Tag Archives: style

Art All Night

By Kate

Post industrial Pittsburgh is rich in space. There are cavernous warehouses, former steel mills, abandoned houses of man and God, all solidly built in a past full of prosperity and American steel.

Pittsburgh is also rich in possessing a populations of artists and dreamers eager to re-imagine those spaces, and inhabit them in a new way.

Last Saturday we attended Art All Night, a 24 hour celebration of local visual and performing art that takes place at a new location in our neighborhood every year. The event is free, and the entire community is encouraged to attend and to participate in creating art during the event.

Along with a whole host of talented professionals and amateurs from all over the region.

There was a whole section of children’s events, but this year our two year old was more interested in clinging firmly to her father and gazing at wide variety of art on display.

There was live music….

There were massive puppets…

There were robots, fitting enough considering that we were a stones throw away from the Carnegie Robotics Institute…

But Casey’s favorite piece of art was definitely this practical and attractive coffee table with a cribbage table built in.

My favorite art was the juxtaposition of the entire event within the skeleton of the factory.

It is hard to describe the sheer scope of the space that housed the event this year, but wandering through it and gazing up at the massive remnants of industry was extraordinarily interesting- particularly for a girl who spent a couple ill advised years swooning over Ayn Rand.Like the work of Ayn Rand, however, it is clear that working in this factory had a dangerous side. I thought this safety measure was appropriate for an art show.

Luckily, I had no need for an emergency eye bath. I enjoyed the work of the artists, especially those working hard on collaborative immediate pieces.

It was cold on that concrete floor, and I was shivering watching them work.

Of course I have always imagined that being a painter involves a lot of shivering. In garrets, while stained with paint in an aesthetically pleasing manner, and being gaunt and interesting. The artists at work all looked just like the artists in my imagination.

And the outfits and demeanor of the artists seemed to match the paintings, which I found fascinating.

Speaking of outfits, I am thrilled to say that this event, which involved high and low art and frigid temperatures, was a perfect opportunity to pull out the pleather pants. And what five month pregnant woman doesn’t love to wear pleather pants?

Not to mention almost every brightly colored plastic bracelet I own. That was my great contribution to the world of visual art.

Want more? Read about my adventures in post-industrial Pittsburgh here:

Frumpiness and Pleather

After Atlas Shrugged

Painting Pittsburgh

A City Morning

Pittsburgh in my Paris (A Bibliophile’s Dream)

Snowstorm in July

Hot Times, Summer in the City

Fire Knives, Fountains, Steel Mills, and Spectacle

Spring Musings: My Makeshift Gown

The main social event of the year at UD was this past Friday night, Spring Formal, and although it did not go quite as I had planned, I did manage to look quite  pretty, if I do say so myself.

For weeks before the dance, I had been searching for a dress to wear.  There was no way I was going to pay for anything (the dance or the dress).  And a date and a dress were nowhere to be found.  Luckily, one day, as I was rifling through my lovely friend Emma’s closet, I came upon something of a solution for the dress problem.  I am a firm believer in the power of transformation, especially of ugly dresses.  Kate is the best example of that, meaning that she can pull on a paper bag and look beautiful.  With a touch of Kate-like boldness, I tried on what could have been a horrid dress.  Complete with runningback-esque shoulder pads, long sleeves, and a collar up to the chin, the off-white gown did not look promising hanging like an old handkerchief from a metal hanger.

But somehow, with Emma’s expert advice and sewing skills, I managed to be decked out in THIS gorgeous gown all night.

The dress-maker and wearer alike were very pleased.

So, as you can see, the dress problem was easily and cheaply solved.  But the date, you ask?  Well, luckily one of Raph’s friends got by the brother sensors and asked me.  It was a nice and casual date and saved me $25, so what did I care?  I was so busy posing with friends all night that I forgot to get a picture in with him, but neither of us particularly minded.  What can I say?  My face was in high demand!

