Thorsday Howloween

UntitledHappy Thorsday, Howloween, Thankful Thursday and little friday!  Do pop over to the girls’ blog and read their Taco Faerie fairy tale.  It makes their mish-mash of costumes almost make sense – ALMOST.  Evidently, Sissy only pays attention to Fudge‘s stories… and you’ll have to click over to figure out what THAT means, if the link between their costumes doesn’t puzzle you enough.

UntitledI have to thank Houndgirl for Gg’s costume.  Oddly, once she gets it on, she actually likes it.  Who would have thought?!  She’s a cute little taco, and she had fun prancing around the yard in her costume.  Thanks, Kari!

UntitledThe DIVA wasn’t feeling the tiara.  I guess she didn’t want anyone to mistake her for a faerie princess?  And after I went to the trouble of matching her wings to her favorite crown!  Such is the life of a costumer for doggy DIVAs!

I’m thankful for my sweet, indulgent dogs.  We won’t dwell on Sissy’s new, bad habit of raiding the pantry when we aren’t home in the evening.  She’s been showing off her “I can open the pantry!” skills for a while now, and we’ve scolded her… clearly to no avail.  Friday night when I got home, I found a one pound bag of red hots in the doorway to our bedroom.  We’re still finding red hots!  Last night, we came home to find the box of saltines in the middle of the kitchen floor… with one sleeve missing.  The Knight found it on the floor, on his side of the bed… with lots of cracker crumbs.  Hem.

Anyway.  How’s the cracker crumbling in your world?




Whale of a Time!

IMG_9721Last Thursday, we had the honor of being the receiving non-profit for the podunk Vineyard Vines grand opening fete.  Thanks to the owners and staff of Vineyard Vines, and all the VIP shoppers who assured we got a significant check for one evening’s… socializing and shopping.  I bought a Vineyard Vines tote when the League sold them as a fundraiser a few years ago, and it looks almost new despite basically daily use, filled to the zippered top with boring League papers, yearbooks, cocktail napkins and the trusty gavel.   I confess…  that was the extent of my VV awareness.

I’m all in.  Their dock to town style suits my new work environment nicely.  This being very casual thing is getting easier every day.   I enjoy supporting the local businesses that support the League and/or the fire/rescue responders, but I’m a little shocked at how quickly I’ve fallen for the company with the pink whale.

If Vineyard Vines is new to you, think LL Bean meets Lilly P.  Lots of tees and ballcaps, and yes, I have one of each and the Knight has a tee too.  (I’m pretty sure he won’t wear a navy cap with a pale pink whale on the front, but for all the things we share… caps are PERSONAL, and I’m glad.)  If the tote is any indication, someone needs to declare herself the heir to my VV clothing because it will outlast me.

VV SS Fair-Isle Sweater

VV SS Fair-Isle Sweater

Now, if it will just cool off again so I can wear my pretty new sweater.

What’s new in your closet/town/life?



Practical Boots

So…  Sissy’s vet report actually sets the stage for this post.  Don’t read it while you’re eating though.

I got chilled to the bone on Thursday at work, in no small part because I wore cute flats on the morning of the first really hard fall frost.  Not so slowly, I’m figuring things out with the new job, and it seems that wearing footwear that allows for socks seems to be rather critical now, as the men I work with were all evidently born in barns and leave doors open all over the place.  I’m also realizing that my cute fashion boots really weren’t built for trotting on concrete and asphalt; boots that have never pinched my toes did on Friday.  (But my feet were warm, and that was what really mattered.)

Then today, as the title on the girls’ blog suggests, my boot wearin’ was vindicated, with no small assist from Sissy’s new issue – car sickness.  (I’ll leave it at that here, and again, if you click over…  I tried not to be too graphic.)  Even on the weekends, I lead a life where practical footwear makes sense, except for those times when I’m dressed to the nines and don’t have the dogs with me, am not going to be stopping by the fire house, etc.

