Monday, May 29, 2017

I'll Have a Blue Hawaiian Without You

A Blue Hawaiian cocktail sounds pretty good right now, but I'd need to go out and buy Curacao. Better stick to Pimms and lemonade instead.

 I found this dress in a box I'd forgotten about, and have no memory of having purchased it. It isn't vintage, but it easily passes. I was in the mood to wear something cheerful. How'd I do?
I waited in the car while Mr. ETB popped into the Indian market for curry leaves (and a deep-fried snack he ate before returning to the car). Bored, I photographed my new (to me) vintage shoes, but the real star of this photo is that blue sky out the window.
 Car-selfie using the mirror on the sun-visor. I was really bored. I think the "fried snack" was probably plural, as he was in there quite some time.

 Outfit Particulars:
Jones New York dress-can't remember
Blue vintage beads-Goodwill
Flower pin-Tiff and Tam
Vintage sandals-Hand-Me-Ups
Vintage handbag-Goodwill
Hair Flowers-Tiff and Tam
Fragrance-Guerlain Guet Apens

I made the first sweet corn of the season to get summer started.

 Yes, I own corn-on-the-cob dishes, and plastic holders for the ends. I live in Nebraska. That's not an excuse so much as an observation. It took 16 years, but I've, "Gone Native."  I still don't like football. Sorry.
I have more corn and vegetarian hot dogs for our dinner tomorrow, and then we're off to the park to practise Danny's pitching. I never thought I'd be purchasing a baseball glove for myself, but he needs someone to pitch and catch with. I went to the used sporting goods store and found an exceptionally nice glove for $14.00. I'm a better catcher than pitcher. I'm a bit wary as two of my worst childhood injuries happened playing baseball, with the worst seeing me knocked-out in a neighbour's yard. I've had more concussions than an NFL player (that's not an exaggeration). It probably explains quite a bit about my personality! Fell down the basement stairs head-first, baseball injury, drove my bike into a car in the alley (miracle I wasn't run over but it was my fault. I still feel bad for the fright I gave the poor old man driving), fell from a tree, ice skating injury...and then there were the broken bones. So yeah, I'm thinking about wearing a batting helmet to play catch with my kid in case he beans me with a hard ball. I can't afford any more brain injuries. 

I had a very lucky visit to the Goodwill "Up North" that I rarely visit. Three full, unused bottles of perfume (Tuscany per Donna 3.4 oz, $3.99 Clinique Happy (meh) 3.4 oz, $4.99 and Shiseido Zen, $2.99) and an extravagant, over-the-top Carol Dauplaise necklace from the 80's for $4.99. I spotted it in the case as soon as we walked in, and I stood there waiting for someone to open it lest someone else come along and buy it out from under me. We came home and I did a bit of research-it sells for a nice chunk of change online. Mr. ETB was impressed that I could spot it right away, but after so many years, I've become good at spotting quality. That's part of my logic for not shopping with a phone. I see people looking things up before buying them, but I prefer to trust my gut feeling. At least if I'm stuck with it, I'll enjoy the item. Anyway, I was clearly chuffed.

I hope everyone has a good week.

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Dreary May

Thank you for your help with literature suggestions for next semester-I appreciate you taking the time to alert me to what I've been missing. We're getting closer to completing the syllabus, but I'm already mentally exhausted. Thank goodness I only need to do this once a year. 
Now, to the vintage.

I KNEW there was a reason I own so many raincoats!

 Having fab outerwear does lessen the sting of needing a coat in late May. This is very unusual for Omaha. That said, I prefer it to 100 degrees F with high humidity, which has also been known to happen in Spring.

What you can't see in the photo is the red contrast lining in the coat. I wish that would make a style return-it was such a great look.  Contrast piping is nice as well.

 This nylon dress is silky and lightweight. It really is too big, and belting it messes up the overall line. I will find a new home for it where someone can give it the styling it deserves. I'm a sucker for a nice print, and wrinkle-free fabric, but it really only works beneath a coat.
 Outfit Particulars:

1970's nylon dress-Thrift World
Vintage 1970's gum-soled shoes-Thrift World
Vintage raincoat-Goodwill
Owl brooch (on dress) Hand-Me-Ups
Sarah Coventry brooch (on coat) and earrings-yard sale
Fragrance-Ralph Lauren Romance (about as "romantic" as air freshener, but okay for a daytime, inoffensive scent).

