Thrift Store Shopping Breakdown...

After last week's fun refreshing post on thrifting, I kept thinking of more I had to say on the topic and a couple of commenters mentioned not finding those kinds of deals or having not thrifted before.  (Just so you know, spell-check is having a cow over my use of thrift as a verb.  Clearly spell-check is making all the money it can stand to spend and doesn't know that thrift is an action. Same to you and more of it, Spell-check.)  Here, for your perusal is are some preliminary thoughts on getting started with happy thrifting.

1) Go to the right store (a) In our community, we have a number of different ones... Goodwill, Salvation Army, Area Rescue Ministry, and Habitat for Humanity all have multiple stores in our area.  The brands and the individual stores all have personalities of their own.  Some have the best clothes, some have the best used furniture, or housewares.
2) Go to the right store (b) In our community, donations are kept in the neighborhood in which they were donated.  Better neighborhood = better stuff.  Don't avoid the one in the older neighborhood, just know.  IF you want better stuff than your neighbors would donate, you may travel to one where they are donating nicer things ("don't eat where you poop").  If you live in the best neighborhood in town, you may want to travel to the opposite (there are "fabulous new" and "fabulous old" neighborhoods, right?) 
3) Pricing... Thrift stores are feeling the pinch like every other kind of business.  I am paying a bit more than I would have three years ago.  The increase is across the board.  If you know about what the item would sell for new in the store, you can decide if the price is acceptable to you.  I got a shirt for Men's Banana Republic dress shirt for Mickey on the weekend for $6.  Three years ago, it would have been $3.50-ish. It's In like-new condition. Expensive is relative.
4) Get it.  It won't be there when you come back.  Unless it's Pfaltzgraff stoneware.
5) Know your self (a). I have learned, for example, that I love ANN TAYLOR, but only thought I loved LAND'S END.  Eddie Bauer slacks never fit me. No cut, or style.  Ever. I was surprised to discover that I end up with a lot of Tommy Hilfiger (which I thought was a trendy poser brand.) because they are durable, launder nicely, and fit me. My girls know what I am looking for, and if they come across something as they shop, they wave it at me.
6) Know yourself (b). I don't shop men's much, or furniture much.  Toys.  Never.  Last week's killer shoes were found by a daughter who cannot lay off shoes.  Thank God, because I would never have found them.  I shop clothing, housewares and a little furniture.  I have a weird attraction for vintage kitchen stuff.  That's okay.  The money you save will go towards those things you don't thrift for.
7) There is a serendipitous aspect of satisfying thrifting.  If you have a minute to kill.  Dash through.  You may find something you knew you would need soon, at a price you can really work with.
8) Take your kids sometimes. Sometimes they are fun to have along, and they will learn something whether you are teaching or not.  My girls don't necessarily love it right now (because of wealthy peers), but they have "mad skilz".  I am proud of it.
9) Don't take them all the time.  Just like in everything else.  They are glad you have something going on this afternoon so they don't have to be constantly supervising your every move.
10) Find out the calendar and use the sale days...or better, shop before the sale day.
11) Our public school publishes a coupon book.  All the major thrift chains have coupons.  Most of them are good multiple times.  Does your school coupon book offer these?
12) Thrifting is good practice spending time with people who are not just like you.  Be prepared before you go to enjoy people watching.  (Read: It can be a freak show.)  Many of these people will want to visit.  They are probably harmless.  The workers don't care if you are friendly or not.  This may be regional.

I feel like there is so much to say, but 12 is already too many for a list. Good luck thrifting, and please let me know your best tips and if you find a treasure.  How do you find the best for less?


Quickie Rapture Rant

Good Moroning ( that was a typo, but I like it and may use it again).

I became aware late Wednesday that people were discussing the return of Jesus Christ to bring His Children home was tentatively scheduled for today.

By someone other than God.

That was my first clue that the reports were greatly exaggerated.

The Bible says, "No man knows the day or the hour."  "It will come suddenly, like labor pains on a pregnant woman..."   "Like thief in the night..."

One of the Bible verses the preacher who is bravely predicting what so many others have tried and failed to predict accurately is Second Peter 3:8:

But do not let this one fact escape your notice, beloved,
that with the Lord one day is like a thousand years,
and a thousand years like one day.

What he fails to do, in my (non-Bible teacher, non-seminary degreed) opinion is to consider this verse in its context.  The context of the passage is not the rapture, but final judgement.  A huge eschatological bite to chew(so I won't), but nearer and more delicious to my heart is the very next verse:

The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness,
but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish
but for all to come to repentance.

That is the description of a Father God of love and mercy*

not a so-so parent like me.

When a child decides to make this a battle of wills.

I am in no hurry.

