Saturday, November 30, 2013

Mistaken Identity?

Sometimes I do some stuff that is really ridiculous when I think about it later!

Take this for an example of self-confusing stuff.

I have always been one who loved to read and generally speaking, I think I'm usually a good reader too -fast and able to comprehend new words easily as my vocabulary has always been quite expansive. (One of my closest friends' husband reminded me about that one day when I phoned their house to speak to his wife. When he answered the phone and I asked to talk to his wife one day, and I hadn't identified myself immediately as I normally do, he right away called me by name. Joking, I asked him if he recognized my voice on the phone because of the melodious quality to it and his response was "No, I just know it's you by the big words you always use!"

I've preached to my kids from the time they first began to learn to read, to cultivate good habits pertaining to book, magazines and reading everything and anything, in general. My line to them was always "If you can read, you can take a trip around the world and never leave the comfort and warmth of your living room chair!" And I still say that. What's more, I truly do believe that too.

However, the past several months now, I've noticed some changes in my reading abilities. Almost as if I am becoming dyslexic or something because frequently I have to re-read sentences to get the gist of what is printed there as words seem to move about, out of the proper sequence and order and thus, the sentences often then don't make sense to me right away.

The other day, I came across this sentence in an ad - Type ii high bias cassette at M123  and got myself all confused wondering what the heck this was all about as my mind was reading this as being something about some kind of bias tape!

Now you go figure how I got that screwed up in my reading because I sure can't! But I was seeing the word type and reading it as being tape and thinking the ad was about bias tape -which is a substance I frequently used to use when sewing!

Yes, I can easily screw up corn flakes, can't I?

Literally Speaking....

It's been a hectic week having the kids here the whole time instead of just for a weekend but it's also had several times during the past seven days that have hit me as being downright hilarious.

Those of you who know me -and know about my family -are aware that my two younger grandkids (Maya and Kurt) are both autistic. Overall, both kids are doing fantastic most of the time. But every now and again, something will pop up that totally cracks me up.

This past Monday was one of those days!

One of my Avon customers had stopped by the house Monday morning to pick up here most recent order from me and as we sat at the dining room table, chatting over a cup of coffee, I was also showing her the demo items I had purchased that will be introduced on the new brochure for Campaign one.

One of the items in the group was this pretty little headband -for young girls -of a goldtone filigree type design. A very pretty little thing it is and of course, I had bought it to show as well as for a gift for Maya -my little Diva granddaughter who dearly loves being all dressed up to the nines, ya know!

I hadn't told Maya it was for her -still planning it as sort of a surprise gift for her -but I called to her and asked her to come out in the dining room for a minute or two as I had something I wanted to show her.

So she came out and stood beside me and I got this little headpiece out of the wrapper and put it on her and told her I wanted her to model it for my customer. She was quite happy to do that and jokingly, I mentioned to her that she was being my "guinea pig" -just like the girl in the Avon brochure was.

After a minute or two of her checking this headpiece out, I took it off her, re-wrapped it in the tissue paper and put it back in my demo bag. Meanwhile, Maya went back to whatever she'd been doing previously -or so I thought.

However, about 5-10 minutes later, she reappeared beside me, holding the next campaign brochure in her hands and she had it open to the page where the headpiece is shown. She pointed that out to me and then said, "Gram, there's something wrong here because I looked all over this page and there's no guinea pigs on it!"

Did I howl laughing at that?

You bet your sweet bippy I did!

Then I had to stop and explain to her that my using the words "guinea pig" about her wearing that headpiece was just a figure of speech. No real guinea pigs involved in that advertisement whatsoever!

Lucky for me, she understands fairly well the term, "figure of speech" and she knew then what I meant by saying that.

But we sure did have a really good laugh over that one!


Oh Brother! That's about all I can say these days with respect to a certain former member of my family!

He's broke! Nothing new, nothing unusual about that with him because that's pretty much a constant with most everyone in (and out too) of the family here. But he's REALLY broke!

Lives in a room at the house his employer has. Works for him and the boss even drives him to the area where he has to report in to pay his child support payments so he actually makes them on time that way and doesn't get picked up and tossed in the clink for non-payment of child support for half of the minor children he is supposed to be paying support for. (The other half -the mother gets nothing because the order was for next to nothing to begin with and somehow, he is able to skirt around paying for those kids.

As if that isn't bad enough there, he has absolutely common sense whatsoever when it comes to handling money, paying bills, etc.

He has never grasped the concept that if you work and get paid and let's say, you clear $400 and have to pay bills, living expenses, plus maybe allow a little for yourself when the bills are paid, it those expenses total less than the $400, okay -you're "safe" then for that pay period. But, if those expenses come to say $400.01 -just one lousy penny over that $400 make -then you don't have that much money to spend! Basic simple math, isn't it?

Apparently not because the latest thing he's been yammering about is how he is going to somehow or other purchase a cheap fender princeton and still have money left to pay his basic expenses!

When he starts talking to my son or daughter -or anyone else within earshot -about these kind of potential transactions he's going to make, it just infuriates me to no end! For crying out loud, do the math and quite telling people all these tall tales then!

Definitely time for a big reality check, in my book!

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Snow Time!

Winter hasn't officially arrived yet -still just the late days of November -however, the snow has begun to lay white blankets down in my neck of the woods.

The forecast for this past weekend was for Saturday to be cold but no snow and Sunday, we were to get snow showers. Now, I've lived in this area for the better part of the 69 years I've been here, on the planet, and I know not to take every forecast I read as being gospel because sometimes, Mother Nature, decides to be just a tad fickle and change gears on us. And, if she changes gears on us -the lowly residents who really don't know anything about forecasting the weather -then she's also doing those surprises to those forecasters too. Not a darned thing any of us can do to change or re-arrange the weather. At least, not the last I checked there wasn't.

Anyway, Saturday, we got the snow showers. Sunday, I gather there were some snow showers in various places but if any arrived in this vicinity, it must have been after I was in the house for the rest of the day and night as I didn't notice any new white stuff on the ground here yesterday morning.

Today? Well, today appears to be a horse of a whole different color. Make that a White Horse but looks like horses don't wear white hats and aren't especially good with respect to weather issues.

So far, I'd estimate we have at least 2 inches of fresh snow now on the ground and it's still putting more snow out -very fine snow, but that stuff builds up into more inches too if it falls long enough! It was supposed to be the day for my monthly lunch group to meet but we've decided to forgo that enjoyable event and not venture out unless it is an absolute necessity. I cleared the sidewalks with the broom and did shovel a bit on the parking area -just to keep it from getting too heavy to move around if this stuff keeps on coming. The last forecast I saw -about an hour ago -was calling for our area to get 1 -3 inches, then the white stuff is supposed to change over before afternoon to freezing rain and later in the afternoon then it is supposed to change to just rain.

