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Thursday, December 26, 2013

HO What? HO and HO Stetson and Mental Math

a zing
no, it is not psychedelic pink as it appears
I stayed up all night after a nothing Christmas Day. I was watching this video about becoming Santa. The video is 1:30 long, so prepare yourself. It is a wonderful video. Read my comment on the post.

About 2 am, I decided to go to Walmart at 5 am. I washed my hair and let it dry while I watched the video, paused it a dozen times, and finally paused it for the last 20 minutes and headed on out in/on my trusty steed Malibu. When I arrived two men were at the door, waiting. I went up, spoke, and found a couple of friendly guys. I asked them what goodies they were looking for and told them I was only there early because the electric carts would be scarcer than hens' teeth in the mad crush later. They sort of mumbled but would not reveal what brought them out.

Since I lost one glove somewhere between picking it up in the house and getting out of the car and my back and knees were hurting worse that usual, I went to sit in the car. The guys assured they would do their best to let me back where I was in "line." In the car I wrapped up in a blanket, waited until one minute until 5 am and got out. As I headed for the dozen people at the door, another two dozen emerged from their cars. All I wanted was a cart not merchandise.

I approached the two guys, "I know what guys would want this early! Guns or TVs?"   They laughed nervously as I continued my I-have-not-had-sleep-chatter.

The original two men and most of the other people charged ahead for something, but what? I claimed a cart and was the only person who has a disability who braved the night and the crowd.

A few minutes later, I caught up with the little horde all gathered around and end cap...aha...they were plundering an end cap of of? of?'s cologne! Jovan and Stetson and more. Guys, just pay a dollar for a bar of soap! I related my thoughts to a store manager and was rewarded with laughter and "It's the truth!" I broke out the bottle of water and pack of crackers I brought to fortify me so I would not buy something to eat.

I kept passing one guy or he kept passing me. He was a man on a mission, walking with a sense of purpose. . . . He had scooped up multiple of gifts--several men's cologne's sets, several women's cologne sets and multiples of smaller items. Then, there were several rolls of wrapping paper, bags of bows, and Scotch tape. ??? This guy has somewhere to celebrate Christmas this weekend and just waited and bought all on sale. Smart guy.

I bought nothing and set out for Lowe's since it is on the way home. Since I arrived about 10 minutes early, I searched for the stray glove in the car and wrapped up in a blanket as I ate cookies. Lowe's percent off was sorely disappointing. I did buy two paint rollers at regular price.

One year, I visited Lowe's early and found all Christmas marked down to 90% off. That day, I purchased maybe $30 of all sorts of extension cords--6' to 75' plus all sorts of outdoor floodlights that stick in the ground. That was $300 in extension cords and electrical stuff. Just because it was green did not bother me. I left today with my two paint rollers.

Dollar General had no cars outside, so I decided to go in there. As I walked to the door, the manager unlocked it. My adventure catastrophic encounters will be a whole post when I have the energy to recount it.

Then, I went to (a better store that I won't mention the name) and bought a blanket I sorely need, marked 40% off. Yay! I will be warm at last. As someone was getting the size and color, I mused about what the final price would be. I actually did not remember the price from my former shopping trip. The woman pointed to the 60% off original price sign. I asked her the original price. She was so helpful, telling me she would scan it and tell me the price, but that the original price was $40.

"Oh, that will make the blanket $16," I immediately volunteered. She and the other clerk looked blank said they would not know until they scanned it. I was trying to remain calm after my Dollar General trauma. "Well, I will be paying 40 cents on the dollar. Multiple the 40 dollars times the 40 cents. just multiply 4 x 4 = 16 and just add the two zeroes. That makes $16."

One clerk said that half would be $20. Another said that maybe the blanket would be about $15. I repeated "$16." When the blanket was scanned, the price was $16. They still looked at me with a blank expression, as though they still did not realize I figured the price faster than the cash register.

People--Learn mental math. Teach your children mental math! No, you do not visualize a problem on paper and solve it like you would on paper. THAT is NOT mental math. Want me to teach you? I can do it on the phone or on the internet. I have tutored remotely and was successful. I absolutely get a high when I teach mental math.

Today was a gloriously sunny, beautiful and bitterly cold day.

Today, I went shopping on the day after Christmas for the first time in about ten years.

Today is my sister's birthday. She said if it weren't for me, she would never get a gift.

