I know what you’re thinking, that frivolous Nine Cent Girl is out having fun again. Well, yes, it’s true. But this is July after all, and if you can’t let yourself enjoy the festivities popping up here and there, well, then you need to heed my do-as-I-do-advice immediately! In reality we are all working long weekday hours, and have countless responsibilities, so enjoying a rare free day is essential for our health and well-being. On this particular Saturday, I left my To-Do-List behind, hopped on my bicycle and rode from one exhilarating event to another strictly for play. My first destination was the Stoweflake Hot Air Balloon Festival.
Summer nights are what we in the northern hemisphere live for, well at least this one does. Staying out until last light, waiting for fireflies and stars to transform the landscape, the afternoon heat to cool into sweet night, to live fully through the whole of a day. There are many jokes about the seasons in Vermont and in many respects this one is true: there is July and the other season. But, for now, at the start of this glorious month that allows for morning and night lake swims, fresh strawberries and peas, bike rides through the woods, and time to gather with friends on a hillside to listen to orchestra music, I will celebrate.
I decided to pack what I love. Those are the first words my dear friend spoke when she arrived back in Vermont after spending the winter months in the Sunshine State. She greeted me wearing white studded jeans, stylish wedge sandals, and an open cardigan that took the breeze with charm. I don’t care what Vermonters wear, she said, I’ve brought clothes that make me feel happy. Then she gave me the once over. You don’t look like Vermont! 100% true in the stereotypical sense. There’s not a Carhartt or LL Bean label in MY wardrobe. Welcome to the new Vermont, I said, where there doesn’t seem to be any fashion rules. I step to one side of ready wear but stay on the edge of costume, teetering on the fringe I feel exactly right, exactly me.
But my friend’s assumptions got me thinking. Where a person shops dictates how they look. If you shop in a box store, you tend to look like everyone else in that box, right? Luckily for me, Vermont is a place where local is plentiful, and this is as true in fashion as it is in our abundant farm to table market. Plenty of East Coast designers are showcased in our boutiques, but even if they aren’t local, they are small companies keeping their pulse on trends and using natural materials with consideration for the natural world. Shopping with this consciousness a woman can feel good creating the look she wants.
On this July day, I decided to visit three favorite, woman-owned boutiques, and see what’s on their shelves for summer. Continue reading
On June 26th I granted a radio interview through WTER Radio with Janet Garraty, the owner and creator of Go Jane News and Write It Like You Mean It. We discussed the ins and out of blogging, from setting realistic goals and deadlines to enlisting trusted friends to give honest content and editing input. But I also wanted to give aspiring writers permission to grab inspiration from where they find it and follow that passion where it leads them, and ultimately to remember that writing should be fun, right!?! Below are responses I wrote in preparation of the interview (although we did stray from this script). The whole process got me thinking about what I write, why I write, and how vital you, my reader, is, to the joy I experience as Nine Cent Girl.
The Ohio River cuts across the top of Kentucky, flowing by Louisville (at its widest and its deepest), and capturing my attention as I stroll along just about sunset. Today this river divides Kentucky from Indiana. Yesterday this river divided free states from slave states. I see history coursing past me as I face day’s end.
In today’s ever expanding world being a fifth generation anything feels remarkable. Knowing that your name, and your ancestors’ name, and theirs before them, all belong to a well-respected family institution, causes one to swell with pride. In my case this pride is compounded with the recent Christening of my namesake tug boat, and thus having an even more direct connection to this mighty fleet that has endured all the trials of the last 150 years. Being a 5th generation McAllister never felt so wonderful as when I broke a bottle across the stern of the Moira McAllister!