Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Tomboy Style, of a Sort: Lazy Days

This is seriously the best face I made in the full body shots. Apparently I have forgotten how to face.

I told Jason yesterday that I think this is the last week I can wear these, my favorite pair of jeans. I love them because the denim is so soft that they're like wearing sweatpants. They fit perfectly. I've had them for years. And they cost me $12 at a Walmart in Kentucky back when I worked at the Payday Loan place and was at a "professional development conference", which I really shouldn't put in scare quotes because it really did make me think there was something to that job.

Of course, shortly thereafter I learned that a job that requires you to walk onto someone's private property, bang on the door, and demand they pay you what they owe the company they work for is not actually a job I was cut out to do.



I really do love the jeans. But they are about to go lurk in the darkness along with everything else I own pants-wise that "fits me perfectly". Because it fits perfectly no longer. Just like half my work-pants.

Let's just head right on into what I want to talk about, though.

Maternity clothes.

No, I don't actually own any yet, that's not the point.

My point is that maternity clothes are a racket. There's some kind of Maternity Mafia controlling our access to legitimately cute clothing. I have trolled the internet high and low, a friend of mine and I went into just about every store we could THINK of and discovered that either A. they have no maternity clothing at all, B. they "used to" but decided to stop carrying it, or C. their maternity clothes consisted of a single rack of sweatpants in the most abandoned-looking back corner of the store. Now there are consignment shops, which I figure will come in handy later, and there are those maternity-specific stores. We tried those, too!

You know what we found?

Overpriced see-through pajama pants. Gross tacky novelty shirts that would tell all and sundry far more about where babies come from than I ever wish anyone to hear from me. Threadbare T-shirts that cost $10 more than their non-maternity counterpart at JCPenney. Lots and lots and lots of equally threadbare sweaters. A shocking dearth of work clothing, as apparently all pregnant women sit at home glowing all day and don't have to make a living.

The best options I've found so far have been through Old Navy and the Gap, but even they are distinctly lacking in professional business casual options. The stores that do have work pants want me to pay about as much as I'm going to pay for the damn baby in order to afford their pants.

So if everyone sees me start showing up everywhere in maxi skirts or yoga pants starting around April? You've been warned, and you now know why.

Because maternity clothing is run by the Maternity Mafia, and the Maternity Mafia hates women.

Well, they hate any woman who manages to be pregnant and above a size 2.

Size 2 or lower pregnant women get like three work pants options. Lucky ducks.

I like this outfit so much I'm wearing it two days in a row. No shame whatsoever. Of course, I only wore it yesterday for about two and a half hours while running errands, but I think my lack of shame still stands.

It's all about comfort.

Since I work Tuesdays through Saturdays and I also work for an awesome employer, any federal holidays that fall on a Monday, I get on Tuesday. So I'm celebrating President's Day... by possibly buying a pair of shoes.

Things are just going to get all kinds of wacky around here.

In Case You Want to Recreate This Mess:
Cardigan: JCPenney, ancient (this is basically the same thing)
T-shirt: Target. The softest t-shit in the whole world.
Scarf: Christmas gift
Necklace: Silly little rock necklace we sell out of my shop at work.
Jeans: Walmart. No shame. None at all.
Shoes: Privo by Clarks, which... doesn't exist anymore, I don't think.
Purse: Haiku. Old. This year's prints here.

The colors in this outfit were inspired by my absolute favorite style blogger (and my bloggy-friend) Franziska over at Franish. I aspire to one day look half as put-together as she does.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

What I Did On My Snow Days Vacation

I was snowed on, more than once.
I did laundry, and otherwise
was a completely useless person
It was wonderful.

I pitied my tiny fishie flowerpot,
which once held a colorful happy cactus
and now holds its sad winter remnant.
Our rosemary smells great, though.
Because rosemary never dies.

I watched the dog have just an awesome time...
 until, of course, he wasn't having a good time any longer.
Then I dried off his wet doggie feet.
He licked my face.

I stayed inside the house for about a day and a half. 
The couch is my friend.
So is all our food.
All of it.

Jason and I went out today just to be outside. 
We went to the gas station for hot dogs and taquitos for lunch.
I'd blame it on the pregnancy, but honestly, we would have done that anyway.
P.S. those taquitos were delicious.

I learned that everything else in the city can be shut down,
the roads empty but for the occasional fishtailing two-door,
but Waffle House will still be there.
And its parking lot will be packed.

We let Sanna out briefly to enjoy the snow, which he did...
until he didn't anymore.
I did not dry off his paws, 
because he is a cat.
The dog at least manages to be grateful for it.

I watched the sun come out, finally.
Which is good, because I probably shouldn't
be allowed to be this lazy for more than two days.
I wonder if I can bring my blanket to work tomorrow...

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Did Someone Say Bacon?

A girl & her sugar. It's heartwarming, really.

So yesterday, my workplace sent out an email that a local group was doing a fundraiser breakfast. For $5, you got a full southern breakfast - biscuits and gravy, sausage, bacon, eggs, pancakes... the whole works.

For five dollars.

My response may have involved more drool than words, but you bet I was there this morning before work rarin' to go.

It was a local Senior Center doing the fundraising; they're trying to finish their auditorium and then the building will be done. I'm a fan of giving money to good causes and receiving food in return.


So I walked in, and this sweet older woman took my five dollars and gave me a ticket. I dropped the ticket in a little bowl, got myself a cup of coffee, and magic happened.

A platter appeared before me, laden with food, all but groaning under its weight.

I did notice that everyone serving the food was older, too, but hey; senior center, right?

I went to sit down, and realized, with my fork halfway to my mouth full of that delicious first biscuit-and-gravy-bite, that I was the youngest person in the room.

By about thirty years.

