Sunday, September 19, 2021

Don't You Know That You've Gotta Eat Food?

Hello all! September is flying by so quickly, I'm having trouble keeping up. Can we really almost be to the autumnal equinox? The calendar says so, but it feels impossible. 
You probably remember a few years ago when I bought this and another skirt from an online company and they arrived looking badly made and cheap (though they weren't inexpensive). I was disappointed, but made the best of it and I've been looking for ways to style the skirts ever since. A large photo print shouldn't be as difficult to wear as it is. The skirt is more blue than black, which also makes matching a bit of a nightmare. After several tries, I gave this knit St. John jacket a go, and it seemed to work. If I had a thin grey belt, I do think it would look more pulled together, but after trying at least a dozen belts I gave up and wore it as is. Hardly mattered as by midday it was warm enough that the jacket was no longer needed and ended up in the back seat of my car for the remainder of the day. That's how it goes this time of year in Nebraska-you need to dress for two, sometimes three seasons in a day. We'll still have the occasional 90 degree F. day into October, if we're lucky. I'm not in a hurry to see snow. Autumn would be nice though. 
The sequins on the jacket don't shed as they're glued, not sewn and are affixed quite well. The buttons have lost a few rhinestones over the years, but that's almost impossible to see and if I cared enough I could replace them. 

I wish the skirt were as well made. 
But eh, what can you do? I did finally find a tee shirt in just the right shade of blue to wear with it. 

And a grey vintage handbag. Not many outfits call for a grey handbag, but when they do, I have this one. It was practically free because of an ink stain in the vinyl. To me, that's just part of wearing vintage (and it is a small stain that could probably be worked out) so I hold that side towards my body and no one's the wiser. Vintage is rarely pristine, but there's still plenty of life left in the not-quite-perfect items. Either that or I have very low standards, I mean, just look at my hair.

Haircut? Not this week anyway.
Obviously I am not the sort of person they'd let anywhere near the Met Gala, but if I had gone, I would at least have understood the theme and worn something in the spirit of the thing. So here's my, "What I would have worn to the Met Gala Americana look". 

I bought the skirt a few years ago because it reminded me of my favourite guitar strap that I somehow lost. The copper pieces have been picked up here and there over the years, usually inexpensively. I'm still looking for a 1950s copper belt in the band style but I absolutely refuse to pay the prices people are asking for them. I'll find one eventually, I don't mind waiting. Meanwhile, this one gets the job done nicely.

This is what I wore for my second attempt at getting a passport photo taken. We got one, it looks terrifying (when I showed it on Instagram there were jokes made about looking like a member of the Baader Meinhof gang, or at the very least if not a marxist terrorist, someone that looks like they want to sell you drugs. I suppose that's typical for documents photos-I've never had what I'd consider a good one, though this certainly reached new levels of awful. You thought I was going to say, Baader, didn't you? Hopefully it will be acceptable and I can move on from needing to think about my uneven shoulders and tilting head. 
The dress is another from the box of forgotten vintage. It is sheer, with a built-in-slip, but rather uninspiring as grey dresses go. I knew it would photograph well against the white background, so I wore it. The vintage cardigan is grey with some silver thread running through it and beautiful bell sleeves. The belt I pulled it together with was a recent thrift find. 


So there you have it, Normcore. 

Someone was joking around on Instagram about being in her, "Statement Necklace Years" and I knew exactly what she meant. I'd extend that idea to scarves as the weather gets cooler, but yes-a little something interesting to distract from my face is no bad thing. 
Do you like brass? I ask because I see so little of it being worn (in the West anyway) and wonder why. 
I've had the Laurel Burch earrings since the 80s, but the pair of brass necklaces were a recent purchase from the "nicer" thrift store. I can't imagine why someone else didn't snap them up as they're lightweight and easy to wear. They proved quite popular, even causing a teenaged boy to lean in my open car window to tell me he liked them as I sat in front of the High School waiting for Dan. That's a first! 
Speaking of school, there's a new bit of Tik Tok nonsense where the kids are stealing pieces of the school building (soap dispensers, clocks, entire sinks!) and posting videos about it. It has gone so out of control at the High School they now have to guard the restrooms, and let the students in one at a time to make certain they're not up to anything. That's well beyond anything we did, though there was that time someone super-glued all the telephone handsets into the cradles in the guidance office. I suppose we should just be happy they're not eating laundry detergent pods again?! I'm sure it will pass quickly as these things always do, but for the moment school administrators across the country are losing their minds over it. 
That's a bodysuit that I briefly considered wearing with nothing but a pair of stockings. Still might do that at some point, just because. I'm glad to see them coming back into fashion. 

