Tag Archives: style

Six Years and Slowing

On the "skiddah"

On the “skiddah”

It is March once again, and the anniversary month of this blog which started out as Outside the Box and is now Localista.

I don’t look too fashionable there on the skidder, but let me tell you, I was THRILLED to have a chance to get into the driver’s seat, turn the ignition key, and roll slowly backward, oops! I was maybe in the thing for a minute and a half before I stalled it. Heavy equipment operator is not going to be my next career.

What I did learn from this experience was 1)guys who work in the woods are great storytellers and hard workers and all-around great people and 2)enough about operating a skidder to finish a writing project.

Harvesting in the Maine woods has long been an economic driver for our state, providing jobs and a marketable resource. It is a local sort of job, and even with improvements in equipment, still requires a human brain. Unlike other jobs which are being outsourced to…robots. Check out this article, “Your Job May Soon Be Obsolete Thanks To Robots,”  on AGBeat from the American Genius Network.

Yes, computers are now writing news articles. Egads! Soon they will be writing books, I suppose, cranking them out from synopses and outlines, or maybe just picking and choosing from scenarios, character lists, and possible turning points from specialized plot and narrative computer programs. I’m typing this and thinking, “It’s probably already been done, but I don’t want to go look. I’m scairt!”

So, I’m still doing the localism thing as much as possible, have incorporated it into my life with room left for improvement, as always. Those hiking boots in the photo up there? Got ’em at Reny’s, one of Maine’s independent stores. It was the only size of its kind on the shelves, the only pair of boots in my size, and they fit perfectly. In fact, they were so comfortable with a pair of wool hiking socks I also picked up, I didn’t unlace them all day. The support felt fantastic!

Today I’m wearing a combination outfit–a sweater from Goodwill, a scarf that was a gift, and a pair of pants I bought full-price at Chico’s at the mall. I ate breakfast at a local restaurant, but then I got a cup of Dunkin Donuts coffee. It’s not about perfection. It’s about awareness and small changes and doing the best you can.

Six years later, I’m slowing down but trudging along, one step at a time.

Autumn Gold Fall 2013

Okay, I’m big into shopping “local” so actually going out and buying these exact items makes no sense for me. I do like to play with fashion, though. I love color and texture–I mean, chunky cables and smooth, buttery leather boots? Divine!

These Polyvore.com “looks” are inspirational for when I hit my local Goodwill and consignment stores, or even my own closet. This particular look has also inspired a short-story idea. I’ll post it as soon as I get it written, ‘kay?

I hope, my Dear Reader, that you are enjoying the fall weather. Here in Maine, the foliage is absolutely brilliant this year.

Autumn Gold Fall 2013

Mossimo sweater
target.com

H M cable knit stocking
$9.65 – hm.com

Burberry boots
stylebop.com

Hartmann bag
bloomingdales.com

Burberry scarve
farfetch.com

Secondhand Fashion: First Snow Friday Outfit

Ring in the New Year

Ring in the New Year

Dear Reader:

My Dear Sis, who lives far away in Ohio, is an inspiration. She has been shopping Goodwill, consignment, yard sale, and local for many, many years and always (and I mean always!) manages to look smart, sophisticated, and fashionable on a budget. Hearing about my Polyvore.com/Locally Sourced Fashion recreation idea (obsession?) Dear Sis brought home a Christmas gift I absolutely went gaga over–a recreated outfit!

Using my First Snow Friday Polyvore.com outfit as a guide. . .

Polyvore.com First Snow Friday

Polyvore.com First Snow Friday

. . . she went to her local secondhand haunts and found almost every element.

january 8 2013 003

Gray pleated skirt, oxblood-colored turtleneck shirt, and a belted cardigan.

And the ring shown above.

january 8 2013 007

In the meantime, I snagged the perfect pair of satin sandals at the Biddeford Goodwill for a cool $5.

january 16 2013 005

Just Added: I changed up the outfit with a different skirt from my sister, also from Goodwill, and paired it with suede boots from Marden’s, our Maine-owned discount store and a handcrafted bag of felted wool by friend Sandi Waugh. I wore this outfit to a reporting assignment yesterday, so it is definitely a workable look.

