Browsing Archives for February 2010

Fashion week was in full swing in the garment district during our recent visit to NYC.  The city was also hosting the way cooler, darkly hip, and frightfully edgy, international toy convention.  I was there for the toys.  Well – not really.  My mom was there for the toys… because of the puppets.  

For the convention, my mom found an affordable condo just a few blocks off Time Square and she invited me along.  I grabbed my fifteen year old son and away we went.  It was a fun trip. Thanks mom.  















Calder and I spent our days wandering all over Manhattan.  We walked through snow covered Central Park, stopping at the Natural History Museum and the Guggenheim. 




We ate at John’s Pizzeria on Bleecker Street, paid our respects at Ground Zero and took a free ride on the Staten Island Ferry.  




We had a great time hopping on and off the Gray Line all over the city, seeing where Lennon was shot, where Jackie O lived and zipping up to the top of The Rock. 





But I had a hard time focusing on the sites.





Because of my naked jeans.


My naked jeans, my naked jeans, my naked jeans….

I just couldn’t stop thinking about how naked my jeans were!

Naked, naked, naked.

It was almost like I was naked!

Except it was worse!

Because my jeans were NAKED! 

Everyone could SEE them!  

Why didn’t I have the decency to cover my jeans up!  

What was wrong with me?  

Was I some kind of pervert!  

Who did I think I was walking all over the city with my jeans hanging out like that!  

And let’s not even mention that my exposed  jeans were also (gasp) BOOT CUT!  I am pretty sure that I was the only person left in NYC that was still wearing boot cut jeans.  




But wait!

It gets WORSE!

MUCH WORSE!!!!!!!!!!!!

Because I bought those boot cut jeans….


I know, I know!

Where am I from?  Some kind of frozen dimension in time where Laura Ingalls Wilder still prances around in gingham dresses and Nelly’s big fat yellow curls are the epitome of STYLE?  Was I still trapped in the eighties?  Was I some lost character from a forgotten episode of Knot’s Landing?


Because no one was wearing boot cut jeans on Knot’s Landing!

In fact, if I had dressed like a character from Knot’s Landing I would have been pretty darn fashionable in NYC!

At least I would have had the right kind of jeans on!

Tight, calf sucking jeans with dangly zips at the ankle!

Or even better.


Why did I not bring a pair of leggings?

I have leggings!

I could have brought leggings!

Why did I let my sensible Kansas girl need for warmth and comfort overcome my still, small, inner fashion guru who was quietly whispering, “pack the leggings, pack the leggings…

Oh yeah!

Because I don’t have a still, small, inner fashion guru!

But I did try.

I want you to know that I did try.

By day three I was so sick of being the only girl in NYC with naked, exposed, boot cut jeans, that I traded them out for the other pair of jeans in my suitcase.  I put on my ‘boyfriend’ jeans which have a straighter cut. 

I even attempted to tuck my boyfriend jeans into my plain black boots so that all the perverted nakedness would stop!

But I couldn’t make it work.

The boyfriend jeans inside of the plain black boots did not make me look like a New Yorker.

They made me look like a member of the Gestappo.  

A very dorky member of the Gestappo.

The dorkiest member of the Gestappo EVER!

My dorky, not tight enough, not sucking at my calves enough jeans just looked stupid tucked into my not complicated enough, not blinged out enough, plain old boring, black boots.  

So I untucked my boyfriend jeans putting them on the outside of my boots where EVERYONE COULD SEE THEM and I continued to feel like an over-exposed weirdo.  

Then I put on my red checked coat  (that looks like something Dorothy would wear if she ever returned to Oz in the winter ) that is not belted, not skirted, not wool, not tweedy and certainly not covered in big shiny buttons like a proper New York City girl wears!

I also lacked a fabulous scarf, a fabulous hat, and super fun stockings that peeked over the top of my boots.  


And the big leather bag with all sorts of shiny metal doohickeys embedded in it.

I didn’t have one of those either! 

So yeah.

If I had wandered into the garment district, I would have been promptly asked to leave.

Or possibly even thrown into jail! 

For appalling crimes against the fashion industry.

Starting with my shocking naked boot cut jeans.

And ending with the irresistibly cute knit head wrap that I bought from a street vendor in Soho.  

Live and learn.

Next time I visit NYC in the winter, I will be ready.

Of course by then, boot cut jeans will be back in style.




And Dorothy (pictured above) in her checked winter ensemble with Soho knit head wrap and lap top bag she is using for a purse will be on the cutting edge of fashion.

Or possibly not.

Hey!  At least I got the coffee cup right!

The Valentine neighborhood in Kansas City, Missouri began to be developed as a housing district in 1897.  Prior to that, the neighborhood changed like a chameleon to accommodate the whims of a growing population and enlarge the fortune of the man who bought the land, accurately predicting that it would eventually become an integral part of a bustling young city.



That shrewd man’s name was Allen B.H. McGee.  He was the first white man to own property in this neck of the woods.  He bought 160 acres of densely wooded property located one hour north of Westport (by mule cart that is).  





McGee cleared the land, farmed the land, traded with the Native Americans, and outfitted the wagon trains as they came through.  




He also bought and sold mules, worked as a surveyor, built a store and operated the second tavern to open in Westport.  




He very wisely buried his silverware in his large stone barn to protect it from roving bands of marauders.




His first house was a simple log cabin.  He slept on a bed made of grass.





His first wife came from Kentucky.  She died.  He married her sister.  She died.  He married a local girl.  





The local girl, Susan Gill managed to survive the marriage.






McGee and Susan moved from his primitive log cabin to a new white frame house on his farm.





He decided to use a portion of his farm for agricultural fairs and small stock shows.  





These small stock shows would eventually become the American Royal.




As the nearby population expanded, the need for entertainment also increased.  

Horse racing became the rage.



Wise old McGee built a racetrack on his land.





The resulting cash flow led to McGee building a mansion in 1888.  The home was famed for it’s splendor throughout the young city.

This mansion was razed in 1917 and the bricks were used to build the Rochambeau Hotel.




In 1897 Allen McGee Junior tore down the large barn that had so sneakily preserved the family silver from the marauding bands and built himself a mansion from the old stones.




In 1897, the McGee family farm/fairgrounds/racetrack was turned into neighborhood developments.





And the 160 acre McGee family farm became the Valentine neighborhood of Kansas City, Missouri.




And now to conclude this historical walk around Valentine, we shall read a poem by the blogger known as Rechelle.


The vision of a farmer (trader, barkeep, outfitter, used mule salesman, etc,etc) named McGee

Is how this lovely old neighborhood came to be.

On a lovely fall day, you can enjoy it for free

Please don’t fall and scrape your knee

Or get yourself stung by a honey bee

Tee hee hee.  Tee hee hee.

(On second thought, let’s skip the rhyme and move straight onto refreshments.)

Gladys Gets Committed Too!

February 12th, 2010

Micheal Mock asked me too choose the names from a hat, but I used a bowl instead.  I normally would have used the random integer generator, but there were so many duplicate comments, that it was easier to manually organize this drawing.   I did cut the duplicate comments out of the drawing in case anyone is keeping track of these sorts of things.

Thanks to everyone for contributing your views over these past few weeks.  I have enjoyed the conversation very much.  Isn’t it great that we live at a time and in a country where it is absolutely okay to disagree passionately about religion?  Even though the debate can get a bit dicey, it’s good to stretch your mind in all sorts of different directions.   Fortunately for the less conventional types, this stretching is not happening on the rack anymore.

Gladys won this giveaway.


Please send your mailing address to and I will send out the book.

Packing for NYC!