Saturday, October 23, 2021

My Name Is Ted and One Day I'll Be Dead

 As promised, the cat dress was purchased to go with the hoodie. I absolutely will wear this year round. I don't buy a lot of new clothes, but when it happens, there's usually a fantastic print involved. 
Adorable, right?! I love cats so much it is really a shame I'm allergic. I'd definitely be a crazy cat lady. I like dogs too though.
This was our little dog Algy. He's been gone ten years now and we never did get another dog. He was a stray from Puerto Rico that was brought to Boston on a flight full of dogs to a no-kill shelter. There's a terrible problem with abandoned dogs on the beaches of San Juan, so these wonderful volunteers run a shelter and charter flights to the mainland when they get full. That dog was crazy. We loved him, but he'd willingly try to fight dogs thrice his size who would look at him like he was crazy. Because he was. Fortunately no big dog ever took up the challenge to fight him. He was good around people he liked, and never had a problem with Danny but he once tried to bite a Mormon missionary earing the nickname, "Satan" from the neighbours (and many treats as a reward because our neighbours were like that), and he did succeed in biting my sister in law's ankle. I never got on with her, so maybe he sensed that. Anyway, he was quite elderly when he finally went, but he spent his declining years running around a farm and sleeping under the dining room table which he preferred to his dog bed. He had a good life.

It is still warm most days in Omaha, but the nights are getting cool. The giant green bathrobe does make me look like a Muppet, but it is warm. I'm the only one that's cold. Dan walks around in an undershirt when it is snowing. When he was a baby his nursery had a north exposure and that room could get cold (it was a farm without many trees to stop the wind). I'd dress him warmly for bed, but as soon as he was old enough to protest he'd kick off his pajamas and I'd find him lying in the crib much the way he came into the world. By the time he was a toddler I gave up on pajamas and just let him sleep in a tee shirt and underwear with blankets he could add or remove as he liked. That's how he is today. I suppose he got acclimated to cold at a young age . My dad was the same. His parents worked at a newsstand and they brought him outside to work with them when he was a baby (they weren't going to pay for daycare during the Depression) and he was never cold. I don't know if there's any science behind this, but that's my observation. You'll never find me drinking iced coffee in January! Growing up the old man didn't like turning on the furnace before November. In Chicago there could be nice weather or a foot of snow by November, but we'd just layer on another sweater and deal with it. 

This dress is old. I bought it in the early 80s at Laura Ashley and by some miracle managed to keep the belt with it all these years. I'm still amazed it wasn't lost. The dress is made from the softest baby wale corduroy with that distinctive Laura Ashley print. Obviously much different from the stuff they sell today. 
There's a closer look at the fabric. No matter how awful I might feel, there's something cheering and mood lifting about a beautiful dress like this. I'm glad I kept it through all the years it didn't fit because I'm really enjoying wearing it now. 
A beautiful dress demands a special handbag and this ruffled leather one is a favourite. 

My Thursday thrift excursion didn't have much this week, but I did find these three pieces.

The necklace is by a short-lived brand called Camelot (early 60s-80s). The earrings have a nice antique look (they're not). The purple glass ring looked pretty on my index finger, so it came home with me. Not shown is the vintage cowboy hat (made in Texas, as it should be) that was unworn and cost me six dollars. I didn't buy it for fashion, and intend to wear it outdoors in all weather once I've water-proofed it. It fit my head perfectly, so the original owner must have had a very small head (for a man). Possibly it was a gift and never fit right which would explain the unworn condition. No matter, I was happy to have it. A cowboy hat might look odd in some places but is an accepted piece of attire in Nebraska from farm work to formal occasions. Boots are the same. My husband has his "Job interview boots" that only get worn for special occasions. They're plain, and black, but they're his only "nice" footwear.  Anyway, the hat will eventually be making a show on the blog. 

