Posts Tagged ‘shopping’

Happy New Year 2017!

January 5, 2017

Such an exciting time of year for big goals, fresh plans, brilliant ideas, new clothes (just thought I’d throw that one in there!  Shopping, anyone?) and clean starts! I pray you have begun to think about changes you could make to increase your happiness, effectiveness and joy! I have!

As 2016 came to a close, I was beyond pleased to flush several circumstances we encountered in the past 12 months… things I hope to never live through again. But instead of listing the lame-o occurrences, I choose joy. 1 Thes. 5:16 Rejoice always!

Here is my list of What I Learned in 2016 that has changed who I am and how I look at the world differently from now on. Thank you, Jesus, for opened eyes.

  1. FREEDOM! (Yelled in my best Scottish Braveheart accent with my RRRRs all rolling like thunder!) I learned that freedom is the ability to do what we see fit in our lives without anyone else dictating our actions or judging us. Freedom is power. Avoid those who wish to control you and minimize your freedom. Freedom really brings a freeing feeling. Imagine that! Be free! Is the living joy being sucked out of your life? Make some changes. Be free!
  2. GOD! We all have a hole inside of us that we are striving to fill that can only be filled by God. He gave us the desire for MORE! More of HIM! We tend to try and fill that hole with other things … leading to overworking, addictions, perfectionism, life-crippling habits, over-attention on our kids, trivial busyness, social media, etc. But God.
  3. YOU! You are the only you on the planet. You are here for a reason… so am I. I encourage you to look at your God-given talents and interests and figure out what you are supposed to be doing that no one else can do but YOU! Who are you here to bless? To influence? To encourage? To serve? The rest of us want you to succeed at being YOU!
  4. TIME! We all have the same amount of time each day. Well, that’s not totally true because some of us sleep more than others (I happened to get 10.5 hours last night, but that was post vacation recovery.) …. but that doesn’t change the 24 hours we all have, does it? But I digress. There are a multitude of activities you can and could and might participate in… but should you? Just because you can do a task, doesn’t mean you are supposed to. Which leads us back to #3….
  5. WRONG! This has been my mantra for years, but it was so evident in my life this year: IT’S OKAY TO LET OTHERS BE WRONG. Arguing doesn’t help. Even truthful facts don’t help! Simply let others be wrong and move on with your life.

There you have it, folks. And can I suggest getting away from it all even for a day or two to evaluate your life. Sitting on Kapalua Beach on Maui in early November I made a list of the things in my life that were causing me to feel angry, sad, hurt, mad and frustrated. That day I made some decisions, eliminated activities, distanced myself from a couple situations and my life has been richer, freer, more joy-filled ever since. Change is good… and I’m not a big lover of change.

Make it a point to take every thought captive. Don’t dwell on horrible instances that make your blood boil. It’s a waste of time. Choose to find something to think about that brings you joy. I started a new board on Pinterest that simply makes me happy when I look at the watercolor pictures. Makes me want to run for my paints and brushes. It’s that easy! You got this!

The cool thing is, right after this new mindset, some unbelievable doors opened up for me. Desires of my heart. Thank you, God.

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Golden Birthday

November 26, 2016

A week before Thanksgiving, I was awaken in the dark of the night by a muscle cramp in my right buttocks and thigh. Not like the swimmer’s toe cramp you can just pull out of. Serious stabbing pain that made sleeping scarce. This was not fun. I like fun.

What could have brought this on, you ask? Quite possibly my almost 18-year-old son asking me if he could invite “some” friends over for his golden birthday party that he was planning while I was sitting on the beach in Maui. He would be 18 on the 18th… GOLDEN! His plan was that I would be home to cook for the party, of course. Being the nice mom, I said, “Sure! Invite some friends over.”

Next, said 18-year-old texted me to let me know he made me an administrator on a facebook event for this party for which I was cooking. That didn’t phase me until I clicked on to see why the party needed an event page on facebook. HE HAD INVITED 150 FRIENDS … while I was sitting on the beach in Maui. “Some” does not equal 150 in my mind.

