Monday, January 6, 2020

Miscellaneous Musings No. 17

Welcome to another instalment of Panoply Miscellaneous Musings. These are a collection of random thoughts from a racing mind, quirky things noted around me, and sometimes just life imponderables. I have a category devoted to these on my blog because, well, it's how my mind works. To know me is to know I typically have many tabs open on my computer and my brain at any given point in time. You may want to grab a drink, as it's been awhile since I've compiled them. The length proves it. So, here we go with Miscellaneous Musings No. 17.

When I created my Thanksgiving tablescape back in November, I told y'all I had a story to tell about the Juliska salad plates I used. Try as I might to eliminate dishes stored in this downsized living, I ended up with 12 of these when my intention was to have 4.
A scam seller attempted catching me in his web on eBay after I ordered these on a Buy It Now transaction. The scammer sent me a total of 3 sets (of 4 plates each) when I paid for 1 set. The seller later sent me an email (in poor English), trying to get me to send money for his [intentional] duplicate shipment to an email outside of the eBay official account (a huge red flag!). I contacted both eBay and Juliska directly. Without going into the dirty details, the seller had apparently tapped into the Juliska wholesale customer database to fake orders under bonafide [business] customer accounts for drop shipments. The eBay representative confirmed fraudulent activity and told me the seller would be handled (no further details). Juliska told me to keep the dishes, but encouraged me to only purchase from authorized Juliska dealers in the future. Turns out the 3rd set ended up back with its rightful Juliska independent distributor after reaching out to me with the shipping address the fraudulent seller had provided. I still have 2 sets, the eBay seller has not been blocked, and I will not be buying other than from authorized dealers. Lesson learned.

Speaking of tablescaping, I saw a great video on a Facebook group I'm a member of, Tablescapes and Tablestyling. It was on competitive tablescaping.
Although I really enjoy tablescaping, I didn't know the competition of such was a thing. Back in 2017, I first noticed our local ReStore sponsoring a tablescaping competition with local small business participants using their items, which would be donated to ReStore afterward for resale. It was great! Winner had bragging rights and all the participants had the opportunity to promote their business through use of items they typically offer for sale.
ReStore Tablescaping Competition 2017
Besides the video and what my local ReStore sponsored, I found another article about competing with themed tables from Apartment Therapy (click on link, here).

Besides dishes, textiles (mostly throw pillows) have been a major weakness for me since the downsize. I read somewhere that throw pillows are stuffed animals of grown women. LOL. Truth! I take comfort in the fact that a girlfriend told me she currently has 15 new ones stored in her basement her husband has yet to see. 😂
My attempt to control the space which throw pillows can consume is in buying Hefty vacuum seal plastic storage bags (no affiliation) until I decide which ones will be purged through my next yard sale. I don't buy pillows anymore unless they have zip closures so I can pull the forms and store them flat. In the collage below, you can see how easy the storage is. The bottom left frame are some of the many no zipper pillows I have vacuum sealed.
The purge still continues, even though it's been almost one year since we moved (which has flown by). Just this morning Mr. P. asked me what I was doing with the four area rugs rolled and standing in the coat closet (top L frame of collage below). Likely, I'll be selling those pictured in the yard sale, too. I thought I'd use them, but haven't. It's just so much easier cleaning wood floors without rugs.
I have at least five or six smaller hooked wool rugs (holiday) in the storage unit, too, not to mention other small rugs I moved and am storing at the loft.

January seems to be the month everybody gets on the bandwagon for purging / organizing. I guess I'll be re- re-organizing. I have one closet in the loft that I call my household closet. It definitely needs re- re-organized, even though it's gone through at least a couple iterations already. What you see pictured below is about one-third of the actual size (R & L sides store nearly equal amounts). Love those high ceilings, but all those boxes you see stacked on the floor have still not been gone through since the move.
Speaking of purging, when you find money or uncashed checks, let me caution you about trying to cash them. We found two last year, one of which cost us a returned check fee after cashing (later waived by our wonderful bank rep) due to its age. Even though both checks were over six months old, one issuer apparently enforced the timeframe, one didn't.

