Too Many Sweaters: New Years Resolution

ugly sweater

The Daily Prompt says we can be  new and different tomorrow, the first day of the year. I thought I wanted to become a more organized person, but after writing this post, I’m not so sure. . .

I own too many sweaters.  I don’t know how it happens, they just seem to accumulate, and to be honest, some of them are . . . not very attractive.  I used to watch a TV show called The Fresh Prince of Bel Air and in one particular episode Will Smith’s fashion conscious sister was late coming home.

“I saw a woman on the street wearing the ugliest sweater,” she gasped, “and I just had to stop and yell at her.”

That woman was probably me.  I tend to collect clothes and keep them until they are:

A. Past their prime and no longer fashionable, and since I continually add to my collection,

B. Overflowing the shelves of my closet.

Anyway, on  New Years Day 2013, I  decided to take charge of the situation. One of my resolutions was to become more organized, in other words it was  time to clean out my closet.  The ugly sweaters had to go, along with anything else I hadn’t worn in the past year.

As I sorted through the excess, I found myself waffling.  Each item seemed to have special memories attached to it.  I wore this when I was pregnant 20 years ago, or, my sweet grandmother gave me this for Christmas one year.   But I knew I couldn’t keep it all and forced myself to be sensible.

An hour later, my closet was lean and mean and after laundering everything, I boxed it up for the thrift store. Deseret Industries or DI for short, was my favorite of these establishments. You could find anything  there. I am a resale shopper and for someone with an eye for shabby chique type items, this place is a treasure trove, a gently used gold mine. . . but I digress.  Being short of time I  dropped my donations without even pausing to shop, never dreaming that I’d committed a grevious error.

A few days later, as I was preparing for a night out, I found myself standing in my closet pondering what to wear with the skirt I’d chosen.  I snapped my fingers as I thought of just the thing. My red sweater  The one with the sock monkey appliqué.   I plowed through my newly organized closet, but couldn’t find the sweater.  Where could it be? I know I haven’t worn it for a while, but – uh oh.

The thrift store – and after a slight jangle of brain cells, I even remembered dropping it into the box while thinking, I’ll never wear this again. Silly organized person.  But wait,  maybe it was still in the store.  I hated to buy back my own donation, but  I’d suddenly realized how much I loved that sweater.  I glanced at my watch and saw  I  had no time to spare.  Jumping into the car I raced to DI and careened into the parking lot.  Striding through the door, I headed straight for the sweater section.

It seemed that the force might be with me as I spotted one of my donated items still on the racks, but after a few minutes the sad truth began to sink in. Alas, it was gone.  Someone else had  loved the sock monkey sweater too  . . .

As I stood there, glum with disappointment, something shiny caught my eye. Wow I thought, pulling a garment off the rack, gold bangles – this is truly a great sweater . .  and look here’s another one!  The temptation was too much, and before long I was back home restocking my empty closet shelves with new sweaters.

Sigh, I own too many sweaters.

Time for a new Year’s resolution?

Cute Baby Animal Post

Baby Reindeer!

Have you ever seen anything so adorable? (Alright, I realize this is a lazy post, but I just had to share.)

Taking a few days off, but I’ll get back to work after Christmas. Happy Holidays to all!

For another cute reindeer picture see the Kindness Blog.

The Real Tree

christmas tree frplc.|It was Christmas of 1990 and my husband wanted an artificial tree. I was appalled. We’d always had a real tree. We’d grown up in Oregon for heaven’s sakes.  You could flock a tree, you could cover it in tinsel and hang whatever you wanted from its branches, but to qualify as a Christmas tree, it had to have been alive at some point.“You can put an artificial tree up in five minutes” my husband said, “and some even come with lights attached. Not only that, but you don’t have to spend hours tramping around a cold Christmas tree lot.”

But that’s part of the fun I reminded him. And what about tradition, what about the Christmassey smell. No amount of convenience could make up for that.He finally conceded, but left the actual tree hunt up to me. I could do that.  In fact that was my favorite part! So the family minus one, piled into our car.

When you arrive at a Christmas tree lot, the first thing you must do is inhale. The heady smell of pine wafting from millions of needles on hundreds of Christmas trees is enough to put anyone in the Christmas spirit.  Now all we had to do was choose the perfect one.

