Thursday, July 30, 2009

The Bride Wore Turquoise Earrings

I must be completely and utterly out of my mind! I've got about 1000 lbs. worth of stuff that's going into the yard sale and NOBODY to help me with it! How am I going to carry all of this downstairs? And then at the end of a long tired day, carry it all back up again?

I think I've officially gone 'round the bend.

I've still got to sort all this and make sure it's priced (if it needs pricing: I do the 'price section' method of garage saling: this pile one dollar, this pile 3 dollars, etc;) But lots of my 'better' wares deserves a better price and needs to be priced accordingly.

To escape the madness and the mayhem and the foolishness, I went to my favorite place: Trader Joe's. I like to get my little free cup of coffee laced with a whole packet of organic sugar and 1/2 and 1/2...and sample whatever goodies they are offering. Then I walk around with my cart and just enjoy the ambiance. Even the bathroom's are gorgeous. Much nicer than mine at home!

Yesterday, two of the employees had brought in their wedding album. They had recently gotten married. Everyone was standing around looking at it and being Verklempt.

I was so happy to see that the bride wore a very simple white dress, her hair in a French Updo with a short, white veil. Not a rhinestone in sight. No silver metallic threads. No beading. Just chiffon and satin and a simple bouquet.

Of course everyone is down on tiara's for brides these days, but I'm NEVER down on tiara's! Every girl should get to wear a crown at some point in her life whether it's to the academy awards, a beauty pageant or her own wedding. I actually wish they were in fashion and I could wear one to do my Trader Joe's shopping.

This simple, pretty bride, however, wore something much more unique! She wore silver and turquoise earrings. Old ones...from her Mexican family. Something Old, Something Borrowed, Something Blue.

Since I find weddings to be so full of meaningless pomp and ceremony (why DO they remove the garter? smash cake into each other's faces? It's weird! It has no meaning, isn't relevant, and I just think it's like a very bad stage play.) it is always nice to see someone use the traditions as a base but make their wedding personal.

Okay, enough about weddings!

At Trader Joe's, they give you a ticket if you use your own bags, and it goes into a magical tiki head bucket, and they draw out a name on a weekly basis, giving the winner a $25.00 gift card.

I've never won but I like to stage a fake winning. I like to fill in my name, get ready to drop my ticket in the bucket but then pull it back out again and say, "I WON I WON!". It always gets a laugh from the staff.

Yesterday, as I was filling out the ticket, one of the fellas came over to stand near me. He looked at me for a moment and then said, sotto voce, "We just throw those out, you know!"

I cracked up! I could tell he was sizing me up before he said anything scandalous and I told him, "I saw you check to see if I looked like I might have a sense of humor before you said anything!" I could tell he didn't want to piss off an old battle axe or a curmudgeon.

He was grinning from ear to ear because I was so delighted and he told me, "It's part of my job description to heckle the customers."

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Grease Spot on the L&N

It was all yellow...

I’ve been uncomfortably and excruciatingly manic for the past week, every since I found out that the second half of my income is disappearing. Right now I’m down to 8 hours of work a week. That’s not much of a paycheck. It’s going to get worse before it gets better, since almost the entire month of July was short by half.

I’m gearing up for a massive yard sale this weekend. At least, that’s the plan. I’ve yanked stuff ruthlessly from corners, cupboards and closets, with the mentality of getting rid of as much as possible just in case I need to leave here in a hurry with nowhere to go.

I ask the question: If I was in a fire and had to grab something from this area to save, what would it be? And then I make myself purge the rest of the stuff.

But its exhausting and in a lot of ways, heartbreaking work. I am fond of my things. I am attached to the things that I’ve accumulated out of love and life. My things give me a lot of happiness on a daily basis. But I also realize that my life will be perfectly fine without STUFF. And I also realize I’ve got enough to go around: in other words, enough stuff to be gotten rid of and enough stuff to be kept.

That which is essential is invisible to the eye.

Yesterday, Obee, a fellow caregiver, asked me to go to her house and then to the Galt Flea Market. It’s held on a Tuesday so it’s kind of neat, as those things are always on weekends. It gives an extra day for the vendors to make money and for folks to shop instead of having to cram it all in on the weekends.

Of course, walking through the aisles in the blistering sun looking at giant tubs and bins of cheap plastic hair clips, tube socks and car parts, I just had to laugh: Here I am in the midst of getting rid of stuff and my idea of a good day is to go wander around the stalls and look for cheap shower shoes!

