Friday, 16 November 2012

Round up, clean up, catch up

Because I'm too tired to come up with coherent sentences strung together to make paragraph thingys, but still have lots of things I want to post, I hereby give you a list of cool stuffs:

I first read about these Youtube series over on Casey's blog and I've been watching them pretty much non-stop whenever I get a chance.  If you're into gardening, history or food, you'll love these.  I can't find all of The Wartime Kitchen and Garden episodes online, but hopefully more are coming soon:

The Victorian Kitchen Garden with Harry Dodson.

The Victorian Kitchen with Ruth Mott.

The Victorian Flower Garden with Harry Dodson.

The Wartime Kitchen and Garden with Ruth Mott and Harry Dodson!

From Snippets:  Using glue sticks in lieu of basting?  I'm sold.

Fabricville pattern sales:  November 14-18th:  Butterick 3 for the price of 1; November 19-22nd: Vogue $5.99 each; November 26-30th: Simplicity / New Look $1.99; December 1-4th: McCall's $3.49

One lovely blog:  Suzanne over at Beaubaby recommended my blog - although I'm frankly always amazed that someone other than me is reading this.  I also feel funny if I don't pass it on, but like the chain letters they are, these kind of blog recommendations have to fizzle out somewhere or we'd just plain run out of good blogs to recommend and we'd start telling people to go read the crappy ones.  Wait, are there any crappy ones?  I'm sure there must be some that are all links to pharmaceutical online stores and Russian pr0n and white power ranters with IQs ~50, but I've yet to see one. You should definitely read the sewing scientists on my blog roll first though, because we're the coolest.  Erm, I mean nerdiest.

My 7 things to share?

1) I am very organized at work; I am very disorganized at home.  I think there is only so much organizational energy in one person.  I have a closet that is bursting with junk I have to get rid of, but I just can't seem to get myself organized and figure out what goes where.  And then every time I open that closet, my kids see that old broken toy or game with missing pieces and want it back.

2) I am an atheist and the more I learn about religions, the less inhibited I feel about saying that.    Telling people that you don't believe in any god(s) is still treated as suspicious and immoral by so many, but I'm hoping that will change.  There are good religious people and bad; there are good atheists and bad.  I've seen enough of the world to know that morality and religion are unrelated.  No, learning more about Jesus / Allah / Jehovah / Buddha / Krishna etc. isn't going to change my mind.  No, I haven't had any traumatic experience with a religion (but I've had plenty of friends who have).  No, I don't feel like I'm missing out on any great secret of the universe. I prefer keeping my mind open and basing my beliefs on the facts around me, rather than twisting the facts around me to suit my immovable beliefs.

3) I both get and simultaneously don't really get the whole body image struggle that so many bloggers talk about.  You have a body that works.  It looks much better than you think it does.  Probably everyone around you thinks you look fabulous; why do you think any differently?  Maybe it's due to growing up where and when I did that makes body image less important to me.  Maybe it's because I'm no longer in my 20s and I realize my body isn't going to get any younger looking.  Maybe it's because I've been over and underweight, and I was equally happy at both stages.  Maybe it's because I've had years of pregnancies and breastfeeding mold my body in unexpected ways that's made me realize that being able to do that job is more important than the way it looks.  Maybe the years of media brainwashing just washed over me, leaving me intact.  Maybe the fact that I get my self-esteem from what my brain can do rather than how my body looks makes me immune.  I don't know.  But I do know that when I hear someone say, "I'd be much happier if I just lost those last 10 pounds", I want to say, "No, you won't be happier; you'll just be 10 pounds lighter".  Stop sabotaging yourselves, or I swear I'll have to come shake some sense into you.   

4)  When I was very young I had an imaginary friend named Bamba.  He was a dragon-like creature that I used to play with until my little sister was old enough.  When we moved from New Brunswick to Nova Scotia in 1974, I left him behind.

5)  I developed a severe allergy to shellfish after my first baby was born.  I had all the tests and still didn't believe it was possible, but apparently the immune overhaul that pregnancy causes on your body makes you much more likely to develop allergies, mild and severe.  I jokingly refer to it as my allergy karma, because before I had one, I didn't really buy into the whole "clean the environment of all allergens or my kid will die" mindset.  Now I've had enough anaphyactic reactions to something that is merely cross-contaminated with shrimp that I have to take care of where and what I can eat.  If it's ever happened to you, you know that feeling of impending doom that creeps up from your guts and you know it's too late.  And you'll never poo-poo someone's allergy fears again.

6) I hate anything jelly-like.  It literally makes me gag.  I vomited once when I had to participate in a jello eating contest back in high school.

