Welcome, 2019

Welcome, 2019

2018 will forever be marked as a significant year.

High-Low Game

The highlight of the year all happened over the course of five days. The end result was when Son One married his longtime girlfriend. She’s occupied a special place in my heart longer than they’ve been together, so now that she is our daughter-in-love makes it extra special.

I would be remiss if I didn’t mention that Son Two graduated from high school. Thankfully, he and I have recovered. I’ve had kids in school since 1998, but those last six months nearly did me in. There have been negotiations between heads-of-state less tense than those last months of his senior year.

Looking Forward

I generally feel pretty blah when it comes to a new year. I don’t know why. For about three years, I’ve gone to bed early because watching the ball drop induced tears.

Once the holidays were over, I felt myself slipping into that familiar place. Then, a few days ago, I heard someone at work tell another, “If you aren’t comfortable with what you are seeing, then speak up. Do something about it.”

While thinking about talking points for a New Year’s Day post, I felt a revelation. Those words echoed in my head. Do something about it.

Making resolutions is something I gave up a long time ago. It felt like I’d make a list of two or three things I wanted to accomplish and then peter out somewhere along January 3rd. Why set myself up to fail, right?

I had been thinking about some goals I had for the coming year. (Goals aren’t the same as resolutions, right?) Having a new planner and a fresh set of pens will do that to a person. It’s exciting to have a fresh start. The slate is clean.

“I can’t because…”

I’ve been using those three words as a shield to give up rather than push through. I’ve missed so many opportunities to grow in both my personal and professional life. Taking a good look in the mirror, I acknowledge I don’t like what I see. I’m going to speak up. I’m going to do something about it.

Look out, 2019. It’s about to get real.

Guys, stop. You’re embarrassing yourselves.

Guys, stop. You’re embarrassing yourselves.

It started a few years ago.

Pick any two-player game with a chat feature [think Words With Friends] and random strangers – men – would request a game and then start a chat.

In the beginning, I was naive and would be friendly. After a few conversations quickly went lewd, I ignored all chats. Eventually, I deleted the game.

Then the DMs to Instagram started. Ignore. Ignore. Ignore.

red stop sign
Look both ways before you decide to hit that send button.

I don’t understand how any self-respecting man would think private messaging a woman in hopes of starting up some kind of digital romance is a good idea. Of course, these men are brave behind a screen as I doubt they would approach a woman in a public place and speak in the same way, straight out of the gate.

I’ve been playing a new version of an old game. And wouldn’t you know, the very first unknown male player slid right into the DM and took a shot.

He was quickly deleted.

A couple of nights ago, I received a request to start a game. The name sounded vaguely familiar, and we had a mutual friend.

I accepted the game and played my turn.

The next day I see I have a message from him. And so it begins:

Dude: Hi. How are you?

Me: I’m well. And yourself?

D: Where are you from?

Hmm. That’s weird.

M: Tennessee

D: That’s cool. I’m originally from NYC but currently living in the Gulf of Mexico. 

Yes. He said “in.”

D: Are you happily married?

M: Yes

As soon as I answered his last question, I was back on the playing screen playing my turn. It took a minute or so, but I noticed things were different.

He resigned from the game.

Fine with me. I love it when the trash takes itself out.


I’ve talked to many a friend who’ve had similar issues with random messaging. What is the worst line you’ve been asked in a private message?


Be careful for what you Wish

Be careful for what you Wish

You’ve heard of Wish, right? I’m usually the last person to know about the cool and happening stuff, so I’m making assumptions.

I believe the first time I’d heard of it, I gave it a glance and moved on. Nothing struck me as exciting. Then sometime later, and I couldn’t tell you what did it, I decided I needed to see what all the hub-bub was about, and I downloaded the app.

Oh, my goodness look at all this pretty stuff. And so inexpensive, too!

For signing up, they let me choose a free gift. I don’t even think I had to pay for shipping. [It’s been a hot minute, so I am not completely certain on that.] Anyway, after sometime later, after I’d already forgotten, my gift came in the mail. It was a four-piece jewelry set. The bracelet ALMOST fits, the necklace is small but I could remove the charm, and the earrings are cute. All in all, I was not disappointed.

I shopped a little more. I ordered a couple of things, they took a while to arrive (I believe everything comes from China) but still, I was satisfied.

A few months later, I put in another order. I believe that happened in early June. To be honest, something came last week, and I’m not sure I’ve even gotten everything.

[ETA: There is still one item MIA.]

Let’s talk about the things I was disappointed about:

Women Fashion Simple Ring


Now, this isn’t horrible. However, I didn’t think it was all that great, either. It’s not an exact match to the photo from Wish, but it does look as cheap as you’d think.


8PCS Hair Styling Set Clip Bun Maker Braid Hair Ponytail Tool Hair

8 hair pieces.png

The day this arrives, I have two identical packages fall out of the envelope. I am perplexed. Why did they send me two of the exact same thing? Was there an error? Were they making up for a long shipping time?

I grab my phone to check the order history and my email. I see nothing out of the ordinary. And then it dawns on me: two packages of 4 equal a total of 8 pieces.



