I'm gonna pop some tags Only got twenty dollars in my pocket I'm, I'm, I'm hunting, looking for a come up
For the first time ever, I managed to go full out thrifting in the good ol' U S of A. Matt's Mom picked us up in her black Cadillac and we headed right over to the first stop on our agenda, Thrift Giant, whose 50% off sale put everything from affordable to amazing deals. We were there for two solid hours, thrifting through the whole store.
I had a delicious mushroom swiss Whataburger and fries (with Sweet Tea) and felt sustained enough to take on our second location, Thrift World.
We spent about $175 US in total at two different stores, and man, the haul is just out of this world. Over 50 items of clothing/accessories/shoes, a couple of other items, and a nice teal-coloured four-wheeled suitcase to bring back with us as checked baggage. I bought a fair number of tops, dresses, skirts, jeans, flip flops, and real black pearl drop earrings in red and blue tones. Paul got dress shirts, casual shirts, casual shorts, and activewear shorts. We got Murphy an adorable little sheep stuffie as a trip souvenir.
It was a bit of a different experience. The first shop was having a 50% off sale, which is why we went today, and they close their change rooms during the sale - and the second place didn't have change rooms at all. Paul was super nervous about not being able to try on pants (way outside his comfort zone to try) and while I was alright with trying things on over my clothes, I hadn't 100% prepared for it, just made sure I brought a full water bottle - that much I know about thrifting days.
The camaraderie of deal seekers was wonderful. We were all commenting on one another's try-ons, making jokes across the aisles, and having an uproariously good time. Matt describes his Mom as "a bit much" but she was a wonderful person to thrift with and I hope she didn't feel like she had to tone herself down around me, I enjoyed her company and am looking forward to celebrating the special day with her and her family.
After our second store, we went to Amy and Matt's place for a quick tour, then headed out to go to Ramen Hakata, where we ate absolutely insanely delicious ramen. We played Settlers, which I hadn't played in ages, and horribly lost at, but had an absolutely fabulous time.
We're staying on a street called "Ramblewood" which is in an area where all the streets end in "wood" and some of the names are great, but Amy is endlessly amused by the fact that the last street before the main drag is called "Firewood." I made a crack about your fire insurance going up to live on that street...
Today was full of laughter and amazing times, and I'm sure it's a day I won't soon forget, no matter what else we get up to in this crazy state.
After we got back, despite being somewhat exhausted, Paul and I tried to plan more of the trip, which unfortunately made me feel a little upset, because the exchange rate makes everything so expensive for us - and some things are just expensive, period. We had hoped to rent some bikes, but bike rentals are ridiculous. We had hoped to go to a shooting range, but it might be prohibitively far and prohibitively expensive and difficult to go to as foreigners... but I think I might have found an alternative. It's all going to be great, we're just too tired for planning tonight I think.
Tomorrow is a little more relaxed of a day - we're planning to go eat at a suggested restaurant about six blocks away for lunch, find a nice warm park to relax in for a few hours, and take in a movie and some more good food in the evening. Friday to Sunday are all filled with wedding-related activities, meeting the families and having amazing home cooked BBQ. After that, I planned nothing for Monday because I assume I'll be exhausted, and then Tuesday to Thursday are touring days for Dallas before we head back home. SO many opportunities. I'm really excited.
Your love keeps lifting me higher Than I've ever been lifted before Keep it up and quench my desire And I'll be at your side forevermore
I'm writing really late at night and I don't want to take too long because I'm finally starting to get tired (after a solid 1.5 hours of Stardew Valley game farming.
Paul's vacation began (several days earlier than mine, ugh, taxes) last Friday, when we took off for Calgary to go to the Theology of the Body Conference. It was an extremely amazing conference, full of time with friends, making new friends, and learning about topics dear to my heart - St. John Paul the Great's incredible life's work of teaching on the human person. It reminded me, as I am reminded every year at Lent, of my journey to the heart of religious truth that led me to become Catholic.
