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Homesteading, gardening, homemaking and the Mandela Effect.

Published June 8, 2016 by AntiqueMystique1
All things embroidery.

Practice embroidery hankie (above far left), two flour sack dish towels; one rooster and chicks design, other a snail washing its shell with the word “Wash Day” embroidered on it. Date of flour sack towels unknown, appears to be 1940s or earlier.

And I practically killed myself the day after last tilling more ground around my garden by hand. And then I began to do some serious weed-pulling, too. However, I was very quick to discover why I need to wear long-sleeved shirts and jeans instead of shorts and short-sleeves, I broke out. Yep, I have no idea if I uprooted poison ivy, poison oak, or whatever kind of rash inducing plants I yanked out of the garden and rose bed, but I broke out on my ankle, my arms, even my face.

 

I have been using banana peels, aloe vera leaves and a tiny bit of Lotrimin ointment (I know it’s used for athlete’s foot but it’s the only thing I’ve found that helps clear up these nasty rashes I seem to break out in once in a blue moon). So, between that and keeping up on mowing the back jungle—err, I mean backyard, I’ve become consumed with my gardening the most and working on my latest embroidery projects.

 

Homesteading, what is that? Do I live in a log cabin? Do I chop down trees and add on to my house from scratch? No. Homesteading originates as far back as the Pioneer days and even that of the Wild West. I like using the term ‘homesteading’ since I do a lot of back breaking labor outdoors myself with primitive tools. If I could do so, I’d likely mow the lawn with an antique manual push mower, but the kind of large yard I have would take forever in a day (possibly several) at that rate to finish. So I use the ‘pull your guts out’ non-self propelled cheap crappy lawn mower that gives me a work out and is difficult to push at times.

 

I don’t run to town in an ox-driven covered wagon, although riding in one of those would be a first for me since they are a non-existent form of transportation nowadays.

 

I don’t dress terribly old-fashioned unless there’s a special event that would call for such attire which never happens. And I don’t turn on the lights during the day and refrain from using my central air conditioning whenever possible to cut back on the high cost of utilities. Thankfully my small house doesn’t get unbearably hot in the summer unless the oven is going and I’m trying to dry another batch of celery, kale, jaopeno peppers, chili peppers, making homemade pretzel bread, etc.

 

My appliances use electricity to operate and I’m still joined at the hip to the electric company. I do dream of the day when I can see my homesteading/off grid plans come to fruition at some point in my life (hopefully before I get too old to enjoy and physically unable do them). And I don’t plan to live in the city my entire life long, either.

 

I would like to see myself on a mini-farm and raising chickens on a patch of land. Depending on where a person lives they can have backyard chickens in the city, but per city code a chicken coop must be fifty feet from the house and in the area where I live, a person is only allowed to have fifteen chickens. I had chickens once long before I put in my big garden and out of the five, one of the pullets actually turned out being a very arrogant and aggressive psycho rooster. I named him Boss Hog after the Dukes of Hazard character, Boss Hog of Hazard County (a fictional town in the show, I believe). And also because Boss Hog lived up to his reputation and ate every scrap of leftovers and chicken scratch and wouldn’t let the hens eat anything! I also grew to fear going outside because Boss Hog attacked me constantly. Laugh all you want, but until it happens to you, you’d never relate.

He saw me as a threat to his harem of ‘girls’ and he left me with bloody scratches and gouges. I still have scars on my legs to this very day.

 

Boss Hog was very hard to catch when it came time to put the chickens in the coop for the night. I remember when my mother and I built the chicken coop using scrap lumber, we placed it up on top of cement blocks so wild animals wouldn’t gain access and kill our chickens. We kind of went in together owning chickens. She’d pay for the chicken feed, and I’d care for the flock. No doubt having eggs was a huge bonus and they tasted ten million times better than store bought. They were also smaller in size and the yokes were orange (not the sickly pale yellow store bought eggs have). We collectively decided to give the hens free range and be cage free as long as I was there to supervise. The only mistake we made was tacking wire mesh fencing to the bottom of their coop, but laid down ply wood to they’d have something to walk over and built inset nesting boxes. As it turned out, it was a sturdy chicken coop with a roosting bar built in as well. At night a wild animal bit off the claws of two of the hens I found out one early morning as I was running late to get ready to go to church. Thankfully the hens survived and we built a fence around the coop.

 

The only other bad flaw we ran into was the coop faced the north, and when those cold winter winds would blow, they’d seep right into the chicken coop. I didn’t keep the chickens very long much beyond the first summer and fall, I believe. I was dismayed that the hens and Boss Hog especially decimated my first garden. And Boss Hog constantly crowed at all hours. That was annoying on me and I also worried that I’d get turned in because the darn rooster wouldn’t shut up.

There was a neighbor on the same block that had a rooster when I moved to the location. I didn’t mind hearing that rooster crow since it was off in the distance. I was later told that the neighbor was turned in and the rooster was never heard from again. That’s the downside of trying to homestead and have a mini-farm in the city is neighbor-issues that can potentially arise. Not all neighbors will be bothered by it. But there might always be one out of the bunch that’ll never be satisfied or begin to see the money-saving, homestead benefits of city micro-farming or even understand when there’s a supermarket nowadays just about on every block. But some people such as myself prefer a more productive way of life. There’s an adage: You reap what you sow. If you plant a lot of seeds, you’re crops will yield food. If you raise chickens for their eggs, you can be certain you’ll never run out. If you raise a goat for its milk and cheese, then you can save yourself the time, frustration of waiting in long lines with only two checkout stands open out of say 12 lanes, plus you waste less gas going to and from the store.

When I kept my first chickens I didn’t raise them to turn around and slaughter them. I know since for the longest time I did eat chicken and meat, but my primary reason for keeping chickens was the expensive cost of buying eggs at the store, that and due to the very inhumane and horrendous living conditions those poor big chain store egg producing chickens exist in is awful. If you ever get on youtube and watch a few of those big cooperate farming operations and the shady (and shocking) things they do to the animals it might turn you vegan overnight.

 

I let my chickens run free all over the backyard. They kept the grass mowed for me. I didn’t have to wrestle with the lawn mower nor have it self-propel me all over god’s green earth. I liked that the chickens also kept the insects at bay and one of the hens in particular was very easy to catch and hold. She was a Buff Orpington. I named her after one of my great, great grandmother’s sister’s “Alta”.

 

And there was Fannie, Birdie, Opal, Boss Hog and my resident four-legged tenant: my cat. My cat and I at this point hadn’t formed a bond. She hissed at me whenever I came close to dump out the compost, yet she’d hang around and watch me work in my garden. She ate baked potatoes and devoured French fries like I’ve never seen a cat do in all my years. I fed her cat food too, but had to keep that away from the chickens since it does contain some of their distant relatives of the chicken family. That, and I’ve always been told DO NOT ever feed meat to chickens because it will turn them carnivorous and then they’ll peck and eat each other to death. So my cat also had a few feathered contenders to deal with when came to the compost and who got what.

 

My cat used to run from Boss Hog and that was funny, then if I was outside, he’d run up from behind and either head butt my legs, or peck or kick me with his spurs. Then he’d crow a really loud, almost air-horn sound. I eventually had to carry a tennis racket on my person, and believe me, trying to keep him at bay and hang laundry and pick what measly produce is left in the garden one-handed is a challenge! Boss Hog was making my life a living hell. It wasn’t a matter of who stays and who goes, I simply gave up trying to raise the hens and one very arrogant rooster. Trying to raise chickens from pullets was my first learning experience and I went at it not knowing that roosters will be placed in with the pullets in those farm and feed stores and they all look alike when hatched. I thought I was getting all hens when my mom and I picked them out on a whim (which again is very bad, by the way) since almost nothing other than the chicken coop had been pre-built. We had to construct a flimsy fence as the hens and rooster became old enough to go in their coop.

 

When they’re cute little chicks you can’t tell them apart until they produce a comb. And the other hens I had were developing mean streaks as well, minus Alta, who would honk like a goose. She was a blonde chicken and easy to catch, quite lazy, and friendly out of the five. My next door neighbors loved the entertainment value I so frustrating provided for them unknown to me, of course. Often times my neighbors would trespass into my yard just to see what my chickens were up to. I was aware of this because at the time I happened to be in the house when I overheard my neighbors talking and converging close to my bedroom window right where the fence line is. Now I don’t mind if they’d at least knock first and see if I’m home, then ask to admire my chickens. But that’s rather gutsy to just walk onto somebody’s property and automatically assume the neighbor won’t mind.

But one thing that doesn’t seem to exist (at least where I’m at) is privacy. That goes right out the window when you have neighbors close by. Thankfully they didn’t knock over my measly fence posts and wander in the backyard. Boss Hog would have put the run on them. I mean that rooster was psycho nuts toward anything that walked and would just attack for no reason. So I got to the point where I carried a super soaker water gun, and when that failed, I put the run on Boss Hog, and when I did catch him, I’d clamp his beak and pack him around tucked under one arm being mindful of his sharp talons. He hated being babied and carried around, but when I’d release him it was right back to attack mode after he got over his wounded pride.

