Saturday, January 21, 2017

Get Your Own Litterbox!

It was a beautiful, windy, unseasonably warm January day in Nebraska, so we headed out to make the most of it. We did a bit of thrift shopping, and then made our way to Heron Haven to see what wildlife might be around.

While we were in the bird blind with some other people, this muskrat swam over for a photo. Danny said he spotted another, and I announced if I saw a second muskrat, I'd have to sing. That got snickering from the older people. Thankfully for everyone the second never showed up!
Muskrat muskrat....
Luckily, I don't know any songs about mallards. 
Or Canada Geese!
Outfit Particulars:

1970's polyester maxi dress-Thrift World (years ago)
1970's polyester jacket(came with a dress)-Salvation Army (I think)
High heeled sneakers-Goodwill
Handbag-Long gone shop in the abandoned mall
Vintage necklace-Garage sale
Earrings-Garage sale
Lucite bangle-Hand-Me-Ups
Fragrance-Amouge Gold (I could barely smell it-must be the jasmine anosmia kicking in)

Before I leave you, I must show you something we saw for sale at Goodwill.
Look, I like cats, but I wouldn't want to share a toilet with them. I can't get the boys to wipe up the seat, how neat do you think a cat would be?  Is changing the kitty litter that big of a deal? Has anyone with cats used this thing? I'm trying to be open minded but I don't think I could share a toilet with a pet no matter how much I liked it. Just imagine how outraged a cat would be if  I sat my fat ass down in the litter box to drop a turd. There's some things you just don't share. Or, I don't anyway. I'm kinda judgmental that way.

Hope you're having a lovely weekend.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

I'm Looking Through You

The ice storm came and went, and we were lucky enough to keep power throughout. In the end, Omaha was spared the worst of it, and people heeded the warnings to stay off the roads. It turned into a nice long weekend for everyone, and we took advantage of the time doing chores at home. I did get out for a quick walk before it hit in full, when I saw this...
Uh oh. Someone hasn't been draining the pool after it rains. I don't know why they don't cover it. I'm sure there will be serious cracks needing repairs come spring. I was tempted to climb the fence and skate on it! So that was that, and today the weather was warm enough to go out in a sheer dress and lightweight jacket.

 I miss the 70's when it wouldn't have been strange to wear a low-cut sheer dress like this without a thought about slips. Obviously, that wouldn't fly today (in Omaha, anyway) so I struggled to find a slip that would cover enough on top and be long enough. I *almost* made it. The slip could be longer, but I was er...decent enough (for Omaha). I really like this dress, so it might be worth seeking out a full slip that will work well with it. I have several sheer dresses from that era with similar issues-it is a wonder we didn't all die of exposure back then.
Look at that riot of colour!

Outfit Particulars:
Late 70's/early 80's Lehigh dress with Union Label-New Life Thrift
Vintage Laura Ashley jacket-Goodwill
Vintage belt-Hand-Me-Ups
Boots-K Mart
Earrings-Can't remember, old
Vintage handbag-Goodwill
Brooch on jacket-Can't remember
Fragrance-Courreges in Blue

I stopped to visit a few of my favourite thrift stores, and didn't come away disappointed. Hand-Me-Ups has 1/2 price earrings and I was able to buy two pair of Lisner clips for $2.99 each. Not bad at all. I found a pewter brooch, and Danny bought some birding books, and it was time and money well spent. I'm really trying to avoid buying clothes as I have far more than I can ever wear, so I didn't even have a look at the .49 cent rail. The woman at the shop was concerned I might be ill. They know me so well.

On the way out of the shop, a Cooper's Hawk was perched on the roof, and Danny was able to watch it being mobbed by crows and starlings. It held the spot until suddenly it swooped down, out of sight for what I imagine was his dinner. There are so many interesting birds to see in the city-if you just pay attention. Much as we enjoy visits to state parks, there's plenty to observe right in our neighbourhood-but you do need to look up, something the smartphone generation is unlikely to do.

 Yep, in 1979 I'd have let it, "All hang out" in this dress, but that might get me arrested today. As it was, the slip was a sheer crepe material, and I really wondered if I was bordering on improper. If it had been sunny outside, the dress would have been see-through. I'm not a prude...but everyone else is!
Would leggings be a more modern way to deal with a sheer dress? Your helpful advice is always welcome.

Monday, January 16, 2017

All Killer... Derma filler.
 I personally don't think my skin looks particularly great (maybe for my age) but as I keep being asked about my skincare routine, this seemed like a good time to write about it. Keep in mind, cosmetics applied skillfully can keep a complexion looking better than it is. Anyway, you asked, so here's the story.

