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, November 19, 2011


A few weeks ago I finally trashed a yechy black "velour" robe that I'd inherited from one of my sisters (a smoker, it had a few burn holes in the front) many moons ago - I think in 2001.  It was already old and worn out then.  It wasn't a flattering robe:  DREADFUL color, it was too big, it had 1980's styling complete with "big" built-out shoulders (!) and it wasn't warm.

When I say I trashed it, I really mean it - it went into the black plastic garbage bag that holds two weeks' accumulation of trash in my household.  The bag was picked up two Tuesdays ago. Adios, dreadful Robe of the Grim Reaper.

I had a reserve robe that I pulled out - not much better, though.  Cream color, and while I like the convenience of a zip opening/closing, this one kept opening from the bottom up whenever I took too large of a step or moved too fast, or sat down on the toilet!  Okay, let's not go there...  It's material is tight-knight and warm enough, but it picks up every bit of dark lint in the house and since I'm not so careful with my house-cleaning these days, there's lots of that laying around (hey, I prefer to spend my time on other more important pursuits and since it's just me, who gives a hoot if I live in a dirty house most of the time?)  I thought there must be something warmer out there with today's miracle fabrics - something in a darker color - something that wouldn't show coffee stains and make-up splotches and other things...  Being cream colored, well, to put it bluntly, the robe I'm using at the moment shows dirt more often than I remember to toss it into the washer.  Hmmm....  It was time to go shopping for a new robe.

As is often the case in my crazy life, synchronicity was at work behind the scenes.  It seemed my friend Ann was also tired of her old robe, which she could no longer get clean around the neckline - you know, that old "ring around the collar," and after several years of wear, no matter what she did she couldn't get rid of the ring around the collar.  It was a white robe!  Who would wear a white bathrobe except at a spa where you only have to wear it once?  Well, for that matter, what woman in her right mind would wear a cream-colored bathrobe unless she has staff to make sure it's laundered when needed and kept in pristine condition...

I happened to mention to Ann last week that I was looking for a new robe (in addition to hunting for new shoes - another story), and she said that she was too!  And so, we arranged a robe hunting expedition.

Let me tell you, this robe hunting is serious business!  We had both, independently, hunted first at Boston Store in the mall downtown during our lunch hours.  No luck!  I didn't like the pastel colors - I wanted something vibrant and with a zip-up front, and not short - I wanted ankle length!  I was looking for a red or even better, a plaid, even a green, or a royal blue.  But all I saw was white, white, more white, pink, icy blues (brrrrrrrrr) and sickly looking greens and yellows.  YECH.

The other drawback to shopping at Boston Store is the price.  Even at "50% off" the robes were too expensive for my taste.  I'm not generally what I consider a cheapskate but there are certain lines I draw in the sand, and I won't budge, not even if a bulldozer rolls over me (well, I guess, particularly then, since I'd be smushed up into a hole in the ground...).

My friend is even more money-conscience that I am.  So, we devised a plan.

The plan didn't work.

We went to K-Mart, where I ordinarily don't shop, but I had seen some shoes advertised there and years ago the same sister who had passed the cigarette-holely robe on to me had taken me there once and I found shoes that actually fit....  So, I was going to look for shoes, and then robes, and Ann was going to look for towels, and then robes.

We walked out of the place empty-handed and depressed.

Ann suggested Sears, but I nixed that.  These days, Sears in on par with Walmart as far as its merchandise is concerned.  And on principle, I refuse to shop at Walmart.  We went to Kohls.  Same deal.  Walked out empty-handed and depressed.

Robes, robes, robes!  I couldn't get the damn things out of my head!  I swear I had a nightmare about robes chasing me down and strangling me when I refused to buy them on Wednesday night (the evening of the ill-fated shopping expedition).  So, what did I do on Thursday?  Spent all of my spare time online robe-hunting.

Ideally, Ann wants something in REAL chenille, which I don't think is made anymore.  I looked - I really did.  I would have paid up to $60 for a REAL chenille robe for her, although that is nearly two-times as much as we pay for each other's gifts (by mutual detente), but all the chenille I found was either synthetic or WAY out of my budget -- and I wasn't sure it was REAL chenille.  At that point I wasn't even looking for a robe for myself, I was concentrating on Ann.  Her birthday is MONDAY!  I wanted to get her something besides the usual Olive Garden Gift Card I get her.  Mind you, she loves Olive Garden and she uses up those gift cards, but it's just the same old, same old, and boring!  You know what I mean?

And so, selfless creature that I am, I I determined that I would go shopping today in hunt of a robe and give up a good chunk of my Saturday to do so.  There had to be a robe somewhere for Ann, and maybe along the way I'd find one for myself, too. 

I was temporarily delayed by attending a neighbor's Mary Kay/Just Be and I don't know all what else party that started at 9:00 a.m. for Breakfast!  Yep - I went for Breakfast, LOL!  I made my purchases (more about them later) and headed back home around 10 a.m. to pick up my shopping bags.  I had to make the rounds.  First, to pick up a prescription at Walgreens, where I got waylaid on my way in and ultimately donated twenty bucks on my way out to Veterans for Christmas (yeah, I'm a sucker); and then I headed to the TRUE OBJECT of the trip:  TJMAXX.

While it seemed like I was inside TJMAXX for hours, I was actually back home before 11:30 a.m. and that included the walk from my house to Walgreens, then to TJMAXX, and the mile back home again. 

Ellen Tracy Black Scroll Robe
Originally priced $68.00 at Boscov's, on sale for $34.00.
I paid $24.99 at TJMAXX. 
TJMAXX had robes!  Granted, not the dream robe selection that I was looking for, but intriguing enough that I spent a lot of time checking them out, and I saw a few robes that I liked for myself.  In the end, I opted for a thick, plush chenille-"look" robe by Jasmine Rose for Ann in a light mint green color (she likes green) at an amazingly low price.  Her robe looks like the one on the home page of the Jasmie Rose website.

And, for myself, I jumped off the plank and bought a black and cream colored "swirl" patterned kimono wrap robe, Tracy Ellen brand.  It has a black shawl color and deep black cuffs which I had to roll up because the sleeves were so long.  Yeah, it's not a zip-up!  Belt-styled clothes are not flattering on me because I have no waist to speak of, but otherwise I REALLY like this robe!  It's uber-soft (some kind of microplush) and very warm and snuggly.  It goes with my black uber-warm slippers (which need to be laundered, they're starting to smell funny...).

So, at least this shopping trip was successful! 


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