Wednesday, 21 November 2012

Grit and Mettle

You know that the forces of Chaos are strong in you when you find yourself stranded at a small-town bar with a sick chicken and it's not even noon. And you can't just pull up a stool because they really-really need you at work in 15 minutes. This happened to me yesterday. 

Who would you have called? 

Western shirt: Susan Graver Style, thrifted
obi belt: Elizabeth Kelly London, etsy, last worn here
skirt: Joe Fresh
tights: Calvin Klein, outlet store
Browns I.D., Holt Renfrew, last worn here, story here

Luckily, the world has some extremely kind-hearted people in it, including ones who also laugh at me even as they are "helping." Though I didn't make it to work on time, I did eventually get there, and the only other wrench in the works was that I forgot my lunch - but wouldn't have had time to eat it anyway. 

scarf: Gabii (Texas), last worn here
denim jacket: Bluepower, last worn here

trench coat: Bebe, My Habit, last worn here

Turns out that our feathered girlie-girl, Maryjane Frystack, likes shiny things - her mid-digestive system was impacted with grit and tiny bits of metal. She needs some labour-intensive care (with the hope that we can encourage it to pass), and if the next few days do not turn out well, at least I can know in my heart that I have done what I can for her. Thanks again for your good thoughts. 

articulated cicada pin: Ricky Boscarino of Luna Parc
Self-chosen 40th birthday gift - I associate my birthday with the sound of their singing, and as a child collected their discarded exoskeletons. Cicada re-birth / transformation / life-cycle journey symbolism has taken on even greater personal meaning in recent years. 

Hardcore hen-tending is the tip of the iceberg of things on my plate at the moment, and I am already missing posting frequently, responding to comments, greeting new commenters individually (Hi!!! Thank you!), and especially commenting on your blogs. 

Know that I'm not far away, will be back around as I am able, and that I'm thinking of y'all with such appreciation in the meantime. 

I hated to miss Visible Monday this week, but I'm linking up to Show Us The Brooches! over at Une femme d'un certain age. Hooray! As is usual, I couldn't choose a favourite, because they are ALL my favourites! Links back to original posts with details below. 


  1. Was your 40th in a cicada bonus year?
    Ours come out every 17th year.
    I didn't ride my bike that entire summer so I could avoid a mouth-full of cicadas.

  2. Oh we totally understand when you are needed elsewhere. You MUST take care of glitter loving chickens. They can not take care of themselves. Now go eat your lunch.

  3. Love the cikada brooch! We don´t have them where I live (Sweden), but I remember them from my exchange year in Iowa. I had never seen an insect of that size before, they were quite scary at first. You have a great site, really special!

  4. Oh, poor Miss Maryjane. I hope she is able to, uh, erm, you know, that. I'm sort of thinkin' I missed something somewhere, but am enjoying the image of a chicken snugged up to a bar, trying to order a brewski.

    I love all your pins. I'm hoping life slows down enough this weekend to photograph some of my brooches. I'm always late to the party, but that's usually when it's just get started, right?

    You guys are in my thoughts - sending healing wishes your way!

  5. Oh dear, poor Miss Marjane, I do hope she will be OK, and can totally understand you need to do your best for the poor love. But what WERE you doing in a bar with her? Was beer part of her treatment?
    The stitching on your shirt and jacket, the shot of blue with the scarf, and that wonderful cicada brooch bring this outfit together in great style.
    We'll all be here, Amber, waiting patiently until you have the opportunity to breath, eat lunch, and blog - take your time! xxxx

    1. Closest phone to where my car broke down on the way home from the vet, "lol." She was probably about ready for a beer herself! Also, you will never guess what happened to my borrowed vehicle on the way to work today. Besides "get a cell phone" and "now you have no money for xmas shopping, or shoes, ha ha" I wonder what the universe is trying to tell me???

      Thank you and Lynne and the other commenters above for being so kind! Our adventures in Bloglandia are such sweet relief and I am well overdue for a good marathon catch-up. xoxo

  6. My goodness-- in a bar with a sick chicken. I sounds like the beginning of a really interesting piece of fiction! Sorry the little feathered lady is so poorly (I suppose eating metal will do that to you). Let's hope it finds its way through her.

    Thanks for the photos of your wonderful brooches. I think I should have a look at my vast collection and see if there's any that the world might like to see.

    Much love from England,
    Rosemary from

  7. Well, I wouldn't have called Ghostbusters!
    What can you do? You just can't fight these things, and Ms Maryjane was in urgent need of attention! The shiny thing obsession, she's just a girl, isn't she?! Poor darling, can't blame her for being attracted...!
    I really love that cicada pin, fascinating creatures! When I was a kid in Australia we used to collect their shed skins. They could create the most incredible noise! I'm sure they're not as noisy in NZ!
    The Western shirt is a winner, love 'em! And I'm digging the beautiful blue scarf; it's the perfect shade of blue! XXX

  8. The only thing missing in your bar-story, are photos of the situation. Well, I have a vivid imagination - I can just picture you!

    Is Miss Maryjane really a magpie at heart? I hope she'll get well soon!

    I just read your answer to Lynne and Curtise - and nearly lost my breath just reading about your troubles. Why does everything always have to happen at the same time? Thankfully you manage to look awesome at the same time, your boots are fantastic, the brooch is gorgeous and the tights are amazing with seams on the back!

  9. I am so sorry you have a sick chickie. I hope she does well.
    You look fab in this outfit as you do in everything you wear. (Amazing style!)

