More than I Want to Chew

I am, in case it hasn’t become abundantly clear, a creative type. I constantly have several projects going at once. I don’t have one major focus of interest, just swaths of creativity. I suppose “textiles” is one of those swaths, “writing” is one of those swaths, “music” is one of those swaths, “alchemy” is one of those swaths.

Did I say alchemy? I meant to say “making something out of nothing”. Whatever. Semantics.

The problem with being interested in many large categories of creative projects is that there will always be more projects than there are hours in a day.

It doesn’t happen often that I come up with a brand new kind of project, though. Most are outgrowths of others. I however, got sucked down a Pinterest rabbit hole into a new kind of craft.

In my ever present desire to use up everything I own, and subsequently, my thought that I could learn to alter my existing clothes to make them more lovable, I somehow ended up thinking that I could be the kind girl who embroiders.

I used to have a pair of cardigans, one pink and one red, each with an embellished left hand side shoulder-ish piece. I loved them until they were positively worn-out and unwearable. I got to thinking, “hey, I have a couple of cardigans I rarely wear. Maybe I could try to embellish them and turn them into faves like the pink one and the red one.”

Enter a months-long Pinterest scouring. I needed something easy, because I am not an embroiderer. I needed something vintage-y, because I wanted it to look like me. Oh, sure, I found dozens of things I loved: I saved several dozen peacock feather motifs, fabric flower tutorials. I was already imagining myself a countess in a Regency novel, embroidering while small children practiced their piano lessons and my husband whittled wooden clogs for our servants.

Then one day, the scalawags were shockingly autonomous playing Paw-Patrol/Playmobil/Playdoh (yes, all at the same time), so I grabbed the yellow cardigan, one of two I had set aside for this kind of project. I put it on. I took a yellow marker and scribbled over the areas I thought I might like to embroider the one easy/vintage motif I thought I could master.

Obviously, this attracted the attention of the scalawags, who instantly put down their toys to see why I was drawing on my clothes. I digress.

After having convinced them that I was doing nothing of any interest, I took out a green marker and started drawing the motif on the cardigan. Oh, this is fun! I told myself. And it was! Drawing on clothes is fun.

Embroidering is way less fun.

I had not yet done three stitches. I was miserable. There were no children practicing piano, there was no whittling husband. There were no servants!

Drawing on clothes is fun, but it doesn’t make me the heroine of a Regency novel.

And I hate embroidering.

I arrived quickly at a conclusion: Maybe I should have done a sample before I destroyed a yellow cardigan only to discover I hate embroidering. I didn’t spend any money expressly on this project, so I couldn’t be mad at myself about throwing money out the window, but I still felt the bitter taste of disappointment and buyer’s remorse.

I do things like this often: I dream big, only to discover that what I think I want is not at all what I want. My lack of skills never seem a deterrent while I am dreaming, but they are what will keep me from either enjoying the process or the end result.

Why is it that you always hear “Dream Big!” never, “Dream in such a way that you don’t hate yourself simply because you don’t have the adequate skills to accomplish your wildest fantasies!” ?

In any case. I forced myself to do a few more stitches. I will keep it up. A few stitches here and there in the awkward pauses of the week. If I don’t finish it by the end of the year, this project will be discarded also. At least I will have learned a little about embroidery and a little about myself.

One down…

Just a little note to celebrate that I made it through the month of January without buying any new clothes and I made it by the skin of my teeth.

I nearly bought something on Saturday afternoon, I was *this* close. So very very close. So close that if I hadn’t had a doubt about whether or not the item was on sale, I would have bought it.

But I didn’t. So, although I do not have a brand new kelly green pashmina to wear in February, I can say, that hurray, I have kept to my resolution for one whole month.

Sure, I have two pairs of boots out to be repaired and I have stood in front of my closet and my mirror and said, “ugh, I have nothing to wear.” Sure, today I hate my outfit because it is made up of a bunch of things I haven’t worn in years and don’t really go together very well. But I haven’t bought anything.

(I need to stop thinking about that exquisite kelly green pashmina. I need to stop thinking about that kelly green pashmina. MUST STOP….)

No, no, I did not just look it up to see if it was on sale. It is. Now what?

A new month is a new start. Thankfully February is a short month. I can look forward to a little celebratory post on March 1. I do like to celebrate. Plus, I have planned a real celebration if I can make it through to March 31. I am 1/3 of the way there!! Yay!!!

