Wednesday, January 31, 2018

January, the Last

Be My Valentine.
I decorated the front door. No, I'm not letting the shark thing go.
In other news, I've been out and about wearing fab clothes to do my damnedest getting through January. Did the month seem extra long to you?

I have a few of these 70's appliqued and embroidered sweaters by Cyn-Les. They're fun, if a bit too youthful for me but eh, whatever.
Here's the other giraffe sweater I last wore on blog in 2014
 Cheeky giraffe!

Anyway, they're fun sweaters except for the one my parents bought me as a kid that said, "Hug Me." I didn't hang on to that Cyn-Les sweater.

Outfit Particulars:
70's Cyn-Les sweater-Hand-Me-Ups
Gap shorts-90's (has a matching jacket)
Tights-K Mart
Vintage 60's coat-Thrift World
Beret-K Mart
Fragrance-Ma Griffe

This is a necklace I never would have bought before I knew Veronica. She wears the most wonderful necklaces, and has inspired me to try all sorts of things like otk boots and kimonos. That's the funny thing about friends as you age, instead of turning you on to drugs, they introduce you to cool fashions! You're a very good influence on me Veronica. 👍

Outfit Particulars:
Vintage handbag-Gift from a neighbour years ago
Boots-K Mart
Poloneck-K Mart
Jacket-80's Esprit
Silver doorknocker earrings-Mum's, 80's
Silver bangle-Goodwill
Silver bracelet-Goodwill
I bought a Nordicware cake pan of a castle. I have a birthday coming up, so I'm going to do Macbeth in cake and decorated cookies because...castle pan. I might do Richard III next. 
I received a birthday card in the post, but it was from AARP. This came in the same week a young woman admired my specs but said she couldn't wear them as she's not "Old enough." Right. Moving along...
This is soooo sweet. I ought to hate it, but I don't. I might not like it in warm weather but with the freezing cold we've been experiencing it is wonderful. Again, it is very, very sweet so apply with caution. 
I've considered getting rid of this dress so many times, but I'm always pleased to discover that I didn't. I don't like Empire waists. That said, the pattern is so nice I can't bear to part with it. Adding a shawl/scarf distracts from the boob-flattening tendencies of these dresses. I wore so many of these dresses in the 80's and 90's, but I don't think this one looks too dated., 

Outfit Particulars:
90's dress by Guess-Can't remember
Boots-K Mart
Wool scarf-Goodwill

I am looking forward to February. This Sunday, there is a Journaling in Nature class at DeSoto Wildlife Refuge. The subject is Scat and tracks. There will also be a hike. 

The Great Backyard Bird Count is 16-19 of February 2018. 

Rowe Sanctuary has a programme making "valentines" to feed birds and other wildlife at the sanctuary on 10 February, 2018 and by the end of the month, the Sandhill cranes should be making their way back through Nebraska. 

So much to look forward to this month. Now, I'm off to start researching where I can utilise my newly earned "senior" discounts. 

Friday, January 26, 2018

Brooches and Sharks (That's What I Like)

These three sparklers came from Hand-Me-Ups on the same visit. At $4.99, $3.99 and $2.99 I couldn't think of leaving them. The black brooch is unmarked, the pink one is Weiss, and the basket is Gerry's. Obviously, I don't need more brooches, but it was nice to find a Weiss for my collection-I'm not sure I had one. I like brooches. Know what else I like?
That's right, Sharks. Did you know we had prehistoric sharks in Nebraska? Did you know my kid still can't manage to tuck his shirt in? Both, absolutely true!
Sharks! I hear the president is terrified of sharks. Me? Oh I adore them. This fellow is Sharky (Danny's creativity with naming toys needs some work). I made him for Danny when he was about three from some acetate lining I had in my stash. He was a fearsome shark back then, but he's since lost an eye and most of his teeth. He prefers soft swimmers food these days. I've offered to operate on Sharky to restore his lost parts but everyone agrees he's better in his well-loved state.
We're very Pro-Shark in this family. I can completely understand being in a hotel room with a porn star and wanting to watch a documentary about sharks with her. I mean, when you really want to impress a woman, you go shark. I don't understand being afraid of them though. Sad!
After the documentary, order a little room service, have a few drinks and play Shark Jacks. Perfect date!
Oooh, Hammerhead.
 I understand people are donating to Shark Rescues in the president's name. That's a lovely idea.
Over the next few posts I'll share more of my shark-related items for your amusement and hey, if you find yourself in a hotel room with a porn star and there's no Discovery channel to watch, you can always look at these posts to get your shark fix. But no railing against Sharky-he's sensitive about stuff like that!
As for the outfit particulars:
Vintage Indian cotton skirt with block printing and sequins-Goodwill
Blouse-Kohl's a long time ago
Vintage handbag-Hand-Me-Ups
Clog boots-New Life Thrift
Earrings-K Mart
Fragrance-Eau Arpege. I really don't like it. God knows I keep trying but it smells like bathroom deodouriser from the 70's (Glade solid to be specific). The bottle is lovely, I understand it is wildly popular but I just can't stand it. I think I'm done trying. I've owned it three years now and it ain't happening. Might use it to freshen the loo.
Be nice to sharks. Okay Sharky, let's go over to Culver's and get you a fish sandwich. What's that? Oh, of course you can have cheese curds, Sharky. You don't go to Culver's and skip the cheese curds.

