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Flowers & Shoes For Lottie

Two-year-old Lottie has an emerging clothing style:

-She doesn’t like dresses and is dubious about skirts. I only insist that she wear one of the two on Sundays, and she the only thing she absolutely refuses to wear is a grey, floofy, all-made-of-mesh-and-tulle-and-ruffles skirt. You know, the one that other girls insist on wearing every day, even when it’s torn and dirty. If I manage to get it on her while she screams, she shouts, “No like it!” and immediately pulls it off.

I keep it in her drawer for Sundays when she refuses to pick something and doesn’t want to wear anything to church. If I put The Floofy One on her, she’ll pick something after she yanks it off.

-Lottie is beginning to like what society deems as “girl” colors nowadays, but she’s still working on identifying colors as a whole. Yellow and orange are both “orange”. Pink and purple are both “pink”, but purple and blue are also both “blue”. Knowing this, I favor purple.

-When she chooses everyday clothes, she goes for blue and turquoise and teal when offered cool and warm colors. She doesn’t like play skirts or jumpers or jean skirts. She associates all jeans with Toby, since many of his pants are jeans nowadays, and she doesn’t want to dress like Toby. Just straight shorts and t-shirts for Lottie.

Lottie picked a pair of pink socks this morning on impulse, but then changed her mind and went with one black and one purple instead. Sometimes, she doesn’t want to pick at all. I’ll gladly pick for her. I still have to fight her to put on clothes; it doesn’t matter if she picks them or not. Telling her that it’s cute as we put it on her sometimes helps; then, she’ll look at herself in the mirror, nod once in satisfaction and say, “Cute”, and turn away.

-She doesn’t love dresses or skirts,  but she does love shoes. She loves to pick out my shoes, she loves wearing different pairs of shoes per day, and she’ll gladly put on shoes when she fights me about putting on anything else. Sometimes, she’ll wear a suede boot on one foot and a rainboot on the other, or a red flat and a plaid flat. I just laugh.

-Lottie is currently not fond of doing hair. We have three headbands and hair ribbons and hair ties for pigtails and hair bows on clips, but she’s not interested. She lays on her face in the middle of the hallway every morning to have her hair brushed.

-But she loves picking flowers. On a walk through the neighborhood to the bus stop, she’ll make a well-rounded bouquet of dandelions. She’ll hand me extras; on any walk around the block, our hands are all filled with flowers. And we juggle holding hands and holding flowers and holding toys like garbage trucks and wooden balls.

On any given day, you can follow our path by the flowers strewn along it. I favor flowers with long stems, but she hasn’t figured that out yet. When she hands me flowers that have no stem, I toss them beside me or behind me. Flowers are always in my hair, and the wilted ones end up on varied surfaces in our house and on shelves in stores.

money-is-like-manure-its-not-worth-a-thing-unless-its-spread-around-encouraging-young-things-to-grow-quote-1

Which reminds me of this quote.

Shoes, Sandals, Slippers–Honestly Describe Your Collection

“A girl’s shoe collection gives some description of who she is.”

I’m quoting myself. Five years ago, I made an inventory of all the shoes I owned. And because it came to mind and this list is fun to look back on, I think I’ll do it again. Ready?

-Black but multi-colored polka-dot galoshes. The dots are every color but pink, which pleases me. And there’s a buckle at the top of the boots, which lets me adjust the wideness of the opening. I like the look of the little detail, and the fact that it’s functional is even cooler.

-Orange suede knee-high boots with no heel. They served me well for tromping in the snow and now have a cardboard insert inside to try to prolong their life. My shoes lately wear down the heel on one side so that I end up stepping on the side of my shoe and wearing that away. I love these because of the brown, fuzzy line that goes up the side; it accentuates the curve of my leg, even though the boots are flat.

