Sunday, August 26, 2012

The Woman of Walmart

I saw her before I even parked the car.

It was no wonder, really. She was kind of hard to miss. Based on the wrinkles and crafted eyebrows and teased hair, I judged her to be in her late 70s, probably older.

It wasn't her face that I noticed, though. It was her face in relation to her outfit.

It wasn't just the brown Mary Janes with the white knee socks...
It wasn't the shorts that landed at least six inches above the knee...
It wasn't even the white shirt with the turned up collar.

It was that this white shirt with the turned up collar was left completely unbuttoned, revealing a white sports bra and an even bigger white mid drift.

I admit it. I instinctively reached across the seat for the shiny red Kodak. It only took a few seconds to realize that I didn't actually have the nerve to snap a picture, but reach for it I did.

I prided myself on my discretion.

Then, I pulled Ebenezer into the nearest available space, and for some oddball reason tried to catch up with her. It wasn't hard. If her wardrobe didn't match her age, her pace did.  She was only about six feet ahead of me when she walked through the door.

That's how I heard the laughter.

There, standing just inside the door was a gaggle of gorgeous co-eds.  When the Woman of Walmart pushed her cart past them, they literally fell on each other in a round of laughter so loud that other shoppers turned to see the reason.

For about a half a second, I had the audacity to be appalled by their behavior.  I shook  my head in wonder at a generation that would openly laugh at another person, an elderly person at that. I think my nose was raised about an inch and a half when I heard the voice.

You know the one.

This time, it sounded eerily close to my own voice, teaching a certain passage just a few short weeks ago.

Judge not, that you not be judged. 
(Matthew 7:1)

Riddle me this, Blog Land:
 What's the difference between the laughing co-ed and the snickering blogger?

The volume. 

That would be the earthly volume, actually. Somewhere in the heavenlies, a Father was grieving over the deafening sound of my laughing heart.

That's where all judging takes place after all. I had judged the Woman of Walmart just as surely as those giggling co-eds. I was just a little bit less honest about it. I had done what Jesus specifically warned me not to do. 

That's what Matthew 7:1 is after all. It's a warning.

Oh sure, it's technically a command. (The verb is an imperative for all the other grammar geeks out there.)  I like to tell my class to think of it differently, though. Think of it, I tell them, as the sort of command you give to your child when you say, 

Don't touch the hot stove.

That's a command, isn't it?  Depending on your child's proximity to said stove, it's probably a pretty strong command, too.  Every parent out there, however, knows that this sort of command is really a loving warning.

... because you'll get burned. 

And so it is with Matthew 7:1. That admonition not to judge is more than just a command. It's a heavenly plea from a loving Father who doesn't want us to have to learn the hard way what happens when we do. 

Judging others opens the door for us to be judged as well, not just by others but by God himself. 

If it's good for the goose you know...

I stood there for another second or two trying to wrap my head about the mini lesson that God had taught me in the short distance from car to door. I decided to make things right with the Greater Judge and take my licks with the lesser ones.

Then I tugged down the top hovering over last year's capris, sucked in my belly and ventured forth. I would have rearranged the underwear that had developed a case of the creeps as well, but it's not wise to do the panty pull whilst running the gauntlet.

How I was judged by the co eds, I do not know.
I only hope that I was judged by my Father to be a child who had learned her lesson for the day.

Don't touch the burner, friends.
You're going to get burned.

Comments off for Sunday

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

I'm too 50 for that...

That's been my catch phrase of 2012, ever since I qualified for the Red Hat Society on Christmas Eve.

Drama? I'm too fifty for that.
Snotty little cliques and cool tables? I'm too fifty for them too. 

Well folks, in attempting the Domino Days organizing challenge, I have added yet another item to the list.    Apparently, I'm too fifty to organize. 

It's true. Younger Debbie was a focused organizer who would fix her target and execute her plan. Vintage Debbie seems to have developed something that I call Organization Deficit Disorder, or ODD.

I'm blaming the hormones.
I always blame the hormones.

For over a week now, I've meandered from closet to closet, pulling everything out and dumping it on the floors (and beds and tables and chairs) of the nearest room. Then I would sort of stare at it helplessly, head to the next closet, and do the exact same thing. Seriously. My house looks like a scene from one of those hoarding shows.

