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:

demanding, cadence

It’s been a long time since anyone told me what to do in a fall-in-line school-sense. Referring to tasks for education: write an essay on, create a theme poem, and that horror of horrors – edit.

Edit wasn’t well loved or even liked in my elementary, high or college schooling. (Or now, honestly.)

I loved to write and was under the impression that writing loved me. Otherwise, how could it have been so easy? Words came to me and I dispensed them exactly as channeled through my psyche.

Any type of art, once emerged and recorded, immerged to the deep. Catalystic inspiration filed, it was perfect as it was. Whatever the medium, it came out of me divined and that’s how it would stay. I learned the phrase ‘Artistic License,’ and adopted it, fully.

Young ego. I didn’t understand the art of finessing. Observing, tweaking, seeing it from another point of view – there just wasn’t room in my head. I was always on to the next creative.

April was National Poetry Month. University of Michigan LSA Institute for Humanities popped up with a program and challenge called Poetry Blast. 22 days of noon-time poetry reading by and daily prompts.

Prompts are demands. Uncomfortable commands to self- challenge. When it is no longer about urgent feelings or excited insight, it’s a struggle to combat insincerity with what may not be talent, after all.

So, 22 chances. 22 struggles. Limited outcomes, due to topic, timing. Some just straight-up, staring blanks of ‘I don’t get it.

My total participation attempts yielded 6 submissions. Three of which, I think, are ridiculously weak, obviously forced.  To my credit, I analyzed the situation and accepted the call-to summons as an opportunity. An uncomfortable opportunity to struggle, but that was the point of trying.

Interestingly, I have found my ‘natural’ cadence to be obvious and boring. Admittedly, at times, outright contrived and imitatingly trite. I’ve been working tweaks. One line in particular irked me as being too children’s picture book rhymey. Another, I fear for its honesty.

Some fall into failure, considering way-off prompt tangled-up tangents of skipping from topic to … an anomalytic abyss of deep click diving, one thing leads to another, but doesn’t fulfill the requirement.

In the same way that dusting a 15-year-old multiply-moved, semi-busted lampshade interrupts cleaning mode in favor of shopping for a new one and you end up with shoes.

Quote for the Week:

Background & Links:

Take a few minutes to listen to a poem! April is National Poetry Month, the largest literary celebration in the world. This year, the Institute for the Humanities is joining the tens of millions of readers, students, teachers, librarians, booksellers, publishers, families, and, of course, poets, in marking poetry’s important place in our lives. Every weekday at noon in April, our Youtube channel will feature a U-M faculty member reading one of their poems. See below for today’s featured poet.

2021 Poetry Blast: Read. Write. Hear

Street Poems: Ann Arbor 2021 Poetry Blast Walking Tour

YouTube: Noon Readings 

$ Layering Tips for Bed Bath & Beyond and Macy’s

Two quick scenarios from today’s adverts & sales & rewards programs:

Bed Bath & Beyond:

Sign in through MyPoints you will get 4 points per dollar.

Use BB&B 20% Off Entire Purchase coupon code

The IBOTTA browser extension with pop up and ask you to activate 2% cash back.

If you have a gmail account and use it for your purchasing email address, Fetch will automatically credit you points for any e-receipts to your gmail address.

Summary for this scenario: $100 item

My Points: 400 points

BB&B: $20.00 off

IBOTTA extension: $1.60 cash back ($80.00 x 2%)

Fetch: I don’t have gmail, so I cannot for sure give you a points figure. But, snapping photos of paper receipts this year has averaged me 270 points/receipt.  

Macy’s

Signing in through MyPoints will earn you up to 15 points/dollar.

When I Iogged in this morning, IBBOTA extension was showing 8% cash back.

If you’re a Macy’s card holder, you should have received mail or email with coupons/codes. 😉

Click the Blue Links below to get started.

Ibotta My Ibotta Referral Code: vuodlbm

Fetch My Fetch Referral Code: A8JUX

MyPoints: if you are interested in adding MyPoints to your layered savings, please private message me your email address so I may send you an invitation. You can go and sign upon your own, but it’d be nice if you give me a chance to send you the invite. 🙂

Yes, I will earn points or cash back boosts from the above links. But, once you sign up, you can, too!

Important – I will never, ever sell or give your email address away or divulge any other personal information, to any other person, company or space alien. Promise.

Other ways to get cash back or rewards:

Take advantage of your credit cards with the best rewards. Do your research before shopping!

Discover 5% at Amazon, Best Buy & Target.

Amex is offering cash back at various retailers and has a Small Business Saturday encouragement campaign. At one time, they were offering various amount of cash back on purchases at qualifying small businesses in your area.

Savings $ Layering

I had this whole thing conceptualized as a three-part learning series, which it will be, still.