7)  I have some kind of disorder that makes me fly into a rage if I have to listen to someone sniffling and snorting their mucus.  I wouldn't be surprised if I am someday featured in one of those Strange But True headlines: "Local Area Woman Murders Man on Bus for Failure to use Kleenex". 

OK, my brain is not working anymore so I'm going to stop now.  And go watch some more Victorian Kitchen Garden.


  1. I'm so with you on #2 and #3

    Sometimes I wonder if working in a male dominated field also contributes to having a certain... I don't know. Confidence, or perhaps a lack of intimidation that carries over to body image? I sat in project meetings as a very young engineer as the only female among many 50 year old men, and I've confronted huge men named Hoss on construction sites when thigns haven't been done correctly. Somewhere along the line you stop worrying about what people think, and I think that applies to many areas of life outside of our careers.

    But I most agree with #2.

    1. Some of my female colleagues were laughing in the lunch room about how our slightly baggy bodies and very baggy eyes were the norm for moms-of-young-kids/scientists. Then someone blurted out, "Good thing we make our livings from our brains and not our bodies, which we all thought was hilarious, but then realized was true. And explains why we aren't hung up about the bagginess ;)

  2. I've been obsessed with those shows this week too! Spooky! I just love the living history though - amazing to hear and see someone with first hand experience of how things were done during in a period I think of as history!

    1. I loved the fact that both Ruth and Harry were retired, but so enthusiastic and hard working for the series production. It showed how they were totally invested in preserving and communicating those lost skills.

  3. Where do i start?! My mind is going round in a tizzy! First, love the post. Actually, love your blog: whitty, down to earth, you talk about sewing, kids, science, stuff...all of which I love! And I totally understand about the work environment as I used to be a software developer before having kids (been SAHM for over 5 years now). I was way more organized at work.
    I also LOVE the historical stuff about how people lived/worked. Initially I was thinking this was the Victorian Farm series, which I've saved on our PVR for about 2 years. But when I clicked on the Victorian Kitchen I nearly blurted out loud (and it's past midnight here) when Peter Thoday came on (black hair, mustache). He and my dad were house mates in the early 60's! My mum met my dad through their friends (many au pair girl connections!) and she often told us stories about the house where the 4 young men lived (imagine drying underpants in the oven!) and great historical dinnners (they did a roman feast one new years). Oh, thanks for this memory! It's great to see the old series is on youtube.


    1. Ah, so cool! He does come across as someone who would be great to talk to. There is an interview on Youtube done in 2002 where he looks back at the research that had to go into the series, and that is facinating too:

      What is the Victoria Farm series? I'm going to have to track that down now too. Was it BBC or ITV?

      (BTW, kudos on being a SAHM for 5 years. I can barely make it through a Christmas holiday without blowing my top at each of them and running out of ways to keep them out of each other's hair.)

  4. This is a great exercise because I am like, "Me too! Me TOO! ME TOO!!" Thanks for sharing.

  5. Great post! Amen to number 2 (or is that inappropriate?) and I wish I had your wisdom in number 3. Still learning.

    1. I've been confronted just one too many times by people who want to change my point of religious view, when I would never dare try to turn someone off of their religion. I once had two previous labmates (a christian and a muslim) actually sputter at me, "Well, have to believe in something!!!", as if any kind of worship is better than none. They couldn't see the irony in their double-barreled attack. And it was something I never talked about until asked, because it's nobody's business, is it?

  6. Jumped over from Sew Weekly... In the 1950's world women wore girdles and other support garments to make the crazy proportions possible. Stockings, garter belts, crinolines, all kinds of under garments only vintage lovers wear now.

  7. As you know I'm all with you on #2. It doesn't come up very often, though, fortunately. #3... I do pretty well myself, and yet I've also got a fairly "conventionally pretty" body, so I know that's something I'm going to have to deal with the gradual erosion of over time. I feel like my mom provided a good feminist narrative when I was growing up, though, giving me a context for being aware of the differences between stereotypes and "ideals" and reality from a very young age. My husband managed to acquire some fairly intense body issues somewhere along the line, though, so I get to live with a lot of it, and it's sort of horrifying.

    That's freaky about the shellfish allergy. Pregnancy is WACK.

    1. The allergist actually told me to get pregnant again, because it may reverse the allergies. After I had my daughter, most of them went away (Tomatoes?!? Really? Who is allergic to tomatoes?!?), but I still have the shellfish one and it's getting worse. He also told me that menopause may relieve it, since many kids who have childhood allergies tend to lose them after puberty - again, a huge hormonal change tends to change allergy status. I don't want to wait, so since I work with parasites, I'm thinking about doing some helminth therapy to see if that can reduce or eliminate the anaphylaxsis. Can't hurt, although it will be kind of disgusting. :P

  8. People chewing gum makes me want to give Mandatory Slap Therapy, so I get your snorting problem.


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