A NEW GAME

I love my grandson.  I adore my grandson.  Since he was an infant we have shared our days together (along with other grandmother).  We have enjoyed wonderful days together as I’ve watched him grow.

I’ve watched as the toys have changed  signaling new skills or interests.  We’ve gone from rattles and chewy things to pull toys and toys that easily amuse.  We’ve gone through big fat Legos to millions of teeny tiny ones that hurt like OUCH!!! when you step on them.  We progressed from Play Doh to Mr. Potato Head…along with his missus!  He fell in love with the movie CARS…and we have no less than 75 of the delightful people/cars to inhabit my our studio.  Of course they have an entire city consisting of pastures, and drive ins and car shops and tire stores and a junk yard for Mater!  We have progressed from stuffed animals to the Disney characters to the Monsters, Inc family to the whole gang from the Toy Story conglomerate.  We have colored in books, on paper, on cardboard, on canvas.  We have painted on easels, on canvas on rocks on leaves, on the table.  We have cut reams of paper and glued the results to other reams of paper…only colored.  And, for the last little while..we have been inundated …and converged on…enveloped even, by Star Wars.

1xxx The characters are plentifully bestrewn all across the studio floor.  There are big space ships and little spaceships and teeny tiny space ships.  There are people in war regalia and creatures I did not know existed…but are ready for battle.  There are 268 teeny tiny guns….each of which go to a certain character.  To me a gun is a gun.  To Levi, the character’s correct gun in his or her hands makes all the difference in winning the battle and living another day.

Now the thing about Star Wars is that I’ve already gone through this Invasion twice in my lifetime…about 40 years ago and again 7 years later  with the instigators being boys named Adam (Levi’s daddy) and Alex (Levi’s Uncle).  Alex was actually the more enamored one and when he was 16, insisted that we pack up the brightest and best of his collected dynasty to save for posterity.  And it all sat in a big plastic bag at the top of his closet just waiting for another little man child to have the love and vision for what could be in a galaxy far, far away.  And, one such devotee was birthed into our family.  And, may I just add…the young one plays with those toys for all he’s worth.  The ones from 39 some odd years ago are not even made anymore.  He has some special pieces.  And, they mix together just fine.  He makes sounds for each separate spaceship and people mover.  He engages in battles and wars that extend out of my studio into the foyer and down the hall.  There is nothing…NOTHING…he loves better than for his Uncle Alex, who knows the finest details about Star Wars and has lived with these people for 33 years, to engage in battle warfare with him to save our very existence here on Planet Earth…or some such place.  And, his daddy is becoming about as crazed as he is about collecting the various good guys and bad guys and good space ships and bad space ships…which is great by Levi!

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So, my point her being…that Dear. darling Levi has a plethora of toys and books and art supplies to keep his healthy little mind occupied with plenty to do.  That’s why this was particularly hard to take………

LEVI…Lulu, I’m thinking of another game for us to play.

LULU….OK, I’m a little tired of blowing up planets and sailing spaceships through the universe.  How do you play?

LEVI…First, you go sit on the couch.  But don’t lean on the back of it… sit at the edge of it.

LULU…OK, I can do that.   And so I did!  He proceeded to take himself all the way to the other side of the room.  He then placed his body in a position reminescent of a runner beginning a big race. ” Something is amiss”, my clever brain told me.

LULU...Can you tell me the name of this game before we start?

LEVI…Sure…It’s called KNOCK DOWN THE GRANDMA !!!!????****!!!!

LULU…Well little man, there is one thing I need to tell you before we start.

LEVI…What, LULU?

LULU..You’ve picked up some tragic space sickness and it is lodged in your brain and is making you think about crazy things if you think I’m playing this game.

LEVI…AW, come on Lulu, it will be fun!

LULU…NO!  NO!  just no!

And, I destroyed the light in a little boys eyes who had such high hopes that his new game would be a delightful change of pace for all involved.  But, I’ve seen that particular light in years past…and I never forgot it   Hard history lessons only repeat because some one didn’t remember.

