Simple, Spiritual, Outdated Living in a Vintage New England Home on the Southern Coast of Maine

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Vanity Sizing: 1970s Misses Wrangler Jeans vs 2017

As part of my downsizing I'm in the process of sorting through my collection of vintage ephemera to get it organized for when I list it online. I came across this tag I had set aside after I removed it from a pair of vintage Wranglers I bought a couple of years ago. It has a sizing chart inside so I decided it's time for another vanity sizing infographic! 

As always, your clothing size is not:

A measure of your health.
A medical consultation.
A substitute for a scale and tape measure.
A reflection of your worth.
A reason to beat yourself up.
A measure of reality.  

Past posts about vanity sizing:

What a 1960s shift dress can teach us about the growing movement with "vanity sizing."
Size Zero Tolerance for Vanity Sizing
000 and Vanity Sizing

Thursday, January 26, 2017

You don't have to hold up signs or have Instagrammable moments to be an activist.

Pinbacks from my 1980s activism

This post further expands upon my summer post, Hashtags Aren't Conversations; Memes Aren't Activism and November's On Silence, Quiet and Self-Care.

Based upon what I've been seeing my my social media feeds, popular current activism includes some of the following:
Making snide or mean-spirited remarks about the other "side" either directly or passive-aggressively via memes.

Marching in public with signs.

People who have previously marched in public with signs questioning the validity and motives of people who are marching with signs for the first time.

People who marched in public with signs questioning the validity and motives of people who did not march in public with signs.

Staying "informed" which seems to mean glued to toxic social media and the news.

Copying and pasting instructions on how to call representatives.
From the cover of my 1970s copy of Our Bodies, Our Selves

I've been an activist for a large part of my life, and presently it doesn't look like any of the above. In the early 1980s I did march in protests. I formed a feminist "consciousness raising" group on my college campus in the mid 1980s. I orchestrated a campaign to protest oil interests that were infringing upon the Native Americans. I wrote articles and editorials published in local media.

For the past twenty years I shifted a lot of focus and energy towards local issues. I'm not sure why local issues don't get the same cred which brings to mind a bumper sticker that was omnipresent in my college town: "Think globally, act locally."

The following examples of how I am active locally may be boring for you, so the tl;dr in advance is that you don't have to be "out there" to get out there and make changes. Yes, you will need to interact with people, some of whom are in positions of authority who may try to intimidate you into silence. Oftentimes it's not pretty or glamorous work. You won't receive lots of "likes." Yet I've also met a lot of wonderful people along the way. Activism shouldn't be judged by visibility or volume.

Now, onto the tl;dr of examples of my own brand of activism:

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Wayne's friend is building "Calidris", a 32 foot yacht. By hand. Himself!

Hi. I'm feeling somewhat better since my car accident (although I haven't driven my car since then) and losing Timmy. I've even had numerous nights of good and plentiful sleep which is big for me as many of you know. My car is going to the body shop tomorrow morning and it should be ready by the end of the week. I miss Timmy all of the time since I work from home and was accustomed to having him with me but each day it becomes more bearable. 

Today I have a guest post from Wayne (the words are his, the pics, mine). He and I went to visit his friend Dave in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, where he is building a vintage inspired 32 foot wooden Lobster Yacht, "Calidris." He's building it by himself, by hand. 

Wayne has built, with help from the team he supervised, over twenty yachts during the course of his career and is happy to offer some advice to his friend.

I was very inspired by Dave and his dedication to making his dream come to life.


Today Averyl and I visited an old friend of mine who is building a boat for himself.  Although he has built or repaired many types of boats this is his most ambitious project by a long shot. Whereas most DIY boat builders would be happy with a small row boat or sailing craft, David has decided to build a thirty-two foot version of an old "lobster yacht" design from the early 1900's.

Even with my background in building larger and more complex boats than David's project, his decision to take on a project by himself that many professionals would consider long and hard before tackling is nothing short of inspired passion wedded with a certain degree of idealistic craziness.

That being said, David started having conversations with me and many others as to how the boat would be built and what it would look like almost ten years ago.  Towards that end, he made the decision to have his ideas and concepts committed to paper by a professional boat designer and builder.

Some might argue that this step may seem like a bit of overkill for the "backyard" boat builder.

I would counter that the amount spent in proper planning and design will enhance the the entire scope of the project and make the building process a much more enjoyable one. 

David keeps a "mistake" in the shop to remind himself (and others) of the dangers associated with unbridled enthusiasm upon starting a project.  Even armed with a proper detailed design for the curves representing the stern (back end) of the boat, he was so eager to get started, that he failed to read the plans correctly and glued many pieces of wood together in a beautiful arc that would never fit where they were intended to go.  It's my contention that this early hiccup was a lesson that no teacher anywhere could have provided.  David's grace and humility (and a wonderful sense of humor) are what allow him to exhibit this piece proudly in his shop.

What David has created to this point is the basic hull of the boat.

The hull is the dramatic "boat shape" we all know. 

When this step is completed the builder (and anyone else willing to risk getting covered in dust) gets their first real dramatic sense how the boat will appear full scale.

When Averyl and I visited today, David was involved in “fairing" the newly completed hull.

This is a long and arduous task where all the humps and bumps in the hull are removed by heavy doses of sanding the entire hull to a consistent smooth finish.   

This is one of the most physically demanding parts of boat building but it pays great dividends in the finished product.

Dave's workshop was previously owned by a gunsmith who specialized in making cannons.

The workshop from outside before we all headed to Dave's house for homemade squash soup and gluten-free iron skillet cornbread made specially for Averyl.