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Posts Tagged With: shopping

Random 5 Sunday – Family, Flea Markets and Pie

It’s Sunday and I was up early with the sunshine, sipping coffee, packing for my week ahead and thinking it’s about time for 5 Random Ramblings from my world.   Pour some coffee and join me, will ya?

1 )   A Family brunch yesterday had a host of familial layers all at the same table: Uncles and Aunts, Cousins and kids, Step-in-laws, son’s girlfriend and me.    Uncle Ron sat next to Hubbs who sat next to cousin Johnny who sat next to me.  Facing them was youngest boy, his girlfriend, an Auntie, Grandpa, a cousin and another Auntie ~ I nodded my head to the youngest ones to get them to look ~ and they caught it — all of the guys, various ages but similar in looks, structure, and all folding their arms up high on their chests, head tilted just so to listen to the  story being told.   The story-telling was being done by another cousin,  directly across from them, whose arms were no longer folded. Like them, when talking, his arms and hands were wide open and out as he drove home the point of the story, “and then they brought ME the mailbox they’d ran over like I’m supposed to go back and fix it!”  Laughter filled the restaurant and diners nearby looked our way, mostly with understanding, one with annoyance but many with longing.  Family.  It’s big and it’s noisy and it’s wonderful. Gotta love it!

2 )  Fall is here and glorious ~ colors are magnificent, the sky is blue and deep and wide and the air is dry and crisp.  It won’t last, I know.  But windows are open, supper is in the crock-pot and I’m loving every minute of it. Fall is my favorite season and I wish it could stay just a little longer …

Many scenes like this one right now google.images.com

3 ) With Fall’s arrival comes the start of indoor trade shows ~ I remember going as a girl with Mom & Dad.  This is shopping I love — wandering around from item to item, chatting with people and trying new things.  The shows we attended were Agriculturally focused with cattle breeders, farm implements and a host of novelty items targeted to the wives and kids accompanying said farmer  ~  the latest & greatest “as seen on TV” gadget,  smoked meats, candles, jewelry, make-up, toys, knives, you name it.  One such event rolled into town this weekend and a friend and I decided to go — and yes we saw the latest & greatest “as seen on TV” gadgets, sampled smoked meats, smelled the candles, laughed at the toys and books and “man-cave” items and more.   The usual suspects were there ~ selling Cinnamon almonds, home-baked goods, and of course, knives.   I came home with jewelry, Avon hand lotion, a pie and some herb-flavored butter.   Fun!

Like this but with 20x the people ~ Shipshewana on the Road

4 ) Traveling this week to a corporate conference ~ I’m looking forward to seeing my colleagues again.  I’m sure to learn a few things and I’ll do my best to avoid snakes (lipstick can’t cover fangs).  Over my working career, I’ve dealt with my fair share of Rats and Snakes and there’s always been a part of me that wants to ask this question, even though another part of me already knows the answer:

“Were you always such a snake,” the child asked, “or did you grow into what you are?”
― Dean Koontz, Odd Apocalypse

5 )  At the Flea Market yesterday I bought my friend and I each a sweet potato pie.  “Uncle Calvin” was selling them and promised the pies were his “Momma’s” recipe. That’s enough for me.

Before anyone freaks out about my non-sweets craving self enjoying a pie, I’ll share some perspective:

“The” pie .. next to my hand 🙂

Yep, I’ll scoop out the contents, skip the crust and enjoy every morsel.  It’s a taste and that’s enough for me.

So what’s new in your world? Had any pie lately?

 

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Categories: Attitude, Blogging, Faith, Family, Growth, Home, Humor, Joy, Life, Mom, News, Personal, Products I love, Thoughts, Travel, Writing | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments

Random December Friday – Bats, Holiday prep, concerts and snow

Happy Friday!  I’ve been swamped at work, traveling, and double-booked socially. No time to write, and barely time to think.   Here are 5 random thoughts on a mild winter’s day:

1) “Don’t look up, we’re trying to contain the bat.”  Welcoming words as I entered a rural City office.  Arriving at a meeting I was met by two gals with brooms and determined looks as they shooed a bat down from the room’s cavernous ceilings.  Ahh – life in a small town!  They looked at me with trepidation and when I assured them I’m a farm girl and that Mr. Bat was simply looking for a warm winter home, they laughed and camaraderie soon followed.

