12 August 2014

It Was a Nightmare!

GrammaJ, bless her heart, is a bit given to hyperbole and exaggeration.  Back in the days when she lived several states away, she was known to call us frequently.  She'd dutifully wait for the answering machine because I screened my calls.  Then she'd say, "Groovy Lynn (She always uses my middle name)!  Can you pick up the phone, PLEASE!  It's an EMERGENCY!"

Naturally, if I was there to hear her plea, I'd rush to the phone.  Once in a very great while there was a matter of true import, but much more often her "emergencies" were more of the "What temperature should I bake this cake at if I use a square pan?" or "How do I clean a spot off of leather?" or "I'm trying to write out a wonderful recipe I made up: How do you spell zucchini?"

Needless to say, after a while I was a bit slower to respond to her "emergencies".  I would always call her back, but I didn't always rush to do it!

She is also noted for her strong opinions.  A person is not a mediocre hairstylist.  She is, instead, the "absolute worst hairstylist EVER".  That store manager is not just nice; "He's such a wonderful young man!  We've bonded!  I've adopted him as your brother!  He should be promoted to CEO of the company!"

And let's not get started about food...

She's a picky eater at the best of times.  Give her a cookie that is less than perfect to her tastebuds and you are instantly a "lousy cook".  A meal is not just so-so; It's either "wonderful!" or The "most horrible meal" she's ever had.  There's simply no in-between for GrammaJ.

And now there are the "Nightmares".  Any time GrammaJ has a tough time with something it's a "Nightmare".  If she was on hold to talk to the phone company, it was a nightmare.  If she spilled a glass of wine, then cleaning it up was a nightmare.  If a company sends her an incorrect bill, then the whole affair is a nightmare.

Are these things good?  Are they fun?  Are they right?  Nope.  But they're not nightmares.

Just yesterday, GrammaJ was in a really bad mood - very negative. So the girlies and I set about to cheer her up.  I'm happy to report that between yesterday and today she cheered up marvelously.  But before the change in mood came she got the opportunity to tell the people at the store just what she thought of my Honda Element.  "This car is a NIGHTMARE!  My daughter is so sorry she ever got it! The suicide doors are so awful they make you want to COMMIT suicide!  And it only seats 4 people!  And the seat is too high for me to climb into!  And they have have BRAKE PROBLEMS!  It's a NIGHTMARE!"

Now, we own 2 Honda Elements.  They are not my favorite cars.  We have had some brake problems and the suicide doors are a huge nuisance.  The cars only seat four with seat belts.  But both the cars run really well and they are quite roomy inside.  There's no carpet in them so they're great for transporting plants and goats.  They are, as the BHE likes to call them "practical vehicles".  They are not my preference for a family vehicle, but they both get the job done and they are, most decidedly, not nightmares.

The girlies and I got to talking about this last night and, as usual, talking turned to giggling as we considered what it would take for our car situation to actually be a nightmare.  First of all, my car would have to be parked between a motorhome and a big, ugly truck full of raccoons.


I would need to try to get my gigantic economy pack of 50 rolls of toilet paper into the backseat of the car even though I can only open the doors 4" because the truck and the motorhome (Which has a vicious barking dog inside) are parked so closely.  And the raccoons steal my hat.  And there's a tornado approaching rapidly.  And the static electricity in the car keeps shocking me.  AND I have to pee really badly and the only place to go is on the toilet in the back of the truck with all those raccoons that just turned into maniacal chattering monkeys that are sealing all the groceries in my cart.  And I have a parking ticket.  And some hoodlum runs off with my 50 pound box of chocolate while I'm pinned between the cars. And I'm standing there in my underwear.

Now THAT's a nightmare.

And the next time GrammaJ misuses the term, I may just fill her in.  ;-)

08 August 2014

And So The Truth Comes Out...

Alright, I admit it.  I am not thrilled with the idea of another cross-country camping trip.  We did it 2 years ago.  It was incredibly fun.  We made it through the whole month together with nary a fight, no sickness, no mishaps, and oodles of terrific experiences.  However, the trip was sooooooooooo looooong.  And, as much as I like the idea of adventures, I prefer to be HOME.  In fact, Girly-Girl and I both started sobbing when we finally saw the sign for the bridge into Maine.  We were SO GLAD to be almost done with the trip!

