Antiques Roadshow Tickets. Trash or treasure?

I’m a loser.

Of things that is.

I’ve lost a $10,000 check and diamond rings.

Can’t remember if it was the $10,000 college tuition check or a $100 insurance refund —  but I vowed never to let a piece of mail go in the trash un-opened.

Well . . .


 *   *   * 

I don’t watch much television except HGTV. The Property Bros, Fixer Upper, Flip or Flop, Beachfront Bargain. I’m all idiot savant about it.

The one exception being PBS’ Antiques Roadshow.  I know. The show that’s been on since Jesus walked the earth. I hadn’t watched it for years, but for some reason — maybe because I’m now antique status — we started watching it again a few years ago.

Monday nights, 8 pm. Sacred.

“We need to go,” I said to my husband last summer. Looking on the PBS site, I learned that you don’t just show up with your grandmother’s faux shark tooth bracelet. No ma’am. In January, you select from the cities scheduled for the next season and enter a lottery. Winners to be notified in May.

Fastforward to this May.

The email said I was a WINNER. And that two tickets would arrive by mail.


Except the arriving by mail part.

You’d think with my sketchy history of tossing away life savings in unopened mail, my guard would be up.

 *  *  *

Last weekend, I reread the email and noticed the tickets should arrive two weeks prior to the event. Which meant, I should have seen them by now. Uh oh.

New Jamie didn’t panic. She waited for the mail to come on Monday. Surely it would be there.

No mail delivered to our basket on Monday.

No mail delivered on Tuesday. At this point, I did something I’d never done. Went down to our post office to ask if they were holding our mail. Had my mail basket finally been condemned by the postal service? It is pretty beat up.

“No. There was nothing back there for you,” the clerk replied with a smile.

New Jamie didn’t panic. She went outside to the trash and rifled through five large bags and a few smaller grocery bags on our driveway. No luck.

Surely it will be in Wednesday’s mail.


That’s when I knew.

I’d thrown it away unopened.

You know the saying I turned my house upside down looking for . . . . I did that and shook it sideways too.

Nothing. Well, a lot of cr@p like bills but no tickets.

In tears, I was so angry.

Here’s the irony.

I don’t really care about antiques. Well, except my husband. I don’t have anything of value to take. If I hadn’t been selected for tickets in the first place, I’d have been a tad disappointed but thought we’ll get it one of these years.

It was that my unfocused, mindless shuffling of paper mistake cost me a weekend away with John. A weekend staying at one of my favorite hotels. It cost me the possibility of meeting a Keno.

For the love of Primitive Windsor Chairs Painted with the Alaskan Flag in Gold Relief!

This called for OYKP. On Your Knees Prayer.

Bending down on the carpet, I clasped hands with fingers entwined.

Dear God. People are in heartbreakingly courageous battles with cancer and others have seemingly insurmountable financial woes. All so very worthy of your power and might. But dear Jesus, if those tickets have not left this property in a garbage truck and aren’t sitting in the Morgan County landfill — please help me.

Search the garbage again.


I got up, headed outside and went through the trash.

First was a small bag containing Chick-Fil-A wrappers. Second bag was bigger. Some mail was on top. Took out a nondescript envelope with a odd stamp. Junk.



Then I saw station call letters as the return address. Opening the envelope, seeing a clock and old stuff —

I thought —  cr@p — a letter advertising one of those foreclosure sales on mountain property.




Then I turned it over.




God hears our prayers.

My prayers.

Even those that seem to be taking a bit long to answer.

As far as the Roadshow, I don’t really have anything of value to take, but I’ve got tickets.

And that will make me smile, forever.

Anybody have anything I could take?



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The Renovation Diaries, Part VXXIII. A list of 10.

Happy Monday.

The last few days I’ve been Jamie sells seashells by the seashore. I had every intention of blogging, seriously writing on my WIP and catching up on tons of reading.

Nope. Nope. And Nope.

This is basically what I did for four days. (While my husband worked at a conference. Poor guy.)

Sit and look at this and while rocking back and forth and softly humming Suwannee River.

Well, the rocking and humming only lasted the first 36 hours.


The Monday Listcle prompt is: 10 things I’m looking forward to . . .

I think my brain and body deciding to check out for four days was the cumulative effect of this renovation we are immersed in.

So my list of 10 is:

10 things I’m looking forward to in 2016 when this renovation is completed.
























That’s my list.

What are you looking forward to these days?

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Losing my ring, losing my mind.

You wouldn’t think 700 square feet was a lot of space to search. But a diamond ring managed to make itself pretty scarce around here last week.

Yes. I had a lost-a-piece-of-jewelry moment again. That’s why I didn’t even tell you when it disappeared. It was too embarrassing.

My husband had given me a ring with three diamonds — one for each child — for my 50th birthday, middle of last month.

