Back to School – Gratitude Post 8.10.14

Gratitude Post

One of the drawbacks of working in retail is being immersed in the “next season”. While everyone else in Lancaster County (and the rest of ‘Merica) is scurrying to get ready for fall and back to school, I have already started stressing out about getting Divine Consign ready for Christmas. My attention is NOT applied to the “present” crisis of getting ready (or helping others get ready) for back to school. I find this really frustrating because I usually try to practice “living in the now”. When we spend time worrying (what will I do?) or lamenting (what did I forget?) we totally miss what is going on RIGHT NOW. Ironically, RIGHT NOW is the only thing that matters because in truth, it is the only thing we can actually take specific actions to do something about. The past is too late and the future holds a hundred variables you cannot and WILL NOT control. Right NOW however, you can choose to smile and it will happen. Now is where controlling your life is at.

[Seriously…
Try it.
Smile.
Right now.
Smile even if it is a faux one because even a faux smile is the beginnings of something genuine.
(Besides, it makes your family wonder what you’re up to. Keeps them on their toes! Ha!)]

The beginning of a new school year brings a lot of anxiety for many. This week I observed many fretting mothers … Will my son like his new teacher? How will I cope with my daughter being away at college? I was sympathetic to each of them (having been there) but I also wished I could help them relax. Your attitude and how you approach a situation sets the tone of how it will play out. In other words ladies… Chill! Everything is going to be okay.

I taught high school in the city for 7 years and it is no coincidence that opening day for Divine Consign was September 1, 2004. It was the supposed to be the first day I would have gone back to school to one of the hardest (yet very, very rewarding) jobs I ever had. Instead, 9/1/2004 was a life changing day and the beginning of one of the hardest (yet very, very rewarding) jobs I’ve ever had. It marks the close of one season and the fresh start of another.

We will be 10 years old this year and I still get a little nervous about what the new school year will bring. But I smile. I smile ‘cause it’s called “life” and I only get one shot at it even when I feel like I’m being thrown under the bus. 😉

This morning I am grateful for:
1. Good neighbors – like the ones that unloaded all the piles of crap out of my garage ten years ago and helped me get the store set up. The shop has always been blessed by the kindness of others. It one of our magical secrets.
2. I’m glad my children made it through school in one piece despite me and are thriving adults doing their own thing and doing it well.
3. I am grateful that I am a curious person. I like to experiment and learn new things. I am a life-long student and I’m glad I’ve been able to recognize this trait and nurture it.
4. I am grateful all the “seasons” I’ve survived and the lessons they brought me.
5. I am grateful that my “family” will be joining me for a dinner outside this evening. It’s a favorite way to enjoy summer and its bounty. Those who can’t make it are in my heart and know I love them.

Cousins, caution & confidence – 8.3.15 gratitude post

During the summer of 1982, the year I got my drivers permit, my cousin landed on our doorstep and stayed for two weeks. He was a fascinating creature to me. At the time he was on a personal journey (what I now know is called a “walk-about”) and having just left the Navy, was full of inner turmoil and full of philosophical angst. I remember following him like a puppy. 1. Because I was bored. 2. Because he talked honestly with me. He listened when I talked, asked questions, and answered mine sincerely. Up until this visit, we had shared a few holiday dinners in the same room perhaps, but we had never really any spent time together. Why should we? I was merely an annoying little kid.

One particular afternoon, my mother had us running errands. For whatever reason, I remember stopping at a salvage yard. I remember going into the seedy office which was complete with snarling dog and creepy greasy men sitting around smoking cigarettes and playing cards. I don’t remember much about the interactions, but I do specifically remember that my cousin seemed agitated when we got back in the car to leave. He was very quiet on the drive home. I remember being worried that I had done something wrong to anger him. I certainly remember not liking that feeling of the morosely quiet car ride home.

When we finally pulled into the driveway, (silent treatment = eternal car ride) he slammed the car into park and got out. He waited for me to come around the car and actually physically blocked me from the sidewalk that led to the house. He glared at me with a strangely cold and almost cruel look on his face. We locked eyes. Then he said something that changed me forever.

“I saw the way those men looked at you… and I didn’t like it.”

He reached out and grabbed my elbow. I flinched ever so slightly but didn’t look away. He locked his jaw and said: “I have to teach you to defend yourself!”

