Family Picture Time

This Thanksgiving, whilst we had the family gathered, my sister and I thought it would be a great time to get some family pictures.  We would all be fairly dressed up, most of us had combed our hair and makeup was applied.  Plus, my grandmother would actually be there.

This was imperative because, as I’ve mentioned before, it is super hard to buy for her.  She’s 84 now, or so, and don’t get me started on how picky she is.  Now, I will admit, I am particular.  I like what I like, and as such, if you ask what I want or need, I’m liable to send you a link or a picture. But my grandmother takes the cake when it comes to picky.

Which, is okay, I don’t mind picky.  Like I mentioned, I am too, so I understand it.

Here is the difference.  If you ask me what I want for Christmas, or my Birthday, or just because you love me, I can give you a list of half a dozen things that I’d LOVE to have! I keep a running list on my phone.

I’m not even kidding.

But, if you ask my grandmother, she has no clue what she wants.  In fact, she hates that we start shopping for Christmas so early because she can’t even think what she might want before December 1st.

I’m getting off track.

She’s picky and hard to buy for.

But my sister came up with a brilliant idea.

A few years ago my sister bought a beautiful picture frame collage thing.  She didn’t use it for what she wanted, so we are going to use it and fill it with pictures of her grand kids and great-grand kids.

We pulled pictures off my computer to use, but as long as everyone was at the house, and sort-of cleaned up, after dinner we grabbed her for some “family pictures”.

I was going to just use my iPhone camera.

It works fine.

But, my mom recently got a DSLR camera thing.  So, we grabbed that.  I was told to turn it on and press the button.  So, I did.  Several times.

Then I got in the picture and had mom take some shots.

It was awesome!

Here is how my favorite one turned out:

empty pictureAnd here is how my second favorite one turned out:

empty pictureBecause you guessed it… the camera didn’t capture any of the pictures.

Something about the SD card or whatever.

So, after she left we discovered that none of the pictures took.

I wore makeup for no reason.

But, the food was good!

Will Smith that just happened

Black Friday Used to Mean a Goodie Bag

I remember when Black Friday meant getting up at 3 am and being in line by 4 am so that you could get the goodie bag the store was giving out.  Filled will all kinds of swag to make my 19 year old heart swoon.

Similar to this!

Similar to this!

Snow globe ornament with your logo bigger than the ornament itself? I’ll take it! So worth standing in line for.  My tree is 3′ tall – it doesn’t even have a tree stand, you fill the base with water so it doesn’t tip over and put it in a planter!

English tea? Of course I’ll take that sample! Never mind that I don’t even drink tea, it was free!

Coupons galore? Load me up, I’ve lived on cereal this past week.

A granola bar? Score!

Fast Forward 5-10 years and those goodie bags faded from existence and were replaced with MASSIVE DEALS.  Flat screen TV only $99!!!

TV sale

I got mine out of the return pile, because what most people didn’t realize was, the screen WAS flat, but it was still a tube TV.  (I think that was the start of deceptive advertising!)

Fast forward another 5 years and I’ve come to realize that I love a good bargain, but I have to really, really love it in order to stand out in the cold waiting to get in the store!

A few years ago I did, with my brother Lee, because he wanted to get everyone a gift but had a very tight budget.  But let me tell you, we divided and conquered at Target and he did score some amazing deals!  Even I was impressed!

My son and nephew have wanted to experience the thrill of Black Friday, so I’ve gotten up early for them and taken them out and around.  And we stopped by 7-Eleven on the way home, had them make us a fresh pizza, and ate pizza at 5 am and went back to bed!

Breakfast of champions!

Breakfast of champions!

So, there are some great memories associated with Black Friday.  But, it’s not really the shopping or the deals, it’s the time spent with family.  It’s the times we walk into Kohl’s and I immediately go stand in the check out line, which is wound all the way around to the back of the store, and my mom and sister one by one bring me a cart and then fill it with their purchases, and then take my place so I can so scour the store!  (We have since learned that it’s best to hit Kohl’s after lunch, after the crowd has died down!) It’s spending time laughing with my siblings, and teaching our kids fiscal responsibility comes in all forms.

