January 31, 2018:


Today is the Super Duper Blue Red Full Eclipse Partial Eclipse Moon, depending on where you may be viewing from.

Three years ago this day was my last day of working and I retired after 46 years of full-time work. I've enjoyed every single moment of my retirement since then - three years and hoping for twenty more, we'll see how things go...

February and March can be cruel months in southeastern Wisconsin where I live. January itself was nutso here weather-wise, with two separate thaws. I don't ever remember getting two January thaws before, and many years none happened at all.

Before I know it I'll be headed to Las Vegas to visit my friends and celebrate some sunshine and warm weather, and see a show (I always try to squeeze one in). Meanwhile, I am continuing, slowly, to make this smaller retirement ranch into a home that makes me smile in every room. I still have lots to do, including major painting projects. I keep putting them off. Seems at 66 I'm not so keen on painting as I was at 36. Gee, I wonder why...


Saturday, September 17, 2011

Is this when it started???

The trip to St. Louis for chessly things was set for September 8 - 12, 2011.  Through the auspices of a  travel agent booked by the Chess Collectors International, we got an excellent rate on a one bedroom suite (a queen size pull-out bed in the living room area), and Georgia, a Goddesschess principal and friend for the past twelve years, who would be meeting me in St. Louis and would be sharing the suite, and I, were off and running planning our respective wardrobes several weeks in advance.

I had absolutely nothing appropriate to wear to a fancy cocktail party/dinner, and I'd been trudging along in my regular boring office clothes for the past x years - they were so old, I only vaguely remember that I may have purchased most of them seven or eight years ago! 

I was in desperate straits!  I embarked upon a massive hunt for suitable clothing to take to St. Louis and also to update my boring old look, which I had only recently come to realize actually was quite old and quite boring.  Blech!  Was it the trip to St. Louis that turned the trick?  Or was it turning 60 years old that triggered something - maybe some of that famous Newton rebelliousness lurking in my French Canadian genes?  Is this all just about not going "softly into that good night; rage, rage against the dying of the light..."?  Damn!

August 17, 2011:

I am pretty sure my story is typical of what a woman my age and with certain - shall we say, figure flaws - goes through in order to find a decent fitting, well-designed dress these days. A dress that is not for a granny; a dress that is not for a size 0 perpetual 17 year old; a dress that has no fricking spandex in it!

Who is designing clothes for women these days? Whoever they are, they all seem to think that it is "fashion" to just upsize the junk they sell to 20 years olds for women who are in their 50's and 60's and 50 plus pounds heavier. Oh please!

After having tried to locate a suitable dress locally and failing, I resorted to the desperate move of ordering clothes online. I hate doing this because (1) it takes so long (2) return issues (3) you can't tell what a dress really looks like online (4) sizing issues (5) quality issues (cut, feel of material, drape). But not only did I wade in to ordering clothing online, I ordered SEVEN dresses from four different sources! I read a blog post at a fashion site that said I should order a ton of clothes and try them all on and send back anything that isn't exactly what I want style, quality and fit wise. How exhausting!

Today the dresses from Zappo's arrived. I love Zappo's because they have a great (gigantic!) selection and a great return policy and free shipping to and from, or in this case, from and to because, unfortunately, I will be returning both dresses I ordered.

This dress is by Karen Kane: V-Neck Flower Trim Dress, SKU# 7846612
I really liked the style of this dress and the "flower" ruching around the neckline was lovely and added a greal deal to an otherwise simple dress. Unfortunately, it doesn't really show up in the photo. There was just a bit of gathering from the empire waist seam underneath the busline so this dress was a bit less clingy than the second one I tried on. I was also happy with the sleeve length - about elbow length. The issues that turned this into a "no buy:" material too clingy for my taste - showed too many figure flaws! Clothing is supposed to disguise certain things, not accentuate them. I don't go around accentuating my flaws, I try to accentuate what positives I have and neutralize the rest! The neckline was cut too low, the dress was heavy too. The skirt was too short - I am looking for something that falls just below the knee (good luck, Jan!) It also took a lot of tugging and pulling to get the dress positioned correctly once I got it on over my head (no zipper). Because of the heaviness of the material, this dress would probably give me heat stroke in a high humidity climate like St. Louis is apt to be in early September.

Tommy Bahama: Tambour Double Layer Dress, SKU# 7826125 I ordered this dress on the basis of the photo because it looked like it had a more generous cut through the middle and would skim over a problematic area, but it turned out to be a worse fit than the Karen Kane dress. I liked the long sleeves. That was the only thing I liked. The neckline was way too low, the dress was too short, and it didn't skim - it clung! It was also heavier than the Karen Kane dress.

While the cut of the Karen Kane dress showed some promise on my figure, the Tommy Bahama dress did not. This heavy dress that also had to be tugged relentlessly into place would suffocate me within five minutes of donning it in St. Louis' heat and humidity. It is a dress that would look great on someone 4 inches taller and 30 pounds lighter than yours truly.

So, I'm waiting for the next shipment - this one will be from Macy's. Now that I know I can't wear anything with spandex in it, one of the Macy's dresses probably will be disappointing, but I have some hope for the second dress because it is only polyester, no spandex. Those dresses ship tomorrow.

August 23, 2011:

Success!!! I Have Found A Black Dress!

