February Bargains

I am sorry to say , there have not been many bargains this month. Possibly because I have not been at the stores looking for them. I just haven’t felt like pawing through the racks. Plus, can it be, that I really don’t need anything? NAH! I actually do need a new pair of gloves. I lost one of my black pair. I know you are thinking that this is not a tragedy, but you are so wrong on three levels. Firstly, they were the cutest gloves I have ever owned. Black leather with black fur around the cuffs, just adorable with my  last years  bargain leather jacket. I do not usually lose things and I cannot for the life of me figure out when or where I lost this one lone glove. I thought that perhaps the cats took it, but it would have surely turned up in the water bowl by now, cause that is where everything they steal ends up. Secondly, I now only have one pair of gloves that probably needed to be replaced at the end of last season. And thirdly,  it is Michigan and anyone who lives here knows that you can’t find silly things like gloves or coats this late in the season. Heavens no, the stores are all about the summer clothes that we need to purchase for our Easter vacations. Nothing warm to be found, even though there was a winter storm warning in effect about two days ago, and it is 17 degrees today.

So back to the one and only bargain for the month. Miss Mouse informed me that her coat from last  couple years was too small, and the new coat we did buy her last year is really too big. And she had to have something to wear to the Spring Hill Retreat coming up this weekend. Cause they have many outside activities. And it is Up North. And it is cold there. I have been there, and it is freezing.  We looked around and we were once again reminded that retailers insist those kinds of things just aren’t necessary in February. Then she had the idea to try Value World. It was worth a try. Sweet success!  $ 8.40 for a down jacket. Here she is.

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 Unfortunately she will have to wear my boots, and we will have to remember  to look for her some new ones this summer, when there will be a nice selection of winter boots to choose from.

On a side note, Hula Laurie just returned from her annual trip to Florida and was singing the praises of a store named Bealls, and did they  have GREAT bargains. Now I am aware of this store, cause my Mom is a huge fan . And they have the nicest one in Lakeland that she has ever seen, she even takes her company there! So anyhow, yesterday Hula Laurie was telling us about her overflowing  cart of bargains and she tells us about her new skirt that she is going to wear to Bible study tomorrow. Well here she is and she was very cute indeed! All for a mere 6 bucks. Lovin’ it!

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Okay, you know how this works, now tell me about your  February bargains, and I hope you had better luck than I did. Oh, and not to pressure any of you Lurkers out there, but the 3 people who comment for me the most are all on vacation together (and I am not feeling sorry for myself ONE BIT) so I am not really expecting any comments from them . Cause they are not  commenting this week. Oh, but they are calling me to tell me how much fun they are having, laughing and schnizzeling and fishing for sharks off the dock ( due to the schnizzeling I’m guessing). And telling me how they wish I was there!! Thanks Capri’s, Love you’s!!!

So you remember how I am always checking my comments? Help me out here.   Please People, don’t let me down .

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A Fishermans Dream (or maybe just the fishermans wife!)

I believe I may  have mentioned the other day that we got a new washer and dryer!!! Honey surprised me by also buying a new freezer. Well, not surprised me, cause I was there when we bought it, but surprised me cause I didn’t know he was going  to  buy one that day. Without all his usual prep work. It was almost an impulse buy! Oh, just joshing , I’m sure he had been on-line checking on all of those need to know facts.

Our freezer was 22 and 1/2 years old and was a wedding gift from my folks.  Every summer, for the last couple of years, it  developed some major seal problems that caused it to be inclined to not close properly, and several (more than I would like to count) times would pop open for no good reason and cause me a whole bunch of work, not to mention the FBI interrogation of  “who left the freezer door open?”. I am afraid The Boy may be scarred for life. Cause he is my go-to guy when I need something out of the freezer, so it usually was  him. Cause you would have to hold the darn thing with your whole body until the seal sucked all around, and even then,  it was a crap shoot. And, cause it was NOT frost free, I would have to get out the pick axe and take care of the problem. It also got so hot on the sides during the summer that I was getting concerned that it might explode. And you KNOW it would have conviently exploded when Honey was gone and I would have had to do some of those things that I told you about the other day, the things that I don’t like to do.

