You know, some weeks it’s hard to get a handle on whether this crazy mixed up world of ours is going totally to the dogs. Or not. Some weeks I despair. I really do. Like earlier this week when I suggested to Hubby that we sell the house and buy a cabin in the woods. Far, far away from people. With no TV and no internet access.

Sometimes this kind of thing, the desire to run away, happens to me when I have been watching too much news. Hubby watches a lot of television news shows, both American and Canadian. And because we live in a small house it’s hard NOT to be conscious of what he’s watching. I mean, I can’t spend all my time on my exercise bike with my headphones on. And what I saw in my brief forays into the living room this week when he was watching television news was enough to make me weep with despair. Or with anger and frustration. Followed by despair.

Weeping Woman 1937 Pablo Picasso 1881-1973 Tate Gallery

This week the controversy in certain American states with respect to wearing a mask or not was front and centre on our TV. Particularly the mandates passed by some school boards in which all staff and students are required to wear masks in schools. When I first heard this I didn’t think anything of it. Our teachers and kids are still wearing masks at school, and have been (when school is in session) since the beginning of the pandemic. So masks in school, no big deal anymore. Right? Ha. Apparently for some it is a very big deal indeed.

In fact I was shocked at the violent reaction of some parents of children who are required to wear a mask at school. The noisy protests, and the seemingly out of control anger of these parents was unbelievable to me. The verbal and, in a couple of instances, physical abuse, and sometimes downright crazy behaviour all seems a bit surreal. In some places, school staff have been accosted, school board members threatened.

“What the hell?” I said to Hubby when I saw one news story on TV. A school superintendent who was interviewed said in her school district they were doing their best to cope with the chaos. And they had decided to try to reach out to parents, to speak with them individually, to educate them on the issue of wearing masks. I turned to Hubby and said, “Bloody hell, now on top of all the other stresses that go with a job in education these days, teachers, principals, and higher-ups are being forced to “educate” the parents with information that is readily available to anyone if they care to access it.” What happened to education being all about the kids? Simply teaching kids stuff like reading and math and how to be a good citizen?

And by the way, by “being a good citizen” I don’t mean just being dutiful and following the rules. Although following rules and laws is important. I don’t mean simply accepting what is wrong in society. I mean knowing and understanding our rights, understanding how democracy works, exercising our right to vote. And also using peaceful protest, and civil discourse when we believe things have gone awry. The operative words here being peaceful and civil.

Doesn’t all this anger and hatefulness remind you of another time? Perhaps of those black students caught in the cross-fire when they attempted to attend recently de-segregated schools in 1960? In particular little six-year-old Ruby Bridges. I don’t think that an issue as important as the desegregation of schools should be equated with whether or not kids wear masks at school to protect their friends and their teachers from Covid-19. I think wearing a mask or not has little to do with civil rights. But it certainly seems as if some parents would not agree.

I tried my best today to get a bigger picture of this issue. But it wasn’t easy, and eventually I gave up. In all honesty, I was turning in circles reading about mask mandates, protests against mandates, state governments punishing school districts which pass mandates by threatening to withdraw their funding (can they do that?), anti-mask groups taking schools districts to court, pro-mask groups taking state governments to court… enough already. Jeeze Louise… everyone needs to calm down.

And then I saw this little video in my Facebook feed. Have a look.

Such a cute video. I needed that chuckle. And I love that girl. She reminds me of my friend Krista, who has such an expressive face. I’ll bet you didn’t know all those important things that teachers need to learn before they step in front of a class, huh? I particularly loved the course on perfecting “the look.” When I was still teaching, I had a “look.” I inherited it from my mum. And wow… does it work. Combine “the look” with a sigh and you’ll get instant results. Ha.

It makes me unbearably sad to think that young, fresh-faced, and idealistic teachers, like this girl, find themselves right in the middle of a whole lot of anger and nonsensical political wrangling. Teaching is stressful enough, especially during a pandemic. And it saddens me that, despite the best efforts of teachers and administrators, kids in classrooms, who are also under stress, may not be getting the education they deserve.

I know I overreact when I see people being… not to put too fine a point on it… stupid. And careless of the needs of others. I just want to cry, or yell at someone. Or escape. Hubby is much more capable than I am of distancing himself from these sorts of things. Is that a man thing, do you think?

Or maybe it’s simply that I am trying desperately to keep my rose-coloured glasses all polished up so I can see the world the way I want to see it. And not the way it really is.

I need to keep in mind that the stats show many parents in the districts where all the controversy is happening support the wearing of masks. Apparently they are by far the majority. It must be frustrating for those parents who just want their kids to go to school and be safe. And who trust that school trustees, administrators, and teachers DO want what’s best for their kids. For everyone’s kids.