The kids -especially Kurtis -had his heart set on going out and playing in the snow and building a snowman. Sad to say but with snowfall this fine, it's not going to be conducive to rolling balls into nice snowmen -not big ones, for sure and really, not even little itty-bitty snowmen either! Need to have the really good heavy (thick) kind of snowflakes that are easy to pack into a small ball and then, will pick up snow and grow if they are rolled around in the accumulation. He did manage, in his short venture outside earlier, to make my clearing the sidewalk a trifle more difficult though because he decided it would be fun to do the "slip and slide" routine on the sidewalk which then sort of clumped some of the fresh snow into a bit of a hard pack and something that I couldn't just sweep off then. Had I not tried to get some of that clumping off the cement sidewalk, it would have then frozen into nice fat and very icy spots and I really don't need that out there!

 So now, I'm going to venture out in to the weather, walking the dog. Sammy will be ecstatic about that! He seems to enjoy romping in snow whether it's a deep, heavy amount or what we have right now, a relatively light accumulation so far. When he comes back in the house though is when he will really go ballistic -running in circles all over the downstairs, from one end of the first floor to the other with no rhyme or reason as to where he's running much less what he's jumping up on and depositing major wetness on the furniture then as a result!

 Oh well. The kids will get a big kick out of his racings and chasings then! And, after that -I'm going to have to venture out in my lovely little car and hope the state road crew has been through town and dumped copious quantities of salt and other stuff mixed in with that salt to have all the roads on the hills here in town tended to and clear -just wet! Cross your fingers and hope my buggy will climb the hills without sending me into an embankment or a ditch.

 (And, if you're wondering why it is I have to venture out? I have to get up to the grocery or hardware store and purchase a nice big bag of SALT -the kind you throw out on sidewalks and parking areas and try to keep the place open as much as possible to go any place else around the township or neighboring towns too!)

 Enjoy the snow while it's still pretty!

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Let Me Sing-Along....

Okay -it's been one holy zoo here this past week!

Between trying to finish up getting orders for the Avon campaign I was working, trying to collect money for other orders,  plus a kazillion other things I had to do -baking bread, making bark candies and some sweet rolls as well as a pan of bar cookie/candy stuff, run to Milroy to pick up the grandkids and bring them up here, get my fat fanny off to church this morning for the Fall Bazaar and a bunch of not so great other things that cropped here and there in between, trust me when I tell you I am mighty glad to be done with this week  in November of 2013!

All was actually moving along fairly well though until Thursday when I started the bread baking routine.

I was about half-way through mixing up the first batch of Swedish Rye bread, when trouble struck here!

Normally, when I mix the bread dough, I have a fairly liquid-bit of batter and to that, I add the yeast (proofed) and about half of the flour the recipe calls for and I mix that in with the regular beaters on my mixer. Then, when I have about 3, maybe almost 4 cups of flour left to add, I switch the beaters out and replace them with the dough hooks that my mixer uses.

Well, on Thursday, when I got to that stage -and I could see the yeast was already beginning to work in the dough mixture, I went to put the dough hooks in as the dough gets too difficult to deal with at that stage with the regular mixer beaters -and had a rude -very rude -awakening.

The darned dough hooks were somehow or other "locked" together and I couldn't get them to come loose!

Talk about a panic stricken person holding that mixer in one hand and with my other hand, I had a firm grip on the mixing bowl and yes, the old yeast was steadily working away on me already then!

It took a good bit of work -plus my trying to reach my three neighbors that are on my fast phone list when I need help with anything kitchen related -all while then mixing the rest of the flour in using the method my Grandma always was relegated to using -manual labor! LOL Actually, that LOL is being used very sarcastically there as mixing that much flour into bread dough is not any laughing matter.

No sirree Bob! Not in the least happy was I to have to use that method and my arm was about ready to play out on me -out of energy quickly using that method -or maybe it's just that I'm too darned old to be doing stuff that requires that much extra effort!

At one point, I had finally gotten in touch with my neighbor across the street and her husband was checking to see if they had an extra set or two of dough hooks and if so, he was going to come down here with them to see if they would fit and work with my mixer when Katie -my step-granddaughter -popped up in front of my face holding my dough hooks but she had one in each hand!!!

I was ecstatic to see she had gotten them separated and asked her how in blazes she got them apart.

Her answer? "I have absolutely no idea what I did but all of a sudden, they just came apart!"

Now, as much as she enjoys listening to all kinds of music and stuff like that and has always made comments about wishing she could have this or that kind of stuff to use to listen to her kinds of music, it made me really wish that I had enough coins to get her something good for her listening pleasure but sadly, I know I didn't hit it big on this week's powerball lottery, so that the needle then that pricked that little bubble thought in her mind!

Sorry about your luck, Katie but it looks like you'll have to keep joining me, week after week, and share the disappointment then that you can't get what you'd like to have and I still can't go out and buy that darned Winnebago Wagon RV I've been asking for well, seems like it must be forever now that I've been wanting to buy one of those things with my powerball lottery winnings!

Definitely have to try again next Wednesday. That would really give me one huge thing for which to be thankful then on Thanksgiving Day though -and Katie too!

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Tell Me Why, Please!!!

I have a question here about writing blogs and it's something I never had occur until fairly recently. Why, when I write a post here, if I am in HTML, and then publish my post, does all my spacings between paragraphs disappear? I thought whether you wrote a post in the Compose feature or the HTML feature, it would automatically post then with the correct spacing between paragraphs. It always used to do that but now, and this really frustrates me very much, if I write using HTML, when I publish the post, it shows up as just one great big paragraph! When did this change or what is it that has made it change anyway. Anyone else have this problem and if so, what do or did you do to get rid of that so it doesn't happen every time I write a post? Hope someone can help me out with that and if you can, then believe me, I will be extremely thankful for that small favor!

See? I just wrote the above in HTML and on my screen when I was typing it, it had spaces between various paragraphs. But when I switched over here to Compose, it showed up as one big fat paragraph.

I write long enough posts much of the time that I really don't need Blogger making my posts all look like they are just one great big fat sentence/paragraph! 

Nine Days?

