Wednesday, April 30, 2014


When mouse finds herself with nothing exciting to do, often she'll look through old cookbooks she's acquired over the years. Believe it or not, they're fun to read. One mouse has been looking through is from the 1940s, and entitled, The New Bride's Cookbook. It probably belonged one of mouse's great aunts who was married around the time. What makes it fascinating to mouse isn't the recipes but the ads. It's chocked full of ads for long forgotten stores, butchers, dress makers, and even coupons in the back and some WWII ration cards! Bring the coupon with the accompanying ration card and you too can buy sugar for just fifteen cents a pound!

It's also classic Old San Francisco, phone numbers included are all Mission this, North Beach, Telegraph that...

The recipes are fairly simple, and a bit dull. A beef stroganoff recipe was marked saying to only get the egg noodles from some grocery in China town and another said to buy the Pasta at the Italian shop, next to a butcher (from the address mouse strongly suspects is now the Molinari Deli). Some recipes aren't really recipes but rather a list of ingredients. Still others begin by saying go into the backyard and find the biggest chicken and cut its head off. Then proceeds in minute detail on removing the feathers, proper dressing (which mouse presumes didn't mean stuffing the bird with seasoned bread cubes), but goes little further. Clearly going back to a time when people did keep chickens and rabbits in backyard pens and coops, a tradition that continued well into mouse's time, but died out with its older (mostly Italian decent) residents and changing city ordinances provided end (with the exception mouse is told, being San Francisco's famous, or infamous, China Town).

It's odd taking the mental walking tour into the past, one that mouse scarcely knew about since it was decades before her birth, but vividly recalled and being regaled with stories from back in that day.

The reason for this? In just 6 weeks we'll be departing for the lake and mouse wants to carry with her some recipes. Of course she'll bring her tried and true recipes along with her, but she wants newer (old) recipes to add to the collection. Specifically looking for older cake and pie recipes that seem lacking, along with quick breads and other yummy things no one should eat save for when you're on vacation. Here we rarely do dessert, but while on vacation, mouse is baking cakes or pies two - three times a week, and cookies are done dozens at a time on Sunday's so we have plenty for snacks and to give away to neighbors. With the abundance of fresh fruits it's really far less expensive to just bake a cake or peach pie or crumble (which are easier) and homemade ice cream, rather than spend lots of money on the bakery that caters to the weekenders.

Honestly, mouse has thought about seriously living there year around, but the lack of amenities (let alone a Target that isn't two hours away) would drive her crazy. No cable tv or internet -- yeah that might send mouse over the bend. For a couple months and the odd week here and there it's wonderful and nice to just get away.


Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Soul Crushing

A bit of irony that this post appears on April Fools Day?

Like most women, mouse really struggles with body image and has added issues she doesn't discuss. There are three things that can drive a woman into a mental frenzy. Well, perhaps not all women, but certainly mouse isn't the only one vexed with the soul crushing fear of the department store dressing room?

Recently, Daddy mentioned that mouse had brought far too much clothing (basically her whole wardrobe) with her to the lake last summer. He said the kids, and he could stuffed everything into one case that she brought. Shoes, purses, skirts, dresses, sun dresses...assorted tops, blouses...then all the under things, nightgowns, bathrobes...

His concern didn't stop there, the corset while lovely to wear isn't very practical when it's very hot. The lake is a place to have fun. With that he suggested that mouse buy some jeans, bras, comfortable shoes, underwear, something to wear to bed, preferably cotton..oh and maybe a swimsuit or at the very least shorts.

Normally mouse buys jeans once every 5 years or so. Seriously, while she loves wearing jeans, give mouse some blue jeans and a tie dye shirt and she's happy...but Daddy always hated mouse to wear denim. Or at least that's what he said when we first got together. When he threw out most of mouse's jeans that made up her wardrobe. Now, years later he doesn't mind it seems mouse going more casual.

So mouse went shopping. The last bra mouse bought was a nursing bra so since the baby is two, it's been a while. Breastfeeding is a great way to lose weight, but if you eat too much...

Daddy doesn't care, he wants mouse healthy and really she's probably more heathy now than she's been in years. Decades but it doesn't stop the feelings of having your soul crushed by seeing yourself in bad light and every flaw exasperated and highlighted. Also let's just say clothing manufacturers are just messed up. You find one bra that fits well and it's the only one they have. Reach for another brand in the same size you feel like it must be the wrong size. Even cup size depends on who makes it, one mouse tried was a double D...seriously there is no way mouse's rack is that big! Then a different manufacturer and mouse wore a C cup. It's beyond stupid. Underwear NEVER, ever matches your dress or pants size!

Jeans have the same problem, mouse gave up looking at sizes but the new trends in denim are just...well wow. Everything is low rise and they're like leggins. Leggins weren't a good look for mouse when she was in her 20s (remember the stirrup pant craze?) there are few things that can make mouse feel fat..even if Daddy insists she's not. The ones that fit in the waist made her butt look deflated, they looked like she had a load in her pants. The ones that fit her legs and hips well, some she couldn't button. stupid is that?

Low rise pants, are fine if you've got a body for it and really mouse's curves never hit in that way. It's depressing. Soul crushing...horrible. Don't start mouse on that wide belt shit either.

So mouse ended up at a hideously expensive store, Nordstoms. But they'll help you and run back and forth with different pants and sizes. They'll even go into other departments for shoes and such. Alterations are included in the price and they'll bring you water (if you spend enough money they'll bring you food). Four and a half hours 5 bras, 6 panties, 2 Capri style jeans, 3 regular jeans that needed to be shortened a little and no tops later mouse felt as though she'd been through the worst experience of her whole life.

Slinking out of the store mouse swore off all things carbohydrate and sugar forever her self esteem and self image were decimated by numbers.

But at home, when the tags came off, sizes forgotten mouse tried on the clothes, with tops she already had and was pleased. Everything felt comfortable and nice. Frustrating but in the end ok.