needle & thREAD


I'm finally hitting my groove with this costume thing. Dance costumes are outrageously expensive. So, when they arrive, one naturally expects something well-made from quality fabric. That's the first piece of education. They are never well made and the fabric is cheesy. The next piece is that there will always be mistakes in sizes. Then, there's the greatest piece: don't be afraid to improvise and rig it to make it work
This dance season has been quite the education for a fairly new seamstress who has been fighting perfectionism all her life:-). 
But I'm hitting my groove. I'm learning to cut and piece and make do. I'm also learning that not much can happen that sequins don't improve.
Reading has been light. I can't find my copy of Magical Journey: An Apprenticeship in Contentment. It's here somewhere. I'm counting on it reappearing next week when I have some calm days for binge reading. Maybe I'll finish Kristin Lavransdatter , too.
In the meantime, I picked up Second Nature, Michael Pollan's new book. I'm a fan of Michael Pollan, so this one is the perfect to fit into my tidy threesome of Mother Culture books.
"There is no sadder sight in life than a mother, who has so used herself up in her children's childhood, that she has nothing to give them in their youth. When babyhood is over and school begins, how often children take to proving that their mother is wrong. Do you as often see a child proving to its father that he is wrong? I think not. For the father is growing far more often than the mother. He is gaining experience year by year, but she is standing still. Then, when her children come to that most difficult time between childhood and full development she is nonplussed; and, though she may do much for her children, she cannot do all she might, if she, as they, were growing!...

Is there not some need for 'mother culture'? But how is the state of things to be altered? So many mothers say, 'I simply have no time for myself!' 'I never read a book!' Or else, 'I don't think it is right to think of myself!' They not only starve their minds, but they do it deliberately, and with a sense of self-sacrifice which seems to supply ample justification.

Mother must have time to herself. And we must not say 'I cannot.' Can any of us say till we have tried, not for one week, but for one whole year, day after day, that we 'cannot' get one half-hour out of the twenty-four for 'Mother Culture?'--one half-hour in which we can read, think, or 'remember.'
The habit of reading is so easily lost; not so much, perhaps, the power of enjoying books as the actual power of reading at all. It is incredible how, after not being able to use the eyes for a time, the habit of reading fast has to be painfully regained...

The wisest woman I ever knew--the best wife, the best mother, the best mistress, the best friend--told me once, when I asked her how, with her weak health and many calls upon her time, she managed to read so much, 'I always keep three books going--a stiff book, a moderately easy book, and a novel, and I always take up the one I feel fit for!' That is the secret; always have something 'going' to grow by. If we mothers were all 'growing' there would be less going astray among our boys, less separation in mind from our girls...

A brisk walk will help. But, if we would do our best for our children, grow we must; and on our power of growth surely depends, not only our future happiness, but our future usefulness.

Is there, then, not need for more 'Mother Culture'?"  
~Charlotte Mason Volume III, no. 2 The Parents' Review

needle and thREAD

Do you have three books going? Would you like to have three books going? Which three?