Sunday, December 10, 2017

A Sewing Job for the Church, Part 1: In which I Ramble about How I got the Job in the first place


Soooooo.......

I happen to casually mention to my priest that I used to repair linens and vestments for the church.

Little did I know that he had a job lined up for me the week afterwards...LOL.

(How did that happen???)

Last week, Father let a couple of us into the church so we could go to choir practice.

He pulls me aside and says "Catherine, have you got a minute?"

Of course, I did. The women didn't start rehearsing until 30 minutes after the men anyway. (And you don't refuse a priest if you can avoid it. *nods sagely*)

So Father tells me to follow him. Which I did. (Though, in hindsight, I should have put my stuff down somewhere beforehand. Oh well. Minor details.)

We go into the sacristy, and Father goes to the circuit board and flips a couple of switches.

Odd, I thought to myself, normally any repair jobs are kept in the sacristy.

Now, Father goes past me and opens the door to the sanctuary. Again he tells me to follow him.

I thought to myself, Okay......what in the world......as I *quickly* scramble to put my headscarf back over my head (I have a teal fleece headscarf that I wear in the wintertime and I had pushed down when I was inside the door)

(I should point out right here, that no woman, unless accompanied by priest or under special permission is allowed to go into the sanctuary proper (you know, the chancel, behind the communion rail, etc.). Especially through the sacristy door.) 

Anyway, we go into the sanctuary, genuflect before the Tabernacle, and go over to the Epistle side of the Altar (which is the right side, in case you didn't know). We stop in front of a small table where there is a white (or what should have been white on closer examination) cloth was draped over.

(I should point out here also, that this is the table where the cruets, the patens, and the Lavabo dish and pitcher are placed during Mass, just to orient you girls to where we were.)

Father looks at me and says, "This is a cloth."

"Yes, Father." (kid you not, girls, he really said that)

"It's about twice as long as it needs to be."

Okay! I got it now. From there it was a small discussion on what exactly he wanted done to it (a simple case of cut, hem, and make sure it matches the other side, oh and please wash it, it's a little filthy) No problem!! (or so I thought)

During the rest of the men's practice, I took the time to examine the ends that I supposed to match.

I found out that it was going to be slightly more complicated than I had anticipated.

For some reason, the edge was cut, serged and partially French-seamed to make a flat finish, and then hemmed with a two inch hem (embroidery matched to boot).

The edge is on the left,  it's really hard to see but there is a double layer there. And you can see where the hem goes right up that IHS embroidery. 


Well, that raises the stakes just a tad....Oh well, just going to have to be a lot more careful and get this edge right. No pressure. (Now I understand why Father said it might be a bit of a bear...)

But before I do anything to this cloth, it's going in ze washing machine. And then the ironing board. But that's a story for another day.

WHEW. Did I lose anyone in that mess? I apologize, it came out much MUCH more rambly than I had anticipated. I promise Part Two will be more coherent (I hope...) 

Hope you enjoyed the post!! Have you (or your mom) ever taken care of your church's linens? Chat with me in the comments! 

Old-fashionably yours,

Catherine


Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Please Pray!

Hello all,

Normally I don't like to talk politics, but I feel the need to speak about this one.

A case is currently being heard in the Supreme Court called Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission. 

For those that don't remember or recognize the name, this is the case of the Colorado Christian baker that refused to make a cake for a gay "marriage".

Mr. Phillips (the cake baker in question) made a conscientious decision to refuse to cater to a gay "couple", thus "violating" the unjust anti-discrimination laws of Colorado. What this case is arguing for is that under the First Amendment rights of freedom of religion and speech, artisans can refuse to cater to LGBTQ customers (Wikipedia, "Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission"). 

Oral arguments were heard today, and a decision is being slated to be announced in January.

I don't need to tell you the significance of this case. Please pray that this case is decided in Mr. Phillip's favor. Even if only privately held beliefs are protected by this case, it is still better than having no legal protection at all. And while it seems very dark and foregone, it would be a small victory, but a victory nonetheless.


Here are some sources if you wish to explore the topic further:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Masterpiece_Cakeshop_v._Colorado_Civil_Rights_Commission

http://www.scotusblog.com/case-files/cases/masterpiece-cakeshop-ltd-v-colorado-civil-rights-commn/


Old-fashionably yours,

Catherine

Saturday, December 2, 2017

David the Spider and Goliath the Wasp

Hey y'all,

Just be warned, the following images may frighten some people.

