Window Dressing

I have noticed that retail staff often remove their shoes before setting up displays in shop windows.

The managers of their shops obviously fear the appearance of scuff marks on the shiny window ledges.

If you have a wood or vinyl floor, do you care about it as much as the managers of these shops care about the window ledges of their shops? Shoes can so easily cause scratches or leave marks on your floor. Especially if people get stones or other sharp stuff stuck on the sole.

Terror and Shoes in the Middle of the Night

I had a scare last Wednesday. It was about 3am in the morning and I heard a large crash near the front door. I jumped up out of a sound sleep and ran down the steps that led downstairs. Near the front door there is a window and I could see a red glow. I had no idea what that was. I was in a fog and did not know what was going on. I was panicked and terrified. I heard loud revving noises as well. What the hell was going on?!

Then I heard another crash and this time it was from the upstairs roof. The roof overhangs the front porch. I thought someone was on the roof now trying to get in. I grabbned the phone and dialed 911 and ran into the upstairs bedrooms to see if someone was trying to get into one of the windows. Silence. The revving had stopped and then I peeked out the upstairs blinds and saw a large pick up truck right near my front door. Then the next thing I saw was tail lights as it sped away.

I was still alarmed. Was there someone up on the roof trying to get access to the 2nd story windows? I watched and waited for the police. Earlier I had jabbered out what I was sure was complete dibberish to them on the phone about a pole, a truck and a breakin . I was sure that someone was breaking in. I am in a short culdesac and I saw a police car drive by the culdesac entrance but he did not come in. He left. I went down stairs and waited by the front door. Silence. I peaked out the blinds on the very skinny window on one side of the front door. There was a pole, a telephone pole that had a light on it now leaning on my rooftop.

The base of the pole was snapped (that must have been the first crash I heard) and the light part was on the roof--the 2nd crash I heard. Great! Was a man shimmying up that pole? Still no police. I can back upstairs to the upstairs bedrooms to see. dirty Fila was up there and don't some of these pedophiles take girls right from the house? I saw nothing but the light and pole on the roof. I called 911 again. Now I really do get the full meaning of "911 is a joke," by Public Enemy. I think Flavor Flav was one of the key singers in that one. (He is so tore up from the floor up!)

I called 911 again and a woman said that he had already been out and saw nothing. Okaaaaaay! I told her I saw a car in the distance but he never came to the house. She put me on hold and then the officer came on and asked how he could help. I told him what happenend and that I was unsure what was happening outside but someone needed to come and check out the house. I wanted to be sure someone was not trying to break in. He then said that the dispatch woman reported the call to him as "unknown truck hit a light pole." No real emergency. I told him that was the very last thing I told her but my first concern was a break in. That was why I was calling. I told him if there was I would already be dead messing around with the poor comminucation that I was having to deal with tonight. He said he would be back in a few minutes. He asked me to be outside waiting for him. HELLOOOOOOO! I was not opening the door!

I threw on some clothes and shoes and went to the front door and waited. What shoes? My Bass suede shoes. Flats. Easy on and off.

I watched out the window and he came back to the house. I told him what happened and he did not see anthing unusual around any of the windows or doors. He said he did not think it was an attempted breakin.. but most likely drunk person in a pickup truck driving badly. He assured me that all was well, gave me a business card and told me to call the eletric company about the pole.

I called the electric company. They would be out in the morning. I of course was wired and stayed up for the rest of the night, unable to sleep. I sat on the sofa and waited for daylight to come, phone in one hand and a large kitchen knife in the other. I must have dozed off because I remember dreaming of running thru the streets, sewers and old abandoned buildings being chased by bearded men in pickup trucks. I was no good whatsoever the next day at work.

I told one of my coworkers what had happened and they suggested that I take a concealed weapons course and get a gun. Just in case I really did have to "handle" someone breaking in. I am not keen on this at all, but this scare has definitely made me think about it. I might end up being a mdmber of the NRA.

Maybe I can defend my self with shoes. There are some really scary ones out there. Kind of like these. These are weapons. I just have to get close enough to use them.

What I do is kick them in the pants with a diamond buckled shoe!
~~Aileen Mehle~~


This is a cute but oh so true poem about shoes!


Shoe shopping women are a disgrace and a scandal
They'd trample through crowds for a boot or a sandal
They hop into shoe-shops and snuffle around
While their poor male partner just stares at the ground

They seem to hold this deranged mental image
That incorrect footwear is assured fashion slippage
Their sanity killed on the alter of vogue
There's limited mileage to be had from that brogue

That's not for them the easy purchase
They'd like to be shod as if a duchess
So they search for perfection in footwear production
While their partners patience is pushed to destruction

Men are much simpler we're not too complex
There's nothing about us for you to perplex
We know what we need in the form of a shoe
And if we don't find it, then next best will do

What I do is kick them in the pants with a diamond buckled shoe!
~~Aileen Mehle~~

Mark Schwartz : Shoes as Idea

New works from Mark Schwartz: Shoes as Idea
After reviewing this collection, it seems much darker than the first. After reviewing the 19 new works, these are the ones I like the most. The first collection I reviewed is here.