It’s also the times I get to stand up and say “Yes, I was one of the crazies in that line.  And you know what, it was pretty awesome!”

It’s also been the times that we’ve bought so much we weren’t sure if the back of mom’s car was going to close.  I think cokes and pillows were on sale that year, add in the popcorn machine, well, things were getting tight!

It’s pouring over the ads in the Thanksgiving paper while we are cooking the meal and the Littles are running around  underfoot.

It’s having a kid run up and jump in your lap and go “I want this and this and this and this” and that’s when you learn that the Toy’s R Us ad pretty much never needs to be left on top of the pile!

The Littles - both in my lap :)

The Littles – both in my lap discovering the joy of seeing yourself on camera! 🙂

It’s the tossing of the ads back and forth trying to figure out what to get my grandmother.  “Do you think she’ll like this?  What about this?” and the occasional “Do we have to get her something? Didn’t we get her a gift last year?  That should cover it, right?”

No, we never really say that!

Out loud.

No one show my grandmother this post, okay?  Thanks!

So yes, I’ve been part of Black Friday madness, and I’m sure I will be again.  Having been on the retail side, I’ve had to work late the Wednesday night before setting everything up, and I’ve been up well before the sun to get to the store.  So, I’ve been there.  I needed and wanted a job, I was willing to make that sacrifice.  And I’m not here to debate the open on Thanksgiving or not issue.

Because you know what?

I’ve gone shopping on Thanksgiving Day, too.

And I have the most beautiful tree in the world to show for it!  No regrets!

Having admitted that, I’ll also admit that this was many, many years ago, back when the stores were actually still closed on Thanksgiving Day, but one retailer broke the mold that year and opened Thanksgiving Day afternoon, and my cohort, which may or may not have been my mother, told me “Move fast so the TV camera’s don’t catch us, I don’t want anyone to know I was shopping on Thanksgiving Day!”


A Million Thanks!

Okay, I have so much going on – and not near enough time for all of it.

Work has exploded, which is good, as it pays my bills.  Personal life is still as small as ever, but super busy.

I have a friend coming to spend a couple of weeks with me next week, and I’m not prepared. At all.

I have a friend coming over Friday night… I’m not even prepared for that!

Mr. T wants to graduate a year early.  I’m so not ready for that, and in fact and am in denial.  Especially about the money I have to find to support the extra classes he has to take off campus in order to accomplish this!


Let me go water my money tree in the back yard :/

The holidays are almost here – are you kidding me? 11 Saturdays until Christmas.  11.  You heard me.  11.

I crossed something my Bucket List today – but it’s too fun not to devote an entire blog to it, so you have to wait for that, I want to be able to do it justice!

Oh! And I won a contest and got a free book!

But… as I’ve been working on my Random Acts of Kindness, I ran across this blog today from my pal at Being a Lady is Overrated.  Now, normally I’d just reblog it from her site, but I had other stuff to tell you about, too – so um, Lady, forgive me, but I’m doing a copy/paste because I’m super excited about it!

I plan to take cards to my family Thanksgiving dinner and invite my entire family to participate (I won’t force them too, but you can bet I will tell you who doesn’t!!!) 🙂  Hi mom!  I wouldn’t really do that.  Okay, I would.  Who am I kidding?

Go visit and give a follow to Being a Lady is Overrated and then join me and Lady and Pickles (I have to catch up on my nicknames – that could be her wonderful son or another friend… I can’t keep it all straight right now!) and send a Thank You to our military troops! myspace graphic comments

In light of the current state of my life, I’m finding myself in need of distractions. So I’ve been thinking of productive or good things to spend my time on instead of wasting it watching TV or something.

Well I’ve found it!! Pickle and I are beginning a letter writing campaign. We will be writing letters and making cards for all the brave men and women who are serving in our military.

I found this organization where you can send them generic letters and cards. Then they distribute them to our military members severing at home, abroad, retired and injured.

Feeling motivated and happy today! Can’t wait to get started.

I can’t wait either Lady, and thank you so much for sharing your journey and doing positive things to help you get through.  Great inspiration!  And yes, I’ll send back the next couple of Supernatural seasons with my Amy this weekend.  This part wasn’t necessary, but I can’t go a day without mentioning it!