But the BHE truly needs this trip and he is so right that this is probably the best year for it.  Soon the girls will have jobs and cars and "lives" and will be next to impossible for us all to get away together. Not to mention our parents' deteriorating health and goats in milk and homeschool science classes at our house, etc.

Unless the Lord throws up a BIG roadblock, this is the time.  But I haven't been on board with the plan at all - except for the fact that it would be good for my hubby.  In fact, I was praying that the whole idea would just "go away".  At least, I was until yesterday when I actually posted about our potential plans.  It is like writing it down made it real somehow.  And desirable.  And maybe even FUN.

Last night I started making lists of what we needed to pack and food ideas and secret plans for Girly-Girl's 15th birthday.  I woke up this morning with sudden ideas for how to make things run smoothly for our folks while we're gone.  In other words, yesterday's blog post tripped a switch in me.  I'm ready to plan and load up and GO!

Right after we finish all these 4-H Goat Shows!

More details to follow, so stay tuned...


07 August 2014

The Good, the Bad, and the Unsettling

Hiho and Happy Summer to all of you.

Here in Groovyville, things have been extremely busy.  We've got it all going on - the good, the bad, and the unsettling.

Let's start with the GOOD:
     -God has blessed us all with good health.
     -Both the girls placed super well in their 4-H Dairy Goat shows!  Silly-Head got 2 firsts as a "Junior" and Girly-Girl got 2 seconds against some steep competition.  They both worked very hard, jumped in whenever anyone else needed help and had wonderful attitudes.  I am a VERY proud Groovy 4-H mom!
     -There are still 2 exciting fairs for us to show dairy goats at!  We are all looking forward to the shows!
     -The weather has been lovely thus far with very few "Too hot" days.   We've had rain interspersed at perfect intervals, so there has been no need to water the garden at all.  I must say that our part of Podunk, Maine is lush and beautiful right now!
     -Speaking of my garden; it's doing quite well except for the returning tomato blight.  We've harvested garlic and carrots and the onions are almost ready.  I'm drying parsley and basil now.  And a friend gave us many strawberry plants to plant.  FUN!
     -All the goaties are healthy and full of vinegar.  They keep us very entertained with all their antics.  *sigh*  I love my goaties!  We are praying earnestly for success in getting them all pregnant this fall...with multiple doe kids...It's our turn!  Please!!!
     -I actually wrote and submitted an article to an online goat related website!
     -I've got another fun idea for a short story that I need to crank out.
     -My long, thin, straight and stringy hair has started to curl more and more as I've aged.  Totally GROOVY!
     -Both the girls were able to attend a 2-day horse camp in June.  It was extremely affordable and they had a blast!
     -I feel like our homeschool time has gone really well this year.  I am very laid back - in fact, we almost "unschool" - but the girls have flourished and learned and grown by leaps and bounds.

Now the BAD:
     -Um, OK....so I can only think of 2 things.  And I can't really elaborate on either one since they involve personal family details.  Suffice it to say that caring for aging parents can be difficult at times.  And that being the parent of an adult child can also have its unpleasant challenges.

Then there's the UNSETTLING:
      -Girly-Girl starts highschool this year!!!!!!!  That means A. she's growing up! and B. I gotta start keeping more serious and permanent school records!
 
      -The Best Hubby Ever has his sights set on taking another month long, cross-country camping trip in September.  Wait...September?????  That's less than 4 weeks away!!!!!!!!!!  This is exciting (At least, that's what I keep telling myself...)  And I'm sure it will be fun once we actually get on the road.  However, the planning process stresses me considerably and the thought of being away from all our needy elderly parents concerns me.  But the BHE is right that this seems like the best year to load up and go.  The needy elderly folks are only going to get needier and elderlier.  (Elderlier IS a word, right?) The next two years (possibly three) I plan to be teaching high school sciences, so I'll need to be here in September to start classes .  We also have no goats in milk right now, so their care should be minimal.  Next year I'm hoping and praying for THREE does to kid and be milked.