-Navy blue pointed dress flats. These were meant to replace the black patent leather ballet flats I had and the metallic pewter flats with a criss-cross on the top; both of these pairs wore out. It seems these flats are too dressy to be used as everyday flats. They clack when I walk, and I still haven’t worn them in completely. They’re still cool; they have a black lacing on the tops that remind me of the yellow roping on military dress jackets.

-Those hiking boots that were in the last collection as well. They’ve served me well, which is surprising for product from Mart of Wal.

-Clear jellies. Yes, like the many pairs of jellies I loved as a kid, only in my size. And yes, they’re as awesome as they were then, and still just as hard to wear in.

-Blue tennis shoes. I wore these everyday when working for the dollar store, but I bought them to replace another pair of tennis shoes I once had. They’re slim sneakers, with a sole that is very narrow in the center of the shoe so that it looks like the white stripes wrap all the way around my foot. They don’t protect ankles and are not thick anywhere. The last thing I want is to be active but clunky. Other than that, pretty nondescript. Blue, white laces, ho hum.

-Navy strappy sandals. These are really hard to describe; they make two sets of Xs across my foot and connect with a buckle. I’d love to replace them with some silver gladiator sandals, but don’t really want to go through the effort of finding something that specific. The bottoms are starting to peel away to expose the thin layer of foam underneath. These probably won’t last much longer.

-Black witch boots, ankle-length. The shoelaces clack against the shoe louder than the heel itself; this amuses me.

-Mid-thigh chunky heeled boots. Black, vinyl. You know, the classic that every girl has had or should have? Mine haven’t worn out yet.

-Ukraine slippers: My dad bought these for me on a business trip. They are mainly a black suede with blue faux fur on the opening. They’re pointed, fur lined, with wooden baubles on the laces. They have a cool burnt sienna bric-a-brac along the bottom edge, and no solid soles. I’ve switched to wearing them purely indoors because I love them so.

-:Low-heeled ankle boots. These are a version of the black high-heeled boots I own. Same heel, same material, but the brown is almost burgandy and the height is much more manageable. These are nice for everyday wear on days where it rains enough to cause puddles, but when I want something dressier than galoshes.

–Blue sparkle Converses. I’ve found I like wearing these with a pair of thigh-high grey socks, so the edges of the Converses show off my ankles. I like this effect, so I think I’ll get a pair of saddle shoes to replace the Cons–they’re splitting at the line where the cloth meets the rubber lip of the sole, as is inevitable. The inner side of the left shoe has completely split apart, as have both heels. The saddle shoes thing is ironic because, as a kid, my mom was always trying to persuade me to buy a pair of saddle shoes; I often considered them, but always ended up picking something else.

–Wrap-up-the-leg sandal flats. The sandal itself goes through the big gap in the toes, and the entire wrap-around-the-foot part is black cloth. There are two cloth straps that can wrapped around in several different ways. They look like a simplified version of Sseko sandals, which I drool over.

-Red, slip into slippers with a really basic sole. In fact, these are just overall really basic, so I don’t feel afraid to use them for camping and outside activities, like schleping around on our porch with a curious little boy.

-Brown, almost red leather shoes with a brass buckle on the front. I’ve fallen in love with these lately. They’re slightly pointed and slender, but they still look like men’s shoes. The buckle and the flap over the top makes them look like something a leprechaun would wear, which is just fine with me. I wear them to church with dresses and everywhere else.

-And lastly, teal, white and brown flats for $2 at a retail store. The colors are roped together and twisted in the front. I’m sure you’ve seen these flats before, but I’ve gotten so many compliments on these that the bargain story is just more and more fun to tell.

There’s quite a comparison between five years ago and now. I have more shoes because I have more room to keep them; the three pairs of boots live in a cupboard, and the shoes that don’t stay in my closet-hanging organizer are kept on top of Just’In’s shoe cubby–and not strewn all over the apartment wherever I kick them off.

Still, as you can tell from these notes, there are quite a few worn pairs and some that will soon be replaced. Maybe a conscious shoe-culling mindset is in order.

