Love, Laughter, and Life

Adventures With a Book Lover


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Need Stress Relief? Take a Weekend Trip

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What a week!

Our daughter ended up in the hospital due to cellulitis from a bug bite. As a result, we juggled child care, transportation, hospital runs, and assorted other duties while she received aggressive IV treatment to stop the infection (previous antibiotics did nothing to stop the infection from spreading).

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Every week is busy and we tend to go full speed. Writing, working, cooking, cleaning. But add one off-kilter event, such as a parent (our adult child) being hospitalized, and chaos rules the day.

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Good thing for me, I had a weekend away tucked in my hip pocket. Of course, I would have cancelled had my daughter not been released from her expensive spa treatment (that’s what we called her stay). Hooray, her bite improved, the high powered antibiotics did their job, and she went home in plenty of time for my retreat.

After handing off care of 3 grands to my daughter-in-love, I loaded the car with the important things (rubber stamps, food, clothes) and headed to Seattle to stay and play with my crafting partner. And boy did we pack in the fun.

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I was amazed at all we managed to fit into our weekend. We

~rubber stamped cards (36 total for me)

~took a ferry ride to Hood Canal

~relaxed at a cabin where we sipped hot tea, read a magazine, read the newspaper, and attempted a crossword puzzle

~completed a four-mile walk through the state park where we saw one spawning salmon and several done spawning and deceased fish, bald eagles, a seal, seagulls, gorgeous fall colors, and sparkling streams leading to Hood Canal

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~stopped at a craft market AND a thrift shop

~enjoyed a new apple crisp (with cheese!) recipe

~tasted creative and delicious meals

~talked much and solved world problems

~watched the Seattle Sounders win the national championship game

~walked to the University Village

~listened to a mystery on cassette

~kicked off the Christmas season with traditional music selections

~planned Christmas gifts and adventures

~traveled to Southcenter (a shopping area in Renton) where we perused Impress for more rubber stamping ideas and supplies, braved crowds and long lines at IKEA (plus I had coupons for a free birthday meal and stuff), and used coupons at JoAnn’s

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~slept in and snuggled kitties

I’m sure that’s not all we did, but the change of scenery and responsibilities refreshed my body and energy. I was sad when my weekend away came to an end and I had to reload the car and drive home.

What a wonderful way to recharge! Should you find yourself needing stress relief and relaxation, consider a weekend getaway. Choose a new or favorite destination, pack your bags, and hit the road. It will be worth all of your time and efforts.
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How do you relax? Where do you go to get away? What was your favorite weekend away?


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NO! The End is Near (For This Sweater)

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2019 Word of the Year: Treasure

A treasure can be nearly anything you want it to be. This year I am spending time considering and giving thanks for the treasures in my life.

This may seem odd, but I think favorite items of clothing can be treasures. Laugh if you will, but for 2019, I am thinking of eternal treasures, earthly treasures, intrinsic treasures, and treasures of gifts and talents. With the right glasses on, anything can be a treasure!

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Meet my sweater. The sweater of a thousand photos. Read this post about my favorite sweater.

This treasure was a BARGAIN I found at Goodwill. Years ago, I paid maybe $1.99 for this classic. Barely used but definitely broken in, I wore this soon-to-become-favorite with nearly all of my outfits, matching or not. I LOVE bargains and I’m not above wearing yard sale or thrift store clothes. After washing of course.

I wore my treasured sweater when menopause forced me to constantly put on and remove clothing to keep up with body temperature fluctuations.

I wore this beauty (in this case, maybe beauty is in the eyes of the beholder) on trips for ease of packing and smashing into a tote or suitcase.

I wore this lovely on too-many-too-count walks and hikes. Easy to put on, simple to remove and tie around my waist.

This sweater seen in many photos is a treasured wardrobe item. I’ll bet not too many of my family and friends have not NOT seen me wearing this.

And now? It has a significant OWIE! The elbow hole! Worn clean through.

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First signs of failure included missing buttons, which I dutifully sewed back on, finally realizing I didn’t mind if the match was perfect. Sleeve and bottom edges became frayed. Armpit and elbow areas thinned. Lint was no longer an issue.

This is so sad! Can one grieve a sweater? I’m working up to it. Not yet ready to toss my soft fashion necessity, but the time is getting closer.

I’ve been hunting for a new sweater treasure. At stores (full price), bargain stores (on sale), yard sales, thrift stores, even closets of friends. Nothing has come even close to my favorite sweater.

The end is near. Should you hear the sound of taps being played outside and the metal clanks of a shovel on stone and dirt, it might be me, burying my poor, worn out sweater.