The thoughts behind the work? In his own words:

The shoes are stretched and exaggerated making them imperfect like life, and I twist these images into positions that seemingly dance off the page. The sketches I have transformed into art are an extension of my life, past and present.
Full story here!

What I do is kick them in the pants with a diamond buckled shoe!
~~Aileen Mehle~~

This Week's NATIONAL ETIQUETTE AWARD goes to.... Taiwan!

Taiwan- World Factbook

Government Information Office, Republic of China (Taiwan)

Taiwan Headlines

I hereby grant the National Etiquette Award to Taiwan, because it is the custom in that country to remove shoes when entering homes.

I read in the newspaper this week that criminals were being offered, as an alternative to fines, the punishment of having to play card games with elderly people. Apparently, the criminals learned respect this way. What a creative punishment!

You have to feel for the Taiwanese, having a powerful neighbor next door who refuses to acknowledge their right to determine their destiny. It is incredible to think of the high-minded arrogance of the Chinese government which threatens to go to war if Taiwan declares her independence. I almost hope that the Taiwanese do declare independence soon, so that the USA can take the Chinese government down a peg or two.

Shuckin' Shoes!

Last weekend I was wearing my oyster shuckin'

shoes. Well, not literally. I just ate my fill of oysters.

I like then raw, fried, steamed, fried, broiled,

baked, whatever , I love them. I remember when I

was in college, the fraternity that I was a little sister

for, had an oyster roast. Being right near the

water/ocean/harbour, we had some frat brothers go

out in their boats to local oyster beds just offshore

and get bushels and bushels free. That is allowed as

long as you have a valid fishing liscense that cost a

big whopping $5.00.

Well, that evening we steamed those oysters in the

oven and we ate oysters to hog heaven. I swear

that I was excreting sea water, I ate so many. Last

weekend I had oysters rockefellow and oysters

savannah. Man, were they good. I think everyone

just about knows what oysters rockefellow is but I

had not heard of the oyster savanah before. It is

oysters topped with shrimp, crabmeat, smoked

bacon and cheddar cheese. Heaven!

Last winter, I had the pleasure of eating or trying

oyster pie for the very first time. That was out of this

world. Here is a recipe that I have tried for oyster

pie. I have 2 others but this one I like the best.

Oyster Pie

3 thick slices bacon
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
3/4 cup milk
18 shucked oysters, drained with liquid reserved
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/2 teaspoon Cajun seasoning
2 (9 inch) unbaked 9 inch pie crusts

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).

Place bacon in a large, deep skillet. Cook over

medium high heat until evenly brown. Drain bacon,

reserving 1 tablespoon bacon grease. Crumble

bacon and set aside.

Heat bacon grease and vegetable oil over

medium heat. Stir in flour and cook until flour is

light brown. Slowly whisk in milk and 1 cup reserved

oyster liquid. Stir until a thick gravy has formed

Stir in Worcestershire sauce, Cajun seasoning

and oysters. Pour mixture into a 9 inch pie shell and

cover with top crust.

Bake in preheated oven for 30 minutes, until

crust is golden.

Broken Glass

Today I took some glass bottles to be recycled. We recycle quite a lot in my home. My sister who moved out this year was very big on the environment and recycling.

The ground next to the recycling bins was covered in broken glass. Bits of glass stuck to my shoes.

Now if I had come home and kept my shoes on, what would have happened? What effect would the small particles of glass embedded in my shoes have had on the carpet or any kind of floor?

Do you see what I am getting at?

Bis Repetita Placent!

Bis repetita placent: The things that please are those repeated!

Such it is with the way of shoes. I promised myself a shoe free weekend, away in a cabin with no shopping. How hard was it to break that rule? Can we say no self control at all? I look back and I did not even try. I have lost count of my total pairs. 65 now is low. It must be closer to 80 now. I only bought four pairs. Just four. Bis repetita placent!

Why is it so hard to stop? This weekend I got a new pair of Timberland hiking boots . Sale! Can we say sale? I finally broke down and got that pair of golashes--knee high of course and two pairs of dress shoes. Sale, sale SALE! One is a pair of 2-3 inch Unisa pumps (deep red metallic) and the other pair is a pair of Liz Claiborne bone colored pumps for spring. SALE! Could not pass them up! I felt good that it was only 4 pairs. Bis repetita placent!

I could not find exact pictures for all but here are my newest shoe babies! I can't wait for rain. And of course I had to buy a new rain coat to match the golashes. Have to be coordinated you know!

These are my new Timberland hiking boots! Love them! Just love them! They fit like a dream.

Euro Hiker Brown Oiled Leather

These are my Unisa Pumps. This is the exact style but mine are a cinnamom metallic red. Just beautiful. Not too bright! These are my favorite pair out of the four.

Now the rain shoes. I had to get a rain coat to match the shoes. I could not the exact pattern mine are but you get the idea. The color is about the same. Taupe and brown and bone. Instead of this animal print, mine are flowers.

Last but not least the Liz pumps. The style is this style but in a bone color with a croc print.

Bis repetita placent! I just could not help myself!

What I do is kick them in the pants with a diamond buckled shoe!
~~Aileen Mehle~~

How to Pill a Cat

A friend of mine sent this to me. Funny!