So....on Friday (12/1), I was in my hall bathroom (never mind why) and I hear this really loud angry buzzing noise.

Thinking it was a big housefly, I looked around to find it. I moved the curtain and.....

Turns out there was a yellow jacket on the window. Inside.

Needless to say, I beat feet out of there. I'm not dealing with anything with stingers, thank you very much.

Several hours pass, and we discover this had happened: The yellow jacket, interested in the heater on the floor, had wound up in a spider's web. Well entrapped, I must say.

But what struck me was the spider itself.....


I mean.....LOOK HOW TINY THAT SPIDER IS.......


Now, I'm more than 100x bigger than this wasp. 

I have a brain, hands, and other weapons at my disposal to rid myself of this wasp. 

Yet, I ran in fright. 

This small spider had no brain, no weapons or strength, and no talents other than spinning a web.  

And yet, when faced with this large wasp, it did battle and won. And was rewarded with a large meal that will last him for days - a late Thanksgiving if you will. 

It reminds me of a very well-known story in the Bible: David and Goliath. 

An army was afraid to take down a giant. But a shepherd boy with a rock and slingshot could...and did

What God gave to that spider was sufficient to take down the wasp. It needed nothing else. In a similar manner, God gives us strength and guidance, if we are humble enough to accept it. 

Patience and humility are not exactly easy things to practice. It is rather humbling to see this little spider succeed in what I failed to do. For me, it's a small reminder to be humble and patient, and rely on God's strength and His grace as I deal with my 'wasps' in my life instead of running away from them. 

What little reminders of sanctity do you see in your daily life? 

Old-fashionably yours, 

Catherine


Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Awkward and Awesome: Thanksgiving Weekend Edition



Awkward:

You wake up Thanksgiving morning with a strong attack of PMS and in bad need of a cup of tea.  

The entire dinner (and dessert) conversation is about topics revolving around politics and money. (*sigh* where did all of our funny stories go???)

When you haven't baked a cake in several years, and in a blonde moment, tell your brother to use OIL instead of Crisco...resulting in an earthquake cake instead of a carrot cake.

When you want to enjoy the parade, but the talk show hosts INSIST on hogging camera time with interviews with all these "celebrities".

When a blouse you thought was fixed turns out to not be fixed (safety pin to the rescue!)

When you resurrect the fire in the woodstove and suddenly realize you got ash all over your good skirt....



Awesome:

A beautiful turkey dinner :)

Envisioning a PA Super Bowl (Eagles v. Steelers, anyone??)

Seeing "Once Upon a December" being performed by the Anastasia Broadway musical cast!!!

Rearranging jewelry display cases :).

Watching Hogan's Heroes on DVD.

Going to Confession, and receiving Communion for the first time in a month.



How was y'all's Thanksgiving?? 

Old-fashionably yours,

Catherine

Saturday, November 25, 2017

Working by Candelight: A Fresh Start




If y'all are looking for the blog Frugally Fancy, please don't panic! You're in the right spot. There has been...hem...a few changes happening around here.

I decided to totally re-vamp the blog, and I do mean totally. I've decided to change the name, the purpose, and the design of the blog.

Why???

Well, to be honest, Frugally Fancy was a poor college student's attempt at blogging when she didn't have a life. I had planned on putting up cheap food recipes or quick fixes to clothes. Turns out, I did that...for a while. Then I stopped. School became the front focus of my life. My life sort of disappeared for around half a year.

Fast forward to this October. I realized that I needed a life and school just wasn't cutting it. I've been wandering rather aimlessly on this blog - not really giving it everything, like I had with Rebelling Muse. I felt really confined and restless - to the point where I was considering shutting down the blog for good.

But....I couldn't let my first baby die. No matter how deformed, no matter how rotten, it deserved another chance.



Now...this is going to get confusing but I'm going to attempt to explain the name and purpose change at the same time. Because the two are kinda intertwined. So, please bear with me as we go down this rabbit hole.....

Frugally Fancy, as a name, was originally created to highlight the tutorials on how to put in deceivingly nice, high class touches to pauper ingredients, clothing and situations. Basically, a cheap fix.

That explains a lot, doesn't it? 

As reflected by my blog stats, that is NOT what people were looking for. Instead, they were looking at my posts on modesty, my on-going room reno, and my personal struggles with the blog. I guess people were just as confused as I was.




