Monday, September 13, 2021

Last One in the Pool

 Made it to the pool once before the season ended. I'd planned to spend more time there, but abdominal surgery had other ideas. I didn't go in past my knees, though the incisions are mostly healed now. We pay for the pool in our assessments, so I wanted to feel like I was getting my money's worth. We had it to ourselves, which was nice. 

The green swimsuit I bought in the spring was much too big now to fit politely, so I am wearing a vintage bikini from the 60s that I bought at least 30 years ago. It was in the carton of forgotten clothing, and while I would have preferred a bit more room up top, it was at least, not obscene. Wouldn't have mattered as we were all alone, but still. 
Anyway, it was nice to finally use the pool and hopefully next year I'll get more use from it. 

That face you make when the water is cold.

We are still having warm weather, but the nights are getting cool, and at this time of year it tends to swing between extremes. Yesterday was the pool, today was a chenille sweater. I'm not really in a hurry for winter, but I'm ready to say goodbye to summer. 
Much as I'd like to, I can't live in a bikini, so this week also saw some proper clothing. Everything here is thrifted except for the tank top which I bought at Shop Ko (now defunct) before Danny was born. 
The skirt was originally from Forever 21 but I found it at Goodwill. I didn't enjoy wearing it as it has a very stiff waistband and a heavy zipper in back that kept digging into me. I'll be passing it along, as my days of wearing uncomfortable clothing are over, but it did have a very pretty print. 

I'm open to trying different looks, because who knows? I might find something I never thought I'd like.

Victorian/Edwardian clothing isn't my usual thing but this antique blouse worn with a 90s skirt was a rather satisfying combination. I wish I'd taken photos of the full slip beneath it all because that was beautiful as well-next time. The prettiest items are often the ones no one sees.
The Victorian brooch has a locket back that probably once held hair or a photograph, but it is empty now.

The embroidery on the back is just gorgeous.

Ahh there's that crooked spine of mine. 
Speaking of my spine. I needed to get a photograph taken for my new passport, so I went over to the Walgreens across the street. Two different people tried, ad failed to get a photograph with my shoulders somewhat aligned for the headshot. Eventually, I told them to give up and I'd go to a proper photographer that can better deal with it than the corner drugstore. It was frustrating because their digital camera and software assumes a certain degree of symmetry that just wasn't going to work. I can't be the only person with scoliosis that's ever needed a passport photo, but I guess the last time I had one in 2002 it was on film, not a digital print. I'm going to hope the photographer has better luck. I'm not going anywhere, but with Dan headed to France in June (hopefully) and then (hopefully) off to University in Belgium the following year, it made sense for me to update my passport just in case, god forbid, something were to happen and I needed to go there. 

Bought myself another tee shirt. I keep finding such great ones. 
Most of my tee shirts were ready for the rag pile, so this is a good time to replace them. In the past this wouldn't have been a political statement, but merely showing off nerd credentials. Well, 2021 in America and science is political. 
The vintage denim skirt was found in unworn condition and is still a bit on the stiff side, but perfectly comfortable to wear. I never know what's going to be irritating but I was so happy when this one turned out to be easy to wear. A denim skirt is so useful year round. 
That time of year again. I found the vintage paper Beistle pumpkins for .49 cents and they were exactly the sort of thing I wanted. We have some very religious neighbours that get freaked out by the scary stuff. Knowing that, I avoid the really gruesome zombie sort of decorations in favour of cute. 
I really need to wash the windows and screens before it gets too cold. Seems like I just did it, but we had such a stormy summer it just blew dirt at the house in 100 mph straight line winds. 
This was a successful baking experiment. I wanted to try making a challah bread with whole grains and without added sweeteners. I wasn't expecting much, but it worked. There's a combination of whole wheat, rye, and oat flour in the bread and a handful of golden raisins to sweeten it. The colour comes from eggs and an egg wash before baking and also from some saffron in the dough. I always know when something goes well if there's nothing left. I'm glad I thought ahead and made two loaves with the other one in the freezer for breaking the Yom Kippur fast on Thursday. Finding things that work for everyone's diet can be tricky, but I'm getting better at it.
This spice cake is made with almond and oat flour, and non-dairy milk and margarine. My decorating skills aren't at their best, but it was a cake they could both enjoy without worry. 

