Nov 27, 2009

Looking Good Ain't So Pretty


Well, just in case you are feeling old, fat, or like your are losing it, I got a story for you that will either make you feel like you are not alone, or you will be thinking, well at least I'm not that bad!
It all started out so innocently and yet so badly....

In my last posting I was telling you about my Big Ass Button Trip (aka NYC) and how I found this fabulous dress - I mean couture chiffon with black roses (see above). Well, I found a chance to wear it recently on a beautiful fall day. I had loads of errands to do, a computer class to take and I was meeting some girlfriends for lunch. I put on said couture, black tights, boots, vintage 1950's short sweater that belonged to my mother and the brooch that I also bought on my trip.

I was stylin!

I was in a rush (I am always running late) so I grab my computer and head out for my class - I am trying to learn some new skills as I build my new website and I meet my teacher in a one on one class and a bunch of other students and while a zillion customers mill around the store. I then run to the bank and a few other errands and then I meet my girlfriends, Debbie and Gretchen for lunch. As I enter the lunch place, my girlfriends are already there and as I walk in they squeal with delight and ask me to twirl for them to see the dress. They ooh and aaah over the black seems no matter who old we women get, we still like to play dress up and we still squeal. It makes me feel young though when that happens because it is all so sincere. My friend comments on the brooch and sweater and then we sit and gab and gab and finally go the counter to order. (I order dessert first and bring back a big piece of cake with three forks...gotta try the cake while we wait for our will be a long gabbing session, must have strength!) We all catch up on what's what and the place is getting crowded but we just gab, laugh (howl actually) and hours later, we must depart.

My two friends are heading to flower row (a cool place here in St. Louis to get wholesale flowers and floral supplies) and I am headed over another friend's home, Karen for a visit. I drive to Karen's home and as I walk up her sidewalk to her glass door, she is waiting for me and she is already oohhing and aaahhing my dress and says for me to "come in! come in" and as I enter her home, she asks me to take off my little sweater so she can get a look at me and here is how the 30 second conversation goes as I stand there for her to admire my dress:

Me: Don't you just love it? I can't believe I got it for only $40!

Karen (aka Miss Fashion Plate): Oh! It's beautiful!

(I do the mandatory twirl for her..)

Me: I love the color...

Karen: Me too! But why do you have on one black boot and one brown boot?

(My twirls come to an immediate halt needless to say...)

Me: What??!!! (As I glance down at my feet in horror...)

Karen: Yeah...? You have one brown boot on and one black boot..?

Me: What??!!

Karen (now laughing): Don't they feel different? Couldn't you tell how they feel?

Me (now laughing): OMG!

Karen (matter of fact tone): Oh, I see, (she studies my boots closely) they have the same heel....but one is brown and the other is know one is black and the other...

Me: I heard the bad thing is (as I look down at my boots) the bad thing is, is that one boot toe is pointy and the other boot toe is rounded! (And I just give up and laugh with her.)

But in my defense, they had the same leather feel, same heel height, and same squished look. You can judge for yourself....see below.....

(I know...pretty bad, isn't it?)

We both crack up laughing so hard...I mean, I am with Karen 30 seconds max, and she spots it, and I am with Debbie and Gretchen for hours and I tell Karen to wait a second, I MUST make a call. I pick up my cell phone and call Gretchen. She and Debbie are still in the car driving. I don't say "hello" I don't say anything when she answers, I just say:

"Do you think you can help out a girlfriend???!!"

I proceed to tell Gretchen what Karen and I discovered and I hear loud gasps over the phone and then I hear Debbie in the background saying that she did later noticed I had two different boots on, but when I came back from the restroom and sat down and we started gabbing all over again, she forgot all about it. I proceed to tell Gretchen about all my morning errands and class and so on (more gasps over the phone) and how I thought I looked so cute....we laughed and laughed and then Gretchen, trying to comfort me, told me about her fashion faux pas just the week before.

