Wednesday, February 28, 2007

wednesday whatever

i'm still getting used to this not working thing. of course it won't last long but it still is a little odd. I'm trying to enjoy it. I'm doing things when i want to for the most part - which is pretty nice. For example, i could run a bunch of errands this morning and not have to stop on the way home from work. In those last few months working i rarely had a day off - which is when i would normally do all those things that need doing dontchaknow.
Now - well i'm a lady of leisure - well sorta. I've taken up knitting as i mentioned previously. That's fun.
And i've been able to read more - a lot more. When i was working i still read. Picture me cooking dinner and my book on the island (centrally located in the kitchen natch) - reading whilst i flipped a burger or mashed potatoes. Ok. I was a little crazy but i love to read and it seemed like a perfectly fine time to fit in a chapter.
I like to read in chunks. i cannot read a few pages then go to bed. I have to read maybe 50 pages at a time to fully digest the information. If i only read a few pages i seem to have to go back and reread it all.
So, one of those errands this morning was to go to the library. Drop of 2 books i finished and pick up another. I still have yet another book i haven't begun. The pick up book was one i'd been on the waiting list for: Plum Lovin by Janet Evanovich. I love the Stephanie Plum books. If you haven't read them you should treat yourself. They're laugh out loud funny. I like funny. The main character, Stephanie, is a bounty hunter but she gets herself involved in all sorts of trouble. And then of course she is from New Jersey. SOLD :-)
I would suggest reading the Plum series from the beginning - the first book is called "One for the Money" followed by "Two for the Dough" and so on.
So i will be reading Plum Lovin today. its a pretty thin volume so i doubt it will take too long.
Then i will get back to reading that other book i have by one of my other favorite authors, Rita Mae Brown. Rita Mae writes some fun stuff - she has just the most wonderful wit. I started to read the books she co-authors with her cat, Sneaky Pie Brown. What i love about them is that the animals in the books are characters as well - have wonderful little personalities and are very endearing. The Sneaky Pie books are mysteries - i love a mystery. They are all set in a town in Virginia - not really all that far away. She mentions my town occasionally due to the fact its has a very famous equine center as well as being the center of county government. Rita Mae also has written some other wonderful novels - my most favorites are named "Six of One","Bingo" and "Loose Lips" - get them if you want a fun read. I just brought back two books called "Outfoxed" and "Hotspur" and last week i returned "The Hunt Ball". All three of these are part of a series she's written where the setting is once again, Virginia but it is all set with a backdrop of fox hunting. Wonderfully entertaining mysteries and interesting as i knew little about fox hunting.
ok... i've bored you all enough. Go read something.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

tuesday mishmash

mish·mash /ˈmɪʃˌmɑʃ, -ˌmæʃ/ Pronunciation Key - Show Spelled Pronunciation[mish-mahsh, -mash] Pronunciation Key - Show IPA Pronunciation
a confused mess; hodgepodge; jumble.
one of those words we liked to use when i was growing up. we were big on words 'round our house.

we're getting back to normal after an unexpected snow on Sunday. About 5 inches of nonsense which yielded a winter wonderland really. Here are the two trees in front of my house. This is their positioning if you are inside looking out - just imagine a big space of grass in between.

The pear on the left and the maple on the right. It was all very pretty and then came Monday morning. School closed here in this county and not in the county where daughter attends school. Translation - no bus. She needed a ride. Not the worst thing in the world but its an hour each way. Husband took her there and i brought her home. The gods must've known it was my mom's birthday so the beltway traffic wasn't too horrendous. We swung by my mom's on the way back and picked her up. Had our little birthday celebration for her. It was very nice. I'd made a cake - natch- on Sunday. Here it is as it came outta the oven. ...... and all frosted and ready for candles.

We decided to just use a few candles - not the full 78. And she was thrilled that she blew them all out on the first try.

And yes, i always take pictures of the birthday cakes. It's all part of the celebration dontchaknow.

I had spent the last week making cards for my mom as one of her gifts. She sends a lot of cards to friends and family and when i'd given her a gift of a batch of them (all different kinds) she really loved them. And of course she makes sure everyone knows i made them. That's a mom for you. This batch turned out pretty good. I only wished i had scanned them. I always scan my cards - what was i thinking?!?!

oh one last picture or two for the mishmash - my kitty - Miss Holly.

