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June 21, 2012 at 5:13 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

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Still alive – just sayin’

June 21, 2012 at 2:18 am | Posted in health | Leave a comment
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Yes, I’m still alive. Thanks to the bronchitis that wouldn’t quit I’ve been laid up on the couch, hacking up a lung for much longer than any normal person would expect. I finally cried “uncle!” yesterday and took myself to the doctor. Now I’m taking my antibiotics and worrying about the good bacteria that it is killing off. I read recently that taking antibiotics messes with your body’s ability to know when your stomach is full and so it neglects to send out the hormone that tells you that you’ve eaten enough. The study suggested that our huge population of fatties (the scientific term) was likely due to this.

Also, i learned while reading a random poster at the doctor’s office that 95% of your sertonin is generated in your intestines. So maybe antibiotics are to blame for depression too since it kills off the good stuff in your intestines.

Anyhoo…. on the mend. Still coughing my head off but there is hope in sight so…. yay.

GOODWILL OUTLET

June 8, 2012 at 10:34 pm | Posted in budget, Goodwill, NEAT STUFF, recycle, shopping, thrifting, thrifty, treasure hunting, Vintage | Leave a comment
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So here and there I’ve mentioned Maine’s first Goodwill Outlet called “Buy-The-Pound”. It’s located in the Gorham Industrial Park, off route 25.

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The wonderful thing that differentiates the outlet from the standard gw location is that the more you buy, the cheaper it is! Here is the basic pricing structure:

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If you find something wonderful but unusually heavy (and not cloth), ask an employee for a price. They are super nice. The furniture and appliances usually have a WHITE price tag with the outlet price. If you see a price tag of any other color, just ignore it. Those are the old prices from when they were for sale at the original GW location.

Here is a series of photos taken from the vantage point just inside the entrance looking from left to right.

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The bag bin contains purses, totes, hats, gloves, scarves, belts, and other random accessories.

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There is a set of large double doors at the back of this wall and as they open, you can watch them roll out the newly refilled bins. They emerge to replace a few of the existing long bins every couple hours.

The two bins of each row, closest to the entrance are taken away every couple of  hours. Then the two bins at the back of the row are pushed over to replace the ones toward the entrance. Then they will bring out two new bins to fill in the row. This is important to know because you will want to look through the bins that are about to be taken away. You will also want to pay attention when they start to roll away the “old” bins because, as soon as they are gone, the new “fresh”, refilled bins will be emerging soon!

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There are lightbulbs and empty outlets for you to test anything with a plug. I’ve purchased lamps, a breadmaker, and other items from these shelves and every one of them worked Great!

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This includes toys, pictures, kitchen items, you name it – anything that isn’t cloth.

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Once the bins have been picked over, any remaining pots & pans, rugs, dishes, pictures, books, stuffed toys, and luggage are taken out and put into their respective areas of the store.

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The restrooms have always been neat and clean. You go out the “exit” door into the main part of the warehouse and follow the green and white tape on the floor to find the restrooms.

You’ll notice in this photo that there are several filled shopping carts along the wall. STAY AWAY from them! These are the treasures that other people have gathered. If you fill a cart but have more treasures yet to gather, you park your full cart there so that you can get yourself another one and continue shopping. (Word to the wise…. You may want to cover your full cart with a sheet or blanket so that your treasures don’t tempt anyone. Out of sight, out of mind.)

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(This is one of my fav treasures found there.)

Happy Thrifting!!

What’s A Starbucks Girl To Do?

June 8, 2012 at 7:35 pm | Posted in coffee, Food and Drink, JUST DUMB, Starbucks, Travel | Leave a comment
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So….when times are tough and the day has beaten the life outta me, I turn the wheel and my faithful minivan/mom-mobile heads to the closest source of quality caffeine – Starbucks.

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The downside of living in a town (actually it might really be considered a “village” since the population is so small – one of these days I really should find out) instead of a city, is that there are no coffee shops nearby. The closest Starbucks location is a rest stop on hwy 95. Since Maine is classier than those people “running on Dunkin'” over in Massachusetts, all of OUR rest stops have a Starbucks inside. (I tell you, no state was longer to drive across on my last roadtrip than MA. ONLY mcD’s and Skunkin’ Dunkin’ for what felt like a thousand miles!)

Fortunately there is a backside access to our rest stops so that the locals don’t have to take the hwy (and pay the tolls) to get there. The first time I found my way there, I did a little happy dance of joy!

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Recently, all of our rest stops have been getting a little added flair. One has a giant metal moose sculpture, another has a large metal sculpture of another example of Maine wildlife. Up until recently, the Grey location was without such decorations. Someone apparently thought this should be remedied. Unfortunately, the latest addition leaves something to be desired.

