Full Price?

Today I needed some much needed retail therapy. Anyone empathize out there? I just needed to look at things…touch them…put a few in my cart and drag them around until I emptied half before making it to the cashier. Cause that’s how I roll. Either that or I take the plunge, buy it, take it home, only to talk myself out of it and return it next week. Why oh why am I programmed this way, I ask. Anyway, I see this picture. Art always gets to me. My mother preached to me that if you see a picture you can’t live without, get it. No questions asked. You’ll never see it again. And yes, I had to have this happen once before I stopped walking past something I didn’t want to live without. Luckily I can’t remember what the picture was, but I remember what it felt like to lose it. I digress. There was this picture today. I touched it, oohed and ahhed and walked past it. There was only one. I did two laps around the store and ended back to the picture. Placing it in the cart, I took a step and then put it back. Ahhh….I grabbed it back. What? Full price? Seriously? I looked for a sign for the discount. This place is known for 40% off. Not today. I steadily walked in the direction of the cash register, all the while thinking how I would either walk it back or return it after getting home and realizing it’s not really that adorable. Then I see the chick in front of me with her little phone and the discount scan code. Hey, I can do that! I fumble quickly to look one up. Bingo! 40% it is. And suddenly I don’t feel 100% horrible; only 60%!! I walked out smiling. And that’s the way it’s done. Retail me not!

But doesn’t it get old? I mean always fighting for the discount? Why can’t they just offer it for the drop-dead best price? Why do I have to search and scratch tickets just to get a buck off? Do I have to belong to a million clubs, carry a wallet designated for member cards? Just give me the best price. For the love of all things on sale. Please. 

I’m handling the college thing okay. Actually my daughter left for a few days this week to go on a retreat. Oh. my. gosh. This house is so uneventful. Three kids? Are you kidding? I went to make dinner and had so many leftovers I had to feed the dog twice. In the same hour. I went from buying books to cooking for two, to traveling weekly to Costco for milk and eggs. How does one go back to cooking on the light side? And the guys who left were the least picky. How many times can one eat tacos and cheesesticks with peanut butter crackers? Will broccoli ever been seen in the produce drawer of the fridge? Will any vegetables ever hang out there? I need to be de-programmed or something.

I’m not sure what temperature it is where you live…but it was like 180 degrees here. Oh yeah, that was just in my car. My broken-air conditioned car. I stared around me at each and every stoplight. Everyone with their windows up and their hair blowing from the cool breeze. As I sit there with the heat rising off my skin like sound waves. “Yeah, I love the heat!”. I wondered why my arm was burned the other night when I got out of the shower. The left one. Not the right one. Heavens no. And the white watch mark sealed the deal. That girl has no a/c. I’m still hoping for a cold snap. LOL

Have a good one, everyone. Stay cool. For me. 🙂


I’m such a magnet to…

traffic…the dumb lane. You know, the one that goes nowhere. As in grocery lanes that look as though the people have little to no groceries, so you stand behind them and lo and behold the lane next to you, with six families looking as though they’re stocking up for 12 feet of snow, ends up leaving before your things hit the conveyor belt. Yes, that is me in the grocery store and me yesterday, sitting in traffic. Six and a half hours…I repeat…six and a half hours to go to a place that is usually four hours drive time. And yes, I got in all the possible dumb lanes I could find. But enough ranting. What did I expect. After all, it is Thanksgiving week. Happily, all that traveling resulted in my college boy coming home. Yay!!

Before the ooey, gooey, go and stop of traffic, I went shopping. I stopped off in Williamsburg and hit the outlets for some Christmas buying. I did very well, but I was lonely. No one could go with me. Frankly, it was a first. It’s so much better going with a BFF or a mother. My mother specifically. She was, instead, shopping for hams and turkeys. This Thanksgiving she’s doing the hosting.

Then came lunch…..Best. Lunch. Ever. I stopped in at The New York Deli. The bomb!! I ordered a hot Delly sandwich. Ahhmazing. It had ham, turkey, lettuce, provolone, mustard, mayo, and the skinniest pickle slices I’ve ever had to caress my tastebuds. The bread was magic. It was like a rye sub roll, crunchy on the edges, and ohh so warm. I’m drooling just thinking about it. Lovely!!! And it was like a foot long. I had to carry one half around with me, just so it wouldn’t get hot in the car. I enjoyed it all over again, while I sat in traffic.

