Category Archives: Shop

I Want One!

Called a Onewheel, this is a Segway, unicycle, and skateboard all-in-one!


And I want one BAD!!!!!!! Just think how quickly I could tire Sophie out on our walks… 🙂



Solid-state inertial sensors and algorithms balance the board around the wheel.

Intuitive Control

Hands-free. Just lean forward to drive forward, back to stop and press your heels or toes to turn.

Hub Motor

With only one moving part, a revolutionary new type of brushless hub motor provides power and reliability.

Freedom to Roam

State-of-the-art lithium iron phosphate (LiFePO4) batteries provide extended ride time. Ultra charger charges in well under an hour.


Home Depot vs Lowe’s

Until recently, we favored Home Depot over Lowe’s.


While we were building houses, we spent $90 out of every $100 at Home Depot and $10 at Lowe’s.

Lowe’s prices were about 5% higher, but that’s not the only reason we preferred Home Depot.


It was easier to get assistance from employees at Home Depot, we liked their selections better, and special orders were much easier to execute.

But that was nearly 10 years ago.

Now we shop at Lowe’s 90% of the time and Home Depot the rest of the time.


  • We’ve noticed that the prices at both stores are pretty evenly matched.
  • We aren’t building houses so a huge selection of fixtures, tile flooring, etc… is not important any more.
  • We never have need to special order anything.


But the main reason we shop at Lowe’s most of the time?

It’s less than a mile and a half from our house! Home Depot is over six miles. 🙂

Yep, the people who used to commute nearly 30 miles to do anything are now so spoiled that we don’t want to drive any more than necessary!

However, there is one thing that’s better at Home Depot…

Rich has to use a walker for another six weeks, and he’s tried the motorized carts at both Home Depot and Lowe’s.


The Home Depot carts are much higher geared so he can go much faster in them.

Guess where we go hardware shopping now? 🙂

Morning at the Market

Meridian, Idaho

Rich and I went to the Boise City Market yesterday morning with Melissa.

It was grand…

We got to see the University of Idaho famous mascot–The Vandal.


And some full-sized Rainer beer cans that were strolling along…


We’re still not quite sure why they were out for a stroll,  let alone of they could see it off their costumes.  They had  a guide with them at all times.


Some beautiful plants including a cornucopia of succulents.


A man making balloon sculptures. He was hoping for a very busy day; he had at least three hundred balloons tucked into his supplies belt.


Jack Thompson makes some amazing pieces out of wood. I took some pictures so maybe Rich can make me some once he gets his shop built. 
0718150957a 0718150957

This photography looked almost too real to be real. 🙂


I bought one of these wire, bead and glass objects and talked with the artist for a bit. She’s from Idaho City.

She’s lived there almost 40 years and is not quite considered a “local” yet. (You have to visit Idaho City to understand how true this statement is… 🙂 )0718150956a

It was a fine market,  and we had a great time.


Shopping Local First (and Second and Maybe Third)

Meridian, Idaho

I’m looking for some spandex fabric to make something to hold pickleballs while I play.

I’m not sure my idea is going to work, but I’m intrigued enough to try it.

So off I go to the closest craft store: Hobby Lobby.

They have some lightweight polyester-knit fabric that will work for the first try and it’s cheap. Great!


My first try was rough, but I gave it a test run while playing pickleball yesterday morning. It worked ‘okay’, but it needed some modifications.

One of those modifications includes a heavier knit–more like an athletic grade spandex.


Off I go to the closest craft store again: Hobby Lobby. Oops, I forgot. They are closed on Sundays — “the day most widely recognized as a day of rest, in order to allow our employees and customers more time for worship and family.” And good for them…


But I’m impatient and want to try my next iteration of the ball holder.

So I go to Walmart where I need to pick up a few other things anyway like Sophie’s food. (No small feat to go shopping at Walmart on a Sunday afternoon. 🙂 )

Nope, they don’t have any knit fabric. None! Surprised the heck out of me.

Then I drove down the street to Craft Warehouse. They have fabric, but they only have quilting fabric. No knits, no fleece, no tule. Just 100% cotton fabric. (And some of it is drop-dead gorgeous! I’ll be going back there for tablecloth material soon.)

Now I’m back to square one. Where do I find spandex fabric?

So, of course, I Google it.


And what comes up first on my search? AMAZON.COM of course!

In the old days, we were advised to “Let your fingers do the walking through the yellow pages!”

Now I’m too phone phobic and lazy to do even that. Nine times out of ten, I just Google something and buy it from My prime membership makes it even more attractive because I have ‘free’ shipping and it comes within two days…


I need to STOP that and support local businesses more.


So I’m going to be patient and go fabric shopping today and find exactly what I need.  🙂

Empathy Cards to the Rescue

Meridian, Idaho

Often, I want to start a dialog with someone who’s going through tough times, and it’s just hard to know what to say…

Whether it’s an illness, a job loss, divorce, death of a loved one, or any one of a myriad of things that happen throughout the course of all of our lives, it’s hard to come up with the right words.

While there are sympathy cards available that express sorrow, too often they just come up short in expressing depth of feeling. And they look like they are made for our great-great grandmothers.