At any rate, the scramble is on to find someone who can sit with Grampy so Grammy can get out of the house and someone to take GrammaJ out shopping once a week and maybe help her with housework AND someone to back-up Grammy if goat care gets overwhelming for her.

And that's about all for now.  I have a bit of a stomach bug and my energy is flagging fast.  But before I go, let me point you to these hilarious and sweet goat comedy videos.  VERY creative!  In fact, they've inspired us to write out some plot lines for OUR goats!  So please enjoy The Goat.  We sure did!

12 July 2014

Thinking in Complete Sentences

Well, I cut loose from Facebook addiction five days ago.  I do, indeed, miss it.  It's such an easy way to keep up with friends!  However, I am now seeing what all that quick interaction has done to my brain.  I can recall the days when I used to think in paragraphs and essays.  I used to construct blog posts in my head and almost ache until I wrote them down.  Now I am limited to mere blurbs.

I find my brain composing Facebook entries - only a sentence or two long:

"Lots of silliness going on in the Groovy household today!"

"Take THAT tomato blight!"

"I just squashed the world's ugliest moth.  Shudder!"

"Audacity is a wonderful, simple to use, FREE audio recording program.  LOVE it!!!"

"Heard recently in the Groovy household:  'I'd rather eat a bugger than earwax ANY day!'"
           
"There are so many insects this year, that I firmly resolved to kill the all.  (exceptions will be          made for bees and butterflies and ladybugs.  Everyone else is DEAD MEAT!"

You get the picture...

At any rate, my poor brain needs to be retrained again to flow with complete thoughts.  To build the story around the pithy little quote.  To communicate with clear prose again.

I need to, once again, become a story teller.

I can feel the stories there.  They're aching to come out.  I just need to finish going through these withdrawal symptoms.

CURSE YOU, FACEBOOK!   ;-)

08 July 2014

Back to WRITING

Hi Folks,

Groovy here.  Facebook is now a thing of the past.  Do you know what that means?

Hmmmm?

Do you?

IT MEANS I WON'T BE NOTIFIED FOR 427 DIFFERENT PEOPLES' BIRTHDAYS!~

It means no more stupid game requests.

It means no more gratuitous pics of adorable children, cats, goats, hamsters, or horses.

It means no more political Hoo-Haw.

It means no more "If you believe this is true then repost it or else."

It means my hubby's mind will be at ease - he's NEVER been comfortable with Facebook.

It means I won't be so distracted (at least, not from Facebook!)

************************************************

It also means I can spend more time writing.

So there.

I'll be back this weekend.

With WORDS.

See ya then!

07 June 2014

Common Core Conundrum

I was recently challenged by a sweet and intelligent friend regarding my opposition to the Common Core.  I took the challenge to heart and have spent some time doing more research to see if I (we) are overreacting - after all, none of us really like change and we tend to raise a fuss any time change takes place (FaceBook is one great example of how quick we are to whine!) - often without good reason.

However, after spending a boatload of time reading about Common Core today.  I feel more alarmed than ever.

 I encourage you all  (ALL!) to look deeper into this issue for yourselves.  Whether your children attend public school or private school or you homeschool, Common Core has a STRONG potential to affect you and your family.  Please DO read up on it. Several links follow, both Pro and Con, for your ease in doing so.

Here's one from  Parents 4 Public Schools.

And here's one from  the Core Standards Website.  I have to note that this myth/fact format does not include any sources for its claims.  It sounds more like an "Is NOT!  Is TOO!" argument...

Here's the Homeschool Legal Defense Association for a look at the legal implications.

Here's a Link to a documentary done on the Common Core.  Actually, the link is to the trailer, but you will be provided the link to the full video, once you start watching the trailer.  It is approximately 40 minutes long...

This link takes us through some of the reactions and backlash to the HSLDA's video.

I know there's a ton more info out there.  But I trust you can Google as well as I can.  Take some time and do so.  The education of our children is THAT important!

Please feel free to leave insightful comments - pro or con - in my comments.  Play nice...No badgering or name calling - I WILL delete comments that are disrespectful!

Here's to research and thinking and prayer!

21 November 2013

Oh No, Not Again...



