Controversial? I Stopped Shaving My Legs

What. The. Heck. Have I no shame? Can’t I just keep stuff to myself? Why yes, I have shame, but not about this. And yes, I keep things to myself! Not this, anymore.

Undercover legs. I have sun allergies.

I started thinking about growing up with the modern feminist movement. One reason I love jeans so much is that girls weren’t allowed to wear pants at my elementary school! The minute that changed in sixth grade, I refused to wear dresses for a LONG time. Can you imagine?

Eighth grade chorus photo. Who is wearing pants? Me.

One reason I liked pants is that teen girls HAD to shave their legs (white girls; black girls didn’t back then). I had pretty darned hairy legs, so I spent more time than I liked with the shaving. Yuck. But I had to do it. The one Orthodox Jewish girl whose parents didn’t let her got whispered about. Poor kid.

16th birthday. Big pants! Low waist! Pigtails (not fashionable, just weird me).

I aged into college and tried my best to be one of the cool radicals. But, “real” feminists and fans of being “real” women read The Joy of Sex and didn’t shave themselves. Check out that book’s illustrations some time. Teen Suna did.

I just could not stand my hairy legs. I felt feminist guilt, but I just was too brainwashed by my culture to go against the norms. It still baffles me why that was so. It’s not like I was conventional in other ways.

Fast forward. Rather than becoming more accepting of natural body hair, the US went way overboard the other way. Women got Brazilians, which appeared to be making little stripes on their privates. Then they started going hairless, except on their heads. Not for me. I thought that all looked painful, itchy, and expensive. It did make a nice tattoo canvas (another trend I prefer to observe rather than participate in).

Now trendy men shave all over, too. I keep thinking how prickly day-old arm stubble must be for the Property Brothers’ partners. Day old beards, though, that’s still trendy. Um, enjoy trendy celebs.

Then I began to notice young women bucking the trend. I sure admired that. The partners of both my sons, who are gender fluid, don’t shave, far as I know.

And as I thought about how femininity has never been my favorite mode, and how no one looks at blue-haired old ladies anyway, I gave myself permission to stop with the shaving and rashes and all that.

My legs.

As they grew out, I realized they are a lot less hairy than they used to be. I’m okay with them. The first time I went outside with leg hair, I felt the breeze on my legs. How strange! I’d not felt that since age 11!

I’ve been swimming in the hot tub and pool here, and no one seems to have noticed. There are even a few other people in covered bathing attire, even men. And there are the deep tanners. But, I enjoyed hot tubbing with a Muslim woman, because I’d always wondered if they got to enjoy pools. Yes! All covered up and happy.

Mr. Sparrow is not offended.

So, hooray for my legs and freedom of choice. It’s making me feel happier.

Sartorial Strategies

Here’s a quick one for you. Have you ever just been standing around, waiting in a line or a queue, when something about yourself hits you like a lightning bolt? I have, and it happened this morning when I was checking out and back in for another couple of days in South Carolina (more on that later).

I was just looking at the people in the incredibly echo-filled check-in area at the resort, and I realized I was the only person there wearing jeans and a t-shirt. Whoa. I am no longer the typical American wearing the typical American uniform.

Current attire. My legs sure look big!

What were people wearing? One couple had sweatpants outfits on, top and bottoms the same color. They looked comfy, but to me looked like they were wearing their pajamas.

The only place I’d wear this outfit. Image by @haehanna via Twenty20.

Two other groups were decked out in what I guess are track suits? I don’t know much about those. People tend to wear very bright ones with the names of shoe manufacturers all over them, along with giant shoes with the manufacturer name or symbol on them. I just don’t feel authentic in those outfits, not being a runner. Of course, many people I see in those outfits do not appear to be runners, either. On the other hand, these could also be warm-up outfits from other sports, since a lot of the people so attired look like they could be basketball, baseball, soccer, or lacrosse players (depending on accessories and hair, I guess).

I’m sure these track-suit guys are a team, a boy band, or something.

I’m at the beach, so others were wearing shorts (even though it is not hot outside), and still others were in bathing attire, which is a whole other topic. The see-through pants and tunic is very popular here. I am not going to share an image of these, because they tend to hurt my eyes, but I’m sure the wearers and their partners enjoy them.

