Friday, February 8, 2008


I have designated a friend's blog as the Quilting Addict. I decided she was addicted when she took a couple of quilting blocks to work on during a sailing trip among the Greek islands. How else to explain even thinking about quilting while sailing about that beautiful part of the world? I was pleased to learn that she put down the needle and looked about her.
There are certainly worse habits than creating colorful and practical fabric coverings and wall hangings for oneself and others to enjoy, a productive occupation indeed. I spent 30 years or so chained to cigarettes, only quitting when I developed breathing problems. I only produced a cough and some wheezing.
I do have several less unhealthy addictions, though. One major one is book collecting. I have been trying to quit for some time, since I have run out of shelf space. The major part of this obsession involves old picture books, and children's literature I enjoyed when I was growing up, books I used to get out of the library but didn't own. I have found almost all of the ones I have been looking for: E. Nesbit's wonderful fantasies (which also inspired J.K. Rowling), Lois Lenski's historical novels, Lucy Perkins' the Twins books (The Dutch Twins, The Chinese Twins, The Cave Twins, etc.), Noel Streatfield's Shoes books (Ballet Shoes, Circus Shoes, Tennis Shoes, etc.), Frances Hodgson Burnett's Secret Garden and Little Princess, Enid Bagnold's National Velvet, Hull and Whitlock's The Far Distant Oxus, and many more. I also have a library of books about books, especially children's books. I have bought some of the newere picture books because I love the illustrations. Every year in Akron there is an antiquarian book fair. I have had to quit going. When I first started collecting, most of these book were 25 to 50 cents. Now they are more like 25 to 50 dollars and I just don't have room, and I have pretty much found all the ones that mattter, along with some adult books which are no longer in print, which I like to reread once in a while. I have reached a point where I need to start downsizing, culling is hard.
Another addiciton is socks. I love socks. It started casually when I saw some interesting socks in a Cleveland shop called Sox Appeal. Alas, it is no more, but I did find a great one in Pittsburgh last year. England has The Sock Shops where I have found aome of my most colorful ones. I just found a huge hole in one of my favorite pair of Brit socks, unfortunately not mendable. They were royal blue with bright yellow sunflowers on them. Very jolly. Kohl's also has a great sock department. I do have staid black socks in case I have to go to a funeral - modestly embellished with bright green frogs or red cats.
I used to collect shoes, but now that I am so ancient, my feets hurt unless I wear clogs or Crocs, of which I have some very colorful specimens which clash with the socks.
That is the sad story of my own addictive behavior. I am not producing anything this way, but I am not hurting myself or others.

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