Friday, January 23, 2015

What Time is it? Tooth Hurty!

I'm going to take some time away from the blog until I can listen to myself, and not sound like the sort of person I avoid. I know when I'm over-loaded (I am) with too much at once, and if I had any doubts a quick read of my recent posts lets it come through clearly in my tone. I hate when I sound like that, so I'm going to deal with what I must, and when I feel less wrapped up in my own misery, I'll be back.

I'm having dental surgery Tuesday, I'm recovering from flu, and experiencing the worst lupus flare I've had in thirty years. My child  has selected this as a good time to pull such an incredibly stupid stunt I still can't believe he was capable of it (no laws broken or anything like that but well outside of what we consider acceptable behaviour. Someday I'll tell you about it, but for now I'm still too angry and hurt to recount it). I didn't drive him down the street to Boys Town and threaten to leave him...but I did think about it. I'm not much of a screamer, and I don't spank. I do however have an interlinear translation of Chaucer's* works and plenty of notebook paper so someone will be getting the immersive Middle Ages experience copying it out by hand. We'll skip the quill and ink because he's a slob (and we have white carpet). It will be a very long time before that boy sees a computer again.

See? Listen to that. I hate when I sound like that. I know when I'm at the end of my rope, so I'm going to enjoy the downtime I have no choice but to take, and we'll see if I sound less like a whiny child at the end of it.

I'll be around to visit your blogs which right now are the bright spots of my days. You guys are the best!

*That's like getting two books in one!

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Things and Stuff

Thank you all for your kind words of encouragement as I deal with this flu. I'm so sorry that it has made the rounds to so many of you. 

The unfinished root canal (the one that injured my face and eye) is now abscessed, and being made all the worse from the pressure of my sinuses from the flu. It needs to come out, but not before (another) hefty dose of antibiotics. I can tell you, Ibuprofen isn't helping. 

As I recuperate (yeah, I know that's optimistic, but what the hell) I thought it would be fun to show some recently acquired items, and less-than-perfect photo shoots. I've been keeping myself amused by watching a box set of the Carol Burnett Show, and  Mr. ETB took me out for a bit, though perhaps I would have been better not to push myself (really, all I did was sit, but even that felt like an effort). I am the only person alive that gets insomnia from cold medicine. It could knock out a horse, but in my bloodstream I'm fidgety, and wide, wide awake. I should have stuck to the schnapps like my dad always did. Anyway, I hope I don't sound too blathery, but if I do, sorry in advance. 

Let's start with a couple old bags sitting in my kitchen. The purse in front is a vintage, pristine (save for a small dent on the front), Jenny Bag. Joanna from Dividing Vintage Moments was kind enough to tip us off on her blog, and I hurried over to eBay as fast as my little fingers could type to snag it. It still had the original tags. I used it today for the first time, and it is such a well made purse. It was an absolute joy to use.

 The bag behind it was a four dollar score from Thrift World. That one's vinyl, but still a beauty.
Another fantastic eBay score-5 Lentheric perfumes for $11.49 They're full, sealed in the original cellophane. When my nose clears up, I'll give them reviews. I'm really intrigued by Dark Brilliance. New perfume and a stuffed up nose really is hell.
The lamp I bought last weekend at Hand-Me-Ups. $7.00 Originally, they had $14.00 on it, but it didn't sell and eventually after a few months ended up in the half price section. I can't believe I overlooked it on previous visits, or that someone else didn't snag it. Sometimes things just blend in and get overlooked, I guess. Lesson learned though-always check the lamp section at Hand-Me-Ups. That store is like the world's best undiscovered boutique. The stock is well curated, and they don't take just anything. If you visit Omaha and don't have much time, make this the one thrift store you visit-you won't be disappointed.
A closer look at the shade. This lamp weighs a tonne! I still haven't decided where it will go. I keep buying lamps, and the house is still dark. Living without overhead lights is miserable. I'm still looking for a nice swag lamp for the living room/dining room area. Eventually the thrifting gods will send me one if I sacrifice a plastic deer or something.
Suede hat? Don't mind if I do! Not really my style as it is, but I have a silk flowers, sequins and a glue gun that I'm not afraid to use. I'm sure I'll come up with something.

