Feed Sacks are Cool and other Updates

My grandson likes to think he resembles Brick Heck (Atticis Finch) in mannerisms and looks. He does. Kinda.

I identified with the recent episode of The Middle (as defined by Wiki: an American sitcom about a working-class family living in Indiana and facing the day-to-day struggles of home life, work, and raising children.) 
Sue, while at college, explained to a roommate that she was “poor.”

She had three examples of her frugal mannerisms:

-Cutting the toothpaste tube to scrape out and make use of every last bit.

-Finishing the shampoo, and then filling it with a little water, shaking it, and using that until it’s gone before buying more.

-Squishing bar soap remnants and slivers up to form a soap ball, then using that before grabbing a new bar.

That’s me! I do all that.

I don’t have to do those things but I’d feel guilty if I didn’t. Those mannerisms are ingrained. Khaled Hosseini mentioned in his 2nd book about how some things niggle at you like a faucet steadily dripping in the back of the mind. Some things are really like that.

(Literally I’ve got postnasal drip but I mean) some things are ingrained and do steadily drip in the background -like brain white noise– metaphorically speaking.

Sometimes the drips are words: harmful self effacing mantras.

“You’ll still be sick when the art show rolls around.”

Or a list of to-do things.

“Ok you’ve got the paint. Time to put down the artist brushes and prioritize. These walls need a fresh coat!”

Or it can be random thoughts that niggle away-

“The colorful history of the feedsack dress is just begging to be researched in depth!”

Here’s a few photos, although I have not researched it yet. Imagine how working class farm women awaited the next feedsack design so they could save the family money and design new clothes! The feedsack companies started designing the sacks with women in mind.

I’d like to share with you a recent post by Elizabeth Stringer Keefe:

Friends, please join me at Lesley University’s Atrium Gallery for the opening reception of 3 artists, the 4th annual art exhibition featuring wildly talented autistic artists Stefanie Sacks, Kimberly Gerry-Tucker and Vito Bonanno. This year we also have a special exhibit by Dr. Temple Grandin! 100% of proceeds go directly to the artists, and the entire show is volunteer run. March 5 @ 5 PM, 1815 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge. Please share widely! ENDQUOTE
I’m honored to be in such fine company. Here are three paintings. The woman on a rock is mine. The mask and woman is Stefanie’s and the colorful abstract is Vito’s. I love the colors… The symbolism of Stefanie’s work and the graffiti feel of Vito’s.

The upcoming date looms. It ought to be a fun day. I’m going to fully enjoy it. Firstly I’ll pick up a little washer from the plumbing department for that brain drip.

I’m kidding. Attempt at humor.

Second photo: A washer assortment… I should collect them.

 Anyway I will hear Stephen Shore speak which is nice and I’m wondering what Temple Grandin’s exhibit will be.


Of course my voice may disappear and I accept it may. That’s okay. Which brings me to the sharing of this selective mutism related topic.

My friend Carl Sutton (I have writing in this book…)

emailed me this review:
SELECTIVE MUTISM IN OUR OWN WORDS is a book about Selective Mutism (SM) by the experts in the condition: those directly affected by it. It gives a voice to people who have all too often found themselves silent, thereby filling a gap in the SM resources currently available. The authors and the many contributors to the book share their firsthand experiences of SM, givingunique insights into this often misunderstood condition. Their words are powerful, often heartbreaking, and at times uplifting. They convey the frustrations of those who want to talk but find they can’t; and the psychological distress and physiological symptoms caused by this socially isolating and disabling condition.


This book is essential reading for anyone coping with SM, and for professionals seeking to understand the condition. It highlights that SM affects people throughout their lives and is not a childhood-only disorder; SMaffects individuals in many different settings and is not a school-only issue; and SM in children is rarely the result of neglect or abuse. SM is caused by extreme anxiety and is not a choice, shyness, or stubbornness. In SM anxiety manifests itself through the inability to talk and in other ways such as panic attacks and frozen facial expressions. The book makes the case for tackling SM early on in life, when it is a concern to the adults in the child’s life, but is not yet an issue for the child themselves


The most important messages of this book are firstly that SM is treatable, and secondly that with determination – and preferably support – people with SM can live fulfilled lives. Topics explored in the book include SM and how it develops; the educational, family and life experiences of those with SM; SM and Asperger Syndrome and learning difficulties; parents and professionals’ experiences. Perhaps the most moving chapter concerns how different life would have been without SM. In Kimberly’s words ‘Without SM, I would’ve spoken up when I was being wronged, I would’ve had more opportunities, and less abuse. No screaming in my head that dissipates like smoke, unacknowledged. I could’ve been HEARD’. ‘Yeah, without SM, I’d be that person. But I’m this person and that’s very OKAY.’ ENDQUOTE

It’s lovely to read such positive feedback. I know both Carl and I and those in our tribe put ourselves into it. It’s a topic dear to us.

And now a hopeful happy moment if you’ve read this far, readers…

Molecules of myosin dragging endorphins. This is what happy really looks like. I could watch this all day! In fact after one watches the video at the above link, it brings to mind that “happy” truly is a balancing act!

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