Tag Archives: shopping

So you’ve discovered my secrets

We have lived in this community for over 40 years, and in this house 38 of those years. We know the neighborhood and the city pretty well. Because of that, I’ve developed habits of travel and shopping in this city. Sometimes I’ve shared my secrets, but no longer. Too many people seem to have uncovered the same secrets.

I know the backroads that are less traveled. Or so I thought until today when the backroad had a steady stream of cars on it.

I have found the easier ways in and out of parking lots and the best places to park. Today, another grandma and her granddaughters were in the same lot, pulling in from the same road as I did.

Tuesdays are the best day to shop, and the earlier the better. Fewer people. Except today. At 10 o’clock on a Tuesday morning, the traffic and crowds were converging on the same shopping center as me. Okay, I have to admit, the temperature is forecast to be 106 degrees this afternoon, and it is back-to-school time. That’s why the grandmother and her teenage granddaughters were out.

There are certain stores that I frequent because the selection and the customer service are superb. Others have discovered these, too. Or, again, it’s back-to-school time and teachers are buying supplies for their rooms. There is one store in town that has the best selection of such supplies and it was busy today. I just went in to look but ended up buying two more puppets–a fox and an anteater.

I was home by 11:30 so I really have no complaint. Travel and shopping, though a bit more crowded, went smoothly. I think of friends who have real complaints in their life:

a former student’s young son is hospitalized with  cancer

a friend who took care of her dying ex-husband is now dealing with breast cancer in a new town with no close friends nearby

a young friend who is moving half way across the country has been swindled by her movers

my daughter’s friend is living out of her car and the back window has been broken out

So what if others have learned some of my “backroad” shopping secrets that will make their life a little easier? Minor detail in the big picture.




When I was working full time, and only had the weekends to do my shopping and errands, I swore that upon retirement I would not shop or run errands on Saturdays, leaving the parking spaces and aisles to the working people. So far, I do pretty well keeping that promise. Today was an exception.

This past week was supposed to be an open, free week with NO PLANS. I looked at my blank calendar and smiled. I could stay home. I could go out. I could do anything I wanted. I especially wanted to work in the yard as the weather forecast was for nice temperatures. Then I got a phone message on Monday morning, early, before 10, asking about the use of the Calvin Room at our church. When I returned the call I learned that a member whom I have never met had lost her mother the previous week, and although the funeral service would not be at the church, they would like a memorial luncheon be served after the services. Yes, we could do that. And with that phone call, my previously open week filled quickly with tasks leading up to the lunch on Friday for 75 people.

Due to a change in plans, I never did any household shopping for Terry and me. Next week, starting on Monday, I have a full week of plans. One day I won’t have my car as it will be in the shop getting its 3000 mile checkup and making sure it’s ready for another hot summer on the road. I would have to renege on my pre-retirement promise and shop on Saturday.

Terry did the driving and came along to help me remember all that we needed as well as gather the items. It only took a couple of hours and we were done. We started fairly early–9:15–so the crowds weren’t too big that early. We quickly found the items we needed, checkout lines were short, every cashier super gracious. And I hope we didn’t get in anyone’s way, especially anyone who just finished a hard week of work and wanted to quickly get their shopping done and get home to do chores. Like I had been all those many years of working.

Tuesday is usually a good day to shop

I have just returned after a morning of shopping. This is a rarity for me as I usually go to one or two stores and spend maybe an hour out doing this chore. I pick Tuesdays to do my shopping as it has been a quieter day in retail. Too many people are getting the same idea, though, and the stores have become a bit more crowded, especially as the day progresses.

This morning’s first stop was Orchard Supply Hardware. I was looking for another lavender plant as the one from last year finally gave up the ghost. I found one I liked, and picked up some more potting soil as this plant will go into a pot, a lavender-colored pot.

My main reason for going to Orchard was to get more “bug boxes.” These are great little cardboard boxes that pop out of their packaging and go out around the doors into our house to catch the bugs that might be trying to get in. Although I use essential oils indoors, these boxes work so well outdoors to stop the critters in their tracks. Once the box is filled on one side with dead bugs, I turn it over and fill the other side then toss the whole thing in the trash bin. I had run out of these boxes and found that Orchard was out of them, too. Or, at least the Orchard in my neighborhood. The manager checked and found that the store a couple of miles away had just gotten a shipment of 30, which meant a total of 60 “bug boxes” as there are two per package. I immediately went over and bought 5 packages. While there I chatted with a couple who was trying out all of the wind chimes to find just the right one. Orchard had the wind chimes on sale. I had bought one at the other store as I wanted a replacement for one that has seen better days and has lost its lovely sound. I pointed out the one I had selected, and the couple liked it, but wanted it in a bigger size.