Minus the filth and feces and dead cats.

Young Debbie never embarked on a reorganizing adventure without a plan. She used the domino theory, reorganizing her schtuff into new storage spaces as they became available.

Looking out over the first pile in the first room, however, Vintage Debbie decided that she was just too fifty to keep moving it.  

In fact, Vintage Debbie started to get a little irked that "it" was there to begin with. She got a little testy with Young Debbie for priding herself on organization that's really not organization at all.

It's storganization. 

The art of  storing and organizing schtuff which has no useful purpose.  

It took me fifty years, folks, but I finally reached my breaking point. Not only am I tired of moving it; I'm tired of storing it. I'm too fifty to keep storing it any longer.  

The problem is that I wouldn't have stored this stuff if I didn't believe that it had some sort of value, either economically or emotionally.  For that reason, I can't just toss or donate willy nilly. Instead, I need to go through every pile with a fine- toothed comb.

Now, I've never had to use a fine-toothed comb, but I'm pretty sure I get the concept. I'm pretty sure that it requires combing, and combing, and then combing some more.

Therefore, that's what I've been doing. I've been combing through the stuff I've been storing. I'm trying to use the O.D.D. to my advantage by meandering from pile to pile and back again. I'm utterly unwilling to start room reassignments until I have completed the purge of a lifetime.

That's the reason that I still don't have anything to show for it, and the reason that all my hard work has not been yakkable.  I mean, really... who wants to hear someone ramble on about her piles of schtuff?

Oops. I guess you just did. 

So what about you?  
Are you too fifty (or sixty or seventy) for something? 
Care to share what it is?

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Worth a Thousand Words

There's an old Spanish proverb  that says, 
Don't speak unless you can improve the silence

I'm claiming that proverb as the reason
 that you haven't heard much from me this week.

Honestly, I didn't have anything worthwhile to say. 

On top of that, I've been in the closet. 

After taking Whimsy back to college this weekend, I embarked on the Great Closet Adventure that I yakked about at the beginning of the month.  Had there been a single interesting tidbit to share about that closet adventure, I would have shared it. So far, though, it hasn't been all that yakkable.  I'll let you know if anything changes.  

So in place of my usual thousand words, I'm jump starting my blog engines with a few pictures instead.  

That's because it's time  for one of my favorite blog parties of the month, 
the Note Card Party at
 A Haven for Vee.  

Note card choices this month were inspired by my theme for 2012.

Now, my color of the year is yellow...

But  my theme for the year is 
Finding the Sunshine.

Every once in a while, I manage to find a little of that sunshine on the table. 

I think these little sun catchers would make lovely cards, don't you?

Maybe with a note of encouragement for someone who needs to
 find a little sunshine too.

So this morning, that's what I'm doing. 

Because maybe, just maybe, that someone is you.  

So tell me, where have you found the sunshine lately?

Joining the other party girls at The Note Card Party

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Dear Moms,

I never had a pink nursery for my girls. Because we never learned the sex of our babies, our nursery was gender neutral, decorated in bold, primary colors with little teddy bears.

Hanging over my bold red rocking chair was a poem.

Cleaning and  scrubbing 
Can wait till tomorrow
For babies grow up
As we've learned to our sorrow... 
So quiet down cobwebs
Dust, go to sleep
I'm rocking my baby
And babies won't keep. 

In roughly 48 hours, we'll load up like Clampetts and drive to Mercer University to leave Miss Whimsy for her Great Junior Year Adventure. From there, Super Dad will continue to Atlanta to work in his mother's yard. ('Cause he's Super Son, too...)  

Me? I'll return to a very quiet and empty house once again.  Once again, I'll have plenty of time on my hands for the lively art of homemaking and the livelier one of blogging about it. 

If I had one tip to share with young blogging mommies, that poem would just about sum it up. Never, ever squander your rocking time. The intangible home you're making is eternal. The tangible one, notsomuch.

Put down the paint brush and play. 

Along those lines, my domino playing for this first week of August has doubled as daughter time

We rocked Whimsy Land from closet to drawers to that under-the-bed storage where she keeps the 4,728 extra t-shirts that come with a college diploma.   