I finally gave the raffia skirt a wear for the season. 
Such an odd item, but I'm glad to have it in my collection. Time to trim some of the stray threads looking at the photo. 
These wooden painted earrings are having a first wear. They were lightweight and comfortable. The blouse was something I picked up on the dollar rail at the thrift store. As far as I can tell I'm not wearing it backwards­čśë. Please feel free to let me know when I do things like that, because odds are good that I do it often. I'm still not sure I have my stockings on correctly most days unless they have a label. You will never offend me, not over something like that. 

I've been posting some of my cooking/baking over on Instagram and people have started asking for recipes as I'm accommodating both Mr. ETB's and Dan's special diets. There's quite a lot of bad recipes online, and baking for a diabetic is not the same as baking for keto, or gluten free, although there's some overlap. Add to that a need to keep it dairy free, and any random recipe searches are likely to end in frustration. Of course there's just bad food blogging out there as well. The irony of reviving my cooking blog when I haven't been able to eat solid food since last winter isn't lost on me. I guess I could share my very un-photogenic pureed soups, but I probably won't. 

Over the years I've adapted things to be vegetarian, nut-free, and the like so I didn't expect this to be as challenging as it is. Obviously, there's no replacement that will be exactly the same, so instead what I'm aiming for is making foods that are enjoyable just for what they are. As every perfume lover knows-sometimes it is better to let things go rather than reformulate beyond recognition. I'm accepting that a cauliflower crust non-dairy pizza might not be terrible, but it probably wouldn't be good enough to bother when I could make something else that would be great. 

These are rugelach, a type of cream cheese pastry. I made the dough with margarine, soy cream cheese, and whole wheat flour. It rolled and baked beautifully. The filling is sugar free jam, sugar replacement, cinnamon, currants, unsweetened chocolate and chopped walnuts. I replaced what I could with my old recipe rather than introducing a bunch of things like xanthan gum or agave as some recipes suggest. Now that I know I have a working pastry recipe, that's a good part of the battle won. I will try to keep the recipe posts separate from the vintage clothing and this might be a good time to re-organise the blog. I know as we go through holidays it can be hard finding things to make. I'd rather cook once and make things everyone can enjoy rather than make special (often inferior) dishes for the person with the special diet. I've been a vegetarian since 1983 and I've seen my share of salads and nut loaves made by well intentioned people. Anyway, that's in the works.
Had to fit in a final summer wear of this absurd 80s Peter Popovitch skirt. It is jersey material, and so ugly it is good! I have several pieces in my wardrobe like that. Because it was 90 degrees F outside I wore it with a cropped top (okay, it is a bra but I won't tell anyone if you don't) and a lightweight cardie for indoors. 
No abs here I'm afraid. Seriously, I can't even sit up to get out of bed but sort of roll on my side and swing a leg over before letting gravity pull me down. The appendectomy really messed up my abdomen (we won't even discuss what coughing is like) but that hasn't really kept me from imposing my sagging gut on the unsuspecting public. If anyone gets too close to me I can just grab my belly and snarl, "Say hello to my hernia Pickles". Thankfully, I haven't had to resort to such measures, but I'm ready. As I was saying to some young people on Instagram-don't wait until you're my age to wear the clothes you want to wear. The perfect body doesn't exist, so take the one you have and wear what you like. 
And on that note, I'll wish everyone a great week. 

Monday, September 13, 2021

Last One in the Pool

 Made it to the pool once before the season ended. I'd planned to spend more time there, but abdominal surgery had other ideas. I didn't go in past my knees, though the incisions are mostly healed now. We pay for the pool in our assessments, so I wanted to feel like I was getting my money's worth. We had it to ourselves, which was nice. 

The green swimsuit I bought in the spring was much too big now to fit politely, so I am wearing a vintage bikini from the 60s that I bought at least 30 years ago. It was in the carton of forgotten clothing, and while I would have preferred a bit more room up top, it was at least, not obscene. Wouldn't have mattered as we were all alone, but still. 
Anyway, it was nice to finally use the pool and hopefully next year I'll get more use from it. 

That face you make when the water is cold.

We are still having warm weather, but the nights are getting cool, and at this time of year it tends to swing between extremes. Yesterday was the pool, today was a chenille sweater. I'm not really in a hurry for winter, but I'm ready to say goodbye to summer. 
Much as I'd like to, I can't live in a bikini, so this week also saw some proper clothing. Everything here is thrifted except for the tank top which I bought at Shop Ko (now defunct) before Danny was born. 
The skirt was originally from Forever 21 but I found it at Goodwill. I didn't enjoy wearing it as it has a very stiff waistband and a heavy zipper in back that kept digging into me. I'll be passing it along, as my days of wearing uncomfortable clothing are over, but it did have a very pretty print. 

