Tuesday, April 30, 2013

XYZ is for . . . eXamine Your Zipper

Well, it's related to fashion! Didn't anyone in school walk up to you and say "XYZ!"? It meant that your fly was down and you needed to examine your zipper. Am I dating myself? 

 It is the last day of April and we've come to the end of the A to Z Blogging Challenge. Like last time, I started slowing down toward the end. I didn't train hard enough and lost my endurance. Notice my lack of posts prior from November to April? I must pace myself better. Maybe I'll challenge myself to something in May to keep myself going.

Monday, April 29, 2013

V and W are for . . . our VW Jetta Wagon again?

No. Again, I don't want to repeat anything from my 2011 A to Z Challenge. But I have to share a pic from our little gold machine.

I spy the reflection of an Apple.

V and W are for very weary. That is not a comment about this challenge. That is a comment related to being over the hill now. I wish we had nap time at work.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

T and U are for . . . Time's Up!

Okay, time is almost up for this A to Z blogging challenge so it's time for me to make up posts. I mean make up for missing posts, not make up a bunch of tales.

T is for . . . Trombone Tie Tack

 U is for . . . Umbrella

Moses the Junior Steamboat peeking out. Did you notice him sneaking in in the first pic?

The boys wanted me to do trombone to go along with my I post. I said I would but instead of featuring Desi's trombone again, I thought I'd feature his trombone tie tack. It's fashion related after all!

I consider umbrellas fashion related as well. This is my Burberry knock off. I have a few different fashionable umbrellas. You can't have too many umbrellas in Seattle. I have one at work, a few in the van, and many at home.

Monday, April 22, 2013

S is for . . . Skagit Valley Tulip Festival


In all my years of living in Western Washington (since I was five), I have only been to the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival once--yesterday.
People from all over the world come here for the festival. It only took me 35 years to go the two hours or so to make the trip.   


 All of these are from the same field owned by Roozen Gaarde
My phone died before we got to the actual Roozen Gaarde gardens with the beautiful landscaping and windmills.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

R is for Rainboots

I think I was on the phone with my brother
pointing to where I thought they were

The rain subsided and the mud dried on my boots
Or in the case of today, mudboots. More on that story tomorrow!
You can't see the mud as well on my niece's boots, but I had to include
this pic because these boots are too cute! They are a brand called Bogs.
What I like about these is that the upper part is cushy, waterproof, and
keeps out the cold. Because I can't tuck my jeans in my boots (big calves),
 the hard rubber of my boot was rubbing against my leg and chafing me.
 I need Bogs! (Okay, I could wear knee-high socks)

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Mind Your Ps and Qs

If you don't mind your Ps and Qs, you may fall behind in the A to Z Challenge like I have.

P is for . . . Procrastinator
Q is for . . . Quintessence of tardiness
That's me!
The real meaning of "Mind your Ps and Qs" means to mind your manners. I am minding my Ps and Qs by catching up on the A to Z Challenge. How you ask? The creator of the blogging challenge, Arlee Bird, and his many helpful hosts have worked hard to get this challenge going this year and continue to keep the list of participants up to date. I am being mindful by keeping good on my sign up to participate.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

O is for . . . OOTD

I should have cropped this pic. 
Or cleaned my floors.

I used to think that OOTD stood for "One of these Days." What do you think it means?

• One Orangutan Takes Detroit!
• Only Oliver Tap Dances
• Orcas Opt to Dive

One Oddball to Dress
I discovered that it stands for "Outfit of the Day." In all my time reading other fashion blogs, I didn't realize that. It wasn't until my niece posted her outfit of the day for an Instagram challenge.
I can't stand still when being photographed. 
What's that weird light/reflection?
I don't particularly like this outfit but I can't complain about having clothes on my back. I should have taken a picture of my outfit from yesterday. Not that it was so spectacular. It was pieces I put together that I usually wouldn't and I like how it turned out. Of course, I would have had to change this post's title to "O is for . . . OOY." LOL! (See what I did there?)

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

N is for . . . Naturalizer

Did you think that I wasn't going to do Naturalizer because of what I said for my M post? I'm not featuring my Naturalizer Mary Janes but I am featuring another pair of favorite Naturalizers--strappy wedges. Do you like the tapestry look?


I love that more and more comfort brands offer on trend styles. You'd think the height on these would make them uncomfortable but it doesn't. Big difference from my other Naturalizers, you think?

I'm behind a day on the A to Z Challenge but I'll catch up yet. Probably by Monday if I don't take a break on Sunday.

