Junkin' and Thriftin' Life Memoirs

Not my day. . .

Have you ever had a day when nothing went right, when you felt like you should have just stayed in bed?  I imagine we all have.
Today was that kind of day for me.

Image from here
It started last night when I knelt down on the end of my porch to turn off the water faucet for the soaker hose in my front flower bed.
I watch out for snakes and spiders but I didn’t prepare myself for falling.  When I tried to stand up I fell backwards, hitting my hip and leg hard on the porch.  Ouch!
Image from here

Today was going okay until I decided to change my plans and visit my antiques booth today instead of tomorrow.  I drove past the Pink Pistol in Lindale and was dreaming of the treasures inside when a police car emerged from its hiding place and followed me with its lights flashing.

Image from here

No siren, though.  I’m thankful for the little things.  But the officer said he clocked me at 62 in a 40 mph zone!  Really?  I never speed!  Or at least I try not to.  But this time I was daydreaming and not paying attention.
Even mentioning the name of a former student who is an officer in the Lindale police force didn’t help.  He issued me a citation.
He did lower my top speed to 55, though.
Again, I’m thankful for the little things.
But where will that $130 come from?

Not my booth.  When I got to my booth, feeling sick at my stomach and ashamed of myself, I found only a couple of things gone, and something that I thought had sold was back in my booth.  I even asked the mall owner how much I have made so far this month, and it is only $16.  I may not make my rent this month.

What a day.  Yes, it could have been much worse.  I could have been injured last night when I fell.  I could have been in an accident or the officer could have written the true speed on the citation.
I still have to tell the hubs about my ticket.
Ugh, the day just gets better.
Now where were those cookies? 

“Nobody loves me; everybody hates me,
I’m gonna go out to my garden and eat some worms!”  (song my Grandma used to sing)

Hope you have a better day!


Life Memoirs Uncategorized

On Getting Old(er)

I  recently had a birthday.  They seem to come around more often these days.  I’m officially NOT young anymore.  There ain’t no way around it.

Image from here

To rephrase the words of Sammy Hagar:  “I can’t BE 55!”

Me at one year of age, circa 1960

How did it happen?  One minute I am 16, going to my church sweetheart banquet, the next I am wondering where these extra 30 (or 40 or 50) pounds came from.  My kids are grown and I am middle-aged.  Wasn’t it just yesterday when I was a young mother with babies?  And a couple of days ago that I was a young bride?

My first grade school picture, circa 1965.

Where did the time go?  And wait, can’t I rewind, or at least pause?

Newlyweds, 1980.

When you are raising children the days sometimes seem very long.  As a young mother I rose early to get ready for work, fixed breakfast and dressed my young children, took them to daycare and school, went to work, picked them up from school, ran them to and from their activities, cooked and fed them dinner, helped with homework, and then bathed and put them to bed.  The days were long indeed.  But all of a sudden it was over.  They grew up without me looking.
Now I spend my evenings wondering where the years went.
Someone once said about raising children:  “The days are long but the years are short.”

With my children in 1996, on vacation in Colorado.

I understand now.  It is so true. I can hardly watch videos of my children growing up without getting all choked up with tears.
I can still hear their little voices while they played or when they called to me.  I can still hear their joyful laughter.

Maybe this is why grandchildren are so precious to their grandparents.  I don’t know about that yet, but if the Lord is willing and wishes to bless me in that way, someday I may find out.

In the meantime, I will remind young parents that the days are long but the years are short.  They won’t listen.  I didn’t.  But they will remember when their children are grown.  And they will have these bittersweet feelings as well.

It’s the circle of life.  It’s meant to be.
But nobody ever said it would be easy.

Me on the far left with my son Matthew, new son-in-law Bryan, daughter Natalie, daughter-in-law Taylor, and husband Jimmy, 2012.  

Even though my joints profess their age quite loudly sometimes, it still seems impossible.  I can’t BE 55!

Junkin' and Thriftin' Life Memoirs

Mature Musings Monday: A Collector’s Realization

I spent my 20’s, 30’s, and 40’s obtaining stuff.  First it was stuff for my apartment.  When I rented my first apartment I moved in with a bed, a hope chest, a drab bookshelf that leaned against the wall, and a laundry basket.  Thanks to Fingerhut, I was able to collect towels and cookware on teeny monthly payments, and my mom was able to spare me a few kitchen items. 

After hubby brought in his stereo and we added another chair.
My boyfriend (who became my husband) bought me a particle board dresser and a used living room chair and couch, and his sister gave us a folding dining table with chairs.  That was the beginning of my “stuff.”

When we expanded to a small mobile home, we collected more furniture and decorative items.  After our son was born, the necessity for a bigger house became a priority so we moved into small house and obtained even more stuff.  Our son’s stuff alone filled up his room and then some.  We used the extra bedroom for storage of stuff that didn’t go anywhere.

Matt with his new Christmas “stuff”, 1987.
Then our daughter came along and we were forced to clear that room out for her.  As they grew, they amassed more stuff and so did we.  I decided to start collecting Raggedy Ann dolls, born out of a childhood love for the dolls and stories, and soon I had over 200 dolls, books, and other items in my collection.  In the meantime, hubby collected guns and model cars, and my children collected toys, toys, and more toys.
Natalie in her room before the invasion of Raggedy Anns.

It didn’t register that someday I might not want these items any more.  My home became nicely furnished, our collections nicely displayed, and people who visited made nice comments.  When did our collections become too much?
I can’t pinpoint it, but I think it was when my children left home. Suddenly I had all this stuff and didn’t like it any more.  I redecorated Matt’s room and boxed up his stuff, and when he got a home, I gave it to him, whether he wanted it or not.  Natalie is about to move from a tiny RV into a real house, so her room will finally be cleared out.  Whatever she leaves will be thrown out, donated, or returned to her.