Holy Rip! I started out this month in an attempt to do a post a day with respect to the topic of "Thankfulness" and for a few days, I was right on target, got my posts written, looked like I was finally getting somewhat organized and might actually be able to accomplish this ideal. Sadly enough, things fell apart on me and it's now been nine days -yes 9 whole days -since my last post. I did put some posts up as a status thing on Facebook that I probably should have just posted them here on my blog -they certainly were long enough to suffice for that. But I didn't remember to do things that way. How or why did I fall off the grid, get off track anyway? My last post was on November 11th and it was the next day that things started to really go awry with the thankful posts. It's not that I wasn't actually thankful for anything that I could write about because in all honesty, over the long run, all that threw me off kilter were things for which I am and I was quite thankful that they happened! Last Tuesday, I got a call from my doctor's office in Pittsburgh telling me that the insurance company had first denied my doctor's request for approval of a PET scan for me however, the doctor had appealed that denial and thus, last Tuesday, they had backed down and approved the request! I'm thankful for that! However, this set into motion a quest to get an appointment set up for me then at West Penn Hospital which took the better part of my time the rest of Tuesday -making phone calls, trying to find an open slot, talking to my daughter then about the time they could fit me in for the PET scan and could she still manage taking me down to Pittsburgh to get there at the ungodly hour of 7:15 a.m.? Believe me, getting something like this arranged when you live 138 miles and about a 3-hour-drive away from where you have the appointment, is no easy task. But, eventually we got things worked out. All that put me behind then in delivering my current Avon orders so I had to sort of "double-up" and get cracking to get them all distributed. Took me until today to do that but I still have about 4 or 5 orders that were delivered but haven't yet been paid for. Hopefully, I will be able to collect that money today now! The PET scan though, according to my doctor, showed no additional growth or activity than was previously showing on the last scan done in August so, based on that, my doctor has declared that it is nothing to worry about! And boy Howdie! Am I ever thankful for that! You betcha I am! This weekend it is time for our Fall Bazaar at church and tonight, I made three different kinds of candies for the "Candy Shoppe" section at the Bazaar. This along with working Monday (yesterday) afternoon with several others from church to make five different kinds of bark candies to be sold. We will also have a plethora of other candies from peanut brittle, to pretzel sticks coated with chocolate and sprinkles and on up to several really great kinds of fudge too! This "booth" at our Bazaar is always one that brings in a whole lot of sales and that, combined with our former hallmark item -home-baked Swedish kaka breads of different varieties -are the things that generally take our Bazaar up and over the top in popularity with those who are regular attendees at this event! So now I have candy made, still have to bake some cookies as well as at least two different kinds of bread too. Then, Thursday afternoon, I have an appointment in Dubois with a therapist and Friday, I have to drive about 65 miles to Milroy to meet up with my younger daughter so I can pick up the grandkids and bring them up here for the weekend. When I get home from picking the kids up, I have to head out to the church to help with the setup for the Bazaar and then, have to be back out at church around 9 a.m. Saturday to finish helping to get everything in place. After the Bazaar is over, the kids and I are then heading a couple miles down the highway from here to attend a Spaghetti Dinner Fund Raiser for the granddaughter of my ex-sister-in-law's brother. (How's that for a bit of a convoluted sentence, huh?) Anyway, "Uncle Jimmy" -which is what my kids call the grandpa of this little girl for whom the fund raiser is being held -grew up next door to me as did his Mom and her siblings. So it's an old, old friend connection and since he is my nephew and niece's uncle, he's also always been kind of an uncle to my kids over the years as well. The little girl -Lucy or "Lu" as she is called has Rett's Syndrome -which is a very complicated illness that causes all kinds of issues in the muscle tone of children and it is also on the Autism Spectrum. Lu has been doing fairly well, from the physical aspect (doing great from the intellectual and academic aspect though) but recently she has had some setbacks. She needs a whole lot of specialized equipment in order to allow her to get around at least somewhat on her own and all this special equipment costs money -lots and lots of money -which her parents and grandparents and great-grandparents too simply can not afford to purchase the things Lu needs, hence the fund raiser to get some money donated to help them and Lu! It's all for a very good cause, to be sure. I certainly am not thankful that Lu has this issue to have to contend with in her life but I am thankful -very much so -that this event is being planned and hope that people will turn out in droves to be part of the dinner and games set up to try to bring in a few extra bucks along the way! Then, after the dinner is over and the kids and I return home, I will have a third thing to get done on my agenda for Saturday, that being my next Avon order will be delivered so I'll then have to spend Saturday night bagging up the orders and getting my brochures all set up to reflect my name, phone number, e-mail address as well as my web url to direct folks who would rather shop online the capability of orgereing that way! Sunday, I have to have the kids to church because Maya will be singing that morning with the Fry twins -Noah and Sam -and the three of them pretty much constitute the members of our children's choir at church! Once done with that, it will be time to pack the kids stuff into the car and head back down over Seven Mountains to meet their mother as I do a "return to sender" with them! I'm not looking forward to that trip mainly because the early weather reports are predicting the potential for "snow showers" on Sunday and a forecast like that at this time of year and involving a drive across those mountains in what could be just a few snow flakes flying around or it could also turn out to be heavy snowfall in intermittent stages and it's the latter there that I really worry about! I'm not exactly afraid of driving in snow but I sure don't like it! Definitely won't be doing any driving with the hammer down, you can be sure of that! So that's what's been going on, what will be going on and I'm going to be exhausted, for sure, by Sunday night. But it still won't stop me from being very thankful to have been able to deal with all these various things, and especially for the opportunity each thing last week, all these this week, will be afforded to me and the ability to also have Maya and Kurtis here for the weekend -along with their Aunt Carrie, who will be spoiling the living daylights out of the kids then while she watches over them on Saturday! Now -here's a way you can do something to make me even more thankful and that would be if you live anywhere there to Lanse, PA -come out Saturday to Holy Trinity Lutheran Church there and visit our Bazaar! Guaranteed you will find it worth your while and that then would make you -as well as me -very thankful then, wouldn't it?

Monday, November 11, 2013

Skip Along....

