The Former Soviet Union

I believe removing shoes in homes is almost a universal norm in the former Soviet Union, to my knowledge. There might be some places in the former Soviet Union where shoes-off is not expected, but I do not think there are many. A combination of Islam, industrial pollution and bad weather ensures that I suppose.

Athlete's Foot


An unpleasent fungal infection.

A lot of people mention Athlete's Foot as an argument against people having a shoes-off policy. However, this is a quite unnecessary concern.

Athlete's Foot is generally associated with swimming pools and changing rooms. It is possible to catch Athlete's Foot on one's barefeet at a swimming pool or in a locker room. However, recent research indicates that this is not so likely as was previously thought.

Most importantly, the reason people catch Athlete's Foot in those places is not because people there are barefoot, but because the fungus needs a warm and wet environment. People get exposed to the fungus in the damp conditions. If they fail to dry their feet, the fungus is very comfortable and even more so if the victim puts on sweaty socks.

The fungus will not survive long on the clean, dry floor or carpet of a person's home and so you are very unlikely to catch Athlete's Foot in somebody's house, even if the owner has the condition.

What is more, people who are not wearing socks are likely to put on sandals when they leave, as opposed to closed shoes. Thus, they will not create the right environment for the condition to thrive.

Of course, if you are worried about it, you can always bring some slippers or socks when you visit a shoes-off home.

People who have a shoes-off policy ought to let their visitors know in advance and be willing to lend a pair of clean socks, if not slippers.



Some people are of the opinion that it is very important that guests have the choice of whether to keep their shoes on or not.

However, it is not as simple as that. Some choices may impose on the choices of others.

Some visitors may want to take their shoes off, but may fear that doing so will be considered rude. Being informed that shoes-off is encouraged will be a great welcome for these people.

The shoes-on folks might then argue, "Yes, but you can still let people keep their shoes on without imposing on the people who prefer to go shoeless."

However, this is not the case. Firstly, those people who want to take their shoes off may fear, if there are lots of other guests, particularly at a party, that their feet may get squashed by other peoples' shoes. In a crowded party, it can be hard to avoid having people tread on your toes.

Secondly, people who take their shoes off will prefer to walk on a floor that is cleaner. In fact, there is another issue here, as Angie pointed out in a previous post. Some guests will enjoy sitting on the floor. And sitting on the floor is a much more pleasent experience when it is clean. So allowing guests the choice of wearing shoes imposes on those who like to sit on the floor.

The simple truth is that no host can please everybody. However, there are far more good reasons to insist on shoes coming off at the door than for allowing shoes to stay on. Let guests chose between slippers, socks ot barefeet. That is choice enough.


I was in Birmingham today and I saw a couple of girls carrying bags with the Manga label on. I presume there must be some shop in Birmingham that sells Manga comics and movies.

Manga and other Japanese comics and cultural products are becoming ever more popular here in the UK. Young people are becoming more and more exposed to Japanese culture, and with it that most commendable practice of leaving shoes at the door.

Shoes Again!

Thanks to the shoe gods who raise all heels and keepme supplied in leather and snake skin shoes! I can wear them again. Heels, that is. I sprained my ankle awhile ago and was doomed to break down and get a pair of crocks. I am finally able to wear my high heels again. My ankle is no longer wobbly!

Today for church I was able to wear my black Anne Kleins. Here are my pretties!

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

It is not Selfish to ask Visitors to Remove their Shoes


Some people claim it is selfish to ask visitors to remove their shoes. They think that it shows excessive concern for one's carpet or flooring.

On the contrary it is not selfish at all.

Firstly, there is an health issue involved. Peoples' shoes pick up dust and animal excrement which is not good for one's health and especially bad for the health of one's children. If one has babies or small children that play on the floor it is extremely sensible to keep one's home shoe-free.

There are many worries today about the health risks posed by pollution, toxins and chemicals. Personally, I think many of these health scares are exagerrated. Many of the supposed health risks have not been scientifically verified. However, it is best to keep as much nasty stuff out of the house as possible.