Monday, April 15, 2013

M is for . . . Mary Janes

I was telling my husband that I was thinking about my M for the A to Z challenge. He admitted that he hasn't been reading my posts (how can he keep up with me blogging one day then hibernating 100+ days, then blogging then catnapping?). I told him that I had my N--Naturalizer--the brand of my newest favorite shoes. I went on to say, "You know, my Mary Janes . . ." He exclaimed, "Mary Janes!" and like that my shoes jumped a letter. They are sooooo comfortable, I could jump in them all day! But I won't.

Pigeon toed

I had called these my grandma shoes when I showed them to my boys. What was I implying by calling them grandma shoes? That they look orthopedic? Or that all grandmas wear orthopedic shoes? Or that they look like old lady shoes? Or that grandmas are old ladies? I decided that I had put my foot in my mouth by calling them that, so I now call them my granola shoes. (What am I implying by calling them that?)

I used to wear Mary Janes all the time, each new pair being Mary Janes. I decided to chill on buying them and had been without for quite a few years. Now I'm considering getting these in black because they work so well with my wide feet and are so cushy. What do you think? Oh yeah, they're marked down. Now what do you think?

Saturday, April 13, 2013

L is for . . . Lollygagging

Our cat, Moses the Junior Steamboat, lollygagging once upon a time
If I don't write my post the night before I'm going to post it, I will end up changing my word for the A to Z Challenge. And, I'll end up straying from my garden and fashion and theme. The letter L is a good example.

I was planning to do leggings as in what I wore often in the 80s and have been back in style for some time now. Then I was going to do lavender but assumed I did that for my last A to Z and I assumed correctly. Then I decided that I should stop lollygagging about it. Lollygagging!

That is such a fun word. I think it's a new favorite up there with wackadoodle and hullabaloo. Do you have a favorite word that's a little wonky?

Friday, April 12, 2013

K is for . . . Kut from the Kloth


I was trying to think of what to post for K and decided I should do something fashion related because I've focused mainly on gardening. I looked at my outfit and was hoping that I'd come up with something. My jeans! No, silly, jeans starts with J. The brand: Kut from the Kloth.



I call these my middle of the road jeans. They aren't $150 or more like Hudson, Citizens of Humanity or Seven for All Mankind. They're also not Old Navy or Gap jeans. The price point of these fall somewhere in between, closer to the latter.

I could not get the right backside shot

Thursday, April 11, 2013

J is for . . . Jardin

Yes, I am using a French word as my J word. Jardin is French for garden. I avoided using flowers and fashion for my F and garden for my G so as not to state the obvious for my joint theme for the A to Z Challenge.

Why not state the obvious though? There's a reason why I chose fashion and gardening as the two things I would focus on for the challenge (with the occasional random other theme). These are things about which I have a passion. I don't claim to have a great eye for either but I enjoy them all the same.

I almost skipped posting today and doing JK tomorrow as in "Just kidding, I'm not falling off the A to Z Challenge wagon." I especially wanted to skip because I always like having a related picture in my posts and I forgot to take a picture of my winter-worn spring-drenched garden today. Instead of skipping, I grabbed a pic from the archives aka pictures I took for my brief stint writing for a Mamas blog.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

I is for . . . Instrumental Music Concert

Desi doesn't like his picture on my blog
so I strategically took a picture blocking
part of his face
Tonight was Desi's Instrumental Music Concert. We started renting his trombone when he was in Kindergarten. I saw a flyer at his school regarding instrument rentals and I asked him what he wanted to play. He motioned like he was playing trombone.
We went to the instrument rental place and checked into it. The lady there wanted to see if he could get any sound first. He could and she was impressed with the sound he got. She struck me as very artsy and not saleswoman-y so I felt she was being genuine. We decided to rent it and I had planned to get Desi private lessons.
Four years later and still no private lessons, he signed up to take trombone in school. About halfway through the schoolyear we officially owned the trombone because it was rent-to-own. So glad for that program!
After the concert tonight I asked Desi if the trombones were playing the same part or if they were split up. He said that their band teacher said they could play the F in first or sixth position. He knew why I was asking because it's obvious when a trombone is off. He was extended when others were not. He was giving extra effort and going for sixth!
I really plan to include the official letter
badge of each day. It's just hard when I
post via my phone. Tonight I am laptop.
I'm so glad that my boys love music because it's always been big in my life. At first Augie didn't want to play an instrument taught in school (he prefers guitar, keyboard, and slide whistle), but he has decided that he wants to play saxophone. I've wanted to take up my cello again but I'm thinking maybe upright bass. Then we could have a family jazz emsemble. What should hubby play?

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

H is for . . . Hedges

Our hedges were ridiculous. Overgrown, uneven, a real eyesore. I had mentioned to my husband a few times that we should hire someone to cut them. I wasn't hinting at him to do it because he has pretty bad allergies. Imagine my surprise when I got home from work last Monday evening and he was hacking away at them!

