Saturday, March 11, 2023

Marching Ahead

 Oh my goodness, is it March already?

I don't have an excuse (a good one anyway) for disappearing other than being busy, and not having much to say. There's enough crap out there in day-to-day life, I'm not about to drop a load of the same here. Like everyone else, I'm dealing with the various things, and at the end of a day there's little energy left to blog, or visit anyone else's. I'm sorry about that, because I do enjoy reading what everyone is doing. There's only so many hours in a day, and I'm already waking up at 3AM trying to eek out a few extra hours of getting stuff done. 

I appreciate the comments, and emails checking to see how I am. 

I am preparing to move at some point in the future because hauling my arthritis wracked body up and down three floors isn't how I wish to go into old age. Did a major cull of clothing, books (must have sold a couple thousand when all is said and done) and am working on convincing the family down the street that their young daughter needs a piano, That's time consuming, but better taken care of now, than expecting Dan to deal with it later. I've toured several places and the offerings aren't very good at the moment, but when they are I will be better prepared. 

Dan has decided to start school in the US rather than Belgium. The appeal of a full scholarship and starting life without being locked into what amounts to indentured servitude to the student loans was too good to reject. He now hopes to get a work visa to live and work in Brussels after graduation. We were willing to pay his way so he wouldn't have required loans, but in the end he decided against it. I think he was more impressed with the city than the offerings at the university. That's great though, now I can use that savings to spend my dotage dining on cheap tuna rather than own brand cat food.He's made it clear he doesn't intend to move back in after graduation, but I'm holding off on relocating to a senior living community just in case. There are a number of 55+ places where you have an apartment, and medical assistance available if you need it. That does sound appealing, as I would no doubt be the terror of a communal living arrangement. I like people, but I don't really want to live with them. 

I did look at one place with "Village" in the name, which would have gone unnoticed had the woman conducting the tour not been wearing a contrast piped blazer and referring to the community as, "The Village". I very much doubt she'd seen a single episode of The Prisoner. It was the week of the Chinese balloon which I'd joked to Dan was nothing but the Rover, so perhaps it was just front of mind. I will not be moving to The Village, another beautiful day or not. 

We've had a mild winter. Roland never did get a body. Only one snowstorm could be called significant, and it was melted in a few days. Still, winter in Nebraska is unpredictable so I haven't packed away any coats.  I suppose I might as well show you some coats as this is pretending to be a fashion blog.

So yeah, winter in Nebraska means outerwear. I culled the ones I never wear. Found some I'd forgotten. All in all, a worthwhile thing to do.

 This is a good  time to remind readers that weight/body talk isn't welcome here. I've had to put up with some outrageously inappropriate, thoughtless comments that I've not posted. For the record, I am not on a diet. Nor do I have cancer. Or an eating disorder. Please think before hitting send. My main issue is dysphagia. Google is free if you want to know more. When in doubt, and this applies across the board, don't comment on people's bodies no matter the size.

I will try, but not promise to post more often. I have a great deal of catching up to do reading everyone's  blogs, so please understand if I miss a few posts. 

I'll leave you with some photos from the annual automotive show in January. That's our mother-son tradition to go and sit in all the expensive cars. 

Sadly no one was permitted to sit in the classic car.

Smile kid (beneath the mask of course), we're spending quality time together. These are precious childhood memories in the making. Or something like that. Yes, we did get looks with Dan in a Cubs hat and his mama supporting the Sox. We've come to a place of understanding.

Thanks again for your patience.

Tuesday, January 17, 2023

Roland May Get A Body Yet*


Hello from the second week in January. I hope everyone is doing well. School is cancelled tomorrow and likely the day after as we are awaiting a major snowstorm. Unlike the powdery snow we typically get, this began as the rain flooding California and will be heavy wet snow by the time it arrives in Nebraska. Great news for kids building snowpeople, less great for adults digging out their cars. I'm glad I no longer live in the rural part of the state-Central Nebraska is looking at the possibility of a couple feet of snow. Been there, done that, don't miss it.
Let's get things started with some 70s/80s vintage. Ultrasuede coat? Check.
Pointy collar? You bet!

Gitano denim skirt and blue leather boots? Done and done!

Provenance? Yep, thanks Mrs. Hauptman.

And a brooch. Because there's almost always a brooch.

Everything here is 70s/80s vintage except the poloneck which is proving a more practical item than expected. I have the jacket tucked in as it is a bit long on me. 