They aren't believing in me in that moment...not trusting me to have the answers for their momentary desires.

But I believe in them.

I know they will respond to the truth.

If I push it will take longer.

If anyone or anything tries to speed up the process...

The learning takes longer.

The restoration of fellowship happens later.

We lose precious time.

It seems like a thousand years,

But afterwards it was only the twinkling of a wise and loving parent's eye.

Father,  Bless Harold.  If he is afraid to die and would like to be changed.  Change him.  If he just wants to be proved right before men, instruct him in your love.  In Jesus name, Amen.

*If you would like to know more about a Father God of love and mercy, I invite you visit this link.


Writer's Workshop: 10 Good Things about Mickey

My Top Ten  Favorite People are.... Oh wait, one of my favorite people...top ten about them.  Got it.

Dang, my top ten favorite people was going to be fun because of who I could leave off in no particular order, but I don't have time to screw around because I am busy teaching 13 year-olds what amounts to class or crass in a world where "pole-dancing fitness class" is advertised on the evening news.


...in no particular order, as the order is subject to change on a given day.

1. His name is Mickey.  Being from Upstate New York, his dad was a Yankees fan. When his mom emerged from the general anesthesia, the deed was done. Mickey Charles.  After Number Seven, Mickey Mantle--Oklahoman and Greatest Switch Hitter of all time.  She thought she'd show him, she'd add her maiden name, as her dad's name was Charles Murlin.  The Mick's wife's name?  You guessed it.  Merlyn.
 2. Blue Eyes.

A switch hitter with blue eyes.

3.My husband is "crazy-good" at his job.  A number of his peers, gifted people in their own right, are baffled that the man just doesn't realize the scope of his ability. Who am I to argue?

Being crazy good at his job.

4. His patience. We will celebrate our 20th anniversary this July.  He hasn't thrown poo at the boss and come home and announced "Daddy's gonna be working from home, now.  Won't that be fun!"  Knock. On. Wood.  (Oops.  Um, Hey.  Honey, could you give me a call.  I have a quick question.)  [Don't think, friends. It's not a paying game.]

a very patient facial expression 

4. I love to watch him mow the lawn.  Or swing a golf club.  Or play ball with the children in the backyard.
5. He practically never tells me, "No."
6. He never gets ready in the morning the same way twice.  Has no idea.  God knew that a man with a good solid case of OCD would create a "kill or be killed"scenario with me.  Or maybe murder-suicide.  Either way, an undesirable situation.  That said....
7. He is currently pretending to have overcome his obsession with the time.  He consults the atomic clock GMT online to set his Timex Ironman Triathlon,which he then uses to set all the clocks in his world.

Timex T5K156 Ironman Digital Watch

Yet.  He is seldom on time.

 He NEVER removes the watch.

Separately from the fact that he doesn't call when he is derailed from his mission to travel the 1.68 mi. from his desk to our front door.  I think this is about as good as it gets in the personal idiosyncrasy department. He could be a hunter.**
 8. This song:

He was 15 the summer it came out.  He seems to bear no ill-will toward Toni Basil.  He tunes it out (or, alternatively,  last night, he did that head-tilt thing like A Night at the Roxbury).
9. When he finally makes a decision, it is practically fool-proof.
   9a. He ALWAYS consults me.
His consulting-with-me-at-the-pizza-place posture.
10. He laughs at my jokes.  (Sometimes, he hides and laughs at my jokes.  I don't know why.)  He lets people think I am the funny one.
Found on my camera. 1 of 20.  Ha Ha.  Batteries cost money, Bub.

11. He loves Jesus.  Me.  The kids.  The first dog.  Baseball.  Coffee. Architecture. Golf.  Coca Cola. The second dog.  In that order, right, Honey?

This post is being linked to Mama Kat's Writer's Workshop.  Please follow the link to join in.

**I compare with the husbands of my acquaintances.  He hates this.  But seriously, it reminds me how lucky I am that the worst habit my husband has is a pleasure compared to the stuff I know about my friends' husbands.  To say nothing of what I don't know.  Doesn't everyone do this?


Wordful Wednesday: Good Things

What I really loved to do, back when, was thrifting.  Over the years, I have come home with some real treasures( Bread Machine I have had for years and is still working $5, Joseph Abboud suit my husband is still wearing...$7).  Since the REALLY tight times struck, I have felt as though we can afford nothing so there is no need to go shopping.

Thursday last week, I found myself in need of super hero costumes.  A thrift store safari was in order.

I am fairly certain we found the object of our search, but-who-the-heck-really-knows?

In the course, I rediscovered my first love.

Tres jolie, non?

That is a five (5).  But.  They were 35% off.

I was captivated...and apparently, I am cheaply had. 