So....I decided that change was needed and in a hurry at that. 

But I couldn't just change the name. There needed to be a new focus. Because...my top ten posts are kinda all over the place. It's a mess.

With that, thank you to all that voted on the poll that I had up! I may do some crossovers with book/movie topics and period drama on this blog from the input that I received. I'm not sure why period drama got left behind on this blog - it really belongs on the Rebelling Muse with the rest of my fandoms/book/movie ramblings...

After much reflection, I decided to take Proverbs 31 as the cornerstone for this new endeavor. I want my blog to be more of a retreat rather than a lecture hall. I will still occasionally discuss Catholicism, agriculture and other outdoors-y topics but I want to give it a softer touch.

The bulk of my posts will be more personal - ideas that set me thinking, more posts about my career (once it gets off the ground), music that I've been listening to (or singing/playing on instrument), and what projects I've been up to (sewing, needlework, kitchen, etc.). 

NOW....how to get a name from all of that mess??

I must have stared at the computer for hours. I looked at old writings to see if there were any phrases that would encompass everything. Nothing fit.

Except one phrase that refused to leave my head - "working by candlelight".

Hence, Frugally Fancy (FF) will now be known as Working by Candlelight (WbC).


With such a huge change, everything that said "Frugally Fancy" would have to be changed. That, unfortunately, included my header.

The Old Header

It is rather bittersweet to see this header go. This was the first header that I had ever created. But...I'm very satisfied with this new header though.

The New Header!

As with all my headers, each picture has a significance. Some photos you may recognize from old header from both my blogs!

Title ~ I wanted something that captured the phrase "working by candlelight". So, being logical, I decided on a candlelit room. Let me tell you...it is very HARD to find a decent photo of a firelit room!!!! This one had a beautiful dusky coloration, and that elusive rustic setting that I was looking for.

Tea ~ I am such a tea-oholic it's not even funny. It's starting to become a daily necessity.

Yellow Squash ~ Besides the fact that I love eating these, they are also one of my favorite plants to grow! I've been gardening on and off for a while (both flowers and veggies), can't wait for the growing season again!

Clydesdales ~ These draft horses are the prettiest, at least in my opinion. I've never worked with Clydes, but I have worked with smaller horses such as Belgians. One of them, Jack, was a handful to say the least....

Knitting - If it wasn't clear how old-fashioned I really am...LOL. I learned to knit and crochet when I was a girl, and still work on projects from time to time.

Appalachian Mountains - These mountains hold a very special place in my heart. <3 (Besides, what's more rustic than Applachian culture?). This photo was taken when I visited the Skyline Drive several years ago.

Rosary and Veil - Being a traditional and feminine Catholic, I decided to photograph my homemade veil and my favorite rosary. I fixed the coloring from the original so the pink of the rosary beads stands out better.

Apples/Dutch Oven - Rustic cooking at it's best! My guess would be that those apples are meant for cider. Isn't this a great fall picture??

Baskets of wool - This photo was taken at Mystic Seaport this past summer. I included it because...a couple of summers ago, I offered to take a whole sheep's fleece from a farm I worked at. I want to see how long it will take me to turn it into yarn by hand. So far, I think I've spun almost half of it.

Treadle Sewing Machine - While I've worked one of these types of machines, they're a handful :).  Again this one has been recolored to fit the new scheme.

The background is a lovely vintage rose wallpaper that I found on Pixabay.

In addition to all the other design elements:

  • I've changed out all of the widgets for social media icon buttons on both blogs. My sidebar is so much cleaner!! 
  • I've changed my comment message on both blogs. 
  • I've changed the title graphics for the connection. 
  • The image gadget - yes, those are my hands and apron :). 
  • I planned to have this changed before, but I've also changed the header on The Rebelling Muse. After doing both of Lia's blogs, I took another look at RM's and it looked....cramped. So I took it and expanded it to give the current pictures more room...and may have added a few more....
  • I've changed the favicon to a candle. As much as I like that domestic scene, I decided it was just fine as my blogger profile picture. 

*Phew*
I never thought I'd get to the end of that. I honestly don't blame anyone that decided to skim that.

So....what do y'all think??? What else do you want to see here on this blog?

Old-fashionably yours,

Catherine

Sunday, November 19, 2017

One Year Blogoversary : AMA Answers!


 Oh My Gosh....It's My Blogoversary!!!

