Monday, January 30, 2012

Saving CeeCee Honeycutt

I just finished reading Saving CeeCee Honeycutt by Beth Hoffman for book club. I believe it is her first novel. CeeCee's mother is from the south but she fell in love and moved to Ohio with CeeCee's father. Her dad travels often and her mother is not happy there. At 7 years of age she begins to realize that her mom is a bit eccentric and lives in the past glory of her reign as the Vidalia Onion Queen of Georgia. Actually the mother has a mental illness that her dad is ignoring because he is seldom home and CeeCee bears the brunt of taking care of her mother and suffers the consequences of her psychosis. She retreats into her books and spends time with an elderly neighbor as much as she can, she has no friends, the children and town people laugh at her. When she is about 9 or 10 her mother is hit by a car as she walks in the street wearing a ball gown on the way to Goodwill to buy more gowns. Her father returns and sends her to live with an aunt in Savannah Georgia. When she lives there she is loved and develops relationships with the women in her life, some eccentric, but all are strong women. CeeCee blossoms in this environment. It's a good book and I know one of the Lit Wit's loved it....I'll see what the rest think of it on Tuesday night.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Packrat or Not?

Am I a pack rat or not? Are you?
Wikipedia's definiton: Packrats are nest builders. They use plant material like branches, twigs, sticks, and other available debris. Getting into everything from attics to car engines, stealing their ‘treasures’, damaging electrical wiring and creating general noisy havoc can easily cause them to become a nuisance. A peculiar characteristic is that if they find something they want, they will drop what they are currently carrying, for example a piece of cactus, and "trade" it for the new item. They are particularly fond of shiny objects. They can also be quite vocal and boisterous.
Yes, that is the definition for the animal that the slang description of human hoarding comes from...but do you see the similarities?
I'm a nester
I don't steal my treasures.....but they are treasures
I like how they will 'trade up'.....I've done that at the thrift shop or garage sale
Shiny objects are good, right???

I've been known to be vocal and boisterous
I've watched HOARDERS and my house does not look like that so I guess I am safe. My mom (raised during the depression, so can you blame her?) has pack rat tendencies. But she was always the one who had what you needed to fix it or could fix it herself. I know I am a collector....of books, clothes, jewelry, toys, craft items for the grands, paper and embellishments for my scrapbooking/cardmaking adventures, and just things I like.

Can it be good to be a saver of 'things'? Sometimes............for instance, I received this 19" TV from freecyle to replace the 12" TV that was in our spare bedroom. It's a small room, but a 12" TV is pretty darn tiny. Last weekend my granddaughter and her friend wanted to watch a movie but I didn't have a DVD player in there so I asked and located one on freecyle. The next day I saw an ad in the paper and the DVD players were on sale at a price I would pay, so I picked it up. A brand spankin' new one has to be better than the VHS/DVD player with a missing cord and a non working VHS player, right? Yesterday afternoon I decided to hook it up to the TV for my grandsons.....but the new one wouldn't work the way I needed it to so I packed it up and will be return it on Tuesday. My next option was to attempt to hook up the free one. I looked in my 'extra cord box' in the basement and found a cord I hoped would did! I didn't get the remote to work but that doesn't really matter. As you can see it's an older TV and DVD player but it works and the price was great....FREE!!! I don't know exactly what the stand is for that it's on. I wanted hubby to put it in the basement for me but he carried it out to the garage so I had to drag it back in and it works perfectly in the room. Grandson J picked out some movies for 'his room' and placed them on a shelf. He always keeps his amphibians on top of the TV and now he's happy that there is enough room for the frog, the snake has to be on the side of the TV "but he's OK with that". Yes, we are a strange lot. :-)

And sometimes keeping a few extra odds 'n ends is not all bad, you might find just what you need.
I cleaned out the closet in that spare bedroom too and:
If I tell you I bought another Red Hat MAKE me get rid of one or two or three......
I found some more toddler items to try to sell.
I found a bag of things I was saving but haven't needed so they will be donated to the thrift store. Grandson J and I also cleaned out the movies and stuffed animals and found some to donate.
The closet is still pretty full but I did make a difference in it.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