Okay… I’m done with that. I promise.

On another, more light-hearted note, it appears that I am not quite done with wearing this springy outfit combination. I so love my Club Monaco green cashmere hoodie under my navy Veronica Beard jacket. And I hauled this out to wear running errands earlier in the week.

Navy Veronica Beard jacket, white Vince tee, green Club Monaco cashmere hoodie.
On my way to the drugstore in bright green and navy.

But you know, this outfit felt way too springy to me when I wore it. Even though I wore my Paul Green ankle boots to give it more of a fall feel. So in a day or two, the navy jacket will disappear into the storage closet until spring. The sweater, I will keep out for a while. I may be able to wear it under my dark green tweed Max Mara blazer. I haven’t finished turning my closet for fall. The rest of my tank tops, light skirts, and sandals need to be packed away. And my tweed jackets and heavy turtlenecks still need to be unpacked, shaken out, freshened up, and hung in my closet or folded into my sweater drawers. I love this seasonal packing and unpacking.

Standing on one leg on my deck wearing Navy Veronica Beard jacket, green Club Monaco cashmere hoodie, Frame jeans, Paul Green boots.
Even my Paul Green boots couldn’t make this outfit feel like fall to me.

Okay, did you see what I did there? I just changed the conversation completely. There may be big problems in this crazy mixed up world of ours. I am not denying that. I’m not actually running away from them. The plan to buy that cabin in the woods is just a metaphor. I intend to stay informed. I have an opinion, which I am not afraid to express. But on those days when I’ve had too much reality, when the world seems way out of kilter, when it seems that chaos reigns everywhere, I establish order where I can. And sometimes that is all about my closet.

What are you up to this week, my calm and intelligent friends? Any strategies you can share for coping with this crazy mixed up world of ours? Gentle reads that work for you? Favourite soothing television? Best calming wines? We’ve been watching old episodes of Morse which seem to go well with a lovely Canadian Pinot Noir from the Niagara region. 🙂


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From the archives


Winter Wardrobe Shuffle

My vlog this month is all about my winter wardrobe shuffle. Finding new ways to wear three tops I don’t wear often enough.


Playing with Fall Fashion: October Vlog

In my October vlog, I’m playing with fall fashion. Trying to style two old sweaters to avoid buying a new one. Shopping my closet. Again.


What Are You Obsessed With Right Now?

I’m getting cranky again over all the hyperbole on the internet. I mean. Can we all just get over being “obsessed” with everything?

96 thoughts on “Crazy Mixed Up World”

  1. I was neither particularly calm nor intelligent yesterday when I popped into Leeds to buy fabric. After 20 minutes I had an overwhelming desire to hit people – of course, I didn’t, because that is what being civilised is all about. You can feel fury but you don’t have to act on it. Laziness with masks, total inability to be aware of other people…making it hard to get past…and then I saw elderly people braving the city centre, carefully wearing masks…I went from furious to wanting to weep in seconds. I didn’t linger. This is what the past two years has done, I think. Swinging from mood to mood, frustrated, irritated, confounded. But now I have my material I can stay home and sew in peace. It is the best place for me, for the moment.

    1. Happy sewing, Annie. I recently bought myself two skeins of yarn and a pattern for a new knitted hat. Looking forward to getting back to knitting.

  2. I can hear you,very well indeed,as well as Annie….so many negligent people,so many idiotic fake news and than they are waving with idiotic facts…I’m mad and sad and very concerned! Yes, it is democracy where you can choose to wear mask or not,but without mask, you have to go living in woods or deserts or hills, where you can’t do harm to other people!
    We’ve had first quarantine in Europe (maybe even world,I’m not sure,but the word quarantine has its roots from here),in Dubrovnik (than called Ragusa), in 1377.,there was implemented the isolation period (for new arrivals to the city,because of plague)to thirty days,than to forty days…..and see people now…

  3. Yes , you could just despair sometimes . Our world here is equally crazy , perhaps more so . We have the Brexit effect added in , causing unnecessary shortages which are getting ridiculous. But you have enough depressing stuff to think about without our mind blowingly stupid government. Then there’s my older sister who emigrated to S Africa fifty years ago who believes horse wormer is safer than the vaccine . I don’t know if she’s going senile or just had too much sunshine .
    I agree the seasonal switch of clothes is usually a pleasure but not so much when very few of the clothes have actually been worn due to our curtailed lives & if the anti vaxxers have their way things won’t improve . I don’t want to be an angry , grumpy old woman for the rest of my life so I’m choosing not to soak up the news as I used to do .
    On the bright side I’m almost through my first audio book which I’ve resisted for a long time & I’m enjoying it far more than I expected . The book is The Salt Path by Raynor Winn who’s experiences have been far harder than any of mine & she’s managed to keep her sanity . I close my eyes & I’m there with her & her beloved husband battling along the SW coastal path of England . I’ve walked stretches of the Cornwall path in the past & it’s so hard . Then I open my eyes & I’m on the sofa in my cosy home – feeling a very lucky person despite the madness swirling around us . The book is read by Anne Reid ( Last Tango In Halifax ) which is really adding to the experience , such an expressive voice . So there’s always books to soothe us Sue ( that’s quite a tongue twister )

