Friday, May 13, 2022

Life Beneath the Omadome

There's some construction going on around an older strip of shops nearby. Removing the siding from the building, the workers exposed a bit of 70s Omaha for viewing. I pulled over, parked and snapped some photos. The original shop was a liquor store that also had a currency exchange. I can't remember the last time the credit cards were called, BankAmericard or MasterCharge, but I sort of *think* it was the 80s. 

The Pepsi logo more or less looks the same. Hard to imagine any tourists in this neighbourhood back then-all it had was a couple of hospitals and a very nice library neither of which seem like the sort of destinations requiring booze and or tourist services. Anyway, there's your hidden glimpse of old Omaha before it gets new siding put up over it.

I cooked the leg of lamb on Saturday, and as I type on Thursday there's still a couple more meals to be had from it. It was such a good price (less than ground beef/mince) and the boys were thrilled to have such a treat. After the initial roasting there wasn't much to do except slice it for salads, or in the last days, make a curry with the small pieces. As you can see I served it the first night with asparagus, a butter bean dish, cabbage, and a cucumber salad. 
Without exaggeration, these really are the nicest beans! 
And the cooked bean dish was rather special as well
Recipe HERE. Danny said he'd be happy to eat these every day for the rest of his life! 



 Everyone was so interested in the fresh chickpeas from the previous post, so I remembered to take some photos of them shelled, and in the pods.


 

There's only one or two peas in each pod, so it is quite a lot of work shelling them, and then removing the skins but the payoff is worth it. To me anyway. You might have a better way to spend an hour.

I roasted the lamb with rosemary, lavender, and garlic. Not terribly original, but it got the job done. I didn't ruin it either, so that was good. I did break a meat thermometer, but it was getting ready to die anyway, and at least it went out on a high point. 
Red cabbage, onion, bell peppers, fresh corn in a vinaigrette dressing. It was a nice compliment to the fatty lamb. No mint sauce or jelly in sight as the boys both hate it. No, I don't know what's wrong with them. The idea of having lamb without mint is very strange to me but I wasn't eating it so I gave them the meal they wanted rather than the meal I thought they should want. I'm considerate that way😁.

Now that we're fed, how about some clothing?

You've seen this 1970s sundress before, and the 80s tote bag as well. The shoes are about 10 years old. I found a second pair at Goodwill so now I should be set for orange summer shoes. 
I do like brass accessories!
This Lagerfeld dress came from a consignment shop. They're a little more expensive than the thrift stores, but better quality stuff. Not the sort of thing I usually wear, but I took a chance and tried it on. Well, that was that once I saw how well it fit. 


The shoes came from TJ Maxx. They're seriously sturdy shoes that still give me a bit of height. I absolutely love them. 
Better look at the hem.
The back is nice too. 
Someone yelled to me across the grocery store that he liked my dress, so I'll take that as a solid second opinion. 
Here's something I didn't buy. It is a new with tags dress from Cache that the thrift store thought would sell for $51.00USD. It didn't, and they now have it reduced to half price, but it is still too much. Sometimes they forget it is a thrift store. What I found interesting about it is what a blatant Paganne by Gene Berk rip-off it is. Anyway, I didn't buy it. 
I didn't buy the Mr. Creosote cookie jar either, but someone did because it was gone a few minutes later. 
Remember when I baked the cake? That was probably the best cake I ever baked.

This 80s does 50s dress is too big now, but there's room to move the buttons, so that's on my list of tasks for the weekend. I really like this dress, and want to be able to wear it.
Must be summer if there's a flower in my hair.
Brooch is Sara Coventry.

Finally, this yellow dress I re-discovered in a carton at the back of Danny's closet last summer. I have so many yellow dresses, but vey few in such a bright shade. Yellow is versatile as it works well with blue, green, white, grey, and even brown. Black of course, and sometimes even something like red or pink. The vintage raffia and wooden beaded handbag is by Walborg and is probably 60s. 
I had to wear a cardigan despite the 98 degree temperature because the air conditioning is going at full blast everywhere. It got a little big, so I knotted it at the waist and no one knows that I wasn't being deliberately fashionable. Shhhh, that'll be our secret. 


We have severe storms coming through tonight which isn't surprising given the instability in the air. Our wind has been rather forceful even without the storms but a bit of rain to get the smoke and dust out of the air would be welcome. We're expecting cooler (but still hot) temperatures for the rest of the week. Fingers crossed tornadoes and the like stay away. See you next time. 
Updated: The severe storms went around us.

 

*The legend of a dome operated out of Stratcom that deflects bad weather away from the city. 







 






 



Saturday, May 07, 2022

Rich People Behaving Badly

 

The fresh chickpeas/garbanzo beans are here. It is such a short season for fresh ones, and I wasn't expecting we'd see any this year. These showed up at the large Asian supermarket, which was a surprise. They're a great deal of work removing from their pods, and then peeling away the skins but the end result is so special it is worth an hour of shelling. I put on public radio, and listened to a local show which helped the time fly past. 

