Showing posts with label Great Deals. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Great Deals. Show all posts

How I Listen To Audiobooks For Free (Or Cheap)





Sometime last year I became aware of the vast array of audiobooks that are available these days - and I also became aware of how much more "reading" I could sneak in through audiobooks!  Who says you can't read and drive at the same time?

I listen to audiobooks while I drive places, while I fold laundry, while I cook dinner, and while I clean out closets (the current project).  I've listened to them while doing yard work.  I've even listened to them before I go to sleep when all the lights are out.  On top of all that, there are a lot of books I know I would never even get around to reading that I've been able to cross off my list because of the wonder of audiobooks.  I'm a big fan!

So for those of you who might be interested in giving audiobooks a try, I wanted to share how I've obtained quite a few books to listen to for free (or very inexpensively).  Here are all my secrets.  You are welcome.


Overdrive

If you have not heard of Overdrive pull out your phone right now and sign up!  It's an app that works through your public library, so you do need a library card.  Once you are all signed up, you have access to an unbelievable array of ebooks and audiobooks!  I really got started through this app, and it's so nice because if you come across an audiobook that just isn't doing it for you, you've invested no money and there are many more waiting for you to try.  

Audiobooks.com

I signed up for Audiobooks.com because I saw a book I wanted to listen to on there, and realized that Audiobooks.com gives you a free audiobook credit for signing up!  Shortly after signing up, I also got an email with an offer for another free credit for leaving an iTunes review.  That's two free audiobooks!  It is a monthly subscription membership, but you can cancel anytime, so I just cancelled before I got charged for another book credit.

Audiobooks.com also has a fantastic selection of free audiobooks that you can download and listen to through the app.  These include a lot of classics!  Some are Librivox recordings that have been compiled into an audiobook format through the app, which is the most convenient way I have found to access Librivox audiobooks.  Some of the free books I am most excited about (for myself and for the kids) are Under The Lilacs by Louisa May Alcott, The Wind In The Willows by Kenneth Grahame, Chronicles Of Avonlea by Lucy Maud Montgomery (never read this one), Dr. Doolitte, Little Bear, The Bobbsey Twins books, and more!

Audible

Most people think of the monthly membership fee with Audible, but in case you weren't aware, you can download the Audible app and use it without creating a monthly membership.  And why would you do this?  Download the app now and go to the "Channels" tab.  Look at the top and choose "Featured".  Scroll down a bit and you should see a banner for free audiobooks to stream for Amazon Prime members!  I'm listening to Pride and Prejudice right now, under "Celebrity Voices, Classic Stories".  They have a selection of 20+ free, high-quality audiobooks that you can stream right now.

You can also sign-up for a membership trial for two free books, and if you don't decide to keep it, you can cancel anytime (even before you are charged the first time).  I haven't used the two-free-books deal yet, because I'm waiting until I finish more of the audiobooks I already have, but rest assured, I will be taking advantage of that in the future!

ChristianAudio

ChristianAudio is another audiobooks service much like the two listed above, and they also offer a free book for signing up for a membership (haven't taken advantage of this yet either, but I will eventually).  However, ChristianAudio is great because they actually offer a free audiobook each month, just for entering your email.  No other strings attached!  They also have a reviewer program that you can sign up for to receive free audiobooks - this is open to you even if you aren't a blogger!

Amazon Whispersync

This is the option where you have to pay, but at a deeply discounted price.  Amazon often offers Whispersync audiobooks as a package deal with their Kindle books - this is neat because you can switch between the ebook and audiobook anytime, and Whispersync will save your place.  If you are interested in a book, check the Kindle version on Amazon, and then look underneath the price.  If Whispersync is available, there will be a checkbox to "add Whispersync audio for $______."  These deals are often great for audiobooks, especially if the Kindle book also happens to be on sale.  The best deal I've gotten was probably the Anne Of Green Gables audiobook and Kindle book combo for $2.  Read the ebook in the Kindle app, and be sure to download the Audible app to listen to the audio - all of your Whispersync audiobooks will show up under your Amazon account in the app!

(Affiliate link below.)


And to finish this off, I wanted to answer a common question:  

"Isn't it hard to listen to audiobooks with kids running around?  I wouldn't be able to focus."

While I understand why you might think that, I don't have a problem with this for two reasons.  

