Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Phlur Greylocke-Fragrance Review

 

Some fragrances should come with a warning label. In Greylocke's case, a caution to wait 30 minutes after applying before sharing an enclosed space would be appropriate. This isn't a  fragrance you want to apply in a small confine like a bathroom. Monster silage? Oh yeah, but give it 30 minutes, and the beast settles down into something much more soothing.

I've only visited Mount Greylock in the winter. I'm not a fearful person, generally but I have healthy respect/fear of bears. You will not get me in bear-infested forests in summer. Oh I know, you can carry bear spray, keep your food far from the campsite, etc. etc. but know what? Bears. Now as the climate is changing who knows if bears even hibernate as they used to, but in years past it was a safe bet that you wouldn't be encountering ursine assholes on the trails around Greylock in January. You could get snowed-in, but that's winter camping for you. 

Greylock by Phlur does an excellent job evoking a cold morning at Mount Greylock State Park. As already noted, the initial blast (and Greylocke is very much a "one spray" fragrance ) is straight-on pine. Not household cleaner pine, nor freshly sawed wood pine, but the needles, warming in the winter sunshine. We have a stand of pine trees near our house that catch the afternoon sun, and walking beneath them (as they overhang the sidewalk in places) is an olfactory experience. Depending on the season I can be dodging dripping sap, or kicking along through fallen pinecones. Warm, late winter days you can hear the cones cracking open if you stop to listen. The ground beneath the trees is perpetually blanketed in fallen needles that go from dry and brittle to damp and rotting depending on the season. Greylocke is strong, but it isn't, "Oh, you've just mopped the floors." 

The listed notes at Fragrantica for Greylocke are somewhat unhelpful, and as it appears to be discontinued there isn't a description on the company website. Pine and Apple Tree doesn't really tell you much. I've been in my share of apple orchards, but I don't associate anything with it except wet grass, as I always seem to go apple picking in the early morning. If there's an orchard smell, outside of what I'd think of as, "General Purpose Autumnal", being fallen leaves, hay, moulding cornstalks, I don't get it. What I do get from Greylocke, aside from the pine is vetiver, and lots of it. As a note, vetiver has always smelled, "cold" to my nose, where others find the freshness of spring green. Perhaps I've been conditioned by generations perfumers to believe the only note of spring is Lily of the Valley, and as a result can't get my seasonal nose to cooperate with anything else. When I think, "What's a good fragrance to wear with heavy woolens?" I think something with vetiver. Sometimes lavender. Often both. The pine/vetiver action in Greylocke would be a good addition to the wardrobe. 

There's something else going on with Greylocke that isn't floral, but evokes florals? I know I sound like an asshole saying that-but stay with me for a minute. It almost smells like they created a new flower. I get a similar sensation when I eat ruby chocolate-it tastes like fruit, but not fruit you've encountered. If you haven't tried ruby chocolate-do it. You won't be sorry. Back to the floral/not a floral in Greylocke, your guess is as good as mine, but it feels soft, a little powdery, but a million miles away from an iris or any of the traditionally powdery flowers. It is really lovely, I wonder if they've been able to expand on that with any of the other fragrances. 

Lastly, I smell tea. Not an herbal tea, or a green tea, or even good black tea. Just, tea. Cheap, orange pekoe like they use in low-end, store-brand tea you used to get in restaurants across America in the 70s. Tea that would disappoint me now, and would have likely been brewed with just tepid water, but would have been acceptable in mid-70s, mid-America because you were probably suffering a sore throat anyway and just wanted something warm you could dump honey into. Why else would you be drinking tea when there was Nescafe? Anyway, it is there, in Greylocke, too weak to even summon tannins, but enough to make you want to brush your teeth. 

I could be my skin, but Greylocke doesn't last more than a few hours. It is better on clothing, but despite the strong start, it is barely there after a few hours. As I don't enjoy the initial 30 minutes of Greylocke, it does keep me from wanting to re-apply. How I wish Greylock came with a fast-forward button. 

Looking around the internet, you can find a full bottle of Greylocke for about 90 bucks. Not horribly expensive, but with such terrible longevity, I hardly think it is worth the investment. If you can buy a second hand bottle, or get samples (which are plentiful and easy to find online) it might be a better route. 

Greylocke has such potential, but for a fragrance that only really shines for about an hour, I'm disappointed. That floral note though...if they sold that as a soliflore, I'd buy it in bulk. 