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Instead of an impressive artistic rendering of a majestic animal, WE got a pair of fiberglass deer that look like they,d be right at home on a put-put golf course. Or possibly a backwoods grandma’s trailer park lawn. Seriously – I suspect they were purchased from Walmart’s lawn and garden section. They are SO sad.

And last week, they put up a little plaque in front of them.
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I decided to get a closer look to see if maybe their true purpose was to educate the public on the local deer population or some other informative tidbit. Unfortunately, even the plaque was disappointing. It instructs the observer to look but don’t touch the deer. I guess in addition to their being cheap looking, they are fragile as well.

Welcome to Gray, y’all!

Mid-century Modern on the Cheap

June 8, 2012 at 6:41 pm | Posted in Goodwill, shopping, thrifting, thrifty, treasure hunting, Vintage | Leave a comment
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At one of our recent trips to the local Goodwill Outlet (ours is called “Buy-the-pound” and is located in Gorham, Maine), the girls and I found this mid-century modern bench type couch. It looked very Danish in design. My husband can barely stand all the Mad Men-esque stuff already filling our home so, alas, I had to leave the gorgeous thing at the store.

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*sigh*

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SO awesome – you have no idea

June 5, 2012 at 9:32 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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“I am awesome beyond all human understanding!!!”

I’m thinking that should be my new personal catch phrase. It’s less offensive than my old favorite (to be said with a cocked head, an Elvis snarl, and hands like cocked guns) “Suck It.”.

Anyone else out there have a favorite catch phrase? For a while I favored the Princess Bride line, “As you wishhh”. But that just seemed so servitude-ish. As it is, whenever I hear someone say the words, “It’s possible”, I can’t help myself….I’m COMPELLED to say “PIG!”. If you’re from my generation and (sadly) can say all the lines in Princess Bride along with the characters, you’ll know what I’m talking about.

The generation before mine was all about Caddyshack (never seen more than commercials for it featuring golfers and a gopher puppet peeking out of the ground) or Animal House (another one I’ve never seen. Now Airplane was a movie chock full of quotable lines….(First person: “What do you make of it?” Second person: “Well, i could make a hat, a pterodactyl, a brooch…”) or the priceless, “Boy, I sure picked the wrong week to stop sniffing glue.”

Overlapping and following my generation were quoters of Napoleon Dynomite. Seems like there are some other quotable movies like that but I can’t think of them at the moment. Maybe after I’ve reached my prescribed caffeine intake, it will come to me. In the meantime, can you drop me a comment and let me know the movies I’ve missed quoting from?

Cheers!

-Lady Blah Blah

New Windham Goodwill

June 1, 2012 at 9:28 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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Last week the bigger brand new Windham Goodwill opened its doors for the first time. The old location was small and, except for their books, there was not ever enough space to have much of a selection. The construction of the new location (off of 302 down the same driveway/road that you take to go to Walmart) had me pretty excited all winter in eager expectation of the grand opening!

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So I finally checked it out today for the first time. The floor plan is identical to the fairly new Auburn location. Like the Auburn store, it was well organized, clean, and well lit. However, like most of the Goodwills I’ve been to in the past six months or so, the prices were higher than they really should be. When the sign reads, “Dresses $4.99”, then the majority of the dresses should be that price. Not $7.99, 9.99, and $14.99! Come on now, Goodwill. You get the clothes FOR FREE. Why do you have to be greedy about it?

However, one good thing about a grand opening location is that it is stocked full of the best stuff for at least the first few weeks or so. This means lots of items in like new condition or with the original tags still on them. Normally, if I see an item marked at more than the standard rack price ($4.99), if it isn’t on sale, I just keep on walking. However, today I ended up trying on a few of them and falling so deeply in love that they came home with me. Not all of them, mind you. But several. I found a well made, heavy weight cotton DKNY sundress, tags still on it, that wasn’t see through, can be washed, and fit me like a dream! I’ve been searching recently for a bright white light sweater made of natural fabrics and found a gorgeous cotton one by Bass that was just what I’ve been searching for and was brand new with the original store tags to boot! I found a few other like new quality pieces and some really cute kids clothes (at the standard $1.99 price point Sweet!) for my girls.