The Week in Review

Does your week go as fast as mine does? My mother always said "the older you get the faster the days go" and I certainly agree with her. Monday, my day off, I did laundry and ran errands (my usual Monday M.O.). After a grandchild filled weekend it was nice to have QUIET time to recharge my 'battery'.
I mailed a package to my granddaughter, she bought something for her parents and brother and forgot it here. She is really a sweet girl and was so excited to buy everyone in her family a small gift. I return at item to Goodwill that she purchased but didn't work out. While I was there I picked up these adorable new, cute flats for 1/2 price.

I saw them last week when we were there but decided I didn't need them but when they were 1/2 price on Tuesday (senior day) I scooped them up! I dropped off a few things at a consignment shop and picked up some cash there. One of the Fisher Price toys I was trying to sell (with a radio ad) sold, so that is an extra $10 and some freed up space. The week before I got a 19" TV on freecycle for our spare bedroom (sure beats the 12" that was there) and I bought a DVD player (on sale) for it.....have to hook that up today. My 2 grandsons had 1/2 of school on Thursday and wanted to spend the afternoon with me (I think mom wanted a break) so I picked them up and we stopped at the library where they played really good for quite a while. When I was a kid the library was a revered place-one had to be so quiet, get your books and get out. The boys know you can play with the toys, play a board game or a computer game, read, and check out books, movies, and puppets. On the way home we stopped at the thrift store where they got: Hungry Hungry Hippos, a recorder, a toy crane that works. I talked the 6 year old out getting another baby for my house. The kids love it there because they get free toys. I love it because it makes them happy without costing me a cent. My thoughts of a certain individual who just uses me were reinforced :-( I was actually going to make a good dinner for hubby Friday night but he got home an hour earlier than I expected and he wanted fish...YAY!!!! I have been so hungry for a fish dinner. He just got it to go and we ate at home. About a week ago hubby put a new kitchen faucet in and he moved the K-cup for my Kuerig and I still haven't found it....he says he saw it and didn't throw it away....but since it's something I use he just put it 'somewhere'. DANG
I am disgusted with myself because: I just keep eating and eating and not exercising, my pants are getting tighter. Our spare bedroom desperately needs to be redecorated and I keep stalling, the same goes for the bathroom, laundry room..........hey, every room. :-( I have just been so lazy, I didn't get Christmas cards out and haven't even mailed a hand stamped card to anyone since last fall. My Washington DC scrapbook is still only 1/2 finished and about a zillion others I want to make are not even started. I go to bed early and read or watch TV, although I think that's only a winter thing. I shop too much on my lunch hour. It's too cold to sit at the park and read so I shop, I hope it warms up soon! The library is on the other side of town so by the time I drove there I'd have 15 minutes and then it would be time to leave. I could sit at McDonald's ...NOT!
I have a lot I want to do (key word WANT) so I better shut this down and start my day. I have all the ideas but don't follow through. :-( Tell me I am not the only one........

Monday, January 23, 2012

A Little Tag Book

While my granddaughter and her friend were scrapbooking (it's nice to have granddaughters that like to scrap and are creative). I gave them paper showed them where my supplies are and they took the initiate and scrapped.

I had a bunch of shaped chipboard books and gave them each one to decorate. Tailyn made so many pretty layered flowers for hers....the flowers and ribbon bows were quite popular. They helped themselves and asked if they needed something but I let them do what they wanted. I think they enjoyed crafting. The girls even helped my 6 year old grandson make a fish (shaped) scrapbook.

Have you seen TLC's EXTREME CHEAPSKATES? I watched most of it one night when I was being lazy. Some of those people are REALLY cheap: one man dumpster dived and found some one's cast off (and droopy) roses to give to his wife for their anniversary. Another woman would not buy toilet paper but insisted on using cloth rags and then washing them to reuse. I could, maybe, use rags to wipe.......but I could NOT wash way, no how...that's just not me. She may be saving money but she wouldn't have the joy of recycling and could not make this little book.

