Healthy Brands of Shoes


Okabashi is the name of my latest favorite healthy brands of shoes. Actually the name is inspired by the Japanese concept of wellness. As a matter of fact, I have worn several brands of healthy shoes over many decades over my lifetime to date.

My three favorite healthy brands of shoes all available on
The three brands of healthy shoes are specifically Birkenstocks, Merrell Encore Breeze clogs, and Okabashi. As much as I love all three brands, Okabashi shoes are the most unique in of all of them for the following reasons.

Okabashi Intro
1. made in the USA
2. easy care
3. are eco-friendly
4. are very reasonably priced
The introduction to the concept of Okabashi shoes from their website
Birkenstocks from the Past
Let me just mention briefly that I no long wear Birkenstocks for one reason. One pair that I got caused a callous on the outside of my foot. As a result, they never were comfortable. The callous took years to soften, as well. Although I am sure they would be fine now, I wanted to try other brands. But I see they are on and much more affordable now, too.

healthy brands of shoes
These six pairs show the latest styles of Birkenstocks.
Merrell Encore Breeze Clogs Abound
This brand and style are still an integral part of my wardrobe. Actually a recent buying spree resulted in several very affordable additional pairs for me. Read about this on my blog entitled, Poshmark Fair Prices.

These six pairs of shoes show the latest colors of Merrell Encore Breeze clogs.
Okabashi Revealed
I have purposely waited to reveal the appearance of these shoes until they end. That is because I wanted my readers to be surprised. Besides all the benefits mentioned at the beginning of this post, they are very attractive. In addition, they come in great colors. So here they are. Besides an image, here is the website too,

Okabashi best sellers


Okabashi – Our Story
These Are the Best Shoe Brands for Feet
The Other 1%: One Of America’s Last Shoemakers Charts A Growth Path
Oka b – About Us
Third Oak – About Us


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Alison’s Health and Healing Project Graphics


My latest Health and Healing project graphics 2023©


Health and Healing project graphics are great fun to make for all my fermented beverages. In fact, I enjoy making Health and Healing projects graphics almost as much as making fermented food and beverages themselves.

In order to keep track of what I am doing with all my projects, I create promotional and identity graphics. At left, for this project, I have created a menu of the fermented food and beverages I am making.



It has been over 35 years since I created my first Health and Healing graphics. In fact, it was my first Health and Healing project called EAT FREE©. The name described an allergy muffin I created. It was free of wheat, dairy, and sugar. In fact, it was vegan before vegan even existed.
eat free flyer
My first health and healing project EAT FREE© flyer from 1987.
Do you notice something significant between the above two examples of Health & Healing graphics? The current piece, the menu happens to be computer generated while the vintage piece or flyer was completely freehand drawn by me.

At the time the flyer was created, I did not have access to a computer. Currently, all my graphics is computer generated. In reverse, my current Health and Healing projects themselves draw upon vintage, handmade formulas and recipes.

Illustrations work by Susan Branch, Beatrix Potter, and Mary Engelbreit

As much as I would like to create lovely handmade illustrations of my current work, the computer is easier for me. Unfortunately I do not have the skill of other artists like Susan Branch, Beatrix Potter and Mary Engelbreit to manifest handmade marvels.

Ali's Kombucha Kitchen
Ali’s Kombucha kitchen


There is an essence to all of this. It is actually captured by the senses through the ethereal vibration of it all. There is the visual, the aroma, the taste, the feeling. Although I cannot capture some of these qualities, ultimately the products is essential.

It is my sincerest desire that you will experience something special through my Health and Healing project graphics. May that be the quality of transporting you to the products themselves. Ultimately that is where the benefits and the joy reside.


Fermented Sauerkraut
Beet Kvass
Ginger ale
Susan Branch
Beatrix Potter
Mary Engelbreit


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Poshmark Fair Price Purchasing


Poshmark fair purchasing prices are one of the reasons I love to shop their online store. In fact, this blog post highlights my results using the example of purchasing five pairs of my favorite brand/style Merrell Encore Breeze Clogs. The contributing factors include condition, color, size and the purchase price.

Merrell Shoe company logo
Recent Purchases The body of the blog post describes my recent purchases over a period of a month. These five pairs of Merrell Encore Breeze Clogs ranged in price from $5 to $24. The purchasing factors included prices reflected by condition as well as desired colors. Actually most of the pairs looked next to new. Besides that, an abundance of desirable colors in my size were available. What a feast was at my fingertips.

