Shoe Shopping for the Stylish Ninja Wannabe

Does anyone else remember the days when shoe salespeople would hover over you, ask what you wanted, measure your feet, go to the back of the store to retrieve the box, and then actually put the shoes on your feet? Actually touching your feet?!

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Wow. Sure glad those hellish days are over. Aren’t you?

No doubt the shoe salespeople are happy too. In fact, I think the Shoe Sellers Union worked tirelessly trying to prevent salespeople from ever having to touch feet again. And I, for one, love them for it.

What I don’t love, however, is how many shoe stores are completely carpeted. I mean, what’s up with that? That is just so, so wrong! How the heck can someone choose a pair of shoes — a seriously important endeavor — in a completely carpeted store? It’s impossible, I say!

I mean, oh sure, you can judge a shoe by its looks, you can check its fit, you can even jump up and down if need be, but you can’t check its sound. And it is the sound of a shoe that is of the utmost importance. Am I right?

Tell me, have you ever bought a pair of shoes only to discover they squeaked? Or squished? Or made an undefinable floopy sound?

What I want — what I dream of — are shoes that are utterly quiet … silent as the air … nary a whisper or breath of sound … as inaudible as the most inaudible thing you’ve never heard.

You know. Like, really, really quiet.

Continue reading “Shoe Shopping for the Stylish Ninja Wannabe”

Open Letter to My Spammers

ladyatdeskMy Dear Spammers,

Thank you so much for your interest in my blog and the dedicated attention you continually show to my posts — some of which were written several months ago. Your unwavering support of my writing cannot be denied. It is touching, truly.

Why, I remember when I was just starting out as a blogger: nervous, unsure of myself, wondering if anyone could possibly be interested in what I had to say. But there you were, giving me feedback and leaving comments — once I checked the spam folder, that is.

Which leads me to my main purpose in writing this letter, that being, how to keep your comments from winding up in a spam folder. I mean, if they hadn’t, I’d have something like 300 comments in my first month alone! Not to mention how many people would have seen your comments, which always included helpful links and business offers.

I’ve spent some time studying the situation, and I think I might have some tips for you. Please consider these points for the next spam .. er … comment … you leave:

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Lutherans Do It Right

Since we both had a long weekend coming up, Husband suggested we escape somewhere quiet, where we could both relax, recoup, and so I could write.

That’s actually what he said: “and you can write.”

What can I say? Some girls are just lucky.

The tricky part was finding a place that wasn’t too expensive, was far enough away that we felt like we were getting away, but not so far away that I’d get carsick. After much discussion back and forth and exploring all possible options, we finally decided on a retreat center located in Carefree, Arizona, about an hour and a half from our home. Yeah, yeah … big whoop. But there are retreat centers, and then there are retreat centers.

This one was run by Lutherans, which neither of us are but as I was raised Lutheran, we figured that gave us an in. Best part? They were running a special of $50 a night.

I know what you’re thinking. What kind of place can one get for $50 a night? It crossed my mindWP_20150907_09_31_56_Pro[1] too, but I survived Hotel Horror with relatively few scars and really all we were wanting was someplace quiet. We figured as long as the bed was one step above a cot and we had a private bathroom, we’d be doing pretty good.

The retreat center is called Spirit in the Desert. Let me show you around the place.

Continue reading “Lutherans Do It Right”

On Wine, Jalapeños, and World Famous Chili

We arrived at the party late because as Husband said, nothing our friend does ever starts on time. He was right. The dinner party was to start at 6:00, we arrived at 6:30, the food wasn’t ready until 8:30.

But there was beer, wine, sangria, and over in the corner of the room I spotted people making simple cocktails. Except for Husband and Friend, I knew no one at this party.wine-beer-cocktail

Normally this would have caused me deep distress, but I decided to relax and observe, just like a real writer would. (Make note of that, please. I was impersonating a real writer.)

Husband brought me a glass of wine and soon we were in the midst of a conversation with a woman from Seattle. Her place was near the ocean and we simply must visit her, we must, she’ll give us her card, she’s completely serious, we simply must visit her.

