Shopping Fever

clothes

It’s hard for me to admit, but I’m addicted, a habitual offender, hooked. No, NO, not on drugs – on clothes. I’m a shopaholic.

I never thought it would come to this. I seldom went shopping at all. In fact, I despised malls, only went when I was threadbare. It took too much time to shop and everything seemed so expensive.

My downfall started a month ago when I was on vacation; there was a thrift shop right next door to the motel. Hard to believe, but I’d never been inside a Goodwill store before. So, I decided to go over and check it out.

It was downhill from there. When I first walked in I thought, “I don’t like this stuff. It’s old and used.” But I decided to look around — just to try it to see what it was like.

Then I found something I really liked.

I found a skirt that looked like new and the already low cost was discounted to a mere $2. The next thing you know I had a whole shopping basket of stuff to try on. All was nearly new and all cost nearly nothing. I found a black leather jacket for $8. Can you believe it?

I didn’t know it, but I had thrift-store fever.

I made several more trips back to the store before we left, and when we came home, I found that I could not kick the thrift store habit. I located a local Goodwill store and continued to shop. I couldn’t help myself. Everything was so cheap, a dress for $3.50 — if you were there on the right day.

I began to run out of clothes hangers at home. Soon I had shopped the thrift store so often that I had bought all the good stuff. Of course, they put out new merchandise all the time, but it was hard to wait.

Then I realized that Goodwill has other stores too.

Guess what?

The deals are just as good. I’ve just come home from one of my little bargain-shopping sprees. I shopped for three hours and blew an entire $24. There is one thing good about being addicted to thrift shopping; it’s hard to shop long enough to spend very much money.

My closet doesn’t know what hit it. It’s stuffed. I have nowhere else to put anything. Next thing you know, I’ll be donating the leftovers to Goodwill and buying back my own stuff.

The deals, the sales, the bargains! It’s more than I can stand!

You can always find a bargain at Goodwill if you are willing to dig for it. It isn’t their fault that I can’t resist a bargain. Not only that, but the money spent all goes for a worthwhile cause, helping people with disabilities to have jobs. It’s pretty hard to work up much guilt about spending.

I’ve decided to try to kick the thrift-store habit, though. I’ll wait until I actually need something. No matter how many half-price sales they have, I am not going to shop for a while.

I will have to pass up a few of those bargains and let someone else have them. I know it won’t be easy.

Regardless, I’ll be the best-dressed person in the office for a month or so. I’ll be in a different outfit every day. I wonder if I should confess that my red blouse was a bargain and that I got it for 99 cents, or if I should just keep that to myself?

The word to use, should I decide to reveal my secret, is “vintage” clothing, not “used.”

Just do me one small favor. Please don’t buy up all the good vintage stuff before I’ve recovered enough to trust myself again.

Copyright 2007 Sheila Moss

Posted in Fashion, Humor, Shopping | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Grandma the Babysitter

child

The other day I was invited to baby-sit my 2-1/2 year old granddaughter while her mommy and daddy went out. The plan was for me to go to their house so she would be on familiar turf.

When I arrived, she met me at the door with ‘The Big News.’ “Grandma, I used the potty.” It’s not what I expected to hear the minute I walked in the door.

I know there are many things in the world of more earth-shaking importance, like bringing home the troops, solving the immigration problem, and whether Britney Spears is pregnant again. But potty training is a major accomplishment in the life of a toddler, so I praised her even though I was thankful that the deed was done and I didn’t have to go see.

Little Miss Big Girl is at the age now when she is trying to act all grown up and wants to please adults. She has her own pink room with butterflies on the ceiling and a real bed instead of a baby crib. And, she proudly wears training pants instead of a diaper.

She decided that Grandma should read her a book. I had expected something along the line of “Big A, little A, what begins with A? Aunt Annie’s alligator, A-A-A.” However, what she selected was a book about God. The kid is a deep thinker. It undoubtedly must be the good genes she inherited.

She tried to trick ol’ grandma into giving her the snack that mommy said she could have later on. But, It didn’t work. Grandma is wise to all the tricks. After all, I raised her daddy.

After a while, she wanted to go potty again.

“Do you need help?”

