Thursday, October 16, 2008

The Good Life

**7 things about me to follow.**

Corduroy. I like it. In small doses, though. At a yard sale a couple weeks ago I found some green, red, and black corduroy, that I had to have. The red and green especially. It had already been determined that I wanted to do some more corduroy, high waist pencil skirts like the olive green one you see in my profile picture at the top right (which I'm proud to say is being worn somewhere in Germany :-), and the idea of a red one really appealed to me.

The original plan was to have the green corduroy be the same style skirt. However as I was cutting it, I realized that there were brown spots in certain areas. A lot of it had to be thrown away, but I was able to salvage enough to make this green top. (It wasn't really my intention to be Jamaican themed, but that's just how it turned out.) Notice the white pencil skirt made a few years ago from some white, stretch cotton capris someone gave me.

Still haven't decided what I'll do with the black...

Well, recently I was tagged by Ms. Bar B. of A Place of Comfort (which I see has gotten a makeover.) The task is to list 7 things about me. Here goes:

1. I grew up in rural north Louisiana. connected to the land. country. everybody on the street or in the community related or close. simple living. all that good stuff. My family has always grown their own food, raised, captured, slaughtered and prepared their own meat, built their own stuff, fixed what needed to be fixed, made clothes, etc. I remember cold winter mornings everybody gathering around an outside fire for a hog killing. Yes, a hog killing. It'd be slaughtered, cut up cleaned, and turned into cracklins and sausage right there on the spot. Somebody would be in the kitchen making buscuits from scratch, maybe cook up some eggs and grits, and we would through down. I remember the curing house where meats were preserved with salt. My step dad making home brew. Going fishing with relatives, running around with cousins picking pears, plums, berries, apples....which all grew naturally on the land. And muscadines. Every time I'm at the produce market around this time of year and see muscadines for $2.99 lb, I'm reminded of the 3-4 trees around my grandparent's house that used to be overflowing with the fruit. I remember cough syrup made from a particular tree bark, peppermints, lemon juice, and a touch of whiskey. Spring castor oil cleanses. Oh, it all tasted so horrible, and we had to be chased down and held down to take it, but it got the job done. I'm young but I grew up surrounded by my elder relatives and they kept it real, doing it they way they knew how. I'm so proud of this and appreciate everything I learned/experienced. We had it so good. Although I don't eat meat anymore (which the family says is blasphemy, lol!), I still cherish those days when it was meat that brought everybody together. My uncles and other relatives still grow food, tend to animals, etc. Many of the fruit trees and bushes are barren. Seems like they stopped producing when all us youngsters grew up, moved away, and no longer visited them. They're still there, though. I love it all so much, and look forward to returning.

2. Two of my aunts were and still have the potential to be seamstresses, and they made my cousins and I clothes when we were young. However, neither of them taught me to sew. I taught myself in 2002 out of necessity. I had no desire to learn when I was young. Too busy riding bikes, climbing trees, building clubhouses and forts, taking nature walks, making mud pies, racing in the middle of the road, catching tad poles, chasing stray cats, wading in the pond, picking berries so somebody could make homemade pie, running around barefoot getting stickers in my feet, etc. Oh the memories!

(I had to come back and add this photo, cause it sums up my childhood existence so well: on the move, ponytails sticking out, on my way to get into something. Somebody captured me in the moment. That's my mom in the back with those tight, "rolled up at the knee" shorts.)

3. My family is full of singers. My mother sings, aunts, cousins, uncles, everybody. I also sing and love to do so. Once upon a time I wanted to be the lead singer of a band. Music and singing are very spiritual to me. However, other than being in the church choir when I was younger, I never sang in public like everybody else in my family. (And I never led any songs in the choir. I just held down a spot in the alto section) I mostly keep my singing to myself..really only doing so out loud in my home or car.

4. Herbalism and natural healing really fascinate me. I've got numerous books on the topic and look forward to someday traveling the world and collecting herbal and natural remedies from different cultures. I no longer use conventional medicine. If an issue arises I use herbs and natural foods to heal.

