Get ready to kick someone under the hammertoe, because the festivities are coming early to the townhouse at the top of the Burt Street hill. Truth is, we never took the hammertoe down last year, but I won't tell anyone if you don't.
It isn't just us. The Tree of Lights at the corner of 90th and Dodge is lit. I only saw it in the very early morning as I made a pre-dawn trip to the supermarket to avoid crowds. Going out at night seems like something from another timeline. If I'm honest, so does going out at all.
Somewhere in the blur of the last couple weeks, pfeffernusse were baked. Halving, the recipe still resulted in several full tins, but they last for months.
Speculaas last indefinitely as well. So that's done. For Thanksgiving I successfully roasted a turkey-no small accomplishment for someone that's been a vegetarian since 1983! It wasn't that different from roasting a large chicken. It was only a 9 lb. turkey. How nice to prepare something that was enjoyed, and there will be a couple days of leftovers for sandwiches. Also, if you can't eat a holiday meal in pajamas and gesture with large poultry legs, are you really even celebrating?
Yeah. The eagle-eyed might notice the gravy boat in use. It is a rare occasion when gravy requires a trip to the table in dedicated china, but for those moments at holidays that would feel bourgeoise and embarrassingly aspirational the rest of the year, it is nice to have a gravy boat that matches the china pattern. I have Friendly Village by Johnson Brothers because my mother did. This isn't her set. I bought the same china as an adult because I lack imagination. Note also the bottle of BBQ sauce-that doesn't require a specific use vessel.
The pandemic has been an opportunity to dig through the wardrobe and wear things that probably wouldn't see the light of day in a typical year. This vintage polyester dress was purchased to re-sell, but 2020 being what it is, it ended up worn. I haven't been to a thrift store since February, but fear not-the wardrobe of Goody McGoodface knows no bounds. It might get a little strange as time goes on, but that's likely more a consequence of isolation and boredom than anything lacking in the wardrobe department.
The shoes came off immediately after snapping the photo as footwear beyond slippers hasn't been required but once a fortnight, and only a fool would wear shoes like this to the supermarket. I'm trying to avoid the hospital with Covid, to end up there with a broken hip would just be humiliating.
The clocked stockings arrived and were immediately put to use keeping my legs warm and fashionable in a 19th century sort of way. They reach mid-thigh on my short legs.
The tiny bit of elastic at the top is enough to keep them up, which was a pleasant surprise.
Blouse and skirt are by different makers and were likely manufactured a decade or two apart. Somehow, the pieces work well together. That's always such a nice bonus as I rarely purchase clothing with what I have at home to match. That's a failing on my part, but ever the magpie distracted by something shiny and pretty, it is easy to get caught up in purchasing impractical clothing, particularly at thrift store prices. Perhaps the year off from shopping will cure me of this consumption pattern, but I wouldn't wager on it.
Anyone else having disrupted sleep patterns? Most years the time change happens and aside from noting how it turns dark earlier, I don't think much about it, but this year I'm all out of sorts. Hopefully this will adjust as winter goes on, because bolting awake at 4 AM isn't enjoyable even if the extra couple of hours before anyone else rises does afford the opportunity to accomplish things without distraction. I typically go to bed before the rest of the family, which means I'm met each morning by dishes, empty soda bottles sitting on the floor, and the like. Sometimes it feels like I live in a fraternity house, but it isn't an enormous inconvenience to clean a few dishes as I wait for the kettle to boil in the morning. I've personally never understood the inability to walk a few dishes to the sink, and soda bottles to the bin. I don't consider myself a neat-freak in the pathological sense, but this level of laziness surprises me. So yes, the extra time is at least being put to use. We won't talk about what I found downstairs when I emerged from my post-election isolation in the upstairs bedroom. It wasn't good, but it could have been much, much, worse. It appears effort, albeit of the very most minimal sort was made, and for that I'm appreciative.
That went off-topic quickly, didn't it? Here, have another vintage outfit. This one's a Pendleton skirt worn with a 60s cardigan and some Clarks shoes of unknown vintage. Grey shoes don't seem like an obvious wardrobe workhorse, but they've reliably satisfied when neither brown nor black would have been appropriate. They're ugly as fuck, but get the job done. Being Clarks they're also comfortable and really, with all 2020 has given us, why wouldn't comfort be a priority. Besides, they're only getting worn for the photograph because as already mentioned earlier, who needs shoes to stay home?
