Yes, I said garage sale

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

I had a garage sale on Saturday. I know...I know...I said I would never have one again but this time with clearing out two houses, it seemed to make sense.

My initial plan was to move my things into my parents house by the summer (yes, this summer) and put my house on the market. Well, with the real estate climate the way it is and with TWELVE houses for sale on my street alone, I decided to hold off on listing it. Which, in turn, caused me to hold off on moving.

And I guess part of me was holding off on clearing out their house. I kind of felt like, once I did that, that I was accepting that they were gone or something. About a month ago, I put these living room chairs on the tree lawn that were about a hundred years old and not worth selling but I cried all the way to the curb and back.

I was talking to a friend about how difficult it’s been to decide what to keep and what to get rid of. There are some things that I know I want and will use and others that I don’t necessarily think I will need but am struggling with selling. My mother had a very kitchy sense of style that doesn’t always jive with mine.

She suggested that I take pictures of the things that I know I won’t use so that at least I can hold onto the memory. I thought that was a great idea.

Now, I could just give away things on but let’s face it, I’m not that generous. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve offered up a Reebok Step, clothing and a table and I even asked for and received not one, but two, antique sleds for my Christmas display in the yard. But this is just SO MUCH STUFF.

I lucked out because there were two other sales going on down the street so we had a ton of traffic. I advertised it in the paper from 8:30AM-3PM and OF COURSE I had "early birds" who showed up before I had even opened up the garage door.

My friend, Michelle,and her beautiful grandchild Milah, kept me company.

This is one of the little boys who live next door. I LOVE him!

I guess I did okay money wise but the best part of the day was that so many old and new neighbors stopped by to say hello. Everyone talked about how much they missed my parents and they shared their memories.

I heard from the woman down the street who said that she was so young when she had her son that she had no idea how to be a mom but my mother showed her how.

And the girl who used to walk her dog past the house when Dad would be sitting out front, monitoring the goings on of the neighborhood. She would wave and he had this special wave he would send back.

There was another woman who had lost her son and Dad painted a picture for her as a tribute and she talked about how she had it prominently displayed in her living room.

We know how much we miss our loved ones but rarely do we stop and realize how the loss of them affects others. I found myself in tears by the middle of the day but I couldn't help but feel the love that these people had for my parents and it felt like a warm hug.

I think I'm finally ready to go home again.

Monday Morning Millie & Dino

Monday, August 29, 2011

"I'm playing with this, old lady."

"I said, get your own toy!"

"I don't think so, buddy. You need to respect your elders."

"Wait, how did that happen? She's like a hundred!"


"Ha he still behind me?"

Secondhand Sunday

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Sundays are my Secondhand day. I'm basically too lazy to think of anything new to say so I re-post a "vintage" entry.

If you aren't in the mood for repeats, please feel free to change the channel.


Original Post Date, June 11, 2009

I was watching this educational video posted by JB over at It's Gonna Take More Than a Hamburger to Make Me Happy, and it got me thinking about a personal grooming experience from my past.

The year was 1988, the summer I turned 22. Of course, at the forefront of my mind was how I looked (kind of like it is now) and I always tried to find the latest, greatest beauty products. We women of Armenian descent are hairy. We pluck and bleach and shave and then shave again at the end of the day. And we don't have baby fine, blonde hair. We have coarse, dark hair.

The hottest thing on the market that year was a hand held hair removal device called an Epilady. It consisted of intertwined coils that rotated at a high speed and RIPPED your hair out by the root.

It has to go down in marketing history as one of the cleverest campaigns out there. How else could you convince grown women to shell out over $75 for a weapon that would leave you wincing in pain but "hair free for days!" $75 for that luxury? I'll give ya a hundred! Finally, something to ease my hair removal woes.

I didn't mind shaving my legs or even my underarms but my biggest pet peeve was my bikini line. I never seemed to be able to get a nice, smooth shave and I didn't like waxing, either. Epilady to the rescue!

I remember hurrying home to try out my new deluxe, gold model Epilady. You had to be sure your skin was dry and that you pulled it taut as you glided it over the area you were concentrating on.

"Wow," I thought to myself, "this isn't as painful as I thought it would be."

I ran my fingers over the section I had completed and I was really impressed with the results. And then it happened.

