Sunday, May 23, 2010

Free samples.....

were once given out in abundance. I can remember receiving samples of nearly everything on the market....excluding, of course, alcohol, sexual items or aides. If you didn't have a baby but knew someone who did, you saved all your samples of baby items for them. I even got a baby t-shirt as a sample once.

I've received toothpaste, pantyhose, makeup, medicine...(gasp....yes, medicine)....well, aspirin, arthritis creme and cough syrup type stuff, but it's still considered biscuits, deodorant, hand lotion....oh the list just goes on. And back before they passed a law against it, even cigarettes were given as free samples. A little box with 5 of them would be sitting in your mailbox just waiting for you to light up and pass judgment. It made it a joy to go to your mailbox....for hidden amongst the bills, you may just find a free sample or two. Like never knew what you'd get......several times a month. I especially loved the little bottles of shampoo, dishwashing detergent or bars of soap. How about those little boxes of laundry detergent? And thinking along those lines....does anyone remember the so-called free towels and glassware in the boxes of laundry soap. I am saying "so-called" because I'm certain that we all paid a little extra for that soap. What WAS the name of that darned soap....Breeze? I can't remember. So much for creating a lasting impression on us consumers.

Free little toys in breakfast cereal....that were actually the box. You didn't have to send away for them. I can remember dumping whole boxes of cereal in a bowl to find the toy so the kids could have it immediately (because they'd seen the pictures on the box and they KNEW) and then putting the cereal all back in the box again. Back then, they didn't care so much about getting your name and address and what type of products you prefer.....they just considered it a good marketing ploy. And it was.

Remember the gift stamps? Gold Bell, Holden's Red Stamps and S&H stamps (aka green stamps). I loved those stamps and obtained quite a few household items....absolutely free (except of course, you had to pay sales tax) exchange for my books of stamps. Only thing invested was time.....and spit. If you were smart, you used a sponge and some water to put them in the books. First starting out as a married couple, we utilized as many free offers as possible. In addition to his regular job, my husband worked part-time at a gas station.....back when an attendant pumped your gas, washed your windows, checked your air, water and oil. This one night a semi truck driver pulled in and filled up with diesel. He DID NOT want his stamps and gave them to my husband. When he came home with all those stamps.....there were HUNDREDS of them....I felt like we'd hit the lottery.

I can remember never having to buy a light bulb. You saved up your burned out ones and took them back to the power company and they gave you a new one for each burned-out one you turned in. They also would replace the heating elements on your electric stove burners and oven for free. Not even a charge for a service call.

Little by little the freebies stopped. Every great once in a while I will receive a free sample of something in the mail, but its probably not more than once or twice a year. There are places online that you can sign up for free samples, but your name and information is probably sold to thousands of advertisers in exchange for your freebie. For me, its just not worth all the junk mail or email I would receive. Sometimes you'll find a sample packet of shampoo or lotion tucked into a magazine.....but I don't consider that free because you had to buy the magazine to get it. Everyone likes to get something for free......REALLY free, no strings attached. I miss it.

Well, its supper-time so I'm going to pull off of memory lane and get into the house and see what I can get on the table. Hope all of you have a great up-coming week and most of all, enjoy this nice Sunday evening.
Keep smilin'.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Did you know.....

who Bob Howard was? Well neither did I until I clicked on a link that glnroz posted. I think we should all know this great American Hero's name. It should roll off our tongues like we've known him all our lives. Go here and watch the news video and be proud. I am.

R.I.P. Bob Howard. God Bless.

Why is it.....

that some people just get such a thrill out of embellishing facts? I've seen enough examples of it to know that its considered part of human nature, but it mystifies me. I think....sadly....its just another form of control and makes people with low self-esteem feel important.

Case in point. Two days ago I received a call from my daughter. I was at work. Now, her subdivision sits nestled between two pretty well-traveled roads. She has four exits/entrances in her sub; three of them onto one road and one on the other. She often takes the exit that is least used and that's the one that is the only one out onto one of the roadways. When she tried to go that way, the road was closed; completely blocked off by police and other emergency vehicles. She turned around and went back home and questioned some of her neighbors as to what was wrong. The story she got was varied but it basically came down to this. There had been a horrible accident. A cement truck had tried to take the curve too fast, flipped over and landed on a car filled with teenagers and killed them all.

Filled with dread and concern, she thought maybe I could find out more info at work but the only thing I could find out was....yes, the road was closed due to some sort of accident. Usually they close the roadways when there is a fatality and so that part of the story made sense. The more information she sought, the more horrible it became. Thankfully, she knew where her own son was....he was with her. But he has so many friends who drive and he was only able to get in touch with a couple of them. One of them claimed he had gotten "close" to the accident scene before being turned away and that he saw three bodies laying on the roadway covered up. Anyone who has teenagers or knows anyone who has teenagers were all worried. The end result of this ended up to be.....yes, a cement truck did lose its load on the roadway and made a horrible mess. But no one was hurt. The road had to be blocked in order to start clean-up procedures. The so-called bodies laying alongside the roadway was nothing more than globs of cement.