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Great Chieftain O' the Puddin Race

A  veggie haggis for your Burns Supper on 25 January. Serve with plenty of whisky. Clapshot and Clootie dumpling optional.

I've used this recipe for years (no idea where I found it originally) and have made it successfully by omitting the nuts. If you have them, crushed pretzels make a good substitute for nuts in savoury recipes, but if not you can simply leave the nuts out. If you have leftovers, it ain't half bad sliced and fried in butter (or a substitute) the next day. I'm told it can be battered and deep fried, but I haven't personally tried that (nor do I intend to).

I've had something viral coming in for a few days now, and it finally hit this morning. I suspect I will be sitting out most of the festivities tomorrow (or staying in bed to drink whisky for the er...medicinal value) but this recipe is so easy even Danny can make it. Strangely, the only thing I've felt like eating are Good & Plenty liqourice which are similar to the oblong shaped pieces in Allsorts. Danny insists they look like pill perhaps they are therapeutic😀. Before I leap into the recipe, I thought I would run some potential new blog titles past you. After nearly 15 years at this I am looking for a change. Here's what I've come up with thus far:

Abnormal Sensations
Violating Plague Laws Brings a Stiff Penalty
A Goth in Each Hand
Bad Relationship With Stairs
I've Had Better Coffee At Jiffy Lube
Stupid Methusila
Pube Mange
Diplomat From Interzone

Yeah, it probably is the fever speaking. Anyhoo, I'm off to try and find a position to sleep in that isn't excruciating. Wishing you a very Happy Burns Night for tomorrow.

You Will Need:
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 small carrot, finely chopped
5 fresh mushrooms finely chopped
1 cup veggie broth
1/3 cup dry red lentils
2 tablespoons tinned kidney beans-mashed
3 tablespoons ground peanuts (can be omitted with no harm done)
2 tablespoons ground hazelnuts (omit if you like)
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 1.2 teaspoons dried thyme
1 teaspoon dried rosemary
pinch cayenne pepper
1 1/2 teaspoons mixed spice
1 large egg, beaten
1 1/3 cup steel cut oats
1 tablespoon black pepper

Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat and saute the onion 5 minutes. Mix in carrot and mushrooms and cook another 5 minutes. Stir in broth, lentils, kidney beans, peanuts, hazelnuts, soy sauce and lemon juice. Season with spices. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low and simmer 10 minutes. Stir in oats. cover and simmer 20 minutes.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 C) Grease a 5x9 in. baking dish. Stir the egg into the saucepan. Pack mixture into prepared pan and bake 30 minutes until firm.

