It’s all about the shoes!

Give a girl the right shoes, and she can conquer the world.

- Marilyn Monroe

Shoes…I love shoes…  I’m not going to blame this on gender…which would be easy to do…  But, I’m going to blame this one on genetics.  I come from a family of shoe lovers, and for better or for worse I am passing it on to the next generation of shoe lovers…and I don’t think we’re alone.  genetics

Now some people will tell you that shoes are a necessity…I’ll tell you that too…but they are more than that.  You know how Shakespeare said that eyes are the windows into a person’s soul…well, I kind of feel the same way about shoes…no pun intended.  I once fell in love with a guy based upon his shoes.  in hindsight maybe it was shoes I fell in love with…either way, they’re both gone now…but here’s my point.  shoes   Shoes, like many other things, help us express who we are.  Say for instance you meet five people for the first time…all males, all wearing jeans…one is wearing running shoes, one leather hiking boots, another cowboy boots, another loafers, and the last a pair of flip flops.  Okay, now you are meeting five women for the first time…all wearing jeans…one is wearing running shoes, one is wearing three inch heels, one is wearing five inch heels, one is wearing leather hiking boots with a wedge heel, and the last one is wearing flip flops…  flip flopsNow you could make the argument that, “Well yeah, shoes help us express who we are…but so do clothes, and hair style, and jewelry.”  And hey, I’m not going to argue with that.  But to put this mathematically…which is risky for me, in my above scenario the jeans are the common denominator (that’s it, that’s as far as I’m going with the math), with the shoes further defining each individual…and by looking at their feet we have an idea, although vague, of the people whose feet are in these shoes.  And if you happen to be dressed in something a little nondescript, and you add a quirky booty, or something with a stand out color…you then make the whole thing “pop”…and apparently popping is a good thing.  Actually popping is a good thing…who doesn’t like to pop…when we pop, or our walls pop, or our front yard pops, we’re/it’s saying “Look at me!!!”  Shoes….help us pop!!pop

Now you might be saying, “Okay, I can get this, but I don’t agree that gender has nothing to do with this, after all, Imelda Marcos had over 3000 pairs of shoes in her collection.”   Again, I don’t disagree, but lets go back to necessity, we need more shoes.  Men can usually get by with some dress shoes, some casual shoes, maybe some athletic shoes, sandals….   We need, okay “need” might be a little extreme, but still we need more shoes.  We might have a pair of boots, but they might be brown boots and we need a pair of black boots, along with booties in multiple colors, as well as some with heels, some with no heels, and some with a wedge.  And we haven’t even touched on material yet…suede, leather, canvas….man made uppers…and I could go on….boots

So now, here’s the real beauty…say that you might have indulged a little too much last week….maybe you’re a little bloated, maybe you’re a lot bloated…guess what…you can  still fit perfectly into a new pair of shoes.  Who cares how you look in a new pair of jeans…we already discussed the jeans….and pardon me for getting political here, its the shoe, stupid.  Like they say, if the shoe fits wear it!!  Or actually, let’s change that up a bit, if the shoe fits, work it!!!woman in boots

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The Power of the Window Seat

Power is the great aphrodisiac.”  Henry Kissinger

The first time I ever flew on an airplane my grandfather let me sit in the window seat.  I remember looking at the world in a totally different way as we flew way above the ground.  And every flight after that I always sat in the window seat. No matter how much turbulence there was or whatever excitement there may have been in the cabin, I always sat, fixated on what was going on out the window…in my queendom.  Whether it was trying to figure out my bearings over the land, contemplating scenarios in the clouds, or imagining what was going on in the homes of the cluster of lights far off in the distance…having the window seat could free your mind and your imagination to a world of possibilities.  And then I had kids.

airplane window

Kids like window seats, and the other kids like aisle seats, and we mothers and fathers often find ourselves in the middle seats…the seats where the tray tables end up with all the cups, and peanut wrappers, and everything else that was brought on the plane with you,  and the window seat is no longer available.  But still when the opportunity is arises, I will lean forward, and squeeze in close to my little one so I can still take a quick glimpse out the window to check on my queendom below.