Growth & Deterioration

I have a small garden of plants that have grown from seed, but they’re my mystery.

I don’t know what kind of plants these are, but I’m fiercely proud of them. You see, when my bestie and I went to the Salt Lake City Library Book Sale, there was also a celebration for Earth Day happening as well. Lots of activities and lots of people in a cool building; I made a badge for my pin collection that resides on my scripture bag, and I encountered a guy who was wearing large signs telling me to go get a free plant. The goodies ended up being dirt in a plastic baggie scooped from a bucket by another guy surrounded by kids; I was a little disappointed, so the bag sat on my wooden stool just inside our bedroom doorway. Until the dirt started sprouting little green things. With very little sun and no water or attention from me.

I also had a packet of wildflower seeds from a church lesson on Faith. But especially heaven knows how many wildflowers there are in this world. Still, they all got planted in half a milkjug with holes and pebbles in the bottom:

They sit outside on a metal shelf-thing that neither of us care about anymore. It’s a nice place for excess water to drain– if it rusts because of my growing efforts, we just won’t take it with us on our next move, and neither of us will care.

One other brief thought concerning growth: I no longer have a bellybutton. It has stretched out almost completely. Ironic that mine disappears so that another belly button can grow and flourish.

Also, my favorite pair of shoes has been decided unwearable. There’s a hole in the sole of the left side that goes completely through. So, on one last thought, here is a memorial to something else green:

Chance, Luck, Shoes, and Another Planner

So far, a not-so-good day. Nothing absolutely tragic, but I’m running into more pitfalls today than usual.

After work, which was full of my boss’s chatter and simultaneous scolds for standing around and not being productive, I examined my left foot and decided that the heel scar that my new jellies has left was sufficiently healed so as to try another run of breaking them in. I grabbed some lunch, slathered on sunscreen, put on my lampshade hat, and decided to go to my local Staples and buy a new planner. The one I have goes through the end of August, as it’s an academic planner. Before I left, I noticed that the scar had already started smearing red everywhere. I’ve been battling these shoes for weeks and decided to suck it up and slap a band-aid on that sucker.

The band-aid worked until I got to the intersection before my bus stop. I noticed that I was limping. My shoe had pushed the band-aid up and eased it off to create this weird-looking wrinkly thing–with a white box in the middle– hanging off my ankle. I took off my shoe, re-applied the wrinkly thing, and traversed the black ground.

By the time I got to Staples, which wasn’t that far, the stickiness had worn off and I had to stop every few feet to battle the wrinkly thing out of finding new wrinkles. And when I got there, I asked an odd question:

“Do you carry band-aids?”

Yes, Staples does carry band-aids. But out of all their planners, they didn’t have one I liked. Plenty in the size I like, but they had some that started in December and ones that had the right date but had ugly covers. None in the right combination. So I bought the band-aids, slapped one on, told myself I’d buy what I came for online, and walked through the jigungous parking lot. (That word is something I really say; one of my siblings made it up. It combines giant and humongous, and as far as I’m concerned, it’s a real word)

Halfway through the parking lot, my new band-aid bunched up. I slapped another one on top of the first, trying a new approach by seeing if its location or maybe the shape of my foot is affecting the shoe’s conflict with peach-colored stuff. When I got to another intersection, I felt pain again. The heat just isn’t effective at keeping sticky things on sweaty skin. I scowled at the huge box of band-aids in my bag, tossed both used wrinkly things in a trash can, and waited for the bus.

I had a pleasant ride home and a pleasant transfer. I just took my shoes off and walked in bare feet from tree shade to tree shade. But when I got online and started shopping for my little black book, I found a few perfect ones. They all look like planners I’ve had in the past, which is fine, and I ordered one. Only to find out that it’s offered in four colors, none of them being black, and I don’t get to pick which one I want. There’s no comment box and no drop-down menu anywhere!

