Thursday, June 10, 2021

She's Big, Bad, Bloated, and Back

But mostly bloated, if I'm honest.  
It will go down eventually, but for the moment I'm wearing things with elastic waists or shifts. Add in post-surgical constipation (sorry, TMI) and getting dressed has been a bit more complicated than usual. Ordinarily, I'll put up with something slightly uncomfortable, but with three incisions in various stages of healing, I'm dressing strictly for comfort these days. This little Gap dress from the 90s wouldn't be the sort of thing I'd wear if I hadn't just had surgery and it was 95 degrees outside, but I did, and it is, and here we are. It isn't a bad little dress, but it is awfully little. 

Well hello there prednisone bloated face! Lookin' goooooood. Maybe it will smooth out some wrinkles while I'm blown-up like a balloon. I'm trying my best to take it in stride because I can't do anything about it, and it is only going to get worse. 

Since I haven't posted outfits for some time, I'm going to be going out of order between today and the past couple of weeks. I'm sure you won't mind, will you? The days are all somewhat of a blur at this point anyway. Hell, the last year was a blur.

Fabulous trousers. Shame they gave me appendicitis. By the end of that day I was in hospital-but I looked okay early in the morning when I snapped the photo. I even washed my hair. I really wouldn't have bothered, had I known. Interestingly, by the time I was sent home three days later, my eyeliner was still on in places. I find that amazing, as it wasn't even marketed as waterproof, smudgeproof, or hospitalproof. I use ELF brand-the cheap drugstore stuff. Anyway, these are now "cursed trousers" and I probably won't wear them again, which is a pity as they were given to me free of charge by the lovely woman at the thrift store. That also means I can't donate them either because who wants to curse someone else? I'm not (that) serious, but emotionally I'm no longer really feeling the love for the pants. 
Did I look like I was going to be flat on my arse eight hours later? Sigh. 

Moving backward a bit, here's a beautiful skirt made from what I suspect are strips of quilting fabric and all the ric rac and ribbon in someone's stash. The belt came with some cargo shorts I bought for Dan-but he never wears a belt, so I took it. I take a lot of his old clothes. I've recently taken possession of some jeans, a shirt with French cuffs, and a fab 1950s windbreaker he wore perhaps twice. Dan is rather set in his style of plaid shirt, jeans or cargo shorts these days, which makes getting dressed and out of the house quick and easy. There's definitely something to be said for wearing a uniform of sorts. He's doing an internship this summer with a local independent media outlet, and clothes are the last thing he wants to be worrying about. 
Me? Oh, I'm all about fussing over clothes. It is the only reason I get out of bed some days. 
Earrings from the sale rack at Target a few years ago. They do brilliant earrings, and the sales are epic.
Bought these shoes at Marshall's about 20 years ago. Photographing your own feet isn't easy! 

This rather fun skirt was bought for a dollar, but it really is too large. Someone on Instagram observed that it looks like a Twister game, which makes me love it all the more. The shirt was someone's home-sewn work and was also purchased for a dollar. That will probably be re- donated, but I'll hang onto the skirt and give it a try with a white blouse before making any decisions. The shoes are vintage from a garage sale.
The ostrich handbag was another thrifted treasure a few years ago.  I thought it was vinyl when I bought it-shows how much I know! Buying things I like usually works out. The season for white shoes and handbags is so short I have to make an effort to get them all worn. With last year being a bust, that means all the more effort now. Don't want the handbags getting lonely on the shelf. 
When the mercury is climbing it makes sense to wear a shift dress as they're cool and comfortable. Prior to the surgery, I wasn't really sold on the look but with a giant stomach with incisions in various states of healing, I want ALL the shift dresses. This one had a Greek looking pattern and with the colours could almost convince me I'm on a holiday in the islands instead of Omaha. I'm quite short, and do wonder just how mini this would be on a person of average height. 
Speaking of channeling your inner Greek Goddess...
Something to hold my hair back when I wash my face. That's me, bringing the glamour to the mundane. 
And of course, this little bit of fabulousness. 
Just add an owl. And possibly an Ambrosia salad. Sigh, Olympus is so dull in summertime.
When Danny was small I'd read mythology to him and he just adored the idea of the gods sitting around Mt. Olympus eating ambrosia. I didn't have the heart to tell him the stories probably weren't referring to that American potluck staple with oranges, pineapple, and coconut. Growing up in Illinois, I consumed quite a lot of it, but unless there's fruit flavoured mini marshmallows mixed in, I can't consider it a proper "salad". Yeah, I know-salad is a bit of a stretch, but we Midwesterners are a strange bunch. Sadly, I didn't have any ambrosia salad, but I did have some instant pudding (custard). Just two minutes of whisking, and you've got dinner dessert.  

