Friday, February 26, 2010

Snow Snow Snow

Check out my snowstorm post on Yellow Cottage!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Continuing on a theme...

This is pretty cool (although as a bibliofile, I feel a bit guilty thinking about trying it!)

When All Else Fails, Buy a Handbag

I have a famous (or infamous) story about buying purses...well at least it is famous among two of my friends.  You see, I'm pretty much a cheapskate.  While I blow money on some nonsensical things, as a general rule, I cheap out on stuff.  Big things like cars.  Little things like clothes and accessories.  Sometimes I regret it, sometimes not.  I'm not generally thrifty - you know, coupon cutting and shopping for sales is a lot of tough work.  But I'll walk out of a store if I just think the price isn't worth it to me.  Plus, I have this - "I don't really deserve, nor will I take care of, nice things" thing. 

So, my last car purchase? I actually got the last remaining Honda Civic with crank windows.  I mean I knew it was an old feature, but didn't realize how old, until my (then) 10 year old niece got in the car and said, "what's that thing??" pointing with wonder at the crank handle. 

My shoes - Payless.They'll never got out of style because they won't stay together longer than one style season.

My clothes - Kohl's at best...maybe Annie Sez but only off the clearance rack.  If it's good enough for Vera Wang brands, who am I to argue?  Of course I wonder sometimes if Vera has actually seen what they sell with her name on it.

My purses - the cheapest I can possibly find and I carry them season after season after season.  Usually bought as an after thought because the snap has busted on an old version of the same model.

So the famous purse story occurred in an outlet mall.  Outlet malls are one of my most favorite and most frustrating shopping experiences.  Sometimes such great deals!  But most of the time...pricey labels that I just won't buy.

Two of my very best friends in the world, are quality shoppers.  By that I mean they are educated consumers who know good labels, high quality, products.  Me, being cheap, I've never bothered to learn that stuff.  They, being not so cheap but not crazy spenders either, will pay good money for a product they believe in and that will likely be an heirloom piece someday.  I?  want someone to compliment my necklace so I can tell them it looks like crystal but is actually plastic and I got it from a vendor on 42nd street for $5.00 flat.

These two friends took me to an outlet mall and into a Coach store.  This is one of my biggest pet peeves in the world.  How can you possibly justify spending so much money on a handbag? or wallet? or any temporary item that you will throw on the floor of your car, crush under an airline seat, and beat to crap by filling it with makeup containers that will break and spill and mess up the entire thing?  Of course, if you buy quality, you  might just treat it better...but still. 

One friend (Lula you know this is you) migrated immediately to the red leather section, while the other friend oohed and aahed and encouraged.  Now beyond the fact that these bags were hundreds more dollars than I would ever spend on a handbag, if I were ever to invest, it would definitely be the all encompassing, long-lasting, black. 

Not red. 

Never red.

Red is for the $19.99 pleather version at target that you can use a few times a season.

Long and short of it, with me huffing and puffing and rolling my eyes in a tremendously uppity and rude fashion, she bought it.  But the kicker for me?  was when the sales lady said in her own uppity way, "You've got a real gem need to take care of you have the Coach conditioner?? Because you MUST have the Coach simply  must!" 

"Oh,"  exclaimed Lula, "Yes I MUST!"

And I walked out the door before I vomited on her name brand shoes.

But today I was surfing the net, trying to forget other troubles, and I found the Miche bag.

I've seen the Miche bag before in infomercials and I always thought it was a brilliant idea...but today, today it seemed like Lula's red leather bag must have seemed to her. It seemed like a MUST.  And considering the new bigger bag option...
and the huge number of shells you can buy.... could cost as much as that Coach bag, plus some....

But I figure...when life gives your cousin lymphoma and all else fails, buy a handbag.

The Miche is shipping tomorrow.

Monday, February 22, 2010

A Prayer from a Non-Believer

When a family crisis arises and your loved ones ask you to pray for them, and you don't really believe, what do you do?

My cousin Brian has had a difficult life.  His saving grace has been his adoption by my wonderful Aunt and the incredible love of his sister and her new husband. 