It was a well used machine, known for holding our sale purchased meat, frozen pizzas, extra ice cream, and an ENTIRE shelf devoted to Honey’s spaghetti meat sauce  that we make in huge batches with huge pots. And  for the last couple of years, the spoils of Honey’s fishing in Alaska, and anywhere else he may fish. Last summer he and The Boy fished in Seward and Soldatna. And they caught a LOT of fish. The Boy will tell you it was all his doing, and I believe his Dad would agree he was out-fished. Usually Honey brings home halibut (which we all love) and salmon (which we don’t, except for the smoked, and then only a few love it). This year they brought home other kinds, ling cod, dolly varden, brook trout, and that’s all I can remember, cause fish talk makes my eyes glaze over. Well, they hogged the freezer! And we had to keep it in copy paper boxes to keep it sorted, and it took up 2 and 1/2 shelves! Totally hogged that freezer! And  we have been completely out of sauce since the summer with NO hope of getting any made cause there were 4 BOXES of fish HOGGING the freezer! So with all those factors weighing heavily on our minds, plus the previously unmentioned one, the possibility of the thing actually DYING , and losing the fish inside, Well, we just could not take that chance. Personally, my main reason was for The Boy and his fragile self esteem. Cause I don’t think we could have handled another summer of door related interrogation.

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So here is the thing of beauty! Now pretend that I am standing on the side showing you the features like Carol Merrill from “Let’s Make A Deal”, complete with arm motions. We accidentally bought a bigger one than we had because when I was using my super good  measuring capabilities (I remembered that our freezer was as tall as me), we forgot  that our freezer in the garage was up a step higher than the garage floor. So when it came, it was HUGE. And I got even more excited! When I realized that the blue things were dividers,  well, I can’t even begin to describe my happiness! All 4 of those fish boxes are gone, baby, gone  and the fish is neatly stored in the bottom baskets in the same catagories that they had been. Separated by those little blue arms of organization. Even the door baskets are self contained. It’s a beautiful thing. And, best of all , if we just eat a couple things and rearrange a tad, there will be room for that whole shelf of  liquid treasure called spaghetti sauce. Now that  is a dream come true! 

Happy Birthday Ab-Cat!

I was working at the Salon 20 years ago with Mrs. Schmenkman when Honey and I found out we were pregnant. Honey was ECSTATIC. I was SHOCKED! I knew when I married him that he wanted children, as a matter of fact I believe he told me he wanted “as many as I would have”. Which is sort of funny now, cause we have 3 teenagers, and he finds himself wondering what he was thinking. After the shock wore off, I embraced the idea of motherhood. And promptly started gaining weight. Honey said that was the only time I could eat him under the table and he and Beeve started calling me “The Refrigerator” after a football player or something. And the fact that I was 5’9 and gained 70 lbs, that was my shape.

I worked until 2 weeks before the baby was born, because I thought that was my due date, but she was 2 weeks late . The thought popped into my mind this morning  that the last customer that I did  before maternity leave was The Saint. Who I told you all about several posts ago as the one who gave me the book about “Curly Girls” for Christmas. It is ironic cause I gave her a perm, while carrying the child that became the girl that she gave me the book for ! I hope that sentence came out alright, cause I’m not changing it, it’s giving me a headache.

Now any of you that know our family well could tell you of our love of Mexican Fiesta, or as it is more commonly known around here “Chip and Dip”, and that is where we were having dinner when I went into labor. I thought that was so fitting. Well we went home, cause there was NO WAY I was going straight to the hospital and be sent home for not really being in labor. Yes, that was my biggest concern, kind of sad isn’t it? So when my Mom  arrived and I could no longer stand by the side of the bed, off we went. And when they checked to see what I was dialated to?  It was a  6 or 7, thank you very much! And that Chip and Dip that I thought was so  fitting? Yeah, well I was regretting that real quick.

The next few hours were a blur of herds of people walking in and out of the room and lots of back labor, cause the sunshine of our life was sunny side up. At 1:56 a.m.  our whole world changed and we would, quite simply, never be the same again. There she was, all 8 pounds 5 ounces and 22 1/2 inches of her. Just perfect. An Angelbaby, as her Grandma still calls her. She is so loved and has been such a joy in our lives. Now if only she would believe just how amazing that she really is!

Since I couldn’t find any little baby pictures to scan, I’m assuming they were all in the baby album, and I apologize, but I’m not ripping it up. So we start here at 10 months. Which I am again assuming is as far as I got in the baby album, and that is sort of pathetic. I mean she’s 19, for goodness sake!

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10 mo. old

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18 mo.  Go Tigers!

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2 yrs. So serious, but this has always been one of my favorites.

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4  playing with bubbles

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6 yrs old after the accident that altered her life. Go Blue.

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6  She is her Daddy’s Girl

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8 yrs. a budding fisherwoman

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14 yrs. with faithful friend Katie.

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16 yrs in front of the White House in Washington D.C.