    1. Agree with everything you have said, Wendy, about changing my wardrobe. What have I worn, really? 🙂 My DD lives in England right now, and the shortages over there make me very nervous…especially food and diapers. So far they seem ok. Fingers crossed. Also, I’ve been meaning to read that book and I love Ann Reid in Last Tango…thanks for the recommendation.

    2. Oh, I love Anne Reid. Wasn’t Last Tango in Halifax marvelous? That’s where I first saw the actress Nicola Walker. Stu and I just finished watching the last episode of the latest season of Unforgotten. So good! Such smart television… unlike the people who want to take horse wormer. Ha.

      1. DD = dear daughter. 🙂 And we too absolutely loved Unforgotten. Now we’re into Endeavour, which was apparently on Masterpiece but we had never seen it before.

  4. i share your frustration. the anti mask anti vax fiasco is really just taking off in australia and i have days when i despair of the world. so many people think information from some nutter on facebook is more valid than serious doctors and scientists who have studied for many years. the politicising of mask wearing and vaccination is particularly hideous and elements of the media also seem to be driving the narrative to suit their agenda at the cost of peoples lives

  5. Pat from Wisconsin

    As a psychologist, I used to asked depressed clients to take a break from country music if they are depressed.For the duration of the pandemic, I have implored clients to limit their news consumption to 30 minutes per day. Or Less. It has been helpful! It is going to be really hard to get anyone to run for school board in the future. I apologize on behalf of the country.
    I love that green sweater and wish it came in more colors!

  6. Thirty minutes a day is all I can endure of TV news. I limit my consumption to only certain channels and specific broadcasters. I am sure each generation deals with madness and chaos which breeds anxiety and fear…Nazi Germany and WWII for my parents. We seem hell bent on destroying ourselves this time…internally. Values, morales, and a collective sense of community are gone. I walk, clean and turned my closet a week and a half ago! Now the weather has changed with 80 for the high and I’m digging out some summer tees to cope. Faith is grounding me. I am drawing upon that and focusing on small pleasures-a good cup of coffee, a good night’s sleep and sunshine/unexpected warm weather.

  7. I absolutely agree with you, our world has gone crazy. As a former educator I truly feel for present teachers. The idea of teaching has been taken away with controversy and test driven classroom mandates. Additionally, as a Home Economics teacher I am saddened that everyday living skills have become non-existent and unimportant.
    Our world has become so angry and I blame our news media and politicians. What examples they set!
    Thanks for letting me rant, I am with you!

  8. We don’t have cable TV, so no ongoing news in this house. The way things work best for me is , sounds cliched, is be in the moment where all the other stuff happening is not here. It’s in our thinking. I redirect my thinking. Also, I have a cute dog who goes on awesome walks with me.
    Love the video. I was an educator for 33 years and parental insanity has been building up for years. Perhaps the pendulum will swing back when educators are paid better, and not seen as public servants.

    Enjoy your Fall season in Canada!

  9. Clothes-loving retired teacher here. I have the same husband/tv news watching problem. I actually do wear my earbuds a lot. I listen to audiobooks.
    There is a rhyming expression in Spanish ‘pena ajena’. It means embarrassment from afar. It’s when someone does something that makes you cringe. These days I feel much pena ajena at what some people in my country are doing.

