Making Friends

I might’ve found a friend today in the handbag department at Dillard’s. She moved to Tallahassee a year to the day before I did. If that’s not the basis for a good friendship I don’t know what is.


We bonded over this Frye bag. Good heavens the woman has good taste!
Peace, people.

Spending Time with a Ten Year Old Girl

My middle grandchild, McKayla, and I drove all over the Quad Cities yesterday. We picked up her new glasses in Moline, Illinois, ate lunch and painted pottery in Bettendorf, Iowa, shopped for vintage (her word) stuff in Port Byron and Rapids City, Illinois, and enjoyed ice cream in Davenport, Iowa, I think. Thank goodness for GPS!

I was so confused by the time we returned home that I needed a nap. She on the other hand was energized with the prospect of decorating the interior of the vintage dollhouse we found at Birdie Lu’s in Rapids City.

Shopping with McKayla is an adventure. At ten, she knows exactly what she wants and already has a style of her own. Everywhere we went she received compliments on her hair or her dress or her jacket. I’m 58. I’m still trying to develop a signature style beyond jeans, a t-shirt, and flip flops. And compliments are few and far between.

At the same time, she still enjoys her Barbies and doll houses and pretend play. At least we have those things in common. We also share similar tastes in music; although, she actually knows all the words to the songs playing on the radio; whereas, I am reduced to humming and mumbling the lyrics.

I don’t embarrass her yet, even though I count that as an important part of Grandparenting. No matter how hard I tried I didn’t even rate an eye roll. Maybe I’ve lost the skill.

At the end of our expedition McKayla gave me a huge hug and thanked me for giving her an amazing day. It was pretty amazing to me, as well. It isn’t often that someone as clueless as I am has the chance to hang out with pure awesomeness.

Mercado en Antigua

Pictures do not completely capture the excitement and color of market day. A thousand words are inadequate. I needed much more than five senses to take in all of the sights, scents, and sounds of the Market.  

One of the first images was of fresh vegetables and fruits of every hue. 

  The grains, dried peppers, and spices put on their own colorful show as if in competition with the veggies. I’m not sure there was a clear cut winner.



Try this technique next time you go shopping.



I loved the pottery angels and the shiny buckets. See, I notice some things that aren’t edible.


My favorite photo of the day. I asked permission to take this woman’s picture, and when she said yes, I told her in Spanish that I thought she was beautiful. She covered her mouth with her hand and smiled like a teenaged girl.


Just a woman and her rooster.

We didn’t even make it to the textiles area. Hopefully we can stop by on Sunday for more of this wonderland.

Peace, People!

Trip Prep Mania and Gratitude

Without fail I go through a sort of manic preparation before embarking on a major trip. Before Studly and I went to Scotland two summers ago I had six months to scurry around shopping for just the right accoutrement (Studly uses the term “crap”) for our journey. 

 With a trip to Guatemala looming in early April I have less than two months to get my accoutrement together. It’s not that I don’t have enough clothes already, it’s that I don’t have the RIGHT clothes. I can hardly be expected to wear my normal t-shirts and jeans when traveling to a foreign country. 

Travel is getting my business this time around. I’ve ordered two items from their website:




Both earned a respectable 5 star rating, and I hope they live up to their respective reputations. Since I have a wedding to attend in Guatemala, it’s important that I look good, but not too good. One wouldn’t want to outshine the bride, after all. So maybe I’ll bring my crepe-y, saggy arms along instead of a firmer, sexier pair.

After I wrote this I came upon a blogpost that my sister-in-law shared about how much we have to learn as a country about happiness and gratitude. 

I hope you’ll read it. It puts my mania into a different context. I have so much, yet think I need more. Sigh.

Peace, People.

A Trying Experience

I’ve been shopping for clothes. I swear my waist size expands two inches every time I step inside the dressing room door. In my mind, I’m the same size I was in high school: Twiggy thin with terrific, long, shapely legs.


However, the Dillard’s dressing room mirror indicates I’m now more akin to Humpty Dumpty with thighs that have migrated south, puddling just below my knees.


The things that fit make me feel like a frumpy old matron instead of the hot broad I am inside. But if I dress to please that broad, I end up looking like a ten dollar hooker.


After two hours of shopping, sweating, and cussing, I bought one item–an unsweetened iced tea at McAlister’s. It fit perfectly.

Peace, people!


Something New

Studly was out of town yesterday, so I had the afternoon off from my new cooking gig. Truthfully I’m a little lost. Since switching to a very part time job, and ditching Candy Crush, et. al., I’m not sure what to do with my bad self.

I spent a little time looking at recipes and checking my ingredients list, then I considered taking a nap, but with Studly gone I was afraid I wouldn’t be able to sleep. As it turns out I didn’t sleep anyway, but that’s another story. Obviously, there was but one thing left to do: Shop!

