Monday, April 28, 2014

Serious Weather

It's been just a month short of three years since a mile-wide tornado decimated the two small communities in Etna and Denning, Arkansas. They are only a few miles north of our home and a couple of miles south of our business. Three people died in those ruined little towns, and it was astonishing that there were not more fatalities considering the extent of the damage.

Last night, sixteen more were killed here in Arkansas by a similar sized tornado. It struck just over one hundred miles to the east of us this time, a little north of Little Rock. Horribly, it touched down in a more densely populated area. Earlier in the evening, a smaller tornado took the one life in eastern Oklahoma.

The storms tracked north and south of us, and we were lucky yet again. I can't describe more details about the devastation, I can't bear to hear any more about it on the news, and I've been having a hard time thinking of much else today. These are not even the most destructive storms that have happened in our part of the country, but they are the closest and most recent, and nothing has seemed more important today.

But it's growing late in the afternoon on Blog Day, and it's on my self-imposed schedule to write about clothes and shoes and stuff I find funny or perplexing or infuriating. While there's the lingering feeling that it's inappropriate to even think about such trivial nonsense, it's also creepy and self-indulgent to dwell on the catastrophes that happen to others. And it's a welcome relief to remember that I have a thing that I need/want to do, the electricity is on, the internet available and my is computer is secure in my intact home, not lying in pieces in the next county. I'm unscathed and my crew is all well and undamaged. So I have no excuse not to post my blog, but I'm not offering any jokes today.

Thanks for your understanding.  

With storms going north and south of us for most of the day yesterday, the sky was a noxious shade of yellow-gray it often is before very bad weather. It was hot and so oppressively humid that it was hard to breathe. Hard, too, to leave the air-conditioned house for the car, then hard to leave the cool car once we got to Fort Smith. I dressed for the heat. You've seen everything but the Cynthia Rowley top. It's Asian inspired and origami-like, easy to wear and yet another great buy from TJ Maxx.  

Monday, April 21, 2014

Awards, Less Hair and The Arrival of the Hummers

I have to first thank the very lively and lovely Linda Cassidy at her blog A Labor of Life for nominating me for The Liebster award. I had to decline her honor because I've done them so often that I've finally run out of interesting factoids about myself and people to send it on to. I'm so happy, though, that she thought of me. It's always an honor, and I appreciate it. Thank you again, Linda. I have to tell you, she has one of the most fun and interesting Liebster responses ever. 

Go look now!
I'll wait.

Glad you're back. It was fun, wasn't it? 

Now I have to acknowledge and thank one of my favorite bloggers and cherished bloggy friend, the charming Maricel from My Closet Catalogue . She's a lady after my own heart 'cause she loves the words and ideas as much as she does the pictures and the clothes. She's nominated me for the Wonderful Team Member Readership Award and I'm thrilled to be in the company of the other nominees. You can see them all at her link!  This is one I can do because it's mostly about other bloggers, some of the ones who make it all worthwhile for me.

The Rules
1. The Nominee of the Wonderful Team Member Readership Award shall display the logo on his/her post/page and/or sidebar.

2. The Nominee shall nominate 14 readers they appreciate over a period of 7 days (1 week) – this can be done at any rate during the week. It can be ALL on one day or a few on one day and a few on another day, etc.

3. The Nominee shall name his or her Wonderful Team Member Readership Award nominees on a post or on posts during the 7 day (1 week) period.

4. The Nominee shall make these rules, or amended rules keeping to the spirit of the Wonderful Team Member Readership Award, known to each reader s/he nominates.

