Monthly Archives: December, 2012

Day 191: The Little Black Coat

I have needed a new all-purpose black coat for several years. There was this top-stitching that came loose a while back and it wasn’t really fixable because of the lining. I had to put a key ring on the zipper pull because the original pull disappeared years ago. Unfortunately, I hated to get rid of the coat because it was impermeable to rain, had a hood and zippered pockets, and the princess seaming and front zipper were relatively flattering. I wore it to death over the last ten years.

That’s right, it’s been ten years. I realized that I bought the coat for my first trip to Europe in 2003. We went to Austria over Spring Break and it was cold. And rainy. I layered the snot out of that coat and it just kept going — for ten more years.

When I was telling a friend about my beloved coat, I actually started looking carefully at it. I discovered that those lovely princess seams were all raveled on my right side — why only the right side, I don’t know. The loose top-stitching was worse and had become even more¬†noticeable. We are going to California where it is spring in the winter with possible rain, and then to France in April when it is sure to rain. April in Paris, remember? It became glaringly obvious that I needed a new coat.

Check out this blogger's lovely description of Paris here.

Check out this blogger’s lovely description of Paris here.

Off I went to Burlington Coat Factory. They usually have coats in my size and I lucked out again. My new coat ticks all of my boxes — water-repellent, full length zipper, princess seaming, zippered pockets, and hood. And I bought it in a smaller size. Eureka.

It was kind of hard to throw away the old jacket. It’s got history and a lot of traveling under its belt. Here’s hoping that my new coat will bring ten more years of bucket list travel and fun!


Day 189: Sacrificing My Principles for Christmas

Recently, I posted a link on my Facebook page in which David Green, owner of the Hobby Lobby stores, explained his position on his lawsuit against Obamacare – the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. As expected, I received many positive and negative comments regarding a secular, for-profit business’s right to provide health care benefits based on the religious principles of the owners. We had a lively discussion.

In his open letter (see the letter and news clip here), Green says that federal health care mandates that his “family business MUST provide what I believe are abortion-causing drugs as part of our health insurance” which Hobby Lobby has not previously paid for in its self-funded insurance program. Hobby Lobby faces significant fines starting on January 1, 2013, if it does not comply with the contraception and abortion elements contained in PPACA.

While I’m not here to debate the bill itself, ¬†or even to spend much time fighting about a private business’s right to discriminate against its employees because of the owners’ religious principles, Mr. Green’s position does bring me to today’s question of ethics. I would very much like to boycott Hobby Lobby for its owners’ stance on certain kinds of contraception and abortion for its employees, yet I found myself in the awkward position of having nowhere else to buy the bread bags we use for our Christmas baking every year.


Over the years we have tried many different options, but found the over-sized bags at Hobby Lobby to be just right for our banana bread on steroids. Image my disappointment when, after driving all over town yesterday, I had to go back to Hobby Lobby to get the bags.

So — today’s question remains. The Hobby Lobby issue is currently percolating up in my social conscience, but I’m sure if I were to research other stores’ ethical practices, there wouldn’t be a single place I could shop. At least Hobby Lobby’s Green family HAS ethics, even if they don’t match up with my own sense of the word. We all make tiny sacrifices every day, and sometimes make larger ones that eat away at our soul. While not buying thirteen dollars worth of bread bags won’t do much to break David Green’s $3 billion business, it did break my spirit just a little to have to give him even that much.

Between now and next Christmas, I’ll be researching where we can buy our Kraft Sacks without going to Hobby Lobby. Or maybe I’ll be able to shop at Hobby Lobby again when David Green is forced to comply with the civil rights laws of the United States. I certainly hope so.

Day 188: 12 and 12 and 12

12/12/12. Where was I on this auspicious date at 12:12 pm?

Where any self-respecting Christmas shopper would be. At Woodfield Mall. Waiting in line. Trying to avoid impulse buying while waiting in line.

And hoping to avoid looking like this.

IMG_3536[1]The good news is that I have almost all of my shopping done. I even found the perfect thing for the impossible-to-buy-for people on my list.

Between that and getting to sing “And He Shall Purify” on Sunday at church, I’m a happy camper. This version, at warp speed and in Korean, is pretty much the coolest Handel I’ve ever seen. Enjoy!