Archive for the ‘Fashion’ Category

Out with Camping, In With … Uh…..?

April 23, 2017

One day in September, 2004 I was driving along a busy road outside of town and spotted a camp trailer sitting near an intersection with a ‘For Sale’ sign on it. I pulled over and peeked in the windows, wrote down the phone number and then hammered David through that evening and the next day, Honey, we just have to buy that trailer! It was no ordinary trailer. It was an extraordinary retro 1974 Bell 16’camp trailer, small enough that surely David could pull it with his 4-Runner. Sure, we could afford something bigger and newer, but I had spotted the trailer I wanted.

By the end of the next day, for 1500 bucks, it was ours! Of course, it needed some work. Like, rewiring, new plumbing, it didn’t even have a rack to hold the propane tanks. (What propane tanks?) Uh, did I mention the upholstery on the fold out bed was in complete tatters? Okay, no worries, I just dropped it off at the Local RV repair shop, Eagle Rock RV, and they kept it for a week or so and fixed it all up! ‘Ka-ching!’ (doubled the investment). I had the fold out bed reupholstered as well. Ready to go! Except it was too late in the year now to go camping. So we rented a storage space for $300.00/year.

Camper in storage, isn’t it a beauty?

When we pulled it out the next summer, we discovered that maybe it had some leaks too. My hubby wasn’t too thrilled with that news, but my sister Lisa’s husband Tom climbed up and sealed every window, sealed every seam on the whole thing, so David wouldn’t be so mad at me and my insistence on having this camper in the first place.

To be honest, getting ready to go camping for the weekend is a big project. First you pull the thing out of storage into your driveway. Then you check that everything works, the battery, the pump, stove, furnace, the tail lights and blinkers, check the tires, check for plumbing leaks… fill the propane tanks, fill the water tank with your hose, stock the camper with food and bedding, extra table, folding chairs, grill, firewood, clothes, flashlights and bug spray – don’t forget the flashlights and bug spray! Oh, and boy scout fluid to light the campfire…

We’re ready to go!

Ready to hit the road!

Our favorite camping spot was Garden Creek Campground on the Big Lost River off of Trail Creek Road, about 20 miles beyond Mackey off Highway 93. We must have camped there 4-5 times, over the past 12 years. We’d always go with my brother Eric because he knows about every possible camping, hiking or fishing spot within a 200-mile radius of Idaho Falls. We’re on highway 93 now going north toward Mackay – with Eric’s rig behind us

Eric in our rear view mirror

We’d set up camp, unhitch the trailer and take off in the truck looking for a trail head to some obscure lake Eric had in mind.

Once we got a flat along the way:

David/Eric manly-man-team

But we enjoyed so many fantastic views just getting to the trail heads in the wilds

Corruption Mountain

Some Lakes you will only get to if you are already camping in the wilds..

Eric at Merriam Lake

Pulling out of Garden Creek campground now:

The Lost River Range is sprawled out in front of us as we head back to 93 on Trail Creek Road

Lost River Range

Megan went camping with us once. Uh, maybe twice. She doesn’t like bugs. She camped with us behind Pond’s lodge up in Island Park in September 2009. We parked our camper next to Eric’s. The view out our doorway was quite unique…

What’s with that cabin? Did a tornado blow through here?

We were camping only about 30 paces from the front door to the restaurant in the Lodge where we ate all our meals. Now that’s camping in style!

Plus we had cell phone coverage outside the camper:

Megan camping

We drove to the top of Mount Sawtelle where it was very windy. I thought the wind might blow Rudy right off:

Rudy on top of Sawtelle in Island Park

My sister Lisa and her husband Tom love to camp and fish. We met them a couple of times up near Island Park. Except they found even more remote campgrounds than we did and had to tie their food up high in the trees to keep from attracting bears. They have endless wild camping stories. We hiked up to Blair Lake with them –

Blair Lake

Megan and Rudy led the way back:

Hiking back from Blair Lake, September 2009

Of course, there’s always a huge mess to clean up after a weekend camping trip.

Who’s cleaning it up?

And to be honest, in the past 12 1/2 years we probably only went camping 10-12 times. About one weekend a summer. So out of the last 12 1/2 years we were camping maybe 25 days… the camper sat in storage 4500 days. We didn’t take it out at all last summer.

So when the $300.00 storage bill came due the first of April, David said, hey, I want to sell the camper. Awwwwww. Okay. It’s time…

We hauled it out of storage and checked everything out. It all works! What a great camper. You see, the fridge just uses block ice, and the bathroom… a porta potty. The furnace doesn’t have a blower, so there isn’t much in that camper that can break down.

I took photos of its exquisite interior. Everything is original except the curtains and the bench I had reupholstered. Love the double sinks and all that kitchen counter space!