I have oregano drying everywhere. The basil is finished for the year and I made a batch of pesto for the freezer, but the oregano, thyme, sage, and rosemary keep coming. 
This is my first year's harvest of lemongrass. The stalks are slimmer the first year, but should come in a bit thicker next year if it lives. In our zone, lemongrass isn't a perennial, however the garden is sheltered from the worst of the winter winds, and I planted it near the vent for our tumble dryer. With all that, and a southern facing exposure, I am hopeful it will survive heavily mulched and covered. After I cut it back yesterday the remaining stumps were warming in the sun making the front of the house smell like citronella. It is really lovely. It can be prepared for freezing, which I'll do with some of the harvest, and I'll probably share the rest. I see a few mugs of lemongrass and ginger tea in my future. 
A brown corduroy suit. Well, that's the 80s for you, but I threw an early 60s sweater at it and tried to go for student rather than college professor. Don't know how well I managed that. 
It was a Friday in Nebraska during football season (American football, not soccer) which means supporting the local college team by wearing red. It didn't help as they continue snatching defeat from the jaws of victory, but eh, whatever. Go Big Red.
Even wore this little vintage plastic football brooch (the other piece is a helmet). Dan's High School has a football team (Go Warriors!) who are undefeated in their season though they were able to sit out the last match as their opponents were disqualified after an on-field fight at a match the week before. Being forced to forfeit because of poor sportsmanship used to be a rarity, but is all too common today. *Shakes head*.
My suit has a Union Label from the Garment Workers Union and as it is red, white, and blue I know that the suit was made after 1976 when they switched to this label. I do think it is an 80s suit based on the length of the skirt and jacket and the size of the shoulder pads. I could be wrong though. It would have been a very small size 12 for the 80s as the skirt has a 26 inch waist. That would have been more like an 8 or 10. The jacket is roomy though, making me think it was deliberately oversized. Also-that label just looks like something from the 80s. 

With an abundance of green tomatoes, it was time to make green tomato quickbread. 

I used the recipe we've enjoyed for years HERE but with a few changes to make it acceptable for a diabetic. I used wholemeal flour instead of white as it has a lower glycemic index, and I substituted chopped nuts for the dried fruit. I replaced the sugar with Swerve brown sugar replacement as it doesn't cause anyone stomach issues the way some of those substitutes can. The recipe made two loaves and I already froze one for breakfasts in the dead of winter. They took much less time to bake, and with dark wheat it really required watching it as you can't tell by colour. Mine were fully baked at 35 minutes. They didn't rise much, but that might be an indicator it is time to open a fresh box of bicarb. It didn't last but a few days, and was declared a success by Dan and his dad. 

This is a terrible photograph of a very nice chicken dish with red onions, black olives,  prunes, garlic,  and balsamic vinegar. Very autumnal, though the recipe I followed called for figs (impossible to find around here so I used a few prunes). Here's the recipe at The Guardian. They have better food stylists!
Interestingly, it smelled like American style Chinese food as it cooked-I guess it was the garlic and vinegar, but I'd have sworn there was sesame or ginger in there if I wasn't cooking it myself. Strange, eh? 

This blouse is a mysetry. I've had it in my collection for as long as I can remember-possibly back to the 70s, but I don't remember buying it or ever being able to actually wear it. I kept it because it is beautiful, but where it came from? Who knows. I have a suspicion it might have been my older sister's. Well, I tried it on a whim and it fits fine now (every debilitating disease has a silver lining, I guess) so after hanging onto this blouse for decades it is finally getting a wear. 

I mean, those sleeves were worth keeping it for. The material is a cotton/polyester blend that is still in excellent condition (because it wasn't getting worn). 
The skirt is acrylic made to look like wool and is easy to launder and take care of. It even has a useful pocket. The colours aren't great for the sort of things I have in my wardrobe, but in winter I can wear a navy cardigan or yellow sweater with it. 
There's those new earrings. Minimal makeup as my seasonal allergies are causing my eyes to water and there's no point putting on shadow or mascara that will just be tears. I drew on my brows and wore lippy and that's going to have to do for a bit. This happens every autumn, and as soon as we get a couple hard freezes I'll be fine.  

