Thursday, December 15, 2016

Christmas Hint List

 I have taken it upon myself to prepare a Christmas Hint List for you young whippersnappers. (Please note...that’s Christmas HINT List, not Hit List). Anyway I have been at this Christmas stuff for many years. I have gone through the buying, making, sewing, baking, wrapping, decorating, spending, over-spending for many a year. 

So, in no particular order here are a few tips for y’all.

Christmas Stockings...Think small. If you buy or make one that is 29 inches long you might have to fill it. Not so much fun. Look for something no longer than the palm of your hand. The same thing holds true for those handy gift bags. Look for the smallest one that will hold the gift item. I find an envelope works the best. Keep reading.

Perfume Buying... If she has a favorite fragrance find out what it is. If she likes White Shoulders (hint here for Mr. Lucky) don’t get her Eternity. The same rule applies when buying for your fella. It took me several years to convince Mr. Lucky that Old Spice was his favorite.
Fruit Cake... I love it. The folks who are always complaining about it obviously have never tasted my Mom’s or my Aunt Mary’s. I have entertained to idea of trying my hand at making them. That was before I discovered it might require a bank loan just to stock up on the ingredients. So if someone makes, or even buys you a fruit cake. Suck it up and say thank you. Then you can send it on to me.

Gift Certificates... They always fit. Or do they? If he is not likely to change a light bulb don’t bother getting him a gift card from a hardware store. Maybe one from a men’s clothing store would be more appropriate. If the receiver is not likely to dig in the dirt they might not be to tickled to get a gift card from Plants Are Us. Don’t be buying a gift certificate for a year’s membership to a gym unless you know this is what they want.

Decorating... Remember this one important thing. If you, or someone you live with, put it up someone has to take it down. Hopefully before St. Patrick’s Day. Clark Griswall doesn’t live here anymore.

The Big Dinner... The average Christmas Dinner will contain about 4000 calories per plate. I am not making this up. It might not be necessary to cook and bake for three days ahead of Christmas. It’s ok to cut back on some of the goodies.

So... Now have yourself a Happy Christmas and a Merry New Year!

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Coping With Excess

Somehow I reached excess without ever noticing that I was passing through satisfaction.   Before you credit me with this pearl of wisdom I want you to know this brilliant phrase was coined by Ashleigh Brilliant, right out of one of his books.  No...I am not making that up.  He created and was smart (brilliant) enough to copyright some of his sayings.  Many have appeared on t-shirts. And that is his real name.  I researched it.

Anyway, back to the point I hope to make....excess.  I mentioned Mr. Brilliant’s book.  Of course, I have a copy of one of them and hundreds more on a variety of subjects.  I have books on sewing, quilting, woodworking, cooking, gardening, history, genealogy, name a few topics.  I am the proud owner of several books by Celia Rivenbark, Dave Barry, Erma Bombeck, Jack Olsen, and even Mark Twain.  I am the not so proud owner of a couple penned by Bill Cosby.  Oh, well.  I can even scare up a dictionary (you know...the paper version of Google), a thesaurus or two and several real hold-in-your-hand atlases.

Having made my point about books it’s probably time to start weeding them out.  Not only the books, but I can’t close my sock drawer and my t-shirt supply is way out of hand.  As noted I have a supply of books on sewing, quilting, woodworking, etc.   In addition, I have the raw materials for sewing, quilting, woodworking, gardening and cooking.  I have enough pots and pans to create 5 or 6 meals without needing to run the dishwasher.  Need a shovel?  I have 4 or 5 of them in a variety of different sizes.  Wood and wood scraps?  Got it covered.  Fabric?  Let’s not go there.  After donating a pickup load to charity I still have several tubs.  The subject of shoes is off-limits.  We really don’t want to go there.

So it’s time for WWJD.  Let me be clear–I’m not looking for a divine intervention.  I mean  What Would Julie Do?  My friend, I’ll call her Julie (because that’s her name), is a master of non-clutter.  On her dining room table you’ll not find the usual assortment of stuff–yesterday’s mail, glasses, both reading and sun, keys, coffee mug, a stray napkin, and a newspaper clipping of an obituary from last February.  Instead you’ll see a seasonally appropriate floral arrangement carefully placed on a freshly pressed doily.  She doesn’t even stack up her excess junk and wait for a yard sale.  However, rumor has it that her husband’s new ladder turned up missing after a yard sale.  She dejunks regularly.  People are skeptical about buying gifts for her because they’ll find them later for sale at the Salvation Army Thrift Shop. 

