Category Archives: Shopping

Got Holiday Squirrel Brain?

by Kimberly A. Cook              (Twitter@  WarriorTales)

Ever have one of those moments when you find yourself in a situation and can’t figure out how the holy jumping beans you thought it was a good idea? Happened to me Thanksgiving night. Going to blame my delirium on turkey overdose, sugar rush and maximum salt intake.


Smart squirrel. Eating not shopping the holiday sales.


Found myself at 8 p.m. in the Kohl’s store by my Mom’s house with 10,000 other shoppers. That is a conservative estimate. Somehow my brain decided I really wanted the set of eight remote controlled LED candles on sale for $19.99. Saw them looking at the turkey day ads that morning.

Parking was okay. Swam to the doors since we had a huge rainfall and it continued into the night. Started down the middle aisle to find the candles and noticed lots of hard core shoppers, but it didn’t really sink in. I blame the turkey tryptophan for my delayed reaction.

Since this Kohl’s store is arranged differently than my regular Kohl’s store my right turn led me away from the candle area. By the time I figured out I was looking at vacuum cleaners against the far wall instead of candles, I saw a line.

Hugh, my brain said. A line. Seems odd. I knew where I entered the store was the main checkout. Moving forward I realized it was THE CHECKOUT LINE. Awareness and a creeping sense of dread soon confirmed the nightmare; the checkout line was HALF WAY around the inside of the STORE. HALF THE LENGTH OF THE STORE.

I kept walking because my addled brain and eyes could not quite believe what they were seeing. Then I saw one shopper in line with a BIG BOX in front of her. Like a four-foot high cardboard box. Full to overflowing. No idea what all was inside the box, but I bet they’re still ringing up her purchases today.

That moment my real brain returned from vacation. WTF are we doing here? Screw the candles! Abort! Abort! Escape and evade! Dive! Dive! My military training kicks in at the oddest moments; must have been a turkey coma delay. Why didn’t it stop me in the first place from entering the parking lot?

Nearing the front of the store I observed nine checkout stands going full tilt. Still the humongo line. Bless all their little shopping crazed hearts.

Escaping out the front doors I launched myself into Subie and headed for home. I have not braved holiday deals/Black Friday sales for more than twenty years. It used to be a blast to dive under the raising gate into the Hallmark store the day after Christmas and get the ornaments on sale. But that ship has sailed for me.

At some point you realize you don’t need more ornaments or holiday decorations or any additional seasonal booty in the house. When you have more ornaments than trees could fit in your abode, tis the season to purge.

When I got home Spec Ops Cat was not happy his dinner was late. Where had I been?

No LED candles, cranky cat and temporary insanity. Welcome to the holidays!

Got holiday squirrel brain?



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Got A Pumpkin Invasion?

by Kimberly A. Cook                   (Twitter@  WarriorTales)

Running errands on Friday I stopped at the store and saw the big orange invasion; pumpkins everywhere! White pumpkins, bumpy pumpkins, baby pumpkins, miniature pumpkins, regular pumpkins and ceramic pumpkins. Plus all the Halloween candy one’s heart desires.


A pile of perfect pumpkins!


Time to stock up now! If you want the good Halloween candy you have to buy in September, because the locusts come in and all that is left by mid-October is the candy nobody really likes. Consider yourselves warned.

The reason I was in the garden section was to find discounted items for the Fairy Rock Garden and perhaps a gazing ball on sale. Scored on all accounts. The garden art was twenty-five percent off, including the gazing ball, picked up some plastic butterflies,  a couple mini-elves and a mini-house.

Bargains make me so happy, but I’m sure there must be a garden art intervention in my future.


Pumpkins for every taste. Think these are free range pumpkins.


More leaves are turning colors and falling off the trees, the tomatoes are giving their last crop of bounty and the weekend rainstorm reminded us all why we like sweaters and warm socks. The sun is coming back this week, but the shorter days tell the story; soon it will be time for pumpkin pie!

So the outside chores to do list is heating up. I will try to finally get the garage cleaned up and mucked out. Then it will be time to put the lawn swing away for the winter and break out the fuzzy blankets and fleece lounging jammies for cuddles.

