Saturday, November 28, 2020

I Saw Mommy Kicking Santa Claus

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. 




Emily said...

I'm so excited to see a new blog post from you! The hammertoe ornament alone made it worth the long wait. I laughed so hard, I nearly cried.

Also hilarious (but probably unintentional on your part) was the way you put a photo of yourself with your right arm and right leg raised wildly in the air, directly after the words, "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.'

As I was scrolling very slowly at the time, I gasped because I momentarily thought that you had somehow photographed yourself in mid-fall at the top of your stairs! I was so relieved to scroll a little further down and see you were only striking a wacky pose for the camera. : )

I'm happy to see you're enjoying the Dans La Nuit. It should last you for years.

I once saw a model train piled high with assorted foods on platters. It ran on a track around a huge dining table, sort of like one of those sushi restaurants where small plates go around and around on a conveyor belt so you never have to leave your seat to get second helpings. I could go for something like that, lazy as I am sometimes.

Your outfits and accessories are beautiful. I'm been bored enough at home to start piling on lots of costume jewelry, even if most days I stay in my pajamas all day. : )

ThriftyParka said...

oooh, I lovvve your clothing and accessories! I wish I had a waist! Then I would wear that gorgeous belt with the ginormous gold buckle!

I'm glad that the ETB family is safe and sound. Things are getting worrying here in Thunder Bay. Like you, my trips to the thrift store are significantly reduced....but with a garage full Rubbermaid totes of my extra clothing, I won't run out anytime soon!!

happy (shopping at home) thrifting ;)

bahnwärterin said...

**because I lack imagination**
you? ha!
at least not in the ways of fashion, decoration, cooking, baking, bottled scents and of cause society in the whole.......
love the red/black tartan with the cool stockings and the laura a. corduroy - and will steal the idea of the pedleton skirt look - but minus the silk turtleneck - have no and to much lumps&bumps anyway - maybe a white ruffled blouse???
i was actually thinking: how will the house look when goody emerges from her isolation??? i have only one male here and a halfway trained one - but two? good to hear they made some effort.
speaking of effort - our government is trying to made some too, but people under-going the rules like teenagers on to much hormons & dope - and the numbers are rising. the november half-lockdown went into a full one for most of december - but i KNOW that no one will care. its x-mas tima - ya´know. :-(
stay safe and warm - dear goody!!! xxxxxx

Polyester Princess said...

I almost forgot about the hammertoe, but it once again had me in stitches :-) Your speculaas looks delicious, and Mr. ETB and Danny brandishing those turkey legs had me giggling. Well done on using your gravy boat. I have one too and I don't think I ever used it. I'm loving the plaid skirt and blouse, which I actually had to look twice at before I realized it wasn't a maxi dress. That's a fierce pair of boots you're wearing with it. I'm pleased to hear you didn't sustain any injuries! Your Pendleton skirt and embroidered cardigan are gorgeous too, as is the The Gap cardi! Swooning over the bird pendant and the sparkly brooch! xxx

Beth Waltz said...

Reading this post at 4:00 AM, I am, and with gratitude for the giggles contained therein!
If you'd done nothing more than provide that splendid pix of Mr. ETB in his jammies, lifting aloft the turkey leg, your good deed for the week was done.
So true, your observations about gravy boats, home-schooling mamas in Birkenstocks, and man cave standards of housekeeping! Add to this swirling mix of disassociated icons the disjointed flotsam and jetsam of what was our normal routines, and there's no mystery about our unsettled sleep patterns. I count them among the many collateral side-effects of Covid-19, along with kids' disrupted educations and pets being dumped at shelters by unemployed owners.
I, too, am wearing lipstick under the mask and putting holiday decor in a guest bath that will see no guests this holiday season. Curse the Covidiots that are prolonging this plague!

Vronni's Style Meanderings said...

Oh you are a patient woman! I would blow a gasket if the house was left in such a mess whilst I was away...