Back to jeans. I’ve always worn them, pretty much every day unless I am going to a fancy function, wearing a dress to work in the olden days (with leggings; no one is to see my legs), or wearing shorts around the house. I do wear yoga pants to do yoga, and have one pair that passes for dress pants (I used to own a lot of non-jeans pants, but I no longer need them for work).

Even my avatars wear jeans. This one has a jean jacket, too.

I have come to the realization that I have never worn sweatpants outside my house, at least that I can recall. It could be because they make me look like a pile of crumpled laundry. I’m not sure, but that does not make me “average” these days! I think, perhaps, it’s time for me to go back to rural Texas, where at least ranchers dress more like me. Oh my gosh, I’ve become rural.

My other jean-clad avatar. I realize none of these really look like me.

Sadly, or maybe not, we extended our trip two more days, so that we can be more sure to have enough gasoline to get us home. I will be doing a lot more work from the car next week, but I can handle it. I think I can even plug my laptop in and use my phone for a hotspot. Rock on, me.

So, is anyone else stuck in the 70s like me? Or is it the 60s? I did always want to be a hippie as a little kid, so that may explain my attachment to good old jeans and t-shirts!

Nope, not me. Image by @tcboncore via Twenty20.

PS: I do own a few, but I am not fond of hoodies, either. All that material in the back is uncomfortable when you are sitting in a chair or couch, in my humble opinion.

PPS: Subsequent boardwalk observations revealed that there is a group of people who wear jeans and t-shirts here: women in their 60s. Oh. That’s me. Old.

Practically Finishing a Knitted Object!

I’ve been diligently knitting away on the Tangerine Eyelet Wrap that’s half entrelac and half lace. It took longer, because I doubled the lace part. Today I finally bound off!

It wraps; thus it is successful. And wow, I have a lot of freckles when not wearing makeup.

I am glad I’m done, because toward the end there, my recent inability to concentrate really caught up with me and I kept making mistakes in the lace and having to go back down and move a yarn over (that’s what makes holes in lace). I was really frustrated, because it was not a hard lace pattern at all. But, here it is, hot off the needles.

There are strings, and it is lumpy, but you get the idea.

I really love the colors of this yarn. I also enjoyed working with it so much. Anything with silk in it makes me happy, I think. If you want to see the details, I took a closer photo.

Diamond lace at left, entrelac rectangles at right.

The instructions said to block the wrap before adding the crocheted border, so I filled the bathtub with tepid water and dunked it all in there. It didn’t change the water color as much as my CBD bath bomb last night did (ahh), but there was some orange in it. I swished gently, and was reminded of that special smell that silkworm thread makes (the negative side of silk). I squeezed as much water out of it as I could by hand, followed by rolling it up in a towel to remove more moisture.

Drying. It’s almost 5 feet long.

Then I laid the sad looking mass out on towels, and did my best to arrange it to have smooth edges. It would have been easier if I had blocking pins, but I figure I can re-block it after I add the edging and get back to my terribly disorganized knitting supplies.

I turned the fan in the spare bedroom on high to help the drying process go faster. In the meantime, I evaluated my options, and in a surprise, even to me, I decided to frog (unknit) a cowl I didn’t like the looks of and re-do it into an interesting lace-striped shawl called Lines and Lines that one of my knitting friends shared on Twitter. I got the pattern and am ready to start. Whee. Way to spontane, Suna.

This needed to be made out of laceweight yarn, I think. So, it will now be unraveled.

I can work on this and dishcloths the rest of the trip. Good car knitting, and maybe I can manage to concentrate on it. Darn my brain.

On Another Topic

Lee had promised me a trip to the restaurant we enjoyed so much last year, the Café Old Vienna. We didn’t want to eat in a crowded restaurant, so we went early, only to happily discover they had an outside dining area. Well, I was happy until I remembered that it’s still Bike Week, so we got to enjoy them, fire trucks, ambulances, and the arrival of a giant Cisco truck making as much noise as possible while delivering.

