We're engaged!

Well, it's kinda old news.  We've been knee deep in wedding planning, which consists mostly of trying on dresses in thrift shops.  But, the last couple weekends we talked to a priest, went to a church, and looked around town for a coastal strip to have our 'party' at.  The 'beach reception disaster' will be discussed separately.  I think I have it typed up, but it's a little angry sounding, and probably needs an edit for profanity before going public.  Ha.

Also, I decided that instead of calling and emailing people, I will actually send out invitations.  Mostly because I thought it'd be fun to glue gun tons of glitter to cardstock and write things I consider to be witty.  I'm thinking custom tailored invites, talking about whether or not to bring your children, your liquior limit, topics one is not allowed to discuss at the table, and people one is not to pursue mingling with.  All this in glitter pens, and I'm thinking of recruiting underage help with cutting out appliques and various other merry nonsense. 

As a crowning jewel to these invites, I thought we'd take some pictures (because who doesn't want to see more of us?) and make these picture invites. 
I asked my dad and stepmom to take some pictures of us in some pretty spot in Norcal, where we headed this weekend. 

It must be said, that the main motivator for these pictures is a dress I got at Mainplace Christian Thrift.  It is a David's Bridal awesome chocolate brown bridesmaid gown.  Why I was trying on bridesmaids gowns is not really clear, they must have had a poor wedding dress selection.  Anyway, this dress was $9.  How could you not?  It has pick ups, and everything. 

Jesse offered that it is crazy to buy bridesmaids gowns, and I countered that he ought find a place to take me in one.  Well, since he has so far failed to find me a ball invitation, I came up with the brilliant plan to use to for our "engagement/invitation" photos.  And, since it was $9, I can take it to the beach and not have a heart attack if it gets wet or muddy.   Next up, Jesse was sent out to find an equally brilliant, but disposable if need be pair of slacks and a shirt.  I voted pink, citrus green, or lavender, and he got an off white that he claims is green.  He's adventurous like that.  Ha.

Crocs, check. Rubber ducky under-layer, check. Into the fog we go.

There's a really pretty beach in Pacifica, 10 minutes down the coast from my dad's house.

Few minutes after we got there, we got shooed away most ungracefully by the park rangers.  Tsunami warning all across Pacific.  All beaches closed.  Pack up your crocs and keep moving. 

We got some pictures though. I picked this weekend, even though there was a rain forecast. I like the rain and overcast days, and I think they're especially neat along the beaches. Water meets water kind of thing. Unfortunately, earlier today an 8.8 eathquake struck in Chile, hence the tsunami warning. The seas were very rough and angry looking, but also very beautiful.

We headed up to Half Moon Bay, figuring that higher cliff grounds were probably safe. 


Some cropping might be required to get rid of the beer bottle in the corner.  Clearly, somebody else also thought this was an awesome party spot.  By the way, it is supposed to be haunted by the Blue Lady of Moss Beach Distillery, whose parking lot we invaded for these photos. 

Also present were my sisters, both of which were a little terrified that somebody they know might see them, but secretly had fun anyway. 

On the way back to the car, we found this Alice in Wonderland type clearing.  It was practically waiting to get frolicked in, even if the children told me the grass was a good indicator of both bugs AND snakes.   Later, we decided the weather was far too crappy for snakes to come out, so that was nice.

The day really wouldn't be complete without finding a tree to climb on, and there it was, conventiently fallen, to avoid any photo inappropriate dress tree scaling.  Practically waiting to be climbed. 

The whole time, the rain would pick up on and off softly.  It could have also been the drops from trees when the breeze came through.  Or possibly squirrel pee?  If the latter, its probably good for the hair. 

My dad and my stepmom did such an awesome job, Jesse and I were really excited when we came home and looked through the (over 300) pictures, and we had a lot of fun.  I was going to spend the rest of the day in my awesome dress, but the good news is, since we got kicked off the beach early and proper, it didn't get very muddy or wet.  (If you don't count the rain/squirrel pee).  It's been at least $9 worth of fun, but it's likely to make other appearances.

Speaking of crocs, my stepmom thought we should mail this to their markting department and see if they can work with it:

Anyway, don't ever let your boyfriend tell you don't n e e d a birdesmaids/prom gown. 

