Can I Have a High Five?

Let me set the scene for you.  When Hayden and I go into the city there are a few thrift stores that I like to go into.  By the way, why do all of my weird, dramatic stories take place in thrift stores?  Anyway, one of the stores I go into is a Goodwill outlet that Liv and Hayden both refuse to go into.  That’s fine, because there is a normal Goodwill attached next door.

Yesterday, Hayden and I were perusing the books in the normal side for about half an hour before I quickly ran into the outlet to see if there was anything I  wanted to fight someone over needed.  Seriously, these people mean business.  Keep your hands to yourself and DO NOT take a purse into one of these stores.  The rules are completely different here.  If you get a buggy, DO NOT remove your hands from it or take your eyes off of it or you are going to end up in a fist fight over the contents.  I’m not joking!

While we were in the normal side looking at the books, no less than six times someone came over the loudspeaker and said, “Assistance needed at the outlet cashier please”.  I didn’t really think anything about it.  I knew in the back of my mind that it was unusual.  Think about how many times you hear someone calling for assistance in a store.  This was on repeat.

After we bought the books we were getting, Hayden took them to the car and I quickly ran into the outlet to check out the purse section and the books.  While I was looking at the purse and bag bins, I heard twice more someone asking for assistance at the cashier.  I found a 31 cooler in a nice pattern and a very nice Vera Bradley Night and Day black and white crossbody purse and hung them both securely over my arms.  I quickly went through the section with the book bins and didn’t see anything I needed, and made my way to the cashier.

As I’m standing there in line, I’m just patiently waiting my turn and people watching.  There are two groups of people in line in front of me.  The first group finishes up their purchases and leaves.  The woman in front of me steps up and places her items in the bin to be weighed.  The cashier, I notice is standing there staring after the people who are leaving with something in his hand.  And he just keeps standing there staring after them fretting and muttering under his breath.

The lady in front of me asked him to please ring up her stuff and he gets very flustered and eventually tells her that her items are $1.14.  She tries to hand him $1.14 and he tells her she only owes him $0.53 because he had a slight miscalculation with the previous customer and they left him with extra change which he applied to HER purchase price.  She just stared at him and tries to hand him the $1.14 which makes him very agitated, and he explained to her again, that she now only owes him $0.53 because he applied the leftover change from the previous customer.  She finally threw up her hands, gave him $0.53 and grabbed her stuff and left.

Now its my turn.  I have an inkling of why there were repeated calls for help at the cashier.  I say hello, because that’s my default, I always speak to everyone if they make eye contact with me.  He looks startled for a second and says hello back.  He rings up my two bags and tells me my total is $0.96.  Score!  I hand him a dollar bill…..  I am not making this up…..

He starts chanting under his breath, please work this time, please work this time, please work this time, as he punches in the amount to get my change.  I knew better than to leave him with the four cents.  Heaven help all of the people in line behind me if I did.  Chaching, the cash register opens and he sticks both arms into the air and yells, YES! like he’s at a ball game.  He’s dancing in place and he says, Can I have a high five!?!  He’s already got his arm across the checkout counter waiting, so I said of course and we high fived with six people waiting in line behind me.  He was so, so happy to make change for a dollar and nothing to go wrong.

I smiled and told him to have a great day – he’s still dancing around in place – and smiled at the guy behind me, who actually smiled back!  It seemed to make his day that I would high five him, smile and say have a great day.  If I had to guess, I may have been the only person to be even slightly pleasant to him that day from his reaction.

The moral of this slightly bizarre tale is to be the good.  Just be the good, people.  You don’t have to ask anyone to high five you, but smile.  Even if you don’t want too.  It might make someone else smile too.

I completely forgot to put the two bags I found at the outlet in my list of thrifty things I found in this post, so hopefully I’ll remember to do it next time.  Have a great rest of the weekend and smile.  And high five someone if you think they won’t punch you in the face instead.