Celebrate the seasons and enjoy the simple pleasures. Planting new bulbs is always a good idea to see what pops up in the new year. Must go back to the garden section while the sales are still raging. Plus pick up some extra Halloween candy. Just to be sure……

Got treats for tricks?


P.S. A salute to the first responders, law enforcement staff, military personnel and citizens who helped this past weekend after the terrorist acts on the East Coast. Wishing all those wounded and injured to heal fast and know you are in our hearts and prayers.

While we seek justice against terrorist acts, we must not lose our compassion. Fighting terrorism is not easy and it won’t be finished overnight. But with a United States population of more than 330 million strong, we’ve got this and we will finish it one day. Count on it.


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Do You Have Any Cat Clutter?

by Kimberly A. Cook               (Twitter@  WarriorTales)

Spent part of the weekend reading my latest how to kill clutter book. I have at least a dozen of those guides. No matter how I try I’m always purging and cleaning  out my desk, closets, cabinets, the garage, my purse and the pantry.


To kitty nap on new summer tops, perchance to dream. 


How do we get so much stuff? Part of my collections I give a pass; books, beads, bears, shoes and DVDs. And office supplies – I have an unholy addiction to office supplies. But if OfficeMax is closed, I’m covered, and so is most of Oregon if needed.

So while looking back at photos from March 2014, digital photo clutter, I happened upon a bunch of my favorite feline doing his best to help me organize. Not. These were three brand new blouses that I had laid out on the bed to put away. Before I could turn around and chant “blueberry pop tarts,” Spec Ops Cat made himself a new bed.

Not that he needed another bed, he has at least five “official” beds downstairs and three upstairs. But he felt the need to add a special frilly one to his collection. Good thing he’s cute, cuddly and performs perimeter patrol.

While vacuuming this past weekend I also had to move his toys. Not all his toys, just the bunch which are currently spread all over the house until I rotate them with his stash in the closet. Of all the toys I buy him and Grandma gets for him, the twist ties off the new electronic gadgets are his favorites.

I bet I could get my home organized, but all the books have never mentioned what to do with cat clutter. Perhaps that’s because we all know when it comes to our pets, they rule. A plaque I have says, “When all else fails, hug the cat.”

Who needs decluttering books anyway? Got pets? Got clutter? Enjoy it!





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Are You Retro Too?

by Kimberly A. Cook                       (Twitter@   WarriorTales)

It’s official; I’m retro. Was shopping at Target the other day and happened upon this display of “retro” games. Hah! I dearly remember Candyland. And Twister, And Rock Em’ Sock Em’ Robots. But besides the fact I prefer the word vintage, I’ll go with retro. Sounds kind of cool.

Pretty sure this was a plot to addict me to candy for life. It worked!

Pretty sure this was a plot to addict me to candy for life. It worked!

I also noticed retro games are not necessarily cheap either. So maybe being retro is cool and expensive. According to the three pit crews it takes to keep me together, that is correct.

So in honor of the last days of August, I’m going to take my retro butt over to the couch for a nap and leave you all with games to ponder. What was your favorite game growing up? Do you still own it? Do you think they will make it retro too?

My friend Michelle loved Mystery Date and that summed up her social life until she met her husband. Me, I was more into the Clue game, still do love mysteries! Which also sums up my dating life.

This is what I need to do to get rid of the bingo wings on my arms. Not the game, in real life!

This is what I need to do to get rid of the bingo wings on my arms. Not the game, in real life!

Enjoy these August days of summer. I’ve noticed the summer morning light changing from yellow to a golden hue in the morning. I’m also watering the garden in the dark these days, which is a clue to the change of seasons.

Might just be time to stock up on some retro board games. Personally, I’m going to go dig out my vintage Yahtzee game. I’m in the mood to roll me some dice!


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Can We All Downsize In Place?

by Kimberly A. Cook               (Twitter@   WarriorTales)

I’m reading a book about getting organized titled, “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up – The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing,” by Marie Kondo. She has two rules of getting organized and the first one is the hardest; discard what doesn’t give you joy. This includes sorting everything in your entire house.