My next stop was the school supply store where I would get some more prizes for the first graders. One of the classes got a score of 86 percent on their final assessment, the highest of the four classes, so I wanted to give them a reward. They were also only one star away from another prize for their star chart, a tool I use for classroom management. I was able to find coloring books on the clearance aisle. Also found erasers that can be used for next year’s prizes and some fun things for my grandchildren to play with. I checked out the puppets as I want a toucan. The school supply store is a favorite place of mine.

On to Salvation Army Thrift Store where I found some items to help decorate for my daughter’s Vacation Bible School at which Terry and I will be working. The theme this year is “Shipwrecked.” I got more pants and backpacks which I will deliver to Columbia tomorrow. A friend of mine has Alzheimers and crocheting helps calm her mind and keep her focused. People are always giving her yarn for her projects.  Today there were bags and bags of yarn at Salvation Army. Most of the bags were very large with 10 or more skeins in all sorts of colors. I looked for a smaller bag, one with four skeins, to take to my friend. I don’t want to overwhelm her.

My last stop was at Sprouts and it was noon. The store was packed with customers, and it was getting a complete makeover so it was also packed with store personnel. The shelves were being emptied and changed out. Chaos ensued. Nothing was where it used to be. Maybe Tuesday isn’t the best day for shopping any more. I was able to find most of what I needed and got back home just before 1 o’clock.

I have installed the new wind chime.

Replacement pieces

Last week I wrote about the washer and dryer needing to be replaced. We bought those yesterday and delivery will be later today. I also had a clock in the family room that had died and I needed a replacement because I sit in that room a lot and often need to keep track of the time. It has to be a small clock, though, preferably with a second hand, and battery operated. Being that particular made the selection a bit difficult, but I knew there was one out there.

Sure enough, one of my favorite stores in a small nearby town posted a selection of their clocks to Facebook. I was delighted. Beyond delighted, because not only was there a variety of clocks from which to choose, it called for a short road trip to a delightful little town and a visit to a favorite store. It also coincided with a mission trip our daughter was starting in another small town, just down the road, apiece, so we could see her and our granddaughter for a brief visit.

I found a great small clock that can be read from a distance, which is important when I’m running through the sliding glass door from the patio, attempting to get one more thing accomplished before having to leave the house. I often cut it a bit too close unless I have a clock to keep me on task. So here, is the new clock, sitting in its place, doing its job.

More holiday cheer

Our kids are here for a couple of days, spreading holiday cheer. Last night we all went to Pieology (a pizza place where you can order your pizza, or salad, made any way you want it) and met up with the other grandparents for an evening of fun.

The restaurant is in an upscale shopping center that has a number of metal sculptures depicting cute children doing various activities. Grandson Judah wanted to see all of them so we traipsed around, in the dark and the cold, to see as many in the locations as I could remember. Maybe today we will go back and find all of them and take pictures.

The grown up kids and Terry are going to see the latest Star Wars movie. Jen and her dad have been doing this since she was in college. I’m not a fan so I do other things, and today I will take the grandchildren shopping at some of their favorite spots while the grown ups go to the movie house. It makes all of us happy.

On Friday the kids will travel to the other grandparents’ house in the northern part of the state. Terry and I are the only retired grandparents so we are the most flexible.

Trying to find things that make me smile

Today I went shopping.

First stop was the Salvation Army Thriftstore where I found one backpack and one jacket for a child who will need one or both at Columbia.

Next stop was Madewell, a delightful clothing store whose socks were 25% off. I also found a lovely sweater I can wear with my chaplain uniform.

Final stop was a popup shop that carries fair-trade items. I bought the three items you see in the photo and put them together for this door hanger. We all need peace.

It’s about time

This is the weekend we change the time, losing an hour so we can get up in the dark and stay up later in daylight. I don’t get it. I want my daylight in the morning hours, not late in the evening when I’m tired and want to go to bed. So, since I live in a state that honors Daylight Savings Time (DST), I change my clocks to go along with everyone else. But I do it MY way.

I change the clocks early on Saturday morning, whether for DST in the spring or Standard Time in the fall. Saturday is a better day for me to fiddle with time, and by Monday morning I’m pretty well adjusted to the new time. When teaching I had to be fully functional on Monday morning when I greeted groggy students.

Saturday works well for me to fiddle with the time now that I’m retired because I don’t usually leave the house on that day, unlike when I worked and had to get all my errands run on the weekend. Yesterday I prepped the soup I would take to church for Lent Soup Lunch after our worship service. I also got to bed on the new time so that I was ready to get up this morning. Well, fairly able, since I had slept my usual 9 hours.

On Monday I will go grocery shopping and run some other errands while everyone else goes back to work. When I worked, and only had the weekends to shop, I would find it annoying that the little old ladies who had all week to shop were in the store, blocking an aisle, on a Saturday. I always thought:  when I retire, I will not be in the stores on weekends when working people need the time and space to shop. I’ve kept the resolution. Actually, I prefer to shop on the slowest day of the week, Tuesday, but I have an obligation this week, so Monday will be it. I can go on my own time, after the darkness burns off of the morning.