First, I don't expect to be able to sit with my eyes closed and focus on every word of my audiobook (which is the only way I would hear every word of my audiobook).  You can enjoy an audiobook without being 100% focused on it, and you might just have to realize that even if you miss a sentence here and there, you are will still hear and understand and enjoy 95% of what's going on.  The question is, is it okay if you lose 5% of non-critical words through listening to the audio version as a mom of young kids, with all the distractions that entails?  I say it's okay.  It's okay with me.  It's the tradeoff for getting more books in through taking advantage of audiobooks.  And if the thought of missing a few sentences really bothers you, try picking a book you aren't as invested in from among some of the free options I listed here!  Sometimes I'll choose to listen to books I've already read, or books I feel a little more casual about, to ensure I don't feel like missing that 5% robbed me of something.

Second, earbuds.  A lot of audiobooks, even Christian ones, aren't necessarily appropriate for young kids, so most of the time I listen through my earbuds.  This also helps me to be able to still hear my book when I'm cooking dinner and the kids are running through the house driving fire trucks on the wood floors (very noisy).  I really want to get some sort of wireless earbuds (like these maybe? I can't afford Airpods, so these look like an acceptable alternative), because that will make my audiobook-listening even more accessible and convenient!  I'm thinking these would be great for situations like working out and listening without wires connecting me to my phone, or sneaking my earbuds in while waiting for a doctor's appointment.  This will open up even more audiobook listening opportunities!

So there you go, all my audiobooks tips and secrets!  

Do you listen to audiobooks?  What has been your favorite audiobook?

The only other word of caution is that a narrator can really make or break an audiobook, so I'd be interested to hear if anyone has a favorite!









A Little Business . . .

 

Just a few items of business on a Friday . . .

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Poll results are in!  Here they are:

How long have you been blogging (regularly)?

Brand-new! Less than 6 months - 3 (10%)

Semi-newbie. 6 months-1 year - 1 (3%)

For a while! 1-2 years - 5 (17%)

Pretty long. 2-3 years - 7 (24%)

Definitely established. 3-4 years - 3 (10%)

Sheesh, a long time. 4-5 years - 4 (13%)

Old pro! 5+ years - 2 (6%)

I started a while ago but then stopped - 4 (13%)

Total votes: 29

The results are spread so evenly, which I was glad to see!  I’m glad this little ‘ole blog can appeal to you newer bloggers, because the last thing I want is to turn you all away!  And it’s nice to know that it’s not boring enough to lose you bloggers who have been doing this way longer than me! 

And I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, but for goodness sake, if I don’t follow your blog and you follow me, comment or something and I’ll track your blog down!  Believe me, if I haven’t followed back it’s been unintentional.

New poll regarding Pinterest, so check it out to the left!

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Top Baby Blogs reset their stats again.  I can hear the groans now.  I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again (maybe that should have been the title of this post) – I mostly do it just to stay on the page so I can meet new bloggers through the website.  And I have met a lot of you through TBB, so I know it’s worth it!  I think it only takes, like, two votes to keep me on the site, so would you mind clicking through for me?  And you might as well look around while you’re there.  There are a lot of fun blogs to check out!

Vote For Us @ topbabyblogs.com!


Of course, don’t limit yourself to the first page.  Because you know my blog is fabulous, and I’m usually on about page 10. 

Gracias, Friends!

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Were you all aware that I made a Facebook page for my blog?  Because I did.  So if you want to, you could always “like” it.  I’m dying to try out the stats feature on the page, but I need 15 more “likes” before I get access to it.

And if you don’t want to like it with your real account (trust me, I get the whole protect-my-true-identity thing), you could always create a blog Facebook account.  That you use for all things having to do with your blog.  Not that I’ve done that or anything.

Ahem.

Hint: Liking my Facebook blog page may or may not be a valuable entry in an upcoming giveaway, so if you like it now, you’ll have a head start!

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And just because it’s amazing to me . . . have any of you tried this perfume?

lovely

It smells good.

And I got an almost-full bottle of it for two bucks at the thrift store yesterday.

Score!

Sheesh, I don’t care if someone used a fifth of it already at those kind of prices!

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Have a lovely (ha!) weekend, Friends!



Treasure Hunting . . .

 

. . .Thrift store style!

After church yesterday, we headed to the thrift store.  Derek needed another pair of slacks, and we thought we might be able to find a pair for less money there.

When we arrived, Derek asked me if I wanted to stay in the car, but I nonchalantly said I’d come in.

Mostly because my sister is always finding cute clothes at the thrift store, and I thought I’d see if I could find anything worthwhile.