 

When the day came I gave away my chickens and their coop for free that ended it for the neighbors wandering over anytime they felt like without my knowledge or consent. And I was glad of that. I don’t mind neighbors, but do like to have my privacy. Next time I will invest in a high privacy fence to block the view and design a much better chicken coop and face away from the north. Around this time I was heavily involved in my church and other activities that I was biting off more than I could reasonably chew. I was still piling on the sugary foods, the soda pop, and the pre-processed garbage that it showed. Even though I was physically active, the weight never left and I knew in order to improve my outlook on life, I first had a lot of cleaning up to do starting with my diet. I remember going around feeling sluggish, had almost no energy which was very odd considering I hadn’t even reached being over-the-hill age and that was still light years away for me. Something had to be done. I didn’t feel quite right mentally or even emotionally and the emotional turbulence is what drove me to go nearly almost all vegan like I am now and cut out all chemicals in my food and just recently in my laundry soaps since a lot of them can contain cancer-causing dyes and perfumes. My clothes don’t have any scent to them, but at least the 20 mule Borax team and Arm and Hammer Super Washing Soda (made for laundry only) gets them clean. And I don’t use dryer sheets, either.

 

Gardening is, and always will be, my second love. I’ve been a gardener since I was in my teens and became a full-time gardener now as an adult just this year. And when I couldn’t garden in the places where I rented from in the past, I’d have a garden space over at my parents. I was never without a backup source of home-grown food and it all boiled down to what I wanted to grow. In the beginning it wasn’t much more than spearmint and tomatoes. I didn’t get seriously into water-bath canning until 2013. And I must point out that I have NO experience whatsoever using a pressure canner, sorry. Those are just plain creepy for me because the contents are under pressure, and if something were to go wrong, the unit itself could explode. I have heard of various other food preppers say they can their own meats and chicken in pressure canners. But boy howdy, I don’t know about eating chicken from a mason jar. I know it can be done, but I’d be more worried about food poisoning personally and more leery of the chemicals, growth hormones, and antibiotics that are cooked out of the chicken and meats.

 

I have had a lot of success water bath canning my own tomatoes and cabbage even though according to the USDA they claim not to can either since there’s still a risk of botulism. However, tomatoes are acidic. The cabbage (if you’re me and make sour kraut) will contain vinegar and thus brings up an acidic level. And I tried making my own hot salsa but… wound up using way too much vinegar which I don’t believe the recipe even called for. I was making dill pickles that same day and somehow ingredients tend to get mixed in with each other. I have yet to make hot dill pickles or even can okra but do plan to try that this year hopefully.

 

I’ve been reading and like always, watching numerous youtube videos in my spare time about this soon-to-be phased out role of homemaker. Whether or not there’s any truth in all this, who knows. But making it illegal to be a homemaker that sounds to me to be very impossible. And then again maybe the videos I’ve been watching are simply all bunk or nonsense rather. And after watching many cookie cutter videos on the Mandela effect, I’ve come to realize too that yes, some product labels aren’t what I remember them as being/ looking like. For example Oscar Meyer vs. “Mayer” like it’s spelled now. That means you’d have to sing the song as, “I wish I were an Oscar Mayer wiener…” Mayer? Nah, from my memory it used to be “Meyer” and there’s more subtle changes with certain versions of the bible and the Lord’s Prayer being altered to having lines in famous movies being mysteriously replaced and there’s all the Quantum physics theories and the time parallel universe, time shift, alternate realities some claim in their videos were now living in the end times in regards to the logos and scripture changes, and a host of other things and it all has to due with Cern, and so-on, so-forth.

 

I finally suffered from extreme exhaustion from doing so much tilling and mulching my garden, having supper at a late hour than usual, then working on embroidery and watching those darn youtube videos that kept me up until the wee hours of the morning that I need to curtail it.

 

And after about the fifth Mandela effect video I came to the conclusion that it’s all repetitive with no new examples being presented. And it seems to be the narrators in these Mandela effect videos believe they have stumbled upon something freakish, creepy, and major that’s taking place. I believe it’s all to get views. Maybe they’re getting paid to produce such videos on the Mandela effect. But what the comment section doesn’t ever point out is that everything in these videos is the same the explanations are all alike in many cases as well. It kind of reminds me the old movie The Stepford Wives.

 

Until recently as somebody pointed out to me I’d never heard of the Mandela effect before. The Mandela effect is where a collective group of people remember something a certain way, while another group of people will remember something in a completely opposite way. And the lump sum that don’t know any better are spoon fed everything they see, hear, consume fall in the age range of pre-teen to Twenty-something hipster that doesn’t know any different because they were likely just born in the late 80s/ early 90s or even in the 2000’s sometime and just aren’t able to recall the way things once were because they weren’t around to see or experience it.

Twenty something hipsters and younger will spout off (like a know-it-all) everybody else 30 years and older are loosing their minds and our old age is getting the better of us and everybody 30 and older all suffer failing memories, weak recall, dementia, Alzheimer’s, etc. and the younger generation tend to laugh and be disrespectful. They do not question things in their environment and have no independent thought process and simply weren’t paying attention, if indeed, these changes have taken place.

 

And to those young things I say this: go eat your CAPTAIN Crunch. It was never, ever called “Capn’” Crunch when I was growing up. Whether this was due to cut back on the expensive marketing of this cereal, or what have you, if folks from many walks of life can recall there’s been a definite change in how logos once appeared to them, then maybe there is truth in the Mandela effect after all. Froot Loops is another one. It used to be Fruit Loops. Now I won’t argue that it could be due to marketing changes.

 

But it would be very easy to trick the masses when it comes to altering antique advertisements in print if said advertisement is scanned, then ran through a photo shop program to alter it, but that would take many hours to manipulate. Now the bible scriptures being changed was a new one on me. However, I’m not one of those that devotedly knows the scriptures by heart, either. I have several different versions of bibles, and all are vintage (1941-1990s). I have yet to turn up an antique bible from say the late 1800s/ early 1900s in English to see if these changes also exist those copies too.

Everybody’s heard of the Lord’s Prayer, and depending on which version, it does contain either lines: “Forgive us our trespasses and we forgive those who trespass against us,” This was the common one I was taught in religious schools growing up. The new one that stuns many religious folks is something to this effect; “Forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors.” But I’ve heard both used. And the “On earth as it is in heaven,” has changed to “In earth as it is in heaven.” Something nefarious, perhaps? Or could it be just a simple trick of the mind? The way I remember that line was always, “On earth as it is in heaven.”

 

And there’s more about the one particular bible verse that has people going back to their old bibles and re-reading, “The lion will lay down with the lamb,” and some now claim it states: “The wolf will lay down with the lamb,” and there’s many who stand by their bibles and claim that “wolf” was never found in this parable before.

 

My mother pointed this out to me a while back and I was very much in the dark, so to speak of the Mandela effect. Yet, even I myself have noticed lately a few subtle changes on products that caught my eye. I have noticed the Captain Crunch cereal now saying, “Capn’” instead of Captain and a few more logos that no longer look like the way I remember them being.

 

And I’m going to fall in line with all those “cookie cutter” Mandela effect youtube videos, but here it goes:  Kit-Kat is missing its hyphen. Here again this could all be due to simple label/ company changes for who knows  what or why. Companies change their products so often anymore that most products I don’t even buy if it doesn’t look familiar to how I remember seeing it. And if it states: “New look, same great product,” or “New look, same great taste!” this might be an indicator that the company was a.) either bought out or b.) outsourced their labor to either China or Mexico c.) are ready to go down the tubes and disappear entirely. And sometimes even d.) all the above.

 

But how does the Mandela effect have any correlation blogging about homesteading, gardening and embroidery? Not much, but the idea that homemaking might become illegal was extremely vague even though I did try to research this and came up instead with one article that dealt with Stay at home mom’s and keeping a house and the myths and the biblical teachings that were more geared around the Christian mindset. And even that didn’t fit my interpretation of ‘homemaker’ and keeping a home.

 

The other articles I found deal with “in home” health care services and they tend to blur the lines between ‘homemaker’ and ‘housekeeping’ which appear to be used in the same context when in fact, a homemaker is a person that keeps a home. They make sure the house is presentable and company-ready, clean and tidy, plus if they’re on their own with no husband to help out, they also do outside yard work and minor house repairs as needed if they’ve got a knack for it.

 

A housekeeper does the house chores like sweeping, mopping, doing dishes, dusting, vacuuming and maybe some meal preparation is involved if it’s part of their duties. But all these in-home health service articles aren’t what I’m getting at. In fact, they were and are way off the mark. I’m referring to a wife back in the 1950s and before that kept a home that kind of homemaker. Not a homemaker of today’s times who is licensed and board certified to go into disabled people’s home and help out. That’s what a care-giver does, not a homemaker. I’d wish they’d quit confusing the terms and replace the word home maker with ‘care-giver’.

If I type too much info into the goofy search engine I will wind up way off track and I’m not even past the first page of garbled wrong results. And since I can’t find any evidence that a woman’s role in the home as a homemaker is about to or will ever become illegal, I’m going to safely assume that the youtube video narrator got their facts wrong and could provide no concrete source(s) and/ or links to verify or even clarify this. And they were simply too vague when they said homemaking will become illegal in the future.

 

Well… I’ll believe it when I see it. But until that time comes (if it ever remotely does in my lifetime), I will continue to be a homemaker and a homesteader. 🙂

And the embroidery patterns are something that I collect, scan (if they won’t take to a hot iron anymore), trace onto fabric then I embroider them. It takes time depending on how large the image is, but worth it. The two flour sack dish towels aren’t my own creation. I simply purchased them because they’re vintage and/or antique.