I was out shopping recently and found this lovely little cross stitch kit with a hummingbird on it. For the past year GrammaJ has been looking for a hummingbird photo or picture or figure to put on her wall. But we have not found anything yet. This kit was pretty much screaming “BUY ME!” That, even though I SWORE I would never do any needlework again.
This is not because I don’t like needlework. I love it. It is beautiful and I am reasonably skilled at making needlework projects. In fact, back in the day I used to teach needlework classes. I’ve done crochet, cross-stitch, crewel, candlewicking, needlepoint, plastic canvas and more. (I sold Creative Circle kits. Whatever happened to Creative Circle???) However, my eyesight is pretty much atrocious. So much so that, in order for me to cross-stitch or crochet I have to take off my glasses and hold the work about 3 inches from my eyeballs. Then I have to set the work aside to carefully read the pattern (also 3” from my eyeballs) THEN pick up the work again, work a few stitches. Then start all over.

Naturally, since these projects tend to be exhausting and discouraging for me to work on, I tend to balk at actually finishing them. This means my sewing and needle work projects usually get completed a year or two later than they’re supposed to. Don’t believe me? I started a simple printed cross-stitch for my Grandson’s birth. He got it for his first birthday instead.

So I swore off any more tedious needle crafts.

Until I saw this cute little project. And it was on sale. So I bought it.

AND I started working on it.

Yesterday, The BHE saw me working cross-stitch 3” from my eyeballs.

“What’re you doing?” he queried.

“Making a cross-stitch for Mom’s birthday.”

Awkward pause...

“Her BIRTHDAY?”

“Yup.” I replied, squinting at the aida cloth.

Another awkward pause...

“Will you finish it by then?”

I contemplate this and stop stitching for a moment. Her birthday is in early January. 

A REALLY awkward pause.

“Well,” I finally chime in. “I never said WHICH birthday.”



07 August 2013

Growing Old the Groovy Way

I've been thinking alot about aging lately.  This is not because I am oh-so-very old yet.  It is more because I am surrounded by the complications and difficulties of aging on a daily basis.  The girls and I have been visiting a local nursing home every Tuesday for years now - and that's certainly been enlightening.  Folks come, folks decline and then... Well. they either move out to a full scale nursing home (the one we visit is an "assisted living" center) or they die.  The girls and I actually got to sing one dear lady right out of this earthly life.

Then GrammaJ and The Folks moved up here from South Carolina and Florida, respectively, a few years ago.  The Folks, Grammy and Grampy, live in an apartment that is attached to our house and GrammaJ lives in a senior development nearby.

Observing and interacting with all these people who are in various stages of aging has had a huge impact on me.  Most of all, it's caused me to wonder what the BHE and I will be like when we're old.  Will we be Anxious?  Cranky?  Immobile?  Hopeless?  Deaf?  Pain-ridden?  Or will we be Optimistic?  Cheerful? Mobile? Colorful? Fun?  Or will we be some combbination of the former and the latter?

I know elderly adults in all three categories.

Well "they" always say we should set goals and strive for them, so I've decided to set some goals for my own groovy aging.

1.  I want to be as mobile as possible, so I am working now -WAY in advance - to keep my muscles strong and my balance good.  I walk and run and bike ride and lift weights and practice balancing.  And boy, do I ever go up and down stairs!  (Inefficiency is remarkably efficient at keeping one's weight down!)

2.  However, if I can't be as mobile as I'd like, then I'm going to have fun with my disability.  There will be sparkly, fun seasonal decorations on my cain, walker, wheelchair.  And I will have a bike horn with which I will make everyone crazy.

3.  I want my mind to stay sharp.  So I am working now -WAY in advance - to keep it so.  I read fiction and non-fiction, research anything and everything that interests me, do puzzles and play games and problem solve.  I take classes and participate in trainings.  I take on challenges to teach classes.

4.  Alas, there are mornings like this morning where I wonder how well all this is working.  I am currently drinking TWO cups of coffee simultaneously - don't ask.  (On the plus side, I DID recall how to spell "simultaneously".)  So, if my mind slips away, I want to enjoy being nuts.  I may even pretend to be nuts just to get a rise out of people!  I've noticed that most older people settle into very boring and uneventful days.  I plan to give 'em a thrill by putting lipstick on my eyebrows, wearing my bra over my shirt and carrying my blow dryer everywhere I go!  ;-)

5.  I want to maintain a cheerful and optimistic outlook.  I want to be one of those old ladies who smiles and says, "Oh, I can't complain.  God is good to me!"  The only way I'll be able to be like that then is to be like that now -WAY in advance.  I work every day to keep my eyes on God's goodness and blessings in my life.  I am confident that cultivating a thankful heart now will help me to live with a thankful heart then.