I bought a nice plum colored nail polish for a dollar. So that was fun.

Afterwards we ate at her house in her back garden surrounded by sunflowers and tomato plants. She sent me home jars of peach jam, strawberry preserves, fresh peaches the size of a baby's head and a sack of tomatoes. Ah, summer!

Last night at work I was explaining to Miss Biddy that she couldn't ride in the car with me: It's over 100 degrees out and it's a safety issue. My car has black interior, and she has no body weight at all. Dehydration could take effect within moments and I'd be driving a corpse around.

"It's even dangerous for me," I told her, "with all my body fat! I could fry like a turkey once my body fat heats up to boiling temperature! I could melt into nothing sitting right behind the steering wheel!"

She laughed, thought a moment and replied, "You'd be nothing but a grease spot on the L&N"

Monday, July 27, 2009

The Tweeny's Half Day

Back in the happy Golden Days of Yore, there was such a thing as a 'tweenie'. Which was a lowly housemaid somewhat between a scullery maid and a housemaid. They were usually employed by less affluent families who could not afford a full staff of servants...thus combining several jobs into the body of one poor girl.

Kind of like my job now!

Also, back in the day, servants--indeed employees of any kind--got ONE HALF DAY off work a month. Imagine working 30 and a half days in a row before getting a lousy half day off.

Hmm...kind of like my job now!

So what do you do with your half day off when you are a mere tweeny? Fix crepes, slather them in powdered sugar, chocolate drizzles and apricot preserves...and curl up with a good book about Lilibet and Margaret Rose Windsor, written by their governess Crawfie.

Here's an antique pinafore, made for a very tiny tweeny.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Cereal Boxes Make No Sense

"I believed in accumulating.
And when you believe in accumulating, you see what you don't have,
not what you do. You lose touch with what you value more than money."
Geneen Roth

Lately I've been noticing how much paper waste I seem to generate. It's everywhere! Paper clutter seems to multiply on it's own when I'm not looking.

I shred everything that doesn't have my name on it, I buy many things from the co-op in bulk, I re-use my plastic bags like crazy so they don't pile up, and I don't even bring those mailer/fliers in the mailbox into my apartment: they go straight to the dumpster... yet I still seem to have a lot of paper garbage.

Where I live, we just have a giant dumpster. They had tried having recycle bins but they kept getting stolen, shifted to the neighbor's lot or they would somehow migrate to the end of the block at the opening of the alley. It wasn't uncommon to see 2 or 3 recycle bins at the entrance to the alley on any given day.

One imagines Homeless Elves taking them for joyrides and then abandoning them when bored.

Just this week, though, I noticed there are two spanking new recycle cans in back of my apartment. That gave me hope! I would take this opportunity to begin to separate my paper, plastic and glass from the rest of my garbage.

And that's when reality started to sink in. Empty cottage cheese containers. Paper towels and Puffs. Butter wrappers. Those 'business reply envelopes' that never get used...and Food Packaging!

Ah, food packaging. Now that I am consciously handling and sorting every item that passes through my hands instead of just throwing it in the garbage, lots of it makes no sense to me. For instance: cereal boxes. What is their purpose?

At Miss Biddy's house there are always at least 5 kinds of cereal boxes in her pantry. Most of them have half a cup of cereal left inside. She goes for a box of cereal, shakes it, realizes there's not enough in there for a full bowl, but too much to throw away, and puts it back in the cupboard and chooses another. When the very last box is down to it's last handful, she finally realizes she is out of cereal and we go to the store and buy 5 boxes more, thus starting the cycle all over again. You can't tell by looking at the box whether it's empty or full, x5!

At my house it's not that bad: I just have Joe's O's to contend with. But still...I have to open the box and look inside to see how much is in there. And inside is the 'stay fresh' inner bag that is the 'real' packaging of the cereal.

So I always throw away the box and just use the inner cereal bag, because the cereal box acts as a barrier to the free flow of cereal, to my way of thinking!

Why don't they adopt the 'potato chip bag' approach? Do away with that outer packaging that makes NO SENSE and is USELESS. It's not like there are 1000 craft ideas for reusing the ubiquitous cereal box. If they used clear or semi-clear bags, they could still write stuff all over them and you could still SEE INSIDE to how much you had left.

