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February 15, 2014: Uncoordinates

I gravitated to Alaska for fashion-related reasons. Like manhy who reside here, I am not indoor fashion conscious. Like most others, my daily dress decisions are based on the following questions: Can I get what needs to be done wearing said items? Will said items keep me warm in the winter and cool in the summer? Will I be able to move about freely? Is said item in my cost range? And being a livestock owner, there are, of course other, additional situations, such as will Hrimmi be able to tear it? Will it absorb goat slobber? And, will the chicken shit show if I’m wearing said item out in public.

These are not questions that fashion-minded people consider. This is because most fashion minded people work indoors; this as opposed to a lot of Alaskans who work outdoors or at least spend considerable time outdoors, thus making them semi-fashion conscious.

So you won’t see me wearing high heels. Rather, like most, I wear clunky snow and hiking boots almost year around. I also don’t accessorize: no earrings, bracelets, or necklaces here. I do have these items, and would wear them, but the occasions don’t seem to merit this. I also don’t paint my nails or have them painted – if I had the time I would. I would like to have my nails painted blue with little yellow stars, like the Alaska State flag.

Scarfs – I have a few, but again, have little occasion to wear them.

I feel at home among others who because they have lifestyles similar to mine, think similarly. In the mornings I throw on long underwear, jeans, socks, and a sweater – all items that I put at the foot of the bed the night before.

One of Pete’s fellow graduate students (the word “fellow” is used purposely here) once called me a female Pete. I never got to explain that there are differences. I do not wear men’s underwear, nor do I wear jeans with buttons. Nor does he have the desire to paint his nails.

This morning, Pete watered the chickens and the goats. I took his picture as he emerged from the shed. This photo is most telling. He’s wearing his new Patagonia thrift store barn coat. Never mind that it’s not quite long enough in the waist. It fits in the arms and shoulders. And it’s warm. Note that Pete appears to be color-coordinated – his coat is teal, and his hat has teal stripes. This wasn’t planned – we don’t have a full length mirror. Actually, we do have one – it’s up in the guest cabin, which is near inaccessible right now. Rather, it was one of those serendipitous things. Note too, that Pete’s also wearing bunny boots, and his pant cuffs are askew. I have up until now eschewed bunny boots because they are heavy and clunky. But, I’m now thinking about getting a pair.

What’s brought my musings about fashion to the forefront of my consciousness is the fact that I’m now getting ready to go to survival school. It’s a one night, two-day class. I’ve been thinking about what I’m to wear, not because I want to look good, but because I want to stay warm. I’m getting older, softer. Never mind that I once took a week-long mountaineering class, went up Mount Washington, and in the process stayed warm while wearing regular winter garb. I’m now fretting about getting chilled and having to be helicoptered out of the parking lot at the Chickaloon recreation area.

So I have my warm gear in a pile in the kitchen addition. I have tossed two pairs of long underwear, nylon outer pants, a lightweight quilted jacket, two hats, a Baklava (these are Greek things you eat if you run out of food), and a few pairs of gloves and mittens.

Yesterday, on the way to dog obedience, Pete and I stopped in an outdoor store and purchased me a pair of Smart Wool gloves. The Smart Wool Company is one of those trendy companies – but they make good things that last. The gloves were spendy. My track record with gloves is pretty bad. I’m going to put them on a string and thread the string through my Refrigerware suit. I don’t want to lose them. Pete also got me some studs to screw into my boots, so that I will not slip on the ice.

This weekend’s going to be all about staying warm. However, there is something I call outdoor fashion. Yes, there will be some in attendance who will have put duct tape on their gloves and down parkas. And there will be others who will have the latest and greatest wearable outdoor gear. And me? I’m going to run with the winter trend setters this weekend. When they look at me, I’m going to wave my new spendy gloves at them . . . and smile.

Next: 47. 2/16/14: Survival Class: Gimme Shelter