Wednesday, July 01, 2020

There Are Nicer Ways To Do It, But the Nice Ways Always Fail

Thanks everyone for sharing your thoughts, solidarity, and the like this week through your comments, DMs, and emails. Always interesting to hear what people are thinking.

The 20th was Dan’s half- birthday and I was able to bake the yearly raspberry/ chocolate cake for him with some adjustments to keep it dairy free. Replacing milk with oat milk, and heavy cream with a coconut based coffee creamer, was straightforward enough. I had my doubts about the margarine and dairy free chocolate, but it turned out beautifully. I would say both the cake and icing feel lighter but that’s no bad thing. I should have tried it with egg replacement because I think this would be one hell of a vegan cake. Purée a pound of raspberries and anything is going to be special. 

I bought the raspberries on sale a couple months ago  and froze them. Also held on to a box of specialty cake flour and some chocolate in anticipation of baking the cake. I guess with all the disappointment for Dan’s school year ending the way it did and a summer without baseball, I just wanted to keep something the same. I know it is only cake, but it was a bigger deal to me than him. 

I’ve been able to purchase ethically raised and packed chicken locally, which is nice for the meat eaters in the family. Every few weeks I get my whole chicken, and for the next few days the boys have leftovers from the roast. I’ve done everything from salads to fried rice, and have discovered that much of what I consider retro food still appeals- so long as nothing is encased in gelatin!
Fried rice, chicken salad with pineapple- what’s not to like?
There’s also been cherry pie...
The softest white bread...
Stromboli ( think rolled pizza) with vegan cheese
And the chard that just keeps coming!
The sweet potatoes and cucumbers are happy.
As are the cardoons.
No fruit on the strawberries this year. Next year I will take Beatte’s advice and try relocating them.
Since this photo was taken the stalk of buds has emerged so it should flower soon.
There’s an unintentional garden of weeds/ wildflowers growing in the mud that pools by the garage. I appreciate their determination!
The Saharan dust clouds reached Omaha providing spectacular sunsets and some of the worst air quality we’ve ever had. Ah well, you take the good with the bad. These aren’t filtered photos.
 It was already a cloudy day making it all the more dramatic. This sort of once in a lifetime thing is exciting as it is over in a day unlike some things...
Yeah, please don’t. We can’t spare the hospitals or PPE. My usually quiet neighbourhood has been a constant Boom! Boom!Boom! For the past week- and it isn’t even the fourth yet🙄. It must be terrible for people with nervous dogs.
We’re lucky to have an abundance of birds to watch this spring. This is a fledgling grackle. It screamed for mama bird to feed it, she ignored it, it screamed some more and finally went and fed itself. I can’t relate. As soon as my human baby could grab the spoon he was happy to feed himself- apparently I was too slow keeping the food coming!
Speaking of my baby- when I go out to do the big shop every few weeks I like to bring him something back, even if it isn’t much. The pharmacy sells baseball cards, so I bought a couple packages, and the birdseed store has these plush birds that make accurate sounds when squeezed. The Great Horned Owl is in isolation for a bit to be extra safe, but it was happily received. The animal crackers/ biscuits were a fun throwback to when Dan was very small and would carry them around the supermarket swinging them by the string. The package has since been redesigned eliminating the string and also the cages in the picture. Sing it with me...”Born freeeee...”

On to the outfits now. These are old thrifted favourites getting a yearly wear.
The dress had an annoying built-in-bra that I finally removed. A padded bra isn’t something I will ever require. We were having a debate on Instagram whether the brooch is a dog or a pig. I reckon pig-what do you think?
Tee shirts are becoming my thing this summer. Don’t remember where I thrifted it.
The Chessa Davis 70s maxi skirt had a wear. I have two others to get to this summer. They go with absolutely nothing, but somehow work anyway. I love when that happens. These earrings are from Target, just before the pandemic hit.
Another strange but satisfying combination of a skirt from Kmart circa 2000 and an 80s brocade shell that zips in the back from the bottom. The earrings were purchased new in the 80s and are Laurel Burch. The bonkers belt was thrifted at Hand- Me-Ups a few years ago.
Everything here is thrifted from the Givenchy necklace to the Talbots skirt. The wood and shell belt is stamped Indonesia.
My wardrobe doesn’t include many trousers but the ones I have tend to be quality. These are linen, fully lined Ralph Lauren. I found them on a dollar rail a few year ago.  The shell is vintage 60s. The jacket is Esprit, bought new in the 80s. I take care of my clothes, and they last.
I love the vibe of this photo!
Ever buy something for the buttons? This bintage rayon blouse isn’t anything special, but the buttons certainly are!
Empire waisted dresses aren’t my thing , generally but here’s an exception. It was home sewn ( not by me) and is tastefully sequined. The bracelet is Monet, the necklace a vintage locket, and the earrings part of a set with matching necklace stamped W. Germany.
Who remembers this polyester dress? I thrifted it over 25 years ago  and after a few repairs it is still going strong.
More polyester in the form of this sleeveless dress. The vintage basket bag was thrifted as well.
A brown and pink spotty dress isn’t obvious, but it looks better on than it did in the shop. Glad I took a chance as it now gets worn regularly in spring and summer. Earrings are modern from Target. Beads are vintage.