Isn't she the cutest? (well, she and her brother are the cutest. I'll show Frankie another day - he's tougher to photograph - he is a handsome black cat). Thats also Holly in the 2nd pic- she has her tummy up against the vent that is under my kitchen sink. All winter long she can be found there. Note to the right of her head is our dishwasher - i have to lean over her to get stuff from the sink to the dishwasher. She is like lead when she is warming her tummy - she is not to be moved. Sometimes i have to just slide her whole self outta the way. (the mean way is to let a few drops of water accidentally sprinkle upon her... oh she moves quickly then LOL)

Saturday, February 24, 2007

You gotta double click

on any word - try cheesecake - scroll down and double click on the word cheesecake.
this is too awesome for words
you will get this wonderful pop up thingy (oh my technical prowess.... daughter would call this - my geekiness) thanks to a wonderful widget i added for
ok so you double click on cheesecake and check out the 2nd definition....
photographs of minimally attired women.
(are you reading this will?)
as if

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Blast from the Past

or Now for something completely different (you Monty Python fans will take note)
When i was a little girl, a hundred years ago, we didn't have much TV - there was some but it was pretty limited. I loved what there was and have many fond memories of shows like the Mickey Mouse Club, Leave it to Beaver, The Patty Duke Show. Well i could go on and on.
What we did have - at least in my home - was a lot of records. We listened to a lot of records. Most were just music. My parents had a great collection. Sad to say most of those wonderful 78's were lost in a flood in my parents home years later. I did manage to save a fabulous Billie Holiday record of my Dad's. He was a huge Billie Holiday fan.
Anyway - we also listened to a lot of story records. Whole books on records with songs if they had 'em. I still remember 2 favorites - Pinnochio (with Jimmy Nelson, Danny O'Day and Farfel) and a recording called "Long Name No Can Say" narrated by a man named Paul Wing. I would lie down next to the stereo (it was a piece of furniture - a console) and listen to these over and over again.
I've been searching for those records for years. I am like that.
It took me years but i finally found a record, then a cd, of Christmas music by Mitch Miller. It was part of every Christmas in my childhood and i was determined to have it.
So last night i got a notion to go looking for those records again. Through a series of searches on ebay and google I happened upon a wonderful website that actually has the recording of "Long Name No Can Say' right on it! I couldn't believe my ears. Here's the website:
and here's Long Name No Can Say
It is terribly un-PC but back then - well they didn't think about those things. And it doesn't change the fact that i listened to it and loved it and had a huge blast from the past when i heard it again. Totally transported back - well a lot of years!
I emailed the man about Pinnochio - that recording was just thee best thing ever. I hope he has it. Anyway take a look at the website and see if any of your favorites are there.