I got home late, tired, and blurry-eyed. All-in-all it was a most lovely day. 🙂


Once a Year

IMG_0649I am in Charleston, SC this week. Well, technically Seabrook, but I get to the city once before going back home. I love the Old Exchange and the downtown area. There is so much history here. Is it sick that I love walking and visiting the old cemeteries? The old iron gates, intricate and so worth the picture taking. I love the doors on houses, the gorgeous flower boxes, and the water with all the masts clinking back and forth. Everything.

Today was a bit hot as we traversed through the shopping area. King Street was busy with tourists, and the horse and carriages were streaming through every five minutes. The drivers belting out the history of the old city and kids hanging out at all the candy shops, sticky and happy. It was a lovely day in the city. One of my favorite days of vacation. IMG_0650

We will spend the rest of the day on the beach relaxing. The winds have been really gusty this trip. The first day we couldn’t open our mouths without gritting sand. It’s died down a bit, but there’s always a breeze to cut the sun’s severe rays. Shamefully two boys got a bit burned. It’s so hard to reapply when they’re so busy splashing and carrying on. I even managed to get a red nip on my shoulder. Murphy’s law is that there will always be that three inch spot that the lotion doesn’t manage to grace!

IMG_0651It’s half-way through the week…time to think about returning home. Why is it that vacation weeks fly by and work weeks crawl? 🙂



IMG_0525When I was younger, I never liked to go into antique stores. I felt the things were spooky and they stunk. I mean, who wants something someone else had, especially if it didn’t work anymore or had no use. Of course I’m speaking about butter churns and tractor parts.

Then I became older and began appreciating the stores. I’d have to say, in my area alone, four new ones have popped up within the last six months. The smell is still there. Something reminiscent of my grandmother’s basement, along with an extra layer of mildew. But I see the items in a new light.

It’s pretty bad when you can go into an antique store and recognize half the toys, having once played with them yourself. That’s what drew me in the first time, when I wasn’t with parents forcing me to go. The second time, I went because of my Etsy store. I figured I’d re-purpose something and try to sell it. But now with Etsy, if it meets a timeline, you can sell it as-is. But my first purchase didn’t. I bought a lamp. I think I paid under ten dollars for it. I took it home, cleaned it up, and took strawberry fabric and decorated a new lampshade for it. Actually it was the same lampshade, I just spun a new look to it. I listed it on my site, and a week later I had it sold. I was hooked.

So I became a regular at the antique shops. Looking, pricing, and imagining new purpose to many of the items. Alas, I bought the items…I just never sold them, again. As in, never listed them to sell. I became a quick antique hoarder. All of my good intentions now sit around my house. I love them all. Who could part with such savvy finds? I got a bit out of control, so I had to stop for awhile. That, and I don’t do too much with my Etsy site. I still have it, have items listed, but I’ve stalled at adding new things. Who can add when everything looks so wonderful on my own shelves?

This picture shown in the post is one of the things I found last spring. I walked around the store three times, eyeing it in different ways…sizing it up for rooms in my house….wondering how I could sneak it in without being seen. Finally, I snatched it from the ground where it lay. “French Lady in Blue Hat” was handwritten on the tag. The frame is even half-decent. It has a few chips, but nothing my OCD can’t handle. I just couldn’t leave her behind. They say if you see an art work that keeps tugging at you, buy it. You probably will never see it again. I passed on something once in my life, and regretted it. I couldn’t leave French Lady.

So it hangs beside my bed. It was a bit freaky in the beginning. At least she’s not looking at me sleep. And her eyes don’t follow you around the room. I certainly don’t regret it. It’s an original; you can see the brush strokes and dirty canvas from the back. I’m quite fond of it, now. I only wish it had a matching gentleman to hang on the other side of the bed. It doesn’t symmetrically match with a flower print. Oh well, I’m content with just her I suppose. 🙂


A Little Privacy … Please

BIG BROTHERHave you ever clicked on a site and shopped around for something. Maybe a piece of artwork or a new watch? Then a day later, you’re scrolling through your mail account, on a totally unrelated venue, and all of a sudden there pops up the images you’d shopped the day before. The lady on the riverbank, posing with her umbrella, priced a hundred dollars too high. Or, that watch with the diamonds and mother of pearl face, coupled with five other ones people like you looked at when deciding which one to purchase. I know furniture salesman that aren’t that pushy. Talk about invasion of privacy.