  10. Oh, I definitely hear you, sister! I’ve been reading more than my share of mystery novels lately (I know, books about murder shouldn’t really constitute escape reading, but I know you know 😉 . . . But I’ve also just finished Daša Drindić’s novel Trieste (because Dottoressa has me wanting to read more books by Croatian writers) — “documentary fiction” about an old woman remembering the holocaust. I won’t try to say anymore about it here, except that to come out of that book and then see the news clip about the mask-protesters in Dawson Creek complaining of “tyranny” and calling the RCMP officers who were escorting them off the premises in handcuffs. . . .Well, it was worth watching that maddening bit of nonsense to see and hear one of the officers get so frustrated with the ridiculous nature of the taunts that he walked back to the heckler and began to educate him about what happened to Jews in the holocaust. Indignant that the Covidiot would dare to equate mask-wearing with death camps, he finished by delivering this line: “You putting a mask on to cover your unbrushed teeth is not the same as what happened to Jews.”
    He really deserves a “mic drop” there, don’t you think?
    Except that I also have to comfort myself with a return to wardrobe chat and say that I’m very glad the hoodie gets to stay out and play a bit longer — I was admiring it in your IG pic the other day and actually starting thinking how much I could use a similar garment in my carry-on later this month. . . . very curious to see it with your tweed jacket.
    Oh, and have to ask: when you were at Shirley U, you must have been able to challenge the Cute Teacher Tees and Leggings 101 courses, yes? I suspect they would have asked you, instead, to teach an advanced level Teacher Style? Maybe give the occasional Pro-D mini-course? Best heels for standing at a whiteboard? Outfits Guaranteed to Keep you Smiling as you Mark Essays?

    1. Thanks so much for “covidiot” — made me laugh out loud, a welcome release in these frustrating times!

    2. I’m glad you mentioned the Canadian examples of stupidity, Frances. I am currently writing the syllabus for “Best heels for standing at a whiteboard.” Ha. I noticed the leggings comment too. Eckk. Let’s leave the leggings at home people!

  11. Superb piece, echoing my thoughts on all subjects. As a retired educator, I loved the video! (Very happy to be retired at this time!) Daily I despair that so few seem to understand that in a pandemic taking care of each other is the most patriotic thing we can do.

  12. I haven’t posted here in a long time but am compelled to add that we shut off tv news completely and are feeling much better – plus we’ve been given the gift of more time to do positive and enjoyable things.
    And Sue, it’s been years, but the movie Gods and Monsters is still waiting for you!

  13. Ontario born and bred, now living in the US and I despair EVERY. SINGLE. DAY day at the hate, anger and stupidity on display. I could live to be a 120 and never understand how some people’s brains work or more accurately don’t. I also don’t know how we’ll ever stuff the toothpaste back into the tube as I don’t anticipate this ugliness will go away.

  14. Sue, you’re preaching to the choir. I have been on my soap box for a while now saying…if you don’t learn from history you’re doomed to repeat the same mistakes. Why, why, this virus was politicized by the media I will never know. The one thing I do know is, starting school as a small child, one had to get their vaccines first. It was the same for my children. Getting your shots was just something that was done, part of the order. That’s what’s missing in this whole pandemic…order. On a lighter note, thanks for mentioning Butter tarts in your last post. I have been IMing my cousin back and forth, neither of us can find Granny’s recipe, but she used Pillsbury ‘s and made some for Canada’s Thanksgiving this weekend, said they came out great. Happy Holidays Sue, thanks for your wonderful posts.

  15. You echoed the feelings in my heart in this post…retired teacher, 35 years elementary/middle. So frustrated with mask rage!!!! The video lifted me a I laughed out loud! Thank you!

  16. I hear you … there are times when selling up and moving to an acreage to get away from people has a lot of appeal. I’m not sure whether the world is getting crazier or whether we just hear more about the craziness with 24/7 news and all that other stuff masquerading as “news”. I’ve become more deliberate in what I read/watch: still try to be aware and challenge my thinking but also to limit, well you said it best, all that stupidity. By the way, those Paul Green boots are awesome. I quite like the look. (Formerly of Ottawa and now in Winnipeg)

    1. As well as limiting my own watching of the news, I am now banning discussion of it by Hubby. That’s why he golfs, I tell him, to be able to vent to the guys.

  17. Loved the video. My oldest grandson is in university, previously wanting to be a teacher, and yet now he is changing his courses and his mind regarding his future. I feel so bad for that generation. My husband told me to stop watching the news. My blood pressure would go way up and the frustration would last for hours, so, I check out Escape to the country and Escape to the Chateau and other relaxing brain relief. I have even become my mother and am a loyal Jeopardy watcher lately. Relaxing and informative, who knew.
    You are so right, clothes and colours and style are the best remedy for me as well, and have started to reread some of my style books. Very calming and distracting. Still looking for new ways to wear the fall clothes that are replacing the summer closet and keeping the scarves handy to try new ideas. It may be superficial to some, but for me sanity is my goal when those around me are, as you say STUPID!!. Many thanks to you for the sanity that you provide as well, I so enjoy seeing you in my inbox. ( and the wonderful other commenters )

  18. Like you, more a snapshot of the news makes me crazy and depressed. I watched a county Board of Commissioners hearing last month live wherein they brought in the Director of the Health Department to explain why he instituted a mask mandate and gave all the statistics that backed him. Then they opened the floor to comments and for almost five hours (!!!) each person got two minutes to vent. It was NUTS. I couldn’t watch all of it. People can find proof for any whackadoodle theory they want online now. And a woman who ranted against masks and vaccines at a local school board meeting (a nurse!) and had quite an online following died of Covid last week. Honestly, I want to have sympathy for these people, but it’s tough. And now her 13 yo son will have to go forward without a mom. Sad.