Isn't the embroidery on the cardigan the sweetest?
Winter specific pendant.
Underneath, I'm wearing a white, silk sweater. Without the cardigan it is rather ugly, but has the advantage of being both lightweight, and warm. It shows absolutely every lump and bump (of which my body has many) but earns a place in my permanent wardrobe for functionality. There's a certain sort of Midwestern woman that wears a white poloneck, typically with an ugly denim pinafore and Birkenstock shoes. As I homeschooled Danny through 8th grade, I was more than aware of the stereotype. I've never owned a denim pinafore, or a pair of Birkenstocks, but I'm going to keep wearing the white poloneck.
At the other end of "Homeschooling Mother" wardrobe extreme, we have the "Swathed in velvet" look, which is also comfortable and warm.
I do enjoy a good cardigan. This one is from the 780s, a rare purchase from The Gap. Remember when Gap made clothes you'd want to wear?
As I'm home all the time, it is a good opportunity to wear accessories I'd worry about losing or damaging. This cameo is one of many in my collection, but the seed pearls make it particularly nice-and fragile. It is so thin-just look at how the light shines through the back.
Someone added the pin at some point. The pendant itself is quite antique despite the newer piece. It always amazes me how things survive in such good condition. Anyway, it was nice to wear it around the house.
A rarely worn vintage Laura Ashley corduroy dress went nicely with the cameo.
This ART cameo brooch is from the 50s. It is beautifully made, but plastic, not shell. Never underestimate good costume. I happily wear this one outside the house, though I'd probably be unhappy if I lost it.
No reason to worry about damaging my American Duchess shoes in the elements when I don't go anywhere. They're special shoes, but no one ever sees them because there's only three or four days a year when the weather in Nebraska is safe enough to wear good shoes.
Time to get out the sparkly brooches. This one's a copy of something in the V&A but hell if I can remember what. Sort of classic star design anyway.
The vintage trains are getting set up for the first time in at least 45 years. There's three sets and miles of track. The Hafner and Marx sets are from the 40s, and the Lionel set is from the 50s. I have both my father's and uncle's trains because no one else wanted them. I remember playing with them in the 70s. It will take some time to sort out what trains go with what tracks/controllers, etc. But it should be a good stay-at-home project. Danny played with some of the cars when he was little, but we never set up track and ran them. He's pretty excited to have a project.
Awww look at the Union Pacific! Doesn't get more Nebraska than that.
Scent of late has been Dans la Nuit. I now have a giant bottle to keep me happy (Thank, Emily!) and I don't need to worry about running out again. I go back and forth with this one. Sometimes all I can smell is civet and violets, other times, the aldehydes. This particular bottle has a really strong punch of carnation that my other bottle lacked. I've been wearing it quite a bit in our weather that refuses to be warm nor cold. It seems strange to say, but I think Dans La Nuit might be the perfect scent for damp autumn days.
I'll continue to decorate not because anyone will see it, but because I find it cheerful and god knows we can all use a bit of cheer. A couple years ago I picked up some Mexican Christmas decorations at a local shop and I just love them.
My "fireplace" in the hall!
But the very best decorations are the ones Danny made when he was very small. The paper garlands, glittery pinecones, and paper ornaments are treasured parts of our holiday décor. The tree has bread dough ornaments he made back in 2010.
These days I don't like to use glitter, but I remember taking him into the backyard at the farm to make a mess. I was never the mother that was afraid of messy art projects. Paint, chalk pastels, you name it.
Lastly, I got yet another new mask because I don't want to be Breaking the Law when I'm out Living After Midnight. I'm sure it will get plenty of use. Because people wouldn't listen and stay home over the Thanksgiving holiday, we are now looking at a nightmarish surge in a few weeks. That probably won't stop people from doing the same damn thing again over Christmas. I guess it will be tough if anyone needs a hospital for non-covid emergencies. That's unfortunate because holidays are prime heart-attack season. If I sound angry, I am. Every other country in the world is dealing with this as the US goes merrily along killing grannies and low-wage workers. Cities are slowly implementing mask mandates, but as the saying goes, the barn door is open and the horse has already bolted. Oh well, at least I have my trains to keep me occupied.
Any train experts here have tips to share? I'd love to know what your experiences have been like running antique trains. Do tell.
Next time I hope to be back with a bit of Christmas cake baking. Stay safe and for fuck's sake, stay the hell at home.