As friends would respond that they couldn’t come, I would go on and type in “Good!” My hope was to scare off the kids that don’t know me well.

It went down like this: Wednesday – arrive home early in the morning from 17 days in Maui. Thursday – shop like a crazy woman. Thursday night 3:27 a.m. – leg cramps. Friday – party with 150 invites.

Thankfully only 75 of the guests showed up. There was much laughter, ping-pong, loud music, gold light-up shoes, streamers, Mexican food, a DJ, chocolate cake, line dancing on the dead grass in the backyard and 58 water bottles were opened and sampled. (Now being used to water my plants.) I am pretty sure the front and rear doors of the house were open wide from 6:00 to 10:00 p.m.

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The birthday boy with his cousin, Whitney. So much happy! The golden shoes for the golden birthday really need a picture of their own. Sadly, they were not switched to the on position for this photo.

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Here you go. Not only do they light up… they strobe! BAM! Golden birthday success!

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More on the massive cramp tomorrow. I promise.

Brave Bun Debacle

November 25, 2016

2016 Thanksgiving was a tad out of the ordinary for our family for several very good reasons. 1. Our married daughter and her husband were coming home from Oklahoma for the first time in FOUR YEARS! If that ain’t a grand reason to mix things up, I don’t know what is? 2. Our niece is staying a little more than an hour away from our house and isn’t able to come home to be with family. Obviously it was necessary to squeeze in a visit on Turkey Day. And 3. The grand bun baking adventure really turned into an undertaking this year!

In years gone by, my motherly duty is to wake up semi-early and start the bun baking process so thousands of people can be blessed by yeasty white rolls of goodness on the national day of thankfulness. Perfection! This year, as previously mentioned, our morning was consumed by a ½ day trip. So buns moved to Thanksgiving Day Eve. Unfortunately, that Wednesday our kids flew in and the day turned into a driving exploit of sorts. Unfortunately, I found myself in the grocery store at 9:30 p.m. trying to locate the blasted little fast rising yeast packages. Can you already feel the tension rising? Get it?

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Frustrated and exhausted, I announced to my husband and all the other late night shoppers in the baking aisle, “That’s it. I’m not baking buns. I’m too worn out. Let’s buy buns.” Dutifully, my sweet husband followed me over to the bakery section and we stood speechless looking at the pathetic selection of sub-par store baked buns and rolls. They were puny. They were wrinkly. They were squished. They were covered in flour. They tasted dry…. I could sense it. With the savory memory of my yummy buns on the tip of my tongue, I announced, “That’s it. I’m baking buns. These are disgusting! Let’s buy yeast.” Rick mumbled, “Well, I wasn’t going to say it!”

At the late hour, I did request help from my beloved husband, who has never in his life participated in bun making. Willingly he agreed to come to my aid, not knowing what he was getting himself into!

If you know nothing about baking yeast buns, can I just tell you that it is a time consuming, yet wonderfully delicious process. It goes something like this: gather ingredients. Mix dry ingredients. Mix wet ingredients with very warm, but not exactly hot, water, so as to activate the yeast, but not burn its little eyes out. Combine ingredients and stir goop until a soft ball forms. This sounds so easy, but it is deceptive. Then let rise 15 minutes. Punch down. Let rise 15 minutes. Punch down. Let rise for 20 minutes. Shape into buns. Let rise 30-60 minutes. Bake 15 minutes.

Our freshly-turned-18-year-old son also joined in the process. If you could have heard them…. offering ME suggestions and baking tips. Oh my stars. One of them specializes in burnt grilled cheese sandwiches and the other one can only make waffles and mac-n-cheese. Not exactly chefs-in-the-making.

“It’s too sticky. It needs more flour.” Um, no. Keep stirring.

“This is done.” Um, no. Scrape the bowl and keep stirring.

“This is impossible to pick up and flip.” Um, no. I’ve done it for 20 years.

“I can punch down without flour on my fist.” Um…. go ahead and try, Mr. Martha Stewart.

