I had never been to a dry cleaners before in my life. Some may think that's strange. I just try not to buy clothes that specifically say on the tag, "Dry Clean Only". If I do, I clean them myself. And so, I had received a call from the hubs a couple days ago telling me to grab his suit, that he's only wore once, and take it to go get dry cleaned. He needed it ASAP! Now this phone call came about 20 minutes to 5pm, one of my boys was at practice, the girl was still napping, I had nothing planned for dinner yet and was helping the other two boys with homework. Um.......OK, sure, I'll drop everything and go do this. Now, I know my hubby does so much for me and I should NOT complain, but it was just real crappy timing.
At first, since I've never been to a dry cleaners, I thought that maybe they'd all be closed by 5:00 and it was almost that time anyway. I did some google searching in our area to find locations and times. Whew.....most closed later in the evening....Score! So I fished his suit out of the closet, got the sleepy girl up, went to pick up the boy from practice and went to the first dry cleaners that had more than a few good reviews. I had no idea what it would cost for a suit and so I prepared for a "not-so-cheap" bill. Come to find out that it was only $7.00. SCORE again!
Yesterday was pick up day. I went, I picked up, I thanked, and I piled the kiddos back in the car. As I drove off I had a thought......."Do you have to tip them?" I had no idea. I felt bad. If you do, I had just left with a "thank you" and a smile. Oh great! I got home and called the hubs to ask him. He didn't know either and asked if I was going to drive all the way back to leave one. Of course I didn't have to time to do that, but I figured at least the next time I go, (if the hubs needs something else done), at least I'd be prepared. Hubs did a google search on "Do you tip at the dry cleaners?" Most of the answers ended up being "No", or "If you see fit".
I guess I didn't have to feel too bad and at least I know now.
Do you tip at your dry cleaners?
Who enjoys reading? When I was younger, I did not enjoy it at all. In fact, the only time I would pick up a book to read was because it was assigned from the teacher for a book report. And here is something that maybe I should not confess to, but if the book was made into a movie, I would just watch the movie. I know, I know....not the same as the book, but I didn't care. I got enough out of the movie and skimmed through a few chapters of the book to get my report done.
It wasn't until after I had my second kiddo and I was planning my first trip to Vegas with my BFF. She asked if I was going to bring a book to read for the plane. A book? Seriously? I never thought of buying a book to read for pure enjoyment. That's what gossip and fashion magazines were for right?! She shared with me one of her favorite authors, James Patterson. She explained that he wrote his books with enough excitement and action that it would not bore me. I decided to give it a try. I went out and bought a book from James Patterson....which one, I don't remember now. The trip to Vegas came and went and I took the book out from time to time and read a chapter or two or a few. I found that I enjoyed it and wanted to read the whole thing. Now, I don't remember how long it actually took me to finish the first book, but I do know that it was worth it. It was my "quiet time"....my "me time". I also fell in love with James Pattersons writing. I started buying and reading more of his books over the course of the last 9 years. I did take a break from Mr. Pattersons works and read one book from Nicholas Sparks, Jodi Picoult, and yes, I even read the Twilight series from Stephanie Meyer.
I would say within the last year, I have not read as much. I had tried reading 2 new books from James Patterson, but I ended up not getting the same thrill. I never finished them. They sit somewhere collecting dust. Maybe I needed to find some other books to bring the thrill back or intrigue me on a different level. Now, a few years back, when I started my blog I started to browse other blogs and kept a few favorites that I read daily. One in particular caught my attention. Nie Nie Dialogues. This mom of four wrote posts on her family life, her happiness and her tragedy and how her faith, and love of family helped her through it. She was inspiring.
A few weeks ago, she published her first book....Her memoir.....Heaven Is Here.
I bought it and started to read. I could NOT put this book down. I have never read a book so fast. When I was done, I was sad. I didn't want it to be over. I didn't have anything else to read and I felt a void. I had a thought that maybe this was the change I needed in finding books to give me that "thrill-to-read-feeling" back again. Memoirs......that's it!
I went out to our local book store and started the search. OK, now you may not think the first book I bought to read is all that, but I have to admit, I love watching reality TV and one of the shows on my list was "Tori & Dean: Home Sweet Hollywood". And so I read Tori Spellings, Mommywood. It was pretty good. It didn't move me to tears or inspire me, but it was just a book that was interesting enough to just read and that was that.
This is the second book I bought. Another blogger mom and her memoir. Bloom by Kelle Hapmton. Her blog is called, Enjoying the Small Things. I hadn't come across her blog before, but her book seemed to be another "can't put down" types. I started it yesterday. I am 4 chapters in and already I have teared up four times. Wow....really? I might just end up being a pile of mush by the time I'm done with this one.
So I am back to reading again and the thrill is there. I am on my third book in a month and that's a record.
While the hubs & boys went up to the snow for a couple of days to snowboard, Kady, my mom and I had a girls day out. We headed over to the Sac zoo and Fairytale Town. Kady had been waiting for this day for a couple of weeks. Luckily, the weather was really nice that day.
When asked, Kady's favorite animal at the zoo were the chimps & orangutans.
At first, she wanted NO part in going down the tree house twisty slide. At the end of the day she mustered up some courage and went for it. After the first slide she ran back and slid down a dozen more times.
This was not only a great day for my girl, but it was so good to take my mom out and have her be a part of the fun day.
These are two flowers that I don't see around these parts. They are mostly found back east. My first trip to North Carolina was greeted with many Dogwood trees and their beautiful blossoms. I was in awe.
The lilac...Hmm...not sure if I had ever seen one before this, but they are very special to my Mom. She grew up back east and they were one of her favorites. She was surprised when we came across this one at a park in downtown Sacramento. She wanted to tear off a piece so badly so she could try and re plant it in her yard, but we were afraid of getting caught. The smell was truly amazing!