Showing posts with label shopping. Show all posts
Showing posts with label shopping. Show all posts

Thursday, February 22, 2018

We Be Retired

Life is good.

Yesterday my retirement check got deposited and our health insurance and car insurance premiums got paid. Today we went to Costco and splurged on beer, potato chips, pesto sauce, potstickers, toilet paper, and Brita filters. Oh my goodness, we even bought a carpet runner for the hallway.

Am I being sarcastic? Facetious? I don't know anymore.

The Husband and I are now in the category of retired seniors on limited income, so buying groceries at Costco today felt like a luxury. Going home, I found myself justifying the purchases by figuring how much we saved by buying in bulk.  

Going through life with the responsible happy-a-go-lucky Husband makes living less scary. I truly believe him when I ask him to tell me "Everything will be all right." The Husband thinks that people ought to eat well because it helps maintain good health. Why should we deprive ourselves of good health, regardless of our income, right?

Yup. Life is good. At the moment the Husband and I are snacking on the potato chips and beer while we play on our computers. It also sounds like a winter storm may be heading our way.

Saturday, August 12, 2017

No Sale

Before I could end my transaction at the Stationary Box Store, the clerk held up a piece of paper and asked, "Do you know about the store's promotion for a special protection glass for your iPhone?"

"No," I answered.

The clerk continued his spiel. "Wait, wait," I interrupted. "We don't have an iPhone?"

"We still have a flip top disposable phone," the Husband added.

"This glass can protect your watches," said the clerk.

I help up my bare wrists. "We don't wear watches."

The clerk was quite disappointed.

We weren't.


Sunday, August 21, 2016

The Season of Plenty

The other day, the Husband and I drove around Pajaro Valley in Santa Cruz County (next door to our county) just because we felt like it. The fertile Pajaro Valley has fields full of strawberries, cages full of raspberries and blackberries, and still a few orchards full of apples.

We stopped at Gizdich Ranch, which is well-known for its apple juice and homemade apple and berry pies. You can also pick your own apples and various types of berries, if you want.  Our mission. My mission (the Husband was a captive audience) was to purchase hollyhock seeds. Unfortunately none were to be had yet. But, we did come away with four cobs of corn for a dollar and a look at a bunch of fancy buggy-looking Bugatti's that one of the guys said were each worth $2 million+.

The Bugatti guys (5 or 6 of them) caused a traffic jam at the ranch. Not because they couldn't find parking spots, from what I saw, but because the drivers and passengers stood in the path of us, drivers, trying to find parking. I almost didn't want to stop. If the Bugatti people were this arrogantly ignorant about they being in the way, what would they be like in the gift shop and restaurant. Fortunately, the drivers hung around their cars, while their passengers disappeared into the antique store.

I'm glad I sucked in my temper, otherwise I wouldn't have seen the display of Gizdich's biggest and tiniest apples. We'll stop by Gizdich again for hollyhock seeds and maybe one of their pies.

Time to link up with Seasons, a weekly meme hosted by Jeanette at Artworks from Jeshstg. Click here to check other participants and possibly link up as well.

Thursday, January 7, 2016

A Lot of Love

The Husband and I made a special trip to Monterey last week so I could spend the birthday money the Mama gave me for someting pretty to wear. I was hoping to find a new top or two in Macy's. No such luck. Nearly everything was made out of flimsy, slick-like fabric. It reminded me of polyester from the 1960s and 1970s. The few things that I did like were too expensive even at 50% off. For instance, I saw a bohemian (aka hippie) style tunic that was cute, but at the original price of $200+, no thank you. I checked out a couple of other women's apparel shops in the mall. Zilch.

About two hours later, I met the Husband at our meeting spot. We sat on a bench and enjoyed the warmth of the day for a long while before we headed back into Macy's to buy us some bed sheets. We found a package of 700 thread count sheets for half off, about $60. A great deal. The cashier made it even a better bargain by giving us an extra 10% from a newspaper advertisement. "Thank you," I said, "That's kind of you."

"I like deals, too," she said.

Our transaction was interrupted when the younger clerk beside her asked for help. She was new on the job and didn't know how to handle a grumpy customer's request. Our clerk resolved the problem easily, putting both the customer and novice clerk at ease. She turned back to us. "Thank you for your patience."

"No problem," the Husband and I said. It truly wasn't. I actually thought the other customer's transaction was interesting and wouldn't have minded following the clerk to the store's dock where she would fetch the appropriate item for the customer. The Husband told me later that he was surprised to hear there was a dock and would've liked to have seen it, too.

"You two have a lot of love," the clerk said, pointing her finger from me to the Husband. "I saw it immediately."

"We've been together for over 20 years," said the Husband.