Also related to purging, and this one's important to note! From Time magazine, please read this article. You may want to pin it (from the original source, of course). It tells why you need to make a "When I Die" file, and it's never too early!

Out and about in our neighborhood.......
Our capitol building is undergoing some major structural repairs and this is its current look:
It kinda reminds me a huge Jiffy Pop popcorn pan - remember those? - but most residents around town call it the giant condom. Maybe so, but it doesn't seem to keep bad politicians from proliferating.

You've heard how Southern mamas put bows in their girls hair, right? This Blessed Virgin statue was spotted along one of our walk paths in the new neighborhood.
We occasionally drive through the old neighborhood and walk there when we have errands to run in that area. I still can't bring myself to walk past the house, just drive by. This past weekend we drove by and there must've been over 100 Canada geese on the riverbank. Ugh. I don't miss chasing them at all. One former neighbor sent me a video of the geese crossing the street, told me she missed us. 🙄  I memorialized the geese at the loft, did you notice? It was part of my Christmas decor, at the front door. That lighted floral arrangement is a resting Canada goose.
Can't miss the chance to share my granddogs. Two under two and one spoiled rotten. Can you tell which is which?
If you're on Facebook, there was that 10 year challenge of pictures of yourself. I didn't post it, but this was me, 2009 and 2019.
While we were away in early December, I was in the bathroom and noticed a short hair, either an eyebrow or from my crown, that grazed my face, which happens fairly frequently. I actually don't brush my hair, just comb it after washing, and then run my fingers through it with water each morning. Whoa! That hair was attached, and was on my chin! Baby fine, but still, that was a first! Geez, I'd always heard women talk about that, now I guess I have that to add to maintenance. That's one thing hypothyroidism has not left me without (thin hair). Even my hairdresser said to me, "I thought people with hypothyroidism didn't have eyebrows?" Not this chick.

From the imponderable files......
Are you like us, and basically use the heels of loaves of bread as freshlock mechanisms and never use them much or at all? They're kinda like the bookends of bread books, aren't they?
Lastly, random thoughts at bedtime....this is so me.
If you stuck with me this far, I so appreciate your loyal readership. Drop me a line, anytime. I'm open all night...well, my mind pretty much is, anyway. If you want to see my other Musings, here's a link that lists them all, here.

Oh, and don't forget to come back on January 15 for a special edition of the Traveling Tote. It's our 5-year anniversary, and we've got a great giveaway. You're gonna love it!
Postscript to publishing: I didn't even realize when I hit publish on this post that it was exactly seven years ago on this date that I started my blog!
Rita C. at Panoply
(A special thanks to Rebecca from Zucchini Sisters' Celebrate Your Story #214 for featuring this post!)


  1. Loved the comment about proliferating politicians. *L*

  2. Hi Rita, Your musings are always entertaining! Thanks for the chuckles over proliferating politicians and the pillows to stuffed animals comparisons. :) Great idea for the non-zippered pillows. I’ve often wondered if vacuum seal pillows ‘fluff back up’ to their original state after their seasonal storage. Happy New Year ♥

    P.S. I wouldn't know anything about spoiled rotten dogs.

  3. The tablescaping video...Bonnie Overman (hope that's how it's spelled) is the jam! I wanna compete with her, lol. Last time I was at our county fair tablescaping wasn't on it but tossing pig chasing was. So I think Indiana has a long way to go to get tablescaping in it. I love your storage tip on pillows. I stopped buying them for a while because I don't have any more places to store them and am trying to stay organised. Now I know I can buy more, thanks!

  4. Great blog post. I loved the tablescaping. I've done that for years and enjoyed it. You look wonderful, btw.

    1. Thank you! If you're not on the Facebook Tables and Tablescaping group (it's linked) I encourage you to join. It's very fun and friendly.