5. I've got an aunt (dad's sister) who has been missing since 2004. Nobody knows where she is...

6. During my 5th yr. of life, my mom and I lived in Detroit, MI (got a lot of relatives up there). I recall walking to kindergarten in the snow with older cousins. It was fun, but I was cold. :-/

7. I always say I wanna move, but as long as I'm in the US, I can't picture myself living anywhere but the south..particularly Louisiana. I've tried to envision myself in other areas, but this is just me. Maybe I'll relocate to other places for a yr. or so, but I think I'll end up right back here. and I'm ok with that. As long as I can travel, it's fine.

In addition to being tagged by Ms. Bar B., I was also tagged by Ohthatgirl of What That Girl Wears and given a blog award by Marie of Malam-French Fashion Designer. I greatly appreciate all the acknowledgments and will properly take care of these two on my next update.

Goodness! Seems that lately my days have been: wake, sew, sew, sew, sleep. And maybe fit eating in somewhere along the way. Maybe not. Today I'm taking a break. I need to chill a bit.



Torrance Stephens - All-Mi-T said...

u look
in red

T.Allen-Mercado said...

Red corduroy-that is serious business! Corduroy has come a long way since the 70s!

The bark of the cough syrup tree-is it sassafrass? That's what Carolinians along the coast use for cough and asthma!

What a great meme, you're such an old soul, I always felt it.

The multigenerational home is a gift. Even if you have to endure a hog-killing or two! ;)

Julia said...

I love that skirt! Wish I had those sewing skills.:)

Jennifer said...

Awesome! I was tagged for the same 7 things. Your seven things were so interesting :-)

Ms. Bar B: said...

I really enjoyed these words today. They fed my soul and brought back memories of my own family and my own thoughts on things... like herbal healing. I too, am very interested in this.

ElegantSnobbery said...

Wow, your shop is fantastic! I'm glad you found my blog so that I could find yours!! Great shop, beautiful dresses!!

Also, I found your 7 things very fascinating! Especially your first one. So different from the Silicon Valley, California suburb upbringing I had! Very cool!

High Desert Diva said...

Love the pencil skirt and the new top.

Great to get to know more about you. Sounds like you have a wonderful family. I'm so sorry to hear about your aunt though. I hope your family gets some resolution.

Renée aka Mekhismom said...

I loved this post. That skirt is hot! How wonderful to be raised on the true spoils of the earth. Maybe more of us would be grounded if we had to grow, raise and slaughter our own food. I know we would be healthier.

Like you I have a missing relative - my father's brother, we don't know if he is dead or alive and it has been almost 20 years. Sorry to hear about your aunt. I know that pain.

please sir said...

Ohh love your red skirt - so pretty!!

Breath of Light said...

That red skirt is the hotness girl. I would be so lost as to what to do with corduroy and my limited sewing skills. I love my green cord blazer though.

I was so entranced with your number 1. wow! it's great to see you now really appreciate it as well. i always have dreams of growing my own garden with veggies.

Ms. Bar B: said...

Hey Tie. You have an award over at my place so stop by and pick it up.

A Cuban In London said...

Ah, cracklings! That's when I stopped reading your post until I remembered that indeed I must finish it off. But cracklings, we call them pork scratchings here in GB. Scrumptiously crunchy.

Ah, cracklings! (walks off in a daze, bedroom-bound)

Greetings from London.

fly tie said...

tameka--i think it was sassafrass. i just remember being told what tree to go to and what t take from it, but seems like that's what i remember hearing the older people say sometimes.

ms. bar b.--well i'm glad that my sharing could take you there. :-)

high desert dive and renee--yeah it's pretty disheartening not knowing where she is or if she's still alive or not. i hurt mostly for her 2 teen daughters.

breath of light--girl, so do i. even though i grew up like that, i can't keep a plant alive to save my life, lol! that's one thing i regret: they didn't really show us how to maintain a garden. i watched them plow and plant seeds, but i was just too busy playing to really get into it like i now wish i had.

cuban--"pork scratchings" cracks me up! those things are definitely crunchy and will break a tooth if you're not careful.

thanks everyone for the comments. glad y'all like the skirt. :-D

Jewelry Rockstar said...

Funny I lived in NJ and PA growing up, but we did drink sassafras tea for healing, and used all kinds of herbs. Still use herbs for my healing and the kids person. I really liked the 7 things about you. Living off the land sounds like a peaceful existence.