While I'm very thankful that it was nothing more than this.....I am appalled that this story got so far out of hand. Someone had to have started it and what kind of satisfaction did they get out of making so many people worry? Did your elementary school teacher ever play that game in your class where she tells the first kid in class something and they pass it on.....from kid to kid this information is whispered and at the end....after being told approximately 30 times, the end story comes out so different its ridiculous. She did this as an example for us to not always believe what we hear and I'm reminded of that class exercise more often than I like to admit.

I guess for some people there isn't enough heartache and drama in the world and they have to create more. I really do try not to pass on gossip but I admit....sometimes I have. But I have never embellished or added to it. Of course just by repeating it, I guess I'm nearly as guilty as the embellishers. Note to self: Work on that. Hey, out there....remember to keep smilin'!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Read my Lips....No More Vets

Yes, Tuesday was the day. The dreaded ... go to the Vet day. Of course it had to rain that day. Not just a little shower poured.

As soon as I grabbed her leash, she knew she was in for a car ride and she LOVES to ride in the car. She pranced merrily out to the garage, stood on her back feet and danced outside the car door. I felt so danged guilty.

The vet's office is about 2 miles away. She was fine in the parking lot, leaving her mark in approximately five different places. However, as soon as we entered the waiting room, it was another ballgame. She turned into a shivering mass of jello. I was the first appointment after lunch so no one else was in the waiting room and they called us quickly. I'd like to know how a 17 pound terrier can suddenly morph into a 1,700 pound horse with all the strength to match. She stiffened her legs and refused to move. I didn't want to drag her by the neck so I had to carry her. I was not her favorite person at this time. Inside the little room she suffered the indignities of having her temp taken.....rectally, of course. The look on her face was almost priceless. Just when she started to relax a bit, they whisked her off for her blood test and to get her nails trimmed. She looked disgusted when she returned but gave me the happy face in an all out effort to make me feel sorry for her and take her home right then. Then she tried hiding behind me and if she could have gotten into my purse, she would have.

All in all, everything was ok and $244 later I emerged with a very-happy-to-get-out-of- there dog. Now it was still raining but not as hard. At this point I'm only 2 blocks or so from the grocery store and I'm out of stuff like bread, milk, creamer for my coffee and getting low on dog food. I decide to take a quick run in there while I'm out. With the temp at 48, I know she'll be ok in the car for a few minutes.

At the grocery store parking lot, I unhook her leash so she won't get all tangled and hang herself. I attempt to exit my vehicle and leave her inside. She's sticking to me like Velcro and I have to do some maneuvering, going out the door butt first. (this must have made a pretty picture for the old guy sitting across from me). In my attempt to quickly shut the door before she could jump out, I smacked myself right in the face with the car door. Honestly I hit myself so hard I almost knocked myself out. I have a bruise alongside my cheek that's about 6 inches long to show for that bit of stupidity. I sure hope makeup will cover it up so I can look halfway decent for work tomorrow. I didn't dare glance at the old guy in his car cause if he had been laughing I probably would have kicked the front of his car and made the airbag go off. (did you ever see that youtube video? OMG, go here and check it out. I guess maybe I have a warped sense of humor but I laugh every time I see it. Oh well....back to my story now.

When we got home, she headed straight for bed and after giving me a dirty look, curled up to nap the rest of the afternoon. I can't blame her. She'd had a rough day. I wonder if vets make house calls for animals smaller than horses and cows. As for me, I made myself a nice big cup of coffee with creamer and indulged in some no-bake cookies that I also picked up at the grocery store. Yummmm.....doesn't get much better than this. And....oh yeah....just thought I'd throw in that it quit raining as soon as I got all my errands done and was back home.
For some odd reason, every once in a while when I visit blogs it will automatically leave a link to my latest post on the blog I visit. I don't know why it's doing this (if you can help me, please email and tell me what to do) and it does it randomly. It doesn't seem to matter if I leave a comment or not, so I don't think that's the trigger. I've tried to search in Blogger to find out what causes this and how to make it stop, but I haven't been successful. So I apologize, in advance, if I've left a link to my post on your blog or if I leave one in the near future....please delete it and I'm sorry for the inconvenience....its not being done on purpose. Honest!

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Have you ever thought.....why am I me?

Maybe I’m an odd one, I don’t know….I’ve never really discussed this particular subject at length with anyone. When you were a child did you ever sit and think about yourself…..what makes you YOU….and furthermore, why ARE you, you? This is frustrated thinking because, of course, you have no real answer. I used to throw that one out at my mom once in a while….”mom, why am I ME?”….. and watch as her eyes would glaze over. She would mumble something that was so unimpressive that I never could remember what it was. It wasn’t, however, the answer I was seeking.

