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Tuesday
Oct082019

Shoes Are Dumb

There are two ways it could have gone.

Some little girls have closets filled with shoes. New pairs replaces the old pairs the second they become a bit small. All of the colors of the rainbow wind their way through the collection and each pair serves a very special purpose. I'm not sure what happens when those little girls grow up. Do they still love to pick out all different styles and colors of shoes? Probably, I guess. Maybe those little girls grow up to be the women who ransack the clearance section and declare victory when they find a $200 pair of designer shoes marked down to $50.

Other little girls have one pair of shoes. That pair has to work for everything from gym class to church, or maybe they're lucky enough to have a pair of jelly shoes and a pair of inexpensive tennis shoes. Those little girls sometimes grow up to just not care about shoes. They are utilitarian and why would you spend money on something so boring? Why would you need a red pair of pumps? Why buy expensive running shoes when cheap ones serve the same purpose? Basic black flats work for everything. But it could go that second way. There is always the possibility that the little girl who didn't have shoes will grow up to be someone who considers shoes an investment. They buy all of the shoes and join that stranger in the clearance section.

Except it definitely didn't turn out that way. The story definitely took a turn towards utilitarian.

I can prove it. Open a closet. Any closet. You'll find that I own maybe 3 or 4 pairs of shoes (not counting $1 Old Navy flip-flops, because those absolutely don't count as shoes) and they all look basically the same. Black will do, thank you very much. It goes with everything. There is a single pair of tennis shoes that have been around the block about 4000 times even they were less than $10 because the Target clearance rack is the happiest place on earth. Cheap shoes last just as long as the good ones, you know. It makes no sense to spend real money on shoes, even if I can. There are more important things.

For real. I. Don't. Care. About. Shoes. It baffles me that I have two daughters who very much so care about shoes. I just ... don't. Where they learned to care is a mystery. Alexis has used her own money to buy $100+ Nikes, a thing I would NEVER EVER EVER EVER EVER do. I can buy 5 or 6 pairs of shoes for that much. Easily.

Whatever. It goes both ways. Some people spend money on shoes. Others don't.

But then about a month ago I sort of spent money on a pair of shoes. I had an unexpected work outing that required tennis shoes instead of my usual basic black flats. I didn't have time to run home to grab the old ones, so I ran to a store and bought a new pair. It was definitely a thing that was way past due, so whatever. I dropped $30 on a pair of Nike tennis shoes at TJMaxx.

Which, that's a LOT. It is very literally the most I've ever spent on a pair of shoes. Seriously. It's completely crazy to me to spend that much. COMPLETELY crazy. And I still don't care about shoes.

And then Alexis borrowed said shoes. She didn't ask first - she saw them sitting unattended and thought she could sneaky wear them without me knowing. She probably could have too, except that she has smaller feet than me (though, she has outgrown the leprechaun feet thing FINALLY). They're just enough smaller that she tightened the laces to a point that I wouldn't, so I knew. I KNEW.

And I lost it. I totally and completely lost my cool because my kid touched my shoes. The most expensive shoes I've ever owned. The ones that I SWEAR I DON'T CARE ABOUT BUT MAYBE I DO BECAUSE WHY DID I FLIP OUT?

Anyway.

Sometimes we outgrow the world that raised us. Sometimes it stays tucked deep beneath the surface, just waiting for a pair of shoes to bring it to the surface.

Monday
Oct072019

Feeling the Incredible Vibe

I think it's safe to say that Mila doesn't give a hoot how busy October is with work stuff, she's expecting that my time will be spent decorating for Halloween. All of it. Every minute of every day should be spent decorating. Why aren't there 400 spiders creeping all over the front of the house yet, MOM? Get on it, MOM. MORE DECORATIONS NOW, MOM.

She's assertive, that's for sure. It's especially jarring given that the kid is roughly the size of a housefly. Does the Napoleon complex strike in kindergarten? Because I think it might.

ANYWAY. This weekend I made a trip to Target, which means I was required to scoop up a whole bunch of new Halloween decorations. That's on top of the piles of them I already had which are still in storage tubs in our dining room. By the end of the day Saturday, Mila had ALL of it drug out all over the floor and was demanding answers. "Where does this go?" "Why isn't this outside?" "Are you ever going to make yourself useful and spook up this place or what?"

I spooked up the place a little bit. It wasn't nearly as much as Mila wanted, but I think a 25-foot tall spider web and ten more spiders should be enough to make her little Halloweenie self happy. It wasn't, but whatever. I made up for it by fixing the lights on one of the ghost lanterns.

I really do have a lot of Halloween decorations, in case you couldn't tell.

As the weekend came to a close, Mila was outside helping me finish off a few details. I was standing at the top of a 16' tall ladder carefully placing a spider in a web when I glanced down to see Miss Mila. She was standing with her hands on her hips, mouth pursed, carefully examining my work. She was creating a work of art in her head, and I wasn't quite on the right path. It was in that moment, right then and there, that I saw it.

Mila is Edna.

Image result for edna incrediblesIMG_4129

Sunday
Oct062019

Not a Pumpkin Bar or a Pumpkin Pie, Exactly

Alexis, she who is obsessed with all things pumpkin spice, requested a pumpkin dessert that was somewhere between cake and pie. I CAN DO THAT.

IMG_4603

This isn't quite a pumpkin bar/cake because it has waaaaay extra pumpkin puree. It's also not quite a pie filling because HELLO, FLOUR. It exists in the space between and does a fantastic job of making people happy while it's in the middle.

Thanks for asking for a good idea, Alexis. Well done.

Alexis' Pumpkin Dream

1 40-oz can pumpkin puree
4 eggs
1/2 cup butter, melted
2 cups granulated sugar
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
Cream cheese frosting or whipped cream

1. Preheat the oven to 350°. Thoroughly coat a 9x13" glass baking dish with butter and set aside.

2. In a large bowl, stir together the pumpkin, eggs, butter, and sugar. Add in the dry ingredients and stir some more.

3. Pour the batter into the prepared baking dish. Bake at 350° for 30-40 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

4. Allow to cool then frost with cream cheese frosting or top with whipped cream. I personally prefer the frosting option and am a big fan of the recipe over here, but I won't judge you if you go for an instant solution.

Okay. I will, actually. I will judge you a tiny bit because homemade frosting runs circles around all things instant and is absolutely worth the 30 seconds it takes to make it. Thus, I will judge you as a person who chooses time over taste, which I can respect.