Tuesday, June 29, 2021

Now I Watch the Red Line Reach That Number Again


I wouldn't be a midwesterner if I didn't say it so here goes, "It isn't so much the heat as the humidity." There, I did it. It has been beastly though, hasn't it? My sympathies to everyone on the west coast and in Canada where there definitely aren't enough air conditioners to provide respite from this hellishness. I don't know how I would manage in that situation. Hopefully the "heat dome" will burst soon and life can go somewhat back to typical summer weather. Please do be safe if you're stuck in it, and remember-laying in an empty tub is cooler than a bed. I'm not kidding. We had a dog that figured that out and wouldn't let anyone near "his" bath during heatwaves. Sticking your pajamas in the freezer ten minutes before bed will help too. Anyway, 115 degrees F. is absurd anywhere, but more so in the Pacific Northwest. Hang in there. 

That's quite a leg slit-and there's one on the other side as well. I can't help but wonder if this 1960s Lilly Pulitzer "dress" was intended to be worn as a swimsuit cover-up. I'm rather short, so on a normal sized human, it would be quite high up. I wore it anyway because, well yeah, why not?
It has such a cheerful print. I don't care for the modern Lily Pulitzer dresses, but the vintage ones had some great design. 
Sara Coventry brooch I bought for .50 cents. 
A vintage handbag from Goodwill several years ago. 

I haven't been taking many photos lately. I haven't felt like posting to Instagram, and nothing really fits well at the moment. Rather than go shopping for a bunch of clothing I don't want, I'm sort of dressing super-casual and baggy right now. My stomach is still very distended from the surgery, even after a month and it does make getting dressed a bit of a challenge. It also hurts to have anything touching the incisions, so that's rather limiting. I figure the heat of summer is as good a time as any to take a break from daily outfit pressure. I'm still getting dressed, but without much imagination.
The outfits have been more like this-vintage shorts and a modern sleeveless tee shirt. Except that I'm an idiot and didn't notice until later that the tee shirt, even with a bra was completely see through. Oh well, "Free the nipple" I guess. This wouldn't have raised any eyebrows in the 70s. 
Yeah. Can't take the old broad anywhere. Scandalous! 

I haven't cooked anything terribly interesting either, but they aren't starving and have been working their way through a large brisket I roasted. Sandwiches, salads, tacos-there's a lot you can do with a giant slab of beef. The garden keeps providing loads of cavolo nero (kale), chard, basil, lettuces, and now the first tiny tomatoes. The lemongrass continues to grow at an amazing pace, and despite the heat the mint and coriander haven't bolted. So fingers crossed, the garden keeps producing through summer and I can "shop" in the raised beds for produce. The garlic harvest was disappointing, but that's life. The sunflowers are gaining height though I doubt any will grow like last year's that reached the roof. We'll see. 

I wish there was more to say, but I'm trying to stay positive on the blog and nothing I have to say would sound terribly positive at the moment so...I dunno. Free the Nipple? 

Stay cool everyone. 

Wednesday, June 16, 2021

The Heat Was Hot


Summer arrived just a bit early, and Omaha has been in the 90s all week (and will be flirting with 103 by Thursday). The humidity hasn't been bad though, making it strangely bearable save for the  hottest hours of afternoon. The slow-cooker has been put to use as there's no way I am going to heat the oven in these temperatures. Still, after such a cool spring it is nice to properly warm up. The garden is happy. 

It IS however, far too hot for ironing, so the dress was worn creased from storage. By mid-morning, the wrinkles fell out in the heat having effectively steamed the garment going about my day. Works for me! I bought this vintage dress years ago, but haven't worn it much. There's a built-in-bra, but I went ahead and wore a strapless beneath it anyway. I require underwire. It is becoming difficult to find a strapless bra that isn't a massively padded push-up style, which I clearly DO NOT require. I called in to Dillards and purchased two band-style bras that I hope will see me through summer. They were the least expensive ones in stock, and as my body keeps changing it can get expensive replacing undergarments. I own a longline strapless but post-surgery, that would be massively uncomfortable. I'm still in much more pain than I would have expected. 
Still require a cardigan indoors though-this one felt like a good match. 

Speaking of a good match-this Margaret Smith vintage bag is the perfect purse to wear with a sundress. 
Looking through the blog archives I found some photos from the last time the dress was worn, back in 2014! Same cardigan.
That gardenia is long dead. No gloves today.
It was too hot to even consider a hat and necklace. Still, always nice to reunite with old clothes. 

