What was I thinking????

I thought this list would be an easy one.  I was so incredibly wrong.  I don’t know if it’s because I am incredibly frugal and wait for sales (most of the time) or if it’s because I seldom have extra money to spend on things other than bills?  Or because when I get something home and realize it was a dumb purchase I go back to the store and return it?  Actually, that would be a pretty fun list.  10 THINGS I BOUGHT AND RETURNED ALMOST IMMEDIATELY AFTER RECOGNIZING SPUR OF THE MOMENT MADNESS HAD OCCURRED.  I bet that list would be a cinch to come up with.

So yeah, I actually struggled a bit with this one.  But it was an interesting discussion to be had at dinner with the girls last night.  I think about six answers came easy to me, but after that it was a stretch (as evidenced by the last two or three!)

10 dumb purchases

  1. When I got my KitchenAid mixer, I got a doozy of a deal on it.  So much so, that I also got a deal on the attachment kits.  I asked my brother if he wanted it, and he jumped at the opportunity.  So I figured why not?  I’d get it too.  The mixer?  Love it.  Use it all the time.  That attachment set?  Yep, still in the original paper wrapping.  And let’s be real–why on earth would I ever want to make my own sausage?
  2. About four years ago, I was determined to get a Wii with my Christmas bonus money.  I waited until there was a going out of business sale at Best Buy, I got games buy two get three free, I was a Nintendo deal finding machine.  Know what?  I think I’ve played with it about ten times.  Don’t get me wrong, I love it.  I truly do.  But I’ve determined that it’s more of a group thing, and my house is too small to have many group things in it.  Could I live without it?  Absolutely.  Was it a stupid purchase?  No question.  But you know what?  On the rare occasion I am sick it provides great entertainment.
  3. I think what I have determined is that I tend to participate in extra curricular in phases.   Watch every movie released in 2004?  Done.  Fly kites?  Love it.  Scrapbooking, reading, etc.  All have had their moment as my favorite pasttime.  Right now, it’s knitting/crocheting.  Might have something to do with the niece that I’ll get on my birthday this year (what a way to turn 40, right??)  But for the last year or two, I’ll come home, see a big box on my front porch every now and again, and think “what on earth did I do?”.  I mean seriously.  If you need $25 of stuff, and free shipping starts at $50, there is no need to order another $220 of items to make it work, is there?  So much yarn, so much pretty pretty yarn, and no idea what to do with it all.

    *please note: not my stash. Found image on Tumblr. I only WISH I had this much or were this organized!

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Small yet joyful things

I didn’t participate in last week’s Monday Listicles–not for lack of interest, just for lack of time.  So I wanted to try and make sure that I got this week’s topic covered and posted!  So for this week, it’s about the small stuff.  And it’s all the small stuff, right?  Isn’t that what the book said ages ago?  Anywho, without further ado, here are the:

10 tiny (or secret) things that bring you joy

  1. At this particular moment, Reese’s Miniature Peanut Butter Cups.  I don’t know what it is, but it has to be the minis.  I can’t have it in full size or the snack size, has to be the minis.  And as mentioned before on this post, has to be in multiples of four.
  2. Hammock sitting.  Nothing beats it.  Throw in a great big thing of sweet iced tea, my kindle, and an occasional fudge stick, and it’s wonderful.  Need to scrub the toilet?  Go sit outside.  Need to make dinner?  Go lay under a tree.  Bliss.
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    Napping outside

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    View from the hammock

  3. Still a sucker for the great MGM musicals.  I came home from Charlottesville and visiting my ailing 90 year old Grandmother, and Gigi was on TV.  I didn’t move for another two hours.  The world can disappear for awhile as you get lost in the romance and grandeur that was the golden era.

  4. A slight breeze, a bunch of nylon string, and some ripstop fabric.  What a combination.  Unlike most places on the east coast, where we fly is not on a beach–in fact it’s so close to the airport that there are flight height restrictions.  And it’s so much fun.
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  5. This is, without a doubt, my favorite tea store.  They have such wonderful tisanes, and the hands down best Chai blend that I have ever had.  Nothing like a fragrant pot brewing in the kitchen.

  6. Does my best friend know me or what?  We do not exchange Christmas gifts.  We instead do something each year.  This year we went to the Chihuly exhibit, had a fantastic lunch at Burger Bach, and went to see the movie Les Miserables.  And, crazy person that she is, she gave me a gift anyway.  I wish she hadn’t, because I got her nothing, but she did anyway.  Know what she gave me?  An animal puppet.  Awesomeness.  Yep, she gets me.  It’s currently perched on top of a candlestick holder on my entertainment center so I see it every day.
  7. The Hokie Pokie.  Because it is what it’s all about.  Besides, I dare you to find me another marching band that spotlights two dozen tuba players in a kick line.  I cannot imagine dancing while playing a tuba for two minutes.  Very physical!  Combined with Enter Sandman for the kickoff, it’s a perfect fall afternoon.  60,000 fans, jumping up and down.  I would have LOVED to have been in Lane Stadium the day that Metallica themselves filmed the order to start jumping.  Trivial fact:  The theme song was picked by an arm wrestling match, and the jumping started one fall day when the band was trying to stay warm!