14k Rose Gold Round Cut Diamond Rope Twined Vine Ring 

ring 2


This was the pièce de résistance.

This was the item I was the most excited about. The one item I wanted more than anything in my cart. The one item I’d searched over and over again to make sure there would be no difference. And then it arrived.

Sure, some other things were a bit on the disappointing side.

I mean, yeah, the items are inexpensive. And sure the shipping is slow because it has to be coming by carrier pigeon. How could it not be exactly as pictured? There are nothing but rave reviews!

The ring I received was uglier than the entire collection of 1990s bubble-gum machine jewelry I used to have.

Final Thoughts

There are some good things and some bad things. So far, everything I’ve gotten has been on the small size (with the exception of the rings). Such as the bag I bought to hold all those plastic store bags (don’t judge). It holds the bags just fine but the max capacity is like ten. And those are really compacted in there. Capture.PNG

Will I use Wish again? Probably. It’s fun. And because the shipping takes forever, it’s exciting to get random packages in the mail.

But as far as jewelry goes, they are dead to me.



Thrift Comes at a Price

Thrift Comes at a Price

I remember going into a Goodwill once as a kid. I’d only been to that store maybe one other time, and it was probably with my grandmother. That woman could pinch a penny and make it rain nickels.

It was getting close to Halloween when my mom took me with her to the store. Some element of an outfit I needed she thought she might find there. I was in elementary school. I can’t remember how old I was. Seven? Nine?

The only three things I remember about that trip:

  1. The store was dirty.
  2. It smelled weird.
  3. I saw the art teacher.

I’m not sure what my costume was. I want to say hippie, which looking back seems like an odd choice for 1980 – 1982. At any rate, I was mortified to be seen there. In hindsight, I now understand why my own children didn’t care to go, either.

Another thing I detested? Yard sales. Both my grandmother and mother could turn on a dime for a yard sale. The directions are on an index card written in white crayon? They could see it. NASCAR has nothing on those two women. They could make a U-turn on a four-lane road in the middle of morning rush hour and never lose an ash off their cigarette or spill a drop of Diet Pepsi.

It wasn’t often we stayed with my grandmother but I remember one Saturday she’d picked my brother and me up early. We’d gone with her to the chiropractor and as we were headed back to her house, she spotted a yard sale. She pulled over to the side of the road and put the car in park. Before she turned off the key, I probably groaned or whined and said, “I’ll just sit in the car.”

She looked back at me, pursed her lips in a way I knew was serious business, turned back, put the car in drive in left.

It’s been at least thirty-five years since that happened, and I have no doubts there are still tire marks on Lynhurst Drive.

As I’ve grown up and learned to stretch my pennies, I’ve come to appreciate the things a good yard/garage sale, thrift store, or online buy/sell/trading has to offer. There is a treasure of things to discover. And then of course, if you have the desire to be crafty as I do, you can do this:

cake stand and plateIt just so happened the cake stand cover fit the plate. I bought seven pieces in total, all clear glass. Two small plates, two candlesticks, a large serving plate and a vase.  Probably less than $10 in total. After a can of spray paint and tube of special glue, I had a fancy and one-of-a-kind cake stand and two raised dishes.

However, as much as I love the thrill of the thrift, I don’t care much for being the one doing the selling. Most specifically a yard/garage sale.

To me, it’s cut-and-dry:

  • Gather the things I no longer want.
  • Price them fair and reasonable given condition.
  • Display goods in an organized and orderly fashion.
  • Smile, conversate, collect monies.
  • Pack up unsold goods and distribute to appropriate outlets.

I use what I call “The Goodwill Method” for pricing. The reason is simple. I’ve never seen someone ask if they will take less for anything in the store. What is marked is what they pay or they let it sit. I’m not saying no one has ever asked, but I’ve yet to witness it.

In my thinking, I price slightly lower than what Goodwill would price. Even lower in some instances. But without fail, it feels like the entire day is answering the endless question of, “Will you take less for this?”

It annoys me to no end. I want to shout, “DO YOU SEE .25 WRITTEN? NO. I WANT THE WHOLE $2!” I’m the type of person who will go to a yard sale and pay whatever is marked. If I feel the price is too high, I leave it. No awkward back-and-forth. No disappointment. No (what feels like) confrontation.

I’m currently in the process of decluttering my house. And when I mean decluttering, I mean I have found things other people who reside here have taken out of the various donation boxes and hidden. They’ve also taken to locking things up or putting them on high shelves in hopes said items escape my scrutiny.

In an attempt to be brave, I’ve been trying my hand at selling a few things via a popular (or at least to me it is) online buy/sell/trade site. I’ve used the site before to purchase several things, and I really like it because each group is for a specific area.

So far, I’ve had great results. And I’ve had some people ask if I’d take less on a few things. This led me wondering if it is common knowledge and expected there will be negotiating when it comes to any type of private sale.

As one does when doing extensive research, I went to Facebook and took a poll.

As of this writing, here are the results:

Buy at listed price: 25%
Negotiate lower price: 75%

A couple of people had a few words to say….