The W-party is scheduled for either May 21st, Septemer 10th, or October 15th.  We're narrowing it down, and it's tied with money, my best friend's school schedule and tide times.  (Not because we're superstitious, but because we have a semi-concocted plan for a beach reception, and the proposed location on the beach might not be existent if the tides are not taken into account)  May 21 was my first pick, but that's coming right up, isn't it..

In a completely unrelated story:

It is full moon tonight.  Does it make you sleep funny?  Is it true that staring at it makes you act/think funny? 


No Poo Hair Madness, Week 8. B+

Last week was full of puppies, rainbows, kisses and stickers, as far as the hair went. I washed it the one time Sunday, combed the Lavender Bar through it, and combed it when it was damp. Apparently, the combing was a revolutionary event in this saga. The grey crap disappeared somewhere, and my hair was soft, wonderful, and ready for a Lifetime channel special.

It kept it up pretty well, and the top got faintly greasy by Wednesday night, when I took this picture, all delirious with non waxy joy:

I even had a nice little ponytail going, it wasn't all stiff, clumpy, and tragic looking:

All this reminds me of a Russian saying -  How do you make someone feel good?  You make them feel really bad for a while, and then stop. 
I washed it Thursday, again, with the Camomile Lavender Bar, and it was magical, and I washed it Sunday. This time I didn’t comb the suds through the hair length, because I heard it’s not good to comb wet hair, it’s brittle at its soggy stage, and, infinitely more important, I’m lazy, and I will not have myself in a situation where I must comb stuff through my hair diligently. If I had that kind of patience and determination, I would be curling iron-ing myself into a Beyonce look alike every morning.  If the No Poo thing meant I'd have to wet comb my hair, I might have to jump ship. 

It’s OK. There’s not a whole lot of grey crap in it, but it’s not quite as shiny and lively as it was last week. It just sort of hangs there. But, wax free, so I ain’t complaining.  It's just nothing to write songs or make glittery stickers about.  I’m thinking I can now introduce the vinegar rinse back into the equation.

I wonder, though, if the combing suds through is what got rid of the waxy crap, and now it is slowly accumulating back? I will have a fit.

Meanwhile, I think I should run and get a haircut while it’s behaving. I have delayed the cutting and the hair coloring until I came up with some sort of consistent routine, and a consistent, ‘non homeless’ look.

I also have my reservations about showing up to my hair guy, with a bar of soap, and telling him what’s up. It’s a fancy Newport Beach place, where they wade knee deep in Kerasta.. that expensive, nice smelling fancy crap I can’t quite spell. Among others.

It was completely out of question the 5-7 weeks my hair was covered in Hair Wax Play Doh, but now, I almost feel like I can confidently thrust the Lavender bar at him, and say, “No, no,.. no Aveda for me, and nothing too sudsy. I really want you to rub this here bar all over my head, and skip the conditioner. If you *really* want to, I got some vinegar water in this here decoy Sprite bottle. Don’t worry, the smell will go away. ”

I am guessing he’ll schedule all my subsequent appointments in very low traffic hours.

Meanwhile, I got a comment from Queen of 50c, an awesome thrifting blog I found while link surfing,  And, not only do we share the same garage sale jurisdiction, we are both doing it shampoo-less, and her hair has yet to fall out.  Every little encourgement matters. 


Lent Ramblings, and 'Un-Heathening' Jesse

Last weekend, Jesse and I played in LA, among Russian Orthodox churches. I would like to get married in one, but we do not attend one regularly. It was the bishop’s gentle suggestion that we come around on Sunday, to talk about engagements, details, and, you know, pray and do all things church like.

This one was on Micheltorena St, and it was lovely, in a quiet little neighborhood. 

I love the RO church in Chicago, on Lee St. The bishop painted it himself (the murals) and it is old and very neat.  There's also a beautiful, big church in San Fransisco that Jesse and I went to during one of our NorCal trips.  To find a similar, older place, we frolicked about Los Angeles. Orange County offers a few options, which we will have to take up on the weekdays – Jesse was baptized a Baptist, and apparently, the difference is great enough (things like the stance on Original Sin, etc) where an Orthodox church would not marry me and him.  Nickname of the week: heathen.  In its technical sense.    

I don't know what Scientology is all about, but they have an impressive 'church'. Reminiscent of Bellagio.
The Russian church on Fernwood St was just down the street, really beautiful.  Really large inside as well, and it's under construction, partially, so more is to come.