2) Sissy and I talked last night and during our conversation it dawned on me that Christmas is 3 weeks from today. Other than presents purchased, I have nothing ready for Christmas. No decorating. No wrapping. No cards. No baking. Nothing.  The countdown is on, even if I don’t yet feel it.

kitten asleep

waiting for this feeling to come over me.

3) On Sunday, I’m taking an auntie to see the “Trans  Siberian Orchestra.” She’s so excited she can hardly stand it. I know I will be once I get there.  My inner lizard is harping that I really should be wrapping, baking and decorating but I remember when we paid for the tickets a few months ago, I thought “you’ll need this by then.”  I’m betting I was right.

4) Living in a Nursing Home, Mom doesn’t have room or desire for many “things” so I put together a packet of small treats – snacks, candies, nuts, hand lotion, wet wipes, Chap-stick, Word search books, Sudoku, a pen, and some spending money, etc.  When I told her last night that a parcel was on its way,  she giggled like a school girl.

ACHR1054b-happy-christmas-girl_800

5)  We don’t have any snow – the weather has been unbelievably mild here in West MI and golf courses are opening again today.  The roads are great for travel and people are moving about with ease. I think it’s the lack of the white stuff that’s contributed to my denial of the holiday’s proximity.  Because when I was a kid, snow only meant one thing:

calvin

Christmas vacation! Whee!!

 

How about you?  Encounter any odd scenes lately?  Are you feeling the Christmas spirit yet?  Any snow in your neck of the woods?  Do you have an inner lizard snarping at you, too?

Categories: Attitude, Confidence at any age, Faith, Family, Holidays, Joy, Life, Opinion, Personal, Relationships, Thoughts | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 24 Comments

Random 5 Friday and special occasions

It’s Friday and the day after Thanksgiving, and Black Friday for all the shoppers. Here are 5 randoms from my world this week:

1  Sent most of the leftovers home with oldest boy & his family last night.  It’s yummy and all but one plate of that calorie-dense food is enough for me.  I’m still full today! Normally I would have enjoyed a piece of pie with my morning coffee today but instead I opted for a nutrient-rich Nutribullet smoothie.  It’s all about balance.  And saving room for a burger later. 🙂

funny!

funny!

2  The house still smells like Thanksgiving dinner.    There’s no candle that could match it!

peanuts-thanksgiving

3  When I was a girl Mom’s Holiday table was a sight to see  – she used her  best china, cut crystal and tablecloths. The table was set several days ahead and we’d circle it, marveling at the tiny decorated Christmas trees or crafted pumpkins down the middle. At mealtime we were given a small bit of Ginger Ale to sip from a goblet, and she served shrimp cocktail to all – young and old. Learning to use those tiny forks and handle fine china – those experiences are precious to me.   Most importantly, she taught us not to save our best for company but to share with all who gather.   The grands are learning how to leave the table without taking the table-cloth with them, they have their own “special” goblets to use, and they and our boys have learned they’re special enough to warrant the good stuff.

cut crystal

“Start living now. Stop saving the good china for that special occasion. Stop withholding your love until that special person materializes. Every day you are alive is a special occasion. Every minute, every breath, is a gift from God.” – Mary Manin Morrissey

 

4  When asked recently if I would be shopping on Black Friday I gave my patent response, “Not without a gun to my head.”  You see I tried it once, years ago, and it was miserable. Life lessons abound, though, because standing in line for a long time affords one the opportunity to determine how badly you want/need the item you’re about to “save” $$ on.  I remember putting it back and leaving the store where I waited for my friends in the fresh air.  People rushed past me, I was the only one smiling, and I learned I’ll happily 1) pay full price to avoid all that or 2) go without.

