Thursday, March 26, 2020

Hello From Omaha
Hello Dearhearts and Gentlepeople,

Things here in Omaha have been quiet- you could almost literally hear a pin drop. We’ve been asked to only make necessary trips for food, medicine, and  the like for the past couple weeks, and much to my pleasant surprise, people are doing what’s asked. Today I needed to venture out for a few items and it was like emerging from hibernation.

Scenes of grocery store panic and crowds that are taking place across the country just haven’t happened in Omaha. We’re not stripping the shelves clean, and people are respectful of keeping distance . I bought enough that I won’t need to shop for several weeks, and I limited myself to one store figuring it would lessen my contacts with people and get me home quickly. I opted for the Fresh Thyme- an organic grocery with excellent prices on produce. There were signs asking people to limit their purchases of staples like potatoes, onions, and meat to two each. Otherwise there were no restrictions or shortages. 

There were perhaps a dozen people there, and everyone was behaving nicely. I am SO proud of my fellow Omahans. We were asked to do something, and we are doing it. Most stores have closed, and many people are working from home. So far, we’ve been lucky, and I can’t help but think that has a lot to do with Nebraskans doing what we do best- avoiding each other! 

We have been getting regular briefings from our governor, mayor, and head of the Douglas County Health Department. The head of the health department is very no- nonsense so when she issued the order to close bars and restaurants it was understood that this is serious. I believe she also warned people that we are “not special” which is the  sort of thing we all need to hear. I frequently joke that we’ll know how bad the outbreak is by whether Dr. Pour shows up for the briefing wearing a housecoat and no makeup . She’s easily the best dressed person in Nebraska, and if I’m honest I tune into the briefing as much for information as to check out Dr. Pour’s outfit. If she arrives in a housecoat, you know it is time to panic! Fortunately today she was immaculately turned out as usual. I noted the accessories, breathed a sigh of relief and put my trust in the Dr. Adi Pour Index of Doom as evidenced by wardrobe. I noted scarf, earrings, lipstick and nail varnish so we’re probably doing ok here in Douglas county. In all seriousness though, she’s always run that department extraordinarily well, and the pandemic hasn’t changed that. Trust in the people telling you what to do matters, and she’s demonstrated being worthy of that trust over and over. 

Mayor Stothert has also been doing an outstanding job of running the city at an extremely difficult time. She’s made a point of getting officials to update the public and hasn’t hid away in her office. Again, having someone trustworthy telling you what to do makes all the difference. 

I’m even going to say something nice about governor Ricketts. I didn’t vote for him, and in most cases would be opposed to everything he stands for, but in this situation, he’s been doing a fine job. I don’t know if the body snatchers got him, or he suddenly had a moment of enlightenment but whatever happened, he’s doing the job you expect a governor to do in an emergency without making it political. I never suspected there’d be a decent person in there, but I’m impressed by his performance so far. Unfortunately the governor has zero fashion sense so I don’t have a good index for reading him other than by what he says. 

We started social distancing early in Nebraska, and so far thst seems to be paying off. We will have a better idea over the next few weeks. It helps that we live in flyover country- no one comes to Nebraska unless they absolutely must.  That might just be what saves us.

I hope wherever you are you are safe and well. Hang in there everyone 💕

Saturday, March 14, 2020

It’s Such a Sad Sad Song Mother Nature Ain’t Never Wrong
Me and my severely compromised immune system are blocking people on Instagram who say things like, “It only impacts the old or sick.” Thanks for letting the old and sick know how much value you put on our lives. Anyway, touch wood I am doing ok.
Is everyone keeping up on their first aid preparedness? If you’re stuck at home, it isn’t a bad idea. Most serious accidents happen in the home.
I’ve been cooking! This was puy lentils with greens, yellow peppers, and preserved lemon. Quick, easy, and inexpensive.
This was chicken thighs for the meat eaters, with orzo, white wine, capers, and garlic. One pan meal.
That’s hard cooked eggs in a curry with fried onions.
Spinach rice.
Whole meal loaves.
Apricot filled pastry for Purim ( Hamentaschen).
And even a spinach soufflé. So no one is going hungry and I haven’t need to touch the tinned food or emergency rations. I shopped pre-panic.
I’m getting dressed anyway, at least for the presents. School is out and no reason to leave the house but it still feels like I ought to be getting dressed. Maybe I didn’t need to be quite THIS dressed 😁.
Why do things halfway?
I can’t tell you I know what’s ahead, but I do know that spring is coming soon. For whatever that’s worth,  as we had 4 inches of snow this morning. Hang in there, stay safe, and maybe don’t panic over toilet paper. The trees will be leafing out soon enough and you can wipe your arse with that.