You see Brian was born a special child.  And when he was adopted no one really understood the extent of his abilities or disabilities.  After some time it was determined he had profound hearing loss and developmental disabilities.  Some doctors claimed schizophrenic tendencies, others severe autism. Each doctor brought new opinions, new treatments, new therapies, new drugs. 

Over his 45 year life, he has run through a gamut of pharmaceuticals - some that worked, some that didn't, to manage his psychological issues - all that resulted in damaged kidneys.  After years of dialysis he finally received a kidney transplant and this August is to celebrate 3 years with the new organ.  He is doing well in a good group home environment, he shows love and affection and communicates with the family well, and after losing my uncle - his father and buddy - 7 years ago, he's finally returning to a balance point.

Two weeks and one day ago, Brian was ok.  Two weeks ago he had a stomach ache.  Two weeks minus one day ago, Brian was given an end stage lymphoma prognosis.

We've all been floored by this.  Brian has had to struggle most of his life just to survive and now that he is more than surviving, he is flourishing, a new threat to his survival is here.

So, I ask again, when a family crisis arises and your loved ones ask you to pray for them, and you don't really believe, what do you do? If you're me, you focus on love and you cast your wishes to the universe and hope the believers are right, and you are (I am) wrong.

So here is a prayer from a non-believer.

To powers of the universe,
please have mercy on this good and kind man.
please consider that he gives love and receives love and wishes love and does not understand the lack of love.
please give peace to him and to his family as they struggle to find their way.
please help us all to remember the love that binds us and bonds us.
please make that love strong enough to weather whatever happens.
please care for this innocent soul and the diseased body in which it resides. there...

Will you - believers and non - join me in sending your wishes to the universe?

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Milestone at the Cottage

Woohoo!  Project #1 is officially checked off.

Go to my Yellow Cottage Chronicles blog and click on the "bathroom" icon to get the whole story.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Productivity Drain

I hav a productivity drain.  Can you gess what that might b?  Ys thr is a missing ky on my kyboard.  It is rathr intrsting to not that you can actually writ and rad (ok that word is tough) txt without ths lttr.  Hopfully tomorrow will bring m a nw kyboard.  Until thn....

this post is brought to you by th lttr

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

WFH - the Snowmageddon Episode

I love the WFH option from my office.  It is good for international late night calls/work.  It is good for stay at home and watch the plumber work.  It is good for car is in the shop, but I don't have to burn a vacation day.  And it is good for a day like today, the "I have work to do but I'll be damned if I'm going to take my life in my hands in the Snowmageddon world outside" kind of day.

So instead it's like this.

While it's like this outside.

And they're being cute laying on your paperwork like this.

Throw something into the crockpot for dinner so the whole house smells yummy.

And build an inviting fire to warm your toes.

Yup...this WFH thing is pretty cool. Snowmageddon, bring it on.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Electronic Prepping for Travel

Remember when preparing to travel meant, suitcase, id, traveller's checks, and an airplane ticket in hand.

Today it's all about the electronics.  Charging is key.  I have fully charged my blackberry, my iPod, and my digital camera battery.  Then there is downloading.  The Grammies did their best and they hooked me.  This afternoon, I boarded the iTunes site and bought me some Pink, some Taylor Swift and some Lady Antebellum.  Two out of three "country" categories, which was a big change for me as I tend to pick up the "alternative" category most often.  While there, I also updated my podcasts and reminded myself that getting on line to do this only once every 6 weeks is just not enough. 

Next I need to re-set my voice mail and email out of office messages to ensure all the many important (not) communications get routed for the next two days.  Then, my timer goes off reminding me at the exact moment of the 24-hour mark to login to the airline website and get that extra legroom seat in the exit row.  Then print that boarding pass and stick it with my blackberry, iPod, and digital camera in my oversized purse to get away with extra storage and not have to check bags.

Using the ATM in the airport and/or upon arrivel negates the need for those traveller's checks.  Of course the standard packing, id, and other items still apply (except the original paper ticket)...the key to all of this is - warmth, sand, sun, family.  The next four days promise to be a nice break from cold, snow, grey skies, and....well...I will miss Hubby.

Hey Ma!  I'm on my way.