Posts Tagged 'shoes'

New Shoes (a silly little post)

I was running errands the other day and just happened to find myself next to the shoe store. I didn’t think I NEEDED any new shoes, but I thought I’d check out the stock, see what was new, see if there was anything on sale, see if anything appealed to me. After all, we are changing seasons which does mean less warm, toe-showing weather and more wet, soggy, keep-the-feet-dry weather.

Amazing as it might sound, I found THREE pairs of shoes that appealed to me. And slippers to replace my favorite no-skid Penn State socks. Some of you are new to my blog, and don’t know me from my SecondLife days. In those days I was renowned for my spike heels and steam-punk boots. I do still have most of those shoes and boots, but I’ve found lately that my “beach” persona has been more dominant. I’ve been wearing sandals, flip-flops and top-siders all summer and I’m loathe to give up the ambiance. I have 2 pairs of top-siders – one faded, stained sea foam and the other pink. Neither seemed right for fall, so I had to indulge in a new color. The other pair, although they look kind of like slippers, are so comfortable that I couldn’t resist. I NEEDED a pair of fall shoes that weren’t boots. You will probably call these boots but as they say, if the shoe fits, buy it. 🙂

4 new shoes

please note that I do still like buckles and metal on my footwear!

A Day at the Museum

temple of dendur

Temple of Dendur

Oh wow, you do NOT want to be wandering around NYC in August when the temps are in the 90s and the real-feel is in the high 90s. But that’s where you could find me yesterday. My cousin was in town for a few days and I went in to the city to meet her. She was traveling with a friend who’d never been to NYC. Normally I’d say let’s cram in everything we can but I knew the heat and humidity would knock us out. We agreed to go to a museum (air-conditioned) and then we’d go stand in the line at the TKTS booth and see what else we’d do. I wasn’t planning to stay in the city for an evening show, but hanging out at Times Square in line can be its own amusement. It’s a great place for people watching. My goal was to see my cousin Robin so I didn’t really mind what we did as long as I was not pounding the pavement all day.
mounted knights in armor

We agreed to meet up at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. I always say I don’t like museums but I’m realizing that is not true. I do like museums. What I don’t like is having to look at paintings. When my son and I were in Venice in the Doge’s Palace, I finally cracked and told him we had to leave. I simply could not look at one more painting of a duke riding out to greet a pope. As long as we could look at architecture and artifacts I was fine, but the endless paintings broke me. I don’t spend much time staring at artifacts, either, and only read the placards if the item is unusually interesting. I’m sure there are those who would call me ‘heathen’ and they are probably correct. 🙂

Trumpet call harmonica

Trumpet Call Diatonic Harmonica in G, catalog #504471, ca 1915

I was able to catch a train around 9:00 am, which got me into the city around 10. I’d normally have walked from my house to the station, about a mile, but I had a late start. I had already decided I should drive because I had no idea how much walking I’d be doing and I figured I might need to conserve all that foot and leg energy for later. My cousin and I texted while I was on the train. They were walking to the museum. *smile* I usually walk about midtown when I’m there. First, it’s very expensive to take a taxi. I have no problem with the subway but it doesn’t always go where I want to go. In fact, walking is often the fastest way to get anywhere, assuming you are not traveling great distances. I have no problem with walking 40 blocks or so as long as I’ve got the correct footwear. I don’t think, however, that they had grasped exactly what it is like to walk over 40 blocks in NYC (I believe they started over on Lex and 49th).

nagphani horn

Nagphani, India Late 19th Century, catalog #500781

Robin and her friend were thinking of having breakfast someplace and then going to the museum. Based on their progress at the point when my train got in, I figured I’d meet them up at the museum. Penn Station is at 33rd and 7th, the museum is at 83rd and 5th. That is about 3.5 miles. I decided to break with family tradition and take a taxi. My mother NEVER took taxis. When she and her friends got up in years, she was always offended when they’d insist on taking a taxi. I don’t think my mother even took the subway much. She WALKED. I could imagine her scorn at my indulgence, but at that point it really seemed the fastest and coolest way to get uptown. Even if I took the subway I’d end up walking across the park to get from the Museum of Natural History to the Met.

whistling jar

Whistling Jar, Chimu culture, Peru, 1000-1476, catalog #501305

I got in the taxi and asked him to take me to Madison and 82, figuring that Robin would be breakfasting somewhere near the museum and I wouldn’t have to wait for the taxi to make the 2 left turns to get to the museum. That bit about the left turns might sound odd to those of you who have never traveled in the city, but trust me – when the cross town streets get crowded, trying to get around a block can take a significant amount of time. While we were still heading uptown on Madison, Robin told me that they’d gone into the museum. At that point I told the driver to take me there directly.