Courtesy of Chico's

Courtesy of Chico’s

I first saw these Old Gringo Leopardito boots on Chico’s site, but I’m seeing them “everywhere” and I’m drooling every single time.  They’re out of my budget (especially for “work boots”) but Christmas is coming and a girl can dream.  And that’s the beauty (seriously – leather works of art!) of well-made, leather boots.  As one reviewer (of another style, another brand, on totally different website) put it, This looks to be a boot that can handle being knocked around a bit at the barn and in the saddle, but still be dusted off and look fashionable on the town.

That’s true of most leather, authentic “cowboy” boots, and it suits my evolving lifestyle.  No, I’m not working in a barn, but Sis proved today that even on my personal time, I need footwear that can withstand some abuse, get wiped down and allow me to carry on with whatever comes next.  If the Knight had been with me, I definitely would have been comfortable scooting into the outlet mall to check out the Dooney (and anything else?) sales, despite what the left boot went through at the vet’s.

(Thankful Saturday?  I’m SO grateful that she didn’t have THE INCIDENT over the summer, when I was probably wearing almost nothing on my feet.  I honestly don’t know how I would have handled that, and I tend to be pretty good with gross…)

Anyway.  While the Leoparditos are more than I want to spend on work boots right now, they are almost perfect.  I like a low heeled “work boot” – check.  I like a … medium-height shaft – 10″ on the Leoparditos – check.  They’re pull-ons – check.  Zippers just add another patch of leather that might rub if it gets wadded up or something odd.  (I do have larger calves, but not so much so that I have to seek out the large calf boots.)  Where the Leoparditos give me pause is the toe.  It’s rather pointy, and I think for work, I prefer a square or truly round toe for the walking.

Courtesy of Shepler's

Courtesy of Shepler’s

For less than half the price of the above, Nocona makes something pretty similar. The shaft is much higher – 13-14″ – enough so that I’m not sure they’d fit my short calves, and the heel appears to be about the same, within my comfort range for work day wear.

I might have to actually go boot shopping.  And I might have to take the Knight with me for accountability.  I’m not sure I trust myself in Bootville alone.

Double DIVA Day!


Birthday 2010

Happy Thorsday!  It’s a very special Thorsday, as it is Queen Sissy DIVA’s sixth birthday.  You can see more photos of her on the girls’ blog.   Since it’s also little friday and Thankful Thursday, it only seems fitting that I focus here on how thankful I am that Sissy found us.  She’s the perfect combination of sweet and sassy, smart and bold, funny and affectionate…

She has more personality than any one creature needs, and we wouldn’t trade a thing.

And she fights the Knight for the pillow – he calls it HIS pillow – every single night.  The girl is a very strong alpha, and likes to remind the Knight that he’s only in charge when she deems it acceptable.   Of course, I routinely mention that she’s a relentless personal trainer, and she sees to it that we log 20 miles or more every single week, no matter what.  I won’t even mention how lost Gretchen would be without her.

Happiest of birthdays, Princess of Joy.  I guess I’ll be buying some shrimp on my way home for your birthday dinner.

Happy birthdays to our dear friends celebrating with us this week too.  You know who you are… and I’m VERY sorry life has been so hectic and I haven’t properly acknowledged squat.

What are you celebrating?

Finding a New Normal

Old Navy Very Casual?

Old Navy Very Casual?

So… thanks for being kind, understanding, supportive folks while we re-calibrate here in the woods.   One week and two days into the new job and I’m starting to not feel lost.  To be fair, the guys – I work with four men in the podunk branch – have been great about making sure I’ve felt “at home” from day #1, but the database I spend most of my time with and I are getting acquainted so I don’t have to ask for help so very often, and it’s not all overwhelmingly new anymore.

I have no idea where and how blogging will fit into things.  I’m shocked at how off-kilter I am just adding an hour to my work day.  Full disclosure… it’s significantly more than that, really.  I used to work 8-4, with about a 15 minute commute, but as things slowed down at the former employer’s, I’d gotten ridiculously sloppy about wandering in later and later.  So… 7-4 is more like about 90 minutes longer, even though I do get a proper lunch hour now.  The good news is that my commute is averaging about 20 minutes.  Every minute I stay at work past 4pm compounds the traffic I have to battle on the way home, but it hasn’t been as bad as I feared… yet.