Singing with my Feet

I have been singing with the same group of people for ten years now. There has been a recurring joke over these last ten years that I sing with my feet.

I rather like this expression, because as a youngster, while I enjoyed very much doing musical theater, I was not terribly talented in the dance department. Sure, I could learn one single tap step to get me through playing Kathy Selden, or one little softshoe for Eliza Doolittle. I could fake it because I sang well enough to pull the wool over Mr. Sillers’ eyes.

Long story longer. Our church has a genuinely top-notch group of musicians, among whom I am proud to numbered. After the first time I got up to sing with them ten years ago, our lead pastor made the joke, to all 2500 parishoners and 8000 people across the world who watch our service online and said, “Well, now we know what it looks like for someone to sing with their feet.”

I apparently sing with my hair as well.

I hear the same joke from someone almost every week. Now, let’s be honest. Many church songs talk about dancing but most people just stand there. I don’t just stand there. I stomp my feet. I direct the band with all kinds of understandable gestures, but my feet are what set the tone.

Enter yesterday, when I was wearing those beauties up top, my El Naturalista boots. My recycled rubber soled, handcrafted in Spain. Oh, how I love those shoes.

Well, guess what. The heel of my El Naturalista handcrafted, recycled rubber soled boot flew off of my shoe and across the stage and I still had an hour to go.

Needless to say, when I go pick up the Elf Boots, I will be exchanging them for my other favorite shoes. For all the money I was supposed to be saving by not buying any clothes this year, I do seem to be spending a fortune at the shoe repair shop…

Challenge Update: Week 4

Buy Nothing/Don’t Covet

I bought nothing this week. This has been easy to get used to. I do not do moderation well. I like a nice firm limit like this, especially one that has a provable consequence.

On the other hand, I struggled all week with my little (not so little) coveting problem. It all started at church when I saw a woman wearing a mustard-colored long-sleeved t-shirt in a shape that I loved. I was reminded of how much I love that color contrasted with a fabulous turquoise necklace I got for my birthday a couple years ago.

That is one little example of a much, much, much bigger problem. This problem is cyclical and I feel helpless to tackle the problem. I wish the limit set by the command “don’t covet” was a simple as “buy nothing.” Unfortunately, it is not.

This all goes back to that bottomless pit in my heart that wants something, but since neither my heart nor my head seem to know what it is, they both seem to want everything. Everything includes mostly things that either I should not have or cannot have.


I made sure a few old faithful stand-bys would not get thrown out at the end of the year, including a pair of trousers I bought in 2004, some red jeans whose fit I don’t love but that make me happy nonetheless and some of my endless variety of black sweaters and t-shirts, which all have a different function and can be worn with different bottoms. Not all black tops are created equal!

Go-To Catalog

I added the two outfits I have worn the most this year. I have now met my goal of three casual Go-To outfits. I’ve met my casual outfit quota for the season. Yay! One goal met!

Plan Ahead and Mise en Place

This has been going well but for one small detail that I need to tweak. On Tuesday of this week I got out two outfits (unsure of what the weather held in store), which both consisted of jeans and a black top. I have yet to put away the unworn outfit. It has been taking up space our relatively small bathroom since Wednesday.

Repair and Mend, Alter When Necessary

I mended a few seams on a sweater and on a little waterproof bed liner. These relatively quick fixes helped me keep to my repairing and mending habit while feeling like I actually accomplished something. The sock darning tends to draw on for days, which can get tiresome. These little successes reminded me that it does feel good to mend little things instead of letting them get worse till they are unusable.

I mentioned those red jeans which got added to the Inventory this week? Well, I thought I would give a go at changing the fit. I had them all pinned and ready to go, but then thought better of it. I think I would rather live with their slightly wonky fit than ruin them.

I spent a nice meditative moment de-fuzzing a scarf while the scalawags listened to Neil Patrick Harris read us Henry Huggins.

I made a cute little green belt from a nightgown that I never had liked. I can’t wait for summer so that I can wear my cute new belts with some of my dresses!

Also a Neil Patrick Harris narrated initiative.

Lastly, I started an upcycling project on an old yellow cardigan. This project will surely be the object of a post in the next week, given the deep well of thoughts on the relationship between creativity and perfectionism it has elicited.


I remember now how important it is to regularly touch-base with myself. All week I had been feeling like such a failure because of my coveting issues that I hadn’t noticed what I was doing right. Failure takes up so much more mental energy than success, that if I don’t actively remember what I accomplish, it will fade into oblivion with only the shadow of failure remaining.

