Oh, the things you find when you’re not looking for them

The Husband was looking for a charger for one of his electronic devices.

So of course, that meant turning the house inside out. Because we found the box the device came in, the directions and the case, but not the charger. I did find a lot of other lost things, though. This is how it works when you want to find something. Other stuff turns up:

Hair scrunchies, missing (legal) drugs, hair dryers, a super-sized box of aspirin, old radios, a stopwatch that stopped half a lifetime ago, stray coins, a box of combs, four dead electric razors, six model cars. five tubes of sunblock, a pair of red shoelaces, binoculars, a telescope…

Oh, and the charger.

I thought we were neater and more organized than that. The closet looks pretty good, the shelves are full, but the contents make sense, at least to us. Nothing is thrown on them, everything appears placed there. So how did we arrive at this collection of random bits of life while looking for a simple charger? And worse, how did all that searching stir up a pile of dust bunnies and cat hair substantial enough to be removed with a broom and a vacuum?

I think some purging is in order. I have time next week, and an empty box or two sitting around. And I know what you’re thinking; that I would toss things without asking The Husband first. Of course I would not do that. I’d just put the stuff in the boxes, hide the boxes and wait a week. If he doesn’t notice anything different or missing, then it’s donation time.

Unlike the young lady in the video, I’m not happy about this task. I just know it needs to get done. How else can I make room for more stuff?


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Filed under home improvement, recycling

Are You My Mom?

Katheryn Deprill is doing something many of us could not fathom.

She’s looking for the woman who gave birth to her, and then abandoned her. Not by putting her up for adoption, or taking her to a an obvious place like a hospital or fire station, but placing her in a fast-food restaurant restroom, and leaving her there.

Twenty-seven years ago, someone out there left a newborn baby girl in an Allentown, PA Burger King

I'm cute...but where did I come from?

I’m cute…but where did I come from?

bathroom. She was found, taken in by a foster family who later adopted her, grew up in a happy and safe home, got married and now has three children of her own.

She is using social media in the hopes of reconnecting with the woman who did not throw her away that day, but at least left her in a warm, public place in the hopes that she would be found. She was, and she’s not angry.

Whoever you are, your daughter wants to know who you are more than why you did it.

She wants to know if she has other siblings more than how you decided to choose that restaurant restroom to give her a shot at a new life.

She needs to know her medical history, for her own sake and that of her children, more than what was going through your mind the day you decided you could not be the mom she needed.

Whatever you have in terms of material possessions, your daughter wants to add to it with love, not take any of it away.

Personally, I’m not sure I’d be so forgiving. Deprill sounds excited and eager to find out where she came from, rather than how or why. So if you are Katheryn Deprill’s mom, let her know.


Filed under Children, Current news, Relationships, social media

I Went Over The Shampoo Edge

Had to have it, even at the price of a trip to the grocery store.

Had to have it, even at the price of a trip to the grocery store.

Dear Lord, spare me from the wrath of the frugalistas. I spent $50 for a bottle each of shampoo and conditioner.

And there wasn’t even a salon dude to do the washing included in the price.

Fifty dollars. Holy soapsuds, Batman!

Let’s be fair about this. I have been the stockpiler type for a long time. Bought plenty of toothpaste, soap, shampoo, TP, paper towels and dental floss on sale for just pennies. And don’t get me started on BOGOs, doubling coupons, loyalty club points and free-with-purchase. And I go one step better: I donate a lot of what I buy to shelters and food pantries. So I’m really good.

And you know I’m just trying to use my thrift and thoughtfulness to justify that out-of-bounds purchase, don’t you?

Pampering ourselves is not a bad thing. Pampering to the point of indulgence, assuming all other needs are met, is fine.

But fifty bucks for two products that basically go from bottle to hair to shower drain? Probably just a shade over the edge of sanity on this one. And the sad thing is, I will likely do it again with this product; it’s that good. I’ll take my fifty lashes with the frugal noodle and move on.

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Filed under budget, consumer products, frugality, health and beauty, shampoo, thought

It’s Not Easy Racing Jimmie Johnson

Six a.m. and a cold, cold start to my personal Speedweeks.

Six a.m. and a cold, cold start to my personal Speedweeks.

I did my half-marathon yesterday in Daytona Beach. Thirteen-point-one miles in the (relative) cold, on a hilly course, with a ginormous bridge in the middle of it. A bridge on steroids. A bridge so big, I will hate it forever.

And I finished in the allotted time. And I got a finisher’s medal, and there was food at the end, which I could not eat, like pizza and doughnuts and fried chicken bits (The Husband loved the doughnuts, though. What’s not to love about Krispy Kremes?)

Today is not much of a celebration, though. Yesterday, adrenaline outshouted agony. Today, not so much. I am walking like Frankenstein on stilts, trying not to fall over when I have to sit down in the bathroom (I wish I’d listened to Mom and mastered the art of the stand-and-pee in those public restrooms), and trying to paste a neutral expression on my face while out in public, so I avoid those pitiful stares and well-meaning offers of help from strangers. Driving isn’t bad; it’s getting in and out of the car that makes me wish I had a pit crew.