How To Pill a Cat

1. Pick up cat and cradle it in the crook of your left arm as if holding a baby. Position right forefinger and thumb on each side of cat's mouth and gently apply pressure to cheeks while holding pill in right hand. As cat opens mouth, pop pill into mouth. Allow cat to close mouth and swallow.

2. Retrieve pill from floor and cat from behind sofa. Cradle cat gently in left arm and repeat process.

3. Retrieve cat from bedroom, pick up and throw soggy pill away.

4. Take new pill from foil wrap, cradle cat in left arm, holding rear paws tightly with left hand. Force jaws open and push pill to back of mouth with right forefinger. Hold mouth shut for count of ten.

5. Retrieve pill from goldfish bowl and cat from top of wardrobe. Call spouse in from garden.

6. Kneel on floor with cat wedged firmly between knees, hold front and rear paws. Ignore low growls emitted by cat. Get spouse to hold head firmly with one hand while forcing wooden ruler into cat's mouth. Drop pill down ruler and rub cat's throat vigorously.

7. Retrieve cat from curtain rail, get another pill out of foil wrap. Make note to buy new ruler and repair curtains. Carefully sweep up shattered figurines and vases from hearth and set on one side for gluing later.

8. Wrap cat in large towel and get spouse to lie on cat with head just visible from below armpit. Put pill in end of drinking straw, force mouth open with a pencil and blow into drinking straw.

9. Check label to make sure pill not harmful to humans, drink glass of water to take taste away. Apply Band-Aid to spouse's forearm and remove blood from carpet with cold water and soap.

10. Retrieve cat from neighbor’s shed. Get another pill. Place cat in cupboard and close door just enough so that head is showing. Force mouth open with dessert spoon. Flick pill down throat with plastic band.

11. Fetch screwdriver from garage and put cupboard door back on hinges. Apply cold compress to cheek and check records for date of last tetanus shot. Throw t-shirt away and fetch new one from bedroom.

12. Call fire department to retrieve cat from tree across road. Apologize to neighbor who crashed into fence while swerving to avoid cat. Take last pill from foil wrap.

13. Tie cat's front paws to rear paws with garden twine and bind tightly to leg of dining table. Find heavy duty pruning gloves from shed. Push pill into mouth followed by a large piece of fillet steak. Hold head vertically and pour 2 pints of water down throat to wash pill down.

14. Get spouse to drive you to emergency room. Sit quietly while doctor stitches fingers and forearms and removes pill from right eye. Call furniture shop on way home and order new dining table.

15. Arrange for ASPCA to collect cat and contact local pet shop to see if they have any hamsters.

What would I suggest? Tequila!!!!
It works for my cat! :)

What I do is kick them in the pants with a diamond buckled shoe!
~~Aileen Mehle~~

This Week's NATIONAL ETIQUETTE AWARD goes to.... Austria!

Austria page in Wikipedia

Austria Tourist Guide

Austria Today

I hereby grant the National Etiquette Award to Austria, as it is common in that country for people to remove shoes when entering homes.

In many Austrian homes it is the custom to provide guests with slippers. This is a custom that is apparently declining, sadly. Still, removing shoes is far more common than in Britain.

Austria was in the newspapers today. Bird Flu has now spread to Austria from the east, which is a little worrying. Austria has always been a frontier of Europe. For many centuries, Austria was the frontier of Christendom against the Islamic Ottoman empire. Several times, the Muslim Turks laid siege to Vienna. Now, the Bird Flu virus is laying siege to Europe. Personally I am not inclined to panic about the Bird Flu epidemic. I do not expect it to be all that bad.

I went on a school ski trip to Austria when I was 15. I was not very good at skiing, unsurprising given my Dyspraxia, but it was interesting to see that country.

Austria is a Catholic country. For information about Roman Catholicism, visit:

Chick Publications

Valentine Reflections

It was a good day. We had a fun day at work. Every department brought in food and goodies and we basically ate and ate and ate all day. I was good today. No self bought flowers this year. I gave myself the gift of music this year with a collection of jazz and blues CD's from Books A Million. I was brousing the 50-75% off sale table and came across 2 great collections of music. Each has 4 cd 's with over 3 hours of music. From classic blues and jazz to modern. I can't wait to play them. Right now I am having the perfect martini with 2 great big olives and listening to some celtic christmas music. Yes, christmas music on Valentines day. I never get tired of celtic anything when it comes to celtic music.

dirty Fila gave me a wonderful Valentine card that she made herself. Inside was a poem that she wrote just for me. I must say it is the best card I have ever gotten. Here is her poem to me. It's funny!

A Poem For A Wonderful Mom

Roses are red, violets are blue
A daughter couldn't have a better mom than you.
Whenever I am sad or even when I'm happy,
Or even when we tease, I say to myself
I hope she doesn't slap me.

You know I am just kidding
So please don't start knitting
Even when I underestimate you
You know I do not mean to
When you help me with my projects,
I may not seem so grateful,
but I am certainly not hateful, I'm thankful.
And when you tuck me in at night
and say "I love you," I know you really do
and that is true.