In all seriousness, though, I really managed to have a good night for the most part.  The music was loud, the brownies were amazing, and my friends all looked stunning.  It’s amazing what a night out, under big ballroom lights, and a formal dress can do to a girl.  Everyone glowed.  And as I watched from the sidelines in my makeshift dress, I realized that my school year has almost come to a close.  The people dancing around me, people I’d never known just 8 months ago, had become a part of my life in a major way.  I’ve laughed with them, cried with them, prayed with them, and studied into the wee hours of the morning with them (well, okay, maybe not just studied!).  And that’s far more beautiful than any dress or dance could ever be.

When Good Shall Triumph Evil

By: Clare

Lice is a bit of a problem. I don’t like lice. I’ve never had lice, and I most certainly do not want lice. Ever. So when I was informed quite abruptly last weekend that my dear nieces and nephew have been dealing with this problem for the last couple of weeks, I was a bit conflicted. I always look forward to spending Sunday afternoon playing with them…but who wants to tell your freshman class you’re out of school because you have…lice? Not me. Thankfully, I was informed that the kids had been treated again, and they should be done with the pesky bugs. But I was still wary. Oh, was I ever.

As I slowly made my way downstairs, I was immediately caught in a circle of possible-lice candidates. And was it just me, or were they being more friendly than usual just to make me uncomfortable? Poor little Antonia wanted desperately for me to pick her up.

All of the kids were enjoying running outside in the semi-warm weather. I say semi because it definitely was not…well, not exactly leotard-wearing weather…as demonstrated by little Adeline.

Adeline has cut her own hair into an expertly styled mullet. She is almost a professional hair stylist at this point. Ask her dolls.

Speaking of hair we had our own little hair cutting party in the front yard. Complete with barking dogs and screaming children.

But when all the madness dies down, and the fear of lice subsides, order and elegance are left. In the form of tea parties.

We’re lucky enough to grown our own lemonbalm in our garden, meaning homemade lemonbalm tea!

So away Little Claire and I went, on our way to the garden to retrieve some fresh lemonbalm. Claire was fully equipped with her vintage white and purple apron to hold the lemonbalm…

Up through the garden path she paraded with her apron full of green..

From there on the lemonbalm was given a place on our long, Amish-made dinner table to be sorted through by a pair of small, determined hands..

while I set out my great-grandmother’s dainty china.

Within 15 minutes our tea was served, along with some raisin bread, and of course, cream and sugar.

Three scoops of sugar? Yes, indeed.

Cheers to elegance overcoming…lice.

See, good always triumphs over evil, sometimes it just takes a bit..

Bright, light.

by Kate

This week marks the midpoint of my pregnancy. I celebrated this milestone with a trip to the thrift store. After a full month of wearing beat up low cut jeans with a rubber band strung through the frayed buttonhole on my more sophisticated days and regularly fighting the temptation to wear pajama pants in public, it was time to admit that I needed maternity jeans. In the dressing room, I pulled on a pair and then threw my arms to the sky in exultation. Why, I wondered, did I hesitate so long? In fact, why does anyone wear anything other than maternity pants with a soft elastic waist, ever?! I will know the answer to this a few months hence, but for now I am reveling in dowdy luxury.

Except on formal occasions, like the Legends of Raq Bellydance show I attended last night with my toddler as my date.  On formal occasions, my current policy is to keep dowdiness at bay with brightly printed dresses and high heels- four inch high orange wedges, in this case. Because every six foot tall pregnant woman lugging a squirming 40 pound toddler to a late night live dance show needs high heels.