Finally, there’s this Vera Neuman skirt. It is a strange almost brushed nylon crossed with crepe material. I’ve never run across another. It might be home sewn though it has an old Vera label inside. Perhaps it began as a tablecloth?!
And that’s about it for the clothing roundup. 

Everything is still much the same here. Limited trips out, my husband working from home, and my teenager sleeping his summer away. We had some good news that he can stop going for allergy jabs as he is likely to have got all there was to get out of it. I’m glad to not be going to the med center right now! His school expects to start again in mid-August, but we all know that’s subject to change. The school district isn’t part of Omaha Public Schools so we have completely different decision making. They’re requiring masks, so that’s good. Westside district has been pretty good with flexibility before the pandemic , so hopefully it will continue. I think we all know there’s going to be a good deal of improvisation this autumn. I know Dan is eager to get back in the woodshop and pursue the second year of carpentry which just isn’t the same without being in class. They had to finish last semester’s welding course with films about welding🙄. I want to see how they handle distance learning PE.

Before leaving, can we take a moment to remember one of the greatest games in Baseball that happened 50 years ago this week when Dock Ellis  of the Pittsburgh Pirates threw a no- hitter against the San Diego Padres tripping his brains out on acid?  He thought the home plate umpire was Nixon and that he was pitching to Jimi Hendrix who was batting with a guitar😂.

I know I should say something like, “Don’t do drugs, kids!” But... yeah.  Amazingly no one tries LSD as a performance enhancing drug! I mean, it worked once...

Have a great week. Don’t drop acid. 


Emily said...

How thoughtful of you to bring Dan presents from your shopping trips, and to make such a beautiful half-birthday cake! And it's nice to hear he no longer requires allergy shots.

Thanks for telling the story about Dock Ellis. Drugs or no drugs, a no-hitter is pretty darn impressive!

Goody said...

How are you doing? I hope things are well by you.

When Dan was very small he'd want me to buy him apples to play with in his toy kitchen, or toys from the Cars movie. There aren't many things you can buy a teenager without getting an eye roll but baseball cards are always welcome. He's not a moaner (like his mother) but I know this is wearing on him.

I am so glad to be done with the allergy stuff. Aside from the cost, it was a pain racing there from his school before they closed at 4 PM. The anxiety of getting there in snowstorms is not something I will miss.

Beth Waltz said...

The bonkers belt is amazing! What else would weld those patterns and fabrics into such a stunning combo! And on a much more subtle scale, I am enchanted by he detailed hem on the black with cerise and white sleeveless maxi -- and your cerise and black w/dots bangles. This ensemble is worthy of a Japanese designer who write haiku on a bullet train.
Misc. observations: Yes, it's a pig. I don't eat sweets, but I'd gladly gobble both the raspberry-chocolate cake AND the cherry pie (includng all that properly browned lattice crust). Hope you're eating more than tea and toast these days, Mme. ETB. Your menus are *****!

Vix said...

Happy half birthday to Danny. That owl is fantastic.
Liking the look of that stromboli and your bread!
The slugs ate my artichokes....sob!
Those gold framed glasses are magnificent and I'm liking the print of the skirt that could have been a tablecloth (cool tablecloth!) xxx

bahnwärterin said...

can i have such cake for my birthday too? it looks very very good!!!
but i cant see the other food or your outfits - only the cake and the rose on top.
while around here most people do act like there is no virus at all....we at railroad house are still kinda locked up - no shopping beside of food & drugstore, no gatherings or parties, just going out for work. thankfully there is the huge garden to keep me occupied. and i have plenty of space there.
i have absolutely no idea how we will live in the next future - all seems so absurde.

Polyester Princess said...

Anything involving raspberries and chocolate can't be a bad thing. That cake looks seriously yummy! Happy half birthday to Danny, by the way! I'm salivating at the sight of your other culinary delights as well. Nothing wrong with retro food! Those dust clouds look dramatic but lethal! Lovely round-up of outfits, and I think I need that tee-shirt. I've been using the f-word quite a lot lately :-) xxx

Vronni's Style Meanderings said...