The neighborhood itself was a little rough

We passed a couple of Ukrainian churches as well, all within a few blocks.  The last, and the furthest up north was the one we were looking for, arriving just in time for the Russian service.  (English starts at 8 am.  Plus I like to keep Jesse in the dark about the happenings and surroundings.  Ha.)

If you click on the picture (in case you were interested in Russian church ongoings) on the back left, that is a confession happening. Your head gets covered with a tapestry thingy. I think it's part of the garment, actually. And you get asked yes or no questions about your various alleged sins. A few years back, I was really ashamed with the number of "yes"'s. This was also during the time I worked at the University cafeteria and took home far too many day-end muffins and bread.. Did I steal? Well, yeah.. Year after that I was working at Panera where they gave hungry employee students bread at the end of the day, so, whew.

Speaking of inapproriate behavior.  Right down across the street, by some nice apartments.  Shame on you, Tom. 

Jesse hadn’t frequented the church by himself, and since I would really like to be married in a church, he will read up all about the Orthodox religion, and be baptized. For this purpose, he will be seeing Father Martin in a near by church in Orange County. Right now he’s been reading up on it, and shamefully, he now knows more than I do. May be its kind of like I know more technical details about the English language, since I learned it second? On his part, he finds it fascinating, so, WIN.

(Can you spot a Tsar in this icon?)

It is an old religion (Catholicism split from it in 1300’s, I think. I wouldn’t quote me in a Wikipedia article or anything..) with old traditions, and where some religions have branched off and have made modifications to fit modern life better (is rock music really a sin? ), the RO stands its ground. The church is standing room only, the liturgy is in Slavonic (a dead language), with an English early morning option in Los Angeles, women must wear dresses or skirts, and cover their heads.

I was actually baptized twice. In the former Soviet Union, it was forbidden, but religion is such an integral part of people’s lives, that both my sets of grandparents had baptized me, and the other didn’t know. Once in Ukraine, a priest was invited and a secret ceremony was, in a basement. And the other in Kazan, Russia, in a small church. People could lose their jobs and get in trouble for that sort of thing, so it was a great secret.

It is Lent currently, and we are not to eat meat, dairy, or foods with oil. Shamefully, I have thus far failed in all those categories. Today, it was KFC for lunch. I will try again tomorrow morning, and also keeping in mind, that it is not only about food limitations, or particular foods, but limitation in general of that and other things. Skipping meat, but instead eating a truckload of rice is not really what fasting is about. The church can not marry you until Easter, because merriment of that sort is not appropriate during this time. It’s a good time to think about being kind, having a gentler temper, and other areas of life I can work on. That temper thing is rough. While I had bologna for lunch yesterday, I thought about and didn’t have cake after dinner. KFC chicken is a fail, for sure, but hopefully I can pick up the slack elsewhere. That Ebay bridesmaids dress I bought that isn’t *really* in “great” condition. Not at all, actually. But should I complain too much about a $10 dress?.. Stuff like that.

On a side note, after the service, the yard, there is a $9 buffet.  For $3 you can get a bucket of borsch, and for $6 more there are all types of awesome things, like whole fried fish, potatoes, etc.  Next time, I'm all over that place.


Week 7 Hair Breakthrough (No Poo Follow Up)

This week was just atrocious. I thought I had seen it all, and had patiently been waiting it out, but this week, “IT” has outdone itself.

I washed it Sat, and on Sunday it was stiff, gross and waxy. So I broke my ‘No- hair- washing- consecutive- days” rule and washed it with water only. Scrubbing well and everything. No dice. "IT" is essentially operating on its own, independent of me.  I like it that way, because I kinda hate to be associated with it, and be known is its owner/grower. 

On Monday at work I looked like drowned rat. Stringy, waxy, downright horrifying. Somehow (there may have been beer involved) I went to bed without washing it Monday. I mean, it doesn't smell or anything, but it feels like if your pantry dropped a jar of honey and mayo on your head, and both of them broke, and you accidentally forgot to wash it, so it stuffenned up nice and tight. 