This is a vegetable "kugel" or pudding. Typically, it would be made with potatoes, but I used carrots and shredded green and yellow zucchini/courgettes to great effect. The grated onion gives it a nice rich flavour. 
A whole chicken is much more economical than cut-up parts and I don't mind roasting one. There's not much to it once it goes in the oven. This was a new recipe that had it baked slowly and basted with a combination of equal parts red wine and balsamic vinegar. There's rosemary stuffed beneath the skin, and the bird baked atop a pile of chopped onions that later went into a sauce. It looks so impressive but other than occasional basting, there's really not much to it. If you want to impress people with your cooking (while not doing much cooking) a roast chicken is a good way to go. Unless you're vegetarian. Baked tofu would probably be great with the wine and vinegar combo. 
Serve some vegetables with it. This is onions, orange bell peppers, corn, purple cabbage, and zucchini. 

This vintage rayon shift dress is absolutely not the sort of thing I would wear if my stomach wasn't painful. But it is, and so having a few dresses like this for the particularly bad days is helpful. 
I guess if we're going to wear a 90s dress there might as well be a tie front cardigan from the same era. The sneakers (or "Gym Shoes" as we say in Chicago) were thrifted, but new and unworn. My previous shoes were in terrible shape, but I used them for running. No running here anymore (I'm lucky if I can get in a mile walk around the college next door) so I bought something stylish and comfortable rather than worrying about how it would hold up to impact from running. They were five dollars well spent. 
And that's going to be it from here for the moment. Hope you're having a good week.

Saturday, September 04, 2021

Go Right to the Source and Ask the Horse

 Hey everyone, we made it to September!

In the US that means the unofficial end of summer this weekend with the labour day holiday. It also means bright white shoes and handbags while not technically "wrong" just don't feel as correct as they previously did. I'm not much of a fashion rules person, but by this point after a very uncomfortable summer I'm ready for something a bit more autumnal. I did however want to get at least one more wear from these shoes.

This dress is not a Paganne, but it is trying so hard! I couldn't find anything similar online and there wasn't a label but I'd wager this is fast fashion by the way it is sewn (hint-not well). Still, it looked presentable on, and as the mornings and evenings are getting cooler here something lightweight with sleeves was welcome. Hard to go wrong for .99 cents
Other than earrings, a dress like this doesn't require much by way of accessories. I enjoyed wearing it, even if the top part could have fit better. I'll be keeping it as I think it could work in other seasons with blue accessories. I'm wearing blue eye shadow in the photo which doesn't really stand out, but perhaps that's the best way to do it. I've always been intimidated by bright eye makeup and tend to stick to neutrals. 

Now this, is a Paganne. 
See, it says so right in the fabric.
I was killing a bit of time before going to do the afternoon school run and  I called in to a thrift store I almost never visit. Didn't find much else there, but it was great. They even gave me the "Senior Discount" without my asking for it, but I wasn't insulted. 

I suspect the dress was re-styled into a halter style as I don't recall any Pagannes in that style, but it was well done and unlike the skirt I found hacked into badly re-sewn pieces, I'll be happy to wear this. Someday, I'm going to find the print I want (and have been looking for pretty much forever) but I'll gladly take this one for five bucks. 

Before we talk more clothing, can we just pause to admire these tomatoes grown from "last chance" (ie: almost dead) plants I bought off the clearance  table at the garden centre? They just needed to get planted, and have some water. Our growing season is long in Nebraska, so I sort of knew they'd still be flowering into September. 
Mr. ETB said the large tomato was the best one he'd had in years. There's several more still on the vines. No idea what variety they are (the tags were gone) but I might save some seeds for next year. The two varieties of cherry tomatoes are also doing well. 

I've been going through my packed away clothing and re-considering things that previously didn't fit. I'm loathe to invest money in clothing for a body size I don't intend to maintain once I'm healthier, but raiding the clothes I purchased with the intention to sell has been working to my advantage. I don't think I've ever been 110 lbs/49 kg as an adult, so I really don't have that many old clothes to continue wearing. Anyway, here's some of the cool dresses I bought for someone else that are going to temporarily be mine.
The top part is a taffeta fabric, and the bottom is embroidered velvet. It is a completely bonkers dress and I can't wait to wear it.  

This beauty is a silk-like material, but I don't think it is silk. 
Those sleeves!!!
Original customer tags were in the dress as well, but I didn't grab a photo.
I don't wear a lot of black (I did when I was younger and lived in Boston, but around here you wouldn't do that unless you were a widow. Or Goth) but I seem to keep finding beautiful pieces in black. 
This one is stunning on. The top is a bit large, and much more revealing than I'm used to but I'm sure everyone at Target will enjoy seeing my tits on the 7 AM grocery run (I mean, where else do I get dressed to go?!). 
Apologies for the shitty photos-the light has been awful in here lately. 
A few pretty dresses will help to make the best of a bad situation. 