Price Range Keep in mind that some of the shoes were in better shape than others. As a result, the final cost reasonably reflected that. Most amazing is the fact that new full price Merrell Encore Breeze Clogs cost over $100 +tax and shipping. That can be many times more than what I found on Poshmark
new shoes
Each of these new pairs of Merrell Encore Breeze Clogs retails for almost $105.
Denim Clogs I could see in the pictures that the denim ones were not in the best shape. But I wanted this color so I bid very low. To my delight, I now have denim Merrell clogs for $5+shipping.

My bid of $5 plus shipping was accepted for these denim Merrell Encore Breeze Clogs
Denim Clogs Again by Mistake Due to the sellers poor color photos and an incorrect color description, I purchased a second pair of denim clogs. Their condition is substantially better than the first so I will have new looking denim clogs for years to come.

Denim like new $20
These denim Merrell Encore Breeze clogs have been on my kist for a long time.
Burgundy Clogs The burgundy clogs were in similar shape to the $5 denim pair so I bid $6. My wardrobe now includes them also. So far my Poshmark fair price system is working. This means that the price of each pair of shoes reflects the factors I required.

My bid of $6 plus shipping was accepted for this pair of Ruby Merrell Encore Breeze Clogs
Silver Mist Clogs To continue, my list for fall includes neutral as well as autumn colors. Two pair fit the bill. Because their condition is closer to new, the cost is greater. But the quality and price are still outstanding. As a result, I was able to purchase a pair for $24+5.95. So far fair purchasing prices have resulted in three pairs of Merrell Encore Breeze Clogs for a total of $35+shipping.

I paid $24+$5.95 shipping for these silver mist Merrell Encore Breeze Clogs.
Brown Clogs So far, I have purchased five pairs of Merrell Encore Breeze Clogs for around including shipping. In contrast, the cost of one new pair of these shoes would cost $100+ tax and shipping each for a total of over $500.+

I paid $12+ shipping for these brown Merrell Encore Breeze Clogs
Still to Come One additional thing I need to mention is color availability. This means that a newer color increases the price. For example, I would love to have a pair of clogs in the green family for autumn. But the newer shade of green they come in is called olive. So any pair I find thus far in this color is still too pricey. Everywhere I have looked to date is way above my budget. Therefore I will wait until the color is not so new. At that point the price will reduce to a negotiating point where I can start my biding.

olive clogs
The Merrell Encore Breeze clog in olive
In Conclusion The five pairs of clogs listed here clearly illustrate how it is possible to get Poshmark fair prices. Even if a particular seller prices something too high the average cost of other shoes placed in a reasonable price range will adjust the prices. As you can see my system works very well in purchasing great merchandise with Poshmark fair prices.

In other words, it was possible to get five pairs of Merrell clogs on Poshmark including shipping for about the same price as one new retail pair. Why spend more retail when Poshmark provides so much more for so much less? I can’t think of one good reason. This is why I love to shop on Poshmark.


History of Merrell
Inside Merrell
History of Poshmark
About Poshmark
Merrell Encore Breeze Clog Story
Why Buy Second Hand


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Why Buy Second Hand


Buying second hand is growing in popularity these days. In fact, there are numerous very good reasons for buying second hand. In this blog post I will attempt to explain some of them. Of greatest importance is the fact that we are actually bordering on a global crisis that needs a permanent antidote not just a booster for a passing phase.

Discover the Apple Certified Refurbished promise from
Economy is one of the main reasons to buy second hand. Actually many people cannot afford to pay their bills and buy necessary things. As a result, second hand options can be a lifesaver as far as cost goes. For example refurbished products like computers are significantly less expensive than new ones. But the quality can be almost like new.

New cars specifically are known to lose thousands of dollars in value the moment they are driven off the lot. Thus economy is a great reason to buy a ‘previously owned’ product. In fact, in the movie Driving Miss Daisy, every time Jessica Tandy got a new car, her chauffer played by Morgan Freeman would purchase the car her son traded in for her new one.

Ecology is another reason to buy second hand. The United States for example is known for its garbage. Things are disposed of long before it is necessary. Quality items are needlessly replaced with the latest (often poorly produced) items. In fact there is so much garbage that the planet is choking with it.

Actually, there is almost nothing that man has made that cannot have a second life either in whole or in part. In other words, we are unnecessarily creating mountain of garbage and trash instead of practicing reduce-reuse-recycle.