There’s a difference between sympathy and empathy.

Sympathy says, “I’m sorry for your situation.”

Empathy says, “I understand and feel your pain.”


There’s a place for both sympathy and empathy in our lives, with different people and at different times in different situations.

The “Our Thoughts are With You” card above is definitely a sympathy card.

For those times when you empathize with a loved one’s situation, you might check out these empathy cards designed by Emily McDowell.


The card above is an example of one of McDowell’s empathy cards. There’s an acknowledgement of the situation like in the sympathy card, but there’s also an awareness that the sick person doesn’t want to have their situation compared with your cousin’s friend’s illness. Sometimes all the sick person wants is for someone to say, “Well, that’s the sh*ts that you’re sick!”

Here’s the background behind both the cards and the artist…

From NPR:

Los Angeles graphic designer Emily McDowell‘s solution to this dilemma are what she calls Empathy Cards. When someone is seriously ill, she says, the usual “Get Well Soon” won’t do. Because you might not, she says. At least not soon.

McDowell knows this from experience. She’s a 15-year survivor of Hodgkin lymphoma. She was just 24 when she was diagnosed.

“The most difficult thing about my illness was the fact that it was so lonely,” she says. One of the reasons was “friends and family either disappearing because they didn’t know what to say or well-intentioned people saying the wrong thing. So one of the most difficult things about being sick was feeling really alienated from everyone that I knew.”

McDowell had been in advertising world until she quit at age 34 when her best friend died of cancer. That’s when she decided to freelance and see if she could market empathy cards.

Obviously she can. And her cards fill a void that needed filling.

Last year she won the Rising Star Award at the 26th Annual International Greeting Card Awards.

Here are a couple of my favorites from her store…



Bundles of Pains…

Meridian, Idaho

We’ve been working on getting Internet and television ordered for our new home.

After much research and discussion we finally decided to go with one company that will allow us to get Internet from them and pay for my cell phone from another company and pay for satellite television from yet another company all at one time. One check for three different companies.

download (4)

It sounds good based on what the salespeople are telling us, and I’m sure we will love it once we have it all set up.

But here’s the part I’m having trouble with: we get $5 to $10 off of each of the three components of the total bill because all three services are ‘bundled’ within one company.

images (8)

It appears that my cell service company and our satellite television company don’t want the hassle of collecting our money or dealing with us, so they are each willing to cut our bills up to $10 a month if we pay them through the Internet company.

The only thing I can figure is that customers are a pain in the butt.

So much so that companies are willing to offer bundling with another company to customers and literally PAY them to stay away. 😉

What a Bass!

Gold Canyon, Arizona

We visited Bass Pro Shops in Mesa the other day. It’s less than 30 miles from us.


It’s an amazing store in many, many ways…

I’m a nut for antlers and there are oodles of them throughout the store–inside and out.


The taxidermy was overwhelming, and the water features stunning.

0210150943b It’s hard to see them in this picture, but there were live trout bigger than I’ve ever caught. 0210150942The light wasn’t the best for photography, but towards the top of the building on each side there are ledges full of dozens of taxidermied animals.



And the thing that amazed me was the level of detail throughout the whole store.

The animals were all set in very detailed native landscaping.


The game cameras were all displayed on birch posts.


The Carhartt display even has bags of Quikrete concrete so that construction workers feel right at home. 🙂


There are dozens of waterfowl displayed in midflight, hanging from the ceiling.


The railing was simple and yet stylish. (This picture is so that Rich can build me some whenever we get a house… 🙂  )


I’ve never been to the original Cabela’s store, but I’ve been to several newer ones. If I gave Cabela’s stores a score it would be a 7.5 compared to Bass Pro Shops score of 10.

The diversity of product, the low prices, and the attention to detail make Bass Pro Shops simply amazing.


El Mirage, Arizona

Wow! Saw some again last night:

Illuminating and decorative lights projected against an RV, trees, cacti, streets, patios. . .

images (5)

To learn more about them, I did a  Google search for “illuminating and decorative lights”. Sounded good to me because I had no idea who makes them or what they are called.

download (4)

Since coming to Phoenix, I have seen different patterns in blue, green, and red.

The patterns rotate and appear to dance across whatever they are projected on.

images (7)

There’s a small projecter that can send the pattern up to about 25′ square before they lose clarity.

images (3)

There are a couple of companies I have discovered that make lights that do this including SparkleMagic and BlissLights.

I still need to do some research on where and what to buy, but I know this is one of the first things I’ll buy when we get a home again especially if we buy a place with large trees. I’d use it throughout the year.

Here’s a video from one of the companies that shows how they work:

Rock ‘N’ Art

Gold Canyon, Arizona

Lots of people in the RV resort must go shopping at the Mesa Market because it’s easy to spot similar yard art that’s available at the market.

One of the types of yard art that intrigues me combines rocks and metal.


Most are made to look like bugs like this trio of ants.


I love this full orchestra with each bug playing a different instrument.




And one last close up look…


Really, the more accurate name for this post should be, “Stuff I want Rich to make once he has a shop again…” 😉