So, obviously I haven’t been writing on the blog too much lately, but I’ve had a couple people encourage me to get back to it, so here goes.

I had a very productive day today – starting with voting and ending with buying a vacuum cleaner, but more about that later.

My work time in between was also productive. I worked at home so had no interruptions and diligently did the January issue of KidsPrint, answered several e-mails that required detailed explanation, wrote a blog post (for apPARENTlyblogging) and then conquered AND completed a major editing assignment. Felt so good to accomplish what I set out to accomplish.


1. Voting. I am SO glad this election is over. And I know everyone else is, too. So many phone calls! So many TV commercials. So much junk in the mail. Even a flyer on my windshield when I came out of the library on Saturday. STOP! When I’m president, I will make a rule. All candidates can list how they stand on the issues – just one piece of paper with bullet points. They may have an additional ten bullet points to list things their opponents voted for that they wouldn’t. That’s it. No name calling and no personal attacks. I can read. I can figure it out for myself. Case closed.

2. Sunday the two munchkin girls and I (oh, excuse me it was actually Cleopatra and Daphne from Scooby Do) headed up to the mall where stores were offering “treats.” (I told them I was dressed as a fun grandma and one of them said, “You’re always a fun grandma.”  Do I hear the “ahs?”)

Anyhow, being a fun grandma, but also the grandma of these two homeschooled munchkins, we turned our walk through the stores into a lesson in marketing.  I explained that offering candy to kids was a good marketing tool because it got us into stores that we don’t ordinarily go to.  And even though we didn’t buy anything at the time, we now knew what the stores had to offer.  I explained that the stores that had “no candy” signs on the front were using bad marketing because people would remember that when they were at the mall to actually buy things.

We were especially impressed with the toy store who gave out Silly Bandz with the candy. (Something that connected the store with the treat.) But the marketing meter went way up at California Pizza Kitchen, because they gave out candy AND a free kids meal with an adult meal. I pointed out that was VERY good marketing because it guaranteed most of us would be back. It was funny listening to them analyze the marketing at each place. I’m sure the clerk had to smile when we went into a sandwich shop and when handed a coupon for buy one, get one free sandwich, one of the munchkins said, “Now, THAT’S good marketing.”

So, we had quite a lesson in P.R.

3. Saturday I went out to breakfast with a friend and we ended up talking a couple hours which we always do. I could actually consider talking to her work, because with my new focus on Tweens through Teens she gives me a good picture of what is happening in the middle school/high school arena and I appreciate it.

4. Last night I was with my Scotland roommate. I appreciate Paula’s friendship so much. We have had such similar experiences and reactions to our husbands’ deaths – I thank the Lord for having someone who truly understands what I’m feeling.

No matter what kind of difficult situation you are facing, I strongly encourage you to find someone who has had a similar experience. You can support each other. Even if you need to make an effort to find someone – there’s a reason why the Lord has so many verses on friendship in the Bible – including Proverbs 27:27: As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another. We need our family and friends.

5. Oh, yeah, the vacuum cleaner. Actually Ken decided we needed a new vacuum cleaner back in 2003, but I’ve been struggling along with the old one, all the time knowing I needed a new one.

Well, the dog has had an epiphany. If the munckins and their parents aren’t looking and I’m in Montana or Minnesota – no one really knows if he’s sleeping on the carpet. (He wouldn’t go near the carpet before this last year.) But yeah, now he’s not even being all that sneaky about it. So now, getting a good, pick-up-the-pet-hair vacuum was necessary.

So, I headed to Target. Now, I know Dyson is supposed to be the best pet-hair picker upper there is. In fact, one other time I was looking at vacuums at Target, this guy came up to me and said. “If you have a pet, buy a Dyson. My wife said we should and I didn’t want to spend that much, but I’m glad we did because it works.”

But no way was I spending $600.00 on a vacuum. Then I found a Bissell for $179.00, plus a $20.00 gift card and I thought that made a lot more sense. So I brought it home – and figured out how to screw the pieces together and vacuumed.

(I’m slowly working through all the many things that got behind the last four months – not that I haven’t vacuumed for four months, but every TIME I DID vacuum, I would think, “I really need a NEW vacuum cleaner.)

Now if I could just figure out that garbage disposal. (Yes, I know about the reset button, but that’s not doing the trick this time.)

Anyhow productive day.

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