And it’s CASUAL attire.  VERY casual attire.  I’m struggling to not be over-dressed, and yet, to feel comfortable.  It’s funny… I’ve always had this struggle with my very casual, jeans and boots “farm” self and my preppy heart.  I’d gotten rather business-preppified over the last couple of years, and now, particularly with a parts room that REALLY wants some quality time with me, I have to really dig deeply in my closet and find shop-friendly attire that doesn’t feel too sloppy to be in town for me.

Can y’all help a girl out?  I know truly casual offices are the norm in lots of places.  Ironically, this summer I told a League leader that I envied her very relaxed, no dress code office.  (Not that I had a dress code at the inlaws’… but …)  For those of you who do it, how do you straddle being very casual and still feeling put together?

Johnny Popper

john-deere-footwear-johnny-popper-cowboy-boots-ostrich-print-for-youth-girls-in-ocean-blue-pink~p~5330w_01~220.3We have a winner!  I bought a pair of John Deere Johnny Popper boots from Sierra Trading Post last week.  Yes, they’re “youth” boots, but they’re made by Dan Post.  When I was reading reviews, it seemed that Dan Post and Ariat got the consistent, best marks for comfort, so it was good fortune when I found the cute little John Deere boots for under $40.  (Yep.  That’s not a typo.)  Couldn’t hurt to try, right?

RIGHT!  What I didn’t realize is that both Dan Post & Ariat have their own special insoles so that as kids grow, they can stay in their quality (read: expensive) boots a little longer.  What that means for me is that I have a little flexibility with sizing, AND when I guess correctly, I have extra cushioning for my ankle, back and other aging parts that groan when I’m on my feet too long.

I wasted no time breaking them in.  The Knight made fun of me for walking around in the house in the boots while I was doing laundry, but it worked.  I was ready to give them the ultimate test… grocery shopping.  For whatever reason, walking/standing on concrete gives my back fits in no time flat.  I was eager to see how these little boots would stand up to my Waterloo, and they did at least as well as my Danksos, which previously held the “most likely to get me through” spot.


Foot selfie – hits just at the start of my calf

So.  My size 6.5 – 7 foot (or Euro 37) was very happy in the JD/DP size 5 boot.  I think I could have worn a 4.5, but then I would have had to think about which socks I was wearing.  With these, I don’t know that I’ll wear just tights, but on cold days, I can pull on thick, wool socks and still get the boots off at the end of the day.   The shaft is a little short, but booties are trendy, and Ariat and Justin have been selling shorter “barn boots” for women for YEARS.  While the offerings in very large youth sizes are few and far between, I’m delighted with my find and think I got an incredible deal on a premium pair of ostrich boots in fun, funky colors that will suit my feet and wardrobe.

I don’t feel at all that I “settled” by buying youth boots.  They are remarkably comfortable and seem to be well-made.  I expect them to last for years and years, as my other boots do.  My only complaint is the John Deere logo and its placement, but considering the deal I got on ostrich and cowhide boots, I’m not REALLY fussing.

Next up, those Ariat leopard girl boots.  I might have already ordered them… maybe.

Little feet and more

Happy Thorsday, little friday and Thankful Thursday!  Don’t miss sweet little Gg’s post about Sissy’s upcoming birthday… and her not so subtle mention of her own gotcha’ day the day before.

Big Kids Boots

Big Kids Boots

Thanks for all the kind words of support during my first week with the new job.  It’s going well, but I’ve been busy with that whole learning curve thing.  One happy coincidence though came in the size 7 feet of my trainer today… the first “other female” co-worker I’ve met in person since I started.  She was able to confirm that there is no standard for converting women’s shoes to youth sizes or vice versa, but she has some experience wearing a formerly growing daughter’s youth shoes after said kiddo outgrew them, and she too is eager to hear how my experiment goes.  She says she thinks youth shoes are 1.5 – 2 sizes smaller than ladies footwear, so the rare 5+ youth boots/shoes I’ve found just might work for me.