And, because I am a wise and clever grandmother, I was out the door and into the yard before he could blink.  I grabbed the basket ball and threw it into his arms as he rounded the garage door.  And we then spent half an hour shooting baskets.

And, that’s the way I saved my life on 2/22/17!

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BOOK LEARNING

DH went on a business trip last week, and obviously I was on his mind while he was away.  I mean…what other reason would there be for him to bring me a ‘gift’ when he returned?  He does fairly well with the major days like birthday or Christmas.  but he’s just not one to randomly bring me a surprise.

So, imagine my reaction when he walked in and said, “I brought you something!”  Surely, he is kidding.  He never does gifts for no reason!  What could it be?  I love surprises!  NOW, imagine my reaction when he handed me this…?

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Friends, I have learned many things in my life.  I have learned lesson upon lesson upon lesson.  I am so much more mellow than I was when I started my journey.  I am so much wiser.  And, one of the most important of these lessons is this… ‘there are times when words are just not necessary, appropriate or appreciated.’ You see, there are times when none of the words and phrases that make up our language will add anything to the moment.  There are those times when the greatness of beautiful word will not convey adequately how you feel about the situation.  Silence, then, is just best for all concerned.  And, this was one of those times.  (I did mutter a ,”Gee, thanks”).

I am a Southern girl, born and bred…never lived anywhere else except 200 miles north of here for college. Visited lots of the world, but lived only in the Deep South.  I am about as Southern as you can get.    So why, pray tell, do I need to know the Japanese art of decluttering and organizing?  I have visited Japan twice….and they are very organized…and uncluttered in their way of life.  Oh, I loved their country and their culture, and way of life, but I wouldn’t go to them for any ‘life changing magic’…or anyone else I know, for that matter!

And, while I am extremely proud of myself for my restraint when I was presented with this ‘gift’…that surely doesn’t mean I haven’t had a lot of things running around in my head just dying to get out….

Shall I share?
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And, in accordance with the life lesson I alluded to earlier…that’s all I have to say about that!

PS…No.  I have not read the book.

 

PERFECT

This morning (Monday), Levi was looking for a teeny, tiny, itty, bitty gun that goes with his Star Wars creature.  Now the deal was, on Friday as he was cleaning up, I told him to put ALL the little guns in the box so he would not lose one.  Really, they are so tiny, you could easily think it was a piece of trash!  And when he wants me to find one…not fun!  When he went to the box this morning, that one particular gun was not there.  CRISIS

I asked him if he put it up on Friday.  He said that he did but he got it out again when his mother and I were talking.  He showed me where he thought it was…but, alas, no gun there.  We looked and looked…in several places.  But no gun.  TEARS

Don had come into the kitchen to fix breakfast…as he does every morning.  It is a tradition that he and Levi started long ago and no one can fix the breakfast now, but Pa!  Which is ever so fine by me.  Of course,  I do the getting dressed and combing hair and brushing teeth and driving to school part!  (And, we all know how fun it is to wrestle a pair of jeans and boots on a four year old who would rather be doing anything else!!!)

Well, my dear hubby usually has a word or two or ten to interject into how I can do life better or more efficient or faster or like him.  So, he told me that I should have gotten a specific place for Levi to keep all his Star Wars things, so they could all stay together.  It did my heart good to tell him that I did that. ( Nah! Nah! Nah-Nah! Boo-Boo!)  SMUG

Levi walked into the kitchen and I reminded him that he had the big box to put all his Star Wars things in and if he would just do that every day when he left, they would not get lost!

Don was looking at me like a goon and said, “Lulu is right, Levi.  That’s why she can always find what she’s looking for and never loses anything.”  SARCASM A MILE LONG  He did say it with a smile, but …you understand!

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So, I sang, to the room at large..a strange, little silly song….”LuLu is not perfect. She loses things. She makes messes. She forgets where things are!    Oh, well, Big deal….Lulu is not perfect!”

