Archive for November, 2009

another opportunity fell right into my lap…

November 25, 2009

First off, I am wondering how on EARTH did I miss this issue??!?!?!??!  looks like perfect reading for me, being the magazine addict that I am.  Oh well.

But regardless, my “gifting” story for the day, DOES have to do with Time Magazine.

I went to Barnes and Noble last weekend, and found the issue featuring “How not to over-parent”.   Not that I am guilty of this, (haha)  but I figured it would be a good read.

Picked it up, and after I got home, realized I had grabbed TWO of them!!   grrrrr…….  crap!!!  an extra $5 spent for no reason!!!   I pretty much set it aside, figuring I had wasted better money, so I guess I was stuck with two of them.

Seems most all my customers today were retired, no children, or kids themselves.  hmmmm…there sits the EXTRA magazine behind my salon desk.

Until my last one of the day came in.  Old enough that her only child is raised, but definitely has grandkids, and a daughter right in the midst of raising them……and even better yet?  she is traveling fro, out of state,  back home with the kids and husband for Thanksgiving.   PERFECT. Aha, there it is !!  my gift for the day.  🙂

So when this customer left, I told her the story, recapped some issues with raising kids and I asked her to give this to her daughter before they head home from the holiday weekend, and it will provide she (and maybe her husband) with some good reading for the road.

Had I not given this conscious thought throughout the day , it would still be sitting on my desk, and possibly tormenting me as to how I did not notice I had grabbed TWO of them, and spent an extra $5 in the process.

I guess it was money well spent afterall.

Enjoy the holiday ahead and remember, watch CLOSELY for the unexpected opportunities, and keep on “gifting”.

 

more of my gifts… (and a winner) !!!

November 24, 2009

I have been relentless at giving out my “gifts” and as you can tell from the last post or so, it has been a little challenging…..some rough days for many different reasons.  But I am not giving up.   When I think my problems are alot, I remember the ones I am giving “gifts” to, might be having MUCH worse problems than some E85 in their gas tank.  🙂  keeping it all in perspective has been my motto the last few days.

My gifts today?  I went to the store, and in no particular hurry, I made a point to stop, smile and strike up conversation with those I hardly ever run into.  These are people that I would generally always say “hi” to in passing, but today I took more time.   Now, remember, I am one that is ALWAYS in a hurry and sometimes avoid people that are hard to get away from .  (I know, shame on me huh??)  but it really IS my natural instinct.  Sorry.

So, today I did not turn into one of those people.  I did not keep them hanging with me in the store in conversation they could not get away from, no, I simply greeted them, and followed it by a nice smile and a few extra words.  A little out of my comfort zone, yet not too far.

My husband and son went tonight and volunteered to help transport Christmas gifts at church.  This was definitely out of my husbands comfort zone.  I have dropped a few hints, about things in general, and in reference to this book I am reading….and let him take it from there.  He volunteered without my prompting.  🙂   this is a good thing….and taking our son along to spread the kind gesture.

Tomorrow???  my gift is giving away my book.  😦  bittersweet as I always hang on to the books that I really love, and this is certainly one of them……but I feel a great sense of giving to help spread the movement.

The winner is……

“Robbie”

( if this is who I think it is, she is from my hometown.  Robbie, please e mail me directly to let me know the specifics on getting your book to you, no matter WHERE you live).

Please continue to post YOUR stories of “giving”.   Remember, it is not the ordinary usual type of “giving” it is that done, but rather taking that extra effort that might otherwise end up being overlooked.

how NOT to save money…

November 23, 2009

This is one way NOT to save money.

About a month ago, my son and I went shopping in Des Moines.   On the way home, and running on “LOW FUEL” light on, we pull into the last gas station before we left town.  I went in to pay as he was pumping gas.  Being frugal that I am, I always tell the kids to pump “the cheapest gas there is”.  (Meaning do NOT fill it up with Premium)  !!!!!!  sounds easy enough huh???   Glenns pickup usually takes about $60 to fill, but this time Maison did it for about $18.    So low in gas, the low fuel light was on, and he topped it off.  hmmmmmm….. something is NOT right with this total.