I’m happy to report that neither rain, nor meetings, nor new job, nor a muddy, supposed to have been outdoors wedding kept me from logging our regular weekly miles.  The only problem is Gg has become a runner.  I’m having trouble convincing her that we aren’t going to run every single day, and of course when anyone runs, Sissy falls into her funky little canter.   I’ve never water skied, but I’ve watched the Knight and others, and I’m pretty sure I look like I’m trying to water ski on a paved when both dogs take off with me in tow…

How’s your week going?


Gift of Fear

414Zq7nPGKL._BO2,204,203,200_PIsitb-sticker-arrow-click,TopRight,35,-76_AA278_PIkin4,BottomRight,-52,22_AA300_SH20_OU01_Some of you are still praying and sending good vibes for Alexis, and I thank you.  Her family thanks you, and Save the Next Girl thanks you.   But the JLC (Junior League of Charlottesville) wanted to do something to honor our member-friend (Alexis’s aunt), so one of our awesome leaders scheduled The Gift of Fear as our October book club selection, with the blessing of Alexis’s aunt.

I’d say I’m the only fairly well-read woman in America who is late to the “party” with this best-seller, but at least one other book club regular hadn’t even heard of it either, and I know of at least one other friend who keeps up with reading trends who hasn’t read it yet… but is aware of the book.

I confess…  If a League friend hadn’t promoted the book as a show of support for our friend, as something tangible we could do to make ourselves and our community safer…  I wouldn’t have read it.   I mean…  I was a fire fighter.  I was a power lifter.  I went to college in Washington, DC and am not an unaware country mouse.

… and I got so much out of this book, especially from sharing it with other strong women who found so much value in its pages.   The very short version is… trust your instincts.  Listen to your intuition, and don’t worry about being polite if  you feel threatened, even if you can’t put your finger on “it” so to speak.

Have you read the book?

Do you listen to your intuition?

Has your intuition saved you?



Women vs. kids

Ariat Kids Legend Courtesy of Zappos

Ariat Kids Legend Courtesy of Zappos

I’m talking shoes here.   I wear a women’s size … most often 6.5 M/B.  Some charts suggest going 2 sizes smaller for kids, some, 1.5.  What say you?  I know some of my other little-footed friends sometimes wear “youth” sizes, and some of you have not-so-littles with a foot in each world.  I haven’t tried it in years, but I’m considering it now that ladylike heels are becoming less and less a part of my footwear.





Happy Thorsday, little friday, Thankful Thursday, last day of business for the inlaws’ company and more.   The girls have a little request for Shadow, related to the current flux in his life.

So, I’m going to cut to the chase.  There’s a lot to celebrate this month, and while I can’t pretend this will be the year I get my act together and have a great paw-ty for everyone remembering and celebrating, this CAN be the year I make a list so we can truly plan out Octoberfete for next year!

Please leave a comment with the date(s) and what you celebrate or memorialize in October, and I’ll follow up with a master calendar page at a later date.  (Like…  September X, 2014?)

Shadow & Pop

Baby Shadow 2 and Pop 2005

I am quite thankful for the time spent with my inlaws.  When I first went to work there, on Thursdays, there were three married couples and a total of 8 – EIGHT!! – Moores working in the same business.  I’ll miss the impromptu family lunches – like today’s – just because Uncle’s wife (the fabulous artist who did the painting of the fur-girls and the hydrant) called and suggested I call in the order to Tubby’s and she’d pick it up.

And there’s a fun slice of life in podunk.  I called.  Got asked to hold on… and before I finished ordering the first sandwich, I realized I was talking to a friend’s younger sister…  who knew which order was the Knight’s and joked that she might have to slip in some hot peppers (on egg salad with relish on white toast) in there for him.  She didn’t, but I’m content to sacrifice Nordstrom’s for happy little bonds, such as a sandwich shop where everybody knows your name/voice – and what your husband orders.

Don’t forget to leave your October dates to remember in the comments!