My tailored side was not to be left out.  Linen.  Straight from the dry cleaners.

 Not. Kidding.

Also found: another pair of shoes, a child's primary colored bookshelf, "Wonder Twin" purple t-shirts, and a cobalt blue tea kettle...Total $36.00*

Rediscovering the bliss of rescuing precious things others have left behind...priceless.

This post is being linked with Wordless Wednesday at Parenting by Dummies and Seven Clown Circus.

"I'm sharing my awesome with Momma Made It Look Easy and you can too."

*the thrift stores held no better cameras. Yeah, I get that this is really for showing off you camera skills as well as your kids.


WW: Mother's Day

In my previous post, I referred to getting a visit with my friend.  A visit with old friends is a good thing.  It was like we just picked up where we left off.

-Small Fry arguing the correct word for what you wear under your clothes is: "KNICKERS".  "UNDERWEAR!"  "KNICKERS!"  "UNDERWEAR!"  with a look on his face of pure delight as his sister fumed.  Then shortly later, the car is filled with a greasy stank.  He inhales deeply and asks,"Do you smell that?" We need to think about getting a bigger vehicle.
-We arrived at our destination at the exact same time as our friends.
-They are all central time zone people and I am a NOT night person who lives in the eastern time zone.  I went to bed at 3:00a.m. my time both nights.  I was so tired I was nearly sick.  It was completely worth it.
-My girls hung out with their friends.  Good friends.  Friends they need to see more often.  We were there no more than an hour when I noticed the "frenzy on the inside" was missing.
-The Lord spoke to us this weekend.  Collectively.  So crazy.  Not in an audible voice, but while we visited and worked side by side, we kept finding we were of one mind.  Funny, that, since the other two families are embarking on a highly unusual partnership.  Mr S. and I just thought we were there to be nosy.  But we are drawn...welcomed.  Wait, what?  They felt it, too.
-It was so good to have a sister nearby who stood alongside and helped me set my feet on the ground.
She said what God said, "Be free".
-There was a lot of bacon involved.  There was just a lot of food.
-We met new people.  Some of them are already those we'd call again.
-The Lord may have even whispered a little message about the blog.
-Even now that we are home there is an echo that doesn't seem to be fading away.
-I hope.

Sorry buddy, it's Mother's Day, I am picking the photos that I look better in.

Well, scratch that. 

And again.

We didn't earn and don't deserve the grace poured over us this weekend.

I am linking up with Wordful Wednesday at Parenting by Dummies and Seven Clown Circus.


PYHO: Real Emotions

Apparently, it isn't ADD.  The doctor is ready to phone in an Rx for anti-depressants at any time(if I decide they are right for me, I can call him without having to go in).  I am not comfortable with this.  I find a lot of logical and physiological contradictions in the use of anti-depressants for people who are simply stressed more than the average for longer than is okay.

The meds are a miracle of modern medicine, but not everyone needs a miracle.  For those who do need a miracle, they are an important part of life.  And Tom Cruise those who have never needed them have no right to judge or condemn their use.*

I have taken anti depressant medication before.  That is how I know I am still in a place where the trade off is not worth it.  For me.  Right now.

I love nothing more than a laugh and I couldn't feel the laugh. I could stand off to the side and think, "That is really funny." But I couldn't feel it. Which tells me that there were other things I wasn't feeling.  Apparently, if you don't feel the sad, you don't get the happy either. You get the middle; neither happy nor sad.

My philosophical position on my own personal situation has changed, and I am not at all uncomfortable or ashamed to hold that position:

God made our emotions for a purpose.  Scripture shows Jesus in the negatives as well as the positives and the heroes of the Old Testament in all sorts of crazy.  There are signals in emotions that are meant to be examined.  What do I fear?  What frustrates me?  What do I crave?  What gives me peace, love, hope, or joy?  What just pisses me off?  Do I laugh at appropriate things-- kids playing or a good joke?  Or inappropriate things-- funerals or finding out a friend's relationship has ended?

These kinds of questions and answers help us care for ourselves and others and manage our lives.  When we turn off the mechanisms that help us feel, there better be a really good reason why. 

The stress here has been going for a long time. Even before we moved to [Little City] from [Big City], a friend told me, "If I had the kind of stress you have I would have a breakdown." That was seven or eight years ago.

A whisper is on the wind.  The possibility of change.  For Mother's Day, I get to visit with my best friend.  She might be moving near.  Both husbands are telling us not to run ahead of the Lord, but we are busily creating a WWCMD (What Would C and Maggie Do?) bracelet for the Jesus to wear.  Just kidding.

I am not there yet.

Today, I am Pouring My Heart Out @ Things I Can't Say.