This 80s Pendleton skirt is another old favourite. Unlike most Pendleton skirts, it is made of cotton rather than wool. I didn't bother ironing this one either! The self-steaming outdoors seemed to work here as well. The basket was probably never intended to be used as a handbag, but I wouldn't let that stop me. 
Berry basket earrings and cherry brooch having their annual wears. 
A few weeks ago there was a conversation happening at Shifty Thrifting that ended with, "Look, I have a migraine and no context for this." I asked if they could make that a shirt for me to wear to my eye specialist treatments and they indulged me. It is now up in their shop because apparently there's a lot of migraine sufferers out there lacking context! Anyway, go grab one through their shop if you'd like-you'll be helping to support great people. The shirts run small and shrink in the wash, so order up a size-this was a large. 
I was excited to bring this dress home for a dollar from Hand Me Ups. It had been on the rail since December (tags are marked with a date) and was curiously unsold. I couldn't spot anything wrong with it, and it still had the original tags, so I took a gamble and brought it home. I love the vintage style, and the orange/rust colour will serve my wardrobe well into autumn. Hopefully by then the swelling in my belly will go away and I can wear a belt with it, but for the moment it permits me to feel nicely dressed without wearing anything constricting. 
I brought out the Grosse coral brooch to dress it up a bit. I'm rather protective of this piece and don't wear it often, but I kept checking on it through the day to be certain it remained in place. As costume pieces go, Henkel Grosse items that weren't made for Dior are hard to find, and I was completely shocked to buy it for pocket change in a Goodwill years ago. That's what I love about thrifting though. 
You've seen the basket bag before. Oh, how I missed using my straw bags last summer. This poor bag was so dusty when I brought it down from the shelf.
Crazy pose so I could photograph the back of my head! It isn't every day I have a hair flower that's an exact match for my dress. 

Another dress in a similar lace material and colour scheme. This dress will also benefit from a belt when it is possible. I have a vintage copper one that will be perfect with it. 
Making due for now with a large copper bracelet. What is it about copper that's so appealing, besides the obvious quality of working when you can't decide between silver or gold? 
Vintage straw bag with celluloid handle I rescued from a bin filled with shopping totes and luggage at New Life Thrift. It was a bit crushed, but stuffing it with tissues and trimming the fraying straw revived it. It will never look pristine, but I don't mind vintage that's lived a life. It certainly didn't deserve to die beneath a load of cheap wheelie luggage. 
Vintage shoes. I wore these to a medical appointment, and the doctor went wild for them telling me they looked like the shoes her grandmother wore. I didn't point out they well might have been her grandmother's shoes! A few years ago I had step savers put on the soles, but now it seems they are ready to be replaced. I have so many pairs to take to the cobbler, but it is worth it. If these shoes have already survived some 70 years it would be wrong to deny them further life. The uppers are still in great shape. 
1980s fashions get an unfair reputation. There were some very wearable items that were neither heavily embellished nor exaggerated with triple thickness shoulder pads. I picked this dress up, and put it back several times before finally purchasing it. There's something about a dark floral print that I find utterly irresistible. I'm glad I went ahead and purchased it because it will also be wearable in the colder months with a blazer or cardigan. It is made from a washable rayon crepe-another 80s innovation I can definitely support. Earlier rayon is so hard to care for, and heaven forbid you get caught outside in a downpour! You might just barely make it home before the dress shrinks embarrassingly short. No such issues with the 80s rayon.
It looks like a painting.
Please pardon the not great photo, and appreciate instead my horse brooches. The chain was broken when I bought them, but it was a simple fix sliding the end of the chain through the pin of the bottom horse. They're wood that's been lacquered. They look better in person. I love how the horses are rolling their eyes at each other. 
There's a better look at the "straw" (plastic) bag. 

I wore this dress Sunday, but the belt was only for photos-I couldn't stand having it on for more than a few minutes. 
Another straw bag from my collection. This one has a Hong Kong label. It could use some cleaning and conditioning of the leather, and the lining should be replaced. That will probably be a job for the cobbler as well since he does such a beautiful job restoring handbags. 
I showed these perfume buttons on Instagram when I bought them, but think I neglected to talk about them here. They're Victorian buttons with fabric inserts that would have been saturated with fragrance to save and protect the fabric of clothing. They're quite tiny, and my plan is to have them either made into rings or a brooch, though they would make nice earrings or even a fancy hair clip. There's no shortage of these on eBay, but for the best bargains search for old buttons, not Perfume Buttons because then obviously the seller will be asking a premium for them. 
Alright, I guess that's all. Hope you're having a good week. 