This is the exact gas pump that was in his 14 year old hand.

 

can you READ ?????!!!!!!!!

“Stop.  Not gasoline” yep, that is what it said.  About 3/4 the way through , he must have remembered his reading skills and came running in stating  “Mom, I think I am pumping the wrong gas”.  I dismissed him as I was visiting with someone and just said ” oh, it will be fine”

It was for about 3 miles, til the “check engine” light came on.   But who REALLY pays attention to those anyway???   I just kind of ignored it, and did so for about the last month.  I even had my husband concvinced there was nothing to it.  Run the E85 out, fill it up with regular and it will all be fine.

Fast forward to this weekend.  It is NOT fine.  The “check engine” light started FLASHING  with my husband driving it !!!!  yikes.   He found the nearest Ford dealership as he was going out of town.  Long story short.  The truck now needs a complete fuel flush, new fuel filter, new spark plugs, coils, etc etc etc…….to the tune of $600  !!!!!!!!!!!!     Nice huh??  a month before Christmas?   Good thing we saved the $40 on the initial fill up a month ago.   The service manager even said something similiar to “I have NEVER seen a fuel pump that looked this bad!!!”

SO…. when your “check engine” light comes on???  it might be for a reason.  We have argued for a month that this DOES mean something….but in my denial technique, I figured if we ignored it long enough, it might go away.

It did not.

I think it will be a LONG while til I (and my son) live this one down.

But I was able to give my “gift” for the weekend.   A $600 gift mind you.   Grrrrrrr

 

21 years…

November 20, 2009

 

Married my High School sweetheart 21 years ago today....

Yes, seems like just yesterday!!    🙂

We are celebrating our anniversary in a very different way this year.  Glenns mother is in the hospital, so he is there, and I am home with the kids.   Life does change alot after this many years.  Hopefully we will get away this weekend and have some uninterrupted conversation.   It has been hard to come by lately.

I got an e mail today regarding my anniversary and I thought it was so good, I want to share it.

“If your kids were to grow up and write a book about their parents married life, would it be a “How-to” book, or a “How NOT to” book ???

Makes ya think huh??

Have a great weekend ahead, I hope to.

 

One of my 29…

November 17, 2009

To explain myself further, thought I would share one of my 29.  It is kind of lengthy, but a story I love and am quite proud of.

I was at a convenience store the other day and had to smile when I saw a little (long haired) boy, maybe 2 years old walking across the parking lot with his mom…his little hand in hers.   I notice these things moreso now that I have no little hands to hold.  😦  I smiled to myself hoping this gal appreciates the innocence of her child and how fast the years will fly by.

Now.  Being a local person, I mostly see very familiar faces.  This one was clearly not.  She got my attention as most people from this area do not dress like SHE did.  I could have easily passed judgement, but I did not.  She was “interesting” to say the least.  Young?  Edgy?   I saw the vehicle she was walking towards and could not believe it even ran. I could also not tell the color of it.  It was VERY filthy.

Ok.  Anyway, the little boy fell  !!!  wham, right on the cement and then broke into hysterical sobbing.  I was worried.  She looked harried.  Swoops him up and opens the door to her car, and some garbage fell out the door.  The floor was COVERED.

As sad as I was to see this, I did go on in the store, got what I needed, but kept looking back at that car.  Thinking maybe I ought to walk over there.

I did not.  I kept shopping.

“ok, if she is still out there and he is still crying, I will walk across the parking lot when I leave.”    (these were my thoughts running through my head)

She was still there, holding him against her chest.

I got in my car instead.

“If she is still there, when I back up, then I will pull close to her and stop”

She was still there.  I had nearly attempted to avoid this for some stupid reason, but something kept drawing me closer.

