Saturday, October 25, 2014

Talking Trash Unplugged

I readily admit I'm a dinosaur...a throw back to pen and pencil sets, boxes of party invitations and simple white thank you notes.
I come from a place long ago and far away where the web was something we cleaned out from under the beds.
A cell phone was where you made your one call...usually to a lawyer.

A twitter was me at 15, all worked up and waiting for the cute guy in the back of the class to call. 
A text was written words, found within the contents of a book...which btw was something held in one hand leaving the other hand free for turning the pages to read...licking the index finger optional.
I didn't do research with an ISP, but with the DDC...Dewey Decimal System.
And back in the day, our social media consisted of Friday announcements...including next week's lunch menu...coming out of a scratchy, school loudspeaker, the daily Courier Gazette newspaper and the back of the Sunday church bulletin. Any information missed by these three were covered by the network. Not the network we use today, but the working network of Small Town America mothers who collectively, could ferret out and deliver more information than Yahoo ever could...on its best day!
It's not that I grew up during the Dark Ages. No sirreebob. I had, after all, seen the movie Desk Set for corn's sake!
I knew computers were these huge behemoths that required data entry cards. Back in the day, key punch operators were in great demand, but sadly have gone the way of the dodo bird and the guy with the cocked hat who greeted you with "Fill 'er up ma'am?" and "Check under the hood?" Heralded as the time saver to beat all times savers, computers have wreaked havoc since.
What they didn't say at the time was eventually time saved meant less employees needed. Now these tellers, cashiers, etc. spend their free time twiddling their thumbs standing in an unemployment line or asking "Super size it?"
(Listen up all you teachers out there. With the increased handing out of pc's instead of textbooks in could be next to join the ranks of the obsolete if we're not careful!)
I don't know about y'all, but I like talking to a real person, not an AI. And please,  don't even get me started on Siri!  That chick is supposed to understand several languages, one being English, but I'm guessing Twanglish wasn't included in her programming nor is it in her wheelhouse! Fact is, we're not even on speaking terms until she drops her high falutin' attitude!
(But I squirrel-gress.)
What I'm getting at is that with...ahem...progress, comes change and not always for the best.
Gone are passing notes between classes and family discussions around the supper table.
 Why bother when a text can be sent during class and as far as catching up with one another as a family? That now takes place at opposite ends of a couch or a house.
(If evolution is for real, I for one shudder to think of the coming generations of goose necked kiddos that will be a direct result of their ancestors staring at their laps 24/7!  I know that area below the equator is the center of a teenage boy's world, but really. As grown ups, can we not got out to dinner or a movie without constantly checking our phones?)
Gone are typing and shorthand classes. Once prized skills, now replaced by cyber shorthand with garbled messages containing nothing but letters like lol, brb, and omg. Which begs the question...WTH?
Gone is learning to tell time on an actual clock...with hands...and with it, knowing that 20 'til 7 and 6:40 are the same cotton picking thing.

And lest I forget, heaven help us if the power ever fails. No one...and I do mean no one...below the age of 39 knows how to make change without a screen to tell them. And I cringe when they count it back to me! Oy vey!

(Sometimes...just for gits and shiggles you understand...I like to confuse the heck out of them. If My total is say $9.01, I'll hand 'em a twenty and a dime. They usually manage in time to figure out how to punch it in, but in the meantime, I'm enjoying the heck out it. As I watch the dazed look in their eyes, I think to myself..."That'll learn ya, dern ya!")
What's sad is that as the computers get smaller, so do our lives.
The art of conversation is disappearing right along with the sharing of feelings only to be replaced by hastily sent emoticons.