I (Heart) Snow Days

I (heart) Snow Days

Dear Reader:

We had a little snow covering the ground this morning, and it felt like the kind of day to sit beside the fire with a good book. I didn’t quite manage such a relaxing day, but I CAN recommend a good book to read this winter. Maine writer, Bill Roorbach’s LIFE AMONG GIANTS. (Buy it at your locally-owned bookstore!)

This is a big book, a giant book. Big themes of love and family and longing…so much longing. Big characters. Tall, yes, but also big in scope and heart and personality. Big houses with lots of doors and corridors and secret rooms hidden away. David “Lizard” Hochmeyer, a tall and talented high school football player becomes enchanted with the famous dancer, Sylphide, living next door in a big house, a mansion. Lizard’s parents are murdered because of his dad’s dealings with a crooked boss possibly (likely) involved with the mob, but we don’t know if, how, or why Sylphide is somehow involved. Lizard ends up playing pro football for the Miami Dolphins and later becomes a restauranteur. There is so much here. It is the kind of book to read slowly, to savor.

This would be my ideal day: cozy flannel pajamas, a fur throw, coffee, a great book, soothing music, snow falling, roaring fire, and a scented candle. What about you?

Wake Up & Smell the Coffee

Wake Up & smell the Coffee

Dear Reader:

My coffee addiction is well-documented. I write about it on my blog, on social media, in letters, in my journals, and in my fiction. It is an inherited addiction, as my father always had a cup at hand while grading papers at the dining room table all the years I was growing up. Early mornings, usually around four, I’d wake to hear a spoon clinking—glink, glink, glink, glink, glink–against his coffee mug as he stirred in sugar and milk.

Once in awhile I would steal a sip, and found the taste too bitter. Not until college when I weaned myself from hot chocolate in the morning and forced myself to down a cup of java in the cafeteria every day, did I finally acquire a taste for the stuff–probably right around the time my caffeine addiction took hold.

Ah, coffee. The wake-me-up aroma. The sweet accompaniment to outings with friends. The comforting steam rising as I wrap my chilly hand around the warmth of the mug on a cold, not-quite-winter day. Coffee goes with book reading, lake gazing, woods walking, music listening, breakfast eating, and friend chatting.

I’ve given it up two or three times, enduring the withdrawal headaches, briefly enjoying mornings when I could spring out of bed without a jolt of caffeine, but in the long run I always thought, “But what’s the point of this?” As addictions go, it isn’t so unhealthy. In fact, some research shows it can actually prolong your life! (See Coffee Addicts Rejoice! It’s Good for You)

Well, duh! Of course it prolongs your life–you don’t want to miss that cup every morning, so you just keep going!

When it comes to buying coffee, going local is easy and not easy, depending on how you look at it. Obviously there are no local GROWERS of coffee here in Maine. Brrrr, those beans would never survive out in the pine forests far from their native tropics. However, there are local ROASTERS here in our area:
New Hampshire Coffee Roasters in Dover http://www.nhcoffee.com/about.html
Port City Coffee Roasters in Portsmouth http://www.portcitycoffee.com/
Carpe Diem Coffee in North Berwick http://www.carpediemcoffee.com/
Coffee by Design in Portland. http://www.coffeebydesign.com/
There is also Green Mountain Coffee Roasters in Vermont–still pretty close in the New England region, though it is a larger corporation. http://www.greenmountaincoffee.com/

I don’t hold it against them, much, because hey, L.L.Bean is also pretty darn big! I’d rather buy from Bean’s than from Walmart. Just as I’d rather buy from Green Mountain than from Folgers. My local grocery store carries Green Mountain, so that’s what I buy, but I’ve also bought Carpe Diem from the coffee shop in nearby S. Waterboro. Maybe I should take a road trip to North Berwick.

While I’m down in that area, I could check out Maine writer,Sarah Orne Jewett’s hometown, South Berwick. Forget coffee, I smell a roadtrip!

Leaf

One leaf
drifts in
the open door,
skitters on
an autumnal wind–
cold draft
across the floor–
and she, breezing
through that space,
a Goddess
of Leaving
in a bright red dress.

Leaf

First Snow Friday

Another “localista” fashion look challenge. I’m racking up too many of these to keep up. Guess I’ll be looking at consignment and Goodwill for a gray knit skirt and winter sweater!

First Snow Friday