Secondly, the notion of selfishness here is relative. In a country where shoe-removing is the norm, like Finland or Russia, it would hardly be selfish to insist on shoes-off.

In Britain or the USA, where keeping shoes on is the norm, there are many people who would like to insitute a shoes-off policy, but who are afraid of causing offence or being deemed 'selfish.' If a person is brave enough to insist on shoes-off, she makes it easier for those other people who feel that they would like to make their homes shoe-free. In time, the norms of the UK and the USA may change and shoe-removing may become as normal as it is in Thailand or Sweden.

Should One Provide Slippers for Guests?


In some Eastern European and Asian countries, guests change from their shoes into slippers provided by the host.

Some argue that if you intend to have a shoes-off policy in your home, you should keep some slippers for guests to wear. This will make them feel more comfortable and prevent embarassments such as foot odour and holes in socks.

This is a fairly good idea, but I am not so sure. If slippers are provided, then they must either be disposable plastic slippers or else slippers that can go in the washing machine. It would be quite unreasonable to expect guests to wear slippers that have been worn by somebody else that day. I am not sure whether most slippers are machine washable. Some guests might not even trust you that they really have been cleaned and may prefer to stay in bare or stocking feet.

I think the practise of providing guest slippers might be just a bit too weird for British. Many British people will have been to a house where shoes-off was required, but not many people will have been offered guest slippers to wear, unless it was in another country. I think a lot of English guests would prefer to go shoe-less, rather than wear slippers that are not their own.

I think it is a good idea to buy slippers for family and regular visitors and keep them at your house. These should be worn only by the person they are provided for. Hopefully, one's family and close friends would be delighted by this consideration.

Providing clean socks is a different matter. I would suggest keeping a supply of clean socks in different sizes by the door for guests who are not comfortable going barefoot.

I think it is very sensible to let visitors know in advance that one has a shoes-off rule in one's home. That way, they can be sure to wear socks without holes or bring their own slippers if they prefer.



I am always a little surprised when I see children wearing shoes at home, whether on television or in person. It surprises me because when I was a child, my parents expected me to remove my shoes at the door. When I visited my friends' homes, their parents often expected me to take my shoes off. So it always seems a little strange when I see children keeping their shoes on at home.

The practise of removing shoes was expected until I reached the age of about 12. My parents became less stringent about it as I got older. Occasionally this house rule would be revived in later years. It was restored when I was 21 when my parents and I moved to a house with cream carpets, though they were not consistent in keeping to it.

There are some homes, in the UK, where the hosts will expect the children of guests to remove their shoes, but would not expect it of adult guests. Some guests will insist that their children remove their shoes without removing their own. I can understand why some people may be more concerned about children's shoes; children do tend to be less careful about what they step in and are more likely to run around in long and wet grass. However, adults should never forget that their own shoes pick up an awful lot of less noticeable dirt. There is also the fact that children learn to follow rules better when adults act consistently. There is a certain amount of 'do as I say, not do as I do' in the requirement of shoes-off for children only.

Many childcare experts are of the opinion that children should wear shoes to the minimum necessary and therefore recommend shoes-off indoors for health reasons.

That is what I like to see!

A young estate agent visited our house today. He offered to remove his shoes. He was wearing shoes without laces, which shows foresight.

His more senior colleague visited last week and she did not offer to remove her shoes. It seems wisdom is on the side of the youth.

Ballet Classes - Release Muscle Tension

Click on the link here to get a DVD to learn to release muscle tension with a pinkie ball outside of class, in addition to relaxing your muscles as you do class.

Muscle function depends on both strength and flexibility. Clenching any one muscle or set of muscles continuously during a class does not create strength. I remember several ballet teachers who paced a class so that the students could not relax their legs and feet at all between barre exercises. This was a challenge we met, but suffered from ultimately. A widely perpetuated method of the time....

It only takes a few seconds to have everyone shake out their legs, stretch their calves, turn in, and roll their shoulders a little before starting the next exercise.

Failing to do so creates muscles that are in constant spasm and therefore are functioning at a decreased strength and flexibility.