Now, keep in mind, the year was 1988. Women were just starting to trim down there as bikinis got smaller. I can still remember getting ready to go out on a Friday night when my friend Debbie implored her cousin, Carla, who was changing her clothes to "trim that, for God's sake." It was the 80's. We didn't look like prepubescent teens. We looked more like what this guy is wearing on his head.

So there I was, buzzing along, pulling hair out by the roots, getting a smooth bikini line. I listened to the hum of my Epilady.





You got it. Those rotating coils grabbed a hold of my errant Armenian bush and held on for dear life.

What the hell was I going to do? I tried sending my dog for help but Lassie he wasn't. He did come back with a squeaky toy that proved helpful as something to bite down on to ease the pain and muffle my screams.

I managed to make my way into another room, my Epilady dangling precariously between my legs. I found some sewing shears in the kitchen drawer and carefully snip snipped to release myself from its grip. I think I spent the rest of the night with a bag of frozen peas in my lap.

Thank God it's not the 80's anymore.

Hollywood comes to Cleveland

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

The Greater Cleveland Film Commission has been working tirelessly to convince the producers of a variety of different mediums to work here in Cleveland. The benefit to them is the tax incentive.

The Ohio Film Tax Credit provides for a refundable credit against the corporation franchise or income tax for motion pictures produced in Ohio. The term "motion picture," as utilized within the context of the legislation, is broadly defined and means entertainment content created in whole or in part within the State of Ohio for distribution or exhibition to the general public.

The benefit to Cleveland is the money that they invest in the region, employing hundreds of Ohio-based cast and crew, and using local service and supply vendors.

Oh and did I mention, it's WAY cool!

This summer, they're filming the comic book super hero adventure, The Avengers. This has caused major roads in the downtown area to be closed but nobody seems to mind because it's WAY cool.

Here are some photos from the filming.

Poor Chris Evans wearing this heavy suit in stifling temperatures.

Hey, this is my bank!

I wonder if it's too late to be an extra??

Monday Morning Vinny & Dino

Monday, August 22, 2011

"Yeah, we know we're supposed to be helping you pack but we're on a break.

Hey, you have a problem with that, take it up with the union."

Secondhand Sunday

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Sundays are my Secondhand day. I'm basically too lazy to think of anything new to say so I re-post a "vintage" entry.

If you aren't in the mood for repeats, please feel free to change the channel.

"I SAID, I'm NOT angry!"

Original Post Date, July 20, 2010

As you know, I work for a large healthcare institution here in Cleveland and I manage a staff of 24. Two-thirds of them work in direct patient care and the rest are administrative support staff. The group is comprised of a variety of races, ethnicities and ages. Initially, what attracted me to the department was the longevity of most of the employees;a rarity in this day and age.

Like a family, the more time you spend together, the more you develop your own dynamic. I would like to say that we run like a well-oiled machine and most of the time, we do a pretty good job. However, like any family, ours can be a little, well, dysfunctional at times.

There are days when I feel like I spend more of my time telling people to play nice in the sandbox than manage them.

So when I saw a listing for an Anger Management workshop, I called the counselor who was presenting it and asked him if it was directed toward people with anger management problems or if I would benefit from having to deal with people who have anger management issues.

"Well, no one's ever really asked me that before but I supppose you would glean some helpful information about interacting with people who have anger issues."

"Great, sign me up!"

Since the class was on the other side of the campus, I made sure to allow myself time to get lost as I often do. You would think that after 3 years, I would have a pretty good idea of the lay of the land.

Not so.

Whenever I see people holding a piece of paper and staring up at the directional signs around the institution, it takes everything in me to not turn around and head in the other direction.

Inevitably, they'll ask me where a department is that I've never even heard of and I look like an idiot.

"Um, I think there's a visitor's desk at the end of this hallway. They can help you out."

As I'm walking away, I'm thinking to myself, "Or was it that hallway?"

This time I got to the class right on time and was ushered into a small conference room with a table that seated six people. I introduced myself to the facilitator, took a seat and started to review the materials in front of me. The class was to start at 10:00 and it was now 10:05.

"Okay, some people may be running a little late so let's go ahead and get started. I want to be sure to get you out on time."

I had to look down so he wouldn't see the "what the fu@#?" look on my face. Do you know how many people were in this class?

Well, let's see...counting me...that would be......ONE!

I expected him to say that since I didn't really need to be there that he would call me the next time a class was scheduled. So much for sitting back and not participating.

It actually turned out okay. For the FOUR WEEKS that it lasted.

