Leslie Rodgers
  • Bloomington, IN
  • United States
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About Me
I live in the forest where we try to homestead (the deer here object to our gardening or rejoice in it, not sure which but they eat everything)
My 4 kids are grown and gone, they've given me 3 1/2 grandchildren.
After leaving the church I was brought up in and exploring several others I spent six years as a religious studies major at Indiana University. Have not yet found a religion that doesn't require belief in things that don't make sense to me, so I'm not affiliated with a church now.
I believe there is an intelligence to this universe, and that we can access it and be guided by it, but I just can't believe this intelligence is a bearded old man in the sky who hands out treats and lightening bolts or prefers one people over another.
Despite my current lack of a formal religion I feel strongly led to plain dress and an increasingly more simple lifestyle.
I've struggled with this, particularly the plain dress part, since early 2007. I created a plain wardrobe and wore it exclusively for months, set it aside, came back to it, set it aside again and am now drawn back to dressing plain again. When I dressed "regular" I felt like I was an imposter, a phoney. It is as though plain dress will not leave me alone.
The interest in (obsession with) plain dress led me to Quaker Jane, which eventually led me here, where I am learning a lot and hope to learn more.
I Do Not Cover. That has been my policy from the beginning of my plain dress 'experiment'. I'm not Amish-Mennonite-Muslim-Jewish Orthodox. I'm not a Mormon in a temple prayer circle. I'm not religiously 'required' to cover, and as a feminist I resist on principle the idea that my head/hair should be covered to hide it from lusty men. I have thought this out carefully, and adamantly concluded that I Do Not Cover.
BUT...my boyfriend has a small patch on the side of his face, skin cancer the doctor says, from half a century of too much sun. It will have to be 'removed' (ouch).
Which got me to thinking about maybe a sun bonnet. Just to be safe. And practical.
And strolling through the internet in search of sunbonnets I naturally came upon some caps that might certainly be useful to keep dust and straw and other farm schmutz out of my long and growing hair.
And the longer my hair grows the more in the way it is....so I mostly wear it pinned up, and it has a habit of gradually working it's wayout of the bun in a few spots. A simple cap would keep it more tidy.

Which is how I found myself at Christian Coverings, ordering a sunbonnet and a couple of simple little caps....just to make my life easier. And some good sturdy hairpins because my drugstore ones are too flimsy. And some tiny covering pins to keep the caps from sliding off.

But this is just to make my life easier, you understand, because I'm a feminist and therefore I Do Not Cover.

; )

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Leslie Rodgers's Blog

just when I thought I understood what Friends were about

Posted on 4th mo. 15, 2012 at 10:12am 1 Comment


Just when I thought I understood quaker thought I ran across this quaker family (at 1:26)




I am now flummoxed.

Plain among the fancy folk

Posted on 11th mo. 12, 2010 at 12:53pm 4 Comments

Last night my honey and I attended the 50th anniversary Fancy-Schmancy Dinner of his workplace. The women in his department had been dithering for days on end about what they would wear, how they would find time to get a professional manicure for the occasion, etc. The men too were in a tizzy about dressing "right" for the occasion. This not being Halloween we opted to go as ourselves, he in a homespun homemade shirt and black twill pants, me in a homemade homespun dress. We gave our nod to…


Over at The Good Raised Up, Liz Opp wrote about her yearly meeting and noted this: "One Friend commented with some disgust that he had once seen a sign at a Liberal Friends' event saying, "You can b…

Posted on 8th mo. 11, 2010 at 12:28pm 2 Comments

Over at The Good Raised Up, Liz Opp wrote about her yearly meeting and noted this:

"One Friend commented with some disgust that he had once seen a sign at a Liberal Friends' event saying, "You can believe whatever you want." The Friend went on to testify that being a Quaker isn't about believing what you want. It's about living your life by following the leadings of the Spirit. "

As a seeker this interests me for a couple of reasons.

One reason is that I'm trying to… Continue

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At 6:45pm on 6th mo. 12, 2010, Paula Roberts said…
RE: Paula, I don't know what you were like as a kid or a teen, but if my dear departed Mama had been told I would grow up to be a woman who liked tidiness and order she never would have believed it. For me it was definitely a long time coming.

I think we were separated at birth. Of my 41 years 5 months I have been a thorough, unrelenting slob for about 41 years and 3 months. I don't know what happened but I looked around my house and though; OMG has this house ALWAYS been this filthy? In my dead profile (the one I couldn't get in to) I talked about cleaning the top of my fridge for the first time...ever. The butcher block counter tops took an entire evening of scouring! I had a sister-friend come by and help me one day. I still have the bedroom, vestibule and mud room to do, but this is now very important to me. This started happening around the same time I felt the need to go from Friend attender (for about 8 years) to Friend member.

My theory is that just like chaos in your mind is reflected by chaos in your space, order in my mind calls for order in my space. I don't know how else to describe what a radical change has occurred in my life. My focus is definitely different right now. And I will wear it as long as I can :).
At 2:06pm on 6th mo. 12, 2010, Isabel Penraeth said…
I've learned to resist nothing on principle, because that is exactly where God tends to "get" me.
At 10:55pm on 6th mo. 11, 2010, John George Archer said…
Dear Leslie,

Oh to live among the trees!