Pandemic Dressing

When our lockdown in France happened back in March of 2020, I started wearing wedge heeled sandals and dresses. Every. Single. Day.

I was fresh off several months of my “turn things I don’t love into things I love” Suitcase Method cure. The problem, of course, was seasons were changing: from September 2019, when I started my Reverse KonMari Suitcase Method to March 2020 when we were stuck at home, there was more sunshine and nicer temperatures, especially in our fourth floor apartment. What I had altered and figured out how to love was no longer seasonally appropriate.

But something else was happening, too. I suddenly had people at home all the time; little people who were concerned about what was happening in the world and why they couldn’t go out to play. A little switch flipped in my brain that told me I needed to make it look and feel, as much as possible, like everything was normal. Even better than normal. Whether it was for my own sanity or for theirs, this became urgent.

So every morning, I saw to it that we all got dressed and brushed our teeth. I wore heels and dresses so that I would feel like I had gotten dressed up for the occasion (even if it was just to play Play-Doh or build a pillow fort). I can honestly say that my family made it through the lockdown with a ton of great memories, and not one of them was of us staying in our pyjamas all day.

Most of all, when I picture that time, I picture my rainbow dress, the one I had not yet had the courage to wear out in public because it was one of my “I don’t love it” dresses. It is a loud, obnoxious dress. It is the least European thing I can imagine, short of an American Flag bikini. Yet I bought it because…well…I guess I thought I could pull it off.

I actually have a whole grouping of these kind of obnoxious dresses. I call them my “Look at Me!” dresses. Bright colors, graphic prints. I love to look at them in my closet, but I heretofore had not loved wearing them. Truth be told, I don’t like it when people look at me. Like reallllly don’t like it. So wearing a dress that I literally call a “Look at Me!” dress creates cacophonic dissonance in my mind. (Perhaps nearly as loud as that rainbow dress.)

“Look at Me!” shout the dresses.

Lockdown was the perfect time to wear my “Look at Me!” dresses. I don’t mind it when my scalawags and their indulgent father look at me. After a few weeks, I got used to seeing myself in those dresses. And while I came to the conclusion that the dresses wore me, and not me the dress, I was okay with it within the four walls of our apartment.

Then lockdown lifted and I had a decision to make: would I be brave enough to wear my “Look at Me!” dresses out in public and not just leave them to languish in my closet where they looked pretty on hangers?

Yes and no. As I felt my way through the newness of once again living in society, I realized that if I was going to see people I knew well, there was no way I could wear a “Look at Me!” dress. On the other hand, if I was just running errands or going to the park with little chance of seeing people I knew, I was fine with it.

The dissonance remained: whatever I thought these dresses said about me was something I didn’t want the people who knew me to hear.

It was a fascinating study about what image of myself I want to project into the world. The “Look at Me!” dresses became a kind of costume, whether inside the apartment or out. I wore them as a character who had plenty of confidence, lived in the moment. Add the petticoats I inherited from a friend last summer, I could practically rule the world with all that confidence.

The question was, and to a large extent remains, why do I not want people I know to see me as a confident person?

Enter: Gravitas, stage right.

The Suitcase Method

Itty bitty preamble: I started a Facebook group for people who want to stop shopping. If you struggle with this (hey, it’s hard!) or have some helpful experience in this, you are welcome to join!!

In my several years-long attempt to reduce the amount of stuff I own, my closet has been the area in which I have been able to see the most difference. This is for many reasons, but the most important being that its contents do not depend on any one but me. I don’t have to ask permission or negotiate before I discard anything, not like I do when I might have tried, fruitlessly, to discard, oh, I don’t know, a two sizes too small Paw Patrol tee-shirt. (Lesson learned.)

When my husband and I moved to France in 2007, we came with only four suitcases and a cat. We lived in a hotel for the first month while we looked for an apartment. I loved the simplicity of this lifestyle more than I can express. (Not to mention that someone came every day and washed the floors.)

In the summer of 2019, my family of scalawag adventurers packed up for a return visit to the US. We travelled with only as much stuff as each adult could manage, while holding a scalawag in one arm. Yes, this was the criteria: we each must be able to carry one child if necessary and navigate our suitcases with the other. There was a baby carrier involved, but in the end, we made it work.

Travelling light

I love travelling light. I love living out of a suitcase. I love having limited options. I love living beneath my means.