I remember taking my first work-out class. I chose it because the studio was near my home, open on Sunday, and I had missed a couple of days of ballet class in the previous week. Was I in for a surprise. Used to ballet classes that were carefully composed to warm up groups of muscles, alternating the emphasis of the muscle groups (say from grand plies to footwork and back again), I was astonished at the "burn baby burn" routine. Isolate one muscle, burn it out, go on to another one. And I had no idea how sore I would be the next day! Talk about a Monday morning....

Not every work-out class uses that method but I recommend viewing a studio beforehand. I broke my own rule, following reputation and availability. The studio was famous, but used student teachers to fill in those Sunday schedules!

Ballet does not follow the rules for optimum muscle work - such as resting at least a day in between heavy work-outs. That would turn professional training into 20 year stints - or so we suppose.

My heaviest class schedules would be on a Saturday or in summer intensive. Three to four classes, a couple would be character or a barre a terre, less heavy work. Character was just pure dance and a relief, and the floor barre was a warm-up and extreeeeeme stretching based on a routine that Roland Petit taught the National Ballet of Canada many years ago when he staged a work for them, and found the dancers' flexibility lacking. It got passed down to the school, and we loved it.

So given that professional training requires daily classes, what can we do to relieve our muscles? Deborah Vogel says on page 111 of "Tune Up Your Turnout" ...release the tension, stretch the muscles, and strengthen them. It's a three-tiered approach.....Too much tension in a muscle, it will lose its tone. Too much flexibility without the muscular strength to support it is not good. Too much strength and tension without the flexibility is also not good."

Turn in and relax at every opportunity in class, and relax any aching or hurting muscle as much as you can while waiting to begin the next exercise.

Have a variety of ice packs at home, and use especially after a hot bath or shower. Ice the sore spots while resting, doing homework, etc. 15-20 minutes max, don't lie on them or fall asleep on them!

If your studio has a fridge with a freezer, take ice packs to use for long rehearsal days, or take a cooler and use them as long as they will stay cold.

Nutrition, hydration and warming up are 3 essentials. You want to repair muscles as quickly as possible, with good proteins and vegetables, hydrate by sipping all day (water, not other beverages like the popular sweetened, neon-colored, minimally mineralized sports drinks), and warm up before every rehearsal if you have had a break since class. Deborah elaborates on that on page 121.

I would also add real sea salt, the Celtic type that contains all 12 bioplasma minerals, and eliminate the useless table salt from your diet. "All 12" and Bioplasma homeopathic tablets are easy to carry in the dance bag too! Dissolve under the tongue. They are a little expensive unless you find a discount health food store that sells the huge bottles, which you can use to refill a smaller bottle as you use them up.

When I was rehearsing all day long in the hot Toronto summers fellow dancer-choreographer Marnie Cooke and I would prepare a large jug of water, freshly-squeezed lemons, maple syrup and cayenne pepper to keep everyone's electrolytes up. We'd all have a shot in rehearsal breaks. Judith our stage manager called it "kickapoo joy juice".

Back to myths, the frog position on one's stomach - really not a good stretch for hips or turnout, as there are better ones and it puts tremendous stress on the knee joints. Lying on your back and allowing the legs to stretch outward by their own weight is better - though there is still a chance that the knees will get strained. Holding the turnout that you have, and getting the stress out of the turnout muscles afterwards is more important.

Professional dancers get routine massages, and other body work to relieve the extremes of their daily work, or heal injuries. Students don't typically think about this care factor until they get an injury or find themselves in chronic pain.

It's not wimpy to start that kind of care early in your training. Go for gain with the least pain. In fact, soreness but no pain is attainable.Here is an easy to learn stretching guide to release muscle tension.


Our front drive was blasted with weed-killer yesterday. If anybody comes down our drive, their shoes will no doubt pick the stuff up. Not the sort of thing you want bringing in your house.

Just think, what if somebody sprays her own drive and then comes to visit you? Do you think maybe her shoes might still have traces of weed-killer on them?

My Conversion to No Laces

You may recall that I bought several pairs of shoes with no laces before going to Japan.

Since coming back in March, I have hardly worn my old shoes with laces at all.