I stopped and announced that I saw her little boy fall, and wanted to see if he was ok.  He was not.  Lip BUSTED open!!!  blood everywhere on her very flashy shirt!!  The poor little thing smacked his face on the concrete.  Did not necessarily need medical attention, but believe me, it was close.

I went back in, got her some wet rags and helped to sooth the little boy.  BROKE MY HEART.

After I was assured he was ok, and she was too, considering she was obviously on a mission, driving somewhere, I got back in my car.

As I pulled away, she said  “Thank you so much for noticing us and stopping to help”

There were plenty of others that clearly saw her and the potential problem, but instead chose to drive right on past

I thought this was an oportunity for ME to give a gift that day (a gift of compassion)  but instead, I think she gave a gift to me.   🙂

Thank you for joining me in this “gift giving” effort.  Please spread the word….and don’t forget to post your comments. I can not wait to give my book to someone.

What I am reading…

November 17, 2009

It is a VERY good read.  Very easy reading, inspirational, and motivational.

Interesting concept, from an African medicine woman.  Give away 29 gifts in 29 days, and see how life will unfold in a different way.  How many kind gestures come back to you.  The benefits being spiritually and emotionally.

Her “prescription” for this involves 29 gifts in 29 days, and they are to be given in a row, and should you miss a day, you need to start over.

I am following along, and as I am not so sure I will be THAT strict on it, it has made me think.   Interesting, that I have not once started my day thinking ” what will be my gift to give today?”  but instead, the opportunity to GIVE has come to me, somewhere throughout each day.   Of course, I generally try to be nice to others, as most are etc etc……but this steps it up a little.  Makes you see loud and clear that one gift opportunity that you may have otherwise easily overlooked in a days time.  The chance to GIVE have come to me in very peculiar ways.

In other ways, I have also been GIVEN gifts.  Not materially, and monetary, but they ARE gifts, coming to me in a very quiet unsuspecting manner.  I will not go into detail, but the irony is that have COME to me.  I am a believer now.  I will continue to follow along.

Sometimes it is a small gesture, a helping hand or a listening ear when you would have NOT given it before.  Maybe it is money, or an actual gift.  Regardless, each “gift” that I have given would have gone unnoticed before I began this book.

There is a website if you would like to learn more.

29gifts.org

Join the worldwide giving movement with me, won’t you?

Post a comment telling me what you think….and in one week, my “gift” will be sending you MY copy to call your own.

Life feels tough sometimes…

November 12, 2009

when I googled "Heavy Heart" this is what I found...When I googled “heavy heart” , this image is what I found.

Life can feel so tough sometimes.

My heart feels heavy tonight.

Cherish your parents.

I did.

This reminds me of when everyone tells you to cherish your children, hold them close, etc etc…..how TRUE!!!  and I certainly do  !!!!   I am in NO way making light of this heartfelt message.

But when it comes to your parents?  the odds of them passing, and leaving you to continue finding life all on your own, are pretty good.  More than likely we will all feel that way at some point and time.  Some sooner than others.

I was one of them.  My neice was one of them.

I was around 30 years old and had two small children, and found myself as a mid-life orphan.  It did NOT feel good.  How was I to go on without my parents guidence?   I was not even sure how to BE a parent myself!!  but I figured it out.  I had to.

Not an age issue.  My parents were in their 60’s…my sister was only 49.  What is fair about that?  nothing.

I attended a funeral Monday for someone elses “parent”.  Sad.  He was elderly and he was more than ready to continue his journey to heaven. He actually begged for it  Even when they are aging and in bad health, it forces you,  the son or daughter,  to a different level of adulthood.

I saw many “parents” of my peers attending this funeral as well.

Today one of THEM died unexpectedly.  Two days later.  Completely and utterly unexpected.  Went to work.  Never came home.  Around the age my parents were.

It makes my heart extremely heavy.  It brings back memories, that no matter the age, I was NOT ready to be without my parents.  I savored and cherished every single moment I had with them both.  I really did.  My sisters did.  Our kids did.  Our husbands did.  But sooner or later….. it will more than likely happen.

