Reading, Writing, and Dressing Fancy

Monday, September 26, 2016

I had another tea party. Big surprise, right? We're settling into a routine with them, so I don't feel the need to blog about them extensively anymore. Let's just say that there were big crazy hats and a chocolate version of cinnamon rolls, because that's all you need to know.

Still perfecting this recipe.
An Evangelist from Uganda came to visit our church, and that was quite the experience. I was very much convicted about not prioritizing my Bible study the last couple of weeks, so I'm trying to focus on that more again.

Also not happening recently: significant quantities of working out. I am, however, still doing great with writing now that I've got the accountability group and the teapot-morning-pages thing figured out. Plot and character stuff for my series is coming together nicely and I'm getting pretty pumped up for NaNoWriMo.

I've been having a hard time getting out of bed as it's gotten darker in the morning, so I'm playing with an app that's supposed to simulate the sunrise. However, since my phone display can only generate so much light, I might have to shell out the bucks for an actual sunrise simulator alarm clock.

I finished reading Catherine, Called Birdy by Karen Kushman. It was okay. I wasn't such a fan of the spunky modern heroine plunked into a medieval life for no apparent reason. The humor and main character are similar to the Confessions of Georgia Nicholson series--a bit over-the-top for the middle ages, and it is also written in diary format. It was educational and entertaining, but probably not something I would read again.

After much procrastination, I read the Constitution of the United States of America (with Amendments) again and started on the Anti-Federalist Papers. Thus far, it seems like the Federalist Papers were all about selling the basic Constitution, and the Anti-Federalist Papers are all about pointing out the issues with the Constitution, which ultimately resulted in the Bill of Rights. It's incredibly informative and probably should have been required reading for my high school government class. If I were to read all of these over again, however, I'd want to start with the base Constitution (no amendments), then read the Federalist Papers, alternating with the corresponding Anti-Federalist Papers, and finally read the Amendments, along with some commentary to remind me of the circumstances surrounding some of the later Amendments. Having the arguments and counter-arguments together would probably help my understanding, but for now I'm just going to continue with the Anti-Federalist Papers and call it good.

At a friend's recommendation, I'm also reading A Rumour of Otters by Deborah Savage. Thus far it's been okay. I haven't been super impressed—lots of lazy/obvious writing that was fine in prior days but probably wouldn't get published now. I have no objections to the story itself so far, but I'm only a few chapters in.

Probably the only other major thing in my life the last couple of weeks was my shopping adventure. I went on an all-day grocery and clothes shopping extravaganza, which was pretty epic. Between Value Village, Walmart, and Famous Footwear, I managed to patch up all of the weird holes in my wardrobe  Green and brown cardigans and jackets, earthy green leggings...have I mentioned recently that I dress from a color palette? I've found that it's a lot easier to mix and match things when most of the colors in your wardrobe go together.

At this point the only things conspicuously lacking in my wardrobe are jeans and denim shorts that fit...and a wedding ring because mine keeps falling off of my finger and needs to be replaced/resized. I'm waiting until my weight stabilizes before I take care of all of that, because I only want to do it once. Even then, I'm only going to get 1-2 pairs each of shorts and jeans, because if I'm honest with myself, what I really want to wear most of the time are my skirts and dresses, and if I can always throw on jeans and a t-shirt, I tend to do that every day.

The difference is pretty profound. Here's the base outfit I put together today to do things around my house, write this blog post, and pedal away at my Fitdesk:

Brown jacket, green dress, brown leggings. Ended up skipping the belt.
Finished it with black ankle socks and Converse.
EDIT: I also wore the dress on a 4.4-mile round-trip bike ride to the grocery store later in the day. It was hot then, so I had to swap out the leggings for bike shorts and I didn't need the jacket anymore.

I used to think of dresses and skirts as fancy dress-up items, but that's kind of silly. Until about the last century or so, women did everything in skirts. While I probably wouldn't do most competitive sports, swim, or work in an industrial setting wearing a skirt, they're fine for pretty much anything I'm doing on a daily basis.

Part of this is probably a style thing, since I tend to favor mid-length skirts that don't restrict my stride, but I actually find it easier to deliver a round-house kick to the face in a skirt than in pants. I haven't tried it in the one pencil-skirt dress I own, but the skirt on that is pretty stretchy, so it might be fine too.

As of right now, I mostly wear my too-big pants with t-shirts only when I'm doing custodial/house cleaning stuff, but that's because my dresses are still pretty nice. Once I've worn them in everyday settings for awhile and some have gotten a little worn, torn, stained, etc. then I'll consider wearing them to work and hazarding bleach stains.

I also solved my problem with visible bra straps on otherwise modest enough clothing items. My solution? Convertible bras with clear bra straps. As if that's not awkward enough, I now have like 1,000 pairs of leggings (okay, 10 + a pair of footless tights) and no intention of parting with any of them.

Leggings: 2 pair earthy green, 1 pair sandy brown, 1 pair dark brown (wearing another pair),
1 pair dark grey, 1 pair fleece-lined black (another in my car for emergencies),
1 pair black velvet, 1 pair capri-length light grey.

Also pictured: 2 pairs bike shorts, 1 pair black footless tights,
and 2 pairs of old-lady shapewear shorts that are not-so comfortable

For funzies I also picked up these earrings and this headband from Claire's, and they're probably my new favorite accessories. They go nicely with pretty much everything I own from earth-tone hippie clothes to black and red emo-wear.

Loving the antiqued bronze finish that I'm seeing on so many things lately.
It makes me feel like I could actually be a jewelry person.

One last thing. I've been listening to Lindsey Stirling's new album over and over. I'm not a huge fan of the increasing quantity of her music with lyrics, since I mostly listen to her instrumental stuff while I do a lot of reading and writing. Lyrics are distracting and sometimes just annoying/not my style, but her violin playing is always lovely. However, I have been thoroughly enjoying two of the lyric tracks.

I tend to like 2 major types of music: dance music and melancholy/minor key/keening songs. Where Do We Go, featuring Carah Faye is my favorite. The lyrics are simple, deeply emotional, and thought-provoking. It reminds me of some of David's psalms where all he does is cry out to God and there's no convenient happy-ending already packed in for him to look forward to.  Carah's voice blends beautifully with Lindsey's violin. It's could be my one-song NaNoWriMo playlist, and I'd probably still like it afterward.

The other is Don't Let This Feeling Fade, featuring Rivers Cuomo and Lecrae. It's a little bit more stomp-dancey and the mixture of vocal styles is pretty rad. I also like the celebration of life as it is right now--don't wait until ____ happens to be happy. Be happy now. Choose to be happy now.

In other music news, Tenth Avenue North's new album is coming out next month!!! I'm freaking excited!!!

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