Completely unrelated: I am upstairs, and I can hear the boys  attempting to put together a bookcase from Big Lots. There's a lot of, "What the hell?" and, "That can't be all the pieces" echoing upstairs. If I were a nice person I'd go down there and offer to help (I really excel at putting together prefabricated furniture-I consider it a gift) but I'm going to pretend I didn't hear them. Someone just uttered the first, "Owwww!" I think it was Danny. Ah, here he is coming upstairs with the box.
"Look mama, we got it out of the box!"

Well, you have to start somewhere. Good advice for most of life's challenges.

Friday, May 26, 2017

Paris When it Drizzles

Yes, I own a Guerlain umbrella. I've had it since the early 90's, and it is showing wear but I'll never part with it.

I found this Paris print novelty skirt recently for a dollar. It is early 2000's and made of a very thin cotton. As it was cold and windy today, I decided to employ a pair of, "Pervert-Proof-Panties". 
I've stopped caring what the neighbours might think of my antics. 
What's a little side-eye, anyway? 
Outfit Particulars:
Bandolino skirt-Thrift World
Vintage Jantzen wool sweater-Thrift World
Vintage handbag-can't remember (had it at least 25 years)
Bakelite bangles-all over
Bakelite brooch-Goodwill
Earrings-New Life Thrift
Fragrance-Guerlain Parure

The skirt was fun to wear, once. I'm not in love with the pleats, and it really is a bit big, so it has already migrated to the "Donate" bag in the front hall. When it is full, we'll drop the items at Hand-Me-Ups and with any luck, Thrift-Shop-Karma will pay us back with something fun. It feels strange having single-wear clothes but at the prices I've been finding things, it still comes out a bargain. Unless something is vintage or particularly wonderful, I don't need it cluttering up my limited space. 

Being Nebraska, our Spring weather has been through all the extremes. 
 Woolens one day, shorts the next. I'm generally a flexible person but this year has been a challenge. Bad as it has been for me, the garden is managing to survive-we're getting a bumper-crop of radishes and spinach this year.
The top I'm wearing is beading on heavy silk. I liked the idea of wearing a dressy top with linen shorts and a straw shoulder-bag. Next time I'll try it with some white linen trousers as I think it needs something to add a bit of contrast. I don't mind black in summer, but it needs to be kept relaxed and casual. I have all winter to wear dark, serious clothing (I'm afraid I'd make a terrible Goth).

Outfit Particulars:
Linen shorts-K Mart
1980's beaded top-Goodwill
Straw bag-Goodwill
Vintage slides-Goodwill
Bracelet-Garage sale
Copper earrings-K Mart
Fragrance-Courreges in Blue

I'll leave you with a look at a pair of swallows we saw at the park. I don't know the variety, but I'm pretty certain neither could carry a coconut.

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Pepto Pink and Seeking Your Help

 There's "Millennial Pink", but this is definitely, Pepto-Bismal pink. No getting around it. Being polyester, it just takes on that added bit of silliness. I'm pretty sure it is home sewn. I hope she received good marks in home economics because this is a very nice dress, save for the colour.

I attracted my share of odd looks wearing it around Omaha today. One fellow had to stop, turn around and continue looking at me like I'd somehow caused him psychic discomfort by existing. That was kind of rich coming from someone with a hipster beard, and a waxed handle-bar moustache.
 This pendant has a secret. Flip it over and... can check your lippy. I love accessories that mix beauty with function. This one is vintage Avon. They made some very nice stuff in the 70's.

Outfit Particulars:Vintage 70's maxi-dress-Defunct costume shop
Vintage Johansen shoes-Thrift World
Vintage Margaret Smith handbag-Hand-Me-Ups
Vintage bangles-Both Goodwill
Vintage bracelet(part of a set)-Hand-Me-Ups
Vintage earrings-Can't remember
Fragrance-Vintage Miss Dior

 Made in the USA-you don't see too many shoes that are anymore.

I should clean these earrings-yet another case of not spotting a flaw until I post a close-up photo.

Now for the request. It is Syllabus writing time again for the 2017-18 school year. I need to have it submitted by July, but I hope to be done much earlier (I'm ready for Summer break). Each year, I try to focus the curriculum around a single theme for each semester. Next year, I'm doing our neighbours, Mexico and Canada. I typically select some readings in history, literature, humanities, anthropology etc. that I can focus on the theme.

This is where I ask you for suggestions, I don't want to assign Paz to a 12 year old, although he would probably get more out of him than I ever did. Any Mexican literature spring to mind that you'd like to suggest?

