Sunday, March 29, 2015

Caftan Sunday and Other 70's Looks

Greetings from Caftanistan. This is indeed an Afghan caftan, made from pieces of very old brocade worked into a newer dress in the late 70's/early 80's. I've personally owned this piece for 25 years, though I rarely wear it as it is heavy from all those bits of mirror and glass sewn in the bodice and cuffs.
The blue dye is not terribly colourfast, so it gets dry cleaned. I made the mistake of wearing it once in hot weather. Blue armpits weren't a thing in the 90's.

So that's this week's caftan. Moving along, how about some linen trousers?
 Worn with the highest heels I own, they're *almost* the right length. I wanted to give them a wear before deciding if it was worth the effort to hem them. This was another pair of .99 cent trousers from Hand-Me-Ups. I like these better than the embroidered pair, so I guess I'll be sewing hems.

They're not terrible from the back, which is a rarity with white anything, let alone slacks. The disco-era top just felt right today. 
 Sometimes my back enjoys a breeze.
 It was windy today-note the plastic bag photo-bombing me. It flew up to the roof shortly after the picture was snapped.

Outfit Particulars:

Caftan: 1980's purchase, long-gone gallery, Evanston, Illinois

70's/80's sequin top-Goodwill
Ralph Lauren fully lined linen trousers-Hand-Me-Ups
70's silver clutch-Goodwill $3.99
Sterling silver Mexican bracelet-Goodwill $2.99! (score!)
Earrings-K Mart
Rings-all over
Cazal Glasses-Mum's
Fragrance-Halston (I mean, what else could I possibly wear with a get-up like this?)
 Saturday was bird-banding. This woodpecker screamed, and screamed so loudly he could be heard down the hall and halfway out the building.
 This fellow was better behaved.

The real excitement came when a flock of turkeys wandered into the net! Only one got stuck, and thankfully I wasn't the one tasked with freeing it. They are just the stupidest birds. We had a flock that lived near the farm, and every single time I'd get round the corner, there they'd be sitting in the middle of the road. Anyway, all was well once it was loose.
I'll leave you with this snapshot of a couple books I found shelved together at the library today.

Woo-Hoo, I'm on holiday for 10 whole days now! I see some sleeping-in this week. Oh yes I do.
Have a great week, everyone.

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Until You Reach For Something

 I do enjoy a mini-skirt now and then. This wouldn't have been short when I was young (micro-minis were all the rage) but this is where I draw the line hemline. Not wearing minis on a regular basis does present some issues like, bending, leaning, and today's problem-reaching.
I knew if I reached for the high shelf at the supermarket everyone would get an eyeful (not that they wouldn't enjoy it of course, just that I didn't feel like providing the entertainment today). I instructed Danny to search for an employee to help me. He returned with a man a few inches shorter than myself. As you can imagine, that was awkward until I finally blurted out, "My damn skirt's too short!"
(Hmmm, that IS kind of short, now that I look at it)

Well, that got a laugh, and my item from the high shelf without flashing my bottom to everyone in the aisle. Maybe flats next time?

The holidays of Pesach and Easter overlap this year, which is causing all sorts of issues in our interfaith family. As I'm not terribly religious, I don't mind having bread in the house so long as it isn't consumed during Pesach. I baked Kulich to keep in the freezer for a late Easter dessert (here's the recipe from last year's post) We already sampled one of the loaves (well, I didn't but the boys did) and I'm sure it will be gone by tomorrow. Earlier, I baked Paska, and have two in the freezer for our belated celebrations. I think this is a good compromise, as Danny would be disappointed if I skipped it, and he gets to enjoy a bit of the baking now.