Well, as I said on my post yesterday, "So much for continuity!" I'm surprised I managed to do 7 days of Thankfulness before time really got the better of me and dragged me down a bit! I did do a Day 10 on Facebook yesterday though -in which I gave thanks for my Mom, who left this earth 34 years ago this past October but yesterday, had she lived, it would have been her 104th birthday. I wish she could have lived long enough to have seen her grandchildren grow into the adults they are today and even more, I wish she could have seen her great-grandchildren -Alex, Maya and Kurtis! How proud she would have been to have known them. But we all know that expression about wishing -in one hand and what have you in the other -I am still very thankful that she did know my children even though the time span there was way to short. She and I had what was often a very confrontational relationship and rarely a day went by that we didn't have a fight or argument over something or other. It was often a very upsetting part of my life with her but you know what it is I miss the most now, even after 34 years without her? Of course! Those damned arguments! Today, I'm thankful for them as in many instances they provide some darned good fodder for stupid things then that are funny as all get out when I think of them today. And Lord knows, more often than not, what I really need is a darned good laugh or at least a chuckle or two now and then. Yesterday -November 10th -was also the birthday of my youngest cousin on my Mom's side -my "little" cousin, Becky and today, November 11th -just so happens to be Becky's older sister's birthday, my cousin Sue! And because of that, I'm thankful today for birthdays and those of all my cousins -way too many to name but they're a great group of people and I love each and every one of them dearly! It's been a very rough week -actually pretty much the whole month thus far for me. I don't know what's wrong exactly but I've been feeling really low and pretty crappy. Not sick, just uncomfortable -knots in my stomach, just having to force myself to do things I have to do, and I hate feeling like that. Last week, a good friend of mine was laid to rest. Tonight, I learned another very good and dear friend of mine has been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and that really put me in a tailspin for sure. We've been good friends since first grade -in other words, over 60 years now -and for about the last 14 years, have kept in fairly regular contact every week or two via e-mail. She was one of the biggest supporters -usually first to respond to our class reunion announcements with her check for her and her husband to be there with our classmates. Thinking of this, of her, of the friend who went to his rest last week and so many more people I've known and loved over the years who were friends, I'm extremely thankful then tonight for each of them and how much their friendships meant to me. Add to those numbers -which are many -those people on my friends list today -from Facebook to Blogging, to old school days friends, to those I met from various types of employment I've had over the years and to those who are my good neighbor friends too -there's nothing like having good friends to count on along life's way! And if that isn't something for which to be grateful and give many, many thanks, I just don't know what is! Peace!

Friday, November 08, 2013

Off Kilter and Still Running Late -for Day 7

See what happens when you are late in doing something? It throws your entire schedule off course then. Yesterday, I didn't get my Day 6 Thankful post written until 12:38 a.m. Tonight, granted, I am a little earlier -it's only 12:21 a.m when I started this -but apparently that little bit of non-attention to the time and being late is still carrying over tonight now for me. Oh well, who knows -maybe Friday -or Day 8 -I will actually be writing my thankful post before midnight when it is still actually day 8! (It could happen, it could happen and my thanks to Judy Tenuto for that bit of phraseology!) I did do a thankful post -or status -earlier today though on Facebook and in it, I wrote about a love/hate relationship I have. I really don't like to use the word "Hate" because I do try not to hate anything as there's supposed to be a purpose for everything we encounter in life and since that also includes creatures like snakes and spiders -well, let's just say they both come fairly close to the edge with me and border on hate. Perhaps I should re-clarify my dislike of the word "hate" as it applies to somethings that I guess I really do hate -but it is not against a person or a creature on the planet, but rather aspects or traits -things like that -that yes, I confess then, I really do hate! I hate bias, prejudice, discrimination of any type! Plain and simple -or at least I think it is anyway. And I do hate the way may places in this area where I live persist in their methodology in hiring -which frequently -in my view -results in very discriminatory, albeit it not discriminatory enough to warrant legal actions against them. I was raised in a different era -where if you got your high school diploma, that was considered a pretty decent accomplishment. A college degree on top of that and you were pretty much considered "Golden." I was also very naive when I graduated from high school though and thought well, I have a decent enough education that I should be able to secure some kind of employment around here somewhere. What I didn't realize immediately though was that I was at an immediate disadvantage because my Mom wouldn't let me get my driver's license until I turned 18 and could apply for my permit without her signature so, when you live in a boondocks village with no public transportation, it does sort of hamper your job searchings a bit! But I did finally find a job -and with it, was able to get transportation without having to use my Mom's car as there were 3 other people along my street who also were employed at that time at the lovely (NOT) Cigar Factory in Philipsburg so I was able then to carpool it to work. Over the years, things happened and I left this area to work in the D.C. area for 8 years and then, returned back home. I wasn't exactly what you'd call "homesick" but moving back to the place where I knew almost everyone (and in many instances could trace their family trees almost as easily as a direct member of that family could have done) made me very content -most of the time. Until I needed to look for a job, that is! One of my uncles was involved, heavily, in local (county) politics and he offered to pull strings for me to get me a job in the Courthouse or some other county office. An offer, I might add that I refused because, stubborn as I was then, I didn't want a job based on who I knew but rather one where it would come about based on what I knew, what I could do. So after that followed several jobs of what would still be considered menial type -waitressing in particular -as well as selling Avon products. I hate to say this to burst anyone's bubbles here, but Waitressing as well as selling Avon, are both very demanding forms of work. They both can be very rewarding, each in their own ways from time to time, but neither of them offers a steady income, day after day or week after week, both involve a whole lot of running around and sometimes, also a lot of let-downs too. But, I managed to raise my three kids on those "wages" such as they were along with some child support. My house was never neat and tidy for sure -no showcase decor here -but we had a roof over our heads, heat, water, electricity, telephone service -even the rinky-dink tv cable service available at that time, and we always had more than enough food for the table and our meals too. Might not have been an overload of sodas and candy or chips but we ate pretty darned good. Then, at the grand old age of 46, I decided I was going to go to college and so, enrolled at Penn State University. Somehow or other, I managed -with the help of one fantastic advisor -to get my classes scheduled in a manner that worked well for me and I was able to get all my credits towards my B.S. in a matter of what was then considered the normal time for a college degree -4 years. (Today, many students take 5, even 6 years to complete their coursework and a lot of that is really do to inadequate counseling on how best to organize your coursework schedules.) I also lucked out too in that at the beginning of my sophomore year, I quit my full-time job to take a part-time position at AccuWeather, where I would go make up my class schedule at the start of a new semester, give my course schedule to my supervisor and he would then schedule my hours in conjuction with my classes so there was no conflict that way. Most students who get jobs while in college have to try to schedule their classes around their work schedules which can make for a lot more problems that way! I was lucky and you know what? I am, to this day, very thankful for having been employed by AccuWeather during that time as well as for 5 years after I graduated too when they often worked me around other jobs work schedules then too! But anyway, after I graduated at the ripe old age of 50, I started vigorously trying to find jobs that would utilize my degree and maybe even some if not many, of the other things I had also learned in the 32 years of various types of employment! That's when the reality of things began to hit me and it hit hard too as I couldn't even -or extremely rarely -get an interview, much less get hired. It used to annoy me greatly (yeah, I did pretty much hate to hear people ask this question "Well, why don't you go to work at such and such a place?" Well, mainly because I can't really just show up there, all chipper and bright, on a Monday morning and say "Well, here I am and where do I sit?" (Only George Costanza of Seinfeld -to my knowledge -ever got away with getting a job that way!) It bothered me greatly to read different things in the newspaper (wedding announcements, engagement announcements in particular) and read that the bride, obviously young and attractive, was employed by this or that firm in a job that my degree covered more completely but for which I had rarely been given even a thank you for your application but no thank you on an interview type piece of communication. And, even when, at long last, I saw a job advertised, part-time employment for someone with a degree such as mine, plus other types of very valid experience in my lifetime and I applied for it and even got an interview too! This was just last year -22 years after I graduated from college! However, I was not hired. No -instead they hired a girl of 26, with NO degree and at that point in time was taking two classes -one in English and the other in Accounting -so thus, no human services exposure educationally or event of an employment nature either. And yes, that episode really did, as the expression goes, yank my chains and very hard too! I was angry -fit to be tied. And it sure didn't help any depression issues already simmering for a long, long time deep inside me either. Okay -that's as brief a summary as I can give about my lifetime's employment issues. But what this doesn't say is that regardless of whether or not I ever got hired and was ever able to use my education, I do not regret one iota the four years I spent traipsing around the Penn State Campus, from one class to the next. Struggling at times to deal with the math and science classes required as, with age, memory doesn't work as well as it does when you're around 20 and many of those courses required a lot of memorization! But still, I survived 'em and breathed huge sighs of relief too when they were over and done with! Along with not regretting having spent those years in college, I also have to say I am thankful -very thankful, as a matter of fact -that I did make that choice to go to college and that I followed through when at times, the thought did cross my mind to drop out -but I didn't do that! I pushed on and made it and graduated in May of 1994 with my daughters and an aunt of mine (and her son and daughter-in-law) all in attendance at that commencement ceremony. That aunt had been one of my biggest moral supporters throughout my college years and I'm not sure who was more proud that day -her, for my accomplishment or me,for surviving and being able to very proudly show her my degree that day. I am thankful even though there's been no opportunity to use my knowledge, my experience, my talents, my skills in my chosen field that I do have that education and that is something no one can ever take away from me! Next to my family -my children and now, grandchildren and great-grandchild too -that piece of paper in that blue folder is very high on my list of things for which I am very, very thankful. At times, when I get really down about things, if I think about all this stuff that didn't happen for me, I can always think about that degree and what I did to earn it and smile a bit then, as it is an accomplishment deserving being thankful for having the education behind that paper!