"Thank you," I said. I didn't know what she meant, but I loved it. I was certainly glad that we drove to Monterey that day.

I'm hooking up with the warm-hearted Jenny Matlock's Warm Wednesday meme. Click here to check out other warm-hearted tales, as well as to join in if you like.

Friday, December 18, 2015

Tools for Fun

 Gosh, it's been one busy week. I apologize to the blog hops and memes that I hooked up with this week. I'm very late about visiting other bloggers, as well as responding here on The View from the Top of the Ladder. That's my plan tomorrow. 

Among the things the Husband and I did today was a stop at the art supplies store so I could spend my birthday money. I purchased a lot of cool stuff for the Husband and me to have fun with—suede boards, colored pencils, colored pens, drawing pad, Mod Podge, fabric glue, air-dry clay, and oven-bake clay.  Whooo-hooo! It's great being 62-years-old.

Sunday, November 1, 2015

No Harm in Asking

Consumers be alert!

This afternoon,  I shopped for the Godmother at the pharmacy, as there werelLots of things on sale that she wanted—cereal, instant coffee, vitamin D3, and more. The vitamins were not on sale, but it still was cheaper than the similar item that was on sale. Pretty good.

After I left the counter, I checked the receipt. Something didn't feel right. I thought the price on the coffee was wrong. It was correct. But the price for the vitamins was wrong. The cash register rang it up as $24.99. The tag on the shelf said $14.99. I brought everything back to the counter and told another clerk (because the first clerk was gone) about the difference.

Huh? The clerk looked at me blankly. So, I told him I'm going back to check the tag again. He told me that if the tag said what I thought it said,  then I should bring the tag back.

Ha! I was correct. The second clerk checked the tag. "Okay, we'll give you a refund," he said and handed it over to the first clerk to process. As she did her magic to give me a refund, I asked, "Can I get it for free since the cash register made a mistake?"

Huh? She looked at me blankly.

"Some stores have the policy of giving an item free, if a customer is charged incorrectly," I said. "No harm in asking. Right?"

"I'll ask my manager," she said, then paged him to the counter. He listened to the problem and said, "I can give you a $5 gift card."

"I'll take it," I said.

Nothing ventured, nothing gained. Another good saying to remember.

Monday, September 14, 2015

Haute Hippie Couture

I walked into a woman's boutique shop in Santa Cruz to check out a very cute East-Indian style top that I saw in its window. It was similar to ones I wore when I was a very young thing. I thought if the cost was right it was going home with me. I was even willing to pay $45 for it, although I thought it was worth $20 bucks.

I have no sense of how much clothing are worth these days. Twenty bucks was how much I paid for eccentric stuff, which the the parents called hippie clothes, at import shops when I was a very young thing.

The East-Indian tops of yore were made of a thin cotton. This modern version was made of a smooth, rich-feeling fabric that turned out to be rayon. Not being silk, I figured the top would be very affordable.

Then I finally found the price tag.

One hundred ninety-eight dollars!

Shall I say that again: $198.00!!


When I got home, I looked up the designer online. Maybe I'd find the top for cheaper.



I saw several other tops on the designer's website that were my type of clothing. Free-flowing, patchwork tunics that started at $168.00. Wowza!

It's time to sew me some crazy tops.

Saturday, March 21, 2015

From the First Blog

Cu'Pie Baby Bird says "Chirp. Chirp." was the first blog I wrote and published. That was back in 2007. Did I really say, "back in 2007"? It was only eight years ago, but it certainly seems like much longer. I bet I still have things left to do on my To-Do list from back then....Oh, yeah, I do! The big one: Have a garage sale. Hmmmm.

Where was I? Today, I decided to share a post from my first blog. Here thou goeth.

Movin' On Up 

Originally posted Sunday, June 17, 2007

We are moving up in the world. Or maybe the cliché should be -- we’re keeping up with the Jones’s. (Edit from Dick: “You can say either. It means the same thing.**)

Yesterday we stopped at Bed, Breakfast, and Beyond. (Another edit from Dick: “No. It’s Bed, Bath, and Beyond.”) This was our second stop in over a month, a very unusual thing for us. The only stores we grace more than once in a blue moon are the grocery store, the drug store, and the bookstore.

Our mission this time round was to buy a cherry pitter and a kitchen trash can with a lid. We headed for the beyond section where Dick immediately found the cherry pitters that are dishwasher safe. As we circled the section, I couldn’t help but get a package of silicone basting brushes and another plastic- thingy that covers a dish as it heats up in the microwave. Each item is wonderfully dishwasherable, too. (Editorial comment from Dick, the Dishwasher: When choosing any new item that must be washed, it must be dishwasher safe.)

