Friday, April 26, 2019


I just love a skirt with a wide sweep, don't you?
 It is unlikely that I'll ever wear this with a crinoline, but oh my goodness, wouldn't that be impressive?! I drive a compact car-there's no way I would fit with puffy undergarments.-this sort of voluminous fabric just barely makes it alone. Still, I wonder what this skirt would have looked like worn properly in the 50s.
 It does look ordinary enough when I'm not holding it out and twirling about.

Outfit Particulars:
1950s patio skirt (part of a set)-Hand-Me-Ups
1970s polyester top-Goodwill
1950s handbag-New Life Thrift
Bakelite and Lucite bangles-all over
1950s earrings-Thrift World
Fragrance-Amouage Bracken Woman (yeah, I'm hooked. Considering stockpiling in case they discontinue it).

In other news, as the kids say, "I did a thing." I won't tell you how many hours it took (several), but it is safe to say my fat, arthritic ass won't be qualifying for any major marathons, but that's fine. I'm not competitive (just as well because the stories I hear from other fat runners about the hostility directed at them would be enough to keep me away. I guess having fat people running marathons somehow "cheapens" it for some runners. Yeah, I don't get that either, but I also know for some people running is a performative/style/image thing. Having a fatty finishing a marathon would probably be upsetting to those sorts of people.), but I am pleased that I can do it. Bad joints, but excellent cardio endurance. Now watch me fall over from a coronary😢

For the record, I hated track and field when I was at school, but I was forced onto the junior high team anyway once the gym teacher discovered I had a skill for shot put. I could manage my part of a relay, but I hated it. Truth be told, I still hate it. I do it, but all that talk of endorphin rushes from taking exercise...not me. I think I must be endorphin-proof (that should be the title of my memoir). I could find better ways to spend my evenings, I'm certain. But here I am. Anyway, I did that thing, so might as well celebrate it. I am on day 232 of my Goal Streak (5 miles a day) so I am also pleased with that.

 Back to swinging/sweeping skirts...this square dancing skirt is a firm favourite. I have a similar one with gingham insets, bit it is shorter and fuller making it even less practical to wear than this.

 Outfit Particulars:
Vintage square dancing skirt-Salvation Army Store, Lincoln, Nebraska (I find the best stuff there)
Vintage blouse-Hand-Me-Ups
Telephone cord handbag-eBay
Bakelite bangle (large brown marbled-Hand-Me-Ups)
Cinnabar bangle-Hand-Me-Ups
Bakelite earrings-New Life Thrift
Vintage cowboy brooch-antique mall
Vintage Naturalizer shoes-Thrift World
Fragrance-Burberry Classic (I adore that peach note in it)

 You may remember this wide-sweeping skirt from Christmas. 
 Trojan War, created by Victor Malta for Associated Artists of America, 1953

 Outfit Particulars:
1950s quilted skirt-eBay
Poloneck-Gordmans, years ago
Shoes-K Mart, also old
Vintage R. J. Granziano belt-Hand-Me-Ups (for a buck!!!)
1950s charm bracelet-Goodwill
Fragrance-80s formulation Shalimar

 This skirt is modern, as is the blouse, but they both do a terrific job playing the part of vintage. The skirt has ribbon embroidery across it that sadly doesn't show well in photos.

 I suspect you already know what perfume I went for.

 I'd make a terrible Flamenco dancer.

Outfit Particulars:
Skirt and top, both Goodwill
Earrings-Sears, about 10 years ago
Bangles-all over
Shoes-K Mart, about 12 years ago
Hair Flower-Tiff and Tam
Belt-Thrift World
Macrame handbag-Goodwill
Did you guess my fragrance was Maja? You probably did!

Sometimes, you want to wear a patio dress on a day that is too cold for sitting on a patio! Vintage cardigan to the rescue.

 The pink and grey crepe material is unusual-don't think I've ever run across a patio dress in such muted colours.

 Outfit Particulars:
1950s patio dress-Hand-Me-Ups
1950s beaded cardigan-Hand-Me-Ups
Handbag-Goodwill (I think)
Vintage shoes-Goodwill
Fragrance-Gres Fleur de Cabotine (it has a cactus note-see my logic? Possibly one of the strangest perfumes in my collection)

 My Easter look. Complete with a Cubs "Win" flag on the door.