(Farewell interaction face to face. You've been replaced by Internet chatrooms and Facebook!)
But for me, a lover of words, one of the saddest things progress has wrought is the demise of the written word...down to the threat of removing cursive writing being taught in school.
I can't conceive a world where beautiful handwriting isn't considered a gift, a art form.
(If I can't get to Paris, at least I have a beautiful friend who remembers me. Thank you Cindy for the card...although I still don't know why you couldn't have hid me in your carryon!) 
To think that some will never experience the thrill of opening up an archaic mailbox to pull out a card or letter with their name hand written on it. To never know the joy of checking the postmark for some distant, exotic land or just from the next town over is inconceivable to me.
( I had hoped for a souvenir named Jacques, but a card is almost as good! And being thought of even better than Jacques!)
 How sad to miss the excitement of unfolding the pages and reading words written in a handwriting, that much like a fingerprint, is unique only to the author. To never have  memories tucked inside an envelope, as it and its contents are placed in a box for safe keeping to share with future generations. Gentle mementos, tucked safely away to be reread over and over to our heart's content. Rereading and remembering as if it was just yesterday. And knowing it was sent, not just with a stamp, but with love.
How can we cheat future generations out of such a treasure?
There's only way I know of and that's to go back. Now I know they say going backwards is a mistake, but I have to disagree. There are times when it is best. Times, for example, like dancing the Texas two step or walking out of a room buck nekkid. I happen to believe this is one of those times when doing it the old-fashioned way is actually progress in reverse.
I say it's high time we pull our heads out of our butts laps, start taking the time to remember how to visit out loud, say we love you without it only being on FB or in a text, and most of all, learn to love the sound of our own voices.

I'm willing to give it a go and I'm thinking this ought to be a piece of cake.
'Cause y'all know me...
I already got the last one down pat!


Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Pot Calling the Kettle Verdigris

I wrote a post yesterday and besides being really long, it was...if I say so myself...really clever.  For instance, I had wrote...and I quote... the last three great inventions I personally had witnessed were pantyhose, push up bras and air conditioning, but y'all will never get to read the rest of it.
Why you ask?
Because I shelved it.
Again you ask, why?
Because it was about the pros and cons of Facebook.
Man alive, I was on fire, ranting and raving about the pits and perils of FB'ing with way more cons than pros.

It was a pip!
But as I was proofing it, would you believe spellcheck quit working.  Now I'm not one to turn in homework half done so I stepped away to let my computer...and down.
After a while, I sat back down and reread what I wrote and guess what?
I made myself angry!
How dare I take it upon myself to tell people what they should or should not do when it comes to Facebook.  How dare I take it upon myself to be Her Supreme High Horse...a self-appointed judge, censor and all around know-it-all?
If I had hit publish, y'all I would have been just as guilty as those people on Facebook I was criticizing for thinking they knew best.
Simply put...I'm nobody's boss and I don't own an answer bag.  A red.neck Chic bag...yes, but a bag with all the answers to life's

If I truly was the Grand Poobah of knowledge, trust me,  I wouldn't be sitting in a tiny house still in my pajamas nor would I be schlepping junk around for a living and shopping at TJ Maxx.
Instead, I'd be traveling the countryside on a lecture tour, dressed to the nines, wearing a tasselled fez and getting paid a butt-load of money for sharing my wisdom on how to succeed at life!
So no, I'm not going to throw anyone under the bus. Y'all have the right to publish, share and say anything you want...fact checked or not (but oh how I wish...).  I am not the FB police and there is no gold badge pinned to my pushup bra'd bosom to say otherwise.
From now on, if I happen to be on FB and read or see something I don't necessarily agree with or like, I'll just discreetly scroll by it. No where is there a law written saying I have to do differently. For me, it's just that simple.
BTW...did you happen to notice I said if?
I ask because it's an important if.
You might want to get comfortable or take a potty break right about now 'cause I'm fixing to talk the ears off a billy goat!

(Don't ask me where I found this. It was so long ago I don't remember, but if you know the source, please let me know!) 
When I signed on to Facebook I had hoped to reconnect with old friends and make new ones...and I have. I've even been blessed to be reunited with family I hadn't talked to in years. What I hadn't planned on was the green eyed monster becoming a frequent guest as well, but I'm only human...and a girl human at that. And let's face it ladies...we are our own worst enemy when it comes to feelings of inadequacy.

