Sunday, June 17, 2012

Of shopping,yard sales and seeing a good friend

Its 9:32 am

   Looking outside at a hot muggy summer day....we're expected to hit 90 today and tomorrow. Guess that means summer is now in session,right?

Hope everyone is doing well on Father's Day. I chatted with my pops yesterday and he is doing well. We talked about the U.S.Open and how rough it is this year to play on the revamped course. Pops isn't a big Tiger Woods fan so he was pretty happy Tiger faded a bit. His buddy Coke,who is 73,fell and broke his hip this week and is in a rehab center. I told my dad that the recovery time for a broken hip is so much faster these days and if Coke works hard,he'll be back at 'em in a few weeks. After seeing my mother-in-law bounce back so quickly,I know my dad's good buddy can do the same.

   But that wasn't the only medical issue going on this week...seems Lori had developed a nasty rash on her arm that burned and itched like crazy. It also was painful so that led us to think it was a insect bite of some kind. Now because I had been to a dermatologist for a unrelated matter,we decided Lori should go as well.
Because now the rash had spread to her stomach and when you have recently dealt with a serious cancer scare,you don't want to take ANY chances.
 So Friday afternoon,she went and saw the doctor....I was pretty perplexed to say the least,I thought maybe a spider bite or perhaps bedbugs (God forbid) but I had gotten nary a bite or itch.
  Imagine our surprise when we learned that Lori,who had worked on the yard during the week had stumbled across this bugger

Yep,you're looking at your basic poison ivy plant! Now despite living here for 13 years,I didn't know poison ivy grew in Michigan. I have caught a couple of cases myself in California,didn't think it could grow here because of the weather. And it explains why she suddenly started itching like mad on her stomach. Poison Ivy is such a nasty beast. Hot/cold compresses,Benedyl (from my yellowjacket adventure) and calamine lotion are now the order of the day. Its like our yard is getting revenge for last summer lack of love.

But before this was somewhat resolved,we took a road trip to Fairlane Mall in Dearborn. Macy's was having a one day sale and since we also had coupons,well...I know what some of you are saying "Why Fairlane Mall when 12 Oaks or Westland is so much closer"? We needed to go to Garden Ridge as well,we're looking for a larger,heavier patio table and since the two places are close together. Plus,we were going in the middle of the day so the safety factor was high as well.
   I mean,they don't call this place "Scarelane Mall" for nothing,right? We found a good parking spot and went into Macy's. The store was busy,lot of Middle Eastern moms were out with the kids,school had gotten out for the summer and it was a good time to shop for summer/vacation clothes as the prices were really very good.
  We ended up getting 2 new pillows,a food chopper,a father day gift for my dad and a couple of nice shirts for me. It was a very pleasant experience to shop at such a nice store with friendly and professional customer service. The 2 other Macy stores in this area could learn a thing or 3 about helping guests from the Dearborn store.

We said goodbye to Macy's and headed on over to Garden Ridge. Now I have wrote about this store before,its a poor man's Menards/HomeDepot/Party City. We do find good deals here but the place is such a hot ghetto mess its hard to stay in there and shop. Last time we were there,I ended up sweeping up 2 broken plates that had been there for a while,they didn't have enough staff to spare anyone to handle it. Its always a "hold your breath,dash in and out"type of place...
  But wow....were we pleasantly (again) surprised this time! The store was in perfect order and there was a army of workers this time and everyone of them was doing something! This put us at ease and we were able to shop comfortably...but this came at a cost as the prices were higher then before. Of course this being the start of summer and demand being high for summer items,it makes sense,right?
  We walked to the table section and while we saw the perfect table,it was sold out. Now Garden Ridge is sort of like a Dollar Tree,its a "first come,first serve" type of store. You can't find out when the next shipment is due and you can't special order either.