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18 Last summer at graduation. FINALLY, she says!

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17 yrs   sorry , got out of order on that one. With Burkie.

So Happy Birthday Ab-Cat, we are so thankful that God has allowed us to be your parents, you are a wonderful girl!

My, How The Years Have Changed Me

I am beyond excited today! At 9:30 the ABC Warehouse truck came to deliver our NEW washer and dryer and freezer!!!

Now I can look back at my life and remember a time when this would not have been as thrilling. As a matter of fact, I can distinctly remember what I was thinking on our first married Christmas when Honey so thoughtfully gave me a waffle iron. To make him waffles.

 But that was a long time ago.  And, as I mentioned, I am beyond excited  today! I have never had a new washer, and my dryer was 20 years old. They have been through a lot, caring for 5 people, 3 from babyhood.

 I have had subtle clues for the last several years that they were getting ready to walk off the job. Spinning the excess water from the clothes became optional for the washer. And the dryer rebelled by taking a cycle and a half to dry everything. The loads were reduced. Then reduced again.

 Every year on vacation I was reminded just how poorly they performed. Our condo’s had GREAT laundry rooms! I would always let Honey know and he would perform some kind of magic and they would straighten up. For a time.

A couple weeks ago the washer turned plain evil. It decided that agitating was also far too much trouble and we all turned up wearing clothes that had dried on detergent somewhere  on them. I told Honey I had to quit these guys. It was getting embarrassing. He was obviously tired of all the hocus-pocus himself, cause all he said was “Want to go to ABC Warehouse?” and I jumped at the chance.

 Now that is telling right there in itself. Cause I haaate the warehouse. Honey often asks if I would like to go look at something there, to which I always reply, politely, no thank you. Because he could look for several years. Its a good thing that the Lord put us together, cause he has to look at every single  aspect of a purchase, while I say I like the look of that one there, it’ll do. And  I was not born with the haggle gene.

As a matter of fact , that could quite possibly be in my top 10 things that I do not like to do. Higher than calling around for insurance and shopping for a car, but lower than getting a pap smear and a mammogram.  But for Honey, it’s pure sport, and he excels at it.  I am just uncomfortable. And not making any eye contact, anywhere. So he did his thing and got us a great deal and I am so thankful for his skills, cause girls like a guy with skills!

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Now I know that Mrs. Schmenkman is going to have a problem with the color. White appliances are not her thing, but I thought they looked rather fresh and they match the doors that I never got around to painting in there, so see? it all matches, its all good!  I was so excited that I made a special trip to Meijers to get the high efficiency laundry soap that it needs so I can start my wash right away!

The Canadians Were Here

Honeys family is from the great white north. Not that north actually, just Windsor, which is really probably just east. He has 3 sisters and 1 brother , in that order and all older than him.   The visitors were Sister # 3, Rachel and her husband Krazy Kenny, their daughter and her husband, Karrie and Peter, and their children, Burke and brand new Paisley Rachel, who will be 2 weeks old this Wed., and is a precious little goomba! We were all amazed at her hair! I have had toddlers that didn’t have that much hair! Welcome to the famly, little one.

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And here are Ab-Cat and the Muggins , who spent quite a bit of the time wrangling the Burkie.

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We had ourselves a good old  halibut fish fry, courtesy of Honey and The Boy and their fishing trip to Alaska this summer. YUMMO!

Not So “Wonderful Tonight”

I think I mentioned that I was looking forward to reading this book written by Pattie Boyd, the former wife of George Harrison AND Eric Clapton. Well, I am sorry to say that it was supernaturally boring. She is quite possibly one of the worst writers imaginable and , most surprising of all, she had very little to say. Which makes me wonder all the more why she felt the need to say it. Can you say YIKES! The saddest part of all is it seems like such a wasted  life, in more ways than one. That girl needs the Lord, along with everyone else she has EVER met, cause they had no meaning in their lives.  I guess I was hoping for a more informative look into her years with the Beatles, but she didn’t feel the need to go there. Oh no, she felt the need to tell us about her great love of cooking, how everyone around her( oh, and I don’t mean to imply that she wasn’t )  was stoned most all of the time, and her horrifyingly dysfunctional family.  She was a world class enabler.  There was also more than a tad  bit of self involvement when we were treated to her remembrances of how she was a muse to the gods. No little fun facts to wow your friends with there.

I still have the new Lynn Austin book that I received for Christmas. She is always a pleasure to read and I have yet to feel the need to shower after finishing one of her stories!