“I can do it myself,” she replied with hands on her hips. I eavesdropped to be sure she didn’t fall off and took only four squares of paper instead of half the roll. Mommy had said she could have one M&M as a reward if she stayed dry and didn’t have an accident.

We had several more potty trips after that, each one followed by one M&M. I began to suspect that she was more interested in the rewards than the task.

I gave her a new toy, an “Ugly Doll” that I got from the gift shop at a hotel. Ugly Dolls are sort of a fad item. They are weird, but also soft and loveable. This one was a pink, dog-like creature with three eyes.

“One, two, three,” she counted. Then she counted her own eyes, “One ,two?” She looked puzzled and tried again, “One, two, three?” “One, two?” I don’t think she ever figured it out, but that’s okay, as I couldn’t figure it out either.

“Grandma, can we go to your house?”

“I think we are supposed to stay here.”

“But you have popsicles at your house,” she explained. Kids never forget.

She then showed me her green toenail polish, and pointed out that I had only ordinary red polish on my toenails.

“Who polished your nails?” I asked.

“That lady,” she replied.

“Did you have a pedicure?”

“Uh, huh.”

The Ugly Doll was envious, I’m sure.

She rubbed her eyes, but refused to put on pajamas as that meant bedtime. I’m not sure who fell asleep first, but she was sprawled out on the floor sleeping and I was dozing on the couch when mommy and daddy got home. I hope I won’t be fired for sleeping on the job.

We are all going out to eat soon for daddy’s birthday. Granddaughter’s new favorite restaurant is Applebee’s.

Of course, that’s probably because she doesn’t know that Ruby Tuesday’s has popsicles.

Copyright 2007 Sheila Moss

 

Posted in Family, Humor | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

A Star Lady is Hiding in the Car

starcar

Some time ago, I wrote a column about GPS, the global positioning system in cars. It’s a navigation system that can help you find your way from point to point by using an electronic mapping system – to explain for those of you still living in the Stone Age, like me.

Apparently, this has been around for years – I’m just a slow adapter. After seeing GPS in action, I thought I’d seen it all. However, as the old timers say here in the South, “You ain’t seen nuthin’ yet!”

What I didn’t know about was another innovation right out of science fiction called “On Star.” Even scarier is the fact that this stuff is standard equipment on all new GM cars. So, look out behind you! The future is gaining on us whether we are ready or not.

The other day we got in the car, tired and ready to come home. But, the car began to TALK. I thought we were being hijacked. “Your new ‘On Star’ system has been activated,” said a voice from nowhere. “Press the blue button to complete the activation.”

I wanted to drive straight to the closest police station and have the car taken into custody, but my man, much to my dismay, pressed the blue button on the mirror that I had never noticed.

Soon a lady’s voice began to tell us all about the new system. I looked in the back seat, but she wasn’t back there. She must be talking through the radio? Either that or the poor thing was in the trunk!

The voice from nowhere proceeded to tell us that she was actually in Canada and was explaining what the different buttons were for while I continued to try to figure out where she was actually hiding.

The red button is for emergencies, like wrecks or police emergencies. The blue button is for roadside assistance, and the third button is a telephone. Depending on which button you push, Star Lady sends appropriate assistance.

Now I’m not really convinced that we need all this convenience in our lives. Seems too much like “Big Brother” to me. I’m still trying to get used to cell phones myself.

My honey proceeded to chat with the voice from Canada about Montreal. The system began to tell us why we needed it and what it could do. The emergency system activates itself if the airbags inflate. It has its own GPS that can pinpoint our location so emergency services can find us.

Well, that does sound sort of useful. I hope we never need that service, though.

The green button is sort of like AAA. Of course, we already have AAA, not to mention roadside assistance through the car insurance and, I believe, most car manufacturers have roadside assistance too.

“But this is better,” explains the answer lady, “because it knows exactly where you are.” If your car is stolen, On Star can even help the police locate it — or what’s left of it.

The telephone feature is hands-free, therefore safer, and four times more powerful than a locomotive. err… I mean a cell phone. Of course, it does have an activation fee and minute usage fee attached, but it’s for emergencies.

I think I can live without this. However, it is like the camera phones and iPads we deluded ourselves into thinking we actually need.