Day 1/Monday: The start of something beautiful

He escaped without allergy attacks (not as bad as freshly mown grass), but he did not escape the angry teeth aka thorns of the blackberry bushes that infiltrated the hedge. A man at his work asked if he has a cat because of all the scratches on his arm. We do but Moses the Junior Steamboat doesn't do that.

I forgot to take pictures after Tuesday's progress so I asked hubby to take a pic on Wednesday before he continued on. He got carried away and took three. Wouldn't you after all this hard work? It's nice to see the fruitage of your labors.

VoilĂ ! So excited about our hedges' new spring look!

Monday, April 8, 2013

G is for . . . Gardenia

A few posts ago I was talking about grape hyacinth and said that I thought I had my "G". Did you assume it was grape hyacinth? I'm often like that dog, Dug, on Up! talking about something then--squirrel! Maybe I was talking grape hyacinth then--Gardenia! Okay, I really was going to go with grape hyacinth but I've since changed my mind.

I decided to go with gardenia because that's what my husband wore as his boutonniere for our wedding almost 16 years ago. I was a fragrance model aka perfume spritzer in college and learned lots about flowers because they and other plants make up notes of fragrances. I learned to love gardenia and tuberose whose scent people would mistake for gardenia. My bouquet was the traditional cascading kind and had all white flowers including gardenia and for some reason I think tuberose was not available.

Some people think of gardenia as an old lady scent but 1) what is old and 2) what's wrong with smelling like an old lady if she smells like gardenia instead of must or moth balls?

Grape hyacinth gets its picture posted as a consolation prize. 
There's always next year!

Saturday, April 6, 2013

F is for . . . Flats

I thought of doing Flowers and Fashion because those go with my two main themes for this challenge. I opted not to because I don't want to repeat anything from my previous A to Z challenge. Turns out I did Flowers and I featured them in Fashion for my "F" in 2011.
A pair of Franco Sarto (hey, another "F"!)
flats I purchased this year.
Despite being 4'11", I like wearing flats. A few years back I bought a pair of flats that I thought were super versatile and I thought they would be the only pair I would buy for the season. Two weeks later I purchased four more pairs. (It turns out I started my post about those with similar words as this paragraph!).
 I still wear those flats except the black with zipper bow because I have no idea where they are (maybe in the deep abyss that is my hubby's trunk?). The brown ones are pretty ripped up inside but still look good as new outside. Walking in those are like walking barefoot except without the fear of getting sticky stuff or dirt on my feet. The gold ones could use a paint touch up. I'm pretty sure I could find some fabric spray to do the trick. The red and metallic pink Eccos are still in realy good shape.

 Ooh, another F: Fix! I changed from
the challenge badge to the banner,
 and I'm going to try adding each day's
letter at the end of each post.

Friday, April 5, 2013

E is for . . . Evergreens

We live in the Evergreen State, Washington. This seemed like an obvious choice for "E" so I double-checked my last A to Z Challenge to see if I used it then because the first 13 letters of the alphabet were garden themed. Surprisingly, I did not. I don't want to repeat my words from that challenge, but I kind of have already. Compare my A to D from 2011 (I will add the completion badge later when I'm on desktop) with now and see what I mean. I'm not doing your homework for you! Hint: your cheat sheet is my A to Z tag.

Back to Evergreens . . .
Evergreens in a neighbor's backyard

I grew up knowing that Washington is the Evergreen State. We have lots of evergreen trees. The state tree is the Western Hemlock (did Socrates pop in your head?). We have Douglas Firs everywhere. Beyond all the trees actually considered evergreen, we have lots of lush green scenery via other trees, bushes, shrubs, leafy flowers, etc.

Another E I could have used is Emerald City, as in one of Seattle's nicknames not Oz. Same premise for the city nickname as the state nickname--greenery. Seattle may get slack for rain but we also reap its benefits for beautiful natural surroundings.

Greenery in downtown Seattle. It's an urban jungle, not a concrete jungle. Speaking of concrete . . .

I opened my phone camera to take pics in the morning but chickened out because I don't like people watching me. Apparently I didn't close the camera because I ended up with pictures like this.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

D is for . . . Daffodils

The first blooms in my garden were my daffodils. They even beat my grape hyacinth (I think I have my "G")! I remember in elementary school we made daffodils with paper saucer plates and Dixie cups. Did you do that?

In Pierce County just south of King County (which includes Seattle), there is a spring festival called the Daffodil Festival. High schools in the area hold pageants to crown a Daffodil Princess who then competes to become the Daffodil Festival Queen. I was nominated in my high school and competed in the pageant but did not win. For a while I was bitter about it and bitter toward daffodils themselves. How silly! It was not the daffodils' fault that I stunk it up at the pageant. Oh, high school and teenage girl problems!
Lonely daffodil. Like me after the pageant.