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Susan Dromey-Heeter's Budget Vogue: You can't overplay the pizzazz packed by red

I love red - the bold red, not the orangey Nancy Reagan red, not pinkish red, not faint red, but the red of the heart, of blood, of crimson. That red that screams, "Bring it on, just bring it on."

Lately, I've had some battles that simply require the wearing of red, the confidence of bold, the die-hard look of "don't mess with me, buddy."

Red, the color of both the Red Sox AND the Cardinals, the color of the best candies: Red Hots, Red Hot Dollars, Swedish Fish.

Red hot chili peppers are fabulous - both as décor and as edibles.

When I see red, I know it's time to breathe, don something red and embrace the battle of the moment.

Recently, I was told I could not use gift cards to purchase a computer. Hmmm. Fortunately, I was surrounded by red at Staples, found the manager, used my power of red and, indeed, walked out with my new computer, having purchased it with my gift cards.

I am now turning red, however, with embarrassment and rage; I cannot remember my password for that new computer. Grrrrrr.

Time to breathe, embrace the battle of my aging mind and move on. It'll come to me; it'll come to me.

My first car was a 1981 red Toyota Tercel. I bought it in Ohio, drove it throughout the Eastern Seaboard and had it shipped to Europe when I took a job teaching in Holland.

That red car saw me through many a journey - many a city, including Paris, New York, Philadelphia, Brussels. Red never lets me down, is a statement and carries me through many a hesitation.

I own red Sorel boots and red rain boots, and I knitted a fabulous Lopi red sweater a few years ago. Red is what I pull out when it's gray, when I need a boost, when I need to feel alive, vibrant, seemingly in charge. The country of Spain is red, Joan Rivers is red, and a new baby's cry is often red and wonderfully alive. Cha-cha is red, as is flamenco. Santa Claus, of course, is the epitome of red.

I once found red chairs on the side of the road and used them for years at my kitchen table. My friend, Anne, laughed hysterically when just last Saturday I spotted a toilet paper holder on the side of the road in Newburyport. It was not red, but it was free and is fodder for my next column as I ask you, dear readers, what is YOUR favorite piece of red, and have you ever found anything as fabulous as a toilet paper holder on the side of the road? Do write in and tell. I'd love to hear of your red loves and fabulous finds.

And on that note, stay bright and bold - like red - and enjoy this fabulous November ... perhaps a bit cold and damp, but, no doubt, with fabulous free finds awaiting somewhere on the side of the road. Do write and in and tell. Your own Budget Vogue awaits.

Susan Dromey-Heeter's Budget Vogue column is published the first week of every month in the New Hampshire Sunday News. Email her at


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