I do not think I would ever buy shoes with laces again unless they were walking boots or athletic shoes.

I used to think wearing shoes without laces was lazy. I now think it is so practical. I certainly would not have survived Japan if I had brought lace-up shoes with me (my fingers would have dropped off after tying and untying so many times). Seeing as I always take my shoes off at the door at home, they are great for me here as well. If I forget something, I will never be tempted to go back upstairs in my shoes.

Since switching to No Laces, I am removing my shoes more often when visiting people. If people do not expect me to take my shoes off, it is embarassing to stand in the doorway fiddling to get my shoes off.

Last month I got some sandals, with all the warm weather. I chose Birkenstocks, as they allow the option of quick removal.

Lace-up shoes are an anachronism that we should abolish, along with wearing shoes in homes.

At a French Campsite Ten Years Ago

Ten years ago, my family and I stayed at a French caravan park near Paris. There was a rule that you had to take your shoes off and put them on a rack before going in the shower block. The idea was to stop mud appearing on the wet floor inside.

At the time, I thought the rule was a bit weird. I had never come across that before at a caravan park and so at least once I ignored the rule.



I believe there is an issue of stewardship here.

All that we have is a gift from God. We may enjoy our posessions, but we do need to give account to the Lord of how we have used them.

Carpet cleaning services are necessary to keep homes really clean, but they are very expensive. Replacing carpets costs even more. Having a shoes-off policy considerably reduces the need for maintaining carpets and other kinds of flooring. Therefore, as stewards of God's gifts, I would suggest that Christians ought to strongly consider the benefits of having a shoes-off policy in their homes.

Clean homes can also be more effectively used in the service of the Kingdom. Homes can be put to so many uses; entertaining visiting speakers, providing shelter for those who need it, hosting fellowship meetings (I think a good case can be made for holding all church meetings in homes) and Church lunches. Keeping homes shoe-free means that larger numbers of people can be accomdated at the home with minimal impact. It also makes the floor a safer place for small children and babies

Ballet Shoes and Pointe Shoes - and Between Class Shoes

You can click on this link to find out how to care for your feet in ballet shoes and pointe shoes.

What should a ballet dancer wear for daily foot support? Today there are attractive athletic shoes in all shapes widths, and colors. The expensive built-up sole types are not necessarily the best. The kind with the springs in the heel look like they would feel great if you are walking on cement all day, or on the hard stone halls of a high school. But they may not be the best for developing feet and legs. I have seen that even very young dancers think like career builders and will pay attention to professional issues like daily footwear.

Joyce Morgenroth says in her article from Arts & Sciences Newsletter Fall 1997 Vol. 18 No. 2

"In pointe shoes the vulgar, useful foot is gone. In its place is the illusion of an elongated leg and only a most tenuous connection to the ground."

The entire article has a lot of historical detail, is a great read, and is found here.

So how do we take care of our "vulgar, useful foot"? When I was a ballet student at The National Ballet School of Canada, we wore "vulgar and useful" shoes, by uniform mandate - oxfords! Ugh! Although I have to admit, when I tied mine on after a ballet class, my feet, ankles and calves really were supported and relaxed. Special foot muscle exercises for your best work in ballet shoes and pointe shoes support the health and development of the dancer's foot.

So back to modern athletic shoes, I read some passages from "Slow Burn" by Stu Mittleman. (I had ordered "Slow Burn" intending to get the book by Frederick Hahn and Eades & Eades. I received the Stu Mittleman book "by mistake" and then ordered the other one too.) They are both fantastic books. No mistakes.

Page 77, the chapter "Always Buy a Shoe Fit, Not a Shoe Size", is a long chapter with interesting stories and great information. Stu is a runner and the frame of his info is for runners. However, a dance student or professional dancer can glean some good advice from him. On page 84 he says :

"The most important considerations to make when it comes to the structure and function of your foot have to do with the following:

arch type
tilt pattern
foot strike"

Stu's details in shoe selection that follow that passage resemble the minutiae that dancers attend to in fitting ballet shoes and pointe shoes ("professional ballet shoes"). I suggest that dance students get the book from their local library and review this section, in consideration of the selection of the shoes they wear daily. Party shoes aside, I think you want to support the feet that are supporting you. All day.

