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Economic Stress: Don’t be Chicken Little

Under UmbrellaRecently, I talked about ‘rehearsing” your brain for job loss. Aunt Toby believes in the pragmatic and salutary effects of working through your own ‘worst case’ scenarios and coming up with answers.

Brain Rehearsal for Job Loss

Obviously, other people take a different approach:

“..a few months ago, Ms. Hubbard, a graphic designer in Cambridge, Mass., began having panic attacks over the economy, struggling to breathe and seeing vivid visions of “losing everything,” she said.
She “could not stop reading every single economic report,” was so “sick to my stomach I lost 12 pounds” and “was unable to function,” said Ms. Hubbard, 52, who began, for the first time, taking psychiatric medication and getting therapy. (more…)

Everything I know about fashion I learned in the barn

Gone with the windScarlet O’Hara might have said, “I’ll think about that tomorrow,” but Aunt Toby’s readers may also recall the ‘make me a dress out of the green curtains’ scene where she also said, “I’m going to Atlanta for that three hundred dollars, and I’ve got to go looking like a queen.”

Such is the power of appearance; li’l Miz Scarlet understood that if she wanted to ask for what amounted to a huge chunk of change, she’d better look as if she did not need it. And logic means nothing under these circumstances, either – we’re talking right after the end of the ‘War between the states’ – and another one of her famous lines was ‘I’ll never be hungry again.” It’s not as if she felt she had a choice.

Hard times make for hard choices, and at times, that means making the decision to ‘keep up appearances’ can be really really important. (more…)

Wherein Aunt Toby grapples with something a little bit lighter in terms of the economy

This blogging thing can get a little strange at times. Recently, a female blogger from Think Progress was followed by two Orcs from Fox across the entire northern portion of Virginia just so that they could leap out at her and harass her with a camera and questions. I figured I was safe here at Chez Siberia – this is the sort of place The Unibomber would pick to hide out…if he wanted to hide out in plain sight.

But this morning, it definitely got weird when The Boy looked out the window and announced, “Ma, there are a couple of guys in suits and sunglasses getting out of a sedan – they’ve got wires on ‘em. Whadya do this time?”

Yep – definite FBI or Secret Service; they have the look, you know? And wearing sunglasses at 6:30 a.m., when it’s barely light is a definite give away. (more…)

Money Saving Tip: Dress for the Weather

Today, I was reading a sewing blog that I am very fond of (Miss Celie’s Pants) and there was a posting about a dress which just so happened to be the dress that Mrs. Biden wore at the Inauguration on January 20th. Now, the reason it hit me is that at the time, when I saw the photographs of Jill Biden and Michelle Obama, I noticed one very striking thing: Mrs. Biden, even in her big red wool coat, looked really really cold. See: Number 19 is Jill Biden; Number 26 is Michelle Obama

Please notice what the two ladies, out in some extremely cold and windy weather, are wearing and how they look. It was 27 that day and with the wind, the wind chill factor was 7 degrees F. Except for a couple of breaks, they were exposed to the weather for hours.

Mrs. Biden is wearing a wool coat and high boots. And underneath that coat is the dress that Cidell wrote about in the link above. This dress, as you will notice from the picture in the link, has little tiny sleeves. Yes, it is made from wool (but it is men’s wool suiting – not exactly a heavy fabric at all) and considering the price, is probably lined, but undoubtedly with the standard polyester or acetate dress lining which is thin, slippery, and frankly, not warm at all. Mrs. Biden is also a very thin person; she is not exactly carrying around her own “insulation.”

Mrs. Obama’s outfit has frankly become quite famous – for its color, its cut, the bow on the front and so on. What is interesting about it, though, is what it is made of:
Michelle Obama’s Dress

“Ms. Toledo, who has been making clothes in New York for 25 years, said the coat and dress were made of Swiss wool lace, backed with netting for warmth and lined in French silk.”


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