grogger (cog rattle)

THEY call it a Cog rattle; WE call it a grogger. 15/16th century. #503725

There was no line to get in yet so I cruised in and met up with Robin and Kevin. I’d enjoyed getting a half-price rail fare because I’m a member of AARP (thanks to my husband, who signed me up WAY earlier than I could have joined on my own *grin*). There is no AARP discount at the museum nor was there any reciprocity with my membership in the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation. Full price time. Neither Kevin nor I had had any breakfast at all so we headed straight for the American Wing Cafe for coffee. Ahhhh. I needed that. 🙂
The Astor Court

We decided to wander about instead of taking an introductory tour. The American Cafe is directly behind the Temple of Dendur, which is a “must see” if you are at the museum. We started there. Next we headed to the Arms and Armour exhibit. I’d actually been to both places only 18 months earlier, when my husband and I had been in the city for the day and dinner, but they are both well worth multiple visits. I wanted to show them the Astor Chinese Garden Court. Although we had maps, parts of the museum were under renovation, so we kept getting directions to the elevator to get to the Asian Art exhibits. I kept insisting we could walk, so we ended up wandering through other exhibits as we attempted to get there.

japanese striped bowl

Neriage marbleized stoneware, Japan

I’d never been to the musical instrument exhibit before (galleries 680-684). Having just toured the Musical Instrument Museum in Phoenix 2 months earlier, I found the instruments more interesting and intriguing than I might have in the past. There are so many different ways that people make music. The materials and the shapes and the combinations – absolutely fascinating. If you look at the map (the link above) it APPEARS that you can walk from the musical instruments area to the Asian Art wing. Appearances can deceive. I finally gave up and we took the elevator to the Asian Art.

glass deer

PixCell (Glass bead) deer, Japan, catalog #76970

We must have gone up only a 1/2 floor. We barely moved, and then the doors on the other side of the elevator opened and we were in Asian Art. As we stepped out we saw/heard a tour in progress. The docent was describing the glass deer (well, that’s MY term for it) by Kohei Nawa. I’d seen this deer last trip as well. It is a taxidermied deer, covered with glass balls of varying sizes. I find it both attractive and a tad repugnant (because it seems disrespectful of the dead deer).

koi pond

Koi pond in Astor Court

But at last we found the Astor Court. I LOVE this spot. I know that there are no chairs there/places to sit, because if there WERE, the place would be packed with folks sitting there in serenity. My memory told me that when I was there in January, there had been flowering plants. There were none there at the moment, but when I checked my photos I saw that for once my memory was right on target (unlike my memory of walking to the Astor Court *grin*). We all loved the garden and spent a little time there simply enjoying it, and watching the koi.

FLW fabric boucle damask

FLW fabric boucle damask

We wandered through the Asian Art exhibit. We had one last “planned” stop in the museum – Schumacher’s Taliesin Line of Decorative Fabrics and Wallpapers Designed by Frank Lloyd Wright,1955 (gallery 599). We found our way there (by this time I asked for directions every time I saw a museum worker). I’m not sure what I was expecting, but I was expecting MORE than what was there. It’s a very, very small room – about the size of my son’s bedroom. Even so, there were FLW patterns, so we had the FLW experience.

flw fabric damask

FLW fabric damask


We made sure to wander through the Gift Shop on our way out, but we all nobly restrained ourselves from buying anything (and we each had things in our hands at one point so you know it was difficult).
flw fabric

FLW fabric

Next on the agenda was heading back to midtown to wait in the TKTS line so Robin and Kevin could get show tickets. It was 2:30, and it was hot and humid. *smile* We all opted for a taxi back down to Times Square. Ahhhh. Air conditioned. No walking. We got there about 10 minutes before the booth opened. It’s become so efficient and modern since I last stood in the TKTS line. In MY day, sonny, they only took cash at the window. You didn’t know what was available til you got to the counter and could peer behind the agents. Now everything is computerized, there are sign boards out front, they take credit cards. 🙂 Ahhh, technology. While Kevin and Robin waited in line, I sat on the big red bleachers and watched the people. They joined me, waving their prize – tickets to Tootsie!!!
Book Our Shoes Our Selves