And I did!  I found five or six items and quickly handed Wyatt off to Derek before he could protest (technically, we were only supposed to be shopping for Derek).   Derek (while smiling) proclaimed that he was” mad at me”, because we were supposed to be trying to save money. 

But I knew he didn’t really mind.

I left the thrift store with a couple new articles of clothing.  I found this shirt for $5:

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It’s in really good condition and fits well enough to be worn now.  But let me demonstrate the bonus:

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It’ll also nicely accommodate a fairly large belly when I get pregnant again!  Ever since being pregnant with Wyatt I find myself looking for shirts that will also work the next time I’m pregnant (surely I’m not the only one who does that?), and this one will fit the bill.  I’ll just pair it with a cardigan if I’m pregnant in the winter for the next kid.

I also got a pair of Banana Republic jeans that are practically brand new, for $8!  Here, I modeled them for some pictures:

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See?  Nice, huh?

After we checked out I talked Derek into looking at the movie section with me – and we found a bunch of classics for $0.50-1.99.  There are definite benefits to still having a VHS player that works – people give away all their VHS tapes since we have DVD players now, which means you can get some great movies for cheap!

DSC_0004blog

We got all those for $7.83.

Oh yes, and Derek did find a pair of pants too.

I’d call it a successful trip!  I think I’m even starting to get over my urge to wash my hands post-thrifting.

Don’t you just love thrift stores?

 

P.S.  Emily, consider this my late submission to the self-portrait link party!

Crossing Items Off The List

My life is a pile of lists right now. Lists of questions to ask the doctor, lists of things to do for Christmas, lists of things to do before the baby comes. Lots of lists, and especially that massive master to-do list that I talked about last Tuesday.

Thankfully Derek and I were able to cross several big things off the list over this past week! Here's what we accomplished.

1. Bought gifts for my dad and brother. This was stressing me out. Remember that post on what to get men for Christmas? My dad and brother are who prompted it. I took the easy way out and got them movies and CDs that they wanted, which seems so un-creative, but I guess it works.

2. I cleaned out my dresser drawers. I had been putting it off for weeks, but it needed to be done before we could move our furniture, and I finally just did it last week.

3. Got a new washer and dryer. Derek and I really excited about this one. Did anyone go out on Black Friday? Derek and I made our first serious attempt to get some Black Friday deals this year.

We had unsuccessful attempt to get a TV at Walmart. We should have showed up about an hour earlier and maybe we would have gotten one. However, after that shopping failure, we headed over to Sears because we saw they had some good deals on washing machines and dryers (remember that post about how our washing machine died?).

And what do you know, even though we got there two hours after opening, there were still washers and dryers available to buy. Apparently laundry appliances aren't high on the list of things people buy on Black Friday.

So, instead of spending $1200 on a washer, which is what we were anticipating, we were able to get one for $600! That's a crazy deal for a washer and dryer set! A much more manageable amount of money to spend, and I'm so excited to actually be able to do laundry in my own house again. I'm way behind.

I also got a couple gifts for Derek at Sears that were probably close to half price! I won't say any more, just in case he's reading this, but that made me pretty happy as well.

Oh yes, and some pretty fabulous boots for myself from JCPenny. Derek gave me permission to buy them (usually I wouldn't so close to Christmas, but he said I could, so I did). It was a pretty successful Black Friday.

4. Derek and I decided on a hospital.

I know, all you crazy pregnant people who had your birth plan figured out at 6 weeks are staring at the screen in shock that we're just now deciding on a hospital.

My doctor's office works with three different hospitals, and I know someone who has given birth in each. It's a big decision to make - I wanted to make sure we did our research and picked the best one. We finally decided on the one my mom thought we should go to all along (moms know best so much of the time, don't they?).

It has good security and a level 3B NICU, which I learned is better than a 3A NICU, because it means that they can handle babies as early as 24 weeks, and they can have babies who've been through most types of surgery. Lord willing we'll never need the NICU, but it gives me peace of mind to know we're going to a hospital with such a good one.

5. We moved our furniture into the basement! This was a big one to me, because I really couldn't start on half the things on my list until we had moved down there. We are now sleeping in our new master bedroom, and it's lovely! I won't post pictures yet, because I want to get curtains and a few decorative items before I reveal it to you, but I did decide the new green was absolutely the right color. I'll try not to keep you in suspense for too terribly long . . .

I can show you what our old bedroom looks like now. It's pretty sad really. We went from this:



To this:



Yep. It's a mess. I have alot of work to do.