Outfit Particulars:
Vintage square dancing dress-Thrift World
Vintage shoes-Hand-Me-Ups
Basket Purse-I made it
Belt-Gordman's years ago
Napier lucite beads-Can't remember
Milk glass earrings-Goodwill
Fragrance-Laura Ashley No. 1

Finally, a skirt with only a modest swing, but all the feeling of something worn on holiday in the 50s. The skirt is modern, but vintage in spirit.

 Oh look, my upstairs hallway! That basket on the floor is filled with metal bangles.
 The vintage bag has seen better days, but I rescued it from the bottom of a bin for pocket change.
 Fragrance? Something sweet and holiday-like. Honestly, it isn't my kind of thing, but in the right mood on a warm day, I can understand why people are so devoted to it, and were so gutted when it was discontinued.
Outfit Particulars:
Linen blouse-K Mart, years ago
Tooled belt-Goodwill
Wooden beads-Goodwill
Vintage earrings-Hand-Me-Ups
Hair flower-Tiff and Tam

 I'll leave you with this photo from a few summers ago wearing the wildest patio outfit in my collection.
Hopefully, Omaha will warm up soon, and I can wear it again. At the moment, we still need our coats. 

Have a great weekend!

Saturday, April 13, 2019

Pleats and Other Signs of Spring

 Spring is trying to arrive in Omaha even if it comes wrapped in snow and freezing temperatures. We are fortunate enough to live next to a small, lovely park hidden between a bank and a college campus. At lunchtime, workers from the bank and nearby hospitals can be seen walking the trail in their work attire and sneakers. We often join them as a brisk lunchtime walk breaks up the school day nicely. I always feel more alert for the afternoon's classes when I've had a quick breath of air. Walking the same park lets us see how far along the trees are. It is a strange park with a much higher elevation at one end, giving it a few micro-climates. There's all manner of wild fruit growing at various times of the year from grapes to Alpine strawberries to the feral crab apple tree. There's walnuts as well, making the path dangerous at certain times of the year. Anyway, spring seems to be a bit further along up the park than it is at my home.

 We discovered the squirrel's secret stash!
I mean, how cliche can you get? A hollowed out log filled with nuts. Hmmm, wonder who that belongs to?!😁

My indoor garden is doing nicely. I've added a large Boston fern to this group since the photo was taken. It was a long winter-I needed some greenery inside.

For some reason, I think of pleated skirts as a spring item of clothing (just like patent leather, which these days is worn year round). If a pleated skirt signal spring, then a brightly coloured one is just that much extra!
Yep, that'll do. Add a wild vintage 70s blouse, and you won't lose me in a crowd.

 Of course, yellow is pretty spring-like too!
Cream coloured pleats are always appropriate. Pair with a vintage men's evening jacket and you have something special.
But when you're really looking for the ultimate pleated skirt, pick a patterned one!

 And if that doesn't convince you, there's always classic brown. However I wear them, pleats will always evoke spring for me.
 Chicks and bunnies are also associated with spring.
Sometimes I get creative. I saw something similar (and better executed) online, but I gave it a try anyway.

 I will leave you with this most spring-like dress I stalked in the thrift store until it finally went on the discount. The original tags were still on it for $148.00 Sure, it is a beautiful dress, but it isn't $148.00 beautiful. I paid $3.99

 I like nice things, but I'm not stupid.

 That's about it here. What wardrobe items signal spring for you?

Saturday, April 06, 2019

Two New Trained Storm Spotters-and Other Items of Interest

We finally did it! Storm Spotter training only took a couple of hours, and was time well spent. After taking a direct hit from a tornado (4 June, 2008-photos are in the archive if you're interested) Danny became interested in weather. Now that he's finally old enough, he was able to take the course. I joined him because it lit a fire under my ass to get my radio license. So we're ready for severe weather season, but I really hope I don't need to call anything in. After the floods, it would be nice for Nebraska to get a break.
The mobile Doppler was at the weather symposium. Danny had the opportunity to climb inside and see the operations.