Thursday, September 17, 2020

Strike a Pose There's Nothing To It


 We've reached the "Silly Pose" phase of social distancing where I attempt to spice up the beige walls and carpet of my surroundings with the likes of this. What can I say? It is easier to act like a fool than to decorate. 

Sometimes, I just sit my rear end on the stairs like a sullen teenager and take photos with the phone camera propped up on the piano. I don't play the piano, and it hasn't been tuned in years. I'd hoped Danny might want to learn, but he didn't. I'd get rid of it as it never gets used but where would I prop my phone for these artistic shots?! I guess the piano is finally being used, though not in the way I'd envisioned. 

I haven't been thrifting since February. I thought by this point the wardrobe pickings might be getting a bit thin. I was wrong. Now it feels like a challenge of sorts, unearthing unworn vintage from the depths of my collection. I'm in no hurry to get back into entering stores without a good reason, so I'll see how long I can go. It will be interesting to see if an entire year goes by. 


This 1940s rayon dress is a great example of things I own but never wear. If I worked outside the home it might get worn more, but if you can't be over-dressed at home during a pandemic, when can you?! Clearly, I need to reconsider my day-to-day wardrobe now that my trips outside are limited to supermarkets and pharmacies. I did go to Target last week for the first time since winter. It was empty. I bought two badly needed lampshades. To my delight, they also had both bread flour, and cake flour so I stocked up and feel quite rich now. I can make Danny's birthday cake in December without worrying about finding cake flour. They also had Crisco shortening. I've been buying the organic Spectrum brand shortening at the health food store, which I prefer for pastry, but it felt foolish to pass up a giant tub of Crisco-even if I don't use it, someone will want it. These days I take nothing for granted. 
Nice lamp though. I have the pair. They weigh a tonne!


Anyway, back to the dress-look at that button! The details are just incredible. Shame on me for neglecting this beautiful dress. 

Outfit Particulars:
Vintage Rayon dress-can't remember
50s stretch bracelet-Goodwill
50s shell and rhinestone earrings-antique store in Wayne, Nebraska
1940s brooch-gift from an old neighbour who bought it in Mexico on her honeymoon
Handbag-Antique mall in Lincoln, Nebraska
Fragrance- My Sin (I still can't get my head around it, but I have a small bottle I wear now and then hoping I'll experience the magic)


I haven't worn this three piece set for close to two years. Why? Who knows, but here it is in full on 70s animal print glory.
I'm a little sorry I no longer need to do the school run. I'm sure my teenager would love me turning up at the school gates looking like this. 
I dressed-up a boring sweater clip with a big brooch. The jacket really ought to have a closure, but I'm too lazy to sew something on. 
This hard-shell purse is by Columbine, and is a sought after collectible. I wouldn't sell it, but I can understand why young people are so in love with these. Won't hold much, but most people carry their phones anyway. 

Outfit Particulars:
Dress set-Hand-Me-Ups
Shoulder bag-Goodwill
70s belt-Goodwill
Whiting and Davis bracelet-Goodwill
Brooch-Thrift World
Sweater Clip-can't remember
Fragrance-Tuscany Per Dona (nice, but too sweet for me. I have a giant bottle that might end up room freshener) 

Staying with animal print for a bit...
Scuba material (like a padded foam) tiger leggings? Why not? It isn't like anyone is going to see me.
And as a bonus, they're warm. They do have a zipper and waistband so technically, they're trousers, not leggings. I dunno-maybe I should try them out with the sequined tube top from my last post. Or not. I'm cool with waiting until Danny returns to in-person school.😆.

I don't remember where either piece came from, and the clogs were retail about 10 years ago. 

Next up in the neglected wardrobe is a silky, Liz Claiborne skirt. I like it. The colours are pretty. Do I wear it? Not often. Maybe only once. 


Roughly translated-I will have joy. Reverse reads: This I will have.. Not a bad sentiment. 



This vintage Brio handbag got quite a reaction on Instagram with someone offering to swap me anything in her shop for it. No deal though, I'm rather attached to it.

He was in a jam...it was a giant clam!