I know I shouldn't be so hard on you
because you do all that you can do.
You're doing a great job of both a Mother and a father,
and I know I can be such a bother.
So on this Valentines Day
I'm simply trying to say,
"I love you, Boo."

Nothing more than what a mom would want from her child. That certainly makes everything worthwhile.

Some other silly things I saw people talking about or doing for Valentine's Day.

What I do is kick them in the pants with a diamond buckled shoe!
~~Aileen Mehle~~

Happy Valentine's Day!

What I do is kick them in the pants with a diamond buckled shoe!
~~Aileen Mehle~~

Some Serious Theology- Are you a Tramplian or an Offalist?

You may be sick of the Calvinist/ Arminian debate, so let me introduce you to some new theological terms; Tramplian and Offalist.

Tramplians like to trample the carpets or flooring of their homes with their shoes on. They find it rather objectionalbe to be asked to remove their shoes when visiting somebody else's home.

The central principle in Tramplian theology is the freedom of the will. They believe that they should be the ones to decide whether they take their shoes off at a dinner party. Their attitude is "I decided what outfit to wear. I decided what shoes to wear. I should be able to keep them on if I like". They do not believe that a hostess should impose shoelessness on them.

Tramplians have a strong belief in the goodness of hosts. They consider that a hostess should be above all concerned for her guests wishes and convenience above keeping her home clean. They believe that if a hostess likes them enougth to invite them into her home, she will accept them with their shoes on.

Tramplians believe in the power of their own ability to keep their shoes clean. They consider themselves to be grown-up and to be careful about what they tread on. They do acknowledge that their shoes can be tainted by the corruption of dirty streets, however they hold that this can easily be dealt with by wiping their feet on their hostess' doormat. Their shoes can be restored to cleanliness by the exercise of their will.

Offalists in contrast, always remove their shoes at the door. Offalists believe in the Total Depravity of the soles of their shoes. The corruption of city streets has completely ruined the condition of their shoes, they argue, and the only hope is a change of nature for their feet, namely into slippers or clean socks. The Offalist pays heed to warnings about the health risks of pesticide, lead paint and animal excrement.

The Offalist upholds the sovereignty of the host. The hostess has been very generous in inviting her guests, however, she is sovereign over her own home and has the authority to set the rules. She will not allow anything corrupt to defile her home. Those who would enter her home must not come in their own shoes, but must meet her condition of a change into slippers or stocking feet.

The Offalist holds that the root problem of the Tramplian's theology is human pride. The Tramplian is proud of her ability to make decisions about her outfit. She is proud of her Manolos, her Prada heels or her Jimmy Choo boots. She is too proud to combine her outfit with stocking feet. She resents the idea that her hostess would not accept her in her own shoes.

The Offalist argues that if the Tramplian would only forsake her pride, she would actually find that she was far more comfortable in slippers, socks or bare feet. Her determination to remain in her stilettos will in the end hurt her feet and drag her to destruction. She may well remain outside the dinner party in the outer darkness.

Ohmmmmmmmmmm! Ohmmmmmmm!

I have very stressed shoes right now!

I was in the mall about a week ago and was stressed at the time due to work. The work was absolutely crazy that day. I was in a home decorating store, The Briar Patch, I think. I found a lamp which is what I went there for. I kept hearing thunder and birds in the background. The birds were loons and there were coming from the back of the store. I walked on back past the lamps, giant fron ornaments and pillows to a sale rack in the back. On it were all sorts of environmental fountains. Of course I had to get one. This is the one I ended up buying as it sounded the most soothing.

It is the Envira Scape Rain Forest Fountain by Homedics. Now I can come home and put on the sounds of the rain forest, or any of the following. And it is accompanied by the sounds of a gentle rain or I can make it a thunder storm.
  1. Rain Forest
  2. Sunrise
  3. Thunder
  4. Loons
  5. Summer Night
  6. Wind Chimes
I like it more than my CD of birds in the forest. That cd is almost disturbing as the birds are sooooo loud. I have a tape of the ocean that I love and have had for many a year. On that cd the water ranges from the ocean to river and harbour noises with ship horns blowing in the distance. I can really "BE" on the water with that cd. I have yet another ocean tape with Pachelbel's Canon interweaved throughout. At the end of the day it really helps to be able to put your mind in another place with different sites and sounds. It does help relieve stress.

Today was a crazy day. I need all the loons looning, fog horns fogging, oceans crashing and rain falling in a rainforest all at once. It was only 19.99 on sale and they seem to be everywhere. I have seen then at Walmart, Target, mall stores, Best Buy, everywhere. I recommend one for everyone. The worst call I got today was from a client who wanted me to pay him $50,000 for his death. Can we say insane!!! After him I was ready for drinking many martinis at 11 am in the morning!! I was totally through with him. He got on my last nerve with his craziness.

Me: I can offer you "this" in regards to this matter.
Client: I'm sorry but this, this and this happened and what you have offered me is not enough.
Me: What I am offering you is a very fair amount and yada yada yada, this is why.
Client: I want you to pay me $50,000 for my death.
Me: But sir, you are not dead.
Client: I could have died and I want $50,000 for my death.
Me: I am sorry but you did not die so what you are asking for I will not be able to honor.
Client: The only reason I did not die was yada yada yada! (He is yelling at me now.)
Me: You did not die, this is not a death situation and isn't that a good thing. You are fine now.
And let me reiterate, I will not be paying you $50,000. What you are asking is totally unrealistic.