Today I'm going to work on these items:

1. Wrap all Christmas gifts.
2. Make Christmas card and Baby Shower invite lists.
3. Start writing labels for Christmas cards (still waiting for them to come in the mail).
4. Organizing that mess of a bedroom.
5. Work on sanding down the baby's dresser (we're refinishing it - more to come).
6. Try to organize the baby registry (I'm having issues with registry stuff and I'm going to try to straighten it out online).


I think that's enough for today - I better get started! Signing out.

Free Seven Baby Sling (Just Pay Shipping)

I was just doing some blog reading and I read about a free Seven Everday baby sling over at Live A Charmed Life. Thanks for the baby sling freebie post, Emily!

Now, I wasn't necessarily planning on buying a sling, because they're expensive, and I wasn't sure I'd need one - but if I can get one for free, I'm all over that.

Well, kind of free. You still have to pay for tax and shipping, which amounted to a total of about 15 dollars for me. But the slings are normally 40+ dollars (with tax) plus the 12+ dollars for shipping, so it's still a great deal!

I also think these slings are actually really cute. Alot of slings don't look as modern as this, or they seem to bulky to me, but these seem perfect.

All you have to do is type in "turkey" in the promo code box, and it'll take 40 dollars or so off the total!

I ended up getting the black one, but the purple was sorely tempting.

Black Magic Seven Everyday Sling

Supernova Purple Everyday Sling




Christmas Tip

I have crossed over to the dark side.

I usually do my Christmas shopping in November or December. When all the normal people do Christmas shopping.

However, yesterday my sister and I went shopping with my sister-in-law and her sisters. We had a really fun time. Unfortunately my sister and I just weren't finding anything to strike our fancy in the second store, so we snuck off to Bath and Body Works to check out their stuff while we were waiting for everyone else.

Bath and Body Works is having an amazing sale right now, in case you didn't know. And what does my sister do? She starts her Christmas shopping.

My sister always starts Christmas stuff early. She usually has her Christmas shopping done before the leaves start to change colors, and she starts listening to Christmas music in July.

I used to think she was crazy. But as I looked around at all of the great prices, and saw how many presents she was getting for everyone, I realized how smart she was.

If you just buy Christmas presents whenever there's a sale, you can get alot more, for alot less. You can get some really nice presents for people that way.

So what did I do? I grabbed a shopping bag and joined in.

And I got a ton of good stuff for Christmas presents.

My sister is a genius. I guess I can't give her such a rough time for her Christmas-mania anymore, because she just saved me about sixty bucks on Christmas presents!

So there's my tip for Christmas this year. Shop the sales now.

You are smart, Sis, in case I didn't say that already.



Car Shopping


Our poor van is no more.

It's had an issue for a while where it pulls to one side suddenly as you're going around a corner or whatever. Derek thought it was the sway bar, but then he replaced the sway bar and it didn't fix the problem.

Remember last weekend when Derek and I were working outside together? That's when he discovered this:



See that part there (at least I'm pretty sure that's the part)? It has a big crack in it. You can't see it in the picture, but it's there, trust me.

We were hoping that was just a little localized piece that Derek could replace. But no, that's part of the base frame of the car.

At first Derek thought that maybe he could get it welded back together, but it turns out that the base frame is aluminum, and aluminum doesn't hold very well when you weld it.

He looked into how much it would cost to replace it, and it would cost somewhere from $2,000 to $5,000!

I'm sorry, Old Friend, but you're just not worth that much money.

So basically we've been forced into purchasing a new vehicle.

It kind of stinks, because we have to go back into debt to do it. We were pretty much debt-free except for the house payments, and it felt so good. Rats.

But what're you going to do, you know? Derek has to be able to get to his work, and I have to be able to get to my work, so we needed to get something.

So on Friday we ventured out into the world of car dealerships to look at a few cars Derek found on the internet.

The first one was at a rather big, nice-looking dealership. It was an Isuzu SUV, and it was a pretty nice car, but Derek did his exam and found that it could possibly have an oil leak, and it looked like it was burning oil. We decided we better look at some other vehicles too before deciding.

We called on a Ford Escape, but alas, it was sold that very morning. So off we went in search of a Dodge Durango that Derek found on the internet.

We had to drive through a rather run-down area of town past alot of little dealerships. I told Derek that I didn't like these places.

We finally found the road that the elusive dealership housing the Dodge was supposed to be on. Finally Derek pointed out the dealership.

It had about fifteen to twenty cars parked out front. The building was rather small, made of brick, located right underneath a railroad track. Giant trees towered above the little lot, and a dirt road led around the back, to where a little house with peeling paint sat.

