For The Love of a Great Sale...

Friday

I knew it would be crowded and I would bet that every Obsessive-Compulsive-Neatnik within a fifty-mile radius would be out there in droves but my OCN-self just couldn't stay away...THE CONTAINER STORE was having a blow out sale!


If you didn't get to attend, step back with me for a moment and imagine your local 'State Fair'...

Hoards of somewhat sweaty people without direction, children squealing, upbeat announcements coupled with a sense of excitement and anticipation in the air. Turkey legs, cotton candy, wife-beater shirts and beer may round out your view. Now, quickly replace those thoughts with visions of  J.Crew, Ann Taylor, good shoes, Spanx and deodorant. It was the sale of the century! The Container Store in Plano, Texas was moving to a new location and the markdowns were incredible!


'Mecca' to those of us who just love to organize ourselves silly, yesterday's sale was a dream come true - 60% - 80% price reductions in containers for everything from bug collections to water. Life is good.


Within minutes of entering the store I prepared myself for a wild ride.
  • A Plano Police Officer was posted at the front of the store - Good thinking - The throngs of customers inside warranted it.
  • The ever-chipper Container Store employees, bedecked in their "Contain Yourself" t-shirts were literally everywhere - shifting products and being their helpful selves. At one point I had to ask one employee why they were continuing to rearrange things when the store would be closing tonight. The response? "We're moving them forward in order to create visual appeal". Of course. Love that about TCS.Worrying about visual appeal to the bitter end.
  • Two lengthy (but well-mannered and tastefully-dressed) lines of customers extending clearly to the back of the store were waiting to be cashed out. All the while being enticed by further markdowns (baskets for 25 cents a piece!) and further promotions.
  • Shopping Carts were a precious commodity and there was a line for them as well, but hey - I was in The Container Store - so I skipped the shopping cart line and snagged a few containers to put my  containers in and 'a-shopping' I went.
Although it took me about 30 minutes in line to reach the cashier and receive my extremely marked-down purchases, it wasn't all that painful. I was surrounded by like-minded pleasant OCN types, and tons of "visually appealing" containers.

Who could ask for more?

Vajazzling!

Several years ago, "The Bikini Wax" became a staple of female grooming and I was smitten. It hurt like hell but hey, "a-girls-gotta-do-what-a-girls-gotta-do". Trading a half hour of excruciating pain followed by a month of carefree swim suit wearing made it all seem worthwhile.

One day, while visiting my local day spa, I was asked by a less-than-artfully-applied-mascara-wearing-heavy-accented Russian aesthetican, "Vould you like zee 'Bikini' or zee 'Brazilian'?'' Not having a clue as to what a "Brazilian" was, I opted for the familiar route and stuck with "zee Bikini". Thank you Jesus, Mary and Joseph. Who knew that "The Brazilian" involved waxing of my total lady business? And how could any self respecting wax-person just throw that term in without explanation?

I got over it.

Now, I'm learning of of the newest craze in female adornment thanks to Jennifer Love Hewitt...


Call me 'old fashioned' but I just don't see myself getting Vajazzled any time in the near future...
  1. It requires "Zee Brazilian"
  2. It's stupid. 
Don't get me wrong. For those of you out there who feel the need to bedazzle your whoo-ha's - more power to you.

But I think I'll just leave mine be. Just sayin'.

Shout Out for Colby...

Thursday

Yes, I am a sucker for a sad dog story and I am certain that is why I've been contacted twice about 'Colby', a soon to be orphaned beautiful, purebred Bermese Mountain Dog.

Just look at that cuddly furball...

Colby's family is moving away and can't take her with them. She is AKC registered and this little overachiever has even earned her Canine Good Citizen award!

Turning 8 years old in July, Colby is totally healthy and beautiful. Her lovely long coat allows her to live outdoors - except for needing shelter from extreme temperatures- such as a shed or covered porch.
She loves all other animals and people and there is not a mean bone in her body.