Cause Chickens Make Baaaad House Pets

Was catching up with Mrs. Schmenkman on the webcam the other morning, and at some point we were discussing our blogs. Cause I don’t think we have ever had a conversation where we didn’t. And we were laughing , like we always do, over some funny line we have heard on t.v. or from a movie, or that a member of my family said, or hers.  The title of this post is a perfect example of this.  This is a line that Honey and I have said for years, and we so graciously passed it over to Schmenky, and I have no idea where it came from. Probably Saturday Night Live. But it must be a good expression , cause we use it. A lot.

Now this is a very common line of conversation at our house. We say things regularly that we don’t always remember where we heard them. Some things are from WAY back in my childhood, either things we made up or cause our people are from the South, and that could be a whole other can of worms. Of course, my memory being what it is, those are fading fast. I don’t always remember which of my children said what hilariously funny thing. I hope I wrote it down in their baby book or else it’s gone forever. So between that and the latest media we have seen, we have a lot of “ins” or “ism-s”. And people probably think we are crazy.

  Here is a good example of how something makes it into our family’s vocabulary. While watching  an episode of “House” , one  patient had the symptom of repeating herself. She said ” I got the cute Dr.” several times.  Now, as my children could tell you , I repeat myself. A lot. Now whether it is poor listening skills on my part, or I just don’t care enough to listen well , I cannot say, but they tell me that I constantly ask them the same questions over and over. Even after they have answered me. So now when this happens they simply say “I got the cute Dr.” and it is a subtle cue to me that I need to try and remember what they have told me already. I have even started using this in conversation with Honey, as he is getting a little repetitive himself. Of course other folk, not being aware of the process, would just not get it.

I have just realized that this topic could be a goldmine of posts for me, so maybe I will just tell you about some of them from time to time. I know you are all waiting on the edge of your seats for those  posts.

Lovely Gifts

Just before Christmas I received a package in the mail. Now we get quite a few packages in the mail around here , but they are not usually for us. Our Brother-in-law, Krazy Kenny, (he picked his own name a long, long  time ago) needs a 12 Step program for his little E-Bay addiction. For reasons I’ll not go into, he has some things delivered here. I have a very cordial relationship with our Postman. He is glad we have a circle drive. It makes it ever so easy to drop things off at the door.

So back to MY package! It was from the previously mentioned oldest girl cousin, who now lives in Florida. I could not imagine  what this might be.   The last time I had seen her was in June when our Grandmother passed away at 97 years of age. Unknown to me, she had taken home some of  her jewelery and this is what she said in her note; Made with beads from Grandma’s jewelery. I just cried.

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She made this lovely bracelet and a bookmark  that is from a charm bracelet. It is a girls head with my name and birthdate on it. Believe it or not this was the best of many pictures taken, and it doesn’t do it justice. I love that they were from our Grandma, but I think I love her thoughtfulness even more

The next lovely gift was from Capri Deb! A while back on our Capri Weekend Get Away Extravaganza I purchased this Pottery Barn unfinished down pillow for a buck, yes you read that right. It was from ” The Big Cheap Store” in Virginia, aka Gabriel Brothers. Now Capri Deb and I have a nifty bartering system; I do her hair and she sews & mends for me. I SO  get the better end of that deal! Last summer she took Capri P. and I to a garage sale of a woman who does a lot of sewing and was getting rid of some wonderful fabric for ROCK bottom prices. I bought fabric for; a new kitchen valance, to cover 2 big pillows that are essential for our T.V. viewing comfort, and a scrap for this pillow. All for under , oh say 15-20 dollars. So when Capri D came last week for her haircut with EEEK , her MIL and the other Capri’s Mom, (I think those are her initials, but she calls herself Extremely Elderly Elaine K.) I knew she was bringing the pillow. But I didn’t know she had made it all  loverly ! The dollar fabric is on the back of the dollar pillow, but the front : PRICELESS!!

Thanks Deb, Hugs!

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So there are my 2 lovely gifts from 2 lovely, crafty Girls.

Update

It is now negative 7 and I have no idea about the windchill. NOT whining mind you, just sharing  information.

Why Do We Live In Michigan?

Just wanted to let you know that it is 2 degrees outside with a windchill of about 20 below. I’m not kidding, I have been out in it 3 different times already. Once to church , once to pick The Boy up from work and once to take the Mouse to a birthday/sleepover. I am not going out again. And I don’t want to hear from any of you people south of us whining about your chilly days and the wind, oh the wind.  Our driveway is a sheet of solid pack ice. The dog can’t even make it out to her carefully shoveled grass, she just does her business right on the walkway. I have never seen her scoot so fast.

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