She told me that she went all day long wearing two different shoes. They were both black and one shoe had SILVER RIVETS on them and the other shoe was like a loafer! She went all day long and even at one point during the day, she looked down at her loafer and said to herself, oh no! I lost some rivets! I laughed and laughed and felt better. But at the same time, I thinking, what is wrong with us? We are both only 45 years old....what are we going to be like in 20 years?

So, then Karen tells me about a time she was at a public pool (recently) with a friend and they came out of the dressing room and walked all the around the pool finding a spot. They stayed at the pool laying out and Karen has a great figure so she has a two piece on. So they are chatting and talking and Karen goes back into the dressing room (after she walk all the way around the pool again - a very crowded pool at that) and discovers that she had her bottoms on inside out! Her tag was hanging out on the outside on the back and LUCKILY the crotch area, didn't have that white panel - you know what I talking about, it had a brown one that matched her suit, but all the stitching was showing, and it was very obvious. Well she goes back and tells her friend, and her friend said she noticed it but didn't want to say anything because she was from the south and people from the south don't point things out like that. Karen made it very clear that girlfriends do not let other girlfriends parade around a public pool with their suits inside out whether they are from the south, north, east, west, Mars, Venus, or wherever, hahahaha...and I agree!

Fashion faux pas isn't just for women - men are victims too (as we all know too well). Just two days before my boot disaster, I went to bible study with my husband and he put on his new jacket as we were leaving the class and saying our good-byes. Out in the parking lot I noticed a HUGE tag hanging under his arm! I chastised him because I asked him that morning if he got all the tags off (he rarely, if ever, gets all tags off his clothes...he is a walking advertisement) and he told me just a tad sarcastically that of course he got all the tags off and now, here we are, in the middle of a parking lot, with this huge tag swinging in the wind just after he put on his coat in front of the bible study class....oh, I couldn't resist and rolled my eyes in sheer frustration! After my boot incident, I tried very hard to convince him that his hanging coat tag was a much more serious faux pas, but that didn't fly nearly as high as his tag did on that windy day....

But this wearing different colored boot thing has got me really thinking...while I find it really funny (and it was) it does say a lot about human nature in general. Most of us just handle life day by day and do our best to plan for the future. Some years are good years and some years are extremely challenging. But for the most part, all humans want the same thing. To be safe, happy, and to feel accepted. And in striving for those very simple things we can get so caught up in the everyday stuff, and so caught up in our culture and what others are doing, or we start thinking that we need this or that to make us feel safe, happy or accepted when actually we just think we need those things to be happy. We can lose sight of what is really important in life.

Then we one day we wear one brown boot and black boot. All day long.

And at the end of the day, someone points out your one brown and your one black boot and you both have a good laugh. You laugh because most likely, people have been laughing at you all day long and you never even knew it. That's the beauty of it. People laughed, judged, and maybe even commented, and you didn't even care. You still went on being you - the real you. Granted, you didn't know you had on two different color boots, but how great it would be if we could really go through life like that. We could be who we really are, enjoy our friends, life, feel pretty all day, eat cheesecake, and just be who we are and truly not care what anyone else thought, said, or did? Wouldn't that be great? Because in the end, when all is said and done, what we all really want anyway is just to feel safe, happy, and to be accepted.

While I may roll my eyes in exasperation at my husband with his huge tag under his arm, he wasn't about to pass up his chance when we were leaving for church and I came out of the bedroom into the living room, in a nice dress, and yes, wearing boots. He got his car keys, and I was grabbing my purse and just as he was opening the front door, he stopped short and turned and grabbed my shoulders and pushed me back a bit and looked down and "studied" my outfit for a second. Then very officially said, "Good, both boots's safe to go out now..."

I laughed and yes, I felt very safe, happy, and most definitely accepted.

Hopefully you don't have two wear two different color boots, or two completely different shoes, or have a giant tag hanging out or even parade around in public with your swimsuit inside out to feel like it is okay to be you no matter what others or saying or thinking about you. It was a freeing moment though, when I was standing there, looking down at my different colored boots, thinking how clueless I was all day, and yet, I didn't even that is freedom...not stylish mind you....but still freedom.

