My apologies for the delay in posting on last week's article. We returned home from Pow-Wow to our internet bandwidth being upgraded. It's great now, but last week was frustrating. Our service was off more than on.

Bill and Susie Gingras are the owners of Backwoods Survival Skills and awesome teachers. Bill made the bow and arrows we used with the kids at the Beaver Creek Family Day. He is also a skilled flint knapper. Susie is a walking encyclopedia of Indian history. They travel the Eastern Pow Wow circuit with their booth "Backwoods." If you see them at an event, stop by. You will learn something everytime.

I was getting some photos of their inventory for future articles and asked Susie if there was anything she would like me to write about. Working on a feathered hair piece for a friend of mine, she talked about how ours is a throw-away society. We tend to place little value on well-made items and settle for cheap. We know buying these items provides little benefit to our own economy. We also know they won't last and will have to be replaced. I had to agree with her, it makes no sense to choose something disposable over something that will last.

Lesson of the Elders - Use Only What is Needed

I'm in the process of downsizing, keeping only what I value. For a "pack-rat" it's a painful process. I have two new rules for shopping.

I will only purchase something made in another country if a local charity benefits from it. This one is easy, as I generally shop in charity thrift and resale stores.

This one is harder. When I buy items, a proportional amount of items in my home must be re-distributed somehow, donated, traded, gifted, etc. I did well last week, returned with 4 empty totes that had contained leather I couldn't use. These were traded for two very nice hides to complete my dress. My Trade Blanket Box was almost empty. What didn't get traded was donated for the raffle this past weekend.

If you are in the process of downsizing too, I could sure use more tips and inspiration. I'm almost to the "good" stuff, things I merely fancied, didn't really need. Parting with that will hurt cry

Last edited by Jane - Native American; 10/17/11 04:49 PM.

Jane Winkler, Editor
Native American Site
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