    On a brighter note, I LOVE that sweater on you. And your hair is looking great. I find reading novels that help me escape to another space helpful in avoiding despair. And I have had my booster and a flu shot. Just trying to keep my corner of the world clean.

    1. Oh…I can imagine that hearing. And people reply as if they have not heard what they’ve been told. Probably because they haven’t really heard it.

  19. I echo everyone who is managing their news consumption more carefully. I want to stay informed and curious, but I now ask myself a few questions before I take a deep dive into the news. Is there an agenda here, i.e. is the headline or initial info designed to inflame? Is it important that I understand the story in detail? Can I do anything about what I’m responding to? It’s getting easier to spot triggering language and avoid it. No news source is immune these days. It’s a minefield.

  20. I worked with a fantastic psychiatrist for several years who specialized in depression…our group was talking one day about some spectacular news occurrence when he dropped the bomb..He never watched the news nor did he read a paper! I asked him if he checked the weather and he said his wife did because….Ottawa. He said people prone to depression will often focus on the ‘negative’ and blow it up, OWN it as it were, which has a bad effect on them. Not watching news was his way of claiming ignorance so he did not have to discuss with patients so they could let go of their ‘ownership’ of the negative issue. I started following his lead, listening to instrumental music instead (haha NOT country!) I did not miss the updates…as the good doctor noted “If I NEED to know someone will tell me then I can decide if it’s something worth knowing.”
    I think “NEED TO KNOW” is the best way of approaching the situation. I can definitely advise that leaving news channels on as background ‘noise’ is not good for our mental health. Sue ask your husband to turn it off or watch it on his computer with headphones if. he really ‘needs to know’.
    I also want to point out that the USA situation is awful. I have nephews in NJ & CA that I have not seen in person in almost two years ( and neither has their Mother) As Canadians we need to be cautious about commenting on the inferno to the south when Alberta’s health care system is imploding, anti maskers/vaxxers are threatening health care workers, folks are dying with Covid and literally denying with their last breaths that they have it. Also former ‘safe havens’ like New Brunswick are dealing with outbreaks and are looking at a ‘braker’ this weekend and possibly for the next two weeks. Because….Thanksgiving is this weekend in Canada.
    It all looks like something Danté might have written doesn’t it? Sitting here in one of the most beautiful countries in the world, with government stability and health care and social safety nets I am most grateful I am not elsewhere. There is much to weep for but always, always be grateful.
    I have turned to books more and more and am delving back into Alice Hoffman as I could use a little magic. Also Elizabeth Strout who has been discussed here before. She is new to me but I am loving her books.
    Maybe escape this weekend with James Bond, the last one for Daniel Craig.

    1. As Canadians we are certainly not immune to the kind of stupidity I talk about in the post. I met with some of that when I was home in the summer. Mum is still in hospital as I write this and the hospitals in NB have closed their doors as of today to visitors. Unless my niece can be registered as a “designated caregiver” Mum will have a lonely Thanksgiving.

  21. It’s awful to watch the news, I agree, and I mostly skip it even though my husband, like yours, avidly watches each evening.
    On another note, loved the teacher education video.
    I taught high school art and yearbook for several years and took my personal days every month. I had an excellent supervising instructor in school who taught us great classroom management skills, including “never to smile until Thanksgiving”.

    Since I got my teaching credential at the age of 44 I soon learned I would not be able to last until retirement so left after 4 years to complete a M.A. as an art therapist to work with individuals and small groups. I loved my students and helping them to learn about art and use their creativity was a blessing.

    1. I identified with so much of that video. The person who photocopies 500 copies to get ready for next month when the rest of us want to copy a test for next period. Ha. I learned a lot from more experienced teachers when I first started, but I never agreed with the “don’t smile until Thanksgiving” idea. Especially for juniors who are finding high school scary enough without a scary looking teacher. 🙂

  22. I stopped watching TV entirely before the orange idiot inhabited the White House. Have not missed it, but even reading news headlines these days (national and international) is often enough to make my brain explode. My second grade GS has been quarantined twice in less than six weeks of school–and that is in a school system with mandated masking. He is the only one at his classroom table (of 4) who hasn’t gotten sick. But each time DD has to find a place to get him tested so he won’t miss more than a few days of school at a time. Of course, the crazies absolutely lose their mind when their child must be quarantined. My DD, when picking her son up from school, actually had the school principal come out and personally thank her for being so kind about the situation. It is not easy for my DD as she works FT in a demanding job but she understands the pressures schools are under. Evidently, the principal, school nurse and teachers have been screamed at and abused by the “unbelievers” (aka – the ones who believe there is no such thing as Covid).