Check in on your old, sick neighbours. 

Saturday, February 29, 2020

Leaps and Bounds
Happy Leap Year! I hope everyone made good use of the extra day. I spent it cooking.
What to do with 32 red, yellow, and orange bell peppers I brought home for .  25 cents each? This red pepper spread gook care of eight of them!
I also made a tofu, green bean, and pepper stir fry. 
But now I’m going to need to come up with some other stuff. I might freeze some and dehydrate others. Bell peppers are a great source of vitamin C. So no one is getting scurvy on my watch!
This is a deep dish apple and rhubarb pie using the end of last year’s rhubarb from the freezer. Just in time for the new spring crop. If you haven’t tried rhubarb and apple together, you’re missing out. It also turns the apples a delicate pink. So beautiful.
Now this was interesting! Vegan ricotta made from coconut milk and agar seaweed. It works! You need to plan  ahead as it needs to set like gelatin before being put through a grinder, but it is simple enough to do.
I haven’t been chewing solids since my oral surgery which went...well, yeah. Soft food for me for the foreseeable future. Good thing I like potatoes and hummus.
I’m sorry to have missed out on the pumpkin bundt cake. Most of it was finished the day it was made. The boys really went for it.

One of our better supermarkets went out of business. I went to have a look around in the last days. There wasn’t much but I did get a dozen bottles of my now discontinued vo5 conditioner that ended up being .80 cents a bottle- so that was a deal! I’ll miss Super Saver and their oddball produce bargains.

Oh boy.
Not that I was expecting to ever be able to retire but the 401k is going to be taking one hell of a hit. I guess it won’t matter because we’ll all be dead from the virus.

I’ve been working on finishing a novel ( really) but had to re-write the section including a fictional pandemic because I was giving the government response more credit than the reality we’re living through. I started this long before the current situation but it would read funny post Coronavirus. Locally people are pretty calm, but hand sanitizer is in short supply. I already had a good stock of quality masks because of allergy season coming up, so that was lucky.

Who wants to see some outfits?
The dreaded “Mom Jeans” with a high waist and boot cut leg. Look, I wear jeans so rarely I can’t be bothered with trying to be fashionable. They fit, and that’s good enough. The vintage  cape has suede details, a nice combination in my opinion. I’m also wearing the Nebraska belt buckle I was given at Christmas. The handbag was thrifted a few years ago.
I’m rediscovering trousers. These have buttons up the sides like a sailor’s.
I rather like that.
The vintage windbreaker was something I bought for Danny but he quickly outgrew. It feels strange getting hand- me-downs from my child! He’s grown into a giant.
Same trousers doing a 40s look with an 80s top. I like the versatility, but I don’t really ever feel myself in slacks. I guess that’s because I rarely wore them as a young person.
But give me a dress or a skirt, and I’m good!
A cheaply thrifted 80s crepe dress can work wonders for my wardrobe. The sleeves are sheer which would be a bit much in February, so I’m wearing a shirt beneath.
Still letting the curls go wild. Probably could use a haircut but can’t be bothered. At least I won’t be running out of conditioner any time soon!
This suit has been in my collection 30 years, and it was old then!
My suit has been a more reliable presence in my life than most people! I can always count on it. 

Wacky? Oh, I can do wacky clothes!
The corduroys came from the children’s department at Target around 2001. They are meant to be cropped . If I bought trousers in the adult department they would be dragging on the  ground.
You’ve seen all these before,  but put together differently. I rather like the coral with brown. 

1980s? I’ve got that!

How about a sneak peek at the Mr. Dino dress I scored? It needs some buttons replaced and the hem tacked up but is otherwise perfect. I was so happy to find it as my collection was lacking a Mr. Dino and his stuff really is representative of the early 70s.
What’s the perfect fragrance to wear with your Mr. Dino?
There’s something so bourgeois about it! I’m not judging ( yes I am). Anyway, it is perfect with a dress my mum would have happily worn. 

There’s still a few hours left to leap day, so I am off to make the most of them. Hope you enjoyed yours. 

See you in March.