited for him to buy me flowers, I'd be in a box with the flowers on the top. I'm not waiting. Especially in the dark, cold and freezing winter, I buy bouquets in the grocery-store aisle. While I'm alive to enjoy them.

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Blogger amy said...

That book sounds great. I like simple pleasures, too. How much better to be pleased by simple things, than to require enormous, complex things. Those people never seem pleased.

11:58 AM  
Blogger Rose Red said...

This sounds like the most fabulous book ever! What great advice you have shared! (especially the vegetable bin advice. And the flowers)

And I'm with you on the mice. Mouse droppings in the spoons is NOT.ON!

From Australia. Where, yes, it is December already. Sigh!

4:40 PM  
Blogger TinkingBell said...

What a fabulous book (notes title for searching!) The flowers - I have received flowers from the husband for a health scare, a miscarriage and 2 children's birth - I have also received a packet of seeds with the admionition ' There. Now you can't say I never give you flowers!'

8:56 PM  
Blogger MadMad said...

As one who has also had mouse poop in her spoons, I'm with you on the whole no whole mouse thing. What were some of the Mean Things to Do? Just curious, you know...

2:58 PM  
Blogger Bells said...

oh yes, I'm with you on the flower philosophy. 100% with you.

3:26 PM  
Anonymous Wendy said...

Nice to see someone else who buys flowers for themselves. I have been doing that for the last 20 years. It just makes me smile when I see flowers.

Am I missing something in your comment area, it doesn't allow me to put in the URL for my blog anymore.

7:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yep, if I didn't buy flowers for myself, then I'd be completely flowerless too!

The book sounds great, I need to take a look around and see if I can find it around here.

8:02 AM  
Blogger Alwen said...

Yeah, if you're a person who is easily amused, you spend a lot more time amused.

Parts of the book are silly, but they echo my own silly, sharky sense of humor. It's probably out of print, and what a pity.

I haven't changed my comment settings, so Blogger/Google probably did something.

8:32 PM  

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