Applique wrap skirt with a matching appliqued tee shirt? Why not?! I wouldn't have worn it at the time, but forty years down the line and I think it is charming, if a bit suburban mummy. That's a genuine Nantucket Lightship Basket from 1979 (according to the penny glued inside keeping with tradition). I don't use it often, as I'm afraid of damaging it. The scrimshaw-ish whale on the lid is carved from bone, not ivory. I am wearing a jade bracelet that I'm pleased to report made it home intact. I am such a clumsy person-don't ask how many glass bracelets I've destroyed over the years. 
You can read a bit more about the baskets HERE if you're interested.
"Pardon me, do you have any krill?"
He doesn't look that fierce to me. "Killer whale" eh?
Moving along...

A vintage Indian rayon dress with a comfortable stretch panel to fit over my post-surgical beachball stomach.

It does the trick.

The hyper-pigmentation on my face is getting worse, but I don't really know that there's much to be done about it outside of a plastic surgeon's office and I am not doing that. I'm using all the various products to fade and lighten it but honestly, I don't see much effect. It does seem like prednisone has made it worse, so perhaps it will go away if and when the treatment is over. I'm not too vain with respect to ageing, but I do wish I didn't have three different shades of skin on my face. Ah well, that's what foundation is there to cover I suppose. 
Caftan, anyone? 
I believe it is home-sewn. Someone must have purchased some fabric on holiday and decided to try their hand at sewing. I'm going to use it as a cover-up at the pool this summer as it is a lightweight polyester fabric that will dry quickly. 
The best part of this outfit? The earrings...
Aren't they the best? I'm not convinced I'll ever wear white capri trousers again (I'll try anything once) but these earrings are going to be my new summer favourites. They're articulated and move as I walk. 
Speaking of summer favourites, you've seen this dress multiple times over the years, and you'll keep seeing it for as long as it holds together. 

Time for a perfume break. Do I need more perfume? Nah. Did I have any idea what this would smell like? Nope? Did I bring it home because I liked the bottle-you betcha! Luckily, I like it although I wish the longevity were better. At that price, re-applying isn't too big of a deal. 
Not my typical thing, but on a hot, muggy, day it smells like a garden. I was expecting some horrible tropical coconut thing, so was pleasantly surprised to get flowers. Anyway, Must. Stop. Buying. Perfume. I rarely purchase full bottles anymore, though I did splurge on a bottle of the reformulated Mitsouko. It doesn't last (boo) but at least it smells like Mitsouko (yay). It is so hot and muggy here at the moment the thought of wearing anything heavier than 4711 seems like too much. I carry the individual packet wipes in my bag as a nice alternative to hand santiser which I am sick to death of at this point. 

I have finally post-vaccines started going out regularly again, and made a trip to Marshalls for some fancy soaps. That was something I'd been looking forward to doing, and it did not disappoint.

What's been cooking? 
Balsamic chicken breasts with shitake mushrooms and sautéed bok-choi served over quinoa.  Would definitely work over tofu or seitan.
Edamame noodles with stir-fried cube steak and veggies-same with respect to vegetarian option.
Chickpea noodles with chicken and veg
Chicken thighs with olives, artichoke hearts, and lemon/garlic sauce served over chickpea "rice"
A better look at the the above recipe in the pan. There's been other stuff, but nothing terribly fancy. I did a thing with tempeh and coconut milk that they enjoyed. I'm still doing liquids for myself (ugh) but I found a non-dairy mushroom soup I'm rather partial to. Imagine Organics makes some pretty spectacular soup at a good price. I don't like the idea of just cooking for myself, so being able to heat up some soup while I make the boys their dinner works well for me. I'm also enjoying hummus thinned out with yoghurt. I know that doesn't sound terribly exciting, but I suppose excitement is in the stomach of the beholder. 

