Back to School Clothes

I have found the jackpot, people.

In the next town over is a newly renovated Goodwill that I happened upon in my adventures of back to school shopping (I go back to work in a week).

Oh my.

Now I’m not one to search out labels, but if I were to choose my two current favorites, they would be Ann Taylor and Eddie Bauer. And this place must have been where the James Deans of those clothes go to heaven. They were gently used and had not a lot of wear.

Score!

I came home with 7 articles of clothing for just over $30. How can you beat that?

Now if I can make a commitment to not count “running fingers through my hair” as brushing it and to not frantically throw war paint on my face in the car ride to work, I may just look somewhat presentable.

Twiggy

I was headed out The Shack’s back door to bask in the 110 degree heat index, when my hand closed around something large, wiggly, and with many legs.

I screamed.

Neighbors probably thought someone got murdered in The Shack, so they put down their knitting and shook their heads at their spouse saying, “It was only a matter of time…”

Shacks get a bad rap.

(can you see the turkey farm?)

But it really wasn’t a 300 lb spider that my brain told me it was.

In fact, it was just our friend Twiggy, the stick bug.

Since our initial spotting of Twiggy, we have seen him roam around the property, popping up here and there.

Until recently, that is.

We haven’t seen him in about a week and have come to the conclusion that a dog is playing catch with him. You had a good run, Twiggy. And so did that dog..after he caught you.

Around the Shack

I’ve enjoyed exploring our piece of outdoors near The Shack. It can simultaneously calm and reinvigorate me.

Like the semi-canopied dirt roads.

Or the various moths and butterflies that circle me as I walk. (There is one house on the way that I swear keeps a coyote chained up in the front yard. Every time I pass, it groans out of agony for not being able to eat me alive. It would be my absolute last resort, but I’m not taking chances.)

Our small little graveyard.

Which is right next to a tree cemetery. This little grove has confirmed my belief that dead trees are just as beautiful as full, luscious ones. They’re like old, wrinkled faces… I wonder what they’ve seen.

And then scattered throughout are horses of varying colors. The white ones are my favorite.

But most importantly, and probably most simply, open space. I never tire of these views.

Y is for Yawn.

Definitely not for Young. Last weekend, our local casino hosted a live concert for Eve 6. Hello 1998!

The roommates and I looked at each other, debated, and then agreed that if it were even just 5 years ago, there would be no question about going folks. So now we have to go whether we want to or not if only to prove that we have just as much energy as we did back then.

The concert kicked off at 10pm which in college was the time we would have just started getting ready. I was ready for the local-breakfast-joint portion of the night by 9:45.

We hung in there for the night, occasionally yelling how absolutely Young we all are, had a couple cocktails, played a few hands of blackjack and even ate breakfast at the casino itself.

When we got into the car, exhausted, we felt like we really lived up to our college days.

And then we looked at the clock. It was barely after midnight.

Sigh.

Moving on to a new phase in our lives, I guess.

Jane Austen Festival, Part Two

On our way to Louisville, mom asked me to try on The Dress. She’s had this puppy since the late 60s when she wore it. So with a groan, I grabbed it from her knowing it would end just like when we tried on The Wedding Dress: A tug here and tug there only to get it over my knees. Man, she was a twig.

So I grabbed the thing, went in the back of the RV and threw it on, all the while trying not to be thrown from one side of the vehicle to the other. Afterwards, I noticed that all of the windows were open to the road.

You’re welcome drivers of Interstate 277.

So you  already know the outcome: Lots of letting out.

Whatever. Women were fuller back then anyway, right. Right?

Once arrived, we suited mom up in her (Bavarian maid?) outfit and headed over to the festival. We didn’t have long to explore the grounds because we’d signed up for a reticule class.

It should’ve been called the ridicule class, because my gawd I have no skills in sewing or embroidery.

At one point, mom asked something to the effect of “Can you not even tie a knot?”. And I replied that she had had almost 30 years to teach me.

But no, I can’t tie a knot with thread, thankyouverymuch, so please just do it for me Bavarian Maid. And after you’re done, go bring me some tea.

After the class, we wandered around the property slowly due to mom’s back. But this gave us ample time to throw myself on unsuspecting people trying to enjoy their day.

Oh, you’re relaxing in the shade and eating lunch? Well let me join you!

Click

Oh, you’re seconds from going on stage to do a runway show? Well let me join you!

Click

Oh, this is an all-male club? Well, then I’m definitely joining you because it will make the boys on my husband’s side annoyed.

Click

Oh, you’re trying to have a pleasant walkabout with your husband? Let me join you!

Click

And it went on and on and on…. No one escaped the tornado that was Carolyn (and her maid).

Later, we toured a refurbished home on Locust Grove.

Mom couldn’t make it to the top floor, and how she would’ve enjoyed this tour guide! She was so serious and engaging. “…oh now this is really interesting!” and so on and so forth.

After the tour was over, mom asked what time our tea was to be served because she was quite hungry. Wondering why I wasn’t on par with her hunger level, I remembered having found her near some peculiar-looking larger than life plants.

So we headed to the tea room for lunch.

On both days we had interesting companions.

On day one, we sat with a quirky lady (and you know how much I love quirkiness) from Chicago as well as her sister.