Outfit Particulars:
Liz Claiborne skirt-Goodwill
80s shirt-Hand-Me-Ups
Belt-Thrift World
Purse-Can't remember
Earrings-retail, gift to myself for my 50th birthday which went unmentioned  and unobserved (like everything else, mother's day, etc.). It was a  long while ago, so I'm not still sore about it. Much). 
Brooch-Etsy seller Nomads With Baggage
Fragrance- Hermes 24 Faubourg (another large bottle of something I'm indifferent to)

You'd think a red, silky dress would be an indispensable wardrobe staple, but it rarely makes an appearance.  The two breast pockets are annoying, but not enough to put me off wearing it, so I have no idea what the problem is. Perhaps in some way it just seems too plain-or as plain as a red dress can ever be. I threw an 80s belt at it for visual interest. 

The handbag is by Johansen who are still making shoes in the US. I have quite a lot of vintage Johansen, and what can I say? The stuff is well made and the 50 year old shoes are still wearing beautifully. This handbag is sturdy. If I had to, I could knock someone out with a well-aimed swing to the head. At my age, those are serious considerations when selecting a handbag. Damn kids.
You think I'm kidding? Do I look like I'm kidding? My pitching arm is nothing to scoff at. You don't want to see my change-up executed with a purse in place of a baseball. You've been warned. 

Outfit Particulars:
80s dress-Goodwill (I think?)
80s belt-Hand-Me-Ups
80s shoes-Goodwill
Bracelet-Goodwill
Earrings-Hand-Me-Ups
Fragrance-Dana Tabu (I don't know why. Another big bottle. I had a friend that wore it in the 80s and it was gorgeous on her. Unfortunately, it isn't on me. Not terrible, and pleasant enough for a cool autumn day, but again-no magic). 

Still buying up vintage frames. These were won in an ebay auction with another pair. I am going to have these set as sunglasses with my Rx but I'm not sold on the green. The silver chrome and white plastic make for very futuristic frames, so maybe purple is the way to go. Or grey. Anyway, I love them even though they make me look like a guy I went to school with who went by the nickname, "Ludeface." I'll give you one guess how he got that nickname. 

Here's the other pair. I want these set very dark, Jackie O style. I dropped off my Lapidus frames with the optician and should have my specs back in a few weeks. I guess everything is slowed down now because of the pandemic, but I'm not in any hurry. *sing song voice* "I have all the time in the world..."

I'm going to give you a recipe that turned out nicely. I needed buns, but wasn't going to make a trip to the store for one thing. This recipe didn't take much effort, and they resulting bread is sturdier than what you could typically buy for burgers. I used dairy-free milk and margarine in mine, but regular milk and butter would also do. It should make about 24 buns depending on size. They freeze well. 

You Will Need:
1 1/2 cups milk
4 tablespoons margarine or butter
1/2 cup lukewarm water
4 teaspoons granulated yeast
1 tablespoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon powdered ginger (works as a dough improver)
2 teaspoons salt
2 tablespoons honey (omit it if you like)
2 tablespoons vital wheat gluten
4-6 cups all purpose (plain) flour

In a small saucepan, scald milk and margarine, then set aside to cool to lukewarm. In a small bowl, combine water, ginger,  and sugar. Sprinkle on yeast, stir in and let stand until foamy-about 5 minutes. 

In a large bowl, combine cooled milk/butter, yeast mixture, salt, honey, and vital wheat gluten. Mix well. Add flour a cup at a time until dough clears sides of bowl. Remove to a floured work surface and add only as much flour as required to knead it without sticking. Sometimes letting the dough rest while you wash out the bowl is enough time for the gluten molecules to start getting in place, and you'll find the dough needs less flour for kneading when you return to it. I always give super-sticky dough a short rest to avoid over-flouring which makes bread dry and tough. You can knead or fold-whichever technique works best, but I'd do it by hand, not in a mixer. Of course, I don't have a mixer, so that's easy for me to say!

Place kneaded dough in a greased bowl and cover. It should double in size in about an hour unless your kitchen is very cold. Punch it down, let it rest 10 minutes and then pat out into buns. Place on a greased or parchment lined pan. Cover with a tea towel and let rise another 30 minutes. Begin pre-heating the oven to 375 degrees F. 

Bake rolls 15 minutes, then rotate pan and bake another 5-10 minutes or until nicely browned. If you like very soft bread, cover with a tea towel as they cool on a rack. 

I hope you enjoy them as much as we did. 


Have a good week everyone. Stay safe. 
