In other news, Douglas County has another registered voter. The woman who registered him seemed happy to see a young person celebrating turning 18 with a voter's card. You can register to vote at the library, and the DMV as well, but as it was his first registration, I took him to the county election commission building. Then, I took him out for some overpriced non-dairy ice cream (in January) because when he was little, we'd always go out for ice cream after voting, and now election day has become ice cream day. I'm proud of him. 

Dan had his online meeting with the university in Brussels, and he's getting his paperwork together (their admissions are later than the US schools). Meanwhile, the school he applied to as a lark has now offered him a $25,000 USD scholarship for up to 5 years, which sounds great until you see that the tuition is over $60,000 USD a year. That $14,000 a year in Belgium is sounding pretty great right now! But in the spirit of keeping an open mind, we're visiting the school next month so he can meet with people from the department and if they really want him that badly, maybe they can cough up a few thousand more. He's not ruling anything out. The University of Nebraska (conveniently located 5 minutes from home) is a full free ride, which is awfully hard to say no to. I'm keeping my mouth shut though, and whatever he decides we'll figure out a way to make it happen. I am looking forward to visiting St. Louis. Last time I was there I was newly returned from fieldwork and in hospital recovering from amoebic dysentery. Dan made me promise not to share that story with everyone that asks if we've ever been to St. Louis. It will be a sacrifice, but we do those things for our children."By god, I had stuff coming out of so many orifices I didn't know whether to use the toilet to shit or barf!" 

Back to the clothes. This dress and matching jacket (an ensemble, if you will) is made of wool and the collar appears to be faux, but I am bad at telling faux from mouton without taking it apart to see the backing. I think it is fake, but it is quite solid and soft, so who knows. Good quality either way.

I think this is a 60s piece, but it is so classic it might well be 70s.

No trouble finding accessories to match, as so much of my wardrobe is brown.

The hat is 70s
Not able to find much about the maker.

Bracelets were a gift from Dan

So, What's Cookin' Good Lookin'?

Souffle made with non-dairy cheese and milk. It worked, though my souffle dish was a bit large and it didn't puff up over the rim. It didn't sink either, so that's a success. Other than being time sensitive, a souffle isn't hard to do. 

A few months back, there was a sale on standing rib roast (Prime Rib) at a local grocery. Even on sale, it was a bit on the expensive side, so I waited until Wednesday (aka, the Senior Citizen Discount Day) and with the additional 5% off, it was a less extravagant purchase. I wrapped it carefully and froze it knowing it would be a perfect birthday dinner for Mr. ETB. Because it was such a large roast, we were able to get 4 meals from it, ending with a beef stew. It isn't something I'd do often, but the boys both enjoyed it. I'd never made one before and was a bit worried about ruining it, but I followed an Ina Garten recipe and it was perfect.

So were the puddings. I don't make these too often, but as I had beef drippings to work with, I figured why not? 

After all that beef, some tofu and vegetables were in order. This one had an orange and ginger/star anise sauce. 

I don't remember purchasing this knit dress. I mean, ZERO memory of it. Could have been last year, could have been 1990. I have no idea. Pastel purple wouldn't be something I'm typically attracted to, but after discovering it packed away, I decided to see if it fit. It does, though a bit big in the shoulders.

Do I like it? Maybe? I don't know. The colour is awful, but the dress is nice. What a conflict. 

It did give me an opportunity to wear my 40s swing coat. I don't know, if I were more confident, I'd chuck it in some dark blue dye and be done with it. Maybe that's the answer. 

This shade of purple is much better for me.

The plaid suit came with matching wide-legged trousers and a waistcoat. I get a lot of wear from the pieces. 

More brown

More Ultrasuede

Reproduction Scythian stag brooch

Close-up of the skirt's weave
Some 80s style

Big gold pieces

Heh, yes that dress is hideous. I have a Laura Ashley in this style that's much nicer, so I think this home sewn (not by me) attempt will be moving on. It was fun for .99 cents. I'm sure the fabric to make it cost more in the 80s. Some teenager will love it. 

90s piece that is printed with what appears to be lifted word for word from a programming textbook (Dan found it online-some long defunct language (ACD) no one has used since the 90s). 

The better question might be, how do I keep finding these things?! Remember the Test Print trousers?

The capelet was worn

Necklace was another gift from Dan

Valentino skirt
Victorian brooch

Handbag made by an old neighbour and given new straps a few years ago.


 Hopefully, we keep power tomorrow and I can get things done around the house. I've got my snowshoes ready. 

*Roland is the head of a snowman from something like 8 years ago that lives in my freezer. He's even survived a multi-day power outage because he's little more than a ball of ice now. If we get wet enough snow to pack, I'm going to make him a body.

See you later.