Here's the catch... Colby must be an 'outside dog' as she (along with many others of the female persuasion) suffers from bladder control issues that the vet cannot cure. Not such a bad thing though ...
  1. The endless 'dog-hair issue' in the house is moot
  2. Nobody wakes you up in the middle of the night to go outside.
  3. No worries about 'letting the dog out' when you are at work.
  4. You can eat in peace - without being 'stared down' with each bite.
So, if you are a good, kind and caring dog person who lives in the Dallas-Fort Worth area with a big backyard and would love a new soul to love you back... contact me at joanyspotswood@aol.com and I'll see if I can hook you up.
__________________________________________________________________________________


6/20/10 - Update
It's been several weeks now since I heard the sad news that Colby was euthanized. What more can I say?

Audiobook Review: The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks

Monday




Rebecca Skloot writes of Henrietta Lacks, a young, poor black woman who died of ovarian cancer back in the early fifties. Prior to her death, her cells were taken from her without her knowledge or consent and miraculously became the first human cells ever to reproduce in a lab setting. Her cells were called HeLa cells and are still purchased today by scientists all over the world. Instrumental in the development of the polio vaccine, in vitro fertilization and gene mapping. Ms. Lacks' family was never included in her role and importance to the world.


Henrietta's life is examined and that of her family. Questions are raised as to why Ms. Lacks and/or her family were never informed of the cell retrieval by the scientists. Also, questioned was the fact that the Lacks family did not benefit financially from the sale of billions of her cells.

This book is a huge bestseller and loved by many.

I am a little embarrassed to say that I was not as captivated by it as many reviewers were. Maybe it was  because of the heavy science component. Or could it have been the sadness of the Lacks Family? I'm not quite sure. I didn't suck however and was read well by Cassandra Campbell and Bahni Turpin. Our book club is going to discuss it at the end of this month. I'll be interested to hear what others got out of it. 

Anybody out there read it yet?

Texas Bluebonnets

We are spoiled rotten.


By these people...

As guests of our dear friends (B&K) we got to hang out at a real Texas Ranch, smack dab in the middle of Texas Hill Country during the Bluebonnet season.

Imagine campfires with the best friends ever, great wine, food and company.

I told you we were spoiled.

Bluebonnets are the State flower of Texas and legacy of Lady Bird Johnson who requested that the Texas State government scatter the seeds of bluebonnets and other wildflowers along Texas highways and fields back in the day.

Speaking of,  "back in the day" ... I was in my early twenties and in dire need of a bouquet of bluebonnets for my kitchen table. It was dusk when I decided to head out to White Rock Lake in Dallas. Armed with a pair of scissors and under the cloak of darkness, I drove the park for a while, carefully ensuring there would not be any witnesses to my crime. Pulling up to a thick grove of beautiful bluebonnets, I snipped rapidly and with surgical precision. Not daring to look back, I sped away from the scene in my '76 Pinto.

It turns out that the drama was for not.

It is not illegal to pick bluebonnets in Texas after all.


Tuesdays With Lola

Friday

As many of you know, I have recently become a "Lola" - see Her Name was Lola ... She was a Grandma.

Annslee Mae was born on January 30th to my handsome stepson, Ben and his lovely wife Kara and I get the opportunity to babysit!

I've got to admit that despite the fact of being an experienced E.R. Nurse for years, producing an educational video for new parents emergency pediatric care - [Infant Emergencies and CPR - When You Least Expect It...] and lecturing to seasoned nurses on the topic of pediatrics,


I was somewhat intimidated by our new eight pound bundle of joy. Ensuring the support of my sweet husband, who not only has real-life parenting experience but is also a firefighter/paramedic with a degree in respiratory therapy and making certain that my great next-door neighbor, Susan, who is an experienced mom, grandma and great grandma would be at home, I felt prepared to babysit the little darling. Safety overkill? I don't think so.

With a cradle, diapers, "Boudreaux's Butt Paste" and baby wipes at the ready, all I needed now,  was the baby... 
  
Annslee arrived at 7am.

Earlier, I had Googled "ways to stimulate a baby's brain" and was pleased to learn that we didn't just have to sit around and do nothing all day.
 
Doug played his guitar, Susan provided a cool baby activity center, I sang, danced and played Beatles tunes and Duke attempted to ingratiate himself towards her.




We had a great time together and I have a new BFF.

But where it all 'came together' for me - as to why grandparents really like being grandparents - was the part where her mommy came to pick her up and take her home.

Paranoid in South America

Anticipating travel to South America was both exciting and scary. Admittedly, reports of muggings, kidnappings and police corruption go...