Oddly enough, lying on the ground not two steps from the entrance was a lone tree.  I picked it up and everyone was immediately struck by its perfect shape.  Forget the rest we decided, we had our tree. Marvelling at our good fortune, we loaded it onto the top of the car and merrily carolled our way home.

Our first attempt at securing the tree in its stand was unsuccessful.  It stood bravely for a moment, then wobbled and gracefully swooned. My husband lay down on the driveway to adjust the stand and we tried again. This time the tree made no pretense of standing, and crashed into the car as soon as we let go. Strange I mused – meanwhile my husband whose bad back was not benefiting from lying on the cold driveway was beginning to – shall we say grumble.  He gave it one more try, then removed himself from the scene.

Maybe we should get a fake one,” my son suggested. “The Wilson’s only took five minutes to set up. I watched them do it.’

“No,” ” I said, trying not to stomp my foot like a three-year-old, “fake trees simply do not cut the mustard. They don’t drop little needles that are sucked up by the vacuum and perfume the air for weeks afterward.”

The troops exchanged worried glances. “I have basketball practice,” someone said.  “Me too.” It was a polite mutiny, but mutiny just the same. Oh Ye of little faith!

Alone with my tree I was perplexed, yet undaunted.  I took it out of the stand to examine it and discovered the real problem.  The trunk was cut at an angle.  No wonder the poor thing refused to stand.  I rummaged through the garage and found the hand saw. Propping the tree up on a couple of improvised saw horses, I begin to hack through the green sappy wood.  Unfortunately this tree had a trunk the size of a California redwood.  You know that one you can drive through?  This was bigger.

After awhile my husband – the victim of a guilty conscience – reappeared on the scene. Looking at my pitiful pile of sawdust he sighed.  “Do you need some help?”

“No Thanks,” I gasped, “I’ve almost got it.”

Removing the saw from my hands, he pointed out that my efforts had produced an indentation of about an eighth of an inch. He took over and before long the tree was whipped into shape and flat on the bottom.  We triumphantly hauled it into the house and placed it in the designated corner.

Someone turned on the Christmas music and we proceeded to festoon the real tree with bangles and balls. Finally, I stood back to admire. My tree was beautiful – a sight to behold, and it smelled heavenly. The only thing left to do was put the angel on top.

Since the tree was rather tall, my husband hoisted our toddler up with  angel in hand.  It was quite a reach, but he grabbed hold of the top and bent it towards him just a little.  The tree cooperated and  leaned a little farther.

“Uh Oh,” I cried. “Catch it.  Don’t let it fall!”  One of the boys made a valiant effort and was engulfed  by the unruly evergreen.  From his eyeball to trunk perspective he made an observation.  Mom, the trunk is curved.  I think that’s why it was laying there all by itself.  It’s defective.

I looked closely.  It was true. “Oh well,” I murmured, finally admitting defeat, “You guys were right. I guess we should have gotten a fake one after all.”  No one said anything for a minute.

“Now hold on,” said my husband, “let’s not give up so easily.” I stared at this alien who had possessed by husband’s body.  He disappeared into the garage for a minute then returned with a rope. Deftly lassoing the tree, he used the curtain tie back as a pulley, hauled the tree into an upright position, and secured the rope to the window frame.

“There,” he said, stepping back to admire his handiwork.  “If you squint your eyes and stand over to this side you can’t even see that it’s tied to the wall.”

He was right, and with a few minor adjustments  the tree looked gorgeous again.  The strains of Bing, singing Oh Christmas Tree began to fill the air, and unexpected tears filled my eyes.

“Thank you honey,” I whispered.

He gave me a wink. “Merry Christmas.”

How To Be Happier 7 Days A Week

Laughing Man 6Having a bad day? Feeling sad or discouraged?  Read on:

“Don’t compare yourself, celebrate yourself!”
“Run your own race, you have something great to offer.”
“Live without excuses.”
“Guilt will steal your joy.”
(Excerpts from guilt Will Steal Your Joy, by Joel Osteen)

I’m not usually a fan of Television evangelists. However sound their their message, there’s always the danger of one of those excruciating public apologies when caught in the midst of some scandal or the other. Who can forget Tammy Faye Baker‘s   (  tear-induced runaway mascara, when hubby Jim confessed his infidelity on a worldwide broadcast. Thanks to this and many other public implosions, the image of the T.V preacher has suffered over the years, but Joel Osteen seems bent on changing  that.

joel osteen

While Osteen is the acknowledged Mega King of the Mega T.V. churches, he seems to be a horse of a different color. With his rock solid marriage, and  practical, positive message, there’s a lot to like about the man.