Derek reminded me that we're buying a car, not a dealership.

We got out of the car and Derek told me to lock the doors.

We walked into the little building. The inside was rather grimy looking, with several dusty chairs and a desk that was bowed in the middle. It reeked of smoke.

Even though our first impression was not good, the car checked out with Derek. It was dirty on the inside, smelled a bit like smoke, the windshield had a crack in it, and the brakes were shot, but you can clean the inside of a car, the cracked windshield would do until we could replace it, and my handy husband could change the brakes easily. Beside those fixable problems, the vehicle seemed solid.

We still weren't quite sure though and decided to check out a Land Rover at a different dealership. This dealership was small, but nice-looking as well. We took the Land Rover for a test drive and it checked out.

For some reason the inside was falling apart though - the glove compartment hinges were broken, and little compartment on the dashboard was just set in place, not secured, and the middle console lid had the hinges removed. Not sure what was up with that, but really they were all minor problems that could be fixed easily.

However, we found out that Land Rovers are English cars, which I was not aware of. Not that I hate English cars or anything, but the systems of English cars are arranged much differently than American cars, and to be honest, the arrangement doesn't really make sense. As in, you may have to take out the entire engine to replace a water pump or something like that.

So even though my hubby is brilliant when it comes to working on cars, he may not be able to fix everything on it just because of the arrangement of the parts. And that kind of worried me, because it may be expensive to take it to someone who knows about Land Rovers. Plus the parts are expensive. So I was a little wary of commiting to the Land Rover.

Derek called the mechanics we usually use when there's a problem on a vehicle that he can't fix himself, and they confirmed that the parts are expensive, and they usually don't take Land Rovers to work on - they refer to the Land Rover dealership for repairs on Land Rovers. They also said that from what they've seen, Durangos tend to last longer, and are much less expensive to repair.

So even though the Land Rover got much better gas mileage, we figured that the cheaper cost of any repairs or parts for the Durango, and the fact that Derek could fix most things on the Durango himself, probably made the Durango a better buy for us, even though the Land Rover got better miles per gallon.

So back to the dinky little dealership we went. I would never have imagined buying a vehicle from a place like that, but we got an incredible deal, and the car checked out with Derek's inspection, so what can I say?

So I'd like to introduce our new vehicle:



Model: 2003 Dodge Durango.

Color: Silver.

Interior: Gray.

Mileage: 93,000.

Perks: Tape deck and CD player, dual climate control, feels pretty snazzy.

Drawbacks: Brakes are shot, tires need to be replaced soon.

Price: $5,300 (not including taxes).

Derek did a little research after we bought the car, and he couldn't find another Dodge Durango for sale for less than $7,000. So we feel like we got a pretty good deal!

Goodbye, Good 'Ole Van. You were good to us through all these years.

Hello New SUV. May you be as good to us as Goldie was and last as long as she did.

Here's to a new car!





American Pickers


Alot of Sunday afternoons we spend at my parent's house, since we usually end up going to church up near there. We do a variety of things - sometimes we watch a movie together, sometimes we play games, and we usually have good things to eat.

It's mainly just a time to relax after a church and a busy week. Nice lazy Sunday afternoons - it doesn't get much better than that really, does it?

Anyway, today I spent most of the afternoon on the couch with my dad, glued to the TV. Which is a little more unusual, just because alot of Sundays I spend more time just visiting with my mom and sisters.

But today my dad turned on the History Channel and a show called "American Pickers" was on the History Channel. Have any of you seen that show? We were fascinated.

My dad and I are kindred spirits in that we both get pretty interested in Discovery Channel or History Channel shows - and this show was like a perfect mixture of the two channels. Basically it's these two men who travel around the country and look for antiques. They buy them at good prices and resell them to "clients" who I'm sure include rich people who will pay outrageous prices for old stuff, because they sure sell some of those things for crazy prices.

Those of you who have ever driven through a rural residential area will, I'm sure, be able to testify about those people who are just junk collectors. You can tell just by looking at their yard. You drive past and they have all kinds of old cars, tires, furniture, and just all kinds of stuff just sitting on their property.

I always used to look at those yards and get slightly disgusted, wondering why they can't just get rid of all that stuff. One or two days and you could have it all hauled off to the junkyard. But that's just the point - they don't want to get rid of it. They get attached to all that stuff and just won't throw it away.

