Friday, November 29, 2013

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Happy Turkey Day

Very confusing mum dressed as a turkey at the local Super Fresh.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

It's been a long time

* I apologize in advance for how stupidly long this is--I know perfectly well that no one cares about my feet this much.  And yet here I am posting this anyway. Oh well. *

Yesterday:

I.

Went.

To.

DSW.

And I bought some shoes!

[insert evil laugh here] BWAA-HA-HA-HA

Man oh man.

These were my FAVORITE winter shoes before surgery. I pulled them out of my closet the other week to wear (to an event that mostly involved sitting) ... and I ended up throwing them out instead.  Turns out the bunion had split the right shoe in half. I was so PISSED.  Really, just rageful.

What can I say?  It's been a looooooong time--eight months since I last went to a shoe store.  Yeah sure, I've seen shoes in stores in the past few weeks.  But, I have not purposely gone to a store with the intent A) to try on shoes or B) to walk around in shoes to see if I would like to own them.

Let me tell you (again): This surgery is a FRICKIN MIRACLE.  Really, just do it already if you're on the fence about it.  The results are so fabulously unreal that sometimes it makes me laugh uncontrollably (when I'm at home by myself--usually trying on shoes that have always hurt and don't anymore) or just grin non-stop like some kind of dumb idiot (in public--usually around shoes that are for sale).

For example, after I had marched myself back to the clearance racks yesterday (always my first stop) I grabbed the first shoe I saw and shoved the dang thing on.  Here's the insano part though: NO SHOVING REQUIRED.  Here's the even crazier part: It didn't feel like a golf ball was shoved up inside the shoe next to my big toe.  All that was in my shoe was ... my foot.  No golf ball.  It was so WEIRD.  MY FOOT FIT IN EVERY SHOE.  AND NOTHING HURT.

EVERY SHOE.

NOTHING HURT.

At first I didn't believe it.  Not a bit.  I kept asking myself, "This is how shoes feel on OTHER PEOPLE?  I knew it was probably good, but it's THIS GOOD??  How is it possible that shoes can feel so good??"  Once this realization began to set in, it literally made me start sweating (while grinning like a dumb idiot).  Suddenly, possibilities had become unlimited; synapses in my brain began to fizzle and go up in smoke.  I tried staying calm and doing the math: "Ok, if at the beginning of the year I would ONLY try on three pairs of shoes in here because 99% of them didn't fit my toes, and now my toes--specifically the biggest one--has been shrunk in half ... that means that 99% of the shoes in here are suddenly in the realm of reality JUST for trying on ... Wait. Hold on a second.  If my toe has shrunk in half AND does not hurt anymore and ANY shoe will probably fit it, that means it would take me how many hours to try on EVERY SHOE IN THIS GODFORSAKEN STORE?? I DON'T KNOW! I DON'T KNOW HOW MANY HOURS!  BUT I'M GONNA TRY DAMMIT! I'M TRYING ON EVERY SHOE IN THIS STUPID STORE!!!"

Ok, I didn't try on every shoe in the store, but I tried on nearly every stupid shoe in my section of the clearance area.  I tried on tons of stuff that I would never even be caught dead in JUST so I could see if I could get my toes in.  And guess what? MY TOES FIT IN EVERY SHOE! Ugly shoes, stupid shoes, puke colored shoes, flat shoes, heels, boots, sandals ... EVERYTHING!!!

At one point, I began to panic that I was going to wake up and it would still be April 2013 and the surgery would still be two months away.  I'm happy to report that never happened.

Naturally, I took pictures of stuff.  FIRST, however, a few things: crappy cell phone pictures in a poorly lit store is as good as it gets; I forgot to wear skinny jeans and had boot legs on instead--you'll see how this complicates matters; YES, I wore the stupid peds for everything so that nobody can leave a comment calling me some kind of animal for being unsanitary, but the ped plus the rolled up jeans don't  do much to glam up the photos.

Initially I told myself, "NO HEELS," but then went and tried on some heels (just for FUN--NOT to buy):

Truly, a miracle.

Hard to see, but it's a 3-4 inch wedge.  God, I LOVED these.  These were my second favorite pair the whole day, but I didn't get them. They would go with nearly every outfit I wear everyday ... but that's the point. I can't wear something like this anymore. Certainly not everyday.  But, it was fun while it lasted. 
I LOVED these booties.  My Official Favorite Pair of the Whole Place.

Textured tights and every skirt and dress I own? Bingo.  Didn't buy them though.  I just can't be walking back and forth across campus in something like this, let alone run errands.  Just a really dumb idea, but they WERE SO CUTE!!!

I had no interest in buying ballet flats, but I tried these on just because six months ago these would've just ground against my toe bone with no mercy.  But today? No pain at all!!!  I practically ran a lap around the store just to check.  No pain at all!! (I said that already.) If this picture means nothing to you ...
Before and After.  I just keep staring at that blue shoe in the right picture.  You just HAVE NO IDEA how death itself would've be preferable to WALKING 50 yards in that shoe six months ago--I wouldn't have tried it on six months ago, let alone give them a second glance.  Would you shoot hot sauce in your eyes just to see if it "works" for you? Of course not.  Imagine that you can only really wear flat shoes and 99% of flat shoes are hot sauce.  Welcome to my world for the past decade.