Muscles relaxation is very important. In ballet classes, it is crucial to relax between exercises. In life, it is crucial to relax between classes. You can most likely find the best shoe for your arch type, tilt pattern, and foot strike .

Stu discusses the available athletic shoes for the tilt pattern. In ballet we say 'rolling ankles' 'dropped arches' or 'flat foot'. Simply meaning the inner ankles roll toward the floor, pronation, and the opposite, the outer ankles roll toward the floor, supination. Differently shaped sneakers will give needed support.

(The foot strike is less important for dancers, but very important for runners. )

Stu also discusses muscle testing. Chiropractors, kiniesiologists, naturopaths, acupuncturists, some nutritionists, many can muscle test. This includes for proper shoe support. If you have a practitioner that might do this for you, buy your shoes, and take them to your health care person, get the shoes muscle tested. If they are not supportive you can return them.

Be a pro right now and find out how to care for your feet in ballet shoes and pointe shoes.


You may not have a baby at crawling age
But if you ask visitors to your home to remove their shoes, you send a message that it is acceptable to keep your home shoe-free. That makes life easier for those who do have crawling babies.

You may not have a new carpet
You may have an old carpet that needs replacing or a wooden
floor that is covered in scratch marks. But if you have a shoes-off policy, it will make it easier for those who do have a new carpet to do the same.

You may not live in an area where there is pesticide on the ground
But if you have a no-shoes rule in your house, it will make those who do need to require shoes-off feel more comfortable about it.

Finding Exactly The Right Fit In Ballet Pointe Shoes

The options available in pointe shoes now should make pointe work easier. Get the necessary information in finding exactly the right fit, right now. Click on that link and you will see what the dancer's guide offers.

For parents reading this, please be aware that there is a considerable financial aspect at stake here. Pointe shoes cannot be purchased to grow into. They must fit like a glove, to be simplistic.If your child has a high arch, shoes may be broken completely, and useless for pointe work, in a matter of a few classes. This situation will improve as the feet strengthen, and the correct exercises to prepare for pointe will hasten the process.

A student's first fitting will take a lot of time. If a fitter or a dance teacher is available, that is a real plus. (Not all ballet stores have experienced fitters.)

The individual's foot shape must be examined. The length and tapering of the toes, the width across the metatarsals, the height of the arch, and the depth of the foot must all be fitted correctly. Badly fitting shoes can contribute to sprains and permanent injuries.

Before you get to the shoes, think about what you might want to use for protection inside the shoe. This will take up space in the shoe. The variety of gel pads, toe length adaptors, toe tips and all the other things are wonderful, but make sure you have room for them.

The boxes of pointe shoes come in tapered shapes, and square shapes. They must fit so that the foot does not sink into, or slide around inside the box. A longer second toe usually requires a slightly tapered, narrow to medium box, but there are no hard and fast rules. A longer big toe may also feel more comfortable in a tapered box, but every shape of shoe must be tried on.

Take a pair of tights with you, to put over your foot and try the shoes on. For your first fitting, don't wear the tights, as the fitter may ask to see your toes, if there is a problem getting a fit. Just in case.

You can check the vamp needed by rising up to 3/4 pointe, to see if the shoe break is where your metatarsal joints are. Too high a vamp will impede the foot movement, and too low a vamp will not provide support.

The stiffness of the shank will be determined by the arch height and ankle flexibility. You need to be able to get up onto the platform, the end of the shoes,fully, so that you are not working leaning into the back of the box. So the shank must give support, but not present so much resistance that you can't work properly. Most shoes will break in, and keep breaking in until suddenly they are worn out! That's the life of a pointe shoe.

When you are up on pointe, there should be about 1/4 inch of fabric at your heel. If there is none, the shoe is too short. If there is more, the shoe is too long. Also, if you do a demi-plie, and your toes are mashed into the box, hurting, the shoe is too short, too narrow, or both.

The vamp should not gape or wrinkle - neither should the sides. There should be equal pressure from the shoe all over the foot.