Say, you know who knew how to work a bit of sequins and rhinestone?
How about a cookbook? The recipes don't sound half bad either. Liberace is wearing a necklace that my mother had. It was a gold coin surrounded by diamonds in a octagonal setting. She hated it, but my dad bought it (he thought it was lovely) and it couldn't be returned. I'm sure dad would have been impressed to know Liberace shared his taste in accessories. That was either '76 or '77 though Liberace's suit looks slightly later-maybe he had the necklace for a few years. Geez, I know far too much about the lapels on men's 70's sport coats. 
Leaving Liberace's coat to talk about my new wool coat.
The photo does not do justice to how beautiful this is.
I purchased it from Vintage Runway

It was an incredible deal, and as soon as I tried it on, I felt like I was wearing the coat I'd been seeking my entire life. I never could have worn something like this on the farm (too much dirt) or with the falling apart upholstery in the old car. A new home and a new car sort of demanded a new coat-and here it is, the cream coloured coat of my dreams.
Yep, I look like hell-just admire the coat ;)
Nice lining too. It had a small tear, which was why it was so inexpensive. Five minutes with a needle and thread will fix that problem. Vintage is rarely perfect, but when I saw the triple row of buttons, and otherwise excellent condition coat, I knew it would be worth my time to make the repair.

The new ride. We haven't named it yet. "The Out of Focus" sounds too pessimistic, though it does have an annoying blind spot in the back.

Let's take a break to see the Lego exhibit at the botanical gardens.
Amazing, isn't it? I never had the patience for sticking tiny blocks together.
 The best thing about Lauritzen Gardens when you're sick (I was over the incubation period at that point and had no fever, so I wasn't spreading it) is that the conservatory is like a giant humidifier. The steam jets turn on, and you're misted with warm water, and the sun is shining and it is just lovely. Like the best spa in the world. Still, I can't seem to get, Day of the Triffids out of my mind...Nah, that could never happen.
I was exhausted after that though, so they boys took me for a drive to...Come on, guess...
 Six men in a perogue going up the river?! I hope someone remembered the sour cream!
I know you were sitting at home wondering what the confluence of the Platte and Missouri rivers looked like. You don't cross it so much as wade across at this point. It is quite shallow, even once the spring thaws come. Well, most years, except when it floods. You know, life in Nebraska.

Anyway, I barely remember any of it as I was kind of dazed,  The field behind us had dried remains of sunflowers that the winter birds could feast on. It must be beautiful down here in the summer. It was a very short drive from Omaha, so I'm sure we'll be back.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch townhouse...

 I kinda-sorta dealt with the library. No, you don't want to see the adjoining room. I haven't dealt with that yet. I like to think of it as a work in progress, without any work being done or any progress being made. Rome wasn't built in a day, etc. Man, I should really prune the lime tree. That's our (only) TV. Absurd, I know but we're just not television people.

I'm more of a radio person  (it works too).

I couldn't remember if I'd shown this wooden beaded bag before. I picked it up for a buck in Council Bluffs, IA. Cute as can be, but it really doesn't hold much more than a lipstick and a hankie. 

You know I'm sick if I'm wearing trousers.
No, I couldn't be bothered to steam them. They're men's wool gab, and they are going on close to thirty years in my possession. They're durable, and perfect for a day when you can't manage to dress. I bought some cold medicine at Walgreens that has a decongestant, antihistamine, cough suppressant, and some other stuff in it. It hasn't made me drowsy, which is a shame because I really need some sleep. I'm past the spreading it stage (no fever) but I feel like a turd.
I came home and collapsed shortly after this photo was taken, but I had to get to the library. Some people visit a doctor when they're ill-I consult a librarian. She was sick too.