It was rough, and on Tuesday I dared not take it out of braids. On the bright side, I no longer need rubber bands to keep braids in, even.  Around the same time I took a day off work because the flu had me knee deep in snot and headaches, so I was feeling pretty green and slimy anyway.
I broke down and thought may be going back to a baking soda wash would help. Tuesday night, I mixed up some soda, into an old shampoo bottle (Ahhhh.. shampoo…) and did my thing. Wednesday (as in, the morning immediately after Tuesday night) it was like I’d done nothing.  Waxy. Stringy. Stiff. Perfect for fashioning perpendicular Pipi Longstocking braids, or any other gravity defying hairdo sans product.

Thursday night, I did it again, but with more soda. Scrubbing, and washing the length, even. Friday came and no change, expect the dry hair that was super hard to comb. Dry AND super waxy. There’s a combination not for the faint of heart.

It seems that there’s less gray crap on the brush (odd), but, somehow, the hair is worse off overall. May be more greasy? I did the Boar Bristle Brush few days. The grey stuff adapted, and the wax is now in stealth mode. Either way, Russian Orthodox church requires women to cover their hair with a scarf, and the scarf never came off for the rest of the weekend. It may have been stuck to the scarf, too, who knows.

Sunday, I went back to the Lavender Camomille Bar. I rubbed and washed. But, as it was drying in the evening, I could feel it dry up in tell tale stiff strings. SO Annoying. I figured I’d give it a full 10 weeks before calling it quits and going back to shampoo. I just don't keep enough beer in the house for this sort of madness.  I can’t even go and have it cut somewhere, the way it’s behaving, people would report me for being negligent or willfully disgusting or something. I took my comb, and went to comb it out of sheer annoyance. The stringy thing is *really* getting old. So I combed it out, and put in into braids, so it doesn’t surprise me in some sort of a knotty clump coup in the morning.

Well, butter my butt and call me a biscuit. This morning, for the first time in weeks, the waxy shit is gone. I don’t know what happened, cause there wasn’t much on my comb either. I’ll have to inspect the comb when I get home. But, “IT” is soft, unwaxy, unclumpy, and generally behaving like it’s normal shampooed and conditionered self. I’m a little afraid to jinx it. It’s almost too good to be true.   I feel like wearing a pink tutu and twirling about.   I have many questions - will the gray stuff come back?  Do I have to comb it wet for the rest of my life?  How long will it stay this way?  I am a little paranoid, I worry it's a trick, and when I let my hair down (literally, cause it's on a ponytail) it will turn on me with vengeance. 

However, I try to not let that bother me.  Today, the beginning of week 8 will be all about enjoying a wax free head. 

In summary: Week 7 – wash wash wash FAIL wash wash comb while damp WIN. 
5 washes in 7 days. 


I'll Show You Pictures If You Promise You Won't Run. a.k.a Hair Update Week 6

Well, it looks OK to the casual onlooker. It even looks OK upon closer inspection, as I often do, since I am paranoid that people will mistake me for a homeless, showerless woman. But the waxy shit was really getting to me, and I couldn't tell if it was working its way down or not. Either way, it wasn't doing it fast enough.

I sent Jesse for a Boar Bristle Brush (BBB hereafter), since I read it helps, and I can't realistically keep up the waxy stuff very much longer, or if I expect to be well received socially. Even though it doesn't LOOK like there's crap in it, it looks liek something went wrong. And, I'm afraid of developing a nervous tick every time someone looks at my hair. So. BBB.

I washed it Sunday, with the cammomile lavender bar, dried it, and some time on monday I took the brush to it. If you are a gentle creature, fast forward through pictures.

BBB in the beginning:

BBB after 3 stroke. (3):

BBB after a hair brushing:

Are you still here?  I know, the world was probably not ready for the pictures, but I keep reading about no poo experimenteres babbling about grey waxy stuff in their hair, but nobody has posted a picture to really drive the point home.   I know, it looks like dust.  It isn't.  It also isn't dandruff.  It's this crap, that coats my hair really finely, and when I brush it, it comes off in tiny, dust particle looking flakes. 

Then I spend an hour washing the brush.  It's not really fair to the boars, so I'll try to keep this one going instead of throwing it in the trash on impluse. 

Anyway.  Having washed my hair again Wednesday night (bar again, no rinses), it appears there is less of grey shit on the brush.  Which isn't the same as it being gone, but it's better.  Much better, one would say, if they saw the first brushing.  I'll give this approach a couple more tries over this week (7th week), and see if it almost disappears.  If I find it regenerates itself, I'm going to think up an entirely new experiment, during my drive to Tarje for some Suave. 