May your stylish moments truly be stylish and may your moments of freedom be faux pas-free.

Here's to putting your best foot forward in life...and may the other foot match.

From my house to your house,

P.S.....Okay, I have been getting some great fashion faux pas stories that I had to pass on:

My brother, Bill, is in chemical engineering sales and he finally had a huge appointment with a big-time possible customer that took almost a year and a half to snag. Bill flies out of town to meet this customer and as he waits in the airport for this customer to pick him up, Bill decides to do a "fashion check." Now, when my brother is telling me this story, you have to know that 1. My brother is not into fashion, so when he told me he was checking anything, I was very surprised since dressing up to him usually means wearing a shirt that has buttons. And 2. Bill is not a morning person is this was a very early flight. He has two very small children, a wife, 3 dogs, 1 cat, and for him to dress nicely is a challenge in of itself.

So my brother is sitting in the airport, trying to keep his eyes open (he is not the nervous type at all, very calm) and decides to do this "fashion check." He tells me he feels his is down...tie is straight...jacket lapel is flat....he feels around his waist...yup all belt loops are looped, and yes, he isn't flashing anyone, he is zipped up, and he stands up and yes, his pockets are tucked in, and pats his butt, yes, wallet in place, and looks down the front of his pants, and the creases are still crisp with a crisp line....all the way down to his bright white socks and white running shoes!

He tells me he is wearing this very nice suit with the biggest, clunkiest running shoes he owns...he was in a rush that morning and wasn't thinking and he just now noticed. Never mind he had to take them off to get through security at the airport AND put them on again...never mind he sat on the plane and crossed his legs. Never mind he sat in the airport waiting for his very important customer, and it is only when he is doing this very last minute "check" does he notice....just in time to look up and see his customer approach him.

I gasp and say my usual OMG!!! I ask him what did you do??? He said (so typically calm of him) "What can you do?" He said as the customer approached and they shook hands, the customer looked down at the shoes and Bill just shrugged his shoulders and said, "It was an early flight..." And they went on their way...nothing more! End of story! No frantic phone calls to friends, no rehashing his plight, no photos of shoes and then blogging about it, no gasping...nope that is it.


Okay, one more short story....I got an email from my friend Gary. He said that once he had his collar up, missed belt loops, and one sock was inside out..all in front of an important meeting with clients...I am starting to feel better and better.... :-)

Nov 5, 2009

Visiting The Big-Ass Button

Hello! Hello! Hello!

Yes, it has been a while since my last posting, and I have missed you, but you haven't been far from my mind. And to prove it, I want to share with you my latest adventure. In fact, because I was thinking of you, I purposely took along my little pocket camera when in all honesty, on this adventure, I wouldn't have stopped long enough to snap photos....and what exactly was I doing that I didn't want to stop and take any photos?

I was in the Garment District of NYC exploring (okay, touching, grabbing, oohing, and aaahhing) all the fabrics and buttons and trims and laces and ribbons and tassels and baubles and bears oh my!! You know how they say NYC is the "Big Apple"? When I came across this sculpture (photo left) I actually squealed in delight and really said aloud to myself, "Now, that, is one big-ass button!" So, to me, NYC, is no longer the "The Big Apple" but rather "The Big-Ass Button," well, at least to me.

So, let me back up a bit and begin my story from the beginning and catch you all up some. I have been on the run a lot lately. From my last post, I am still working on that lovely home and completed the bedding and the sofa pillows. I just haven't had time yet to shoot the photos, but I will! I am now working on her hearth room. I have since began another bedroom project for another client that is still in the design stage and has a way to go yet, but it is very exciting as well and very detailed.

It seems I have been here, there, and everywhere lately. Randy and I flew to Dallas, Texas recently to visit my brother and his family and while there we went to the Cotton Bowl to watch the OU and UT football game. Randy's cousin, Tyler Evans (number 75) plays for OU and he got us tickets to watch. OU didn't win, but they played very well, and the day was just beautiful!! If you are a football fan, you must look up Tyler - he is headed for the NFL, and he is only a freshman - but he is very talented and a really good kid (well, not really a kid anymore).