  8. These guys.  No, they’re not mine.  They’re my best friends.  And I love them dearly.  Have a rotten day?  Go hold a kid.
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  9. It may be trivial, but good food.  When my brother was in the army, his roommate had a theory.  Wherever you are, if you find a restaurant that has Christmas lights up year round, it’s going to be the best food in town.  And if you think about it, that theory makes sense.  It’s usually local, usually a neighborhood or mom/pop place, and is always good.  We’ve abided by this this theory in California, Virginia, South Korea, Hawaii, Germany, DC, you name it.  Whenever we can’t decide on a place to go, we go on walkabout, and find a place with lights.
  10. These kids.  Oh, these kids.  This year our children’s program has 119 children registered to sing.  Our choir room only holds 90.  I’m so proud of them!!!

I can’t believe I used to carry nothing more than keys and an ID

Seriously.  I did.  For years.  And in the ID holder I usually had a credit card, license, $20 bill (because you know back then it would pay for either a tank of gas or a heck of a good time at the local watering hole instead of 2 gallons and a drink at happy hour like it does now), and maybe even a tube of lipstick.  Now?  I carry a mom bag, and I’M NOT EVEN A MOM.

Why, you ask, am I now concerned with the matronly state of my handbag?  Because its contents is the subject of today’s

Yep, heaven help us, and ladies commiserate, it’s time for the list.  And I tried not to include the stuff everyone has, like a wallet or a pen, but stuff that was a bit odd or unique.  Forgive all photos, as the lighting in my kitchen was very yellow tonight and I took the photos with my iPod.  Here we go!

10 THINGS FOUND IN MY PURSE

  1. My purseket.  Yes, it always looks like this.  Greatest. Invention. Ever.  With the exception of my calendar, mini zippered pouch that holds sunscreen, etc., and the inner pocket that holds things to be revealed later on this list the entire contents of my purse are right here.  Makes switching handbags a cinch, all you do is lift it out.  You can get one at purseket.com.  You’re welcome. IMG_0140 Continue reading

Career Choices of the Past

I never had the desire to be a fireman, or to be a ballerina, or to be a member of the Peace Corps.  I didn’t always have the luxury of imagining future dreams as I had to always be practical and deal with the reality of day to day.  So this is an interesting list to me.  I don’t know so much if these were the ten things that were career choices from when I was a child or from when I was about 17 and trying to figure out what I wanted to be in life.  Or when I was 30 for that matter–so in that light, here are 10 things that I have considered as a dream profession at one point or another.

10 THINGS I’VE THOUGHT IT WOULD BE GREAT TO BE

  1. Marine Biologist.  This one actually had some traction.  It influenced the colleges I applied for and the courses I took for a few years.  But let’s face it–as much as I loved Biology, it didn’t love me back.  And Organic Chemistry?  Well, we were mortal enemies.
  2. Teacher.  For about six and a half minutes.  I would love to teach English.  I truly would.  But I would want to teach it to high school or early college students.  The only problem is that I want to teach it to kids who wanted to be there, not indifferent ones that did not.  So although I have a degree in English, American History, and Child Development–I am not a teacher.
  3. A medical/hospital administrator.  I thought I would work for a year or two after college and then go back to school for nursing administration.  Reality set in and prevented this one.
  4. A wife and mom.  I always thought I’d have five or six kids by the time I was 30.  So far I’m ten years late and five or six kids behind.  Not to mention single.
  5. A book editor.  As much as I love to read, this one would be a no brainer.  I would love to read books for a living.  Good books.  Bad books.  Any books. And with a red pencil to mark grammatical mistakes.
  6. Costumer.  I love the theater.  Have worked in the theater.  Have done costume work.  Even worked as a union member and got to work backstage as tours came through town.  Was even offered a non-union tour of Oliver! about three weeks before I finished college, and I turned it down because I knew that if I didn’t finish school I never would.  Still it is an awesome life, and a great deal of fun.
  7. Corporate trainer.  I actually did this for a while, and then the recession hit.  What’s the first thing trimmed from the budget? Training costs.
  8. Wedding and event coordinator.  I did this for a time too.  Thoroughly loved it.  Didn’t want to be 50 and cleaning tables after drunk bridesmaids and hammered guests.  Still, great fun, and especially weddings.  So much fun to be able to bring every wish, however unrealistic they may be, to fruition.
  9. Artisan.  I don’t care how, but it still would be great to be paid to be artistic for a living.
  10. Board game tester.  This has to be the most awesome job in the world.  To find new games and test them for various companies and just PLAY for a living!

The advantages of living in an old house . . . .

My house was built in 1950.  The closets are miniscule.  Seriously, they’re about a hanger width deep, and less than an arms width wide.  I have storage under the bed, boxes randomly placed, and all kinds of things pigeon holed throughout the house to try and find storage.  So this week’s Monday Listicles is going to be an interesting exercise as I try to list 10 things in my closet–that aren’t clothes!  We’re going to have to go around the house . . . .

