Tag Archives: shopping


I hate to shop. OK, I like to shop at Whole Foods because the butchers treat me well. Shopping online for others is a different story. I like that, just not shopping for myself.

Dog bowls are coming, Zoe. They sent you cat bowls instead and your set has been rusting away for nearly 12 years. I got you a stand so you won’t have to bend down to eat. I’ll keep the perfectly intact bowls in the car tub (jumper cables, mylar blanket et al) for you.

My husband has worn a really nice shirt, gabardine trousers and exquisite shoes to work for years. Then he did what I call “Utah formal” for a few years which could include very nice corduroy slacks and an expensive cowboy shirt, no snaps, only buttons. The shirt could be Stetson, Resistol or George Strait.

Now he has to make a statement in a suit, same level shirt. But he needs long ties because he’s tall. Usually he only wore suit and tie to funerals, but now he has to do it every day.

We started with ties and found a company that makes wonderful silk ties that fit. Then I decided to give him a signature piece for everyone to see at work, on the plane, in a seminar.

It is a tie bar or clip. As of end of the week he will have six of them to use as he deems appropriate. They are designed to get positive attention and motivate teams.

He grew up on a dairy farm so I got him a Euclid tractor clip circa 1960’s. Off road vehicles, dump trucks, after many years now owned by Volvo. He drives an old Volvo so it’s appropriate.

He is the son and I am the granddaughter of a carpenter, so a level. Yes, in the tie bar. A real level.

Loves machinery so I found a steampunk watch mechanism.

Science, An Erienmeyer flask for physics and chemistry, his college degree.

A hand-stamped clip that says MAY THE FORCE BE WITH YOU for his love of Star Wars and sci-fi.

Then for his ability to play well with others, a tie bar with DNA.

I’m also saving his life. He is at airport gates with crying kids all the time and keeps Swedish balloons in his pockets and his hat. Once he makes a dog or pirate sword from a balloon the kid is happy, everyone wins. He usually has pumps for this but in airport lounges he only can blow. I can’t blow one up or twist a dog or his favorite, Wyle E Coyote. Wyle takes time and he’s out of practice.

A tie statement with quality tie and interesting embellishment is easier. More fun as I got to make a statement, shop for my husband and write to you, Dee



What do you look for in choosing a new home? If you’re buying I’d have the best inspector in town check it out for mold, termites, and leakage whether roof or basement, electrical and plumbing before putting in an offer. Chances are the sellers put lipstick on a pig (granite countertops) to fool you into buying a disaster. Especially if it’s a flip.

When people come in to see a home (condo owners and most renters do actually consider it a home) they look for certain things. They may not be the right things, as the nursery is painted purple or there’s a really bad chandelier over the dining table. Those things can be changed.

Buyers in all ways see how the former owners lived and their choices, instead of the rooms and possibilities. Who cares if it’s purple? Check the size of the room and if it works for your family.

Think towards the future. How can my family live here. Is it the right neighborhood, school district for the kids. Is there a park nearby, can I bicycle to work. Will my wife be OK with the neighborhood because even though she works, she’ll have full care of the kids. I might mow the lawn on weekends.

Now let me tell you what I look for. A view. A good place with decent appliances and a kitchen that meets my extensive needs. We took over the “tech center” as my pantry. A good living space, two baths, ours en suite. Guest bedroom/office.

I’d love a basement or garage but that is not to be at present. I looked for a larger and more impressive space and found it wanting. ¬†In my office with the belly of the beast, a printer my husband bought a while ago, I remain your faithful scribe, Dee

Role Reversal

Every so often I watch DIY for home improvements. Given an opportunity the wife’s eyes widen and a smile comes to light at the word “shopping.” At the same instant the husband looks upset and says “budget.”

In our household, it’s the other way around. Years ago I said I didn’t need a new MacBook so he bought me more memory, a large monitor and cordless keyboard. I didn’t think I needed those either but love them. He recently sent me a new battery which is a life saver because my laptop lasts less than two minutes without its electric life line.

He is the consummate shopper, doing detailed research on every product. Shirts from London, Hong Kong. Budget. That’s me. I pay the bills but appreciate him so much for doing all the leg-work on things we need and he doesn’t want me to carry from the store to my car, such as paper products.

We are the scientist and artist/teacher, a classic combination. When it comes to shopping and budgeting we cross paths. One thing I’ve never done is to go shoe shopping with a girlfriend. Perhaps that might have changed things but then I may have never met my prince.

As children my sister and I got one pair of school shoes each year. Mom told me she should get my sister two pair and I should wear the boxes. One wish in life is to someday have a pair of cowboy boots hand-made for me. It would be a boy’s size, around 4 1/2 wide. No stiletto’s for me. Cheers, Dee

Thanksgiving and Family

Now that Ebola is out of our hospitals please let us keep it in mind. We will need to fight it better than we did AIDS, that denial will hurt us forever.