 

Thanks for reading, liking, re-blogging, commenting, sharing, and tweeting. I sincerely appreciate it. 🙂

 

 

 

 

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Aloe Vera leaves, scarves for soft, luxurious hair and Chinese chopsticks: how I discovered some remarkable benefits for the least amount of money.

Published May 10, 2016 by AntiqueMystique1

Okay, I admit, it still costs money to buy these things to get started if you don’t have them around your house. However, since I’m always cramming my cranium with more knowledge about health benefits, pros vs. cons using everyday commercial hair care products that I grew up with my entire life and studying up on tons of articles out there both in print (freebie magazines from the health food store and via the internet and Farmer’s Almanac). I used to read the Farmer’s Almanac religiously when it was inexpensive years ago. An issue nowadays will cost $6.97… ouch! And along the way I discovered some fascinating healthy tidbits in my own pursuit of continuing my good health and overall well-being, especially from the of the dusty antique pages of my beloved set of late natural path Bernarr Macfadden Physical Culture encyclopedia. Now, I’m not saying this man is god. His methods and remedies, although outdated by today’s standards, may seem very far out there in left field, but the knowledge he presented (and updated from time to time clear into the 1940s) I find to be highly invaluable and educational. And it was Bernarr Macfadden who essentially opened my eyes to a healthier lifestyle. I also have a copy of his book written specifically for women that includes tailored exercises of the day, ditching the corset, health(ier) clothing choices although plastics weren’t invented yet when this book was written and a host of other information.

And I wanted more than just the egg hair rinse. I began my new hair care routine with the natural and health benefits of the aloe vera leaf. Sure, you can buy an itty bitty spindly aloe plants at Lowe’s on their discount/ distressed plant shelf for about $4 or maybe even at your local grocer for an astronomical amount for a little plant containing three puny leaves that look half dead… and let’s face it, unless you live in an arid, hot year-round climate, then growing your own aloe vera in your backyard for harvesting is nearly impossible to do in cold climates unless maybe if you bring it indoors for the winter. Believe me, I tried keeping small aloe vera plants alive indoors and just didn’t have the right terrarium atmosphere for them to survive. And then again, I only knew as much as my pre-Internet knowledge allotted me back in the day. I understood that aloe vera are desert loving plants and that’s was about it. And I knew back then the juice from a snippet of aloe leaf did wonders for burns, bruises and minor cuts. However, I didn’t come to realize just how beneficial these plants truly are until just a few months back. I live in an area that do stock aloe vera leaves (huge leaves at that). However, sometimes I can find two or even three large aloe leaves bundled for 40 cents-80 cents in the reduced merchandise cooler. Even if the aloe vera leaves look a little expired, I still find that they come in useful for my skin and hair regimen since I don’t consume the juice in smoothies.

 

And what are the health benefits? For starters, the aloe vera juice extracted from a leaf when applied to a burn, minor cuts or even scrapes helps promote healing. But did you know you can also cut open the aloe vera leaf of that clear slimy substance and whip it up in a blender to use straight as a natural skin and hair softner?  Yep, and it feels baby soft to the touch from my personal experience, gives natural luster to the hair follicle, again based on my experience, and when added in with fruit and veggie smoothies packs a lot of vitamins and antiseptics. In actuality the extracted aloe vera gooey stuff has no taste whatsoever. The kind that is produced in the bottles is oversaturated with nasty sugars.

 

It is advised to avoid consuming the yellow-ish aloe vera gooey substance because this acts like nature’s fast acting laxative. And when adding in aloe vera juice to a smoothie, do so sparingly as suggested by some health advocates and avid juicers due to a laxative effect. Also, the leaves I have found to be of use long after I remove the gooey clear substance. I like to cut the leaves in chunks and then freeze them for use later on and scrape the remaining gooey substance and use that to shave my legs with (makes the skin velvety smooth when dry shaving) and it feels excellent after a hard day working outside in the heat as well.

 

The shelf life of aloe vera juice when blended into a frothy foam that settles in the container can be stored in the fridge up to one week. I have heard from many women who also add in olive oil and coconut oil for their hair care routines, but if you hate the greasy weighed down feel it might produce, avoid using these oils entirely. It’s all about personal preference though. Personally, I found the DIY coconut oil and olive oil leave-in hair treatments to soften and restore damaged hair make my hair look and feel really gross as though I haven’t washed it in many months. And it doesn’t help living in a hard water area with nasty, industrial waste fluoride treatments, either. And it took several repeated ACV washings to get said oils out of my hair. I have alternated with the no shampoo, or “no-poo” trials with not so impressive results, either. My hair doesn’t look dirty or anything, but it’s either dry or brittle as a result even though I refrain from using shampoos and conditioners. I do, however, find that washing in city water isn’t helpful at all. I find that I’m literally at my wits end trying to get rid of the chemicals out of my life, especially when it comes to finding a shampoo that doesn’t contain Dimetheicone and its many sneaky aliases which is a polymer silicone and used in a wide array of hair products, skin care products, etc. and I believe I when doing some extensive and exhaustive night owl reading and research into this chemical is also classified as toxic according to the EWG (Environmental Watch Group). Dimetheicone also belongs to the polymeric organosilicon compounds (silicone). It is also used as an antifoaming agent, skin protectant, and skin conditioner. It is also approved for use in food as well. Eww, I’ll pass on that second helping of mystery pie. Here are Dimetheicone’s many different aliases:

 

DIMETHICONE COPOLYOL; DIMETHYL SILICONE; HIGHLY POLYMERIZED METHYL POLYSILOXANE; METHYL POLYSILOXANE; SILICONE L-45; DC 1664; DIMETHICONE 350; DIMETICONE; DOW CORNING 1664; MIRASIL DM 20; VISCASIL 5M.

 

Whew! Now that’s a long list to add to my shopping list of no-no’s. Moving along… the aloe vera leaf has many healthy properties. I heard it might help with anti-aging although I’m a firm believer we all grow ‘old’ gracefully and that is a fact of life. No amount of beauty creams and downright overpriced anti-aging concealers and beauty ‘add-ons’ that are pushed onto us women will amount to much, except perhaps do the exact opposite of what the products promise and could, for example, maybe exacerbate the natural aging process and help it along rather than magically ‘fix’ something that  isn’t broke. I also go by the philosophy, “If it’s not broke, don’t fix it.”

 

I noticed first hand the benefits of using pure aloe vera after the first week of using it like lotion. I’m not talking about the chemically-laden fake aloe vera that comes loaded with man made sugars in a 10 gallon oil drum for $1.80 at Big Lot’s. Okay, I exaggerated on the 10 gallon oil drum serving. I think it was more like 32 ounces, but still—that’s sugar overkill if you ask me. I don’t even use sugar in my evening/ morning beauty routine, although I have heard it makes the skin soft and so does pure raw honey. But skin can also absorb the sugars just the same.

 

I like to use straight aloe vera juice and go through one leaf per two weeks (when I can stretch it that far). It does wonders when your hair is damp and you’re drying it naturally (without heat of a hair dryer). I also wrap my damp hair in a soft cotton and/ or silk long scarf and let it completely dry. Using long scarves as in place of a bath towel or hair dryer to dry the hair I stumbled upon quite by accident and I highly credit a youtuber Steph Arizona for using scarves when applying hair masks to prevent it from dripping all over the place and also for throwing out some helpful advice on what to do with all those plastic grocery sacks that can accumulate like dust bunnies around the house. The grocery sacks make really good ‘one use only’ improvised shower caps and you’ll save a few bucks as well.

 

So, I gave some of Steph’s hair care tips a try and went at it with a somewhat skeptical approach at first since most of these DIY hair masks never worked for me in the past. I tried the coconut milk hair mask Steph uploaded on her youtube channel and individual results will vary. Therefore, I wasn’t discouraged when it didn’t work for me. I was only out $1.25. But I didn’t like the chemical they sneak into the Polar brand of Organic Coconut milk that I purchased wasn’t a natural ingredient and the actual coconut content didn’t amount to much. My result was my hair was very weighed down, limp and felt like it had a thick film on it that wasn’t easy to wash out even with repeated ACV (apple cider vinegar) rinses and followed up with a full strength distilled white vinegar rinse with distilled water.

Although it did make my hair look shiny and silky, it was a huge mess to wash out. I then tried Steph’s ‘rice milk’ hair mask. Although, here again I didn’t allow my rice to ferment for three days (I believe that’s what she recommended) so I didn’t notice much of a difference in my hair. And mind you I did these hair mask recipes two weeks apart to give my hair some rest. What I didn’t do was reach for the Mane and Tail conditioner or the even the vegan shampoo (found at Sally’s Beauty Supply). However, even though its listed as vegan the shampoo is still loaded with chemicals in extremely small print, so you’ll need to carry a jeweler’s loop on your person to read these ingredients on the bottle. So I only reserve the vegan shampoo when the olive oil and coconut oil hair mask blunders made my hair greasy, albeit shiny. Also, I had some success with an avocado hair mask mixed with some aloe vera juice in place of shampoo.

 

But since doing the scarves for the hair mask recipes, I do strongly urge to make careful buying choices when shopping for scarves. I admit I buy mine from thrift shops and often times they don’t have tags listing the fabric content. Sounds icky to buy second-hand stuff but if you add a little bleach to the wash (before you put your laundry in), this helps and believe me, anywhere I can save money, I opt for that and leave the big box retailers and online shops alone.