I know this family did as well, and now they are left to wrap their minds and hearts around what just took place.

I send this post to remind my readers.

Call your parents

Love your parents

Value their wisdom and respect their opinion.

It is all just a matter of time.

Go through life with no regrets.

…and if like myself, be thankful for the parents you once had and the little bits of themselves they leave behind in you and around you.

As on my parents stone:

“Earth has no sorrow that Heaven can not heal”

God bless them both.

 

and the winner is…{uh oh}

November 10, 2009

and the winner is

“BeJes”

The problem is, the main thing she wants to learn to do is WELDING !!!!  uh oh…..not sure I can help her out in ANY way on this one!!!

WeldingH42

Funny thing, she is my neice.  Temporarily living in Dubai.  I have always been nervous she might be a winner.  Have you EVER priced shipping ANYTHING to Dubai?   major expensive!!!   I was going to send a small insignificant care package one time, thinking, maybe an extra $20 or so??? no, it was $110 to ship it!!!!!!!  needless to say, it did not go.  I didn’t miss her THAT much.  LOL.

Well, she is arriving back in the United States in a few weeks for Thanksgiving…..so I will be able to hand deliver it.  Perfect.

The other things on her list were:

*Making a cake with Fondant

*Grocery shopping and stocking a pantry.

I think I will go with one of those ideas instead.   🙂

Thanks to all….I loved reading the lists and already thinking about the next giveaway.

Stay tuned..

 

(more) Random thoughts…

November 9, 2009

random-thoughtsI feel like being random again tonight, and I also have a few different “thoughts” to share……so how about Random Thoughts for tonights topic.  Heck, I might make this a regular Sunday evening post.  It is always when I begin reflecting back at the weeks events.  Does everyone do this??  it seems cliche, but I really do it.  hmmmm….

1.  Cold / flu / H1N1 / Swine /pneumonia…..not sure what it was exactly, but I had it.  NO FUN !!!  this began last Sunday and just about mid week when I thought I was too tough to be sick and in bed, I let my guard down and worked in the salon, cleaned my house, yeah, all the stuff I had no business doing!!!!  needless to say, on Thursday I ran a relatively high temp and was down for a few more days…which took me into ANOTHER weekend!! arrgghhhhhh.  Well, I am done now.  DONE DONE DONE.  I have no time for this non-sense.  But word to the wise???  if you get “it” whatever it is, take 5 days minumum off and you will be days ahead in the end, trust me.

2.  Apples: A friend of mine told me to eat some apples.  Interesting. Ya know, an apple a day…….  yeah, well, I did venture out to the store and found  some apples.  I am not usually a real fan of apples, but I came across a variety I did not know existed.  Ambrosia.   Have you heard of them??  I had not, but then again, I am not looking for apples too often.   I found these at Hy-Vee and a great big endorsement by Leslie Sansone.  Yep, SOLD.   I used to spend alot of time with Leslie in my smarter (and skinnier) days.  If she likes them, then I am sure I will.  Yep, I did .  If they are available where you live, you ought to try them.  Not overly juicy, but crisp and very sweet and I am going to TRY to start each day with one now.

3.  Family Reunions: Plan them.  Attend them.  I can not stress this enough.  I always envisioned this HUGE gigantic reunion, like a park somewhere, ya know, like you read about in Family Circle??  maybe each family has a special colored shirt to wear??    ok.  back to reality.  Ours are getting smaller and smaller.  Bums me out.  Being  mid life orphans that my sisters and I are, this seems especially important to us.  It is my Dads side that we planned todays reunion for,  and out of  7 siblings, there are only 3 left, and they are aging.   The youngest of those 3, now has breast cancer.   We had an intimate group in attendance, but it was nice, and the highlight of my weekend.  I could have spent the afternoon not uttering a word, but instead just observing from a distance.  Seeing my dads siblings that so much resemble him in looks and mannerisms , and then their adult children, looking more and more like their parents etc etc…you know all those things that just make your heart feel good.  It was a little glimpse of what is, what used to be, and what might still be.   It felt good to my sisters and I, and my parents would be so proud of our effort.