I'm open to trying different looks, because who knows? I might find something I never thought I'd like.

Victorian/Edwardian clothing isn't my usual thing but this antique blouse worn with a 90s skirt was a rather satisfying combination. I wish I'd taken photos of the full slip beneath it all because that was beautiful as well-next time. The prettiest items are often the ones no one sees.
The Victorian brooch has a locket back that probably once held hair or a photograph, but it is empty now.

The embroidery on the back is just gorgeous.

Ahh there's that crooked spine of mine. 
Speaking of my spine. I needed to get a photograph taken for my new passport, so I went over to the Walgreens across the street. Two different people tried, ad failed to get a photograph with my shoulders somewhat aligned for the headshot. Eventually, I told them to give up and I'd go to a proper photographer that can better deal with it than the corner drugstore. It was frustrating because their digital camera and software assumes a certain degree of symmetry that just wasn't going to work. I can't be the only person with scoliosis that's ever needed a passport photo, but I guess the last time I had one in 2002 it was on film, not a digital print. I'm going to hope the photographer has better luck. I'm not going anywhere, but with Dan headed to France in June (hopefully) and then (hopefully) off to University in Belgium the following year, it made sense for me to update my passport just in case, god forbid, something were to happen and I needed to go there. 

Bought myself another tee shirt. I keep finding such great ones. 
Most of my tee shirts were ready for the rag pile, so this is a good time to replace them. In the past this wouldn't have been a political statement, but merely showing off nerd credentials. Well, 2021 in America and science is political. 
The vintage denim skirt was found in unworn condition and is still a bit on the stiff side, but perfectly comfortable to wear. I never know what's going to be irritating but I was so happy when this one turned out to be easy to wear. A denim skirt is so useful year round. 
That time of year again. I found the vintage paper Beistle pumpkins for .49 cents and they were exactly the sort of thing I wanted. We have some very religious neighbours that get freaked out by the scary stuff. Knowing that, I avoid the really gruesome zombie sort of decorations in favour of cute. 
I really need to wash the windows and screens before it gets too cold. Seems like I just did it, but we had such a stormy summer it just blew dirt at the house in 100 mph straight line winds. 
This was a successful baking experiment. I wanted to try making a challah bread with whole grains and without added sweeteners. I wasn't expecting much, but it worked. There's a combination of whole wheat, rye, and oat flour in the bread and a handful of golden raisins to sweeten it. The colour comes from eggs and an egg wash before baking and also from some saffron in the dough. I always know when something goes well if there's nothing left. I'm glad I thought ahead and made two loaves with the other one in the freezer for breaking the Yom Kippur fast on Thursday. Finding things that work for everyone's diet can be tricky, but I'm getting better at it.
This spice cake is made with almond and oat flour, and non-dairy milk and margarine. My decorating skills aren't at their best, but it was a cake they could both enjoy without worry. 

This is a vegetable "kugel" or pudding. Typically, it would be made with potatoes, but I used carrots and shredded green and yellow zucchini/courgettes to great effect. The grated onion gives it a nice rich flavour. 
A whole chicken is much more economical than cut-up parts and I don't mind roasting one. There's not much to it once it goes in the oven. This was a new recipe that had it baked slowly and basted with a combination of equal parts red wine and balsamic vinegar. There's rosemary stuffed beneath the skin, and the bird baked atop a pile of chopped onions that later went into a sauce. It looks so impressive but other than occasional basting, there's really not much to it. If you want to impress people with your cooking (while not doing much cooking) a roast chicken is a good way to go. Unless you're vegetarian. Baked tofu would probably be great with the wine and vinegar combo. 
Serve some vegetables with it. This is onions, orange bell peppers, corn, purple cabbage, and zucchini. 

This vintage rayon shift dress is absolutely not the sort of thing I would wear if my stomach wasn't painful. But it is, and so having a few dresses like this for the particularly bad days is helpful. 
I guess if we're going to wear a 90s dress there might as well be a tie front cardigan from the same era. The sneakers (or "Gym Shoes" as we say in Chicago) were thrifted, but new and unworn. My previous shoes were in terrible shape, but I used them for running. No running here anymore (I'm lucky if I can get in a mile walk around the college next door) so I bought something stylish and comfortable rather than worrying about how it would hold up to impact from running. They were five dollars well spent. 
And that's going to be it from here for the moment. Hope you're having a good week.