Monday, January 30, 2017

Taking a Break

I'll be taking a blogging break for a bit. I will still be visiting your lovely blogs, and I wish everyone well. I will be back, eventually.

Much love,

Friday, January 27, 2017

Weekend at Last

Thanks all for your encouragement after my previous post. It was a tough week, and a short bout of norovirus didn't help. 
I appreciate all the kindness and support from everyone. 

 I power-cleaned the house today-in heels and pearls. Just because. Now that everything is sparkling and tidy, I'm thinking of forbidding anyone to enter! There must be some way to keep the house clean for at least a day.
 I can't remember the last time I bothered organising the basement-I usually just go down there to do laundry. I found a set of dishes I'd forgotten about for Easter, so that's nice. I don't know that there's anything more impractical than an egg shaped plate, but chicks and bunnies override any impracticability. I bought the matching glasses as well. Anyway, there's something to look forward to.
No sign of spring around here.
We had a bit of snow yesterday, but by mid-day most of it had melted. We have a few cold days ahead (and yes, I was freezing when we took these photos) but next week it should moderate. I'm headed to the car show with Danny this weekend as we've been going every January for over ten years. It is surprisingly fun. Pretty soon it will be time for the garden show. We do what we can to get through winter in the Midwest.
Outfit Particulars:

Knit to-K Mart
1980's skirt (part of a suit) by Bonnie and Me-Can't remember
Necklace-Thrift store  in Massachusetts decades ago
Vintage bracelet-Thrift World
Tights-K Mart
Purse-Antique mall
Fragrance-Arden Sunflowers (reminds me of baby shampoo, but not in a bad way)
As you'd expect, the belt catches easily, so I need to take care when wearing it. Wire and rhinestones in raised prong settings do not a wearable belt make!

Have a great weekend everyone.

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

In Summary

That just about sums up my feeling at the wait, scratch that...
...that's more accurate. I'll leave it at that.
Thank god for makeup, because I feel complete shit.

 I'm not saying an eyebrow pencil and lippy can change my disposition, but at the very least, I won't scare small children. I do remember some sort of "Mood lipstick" in the 70's that changed colour when you applied it, but it didn't do squat for your mood. Someone needs to make an amphetamine-based lippy. They could call it, "Pucker-upper."
Outfit Particulars:
Vintage denim skirt-Goodwill
Vintage double-knit polyester denim-look jacket-Goodwill
Vintage embroidered suede waistcoat-Goodwill
Long sleeved Everlast tee-K Mart (I buy these by the dozen-they're fab!)
Vintage brooch-Hand-Me-Ups
Earrings-K Mart
 Monet Necklace-Can't remember, retail
Fragrance-Patou Sublime (misleading name if ever one was)
Carpetbag-Brass Armadillo
 Can you see Angus MacHaggis hanging on the door? We're the only people in the neighbourhood that decorate for Burns Night. January is sort of dull if you don't find a reason to celebrate. Maybe getting drunk and reciting poetry to a vegetarian haggis isn't your idea of fun. We'll take whatever we can get.

We spent the afternoon at Standing Bear Lake. Danny spotted an American Bald Eagle in a tree overlooking the lake. Danny though it looked sad. I thought it looked incredulous. 

I'll leave it here as I don't have much else to offer. 

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Acting My Age

You know you're getting old when you avail yourself of the opportunity to use the blood pressure/scale/body fat monitor at the pharmacy each time you shop. I remember when my dad was first diagnosed with high blood pressure in the 80's before the public machines were common. He was friends with a couple of firefighters in Milwaukee that told him to stop by the station after he made his delivery down the street, and they'd check it and keep records for him. That relationship continued for about 20 years, long after his customer had gone out of business. More than once they were able to alert him to potential problems, and he'd see the doctor before it became serious. These days, you sit at a machine, shove your arm in a cuff, and a recording tells you what a "great job" you're doing before it spits out your results.

