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  • Lisa Millraney

small victories and a little retail therapy

Well, 2021 has been…interesting, to say the least, so far. Hope everybody’s holiday season was good. My aunt gave me an air fryer for Christmas, and I admit, I was a little down about it, because I didn’t figure I would ever use it—until I tried it the first time. it’s a wonderful thing! I’ve made everything from home fries, to roasted garlic Parmesan broccoli, to a lovely little steak I bought on sale for my birthday dinner. (You may recall last year I took myself out for a steak and a movie for my birthday. Since neither was happening this year, I did it at home myself. DIY works, hehe)


Are you all hanging tough? Things appear to be looking up, a bit at a time, for the world, as the vaccines for Covid are on their way, and the government’s starting to get real again. Personal things are settling for me too. The unexpected paperwork on my parents’ property finally got finished…LAST WEEK…after going around the moon to get one specific group of data I needed, filling one form out four different times, and driving to Franklin again to hand-deliver it. GRR, ARGH. But it’s done, thank heavens.


As this blog entry title implies, I celebrated with a wee spot of retail therapy. Not something I give myself permission to do a lot of, but if the property thing hadn't gotten resolved, I was going to end up paying a ton more in taxes, so I figured I could afford to give myself a treat. You may recall how I love hunting for bargains; that's one thing I miss greatly about lockdown/quarantine/what the heck ever you want to call it. And in these instances, neither of these purchases was something I would have done if I hadn’t almost literally stumbled across the deals on both occasions.


I was prowling around on reddit’s Pen Swap and found somebody selling a Sailor fountain pen, in an unusual color (transparent orange) for a very reasonable price. I asked about it and struck up a conversation, thinking I might spring for it. I wasn’t insane about the color but I knew I’d likely never be able to afford either of the Sailors I really wanted, the Fresca Blue 1911 that I think I’ve mentioned before (I lusted after it at the last in-person pen show I went to), and the slightly smaller Pro Gear in a color that translates from the Japanese as Winter Camellia, snow white with tiny flecks of petal red. So I figured, this way I’d own a Sailor at last, and at a price point I could afford.


Of course, then I told the seller this (a condensed version without the specifics) and he went ‘well if you aren’t crazy about this one, I have a couple of others I’m selling too’—he’s getting out of the fountain pen hobby, he’s more into computers and gaming now—‘I’m asking the same price for one as the orange, and the other is little so I’m not asking as much’.


Anybody wanna guess what two pens those were? Yep. THOSE TWO. My holy grail pens. Both of them! And as it turned out, between a birthday gift of some cash, and landing a few extra online gigs, I was able to afford them both! They ended up costing me less than half their list prices. I inked one up and it writes as beautifully as I hoped. (The other is waiting for a converter—the seller found both of their original boxes to send with, and he admitted he got so excited he forgot to send both converters. LOLOL)




Another find was a Loungefly backpack purse that I fell in love with, on a web site having a flash sale that, as I said, I literally fell over by accident—ended up getting it for about half price.



It’s perfect for spring. I can’t wait to carry it. Oh, and then for fun I started stalking them on ebay, because this one was just purse-size for me, and well made. I thought I’d love to have a darker colored one for fall/winter use, and found one I loved, bid on it and won it for about half price too! (I’m seeing a pattern here)



They’re both Disney themed, but not in-your-face Disney. The light one is a floral print with Beauty and the Beast characters, and the dark one is Aladdin’s magic carpet print. I joined a facebook group of lovely folks who collect them, and they keep insisting I’ll buy more, but, hey, they don’t know me as well as y’all do, methinks. I just love my two, and chuckle at their huge collections.


One last big (well, big-ish, for me, because y’all know how cheap I am) score was at Wal-Mart the other day. New purse meant motivation to clean out old purse; I noticed my old wallet was starting to fall apart and was a bit too large for my new purse anyway, so I checked their web site, saw one I liked on sale, and masked up and slid in to locate it. (doing that a lot of late, it means I spend much less time in the store, which, until I get myself vaccinated, is going to be the rule of the day)


I did find the wallet…but in the clearance aisle I also found some gorgeous sheets that just fit my bed, and a set of drip pans for the stove. That last one hit especially funny, because just the day before, I was gazing with deep sadness at the nasty old drip pans under my burners, and said out loud ‘I really do not want to have to scrub those things, I need new ones’.


Now, understand, I had accepted I was going to have to scrub them, because new ones are often pretty pricey, and getting them to fit your specific stove can be a crapshoot at best. These, though, looked to the eye like they should fit, and they were marked down to FOUR DOLLARS. For the whole set. And when I got them home I crossed my fingers and said a prayer, and the dang things fit just fine. I laughed and said ‘Lord, did you hear me bitching and decide to send me one more little present?’



(More new-thing energy--I was so excited about the new drips, they motivated me to clean my whole stove. Cleaning isn’t one of my favorite things to get started, but boy, once it’s done, what a sense of satisfaction.)


On the home front, I’m about to start some pepper plants to put out in the spring, and got myself a jump rope to try and get back into shape (if I can jump more than half a dozen times before the dang thing gets tangled around my feet). I’m also resuming work on my tiny crocheted Grogus (aka baby Yodas) for Dragon Con, in hopes by August we have covid on the run! And I started a year-long cross-stitch project, a sampler made up of small square motifs, one stitched each day, in a color determined by the high temperature that day. It’s going to be so neat.


Well, the next few days are going to be COLD temps. One of those notorious polar vortices is on its way, and frankly we are praying for snow and not ice. Snow you can get around in, if you are desperate enough. Ice, no way. Also, ice will bring lines down and knock power out, and Lord knows I don’t want to have to sleep on my living room floor in front of my fireplace.


I’m still writing, and surprised myself a couple of weeks ago by actually finding the strength to write s short story dealing with dementia. After making it through my time caring for mom, I halfway thought I’d never be able to bring myself back there, but I did, and it felt good. I shared it with the caregivers emeritus group and they cheered me on too.


Anyway, thought I’d better toss up a little post to say hey and send love to all y’all! Off to fix some supper and piddle around on a Saturday night. Might crochet baby Yodas, or read, or write, or catch up on some tv. Take care, talk to y'all soon. :)

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