Lovely, lovely outfits. I loved the two piece plaid combo - how can that not be a suit? Loved the American Duchess shoes - just fabulous. And as for the jewellery, so lovely. I have a cameo brooch that is also a pendant but it's very small and dainty. I haven't worn it yet but I'd wear it as a brooch.

I love your hallway decoration - what a cracking idea! The Mexican decorations are great and how sweet you still have Danny's creative efforts. I have only one that the eldest grandson made for me and one that the middle grandson made.

I love the train sets round the base of the Christmas tree - what a clever idea.

Take care and don't go tripping over your slippers...

Vix said...

It's hammer time! God, hasn't that rolled around quickly?
Loving the new fancy stockings and the Duchess shoes with the LA dress.
Your baking looks very professional and the lads look very pleased with themselves holding their drumsticks aloft.
The trains are lovely. xxx

Goody said...

There was a diner in one of the Chicago suburbs that delivered your food at the counter by toy train. The place is long gone but a quick google search shows that other places have carried on the same idea.
The hammertoe is a source of joy, and worth leaving up all year. I hope you're finding some way to bring humour into your daily life these days. Absolutely wear the baubles! They're even more luxe worn with PJ's.

@Thrifty Parka
The waist is rapidly disappearing, believe me. I'm sorry things are getting bad in Thunder Bay. Canada seems to have such a better grasp at the moment, but I guess there will always be regional hot spots. I hope things quiet down soon.

The idea that I was expected to buy a china service when I married seemed so strange to me that I just copied my mother! We do use it though-I've never been one to save things for best.
It is hard to convince teenagers that they're mortal. I remember being young and very stupid, but I'd hoped young people today would be smarter. Stay safe and well.

Isn't a gravy boat about the silliest piece of china service?! It does absolutely nothing to keep the contents warm absent a lid, so unless everyone eats quickly or enjoys cold gravy, what's the point? I guess we can blame the Victorians for that little oddity among others.
Stay safe and well.

There's a number of online apps that are supposed to help with insomnia, but I don't think I'm quite at that point yet. I was up at 2:30 AM today to watch the lunar eclipse and I have to say, it just felt like another early morning.
I finally switched out my shoes from summer sandals to winter boots knowing full well I have nowhere to wear them and it will be spring or summer at least before regular trips outside are possible. Oh well. Stay safe and healthy and try to get some sleep.

My mum would lose her mind if she came home after being in hospital (which she was quite a bit) and the house was even a tiny bit out of place. No matter how well we cleaned and tidied before she came home it was never good enough and she'd go on a mini-rampage. I share the feelings, but I try my best to keep it in.
Hope you are staying safe and well.

this year felt incredibly fast given that we've been at home since February. I really hope this doesn't drag on too much longer or I'll be dyeing Easter eggs before I know it. Stay safe and well and I hope your lockdown goes by quickly and easily.

Emily said...

You're right, it's weird that on special occasions, we customarily serve gravy in a dedicated vessel, but it doesn't have a lid on it and it doesn't rest inside a bain-marie or on top of a candle flame to keep it warm.

I think what the world needs is a gravy boat that is shaped like an oil tanker and uses batteries or Sterno to keep the gravy warm all night if needed. It should be called the Gravy McBoatface in honor of your Instagram name. : )

I hope you find some model-train experts who can comment on your project. It sounds like so much fun. Wish I'd visited the Chicago restaurant while it was still there.

Señora Allnut said...

I'm a huge fan of gesture with poultry legs, it makes me feel I'm at a medieval banquet (and I'd like to throw my dogs some bones but I haven't any dog, unfortunately!). This photo has put a smile on my face.
And I love your red plaid 'suit' and those 'fashionable in a 19th century sort of way' stockings (sassiness!!). Love your plaid skirt and cute embroidered cardi and good shoes and corduroy dress (so warm and cosy and such a fab color!) and all the burgundy and reddish shades!. And gorgeous pendants!