Monday, February 19, 2007

It is a well known fact

that bra shopping is theeeee most dreaded type of shopping there is on the face of the earth. It's evil when you must do it for yourself and more evil when you have to take your daughter. Fortunately today I only had to go myself. (did i use the word fortunate in conjunction with the phrase "bra shopping" ? yes i spose i did - don't worry it won't happen again).
I am not a big shopper in the first place. I hate, despise and loath clothes shopping. Shoe shopping runs a close second but the winner and still champion most hated shopping of all is for brassieres.
I do of course love shopping for anything paper, fabric, book, craft or food related. Natch, right? I will admit when i was a few pounds lighter i found shopping tolerable but i still didn't find it enjoyable. I just have never gotten it. My older sister looooooves to shop. She is also - on a fat day - a size 0. (Really) She's always liked to dress up - I, on the other hand, have always liked to be comfortable. Wherein lies all the trouble with bra shopping - bras just are never comfortable. Even when they fit delightfully well, and are made of lovely soft, silky fabrics, i would love to go without and I cannot.
So I've been saying for weeks i need to go bra shopping. My current bras need replacing desperately. I've found all kinds of things to do in order to avoid the bra shopping. But today was the day - lets go and get it over with I said.
I talked with my younger sister today before i forced myself into the car and over to the mall. She agreed with me that the main reason bra shopping is so annoying is that once you find a bra you like - its comfortable (as its ever gonna get), it fits properly, its in the colors you need namely white and maybe off white or cream (sorry but who really needs purple, pink, or blue bras?) - once you find the holy grail of bra-dom - they discontinue making it. It is a major slap in the face (or lower). They do the same thing with makeup (think about it - lipstick, eyeshadow.. c'mon you know what i'm talkin about).
Okay so i head over to the lovely Dulles Town Center (yes, not far from the Dulles Airport) and decide to try Macy's. I don't know what i was thinking going to a shopping mall on a "hoiday" however i was able to find a parking space and i made my way to the "intimate apparel" department.
Have any of you been bra shopping lately? Does everyone want a push up bra or something? its just ridiculous. I actually do own one - the last attempt at bra shopping maybe 2-3 months ago - it was the only thing i thought was remotely comfortable. After i got that thang home i found it is only comfortable for maybe an hour. After that you're trying desperately to keep the girls in check.
I will end the suspense and tell you I did indeed find 3 bras - all the same, cotton, Bali. It was a buy two, get one free - total bonus. (oh i forgot to mention - the darned things are not cheap - the slap on the other side of the face).
Whilst i was shopping i meandered through the rest of the department and came upon some lovely pajamas. I love pajamas. Why i never buy them for myself i do not know. The husband has bought me pajamas before (he's bought me the other silly stuff which is more for his enjoyment than mine but i digress) - and they've been the nicest things - all soft and comfy. Well i found 2 pairs of pj bottoms and one set of pajamas (top and bottoms) all from that wonderfully fluffy soft material (i cannot think of the name of it - sorta fleecy). So i treated myself - they were majorly on sale so why the heck not. I deserved it - i bra shopped!
I absolutely cannot wait to put on those pj's.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Crack me up and other cheesecake queries addressed

Okay - here's a picture of the cheesecake sans ze cherries. Yes indeed there is a crack - i'm all cracked up in fact. (course they were all covered with cherries - which may've been the reason the cherries on the top came to be? c'est possible ) I think this is the most cracked out cheesecake i've ever had - usually there's one. And, yes Will i'm sure it is due to the lack of either a bath or a pan of water in the oven. I really should try at least a pan of water in the oven to see the effects on this particular recipe - positive or negative. With the amount of egg white in the recipe I am also curious what that water effect might have. (Baking is so interesting due to the chemistry involved dontcha think?)
As far as the density of the cake - ah - that is what makes it so unique. It is the lightest, fluffiest cheesecake you've ever tasted. More along the lines of a souffle or a mousse. It is realy delicious and anti-diet. Normally you would feel very full after a small piece of cheesecake. This recipe creates a considerably sized cake for starters - a 10 inch pan is large (not the largest one I own mind you). Then imagine the cheesecake being 10 inches instead of the more commercial sized cake - around 8 inches. Then the height of the cake - I'd guess it to be approximately 2 inches. Now slice said big cake up - and put a piece on your plate - your plate is rather full. You'd look at that slice filling up the plate and think - I'm going to be sick if I finish that piece. I'm here to tell you not only will you not be sick, you may ask for seconds. An Aunt Florrie piece perhaps (Aunt Florrie will be a post for another day - suffice it to say for now Aunt Florrie was stingy with the cake ok?) but seconds are not unheard of with this recipe and you'll have enough to go around for a small gathering. It is a great recipe for a nice sized dinner party.
The only drawback to the recipe (other than the cracking) is that it does not slice very cleanly. Refrigerating over nite is practically a must. And when you're slicing, you could have a glass of water nearby to dip your knife into to get a clean cut each slice.
The benefits outweigh the small drawbacks however :-)
Everyone enjoyed their cake last night. My mom had 2 pieces! The woman can eat. My nephew was still full from dinner but i packed him up a piece to eat late last night (as well as some extra for my mom). We have a little less than half the cake left. I will be indulging again tonite fershure. The husband will be returning from his trip tonight. He has been in Delaware at the family beach house doing the yearly cleanup and repair work with his siblings. After all his hard work I am sure he could use a slice. You should have seen his face when he saw that cheesecake in the "2 hour let it stand" stage - it was the - "you made cheesecake and i'm going away and will there be any left for me?" face. Of course I'd make sure there was a piece for him. Silly man - he knows better - after 22 years of marriage I'd leave him cake-free? not happenin' - not no way. not no how.