This was tonight's dinner for the boys-summer squash "noodles" with cod cooked in a pan with tomatoes, garlic, onions, and herbs. Isn't it beautiful? I added some white beans to boost the nutrition. 

Finally, this was today's outfit. About as classic as it gets for hot weather. 
Naturalizer handbag which means there's matching shoes out there somewhere!
Ear climber earrings and a lobster because, why not? 

Thanks everyone for your well wishes on my last post. I was completely caught off guard by it (which I'm told is the typical presentation) and am strangely looking forward to just dealing with the chronic rather than acute stuff. I manage pretty well, but that really came at me like a wrecking ball. 

See you next time. 



Bibi Maizoon said...

Looking quite fashionable despite the recent surgical intervention!
I have only had one laparoscopic surgery which was elective. Although they tell you it is less painful & traumatic than a regular open surgery I DISAGREE. Any cutting of abdominal muscles is super painful & the CO2 bubbles' pressure (pneumoperitoneum) and swelling are miserable. I had to have a Jackson-Pratt drain (positive suction with bag) placed and my entire esophagus swelled shut requiring a balloon catheter to open it.
Your Summer outfits are gorgeous, I especially love the black & gold goddess dress, the Indian lotus rayon dress, and the old favorite red & olive floral. You seem to have a 90s color way going so the Fragonard Soleil bottle with the swirly sun cap seems fitting. I hope you will grace us with a review of what I hear is an enchanting white floral!
Take care!

bahnwärterin said...

the melon ice earrings are gorgeous!!
and i´m in love with the folky patchwork/ric-rac skirt and the dottet one too - both totally my kind of prey when i´m out for 2.hand shopping.....
the goddess dress in black/gold looks awesome on you - and only you woul have an owl at hand for accessorizing :-D
totally understand the need for lose dresses!!
i learned from nursing the BW after his colon removal that eating fiber rich food as soon as possible helps the remaining parts a lot to get into work again. good chewing provided...
the darkened skin comes from the medication for sure and will go away after. but check your cream too - some ingrediences have this long term symptoms too - esp. with the help of sun light.
get well soon!
ps: super yummy food! can we have a senior commune later? i promise to help in the kitchen!

Emily said...

So many beautiful outfits! I rather like the minidress from the Gap too. It looks fantastic on you.

I enjoyed reading about the history of the Nantucket Lightship Basket. The whale on your basket lid is awfully cute. Too cute to have killed anything other than krill.

The Greek-themed outfit is amazing. Now I know where you got the inspiration for that hand-drawn owl you sent me (which is still proudly displayed on my fridge).

Inspired by your photo, I made a tofu version of the dish that has the artichokes, lemons, and chicken thighs. It came out quite well. It was my first time using Castelvetrano olives. Mmmm, delicious.

Congratulations on finding Soleil! Lots of white flowers in that one.

Polyester Princess said...

Such a shame about the pants, as they're gorgeous, but I wouldn't be wearing a cursed item of clothing again either.
Wonderful parade of outfits, as always. Favourites are the ric-rac and ribbon skirt, the Twister game skirt, the Grecian gown, the vintage Indian rayon dress and that final dress, which is an absolute stunner. Gorgeous handbags too - you've really got the most amazing collection - and the watermelon ice earrings are super cute. I'm drooling over all that mouth-watering food. Mr. ETB and Danny don't know how lucky they are! xxx

Vix said...

I'm with you on the cursed clothing, no matter how good it needs to go!
Loving the Indian Greek themed dress, it looks fantastic on you and, of course, an owl makes the best accessory. The applique skirt is adorable.
Those earrings are just brilliant.
Keep getting better! xxx

Beth Waltz said...

Quite right about dressing for comfort, although my "medical muumuu" lacks the glamour of your fabulous Greek ensembles. The blue and white shift would indeed be chic in cities more known for street style than Omaha; the Athena maxi with golden and avian accessories is definitely appropriate for sitting around Mt. Olympus eating ambrosia and drinking retsina.

Do the Methodist Church Basement Ladies still whip up ambrosia? Long after she acquired a modern double-doored fridge/freezer, a friend's mum kept the metal ice cube trays from the ancient cake-top 'fridge with legs. She used these to make ambrosia with Milnot, mini-marshmallows, canned mandarins and pineapple chunks, and coconut from a bag. Oh, and lime sugar dust to make it sweet... The trays kept the concoction cold longer on the picnic table.
I envy you that gilded laurel wreath. My own bathroom headgear is a terrycloth turban that resembles a tea cosy.

