Monthly Archives: April 2010

Thank you for six years of trusty service, shoes.

Today I tossed my favorite pair of shoes in the trash.

They were perfect, and I fear I’ll never find a pair of shoes that fit so well with so many outfits, in so many situations.

These shoes have been to Las Vegas, Pennsylvania and New York City, photographed and shown in a magazine (on my feet!) camping, hospitals, airplane tours….pretty much anywhere I’ve been for the past six years, these shoes have taken me. As my husband, who proudly still uses a 16-year-old wallet and who fixed his cellphone after he ran it over with his Jeep would say, “they’re my buddies!”

Here we are checking out the Mempis Belle in August of 2005. You can barely tell, but they're there.

However, the time has come to say goodbye.

Some might argue they’re ugly. Some might say that Stacy and Clinton would gasp in horror at the platform-y style these loafers were. Granted, they were bought six years ago, clearly out of the realm of style today. Some might say my attachment to these shoes was bizarre. Some might say that wearing them in the condition they deteriorated to was committing a serious fashion faux-pas.

To you, I stand and defiantly answer: THEY WERE AWESOME SHOES!

The Shoes in Better Days, as seen in Nails Magazine (while not my best pic, the shoes look GREAT!)

Perfect for winter, they kept my feet and pants off the ground, avoiding that chalky white residue from the salt they use here in Wisconsin. With a 3-inch platform, they gave me needed height that took me from staring at my husband’s Kawasaki logo on his chest to (almost) reach his shoulders. They were inky black when new, complementing both dark and lighter wash jeans.

Today, they are but a shell of their former glory. Where the toe was once securely fastened to the sole, there is a gaping hole, so large you can see about six inches of sock. Pretty useless, no matter where worn.

I realized awhile back that I will need to throw these shoes out. I’m not a fan of exposing my socks to the elements, especially when they’re supposed to be protected. Problem is, I can’t find any that match my criteria. These slip-on-and-go shoes were perfect for everything from standing 10 hours a day in a Trade Show Booth to running downstairs to switch the laundry from the washer to the dryer. And THE HEIGHT! Those glorious 3 inches of platform took most outfits from short and dumpy and wrinkled on the bottom pants to hey-it’s-not-so-bad in mere seconds.  There’s a reason models are tall, clothes look better when they lie flat from head to toe. These shoes gave me that advantage.

But no outfit looks “not-so-bad” polished off by that. So I say my goodbyes. Perched on the edge of the dumpster we have for the bathroom remodel, I know I must tip them in. So, with an inhale of courage, I step forward and nudge them to the bottom where I won’t be able to dig them out in a moment of weakness.

And now the search is on for a suitable replacement.

Dear shoes, you’ve served me well. I will miss you. If I were wearing you, you’d see the wave I give my toes in salute.

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Posted by on April 19, 2010 in Uncategorized


Bathroom Remodel Post 2

I love side-by-side comparisons. Befores and Afters are so impressive.

We are now deep into the second week of the Great Bathroom Remodel. Yesterday I painted the walls while Ollie napped. Today I did the ceiling. I’ve never painted a ceiling before, learned quickly how much that sucks. It really is a shame I don’t have someone taller around who could have done that. that Matty has worked so hard over his Spring Break that I told him I’d paint.

The World's Worst Bathroom.

Much, much better

Absolutely crazy the changes we’re seeing here.

We’re about 90% finished, I’d say. But I’m not the one doing it, so that estimate probably has no importance whatsoever.

What’s left? Laying the tile floor, painting behind the toilet and vanity, and securing the vanity and sink in place. The plan is to take out the sink and toilet (again) and  lay the tile floor where they go, to avoid all sorts of extra tile cutting around the “furniture.”

Oh! And we have to do something about the transparency of that window. The home-made curtain just doesn’t quite fit into the whole aesthetic of the room.

I can’t believe this bathroom project is nearly completed. It’s been needing attention since the moment we moved in.


Posted by on April 18, 2010 in Uncategorized


Clearly, it’s time to get him out and about on the social scene.

Ollie has a friend, Lilly. He met her once before, back when they were both sleeping all day and the main concern was who’s gonna feed me?

She’s grown into quite the hostess, young Lilly. Proud of her toy collection, she let Ollie play with whatever he found and made sure we followed her into the kitchen at lunch time.

Ollie was shell-shocked, I think, and you can see it on his face…

Shell-shocked Ollie, surprised there's other people his size in the world.

He doesn’t see other kids very often, and I don’t think he quite knew what to do about this other person the same size as him.

He pointed at her eye and patted her leg.

Clearly, it’s time to get him out and about on the social scene.

I was hoping Lilly would crawl around and show him how cool it is to be mobile, but crawling’s so last month for her. She’s tottering about in that zombie-baby-walk that can just about kill you with cuteness. Ollie showed her how manly it is to get around by rolling.

There are some playgroups in the area that we need to check out, now that flu-season is ending and there’s less chance he’ll pick up a bug of some sort. For now, we can see Lilly every now and then.

Hopefully he won’t be so interested in her eyeballs.


Posted by on April 13, 2010 in Uncategorized


TWO WEEKS without a post?

The bathroom in complete disarray

What have you been doing, lady? Why aren’t you giving me attention?

These are the questions I imagine this site asking me, day after day of ignoring and neglecting.

Well, Dear Blog, I’ve been running around like mad.

When we bought our house, we noted that the bathroom would need to be re-done soon. Apparently, the little old lady we bought it from didn’t actually shower and finished the bathroom with wallpaper. The entire bathroom was covered in 80s-cool wallpaper, including the tub surround. So, for the past 18 months we lived here, we had the shower surround enveloped in gorgeous vinyl shower curtain liners, to protect the drywall from daily showering until the day we could start fixing it.

That day is now. (Actually, it was supposed to be last Spring Break, but we hit a little bump in the road that prevented us from doing it. Welcome Home, Oliver!)

The curtain liners are finally down, as are the walls of the bathroom. After three days of hard labor, our bathroom is gutted. Completely without its own walls, down to the studs. A small dumpster is in the driveway where my car should be and supplies and new things are scattered about the house like Ollie’s toys usually are. For a couple days, we had the old sink and vanity in the kitchen, looking sad and cast off.

It’s chaos.

I’ve spent hours in our local home remodel stores, choosing the new look for our bathroom. I’ve consulted with the (paid) experts about what would work best for flooring and walls, and dashed out when the drywall and plaster started coming down to protect Ollie from the dust. We’ve stayed away because, well…Ollie’s a scaredy-cat and cries when he hears any power tools of any kind.

I’m doing the easy work. I’m spending hours away from home, visiting family, killing time until the project is over, and I’m exhausted. I packed Ollie up in the car and left today with no destination in mind, and I’m pooped out. Poor Matty is doing the tough stuff. I haven’t picked up a hammer or other tool of destruction unless it’s to move it out of the way to get something more important.

It’s crazy. It’s dirty. It’s expensive. It sucks.

All I want to do is shower. Without walls of vinyl surrounding me.

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Posted by on April 9, 2010 in Uncategorized