 

Also, when purchasing used scarves for these hair masks I made quite a few ‘disastrous DIY infinity scarf’ shopping blunders, not ‘buyer’s remorse’ per se since I didn’t know said scarves weren’t wide enough, but instead thin, long and slapped together likely by a newbie to using a thimble, needle, and thread (hand stitched in most cases, not that that’s a bad thing). Most of these disastrous homemade infinity scarves I do happen across are less than $1. Sometimes they’ll set me back 49 cents here and there. And if there’s a tag attached to the scarf look for silk and/ or cotton. If its polyester this is spun plastic. And rayon is even worse yet since it’s a chemical that can leech out toxins.

 

Oh, and some helpful buying advice: always look for the tag and read the label for the fabric content. This threw me off a few times since the scarves would lack their tags and feel like soft cotton, when instead they were still stretchy, clingy, and made of either nylon, rayon, and viscose fabrics. Since I did some major spring cleaning yesterday, cleaned out my overburdened closets and donated ten large bags today, I got rid of nearly all of my clothing that not only no longer fit me, but also contained polyester, rayon (which is a toxic chemical and potential carcinogen that can seep into your skin), and nearly all nylons (including hose, trouser socks, trousers, and tank tops). This included many of the scarves that I just recently purchased for my hair mask treatments and natural hair drying.

 

Then what is advisable to wear in place of all these synthetic fabrics? And what if you have extremely sensitive skin? Then what? Look at the tag in the clothing and/ or scarves before you buy them. And do TRY on the clothes before you buy them. I am a repeat offender of ‘assuming it will fit’ mentality, when in fact, it’s the opposite in some cases and it make not look good on me or it make look fantastic on the dress form, but too small around the bust or too large around the waist, etc. And why is this a ‘one size fits all’ society all the sudden nowadays?! Aw, man!

 

I hauled ten trash bags crammed full of clothing and that outgrew me since I lost weight and changed my diet for better and made (hopefully healthier) eating choices for myself in the long run. I’m almost completely vegan now, except I do eat the occasional hard-boiled eggs about once a month. So if I were to say I was full vegan, then it would make me a hypocrite. I am a full vegetarian though and don’t consume meat, chicken, pork, or even hamburger. I don’t even do those ‘veggie burgers’ since here again its all highly processed foods on my ‘no-no’ list.

 

And what does this have to do with Chinese chopsticks? Well, aside from wanting to learn how to use a pair of chopsticks (that’s on my bucket list of things to learn how to do eventually when consuming rice), I also found a new pair of wooden chopsticks today for 29 cents and they were a lucky thrift store find. There’s nothing special about them and they’re not fancy or anything. When I opened the package I was slightly disheartened to see a few splinters so I designated these pair of chopsticks as hair sticks. Hunh? Hair sticks to hold your bun in place. I found some beautiful, elaborate //ws-na.amazon-adsystem.com/widgets/q?ServiceVersion=20070822&OneJS=1&Operation=GetAdHtml&MarketPlace=US&source=ss&ref=as_ss_li_til&ad_type=product_link&tracking_id=antiquemystiq-20&marketplace=amazon&region=US&placement=B00RHL8XR2&asins=B00RHL8XR2&linkId=89fc8d0b469478d24b773175273788f6&show_border=true&link_opens_in_new_window=true” target=”_blank”>hair sticks on Amazon. So, I did a quick skim on youtube for tutorial hair stick videos and used one of the chopsticks to draw my hair in a bun and let it completely dry.

 

I used to keep my hair in a bun all the time back in my younger days with plastic hair clips before I fully understood that plastics are bad for the environment, etc. and keeping my hair in a bun constantly used to give some natural curls to my hair when I let it down so I wouldn’t have to kill my poor [then] chemically treated dyed hair or submit it to harsh hair spray. I used to be a fan of Aqua Net ‘concrete’ super hold hair spray back in the 90’s and that’s how we younger women got that ‘big hair’ look. Back then we called it, “teasing our hair” since the term ‘big hair’ didn’t come into vogue until about, oh… let me think here, around 2008 when I first heard of the term, that and the saying “big hair bands”. We simply used to call our beloved rock stars “hair bands” back in the day and not to be confused with the pony tail holders.

 

So, I’m trying out the chopstick bun in my hair as I write this and will give an update later on. I have a very tough day ahead of me and I need to get some beauty sleep. Oh, and I haven’t packed my lunch, either. I was more pre-consumed with food prepping earlier this evening and making space in my fridge for my leftovers of mashed potatoes mixed with red and yellow onion, fresh broccoli, and Chia seeds and my one pot meal of tri-color Rotini (spinach and tomato variety) without the added man made ‘enriched’ junk. I will post my mashed potato recipe for anybody that might be interested. It’s simple and takes a few minutes of food prep work, but so filling and good after a long day of running one’s legs off. I always say a hot meal, iced herbal tea (not the cheap instant teas), and some dessert of cut up fresh banana, strawberry drizzled with homemade chocolate sauce using Baker’s Unsweetened Baking chocolate bar, two tea spoons of raw honey and a few Carbo unsweetened chips is a real treat! As always thanks for reading, liking, commenting, re-blogging, tweeting, etc. I always truly appreciate it. 🙂

 

 

 

 

It’s the Brass Buckle… wait, it’s The Buckle…nope, it’s just “Buckle”.

Published March 11, 2016 by AntiqueMystique1

brass buckle clothes 1 This mall store was called “The Buckle”. Why I’ve called it the Brass Buckle for many long years is beyond me. And I finally brought my two expensive beloved new denim vests home. It appears as though I traveled back in time to purchase them. And out of all the clothes at the Buckle there was something about those two denim vests that was special. Maybe a long lost memory of “wish it had been around” back in the day, but these shredded and acid-washed vests wouldn’t have been seen in a high-end clothing store like the Buckle back in the 80’s/90’s. I found an old exterior picture of the former Buckle sign on Pentrist when randomly searching for an earlier image of this store. The Buckle’s typography has changed over the years. I prefer the way the Buckle sign used to look, but that’s because I don’t like seeing boring typography/ signs. Oh, and the Brass… eh, Buckle has always been expensive.

Yours truly wanted to treat myself for sticking with my Yoga and cardio exercises, which have yielded me… no, not six pack abs thankfully, that’s not my goal. But I have slimmed down than what I had when I first began exercising two months back. And has the weight been staying off? Yes and no. It just depends if I have those “cheat” moments and either consume natural sugar from the raw honey or from too much fruit at the wrong times of day. If I consume fresh fruit and/ or fruit smoothies in the morning then my body will burn through that natural sugar. However, if I mess up an have an apple for my dessert or fresh fruit late in the evening, then I gain it all back. So it varies from day to day.

I had a moment of inspiration while in rue 21. In the dressing rooms they post how a person could win $50 if you model their clothes and upload it to instagram or some other picture uploading website. And for us older folks, don’t forget to use your pound sign “#”. I know it’s a “hashtag” but, yeesh, hashtag reminds me of “hash browns”.

Rue 21 tops, alas, I don’t buy any if the fabric has polyester. I find that if it has a high content of plastics it will just irritate my skin. I haven’t found an all cotton top yet at rue 21. But from there, I have taken “after” or “getting there”  photos of my weight loss journey. I still have a long way to go before I’ll ever see those defined abs, which isn’t really my goal, per se, but hey, if it works, great! 😀

And there’s that part of me that was drawn back to the Buckle. I keep wanting to refer to it as “The Brass Buckle”. So, today was especially long on me. Not only did I get in some mall-walking, I also got in some irritating “people-loitering” in the aisles of Wally-world as well. I did price checking for a 1988 House of Coty perfume, Exclamation. It will always weave itself and its fruity hints of the late 80’s and leave a lasting impression of my older sister who has always been my biggest fashion inspiration and liked it at the time back in 1989. I haven’t found a pair of ‘hoop’ earrings yet that won’t pull down on my ear lobes due to heaviness, nor look like the thin hoops I remember seeing. I found some at Wal*Mart that were small and more like what I’m searching for, but only a few neon colors appealed to me. I did the price comparisons and went from the jewelry aisle back to where I found said last pair of jeans. $4.88 versus $19.98 for the jeans. The earrings came in a six pack, which for what they’re made of pot metal I felt the asking price $4.88 was excessive. There were more of those earrings in stock. I scrutinized the neon hoops. The earrings were painted pot metal and kind of on the ‘heavy’ side as far as earrings are concerned.

And hoop earrings are massive in size and heavy nowadays. They’re nothing like the smaller cute light weight pairs of yesteryear. I know I stated in my post I don’t/ haven’t shopped at Wal*Mart, and I that now makes me a hypocrite because I went there today. Since I was out in the area I refer to as “suburb/restaurants/shopping center nightmares” due to the heavy traffic and decided to cure my curiosity.

The pair of acid-washed I found are by “No Boundaries”, a very generic staple Wally word brand. I still have it in my head that $19.99 is steep for a pair of any new pair of jeans, however, it sure beats the dom perignon of $79.99-$200 and up from the other guys. I don’t want to say anything bad about the denim the Buckle stocks, but none of it appealed to me and I couldn’t see spending or putting anything else on layaway from them. The Buckle’s jeans were just too much alike in style, cut, and the prices are way too steep for the average working person. Now, I’m not downing their store. I think it would be an awesome place to shop with unlimited funds, try on and if a person finds something they like, layaway is always there, no matter the income bracket. What is dismaying is the discount rack which is a joke. It doesn’t offer much off the original price.