I haven't forgotten about that tapestry ensemble-just waiting to feel human again before wearing it.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Marmalade Time-Tips and Recipes

This time of year, marmalade recipes start turning up on cookery blogs, in newspapers, and on television. Aimed at the novice (yet strangely assuming the reader already knows how to preserve) the recipes and directions can still seem overwhelmingly difficult, and sometimes (unnecessarily) they are. Preparing and bottling a batch of marmalade isn't hard, (though it is work), but good, clear directions will make it go more smoothly. I get concerned by reading unsafe preserving methods being posted/printed widely not because it will cause anyone poisoning-there's so much acid and sugar in marmalade it is unlikely any toxins would be capable of growing in it, but because after all that hard work, you want something that will remain shelf-stable without concern of the seals coming undone, or mould development. Look at it this way-if you're going to sterilise jars you might as well go ahead and run them through a boiling water bath anyway-an extra 15 minutes isn't a big deal, and you can make use of the time wiping sticky jam off every surface in your kitchen. You've done all this work, why not ensure it will have a good chance of staying fresh until next year's batch?

The most recent recipe I saw was at the Guardian, and it recommended sterlising the jars, and setting them aside. The trouble with this is that the jars will be cool by the time you pack the hot jam into them. Further, the recipe did not have it go through a water bath meaning it is even less likely you will get good seals on your jars. Inverting the jars sometimes helps, but it is hit and miss. Again, at the risk of sounding like a broken record-why wouldn't you want to use a method with the best potential results? Heating jars in the oven is frankly, stupid. I've had jars burst being sterilised and I would much rather clean glass from a canner that can be dumped than be picking shards of glass from my oven floor. It also won't get them as clean as boiling. The dishwasher will work, but you'll still need to boil a canner of water, so why waste extra energy? Invest in a good jar lifter from the hardware store, and you'll have no trouble lifting jars of boiling water from the canner.

Any large pot will do for a canner if you don't wish to invest in special equipment. The water must cover the tops of the jars by two inches though, so if you are using a standard stock pot you won't be able to preserve quarts and gallons. That rarely comes up with marmalade unless Paddington Bear is staying with you. Most families can get by with pints and half pints. You don't need a rack-you can crumple up pieces of tin foil in the bottom of the pot to keep the jars off the bottom, but it does go easier with a rack that can be lifted and lowered. These are inexpensive as well, I've seen people rig things up with metal hangers but again-you will be dealing with boiling hot water and jars. Me? I'd spend the five bucks on something designed for the job.

To sterlise jars in a water bath simply wash the jars with soapy water and rinse well. Fill the jars with water, then place on the rack in a canner in the up-position. Bring to a boil and let boil 10 minutes. After that, turn the canner down to a simmer. This will keep the jars and water hot until you need them as the jam cooks. When ready, grab a jar with your lifter, empty it, and fill the hot jar with hot jam and replace in the canner. Repeat one at a time with remaining jars. Some people prefer to fill all their jars at once, which is fine but I've never had adequate work space to accommodate that. When all your jars are filled, place the lid on the canner, turn up the heat and when you reach a full rolling boil, start timing. That's it. I find this much easier than fiddling with the dishwasher, or worrying if something will explode in my oven. Sometimes a jar will shatter in the canner, but it is less likely if you have heated them in boiling water, and filled them with hot jam. It does happen, but in all my years of canning I've only encountered it twice, both times with older jars. Be sure to carefully inspect jars for fine cracks before starting. Spoons clanking around in jars over time weaken them, so after a few uses it is best to invest in new ones saving your old jars for storage of beans, rice, etc.

I find that getting my work space sorted before starting is also useful. I run through a check-list of what I will need to complete the job, and get them arranged. Extra spoons for skimming are on the right, and so on. It sounds obsessive, but experience has taught me that time is important when shoving food into jars, and the less you waste fumbling about looking for your tools, the better. My typical work space looks like this:
At the far end, a heat proof mat for placing the pot of jam (so much easier than filling jars at the stove and moving back and forth with them). Along the top edge-clean screw bands for sealing. To the left, a jar lifter and tongs. A jam funnel, damp rag for wiping threads, and several mini-heat proof spatulas for removing air bubbles. A ladle next to the jam funnel, several extra spoons for skimming or removing jam if you over-fill, and extra towels.