What’s going on?

What’s going on in your world?  I sat down to try to remember what’s been happening in our world, otherwise it will all just fritter away into the ether.  Here’s what I actually remembered!

Liva has decided to cut off almost ALL of her hair.  For a girl who kept her hair to her waist for most of her life, it was a painful thought to this Mama.  But, she’s had it cut off to her chin for the past couple of years, so it wasn’t unexpected.  She just keeps going shorter and shorter.

I’ll try to get a picture to show you I mean ALL of her hair, at least in the back.

On our way to get Liv’s hair cut off, we saw a very disturbing sight.    As we were hurtling down the interstate at 80 miles an hour there was a Penske moving truck up ahead of us.  We could see something hanging out of the drivers window.  The closer we got, yep, we confirmed it.  It was a human leg.  With a sock on the foot.  Just dangling out the window on the driver’s side of the truck.  When we drew up beside the guy, he glanced over, startled.  He gave us a look like – what are you looking at!  Go on!  As he texted.  Good grief, people are insane.  You do not drive a loaded down moving truck on the interstate at 75 miles an hour with your LEG hanging out your window.  Especially if you are the driver of said truck, while TEXTING.  I wanted to take a photo, but Denton wouldn’t slow down.  He was probably afraid we’d all be killed by the lunatic driving the Penske truck.

I came out of the store the other day and there was a Grandma, a Mama and a little boy who couldn’t have been more than two.  He was so little he needed to hold his Mama’s hands to steady himself to walk.  I overheard him say, “Look, that car is a Pontiac.”  His mama said, yes, it is.  He said “That ones a Chevy”.  Yes, yes it is.  Then she asked him what the car beside it was.  He thought for a moment and said, “I don’t know that one.  What is it?”  His mama said, that one is a Ford, and he shook his head and said “Ohhhhh.”  Hahaha!  I guess that family doesn’t like Fords.

We replaced the gutters this summer.  Yippee. Not that we have needed them.  It has been a long, long summer with very little rain.  On a high note, I’m sure the neighbors appreciated it though.
And when I say WE, I mean the company Denton hired to do it.
It literally, LITERALLY, took them an hour and a half to remove the old gutters, and to make the new gutters and then install them.  One of the reasons that we hired this job out is because the front of our house is about thirty feet off the ground.  I talked to my Daddy about DIYing it when they were here a few months ago.  He hesitated then told me the first thing we’d need would be a thirty foot ladder.  I looked them up and they start around $400.00.  Uhmm, we have a 22 foot ladder in the garage that we use maybe once every 3 years.  I’m not shelling out another $400.00+ for another ladder that we would then have to store……
You have to pick your battles and this wasn’t one that I wanted to have with Denton.  Just like with the Jeep, sometimes your sanity is worth a little bit of money. 😉

I gathered more stuff to haul away this week.  I’ll get a post together and show you what didn’t make the cut to live at our house anymore.  You can see everything that didn’t make it so far this year, here.

Budgets.  Why did it take me two years to figure out what I’m doing with Mint?  I love this free app, by the way.  Now that I’ve figured out what the heck I’m doing with it, our budget has finally been conquered!  At least for the moment.
I knew that I had to do something.  Our eating out and grocery bill was out of control.  So I spent about ten hours wrestling this thing to the ground.  It was so worth it people!  I’ll write a proper post about and tell you all the things.

We I finished the giant hallway, yay!
Sorry for the crappy cell phone photo.  All of the tools are still in the hallway and none of the trim is back up in the photo, but I couldn’t resist.  This hallway just about defeated me.  I am so very thankful to be done with it!
You know that feeling you get when you are so tired and worn out, when your body just wants to shake and all you can do is cry?  Please say you know what I’m talking about.  Well, this flooring has brought me to that point several times.  This time wasn’t one of them though.  All that kept going through my head when I finished this was that old hymn.  Revive Us Again.

