Saturday, April 13, 2019

Pleats and Other Signs of Spring

 Spring is trying to arrive in Omaha even if it comes wrapped in snow and freezing temperatures. We are fortunate enough to live next to a small, lovely park hidden between a bank and a college campus. At lunchtime, workers from the bank and nearby hospitals can be seen walking the trail in their work attire and sneakers. We often join them as a brisk lunchtime walk breaks up the school day nicely. I always feel more alert for the afternoon's classes when I've had a quick breath of air. Walking the same park lets us see how far along the trees are. It is a strange park with a much higher elevation at one end, giving it a few micro-climates. There's all manner of wild fruit growing at various times of the year from grapes to Alpine strawberries to the feral crab apple tree. There's walnuts as well, making the path dangerous at certain times of the year. Anyway, spring seems to be a bit further along up the park than it is at my home.

 We discovered the squirrel's secret stash!
I mean, how cliche can you get? A hollowed out log filled with nuts. Hmmm, wonder who that belongs to?!😁

My indoor garden is doing nicely. I've added a large Boston fern to this group since the photo was taken. It was a long winter-I needed some greenery inside.

For some reason, I think of pleated skirts as a spring item of clothing (just like patent leather, which these days is worn year round). If a pleated skirt signal spring, then a brightly coloured one is just that much extra!
Yep, that'll do. Add a wild vintage 70s blouse, and you won't lose me in a crowd.

 Of course, yellow is pretty spring-like too!
Cream coloured pleats are always appropriate. Pair with a vintage men's evening jacket and you have something special.
But when you're really looking for the ultimate pleated skirt, pick a patterned one!

 And if that doesn't convince you, there's always classic brown. However I wear them, pleats will always evoke spring for me.
 Chicks and bunnies are also associated with spring.
Sometimes I get creative. I saw something similar (and better executed) online, but I gave it a try anyway.

 I will leave you with this most spring-like dress I stalked in the thrift store until it finally went on the discount. The original tags were still on it for $148.00 Sure, it is a beautiful dress, but it isn't $148.00 beautiful. I paid $3.99

 I like nice things, but I'm not stupid.

 That's about it here. What wardrobe items signal spring for you?

Saturday, April 06, 2019

Two New Trained Storm Spotters-and Other Items of Interest

We finally did it! Storm Spotter training only took a couple of hours, and was time well spent. After taking a direct hit from a tornado (4 June, 2008-photos are in the archive if you're interested) Danny became interested in weather. Now that he's finally old enough, he was able to take the course. I joined him because it lit a fire under my ass to get my radio license. So we're ready for severe weather season, but I really hope I don't need to call anything in. After the floods, it would be nice for Nebraska to get a break.
The mobile Doppler was at the weather symposium. Danny had the opportunity to climb inside and see the operations.

Anyway, if you live in the US and are interested, take a look at the NWS website and see when there's a class near you.

So this crap is still happening. My heart rate is pretty low to begin with, but after a long run (more than two hours) it plummets about ten minutes after finishing. I don't feel the drop, but I can feel when it starts coming back up-and that's when I can look at my data and see what happened. Occasionally it happens when I haven't been running, but that's less common. If I lived in a country where I could afford a doctor, I might have this checked out, but here even with insurance the co-pays and deductibles the various tests would cost more than a used car. I suppose after a few years of this I'm less concerned, but I really wish I knew why the hell this happens. I don't suggest Googling it-online medical stuff leans a bit hysterical. Anyway, for a fat, old lady I should be pleased I can run as long and far as I can. My lungs and legs are really good😀.

This year, Pesach and Easter overlap, which means no Easter baking as we can't have bread. I'm getting around this by baking and freezing for after the holiday, but the boys wanted some Hot Cross buns now. I used my same recipe (in the archives) but tried replacing one cup of plain flour for bread flour. It helped the buns hold a better shape but didn't sacrifice lightness. I also didn't have any currants so I used raisins, sultanas, and some dried cranberries which were met with great approval. I've been using a small bit of strong flour in laminated pastry for years, but this was a first in the buns.
We are still several months out from Nebraska corn, but Florida's crop is here. At ten ears for a dollar, it would have been foolish to pass up. Danny had these ears for a lunch and I roasted the rest with cumin, coriander and chili powder to use in various meals for the rest of the week. I personally stay away from sweetcorn as it upsets my stomach, but the boys adore it, and it certainly kept them well fed at bargain prices. And yes, I have corn shaped dishes to serve corn in because...I am a Midwesterner! I also have a sour cream dish shaped like a baked potato!