    Then again, a 3rd grade teacher (in another local school) had all her students take off their masks and then posted a picture of them and herself on FB. A few days later when a parent found out about it, she called the principal to see what was going on. He walked down the to classroom and found that neither the teacher nor students had on masks. He told everyone to put them on. They did, but then he decided to check the class again 20 minutes later. You guessed it, teacher had told everyone to take off their masks. You simply can’t fix stupid…or arrogant.

    1. I am aghast at the behavior of the third grade teacher. Then again, one of our local nurses was featured on national TV for her refusal to get vaccinated, even though it means she’ll be fired. I wonder who she thinks will hire her without a vaccination.

  23. Mary Lou Hartman

    I completely agree with your post and appreciate the insights of your commenters. I enjoyed the video. I’ve had to avoid any news for my mental health. I am especially concerned about the message that the angry parents are sending to their children who will be our future leaders! They are certainly not learning how to listen or how to make decisions that benefit the common good. I was a polio pioneer when the Salk vaccine first came out and if parents at that time responded the way parents are responding now we’d still be battling polio. I appreciate your post and everyone who responds because it helps me to realize that I am not alone in my response to this situation. I’m focusing on books, fashion and spending time outdoors. Thank you!- Mary Lou

    1. I too grew up with the Polio virus causing lots of trauma and heartache. I did not learn to swim until College days because they closed the pools,etc. every summer or a coach contacted it,etc.I have actually enjoyed the forced”stay at home” .gotten lots of reading Done. Could not go back to teaching again, As much as I loved it.Too many other outside complications from the commuities and other entities inserting opinions,etc. for me any more. Not sure how my children do it It is so much easier to just let the world go by. Stay safe and healthy!

  24. Oh, my what a discussion! Thanks, Mary, you are right. “You simply can’t fix stupid…or arrogant.” And Marie, “Parental insanity has been building up for years.” Yup! And, Noreen’s comment about “some nutter on facebook…” is spot on. Thanks, Sue for starting this thread. I retired in 2019 after 40 years of teaching but I try to keep in touch with my colleagues and thank them for their continued dedication. I stopped watching the news completely after the January 6th insurrection. If something catches my ear when my husband watches the news, I might wander into the TV room. Otherwise I just ask if anything monumental happened that I need to know about. I am so much happier now. Unfortunately, I have found a new thrift store and I have gone overboard purchasing clothing donated from an apparently wealthy lady in my size. Lots of beautiful wool and magnificently tailored pieces. So, that means I have been sorting out my low-end pieces (darn!) and I will be donating them at some point soon. And that green hoodie is the perfect transitional piece. Fall clothing colors can be so dull sometimes. Carol in VT

  25. Not sure I can address the political issues without becoming crazed, so to get right to the outfit…
    I love your outfit! It all goes together perfectly, and it suits you so well. The colors fit your hair and your skin. The shape of each item is perfect on your body. The style reflects your personality (at least as I know it) and your lifestyle. You have created a perfect outfit! So who cares whether it looks like fall?
    Yes, I can understand the desire for a change. When I lived in Miami many years ago, the lack of seasonal change drove me nuts. But really, you can have change without embracing typical fall colors… colors that so many of us don’t look good in.
    You really nailed it when you bought that hoodie, the catalyst for the look. So why complain that it looks like spring?
    It looks like you. So wear it with joy and hang the season!

  26. I love that look, and wore it a few times this year during our winter. I would never have thought of it before seeing it on you.
    I have lost tolerance for anti vaxers and anti maskers, and sometimes I am quite vocal in telling someone to put a mask on ( the law).

  27. There is nothing wrong with the jacket or the hoodie….both should stay in circulation all Fall and Winter. The way you mix them will of course change. You are correct that the hoodie needs your dark green blazer when the weather finally gets cooler….the navy jacket just needs a Fall or Winter colour underneath
    I suspect it was your over-all frustration with the anti mask people that had you feeling “off” not your navy/green combo which was just fine for the weather that actually feels quite warm for Fall

    1. The jacket has to go… no room in my closet once my fall jackets are unpacked. But I’ll be all the more excited to see it again in the spring. 🙂

  28. Thanks for your rant. It helps to know others are fed up with stupidity. I don’t ever recall a doctor or a dentist complaining about having to wear a mask, long before Covid. I’m guessing these same people would yell if their surgeon refused to wear a mask during an operation.
    My DD is a teacher and has two young children–to say she is petrified of Covid going through her family of four, even though she and her husband are vaccinated, is an understatement. She’ll be signing up her kids for vaccinations as soon as they are available.
    And then there are the idiots who compare mask mandates to the Holocaust. Don’t even get me started. My father, his siblings, and parents made it out of Nazi Austria; most of the extended family was murdered in the camps.
    Okay, thanks for letting me rant. On to books…..
    I read two wonderful ones by TJ Klune–Under the Whispering Door and The House in the Cerulean Sea. They have an element of fantasy to them, which I usually don’t care for, but they are heartwarming and hopeful and highly recommended.

