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January 23, 2014 / dcwisdom

The Reselling of America

Hey, Blogworld!  And all of my handful of friends who actually read this blog…thanks.

Not that I am any kind of expert in the field of economics (I’m not!), world politics (not here, either), or big business (far from it).  My only learning skill in these areas is observing, listening, and watching TV.  I remember a story told about my Uncle Bill, who’s long passed, that when he was a kid he read the entire set of encyclopedias and would sit on his Houston residential corner for hours watching city employees dig ditches and lay sewer and water lines.   From this story, I tried to teach my kids that it’s mostly beneficial to get your hands dirty, get out and make some choices, and learn from your mistakes, but that some things are better observed than experienced.  I could chase this rabbit forever, but I won’t.

Reselling.

A few days ago, Kid #5 Mary stopped her vehicle to yield for an ambulance and was squarely rear-ended by a young mom with two small children in the backseat and a trunk full of groceries.  I hate when that happens on both accounts, and all are well, thank the Lord.  Mary commented with much chagrin, “Why was the accident not my fault but it costs ME money, too?”  Such a good question.  Kid, life is not fair.  So yesterday, Mary and I car-shopped.

Like the old geezers say in that nasal-y twang ‘now back in my days…’   Don’t you remember when car buying was so much simpler?  You could walk on a corner lot, pick one, drive it, write a check, and drive away.  Dang!  Not so any more.  Now it’s credit checks, car fax, haggling, getting schmoozed – it’s such a process – and, man, they wanna know all your business!  He called Mary and me “reserved” for not detailing our lives to him.  Go figure.  So, in our sales talk with Dale Schmooz-Salesman, the stereotypical car sales rep (bless his heart), he said with his biggest, whitest smile, “Of course, this is the best time of year to buy, because everything is for sale, trade-in, and resell.  It’s tax refund season!”

What is tax refund season!?  I haven’t had one of those in years! 

Everything is for sale, trade-in, and resell, which prompted me to think about my observations about economics and business over the past few years.  I surmised:  Americans no longer own our country.  In my little hole in the wall and until recently, we didn’t have strangers who owned local businesses.  Historically, Americans valued land ownership, business ownership, patriotism, traditions, core family, and Christian values.

A few years back, I happened in a convenience store in this area and discovered a strict mos-man at the register, apparently the new owner, who never made eye contact with me or spoke to me, a paying customer.  I wanted to say “Listen, this is Texas!  We say howdy and y’all even if we don’t know each other, because we’re TEXANS!  You best use your best Southern manners or you’ll get a boot in your aff!”  (Later, I saw the store closed.)  The nail shops are owned by Vietnamese and Thais.  Chinese own the toll roads; French own chain stores.  Illegals own houses and store fronts, and, in some instances, cities, stacking people in and taking over businesses and city governments.

So from here, I could go on an uneducated and opinionated diatribe about the reselling of America; I mean, did you really expect me to jump off the deep end today?   Heck, no.

My purpose today is too simple:  to show you this – my purchases from American-owned places, Goodwill and Salvation Army, two of my favorite places to second-hand shop:

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Love buying sacks of ribbon for $2.99!

and this…

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Awesome thread buy – hundreds of thread dollars for $14.99!

After car shopping, I needed some fun shopping therapy.  I’d rather buy books, flower seeds, dishes, and pillows more than clothes and shoes.  Crazy, ain’t it?  It’s way cheaper, too.  I also found large soup bowls from Pier 1 for $1 each and bought all six.  I get such a tingle up my leg from buying resale stuff.

Listen, I know there are hundreds of reasons why our country is in the shape it’s in, but I won’t go there today.  Until my brain is ready to think heavy again, you’ll read my fluff – which doesn’t amount to much.  :)

Pray for the peace of Jerusalem.  God bless Israel.  God help America and have mercy on her.  God bless you, dear reader.

January 11, 2014 / dcwisdom

Coming Out of Hiding

Greetings to my blog world – long time readers and – *shock* – new readers!  Sometimes, I’m overwhelmingly amazed that even after hiding from you for two months, you still come around.  I am honored.  Thanks.

To update you, my 2013 autumn was extremely busy – thus very few posts.