We walked all over the store searching for a garbage can. Turns out the selection of receptacles were in front of the store, next to the entrance. The top of the line was $179! I wonder how much garbage you would need to throw out before you felt you recouped your investment. You know, after a certain point, every bit of garbage is just gravy, dude. Turkey or beef, doesn't matter.

We settled on something far less expensive, but still a bit luxurious for a garbage can—$39!. It’s a 30-liter silver-streamlined garbage can with a fitted black top AND a foot pedal you can press to open the top. Hoo-ha! And the engineer designed it so that the part of the garbage bag that folds over the rim is not visible. (Editorial comment from Dick: Regardless of what you see in the photo.) It looks and works very trés cool.

Yep, we now own a cherry pitter, two silicone brushes, and a posh garbage can. We are definitely moving up in the world. Right up there with the Jones’s.

**I know I can make the changes without quoting Dick, but what’s the fun in that.

Update: The cherry pitter is still a fun gadget because I rarely use it. The silicone brushes keep moved around the kitchen so it takes awhile to find one when I want one. The foot pedal no longer works on the posh garbage can. It's a good thing we didn't purchase that expensive one. The dishwasher went kaput several years ago and the Husband now washes dishes by hand two or three times nearly every day. One of these days we'll get that dishwasher fixed or buy a new one. It's definitely on the To-Do list.

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Saturday Morning Ramble

My town does not have a bookshop, an art supplies store, or a music store. Once upon a time it had all three. When I was a teenager, I fantasized about one day owning a bookstore with a ceramic wheel in the back so that people who want to play with ceramics can do their thing. I even knew what space in town I wanted to have my bookstore. Sometimes the fantasy of having a bookstore pops up when the Husband and I stumble upon a vacant space on main street or thereabouts. I no longer want a ceramic wheel. But, I do think of offering a service for people to have their packages delivered to my bookstore so that they don't have to fear about them being stolen off their porch.

In a tiny way, I am living out my bookshop fantasy by having a virtual online book store at Amazon, which  focuses on books about my town and county, as well as local authors.  I could expand this virtual shop by adding other categories that interest me. Yes, I could. Maybe, I will. I'll put it on my To-Do list to consider.

Back to the topic that is in my head. My To-Do list calendar, which you see up there in the photo. Last month, I was inspired to create my own daily calendar, doodling the date everyday. I'm enjoying the first—and sometimes only—burst of creativity each day. Once, I did the next date before I retired from the office for the evening. I was actually bummed the next morning that I did not have a date to doodle. I am not going to do that again.

I started my post writing about the non-existent bookshop, art supplies, store, and music store in my town because the Husband and I happened to find all three in the same part of a shopping plaza in a town about 30 miles away. We had a delightful time wandering around the three shops.  We'll be stopping by again since we drive over that way to buy cat food for our very particular eater Molly the Cat. 

While at the art supplies shop, I purchased some colored pencils. Lemon yellow, olive green, true blue, and golden brown. Now, I can color the sun in yellow. Whooo-hooo! And, that was what I really wanted to write about today. That my new colored pencil of lemon yellow makes me giddy. The other three are cool, too. Together, all four colors pirouette on the page. The lemon yellow, though, shouts joy like the sun.

By the way, the FCC requires that I tell you that if you click on the Amazon link and purchase anything while any where at Amazon, I may be rewarded with a few pennies for referring you to their site. Ka-ching!

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Home Improvement Project

The Husband and I stood in line at the big-box home improvement store. As we waited our turn, I watched the busy movement around us. All the lines were long, a given for a Saturday,  I suppose. Men and women pushed their carts forward in line, all heaped with lumber, sacks of soil, cans of paint, plumbing fixtures, and other large and bulky items for their DIY projects. 

Finally, it was our turn. The Husband placed his items on the counter—a tiny light bulb and two drawer knobs. The transaction was quick. As the cashier handed a tiny bag to the Husband, he said, "Enjoy your project."

The Husband still cracks up when he recalls that moment.
I'm participating in the Blogging from A to Z Challenge this month. To check out other participants, click here. See you tomorrow. 

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Perfume for the Mama, Parte Dos

Yes, finally. Thank you, dear friends, for waiting patiently. Here's Part One to my  quest  to find perfume for the Mama.

Because I was buying perfume online, I purchased a bunch of samples so the Mama could decide which one or two she likes. My decision of which samples was based on the descriptions.

The Retailer: I went with DSH, based in Colorado, because they had the best descriptions and prices for my budget. 