I've tried to keep these articles fairly short - but like your first few fittings - time, patience and detail is needed.

Here are a couple of wonderful references I have found ; is a detailed article written by a pointe shoe fitter is a graphic table of pointe shoe brands with specifications. It is an excellent guide to start with before you shop.

An expertly written ballet dancer's guide with all the necessary details will help you in finding exactly the right fit in pointe shoes.

Slow Cooked Macaroni and Cheese

Slow Cooked Macaroni and Cheese
Carnival of Recipes

This is a recipe that I love to make in the winter time. It is down home comfort food. I plan to make some late this evening for dinner on tomorrow. One of my coworkers made this for a luncheon and it was the hit out of all the food there. He did not use the tomatoes. Just all the other ingredients. I have made it with and without the tomatoes. It is still yummy! As one of my friends likes to say, "It is slap your momma good!" Enjoy!

  • 2 cups elbow macaroni, cooked, drained, rinsed with hot water (about 3 cups cooked macaroni)
  • 2 tablespoons real bacon bits
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped onion
  • 1 can (14.5 ounces) stewed tomatoes, undrained
  • 1 1/2 cups (6 oz) shredded mild Cheddar cheese
  • 1 (10 3/4 oz) can condensed cream of mushroom soup or cream of celery


In a slow cooker, combine macaroni, bacon bits, onion, undrained stewed tomatoes, and Cheddar cheese. Pour mushroom soup over top. Mix well to combine. Cover and cook on LOW for 6 - 8 hours. Mix well before serving.

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

Some Twenty-somethings still wear Slippers

There was a photo in the Times today which showed a twenty-something couple who were both wearing slippers. You sometimes hear people saying that nobody wears slippers anymore. Given that most fashionable clothes shops have slippers on their shelves, that does not appear to be correct.

Violin Wars

dirty Fila has been playing the violin since the 4th grade. Now she wants to stop playing. She goes to high school next year and she has informed me that she no longer wants to play a stringed instrument. Can we say violin war? Can we say Hell No! I think that it is very important for kids to have some extra curricular activities. It looks good on college resumes and it helps them to be more well rounded.

I reviewed her sign up sheet for next year and she had drama down as her special area. We had a long discussion and I changed it back to strings. She was not happy but she turned it in. Later about a week ago, she let it slip that she had changed it back to drama before turning it in. Now parents had to sign that. I will be looking into that for this fall. She needs to be taking strings. She has come to far to stop now. When she gets to college if she does not want to play, then make that change.

She needs to wear her violin shoes for just a little longer!

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

Ease in Forms

Web Forms can be made very easy these days with the help of Forms4free. It literally can be done in about 5 minutes and you do not know need to be en expert in HTML code. For a modest cost of $19.95 you will get a formmail file that you actually download to your website to create webforms for your site. The benefit of this is that it is not being done remotely and then sent to you. Using the wizard within the program will allow you to process the HTML form yourself. This also cuts down on spam by preventing the email address from being removed.

A working form is guaranteed so after you do purchase the program you are not left with problems. There is a staff there ready to help and to address any concerns that you may have. With no remote processing, your forms will look more professional as well. Check out Forms4free, you might just have to make that switch!

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

The Right Equipment

Well, as you know I love hiking boots and I do love my Sperry topsiders. If you read in a prior post this week I wore a pair to the beach and they got soaked. Shoes are not the only thing you need when dealing with the sea or the ocean or the beach. If you are doing any sort of activity, you also need to have the right equipment. While Sperry's are the perfect shoe for boating or fishing as they are made to get wet, they are not the only equipment needed for a perfect day of fishing.

For fishing, after purchasing those topsiders, you need to get the correct equipment for fighing, hiking or boating. That place would be Raymarine . They have all the top quality brands of fishing equipment to help make fishing a breeze. Brands like Astron, Garmin and Standard Horizon are some of the most trusted in the marine electronic industry.

Now it does not matter if you fish for a living or just sometimes for leisure. They will have all you need from radars, sonars, GPS systems and fish locators. To top it all of, they even had equipment at discount prices. In addition, they carry the fishing fundaments like rodholders and pliers.