Okay, what's my point? My point is...I'm just here to introduce you to my new, fabulous recycled paper container! I bought it years ago to use at Civil War reenactments, and then kept it around for the odd large laundry object like rugs or the bedspread. But it always seemed like it was meant for greater things... so now it's my recycled paper garbage bag! Viola!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

My New Motto

I actually had to save someone's life at work yesterday! My lady started to cough and belch and her lungs filled up with fluids and I was alone and had to call the hospice nurse to talk me through it. She had just been there earlier and we had talked about all the house plants they have.

One that she pointed out to me was an Angel-drop Begonia. Everyone loves begonias excepf for me becuase I think they look like if you touch them they will burn my hands off with molten acid and I'll be left with stumps. Orchids are the same thing: I think they look like they would like to trap me with their ropey roots and then slowly digest me over thousands of years.

I started to read a book that was on the shelf there. It's called "Angels in the Wilderness" by Amy Racina. It's about a woman who fell off a collapsing cliff while backpacking alone in the Sierras. She fell 60 feet onto granite and crushed her hips, knees, and her face. It's a real page turner! She had to try and drag or scoot herself to this stream where she could try and float somewhere that there would be people. The first day she only managed to move about 30 feet. It's a very spiritual book. Anyone reading it who does not want people to have universal health care is an inhuman monster. From the sounds of it, it was a FAR HARDER ordeal once she was rescued and in the hospital without insurance than it was to survive in the wilderness. She had to plead for toilet paper and the Accounting Department kept calling her and asking her how she intended to pay her $350,000.000 medical bill. AT that point she was still helpless in casts and fighting off serious life-threatening infections.

ANYWAY! As I was slowly trying to calm down and still keep an eye on my poor frail 105 year old, the doorbell rang and it was an unscheduled visit from a social worker. A very lovely girl she checked on my patient and then spent some time counceling me. I don't even know how she KNEW I was in trouble but she told me to remember to Wait on God.

She said it was Okay to slow down and let things happen. I showed her the Angel drop begonia and the book I was reading. Before she left, she gave me her card.

As I sat down to read some more, I looked at her card and saw that her name was ANGELIC Jones. Not Angela, or Angelique or Angeline. ANGELIC.

Thanks, God! That was pretty cool!

Much later as I was packing up my stuff to leave and end my shift, I saw the piece of paper I'd been doodling on during the time I was calling for help and back-up, etc;

I had written:

When in Doubt

And that was my day with the Angels.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Mack Bag

Just an average bag on an average bed on an average morning...packing up some things to take to work.

But Wait...

Something moved! Who is that masked marauder?

It's Mackie in a Bag! Designed to go with you, wherever you roam! Near or far, by plane or car, no matter how desperate the times...there will be comfort and laughter with the new, compact, ultra-sleek Cat in a Bag!


I've been given a series of new challenges, lately: namely, I've lost BOTH my main sources of income in the last month. Quite out of the blue. (Although when you do elderly care nothing is ever quite out of the blue.) In one case my daytime Miss E. had to go into convalescent care and now I've learned my evening Miss B. is going to give up her big house and move to an apartment near her daughter.

So I've been scrambling for work ideas and living options to lower my that I can manage to KEEP an overhead. Roof, I mean. I'd like to avoid being homeless if possible!

The company I work for is great about placements, but right now? With this economy? People are taking care of their own Moms & Dads, because they can't afford to pay outside care.

Good thing all I really need is a Cat in a Bag and my tea things. I'll be fine. I hope you all are, as well!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Jammin' Scammin'!

We've all gotten those Nigerian 411 scams in our inbox at one time or another; General McTutu's poor widow who has 14 million dollars that for some reason she wants to share with little old me if I can just help her get it out of her war-torn country; etc. They are pretty easy to spot and there are even entire web sights devoted to scamming these scammers. Most of them seem pretty damn dumb right from the get-go, and yet they seem to think they are BRILLIANT and really have JUST the hot ticket plan to relieve us of our hard earned cash.

I think they are despicable of course.

When I got the following important letter from the FBI in my inbox today I wanted to offer this poor "FBI agent" a cup of tea. And an education. At least a spelling lesson. And then spank him and send him to bed without any supper:

Hello this is from the fbi law enforcement usa californoia 93535.if you had been scam before this is a help agent to you This is to let you know that all of you who had lost money to scammers in africa and usa i let you know that there is an quick opportunity for you all. mostly you lost money through lottery. my name is FBI martins. i assure you that i will doall i can to get your money back to you in 3 days okay. a opportunity to getyour money back I believe you know what scam means. i am a global scam fither in CA 93535.we have all the global scam computer to trace all scammer name and location okay...if you had sent money to africa youhave a chance to take 1 of them to courth because 1 of them had been caught.. if you lost money or wins or deaf lottery contact us quick

Friday, July 17, 2009

Caption Contest Closed!