(By the all these words make my butt look big?)
A daily bombardment of perfect families, perfect homes, perfect lives...not to mention perfect makeup...well how on God's green earth was I supposed to measure up?
Sometimes I'd see photos of projects and all the "likes" and comments that would pour in and I'd think whoa Nelly. Didn't I see that idea somewhere else like a hundred years ago and yet, they have the audacity to take full credit for it? Really? Is that the way to get stealing someone's ideas? But as the old saying goes...not my circus, not my monkeys...which I will readily admit to stealing from an old Polish proverb.
(Have I ever mentioned I can't remember your name seconds after meeting you, but I can remember who did or said what first forever? It's a glitch in the ol' brain waves y'all and a curse!)
Reading success story after success story on shows and knowing the shows we were doing weren't nearly so profitable left me thinking I was doing something wrong.
Don't get me wrong. I was happy for those who were achieving their goals, but truth be told, I was jealous as hell well.  I found myself questioning myself...and the answers I came up with weren't flattering.
But then I had an epiphany.
What if, contrary to popular belief, it doesn't have to be true to be on the Internet.

Now I'm not about to start calling anyone a liar. Law no! Remember, I'm not the Grand Poobah, but rather a chubby lady who tries to see the whole picture and not just the photo shopped one.
We all want to put our best face forward and to that end, we all tend to spin things just a smidge...including me twirling her tassel! Well...maybe some spinning more than just a smidge and by more, I mean creating a whole new identity in Bizarro World.
So maybe, just maybe, all these perfect people aren't so perfect after all.
And maybe, just maybe, they think anything less than perfect is not worthy to share.
What if maybe, just maybe, they're not trying to convince me, but themselves life has to be one big ol' perfect and pretty photo.
But the thing is that even with this realization, I still find myself going Kermit from time to time. So I've come to this conclusion.
I'm a flat tire in dire need of changing and the first thing I need to do is remove the rusty lugnuts keeping me from rolling forward.

(I'm going in!) 
Henceforth, (I know...very GB sounding isn't it?)...ahem...henceforth, the everyday comings and goings (you know...the boring stuff) of Debbie and Danny will be the only things I'll be posting on my personal page.  I'll still be sharing my brain farts as they come and go, but anything related to antiques, markets, Cat Daddy appearances and the continuing misadventures of the Ups...Floozied and Hurriet of As The Wheel Turns fame...will now be posted on my business page, Talking Trash.
Henceforth, if you send me a friend request, unless I know one of the following, I'll probably redirect you to my business page.
1. Your significant other's name.
2. At least one of your kid's names.
3. Your dog/pet's name.
4. We actually have met at some point in time.

(Of course, #4 will require you to remind me...for as Jenn says "I'll meet you today...and I'll meet you tomorrow!")
If we are blessed to meet in real time, hit it off and if you don't mind looking at photos of me and mine puttering through life...gravy stains and all...then you can bet your boots you will be my friend forever and not just on Facebook!

Jealousy and fear are stagnating. I refuse to be a prisoner of either and I think it's time to use my get out of jail free card.

It's a start.

Besides...I never did look good in green.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Cloudy With a Chance of Silver Linings