Sweet, innocent, angelic Levi then took me by the hand and looked into my eyes with all the seriousness in the world  and said, “Why did you not tell me that before now?”
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UH OH…slipped a little off that pedestal…

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“Sorry, Levi.  I’m not perfect.  I mess up big time…lots of times.  But, one thing’s for sure…Messes can be fixed or cleaned up or done over.  And, I don’t mind doing that.  Believe it or not, some of the best lessons you will learn in this life come from when you really mess up bad!  We just clean it up and start over!  Besides, aren’t messes the most fun, sometimes! And, in the grand scheme of things…what’s a few messes?  I don’t put things away like I should.  I know I need to, but I get so busy.   I lose things.  And, they may stay lost for a while.  But, it’s so exciting when I find them again!  Oh, well, this is me. I love you.   I love your messes.  I love seeing you so involved in a project that everything else fades away! We can always clean up after…and we do!  And, we’ll try to do better keeping up with the Star Wars guns.  OK?   Your Not Quite Perfect Lulu”

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ARTS AND CRAFTS AND DECORATING…OH! MY!

PART ONE…Thanksgiving Day…

Thanksgiving Day in our family is full of good food, wonderful family, and furious decorating!  We always have lunch at Pop’s with Joy in charge of the kitchen.  Due to the effects of the past few weeks, we had a lot catered this year, and paper plates were in order.  It was delicious!  Our Birmingham Boy, Ian, came bearing two delightful deserts…one made by his own hand!  Yummy!

While Lori slaved cleaning up the kitchen, all by herself, with a joyous attitude, Tara, Joy, Suzanne, Ian and I were busy seeing to the decorating of Pop’s house.   It has been our tradition since Mom moved to Heaven to spend the hours after Thanksgiving dinner getting Pop’s house into a Christmas mood.  Ian made 65 trips into the attic since he was the only male with young enough legs and strong enough arms to tackle the job.  The other men were all a ‘few’ years his elder. His 3 peers were needed elsewhere…. onewas urgently needed to help control the deer population…out in the wilds of Abbeville.  One was needed to sew and patch and transfer those who chose Thanksgiving and big sales as their clue to begin partying And, the last one was helping watch the youngest of the male members of our clan as they were showing their mad skills to each other and their grandfathers on various athletic equipment consisting of 2, 3, or 4 wheels!  (But, if you notice, in the pics below, one of the little boys has a busted lip, chipped tooth and skinned nose…Way to Watch, guys!)

After we finally got the tree fluffed, and plugged in, we set about finding and hanging the 586 ornaments Mother had on her ‘family tree’.  She also had a ‘Fancy Nancy tree’ elsewhere in the house, but the family tree has every single ornament any of her children or 5 grandchildren had ever made, or that anyone had given her.  Oh, my!  So many…and every one of them dear to her and Pop’s heart.  We did away with the fancy tree, but still put this one up right in the den where he sees it.  If Mother decorated something in years past…it must still be decorated now, according to our patriarch.  Oh, and it makes him so happy to know she would be so happy to see it still done so.  This means that 6 wreaths get hung, 3 light posts get adorned, arrangements on a dining room table, a kitchen table,  the island, and two tables in the hall.  AND the old ceramic tree with those tiny plastic bulbs that is as old as I, am goes in Pop’s study.  We had fun, as we always do when we are together.  Even Lori’s grumbling about people still using forks and glasses couldn’t stop our fun!  (just kidding…well not really, but she did say it with a smile in her eyes!)

Someone may or may not have fallen off a step stool, onto a 3 foot tree lying on the couch and continued rolling until he/she hit the floor.  And, the little tree may have been permanently altered.  However, it sits proudly in its spot…propped up by 2 books that are hidden by some burlap around the base…looking to all the world as if it is intended to be that way.  There can be beauty in the broken.  Mom would be so proud!

Anyway, back to the purpose of my post today.  John Thomas and Levi were so excited at the prospect of having another tree to decorate!  Oh, the ornaments were shiny and bright and wherever they put them was perfection!  John Thomas called the right to put up the star, with Uncle Ian’s help.