I do love those shoes. I saw them at Target last week and reached out for them, powerless to resist. I figured they would elevate my maternity style, both figuratively and literally, and I really think the knowledge that I possessed them gave me the courage to reach for the maternity jeans again. Everything else we are wearing came straight from a long and productive morning at the South Side Salvation Army. My maxi dress was inspired by my gorgeous sister-in-law Nicole, who is also six foot tall and due to have her baby any time in the next two weeks, and the general explosion of color was inspired by my husband, who recently informed me that wearing all black at all public events is not always sophisticated and is often boring, and also by my bright curly haired toddler who is VERY proud of her fingernail polish and was a delightful date at the dance show.

And finally, my recent sartorial brightness is definitely a result of the spring and the flowers and the light pouring into the world. The world is bright, these days.

Mirror, Mirror

by Kate

Once upon a time, I lived in a cabin high up a rugged and rutted gravel road on a green Appalachian mountainside. The cabin was one room with a wall of windows where I could watch the clouds roll in and away again. I was in my mid twenties, had a job I loved, and had just begun taking my first serious dance classes. Late one night, hopelessly lost in the back streets of downtown Asheville, I pulled into a parking lot to figure out how to find my way home, and saw the glint of several huge mirrors that had been ripped out of a hotel renovation project and left out for the trash collectors. Any new dancer knows that a good mirror is crucial to private study, so I enlisted a friend to load them up and haul them to my home. The first one shattered, and the top of the second developed a jagged edge, but we managed to wrestle two of them into the vehicle, over the mountains, and into my life.

After a year in my solitary mountain studio I became a city girl, living in the heart of downtown Asheville. My mirrors came with me.

When my sister Mary visited the big city, the mirrors witnessed our sister spats and ridiculous bouts of Goodwill inspired dress up.

My mirrors reflected the transformation in my life after I met the tall half Mexican guitarist who would quickly become my fiance, and served as the backdrop for the pictures and stories that got us through a year of long distance engagement.

And when I married and moved across the country to the smoky grey industrial city of Pittsburgh, the mirrors came with me, adding light and beauty to the dark apartment where we spent our first year of married life.

There is a mysterious and magical quality to those silvery mirrors, doubling and deepening the light in any room and transforming any space into something more. But oh, those jagged edges and the sheets of heavy glass balanced precariously against my wall. My toddler loves to dance in front of those mirrors, for hours… and that is why it is time for those mirrors to exit my life. I’m listing them on craigslist, today, in the free section, in hopes that some young artist with a big truck to transport them and a studio with no children wants to spirit them away. Meanwhile, I’m headed out to the thrift stores, in search of a safer sheet of glass to reflect my current life, which is still full of dancing and dress up- and now includes small dancing dressed up children as well.

Ladies, Babies, and Little Girls

By Mary

A few weeks ago a stack of pink envelopes with baby shower invitations were sent out to invite people to Nicole’s “Surprise” baby shower. Neither my mother nor myself are particularly shower throwing nor going people. However, having one in honor of the newest addition to the family seemed like a most fitting thing to do for Nicole as a gesture of our love and support to her, and as a way for her to score some useful new things that the baby can put to good use. Before Nicole came over for a supposed visit with me; Clare, Mom and I banished the males from the house and got ready for the party. There was much cleaning to do. Naturally, I was more inclined to focus on the flowers and food than scrubbing floors and doing dishes.

My sister Clare made signs for the food.

My niece Claire made signs for Nicole.

After a frantic morning of cleaning and putting the finishing touches on the quilt that Mom and I have been working on together, things were in functioning order.

Ladies, girls and babies started showing up. The guest of honor coincidentally had her mother in town for the week. What a fantastic addition it was to have Elaine Naugle celebrating Nicole’s soon to be motherhood with us.

A special guest was this little one. Pearl Rose was born to my friend, Mary Marks only a few weeks ago. Isn’t she just a gem of a baby?

A bonus of having a spring shower is enjoying the weather.

Time spent outside in the clean spring sunshine was enjoyed by many.

Well perhaps, not everyone. These girls look like they are having a lovely time. Though in reality, some hardcore Girl War was going on which included tears, cliques and eventually adult intervention. The solution? Dress up of course.