I put it on my right hand. And though it was loose, I liked it there.

*  *  *
 I kept it on my right hand. Till Tuesday.

Tuesday I was sitting on my bed in the 700 foot apartment doing some work. I looked at my ring on my right hand and wondered what it would look like on my left hand with all my other rings.

So I plopped it on my left ring finger and kept working.

Until a few hours later when I looked at my left hand and saw NO RING.


How could I have been so stupid?  That ring had happily lived on my right hand for two weeks and then I have this genius idea to move it to my left ring that was already stacked with rings.

Even though I had lots of work to do, I stopped and tore everything apart in our small apartment.

Dishwater was still standing in the sink. Dropping my hand down in the murky depths, I raked my had to and fro. Nothing other than a stray macaroni noodle. With my son’s help, I took apart the drain and didn’t find anything in the trap.

Looked under all the appliances and everything else. Slowly my frantic searching died a slow death. I just knew it had to be in here somewhere. When my mind was more relaxed, my eyes would see where that darned thing had escaped to.

Nope. It never turned up.

After a few days of nothing and a few days of my husband reminding me that it wasn’t even insured yet — a dear friend showed up on my doorstep.

She felt so sorry for my scatter-brained self that she came over determined to help me find that ring.

So we searched. I looked through all the garbage cans outside and she turned everything upside down inside.

After an hour of fruitless looking we sat down to regroup.

“Tell me everything you did that morning,” she asked.

Once again I thought it over in my mind and aloud.

“I sat down to work on my bed at 11.” I remember that clearly because I was way behind.

“Around 11:30 I got really hungry.” It was the kind of hungry that I knew it was best I get up and make a sandwich.

“I got up and made a bacon, lettuce and tomato sandwich.”  We had already looked in the lettuce container and the meat drawer of the fridge. I told her that I had already search the mayonnaise jar.

“Then Jake came in and asked me if I’d make him one.” I put my sandwich down and made him two sandwiches.

“Then I looked down and saw I lost my ring because I was so upset I had lost all my appetite to eat my sandwich.”

So it had to have been such a short time. My friend looked through the white bread wrapper sitting on the counter.

“I had made sandwich with whole wheat bread. I keep that in the freezer.”

Diana opened the freezer and pulled out the bread.




So happy.

That’s what I get for rushing around trying to make a sandwich.


There was much rejoicing.

That’s a good friend who will spend an hour of their afternoon searching for your lost ring.

Ever lost anything and found it in an unlikely spot?

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Underestimating everything.

Hello — is anybody out there?

I’m afraid this whole remodeling and end of summer break has hit me up side the head like a 2 x 4. I’ve been late on work, almost late getting the kids to school today and late in realizing how long it’s been since I’ve blogged. About the only thing I haven’t been late with recently is my monthly. Thank goodness I don’t have to worry about that appearing at the most inopportune times any more. Can all God’s children say Amen?

Linking up with Finish the Sentence Friday this week.

I have a bad habit of  underestimating how long things will take.

Which usually leaves me frustrated and feeling behind more days.


I hate feeling like that. I’ve got to get better about realistically evaluating my time.

Take this morning. It was 7 o’clock before I tried to roust the children. You’d think 45 minutes would be enough time to get them out of bed and ready for school. Especially now that we are all living in 700 square feet while our house is undergoing renovation. How long does it take to walk to the shower? What ten steps to the kitchen to heat up a muffin?

Well. A heck of a lot longer than 45 minutes.

Why do I think my children are going to pop out up when I ask them to. It took almost 15 minutes to get my youngest standing vertical and stumbling to the shower like an extra on The Walking Dead.

My daughter got up a little sooner — but why oh why did I think she could straighten her hair and make up her pristine 12-year-old complexion in 30 minutes.

Silly, silly me.

I think we got to the middle school on time. Barely. And we made it to the elementary school with ten minutes to spare.

But it wasn’t the nice leisurely drive we had yesterday for the first day of school.

Oops this blog post has already taken more time than I had thought.

Better rap it up and get on to the next task —  I have completely underestimated the time needed to straighten 700 square feet.

What do you have a bad habit of?


I was supposed to be done with this when both hands were straight up. Pooh.


Finish the Sentence Friday




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Held hostage at the dentist office.

Not really.

My son had a cleaning scheduled for after school.

In the waiting area, I mentioned that he was going to run with me later.

We have another 5K coming up.

This wasn’t in his plan for the afternoon. He planned to sit on his pa-tooty and play Minecraft for hours. For those of you who don’t know what this is — it’s crack for 9 year olds.

When I said negatory on the Minecraft Marathon, my guy lashed out in what he thought was a death blow.

He snatched my phone as the lovely hygienist arrived to ask the updating-your-file questions.

And just to irate the heck out of me — this is what he did.