Let me just interject this observation.  John Thomas is most cooperative and gracious to anyone who may even think they want to make his picture.  He waits.  He poses.  He makes the most adorable smiles that make you just want to pitch his little cheeks!  In fact he wants to be in every picture made!

Sweet Levi, on the other hand, does not have the patience nor the ‘want to’ to smile sweetly for just a quick second while you try and catch a cute picture.  Pose?  Are you kidding?  You have to sneak around and usually the best I can do is get something from the side.  If you ever do get him from the front…his eyes are looking around furiously to see what he can do the minute he is released.  They are NEVER looking at the camera!!!  (Unless he is being threatened by someone whom he knows really means it!)  I always take 10 or 25 pictures of him in hopes of getting a good one!

 

 

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You can not imagine what it took to get a good one of these 3 below…

 

 

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Spot the difference in the two little boys?  God love ’em both!

All kidding aside, with this tradition, we honor the sweet memory of our Mother and Granny and take great pleasure in making the house as festive as she did, knowing what pleasure it gives to Pop.  And, he is so gracious and appreciative.

 

PART TWO…The Day After…

I ask for trouble.  I know it’s true.  Don’t mean to…but it happens.

Last year John Thomas was visiting me and asked me if we could paint a Christmas tree.  I told him that I did not have one but I would look around and see what I could do.  Well, things happened and people happened and life happened…and I did not get to carry out my plans. But, I told John Thomas that if I was able we would do it this year.  And I was…and we did.

The day after Thanksgiving John Thomas and Sweet Levi showed up at my house at 10:00 sharp.  And, I was ready and waiting on them!  Time for our morning of fun to begin!  I had a huge sheet spread out on the floor.  Both boys had the same supplies…a bare tree, a palette of paint, brushes, an empty snow globe, two empty glass ornaments, a tiny truck, and a tiny tree.  I kept control of the paint bottles, and the supplies for the snow globe.

We began by swirling different colors of paint inside the glass ornaments…these turned out very pretty…but was not a hit with the boys. It took too long for the paint to run down the sides.  They needed fast results!

Then we started the trees.  Now this, they loved.  They discussed  which colors they would use.  Levi told John Thomas that he should copy him because he does art everyday.  John Thomas told Levi that he already decided which colors and not to copy him!  I think that ended all discussion of paint colors.  They both went to work and let their creative spirits soar.  I guess they didn’t notice they both had the same 4 colors.

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The trees are hinged on the back so they will stand up.  They did a great job!  Then we washed up and sang a few Christmas carols to liven us up!

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We made our little truck ornament for the tree, and then came time for the snow globe.  Oh my!

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I found the neatest snow globes at Michael’s this year.  They are plastic and are in 3 pieces…the globe, a little platform for the characters you choose, and a twist on cap.  And, they are large enough that you can put more than one thing in it.  I had a snowman, a deer, trees, 2 elves, a house, a bicycle and two signs to the North Pole. And two bags of snow!  John Thomas chose first cause he said he was older.  Levi said, “Don’t you know I’m 4 now?”  JT told him it didn’t matter, he was still older.  Levi told him that he went to his birthday and he was four, too!  John Thomas just rolled his eyes and said, “Yeah, two years ago, Levi”  I didn’t stop at 4!”  Not sure Levi gets it yet, but we let JT go first.  He tried out several and decided on an elf and a tree and a sign.  So, I hot glued and then we opened the snow. OH! THE! SNOW!  I bought some somewhere that was teeny little styrofoam like balls.  BIG MISTAKE!  They immediately attach themselves to your hands and clothes and face and everything!  And, they are so very lightweight that every time you breath out or say a word the weight of your breath sends them into orbit.  They fall where they will and refuse to let themselves be picked up again!  I learned a lesson, for sure.