There’s no place left to hide, no such thing as getting lost, running out of gas, or forgetting to charge the cell phone. No more excuses, no more secrets, no more challenge of the unknown, or thrill of discovery.

Frankly, I am still mainly interested in exactly how that voice does it and where it is really coming from.

Copyright 2007 Sheila Moss
Posted in Automotive, Humor, Technology | Tagged , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

The Decorator’s Dream Home

minions

Although most people wouldn’t know it, I have been blessed with a number of talents. One of these is interior decorating and painting. Unfortunately, I don’t get to practice this very often.

It has been several years since any painting has been done in my home and high time that it was freshened up. Besides, when I attempted to touch up some nail holes, I used the wrong color of paint. I couldn’t very well just leave the wall looking as if it had a severe case of polka dot pox.

“As long as we are painting anyhow,” I told my honey, “I might as well change from this drab off-white to one of the new darker colors.”

“We are painting?” said my honey, as he settled in to watch the Penn State football game on TV.

“You don’t have to help right now,” I said, “After the game will be fine.” (Notice my expertise in male psychology.)

I just happened to have some paint samples that I had picked up down at the hardware store.

“What do you think? Sage Brown, Harvest Wheat or Bungalow Gold?”

“Touchdown! Go Blue and Gold!” He yelled.

I figured that meant he liked Bungalow Gold. Good thing since I had already purchased the paint. We experts don’t like to have to make extra trips to the hardware store.

I soon discovered that my paintbrush was not quite as steady as it was when I was younger, probably an inferior quality of brush. Maybe I’d better mask off the baseboards and trim. No sense taking chances.

By the time that was done, the game was in the third quarter.

I rolled on some of the paint and could not believe my eyes! Is that the color that I picked? Bungalow Gold? It looks like Brown Mustard. There must be some mistake!

I found the paint sample and held it up to the wall. It was a perfect match. Maybe it would look better when it dried.

About that time, honey came in. “We won!” he exclaimed. I put the paint roller in his hand and pointed him to the wall.

“The color is not what I picked out,” I said.

Not having my decorating aptitude, he used more elbow grease than paint and when the job was done, something was wrong.

“It looks splotchy,” I said. “I think it needs another coat. This room should have taken a gallon of paint and we have half a gallon left.”

“I’m hungry,” said honey, leaving to raid the refrigerator.

I figured that was the last I’d see of him. Oh, well. At least the first coat made the second one easier. I was rolling down the wall at 90 miles an hour. Paint was flying.

My worst fear was kicking the paint bucket over, but I managed to avoid it and only slopped paint over the edge of the roller pan once or twice.

Of course, I did step in a few drips, which stuck to my foot and then to the plastic. Soon I was dragging the plastic behind me with every step. Even we experts have our limits.

I touched up the places on the ceiling where I got gold on it; then I touched up the gold on the wall where I got white on it. This went on over and over for a while.

Honey returned just in time to help with removing the masking tape. “Did you finish already?” he asked — as if he didn’t know.

Amazingly, it turned out pretty well. The color looked just like it did in the book. The room practically glowed! It was a decorator’s dream.

There is only one problem with having a freshly painted room. It makes the rest of the house look dirty.

Fortunately, I picked up some more paint samples at the hardware store yesterday — just in case we decide to do another room.

Copyright 2007 Sheila Moss

 

Posted in Home, Humor | Tagged , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

It Isn’t Spring Yet

jessica-fadel-580236-unsplash

The pear trees are starting to blossom. They are the first sign of spring, with crabapples, redbuds and dogwoods to follow. Daffodils are in full bloom. Can tulips be far behind?

But don’t get spring fever — it isn’t spring yet!

The cars are lined up at the local carwash. Everyone wants to get rid of the salt and grime from winter’s last fling. You can wash your car if you want to, but it won’t bring spring. We could still have more cold weather. It isn’t spring yet!

People are walking around outside in their shirtsleeves. There is still dampness in the air. “Put on your coat before you catch cold!” No, I can’t tell perfect strangers to wear a coat, but they should know better. It isn’t spring yet.

A guy was on the elevator this morning with a motorcycle helmet. He rode to work on a motorcycle? A day or two of warm weather and people go nuts. He will get a chill and the flu from the cold wind in his ears. It isn’t spring yet!