For Canada, I've been teaching post-European arrival history for a few years now, but I'd like to add some readings that acknowledge the people already living there. I have a textbook that covers pre-Confederation Canada, but I don't have any modern indigenous authors assigned for readings. Any suggestions?

I think I have maths covered but if you have a favourite Trigonometry textbook, I'd love to hear about it.

Thanks in advance!

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

The Judgement of Plaster of Paris

Sorry, had to. 
You can't take me anywhere. 
I'm confident I'm not the first person to take advantage of a photo-op in the statue area of Mulhall's garden centre. Now give me my golden apple and I'll just be on my way.
What is it about statues that encourage silliness?  
Memorial Day is the official point (in the US) where it is considered acceptable to wear white. I don't give a toss about that rule (or most others for that matter) but it has been far too cold for a gauze/cheesecloth. We finally had a nice day with sun and temperatures in the 60's, so I broke out the white and headed to Mulhall's. Mulhall's is my "Happy Place."  I never leave there in a bad mood. I never leave there with any money, but still-you can't put a price on happiness. They have a rewards membership programme, but that just encourages more spending. I came home with a few more pepper and tomato plants, as well as yet another bay laurel. I keep killing them. This one is already Christened, Apollo III. I also purchased a jelly-feeder for orioles. Less than 24 hours after hanging it, the orioles started coming to our balcony. I didn't think we had orioles, but I guess I was wrong! 

I bagged up sorrel and set it out by the sidewalk with a note to help yourself-no one took any! I have pounds and pounds of sorrel and there's only so much schav I can eat. I might need to start leaving it at people's doors. Our cool weather resulted in the bumper crop from hell. We're about to be overwhelmed with peas as well, but
I can freeze those. Ah well, I guess you can have worse problems. Sorrel makes a nice sauce for fish, so I can always do that.
This is my first wear of this beautiful Judith Leiber belt. I was so happy to find it at New Life Thrift. If I ever find a Judith Leiber handbag I'll probably fall into a coma from the shock. I'm happy with the belt. White accessories can look naff, but not this belt! It is heavy, and well made but not adjustable. It is a bit large, but I don't care. 
Outfit Particulars:
Gauze blouse-K Mart
Gauze skirt-Hand-Me-Ups
Vintage Air Step handbag-Can't remember
Judith Leiber belt-New Life Thrift
Gold shoes-Goodwill
Shell earrings-Sears
Whiting and Davis vintage panel bracelet-Goodwill
Damascene bracelet-Goodwill
Gold bangles-various places
Fragrance-Vintage formulation Diorissimo
 My skin is finally healing with the multiple salves I'm using now. I'm happy it wasn't my wrists as that would impair my ability to wear bracelets and that would be like running around stark naked (or as we say, "Starkers.").  What do you call it when you walk down the stairs naked? Starkness descending."

 Want to know how much the ointment cost? With insurance, it was $2.00. That's the price our insurance company negotiates for it. Without insurance a tube of generic ointment would have cost $869.00. I often wonder if the people screaming about being forced to buy insurance have ever had a serious case of allergic eczema? The second salve cost $35.00. I have no idea what that would have cost without insurance and a coupon from the drugmaker. This isn't some rare disease people are unlikely to contract-everyone gets a rash at some point in their life. I don't know about you, but I don't have eight hundred bucks sitting around to pay out of pocket for a rash ointment. Yes, our premiums are high, and yes there are co-pays, but if rash ointment costs this much I shudder to think what it would cost if I broke a leg. Young, healthy people have accidents too.
*Steps down off soapbox*

On a happier note, I baked my first cherry pie of the season. These are sweet Bing Cherries from California. I used instant tapioca as a thickener.
 I also made vanilla ice cream because you can't have cherry pie without ice cream-not at my house anyway.
I didn't wear white to bake the pie!

I'm finishing up the syllabus writing this week and next. The paperwork for next year needs to be in by 15 July, but I feel better having it done by June. We homeschool year-round, but I build in breaks during the summer. Half-days in July gets our work out of the way by the time the pool opens. The teacher needs a holiday too.
I wonder if a fish and sorrel pie would be good? If you live in Omaha and need some sorrel, drop me an email!