Roll-on Perfumes
DSH had some perfumes on sale because they were being discontinued or were made on a temporary basis. I chose two perfumes in roll-on format. It turns out that the roll-on formats are easier for the Mama to handle.

en Fleur: "...A necklace of island flowers that stirs the soul: the one and only Plumeria."  No brainer there. I love the smell of plumeria, and I wanted to share the happy scent of that one with the Mama. The mama's reaction: Okay.

butterfly: " is fresh and clear...It is vibrant, colorful and alive! butterfly's flirtatious juice is a blending of sexy summer florals, succulent fruits, and meditative tea and incense notes." The description made me imagine Mama as a young woman and the vibrant colors and smells of the tropical flowers that surrounded her. Until she came to the United States, the Mama lived in middle of Luzon, the largest island in the Philippines. I hoped that this perfume would be a scent that reminded her of then. The mama's reaction: She chose that one to put on when she went to see her eye doctor.

Parfum de Grasse: "Grasse is the legendary 'City of Perfumes,' the magical birthplace of superb flower essences and the world's greatest fragrance." I don't know if that's fact or fiction, but the description had me wondering if this perfume might be like Chanel No. 5. When I was small child, the daddy bought her a good-size bottle of the perfume and that is what the scent Mama wore for many years when she went out.

Parfum de LUXE: "Inspired by the Art Deco movement of Europe in the 1920s and 1930s, Parfum de LUXE is Rich, Confident and Pure. . . Ladies in fashionable clothes and their perfume was a statement." The Mama definitely has style that is her own. Sophisticated. Simple. Elegant. But that's not why I chose this perfume. I wanted something that had ylang ylang, a flower that grows in the Philippines. And this was it.

Rose Vert: "In a dream I am lost in fields of roses. . . ." The mama, the gardener, grows roses in the front and the back yards. She prunes her roses,  sticks the branches in the dirt, and they bloom for her. I don't think any perfume could be better than home-grown roses. But, why not give this a try.

Cafe Noir: "It is a Paris Night. Dark and Sophisticated. . .It is an oriental fragrance, fusing classical sensibilities with the flair of the artist. It harmonizes spice, floral, resin and wood notes with the beloved aroma of coffee. It is a sensual and captivating perfume." The description is so not the Mama, at first reading. But I don't know. It may describe the woman that the Mama may have dreamt about being when she was young. . .before she had children. . .before she married. . .before the war disrupted her world.

DSH put two free samples into the package. One was called the Afternoon: "the scent of a warm day: sunny skies, soft kisses, laughter and happy memories."

The Mama's reaction to the samples: By the time we got to them, the smells ran together, so it was difficult to say which was okay, better than okay, or yes, that's the one. Checking out the fragrances again will be a fun thing to do. Probably on a rainy day when she can't go out to play in her garden.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Perfume for the Mama, Parte Una

"I want perfume for my birthday."
That's what the mama said to me yesterday in the middle of the drugstore.
It was the first time she ever requested something special for her birthday. Usually, when asked, she'll say, "Nothing. Don't get me anything."
The moment after she said she wanted perfume, I got scared. Did she want to buy perfume right then, right there?

Thankfully, not! The only perfumes you can get in a drugstore stink as bad (or worse) as the odor you smile while driving by a compost factory, or a field freshly laid with manure, or plain old skunk spray. Yuck.  I'm not even talking about the minutes after the eau has dissipated and you're now sniffing the burn of alcohol and who-knows-what chemicals. Sigh.
Most perfumes give me a headache. Some make my nose get stuffy. Worse yet, others make my face start itching.
Still. The mama doesn't ask for much.
So, this afternoon I jumped through the hoop, and spent hours on the Internet researching perfumes. No synthetics, please.
Finding perfumers that sell products with only natural ingredients—flowers, herbs, spices, etc.—was easy. Finding stores in my rural area that sell those products was not.
Finding online sellers was also easy. Finding sellers who don't  just take Paypal and who can deliver the items by her birthday was not.
The most difficult obstacle, as many of you are probably wondering, was this: How do I choose a perfume when I can't smell it?
Fortunately, the best Web sites had scintillating descriptions of perfumes that gave me a sense of what they may be like—a scent like rain in a fir forest, or a tropical jungle, or a Sunday afternoon with girlfriends, or a step back in time to Paris in the 30s or to Italy during the Renaissance era.
Wow! I never thought of perfume like that.
The descriptions were fun to read and the scenes were enjoyable to pretend in my head. Did you ever think of red or blue or orange having a particular scent? I also liked reading the ingredients that went into making a perfume and what you would be smelling like not just at the beginning but also at the end of the day.  For instance, a fragrance might first smell like the deep richness of a redwood forest, a couple hours later like the quiet of forest paths, and much later,  like spicy dried moss hanging on the north side of trees.
Perfume is soooo complex.
What perfume did I finally choose for the soon-to-be 90-year-old mama? And, how did I decide them? Stay tuned.