Friday, June 18, 2010

...and it could be yours!!!!

Not your typical June Cleaver Thanksgiving Day apron (to say the absolute least)!!!
Drumstick anyone?

Sunday, May 9, 2010

A Transformation....

I'm sure some of you (okay maybe none of you) have been wondering where I have been. Well along with the chaos of regular life that I'm sure all of are experiencing with end of school and the beginning of summer upon us, we have been in the middle of a remodel.

I will have to say that the regular chaos has been totally and utterly consumed by the fact that we have been living in the midst of remodeling some of our home now that we own it. Since I was last here we have gotten out of debt only to get back in by purchasing our house. And almost immediately after the closing we stared to remodel the kitchen.

Jim had a vision and the ability to execute it. So after much discussion, planning, searching, researching and more trips to Dallas to go to IKEA then I care to count we have gone from this...

to now having this wonderful, amazing, built by the husband's own hands, designer kitchen....

We still have a few more finishing touches, along with at least one more trip to IKEA...but yesterday we had a Mother's Day dinner for family and everything worked great. I even think my macaroni and cheese tasted better than usual. Can a new updated kitchen make your old recipes taste better?
Well hopefully I will be able to be back here a little more regularly. Hope all is well with all of you.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Two old men still Rockin"

Two stars, two pianos, two full bands, crowd going crazy. It was incredible. I think it may have been worth paying the $175 a ticket, if I would have had to pay...but I didn't. I may however need a trip to the ear specialist to restore my normal hearing. All in all a wonderful Anniversary.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

The sweetness and the sorrow

When I arrived at the store one day last week I was greeted with this jacket. I am often greeted with bags of plastic walmart sacks, sometimes homeless who have slept in the alcove, sometimes people making a mad dash for the city bus. But on this day I saw both the sweetenss of someone going out of their way to make sure we got this jacket and the sorrow that maybe this coat had so much significance that it was worthy of a soltary trip to be dropped of, nothing else accompianied it, just the jacket.

He looked up and saw rich people putting their gifts into the treasury; he also saw a poor widow put in two small copper coins. He said, "Truly I tell you, this poor widow has put in more than all of them; for all of them have contributed out of their abundance, but she out of her poverty has put in all she had to live on."
Luke 21:1-4

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

What the heck is this?

A single item today-- a couple of the guesses from the staff were some sort of can opener or some kind of utility hook. Do you have any thoughts? Whatever it is you can purchase it for the bargain price of .50. Com'on over for a closer look.

Monday, February 22, 2010

You just know it has to be a scam....

I entered a contest a few weeks ago and then entered a couple of additional times throughout the allotted time period, which by the way was supposed to be over today, Feb. 22. Time goes by and I kinda forgot all about it.

Skip ahead... last Thursday I received an email saying that I was a runner up in the contest and they wanted to offer me two tickets. The email gave instructions on what I had to do to be eligible for these tickets. I followed the instructions and figured it was probably just some sort of scam. I figured if they wanted to offer me tickets they meant for some sort of $$$ deal.

I was telling Jim about the email and we decided we would go check it out this morning and see what happened. Jim told me under know circumstances was I to pay anything for these tickets, because he was mad at the cost of this particular concert and was not paying for it.

I sheepishly went up to the ticket office and showed her my email and told her I was sure it was a scam but I had to check it out. She looked it over and asked to see my ID and low and behold my name was on the list because I had followed the email's instructions and she handed me two FREE tickets to the Elton John/Billy Joel concert. Unbelievable!!!

Jim is a huge Elton John fan and really wanted to attend this concert but would not pay the ticket price. This is the only way he would've gone. I know you're not gonna believe this part-- the concert is this Thursday, February 25th, which just happens to be our 21st anniversary.

So, Happy Anniversary, honey!! LYMI

Friday, February 19, 2010

Every penny counts...

At the store Thursday we received a dining table and chairs. I wish I had taken a picture of it being carried into the store as the leg fell off, but I missed that. Anyway....we are really short on furniture at the moment so in an attempt to get the most we can out of this donation we went to work to change it's worth.

We screwed the leg back on with reinforcements, we used scratch cover and a shiny layer of old english to make it shine. And then we used donated staples and a staple gun, donated upholstery fabric, and lots of manpower and changed....



Now what seemed like a donation worth maybe $60 --is now a wonderfully clean and polished dining room table and four chairs priced at $125. That $60+ difference could buy 7000lbs. of food from the regional food bank. I love my new job!

