Tag Archives: fashion

Flip Flops


First of all, I’d like to remind everyone to stay hydrated.  I got a little sun stroked Wednesday and somehow in my dehydrated delirium ended up with the song Telephone Man stuck in my head.  It’s been three days . . . and it will not go away.  STAY COOL!!!  You do NOT want this to happen to you!!!

Today is my Grandma Summer’s birthday.  She would have turned 100 years old today; sadly she passed away 15 years ago after a short battle with cancer.  She was one of the most important people in my formative years.  She taught me about gardening, how to cook, how to be silly, and above all else, she taught me unconditional love.  Florence Charlotte Summers Erbentraut was a very special person, and I think of her often. Happy Birthday, Grandma!

The last time I wrote was from the cool beaches of Rocky Point, Mexico.  Last week in Tempe, AZ, the afternoon temps were close to 120 degrees every day.  It truly is a dry heat, and I’ve been comfortable enough living my life in the usual manner.  I liked having the grocery store practically to myself because when it’s this hot, most people take care of their errands in the morning.  In a few weeks when monsoon season begins is when I will be really uncomfortable.  I do not care for high humidity which brings out the cicadas that buzz all day and night, setting my teeth on edge.  The humidity and cicadas stick around through mid-October, so I’m focusing on the “good parts” of summer:  magnificent towers of clouds building in the east each day, frequent dramatic monsoon storms, night swimming at the community pool, and best of all, having my college kids home for the summer.

I’ve not been as productive as usual because Eve and William are watching New Girl for the first time and it’s super distracting.   I try to do the dishes or start dinner or fold the laundry, but next thing you know, I’m sitting on the couch giggling along with two of them.  What’s better than watching a favorite show with your favorite people???  School begins for me August 7 and for them August 28, so we have oodles of summertime left to get stuff done  . . . and enjoy lazy times together.

I’ve been doing a bit of shopping and am having such a hard time finding blouses long enough to go over leggings.  My middle-aged muffin top is not accommodating to blue jeans, and I realize soon the summer clothes will be out of the stores.  The one style I CANNOT STAND is the cut-out shoulders.  UGH.  Seriously, who looks good in that???  I’ve seen young women pull it off, but for the most part . . . NOPE.  It’s worse than the horizontal stripe fad that lasted too many years.  I find myself saying YIKES in my head whenever I see anyone wearing this unfortunate type of blouse, but then chide myself even louder (in my head), BE NICE!!! Be SO glad you can’t read my mind, because it’s a little wild and crazy in there.

I fear people will be saying YIKES when they see me wearing my adorable new straw fedora.  Every summer my face gets too much sun, so in an effort to avoid having a burned beak, I bought a trendy straw hat.  My kids saw me in it and said, NOPE, but I say YEP.  I sound superficial, but I’ve always loved fashion and style.  As a girl, I spent hours pouring over the JC Penney catalog and saved up $6 for a pair of culottes when I was seven years old.  I don’t remember the actual pants, but I remember the saving and pining for them like it was yesterday.  My mom was always sewing something, and I spent hours as a child playing amongst the bolts of colorful fabric at Cloth World and Hancock. Fashion is a creative outlet for me!

Today we spent an hour in the JC Penney just down the road.  Hubby needed new flip flops (his current pair is ten years old, and I insisted he upgrade) and then he tried on blue jeans and then he tried on more flip flops.  It felt like we were there forever, so I walked up and down the cool aisles, getting in some excercise . . . and humming “Hey Baby, I’m the telephone man. Show me where you want it, and I’ll put it where I can.”






A few months ago we stopped taking the Arizona Republic newspaper. It seemed like a pretty big deal since we’d been fetching the paper off the driveway for over 25 years. There were many reasons to quit, but the top three were:
1) The paper covers mainly “cat in tree” stories, not world events.
2) The content had decreased, and the advertisement pages had increased.
3) I hated the messy stacks of newspaper around the house.
4) It was expensive!

When they raised the price to some ungodly amount (I want to say $45 for a month, and that was just for Friday through Sunday), I said, enough. But how would I get my news? Both Hubby and I are news junkies and often have the radio turned to NPR to catch the latest. But where were we to find the morning headlines to read during breakfast?

The New York Times, of course. Each morning I receive a lengthy email from the online NYTimes called Today’s Headlines. Not only can I read about world news, but they have wonderful articles about art and literature, and my very FAVORITE thing is when there’s a new fashion video by Bill Cunningham.

Well. If you don’t know who Bill Cunnningham is, you’re really missing out on some fun. Wikipedia charmingly says this about Bill: “We all get dressed for Bill”, says Vogue editor Anna Wintour. The Bill in question is New York Times photographer Bill Cunningham. For decades, this Schwinn-riding cultural anthropologist has been obsessively and inventively chronicling fashion trends.” His joie de vivre will make you smile as you watch his two-minute slice-of-NYC-life videos.