When I hunt for garments that appeal to me price is the biggest factor. Secondly, the material and texture. If it’s too stiff, scratchy, irritating, or feels like spun plastic, then I don’t even bother to pull it off the rack and look at it. Third, the quality. I know that the article doesn’t always need to be top notch. However, if its my hard-earned money that I’m dumping into a semi-nice wardrobe for any season, then it better last me long after I get it up to the register and pay for it. Like, it better last me two lifetimes over. But I realize that’s pipe dreaming when concerning made in China clothing.

Lets discuss the prices. Do I really want it that badly that I’ll pay a steep price? Do I really need it? And the last question; Will it last? Yeah, as long as I don’t look at the garment the wrong way. But the denim already has shreds in it. How long can it possibly ‘last’? Well, if well taken care of, I suspect it will last me a few years. I bought both of my vests in size large because I think in terms of future laundering. China clothing (especially Asian) runs so small and always has. The size large I was able to button the vests and it felt comfortable. The size small was way too small and I’m a petite woman. And when washed these articles may/ might not shrink. They are 100 per cent inferior cotton, not real, authentic sturdy cotton material the way it used to be once-upon-a-time.

The staff is top notch at the Buckle. I would highly suggest stepping in a Buckle store location, but there have been some disappointments and no resolution to bad reviews about their products when ordered online from countless folks. So buyer beware. Make sure you can go in person to try on some of these clothes and shoes. The Buckle does have some nice summer shoes and that’s all I’ll say about them. But the price turns me away instantly. I’d be insane to ever pay more than $20 for a pair of tennis shoes, albeit $50- 290 for a single pair of their signature sandals, boots, shoes, thongs (flip flops), etc.

I’ve been able to find Daytrip, BKE and a few other signature “Buckle” brands at my local thrift stores for a whole lot less, about $2.49-$4 for either a Daytrip top and BKE shorts. And on eBay, these articles don’t have hardly any resell value. I’ve seen a pair of Gemini Daytrip shorts for $25 Buy It Now. That’s getting cheaper, but still quite pricey when you add on the shipping. These shorts, when new, retail for $45.95 and up. I see them with less zeal than I had when I first laid eyes on their acid-washed shorts a while back. Thanks for liking, sharing, re-blogging, tweeting, commenting, etc. I truly appreciate it as always! 🙂

 

 

rue 21 Layered nail polish, mall stores, and jewelry review:

Published February 29, 2016 by AntiqueMystique1

I decided to review a store in the mall called rue 21, Victoria’s Secret, and another modern high-end clothing store.

I know, I know… rue 21 is a store aimed at pre-teens/ teenagers/ Twiggy super model folks that have stick figures. But since yours truly here doesn’t need anymore clothes—really, she literally has TONS of downsizing she should be working on in her wardrobe, but it’s a nice day out today. I want to take advantage of the sunshine and somewhat warm odd weather by getting my assets out there and clearing away the rest of the debris from the garden. By tomorrow though, its supposed to be very cold again and unpleasant.  😦

But for right now I wanted to squeeze in at least one blog post before I hit the great outdoor barren land known as my backyard.

I had only been in rue 21 maybe one time before I found their discount section. You know—the merchandise that was likely somebody’s five finger discount, and when its recovered, has missing parts or pieces. Sometimes if an item is boxed, the packaging is so damaged, nobody in their right mind would pay full price for it. And other times said jewelry just breaks because its so cheap and made in China.

I gravitated to their discounted jewelry, and believe me, I don’t care if the set of earrings match or are broken/ missing their mate, etc. If I happen across another pair just like them at a deep discount, I purchase both sets. But most of the earring sets they had on sale for half off were matching and nothing wrong with them. Other sets of discounted earrings were missing a pair or two. So, I bought a few feather earring sets in different colors. Yep, real feathers, but from what specific bird or flock, I have no idea. Oh, and I bought a pair of dream catcher earrings for only a dollar. But most of the earring sets will be in the $2-$3 range or under.

As I was examining the jewelry for long term wear ability (as in can it tolerate daily wear and tear) and the quality of said jewelry, I seldom buy it if its flimsy or the fake gold hoops will tarnish before I have the chance to pay for them. Starting in the 90s (about 1993 and ’94) jewelry had really began a downward spiral. Yes, the inexpensive (and sometimes even high-end stuff) was/ is very inferior. Not so much by way of design, but by quality and the pot metal used to produce it. Pot metal was supposed to be the “new” white metal that was extremely light-weight and very inexpensive to mass-produce in large quantities. Pot metal was used in everything from cookware to phonograph parts back in the day, which is why now one-hundred years later, if you happen across a broken tone arm to a hand crank phonograph, the likelihood it was made of pot metal is very great. In fact, pot metal has its origins stemming all the way back to the Civil war era of the 1860s, if not earlier.

So when the jewelry production became less and less in 1993, I quit wasting my money on it. I also had severe skin reactions to the cheap metal used in the 90’s jewelry, and honestly, I got sick of hearing everybody saying, “Oh, I’m allergic to gold jewelry, too!” Admit it, it’s not real gold. Most folks can’t afford that. And for quite some time I suspect it was something in the metal jewelry that gave me and many others skin rashes to the chemicals used when producing this 90’s jewelry junk. I turned instead to the thrift stores. I know, Ewww, gross. You’re really going to buy second-hand necklaces and earrings? What if somebody really disgusting wore them before you?

Here’s how to sterilize earrings (including used ones): mix a capful of hydrogen peroxide with a few drops of rubbing alcohol, give the earrings a quick soak in the solution and immediately place said earrings on a towel to dry. If the earrings are made of enamel-painted metals, be sure not to let them soak for more than a minute or so, or else the enamel paint will flake off and the posts or hooks on the earrings might corrode and become rusty. That’s how we did things back in these ‘old days’ when  shopping for new jewelry became too expensive in the retail chain stores at the mall.

I do remember Claire’s Boutique in the mall was the place to go back in 1989/90. Not only was it up-to-date on the [then]  trend of boys getting their ears pierced, but some of the most awesome jewelry I ever purchased in the late 80s came from Claire’s. I remember my older sister would cart me along to the mall with her (and it was only once a month, if that and whenever our parents could drop what they were doing and provide the transportation), and therefore, a special treat.

Believe me, you don’t want to make the trek on foot from one end of town to the boondocks on a sweltering, windy day to the location where the mall was constantly undergoing expansion despite that it was a far cry from ever becoming a booming metropolis.

Anywho, we make the trek out there, poked fun at all the mall walkers, and I must point out that mall walkers of the late 80’s generation were far different from the mall walkers that mill around nowadays. 80’s mall walkers looked like extras from a Richard Simmons exercise vhs tape. Seriously! My sister and I never did spot Richard Simmons running around in a sweat headband and spandex. And the mall walkers of the 80’s would literally mow you down if you didn’t ‘move-it-or-lose-it’.

And my older sister and I would make ourselves appear older than we were. We were trying to garner the attention from the teenage boys. But since yours truly wouldn’t hit puberty for another year, I couldn’t pass it off, though my sister did do an excellent job on my hair and makeup. In fact, I was still in my ‘tom boy’ faze. I didn’t go all out to dress to impress. I wasn’t looking for a boyfriend yet at 12. I believe I enjoyed the mall back in the late 80s due to its exciting atmosphere. I mean the mall around this time attracted all kinds of people. I saw guys in their twenties with hair longer and straighter than mine and they sported more piercings in their ears than I did. And then if you seen a thirty-something show their face in a place like Hastings music store, they were really ‘old’. However, we failed to see that the rock bands we loved so much, all that heavy metal music, those musicians were old enough to be our parents during these times. But we still fawned over them as there’s a saying, “Rock stars are ageless.” And people, collectively seemed to age slower as opposed to nowadays, and I truly believe this is due to a change in our chemically-treated food/ fluoridated and chlorinated drinking water, chem trails…. etc. that I won’t ramble on about.

And nowhere in sight was there a hint of body modifications, lip fillers, breast implants on your average woman back in the late 80s. I mean, I’m sure there was if you were a super model, but your average working woman didn’t feel the compulsion to be driven to such extremes. We didn’t see anybody sporting huge ear plugs that stretches out the ear lobes back in the eighties, either. Those we only saw on the educational/ documentaries about different tribes. As a young generation growing up during the 80s we were slowly introduced to the ‘nose piercing’ beginning about 1989. This was made famous by one of the band members in Skid Row. (And if you’re reading this, forgive me if I don’t know who you are. All I know is my sister liked your band). I’m terrible with who played what instrument and the name of said rock star, but the nose piercing was a shocking statement of body jewelry adornment and there was more yet to come.

And nowhere was there any stores aimed strictly at teenagers called rue 21 or even the pre-teen/ little girl store “Justice”. And now even years later I never fail to shock myself bypassing what appears to me to be a store for teenagers, but in reality the store displays bras for little girls?! 😮

I read countless stories about little girls are maturing much younger nowadays and their bodies are undergoing more stress thanks to all the chemicals and growth hormones that are in dairy products, processed foods, in school-mandated vaccines that it’s no wonder the next generation are hitting growth spurts early on even long before puberty. Same goes for the shoes. I’ve been told repeatedly that shoe stores seldom stock a woman’s size 6 or even a men’s size 4 anymore. This is because women’s feet are almost as large as a man’s nowadays. Therefore, I shoe shop in the thrift stores and just hope I find a pair of shoes that still have some miles on them and fit.