Once the costuming came outside, the fighting died down and imaginary games in the garden proceeded.

When Nicole opened the gifts, the girls all crowded at her feet and jostled for the honor of handing her the presents.

The dual efforts of Moms quilting and my experimental cross stitching was revealed.

Before we knew it, the gifts were all unwrapped, the ice cream, scones and brownies were melting or gone, and there was a trail of dress up clothing lining the garden path. Soon enough the afternoon hours were dissipating and it was time for the ladies, girls and babies to head back to their homes. The only one that stayed firmly put is the little one in Nicole’s womb. Very soon though, he or she will be just as physically visible as the rest of and it will be fun to meet Nicole’s non-baby shower “surprise”. The question is, will it be  Felicity or a Lucus? Time will tell!

Easter!

by Kate

Happy Easter from Pittsburgh!

On the night before Easter, my (gorgeous) sister in law Nicole lamented her fate as she attempted to find the best Easter dress to put on a nine month pregnant body. As someone who once attended Easter Mass the day before delivering a baby, I definitely sympathized. I told her my theory involved very high heels and very bright prints. Ideally, a dramatic hat finishes the outfit nicely. Sadly, none of my hats matched the brightly printed dress I chose for my four month pregnant frame this year, but I like to think that my fuchsia heels made up for the missing hat.

Olympia was brightly dressed as well, though somewhat less than perfectly behaved. Suffice it to say we sat in the back pew.

Oh, the excitement of attending a long mass with a child who has just turned two, and then been given an Easter Basket.

It was a beautiful mass however, as I told my husband who missed most of it during a long chocolate fueled ramble through the neighborhood. And it was a beautiful Easter. We were invited to a party full of sunlight and champagne…

Argentinian empanadas and red wine…

Lots and lots of children….

And extremely photogenic babies.

The parents were pretty photographic as well.

I hope that your holiday was joyful, and peaceful, and bright. I’m off to steal more chocolate from my child’s Easter basket. It’s the right thing to do…. right?

-Kate

Windmill and Dreamers

by Kate

This is my friend Sia.

Sia is a potter and a painter and a mother of four. She lives in the Pacific Northwest, where the rocks drip with moss and the rocky land looks entirely enchanted, but her family is settled here, high on a green hill on a historic ridge deep in the Ohio hills. When you head way out, up, and over Hanover Ridge and toward her family’s homestead, the first sign you’ve reached it is a windmill high on the hill. At this time of year, it’s framed by an orchard full of apple blossoms.

Sia’s family hasn’t always lived on this high Ohio Ridge. They have deeply urban East and West Coast roots. They settled on this ridge as part of the homeschooling, homesteading, back to the lander movement. In fact, they are Catholic artist back to the landers. This is a infinitesimally small segment of the general population, but a familiar one for me as I grew up immersed in this culture as well.

Sia’s parents are artists and intellectuals, and their love of beauty is evident in the lines and light streaming through their home, built by her father and younger brother. After reading my recent post on the farmhouse chic of Anthropologie, Sia was eager to show me the real life beauty of the home her family has created. I brought my camera, so I could bring all of you along as well.

Inside the green screen door, there were many familiar elements of back to the land living, reminding me of home. In the kitchen is a beautiful wood cookstove, with the most artistic compost bucket I have ever seen perched atop it:

And a big wooden table with long benches.

Notice the bouquet of apple blossoms- simple, and beautiful.

I loved this kitchen and dining area, where the light pours in…

and there is beauty from every angle.

I especially appreciated this coat rack, which has an enviable simplicity and order to it. Remind me to tell you of my mutant rebel collapsing coat rack some time.

Sia made French press coffee….

and served it in a mug that she made, years ago.

Then, coffee in hand, we continued with our tour.

If you are a back to the lander, having a carpenter father for a home-builder is a definite plus. Check out this enviable wall of built in bookshelves.