Now I am in the last third of my life and feel like I’ve learned a lot, not only from books but from experience. I tend to still think of that same age-old question and have come upon a quasi-answer…..for lack of a better word. I think that from the moment of birth we join a network of souls. Every single soul has a purpose, some have more than one purpose, but we all have a purpose and each one is important. The main purpose for each of us is to help each other. Ah, but not in the sense that you’re thinking…..not digging into your purse for an extra dollar or helping someone with their yard work. No, this kind of help is on the spiritual or emotional level. And it’s all planned way ahead of time….its part of the network, the soul or souls you’re pre-destined to help…its all part of an interaction and your part is as important as an ingredient is to any recipe. You may never see them again after you’ve helped them or you could end up forever friends.

Just think for a minute about the news articles you read depicting the story of ..…..the total stranger who popped up at just the right time to save the toddler who fell into the lake…or the stranger who happens upon a vehicle accident and pulls the passengers out of a burning vehicle. Now, not nearly as physical but every bit as important in the total scheme of things is ..….the lady at the check-out who took so much time writing her check and holding up the line it made you run 15 minutes later than usual and because of that you avoided being involved in a horrible accident that occurred on the highway. (actually she held up the whole line for that amount of time, thus altering the fates of all in the line) The incident can be monumental and receive public acknowledgment or it can be something minute that only a few know about….but each occurrence is equally important….and I believe, predestined. We call these helpful heroes who save lives Angels and they are indeed, just as much as the person who affects our lives by making us late or early or take an alternate route home, but I also believe it is all planned from the very beginning and very much part of the network.

My daughter, during one of the low points in her life, said to me, “mom, I am in so much pain and I feel like such a failure because I’m unable to do things I once could do, I don’t understand why I’m here…I don’t feel like I have a purpose and fear I may end up being a burden”. Wow, what an awful thing for her to feel and equally awful for a mother to hear. I told her my philosophy and actually pointed out 2 or 3 instances in which she was very beneficial, on an emotional level, to souls she hardly knew. In one case a person could be dead now if it hadn’t been for her and that person did relay that information to her, most gratefully.

I don’t know if I’ve written this well enough for you to get what I’m trying to say….but if nothing else, I’ve given you some food for thought. I look at things differently than I did 30 years ago. Now, if something happens to interfere with my schedule or makes me run a little late, I just take it in stride….knowing that I will be exactly where I’m supposed to be, at the time I’m supposed to be there. In the meantime, enjoy each and every day. Have a wonderful Mother’s Day tomorrow and if your mom is still around, give her an extra special big hug. If you’re a mother, I hope your day creates some wonderful memories and no matter what…….keep smilin’. .

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Eye Candy.......

everywhere.....just everywhere. Green grass, trees leafing out and the flowers....oh the flowers. It amazes me how these delicate looking flowers can withstand the brutal winters we have here.....hidden underneath the soil, sleeping and waiting for the sun's warmth to entice them from their sleep to poke their heads above ground and explode in gorgeous colorful beauty for all to see. I love summer but this time of year is special. Its rebirth....and anyone who slows down long enough to absorb the beauty of it is rewarded with a calmness.....something soothing for our busy minds.....a time to take a deep breath and just sigh and say.......oh yessss.

Everything outside is perking up and I love it. Today I awoke at 7 a.m. to a very dark morning. I let the dog out and heard the rumblings of thunder and then saw a few flashes of lightning. I got her safely back inside and within five minutes we had a thundershower. A nice soaking one that does the plants and grass so much good. I looked at the dog and she looked at me and we decided mutually that this is Saturday.....and Saturdays can be what you want them to be if you don't have to work. So we went back to bed and snuggled under the comforter and listened to the rumblings of the thunder and the rain pattering on the roof before dropping back to sleep for a couple more hours. These are the occasions that I experience a sense of well-being and thankfulness. Thankful for the blessings that I have, that I'm warm and dry and safe.

Its been cloudy and rainy all day and the same is forecast for tomorrow. I don't mind because I know we need it to make everything out there grow. I checked my peony bush and right on schedule, the ants are frolicking all over the buds, encouraging them to open up and expose their beauty for all to see. You know peony bushes are fussy. This particular one belonged to my best friend and next door neighbor. When she moved out of state, she told me I could have the peony bush that grew beside her front door. Another friend dug a hole close to my front door which faces the same direction as hers and walked over to her house, dug up her bush and brought it over here and plunked it into the hole by my door. This was in November. I don't really have a green thumb even though I love plants and some of my green thumb friends told me that peony bushes are finicky and it would probably not bloom for a couple years since it had been moved. So I prepared myself for it but was pleasantly surprised when it did bloom, right on time.

Now this has always been a funny story with me because it was as if the peony bush didn't realize it had been moved since it was facing the exact same direction and apparently my friend plunked it down into the new hole the same way it was taken out of the old one. Anyway, it bloomed and I picture it opening its buds and taking a look around only to be shocked that it had been moved while it had been sleeping. After gasping in horror, it promptly lifted its leafy skirts, curled up its roots and refused to bloom for two years afterward, being all indignant over the move. But finally it got itself calmed down and back on track. It has doubled its size and has bloomed every year now for 18 years. This picture is a few years old and doesn't really do it justice, but you get the idea. Its just beautiful.