Sunday, September 06, 2020

Universal Bereavement, An Inspiring Achievement

 

Not a week into September, and the light is already changing. Omaha is at the far end of the Central time zone, and while we get a few extra minutes of light than Chicago 500 miles to our East, it isn't much consolation. We've been experiencing (I won't say,"enjoying") a late season heatwave, but with it has come a drought-one of our worst Nebraska Augusts on record. Today the mercury is predicted to top out at 101 F, but by tomorrow we will be cooling 40 degrees, and by Tuesday evening we are told to prepare for 43 F overnight. It will be nice to turn off the air conditioning which has been running at a steady pace since July. 

I fed the sourdough starters, abandoned in their jars at the back of the fridge since spring. They were still lively when brought back with water and flour, so it seemed silly not to bake a bread. My typical sandwich loaf recipe only requires 30 minutes in the oven at moderate temperature, but the loaf pictured above took much longer, the first 30 minutes in high heat inside an enamel casserole providing a mini steam oven. Once the lid is removed it continues another 25 minutes or so, but the result is rather lovely. It was the perfect bread to serve with tomato salads, sponging up the last bits of juice and dressing. There's nothing special in the bread-starter, flour, water, salt, a bit of sugar and some vital wheat gluten to give the plain flour a boost in the absence of strong bread flour. The only thing a sourdough really requires is time-something in theory I ought to have more of being at home, but still seems at a premium by the end of the day. That's ultimately a good thing, I'm sure but it hardly feels it in the rushed moments. I haven't watched television, read books, or been faced with searching out ways to occupy my time. The pile of summer clothes needing mending has grown and now as autumn arrives I suspect they will get packed away unmended with that unrealistic optimism that next year will somehow be different and I'll resolve to stitch up hems and replace buttons knowing I absolutely won't. The pile sits by the door of the bedroom reminding me of my inadequacies and failures like a ghost of my mother. Well fuck that. Back into the storage box you go, Mother. 

Have you ever roasted grapes? A bit of olive oil, salt and rosemary, a slow oven for half an hour? Here I've also roasted some dried apricots and used them as a topping for focaccia. Autumnal dining for the lazy. The presentation is spectacular even if the effort is minimal. 

Speaking of presentation, here's some semolina egg noodles with parsley rolled between the sheets. I was inspired by a post at Twigg Studios . I may give the flower pasta a try as well since the nasturtiums, violas, and sunflowers are all still going strong in the garden. I have a very old, Imperia pasta machine from my mother-in-law that does a good job rolling the sheets of dough thinly. While not impossible to do with a heavy rolling pin and a strong arm, the machine does make quick work of it. 

With noodles that pretty it would be a shame to adorn them with uninteresting tomato sauce. Beans and the first acorn squash of the season felt just right by the calendar. 

I was able to make this with vegan butter without any issues. 
That recipe was long ago clipped from a magazine and affixed in a notebook of favourites. I don't always have ruby Port and will just use cheap red Cabernet for the entire lot. With 1/2 cup of sugar it is hardly noticeable. 

After all that cooking it seemed only right I reward myself with some new eyeglass frames. Well, "new" as in rather old in this case,  as these are deadstock Ted Lapidus frames from the late 70s. I'm going to have them set with my Rx for daily wear. My mum had this pair in solid navy blue and I always liked them. As we look nothing alike I'm not worried about seeing her reflected back in the mirror. So much for putting mother back in the box. at $79.00 on ebay, they were much less expensive than any frames I might have found new at the local optometrist's. As my husband observed, the round frames I wear have the effect of making me look like a baby animal, and as a result give the impression of being non-threatening and approachable. That was all well and good pre-Coronavirus but I'm now ready for some distance (six feet at the minimum, thank you very much). I've worn square and rectangle frames before, but they were wire rimmed and made me look less a baby owl and more someone that would try to sell you dope with a cheerful, "First one's free" pitch. Hopefully, these will fall somewhere between the extremes. I also won an ebay auction for two pair of vintage sunnies that haven't arrived yet. If they feel secure enough, I might have them set with Rx lenses as well. 
Also picked up this very inexpensive piece of Georgian mourning jewellery. When I posted it on Instagram it appeared as though the glass was cracked. Upon closer inspection with magnification it is in fact, two crystal pieces. I won't be taking it apart to clean as I don't want to disturb what Danny, somewhat uncomfortably described as, "Some 200 year old hair off a corpse." He's never really warmed to the idea of hairwork, or momento mori in general. Anyway, as it is only about 2 cm, I might have it set into a ring if and when it makes sense to run errands that aren't of the vital sort again. In the US that might be rather a long while as we cheerfully go careening into our demise. I'd use the old, "re-arranging deck chairs on the Titanic" but really we're just throwing women and children overboard, lifeboats be damned. Never underestimate American determination to be our own worst enemies. 