For those of you who don't do shows...especially outdoor venues...I'd like to offer the following comparison.
(Getting things just where I want 'em!)
 Preparing and doing an outdoor show...especially a long much like having a 10 lb. baby.
The body doesn't snap back as fast as one would like it to.
There's a lot of pain...not to mention yelling...involved before it's over...especially in the lower back.
And it takes at least 6 weeks to fully recover.
And like child birth, one is not ready to do another until the memory of the labor pains fades.
(If it's a blurry photo, y'all know I took it!)
This show was no exception and I came home feeling as if I had just delivered quadruplets!
(I look like one hot mess straight out of the delivery room!)
To say it was hot would be an understatement. Y'all, it was hotter than Egypt and respite only came after a torrential thunderstorm the last Thursday of the show. least it was cool the last three days of the show and just in time for load out.
The crowd was there, but honestly I have no idea who these people were. I have never in all my born days spent so much time wiping rings off the furniture where people had set their beer bottles or glasses of ice tea. I got to wishing I had packed coasters to hand out! Not that they would have probably used them mind you. Fact is, they'd probably have asked for salt and tried to eat 'em!
(Photo courtesy of Give Me Props)
To add insult to injury, they also felt like load testing every chair in the joint. At one point I considered charging a quarter per butt. I think I could have doubled our money, but Cat Daddy nixed my idea. His brain fart was to go to the Dollar General and buy up all the packages of tube socks which I nixed. I figured they'd only want to buy one pair at a time...or sock!
(Photo courtesy of Give Me Props)
Then there were the secret shoppers and by secret I mean they had no intention of buying anything. They were looky-loos, there to secretly photograph ideas for copying with nary a never mind to think to ask permission. Just pull that ol' phone out and start snapping. I even caught a certain "no photographs please" celebrity (whose name I won't mention) blatantly taking photos of a license plate display we had worked our tail ends off putting together. It got so bad, I finally started taking photos of them taking photos of our handiwork. You should of seen the looks that got!
(Oh yes I did)

 If it sounds like I'm on a tear, heaven help me, but yes I am.
Y'all know me...right? I'm the original Pollyanna, but this show tested even my patience. I'm proud to announce no one went home missing the tops of their heads or half their behinds. How was I able to keep my temper in check you ask?
Because as hard as this show is to do and in spite of the trials and tribulations,
(Did I mention I'm thinking of changing my name to Job?)
it was a success.
(Photo courtesy of Give Me Props)
Success can be measured in many different ways. For me, a successful show is measured by the people who have touched me and I them. Success is having perfect (and I mean perfect in every way) come up and introduce themselves with the feeling as if they've known you forever. There isn't enough money in the world to buy that feeling. In fact, it can't be bought or's too priceless.

For every four "tire kickers"  who came by, there was that one who knew what they wanted and were a delight to work and visit with.
For every water ring I wiped off, there was twice as many tears of joy wiped off at seeing my birds of a feather I only get to see twice a year.
For that one guy who thought our needlepoint chair was there just for him to sit on while checking football scores, there was that one happy shopper who bought the whole set to take home to her family.
Yes it was hot, but when in Texas isn't it? Heck, everyone who's ever been to Texas knows we only have three seasons...summer, football and Christmas! As far as rain goes, it's either a drought or a in between. And goodness only knows, that part of Texas will take any moisture from the it buckets or dribbles...down to the last drop God sends.
(Photo courtesy of Give Me Props)
As far as sales go, I have to admit we're kinda spoilt. I always set two money goals in anticipation of what we can reasonably expect to do...a minimum and because I'm a glass half full type of gal...the maximum. We're used to doing about half our sales opening weekend and that didn't happen this show. It took the full length---9 days---to reach our minimum goal, but reach it we did. (It may not be polite to discuss money, but actually we were about halfway between the two...which ain't half bad!) I'm sharing this with y'all because it's one of the main reasons we go. No where else can we move that much merchandise at a fair price quickly. Forget what Country Living said. Zapp Hall is not the field for bargains, but that's a whole 'nother post (along with the copycats with their surreptitious photo bombing) and I'll be addressing both in the near future...grrr!
The second reason we put up with the heat, rude people, fire ants, scorpions, snakes, and anything else thrown at us, is the glorious sideshow of people who inhabit that field with us for nine days.
(Photo courtesy of Give Me Props)
This motley crew I share dirt all up and down Hwy. 237 with are like no others on the planet. They're vagabonds thirsting for adventures, bold, brazen, more than a little throwed off and good...good hearted, good natured, good for a laugh, and most importantly, good friends.
They make me laugh, cry and remind me constantly of how blessed I am to be able to do what we do surrounded by love and laughter.
(My pot o'gold filled to the brim with wonderful memories and friends found at the end of the rainbow!)
In six months, when the aches have become distant memories, you better believe I'll be ready to go again. For again, just as in childbirth, what I bring home...and not just in my pockets...makes every pain in the butt well worth it.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Antiques 101---The Misadventures of Floozie and Hurriet