I've been stuck in the seasonal no-man's land between winter and spring. One day it is shorts, the next a sweater and parka. This outfit is a nice compromise. The skirt is polyester that's dyed to look like denim. At the time that sort of thing was popular I swore I'd never wear such an abomination. Then, forty years passed and well....never say never, I guess! The acrylic 70s sweater still had the original belt-a very lucky find. I wore it with clogs for true mid-70s accuracy. I look like my mother, except she'd have worn it with polyester flares. I like the lines of this-I'm thinking a cotton tunic in a similar shape would make a nice summer look with a linen skirt.

 One of my favourite Mexican necklaces getting a wear.
 Time to break out the macrame bags!
 Hoop earrings for the 70s win. (No, not Whip Inflation Now. That's a different WIN. And it lost)

Outfit Particulars:
Skirt-Thrift World
Clogs-Dillards, about 12 years ago
Necklace-New Life Thrift

 This dress has been lingering in my wardrobe for years. I've only worn it once in all these years, and I have no idea why, as it is a wonderful piece of vintage.
 As you can see, it is quite sheer, but nothing a lacy black, full slip couldn't solve. The maker is Wildman, which is such a fab name for a women's dressmaker. Perhaps that's what happens when men catch sight of women in such sheer dresses? For the record, I could walk around stark naked and Mr. ETB wouldn't notice. He did mention that he liked the dress though!

 Outfit Particulars:
1950s Wildman dress-Hand-Me-Ups
Clark's shoes-Hand-Me-Ups
Vintage jacket (part of a suit)-long gone vintage shop in Brookline, Massachusetts
Clutch bag-Goodwill
Earrings-New Life Thrift
Brooch-Salvation Army store
Belt-Thrift World
Bakelite bracelets-Goodwill and Hand-Me-Ups

A bag as big as my ass! Bet you didn't think it was possible. The shoes are kind of cool...

 The shorts have crane/stork-ish type birds on them. Yes, I am the mother of a birder, and I describe birds as "storkish." He'd be horrified if he heard me.
Outfit Particulars:
Straw bag-Goodwill

That's about it for now. Tomorrow I'm off to buy patio furniture and hope that we get decent weather to sit outside and enjoy it. But if the weather gets scary, well...I know what to do!

Saturday, March 30, 2019

Woman of a Thousand Faces

When I shared this photo on Instagram, someone commented that I look like Ruth Bader Ginsburg. I thought that was a bit of a stretch until I consulted Google and, well...
OK, then! Same taste in clothes as well.
That got me thinking of all the people I've been told I look like through the years and more recently from readers here and on Instagram. This is a long, photo-heavy post, so get comfortable!
When I was younger, I would frequently be told I looked like Bette Middler...
Then she went blonde and started dressing better, so that was that. I would happily dress like 70s Bette-she had a great style.
For several years in the late 70s, I was told I looked like Stephanie Powers. I never saw that either...
Maybe a little around the eyes, but I still don't see it. Still, you could be compared to worse looking people.
Helena Bonham Cater...
I wish! But no, definitely not.
Adrienne Barbeau...
OK maybe, but not because of my face😁. 

Speaking of boobs, I've been told several times that I look like Laine Kazan

Gosh, that's actually fair! But really, no one ever noticed anything about her except the size of her knockers. I'm starting to sense a trend.

Let's not forget Jennifer Saunders...

 But that's not even the worst of it...

...all I need is a ukulele

I  even looked like Tiny Tim as a kid! It really is a pity I'm not musical!

and really, this is just scratching the surface! I definitely need to do a part two, as I've left off so many of the people I've been told I resemble. I guess I just have an interesting face! I've had people approach me convinced they know me, and I always wonder which celebrity they're thinking of! 

What about you? Do you resemble anyone famous?

Monday, March 25, 2019

March(ing) My Fat Ass Into Spring

Well, hasn't this month just flown by? Last time I posted we had snow, then floods, and now it is practically summer. I know better than to pack my winter clothes, but I am looking forward to a few less layers.

We were lucky in Omaha with respect to flooding, but neighbouring towns were not as fortunate. We had a bit of a foundation issue that was caught and corrected quickly, for which I am very thankful.

Chicken Boy is back in the garden, ready for Easter. I already planted out peas, spinach, and radishes. The sorrel is up, and next week I plan to get the chard started. Potatoes will be a few weeks after, and then I'm not certain what I'll do. Probably a few tomatoes, some flowers, nothing major. I have tickets for a pre-season exhibition baseball game tonight and expect we'll be sitting in the ballpark wearing winter coats, gloves, etc. Mr. ETB is wisely staying home.

 I wanted an Easter version of my Santa Pants purse, but couldn't find anything bunny related that wasn't creepy. Instead, I bought this basket, made a lid for it with cardboard and fabric, and now I have a carrot purse.
 This was a quick and easy project as I didn't line the basket. It would be simple enough to do though.
I knew that vintage silk fabric would find a use, eventually!