And I’m so glad I was one of those girls that went through puberty at about the right age which was 13 long before any of the mandated questionable vaccines became commonplace. Long before the chemicals in our food began to sicken us (literally) though it was always there just seldom brought to light. And it took me half my life to make the connection to that. I was spared, and in retrospect, I consider myself blessed.

Back in my day they weren’t giving growth hormones to cattle or livestock or putting man-made sweeteners in the milk so kids would drink more of it. And if they were, then they sure wouldn’t tell us, the consumer about it because if we all of the sudden became ‘nutritionally concerned’, then we wouldn’t buy their products.

All I did hear about messing with food was the dawn of the GMO’s were being discussed on daytime talk shows like Opera, Geraldo Rivera, Phil Donahue, Sally Jessie Raphael,  and GMO’s were largely laughed at and discredited in the early 90s as I remember it. I believe it began with the genetically modified yellow corn taco shells from Taco Bell and then became progressively worse as the years went on. Yet today we have people like Alex Jones trying to wake people up to what’s really being put into our food and tap water. But that’s getting way, way off topic.

No, we didn’t have rue 21. There wasn’t a teen store called Justice either back in the 80s/90s. I didn’t receive my first ‘torture device’ known as the bra until I was 13 and it was new-old-stock straight from the 1950’s, I kid you not. I still remember the box it came in. The bra was plain, white, very stiff maybe cotton material, no stretch to it whatsoever. It was horribly uncomfortable, no underwires yet, but you really didn’t need them with this excruciatingly painful itchy undergarment. What chemicals was my first bra made from? Likely stuff that would be banned nowadays for potential carcinogen causing and/ or flammable materials, no doubt.

And bras for teenagers weren’t sexy. There was no ounce of Ooh-la,la when bra shopping with your own mother. And the bra of the early 90s wasn’t aimed at turning on the teenage boys, either. It was a garment that was supposed to support and function and nothing else, although until I made the connection with the bra and health risks it can pose years later, never gave it a second thought as to any potential damage I had possibly exposed myself to for many years.

Bra shopping back in the day was embarrassing, especially with your mom. It wasn’t a fun experience and it wasn’t intended to be one. The goal was never about, “Oh, I want that bra that unhooks in the front, has see-thru lace insets, has cute little bows, unties over the nipples…” or the “Hey, check it out! There’s nothing more than an under bust open shelf bra. My boyfriend will want to see me in that and we’ll have great sex!” Such thoughts like those, if you grew up in a sheltered household that is, you didn’t entertain until you became a legal adult and/ or gotten married. In fact, parents used to lash out on their kids if they even gawked at a naked mannequin in a store window. Nowadays, totally different mind set. Completely different world.

My mom and I made repeated trips down to a small town sundry store called Hampstead’s that was operated by a snow-haired little old lady who was in her 80s (and this was way back in 1990, by the way). I still remember it was that little old lady who laid down the law in her store the first day we met. She didn’t tolerate any loud or obscene behavior and didn’t like teenagers running unsupervised in  her store (and years later as an adult I’d understand why). I came to deeply appreciate all this old lady explained and showed me.

I immediately obeyed, and by the end of that very same summer, we were on a first-name basis. I became a loyal customer buying stale candy and comic books and would help her out when she needed to straighten up the store since I was a.) young and b.) physically able to bend down and reach things and stand on a ladder or use a long pole to reach stuff that was high up on a shelf.

Back then we didn’t do too much on computers except play some floppy copy disks games at school since the internet wasn’t around and computers weren’t in most American homes. If you wanted a job in the real world (aside from mowing lawns all summer), then you had to mentally do the math in your head, dress nice when picking up job applications, speak like an adult, and have/ show manners.

Cash registers weren’t always digital. They used to be manual and didn’t run on electricity and they wouldn’t spit out the correct amount to give back. You had to figure it out in your head and be quick on your toes.

We weren’t given homework on a school website back in the early 90s. And we weren’t so lazy with our grammar that it went unchecked by the keen eye of an English teacher. You learned about these life skills the old fashioned way through physical text books, actual paper ‘homework’ and a teacher’s short fuse. Either knew it or you were written off as a lost cause in a teacher’s eyes at the let out of the first day of school. There was a strict mentality of either you’re smart or were born a dumb ass if you needed anything clarified. I always viewed it as the sink or swim theory.

I knew where to find the best deals that was for certain when growing up, and if we found a close parking space available, then we knew it was going to be a good shopping day and we might hit pay dirt. I assume nowadays the term is “haul” and what you get a lot of for very next to nothing. I don’t create or upload any “haul” videos on Youtube. Maybe I should. But Youtube seems to have so many of those videos and the ‘live on a dollar a day’ grocery shopping videos that it can be mind-boggling at times.

And so I wandered through my local mall this month. I stopped at a junction inside the mall that used to have a beautiful water fountain back in 1993, but it had long since been removed and the space now converted into a corral for fake motorized animals that you can rent to ride for two minutes, five minutes, and thirty minutes, but the cost to ride them is excessive and priced per the minutes. I believe the fountain closed down due to teenagers who used to dip their hands in and snatch the change at the bottom. All mall cops would shout was, “Stop doing that.”

Alrighty then. And here we have these motorized animal scooters. Totally boring. I mean Showbiz Pizza was a lot more fun than these hideous rides. At least at Showbiz a kid could be a kid. A teenager could go there for the arcade games, play them until they ran out of change, and still it didn’t hurt the pocket book by the minute. But entertainment nowadays is so dull. I assume that and the Jump-for-Joy activity are the only two major pulls that keeps this local mall going. Oh, those and the mall theater which has a ticket booth on one side (never busy or open it appears), and the actual movie theater on the opposite side appears completely devoid of staff. To make the movie theater appear busy the mall has installed a few of those crane games.

And everyone milling around seem very out of shape or they look like they don’t feel well. This could very well be due to the chemicals in our foods and the medications they’re likely taking, if any to combat certain conditions. It’s sad. And the trim women are usually the bubbly, loud-mouthed, obnoxious, ‘don’t know what I want in life or care where I’m going’, stick figures with no meat on their bones, yet they show off naval piercings on their fake tanned bodies like its something new to their friends. You only live once, but your attractive artificial-tanned body will prematurely age you given plenty of tanning bed sessions.

I just roll my eyes, “If that’s what it takes to be beautiful nowadays, forget it.” And there’s the type of mall person that wants to just get in, buy their crap, and leave and the walk to get to their vehicle is staggering. But perhaps I fall somewhere in-between all this. I’m not underweight, nor am I obese. I don’t flaunt my midriff and not an inch of my body is pierced other than my ears. When I do step out I make sure my garments cover me. My hair is done up in beach curls, something of which I taught myself how to achieve at home with my home made beach salt hair spray. And I go very easy on the cheap makeup since it irritates my skin. I hope I can find some high end vegan makeup to replace the cheap stuff I wasted my money on and something that won’t make my skin irritated or raw from wearing it.

My generation is completely unrecognizable, wasted (as in lack of nutrients, bloated, pale and sickly). Flat, short cropped hair seems to be the in-style for a majority of the mall women. They bathe in the knock-off designer perfumes, wear chunky jewelry all inspired by either the Kardasian’s or some other female icon nowadays, and they are trying to impress others with their ‘looks’ and still be a ‘friend’ to their kids who accompany them.

Mall men wear baseball hats and/ or are going bald, they don snarky t-shirts that might say, “My wife thinks I look better carrying a six pack of beer, than having an actual six pack [abs]”, open flannel shirts and jeans. They appear to have a beer gut and remark, “No, Hon, I can’t have that off the menu because of my type two diabetes,” And these men should be healthy. They’re young, not old by any stretch of imagination and they look elderly in physical appearance in the face even though some might be 30 and 40-something? But they look beyond their years. Maybe society has aged them or maybe its a result of all the crappy food, fast food, beer, medications, who knows.

And there’s the all too common, young 27-year old woman wearing pajamas and thongs on her feet. She has bed head hair, no makeup on, pushing a baby stroller, another infant strapped to her chest, and yet another baby on the way. Her hair is pulled back in tight a pony tail. She oblivious to all that’s going on around her. She’s yapping to either her boyfriend and/ or husband, cell phone in one hand and busy texting, or maybe even updating her facebook status, and she’s carrying on a conversation with an older lady (perhaps her mother-in-law or her mom) and not giving her undivided attention to the lady or even paying attention to her little ones. There’s a large-sized half consumed cup of Starbucks coffee in the drink holder of the stroller, baby bottle in the other. Boyfriend and/ or husband is eyeing all the single, hot-looking ripped muscular girls with huge breasts and maybe thinking to himself, “Man, if I had to do it all over again,” or “Why did I get myself tied down with kids?”

And Claire’s has officially gone to the little girls. Long gone are the days of buying awesome jewelry, cross pendant necklaces, hoop earrings or even faux rhinestone stud earrings and black thin rubber jelly bracelets. Nowadays everything is rainbow-themed, Twilight (the vampire movie), Hair accessories, over-priced faux leather small purses, more hair accessories, and earrings with cute little unicorns and other girl-ish themed earrings that kind of resemble a throw back to the early 80s but not quite. And then there was the ear plugs that stretches out the ear lobes and other body jewelry.