  5. Good morning, Rita. Your mind does stay on overload. Mine does too, but I don't believe the way yours does. My husband read me something yesterday he thought perfectly described me, I can't remember who he said wrote it. But I will share it because I think it really describes you. "Your head is full of a 1000 song birds, all singing at once." You accomplish marvelous things with all that singing going on. Happy day to you, Rita!

  6. What great musings! Crazy story on the dish dealer, I've not run across any scammers like that on ebay. I'm sure if you entered a competition for tablescapes, you would win hands down! I've not seen this before. Yes, everyone should have a file with all the important info in it to take care of your accounts and other things, you never know how much time you have. Mine is at my lawyer's office and is updated yearly. Cute dogs!! One last thought on the bread heels, I save mine in one bag in the freezer. When I get enough, they are cut into croutons, dried in the oven, and used for stuffing mix.

  7. I happened to see a short blurb on the news about tablescaping competition. Amazing what some people will do. They had to measure things out and place the tableware in exact placement. Funny.

    I was in the hospital again and had another surgery due to a partially blocked small intestine. The doctor took out a meter of small intestines. I'm near the end of recuperating, and I should be back to "normal" in a few short weeks.

  8. Oh my gosh Rita I loved reading this today. Those pictures of your granddogs are so amazing and cuteness overload. Lots of important information shared in this post too. OMG about the scammer on Ebay. It is horrible how these people think up and master mind these ways to steal. Who would have thought with you buying place settings someone would be scamming you. Glad the company said you can keep what you bought and the extra set too. Happy New Year Sweet Friend. Hoping this year will be good to all of us bloggers. Lots of new adventures in blogging world to come.

  9. I love your random musings, Rita! I imagine you will have a really tough time going by your old house during gardening season....somehow I always missed my old garden more than my old house, and I'm sure my ex doesn't love the garden the way I did!

  10. Rita, I always enjoy your musings. You have a funny and excuse me, quirky personality that comes through my IPad! I do like the comparison of pillows to stuffed animals. I so relate to not being able to shut my mind off, it has gotten worse. If you ever figure how to stop it, please let me know. I will look forward to the Traveling Totes.

  11. Such fun to read. Yes, a friend sent a link to the competitive tablescaping! Yikes - no thanks! How would you pick a winner, although the Haunted Mansion really did stand out from the crowd. Great idea for pillows. I have a hard time giving those away too, as I might want the pillow form! When I get a moment, I will have to do that.

  12. Rita, your musings always make me smile. A few comments: love Juliska, but don't have that beautiful pattern; tablescapes are a sure favorite, but not interested in competition; if throw pillows are an adult female's stuffed animals, since my childhood bed was crowded with stuffies you think I might have just a few pillows; rugs are on our hardwood floors, they warm up the space; storage here is at a preminium and I'm currently purging and organizing to get storage more user friendly.
    Happy 2020, dear friend!

  13. Glad you did not get scammed! Happy new year and hope it is a great one.

  14. Where to begin, I love this post so much! Well, first, I thought of you and many of my other blog friends when I saw that tablescaping thing -- and I have to say that the tables I saw on TV were hideous and I would vote for any single scape I've seen on your blog or others if I was a judge. And I loved the throw pillow-stuffed animal analogy. I'd not thought of that but yes, that's pretty good. I try now to buy more pillow covers than pillows, though that's not always an easy find. I actually donated some this year and more to come. Thanks for the purge stuff -- yes, doing that too as you'll see on my next post later today. I'd rather not be doing it at this moment but that's the moment we have so...

    I guess that season is here -- January, time of colds, purging, decluttering and getting our groove back from the holidays. Here's to it!

  15. I enjoyed reading your musings, Rita. Goodness, what a lesson you learned on the dishes!! That was unbelievable! I liked your tip on taming the pillows. Your grand dogs are dog-gone cute! Yes, I did notice the nod to the geese at your front door. I'm sure that you don't miss chasing them away. I guess I'd better get busy on purging...sometimes it's overwhelming!