Levi and John Thomas were sure troopers though.  They got down on the floor and tried their best to corral the lost snow.  Oh if only it would really melt!  Needless to say, we grabbed what we could and dumped it in a bag and decided Levi would use the flaky snow!  He had been studying the pieces and finally decided that he would take the other elf and a tree and a sign…just like John Thomas!  I glued.  And told him to wait for me to open the bag of that lighter than air flaky stuff.  Somehow, his brain did not comprehend what those words meant and he bit a hole in the top of the bag and proceeded to pull it apart with all his might.  And he did…pull it apart.  And it really truly snowed in my studio.  A whole bag full.  I couldn’t speak.  John Thomas stared at me.  Levi laughed and said, “Come on, John Thomas, help me put it back in the bag and lets do it again!”  JT didn’t move.  He knew.   He’s 6.  The bag was quickly then removed from Levi’s hands and cleanup began.  OH ! My!  What Fun!  Here’s the two other ones we did.  See those little demon balls in the snowman?  NEVER buy them!

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We finished up with the projects and put everything away.  They played with cars for a while, then John Thomas chose a book for me to read.    But, no.  Levi decided he would read to John Thomas.  He ‘read’ him a photo album of his K3 year of school.  I don’t think JT was particularly enthralled.  But, the dear boy was kind, and let Levi finish.

And this is the only bad picture of John Thomas known to be in existence!

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And our fun morning came to an end.  The boys gathered their treasures together to take home and soon their Moms came to pick them up.  I tried everything to remove snow from my studio, and finally hit on a lint roller as the best tool for the job.  Used up all the sheets on the roll…but there’s very little snow left!

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JT looked the the pics I took before he left and he told me I messed up on this one.  “You don’t have anything in this picture, Aunt Tonja, “he said.  “Oh yes, I do, Little Man!  There’s a little hand reaching into to a beautiful palette of paint!  He can paint anything he wants.  He can create a blue sky or a dark storm, or a truck or an airplane or even a family.   It’s all up to the artist.  I think it’s beautiful!”  He said it still looked like a wrong picture to him.  That’s OK.  He’s 6!

“…work with your own hands…” 1 Thessalonians4:11

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And, it’s now nap time for the grown-up!

BLESSINGS, ANYWAY!

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I was really just trying to be funny.  And, now I feel guilty.  Because this is a wonderful, day!  My neice, Lori, and Suzanne and Levi all came to swim this morning.  I went outside to sit and watch for a while.  I love seeing Sweet Levi practicing his swimming and getting braver and more confident in the water.  To our surprise, Alex came out and said he wanted to get in for a while.

Those of you who know us know that this is a rare treat!  Usually he is not even well enough to get out of bed.  But, God granted us a beautiful day…blue sky, white clouds, little breeze…and He granted Alex the strength to enjoy it!  You can not even imagine how it makes my heart fill with joy to see him able to enjoy himself for a little while.  Of course, his buddy, Finn, will not leave his side…even if he is in the middle of the pool!  So, here comes Finn, too!  It is amazing how he never takes his gaze from Alex’s face!

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Lori helped him get in and down into the water, but once in…the limitations are gone!  He can move freely and without falling.  The bouyancy of the water supports him and he can swim and float and play.  Just enjoy the day!

Since I was only a ‘watcher’ today, I had brought my camera out with me to snap some pics.  Now, me and technology…even cameras…do not go well together.  This was my newest camera that I got when an unfortunate ‘accident’ happened to my last one at the beach.   When that occurred, Adam went with me to get another one.  He picked this one out and said that I would like it, because, ‘it would not break if dropped and would not die if it got wet’.    But, here’s the thing.  Every camera I have ever had immediately died when it was dropped…whether on a tile floor, a dirt and rock driveway, a sand dune, or a hardwood floor…or into a dishpan of water.  I have had much experience with cameras.

But, Alex, seeing the camera, and being in the water, said “Give me the camera, and I’ll make some pics of Levi under the water.”  (Well, he might as well have said, “Why don’tcha just throw your camara up against that brick wall?”)  “Oh, I don’t think that’s a good idea, Alex”, I countered.  “Mother, I told you it was water proof!  Besides, this is the most’ Tonja-proof’ camera Adam could find!”, he said.  “OK…but it’s coming out of your pocket if it drowns!”, I told him.