In the meantime, I have had a realization.  I don’t need all this stuff any more!  I decided that I could start selling this stuff on Ebay and Etsy, and I opened a booth in an antiques mall, and I still have so much I could furnish a whole ‘nother booth!

I have stopped collecting.  No, not really.  I have stopped collecting so much, and as often.  But the difference is this:  now I look for items that I can resell or repurpose and resell.  I have many things in my home that I am keeping until I can resell them.  Many things will go into my booth or online.
Part of my Kennedy book collection and panda collection.
Part of my wedding cake topper collection with some of my Raggedy Ann books in the background.
Part of my Raggedy Ann collection.
Part of my Raggedy Ann figurine collection.
Hubby’s model car collection.
Part of my Big Boy bank collection.
Part of my clock and our Boston terrier figurine collections.
In spite of what these photos may indicate, I am not a hoarder, and it’s not that I don’t still love antique and vintage things, and experience the thrill of the hunt when I find a special item.  But I don’t have to keep them now.  I can get the same enjoyment from buying something and placing it in my booth to enjoy until someone else buys it.  I can pass items on to someone else who can appreciate them after I have enjoyed them for awhile.

By the way, if you need something or are looking for something special, please let me know.  I might have it!

Junkin' and Thriftin' Memoirs

Thrifty Thursday: The very definition of the word

Lots of blogs and magazines these days talk about thriftiness and all its benefits.  Thrift stores abound, especially in big cities as people who choose shopping as recreation purge their homes of extra stuff and out-of-date decor.  But what exactly is thriftiness?  While thinking about how I was brought up by parents who each grew up in six-children homes on one income, and me in a one-income, blue-collar home with three siblings, I came up with some synonyms, scenarios, and serious definitions.  (Wow, what a sentence!)

To be thrifty is to:
  • Feed a husband and four children a once-a-week supper of ground beef and tortillas, allotting each child three tacos.  Sometimes my mother let my brother have four because he was the boy.
Us four children circa 1968.  I am at the top right.
  • Unpack boxes of hand-me-downs from the cousins every spring and fall.  Three girls in their family meant the clothes had already been worn three times before coming to our house to be worn three more times!  Except I was the oldest cousin so sometimes I was too big already for some of the clothing.
  • Buy Barbeque Fritos with my snack bar money, sneak them home, and hide the package under the couch to eat one by one while I watched TV.  If my siblings discovered I had Fritos, they would have eaten them all!  And no, I can’t find BBQ Fritos anymore, but Chili Cheese Fritos are very similar and still one of my favorites!
Image from here
  • Stand in line in the school cafeteria every Monday morning to pay for the week’s lunches for us four children.  It was my assigned duty because I was the oldest and most trustworthy with Daddy’s check.  It was always an anxious time for me because I worried about being late to class.  But then, I worried about everything when I was little.
  • Have Mama make my prom dresses.  Hey, it was the 70’s.  It wasn’t THAT bad.
  • Have a grandma who modeled thriftiness by shopping at Goodwill and remaking dresses to fit herself.  She proudly showed them off to us when we visited.
My beautiful Grandma Nunn in the 70’s.

  • Eat out at Whataburger where my dad bought six hamburgers and six Cokes and had us sit outside at the picnic tables in the back.  I didn’t taste fries until I was in junior high school.  I didn’t eat in at a real restaurant until I was in high school!
Image from here
I could go and on with many other definitions of thrifty, but I will save it for another day.  To paraphrase the most interesting man in the world,
“Stay thrifty, my friends!”
fall Life Memoirs

Wait for it Wednesday: Fall Fashion Preview!

Ever since I was a preteen I have loved looking at models in fashion magazines.  In sixth grade I fell in love with the Partridge Family and David Cassidy, of course, but when I found out that Susan Dey, who played the older sister on the show, was also a model, I saved up my small allowance and bought a Seventeen magazine with her photo on the cover.  I even noticed the ads in Archies comic books for models and wished I could have flown to New York to try my luck. I was small for my age, and when I stopped growing at 5’2″ I realized that my dream of becoming a model would probably never happen.

Image from here  Keith Partridge was my first real crush!
Image from here  Susan Dey, aka Laurie Partridge, on the cover.

So my love of science and literature and writing took over.  However, one thing remains–my giddy anticipation of the fall fashion magazines.  Not that I could ever afford most of the clothing pictured, but I could see how outfits were put together, color schemes, types of shoes and bags, etc., etc.  It just made the dog days of August a bit more bearable as I dreamed of cooler weather with clothes that covered more of my fair white skin!

Image from here This is the 2011 fall fashion cover.
Today the giddy returned.  Decades later, I still felt the same excitement when the Fall Fashion issues of InStyle and Marie Claire arrived in the mail.  I couldn’t wait to plop down and pour over the photos of fashion trends and outfits.  Such a treat to find out that short boots are all the rage, and that feathers, fur, and fringe are what to wear this upcoming fall season. 

Look of the Day photo | Mossimo
Image from here  This would look so cute with a jacket, tights, and short boots!
Look of the Day photo | Channel Your Inner Biker
Image from here  Love that fringe and leather look!
We're Obsessed
Image from here   The heel is a bit too high for my feet, but I love that pattern!
I could do like everyone else and hit the malls, but oh no, I accept the far greater challenge of finding outfit pieces at thrift stores.  What a triumph it will be when I put together an outfit worthy of the pages of InStyle on a fraction of the cost others will pay.  And maybe I will post photos on here!  Stay tuned. . .