cloud picture

During the most recent holiday, my kids and I took a quick trip to Seattle.  Our travel plans changed at the last minute and we were assigned two middle seats and one aisle seat.  Once again I ended up in the middle seat, seated between two strangers.  My fellow passengers seemed nice enough, and we settled into our seats and all was well…until my window passenger closed her blind. How can you do that…why do you get a window seat only to close the blind.  And then it hit me. My fellow passenger, although I am sure a very nice person, had cut off my view to my queendom…and she could.  She was awarded the prize of the window seat, and with that seat, for the next three and a half hours, she controlled whether or not I could see out that window…she had a power that I did not possess and I was at her mercy.  Now there are those folks who recline themselves into your lap or kick the back of your chair…but these folks, well you can kick the back of their chairs or recline your seats into their laps…respectively, but there is nothing you can do when someone cuts off your access to the outside world.  Your imagination is idled…everything becomes stifled and you are just another passenger on a plane.

person in airplane seat

So as we flew high above the ground that day I stared at the back of my window seat passenger as she pulled the window shade down, and realized that for that day, for that flight I had to abdicate my queendom to a stranger…a person who I had never seen before that day and will probably never see again.  This stranger had, for that day, a power that I did not possess.  But I will be back, mark my words, I will be back. And once again I will look out my window and see marshmallow people in the clouds, snow on the mountain peaks, and imagine families sitting down for dinner in their far off homes, and once again I will be queen of all I see…if only in my mind.

blog queen

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I love you…no I hate you…no I love you…no I hate you…………..

“I don’t see how an article of clothing can be indecent.  A person, yes”  ~Robert
A. Heinlein

The other day I posted on Facebook, “I have this love/hate relationship with spanx, and honestly right now I don’t know if I’m loving or hating.”  And one of my friends responded….”sounds like good material for a blog.”  So here it is…..

Okay, first a little history…what are spanx.    When I speak of spanx, I am talking about the body shapers…the uber tight undergarments we wear under our clothes to give us a smooth, blemish free, muffin top free look.  And for better or for worse, it appears that spanx have become a necessary part of our daily lives.  Okay, I’ll back track here…a necessary part of our daily lives for those of us that desire a smooth, blemish free, muffin top free look…  For me, rather than shoving my expanding assets into a tight fighting body shaper on a daily basis, I normally will cover up with loose-fitting tunics and leggings.  But…on those days when more than loose tunics and leggings are required, I will squirm my way into one of these tight-fitting garments and bitch about it the rest of the day.  Now, as much as I hate to wear spanx…I don’t think I could live without them.  They do help me mask that extra 5 or 10 pounds…however, once I get over 10 pounds, I can pretty much forget the masking and try for a little damage control. 

So now lets discuss this love/hate relationship.  My love…the ability to still manage to fit into some of my favorite clothes, and look “okay” in them.  And quite honestly, spanx are an effective body shaper that actually looks pretty.  My hate…I just basically hate them…they are unyielding, they are controlling, and incredibly restrictive…kinda like some of the men I have dated.  But…they do make me look good…not necessarily like some of the men I have dated.   And again,  backtracking, …let’s not really say “good,” maybe just better.  But should I bitch…is it fair of me to bitch?  I remember walking into my grandmother’s room while she would be struggling to get her girdle on.  Now my grandmother was a sweet woman, but I never really saw her exercise or workout…except when she was trying to get her girdle on…then I would see her bend, and jump, and do whatever was necessary to get her girdle on, and get it on right.  And then after she got the girdle on, then she had to attach the stockings.  Which brings me to another topic…panty hose.  Who wears panty hose anymore?  I love the cute little patterned hose and tights…but if we’re just talking about just regular, everyday panty hose, especially tummy control…well you can forget about that…Okay, I’m struggling here…I would rather _______________than ever wear another pair of panty hose….stick toothpicks in my eyes, stick tooth picks under my finger nails, wear 1970′s polyester…well you get the point…I haven’t worn panty hose in years, and I’m not planning to any time in the near future…in the far future either. 

