Ain’t It A Pip? Growling About Holiday Shopping, Enjoying An Animated Puppy

I’VE BEEN RUNNING AROUND THIS WEEK, looking for stuff to buy.  Not really enjoying the process, but aware of the fact that if I don’t get out there now the stuff I want will be gone.

And don’t go all check online with me.  I do that first to decide what I might want, then I allow brick and mortar stores to dazzle me with their customer service and ravishing displays.

During the holiday shopping season I give ’em a chance to please me because I’m old school.

So far, except for Barnes & Noble + Pottery Barn, stores have disappointed me. To wit, if your sales staff refuses to answer questions about your product [looking directly at you Apple] OR if you’ve opened your doors for business but none of your registers are working [giving you the side eye Crate & Barrel] then I will walk out of your store, irritated, but more aware of how little I mean to you.

Do those stores care about my lost sale?  I guess not.  Was I politely clear about how disappointed I was with my shopping experience?  Oh yes.  Will I go back into the particular location that ticked me off?  Nope.

I don’t know whether I’ll try to buy online what I went into the stores to see and experience.  The jury is out on that.  But if I do buy anything it’ll be with reluctance because I feel more like a disposal pawn, than a happy returning customer.

🎄 

BUT MOVING ONTO A CHEERY TOPIC, focusing on goodness, bringing this post full circle home via clever wordplay, I give you, my gentle readers, the following short animated film about a cute puppy named Pip.

You’re going to like this.

Get out the hankies because you’re about to be overwhelmed with the opposite of shopping frustrations. Yep, this is delightfully sweet and will warm the cockles of your heart. As they say.

I don’t know anything about this organization [I’m not affiliated with it] but this little video made me smile and feel good about life during a time of year when everyone, myself included, is running hither and yon– perhaps forgetting about the spirit of service to others.

In Which Ms. Bean Attempts To Buy Outdoor Holiday Lights During A Bleak Week

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A photo of the view out a bedroom window. Bleak.

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THIS WEEK I’VE BEEN TRYING to get it into gear to start putting up outside holiday decorations.

You’d think at this point in my life that’d be a simple task.

You would be wrong.

Last year, in a fit of tidy, I got rid of all our outside lights and wreaths.  The lights worked in sections and the decade-old wreaths were looking downright ratty.  They were more wire than fake pine needles and the dingy red bows on them added to the pathos.

So, knowing that we needed some new decorative stuff, I hauled myself up off the sofa and wandered meself through many a store looking at all the newfangled, complicated, high-priced lights– and wreaths.

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A photo of ground cover covered in snow. Bleaker.

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FROM MY FORAY INTO ACTUAL brick and mortar stores I learned that I haven’t a clue about how much to spend, what to buy [net or string? LED or incandescent? solid color or multi?] and where we might put that which I buy once I get it home.

I also looked at some pretty sparkly wreaths– that all seemed to be covered in glitter.  Me not happy. Me not want glitter traipsed into house.

Me fussy like that.

And so on that note of shopping defeat, underscored by one of the bleakest weeks I’ve ever seen in November, I’ll end this post.  Figuring that there’s a weekend a’coming and a husband to be cajoled into helping me find the perfect outdoor lights and wreaths.

To add much-needed color to our world. Hallelujah!

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A photo of trees in backyard. Bleakest.

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Pearls Of Wisdom From Ms. Bean’s Weekend On Her Own

Want to know why June Cleaver wore pearls? Watch this.

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Don’t let anyone tell you that my life is not exciting, that I was not a dynamo of whoop-de-do fun while my husband was away over the weekend attending a convention in warmer climes.

I mean, would a boring person spend her Saturday morning sorting through her sweaters, winter clothes, jewelry + scarves, reorganizing her part of the bedroom closet?

Hmmm…?

And then, as a reward for doing such a good job, would a dull person go to Bed Bath & Beyond to buy drawer dividers and a scarf hanger on which to put her newly organized accessories?

Me thinks not.

And lest the foregoing revelation of suburban debauchery doesn’t convince you that I’m a wild child, I’ll tell you, my gentle readers, how I spent my Saturday night.

[Try not to clutch your pearls too hard.]

I watched reruns of Frasier.

Yep, if that doesn’t confirm how exciting I am, then nothing will.

I’ll admit that at one time in my life I’d have been ashamed to let anyone know how low-key and practical I am when left to my own devices & vices on a Saturday.

But now, as a wise woman with a penchant for getting things done, for bringing order to chaos, for buying things with a coupon, I’m happy to tell you this.

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So what did y’all do over the weekend? Did you wear pearls a la June Cleaver while you did it?    

Where I Was When I Wasn’t Here: San Antonio, TX

TO BEGIN

Colorful bat mosaic on wall at zoo.

“The world is a book. If you do not travel, you read only a page.”

The above quote, that I see every day when I’m at home, is on a framed piece of artwork that I have hanging on a wall in our home office.

I only mention this quote, attributed to St. Augustine, because I believe it to be true, a guiding principle.  Thus I said “hell to the yes” when I had the opportunity to spend a few days in pleasant and pretty San Antonio, TX.

You see, last week Zen-Den was in San Antonio for a conference.  Remembering how much fun we had there years ago, I joined him after the conference was over and we goofed off for a couple of days doing things in America’s 7th largest city that is celebrating its 300th birthday.

[Did not know either of those facts before visiting there. Feel that I’m a better person for having shared them here.]

THINGS WE DID

• The San Antonio River Walk which is a meandering multi-level path around an urban waterway surrounded by restaurants, shops, and hotels.

• The Briscoe Western Art Museum which was beautiful, and wherein I saw Roy Rogers’s saddle, a real Wells Fargo Wagon, and ate a complimentary cupcake.