Garbage: The Back End of the Renewable Economy from

The Production/Consumption Cycle

Ending the Over-Production/Over-Consumption Cycle Our economy runs on a very toxic system known as the production/consumption cycle. In other words people have to produce and people have to consume to keep our current economic cycle going. Unfortunately this system involves overproduction and overconsumption. Gluttony, too much garbage, and national debt are the result.

flashy new car

New products may seem preferable, even justified conspicuous consumption. But are they worth it? In fact, they are often poorly made. The result may well be a flashy but short-lived ride to the garbage dump.

Both necessity and over-consumption may lead consumers into debt. Thus, we need to incorporate additional components into our current production/consumption cycle for economic solvency. One of these additions is called ‘buying second hand’. As a result, this can be part of a permanent cure, not just a temporary band aid to our current broken system.

reduce, reuse, recycle
Reduce, Reuse, Recycle-Inspire Health and Spirit from Inspire Health and

Challenges and Solutions There are items to buy second hand and other things to stay away from.

What to Buy Second Hand There are some great second hand suggestions from buying second hand from Best Second-Hand Deals on

buying second hand
Buying second hand from Best Second-Hand Deals on
What Not to Buy Second Hand Stay away from non-perishable packaged and canned items with expired dates on them, the same with OTC medicine, etc.

7 Tips for Eco-Conscious Living Without Sacrificing Comfort and Style

On the whole though there is much more that does fit into the reduce, reuse, and recycle cycle. Therefore do everything possible to to participate in this system by buying second hand. As a result, it will help you and the planet.


Things to Buy Second Hand
Why You Should Buy A Used Car Instead of New.
Garbage: The Back End of the Renewable Economy
Reduce, Reuse, Recycle
About Refurbished Computers from Apple
7 Tips for Eco-Conscious Living Without Sacrificing Comfort and Style


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NYC Public Markets


Good Things Are in Store

Since 1937, the NYC Public Retail Markets serve as culinary gathering places. Originally a 10-market system, these markets were constructed by the City of New York itself. The continued goal is to provide the public with an affordable supply of fresh food. Today, six remaining markets serve as a thriving testament to the food history that enriches New York City.

(Left) Typical scene of Lower East Side St peddlers and (Right) Mayor LaGuardia opens the First Avenue Retail Market, 1938 (Museum of the City of New York).
Mission At NYC Public Retail Markets, the central mission is to foster shared prosperity, equity, and empowerment across the city. In doing so, this strengthens neighborhoods and creates entrepreneurial job opportunities as well.

• • Bronx-East-Harlem
the Arthur Avenue Market in the Bronx and La Marqueta in East Harlem
Commitment Actually, the commitment is to make these markets not only world-class destinations. But it is also to provide access to affordable, healthy food—all as well. In addition to that preserving each market’s cultural heritage is also crucial.
Gourmet Glatt in Brooklyn and Moore Street in Brooklyn
Thriving Ethnic Diversity Of the original ten markets, a six market system survives today. In fact, it include locations all over New York City. the Arthur Avenue Market, Essex Market, Gourmet Glatt, Jamaica Farmers Market, La Marqueta, and the Moore Street Market.
Lower East Side of Manhattan and Jamaica, Queens, NY


New York City’s Public Markets, Past and Present | Turnstile TOURS
Public Markets NYC
Arthur Avenue Market
Essex Market
Gourmet Glatt
Jamaica Farmers Market
La Marqueta
Moore Street Market


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Merrell Encore Breeze Clog Story


The Merrell Encore Breeze Clogs color story offers an idea of what colors were most popular at what times in fashion color trends.

Their Appeal I attribute this to the prolific amount of Merrell Encore Breeze clog colors over the years. In fact this is confirmed by the fact that the only other shoe might be the Converse brand. In fact, I think I have an even number of both. For preference sake I am using The Merrell clogs as my time/color/detail litmus test.

Standard colors For simplicity, I have limited all the Merrell Encore Breeze clogs to the same pattern, fabric, and trim. To start here are the standard/basic colors.

The Merrell Encore Breeze clog history has an immense variety of colors dating them like a timeline. Shoe here are two standards, Black and tan.
Patriotic colors Built upon that in the last 10-20 years, Merrell Encore breeze shoes came in patriotic colors such as red and royal blue.

The Merrell Encore Breeze clog history has an immense variety of colors dating them like a timeline. Shoe here are two patriotic colors, red and royal blue.
Neon colors Besides the patriotic colors, Merrell stepped into the neons. For example came magenta and orange. When these became available, I loved them. Of course, I had to buy them. They may have even been full retail price.
The Merrell Encore Breeze clog history has an immense variety of colors dating them like a timeline. Shoe here are two neon colors, orange, and magenta.
Nearly Neon Merrell had a toned down phase to nearly neon But. I am not certain if it came before or after full neon. Either way, they are great colors as well.