  • Arranged, directed, and produced my church’s Christmas production.  Last July, my adult choir hosted a choral workshop with Choral Master Amon Baker from Arkansas, Bill Clinton’s Little Rock choir director.  (Did you know that Bill Clinton sings?!)  As a director, I was awesomely privileged to sit under Bro. Baker who has directed and conducted choirs throughout the US and tours in Europe.  Following Bro. Amon’s visit here, I hit the ground running toward Christmas, so I really feel like I Christmas’d for six months of 2013.  I literally spent hours listening to all genres of music for the right pieces to support my theme -  “The Prophesied Messiah:  The Glorious Impossible.”  Brin and I had a conversation two years ago about never having seen or heard  a Christmas production based solely on the Old Testament prophesies coupled with the New Testament fulfillment, so I developed a drama accompanied by fabulous music for my choir and cast of volunteers from my church.  All I can say is it was awesome!  Of course, never having done anything on this scale from scratch, I had no idea the hours it took.  Just like working full-time.  My cast and crew…I’m so proud of them!Image
  • And in the course of writing a drama score with music, I undertook MY FINAL COLLEGE COURSE!!!! which about ate my lunch!  Remember the dreaded college algebra class?  My very LAST class to take before graduation?  Yep, I really lost my marbles (almost) doing it.  In May, I signed up for the summer course at A&M, but for the first time EVER, the course didn’t make.  So, I scooted over the the local community college hoping to pick up the course, but I was too late to enroll.  My next choice was to sign up for the ONLY other course available – Summer Session II ONLINE!  So I did.  Yep, I did.  I went directly to my professor and told her my terrible, no good, sad story:  Haven’t had algebra since high school – 40 years ago – and I want to hurry and get it finished before fall because I don’t want to take algebra for an ENTIRE semester -  yuckblechthrowupinmymouth…  She looked at me and asked, “Are you ready for a challenge?”  I assured her I needed to just hurry and finish the dang thing and graduate!  Good Lord have mercy!  After 40 years, do I look like someone who wants to drag out college algebra – my very last class to graduate – and can’t [don't want to] take it in the fall?  So, she said ok and introduced me to the math lab tutor.  Needless to say, it was the looooooonnnnnggggest five weeks in my life’s history!   Every waking hour, except for a few when I was searching for music, I immersed myself in numbers, formulas, tutoring (I had FIVE wonderful tutors and could not have made it without them!) —tortured myself— and finally pulled off my last college class with a 77!  And baby, was I ever happy with that grade!  (I can tell you lots of stories about these five weeks, but I’ll spare you any more details.  I know you’re relieved.)
  • After that was over, my darling Brin added another event to my life, and we planned and executed a beautiful November wedding.  Actually, I knew before August, but we’re such last minute planners here that we really didn’t have a plan until almost September.  (Check back a couple of posts.)  Rick and I are so happy for the young couple!
  • October and November was spent in drama rehearsals and choir preparation, plus attending to a kazillion script details which had to be fleshed out.  I had an awesome crew!  Also, my immediate family (15 of us) gathered to give God all glory and thanks for all His goodness to us in 2013.  I spent two days cooking for the feast and making great memories.
  • Drama came quickly after Thanksgiving in the first two weekends in December.  Craziness!
  • AND THIS SENIOR WOMAN WALKED ACROSS THE STAGE AND RECEIVED HER COLLEGE DIPLOMA IN DECEMBER.  I cannot begin to tell you how this entire college experience impacted me, but I can tell you that I’m glad it’s over.  Bucket list item – check!
  • But that’s not all!  My entire family – and I mean every last person – 39 of us! – gathered for Christmas to celebrate the birth of our Savior Jesus.  Image
  • Aren’t we a great looking group?!   Even if I say so myself.

So there you have it.  But hey, I want to show you what I built in a few spare moments last fall, for sanity’s sake – ImageMy very first keyhole garden!  Certainly-not-the-expert-in-keyhole-gardening-so-don’t-ask-me-any-questions, I got the idea from a friend of mine here in town who introduced me to this raised-bed gardening idea.  He builds his own -Image this is his – of course, so much nicer looking but which costs a good $250 to purchase.  Although his looks great and is certainly more pleasing to the eye, my cinder block garden was more cost efficient and will suit my purpose.  It’s hip-high, just the right height for gardening.  And I want another one, too, if anyone cares.  The bottom third is filled with undelivered phone books from the company that publishes the books (probably a good 400 books)*, and the remainder is compost*.  The basket holds my household compost – anything organic that will break down into compost – which will continue to feed the garden.  I will tell you that what I initially built was different, because my beloved husband came behind me and rearranged my keyhole.  He thought I needed more gardening space, and he added space by making my keyhole smaller.  Booger.  *sigh*  Nevertheless, I planted three bunches of onions this week.  I plan on adding lettuce and broccoli very soon. Image Now, wasn’t that fun?!  Can’t wait to see what happens this spring and summer with it!  I’ll keep you posted.  Oh, we also built a potato garden, but I’ll show you that later.

