Finding a use and being useful and productive

Who collects? I’ve been thinking about flea markets. They’re a collecting paradise!

 I used to peruse them at least a


dozen times per summer; sometimes more. The biggest flea market in New England (The Elephant Trunk) happens to be not too far from where I live; and one can make an entire day out of a trip there. The name of the flea market itself must derive from the phrase: white elephant. Because it’s presumed; as an analogy obviously, that most people wouldn’t want to purchase let’s say a white elephant statue; but others may consider it a treasure. 

Literal white elephant:

Actually I’d like the one shown above from My son’s friend has been giving me an elephant every Christmas every year (slipper socks, figures, planters, a door knocker) and so I inadvertently collect them too along with Buddhas…

The term white elephant is not to be confused with “seeing pink elephants” when one is drunk. 

Also, the white elephant has NOTHING to do with “problems we are aware of but trying not to discuss…” Problems that loom as large as an “elephant in the room” that we cannot ignore due to their enormity. (Below image by Robert Hawke)

So is it also your pet peeve when people mix metaphors and say something like 

“we can no longer ignore the white elephant in the room.” ???

That’s a combination-an incorrect one, of two different sayings. It works though. But alas it is a big pet peeve I have. Being a word person, things like that are irksome and yet i understand in the greater scheme they are insignificant too. But I digress. 

About collecting, I cannot even recall my first collections as a child; and there were many. We collected cats irresponsibly (as a child I knew no better but learned from the experience). I’ve since discovered that my family’s collection of 20 cats, 4 dogs, 7 or 8 hamsters and a hermit crab are not uncommon in hoarding homes. 

Like I said, I learned from it and that’s what matters. One collection I had in my preteen years started with a fascination for peeling apples to see how long I could get the peels before they snapped. 

I filled yellow plastic boxes from Woolworth’s with pencil shavings; but only my longest spirals; from the pencils I carefully shaved with a little hand sharpener into long spirals…

 I actually found an artist online who makes art pictures from colored pencil crumbles. Oh dear. I may have to try this! Marta made this:

Meghan made this:

I’ve collected rocks (still do, in particular I love opal, sea glass which are not rocks at all, geodes, mother of pearl and mica), and I used to collect elves (as well as I used to make them), and wooden sailors which I’d group on shelves as if they were conversing, alongside African American figurines which I also have a lot of. The collecting once involved: cat figurines, interestingly shaped pieces of wood, frames, and wallpaper samples. 

That’s the short list. Here’s a picture of one of my treasure boxes and some of my Maine sea glass (weathered and worn smooth from shore rocks) which I had great pleasure in perusing with a 2 year old recently. For hours!


As I said in my last blog entry, I’m busy on my next book so I’ve come to the conclusion Sunday flea market excursions will have to wait for now. During the week I write. Weekends are devoted to the preparation and painting of the interior of this house. I’ve started plants. Here they are:

Those are morning glory infants right there. 

So anyway, wish me luck on getting my next book finished in a respectful and sensitive manner to all involved. It deals with such topics as child abuse, severe PTSD, mental institutions, and transgender issues. 

I hope that some of you will look forward to reading it as I believe that some of my insights are invaluable, if only in that the reader may learn from my mistakes (like I did with the childhood pet hoarding).

P.S. My father collects doorknobs. Who knew…

So that’s it for now. Life interrupts. 

Check out Meghan Maconochie’s colored pencil art from shaved bits:

Marta Altes shaving art:

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