I had no clue what he was talking about, but mercy me, the next 2 hours were possibly the best couple hours of my life up until then! He showed me how to breath in a choke hold… how to break a nose with the palm of my hand … how to crush a windpipe… He EVEN let me flip him repeatedly until I got the maneuver “just right”.

Frankly? It was A-W-E-S-O-M-E!

For some girls, a lesson in self defense might make them feel vulnerable and paranoid. My impromptu lesson made me feel cautiously confident. I like to think it was a moment in time that defined the woman I became. I may not be invincible, but God help you if you think I won’t give you one heck of a fight.

It also taught me an important lesson about men. My cousin? He is a man of substance. He showed me genuine respect. That day I had a small sampling of what it feels likes to be protected…what it feels like to be WORTHY of being protected. He also gave me the confidence that I was able to take care of myself. It is a standard every woman deserves.

Today while sitting at my family reunion in a picnic grove in the nowhere mountains of central Pennsylvania, I looked over to see my ninja-over-protective-cousin talking to my husband. They seem to be getting along quite nicely. No wonder. Without the lesson from the first, I never would have found (or valued myself enough to find) the second.

For this I am grateful.

 

Summer Clearance Sale

Summer Clearance Sale Ends

The store-wide summer clearance sale has ended, but plenty of good deals can still be found. Catch our new fall arrivals as we put them out. New items arriving every day.

Half-OFF Summer CLEARANCE SALE at Divine Consign, Manheim (Lancaster County, PA). All* clothing shoes and purses are 50% off through August 2, 2014. Includes children’s, scrubs, jeans, scarves and many other items that usually don’t mark down. Many furniture markdowns too!

Store-wide sale ends Saturday, August 2. Mark your calendars for the Winter Clearance sale to be held January 28-31, 2015.

One Suitcase – 10 pieces = 20 Outfits Experiment

onesuitcase
The original post from www.outfitposts.com/

Early this spring I came across a curious pin showing 20 outfits from 10 pieces. My first thought was wow. The next thought was “I wonder how practical that is…” The third thought was “I am totally going to try that!”

There are plenty of magazines for the latest trends, but not as much for 2nd hand fashion tips. 95% of my wardrobe is 2nd hand. The vast majority is bought at Divine Consign through consignment (love my store credit!) or thrifted. Occasionally, I will buy something new because I need it to round out my wardrobe. I do not follow the original post exactly but I refused to purchase anything new (I am currently on a clothing diet) Luckily, it ended up being fairly simple to swap my existing pieces with the ones the original post.

I followed the plan with a faithful (but flexible) commitment for 4 weeks. I switched a couple of days around. For example, one day I had a business meeting so I wore the dress instead of skinnies. I also ended up cheating a little with shoes at times because I had to be on my feet all day.

MY RESULTS:

Positives
1. April was super busy at work, so not having to pick out an outfit every morning was actually a relief.
2. I always felt put together.
3. I felt like I had less laundry at the end of the week.
4. I put forgotten pieces back to work in my wardrobe.
5. It made me more conscientious of getting dressed and looking my best each day (vs. awwww heck, these yoga pants will do…)
6. It helped me realize how much of my clothing I never use.
7. I now appreciate my own ability to create new and interesting outfit combinations.
8. I have a new appreciation for the power of layering the little black dress.
9. I definitely felt more at ease when I went to pack for my next trip.
10. I learned that I don’t have to pack a different set of accessories for each outfit.

Negatives

1. I really hate having my picture taken. My co-workers don’t really enjoy taking my picture either. 😉
2. 20 days was a little long. I started getting a bit bored. I really started looking forward to what I could wear to work on Fridays.
3. Sometimes the outfits didn’t fit what I had scheduled for the day.
4. I will never pack so many things that need to be ironed.
5. I don’t love my white linen shirt anymore.

Sunday Morning Gratitude Post – 6.1.14 – Pay it forward

confusion doodleSunday gratitude post 6/1/14

This week seemed to be packed with weirdnesses.  Okay… so spell-check is telling me that isn’t a real word but weirdness-es seems to fit better than just weirdness because this week I seemed to have had more than my share of unrelated episodes of head scratchers.  I won’t bore you with a detailed account of each individual story (Lord knows I’m wordy enough!) Instead, I will share a top-10-highlights-reel of the things I’m thankful for this week.

