Nov 27, 2010

Fashion Forward...

Fashion. I go in spurts. Lately I've been wanting to be more stylish. Not that stylish, mind you. Please believe me when I say that skinny jeans are not for me. But I've been considering the leggings and elvish boots--sort of a Robin Hood/Peter Pan vibe. I think I could pull those off.

The problem, of course, is that going from no style to some style requires effort, and I'm a little bit lazy. Fashion for me is a long process. First I have to sit & mull, and then I need to take about 5 trips to the fitting room to find the proper fit of articles, and then I have to reign myself in a bit before I go too far and end up heading out of the store in a tiara and aqua boa (not that there's anything wrong with that), and finally I have to hem and haw a bit more before giving myself a stern lecture and checking out already. Add two small children (who secrete baby-goo and wipe their grimy paws on me) and an inability to handle overly-crowded stores blaring loud music, and I am left with, like, Bon Worth. Not. For. Me.

So what did I do when I found myself at a fancy mall without my children? Did I venture out and pick up said leggings and boots? No. No I didn't. Even though the children were home with Grandpa and Uncle Thomasina, the rest of the family was along which, sadly, is not conducive to my process. I did branch out and find some cargos which were actually flattering, and some standby sweaters and bootcut jeans (which need to be hemmed; this is my reality)...but at that I called it good.

I've often thought I'd like to be on "What Not to Wear." I like it that they teach people to shop for their particular body type and tastes, and I am not so attached to my wardrobe that I wouldn't give it up for a brand new one. And I'm teachable. The only rough patch I could see would be over heels. I do agree that they look fabulous in the right context, but I don't see myself making a habit of them. Stacy and Clinton would have to slap me around a bit, and maybe shake me by the shoulders, and then I would pretend to be--and maybe even convince myself that I was--converted to heels...and then a week later I'd probably go out and buy some sneakers (they'd have canned mine early in the episode). But cute ones.

I'm not dumb though. Sometimes I'll get all starry-eyed about being more stylish, and I have to talk myself down because I forget that fashion is cool and fun, and it is a tool, but it does not define my identity, and changing my fashion would not change other aspects of my life. I have to look at underlying motives, and wishes and dreams and such, and make sure that I'm not putting unreasonable expectations on my clothing.

I decided that my style is classic--I'm too timid to keep up with new styles every year. I do well to stick with my classic stand-bys. My area for development is with the accessories. I'm thinking scarves this year.

I'm still considering the elvish boots though. That could be fun...

Nov 25, 2010


Don't tell the rest of my family, but I think my favorite part of today (Thanksgiving) was hiking at South Mountain with my uncle.

It's not that the rest of the day was bad--on the contrary, it was a lovely day of catching up with relatives. And with minimal drama, even. In fact, on the Lack-of-Drama scale, it might be one of my favorite family Thanksgivings ever.

It's just that the hike was particularly nice. To begin with it was sunny and cold, which is hard to come by sometimes, particularly in Phoenix. Deep blue, cloudless sky, and somewhere in the 40s or 50s. This is how the desert should be experienced; absolutely gorgeous.

On top of that, time with my uncle is hard to come by--he lives in WI, so pretty much the only time we see him is when we are all in Phoenix at the same time. Which happens somewhere around every few years or so, and is always busy what with other family members and stuff. So to have a couple hours to just hang out with one another was a precious rarity. And we were exercising. As far as I'm concerned it doesn't get much better than hanging out & talking while exercising.

And we were at South Mountain, which was a frequent haunt for me back in my high school cross country running days. many good memories. My uncle told me about hiking at South Mountain when he, my mom, & their brother were growing up, & how everything south of Baseline Road was farms, some of which were flower fields owned by Asians who ended up staying in the area after WWII and the internment camps and such, and how his parents (my grandparents) would always buy fresh flowers from the fields and give them to various relatives in the area. I told him it was cool to hear his memories because, while my mom would probably remember buying flowers fresh from the field, she had never told us about it before, so it was neat to get a more complete picture of their childhood, and how Phoenix was then compared to when I was growing up.

Before we left he let the dogs out of my parents' house by mistake, but all was well and they returned a short time later. I think it was more traumatic for my uncle than anyone else--he was worried that he'd completely ruined Thanksgiving 2010 by letting Max & Zoe out, never to return. I told him not to worry, as they always come back. He didn't believe me though, until they did. In the process we found out that my parents' neighborhood has many friendly people in it, ready to mobilize at a moment's notice to find people's lost pet(s). I've noticed a pattern as I've gained experience visiting retirement communities in recent years. My running theory is that the friendly old-people tend to be morning-types. I hear stories about older folks getting grumpy and impatient at the grocery store and such, but I have yet to meet a curmudgeon while out & about on a morning jaunt. There's something about fresh air & endorphins, I think. I mean, who could be mad after enjoying some fresh air and sunshine at the end of November in Phoenix? Not I.

Anyway...the dogs came home and my uncle and I hiked, and then we enjoyed a big ol' family dinner, with the regular Thanksgiving staples, plus a few unique additions by various family members.

Corn pudding and spring rolls, that's all I'm sayin'...

Nov 4, 2010

Down With the Consumption...

Coming from hearty stock, getting sick always feels like a particularly rude statement on my body's part. It's not that I think I have some sort of special immunity privilege & should never get sick (though that would be nice, wouldn't it??); it's just that, being pretty dang healthy for the most part--gratefully so, I might add--getting sick tends to catch me off guard a bit.

So now, having been on the road to recovery from a respiratory/sinus/grumpy thing the past week, I'm pretty sure my left sinus has decided to go down for a few days as well.

Really, Left Sinus? You couldn't join in when your partner was all clogged & gunky? "No, I'd rather wait for my own little virus to come along, and then have an individual, dedicated period of notoriety."

Stupid sinus.

So I'm a little indignant right now. Not helping things is the Cat Daddy's fake flu--a reaction to the FluMist vaccine he got Monday--which either developed into or is in addition to the not-strep-but-nasty-all-the-same infection. His boss even pulled him from going on alert, which is a pretty big deal. Not a huge deal or anything, but I'll put it this way: you know you're sick when you have to burn the backup crew. And the doctor ordered him "to quarters" for two days.

His Highness and I shared a cold last week (though at first I thought it was just the rapid onset of fall; sorry if we breathed on you). The Littler One has been the healthiest of the bunch (yay extended breastfeeding), which is unfortunate in its own way since he can't cook or run errands or anything. But he is getting pretty good at throwing stuff in the trash, so I'll take what I can get.

And after a week of are-we-sick-I-don't-know-maybe-we're-getting-better-guess-not-oh-now-you're-sick-too-great-now-I'm-sick-again, I'm circling the wagons until we're mostly human again (or until Saturday, when we have stuff to do).

And I'm having the house fumigated...