“I can just roll them in a ball.” Um, no. Watch and learn the technique from the bun forming master.

“Just put a pan on each shelf of the oven at the same time.” Um, no. The bottom ones will burn.

“Are they done yet?” Um, no. Please stand by.

It was 1:30 a.m. when the last of the 120 not-really-cooled-off buns went into storage bags.  We fell blissfully into our beds with visions of floured buns dancing in our heads.

Thanksgiving 2016 was saved! Thank you, Rick and Keeve, my knights in floury armor.

Please see BUN RECIPE if you feel the need to have your own joy-filled bun baking extravaganza.

THE Souvenir of Choice

November 6, 2016

My sweet girl has a challenge spending money. I do not share this challenge with her. At all. I do not really even understand how anyone can suffer from this. But over the past six years I have seen that the struggle is REAL!

Nora suffers from pre-buyers remorse. She will pick out a craft kit, or a shirt, or a bag of chips that she wants more than life itself. She will carry it around the store for an hour talking about how much she needs this item in her life and how it is her most favoritist in the whole galaxy. Then right before she is to lay it on the counter to pay for it, she decides to NOT buy it and sets it down. (I apologize to those who have “put it back where it goes” OCD issues.)

Being the loving, kind and compassionate parents that we are, we have forced her to buy these items more than once with her own money. It is not large sums. Nothing over $5, trying to show her that it is okay to purchase stuff. Kindheartedly we are helping her over this stumbling block in her life…. we hope.

Once in Justice (the animal-print-glitter-bling-bling palace of the universe) she had $75 in gift cards and $25 cash in her wallet. We spent more than an hour and a half in that teenie-bopper haven trying on every blinkin’ thing she could find, while her dad made dance videos to the store music on snapchat to the amusement of myself and all the other mothers and daughters. Nora picked out several shirts, a dress, a skirt and some shorts. When it was all added up at the cash register, the total came to $78.35. SEE THE PROBLEM?!?!?

Nora started figuring out what to put back to get it under $75 so she wouldn’t have to spend any cash. The glitter and bling *may have* gotten to my husband at some point because he grabbed her wallet and pulled out $4 and threw it on the counter. It was a bit dramatic for him, in my opinion. Nora’s brown eyeballs about fell out of her head. I’m not sure if this was a healthy way to teach our daughter that spending is okay, but that is how it went down and we are all still alive.

Fast forward to this week in Maui where she has been diligently searching for the souvenir to beat all souvenirs for herself. She has admired purple t-shirts, capri sweats pants that say MAUI down the leg, brown plastic slippers, magnets in the shape of Maui, calendars full of beautiful Hawaiian scenery, pineapple scented soap, rings with silver turtles, even coconut shells with candles in them. But with pre-buyers remorse, nothing had been purchased until today… day #7 on the island.

I still can’t figure out why the wooden pocket knife was the winning prize, but there was no pre- or post-buyers remorse! Nora showed it to me in the store and I was thinking she was buying it for one of her brothers or her dad. Nope. When I asked who it was for and she happily answered, “Me!” I did one of those mom-you-are-embarassing-me loud bursts of laughter that involuntarily slip out of my lips. Ooops.

I found it hilarious that my 13-year-old daughter who loves make up and painting her nails would be sucked in by a knife! A KNIFE! For Pete’s sake and all that is holy.

She is THRILLED with her wooden sided, engraved, Hawaiian Islands pocket knife. Makes me giggle just thinking of how perfect she thinks it is! And she paid $7 without beating an eyelash!

Pushy parent progress is being made!

 

Tarter Sauce Fail in Walmart

June 25, 2016

Standing at the deli counter ordering sliced turkey in Walmart with my daughter and son-in-law, I described to them a meme I recently saw that I found hysterical.

It read, You are never too old to put random items in other people’s carts at Walmart.

We chuckled and then tried to talk my daughter into participating. We picked out a small ketchup bottle and unsuccessfully tried to coax her into playing along. No go.

However, my son-in-law, John, was all over the game. He picked up a single size serving of tarter sauce and sauntered around behind us pretending to compare prices and ingredients of bread loaves.