Saturday, February 17, 2007

All dressed up and ready to eat

Okay, i'm ready!
Going to have to wait a few hours. We're going out to eat at a very nice restaurant and then back here for some o'this :-)

Cheesecake Recipe

Okay here goes
Preheat oven: 300 degrees
1 cup of zwiebach or vanilla wafer crumbs
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup melted butter

Mix that together and line a 1o inch spring form pan

1 lb cream cheese (2 pkgs Philadelphia regular)
5 eggs, separated
1 tsp. vanilla
2 tblsps lemon juice (fresh is best you know)
1 cup sugar
1 lb. sour cream (the real deal - no lite stuff)

Mix cheese and yolks (one at a time), vanilla, lemon juice, sugar until smooth.
Add sour cream, mix until well blended.
Beat egg whites until stiff. Fold in to the cheese mixture.
Spoon filling into spring form pan
Bake 1 hour
Turn off the heat and let it stand in the oven for 1 hour
Remove from oven
Cool in pan 1 hour on wire rack
With spatula, loosen sides and let it stand 2 hours.
Refrigerate :-)
Ok now what you need now is a can of Comstock Cherry Pie filling for the top.
When you're ready to bring this to the table - spoon the cherries on top.

FYI - i use the vanilla wafers not the zwiebach- i throw the wafers in my food processor and mash them to smithereenies! one could do this with zwiebach as well i'm sure. My mom's original recipe was with the zwiebach but hey... i don't have any babies in the house munching on zwiebach - not that i ever let them have one in the first place but i digress.... as per u-s-ual.
also today when i made the crust i ended up doubling the recipe just for the crust. it didn't seem thick enough and i wanted lots o'crust. not necessary but not a bad idea if you kwim :-)

I'm sure Gourmet or Bon Appetit or The next Food network star (will) or Top Chef Chefs will say - oh how could you put that gosh darned awful Comstock Cherry Pie filling on top - you MUST put some fresh fruit on top. (i love both magazines and both reality chef shows. they are wonderful however ~)
This chef sez fuggedaboudit.
I'm sorry but the cherry pie filling is AWESOME in combo with the tartness of the cheesecake and the sweetness of the crust. You really won't be sorry i swear - its just scrumptious -
truly :-)
i will post a picture with the cherry pie filling on top tomorrow -
bon appetit!

Friday, February 16, 2007

Company is coming

My sister, nephew and his girlfriend are coming down to visit for the weekend. It will be nice - it's been a while since they've visited. Last time we saw them it was for my nephew's 30th birthday party. That was in the fall. So we're all due.
Course company coming has always meant cleaning and food preparation to me (therefore exhaustion). Since i was little whenever we'd have company my mother would go into a frenzy. The house that was already tidy would be practically scoured. Everything was shined up and vacuumed and by the time the company would actually arrived we were all sick of the idea of company. My mom would have gone a little nuts with the cleaning and then there would be some very involved cooking that would just make her seem a little crazy to those of us around her. I mean what was the big schmeel anyhow? People come over to see you - not your house and we'd eat anything right? Well not to my mother - it meant putting on ze dog. Actually when i think back on it - she wanted to just make them feel very special. Making the house look nice of course was a reflection on her - but also for the comfort of her guests. And making something special to eat - just another way to make her company feel they were honored people in our home. And let me tell you - my mother could cook - she still can but now its a little much for her. But the woman is known far and wide for her wonderful food. She can take a box of tuna helper and turn it into fine cuisine - swear to God. And even if she didn't actually cook the food (now and again we'd get things catered) the woman knew how to make it look beautiful. I remember one occasion - it may've been my grandparents golden anniversary party? Whatever - a pan of lasagna disappeared. It became a long standing joke about that pan of lasagna - what happened to it we never did find out but we knew someone was eating pretty darned good is all. Cos Theresa made that lasagna. And she could make lasagna. The Irish girl made better Italian food than any of my Italian uncles families - no arguments from anyone.
So, one would expect that one of my mother's children would inherit her love of cooking, right?
That would be moi. I do love to cook. The sister that is visiting doesn't have the patience for cooking, The other sister is a fine cook as well except she's a vegan so her repertoire is a little limited for the rest of us. So, while i do some mad cleaning on occasion (like today - i vacuumed and cleaned and shined - so much so the cats went to the far corners of the house for fear of getting sucked up by the hoover) i do enjoy cooking something fun for company. On a day to day basis, at least lately, i have fallen into a boring routine of dinner fare. With company coming i try to think up something yummy to serve my guests (i am not named Junior for nuthin - yes, I'm a Theresa too).
Of course the first thing that pops into my mind is dessert. We must have priorities you know. i haven't come up with anything to serve for dinner yet but i do know we're having cheesecake for dessert. Not just any old cheesecake neither. My mother's recipe is the only thing i'd bother making. If you're going to do cheesecake - this is what you want. No Jello Cheesecake for us PULEEZ. That is not cheesecake kids. I'll be back later with the recipe. it is, without a doubt, the best cheesecake ever.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Valentine Rakarama

