Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Dude, are you hitting on me?

After running a few necessary errands this morning, as I'm on my way home I decide to stop at the nearby thrift shop as part of my Quest for Wine Trivets 2010. My hair is pulled back in a ponytail, my make-up is minimal (under eye concealer and mascara only), it's the first day of my monthly visit from aunt flo (not exactly my best day of the month), and I'm focused on finding trivets and trivets only.

Soon after I discover two pretty trivets (score!), this soft spoken nice looking older gentleman approaches me and mumbles something in my direction. There are always interesting characters at thrift stores (part of the fun). Is he talking to me? I switch my focus and turn to him and say nicely "excuse me?". He repeats "I hope you are looking for something as pretty as you are?" Surprised, I smile and say "why, thank you" and return my focus to the crowded bric-a-brac shelves. Aw. Sweet. Then he mumbles again. I ask him to repeat. My admirer says "Are you married?", and I say "Yes, but thank you", and then he says "Oh, he's a lucky man", smiles, and slowly walks away. I'm thinking he's a lonely guy looking for a nice conversation and a smile.

This sort of thing might happen on a regular basis for some ladies, but for me it's RARE. The last time I can remember was when my kids were around two and I was pushing them in a shopping cart towards my car in the Target parking lot. This guy approaches and totally hits on me and I'm all "dude?" and point to my kids and say "I've got my kids with me" and he is all "oh, that's okay" and I give him a strange look and write it off to just being a weird guy with a thing for moms with young kids. And this was oh, I don't know, four years ago? Geez.

My mom says that in her experience, after age thirty-five women become invisible. It's not mean, just the facts. Men are now looking at the still cute perky women in their twenties and after thirty-five we start to show our age. And, well, I'm okay with that, I guess, because it's not like I want to go around getting hit on seeing that I'm married and stuff. But, I have to admit, getting approached it is a nice compliment, even if it comes from lonely or weird guys. I get it. Being an almost forty-year-old unemployed stay-at-home mom can sometimes make me feel invisible, and a little bit lonely, too.

*I took the picture a few days ago of our local and rarely snow-capped mountains after a series of recent cold storms. Rare, like getting hit on rare. Get it?

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Trivet pursuit

I'm on an exciting new quest. Am I searching for life's true meaning? My personal calling? The genious idea for a company that will make me millions and get me on Oprah? The undiscovered homeopathic cure for the common cold? Nope. I'm collecting wine trivets or coasters from local thrift shops. The more vintage crystal looking the better. I know. I know. Mindblowing.

What's a wine trivet you might ask? You love wine but have never heard item of this before?? It's basically a fancy thingy you put your opened bottle of wine on so the drips don't go on the table...and, well, so you can look really super fancy pancy impressive to your friends and family. Anyway, the thrift stores seem to always have interesting ones, so I figure if I can collect a bunch of them and give them away as gifts this year (birthdays, party hosts, Christmas, etc.) in a pretty box to people that appreciate wine. A $1.35 crystal vintage wine trivet can turn into a unique and special gift. Oh, and if you are a friend of mine and you like wine and are reading this, please act you never read this and are very excited, impressed, and touched when you get one, okay?

My Quest for the Wine Trivets 2010 takes me to a previously undiscovered thift shop that comes highly recommended by a fellow expert thrift shopper. I'm flattered that she recently shared this "best kept secret" - a two story bargain hunters mecca, with the entire top floor full of children s clothes and toys. She doesn't share this privileged information with just anyone, don't you know. Yep, our friendship is officially on a new level.

I arrive at the store today with my mission at hand and highly focused - such dedication considering it's pouring down rain for the fourth day in a row and it's Los Angeles and it's cacacaCRAZY out there!!! I make my way down the bric-a-brac isle. I go to grab a pretty vase, only it's holding brown water that's dripping from the ceiling. Humm, okay. I'll give them that, after all, lots of rain. Only, I quickly notice lots of little buckets and bowls scattered throughout the store in various drip water collection areas. Ummm, starting to feel uncomfortable, especially since I start noticing the slightly buckled floor and wondering about the age of the obviously very old building. Did you know some buildings in LA are over forty years old?!?

Not finding any trivets, I cautiously venture upstairs to check out the children's section, especially since I buy most of my kid's clothes from thrift shops. Not buying, mind you, staying focused on the trivets, but I'm totally impressed. Tons and tons of clothes. Whoo hooo for future reference!! Only, well, then the power and lights go out. And all I can hear is lots of water dripping. Not...feeling...comfortable.