I decided that they NEEDED to see Rockefeller Center (I have a sentimental attachment as I used to work at 30 Rock, back in the days when it was the RCA Building). We walked over there and took photos. I had NO IDEA that in the summer they put in a SANDBOX in the middle of the promenade! You know I went straight over and sat down in a chair and wriggled my toes in the sand! From there we headed over to The Playwright, a restaurant on 49th. As it happens, I have fond memories of this restaurant as well, as my son and I had dinner here one day when we were doing a day of TKTS – matinee in the afternoon, show in the evening. 🙂 We hung out drinking and eating and chatting for about 2 hours. Then I headed for the train home and they headed to the theater. All in all, a lovely day in the city, despite the heat and humidity.

times Square

Times Square as seen from the big red bleachers

Weather Swings Like a Pendulum Do

IMG_8515Apologies to Roger Miller but England is not the only thing swinging. Our weather is crazy. It seems that since January we swing between extremes. I’m sure we had an 80 degree day in February, then we had a nor’easter every week in March. April did nothing but rain, rain, rain. Or was that May? May was another month of back and forth – warm and sunny one day, back down in 50s (that’s Fahrenheit folks) and gray for the next 6. Yesterday we hit 87F and it was incredibly humid with bright bright sunshine. Until the rainstorm hit about 2pm. Today it struggled to reach 65, and the wind is blowing so strongly that our deck umbrellas were knocked over.

IMG_8489My cats “swing” too. Great success with WC yesterday – she came out and ate breakfast in the doorway of the food room. She even sat in the blueberry box in the hallway – a favorite cat resting place apparently. All 3 cats loved the blueberry box (8 pints of blueberries came in that box) so I made sure to bring it upstairs to be part of The Great Incarceration. Today – WC scorned breakfast and never even came out from under the bed for dinner.

I went out and bought a microwave yesterday – much smaller than our previous one, which is headed for the rummage sale. Trying to situate the new microwave properly was an adventure – we “swung” from level surface to level surface. My first choice was no good because we couldn’t make the cord reach. I opted against my second choice because I realized the refrigerator was on the same outlet. IMG_8490The third surface was the charm but necessitated me reorganizing some of the dining room so that the cord would reach the outlet.

In the garden I noticed that the deer not only attack my hibiscus, but they appear to be eating the white wave petunias in the hanging baskets and also the tops off of the purple-leaf-thing-that-has-yellow-flowers. Something also feasts on the sweet potato vines. So I got out my cayenne pepper and covered them all. I like this approach because I grow a lot of herbs and vegetables and even if we missed washing off ALL the cayenne it won’t hurt us. And besides – the commercial repellents are truly repellent – for us, too. Which reminds me, I forgot to spray the ferns out back with the truly repellent chemicals. It’s rained (of course) since I did it last. But it’s WAY too windy to attempt that now.

IMG_8517There have been some minor successes and improvements. I ATE my first home-grown strawberry. 🙂 You can see it in the picture but it’s not there anymore. My new porch railings are up and they are GORGEOUS. My Rudbeckia Laciniata Hortensia arrived and got planted. I finally remembered to get the plant supports out of the garage and brace the spiderwort. I planted two canna lilies where the wretched weeds wandered in. I bought a plastic dish rack for sitting on top of the washing machine in the basement – our new dishwashing location. (Notice the preponderance of garden tasks as opposed to indoor tasks.)

Today was given to a few more errands, still trying to make our renovation existence as smooth as possible. Somehow that also involved buying 2 new pairs of shoes….. It’s not MY fault that the shoe store is next to the BB&B store.

IMG_8513

Identity Crisis

If you have known me awhile, or read this blog back in its early days, you know that I have several defining traits. I like shoes. BIG TIME like shoes. One could even say I adore shoes. You could even call me the Imelda Marcos of SL/NJ.

I also love to read. Waaaaay back in the dark ages before kindles and ebooks and the internet, I would frequent the book stores on my lunch hour and buy and buy and buy books. Paperbacks, hardbacks, authors I knew, authors I didn’t know. Books. I was always reading. It’s a family trait. Time for a little reminiscing. When my sister and I were young ‘uns, there was a bathroom in the basement of the house. The basement was totally icky. Really icky. Bugs. Spiders. Those horrible hundred-legger thingies. Dark with naked light bulbs with strings for on/off. My father asked us what he could do to get us to use the bathroom in the basement. We conferred and came back and said: put in bookshelves. He didn’t and we continued to not use that bathroom. *grin* Books & reading. That’s my pleasure. We’d go to the beach for a week in the summer and I’d bring 14-16 books with me and finish them all.