I Am Ready For Superbowl Mac n Cheese and Cookies

Specifically, made from scratch mac n cheese, that calls for half a stick of butter, and a pound of cheese (cheddar + gouda), and cookie dough stuffed into ramekins, baked in the oven, topped with raw cookie dough, and whipped cream (Or ice cream).   I can't even say any more.  Just picture it.  

Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile


Snowsuit Awesomeness.

I happen to own one, but before this last weekends Big Bear trip, I learned I gained about 4" too much for it to zip up fully.   Also, Heather was looking for snowpants for her 3 children, so it inspired me to channel my aimless wanderings into something season specific.  We have since picked up snowpants for her 9 year old, but the snowpant check has become a part of the process. 

I don't ski, I snowboard (or sled), and I do own respectable fancy snowboard pants.  I prefer, however, my irridescent Spyder bibs from 80's.  But, I could almost see myself graduate to this:

Courtesy of Goodwill, of course.  It also seems to be one sandwich away from a 4" zip up disaster.  But I love the idea of NOT having snow in your buttcrack, all fashion considerations aside. 

But there are embroidered designs - on the belt AND back. It's like the wedding dress of snow suits. Jesse seems to be under the impression they are from 80's. But, lately, he's been saying that about everything I find adorable (Umm, the Awesome Beady Dress?!)

For example:

I would even blend in with the snow!  When it turned out to be too large for me, I suggested HE wear it.  He pretended he didn't hear me.  Men.  I mean, even if it IS unfashionable, it's only a short lift ride of embarassment (for the other person).  I'd be pretty OK wearing this around town. 

It's a little too tight, isn't it. Pity. This seems to be a recurring theme.  Have all the world's clothes shrunk recently? 

Also seen (Santa Ana Goodwill) was a whole snowboard set up, bag, Lamar board, gloves, K2 step in bindings + boots for $49, but the boots were too big.  I think I might just spoil myself at some point with brand new snow stuff. Can't ALL things be dumpstered, especially when you're partial to glittery, flowery, leafy Gnu boards. Sigh. 


An $8.99 Wedding Dress?

So, this is how it started. I got engaged, and thought it might be fun to stroll around Craigslist (in multiple locations) and offer people a fraction of what they are asking for a used wedding dress (and not exceeding a $100). I found that given my [granted, not lucrative] offers, most people are hanging on to the dresses.

It’s not that I don’t think some dresses are worth a lot more. I’m inclined to believe they all are, especially the beady ones. But I don’t want to pay more, so my offers are more of a.. 'I’ll take it from you for $this much, but I understand if you really want to get a certain amount of money for it'. *gasp* they usually do want to get a certain amount. Shocking.  Although, I have only sent out offers to two people, so it’s not a fair market sample, I guess.

I am estimating that the number of dresses being thrown up on craigslist is larger than the number of people looking for one. I am making that up, of course, but it makes sense to me, even though my ‘market research’ goes against that, and I just can not understand why I am not being showered with $50 dresses.  

I frequent thrift shops for random things, or even just to stare.  It's excellent for retail therapy as well as a spectator sport.  If you find you've gone overboard, you're still probably only $10 in the hole.  About a month ago, at Newport Beach Goodwill I saw a two piece wedding dress. It was horribly dirty, tangled up, and featuring a tiny bustier with giantly padded cups. Very little beading, if at all. Yawn. I tried it on and made a face for a picture.

Few weeks later, in another trip to a different shop, I spotted the Beady 80’s Dress. I wanted it, to cut short, or may be made into a tube top. Jesse was horrified that I had put it on, and we left dress-less. Later I decided I MUST have it (reinforced by positive blog comments), if for the beads and Swarovsky crystals alone, went back and it was gone. GONE! Who else but me would purchase a 30 year old wedding dress?! Clearly these people must exist. It was $99, with a half off offer.

Since the beady fiasco, I would regularly check out the fancy end of the dress rack, looking for more beady spectacular-ness. I never came close, but I DID come across some respectable wedding gowns. Usually between $30-$150 dollars. I noted mentally, that if I ever needed to get married quick like, a decent dress can be had. I was sort of hunting for a Cinderella Dress Giraffy and I spotted at David’s Bridal. I searched for the gown V9539, and failing to find it for under $300, I just looked around for similar dresses – beady top, beady bottom, skirt pick-ups.