  16. Hi Rita and Happy New Year!
    Competitive Tablescaping- I like it and think you'd be great participating in a challenge such as this! I'd really like to learn how to tablescape properly. I wish you'd do a blog post on this and maybe I could join the group again!

  17. What a great post Rita - I certainly had a chuckle. You should know that you are not alone in keeping the heels of the bread loaves to keep the inner slices fresh - we never eat them! And I too never have less than six tabs open on the computer at once lol. And as for the worries... they plague all of us. Too funny. The grand-dogs are adorable. Happy New Year to you and yours!

  18. So fun Rita! I am happy to know that throw pillows are stuffed animals of grown women, that explains it! Can one have too many, I think not! I keep mine in garbage bags under my bed {I have a high bed} Your photos are so cute, you haven't aged a day! I'm sure you don't miss the messy geese, but it breaks my heart that you still miss your house. I am glad to learn that you are human and can be unorganized, you always seem to have everything under control! The things to do when I die is such a help for loved ones...I have done that...My goal lately is not to worry! Worrying never makes anything better, a positive attitude be life changing! On to 2020!

  19. Rita, You amaze me. How nice to have a computer brain and the ability to write your thoughts. I am lacking in that department but my excuse is I am older than you! Lately, I can't settle down and focus.
    It is hard to believe it has been a year since you moved.It doesn't seem like it. The months are flying by so fast. You are a good example to all of us. I am trying to weed out more and more.
    Having all our kids home for Christmas had us cleaning out walk in closets and my husband and I worked very hard. We accomplished a lot but there is an entire attic to go. I'm afraid my husband is burned out and won't want to finish while it is cool.
    I enjoyed your musings. The hair on the chin was hilarious.
    I'm sorry I am late commenting. I am having a function at my house Monday and I have had major work to do getting ready for it.

  20. *giggles* It does look like a Jiffy Pop Popcorn pan!!! You are inspiring me to get with the program and purge, donate, and organize!


  21. Happy New Year - did you see the CBS Sunday Morning segment about competitive tablescaping at the California State Fair ? Don't know if other states have this, but it was interesting. Thanks for the random thoughts....and have a great January !

  22. Rita such a fun post. Thanks for sharing so many important things. I did see the CBS competitive tablescaping. in face, I was going to write a post about it. Purging is a good thing. years ago, when I was moving, my daughter in law found a check of mine. It actually feels good to purge, lately I have been giving away some of my things to my house cleaner. The grand dogs are adorable. Happy January Rita.

  23. Love both photos of you from 2009 and 2019. The grand dogs are the sweetest! I must confess that I let my grand dog kiss me on the cheek as I try my hardest not to laugh and encourage more! And thanks for sharing so many important things.

  24. Sorry I'm late, somehow this post got lost. So much to enjoy so glad I didn't miss this. I relate to so much here. I think I have an ongoing organizing problem, I never finish Rita! Love your stash of holiday rugs. Wow, one of my favorite Juliska patterns and my sister. Wow, who knew, a tablescaping competition! Thanks for the heads up about eBay, I do use the site. Thanks for this interesting post. I will scroll back through so I remember everything. Thanks for sharing........

  25. Okay... do you store down pillow inserts in the vacuum bags? If so, I'm assuming they fluff well when you take them out? Inquiring minds want to know.. .and I read you whole post!

  26. I look forward to your musings! I just saw a memory on my FB page from 10 years ago today. It's a video of Mr. Cottage and I on a cruise and we really did look so much younger. All I can say, "it is what it is" LOL!

  27. Hi Rita! Long time no read!

    Glad to see you’re well and settled. Well, almost settled. IT is always a struggle, isn’t it?

    Competitive tablescaping is something I’m fairly familiar with. In fact I have a few posts about it on my blog. A friend/acquaintance won a very prestigious competition in Connecticut this year and last. We used to go every year when we lived up north and I was always blown away by the creativity.

    I read your Christmas tour post and loved it! Your home looks amazing and those views are beautiful. I should probably know this, but may I ask what city you are in now?