Now to the making of my little book: Start with a couple of empty toilet paper rolls. I used 4. Flatten them and grab some paint, I had some acrylic paint that I just grabbed out of the bin. Paint the outside, you can leave the center plain if you plan to cover the inside 'page' with decorative paper.

My book is pretty simple. I put some simple sayings or picture on the 'pages'.

You can't see it but I punched 2 holes on one end and put rings through them. I tied a bunch of ribbon scraps onto the rings, I like the way that looks....or you could leave plain. I also glued the ends and finally I used a heavy duty stapler to staple the end together. The inside of the roll makes an 'envelope' perfect for a tag.

The fronts and backs of my tags. One has scraps of leather as a layer, another is a playing card (found at the thrift store), the polka dotted one has a wire BELIEVE attached with brads. One of the bottom ones has a section of notes I took at a Bible study. I used rub ons on a couple and Monday is my favorite day.

Here's how it looks all put together. It could definitely be used for a scrapbook too, let your imagination run wild.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

An Act of Kindness

One small word made 5 children and 2 adults very happy last night. As I stated in a previous post my 11 year old granddaughter and her best friend are here for the weekend. They are such sweet girls. We've gone shopping, enjoyed lunch dates, did some crafting, and visited the Maritime museum where we toured the submarine.

Some of the hands on activities for visitors to the Wi Maritime Museum.

ALL of the kids love the water room.

The US Cobia. Yes, we toured the whole sub and it was cold inside and out. The heat was not working that day so it was cold on the tour .....and when we arrived above board after the tour we had a suprise- more SNOW.....hmmm

Walking through the tiny doorways. Tailyn is petite.......and I am not, so I had lots of 'fun' getting through the doors.

It's the middle of winter in WI and we are having our coldest temps so far, the past couple of days have been barely above zero for the high. We are not winter people anyway-no snowmobiles or skis here. I wanted to do something fun with the girls so I promised them we'd go swimming. (My SIL and her son go swimming at a local hotel for a small fee). The girls wanted to invite my 2 grandsons and nephew to go along and everyone was able to, the kids were excited! Per SILs request I called the hotel to be sure that it would be OK to bring them on a Friday night (weekends are usually kept for the hotel guests).....and the person who answered the phone said 'No'...oh dear, what can I do now? I called a couple more places and they said the same I called the one place I knew we could go-the YMCA. The cost was $15 a family (not bad for me with 4 kids, but not so good for SIL with only 1 child). The hot tub is in anther area so we couldn't relax in there and leave the kids swim alone (ages 6-11) and I think the pool is deeper (the younger ones might be too short to just play). SIL was not too thrilled about going to the Y so I made a few more calls to hotels and explained that I had grand kids here from out of town and promised to take them swimming. Finally one gal took pity on me and said 'YES'. I felt as if I had struck gold, we were thrilled.....when I asked her the cost she told me to just come and swim. The whole time we were there we had the pool to ourselves. The kids alternated from the pool to the hot tub and had tons of fun. After about 1-1/2 hours they were getting hungry and we did not see a vending machine so we said it was time to leave. The kids have 'eagle eyes' and they had spotted a coffee pot with coffee, tea, and hot chocolate on the way in so I said it would be OK to have hot chocolate. I felt guilty swimming for free and then using up their hot chocolate so I offered to pay, she said 'we have lots more' and even brought out some small bags of Teddy Grahams for the kids. We all thanked her for her generosity....her parents raised a kind and compassionate young woman! and I won't be promising to take anyone swimming on a Friday night again with out making sure we have a place to go.

I enjoyed myself just knowing that the kids had so much fun!

Love that smile!

Friday, January 20, 2012

Ever Heard This?