4.  Now is a great time to shop for a Halloween costume!! ok, not that I did that as I did NOT NOT NOT  !!!  I would like to say I don’t “do” Halloween, but with kids, I have.  BUT…..how about Halloween to repurposed  Christmas decor???  yeah, now is a good time to shop for that.    🙂   I found a VERY black barren tree intended for Halloween decor   Maybe perfect  to hang tiny ghost or goblins from?  who knows.  But YIKES,  the original price was $24, then marked down half price ( $12 )  then down to $8 and finally?   75% off of that.  Yes, I bought this scary looking tree for $2.  !!!!!!   I have some very nice muted brown spray paint in my basement that will transform it into a beautiful (but barren) branchy tree, it will be our beautiful centerpiece for Thanksgiving day.  🙂   maybe with tiny leaves strung to it.  How pretty, all from an overpriced eerie looking BLACK tree that no one seemed to want!!!!

5.  One quote to leave you with tonight.  I have heard from many this week on a personal level, tossing and turning about what everyone ELSE thinks they should do on a particular dilemma.   I have tried very hard and pride myself in doing what works for ME  (or “us” as in my family)  it may or may not be how others do it, but you have to do what feels right for YOU  !!!!!   (of course, within reason)  and I am in no way saying I do not take suggestions.  Remember, I had 4 sisters, we are VERY free with advise, and usually it is good advise and welcomed.   But sometimes, you just have to go with your gut instincts.

Here it is…..

“If you always do what interests YOU, atleast one person is always pleased”

Thanks for listening to me ramble.   🙂

a little misc….

November 3, 2009

 

DSC05552

do ya like???

Yep, this picture is taken by ME  !!!  I know.  Hardly earth shattering, but I thought it was kind of cool.   No idea what this “berry” looking thing is, but I liked it by my Adirondack chair tucked in my backyard.  It is the ONE thing on my list of THREE that maybe is doable.

pathetic huh??Now this???  it looks similar to my attempt at crocheting last night.  What the heck???   I have no clue what happened, but I think maybe I am not smart enough for this “craft” ???   LOL.   No, I have not given up…yet.  Just realized this is not something that is self taught.  I think I need a teacher who has the patience for a really dumb student!!.  🙂

soup-ck-357537-lNow, this????   equals  YUM!!!!   I finally made Dorothys (Machine Shed) Potato soup last night.  I was a little leary at first, seemed not spiced up enough to suit us, so I added a little this and a little that , and it was PERFECT!!!!   served it for supper and my husband said it is the BEST potato soup he has EVER had!!!  yeah!!!   success on this front.  🙂  it will also be my lunch today.  Soup the second day is even BETTER!!!   (photo from google…I can not take credit for this)  I may appear crazed if I begin taking pics of our food too!!   haha.

297580-main_Fullok.  Lastly.  What is THIS, you ask??? it is a dishwasher.  Brings me to my NOT so wonderful discovery.   I tried everything I read, heard about, or tried to invent.  Some might be ok, but this is one area, I am gonna resolve to purchasing what I need.  The homemade dishwasher soap idea did not work for me!!!!  bummer!!  I wanted it to so badly, but the results were less than I wanted, so for now…  Cascade still gets my money.  I am kind of obsessive about this, especially now with colds and flu going around.  As a matter of fact, I have my dishwasher set on “Sanitize”  and I want the contents cleaner than CLEAN!!!!   I felt I was not getting this, with what  I was trying homemade.  Darn.  Sorry, but it is what it is .

Ok.  Updated you are.  I know, VERY random, but it is a few things I wanted to keep everyone updated on.

***Now, on to the giveaway……remember, I am drawing on Monday.  Get your list of one, two, or three things you want to learn to do….or learn how to do BETTER.    🙂