The house is full of appealing angles.

And ingenious storage solutions.

Speaking of storage, Sia is particularly impressed with her mothers drying rack and laundry table.

There are icons and flowers tucked into corners…

Icons, homemade pottery, and apple blossoms.

And on one wall this picture, of Sia’s grandmother. Look at those eyes! It is clear where some of the great creativity and passion in this family comes from.

This is a beautiful house for dreams.

Speaking of dreams, across from the main house is a partially finished structure with a fully completed music studio, complete with a grand piano.

As we visited, the strains of Bach’s cello concerto drifted across the ridge. Sia’s siblings play the piano, violin, harp, and cello. I am in awe of Sia’s mother, who homeschooled five children and drove many of them an hour and a half into the city of Pittsburgh so that they could study and perform this music.

I am in awe, but I can’t imagine making that drive on a regular basis- which brings me to the topic of my own dreams and quandries. There is a great part of my soul that longs to be settled in an owner built home high atop a green hill. However, a greater part of me realizes that my husband is neither a carpenter nor a farmer, but instead a teacher who loves to live in the city. And living in the city is what is allowing me to spend my time learning and working as a harpist, dancer, and artist.

I visited Sia at Hanover Ridge along with my good friend Rebecca and her three children.

All three of us grew up with Catholic back to the lander parents. In fact, all of our parents read, wrote for, and worked to bring to life the words in the short lived but deeply influential magazine Caelum Et Terra. You can find out more about the history of the magazine if you follow the previous link to the website about it, or you can check out the current blog here.

These days, Sia is one of the editors of a print journal entitled Soul Gardening. Rebecca just published her first novel, and I am writing for the blog you are reading right now. At the moment, all of us live in town- although Rebecca commutes out to her organic farm on her parent’s property. We are all working on finding balance as women and wives and mothers and dreamers. And although we may not be living on a high ridge, we are all still tilting at windmills.

For more photos of my day at Hanover Ridge, view the facebook album here. Enjoy!

Inspiration, Expectation: Anthropologie, Spring 2012

by Kate

The world is in bloom.

Spring arrived with a great rush here in Pittsburgh. Midsummer heat swept through the bare branches of early March, bulbs burst into full flowering brightness, a lush carpet of grass sprung up from the bare brown soil, and suddenly the air is full of sweetness. Spring is a season of powerful newness. Since I am here in the city and far from the farm fields of home, I decided to celebrate the season by packing up my camera- and my toddler…

…and heading over to see the new crop of displays at our local Anthropologie. Like my recent trip to meet the Pioneer Woman, this trip was partially inspired by my sisters, especially Mary, who lives on a ridge far away from fancy stores and big book signings. Mary will be moving into her own little cottage in a couple weeks. She has a beautiful ( and anthropologie-ish) knack for home decorating, and I can’t wait to see what she does with it. I though these pictures might inspire her.

Lets look a little closer at the front window, shall we?

This spring, Anthropologie is inspired by Abstract Expressionism. It says so, right on the window.

Meanwhile, I am inspired by Anthropologie. In part, this is because, unlike Mary, I am a terrible shopper. As the eldest of nine children raised by a journalist/farmer, I didn’t get into the habit of shopping at an early age- though I did get really proficient at sorting through the regular large bags of clothing left at our home by helpful friends and members of the community. Even thrift store shopping is fraught with tension for me. I lack the ability to see an object or piece of clothing and know how to integrate it into my home or wardrobe with a strong and significant sense of Style. However, I am capable of recognizing beauty and creativity when I see it- so, I love wandering through Anthropologie. I think they do a fantastic job of marketing brilliant creativity and an eye for beauty.

I love the way this display flows, and the colors of their spring collection. I also love that this shirt is laid out on what appears to be a butcher block table.