Nonetheless, I enjoyed my happy-hour dark Hefe beer very much, and found the red sauce my cabbage rolls were covered in divine. There were no complaints to be had about the food. Even the salad had extra-good cucumbers (thanks to the Cisco truck, I guess). Lee was feeling out of sorts, but did love the butter sauce on his chicken.

One delicious German beer.

We’re taking it easy today, and hoping the weather isn’t so horrible that we can’t go to the last State Park tomorrow. It’s at least fairly nearby. We’re also keeping an eye on the news, which says the weather is really bad at home (it keeps saying that, but then we get no rain, according to the family).

And here’s a question for the Trickster Gods: why does there have to be some disaster that comes up every time we go to Myrtle Beach that makes us wonder if we’ll make it home? Last year they were shutting the doors to the country as we passed through each state, at the start of the COVID crisis. This year some hackers with nothing better to do messed up a pipeline and now people are panicking over getting gasoline for their cars. I do hope we can go back to Texas at the end of the week!

I mean, really, Trickster Gods, this is nice, but I miss my family, equines, dogs, chickens, and large monitors!

Book Report: Yellow, the History of a Color

Rating: 4 out of 5.

There’s a reason you haven’t had any book reports in the past week or two, and that’s because it’s taken me a while to get through Yellow, the History of a Color by Michel Pastoureau (2019). This is one in a series of works by this French author, all of which detail how a particular color has been used in European history. I’ve already done his book on red and his book on blue (apparently before I started this blog), and I still have green and black to go through. Not only are these books fascinating to read, but they have rich illustrations, are on thick, quality paper, and look darned good on the coffee table.

The work of art on the cover reminds me so much of my friend JD in New York. Such ennui.

The cover of the book shows a painting called “Study in Yellow,” I think, and it depicts a man sitting in a wicker chair, dressed in a yellow robe, holding his finger in a yellow book to keep his place, and dangling a cigarette out of the other hand. He is looking right at the observer as if to say, “Leave me alone in my foppish revelry.” It’s a good image for the color yellow, which has seldom been a popular color, no matter how cheery yellow flowers are.

Nonetheless, I got greenish-yellow alstroemeria to decorate the condo while we are in South Carolina (greenish yellow is particularly unpopular through history).

One of the most important issues surrounding yellow is that its association with gold at least got it some popularity in ancient times. And, it was one of the earliest colors humans could draw or dye in. So, it did okay, especially with the Greeks and Egyptians.

As time went by, yellow got more and more negative associations. Judas, who betrayed Christ, always wears yellow in paintings (though the Bible didn’t say anything about that). Countries made Jewish people wear yellow hats, insignia, or clothing, long before World War II. Yellow was associated with liars, cowards, prostitutes, and other people of questionable morals, including musicians. It got pretty depressing for a long time. Protestants didn’t help, with all their modesty, dislike of adornment, and fondness for black and grey. Fun times.

Painting by Giotto, showing bad ole Judas with his yellow robe, red hair, and sack of betrayal coins in his bad ole left hand. Plus a Devil.

Thank goodness for the 18th Century, because everyone was happy and people could wear yellow for fun. Then came the 19th and 20th Centuries, which were somber and drab. And thank goodness for painters who used it more and more. There’s a lot of useful information on pigments and dyes, and Pastourneau theorizes that one reason people didn’t wear much yellow is that unless you used expensive colorants like saffron, most yellows were drab and dreary, and not very colorfast.

This painting by Jan Steen is one of my favorites. Not only does it show that Dutch peasants wore yellow, but there’s a dog, a broken egg, and a kid looking right at you.

What’s the good news? Yellow is back in this century, and it’s used more in clothing, homes furnishings, and other areas. I know I personally have a yellow bedroom, and it cheers me up. I’m not down on yellow! Living on the ranch, surrounded by yellow flowers, golden hay and grass, golden autumn willow leaves, and such, I have come to love yellow. So, I’m glad it’s back!

There is so much more about yellow in this book that I can’t summarize well enough to include; it’s worth getting or borrowing from the library. It’s not a good audio book, because the illustrations are half the enjoyment. I’m happy that I still have the green book and the black book to read later.

Much of this morning, you could not tell where the sky stopped and the sea started.

But, now I’m going to finish my knitting project or ELSE, and do some serious work on what’s going on with my mental health. At least I can ruminate with an ocean view!