We praise Thee, oh, God
For the Son of Thy love
For Jesus who died
And is in now gone above

Hallelujah, Thine the glory
Hallelujah, amen
Hallelujah, Thine the glory
Revive us again

We praise Thee, oh, God
For Thy spirit of light
Who hath shown us our Savior
On a banished dark night

Hallelujah, Thine the glory
Hallelujah, amen
Hallelujah, Thine the glory
Revive us again

Revive us, revive us
Revive us again

All glory and honor
To the Lamb that was slain
Who has taken my sin
Lord, and cleansed every stain

Hallelujah, Thine the glory
Hallelujah, amen
Hallelujah, Thine the glory
Revive us again

I have no idea why this song was stuck in my head, but I just went with it.  I was all alone, I was so, so happy to have finally gotten this hallway done and I’m singing this song.  It was great!  I love, love, love the old hymns I grew up with.

If that’s too old school for you, here is one my brother introduced me too.  I love, love, love this song.  I keep it on repeat a lot.  Thanks Adam!  I would never have found the Digital Age without you.  I love you!

I’ll leave you with this song.  Let me know what you think of it.  What’s been happening in your world this week?








Where are you going to put it?

I was standing, mesmerized, in the book section at my local goodwill the other day, when I overheard the following conversation from an elderly couple standing just to my left.

Wife:  Oh my, just look at this basket.

Husband:  Tell me just one thing.

Wife:  What’s that?

Husband  (teasingly):  Where are you going to put that?

Wife:  What do you mean?

Husband (laughing now):  You can only buy that if you can tell me where you are going to put it.

Wife (laughing harder):  I’m sure I can find a place for it.

Husband:  That’s just the thing, there are NO MORE places left.

They both chuckled and she put the basket back on the shelf.

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All the Winter’s.

A few weeks ago, someone in my workout class was talking about how they couldn’t believe that it was so cold again.  It’s spring!  This isn’t supposed to be happening, they said.  And I just casually mentioned that it was just Redbud winter and it would be over in a day or two.

Total silence.  Stares like I have three heads and slimy goo oozing from places it shouldn’t be.

When I came home and mentioned this to Denton, he casually told me that no one around here knows about that, that’s just my hillbilly family thing.  So for the past couple of week’s I’ve been polling every single person I come into contact with.  “Do you know what Redbud winter is?”  Not a single one of them here knows what I’m talking about.

The thing of it is, where I grew up, even the meteorologist’s talk about this on the nightly news!  This isn’t contained to just my family.

The other reason that this surprises me is that the topography of our tiny town here in the Appalachian mountains is EXACTLY the same as it is in my tiny town that I grew up in the Appalachian mountains.  We are five hours driving time away, but the trees, bushes, animals, birds, everything is the same.  But, the common lore is most definitely different.

So here is a small lesson on the seasons from my family to yours.

Once winter is done, and spring has sprung don’t be surprised in the middle of March after days or weeks of 60* and 70* days to find yourself looking for your winter coat again, just for a day or two.  You will also notice that the Redbud trees are blooming madly.  This is Redbud winter.

Spring comes back and everyone basks in the wonder that is spring again, until the Dogwood’s begin to bloom at the beginning of April.  Wait for it.  It may not happen right away, but right now it’s April 23rd and today’s high is 52*.  Last week it was 86* and it’s going to be 87* later this week, but today and tomorrow its Dogwood winter. Woohoo!  I love these drops in the temperature.

When May, beautiful May arrives we should be having lovely, lovely spring for weeks.  But when the Blackberries start to bloom you know that there is going to be a cold snap, as my Mamaw would say.  While the blackberries are in full bloom the temperatures will drop again and we will be in the midst of Blackberry winter.

Now you know.  Do you have this phenomenon where you live?  Do tell, inquiring minds want to know!


Hello? Is my sandwich in there with you?

Every time we go home to see my parents, we have a half-way stopping point along the way at a Sheetz.  Or at least my bladder does.