I bought paper baking moulds rather than trying to find coffee tins that were unlined with a plastic coating (most are these days)and it worked so well I may never go back to baking in tins. Imagine a large muffin liner made of heavy greaseproof paper with a cardboard bottom. Once placed on a baking sheet, they are stable in the oven and can be used as a container to give away baked goods. I wish I'd known about these earlier-it would have saved a lot of fuss over the years. Buying the liners did require going to the snooty kitchen supplies store, but the salesperson was lovely, and it was a quiet afternoon without the typical crowd of entitled douchebags  bourgeoisie  tossers stuck-up bastards people that live and shop in that  exclusive corner of Omaha. I'm trying to be more generous with people as I get older...but they keep behaving in a manner that makes it largely impossible. I could be a nice person. Really, I could if they would just meet me halfway. You don't need to be a saint-just be less of an asshole. See? Easy!
 Boots-I do love them. This pair are almost impossible to remove without help. What is so wrong with a zipper?! Heloooo shoe manufacturers-how about some zip-up boots for a change?

Outfit Particulars:

Pink dotted blouse-Thrift World
Jones Studio jacket-Goodwill
Skirt-Sears, years ago
Earrings-Thrift World
Flower-Tiff and Tam
Handbag-Thrift World
Black Hills Gold necklace-Gift from Danny
60's link belt-Goodwill
Pink lucite bangle-Goodwill
Fragrance-White Shoulders

The flip-off was getting tired, so I thought I'd give nose-thumbing a go. I apologise in advance if this means something else outside of North America (as so many things do). Here, it helps if you do a taunting, "Nah, nah, nah" for effect. 

Hope you're having a nice weekend. I'm off to find my pervert-proof panties. 

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Finally, the Thrifting Gods Sent Me Some Decent Stuff

Would you look at who turned up at the thrift store? 

You know how it is-one member of a band quits, then they all follow suit. This one was mumbling something about settling in the US, and being my toyboy. I'd send him back, but Curtise's daughter Claudia has already said she didn't fancy him. Can't have the little long-haired chap being homeless, now can we? 

I should note that the women that work at Hand-Me-Ups didn't bat an eye at my antics...they know me.

Outfit Particulars:
Liz Claiborne coat-Goodwill
Woolrich denim skirt-Thrift World
Haband bandana print blouse-Goodwill
Black Pullover-K Mart
Earrings-Von Maur
Fragrance-Wind Song

Speaking of  hair...I've been doing the bit where I give it a rinse in the morning, toss on some leave-in conditioner, and let it air dry. I'm not convinced I like it-feels a bit Tiny Tim for me. Tiptoe, through the tulips, through the tulips...Damn, I need a ukulele. 

Yeah, I don't think this look is doing me any favours.
Another pair of clogs from the collection (more than three pair are a, "collection" right?)

Not content with the ones I already own, I had to grab these today at Goodwill.
I do have a weak spot for a nice pair of clogs.
 ...and handbags. The thrifting hasn't been great lately, so imagine my surprise when I found three bags today.
 The red bag is pristine-I doubt it was ever worn.

This tapestry bag is well-made (feet on the bottom, pattern matches at the bottom and sides, etc.
 The interior is nice as well. The lining is heavy, and the pockets are made from the tapestry fabric. I get excited by nice linings in handbags-and this is a nice one.
I've been searching for a coin belt for years. This one just barely makes it around my gut, but I think links can be added to it. This makes two link belts this week-I wonder, do these things come in pairs? Sometimes it feels that way.
 This beautiful cutting board was a dollar. I'm going to hang it rather than put it to use.
There's an unlabeled piece of fruit for you to write in your own happiness. Mr. ETB votes for, "Irony." I won't share Danny's suggestion. 

I wanted these trousers to work for me, but looking at the photographs I must face reality. They're beautifully made (lining, embroidered fabric, good zipper, etc.) but they add ten pounds to each leg. Typically that wouldn't bother me, but they also make me look short. I can deal with short or dumpy-but not both. They cost .99 cents at Hand-Me-Ups, and will soon be returning home. Side-zip pants are looking for me to throw out my back contorting to zip them anyway. 
Nope, not working for me.

Though I'm looking better than this fellow.  We felt so sorry for him, we brought him home and gave him some herbal tea to settle his belly. Poor dear. Someone ate too many chocolate eggs.