Anyway, if you live in the US and are interested, take a look at the NWS website and see when there's a class near you.

So this crap is still happening. My heart rate is pretty low to begin with, but after a long run (more than two hours) it plummets about ten minutes after finishing. I don't feel the drop, but I can feel when it starts coming back up-and that's when I can look at my data and see what happened. Occasionally it happens when I haven't been running, but that's less common. If I lived in a country where I could afford a doctor, I might have this checked out, but here even with insurance the co-pays and deductibles the various tests would cost more than a used car. I suppose after a few years of this I'm less concerned, but I really wish I knew why the hell this happens. I don't suggest Googling it-online medical stuff leans a bit hysterical. Anyway, for a fat, old lady I should be pleased I can run as long and far as I can. My lungs and legs are really good😀.

This year, Pesach and Easter overlap, which means no Easter baking as we can't have bread. I'm getting around this by baking and freezing for after the holiday, but the boys wanted some Hot Cross buns now. I used my same recipe (in the archives) but tried replacing one cup of plain flour for bread flour. It helped the buns hold a better shape but didn't sacrifice lightness. I also didn't have any currants so I used raisins, sultanas, and some dried cranberries which were met with great approval. I've been using a small bit of strong flour in laminated pastry for years, but this was a first in the buns.
We are still several months out from Nebraska corn, but Florida's crop is here. At ten ears for a dollar, it would have been foolish to pass up. Danny had these ears for a lunch and I roasted the rest with cumin, coriander and chili powder to use in various meals for the rest of the week. I personally stay away from sweetcorn as it upsets my stomach, but the boys adore it, and it certainly kept them well fed at bargain prices. And yes, I have corn shaped dishes to serve corn in because...I am a Midwesterner! I also have a sour cream dish shaped like a baked potato!

I've been stuck in the seasonal no-man's land between winter and spring. One day it is shorts, the next a sweater and parka. This outfit is a nice compromise. The skirt is polyester that's dyed to look like denim. At the time that sort of thing was popular I swore I'd never wear such an abomination. Then, forty years passed and well....never say never, I guess! The acrylic 70s sweater still had the original belt-a very lucky find. I wore it with clogs for true mid-70s accuracy. I look like my mother, except she'd have worn it with polyester flares. I like the lines of this-I'm thinking a cotton tunic in a similar shape would make a nice summer look with a linen skirt.

 One of my favourite Mexican necklaces getting a wear.
 Time to break out the macrame bags!
 Hoop earrings for the 70s win. (No, not Whip Inflation Now. That's a different WIN. And it lost)

Outfit Particulars:
Skirt-Thrift World
Clogs-Dillards, about 12 years ago
Necklace-New Life Thrift

 This dress has been lingering in my wardrobe for years. I've only worn it once in all these years, and I have no idea why, as it is a wonderful piece of vintage.
 As you can see, it is quite sheer, but nothing a lacy black, full slip couldn't solve. The maker is Wildman, which is such a fab name for a women's dressmaker. Perhaps that's what happens when men catch sight of women in such sheer dresses? For the record, I could walk around stark naked and Mr. ETB wouldn't notice. He did mention that he liked the dress though!

 Outfit Particulars:
1950s Wildman dress-Hand-Me-Ups
Clark's shoes-Hand-Me-Ups
Vintage jacket (part of a suit)-long gone vintage shop in Brookline, Massachusetts
Clutch bag-Goodwill
Earrings-New Life Thrift
Brooch-Salvation Army store
Belt-Thrift World
Bakelite bracelets-Goodwill and Hand-Me-Ups

A bag as big as my ass! Bet you didn't think it was possible. The shoes are kind of cool...

 The shorts have crane/stork-ish type birds on them. Yes, I am the mother of a birder, and I describe birds as "storkish." He'd be horrified if he heard me.
Outfit Particulars:
Straw bag-Goodwill

That's about it for now. Tomorrow I'm off to buy patio furniture and hope that we get decent weather to sit outside and enjoy it. But if the weather gets scary, well...I know what to do!