While in Dallas we went to the Texas State Fair where everything is fried: I heard of fried Twinkies before and even fried Oreos...but have you heard of fried guacamole? Fried butter? Fried cookie dough? Fried snickers bars? And they had the usual fried cheese, fried onions, fried ice-cream, fried pickles, fried gum - just kidding, no fried gum. Just checking to see if you are really reading this, or if you are skipping down to the NYC story :-)

Here are some family photos of my visit:

Randy and my nephew Broderick, were always together. It was funny how Broderick used Randy as a piece of furniture...sort of like his own personal lazy boy chair that would rub his head now and then.

My beautiful niece, Mackenzi, always smiling and always gabbing and gabbing and gabbing....can't imagine where she gets that from?

I don't like rides and my brother, Bill knows it. He talked me into this "glider ride" which wasn't suppose to be a big deal....which of course turned into a big deal which I unfortunately did not realize as you can see by my big pre-ride smile. You can see the look on my brother's face that basically says "I got her" and after the ride, I got him.

I came back from Dallas with a cold and cough that lasts a week and the following weekend Randy and I go to our place at the lake of the Ozarks to close it up for the season. I then get notice that my friend, Bob, who lives in NYC, has the opportunity to have his play "workshopped." Bob and I were college theater majors and we studied theater together. And once upon a time, I performed on stage and directed while living in Germany and I was the director of performing arts at a private school in Princeton, NJ. My love and appreciation for the performing arts has never left me. Getting a play "workshopped" on off-off Broadway is a very, very big deal and I wasn't about to miss it. Basically, before a play is produced, it must be rewritten many times and worked out professionally which is very expensive and very competitive and an honor to get selected to have this done.

Three days after coming back from the lake, I leave for NYC to see Bob and his play. One of Randy's clients is a pilot and he gave me a round plane trip ticket for $45 on stand-by. While trying to find a room in NYC I discovered there were no rooms - little did I know it was the weekend of the NYC Marathon - and Halloween. So, I go on a great website called airbnb and I rent a living room with a sofa bed from a total stranger in NYC. This site is a place where people rent out their entire apartment, or just a bedroom, or in my case, a sofa bed, to guests. It was SUPER cheap - a typical, decent hotel room is going to cost at least $200 a night. You can find rooms for $75 on airbnb. I got an entire living room for $100 a night.

So as Randy summed it up, he basically said the day before I left, "So, you don't know which flight you are leaving on, or which day, and you don't know the person you are staying with or how to get there either, is that right?" And as I packed and tossed in my google map of the garment district, I replied, "That is about right." And he just shrugged and smiled and said, "Better you, than me..." I just laughed and told him not to worry.

For those of you that have never been to NYC, this story is for you. For those of you who have been to NYC many times, you can either pretend not to be interested or excited like a lot of people who go to NYC often do, or, you can be honest with yourself and admit that you too, get giddy with the energy, the lights, the buildings, the 100's of coffee shops, the endless sidewalks that lead to zillions of adventures and read this story as well. And by the way....I lived in NJ for four years and have been to NYC at least 20 times, and to this day, I am still amazed by the city, and I don't hide it either. It is a great here we go...

I left on Wednesday, got on the first flight out, and had a voice message waiting for me from the apartment owner, took a bus from NJ airport into NYC, met Miriam (hostess) at her apartment, got the keys, called Randy, and went on my way. It was so simple and trouble-free. The apartment was great, very clean, safe, and you get to feel like a real New Yorker, "living" in an apartment verses "staying" in at a hotel. And it is way cheaper!