This next trait may be less well known, or maybe I’m kidding myself. 🙂 I push myself hard. I like working out. I subscribe to the “no pain no gain” mantra. I know there are pictures of Ahuva on the treadmill here in this blog. I have a treadmill, rowing machine, bicycle and free weights in my basement (which is NOT dark and icky and DOES have bookshelves). I love my rowing machine and treadmill. My treadmill is fairly new – only 3 years now, and it has a zillion trendy features. For years my friend tried to get me to do yoga (she’s a yoga instructor) and then my sister took it up and loved it. My sister got me to go to a stretch class last year. The class was great even though they were “sneaking” yoga moves into it. But yoga is NOT for me. I DID try it once and it did NOTHING for me. I always sneered and said not my thing – it has to HURT to be good. Run. Weights. Row. Core. Sweat sweat sweat.

I don’t watch TV much. Yes, my Superbowl party IS one of my top parties of the year for me, and yes, I did go and buy a brand new TV this year just for the party. (I can explain why if you are really interested. Even if you are not. I didn’t want to move the 55″ curved TV from the sunroom into the living room so I bought a 49″ 4g tv for the party. Anyone interested in buying a used TV?) But TV is not my thing. I had 2 exceptions to that: True Blood and the old Weather Channel. I LOVED the original weather channel. I can’t stand what it’s become. But I would turn on the TV and watch the weather channel and be entertained. True Blood. Oh Em Gee. I loved loved loved True Blood. I thought about Sookie and Bill and Tara and Jason and all of them regularly. I STILL feel as if they are people I really know and are my friends. I was Club Bill, btw, not Club Eric. 🙂 But other than the old weather channel and True Blood, I really didn’t watch much TV. I’ve been watching much more in the last few years (True Blood kind of broke down my resistance) but mostly it’s because I’m hanging out with my husband. It’s the togetherness and not the longing for a show.

So that’s me. Shoes, books, working out and pushing myself, no TV. Or is it?

I think I might have been swapped.

The last 4 times I have walked into DSW, the mecca of the shoe buying world, I have not even found anything I wanted to try on. Not boots, not heels, not sandals. Nothing appealed. It’s been MONTHS since I saw any footwear that called to me.

I went into Barnes & Noble as a treat to myself the other day. Wandered all over. Fiction. Mysteries. Sci Fi. Remaindered. I could not find a single thing I wanted to buy. Even buying ebooks – very very few things for which I’ll pay the $. There is always at least ONE new book to call my name in a bookstore. Nothing.

Back in October I joined the local fitness studio. They have 2 studios – fitness and yoga. I hung out in the fitness studio, doing boot camp at 6:30 am Mondays and Wednesdays. Gabe is a fantastic instructor – positive, encouraging, suggestions for alternate moves that take into account damaged knees, neck, feet. I needed a third class. I tried the TRX (you use these hanging hammocks – go look it up). Didn’t like it. I tried the warm yoga flow – couldn’t keep up, had no idea what they were doing. Couldn’t make the Zumba time slot.

I took the beginner yoga class every Sunday morning. It was a lot like the stretch class if I tuned out the Om. 🙂 I got better and better at the positions. I ventured back to the warm yoga flow class. I could DO it. I even – yes – LIKED it. In the meantime, I went to those boot camps every time the studio was open and I was healthy. If I missed Gabe in the morning I’d go for Kelley in the afternoon, another phenomenally upbeat great trainer. I HATED boot camp. HATED it. It was everything I used to love. I spent every minute of it hating it and saying to myself “only 60 more seconds – you can do 60 more seconds”. I went, I didn’t miss because I hated it, but it was 3 months and I still had not slipped back into loving/needing/craving my workout. When the workout was over, even then I didn’t feel good. All I felt was thank heavens I’m done for x hours til the next class. And I added hot yoga to my scheduled. In the middle of January I reached a decision: no more boot camp. I proved I could do it. I proved that my willpower is still intact. Yes, I got better and stronger but so what. I checked my schedule and I can make a lot of the yoga and every now and then I get lucky and can fit in the ultimate stretch class too. 🙂

The final blow came just a few minutes ago, the prompt for this post. Jessica Jones Season 2 is being released March 8. I got all excited and sent an email to my husband in all caps about JESSICA JONES!!!!!!!

Who the heck AM I?