The Merrell Encore Breeze clog history has an immense variety of colors dating them like a timeline. Shoe here are two nearly neon colors, turquoise, and lime.
Sprinkled in Time and Current Subtle Tones There are so many additional colors and themes that it is not possible to know where they have been sprinkled in time. But one thing is for sure. There is nothing like them. From then, now or the future. The current subtle tones are exhibited below.

The Merrell Encore Breeze clog history has an immense variety of colors dating them like a timeline. Shoes shown here are current, subtle tones.


Merrell (company)
Inside Merrell
The Story Behind Merrell Shoes and How They Came to Be


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A General History of Pencils


Researching a general history of pencils reveals how long this story is but also how recent it has become to its ending as a primary writing tool. Especially now that we have access to personal computers of all shapes and sizes for just about every task, pencils have become somewhat archaic for everyday use. But there is an exception to this rule.

Writing Tablets
history of pencils
Double Sided Old School Slate/Chalkboard-Ebay
Let’s go back a bit in the history of writing before pencils were available. I refer in fact primarily two types of writing systems.

Chalkboard One was only a few centuries ago using chalk as the writing instrument over slate as the surface. (Left)

Ancient Tablet Then the other was from ancient Rome using wax covered wood as the writing surface with a stylus as the writing instrument. (Below)

history of pencils

History of the Pencil This section is quoted from Wikipedia.

history of pencils

history of pencils

history of pencils

Special Pencils For everyday use the pencil is somewhat of a dinosaur. As mentioned earlier, the primary system is once again a tablet or a pad. But now it is a computer not slate, wood, wax or clay.

But in one situation, there is still a need and use for the pencil. This is in the area of drawing also known as art or illustration. In this area there are some very special pencils. For example, there is the Blackwing. The original ones are shown below costing $1,520 for a dozen.

original blackwing pencils 1Dozen Brand New – Eberhard Faber Blackwing 602 Pencils with Original Box Perfect Brand New $1,520.00 Extra 5% off with coupon or Best Offer + $8.00 shipping on Ebay

More About Pencils In future posts, there will be more information focusing on Blackwing 620, Staedtler, and Eberhard Faber.


Example of a wax tablet with Roman stylus
Slate School Writing Tablet | Chalk Teacher Student Classroom | Remote Learning
Cuneiform Writing: How Clay And Reeds Changed the World
1 Dozen Brand New – Eberhard Faber Blackwing 602 Pencils with Original Box Perfect
Definition and History-Wikipedia

Carpenter Pencil (Top and bottom image of this blog post)

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What I Wish to Wear on An I Like Red Day


Today is an ‘I like red’ day. In fact I have been having lots of those days, lately. If there is something I have in red, I wear it. If I like something but don’t have it, then I like to find a photo and write about it. Therefore here is how I do it.

color wheel
wiki color wheel on
Merrell Clogs It just so happens that there are two items on Poshmark that I love. In fact both are red. One is a pair of shoes and one is a purse. Right now I can neither afford nor find them in the right size or an affordable price. So here is the next best thing.

For example Merrell Encore Breeze clogs are one of my favorite pairs of shoes. They actually used to come in all sorts of bright colors. But no more. So I did find the perfect color on the account of filli58 on Poshmark. Unfortunately, they are too small. Therefore, they are part of my ‘I like red day’ blog post list.

Red Merrell Encore Breeze
Merrell Encore Breeze Red Rose Mesh Mules Clogs Womens Size 5.5 on Poshmark
In another situation, I found an Arcadia bag in the color I like. In fact, I know that I like it because I have one in another color just like it. But again, it’s a no go. At over $100. it can only be a dream for now. Therefore it goes into the I’ll write about it category. So here it is, gorgeous for all to see.

Arcadia Handbag This beauty comes from the Poshmark account of ‘nmartinyuk’. In fact, I know it would coordinate perfectly with the Merrell Encore Breeze red clogs as well as anything else I’d need it to.

Arcadia red tan trim satchel shoulder bag
Arcadia red tan trim satchel shoulder bag on Poshmark

So I am going to head off to my real and imaginary closet. Actually, that is where I will find just what I want to complete an I like red day outfit. You are welcome to join me.

My Real and Imaginary Closet

The magic of what is behind these closet doors is the real as well as the imagined. Between what is really in my wardrobe in addition to what I wish could be behind these closet doors is the complete wardrobe of whatever I imagine.