I've made a stew with leftover bits in the fridge. There's chicken breast, beef sausages, tomato paste, spinach, onions, garlic, herbs, olive oil, and chicken broth. The spinach was added in the last five minutes to keep it from becoming mush. It was the perfect meal for a cold, rainy night and there was just enough left for Mr. ETB to take to work for lunch. Tomorrow, I have some baby eggplants to use and I haven't really decided what I'll do with them. With the weather being so damp and cold a curry would probably be welcome. I'm not complaining though-we were desperate for rain to put out the wildfires. In the western half of Nebraska today they had so much snow the Interstate is closed all the way to the Wyoming border. Midwestern spring is always fun and unpredictable. Update: I stir fried the eggplants with tofu, ginger, and garlic. Dan liked them and said at first he thought they were mushrooms. 

Last week on my Thursday trip to the thrift shop, I spotted the gold half of this Gimmel Fede ring. I wondered if there was another part but guessed it must have been lost long before it ended up in the shop. On Saturday, I had an errand to run across the street and thought, "I'll just call in and check if the other half turned up." To my absolute delight, it had. They did charge me for the second ring as it hadn't been priced together, but at four dollars (the other rings was a dollar and a half) I wasn't about to moan. They're reunited again. Some of these rings also have a third ring with a heart, but looking at how these fit together I don't believe that's the case, though you can be sure I will have a quick look around on Thursday. 


The rings don't have any markings and are rather roughly made. No idea of the age, but it hardly matters. 

That thrift shop is peculiar. The volunteers  are "society women" for lack of a better term, that have never really worked at employment for survival. That's fine, but I get the sense they're labouring under the misconception that the clientele are all shopping there because we're destitute .Believe me, the truly destitute couldn't afford their prices that are always substantially higher than other shops in our area. Where I have an issue is when their beliefs translate into actions. When that happens, as it does from time to time I have to make a split second, not entirely conscious decision whether to, as the kids put it, "Code Switch". 99% of the time, I don't react, certainly not if the condescending nonsense is directed at me. I might roll my eyes, or congratulate myself for having fled Highland Park in 1986 before growing up to marry an investment banker, or what have you, but react? Nah. There's nothing anyone can say to insult me, at least not enough to waste energy reacting.  That other 1% of the time is when their rubbish is directed at someone that hasn't had the experience of living surrounded by their sort, and is unfamiliar with their nonsense. That's when my accent becomes so sharp it could draw blood, and I will quickly say what needs saying. I haven't noticed this at other charity based thrift shops, but I suppose I ought to be happy for them finding meaning in selling second hand goods to the plebs. Anyway, I'm glad the likes of meself could scrape together four bucks from the seat cushions of the sofa so I could support their charity helping people better themselves or whatever it is they do. Hopefully, they've hired professionals for that bit instead of leaving it up to the same volunteers. 

Most weeks after visiting this shop I go around the corner to the shop in the basement of the little Episcopal church and give my brain a nice airing out. The women that work there are polar opposites to the society bunch, and I enjoy visiting with them as much as I enjoy shopping. I was thinking about this as I was watching the red carpet for the Met Gala on Monday. Doing The Gilded Age as a theme when people are being turfed out in the street is probably in bad taste, but the organisers couldn't see that because it isn't in their universe. You can be damn certain if I'd been invited (which will never happen) I'd have shown up dressed (as someone on Tumblr suggested) Emma Goldman. Or Mother Jones. You get the idea. I did really enjoy Billie Eilish showing up as a John Singer Sargent painting. Well done!


For fuck's sake, we're living in a modern day age of robber barons-it shouldn't have been hard to come up with something reflecting rich people behaving horribly. We just had Omaha subjected to the yearly Berkshire Hathaway stockholder's meeting where the city is overrun with millionaires for a weekend behaving horribly and reveling in a celebration of wealth, so I'm probably still a little irritated. I snarled at Warren Buffet in the grocery store once, but that's as close as I've come to confrontation. If he'd had Bill Gates with him I might have called Gates a fu*king c*nt, which would pack the double punch of shock value and catharsis. Wow, that took a turn, didn't it? Sorry. But yeah, Met Gala was disappointing. 


With that little rant out of the way (and thank you for indulging me) let's move on to clothes. Content Warning: Weight Talk.