In a recent video called Gales of March, he describes a certain corner of the city where it’s always windy. I’m assuming architecture plays a role in this phenomenon, but now I’m eager to see it for myself some day.  Anyway, Bill describes how in the old days police directed traffic from towers in the middle of Fifth Avenue and would often call out to the men gathered nearby, “Skidoo!” because the men were there to see the women’s skirts blow up.  You can watch it for yourself here.  I’m not sure if the cops were yelling Skidoo to chase the men off, or to alert them to some bare derriere!

Watching Bill’s videos every week makes me wish I lived in a town where people liked fashion as much as I do. Wouldn’t it be nice if we all dressed like New Yorkers? Imagine doing boring errands such as picking up the dry cleaning or going to the library or going for groceries and having colorful, interesting fashion to look at! Walgreen’s flip-flops,leggings, and t-shirts are what I saw on women at the grocery store this morning. Alas, we are simply not a fashion-forward city. I don’t think there is any hope for poor little Tempe.

I have a closet full of adorable outfits, yet am too fat to wear them. Which is why I began a diet today. I’m using an app called “Lose It!” which calculated I can eat only 1036 calories per day if I’d like to lose 20 pounds at a rate of 2 pounds per week. It’s 6pm. I’m starving and sober. I’m not happy. I’m trying to focus on the lonely clothes in my closet who’ve been stuck in there for a year and are yearning to come out into the sunlight.

Here is today’s dinner recipe:
Stalks of celery.
Three bites of plain chicken.
One orange.
And NO margaritas.


Aurora’s Chicken Pepperoni


I woke up today with great energy. Not only am I Taking Care of Business, but I worked out with my Pilates friends on the tv. It’s all about stretching and feels so good, and is also very amusing/intriguing/scary because the two women in the video have humongous breast implants under their tight work-out clothes. Wouldn’t it be so uncomfortable to have those big things on the front of your body? I’m sure those women can’t sleep on their stomachs. When’s the last time they saw their toes? If I had breasts that large, I’d probably be knocking stuff over with them all the time. (Maybe that’s why they’re called knockers.) I’d be doing the dishes and CRASH! There goes another wine glass! I’d turn around and give someone a black eye. The whole thing seems impractical, and a little bit dangerous.

Anyway, after excercising, I decided to clean out my closet. I have soooooo many clothes (yet nothing to wear). I made a vow to get rid of the stuff that does not fit and/or was never attractive. I am currently wearing a short-sleeved blouse made of shiny fabric which is the color of a runny egg yolk. It has strange silver snaps on the pleated pockets, and even though I’ve tried it on 20 times during the three years I’ve owned it, I’ve never worn it out of the house . . . until today. I will have my lunch dates weigh in. If I bump into you this month, you will likely notice my strange attire. Be prepared to give my outfit a thumbs up or down, and know in your heart it’s all for a good cause.

I have a new cooking project! It’s called “Food Featured in Films.” I thought of this idea while watching Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows recently. If you haven’t seen this movie, you really should. At one point during the film, Holmes and Watson find themselves having dinner in a gypsy camp. Holmes is handed a bowl of food, and after he takes a bite, he says, “This is the best groundhog stew I’ve ever tasted!” to which Watson asks, “When did you last have a groundhog stew?” I love that movie.

When I was at the grocery store yesterday, I forgot to ask the butcher for a pound of groundhog, so last night had to go ahead with a different dish. I made Aurora’s Chicken Pepperoni, which is a recipe featured in the zany, madcap movie Seems Like Old Times. Released in 1980, this film stars Goldie Hawn, Charles Grodin, and Chevy Chase. This is a family favorite and every time my Aunt Linda impersonates Aurora, who has a very thick Spanish accent, I can’t stop giggling. “I’m getting my feet ah-scraped,” and she describes her famous dish as “chicken chess with chiss” (translation: Chicken chest with cheese). I have it on DVD if you want to borrow it!

This literally took five minutes of prep. Easy peasy! Hubby said it was delicious.

Aurora’s Chicken Pepperoni

4 boneless chicken breasts
1/2 cup Italian bread crumbs
1/2 jar marinara sauce
1/2 cup pepperoni slices
1 cup mozarella cheese, grated
Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Toss breasts in bread crumbs. Place in a baking dish. Cover with marinara sauce. Arrange pepperoni slices on top of that. On top of that sprinkle grated cheese. Sprinkle Parmesan on top of that and bake for 40 minutes, or until cooked thoroughly. Serve with crusty bread and a side of steamed broccoli.