It is still pretty early so I head out for the Antique Cafe, for a coffee and lemon bar (I googled it) and while walking I spot a glass store window filled with vintage clothes - well, I just have to pop in and see what's what. But I had the hardest time finding my way in...I had to go around the street corner, up some marble steps and inside was a giant foyer with a security guard. What kind of special vintage store was this anyway? The guard asks me if he could help me and I tell him I was just trying to get into the "vintage store" and I point to it, and he looks at me with a puzzled look but lets me in.
I cross this huge lobby and go into the store and was so disappointed that it was so small, but the stuff seemed so cool. But the clothes didn't look old and the young girls working the counter looked so trendy...what kind of store was this anyway? I am informed that I am in the NY school of Fashion Institute of Technology and the clothes I am looking at were designed by the senior designers that were in previous fashion shows! Well now that explains the fancy-schmancy lobby and security guard for such a little "vintage store" and why I had to make my way around an entire block and up huge steps to just get street view of the store was only a tiny window of the clothes housed by a huge block-sized building! Well, if you ever traveled or even walked with me, this would not surprise you that I was so oblivious....I tend to be caught in the moment and see what I want to see in the moment.

I turn my attention back to the clothes and think, "Shoot, these clothes are only going to fit those food-deprived-pseudo-women-that-get-air-brushed-anyway" and I won't find a thing that will even go over my ankle much less my butt.....but wait! What is this I see? It is a beautiful, beautiful baby-doll chiffon dress! Never mind that I always hated baby-doll dresses and never mind that I had no interest (until this moment) to even own one. But this one has beautiful elastic all across the back (beautifully stitched I must say)and elastic is a middle-aged woman's best friend! This baby-doll dress is looking better and better. The chest area is covered is tattered chiffon black roses sewn all over it and the bodice is drapey gray/slight plumb chiffon hanging to right above the knee. It has two simple black shoulder straps.

I go try it on and it fits! Being not so well for months did have an upside and having lost a little weight paid off :-) I think how I would wear black tights with it and my black boots and a black short jacket and hopefully not look too stupid. But I don't care. It was only $40 bucks! I think it was the idea of owning couture, having a one-of-a-kind, getting it from (I am sure) a very soon-to-be famous designer, and getting it from FIT in NYC made this dress, ahem, I mean, couture, so special.

I go back to my apartment and drop off my couture (when you acquire couture, something prevents you from just calling it a "dress" I discovered), and I finally head to the Antique Cafe once again. The coffee shop is long and narrow with a fabulous bar and a cute guy behind it whipping up coffees and serving all sorts of pastries. Interestingly, no one is on a lap top. Comfy over-stuffed chairs are in the front, and people are chatting. Small, tiny chairs and tables line the long wall and hip people (old and young) sip, chat, clink, and chat some more - but all at a low murmur which is really nice. The wood floors are dark, and the guy behind the counter is very polite. Rude service is only a rumor in my opinion when it comes to New York. I always get polite service.

Perfect timing - the woman at the huge window gets up and I grab her table and watch people pass on the street and listen to the couple next to me. Apparently they are just friends having a visit. The guy had his girlfriend spend the night with him the night before, and they slept together, but he isn't serious about the woman anymore and he feels really bad. His coffee companion is very sympathetic and offers support and comfort and advice. He rattles on and on about what he should do and how to break up. She comforts him some more but then tells him to spend the night with her while he works it out. Not sure what that was all about. Very Seinfeld in a way.

But I digress. I love being in NYC alone. I have been alone in NYC only one time before and you don't need company in NYC....the city is great company on its own. the Garment District awaits!

As I walk towards the district I practically spend all day Wednesday and Thursday in a two block radius of 39th and 38th. I am a big walker. If you visit NYC, be in good health, be willing to walk, and wear comfy shoes. I wore boots because it was raining and wet most of the time and nothing is worse than walking in wet shoes. Big puddles are everywhere and boots take care of that issue. And forget the tiny, cute purse. I wear a satchel. EVERYONE carries a satchel, or a backpack of some sort. New Yorkers don't drive anywhere - they walk. And when one stops to get the newspaper, or a bottle of water or stop on the way home to pick up a can of cat food or a pair of socks, you can't be carrying a lot of bags around while trying to hold your umbrella, answer your cell phone and hold onto the rail on the subway all at once. That is where the satchel comes in handy.

