Last week when I was at the library, I had a sudden desire to read about the Mason/Dixon line and the Underground Railroad. A search of the computer files brought up a book in historical fiction and I was fascinated to find that the story is set locally. Today I was reading the first chapter, where the little boy catches his first catfish and his friend shows him how to scale it and fry it in a cast iron frying pan. Huh? Wha?.. I thought everybody knew catfish have no scales and now I don’t want to read any more of the story because I am so disappointed that the author did that to his readers and I am totally disenchanted because of his probable lack of research concerning the Mason/Dixon line as well. Unforgiving? Maybe, but really, all I can think is “catfish scales” when I want to read.
This sensitivity to discrepancies in writing may stem from a story I once wrote for a literature class, in which I, the main character, was driving home after dark and the headlights got dimmer and dimmer as the battery died. Oh the prayers and teen drama as I crested the last hill and drove into our lane in the quite inadequate starlight. All the guys in the class grinned knowingly and explained with maddening superiority that it would have been an alternator problem. Lesson learned. One should do one’s homework. Which also means one should not attempt a novel about the Amish if one has never been Amish, because an arranged marriage with a young and handsome bishop will be the tip-off that one truly does not understand one’s subject.
In other news, I have been sorting and rearranging and stroking my fabric stash. I decided to go through both totes and cupboards, do a thorough job. This way I know what I have, which may possibly be a slap on the wrist the next time I see a lovely piece I can’t resist. Or maybe not. I found record of a few dismal failures that I had tucked out of sight when they happened. It is very difficult for me to simply discard an article of clothing I worked on that just cannot seem to leave the ground, but today I was firm. A casual onlooker would have wondered why it was such a big deal when I chucked out the rust colored skirt with the fall leaves, the slippery one that hung crooked at the hem and was too big at the waist. There was my wedding tablecloth in one of the totes, as well as a curtain that never stood right on the rod. I found a skirt that simply needed the hooks and eyes refastened and a dress with a split zipper, which I replaced. Also a dress with one panel in the skirt taken out the wrong way, so that the sheen on that panel is different. I still don’t know what to do with it, since there isn’t enough fabric to replace it, and it’s such a pretty color. Then there was the Woolrich jumper of green plaid that I bought to repurpose into boys’ pajama pants, which Alex promptly did today. There were scraps from blankets I made for nieces and nephews, as well as some lovely Peter Rabbit flannel to make a nightie for my little girl. I totally eliminated one tote, sorted out another for cutting into quilt squares for the ladies’ sewing day at church. The cleanse was both inspirational and cathartic. 🙂 And I wished for my sister so I could ask her why in the world does she think I ever thought this strange paisley swirl was pretty fabric?
It is really, really cold outside, and I have inflicted upon myself a diet in which it seems that all comfort food is verboten. Stinks, really. And please, nobody say anything about Skinny Chocolate. Off to eat my spinach salad…