I was half-way through my glass of wine when I realized I hadn’t eaten anything since 10 a.m., and there were no appetizers in sight.  As Seattle Woman talked, I whispered my dilemma to Husband. He spotted a basket of muffins in the far corner of the kitchen – leftovers from their breakfast, perhaps?

Continue reading “On Wine, Jalapeños, and World Famous Chili”

BuzzFeed is Trying to Blow My Cover!

I’m not going to worry about it though. Instead, I’m going to lull you all into a false sense of security by sharing my recipe for strawberry shortcake.

Because truly, no one can resist the power of a generous helping of strawberry shortcake.

But first, I have to stop taking those dang personality quizzes that keep popping up on my Facebook page. You know thefun quiz ones I’m talking about?

What is Your Spirit Animal?”

Which Classic Rock Band Are You?”

Which Character From Wizard of Oz Are You?”

Which Star Wars Character are you?”

You know, fun, harmless quizzes like that. Only I’m not so sure they’re harmless anymore.

I’m telling you, they’re on to me.

Continue reading “BuzzFeed is Trying to Blow My Cover!”

Do French Women Catch Colds?

Seriously. I’d like to know. Because if they do, they must sneeze with great style and cough bad coldmost elegantly, and given the fact that I’ve been fighting a cold with varying degrees of success this past week, I’d really like to know how they handle such a blow to their otherwise beautiful manner of living.

But then again, they probably don’t catch colds. Frankly, I wouldn’t be surprised.

Perhaps I should back up a little.

About a month ago, I began the task of trying to organize my closet yet again. My closet is not a big one, mind you, so how it keeps falling into an utter state of chaos is beyond me.

Anyway, while researching the topic (which is what I do when faced with any task, large or small), I2014_latest_design_european_style_wardrobe.jpg_220x220 discovered that while my closet is small by American standards, by European standards it is quite large. And since they have such small closets, Europeans, in particular the French, have very few clothes. They focus more on quality, rather than quantity.

My research led me to a few blogs, notably The Simply Luxurious Life and The Daily Connoisseur, where I read nearly all their posts. (Really great blogs, by the way. Check them out sometime.)

Then I explored a few books, listened to several podcasts, perused through several websites, and what I discovered is this: French women are from another planet.

Continue reading “Do French Women Catch Colds?”

Ode to My Cell Phone … With Apologies to Keats

cellphoneI spied you in the phone store,

 Cradled in your cubby, attached by a cord,

Your screen was dark, waiting for more

Than a passing glance or a mumbled word.

For a part time clerk, seeking a sale,

Shows the popular model, the better known brand,

I checked your features, my skin grew pale,

I held you aloft, I took you in hand,

Cool to my touch, you were eager to please,

Never have I selected a phone with such ease.

Continue reading “Ode to My Cell Phone … With Apologies to Keats”

I Sold My Soul to Fitbit

FitbitFor those of you who have not yet joined the craze — oh, you sweet, innocent things — Fitbit is a type of fitness tracker. Kind of like a super cool, high tech pedometer, only better. Husband gave me one for my birthday, because he knows I like toys.

Remember that Twilight Zone episode, Talky Tina? Where the doll talked to the man and tormented him and threatened him and in the end killed him?

I don’t know what made me think of that. Anyway, back to my Fitbit.

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What Your Choice of Beverage Says About You

I’m not a bartender, so I can’t claim to have expert knowledge on beverages and the personalities of those who drink them, but I am a person who has opinions and a blog. A dangerous combination, to be sure.

If you order …

beer-4-1326034-639x424Beer: If you are a guy, you are one of the guys. No more, no less. Nothing to be ashamed of. If you are a gal, you are also one of the guys, and you tend to prefer football over baseball. One of your best friends drinks wine. Secretly you think she can be a snob, but deep down she’s a good person so you don’t mind. You’re bighearted that way. Continue reading “What Your Choice of Beverage Says About You”