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!