Funf: Theology

As you know, my daughter had to finish her semester of college at home. This was obviously challenging for a variety of reasons. Her classes were not set up to be done in a virtual atmosphere, and both professors and students kept trying to adapt.

Today, I give a shout out to her theology professor.

Her university is Catholic and has core requirements so she must take two semesters of theology. Her theology class happened to have a large number of foreign students, so he said that being live for classes was not mandatory and that they were free to watch the lectures on tape. He also changed it to one lecture a week instead of three.

Students from as far away as the Philippine’s and Vietnam still showed up every Tuesday at 3pm EST, even though it was about 3am local time.

This past Tuesday, the last day of class, he personally called out every student by name and thanked them for making the absolute best in the absolute worst of times, highlighting their professionalism and attitude and work ethic.

Cheers to all of them, for showing up, for working hard, and for adapting the best they could. Cheers to a teacher that understood that there were greater lessons to be learned than those within the four walls of the classroom.

Vier- 333

You all know I’m all about minimizing what I own. Last year I tried getting down to a 144 piece wardrobe (excluding shoes and accessories and outerwear) and I was able to come pretty close to 144. A year later I am still happy with how this worked out. I did not miss anything that I got rid of.

This year I read a book, “Project 333 The Minimalist Fashion Challenge that Proves Less Really is So Much More” by Courtney Carver. The theory behind this book is that you have 33 pieces per season. The thing is, this 33 includes outerwear, accessories, footwear and clothes. It does not include uniforms, sleepwear, and workout clothing. There is a caveat to workout clothing: If you wear gym leggings on days that you don’t go to the gym or workout, they count as part of your 33.

33 things? Can anyone do it?

I know I did a tongue in cheek version of this on Monday, because let’s face it- I’m sitting in my bathrobe now as I write, and this will morph into sweats and a t shirt. But what if this were a normal spring? Could I actually do a 33 piece wardrobe?

So, sort of live before you, I’m going to list my 33 pieces….

  1. blank tank dress
  2. black form fitting t shirt dress
  3. black A line dress with buttons down front
  4. grey t shirt dress
  5. black leggings
  6. long black cardigan
  7. long black and white sweater coat
  8. short structured black jacket
  9. knee length flannel shirt
  10. black t shirt
  11. white tunic blouse
  12. sleeveless black blouse
  13. long denim trench
  14. camo jacket
  15. moto books
  16. knee high boots
  17. ballet flats
  18. white canvas sneakers
  19. black pearl studs
  20. silver dangle earrings
  21. pink watch
  22. grey cuff bracelt
  23. silver link bracelet
  24. long silver necklace
  25. chunky beaded choker
  26. silver mid length necklace
  27. pashmina
  28. floral scarf
  29. paisley scarf
  30. rain boots
  31. olive green scarf
  32. silver watch
  33. silver drop earrings

Ok- honestly- it was actually hard to come up with 33 things!

I tried to factor in all the things I would normally do. The only other things I considered were my semi formal LBD and a pair of pumps. I debated flat sandals also. because this wardrobe would run mid march to mid june. Obviously I probably needed a coat…

A wardrobe like this actually works for me, because I already sort of dress in a uniform. I usually wear a solid base look of mainly black, and then I throw on a top layer. (I’m big on layers)

My big problem would be that I love accessories. I like a plain base because I love statement jewelry and scarves and funky jackets. (I am mourning the fact that in early March I made a total impulse purchase- a knee length denim trench coat that I love- but alas never wore because days later we entered the land that time forgot)

I don’t know if I could deal with the lack of jewelry and scarves and jackets/cardigans.

I love the concept of getting by with less…

Do you think you could take 33 items from your closet, box everything else into storage, and make three months of outfits?

What would your 33 be?

Drei- Emotions

You are allowed to be all three. Feelings are not mutually exclusive.


Just because you have what appears to be contradictory thoughts doesn’t make you a bad person. It makes you human.

Angry, sad, grief stricken, bored, frustrated…scared.  You can be any combination of these and still be ok…

Accept your feelings. Accept the feelings of others.

Zwei- Capsule

You know I love a capsule wardrobe. I recently read a book, “The 333 Project”. The premise of this book is to create seasonal capsule wardrobes that contain no more than 33 pieces. These 33 pieces include shoes, outwear, jewelry and accessories. I am very intrigued by this idea. I love the idea of doing with less. Last year I did a 140 piece wardrobe challenge: it really worked for me. I found that I spent much less money buying things I really need, learned how to figure out what things I truly loved, and spent much less time getting dressed…

33 items is a small list though…could I pair down to 33 things for a season?

