Powerful Women in Painful Shoes

A slim majority of sanity and competence has returned to Washington: it’s time to put on some sensible shoes.

Among all the moving pageantry, the affirming speeches, the solemn moments, and, after the horrifying events of January 6, the enormous relief of January 20, one small, arguably trivial detail stuck in my mind: high-heeled shoes.

Why should Dr. Jill Biden have to walk down 15th street to the White House in pointy-toe, high-heeled shoes (and then wait awkwardly with President Biden for someone to open the door – they finally had to open it themselves – whoever fumbled that one is looking for a new job, I suspect).

Sure, the shoes were lovely, matching Dr. Biden’s stunning blue inaugural ensemble, but all I could think of was, “damn, her feet must be killing her.”

Ditto Vice President Harris, elegant in purple, perched on what appeared to be patent leather pumps with 4 inch heels.

And Speaker Pelosi, who has made a habit of high heels for as long as I can remember – this is a woman of mature, one might even say advanced, years, and yet somehow she still feels compelled to put on those painful, pointy, pin-heeled pumps.

I was never a fan of former President George W. Bush, but I always liked Laura. And leave it to a librarian to set the example of sensible, flat shoes.

To her credit, former Secretary of State Hilary Clinton appeared to be wearing low heeled, warm winter boots.

I couldn’t really get a sense of Michelle Obama’s shoes, but that pantsuit with the long coat was stunning–and sensible.

All of these women worked tirelessly for years to earn their degrees, their positions, and the respect they are owed for their accomplishments (in contrast to a certain recently-departed-from-Washington stiletto-wearing woman who seems to have gained her place primarily by allowing herself to be photographed being beautiful while dressed in not much more than stilettos–and for marrying an utterly repugnant man.)

Let’s celebrate brains, not bunions. There’s too much important work to do, and to do quickly, to waste any time mincing around on tippy-toe.

Plus, it’s hard to run for cover in heels. Here’s hoping that tragic shitshow never happens again.

Feeling fit and fine in flats, I remain,

your “embracing-my-“maturity”-in-sensible-shoes,


The Isolation Age: Masked Ingenuity

There had to be a way to remove that drawer. I WOULD NOT GIVE UP.

My brother the scientist mailed me two high quality masks, one for me and one for Angelic Daughter, back in March. Two regular surgical style masks, and two sealed in plastic coverings, that supposedly block pathogens on the inhale, as well as the exhale. Their labels say they expired in 2015, but hey, under the circumstances, who cares?

At first I was afraid of the mask police. I didn’t want to wear those very recognizable blue/green surgical masks, because I was afraid of being berated in public by someone who thought I should have donated the mask to medical workers. I felt guilty. Why should I have a mask to wear when doctors and nurses are DYING because they don’t have them?

But these weren’t the N95 masks that are supposed to protect medical workers in addition to patients. They were just ordinary medical masks, and after a few weeks I noticed everyone was wearing them and no one was giving anyone crap about them.

I started with the regular surgical mask, with an added t-shirt made mask on top, tied with bows (adorable!) tightly around my head, sealing the underlying surgical mask closer to my face.

Those masks are supposed to be disposed of after one  use, but I hung mine up after each wearing, to air out and (I hoped) rid itself of any nasties it picked up while I was out grocery shopping. But that flimsy thing had reached its limit, so I was going to break into that allegedy anti-viral mask.

I had tossed the envelope into the big bottom file drawer of the desk with the hutch that I splurged on, knowing the moment I saw it online that the green of it would match the willow green of my Bulgarian built kitchen cabinets. I just crammed it in the back, behind the files, and left it there, for a rainy day, when the mask police might back off and the ordinary mask wore out.

And then that envelope slipped behind the back of the drawer, and I couldn’t reach it.


OK, there HAS to be a way to remove these drawers. I WILL NOT GIVE  UP. Rubbery thingees on the side of the rails that the drawers run in and out on – ok, that must be something. Press down. YES! That seems to get one side past the rail stop thingee that keeps the drawer from falling out of the desk.

But WTF? It didn’t work on the other side.

I jury-rigged a number of tools that I thought would help me drag that envelope back up out of the void behind the drawer, most involving coat hangers and duct tape, but none of them worked.