We always choose this Sheetz because of

  1. It’s location – right off of the interstate.
  2. It’s bathrooms are always clean.
  3. It’s halfway home!
  4. They have a lot of fuel pumps.
  5. You can get anything under the sun there.  Liv bought ear buds for $5.99 last time when her’s broke.
  6. It’s halfway home!

The only complaint I have about this sheetz is their women’s bathroom.  It has two stalls.  Seriously.  I asked Denton and the men’s room has two stalls and multiple urinals.  What the what people!  Anyway, there’s ALWAYS a line.  It’s clean though.

So, Liv and I are standing in line, waiting patiently for our turn.  And this little old lady who had already been in one of the stalls comes back into the bathroom and marches up to one of the stalls.  She says “Excuse me! Hello, is my sandwich in there with you?”  All sound in the bathroom stops.  So she says it again, louder.  The toilet flushes and a lady comes out with a sandwich and hands it to the elderly lady, who thanks her profusely.

Now, I don’t care how clean their bathrooms are, I am not going to take my lunch in there and LAY IT DOWN on any of those surfaces.  And then forget about it, and then at least seven more people used that stall before she remembered it.  ARGHHH.  The horror.

Liv’s opinion was – at least it was still in its wrapper.  Gross.

By the way, Sheetz has no idea who I am or that I make a pit stop at one of their stores on my way home!

The Ridiculousness of Big Business Policies.


My tiny towns Kmart lease was running out at the end of March, so they put up Store Closing! signs in January.  I have to say that I have never seen cars at this Kmart location like this the entire eight years we’ve lived here.  Apparently when people think that they are getting a deal they will flock to the store.

I stopped in week before last to see what type of deals they had.  I have to say that I wasn’t impressed.  The store had taken a pricing gun and priced each item individually.  So a set of Joe Boxer pajamas that you can buy right now for $13.99 on their website, were repriced with the price gun for $31.99.  Seriously!?!

pricing gun

But apparently, common sense goes out the window when you put up going out of business signs.  There were people with buggies (shopping carts for everyone not from the south) piled high with merchandise.  I was shocked.  Needless to say, I left without buying anything.

store closing

Have you ever been to a store closing event?  I don’t believe that I had.  They were selling everything and I mean everything.  As they were clearing off the shelves, they pushed the merchandise closer to the front of the store and put up murder scene caution tape to keep people herded toward the front of the store.  They were selling the office desks, shelving units and everything else that wasn’t nailed down, literally.


I did go back three days before the store closed for good.  I wanted to see if the prices had improved.  They had somewhat.  I bought my husband two sets of Everlast workout clothes.  Original price total $87.96 before tax and $17.96 for all four pieces after the store closing discounts.  At $3.99 and $4.99 per piece it wasn’t a bad deal by that point.  I also bought my daughter some Katy Perry perfume that had been knocked down from $59.99 to $8.39 to hide for Christmas.  That was the sum total of awesomeness that I found.

Now the next thing I am going to tell you would never hold up in a court of law, because I heard it from a friend of mine.  She is retired and wanted to make a little extra money so she signed up to be a cashier for the last two months of the store closing.  I personally thought that she was out of her mind, because why would a woman in her late sixties want to stand on her feet for 8 hours a day for minimum wage?!?  But, she liked the interaction with all the people that were flocking to the great sales!  I’ll call her Jane Doe.

Jane worked right up until the store closed on Sunday.  She was scheduled to work 12 to 7 on the last day.  The store was supposed to be open until 7 PM that day.  She said that they started announcing over the intercom at 2:50 PM that the store would be closing at 3:00 PM and for all customers to make their way to the front to check out.  She said everyone was very confused but she wasn’t the boss so she just kept ringing up the sales.  Everything had been marked down to 90% off at this point.  They finally herded everyone out at 4:15 PM.  Keep in mind these people were still browsing and buying items when they herded them out the door.