5  Saw this a few days ago and knew you needed to see it, too.  Happy Thanksgiving, friends.

grateful for

** How was your “Turkey” Day?

What traditions have you kept from your childhood and which ones have changed? **

Categories: Attitude, Faith, Family, Food, Holidays, Home, Life Lessons, Love, Personal, Quotes, Thoughts, Traditions | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 19 Comments

5 for Friday ~ fudge, Christmas lists and hooligans

It’s Friday (whoo hoo!) and it’s random.  Here are 5 random happenings from my world this week:

1 Office potluck called for my first batch of fudge of the season — this one uses only 4 ingredients.  Ready?  a) 1 bag of chocolate chips (or peanut butter or butterscotch), b) 1 14 oz can of sweetened condensed milk, c) 1/2 bag of mini marshmallows (3 cups) and d) 1 1/2 cups of dry roasted peanuts (or walnuts).  Directions:  Melt chocolate chips and condensed milk in microwave – on high – for one minute. Stir.   Continue for 15 min 15 second intervals until fully melted (mine took 1 min + 15 sec).  Stir in marshmallows and peanuts and pour into well greased (9 x 13) pan. Pop into the fridge to set for 1 hour then cut.   Take to office or family gathering, stand back, and watch these babies disappear.

rocky road fudge

2 Bought my first Christmas present this week – for the monkeys.  They circled their “ideas” (translation = everything) last weekend.  From that came THE list.  The best part of this (free) exercise are their comments during the activity:  Littlest one asked me what I wanted for Christmas and I replied I just wanted all of us together: playing games, enjoying each others company, yummy food and having lots of fun. So she replied “so you just want us?” and I said “yep,  that’s what I really want.” Her reply, ” well put a bow on me, Nana, – here I am!” Kids!

grands and xmas list

an Emjayandthem (C) photo

3 Had my first touch of snow this week – last night – and more on the way today.  Last year at this time we had 30″ of the white stuff.  Not complaining … yet :).

www.mlive.com

it’s coming

4  You know those Hallmark holiday commercials with the cozy “normal” families? Yeah, that is so not us.  Here are our boys as we try to take a birthday picture at youngest kid’s birthday.   You can see why I don’t write Christmas newsletters … most of what they come up with is not fit for public consumption!  But I never laugh as hard as I do as when I am with them :D.

hooligans at bday

an Emjayandthem (C) photo

5 Heard a quote this week that bears repeating, “The only way any of us can grow to be older and wiser is if we’ve already been younger and stupider.”   Boy if that isn’t true!

owl1

The wise old own .. the big black crow .. flapping their wings singing go, birdie go …

What random happenings happened in your world this week?  Are your family shenanigans suitable for a Christmas letter?  Craving a little bite of fudge now?

** Thanks to my friend Diane H. who caught the 15 min error above – if you nuke your fudge for 15 min instead of seconds, your kitchen might be smoking! 🙂

Categories: Attitude, Blogging, Family, Food, Friendship, Fun, Holidays, Home, Love, Opinion, Personal, Recipes, Seasons, Thoughts, Useful Information | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 15 Comments

Lessons in disguise

Yesterday my day started as it often does ~ emails at home, coffee on the run, breakfast at my desk.  I had my day planned and a good sense of what was on deck for the balance of my week when it happened — a call suggesting Thursday’s meeting be moved up two days.  To yesterday.  To 2 hours from that phone call.

Looking at my “to-do’s” and schedule, my first thought was to say no and find a way to keep it to Thursday.  Then, I thought about just saying yes.   No: I wasn’t in a suit or dress, but I was in office attire, and with the cold wind blowing I’d be wearing my overcoat anyways.  Yes: moving up the meeting worked better for the rest of my week because I’m hoping to take Friday off.  Not having to be in meetings and on the road most of Thursday would support that. Another yes.  And then a nudge, “just do it.” And so I did.

And had I not done that I wouldn’t have had a chance meeting on the street (in my overcoat) with a State official whose office I’ve been aiding.  I wouldn’t have had the chance to meet her staff who then sang my praises to the official.    Happenstance? Hmm.

Smiling as I arrived back into town, I pulled into the parking lot at the mall.

I hate the mall. Not the building, the experience. I’m short, curvy and hard to fit.  Generally speaking, the mall isn’t the happy place it was when I was a lanky teenager.

This morning, my arms ache from the clothes I carried out of the dressing room.  Clothes on sale. Clothes that fit and flatter me.   Coincidence? Hmm.