Thursday, February 18, 2010


Jenna had her first showchoir contest yesterday. They had to be at school, on the bus at 6:00am, yes in the freaking AM! Plus she went with hair done and make-up started. So that backs us up to about 4:40am Wednesday. I am tired just remembering it. Anyway....

At about 12:30 she texted me just to touch base. I have to admit that I am a reluctant texter. I understand it's versatility and it's many uses but I never was much of a typist and it seems to take me forever to text out a message, so I was so proud of my abbreviation skills when I responded

Me: R U tired?

to which my, obviously not keyboard challenged, daughter responded

Jenna: Surprisingly, No.

Really? Surprisingly? Which even now while typing on a full sized keyboard I spelled wrong both times I typed it. Kids?!! Such show-offs!! TTFN--TTYL.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

What the Heck is this?

When reorganizing and cleaning out the kitchen gadget area of the store we came upon quite a few items without explanation. Any thoughts?

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

A little reminder...

Two parts of this reminder--

  1. Be sure and check your pockets before you donate old coats.
  2. Be sure all the things were done on your to do list before you donated it. It is quite possible that the person on this list never got a sympathy card for her loss in 1997.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Movin' on up...maybe not so much.

2010 is bringing major changes to our lives. One of the biggest is that we are trying to become home owners. Gotta take advantage of that $8000 tax credit!

We thought the process we be a little simpler for us than for most people. We don't need the help of Suzanne Wong (does House Hunters really need a host?) and HGTV because we want to buy the house we already live in. We have effectively eliminated the hardest step. In addition, we're buying the house from my mom, so no price negotiations. Best of all--No Moving.

So we had to have the appraiser come out,which is a requirement of the loan process, and we needed to make sure the price we agreed on wasn't too high or too low. We live in an older home folks, we know that it has some updates that need to be done, you know all the normals--bathrooms--kitchen--windows--carpet--(wait, why are we buying this house?). I digress--because that's what bloggers do.

But what amazes me most about the appraisal was that the man took pictures of my family room (well he took pictures of everything) but the pictures of the family room were to show the datedness (is that a word?) of the decor. Now first let's remember that we actually live in the house and we actually chose the decor. Second --all together now --let's say --she made it look that way on purpose!! Really-- I know that it is not 1969!

And the other thing--it's not like I'd leave the decor with the house when I go. Anyway...,my feelings were just a little hurt that he didn't want to embrace my retro room for what it is...RETRO!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

A whole new world...and not in a good way.

A few things have happened in the past few weeks that have changed me. I have always thought that when celebrities and the likes try to tell me how my life should be and what I should think about products, morals, religion, politics and whatever else they think they know it all about that they are so out of touch with mainstream America, phooey on them. I go on with my middle class life and think that I know what Americans think and how they live and what they should believe and then BAM....

...a woman (the grandmother) comes into the store and has three children under the age of 3 with her and she is keeping them while their mom is in prison. The youngest is probably 2 months old, the next just 10 months older than the first. Mom went to prison just after the older one was born and must have been pregnant with the second. She's hoping that the daughter gets out in May. In the meantime, she takes them to visitation day and tries to help her create a bond and hopes to help her went she gets home.

...a woman that I have known a while comes into the store and she is fostering three small children under the age of 3 whose mother is 22 years old completely on her own. The father and the grandfather have probably abused the children and are in prison the mother wants the children back but works the overnight shift at Wal-Mart and has absolutely no support system here. The case worker is headed to a hearing to recommend terminating her rights.

...a man walks into the store and he has obviously been a pulp beaten...His wounds have been treated but are still fresh. He is walking with a cane and shaking uncontrollably. He is coming in for a purpose--he knows Glen (the former manager) will give him a ride home. He has taken the bus from the Downtown Medical Center to the bus stop at store's corner. I know not to take him alone so myself and another employee take him home, if he even had a home, we're still not sure. The conversation between this man and my employee is about how many times they have been attacked and how they know better than to be out at night....etc. This is their world. employee's daughter shows up at home in the wee hours Sunday morning after having been out with a friend that they have warned her numerous times about. She is bleeding so badly the my employee is sure that she is going to die. She describes the scene to me with tears rolling down her face. She has been attacked by a gang of girls that were after the friend. She has been stabbed and cut with box knives. She drives herself home because no one would call 911, and when the police were called the friend won't give the names of the gang of girls. The friend walked away with out a scratch. My employee's daughter has staples in her head, a stitched wound 12 inches long from her forehead to mid throat (which I saw), a chest wound and a shoulder wound. My daughter is safe in bed in her middle class home.

