Sunday, November 29, 2015

Offers are Only as Good as the Paper They're Written On

One thing I’ve noticed in my snail mailbox and email box lately is offers for preapproved credit cards and loans. Oh, yeah, the typical you can buy a new car/truck/motorcycle/RV for nothing down and zero percent interest with five years or so to pay it off OAC.
Golly sakes, my days of OAC have passed me by. I wonder if manufacturers realize how many sales they don’t have because a lot of people are tired of getting meaningless offers that make them feel badly because the grand old days of having more than they need are gone.

I laughed so hard when my brother Dave posted a comment on FB about the situation, and how so many lenders are ready to “give” us a loan. Really! Just go online and fill out some papers and find out right away if you’re approved. 
Come on down to get money for the things you need!
Then come down to the office with the kids and neighbors and anyone else you want to bring along, sit down with the friendly person behind the desk that flashes a megawatt smile and happy greeting to everyone. Show your ID, sign for real, and walk out the door counting your cash. Couldn’t be easier.
The loan, if you get it, is not a gift. It has to be repaid, usually with high interest rates and larger payments than you are comfortable with paying. Trouble may be waiting just around the corner. But the loan companies will go broke if they don’t convince as many people as possible that the extra money is a wonderful way to make the holiday season brighter and more impressive. 
Diamonds would be nice!

Paper offers are great for starting the kindling in the wood stove. That’s a gift of sorts. Lenders have their place in today’s world. That’s a fact of life, and someone has to do it. Meanwhile, I’d appreciate a better screening of who they send offers to and ask that they leave me “aloan”.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

It’s Time for Turkey

Ever since I was a kid, Thanksgiving meant leftovers. Creative dishes using the turkey inspired creative meals, such as turkey hash and turkey sandwiches. 

Lettuce, cranberry sauce, and a touch of salt and pepper delivered a flavorful variation of Thanksgiving dinner. Mom always made lots of yeast rolls (yummy), so we’d use the extras for sandwiches instead of ordinary bread. Thinly sliced turkey not only made the leftovers last longer, it made us kids think it was a special treat.

 By the time Sunday after Thanksgiving rolled around, we were gearing up for turkey soup. Besides potatoes and other vegetables, barley and tapioca was tossed into the liquid to add nutrition and substance to the soup. There was always enough soup to give to the elderly relatives nearby and to freeze up for use throughout the following year.

Maybe all that reminiscing affected my shopping habits last week. If I bought $25 of qualifying products, I could get a 12 pound turkey for $10 or a 22 pound turkey for $13. Big turkey in the basket, lickety-split. There’s going to be a lot of frozen soup and extra meat in the freezer come next Saturday, but that’s okay. There’s a large assortment of recipes to make with the extras. Turkey pot pie is a deliciously warm meal on a cold winter’s night.

Remember the pumpkin pie!

Do you have a favorite leftover turkey recipe you enjoy making?

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Black Friday Blahs

Early Black Friday (BF) Specials are being announced everywhere. They’re in the newspaper and arrive through my email. They’re showing up in the mailbox and as important announcements on voicemail. 

My first instinct is panic. If all these great specials (and I’ve seen quite a few) are being offered now, they’ll be gone before Thanksgiving. Should I max out the charge card and go now while the getting’s good?

The next feeling is compassion. There are millions of people who plan their BF shopping trip all year long. They will either be disappointed because the good bargains are gone or upset because they jumped early and could have saved more. 
There are bargains everywhere!

Finally, curiosity got to me. Isn’t this sale of all sales celebrated the day after Thanksgiving or at least starting Thanksgiving afternoon? I headed over to my favorite search engine to get some legitimate and/or wildly imaginative answers.

It turns out the semi-official day started as the day after Thanksgiving and gradually worked its way up to retailers opening early. Hours lengthened to add Thanksgiving Day in 2011 and 2012. It will be interesting to see how the numbers reflect what is considered “THE” busiest shopping day of the year, with all the earlier hoopla taking place. 

Tweed Heads' Shopping Centre in Australia is still busy in the new millennium.
I think I’ll stay home and have a turkey sandwich and another piece of pumpkin pie.
Which season earns most of your shopping time?

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Celebrate Chicken Soup for the Soul Day

Did you know it's Chicken Soup for the Soul Day?

Wow! Today is Chicken Soup for the Soul Day. Although I’ve read several of the Chicken Soup books, I did not realize the publisher had a day set aside to recognize the happiness and motivation that comes from their short stories.
Smiles to and from cats.

November 12th  is the day for celebrating who you are. I am so glad to have a warm, happy smile that comes automatically to my face when I see another person or the animals around my home. Cats, dogs, rabbits, and quail – they all get a big grin and cheerful hello. We are all God’s creatures and share this wonderful Earth together.

Rose gardens aren't always easy peasy!

Another part of the celebration is remembering where you have been. Even rose gardens need care and cause pain at times from a thorn or the effort it takes to keep them beautiful.  Instead of concentrating on the difficulty of times past, celebrate your ability to rise above the trouble and continue your journey!

Part of the journey is celebrating where you are going. Why drag from day to day when it’s more exciting to set a goal and cheer each time it’s closer?

The final purpose of this special day is thinking about the people you will thank when you reach your goal. Maybe it’s finally getting a high school diploma or college degree after dropping out in your earlier years.  It could be the excitement of starting a blog, ending an unhappy relationship, or knowing that you matter.

Teaching someone to read.

Sharing food and celebrating life.

I remember being 10 years old and my friend Vicki solemnly informing me that there would always be toilets to scrub.

Today I celebrate that despite years of scrubbing toilets, there have been happier events on my journey. I’ve taught children and adults to read and planted gardens that have produced fresh vegetables and fruit for family, friends, and food bank deliveries.

There are so many reasons to celebrate our existence. What special part of yourself will you celebrate today?