I finally wrestled my phone from the little imp.

And at home two hours later — guess who is living the vida Minecraft.

Who is that child’s mother?


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“Where’s my computer?” And other fun travel escapades.

‘”Where’s my computer?”

My husband asked while standing at baggage claim. We both looked down at a clump of bags.

I looked on my arm. Purse, check. My honking heavy computer bag, check. Carry on bag, check.

My husband’s computer. M.I.A.


Just after my husband disappeared into that sea of slot machines in search of his computer.


Yes, it was definitely gone. Left on the plane.

It’s amazing how little I panicked.

Why? Because it was his computer, Silly.

If it had been mine, my blood pressure would have jumped 3000 points. My breathing to gasping running-26 miles-levels.

Underarm sweat would have poured forth breaking through the best SECRET antiperspirant had to offer.

Most women carry purses. I’m constantly taking mental note that it’s there resting on my shoulder. That I haven’t left it at the checkout counter. Or resting on the circulation desk at the library. Same thing goes for my computer.

My hand slides down the thick black strap and gives the bag a little caress every now and then. It’s still there. Not left in the dentist office waiting room, or lying propped against a chair at Starbuck’s in the airport lounge.


Well, this story ends fine.

The good people of Air Tran had already spotted the laptop bag and had it securely waiting for him when he got to the gate.

And thankfully, we realized it was gone before we got in the cab or to the hotel.

Rest of the afternoon, we had a great time looking around the sights until our room was ready.  Having some refreshment.


Keeping up with purses and computers all along the way.

I enjoyed browsing in the shops while my husband had to go to a meeting. Then we met up to finally get into to our room.

Looking at his nice broad shoulders — I noticed one teensy thing missing.

“Where’s your computer?”

* * *


And yes. He had left his computer in the conference room and it was indeed found. Again.

Linking up with Mama Kat’s Writing Workshop. Prompt 1.) Write a post that begins and ends with the same line.

Have you lost a computer lately?


Mama’s Losin’ It

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10 Gifts that would be better to give than receive.

I’m not a gift person. This Christmas (by agreement) my husband and I didn’t exchange gifts. You know what?

I didn’t even notice. If I sit there with my coffee on Christmas morning watching others tear red wrapping paper covered in bubble-shaped penguins in a frenzy, I’m a happy gal.

Maybe this is not so altruistic? Maybe it’s that when I want something, I get it. No delayed gratification waiting for gifts for me. No sir.

Our Monday Listicle for this week:  10 “OH NO YOU DIDN’T” GIFTS.

10. Pets.

I love animals. Then they poop in my house, need feeding, need soaking (which I did to Cinderella our tortoise yesterday). Please save the pet drama for someone else.


9.  Electronics.

My dear husband has pushed me into the 21st Century and given me every electronic gadget I have. They crowd my time and free space in my brain. Try as I might, I’ve yet to figure out how to back up my gray matter on an iCloud.


8.  Fish.

Does this fall into pets? I don’t like cleaning water or worrying about the proper temperature. I am responsible for their entire existence.

Guess I’m glad that God doesn’t get so aggravated in keeping our universe going.


I guess I should move this in the realm of Valentine’s gifts.


7.  Stuffed animals.

I didn’t care for these at age nine; I don’t at 49. And if you sent me a teddy bear in a teddy, let me just say hell hath no furry.

6. Chocolates.

I’m giving up sweets for Lent and Ash Wednesday is the 13th.


5. Perfume.

I’m not against smelling nice, I just don’t wear it. My daughter comes in my room and puts on my perfume. When I remind her that I gave her an Aeropostale fragrance for Christmas, she replies that she doesn’t want to use hers up.


4.  Anything work-related.

My husband does this — new lamp, new pens. Just stresses me out. I feel like I should be working.


3.   Roses.

This is a half truth. I love getting flowers. I don’t care for roses any more than other flowers so don’t spend the extra money. Honestly, I only like roses growing in a garden where I can bend down and inhale.


2. A Massage.

Joke. I would love a massage a week for an entire year. I just figured out the most absolute, most perfect gift for me ever.


1.  Really, now all I can think about is gifts I would love.

1,200 thread count sheets

Nice, silky sleepy things.


Got it. Jewelry. Please don’t worry about spending any money on me with jewelry. I only really like the cheap costumey stuff.

Honestly Just worship me and I’m a happy girl.

That’s not too much to ask right?

What about you? What is on your “don’t even think about it” list for Valentine’s Day.

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Maybe time for a wax.

I have a friend who was a wonderful teacher. The kind who won “best teacher of the school” type teacher.

Though not in the classroom full-time these days, She now substitutes and earns a little money tutoring.

This was a recent encounter with one of her pupils, a second grader.

“Ms. M., you have a mustache.”

