It’s that time of year…

September 8, 2009

It’s that time of year again… back to school shopping! Parents everywhere are rushing around to buy the correct size binder and protractor, and the latest kicks and backpacks. Kicks… did I spell that right? Is that what kids are still calling them (shoes, for those who are still scratching their heads at my outdated slang).

I still remember back to school shopping (from the kid perspective). But for me, it was usually school clothing/birthday present. My most distinct memory was fifth grade (ok maybe fourth-I don’t know.  It’s been a while). I remember it like yesterday. I went to Caldor (remember them?) with my mother. I convinced her that I REALLY wanted that plaid skirt and matching top with the scottie-dog on it. I SWORE I would wear the knee socks and those shoes. SO WHAT if I had not worn anything but stretch pants and over-sized t-shirts with dirty blue canvas shoes over ankle socks for the past two years. I was SO gonna wear those, I insisted, as I blew the hair that eternally hid my left eye briefly from my face – just to make my point. Right. That skirt was COOL (rad? awesome? what did we say in the late 80’s?). As I’m sure you may have guessed, this outfit probably never faded from too many washes. And I was NOT too cool for school.

Thankfully, those days have started to fade from my memory. And as I’m not yet school shopping for my own children, this season and it’s sales are a bit lost on me. But the good news is that since I’m not shopping for #2 pencils and 2″ three ring binders, I get to shop for much more interesting things! Like the grown-up version of the backpack. And as it turns out, I’m currently in the market for a new bag. My old “work” bag has had a few too many lunches spilled into it, and is about to graduate (or perhaps, retire). I’m looking for one that holds a legal pad, and all those other items that I drag to work with me every day. Ohhhh – look at this one! Handmade Jaquard Bag from Ten Thousand Villages – $48. Pretty! 

Jaquard Bag

Maybe with this one,  I’ll get to sit with the cool kids at lunchtime!


On a serious note, I have a serious Camellia sinensis addiction. To save you the trip to wikipedia: I am addicted to tea. I drink it like it’s my day job. If I could find a job where I drink it for a living, I’d quit my current job in a second and take it. To venture a guess, I probably have over two dozen types of tea sitting in my kitchen at this second (not counting the ten-or-so other teas purchased by roommates). I have them all: black, green, white, red, and herbal. Teas from countless countries and companies, leaves of  several shapes and sizes. And one with blue flowers! I drink strong malty tea in the morning, tasty tea as an afternoon pick-me-up, after lunch tea, after work tea, after dinner tea, and tea to put me to sleep. Oh, it’s a good life!

Today, I had one of those days at work that where I lost all faith in any goodness of humanity. So I cam home and immediately self-medicated with two of my favorite addictions: tea, and of course shopping. I decided to take a little internet-trip to Ten Thousand Villages, becuase where better to restore faith in humanity than a company committed to fair trade? And lots of pretty things too!


This is a handmade cream & sugar set with a woven  bamboo basket.  Sold for $28. With this, I could feel happy for three reasons: 1) it’s pretty, 2) it’s fair trade, and 3) I’d be drinking tea!