When we returned home from our visit to the US in 2019, I was determined to somehow bring the joy of travelling light and living out of a suitcase into my regular stash-prone life.

So, I developed something I called the Suitcase Method.

The Toddler Fashionista

When I was probably three or four years old, my aunt handed down some beautiful dresses her daughters had outgrown. For some reason or another, the offended my fashionista sensibilities and I refused to wear them. Unbeknownst to me, one summer, as she packed up my sister and myself for a month-long visit to her parents’ house in Iowa, my mother only put the dresses I did not like into the suitcase.

As my mother tells it, once I discovered the evil trick she had played on me, I stood in front of the clothes each morning with pursed lips, evaluating which of the worst possible options was the least terrible. To that end, there was a kind of ranking system within the worst possible options, and apparently I kept my Grandmother’s washing machine rocking and rolling that summer in order to meet the demands of this toddler fashionista.

The Origin of the Suitcase Method

Towards the end of our trip in 2019, my family of four squashed into a tiny little hotel room in downtown Chicago for the most intrepid three days of my life.

Two toddlers and the big city was not exactly the relaxing city adventure I had bargained for. We ate a lot of pancakes, went to a lot of parks. But if you have to be stranded with toddlers in the big city, be stranded in Chicago: the beach is an absolute fascination for them, but you can still see a skyline that makes you feel like a sophisticated urbanista.

Best possible scenario

Nonetheless, I did one thing right. I decided in advance what I would wear for those three days and I put it in my tiny little backpack. And you know what I put in my tiny little backpack? The things I didn’t love. I decided that I would learn to love those things by making amazing memories while I wore them.

And you know what? It worked.

The Suitcase Method

Once we got home, I wanted to apply this method to other clothes I didn’t love and see if I could get a few new faves out of it. This meant, however, that I couldn’t touch any of my old faves. So I did the unthinkable.

I put all my favorite things in a bin, and put them in the basement. That’s right: I reverse KonMari-ed my closet.

All that was left in my closet was the stuff I didn’t love. From there, I told myself to pick only enough clothes for a two week trip, as if I was packing a suitcase. I hung those clothes on my good hangers in the closet with the hooks backwards. For one month I was only allowed to pick from those two-weeks worth of clothes. At the end of the month, anything for which the hangers was still backwards went into a different bin in the basement to be discarded.

I did this for several months. During those months, having forced myself to wear things I didn’t necessarily love, I figured out why I didn’t love them. Some of the things were fixable…so I started to alter them. Necklines were weird or the pants gave me a wedgie. I reasoned that if I ruined the item in the process of trying to fix it, it didn’t really matter because it wasn’t something I loved anyway.

And I’ll be. I started to love a few of those unlovable things!

The Bunny of Wishful Thinking

There was a fantastic little song about a million years ago (a quick Google search revealed that I am off by only a few months in my estimation), by a group called Go West. If already you aren’t doing the Carlton and snapping your fingers, please google “King of Wishful Thinking” .

Take a quick break to listen and enjoy this photo of a happy cat in the meantime:

…I’ll pretend my ship’s not sinking…

Can we agree that this song has everything? A fun hook, a beltable melody (one I love to sing as I walk my scalawags to school, swinging our hands, crooning You made a hole in my heart! Meanwhile they, at four and five years old, are already hiding their face behind their mittens because, and I quote, Mom, you’re embarrassing us!)

What I love the most about it is the message: Hope springs eternal.

This song is why I have to give up my bunny sweater.

Truly Scrumptious

My bunny sweater is practically perfect in every way: in great condition, well made, a beautiful color, fits great, always gets compliments. Even my boys love it because it has bunnies all over it, but then randomly, right near the bottom, is one lonely kitty cat. I mean, it’s even got a little joke built right in, like a Jimmy Fallon kids’ book!

However, my bunny sweater reminds me, every time I look at it, that I have a hole in my heart. I bought it because it reminded me of a special person who used to call me Bunny. I bought it for no other reason.

Just like the blue and gray tee-shirt with the bow or the sunshine yellow scarf, this sweater reminds me of something, while maybe I don’t want to forget it, I must stop reminding myself of it.

The Sister-in-Law Precedent

Four years ago at Christmas, my usually reserved and serene sister-in-law took me into her bedroom, and in something that resembled a rage, emptied her closet of all her clothes. She said to me, “I don’t care what you do with these things, but I want you to get them out. I never want to see them again.”