I don’t buy shoes.
I don’t buy books.
I’m excited about a TV show.

And omg – I’m loving yoga.

OOTD20150512

So May 12th is Limerick day….

There once was a lass named Ahuva
Whose taste in footwear will school ya’
Her heels are soooo tall
But she doesn’t fall
It’s true, you know I don’t fool ya!

Another Step Forward

Things were VERY bad this morning. I was extremely stressed out. Many issues that are “real” and probably some that only seem to be issues because of lack of sleep or insufficient hydration or whatever. I was able to walk in 3.5 inch heels on Thursday, but not very well. PT on Friday didn’t go very well either – could not get the one toe to unlock and flex. Sigh. Things such as that accumulated. As has my weight. Ugh. Before noon the big cranky gray cat had attacked the black kitten twice. I was wound tight and tighter. What to do?

inch by inchIn the past, when I’ve reached that ready-to-scream-and-snap state, I’ve worked out. Okay, well then, I’ve been doing the grocery shopping (1.5 hours in sneakers & upright & moving). I wore 2.5 inch heels all day at the beginning of the week. Surgeon has said I’ll do more harm now by babying the foot than by pushing the limits. It wasn’t much of a decision. I changed into my workout clothes, grabbed my music and headed for the treadmill. I’ve not worked out in over 6 months, probably much longer. *laughing* I wasn’t even sure the treadmill would START. It did and I stepped on. I walked. I walked and I walked and I walked.

My walking was either pitiful or a major triumph. Or both. The FASTEST rate I got to was 2.4 mph. I used to start warming up at 2.6 mph. I pushed the incline up to 4% as I walked. I might not be going fast today but I could go steep. The triumph is that I walked a mile – nonstop. Considering that a few weeks ago I couldn’t walk at all without a major limp, I was quite pleased, even if it took 27 minutes. I started at 2 mph and got it up to 2.4 before I stopped. Considering there was a time I used to RUN, 2.4 is embarrassing. Considering the last few months, 2.4 is a miracle.

If I can walk, well, I’m sure I can row, too. *grin* Yep, I can row. Again, comparing it to what I used to be able to do, I did wince. Comparing it to the last several months – I rock. 180 strokes in 5 minutes.

Even more to the point, I do not seem to have damaged anything anywhere while I walked and rowed. My mood definitely lifted. No question that I worked out the negative energy that was stressing me. Since I think I’ll still be sufficiently limber tomorrow, I’m planning on doing it again.

Wish me luck and continued endurance and commitment. I hear my shoes calling.

Disappointment

ahuva surgery sandal 2I was set. Prepared. Ready to go. MORE than ready. Tomorrow was the day when I would FINALLY, after years and years and – trust me – a long time – get my foot repaired. The doctor had a very carefully thought out plan. He understood that I NEEEEEEED a flexible foot. We were skipping all the inorganic approaches and going right for regrowth. *laughing* I wore my steam-punk heels into his office last week, just so that he would “get” me. I said “I want you to know who I am so that if you have to make any decisions when I can’t contribute, you make the one that I would make.” My niece had even taken the boring plain black sandal they gave me and snazzed it up to fit my shoe persona (with the exception of some sequins and sparkle, she did it all with paint). I was supposed to begin fasting at midnight, surgery scheduled for 7 am. tomorrow.

At 4:54 pm the phone rang. It was the surgery center. Puzzled, since I’d already had a long chat with them earlier, I answered the phone. The operating room nurse identified herself (we’d chatted earlier) and began apologizing. Uh oh. I thought she was going to tell me the injection had not arrived – that was going to be the “rare” object. Nope, not that. The other product. Not only was it not there, it is not available anymore. Apparently the drug rep finally got around to saying “oh yeah, I’m substituting X for Y.” Not so fast. Sigh. The surgeon postponed the surgery until he is sure that X will do what we want.

ahuva surgery sandal 1I’m very disappointed. I put this off for years. I’ve been living in pain for months, unable to sleep more than 4 hours on a good night because of the pain. On a bad night – up every 30 minutes. It’s been debilitating. He has promised to schedule me as soon as he has a product that will do what we want. I love this surgeon. From day 1 he has talked to me openly, as an equal, plainly. Sigh. The “recovery” is 3 months. If we have to delay too long, this could become a problem.

Bummer. Of course I’d rather wait to do the “best” action rather than settle for the approach that doesn’t really get me where I hope to be. But tonight – yes, I’m very very disappointed.


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