When I set out to write this series of helpful hints, I had a clear vision of what I wanted to share, but all that went out the window as soon as I realized I'd probably be preaching to the choir.
Y'all have heard the same advice over and over.  I knew to help you, I'd have to be honest...brutally so...and I didn't know if I could do that.
Not that I have a problem with being honest. As I've talked about before, the most important thing I want folks to take away from our booth is a honest deal. We've staked, as well as built, our reputations on honesty. We've never purposely hidden defects in anything we sell to a buyer. If it's been repaired...we say so. If we're not sure of the provenance of a piece...ditto. We've lost sales because of it, but we've also gained loyal buyers for the exact same reason.
We can buy replacement merchandise all day long, but at the end of that, or any day...our reputation cannot be replaced. We won't short sell our word just to make a sale.
So class get out your #2 pencil and as my mother used to say...this is gonna hurt me a lot more than you.
I can't tell you what to buy, but I can advise you as to how.
You are first going to have to decide what you want to sell and how much you're willing to invest in the beginning. Only you know your start-up budget, but be prepared to keep good records. I didn't at first and there's no telling how much of our own money we poured in before I started keeping track.

If anyone ever writes a book called Bookkeeping for Dummies...I'd be the first in line to buy it. Even after all these years, I am still the messiest record keeper on the planet!
Now that you've got an amount in your head that you feel comfortable with, let's move on to the next order of business...and no, I don't mean buying.  While I know it's the best part of the business, you're not ready yet. Just so you don't go all antsy with me, I'll tell you now. That's a future topic. Okay?
Before you start buying, you have to decide what you want to sell. Sounds easy...right? I'm here to tell you it's not.
Some will say to buy what you love and that's good advice, but I would say buy what you know.
And if you don't know anything...start learning!
Get out and visit shows, malls, anywhere there is selling going on. See what catches your eye.

If you find yourself spending a lot of time drooling over the palest of pales or hanging out in the tent full of repurposed items, you may have found your niche.
If you can't get enough of the painted furniture or glassware curls your toes, by all means, take note.
Look, see, touch, feel...learn!
Also, pay attention to what is selling...and the area in which it is selling. What sells in Texas, might not in Timbuctoo.
Let me add one other thing. Although small, there is a distinction between junk, vintage, and antiques. Deciding which you want to sell will be part of your homework.

Don't tell anyone I said this, but for the's all used merchandise no matter what the age. And with that in mind, remember crap wasn't made just yesterday and not always in a foreign country. (Where do you think the word shoddy comes from. Google it and learn.) It's been made for hundreds of years and with that comes the possibility if it was crap a hundred years's still crap. All things don't necessarily improve with age. Heck, even some wine will turn to vinegar.
Point is, if junk is your thing, be prepared to buy the best junk you can afford. Same goes for vintage and antique. My advice is to try and buy as unique as possible. You want your merchandise to stand out in the sea of sameness from time to time, you'll find yourself surrounded by.

One thing I like to do is buy and sell in piles. Some call it bundling...others bulk. I like the word piles. Law...y'all ought to see the looks I get when I say I have piles!
One sad little milk glass bud vase, sitting on a table, all on its lonesome, will often get overlooked. BUT...10 different little milk glass vases, each with a flower tucked in them? How can anybody miss...much less resist...those I ask you? It's a service as well as a marketing technique that hasn't failed me yet. I've resisted the temptation to sell just the one and instead waited and spent the time gathering an instant collection with a wow factor. Yes, half the fun of collecting is in the hunt, but some people don't have the time to chase down enough vases for an upcoming wedding, shower or special event. Photographers have bought my piles to use as props for styling shoots. (I can't wait to see my wedding cake macrame' hangings gussied up in an upcoming wedding and the toppers styled in yet another wedding...both in October!)
 Simply put, I've done the leg work and saved them a ton in aggravation, tires and fuel. I call that a win/win for all involved.
(FYI...A. Being unique in your offerings is the first step in branding. But we'll get to that later! B. Most of these items featured have already sold. I rest my case!)
Feel free to mix the three if it floats your boat. I personally prefer a dark eclectic look. Actually, mixing things up is a good beginning for more than one reason. It appeals to a broader range of  customers and it keeps you from getting trapped in the cookie cutter vortex. Plus, the mixing of trends is extremely popular right now in decorating.  And lastly, it will give you the chance to find what works and sells for you before you invest too much money and time in dust catchers.
Speaking of trends, I feel myself trending off subject. Hopefully, I've given you some information you can study on and filled at least one page on your Big Chief tablet.
Until the next time when we'll be discussing trends...
Class dismissed.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Antiques 101