Now I could tell you this revolution…this body shaping revolution is just another attack on women…however, whooo hooo, spanx are made for men too, so we can all look fabulous together. 

So do I love them or hate them….a little bit of both.  What about you, love them or hate them????? 

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Take me back to the ball game….

Who in their infinite wisdom decreed that Little League uniforms be white? Certainly not a mother.”  Erma Bombeck

When I was younger…much, my dad used to play softball.  He would play in a summer league and I have some wonderful memories…not so much about the games, but the smell of the parks, running around the bleachers, and the best part…after the games, on those beautiful summer nights, we would go to the root beer stand for a frosty mug of root beer, or go the watermelon stand for cool slices of watermelon. 

Soooooo…you would think when my son wanted to play tee-ball I would have been excited…not so.  Not only was I not excited, but I just envisioned a spring full of watching paint dry…I could think of nothing more painful.  But…….when I saw those precious little 5 year olds in their precious little uniforms with their precious little tee-ball bats, I was hooked…but not nearly as hooked as my little tee-ball player. 

Now, 7 years later I always look forward to the beginning of little league baseball season…I still love the smell of the park, but I don’t run around on the bleachers as much…and I pay a lot more attention to the games since my little munchkins are playing.  But you know the real reason I love little league baseball…it doesn’t change.  You can go to practically any little league park today, and it’s like stepping into a Norman Rockwell picture…it’s nostalgic.  The uniforms the players wear are the same, the banners affixed to the outfield fences are still there cheering on the players or promoting a local restaurant,  and you can get hot dogs, peanuts and bubble gum in the concession booth.  One local field actually has a short order cook that makes some of the best hamburgers in town.  And the kids that play…so many of them dream about becoming the next A-Rod, Jeter, Pujols… and still, Ruth, Berra, Mantle, Jackson.  These dreams that these players of today have are no different from the dreams the little league players of the 1940′s, 1950′s, 1960′s had.  These dreams are pure, and in the world today, that’s refreshing.

So now on game day, I once again look forward to the game.  I look forward to munching on some bubble gum, watching my guys play ball, chatting with the other ball moms…but most of all, I look forward to sneaking back to a simpler place, if only for a little while.

And with that I say, “Play Ball!!!”

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I can’t see clearly now….

Rose-colored glasses are never made in bifocals. Nobody wants to read the small print in dreams”  Ann Landers

Okay, so I say this a lot these days…”Getting old sucks!!!”    And it does, kind of.  I do think  many of the clichés and sayings about age are true, “With age comes wisdom,” “Youth is wasted on the young.”  I mean it would amazing to be 20 years old and have the knowledge that comes with 50 years of life’s experiences.  But that’s not how it works…  And, to a certain extent I have embraced aging…after all these many years I am going to “love” my gray hair (maybe)…and I am not ready to, nor do a think I ever will (but I will never say never) be ready for surgery, injections or any thing like that to make me look like an older young version of myself…if that makes any sense.  I’ve earned these wrinkles on my face…along with the stretch marks on my belly…and when I look at these war scars I can proudly say, “Damn, I look old.”   But although I have embraced it, that does not mean that I’m prepared to go down without a fight.  I have been getting to the gym more than I have in years, and I’ve started to live a healthier lifestyle including giving up my sodas…but not the beer…they say beer has health benefits.  :)   And it seems as if, when we get older, there are certain correlative events that go on…for instance…often as our hair lightens up, our complexion does as well…complimenting one another in a profoundly beautiful way.  Okay, but this is what has me so confused…as we age, our metabolism slows down while our willpower completely abandons us; our trips to the bathroom become more urgent while we start to move much slower; and our eye sight becomes worse, necessitating glasses, while at the same time our memory begins to fade, making it difficult to remember where we put our glasses.  And as far as I’m concerned, if I can’t see, I might as well eat a cookie, which requires another trip to the gym.  (Oh BTW the gym entails swimming, check out the swim cap…kids say they don’t want to be seen with me…but they will still ask me for money.)    But hey, I’m old, so I can wear this.