Patra tiered dress with flutter sleeves
Hola, darlings! It's certainly not a "little" black dress, ahem (the winning dress: right). But it does fit, covers various figure flaws pretty well, and did not look too horrible (although I look nothing like the model). It's probably 4 inches too long, so I'm going to take it to the tailor tomorrow and see if she thinks it can be hemmed without ruining the line. Ideally, I would like it to hit at the bottom of the knee. It's also a tad low cut for my taste (much lower cut on me than on the model), but what the hell, these days my boobs are about the only assets I have, aside from my "fine eyes." LOL! A drawback to the wide open and deep neckline is my farmer's tan issue! No way to resolve it although I will desperately try self-tanning stuff to try and even out the color differential somewhat. I'm going to have a two-toned v-neckline and bosom. A zebra in a black ruffled dress.

This is one of two dresses I'd ordered from Macy's online, and this was one of two dresses that I ordered in a "W" size (for plus size woman - please, no jokes!) The second Macy's dress (not a "W" size) is gorgeous and it fit me which, in and of itself, was a major shock, but the sleeves were too short and being part spandex, hugged in just the wrong spots too much on my awful upper arms; and while the dress looked fabulous straight on in my full-length mirror, when I turned to the side and looked at my profile - it was definitely a FAIL. So, the second dress is going back. Unfortunately, I also received someone else's order in my box! Eek! The unwanted dress and the un-ordered blouse (? -- not sure if it is a blouse, a tunic, or a very short and thin dress) are going back to Macy's tomorrow.

Mind you, darlings, the boxes that were waiting for me this evening (from Macy's and Kyonna via Catherine's online) contained the last three of seven dresses I'd ordered online. After having sent back the first four dresses as EPIC FAILS and while waiting for the final three dresses to arrive (figuring that none of them would fit or be flattering, or both, either), I decided to go the "separates" route and thus an additional shopping expedition ensued! I made my purchases, including a pencil skirt that fit but was far too long (hit my legs in exactly the wrong spot) -- and so I had my wardrobe for the St. Louis trip all planned. And then tonight I tried on the Macy's dresses and - well, I changed my mind. I decided to keep the Patra dress and take back the pencil skirt. If I were being thrifty and wise, I'd keep the pencil skirt, pay for some tailoring, and send the much more expensive Patra dress back. Oh well...

So - I must go back to Southridge Mall tomorrow night after work to return the pencil skirt.

About dress seven -- The lace overlay dress I'd ordered from Catherine's (actually Kyonna brand) was gorgeous! It looked even better in person than the photographs online. Unfortunately, what was supposed to be a size 0X (a Women's size), I didn't even bother to try on because it looks like a size 10. I mean - really? The label on the dress said size 0 and it's a lie. Did they send me a 0 instead of a 0X (for those unintiated, 0X is between 16 and 1X, which is where my measurements place me, GASP!)

NOW comes the hunt for the final parts of a lady's outfit: perfect shoes and accessories! I've already got my Saturday shopping expedition for shoes planned. I scouted out shoes online and, amazingly, there is a shoe store near where I live and can easily get to that stocks the W and/or WW (width) that I need - and in fashionable styles! GASP! I wasn't kidding about teetering around in 3 inch heels. That's nothing these days, when your 20-somethings teeter around in 5 inch plus heels with platforms. Ohmygoddess, those are some damn ugly shoes. The highest heel I ever wore was a 4 inch spike and no platform! That was in 1983, my second year in law school. I had a 23" waist and nice legs back then. My life could have taken a whole 'nother turn because of those heels...

But that's not a story I'll write here :)

August 26, 2011:

TWO: The quest for the not-so-little black dress. Darlings, I am beginning to think that my brain has somehow been permanently altered, and it's rather frightening! I can't seem to get black dresses out of mind, for one thing, and now I'm on a quest for the perfect yet comfortable dress shoe to go with the perfect not-so-little black dress! What's more, I am fixated on the constant discount coupons I am now being slathered with from the online retailers I ordered merchandise from recently. OHMYGODDESS! Will it never end? Hellllllllppppppp........

You know, it never occurred to me before, but Hellllllllppppppp........ is actually a contraction for the words HELL (echo, echo, echo, echo, echooooo.....) and GULP!

Should I be grateful for this re-awakened fashion frenzy? Hmmmm.... I actually ordered VOGUE. Yes, I know, darlings. Incredible. A two years for the price of one special. I couldn't pass up such a good deal :)

Anyway, as you know, I found this most incredible couture designer who also does alterations and tailoring - Ms. Diane Wilson of P'dia in downtown Milwaukee. So I owe my quest for the perfect not-so-little black dress to meeting this incredible lady. 
"Maka" by Annie
As for those damn shoes - not so easy! I do not, really, want to go shopping yet again tomorrow. I'm tired! So, tonight after work I dashed over to Rogan's Shoes near where I live because I found them online and I thought they would have all of these fabulous shoes in stock! EPIC FAIL. They have a huge store and it's all odds and ends! I didn't spend 10 minutes looking before I knew it was a bust, and the 14 year old clerks were not an encouraging sign. Soooo, I went back to Zappo's and ordered two pairs of shoes, crossing my fingers that they will arrive and at least one pair will fit and I'll be able to walk in them and stand for more than 15 minutes! "Maka" is one of the styles I chose. The other pair is - well, it just looks like granny.

But I expect that since rain is forecast for tomorrow, I'll be going shopping - again. Sigh.
. . .

From the Weird World News of Alejandro Rojas
New Mexico Cop Says Military Responsible for Cattle Mutilations
Posted: 8/22/11 02:03 PM ET

Wait a second. What the hell is that? I thought we were supposed to be writing about cattle mutilations - oh no! It - it's - oh no! It's the granny shoe that Jan ordered EEEK EEEEEEKKKKK EEEEEEKKKKKKKK EEEEEEEEEEEKKKKKKKKK - WHERE'S THAT KNIFE, QUICK! 

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