  1. Thank you for not being an ax murder Mr. Stranger that I picked up walking along side of the road. I’m really grateful I was correct when I thought I recognized you as the man who bought the Garrison Keiller book several weeks ago and who I saw volunteering at the Library’s book sale. It would have been a bummer if you would have been caught in that rain walking all the way to Rothesville.
  2. Thank you everyone to Stew’s cremation fund. Goal reached. Hot smoking body indeed! 😉
  3. Thank you to the Best Kept Secrets Tour $20 gift card winner who instead of cashing it in, asked me to pay it forward for them. This week you helped a mom get her daughter some proper fitting clothes. Dad lost his job but grow spurts don’t care about such things nor do the other children who were teasing her.
  4. Thankful I live in an age of budding tolerance:
    Middle school girl: “Miss, I think everyone is staring at me because I’m black.”
    Me: “No Hon. I think everyone is staring at you because it’s a sunny 83° day and you are walking down the street wrapped up in a blanket.”
  5. Thank you to the “Bird whisperer” who didn’t panic, but instead gently unstuck the bird who flew into the shop through our open door, into my office (while I was on the line with tech support), and then promptly stunned itself by flying full-bore-panicked into the window. It was only a mini-crisis but it was very nice to have someone else step up and take care of it. I was already frazzled and it was uplifting to watch you be so sweet and patient.
  6. Thank you for compassion over-riding suspicion. I’m not expecting there to be $10 slipped through the mail slot Monday morning, but it would be pretty cool if it happens because you said you would pay me back Mr. Help-I-forgot-my-wallet-at-home-and-my-dog-just-died-man. There is a reason that people and banks won’t cash checks without an ID. I truly hope that my donation really was for gas. If not, it was totally worth the $10 to tell you I’d see you in hell if you didn’t pay it forward.  😉
  7. Thank you everyone who is pitching in to cover my work hours so that I can fly down to visit my sister and my grieving Aunt. You know how I can be when I get that nagging sense that I am “supposed” to be doing something. Few are the words that are sweeter than “Don’t worry. We will make it happen.”
  8. Thank you for the almost free tickets.
    Text: Sheryl crow is playing at AMT if you are interested. My “sources” may be able to get you tix if you are interested.
    Me: Yes! Please!!!
    Text: It’s probably going to cost you cookies.
  9. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you to the nice lady who told us that the toilet was overflowing and pouring out onto the floor last night during the incredibly busy Rock N Glow race. As big as the puddle was, you couldn’t have been the first person to see it. You were, however, the first person to recognize it was obviously an impending disaster. Thank you to Mr. Puddle Wader for braving the flood in your expensive running shoes to turn off the valve as well as sticking around to mop up when you had a race that was about to start. I am ALWAYS grateful Miss “K” that I can count on you to take charge and get things done.
  10. Thank you to all the Cinderellas who stopped in on Saturday and bought WHBM shoes. Taking on 20 pairs of shoes at one time is outside of our normal policy. Not only did you help us get a handle on our size 6 inventory, but you also helped us help a family.

Finally, I’d like to thank the dear runner who stopped back in the shop last night determined to pay for the “emergency” shorts I gave her at the end of last year’s 5KRace. It was a nice surprise, but not necessary. We are paying it forward, remember? Thank you for wrapping up my weirdo week with the reminder that patience pays eventually and in ways we can never begin to imagine.

Open During 5K Rock n Glow Race – 5/31/14

 

Saturday May 31, 2014 we will be open 10:00 am to 9:30pm for the Manheim 5K Rock n Glow Race. Register for our door prize. If you are a runner, make sure to check your goody bag for your Divine Consign game piece. Bring in your button and see what you won. You may have already won $50!

One suitcase – outfit #4

One suitcase – outfit #4 – chambray shirt? Check. Skinny black pants? Fail. Swapped out with fun teal pants I just bought to boost my spring wardrobe. Leapord print scarf? Double fail-fail. Swapped out with my favorite travel scarf .I own the same scarf in turquoise – it’s the perfect accessory. The different colored stripes make it super versatile. — at Divine Consign.

Divine Consign Totes!

Be sure to bring along your Divine Consign reusable tote bag each time you visit the store. Each week we feature a different “tote special”. Ask an associate and enjoy an additional savings each time you shop! Don’t have a tote? Our extra-large bags are $4 each OR free with a purchase of $40 or more.