Friday, November 12, 2021

Testing, Testing

Hello everyone! Hope you're making your way through November well. When I posted last I was going for my covid booster jab and this is what I wore. The health department office was interesting. A giant place tucked away by the county hospital that you'd never know was there unless you needed to. Easy parking though, and a quick walk to the clinic that ordinarily treats STD's but now has their staff administering vaccines. The walls were plastered with the sort of public health messages you'd expect and would make a conservative's head explode. Plenty of LGBTQ+ posters, information about safe sex, and free condoms. Danny called it a "blue dot in a sea of red" and that's pretty accurate. 

The nurse that administered my vaccine was lovely, and she looked over my form and went to check with another nurse to see if I should get a booster now, or another full dose and a booster later. Because of my immune issues I qualify for three full vaccines, which I hadn't known. I went for the booster now and I'll go back in 6 months for the next full vaccine. She laughed and said the guidance would probably change by then, but we can deal with it as it comes up.  

Our public health employees have had to put up with so much unnecessary shit through this pandemic  because conservatives decided to politicise it. For heaven's sake, these people work So. Damn. Hard. 
Restaurant inspections, STD clinics, going after slumlords housing people in unfit conditions-all things you want and need your public health department to do. And now Covid, and all the political crap and threats of violence. 

I thanked the nurse, telling her how much I appreciate everything they do. I know they don't get to hear it nearly enough. Years from now young people are going to look back on this period in their history classes and wonder what the hell was wrong with us. 

Anyway, I wore my beautiful red sweater dress figuring if my arm bled it wouldn't be too obvious. I didn't bleed. Barely even felt the jab. No side effects whatsoever. 
First wear for this Accessocraft belt from the 80s. It is as heavy as it looks. Those belts were stupid expensive at the time (The better department stores kept them inside display cases to prevent theft and you had to ask to see them) and I didn't expect to find one in a thrift store for a few dollars, but sometimes I strike it lucky. The dress is just utterly wonderful to wear. Yes, it requires a slip, but hardly a big deal. Originally it likely had shoulder pads, and I think I'll sort through my stash and see if I can find some of an appropriate size to put in. As I've aged my shoulders have been doing a disappearing act, and I find myself wishing more things had shoulder pads. 
As luck would have it, I also have a red cardigan that worked with the dress. We had a few nice days of warm sunny weather, but we're getting into the true cold now and much as I dislike wearing coats, I know that's coming. 

Back to dressing like The Nanny in this beautiful wool/silk blend skirt. With richly coloured skirts I like the contrast of a solid black top and leggings. I know young people will think it looks terribly dated, but so what? This is real life, not a Paris runway. 
The bag has a wire that you can hook up to a phone and incoming calls can be taken through the handset. It won't work with my iPhone, unfortunately. A relic of the pre-smartphone era. 
The necklace is double sided, which I love.
The shirt is a bodysuit. 

Before having my medical procedure on Monday, I needed to get a Covid test with a swab down the nose. Not my favourite way to spend a Sunday morning, but it was quick and easy. A few hours later they emailed my results were negative. This is what I wore.
The young woman swabbing my nose was fascinated by my bag. She asked how old it was, and when I told her she exclained, "An antique." which was funny because the 70s don't feel like "antique" years to me. To the woman who was perhaps twenty at most, it was ancient history. 

I guess that makes me antique as well. Aside from the bag, none of this is terribly old-maybe twenty years on the corduroys, and ten on the sweater. 
I do love a good batwing sweater. 