I can't believe I've only been blogging for a year...it honestly has felt like I've done this forever. 

First things first, I need to thank my ten(!) followers for sticking with this poor little thing: 

Lia, Emma, Catherine, Gray, Rita, Clare, Bella, Sarah, Tes and Ceci 

Y'all are absolute angels. For that, I give you girls extra cake, ice cream, brownies and unending hugs. Cause y'all deserve it.

As promised back in September, I'm hosting my first Ask Me Anything! Thank you everyone (FF and RM followers alike!) who submitted questions!!

And it is finally time to reveal the answers!!! So, grab a drink, a plateful of snacks and a warm blanket and let's get started! 


 
What fall party would be complete without a campfire??


 Ivie Asks:

What is your exact age? (If you want to answer, that is)

I did say Ask Me Anything! I won't give my exact age for privacy reasons, but I am older than 21 and younger than 25. 

 

What is your favorite color?

Bright sky blue. Like these:



Though lavendar comes in a close second. 




If you were trapped on a deserted island and could only have one type of food and one person with you, what is the food and who is the person?


The person would be my sister, Lia, without a doubt. Someone has to keep me sane *wink wink*


Food? Either eggs or mac and cheese. Can't decide. Depends on if I'm looking at practicality or comfort. Though if I really think about it, mac and cheese is more nutritionally complete than eggs (because starch in noodles, protein in the cheese sauce, etc.)




Sarah Asks: 


What is your favorite season?
 

I'll give you a hint: sun and more sun, long days, clear nights....takes place between June and September (or this year, which seemed to extend until November....) 

Hint: I'm talking about SUMMER. 



I'm practically cold-blooded, and I love the sun. High 70s-low 80s? Perfect temperature for me! 



That and I like doing outside work - most of which occurs during the summer anyway. I like to be outside working for several hours and get my hands dirty. Cold temps usually drive me inside under blankies with hot tea and a novel.  


 

Who is your favorite Saint and why?
 

My favorite saint is also my Confirmation patron saint, St. Catherine Labouré. I've had a solid devotion to the Miraculous Medal, even before my reversion. I love women saints that are also visionaries. I do have a desire to see Our Lady someday.




What is something most people don't know about you?



A lot of people don't know that I played this instrument in college: 




It's called a hammered dulcimer. See the rows of double strings? Each string has 4 different notes on it, all arranged in keys. You simply hit the note you want with the set of hammers - most won't have the notes labeled like this one does. It sounds complicated, but I assure you, it's super easy to play. 


I don't have any footage or good audio clips of me playing the dulcimer, but to give you an idea of what it sounds like, I'll include this piece by Joshua Messick.





MovieCritic Asks: 


What is your favorite Bible verse?


O God of the heavens, creator of the waters, and Lord of the whole creation: hear me a poor wretch, making supplication to thee, and presuming of thy mercy. Remember, O Lord, they covenant, and put thou words in my mouth, and strengthen the resolution in my heart: that thy house may continue in they holiness.

~ Judith 9:17-18.

The Holy Bible, Douay-Rheims Version. 

Yes, I know that's technically two verses. Never hurts to have more Scripture.


This is part of the prayer for fortitude that the holy widow Judith prayed before she slew Holofernes, the commander of the Assyrian army (one of the most powerful armies in the world at the time). I certainly need to take a harder look at the example that this holy widow gives. Coming off of the drama that happened in October, I need some extra fortitude. 



What is your favorite Bible story?


My favorite Bible story is the story of Ruth. It may or may not have been affected by the fact that I have this movie that I have in my collection: 



The Story of Ruth made this story "real" to me. It's one thing to hear the story of Ruth, but to see it dramatized, the effect is much deeper for me.
 

What is your favorite prayer?

My favorite prayer is the Memorare. I tend to say it in Latin, but here is the English version: 

Remember, O most gracious Virgin Mary
That never was it known, 
That anyone who fled to thy protection, 
implored thy help or sought thy intercession, 
was left unaided. 
Inspired by this confidence, I fly unto thee, 
O virgin of virgins, my Mother! 
To thee do I come, before thee I stand, 
sinful and sorrowful. 
O Mother of the Word Incarnate, 
despise not my petitions, 
but in thy mercy, hear and answer me. Amen. 


What is your favorite animal?

Gah. I have a lot of favorite animals. Dogs and cattle are up there, but the top is still the horse. I would love to own a few eventually...when I get some spare cash. 

