More businesses that I love are going away. Gottschalks has already contracted with a liquidator in the likely event that they don't find a buyer by 03/31/09. (Anyone want a west coast department store chain? It has at least one loyal shopper here in Davis!) Gottschalks is where I got my one good pair of shoes and where I bought most of my shirts. You see, I hate shopping, just hate it, and so like to find one thing and get one in every color, then I don't have to shop again for a long time. Gottschalks sells the sort of shirts I like, lightweight knit tops in pastel colors or small patterns, tops that don't end at the bellybutton or have bosoms exposed or with silly little cap sleeves that might cover a tiny bit of shoulder and pretend that's enough to make it a short-sleeve. No silly appliques or quaint sayings or adorable birdies or bunnies. Just nice, plain, sensible tops that can go with jeans or other pants.
Several years ago Gottschalks had some of these that I particularly liked, and then, to make things even better, these went on sale. They were on sale at the end of the season for only $5 each. Oh lordie. I didn't even try to withstand temptation. I went into our local Gottschalks and bought one of each color in two different styles, and two others of another style.
After going home with my bargains, I got to thinking and realized it was okay if I had more than one in each color. That way, I could stretch this one shopping spree into lasting even longer than usual--when one shirt wore out, I'd have another just like it, all ready to go! So I went back to our local Gottschalks and bought some more tops. I went back again for other sizes when I remembered my tendency to gain or lose weight according to the level of stress in my life.
Then I got really into the spirit of things and took the bus to the mall in the town up the road. That bus arrived at the mall just ten minutes before another bus left the mall to make the return trip. You got it, I arrived at the mall, headed directly to Gottschalks (which was conveniently right by the bus stop), grabbed every shirt in my size(s), and got them all paid for and bagged in time to make the bus back home that ten minutes later.
They're all hanging in my closet now. I even bought one in a color that I thought was quite ugly, a sort of light tan but not quite, then I decided that instead of a sort of light tan but not quite, it was really the color of coffee ice cream (which I love) and so was a lovely color.
But someday all of those shirts will wear out, and then where will I shop? Mervyn's is gone. Gottschalks is going away. There's always Wal-Mart, but oh please.
Baker's Square is going away, too. I love Baker's Square. Wednesdays is free pie day--buy a lunch or dinner and get a free piece of pie. Two days ago (Wednesday), KidThree and I went there to celebrate my new job. She had shrimp and I had fish & chips, then she had country apple pie (a la mode) and I had lemon supreme. Next Wednesday is the last free pie Wednesday and the last Baker's Square day. Then our local restaurant will close its doors as Baker's Square and reopen in a month or so as a Black Bear something-or-other.
I'm thinking of going to Baker's Square this weekend and treating us to a whole pie. French Silk maybe, as that is one that KidThree and I both enjoy.
The newspaper article said that Black Bear Whatever specializes in comfort food. I'm going to need some serious comfort from them, because they're taking away my lemon supreme pie.
This morning KidThree went to court with her bio-mother. At first it looked like Bio-Mom would be going directly to jail, there to stay for three to five years, but no, she got to leave the court at the end of the hearing and has to return Monday for some other hearing. This is hard on KidThree. She loves her bio-mother dearly and misses her when she's incarcerated, but she also realizes that no one but her bio-mother is responsible for all this. The other evening she was ranting, "she's been in jail for this and in prison for that and arrested for this other thing, and what does she do when she gets out? The same stuff!" I'm glad she is grown up enough now to understand that her bio-mother is solely responsible for her incarcerations. If she weren't able to understand that, I would have some serious heartburn about having her attend hearings and such, but as it is, I've got no problem with it. She's there to be a comfort to her bio-mother and to have the chance for a last hug and kiss in case Bio-Mom gets taken directly from there to jail.
More family news: Grandma's funeral went well. Mom wrote her report within a couple of days, but SisterL took longer as she had pictures to post. I loved looking at the pictures of my grandparents' old house (where they lived 1940-52) and one of my great-grandparents' house. And here is a picture of Dad (red sweater) and his baby brother, both minding their manners with not a religious schism in sight:
One of the surprising things about that funeral (at least for me) was that my uncle's three daughters didn't attend. Why not? Where were they? Is there yet another family break-up involved? They are the daughters from my uncle's first marriage, but their mother was the one who ended that, not their father, and both parents remarried, my uncle quite happily to the wife he's had for at least three decades now. SisterC sent a question about their absence to SisterL; I'm waiting to hear what she does or doesn't know as to the whereabouts and absences of those three cousins.
Two other unfamiliar cousins were there, though, along with their mother. One of Dad's two sisters left their mother's home at sixteen to live with their father and stepmother, joining their church and raising her children in it. As I understand it, that sister never spoke to her mother again and Dad's other sister never told her four children that they even had an aunt--they found out at Grandpa's funeral when that aunt walked in the door, looking almost identical to their mother. (I had known about the aunt but never met her until then.) That funeral thirty-five years ago was the only time I met her and her two children (one boy, one girl).
SisterL got to say hello to the auntie and to visit with the cousins. She got contact information, along with the photos she posted. I was quite stupidly floored to see how much the cousins looked like my other aunt's children (stupidly, because my aunts look so much alike--of course their children would look alike). I kept staring at the photos, delighted in the resemblance of these 'new' cousins to the four I've been lifelong friends with. I'll have to get their contact info from SisterL. I'm relatively close to that part of the state, so maybe I could make a visit up there.
I wrote several days ago about my regret that I didn't continue to pursue a relationship with my (step-) grandmother while she was alive. The schism between Dad and his brother was such that for the past years, our branch of the family didn't know if she was alive or dead, and while I made contact on my own about fifteen years ago, I didn't keep it up. I won't make that mistake again. Next week I'll contact my uncle and aunt and arrange to drive up there for a visit. Who knows? Maybe I'll even get brave enough to try to contact the auntie I met only that one time, at Grandpa's funeral thirty-five years ago. This family schism is stupid and should end. My bio-grandmother, a real termagant, has been gone for forty years and who cares any more what religion anyone is? Goodness knows I don't.
And now about the new job:
It's interesting, to say the least. I signed a confidentiality agreement and so can't tell the most interesting thing that happened yesterday, but I can say that the company works with animal and human DNA, doing basic research and marketing some products that have arisen from their previous research. I'm working on a project that analyzes the DNA of mixed-breed dogs to try to learn what breeds make up their ancestry. Right now I'm doing computer entry, which is simple enough, but I have fun reading the forms and seeing what comes through about the personality of the dogs' owners. Later I'll answer the phones, but I have to get a lot more familiar with things before I can do that. I do listen to the other woman in the office answer calls and oh my goodness are some dog people emotionally invested in their dogs! The most common 'complaint' seems to be that a dog owner will be sure that a certain breed is in his/her doggie but it doesn't show up on the tests, so they call to find out "why oh why didn't the scientists find [Chow, Chihuahua, Australian Shepherd] in their beloved Fido?" It is pretty funny to listen to.
So far, everyone I've met seems pretty nice, but then that is usually the way things start. Today I got the first hints of an undercurrent or two and am looking forward to learning more about the office politics and personalities. I am having fun, though, and think this will be a good place to work, at least for a while.
Here's to enjoying new jobs, healing old wounds, and firming up those family ties.