At least there’s foam to brighten the gloom.

Knitting Progress and a Memory

Someone surprised me by asking how my knitting project was coming along. Sure, I’ll share.

Knitting plus ever-present lap dog.

I’m close to getting through two repeats of the lace pattern. I’m also awfully close to finishing the first skein of yarn, which means this will be more of a mat than a table runner. So, I’m going to see if there happens to be any of that yarn out there in the world. Who knows?

Pattern up close.

The black part of the yarn makes the lace pattern not show up as well, but that’s a risk I took by not doing this in a solid color. I’m not a perfect decreaser but I’ll smooth some of them out later.

Dark Lace

Just because a yarn is dark doesn’t mean you can’t make a lace project out of it. One of my favorite shawls is this beautiful one made from natural black sheepswool from American Shetland sheep. The shawl was made in 2010 and still looks new. No evil moths have attacked it.

Hey, that hunk of quartz makes a nice shawl display.

The style is Faroese, a traditional British Isles style. The way the center pattern and border intersect is so elegant.

Fun lace. Simple beauty.

The wool is spun a little scratchy, but that makes it stay on your shoulders and drape beautifully. I had Lee take a few pictures of me wearing it, since Ravelry only had pictures of the shawl alone.

It’s very light, but warm. I’m so glad the dogs are old enough that I can wear shawls again. Anyway, dark lace can be lovely.

Those of you wanting to make one can go to my Ravelry page for the project, which lists the source, yarn, and other details. Gosh, I still remember the day I bought the yarn and how helpful the shop owner was. We both kept patting the beautiful wool.

All the details!

Memories. I do have something percolating in my head to write more seriously about, so I’ll be back later. Now I must go on an adventure!

Suna Conquers the Ridiculous Ranch Closet

There’s so much in life you can’t control. You can’t control whether people like you or not, whether you’re treated with respect, the actions of faceless government agencies, or groups of people who think differently from you. I can’t control those things, either, but, I made myself better by totally dominating my Hermits’ Rest house closet. It has bent to my will and now can be used with ease. It’s like a rural version of those fancy closets you see where ladies (or others) sit around and sit champagne while gazing at their shoes. Sorts.

Yes. There IS a chair there, and there ARE a lot of shoes, organized by type and function, mostly.

Does that photo scare you? Well, if you know me, you’ll know the story of the immense closet in my house, but let me share with the rest of you.

The doors lead to the main bathroom. I like the birds on a branch hangers. There is now only ONE thing per hanger. Thank you, Suna.

The deal is that our house is based on a floorplan for a 3 bedroom 3 bathroom house I found online and ordered the blueprints for. I did ask for some modifications, because the kitchen was really small and I knew there would be lots of cooks. I added an island with a second sink and the cooktop on it. OK, so yes, that made the second floor a bit bigger, too. I also added a laundry room/mud room, so the original laundry area could be a really big pantry (and safe room, long story). That added another few feet.

There’s a 3-way mirror in the corner, and that big square thing is all drawer space. I love the stone, which is actually natural quartz, not granite. My children gave me the obelisk the first Christmas we lived here. We were so thrilled by the island that we opened our Christmas gifts there (closet wasn’t in use yet).

Then, when the dudes started building the house, they asked if they could simplify the second floor. This turned some space that was attic storage into full height closets, and made the upstairs even bigger (also, now Lee has two large closets of his own for his stuff, do don’t jump on me for taking this whole thing).

As of last week, all those storage cubes were a mess of things, and the whole top shelf was shoe boxes. Um, so was most of the shoe shelf. I threw away a lot of boxes I was saving for some project or another.

What ended up happening was that our bedroom is ridiculously large, and has a sitting area and a coffee-drinking table and chairs. And my closet, which started out as a perfectly reasonable walk-in closet became as big or bigger than many bedrooms. It was sort of embarrassing.

These storage cubes now hold the things that were randomly scattered around the room, like tote bags, purses, plastic bags (for trash), bathing suits, hats, etc. I still have a few for future items. I also had them add these two windows, so I don’t need to turn on the lights to find things. Energy efficient!