Monday, January 22, 2018

Snow Day

The Chicagoan in me thinks it is absurd to call off school for three inches of snow, but I am happy to say it is heavy, wet, snow which means snowman building. Lately our snow has been so dry it can't be packed into a ball-no such problem with this stuff! It was like slush falling from the sky. It will be dangerous when it freezes overnight, but for now it is providing the local children with some fun. I've been watching cars attempt to struggle up our hill before giving up and bailing out down the side-street in the photo. That's not a road to try without a truck when it snows! The city ploughs have been out, but there's only so much they can do.
Friday, I took Danny to the Automobile Show. We went early in the day, and it was largely empty. He was able to sit in, and try out a number of sports cars. It was fun. I've been taking him to the show every January since he was about three to break-up the long, dull winter days after Christmas. There's the home and garden show to look forward to now. My seed catalogs have started arriving and...I don't know. I'll do potatoes of course as they work so well in the bag bed, but beyond some interesting looking onions and spinach, I'm not feeling motivated. I get two seasons-early for spinach and hardy greens, peas, etc. and the heat of summer that lasts well into autumn. Last year I had more tomatoes than I thought possible from a few plants. I have enough bottled and frozen to last through next year. Anyway, I hope I can summon the desire to plant something.
The Red Crossbills have been regular visitors to our feeders this winter. I have an assortment of treats for the birds from sunflower, nyjer, safflower, raisins, and suet-something for everyone. There's a row of pine trees across the street where I think the crossbills are coming from. Why they prefer sunflower seeds to pine cones, I don't know unless they're just lazy! The Juncos, Red Bellied Woodpeckers, Downy Woodpeckers, Goldfinches, Doves, and Starlings have all been about as well. The occasional Blue Jay and Robin visit us also.
All this cold, damp weather means regular pots of hot chocolate. Honestly, my Grandmother Clara made the best, using a combination of Droste cocoa powder, sugar, and milk. I make mine with melted chocolate and milk because that's what Danny likes, but given the choice, I prefer the deeper taste of powdered cocoa even if it lacks the richness of melted chocolate. I have the pot covered with foil because Danny was outside playing in the snow when I made it. I think coming inside to hot chocolate waiting is a nice sort of surprise.
Hang in there Rolland-Danny is going to make you a body.
That there is some wet snow. I'm glad I don't need to shovel it (our maintenance people do a fantastic job clearing the sidewalks, but no sooner they were here, the snow resumed falling). This will be a tricky storm to keep up with, but it should all be over by tonight.
My outfits haven't been terribly interesting. This was a peach Lurex maxi I cut down into a trapeze dress. I'm wearing bulky shorts beneath it which didn't end up looking good in photos, though I think it was fine in person.
The white, glittery-holographic boots were on deep clearance at Target, so I took a chance. They're comfortable enough, though I doubt very much they will be in fashion after this season. They do work well with 60's styles.

 The shoes and the shopper were the best bits of this outfit.

 Really, that look would work better with a Launer handbag. I saw one on eBay for about $100 and I considered it, but it was white. I'm holding out for black.

We have been planning a few holidays for spring and summer. I agreed to take Danny to Chicago for a Cubs game. I bought tickets for two games, and booked rooms, so I guess there's no backing out now😓I haven't been to Chicago in more than fifteen years, and I can't say I'm looking forward to it. At least I don't need to worry about running into family because they're all dead. It will be strange going back there as a tourist.

We're also headed to New York State for some birding, and to visit the Baseball Hall of Fame. There will also of course be a short trip to the Crane Trust in central Nebraska during the migration in late February/early March. Late summer will see us back and forth to Grand Island for the State Fair. That's about it, though I am hoping to swing a weekend away alone at some point this summer.

I have a new pudding basin that I'm using for the first time. With any luck, two hours from now we'll have a lemon sponge pudding. I'll get through those Meyer lemons! Better go top up the water. See you.

Saturday, January 20, 2018

National Squirrel Appreciation Day

 Tomorrow is National Squirrel Appreciation Day. If you have a gingerbread house left from Christmas I can tell you from experience squirrels enjoy using it to sharpen their teeth.
There was a planned, "Journaling in Nature" programme about squirrels scheduled at DeSoto Wildlife Refuge but now with the government shutdown, it isn't clear if it is still on or not. If you're planning to go, I'd call first in the morning. I feel terrible for the people who are going to be furloughed without pay-they have bills just like the rest of us and it is reasonable to expect your employer to pay you. Anyway, playing with people's lives for what's essentially a political pissing match is unforgivable and I hope they put a stop to this nonsense. *steps down off soapbox*

Anyway, spare a thought for the squirrels tomorrow, and for all the government workers that aren't getting paid.