I’ve been listening to his audio book, and his stories are homey and down to earth; real life situations that anyone can relate to. And though I’m not personally a member of his  flock, I like to pick up nuggets of truth wherever I  find them. Osteen’s book is a virtual gold mine.

Here’s a few more sample’s:

“We have what we need to be happy, we just don’t have the right perspective.”
“You cannot give Thanks to God and stay down and discouraged.”
“We can’t control our circumstances, but we can control our reactions.”
“When you allow what someone says or does to upset you, you’re allowing them to control you.”
“Every day tell your children, your spouse, those who mean the most to you, how much you love them.”
“Today you are living in tomorrows good old days.”

I picked this book up because I needed something to listen to while I waited for my real book to come in from another library.  By the time my hold showed up I couldn’t put this one down.  Osteen’s book is funny, entertaining and inspiring.  I recommend it to anyone who find themselves grappling with the complexities of everyday life.

Laughing Man 2

The Library Lady Raises Her Voice

The following is a reprint of my very first blog post. This was published before I had any followers – insert sad face – and it just floated around in the twilight zone where no one saw it. Today I’m giving it another chance.  canstockphoto150920272.jpg

DISCLAIMER – Lest you get the wrong idea, I never have, nor do I intend in the future to write articles or blog posts that focus on the topic of . . . Urine. I was reluctant to do so in my very first Library Lady installment, but I think you’ll agree if you read on, that the following post simply HAD to be written.

Let me start by saying that in calling myself the Library Lady, I do not mean to imply that I am an actual Master’s Degree weilding Librarian. I am what is called a library CSS. In layman’s terms that is a . . . drum roll . . . Customer Service Specialist. I specialize in customer service, I customize in special ser – never mind, I think you get the idea. And In our library, being a CSS is not difficult to do. My job is what I call a ‘yes I can’ job, which means that most requests for my help can be answered with a hearty, “Yes I can”.

Can you check these books out for me?
Yes I can.
Can you find my lost CD?
Yes I can, (providing you actually turned it in).

I can also shelve your books, place holds for you, explain that nasty fine on your account, and share my current list of favorite books.

Very rarely do I come across a situation that requires a negative answer.

Can I get a library card even though I’ve failed to bring in photo I.D. or a proof of address? Is one of those. Another slightly less common but equally important, ‘No’ question goes like this:

Can I urinate on my library items and return them through the automatic book drop in hopes that no one will notice my transgression?

Now watch, here it comes – this is the library lady raising her voice. ARE YOU KIDDING ME! IN THE ENTIRE SEVENTEEN YEARS THAT I’VE WORKED HERE I’VE NEVER EVEN HEARD OF SUCH A THING!

I will now pause to catch my breath, and give you a chance to recover from my outburst.

Wait a minute you say, no one is going to ask a question like that, and truthfully, you’re right. They didn’t ask, they just did it – approximately 13 books, CDs and DVD’s were returned in the book drop smelling like they’d been stored in a diaper pail. Not smelling just a little bit mind you, but to the point where we considered breaking out the hazmat suits and calling in the fire department.

Since I am a Lady, I will not divulge any more of the gory details, but suffice it to say that I and my co-workers spent far too much time trying to reconstruct the chain of events that might have led up to this situation.

Was a toddler with a leaky diaper to blame? Was it teenagers thinking they were funny, a drunk, a sleepwalker? But no matter what the cause, the real puzzle is, why would anyone bother to return this stuff?

Is this someone with a warped sense of humor? Were they unaware of the condition of the items? Maybe they hoped we wouldn’t notice. What could the returnee have possibly been thinking? It boggles the mind, and now I must quit obsessing and focus on the fact that most library patrons are delightful, intelligent and scrupulously hygienic.

To sum this up, if you are even considering urinating on your library books, please think again. First of all, you will incur a hideous fine. We know who you are – remember that photo I.D. and proof of address? Second, we will track you down and kill you. No, not really, but we might track you down and return your library items to you. Mind if we leave them on your kitchen table?