I decided to give it a try. So I present to you my Spring 2020 333 Project….or as I like to call it, The Quarantine Fifteen…

Einer- Highlights

Now begins my foray into languages that I can’t even pretend to know how to count from one to fourteen…

As I begin my fourth two week grouping…

I know many of you disagreed with my new stance of live and let live….

I’m going to show some pictures that I took yesterday when I walked my dog at the park. You will see the reality of one nice day in the city. As the weather gets nicer, defenses will begin to go down. Do you really want people to start reporting each other for trying to feel normal? There were a lot of people in the park yesterday- I just stood in one spot and sort of swung around real quick. This will continue to happen, unless the city decides to shut us down completely…

Also, I want you to think about this: How do you think a person of color feels, or is treated when they enter a store with a mask on… I know we all have utopian ideals, but I want you to think of the reality of the situation. Again, I state that I live in the most liberal, tolerant city in America. If it happens here, it happens everywhere.

Quattorodici- Gratitude

Last weekend New York City Mayor and former Democratic Presidential nominee stated that New Yorkers should feel free to report their neighbors who are not social distancing.

“All you do is take the photo and put the location with it, and bang, send a photo like this, and we will make sure that enforcement comes right away.”

I am grateful that my Amazon Alexa device is no longer the greatest danger to my personal freedoms….

On a serious note, a few weeks ago I gave grief to people who wouldn’t wear masks. This was wrong of me to do. (mark this down in your calendars for something else that happened in 2020- we admitting that I was wrong)

No one has the right to tell anyone what to do. No one has the right to shame someone else for doing what is right to them.

I am sorry.

But the top part of my post? Sorry…not sorry…

Tredici- Situational

I was talking to my daughter yesterday and I asked her what she thought confidence was. My daughter is by all accounts a reasonably confident young woman.

Her first thought was that no one is actually “confident” all day long. She said everyone is situationally confident.

What does that mean? She explained it like this:

If you ask a coder to give a Tedtalk about coding, they might be nervous about public speaking and not be confident in that regard. But, no matter what, they are going to be confident in coding.

Now ask that same coder to give a Tedtalk about dog grooming, and then they instantly become unconfident about everything.

I asked her about herself: does she think she is confident?

Her answer; most of the time. She is confident in the things she knows, like the things she studied for her French test the other day.

But- her next example showed me something else. She did moot court competitions throughout high school and continued into college. Briefly, moot court is similar to arguing in front of the Supreme Court. You and your partner plead your side of a case to a panel of judges, and another team pleads the opposite side. She spends a lot of time prepping for these, and feels mainly confident entering a competition. But sometimes the judge will ask her a question that she has absolutely no idea how to answer.

At that moment she begins to lose confidence in her ability.


She says that she has become really good at stating things in a confident manner. She has enough skills in her toolbox to push her through the parts of life that she feels are out of her depth. But this does not mean that she felt confident at that moment.


She says after a competition the first thing people say to her is that her confidence is what got her through the round.

So that’s the explanation of someone who appears confident, yet doesn’t feel it. Fake it till you make it.

I asked her to describe what makes someone confident. Instead of a laundry list of adjectives, she said confidence comes down to one thing:


She said it is impossible to be confident if you are not resilient. Confidence is the ability to screw up, lose, embarrass yourself, whatever, yet still get up and do it again.

You can’t be resilient without confidence, you can’t be confident without resilience.


what say ye about my daughter’s theory?




Dodici- Assertive v Aggressive

This week I’ve been laboring on about how women are viewed in our society. Consciously or subconsciously, we meet a woman and often label her, decide whether or not we like her, put her into a category. How do we identify what triggers these thoughts, feelings and emotions? By figuring that out, we can only then figure out how to not to that.

What is assertive?

What is aggressive?

These words came up often the past few days. We use them as positives, and we also use them as negatives. I bet if you ask five people, each one will have a different interpretation of these words.

Let’s cut to the dictionary (Oxford):

Assertive: having or showing a confident and forceful personality

Aggressive: ready or likely to attack or confront

If I had to venture a guess, I’d say the difference between these words is tone. One word is clearly more forthright than the other. I understand why in normal life, aggressive might not be the way to go. Sometimes….I’ll add, because maybe I don’t want to be physically aggressive, but aggressive with words? I think there is a time and a place for that…(and now that I think about it, I would rather my daughter have the ability to speak aggressively when she needs to- so aggressive leans over the line towards good quality for me)

Now, about assertive.

Why are there problems with assertive?

If we look at the definition, assertive is confident and forceful.

What’s wrong with confident and forceful?

Do we reserve our issues with women who are confident and forceful, or are these  equal opportunity adjectives?

