Shopping For Clothes

I don’t like to shop for clothes– at the mall– in the department stores.  However, last week it seemed like a good idea. So…

I went to the mall to look for some spring clothes for me.  I parked in the only place I could find– a parking garage about halfway between two department store anchors on either end of the mall.  Then I walked to the end of the mall to shop in the big bad department.

Once inside I went to the exact spot in the exact department where I had seen, in January, what I wanted to buy.  But my item was not there.  In fact, the whole large area formerly devoted to this particular brand was gone.  So I went in search of a sales associate.  Eventually I found a woman and asked her where the brand I wanted was hiding.  I know department stores.  They hide things.

She told me that they no longer carried that brand.  So I asked: “why?” And this is what she told me.

The brand that I was interested in buying is also sold on a tv shopping network.  Dishonest shoppers, who had purchased discounted  items on the tv shopping network, were returning these discounted items to the big bad department store– where the big bad department store was giving them a full price refund— which was costing the big bad department store money.

[I have no idea why the big bad department store didn’t pull a Nancy Reagan and “Just Say NO” to the scam artists.  That’s what I’d do if I was in charge.  But, of course, I am rational and ethical– which in my experience is the antithesis of how department stores work.]

Instead, the big bad department store did the only thing it could think of to solve this problem;  it stopped carrying the brand altogether.  The brand that I had finally decided to buy.  The brand that this annoying store has promoted ad nauseum for years.  That brand.  *sigh*

So I thanked the sales associate for letting me know what was going on and left the big bad department store empty-handed.  Again.

As I was walking back to my car, I started thinking about what had just happened.  I had made the effort to buy something, but was defeated by the very store that had convinced me that I needed this item.  That was annoying.

I’d  been told a story that made the big bad department store look like a victim– which, I guess, the sales associate thought would make me sympathetic to the plight of the store.  That was weird.

But most importantly, I’d had the belated realization that I should never, ever listen to what the big bad department store says. Everything about the place is  hinky.  And this insight, gentle readers, was worth the trip to the mall.  I have learned.  I am better for it.

And you know what?  I’m not going back there again.

[Hello FTC!  I cannot lie.  I didn’t put this disclaimer on this post when I first published it because I didn’t use any names of the companies that I’m writing about here.  But now I can see that in the comments below I will be revealing the identity of the big bad department store.  So just to be safe, here is what you like to see: I have received no money or other compensation for the opinions stated in this post or in the comments below.]



Seed Money

 

In the spring I usually buy my tomatoes and herbs as small plants from the local garden nursery.

But this year I decided to try to grow the little plants from seed inside the house, hoping to transplant them outside when the weather is warmer.

So what do you think?  Will these seeds grow?

Or have I squandered $13.84 on this investment?!

You Have To Latch On To The Affirmative

You’ll be happy to know that the physical therapist, recommended by my doctor to evaluate my lower back strength and flexibility, has established that I have the hamstrings of a Rockette.”

This is a good thing.

You’ll be equally happy to know that said physical therapist, who is the epitome of tact and grace, did not mention my Mama Cass Eliott thighs.

Not once.

Reflecting on the above I have concluded that: 1) I’ll take good news, no matter how unique, wherever I find it;  and 2) it’s time for me to get walking on a regular basis again.

How To Make Me Smile

Show me a recipe with a bit of small town snark buried inside of it from an 1894 church cookbook.  Delightful.

AMBROSIA FOR ONE

Fill a saucer with fresh peaches, finely sliced, or strawberries, carefully picked and  selected; over this, place a measure of ice-cream, vanilla flavor.  Cover all with powdered sugar to the depth of one-fourth inch.  Eat with spoon (if your income is over twenty thousand dollars, you can use a strawberry fork). [emphasis added]  Serve with angels food, or almond macaroons.

~ ~ Recipes Tried and True by the Ladies’ Aid Society of the First Presbyterian Church of Marion, Ohio


A Weekend In Las Vegas

Last weekend Zen-Den and I went to Las Vegas, a four-hour direct flight from here.  He was going there for work, so I decided to tag along for a 48 hour getaway because I thought that it would be entertaining.  And it was… sort of… in a “well, I guess this is better than sitting home alone” kind of way. Here’s my take on our trip.

The Good: Where We Stayed

Having been to Las Vegas many times before we wanted to see what it’d be like to stay in a non-gaming hotel, so we stayed at the Four Seasons Hotel.  [Not quite as pricey as you might think when booked together with airfare on Travelocity.]  The hotel was clean and quiet and stylish and refined– which was in complete contrast to the smoky and noisy and tacky and loud casinos.  I liked going back to the stillness of our room after the chaos of The Strip.  Very yin and yang.  This was a wonderful choice for us.

The Bad:  Meals.  Shopping.  Shows.

