In The Middle

Life, Family, Yoga, Stuff


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Taking It Easy

This past week has been a full one.  We had middle school open house on one night, and another evening was spent shopping for dress attire for our son.  He was headed to Homecoming which happened last night.  I’m not much of  a shopper and in fact, possess zero fashion sense, but I think we did OK.  My sister actually called while we were out shopping.  I totally needed her to be there at the time, but since she resides in Florida, that wasn’t an option.  She knows what to buy, how to wear it and where to shop.   His date was wearing black and white and they had ordered yellow flowers.  I haven’t seen her photos yet.  Frank had to work late last night, and I have a killer cold, so we didn’t get over to her place for the massive parental photo shoot. IMG_1217

 

 

 

 

 

 

The weather yesterday was amazing.  I came home from yoga to find this butterfly on the hummingbird feeder.  I grabbed my camera and got a few shots.  One of her wings was quite tattered.

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 A few minutes later I found out why.  My cat Jackson, jumped out of no place, grabbed the butterfly and made a snack out of her.  Ah, the circle of life.

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I also heard screeching birds later that same day.  In the walnut tree I spotted a Tufted Titmouse hanging upside down as she pecked away at a web.  I’m assuming she was after the insects or worms inside.  I love these little birds.  On the other hand, I don’t really enjoy the sounds that they make.  They’re smaller than a Cardinal, but larger than a Chickadee.  I like the little crest on their head and their soft, pastel coloring on their underside.  They usually travel in groups of at least two.

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A friend called me to sub a yoga class this morning, but unfortunately I am unable to help.   I’m also missing Yoga on Trail this nice morning, which was my original plan.  I was really looking forward to it.  Yoga in the morning, outside on the Iron Bridge at Springfield Lake.  All the money raised went to the Greenway Trails.  And they were able to secure two matching grants.  So if I showed up and gave $15, that turned into $45.  I was also looking forward to picking up the walnuts, we’ve already got a ton on the ground.  So far, I’ve had the stomach flu and now an upper respiratory infection.  After this, I’m taking a flu shot and hopefully done being sick until next winter!  This cold is kicking my butt, so it’s time to put in a movie, have some soup and hang out on the sofa.


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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!

george


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My Lucky Day

*Thanksgiving was wonderful.  We brined a huge turkey and chowed.  Frank’s sister brought Quinoa stuffing and man was it fantastic!  I love quinoa.

*My brother also made it in.  He flew stand by on United and arrived at 5:45 just in time for the “second” dinner!  As a heads up, if you fly as a guest of United, you have to wear slacks, nice shoes and a collared shirt.  He lives in Boulder and I hadn’t seen him for almost three years!!

*My sister and her husband stayed in Florida.  Her husband builds pools and water features which means he works with a ton of illegals.  Unemloyment is 8% in Florida now and probably like 12% if you count the ones you can’t really count.  They invited two guys from Guatemala and one Mexican to join them for dinner.

*Us chicks walked over to Phelps Grove Park and did a couple of treks around the track after the big meal.  Then we came back and had pie.  It’s all good.

*The guys went to the Mall and checked out the Segway.  I would’ve loved to have seen my 83 year old father-in-law on that thing!

*My parents are camping at Taneycomo.  They seem to be adjusting to retirement very well.  This is the first time they’ve traveled and not had to worry about a “business.” 

*In the video business, you are open every single day of the year, 12 hours a day, so that also presents a problem on holidays.  Some years, we had Christmas at midnight the day of.  When you hired people, they said they could always work on the holidays, but when the time came.  Guess what?  It was usually us and a few others behind the counter!

*I’m passing on the camping since I really DO NOT want to shop today.  My husband, had to be at work at 5:00 a.m.  At 7:00 a.m. he said traffic was gridlocked from the Mall to Target.  I’ll be going to the Gratitude Yoga Class at 10:00 a.m. instead.

*I hit the Mall on Wednesday to return an item I purchased on Evening of Giving.  The Lucky brand stuff was marked down 40%.  Oh…my…..God.  The sales clerk must’ve heard me gasp.  She said she couldn’t believe it either as they never have sales, only clearance.  No kidding.  Whoa.  I returned my top that didn’t fit quite right.  They gave me a gift card (since I wrote a check) for my purchase (we don’t use credit cards unless we travel) and I put it towards the Japanese People top I’d been eyeing!  I paid $27.88 after my exchange, the top was originally priced at $58.  My Lucky day!!

*My parents brought us some great furniture.  My sister, who used to make scads of cash, has had approximately 10 couches in 15 years.  I scored one of her great sofas she got at Burdine’s, a leather ottoman/coffee table, and an end table, plus a barrel chair from the house that I grew up in. 

*Anyone interested in a big sectional, with two recliners and a sofa bed?  It’s blue, it’s comfy.  It was here when I moved in and I am unable to rearrange our living room as long as we have it.  I”m looking forward to getting this out of our house to open up the HUGE picture window even more!  Look for it on Craig’s List soon!

*Speaking of scads of money, my brother used to manage a nice bike store.  This guy, a president of a “company” would fly in on a private jet and buy stuff.  Usually thousands of dollars in bike clothing and sometimes bikes.  He would hand my brother one item and that meant he wanted it in three different sizes.  

*One time, my brother asked him why he never tried anything on.  He said because his company pushed the pencil and the time that he would take was not worth it.  The pilot would then come in and pay for the stuff, with an American Express black card.  They’re made of metal and you have to spend like $250,000 a year to be considered.  What did he do with the stuff that didn’t work out?  He passed it on to his employees.  Cool.

 

*The family is hoping for snow this weekend.  So is my husband.  He spent all summer welding a bracket for his Lawn Boy Lawn Tractor, so he could attach a snow shoveling bucket.  He was pushing leaves around the yard with it the other day.  I did not know this, but a Lawn Boy Tractor, is NOT a Lawn Boy riding mower.  Who knew, or it was more like to me, who cares?  He’s so excited about this snow bucket.  Look for Jefferson to be clear and plowed this year, by yours truly!

*He drove to Branson three years ago and hauled home two riding mowers (the Lawn Boy was one of them) for $80.  After some minor stuff, the Lawn Boy was up and running.  The other one?  It’s stripped and combined with some other mower, so now his dad has a good one too.  Where’s the rest of it?  Don’t ask, but I want it out of here soon!

*Looking forward to hanging with my family again, when they come back in the morning!  I don’t think, I know I can’t handle Branson today!