Category Archives: Miscellaneous

Fashion Challenge

I have no sense of style.

You know that TV show, “What Not to Wear”? I would love to be a contestant (is that the word?) on that show! To have someone give me a pile of money and personalized fashion advice, not to mention the hair and make-up — I just swoon whenever I think about it.

My personal style can best by described as “casual”. I wear jeans and T-shirts (topped by a sweatshirt if seasonally appropriate; substitute shorts for jeans if the seasons go the other way). On my feet I wear sneakers, or my new favorite shoe, the Merrell Encore Chill. Comfy as all heck, but not exactly fashionable. My friend and I joke that we are shoe challenged – we wear what feels good and have no idea what looks good. I am allergic to heels over an inch or so.

Last night I watched the documentary, “Shut Up & Sing“, which is about the Dixie Chicks and the fallout from their 2003 eve-of-the-war comment about President Bush. I highly recommend this movie. While I’ve always been a fan of the Dixie Chicks,  I think the movie would appeal to anyone who cares about independence, free speech and integrity. I came away feeling incredibly impressed with the maturity and thoughtfulness of the three women who make up the group. What to them was a throw-away comment turned into a boycott of their music by country radio stations and impacted record and ticket sales. It would have been so easy for them to “make nice” and make it all go away, bringing their music back to country radio and resurrecting ticket sales. But they were firm in the conviction they had done nothing wrong (I personally agree with this) and refused to compromise musically. If country music wouldn’t take them, they’d find another audience. And they did!

But to bring this back to the topic of fashion, I absolutely loved the clothes Natalie, Emily and Martie (the Dixie Chicks) wear when they are on stage. Being fashion-challenged, I’m not really sure how to describe it. Funky comes to mind. Lots of color, different materials and layers. I really just thought it all looked cool. I fear I’m too old to pull off such a look now (unless I make it big in rock or country sometime soon), but if I get the chance to do it again, I’m going to find a more exciting personal style when I’m younger. My high school and college days were spent mostly in preppy clothes – alligators and chinos were pretty big in my wardrobe. Snore.

Do you have a personal style? How did it develop? How long have you had it? What do you wish were different?


This Day in History

Today is March 11th.

My grandmother died on this day in 1997. She was either 83 or 88. I think. Which would make her 96 or 101 today, I guess. Or somewhere in between.

It’s also the birthday of a former boyfriend, who was much older than I. He’s either turning 59 or 60 today. Sixty! I hope it’s 59 – I’m not sure I’m ready to have a former boyfriend in his sixties. Not that it matters since I haven’t been in touch with him in years. But now that I think harder, I’m pretty sure it’s his sixtieth birthday. Egads!

Another key date in my personal family history is May 23rd. We’ll see if I remember to post about it then.

How much trash?

We are fortunate (?) to live in a town with weekly trash pickup. Each house is provided one of those big wheeled trash bins that we put out on the curb once a week and the big trash truck comes and the automated arms lifts it up and dumps it into the trash area of the truck and it motors away to wherever trash goes once we leave it out there and forget about it.

Today is our trash day. The house across the street from us has a very similar family living in it: single mom with two kids. Every week they have trash bags literally overflowing the town provided bin. In contrast, there are some weeks I almost feel like not putting our trash out to be picked up because there is so little in there. (But I always do because I worry about the smell.)

I don’t know why we generate so much less trash than our neighbors (for the record, the neighbor kids are 10 and 13, not diaper-wearing kids in case you might have thought that). I don’t do anything special to keep our waste low. We do participate in the town recycling program, but that only gets picked up every other week and the volume is relatively small. I could easily put our recyclables in with our regular trash and not increase the amount by very much.

How much trash do you generate? Is it more or less than families of a similar size? Have you done anything to reduce your waste output? Aside from recycling, what can you do to generate less waste?

Tree Troubles

What to do about our Christmas Tree this year?

I’m in the “two weeks before Christmas” camp as far as Christmas trees go. While not morally (or otherwise) opposed to artificial trees, we’ve always had a real tree and frankly, I have no appetite for purchasing an artificial tree this time of year. With my two week time frame, next weekend would be the perfect time to get our tree.

Except for one teensy little problem.

We are going away from Thursday – Monday as our big family Christmas gift this year.

We won’t be back till mid-afternoon on December 14th, and then work and school will take over the rest of the week. Yes, we could get our tree the weekend after we get back (in this case Dec 19-20), but we are actually going away to visit friends the week between Christmas and New Year’s. I’m not comfortable leaving a live tree up for more than a day without someone being home.

Anyone got a spare artificial tree we can borrow this year?

Giving Thanks

Happy Thanksgiving!

We are enjoying a lazy day at home before heading over to friends’ for a dinner hour Thanksgiving meal. We are bringing two pies, the recipes for which were offered up by Facebook friends when I posted a status looking for new recipes to try. They are both setting in the frig right now, and were easy to make. I hope they taste as good!

Today I am thankful for my two beautiful and healthy children, my own good health, our two dogs, my job and all our friends and family.

Musings on Toilet Paper

I am a toilet paper snob.


I will, and do, buy store brand milk, spaghetti sauce, crackers, cheese, napkins, trash bags and bagels (actually, we like the store brand bagels best!), but I have always splurged on so-called “premium” toilet paper.

What can I say? I really like the feel of something thick and soft on my bottom, rather than thin and rough (Git yer minds out of the gutter people!). I have always told my kids they only need “2 squares” after finishing a “typical” jaunt in the bathroom, but that rule is relaxed when out in public, since we typically need 5 times that to do the job. I have even wondered how much money people actually do save using the cheap stuff, considering you have to use so  much more of it per task, not to mention the lack of comfort factor during the process.

But recently I came across an article that has me second guessing myself. Apparently to make the really soft toilet paper (and tissues, paper towels, napkins and virtually any other product we prefer soft) they have to use old trees, since the fibers are longer. Recycled paper cannot be soft – only standing trees, the older the better, can do that. How awful to think of beautiful old trees being grown only to end up wiping you-know-what and being flushed away.

I like this quote at the end of the article and hope it’s true: “If they can put a man on the moon, they can create soft toilet paper without cutting down trees.”

For the record, I am an “over” person.


To Do

We have friends visiting this weekend! We usually visit them, but this time they are coming to us, which is going to be really fun. I’m not so good at “entertaining” so meal planning for this weekend is stressing me out a bit. I just don’t know how to plan for more people than our usual three, and what they will/won’t eat. And little things like decluttering  – they will sleep in the “pink room” which is where my kids have their dressers, and there is no flat surface for them to put anything on. Plus, the bathrooms need to be cleaned. However, I have stocked up on plenty of adult beverages for us to indulge in – the mangoes are ripening on the counter for the mango margaritas, and the avocados for guacamole are almost ripe enough. They’ll be here in about 24 hours – I’ll probably technically still be working but hopefully I’ll have the bulk of my “must dos” done so I can visit.

Have I mentioned how much in love I am with our little Ruby?? She is such a sweet little dog!


What’s that other dog’s name again?

Here’s Ruby sleeping in my desk chair. Where I’m supposed to be sitting and working. Usually she sleeps on my lap while I’m sitting here, but I had to get up and plopped her down. She made herself comfortable.