I hate to shop. OK, I like to shop at Whole Foods because the butchers treat me well. Shopping online for others is a different story. I like that, just not shopping for myself.

Dog bowls are coming, Zoe. They sent you cat bowls instead and your set has been rusting away for nearly 12 years. I got you a stand so you won’t have to bend down to eat. I’ll keep the perfectly intact bowls in the car tub (jumper cables, mylar blanket et al) for you.

My husband has worn a really nice shirt, gabardine trousers and exquisite shoes to work for years. Then he did what I call “Utah formal” for a few years which could include very nice corduroy slacks and an expensive cowboy shirt, no snaps, only buttons. The shirt could be Stetson, Resistol or George Strait.

Now he has to make a statement in a suit, same level shirt. But he needs long ties because he’s tall. Usually he only wore suit and tie to funerals, but now he has to do it every day.

We started with ties and found a company that makes wonderful silk ties that fit. Then I decided to give him a signature piece for everyone to see at work, on the plane, in a seminar.

It is a tie bar or clip. As of end of the week he will have six of them to use as he deems appropriate. They are designed to get positive attention and motivate teams.

He grew up on a dairy farm so I got him a Euclid tractor clip circa 1960’s. Off road vehicles, dump trucks, after many years now owned by Volvo. He drives an old Volvo so it’s appropriate.

He is the son and I am the granddaughter of a carpenter, so a level. Yes, in the tie bar. A real level.

Loves machinery so I found a steampunk watch mechanism.

Science, An Erienmeyer flask for physics and chemistry, his college degree.

A hand-stamped clip that says MAY THE FORCE BE WITH YOU for his love of Star Wars and sci-fi.

Then for his ability to play well with others, a tie bar with DNA.

I’m also saving his life. He is at airport gates with crying kids all the time and keeps Swedish balloons in his pockets and his hat. Once he makes a dog or pirate sword from a balloon the kid is happy, everyone wins. He usually has pumps for this but in airport lounges he only can blow. I can’t blow one up or twist a dog or his favorite, Wyle E Coyote. Wyle takes time and he’s out of practice.

A tie statement with quality tie and interesting embellishment is easier. More fun as I got to make a statement, shop for my husband and write to you, Dee


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