Tuesday, October 27, 2009

guess it's time to put that shirt away.

The wind is whipping through the trees today. I live on a river, which flows into Tampa Bay and the Gulf of Mexico, so when the wind gets going it just funnels right down the river. Today the trees are bending and twisting like a baby tropical storm; the wind whistling through my screens so loudly I keep thinking it's Jack, awake from his nap. There is something about it that lulls me into inactivity, so I am here, sitting on my bed, instead of doing something productive like I should be.

Here is what I am thinking as I sit unproductively:

1. My Everyday Food magazine came today. Hooray!

2. My ebay Halloween accessories better get here in the next day or two.

3. I really should vacuum my floor.

4. Yesterday was nice. Yesterday there was no school--record day. So all three kids were home and Gary was working in his office. About two o'clock I went into his office, after cleaning the third spilled drink and having all my projects strewn around the house.
"I've gotta get out of here."
"What do you want to do?" he asked from behind his computer screen.
"I don't know. Sit in a bookstore. I just have to get out."
(You have to realize, too, that Gary is gone almost every night of the week. So it's just me, mostly, with the kids. )
"Okay, go."
"Really?" (Don't you tease me, I'm thinking).
"Yeah, Jack's going down for his nap. The girls can entertain themselves. Go ahead."
So I did.
We have a pretty good system. Gary's outlet is wakeboarding, and he takes off Saturday mornings with a friend and whenever else he can. He takes the girls, so it used to be a break for me too. But now that jack jack attack is here, it's not the same. And he, thankfully, understands the need to have your own time. So he is as supportive as possible on this.
My friend Maria was the first one who introduced me to thrift stores. She is from Spain, and gorgeous. I would see her at the bus stop in these amazing outfits and to die for shoes, ready for work. I would try to keep my drool from hitting her Italian leather pumps when I asked her where she got them. She would look right at me, answer without hesistation, "Goodwill."
"Shut up," I would say, "Are you serious?"
"Yes," she would say in her thick accent, "I get almost all my things from there."
Francesca, my other friend, was the next one. She is Italian, and a model. Like a for-real model. She has worked all over Europe, Japan, South Africa, and of course, the U.S. She is beautiful, but also very humble, and you will see her in my Depeche Mode concert pics (if I ever post them). Anyway, she gets tons of things at Goodwill, thrift stores, consignment shops. She just got a wetsuit for her daughters for $5.
Once I was at a fundraiser when the women next to me was showing off her beautiful Coach shoes. She bragged about how she got them at a consignment shop for next to nothing.
The trick to successful thrift store/consignment shopping is to shop in the best neighborhoods. The places where women wear things for one season and give them away. You can find clothes in perfect condition, all kinds of brand names.

So back to yesterday. I was heading toward the bookstore when I got distracted by a sign at one of the thrift stores in a great part of town. Halloween sale! So I pulled in for a quick check. Two hours later, I came out having spent $30. I got shorts, capris, skirts, dresses for the girls, a Polo romper for Jack. I left with J. Crew, Banana Republic, Ann Taylor, Gymboree, and Polo. I really don't care much about brand names, but I just wanted to make the point that it's well-made clothing. Fun stuff. Went home, threw it all in the washer and walked in the family room a much more relaxed person.

Maybe too relaxed, 'cause I'm still sitting here on my bed, looking out the window at white-capped waves, beating up against the dock.


  1. I can't believe your girls are in shorts. I wish the weather was warmer here. It is only suppose to a HIGH of 42 degrees on Halloween. So you can pretty much guess how terrible it will be. I don't know why I get costumes for my girls when they're always covered by winter coats. I'm glad Gary gave you a break. Sounds like you had a good time. Enjoy your day of rest. Sounds like your view would be the perfect vaction spot!

  2. Okay, so do you ever get nervous having the water so close? Kids plus water makes me nervous. I have been called a hover mother, so maybe its just me. On another note, I could smell the ocean breeze as you were describing it, kinda a bummer to look out the window and see snow after that mental image. Have I ever told you that I hate snow??? Why do I live here??? Guess I'm rambling, bed time for me!

  3. Well, I do...but we have a lot of rules, and a fence, and a bush with thorns covering the entrance...and thank goodness the back of the house is all windows. The picture shown is actually the girls at Emerson Point, we have a seawall so it's a bit different. I will be sad when we move not to be able to look out the window everyday. Not that we're moving now...but sometime.

    The girls have been perfect about the rules. We'll see how jack does.


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