My sister-in-law and I have been friends since 1997. I liked her immediately when I met her, back when we were both still on the cusp of twenty. She has a quirky sense of style and loves to play with textiles, too.

She had long-term relationship that ended badly about six years ago. That relationship produced two amazingly intelligent girls who stunned me, even when they were little, by their poise and wit.

My sister-in-law got married four years ago to a wonderful man. As she helped me and my nine-months pregnant belly stuff bags full of her clothes to get them out of her house, she seemed determined. This was urgent to her.

She carried them out to the car with me and as I closed the trunk she let out a huge sigh. She was free to start over.

Caution: Cognitive Dissonance

Clothes can carry so much meaning for us. Not all clothes, sure. Not all people, maybe. But I believe that for many of us, they are what represents us to the world; they are outward representations of an inward reality. For my sister-in-law, those clothes were infused with the stink of a relationship that caused her years of suffering. She did not want to suffer anymore, especially not as she sought to start over again with someone fabulous.

Even if the bunny sweater is truly scrumptious, it no longer represents my inner reality: I am no longer Bunny. The dissonance caused by the sweater is too loud and too painful. It must go.

So. I have decided to rehome my bunny sweater. It would give me immense joy to know that it has a good home, maybe even more joy than it gave me when I brought it home to live with me. It is very well-behaved, requires little maintenance and even likes to joke around a bit. It will make someone very, very happy.

Just not me. I don’t want to be a bunny of wishful thinking. I want to be the Queen of Contentment.

The Continuing Saga of the Elf Boots

In this photo, I was eight and a half months pregnant and could no longer tie my own shoes. I could, however, slip my feet into my Elf Boots. Man. I love those boots.

The story of Rumpelstiltskin originated in the region of France where I currently live. I mention this because the shoe repair shop where I took my Elf Boots for cobbling is so old and on a street so quaint that it could have been the inspiration for the story.

The shoe repair guy, behind his assuredly 2021 face mask, had the puffy lamb chop sideburns and ear hair I would associate quite exactly with his profession. I felt weird taking my old boots out of a shopping bag and putting them on the counter. There was still some green Play-Doh ground into the boot. I was afraid they might smell (they didn’t.)

With studied gestures he bent them in every which way, and said if he resoled them and replaced the strap on both shoes (so they match) I could get another ten to fifteen years out of them.

I knew the sole was a problem. I noticed as I put them in my shopping bag this morning that there was a deep gash in the sole in addition to the heels being almost worn out. When I noticed the gash, I nearly decided it wasn’t even worth getting them looked at.

However, I reminded myself that there would be no pretty new pair of brown suede boots arriving from the Amazon man in 2021, even though before Christmas I had added several pairs to my wishlist. It was either take them to find out the cost of repair or have no boots.

So my newly minted four-year-old scalawag and I set out on our Rumpelstiltskin seeking adventure.

Ten to fifteen years is a long time. I have already had these shoes for eight years. I realize that my affection for them has not ever waned over these last eight years and I do really want them around for ten to fifteen more.

The boots have cost me about ten bucks per year up until now. Getting them fixed will indeed cost less than buying new ones, certainly less than the pretty ones on my wishlist. Certainly, it is an investment. But I don’t believe that anything the Amazon man, were he to try to darken my doorway, would bring me could make me as happy as these shoes do.

The Elf Boots, therefore, are in the care of Rumpelstiltskin and his wife.

As he was writing up the ticket, Rumpelstiltskin said, “Not a lot of people fix their shoes anymore. They’re always moving on to something new. These are beautiful boots. We’ll make them better than new.” I almost teared up.

Challenge Update: Week Three

Buy Nothing and Don’t Covet

I bought nothing this week. Not even any supplies to make my mending easier. Yay me.

I coveted quantifiably less this week. I mean, wow, a lot less. On almost every front.

I had sense of pleasure and pride at the little alterations I have accomplished since the beginning of the year to make me love what I already own. I was so happy that I remembered to take pictures of the various phases of the work, because I could look at them and remind myself that I really do love what I own.

However, I had a moment this week where I felt an urge, a deep deep longing in the pit of my soul for something. I could not even put my finger on what I wanted. I can’t say that it was coveting per se, because it wasn’t for anything in particular. It was just a deep feeling of being incomplete. It sucked and under normal conditions a little something new might have scratched that itch.

The discomfort did eventually pass, but because I had to fully experience the ache, I’m still a bit dizzy from the whole thing.