    1. My friends who are still teaching and who have kids in school feel the same. They are bombarded by potential covid contact on so many fronts.

  29. I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately. When Covid started, I began to watch the news every morning and night. I felt I must to have control of the situation. As time went by, I became more dependent on making sure to watch the news, to the exclusion of other activities. Not good. My feeling is that I need to wean myself out of watching, and after three weeks away on vacation I was out of the habit. I still watch most days, but hope to be “over it” before this year ends. I need my peace of mind, and time to read and listen to music and watch sunsets! Much healthier pursuits.

  30. Could not agree more with your comments. Civility, compassion and common sense seem to be in short supply with anti maskers.

    On another note I wanted to mention that Anne Reid, mentioned by Wendy in her comments here, is a most delightful and interesting guest on Desert Island Discs. It is available on podcast.

    1. Yes Sue , you’re right . I enjoyed her Desert Island Discs too . I’m working my way through the old episodes on iPlayer & it’s another good way to escape bad news

  31. Someone I know said the pandemic has diminished their trust in the good sense and kindness of others, which I found incredibly sad.
    That bright green cashmere hoodie looks fantastic on you and it goes so well with navy – a yin and yang combination. You’re getting out your woollens and I’m dusting off my patent leather Birkenstock sandals!

  32. Today’s conversation has done my soul good! I was beginning to think I was losing the plot by being angry and upset about anything and everything. Seems I am not alone.
    We are now on our fifth lockdown and we are seven or eight weeks in – I lose track. We haven’t seen our daughters and their families for nearly two years as they live in Australia and we are in NZ. A mere three hour flight away.
    Last week a self proclaimed bishop from a local happy clappy church held a massive protest march in the city to protest lockdown, vaccinations and anything else that he objected to. So he and his moronic followers have now put so many others at risk. Seems covid isn’t real and God will protect.
    Added to that we have biker gangs escaping boundary controls to collect “taxes” from those who owe them money so the latest outbreak is spreading. Give me strength!!
    As a retired science teacher with over 40 years in the classroom I feel for the current teachers. Teaching their subject seems to be the least of their concerns as they battle with all the social education required of them plus all the politicizing of everything. What are parents doing? Glad I am out of it although I worry about my grandchildren.
    I am about to switch my wardrobe over to spring/summer shortly. Looks as if most of my winter clothes other than jeans, trackpants and a few woolly jerseys haven’t been worn as we have been nowhere. If summer is the same I could reduce clothes to a couple of small shelves!
    Thank you ladies for the opportunity to vent a bit.

  33. I get all my news from reading newspapers online – much easier to keep the blood pressure down! And it helps to live in a country with a lower level of covidiots. 🙂
    The nighttime temperatures are inching cooler here, but daytime is still warm (currently 24 degrees at 4:49 pm), so I haven’t made the wardrobe shift yet. I just remember to carry a scarf with me everywhere and I’m good.
    Although I did realize yesterday that my wardrobe is not as organized as it could be – I need to spend an afternoon sorting through things and rearranging – when I unpacked some items weren’t put with the rest of their siblings and it’s causing me difficulty. Perhaps that will be on my weekend agenda.

    1. Hope you are enjoying Portugal, Carol. I may hit you up with travel questions at some point. Hubby and I are compiling a destination list if we ever decide to travel abroad again. Portugal is on it. Good luck rearranging. One of my favourite activities. Ha.

  34. When I was 11, my parents took us from Wisconsin to visit our cousins in Ontario. I wanted to stay in Canada. I didn’t know why I wanted to stay there, I just did. It must have been a gut feeling.
    We spent our July 2019 vacation in Nova Scotia – Cape Breton Island followed by Lunenburg – and have thought seriously about moving there, although we both don’t enjoy cold weather. We thought less about it when the Orange Oligarch (Mango Mussolini, Persimmon Potentate) lost the election, although with the way things are going – well, let’s just say that my husband is still forwarding me Zillow listings for NS.
    One advantage to the pandemic is that I now know that I can teach singing online from anywhere. It’s not ideal for some people, but for others, it worked fine.

