CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- "Those are really attractive Crocs."
This is going around the Internet as one of those things you'll never hear someone say! Of course, the Internet post is describing the foam clogs originally developed as a spa shoe that have polarized the fashionistas from the comfort-seekers.
Our family's favorite fashion guru, Tim Gunn ("Project Runway"), told Time magazine: "[T]he Croc -- it looks like a plastic hoof. How can you take that seriously?"
An anti-Croc Facebook page dedicated to eliminating the shoes has 1.6 million "likers," and they were sixth on the "worst" list on Maxim's "The 10 Best & Worst Things to Happen to Men in 2007."
I've seen flowered ones, decorated ones and a rainbow of colored ones. When I asked my fashion-conscious daughter what she thought of the pale pink ones I got for her, her response was, "Really? Those are not cute!"
Our family owns several pairs of the spongy, rubbery clogs: the pink ones, navy ones, green ones and even a pair in camo. Kept by the back door and in the garage, they are handy for a quick trip outside to grab a few logs for the fireplace or for taking out the trash.
I wore them while gardening, but they were never quite right. When they get wet, they are slippery on the inside and on the outside; they slide on our smooth concrete garage floor and my feet slide inside of them.
After twisting my ankle wearing a pair late last summer, I began a quest for another pair of handy gardening clogs. While I liked how the Bogs booties were made, I wanted easy-to-slip-on clogs.
Then, I received a pair of Bogs clogs as a gift -- and I'm sold. The style is named Bogs Rue, and these are not your average gardening clogs.
First, they are more expensive than Crocs -- manufacturer's suggested retail price is $70. But you get what you pay for. According to the people at Bogs, they have a "Euro-fit with a wider toe box and narrower heel."
Made of something called Neo-tech and Airmesh lining, plus a latex sponge cushioning, they have great traction. There's a stretch collar that makes them fit well as well as a removable insole. They are available in black, blue, port and green.
I've seen Bogs at Cornucopia, and I just saw on a billboard that they are sold at Shoe Carnival. Check them out.
Poinsettias, synonymous with the Christmas season, used to be a "premium" plant that was given as a special gift or bought to be a centerpiece on the Christmas table. Now, they are more widely available, and the greenhouse industry is pondering the future of the popular plant.
According to Today's Garden Center managing editor Kevin Yanik, the perceived value of the poinsettia has diminished.
"Poinsettias have evolved into commodity items consumers can purchase for as little as 99 cents, and independent retailers have little hope their poinsettia sales will take off in coming years," Yanik said.
Yanik spoke to a Virginia florist who conceded that the "days of selling poinsettias as $25 or $50 floral gifts are gone." That florist went on to suggest that independent garden centers and florists should explore alternative Christmas crops like amaryllis, hyacinths and tulips, and the nostalgic Christmas cactus.