December 4, 2016: Hola everyone! Winter has arrived in Milwaukee and there are snow flurries today. Despite several hard freezes remarkably my "spikes" in two of my patio planters have absolutely refused to die. The rosemary and thyme plants I nursed inside the house through last winter spent the summer in their pot outside next to the side stoop off the driveway, where they get plenty of sunshine all day long. I transplanted them into a cozy sheltered spot right next to the stoop in October and they are still green and growing, too! With the delay in getting the drywall patching done in the relatively minor "reconstruction" work I had done in my kitchen, I am way behind my time in getting the house decorated. But yesterday I got my wreath decked out with extra lights and dressed the front door of the house, and my battery-operated traditional candles were put up on the window sills all around the house Friday evening. It becomes a ritual to go around at dusk and turn the tops to the right to turn the candles "on" and at bedtime to go around and turn the tops to the left to turn the candles "off." Today I put some "glittery" throw pillow covers purchased new last month from H&M on three of my sofa pillows to glam things up a bit in the living room and add some sparkle. Later on, after I sufficiently fuel myself up with wine and snacks and probably to distract myself while I listen to the Packers game on the radio, I will huff and puff and pull my artificial tree up from storage in the basement. I will decorate it simply this year. Every year I say that, and every year I end up throwing just about everything except the kitchen sink on the tree. I am very proud of myself this year, though. I did not buy a single new ornament or Christmas doo-dad for the house (throw pillow covers don't count!!!) Happy Holidays to all, with hope and fervent prayers for 2017. I've a feeling we're all going to need a lot of help from Goddess in the coming year. Jan

Saturday, October 22, 2011

What Do YOU Wear To A Chess Tournament?

Oh my gosh.  Today I played in the Hales Corners Chess Challenge XIV.  I arranged ahead of time to play only the first 3 of the 4 scheduled games because when I played in the HCCC a year ago, I was utterly exhausted by the time R4 came (at 6 p.m.) and my game was brutal and short - I lost.  Well, I lost all of my games that day, and today too, but that's neither here nor there.  I just didn't want to be taking the bus home in the dark in an exhausted state, and then face the long walk from the bus stop home.  The darkness just makes me want to curl up under my blankey and go to sleep! 

The thing is, a year ago, I was heavier and I didn't like my hair and I looked old and dumpy, particularly next to my young, beautiful friend, Shira, and I dressed old and dumpy.  But I was really, really comfortable. YECH!  This year I've turned over a new leaf, spurred, no doubt, by the 60th advent of my birth this year. 

So I hemmed and hawed for two full days about what to wear today to HCCC XIV!  Utterly ridiculous, really, since most of the people there don't even actually see you - sometimes not even when they're sitting right across from you over a chessboard :)  Now, that's focus! 

And I was still hemming and hawing this morning until the last possible moment, when I HAD to leave the house in order to walk to the bus stop in order to catch the bus get to the tournament site on time!

At first I was not going to wear jeans; I was going to wear a very sophisticated get-up:  a black knit bat-wing pullover (it's been very successful at the office), a turtleneck, and black slacks. Then I toyed with the idea of going totally in taupe - the same outfit I wore to lunch with Alexandra Kosteniuk in St. Louis last month.  I loved the outfit, but I looked horrid in the photo that 'Sis took of me in it.  Better not.  Then I thought about pairing another successful "poncho" style top in multi-colored cotton yarn over a cream turtleneck with my brown, taupe, black, and navy blue slacks.  That's ridiculous, you'll be the only person in the entire hotel not wearing jeans.

I wore this (self-photo taken after I got home from the tournament) - dark grey short sleeve cardigan, black mock-turtleneck, and my recently new Amanda jeans that aren't in a "women's" cut!  At least at the beginning of the day my hair was rather attractively arranged, but by the end of the day it was looking the worse for wear after tearing my hands through it so many times, arrrgggghhhh!  I thought the outfit was successful.  I was comfortably dressed but I also felt stylish.

Hello!  That's me, in the reflective bronzed glass surface of my old entertainment center in the family room.  Should have kept my shoes on, but I took the pic on the spur of the moment.

If I ever play in another tournament, I promise to step the outfit up a notch or two.  For now, I mark myself "E" for Effort.

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