Today, a very nice man, a clerk, smiled down at me and told me how pretty my coat and scarf were. He remarked that the pink coat matched my pink nail polish. He liked the houndstooth scarf with the coat. I assured him I was not a Tide fan. He assured me it was still very pretty with the bright pink coat, that it looked very nice, smiling/beaming all the while.  From now on, I will wear nail polish and the pink coat and houndstooth scarf and maybe a man who is not married will be charmed.

The glove I lost was in the middle of the floor, right where I picked it up before I walked out of the house. Whew!

Works magic!

Your turn
How was the weather where you were? Find any good sales?


  1. It's overcast and cool here in northern Florida. I never go shopping the day after Christmas. I used to work at Macy's, and the serious sales were the end of January.


  2. Janie,
    This was my first time in years, but I missed the crush. I am freezing now, or I would have tried to wait until later for the blanket, but by the end of January, I would be frozen.

    When I worked a Christmas job at Dillard's, I bought a bathrobe $80 marked to $18.

    1. When I worked at Macy's, we had winter coats marked down to 3.99! At the end of January, of course. I bought several and took them to a restaurant where I took my lunch break and gave them to the servers. They were thrilled.

    2. Janie,
      Oh, I can imagine they were thrilled. I would love to find that kind of deal. I need a friend at Macy's since the nearest one is over 50 miles away.

  3. Still hot. And I avoided the sales. Toooo crowded. I did some voluntary work instead. And came home shattered and had a very early night. And have no-one but myself to blame. I knew it would be confronting - and it was.

    1. EC,
      Sales will be better after the first of the year.I am sorry that doing good left you feeling crushed. I don't know, but doing good is sometimes a thankless job. I hope things improve.

  4. I took my kids shopping early ths morning. The stores were quiet :). It was foggy, but the sun did break thru. We took our Christmas decor down, I cleaned out/organized my pantry. I also cleaned out several of my cupboards, purging several items.

    1. Michelle,
      I wonder if things got frenzied later in the day in your town and mine. You were busy today, lots of progress. Great! I have not been that ambitious. Of course, a short nap was in order after staying up all night.

  5. We did a bit of shopping. K Mart for Christmas table linens, Mine look sad and wotn. I got a table tunner and pretty oven mitts . The next stop: .Michael's for pretty wrapping paper, .79 /roll (45 sq ft.)and pillar candles at 1/2 off. We are prone to losing power here, so I stock up. At Michael's, I stock up on the Christmas pillars this time of year. The pine (green( and cinnamon (red) scented ones don't bother me that much in terms of allergies. By the time we got there the white (peppermint which I love) I also lie to light a candle in the winter to feel warmer on these dark days in wintet.(We live in the Pacific Northeest so winter days are short!)
    As for the wrapping paper, I love wrapping gifts and tying bows. I am picky about what paper I like. I use raffia or tulle...and save it from year to year, justifying my paper obsession, I say! also have an end roll of newsprintt dh pcked up for free from the lcal paper's lobby before they moved printing ops. a tulle bow strung with a bell on newsprint paper makes a thrift shop found coffee table book on airplaes look a treat...which it was! He got that roll back in 2004, and it has a good decade left!)
    Tree comes down tomorrow.
    Your scarf and coat combo.are stunning.
    Happy New Year, Linda. (In what part of the U.S. are you? I think south. If so, our weather has been warmer.)

    1. Meg B.,
      It sound like you had a good time shopping and got things you wanted/needed. I usually buy at least one roll of paper if I see any in a month that are attractive AND a quarter.

      I like all the wrapping and tying of bows, too. Since I have to pack gifts for four in one box for Texas and three gifts in another to head for NY, I just pack it in tight and get my daughter and dil to do the wrapping.

      Often, when and if I give anything to anyone locally, I give food that does not need lots of wrapping. I would love to get and end roll of newsprint. I think our paper has a shop out of town now. Maybe when in that town I can get something. 2004! Wow, that's a good long time. I often get things like that in bulk to use for years. That is how I bought 100 yards of 1/4 inch elastic.

      Thanks, glad you think that combination is stunning.

      Happy New Year to you and your family.

      I live in AL, between Huntsville and Birmingham. It is 29 F here now.

    2. I meant to say that I buy one roll of wrapping paper, if any, each year provided I like the paper and it is only a quarter.

  6. If I find any good holiday sales, they will be on the Internet because there's no way I would face the madness of store specials.


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