Some final words on marmalade before the recipes:
I don't bother with a jelly bag tied with the rinds inside and cooked along with the pulp as it is messy and a pain in the behind. It does however make beautiful, crystal clear marmalade with lovely orange skin suspended inside. You need to decide what method works best for you, with this caution-once you add sugar the rinds won't get too much softer. The recipe I saw this morning had you add the sugar at the start which I think would make the marmalade a bit on the hard and chewy side. Some people like this-my dad always bought some imported from Australia marmalade that was like chewing a piece of beef jerky. Thick, hard slices of orange and lemon are not my idea of something to spread on toast, but if you prefer a bit of a challenge first thing in the morning, then go ahead and add the sugar early. If not, you'll need to keep testing the rinds as they boil until you are happy with the texture. I do my marmalade in two-day steps the first being a boiling of the rinds with an overnight sit in the pot. This does help with the softening, and reduces the time spent in the kitchen next day-it also makes bottling marmalade seem less of an overwhelming chore.

To cut strips of rind, I encourage you to invest in a good pair of kitchen shears. I've used a knife, but the shears make light work of it. Use a vegetable peeler to remove the rinds ensuring you get as little pith as possible.

If you make lime marmalade, a few drops of food colouring will keep it from looking grey, but go easy-too much will turn it a strange emerald colour that would put anyone off their breakfast.

Finally, sugar. There are special pectins made for preserving low-sugar recipes, and they work well, What I would NOT do is reduce the sugar in a tested recipe as it may not set correctly. People are often shocked at just how much sugar goes into marmalade, but you're dealing with bitter rind, and also need something sturdy enough to suspend the rind in. If you cut back the sugar, you may end up with a sort of runny marmalade soup, which is fine for spooning into porridge, but a bit messy for toast. You can also end up over-cooking the batch as it will take longer to reach the gelling point, and when you go to open a jar months later find a jam the texture of slightly dried out golden syrup. I've bent spoons trying to pry that sort of thing from a jar. But if sugar is a concern, do look at some of the low sugar pectins, or use a recipe designed for sugar substitutes. You'll have better results than simply reducing the sugar in any given recipe. Bear in mind too, that sugar helps to preserve the jam.

The Recipes:

These are some favourites I've made over the years.
Popular additions to the recipes-splash of orange blossom water, whisky, vanilla extract, bitters, and even gin. Any additions should be added at the end, off the heat and be aware the jam may sputter when you add alcohol.
A very basic recipe with good results.
A little different, but good if you like hunks of fruit in your marmalade.
A deeper flavoured marmalade.
Really more of a conserve
With grapefruit, lemons and oranges.
A nice boozy touch.
Something a bit more tropical.
My personal favourite.
Add a splash of quinine water and gin for g&t marmalade.

Happy Jamming!

Friday, January 16, 2015

Friday Cake Blogging-Sour Cream Coffee Cake

Our temperature reached an unseasonably warm 65 degrees F. at our weather station today (and that was in the shade). No wonder we're all sick! Sub-zero one week, tropical the next. Danny's over his cold which is good because I've been hit with the flu. I don't think I could manage all of us being ill at the same time. This cake is so easy to make, you can do it half-dead with influenza. Seriously. The recipe comes from a wonderful old cookbook from 1971
Mmmmm, pie. I made an excellent mushroom, spinach and onion pie last night. Served with a light salad it was perfect cold weather fare-had it been cold (January in Nebraska, it just shouldn't be this warm). I've had such great luck with the recipes in this cookbook. Simple ingredients, easy to follow directions, and perfect results. I sure do miss the days of reliable cookbooks. Today, they're all glossy photos and untested recipes that were rushed off to the printers for the Christmas sales deadline. Maybe not *all* of them, but a good many from my experience. The cookbooks from Sunset magazine are reliable, and I've used my bread baking and canning cookbooks to the point where they are falling apart. Anyway, with a fever and a running nose (and cough, oh god, the cough will not stop) I didn't feel like doing anything that would require much concentration. What I got was a beautiful coffee cake that can sit on the counter all weekend long for people to help themselves...which they will be doing because I will be in bed praying to die resting.