Rick and I are chainsawing fallen trees today.  He’s chomping at the bit to get going, so y’all come on out, and we’ll put you to work.  :)

*The base of the keyhole garden is filled with large telephone books which eventually compost, making it greatly less expensive than buying truck loads of gardening soil.  We can buy a truck bed of good compost for $8 (yes, eight dollars a load) from the water utility company (minus human waste, of course).  They compost raw wood from fallen trees, chip it, and let it decompose to resell as compost and mulch.  Great way to build a garden or use for landscaping.

Pray for the peace of Jerusalem.  God bless Israel.  God help America and have mercy on her.  God bless you, dear reader.

November 18, 2013 / dcwisdom

Redheads

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One of life’s greatest joys is having redheaded children!   I love this kid.  Man.  From this picture, can you imagine why?

Around the time I became pregnant with this jewel,  I sang duets and sang in ensembles with a lovely redheaded man, and when this redheaded kid popped out, I know it raised some eyebrows.  No worries.  He’s ours.

At that time, I worked with a woman who was also pregnant, and one day she said, “I hate redheaded babies!  If I have a redheaded baby, I’ll give him back!  I will never love a redheaded baby!” – some rather harsh statements, I thought.   Soon after our babies were born, I bumped into her at a gas station and oogled over her newborn, blonde son.  Upon seeing my son, she jerked back quickly (like he had the plague or something) and exclaimed, “Oh my god, you have a redheaded baby!”

*gasp*  Really??

Four years later, I birthed another redheaded son – another blessing.

Over the last 20+ years, I’ve heard it all.  Carrot-top, Red, Fireball, Woodpecker…Having redheads was like having twins or better.   Lots of old men – I don’t know why it was just old men – would ask, “Boy, where’d you get that red hair?”  Sometimes, I’d reply, “From the mailman!”  That always made ‘em wonder.  Or “Sears and Roebuck!”   One time, Sam said, “I think Mom got it at Wal-mart,” the only place the little boy thought I shopped.  People stopped me in the mall (or the grocery store or church) and commented about the boys’ hair, and I did (and still do) the same to other moms and to other redheads.  I have yet to meet a redhead that says he/she never gets attention for his/her hair.  People gravitate to them; they’re like magnets.

So, this year at Thanksgiving, I am giving thanks for my redheaded boys and the blessings they’ve been in my life.  I love you guys!  I can’t imagine my life without you beautiful redheads.

Peace and love.  Pray for the peace of Jerusalem.  God bless Israel.  God help America and have mercy on her.

November 18, 2013 / dcwisdom

Wedding Post #2

Well, friends, the big weekend is over.  I just want to show a few venue pictures (minus the bride and groom, her request) which I also posted on Pinterest.  The day here was warm and extremely humid, and we were blessed that no rain fell on us during the day.

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The colors in the woods were just as gorgeous as the purchased florals.

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When it was over and cleaned, a few of us went for Mexican food, and I danced the night away with Kid #5 Mary.  I love her abandonment and courage to dance with her mom, especially when we were the only ones on the dance floor.  :)

And now, we return to our regularly scheduled program of Thanksgiving and Christmas drama preparations.

Peace and love.  Pray for the peace of Jerusalem.  God bless Israel.  God help America and have mercy on her.

 

 

November 14, 2013 / dcwisdom

Here Comes the Bride!

Life’s been crazy busy!

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Several months ago, a certain someone introduced us to an awesome young man, and wedding bells are ringing for the lovely couple!  I had the creative privilege to hand-make some special items for the bride.   The Bible cover…

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The birdcage veil with headband…

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The garter…which I forgot to shoot.

The bride wants pies and cakes galore, so I’m making five Dutch apple pies, two pumpkin pies, and my beautiful dil Emily is making the bride’s carrot cake, which, I think, will look something like this with the roses and varieties of fruits and veggies:

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(Pinterest photo)   We’re not doing a dinner.  Our opinion is that people have gone totally overboard with sit-down dinners and entertainment at huge expense, so we decided to stay with the traditional reception but include several types of cakes, pies, and a variety of drinks.   It will be fine.  (I’ll post some pictures next week.)

Last summer, I attended a very simple but elegant church wedding with the reception held in the banquet hall.  The family served lovely cakes (but not overdone) for the bride and groom and party punch.  I didn’t miss a meal at all, and I commented to the bride’s mother about how simple and beautiful it was.  The reception lasted about 45 minutes – a perfect amount of time to cut the cake, visit around, throw the bouquet and garter, and send off the happy couple.   Love the idea of going back to the simple, uncomplicated ways of celebrating weddings.