When you say a woman is assertive, is it a good thing or a bad thing? What about a man?

When you think assertive and aggressive, what comes to mind? This is a case of examples helping clarify a definition, so think of maybe a character in a movie or book or TV show.  Elizabeth Bennett is clearly assertive, even in a time and place where she really wasn’t supposed to be. I’d say, you could even call her aggressive in certain scenes.

I think we know she is my favorite character in literature.

So, think about characters that exhibit aggressive or assertive traits. Do you like them, admire them? Respect them? Hate them?



Undici- Confidence


Let’s let the New Oxford American Dictionary define it:

  1. the feeling or belief that one can rely on someone or something; firm trust
  2. the state of feeling certain about the truth of someone
  3. a feeling of self assurance arising from one’s appreciation of one’s own abilities or qualities
  4. the telling of private matters or secrets with mutual trust
  5. (s) a secret or private matter told to someone under a condition of trust

That’s what the dictionary says. But as is the case with some words, there are a variety of ways that people interpret this word. What exactly do any of those definitions mean? Does what confidence means to us change over time? What is confidence really?

I think the largest problem with something like confidence is that every individual has an idea in mind when they think who is confident. I might think person A is confident, while my friend might not think that person A is not confident at all, but they really think person B is confident…and so on.

When you think of confident, what are the adjectives that come to mind? What traits make up a confident person?

For fun, I just looked up synonyms for confident. (Oxford) These include:

  1. self-assured
  2. self-confident (duh)
  3. positive
  4. assertive
  5. self-possessed
  6. self-reliant
  7. poised
  8. cool
  9. calm
  10. collected
  11. level headed
  12. composed
  13. nonchalent
  14. unperturbed
  15. serene
  16. together
  17. optimistic
  18. sanguine
  19. positive
  20. satisfied

So what do you think? When you think of confident, do these words make sense?

For your homework today:

  1. Think up at least one person you consider confident, and name at least two words that describe why you think of confident
  2. From the list above, which five words best describe what you think of when you think of a confident person
  3. Name a person you know (famous or not) that embodies what you chose as confident
  4. Pick at least one other synonym for confident, or an alternative definition

extra credit: pick one of the synonyms I listed and explain why it is NOT a synonym for confident

Dieci- Messages

A few years ago my husband came home with one of his work colleagues who was in town from Chicago. My Mother happened to be over because she was taking my daughter to something (Broadway show if I ventured to guess)

I was doing whatever, and my husband and F sat down in the living room and talked. My Mother called me into the kitchen:

Mother: Don’t you offer him coffee?

Me: ?

Mother: You’re the lady of the house. The lady of the house offers coffee to guests.

Me: K is the man of the house. He can offer his friend whatever he wants to.

Mother: dismissive language and body movements…

Want another anecdote?


About fifteen years ago when my daughter was about three, my sister in laws husbands brothers wife had a baby. (OK- I couldn’t think about how to show this connection so I hope you get what I mean). My Mother in Law calls me up.

MIL: Did you get A a baby gift?

Me: Who?

MIL: A. M’s brother in law. He just had a baby.

Me: No. I didn’t get them a gift. I barely know them. I didn’t even know she was pregnant. I don’t even know if I knew he got married. Who did he marry?

MIL: You have to get a gift.

Me: (in my head- WTF) He didn’t get me a gift when I had a baby.

MIL: Men don’t know how to do those things. That’s a woman’s job.

Ok- so what did we learn here other than I have overbearing people in my life?

There are still people who define things on the basis of sex. Should a woman be responsible for providing refreshments and buying gifts? There is nothing wrong with offering a beverage to someone who came to your house. There is nothing wrong with buying your sister in laws husbands brothers wife a gift…

But does the responsibility lie upon the feet of the woman?

Is it still “expected” for a woman to do these things?

Now I want you to think about your own life. Have you ever inadvertently assumed something was the responsibility of either one sex or another?

There have been a bunch of jokes recently about parents teaching their kids, how difficult it is, etc. But the really funny thing about these jokes is that the vast majority are of the Mother teaching the kids. I don’t know if I’ve seen one that shows the Father playing teacher. Now is it because Father’s are much better at home tutoring their kids? (Challenge if that’s the case…) Or is it because we just assume the Mother will be teaching? Are Mother’s teaching because it is assumed to be “their job”?

When women and men go out- who usually drives?

Who is supposed to take our the garbage?

Have you ever told son “Watch out for your sister?’ Do you tell a girl to watch our for her brother?

Are we clinging to gender stereotypes just because?

What are we telling our children when we continue to cling to traditional gender roles?

What are we telling ourselves?