My mind starts wandering, especially in light of the recent devastating earthquake in Haiti. So many helpless people lost their lives pancaked in old buildings. Tragic and horrible Haiti news images flash through my mind. Do I want to be on the local news for being trapped...or worse...in this Super Thrift building after the roof caves in from weight of the water all for some damn wine trivets that people will probably like but never use? I can see the local headlines now. Awful. Thoughts of my family. So sad. As I slowly and cautiously crawl my way downstairs in the dark and over the very uneven floor (again, bad thoughts of falling down and breaking bones or worse), the lights suddenly come back on and the fellow shoppers collectively breathe a sigh of relief. And, well, I get the hell out of the store as soon as possible.

It's a minor setback for sure, but I plan on continuing
Quest for the Wine Trivets 2010 soon enough. I'm almost forty and feeling strong and daring, but I also think I'm entitled to get a little wee bit wimpy sometimes.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Playin' in the rain

While it's not exactly a horrendous winter snow freezing blizzard like in other parts of the country, it is normally sunny SoCal and we got hit with a cold winter rainy thunderstorm with two more big storms predicted for this week. It's day four of a long weekend off from school and my kids are bubbling over with loads of energy (translation: mommy is envisioning an aggravating afternoon if I don't get these kids OUTSIDE because they are starting to go a little bonkers and my patience in wearing thin).

You can't tell from the picture, but It's cold. It's raining nonstop. It's soaked. There is mud.
Lots of mud. They obviously don't care (the more mud the better) and are happy for the unexpected carefree play. I'm happy they are out (of my hair). A hot shower and grilled cheese sandwich await them when they decide to come inside. I'm thinking (hoping and begging) that we may just make it through the afternoon still intact with our sanity and ready for the rainy week ahead.

Friday, January 15, 2010

I am R2, hear me or else!

Tired of being continuously ignored by the resident feline, Popoki, R2 took rather drastic measures. Droids may be built to "serve", but need some occasional attention, too, you know...

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Out there

I am not embarrassed to admit that I love thrift shopping. It's an especially fun time right now to find a great selection and good deals - it's a new year and people love organizing and purging after the holidays (out with the old in with the new). Oh ya, it's a bargain and treasure hunters dream time for sure. Not that I particularly want to clutter my home with castoffs and unwanted items or anything, but if I go searching with a clear purpose and objective I can stay focused...and not go too crazy.

Last week I bought some neat stuff, like little crystal dishes for condiments (the kind grandmas always have), which happen to be perfect for a bottle of wine, and a simple yet pretty taper candle holder. When I first lit a candle in my new holder, I commented out loud that it was too bad that I only had one because it would be pretty with two and wouldn't that be fun to look for another one. Hey, you never know. But, in the meantime it would also be interesting to find different yet similar crystal candle holders of various heights and designs to make a kind of eclectic mix. Ah, a perfect excuse to hit the thrift stores again. Yea!

This past Saturday afternoon, I drop the kids off a
t my mom's house to spend the night. On my way home (with a big smile...freeeeeedom!), I'm thinking about my upcoming evening of the third installment of my Rodgers and Hammerstein Movie Appreciation Series (The King and I). My plan is to stop by Goodwill, then the grocery store, then home for last minute preparations. Only, I space out and find myself a few blocks past the thrift store. Damn. Do I turn around a go back, or do I keep going because time is limited? I decide to go for it and take my chances and turn around.

I head straight to the back where the housewares section is and browse up and down the isles. Then I see it. The EXACT same candle holder that matches my solo one th
at I bought a week ago at ANOTHER thrift shop SEVENTEEN miles away. I can't believe my eyes. How is that possible? Maybe it's some mass produced taper candle holder that people get free with a purchase of a Thanksgiving turkey? A party favor at a huge wedding that recently took place? A simple coincidence and I shouldn't even think twice about it?
I love to imagine that it's because I simply put it out there to the universe and then let it go. The thought is rather comforting, whether it's "a sign" or good karma or just really really cool. I believe this sort of stuff happens all the time, but we just don't always notice. That's why these two little candle holders are such a great reminder and symbolic of a greater picture. After all, being recently unemployed and ready to start a new chapter in my life, I need all the help I can get to figure out what the heck I am going to do.

Would l have found the matching candle holder if I never put it out there? Probably? No way? Maybe? Hummm...there is no way to know for sure. But, I do know that next time I wish for something to happen but yet it seems impossible, I will remember my set of crystal candles holders and put it right on out there.