Wednesday, July 1, 2020

The Victorian Prairie Bonnet And The Value Of Rest

I'm still convalescing. {Hey, even if I weren't on the mend I still spend a copious amount of time in bed.} I love my sleeping room, and I make no apologies for it. Do you like to sleep or lay in bed, to rest and relax? You can ask my mum I've loved sleep since birth. {And yes, if you're curious as to why I write like I'm British it's because I've spent these last two months immersed in my pronunciation course. And my teacher admonishes me to consistently write and speak British English which will create an exceptional accent.}
Okay, back to what I was saying.

Wait. Where was I?

Oh, yes.

I've been that way since birth. Loving sleep, that is. Did you know that the only reason humans sleep is because of resistance? It's true. I think many folks tend to judge people like me that enjoy spending time sleeping because most of the world believes that to accomplish something, it has to be done with a boatload of hard work. I find that I spend a lot less energy on things that I used to, and I'm so much better for it. And like I said yesterday it may be that I'm now almost 50 {I'm 48} that I see differently. Still, I do think to allow and trust {basically enabling the universe to do the heavy lifting, so to speak} will always create a more effective and better outcome. I also know the art of appreciation is a perfect way of getting into alignment quite rapidly. Yesterday as I was on the way to the feed store I was relishing in all the things I have now manifested. It reminded me that just six months ago, the things I have now were great desires and had not manifested yet. Isn't it mad how much we demonstrate and then keep pivoting desires because we are a 'wanting' people?

I heard someone say to me once that I should be content with what I have and be appreciative. Basically, what they were insinuating was that I was wrong or inappropriate for wanting so many things. I responded with I am appreciative, but I'm not going to stop wanting desires for someone else to feel better. I am satisfied but eager for more. To say that we, as human beings, do not wish and long for things is to deny who we are as a species. We came to earth to desire and want, and that will never cease. Full stop. However, if you spend time with self-limiting folks, you're going to find many won't accept this philosophy. And do you know why? Because people that aren't truly and deeply in love with their lives and self want to blame their unhappiness on others, especially other women. So if Sally Jane from Vermont {Err... I don't know a Sally Jane from Vermont} has something that you have your eyes set on, you'll want to blame Sally Jane and how dare she keep wanting more and more in life. Not only that, if she {Sally Jane} seemingly keeps getting what she wants, you become ever angrier at Sally Jane, {especially if it's something you've also secretly desired}. We came to the earth to desire, and there's not a thing wrong with desiring things. I desire many things, and as long as I become aligned with those desires, I'm going to have them. You also can have what you desire too.

My hope for women is to stop feeling guilty or embarrassed about wanting things. God/Source/Universe wants to give us every desire we have. If we desire something and the mere thought has come into our mind, the manifestation is 99 per cent present. However, we can keep those desires from tangibly manifesting by our resistance of not letting them in with our blotched beliefs. A belief is only a thought that's been thought over and over again. That's all a belief is. We can change our beliefs by creating new ones.

 I've been chomping at the bit to write about bonnets. So here I am.

Might you wonder if I intend to bore you to tears by a country mile, whilst having a chat about the victorian prairie bonnet? No. And I can only imagine that if you read the title of this post, you're interested in the topic. I have had another surge of activity in the last few weeks about my wearing of bonnets. It never fails in curiosity. Now, rightfully so, you might see me in my photos on this here ol' blog and think nothing of it, but when I'm about town, I become the topic of buzzing conversation. I'm always taken aback, but also gathering knowledge by taking mental notes as to what seems to create interest in my happy fellow humans.

As I've stated many times here on ye olde blog, I look forward with delight in sharing not only a bit of history about the 19th century but also inspire you to expand as a woman. Being a well-rounded woman has many scales, and I love sharing my life with you seeking to give you a fraction of pleasure whilst reading my blog. Do you find delight in my blog? I surely hope so.

The reason I tend to entrench myself with every single thing I do in my life is that it encourages my ability to write lovely stories; stories that you'll read or your little children will read and have a rather deep knowing that what they're reading is absolutely proper and accurate. As much as I can translate to my readers of what I've learned and experienced through actual living, I try and do that. Not only those particulars but also to then write about and share it. I look at this blog in that way.

Whereas I have always had a fascination with the prairie bonnet, {not to your surprise I'm sure}, my first love affair of prairie clothing came to be when as a small girl watching Little House on the Prairie. I most assuredly am not the only one. However, I'm not like most. I'm known by those close to me as the one that possesses the" all or nothing" character trait. My choice in clothing is not unusual. The unusual part is that many folks don't dare to dress old fashioned like Tasha Tudor and me, all day every day. I am not dressing for a photo on Instagram {well, I am, but I'm also just like this at home}; I literally live this way every-single-day. Put merely, the way I dress is a way of life. If you were to see me in Publix or the flea market, I look exactly the same as I do on Instagram. For many women, there's too much pressure, and most women aren't confident enough to commit to such a lifestyle. {Please don't be Mc Judgy pants, what I'm trying to iterate is that I want to inspire you If you struggle with courage. Smile...hugsxxx}. If you don't believe me {about the confidence and courage particular}, find a random person on Instagram and see if they are sharing photos for a photoshoot and follow up to see If this person is wearing old clothes at all times. Now, I'm not saying there's' anything wrong with a beautiful photoshoot, or If a person does not want to dress old-fashioned all day every day. My point is that I am discussing the topic that I consistently hear from other women, and that is, they have not the courage to dress old fashioned. Whether it's because they are concerned their family or friends will say something or even their husband tells them It's embarrassing and not to do it. {I get the husband comment quite often.} Most of these women you see on social media are not showing you their true selves at all times. You see a moment of their life.  Anytime I've ever wanted to set the trend or make a statement I've gone" all in" and I won't resurface for love, nor money. I've come to find the most favour in myself for this precise accomplishment. I couldn't always say that, and now that I can It's one of my most significant accomplishments.