On the other hand, it was great, and I could organize things and find them. Our contractor did a GREAT job making this a great closet without spending too much money on it. The storage cubbies are lined with cedar, for my hand knits, he built me a jewelry holding area with cork to hang things from AND a chest of drawers for non-hanging things, plus the mirror and the chandelier. It’s nice, but not California Closet crazy.

The jewelry area and ironic sign. By the way, the cubes at left weren’t organized yet in this photo. All those things on the top are now nicely organized in a storage bin.

As years passed, my organizational scheme went awry, and I ran out of clothes hangers. I do probably buy too many clothes. But I do wear them! By a couple of weeks ago, there were piles of things that needed sorting all over that pretty quartz island, I couldn’t find any of my jewelry, and those endless shoe boxes made the room look just awful. I did NOT take “before” pictures.

Essential oils are alphabetized and just need me to bring the rest of them in from various places. Note the trash can is up high, away from dogs. The photo is of my dad after winning a boxing tournament as a teen.

So, I was sad about things going on that I can’t control, like COVID, my family issues, a person I was trying to help but wasn’t able to, things at work. But by gosh, I could make that closet do my bidding. All I had to do was order 100 coat hangers, some drawer organizers, and 16 storage bins. For less than $50 I was ready to tackle the mess.

It was a lot of fun collecting things to donate to charity, organizing other things, dusting, vacuuming and even putting in decorations, so it didn’t look quite so boring.

In THIS photo, the cubes next to jewelry world look correct. You can tell how high I can reach, can’t you?

Sure, no one needs a closet this big, but if you DO have one, the least you can do is make it usable! I can find all my clothing, including pants, dresses, shoes, winter things, summer things, etc. And wow is that jewelry under control (um, now I have to organize the jewelry at the Austin house, sigh…I also have way too much costume jewelry, as part of my coordination obsession). Chaos has departed this one tiny bit of my life, and when I want to breathe, I can go into my closet, spray some rose room scent, and relax. Ahh.

This is ridiculously organized. Who took over Suna’s brain?

To all my friends with small closets (including me at my other house), I hereby promise to keep the ranch closet organized and usable, even suitable for visitors. When we are pandemic free, you can come over and see it.

What do you have under control where you live? It could be something big or small. It could even be in your mind!

Cozy Transition Shawl

I’ve interrupted my planned cadence of knitting projects to finish with the leftover yarn from the afghan. I have a long-time friend who’s transitioning from male to female, and I wanted to make her something to feel cozy and loved in while recovering from surgery at the end of the month. The yarn happens to have colors pretty close to the trans flag, which is a nice coincidence.

The only image on my stock image site that has the trans flag on it. Plus a Harvey dog! Image by @arty_kat via Twenty20

I figured a shawl would do the trick, and that it would work up quickly in the bulky yarn. Ha ha, that WOULD have been true if I hadn’t started the darned thing three times. That’s to be expected if you’re making something up, of course. The first time, didn’t like my cast-on, so I ripped out a few inches.

The second time, I set off to make a stockinette stitch (smooth on one side, bumpy on the other, for those non-knitters who made it to the third paragraph) triangular shawl. I got into the third stripe, but started doubting myself, and thought maybe I was increasing wrong, because the straight side didn’t look like it was straight. I ripped that all out (it’s called “frogging” because you rip-it, rip-it).

All annoyed at myself, I looked for a pattern on Ravelry for a simple, triangular shawl, so I’d be sure to make the right shape. Of course, when I found them, I realized I hadn’t screwed up before. Sigh. But the good news is that I found a pattern with a little texture in it that might look good with the stripes, called LaLa’s Simple Shawl. I knew I’d have to adjust the pattern, since as the shawl gets bigger, the stripes will get more narrow. Here’s what it looks like so far:

Bonus Carlton head! You can see it has some garter stitch and eyelets (that look like lumps right now).

Sure enough, by the time I got to the white stripe, I was having to add more yarn from the other ball. That’s just fine, because I have the yarn. Once I finish the next color, the purply-pink, I will switch it out and do one stripe in stockinette and one in garter until it’s the right size.

Stitches in extreme close-up

I am hoping to have enough yarn left by the time it’s long enough to bind off in a cute picot (little sawtooth kind of shapes), which will look nice and make sure the shawl is flowy. We’ll see.