A lovely young woman standing next to me with a full cart of groceries, asked me if I purchase sliced meat regularly from the Walmart. “Yes, we do. It is cheaper then buying the packaged meat,” I answered. Unbeknownst to the kind lady, she was the target of the Walmart meme and my son-in-law’s prank.

Like she had mental telepathy, as John almost-stealthily placed the tarter sauce in her cart, she sensed something behind her, turned quickly, spied John, then grabbed her cross-body purse as if he was trying to rob hr. Immediately John started repenting, “I’m sorry. I’m sorry. I’m sorry!” Then he turned a nice shade of red as he took the tarter sauce out of her cart.

My daughter and I couldn’t stop laughing. I explained the meme to the victim and she replied that she had actually seen the meme. “I thought he was trying to steal my wallet,” she confessed. “I am a special needs teacher and I am always prepared for something out of the ordinary to happen.” So good. So good.

Walmart Scheme Victim: 1

John: 0

Oh, it’s ON, baby.

One Step Forward….

November 8, 2014

…Two Steps Back.  That has been my week.

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BEFORE…. please stand by for AFTER.

The walls in our entry, living room, dining room and stairwell have been brown for 9.5 years. I realized I didn’t like the color the DAY we painted it on the blinkin’ walls. A re-do was definitely overdue times 10, so a misty mountain light turquoise color was chosen and has been applied to the x-brown walls…. in two layers, unfortunately. The only area not complete is the stairwell. It’s my nemesis at the moment. I am highly distracted by EVERY other thing possible so I don’t have to conquer the stairwell til I’m ready… like washing windows, shopping for new lamp shades, painting baskets, searching for treasures around the house to move to their new place in the misty mountain terrain.

Monday: Figured out we need DOUBLE the paint amount…bummer. Back to Lowe’s.

Tuesday: Sanded three layers of paint from my darling DIY end tables in an attempt to make them look rustic… and I hate it. Starting over. Need more paint… again. Back to Lowe’s.

Wednesday: Shopping for a bench, couch and ottoman…. came home with three velvet pillows, two turquoise and one orange.

Thursday: In trying to re-hang the curtains, 3 of 8 wall screws with supports were pulled from their resting places, leaving large holes…. filled the holes. Need larger supports and bigger screws. Back to Lowe’s.

Friday: Shopping for a bench, couch and ottoman… came home with two gorgeous lampshades.

Saturday: Climbed up the ladder to clean the dining room hanging light. All cleaned… then I screwed the gigantic light bulb back in and the glass bulb separated from the metal screwing part…. back to Lowe’s.

Some day, hopefully in November, I will share the after pictures of the misty mountain oasis in the Sonoran Desert. The real story would be the daily pictures of me wearing painting clothes and not swearing. Sheesh.

Elderly Laughs

December 14, 2013

I should seriously get out more.  I have been thoroughly entertained by elderly people these last few days in my journeys around town.  Laughter is good for the soul…. and my soul has been well nourished!

Walgreens.  Change for a $20 and some red and green MnMs.  That’s all I was after.  Standing in line behind one elderly gentleman, I assumed it would be a quick ride as he was only holding a Hershey’s bar with almonds.  And the almonds shouldn’t take any extra time!  No.  It was anything but a quick ride.  I could have walked all the way back to the pharmacy waited in line behind two people getting multiple prescriptions and it would have been faster!  The gentleman was a little hunched over… I wondered if it was due to hearing loss and his tendency to lean toward anyone who was talking?  He was a cute grandpa: matching light blue jacket, polyester pleated pants and tennis shoes.  His gray hair was a bit long for his conservative dress… maybe he was out strolling for a lady friend???  The also elderly cashier rang up the candy bar and pronounced, “$1.09.”  The customer replied LOUDLY, “That sign right there says it is only fifty-nine cents!” The cashier asked him to punch in his phone number so he could get the store discount.  Ain’t no way on God’s green earth was he going to share his private information with a dang computer!  On and on he ranted, “You don’t know who is going to be getting that information!  The government is trying to take our money, take our medical, and now they want to call us at home!  I’m not putting in my number!”  I felt sorry for the cashier, who tried to explain that the overpriced candy bar was only going to be on sale with a precious phone number.  “NO WAY!  It says FIFTY-NINE CENTS!”  Around and around they went like Elf in the department store rotating doors!  At that point my MnMs were starting to melt in my hand and not in my mouth.  I volunteered to put my phone number in so the man could save fifty cents.  I stepped around the man and typed in my digits.  Both elderly men thanked me, as did the next three people in line behind me.  The happy, candy bar-carrying man then warned me about government intrusion. I secretly reassured him, “It’s our old home phone number that has been disconnected for four years.”  And then my secret was out.  He laughed so hard while telling everyone in the store, the parking lot and driving by on the street that I outsmarted the government by using a phony phone number!  I couldn’t quit laughing!