I did pull some helpful information out and I was able to digress a little and talk about a few of the items on my list of "issues". He was actually quite impressed that I had come so far and turned out so "normal" given my upbringing and subsequent abusive relationship. I guess he also doesn't realize what a great actress I became!

I didn't have the heart to tell him about the strap-ons or switching teams or vampirism or swinger parties or cross-dressing boyfriends or eager beaver vibrators or smoking catnip.

He was proud of me. And it felt good! work through your past, your way and I'll work through my past, my way.

And now I know that if I'm ever feeling the urge to lose my cool, I should:

**Stop and pet a dog (as opposed to kicking one)

**Blow bubbles (as opposed to blowing some S.O.B)

**Say hello to a stranger (as opposed to "Fu@# off" if they look at me wrong)

**Kiss my spouse (since I don't have one, for the record, kissing other people's spouses works too)

Anger management is fun!

What do you do to not lose your cool?

Monday Morning (Peanut) Dino

Monday, August 15, 2011

So...about Peanut Dino.

Much like an overweight person who watches the Food Network, I spend my lunch hour perusing homeless Beagles on I just can't seem to stay away. On this particular day, I came across this ad:

Peanut is approx 4 years old , neutered and up to date with shots as well as heartworm and flea control . We have been hoping his separation anxiety would subside with time but we have had him a year and seems to have gotten worse . We also have a baby on the way and it's just too much for me, and I don't have the time and energy he deserves and requires. He is excellent with kids of all ages and other dogs. His temperament is actually very laid back (until you leave )! lol He would probably do best with someone who doesn't work long hours or not at all. Let me know if you can help ... i'm running out of time and cannot bear to take him to the pound : ( Tracy

He needed me! Now, I was torn because it was so soon after Bern and I almost felt like I was betraying her. And the dynamic with Millie and Vinny seemed to be working so I didn't think I should rock that boat, either.

Well,then I went to see him and it was all over. He was TOO cute for words and went I sat on the ground, he climbed into my lap and put his head on my knee. Game over.

Knowing that he had separation anxiety (like Bernie did when I first got her), I did all the things that I had done for her.

Comfort Zone plug in:

"Pheromones emitted by animals through their skin and glands are natural chemicals that help them to communicate with others of the same species. When your dog or puppy senses the pheromone, he feels secure and comfortable, reducing his fear reactions and his urge to act out destructively through chewing, excessive barking or house soiling."

Bach's Rescue Remedy for Dogs:

RESCUE Remedy® is the #1 natural reliever of everyday stress. It is a blend of five of the 38 Bach® Original Flower Remedies and is proven to be as helpful with animals as it is with people. For an immediate calming effect in any tense or stressful situation, or when your pet needs help overcoming a variety of emotional or behavioral problems.

Creature Comforts CD:

Just Chillin CD:

Since work has been so stressful lately, I took one of the CD's to work with me but it ended up being a little awkward when I tried licking my balls during a meeting.

I was armed and ready for Peanut Dino!

Or so I thought.

The first night, he chased Vinny ALL NIGHT LONG.

"Wake me when he stops chasing Vinny."

I thought, oh boy, he's got to go back. But Vinny being the cool cat he is, put him in his place and told him how it was gonna be.

Now, Vinny's even sleeping in Peanut Dino's bed.

"What's that, Dog? This is your bed? Ha! You mean, this WAS your bed."

Day one alone, Peanut Dino went into my pantry (with a broken latch on the door) and ate a entire box of Trader Joe's dog cookies and a bag of Beneful treats.

Day two, he knocked over the kitchen garbage and tore the grill off the bottom of the refrigerator. And his collar was nowhere to be found. I still have no idea where it is so he's wearing Bernie's girly collars.

Day three, I drove up and only saw Millie in the window. When I opened the door, I heard a distant, Woooooooo....Wooooooooo....

He must have been sniffing behind the door in my wardrobe room and locked himself in. This is what the window in the room looked like:

I thought to myself, well, at least he didn't chew on my clothes or shoes.

Day four, here he is in the window as I drove up.

And if you look closely, there's my Born sandal on the window sill behind the couch. So much for not chewing my shoes.

Day five, I bent down to kiss him and thought, hmmmm....he smells like chocolate. When I went in the kitchen, there was hot chocolate mix all over the floor.

There's no way he's four years old. If anything, he's two. His behavior is way too puppy like. I wasn't sure if I could do this but he's so darn cute and cuddly when he's being good that I guess I'll keep him. He seems to be keeping Millie young and maybe he'll liven me up, too!