Your description of your forest created in my mind's eye a vivid reality...67 turkey: I'm not used to thinking of such things nor in quite so large a number!

Snowed in for weeks! I thought that didn't still happen? Wild.

But I live far up the coast, away from the white stuff. No howling animals, we do have Dingo however.

Again thankyou for your vividness, no guide book could have ever told me about these things!

Warmest Regards.
At 1:59pm on 6th mo. 11, 2010, Paula Roberts said…
I love your blog on not covering because you're a feminist and I had to laugh. I hadn't taken such a stand, but I was not looking for a bonnet or a prayer cap or anything, but I have very long dreads and tie them up in a couple of yards of fabric to keep the schmutz out of my hair too. Then I was at Katie's Mercantile looking for an apron (I absolutely adore Katie's Mercantile http://www.katiesmercantile.com/index.html) and found this gathered cap (see my photos) and thought it would be brilliant for the schmutz-keeping-out job. Now I'm sold. I bought 4 more. Now I have them making me some snoods. This cap has changed how I wear my hair every day. I used to wear scarves and ties for fashion, now I wear them all the time. Why? Neatness, tidiness and order apparently have become very important to me right now. Go figure.
At 12:48pm on 6th mo. 11, 2010, Paula Roberts said…
Perhaps if I get brave enough to try Meeting for Worship I won't raise too many eyebrows?

I doubt it. Yesterday I went down to the post office in my cap. It was fine. I got lots of smiles. I think you should go for it.

Because of that, all clothing is a form of costume. No matter what we wear it's not what we "are", it's how we are choosing to present ourselves.
I think this gives us a great opportunity.
Opportunity for what? I'm still working on figuring that out.

I think it's an opportunity fraught with perils. We have the opportunity to save people from the cynicism of the world by showing them we haven't all succumbed. We have the opportunity to show people an alternative. The peril is that wearing the symbols of our beliefs makes us vulnerable to the vanity of these symbols. You know what I mean? Our plain clothes can become the flag sticker on the car, the crucifix around the neck, etc - the sum total of our beliefs. This way there is no daily struggle to live the right way.
At 12:23pm on 6th mo. 9, 2010, John George Archer said…

I like how you begin " I live in the forest..." it's wonderful.

Just thought I'd tell you.

Warmest Regards.
At 11:54am on 6th mo. 9, 2010, John George Archer said…

You're most welcome!
Magdalena is a fiery Spaniard.
John George is a fiery Australian.
Come and make your comments freely!

We're both Anglicans.
And we're both radically independent.
She is both my counsel and my 'partner-in-crime', so to speak.
But we like peaceful thinkers too.
She's from a Roman-Catholic and I am from an Anarchist-Quaker Anglican background.
It's an odd mixture but it seems to work.
Join the fun, won't you Leslie?

Warmest Regards
At 11:43am on 6th mo. 9, 2010, Paula Roberts said…
I don't sew yet (beyond being able to fix things) but I plan to learn. The neatest dress I ever bought I got at Shukr.com (a resource on Quaker Jane's site) http://www.shukronline.com/wd0421.html That Maha dress is so comfortable! I wear it at home so much I've gotten bleach on the hem! I got it on sale, and may go back and buy another (I have the brown).

She's right in a way. We all draw attention to ourselves, but as you observed; darned if you do darned if you don't. She is also dressing to draw attention. I guess the question is what is the purpose of this attention. Isabel, on her Quaker Jane site speaks of plain dress as a visual koan http://quakerjane.com/spirit.friends/plain_dress-defense.html I think the pressure then is to live up to your own standards, and that is intimidating.

My meeting doesn't have plain dressers, but in a way they do. One gentleman wears banded collars and no ties. Most wear inconspicuous clothes. Another Friend wears a head scarf or bandanna. A few women wear long skirts. I fit right in without a blink with my long skirts, modest tops, and head scarves. I think my snoods would not cause a ripple. I've mentioned in passing that I wear a cap at home.

I say give it a shot.
At 11:07am on 6th mo. 9, 2010, John George Archer said…
Welcome Leslie,

Just wanted to say 'hello'.
Your journey seems interesting to me.
And the picture of your kitchen - cosy!
You'll find our forums quite fun. Informative too.
Maybe I'll see a few comments,forums and blogs of your own soon? Looking forward to it.
I hope along your journey, that here you will find some comfort. I have.

Warmest Regards.
At 11:05am on 6th mo. 9, 2010, Paula Roberts said…
Isn't it brilliant? I don't Facebook, but I do QuakerQuaker! Here's a blog I frequent. You might like it as well. Magdalena is Anglican Plain and blogs about wonderful topics like the beauty of the mundane (home tasks, etc), food waste, hoarding, work and home life, etc. http://magdalenaperks.wordpress.com/

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