And those are the kinds of places that these "pickers" on the show find all kinds of antique stuff to sell. You'd be surprised at some of the things they find in those places, and how much they sell them for!

My dad and I had a great time watching the show yesterday, and it's totally putting me in the mood to go to the antique mall and see what's there. The only problem is that those men on the show knew what they were looking at - they knew their stuff. They knew how much they could sell something for, and they had to differentiate between junk that could possibly be valuable or just plain junk. If you don't know what you're looking at when it comes to old stuff, you could end up paying way too much for something that isn't even worth anything.

Maybe I need to read up on antiques (particularly teacups and books) before I go back to the mall so that I don't get taken buying something worthless. But then, I would mostly be looking for teacups I thought were pretty or old-looking books that I wouldn't mind reading, because I like to decorate with that stuff. So I guess it wouldn't matter too much if it was worthless as long as I liked it, no?

I guess I'm just like those "clients" that I criticized earlier, just buying old stuff to decorate with. Except I'm not rich; I would only buy a bargain, so maybe I'm not like that after all! That makes me feel better.



It Can Happen

You know when you are just browsing in a store and you find a really cute dress? Then you look at the tag and realize that it's been marked down to $8?

Then one of the workers asks you if you're finding everything alright, and you ask her if the dress is really $8. And she tells you that it should be, and if it's not they'll give it to you for eight anyway?

Then you go to the register and the girl rings up your purchases - and she looks at the computer screen and back at you a couple times. Then she tells you that it says $8, but it's ringing up as $22.50, and do you still want it?

Then you tell them that they told you they'd give it to you for $8, and the cashier turns to her manager and asks for a price change?

Then you get the dress for $8?

You know, when that happens?

I love it when that happens.





Pass The Hand Sanitizer


Earlier this week I went shopping with my mom. I actually did fairly well - I didn't spend too much money! Sometimes I just like shopping too much . . .

Ever since I was young I've had a slight dislike of thrift stores. I'm not sure what seems so horrible about them, because alot of times I'll comment on some cute article of clothing or decoration and I'm told it's from a thrift store. You can get some great stuff from them, so they really can't be all bad. But whenever I leave I feel like I need to sanitize my hands.

One of the items we were trying to find yesterday was a little baby gate so that we can block off a section of the basement for Ralphie when we're gone. We've been trying to keep him in his kennel, because Quincy does fine in hers, but Ralphie is a really small dog, and he just can't hold it. It's so sad when we get home and he comes out of the kennel all wet - he looks so relieved just to be out! But then we have to give him a bath, and he just looks so lovably pathetic. Ralphie hates baths.

My mom is quite a smart shopper, so she thought it might be worth it to check a thrift store to see if they had a baby gate that was inexpensive (those things are not cheap if you buy them new). I walked in there, and I was fine as long as I just looked, but once I picked something up I got that annoying urge to wash my hands again. Honestly, thrift store merchandise can't really be that dirty! Most people probably wash things before they give them to a thrift store (at least we always did). Sometimes I think I have a mild case of OCD.

Anyway, we were on our way to another section of the store, browsing as we went, when what do you think I saw? A pair of roller skates! I couldn't believe it, because roller skating has been on my mind since I visited my friend Hazel. I was actually thinking about calling different roller skating rinks to see if any of them were selling their old skates. I think it would be fun to have my own pair so that I could skate around this lake in town if I wanted, or even skate on our cement pad out back (we have this huge cement pad next to our house that will eventually hold a garage). I love skating - it's one form of exercise that I truly find enjoyable.

The skates were a size too big, but they were only six bucks! I figured I could stuff a little bit of toilet paper in the toe and they would work wonderfully; and for six bucks you can't go wrong. Do you know how much skates cost brand new? If you can even find skates - they aren't too common anymore. I can't do roller blades because my ankles are too weak - I've never been able to hold my ankles straight when ice skating or roller blading. I really like the stability of the four wheels on roller skates.

Well, needless to say, I couldn't pass up an opportunity like that. So I bought the skates. I haven't been able to try them out yet, but I'm pretty excited! Maybe on Friday, since I'm planning on spending the entire day being lazy and having fun. It's been a crazy two weeks.

I think I need a skating buddy though - maybe I can convince Derek to skate with me if he gets a pair.

Come to think of it, I was so excited by the skates that I don't think we ever ended up looking for a baby gate for Ralphie at the thrift store! Never mind it was the entire reason we went in there in the first place. Oh my.

And just in case you were wondering, I did sanitize my hands once we were in the car. Twice.
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