At a shop by my work, there (still) hangs a really pretty sparkly Demetrios (?) dress. It is a size too small, and comes up above my ankles. If it weren’t for that, I would have had it. No pick ups, but beads were super sparkly. I’m an easy, festive creature. That day, it occurred to me, that really pretty dresses can be had at thrift shops.  It came with the cleaner's tag, a shawl, and a detachable train.  Did I mention sparkly?

But, short.  And small.  And tight.  I looked a little like 2 days fresh out of a boob job. 

This last weekend, on our way from the mountains I saw that Beautiful, But Too Large gown. It was perfect. Beady top, check, beady bottom, check, pick ups, thrown in as well. It was also half off $99. It would no longer be low maintenance if I had to take it to a seamstress, so I let it go. (Well, Jesse dragged me away).  I took pictures to document the search, but Picasa is telling me stuff it or upgrade my storage, so, pictures will have to wait till I address that.

Meanwhile, Tesday, at a shop by work, I found this:

It has no pick ups, and it’s decidedly UN Cinderella like. But it had these bunches of sparkles along the boob area, and a tiny little train, and it was $19.99. The very original, Dirty Padded Two Piece is still there, and sporting a $29.99 tag. (but I’m sure the staff can be talked down..)

I wanted it to dye purple and make into a short dress (the usual..) but Jesse thought it would make a beautiful beach dress. And since I want to drag a dress all over the world to take pictures, this might be a perfect dress for it. It passed the armpit check (super clean) and the bottom check (not a smudge). I don’t think it was worn. It fit me perfectly (even with yoga pants underneath), and is a size 6 Galina dress from David’s Bridal. It looks like they still carry it.  ---------------------->

The 19.99 tag wouldn’t scan into the system, and I smiled the most seductive smile you can manage at a thrift shop clerk when you're checking out with a wedding dress and your fiance next to you, and suggested to the cashier, may be it’s a sign of a half off dress? ( I have NO shame, really). He, in return, told me he will just sell it to me as a regular dress.  o.o

I was reminded of the time Thrift Store Mama got teary eyed in a Value Village over a severely marked down Doll House. A wedding dress? For $8.99? I think I will.  Naturally, I dragged it home.. 

I am still on the look out for the Cinderella dress, but I'm really expecting one to fall in my lap for about $10.  It might take a while. 

What do you think?  And - what was your coolest find ever? (If thrift shops make you feel faint, Craigslist, Ebay, and clearance retail purchases qualify)


Piles of Stuff and the Sewing Pile

I have recently been motivated (by reading the appropriate blogs, of course) to declutter my closet and bathroom.  How can I shop for MORE clothes when I can't make sense of what I've got, right?   I was doing fine with the bathroom until I came across a 5 year old botle of Chanel 'glitter' foundation, remembered how it was $90, and it halted my progress.  On one hand, I can't be putting 5 year old glitter bits on my face (I'm sacred to even try in on a wrist), on the other, how DO you toss it away? 

With bathroom decluttering at a stall, I went to adress the closet.  I keep meaning to do this, and always get just little spurts done.  Ever since I moved in with Jesse, and he kindly relinquished the master bedroom closet, I just dumped all my stuff there.  I pluck at it to find certain items that I wear regularly, but the rest is a mess.  Sweater stacked on top of capris, skirts hanging under thsirts.  It's horrible. 

It's not that I have too much clothing.  It's the fact that I keep ALL of it, from what I packed in suitcase to come here from Ukraine, to now and everything in between.  That skirt I wore in Paris the summer of '97?  Here.   The jeans I wore to Ukraine?  Here.  Ugly shirt that is probably fashionable by Russian - IN Russia standards, but that my grandmother gave me?  Here.  My first ever (and ugly) Juicy Couture skirt?  Checking in.  The dress that I *really* liked, but didn't fit into, but bought anyway, hoping to lose 10 more pounds? Here. Except, now, I'd have to lose 45 lbs. It's like a penalty for procrastination.

Am I *really* ever going to be 95lbs?  Probably not.  It's probably not even safe to try given my 5'6" height and sugar addiction.  Plus, size 2 of the 90's is a size 0 of today.  What they both have in common is that they don't fit a size 6, (8 during "lady times").  There is also a lot of in-between clothes - ones that were too big in college, so I kept them in case I found myself pregnant or just 'fat', that are now too small.   Those 'fat clothes' *really* displease me, along with the fact that I considered size 4 to be fat.  HAA.  ha.  Humph. 