Meals in the restaurants were okay, but very expensive.  Drinks weren’t cheap, either.  Shopping was either high-end designer shops, or the “same-old, same-old” mall stores available all across the USA.  The shows were stale.  Many had been there for years and we’d seen them before;  or they were just another one of those “Cirque du Soleil” shows that all seem the same to me.  Overall, there was nothing special for us about the meals/shopping/shows, so we spent more time in the casinos playing penny slots– which got kind of old.

The Ugly:  Transportation

Getting around on The Strip was slow and difficult.  We didn’t have a car so we walked, used public transportation or grabbed a cab.  Many of the escalators and moving sidewalks were broken.  [I’m looking at you, Excaliber.]  Alternate stairways were dirty.  [Shame on you, Imperial Palace.]  The monorail service was available but it wasn’t easy to find– and inexplicably, it no longer had a stop at the Convention Center.  Tram service between casinos was arbitrary.  [A few signs, clearly posted, with the hours of tram service would be nice, Mandalay Bay.]  Taxis, while plentiful, were painfully slow driving up and down The Strip.   We spent more time getting around Las Vegas than we wanted to and this made us cranky, tired, and not thinking happy thoughts.

In Conclusion:

I used to like Las Vegas because it was so unique and happening, but now it seems like it’s trying too hard– desperate– out-of-touch with the times.  In a world with legalized gambling in 49 states — the ability to have any show delivered to my living room via Netflix — and online shopping, there’s little reason for me to go there anymore.  Sure, we had a good enough time.  But in the future when given the option to go to Las Vegas for a personal vacation, I’m going to pass.  Too much hassle, not enough fun.

[Image above of the Iconic Las Vegas Sign from here.]

[Hello FTC!  So we meet again. Just to be clear, this is only my opinion about my experiences.  I’ve received no money or other compensation for this review. Are we good, FTC?]


Late Winter

It is drab outside.  Dark brown, gray, rust with hints of dingy green.  My light-sensitive eyes enjoy not squinting, but my spirit longs for sunlight, growth, something new.

***

Fresh flowers.  Citrus fruit.  Coffee.  These are the items that keep me whole during these last few weeks of winter gloom.

***

Raining and bleak outside.  Late afternoon.  I stop at our local grocery hoping to grab a few essentials.  The place is crowded with shoppers who, to put it politely, are very focused on their objectives.  Chaos.  Unhappiness.

Waiting three deep in front of the milk case I notice an older woman who is completely relaxed in the middle of this madness.  She radiates health, calm– and has excellent posture.

Intrigued, I look more closely and realize who it is.  Lilias Folan.  Of PBS yoga fame.  I quietly congratulate myself for paying attention– and stand up straighter.  Stomach in, shoulders back.  Move forward with grace.

***

I buy a bright yellow and green pillar candle.  At home I put the candle on a plate and set it on the granite counter in the kitchen.  I light the candle and the reflection of the flame on the counter gives me hope.  There is Spring in our kitchen.  For now.  I feel better.

***

Weekend plans keep me focused on doing.  As much as I want to, I can’t sit and stare out the window at nothing.  I must prepare.  Get ready.

***

Purple.  Orange.  Yellow.  Pansies planted in the fall.  Which colors will survive the winter?  Every year it is different.  I wait to see.  Curiosity replaces ennui.

***

The dark green stems of the daffodils are shooting up in the backyard.  Cheery yellow.  A bit of orange.  Color is on its way.  I am revived.

Yippie-yi-yo-ki-yay

I know that it is customary in the blogosphere to put a photo of yourself on your blog.  As I understand it, the reasoning goes that by showing the world what you look like, more people will be interested in what you have to say.  You will be legit.

[I have my doubts about the truth of this assumption, but that isn’t what I’m in the mood to talk about today.]

So, not wanting to seem standoffish or out-of-touch, I decided to look for a picture of me.  This project seemed easy enough until I realized that I have very few photos of me.  I think that I must have been Amish in another life because I don’t like to have my photo taken.  Ever.

Still, I persevered and eventually I found this photo of me, age 3 (maybe 4?).

I think that this photo is close enough to what I look like now to qualify as a current photo of me. I still squint when looking into the sun.  I still have short blonde, sometimes curly, not quite straight hair.  I still have a rather casual approach to everyday outfits.

However, there are two important things about me that have changed since this photo was snapped.  First, I wear glasses all the time.

[Feel free to print this photo and draw glasses on me.  Make them kind of rectangular, rimless, with no-line bifocals– and make them very expensive.]

And second, I no longer carry a toy gun with me wherever I go.  I cannot overemphasize this point enough.

You see, this photo was taken during my “Wyatt Earp/Dale Evans” phase when I was convinced that if I dragged this gun around with me all the time, I’d eventually get my parents to buy me a cute little cowgirl outfit.  My tactics failed.  I never got the outfit and at some point a few months after this photo was taken, my little gun mysteriously got broken and was thrown out.

While it’s true that I never achieved my cowgirl dreams, this photo of me and the toy gun remains today.  And because of it I can show the world who I really am.  Or was. And more importantly, I can show the world that I’m a serious blogger with a picture of myself clearly posted for everyone to see.