When I lay down to sleep my mind doesn't shut off quickly....I sometimes think of very weird things. The other night I was thinking of some of the strange sayings my parents use to tell us kids. For instance "Get off your high horse", which was probably most often directed at me. "Dollars to donuts" was used in a (sorta) betting situation. I think we've all heard "Were you born in a barn?", meaning 'shut the door'! Were you ever told to "Wake up and die right"? I think that means to 'get real' or 'take off your rose colored glasses'. One of my mom's favorite sayings was "sometimes you have to bite your tongue" and I think that is excellent advice. We didn't have a lot of money but mom always said that just because a person is poor doesn't mean that they have to be dirty. That's smart and so true advice from her mom.
Do you have any unusual saying from your childhood?

This weekend my 11 year old granddaughter (on the right) and her friend are spending the weekend with us. Yesterday we went shopping, did lunch, and worked on crafts. Today we are visiting a museum and swimming later in the day. There will be more about our adventures in a later post. (you know how hard it is for me to write a post that doesn't included my grandkids).

Monday, January 16, 2012

Just an Ordinary Monday Drive

I finally decided I HAD to get my mom's Christmas gift to her, I wanted to go last Thursday but 'mother nature' decided to send us our first snowstorm of the season. Today was the only day I could go unless I put it off for a couple of more weeks. hmmmmm, I kept putting off sending Christmas cards and they never did get sent. I found out that mom needed a vacuum. I decided to check out the thrift store and see if they had any and if they didn't I'd make a detour to Walmart and buy a new one for her. Our local thrift store had 2 vacuums, not a common item for them to have. They both looked good and I purchased the one I thought would work best for her tiny apartment. I can't believe how many times I find just what I am looking for! Then I was ready for my 82 mile drive to moms.
I actually enjoy driving by myself, it was a nice day and I usually listen to radio talk shows ...and can find out some 'useful' information: did you know that: Bubble wrap was invented in 1957 by engineers Alfred Fielding and Marc Chavannes. Fielding and Chavannes sealed two shower curtains together, creating a smattering of air bubbles, which they originally tried to sell as wallpaper. When the product turned out to be unsuccessful as wallpaper, the team marketed it as greenhouse insulation. Although Bubble Wrap was branded by Sealed Air Corporation (founded by Fielding and Chavannes) in 1960, it was not until a few years later that its use in protective packaging was discovered. I copied that from Wikipedia but that is one of the tid bits of trivia the radio talk show host shared. She also shared a recipe for Beef Enchilada Bake, it sounded easy and good so I emailed her and asked for the recipe. I have done that in the past so I am confident I'll get the recipe.
Wisconsin has a lot of rural area and I drive through it on my way....some interesting sights I saw on my way were: the Polish Pickle bar, a hawk in the road and I think one in a tree (but it is hard to look up when you are driving), and a couple of blocks down from the Polish Pickle was Porcupine Acres. I didn't have my camera with me but I was lucky enough to get the bar sign from their facebook page. So, you see, it wasn't a boring drive at all.
After I visited with mom I took a circular route home in order to stop at Archiver's so I could use my credit before it expired. I didn't buy much because my coupons weren't good until the 21st. I stopped at Goodwill and looked around a bit, bought a pair of yoga pants to wear around the house. They are comfy to weary when cleaning (or not, whichever the case may be).
Now I have to get off the computer and clean up my kitchen counter and table. My granddaughter is spending the weekend with us. I'm picking her up Wednesday after work so don't have much time to get this place presentable.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Friday the 13th