I added a few oldies but goodies in the Pantheon of Legends, replete with their photos and all their stats. There is one item I added, something I have owned for a while, for which I have extremely complicated feelings. I am going to need to tease out those feelings before I decide if I need to discard it.

The sweater, a sweet teal number with little white bunnies hopping gleefully across it, was purchased at a time when I was at my least virtuous. I had very specific reasons for buying it, reasons which, the more I think about, the more my heart aches.

Adorable sweater that breaks my heart.

I would like to be brave enough to just discard it but those emotional ties that bind sometimes seem to find us clinging to something that hurts.

Sometimes, feeling something, even something unpleasant, is better than feeling nothing at all. I’m not sure the KonMari Method has a provision for that.

I didn’t expect it to be a bunny sweater that would start the dredging dredging of the junk from the depths of my heart. But here we are.

Go-To Catalog

Nothing new to report here. I was not creative in this domain this week. I’ve got time, I tell myself as January draws to a close. Plenty of time.

Plan Ahead and Mise en Place

With the exception of one night where I was up till all hours baking a smurf-blue birthday cake for a four-year-old scalawag, I planned ahead and was glad for it. On the morning of the birthday, I ended up getting blue frosting over all my clothes from the night before anyway, so I had a good excuse to stand in front of my closet and whine that I had nothing to wear.

A birthday cake that turned me into people people.

Repair and Mend, Alter When Necessary

Lots of mending this week! I fixed a burgeoning hole on a cheap Target tank I bought in 2007, I fixed an armpit hole in one of the indulgent husband’s sweater. I basted a knee hole in the same indulgent husband’s “home jeans.”

I did a temporary repair job using iron-on patches for the scalawags’ favorite camouflage pants. I still need to stitch it on better, because after one wash it already started to come off, and this makes it look like stickers and stickers are fun to peal off. (Or are they?)

I did some sleeve alterations on a dress I bought in 2019 which I love but rarely wore because the sleeves were frumpy. I started shortening some sleeves on a jacket that I’d been rolling the sleeves up on forever.

As Scarlet O’Hara, I am ever the fan of a green dress.


This week was all about the feelings. I knew it was going to happen eventually, which was why I was keeping the Challenge a secret from the people I live with. I did not expect to be three weeks into January and be craving so profoundly or flagellating myself for my inability to cut ties to a less-than-virtuous period of my life.

The big question for me is: what in the world would have satisfied that longing I felt earlier this week?

The Saga of the Elf Boots

In 2020, I would never have even given this situation a passing thought.

OK, maybe I would have, but only because the object of the decision is something to which I have a little bit of an emotional attachment.

It might be helpful for me to explain what is going on, huh?

As you know, I have made a commitment to purchase no new clothes, shoes or accessories in 2021.

Cue complication: Just yesterday, one of my favorite little brown suede boots which I call affectionately my “elf boots”, broke. It’s the second time this has happened: one of the leather straps broke when I was pregnant in 2016. I just pulled a little tighter and made a new hole. This time, even that workaround popped.

Not to mention that the heels are nearly worn off, which is making them slightly less comfortable to wear for long periods.

I do not own a lot of shoes. I purchased these shoes for more money than I usually spend on shoes, because at my place of employment, where I worked pre-scalawag, I had been given a cash-equivalent gift card and esteemed that I really could use that gift to afford these nice boots, which can be worn two ways (floppy like an elf or upright like Robin Hood) and which I genuinely loved them. These boots are from 2013. I still love them as much as I did then.

Pre-scalawag, I worked at a radio station and talked on-air about the saleslady who helped me choose the shoes. She was amazingly helpful, which, let me assure you, is a rare thing in France. I made the point to my co-host that good client service costs nothing but means everything. That comment got tons of feedback from listeners and started a little “random acts of kindness” movement in town. That is my emotional attachment to these shoes: they remind me of a great part of my pre-scalawag professional life.

These shoes are now almost unwearable but they still bring me joy!

So what do I do? I have always heard that nowadays it costs more to get shoes repaired than it does to buy new, but anyway, I can’t buy new, 2021 resolution oblige. So I either discard them, or I find out how much it will cost to get them repaired.

I am not thrilled with the idea of trudging across town to a shoe repair shop, especially when my hours sans-scalawag are already short, only to find that it will cost a small fortune to get the shoes repaired.

I have set a sum in my mind as the absolute maximum I would be willing to spend on these boots to get them fixed. I guess I just need to get up the drive to do my trudging.

More to come in the saga of the elf boots…