Saturday, April 28, 2012

This and that

I'm trying to keep up guys, I swear. But before I get to blog, I have to catch up with my own life first... so let's do it together, shall we?

First, my daughter turned 12 a few weeks ago. I planned on writing a whole post about that but time has passed and I still haven't been able to get a good photo of her birthday necklace. That was our idea for keeping the overload of presents down when she decided to invite her friends over: a birthday necklace. We asked that in lieu of a gift, every friend was to bring one special bead so that she could make a necklace out of all of the beads. It was quite a good idea (if I do say so myself!) and I will certainly try to find a reason to post a photo of it down the line. The party was an evening cookout and bonfire and we totally lucked out with a beautiful day for it in mid April! I was only a little concerned about how the girls would react to our zero waste attempt at a big group meal, but I don't think anyone even batted an eye.
Before we ate, I explained to all of the girls that we don't use disposable products in our house. I told them that they could serve themselves whatever they wanted, and when they were done they could give any scraps to the dog (I deliberately didn't feed him much during the day) and then take their plates inside and wash them. You know what? They all did it! It's not that I'm surprised really, the kids in my daughter's class are all great kids... but it was so nice to come into the house and find a dish drain filled with clean plates! Very helpful.
Cups and water were set out with labels so that everyone would know which cup was theirs. We also had spritzers in cans which were redeemed the next day at work.

And of course, we had cake and marshmallows.

Overall, it was a hit. And I had most everything cleaned up pretty quickly before I went to bed.


My kids have also been growing and it has come time once again for clothes and shoe shopping (woohoo). I am grateful that they all understand why we don't buy things new and are learning the ways of shopping at second hand stores. There was also a bi-annual kids consignment sale that even had clothes that fit my 14 year old boy - if you have an older boy, you know that most clothes don't make it to become second hand in decent condition, so this was certainly a score.
I found my youngest a pair of shoes that match his older brother's shoes exactly:
So freaking cute.

We also hit a salvation army, which I didn't have high hopes of when we first walked in... but we actually found exactly what my oldest needed: a suit jacket for his graduation in June and a pair of skinny jeans that fit him (I know, I know... ridiculous). We found more too, but those were the important things.

We do have a rule though, if you bring "new" stuff in, you must get rid of older stuff. Ideally one to one, but sometimes I make my daughter purge more... it's so easy to find her hand me downs and good second hand stuff that she has way more than she needs most of the time - plus, I love being able to pass her older stuff on to certain friends that I know will give them a new life with their daughters.


One thing that has been happening recently that I hesitate to mention is that customers have been giving me gifts. Now, normally I wouldn't accept gifts from customers because it's doesn't really feel right, but these have been odd circumstances where accepting was pretty much unavoidable.

One day I was helping a customer to her car and when she opened up her amazingly clean and pristine trunk, there was one lone bag in there. I put the box of groceries in and she picked the bag up and told me that it was a neck pillow that she had bought but never used - would I find someone who could make use of it? At first I was going to turn her down, but she looked so desperately like she needed it out of her life... and at the same moment I had a flash of how my kids fight over the one neck pillow that we keep in our car for when we traveled... so I politely accepted it. She was so pleased! My kids were too, consequently (it's much nicer than the one we have).

Another day, a customer was complaining about having too many cards in his wallet. So may cards! He pulled them out to show me, he was visibly annoyed by them all. Then he told me that most of them were gift cards that people give him. He grabbed a random one to a local package store (if you aren't from MA, that's like a liquor store that sells everything) and told me that he doesn't even drink. Trying to be polite, I asked him what he was going to do with it then... and he handed it to me and asked me to please make use of it. Once again I went to say "no thank you" but he really didn't want it. He told me that I could throw it away or give it to someone if I didn't want it... so of course I had to take it. What the heck.

And then just last Sunday I was having a random conversation with a customer while I was working at the front desk. We were talking about birthdays and when he found out that mine was two days after Christmas, he instantly had sympathy (that I no longer ask for by the way - I'm over it)... he looked thoughtful and then drifted out the front door without saying goodbye. Ok, whatever. People come and go all day and you never know what to expect.
And then, just like that, he returned and put a bunch of tulips in my hand while I was busy chatting with another customer. And then he was gone.
I didn't even get a chance to turn this one down, and I'm glad.
Happy spring to everyone!

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