Today, I thought it would be interesting to have it read my percent body fat. I placed my hands on the metal strips, hit the button and...nothing. I tried again. The cheerful recording let me know "Something must have gone wrong"(no "Great job!" this time). I finally gave up realising the lack of circulation in my hands probably overwhelmed it. I looked at my blue fingers, muttered something about arthritis, and went on my way. I've never had high blood pressure, and don't expect to, but I still stop to get a reading because it seems like the sort of thing you do at my age.
One issue aging has brought is my inability to tell blue from black, and in the case of this tweed skirt, brown from grey. In the end, I decided it would have to be grey because my grey tights were clean. Next week, it might be brown! It is maddening, because half the time I'll step outside into natural light and my error will be glaringly revealed. I'm sure young people are clucking their tongues tisking "Poor old dear, she got dressed in the dark" which is not completely inaccurate.
Outfit Particulars:
Vintage coat-Hand-Me-Ups
1970's tweed skirt-Goodwill
Orange top-K Mart
Matching 70's necklace and bracelet (there's earrings too, but they hurt)-Hand-Me-Ups
Large white lucite vintage ring-Goodwill
Egyptian revival ring-Et Cetra. Seward
Brooch on top-Goodwill
Brooch on jacket-New Life Thrift
Earrings-Thrift World
Fragrance-Vintage formulation Cabochard
Get the hell off my lawn, will ya?

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Get Your Own Litterbox!

It was a beautiful, windy, unseasonably warm January day in Nebraska, so we headed out to make the most of it. We did a bit of thrift shopping, and then made our way to Heron Haven to see what wildlife might be around.

While we were in the bird blind with some other people, this muskrat swam over for a photo. Danny said he spotted another, and I announced if I saw a second muskrat, I'd have to sing. That got snickering from the older people. Thankfully for everyone the second never showed up!
Muskrat muskrat....
Luckily, I don't know any songs about mallards. 
Or Canada Geese!
Outfit Particulars:

1970's polyester maxi dress-Thrift World (years ago)
1970's polyester jacket(came with a dress)-Salvation Army (I think)
High heeled sneakers-Goodwill
Handbag-Long gone shop in the abandoned mall
Vintage necklace-Garage sale
Earrings-Garage sale
Lucite bangle-Hand-Me-Ups
Fragrance-Amouge Gold (I could barely smell it-must be the jasmine anosmia kicking in)

Before I leave you, I must show you something we saw for sale at Goodwill.
Look, I like cats, but I wouldn't want to share a toilet with them. I can't get the boys to wipe up the seat, how neat do you think a cat would be?  Is changing the kitty litter that big of a deal? Has anyone with cats used this thing? I'm trying to be open minded but I don't think I could share a toilet with a pet no matter how much I liked it. Just imagine how outraged a cat would be if  I sat my fat ass down in the litter box to drop a turd. There's some things you just don't share. Or, I don't anyway. I'm kinda judgmental that way.

Hope you're having a lovely weekend.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

I'm Looking Through You

The ice storm came and went, and we were lucky enough to keep power throughout. In the end, Omaha was spared the worst of it, and people heeded the warnings to stay off the roads. It turned into a nice long weekend for everyone, and we took advantage of the time doing chores at home. I did get out for a quick walk before it hit in full, when I saw this...
Uh oh. Someone hasn't been draining the pool after it rains. I don't know why they don't cover it. I'm sure there will be serious cracks needing repairs come spring. I was tempted to climb the fence and skate on it! So that was that, and today the weather was warm enough to go out in a sheer dress and lightweight jacket.

 I miss the 70's when it wouldn't have been strange to wear a low-cut sheer dress like this without a thought about slips. Obviously, that wouldn't fly today (in Omaha, anyway) so I struggled to find a slip that would cover enough on top and be long enough. I *almost* made it. The slip could be longer, but I was er...decent enough (for Omaha). I really like this dress, so it might be worth seeking out a full slip that will work well with it. I have several sheer dresses from that era with similar issues-it is a wonder we didn't all die of exposure back then.
Look at that riot of colour!

Outfit Particulars:
Late 70's/early 80's Lehigh dress with Union Label-New Life Thrift
Vintage Laura Ashley jacket-Goodwill
Vintage belt-Hand-Me-Ups
Boots-K Mart
Earrings-Can't remember, old
Vintage handbag-Goodwill
Brooch on jacket-Can't remember
Fragrance-Courreges in Blue

I stopped to visit a few of my favourite thrift stores, and didn't come away disappointed. Hand-Me-Ups has 1/2 price earrings and I was able to buy two pair of Lisner clips for $2.99 each. Not bad at all. I found a pewter brooch, and Danny bought some birding books, and it was time and money well spent. I'm really trying to avoid buying clothes as I have far more than I can ever wear, so I didn't even have a look at the .49 cent rail. The woman at the shop was concerned I might be ill. They know me so well.

On the way out of the shop, a Cooper's Hawk was perched on the roof, and Danny was able to watch it being mobbed by crows and starlings. It held the spot until suddenly it swooped down, out of sight for what I imagine was his dinner. There are so many interesting birds to see in the city-if you just pay attention. Much as we enjoy visits to state parks, there's plenty to observe right in our neighbourhood-but you do need to look up, something the smartphone generation is unlikely to do.

