Friday, September 23, 2011

Shortest Of Updates From Island-Life at L'Abri

My disconnected life is bringing me more into a beautiful grounded existence.

Internet comes around once a week, usually.

I'm actively living with five other students and two "helpers" along with the "workers" who always live here.

Apart from studying, we are kept busy painting decks, picking beans, carrying sticks, making music, cleaning dishes, and drinking tea five times a day.

I manage to get out to wander the woods and island at least once a day.

This world is incredible.
What an awesome Creator we have!

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Textures. Colours. My Wardrobe On A Quilt. Packing Up.

Click Here
And here we have it.

All the clothes to last me until December.

You know, I never have been one to be capable of packing light.

Back when I was a little kid and trying to run away from home (an event for which this blog is partially named), I remember a lot of the crazy things I packed.... like a party hat. I remember my logic as I put it in my basket, "What if I go to a party and I want a party hat and they don't have any?" I knew I needed to bring it. And my Easter hat. And some games. And... let's just say, I had packed so much that I barely made it two houses away, and that's with the help of my older brother, Ian.

Now I'm leaving again (3rd time to leave for a "foreign country" for an extended period of time - although in my mind, Canada barely counts as foreign) and packing again - trying to think up what I might need to stay warm in late November while studying for four hours.

Laying out all of my clothes on my quilt (got it for free on the side of the road) was a bit of an interesting exploration. In viewing, I've made a few observations and come up with a few statistics based on the clothes on the quilt. This is not based on my jacket I'm taking, or my hiking boots which I don't think made it into the shot... along with my gloves.

Anyways I noticed:
  • There are so many colours and patterns and textures here!
  • I like clothes from other cultures and alternative ethnicities and cultures.
  • I love things that are fun to feel.
  • I don't like bras and jeans.
And then I started coming up with some numbers.

First - how many items of clothing are here?
  • 36 items of clothing if you count all socks as one item (same with underwear, tights/leggings, handkerchiefs)
  • 64 or so if you count sets of socks, underwear, and shoes but don't count handkerchiefs
  • 82 if you count each individual sock and shoe as one item
For ease of use, I'm going to go with the 64 number for the next calculations I make.
  • 2 items were just black or white
  • 27 items were not second hand - but of those, 25 were socks, underwear, or tights - there is one brand new skirt and one brand new skirt I purchased
  • 16 items were free or gifted
  • 0 have displayed logos on the outside
  • 21 items were bought at thrift shops
  • 7 out of the 12 pairs of socks were given to me
The three most unusual gifted clothing stories are...
  • Pants and shirt from the boy I met in the forest
  • Shirt from boy I had just met - gave to me in the Dick's parking lot
  • Hat from lady at the thrift-shop
The most expensive item there? I believe it is the corduroy skirt. I think I paid $18 for it. Originally it would have cost $40 but I got it on clearance.

The most item worth the most there? The essentially-brand-new Born shoes - worth over $100. I only paid $9.99.

That's about it. Guess you got a pretty good peak at my wardrobe, there, not that you needed to.

Time to shove it all into my backpack
and make it all fit.

And yes, it all fits. I already checked. It makes for a heavy pack, though.

Please view this full sized HERE - so much better!

Climbing the Radio Tower

Papa Bear finally let me climb the radio tower.

And for the first time in my life I was enabled to climb up, raising new heights, until I felt as if my limbs could climb no more. Straight up into the air. No curves. No surprises.

Trusting my
own two hands.

I felt freedom in clinging to the tall, sharp, angular piece of metal pointing its way from the dirt to the clouds.

Waves of relaxed fear came from shaking the beast with my own weight. Using my mere 114 lbs to make it warble and quake.

Oh! What a wonder life is high in the skye!

The Most Magical Hat Story You Will Ever Read On The Internet!

Wait for it. Wait for it. You can't see the magic of the hat from this angle.

This is going to be the most wonderful hat story I think I have ever told.

Less than 48 hours before departure, life whizzing, and Alex showed up because we were going to go contra dancing.

But, you see, well, goodness, I had a headache and ever so many things to accomplish and all of a sudden I realized I wanted to go to Value Village to check out their snazzy vest selection in addition to getting Alex a non-name-branded item for his wardrobe.

Before long, my arms were filled up with goodies (including delightful pair of Born shoes that suit me perfectly, fit idyllically, looked as if they had never ever been worn, originally cost of $100, and cost me just $9.99) as we searched the racks.

The mission? Get Alex that no-logoed shirt.

The result? Maggie gets lots of vests.

And that's when I saw it. THE HAT!

OH MY GOODNESS! Is that not perfection on earth?

It was a red bowl cap with yellow trip. On each of the six sides there were 3-D embroidered animals likes snakes, a frog, a spider, and a lizard! It's insane!

And I threw it on my head and - low and behold - liked how it looked on my head.

Now what to do with a $5 price tag?

I want this hat. I want it so bad. I want ittttt.

Ok, not that bad. But, as Alex can attest to, the rest of the shopping trip was an internal struggle for me (displayed very outwardly) as whether to get the magical hat or not.

Finally I got to the checkout line, hat still clutched in my arms.

"I will not buy this hat. I will get to the line and not buy this hat... but I want this hat," I said.

The [very wise] lady in front of me said, "You should get the hat!"

And I said, "I know! I know! But it's $5 and that's a lot. Would you buy it for me?"

And then the lovely lady said, "I would pay you $5 to wear that hat."

And with that, she pulled out her wallet and handed me $5 and bought me the hat.

And I gave her a HUGE hug!