And, I hobbled and staggered over to the pool and handed it to him.  I cringed and closed my eyes and said a quick prayer….and wonder if I had totally lost all the good sense I once had. He snapped pics, and they played and Levi swam and Suzanne and Lori  and Alex and Levi laughed.  Finn would dive for toys and Levi tried to wash off his spots!   It was pure joy!  What a blessing for me to just sit and take it all in!  God is so good, friends.  Days can get weary and hard and unhappy things can happen.  But, right in the midst of it all…God comes in and just throws a big ball of HAPPY into the mix and things are seen in a much better perspective!

And, on top of that…Alex made some great pics…UNDERWATER!!!!

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“YEAH!  THE CAMERA IS FINE!!!!!

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Then, my sweet boy, Adam, graciously gave me some time on his day off to come over and get Finn to the Vet for me.  He was past due his shots and meds, and needed a good pedicure!  It is hard for me to get him there on a good day…but with this cast…would never happen!  Another blessing on this day.  Thank you, Adam for blessing me with your time and strength today.

 

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TODAY…12/7/13

1.  It has been a while since I have blogged.  Life has been so very full lately and there has only been time to dash off a few lines on Facebook.  I run into folks all along who say they miss my blogging.  And, I miss it.  Plus, I miss keeping in touch with friends around the country.  So, I am going to try getting some posts up in a more timely fashion.

2.  I have had to be on several medications to be able to function in the outside world.  Things like walking and bending and picking things up…it is very hard without some help.  But, as a side effect of this, I have gained weight.  And, I do not like it.  I know what I look like, however, and do not need anyone reminding me of the fact, as someone did TODAY.  I am trying to come off on one of the meds now and it will take about 3 months to get off completely.  I am coming off only because of my weight.  If I can’t function, I will have to go back on it.  So, if you should feel the need to remind me that I am quite a bit larger than I used to be…not necessary.  I know.   And, you are unkind for even mentioning it.  That’s all I will say about that.

3.  I recently had an event to attend and it required semi-formal attire.  Well!  I had nothing suitable at my present size…so I went to a store in town and bought several things…certainly not planning to keep them all.  It is just that, some days, I am able to move around better than others, and squeezing myself into one of those little dressing rooms was not on my list of things that were going to happen that day.  I was able to find something nice.  So, the remaining clothes were folded nicely in a bag until I could get back into the store.  In the meantime,  life happened.  Several big life things.  Along with everyday life things.  And, those clothes were the farthest things from my mind.  In fact, they left my mind completely.  Another by-product of medication…and my aging brain.  Together they are happily taking all sorts of facts and tossing them to the wind!!!  Anyway, TODAY was the day I gathered it all together…along with the receipts…which, by the way, I have carefully tucked away and kept safe until I needed them.  All was together, and I set out for the store.

Now, for those of you who do not live in our town…we do NOT have the best selection of places to shop.  It is decidedly better than it used to be, but still is lacking. I went to our only mall, which is anchored by 3 department stores…JCP, B**K, and D…d’s.  The store I was heading into was D…d’s.  Finally, I was going to give these clothes back to the store and they were going to credit my credit card.  And, all would be right with the world!  I needed to go upstairs…going to ride the only escalator in town…and get this done.  The escalator was still…the entrances blocked.   Not a good sign.  I should have taken it as an omen…but I just bopped happily on to the elevator.

Now let me stop here to say that this store is in deplorable shape!  Some of the bottom floor has been renovated, but not all.  It looks old and dated.  And when I got to the elevator…it was stuck in a tiny hallway with barely enough room for two people to wait!  The hallway had dirty floors and walls.  When I stepped off the elevator, I was face to face with the restrooms, and dirty sticky floors, and nasty walls.  Everything…the floors, the walls,  even the ceiling looked filthy.  I made my way through a maze of turns to enter the sales floor.

When I originally went to this store to get the clothes, I wanted to try on and purchase just what I needed.  I even took the clothes into the dressing rooms.  Friends, I did not know what I was walking into…but I was afraid to undress and try on anything.  Doors were falling off the wall…mirrors were cracked…there were no hooks to hang your clothes on…only gaping holes where they once were.  And, the ceiling looked none too sturdy.   The floor had not been swept in forever and was full of unknown stains.   So that’s why I had the clothes with me in the first place.