At 4:15 PM they locked the door and announced to all the workers that now they were going to “penny out” the remainder of the the items that were left in the store.  Jane said that she had no idea what they were talking about and neither did any of the other associates.

Management brought everything, and I mean everything, that was left in the store to the checkout lines in buggies.  They loaded it onto the conveyor belt and told the cashiers to ring each item up for a penny.  After it was rung up, the person at the end of the conveyor belt destroyed each item.  Blue jeans, makeup, jackets, perfume, food, shoes, over the counter medicine, etc.   If you could buy it at Kmart and it was left on the shelf, it was destroyed.  The clothing was cut up with scissors.  The makeup was opened and smashed or poured out.  Anything liquid was opened and poured out.  Cd’s were taken out of their packages and broken with hammers or nail polish poured over.  Jane said the smell was horrendous.

She said that she herself rang up over 80 pair’s of girls and women’s winter tights.  That they cut up with scissors.  She said that one of the cashiers cried as she rang up merchandise and watched the total destruction.  All to keep people from taking it out of the dumpsters after the store shut down.

In our tiny town, we have a women’s shelter that is in constant need of clothing and household items to help battered women get back on their feet, who may show up with literally nothing but the clothes on their body.  I know for a fact that they would have taken the clothing items.

What is wrong with our society that a business would rather destroy perfectly good items rather than give them to someone who can actually use them?  Our landfills are overflowing with garbage and this business is adding to it with merchandise that they were literally!! selling 10 minutes before.  That’s insane people.  Insane.

There is another Kmart at the next adjoining town to us 25 minutes away, so why wasn’t it all boxed up and sent over there to be sold as normal merchandise?  The whole thing makes me sick, literally sick to my stomach.


Is it hot in here?


I LOVE thrift stores. And yard sales.  And estate sales.   Oh, and flea markets!  It takes a lot to get me to go into a mall.  I dislike all the people milling around, having to walk 3,000 miles from my car just to get IN the mall.  Then, forgetting which lot I left said car in and having to walk another 6,000 miles just to find it.  It exhausts me.

Thrift stores, yard sales, flea markets – now this is something I can do for hours!  You never know what kind of treasure you’re going to find.  It’s the thrill of the hunt and the euphoria of the find when you actually score something awesome!

I spend a lot of my free time when I can carve it out in one of the above places.  And let me tell you, you can meet some characters in the places that I end up.  I overhead the following conversation between an elderly woman and her middle-aged daughter this past winter on one of my excursions.

The Mama:  Is it hot in here? (In a loud voice)

The Daughter:  No Mama.

Mama:  Oh Lord, it feels really hot in here. (waving her open jacket back and forth)

Daughter:  Mama, it’s not hot in here.

Mama:  Lordy, Lordy, Lordy!  It is so hot in here! (even LOUDER)

Daughter:  Mama, you need to calm down!  It is not hot in here!

Mama:  I can’t believe how hot it is in here.  I feel like I’m in HELL! (loudest voice yet)

Daughter:  Oh Mama.

Don’t you wish you could hang out with me!



How much toilet paper?

My husband and I were having lunch at Olive Garden a few weeks ago and after we were seated I did my usual after we’ve been out and about touching germ-y things. I went to the bathroom to scrub my hands. While I was standing there a woman about my age came in with a little blond girl (a little doll) who looked like she was about 3 years old. The little girl informed her that she could go This was the conversation.

Little Girl: Mama, I can go all by myself.
Mama: OK, but if you need me I’ll be right outside the door.
Little Girl: (She’s in there for a few minutes taking care of her business) Mama, how much toilet paper?
Mama: From your elbow to the ends of your fingers.

Huh. Well, now. Why didn’t I hear this conversation about 15 years ago? Who thought up this life changing ability to inform your small people how to not use 3/4 of the toilet paper roll while going

Now you know. I hope that this will be life changing for you too.