And of course it spiraled downward from there. 40 minutes later that call finally ended and Finishing shoes was telling me that all her clients were off the wall today too. And it is not even Friday the 13th! So I am listening to loons and the ocean trying to relax tonight.

I highly recommend any of the following as I have been a faithful user of relaxation cd's and fountains for years. Ohmmmmmmmmmm! Ohmmmmmmm! I will relax, I will relax, I will!

These next two I have and have just about worn the grooves on the cd's out I use them so much! They are wonderful!

What I do is kick them in the pants with a diamond buckled shoe!
~~Aileen Mehle~~

Western Mania

Well, I have been looking for a pair of coyboy boots that would work for me just about all winter. I just could not find a pair to fit. Remember those elusive boots? Well, guess what? I finally found a pair. I found them on Tuesday night. It was a life changing moment! (:) I was with dirty Fila-we had just left the guitar studio where she takes lessons every Tuesday- and she thought I was "just trying them on." I actually got them on and off with ease. No way were they going to be left in the store. dirty Fila took one look and said, "Big fat NO!." I laughed. I told her she was just hatin' because she had not found the perfect pair for herself. She laughed and said she would not be caught dead in a pair of cowboy boots and definitely not a pair was as "LOUD" as the ones I had on.

Can we say, don't care? Aren't cowboy boots a little loud anyway? It's the average person who just buys the basic brown or black(which is not bad of course), but I am all about different shoes. I hightailed it to the register, plastic in hand and now Jessica Simpson has nothing over me! Here are my boots with my kitty. Can we say puss and boots?

As you can see, there is no missing me in these. I will be wearing them to work today and I know the office will be buzzing. People will be parading down to my desk/office to see my boots. Rumors will be flying today. They were flying last week when I wore my winter snow boots with fur on them. I had several people come to me and say that was a fashion trend they could not do as they were not so brave. Winter, cold, snow equals boots. They are a pair of brown, leather mid calf boots. They are furlined on the inside. You can turn the top few inches down and the fur will show. That is how I wear them. They are very conservative and boy did they get comments. Why I am not sure. The thing I have to remember is that the people making the comments are some of the frumpiest people in the office and they are also the ones who walk around in their socks and then try to hide when I pull out the camera. See this post. Please! Do not even talk about me. At least I wear shoes to work...all day.

Well, with the western gene in me awake and active, I came across these clogs on that same night. Had to have the western clog as well. dirty Fila said that she would be walking 3 steps behind me when I wore my boots. The clogs she said were okay. That is fine. My boots were made for walking and that is what I'll do!

What I do is kick them in the pants with a diamond buckled shoe!
~~Aileen Mehle~~

Purse Anyone?

I just had to post these. These are the craziest purses I have ever seen. OMG! Now I have seen an alligator claw used as a purse before but it was far more attractive than this one. In fact I almost bought one. Who would ever use these? They can be found on a vintage purse site. La Pochette. (Thanks to Wayne for the link)

Teen Claw Handbag: $175
(I can't see dirty Fila carrying this. She might get teased)

What I do is kick them in the pants with a diamond buckled shoe!
~~Aileen Mehle~~

This Week's NATIONAL ETIQUETTE AWARD goes to.... Albania!

Albania- Wikipedia entry

World Factbook: Albania

Welcome to Albania

I hereby grant the National Etiquette Award to Albania, because it is the custom in that country to remove shoes in homes.

Among my best friends are a couple who served for two or three years as missionaries in Albania. The husband had been interested in Albania as a young man, but he was nto converted until his thirties and discovered his missionary call late in life. The couple would tour the various towns and villages in the mountain country and preach the gospel. The man pastored a church that they planted in the village of Terpelena.

When Albania's economy broke down completely in 1997, the country fell into civil war. As they had children, my friend's left, along with the majority of missionaries. The various churches that had been planted in the country were forced to look after themselves.

My friends are still in contact with the church they planted. They occasionally travel to Albania to visit it. The pastor of the church now is a Gypsy in his early twenties who has hardly any education and who lives in poverty. There are many problems and disagreements in this congregation, but it continues.

My friends continually receive letters from their Gypsy converts asking for money. There is simply so little economic future for the country. The best prospects for a young man in Albania lie in going to Greece to seek work.

While Albania was not on good terms with the Soviet Union, it was an extremely severe Communist regime until 1991. It was officially atheist and prohibited all religious activity. After the end of Communism, the country experienced a flood of church planting by missionaries. This has now died down. The Evangelical churches are divided and suffer from many difficulties. The challenge of planting churhces in a culture without any Christianity must have been huge.

The majority of Alabanians are nomminally Muslim, but not very strict. There is some effort to spread more rigid Islamic practise. There are Catholic and Greek Orthodox minorities. The Jehovah's Witnesses are laboring hard to make their own converts in the country.

There is a missionary organization dedicate to work amongst the Albanian people in Albania, Kosova and elsewhere. It is called the Albanian Evangelical Mission. It has a website:

Albanian Evangelical Mission

Relax on Valentine's Day!