The Garment was love at first sight. At first I couldn't figure out why I loved this dingy, dark street with really no personality or color or anything really exciting about the buildings. Then it struck me after a while. It reminds me of a street I would shop on when I would go to Brussels. There is a street in Brussels, Belgium that has a lot of lace and lace factories that isn't too exciting, but has signage everywhere, it is narrow, and a little dark. I realized that the Garment District reminded me of that street in Brussels and I felt so at home and a little homesick at the same time.

I took photos of the street signage to give you an idea of what I saw. It was rainy and busy, so excuse the low quality. I snapped them quickly and stuck the camera back into my pocket. This is an area of NYC that I have been wanting to visit and believe it or not, I have never made it here! I am either too busy, or on another mission, or with someone who would just not get why I could stand in a store for three hours staring at trim or buttons. This trip was best done alone and I loved it.

I love this sign: "Fabric Czar" It was the first sign I saw and I knew I was home! :-)

This is what I mean when I say that the street of the Garment District is nothing to write home about. It is dingy and the buildings aren't special....but it reminded me so much of a particular street in Brussels that I felt right at home.

I just love all the signage along the buildings:

I didn't just stick to the streets...the alley proved to be interesting too. I saw these steps and they called my name. I poked around and snapped a photo and discovered more fabrics.

I had seen so many signs and store fronts, I couldn't decide which to visit first, so I just started to go in stores and found it so hard to go out. But in and out I did! And I did all day long....

I realized after I took this photo that it would have been smarter to have taken it BEFORE I got my hands on it and turned the once neat row of trim into a row of tormented pile. Photographing the aftermath isn't nearly as pretty as the "before." But I did have fun, fun, fun!

This is just one giant wall of many giant walls of many giant stores that houses 1000's of buttons just waiting to be discovered and sewn on projects that are housed in one little head....mine :-)

When I saw this huge wall of rolls and rolls of white lace trim, I just about experienced the big "O" right there in the aisle, and I'm not talking about Oprah!

I came across this vintage brooch in one of the trim stores and fell in love with it. The irregular shape and size caught my attention and the price kept my attention - it was only $15!

The exciting street scene makes up for the lack of exciting buildings in the district. As I rounded the corner, I almost got ran down by a rack of beautiful wedding dresses. If it was my time to go, it wouldn't had been so bad to have been smothered in satin....I whipped out my camera to snap the beauty of the dresses against the grime of the streets.

Just as I turned, a factory employee pushing a beat up cart of fabric, passed the wedding dresses and again I snapped a quick photo and loved the extremes between the two. The street scene continued to be entertaining and I was so glad to be a part of it.

What is it about seeing fabric on a rack on the street that makes me convinced that whatever it is that is being unloaded has got to be ten times better than what is waiting for me on the shelves inside? Of course I ran across the street, felt up the fabric, slowed down the delivery a bit and thanked the man for tolerating my mania for material...I think he was use to it :-)

After all the activities of hunting down buttons, snapping photos, copped a feel of fabric from the street, buying a brooch, almost smoothered by satin wedding dresses, that is when I saw this sign of ribbons and a coffee shop in the same building...well...I would swear I saw the sun come out and heard angles sing. What more could a girl want?? A bakery and buttons under one roof? So, after eating a huge chunk of NY cheesecake and a real coke (really now, would a diet coke make a real difference?), I head out on my hunt again. You know how sometimes you feel like the universe is trying to tell you something? Well, when I left the coffee shop and turned the corner, the universe had a friggin megaphone yelling out to me with some signage staring at me right in the face (see below):

Okay, maybe I should have had the diet coke.
Damn universe.

My adventure led me to another exciting discovery. I learned where a lot of "my girls" are "born" and how nice to know that as much as I love my European gals, my American gals are chic New Yorkers. In this district, mannequins are manufactured, sewing essentials, tools, and other garment gadgets. I found it all so very interesting and never really gave it much thought until I ran across it.