Moving on, here's what I wore on my last early morning grocery run
The linen wrap skirt is from the 80s by IB Diffusion, a brand better known for their gaudy, embellished sweaters. This is pretty sedate for the brand, but I knew it was a quality piece of clothing just seeing in on the rail at Goodwill. My first thought was to wear it with a brown blouse, but I thought better of it and went with black and before I knew it there was some pattern mixing and...well here we are. I loved how this combination came out and enjoyed the novelty of a linen skirt that didn't seem to crease at all. I could use more clothing like that. Everything here is thrifted including the Coach handbag and vintage Qualicraft shoes. 

Aren't they stunning? Comfortable too. I don't wear kitten heels too often, but these definitely fit in with my wardrobe. Can't always wear platforms (though I do love my platforms). 
Of course once I left the safety of home I was fully accessorised with an N95 mask with another surgical mask over it. I can get several wears from an N95 and I'm hoping anything out there will have a tough time penetrating two masks. There's breakthrough infections amongst the vaccinated now, and I really don't want to deal with it no matter how mild it may be. Our hospitals are full again with the fourth wave this time largely the unvaccinated. That also means people with other conditions are dying because there's no one available to treat them. Yeah, I'm worried. It also like watching a train wreck you knew would happen. Once kids went back to school (without mask mandates) all hell broke loose. 
Let's just not even discuss the horse medicine thing, OK? 
Oooh, Givenchy necklace. I'd rather talk about that, wouldn't you? 
As I was already at Target and not making a special trip, I treated myself  to some new leggings that actually stay up on me. Yes, they came from the children's department and yes, I am very, very, short. Six dollars well spent as I layer them under skirts all winter. Sometimes I sleep in them as well. I tried buying the cutest red and black princess coat there but it was too long in the arms. Right. A children's coat is too long for my arms. I am built like a tyrannosaurus.

. Except for the tail, obviously. At the rate things are going, perhaps I'll grow a tail next.

The creative minds at Shifty Thrifting made some limited edition Beet Poot earring, so I had to purchase a pair. 
Beet Poot!!!
I'm just waiting for someone to ask me why I have  SylvaC pottery earrings. Explaining the origin of Beet Poot (root) is complicated. Long story short, it looks like it says, Poot, not Root. And then thousands of people on Tumblr had a laugh about it. 

And another dress that makes me look like a waitress. 
I've never worked as a waitress, but I know I'd be terrible at it. I've worked my share of menial jobs, but none of them required good balance. 

You want a tip? I got a good one. Don't take horse de-wormer to cure Covid. Sorry.

This was a fun dress. Made from jersey it is super comfortable and looks perfect right off the line.
The ruffles give it some movement which is nice. I wore my eel skin bag for the first time in years. The necklace has a working pen inside. 

This skirt is from the box of forgotten clothing. I've had it since  university days. It had a blouse, but I'm afraid that's long gone.

While I'm taking photos in the mirror, here's a more casual look. I've never really been a sweat  suit sort of person, but it is soft and comfortable to wear which is a priority for me right now. No worries, I won't be jogging. This also from the children's department at Target. Note how long everything is. Sigh. And now I've started shrinking. 
I've had this sweatshirt since third grade. It was my sister's before it was mine so it is from sometime in the early 60s. Yeah, it is falling apart but it is also still completely wearable. 
At least the arms aren't too long!
That's probably the oldest thing I have in my wardrobe that was mine, though I still have a polo neck sweater from grade 4. I mean, why get rid of something that's still useful? 
Another skirt from the forgotten clothing box-this one I purchased around 1990. The bolero goes with an evening gown.
Vintage nylon disco shirt and vintage belt. Shoes are Clarks that I thrifted
Long defunct Omaha department store
Someone on Instagram said I was dressed like her mother. 
Finally, this dress got a final wear for the season. When I bought it the built in bra was crumbling and the elastic had rotted. I spent some time removing it all and sewing it back together. It was worth it as I now have a beautiful, timeless sun dress I can wear year after year. But it was work getting it back into wearable condition. 
The necklace was a recent thrift purchase. Unlike the Givenchy choker, this one is very lightweight. The earrings are modern. 
And that's about it from here. And just remember, a horse is a horse of course...

and remember kids, if someone offers you horse de-worming medicine to treat covid, just say neighhhhhh.