Part of my Lenten resolutions this year is to be more open and honest about my Catholicity, which often feels difficult in a culture that rejects most of my beliefs as antiquated, and worse, discriminatory; and wants to put a muzzle on me and my kind. And yet, when you find purpose, direction, a better life, and answers to every single question about life somewhere, of course you'd want to share it. Especially when you see the suffering of those who aren't finding those things. This Lent, I will engage in more risky behaviour for my faith - but love first, always.
Before I leave the topic of Calgary, I made a pit stop at one of my favourite plus size consignment stores, Full Figure Fashions, which sells a little bit of new stuff in a brand I absolutely love of bamboo-lycra pants. Said pants were 75% off, one day only. I stocked up. I have a pair of those pants I bought seven years ago and wear nearly every week, and they aren't even worn out yet. I also got a beautiful skirt. With my consignment credit and the sale, I spent $65 on over $300 worth of clothes that I had been willing to pay full price for. (This could possibly be why the business isn't doing so well though... I really, really want it to survive, I love that place.)
I have been working insanely hard - trip prep, tax prep (gets easier every year, at least now), recording and editing two audiobooks (I have a third due shortly after my return); editing two big sessions and a wedding (of course, also a session and a wedding to edit after my return, since that's why I'm here) and so many other more mundane and lesser things that added up together to a ridiculous pile of work. Upon finishing the work on taxes, the very last of the work to do, on Monday afternoon, I blasted the tunes and danced in the kitchen. I couldn't help it. Paul had been on vacation for days, but finally, I was on vacation, too.
Tuesday morning, we left for the States.
There was some turbulence on our flight into LAX (Los Angeles, CA) and far more on our flight into DFW (Dallas, TX - our destination.) The latter made me more than a little stomach sick, and the 45 km/hr winds kept the plane rocking from side to side like it was being toyed with my a giant toddler the whole time we were waiting on the tarmac (at the back of the plane, too.) I was so ready to get off that flight. (We ate some delicious Chinese-American food in LAX. I was grateful for good, light food that didn't make me feel worse.)
All that flying today did give me time to read an entire book, however, set in one of my favourite fantasy magic universes. Minimum Wage Magic was a fun romp in the DFZ universe, and while I found the characters a bit too much like the characters in the previous novel for supposedly different people, the plot was a super fun time, featuring many of the same elements I loved about the first 5-book series in this universe. My favourite "character" or more realistically, force, is the spirit of the Forgotten Dead. Such a fascinating magical universe, I know I'll definitely be back.
I had taken a chance on new SIM cards giving us US numbers and access while we're down here with ROAM mobility, and it was super effortless and works great. Definitely saving us $16+/day which is a huge savings over ten days. Also, it's pretty rad that Murphy has bonded with our house sitter and basically ignored us the day after we returned from Calgary.
Amy and Matt took us to this restaurant that's a favourite of theirs (Matt's because it was near his old high school) and Amy because she's a foodie and it's one of the things we have in common. It's called Raising Cane's and features various different meals with chicken and their secret sauce. We had delicious chicken fingers, and the staple of all drinks down here: sweet tea. This was, unsurprisingly, too sweet for Paul, who requested half-and-half after we drank one of our drinks together.
Our AirBnB hosts have excellent taste in both books and decor (and in living just a few minutes from Amy and Matt, which is why we chose them, chiefly!) The shelf in our room has a small loch ness monster sculpture, The Brick Bible collection (the Bible in Lego bricks), XKCD's What If? and several other fantastic choices that we might have time to indulge in while we're here. We were also very excited to find out that in addition to a decent-sized room, we have a medium-sized walk-in closet, where all our stuff can go.
Tomorrow I am delighted to hear that we're going on a huge thrifting day, beginning with the one store that has a 50% Off Sale, one day only. (Unfortunately I hear they close the fitting rooms for those big sale days, so Paul might not have as much luck as I will...
Time to go to sleep and get ready for an amazing day of thrifting tomorrow!
It’s the highly anticipated return of STARFIELD, Canada’s best selling and most awarded Christian artist of all time. Founded by brothers Tim & Jon Neufeld in 1999, Starfield spent over a decade touring all over the world with one goal: to lead God’s people into worship. As an EMI (now Capital...