I haven't had a serious flu in several years-decades actually. My 21st birthday I was confined to bed with a high fever and all the fun that goes with it. That was easily the worst viral illness I've encountered and while I am miserable now, it isn't even close to the suffering that one brought. My parents were cross with me for getting sick as they'd made a reservation at some exclusive restaurant, and I was too sick to go. They took my sister instead, but not before tossing a plastic bag at me in bed containing my present. When I finally was well enough to look a couple days later, I discovered a cheap nylon robe in what was obviously the wrong size (I was never in my life a small). Anyway, I'm not likely to ruin anyone's weekend by taking to bed, but if I do at least there's food in the fridge and cake on the counter.

You Will Need:
A strong glug of peppermint schnapps (that was for me, but you should have one too-medicinal qualities, blah, blah, blah)

1/2 pound unsalted butter, softened
1 1/4 cups granulated sugar (I went with just 1)
2 large eggs
1/2 pint sour cream
2 cups plain flour
1/2 teaspoon bicarb
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup finely chopped chocolate (recipe called for walnuts)
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 tablespoons sugar

Grease and flour a tube or Bundt pan. Beat together the butter, sugar and egg until light and fluffy. Stir in the sour cream. Sift together the flour, bicarb, baking powder. Add to the creamed mixture mixing well without over-mixing. Stir in vanilla. Toss together the chocolate, sugar, and cinnamon.

Pour half the batter (it will be thick) into the pan, spreading to even it out. Scatter half the chocolate mixture on top. Place remaining creamed mixture on top, and then finish with a layer of the chocolate. Place pan in a COLD oven, and set to 350 degrees F. Bake about 55 minutes (keep checking as ovens vary, or until it tests done with a toothpick. Cool in the pan on a rack.

The cookbook suggests serving it in slices directly from the pan, but I had no difficulty unmoulding it. I would caution you to let it get mostly cool (at least 30 minutes) before turning it out, and to generously butter and flour the pan. If you have any doubt about your pan or abilities though, do as the book suggests and cut it in the pan.

I dusted mine with icing sugar, but a light glaze would also be nice. Sour cream cakes (this is pretty much a pound cake) keep well in a cool place. If you're in a warm climate, keep it in the fridge and bring it to room temperature before serving.

Happy weekend. I'll be in bed with the hottie (that's the hot water bottle, get your minds out of the gutter) if anyone needs me. I won an eBay auction of five pristine bottles of Lentheric perfumes in their original gift packaging and cellophane for the absurd cost of $11.00 They arrived today, but alas, I won't be able to smell them any time soon. I know I like Tweed, but Shanghai, Confetti, Dark Brilliance, and Miracle are new to me.  There's my incentive to hurry up and get over this snot-fountain of a flu.
Did someone say, "Cake? I'll be right over!"

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Yeah, That'll Show 'Em

I couldn't make this shit up

I know the media makes it seem commonplace, but armed intruders shooting up schools are really quite rare. But yeah, let's just have the kids stockpile tins of corn to lob in self defense anyway.


Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Guerlain Aqua Allegoria Lavandre Velours

As I've owned this bottle over a dozen years now, I thought it about time for a review. It is now, discontinued but widely available on eBay, and not too terribly expensive. A little goes a loooong way, so don't despair if you can't source a 4 ounce bottle. I've been using mine roughly once a week for twelve years and there's still plenty left.

Yes, Aqua Allegoria is a lavender, and that's the first thing that hits you ("hit" being no exaggeration-it practically kicks your teeth in) but then the violets bloom and the whole thing starts to remind me of those C. Howards violet candies and gum they used to sell at the corner drugstore. You know, the stuff you bought to cover up the smell of cigarettes (Dunhill, menthol) when they were out of packets of Sen Sen. On the odd chance any youngsters are reading this, it doesn't work. Your parents know you've been smoking, and the violet candy is a dead giveaway. Anyway, Aqua Allegoria Lavandre Velours is a bit like that, but without the breath freshening quality. I can't wear it on my person, it is just too aggressive.

