Love/Hate and Unfortunate Solicitations

May the stress begin!  It’s the holiday season!

Mostly I love Christmas (the LIGHTS! the LOVE! the JOY!) [the cookies! the booze!], but I really don’t enjoy the events leading up to and surrounding the holidays.

Despite the fact that I stopped hosting holiday parties several years ago; despite the fact that I ceased holiday cookie baking; despite the fact that I stopped sending out holiday cards; and despite the fact that I no longer decorate my home.

But there’s still stress:

Figuring out what to give to each recipient, and then finding that item.  Family usually isn’t too hard – every year each person sends out a “wish list” and the others coordinate to make sure there are no duplicate gifts.  But what about a gift for someone who has been unusually helpful during the  year, but whom you really don’t know all that well?  What to give, and in what price range? (too little makes you look cheap and ungrateful, too much implies you’ll expect some further courtesy).

Once the gift decisions have been made, there’s stress involved in obtaining those gifts.  Do you brave the holiday traffic/crowds and actually go shopping?  [shudder]  Do you order online and hope what you ordered is what actually arrives? (Already this year, I’ve made the mistake of clicking on a wrong, but very similar item, and now will have to return and replace it before Christmas.  Ugh.)

If you order online, how do you obtain delivery?  Do you assume porch pirates don’t live in your area, and have those packages delivered to your home – knowing they will certainly arrive on a day you’re not there and will mostly likely be placed in the absolutely most visible spot on your front porch or steps?

If you opt for home delivery, do you try to track the packages and monitor their arrival?  Some security systems allow for remote monitoring through a smartphone.   Even if you have a security system in place, if you see someone steal the package from your front steps, will you be able to do anything about it?  Suppose you’re at work and home is 10 miles away – there’s no way to get there fast enough to stop a thief, and local police probably won’t consider your frantic call a priority.  Even if they do, by the time they’d get to your house, that thief would be long gone, along with all your packages.

Do you assume porch pirates do live in your area, and arrange for pick up at the store(s) – thereby encountering the very holiday traffic/crowds you had hoped to avoid? Or do you arrange for delivery to a “lock box” location – which is bound to be even busier than the local mall, and with much less parking?

Decisions, Decisions.

I won’t even go into the whole how-to-wrap-the-perfect-gift issue; nor will I go into the how-to-choose-the-perfect-accompanying-card issue.

Of course, the season does have its humorous aspects.  Sure, those “buy this now!” ads and “give me money!” campaigns are annoying, but some of them can be quite amusing (or unsettling, depending on your viewpoint).

A couple of for instances:

♦ A current online article touting new, improved cars, indicating how the most popular sedans have been improved for the 2018 model year.   I would hope vehicles have also been improved for this year’s 2020 models.

♦ The TV ad that’s currently running, in which a cartoon rat host accidentally serves her little rat guests poison-laced food.  Does anyone else find that ad obnoxious and gruesome, instead of amusing?  Does the Grinch work for that advertiser?

♦ A radio announcement for a Christmas festival at a local religious shrine, with the slogan “Come Meet Jesus!” – thanks, but I’m not quite ready, no matter how stressed out I might have become over the last few weeks.  Stress will end eventually; “meeting Jesus” is likely to be permanent.

If you celebrate the holidays, may your journey to “the day” be as worry-free as possible.  Holiday stress is the one thing on which we can pretty much all commiserate, no matter our income level, geographic location, race, or gender.

Let’s be kind to each other.


I love to hear from my readers. You may comment on this post, comment on my Facebook or Twitter pages, or email me at
Image by Cordelia’s Mom/TeddyRosalie Studio



Posted in Holidays, Humor, Relationships, That's Life | Tagged , , , , , | 3 Comments

December 1

No way am I going out on the roads to take photos today, even though they probably would be beautiful.

As it was, I nearly slid off my own porch when I took Cody out to do her morning business.  Thanks heavens that fence comes right to the steps so I could hang onto it, but even so my feet kept slipping out from under me.  Hopefully none of my neighbors was up that early on a Sunday morning ’cause I’m sure I made quite a spectacle of myself.

According to the local news:

  • an incoming plane slid off the runway at the airport – thankfully no one was hurt;
  • a driver lost control and his/her vehicle and wound up under a tractor-trailer, which then ended up sliding sideways and blocking the entire road – there’s been no word yet as to the fate of the car driver, but it doesn’t look good from the news photos;
  • a salter truck slid off the road about a mile from my house.

My car can sit where it is until tomorrow.  That remote start is going to get a real workout.  Of course, I forgot to set the car to defrost mode, but hopefully by the time I go out at least some of that ice will have melted off (and I nearly slid off the porch a second time trying to take the photo!):

Stay in and stay warm, everyone.


I love to hear from my readers. You may comment on this post, comment on my Facebook or Twitter pages, or email me at
Images by Cordelia’s Mom/TeddyRosalie Studio

Posted in Photography, Road Trips & Cars, That's Life | Tagged , , , , | 21 Comments

Glad I Didn’t Wait for Black Friday

Wow, you put a bow on it and everything!”

No, I didn’t buy the blue Mustang, but that is how I greeted my favorite saleslady at the car dealership.  I have been buying my vehicles through this saleslady at this dealership since 2008.

Which is why, when I saw the ads that Ford was offering incredible incentives on the 2019 Escapes, I immediately made an appointment to check things out.  The lease on my 2017 Escape would expire early in 2020, and the 2020 Escapes were way out of my price range, with no current incentives.  Plus, they’ve been re-engineered, and I like the way they are now.

I made the appointment for Saturday morning, the weekend before Thanksgiving.  Friday evening, I checked the stock at all the local dealers and realized 2019 Escapes were rapidly disappearing; in fact, according to the online listings, my dealership had only 11 on Friday afternoon, down to 8 by early Friday evening, and only 5 left by the time the dealership closed.  The stock at the other dealerships was also rapidly decreasing.

While I’ve always enjoyed the process of buying a new car, I knew this time things would be a little different.  Higher car prices, lower stock, tighter personal budget.  And the fact that my husband had changed dealerships just a few months before because our dealership did not have the vehicle he wanted and couldn’t get any more.  (His sedan model was being discontinued, and only a few were left anywhere.)

I arrived at the dealership at 10:30 am on Saturday, and already things were not looking good.  Only 2 or 3 Escapes were left.  My saleslady had run numbers for me, and a purchase was out of my budget despite a hefty down payment.  There was an SE in my price range for a lease, but that was sold only a few minutes before I arrived.

One of my caveats had been that I didn’t want a vehicle with “those black wheels” because my husband was of the opinion that those particular wheels had low-profile tires, which are not good for winter driving.

The only Escape left was white with black wheels; on top of that, it was an SEL, which carries a higher price tag than I can handle.

The saleslady began calling around to other dealerships to “locate” an Escape for me.  She was getting nowhere.  I was ready to leave and drive over to my husband’s new dealership, even though their website also showed extremely low stock.

In frustration, the saleslady asked if I would consider the white Escape SEL despite the black wheels, if she could get me a good deal on it.


I called hubby and asked him to come to the dealership, even though I knew it would be a bit uncomfortable for him, considering recent history.  While waiting, the vehicle was brought over.  Low and behold, although the car had dark wheels, they were not the same black, ghetto-looking wheels I was against.   The saleslady, her assistant, and I all agreed that they were not low-profile tires.

Hubby arrived and said the tires in question were low-profile.  He told me not to buy that car and to go over to his new dealership.  Things began getting a bit tense.

The saleslady called the Parts Department, who said the tires were not low-profile.  On the test drive, we went over to the Service Department and dragged out our favorite service advisor (who has been there forever and has always been totally honest with us).  He looked at the tires, confirmed they were not low-profile, and said they were good brand-name tires which would be perfectly adequate for winter driving in our area.

Did I mention that the white Escape SEL would come with remote start, heated front seats, heated side mirrors, automatic lift gate, and lots of other features that my 2017 Escape didn’t have?  And that the white 2019 Escape SEL was stunning, with a beautiful upgraded two-tone “faux leather” interior?  And a leather-wrapped steering wheel?

Like the good wife I am, I opted to ignore my husband.  I sent him home while I continued negotiations.

I don’t know how the saleslady and the finance guy managed it, but they eventually got the numbers down to where I needed them.  I drove away in a beautiful upgraded vehicle, with monthly payments the same as they were on the old vehicle.

God, I love my saleslady and my dealership,.

And I’m loving my brand-new 2019 Ford Escape SEL:

Now, I have to drive my beautiful brand-new vehicle to work tomorrow, through crappy weather and city traffic, over potholed city streets.  Maybe I should just stay home.  But of course, then I wouldn’t get paid and my budget can’t handle that.  I’ll deal with it.  That new car smell with make it easier.


I love to hear from my readers. You may comment on this post, comment on my Facebook or Twitter pages, or email me at
Images by Cordelia’s Mom/TeddyRosalie Studio



Posted in Photography, Relationships, Road Trips & Cars, That's Life | Tagged , , , , , , | 25 Comments

Six Blogging Tips That I Ignore

Here’s an established blogger/advisor with sense. This post is especially relevant to some my newer readers who may be struggling with their own sites and wondering if they’re doing everything “right” – there is no right or wrong; every blogger is different. Thanks, Renard, for confirming that.

(Comments are closed here – leave any comments over on Renard’s site.)

Renard's World


Have you ever ignored certain types of blogging advice from blogging experts?

Oh, I have ignored some of their advice (Especially those that I do not agree with).

And, I am making an educated guess, that you probably did the same.

Today, I am going to share with you, six blogging tips that I blatantly ignore along with my reasons for ignoring them (So, without further ado, I am going to get cracking).

View original post 1,398 more words

Posted in Re-Blogs, That's Life | Tagged , ,