Now I can stop watching the faux news which only hits on whether Black Friday or Cyber Monday is the best shopping day. Now they all say it’s Thanksgiving Day.

Sorry, Nanny, thanks for the turkey, I don’t have time for dessert as the mall is calling and these are the best deals of the season. Retailers, you’re spoiling perhaps the one day a year when families get together and share a meal.

Hey, folks, instead of going to the mall, how about leaving the table after dessert and clean-up and instead of watching football, help plant trees or build a home. Or just stay home and play outdoor Qube, as we do.

I plan to be at my in-laws at least three days before Thanksgiving, to cook and visit family before my husband arrives. That’s what we do every year. I would never get up from Nanny’s table mid-meal and leave to go shopping.

Shop for what? My husband and I do not celebrate birthdays, holidays or anniversaries. Why buy extra stuff we don’t need? Before we married I made him promise not to buy me little things, Hummell¬† figurines or dogs, cats or angels. I mistakenly told a relative the other day, and it was agreed that it’s just more s*** to dust.

We’re on our own and not even together right now due to a contract. The most important thing we can give to our familes is enjoying time together. To me, that’s way more important than a great deal on that sweater or a pair of Jimmy Choo’s. Hug your family this holiday season. Dee

Dog House

Yep, I’m there, where I’ll remain for the forseeable future.

I’ve worked with shelter dogs, Greyhounds just off the track, and owned two dogs at different times, first a desperate rescue for ten years until she died and now Zoe. We’ve had Zoe for nearly ten years and had her hips taken out as a pup because she had the worst hip dysplasia her surgeon had ever seen.

Cats are in my purr-view as well, both canine and feline volunteering and ownership for nearly 25 years. Spaying and neutering over 2,000 feral cats over a six-year period was a milestone.

I like to walk to the grocery stores around here. Often I take a bag with my wallet, over my shoulder, for small items, or a rolling cart when I need to purchase heavier things.

Zoe does not go with me unless my husband is there and stays outside with her while I shop, even though she’s nearly ten years old and has been with us since she was six weeks of age. I’m always afraid someone will give her a treat and she is so trusting that she’d go with anyone or run out into traffic.

Today I went to our local “convenience” market for a couple of little things I needed for dinner. The butcher had to grind some meat for me so I took a few moments longer than anticipated, so rushed home to get groceries in the frig and start dinner.

En route, I realized I left poor Zoe tied up to a bicycle stand outside the grocery store! She was only there about four moments longer and was sitting patiently awaiting my arrival. I feel horrible! She’s asleep on her big bed by my desk right now and has probably forgotten about it 1/2 hour later because she’s only dreaming of squirrels and thinking about her dinner, but I feel awful.

Please, Penny, Clouseau, Nike, Chani, Nathan, Mick and now Zoe… forgive me. Also Val. I’ve never done this in all my life and if I did have a defense it would be that I never take her and leave her outside the grocery store. Car is OK if the temperature works for her (high of 50 and out of the sun with windows open for no longer than ten minutes). She loves the car and no-one can easily steal her.

Mea culpa, Dee


We worked overseas for a few months for a US company and got to London twice, once for three days and then I secured us a flat for our final week.

I had plans, grand plans, to see everything I could starting with Borough Market in Southwark right down the street. My husband was at work so I was on my own. My goal was Not To Shop. I really hate shopping! I’d rather order a needed good on Amazon than go to an actual store, except the grocery.

A few months back, before we left I promised a dear friend to get her a small Harrods tote bag, the essential plastic tote that shows everyone in the world you’ve been to London and, specifically Harrods. I went to Kensington Palace that day, a supreme waste of time and money except I did have a nice lunch on the grounds afterwards. I could have changed my Tube route “home” and stopped at Harrods but chose not to.

I got online (my husband outfitted me with a MacBook and Skype and headset so I could be in touch with family and friends and pay the bills back home) and ordered a small tote for friend J and a large one for me.

Rarely used, my tote was in a box I said was trash. Four homes later, my husband tossed that trash. I asked about the Harrods bag. He said yes, it’s in the trash.

He took himself to the basement and dumpster-dove until he found my Harrods bag whereupon I washed it and placed it in the closet.

So, I’ve been to London, St. Paul’s Cathedral, seen Artemesia Gentileschi’s incredible self-portrait at the Queen’s Gallery at Buckingham Palace, Winston Churchill’s War Rooms and walked the parks but have never been to Harrods.

When we arrived home, everyone asked how Harrods was. As I handed the bag over (I had it sent to our US home address) I said “I wouldn’t know. I never went.” And that was that. Have a great day! Dee