And now I have a hat.

See, I think people should take me shopping because things just always sort of end up in my arms. I don't really get how it works. I end up with free pairs of pants, skirts, dresses, shirts, shoes, and hats. If they took me shopping, maybe they'd save a lot of money if the stuff was all just given to them for free. It works with drinks too in bars. The drinks just magically show up!

And the best part is - this hat has a story to go with it! And you all know how much I love clothes with stories attached.

After that, Alex (who had a new item of clothing - a beautiful corduroy blazer) and I went to Wallingford, talked with a starving artist who called me goddess at least 8 times and wouldn't listen in a conversation and wanted to go with us wherever we went and we left him to visit my brother and give him his birthday-vest. Recently, went with Ian to get him new clothes too.

Don't both boys look ever so dapper?

Ian in his new birthday vest and Alex in the new blazer.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

ADHD - Crediting It For the Good and Bad - And It's Also Just Me

I was reading the blog of a wonderful woman I know over at Living with ADHD when I came across this:

"The mornings are the worst for us.  The hardest thing for me to remember is that 99% of this she can not help doing."

And I want to expand on the comment I made over there. First, want to say that Pollyanna is an incredible woman and what she is doing for the Lil Miss is truly admirable. Second, I want to say, "Amen - those mornings can be crazy!"

But I do like to reflect.

I would disagree with the 99% number.

Even with ADHD, I am 100% accountable for my actions. Regardless of my brain chemistry, my actions have consequences that I need to learn to live with. So even if it is the ADHD to blame, in the big world out there, I'll get the blame - and that's how it should be.

ADHD is not my excuse. It's an explanation.
It's a name for my brain chemistry that helps create this personality that differs from the "norm."

The ADHD is me and I am the ADHD and it's ok with me.A lot of who people are, their personalities, is based on chemistry. I highly, highly recommend the book Quirk, by Hannah Holmes. It doesn't just say "brain chemistry" but actually explains what chemistry is different and how.

Because just as those chemical imbalances cause havoc, they also help form the creative, out-of-the-box personality I have. If I call out my bad-side as being ADHD, it's only fair I give it credit for the good things.

I'm alright with ADHD. Me and it, we're chill, yo. Best buds.

It used to scare me at times when I didn't have my meds to keep me down, but now I've learned to be me... and the crazy thing is I 've learned that people like the med-less Maggie just as much as they love me when I'm drugged up. In fact, classmates sometimes ask me not to take my meds - just because they know, for them, they're guaranteed a few extra laughs in class with my defensive-censors down. However, I have to say it's rarely not worth it for me because that's a guaranteed way to get behind on coursework.

I might loose things. Forget other things. Not do other things. Get muddled up. Say awkward things.

But at least I have the energy for all of that... right?

Actually, that entire last statement was crap. Scratch all that.

Anyways, I don't think 99% of what I do isn't the ADHD. I want credit for it, the good, the puerille, the abstruse, the ugly. I don't think ADHD deserves that much of the spotlight of who I am. It's just a tiny little part me... it just so happens to be the part that stands out the most, at times.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Just A Small Town Girl - This Town Feels Small....

I love living in my town. Yes, it is a small town.

With a population of around 20,000 people, I guess we're not the tiniest lot of folks on the planet, but by German standards of a Kleinstadt (up to 20,000 people) - we're at least a small, little city.

Today, I left my home at 8:15 AM after a fulfilling family breakfast and meandered around as the sun started warming things up and my skirt swished around with each step. Swish. Swish. Swish. Swish.

Wandering down the hill. Of course the birds were out.

Across the pipeline, by the wetlands, by where the old library was (triple wide trailer - classy, I know) and ended up at our local St. Vinny's (the thrift shop) where the Labour Day Sale was happening - 50% everything in the store.

Even before 9 AM, the store was filled with other bargain hunters - my beautiful neighbors.

First person I ran into was a past close by neighbour, now distant neighbour, Carol. A 10 minute conversation followed.

Off to the sweater section I went to prepare for a fall up in Canada. As I was trying on something that made me smile, one woman came up to me (I wasn't in a dressing room) and asked if I could try on something. I was small, and apparently the right size for it. It was a simple jacket and she went so far as to button it up on me (yes, I was being dressed by a stranger). According to her, I could pull off anthing and it looked cute. Another woman joined the conversation for a short bit and then we all dispersed.

Elsewhere in the store, a woman named Doloris and I had a quick interaction as I passed her in an aisle. I had just gotten behind her and was going to say, "Excuse me," when her friend told her I was standing behind. "You could have just tapped me on the shoulder!" she said. And I told her I had only just gotten there a second ago. We smiled. Dispersed.

Later on in the store, I was greeted by another lovely lady who knew me from my volunteering at Moreken Elementary... but I forget who she is.

At the front of the store (score!) there's a grocery carte loaded up to the top with bread that went past the sell by one day. All fit for consumption. Delicious. And free. I grabbed two loaves and some whole wheat bagels.

Leaving, out-loud good-byes were said to other shoppers.

Walking around Moreken, I got to compliment a lovely older woman on her hat. It was a bit of a white bucket cap with delicate venting in the front. More smiles on both our parts.

And right before I headed up my hill, a lovely older man tipped his hat at me in a morning greeting.

The afternoon was filled with delightful conversations on a giant free quilt in the middle of the local blueberry patch/farm/acres, tree swings, and hidden trampolines.

I like where I live.

It might not technically be small - but it sure does give that small-town feel on a Monday morning.

Photograph by Megan Wiebelhaus

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