I realize the warning was right on the product page, but I– I– I got mixed up. Yeah. I’d looked at so many planners on so many websites, I just got excited about the color offerings and the right size and dates. And another website said I could comment somewhere about which color I wanted, and I thought this was the site I was buying from!

So, after imagining big, unknown hands plucking a gold-colored planner–blech–out of a brown box and tossing it in my envelope, I did what every annoyed and bordering-irate internet shopper does: I responded to the automatic Email that says on the bottom that they Strive for A Satisfactory Customer Experience Every Time. And then I realized that I was mean in my Email; it’ll get sent to one of five Customer Service Reps who will groan when she reads it and will skip it for another, more pleasant Email. So I impulsively click on the LiveChat on their Contact Us page and politely suggest to Amy–after shooting her down– that they include a color-selection drop-down menu on that particular product site for me when I buy it again in a year and a half.

Then I checked with her to make sure she’s not the customer service rep who handles the emails. Not on busy days. Like today. The day when I have to rely on chance and luck.

A Minor Conflict Over A Pair of Shoes

I wore jelly shoes a lot when I was a kid until they didn’t sell them in stores anymore. I wore mainly pink, but I’m sure I had other colours. I wore each pair until they were unwearable, then went and bought another pair.

I remember searching for them on the Internet and not finding anything. Not in department stores, not with Google’s product search, not on any shoe sites, nothing. And now that I work at Family Dollar, I’ve noticed that we sell them. In my size and in several colors. I work for the store that sells jelly shoes and I haven’t bought a pair of my own yet.

Here’s the reasoning behind the typically-frugal-Kate approach: We’ll be moving to Oregon soon. It rains a lot in Oregon, doesn’t it? Thus, jelly shoes aren’t very practical in the rain, and I won’t be able to wear them much to allow the purchase to be worth it. Or to be able to break them in. Also, there’s a chance my feet will be changing shape within the next year. I’ve been avoiding the purchase of any new clothes (or garments) because I’m anticipating that change.

Yet I work in a dollar store. It’s not much expense at all to buy a pair of jelly shoes. I’m half-tempted to run and buy a pair right after I post this. Right after I write this sentence.

I’m still sitting here. I’ve been to work once today to get my schedule. I don’t really want to go to work again and have my co-worker scowl at me as I walk in the door. Even if it’s for jellies. And I can’t very well come into work before my shift, take off my shoes and socks, try them on, put my socks back on, buy them (plus chocolate), and then start my shift.

sigh.

Shoes and Their Imminent Deathwish

I’m griping about Pioneer Day again. (Last year’s gripe is here .) I won’t rehash, but this time I was planning on going to work. Not only are the buses not running (and I didn’t realize it until I sat outside for fifteen minutes), but there’s a parade across a street I have to cross to get to work, so the bus would be seriously detoured anyway.

It’s still annoying, but I’ve got plenty of things on my to-do list that I’m not too bothered. Still, I’ll be glad when we move out of Mormonville and the one holiday that only Utahns celebrate won’t apply to my daily life anymore.

Fireworks & Pioneer Day in Utah? Yeah, inseparable.

On Saturday we had a family party thing. It was Grandma’s birthday, and I realized, when everyone was gathered and mingling, that I was wearing cool shoes that nobody there had seen. So, very much like a bouncy little kid, I went around to all the women to show them my shoes.

“Look, Joyce, look! I have cool shoes!”
“Oh! Yes, they’re lovely, Kate! How are you, darling?”
“I’m great, Joyce!”

I wandered over to Grandma. “Look, Grandma, look! I have cool shoes! Aren’t they cool?”
She looked at me and my feet critically, concerned. “I have an article that talks about the health hazards of flip-flops. You should read it.”

