Saturday, May 31, 2014

A Roomy Romper

It is hot and muggy today. Thank goodness for a large municipal spraying fountain to keep us cool. The mist was lovely. I may just park myself here for the remainder of summer.
The large frisky squirrel asked if I'd like to play with his nuts. *Shrug* OK, I guess so.
There were Purple Martins in houses that look like the Satellite Hotel in Omaha.

The fountain  has been recently restored, and this is the first weekend it has been back in use.
There's a gazebo that looks like peacock feathers
Which adds to the overall charm of the park. But no trip to Council Bluffs would be complete without a stop at the Union Pacific railroad museum.

 Why yes, I WILL vote for you!


 The exhibit talks. Some small child, he was perhaps five at most, strolled directly up to the conductor figure and dramatically flipped him off. Then, he strode off clearly pleased with himself. It was hilarious.

Danny didn't flip anyone off-that's MY job.

Outfit Particulars:

Yellow seersucker vintage playsuit-Hand-Me-Ups
Shoes- K Mart
Hair Flowers-Tiff and Tam
Earrings-K Mart
Vintage Palm Tree pin-Hand-Me-Ups
Handbag-can't remember. When Danny was little he used it to carry his blocks around. I just got it back when we moved.

 We came home to the most beautiful bloom on the gardenia. Most of the buds have been knocked off by sparrows trying to sit in the branches.
It was a beautiful day...and that's no bull (it isn't. You can clearly see udders). I wouldn't steer you wrong. I'll get my hat.

Hope you are having a lovely weekend.

Friday, May 30, 2014

I Hung a Couple of Owls, Now I Gotta Go Hang a Rat

 Danny pointed out that owls don't eat fruit, they eat rodents. I have no idea if Homco or Miller Studios make rodent wall art, but I guess I'll be on the lookout for that now. I do like how the kitchen wall is coming together. I still need to get my collection of copper moulds up.
 These are plastic. They were so filthy when I bought them, I couldn't imagine what you could ever do to get them that grime encrusted. Then again, if they spent 20 years on a wall with cigarette smoke, or cooking grease in the air, it might explain it. A good scouring brought them back to their original 1976 (they're dated) owl glory.
I like his expression.  In other news, it is Friday, which means I baked.
There are buns made from challah dough (because I suck at braided loaves)
And two cherry strudels to celebrate the first bing cherries of the season. I glaze my strudels because the child dislikes a dusting of icing sugar. Fine by me, less mess. Want the recipe? I promise it is a breeze.

Cherry Strudel:

20 sheets Phyllo dough
1 lb. cherries, pitted
1/4 cup raisins
3 tablespoons cinnamon sugar
1 teaspoon lemon juice
(about) 6 tablespoons clarified butter (have more ready)
1 cup buttered soft breadcrumbs
1/4 cup apricot jam

1 hour before baking:

Combine cherries, raisins, cinnamon sugar and lemon juice in a bowl. Cover and let stand 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment. Layer 10 sheets of phyllo brushing each layer lightly with melted clarified butter. Do not butter the top layer. Spread with half the apricot jam, and half the buttered breadcrumbs. Place half the cherry mixture at the bottom. Tuck the edges in and roll to encase the cherries. Brush the outside with more butter. Repeat with second roll. With a sharp knife, cut deep slashes into the roll. Bake 30 minutes. Remove from oven and brush all over with more butter. Return to the oven until deeply browned-another 10-15 minutes. Cool on rack. Ice with icing sugar and water glaze, or dust with icing sugar when cool. Makes 2 strudels.

Happy Weekend.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

I Always Fall Asleep Reading, So I Wore My Nightie to the Library

Maxi dress, nightie, what the hell's the difference? I was nice and cool swooping about in my flow-y gown. I should have looked at these photos before leaving because as fate would have it, the one time I fail to wear a slip...
I discover after the fact that the dress is basically transparent. Whoops!
Somehow I failed to notice this. I suppose it explains the strange little man winking at me. It wasn't creepy or anything, just one of those reactions I get going about dressed as I do.
Yeah, that's definitely a nightly. I wasn't completely sure when I wore it, but editing photos does give you a better chance to examine the brushed polyester. Can I just point out that Empire waists don't look good on anyone, much less someone with an ample bosom. Didn't stop me wearing it, but really, enough with the crazy high waists already!
Outfit Particulars:

1970's maxi dress/nightie-Thrift World
Hair flowers-Tiff and Tam
Slip (whoops! I forgot.)
Necklace-Can't remember, I have two nearly identical, the other is rhinestone
Earrings-50's clips purchased somewhere in Wisconsin
Ring- K Mart last weekend for a whopping .49 cents (they had a great clearance sale)
1950's handbag-Hand-Me-Ups

So I still can't manage bracelets, but look at this set I bought for when my arm rash quiets down
Come on arms, heal already!