The next day we found some kindred spirits. A mother and her daughter had come to share the day together.

We first toasted to Jane Austen, clinked our glasses, and then cried. No seriously. We teared up. It started when J asked if we watched the series Cranford. Not two seconds after she got the word out, mom and I squealed. And then promptly teared up.

It’s hard to explain. But when you meet people who have the same exact interests as you and love it to the same degree as you, it just makes you feel connected to them.

After tea, we had another class to attend. But the sunny skies and green grass called out to me. So I parted ways with mom and set off on my own. I could’ve walked those grounds all day long, it was so relaxing.

And then I stumbled upon a firearms display: shooting several different styles from that era. Very interesting!

I got up in this presenter’s face for a photo, but I’ll save that for a later time. It has something to do with a husband of mine.

Anyway, all-in-all we had a good time. The weather was perfect (considering it rained all the way up and all the way back from KY) and there were interesting presenters. I wish mom’s back had been better and we’d done a couple things differently, but like I said, it was fun.

It’s even spurred me to find other regency-era events in my area, possibly to partake in? We’ll see. And then so will you.

Jane Austen Festival, Part One

We’ve only just arrived home from our trip to Regency England (aka, Louisville KY) and am enjoying reliving memories from it….

…Like my senior portraits from the graduating class of 1798. I was voted Least Likely To Die During Childbirth.

Thank you, birthing hips.


And then there was the Regency Ball…

I think I may have set my expectations a wee bit high that I’d be dancing until my slippers hurt and I blame it on the Contra dancing group from a couple weeks ago. They had explained to me that it is considered rude to dance with the same person the entire night, even if he/she is your date…. Especially if there are more females than males, or vice-versa.

This was not the case Saturday night for little Miss Carolyn. Sigh.

When we arrived, a nice lady did ask me to dance for one of the first songs and I had to endure feeling like Sasquatch next to her petit little thing.  She was exceedingly sweet, though, and I was grateful for helping me segway into a dancing mentality. I’m new to this whole dancing without caring thing. And since mom was out of commission due to a back injury, I was on my own.

Afterwards, I sat down and we eagerly waited to be asked for the next song. We waited. And waited. Ogled at pretty dresses… and waited.

Song number two came on, so I used this as an opportunity to get a snapshot because there would be like absolutely no time to do so when I dance the rest of the night away. Poor mom will be just so lonely having no one to talk to.

Song numbers three through six: Mom started to get worried. I was becoming convinced that the wallpaper behind me was also green with pink roses and therefore no one could find me even if they wanted to. So I stood up and paced for awhile until the song ended.

Song number seven: Mom is now despondent and almost irreconcilable.

I’d have given my right leg for someone to ask me. And I probably would’ve danced better without it, too. Maybe not as happily, but definitely with more rhythm. Instead, I sat gloomily feeling more like Mary Bennett than Elizabeth.

You know who Mary is.

Take a guess.

Looking back, why didn’t I ask anyone? If I’d had a glass of champagne in my hand, then game on.

But (in case you’ve forgotten) I’m a functioning INTROVERT, people. No way am I going over to strangers under flourescent lighting and lead them to the dance floor. If I had been with someone more shy, then I would’ve mustered up the guts to do something.

Have you met my mom, though? She is decidedly unshy and tried to get every living creature in breeches and dresses that passed our way to dance with me. My god, you would’ve thought our family was on the brink of financial disaster and she needed me to throw myself at anyone in a cravat. Yet, still no luck.

So instead of acting as my dance pimp, she suggested I improve my countenance. “You know, people are more likely to ask you if you’re smiling, Carolyn.”

Okay, so like this?

“No,” she said… “Try to add a touch of desperation to your smile. Dance partners love that.”

And what d’ya know. Within two seconds of my face exploding from sheer force of countenance, a guy came over and lamented that I wasn’t dancing.

Huzzah!!

He really acted the part too, which I appreciated. All gracefulness and toe-pointing.; I was taken aback by his unabashedness on the regency dance floor.

The night quickly ended, though, before I could come out of  my shell. But I was happy with the dances that I was able to experience.

One note of worthy, however. A lady came up and asked my age. She thought I was 19. Let me repeat that, Nuh-ineteen. That’s for all my fellow gray-haired friends, you know which nursing home you are.

As for the dancing, this Saturday night is another contra night and I’m looking forward to sweating dancing in the rounds I missed out on at the Ball.

However, this time I won’t wear white. Okay, yes I will. Maybe it will ensure me a dance partner.

Wanna read Part 2 of our adventure? Click here!

The Fourth, in Fast Forward

I don’t have nearly enough time. We have been busy moving, packing, playing cards, moving some more, packing some more, more cards and eating. In the middle of it all, we trekked down to Wichita to celebrate the fourth.

When I get back from a Regency-era adventure with my mom, I will sit down and write a proper blog post about the weekend.

Until then, here’s a snippet of our weekend:

Bus Tour

Barn Dance

Lake Swim

Car Stuck

And, yes, the car is still stuck in Wichita as of today. Didn’t even get to see a sparkler in action. Oh well, I got my barn dance in, so the weekend was still a success in my book.

I hear my parents on their way. A week in an RV with just the three of us.

Pray…. Hard.