Saturday, March 1, 2008

Book and Buttons

Last night I finished reading Year of Wonders: A novel of the Plague by Geraldine Brooks. At times during the reading of this I had mixed feelings about the book but the more I read it the more the story drew me in. The subject is unpleasant and you know right from the get-go that the outcome isn't going to be great. A lot of people are going to die in a most unpleasant way. The story is based in fact. The people of Eyam, a village in Derbyshire, England voluntarily quarantined themselves from all surrounding towns in 1665 when they were beset with plague after an intinerant tailor brought in a tainted bolt of cloth. No one was allowed to leave or come into the town. At great personal sacrifice these people prevented plague from spreading to neighboring villages and kept the death toll down outside of their village. Provisions from the outside world were left at "the Boundary Stone" on the outskirts of the village. What happens to the villagers during this year of tragedy, mainly how they react to one another, death, and life is what draws one into the story. I highly recommend this book and thank Rowan for her posting on the real town. Comments from that posting led me to put this book on my reading list. Two weeks ago I went to a used book sale at our local nature center and picked it up for $1.

I absolutely love a Saturday when I have no place to be at a certain time. The phone is not ringing. My husband is at work, doing research at the university. I putter around in the house watering my African Violets and other plants, perusing a few catalogs and magazines, tidying up the house, and going into town on two errands. I needed to post a package at the post office and amazingly it was not crowded on this Saturday morning. My next stop was our town square which is surrounded by very interesting shops. My goal was to visit the antique shops to see if I could find old buttons to use on knitting projects. I hit the jackpot immediately by finding an antique Ball Jar filled with buttons for just $12. I am in the process of sorting by color and size. There are mother-of-pearl buttons and shirt buttons that will be perfect for baby sweaters. I don't think they would have to match completely on a sweater as long as the size works with the buttonhole.
The red corkscrew-like button is the most unusual I have found so far. I've only delved into the first 1/4 of the jar. There were actually two jars at the shop but this one had the button card with 11 mother of pearl buttons so I chose it.

It is about lunchtime now. I'm going to heat up the cauliflower soup I made for dinner last night. We ate it with freshly made whole wheat bread. It was delicious and the kind of soup that will taste even better today.

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