It's Friday the 13th, and usually I end up working on that 'special' day, but today I was off. I'm not a superstitious person so I just say 'bah humbug' to that nonsense. I started the day off by sleeping in, once in a while it's good to do. At noon I had an appointment for a massage.....need I say more, it was awesome! Somehow I have to figure out a way to get one several times a year. With my list in hand (I need a list) I headed off to run errands. First I stopped at the consignment store and collected some cash......always a good thing after the holidays. Then I went to the natural health pharmacy to see what would help lower my cholesterol naturally. I am trying fish oil and red yeast rice. I really, really do not want to take a statin drug. Anyone have any other suggestions? Yes, I've heard the diet and exercise plans....but I need to implement them! I had to return an impulse buy at Kohl's so I did that. As I was looking around I found the perfect turtleneck (on sale) for one of my new sweaters and I had a 30% off coupon on top of that. I walked around and looked at a few other things but nothing caught my eye. I'm thankful for that, because I have plenty of clothes and don't need to dress up for work or any other occasion so I want to work with what I have. I am getting more imaginative with color combinations and even wear red now. As a redhead I NEVER wore red, but being a Red Hatter I had to wear it sometimes...and now I can wear it. One more good thing....the mailman brought me a coupon for a free John Fredia Precision Foam Colour. So I am not playing along with the bad rap that Friday the 13th gets! It was a pretty good day in my neighborhood. How was your day?

the Friday 56/Saving CeeCee Honeycutt

Currently I am reading Saving CeeCee Honeycutt by Beth Hoffman.
It's time to get back into the swing of things with Freda's Friday 56:
p. 56 "She was quiet for a moment, and I wondered if I shouldn't have asked, like maybe this was a room reserved for special guests."

I wanted to post a sentence from Heaven is for Real by Todd Burpo that I just finished reading but I returned it without writing down the quote.

Here's Freda's site and info:


*Grab a book, any book.

*Turn to page 56.

*Find any sentence that grabs you.

*Post it.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Bidding a Sad Farewell

The moon the other morning on my way to work.

No one that I have spoken to (even the 80+ year old gentleman) can remember a winter such as we've had to date-no snow and such mild temperatures. In fact, hubby went golfing the day after Christmas. Yesterday, when I was out and about on my lunch hour, it was sunny and 54 degrees. If I didn't know it was Jan 11 I would have sworn it was a gorgeous spring day! If our winter temperature hovered around 35-45 I wouldn't complain one bit. I'm definitely a fair weather friend. One winter I lived in Colorado Springs, CO. and it wasn't too bad. Seems like after a snowfall we'd get a nice warm day and it would melt a day or 2 later. Today (the day I was going to visit my mother) we are under a winter storm watch and expecting winds and 4-6" of snow. Nothing happening yet but by the time I come home it could be a mess so I've rescheduled my drive for Monday.

See the GREEN grass? That's unheard of in Wi in January but I LOVE it!!!

Ok, here's the before of our won't look like this tomorrow. Guess I'll just be thankful we had this reprieve from real winter weather. Looking on the bright side I see that it is not dark when I leave work (at 4;30) anymore and it IS the middle of January so we have lost almost 2 months of winter weather!!! happy dance-happy dance On the other hand I seem to remember not having spring last I hope this late onset of winter weather does not push summer back!

I FINALLY took the ornaments off the tree last night so today I can take it down and I guess I'll work on purging a few more Christmas decorations and then putting holiday things away. I also need to clean off my table weekend my 11 year old granddaughter and her friend are coming for a long weekend. The girls might want to do some crafts and I need to have a place for them to create.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Heaven Is For Real

I recently finished reading HEAVEN IS FOR REAL by Todd Burpo. It's a true story about his 3 year old son's experience with heaven. If you are wondering about heaven this is a must read. I know the Bible says no man can enter heaven and return to earth, but it also says: Mark 10:14 "Suffer the little children to come unto me and forbid them not, for of such is the kingdom of God."
Almost a year after a life threatening illness Colton starts talking about things that he could only know if he had been in heaven, things no one had discussed with him at such an early age. This book gave me goosebumps and really made me think. It's a 10 on my list. If you've read it I'd like to know your thoughts.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

I Need Knee Pads and Other Such Nonsense

This year is off to a bad start and I think knee pads might help.......twice this year I have trapped and fallen down onto my knees (is God trying to tell me something?). The first time I was in a strip mall and tripped on my own foot and down on my knees I fell. As fast as I could I shoved things back into my purse (maybe I need to be sure it is zipped shut?), brushed off my pants, and walked onto the store. What was really hurt was my pride.....did the couple that was approaching me see the fall? Later in the week I tripped again and fell onto the ground (good thing I had black jeans on and was able to brush most of the dirt off) right in front of a radio station as I was picking up the gift certificate up that I won. Now I have 2 and I can afford to get my hair cut there or a manicure or????