These are just a few of the stories I have from the last few days--countless others come through the doors daily. My world is small, safe and protected. I am grateful. I hope in the gratefulness I am also compassionate, merciful, gracious, understanding, and tenderhearted.

"The King will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.'"
Matthew 25:40

Monday, February 1, 2010

The Trolls perspective...

At our Small Group Christmas Party, which due to unforeseen circumstances, was actually celebrated on New Year's Eve, we had our now traditional Dirty Santa gifts and our party raffle prizes. I will have to tell you that our Raffle prizes are now becoming something of a challenge -- I always feel the need to have some great prizes--a theme that ties into the game choice--random unisex prizes--etc.. The theme changed with this party--because now I am the manager of a thrift store --so the raffle prizes took on a life of their own. I brought all kinds of raffle prizes that you never knew you needed or were certain you didn't want. But the anticipation of what you might have to open was quite fun. We had a range of prizes from a set of four 35th anniversary Wal-Mart glasses, NKOTB (original) board game, a huge purple stuffed ape, and troll dolls. Everyone went home with something equally remarkable.

My friend Tonya ended up with won the Troll dolls. It so happened that we were planning a little New Year's getaway the next day to Great Wolf Lodge and when we arrived at their house to depart these two little guys were eagerly anticipating the trip.

So let me tell you that a great time was had by all participants, especially the troll dolls.

Trolls at the Waterpark area--

Trolls at Grapevine Mall--

Trolls at lunch--yummy chicken-n-dumplins

Trolls enjoying the Cabana--gotta have me some football.
Trolls enjoying the breakfast buffet

Buckled in and ready to head for home

The Bales-Smith end of vacation tradition of dinner at Chili's. No vacation is complete without it, no matter how tired, worn-out, sick, or loopy we might be.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Saturday at home...

Lounging on the couch Saturday with my daughter while watching Legally Blonde and the conversation went something like this...

CiCi's commercial is on, the one where the woman stuffs the whole cinnamon roll into her mouth at the end (yuck--it does not entice me to go there)...

Jenna: "Let's go there."

Me: "where?, to CiCi's??, I ask in surprise.

Jenna : "Yeah"

Me: "Really?"

Jenna: Yeah, we can go there in our pajamas"

Me: "In our Pajamas?"

Jenna: "Yeah, it's not a very fancy restaurant."

I'm now expecting Stacey and Clinton to knock on our door any minute to tell us that have been secretly filming us and sweep us away to their studio.....

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

What the Heck is this?

Okay, I think the giraffe thingy is probably some kind of nightmarish trinket box, and I'm pretty sure the other item is missing some parts--which is why we get most things. Come by and see the store for yourselves...we'd love to have you visit.

Sorry for the quality of the photos, my camera battery died as I took the second photo.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Happy Anniversary to Me...

I can't believe I almost let this day pass by without a word about the significance of it. One year ago today I posted my first blog post. It was something totally goofy about the moon. It meant absolutely nothing to anyone, including me.

It held significance because it started me on a journey that I never intended to be on. It all started because I wanted to be able to share vacation photos with Jenna's friends family when we took her to Walt Disney World last March. So in trying to prepare for that event I stared a blog. It has taken me so much farther than just posting a trip report.

What have I learned this year as I became a blogger...
  • I have friends that started out as mere acquaintances.
  • Other people are as Disney Crazy as me.
  • That when a particular friend of mine mentions me on her blog my readership skyrockets.
  • I now know who "The Pioneer Woman" is and have friends who have been to her ranch.
  • Blogging was a great record of the past year's events
  • It has given me an outlet for my cynicism and my idealism.
  • When my life took a new road this year the blog gave me a place to share the journey.
  • It has introduced me to a new vocabulary about social networking.
  • It gives me one more outlet to brag about my daughter.
  • I have learned to carry my camera with me, cause you never know...
  • Hidden Mickeys are everywhere.
  • I love the blogger community, thanks letting me part of it.

Here's to a great upcoming year. I hope that as my life takes twists and turns you'll be here with me. I imagine that this year will bring a whole new set of circumstances as this new job matures into a greater ministry opportunity than I ever imagined. Keep me and the Reaching Our City, Inc. organization in your prayers. Grace and Peace to you and yours.

Monday, January 4, 2010

HMM 12

The first HMM of the new year. This is a great HMM but it was rather a hard picture to get seeing that I was driving my car at the time. I got some really good ones, then I realized that you could read the tag number so I tried again with this result. Happy HMM hunting.
Have a Magical Hidden Mickey Day.