I don't spend a great deal of money on skincare products. For cleansing in summer, or after a workout, I like Pears soap, followed by Dickinson's Witch Hazel. In cold, dry weather, I cleanse with Ponds Cold Cream, which I always use for makeup removal anyway. Nothing removes mascara like cold cream.

For daily treatment, I use Ponds dry skin cream in winter. In the summer months, I use  Ponds cream developed for reducing age spots. Does it help? Not much, though it might be worse if I didn't. My skintone is quite uneven, but again-carefully applied cosmetics do wonders.There's sunscreen in the cream as well as my cosmetic foundation, so I don't bother applying an SPF to my face. I'm no longer prone to serious break outs, but when they happen I find witch hazel as good a treatment as anything.

 I probably ought to use an eye cream, but can't be bothered. My hands take a serious beating in cold weather, but that's what gloves are for (hiding). Body lotion is whatever came with the perfume sets over the years-I'm currently working my way through, Passion, Jean Nate, and White Diamonds. Unless I start running around naked, I think they're probably good enough.
I should mention, when I was young and my skin was oily, I found Erno Laszlo Sea Mud Soap a great help. It is expensive, though it lasts for ages. I don't know if it had an overall effect that I'm benefiting from now (doubtful) but it did keep the break-outs at bay in my younger years.

My skincare isn't focused on trying to look younger (talk about a futile effort). I'm rather enjoying watching my grandmother's face emerge on my body (and why not? I liked her!) but I don't enjoy flaking, peeling, and cracking skin. If I can keep that under control I'm happy enough to have some laugh lines-better to laugh than cry. I try never to say, "never" but I don't see myself having anything injected into my face as I'm somewhat squeamish. I don't even like going to have my teeth cleaned. I've never bothered having the chicken pox scars dealt with, and these days there are such excellent makeup primers that they're hardly noticeable if I bother to apply it. I've lived with the scars since I was six-no point getting all worked up about it at this late date. I do have a mole on my chin that needs to be looked at, but otherwise trips to dermatologists are rare. I  have an autoimmune issue that flares from time to time, and that is dealt with as needed, and Dermablend is ace for hiding ugly red rashes. And that's about it. No great secrets...must be the life I've led. *Cough*

Moving along (because those close-ups of my face are frightening me)...

...I wore my Pendleton Turnaround skirt. It is reversible, though the colours are the same just in more muted tones. Yeah, I should have ironed it. Obviously, that isn't happening if I can avoid it. If you start ironing your clothes, next thing you know you're combing your hair. Ironing is surely a gateway to something horrible, and I'm not going there. No, you're right. I'm just fucking lazy. 
 Outfit Particulars:

Pendleton Turnaround skirt-Thrift World
Polo Neck-Gordman's
Napier pendant-Hand-Me-Ups
Clamper bracelet-Salvation Army
Earrings-K Mart
Ralph Lauren cashmere scarf-gift about 20 years ago
Fragrance-Lentheric Miracle

Am I missing out on some great skincare product? I'd love to hear what you're using to keep yourselves from shedding dead skin all over the place like a snake. 

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Before the Storm

 Ever notice the nicest weather precedes a storm? We're expecting an ice storm over the next two days that is expected to be, in the words of the Weather Service, "Crippling". Sounds like fun. The city has been out pre-treating the roads, but realistically, there isn't much you can do about freezing rain and an inch of ice on the roadways. We're staying home and hoping we don't lose power-that's the biggest concern in such cold temperatures. As it might be a while before we get outdoors again, we took a quick trip over to Lake Manawa State Park in Iowa to enjoy the calm before the storm.

 Ah, nothing like enjoying the great outdoors in the shadow of the smokestacks. "Oh beautiful for spacious skies for amber waves of grain..."
I've just been informed that as I type, the first bands of sleet are arriving in Eastern Nebraska. Guess I can forget getting a quick walk tonight. Oh well, time for Martinis!
 I have a birthday coming at the start of February, so I bought myself a present. This charm bracelet is an Alva museum reproduction.
 "Is it supposed to be something?" asked Mr. ETB.
"A guy on a winged horse with a Gorgon's head in his hand?"
"Oh, that one."
Sigh. He'd flunk if he were my student.

