Looking Chilled

All the signs were pointing to winter arriving – grey skies, dropping temperatures, a chill wind and even the random, transient snow flake. The landscape department had their people out purging water from the in-ground sprinkler system. I wouldn’t have noticed except it was creating a fine freezing mist that I couldn’t avoid on my walk into work. These same workers were lopping off the iris leaves and cutting the day lilies. It really bothered me to see them cut the lilies since they were still blooming. I realize that they are behind schedule and probably delayed it as long as possible. Really, they usually have the plants trimmed back before the second week of October. I just didn’t want to believe. Most of the trees still have leaves. Most of the leaves on the trees are still GREEN! Some flowers are blooming. We still have a couple tomatoes on the vines. The robins are hanging around. However it is official, winter has arrived. Fall is done and over. I moved the summer pajamas out and the winter fleece ones into the drawer. But that is not what sealed the fate of autumn. Because our bedroom is on the corner of the house and takes the brunt of the wind causing it to be the coldest room, Sparky turned on the space heater and broke out the humidifier. I’m still not ready for winter despite the Cuddle Duds® sheets and the thermal blanket on the bed

Winterized garden
Iris leaves given crew cuts
Roses in igloos

Looking to Score

Last weekend I was on my own as Sparky and son#2 went to the Notre Dame football game with our good friends Charley and Julie. I figured this was the perfect time to go shopping. Armed with my $10 off any $10 purchase at J.C. Penny, I headed to the mall. I knew it was going to be a good expedition when I got a prime parking spot across from the store entrance. As I strolled into the store I was struck by all the red signs – 60% off apparel, accessories and selected shoes. Everything I looked at was deeply discounted. I decided to check out the discount racks. To my delight they were marked with special yellow signs that shrieked 60% off already discounted prices! I began my search. I had an arm load of items to try on. I tried them on. I selected the items that I thought would come to a total of $10. I stood in line (they were pretty busy) and when the clerk began to ring them up the prices were ridiculously lower than I anticipated. I stopped her and said I needed to add some more items to my selection. I regrouped and after another 30 minutes of sifting and trying on various clothes I had my purchases. I bought tank tops in white, grey, peach, red, turquoise, and lime and a white t-shirt. If I had paid full price I would have had to shell out $86.00. After the clearance discount, sale discount, and my credit discount my total for 7 tops was (drum roll please) $1.80. Yes that is correct. I paid a total of one dollar and 80 cents. That came out to $0.24 each. I pumped my fist in the air and shouted “I am victorious!” Sure it got a few looks from the people behind me in line but the sales clerk shared my glee and gave me a high five!

Just thought I’d add my proof positive since I didn’t want anyone to doubt my shopping skills!

Looking to Tell a Story

Back in my Xanga days I wrote some stories. They were sort of like the newspaper serials from days gone by. I had some characters that people really liked. All in all there have been intermittent requests to bring back some of the characters or to continue their stories. But I’m reluctant to do that. Instead I’m thinking I’d like to start a new story, with new characters. I’ll post a story episode every Wednesday starting with today. I hope you enjoy this new tale.

My name is Merit Valkyrie Bidwell and I hate it. My parents must have been smoking something when they came up with my name. My older sister is Elizabeth Ann, my older brother is David Joseph and I got the weird names. I’ve heard it said that our names mold us and define us in some unconscious way. If that’s the case, I was screwed from the get go. One of my earliest memories concerning my name was in Kindergarten. The teacher lined us up in alphabetical order by last name. I was second in line. You had to state your first name and then find a spot in line according to the alphabet. Most of the kids thought my name was Mary since that was their only point of reference. After we had all resorted by first name she made us state our middle name and find a new spot in line. I had never considered that my middle name was anything but a normal middle name. I stepped forward, stated my name and went to find the end of the line. Miss Raines hauled me up short for “making up a name” and asked me to state my real middle name. I was mortified. Standing in front of the entire class I was being called a liar. Of course, I burst into tears. Then the class as a whole laughed at me and called me a crybaby as well as a liar. The teacher asked me again to state my middle name and I repeated it. The next half hour was spent standing in the corner with my nose pressed to the wall. She never apologized and my classmates considered me a liar from that point on. In fact it wasn’t until my high school graduation that I was vindicated as the school board president intoned my name as I accepted my diploma. I just happened to catch a glimpse of Angie Adams’ face when she realized that she had taunted me for 12 years for telling the truth. It was a sweet moment.