There is nothing like a wonderful, luxurious bath. It can wash all your cares away. It washes mine away. I have just discovered a wonderful new fragrance at Bath and Body Works: Creme Brulee, part of the Tutti Dolci collection of fragrances that smell so yummy, it makes you want to eat them. I have bought the Moisturizing Souffle at christmas time for me. I went back and got the Bath Syrup and the Scrub last weekend. Heaven. I swear these things are edible and they are just telling us they are not. The scent is divine. Guys, splurge on your sweethearts and get something in Creme Brulee for her. Girls, get it for yourself as a guilty pleasure. I never have a problem loading up everytime I go to Bath and Body Works. That is a great place! I can never pass it up when I go to the mall.

I have found some neat stuff that would also be great to use as well. Chocolate!!!! Ice Cream!! You can't go wrong with chocolate.

What I do is kick them in the pants with a diamond buckled shoe!
~~Aileen Mehle~~

'Wearing Shoes in Your Home is a Health Hazard' by Paul Rebhan

Paul Rebhan wrote:

When you walk through almost any part of a city, and even in the suburbs, your shoes pick up a multitude of unwanted hangers-on. If you wear those shoes in your home, you run the risk of endangering your family's health by spreading viruses, bacteria, parasites, fungi, other pathogens, allergens and toxic substances.

Nocent items such as these may be commonly found on sidewalks and streets:

- Remnants of feces from dogs, cats, rodents, birds, other wildlife and sometimes, even humans.
- Urine from the same sources.
- Excretions such as saliva, mucus, sweat and sometimes, blood or vomit.
- Remains from insects and rodents
- Remnants of garbage including food waste and toxic cleaning products.
- Residue from insecticides, oils, gasoline and grease.

Even indoor spaces such as the floors of restrooms are frequently contaminated with urine and hospitals or doctors' offices are fertile hotspots for a variety of germs that may end up on your shoes. Soil around homes and parks may be contaminated with lead, pesticides, lawn chemicals and toxic wood preservatives.

Residue from humans and animals may contain common viruses and pathogens such as hepatitis, herpes, E. coli, tetanus, rabies, strep, hantavirus, or cold and flu causing germs. Garbage residue may carry traces of toxic products such as formaldehyde, industrial chemicals, dyes and lead. According to Dr. Leo Galland, author of "Power Healing", lead tracked into a home and accumulated in carpet dust often exceeds levels requiring clean-up at Superfund toxic sites.

These items may be on the ground in very small deposits that are unnoticeable to the naked eye. Shoe soles are generally made of leather, rubber or other porous materials that allow the absorption of microscopic substances. Wiping shoes on a doormat or rug may remove some of the larger materials, but will not eliminate microscopic germs.

Once inside your home, contaminated shoes become a conduit for disease, spreading germs to carpets and even hard-surfaced floors. If you walk on those floors later without shoes, the germs can spread to your feet and be carried to other places such as your bed. If children are allowed to play on the floor, germs can easily spread to their hands, clothing and mouths. Even pets are at risk of picking up and spreading these germs.

In his book "The Secret Life of Germs", Philip M. Tierno, Jr., Ph.D. suggests a simple way to avoid this hazard: "One should adopt the hygienic Japanese practice of having separate footwear for outdoors and indoors, and leaving the outdoor shoes at the threshold".

References: Philip M. Tierno. Jr, Ph.D.: The Secret Life of Germs, The U.S. Centers for Disease Control: An Ounce of Prevention, Dr. Leo Galland: Power Healing, Spectrum Magazine: Our Daily Dose of Poison, Logan County, CO.: The Online Courthouse, Gary Null, Ph.D.: Natural Living with Gary Null

JLo Shoes for 2006

Lovely, lovelies. I will need to overhaul my spring and summer sandals this year. Last year I just added a few more pairs. I think I will need to examine heels and wear and tear and I may need to get rid of some of my favorites. That will be depressing, but some of these will cheer me right up!

Lianne Pump: $130

Rita : $113

Sky: $99

Trinity: $87

Yuri: $99

Christy: $93

Petra: $99

Kara: $203

Marlow: $87

What I do is kick them in the pants with a diamond buckled shoe!
~~Aileen Mehle~~

Removing Shoes in Somebody Else's House

Most of my posts on this blog have dealt with having a shoes-off policy in one's own home. There is the question of whether to remove one's shoes in the home of somebody who does not share one's conviction on this subject.

I have never visited anyone for years who has asked me to take my shoes off. I should be quite delighted if I visited somebody who did. I stayed in Helsinki with a family who all removed their shoes at the door. As I knew this was the custom in Finland, they did not need to ask me to do so. Whether they would have asked me to take them off had I kept them on, I do not know.

There are some people who say that if you expect people to remove their shoes in your home, then you should remove your shoes in othr people's homes, whether they ask you or not.

I have some sympathy for this position. I would like to set an example. It would send the signal that it is not unreasonable to expect shoes-off at the door. If I visit somebody's house and I keep my shoes on, then I keep thinking about all the dirt I am spreading in their house. It plays on my mind.