TODAY…there I was, back in the same department with the same salesclerk.  And, she said to me, as I handed her the clothes and the receipts that I had cared for so diligently, “I’m sorry.  It’s been over 30 days.”  “Excuse me,” I said.  “You can not return anything after 30 days.  See?”, she said , as she showed me a sign posted by the checkout counter of that fine print stuff they always get you with.  “So, you are telling me that I cannot return these clothes that do not fit and will never fit and that I have no use for?” I asked.  “Yes, that’s right, they are yours,” she said.  “Thank you very much,” I told her.   I was so mad, I had to walk away and find a place to cool down.  As I thought about it, I knew I had no recourse.  It was my fault, after all.  But, it will be a long, long time before this store gets any more of my money.   And I walked over to the customer services person…and asked them to close out my account.  And, they did.

They have their dumb policy, and I was dumb not to know the policy.  It is my fault, I am stuck with these clothes.  Live and Learn.  So, I’m ticked.  Really ticked.  And, even though I saw…on my way to the customer services area…3 of the most beautiful sugar pine cones, at least a foot long each…which I have been looking for forever…I held them and put them back.  I did not buy them.  Nor did I buy my make-up from the Clinique counter when I went back downstairs.  Nor did I look for a pair of boots that I have planned to buy.

They don’t care, but it made me feel better not to buy from them.  And, I won’t.  For a while.  Till, I need something they have, and I’ll make just one exception.  Then another and then I’ll forget and I’ll be their customer again.  But, by then the sugar pine cones will be gone.  And, I’ll regret not getting them when I had the chance and I’ll forget that the reason I didn’t is because I was trying to teach that store a lesson that they never even knew of and wouldn’t have cared about even if they did.  Oh, what a mess I make for myself!  It is still a nasty store, though, and should be cleaned up if they are not going to renovate.  It should be cleaned up even if they are going to renovate!  And, it sure makes me miss my favorite store ever, Parisian, which took things back anytime at all.

4.  When I got home from the disaster that was my shopping trip….my housekeeper said, ” Don’t come in here! There’s glass everywhere!”  Now, that’s always a bad sign.  Being as clever as I am, I knew something bad was waiting for me.  And, I went into the den where she was furiously trying to vacuum up the slivers of glass that were once one of my prized mercury glass ornaments, purchased from Pottery Barn several years ago.  This was not a good thing to come home to in my present mood.  Turns out, she ‘heard a loud noise, and when she came to investigate, it was shattered on the floor’.  I’m not doubting her.  I’m sure it happened exactly that way.  Tina D. and I could have failed to properly hang that ornament last night…when she so kindly gave up her time to help me get it done.  I find it harder to believe that of Tina than of myself.  Cause I tend to forget to be extra cautious at times…she never forgets.  But, the fact is.. it is gone.  And, it’s OK…it’s only a ‘thing’.  But the floor under my tree still has small slivers of glass under it.  I know this for a fact because when I got down on the floor to put the skirt around the bottom of the tree, I got a sliver in the palm of my hand and one in my knee.  So…besides not being able to adequately bend my body down to smooth the skirt around the tree…which frustrates the mess outta me…now I have to go digging for glass…in me… with a needle!   And the cloth does not look right. Both of these things are making me quite unhappy.