Goldmine! Not that I need these, but I had to bring a few home! For decorating. Really!

Goldmine! Not that I need these, but I had to bring a few home! For decorating. Really!

It sounds simple, but she recommends a six-month process to make this happen. I think I’ve been trying to do this for sixteen years myself. Truly, I have a collection of decluttering books! Case in point.

Perhaps one of the biggest challenges is realizing our lives and activities have changed but we hang onto the clothes or sports equipment or artwork from the past.

Another favorite organizing book had some powerful advice; “storage is sorrow.” Whether past triumphs or tragedies or both, if we don’t love the items or display them as keepsakes, storage is not honoring the role of those items now, so set them free!

Easier said than done. Lately I’ve been shopping my clothes closet. While pretty organized, I have more stuff than I can remember. Found some shoes I’d forgotten about which are just the right sandals for this summer. Breaking in one pair of them today.

I’ve also been watching a lot of style tv shows, a favorite is “Love, Lust or Run” with Stacy London and “Dare to Wear” on TLC. Think I must be craving a change in fashion. Part of it comes from getting used to my thinner bod and wearing clothes that actually fit. New experience.

So today I boxed up some clothes to donate that I truly loved but am not willing to pay the cost of tailoring. I’m going to set them free so someone else can enjoy them and I have a cleaner closet. Now, I have drawn some lines so far; beads, yarn and books. Yes, I will sort them, but I’m not going to be brutal about it. Luckily they don’t take up much space. Okay, if I’m truthful I’m not going to get rid of beads – period. But the books and yarn are smaller than a bass boat! I think.

Of course, my fun trips to my favorite antique mall are not stopping either, but I’m trying to be very careful what I bring home. Last visit I came across a basket of 45 RPM records and sorted through. Pounced on one by Elvis and several made in Hawaii with the label in a red and white floral print. Plan on using them as wall decorations in the Maui/Elvis in Hawaii bathroom. Now if I can just find where I put them …..

P.S. For those of you keeping track, I finally switched out my cable tv modem this past weekend. With cussing and lots of chocolate, I made it work. Then I downgraded my tv package, kept football of course, and they sent me a new DVR to switch out. Sigh. Now I have to actually watch the shows on my old DVR. Stop the insanity!


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How About Taking A Shopping Vacation?

by Kimberly A. Cook           (Twitter@   WarriorTales)

Spent time at my favorite antique store last Friday and found a treasure I can’t afford. Peeking out from under a lamp base and a radio was a fabulous wicker travel desk. This little piece of furniture immediately got me to thinking of the British Empire in India and Lawrence of Arabia all at the same time.

This is how I first caught sight of this beauty....

This is how I first caught sight of this beauty….

It’s an amazing desk with cubicles and drawers and hiding spots. Perfect for someone with a small space who could put their laptop right on top of the fold out table.

While I would have loved to snap it up, for the tune of $550 I didn’t. Taking a picture was close.

I require space to spread out on my desk, but oh the mind vacation and adventures I could dream of sitting at this little piece of history. That is one of the reasons I love looking at antique stores and perusing gadgets and gidgets of the past.

My imagination loves to take walks on the wild side when shopping. Plus I might find some treasures I can’t live without for the bead, book, shoe, and teapot collections.

The weekend before I made a slow mosey through our local Salvation Army Store. Scanned for a small drawer unit to up-cycle and make into a bathroom storage cabinet, but no luck on my quest.

I did find out where vases, punch bowls and extra plates wind up though.

I’ve had great luck treasure hunting at Goodwill Stores in the past, but that was my first foray into Salvation Army. Think I must be more of a Goodwill Girl. Still love my large ginger jar shaped yellow lamp base I got for $5 and my small facial tissue box cover for $1. The prices were right.

Look at the drawers and cubby holes!

Look at the drawers and cubby holes!

Thinking about the stories behind the items I take home makes me imagine what kind of lives they had and who bought them first.

I’d really like to know the story behind that antique travelling desk. Maybe the real Lawrence of Arabia used it after all?

Got any fun shopping finds?

P.S. Happy St. Patrick’s Day! Bet there is a Leprechaun in one of those wee drawers…..


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