I do like the fragrance however, and being in possession of a gigantic bottle of anything Guerlain is almost always worth working out another use (with a few exceptions-I'm looking at you Jicky and Liu) and I found mine in changing the bed linen. Once a week, I give the sheets a good spritzing, and make-up the bed. The first night, as I pull back the bedspread and the now calmed-down lavender and violets drift up from the bed, it is glorious. Nothing could snuggle me off to dreamland in a better mood than soft feather pillows and AALV. By the fourth night it is still there, but muted and when Thursday rolls around (I have always changed linen on Thursday because that was when our housekeeper did and I'm a hopeless/helpless creature of habit. If I've had clean sheets every Thursday of my life, I see no reason to deviate from that pattern) you'd have to stick your nose directly to the sheet to catch a whiff. It would still be there, but sniffing week-old bed sheets would be John Waters quality weird, even if the sheets are your own. The point is, the shit lasts and lasts which is great on your bedding but kind of terrifying on your body...or mine anyway.

I had a friend years ago that sprayed her cupboards with Yardley Lavender, until it was discontinued in the US. It was a difficult time for her (this was pre-Internet when you couldn't be reunited with your favourite scents with a couple clicks of a mouse and a credit card). I was in one of those shops that sell cosmetics and perfumes that still had their stock older than I was when I spotted a bottle. I came to find out they had several bottles in back, and I bought them all to surprise my friend. She was happy to have them, but after a couple years of not having it, she'd moved on (Something carnation if I recall correctly). I imagine that will be a similar feeling of dismay when I finally exhaust my bottle of AALV. At first, I'll feel adrift-what on earth will I use in place of it? How will I sleep? But in the end I know, like my friend with her Yardley, I will find something else in a gigantic bottle to take me through another decade of Thursday linen changes. I still have a few years left in that bottle (I may even make another 5-6 years) because as I said at the beginning of the post, this stuff is strong. Perfume reviewers like to talk about sillage in terms of feet...AALV's sillage could best be described in rooms away, or city blocks. This isn't something you should wear in close contact with others, unless of course they're hopping into your bed, in which case you should atomise liberally!

Officially, AALV has a base of vanilla and sandalwood, and I believe it, but I don't smell it. I suspect that's down to the perfumer's talent, but it could just be that my sense of smell grabs hold of the violets and won't let go. Sandalwood is one of my least favourite notes (break out the incense burner and Jefferson Airplane records*) and I prefer tonka bean to vanilla. If it were there in any significant amount, I'm fairly certain I wouldn't be able to tolerate it in my bedding. Just imagine the sorts of dreams/nightmares sandalwood would induce.

"Don't take the brown acid man, it turns people into the Lucky Charms leprechaun, maaaaaan."

Yeah, that's  not my idea of a restful night's sleep.

One point worth mentioning is that AALV is about as unisex as fragrances get. I know it is marketed for women, but there's no reason that a man couldn't wear it. In fact, Lavender and violets are both commonly used in men's cologne and I would associate them as typically masculine.

The Guerlain Aqua Allegoria series have been interesting with some being better than others. I like the idea more than the execution in several of them, but then something like AALV comes along that I like very much in my environment, if not directly on my body. It is not for the timid, that's for sure.

* But if you must burn incense sandalwood will always be less headache-inducing than those awful strawberry scented ones. As for the Jefferson Airplane records, you can't go wrong with, Bless Its Pointed Little Head.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

"Put on a Jumpsuit, We're Going to Play Pinball!"

 This is becoming a Sunday routine, heading over to Bronco's Burgers to play the pinball machines. It wasn't deliberate, but once again, I am wearing a jumpsuit. I wonder if the teenagers behind the counter are muttering, "Hey, here comes jumpsuit lady to play pinball." Probably not, teenagers don't notice anything unless it happens on a screen.
 This is one of my favourite jackets, though it is terribly out of my comfort zone. The colour is so striking, and the sequins are nicely arranged-my only disappointment is that it is sewn on a rather tacky jersey material. If this had been silk or even a good synthetic it would have been a treasure. Instead, it is something I can wear casually for trips to the Broncos for pinball.
I used to be rather good at pinball, but these days I'm more of a spectator. Danny is quite good at it, which is nice as it now costs .50 cents a game.
"That's my boy!"