well since most of you have received yours i feel i can post this years edition. I've been sending my dear girlfriends valentines the last few years and i just couldnt let this year be the year i didn't. Yeah i had other crap going on (i always have some nonsense going on that keeps me from making things!) - but these ladies - well you all mean so much to me. I have been the recipient of many lovely cards and gifts from them. I had to do it. I was dying to do it :-)

Other years i usually had something in mind when i made my valentines. The first year i saw a darling fabric in a local store - looked like vintage valentines. I didnt keep a picture of those unfortunately but i do have some of the fabric left. The next year i made these

and last year i made this one
This year - well i wasn't sure what i would do. I was looking online at a cute project made by Michele of Purple Onion Designs - check it out here - - scroll down to the wonderful slide mount hanging with her faboo vintage calendar stamp. The papers or stamps she used on that made me think of this lovely stamp from StampinUp! - floral background stamp. I added Purple Onions script stamp as well as the mini-sentiments stamps - and voila - i had my card.

I should mention the valentine gods were working against me - i ran out of clear embossing powder while i was making these. (amazing - do you really ever run out of ep? i swear i didnt think it possible but i'm here to say - yes you can use it all up!) I should qualify that. I ran out of my pristine clear embossing powder (my pristine jar - has no other ep's mixed into it. early on i found that when you emboss sometimes you get little bits of powder stuck in your ep tray - and it taints the stuff you put into it on the next ep adventure. My solution to this problem was to get another ep tray that i only use for clear ep'ing. yes that's just how anal retentive i can be!) so i had to use my less than pristine jar on the last few cards. i cringed on the last few cards hoping no bits of silver ep would get into it. nothing seemed to really show - especially since i did a white wash of acrylic over the ep... did any of you notice the white wash? anyway... i had an extra little heart with bow and decided i'd add a little card to my son's valentine box (i made him his favorite cookies - oatmeal chocolate chip) here's that silly monkey again
if i get back to this blog later today (two posts already and i'm considering a third.. yegods!) i will post a little cd holder i made for mdv for his gift (a cd of our songs)

Greetings from the frozen south

The frozen south (that is sorta like frozen hot chocolate isn't it? i'll have to talk about that another day) - yup its a frozen valentine's day here in northern virginia. The county i live in has already called off school for tomorrow - and it wasn't even noon when that email was received. Sorta gives you an idea of what the weather is like - we had a lot o'sleet yesterday - all day and night. My darling valentine went out this morning to survey the situation - he thought he'd be heading out to a meeting he had in Baltimore (which is approximately 1-1/2 hours from where we live) - and said he was going out to clear off things and be ready to leave when the time came. Well he returned about 5 minutes later - with a chuckle he said there is 5 inches of sleet with a nice layer of ice on top of that - i'm not going anywhere. He's been working from home all day which i find quite nice on this Valentine's Day.