Remember kids, if you think your dress is a nightie, it probably is-and it will need a slip. All right, see you on the flip-side.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

A Dress That Looks Like Holly Hobby Threw-Up On Me

And she was all hepped-up on chamomile tea. That Holly Hobby (or maybe it was Sun Bonnet Sue?) she sure was everywhere in the mid-70's, including the sewing room of the person that made this dress.

She probably listened to John Denver records whilst sewing. "Country roads, take me home to the place, I belong..."
Holly Hobby forgot to sew in darts, so it is a bit shapeless up top. I don't think anyone noticed, they were too stunned by the pattern.
It was hot and humid today. This is just about the perfect dress for our weather, though I had to be a bit more ladylike than usual getting out of the car. I wore especially nice undies-just in case I flashed anyone.
Outfit Particulars:
Home sewn dress-Thrift World
Shoes-K Mart
Earrings-K Mart

I'm going to do a big harvest of basil from the garden for pesto tonight. I have some early garlic ready to harvest as well (it is a completely different vegetable if used before hanging to cure for a week or so. Very mild, and almost milky it makes for some interesting early spring meals. I'm not sure it would stand up to basil in a pesto. We'll see.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Just Call Me, "Old Scabby Hands"

I finally gave up with home remedies, and went to a dermatologist. Hives are no joke, and what started out as a few welts progressed to many more welts, and a roaring case of eczema as well. Cortisone cream and antihistamines should have worked, but what can I say? I moved from the farm where I had no allergies to the city where well, I seem to be allergic to everything. Madness, huh? They gave me another steroid ointment that stings like hell when it goes on (got hives, might as well have stings?) but at least the itching seems to have subsided. It may take weeks to get under control which means (deep breath) no jewelry on my wrists and fingers until it heals. The horror! I feel completely naked without my arms clanking with bangles. I went thrifting this afternoon and couldn't even bear to look at bracelets-so I bought a bunch of other cool shit instead.
 Art glass is always a good consolation.
 This will make a nifty pencil holder.
 Delft-ish tiles. I have a thing for Delft.
I need more candy dishes like a hole in my head. Did that stop me purchasing it for .98 cents?
So that was productive. I adore Thrift World because they do colour tags and each week they put two on sale for .98 cents. This week they had an additional colour tag for 1/2 off, so it was an opportune time to stop by. They had tons of terrifying wall art by Homeco (god, I love that name) but I resisted. Tomorrow is another day, and I'm sure it will still be sitting there if I go back.
Here's a local pub I haven't been to, but I love the fact that there's a Daytime drinking headquarters. We had places like this where I grew up (they were called taverns), that opened at 7 AM and there'd be a bunch of retirees sitting there working on the same beer all morning.
If I ever take up drinking in a meaningful way, I know where I'm going to pursue it.

Not far from Beer City is Charlie Graham's garage. The sign is a rare for this area neon, and the architecture is also a somewhat scarce style around here.
Oh, who is that young man with the fancy new bike? Danny was too tall for children's bikes (he's only nine, but he's a giant!) so he came home with an adult model. I rarely buy anything new, so I experienced a bit of sticker shock at the price of bikes today. Once I got past that, I had to admit it is a well made bike that should withstand the abuse he's likely to inflict on it. Trek makes good bikes, but damn, I was not prepared for the pricetag. I am currently driving a 94 Ford Tempo that we bought a few years ago for about the same price as the bike.
They can't put training wheels on an adult bike (not this model anyway) so there is a bit of practise needed until he gets the hang of it. We live next to a small college that was completely abandoned over the long holiday weekend, so we took advantage of the empty lot to ride. We live on the other side of the fence in the townhouses. This is a beautifully wooded area of the city tucked away behind a busy major street. You would never know the school and homes are there if you weren't looking for them. There's a park not far away with ball fields, tennis courts, and a trail system for hiking and biking. You would also never know there are college students in dorms just adjacent to here. The place is very quiet, and the young people well behaved (mostly). It is a nursing school, with a limited scope (that was unintentional scope and nursing, but I'm leaving it), so maybe that just doesn't encourage the wild parties you get at a university. Speaking for myself, I never attended drunken parties at school. I was too busy studying. Ahem, I walked ten miles to class uphill each way, twice daily, and my marks were always excellent.
This is the trail by the ball fields. There had been a substantial rain just prior to our arrival, and we saw several families of ducks (and ducklings) making the most of the flooded drainage ditch.
Well, I'm off to slather more ointment on my arms. No bakelite?! Gasp, I don't know how I'll survive.