Although I had over 300,000 entries to my Mackie Caption Contest, I was able to distill them down to just ONE winner! BEYOND PANIC is the winning entry. I laughed out loud and I learned something at the same time! Why have I never noticed before that Mackie's "Got Milk" mustache covers half his face? Delightful!
Things have been slow and dull around here and so has been my brain! I'd like to say that I was off doing the Tour de France or I was the one who got gored by a bull in Pamplona but it would all be lies!
It's just a long hot summer all around, I guess!
Beyond Panic: send me your snail mail information ...misspinkbutleratcomcastdotnet

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Caption Contest

For lack of anything to say, and because I have nothing better to do, I'm holding another caption contest. This time, I'm only awarding ONE prize. You don't get a prize just for entering, Aunt Bevo! Just write your entry in the comments section and I'll pick a winner after a day or so.
All prizes are from my clutter around the house! Who knows if it will be a treasure or trash?

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Sangria Summer

It's a perfect day for a fluffy sofa

And a pitcher of Sangria. Sweet, sweet summertime.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Pearl Without Price

It's the cutest quilt. It's butter yellow. And indigo Blue. It's got a funky floral border that adds to both it's size and it's charm. And it's only $60.00. Selling it would clear up space in my little bedroom and add funds to my very dwindled bank account. I love it but I'm ready to sell it. Why not let go of things to make room in life for other possibilities? Out with the old, in with the new... it's for sale and I mean it!
But then again... Maybe Not.

Thursday, July 09, 2009


Well, I know you all haven't heard from me in ages and what can I say? One of my clients took a turn for the worse (or in this case worst) and I've been doing a LOT of time for blogging!

And now suddenly I don't have many hours AT ALL and thus I've invented a clever new idea...called the Blog Sale!

I never have enough stuff for an Etsy, you know, plus all that online paypalling and people taking percentages just sends me into the stutters! So I'm just going to sell my tired treasures to anyone who wants them!

I'm trying to include the price of postage in with the sale price. I HATE charging people for handling-- what's to handle? I have to handle it so why would I charge you to handle it over to you? --so that it's a simple transaction.

I'd prefer cash in the mail but you can also do check or money order. Everything is sold AS IS. If something is glitched I'll tell you. All sales are final! Honey, I need the money so by the time you've changed your mind I've spent your dime!

email me any requests: this is first-come-first served you know! If you want something, tell me firmly and I'll mark it sold and remove it from the blog. Any questions? email me:
misspinkbutler at comcast dot net

First up are these vintage/antique amethyst earrings. I picked these up back in the 60's at an antique jewelry store. I paid a pretty penny for them. I assume they are 10k gold and the amethysts are actually cut glass but you never know. They are vintage, beautiful, screw-back earrings. $40.00 sorry I don't have a close-up lens on my camera! But trust me they are delicate and beautiful.

Vintage Lumpy Quilt: $60.00

Yes, it's lumpy, but the colors are gorgeous! It's a small twin bed sized quilt, tied with yarn.

The back is a thin cotton in this wonderful aqua, orange and sunflower yellow fabric. There is one worn/tear just from fragile fabric on the BACK. It can easily be patched or stitched depending on the look you want for your quilt. This is just a very sweet quilt.

Next I've got 3 petit point dinner plates. These are not a 'brand name' china, in fact the back is totally unmarked.
I'm asking $5.00 each or $15.00 for all three.

Cool cotton bags $20.00 each. I'll post individual shots in my next post! Don't want to stress out Blogger! These bags are all handmade by me and are lined with a contrasting cotton.

This is one of those brand name knock-offs but I couldn't tell you whose! I don't even know if it's real leather. I do know it's BRAND spanking new and comes with a check book.

Red heart wallet: $10.00.
Last but not least I've got 4 bars of my green garden soap at $3.00 a bar. These are small bars but smell heavenly.

Please remember these exorbitant prices include the postage! I'll 'handle' them for free!
All items come with CAT HAIR at no extra charge. If you want fancy insurance then you'll have to pay for that!
Still no charge for the cat hair, though.