10 THINGS IN THE CLOSET

  1. My bedroom closet: a Johnny Jump Up.  When my best friend was pregnant with her first, she lived in an apartment that didn’t have molding around the doorways.  I think her oldest could have spent three days straight in this thing.  He loved it.  (Image not mine, pulled from Amazon page).  Someone gave me this, and it has been loaned out, returned, and well used over the last three years.
  2. My bedroom closet: unused dry cleaning express drop off bags
  3. Living Room left: a dresser full of yarn.  Seriously, it’s a problem.
  4. Living room left: sewing machines
  5. Living room right: shoes
  6. Living room right: belly dancing skirts
  7. Back bedroom: regifting shelf.  Don’t lie.  You have one too somewhere.  Bath item sets, picture frames, etc.
  8. Back bedroom: baby shower decorations.
  9. Back bedroom: fireproof safebox
  10. All closets: Miscellaneous collection of dog hair and dust that has drifted in on hardwood floors.  Molly Maids I am NOT.

How do you just choose ten????

I think I’m going to enjoy being a part of the Monday Listicles group.  Last week I struggled to think of ways that I was stubborn and refused to change in 2013.  This week, I have to struggle to keep it to just 10!  My criteria for answering was that it had to be one that I use regularly with m

y friends or family, and one that always makes me smile whenever I hear it.  So without delay, here are

10 best movie quotes

  1. Two bits, four bits, six bits, a peso. All for Zorro, stand up and say so! ~Zorro, the Gay Blade
  2. I stole the baby from you, Daikini! While you were taking a peepee!  ~Willow
  3. “I want peace on earth and goodwill toward men.” “We are the United States Government! We don’t do that sort of thing!”  ~Sneakers
  4. I don’t believe in hell. I believe in UNEMPLOYMENT, but not hell. ~Tootsie
  5. I would like a nice, powerful, mind-altering substance. Preferably one that will make my unborn children grow gills. ~Party Girl
  6. We made a deal when I was seven and a half. Night life was The Muppet Show! ~Girls Just Want To Have Fun
  7. “Well, it wouldn’t hurt you to learn some manners, too.” “What do I need manners for? I already got me a wife.” ~Seven Brides for Seven Brothers
  8. Y’all, I’m wild. I guess I’ve been wild all along, I just never knew it. ~Shag
  9. Whip me, beat me, take away my charge cards! ~Space Camp
  10. “I’m going to try an old trick.” “What’s the trick?” “Push it, really hard” ~While You Were Sleeping

And because it was really hard to stop at ten, here are two honorable mentions:

  1. I hope not sporadically! ~Clueless
  2. I have never worn pantyhose but it sounds very dangerous. ~The Princess Diaries

Hodgepodge Consequence

One of the best parts about reading the weekly Wednesday Hodgepodge entries is the other people who participate.  Reading about other normal(abnormal) people, etc.  And come to find out there is a whole community of post-this-stuff-on-these-days things.  Wordless Wednesdays.  Six word Saturdays.  And one that I think I will actually participate in:  Monday Listicles.  Especially since I have only missed one, so I can post for this week a few days late and then keep up.  So here we go!

10 THINGS I AM NOT CHANGING IN 2013

  1. My love for service at my church at at work.
  2. My willingness to experiment in the kitchen.  Now that the location for my Sunday dinner takes place at B’s house more than mine, it’s harder to experiment on others (I just don’t like leftovers that much).  But when given the opportunity, I always try to make something new.
  3. My belief that when I am with other people, texting or using my smartphone is rude.
  4. My obsession with yarn.
  5. My inability to not hit the snooze button and get out of bed.  Dude, if the sun came streaming into my bedroom at 430am like it did in Germany, I’d have no problem waking up!
  6. My love for Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup Minis and my OCD compulsion in eat them in multiples of four.  Really.  A giant bag in my fridge will last months as I can only eat 4 or 8 at a time.
  7. My twice-yearly retreat with Scrapdoodles and the girls.  I don’t care if I don’t scrapbook any other day of the year or if I’m eating dryer lint because I’m so broke.  I will go on this trip two weekends a year for my sanity.
  8. My Sunday night dinners.  Going on six years now we’ve met almost every Sunday to watch that week’s Gray’s Anatomy and spinoff Private Practice.  I need these weekly moments to stay sane, and when we don’t have shows to watch we play games to satisfy my competitive streak.
  9. My belief that my church is trying, but isn’t perfect just like everyone and everywhere else.  And that, until there is a fundamental theological change, I will stick it out.  Because I believe in what the church is trying to accomplish and want to help them attain the goals set forth, and despite leadership change and mass exodus to the newly popular church up the street, I’m not going to jump ship.
  10. My understanding that my family will drive me nuts, but they are the family I have, so it is what it is.

Whew, that was actually harder than I thought it would be!  I had to think hard about it, and it kept trying to veer into the ‘things I will change’ territory so trying to follow along took effort!  Still, I’m looking forward to this new Monday tradition….