Tag Archives: Shopping

Thanks, Giving, Shopping, and The Wall Street Journal

th1EHNV13TThank you so much for a wonderful year to all those who have helped me buying, or reviewing my books. Thank you for your encouragement. Thank you for giving a love for reading to people around you. Thank you for good memories.

‘Tis the season for giving.  I haven’t been shopping on Black Friday in so many years I can’t count them. When my children were little (really little) my mother-in-law would spend Thanksgiving at our house. She would offer to babysit while I hit the stores for Christmas gifts and Christmas décor. I found great deals galore.

I never camped overnight, or went first thing, but I have gotten up at the crack of dawn and gotten to the store early. This year with the big hoopla over Black Friday – the controversy, working or not working on Thanksgiving —  Workers in hospitals, fire stations, and police stations will tell you there are good and bad things about working holidays. But from polls on Facebook I could see that the main thing is the double and sometimes time and a half-pay that people who work holidays get. I went black Friday shopping, on Black Friday.

I’d seen the sewing machine advertised in the paper. I looked on Amazon. Wow, this Brother model had great reviews. And the Wal-Mart price was close to $200 cheaper than the original sales price. Wow, a computerized Brother machine for $99. Such a great price.

I used to sew. But having a machine that would jam every time I used it was frustrating. That was thirty years ago. I haven’t had a machine in thirty years. I wouldn’t even be thinking about this except that I found quilt tops that my grandmother had pieced together in 1980. One of those quilt tops is crib size. And I have a new grandson. Soooo…

I went into Wal-Mart about 9:30 on Friday morning. The parking lot was nearly empty. I’ve never seen a Wal-Mart parking lot so empty. I parked up near the door. I went to the sewing machine aisle, seeing no shoppers on my way. There was no Brother $99 sewing machine. Bummer! There was one that looked like the one in the paper for $129. Hmmm. I found a sales associate to ask if there were any of the $99 ones in the back. She looked at the sewing machine sales tabs on the shelves and sort of shrugged. Then she said, “Wait a minute. I thought I saw…” And she walked to the end of the aisle, smiled and pointed. There was a huge stack of the $99 machines. I was shocked, but I bought one and exited the store.

A nicely dressed woman in the parking lot stopped me and asked me if she could ask a question. Now, if you’re like me, you don’t mind talking, but not necessarily to strangers in parking lots. She quickly showed me a badge that I couldn’t read and she said she was with The Wall Street Journal. I found that highly unlikely but thought I would go along. She asked me good questions though. Mainly, what did I think about this Black Friday sales day? I told her I was shocked there were no people in the store, no cars in the parking lot, and it sure didn’t feel like a Black Friday shopping day. A lady pulled her car up as we were talking and asked us if Black Friday was over. That’s how bad that empty parking lot looked. Ha.

I got home and discovered that the lady in the parking lot was following me on Twitter. Holy Moly! She really was  The Wall Street Journal journalist.  What?? Thank you, Erin Ailworth!

So here is the article in the wall street journal It’s a great article AND my name is mentioned.  https://t.co/FolZdXfdFk  Whoot!

Happy Getting-All-Prepared-For-The-Holidays!!

The Lamp Incident

Two lamps with lampshades.
Image via Wikipedia

The husband decided to replace the temporary paper blinds. I don’t think the paper blinds look so bad. From the outside, in the dark, and if you shut one eye they do look like those expensive pleated blinds. But no, he wanted to put something real up. He went and got some mini-blinds, which are okay in my book but not great. I like the expensive pleated blinds.

He was working on getting those mini-blinds installed. Beneath possibly fifty coats of paint the hundred-year-old window casings are made of petrified wood. At least that was what it seemed like around all the objects dropping and bad language coming from my husband as he tried numerous ways to get the parts and pieces screwed in place.

Different sizes of ladders were called for and produced. Different screw drivers. “Why is my cordless screwdriver never charged?” he asked me.

“We lost the charger three moves ago.” Was the correct answer but I hemmed around that with “I can’t find the charger, use this nifty T-shaped screwdriver I got you for your birthday.”

He cursed the T-shaped screwdriver and used it anyway.

He finally figured it all out and had the study’s blinds installed in a short hour and a half. Two windows down. Four to go.

He did the dining room because that only required moving the baby’s changing table, an old dresser, a lamp and a few dozen miscellaneous breakable things.

Now the living room seemed like it would go the fastest because the only thing to be moved was the couch. It’s a small couch. I left the room and when I came back I found him at the top of the ladder leaning forward with the drill poised to go at it. He had moved a side table, the one with the lamp on it. The lamp that wobbles because the lamp shade is so heavy. The ladder’s legs were straddling both the drill’s cord and the lamp’s cord. The lamp, a tall, rusted iron affair with this old, stained-glass lampshade. The lamp’s cord was stretched tight. This didn’t look like it would turn out well. I turned off the lamp and went to unplug it.

“I need that light.”

I looked up at him on his ladder. “But it will fall,” I said.

“I’m being careful!”

Best not argue. He is after all putting up blinds, which is one less thing for me to worry with if I were to ever get around to finding a way to sneak the expensive pleated ones into the budget. A far, far better thing for me to do was to walk the dog.

Back home, the dog and I walked in on the husband holding a broom and dustpan. “What’s up?” I asked because I hadn’t see the mess on the floor. Yes. It’s true. The nice, stained glass lampshade, bent and broken into unrepairable pieces. “Oh,” was all I could manage.

I didn’t need to say anything else. I could tell he felt bad about it. I found a spare linen lampshade and stuck it on the iron lamp. It was a little crooked, but keeps the light shaded and that’s all a lampshade is for.

The next day I took the glass bits and crooked copper-works across the street to my neighbor, Joan Son. (http://joanson.com/paperart/Welcome.html) She is an origami artist. I asked her if she knew of anyone who could use the old stained glass. She did. I’m glad to recycle old things into new ones.

I thought that was the end of that. I have more things to worry about purchasing than a new lampshade so I didn’t worry about the lamp after that.

Except it was my birthday this past weekend and my husband walks in from work with a sack from Pottery Barn. I love Pottery Barn. And you guessed it – it was a new lampshade. It was a good-looking one. But honestly Pottery Barn isn’t known for their lampshades. And when you buy a lampshade for a room you should buy the exact lampshade for all the matching lamps, right?

He could tell I wasn’t enthused. And I was sorry when my daughter came home from work and my husband asked her her opinion. “It’s pretty,” she said. And then paused. “Wait. Wasn’t that the lamp that you broke? You bought a lampshade for mom’s birthday gift?”

All of which didn’t make him feel any better. I apologize dear husband for how badly you felt about the entire lamp incident. Accidents happen. Let’s forget about it and move on.

I have to admit the mini-blinds do look better than the paper blinds.