First order of business...
I'm not going to apologize for not blogging since Hector was a pup...nor will I offer any explanations as to the whys of my extended AWOL.  Life happens.  Especially when one suddenly has an ol' tom (Translation: a retired Cat Daddy) hanging around the back door caterwauling to beat the band.  New rules have to come into play before I get to play.
One thing I have been up to my armpits in alligators is preparing for The Greatest Show on DirtY'all have heard me pi$$ and moan prattle on talk about how much goes into doing a show of this size ad nauseam, so I'm not even gonna start to bore you with a repeat performance of my own brand of caterwauling.  What I will say is Oh Mylanta!
(Inside Zapp Hall Spring 2014, poster courtesy of Zapp Hall Antique Show)
What we're bringing to Antique Week is probably the most unique load we've ever had and probably the most expensive load we've ever had to pay for.  For the record...I'm not no!  Putting aside our pride and vanity of the mantra go big or go home, we gave up our big tent and chose to downsize our space by moving inside Zapp Hall.  I truly believe this was acccording to God's plan and because we listened and obeyed, He has led us to things we would never have found left to our own devices.  By downsizing our space, He allowed us to upsize our merchandise. We've ate a lot of beans and taters to pay for putting this inventory together, but for the first time in a long time, I can honestly say...I cannot wait to get there and see it all together.
Which brings us to the topic of day.

                                  (Zapp Hall Spring 2014, photo courtesy of Give Me Props)
"How to keep it fresh when it's going stale."
The man and I ventured into the antique business in the late 80's, which doesn't sound all that long until you calculate the years...25+.  During this time, we've seen a lot of comings and goings in the business. We've seen the sales of cookie jars and lunch boxes pay for college educations, Beanie Babies bought, sold and traded in a frenzy to match the NYSE and Fire-King Jade-ite soar through the roof, simply because Martha said "It's a good thing".
(Photo courtesy of Give Me Props)
With an abundance of reference books like Kovell's, anyone...with enough time, patience and willingness...could learn to recognize and price antique glassware, furniture, primitives, etc.
For the first 15-20 years or so, we watched as shoppes opened left and right. Antique malls were booming.  Shows like the Red Barn, Zapp Hall and others had waiting lists of folks just itching to get in.
(Photo courtesy of Give Me Props)
I have to admit, it was a heady time.  Never knowing what long forgotten treasure the next garage sale or auction held kept us on the prowl.  There was an abundance of merchandise just ripe for the picking and always at a great price because those who weren't in the business couldn't have cared less if Aunt Hortense's worn friendship quilt was going to keep me in groceries for a month. To them it was just used and worn out old stuff.  But then along came PBS with Antiques Roadshow and suddenly, everybody was an expert and their crap complete set of Dallas Cowboys glasses was worth at least a gazillion dollars...maybe more!
(Photo courtesy of Give Me Props. Jennifer will be at Zapp Hall for opening weekend Sept. 26-28th only. If anyone is interested in having her photograph their space, please contact Jenn on her Face Book page to schedule an appointment.)
That one show...and the copycats that followed...changed the rules forever.  It also required us,  as curators of the old, to change as well...which albeit the point of this post.
(Photo courtesy of  you know who!)
For those of y'all who are new to the business or are thinking about diving in, I was thinking maybe I could share what I've gleaned from my years of being a Ye Olde Keeper of the Krap and perhaps help you avoid some of the moats I fell into over the years.
What say ye?
Yay or Nay?
(Photo courtesy of Give Me Props. All styling done by moi!)
I must warn you, I am quite the gasbag and when I get really wound up...well you know!  And if you find yourself trapped in my seemingly endless tail tale wind?  Well then...don't say I didn't warn you.
(Feel free to pin any of my images. All I ask in return is please be sure and give credit to Give Me Props as photographer. Thanks so much!)