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I also found a pair of vintage lace-up shoes that were new old stock. There were a couple of identical pairs with traces of the tissue paper they were wrapped in still on them. I’m guessing they are from the 60’s or early 70’s. Love! I also noticed a large number of pairs donated from L.L.Beans. Typically, GW marks them way too high so I just wait till they go on clearance or end up at the Buy-The-Pound location (more on that later). But I found a pair of kid-leather soft tie up booties that were mistakenly displayed in the men’s section. (Not only do female customers hide shoes in that isle, but there are enough careless/dumb employees who stock women’s shoes in that isle that it is always worth perusing, just in case.) They were brand new but marked a crazy $14.99. I put one on before I realized this and the softness and comfort had already sucked me in. I walked around the store for the next hour or so with that one bootie on one foot and my croc on the other, just to test it out to see if the cushy softness would eventually wear off and dissolve into discomfort. Surprisingly the cushy soft magic didn’t wear off in all that time so I ended up reasoning that I’d never be able to afford those boots, even on clearance outlet prices, if i bought them anywhere else. So with that justification in mind, they also came home with me.

While walking around, I overheard one woman say to her friend, “I’ll be honest with you – I’m not impressed.” I heard this same basic conversation several times. Also, sometimes the people doing the pricing get a little TOO excited when an item still has its store tags. Every so often, you find one that is priced at MORE than the original tag. Tsk, tsk! Shame on you, GW!

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All in all, it was a fun afternoon and I left with quite a bit of stuff I was excited about. I don’t have any plans to rush back there anytime soon. But I did leave with treasures, which IS the real point to a trip to GW, afterall.

Home Depot ….for free

May 31, 2012 at 7:36 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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So i was at the transfer station today… For anyone who doesn’t know what that is— instead of taking our trash and recyclables to a dump, we take them to an intermediate site where we can sort and dump each kind of “trash” and then it is transferred elsewhere to its best final destination. The smaller town transfer stations have separate dumpsters for different kinds of plastics, paper, cardboard, and unclassifiable stuff that goes into a landfill. The larger ones ALSO have sections for oversized plastics like lawn furniture, car seats, and 20 gallon buckets. The Gray location has a building for stuff too good for the trash like books, clothes, and housewares which I call “The Free Store”. They also have sections for large appliances, one for windows and doors, one for sinks and toilets, one for pressure treated wood, and one for wood stumps and branches. They have more sections than i just mentioned but let me just say….it’s a picker’s paradise!

Anyway, I spent an hour or so collecting coupons and the occasional (current) magazine issue. Then I was encouraged by the employees to help myself to some large plastic items. I got some tiny toys, a replacement lid for one of my trash cans and a few lids for storage totes as well as some empty dvd containers (so the girls have no excuse to leave their DVDs out after they watch them).
Then I perused the other glorious mountains of junk/treasure.

After seeing the mountains of toilets, sinks, lawn furniture, wood, doors, windows, and other goodies, I can’t imagine ever needing to go to Home Depot again. I’ve been wanting to build an old door greenhouse… thinking it would take me years of curb browsing to find enough. Now I’m thinking that I could load up my van once or twice and be good to go!

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PORCELAIN PARADISE

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WINDOWS AND DOORS

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MORE WINDOWS

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WOOD, WOOD, AND MORE WOOD (while i was there, a truck pulled up and dumped out a whole bunkbed, broken dressers and headboards, and a vintage wicker stroller).

All in all, a fun fun afternoon!

Glorious weather…

May 31, 2012 at 8:32 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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After days and days of dark skies and downpours and thunder and lighting (felt like we were living in a black and white old Frankenstein movie) the SUN IS SHINING ONCE MORE!!!

It is truly remarkable how the weather and seasons effect a person’s mood, especially in New England. The negative ions and rain have made the air smell great and trees and lawns are so lush and green now. It makes want to go outside and play just as much as my six year old!

The sun streaming in the windows and mild, warm temperatures makes me want to dig in and get some cleaning and organizing done. The washer and dryer all already going. My daily postcard is already in the mailbox waiting on the mail lady (we seem to have only women postmen. Not sure why. And different ones depending on the day. Is this the route that nobody wants? Weird.). I’m thinking it’s time to finally rid myself of the mountains of recyclables filling the mudroom.

I hope your day is equally sunshiny!

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Addictions

May 30, 2012 at 9:12 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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My current addiction is a game called “draw something”. It’s a cross between hangman and pictionary. Sooo fun. It is really helping me think more visually too. Asking the question, “how would I draw that?”….or better yet, “how would i express that word or drawing visually?”.

I watched the first episode of this season’s Design Star last night. Bummed that the collage artist got sent home. But I kinda didn’t like her anyway. The self proclaimed  “baby boomer generation” lady can’t possibly last too long with her limited preferred color palette and design style. Not everyone wants a “beachy” home lady. Duh. Loved the way the tall-ceilinged great room turned out! It really did feel like a martini would have been the perfect accessory. Metal sculpture guy seems like a dud as did “I’m a project manager” guy. Do they add them to the competition jusy to make the first few eliminations easier on the judges???

As a rule, I kinda hate reality tv….except when there is interior decorating or some sort of artistry involved. Anyone else watching anything interesting in the tv off season?

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