Who turned up the gravity?!? Let that be a lesson not to get down on the floor to take photos as the getting back up part requires a bit more motivation that I possess most days. Isn't that really all anyone wants to do at this point-sprawl on the floor like an over-tired toddler, so overwhelmed managing a tantrum seems like too much work? Go get me a juice box and a mini bottle of gin. 

Here's the unseen part of the photo-some ancient trousers purchased at Target in the 90s, a suede waistcoat with embroidery, and a belt that reminds me where I live should (not that early) senility take hold. Wouldn't want to get confused and end up in Iowa-they're more screwed-up than we are, a seeming impossibility. It may, as the large car dealership in Council Bluffs says in their ad trying to get customers from Omaha, "Pay to cross the bridge", when buying an automobile, but when it comes to Coronavirus, you'll want to stay on our side of the river. 

There, managed to get off the floor. No one was going to bring me a cocktail, so as with generally everything, I had to get up and do it myself. 
Saying goodbye to summer means packing away the white linen trousers. Yes, yes, you may still wear white after labour day-but linen is a stretch. 

What goes better with wide linen trousers than a sequined boob tube? Not much my friends, not much. 

Time to pack away the embroidered Mexican dresses as well. Even if a few warm days show up, this would feel out of place in autumn. 
The straw bag never left the house this summer. I barely did either. 

 Some cheerful plastic accessories from the simpler years of the 70s when all we had to worry about were gas shortages, inflation, and the constant threat of nuclear annihilation. Whip Inflation Now (WIN). Never thought I'd feel nostalgic for President Ford. Fucking hell, we're really in it, aren't we? 
I'd say I have nothing to look forward to, but that wouldn't be entirely honest as I have a dental appointment on Wednesday. I get to have a lie down even if my mouth is gaping open, and I'm drooling myself like a pensioner doped on anti-psychotics. The bridge to replace the tooth that broke two years ago is finally going in, not that anyone will see it beneath a mask. I should have dealt with it sooner, but the teeth on either side needed crowns and I just wasn't up for all that. Now of course...well I'm paying premiums for dental insurance so might as well. Don't expect smiling. I'd say something like, "I'm smiling on the inside" but really all this face says is, "Bitch, I am from Chicago." I probably wouldn't cut anyone, but I wouldn't swear to it. At any rate, I don't carry a blade so it is a non-issue. Lucky you.

I need to start planning the winter garden. My brain says "plant kale", but my stomach says, "I don't like eating ornamental plants." The struggle goes on. 

Hope September treats you well, and for the love of all that's good and holy, wear a mask. Really. They work. 




















 


Thursday, September 03, 2020

Crazy Cat Peeking Through a Lace Bandanna



...sunflower. 


 It seemed like overkill to plant a dozen sunflowers in our small garden, but as they began to bloom just as everything else is finishing up, I knew it was a good decision. The few bees in the neighbourhood have been enjoying them as well. I'm told the petals are edible, but with plenty of nasturtiums and violas available it doesn't sound all that tempting. 

This one grew a bit taller, reaching the second floor, and has bloomed since the photo was snapped. Danny can see it from his bedroom window although the flower head is pointed in the other direction. When he was small, I planted a stand of sunflowers outside his bedroom window so he could see all the birds on the farm that came to eat the seeds. I guess that makes it a tradition to plant sunflowers outside his window, though I never suspected we'd have a 20 ft. tall example!
The lemon cucumbers keep coming. They're pleasant, have a thinner peel than traditional cucumbers, and don't have a terribly strong smell. I've been serving them with tomatoes, onion, Greek olives, and a simple oil/vinegar dressing. Sometimes basil gets added if I'm feeling fancy. That's pretty much been my evening meal all week, and I'll miss it when summer is over. 
September means prune plums, and we've already gone through quite a few.  Years ago, I was buying plums and an older woman beside me was doing the same. She said her son's birthday was in September and she always made him plum dumplings. That was a long time ago, but I hope she and her son are still celebrating his birthday with dumplings. I do pie. One for us, and one unbaked and carefully wrapped for the freezer. Holidays can get hectic, and being able to just stick a pre-made pie in the oven is as nice as having plums in the winter months. Recipe is HERE. If you make one for the freezer, omit the crumb topping and do a two-crust pie. 