6.  I do not want to be an overmedicated zombie when I am a senior.  We've got one parent who refuses most meds (even though the doctors insist that she "needs" them) and is making it through just fine.  She also has decided to eschew any more invasive tests and refuses to see any more specialists.  Another parent is on so many meds that it takes 2 pages to list them all.  He has as many difficulties because of the meds themselves as he does from his actual physical difficulties.  I won't go into any details, but I will say that I plan to go the former route.  I will consider what my doctor suggests, pray about it and then make a decision.  I do NOT want to be a "Yes, Doctor" kinda gal!

7.  When I am elderly, I am darned if anyone is going to tell me what I can and can't eat.  I'm just sayin'...

8.  Lastly, I don't want my life focus to devolve (I just had to look up "devolve" to see if actually was a word!) into a spiral of self focus.  One of the greatest blessngs I have is seeing 2-3 folks in the nursing home who make it their business to care for others there.  They are quick to aid and encourage other residents and exhibit a real care for them that moves me.  GrammaJ has her moments, but overall I see in her a continual attempt to focus on the needs of others and to minister to them.  She bakes cookies for neighbors, even when she feels lousy.  She prepares "encouragement baskets" for people and then has me deliver them covertly.  She makes it a point to try to get grouchy cashiers to smile.

I want to be like that.  I want to keep ministering to and blessing people until the day I see my Lord face to face.

I want to grow old the Groovy way!

25 July 2013

To Dye or Not to Dye...