So yeah, I think getting old sucks…and I was especially thinking that I was driving to the store tonight to buy the three pack of reading glasses for $14.99.  Does getting old beat the alternative…you bet!!!

And with that I say…”Damn…I forgot what I was going to say!!!”

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First Day

Labor Day is a glorious holiday because your child will be going back to school
the next day.  It would have been called Independence Day, but that name was
already taken.  ~Bill Dodds

Today when we got to Little Bit’s school the front lawn was full of people taking pictures of their kids to memorialize the first day of school 2012.  Big Guy asked what everyone was doing….

M (Me/Mom…either works)  “They are taking their first day of school pictures.”…

BG   “Oh, why don’t you ever do that?”

Okay, the reason I write this is because I try to take their pictures, every year, I try to take their pictures…but as much of a tradition it is for me to take their pictures, it is just as much of a tradition for them to avoid the camera.  So, here are some of my first day of school pictures through the years….

2009

First day of School 2009

First Day of School 2009

2011…there is no 2010…I guess I was just too tired that year.

First Day of School 2011

First Day of School 2011

And then this year…2012

First Day of School 2012

And you know what…I don’t think I would want it any other way…because when they are all grown, and when I will look back at the pictures of them growing up, I will know that any smiling face in front of the school would just not have been as sincere as an outstretched palm.

And with that I say…”I hope everyone had a great first day of school!!!”

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Once upon a time….

Do not ask questions of fairy tales”  Jewish Proverb

The other day I went shopping to find a multiple ball, acrylic display case for the growing collection of baseballs my oldest son keeps on the shelf in his room.  We need a new way to display the balls, because if any roll on the floor, then Crazy Lacey gets it, and her new favorite toy will be the Manny Ramirez autographed baseball…that I personally chased Manny Ramirez down to get.  I had no luck with the display case, but there was this cool, distressed wood sign that said, “It’s never too late for Happily Ever After.”  I stood there for a second imagining what happily ever after might be like.  Happily ever after happens in fairy tales…right? 

Okay, so happily ever after…  There was another sign at the store that said…”Once in a while right in the middle of an ordinary life, love gives us a fairy tale.”  So, here was another piece of the puzzle…a sign suggesting that “love” will provide us that fairy tale…hmmmmmm.  Love is a beautiful, wonderful, amazing thing…the thing that fairy tales are made from, so maybe that is our key to happily ever after…or is it?  I can not tell you how many times I have sobbed, somewhat uncontrollably when some cartoon princess falls in love with her cartoon prince, and they live happily ever after…while their cartoon dwarfs, cartoon wildlife animals, or cartoon everyday household items happily sing in the background.   So is love what creates our happily ever after?

And if it is love, love of what…someone else, something else, ourselves…chocolate????  Oh, does it really matter….  If you were to ask me to describe myself, I’ll tell you that I am a blissfully ignorant person.  Things haven’t always gone my way…life hasn’t always been perfect, but honestly, I refuse to give up on my happily ever after.   Will love be a part of it…absolutely.  Not like the love of another person necessarily…because quite honestly, when my happily ever after is contingent upon another person, then I’m kinda screwed.  But, it’s kinda like this...”You don’t have to go looking for love when it’s where you come from.”  ~Werner Erhard.  And that’s pretty much it…live a life of Love.

So, if you don’t have to look for love, if it is where you are, and if love makes your fairy tale, and happily ever after happens in fairy tales, then I guess I have my happily ever after…and I’ll be honest…it’s not a bad gig. 

And with that I say, “Pardon me while I enjoy my happily ever after…”

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