This next picture is a great example of the way the designs within the store play with texture. Something about this reminds me of the running a theatre company and working on set design. However, I am pretty sure that something about the chair would remind my husband of a piece of furniture that has been attacked by a vicious bobcat and then left in the rain. Sometimes our tastes differ, have I mentioned that?

I have another ulterior motive in my recent love for bright and flowing prints, like the shirt featured above, and the dresses below.

As a very tall, very straight hipped, and very fair skinned person, I generally shy away from bright and flowing clothing. I feel that it makes me look ridiculous, as though I am swathed in a bright and cheerful tent and billowing in the wind. However, these days I am a very tall person who is four months pregnant, and my shape is definitely starting to shift. So is my taste in clothing. Bring on the bright and the billowing!

Also, bring on the big accessories. Luckily, the fact that I am a bellydancer means I have lots of necklaces like this one lying about.

In fact, I have a very similar necklace to the one above. I love it, but for some unknown reason I’ve only worn it once. I now resolve to work it into my wardrobe on a regular basis. Wandering through the displays at Anthropologie often reminds me to see the beauty in things I already possess- like this heap of clay pots.

I too possess a (significantly less orderly) heap of battered and empty pots, located in a forlorn jumble to the side of our back porch. One of them is verdant with a random and likely weedy growth, and the rest reproached me throughout the entire last gardening season. Seeing these displayed made me feel marginally better about this eerie similarity to my pitiful pot heap. I am going to guess that my husband will NOT be convinced that this justifies the jumbled heap or makes it any more attractive- so I have put Clean Pots on my to-do list for the next week.

I do not on the other hand happen to have a large collection of home- made aprons, but my domestic goddess sewing sister Mary makes them, and I bet hers rival the ones on display here.

Lets look a little closer at all that china.

I really loved the bee on this plate, and the brightness of the mugs.

There were lots of cheerful pieces of china.

But I was extremely relieved to discover that the plate my (almost) two year old fell in love with, and began to play with, was plastic. Pretty and unbreakable plastic plates have been a staple in my house recently. In fact I may return and pick up some of these some day soon.

There were many things in the store that reminded me of the the farm where I grew up- Anthropologie is all about the farmhouse chic.

This strawberry plate reminded me of my sister Colleen, because of her love of all things French and also because growing up, Colleen headed out to the upper fields and found the first ripe strawberry of the year.

Speaking of strawberries, these ceramic containers are a permanent version of the ubiquitous stacks of cardboard containers that we use to harvest berries every year.

These spindles are old and distressed, but they remind me of the beautiful new Amish crafted spindles on the long dreamed of front porch recently added to my parents big farmhouse.

This display case reminds me of  my mother’s cabinets.

This bouquet in the mason jar reminds me of the huge vases of fresh flowers Mary arranges and brings in weekly when our flower gardens are in season…

I would be very curious, Mary, to see what sort of bouquet you would arrange in one of these vases.

Or perhaps not. They are really not quite Wisconsin farmhouse vases. This long plank table, though, reminds me of the huge Amish crafted wooden table at home- albeit with an added abstract expressionist Southwest twist entirely missing from my Wisconsin home.

This next little table, on the other hand? It reminds me, rather sorely, of the beautiful beat up weathered splintery table in my basement, that I lobbied my husband to include as part of our home decor. Sadly, he was not supportive of the splintery beauty. I love half refinished things, and he does Not. Mary, perhaps something like this could be included in your future home?

Speaking of future and imagined home decor, I really do love this Abstract Expressionist theme.

I have always loved the idea of being a painter, and having a light drenched studio, and sort of generally being surrounded by half painted canvases and the like. Sadly I have slim to no talent with visual arts, included but not limited to basic painting of walls, so (to the relief of my husband, I am sure) I will stick with the harp and dancing, and gazing at the Abstract Expressionist Spring displays at Anthropologie.

Aren’t they pretty? Note to Mary: perhaps you might want to think about lampshades?

