Monday, February 21, 2011

Ricola, DayQuil, and Love

We have been so dreadfully sick around here for the past week. Bug has had this awful cough for weeks, which the doctor insists is just a cold. Fine. Except two kids in her class have been diagnosed with pertussis, or whooping cough as some call it. Pix had the cough for about two days and was over it. Same with Bear. But this last week something new and even more fun, yet similar, came around to kick all our bums. Except Pix. She's still doing stellar.
I largely suspect this new bug came from J and the work place. Potato only has the sniffles and a slight cough, thank goodness. Pix is still clear. J and I both have coughs, sniffles, and our lungs hurt. Yay! Poor Bug and Bear had it the worst. They spent the weekend with fevers and chills, taking several naps on the couch and rocker. They are doing grand today though, so the fevers obviously did what they needed to. I have lost my voice. Did I mention the kids have no school this week? And I lost my voice? This is going to be fabulous. Good thing my babies are mostly well behaved. I can still whistle at them so I can whisper at them.
I'm not exactly sure why Potato put this soda box on her head, but I had her saying "Nee!" for a good couple hours while wearing it. She's hilarious, and someday when she watches that movie I will show her the pictures and tell her the story of how Mommy raised her with a bit of geek.
There was also Valentine's Day. The older three children had a blast at their class parties. They came home with quite the bundles of confections and cards. I wanted to make sure Potato didn't feel left out, so I bought all four babies cute little tin pails from Target and filled them with heart shaped boxes of candy and cute little gifts.
Jeremy had a teddy bear, a box of chocolates, and two dozen roses sent to me, which didn't arrive until after he got home early from work.
Luckily, USPS did deliver mail in a timely fashion that day since a tie I had ordered him came in that day. I got him a 60s tie in black, red, and gray with the Chevy bow tie on it from Art Deco Dame. That girl is seriously quick to ship. She mailed it out the same day I made the payment. Not only is she quick, she's super sweet. I had ordered myself a pretty floral purple handkerchief, and she included another white with purple floral embroidery free of charge. She is such a dear. I also, got Jeremy the Darius Rucker album he's been coveting and a case of Brown & Haley Peanut Butter Mountain Bars. Yes. I said a case. He's a peanut butter chocolate fiend.
Traditionally, we take the children out to dinner for Valentine's Day. But neither of us was really sure we were feeling up to an outing. As we were trying to decide whether or not to pack up the midgets in the truck, the wind made a decision for us and knocked out the power. We had to travel all the way up to Silverdale, and took the kids to Famous Dave's since they all love barbecue and ribs. I stuck to boneless buffalo chicken. Ew to ribs. It was very convenient that we had to drive up there since it turned out my ring was ready at the jewelers after being resized. Rather fitting for Valentine's Day, I think. They also gave Jeremy an estimated value of the ring, and I guess he got a REALLY good deal on it because his eyes were bugging out and strutting a bit. He'll tell you I'm exaggerating. I'm not.
I don't care what he paid. He could have paid a quarter for it. I'm just happy I can finally wear it on the proper finger.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Back to Some Fluff

I know. Try not to fall over. Two posts in the same week? This is my version of vegging after a week full of running errands like crazy all week, I suppose. The Potato baby is wiped from errands, and vegging with Diego. She doesn't want to move anywhere for any reason. I can live with that for a few hours.

Now that I've had my social awareness rant for the week, I'm going to post a bit of fluff. I might even get around to posting a recipe or two on Dainty & Psychotic today. But, let's not get ahead of ourselves.

Have you heard of Bunco? It's a dice game, generally played with at least 12 people, 4 at each table. Lots of rolling. Lots of fun. This month it was my turn to host. I love having people over. I love to decorate a little, and Jeremy loves to cook fabulous food and have it be enjoyed. He was in the middle of a cooking storm when the gals arrived. They were shocked. "Is he cooking for us??" "Do you loan him out?" Yes, and yes. He wants to start giving in home cooking lessons. This is the first time we have ever stopped after the first round to eat. We usually stop at "half time" after the second round. "How do you stay so thin?!" I don't eat if he's not home. I feed the kids, and I might nibble, but I don't really eat. I know. I'm a bad person.
He made won-tons, deep fried ravioli, mushrooms stuffed with crab and cream cheese, sour dough bread, and some other things I just can't remember today. Basically, it was a smorgasboard of finger food. One of my personal happy places. We also had a variety of flavored lemonades which Jeremy played "bar tender" for. It's our party drink of choice.

Now for my part of the fluff. A tiny amount of festive decor. First thing I did was making something hang between the rabbit ears for the television, because they drive me crazy.

I popped into the local Dollar Tree to see if they had anything of use, and what I found were heart shaped doilies in two different sizes available in white and pink. Perfect! I used a smaller pink heart for the center of my strand. It already had the word Love embossed on it, so I used some glitter glue to accent it.

I also made a couple of "fancy" paper hearts. Here is the 3 dimensional pop up type heart. I used this idea from How About Orange. Except I used paper, didn't cut the smaller hearts in half, and glued in the crease rather than sew.

I then decided to try my hand at some paper roses. Craftzine has a good tutorial. I don't draw in the spiral though. I just cut it.
So, that was as decorative as I got for the living room. I still have my sparkly snowflakes dangling from the ceiling, and snowmen in the window because it is technically still winter.
Our dining room has a huge window, that we don't have any curtains on. It's pretty much unnecessary. So I decided to create something using the window. First, I took strips of paper about 2 inches wide, folded them in half, then folded them in thirds. Then I cut out hearts. Lots of hearts.

Then, I grabbed a Mtn Dew and read some blogs until my hand stopped cramping.