This dress was a piece of fast-fashion I rescued from the thrift store for a dollar. That's all it is worth, but I liked the print enough to buy it. The stores are just drowning in this stuff now, most of it too badly made to wear. I suspect the online influencers buy these pieces for little money, post, and get rid of it in the thrifts. Maybe some of it was given to them free. The need to always have something new to post is driving the manufacture of this garbage, and it will continue so long as social media rewards these people for churning out the posts. So that's one less in the landfill, but really this pattern of consumption has got to get upset-we simply cannot continue on as we are. 
I do really like the print though on someone with large boobs the pattern stretches out a bit. 
I really don't like how my bust looks all out of proportion with the rest of my body. They've got smaller over the course of the illness, but they're still big, proportionately. It just wasn't as obvious when I was heavier. This might be a good dress to wear with a sports bra for a bit of flattening. 
Shoes were recently thrifted. The store was having a sale on sized 8 1/2 shoes because they had so many in that size. Lucky for me. 
The shoes are somewhere between blue and purple and worked very well with the dress. Looking at the photos, they could use another good brushing, so that's on the chore list.
I had been wanting to bake an apple pie that would work for both the diabetic and the lactose intolerant members of my family. Instead of going with a recipe off the internet as they all call for strange things like xanthan gum, psyllium fibre, and the like, I instead did a makeover on my regular pie recipe. The pastry is made from a combination of wholemeal flour and rye. I liked the idea of the earthiness of rye with apple and that proved to be a good decision. Low in gluten, the rye flour kept the crust soft but flaky. Instead of butter, I used a high end shortening made from good quality ingredients rather than Crisco. Crisco is a good product that does what it says it will, but health wise it isn't a great choice. Spectrm shortening is twice the price of Crisco, and definitely not the budget friendly choice for everyday baking, but for pastry, I wouldn't be without it. 
Look how thin and not soggy the bottom crust is! The pie lasted for days and never got soggy. They did finish the pie without me binning any, which does speak to it being enjoyed. For the filling I substituted Swerve brown sugar replacement to give it sweetness with a bit of molasses flavour along with a few pats of vegan margarine to help the filling thicken. The boys said they couldn't detect any off flavours from the artificial sweetener. Again, Swerve is much more expensive than other sugar replacements but it also doesn't give anyone stomach upset the way some of the others can. It measures just like sugar, which is nice when you're following a recipe and don't want to keep stopping to figure out the conversion. I'm not getting paid to promote any products, I just like them and don't mind saying so.

I'm going to stick to this approach where possible making over my old recipes. I like my cooking, generally and I'd rather not end up risking the waste of expensive ingredients on some random internet recipe that probably wasn't even tested. It is the Wild West out there these days with food blogs. 

Tuesday, I went for the Esophageal manometry study. It was awful. I know it needed to be done, but ugh. They send a NOT small tube through the nose and down the throat to study how things go down. My one sinus was blocked and after trying for a bit the nurse withdrew the tube and started over on the other side. I guess she hit the polyp or something. Once it is in, the test consists of swallowing sips of water to see how everything works. The pressure of having a giant tube in my throat made me gag, and well-you get the idea. Afterward I'm felt awful pain in my sinuses and eyes, my throat of course, and a strong desire after 12 hours to throw up. So this wasn't a simple, easy test that I was lead to believe it was. I'm glad I had my husband with to drive home because even not being drugged for the procedure, I felt absolutely wiped out. Hopefully it will provide some answers. 

Someone pointed out that this bag, from a distance looks like the face of a cat. I'll now think of it as my Cat Bag.
This was what I wore to get the tube shoved through my nose and throat figuring if it got dirty, it would launder easily. 
No makeup, obviously. I really like the jacket-it has a matching skirt that I rarely wear. 

The following day I had an appointment with a nutritionist which was helpful. There's products I can stir into liquids that provide calories and protein without any taste or bulk. I can't believe none of the doctors mentioned that instead pushing me to drink bottle after bottle of Ensure. So that's helpful. She's also going to try for me to see a speech pathologist to work on some swallowing techniques. When she asked how this was impacting my life I resisted the urge to say, "Fine except I'm going to need to reconsider that retirement career in prostitution." 

You know it was killing me because I wanted to make the joke. She couldn't see me suppressing a laugh under two masks😁 .
I never did have a very good gag reflex anyway, here's what I wore.
This vintage jacket is an oddity and I've never run across anything similar. The buttons are just for show-no holes.
Can't adjust the back either-that button is also there for decoration. 
This belt was hard to get a good photo of without overexposing it. That's a heavy stone in the brass buckle-it must weigh three pounds. 
I'm wearing the black bodysuit again because it is comfortable and goes easily beneath jackets. 
The label on the jacket. I'm reading that as targeted at the more youthful consumer, but it could be one of those like, "Forever young" for people that definitely weren't! 