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Mid January Blahs

When the only thing to look forward to this time of year is the auto show you know you're in a slump. Oh sure, there's our annual Burns Night supper, but otherwise this time of year is a bit uninspiring. My outfits are reflecting this state of whateverness as evidenced by my wearing a brocade skirt with my husband's fleece sweatshirt. He doesn't wear it, so no sense letting a perfectly good item of clothing go to waste. The fabric defies photography but this close-up is a better sense of the colour.
 There's even a matching vest/waistcoat.
Anyway, everything feels a bit much post-holidays, so I went with the fleece. 
Outfit Particulars:
Vintage skirt-Goodwill
Vintage tote bag-Goodwill
Boots-K Mart
Blue nylons-Target
Sweatshirt-Mr. ETB's
Copper pendant necklace-can't remember
Poorly named as you will be anything but incognito wearing this very potent fragrance. That said, I rather like it. 
 Again, I've turned to black on top, but this time I've worn a bright, colorful silky pleated skirt by DaRue of California. They do make lovely pleated skirts (I own three).
Pale legs alert. I am wearing tan tights-clearly not helping!
Outfit Particulars:
Top-K Mart
I have both the older and newer versions. Most of the time I wear a combination of both. I also have a stash of vintage minis I'm working my way through. I am seriously allergic to this one (I suspect it is the narcissus) but that hasn't stopped me wearing it. Like the ad says, "I can quit anything...except Bijan." God, I love this fragrance. Over-the-top in the best possible way.
 Here, I'm back to lack-of-imagination dressing again. 80's does 50's jacket, 70's knit skirt, Liberty scarf. Just. Not. Feeling it.

Fragrance-Shulton Friendship Garden. Pleasant in a very youthful way. It seems more appropriate for a tween than a woman my age. Basically, carnation and aldehydes-both in quantity. I like that in L'Air du Temps, but here it doesn't pack the same punch. Maybe my bottle lost something over the years.
I recently purchased this massive, vintage sewing basket for $3.99 I am pleased as can be, though I've been accumulating several of these baskets which would be fine if I ever did any sewing. Sigh. They're good for holding gloves and hankies too.
 We've been enjoying dining away from home now that Danny is cleared of food allergy concerns. This is a "Clown Sundae" from Petrow's. I don't know why it is called didn't taste funny. It did have both chocolate and vanilla ice cream, marshmallow cream, hot fudge, whipped cream, sprinkles, and a cherry on top. Delicious. The Chicagoan in me sees nothing strange in going out for ice cream in sub-zero weather.
We ordered some vegetables to keep it healthy. Don't onions have some sort of antioxidant property? Those looked better than they were, so I only had one. Now I'm going to be lacking in antioxidants...but not vitamin C...

 I have a few pounds of sweet, Meyer lemons and I thought about using them for marmalade, but they really are too mild to use in place of lemons.
And let's be honest, the only marmalade I like is Seville orange. See, I'm wearing my duffel coat and holding marmalade. Please take care of this blogger. Anyway, I'm probably going to help Danny make a batch of orange marmalade for the fair, but with Moros instead of Sevilles (we can't get them).
I did bake some lemon bars with a few of the Meyer lemons. Not sour enough for my taste, but everyone else loved them.
I spotted this on Yahoo's mail sidebar. I'm confident that's not Fast Eddie😊
Running this time of year is a drag. Ice, snow, sub-zero tempos. I can't even manage a short sprint around the block without worrying about breaking a hip. Until about March, I'll be indoors doing my best impersonation of a hamster on a wheel. I did 12 miles today and it was so fucking boring. We've had so much ice this year, it really is treacherous stepping outdoors. Cardio is cardio, but my brain needs a bit of exercise too. I've been reading Winship's translation of the Journey of Coronado with Danny, which is more interesting than I expected it to be. Explorers, political intrigue, 16th Century gossip-all the things that make for a good read. Anyway, between history and chemistry we have a rather full semester.
 I'm finding my faux furs are warmer than the real thing. This 70's coat is so heavy, I have sore shoulders after a day of wearing it.
Outfit Particulars:
wide pleated chiffon trousers-Goodwill
Beaded silk coat-New Life Thrift
90's wool scarf-can't remember where I bought it
Boots- K Mart
Vintage bag-Antique mall
Fragrance-Incanto Heaven, Ferragamo
I blind-bought a gigantic bottle of it and don't love it. I'm trying to tolerate it, but it depends on the day. It is better in cold weather than hot. There's a whiff of disinfectant about it, but overall it just isn't very interesting.
I'll leave you with a peek at my new handbag. There's a cord top plug in your phone and use the working handset-isn't that fun?

  • I hope your January has been more interesting than mine. I'm sure I'll feel more myself once I get past the cabin fever of being trapped at home in bad weather.