Here's another Halloween novelty dress I purchased a few years ago. 
The details are hard to see in the photos but there's sewn on cat's ears and a front pocket made of a fleece like material. 
This overexposed photo shows a bit more detail.
Sparkly tights having the first wear of the season. 
I think that's the end of my cat themed Halloween clothing, but there's still a few more pieces before November. 
This 80s dress has seen many wears on the blog, but it is such a perfect autumn dress I couldn't see the harm in posting it yet again. This time I have new (vintage) boots.
Unworn 80s boots (I think, could be 70s) by Connie. I found two pair of boots that day
These Sam Edelman boots were also unworn and retail for over $200. That was a lucky find. I still need a pair of tall black boots with a heel and a zip up the leg, but I'm sure I'll find them eventually. My pair bit the dust last year. Actually two years ago. I didn't go anywhere last year. How soon we forget. 

I had a bit of a scare Wednesday when I ended up in the hospital emergency room being checked for a blood clot. After four hours of bloodwork and x ray scans they determined that I'd injured the muscle beneath my ribcage that makes it move when your lungs expand to take a breath. No idea how that happened as I woke with the pain from a sleep, but I must have rolled over and boom! So that was exciting, but a relief that it wasn't serious. Should be healed in 6-8 weeks of feeling like someone punched me in the chest. I wasn't going to go to the hospital and had called my doctor's office thinking they could take an x-ray but they sent me to the hospital. I felt bad taking up their time during a pandemic surge but everyone was lovely and very kind. Maybe they enjoy the novelty of a non-covid patient now and then. I could have done without the doctor poking a finger into my ribs and declaring, "Wow, you're really frail". I mean, I know it but couldn't he just keep that to himself? Strong able bodied people don't pull muscles in their sleep. Considering  everything my lungs and heart looked pretty good (touch wood). 

It got cold for real this time, and I put the flannel sheets on the bed. They're lovely to sleep on and when I woke up to a 59 degree F bedroom Friday morning, I was tempted to crawl back into bed. 
I don't go straight to the heavy clothes and coats as I think my body acclimates better in a gradual way, so out came the top half of a vintage Pendleton wool suit layered over a home sewn (not by me) dress. Definitely needed the tights though. Likely done with bare legs until next year.

Time to use the suede handbag with the unusual locking mechanism.

I bought that necklace in the 90s when I worked at Jordan Marsh as they had a generous employee discount. I love it, but rarely wear it. It has a tendency to disappear on clothes. 

The earrings were a recent thrift purchase. They actually seems to go with everything, and will likely be two dollars well spent. 

Which brings us to Friday where I didn't plan to dress as Fran Drescher in The Nanny, but shit happens.
I could probably recreate most of her outfits from the show which is terrifying. 
Instead of thinking about that, please admire this giant handbag. 

They just don't make them like that anymore. Heavy too! Could really clobber someone if they gave me any trouble. 

Meet my cowboy hat, Tex. 
Tex was sitting on a shelf at the thrift shop. He looked lonely, so I brought him home.
The original tag was still inside as the hat was unworn. Must have been a gift. I can't imagine buying myself a magnificent hat like that and not wearing it. Anyway, it is mine now. A quick google search tells us the store went out of business in the 80s. 

Shortly after finding the hat, I found these boots. 

The dark brown part is velvet and the boots are all leather inside. They're beautifully made and as far as I can tell only ended up in the thrift shop because the zipper on one boot was missing part of the pull. It took less than five minutes for me to fix. I'm going to waterproof these as well though I doubt I'd wear them in anything but fair weather. The photos don't do them justice. These are the most beautiful boots I've ever owned. 

Now all I need is a horse. 
I've got a Panhandle Slim waistcoat. It has matching culottes. 
But the silk velvet skirt wouldn't last long in a saddle. We got to talking a bout how luxurious silk velvet is and an Instagram friend mentioned she had a 1930s dress made from it. That made me remember the 1930s velvet gown I rescued from the 99 cent last chance bins several years ago. 
I never bothered trying it on as it was so tiny, but now I'm curious if it might fit, so I'll give that a try at some point. Bias cut gown are often larger than they look. The silk velvet is lovely and flexible. I have some older cotton velvet that's stiff and unpleasant. Now that I think of it, perhaps I ought to do a post devoted to the vintage velvet pieces in the collection. I don't know much about them, so maybe my knowledgeable readers can help me out. 
Until then, I'll just be moseying along...Happy Trails To You...
but I really wanna be a cowboy...