However, on the front side of holiday shopping, I wanted to share how I layer savings and earn cash back and gift cards and shopper rewards, too.

So, not my best example, but my most recent. Here’s how the FoodSaver purchase worked out for me at Kohl’s:

I started by going to MyPoints and entering Kohl’s from there. 6 points per dollar was the rate on 11/23. It can rise or lower. So, before you shop at any store, open your MyPoints account.

Original price $349.99

Sale price $329.99

Kohl’s 15% Off Coupon – $49.50 (I didn’t get the 30% 😦 )

Shipping Free

Kohl’s cash earned $75.00 (think funds for holiday gifts)

Kohl’s rewards earned $14.02 (think funds for holiday gifts)

Ibotta Browser Extension 0.5% Cash Back $1.49 (think thirst quencher while you’re shopping) and remember – I earned $193.00 cash back from Ibotta last year! It all adds up. Truly.

MyPoints 1782 point (Redeemable for Gift Cards)

Fetch – Unfortunately, only works with online purchases associated with GMail accounts, SO FAR. They’re working on it!

Click the Blue Links below to get started.

Ibotta My Ibotta Referral Code: vuodlbm

Fetch My Fetch Referral Code: A8JUX

MyPoints: if you are interested in adding MyPoints to your layered savings, please private message me your email address so I may send you an invitation. You can go and sign upon your own, but it’d be nice if you give me a chance to send you the invite. 🙂

Yes, I will earn points or cash back boosts from the above links. But, once you sign up, you can, too!

Extra tips:

Create a Junk Email Address. You’ll use this for all of the stores, restaurants, point and cash back programs so they don’t clutter up your real inbox!

When you sign up for any cashback or points program there is usually a bonus. Always check your email and the website for extra deals.

Right now Ibotta is offering 2.5% cash back on Society6 purchases.

I always order samples from each site I list my art on as a quality check. Not only am I super pleased with the pleated, 2-layer, filter-insert features of Society6 masks, I am also super pleased that the Ibotta Browser popped up and offered 2.5% Cash Back ON TOP OF THE SALE PRICE – up to 50% off on a lot of items. Redbubble also offers Ibotta cash back.

Important – I will never, ever sell or give your email address away or divulge any other personal information. to any other person, company or space alien. Promise.

Artwork available on masks, pillows, clocks, tables, leggings, travel mugs, and just about any great gift you can think of!

Knabbler Shop @ Society6

Knabbler Shop @ RedBubble

btw – Chewy offers discounts for joining their auto-ship plan. Scheduling is your choice. Auto ships may be canceled at any time, so try it out.

Funereal Fashion

After leaving the funeral home, I had to consider the next thing I never considered; funeral attire. Thank goodness my SIL thought to have my brother ask me.

I had plenty of black tops because New York/Music/Rebel black-is-slimming has been my legitimate style. So much so, that when I moved to Nashville, someone finally asked me if I ever wore anything but black. “Oh, yeah,” I’d said. “Navy blue and brown. Sometimes gray!”

Tennessee brought other colors into my wardrobe. Michigan helped with that, as well. There was a problem with my new palates, though. I no longer owned any black pants.

I was never fond of shopping to begin with. If I end up in a store it’s usually because I am looking for a specific item. Or it’s Kohls because they sent me a $10 coupon and a 30% off flyer sticker and a new clearance shirt is never a bad purchase.

But, luckily, that day I was numb and it was Sears, in the mall, because we were driving by it anyway. I wasn’t expecting much luck or fashion at size 24. Amazingly enough, the dowdy plus size section had plenty of black pants options.

I grabbed three pair, tried them on, took the least offensive and was ready to go. That was the day I earned a new moniker from my brother.  “You’re like a Ninja Shopper!” he exclaimed.

That made me laugh. Jeff shared the same observation but not with a title. To Jeff Lowe’s and Walmart were like exhibit changing museums to be indepthly explored, each and every visit. “Slow down,” he’d call from his cart. “We might miss something!”

I’m a fast shopper, unless it’s an antique store or a flea market.  I have almost endless patience for those. But, I’m also usually hoping to take home a salt-chicken. Or two, if there’re two to be found.

I had a fairly dressy black shirt, fairly fitted, point-collared and pinstriped. I thought nothing of it, at the time. Later, when I was willing some of my 20’s weight-loss wardrobe to a friend, I pulled it from the back of the closet and gave that away, too.

Even later, as in late-2019, I was jotting down outline notes, when it occurred to me.

The blouse I wore was black, of course.

Detailed with finely dispersed, shimmering gold pinstripes.

Unintentionally, black and gold. Which were, intentionally, our wedding colors.

Quote for the Week: 2020 04 28 sticking with what you know jakorte