Oh, acid trips! Halcyon days...

You have been doing some serious cooking but then you always do. Danny's cake looks superb and delicious. I loved the little things you picked up for Danny and it's lovely that he still enjoys them. Hope he can safely return to school soon.

Fab outfits and accessories but you already know that from IG comments. Your waist looks tiny and I'm very jealous!

The dust clouds were astonishing.

Take care and stay safe.

Bibi Maizoon said...

Happy half birthday to Dan!
Fresh raspberries make everything better, I miss them.
Your garden looks amazing! My garden has rotted or gone back to the jungle as we have ridiculous amounts of unseasonable rain (Like 40 inches in the last 2 months and monsoon hasn’t even started)
Particularly loving the RL linen trousers and Vera skirt.
Same old stuff going on here in Nepal. China and India are having at it in the midst of the pandemic and Nepal gets squeezed in the middle. Currently in a very prolonged “phase two” of lockdown where shops are allowed (except salons and restaurants) and vehicles are allowed by odd or even license plate numbers on alternate days. Amazingly only 14,500 cases and 31 deaths from C19 in Nepal.
So glad to hear all is well with you and yours!
Stay safe XOX

Emily said...

Aww, it's adorable that Dan used to ask for apples to play with! I never would have thought that fruit could be such fun for little kids.

Hubby and I are still healthy and staying at home. Most days, I don't feel the urge to go antiquing like I normally would, but then there are days when I miss being out and about and talking to people at less than 6-foot range. Thank goodness for the Internet, or we'd all be bored witless.

P.S I think your wooden brooch is a pig. But it's certainly debatable what the artist had in mind! : )

Goody said...

I'm looking forward to being able to finish up the dental work that had to be put on hold last winter-right now my diet is limited to what's easy to chew. I did just put in an order at World Market for five boxes of tea though-if this is going to be a long haul I don't want to face it without tea.

slugs sound like the worst of pests-we don't have them but I'd be ready to murder if we did. I think the only thing that makes it stromboli rather than pizza is rolling it up like a cake and serving it in slices. Such an obvious idea once you try it.

the new blogger isn't working with my phone so I had to go back to using the app I had before. I'm sure I'll get it figured out eventually, but what a shame. I use an iphone-it isn't some exotic brand or anything.
Probably good to stay home as much as possible if others won't follow the rules. It does feel never ending at times.

it is hard to imagine you using the F word! I guess these times are enough to drive us all to frustrated cursing.
We were lucky that the dust was followed by high winds and rain that essentially washed it out of our skies. Very cool to see though. Makes me glad I don't live in an arid place.

I feel so bad for all the kids stuck inside this summer. With cases soaring in the US, it just keeps prolonging the time at home, and if a few toys can make it seem less miserable, I'm happy to do it.

I'm trying to picture you on acid :)

I had to stop running back in February, and although I walk, my physical activity has decreased quite a lot. I don't know about my waist, but my legs have lost muscle quickly and I feel rather blob like despite having lost close to ten pounds. I don't care much about the way I look (fat or not) but I do really feel sad looking at my legs because I know that's a loss of strength, not just looks.

40 inches of rain BEFORE the monsoon?! Holy shit. Maybe you should be growing cranberries or something that likes bogs. That's just so much rain.

You're in a tough spot, but hopefully Nepal will continue to manage well. I'll bet you're glad to not be in California right now. Seems like prolonging a steady period is better than rushing to open everything back up at the first sign of progress. I wish we had better sense in the US. Stay safe.

Glad to hear you're getting through OK. When this is over I am going to stay out every single day.

Señora Allnut said...

Love to see what you've been cooking, it's really inspiring!. I also use chicken leftovers in such different ways (salads are really fab!). And your cherry pie looks delicious! yummy!
I've been using olive oil instead of butter in every cake I've baked and it has worked (if you like a little bit of 'mediterranean' flavour!). But haven't found a substitute for butter in puff pastry.
Love your outfits and magnificent accessories. I'm particularly in love with these 80's Laurel Burch earrings, but all of them Rock!. That turquoise sequined dress is such an amazing piece and so fab matchy accessories!.
Also love your polyester dresses and your wicker basket!, and your polka dots dress is so stunning!. And that Vera Neuman skirt has some particularly gorgeous colors!
And love to read your brilliant comments on the situation, love your attitude!

Mim said...

Glad to see Dan had a fun half-birthday, though it must really suck to miss out on the baseball. I'd have two birthdays a year for that cake ;-) (Really should make the recipe you sent me - I'll make that a project!)

'Grackle' will never not be an amusing word. It sounds kind of grumpy and irascible.