Her reply. “I have a mustache? Is it light or dark?”

“Light,” the pupil said.


My friend not the least undone by her student’s blinding honesty remarked, “I also have coffee breath.”

His response, “Yeah. But I wasn’t going to mention that.”

Hope you are getting all your last minute holiday preparations done.

And in all the rushing around, don’t forget to wax that upper lip.




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Texting my 11 year old pictures of bras.

“But I don’t have any in leopard.”

That was my daughter to me — talking about bras.

*  *  *

Having returned from four nights away from my children, I was attacking the pile of laundry stacked in my bedroom.

My 11 year old came in and said, “We have to talk.”

Her dark brown eyes searched mine.

“I need more bras.”

“Hannah. You have a ton of bras. You have more than me.”

That’s when she came up with the “Well, I don’t have any in leopard” remark.

I’ve written about this before. My tween baby and her full-court press to get a bra with cups.

Even though I am quite the strong swimmer, even aquatic aficionados get worn out facing a daily tidal wave of “buy me a bra with padded cups.”

So I went up to our local megastore and bought bras with bulging breasts and handed them to my child. That satisfied her thirst for frilly intimates for about three months.

Until this latest quest for the leopard bra. In the interest of having Christmas peace and harmony reign supreme, we went into Atlanta yesterday to shop for clothes.

First we took in some nourishment.



Then we hit the shops.

Gone are the days that I try to pick out anything for her.

Evidently, Aeropostale is the epicenter of an 11 year old’s clothing universe.

Buying a few things and  coaxing her out of Aeropostale den, after even she admitted you can’t wear sweats every day, we tried the department stores.

First she wanted to hit the Juniors.

Thankfully, nothing fit her there and reluctantly she followed me up to the girls department keeping an appropriate not-wanting-to-be-associated-with-the-lady-dragging me-to-the-girls-department distance.

No way.

No way.

She found a few jeans and a shirt that didn’t look too babyish.

While we were checking out, she turned and said, “What about the bras?”

I asked the sales lady where were bras for tween breasts. She pointed to the back of the department.

“It looks like Victoria’s Secret over there,” she laughed.

I smiled (ugh) and my daughter lit up like a Christmas tree on mega doses of Estradoil.




She searched high and low but the ever-elusive leopard print bra was not to be found.

After a few more stops, we decided it was time to start the drive back home.

Somewhere in this expedition, dad had joined us because his office was close to the mall. Daughter opted to ride home with him.

As we parted ways, she made me promise to look in another department store – for the leopard bra.

I did and found a bra with peace signs. Peace signs really aren’t animal.

So unbelievably, I sent her a photo of the bra to see if she liked it.

All the while thinking, I’m texting my 11 year old pictures of bras.


I did go look in Juniors and then decided try a run through the Women’s lingerie department.

Riding up the escalator to the Women’s depart surrounded by the twinkling lights and golden balls, I considered how fun it would be to see her face on Christmas morning. That I had indeed found the 32A zebra print bra.

As I started looking through the stacks of busty, frilly brassieres all meant to push, pump and pour mammary flesh

that is where I STOPPED.

This is insane.

What’s next year? A bitty portable stripper pole to fit in her stocking?

I can hear her now. It’s just about exercise, Mama. You should be in favor of that.

Someone has to put the brakes on this child and it might as well be her mother.

A mother who three days ago painted her toenails in alternating red and green.

My daughter should be painting her toenails in alternating Christmas colors, not worrying about animal print underwear.

For now, I think this issue is on her back burner. But like my friend Barbara advised, “Just wait till she asks for the thongs.”

What do you think about this? Am I getting worked up about nothing?

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The day was going great till I put on my p.j.s

Tonight we refinanced our mortgage with a closing in our dining room. For real.

We are now owners of a super duper low interest rate. I thought that would be my big news for the day.

That was until I put on my new pajamas that I bought on impulse walking through WalMart late this afternoon.


They look so cute don’t they.

That’s what I thought anyway and picked out a size 7/9 in teens.

I wear size 4/6 in womens. They should have totally fit right?

I was so excited to pull on my new jammies tonight. Until I pulled them on.


They were above my navel in front and way below my PG blog in the rear. It looked like a Saturday Night Live skit.

Is my body deformed?

Obviously compared to a 14 year old it is. I pulled them up higher and it only looked worse and got more uncomfortable.

Maybe they would fit better if I put them on backwards?


It’s no use.

Something is very different about the rear end of a woman-of-a-certain age who fits very comfortably in size 4/6 pajama bottom and the rear of a teen who easily fits into a size 7/9.

Tonight could have ended so well if I didn’t have a weakness for stupid pajama bottoms. I could be blissfully asleep thinking my rear normal and not only woman-of-a-certain age normal.

That’s all I got today.

Other than it stinks.


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