I am reading Joyce Porter’s A Meddler and Her Murder. I’m a great fan of Joyce Porter, but her books are out of print and I don’t own most of them, so I was excited to have the chance — thanks to Booksfree — to reread this one.

Booksfree and Frugalreader have allowed me to reduce my book expenditures dramatically without having to read less, and I have diverted some of the funds thus freed up to clothing. The average woman buys an article of clothing every week, so I have no business being proud of myself for having bought eight garments this year — but that is more than ever before. I managed six the previous year, after having never bought more than three a year for a couple of decades.

And I bought shoes.

I wrote about it when I went shoe shopping to begin with. Following what I think was Rachelsent’s excellent advice, I bought silver pumps that echoed the ornamentation of the dress. They were on clearance for the price of a paperback, and I’ll wear them several times a year.

But then MaMaMoo (I think it was) suggested that matching the burgundy red of the dress would leave me with ashoes 2006 pair of shoes that I couldn’t wear with anything else. And, looking at the clearance rack of shoes in Christmas colors, I realized that burgundy and green are actually basic colors for me. All together, they may look like Christmas shoes that must be gotten rid of, but those are in fact the colors of my handbags, and of the shoes I bought this summer when #2 daughter and I went shoe shopping, and the colors that go well with my wardrobe (which has grown to a size that allows it to be referred to as a wardrobe without irony).

So in 2006, I bought all these shoes.

In the years from 2000 to 2005, I bought these shoes:

clogs By mail order. I still wear them, too. And my black performance shoes, which I picked up at a yard sale for less than a dollar. They are too big for me, but I am an alto and do not sing in the front row.

This year, I fully intend to buy new gym shoes (I currently wear a pair that my son outgrew, and they look much worse than these clogs).

I bought #1 daughter a handbag for Christmas, and she was astonished at how stylish it was. She told me so.

Clearly, I am improving in this area. And I intend to continue to improve in 2007.

Not to the point of buying a piece of clothing a week. That seems excessive to me.

Today I must take #2 son to the dentist for a cleaning. Then to work, and then we have another long weekend, with snow predicted.

My boys have spent the entire week playing games, mostly video games. When we were watching the Heisman trophy program (a local boy was up for it), there was a long shot of the three candidates playing video games.

“Don’t make fun of their faces,” said #1 son. “Everyone looks like that when they play video games.”

It is true. Fortunately, there has been some physical world game-playing — last night’s was a fun card game called Wizard — so they haven’t spent the entire week in slack-jawed zombie-dom. Most of it, though.