Well, I posted it for sale on Craig’s list $2000 firm, and got a call that very day. A young lady, Elisa, with a couple of small children came by to see the camper. First thing she did was to check the outside windows and seams to make sure the camper was sealed. Tom had done a great job on that.

I’ll take it! She said, and wrote us a check for the full price.

I’ve been looking for a camper like this since last January! she said. I bought another vintage camper for 900 bucks from a relative. Bought linoleum for it. Was going to fix it all up, but found out it was all rotted out because of water leaks. I’m a glamper! You know what that is, don’t you? You know what glamping is?

I acted like I sorta did know.

I’ve even bought the chandelier! she said. I have flags!


I Googled it – and found a couple of links of glamping and glampers on Pinterest.

I took a couple of (crappy) photos from Pinterest with my i-phone (couldn’t figure out how to download them) just to give you a teaser…(come on males, I know you’re interested now):

And here’s one more link with more spectacular glamper/glamping ideas!

It was great to sell the camper to Elisa who loved it at least as much as I did. Gushed over the color, the original lamp shades, the whole early 70’s vintage thing. Even loved the bathroom space with porta potty.

Here’s looking at you, kid

I don’t know about you, but I’m seeing a small chandelier above that porta potty. Puffy ruffly print curtains. Some flags for sure. There’s probably room for several shelves with flower arrangements and such, too.

Who would have thought all along we could have done such glamorous camping? Glamping in our vintage trailer! That works, actually, if you park your glamper behind a restaurant and lodge.

Get to Your Eye Appointment!

March 31, 2017

Three years have passed since I got my last pair of glasses. I decided maybe it was time to visit the optometrist, have my vision checked, and consider getting new glasses. Of course in terms of pleasure or motivation, visiting the eye doc ranks second to say, getting a root canal. Short of walking around in a blur or in a constant corrective squint, suffering from double vision, or enduring stinging or throbbing eyeballs, who would willingly schedule a visit with the eye doc?

To begin with, there’s the mandatory ‘puff of air’ eye test where you plant your chin on a machine and position your eye a toothpick’s width away from the source of the pressurized puff, then hold your eye wide open to receive the spontaneous blast of air thrust directly onto your eyeball, startling you off your seat, first the left eyeball, and then, before you can gather your bearings, ‘Poof!’ the assault to the right eyeball. The puff of air holds the unique distinction of traumatizing nearly every civilized human being from early childhood through adulthood, a test you can’t get out of no matter the excuse, unless you have fallen into cardiac arrest, because the puff of air checks eye pressure. And then there’s the eye drops, which you can’t get out of either, however, if fast enough, you can slam your eyes shut so the drops hit sealed lids, sabotaging the drops’ ability to penetrate and dilate your pupils. (I learned this from one of our kids.)

They’ve come up with a new test, I learned at my visit this past week, involving a machine that measures your peripheral vision. Per the usual optical assessment machine, you set your chin in the fixed metal chin support and affix your eye on the vision field while holding a clicking device. Once you are in position the technician alerts you that the test has started. A feint blob of pale squiggly lines appears at random places and time intervals on the screen and every time you see it you hit the clicker. All set up and ready to go, I was suddenly afflicted with a nose itch so intense I wanted to yell “Abort!” and pull away to engage in a scratch-and-rub orgy with my left nostril. But the technician has already declared, “The test has started!” and I’m scrambling to get up to speed blurting out loud that I have a nose itch, to no avail. Blood pressure rises as I manage the distraction of the itch against the task of clicking at what I perceive to be the sight of this feint blob of squiggly lines popping up on the screen, sometimes not peripherally, but in the middle of the screen, hey isn’t this a peripheral vision test? Mind overload here. Need to scratch my nose!

I managed to pass the peripheral vision test while also confirming my inability to multitask with a nose itch. This same phenomenon occurs when I’m in the dentist chair. I can hardly hold my mouth open, coping with a nose itch. To my hygienist’s credit, she allows me at first signals of distress to raise upright from my dental cleaning position to scratch my nose. The nose itch phenomenon occurs nearly every time I get my teeth cleaned.

Have you ever considered the bedside manner of your optometrist? Exactly. No you haven’t. Your optician or optometrist is at the other end of the optical machine flipping incremental vision correction lenses or some such thing. The conversation goes like this:

Which is clearer, 1 or 2?
3 or 4?
3 or 4?
I think 4
5 or 6?
5 … maybe
7 or 8?
9 or 10? Tell me when they look the same
They look the same! (all the while wondering how much your answers have screwed up your glasses prescription and when you can be done so you can scratch your nose.)