 Yep, in 1979 I'd have let it, "All hang out" in this dress, but that might get me arrested today. As it was, the slip was a sheer crepe material, and I really wondered if I was bordering on improper. If it had been sunny outside, the dress would have been see-through. I'm not a prude...but everyone else is!
Would leggings be a more modern way to deal with a sheer dress? Your helpful advice is always welcome.

Monday, January 16, 2017

All Killer... Derma filler.
 I personally don't think my skin looks particularly great (maybe for my age) but as I keep being asked about my skincare routine, this seemed like a good time to write about it. Keep in mind, cosmetics applied skillfully can keep a complexion looking better than it is. Anyway, you asked, so here's the story.

I don't spend a great deal of money on skincare products. For cleansing in summer, or after a workout, I like Pears soap, followed by Dickinson's Witch Hazel. In cold, dry weather, I cleanse with Ponds Cold Cream, which I always use for makeup removal anyway. Nothing removes mascara like cold cream.

For daily treatment, I use Ponds dry skin cream in winter. In the summer months, I use  Ponds cream developed for reducing age spots. Does it help? Not much, though it might be worse if I didn't. My skintone is quite uneven, but again-carefully applied cosmetics do wonders.There's sunscreen in the cream as well as my cosmetic foundation, so I don't bother applying an SPF to my face. I'm no longer prone to serious break outs, but when they happen I find witch hazel as good a treatment as anything.

 I probably ought to use an eye cream, but can't be bothered. My hands take a serious beating in cold weather, but that's what gloves are for (hiding). Body lotion is whatever came with the perfume sets over the years-I'm currently working my way through, Passion, Jean Nate, and White Diamonds. Unless I start running around naked, I think they're probably good enough.
I should mention, when I was young and my skin was oily, I found Erno Laszlo Sea Mud Soap a great help. It is expensive, though it lasts for ages. I don't know if it had an overall effect that I'm benefiting from now (doubtful) but it did keep the break-outs at bay in my younger years.

My skincare isn't focused on trying to look younger (talk about a futile effort). I'm rather enjoying watching my grandmother's face emerge on my body (and why not? I liked her!) but I don't enjoy flaking, peeling, and cracking skin. If I can keep that under control I'm happy enough to have some laugh lines-better to laugh than cry. I try never to say, "never" but I don't see myself having anything injected into my face as I'm somewhat squeamish. I don't even like going to have my teeth cleaned. I've never bothered having the chicken pox scars dealt with, and these days there are such excellent makeup primers that they're hardly noticeable if I bother to apply it. I've lived with the scars since I was six-no point getting all worked up about it at this late date. I do have a mole on my chin that needs to be looked at, but otherwise trips to dermatologists are rare. I  have an autoimmune issue that flares from time to time, and that is dealt with as needed, and Dermablend is ace for hiding ugly red rashes. And that's about it. No great secrets...must be the life I've led. *Cough*

Moving along (because those close-ups of my face are frightening me)...

...I wore my Pendleton Turnaround skirt. It is reversible, though the colours are the same just in more muted tones. Yeah, I should have ironed it. Obviously, that isn't happening if I can avoid it. If you start ironing your clothes, next thing you know you're combing your hair. Ironing is surely a gateway to something horrible, and I'm not going there. No, you're right. I'm just fucking lazy. 
 Outfit Particulars:

Pendleton Turnaround skirt-Thrift World
Polo Neck-Gordman's
Napier pendant-Hand-Me-Ups
Clamper bracelet-Salvation Army
Earrings-K Mart
Ralph Lauren cashmere scarf-gift about 20 years ago
Fragrance-Lentheric Miracle

Am I missing out on some great skincare product? I'd love to hear what you're using to keep yourselves from shedding dead skin all over the place like a snake. 

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Before the Storm

 Ever notice the nicest weather precedes a storm? We're expecting an ice storm over the next two days that is expected to be, in the words of the Weather Service, "Crippling". Sounds like fun. The city has been out pre-treating the roads, but realistically, there isn't much you can do about freezing rain and an inch of ice on the roadways. We're staying home and hoping we don't lose power-that's the biggest concern in such cold temperatures. As it might be a while before we get outdoors again, we took a quick trip over to Lake Manawa State Park in Iowa to enjoy the calm before the storm.