Next stop: Kohls.  Black socks.  That’s all I was after.  This time I ended up in line following two elderly women… as opposite as they could be.  The first gem that drew my attention was leaning heavily on the counter in her black bling-bling velour sweat suit.  Her thick, black-rimmed glasses were perfect circles approximately four inches across each heavily make-upped eyeball.

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She was adorned with hot pink lipstick in the same shade as a swatch of her used-to-be-gray hair.  She was loudly protesting that the store didn’t carry the cappuccino machine that was in the advertisement she was waving over her head.  The woman who was assisting her was on the phone asking for someone to come to the front from housewares to help the flashy lady.  “Yes, could you please have John come to the front,” she asked and the bug-eyed lady leaned forward to yell into the phone, “IMMEDIATELY!”  This caused involuntary bursts of laughter from me and the modestly dressed elderly woman in front of me.  Our giggles were not appreciated by the cappuccino-less lady.  She turned to us and hissed… seriously hissed, “This is NOT funny!”  In my head I was answering her back, “OH, this is Hysterical!  I think this is SO FUNNY! You just barked at me for laughing!”  The other laughing culprit was much more kind than I.  She apologized and went over and put her arm around the pink-haired yeller, telling her that she knows this can be a stressful time!  Pinky did calm down quite a bit.  But I couldn’t quit laughing.

Bring on the Christmas cheer, old folks!  I love it!

Daddy’s Being Sly

February 24, 2013

Yesterday we went shopping at Goodwill because it was 50% off day! Whooo Hoooo!  I mean, really.  If you’re going to buy other people’s junk, you might as well go on the day when it is half off.  No, we didn’t pre-shop the sale on Friday night.  We didn’t even line up at 8:30 a.m.  We have relaxed a bit.  We waited until the LONG lines of the morning rush had slightly diminished before we hit the store for the goods.

As I was perusing the women’s clothing for Lands End, Anne Taylor and Coldwater Creek labels, Rick and Nora, the nine-year-old Colombian princess, were in the toy aisle.  Nora spotted a paper doll set that had a gazillion outfits for the three dollies and a Nancy Drew video game, both to die for.  EAch was marked $2, so they would be only one dollar!  Knowing that Daddy would probably make her pay for them with her own hard-earned money, she decided to work him.  “Daddy, if I pay for one will you pay for the other?”  And I’m sure she batted her long eyelashes and flashed her dimples at the weak man.  Of course he agreed, so she dug four quarters out of her wallet and handed them over to him, quite pleased with her negotiating skills.

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We reconnoitered at the check-out and made it painlessly through the line.  On the way to the car, Nora confronted her father, “Dad, I gave you the money for my doll set but you did not use the quarters to pay for it.  My quarters are still in your pocket.”  This is called hyper-vigilant, which means that she is VERY aware of ALL that is going on around her at ALL times.  From what I’ve read, it is common with adoptive children.  Patiently Rick explained that he had her quarters but he paid with bills from his wallet.  She responded, “I know…… can I please have my money back?”  Oh did we howl.  We tried to explain it over and over but there was no comprendo on her part AT ALL.  She still thinks daddy pulled one over on her!