This is a picot bind-off. Image from this article in Knitty 2006.

My goal is to get finished by next weekend, which is plenty of time. I hope to see the recipient in a few weeks. If not, I can mail it to her.

I hope this description of trial and error gives any of you who are not very confident knitters the courage to just give things a try and start over again if they don’t work out. Sometimes you get something a lot better than what you started out trying to do!

Snow Update

This isn’t enough for a whole blog post, but I wanted to share that the roads in Milam County were fine, and I made it to work. We lost a big tree limb at the office, but it didn’t hit any cars or the building, so that’s good. The power was out at the Bobcat Lair house for 7 hours, but Anita and Pickle survived.

The sun is now busy melting the snow!

Book Report: The Fabric of Civilization

Rating: 5 out of 5.

How appropriate that I finished this book just as civilization began to unravel where I live. But, here’s a nice post about nothing scary. It’s about The Fabric of Civilization, by Virginia Postrel (2020). From the five stars in my rating, you may infer that I enjoyed this book. Whew, I sure did.

This was one fascinating book. Postrel sure did her job by showing that a topic people might thing was boring and insignificant, cloth, is actually critical to the development of much of human culture and civilization. The best news is that this one’s written in an interesting and fun style that makes you want it to go on and on and on.

One of the best points Postrel makes is that, while we go on and on about wearing natural fibers, none of the fibers we wear is in the natural state for the plant or animal from which it comes. Wild cotton is almost all seeds. Today’s cultivated and carefully hybridized silkworms would not last long at all out in the natural mulberry groves, wherever those are. Wild sheep are brown and shed their wool (thank goodness, since there’s no one out there on a mountainside to shear wild sheep).

As Postrel goes through the chapters, each of which is a self-contained unit you could read by itself, you learn how fabric contributed to civilization way more than just by covering people up. It was one of the earliest forms of money. Trading it led to the development of bookkeeping and checking. Figuring out new ways to create fiber has led to all sorts of scientific discoveries, from way back when people were trying to figure out how to dye fabric (I can’t get away from that topic) up to today, when they are trying to make clothing with batteries and computer chips in them that’s comfortable (comfort is the hard part).

One thing I wish is that the folks at Basic Books had budgeted for some color photographs. In a book that talks so much about weaving gold fabric and other shiny things, it sure would be nice to be able to see them in detail. The black-and-white images aren’t clear at all.

I should also warn you that it really helps to have some basic understanding of weaving, knitting, and looms to get the most out of the chapter on cloth. Thankfully, Postrel does include a glossary in the book (Judith Flanders, the author A Place for Everything, would appreciate that alphabetized learning aid). Plus, with 30 pages of end notes, you can rest assured research was involved in this.

One thing’s for sure, I will never take the clothing on my back, the upholstery on my chair, or any piece of fabric I come across for granted. Knowing me, I’ll analyze whether it’s woven or knitted (more likely knitted, since the vast majority of our clothing to day comes off knitting machines, not looms) and what the yarn or thread is made of. Then I’ll wonder how it was dyed…yep, even with all my years of working with fiber, I learned a lot from The Fabric of Civilization, and it’s sticking with me!

I Feel Pretty – Why Not?

Lately I’ve been enjoying photos of some friends who are my age. For example, Kathy, who I know from high school, has been sharing a sweater she knitted every day this month, and it’s been so fun to see what she’s made, and I’ve envied that she lives in Colorado now and actually gets to wear them.

Also, though, I’ve been enjoying how she looks in each photo. She just glows with happiness, her eyes shine, and her smile is bright. So what if she just had another birthday? This is my idea of beauty, because her beauty as a human being shines through.

Yes, she made that herself. Check out mountainpurl on Ravelry for more!

In my family, we sometimes talk about how the pandemic hasn’t been kind to our figures or that all the stress is showing in how we look and feel. I know I sometimes look in a mirror and wonder who the heck that is looking back.

Unretouched photo of me, today, with hair no longer blue.

It’s really tempting to focus on the obvious signs that I’m not a kid anymore. Those lip wrinkles make me look like a long-time smoker (I never smoked!), the jowls make me wonder if I’ll look like Droopy Dog eventually (my great aunt did). And the neck. Eww. That’s enough, though I could go on.