    What lovely brooches you have. The cicada is really fantastic. I used to be scared of them, but I do enjoy their sounds.

    I hope the chaos ends and that you have a better week.

  10. Well, with you as her mama Maryjane Frystack's love of shiny things would seem only natural. But I am sorry that she eats them!! That poor chicken. I hope she recovers. (please, please, please to the cosmos) At least your care is the best you can do.

    I love your posts, and this one's opener is like a movie by Jim Marmusch. Blogging has a no obligation policy so you while you may feel behind, I hope there's no stress in that. (I'm one to talk...) You still look fabulous and I love your brooches.

  11. I'd have called anyone who would help - even if they did laugh at me. Sorry to hear about another sicky chicky. Hope she is able to come back from a tummy full of metal. My inlaws dog eats everything imaginable, but manages to throw it all up. (Gross!) I loved looking back at your chicken photos that you linked to. They are such lovely ladies.

    I love all of your brooches! How fun to see them all in a lovely collection. I should have done a post on all my brooches. I've managed to wind up with a collection of them this year.

  12. "You know that the forces of Chaos are strong in you when you find yourself stranded at a small-town bar with a sick chicken and it's not even noon." Ok, this has to be the Best. Opening. Line. Ever. You have so many amazing brooches and pins, no wonder you can't play favorites. Thanks so much for linking up today and joining the Brooch Party. I hope your hen recovers soon and that Chaos takes a vacation.

  13. What wonderful brooches! I love the cicada one.

    I hope your chick gets better soon.

  14. I so enjoyed your brooches... and your opening line!

  15. I agree with Une Femme - that is the best opening line ever, of a blog, book, movie, letter home to mother. If you did have a cell phone, the opening line would have been so bland.

  16. Oooooooooh the brooch is a work of art and I'm glad you made it to work on time:). Poor chickadee - hope she gets better! xo

  17. The first time I visited something was up with the computer and all I could get was your opening line - no pictures and no further. So I was just tantalized! I had to come back early this morning to see what it was all about.

    My my, what an adventure. And you have on the perfect outfit for it. Give my regards to your lovely side kick, Ms. Maryjane. Poor dear, she'll have to go bling-less. Or she could just admire your brooches (those bigger than a chicken beak, that is). Love the cicada!

  18. The opening line, very noir pulp fiction! And that shirt plus the gorgeous brooches!

  19. That does win the prize for the best opening to a blog post ever! It's no wonder your chicken has a fondness for shiny things, given how much gorgeous bling they see you wearing (Ms. Frystack was probably just jealous). I hope she's ok - she's luck to have people who will go above and beyond for her.

    You have THE most awesome-est taste in jewellery - that cicada brooch is seriously cool.

  20. You paint such an evocative picture!! I took it a step further and pictured you sitting on that barstool, chicken embraced, downing a beverage or two, then facing the camera to tell your story. It would make a great scene in a movie. You clearly have a great costume designer.

    But seriously, I hope your Ms. Frystack is better!! And I hope the winds of chaos die down a bit and provide a respite. I love your brooch collection. The cicada is outstanding, especially as a 40th birthday memento. I'm in touch with Megan to start my own collection of button brooches, too. I love the way you cluster them.

    One thing: if blogging becomes a source of stress, either it's self-inflicted or you have the wrong readers. :-) We ADORE you. Yes, we're always hungry for your next post, but each blogger and their rhythm is different, you know, ebb and flow. One blogger I love recently said she always feels behind. I do too, but I'm actively trying to shed that paradigm. We've all got enough to stress about, right? In other words, once a week, month, or year we'll be happy to see you!!!!

  21. So sorry about your hen and her predilection for metal. ... and speaking of metal, that articulated cicada pin is just all kinds of wonderful.

  22. I have fallen in love with your articulated cicada pin, ahhhhhhhhhhhhhh
    Amber you kill me with all the things I love.
    Have a fabulous weeekend, my friend.

  23. Thank you so much for the good vibes, I definitely need them! I have been out of the loop with my blogfriends and I have been catching up on your last few entries that I missed. Oh my god, woman. You have brilliant taste in quirky pieces of clothing and jewelry, especially. I am salivating at your pictures, haha!

  24. So sorry to hear of your Maryjane's plight and touched by your tender caring of her during her struggle. Hope that she improves soon and that your life calms down. Your brooches are beautiful, as is your ensemble, with that gorgeous blue scarf.

    Take your time! We will all be here 'as the world turns.' During the best and most difficult of times.

  25. Fascinating brooches Amber! I pray that Ms Maryjane Frystack was able to pass the offending metals. You are a wonderful guardian.

    Sue xo

  26. Piękny blog bardzo podobają mi się Twoje stylizacje:))))Pozdrawiam

  27. GASP!!! I love love that jacket!! That entire outfit looks so good on you, Amber! Now, about Miss MaryJane. I am so sorry. Poo. Some birds do take to shiny things and now poor MJ is paying the price. And you too. I hope she gets all better. I, too, feel quite remiss in my blog duties of late. Life here has been so very hectic indeed. With five children in the mix, one grandchild, a spoiled rotten, poorly housetrained beagle, I feel like I am gasping for air sometimes!!!! I hope your day is easy and happy. xoxo Lynn

  28. Girrrrrrrl! You need a HAT for that cicada pin! One with a bit of buckram in it, that will stand up to the weight of the pin, and a bit of height in the front, to frame it in!


Thank you for your comments!
- Amber