Polyester Princess said...

Love the cat dress, and what a shame you're allergic to cats! You'd make a great crazy cat lady :-)) Algy seems to have been quite a character, and intelligent too biting a Mormon missionary and a sister-in-law you didn't get on with ...
I've got a pink version of your giant green dressing gown!
Love the Laura Ashley dress - I've got a similar handbag in brown - and the vintage novelty football brooch. Another favourite is the skirt worn with the big-sleeved blouse. The 80s dress is indeed worth posting again, and how amazing are those fringed boots! Don't tell me you'll be able to walk in them though ... The final boots made me gasp and the cowboy hat is a stunner!
So sorry to hear about your scare, I'm glad it wasn't anything too bad, and it's good to hear your heart and lungs are OK. xxx

Emily said...

Algy sounds like such a character! And adorable too, judging by the photo. Is the name Algy short for Algernon?

Both pairs of boots are fabulous, especially the ones with the bright splashes of turquoise blue. I've never seen anything like them. Love the Laura Ashley dress, ruffled leather purse, cat dresses, and long-sleeved white blouse too.

Despite being a South Florida native, nobody bitches louder than I do in hot, humid weather. But in autumn and winter, when everybody else is complaining about being cold, I'm in my element, as I never, ever get cold, even if I'm wearing skimpy clothing. But one thing I have in common with you is my distaste for cold beverages on cold days. The entire point of cold weather is to feel warm and cozy, and that just doesn't happen for me unless I have a hot mug of tea, coffee, or cocoa in my hand.

Sorry to hear you had another trip to the E.R. last week. I'm glad your heart and lungs are in good shape, even if your diaphragm isn't. You may have had some medical issues this year, but you are far from frail. You are stronger than you know.

bahnwärterin said...

glad it was only a pulled muscle!! get well soon!!
love the western look - those boots are awesome. was a fan (dont tell anyone) of "the nanny" and fran drescher - and her clothes :-D the fringey boots would suit the nanny very well too - so sassy.
not sassy but the epitome of casual elegance is the 80s autumnal dress - love it!
the helloween cat dresses are great fun.....
delicious meals and congrats to the harvest of herbs - here it was a bad year for herbs - tooo wet.

Vronni's Style Meanderings said...

What wonderful outfits! Loved the Halloween themed ones, the last beautiful skirt; the Laura Ashley dress; the fab final handbag; the wonderful boots and as for 1930s dress - how absolutely beautiful that was!

Glad to hear the your visit to A&E wasn't for anything serious. The story of the doctor poking you reminded of a guy I went out with briefly; who the first he came to my home to pick me up for a date (I was about 38 and weighed about 8 stone then) poked me in the ribs and said 'you're more solid than look'! Still don't know if it was a compliment or an insult!

The hat was fab!

Vix said...

You poor thing, you are going through it lately, aren't you? I bet you were the best-dressed woman in A&E, though.
The boots and hat were fabulous finds and it's good that you held on to the Laura Ashley dress, it fits you perfectly.
What a shame about the cat allergy, I agree with Ann, you'd make a great crazy cat lady! xxx

Bibi Maizoon said...

Loving the silk velvet paisley skirt, the posh cowboy boots, and the cat eye dress the most out of all your fabulous finds! The Connie boots would be great for a pirate costume.
Algy certainly is cute for being such a terror.
Injuring your diaphragm muscle is odd, not sure what the doctor was trying to help by calling you frail. Heal soon!
Sounds like you are having the same weather as we are here in Nepal, although we are bizarrely still having heavy rains and flooding.
Happy trails!

Anonymous said...