Other parts of me are fascinating, too. I have interesting new moles and marks (yes I get them looked at), my stomach is at its poochiest (and it’s pooched since birth), and while my breasts finally got larger than an A cup, they have been defeated by gravity.

So What?

Yeah! I’m mentioning all this stuff, because when I looked in the mirror this morning, I saw this new me and I was fine with her. I don’t exactly recognize her sometimes, but I like her. When she’s happy, she really looks pleased. When she’s down (or thinking, in a Zoom meeting), she looks like my dad or my brother, so at least I’m still a member of my family.

This is nowhere near as awful as I look in some meetings. But, it’s me.

And I feel so free to dress and act however is comfortable to me. That was a long time coming. I used to try to dress to portray membership in my group (hippies, corporate employees, cowboys). Now it’s more like, what looks fun today?

Cowgirl time (2014).

I wish I could find the article I recently read about people who identify as women and their relationship with makeup. It talked about the conflict between so many young women claiming makeup gives them freedom with the thoughts of many of us older feminists who feel that requiring makeup of women, but not men, is another sexist vestige.

I think back to what I’ve spent on makeup, hair stuff, nail stuff, etc., and know I have gotten some company executives richer. It’s a conflict for me, for sure. I don’t think I NEED makeup, nail polish, or blue hair to be attractive. I don’t NEED overly coordinated clothing, either. I could wear jeans and a t-shirt every day the rest of my life and be fine. But, dressing up is fun. I guess it’s a part of my cultural identity as a Western woman that I can’t get rid of completely.

That’s right. The outfit even has a coordinating mask.

At least I acknowledge it! And that’s the thing. I want to encourage all my friends to love who they are at the age they are and feel pretty, all over. We’re here, we’re alive, and we’re creative. Let’s not hide who we are, but shine like Kathy in all her sweaters! It’s all GREAT.

Venturing into Town

If you’re reading this, it means we’re both still alive and kicking! Woo hoo! After a night of little sleep, I woke up feeling pretty good. And I worked really hard, other than a half-hour walk in which I found the liquor store.

You will be relieved to know I have not gone through the wine and Gentleman Jack I bought for the condo. I’m quite proud of my moderation, though I have been drinking alone, all by myself.

After work I took the hotel shuttle into the actual town of Park City (I am in Canyon Village or something like that). I visited the quaint and pricey Main Street district, thanks to the resort shuttle. I was relieved to see very few shoppers, but enough to keep the stores open.

Quaint.

I found more fur coats, dreamy sheepskin coats, and down coats over two thousand dollars. While I need a coat, I don’t need those. In fact, one store was so fancy I felt like a fraud looking there. There were some incredibly well made clothes and dishes and such there. But not for me.

Really cool bar.

I liked all the art galleries, but there was one with amazing horse paintings and prints. I’ll have to share some. The same artist also had luminous depictions of trees in snow. No way I could get a print, but they do have postcards! I can’t wait to show Anita.

New stuff trying to look quaint.

I did get a new coat at Athleta, on sale. It has a rose print. It was less than $200 and uses recycled material. It will keep me as warm as one of the amazing fancy coats.

The jacket matches my rose-theme clothes. Hopefully this will last years!

I wandered more and more, and found a small candle, which was my goal other than a coat. I do like candles. But then, I wandered into one of the actually old shops, one with nice clothes but not stiff for the mega-rich Park City folks. I tried to just look, but love at first sight occurred.

My beloved cardigan.

I initially was drawn to the pattern. Then I saw the trim on the zipper. Next I found out it’s cotton, so it won’t be too hot for Texas like many jacquard knits in wool are. Then, the sales person told me it’s from a company in Serbia. Sure enough, even made there!

Not made in a sweatshop!

So I tried it on and boom, I realized the inside is as pretty as the outside. That means if I hang it on my chair, the inside that shows will look good. Sold.

Pretty inside!

My little shopping trip was fun and cheered me up. But, I better stick to hiking from now on, or at least until I have a shopping companion. Nature is FREE!

Mr. Moose says have a peaceful evening.
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