September's other purple fruit, Concord grapes also make wonderful pie, but seeding them is work! First, the grapes must be slipped from the skins, then heated in a pot, then put through a sieve to remove the seeds. The pulp is then recombined with the skins and baked with sugar and instant tapioca (or cornstarch) to thicken. So, not a quick pie, but as it only gets made once a year when the Concord grapes are in season, it isn't too bad. These grapes aren't true Concords but rather a variety crossed with Thompson (green) grapes. They're pleasant for eating out of hand, which isn't always true of Concords. I wonder if my vines are still producing on the farm? Most years, the pheasants would eat more than I did! This is the grape pie, and yes-I'm still giving my pies sinister faces because, why not?!

You can also puree and freeze the grapes to make a chiffon grape pie at a later time. That recipe may be found HERE.
(old photo).


It isn't all pie around here though (not that there's anything wrong with that). 
This was Fiskebuddig (fish pudding), potato lefse, cranberries, and pickled red cabbage. The fish loaf was simple enough-some ground cod, breadcrumbs, milk, egg, salt and pepper. It gets baked in a pan set in a larger pan of boiling water-almost like making a cheesecake, except cod. The boys loved it, and wondered why I hadn't made it in 10 years( the perks of having a cookery blog to look back at). That's a good question, and I need to remember to revisit old recipes occasionally. You may find the recipe HERE. I was able to adapt if for dairy free using margarine and oat milk. 


These are homemade Runzas (also known as Bierocks). They're minced beef cooked with cabbage and onion, then baked in bread dough. I've successfully made them with soya mince, and according to Danny, there's little difference. They're quick to do as you can cook the filling as the dough rises. All told it is about an hour, which isn't too bad. I made some onion rings to go with them (just like going out for Runzas) which isn't something I do often. The advantage to frying at home is being able to use good oil to cook them. The recipe for the vegetarian version is HERE but you can easily switch it out for beef if you prefer. I also suspect ground chicken or turkey would do well in these, but I haven't tried it. 

Right, enough cooking-let's talk clothes,. Anyone else breaking out vintage gloves to wear in public? I always knew they would be useful, though I wasn't thinking pandemic chic. 
The skirt and top aren't vintage but everything else is. This was a bit more revealing than I'm used to, but somehow at my age it feels less of a big deal. I sincerely doubt anyone is checking out my elderly er...balcony, but if they are, power to them.

I've since re-potted the plants behind the purse and am hoping they will thrive in their newer, larger pots. It only took 6 months of being home to get around to it. 

This dress isn't old, but rather purchased last year at World Market. I no longer have a reason to go there as they can ship me a dozen boxes of PG Tips at a time. I only ever went there for tea, though the clothes were always a temptation and this one was irresistible in the sales. The gold is much brighter in person than the photos suggest. 
Vintage sparkly gold shoes.
And yeah, matching bracelets just because.


Excuse the toilet in the photo-it was 6 AM and I didn't notice. Also didn't notice my slip was just a bit too short. This is what I wore to do the shopping last week. I rarely get to wear my good vintage pieces anymore, so I went ahead and wore this one. I also had matching brown gloves which made for a nice retro look. 
If you've been around this blog long enough you'll remember this dress that is a firm summer wardrobe staple. 
Tiniest straw handbag.
Vintage straw shoes by Qualicraft. The heels are cork. 
I do love a good bit of embroidery. 


More summer favourites though the orange linen jacket creases a little too easily to be practical. I expect a bit with linen, but this is above what I'm willing to put up with. The rayon shirt and trousers always drip dry perfectly. 

The shirt ties at the waist and is intended to be cropped but I'm so short it lands below my waist. 

Yes, those are my legs, and no the photo isn't retouched. I was joking around with someone that it is a pity I can't run on my arms which get decidedly less of a workout. I'm back to my pre-pandemic weekly miles and I was pleased that it only took about a month to get back. What I've lost in motivation, I still kept in endurance.  For an old broad, I do a shit tonne of cardio. The shoes are crappy, but expensive running shoes aren't in my budget at the moment particularly when the running is all indoors. They'd be shit for pavement or trails but acceptable when running like a lab rat on a wheel. Anyway, they were brand new for 5 dollars at Hand-Me-Ups last winter when I never suspected I'd be where I am now. 

Alright, I'm off to pick aphids off my sunflowers. See you later. Stay well!