Yesterday, we rocked our way to the outlet malls to replace items lost in The Great Closet Purge.  The Farm Sister came along too. That's because I always play Barbie with the Farm Sister, and the other three dolls are all grown up.  

The Duchess came too, of course. If there's anything cute left on Hilton Head Island, don't blame the two of them. They tried... 

Actually, Whimsy didn't need a lot. Much to her dismay, she stopped growing long ago. We mainly purchased things to go with what she had.  

See these paint chips? That's tip #2.

They represent the color families from the skirts we were trying to match. Carrying a handful of paint chips is infinitely better than playing a guessing game as to whether that pink or orange or green is the right pink or orange or green.

And tip #3? Mention to the nice sales clerk that you're in need of more hangers for the aforementioned skirts. She might just give you an entire bag of them.  Woo. Hoo.

So that's where I've been and why I haven't been as visible in Blog Land recently. Please indulge me. Sooner rather than later, I'll be back in the swing of things. In the meantime...

Quiet down Blog Land...
Put Pinterest to sleep
I'm rocking with daughter
And daughters don't keep. 

Can I get an AMEN
 from other mothers out there?

Monday, August 6, 2012

Dog Days and Dominoes

August is here.
And so am I.

In case you wondered, I survived my month of austerity measures in the name of common sense and the family budget.

No Buy July was an adventure, and frankly, it was fun! It was fun to stretch the creative muscles and discover just what I could do without spending a dime. Were it not for No Buy July, I might never have tackled the vast wasteland called Siberia and transformed it into a free-to-me craft space that I really love. The fact that the checkbook looks much less anemic is just gravy on the taters.

Honestly, it's hard to give up the adventure just because we've turned a calendar page.  August will require spending, though, since Miss Whimsy heads back to college on Friday and needs to be outfitted for her big adventure called the junior year.  Sniff. 

All the more reason that I need a plan to get me excited for the month of August.

August is my least favorite month of the year. In my mind, it has no redeeming value. That's because August brings the Dog Days of summer. In the Dog Days, all I really want to do is hunker down in the air conditioning like a lazy slug and play indoor games.

Therefore, that's exactly what I'm doing to do--
minus the lazy slug part. 

 I'm going take advantage of the excuse to stay inside,
 and  I'm going to play dominoes. 


That new craft space, you see, has given me a case of what our family calls
the Begats. 

One thing begets another...
Which begets another...

Sometimes, the Begats are a bad thing...  like when the freshly painted dining room makes the living room look all shabby and no chic. The Begats are a good thing, though, when they open up the box of  dominoes.  

All you need for dominoes is one newfangled storage space. Just one.  Chances are, that new space is going to free up space some place else in the house.  

Which when utilized, begets another...
Which begets another.


I spent the latter part of last week assessing new spaces available to me right now. Between what I freed by creating that crathroom,  the recently vacated shrine of the Practical One, some pieces of furniture that I thrifted in the spring, and some purging I've done,  I have available...drum roll please...
16 drawers, 4 shelves, 1 cabinet, and an entire closet. 


And so...

I have dubbed August the Domino Days,  a time devoted to inside organization. I'll be playing in all of those aforementioned spaces. Even though No Buy July is over, I've still got the thrifty bug so I'll be using as much creativity and  as little money as possible. That's the part that makes it fun.  

In addition to dominoes, I'll be playing some more inside games. 

Like Fruit Basket Turnover:  I'm not only going to organize my new spaces, I'm going to flippity- flop some old ones. I intend to relocate my extra dish closet (yes, I have one) and my holiday and decor closets (I have them too). Her Majesty the Den Closet will even get another makeover.

And I Spy:  I spy with my big eye... something that's expired in the pantry... and the medicine cabinet, and emergency supplies, and the spice rack... and let's face it, some of my clothes have passed their expiration date, too. What better time than the Dog Days to do it? 

And Peek-a-Boo: Yep, it's time folks. Time to lift the skirts on the beds and tables and see what's lurking in those boxes. You wouldn't believe me if I told you...  

But I probably will. 
If you need me, I'll be in the closet. 

So tell me:
How will you spend your Dog Days?
What other inside spaces
  can I add to the Domino Days of Summer?


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