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Fragrance Review-Estee Lauder Knowing (Vintage Formulation)

My introduction to Knowing was shortly after it was introduced in the late 80's. My mum wanted the large Christmas set that was, "Free" with a fragrance purchase, so she gifted me a bottle of Knowing. For a woman that got it so wrong, so often in nearly every aspect of parenting, she'd somehow managed to select a fragrance that was at least in the spirit of something I'd wear. I never bothered with a second bottle, and didn't think about it until I was in New Life Thrift and found a half-filled bottle for around two dollars. "Why not?" I thought. I brought it home, put it away and forgot about it all winter.

A few weeks ago I came across the bottle and decided it was now or never. I always thought of Knowing as a cold weather fragrance-boy, was I wrong! Thanks to our wild weather that has fluctuated between frost and 90 degrees, I've been proving everything I thought about Knowing wrong (I imagine an ad campaign;"You don't know Knowing"). This is a wonderful late Spring fragrance-after the lily of the valley scents get old, but it is too early for gardenias.

Knowing is a chypre, but I hesitate to mention that for fear of scaring off the oakmoss and civet shy. Yes, those notes are there, but so are melon, plum, aldehydes, cedar, and the most glorious rose. On paper it sounds like someone let a ten year old loose in a lab, but after that initial suffocating blast of aldehydes (and it is strong) Knowing settles down and spends the next several hours compelling you to sniff your wrist. Bay leaf, cardamom, coriander-the spice notes in Knowing never veer into smelling like a kitchen cabinet-rather they're more like an herb garden warmed by the sun.

To my nose, Knowing isn't a typical 80's fragrance. Perhaps it is the aldehydes, or the civet but there's something old fashioned about it-my grandmother wouldn't have found it too different from the perfume bottles on her own tray (even if she only ever wore Lentheric Tweed to the annoyance of my mother). I won't say Knowing has some sort of old fashioned glamour, as I think people often associate anything old fashioned with the version of the past they get from movies. Rather, Knowing is reminiscent of an era where you wouldn't go to the dentist wearing yoga pants. Dressed, rather than dressed-up.

Knowing isn't a powerhouse, but the first few minutes of aldehyde cloud can be a bit strong. It does settle down, but I wouldn't spray myself head-to-toe all at once unless I was particularly skilled at holding my breath. Only you know your lung capacity, and your aldehyde endurance, so spray lightly until you know your limit. The longevity is good, but a second application mid-day isn't an outrageous indulgence.

What's interesting to me is the absence of any citrus notes in Knowing's opening. There's such a tendency to throw a bit of bergamot or orange at a woody chypre, that it is almost daring to omit it. There's orange blossom later on, but that's different of course. I suppose it would get lost in the aldehydes anyway.

So what's in Knowing?

Aldehydes, mimosa, coriander, orange blossom, melon, plum, green notes, rose, tuberose, bay leaf, patchouli, orris root, jasmine, lily of the valley, cedar, cardamom, sandalwood, amber, musk, civet, oakmoss and vetiver.

Knowing gets compared to Paloma Picasso, and that's not an unfair comparison. I find Knowing a bit nicer in the second and third hour where the second and third hour of Picasso makes me think I should wash it off and try something else. I like both fragrances for their own qualities but if I had to choose, I'd take Knowing without much deliberation.

I have issues with the Lauder fragrances. Actually, that's not fair. I have issues with my mother and sister who were loyal consumers of Lauder fragrances until my sister mercifully discovered Chanel No. 19 in the late 70's. Until then, it was a cloud of Aliage, Youth Dew, Estee, and White Linen. I can enjoy vintage Azuree in the right mood, but even the later fragrances like Cinnabar, Pleasures, Private Collection, and the like really churn my stomach. Today's Estee Lauder fragrances are tamer, but they still don't do much for me. That said, I will always turn my head to figure out who is wearing Aramis in a room, even when I know it will be a 70 year old gentleman that started wearing it when the fragrance was new. Every house has at least one good fragrance, and as far as I'm concerned Aramis is it-it is a stronger version of Azuree adding in what was missing (probably a shit-load of cumin).

I haven't tried the newer version of Knowing. The oakmoss is such an important note in the original I'd be curious how they've managed to duplicate it. Synthetic civet to my nose works well in most things (hell, it turns Jicky into something I'd actually consider wearing) and I don't imagine it could go too wrong in Knowing-but I've been wrong before. Hopefully the fragrance hasn't been gutted in reformulation as so m any others have been.

If you like woody chypres like Paloma Picasso, a vintage bottle of Knowing might be something you'd enjoy. Just beware the aldehydes. Really, I'm not exaggerating.