These were my lace-up flats that tie around the ankle, so not strictly flip-flops, but more like sandals. Still, I was not going to debate technicalities with her, and instead, I said something like, “Well, they’re working fine for me. The only health problem they’ve caused me is that I have small friction burns on the backs of my calves from the cloth being too tight sometimes.”

Her expression became even more concerned. “But after I wear them for awhile,” I continued, “I figure out how tight and how how loose they should be.”

I suddenly wasn’t in the mood to show anyone else my shoes.

Not My Shoes but Aren't They Amazing?

I wanted to tell her that everything I do causes health problems. I eat and I could get food poisoning. I sleep and I could smother myself. I ride in our bright green car and I could get overheated. I wear pigtails and I could accidentally strangle myself while riding the merry-go-round. I’m always susceptible to some Final Destination-like health hazard.

If print out every article I read that talks about these possibilities and send copies to everyone I know, before long I’ll become the most boring person you’ve ever met. Because I’ve turned into this paranoid freak who won’t live life because I’m afraid it’ll kill me.

So go roll down a hill. Go climb a tree. Go strip naked in your apartment and dance grotesquely in front of your mirror while everyone is sleeping, in the style of William Carlos Williams.

Throw open all the windows and let the rain in, with all its summer smell. And if it kills you, then at least you died while enjoying yourself and the world around you. Thoroughly.

And For Some Reason I Feel Like Describing My Shoe Collection

I seem to have a shoe fetish lately. I ordered a pair of wrap-up-the-leg flat sandals from Victoria’s Secret’s clearance catalog that I’ve had my eye on for a year and a half.

I bought three pairs of shoes at various thrift stores today. I’ve been wanting to hit the thrift stores for quite some time, and I finally took the day to do so today. I feel so very proud of myself because I made four bus transfers in one trip to two stores, almost three had I not restrained myself not to pull the “Get Off” Rope as we passed it. It was a good reminder of the mindset one must have while thrift-store shopping: You can’t walk into the store wanting something specific.

I had the headache-and-hunger that accompany the hate for shopping until the Rule of Thrift-Store Shopping was remembered. I walked into the first store looking for specific-looking short-sleeved blouses and maybe a vest. After I was done, along with one vest, a really cool sweater and another long-sleeved button-up, I bought:

-a pair of “witch shoes”, as dear hayley_beth24 puts it quite aptly,
-a pair of brown, worn-in, leather shoes that look like something my Grandpa Bob would wear,
-and a pointed, woven, reddish-brown pair of flats that are just fun.

Added to the stuff already in the closet:

-my Lime-Green loafers that are currently my everyday pair,
-my blue sparkly Converses,
-my white little-girl sandals,
-my knee-high classic-black boots,
-my Ukrainian slippers I used to wear to HS so now the bottoms have horrible holes in them (Dad bought them in Ukraine as a gift while on a business trip),
-a $2 wooden pair of flip-flops from Old Navy with cool buckles on the tops,
-those black strappy heels I got as a hand-me-down from an older girl at church,
-the dark-blue criss-cross sandals that need another buckle-hole in them because they’re stretching,
-a pair of boat shoes with zigzags drawn onto the sides of one shoe,
-a pair of black, used-to-be-suede ankle-high boots with this cool wrinkly thing built in that leak when I use them in snow or rain because they’re so worn,
-normal, Wal-Mart hiking boots,
-and these white tennis shoes I bought in the sixth grade (or whenever our first year of PE was that we had to have uniforms) that have since been stained green from mowing wet grass and that still fit.

And the only reason I can list these is because I’ve got this shoe organizer thing that hangs from the bar in the closet. I keep my shoes down to a minimum by making sure they all fit in the shoe rack. Except for the hiking boots, but only because we’re using one as a door stopper. The wind thinks our bedroom door is a toy.

Yeah, I don’t know why I list all the shoes I own. Partly for reference (because it’s fun to look back), and partly because I think a girl’s shoe collection gives some description of who she is. And it’s a fun writing exercise.