 Speaking of forever legwarmers, why not? These were made for children, but I see nothing wrong with a grown woman wearing cat legwarmers if I'm already wearing a space onesie and bunny slippers. I still have my dignity, it just doesn't extend to attire. It never did. I'll wear just about anything if I like it. 

Before getting sick, I wasn't fond of stretchy jersey-like dresses, but that's all changed and it is so nice to wear things that don't press on my stomach. This dress is quickly becoming a favourite. 
It does a convincing job of looking like 40s vintage. 
Of course it is easier to care for than a 40s rayon dress and I don't need to fear schmutz. Because I am a slob. And I'm getting worse. 

The jacket is by Youssef Rizkallah who was a designer at Malcom Starr at one point. I don't know if the Oggee line was before or after. There's not much information online, but if anyone knows anything, please share. 
The jacket I have was a  designer sample (still had the paper tag inside. I carefully removed it to keep with the jacket as it showed when worn still attached. It is a very heavy velvet, warm and lovely to wear. 

I'll leave you with pictures of a sweater I didn't purchase.

I do like the grumpy looking 3-D sheep sticking out of the sweater, but I left it for someone else. 

Have a great weekend. 


Vix said...

I hope you get some answers after that awful sounding test, you poor thing!
We've got our boosters next week, we were supposed to wait 6 months between our last jab but they've brought it forward a month.
You look amazing in red, the phone bag is hilarious and that black and white checked jacket is gorgeous on you. xxx

Emily said...

That pink dress is beautiful on you, and the all-red outfit is a stunner. I especially like the subtle diagonal stripes on the dress, which echo the triangular lines on the red purse. You must wear the cat legwarmers with the cat-head purse and some cat brooches one day. What a neat conversation starter that would be.

I have a friend who works at an STD clinic. When the pandemic happened, she found herself leaving her normal desk duties and driving all over town to distribute face masks. It's probably not something she imagined herself doing when she signed up for this job, but this department requires a certain amount of versatility. If the zombie apocalypse turns out to be a real thing, you can bet your boots that these little community health clinics around the country will somehow become involved in fighting off the invaders to save humanity. The next time you go back to the clinic for a COVID booster shot, tell your prostitution joke there! It would be fun to see their reaction (or complete lack of reaction). At an STD clinic, they've probably heard it all by now. : )

Thank heavens your manometry is over and you now have some helpful recommendations from your new dietitian. You are well on your way to getting the treatment you need.

Have a good weekend, my friend.

Polyester Princess said...

I'm glad to hear you've had your booster jab! Still no sign of Jos's invite and I won't be eligible until next year, I guess.
The Esophageal manometry procedure sounds horrible. I never got a good gag reflex either and can't even stop gagging when I'm at the dentist.
Your nutritionist sounds great though, I'm glad she was able to point you into the direction of those powders!
Favourite outfit is the first one. I've said it before but you do look fabulous in red, and that dress is to die for.
I'm also loving the stretchy jersey-like one, that's such a great pattern! xxx

Anonymous said...

Oh dear ! What an awful test to go through .You are a brave women to submit. It is a testiment to how bad you must feel . I definitely hope things improve for you.
You are dressing in some interesting outfits regardless. I have always admired those beaded handbags from the 70's. Thank-you for showing yours to us. For a while they where easy to find in thrift stores. Not so much now.
It is funny to hear what the "younger generations" think are antique or even vintage. Time just keeps moving on.

Take Care
Gail from Pa.

Sheila said...

Goody, you look just stunning in that red sweater ensemble - love that purse. I agree - the abuse being heaped on the healthcare workers (not to mention the poor folks in the service industry) is just appalling. How did society get so damned RUDE?

You are right in step with the trends in your "Nanny" outfit - seriously, Fran Drescher is a style icon right now with the 90s being hugely trendy. I adore that purse!

Sigh, the 70s are "antique" - I may have only been a child/early adolescent then, but it doesn't feel THAT long ago!