OK, think, Annie. There HAS to be a way to remove that drawer. Back to rubbery bendy things in the rails that support the drawers.

AHA! One goes up, but the other goes DOWN! Oh, you diabolical bastards! You WILL NOT DEFEAT ME! I figgered it out! Press down on one side, up on the other, and VOILA! The drawer lock stop thingee is defeated – the drawer pulls out far enough for me to see behind it and reach my tiny child-sized hands back in there to grab the envelope and retrieve those high quality masks. HA! DID IT! MOMMY WINS AGAIN!

I wanted those masks because I had to go to the garden center to get the plants my scientist brother, my sister-in-law, Angelic Daughter and I traditionally plant on my parent’s graves on Memorial Day Weekend, and the fuchsia basket for Mike’s grave. And I was damned if I was going to go to a garden center on the Friday before Memorial Day when there was a good chance of encountering someone without a mask, or wearing a mask that didn’t cover their noses.

I got the geraniums and the sweet alyssum and some kind of blue impatiens that aren’t the right kind of bluey-purpley flower we usually get, but it was crowded and Angelic Daughter was waiting patiently in the car, so I had to get out of there.  We headed out to plant on Friday afternoon, on behalf of ourselves and my brothers and me on my parent’s grave. Angelic Daughter carefully placed the flag for Dad,


and on the way  home, we hung a fuchsia like this by Mike’s grave:



I didn’t cry this time, like I usually do. That came today, and I’ll inflict my writing about it on you tomorrow. Until then, I remain,

Your never-give-up, no-retreat-baby-no-surrender (hey I’ll add that to my bouncy playlist stat, how could I forget that one?), looking forward to mask free shopping someday,


Image by DoomSlayer from Pixabay

Who Are You and What Have You Done with Anne?

Awright, pity party’s over. Nothing to see here. Move along. Weepy Wanda has received her walkin’ papers.

Resilience is all around me today, and I’m grateful to have a house on a large lot with too-long grass dotted with dandelions. A single lavender tulip has suddenly appeared in the front garden, joining widely spaced double daffodils and hyacinth:



The ferns and hostas I transplanted from Mom’s house twenty years ago have gone from zero to 8 inches in a day, it seems. The fuchsia I brought inside last fall has miraculously survived, hanging on a hook above the breezeway radiator. I just hung it outside. Hope it’s not too soon, but fresh air does us all good.

I seem to be receiving a bit of free spring clean-up, thanks to the neighbor’s landscapers, who are diligently blowing leaves out from under my dogwoods onto the lawn next door. They’re in my driveway, so they’re not confused about where the property line lies. Maybe just concerned about the wind?

Angelic Daughter had a good sleep-in this morning and I had time to bake a yeastless bread for online communion today, a first for me and our church. Next time I’ll add some herbs or other flavoring, but it’s not really about how the bread tastes (which it didn’t taste like much, but felt nourishing, anyway.)

As soon as the masks are dry we’ll head out to pick up the new electric lawn mower. I supposed it will take a while to charge up, and longer to learn how to use it, but I’m going to give it a go.

Next week I hope to post a more upbeat playlist, one that keeps me bouncing on the bungee chair when I power through the last two hours of my workday, and I hope will do the same for you, too.

The sugar-snap peas are sprouting, and even starting to extend tendrils toward their pea fence. Tiny lettuce leaves and chard are coming, even in the problematic bed where nothing but self-seeded cilantro seemed to grow for the past few years. I know it’s probably too late, but I’m trying to start some tomatoes. It will be weird shopping for herbs at the garden center wearing a mask, but I’ll get used to it.

This is a long road, and instead of whinging “oh, the places I can’t go,” I’ll opt for the wisdom of Dorothy Gale:

The punchline we all know is coming is at about 1:02 – ““If I ever go looking for my heart’s desire again, I won’t look any further than my own back yard. Because if it isn’t there, I never really lost it to begin with…”

These blooms are actually from my front yard, but same dif:wp-1588515053499.jpg

Wishing you a sunny Sunday, the endurance to adapt, and a way to find your heart’s desire in your own backyard, I remain,

Your well-rested, starting-over-again-each-morning, masked-mower-to-be,