I’m happy to report that after all was said and done the tests revealed relatively good news, that is, my long distance vision got a little worse, enough as to warrant a new pair of glasses, but hardly significant since I’ve been legally blind since grade school anyway. Since the biggest E on the sight chart is only readable to me without my glasses at 6 feet away, my distance vision appears to be about 20/800 meaning, without my glasses I can see at 20 feet what a normal 20/20 sighted person can see at 800 feet. Plus I have stage 1 cataracts that appear not to have worsened over the past three years, plus various peripheral specks and floaters and whatnot, ‘incident to age’.

So yeah, I got the drops. Two installments. I know my enormous black pupils probably weren’t bulging out of my eye sockets but my brain had me convinced they were. I tried to go trendy on my new frames, you know, large, round, dark purple or maybe dark red plastic frames like what Meryl Streep wears to the Oscars. Boy did they look ridiculous on me. Maybe I need the glittery gown, hairdo, stage, and jewels to complete the look.

But hey, driving home in those dark plastic disposable sunglasses you have to wear to protect your super-light-sensitive dilated pupils?

I was cruising down Hollywood Boulevard.

Gotta Get Me Some of That! Uh, Maybe Not…

April 1, 2012

So I get back from Kauai, back into my winter wardrobe, and, uh, my thighs and butt … and waist and crotch … are not happy inside my jeans.


During that ten day vacation in Kauai I obviously put on a few pounds. Four pounds? Five? Dang it! As if facing at least 8 more weeks of winter weather doesn’t offer enough post-vacation angst, now I can only get into two pairs of the eight or so pairs of jeans hanging in my closet. – The second pair, when I put them on, I have to do 20 squats in several directions before I can move in them, and can only hope for ‘comfortable’ by the third day of fasting and wear.

Shop for new jeans! That’s what I’ll do! But I’ll be smart about it this time and research the latest styles/trends in jeans on the internet, before I buy anything.

Uh, check this out! A ‘Good Housekeeping’ site gushing with ‘Timeless Beauty Secrets’:


And practical advice. Find the best jeans for your body type!

Because, be honest here, how many pairs of jeans do you have stuffed in your closet and dresser drawers that you haven’t worn in, uh, – you can’t even remember the last time you wore them – because every pair possesses some quality that renders it ‘off’, out of style, ill fitting, dorky, or just … something?

For starters, say your body is a pear shape. If you’ve had jeans that were too tight, too tapered and ‘tucked into chunky clunky boots” (per article above) then you should opt for the contour cut – which is higher in the back. Also spring for tone on tone stitching that creates a long lean line (and per example of the very slightly pear shaped model displaying ‘Jeans by Cookie Johnson,’ carry a large tote bag).

Say your behind is ‘flat as a board” and you want a cute booty. Or you have wide hips. You end up wearing low-slung styles to fit your hips and, frankly, “you are sick of flashing cheek cleavage.” (I’m telling you, this article nails the facts.) With thick thighs your jeans are ‘sausage-casing snug’ with “lots of unsightly creasing at the crotch.”

Yeah, unsightly creasing at the crotch. My crotch has been creasing unsightly ever since our return home from Paradise.

You have a ‘curvy caboose?” CAUTION! “Pockets spaced far apart broaden any butt.”

‘Mushy middle?’ Read all about it! “Unflattering Super-Skinny Cut Creates Major Muffin-Top Trouble.”

On a quest now for new jeans, I head to the mall. Hmmm… butts do seem to be the thing this year. Check out these latest fashion faves:

Sparkly butts are clearly the thing

The more bling, glitter, and swirls on the pockets the better!

Dillards gives shoppers a special look at blingy fashion jeans for women

on a ‘flat butted’ mannequin? Not a cute booty with these jeans on! Pockets too low here? Too wide? Too far apart? Come on, Dillards. Can’t you offer something more inspiring than this?

Yeah, yeah. Nice try. All women know what size we really are and that size twelve is the new size 8.

I did snatch up these ‘pajama’ jeans, with spandex.

When I put them on, I realized it’s the long blonde hair extensions that make the look. The pants snag my hips on the way up, but once I have them on they stretch and stretch and stretch along with my expanding gelatinous belly as I slouch in our couch at home wolfing down popcorn and Ghirardelli Chocolates in front of the TV.

Honestly, I can’t quite yet bring myself to spring for a pair of the latest trendy glittery-butt jeans. Because then I’d have to find a matching pair of glitzy trendy shoes to wear with them. There are about a million choices in stores today, all of them clones to these:

Yeah, well maybe all of this ‘best jeans for your body type’ is just a bunch of hooey. Does anyone ever think about their body type when buying jeans? Don’t we just pull them on and if we can fasten them while sucking our intestines into softball size while standing in front of a mirror and if for those few seconds we can still breathe and the jeans seem like they fit, why that settles it – we’ll buy ’em. Why complicate the process?