Monday, May 26, 2014

Just Awful

I know the world is filled with horrible things, and that in the greater scheme of things a woman being stranded at a medical office isn't the worst thing that has (or will have) happened today

Still, the fact that this is a sick, poor woman that was offered nothing by way of help from the doctor's office is appalling. She is disabled and was provided a ride to and from the office by a company that contracts with the state-except they never came to pick her up. For THREE hours she wandered in and out of the office in tears, even being asked what was wrong by the staff, and NO ONE called her a taxi and paid the fare. I don't believe for one second that they couldn't scrape together the fare out of the office petty cash to get this woman home. Instead, they let an already ill woman wander the office IN TEARS until another patient's family drove her home-THREE hours later.

What the hell is wrong with people? No really, tell me how as human beings people get to the point where you would acknowledge that someone is clearly distressed, and then do nothing? Instead of focusing the blame entirely on the state, or the contractor that was supposed to provide the service (and they do deserve blame) why aren't we hearing about the medical office that let their patient wander in and out of the building for three fucking hours before a stranger finally gave the poor woman a ride home? How is that caring for your patient?

The message is loud and clear: If you're poor or sick (or unlucky enough to be sick and poor) you can just go fucking die. That's the message. Just go fucking die, and show some gratitude!

I have no idea why someone ends up in poverty, or sick, or whether they could have done something to prevent it (unlikely). As far as I'm concerned it doesn't matter once someone is there. Blaming the victim is a popular pastime these days, but at some point your humanity ought to kick in.  I am far from being anything close to "good person" by any of the commonly accepted definitions. I am however, still clinging to what passes for a human being, and as such I cannot imagine any circumstance where it would be acceptable to let a sick, poor person in distress continue to pace in and out of a building in tears without offering assistance. There's no amount of mental gymnastics that can make such behavior anything but wrong. I do take comfort knowing that a stranger finally took pity on the woman, and drove her home but that does not let the others who ignored her off the hook.

I really do worry for our future.

Saturday, May 24, 2014

A Picnic in the Car is Still a Picnic

A long holiday weekend almost demands a picnic, even if the weather refuses to cooperate and the sandwiches are eaten in the car (which is what happened). Even so, I wanted to be dressed for the occasion, and this vintage Pendelton skirt screams, "picnic" louder than anything I own.  Of course all roads lead to the library (Saturday puppet show) and the Best Red Wall in Omaha.
I got the stink-eye from a woman walking past as we snapped photos. I wanted to scream after her, "Sorry, I didn't know he was your husband!" I mean, I can't imagine any other circumstance that would merit that angry of a stare. Maybe I remind her of someone that slept with her husband. Shit, I don't sleep with my own husband, why the hell would I sleep with yours? Sheesh.
The picnic sandwiches were especially nice though. Oatmeal bread buns, cheddar cheese, fakin' bacon bits, tomato, butter, mustard-I do know how to make sandwiches. Shame about the weather.
I got out of the nan tights for a change, and into a pair of bobby socks. Talk about the other end of the range. I really do put pennies in my penny loafers-that's the point, right? This seems to be a great source of amusement for people, but really why else would it have a place for a penny if you weren't expected to stick one there? Do they call them, "Blank space loafers?" No, they do not. I have always put a penny dated from the year I purchase my loafers in, so I can remember when I bought them. These were 2004. See, I've got a system for this stuff.
This is "Cream" the gerbil. She lives at the library. The other gerbil is named "Cookies." Mrs. Marvel the librarian (that's really her name) gave Danny a piece of cardboard to feed the little rodent, and it went wild chomping away like it was the most delicious treat in the world. They're too close to mice for my liking (had enough of those on the farm, thanks very much) but Danny is pretty fascinated by them.
They look so innocent, but they bite! They're eating all that cardboard, wood, and plastic to sharpen their teeth. Look what she's done to that thick cardboard tube in the cage. I'm more of a wombat person myself.
I do enjoy these weekend trips to the library. There's always something going on there, and the staff are terrific. I don't get much occasion in my day-to-day life to interact with people that really love their jobs, so the weekly library trip reminds me that not everyone I encounter is miserable. Hell, I just enjoy being around people that pick up a book and read once in a while.

Outfit Particulars:

Vintage Pendelton linen skirt-Goodwill $3.59 (score!)
Belt-Thrift World
Cardigan-Can't remember, quite old
Peasant top-K Mart
Bass loafers-retail, 2004
Earrings-Liz Claiborne, bought about 10 years ago
Vintage handbag-Hand-Me-Ups
Vintage enamel pin-Hand-Me-Ups

All right, put up your feet and relax. We watched Bed Knobs and Broomsticks last evening (Danny really enjoyed it, and I love more with each viewing) and tonight we have The Incredible Shrinking Man, and a Pete Seeger documentary.

Perhaps tomorrow the weather will be more picnic appropriate. Have a great weekend!