Thursday, June 10, 2021

She's Big, Bad, Bloated, and Back

But mostly bloated, if I'm honest.  
It will go down eventually, but for the moment I'm wearing things with elastic waists or shifts. Add in post-surgical constipation (sorry, TMI) and getting dressed has been a bit more complicated than usual. Ordinarily, I'll put up with something slightly uncomfortable, but with three incisions in various stages of healing, I'm dressing strictly for comfort these days. This little Gap dress from the 90s wouldn't be the sort of thing I'd wear if I hadn't just had surgery and it was 95 degrees outside, but I did, and it is, and here we are. It isn't a bad little dress, but it is awfully little. 

Well hello there prednisone bloated face! Lookin' goooooood. Maybe it will smooth out some wrinkles while I'm blown-up like a balloon. I'm trying my best to take it in stride because I can't do anything about it, and it is only going to get worse. 

Since I haven't posted outfits for some time, I'm going to be going out of order between today and the past couple of weeks. I'm sure you won't mind, will you? The days are all somewhat of a blur at this point anyway. Hell, the last year was a blur.

Fabulous trousers. Shame they gave me appendicitis. By the end of that day I was in hospital-but I looked okay early in the morning when I snapped the photo. I even washed my hair. I really wouldn't have bothered, had I known. Interestingly, by the time I was sent home three days later, my eyeliner was still on in places. I find that amazing, as it wasn't even marketed as waterproof, smudgeproof, or hospitalproof. I use ELF brand-the cheap drugstore stuff. Anyway, these are now "cursed trousers" and I probably won't wear them again, which is a pity as they were given to me free of charge by the lovely woman at the thrift store. That also means I can't donate them either because who wants to curse someone else? I'm not (that) serious, but emotionally I'm no longer really feeling the love for the pants. 
Did I look like I was going to be flat on my arse eight hours later? Sigh. 

Moving backward a bit, here's a beautiful skirt made from what I suspect are strips of quilting fabric and all the ric rac and ribbon in someone's stash. The belt came with some cargo shorts I bought for Dan-but he never wears a belt, so I took it. I take a lot of his old clothes. I've recently taken possession of some jeans, a shirt with French cuffs, and a fab 1950s windbreaker he wore perhaps twice. Dan is rather set in his style of plaid shirt, jeans or cargo shorts these days, which makes getting dressed and out of the house quick and easy. There's definitely something to be said for wearing a uniform of sorts. He's doing an internship this summer with a local independent media outlet, and clothes are the last thing he wants to be worrying about. 
Me? Oh, I'm all about fussing over clothes. It is the only reason I get out of bed some days. 
Earrings from the sale rack at Target a few years ago. They do brilliant earrings, and the sales are epic.
Bought these shoes at Marshall's about 20 years ago. Photographing your own feet isn't easy! 

This rather fun skirt was bought for a dollar, but it really is too large. Someone on Instagram observed that it looks like a Twister game, which makes me love it all the more. The shirt was someone's home-sewn work and was also purchased for a dollar. That will probably be re- donated, but I'll hang onto the skirt and give it a try with a white blouse before making any decisions. The shoes are vintage from a garage sale.
The ostrich handbag was another thrifted treasure a few years ago.  I thought it was vinyl when I bought it-shows how much I know! Buying things I like usually works out. The season for white shoes and handbags is so short I have to make an effort to get them all worn. With last year being a bust, that means all the more effort now. Don't want the handbags getting lonely on the shelf. 
When the mercury is climbing it makes sense to wear a shift dress as they're cool and comfortable. Prior to the surgery, I wasn't really sold on the look but with a giant stomach with incisions in various states of healing, I want ALL the shift dresses. This one had a Greek looking pattern and with the colours could almost convince me I'm on a holiday in the islands instead of Omaha. I'm quite short, and do wonder just how mini this would be on a person of average height. 
Speaking of channeling your inner Greek Goddess...
Something to hold my hair back when I wash my face. That's me, bringing the glamour to the mundane. 
And of course, this little bit of fabulousness. 
Just add an owl. And possibly an Ambrosia salad. Sigh, Olympus is so dull in summertime.
When Danny was small I'd read mythology to him and he just adored the idea of the gods sitting around Mt. Olympus eating ambrosia. I didn't have the heart to tell him the stories probably weren't referring to that American potluck staple with oranges, pineapple, and coconut. Growing up in Illinois, I consumed quite a lot of it, but unless there's fruit flavoured mini marshmallows mixed in, I can't consider it a proper "salad". Yeah, I know-salad is a bit of a stretch, but we Midwesterners are a strange bunch. Sadly, I didn't have any ambrosia salad, but I did have some instant pudding (custard). Just two minutes of whisking, and you've got dinner dessert.  