Wednesday, November 06, 2013

Safety First! (Day 6)

Last week, when Mandy and I switched vehicles for the weekend, she clarified to me that my suspicions about needing new brakes on my car were correct. Today, I took the car in town, to the garage where my ex-son-in-law (Mandy's ex-husband) works and got new brakes and rotors installed on my buggy! Since I've made three trips so far in the last 6 weeks or so that involve driving down over Seven Mountains, it's a big relief for me now to know that my brakes are new, good, intact and all that happy jazz! I'm not all that well-versed on automotive mechanical stuff and have, at times in the past, driven cars that weren't exactly getting the care that should be given to them -laxity on oil changes, things of the routine nature, mainly. But, when I hear sounds in any of my vehicles, or feel the unit handling differently, my first impulse is usually to call my ex-brother-in-law and describe to him what's happening and he can usually give me a diagnosis over the phone because he's so darned good at imitating the sounds a car makes when there are various problems within it! A lot of the time though, I tend to be a bit on the nervous side as I drive along and try to keep my ears tuned into any new or different (or scary) noises because I always worry -especially now -that if something major goes bad on the car, what the heck will I do for a replacement unit? But over all though, I do try, to the best of my ability, to keep my cars running at least half way decently and definitely do try to keep them operating as safely as possible too. So today, I'm thankful that I know a good mechanic (actually, I can think of 3 that I can or would call on for help) and that the one today -as he usually does for me and for Mandy too -cut me a nice break on the expense of getting my brakes fixed.

Late! And for a Very Important Date!

