Tag Archives: shopping

The last Friday in June

Although the afternoons are hot, our mornings are so lovely. Best time to work outdoors if one is not running errands. Today, the last Friday of the month, is just such a day for me. I’m staying home all day and getting chores accomplished. 

First up was the patio. It’s been less than 2 weeks since I stripped it down and washed off a few months of dirt, but it looked pretty grimy after the grandkids left. 

It’s not fun to move all of the furniture from the patio, but necessary to be able to wash off the dirt. I like the look of the stripped down patio but it’s not too functional in its bare state. 


After the cement pad has dried, I’m going to let our 4 kittens run amuck on it. They have been terrorizing our house the last few days. We have another week before we can turn them in to a rescue organization. I hope they can find good homes for them as they really are sweet kittens to whom we devoted much time and love. The mother cat gets neutered on Monday and I guess we will keep her as she actually belongs in the neighborhood. I took her in to have the kittens so they wouldn’t be feral and add even more to the cat population. 

Tomorrow will be hot AND a Saturday but Terry and I have errands to run. I usually try to stay away from stores on the weekends so as not to be in the way of those who work during the week and have ONLY the weekend to shop.  Our goat soap purveyor is coming into town to set up a “pop-up” shop at Pottery Barn for only a few hours, and since our soap supply is low, this will be a good opportunity to get more without having to make the usual trip into the hills. And, since Pottery Barn is in a shopping center with other merchants we frequent, we’ll do some other shopping, too. 

The clean patio with the furniture back in place. 

Retail experiments

Shopping has never been my forte. Bargains don’t jump out at me. Sales elude me. I’m one of those who seem to pay full price for almost everything I buy. This may be because I have no patience with shopping. Buying is what I want to do, not shopping. If I know what I want, or need, I feel that I should walk into a store, find the product, pay for it, and be out of the store in a matter of minutes. Doesn’t sound too hard, does it, but alas, it is. Until this week.

Target was my first stop, right after they opened at 8 a.m. I had a few coupons. I had my CartWheel deals loaded on my phone. I knew what I wanted to buy. Note the word BUY.

It’s back-to-school time and Target has a great selection of back-to-school supplies. I swoon at back-to-school supplies. The prices were ridiculously low on crayons, markers, pencils, and colored pencils. They had a text-to-phone special, too, that got me even more savings. I loaded up my cart with 25 of each, thinking I would use these as STAR prizes for the first graders at Columbia when I return to my chaplaincy duties. Now I just need to remember that I have all these goodies stashed in the garage and computer room.

Next stop, Barnes and Noble, where I also had a coupon. Three books and a journal. In and out in under 30 minutes.

Because I wear uniform shirts that are blue in color for both Good News Club and the chaplain duties, I wear navy slacks three times a week. The pants I wore last year were beginning to look a bit shabby as well as be stretched out around the waist. I kept thinking I should stop in at Talbots, the only place that has clothes that fit my short, wide body. Since my next stop was Whole Foods to get groceries, and Talbots is right across the road, and the store had just opened at 10 a.m., I decided this was the time to pop in and see what they had.

The Talbots clerk met me at the door and in a matter of minutes found two pair of pants that matched my requirements: navy, washable, front pockets. While I tried them on, she found a couple more, on clearance racks. They all fit so I bought all of them. I was in the store 17 minutes.

The next day I went to Sephora to pick up my birthday gift–Nars lipsticks–taking along a gift from a year or so back that I have recently discovered I love–Make Up Forever lipstick and mascara. With my luck, I figured they no longer carried the brand, but I was happy to find that they did AND the brand had an eyeliner in a color I’ve been trying to find since Lancome quit making it. Why do cosmetic companies quit making a product that I like? Happens a lot. Or to me anyway.

I had received an email from Sephora right before I walked in the store telling me that anything I bought would get double points that day. Smart marketing, those people. Although I have amassed 400 bonus points, none of the gifts appealed, so I just kept my points and took my Nars lipsticks this time around.

Great BUYING experiments this week. Hopefully I’m set and will not need to venture out to retail establishments for awhile.