Applique wrap skirt with a matching appliqued tee shirt? Why not?! I wouldn't have worn it at the time, but forty years down the line and I think it is charming, if a bit suburban mummy. That's a genuine Nantucket Lightship Basket from 1979 (according to the penny glued inside keeping with tradition). I don't use it often, as I'm afraid of damaging it. The scrimshaw-ish whale on the lid is carved from bone, not ivory. I am wearing a jade bracelet that I'm pleased to report made it home intact. I am such a clumsy person-don't ask how many glass bracelets I've destroyed over the years. 
You can read a bit more about the baskets HERE if you're interested.
"Pardon me, do you have any krill?"
He doesn't look that fierce to me. "Killer whale" eh?
Moving along...

A vintage Indian rayon dress with a comfortable stretch panel to fit over my post-surgical beachball stomach.

It does the trick.

The hyper-pigmentation on my face is getting worse, but I don't really know that there's much to be done about it outside of a plastic surgeon's office and I am not doing that. I'm using all the various products to fade and lighten it but honestly, I don't see much effect. It does seem like prednisone has made it worse, so perhaps it will go away if and when the treatment is over. I'm not too vain with respect to ageing, but I do wish I didn't have three different shades of skin on my face. Ah well, that's what foundation is there to cover I suppose. 
Caftan, anyone? 
I believe it is home-sewn. Someone must have purchased some fabric on holiday and decided to try their hand at sewing. I'm going to use it as a cover-up at the pool this summer as it is a lightweight polyester fabric that will dry quickly. 
The best part of this outfit? The earrings...
Aren't they the best? I'm not convinced I'll ever wear white capri trousers again (I'll try anything once) but these earrings are going to be my new summer favourites. They're articulated and move as I walk. 
Speaking of summer favourites, you've seen this dress multiple times over the years, and you'll keep seeing it for as long as it holds together. 

Time for a perfume break. Do I need more perfume? Nah. Did I have any idea what this would smell like? Nope? Did I bring it home because I liked the bottle-you betcha! Luckily, I like it although I wish the longevity were better. At that price, re-applying isn't too big of a deal. 
Not my typical thing, but on a hot, muggy, day it smells like a garden. I was expecting some horrible tropical coconut thing, so was pleasantly surprised to get flowers. Anyway, Must. Stop. Buying. Perfume. I rarely purchase full bottles anymore, though I did splurge on a bottle of the reformulated Mitsouko. It doesn't last (boo) but at least it smells like Mitsouko (yay). It is so hot and muggy here at the moment the thought of wearing anything heavier than 4711 seems like too much. I carry the individual packet wipes in my bag as a nice alternative to hand santiser which I am sick to death of at this point. 

I have finally post-vaccines started going out regularly again, and made a trip to Marshalls for some fancy soaps. That was something I'd been looking forward to doing, and it did not disappoint.

What's been cooking? 
Balsamic chicken breasts with shitake mushrooms and sautéed bok-choi served over quinoa.  Would definitely work over tofu or seitan.
Edamame noodles with stir-fried cube steak and veggies-same with respect to vegetarian option.
Chickpea noodles with chicken and veg
Chicken thighs with olives, artichoke hearts, and lemon/garlic sauce served over chickpea "rice"
A better look at the the above recipe in the pan. There's been other stuff, but nothing terribly fancy. I did a thing with tempeh and coconut milk that they enjoyed. I'm still doing liquids for myself (ugh) but I found a non-dairy mushroom soup I'm rather partial to. Imagine Organics makes some pretty spectacular soup at a good price. I don't like the idea of just cooking for myself, so being able to heat up some soup while I make the boys their dinner works well for me. I'm also enjoying hummus thinned out with yoghurt. I know that doesn't sound terribly exciting, but I suppose excitement is in the stomach of the beholder. 

This was tonight's dinner for the boys-summer squash "noodles" with cod cooked in a pan with tomatoes, garlic, onions, and herbs. Isn't it beautiful? I added some white beans to boost the nutrition. 

Finally, this was today's outfit. About as classic as it gets for hot weather. 
Naturalizer handbag which means there's matching shoes out there somewhere!
Ear climber earrings and a lobster because, why not? 

Thanks everyone for your well wishes on my last post. I was completely caught off guard by it (which I'm told is the typical presentation) and am strangely looking forward to just dealing with the chronic rather than acute stuff. I manage pretty well, but that really came at me like a wrecking ball. 

See you next time.