My grandson wants to play outside. He pouted and didn’t want to wear his coat. “You have to wear a coat; it’s too chilly for going outside without a coat regardless of what all the other kids are doing. You already have a cough.” Finally, he agrees to compromise and wear his fleece jacket. Kids! They just don’t understand that it isn’t spring yet!

There is still a chill in the air. The sun may be warm but the breeze is cool. I saw a guy in a convertible with the top down. Another case of spring fever, no doubt. You can’t let yourself be taken over by wishful thinking. “Put that top up and wait a while!” I’m wasting my breath. He can’t hear me at 70 mph. Doesn’t he have a mother? She will tell him. It isn’t spring yet.

My backyard is full of birds: robins, cardinals, and blue jays. They are chirping, singing, and scavenging for food and nestingmaterials. They think it is spring too. Yes, it is deceiving even to creatures. But have feathers to keep them warm and we don’t. It isn’t spring yet.

My honey has been sick with a head cold. It must be the weather,warm one day, cold the next. I hear coughs and sneezes nearly everywhere I go. I’ve tried to tell them, but no one will listen. It’s March, for heaven’s sake. It isn’t spring yet!

It can still get cold outside. Don’t you know that the pear blossoms are often killed by frost and daffodils can be covered with snow? Azaleas don’t have any sense either. They bloom too early and get nipped in the bud by cold weather all the time. It isn’t spring yet!

Don’t you know the rules? “No going without jackets until temperatures stay warm for a week. No summer clothes until after the first of May. No wearing of shorts until about June. No wearing of white until the first of May. No sandals until summer.” Can’t you at least wait until after Easter? Quit rushing the season. It isn’t spring yet.

I must admit, it’s hard to hold back the energy, the lust for life, Spring cleaning, the yearning to be free of winter and its confinement. It’s the nesting instinct. I want to clean my nest, get it ready for the new season. I want to clean, dust, and repaint. I also want to wear sandals and short-sleeved T-shirts. I’m bursting with energy, emotion and desire to plant flowers.

Spring is just around the corner and it is really just so hard to wait. Do you suppose I could be catching spring fever too?

Who cares if it isn’t spring yet?

Copyright 2006 Sheila Moss
Posted in Humor, Weather | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

The Therapeutic Massage

I have seen massages on television, usually in comedy skits. The masseuses always look like sumo wrestlers and throw a towel across your bottom while they knead you like a hunk of dough and then beat you to a pulp with karate chops.

No, I didn’t think I needed that.

I was a bit afraid to have a massage. I wasn’t sure what they would do to me. I didn’t want a fat wrester twisting me into a pretzel. Besides, it seemed silly to pay money to have someone to rub my back.

Still, I did have this stiff neck and shoulder pain that nothing seemed to help, regardless of how much BenGay I slathered on or how long I slept on a heating pad. I couldn’t help but think how heavenly it would feel to have someone who knew what they were doing work on those neck muscles.

Tension and stress are epidemic these days and I read that massages are terrific for arthritic pain too. I almost had myself talked into it when, as luck would have it, the beauty shop where I was going began to provide massage services.

Still, I was hesitant.

Then, one day when I was complaining about my neck, my honey said, “If you are hurting, why don’t you get a professional massage?”

Ha, if he thinks it is so great, why doesn’t he get one?

Since he brought up the subject, I decided to get him a gift certificate. Let him become the Pillsbury Doughboy.

I think he was a bit nervous about it too. He insisted on going at the same time I went to get my hair done. But afterwards, he raved about how good it felt.

I was envious. Wait a minute; I’m the one that needs a massage! Why is he the one going? I hoped he would take the hint and get me a gift certificate too. He didn’t. Men do not take hints. You have to spell it out.

“If anyone wants to know what I want for my birthday,” I said, “I would like a gift certificate for a m-a-s-s-a-g-e.”

Once I had a gift certificate in my sweaty palms, however, I was again afraid. I couldn’t very well ask him to go with me. Finally, I took a deep breath and called and made the appointment.

The lady massage therapist took my medical history and explained all about what she would do.

The room was dimly lit, and had some of that weird relaxation music playing as well as the sound of trickling water coming from somewhere. She used aromatic oil that smelled wonderful.