5. The Nominee must finish this sentence and post: ”A Great reader is…”

And following Maricel's format:

The Awesomeness ... And the nominees are (all at once and alphabetically!):

Alicia at Spashionista
Debbie at  Fashion Fairy Dust
Greetje at No Fear of Fashion
Jean at Dross Into Gold
Kim at PopCosmo
Shawna McComber at The Director of Awesome
Vix at Vintage Vixen

"A Great Reader is ..."
Okay, there are a few more bloggers than the rules require, but that's fine according to Rule 4.  There are just some bloggers that cannot be left out. These women always let me know when they read and enjoyed what I wrote.  I'm thrilled when anyone takes the time to read my blog, whether I know that they did or not. But in my book, a truly Great Reader is one that takes time out of their lives to read my blog, and also takes the time to make a comment about what I wrote, whether it is to agree, disagree or just indicate that it made them ROLFTAO.  That conversation is the best thing about blogging for me and is the reason I write at all.   My constant effort is to return the favor, and although I fail sometimes, I keep trying. Those readers and writers are the main reason I love blogging ... the brilliant women and men who are brave enough to show out and off just a little, all in an effort to make their own worlds just a little more beautiful.
Every one on my list is, by my definition at least, a Great Reader and a worthy recipient of the WTRMA.

None of you are obliged at all to play, but please just know you are much appreciated and forever admired.

Less Hair and Hummers are Here

Those of you who visit here often know the hairdo-angst I've subjected myself to in recent months, and this looks like the last, best effort to find a secure and fun hair-and-head-space. I like my new cut a lot, and am just blown away that I can get up in the morning with hair I don't hate. And boy, has my prep time shrunk to almost nothing! My overall proportions look less Hobbit-like, and that's a good thing.

And by Hummers, I don't mean the high-end, odd looking and gas guzzling military/family (?) SUVs. I mean our little Ruby Throated Hummingbirds that have been arriving in our area. I court them with a sucrose feeder that I put out the first week in April. They've finally found it, and I'm wearing my MNG by Mango hummingbird shirt to celebrate the return of my little friends!


Linking up with the Best Colored Patti at Visible Monday
Late Breaking!  Also venturing out to plat at 
Well Shod Cherie's Shoe and Tell Monday .

Come see what all the fuss is about!

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Meeting Trina !

Our meet-up was some months in the planning, with false starts and bad weather spoilers, but it finally happened. Last Sunday evening, I got to meet the completely lovely Trina, owner  of her very popular blog Tea Time With Trina .
She and her charming and romantic husband were in Northwest Arkansas for business, and we met up at our favorite PF Chang's China Bistro. Dan and I were late, of course, and it was my fault (more about that to follow ...) but we found them waiting patiently in our reserved favorite booth.  So nice!

Trina is even more lovely than in her blog photos. She is as delicate, and her features even prettier and her open smile more welcoming than you can tell from her blog. But, until you meet her in person, you really can't appreciate what seems to me her lovely core of serenity and calm. She has an attentive quiet that is madly attractive. She is interested and interesting, and that always makes for good conversation. And she has the best natural posture of anyone I've ever met. She doesn't show off and go on about the use of chopsticks (like some short persons present at the table) and I don't think she even had seconds (unlike the rest of us. Some had thirds ... "Go, Dan!") Trina is wonderful, and it was my great pleasure to meet her and the equally wonderful Mr. T (he has a name, but I'm not sure they want it public, so I'll just punt.) We hope to see them again soon, as Mr. T is often in the area and Trina joins him. How cool is that?

We were almost the last diners to leave, and we thoroughly enjoyed our evening. Neither Dan or I could manage our camera ( we've never used it with the flash! Duh ...) so Trina sweetly sent me a couple of photos to plug in here. Thank you, Trina, for keepsakes of a lovely and memorable evening!

... and one with our fellas.

We were only about 10 minutes late, but it was my fault because we squeezed in a quick stop at the big Northwest Arkansas Mall. It took just a tad longer than I planned. I don't get there often, and it was a great treat. I've been pining for a pair of red, ankle strap d'Orsay pumps, but haven't found any yet. I did, however, fall hard for a buttery soft pair in a deep pinky-coral at Aldo. The price was right, and as they didn't have my size but offered free shipping, that took a little extra time to arrange. Late, but for a good reason: great shoes.