Salvation Army Thrift Store is my shopping venue

A few months ago I started stopping in at the Salvation Army Thrift Store, mainly just to see all the items people were purging from their homes and lives. That in itself is fascinating.

I found a few toys for my grandchildren. Then I found some drinking glasses identical to the ones we had when first married 39 years ago. I was able to get two new sets.

Then the weather turned cold and I was on the lookout for coats for kids at the elementary school where I volunteer one afternoon a week. That’s when l learned about discount days for kids’ clothing–75% off.

Lately I’ve been searching for summer clothes for my grandkids who will be spending at least one week with us this summer when the temperatures will soar to over 100. They don’t have a lot of lightweight clothing as it’s much cooler, year-round, on the coast than here.

Last week I got a dress and pants for Leeya as well as 2 shirts and 2 pants for Judah for $4. This week I got a Mickey Mouse sweatshirt, 3 shorts and pjs for Judah and a pair of pants for Leeya for $3.

Here areLeeya’s things:

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These are for Judah:

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Some of these appear to have never been worn. The red swim trunks have a small 3-corner tear, but they will be fine for playing in the sprinklers.

A service I could use

While reading through my Twitter feed, I came across an interesting tweet from a fella in the Bay Area about receiving a “trunk” of clothing to try. Seems that there is an online service, for MEN, that will put together a few outfits after chatting with you, and send them out, free of charge, to try out. You then pay for what you want. It keeps the MAN looking up-to-date with his clothes. I could use this service.

The clothing is sent in a “trunk:”

10617560113_d8e91b3f14_zThe outfits are all put together from the information you give your personal stylist. Everything, from shirts to pants to shoes, is in the box. In your size.

Since I hate to shop, I would love to have such a service for women. I can usually find one piece of clothing that fits me, if I’m very deliberate in my shopping. However, finding the additional pieces to go with it, and make it look really good…not so easy. Being short and wide makes it hard to find clothing that fits. I’m also not as adventuresome as I would like to be with clothing so I stick with classic. It would be nice to have someone do that for me and shake up my wardrobe.

I know there are personal shoppers at stores like Macys (which we have in Fresno and I do not like) and Nordstroms (no Fresno store but I love this company), but you have to actually show up in the store to get this service. The idea that someone would ship all those clothes to me, to try at my leisure, in my own home, is so appealing.

 

Praying & Juicing

My daughter has had her juicer for about a year, and she loves using it. Often, when we are there, she will make juice with whatever happens to be in the fridge. These are the juices she made on Monday:

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Apple, carrot, spinach, and purple cabbage. We tried different combinations and found that it didn’t take a whole lot of the spinach. By itself, the spinach was very earthy and “green.” It all tasted good, though, and it got me to thinking that this would be a good way to eat a wider variety of vegetables.

After we got home, I did some research and found a model made by the same company that made Jen’s. It got high marks and sounded easy enough to use and it was reasonably priced. I had been leery of buying a juicer, thinking they cost hundreds of dollars. Jen paid $100 for hers and the model I was looking at was under $200. I did a check for where to buy locally, and the website showed that  Bed Bath & Beyond had one in stock.

As an aside, I do not like shopping at big box stores. They terrify me. I cannot find what I want. I cannot get help. Nothing about the process is easy. So, it was with trepidation I made the trip to Bed Bath & Beyond. I prayed about this before I went, asking God to guide me in my decision to buy a juicer. Was it the right thing to do? Was I just buying another gadget? Would it be a waste of money? Here was the deal: if I walked into the store and immediately found the juicer, with no trouble, then I knew it was the thing to do. If it was not just sitting there, then I would leave and figure this was not to be.

I went early in the morning, arriving at the store at 9:50. A sweet clerk immediately greeted me and asked what I needed. I told her about the juicer, that it was Breville, and that the website said they had one in stock. She took me a few steps to the juicer area, but she didn’t recognize the name. We walked around the display, and there it sat, right in front of us. I got out my phone to check the picture I had downloaded to Pinterest, and it was the right model. She asked if I needed a basket, but I said no, telling her my story about praying about this before coming in, and that this was all I was buying. She laughed, and said it must be the right purchase. I took it to the checkout counter, went right through, and was in my car, taking this picture at 9:58:

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And, this is the glass of cranberry, apple, and fennel juice that I made this afternoon: IMG_2730

More about life in the San Joaquin Valley

As you may recollect, dear Reader, my retired teacher friends and I headed to small town Reedley on the first day of school this year.  One of my friends had never been there, and she enjoyed that visit so much, she was willing to drive out through the countryside again last week with me. That’s when we stopped and looked at the raisins on the ground in the previous post.