On the other hand, if I am visiting a house where people frequently wear shoes indoors, then it will do little good my removing my shoes. It would just get my socks dirty.

More significantly, in Britain it is not the accepted norm to remove one's shoes when visiting somebody's home. In fact some people would consider it rather rude. If people in Britain want to remove their shoes to make themselves more comfortable, then they will ususally ask permission (British people are so silly!). It is not unusual for some people to offer to remove their shoes when visiting somebody. This is a nice gesture, but most people in Britain are silly enough to decline this offer. It is also pointless to do this if the hosts have their shoes on.

As I am a typically polite Englishman, I am always concerned not to be seen as taking liberties in other people's homes. So, if I visited a home where the hosts had their shoes on or where I knew they often wore shoes indoors, I would keep my shoes on.

On the other hand, if I visited somebody who answered the door without their shoes on, I would probably remove mine, unless I knew they commonly wore shoes in their home. I would do this just to set an example.

If I was with my parents, I would do whatever they did. I tend to defer to them.

On one occasion, I visited a home where they often kept their shoes on. The lady of the house had just vacummed the carpet and it looked so clean. I just had to take my shoes off, even though they had their shoes on. I could not bear to defile this freshly-cleaned carpet. It did not bear thinking about.

When I used to visit my ex-fiance, I used to take my slippers with me. She and her parents never asked me to remove my shoes unless they were muddy (despite their being far more obsessive about cleanliness than me). I changed into my slippers on principle and I am sure they appreciated it.

Trace Adkins: Rapper?

When I last checked Trace Adkins was a country western singer. Who could be any more country? After seeing his new video for his new song " honky tonk bodonkadonk" he is now a rapper. Is country music fading so that now even the countty music stars are doing rap? He is almost totally ghetto fab in this video. He has on the finger rings that extend across all 5 fingers covering his entire hand...not one hand, but both hands. He is singing about bodonkadonk. I know I have only heard this term used by rap artists until now.

Move over Sir Mix A Lot! Baby got country back now! (Not!)

The sad thing is that all the women in the video are rail thin and their butts are flat as a pancake. Every last one of them. There is no
bodonkadonk there! Only some pancake butts trying to do the what kind of looks like the Beyonce bounce or a rump shaker dance. Sad! I must say that I do not believe that country is not ready for spinners, bling bling jewlery or bodonkadonk! Those women, in order to qualify would need some more meat on their bones! Take a look see for yourself. These woman have bodonkadonk!

Trace, get some women with back and then let me see you rap about them shaking their moneymakers!

Now the song itself has a good dance beat. It is not a bad song. I just did not expect to see Trace Adkins as a rap star, blinged out and rapping about bodonkadonk! And lets talk about the shoes. Most of the girsl had on cowboy boots or roller skates while rumpshaking! (Excuse me, pancake shaking!)

Honky Tonk Bodonkadonk

Songs About Me by Trace Adkins

What I do is kick them in the pants with a diamond buckled shoe!
~~Aileen Mehle~~

Sexy Shoes for Valentines Day

OOH LA LA! These shoes are sleek and sexy for Valentine's Day! I am usually not into bondage type shoes but these are all shoes that I would wear.

Heels are a little scary on these. I may not be able to walk in these.

I really like these. Very unusual with lock and key.

All of these shoes and more can be found at Sexy Shoes!

What I do is kick them in the pants with a diamond buckled shoe!
~~Aileen Mehle~~

Last Holiday

I went to see Last Holiday with Queen Latifah and it was wonderful. The alarming thing was that it seemed to tell the story of my life. The same old routine, nothing really exciting and work, work, work. It made laugh and it made me cry. I have always been searching for something more, something exciting. Many times I feel like I am just waiting for something to happen and all will be different. Yet, so far the "something" is elusive and I have no idea what it is. I feel like just around the corner something is waiting for me. I wish it would come.

If you have the chance, go see this movie. It is funny and thoughtful and it is good to see that in the end the prince does come and sweep the girl away. I will be buying this on DVD. I have seen it twice so far. It was worth it.

What I do is kick them in the pants with a diamond buckled shoe!
~~Aileen Mehle~~

Kick Off Your Shoes

Kick Off Your Shoes

Article by Deena Wade

Thailand Culture

Thailand Culture

A guide to etiquette in Thailand.

This Week's NATIONAL ETIQUETTE AWARD goes to... Iceland!

Iceland Page in Wikipedia

World Factbook: Iceland

Icelandic Tourist Board

Go Iceland

I hereby grant the National Etiquette Award to Iceland, because it is customary in that country to remove shoes when entering homes.

Iceland made it into the newspapers today with the plans of it's government to aim for the elimination of all use of oil as fuel. The plan is to power the whole country with geothermal energy and hydrogen powered cars. With a smaller population, this should not be too difficult for them. I wish them success.

Iceland was colonized by the Vikings in the 'Dark Ages'. During the period of about 500-1000, there was some global warming which enabled civilization in northern europe to thrive and rapid colonization by Viking settlers. They brought many Irish slaves with them, with the result that Icelanders are partly of Celtic stock.