 

What is your favorite food?

Mac and Cheese. Ultimate comfort food. It's one of those foods that you never seem to grow out of :)


Mary Katherine asks: 

What do you like doing in your free time? (Besides blogging and writing)

A lot!!!

I read a lot, and I like to play Match-3 games like Homescapes, Candy Crush Saga, etc. I also like to handspin yarn, knit, crochet, sew, cook, watch movies, listen to music, go on Pinterest….

I’m a VERY dangerous creature when I’m bored, so I invest in a lot of hobbies.

 

Lia Asks: 

What is your favorite piece of clothing you own?

You've seen it, Lia. It's that long brown skirt that I wear all the time. 

Oh wait. No one else knows that. Hang on, let me 'splain. 

One of the very first thrift store skirts (I think. Honestly, I don't remember where I got this thing. It's been a part of my wardrobe for years...) was an ankle-length deep brown skirt. It's tiered with slight gathering.

What I like about it: it's very swishy and comfortable, and I can wear it all year long. As long as I have tights on if it's winter. Otherwise, like any light skirt, my legs will freeze.  


What would your perfect room look like?

THIS KITCHEN.


JUST WOW. SO PRETTY.

 

What fictional place would you most like to go?

Of course you would ask this....

Me, I'm stuck between Narnia and Middle-Earth. Both worlds are super complex and beautiful. I would love to take a trip through both. Rohan and the Stone Table would be on my itinerary, for sure.


What would the most amazing adventure to go on?

For me, I would love to re-enact a wagon train, or a Tolkein-style quest.

To me, an adventure is one where I'm away from my creature comforts, my food is from over a fire, there is a *mild* amount of danger, and I can use knifes, guns, etc. And, I'm outside. Preferably on a horse, even though I'm a good walker/hiker.

I love historic reenacting, which is why I chose it as a career. I love to cook over a fire, and I can stand to be out in some weather. As long as I don't get soaked. Cause then I get chilled. NOT FUN.

 

What songs have you completely memorized?

Leann Womack's song "I Hope You Dance" is the first song that I ever memorized. I’m pretty sure that “Seize the Day” and “King of New York” from Newsies are also memorized (scratch that, I still need work on "Seize the Day"...)

Most of the time, I won’t memorize the entire song, only parts of it.


What are some small things that make your day better?
When someone relates a story about a funny phrase or action that they or someone they know said or did.

A passing compliment or words of encouragement

A hug, preferably a long one.

Where is the most interesting place you've been?
 
Gah...where to start? Chicago was a fun trip, though we didn't go into the city itself. I've been to about 10 states or so (driving through doesn't count). 

I think the most interesting place was Hawaii. 

As my graduation present from high school, I went on vacation to Hawaii for two weeks. I got to go to the islands of Kauai (The Garden Island) and Oahu. 

First time ever being on an airplane :)

On Kauai, I went snorkeling with the fishes once...and caught a cold right afterwards. I caught a chill from the water and it all went downhill from there. But I did see the Napali coast, some huge canyons, and the mountains after spending three days in bed. 

The Napali Coast. 

On Oahu, I visited Pearl Harbor and the Polynesian Cultural Center. Pearl Harbor was rather sobering, of course. I didn't go on the Arizona because of the crowds, but I did go on the S.S. Missouri and the S.S Bowfin, a submarine. Considering the fact that I'm somewhat claustrophobic, being on the Bowfin was an adventure....

Our tour guides at the Polynesian Cultural Center really got us though. There were two of them - a guy and a girl. The guy took the lead most of the time, claiming that the girl was a guide in training. He was so good that the whole group was dumbfounded at the end when he revealed that HE was the one in training!!!

The pig for the luau at the Polynesian Cultural Center  


What movie title best describes your life?



TANGLED

That really describes my life right now. 



MiddleEarthMusician Asks: 

What is your favorite style of historical clothing?


Can I cheat and say all of them? 

No? 

Okay....

If I had to choose one silhouette, it would be the Edwardian (early 1900s). I like the look of an Edwardian ensemble. The skirts are gathered in the back, while maintaining a slight flair in front. The hems are also a little higher than a lot of historical styles - tripping hazard lessened! The blouses are high-necked, but not choking.

However....I've worn a farm version of this silhouette, and it comes with one downside - the blouses button up in the back. Let me tell you, trying to button something up your back is not as easy as it sounds. 