Organize the hearts by color.

I decided six hearts per strand would be just about right, and put together different color combinations of the hearts.

I ended up having to chart out what colors I had put on each strand because I was ending up with the same color next to itself, which I didn't really want. I lined up each set of six on a used padded envelope and used a pin to poke a hole near the top of each heart.

I cut lengths of white thread about 25 inches long. Using a sewing needle, I threaded the first heart.
After pulling most of the thread through, leave a little tail and secure it with a small square bit of tape.
Continue threading the rest of the hearts with the needle. You don't need to tape these hearts. I then secured each thread to the curtain rod already in place. For a 93 inch window, I used 30 strands of six hearts. Once you have all your strands in place, you can then arrange the hearts on the strands by sliding them into place. My strands are not the full height of the window, because there is a certain little girl who would probably pull them down.This is how it looked.

I know. My lighting is atrocious. But the kids love how it all looks hanging up there. At the end of the month, I'll slide all the hearts to the bottom to stack them. Then I can wrap the string around them, place them in an envelope, and save for next year.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Corsets and Courtesies, in flames

Now, I'm generally the first to admit my blog is nothing more than a bit of fluff to keep my interested friends and family up to date on what is going on around here with my part of the clan. Today, I'm going to take a moment to pull out my soap box, put forth my two cents, and possibly go on a bit of a rant.
Recently, Solanah of Vixen Vintage fame posted about a darling outfit she wore while making a simple trip to the grocery store. My goodness if this didn't stir up a ruckus. Why? In this post, she also made note of a dreadful and increasing habit one often sees at the grocer.... pajama pants. I don't mean the ones on sale in Fred Meyer, or at the Super Wal-Marts. I mean the pajamas that have been washed in at least a week being worn on the bodies that may also not have been washed in many days. It's disgusting! Dirty, filthy pajamas being pulled on by hands that will then be touching food, possibly even produce, in the grocery store where many others shop for their own food.

On to the blog title, and my theories.

I believe the decline in the use of corsets, along with the increased popularity of motor vehicles, has led us to the society in which we now find ourselves. Why? When people had to walk or take horses to make visits, they had to plan. When women wore corsets, it took a bit more time to get dressed and ready to leave the house.  It takes a lot of undergarments to make the corsets of yesteryear bearable for daily wear. This means you actually needed to plan your outings and visits to friends. When you have to plan to do things, you naturally want to take the time to look nice, as well. This was the same for ladies of the house, and ladies of the night.
Do not dare stretch this to say that I am blaming the liberation of women and would ever want to step back to a time where women do not have the right to vote, choose, or even own property.
When corsets were thrown to the waste baskets, women moved on to brassieres. Mary Phelps Jacob claimed to have created the brassiere by tying two handkerchiefs together with ribbon so that she could more easily go out dancing. She later sold the patent to Warner Brothers. Naturally this design was far easier and quicker to dress in. It was also much more comfortable.

Eventually, women did take a step back to a corset like design in the form of the girdle to achieve the popular androgynous look of the 1920s.

After WWI, brassieres returned, and Warner Brothers introduced cup sizes. Since then, many designs and materials have been used to create bras for women. Howard Hughes even had one specially engineered for Jane Russell.

My point is, the original corsets required assistance to put on. You made plans to leave the house, and you made sure you looked nice to do so. Your outfit had to be just so, and quite secure to withstand the traveling arrangements. Everything took time, including getting dressed.

Eventually corsets were designed so that one could be put on by the person wearing it. This does mean you have to take a little less time to plan when leaving the house. But still, not much of an improvement and still things took time. Though, the introduction of the automobile was influential in the time that it took people to follow through with plan, not everybody had one.

With the brassiere came reduction in material used to make a support garment. It was also substantially faster and easier to put on than anything before. You did not need undergarments beneath your support garment to protect your skin. Getting rid of all those layers makes getting out of the house much easier to just pop in on a girlfriend. Again, the automobile was becoming more prevalent as well. Heading out to the local grocer was a breeze. Even visiting the nation's landmarks became easier with the completion of the Interstate Highway.

Eventually the automobile was as common a sight as a woman with a properly supporting brassiere. But still, there were members of society who were unhappy with even this reduced restriction. So came the burning of the bras. This activity was usually done by people who were experimenting habitually with mind altering narcotics. Not exactly your upstanding members of society. Nor were they the most hygienic.

Bras became thinner, while hair got bigger, and attitudes toward fellow man got uglier.

Camisole bra tops became acceptable to wear out in public, the internet and silicone were on the rise.

Now, when people deem it necessary to leave the confines of their computer screen, they often do it in their pajamas and no bra at all.

I'm not judging those who are physically incapable of getting themselves dressed. I know there are people out there who are disabled and have no help at all. People who are lucky enough to scrape together something to buy food, let alone a pair jeans to wash nightly in the sink. I'm not judging those people.
I'm judging the able bodied souls out there who make the choice to put forth the statement to the world, "I Don't Care."

We get the message, loud and clear. You not only don't care what others may think of you, but you also do not care to think of yourself. I assure you, if you feel depressed or down for the day, slipping into something nice and doing your hair and makeup will certainly make you feel better than ratty jammies.
Like I always say, "If I feel like crap, I'm sure as hell not going to look like crap!"
Stand up, Americans! Wash up and slip on a pair of jeans for goodness sake! Show some pride in yourselves. Show some pride in your fellow Americans. Oh hell, you can even go back to the bra shelf top. Just put on some support of some kind! And please, for the love of anything you care to love, please let the next group burn session include sweat pants that aren't even being used for working out in. Please.