Normally we get up at 5:30 and get the daughter on the bus at 6:25. Her school lies in the next county over and, as they refused to make a declaration last night, her dad (previously called my darling valentine :-) - we'll refer to him as mdv for the rest of the day) woke up early to check the closings and found EVERYTHING was closed. So mdv let me sleep in - i woke up at 8:00 am! Ok - thats enough on the weather folks...

I have been keeping busy. That closed door opened a new one that's for sure. My time seems to be taken up by chauffeuring these days. Not my favorite activity however it is what it is. I took up a new little hobby - Knitting. Actually i have knitted before - i believe i was perhaps 5 or 6 and my grandmother taught me. I know that seems young but i'm sure that must be correct given my memories of that grandmother and where we lived at the time. (i was always a precocious little crafter LOL) Anyway, i'd be thinking about trying my hand at it again and the opportunity jumped up at me in the form of a butt ugly hat. .... Of course i'll explain ;-)

My mom is undergoing radiation treatments at the moment (benign tumor reappears - no film at 11). She went to the center beginning this month. It has been particularly cold here lately and the kind ladies at the center asked my mom if she had a hat - to keep her warm and also because she might, in time, lose her lovely red hair (yes, it's still red. she does enhance the red a bit but redheads don't grey young. she's got only the tiniest bit of grey around her ears... ) My mom said no, she didn't have a hat. She says she's always had trouble with getting hats to fit -big head. My daughter also has this problem. She says big head - big brains - touche lizziebelle. So the lovely center ladies presented my mom with a knitted hat, made by some good kids who make them as community service projects for the center. Enter butt ugly hat. "how ugly is it?" Well, its a concoction of colors - black, green, yellow, orange, red. It is a primary colored collection of hideous yarns. However, it fits and it is warm - so says the wearer - although she agrees it is one U-G-LEE hat.

So there was my opportunity - in the form of that hat. I looked online and found what promised to be a delightfully easy pattern. I went to a few local craft stores and found needles and yarn (a lovely deep wedgewood blue that would enhance my mom's pretty hair and match her beautiful blue eyes). I watched a few online knitting videos and off i went. In the meantime i found i also needed some double pointed needles. These were not so easy to locate locally - the size eluded me wherever i went. So i ordered those online ( is having 40% off everything - check it out people) and they arrived yesterday - just in time for me as i'd gotten to that point in the knitting. If i had a yarn needle I would be done with this today but i'm gonna post my hat now - with the double pointed needles still on it. I have to say this knitting was most relaxing and fun. I love doing projects that make me feel capable LOL. If you have any inclination toward knitting - give it a try - its not hard at all and look at the cute hat you can make!

