Choo or Cheap?

Jimmy Choo $495 or Cheaper Brand $89?

Whew, this year is off to a fierce start. In a pretty good way I think. The company I’ve been doing a lot of consulting work with over the past two years offered me a permanent position that I decided to take. It was an extremely tough decision (imagine weeping and gnashing of teeth on my part) but Handsome Hunk and I weighed the pluses and minuses and it seems the right thing to do. I’ve tried to balance this commitment with new thinking…if I use up my vacation allotment, I can take unpaid vacation days, and I plan to. This makes a difference when your kids live so far away. So don’t cry Argentina I tell myself—smile and enjoy, there are a lot of people I know who would love to have fulltime work right now. I was taking every consulting job anyway, fearful that the well would dry up, so I didn’t have a lot of wide-open time to paint except for about 6 wks last spring. But that was really the first time I ever felt in the “flow” with my painting and it was very productive. The challenge now is figuring out a way to recreate that while working fulltime.

Trip planning at the beginning of each year is something HH and I love to do.  We’re headed to the Cayman Islands for a week in early February…some diving, swimming to prep for a triathlon (mini version!), walking on the beach and drinking in the sun. Of course I needed a new swimsuit that I ordered online (it beats the anguish of trying a suit on in the store) and a pareo. Plus I bought some XL men’s shirts from Filene’s in fun colors to wear as bathing suit covers…boyfriend shirts are in style I hear.

Speaking of sun, I ordered a Verilux light for seasonal affectiveness disorder that I try to sit in front of for an hour each morning. It’s only been a week but so far so good. I’ve noticed that I’m sleeping much better and feeling more energetic.

Back to trip planning: A spring trip to Victoria, BC to see my daughter and family. A trip in June to Barcelona, Spain, to meet up with my son who lives in Prague. Hopefully a long weekend hiking in one of our beautiful National Parks this summer. Another trip (or two) back to Victoria, and a 4-day Caribbean cruise with college girlfriends to celebrate our major milestone birthdays this fall (I know it’s also hurricane season). Throw in a long weekend in NYC around Memorial Day and you can see why I thought going back to work was a good idea! Love those air miles.

My recipe file. I see it, I rip it out and drop it in here. The Holly Hobby cover is to a little recipe book I got 30+ years ago. It holds some stellar family recipes even though it doesn't look very appetizing!

Last Friday  it was my turn to host book club. It’s fun to dig through my recipe file and come up with something new to make. We read White Tiger, so I opted for ordering Indian food from a nearby restaurant, but I did make a lemon almond sponge cake that was delicious with chocolate hazelnut gelato. Our next book is an older one (late 1980s I think), In Pale Battalions by Robert Goddard.  Today I picked up The Privileges and The Gospel According to Coco Chanel from the library.

It’s been gloomy here in the midwest, so my shoe connoisseur husband and I headed to Nordstrom yesterday to find shoes for me. I can be decisive about many things, but for some reason I get hung up about shoes. I ended up with four pairs thanks to his encouragement. Move over Imelda.

On the way home we stopped at Home Depot and had a 4’x8’ board of plywood cut into pieces for new encaustic paintings. I’m starting to work larger, so one of them will be 3’x4’. My son and book club friends were complimentary about the direction my art is going, so I feel encouraged.

One of the casualties of the new job schedule is my 3x a week 8am boot camp. So I’m back to two personal training sessions a week. I believe in investing in keeping my body healthy, even if I’m probably never again going to be a skinny minny.

Let’s see what else? I capitulated and bought an iphone. I felt too fuddy duddy with my Tracfone.  We’ve also squeezed in a play starring Brian Dennehy and a few romantic date nights in the past weeks. Next weekend we’re going to see The Windy City Rollers, I think Roller Derby qualifies as a new adventure (my keyword for this year)!

PS. The top shoe is the Choo (not the one I got)