Vronni's Style Meanderings said...

Glad you're healing and getting back to normal - and even venturing out to shop!

What a marvellous round up of outfits. I adored the caftan and as for the Greek Goddess dress - wow! Fabulous accessories; those bags and that lobster. Loved the ice lolly earrings. Your hair looks fab in an 'up do' and I love it curly, too.

Those men are so lucky to have you cooking such wonderful meals' I felt so hungry after looking at all those lovely nosh I had to go and find myself a snack!

Get better soon.

Goody said...

Years ago I had my gallbladder removed (a wholly unnecessary surgery it turned out as the pathology came back normal-hrumph)but don't remember having any trouble healing from it. This has been miserable, and I've been back to the Dr. twice now for further tests but unless you have a blockage, they don't seem to deem it important. Yours sounds like a nightmare.
I'm glad I unpacked my clothes before getting sick because there's no way I'd be sorting through the heavy boxes now. Not that anything fits, but eh, whatever. Yes, I will do a review-I was shocked at just how much I like it as white florals aren't my usual thing. It is very well behaved.

We should absolutely have a senior commune!
It feels so strange to be cooking every night and not being able to eat solid food, but I don't actually seem to be craving anything. I guess after a time on liquids you just stop thinking of food as anything more than subsistence. Anyway, I think they appreciate the meals even if no one says so. My fibre these days comes by way of a supplement.

I'm so glad to hear you tried the olive/artichoke with tofu. Someone on Instagram also did a version (I think with fish) so it is great knowing how versatile it is. I mean, anything with lemons and olives are going to be good provided you like olives.

It is a lot of white flowers! I'm really surprised I like it as much as I do, though in cooler weather it might not be as appealing.

Thank you-I am glad to know I'm not the only superstitious person when it comes to clothing.
I'm finding that none of my old clothes fit at the moment, so I have an excuse to purchase a few new items here and there, though I'm trying to keep it inexpensive as I was just forced to purchase new bras and those were definitely not a bargain.

We have several owls. I'm not sure what that says about us as a family, or my son's taste in décor, but there are many, many owls. Yeah, those trousers are done.

Omaha is getting better though! In certain neighbourhoods you can spot people wearing actual shirts with collars that don't have a giant, red, "N" in the centre. I always hated empire waist dresses, but they seem to work post surgery as the waist hits above the incisions, so that might be my summer look. Nothing wrong with a nice mumu, or model's coat. Dressed is dressed.
I still have metal ice cube trays! They're crap for ice cubes (my arthritic hands can't manage the lever) but good for so many other things.

Thank you. I'm going to get there, eventually.
Summer hair is something I've never managed well, so an updo is about the best I can manage. I tried wearing it in a braid atop my head, but I looked like my own grandmother!
I hope when Danny moves out he will have learned how to cook a few things because I'm not going to be bringing him meals :)

Alli Duncan said...

I loved all your outfits, as per usual and am so happy you are going okay. I hope everything heals very soon. It is very cold here in Canberra (For Australia 4- 13 degrees celcious) but you are giving me inspiration for the warmer weather. I would love to find a lobster brooch in Australia! I hope Danny's internship goes well. Love and best wishes, Alli, Canberra Ausralia

Anonymous said...

You may have had trouble photographing your shoes but you did a great job getting the detail on your hand made peasant skirt with your photo. What fun ! I have come to the conclusion that the reason I love thrifting especially in the "bargain bins " is one is presented with a collage of colors and textures all combined together. A visual delight. Your skirt is just that.
Take care of yourself.

Best Wishes,
Gail from Pa.

Mim said...

I've been so worried about you with your surgery. I hope it's all healing well and you're feeling much better now.

You're still looking fabulous! IPL (NOT laser!) can remove/drastically reduce skin pigmentation, but you'd need a course of sessions done by a professional. I've been thinking of it as it also works on redness, which I have a lot of.

You've summed up my feelings about the new Mitsouko - smells right, but doesn't dry down the same. I use my bottle of the new stuff for everyday wear and save the vintage for when I *have* to have the real stuff. (Done the same with my Caron En Avion too.)