This is where my thoughts were going on the subject, anyway. That is, until last Tuesday when I was sitting in a doctor’s waiting room and another patient arrived. She stood for five minutes talking to the receptionist. To say she ‘jarred’ my memory about the Good Housekeeping Article on jeans for your body type would be a gross understatement

“gross’ being the operative word here. Here you get to see, my dear reader, a live, very chatty, obtuse human being demonstrating in fullest measure what happens when you spring for low-slung style jeans to fit your hips and flash your cheek cleavage. The article didn’t say anything about full moons. And it left out some additional advice: after you’ve tried on your jeans, go stand in one of those five way mirrors, loosen your belt, maybe do a couple squats, and then scope out your butt cleavage. Would glitter, beads, guilded medallions or sparkly swirls have made this scene any easier to bear?

Trends in footwear

May 5, 2010

Trend alert! What will you be wearing on your feet this summer? Okay, so you’ve dragged out and assessed your last year’s summer shoe assortment. How dreary is it? Any of them downright smelly? Let me guess … Some shoes never did fit right, or were clunky, or impractical, or were just something, because you never wore them. Are you gonna get rid of a few pairs? Buy some new replacements for the new summer you?

When walking the mall, shopping for shoes, you might want to be mindful of, um, how much your thighs are jiggling underneath your shorts and whether you should spring for a pair of FitFlops. Because, hey! They tone and tighten your legs with every step! And they have eye-catching details like sequins and patent leather. Shop to it!

Then there’s these OKA b. shoes and sandals that were suggested in Parade Magazine as a gift for Mother’s Day. They are antimicrobial, (Really? Is that possible with anything outside of a bubble?) slip-resistant (pertinent if you wear one), and recyclable (As wall insulation?). Okay so they are made of poly vinyl chloride – which is made from salt and fossil fuel, which, well, we have plenty of that floating around now don’t we? Anyway, Soothing massage beads comfort your feet with every step. (Now your feet jiggle too?) And they’re washable – you can wash most styles on the top rack in the dishwasher. (Next to the glasses. Except then you might not want to use the glasses.)

Additionally, to avoid becoming a total fitness flop, you might consider the Skecher’s shape-ups for women and men. And let them work their magic – all you do is put them on and, well, walk, I suppose. They purportedly improve posture, strengthen the back, firm the buttocks muscles, tone and firm the thigh muscles, firm the calf muscles, improve blood circulation, tighten abdominal muscles, reduce knee joint stress, smooth out neck wrinkles, and eliminate multiple chins. Okay so I added the bit about the neck wrinkles and chins. What would be the point of toning all that other stuff when mostly what I look at in the mirror is my sagging face, excess chin(s) and crinkly neck? These shape-ups are all well and good, but is there some contraption I can wear on my head to produce a face lift while I watch, say, an instant download from Netflix?

Another shoe option would be one of the fine selections from Merrell. They’re super feet-friendly, and come in unique styles. You can actually walk reasonable distances in them, from my experience. That’s why when I found a pair in my size at a super sale price last winter I snatched it up. I was sure I’d be wearing them come spring. Here you see them:

The beauty of these shoes is that when you put them on they compel you to go bowling – Great! – because bowling involves exercise! Except, I don’t bowl. Even if these shoes do save me a few bucks shoe-rental fee at the bowling alley, I believe I will never advance ten feet beyond my bedroom with them on. They ruin your posture as you walk in them, staring at your feet. I think I’ve pinpointed the ‘something’ that keeps me from wearing these shoes. It’s called “extreme ugliness.” Even my inner 15-year-old has branded them butt ugly.

That about wraps up my blog on trends in footwear. Oh, except I do have a pair of slippers that might interest you. The beauty of these lies in their facility for multitasking. You can accomplish so many things at once while wearing them:

First, you have to curl your toes to keep them on, which strengthens your feet and stretches your heel cords. Second, you can glide them along smooth floor surfaces to exercise your legs and improve balance, while trapping dust bunnies. And thirdly, and most importantly, at the same time you are exercising and cleaning the house, you can yak on your cell phone to your heart’s content – to your BFF, or sister, or whomever you like.

If and when you soil the dust mops on the bottoms you can just rip them off and toss them in the wash. This builds hand strength and works the tendons and muscles up to you armpits.

So what are you waiting for? Shop it up.

Work it out. Buy a pair shape-ups. Or FitFlops. Or footsie dust mops.

Or wear stilettos. Keeping upright on them is a whole body experience.

Me? I’m going to chase after dust bunnies in those slipper genies when I’m at home. And keep my cell phone charged.

And I might take up bowling. Either that, or get rid of those Merrell’s.

Try to keep myself from becoming an unfit fop.