If you need assistance, dedicated professionals are available from 9-6 on weekdays and a half day on Saturday. The company strives to make fishing easy, so when you pull away from the deck you will be just thinking about catching the big one and not worrying about faulty equipment. So be sure to check our Raymarine for all your electronics. They have all that you will ever need for going out to sea.

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

Home Fellowship on a Wet Evening

I went to home fellowship yesterday. Our home fellowship meets at the house of a family who evidently do not wear shoes at home. Usually, most of the group keep their shoes on; sometimes I am the only one to take my shoes off. Yesterday, with it raining outside most of the group removed their shoes.

The generation gap came out. All of the people in their twenties removed their shoes; those who kept them on were all middle-aged.

It was wonderful to see people taking their shoes off for once. But it would be nice to see them removing their shoes in dry weather as well. Does a line of shoes at the door not give people a clue?

Thursday Thirteen # 5

Thirteen of my Favorite Scents!
  1. The Ocean: There is nothing cleaner than the clear, fresh scent of an ocean breeze. I wish I could bottle the smell of the ocean and take it home with me when I leave! The air in the city is just not the same.
  2. The fragrance Knowing by Estee Lauder. This is my first preference for a winter fragrance. It smells so good I can just about eat it with a spoon. I get lots of compliments when I wear it , so it must agree with my body chemistry.
  3. The smell of my child, dirty Fila soon after she was born. You know that special smell that babies have. To me it was a heady perfume. I can remember that smell in my mind's eye.
  4. The smell of Safari by Ralph Lauren. Something about that smell of sweet old leather drives me wild. I am currently out o f it. I need to buy some more.
  5. I love the eucalyptus spearmint line of aromatherapy products by Bath and Body works. If I can't get to the ocean to de-stress, then I can use my bath salts, scrubs and creme
  6. Flowers, but only certain ones. Not the really smelly ones like paper whites. I love the smell of petunias, peonies and hyacinths.
  7. Pluff mudd: I grew up in the south near the ocean and that black icky mud of the marsh has a smell. It is decaying plants and marsh animals and methane gas. The mud actually "pluffs" when the gas is released. I love the smell of pluff mud. When I smell that I know I am home.
  8. The smell of nice cologne on a well dressed man. The key here is well dressed. If you were to place a man in scrubby jeans and sneakers next to a man in a suit and let them wear the same cologne, the man in the suit would smell better to me. There is something about a man in suit with nice cologne that takes me away.
  9. Rain: the smell of rain is just cool and refreshing
  10. Irish Spring Soap: if anyone has noticed I have been away from blogging since last November and am just getting back to blogging.( My last "13" was back in October and I had just begun to participate.) My father was ill and he died on December 22, 2006. He always used that soap. When all the funeral arrangements were being made and I would pass near the bath that he used, and I would always catch whiffs of that soap coming out of the bathroom. He had an 8 pack of it that he had recently bought before he died. About a week after he passed away I took a bar home with me and opened it and set it out in my own bathroom. I wanted to keep the smell of my father around for just a little while longer. He always smelled clean. I will always love the smell of Irish Spring soap.
  11. Christmas Trees: there is nothing like the smell of a fresh Christmas tree. I love it so much that I buy the candles and room spray from Bath and Body works that smell just like it. I can have that smell in March and July. dirty Fila is constantly hiding my can of room spray. I have been using it a lot this past month. She is always complaining,"Mom, it is not christmas, stop spraying that christmas tree spray !" She has even begun to hide my cans. Lucky for her, you can't hide much from a mom!
  12. Chocolate: I am a chocolate-holic. I love the smell of it. Love to eat it and drink it. There is no intervention that will work for me.
  13. I have saved the best for last. The smell of new shoes just out of the box. New leather shoes are intoxicating! The smell does not last long. The first time you open the box once you get a new pair home, take a sniff. Nothing like it! I bet most people never even relish that smell of new leather or even pay attention. Nothing smells as sweet as a new pair of shoes!