Honestly, ballet flats in general ARE THE WORST.  They are THE hardest shoe to fit and yet the only reliably flat style. Truly, trying on flats is the seventh circle of hell when the bones in your foot are deformed.  99% of them just grind on the exposed bone--it's awful.  I'm still really gun-shy with this style--I don't want anything constantly grinding on my bone where it's healing, but tall styles just aren't smart.

If I'm really going to respect my surgery and my two months of physical therapy, then I'm really going to have to commit to flat shoes.  This might require getting a little creative, and this won't be easy.  For example, menswear is really having a moment in women's wear.  Every magazine I flip through is showing Oxfords and brogues as the flat of the moment:

InStyle, December 2013

InStyle, December 2013

Kenneth Cole ad, InStyle, December 2013

The problem is, I'm not really tall enough to pull this stuff off.  I tried on these for the hell of it:

I love anything with spectator detailing ...

I absolutely need a skinny jean for these ... who knows how they actually look.  Also, not crazy about the beige and cream ... brown and darker beige would be preferable.  I honestly don't know, but I really can't afford to be closed minded--I really need to plan my wardrobe around flats.  No, I didn't get these.

In the end, here's what I did buy:



Ok, pretty harmless.  Here's the potential landmine: I'm really, really short.  EVERYBODY (who has studied in the church of Stacy London) knows that when you're short you really have to use color and pattern properly to elongate your appearance.  Boots that cut-off above the ankle are a risk because they can chop your (my) already short legs into pieces making you look stumpy.  Risk all around.  Like I said earlier though, I really need to be open-minded here because walking around in really tall shoes is a far greater risk (literally) than looking stumpy.  When I brought these home, I really couldn't tell if these chop me up badly.  From some angles, they look great and from other angles they're questionable.

* Herewith ensues a bunch of really awkward selfies--sorry *

I'll start with the browns:

Ok ...

Ok ...

Huh.  Can I pull this off ... or do I look like Karen from the animated "Frosty the Snowman" movie? I like them, though.

Now the paddock boots (what do people call these? When I took riding lessons, ankle boots were "paddock boots," and knee high boots--those with lacing on the front--were called "field boots" ... I only wore field boots):


I tried them first with no fold at the top, but I liked them better once I folded them.  Unfolded, they sorta made it look like I was trying out for the part of a witch in a kids' movie.


Again, channeling Karen here?  The thing is, if I was at a barn I wouldn't be self-conscious at all because my thought-process would be, "I need these boots to ride my horse," not "Do my feet look big in these boots?"

I don't know why my feet are so big in proportion to my 5'2" frame.  My friend Erin is easily five inches taller and her shoe size is 1.5 sizes smaller than mine.  What gives?  No sense in complaining though--I've got to learn to work with what I've got and fast.  Lucky for me, I can wear basically whatever I want to work and I'm a pro at dressing up ANYTHING--ANYTHING, I tell you.  Even though these are more on the casual side, I can make that work.  (If I had a job that required business dress, I would be in REALLY big trouble.  Honestly, what alternative do you have to heels in that case? Basically nothing, which really makes you question the latent sexism lurking behind men's and women's business dress codes--both the official versions on the books in corporations AND the implied social code for what does and does not officially count as "dressed" in the eyes of high-profile and powerful workers.  I'm telling you, people: the masculine career model will be the death of all of us.)

I guess I just can't worry how big/stumpy I look from whatever angle.  I'm so happy with my surgery results and I don't want to wreck anything. I guess I'll just have to channel my inner nine year old who gleefully walked (stomped) with a purpose around the barn in her riding boots once a week--the last thing I worried about back then was, "Do I look ok in these shoes?"  I couldn't have cared less how they looked, and, in fact, I felt incredibly powerful in them.

Is it enough to wear something in the course of one's day to live one's life and simply believe, "I really feel like myself in this.  Thus by default, it works."  Or is that not enough to overcome a contrary statement like, "But you look stumpy" or "It's really not flattering" or "WHY?" or "HOW?"  I'm sure, like all matters of taste and aesthetics, there are a thousand answers to that question.

I don't know yet.


Monday, November 25, 2013

Life between weekdays




This technically belongs to Leslie, but it's doing really well in my front window.


Yes, it's true: You can find those big wood circles (used here as chargers) at Michael's.  I saw in the November Better Homes and Gardens that you can buy an inexpensive wood burning tool and monogram them yourself.

Whenever I see Norfolk pines I always want to buy one, but I don't have enough windows right now. I'm starting to panic about what I'm going to do when the Christmas tree takes over the ENTIRE window in the family room in two weeks.  I'll have three big plants and three little plants in need of temporary new homes and there's hardly any room upstairs.

Succulent topiary! Very California.

Potato leek soup

Momma came over for it

Saw this in the Longwood parking lot--I love how monochrome the entire shot is.  That was an accident.  How great is all this grey-blue though? Wish I could wear it.

It's really cute, isn't it??  Vintage trucks always remind me of the old, old, old black and white episodes of Lassie. I thought that show was terrifying growing up, but I always though Timmy's dad's truck was cool--something about the headlights.

If I could boycott against standard time and the earth's 23.4 degree axial tilt, I would.  So far, no luck.

Grown up kitty (panther!) clothes


I saw this truck parked at a strip mall (WHAT is my thing with trucks right now??).  I LOVE it.  I'm guessing the dogs belong to the driver.

Not sure what I love most: spotted fawny? the birch tree? grown up deery? foxy? racoony?

Squirrely?? Birdy?? If you pick a birdy, which birdy?? They're all pretty!

Had bangs chopped in two weeks ago--no regrets yet.