Category Archives: Lifestyle

Day 221: Fashion Rant of the Day

On Friday I went to Costco and was so horrified by what I saw that I decided to write about it.

What, you are asking, could horrify me so?

Pleggings. OMG.

If I saw one more flabby ass in skin-tight leggings and a short shirt, I was going to have to slap the stupid woman wearing them. In other words, leggings worn as pants are NEVER acceptable in public. Even this picture of the stunning Olivia Wilde tells you that they look bad. And trust me, none of us look like Olivia Wilde — not even in our wildest dreams.

Let’s get one thing clear: if you are older than five, you are too old to wear leggings as pants.  I can’t tell you how many middle-school girls wore skin-tight pleggings to school with short shirts that didn’t cover their butt or their hoo-has. Really? Is that what their mothers and fathers wanted the middle school boys to think about all day?

I don’t hate leggings. Even I have leggings that I wear with long tunic tops and short sweater dresses. They are comfortable and appropriate for a mature woman if worn with a suitable tunic top. Apparently women wear them in France with tunics, so they must still be fashionable as well.

So ladies, get a grip. Grown-ups do not wear pleggings. Don’t let your daughters wear pleggings. End of story. And don’t even talk to me about meggings. Surely this is someone’s idea of a cruel joke.

Day 216: Which Way Is Up?

There’s a lot going on at The Farm these days.

I’ve been following a Weight Watchers’ regimen for 14 days and I’ve lost six pounds, give or take a couple of ounces. Yay me! I’ve found that banning the idea of “cheating” and replacing it with “choice” has possibly been a turning point for me. If I decide — make the choice — to eat something with lots of points, I have to make up for it somewhere else. It’s as simple as that, and it’s working for me. Yay me, again.

Just when I thought I’d established a workout routine that would work for me, I lost Cooking Channel at my gym. There is a wonderful program on at 11:30 C called French Food at Home with Laura Calder that I really liked. I would stake out the reclining bike and happily pedal for 30 minutes while charming Laura made something beautiful. I don’t get the Cooking Channel at home, but that’s not really the point. This program made the 11:30 time slot at the gym a destination for me and I’m bummed. I’m going to have to pursue this tomorrow with the guys at the front desk…

Mount ToBeRead

Mount ToBeRead

I’ve been reworking some things on my blog and taking advantage of the built-in programming in Goodreads rather than reinventing the wheel in WordPress. My Mt. TBR is getting higher and higher, though. 🙂

IMG_1107We’re also getting ready for Big Band Sunday, Music Man’s annual tour de force at our church. He gathers together a group of rockin’ musicians and we play the entire worship service “big band style” — and I have to admit it’s the highlight of my church year. This year, we’ll swing for God on February 10, 2013 at Trinity United Methodist Church in Mt. Prospect. Come and join us!

Day 211: New Year’s Resolutions

I resolve to shower and dress before I go downstairs. 2012 found me in my pajamas at 4:00 in the afternoon too many days.

I resolve to wait to weigh myself until I’ve had my moment with the porcelain bowl. It makes a difference in my weight loss charting but might have been TMI to share here. I promised you honesty, though.

I resolve to use Goodreads with intention and actually write reviews. Usually I’m too eager to start the next book to take time to review the one I just finished. You can find me using the name GotMyReservations if you’re interested in what I’m reading and writing.

Seriously, folks, there are some resolutions out there on my horizon, but they’re not much different from when I started writing about retirement in June. I’m serious about weight loss and getting healthier and have two goal timelines — the trip to France in April and the wedding of my son in September. I’m still sorting and purging our stuff, even though at this point it seems as though it will take more than a year to even make a dent. On the other side of the ledger are my growth as a photographer and a writer. I’m really pleased with the changes I’ve made to Got My Reservations and the direction I’m taking with it — I hope that you are following Reservations along with Retirement 365.

I’ll leave you with a January 1 photo taken at Dawes Park in Evanston. I love the contrast between the light and dark in this photo. Happy New Year!

IMG_6432 Copyright

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.

IMG_3537

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.