I have 4 piles going: 

-Rag pile.  These are the hopeless clothes, that have seen too many campfires and climbed too many fences/rocks.  These are also clothes I can not identify or assign ownership to.  Or that belonged to an ex.  Don't leave your stuff at my house, is the moral of this story.  If I don't find it nice enough to wear (BTW, thanks for that shirt you accidentally left at my place, Heather!), these will be cut into rags.  Which is awesome, it's about time I washed me a floor.  Spot cleaning with paper towel is just not leaving a desired effect.  My grandmother would be uimpressed. 

- Goodwill pile.  This a nice assortment to give back to Goodwill (I DO wish they accepted trades).  A lady this weekend's Redlands Goodwill told me that in Phoenix they give you a 20% coupon when you donate.  That would be nice.  But I'll deal.  They give me a lot of neat stuff, they get stuff back.  It's like 10 years old, but you can bet I only ever wore it once-twice.  Then I had a sandwhich and it no longer fit. 

- Ebay pile.  Or 'trade' pile.  I have an unfortunate amount of 7 Jeans that are in ridiculous sizes.  I think I bought them, thinking, the smaller they are, the better they will make my butt look, and have an overall "Spanx" effect.  Not true then (couldn't breathe or sit), and definately not true 45 lbs later (won't go past my knees).   There's shop called Trade Post on Harbor St that buys, sells, and trades a very limited selection of clothing.  Limited in the brands, anyway.  I am hoping to go turn in my size 26's for some 29's (31's for lady times).   Some other things will get thrown up on Ebay for .99c.  A yard sale of sorts, if you will. 

-Sewing pile.  This is my favorite.  It is a solution for the skirt I wore to Paris, and can't quite give up.  The Disney sweater that I thought would be cute for camping.  But turned out I looked like a hobo wearing mens size L.  The million pants I can't wear until hemmed, or dresses that would look cute if they were shorter, or clothing that various people 'donate' to me, ever since I got my awesome sewing machine.  I enjoy tearing stuff apart and making it either fit me, or converting to something else entirely.  Every once in a while, it might end up a candidate for the Rag Pile, so I can't be BUYING clothes for this purpose, the rejects will do.  I also imagine myself making a quilt at some point down the road, incorporating all the "Paris skirt"  and "grandmother given shirt" bits.  And those awesome sparkly jean pockets. 

All these pieces of clothing were randomly strewn about my closet and dresser, contaminating the environment, posing as clothes I could readily wear, but no longer!  I freed my closet, and to celebrate I ran out and bought an Express skirt and pants in fabulous vivid green and teal colours at the Huntington Beach Goodwill.  Sizes 0 and 2 out, sizes 9 and 10 in.  Ha. 

The Ebay/trade pile is awaiting a chunk of time I need.  Jesse already carted a bag over to Goodwill.  Or Salvation Army, we like to mix it up in our 'reverse dumpstering'.  And the sewing pile is in a plastic bin on a top shelf of my closet.  It is now a sewing BOX.  I can dive in there on nights I'm bored for a quick project.

Monday night, for example, I took on the skinny jeans (that I HAD to have during a Bebe clearance in Chicago, that looked horrible as jeans, because that's what happens when you cram a giant butt and tiny ankles into some spandex and call it jeans, Bebe or not.  Lesson learned.) and hemmed them into some capri leggings.

The above mentioned Disney sweater also got tackled.  It got the sleeves cut off at the seams, two inches taken out of each side, sides sewn back together, and sleeves back on.  If I was feeling really creative, I could have also made the sleeves narrower.  It would make me look like a hobo even LESS.  Another day, another project..

The one side looks better already, see?


Snow and More Dumpstered Wedding Dresses (Weekend Recap)

Jesse and I went to Big Bear to play in the snow with giraffy and her anklebiters.  I looked on Craigslist for a sled - you know, a wooden bench atop two metal blades, but apparently I am behind the times.  My suggestion to cut out cardboard, put it in trashbags, zip tie the ends and call it a sled was vetoed in favor of some plastic discs. I guess they were OK, but what happenned to creativity?  I sigh at Jesse's softness and cushy upbringing..