The white table was just a comfortable as I thought it would be. I was covered with a nice soft sheet for the entire time to protect my modesty. She massaged my scalp, my shoulders, and back. It was even more relaxing than I had imagined.

I suffer from back pain and could not stand the deep massage like she used for my shoulders. So, she simply worked on pressure points to help relieve the pain, and then massaged the aching muscles in my legs.

I didn’t get kneaded like a wad of dough or spun like a pizza crust. No body slams or judo punches. It was perfectly safe and a soothing relief for sore muscles and relief of tension.

I left with a bottle of water to help rid my system of toxins and prevent soreness. It was wonderful.

By the way, she didn’t resemble a sumo wrestler at all — not even a little bit.

Copyright 2007 Sheila Moss

Posted in Health, Humor | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

New Car or New Toy?

suv

There is no point in arguing with a man when he gets that “I-want-a-new-car” gleam in his eye.

My man got that gleam in his eye nearly two months ago. By now, it is no longer a gleam, but more like a laser beam.

All the usual excuses came up as to why he had to have a new car now, right now, today – yesterday — if possible.

“It needs new tires.”

Not good enough, I thought.

“The inside light doesn’t work right.”

You’ve got to be kidding.

“The mechanic said that the only way he could fix the noise is with a $3,000 repair.”

That one got my attention. Of course, it was running just fine anyhow, and we were still driving it every day like always.

Finally, the clincher: “It has over 100,000 miles on it!”

Oh, my goodness, 100,000 miles? It could explode into a cloud of hot gases any day now and leave us sitting on the road in a puddle of oil.

As I said, there is no point in arguing when a man wants a new car. To make matters even worse, his brother works at a car dealership and can get him a “deal”.

There were numerous automotive conversations with his brother on the phone. The kind of new car we were getting changed with every conversation, depending on what was in stock. Each time we saw a car on the road that was similar to the “car of the hour,” he would point it out.

“It’s like that one, except it is blue.” Or “It is like that one, except it is bigger.”

“Don’t you want to help pick it out?” he asked.

He would get what he wanted anyhow.

He came home with something entirely different from anything we discussed, loaded down with every toy ever invented by a demented Detroit engineer. Besides the usual CD player, heated seats, and automatic everything, this electronic marvel had a Global Positioning System (GPS), and a DVD player.

“Don’t you love it?” he asked excitedly. “Look what it can do!”

We got in and went for an ego trip. GPS is another word for NAG I found out.

“Turn left at the next corner,” said the GPS digital voice.

“Go one quarter of a mile, stay right, and merge onto the highway.”

“I said stay RIGHT.”

“Make a legal U-turn and turn around!”

“You missed it!”

“Make a right turn at the next corner. Now make another right turn. Now turn right again and go left at the next corner.”

“What is the matter with you? I said turn LEFT!” The system is recalculating. “At this rate you will never get where you are going!”

He just wanted to see what it would do. Men and their toys.

I wish it could say something like: “Don’t stop at this gas station. There is one with a lower price in half a mile.” Or, if it could give us the location of all the Cracker Barrels, that would be useful. But that stupid GPS won’t even let you pull off the road for a rest stop without going into a tizzy.

Who needs this stuff? Now that we have it, he seldom uses it. We don’t go many places that we need directions to find.

And the DVD player? Well, we didn’t have any DVD’s to play. Besides, you can’t sit in the back seat and watch a movie while driving anyhow.

But, he has his new toy and he is happy. His brother is happy. The salesman is very happy.

So, why complain?

I’ve learned at least one thing from the GPS. If things don’t go your way, just recalculate and go on.

Copyright 2007 Sheila Moss
Posted in Automotive, Humor | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Who? Me? Addicted to the Computer?

nikita-kachanovsky-445394-unsplash

Addicted to the computer? Who? Me? I’ll admit that I’ve been reading email when I should be mopping the floor, browsing online auctions when I should be doing laundry, surfing websites when I should be fixing dinner, but that doesn’t mean that I’m an addict.

Computer addict? I looked at myself in the mirror. I don’t look like an addict. I look pretty much like any normal person, I think. Maybe a bit more pale from lack of sunlight. But I’m not spending that many late night hours in the flashing blue light of the computer’s monitor.