Oh rats! I was so proud of myself and now, I've blown my chance of getting finished with 30 Thankful posts during the month of November! If this will pass as an excuse or explanation of why I missed my deadline to get this post written and up before midnight of November 5th, I really only missed it by 38 minutes so that should count for something, don't 'cha think? It was, after all, a very hectic day for me. I had to go vote, of course, and darned near forgot completely about this being Election Day but thankfully, as I was getting ready to leave the house this afternoon, it dawned on me that before I do any of the other things I had on my "to do" list for today, that I'd best move Voting up to the top slot of necessities to perform! And so, I made my way out to the polls and did my thing by filling out the form and pushing that big red VOTE button! After leaving there, my next stop was one I really didn't want to be making but it was one of those things where life calls us to do things that go against our grain and this went against my heart as I had to go to the funeral home to pay my respects to a family whose father had passed away. He and I grew up in the same little town here and I knew of him -knew who he was to see -from the time I was in grade school although he was already in high school by then. But because of the seven year difference in our ages, I didn't really get to know him until the mid-70s, when after he retired from 20 years in the Navy, he and his wife moved back to this area and I got to know him better then because his wife was one of my Avon customers then. (Actually, I knew of his wife way back then too but didn't really get to know her until I wandered into their home with my Avon wares. I was however, good friends with her brother from about 7th or 8th grade on and we still are good friends. After the funeral viewing, I had to stop and get some dog food or else poor Sammy might have withered up and passed away too from sheer starvation. No fears now of that happening as I did pick up two bags of the stuff so we're kind of stocked up now for a while in that department. Then it was time for me to try to find a couple of my Avon customers at home so as to deliver their orders and for a few, it was just to collect as last week, I had just dropped off a coiuple of orders and not collected on them right then, but it was quie imperative that I at least manage to collect enough from the sales this time to be able to pay my bill to the company. (Unfortunately, at this point in time, I'm still shy a good bit of money owed to me for some orders! Oh well, I think I can cover the shortfall, at least for a couple of days anyway! By the time I had done all that, it was time for me to take my Avon bag and stop by my house for a bite to eat -thank goodness I had the foresight yesterday to cook a fairly large macaroni and tomato sauce casserole so I only needed to dish some out on a plate and nuke it and that way I was able to get a bite to eat! About time too because I was starved! By now I only had one more thing to do today before the rest of the evening would be mine to do with as I wished -be it embroidery-work or maybe starting to read a book I purchased last week from one of my favorite places in the whole wide world -good old Barnes and Noble! (A side note here to my daughter, Amanda, though. I saw your Barnes and Noble wish list and sad to say, none of the books you mentioned are among the group of books I ordered last week and I can guarantee you right now that you'll have to work on either your sister or your brother if you want the book on your list that sells for $120 and change. I'm assuming this is not a textbook because if it is, you never mentioned anything about going back to school! My sincerest apology for this too, Mandy!) Hmmmm. Just rambled on growling about Mandy's wish list and plum forgot to mention that after doing all that other stuff I had to go to a meeting tonight at church to finalize our Women's Group's Fall Bazaar which will be taking place at our church social hall on November 23rd. Mark that date on your calendar and plan to attend if you're anywhere near us here in central Pennsylvania. You can come and enjoy a pleasant light lunch of soup, sandwich, homemade applesauce and for dessert, your choice of either gingerbread or a Swedish dish called Grot, but which is actually just some really good Rice Pudding. And we got the meeting done and closed up shop around 9 p.m. which, for me, was not a minute too soon because I was tired, not really feeling quite up to par today as my intestines had begun to give me fits just as I was realy to go to the church meeting. I was tempted to blow it off and not attend but then figured I'd best go and suffer through the whole thing since, after all, I am the current president of our group! So now that I've given a rundown of my day and the good, the bad, the indifferent about it, I suppose you're wondering what the heck about all this stuff has anything to do with being thankful, aren't you? Well, depending on how you break things out of this mini-version of War and Peace, there's a lot there for which I am thankful. I'm thankful that I am part of the Women's Group at our church and for being able to participate in the events we put together every year! (I'll be even more thankful when I come home from The Fall Bazaar on November 23rd with a whole lot of homemade candy I intend to purchase, for some baked goods I know I'll be able to find there, maybe some craft items will catch my eye and there's also a good chance I might be able to purchase some little Swedish memento type item too that will maybe work as a Christmas decoration perhaps. So, yes I'm thankful for all that. I'm thankful too that although I didn't get to all my customers to deliver their orders, there's only two packages left in my "to be delivered" box. More than that though, I'm thankful that I decided to return to selling Avon again, after 22 years of being on a self-imposed hiatus, I guess you'd call it. I do enjoy getting out and having a chance to chat with my customers -many of whom are old friends and former customers from when I sold these products back in the 70s and 80s. I'm thankful that through Avon I have at least a little chance of earning a little extra money to supplement my not so very large social security check. I'm thankful too that a time in my life when no one else will even look at me to hire me, Avon said "Sure, come on back to the fold!" It does give me a chance then too that I can sort of prove to myself -and perhaps to others too -that I am still capable of making some contribution to society! I'm also very thankful today that I remembered to vote and especially for that opportunity to be a part of our government procedures. Some will say, I know, that voting is meaningless and those people who get elected are just a bunch of blowhards and don't know or do diddly squat for us, their constituents, except perhaps raise our taxes. And I confess too that on occasion I have been known to say a lot of those things about our government and its problems. But still and all, at the end of the day, I'm thankful for living here, for this being a democracy and well, in my humble opinion, being the best darned country in the world! And finally (ah, I know -you thought I'd never get there, didn't you?) I give thanks for having had the opportunity to have known one of the nicest guys ever! He was one person I have never heard anyone who knew him say a bad word about. He had a great personality and wit, eyes that twinkled when he saw you although you didn't know always if it was because he liked you and well, was just happy to see you or if it was because he had just thought of a really good joke or trick he could play on you! He once gave me the largest Avon order I've ever had -for 300 necklaces! Yes, 300 of 'em that I sold to him at my own "special" price, knocking of almost all of my profit so he could get this many identical necklaces to give out as gifts at a special awards dinner for which he was the manager! (And, I even spent almost 3 hours of my highly valuable time gift wrapping those little packages for him too! But it was worth it because that one order put me into first place in sales in my district and it took the other reps almost four months for the heavy-hitters in the sales arena to catch up to me and then, to take over the lead! I'm thankful for his decision to buy those items and that it not only helped me but it made him look darned good in the eyes of those women who received those little packages too! Tonight, I'm saying thank you to a good friend for the many, many times your smile, your wit, sense of humor as well as knowledge on a whole lot of things of interest to me too, never failed to bring a smile to my face. Those encounters over the years never failed to lift my spirits and the memories of your ability to do that is something for which I will be thankful that I knew you. Rest in peace, Meddy!

Monday, November 04, 2013

Getting Ducks in a Row! (Day 4)

This marks the 4th day of my posting things about which I am thankful. Amazing that I have made it even this far along without dropping the blog posting ball because I've become very -no make that EXTREMELY lax for a long time now pertaining to doing posts on my blog.

Putting it bluntly, I'm not sure if the laxity has been from just being somewhat overwhelmed at times with too many things to try to get done simultaneously, or if it is just from the sheer laziness that also overtakes me from time to time.

One of my problem areas though -among many -is trying to work on my embroidery projects as I do very much love doing needlework like that but when I need a whole lot of hours to work on embroidery, I can't read or type/write at the same time, ya know. And trust me when I tell you that embroidery takes a lot of time -a WHOLE LOT of it!

Blogging can take a good chunk of time too -especially if you're trying to just think of something to write about, that can be presented in at least a semi-tactful manner. Now, if I were to constantly overlook the tactful thing there -although there are plenty who think I'm often already way beyond being even slightly tactful in my posts -then perhaps it would be fairly easy to come up with some topics, toss a few ideas into the pot and stir to see what comes to the top.

Definitely wouldn't be like cream rising to the top though, that much you could be assured won't be happening here!

But anyway, enough digression for the moment now.

I've been busy today trying to calculate how many things I need to have done -either to my house, my car, myself -whatever -and how much money I'm going to have to shell out in order for these things to be attended to and done!

I have to get some funds released from my equity fund line of credit to cover the cost of getting the siding finished on the back of the house, get brakes and rotors put on my car, need a new windshield too for my car, get two new storm doors for the front and rear entrances to the house and a new need that cropped up Friday appears to be the expense now of getting a new water line installed to my house. I guess having a water line last 80-90 years without a failure is long enough to have received the money's worth that my grandparents had shelled out way, way back in the really dark ages of the 20s or possibly the 30s when they had a water line to the house installed here!