Now, on the other hand, the rehearsal dinner is out-of-the-park!

Peace and love.  Pray for the peace of Jerusalem.  God bless Israel.  God help America and have mercy on her.  Y’all pray without ceasing.

 

October 4, 2013 / dcwisdom

The Hello of Fall

I never consider the fall season here until I see spider lilies.

DSC_0222These lovelies are everywhere, and they pop up overnight underneath my gum trees and out in the open field.  So when these girls suddenly show and flaunt their colors, I know that fall has arrived.

This is my season.  The colors, smells, sounds…My longtime girlfriend posted to her Facebook page the same sentiments I have about fall:  warm sweaters and snuggy boots, a bright fire in the fireplace, drippy days and foggy mornings, red and golden falling leaves, a stack of unread books on the end table, hot chocolate in my favorite mug…and what’s fall without Monday Night Football?  One of my favorite things to do is drive at dusk just to see the cozy lights in windows just before the shades are drawn.  (I’m a cheap date!)  Thomas Kinkade paintings remind me of all the light and shadow scenes I love and that familiar, soft feeling of dusk and window lights.

Thank you for reading here and for those who took time to respond on email to the unemployment story quest.  I continue to receive emails from friends of friends and read their stories of job market experiences.  One nice lady told me to join the club.  Unfortunately, the unemployment club isn’t one I really want to join, and I certainly did not know the club is so widespread.  Age is a huge factor, but the growing concern is the new health care laws.  So, if you’re reading here and have an unemployment story where you think age played the biggest factor, please email your story to dcwisdom at yahoo dot com.

In the meantime – before I find that awesome job – I am having the best time playing with paint.  Have a look-see here:

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We bought this bench for a song and dance and gave her a new life; isn’t she pretty?!

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This piece was u-g-l-y but heavy and sturdy.  At the moment, she’s minus her glass, but isn’t she a pretty side table?  Can’t you see a great stack of books on her?

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Such a great, heavy picture for a rooster lover!

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Love this vase with the crackle finish in grass green.

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For the fashion diva – my fave funky piece!  A shot of decoupage fun!

Waahoo!  TWC shows 72* tomorrow!  Come on, fall!

Y’all be blessed.  Send me more stories!

Peace and love.  Pray for the peace of Jerusalem.  God bless Israel.  God help America and have mercy on her.

September 25, 2013 / dcwisdom

Unemployable at 57: What’s your story?

Over 50?  Retiring?  Changing careers?  Returning to college?  Are you suddenly finding yourself “unemployable?”

Returning to college in my mid-50s seemed like such a great idea, and I had plenty of reasons for choosing education over employment.  Although I have an in-demand degree in health care which I could market successfully, my mind placed more importance on the idea of nailing another diploma to the wall and increasing my overall chances for successful employment by increasing and diversifying my marketable skills instead of facing life-or-death situations every day.  (After all, life-or-death drama takes a toll after a while.)

However, after several weeks of beating the bushes for a job, I find the tables changed, and I observed that even though businesses pride themselves in non-discriminatory practices, discrimination is still there, however subtly.  Listen:  I’m not ugly; my teeth are still good.  My mind is still sharp.  I have a relatively good haircut and offer, most say, a stable personality (oh, the personality tests I’ve taken!) to the workforce only to be overlooked.  Could it be my age?

Have you interviewed for jobs lately?  Ohmygosh!  It’s a trip!  Some of my interviews have been downright funny!

Yet, I’ve stewed and mulled over the possible reasons why my phone is not ringing.  Last night, my mom, a friend, and I discussed my situation, and they suggested I write a book about my job hunts and unemployment at 57.  There are plenty of us 50-ish “unemployables” out there, so I thought why not? 

I start here and now, and I need your story.

  • Be as direct or as wordy as you want.
  • Be anonymous if you want.
  • I will delete nastiness at the first hint.
  • I am not looking for job opportunities here – just your story.
  • Depending on the number of responses, I will reply to you as soon as I can.
  • Send your stories with “my story” in the subject line to dcwisdom at yahoo dot com (thanks, dear reader, for this suggestion).
  • Please don’t send me ugly things that will destroy my computer.  Please.

I look forward to hearing from you and reading your story.

So in the meantime, I’m crafting, and if poor, starving artists could only live on love, I would.

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This is one of our junk finds turned contemporary.  We call it our “17th century plastic/electric mantle clock,” and she works!  This old gal needed a whimsical color update.  She makes me smile.  (If you go back a post or two, you will see her in her original state.)  I will post more make-overs later.

Have a fabulous day!

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