  35. As an American I admire the Canadians who have handled this pandemic as it should be handled- a health crisis unlike many Americans who want it be a a political issue. I have found it so disheartening to see how many fellow Americans just don’t care about others.
    I too have wanted to move somewhere with no news or internet, wish Canada didn’t get so cold!

  36. Such a wonderful discussion here, Sue! I also stopped watching the news and reading my local newspaper on a daily basis a month into the pandemic. Living in Tennessee among hordes of people who have lost all sense and sensibility is a huge challenge. Hearing your lovely followers are kindred spirits is uplifting!

    The CNN smart phone app I use daily to check the news headlines about 3 times a day and briefly scan the ones of import now. Dr. Anthony Fauci of the US National Health Institute and the US Center for Disease Control are the medical expert sources for guidance I follow. At 68, I continue staying at home because few people wear masks here and the complete breakdown of civility of my fellow Tennesseans.

    “Call the Midwife” series on PBS-TV just returned this week, along with “Seaside Hotel”. “Last Tango in Halifax”… binge-watching all seasons were a wonderful distraction in 2020! Thank goodness for PBS TV programming! Now if only Julian Fellowes would get cracking on a new creation in his inimitable style!

    Which reminds me… not once in all my years as a student in public schools in Kansas in the 1960-1970 era did I witness a student disrespect a teacher or a parent interfere with administration. I adored my teachers and learning! Times have changed so drastically and tragically. The school protests now are outrageous.

    I’m with you- fashion distraction is balm for the soul! According to the forecast, next week will call for the cashmere cozies to be released from their lavender/cedar safe place and lift the spirit. I recommend a gentle Cedar Lavender cashmere/wool detergent for their handwashing by The Laundress company.

    1. I have read about The Laundress website, Nan. Thanks for reminding me. Here’s to PBS television and British mysteries. What would we do without them?

  37. One of the best new habits I’ve acquired is due to you. The post on small hauls came at the perfect time. I followed your cue and culled my fall and winter wardrobe. Most importantly I’ve only ordered a very few better quality items. I just had to order the Everlane cashmere sweater that looks so great on you.
    Now I have a more curated, much smaller closet with things I actually love to wear. What I need to learn now is how to take care of these things so they last. Do you have any advice on how you keep your cashmere moth free and all your things looking their best? Thanks and stay healthy, sue

    1. I hope you liked your Everlane sweater. My sister is going to order one as well. She loves green. I do not have any advice about storing cashmere. But I have never had an issue with moths. I just wash or dry clean everything before I pack it away.

  38. I missed this post while I was out of town last week. Hope you see these October 10th comments. I have read every single comment and the replies and interjections! I’m with all of you! I have the same observations and same questions as every commenter here.
    Technology/social media has opened a Pandora’s Box of stupidity, lies, and bullying. I fear that loyal civil servants with integrity will quit or not run for office. Can you imagine being an Election Official in Georgia who receives death threats for doing his job well? End of rant.
    Enjoyed the Teacher Video. She is hilarious. I’m about to bring out The Look again with the grandkids as I help with their Earth Science unit. I told them that Grandma in the classroom is NOT the same Grandma who loves to cook their favorites. They laughed and then I unleashed The Look. It still works!!
    Enjoy your Thanksgiving today! I am thankful for this post!
    Charlene H

  39. I live in an anti mask wearing community. It is ridiculous. My husband who is in the radio communication business has had to sit in school board meetings where he has been afraid-especially because he is wearing a mask. Teachers, secretaries, superintendents, principals and bus drivers have been physically threatened. Fortunately, I teach in a private school and a mask wearing policy was set early on. Pretty much what was said is…if we want to stay in person we need to wear mask. Parents fearing that they are going to have to stay home and do virtual learning with their child are on board.

    1. I guess I don’t understand why mask-wearing has become such a hot-button issue. I love that your school has made the choice so clear for everyone. Good for them.

  40. Oh boy. You’ve pushed a button. I’ve been the recipient of nasty looks and loud complaints about “doing what others tell me to do” (i.e. wear a mask in a store). I’m so wound up about what is going on in my country and I’ve been wound up for some time. I worry about what is going to happen going forward (beyond the 700K+ people who have died, as if that is not enough to make us do the right thing).
    Time to take a deep breath and think about something else.
    I loved Last Tango in Halifax too. I need to listen to The Salt Path.
    I love your hoodie/blazer combination.
    Be well. Keep calm and finish your closet transition.

  41. Mary of Pittsburgh

    Thanks for writing so well about the frustration and disbelief so many of us feel about the idiocy that makes news these days. I’ll meet you at the cabin (after I organize my closet). You bring the wine!

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