Now trust me, I'm not happy -not in the least -that I have to get those funds released over to my checking account so I can then get those things done. I don't mind spending money on fun things -like new clothes, furniture that's nice, gifts for the grandkids and even my kids too now and then. But I hate having to shell out what is going to be close to -or seem like -it's a small fortune.

But there are, in the midst of these necessary, even mandatory expenses, something else lurking in there.

Believe it or not, there are things there for which I really am very thankful!

For openers, the work I need done on my car -I'm thankful that my former son-in-law is willing to use his skills as a mechanic to put the brakes and rotors on my car and do it for next to nothing too because it's being done for me. I'm thankful that I can get a new windshield put in my car now so that my car -   hopefully,  will have one less item then that could hinder it getting reinspected come January. The siding has been on hold now for 22 years -yes, 22 years in the waiting to get it done and I'm thankful I found a good, reasonable and also honest, contractor lined up to finally get that finished up and make the house look much better for that effort.

And finally, much as I do hate the idea of having to have my old water line dug up and a new one installed -mainly because it will really deplete my equity line of credit a lot more than I had anticipated spending right now, even so, I am thankful -very, very thankful indeed, that back in June I filled out the papers and started the process of applying for a reverse mortgage because if I hadn't done that, then all these expenditures would be laying there, on my head and crushing me -or making me feel at the least, that I am being crushed right into the ground.

But now, I can feel like I'm a worthy home owner, just trying to get my house out of disarray and into being one that looks a lot more repectable from some of these actions!

Sunday, November 03, 2013

Applause! Applause! (Day 3)

This weekend I was blessed to have been able to drive down to Milroy and meet up with Mandy there and bring two of the lights of my life back home here with me. In the process, we also switched cars and I brought her car up here, while she took mine back to Middletown then.

The reason for the car switcheroo was so that Mandy's ex-husband (who is an auto mechanic) had found a set of tires that would fit her car and he got them by his normal methods of wheeling and dealing, trading this or that -as mechanics often do -so the tires then were ultra cheap for her plus he said he would put them on her car for her too as long as she got the car up here from Middletown.

And it was, as it always is, really great to have the grandkids here over the weekend. (Even though they do tend to squabble a good bit and there were some reprimands about one using excessive force on the other, overall things were fairly smooth.)

Saturday evening though, there was an event scheduled to take place in nearby Philipsburg -a fund raiser for the Front and Centre Theatre Company of Philipsburg. (This is the name of the group that Maya has been part of for the past 2-3 years now and she has been in several of the plays the group has done during that time span.) The group -F&CTC -is currently trying to find a location in Philipsburg that they can call their "home" -where the kids can congregate, practice and other activities pertaining to the production of plays in the future will take place.  

They even have a name picked out for this future "home" and it will be called "Pappy Jack's Place."

There is a little story behind that name for their future home though. It's really going to be called, officially, The Jack Weaver Memorial Center, but the nickname will be Pappy Jack's Place. And Pappy Jack was what the kids and staff all called the man who donated of his time and talents, over and over again, to build sets for the various plays, to help with costuming, to encourage the children who have been part of these plays as well as financial donations he and his wife frequently made to the group too. Pappy Jack just happened to be married to my cousin, Margaret Anne, so you see, he was related to me by marriage and Pappy Jack also passed away this summer, leaving a huge void not just within our family but also within the theatre company family as well.

So anyway, the fund raiser last night was called a "Ghost Walk" and what it amounted to was the theatre company researched various buildings and businesses that had once been a major part of Philipsburg and learned that several -actually many -of the locations where some of these businesses and buildings had been are reputed to being haunted today by ghosts!

I thought that perhaps the kids were both old enough that they could understand a good bit of the stories that would be shared with people taking a Ghost Walk Tour so I took Maya and Kurt and away we went then for this event.

I did get a few pictures along the walk of a couple of our stops, including one attempt at a video. Unfortunately, I didn't get the video clicked on at the very beginning of the soloist's performance and only caught, as a result, about 26 seconds of the song. However, the young man (he's only 15 years old) who did this song always impresses me with his talent as he does have a beautiful voice so I am going to post that little video I did get on here and you can hear him and judge for yourself how great a job he is capable of doing! So I give you Bennett Salter and his solo performance at the Ghost Walk in Philipsburg, PA on November 2, 2013.

 And that brings me to this being my Day 3 of Thankful postings.

Today, I am thankful for Front and Centre Theatre Company of Philipsburg, PA, for the guidance this group has provided to so many kids from this region, opportunities to learn, to gain self-confidence and perform before an audience, showing the kids how to do dance routines that would be very complicated for me to learn but somehow, they manage to get these kids to pick the steps and the process all up and it comes out great!

I'm thankful especially that Maya has had this opportunity afforded to her and the family has been amazed at how well she has done in the parts she's had now in at least 3 or 4 plays, possibly more -can't remember all of them offhand right now!

And I am also very thankful to see how appreciative this group has been of my cousin, Jack Weaver, and his work and contributions to the production of these plays. That they are naming their proposed center after him is a great memorial to Jack and a wonderful honor to his wife, children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren -as well as a whole lot of cousins too!

This group and the efforts of the staff, the kids and all the volunteers too who work long and hard on the sidelines to get these productions to come about and then, come to life on the stage deserves every bit of recognition possible and I'm thankful to have the opportunity to share this here with anyone and everyone I can!

Just a Little Bit Nippy!

Just got back in the house from taking Sam for our nightly walk and boy, I'm glad I wore my winter coat and wrapped a scarf around my neck too. Definitely needed the gloves or my fingers would have been icebergs for sure.

I don't know what the temperature reading is here tonight and I know it's no where near as low as it's going to be come January and February when we will be most likely be dealing with a lot of sub-zero temps here then, but baby it is pretty nippy out there tonight for early November.

Or maybe in my advancing years -my dotage -I'm just getting soft and my body doesn't handle the cold as easily as it used to do?

I dunno the answer there but I do know that I really hate to be cold and when the wind blows hard, snow swirling all about outside, and the forecaster says to throw another blanket on the bed tonight, I pay attention to those things then because I do tend to get cold faster now than I did just a few years ago.

Last year, I invested in two pair of long-johns to wear under my jeans for days when it's bitter cold and I still have to venture out to see to Sammy's needs. I wear layers of clothes too -long-sleeved turtle necks under heavy knit sweaters plus the long johns under my jeans even in the house to try to stay warm so as to not have to kick the thermostat up another notch and burn more fuel oil than is absolutely necessary too.