Actually, there is something harder - clipping hooks and eyes up the back. At least when buttons are buttoned, there is a good chance that they will stay buttoned. Hooks and eyes on the other hand, have a horrible tendency to...well...pop rather easily.   

My second favorite would be the 1830s-60s day dresses. They have a simple, clean silhouette. But...these have those blasted hooks and eyes....sigh.


What is your favorite song right now?

I discovered this song not too long ago when looking around for some new fantasy music. On this album, there are three different versions - an intro, instrumental, and a vocal version. After listening to the album, I suddenly understood why....



THIS HONESTLY SHOULD BE A THEME SONG TO SOMETHING. IT IS SOOO BEAUTIFUL!!! 

(maybe I'll adopt it.....)
What is your favorite TV series?

WHEN CALLS THE HEART. It has everything that I love - a cute handsome mounted hero, a beautiful, witty female lead, female friends of the same quality as the female lead, and HISTORIC STUFF. Horses, good morals, etc. Honestly, I've never had a cringe moment with this show, which is unusual in today's media.




I did mention cute handsome Mountie, right???? 

Elanor Asks: 

What 5 books would you want with you on a deserted island?

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkein

Stars Collide by Janice Thompson

Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe (because every deserted island needs a manual)

The Holy Bible, Douay-Rheims Version. 

 
If you could live anywhere in the world, where would you live? 

Ooooh. Tough question. 

I've thought about Canada and Scotland, but both of those are rather cold most of the year. I've also thought about Italy and Australia. England would also be rather nice - I've wondered if I was meant to be a lady of a manor. 

Poland is also a contender, in that it's a country that is still culturally Catholic and still has a lot of traditional values and agriculture. However, I'm not sure if I really want to be neighbors with Russia....

I can't decide.....

 

Where do you see yourself in five years?

I hope to be either married or at least engaged. I'm praying that my student loans are at least halfway paid. I also wouldn't mind a golden retriever pup running around. 


Seriously....who can resist that face???

Anthony the Rad-Trad asks: 

If you could meet anyone in the Catholic Church, who would it be? 

I'm assuming you mean someone who is alive?

In that case, that narrows the field a ways.

I would like to meet Cardinal Burke, if possible. I'd like a lesson in fortitude.



And that's all folks!!! 

Keep an eye on this blog at this start of this week. I feel a creative itch about to come on....

In the meantime, let me grab some more cake.....

Old-fashionably yours, 

Catherine

Saturday, November 4, 2017

Labora Agricultura : Organic Agriculture



Hey y'all,

I have not done a Labora Agricultura post in a long long time! My last one was on Industrial Agriculture, so I'm going to go on the other side of the spectrum and discuss organic agriculture. I'll just be giving a very large overview. If you have a question about a specific practice, I'll be happy to answer it in the comments section.

Some attributes of organic agriculture include:

1. More traditional agricultural practices.
2. More "natural" food products.
3. More accessible to the public.

Organic is one of those buzzwords that is misunderstood a lot. So, I'll start with a few definitions.

Certified organic means that the producer met really stringent standards set by the United States Department of Agriculture, and hold a certification from that Department saying such.

Organic and natural are not the same thing. But, the definition of "natural" tend to change depending on who you talk to. While there is such a thing as "natural" certifications, they are not very well known.

I do know that organic producers can use some chemicals (they just can't use synthetic ones) and even can use GMOs (though most don't). However, most people connotate organic agriculture with traditional heirloom vegetables, and a more traditional style of farming.

That being said, organic agriculture is not the same as traditional agriculture. It is really similar, though. The difference is the ideas behind the practices. According to an article entitled "Can Organic Farming Save the Family Farm?", organic farming concentrates a lot more on the soil health and a more earth-friendly approach to farming (Small Farmers Journal, Spring 2005, p. 17-19). In a future Labora Agricultura post, I'll discuss earth-friendly farming systems more in detail. 

Organic crops are grown similar to their industrial counterparts, the biggest difference being the varieties grown, more labor is involved, and the pest/weed/disease problem is handled much differently. Most nutrient needs come from composted animal or plant waste, thus recycling nutrients that would otherwise be wasted.