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Got a minute?

I have a birthday coming up and with each passing year, I find my self getting stingier and stingier with my time.
Y'all know how it is.
It really has nothing to do with age, but more with perspective.
When I was young, I believed myself invincible with nothing but time to blow through. Now time blows through me.
The thing is, I really don't have any less time now than I did in my twenties. It was running through my fingers like sand through an hourglass at the same pace it is now. The difference is at 20, 30, heck even 40, I didn't have the sense God gave a goose to realize I'm only promised a certain number of days, each containing the same 24 hours.  I was in too big of a hurry to realize regardless of my age, it's the same less. What I know now that I didn't know then is I have to focus on today and stop fretting tomorrow. This day, today, is what I've been given. Today is my promise and tomorrow is only a possibility. It's all in God's perfect timing...not mine.
Are y'all picking up what I'm laying down?
A girl of 23 never stops to think it could be over in a heartbeat...but it could.
A woman of 63 knows a heartbeat is God's promise for just that day.
A day is a gift, the best kind of gift, and one of incredible value.  It arrives with an invisible eraser, allowing us to change what we don't like and keep what we do.  And no matter how hard we try, it can't be hoarded.  Try as I might, I can't squirrel it away in a safe deposit box and pull it out for rainy days.  Once it's's gone.  It has to be emptied of all contents by the "best used by" date before it expires at midnight.  As much I would like to, it can't be frozen like last night's chicken. No returns, no exchanges.
It's mine to use as I see fit. It can be frittered away or it can be judiciously guarded. It can and will be used to take care of business, but happily, it can be used for play. The important thing is to use every single tick of the little hand, giving it a sound wringing at the end of the day to get the last drop.
It can be shared or given away, but never borrowed nor stolen.  Sharing our time with those we love or even those in need only increases its value, but giving it away can oftentimes cut it short.  Time is too valuable to throw away, much less give away. It needs to be spent on something or someone worthy of it.  And if it's our business time being asked for, we need to remember it can't be replaced and charge accordingly...even if it's friends and family. Sadly, even bills have to be paid in a timely manner. Hard as it may be, we have to regard our time as the precious commodity it is.
Squirrel Alert!
I hope y'all are still reading along. I know I can be a bit of a gasbag and your time is valuable, but I really do have a caboose to this train of thought.
I have a confession to make.  I hate a calendar. It serves as a reminder of how few days there are in a year. When I see penciled in events, I cringe simply because as I get older, I'm jealous of my time. I want to spend it doing things that make me happy and not going to the dentist or other equally mundane things.  But that's the sad part of time. So much of it has to be spent taking care of our lives, we are left with so little time for actually living. So I decided this year, I would not be a slave to a calendar. I'll start each day taking care of what needs to be taken care of and spend the rest of the day in pursuit of what makes me happy with my Cat Daddy topping the to-do list!
(Insert wink and a smirk here!)
I simply refuse to let a calendar on my desk dictate my time.
This past Sunday was Mother's Day.  I told my children I didn't need Hallmark to tell me they loved me or because the calendar said so in red.  I told them to stay home with their families. All I asked for was a quick phone call simply because I love the sound of their voices as much as I love (maybe more) my own. I wanted Jenn to get to enjoy breakfast in bed served by her children. I wanted Joey to smother Misty with love as he looked at Graycie. They deserve to be pampered if for no other reasons, the gifts of the Bella Baby and legacy. The last thing I wanted was for them to feel guilty or worry about hurting my feelings.
I'm not selfless and sure hope I'm not giving that impression. My motives were less dramatic, but a result of my days as a young mother. I was expected by my own mother (God love her, but Helen Marie could be a pill at times!) to drag myself out of bed and take her out for breakfast on Mother's Day...and no was never an option. Mother being Mother, she would not hold still for excuses...short of labor pains. But even then she'd ask how far apart the pains were to see if there was time for a quick trip to the Champagne breakfast brunch served at the hospital. I never had the luxury of being waited on hand and foot for a day and I believe every mother of a young child deserves it. Not to mention the joy it brings to the kids to spoil their moms...and make a mess while making a memory! Why would I want to cheat those kiddos out of a blessing? I love them and their parents too much for that.