It wasn’t going to be gratuitous shopping. Nosirree. I needed underwear. Panties, knickers, bloomers. You know, all those unmentionables that I just mentioned. I’d like to say that I’m a high end shopper when it comes to such items, but instead of Victoria’s Secret, I’m more of a Wal-Mart’s Whisper or Target Tart kind of girl. Basically, I needed something that would cover my butt without riding up between my cheeks.

Years ago I switched from bikinis and hipsters to the full-coverage almost-granny panties. Ok, they probably are granny panties but I’m in denial. It should have been easy to find these lackluster undies in a super Wal-Mart, where the selection was displayed by size and style in somewhat neat rows. Well, it was just hell.

I’d find the style I liked (oddly enough there isn’t a style labelled “granny panty”–they’re called briefs, like boring law documents), but not the size. Or I’d find the size, but not the style. After a good thirty minutes of looking I finally settled on some serviceable briefs.

Notice they say “NEW!” I tried to avoid the aisle with the used undies.

In keeping with my Love Month theme, Studly loved my NEW purchase.

Peace, People!

Mall Thinking

People watching at the

Elderly woman cajoles
Her husband.
Then commands.
She worries he’s done
Too much today.
Their hands touch
Briefly. He hates
Feeling old as she
Fetches Starbucks.

Husband and wife
Carry plump
Pillows between them.
She looks at him
With love and
Something akin to
He is oblivious.

Young adults sit giggling
Heads together
Job applications stacked
Neatly between them.
Pens scratch earnestly
Between witty asides.
Don’t make me laugh!
You made me forget
My address!

Mother and pink clad
Toddler enjoy
Conversation in a
Language I cannot
Understand. Their
Eyes smile. Little
Girl dances impatiently
Eager to join others
At play.

I wonder is anyone
Watching me?


Slippery Slope

I wandered around the kitchen wares department at Bed, Bath, and Beyond today. It’s amazing how many tools, gadgets, storage containers, etc., are out there. What’s even more amazing is my new compulsion to buy them. All of them.



The question is, do I NEED a melon baller? Do I NEED a garlic press? No, probably not, but dang, they’re cute! Why didn’t anyone ever tell me how much fun it is to shop for cooking paraphernalia?



And the ideas! Holy cow! It’s almost as if they’ve been waiting for me my entire life! Is it too late for me to have a love affair with cooking? Or at least a fling with the gadgets? 😍

Peace, People!

Beautiful Dream(er)

I awakened this morning from such a beautiful dream. It was one of those lovely, happy, super realistic visions that crosses the dream boundary. In it my mom and I were sitting at the kitchen table discussing our plans for the day. I told her I thought I’d go shopping and asked if she wanted to tag along.

“Just let me get dressed!” she said.

Then I woke up, looking forward to a day of shopping with Mom. 😢 I went shopping anyway and pretended she was right there helping me make decisions.


Shopping Lust

I’ve heard it said that in the heat of battle a warrior falls prey to battle lust, ignoring injuries and damning consequences. This intense involvement in the fight allows him to soldier on until the adrenaline fades and he has either won, or lost, the day. Shopping can be a lot like that. Really.

You see, we’ve needed bedding for awhile now, and every time I’m in a department store I venture into the rows of pretty comforters and quilts hoping to find just the right thing, in the right color, at the right price. We have one of those huge king beds that requires oversize bedding. When one purchases a comforter, bed skirt, decorative pillows, and shams the cost can be considerable. Some I looked at cost more than my first car. No joke.

Today I found a sale. A glorious bedding sale at Macy’s. Fifty percent off select styles. Note the word “select.” Now, I’m not one for buying a matched set when it comes to bedding. I like to mix it up. The sales lady and I were running around her department like Vikings caught up in our glorious battle. Soon I’d found a great coverlet in an extra large size. She spotted some shams and pillows and I scored the bed skirt. We laid them out and and gloated over our finds, reveling in our shopping prowess. I might have raised my hands in drunken victory. It was all so darned pretty!

We chatted merrily as Melva (we became quite good friends) rang it all up. I paid with my credit card. We congratulated ourselves some more. Then I carried all of my purchases out of the mall and to my car. Happily I began driving away.

That’s when the shopping lust faded and reality set in. I’d spent how much? I pulled over at the Sonic drive in and ordered a large diet cherry limeade to calm me down. I dug through my purse to find my receipt. Of all the things I’d bought, only one, the deep purple decorative pillow, was “select.” Blinded by shopping lust I forgot to look for “select.” Damn “select!”

So, what do I do? Drive home and explain to Studly that I was overcome by lust and it’ll never, ever happen again? Return everything and look for “select” styles? Maybe I should sleep on it. After all, I have new bedding.

Peace, People!