 Outfit Particulars:

1970's Ultra Suede jacket-Goodwill
Talbot's trousers-Hand-me-Ups
Earrings-K Mart
60's handbag-Thrift World
Ruff Hewn clogs-retail, ages ago
Fragrance-Courreges in Blue
Finally, I'll leave you with some birds that have been visiting the feeders this week.
 "I like suet."
"Suet?! That shit will kill you. Try some safflower seed."
"I hate safflower.Try some suet."
"I don't think we're compatible."
"Well Your profile said you liked, "Hanging around feeders, flying into windows, and fine dining. Clearly you were exaggerating."
"Well your profile said you were" a year old", and looking at the molt on your second year feathers, you're a fine one to be pointing wings."

 "Fine, then."
"More suet for me. I wonder if the lady on the other side of the glass could steam it into a pudding for me? Ahhhhh, suet. That's the last time I answer an ad from a seed-eater."

Tomorrow is Friday!

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Severe Weather Awareness Week

This is Severe Weather Awareness Week in Nebraska, and regular blog readers will know this is when I encourage lecture you to get a Weather Band radio. I wouldn't be sitting here typing this had I not invested in one. When the tornado hit us in 2008, we lived three miles out a county road from town-there's no possible way we would have heard the sirens going off. Mudslides, flood, high winds, hurricanes,wildfires, lightning-no matter where you live, there's something you'll want a few moment's notice of-it can save your life. We worry over a million unlikely things that can harm us (plane crashes, terrorist attacks) but when it comes to weather, we tend to meet it with a shrug. I know I did. Seeing my neighbour's barn in a tree, and cattle stranded two fields away changed my reaction to storm warnings.
This is typical of what you will hear on a weather radio. Today's warning was a test, and clearly noted.

We live closer to the sirens now.

Danny has written a preparedness guide to give you the basics. I encourage you to check with your local authorities, and develop a plan of your own. Put together a kit, have a family meeting spot, and do regular drills. Knowing what to do in the event of an emergency is the best antidote to panic. You can panic afterward.

                                                        Severe Weather Awareness

This week is Severe Weather Awareness week in Nebraska. Because of this, I think that this would be a good time to discuss the hazards of severe weather, and a few preparedness tips to know in case of severe storms in your area.

First up, tornadoes. These are funnel-shaped rotating clouds that come from thunderstorms. Tornadoes can occur anywhere, but they are generally concentrated in to one region, the great plains of the United States. Everyone should prepare, but those in the plains should pay special attention to tornado preparedness.

    In a tornado, If you are inside:
  • Head for the lowest level of your house , and go to a room that lacks windows .
  • Cover your head with a pillow or thick object to protect from debris
    If you are outside:
  • Get into nearest ditch and cover head if no indoor shelter is available.
Ditch is safer than mobile home, leave mobile homes in tornado.

Another major threat is lightning, one of the most common of severe weather phenomena. If indoors, you should avoid use of corded devices, and also avoid using sinks, showers, and baths. If outdoors, take shelter indoors, as no open area is safe. You can also, if no indoor area is available, take cover in a metal-topped car with windows up. As a last resort, take cover in a low area away from water, metal objects, and cliffs.

In low-elevation areas, and some dips in high elevation areas, flash floods are a threat. These can suddenly flood previously dry areas as high-precipitation thunderstorms roll in. If you are affected by flash flooding, avoid trying to travel in to flooded areas, and if an evacuation notice is issued, Do so IMMEDIATELY! If driving after a flood, avoid going in to water. Remember, “TURN AROUND, DON'T DROWN!
To prepare in case of any of these effects , Construct an emergency kit that includes:
  • 1 gallon of water per person per day
  • Flashlight
  • Replacement flashlight batteries
  • Weather radio
  • First aid kit
  • Non-perishable food
  • Pillow for shelter during tornado.
  • Medications
  • Keys
  • Change of clothes with sturdy shoes
  • Important documents
I hope that this guide will help you stay safe in sever weather situations, and ensure that you are not worried about being left helpless in the case of any or all of these three severe weather events. The best way to prevent panic, is knowing what to do.