 I'm happy to report I've clawed my way back over 100 lbs. On a good day (likely nothing more than fluid retention, but eh, whatever) I'll say I weigh 101-102 lbs, but most days it is around 100. I'll take it. Still feeling like I'm being knifed in the guts every time I drink, so I go with very small amounts all day long. No idea what's changed, but I do know that at 96 lbs I really felt horrible, so at least I'm able to kind of function for the moment. The B12 also seems to be doing some good with fatigue (duh! I had no idea I needed it). 
This skirt was a couple dollars at the church thrift shop. It is by Banana Republic which made me laugh a bit as I'm old enough to remember when they made clothes you'd take on Safari, or clothes you'd wear to look like you'd been on safari. I had a double pocket shirt in a lovely shade of army green from them back in the 80s that I did in fact take with me to do my anthropological field work. Hard pass on the pith helmet, though someone bought me one as a joke when I graduated. The shirt came home with me (as did a nasty case of amoebic dysentery) and continued in use for many, many years after. At some point Banana Republic started making elegant clothes like this lace skirt with a silk lining. It is a beautiful skirt in a shade of brown that veers between green and gold depending on the light. I'm certain, if I had the benefit of my usual wardrobe I'd have found a more interesting pairing than a black tee shirt from H&M, but I don't. 



New-to-me vintage earrings. 
Bit closer look at the lace detail in an over-exposed photo. Sometimes that's the only way to show it.
Back slit is acceptable. That rarely happens and I'm pleased to skip the extra step of sewing up a too-high opening. I'm still not convinced sheer black tights need to be making a comeback, but they felt like the correct thing to wear here. 
Closer look at the accessories.

Raiding the collection for things to wear, I took a chance trying on this early 60s knit suit. It fit! I bought it because it was such a good example of the style and as I recall, cost less than a fiver. Never expected to be wearing it, but here we are. Since I own a pair of yellow gloves, it seemed like as good an opportunity to wear them as any. No hat because it was pouring rain and I didn't want to ruin anything. The handbag is one of those hideous flowers under plastic that we colloquially refer to as, "Grandma Purses" in the Midwest. I'm not a grandmother, but I am old enough to qualify so here we are. And yes, those are also support hose. Don't judge. If you are looking for exceptional hosiery that won't run and last practically forever, may I suggest having a look at National Hosiery ? I am not being compensated in any way by the company, I just really love their stockings. Now get off my lawn you damn kids with your funny cigarettes and long playing records!




Earrings are new-to-me Triffari. Brooch is old, have a second, nearly identical rose. 
Perseus carrying Medusa's head bracelet was purchased from a long-gone Etsy shop. No markings on the gold and white bracelet. 



Anyone for some 80s?


I have a short-sleeved ribbed knit sweater underneath that I forgot to photograph. 
Giant shoulder pads making me think latter part of the 80s decade.
The earrings are modern from Target a few summers ago (pre-pandemic, I think).
Square bangles.

I'm not sure when the bag is from-I think it is modern but it could be anywhere in the last couple of decades. I like the lining. No tags or indication where it was made. 



I wasn't going to buy it as I don't require more black bags, but it was only a few dollars and that clasp sold it! 



The jacket is made in Canada. That's not something we see much, even being neighbo(u)rs. Ha ha, see what I did there? Be getting my hat...
I enjoyed wearing this outfit. My first thought was to go with a longer, full skirt, and my second thought was to add a red belt. I'm glad I resisted both and kept it as is. Were I truly wearing it 80s style I'd have a spotted skirt, spotted handbag, textured tights, spotted handbag, a giant choker necklace and a wide brimmed hat. I didn't feel the need to dedicate myself to that much authenticity, though I did just describe an outfit I frequently wore and would give anything to have that Esprit skirt and blouse back in my collection. I should spend more time stalking it on eBay. 

The big yellow 80s jacket had a first wear of the season. 
I love good linen.


I almost never wear the neck buttoned up, but I do like how it looks. It would be too annoying now with an N95 mask everywhere I go. 
Underneath was a 60s sweater and an 80s skirt, both of which you've seen multiple times. 
Getting all my spring patent leather bags used this week. It wasn't intentional, but they do work well on rainy days. 
This fab design is printed on a structured knit skirt. There isn't much give in the fabric though to the touch it feels like a tee shirt. A curious piece, and I don't think I have anything similar. 


We have some warmer weather coming next week, but for the moment it is still freezing here meaning I get one more wear out of this wool suit. 

Excuse the terrible photos. I have every light in the room on and it is still grim. 







Vintage rayon blouse. 

As always, I've saved the best for last...


To keep it from looking deliberately dressy, I wore the heavy boots. 





I have a very similar dress in black and white, which I will attempt to get worn soon. I was never a fan of a high waist, but with my stomach being such a bastard it is so much more comfortable. 

Tomorrow, I am cooking the leg of lamb I found on a deep sale after Easter. That should keep the boys fed for a long time. I'm going to roast it because I have an abundance of both rosemary and lavender, but leftovers will likely turn into all manner of soups, curries, and the like .I should check my wardrobe for some giant leg of mutton sleeves to stay topical.  I don't have plans for the weekend, but I did buy myself a bouquet of flowers for Mother's Day because no one else was going to. 

See you next time with a giant leg of lamb. Baaaaa.