Addict? Not me! I’m actually getting things done these days that I never had time to do before. I have blisters from doing yard work instead of carpel tunnel from too much time at the keyboard. I finally got around to trimming that grass along the driveway last week.

My carpel tunnel hardly bothers me at all these days.

How could I be addicted to the computer? I’m doing mending instead of hiding clothes in the back of the closet. I’m using the sewing machine instead of the computing machine. Instead of grabbing the first thing I can find in the closet to wear in the morning because I stayed up too late on the computer, I plan ahead – at least part of the time.

I don’t have time to be addicted! I’ve just painted a room, something I haven’t done in years. I even went to the hardware store and picked out the paint from real samples instead of looking it up on the Internet. The pictures on the monitor may not show the true color. Besides, I hadn’t really noticed how awful the paint looked before. It had nothing to do with how much time I spend staring into the computer screen.

I’m not a computer addict. I go shopping at real stores instead of ordering on the Internet. I like to try on clothes and see if they fit. Looking for bargains at thrift stores is much more fun than using a search engine to find them. Can I help it if we don’t really need stores too much anymore as everything is available online anyhow, and you don’t have to look for a parking place?

How could I be addicted to the computer? I don’t feel guilty when I take a nap instead of replying to email. It’s true that I spend a lot of time apologizing to my online friends for not answering email sooner. But, a little power nap helps a lot and I can think of much better excuses for being late than I could before.

I couldn’t be addicted to the computer. I spend too much time watching television. With some of the programs that are on now, I’m not sure that is such a good thing. But at least I can relax while watching the boob tube, and I don’t have to think too much. The programs are already planned and I don’t have to update them, interact with them, or reply to them. It almost seems too easy. No challenge like there is with a computer.

I may stay on the computer more than I have to at times but that doesn’t mean I am addicted. It is just that there is sometimes nothing else interesting to do except use the computer.

Me? Addicted to the computer? I’m getting ready to get off the computer right now — just as soon as I finish this column, and check my email, and update my website, and order a book, and check the latest news and weather, and look up a recipe, and check my auction bids, and download my pictures, and look up a phone number and print out some directions.

I’m not addicted. I only do the things online that are totally and absolutely necessary.

 

Copyright 2007 Sheila Moss
Posted in Humor, Technology | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Hand Painted

aaron-lee-733101-unsplash

It must be my age. After I finish one project, I can’t seem to remember how much trouble it was. I look only at the results and next thing I know, I’m planning another.

I’ve had my eye on our mailbox for a while. It is — or should I say “was” red. But the color faded. I already had a can of red spray paint, so it was just a matter of spraying it. One day when I already had on my “painting clothes,” I figured I might as well do this small job and get it out of the way.

Meanwhile, my daughter had a cold and wanted to go to the local convenience clinic to see a doctor.

“Call and I’ll pick you up when you are done,” I told her when I dropped her off. I figured it would be a couple of hours, plenty of time to do my small project before she was done.

I went out to the street where the mailbox is with my can of red paint and a piece of cardboard, which I planned to hold over the parts not to be painted to shield them from the spray. This worked pretty well, except I forgot that while holding the cardboard, my hand would also get sprayed.

By the time I was done, the mailbox looked great, but my hand was a brilliant red. I figured I’d get out the paint thinner and clean it off.

About then, honey yelled out the door that my daughter was on the phone.

“I’m ready,” she said.

“Already?” It’s only been half an hour.

“I was the second patient today,” she explained. “They are not very busy.”

So, I figured that I would go get her and then come home and clean the red paint off.

“They want a co-pay,” she said when I got there, oblivious to the fact that I looked as if I had been in finger-painting class.

Good grief, I have to go inside. I hoped no one would notice my scarlet hand. I kept it behind the counter and used my other hand. No one said anything.

“I have to get medicine,” said my daughter.

“Okay, we can drive thru and drop off the prescription and come back later.”

“I need to wait for it,” she said. “The doctor said to get started on this right away.”

So, off we went to Wal-Mart, where we went inside to the pharmacy. I hadn’t figured on all this when I left home.

“You give it to them,” I said. “I don’t want them to see this painted paw of mine.”