Here’s to fond memories of favorite clothes. We all have them. What’s your favorite clothing treasure?

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Throwback Thursday: The Suitcase

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I know we had this exact set of luggage.

Fingerhut, the mail order catalog, lured us into purchasing the complete set. Travel was at the top of my list, and we needed luggage. My family enjoyed many happy vacations and travel adventures using these beauties.

But this set was not my first foray into luggage acquisition. Years earlier, for graduation, I had requested luggage. You can tell something about a person by the choices she makes. Travel and adventure is high on my list, as evidenced by repeated attempts to procure baggage (of the traveling sort). Though I’ve got suitcases full of the other baggage, for free.

The original set of luggage, oh my. Ugly as dog poo. Make that baby poo, because it was the same awful orange-yellow-mustardy color. Naugahyde and built to last. Only it didn’t last as long as our many years of trips and is now lost in dump land. Or perhaps it is making the rounds through different thrift stores, living in the garages of other bright-eyed wanderlust humans.

What gifts or purchases have you made in the past that reflect who you are?

 


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The Sweater of a Thousand Photos

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The sweater of a thousand photos joins me as I corral and snuggle our 5 grands!

New beginnings.

January always brings fresh hope and promises of renewed dreams, goals, plans.

 

View the sweater of a thousand photos.

This wardrobe piece awaits my beck and call all hours of the day and night. Menopause requires layers. And this, my Goodwill find from years past, is perfect. Cold? Snuggle in this button-up baby. Hot? Fling it across the room without any answering complaints. Fold it. Wad it. Wash it. Toss it. Wear it. Love and hate it.

From my viewpoint, the sweater of a thousand photos matches every item of clothing I own. Because I wear it with any and every thing. Coordinating or not.

As evidenced by photos. At least 1,000 of them.

Life in the RV has finally taken its toll. Laundry facilities are stranded across compacted snow and ice trails inside the stick house of our son and his family. Sometimes one forgets to empty the dryer on time. Usually that is ok. But just this once, it was not.

For the sweater of a thousand photos has been damaged. Heated too long and too hot. The yarns melted into permanent wrinkles. Never before static cling haunts attempts at layering. What once was fuzz and softness is now thin and bare. The sweater of a thousand photos, MY sweater, the $2 deal, is nearing the end.

My heart is sad but realizing the futility of wearing holes and wrinkles held together with bits of yarn. It is time to move on. Let it go. Wave a fond farewell, not looking back.

Unless it is in photos.

New beginnings come in different forms. Out with the old, in with the new. Or maybe new-to-me.

The hunt has begun. This year, I resolve to capture the next sweater of a thousand photos. The search will be in reverse order, according to hunting aficionados, but this works well for clothing.

Hunt. Bag. Shoot.

What will you be hunting this year?


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I Love Hand-Me-Downs

I’m not above totally enjoying digging through a bag of my sister’s hand-me-downs to pull out new-to-me favorites.

(That would be a literal hand-me-down, as I am older but much shorter than she.)

I also thrill to the seek-and-find treasures I discover at local thrift shops. In fact, the sweater (Mr. Roger’s style cardigan, come in the house-trade the coat for a sweater style) I wear all the time is my best ever purchase from Goodwill.

Seriously. I think my family may be a tad bit exhausted of seeing me wear the same old sweater. Every. Single. Day.

But it is the best sweater! I know I look more granny-like wearing it, but it is comfy, broken in, not too hot, not too cold, but just right.

I’ve had this sweater for over 5 years, conservative estimate. It appears to be well made and may last for another 15. Score! I think I paid $1.99, maybe $2.99.

My husband and I enjoy keeping clothes long past the expiration date (yes, we are THAT couple). One of our favorite games is counting back to find out who is wearing the oldest outfit.

“I’ve had this shirt since Chelsie was 3,” I said.

“Well, I bought these sweats when we were in England,” replies the hubby.

“But I had this dress for Easter when we were in Wapato,” I counter.

And on and on goes the battle.

It is our game. And our life. We are not ones for top of the line, current fashion, get rid of the old and buy new all the time. Some of you may be saying, quietly in your heads, “YES, we know! Go get some new clothes!!!” Maybe you are even yelling that, hoping we will hear.

It’s OK. We are happy with our little game. I think, at heart, we are children of the depression, though we are not really old enough. We use every little thing until it is beyond use. And then maybe we can still find a use for the scraps that remain.

I’m thinking that’s being a good steward of natural resources and God’s providence. Recyling, repurposing, reusing.

Besides, it’s fun.

I’d love to hear where you find your favorite clothes. Are you a scavenger like me? Let’s share tips.