Actually, perhaps I should think about and actually purchase multiple lampshades, and in fact a lamp. Mine run the gamut from ripped to scorched. But back to the topic of imaginary bedrooms in imaginary Painter’s Lofts. I fell head over heels for this platform bed.

Oh man. Everything about this is so alluring to me. The bare drywall, high platform, exposed pipes, and dangling wire. The suggestion that this bed exists in a huge open space with glazed windows and light pouring in. I examined it from multiple angles, lost in imagination…

and only returned to earth and practicality when my very good friend pointed out that it sure was a high bed for a toddler to fall off of. True. This fact reminded me that years ago I did live in a one room cabin with a loft bed and a wall of windows and no running water and an extension cord just like that one running mysteriously in the window and down the hill, from whence came power. I loved the beauty and the loneliness of that time- but I swore to myself that when I had a toddler, I would also have running water, and rooms, and stairs instead of a ladder. And I do, and I’m grateful for it… but if I did have a loft bed (and loft life!) I would definitely have a blue parrot chair.

Perhaps I would also have a drafting table, in this fantasy life. Possibly computers have replaced the drafting table, but that is no trouble in my fantasy world, where one could also drink whiskey in a haze of blue smoke while drafting Howard Roark-ian masterpieces of modern architecture.

I could of course mix additional drinks in my southwestern inspired kitchen…

And then, exhausted, I could repose upon this worn leather sofa for rest, respite, and further inspiration.

Ah, this fantasy life is exhausting- but there are bits of every scene that I’d love to bring into my world. The bright pillow on the couch, for example? That I can do. I also have a drawer full of beautiful napkins like the ones in this basket, although they are currently only used to occupy the toddler who throws them on the floor and then stuffs them back in the drawer.

I could always browse through this coffee table book for ideas.

Or simply continue to seek inspiration from my little sister Mary, who seems to have a great grasp of modern vintage style, and who regularly plots and plans in journals that look a lot like these.

Come to think of it, I have a couple books like that myself- it’s just a matter of using them. For me, that reminder is one of the best things about a trip to Anthropologie. It is good to be reminded that there is such potential for beauty all around us- even in a life without a platform loft bed, painting studio, or drafting table. And with that, I am off to look for beauty in my own humble home- quite possibly while wearing bright and flowing printed clothing.

Till next time!

-Kate

 

For more Sweet Ridge Sisters posts on Anthropologie, see here:

anthropologie, slatterie style

Sisters in the City (NYC Edition)

It’s The Little Things In Life That Make Us Rich

By: Mary

On Tuesday I had to return lamb replacer at the Tractor Supply store in Viroqua, WI. After the return was accepted, I decided that I would look around for just a teensy non-purchasing bit. I made it past the flower bulb and seed displays, and the tack isle, and even past the stock tanks that held fuzzy goslings and newly hatched spring chicks. ” I am just looking, not buying” is what I kept telling myself. However, I caught sight of the shelves of rain boots and that that’s when the real non-purchasing test began. One specific pair of boots seemed to be saying to me “Mary Brigid, you really must, must, must(!) purchase me to accompany you on your summer adventures.

I told myself that I didn’t need them, because after all, I already bought a pair of gray rain boots with butterflies on them while in New
York city with Colleen back in January.

But the talking boots at Tractor Supply are size 7, have roosters on them, are strawberry colored, and they really, really seemed like they wanted ever so much to get a lot of mud, muck and dirt on them. So of course I ended up walking out of the store with the boots in my hands. Later I christened them while digging out burdock root in a pasture, raking the yard and garden, and sawing down a lilac.

I don’t regret the purchase, because after all- a girl can’t have too many pairs of rain boots.

It’s the simple things in life like rain boots that make my lifestyle rich. Rich for the discounted sum of $9.99 followed by a session of physical labor in the sun.

More on Mary’s love of rain boots here:

Sisters in the City (NYC Edition)

Rain Boots and Lambs at School