5.  My tree is in an awkward place this year.  Why?  Because that’s where Don put it.  Oh, it’s such a long story, but I’m in the mood to talk if you care to listen.  Several years ago, I began a love affair with mercury glass.  I loved the way it looked shiny new and old at the same time.  It became my favorite thing to collect for a while. When I begin a new collection,  the friends and family all get on board and shower me with the item.  It took no time at all for me to have an amazing # of mercury glass balls and ornaments.  The year we moved into this house it was two days before Christmas and we had no tree.  But, the whole next year I looked forward to getting a huge tree and filling it with all the mercury glass I had collected.  I knew it would be gorgeous.  And, it was.   In fact, it was gloriously beautiful!  But, the next year, no one would get the huge tree out and put it up for me.  So, I put up a little tree…and no one but me even cared.  Last year it was the same way…no one had time to help me get the tree set up.  I’m telling you..it is massive.  If I could do it myself, I certainly would.  So, again…a smaller tree had to do.  This year, I put my foot down and stomped it a little and yelled and fussed and got my tree up the day before Thanksgiving.  And it is in the library.  Don decided to put it there since we are having a big party in a few days and it would give us more room if the massive tree was not in the way.  Of, course, if the tree was not in the library, people could also congregate there.  Oh well, it is up!   Sweet Suzanne made a wonderful bow for the top with some glitzy ribbon, and she and Tina O. put it on and fixed doo dahs down the sides of the tree.  Beautiful.

I got out all the mercury glass this week…it took all day to unpack it all.  I walked past the ornaments lying there on the floor in the middle of the den and the more I looked the more it just didn’t fit.  All those colors jumbled together!  And, I love lots of color…but this didn’t please my eye.  Well, it wasn’t working in my mind, anyway.  I don’t know why.  I still love the ornaments…they are beautiful!

My dear friend, Tina D., kindly offered to come over and climb the ladder to adorn the top portion of the tree, and help me with the rest.  We put all the silver ornaments on the tree and then added in all the red for a ‘pop of color’, as they love to say on HGTV!   It turned out to be quite elegant looking.  I am very happy with it. Now it needed something red around the bottom.  I didn’t have a tree skirt that would do, so I thought of my red tablecloth.  It was bright red and would do just fine.  My housekeeper went to get it, but it is nowhere. in. this. house.  We looked everywhere!  I had to buy some fabric to cover the stand and the cords, and I found some on the sale table at Hobby Lobby.  And, that is why I was on my knees under the tree.  Where I got glass in my hand and knee.  And, it still needs to be straightened out, and fixed right.   By the way, the whole tree sits atop the zebra skin rug!

6.  I ran into a dear friend I used to work with.  Man, it was so good to see her.  When I was working at the school, I used to go every morning to her room, as I was making my rounds, and sit and talk with her and her aide.  When we visited for a while, I realized again how much I miss the sense of togetherness and oneness we teachers had.  She and I talked and laughed and caught up on a little bit of news.  And, I am going to miss her again.  Because our paths do not cross often.  I am missing her already.  And, the other ‘girls’. This makes me sad.  BUT, sweet Levi will begin three year preschool there in the fall of 2014!  (If he learns what he is supposed to do when he is sitting on a potty, that is!)  This makes me happy!

7.  My sister, Joy, came by to get some ear muffs and other warm accessories.  She and Tommy are leaving on a fabulous trip to Europe tomorrow. They are going to Austria, and Germany, and then to Paris…where they will attend the Christmas markets!  Oh, I am jealous!  Not really.  I am thrilled that they are going and hope they have a most wonderful time.  And, that they bring me something amazing from the Christmas markets.  I’m kidding.  No, I’m not!

8.   It is dark outside (dumb daylight savings time)  and the house is quiet,  I have gotten myself a glass of sweet tea and have settled onto the chaise.  My feet are up and I have the heating pad to my back and the laptop in my lap.  Today is over and boy! it has been full!  I don’t get out many days, so I really enjoyed it!   (Well, I didn’t enjoy the dumb store part!)  I managed to get a little more of my Christmas shopping done, too.  And, I enjoyed talking to YOU again!  Let’s get together again real soon.  I’ve got lots more to share with you.

9.  I do not know why I have used the word ‘dumb’ so many time in this post.  It is not even a word I use that often.  And, I checked to see if I was using the correct  grammar with “ornaments lying on the floor”.  I could not tell any better today than when I was in school.  That one has always been hard for me to get right!  Excuse me, then, for my unimaginative vocabulary and possible grammar misuse.  I hope I haven’t offended your ears.

10.  Good-night!