Wednesday, April 20, 2022

Tools Are For Using

 Have you ever had something occur
multiple times within a relatively short period of time
so much so that you took notice?
Well, over the past couple weeks, 
there has been a trend that actually irks me a little
(or a lot but I'm being nice here.)
I had a birthday recently and the day of my birthday,
Hubby took me to a Vintage Peddlers event
and a couple estate sales.
This was nice on multiple accounts.
First, everyone seemed so happy to be back "out."
These were the first of such events in two years.
So many smiles that are no longer hidden.
It felt good to hear clearly and see those smiles.
Secondly, I did find a couple goodies.
I've been on a book fetish for about the past month
and found 4 or 5 new to me books.
"Household Manual" is C. 1874 and lists opium 
as a treatment for various ailments.  
It's intriguing, but I probably won't use that advice.
I also found a new piece of cast iron that intrigued me.
It's a Scotch pot so has a rounded bottom.

I use cast iron almost every day so it's not like it won't get used.
The rounded bottom is for porridge and broth and
things that have to be stirred constantly so they don't scorch.
While researching this, I came across a beautiful old cauldron
that was advertised as having holes already drilled in the bottom
so it was ready for planting.
They ruined it!  Blasphemy!
I already have a cauldron and have used it a couple times.
I love it and consider it a very valuable tool.

Another thing I found extremely reasonably
was this cultivator.
Never mind the feline photo bomb.
The metal is in surprisingly good condition.
As I told the lady I wanted it and was paying for it,
she said it will look lovely in a flower garden.
I minded myself and thanked her nicely.
It has a purpose!
It is actually an adjustable dual cultivator.
I've ordered new handles and will condition the metal 
when I replace the handles. 
After that, I will use it in the garden. 
It is such that I can weed on either side of a row with one pass.
Then lastly, I found a couple little old iron trivets.
I washed them and want to put little tabs on the feet prior to using them, but this is the kicker.
My own mom ~
Oh those are cute.  Are you going to hang them on the wall?
When I answered rather like a crazy woman
that they were a tool not an ornament,
and why do people want to use tools as decorations,
and maybe more people should be working and using tools
rather than decorating things.
She laughed at/with me.
(I was not mad, just in a comical rant.)

It has made me think though.
Maybe this really is part of what is wrong with today.
I am aware there are many blessings in every day.
Please don't think I am not thankful for them.
Even the above scenarios,
I am thankful they were brought to light.
Maybe, just maybe, we tend to see others
for their decorative qualities rather than their real purpose.
If we can get past the goofy hair style
or the old fashioned clothes or the way they speak,
maybe we can see the real purpose
of them as a person.
I am as guilty as the next person.
I am not into colored hair or trendy fashions
so tend to think a certain way about those who choose such.
It's no more right of me to think my way
than it would be for them to think whatever they might of me
with my silver strands standing among the others
 just like they belong there and my work clothes that even 
when clean have stains and occasional frays.
If we can put our biases on hold for a moment or two and listen to what others say or to what kindness they might mean
then we might at least get a glimpse of them as a person.
We don't have to like everybody.
With all honesty, we most certainly won't like everybody.
That's okay.
It would however, be nice if we didn't automatically
peg them to a wall, drill them, or put them out.
We can treat them as we know we should.
Even if we don't have use for their purpose,
someone might come along who will give them a handle or two
and help them live to their purpose.



  1. Interesting that you are more of an 'old soul' at your age than your mother. Am still pondering your other comments on differences and bias. Wonderful, thoughtful and inciteful post for sure.

  2. During the shutdown I decided to embrace the gray. I am pure white! At a recent family gathering I saw a picture of myself next to my older sister-in-law who colors I looked 10 years older. It made me pause but you are right at this point who cares. The cauldron will only rust away sadly. I use cast iron every day. I have a cultivator I have used it in the garden but find it too hard to use for my strength, so I put a pot on it in the garden. I would use the trivets we have one on our woodstove for the big pot we put on there. I love the books you purchased.
    Best not to take the advice, I think lol.