The idea of telling someone I will give them less than they ask for something at a garage sale is mortifying to me. Like, it’s already $1. I’m not going to haggle to save twenty-five cents.  – Courtney

I won’t ask on anything under $3. Over that I’ll ask, worst that can happen is you pay asking price or walk away without the item. The best to happen is they get the price they REALLY want and you feel like you got a deal. – Byron

We went to the flea market today. I was fully prepared to pay sticker prices or walk away. In a couple of booths I was seriously looking at something, both women immediately offered less than asking price.

In another booth, I saw a sign that read something to the effect: “Nothing under $20 will be discounted. We work really hard to make the prices fair as well as worth our time here.” I had to give him props for being upfront about it.

If there is anything I’ve learned it’s this – if I don’t want to negotiate prices, then don’t put up anything for sale.

And I’m probably still going to pay the price marked.

Mother’s Day: Hindsight

Mother’s Day: Hindsight

Ah, Mother’s Day.

Mother’s Day is not one of my favorite holidays. In the weeks and days leading up to it, I get a lot of anxiety. That anxiety leads to a lot of thoughts. Those thoughts lead me to take stock in all the things I’ve done wrong in the 25 years I’ve been a mom.

My husband, while a very sensitive man, tends to keep the day on the down-low. In the past, he’s (with the help if the chil’ren) made me things I treasure to this day. He “forces” me to sit and do what I wish for the day. He’ll either made dinner or take me out.  But Mother’s Day is also a reminder of losing his own mom with whom he was extremely close. To hear him tell it, she was a remarkable woman, and I wish I’d had the opportunity to meet her. So, a low-key day is probably the best idea.

Except it never fails that all my doing nothing on Sunday means I have extra things to do on Monday. But if that’s the worse thing I have to complain about, then I’m doing okay.

ducks-686098_640This year hit me hard. It’s the first year I’ve not cried at least once, which is progress considering prior years. But between my daughter in the middle of making a major life decision, my older son living “out of the country” in the words of the Army, and the youngest son days away from graduation, I felt sort of…bleh. I went and saw my mom for a bit, but she tends to be like me and doesn’t like “a fuss being made over her.” But other than that, I was alone all day. Even the animals were hiding in their respective corners.

I will always remember; however, this year was the year that the youngest signed his card to me, ‘Love.’ He’d quit doing that somewhere in middle school. Now that I recall, I did have a tear or two over that yesterday.

The few times I scrolled quit through social media, I saw a varying display of highs and lows.

At the very least, I know I’m not alone.




Word Pops, Associations, and a Little Music

Word Pops, Associations, and a Little Music

I don’t know when it started.

Left side: logic. Right side; creative. Looks     about right.

Call it my creative mind or the ADD. Certain words, when I hear or speak them, spark a follow-up phrase. Those who know me well know this about me and find it cute. Or at the very least they are too polite to say otherwise.

It could be catching, because I’m pretty sure my daughter does it as well.

Generally, it’s song lyrics, but on occasion fairly common phrases pop in as well.

For example, I’d bought a new bag of the variety of single serve chips. I was the first person to have any, so I had to open the bag. I thought there was usually a perforated line across the top and with a light pulling action, it was open.

I could not find a perforation.

I’m turning the bag around and think it seems smaller than it has in the past. I flip it again to see how many bags are inside: 20 singles.

And then out of nowhere, my inner voice said: …are available in your area.

I wish someone would have been in the room with me to see if I made a weird face. Because I know I was thinking,  where did that come from?

It got me to thinking about how I do that a lot. Many times, I’ll say it out loud, even if no one but the dog is there to hear it. I wondered if this phenomenon (for lack of a better word) was limited to a few selected individuals.

Having no idea what to Google, I tried ‘word association’ first. The first link on the search brought me here. Being a lover of words, but often at a loss for the right one (see also paragraph above), I found this site interesting and worth bookmarking for future use.

I scanned the results of the next search and this article from Scientific American caught my eye.

The beginning of the article describes a specific example of Proustian Memory. In short, those times when you are trying to think of a specific word, it’s right on the tip of your tongue, and then hours or even days later it pops in your mind from out of nowhere.

To give you a synopsis of what I’ve learned over an hour or so is the brain is an amazing organ. Certain words can evoke an emotion, a memory, or even new idea.

Have you seen this meme (or similar interpretations)  that’s gone around the Internet several times over many years?

Here are a few of mine:

…fancy – you already know “Fancy” by Iggy Azalea
…alright stop – collaborate and listen (Hello, ’80s) “Ice, Ice Baby – Vanilla Ice
…it’s so delicious – D to the E to the L-I-C-I-O-U-S “Fergalicious” – Fergie
…in the gym – working on my fitness (Yes, Fergie fan here)
…first things first – I’m the realist “Fancy” – Iggy Azalea
…guess who’s back – back again “Without Me” – Emeniem
…I did my time – and I want out “Psychosocial” – Slipknot
…it’s just one of those days – it’s all about the he said she said “Break Things” – Limp Bizkit
…push it – push it real good “Push It” Salt-N-Peppa

Now it’s your turn. Do you have any phrases you always finish?