See it's like this. I know they love me. I see it in their faces and I feel it in their touch all year long. They honor me in the way they are raising their children. They give to me constantly in the smallest and biggest of ways...and not just on that one day a year. I ask you now...isn't that how it's supposed to be?
Their lives are just as busy as mine so we share time together whenever and wherever we can. Time should never, ever, ever come with a guilt trip attached. I'm just that vain y'all. I want my kids to spend time with me because they want to and not because some FTD florist or Russel Stover's commercial says they have to.
Remember earlier how I said time can't be squirrelled away in a safe deposit box?  It can't, but the memories we make while spending time wisely can. They will last a lifetime and I pray be handed down to generations to come.

I seem to spend a lot of my time talking about time, but y'all know I'm just the typist. I write what He tells me to write and if it seems repetitous, I've got me a hunch. He wants to make one thing perfectly clear. He's the owner of our time clock and we shouldn't make the mistake of thinking otherwise.  
Now...I don't know about y'all, but at the end of her day (in the far, far future), this old gal doesn't want to be caught with any time left on her hands. I fully well expect to cram as much as I can into every single minute of every single day, and as I exit left, laugh myself silly all the way to the memory bank.
And that my friends, will be time well spent.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Time In a Geritol Bottle

Funny how time can change your whole perspective.  Too little is frustrating...too much, confusing.  But sometimes, in the words of Baby Bear, it's just right!
As y'all all know, in the past I'm almost always by myself for the better part of the Greatest Show on Dirt.  Not that Cat Daddy didn't want to be there...he did.  It was just his pesky job always got in the way, but this time he was able to stay for the whole time.  Retirement, along with other changes, does bring certain advantages in the form of ticks on the clock.
(All photos...except for the crappy ones...are by Give Me Props.)
Antique Week...or should I say weeks since we were there for 15 glorious days...was crammed jammed with excitement. Frivolity, food, and fortune met us at every corner. Not ones to waste time, we celebrated and savored every moment.
Frivolity in that I don't think I've ever laughed so much for such an extended period of time...sometimes so much so I forgot to breathe. I truly believe I have the most comical friends on the planet.
  Food 'cause I ate so many different things I can now speak two new languages besides Twanglish...Mouthful-ian and More-ese! Happy that I can now say pie in many different flavors AND am justified to add multilingual to my resume!
And last but not least...fortune.  I don't mean the kind you bring home in a bank bag...although the show was a success.  More like the fortune in memories you bring home in your heart at an exchange rate no Fortune 500 could ever hope to match.
There's much to share with y'all about the show.  There was a whirlwind of activity from the moment my feet touched down until the last tub was loaded back on the trailer.  So much so in fact, I'm going to have to break it down into several posts.  Expect quite a few to come out of this keyboard over the next couple of weeks.  At my age, I can't wait too long or I forget what I want to say and the he saids/she saids.  I like to think it's a wise woman who keeps her facts straight to avoid any unfortunate incarcerations in the future!
For the time being though...this chubby lady has a man whining crying pleading inquiring about clean underwear. Think it's about time to introduce him to the washer and dryer.
And for the record...I also speak Man-ese fluently!