In The Middle

Life, Family, Yoga, Stuff

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The Day After, the Day After

The days between Christmas and New Year’s are some of my favorites.  Even though we didn’t have a stressful, crazy holiday this year, I’m always ready for the day after Christmas.  The relief, it’s over, the quiet excitement that takes place.  Decorations come down.  A little more organization happens (I hope) as out with some old stuff and in with some new stuff.  The kids are out of school, days start to get a little longer and I enjoy hanging out with the kids and their new stuff.

Our son, got a driving permit.  Whoa.  How and when did that happen?  When I moved in with Frank and Jordan, he was in the fifth grade, Lauren was starting Kindergarten.  He doesn’t even look like the same kid, not at all.  He’s tall, athletic and has a good head on his shoulders.  I took him driving yesterday.  We started in the cemetery by our house, he did great, so we took to the neighborhood park nearby.  Since I didn’t have to work today, he wanted to venture out and get a protector cover for his new iPod  Touch.   It was 60 and storming like mad today.  I woke up with a killer headache (temperature change I’m sure) took some drugs, and went back to bed for two hours!  I have to make myself do that, to nap and I should do it more often! 

I woke up feeling like a million bucks, it was just drizzling so we headed out.  First stop, sporting goods shop to get him fitted for his letter jacket.  It was a surprise, his birthday is the first week of March.  We got fitted, I paid the deposit ($259 total – YIKES) we dropped off all the patches he’s already accumulated and headed to Target.  They were out of all skins for all electronics, go figure.  But, we scored some xmas candy for 50% off, candy that we did not need by the way.   We were starving (caused by looking at all that candy) so we stopped in Culver’s for some lunch.  Then, Best Buy.  That place on the other hand, was insane as always and by now it was pouring rain.  We were able to park close enough to not get soaked (I’m really not an umbrella person) and got skins for the iPod and Nintendo DS screens.  He also spent some time on the electronic drum sets.  He’s an amazing drummer and goes around drumming on everything and some days, it totally drives me crazy!  If we ever have drums in our home (god help us) they will be electronic, headphones and all. 


Since it’s rained all day, the water is up and the catfish will supposedly be biting, so he ran down to the creek behind our home to dig worms.  He’s now out fishing with grandpa.  Temps have dropped a little, but not too much.  Not too many chances to fish in December, that’s for sure. 

We had a great day.  He’s a great kid and funny too.  We try to do things with both kids one on one every so often.  I think that’s important in a blended family, in any family for sure.  Sometimes it feels too much like “me and Lauren” and “Jordan and Frank” so we take extra time out, like today.   Frank  has taken Lauren fishing several times without me.  She caught her first fish with him.  She even shot her first gun, a little .22 with him.   As a matter of fact, her school has been to the shooting range several times and she’s one of 5 kids that won’t do guns or archery.  But, she’ll shoot with Frank.  Since the guys do like to shoot for sport, they also reload their own ammunition.  Lauren loves to be out in the garage with Frank doing that.  She’s learned to reload and can do it very quickly, it’s amazing to watch her.  I’m not into it, but I do like to watch Frank melt the metal and pour the bullets sometimes.  That’s OK.  If we were all into the same stuff, it would be mighty boring around here! 

*Note – Loveseat is slated to be out of here (SOON) so I can get my new, but gently used, furniture out of storage.  $50 (or best offer) if you’re interested.

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Economy Seems Alive & Well

I did a little shopping (for others) with my mom while she was here, which meant I had to make a return.  I hate to shop on Saturdays, or any day, this time of year.  I have stock piled toilet paper and toothpaste, I do not want to get in a cash register line unless I have to.  So after work yesterday I headed out.  At approximately 12:30 p.m. the lot in Target was packed.  Inside was worse.  Pure craziness.  Was there some secret sale I was missing out on?  I thought the economy sucks and no one has any money.  I traded out, bought some Ibuprofen, downed 3 in the car and headed to Petsmart.  That place wasn’t so bad, but busier than normal.   From there I had to go to the post office, eeeek.  Long lines, xmas packages and e-bay sales.  I’ve stood there with 25 e-bay boxes myself and now, I print out the postage sticker online, call the post office and they pull up to my house and haul it off, for FREE!  So by the way things were looking yesterday, I can’t tell our city is suffering much.  People seem to be dropping $$ in full force, in our town anyways. 

Talking with my sister yesterday, was an entirely different story.  She lives in Florida, enough said, if you follow any news.  That state was top in home foreclosures, until recently, they were just passed by Nevada.  I do feel bad for those that have lost their jobs.  What I don’t understand, is a bank, that says “you qualify for a $200,00 loan on a $50,000 a year income” and the buyers go “OK.”  I remember the first house we bought.  The bank said we qualified for a $92,000 loan.  Our jaws dropped, we were making about $32,000 a year between the two of us at the time.  Did we take that loan?  No way.  We went for the $54,000 home, it was brand new, and it was affordable.  We still had money left for one car payment, gas, food and insurance.  I don’t get it.

My sister is one of those “lost job” individuals.  She worked for a huge building company, HUGE.  Everything has come to a screeching halt, offices shut down, model neighborhoods are empty, lawns are tall.  She said it’s odd, like driving through a ghost town in many places.  Lots of people have just packed up and left the area.  People that have lived there for 25+ years.  She can now drive to work in half the time she could this time last year, not too many snowbirds.  Her husband is also in building and construction, on the water feature end.  He works very little, but will be doing 11 pools in Palm Springs, CA in January.  For now, she’s back to working retail at a ritzy kitchen store.  Four years ago she worked there at Christmas, it was packed, registers were cracking.  This year, it’s way different.  I suppose because not everyone can afford to pay $800 for a coffee pot this year. 

I love this kitchen store, it has lots of cool stuff, and some of it will last a lifetime.  But they are also very wasteful.  If they get something in, and it has a scratch on it or a chip for instance, they take it outside (another person goes with you, to be sure you do the deed) and compact it.  She’s had to compact Emile Henry platters and All-Clad cookware.  Not kidding.  Stuff like that makes me sick.  Everything they sell, must be perfect, no scratch and dent here!  Ridiculous.  The store is located in a high-end, beautiful, outdoor Mall.  A few nights ago, the fancy jewelry store was robbed at closing, at 9:00 p.m.  She’d left her Gucci watch there to get a new battery, no word on that yet.

I don’t get the people that “camp out” in parking lots on Black Friday either.  The only time I shopped on Black Friday, was once, when I was pregnant.  And apparently, delirious.  What can you possibly need or want, that possesses you do to that in order to save like $15?  And what could you possibly need or want so bad, that you must be the first person to grace the store at 5:00 a.m. and trample a person to death?  A person that got up in the middle of the night, to simply unlock the door, for $8 an hour? 

I’m not anti-holiday, I’m not.  I just feel like there’s so much more to it than all “that” and I think lots of people have lost it.  Credit card spending is out of control.  For instance, my parents recently closed their video store.  The credit card company was holding their money for 45-days before depositing it into their account.  Whoa.  Kind of crazy.  Especially when you rely on cash flow to pay business bills.  People were dropping $200-$300 on movies, per transaction, on plastic.  They finally had to put up a sign.  No credit cards over a certain $$ amount, cash only. 

I did read somewhere the other day, that Missouri is running low on their “unemployment funds.”  What happens then?

I borrowed this from Post Secret.  Not because I want everybody to “go under” not at all.  It’s just exciting to know perhaps, some may be forced to change their ways, be more simple and get back to basics and shop responsibly!