Speaking of!! Today’s Daily Prompt is all about Addiction… and you know I want to write a post about Supernatural… can I write the post even if it’s after the prompt has passed?  Ack!  I need more time in the day!!

I survived…

I don’t know how to write this blog without giving you way too much history or dissolving into a tirade.  Which has me feeling thankful for a computer that lets me just backspace, as opposed to the days of a typewriter when I’d have to go through sheet after sheet as I tried to write this properly! 

There is my gratitude for the season!  And, I’m thankful for my friend Karen, who, when I sent her a text hanging my head in shame that I had to abandon my family gathering cause they were driving me nutso, she called it a “sanity break” and didn’t pass any judgement!

I’m sitting here writing this when I should be doing my hair and getting dressed, I’m about to go meet her from some fabric shopping so I can make my grandmother’s Christmas gift (yeah, that’s a story that has to wait!).  

Off to more shopping… thank goodness she doesn’t care if my hair is perfect – cause, really, it never is!  

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!  I hope you had a wonderful time!

and we aren’t going to mention the Cowboys… they broke my heart… 

Too Early

Okay, I really feel that I’m getting the hang of this blog thing.  I remember to tag the post, and the last couple of blogs I even remember to categorize! It’s the little things that make me happy.  

My plans for this past weekend got cancelled.  I was supposed to go with a girlfriend to help her shop for her wedding dress.  It didn’t happen, but they did file a “certificate of informal marriage” (Common Law here in Texas) and it declared they’ve been married since February, so now instead of a wedding, they’re thinking just having a party in the spring.  I am pretty sure that the little information I do have on this is more than enough, but apparently it involves and ex-wife and kids.  But, she changed her name and status to Married on FB, so, you know, that made it really real.  

The point – I had a free weekend!  Mom called me Friday night, they needed our help unloading stuff at my grandmother’s house, what time do I pick up Mr. T? “7 pm.”  “Okay, since I need his help tomorrow too, see if he wants to spend the night with us.”   

Score! I picked up Mr. T, ran home and packed his supper (I’d pick up a take n’ bake pizza) and he threw some stuff in a bag, we ran to Grammy Skeeter’s house, and he left with mom and dad and I went home, alone.  I sat down and had some pizza and a Lime-a-Rita!

Yet again, I am coming back to the point.  I woke up Saturday, just me and Shorty (our dog).  I had some coffee, I had some breakfast and by 9 am I was bored silly.  I check FB, Pinterest, even WordPress in an attempt to alleviate the boredom. 

In the end, I looked at the calendar and realized that it was my only free weekend from now until forever.  It was the only weekend that I was home.  So, I took advantage of it.. Yes, it’s too early, way too early, it’s not even Thanksgiving yet… But alas, it was now or never…


Time Warp

Second week in a row that dad has given me the results of the game before I was done watching it!

ImageI am very blessed that I have a DVR with my cable.  They don’t – and don’t tell mom – but I think she might get one from Santa this Christmas.  Dad called me on his way to my grandmothers house to see if I had finally finished watching the game… technically no, because channel 11 went out, it froze, and when I tried to jump channels and come back to it, the screen was black.  Apparently that was why he was headed over to Grammy Skeeter’s house, her channel 11 was black and she thought she messed something up – and having spent a lot of time in Denver, missing the Bronco’s game wasn’t an option.  🙂  Anyway, he told me how it ended – game winning FG in OT.  Yeah, that’s what I figured would happen, but at least it gave me the score to put on my board without having to look it up.

The point of the story, is that I love that my dad will text me instead of always calling.  Drives my mom nuts, but he has figured out that I’ll answer a text much faster than a phone call.  But, his ability to text me has given away the ending to the game the last two weeks!!  I guess the second point is that I need to stay closer to real time when watching my Boys play. We’ll be in the same room for the Thanksgiving game, so he can’t give away the results!

Can you believe that Thanksgiving is only days away?   And I re-read my post 3 times checking for errors, having a school teacher follow your blog is a lot of pressure…