But the two parts of my body that bother me the most if/when they get cold are my toes and my nose and I've been giving some very serious consideration to getting apparel for my feet anyway, that would be heavy-duty insulated stuff, like hunters usually wear.

But the nose -that still remains a bit of an issue as to how to keep it from getting like a block of ice even when I'm in the house. Maybe something that would be thermic here would be available for that problem.

As much as I do hate my nose getting really cold -and that also then tends to make my whole body cold then too -I would probably be willing to try just about anything to fend off the frostbite and constant flow from my nostrils then too!

Saturday, November 02, 2013

Thank You - Day Two!

I shouldn't say this, I suppose, because my track record for continuity has pretty much been slim to none for a long, long time now, but as I start writing this post, I think this is pretty good for me -the second day now in a row of trying to compose a post about things for which I have to give thanks.

When you are my age, it's pretty difficult to decide exactly what you want to say that makes you thankful because after this many years, there's a really abundant supply of that kind of stuff to write about.

It's just hard to figure out what thing should come ahead of another though!

I'm going to live dangerously here in these posts about giving thanks though and maybe mention things I shouldn't -at least in some people's minds they might feel that way. But these are my thoughts, my remembrances, things I like (or somethings perhaps I really DON'T like as I should too). I am, however, a very sentimental person by nature though so if the things I am thankful to have now or have had in my life offend some, I do apologize. You can always do the same thing too, you know, and share the things that make you thankful too, you see!

Why is that?

Well, it's because it's a free country, you see!

And I am exercising my right to Freedom of Speech -in which I can say whatever I darned well please here because, after all, it is MY Blog, isn't it?

However, before I go any further, let me also say this about this Freedom of Speech thing.

Yes, for the most part, we all do have that right to speak freely, to write or say what we think about this, that or some other thing, event, person, etc., that's only partially true. Well, at least in my book that's the way it is anyway.

I can think, write, talk -whatever I choose -and I can in that respect THINK I can say whatever I want but the catch to that is that whatever we may say or write, etc., can only be considered to be Freedom of Speech as long as what we write, think, say is something that is not a falsehood or exaggeration of a person, time or event, and especially if that thing doesn't cause another person to be harmed or slammed or is not a libelous commentary!

And my thoughts on that are this -I am thankful that, for the most part, I can say whatever I like and having that particular freedom available to me, that I don't abuse that rule of our system.

And when one thinks of how in other countries this type of freedom may never be stated either in public or even, in private, I think Oh My, this really is the possibly more than likely the opposite in that many other governments don't allow anything even remotely close to being this freedom that we all are lucky enough to have been made for use by any of us!

Freedom of Speech then -with tact, I would say -(and yes, I'm still trying very hard to learn how to be tactful) is the best freedom of all within the inner workings of our lives then!

And with that, I leave you with one more thought -to give thanks for that piece of freedom!

What's That Light?

The other night when I had Sammy out for his late night stroll, I saw something that tweaked my curiosity and, I admit, at first it kind of unnerved me too.

As I looked down the road, there was something down at the end of the road here that appeared to have way more lights than I'd seen around these parts before and it didn't look quite like the lights were on a vehicle.

Hmmm. What in blazes is that anyway was the question running through my mind then.

And being naturally curious -okay, more than that -downright nosy my kids would probably say -I decided Sam and I needed to change the direction of our walk that night and head down in the direction of those lights just so I could ascertain what they were from!

I took getting pretty much "up close and personal" for me to see -eventually -what the lights were though.

Turns out, they were big, sort of overhead kind of lights on a truck that was hauling a trailer on which the driver had a backhoe type piece of equipment loaded there.

As I had approached, got closer, at first I had thought it was a big truck with a dump trailer until I realized it was just someone loading up the little back hoe that had been used that day in the process of digging a ditch for our neighbors down the street!

Good thing I didn't see that on Halloween night though or I might have gone back inside in a hurry and been thinking those big lights were indicating some aliens from outer space had finally discovered this little village and were here to either take it over or remove parts of the town and leave -taking people and their houses with them!

Funny, isn't it, the things that can enter one's imagination at times!

Friday, November 01, 2013

Goblins All Gone

Tonight was the big night, as I'm sure everyone knows, when the witches and goblins and ghosts come out and prowl around, begging for treats!

But tonight was quite different than it has been the last so many years in that we had a mere 17 kids come around, all decked out in their imaginary finest.

Usually, we've had at least twice that number and often well over that figure too. Perhaps it was the weather as it was misty, rainy, but thankfully for one small favor -it was warm! Parents at least didn't have to try to fit heavy winter jackets or even snowsuits over their kids in their costumes as has been the case on many a Halloween night in the past!

Because it is now November and with November comes Thanksgiving, I'm going to try something I haven't done for a long, long time here.

I'm going to try my level best to keep on track here and hopefully post something every day from now up through Thanksgiving day and I'm also going to try to put something in each of these upcoming posts for which I am thankful too!

And tonight -what is it that I am choosing in the being thankful realm?

Tonight, I am thankful that we had a warm evening and no concerns at least that kids would get frost bite while out trick or treating!

Nice job and many thanks to Mother Nature for being so kind and cooperative today!

I Hate Decisions!

Boy, as if I don't confuse or get rattled about lots of things easily already, now -since I'm back selling good old Avon Products again, and seeing the myriad of things they offer in the parade of new items every campaign now and through Christmas, it really makes my head spin!

I've been trying to pick out a few things I like from each campaign book and stash them back for presents for this one or that one. Now, I have a list that is very long of things in the current and next book that I'm thinking of purchasing too. Way too much stuff and yet, for so many years I had virtually nothing, no extra coins at all, with which to get gifts so it is nice that this year, I can buy at least a few things for the grandkids, great-granddaughter and even my own kids too!

I saw something in one of their special flyers though (the "outlet" books) that they have from time to time that really caught my eye. They have two different little wrist watches on sale at a really, really good price and I'm thinking they might make a great gift -one for Miss Maya and one for Cassidy too.  One is a gingerbread face watch and the other is a peppermint candy face watch. Both very cute, sized that they would fit a child's wrist and affordable to me at the same time. Hmmm. Maybe.....

 Granted these are not Tissot watches as that's still no where near my affordable price range, plus those aren't for small children anyway. But they are really cute and well, looking more and more enticing every day.

Well, I should correct that a bit now maybe as I just realized that now Avon has a "light-up" watch for Princess Sofia too!

Hmmmm. Should I think about that one maybe? Well, I might give it some thought but there is no way I'm going to spring for that plus the Princess Sofia doll too for Kurtis! LOL