I decided to stop in Christopher Banks (?). I get this store confused with Joseph A. Banks. Well, anyway, I decided while at the mall do as the aimless do, and see it all, so I did. What attracted me were the bright pastels and spring colors this store had on display. I’m getting way ahead of myself.

I’m there in leopard print leggings, suede cowgirl boots with fringe, a black sweater dress with a black dress belt, and the saleswoman takes one look at me and says, “You’re in the wrong store and not an inch of our clothing would fit you. The misses and petites are in our sister store just catty-cornered from this *plus-sized* store.”

I thanked her for her for letting me know since there was no sign stating it was for plus-sized women, and quickly left. I walked out feeling so proud and knew that sticking with my Yoga, getting in some daily cardio and eating clean food is finally paying off for me. It took me a while to find said store. I popped in for a few, looked at all the gaudy spring pastels they had displayed on plastic dress forms, and I began to feel like I stepped into an episode of the Twilight Zone. I mean, really– the clothes were so far out there I began to get the impression by the shoddy quality of this high-end clothing store, I’d never be caught dead in this place again. And their jewelry was one step down from the average “Made in China” cheap pot metal jewelry. It was so thin, I was afraid to even look at it.

Every inch of fabric was my newest ‘no-no’ when clothes shopping: Polyester—the woven plastic that doesn’t allow your skin to breathe and release toxins naturally as the body should. Rayon, spandex, and nylon are in the same ‘plastic’ family as our good ole’ carcinogen buddy, Polyester. Yuck! Absolutely not! I think to myself.

And I could be wrong here, but it seems like the plus-sized clothing had more to offer—design wise as far as fabric and choices went. In the misses and petite sister store the styles were an eyesore. There was no originality that I could see. Screw this, I’m mall-walking past the food court to head back to rue 21.

At the misses and petite store even I found myself at the center of scrutiny by the stern-faced, average stressed out saleswoman. My attire screams… actually, I don’t know, maybe out-dated or perhaps its not typical mall walker/ regular shopper attire. I don’t keep up on trends anymore. And their attitude in the misses and petite store was rather “Can I help you find something?” of an order, very aloof and not at all a friendly greeting like I had gotten from the other sales woman at the plus-sized store. I quickly replied, “Actually, I’m looking for your discounted jewelry.”

And the saleswoman pointed to a very small rack of bracelets and necklaces sandwiched between the towering dressing rooms and right behind the cash register counter. Something about stepping behind the cash register to see a section a store has to offer has always creeped me out. Maybe its just me, but I feel that’s crossing hallowed ground in the retail world even when permission is granted. I personally rather like to see discount jewelry displayed out front or within a few feet from the cash register not behind it. Otherwise its located in an awkward area that you have to contort your body in weird angles just to see the selection. Enough was enough. I hope I never have to shop at Joseph A. Banks, or Christopher Banks or even any “Banks” store at all. I received the distinct impression this wanna-be high end store was for the late forties/ fifties crowd with a more moderate income to play around with. Not necessarily rich or well-to-do to shop at Dillard’s or J C Penny’s so this wanna-be high end clothing store kind of pacifies that high maintenance lifestyle.

And coming back to the old lady with the snow white hair that didn’t like unruly teenagers. I could begin to see why the mall posts a sign that anyone under the age of 16 now has to show proof of photo I.D., and if they have parents that work in the mall, this could be waved, and all 16 and younger teenagers either had to be accompanied by an adult in no more than a group of five kids total and/ or be escorted to the food court and off the mall premises by 6 p.m. on Fridays and weekends or said underage teenager(s) would be ticketed for trespassing. And this is supposed to teach another upcoming teenage generation what? More than likely if they aren’t employed, then their parents will be paying the trespassing fines, and how is this supposed to make the mall safe for others to shop in or curb any type of violence and/ or retail theft due to shoplifting? So between the hours of 6 pm and closing, I presume this makes the mall extremely safe and a fun, family-oriented place after dark? Violence can happen anywhere. Shoplifting is a crime, but it still happens everywhere. I kind of do see the logic in this, but I don’t see how a list of rules in small print will curtail this.

And when have teenagers become so out of control that such strict laws now must be put in place? It’s sad what this generation has become. I know the same thing was said of my generation, my parents, my grandparents, and even my great grandparents. Instead of bringing kids up with morals, respect, and a structured family and/ or religious life, we are now desensitizing kids with violent video games and online B.S. instead. And when violence happens in a mall? Oh, well, if there not out of here by 6 pm, we’ll fine them for trespassing. That should nip it in the bud.

“Attention shoppers, mall curfew will be in five minutes. If you are 16 or under and don’t have a ride, call for one and wait in the food court. A rent-a-cop will escort you out.”

Its no wonders teenagers are the way they are nowadays. They have only one hang out, but it doesn’t stay open very late and only allows in certain ages to congregate there in small numbers. Everything has boiled down to restrictions, no fun to be had anywhere, and when teenagers act out or cause destruction, violence, or shoplift everybody pays somewhere down the line.

How about instilling some positive role models or some good old-fashioned family values in a teenager’s life? Do any still exist nowadays? Maybe so and perhaps not anymore.

Back in my day teenagers got lost and the mall was the place to hang out on weekends at least for a couple hours before supper time. We’d hang out in the food court, down an orange Julius without getting an ice-cream headache, maybe share a slice of pepperoni pizza, ration our gummy colas and sour patch kids, go discover the hottest new rock/ heavy metal band. Heavy metal as I recall was on its way out as far back as 1987, but there were a few bands still on the charts in 1989. And the round-stop trip wouldn’t be complete without shopping for black thin jelly bracelets or finding some dangle cross earrings or silver/ gold hoops.  But it was a different time and enjoyable. I don’t remember ever hearing about mall violence back then unless if it was in a big city that had more than one mall to go to, then I heard about it happening in sporadic, rare instances and the said teenagers were nothing more than thugs.

A 1980’s mall had a much more relaxed and lax social gathering and set of business hours. And there were mall rules everybody had to abide by. They were posted on the entrance and exits in large print. Nowadays all I saw was one measly small-print sign tacked to a store display outside of a book store about teenagers 16 and under had to be off mall premises or risk being fined for trespassing on Fridays and weekends. What teenager is going to stop to actually read and obey that? How are they going to collect on these fines if there’s no court case? Teenagers of today will likely knock the sign to the ground, stomp on it, be kicked out of the mall by a rent-a-cop, and be back in the mall the following week like its some kind of new pastime.

Granted, teenagers in my generation were obnoxious and some non-violent rambunctious behavior could get out of hand at times. But never did I see a teenager or a whole pack of them storm into stores to smash, grab, and then leave.

Perhaps I perceive these new mall rules completely wrong and need to watch a few teen mob videos on Youtube to educate myself. I can see it as heading off potential trouble at the pass before it has a chance to happen.

What I do hate is seeing what’s become of society nowadays. People don’t seem happy anymore. There’s no more ‘care-free’, let your hair down, pull on your tightest jeans, tuck in your plain shirt, style your hair big, apply makeup, bangle bracelets, earrings, a necklace, and your beloved acid-washed jean jacket and lets go try to reel in the men. Eh, where exactly is a good place to meet a man anymore these days? And no, bars do not count. You will never meet a decent sober man in a bar. You might wind up with the loser, a bar fly, or some older man who still thinks he’s Mr. “stud muffin”. And you might wind up with an alcoholic, and even a creeper but that’s about it.

I trekked to Earth Bound Trading Company. I mainly stepped in to see a real life Tibetan singing bowl. Has anybody seen or heard these in person? They are so loud it hurts the ears. But the ‘ringing’ hum they produce lasts for hours. I do like them when they’re combined with meditation music. On this day, however, I didn’t carry my camera phone so couldn’t get a pic of the singing bowl. But it was still a sight to behold. And I saw beaded curtains which are super cool, but the $39.99 price and the fact that the said curtain could not be adjusted to work in my small place made me quickly reconsider. That, and they didn’t have many different intriguing designs. And if you like Bamboo beads, go for it. But I heard more bad about the bamboo beaded curtains than good. The bamboo curtains tangle something horrible and they don’t last as long as their acrylic (plastic) counterparts. Plus the bamboo beads fall off.

Nah, I think I will mosey over to the clothing section. What do I see? A faux leather fringe purse for $58. Well, boy howdy! I could see dollar signs evaporating before my very eyes and I was still a week away from getting paid next. And the fringe was extremely long. The said purse kind of resembled a boho style marries a ‘possibles’ pouch from the Pioneer days. It didn’t appeal to me. Discounted jewelry at Earth Bound Trading Company was varied, and not much of a savings in my eyes.