Outfit Particulars:

Black jumpsuit-K Mart
Green and black Bob Mackie jacket-Goodwill
Black 50's beads-Hand-Me-Ups
Bracelets-K Mart
Earrings-K Mart
Belt-Shop Ko
1960's tapestry coat (part of an ensemble) Thrifted years ago in Illinois
Fragrance-Halston (which was probably what I was wearing to play pinball in the 70's)

Someday, I will wear the dress and coat together as the Hong Kong dressmaker intended. It is a lovely set, I'm sure the woman it was made for looked elegant in it. I'll go out on a limb, and guess she didn't wear it to play pinball.

That was Sunday, come Monday it was back to homeschooling chic, that is-skirt, blouse and cardigan.

I like to be dressed, without being dressed-up. My only chore was a quick trip to the post, but as I have two wardrobes filled with clothes, it seems silly to skip an opportunity to wear them.

By the time we got home, Danny was burning up with fever and had a cough. I swear, he was fine one moment, and then...not.  He's had fluids, and rest but I guess what he really needs is time to recuperate. I'm lucky he isn't difficult when he's poorly-some children can really run their parents ragged. I think I was a terrible pain in the behind when I was his age. Probably caught something from the pinball game. 
"Some tacky Americana for you Ma'am?" 
Why yes, please!
I don't know why I like this sort of thing as much as I do, but there you have it. I'm still not likely to deck myself out in a star-spangled nationalistic display, but I do like Bald Eagles, and colonial period symbols. If I could find a purse emblazoned with the Liberty Bell, I'd probably buy it. 

This bag, and the tapestry one just like it hardly get used outside the house as they hold my rolled-up tights. As great as they are for storage, sometimes an outfit demands their use, and then I have to scramble finding a place for my tights. I hate that. Anyone have a genius storage idea for tights? I'd love to hear it. 
And then of course, the boots. My favourite knee socks made an appearance as well. 

Outfit Particulars:
1980's silk blouse-Goodwill
Vintage Designer Originals (when they were still made in NH) cardigan-had it for ages
Red skirt-Thrift World
190's tooled leather belt-Goodwill reserve (everything .99 cents)
Nine West knee socks-bought in the 90's
Boots-K Mart
1970's Americana bucket bag-Hand-Me-Ups
Fragrance-Jean Nate splash and body lotion (I feel so...invigourated! and I smell just like lemon curd on a scone. I don't remember it smelling this sweet, and I wouldn't buy it again, but damn it makes me want to go to the track...)

Sunday, January 11, 2015

The Best Day of a Squirrel's Life

I moved the gingerbread house out to the patio as I was cleaning, and forgot to take it to the trash. Then, I heard a loud sawing noise from outside.

Pardon the dirty windows in the photos, it has been a long winter.

"Oh hey, what's this? A little house? For me? Hey...that smells tasty."
"What thoughtful humans. I mean, I appreciate the occasional handful of raisins, but I really wasn't expecting a house. Really, that's just swell."
 "Oh my god...the house is made of food! This is the best day of my entire life!"
"I sure as hell hope there isn't a witch in there."
"OK Blondin, don't make a pig of yourself and eat it all in one sitting-remember what happened that time with the smashed pumpkin next door. That was awful, I was shitting orange for weeks." 
"Oh my god, is that lemon zest, and freshly grated nutmeg?! These people are incredible. I've had those gingerbread houses people bake from kits, and let me tell you, I can sharpen the hell out of my teeth on them, but they taste terrible. All that cheap cinnamon. This? This is fucking delicious." 
"I don't ever want this day to end. Maybe I better save some for later."
That was about 30 minutes of work, gnawing through hard gingerbread. Let that be a warning, lest you're tempted to hand-feed a squirrel-their little teeth are sharp!
"Now, to find some antacids."