Although I don't have them in my possession yet, here's a picture of The Pump That Made Me Late for Dinner with Trina. Not quite, but almost red.

It was too rainy and windy to photograph on Sunday, so here's a re-creation of what I wore to dinner.
This skirt is the second I've made, and I am in love with this Chinese brocade. The swirling dragons and pheasants are rendered in metallic gold, light red and light green embroidery. So pretty. Not a summery fabric, but I'll wear it anyway with lighter weight tops. I'm very happy with the way it turned out. Next, a more casual, summery print maybe? I'm currently a one trick pony with this pattern, but it's precisely the shape I want, and that's the best reason to do it myself.

The exposure in the photo below is stranger still, but I wanted you to get a better look at the brocade. You can see the black-on-black blossoms woven into the background more clearly.

I just had the best day!  Thank you, Trina, for all the travel time ... I'm so happy to have met you at last!


Please pop over to the wonderful blog of one of our favorite fellow-bloggers at Terry's Two Cents .  He was kind enough to feature me among some of his favorite "likes" of the week, and I'm among some stylin' company!  Thank you so much, Terry! 

Monday, April 7, 2014

Just Showing Up

"80 percent of success is showing up."

This wisdom is attributed to Woody Allen and that's how he remembers saying it, although he's often credited with saying "80 percent of life is showing up." And whether it's applied to life or success, there are a lot of variations on the idea:

"Showing up is not all of life - but it counts for a lot."
--Hillary Clinton

"Most of life is showing up. You do the best you can, which varies from day to day."
--Regina Brett

( I include this personal snarky-fun favorite that I apply politically, although I'd certainly never apply it to our blogging process... )
"Showing up every day isn't enough. There are a lot of guys who show up every day who shouldn't have showed up at all."
--James Caan

However, I would absolutely apply this next very perceptive variation to style/fashion bloggers of all ages, especially those over 40, 50, 60, 70, 80 and beyond;

"Vulnerability is about showing up and being seen. It's tough to do that when we're terrified about what people might see or think."
--Brene Brown

This post is dedicated to the always fabulous Patti and her constantly evolving blog Not Dead Yet Style, where she offers us a safe space to show up at her biweekly Visible Monday link-up. She sets the tone with her own welcoming and kind comments, and her openness to all kinds of inspiration. By devoting her time and energy to this project, she has given us all a place to say our say, show off our best, pose questions, provoke thought and give and receive encouragement. Here at Patti's, we can meet a grand diversity of invariably interesting women. To a woman, we are malcontents about staying in the cultural, social and political backwaters to which the traditional powers of our society have always been all too happy to relegate us as we age. Visible Monday is a great venue that plays its part in a needed, positive social evolution. Patti's efforts change lives. Because of Patti, I now have more than a passing acquaintance with women all over the world, and they have each become vital elements of inspiration and information in my life that I could have not imagined even 10 years ago. This is a special thank you for all your devotion to Visible Monday, Patti. My life is so much better because of your project, and I know I'm not alone in this.
I hope you never doubt its value.

So, even though I'm pretty much just showing up this week, dressed in yet another iteration of my blazer, skinnies and heels uniform, I'm glad and honored to be with the rest of you who bother to get it together and show up and show out just a little or a lot.

We rock. All of us. And especially Patti. 

It was drizzly and chilly when this was taken, and all my outfit plans were reassigned to a another, nicer Sunday.   (Waaa.) Right after this was taken, I went back inside to grab my raincoat and ran off to the Big City with Dan.  The outfit is remarkable only because of my color defiance of the crappy gray skies.  I wore a few brights in my silky-ish Asian-inspired tunic by Kenneth Cole.  And the pumps are Vince Camuto.  I figured if my plans for wearing cute sandals was weather squashed, I'd at least stomp through the puddles in a cool but closed-toe shoe with some character.  I drop these brand names because, although it must seem so, not everything I wear is from Target.  Most, I admit, but not all.

Just sayin'.