The plastic discs did Ok, though, and fun was had. 

Giraffy and I sitting in one coffin shaped plastic bucket was a fail.

Jesse and I sitting on two discs, tethered, sort of (via my legs) was a win.

There was a snowball fight, and I was pretty appalled at giraffy's husband - using Baby as his shield.  I also got Jesse to pull over at a suitable snowbank to climb over and wander over to the lake. 

I only got a couple inches off shore, while Jesse painted an elabrote picture of my probable and impending death - apparently, I was to break the ice, slip under it, get carried away with current under the ice, and never find my way out. All in about 3" of standing water.

According to him, you can't even ice fish unless there is a 4-6 feet layer of ice present.  There are some fisherman in Siberia that would like to have a talk with him.  Whole villages would perish in winter if he was in charge of letting people out to fish, waiting for an appropriate Ice Age layer of ice.  The fish would probably perish as well, out of anticipation and boredom.  And possibly laughter.

Does this dude look like he's sitting on 6 feet of ice? 

A random fun fact - the fishing is better the crappier the ice.  Air bubbles attract the sleepy winter fish.  There are also some scary statistics about specifically Russian fisherman never making it back to shore,..  but we're not going to talk about that.  But, I mean, really..  Do those cork screws in the picture look like they drill FEET of ice?

I didn't think so.  Ha. 

On the way back, we stopped at an Antique shop in Fawnskin.  It was lovely. 

I brifly debated over some sparkly snowflake earrings.

And this chandelier "piece"

My mom got me a tea cup from this line for $1.  They had it for $24.  Muahaha. 

And heading back to Orange County I mapped us some thrift shops.  Because that's how we roll. 
One of the reasons I LOVE SoCal - you can spend all morning sledding and playing with snowballs, and then drive back to palm trees and sunshine.  And thrift shops where amazing wedding dresses awaited.

I loved this one. It was an Alfred Angelo gown, ivory, with super pretty beading around the middle,

and a train that picked up in the back. 

It was $99, and half off.  They even have a 7 day return policy, but it was just too big.  Probably a size 12 or 14.  If you're 12 or 14, and getting married, I urge you to visit Redlands Goodwill shop.

The kind lady behind me also loved the dress.  She also told me I could borrow her boobs, if need be, to fill out said dress.  And there was a story about her grandmother, and boobs in a shopping cart, and shopping with said shopping cart as back pain therapy.  Finally, she told me I should consider the dress, because she bought one for $900, and it is still hanging in her closet, as her daughter's fiancee is serving a lengthy sentence.  Whew.

I didn't get it, because I wasn't sure that I could have it altered that many sizes, and Redlands is a long way to drive to return a dress.  There were others, but not nearly as cool.  I think I have a new 'cool' standard for thrift shop wedding dresses.

Another lady (not pictures) suggested a shop in San Diego that has a "wedding dress" row.  I bookmarked it mentally, and will definately plan a trip.  It's amazing how much more relaxed their 'trying on' atmosphere is than David's Bridal.

There also heaps of older dresses, with lace sleeves, high necks, and long lace trains.  It's kind of sad to see them hang there, since hardly anyone opts for that anymore.  Still they were beautiful, and super cheap. 

My mother was in the process of checking a Craigslist listing on a dress for me.  There is a certain Cinderella dress that I'm stalking, more than others.  But, I find any dress with pick ups and a bucket of beads is super appealing.  Anyway, my dad caught wind of this affair, and told my mother he will buy me any dress I want, new.  He is so sweet.  Up until that conversation I was secretely planning to run away and have a two person wedding somewhere tropical.  But I can't be running out on my dad who is knee deep in being the sweetest person ever.

Having said that, a full retail price wedding dress is a 1000 times worse than a $10 popcorn in the movies, and I wouldn't enoy any overpriced bit of it. I'm just genetically programmed to be cheap like that. Plus, there's a thrill in the hunt, which is why David's Bridal's $99 dresses won't do. (Although I loved the entire line up) And, there's the fact that I intend to drag this dress all over Utah rocks, motorcycles, and a few of the prettier beaches I can find to take pictures. I'm thinking, one rocky, one sandy. By the time I am done with it, Goodwill won't want it for scraps. Lastly, while there are vast options out there for dresses, flights to cool places are generally and constantly pricey, and I really love going cool places.  For secret weddings or otherwise...