I won't go into great depths about the history of the bonnet, because this post is more about the psychological aspect and not a history lesson. Still, I take the risk of the assumption that you aren't here or clicked onto this post for a history lesson but wanting to know purely the fascination of why some would dare to wear a prairie bonnet or how you might be captivated in doning one yourself. I'm here if not for anything else than to convince you to sew one, purchase one, and to wear one.

So let us begin with the fashion of bonnets. Bonnets came about with a rise in commonality around the 1850s. That's not to say they weren't worn in earlier centuries because they were, but since I'm most focused on the 19th century (Victorian era), this is when they became quite popular in the South. Bonnets were most common for the farmer or poorer spectrum of house workers. Women wore them originally for mostly practical reasons. Which was the primary way the Victorians lived? They always had motives, accompanied by practicality and beauty. The main reason for wearing a bonnet was for protecting the hair and skin. They were constant in why and for what purposes—everything the Victorians did had a purpose.

So will you wear a bonnet? Would you venture into prairie territory? Here is a link if you'd like to buy one to test it out. They are rather inexpensive {a few dollars} so you won't feel awful in spending if you happen to despise wearing one after all. They aren't for everyone, but I say at least try it. You might find you like wearing them. And If there's one more piece of advise when you wear the bonnet out, prepare yourself with knowing you possess a sense of joy when wearing it. Feel happy and confident and I can promise you with this attitude of courage you will be all the talk of your little town village. It Is vibrational energy when wearing clothing/bonnets and that matters not what type of thing you have on. So wear a smile and a bonnet and be downright giddy about it. I am sure you'll have a beautiful experience in doing so. 

Most affably yours til my next swim, Raquelxxx


  1. I love what you said about having the courage to wear what you love all the time. I guess I hadn't thought of that. I wear what's appropriate for what I'm doing on that given day. I'm not a bonnet person. I think some find them "cozy" but I feel blocked in without my peripheral vision. I do wear hats though pretty regularly :-)

    1. Yes, JL, isn't that so true, how often we make excuses for say perhaps the place we're going or the people who will be there and then we ultimately compromise because we get a little reluctant in what people will say overall. I'm can understand that too about the bonnet. It does close off the face. Like a horse with blinders. Hahaha...

  2. Sun bonnets are so useful for gardening! But I also love my other bonnets - I've a fetching brown and cream spoon bonnet, and a toasty fur-lined quilted wool/silk number in the 1850s style for the winter (thrift stores are a wonderful source for ugly fur jackets that can be taken apart to line a winter bonnet - although I admit that fur does fly just everywhere while you sew it! It's the equivalent of glitter for getting all over one's home). I also want to knit up a winter hood, which was a common headwear variant and directions can be found on the internet. The straw bonnet of the 1820s is also useful in the summertime for more formal occasions than the slat ("prairie") bonnet, if you don't mind mixing your decades, and can be fashioned from a taken-apart inexpensive modern straw hat quite easily. While straw bonnets/hats were worn mid-century, sadly that was just by young ladies. But for past-dressers, there are no rules unless you give them to yourself, like sticking to one decade or year, or allowing/not allowing yourself use of a sewing machine, ignoring/not ignoring what one would have worn at a certain age or in a certain setting - we get to set our own personal perameters for all of this, yes?

    Have fun with your bonnet collecting/wearing! I was just noticing my silk bonnet is in sad need of re-trimming as I'm tired of the little purple flowers I used. A good winter activity, that - I feel like I should be perusing "Godey's" looking for inspiration as did The Original Cast :). Although I'll never change its ribbons. They come from a great-great-granduncle who owned a mercantile in upstate New York. How they came to me I'll never know, but I do cherish those ribbons.

    1. Kimberly, it's so lively to see you, and I love what you said about rules and only if we place then on ourself. Speaking of straw bonnets, I was just talking with another friend, and I was charting about a straw bonnet and how id love to find a pattern for one. It's so good to talk with you. Happy 4th!

  3. You don't really need a pattern to play with bonnets - and summertime is ideal, because one can buy cheap straw sunhats to use at the local stores. Here is one article that gives general ideas on how to play:

    1. Oh thank you, Kimberly, I'll check it out. Thank you for sending it to me.

  4. Hey Raquel! What I want to know is - why are you taking a British pronunciation course? Asking for a friend....

    1. Oh my stars! I wrote so many posts on it here on my blog, but long story short (mind you, I'm not sure that is possible, for me). Last year my second oldest son was brutally murdered, so to work through the pain and turn tragedy into triumph, I wanted to write a sweet little lamb book. You know what, here's a link and I hope this helps. Also, life is too short not to make our dreams come true, Ya know.


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