Many moons ago - when I had fewer children and more brain cells - I started to get the itch to dye my hair.  Not that anyone was complaining about my hair - my husband liked my few silver streaks and my eldest children weren't at all embarrassed to be seen with me - well, at least not because I had grey hair!
But there were other people.  And they had decided opinions about my hair.  The first was one of my best friends.  She was a solid 5 years older than me and didn't have a single grey hair on her head.  Not one.  Anywhere.   And she continually rubbed it in in a rather offhand way.  Instead of teasing me, she insisted that she envied me my bits of silver.  They were my "crown", my "glory" and she wished she had streaks of silver like I did.
Yeah, sure she did!
The second was a sweet, but unsuspecting offender who stopped to chat with me after church.  We were talking right along when suddenly he verbalized his latest brilliant observation, "You've gotten your hair highlighted, haven't you?"  Being a quick witted soul I shot back, "GOD highlighted my hair this way!"  But deep inside I was stung to the core.
I found myself starting to hover in hair care aisle at the local mart.  Next thing I knew I was reading the labels of hair-dye boxes and pondering the endless shades of brown available.  Finally, convinced that the possibilities were endless, I selected a "medium brown" dye and headed for home.  I followed the instructions carefully, dyed my hair and…
Nothing.  No one even noticed.  The only one who even seemed to know was my daughter because she'd been with me when I'd bought it.  My husband may or may not have noticed, but his only reaction was to caution me against trying any "wild" colors.  No one at church noticed.  The whole experiment was a complete bust.
But now my hair was dyed and that meant I was going to have to keep touching up the roots because, you know, hair grows.  So I convinced myself that the color made me look better and feel younger and I kept on dying it for a year or more.  Slowly I became  aware of other women around me my age and even younger who had -shock of all shocks - grey hair on their heads.  Some were all silvery grey and looked appealing.  Others had an attractive salt & pepper style.  They were all natural and all lovely.  And obviously they weren't wasting $8 and an hour of time every 6 weeks.  They were FREE; I wanted to be free too.
So I let the dye grow out.  I insisted that my grey was "silver" and that I was proud of being all natural.  My husband and my kids liked my hair color and that was good enough for me.
For a few years.
In the meantime I birthed two more children in my late 30's. Suddenly I was spending a great deal of time with other mothers of young children and those mothers were all only slightly older than my oldest daughter.  They were all young and pretty and energetic.  And none of them had grey hair.  I felt old and tired, toddlers not withstanding.  But I held firm.  I did not dye my hair.
My older 2 children moved out and started families of their own.  Now I was the mother of 2 young girls AND and grandmother.  The girls grew and we got involved in various activities.  There was our 4-H club where my co-leader often and repeatedly reminded me how she admired my willingness to bravely go grey.  There was our new church where all the ladies my age and even older seemed to have decidedly stylish colored hair: blond, red, and brown.   And then there was my mother.  She delighted in pointing out that she was "the mother of the grandmother" and started calling me her "grey-haired daughter".
I was weakening.
Then came the final straw.  I stopped at the bread store and the cashier asked if I wanted my discount.  
"What discount?"  
"Your senior discount!"
I was only 48.  Ouch!
Back to the dye for me.  This time I had more grey than brown.  So I selected a brand with "natural highlights" in a light shade of brown so the change wouldn't be too abrupt.  I duly read all the paperwork and set aside the time to do the job. 
My mother-in-law came over to bring me the newspaper. She didn't mention my hair.  My husband came home from work and didn't say a thing.  He didn't notice the next day either, even though I took the time to style it.  I went to my Mom's for lunch and shopping.  She used to be a hair dresser, but she had no comments whatsoever about my new color.  I went to 4-H fully expecting my co-leader to notice the dye job.  Nothing.
I guess I had succeeded in picking a subtle shade!  Sheesh!
My roots started to grow out and I knew it was time for a touch-up.  Should I stay with the same very subtle color or get more daring?  I went a shade darker.  I'd been wearing the new shade for 2 weeks before my mother-in-law finally stopped talking mid-sentence to peer closely at my head.  "Have you used a rinse or something?" she asked.  She was bit embarrassed when I told her I had started dying my hair 2 months before!  It was yet another week before my husband gave me an odd look and asked if I had died my hair.  He was even more embarrassed than his mother that he hadn't noticed.
The problem with a darker dye is, of course, that your roots start to show sooner, so I picked up some more dye.  Unfortunately, now that I'd found a color that I liked, the store didn't have it in stock.  
So I bought a different brand.  The color looked similar to what I had last used and it was a brand my mother had recommended, so I figured I'd try it.
A few days before Christmas my kids and husband were away.  It was the perfect time to dye my hair, wrap some presents and watch a movie.  
This particular brand of hair color had copious warnings about possible allergic reactions - more than I recalled seeing on the other brand - but I wasn't really worried.  I'd already done my hair twice.  If was allergic, I'd know it, right?  Well, the new brand was messier than the other. It smelled stronger and it made my head feel kind of tingly - I was pretty sure it not an "allergic" tingly, but my anxiety level was starting to go up.  I kept gauging my breathing and straining to see if "tingling" was turning to "burning".  Finally, the timer sounded and was able to rinse.  My hair felt quite brittle some fell out while I was rinsing, but at least I wasn't allergic to the dye.
I let my hair air dry as I popped in a movie and started wrapping gifts.  I was about an hour in to my work when I started feeling weird and restless.  Shortly later I was dizzy and hot which progressed to clammy and nauseated and suddenly very anxious.  I could still breathe alright, but - oh my goodness - I was having an allergic reaction!  I was home alone and started panicking.  I was about to dial 911 when I felt a strong impression that I should check the back of my neck.  I groped my way into the bathroom and grabbed a mirror.  Sure enough, there was still dye all over the back of my neck!  I grabbed a wet washcloth and scrubbed 'til I was raw.  Almost immediately, the wave of horrible feelings lifted and I felt fine.
I decided not to tell all my family about my life and death dye drama - especially after my husband came home, took one look at my hair and said, "I really don't like it that dark, Honey."  
He was right.  It was REALLY dark.  Ugh!  And now everyone noticed my hair.  "What did you do to your HAIR?" came the frequent question, always punctuated by raised eyebrows and the distinct impression that I'd gone a bit too far.
I even felt so castigated that I humbly asked my hairdresser if there was a way to rectify the color.  She pursed her lips and squinted thoughtfully, "Well, I suppose I could put in some highlights for $55."
Never mind.  I'll fix it myself.  So now I am - oh so slowly - working my way back to the first color so it won't be as noticeable when I go back to all natural.     
After all,  I've noticed most of my friends are letting their hair go a stylish silver…


13 July 2013

Taking Frugality to the Limit

The BHE and I have always been somewhat frugal.  Not that we don't mind spending a bit more for good quality, but once we own something, we will continue to own it until it's pretty much worn out.