With organic livestock, those animals are either fed an organic grain diet or, more likely, were raised on pasture (grass-fed) or a combination of both. Most livestock from small farmers are not in confinement operations like their industrial counterparts; instead they are often outside or at least allowed to move. Bigger corporations will allow their livestock to move around with plenty of space in a building, but are not as free-range as ones from small farmers/homesteaders. 

Pasture raising meat animals, depending on the quality of forage available, takes longer than coventional grain diets do. Animals need a lot more land than crops do, but land unsuitable for crops can be used for livestock pasture, making it somewhat economical for a small farmer. Pasture-raising animals is one of the oldest known agriculture practices on the planet, and is catching on again because of the unique flavor that it gives the meat. 

Organic farmers may market their products through cooperatives or have contracts with grocery stores and restaurants. A lot of organic farmers are also doing direct sale marketing, which include farmers markets. Organic farmers are also much more likely to do their own processing, thus assuring that their product has more value and can get more money for it. This way of marketing also opens up the ability to have a relationship with the farmer, and thus provides a little more transparency than the industrial farmers have.

Public perception tends to view organic agriculture with rose-tinted glasses. They don't see the struggles of trying to gain certification and how hard it is to get a profit going in the first few years if at all. As with industrial agriculture, misinformation is a big problem.

I personally lean more towards supporting organic agricultural practices rather than industrial because organic practices tend to be taken up by small farmers who aim for the local market. But like many Americans, I can't afford to pay the high prices for organic food in the supermarket. While some of that is because of the higher labor requirements and costs of the farmers, a lot of it is a markup done by the food processors and retail markets.

To conclude, I'll put a quote from Ruth Reichl that made me stop and think:

"If we make it national policy that we will support small farmers the way we support agribusiness, we'll suddenly see it change in terms of the cost of organic food."  

Old-fashionably yours,

Farm Lassie


Friday, October 27, 2017

Operation Vintage Makeover: Baby Steps (How are there so many purples....or bags of clothing????)

*assumes TV announcer voice* 

Welcome to the first episode of Operation Vintage Makeover!!!

*applause* 

*Announcer: And now, here is your hostess, Catherine AKA Farm Lassie!!* 

Hey y'all!! 

I don't know why I originally named this Operation Vintage. After all, the makeover is the key concept!! 

Oh well. I'll just chalk it up to temporary insanity. 

Anyway.....

So, I've picked out my color scheme for my new bedroom. 

The trim and carpet is going to be a creamy ivory color. As I probably mentioned, I hate white. It attracts dirt wayyyyy too easily. The reason why I'm going with a creamy ivory is because I want to match my current bed set and be complementary to any dark pieces of furniture that I pick up. (More details on this reasoning will be discussed during furniture posts). 

The walls will be a light/medium shade of purple. While my favorite color is bright sky blue, blue also happens to be my parent's favorite color too. Hence, 3/4 of all the walls in our house are painted blue

Needless to say, I'm sick of blue walls. 

So...upon a recent trip to Lowes, I snagged every single paint color strip that was remotely purplish and different shades of cream (which was interesting, considering the flourescent lighting). 

After coming home, I sorted through them in the natural light to see which purple shades looked good and which ones looked *bleh*. I also took the time to match the cream to the headboard. 

Turns out...the cream was the easy part.   

Here is a photo of all the paint strips that I'm still considering:



And these ones right here are the ones which I eliminated (too dark, too light, too blue, wrong cream, etc. A lot of these are stacked together.)


To paraphrase an old Lowe's commercial, "How in the world are there so many purples!!"

This is about as far as I'm going to go with the paint chips for now. I can't really finalize colors until after I get my room cleaned up. 

I'm not going to show pictures of my room right now in it's present state because it would horrify everyone. Literally, it is totally trashed right now because of all the college crap that is still in it. When I do the before and after pictures at the end of the project, you will understand what I mean. 

Even though I'm disappearing for a vacation very soon, I decided to get some work done on it. The bulk of what happened this week was cleaning out all the old clothes that I haven't worn/am too big for/other uglies that I've been stashing away. I had about 3 different spots that I was storing clothes that I didn't wear. I figured it was about time to get rid of some. 



At first, it was only two bags. 


Then it grew to three. 


Now it's up to four!!! 

Well. Technically it's grown to 4 1/2. There's a partial bag that is off camera that may join it's mates later. 

But at least my closet, dresser and clothes storage units at least CLOSE PROPERLY. 

Now to tackle the rest of the junk....

Old-fashionably yours, 

Farm Lassie