I'm not typically extravagant buying myself nice things, so at $35.00 it was a bit of a splurge-but I love it. The bracelet was an Etsy purchase from Nomads With Baggage. It arrived quickly, nicely packaged and there was excellent communication with the seller. I'd buy from her again in a heartbeat.
Outfit Particulars:

Vintage Frank Usher dress-Goodwill .49 Cents! (I nearly peed myself when I came home and saw what these gowns sell for)
Pink shawl/scarf-Goodwill
Green tights-Walgreen's
Vintage coat (part of an ensemble)-Thrift store in Illinois anout 30 years ago
Vintage Margaret Smith handbag-Hand-Me-Ups
Earrings-can't remember
Flower pin-Tiff and Tam
The dress is about three sizes too large, but I belted it with the sash from another dress and added the scarf to distract from it. The sleeves would be massive no matter the size, but adding the sash and scarf just created an even greater sense of draping. I love this dress so much, but the colour isn't good on me, and it deserves to be with someone that can wear it as intended. I don't think I'll have much trouble selling it-designer vintage in large sizes are hard to come by, and this one is beautifully made.
Stay safe if you're in the path of this storm. I hope to be in touch soon, but if the power goes, all bets are off. 

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Where's MY Trophy?

I recently purchased this apron declaring, "Mom's a Winner" with a picture of a woman holding a trophy (it has faded a bit). I'm trying to imagine my own mother's reaction if we'd presented her with this as a gift. Somehow, I suspect it might not have gone over too well. Aprons are a risky gift unless you're certain the recipient wouldn't be insulted.
Of course, if you cook and care about your clothes it is best to wear an apron. Curry+nice clothes=disaster. For me anyway, because I'm a slob. My mother didn't cook much (mercifully) so she didn't require aprons. 
Between us? My mother didn't clean either, so she hired someone else to do it. Good thing too, or the house might have fallen down. But shhhh, don't tell anyone. I don't mean that as an insult-she was good at other things. If there was a trophy for getting your paintbrushes clean, she'd have won it. To this day I've yet to run across a painter that maintains even their most expensive sable brushes the way mum did. Today, we'd probably give it a diagnosis as some sort of disorder, but my goodness, those brushes were better cared for than we were. 

I really didn't know how to cook, clean, or look after myself when I was out on my own. Mr ETB had to endure a rather steep learning curve as far as cooking and laundry were concerned, but after about 25 years I got the hang of it. Perhaps he deserves the trophy. Living on a a farm forces you to cook as there's no take away, and trips to town for supplies were rare. This blog is a scrapbook of sorts from my first pies to making a goose confit. I started the blog as a collection of recipes for my son as he grew up, but I never expected anyone else would want to read it. That people keep coming back here year after year, and that I've formed wonderful friendships is really the best. That's better than a trophy. 

Which is all a long way of saying (once again) that the mirror is dirty. Sigh. I cleaned it yesterday. I think I'm going to conduct toothpaste-spitting lessons where they will practise aiming for the basin instead of the mirror. Until then, we'll have to use our imaginations and pretend this is a clean mirror. 
Ooops, sorry! you caught me having a Jane Russell moment there while I was daydreaming about a mirror that isn't spotted with toothpaste and shaving lotion. Oooh, the glamour!

Outfit Particulars:
Cashmere short-sleeved sweater-Marshall Field's, 1980's
Acrylic Designer's Original's Cardigan-Probably Jordan Marsh, 90's
Necklace-Yard sale
Earrings-Yard sale
Brooches on cardigan-both New Life Thrift
Bracelet-New Life Thrift
Yellow tights-Walgreen's
Vintage handbag-Goodwill
Fragrance-Ruffles (I smell the 80's!)
 Nothing like a good wipe-clean vinyl bag.
 Can't wear a cat without a mouse. The cat's tail moves.

 The locket on the bracelet opens, but I haven't put in a photo yet. I'm trying to think of something/someone wildly inappropriate so I can horrify anyone that asks if it opens.
In May it will be thirteen years of Eat The Blog. Maybe (fingers crossed) I'll get the mirror sparkling by then. 

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Everyone Knows It's Windy

Someday, I'm going to step outside for a photo and my hair won't immediately blow wild in a gust of wind. It hasn't happened yet-but the odds say it has to happen eventually. Weather like this, if you go out in a skirt, better wear an extra layer of "pervert-proof-panties" (shorts).

Ever wear so many necklaces the top button on your coat won't close? I suppose that's what scarves are for. I really ought to have a scarf-we're in the freeze again, and the wind's behaving like it has something to prove. I purchased this coat from the now-defunct costume shop last year, but I don't wear it much. There's no particular reason other than a navy, wool coat is somewhat less exciting than the other offerings on the hook. The maker's name is rather special though-Shagmor. Yes well, I would... in a perfect world anyway. Alas, alas.
Here's a closer look at the brooch on the coat. I picked it up last weekend at New Life Thrift. Mr. ETB likes visiting that shop so he can use it as an opportunity to, "Do a quality control assessment of the egg rolls" at the Chinese takeaway next door. I don't cook shellfish at home, so if he wants a shrimp egg roll, or any other seafood, it has to be takeaway. Thankfully, he doesn't mind, and it gives me an excuse to shop at the out-of-the-way thrift store. They were having a buy-one-get-one sale on jewelry up to $3.99, and I was able to come home with a number of lovely pieces.