I frequently drive the west side of the San Joaquin Valley, through almond orchards, dairies, and cottonfields, on my way to the bay area to see my darling grandchildren. It was on the latest foray out that long, straight highway that I got a hankering for a drive to the east side of the valley, heading towards the Sierras. Each drive has a totally different feel to it. As one heads east, towards the hills, the roads are often winding, coming up on the Kings River in various places. There are peach and plum orchards, and of course, all those vineyards that produce a bounty of grapes. Lots of citrus groves, too. It can get mighty cold on the east side of valley in the late winter, and often frost reports scare the orange and lemon farmers, prompting them to keep an all-night vigil on their orchards. Sometimes they turn on wind machines; sometimes they burn peach pits; sometimes they flood the rows with water. All to protect the valuable fruit that could be destroyed in one freezing night. Now that I’ve given you a brief description of farm practices in this valley, let me move on to the city life!

My friend and I parked right in front of the Main Street Cafe when we got into downtown Reedley. As I’ve said before, this is like stepping back in time to 1957. I love this downtown. I had a delicious German sausage sandwich which I had been wanting to try on previous trips. Main Street makes their own sausage so I figured it would be pretty tasty, and it was, just like their fine pies. My friend got to have a piece of blackberry pie this time. Previously, I had eaten the last piece they had!

After such satisfying lunches, we had to walk off those calories before getting back in the car. Almost next door to the restaurant are two wonderful shops that are pure eye candy. Garnishes has a myriad of accessories that dazzle the eye. The collection of rings with huge, eye-popping designs was fun to try on.

Laughing at time

Next door is a store where I have shopped for years, David’s of Reedley. When teaching, I would buy holiday gifts for my department here. They have the most beautiful unique things.

At David's

They also have a blog (as well as Twitter & Facebook) that I enjoy. Seems we have a running conversation going most days! This time I bought a Halloween mask: 

Mama doesn’t need a new pair of shoes

For the past three years I have worked hard to get rid of stuff. Hundreds of books found their way out of the house and into other libraries. Dozens of outfits went to the thrift stores for others to wear. Dishes, cookware, glasses, and all sorts of baking dishes are now residing in other’s kitchens. All the paraphernalia I used for entertaining many years ago now make my friend’s parties more festive.  Not only have I removed all this STUFF, but I have refused to let new things take their place.

Some things, though, like books and clothes, which I dearly love, can only come in if something like it goes out. In other words, no new slacks unless a pair leaves; no new book until I give my last read to a dear friend who loves my castoffs. This past week, it was shoes.

I had a wonderful pair of flats, in brown, that I loved. I could walk all over San Francisco in them, I could wear them to school and my  students even liked them, they went with pants or skirts. All that wearing, though, began to show on these shoes and the real kicker came when our sick, elderly cat squatted and peed on them. It was time for them to go. Which meant I could get a new pair. Fortunately, Coach still makes an almost identical shoe, and it was on sale at Macy’s this past week. Ta-da:

New Coach flats

On Sunday I wore a pair of slides that I got for our daughter’s wedding, nine years ago. They only get worn during the summer with skirts and so don’t have much wear, but I did notice a stain on one of the white stripes after I stepped out of the car, and then I realized they were hurting my feet.

“I’m going to get rid of these shoes,” I said to my husband as we walked towards church.

“Does that mean you’re going to get a new pair?” He knew I had just replaced the brown flats.

“Probably not. I still have a pair of mules I bought at the same time and they’re still in good shape, and I always liked them better.”

Here are the shoes that got tossed today:

The Chinese Laundry slides are no more

And for now, I will have an open spot in my closet. I don’t need a new pair of shoes.