All the good stuff

My ex has two aunts who live in Dallas and I was always pretty close to them during all the years we were married.  When we divorced, the battle lines were, unfortunately, drawn and some of his family, whom I had known for 30 years, did not want to have anything to do with me any more.  It was sad, especially,  to lose nieces and nephews I’d watched grow up. Nevertheless, there are several family members who have stayed in touch and maintained relationships with me (even becoming friendly with Rich after we got together).  These aunts are in the latter category and we always have a lot of fun when we have a chance to meet.  Last month, Sarah and I went to lunch with them and we decided we’d set a date each month so it didn’t fall by the wayside.  A few days ago, I was to pick up one aunt and thought about texting before I left my house but I figured she would be ready. Imagine our surprise when I knocked on the door and she answered in her robe!  We both had a good laugh and she quickly got dressed so we could go.  We met up with the other aunt (they are sisters in law, were married to brothers who are now deceased) and had a great time at lunch, talking and laughing and catching up.  One of them just turned 80 and the other is 90! Love these ladies!

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Beck’s 7th birthday was on Thanksgiving and they were out of town, as were we.  Since then it’s been one thing after another and we finally managed to have a little birthday outing with him a few days ago.  We’d asked him if there was something he wanted to do, somewhere he wanted to go, or if he just wanted to pick out a gift and have a snack.  He chose to go to Toys R Us and then to stop for a treat.  Easy, right??  Well, not so much!  Note to self: Toys R Us is too big and overwhelming and overstimulating for a kid to make a choice if he doesn’t have something in mind already.  Beck loves Legos but has a million of them and Sarah said he did not need any more since he has still not finished putting together a large set he got for his birthday. I knew he really wanted to look at the Legos but he walked on by and started perusing the other shelves.  Oh, my goodness, we walked up and down every aisle once, twice, three times, four.  The only thing he *really* wanted was a $150 R2D2 robot.  We told him we were sorry but that was too much money.  He was sweet about it but we could tell he really wanted it. We encouraged him to look for smaller, similar items but that was not cutting it.  So we wandered some more. I even told him he could get Legos if that’s what he truly wanted, so what if his mom said no! LOL We suggested some educational things like science experiments or a microscope or art projects but he was not interested.  He finally picked a couple of little packages of Star Wars characters and I told him since they were small, he could get something else.  This led to more wandering around the store. At one point, he did say, “We could be on our way home if I got that robot.” Funny boy!  Eventually we found ourselves in the nerf gun section.  I don’t like toy weapons and will usually not buy them for any of the kids but by then I was worn down and when Rich spied a four-pack of little guns, Beck was excited that he could have some friends over and divide up into teams and shoot at each other. So I said okay and off we went.  Thankfully he was pleased with his choices by the end; we were afraid he would just settle for something, anything, and be disappointed soon after.  But he was sweet and thankful and happy–he really is such a good kid.  Rich said next time we will just buy any of the grands a gift of our choosing and present it to him or her instead of torturing them with so many choices and decisions.  Lesson learned!  We asked Beck if he wanted to go somewhere and get a snack so he suggested his favorite place, 7-11, to get a slushie and a treat.  🙂  We love this kid!

Tuesday was my last day of volunteer work till after the new year. We had a little party and Rich was nice enough to make homemade tomato soup and croutons to go in it.  The weather was terrible, pouring down rain–just what I needed on a day when I was hauling a bunch of stuff!  We had a nice time, the soup was a big hit, and we all brought home little gifts from each other.  I love these ladies, too!

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Now we are on Day Two of what I am calling our Six Days of Quietude.  Sarah, Miles and kids have gone to Colorado for Christmas and we will not have Susan’s kids till the 26th.  We do not often have so many days by ourselves and we don’t really hang out with anyone in Dallas other than family. So far we’ve done housework and laundry, had a flat tire on the car, got the tire repaired, did some shopping and gift wrapping, watched some TV, read, went out to eat, and today I made another big haul at the thrift store–score!

25497961_10210683076569494_4292776563060692455_n13 books, 13 toy vehicles, 3 little journals, a word-find book, a jump rope, 3 whiffle balls, plus a holiday “peace” decoration for me.  $21 minus a $10 credit I had earned, minus a special holiday scratch-off for $5 more.  So, in essence, all of that for 6 bucks!  I am proud!  The kids’ room is getting pretty well stocked so it might be time for me to quit!

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Queen of the Thrift Store

We didn’t have a thrift store in Unalaska and I don’t really remember shopping in them in my past life in Abilene.  I do recall going to the Army Surplus store as a teenager to look for bell bottoms and army jackets, though. Oh, those low slung jeans with the wide bells were the coolest!

I’ve been to a few thrift stores here in Dallas, just browsing, mostly, and they were a mess.  I really could hardly stand to be there because there was no rhyme or reason to the set up and I basically had to dig through piles of stuff to find anything.  And then didn’t find anything I wanted! So I figured that was it for me: no thanks! However, I drive past a large thrift store every Tuesday on my way home from volunteer work and thought I’d look around one day. Oh, my goodness!  This store is amazing!  It’s organized!  It’s clean!  No digging! Everything’s labeled!  Clothes are hung on racks by size and color! There’s a big section in the back full of toys and games! It looks like a modest department store.

Now I am a regular.  I have a loyalty card.  I know I get a senior discount on Mondays and Wednesdays. I am thrilled when I walk back in and there are new and different items on the shelves.  They are replenished constantly, thanks to the generosity of Dallas neighbors cleaning out their closets.

Although I have bought a few clothing items, notably some brand new capri pants with tags still on for $2, I mostly head for the kids’ section.  I am stocking our second bedroom with toys, games and puzzles for the grandkids when they come to visit since we literally had nothing for them here.

Here’s what I got on my last trip for a total of $11! Yes, $11!  One game was unopened.  The books were 33 cents each!  I’ve bought quite a few toys, picture frames, knick-knacks for our shelves, baby clothes for a teen mom that my daughter is mentoring, baskets and pots for plants, and more. Why would I ever buy this stuff at a regular store again?

Do you shop in thrift stores?  If so, what’s your best find?

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