Speaking of pit crews, six-time NASCAR champion Jimmie Johnson did the same event, and finished third in his age group. I should add he raced the Sprint Unlimited the night before, and had to go out and qualify for the Daytona 500 the same day as the half. He finished the half in under 90 minutes, chatted with fans, signed autographs, posed for photos and was a very nice guy. Oh, and he used the half to raise money for charity. And while I admire his athletic skill, I hate the guy for being that good. At the finish, The Husband wanted me to walk a few steps up the track’s banking, so he could get a photo of me with the Daytona 500 logo in the background. I’d tell you what my response was, but it’s unprintable.

Jimmie, you don’t make it easy for the rest of us to look bad. But thanks for being one of the good guys, on and off the race track.

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Filed under Exercise, thought

It’s All About The End Parking Space

The Husband has a thing about the end of the line when it comes to parking the car. He prefers the end space. Doesn’t matter which end of the row it is, it just has to be the end. As long as there is no other car on one side, he wants that space.

I don’t get it. Men are usually the practical one of the species when it comes to shopping. They go to the store, park, go in, get what they need, pay and get out expeditiously. Going around and around a parking lot looking for the “just right” space like he’s on some kind of crack-fueled carnival ride with bad brakes goes against everything the human male is supposed to do at the store. It’s supposed to be a very straightforward act, not some kind of contest to fit a sedan into a spot meant for a Schwinn¬©.

I’ve been the hapless victim of an end space gone bad. We’ve wound up parked so close to a curb, I’ve had to assume the crawl-out position, or crawl-up position (as in, crawl up a grass berm, only to have to use

Always looking for the sweet spot.

Always looking for the sweet spot.

the same berm to crawl up and slide back down into the car later on).

I know the purpose of the end space game: it’s to ensure that at least one side of the car receives no damage from a careless driver/passenger in the next spot. But it comes at the price of wasted gas and time (looking for the space) and the loss of some brain cells (looking for the perfect space). So I’m asking my followers. When it comes to parking your beloved Buick or pampered Porsche, what do you prefer:

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Filed under automobiles, thought

It’s A Trail Mix Kind Of Day, As Long As There’s Chocolate

A measure of my worth when I need a snack: trail mix.

A measure of my worth when I need a snack: trail mix.

I developed something of a serious trail mix habit when my mother was sick, because it was something quick to pick up, fairly nourishing and filling and fulfilled the sweet tooth craving.

She’s been gone two years, and I still have the habit. My tastes have changed a bit over time, though. I like the trail mixes with a lot of chocolate. I figure on a bad day, I can always pick out the chocolate and still claim to have eaten a “healthy” snack because I opened the bag.

My current favorite is a Walgreens brand, with peanuts, cashews, candy-coated chocolate and chocolate-coated caramels. So you got me figured out on this one. I’m buying a trail mix that’s fifty percent chocolate. Is that bad?

I figure I am getting the satisfaction of a chocolate fix along with the thrill of a healthy handful of other good things. Trail mix, back in the day (the 1970s, if you must know), was nuts and dried fruit, period. Hippies, hikers, athletes and other cool people ate trail mix because it was good for you. Now it comes in bags, bars and cereals. It comes raw, unsulfured and roasted. It promises energy, health and good nutrition. Small companies in rural places used to make it; now every food conglomerate has a version of trail mix. I’m still eating it because I got addicted two years ago, during a difficult time in my life. Oh, and those chocolate-covered caramel things aren’t bad, either.


Filed under Chocolate, food, thought

It’s Cold, It’s Soup Time

It is soup time sometimes, even in a hot climate.

It is soup time sometimes, even in a hot climate.

I made soup last night. Or more correctly, I put together a pot of soup.

I had most of the ingredients prepared ahead. Turkey stock from the Thanksgiving bird. Corn, carrots and diced chicken from another night’s stir fry dinner. Some store-bought chicken stock, left over from another project. Matzoh balls, prepped from matzoh meal, eggs, salt and oil. Small, thin noodles, bought a few months back when packages were a two-for-one special.

Add some freshly baked bread (made from pizza dough that had been stashed in the freezer, rolled out and sprinkled with sea salt and grated cheese) and it was a meal fit for a cold night.

What is it about soup and bread that makes it fit and filling for fall and winter? Even in a sub-tropical climate, where an umbrella-topped girlie drink is more the norm, we haul out the deep bowls and big spoons and get out the heavy pots for something to give us internal heat. Are we looking for kinship with our northern neighbors? Do we need a reminder of a childhood long gone, when soup and bread was perhaps a meal eaten out of economic necessity rather than choice? Is it a matter of time, or lack of it, when we open a few cans of soup, heat them up and call lunch or dinner done? Maybe it’s the versatility: you can make a vegetarian as happy as a meat-eater with a bowl of soup.

For me, the soup siren sings sweetly all year. I can go hot and sour, wig out on won ton or credit the power of chicken noodle soup any time. And fortunately, I have leftovers from last night; enough to last through the weekend, or at least the current cold snap.


Filed under cooking, food, thought