So, I skimmed through their essential oils list. (And if you don’t have a vitamin store in your town, you’re going to pay double what essential oils generally cost). $14.95 for unscented lotion. Essential oils (depending on scent) were anywhere between $10 per bottle on up to $16 and so on. And the size of the bottle is tiny. You don’t get much for your money. I believe I’ll check back in with Hobby Lobby at this rate. Oh and the clothing was made of Viscose which falls in I believe the wood pulp/ paper family. It’s a chemically-treated cellulose material, that when wet, doesn’t allow your skin to breathe and soaks up sweat and oils like a sponge and traps them. Also, any garment with a high Viscose content will state: “Dry clean only”. I wasn’t about to waste $26 on a summer dress that likely would fall apart once I got it home. I was ready to leave. I head back to rue 21 where I purchased some sturdy-looking bangle bracelets for $2, one bottle of their discounted $1 layered nail polish, except the color I picked out is bright construction worker orange, yellow, and hot pink. I knew that it wasn’t free of the embalming chemicals, but did buy it for painting stuff outside my house. And I also bought another pair of teal-colored feather earrings. I figure once summer hits, I’m bound to find a cotton-made teal tank or summer shirt to go with it from the thrift shops.

As far as shopping on a budget rue 21 wins out as far as discounted jewelry is concerned. As far as rue 21 clothing is concerned, let’s face it, discount racks are the way to go. Sometimes you’ll find a great starter summer wardrobe, or even add to an existing winter wardrobe, but nearly all of their garments will be made polyester or similar plastic blend. I check the tags before I purchase or even try on. And most of the time I go by feel alone and if the material is scratchy, itchy, stiff, too soft like artificial silk, then I don’t even waste my time trying it on. I know that sounds crazy but it does help so said garments don’t wind up in one of my donation bags and I won’t be out any money.

Oh, and Victoria’s Secret is another place I have seen parents dragging their children into. Back in my day such stores were very off-limits and it astounds me that a parent nowadays would expose their children to seeing thongs, g-strings, and racy lingerie. And I must realize that everything nowadays is hypersexualized for a kid growing up and there’s no avoiding that. Sex sells and its everywhere you go. I also see young women in their twenties and older women dragging their boyfriends and husband’s in VS. But their attitudes are what make me take notice. Their ordering their significant others to stay put, they tell their xxx amount of kids to “Shut up, mommy wants to see if this fits so she can look like Kim Kardasian!” And the woman saying it is in her forties and frumpy. She let herself go, not that there’s anything wrong with that. Looks aren’t everything. But as a society I see it with crystal clear vision: the price of beauty and to look beautiful is staggering! And the competition given way to breast implants, tummy tucks, body augmentation, plastic surgery even dental implants to retain that flawless pearly white smile is even more prevalent than it was a decade or so before. And it’s making it harder on women of all body types to achieve. It’s too expensive, way overboard ridiculous, and mind you, I’m light years away from being “old”, but it will happen to me. That’s a part of life.

Once upon a time for a couple of bucks you could shop at home through a mail order racy catalog, receive said lingerie products and you’d be reaching for the Louieville slugger to conk your boyfriend and/ or husband over the noggin’ that very same night you model the lingerie for his eyes only in the privacy of your own home. At least that was the ‘censored’ world of old. Nowadays, babies, toddlers, pre-teens, and teenagers mill through VS like it’s nothing new. And me? I’m gawking at the $22 price for a single pair of thong underwear that isn’t even stocked in my size. I like the spring colors and neons, but simply hate the crotch floss. This doesn’t look sexy on a plastic dress form and it doesn’t look remotely hot. And did I mention uncomfortable as well? And going back to the attitudes I seen while in VS. Women weren’t happy. They seemed stressed, restrained by the slim-pickings available, and there was the non-stop yelling at their kids who were wanting to go see something else in the mall than be babysat by their mothers. The husband and/ or boyfriends were made to buy said racy lingerie. They all had looks of boredom, and believe me, I have never, ever seen a man become bored in a lingerie store when he’s with his significant other, at least I can only assume this to be true. So, there’s the bickering and fighting from the mom tied down with five kids and one in a push-stroller. There’s the bored young couples and the poor men who want to shield their eyes and leave all the chaos behind. They don’t want to pay for it much less argue with their significant other about it for the rest of the week.

I see this as an outsider because I don’t have a man in my life, yet. In fact, why am I even in VS in the first place? Kim Kardasian sure didn’t make me go here nor did any other air-brushed, photo-shopped VS model for that matter. I guess I was wanting to see if there’s any normal ‘cotton’ underwear that still exist this day in age. And I suppose I had my question answered when all I came across were boy shorts, the ‘sensible’ thong, and g-strings and none of it made of cotton. I’m not talking old women underwear that’s 80 cents at K-Mart. I’m talking something appropriate to wear with Daisy Dukes that won’t have me checking myself over every five minutes, or needing to make pit stops in women’s restrooms to adjust said attire in private. As always, thanks for liking, re-blogging, tweeting, sharing and commenting. I truly appreciate it! 🙂

80’s shredded jeans: Tutorial with pictures.

Published January 14, 2016 by AntiqueMystique1

Okay all you headbangers, metal militia dog tag owners, Z-rock 50 loving, concert-going 80s kids everywhere, here’s my first tutorial with pictures on how to re-create your own pair of 80’s shredded jeans. I decided to do a more in depth tutorial to show off how these were originally created, at home by me and my sister when we were younger. These shredded jeans were very popular with teenagers back in 1989-1991. This original fad nowadays has many copy cats and their reincarnations don’t quite depict the accuracy to my memory and why is that? Is it because the new torn jeans are made in China? Not really. It’s because the newer styles nowadays aren’t period correct to the 80’s. And sometimes you just have to have somebody who lived it, experienced and made these jeans routinely step in and impart their knowledge down to the younger generation and that’s what I decided to do.

I received a burst of inspiration today after I dragged my tired self to the mall. I was in search of black rubber bracelets, and alas, none of the jewelry/ trendy clothes stores sold any when I inquired. So, the last place I ventured into (and hadn’t stepped into before) was the modern day version of “the Brass Buckle”. After speaking with a friendly twenty-something and getting a no on the particular bracelets I was in search of, I thanked them and browsed the clothes displayed on a nearby table. I noticed a pair of “Daisy Duke” frayed shorts and flipped the price tag over.

$45 dollars for a pair of shorts I could easily re-create at home? I don’t think so.

I then checked the prices on a pack of bangle bracelets, $19. Nope. I’m outta here. I started to leave when another young store clerk complimented me on my jeans and tried to persuade me into trying on a pair of shredded jeans they had, then asked me what size do I wear. I replied, quite taken back, “I don’t know”, and without so much a second glance at the pair of jeans he was holding, left the store.

I can only imagine those pair of jeans were likely $68 or higher. For that price I could crank out several pairs of shredded jeans. As always, thanks for liking, re-blogging, sharing, commenting. I sincerely appreciate it.  Should you have any questions about my tutorial, feel free to leave me a comment. I will respond as soon as possible. Thanks! 🙂

P.S.- Depending on the jeans these may take a while to fray. Not sure if the jeans pictured will fray or not, but that was the desired effect when making them. And sometimes my sister and I would sew bandannas inside the slit often resulting in the fabric falling apart entirely. It was incredibly difficult to do since it had to be hand sewn (not to mention expensive to buy the actual bandannas). Therefore, my sister and I often wore panty hose and/ or leggings underneath.

shred pants 1 shred pants2

shred pant3

shred pants 4

Step 5: finished results should look something like this.

shred jeans step5

How to make 1980’s shredded jeans:

Published January 12, 2016 by AntiqueMystique1

What you will need:

One pair of sturdy, sharp scissors.

One broken-into well fitting, straight leg jeans. (Levis 501 or a pair of old acid-washed jeans will suffice if you can find a pair nowadays). If not,then any pair of jeans will do.Copy of shred 80s jeans danny walh

Starting just below the front pockets, poke tip of scissors through the top layer of material. Don’t puncture to the back of the jeans and don’t wear these as you proceed to make these shredded jeans.

Next, working from left to right (or whichever starting point you prefer), cut a slit through the material, stopping at the seam.

Repeat each slit about a half inch or an inch apart all the way beyond the knee. Allow for the material to fray and make sure the slits aren’t too close together or else they won’t last as long.

When finished making the slits down the front legs, reverse the jeans and start well below the back pockets (depending if you want your underwear to show).

Staying true to eighties fashion, most shredded jeans around this time didn’t show off the underwear.

Proceed to cut slits in the back legs of the jeans pay careful attention not to cut into the front legs, thus it’ll ruin the slits already made.

Keeping perfect slits on both sides shouldn’t matter too much. Going for the frayed look was more in vogue than the alignment of the slits in the material.

Finish by turning the jeans inside out. Wash them in cold water to prevent shrinkage. You may not notice hardly any fraying of the jeans on the first or even third washing. Fraying of denim takes time and some inferior jeans may fray faster than others.

Copy of shred jeans nowadays

Photos provided are to show how the original 80s shredded jeans looked compared to the newer (mass-produced/sweat shop) versions that are commonplace nowadays. A tip to pull off the eighties shredded jeans: Girls, wear a pair of panty hose or colorful thin tights underneath to enhance this look. Showing skin back in the day (if you’re a girl) wasn’t the point of wearing these shredded jeans. It was more about what looked cool rather than ‘showing off’ too much. Also, whoever mentioned that everybody wore these shredded jeans back in the 80s because it was the thing to do was likely ‘born’in that time and doesn’t realize that the ’80s shredded jeans’ fashion was loathed by many straight-laced conservative, eighties parents. It would be like me saying everybody donned disco leisure suits, open shirts, sporting gold chains throughout the span of the 1970s and hit their local discos five nights a week looking like extras from Saturday Night Fever. 🙂 Thanks for liking, re-blogging, sharing, commenting. I truly appreciate it.