Motorcycle Mary

Let Us Whip You Into Shape

June 4, 2013
by motorcyclemary
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Norma Jones Fall 2011 Collection

This is just one of my  friendship memory –makers of my life. My friend Norma passed away last month and I will miss her so deeply that words cannot express….I just wanted to rerun this in her memory. Maybe someday I will write about the infamous “Mouse Adventure” of Norma Jones, Diane Parsons and Motorcycle Mary.

Hugs to you Miss Norma Jones – -

I wrote the book on being broke and coming back, but when I bought my house almost 5 years ago, I had no furniture, but I had a home! I do live frugal and boy, do I like it when I am in the jet stream of my friends getting rid of things that I can use in my home.

Some people think that second hand things are not for them. They need to have the latest Brand Name Collection of whatever or they are not satisfied. I even read one time where a woman saw two exact tables at different prices and she bought the higher priced one as she thought it held more value.

One of my BFF’s is a young 70ish age woman named Norma Jones. She had an apartment in the city that she was getting rid of after many years of enjoying the city on the weekends for shows, shopping, etc. She pulled a few people together and allowed us to have our pick of the place as she did not want to move any of it. I have to say this – that was a once in a lifetime experience.

She had brought a couple of granddaughters and one of her daughters, and I tried to be considerate of them and they had first choice on things. After we had been in the apartment for a while I hesitantly said “Does anyone want that dining room set?” Nope they replied and in that one sweep of a moment I had a beautiful dining room table, followed by a sleeper sofa, 2 big wooden screens, lots of little end tables, beautiful clocks, and plant stands. I just cannot tell you how tickled I was. On top of that they delivered it 80 miles to my little bungalow. Thanks Howard!

Well, that little trip led me to my basement where I set up tables and unpacked each and every box that I had down there. Next, I went through and pulled out all the stuff to the trash, what I was going to give to Goodwill and with what was left over, I got a girlfriend to help me use my new stuff with my old stuff and we completely redesigned the inside of my house. Basically for free between Norma’s stuff and my stuff from the basement.  And when I repack the stuff left in the basement, I know that it will probably be the last time I see some of that stuff, but the things I have surrounding me upstairs are the important things in my life.

As Norma says all the time “We need to repurpose things.” I am trying to learn from her lead. If I don’t want that Indian Doll anymore I will give it to my niece who collects Indian Memorabilia. Why let it go to waste in the basement, only to be auctioned off to the highest bidder (who could give a rats a—who or where it came from) when you pass from this earth.

When people come into my home and say “Oh, I love the big wooden screen as a headboard and that dining room set is beautiful!” I have to smile and say, “It’s from the Norma Jones Fall 2011 Collection and thank you I think it’s beautiful, too.”

I just hope one day that some of my friends will say “It is from the Motorcycle Mary Collection.” And that they know I had gently used it during my reign as caretaker…and that now I would like for them to enjoy. Getting something for nothing has always taken a bum rap – it isn’t always bad.

May 14, 2013
by motorcyclemary
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Octopus Shopping

Are you an OS SHOPPER?

Today I have to go shopping for groceries. Haven’t been for a while and I need everything, which is going to take a couple of hours to buy, check out, get home and unload and unpack everything. I have had a year of large unexpected expenses, so I know that I must be extra careful with my spending. I cannot become an Octopus Shopper (OS). You know – the kind of shopper that goes down the aisles and the arms are going left and right and you are pulling all kinds of things (mostly wants) from the shelves and you just can’t seem to do enough of it. You need to stop reaching and start thinking about what you are doing.

I try to add up the stuff in my cart as I go to have some kind of idea of where I am at. Even a rough guess of what is in your cart can help you to keep it in check.

Come on now – – you have to know the total dollar amount that you can spend. You have to live within your means. You cannot let your shopping become that black hole of spending. I have people tell me that they can’t separate the groceries from the birthday presents because it is all on one bill. Why don’t you separate the groceries and the gifts in your cart and have them subtotal after one or the other and see what you are really spending in each category. It doesn’t matter what is in your cart at the checkout line– you have to have money in the account to pay for the purchased items. You still have to know how much you can AFFORD to spend at the store for this trip – which means you have to live within your budget – which means you only have so many dollars to go around for everything.

We just passed another expensive holiday – Easter. Did you just spend to spend? to get stuff to have for the kids for the holiday or did you have a very good idea of what you couldspend? We gotta stop letting the money slip through our fingers. In this tight economy, an overspendage of $25 here and $50 there can really hurt the old checkbook. Spending overages can sometimes making it even harder to pay for the needs of life, example – rent, utilities, etc.

So next time you go shopping, please leave your OS Suit at home and put on your Thinking Hat.