Contrary to the stereotype, Viking civilization in Iceland was very sophisticated. In 930 AD, the Icelanders founded the world's first parliament.

However, the global warming that was occurring at the time resulted in a southward drift in ice that lead to some harsh winters around 1000 AD. This lead to hardship and a breakdown in law and order in Iceland. However, this decline inspired the great Icelandic contribution to literature, the Sagas.

The sagas were epic poems of norse heroes. They were not mythical tales, but socio-realist tales of feuding, conflict and grudges. They are not the most cheerful books you could read, but an excellent way to learn about Norse civilization.

The Icelandic geothermal geysers are one of the world's most interesting geograpical features.

About half of the population of Iceland believe in the existence of Elves.

Did I mention Bjork?

Chocolate, Shoes and Sex!

Carnival of the Recipes: Chocolate!

(Chocolate Swimsuit for 2006: It will be all the rage this summer)
Will you be wearing it?

There really is a link between sex and chocolate. I would agree! I would also have to add to that. For me it is chocolate, shoes and sex. Or is it chocolate plus shoes equals sex or does chcolate and shoes lead to sex? Could be any combination of chocolate, shoes and sex. It all works for me. Valentines day is soon to be upon us and so I have even more opportunity to eat chocolate and buy shoes. Where is the sex? Seems to be elusive right now. But such is life. I am content with chocolate and shoes. I see a large box of Godiva in my immediate future for Valentine's day. As usual I will be buying it myself , wishing that indeed it was a gift that someone had actually given me. Maybe one day in the near, next century I will know the joy of having a gift given to me on Valentine's Day. It gets old buying flowers for yourself and having them delivered to the office with a card that says, "From you know who."

Yes, I have done that. On more than one occassion. The last time was about 3 years ago. It gets very hard to see all those flowers that all my coworkers get from their husbands or boyfriends on Valentine's Day. Some years it had been so downright depressing that I had no choice but to buy some flowers for myself from a "mystery admirer." It made me feel special. At least in the office. My office would become all the "buzz." Who did she get flowers from? Did you know she was dating anyone? What did the card say? I would smile and say little to nothing. I would just bask in the glow that my imaginary significant other provided me that day. I would let the flowers stay in the office about 2 days then take them home. I love flowers so any occasion to buy flowers works for me as well. Flowers work better than the boyfriend in a box.

Chocolate started off with bad beginnings. It was not loved and cherished as it is today.
Early on, in France, chocolate was considered a "barbarous and noxious drug," until the French court embraced it after the Paris faculty of medicine approved it as a beneficial potion.

In 1569, Pope Pius V considered cocoa liquid so vile tasting that he declared the drinking of it would not break the communion fast.

Back then, most chocolate was consumed, and appreciated, in liquid form. The Aztec king Montezuma drank liquid chocolate all day to enhance his libido.

Studies have shown that dark chocolate helps prevent heart disease and cancer. It has also been shown to improve mood by boosting the brain chemical serotonin, much like Prozac and its many mood-enhancing clones.

Some consider chocolate an effective diet food, claiming that a chunk of chocolate taken before meals diminishes one's appetite.

And, lest we forget, on Feb. 14, 1929 Al Capone's gang gunned down seven members of Bugs Moran's gang in Chicago in what is remembered as "The St. Valentine's Day Massacre." It had nothing to do with chocolate.
I have been a chocolaholic from the early age of 12. I have always loved chocolate. Godiva and Dove are the ones I love the most. I remember baking all sorts of chocolate things to eat in middle school and high school. dirty Fila has inherited that love of chocolate as well.

Here is my most decadent recipe for brownies. Not just any brownie but a chocolate brownie. Not just chocolate, but extreme chocolate. Enjoy! It is chocolate heaven on earth!

Extreme Chocolate Brownies


One box of your favorite brownie mix

3 extra large Hershey Bars (the oversized bars)

Mix the brownie mix according to the directions on the package. Pour 1/2 the brownie mix in your baking pan. Now, place all three extra large chocolate bars on top of the 1/2 brownie mixture-whole. Just lay them right on top of the 1/2 brownie mixture. Then cover the chocolate bars with the rest of the brownie mix and bake according to the directions on the package. Cool. Then sit back and enjoy extreme chocolate brownie heaven!

Enjoy the Godiva Chocolate Martini.

Yummy! You can use this to wash down the extreme chocolate brownie.

1 1/2 shots Godiva® chocolate liqueur
1 1/2 shots creme de cacao
1/2 shot vodka
2 1/2 shots half-and-half

Mix all ingredients in a shaker with ice, shake and pour into a chilled cocktail glass.

Send your sweety virtual chocolate! Click the pic!

For those wanting "adult" chocolate, I have found this site: Chocolate Fantasies. They actually make erotic chocolate in the shapes of certain body parts. Very interesting! They even have chocolate shoes in the fetish chocolate section, right under the chocolate handcuffs.

What I do is kick them in the pants with a diamond buckled shoe!
~~Aileen Mehle~~

Gucci Spring and Summer 2006

Gucci Spring/Summer 2006. Love the snakeskin shoes! You can't ever go wrong with snake!

What I do is kick them in the pants with a diamond buckled shoe!
~~Aileen Mehle~~