You can’t do much now that doesn’t signal to the “internet police” so they can haunt you for the next few weeks with suggestions bases on searches. Or, how about when you want to log into a site and they suggest just logging into Facebook or Titter. That’ll do the trick. Then, like magic, your information appears before your eyes for the best time to get your puppy groomed at Petsmart. It’s a little creepy, if you ask me. My mother-in-law puts a piece of tape over her computer camera. She’s convinced someone’s watching her. I laughed at first. But, who knows, it’s turning out to be like something you used to see in movies. As far-fetched ideas. Only these are coming true.

And crime? Now, the first thing investigators do is check someone’s Facebook account. That seems to shed more light on what the person was doing and the sites they were visiting, than just to interrogate neighbors and friends.

The Amish way of life is becoming a little appealing as of late. Granted, there will be less shopping, but at least among the simpler order, without technology, no one can see your thoughts. But, just give America a little time, they might have the computer chip already designed to insert in you. You think your baby is going off to get bathed right after birth, but really it’s getting chipped for constant, future surveillance.  And you? When you went in for that “routine” teeth cleaning, they slapped the device just far enough back in your throat that you can’t see it when you brush your teeth. Just sayin’.

P.S. If I disappear after writing this, alert no one. “They”, already, are aware:)


Confessions of A Fabric Hoarder

12733968314_62fe646bf8_zLike candy for my eyes. No, it’s not a picture of my stash. Unfortunately, I have a bit more. But, isn’t it pretty? Oh, the possibilities! And, there is more people like me out there. (thank goodness!)

I’m sure everyone has something they collect. It’s crazy what draws people; cars, bugs, coins, spoons… you name it, we can find someone who has about fifty of them. Well, maybe not cars. Not all at once, anyway.

I read quilt patterns like a novel. I can sit in bed at night and marvel at foundation piecing, embroidery hangings, and how-to’s. There is so many I want to try, but so little time. And, my biggest problem is that once I make a block and tackle the complexity of it, I want to move on without finishing the entire piece. A problem I’m working on!

Because of my short term memory, I can go into my quilt room and find tops I actually finished and they can seem new to me:) But, back to fabric hoarding…I find myself always toggling between an online fabric shop and whatever else I’m doing. Am I the only one who shops, putting things in carts, then deleting the spree? But, it’s so much fun adding the items. Anyway, like I have the two hundred dollars stored in a whatever-I-want account. Occasionally, on my birthday or some other holiday that I’m supposed to get something, I process the cart. (then I tell my boyfriend I’ve got the gift thing covered! And inform him to just take the package from the mailman and wrap it before I see inside it). But, when it’s not an occasion where I’m supposed to be getting something, I wait in the bushes to collect the booty from the UPS guy, store it in the back of my car and wait until night fall to bring it in the house. Then I carry it to my closet and rip it open quietly. I smell it, touch each piece, then store it on the shelf for viewing. Later, when I’m sure no one is home, I sneak it downstairs and place it with all the other cuts. Yay! A new friend for all the others:) One day I’m going to make all of my pieces into one big thing! That’ll be the day:)



Countdown to Vacation

caribbean-packing-travel-tips-tropical-suitcase-fullThere’s so much hype that goes into packing for vacation. You go to the store and buy a new bathing suit, tiny bottles of shampoo, and maybe a new beach hat or shoes. But, let’s face it, when it comes down to it, you don’t need any of it. After it’s all over, you feel like you spent only a minute away from home. The new beach hat? Sure, you wore it one day, but it’ll go into the closet the second you come back. And those tiny bottles of shampoo, you could’ve saved yourself some money and a trip to the store and just taken the half bottle you have in your shower now. So, really you didn’t need one thing that you didn’t already have in your house. Let’s not forget the bathing suit…it’s depressing to try them on, they’re expensive, and unless you have a pool in your backyard, the only time it’s coming out to the sunlight is maybe five times a year. Just wear the one you got last year that was only worn four times because you swore it made you look like a beached whale. (You’ve lost a few pounds and it’s broken in. It’ll look better this summer!)