You cowboy boot ( and hat ) find is just fantastic. I wonder though just how many people's feet can really stand the pointy toes ? Mine certainly can't.
There once was a time when the US garment worker's label was common. That alone is a reason to purchase the nice brown corduroy suit. You can't go wrong with that suit. It will forever be useful. I understand brown is the new neutral. I have always loved brown and the fabric colors of fall.

Thank-you for a nice post.

Gail from Pa.

Goody said...

I'm less allergic than I used to be and I think it is from coming into contact with so much pet hair on thrifted clothing. Even a lint brush and wash can't get everything out the first time and I think over the years I've become de-sensitised. Still wouldn't be able to live with one though.

Algren, as in Nelson. There's a long story for a post someday.
I don't blame you-if I grew up in Florida I'd want sub-zero temperatures all the time. I went to Miami in August once. That was...bad. Very, very, bad.
I'll be okay-a bad thing is hard to kill :)

I must mention this-the specialist I'm seeing this week had an unusual name and I don't like to mangle people's names out of respect so I asked Danny (he's my languages guy) if he'd ever heard it. Indeed he had. Unfortunately it isn't pronounced anything like it appears on paper but is rather pronounced, "Quack."
I couldn't make that up. Now I have to try not to laugh Friday when I meet Dr. Quack.

Thank you. It was such a silly injury and I still don't know how it happened.
I'm sorry the herb harvest wasn't great. Maybe next year.

No wonder you only dated him briefly!
I have to try that dress on-I'm curious now.

The person checking my heart complimented my bra as he applied the leads saying it was nice to work around because it wasn't one of those "Complicated ones." Geez.

Leave it to me to get a stupid injury. I can't do anything easy.
You're way past heavy rain/monsoon season aren't you? That's so strange and I'm frightened for what we're all in for.

Thank you.
The pointy toes aren't bad at all, even on my wide feet. There's a lot of empty space at the point of the boot.
I remember when the press was teasing President Obama about his brown suit and I was like, "Why?! It looks nice!"

Emily said...

I'm not familiar with Nelson Algren, so I did a quick Wikipedia search. There is no obvious canine connection, but I see that he lived in the Chicago area like you used to. Not knowing anything else about him, I already think it's a great name for a dog because it's full of local color for Midwesterners in the know.

Jeez, I've never heard of a healthcare professional commenting on the structure of a bra. It never even occurred to me that they have opinions about what people wear. I can just imagine a dreadful "Saturday Night Live" skit in which Playtex invents a "Check My Heart Bra" that is cardiologist approved.

How ironic it is to have a doctor whose name sounds like "Quack." As a child, I saw an episode of "The Smurfs" cartoon show in which a con man pretended to be a doctor. He introduced himself as Dr. Charlatan, a joke that has stayed with me all these years.

Mim said...

Algy sounds like he was quite a character! We've started to become concerned Pete might be developing a cat allergy, but the current plan is for him to live on antihistamines for the next 15 years if that's the case...

You might be feeling the cold more because you've lost a lot of body fat - there's less of you to keep you warm. That Laura Ashley dress looks cosy as well as beautiful, though.

I've brought my lemongrass and rau ram in for the winter - I've had the lemongrass a couple of years now but never had enough stalks to harvest it. You look like you've had loads of stems.

I'm glad you haven't got a blood clot, at least. That must've been a scary experience.

Those cowboy boots are gorgeous!

All I know about vintage silk velvet is it's a git to store - lay it down and it risks flattening the pile, hang it up and it risks shattering at the shoulders because of the weight. I have a 1930s dress someone gave me and it makes me so anxious! (lol) Yours looks like a real beauty.

Beth Waltz said...

About the time the doctor made the remark about fraility, I'd have bitten him on the nose... But at least he didn't just literally look you over and prescribe "something for your nerves."

Would like to know more about the vintage silk velvet gown. Our little museum just acquired a gorgeous purple Paris-pre-Chicago Mainbocher rip-off that spent the past 80 years in a garment bag. The curator hung it on a mannequin in his office to air and he reports that despite the "do not touch" sign all his visitors are "petting" it.