  Now if the store was close to us,this wouldn't be a real problem. But being about 16-18 miles away,its not worth the crapshoot to see if the table is there or not. So back to square one....we'll be looking at stores closer to home for the table. Sort of a shame actually because we really liked the idea of buying from Garden Ridge.
   Headed back home to help our neighbor set up her yard sale. We had agreed to to co-host the sale except for one small item. We really didn't have anything to sell! After our yard sale last year,we donated what we didn't sell to the local Goodwill Store. And we have always donate old magazines/books to the Purple Heart guys who call us every six weeks or so...we just didn't have anything!
  But I walked over in time to set up the sale,the neighbor's son,Dylan,was sorting out his Yu-Gi-Oh cards to sell. Now that is one of the few things I did and was going to put out. I have a lot of cards and don't really need so many so it made sense. His mom said he was going to sell his cards for 12 cards for a buck. I thought that fair but I also told her he should hang on to his 1st Edition cards as finally they are starting to gain value. When I read that cards from the first booster set "Legend of Blues Eyes" were worth 50 and 60 bucks apiece,I was pretty stunned.

I went to help sort out his cards and my heart sank when I saw the condition of them. They were in pretty bad shape as far as collectors would look at and even the most casual players probably would pass on them. I still helped sort them out but I told him his mom I wouldn't being mine down...mine are in mint condition and he wouldn't make a dime. I grabbed a few old video games,the light fixture I wrote about in my last blog and a few other things. Lori went over and helped organized the tables. 30 minutes later I came out to carry the stuff over only to see my lovely wife carrying a armful of stuff BACK to the house! Seems like she was the first shopper and bought some very good items,including a brand new Wilton cookie sheet for 3.00! Hard to beat that deal! I had to laugh at that and helped set out our items on the table. Dylan came out and said he wasn't selling his cards after all and I could bring over mine if I wanted to. I went ahead and did so...and he promptly bought 36 cards! I showed his mom the condition of my cards and she said "thank you" for thinking of her son's feelings.I offered to buy her cat,Crash,but was told "no!!!".
   Yesterday was a peaceful day. Spent it puttering around the up,doing light chores and then checking in at the yard sale. So I'm standing there talking to our neighbor's sister who is now helping run the sale. I see a young couple who are debating buy this very cool looking candle I chip in with "That would look very nice on a kitchen table". They chat a little more and then buy it. As they start walking out,the man stops and says "You're Michael,right?" I said "Yes...I am". He says "You need a haircut" It took me a second to register that and then  it hit me was Sharif! Before the group became "The Inner Circle" and evolved into this blog,I started the group to help support my friend Sharif,whom I met at the place I get my hair cut at. He had joined the National Guard and was deployed to Iraq as a mechanic but volunteered to serve as a gunner in convoy security. He spent a year there and thank God,saw no action and never had to fire his weapon in battle.
   But after he got back last year he deactivated his FB page and I lost contact. So it was just awesome to run across Sharif like that...he looked great and the young lady was his sister who was helping him shop for his new place in Westland. He shared some stories with me about Iraq,some good,some pretty bad. He invited me over for a poker night once he gets into his new place. Not only did he buy the candle holder but also Lori's vase that she hated. Except they did it BEFORE I saw him....

Not the actual vase but you can an idea how UGLY it was.....but as the saying goes "beauty is in the eye of the beholder".

   Saturday evening saw me head back over to help break down the yard sale,we folded tables and cleaned the garage enough so that my neighbor could park her car. Her sale was a major coup as she made 500.00! We didn't do too shabby consider how little we chipped in....we made 22.00 that is going to a new chair that we are still looking for. Dylan helped me carry our stuff back and I gave him a card he was looking for.
 Lori came home and we zipped over to Aldi's for a few items that we needed. But now I need to wrap this up because I have 2 cats who are flashing massive paws at me and pointing at their mouths....

Guess that means a Petco run!

 Tweets are the funniest things sometimes......and this one from English writer Sarah Pinborough just cracked me up...
"I think I'm getting a cold. That is not in my plans.This is one dull motherfucking tweet".
Way to call oneself out on the carpet there! But we do you feel better Sarah,who needs a cold in the summer?

Rodney King died today,looks like a case of drowning. Sad end to a hard life.

Happy Father's day to all the dads out there.....leaving you a helping of "Your Daily Boo".

New interview with hot designer Evon Cassier coming soon....stay tuned!

Thanks for reading.

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