I don’t know about you but sometimes life lessons don’t appear on large blinking billboards.  Sometimes they arrive disguised as ordinary moments that beg a closer look.

Coincidence-Fate

And remember, friends, “Normal is just a setting on your washing machine” ~Whoopi Goldberg.

What have you said “yes” to lately?

 

Categories: Blogging, Confidence at any age, Determination, Faith, Growth, Joy, Life, Personal, Quotes, Self Discovery, Thoughts, Travel, Wisdom, Women | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 12 Comments

A lone wolf

Recently,  I realized something about myself that I had never acknowledged before. It’s not serious, but it’s given me insight as to why I do (or don’t do) certain things.

Which way to the bargain corner? photo credit the-wolfs.web.com

 

You see, coming from a rural upbringing, I’m used to being resourceful. Frugal you might say.  Don’t get me wrong – I’m no martyr.  I like to buy things that inspire me but, of late, not much has.  I have simple tastes and have been happiest with a box of garage sale books and $.99 music downloads from Amazon.com.

I’m not a name brand shopper.  I don’t care about the latest & greatest.  If it fits and flatters my body, I buy it.  (And I am hard to fit.)

In the past, I’ve been invited to spend the day shopping with other women at an outlet mall.   Instant panic and beads of sweat ensued.  Now I know that there are many who would enjoy this. Me?  A stick pin to the eye would be less painful.

I think it’s mostly due to my background: being the youngest of 5, shopping was a twice a year excursion that translated to a painfully long day.  By the time it was my turn to finger the goods, I didn’t care what I got.  Plaid pants and a purple bubble top?  Sure! Orange jumpsuit?  Super Duper!!  Stand around all day, starving and hoping for a diversion?  Rather have a migraine, thanks.

To this day, I avoid shopping in herds.  Why?  I’m a lone wolf shopper.

If something has worn out and needs replacing, I can get it during my lunch hour.  In, out, done.  No purse holding necessary.

Christmas shopping?  Not a problem: make a list, check it twice, research online and *poof* done.   And … buying for others? Just plain fun!

Grocery store?  No worries, mate.  Just print off my grocery list, check the items needed. In, out, done.

So…  I’ve been invited to a Miche purse party and I won’t be in town on the party date.  No problem; the hostess sent me her web link to peruse.   I feel a bit obligated to buy something because she’s a hard working gal whom I know could use the money.  Except for the fact that I do not need another purse.

I have a small collection of $5 and $7 handbags from the bargain bin at big chain stores.  I change purses with the season or … when I feel like it.  I’m a Gemini; it could be a Tuesday and I’ll declare – let’s go pink today!  Otherwise, I stick to my basic black (winter) or a linen looking in summer. That’s it.

I have never carried a $200 designer bag and I never will. Why? Because if I don’t have $200 to put in the bag, I don’t need a $200 purse.

Back to the Miche purse party.  The premise is that you buy a basic “shell” and dress it up with interchangeable covers, straps, and charms.  A moderately sized Miche purse with 2 covers and some snazzy straps prices around $120.  They are fashionable and trendy. Super cute.  I understand the concept but, for some reason, I resisted ordering.

And this weekend, it came to me why:  

Farm girls don’t have purses with wardrobes.

Does this look like a girl whose purse sports a change of clothes?

In my heart of hearts, that’s who I am.  I still am that braid-wearing, pony-riding, calf-wrangling girl who cleans up with Jirmack shampoo and some Bonne Bell lipgloss.  I still am the girl who attended Bridal showers in the United Church basement, where brides got what they got and there was no such thing as “registering” (ugh).  I am still the girl who can fix a fence, deliver a foal, drive a tractor and prepare an entire meal without ever opening a box.

I don’t enjoy shopping in herds and I don’t like spending money on “stuff” I don’t need.

I’m a farm girl and a Lone Wolf shopper.  In, out, done.

 * * *

Too many people spend money they haven’t earned, to buy things they don’t want, to impress people they don’t like. – Will Rogers

 

Categories: Animals, Attitude, Confidence at any age, Fun, Growth, Life, Personal, Random observations, Self Discovery, Women | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 30 Comments

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