While were waiting, I remember that I was out of my medicine. Might as well get that since I’m here anyhow. I tried to hide my hand-painted hand under the counter again as I bought the medicine. They must have wondered what was wrong with my pitiful arm that I couldn’t move it, but no one said anything.

Then I remember seeing some flowers in the garden shop that I’d like to have. “Do you think I’d have time to buy flowers before they are done?”

I selected a pot of flowers and tried to hide my hand behind my purse as I paid with a debit card. However, it took two hands to pick up the plant and carry it out. Maybe if I just act as if everything is normal, no one will notice that I have a lobster claw, I thought.

“It’s paint — not blood. Have you never seen red paint,” I thought. No one said anything.

Funny, you could probably walk around with a paper sack over your head and everyone would ignore you and pretend not to notice.

I went back and got the medicine, which was ready by then. Concealing the red hand was automatic by now. No one mentioned it.

I’ve had some strange experiences in my lifetime; however, this the first time that I can ever remember being literally caught red-handed.

Copyright 2007 Sheila Moss
Posted in Crafts/Hobbies, Home, Humor | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Hoarder

attic

Some people find their niche in writing, some in teaching, some in computers, and so on. I’m afraid my niche is in hoarding junk. I am blessed, or cursed, with a large attic. The idea was that some day it would be finished into extra bedrooms. It never happened. Instead it gradually filled up with junk.

Need a place to put the TV that doesn’t work? Put it in the attic. We can get rid of it later when we have more time. Changing around the living room? Just store the extra furniture upstairs. The kids don’t have a place to store their extra stuff? Put it in my attic. No point in paying for storage.

And so it went. Years of accumulation: The shelves from the den that were too good to throw away; the Christmas decorations; the clothes that were too small right now, but that might fit again when I lose weight; the outdated set of encyclopedias; and miles of extra computer cable. All found the way upstairs, and soon became coated with a thick layer of dust.

It came to the point that we could no longer find things that we needed. It was easier to go buy a new item than to look for it in the attic. I needed a shelf in my closet. I knew exactly what I needed was up there — someplace. But I couldn’t face the mess, so I bought a new one. That was the last straw.

In one of those surges of hormonal energy that women occasionally get, I declared that it was time to clean the attic. I donned old clothes and determined that I would reduce the unsightly accumulation. Junk would go to the junkyard. Usable stuff, no longer used, would go to charity. Only the cream of the junk crop would be saved.

Boxes of books were opened while silverfish scattered in every direction. Furniture was scooted around. Bags were unpacked. Trash was thrown down the stairs. Dust flew. It was disgusting! How could anyone let things get into such a state?

I’ve read that people hoard things that they don’t need because they are afraid of throwing away something that they might use later. Am I becoming a hoarder? Will they find five hundred empty mayonnaise jars in my attic when I die? I found five dozen canning jars that hadn’t been touched since the vegetable garden of 1990.

I’ve heard that the difference between a collector and a hoarder is that collectors keep things because they give them pleasure, not because they are afraid to throw them away. Also, they are somewhat organized with their collectibles.

Organization definitely did not enter the picture where my attic was involved. Am I becoming one of those people that you read about in the paper? Neighbors complain about the smell and police find 100 cats inside someone’s house.

Time to clean before the cats find me. Out, out, junk! Be gone from me!

After two days and numerous trips to the junkyard with disintegrated cardboard boxes, I began to feel hope. After untold trips to the local charity collection site with reusable items, I began to think positively. Funny, though, as I looked around the attic, I could not miss a thing. The attic was still full. Is the junk mating and multiplying?

Yes, unbelievable, but after two days of hauling stuff away, it looked exactly the same.

I want my attic back. I want the junk out of my life forever. I want only one Christmas tree, no extra tires that don’t fit any automobile that we own; no boxes of used clothes to store, no computer chairs with cracks in the leather, no fodder for dust mites.

Someday I will finish the task. Someday I will clean the attic until it sparkles. Someday the dust mites will no longer have parties over my head. But, I just can’t face it today.

However, if there were one bright spot to all this ungodly mess polluting my life, it would have to be that I didn’t find any cats up there at all.

Copyright 2007 Sheila Moss
Posted in Home, Humor | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments