More Sacred

So, that’s how the scroll saw came to live in the computer room closet.

Jeff read the manual (sort of), but that’s as far as he got. His legs were giving out, and we had other things to concentrate on. I also made him promise not to use it for the first time when I wasn’t home. If he could break a toe while shaving his head… sawing surely needed to be supervised.

And that’s how the scroll saw ended up in the 2010, house sold, moving sale. It didn’t make it to a table until the second day, because I had imagined it would be harder to unearth from that over-stuffed closet. I marked it at $50 thinking that’d be a good starting amount. I didn’t have the box or the manual, but it was brand-new, never used and maybe someone would know what to do with it.

A little after 3 PM on the last day, a young couple came in. “Hmm,” the husband commented. “Honey? Look at this!”

“What is it?” she asked.

“A scroll saw, just like the one I rented last week for $85.00. I could buy this one and we’d never have to rent one again!”

“Oh,” she considered, then continued. “I just don’t think we can afford that right now, honey,” as she moved on to look at other items.

The fellow just stood there mesmerized.

Knowing I’d never use and not wanting to struggle it back into the closet or move it to Ann Arbor, I whispered to my gregarious friend, “He can have it for $35.00.”

Because she’s the outgoing one who has no problem dickering with yard salers or yard sale customers I gave her the appropriate lenience to do as she pleased.

From her perch near the cashbox, she announced the offer loudly, adding the key phrase, “It’s never been used!”

That’s when I heard it. The whimper.

I laughed out a bark, and leaned closer to my cohort. “That’s the exact same sound Jeff made when we bought that thing!”

He looked at his wife beseechingly and she slowly nodded her approval. As he stood there holding the saw, he told us that he and his wife were renovating their home. “Thank you so much. Thank you so much,” he kept repeating.

“Never been used,” my friend repeated as they headed-out. “Her husband passed!” she called after him, stopping them on the threshold of exiting.

I really thought that man was going to cry as he turned to stare at me. “It will get put to good use,” he answered quivering. “I promise it will get used.”

I may have lost money on that deal, but I gained another blessed insight into the non-coincidences of GOD’s careful plans.

What was that scroll saw worth? $215.00, $115, $62.50, $50.oo or $35.00?

Making Jeff happy, which made me happy, which made that family happy = sacredly priceless.

Quote for the Week:

One more thing, October 6, 2020, my friend, cohort and kindred soul, Paula, passed away.

At first I was like, “Really, Paula? Today?”

But, then, I let go a chuckle-sob, thanking her for not giving me a different date to commemorate.

If it a day had to suck, anyway, it might as well have been that one.

Sacred Scroll

Old stories. #2:

I know for a fact that grown men whimper.

I don’t remember the first time I heard Jeff whimper, but it probably had something to do with some expensive Dale Earnhardt Sr 1:24 die-cast replicate race car.

I do remember one quite clearly, though.

Kmart was closing a few Michigan locations, so we took a drive out to one to see about bargains. The one we ended up at was nearly done-in. The place was a disaster; people were taking things off racks and shelves, opening and destroying boxes and leaving items mid-aisle.

I was just about to drag him out of that madhouse when we rolled by an aisle with – gasp – tools!

“Oooooo,” he murmured. Eyes wide, he radared every shelf. I don’t know how he saw it, but well-hidden, stacked behind some really traumatized boxes was a brand new scroll saw with it’s own folding workbench.

He dragged it out for inspection, carefully searching for any signs that it might have been opened before, returned or damaged in any way. Then, cautiously and thoroughly reviewed the “before and after,” markdown pricelist, dragging his finger down the display.

“Oooooo,” he gasped, peering closely. I could see the dreamy dollar signs in his glazed-over look.

“How much?” I asked.

“It was $215.00,” he marveled.

“How much?” I asked.

“It was already marked down to $115.00,” he cooed

“Jeff!” I snapped my fingers hoping to bring him back, because he was clearly swirling into the “I don’t think I can live without this piece of equipment,” abyss.

“How much?” I asked, again.

.Jeff tentatively smiled as he lovingly patted the box and solemnly spoke. “$62.50.”

“I don’t know, Jeff,” I hedged. “What would you use it for?”

“Lots of things,” he insisted. Earnestly adding, “for the store! um, and… making stuff!”

“I just don’t think we can afford that right now, honey,” I said, trying to let him down easy.

Certain he would bow to my logic, I wheeled the empty cart around to leave.

That’s when I heard it. The whimper.

I was so surprised I stopped right in my tracks and turned to stare at him.

The whimper came with a face I had never seen before – one way more serious than puppy-dog eyes.

Eyes still foggy with scroll-lust, bottom lip tucked in under his teeth, still touching the sacred saw, he barely shuffled away from the hand-magnetizing carton.

He truly tried to take another step toward me, moving maybe an entire inch, arm about 20 degrees behind him.

Then he whimpered, again.

“Ok,” I said. “Throw it in the cart.”

He did. Grinning and with ninja speed.

“Quit smiling like that,” I good-naturedly grumbled. “You’re gonna split your face wide open and I don’t wanna spend another night in the emergency room with you.”

Jeff just kept twinkle-smiling. I twinkle-smiled back.

Quote for the Week:

Pantry Raid, 04/02/2020

Last week’s Pantry Raid was pretty darn good, if I say so myself. And, I do.

(Brought to you by: Ibotta, Imperfect Foods, Knorr & Kraft)

As luck would have it, Saturday morning, March 14th, I made a long thought-out decision to try Imperfect Foods home delivery service. 10 days later Michigan debuted its Stay at Home order.

Aiming to supplement my current meal delivery service, I signed on for the small box plan, every-other-week. My main goals were fruit and salad, which would allow me to stretch a 6-meal plan into a 9-meal plan.

Delivery was scheduled for Friday, March 27th.  Despite the pandemic decree, my order was only delayed one day, and only shorted one item – both with great customer service and advanced notice.

Each week a standard but varied box is pre-filled for you. If there is something you’d rather not have on the list, it’s easy to switch out choices. If you want more that week, you can order more.

Shopping day is Monday. Unsure of how it worked, I logged in at the exact time ‘the store’ opened. I immediately swapped out carrots. I love carrots, but I’d overdone carrots in the preceding weeks. Cantaloupe, was a more appealing option.

Blood oranges were the first item listed. The notation indicated 4 ct in a box. 4 oranges sounded like too many, so I reduced that to 2 on the counter and moved on. Working down the list, broccoli (1 ct) was a keeper, as were the container of grape tomatoes (1 ct). I reduced pears (2 ct) to 1 and increased sweet potatoes (1 ct) to 2.

Then, I changed my mind. 4 blood oranges would be nice. Oranges keep for a while. Unfortunately, when I tried to change my 2 back to 4, a pop-up message informed me that there was a limit of 3. That was a bit of disappointment, but understandable.

I figured it was like online clearance shopping at Kohl’s; just because it’s in your cart doesn’t mean it’s yours. You have to check out first, and sometimes someone else bought that thing you wanted before you did.

Total box including shipping came to $15.43. Not a huge savings, but it was going to show up at my door, so I was happy.

I was honestly over-whelmed when the bright pink box arrived containing way more than I thought it would. 3 huge stalks of broccoli, 1 cantaloupe, grape tomatoes, 10 sweet potatoes and…. 14 blood oranges.

The little counter clicker wasn’t a “Do you want 1, 2, 3, or 4 blood oranges?” question. It was a “How many sets of 4 blood oranges do you want?” question. That should have equaled 12. There were 2 bonus. There were no pears, but I knew about that, and was immediately credited the $0.85. Adjusted cost: $14.53.

I had a good chuckle after I pulled it all out and assessed the situation. I also paid closer attention to the (ct) counts while ‘shopping’ yesterday.

My next box comes Friday. I still have 2 blood oranges, 5 sweet potatoes and ½ container of tomatoes to go this week. I’d say that’s pretty perfect timing.

***

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Quote for the week: 2020 04 07 nows as good at time as any imperfect foods jakorte

An Ibotta rebate made the Knorr rice free. I got back $139 back from Ibotta in 2019. You should try that, too.

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Sauce-a Huh?

We had a store coach. A fellow BNI member, with tons of enthusiasm.  He and Jeff got together once a month to brain storm. Jeff would bring him our ideas, and our monthly advertising budget. How much we spent didn’t exactly have a direct correlation to how much we earned. Mostly, we spent more on inventory than marketing. Some months, we’d spend more on advertising and less on product.

Jeff was super excited when I got home from work that day. In the meeting they had dreamt big. Then bigger; then bigger, yet. As he talked, it became clear he wasn’t really thinking budget.

The idea we had agreed to investigate further was to invite as many local non-chain restauranteurs as possible to a salsa meet-and-greet. Of course, there’d be tastings. Hopefully, some bulk sales, too. Serving salsa wasn’t an issue, we were licensed for that having taken the Lenawee County Health Department’s Food Safety course.  

When Jeff mentioned a local wine-maker and declared we could give samples of that, too, I had to stop him. “Um,” I said. “We don’t have a permit for that.” “I’ll check that out,” Jeff made a note. “Maybe he could do the samples for his own stuff.”

“Anyway,” he continued. “That’s not all of it.” He shuffled some papers around. “Here’s what I think we should do.” The title of the hand-written (almost illegibly scribbled, truly) was Sauce-a-Palooza. “I’m not sure we can use the ‘palooza’ part.” I interjected. “Might be copyrighted.”

“Ok,” he waved his hands. “But, that’s not all of it.”

“All of it” entailed tents, tables for crafters or businesses, a homemade salsa contest, hot sauce eating contest, bounce houses, live music, a live radio broadcast, and 20 different kinds of salsa for a vote-for-your-favorite American Red Cross fundraiser.  Each salsa would have a mason jar next to it. Each vote was 25 cents, but folks could put as much as they wanted over that in, too. The salsa with the most money in their jar would be the winner.

“The winner of what?” I asked. “No, wait… never mind that. Do you have any idea how much it costs just to rent tents? Do we need a permit for that? Live music? Where would we get a power source? I have no idea how much those bouncy things cost.  Do you?”

“Well,” Jeff was getting ready to explain, when I cut him off, again.

“Do we really want to serve homemade salsa from people we don’t know? We can’t just set out jars of salsa and let them sit there all day. We’d need to keep them cool. We’re gonna need to hire help for all this.” I took a deep breath. “Oh, no.” I reported. “We can’t possibly afford all that.”

“Well,” Jeff started.

“Maybe next year.” I emphatically ended the conversation, before adding, “So, what’s for dinner?”

Quote for the Week:

10 29 2018 There are only two types of business people jakorte

 

How to Miss a Wedding (part 3)

Here’s the thing. One person’s prolonged wrong can turn into another person’s wrongs, multiplied.

It was an unpaid ticket for which he’d received multiple notices… at his mom’s address. Sally had been safely tucking them away. She’d given Jeff a few; might have misplaced one or two. Jeff never took them from her while I was there. In any case, he had an inkling. A very strong inkling. Strong enough to make him want to hide his suspended license in my purse.

So, that explained a lot. He’d planned on taking care of it, but had ‘forgotten’ until the flashing lights did not pass us by. But, the extra excuses – 

That he didn’t have the money because I did our banking, and watched it like a hawk…

That he never had a chance because we were always together…

That he didn’t want me to know because I’d be upset … – were the ones that irked me even more.

I don’t know how Jeff talked himself out of being handcuffed and taken in, because that is where the officers told him he was headed. Or why they didn’t take into account his shady evasion tactics. Or even why they believed him when he’d told them I had no idea that he’d shoved his card into my purse. They just gave him a multiple-fine ticket to add to his already outstanding charges and told him to take care of it within three days.

‘Three days’ would mean mid-week. Mid-week would require both of us taking a day off. Jeff argued that I didn’t have to go with him. I countered with the thought it would be a very bad idea for him to drive himself since his license was worthless, at that point.

We emptied our savings of cash, because none of our credit cards would be able to handle the full amount. I didn’t know if they would run multiple cards. I wasn’t going to ask, and we weren’t going to be taking any chances. Jeff suggested we could borrow money from his Mom, if needed. This is where my parental influence kicked in.

It never kicked in on the advice to save money, or plan for the future much, but it somehow stuck with me that borrowing money was the lowest thing you could do. It would show the world your failure and absolutely ruin relationships. I told Jeff that I would never agree to stooping so low, and insisted that nobody really needed to know, anyway.

We’d just have to deal with it like adults. Money was going to be very, very tight for a few months, and I decided we were going to get through this on our own.

Quote for the Week:

2018 06 12 One persons prolonged wrong jakorte