Saturday, February 03, 2007

One door closes, another one opens

seems life is all about this huh? one door closing and another opening. endings and beginnings.
well this week i closed the door literally and figuratively.
Most of you know i worked at a scrapbook store. One of the few chain scrapbook stores. And on Wednesday i finished packing it up and closing the door forever. Yes, it was a little sad. And i was glad i had the last hour there to myself to look around (yes, and take pictures :-) - i always take pictures right?) and say goodbye. Close that door on this chapter in my life.
I started there a little over 4 years ago. I was at yet another crossroads in my life then. My brother had passed away unexpectedly in April of 2002. I needed to get back to work - i'd left another job right after he died. It wasn't for me. Had nothing to do with what i'm about but it did provide a paycheck and sometimes life requires you to do that right? I decided that life was passing me by - i could be dead tomorrow - siblings passing away kinda hits you in the face with facts like these. A new scrapbook store opened and i decided why not apply there and do something i actually like - what a concept huh? I did and got the job. I appeared for my first day of work at the end of November 2002.
Over the years there i met some wonderful co-workers and some wonderful customers. I could tell a million stories about the people. The good and the bad but i won't bore you with all those. Maybe one day - cos there are some tear jerkers and some jerks :-) I went through 3 managers and ended up becoming the manager for the last few months (i'd avoided being the manager like the plague as i have a very full life outside of work and being a manager wasn't going to fit in with my priorities - my family first).
The last month i will say was absolutely on the list of most difficult experiences in my life. (and as many of you know i've had some pips... 2 brain surgeries for my mom, my brother passing away... ) Both physically and emotionally.
Fortunately i had some really wonderful co-workers - they did their best to assist me in all ways possible and i really couldnt thank them enough.
My family stood by me - and believe me that was tough cos i wasnt in the best shape many days. Out of 31 days in January i stayed home for 3 days. I was exhausted (heck - i still am).
My husband - well he is just the best man in the world - i knew it before but he reaffirmed his superman status once again -his love, support and assistance - Imagine this - in his suit and tie with a hammer breaking down some fixtures that i didnt sell. I wish i'd had my camera that night but it will be indelibly etched in my memory. Never complaining - just that letsgetthisdone attitude. After a full days work of his own.
My son is, as you know, away at college but i know if he'd been here he'd have been right next to his dad :-) My teenaged daughter - every night i'd get home and she would ask me how i was and i just would look at her and she'd hold her hands out and give me a huge hug and kiss. I'm a lucky woman - aren't I? i mean most people are complaining about their teenagers - it is the time of life when one is most self-involved right? Well - not this kid. She is just amazing my lizziebelle. :-)
Onto the customers. I have to say i got a little exasperated at times. I guess its just my way but i dont think i would be asking employees of a closing store "where are you going now?" "are you going to work at that other store". It's just not something i would ask - it isn't any of my business - but i guess that's just me? Oh i'm not talking about the customers i knew well - i understood their concerns - and genuine interest in my well being. I'm talking about the people i barely ever saw shop in the store. I just thought it odd. whatever.
I heard the question "why are they closing" a ba-zillion times. What could i say - and really what would it matter? In the grand scheme of things - to their lives - what would it matter? Bottom line is we were closing - it really doesn't matter what their reasons were - they are a corporation and this is - simply put - business.
Of course for me - it was more than a business and more than just a store :-) And for some of the customers i know it was also more than a store. How do i know? well - this is the part where i'm gonna get all teary eyed again. So many wonderful customers - nay - friends - i made. Well i guess i just didnt realize. There are the special customers - the ones i would looked forward to seeing when they came into the store. Well apparently they felt the same way and took the time to let me know it. They came in and made sure they talked to me - and it was a crazy place the last two weeks - but they made sure i knew how much they'd miss the place - and me. We exchanged phone numbers, email addresses. They gave me their cards. They hugged me and cried and made me cry. :-) The good kinda cry. These women I will see again. I have no doubt. The one that really sent me over the edge was totally a surprise however. And so i will end this with that little story.
The store closed on Saturday. It was Monday or Tuesday. (it's a big blur now but the store had to be vacated on wednesday so i was definitely frazzled). I was working by myself at the time and was near the front of the store and i could see a woman walking through the parking lot towards the store. I thought "oh no.. someone coming to shop again" - this had happened since Sunday - people who apparently didnt know we were closing coming up and finding the store closed. Well as she got closer i recognized her. A lovely woman who had been shopping at the store probably not long after i began. Her oldest daughter was then 2 (now 6) and she was pregnant with the second. When i first met her she was just so very pleasant and wanted help with a few things - I recall her wanting these premade pocket pages we sold. We were out at the time and she wanted more - she was the kind of customer you just love to help. Anyway as i recall i told her we'd order them for her - she was concerned about picking them up by the time they came in as she was due with that second baby pretty soon. Anyway it all worked out just fine and i'd see her periodically throughout the years. Sometimes she'd bring a friend with her and they'd shop. As with many customers in the store, i watched her girls grow up. :-)
So - there she was at the door - and i mouthed through the glass - we're closed. She mouthed back "i know". I opened the door and she said to me "i just wanted to say goodbye and to thank you for all the help you've given me". Well i broke down there and just cried. She went on to tell me (while giving me a hug) i wanted you to know that - you were always so nice, with a big smile on your face, and you always helped me so much. You helped me save my memories for my girls. You made a difference."
So with that i'll end this. I should mention one other customer (another favorite) saying to me "where are am I going to go now? This was the place to go". And so it was.