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

College Shoes

When I think back to college I do remember the sort of shoes I wore back then. This was in the early 1980's, so prep, punk rock and disco were in. When I was preppy I wore espadrilles, when I was doing out dancing under all those disco balls on the weekends I wore heals and when I was in school, I lived in those flat cloth chinese mary janes. I loved those shoes. I wore them day in and out. So did everyone else. They were less than $20 and so comfortable.

Comfort was key in those days to get us through all that studying. After 4 years I had a degree and was thinking about grad school. I did put that off after deciding to go to work. I wish now I had not. I should have gone right on and did it all at one time. They say hindsite is 20/20. Well, I still have the opportunity with an online degree program.

I have been reading about the masters program at Capella University. It is an established school that has been around for 15 years or more. They offer 82 graduate and undergraduate specializations and 16 certificate programs. So there will be many options to choose from. Instead of wearing my mary janes, I can wear my bathrooms slippers! With the program since it is e-learning I work from home when ever I want. The time is up to me.

As an adult learner, this program would be perfect as it would allow me to balance home, work and school. In addition, it will be changing my future as an advanced degree will open more financial doors and career opportunities than I have now. I would be able to download assignments, read notes and contribute to class discussions all by way of my computer or laptop. What could be easier than that? Don't wait! Make the move. Go on and get that degree. I really think that is the way I am headed for this fall. At least part time to begin on my masters. I have waited way too long to get started.

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


I took some bottles to the bottlebank to be recycled; there are plenty of empty bottles here.

As might be expected, there were lots of bits of broken glass sticking to my shoes after I had disposed of the bottles. No doubt there were also lots of even smaller particles of glass that I could not see.

Would you really want those bits of glass walked into your carpet or dragged across your laminate floor? Maybe the same floor your baby crawls on? Just take your shoes off at the door. It is not that difficult.

I did not even want those bits of glass in my car, and so I took my shoes off before driving home.

Valentino Shoes 2007

Valentino Metallic Bow d'Orsay


The sexy, feminine peep toe is back! Again the metallic shines on!

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

Pierre Hardy Shoes

Gold is always in, in my book. These shoes by Pierre Hardy have the midas touch! He has some great summer shoes in his collection! I would wear any of these! Love them! wel, mayeb I spoke to soon about the tennis shoes!

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

Virginity Lost

I lost my virginity today. I have waited a very long time. I went to the beach and it happened. No more was I pristine or, new, as in factory condition. I stepped into the water, almost got over my head and what can I say. It happened. I was swept up in the moment. The wind, the ocean breezes, the water.

Water lapped all around me and I knew I had been christened! I only went 1/2 way at first, but decided to go all the way. In I went. I walked into the ocean and got totally soaked! I must say I have never felt that way before. It was quite an experience! It was my first nautical experience.

My name is Sperry Topsider and today, Tinker wore me to the beach and jumped into the water with me on! I have never been wet before!

What did you think I was talking about? I am talking about shoes!

Shoes! Only shoe-ese is spoken here!

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

Pollen Warning

You can smell the pollen outside.

I have said it before, and I will say it again; if you or your family suffer from Hayfever, you can reduce the effects by leaving your shoes at the door and asking visitors to do the same.

Your shoes pick up pollen, don't grind the stuff into your carpet.

Earthday 5k Race donates shoes

The first annual Earth Day Run to Recycle 5K was held April 22 in Athens, Ohio. The $5 entry fee went to ship shoes to the Boulder headquarters of One World Running.

Photo: Janalee Stock and some of the Run to Recycle with shoes collected at the Earth Day race. The shoes were sorted, with the best ones going to Nepal.


There does seem to have been a huge rise in the number of photographic studios here in the UK. They are openning up all over the place.

What seems particulary popular are these photographs of people against a white background.

I have noticed that people in the white background photos are always either in socks or barefeet. I even saw a photo of two girls on a bicycle who were conspicuously in their socks.

I presume the reason for shoes being removed for these photos is that any black marks on the backdrop would spoil the photo.

I suppose it must be very annoying for the obsessive shoe fanatics that they cannot be photographed in their shoes in this style. Yet another example of how modern life brings us these shoes-off situations.

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 objectionable 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.