• The Alamo Quarry Market which is an open-air shopping area filled with stores and restaurants, not necessarily unique to San Antonio but a nice place to wander around in the warm sunshine.

• The San Antonio Zoo which was lovely, with more animals from South America, Australia, and Africa than any other zoo I’ve been to.

• The Alamo City Comic Con which was our first adventure into the happy, trippy subculture that revolves around comic conventions.  Here are my observations: 1) people, often entire families, were costumed like comic book or TV or movie characters [we were not];  2) people were standing in line waiting to pay to have photos taken with and/or objects signed by celebrities [we did not];  & 3) people were buying memorabilia and posters and t-shirts from the displays set up by many vendors [we did not].

IN CONCLUSION

And with that I’ll end this post with a hat tip to St. Augustine and his travel advice, suggesting to you, my gentle readers, that San Antonio, TX, is a fun + friendly place to visit for those of you inclined to want to read more than one page of this book we call the world.

In Which Ms. Bean Is An Accessory After The Fact, Maybe

TECHNICALLY I am guilty.

That’s what Zen-Den, Esq, tells me.

That by not reporting what I saw to the authorities I aided in, but was not an accomplice with, someone who stole something;  that I am an accessory after the fact.

Well, so be it, says I.

Sometimes the entertainment value of not doing what you’re supposed to do is worth risking the wrath of the law.  As if this situation would ever involve the police.

You see, I was in the Self-Scan lane at the grocery checking out when I noticed a mother with a baby and a 5 y.o. boy.  The Mom was showing/supervising/focusing on Young Boy as he learned how to use the scanner.

🛒 → 😇 → 👶 ← 😇←🛒

MEANWHILE Baby Brother was sitting like a sweet angelic cherub in the seat part of the basket cart.

Mom had placed on the basket cart one of those quilted blanket-y thingies that attach to the seat part of the cart so that the baby never touches the basket cart itself.  [I have no idea what to call those things.]

Baby Brother, after looking at Mom to make sure she wasn’t paying attention to him, in a calculated and deliberate move, used his pudgy little paw to grab a toothbrush from the basket part of the cart.

I’m assuming that Mom had put the toothbrush in the cart as she was shopping in the store, planning on buying the toothbrush.

🛒→ 😁 → 👶 ← 😁 ←🛒

HOWEVER Baby Brother with the sticky fingers was planning to do something different.

His plan involved him hiding the toothbrush, where no one would see it, in front of himself in the folds of the puffy fabric that surrounded him.

Mine, mine, mine, his smile said!

This was a brazen theft right under everyone’s nose, except me who happened to see what Baby Brother swiped.  I could have, of course, squealed on him to Mr. Man who was in charge of the Self-Scan lane, but I chose not to.

And I cannot for sure say that Mom didn’t find & pay for the toothbrush before she left the store because I was out the door long before she and Young Boy finished scanning their purchases.

But I can say that I don’t know when I’ve laughed so hard leaving a grocery store, my cart filled with items, legally purchased, and my heart filled with the joy that comes from watching babies do what babies do.

The One About The Broken Bowls & The Price You Have To Pay

I broke 3 dessert bowls last week. It’s a personal best.

One bowl I placed in the dishwasher wrong and it got chipped.

Mea culpa.

The second bowl I dropped while taking it down from the cabinet shelf.  The bowl slipped out of my hand, falling to the floor where, with a sense of drama that reminded me of a 3 y.o. having a meltdown over the way his PB&J sammie was cut, the bowl circled around the floor eventually crashing into the bottom of a cabinet where it broke.

The third bowl, like the other ones, was bone china, a notoriously sturdy substance when not around me.  It was part of the now discontinued Lenox Poppies on Blue that was our china when we got hitched.  I liked fussier things back then.

This third bowl cracked, then melted/broke, while in the microwave.  I don’t know if there was a slight crack in it before I put it in there, but while it was twirling around in the microwave I heard a loud pop.

When I went to take the damaged bowl out of the microwave, unaware that the bowl was damaged, I grabbed it with my right hand and the ceramic was so hot that it burned the fingerprint off my index finger.

Only sort of kidding.

*ouch*

So here’s where I find myself today: I’m a wise, slightly klutzy, woman who realizes, and accepts, that I will probably live the rest of my life a few dessert bowls short of 8 formal dinner place settings, as one does when one is too cheap to replace the broken bowls.

$19.99 a piece? I don’t think so.

Ain’t gonna happen.

#ThursdayDoors | Visiting A Northeast Ohio Store, Finding A Unique Chapel

Sign in front of retail store.

Today I’m joining Thursday Doors, hosted by Norm Frampton, so that I can share with you photos of the following doors + a bit more.

I took these photos when we decided, on a whim, to stop at P. Graham Dunn, a factory + retail store + chapel in Dalton, OH.

P. Graham Dunn makes inspirational home and wall decor, often in the form of wooden signs.  Above the factory there’s a humongous retail store in which you can lost looking at all the merchandise. 

Interesting barn adjacent to retail store.

Outside the store is a beautiful pond with a path around it that leads to a small narrow chapel, named Anna’s Chapel.  

The chapel is by the side of the pond and is like none other that I’ve seen.  Inside the chapel the raw wooden walls are almost entirely covered with graffiti that praises Christianity + a few personal messages as well. 

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DOOR into Anna’s Chapel.

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Graffiti on inside chapel walls.

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Example of P. Graham Dunn’s merchandise as seen inside chapel.

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More graffiti on inside chapel walls.

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DOOR as seen while standing inside Anna’s Chapel.

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One last look at graffiti on inside chapel walls.

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View of pond as seen from within Anna’s Chapel.

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