Saturday, 31 March 2018

Of Boots, and Bonnets, and Baby Sisters.

I've been rhapsodizing over Easter bonnets quite a bit lately, it seems. On this blog and over on Brenda Ray Coffee's blog 1010 Park Place. Waxing nostalgic over Easter bonnets, new shoes, and other spring finery. It's a perfect year to be sighing over Easter bonnets, since puffed sleeves, frills, and furbellows of all sorts are on trend this spring. 

But I fear my days of frills and fluffiness are long gone. And, as much as I love to remember them fondly, my Easter bonnet years have come and gone too. These days I'm more into jeans, and raincoats, and rubber boots. 

Like today. Hubby and I went for a long walk on the bush trails where we've been skiing all winter. It was beautiful and sunny, and the trails were just muddy and squashy enough to require rubber boots.

woman in rubber boots, sitting on a log in the bush, holding a stick
Our Easter ramble in the bush today in my brother's hat.

Tuesday, 27 March 2018

How to Have a Frugal Spring

It's grey out today. The skies are grey, the river is grey, the melting snow is grey. The wind is raw, and seems to cut right through you. It might be spring, but it's not the kind of spring day we imagine when we long for spring in the middle of winter. Not one of those blue-sky, sunshine-y, warm breezy days that make us think of tulips and daffodils, and getting our bikes out of the shed. 

Nope, mother nature is being rather frugal with her spring weather this week. A little miserly, a tad stingy, economizing on the sunshine, and even when she deigns to bring us some sunshine it's often paired with a crisp breeze. She doesn't want us to get soft. Ha. 

So I'm looking for something to wear today that will be a nod to spring even when it doesn't altogether feel like spring yet. And I'm going to dig into my closet and find some stuff I haven't worn in a while. Stuff I haven't worn since last fall, or last spring, or even ten springs ago. 

two shots of woman in navy blazer, white shirt, jeans, white sneakers, pink and green scarf
My frugal spring outfit

Friday, 23 March 2018

Just One of Those Weeks

You know, people, this week has been "just one of those weeks." Not in the way we usually mean that phrase, not "one of those weeks" where everything that can go wrong does. 

Instead, it's been a week which cannot be faulted. Not really. I haven't won the lottery or had anything big happen to me. It's just that thinking about this week makes me feel grateful. And I don't think I say that often enough. 

afternoon sun. melting ice on a river
A late afternoon on the river. 

Tuesday, 20 March 2018

Shopping Diary: Spring Coat Quest

I've been on a major quest to find a new spring coat this year. This year, and last year, and the year before that. I've done my research. Pinned lots of images. And over three springs, tried on what seems like a million coats. Three years ago foiled by the yawning chasm between what I wanted and what I found in the stores, I bought a light spring jacket from Theory instead. Last year I gave up, entirely. Everything was too long, too short, too lightweight, too cheaply made, or too expensive. 

This year, as usual, I sought inspiration first. Vogue predicted that trench coats would be a big trend this season. Maybe I'll be lucky in 2018, I thought. As it happens trench coats are a big trend; emphasis on big. Over-sized has become the new black, it seems. 

woman in an over-sized trench coat
Trench coats are a big trend this season.  source

Saturday, 17 March 2018

Have Books; Will Survive Winter. Maybe

I am so sick of winter. Tired of being cold. Tired of wind. And snow. Of trying to convince myself that spring is just around the corner. Tired of pretending that I'll be wearing spring jackets and sneakers any day now. I give up, people. I'm waving the white flag. I'm retiring to my couch to whimper by the fire with a cup of tea and a good book. Or five. 

This is what I've been reading lately. Mostly mysteries and crime fiction. I haven't had the patience for anything more literary. And as I've always contended, there are many fine and literary mystery writers out there from which to choose.

Three books on a table
Recently finished and currently reading.

Tuesday, 13 March 2018

Thinking Aloud About Clothes

I've been re-reading this week, in fits and starts, my absolute favourite book about fashion, The Thoughtful Dresser by Linda Grant. I love that book. I've written about it here on the blog before. About how, when I read it the first time, I felt as if I had found a kindred spirit in Linda Grant, so much so that I speculated maybe Ms. Grant awoke one morning and thought, "I think I'll write a book for Sue B." In fact, back when I was still teaching, I used to bring the book to school and read passages aloud to my lunch companions. Some of whom were even interested. Ha. 

two books. Diana Athill's A Florence Diary and Linda Grant's The Thoughtful Dresser
My non-fiction reading this week.

Saturday, 10 March 2018

Spring Rite of Passage: Wardrobe Inventory

I don't know about you, but when the end of winter is in sight I regress. I become the small girl who couldn't wait patiently for the seasons to change, who longed for fall when it was summer, and for winter when it was fall. But I think the season I always longed for the most was spring. 

I longed for the snow to melt and trickle across the fields and into the ditches, so we could pretend to be engineers and build dams. For the ground to become soft enough, so we could make potholes with the heels of our boots and play marbles. For the playground to dry up enough, so we could bring out the skipping ropes. Skipping was my most favourite thing in the world for a few years, second only to Mum's seasonal unveiling of the treasures in the cedar chest.

fields, melted snow, tree and a fallen wooden fence
Snow melting in the fields back home in 2016.
Sigh. That was a yearly rite of passage. When the temperatures climbed, and we shed our winter coats, and mittens, Mum levered the top off the big old cedar chest and we dug out our spring and summer clothes. Oh, the anticipation. What would fit me this year? Which of my sisters' dresses might I finally be grown up enough to wear? Would I need a new spring coat, or a new pair of white sneakers? New white sneakers being as coveted by me as a new skipping rope. 

Sunday, 4 March 2018

Travels with a Ninety Year Old

You know, I've learned a lesson this past week, folks, while I've been home with my mum. If you want great service everywhere you go, and for everyone you meet to smile at you and try to be helpful. If you want traffic to stop in all four directions when you attempt to cross a parking lot. If you want people to listen attentively, and laugh at your jokes, and give you a big hug when you leave. Then always, always travel with a ninety year old. Preferably one with a walker, who chats with all and sundry, and doesn't mind using the odd profanity. A smattering of profanity seems to go over really well. 

green and white farmhouse in winter
The old farmhouse looks a bit lonely against that grey sky.