Seeing my "girls" lined up got me a little choked up - it seemed like they were all headed out to wonderful adventures and I wish I could have taken them all home with me. In case you haven't noticed, mannequines are the chic girlfriends that always make you feel in style :-)

While in the Garment District, I wanted so much to spend, spend, spend, but the reality of the situation was, I looked, drooled, and fantasized.....but darn it, I had to get something...and then...just down the sidewalk, I see a table full of wonderful colorful scarves (I LOVE scarves)!

Upon closer inspection, these super soft scarves were Pashmina! Well, I just had to have one - and to say I got them in the Garment District made them even more special. They all have a very elegant slight embossed print on them that you can't see in the photo.

Well, the more I looked the more I loved. And when I went around to the other side of the table and saw the price....$5 dollars each - well - let the Christmas shopping begin! I got all my Christmas shopping done in stop - so I shopped and shopped.....

So to those of you who may find a pashmina scarf waiting for you under your tree, don't think of it as a $5 dollar scarf...think of it as it a gift that was bought on FIFTH AVENUE in the Big-Ass Button (aka NYC) in the Garment District and I have proof, below:

But then again, I got some really cool colors....they may be hard to give up.... ;-)

I hope you enjoyed my adventure to The Big-Ass Button City. I flew back 4 days later. My visit with Bob went well. We visited the Whitney museum and saw the Georgia Okeffe exhibit - which was great. His workshop was fantastic and I am so proud of him. My apartment was super and the location wonderful. Every evening was spent in Times Square and Off Off Broadway. Drinking lattes in coffee shops, reading the paper with my cheesecake, and people watching are all wonderful...but the time alone surrounded by millions of people is really a special thing to experience.
This Sunday we will be celebrating our first year of marriage by flying to Marco Island, Florida for a week. Having a loving husband who takes such good care of me, protects me and supports me through so much is something so few wives really get to experience. While sitting alone in a cafe, sipping coffee and people watching, I was thinking about my Randy, who happened to be on the lake fishing while I was in NYC. I was thinking how he was quietly fishing while I was in a noisy cafe in a very noisy city. How funny our chosen weekend locations exemplifies our very distinct personalities.
But yet, I was quiet in my thoughts while surrounded by so much activity and I was thinking how very blessed I am to be so loved and cared for. I felt so content and so comfortable in the giant city with the hustle and bustle but what a comfort to feel my heart wanting to be with Randy and feeling so sure that it belonged next to him and wanting to be next to him. I think when one is truly loved, it is then that one can truly feel free to be oneself and independent.

The freedom that comes when one is "freed" only increases closeness and trust. Having a husband who joyfully gives me the gift of being alone only increases my love of wanting to be closer to him. I too often see people cling in fear of losing. And it isn't clinging only with a relationship, but it can be with your ownself, your passions, your business, your decisions. Sometimes, joyfully "letting loose" a little gives you the room you may need to reconnect with what you may be fearing all along: your job, a major decision, a career, a relationship, your children, whatever it may be....

Just know that "letting loose" is just another way of saying "having trust." Trust a little more in yourself, others, and in God, and just see what happens. Sitting in that little coffee shop, watching all the people rush by, listening to all the sounds, enjoying my own thoughts....I felt so independent and happily alone and very, very happily connected to the one who let me alone - and I couldn't wait to get home to share my adventures with him.....but not until I really scoped out the Big-Ass Button City first though!!

May your trust and faith allow your next adventure discover a big-ass connection that brings you a joy of independence in which you can't wait to share with a loved one.

Now that is a true adventure!

From my house to your house,

P.S. I have received several emails regarding the chiffon dress - I mean courture :-) And many of you wanted to see a photo of it. So....just for you...I took a few photos in my dressing room for you with my little camera so please excuse the low quality. But isn't it pretty? I forgot the straps had roses on them too! Enjoy!

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