Kudos to you for dressing up for your medical appointment - that sounds horrible, and I'm sending you good vibes for everything! Love the pink/white/blue dress, even though it's one of those crap fast-fashion things. No, thank you (although yes, there are some great patterns...but the quality of the fabric/make is awful).

Your pie is making me hungry. And I want to steal that big stone buckle belt!

Bibi Maizoon said...

The lady in red! Scarlet is definitely your color, that and bronzy browns really suit you!
Public health departments have really dwindled down to shadows of what they were in the 79s in the USA. Guess Reagan started the defunding. I recall going for polio boosters every summer as a child when the county health department occupied the entire bottom floor of the county hospital in Fresno.
Your Fran Drescher outfits are fabulously 80s!
That apple pie looks delicious! I have heard so much about Swerve sweeteners, I will have to try them when I get to the USA.
What did the dietician recommend for extra nutrition? I ordered some Nestle Benecalorie for an elderly neighbor here who is having trouble eating but was wondering is anything else was more easily digested.
Esophageal manometry looks horrendous! Brave you undergoing a PCR test and then that right after.
Glad you got your booster M
Take care,

bahnwÀrterin said...

i´m very glad you got your booster - and that the eating issues get adressed and that you have met helpful specialists!
you look stunning in red, love the darker tights and the slightly orangy bag with the outfit - fabulous belt!!
wearing a very ornamental skirt with just black is the most elegant way to do it - and one of my favs, because it plays down my big boobs ;-D
the cat bag and the colourful beady one look gorgeous, as do the rescued FFF (fast fashion fÀhnchen) and the glencheck jacket - have a weakness for gray glencheck......
beautiful timeless c.klein pumps!
have to make applepie now - yours sound and looks yummy despite the complicated diety needs. thankfully i must only subtitute the wheat with spelt....
stay safe and warm! xxxxx

Beth Waltz said...

That's heartening news about the nutritionist offering useful information! Hopefully, this offsets the unpleasantness of the esophageal manometry ordeal. Given your talent for adapting resources to meet specific needs -- that apple pie is a spectacular example! -- I don't doubt you'll have tips to offer the nutritionist at the next appointment.

That reversible "Mondrian" pendant is an amazing piece of wearable Art Deco art. I'd display it on one of those Xmas ornament hanging thingys. The heavy stone buckle is equally impressive in a very un-modern style. Reminds me of a great cloak pin the Time Team might dig up on a remote, windswept isle.

Methinks acquiring a great cloak is not a bad idea as you face venturing forth in a Nebraskan winter to keep medical appointments...

Vronni's Style Meanderings said...

Glad you got your booster jab and that procedure sounded awful. I hope you can now get some answers. It seems as if the nutritionist has already supplied you with some.

Fabulous outfits as always. I loved your vintage jackets; the two dresses including the cheap fashion one - it looked so stylish on you and the first outfit was very glamorous. The phone bag is brilliant and I can see why you're going to call it a cat bag...

Hope your week is going well.

Mim said...

Augh, that test sounds utterly horrible. Well done for getting through it. Just putting a swab up my nose for lateral flow covid tests is horrible enough.

I'm so glad the nutritionist has been able to help a bit. Fingers crossed things will all be improved very soon.

I am getting very fed up of shoddy modern clothing... The mentality of 'buy it, wear it, throw it' is so alien to me.

Señora Allnut said...

Firstly, you rock this red jersey dress with matchy jacket and fab bag and belt!. Great idea to wear red to have your jab, not only because it's practical, it's also uplifting and lovely!
Love your colourful skirt with the black top, elegant and cool! and so Fabulous Telephone Bag!. I'd wear most of The Nanny outfits right Now! (Wonder what this says about me!?)
Love your Fast Fashion Dress, the print is really beautiful, and love your plaid jacket and the cute dress with the velvet jacket (love some quality velvet!).
Glad to hear that you're having appointments with doctors who are helping you, despite the awful test. Hoping it's going to be useful at least!
I always find your recipes really inspiring, and totally agree that it's better to create your own recipes instead of adding strange ingredients. And I like rye flour too.

Miss Magpie said...

Fingers crossed on the test results and that sheep is magnificent! xx