  3. What a profound thought Lady Locust.

    I think there are two elements at work: the first is simply that in this day and age, as most people do not "use" those things, they are only seen as decorations without purpose - or the purpose forgotten. Second, even if the purposes are remembered, they are seen as too "old" or valuable to be used. In a way, we have this problem in the practice of my martial art (Iaijustu). All of the wooden weapons, unsharpened swords (Iaito), and even sharpened swords for cutting (Shinken) are merely tools to be used for training. A truly valuable sword should never be used for training or cutting, but for these - that is what they are designed to do. We have to accept that as tools, they were in fact meant to be used. That was the intention of their creator.

    Kindness is the great missing thing from our culture today. It goes a long way towards making things work, even if - as you so correctly point out - it does not mean that we like everyone (I do not find that "liking" everyone is a command anywhere; I do find that kindness, understanding, and charity are). Unfortunately kindness "costs" us the ability to judge someone and may even require work on our part, which seems to be incredibly difficult in our modern world.

  4. How true and timely for me. I just brought my hubby home from a rehab after he was ill for a couple of months. It was hard seeing health care workers with outrageous hair and ink all over their arms and necks but oh what a difference their care made in our lives. I am so glad Jesus pressed on my heart to see them as they truly are...His hands in this sin filled world. Thanks for reminding us to appreciate the qualities in others not just see their differences and outwardly appearances. Asking God to bless you and yours richly.

  5. What a wonderful post! I laughed and saw myself in your indignation at how tools were not being used as they were mean to. By the way, I love all your finds! And I saw myself at the end of your post where it took a turn I wasn't expecting...but is, oh so true! I tend to judge people by how they look and not by who they are. I try not to, but I do. You wrote it so eloquently that it made me stop and really listen...stop and really look at myself in the mirror. Thanks for using your well said words to show me a better way, to challenge myself to look beyond the brightly colored hair to the person that is there.


  6. Are you calling me a tool?? ūü§£ Sorry...I couldn't resist...In these parts, being called a "tool" is a derogatory term. But yes, we are all tools...err...instruments of a much higher power although it, at times, may be difficult to discern the precise purpose of that instrument. I am a wee bit equivocal over your dismay over those who "display" tools rather than put them to use. I do use many of my older items....iron trivets, crockery, baskets, etc., etc. However, I am guilty as charged with both using old things for purposes other than their intended purpose and merely "displaying" them. To me, there is a singular beauty of an everyday item that has served other generations well and wears it years of service with grace and dignity. To hold an item that so many other hands before me can't help but summon thoughts of what their days and lives were like. And while that may not be the tool's "highest and best" use, to me, it is still a worthy purpose. Just the ramblings from my overly cranky head...but, yes, I agree wholeheartedly about not judging the human book by its cover. ~Robin~

  7. What an interesting pot! Like you, I just love the "old-fashioned" books and tools. I agree, some of their ideas are strange to us today, but the almost forgotten ways are still the way of wisdom.

  8. Agree with the person who said you're an old soul. Some people are born that way. My daughter was an old soul even while she was young and a student. I never use cast iron. Don't like how heavy the pots and pans are and don't like that you're not suppose to wash it. Old things are nostalgic and so I think that's why people like to decorate with them. That cultivator looks like it would be very hard to use. You'll have to let us know how it goes. I have some family pieces for decorating purposes, but they're not items I would use. Old singer treadle sewing machine, pretty frail. Dishes that were hand painted and with gold on them not considered healthy to use etc. But, by and large I like newer things and tend not to be a keeper.

  9. Enjoyed this post! I'm with you, tools are for using. Thirty two years ago, when Dan and I moved into our log home, I searched thrift stores and yard sales for granite ware, not to decorate with but to use. Pieces with holes or too worn out to use, I keep in the pantry to look at. Once I saw a cultivator similar to yours in a thrift store for $20.00...I didn't buy it. I've regretted that for years. I love how you write and the things you write about.

  10. Amen. I love putting old things back into use. Sometimes I use them for this that wasn't their original purpose. I loved your post. Too bad about the cauldron.

  11. I really like this ..."Maybe, just maybe, we tend to see others
    for their decorative qualities rather than their real purpose". Those are wise words indeed and something we should all pay attention to.

  12. Waving hi as I make my blog rounds.