Ambition and chipperness have been eluding me tree is still up. I just started putting away Christmas decorations yesterday....a slow process. At the same time I am sorting and getting rid of things. Every room, except for our spare bedroom, has boxes in it. Some are going on freecycle, some are donated to the thrift store, and some I have for sale. In fact I sold a crib mattress for my sister in law. Today as I was going through some receipts I found a $10 bill and couldn't figure out what it was for so I put it in my wallet. As I was writing this I remembered it was for my SIL. darn!

I found this article in MORE magazine (Dec 2011-Jan 2012). "Daily shopping cuts a woman's risk for early death by 23%". What do you think of that? Guess I'm going to live a long time, I shop almost daily....don't buy something every day though.

Hope your new year is off to a better start than mine is!!!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012


I do like to shop, have you figured that out yet? Probably...... I didn't do as much shopping for Christmas gifts this year as I have previously done because a lot of people received cash or gift cards from us. I love listening to people and then finding the perfect (in my mind) gift. What's even better is finding it on clearance! I always hit the clearance section first and have my eyes open for gifts for the grand kids all year round. I can shop for a good part of the day all by myself, I wander around and look at all kinds of stuff. Of course I don't do that all of the time, if I'm shopping for a specific event I usually have an idea. I try to keep in mind Senior Discount Day too, every little bit I can save helps. Unfortunately I like to shop for myself too. My favorite place to shop is any thrift store.....even on vacation I shop at thrift stores. I really should cut back on my shopping habit.
Monday morning I met my daughter at a mall 50 miles away to return her daughter to her. We live in a small town and have few stores locally: Walmart, Shopko, Kohl's, Hobby Lobby, Lowe's, Menard's....get the picture? Yes, we do have some nice small shops in the downtown areas.....but often I don't take the time to peruse them. So, guess what? After I dropped my granddaughter off I walked through the mall a bit. When I was younger, single, and thinner I use to LOVE that mall and could spend the whole day there. Now it doesn't interest me that much. I checked out a few stores but the only purchase I made was in Target. Next I stopped at Archiver's (scrapbooking store) for a few things. My Nookcolor needed to be updated and I had some questions about it so I headed over to Barnes and Noble. While in the store you can read free for an hour, so I ate lunch and read for a bit, then wandered around. Like most of the places I stopped at it was busy. I love book stores but seldom get to spend time in one. They have books, music, games, magazines....and more....oh, how I'd love to be able to spend a whole day to look at books and read. I just might like book stores as much as thrift stores, maybe more, because I don't buy books but I surely like to look at what is available...and maybe find something for someone else.
And that's where I like to shop. Some of my habits need to go away though - shopping, chocolate, lack of exercise......
Do you like to shop? What kinds of shops do you like to visit?

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

The 3 Rs

The ROADTRIPS are over, at least for 2-1/2 weeks until I pick up my 11 year old granddaughter and her friend for a long weekend visit. I was able to attend most of the grand kids concerts and saw some at a memorial service for their other grandma. My 8 year old granddaughter was here over the new year's weekend. She's such a blessing to have around. I still have to visit my mom. With the price of gas and the driving time involved (the closest is 90 miles) road trips are a costly event.
I didn't have too many RETURNS but the ones I had went smoothly and I do have one more big item to return.
I did some RUMMAGING through the Christmas clearance items.........I actually think after Christmas is my favorite time to shop - everything is on sale! Very few items found their way into my cart though. My big score (thanks to my daughter) were the Christmas countdown calenders (.89 ea), each one with a piece of chocolate in a numbered square. Last month I got some flak because I didn't give my grandsons a 'chocolate calendar'....but I couldn't find them. Target had them and I didn't get to a Target.
Those are my 3 Rs: Roadtrips, Returns, and Rummaging.