 Ah, nothing like enjoying the great outdoors in the shadow of the smokestacks. "Oh beautiful for spacious skies for amber waves of grain..."
I've just been informed that as I type, the first bands of sleet are arriving in Eastern Nebraska. Guess I can forget getting a quick walk tonight. Oh well, time for Martinis!
 I have a birthday coming at the start of February, so I bought myself a present. This charm bracelet is an Alva museum reproduction.
 "Is it supposed to be something?" asked Mr. ETB.
"A guy on a winged horse with a Gorgon's head in his hand?"
"Oh, that one."
Sigh. He'd flunk if he were my student.

I'm not typically extravagant buying myself nice things, so at $35.00 it was a bit of a splurge-but I love it. The bracelet was an Etsy purchase from Nomads With Baggage. It arrived quickly, nicely packaged and there was excellent communication with the seller. I'd buy from her again in a heartbeat.
Outfit Particulars:

Vintage Frank Usher dress-Goodwill .49 Cents! (I nearly peed myself when I came home and saw what these gowns sell for)
Pink shawl/scarf-Goodwill
Green tights-Walgreen's
Vintage coat (part of an ensemble)-Thrift store in Illinois anout 30 years ago
Vintage Margaret Smith handbag-Hand-Me-Ups
Earrings-can't remember
Flower pin-Tiff and Tam
The dress is about three sizes too large, but I belted it with the sash from another dress and added the scarf to distract from it. The sleeves would be massive no matter the size, but adding the sash and scarf just created an even greater sense of draping. I love this dress so much, but the colour isn't good on me, and it deserves to be with someone that can wear it as intended. I don't think I'll have much trouble selling it-designer vintage in large sizes are hard to come by, and this one is beautifully made.
Stay safe if you're in the path of this storm. I hope to be in touch soon, but if the power goes, all bets are off. 

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Where's MY Trophy?

I recently purchased this apron declaring, "Mom's a Winner" with a picture of a woman holding a trophy (it has faded a bit). I'm trying to imagine my own mother's reaction if we'd presented her with this as a gift. Somehow, I suspect it might not have gone over too well. Aprons are a risky gift unless you're certain the recipient wouldn't be insulted.
Of course, if you cook and care about your clothes it is best to wear an apron. Curry+nice clothes=disaster. For me anyway, because I'm a slob. My mother didn't cook much (mercifully) so she didn't require aprons. 
Between us? My mother didn't clean either, so she hired someone else to do it. Good thing too, or the house might have fallen down. But shhhh, don't tell anyone. I don't mean that as an insult-she was good at other things. If there was a trophy for getting your paintbrushes clean, she'd have won it. To this day I've yet to run across a painter that maintains even their most expensive sable brushes the way mum did. Today, we'd probably give it a diagnosis as some sort of disorder, but my goodness, those brushes were better cared for than we were. 

I really didn't know how to cook, clean, or look after myself when I was out on my own. Mr ETB had to endure a rather steep learning curve as far as cooking and laundry were concerned, but after about 25 years I got the hang of it. Perhaps he deserves the trophy. Living on a a farm forces you to cook as there's no take away, and trips to town for supplies were rare. This blog is a scrapbook of sorts from my first pies to making a goose confit. I started the blog as a collection of recipes for my son as he grew up, but I never expected anyone else would want to read it. That people keep coming back here year after year, and that I've formed wonderful friendships is really the best. That's better than a trophy. 

Which is all a long way of saying (once again) that the mirror is dirty. Sigh. I cleaned it yesterday. I think I'm going to conduct toothpaste-spitting lessons where they will practise aiming for the basin instead of the mirror. Until then, we'll have to use our imaginations and pretend this is a clean mirror. 
Ooops, sorry! you caught me having a Jane Russell moment there while I was daydreaming about a mirror that isn't spotted with toothpaste and shaving lotion. Oooh, the glamour!

Outfit Particulars:
Cashmere short-sleeved sweater-Marshall Field's, 1980's
Acrylic Designer's Original's Cardigan-Probably Jordan Marsh, 90's
Necklace-Yard sale
Earrings-Yard sale
Brooches on cardigan-both New Life Thrift
Bracelet-New Life Thrift
Yellow tights-Walgreen's
Vintage handbag-Goodwill
Fragrance-Ruffles (I smell the 80's!)
 Nothing like a good wipe-clean vinyl bag.
 Can't wear a cat without a mouse. The cat's tail moves.

 The locket on the bracelet opens, but I haven't put in a photo yet. I'm trying to think of something/someone wildly inappropriate so I can horrify anyone that asks if it opens.
In May it will be thirteen years of Eat The Blog. Maybe (fingers crossed) I'll get the mirror sparkling by then.