 When I like something, I tend to stock-up, and so it came to be that I own three very similar knit skirts, all in blue, by Designer Originals. This is the longest, and widest of the three and it probably gets the least wear. Still, on a windy day, a long, heavy (it is VERY heavy) skirt is a sensible thing to have in my wardrobe, particularly in Nebraska where wind is a near constant condition. The same applies with with the cashmere that I bought in every available colour and style (v-neck, polo neck, etc.) over a couple of winters at Marshall Field's in the 80's. Best decision I ever made with respect to my wardrobe. Unless I relocate to a warm climate, these cashmeres will continue to serve as practical layering items year after year. If you're young, and can afford it, spend the money on quality items before you have other responsibilities. I would never buy something like this now, even if it were available (good quality cashmere has gone the way of the dodo). There's a bit of unsolicited advice for you youngsters.

Outfit Particulars:
Vintage Shagmor coat-Fairy Tail costumes
1980's Country Shop cashmere-Marshall Field's
Vintage Designer Originals knit skirt-Goodwill
Vintage Naturalizer shoes-Thrift World
Vintage metal box bag-Brass Armadillo
Brooch on coat-New Life Thrift
Brooch on shirt-Hand-Me-Ups
Short necklace-Sequels
Long necklace-Hand-Me-Ups
Belt-came with a dress
Clamper bangle-New Life Thrit
Tights-K Mart
Fragrance-Guerlain Vetiver
A closer look at the Dorset-Rex knock-off bag. There's definitely a difference, but I like having bags I can use without much worry of damaging them. Metal bags are prone to scuffs and dents. The plastic handle is nice on a cold day as a metal one might freeze to my hand.
For someone that wears as much blue as I do, it is maddeningly difficult to find blue bracelets. I dare say, this one is perfect. 

Thanks everyone for your book recommendations on the previous post. I'm going to need a good mental decompressing after I finish teaching this unit. 

I have some hideous 80's suits coming up for a future post, so there's something to look forward to. Oh, they're so bad they're...well, still bad!

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

First Vintage Handbags of 2017

Back Row L-R:
Vintage straw bag with Jordan Marsh, Boston label inside, Enid Collins bag with suede interior made for a dress shop in California, Miami Creations carpet-bag.
Middle Row:
Blue suede and leather Lifestride bag, blue Deco-ish box bag.
1960's metal purse trying to look like a Dorset Rex (it is a cheap knock-off).

The Collins bag was the steal of the day at $1.98. It was buried in a pile of cheap gym bags and carry-on luggage. Marked, "As Is" due to a couple missing stones and some dust, it was easy to clean up and replace the plastic gem (I have a bucket of replacement gems to fix these bags). The most expensive bag was the Miami Creations at $22.00 which is more than I would typically hand over for a bag, but it spoke to I answered. I only wanted to be polite.
All in all, a good start to 2017 for vintage handbags. I've curtailed my clothes purchases, but bought a crazy, patchwork hippie dress that probably won't fit but was too good to leave. Otherwise, I've been good...for the last ten days anyway.
In other news...I sprayed some temporary green in my hair for the hell of it. I rather like it. 

Don't like it? 
Outfit Details:
Vintage blouse-Thrift World
Vintage Pendleton kilt-Can't remember-had it for years
Vintage mohair cradigan (fully lined too)-Goodwill
Boots-K Mart
Vintage handbag-Goodwill
Celluloid Scottie brooch-Etsy
Scarab bracelet-Et Cetera, Seward
London tourist charm bracelet-New Life Thrift
 The doggy is grey-I don't know what happened with the light.
 I should never look at my skin at that magnification! Time to get out the heavy-duty hand lotion.
 How's that for matching your earrings to your hair?
We're back to school this week and it hasn't been easy finding my routine. I build a great deal of flexibility into my lesson plans permitting me shift around as needed. When I put the syllabus together last Spring, I didn't anticipate current events necessitating a re-adjustment of our readings. Ha! Anyway, last May I didn't think I'd be ploughing through two volumes of Saul Friedlander second semester, but here we are. Sometimes, things come together by chance like the year I was already teaching 1984, when the Snowden thing happened. As a teacher, I couldn't asked for a better coincidence. Anyway, I'd have rather been covering Romantic poets, but they can wait another month.  

Anyone reading anything that isn't utterly and completely depressing?