And at least ten people were staring at me.

The downside to the situation was having to explain to at least four people that no, I wasn't related to anyone here, I just wanted me some bacon. And also I like giving people money for good reasons. Also... bacon.

The upside is that I basically ate breakfast in a room just chock-full of grandmothers, and they all did what grandmothers are apparently genetically coded to do.

Three women asked if I needed more coffee. Two more asked if I wasn't sure I didn't need more food, I was just skin and bones!

(If you've ever met me, the one thing I am not and have never been is 'skin and bones'. We don't do 'skin and bones' in our family, we do cookies and pie. Ooooh, and buffalo chicken dip. We do that, too.)

A fifth woman wanted to let me know that my necklace was "just darling".

A sixth asked me where my coat was, and when I told her I'd left it in the car, advised I needed to be careful or I'd catch my death of cold.

It was forty-two degrees outside. I explained I was born in Illinois and have a hard time keeping a coat on in temperatures like that and she tsked. "Well, you're in the South now, honey, make sure you keep that coat on," She said kindly, patting me on the arm.

When I was walking out the door, three of them called out goodbyes and one told me to watch for the paper for more fundraising events because I was just too sweet not to come by and have a bit more time to chat.

I wanted to hug them all.

You just can't be sad in a room full of grandmothers.

You'll never go hungry, either.

On my way out I bought some homemade apple butter, because it was only $5 for a big jar and it took all my willpower not to just eat it with a big spoon for lunch.

Because I'm a sucker for giving nice people my money.

Especially when bacon is involved.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

This Week, on a Very Special Episode...

I know it seems like a terrifying way to begin the end of civilization as we know it, but it's true! Jason and I are expecting a new bundle of noise and soiling itself to join the animals in waking us up at 3 a.m. (and 4... and 5... and 6...) sometime in the middle of August!

The animals, meanwhile, are a little bit confused about their part in all this madness. So far it mostly consists of "sit on top of Katie while she inexplicably needs a nap right after eating dinner, because stirring is now an exhausting ordeal."


They're very good at that sitting-on-me thing.

So now I spend more time than seems reasonable looking at strollers, and I'm reading all the books ever. Pregnancy Sucks is so far my favorite, because it's not a saccharine drip but actually pretty much entirely hilarious. Also liking the book from the first picture. It's all bright and cheerful and full of diagrams and happy looking people. I like to believe they exist in a world where the first trimester is fun. Those lucky, lucky women.

Also I am a nonstop eating machine.

I'd tell you to send help, but... I'd probably eat the help.

That reminds me; does anyone have any jalapeno potato chips they don't want? I could definitely punch a small child for some jalapeno potato chips right now...

Saturday, February 1, 2014

In Which I Am the Cow Whisperer

Crazy Eyed Cow, by Elisabeth with Mood Shift Media, available here.

There was a cow in the road on my way to work today.

I was already stuck behind a couple of private school and/or church activity buses (it actually wasn't clear; they were white buses, which usually means church, but something about them suggested school - but it's Saturday and I feel for any kids who have to do their school field trips on Saturdays and hey look I found something to like about having gone to public school!) that were crawling up and down the hills as though expecting to discover some kind of cliff on the other side.

Or... maybe they were expecting cows.

If so, they were absolutely spot-on.

Anyway, we were already only going about thirty-five miles an hour, a line of us backed up behind these buses, apparently being manned by first-timers who didn't know where the gas pedal was... when the buses slam on their brakes. They seemed pretty confident as to where those were.

As, again, we were only going about thirty-five, we all had plenty of time to slowly coast to a stop.

Then I heard a weird noise.

I blinked.

A weird, familiar noise.

I rolled down my window and heard it again.

Yep, I thought to myself. That's a cow.

This isn't actually terribly unusual for this spot, because there's a farm here that has probably a hundred cows out grazing at any given time. The unusual part was that the sound wasn't coming from the pasture to the left of the road, but directly in front of me.

Where the buses were.

After a long, long, long pause the buses slowly moved on, swerving nearly off the road but... you know, it's not like they were actually going fast enough for the word 'swerve' to mean anything.

What they actually did was sort of gently drift to the right and then back onto the road.

As we all started to move slowly again, I finally saw her; a big old black heifer, standing smack where the center-lines are, half of her on our side and half on the other. She moved slightly in our direction. The car in front of me stopped and hit his horn. I think he yelled something; he was definitely waving his hands around.

The heifer did not so much as flinch.

She slowly raised her head and looked the guy in front of me, I swear, right in the eyes.

She's going to remember you did that, I thought. One night you are going to wake up to a cow who knows your face standing over your bed, dude.

He honked again.

She stared him down. Her tail flicked, slightly.

I noticed with growing nervousness some other cows standing against the fence, watching. I don't think we should call it a herd of cattle, it's definitely something more sinister than that. A crush of cows. A grudge of cows. Something like that.

Dude, now they are all going to know your face.

Get out while you still can.

With a palpable sense of defeat, he did finally execute his own gentle drift onto the shoulder of the road and went around her.

They all watched him go.

I was up next.

My window was still down. I pulled up, stopped, leaned out the window and said in a calm voice, "Hey, would you please mind moving a little the other way, pretty lady?"



I swear to God, she actually moved. Not much, only a couple of feet back into the other lane, but she moved. When I asked her to.

I thanked her cheerfully, rolled the window up, and went on my merry way. I am still rocking this absurd floating sense of some kind of victory, and also I'm kind of convinced that those cows liked me. I'm sure never going to wake up with angry cows standing around my bed like the other guy.

I might get a fruit basket. With the card signed with a hoofprint.

This just goes to prove that ladies are always better handled with compliments and polite requests instead of rudeness.

Even cow ladies.

Especially cow ladies.