Still, it’s so exciting to pack…and exhausting. There’s so much bubbling of expectation. You’re leaving!! The kids are jumping around. It’s time to go to the beach!! Then the car ride begins and the crankiness rears its ugly head fifteen miles into the mission. (Seriously, you travel further to take them to school each day.)”How much longer?” “When is lunch?” “Are we eating inside?” You suddenly think how glad you are that this only happens once a year, in fact.

We travel to South Carolina every summer, so it’s about a day’s drive for us. Just long enough for leg cramps and a bit of hysteria. We end up at Seabrook. It’s beautiful there. There’s water on one side and marsh on the other. I could stare out at the swaying tall reeds all evening. Charleston is a forty minute car ride from there. It’s rich in history and the architecture is stunning on the old houses. It’s been a wonderful vacation for our family. This year our usual extended family members all backed out last minute. Everyone had their own sob story as to why they couldn’t go. So, we’re getting a large house all to ourselves. If I’m not mistaken, we might all get our own room.

I’m looking forward to it AND trying to contain my anxiety about leaving things behind, all at once. I know whatever I forget I can probably do without or buy there. My biggest problem is my small dog. Everyone I’ve used before doesn’t want to endure the agony of watching her again. It seems she’s a bit of a nervous barker when I’m gone. I guess I’ll try my luck and ask my darling brother in law. It’s only for seven days. That time will fly by for me, no doubt. But, it might be an eternity for him!



Confessions of a Non-Committer

97455412695179844cdd28b70a07f7a8Please don’t judge … I’ve got a bit of a problem. I can’t quite be sure when it began. Or, if I remember a time when I didn’t have it. Or, if I can pinpoint when I got it. Either way, I’ve had it for awhile. It seems I’m not good at committing. The third book I wrote somehow mirrors a girl of this nature. I wondered why that thing was so easy to write!

Anyway, back to my teency, weency affliction. I overheard my “boyfriend” telling our oldest that he got used to me telling him that although I loved him very much, it didn’t mean we’d be together forever. (And that was after we’d gotten married.) Hearing him tell this and seeing the reaction of my son was a little sad. Not shocking, I admit. I live with myself, I know myself inside and out. I’ve come to know I have this problem. But, still it can be unsettling for people who don’t know that it’s not really that serious of an issue.

Of course I’m still with the guy! It’ll be twenty years this year that I took the plunge, and I’m happy to say, the older I get the more stable I become. I just have to carry and wave the flag of uncertainty all the time. I’ve tried to figure out why I’m like this. Maybe it traces back to my parents getting divorced when I was at a very tender age. Perhaps I saw then that nothing in life is as ironclad as it appears to be.

Then again, I have a problem cutting off price tags from my clothing, too. Does it mean I have to keep them for real? Nine times out of ten I do anyway. The other one percent is when the thing actually doesn’t fit. But, why can’t I cut them off? I suppose I like knowing there is an out. I CAN take it back if I really wanted to. Nothing has control over me. Hmmm…. My boyfriend has stopped shopping with me. I have a tendency to load up the cart with things I want, take a few rounds of the store with them and then go put them all away! Well, not all of them. I buy a few and tell myself I can return them later. 🙂

It was funny when I was expecting my first child. I kept thinking that there was no way to return “it”. It was inside me and there was only one way of him coming out. It all really freaked me out. Then when it came time to have him, I was like “and then we’ll take him home and he’ll live with me, I mean us, forever????” Wow! Mind blowing to a person with commitment issues. Still, I had four more of them and I’m rather used to the idea that they will remain with me until it’s their time to fly the coop.

Houses are another thing. It seems I’m never committed to a house. As much as I want to get all nestled in to the same place, see growth charts marked on closet walls, and have stories to tell future grandchildren who visit about what tree the dog is buried under … I can’t seem to settle into the same house. Or the same state we’ve always lived in, for that matter! I want to go and explore other places, experience other people. But, now I have little people that must go and like the idea, too. Not so easy. I guess they don’t have the same issue of settling down like me. Which is a good thing, right?

I sometimes watch the movie “Along Came Polly” just to laugh about the affliction that I hope I’m not the only one who belongs to its club. It’s nice knowing there are others out there like me.