Good times at Goodwill!

Black Friday 2012

November 23, 2012

Slept til 8:48 a.m.  Read in bed for 45 minutes.  Got up.  Got dressed.  Ate breakfast.  Cleaned my toilet and washed the bathroom floor. Washed all the bathmats.  Helped Nora try on ALL of her clothes to see what is too small and if we need warm clothes for Canada next month.  We don’t,YAY!

That is all.  So far.

Truly I don’t understand the desire to push through crowds at the wee hours of the day to save a couple bucks.  Yes, I do understand that there are some good deals to be had, but truly, do we NEED all this stuff we already have?  I have come to the conclusion …. in my house we don’t. Not everybody in my house agrees, but he is gone at work most days…… heh heh heh.

Recently I was lead blindfolded with hands tied behind my back to a facebook group with 2400 local members where you can buy and sell the junk in your house.  It’s earth friendly.  It’s convenient.  In one hour online and one trip to the Walmart parking lot, I collected $45 and got rid of four items in the garage sale pile.  Another lady came to my house and purchased a boxed set of books for $12… that we had TWO of.  Selling on this site rakes in far more cashola than a garage sale would bring for these same items.  It’s better than eBay because there are no fees and I don’t have to ship the junk.  I love it.  I am addicted… well, when I have a pile of unwanted treasures to sell.

The remainder of Black Friday 2012 will be consumed with having dinner with college friends that we haven’t seen in 25 years, and a homeschool board meeting.  Then I get to sleep in again tomorrow!  I realize those of you who know me well, think I sleep in every day, but that is not true…. very much.  I have even been arising when the number 7 is on the clock!  Astonishing, I know.  And I’m showering before leaving my room….. AND I’m making my bed every morning.  It only took 45 years to get into these amazing habits.  Just goes to show you that the old dog, new trick idea isn’t true.

Enjoy your weekend!

Teenage Boys are Strange Creatures

June 9, 2012

Just when I think I have my teenage boys pegged for life… they turn over a new and refreshing leaf that does this mama’s heart good.  It’s happening in repeating stages right now.  I’m not sure why, but I’m not voicing any of these questions aloud, so as not to disturb the force.

It all started about a month ago.  Holding my coupon envelope while pushing my grocery cart through Safeway, my cell phone rang. It was my 15-year-old son.  He was calling to inquire about the correct procedure for washing his comforter.  Glory be!  I explained that it is exactly like a load of clothes.  BAM!  I could hardly breathe for the clean-laundry-loving juice pumping through my veins.

I arrived home that day to find three large garbage bags stuffed full of clothing in the loft.  Inquiring minds want to know, so I asked a few children if they knew what the bags were for.  Seems it was my same comforter-washing son.  He had gone through his closet AND dresser and removed all the clothing that was too small, stained, holey and nerdy.  Never in his 15 years has he performed this action.

Then I glanced in his room.  Miracle of miracles.  I could see the carpet under his bed!  It is usually hidden by piles of smelly shoes, biking gear, magazines, dirty and/or clean clothing.  It was spotless.  I was speechless! Unbelievable.  I thought it would take a college roommate or his wife to convince him of his slobbish ways.  I’m not sure what happened to bring about this change, and I’m not disturbing the force and asking any time soon.  The amazing thing is that it is still that clean… a month later.  It was like BAM! he grew up.

I was basking in the realization that 50% of my sons were now considered not slobs.  Wow!  I realize 50% is not a passing grade, but I was at 0% just a month ago.

THEN it happened.  I was in Walmart picking out avocados that were ripe to perfection when my cell phone rang.  It was my 13-year-old son inquiring how to launder his comforter.  I about dropped to the tile floor in Wally World in shock and disbelief.  I explained that it is exactly like a load of clothes.  BAM! I could hardly breathe for the clean-laundry-loving juice pumping through my veins.

But, unfortunately, that is as far as son #2 got in the goal of living a tidy, laundered, clean lifestyle.  But he’s two years ahead of his brother in the comforter category. Yet, I have hope.