For those that require illustrations:

 Boarded-up after the tornado.
 View from back door. Trees and parts of barn scattered in walkway. Downed power line on left.
 Storm cellar beneath the mudroom. We were stuck in there as debris fell atop the door. Got rescued about an hour later.
 Part of the hay barn hanging from a tree.
 Hail damage.

 Plaster melted from the ceiling from the force of wind and rain. I *Still* find plaster inside my china cabinet no matter how many time's I've cleaned it. It poured in through cracks, and year after year powdery bits work through. My glass bowl survived. You can see Danny's little bib and empty ice cream dish-we'd just finished giving him dessert when the radio went off.
The large tree lifted from the roots. I heard this fall-I thought a car had over-turned or something like that. When I saw the damage the next morning it was hard to believe we got out of it as unscathed as we did.

There were two tornadoes that night-one hit in "Town" three miles down the road, and one that came up the county road knocking down power poles like toothpicks. We got the second one. Our side of the road took most of the damage, and people opposite us on the road had only minimal wind damage. Funny how nature works. 

This concludes my yearly, "Get a weather band radio" lecture. We now return you to regular blogging. 

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Class Photos -Mid 30's-Late 40's

Click photos to embiggen.

I was struck, looking through my parent's class photographs at how much they tell you about changing fashions. I was surprised to see girls in this 1949 school photograph wearing trousers. As far as I'm aware that was not permitted ordinarily. Why this exception would be made for, "Picture Day" I don't know. Sadly, I can't see if my mum is wearing a skirt or trousers as she's in the second row (5th from the left). She lived in a well-off neighbourhood, but I think the war and rationing did quite a bit to level things. I'm sure whatever she was wearing, it had probably been darned repeatedly (or it belonged to my aunt). Girl second from left, bottom row is wearing a very smart looking suit.
My mother's trademark, "Not a smile, smile."
Dad grew up working class on the South Side of Chicago in the Hyde Park neighbourhood. His parents had a news stand. I have a copy of his first work permit from 1934! At four years old, they sent him down the block on Saturday nights with his wagon filled with papers to sell to people coming out of the cinema. I don't think his case of child labour would have raised a single eyebrow at the office issuing the permits. Dad is top row, third from the left wearing his crossing-guard sash..
He's smiling because he just bullied some kid into handing over his lunch money, a trait that will follow him into adulthood. He's 13 in this photo.
 Mum's school mid-40's (she's top row, second from right). The girl second row from the bottom, centre is wearing a great sailor top that looks like it might have been a middy, re-fashioned from perhaps her mother's old clothes. Oh how I wish we could go back and move them around so we could better see the outfits.
 Mum's school-early-mid 40's (She's second row from the bottom, centre of photo with bows in her hair). The little girl third from left in the same row as mum hasn't mastered sitting in a short dress yet. pro-tip: Cross your legs at the ankles.I like the argyle sweater on the boy in the bottom row. The boy beside him is wearing a short-sleeved sweater, something we rarely associate with menswear today.
 Dad's school 1939( He's thrid row from bottom, 5th from left). Note the twins second row from the bottom, far left. My dad always called them, "The two twins at my school." It drove me crazy. "Dad, the "two" part is implied. Just say, "Twins." But he just couldn't manage it. So that's the, "Two Twins." These days they would put them in different classrooms. My Dad wasn't supposed to be in grade three, but they had an extra desk, and were short one student so they came into his classroom, looked for the physically largest kid, and promoted my dad to grade three.
Mum's school early 40's(Third row from bottom, second from left obscured by girl's hair). I really like the girl in the second row from the bottom, centre with the Shirley Temple curls. She looks like she could beat the crap out of you.
 Dad's school, 1942 (Third row from bottom, second from left)

It is interesting to look at how multi-cultural my dad's school in Chicago was. You don't see anything but upper-middle class white kids in my mother's photos.