So, my only hope about this excess thing is to start a declutter movement.  As Mr. Lucky has pointed out, the way to start a declutter operation is to stop buying, well, cluttery stuff.  So if you see me at a yard sale do not sell me a thing.  (Wink).

By the way, you can probably find a copy of Ashleigh Brilliants book, I Have Abandoned My Search for Truth, and Am Now Looking for A Good Fantasy, and several others on Amazon.  I am not ready to give up my copy of it, no matter what Julie says.

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Remembering Bonnie

A friend once told me that you are allowed in this life one good job, one good marriage, one good dog. Mr. Lucky and I have had a good marriage, jobs that we were good at (if that counts) and one over-the-top good dog. Bonnie. The angels came for her a couple of days ago.

She was looking for a home along with two other dogs when we went to an animal shelter to have a look. The other two dogs were more interested in barking at something on the other side of the fence. But not this fifty pound, 6 month old Australian Shepherd mix. She came over to us and sat on Mr. Lucky’s feet. That pretty much clinched the deal, as long as Fred approved of her. He did. He took her under his wing, and taught her lots of things...mostly good. The most important thing for her to know about was come-in cookies. That would be that bribery thing, just for coming in when you were called. A few days after she adopted us, the folks from the animal shelter called to see how it was working out. Did we want to keep her? After only 3 days ...oh, yeah. We were her people.

Along with the come-in cookie thing Bonnie had a special way of training us. At 3 o’clock every afternoon she reminded us it was her dinner time. She also liked her breakfast served at 6 AM. After her breakfast she would make her rounds through the neighborhood. One of the neighbors was trained so well he provided her with treats twice a day. I don’t know for sure what she did if he wasn’t home. She probably worked her magic on someone else.

You probably have seen dogs retrieve balls, frisbies and the like. Bonnie was not one of those dogs. If you threw something for her she would just look at you like "Oh, sure. I don’t want that. Thanks, anyway." Folks would ask if she liked to swim. Well, no. She didn’t. Although, she never passed up an opportunity to get wet clear up to her ankles. She was big on wading.

Her special skill was to be there for us. She was happy to see us when we got home, barked if she found something out of place, and was always there to comfort us for any reason. If we had an unpleasant experience she knew it and reacted as only she could. She didn’t limit this skill to just us.   Bonnie knew when other folks were having a rough time for whatever reason. A real people person kind of dog.

 She enjoyed 4-wheeler rides. We outfitted our wheelers for her comfort, too. In fact, Mr. Lucky bought one to color coordinate with her. Camouflage.

Bonnie was a great traveler. She spent 6 winters in Arizona with us and touched the hearts of many of our Arizona cronies. You know who you are.

She was indeed ONE GOOD DOG.

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Flea Marketing

Flea Marketing

Much to Mr. Lucky’s chagrin I like flea markets. It’s not that I am a fan of fleas, mind you, it’s junk. Plain and simple. You have probably heard the saying "One person’s junk is another’s treasure".

So...moving along...there is a big flea market up the road a piece from where we stay in Arizona. No. Settle down. It’s not Quartzite. Mr. Lucky caved and took me there a few days ago. An interesting thing about flea markets is that they are all pretty much the same. If you were dropped out of the sky in the middle of one you would be hard pressed to identify the town in which you had landed. Shopping malls are like that, too.

In one booth I heard myself saying to another bargain hunter, "This looks just like my attic". Oh, my. There was an assortment of figurines (dust collectors), shoes and boots, bags of all kinds - carryon, handbags, duffel bags, for carrying your duffels, and plain old suitcases, lamps and books. A couple of things that I have that this vendor was missing were trophies, old motorcycle helmets, and, of course fabric.

Flea markets all have someone selling dolls, crocheted treasures, knives, tools - both old and new, shoes - old and new, CDs and VHS tapes - all old. Then you’ll have the jewelry vendors. This flea market must have had cheap space rent for anyone hawking jewelry. You could have thrown a marshmallow from one jewelry vendor and hit another one...even with bad aim.

I noticed that many of the treasure sellers had captured the technology of the times. Some of them never took their eyes off their gadgets long enough to attempt to sell something. The days are long and hard in the vending world.

I wanted to do my part to help support the economy so I felt obligated to buy a dab of "inexpensive" jewelry.  It will look good in my jewelry box.