For example, the Merrell clogs are the right size in addition to the gorgeous Arcadia bag is the right price. When I open the doors, my completed ensemble is complete, real as well as imaginary.

magic folding doors from


Accordian closet doors
Merrell Encore Breeze Red Clogs
Arcadia red tan trim satchel shoulder bag


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Drafting Tools Before The Computer


Pre computer drafting tools are the precursor to what the computer came to be able to produce. In fact several great manual tool companies existed during this pre computer time. One happens to be, Keuffel & Esser.

History of Keuffel & Esser
History of K & E from Wikipedia

a metal tool box with a USC School of Architecture sticker on it
My Interest in K & E In 1966 when I entered the School of Architecture & Fine Arts at the University of Southern California, personal computers were not yet available. At that time, everything had to be drawn by hand in other words with pre computer drafting tools. This meant that tools such as a drafting set were particularly essential. As a result, I bought what I could collecting the best.

 K & E drafting set
my K & E drafting set bought in the Los Angeles K & E store in 1966 when I majored in Architecture at the University of Southern California

The Charrette Corporation

Decades later, I worked for the West Side Highway Project in Lower Manhattan. That was just about the time that the dynasty of K & E pre computer drafting tools ceased. Meanwhile another great company was born, the Charrette Corporation. Read all about the Charrette Corporation in a series of blog posts that I wrote.

Drafting Tools and Equipment Born in a janitor’s closet of the Harvard Graduate School of Design, Charrette evolved into the largest and most prestigious company of its kind with stores over a good part of the East Coast. Actually, their warehouse in Woburn, Massachusetts carried more stock for example of Letraset dry transfer lettering than the Letraset Corporation itself.

Letraset© and the Charrette Red Van
The Charrette Red Van Equally unique to Charrette was the red van that made trips every evening between the Boston (Woburn) warehouse and NYC for its high end clients. Quality was as much a part of Charrette’s service as it was of the products themselves.

Pencils There were several kinds of pencils considered highly functional during the pre computer time continuing to the present. Specifically, they ranged from wooden to metal mechanical. Currently there is one brand of pencil that is highly prized, the Eberhard Faber Blackwing.

Blackwing pencils
The Eberhard Faber Blackwing Pencil available for $920.
T-squares, Triangles, and . . . When I began this post it never occurred to me how much there would be to write about. Therefore there will be more on this topic. But at another time.


History of Keuffel & Esser
The Day the Slide Rule Arrived
Slide Rule
Technical Pens
Rapidograph Pens
On Writing Well: The History of Blackwing Pencils
Charrette Corporation
Objects | Charrette Corporation
The History of Blackwing Pencils


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Black Money Love As Laura Redux


Elif the Socialite with her star crossed lover Omer the ‘cop’ from Black Money Love

I believe that Black Money Love, the present day Turkish Netflix series was inspired by the 1944 Academy Award winning American film classic Laura.

In fact my husband and I used to wonder who would make a good cast for a remake of one of our favorite film noir movies. Perhaps Ashley Judd and a younger Harrison Ford? Maybe, but not really.

Laura Redux And then it came to me, like a sudden spark in a quiet moment as I dove off to sleep. There is already a remake so to speak. Actually, it may be with a broad interpretive brush, not a tight translation. But nonetheless, a Turkish series on Netflix, Black Money Love shares enough of a resemblance to fit the inspirational bill.
Dana Andrews, the ‘cop’ interrogating Gene Tierney, the Socialite from Laura.


Primarily the storyline targets the on-again-off-again love affair between a socialite and a cop. In fact this is one of the major themes where the two productions share their stories and what joins them as original theme and remake.
How The Lovers Meet The second coincidence is that both sets of lovers meet over the death of someone they knew. In fact, the peculiarity of such a meeting ties both stories closely together in their similarities as reflections of each other.
Subplots Then going into the detail of their subplots, there are more similarities. For example, the story pits good against evil, love versus greed, themes that further reflect each other.


In case this all seems to far fetched, one can just compare the characters in each production. I wish to leave this exercise to the reader. Again it is uncanny the number of similarities to draw from this task.


We may never know if Laura was in the minds of the creators of Black Money Love when the latter was made. The refrain from overt violence in Laura is exploited in Black Money Love. But that is typical of present day cinema.

However that difference does not separate them. It is merely expletive style. Whether one of these series was based on the brilliance of the other may never be actually documented. Nonetheless, the similarities that clearly exist leave plenty of room for speculation as well as ample entertainment.


Gene Tierney Movie Page
Kara Para Ask
Film Noir


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