My shoes are a good example.  I am no Imelda Markos!


I own exactly 9 pairs of shoes: 1 pr hiking boots, 2 pair dress shoes (one black, one blue), 1 pr sandals, 1 pr water shoes, 2 pr sneakers (one for day-to-day and one for running), 1 pr loafers, and 1 pr of specialty bike shoes (they fit the pedal clips),  The dress shoes and sandals I got at Salvation Army for $2-$3 each.  But I bought the functional shoes - for running/hiking/biking etc. new and while I did look for a deal, we didn't mind paying more for those.   I will wear them until duct tape is needed...

Jeans?  I have 3 pair now.  2 I bought new and they're both almost threadbear.  The other pair I got with the "new" tags on them at a yard sale for $2.

I admittedly have a skirt fetish, but most of them were bought on sale or at a thrift shop or were given to me.  Since I know I have a weakness for skirts, I have a rule that when a new one comes home, I give an old one away!

The BHE is the same way with his clothes (minus the skirt fetish!).  He keeps a minimum of good quality clothes and then wears them until they can be worn no more.

(Let's not talk about his underwear - please!)

We keep our furniture until it's either antique or firewood.  (Can I burn my sofa?  'Cause it's getting close!)

We keep our cars JUST until the point where they'll cost more to fix than we could sell them for.  And God has blessed us with the ability to save up and pay cash for the replacement.  (We've only had one auto loan in 33 years!)

I keep my glasses until I can't see anymore and we nurse our tools until they cease to function.  We have a nice stereo, but it's the same one we've had for  a bazillion years.  Ken did get the speakers refurbished (the woofers were blown), but that cost less than buying new ones.

And...we still have our very old and decrepit Macintosh.  We bought it in January of 2006.  And we have used it and used it and used it and USED it!

Except now, it ain't so easy to use!  A couple of years ago it started developing colorful vertical lines on the screen.  For those of you who are not Mac savvy, lemme 'splain something.  We cannot "just go buy another monitor".  Macs are all-in-one units.  The screen IS the computer.  So we have learned to live with the lines.  Currently there are over 80 of them.  And yes, they do make reading text quite challenging.  Fortunately we are adaptable.  Not as easy to adjust to is the 3" wide black vertical line that now appears during start-up.  Of course, that line goes away after you freak out for a few moments, but it's only a matter of (very little) time until it comes to stay.

Our browser has been outdated for years.  And we are no longer able to make any software updates.  Consequently, most web pages don't line up right.  Words overlap. I can't see all of the photos on some sites (including on FaceBook).  I just see part of the photo and have to guess what's on the rest.

 Scout gave the girls little ipod minis for Christmas a few years ago and they've not used them yet because our version of iTunes is too old and we can no longer update it.  Happily, we were able to use they gift cards to donwload some of their favorite songs, but just recently I've also lost the ability to do that.

Some sites take forever to load.  FOR.EV.ER.  The more graphics, the longer the load time.  On Facebook I have to wait and wait and WAIT to be able to scroll down the page.  Methinks God is teaching me patience along with the truth that I have better things to do with my time than wait 10 minutes for a cute cat picture to scroll down.

We can no longer see any online videos and we are rapidly running out of any sites where I can listen to a song.  This is a bummer because I learn new songs for the nursing home by listening to them online.  A few weeks ago one of the residents complained that we always sing the same songs...

I just tried to upload 20 photos to an online photo site.  To upload them and actually order prints (just prints, nothing fancy) took me an hour.

I think it's time.  We've gotten our money's worth and then some outta this ole beast.  We need a new computer.  In fact, one of the most oft heard phrases in our house of late has been, "Ooooo, when we get a NEW Mac we'll be able to......................."

Of course, we've been saying that for 2 years.  I wonder how much longer we can milk it?