Secondhand Sunday

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Sundays are my Secondhand day. I'm basically too lazy to think of anything new to say so I re-post a "vintage" entry.

If you aren't in the mood for repeats, please feel free to change the channel.


Original Post Date, March 21, 2009

"I hate patent leather," my sister stated as we walked back to our respective offices after lunch. We work in the same hospital and have lunch together most days.

"I love patent leather. I'm wearing a new pair today." I replied as I glanced down at my shiny black shoes.

"I know. I hate it. I mean, it's okay on you. But I hate it."

Chrissy celebrates turning two

I've always loved patent leather ever since my mother bought me a pair for my second birthday. Okay, obviously I don't remember that long ago but I'm trying to drive the point that I've liked patent for a long time.

I've never really been one of those "shoe people" you hear about. I don't go crazy for shoe sales and I can pass by a shoe store with nary a glance. I have about 8 pairs of shoes and I don't buy a new pair until my old ones wear out.

I had a pair of patent shoes that I wore until they were so stretched out that I kept walking out of them. I realized I had to replace them when I was running to catch the shuttle bus from the parking garage at work and tumbled down the steps in front of the stopped bus because I had slipped out of one of my shoes.

I quickly shot back up, put my shoe back on and boarded the bus, thanking everyone for stopping for me. I casually sat down so as not to draw any more attention to myself and bit the inside of my cheek to circumvent the excrutiating pain in my ankle.

Maybe I just twisted it, I thought to myself as I made the trek to my office on the opposite side of the campus. It was no use, by the time I got there, my foot and ankle were already starting to swell so I limped back to the opposite side of the campus to have it checked out.

The nurse was very pleasant and pointed out that "fancy shoes" really had no place on the campus since there was so much construction going on. I glanced down at her sensible nun shoes and nodded in agreement that I would certainly take that into consideration in the future.

"We need to be sure you didn't fracture anything so let's send you for an x-ray."

"Okay, no problem," I started to head for the door and asked the nurse for directions to radiology.

"Oh, no. We need to call transport and have them take you there in a wheelchair."

Geez. As if it wasn't bad enough that I had already wasted an hour waiting for the nurse. Now I would have to wait for transport and then make the journey as "patient" through my place of employment.

Luckily, the wait wasn't long and "Dave" knew of all the shortcuts I never would have taken. As we headed down one long hallway, we passed by a woman walking slowly, head down, wearing a black hooded coat. She was singing.

"Nobody knowwwss the trouble I've seen..."

I wanted to yell out, "Amen, Sista!" but I restrained myself.

It turned out I had nothing more than a sprain but it was enough to make things tough to get around for a while. shoe shopping so this wouldn't happen again.

I walked into the shoe store last week, one of those self serve types, and started weaving in and out of the aisles, waiting for something to catch my fancy.

Then I saw them. A pair of black patent pumps with a 2" heel and (gasp) a sale sign. It was like a beam of light from heaven was shining down on them and they beckoned me to try them on. I felt like Cinderella as my foot slid into my slippers and I knew we were destined to be together. My Prince Charming was a shoe clerk named Juan who gently wrapped them up and bid us adieu.

I actually think my affinity for patent leather shoes started about the time my love for Shirley Temple hit it's peak. Every week after Sunday school, I would eagerly bound for the car knowing that the Sunday matinee would start on TV soon and it was usually a Shirley Temple flick. I had no concept that this ringlet haired, tap dancing, patent leather shoe wearing sweetie was about 45 in 1973 when I was watching her.

My family didn't share my affection for Bright Eyes and would make me take my lunch on a TV tray into my parent's bedroom to watch the movie. They had a large dresser with a mirror on top and the TV sat on the left hand corner of the dresser. I would sing along to "On the Good Ship Lollipop" and watch myself in the mirror, pretending that I was a star, too. Kind of like what I do now with Mariah Carey songs.

I even drank Shirley Temple's when we would make our bi-monthly trip to the Brown Derby for dinner. A Shirley Temple was a non-alcoholic drink made with ginger ale, grenadine syrup and orange juice and it was garnished with a maraschino cherry and an orange slice on the rim of the glass. Such sophistication for a 7 year old! Thanks, Shirley.

So do black patent leather shoes really reflect up? I sure hope so. I can use all the help I can get.

Blogger Template created by Just Blog It