How about some outfits?
I thought this was a rather nice combination for spring. The skirt is made of a towelling/terrycloth material, and has a matching tunic. Together, it is a bit much, but worn as separates, I can finally get use from the pieces. The vintage blouse was a very lucky find as I rarely find nice ones in my size. 

Outfit Particulars:
Vintage blouse-Hand-Me-Ups
Vintage skirt-Goodwill
Vintage jacket-New Life Thrift
Brooch-Thrift World
Vintage clutch-Goodwill
Vintage bangles and rings-several places

This was one of my favourite outfits of the year, thus far. I have admired Veronica's Desigual pieces she's shown on her blog from time to time, but have never seen the brand in the US. I found this dress on the bargain rack at Hand-Me-Ups, and thought it must be too good to be true. Looking it over, it appeared unworn, and was even in my size. I'd never spend what these dresses retail for, but at thrift store prices, I couldn't possibly say no. I do love it-the floral print is just so lovely. 
 Outfit Particulars:
Desigual dress-Hand-Me-Ups
Vintage Handmacher jacket-Hand-Me-Ups
Vintage brooch-Goodwill
Vintage earrings-New Life Thrift
Vintage necklace-Hand-Me-Ups
Vintage handbag-Goodwill

In the winter light, this particular corner of my house gets just bright enough, and I am able to balance my phone against a teacup on the dining room table for timer photos. Is it perfect? no, but I am able to get it over quickly, without requiring anyone's assistance. There's drawbacks, of course-I can look elongated or stunted depending on how the phone is propped, and I am rarely able to get full-length shots of any quality.
That's not your eyes-it is blurry!
 My primary concern has always been the clothes. I don't airbrush my wrinkles, or try to hide my crooked spine. I admit to being really, REALLY insulted when I was messaged by someone I thought I knew pretty well on Instagram accusing me of photoshopping myself to look thinner. Following it with "LOL" didn't make it any less nasty. In fact, I'm downright angry. If elongating the shot lets you see more of the clothes, that's what I'll do. I don't give a rat's ass if I look fat (I AM fat! Militantly so!). Honestly, if El Greco were painting today he'd get called out for making everyone look taller!
Outfit Particulars:
Vintage carpet bag-Thrift World
Clogs-Hand Me-Ups

 This was a fun outfit to put together. I'm wearing a tiered satin skirt beneath a sheer, vintage dress.

The underskirt is gold, as is the trim on the dress-again, it doesn't show well in the photos but I'm not willing to spend money on an expensive phone just for a camera.

Outfit Particulars:
Vintage dress-Hand-Me-Ups
Vintage belt-Thrift World
Satin skirt-Goodwill

 This pink, knit suit isn't my sort of thing-AT ALL. Still, good vintage is hard to pass up, so I took a chance and it turned out better on my person than the hanger.
 No photoshopping here! Humped spine and fat ass-model's own 😁
 Outfit Particulars:
Vintage Suit-Goodwill
Vintage Margaret Smith bag-Hand-Me-Ups

By March, I start getting desperate to wear some of the warm weather items I've picked up over the long winter. There was still snow on the ground the day I opted to wear this sundress, so I stuck a long-sleeved top beneath it and wore it anyway.
Outfit Particulars:
Indonesian dress-Hand-Me-Ups
Necklaces-various thrift shops
Top-Dots in Revere about 20 years ago! That's getting your money out of fast fashion.

 I did a similar thing here with a vintage Kressandra of San Francisco dress I couldn't wait until summer to wear.
 Strange camera effects again. I have a pretty big head...but not THAT big!

 Outfit Particulars:
70s dress-Hand-Me-Ups
70s blouse-Goodwill
70s jacket (part of a dress) Salvation Army store
Boots-K Mart
 Betsey Johnson Purse-Goodwill
Earrings-antique mall
Cha cha bracelet-Goodwill

 Finally, you know spring has arrived when my Mexican skirts start appearing on the blog. Yes, I still need heavy tights and a blouse with a tunic beneath it-but let's stay focused on the positives. What I really need is a hand-painted and sequined velvet Mexican skirt-but they cost a small fortune. Perhaps someday the vintage gods will send me one for my winter wardrobe.
 Have had that bag since the 90s

 Silver shoes? Why not?
 Don't save your white lucite jewellery for summer-it looks fab against black. The top has silver dots that capture sunshine in a most blinding way. I love wearing it with white shorts in summer.

Outfit Particulars:
Top-K Mart several years ago when Selena Gomez had a line there
Necklace-Can't remember
Bag-retail, 90s
Vintage belt-Hand-Me-Ups

So that's about it for now. I hope early spring is treating you well. Here's hoping they aren't throwing snowballs instead of baseballs at Werner Park tonight!