Thrift stores, a contest!

The prize!

There was a “bag sale” at the Manchester Thrift Store yesterday. Before the fall, they get rid of all of their summer clothing to make room for warmer, winter things. I feel a little giddy on bag sale days. You purchase a white garbage bag for $5 and then go around the store filling it up. All of my usual discretion goes out the window on these days…it is as if I become obsessed with seeing how much I can cram into that bag. I don’t bother to try anything on, if it looks close to my size, I just stuff it in.

I justify this by saying that if it doesn’t fit, or I don’t  like it, I will simply put it in another bag and re-donate it. Which I do. Thrift store shopping is just plain fun for me and bag sale days make me feel a tiny bit like I have won some lottery.

So, it seems the perfect time for another give-away doesn’t it?! To enter this contest, just comment telling us what fun little thing you like to do for yourself, or for someone else (or if you can’t think of anything, but there is something that you wish you could do, then write that …there are no wrong responses!). I will choose a random winner on Monday the 5th and the prize will be a Mary’s Skin Survival Balm (in a sweet little gold bag that I picked up yesterday at the bag sale!)


45 thoughts on “Thrift stores, a contest!”

  1. I go to the hallmark store because I like to look and read different cards. It gives me inspiration, then I choose an appropriate card and send it anonimously to a friend.

  2. I am always more comfortable doing something for someone else. I love to bake and find it relaxes me and in today’s world not everyone has time to bake homemade goodies. So I will find whatever is someone’s favorite and bake it for them especially if they are feeling down or sick. It brings me pleasure.

  3. Sandra
    I enjoy remembering birthdays and anniversaries for people I know with a card or note. It was a ritual instilled in me by my mother as a young child. Now that everything is done through cyber space and electronically, I believe it’s more meaningful than ever to receive an actual card in the mail. The thought behind it means so much these days.

  4. My daughter lives with me. When she comes home from work sometimes I like to surprise her with a little vase of fresh flowers in her room. It seems to melt away the troubles of the job and say to her Ah..Home…Good
    As for my husband, he just enjoys someone to talk to and hand him a wrench when he’s fixing something so I try to help him when I can even though it’s not my favorite thing to do.

  5. I love to get a deal at a store. For example I purchased some jeans from Talbots for $8 a pair. I like to see the total savings on the bottom of the receipt to be at least twice what I pay. That is my little indulgence.

  6. When I’m browsing thrift and book stores and see a book that reminds me of someone for any particular reason I buy it and give it to them. For example. “Listen to the Land” makes me think of my organic farmer friend so I pass it on to her. It’s a way of paying attention and affirming. Sometimes (often) I read it first!

  7. I have been caring for my invalid mother for 6 years now and cared for my husband while he was ill before that. Sometimes when I am feeling totally stressed I get in my car and drive up into the canyon and hike up to a big flat rock by the roaring creek. I sit on that rock and enjoy the peace and beauty and count my many blessings. I come home feeling relaxed and refreshed!

  8. I like to give tiny, unexpected gifts for no reason at all. For example, a votive candle in a bit of tissue paper, a book mark to a friend who reads, sticky back note pad, or other things I think might brighten up someone’s day and yet cost me little in money. Around the holidays I like to tuck a little crochet heart or wreath in a card, or sometimes some confetti. My friends say they always open a card from me over a table, some save the confetti in a little container and some mail a bit back in a card to me.

  9. I had a friend who loved Peppermint Patties, so I was always leaving them for him in unexpected places. Since his passing, I have discovered another friend of mine also loves this particular treat and now leave them for her to discover.

  10. Wow Mary a bag sale! I love them also. Such hedonistic pleasure just stuffing in the bag. My pleasure is to sit and read early in the mornings with birds singing and my cats around me for company.

  11. I love to go off on a “date” by myself. Lunch, art supply store, crystals, shoes. Time alone in the company of strangers helps me be open to what’s around me.

  12. Since retiring in December, I walk dogs at K9 Stray Rescue at least twice per week. It is rewarding to see the dogs get outside, get some attention and we get lots of exercise. Whenever, I see dog treats on sale I buy them for the dogs. It is really rewarding when they get forever homes.

  13. When I’m stressed out, I take a long, long hot bath with scented oils and
    lie back and try to not think – very difficult. When the water starts to cool,
    i let some of it out and add more hot. I can soak for as long as 45 minutes.
    I often bring along a glass of wine. This really works for me.

    When my three children were young, my husband would often come home
    from work and I would greet him with “I’m taking a bath.”


  14. I love this post! And the bag! I like to send free e cards from Spiritcards web site, randomly, to people who have either touched me recently in some deep way or who I feel may need to be touched. They are gorgeous cards and you get to color them and write your own note.

  15. After work and making dinner, I take a two mile walk around my neighborhood. I really enjoy this time to myself to think, breath fresh air and see what’s going on.

  16. I love reading these replies! What a happy way to start the day – makes me want to start it all over again with a bath Becky! I love special days with my now grown sons – my younger son especially also loves to browse thrift stores for things for his house – he is very artistic and has an eye for finding just the right thing. And for me, just the smallest purchase when I’m with him will becomes a souvenir of the day. I can look all over my house and remember actual days by a little frog figurine, or a soap dish. Memories in sweet small packages. Also fun to make batches and batches of what we call MamaRafa cookies – my son Rafa works for quite a few famous rock bands as videographer, and the MamaRafa cookies are almost expected! when they are on tour and hit Phoenix. They are just traditional chocolate chip cookies (with double the amount of chips!) – and I love to know they’ve been all over the country on the big ol’ fancy tour buses. Now that some of the members have little kids traveling with them, even more are made. So much fun to be an anonymous baker fan 🙂 Have fun everyone!

  17. I scoop poop! To the horror of my family. There are two favorite places where we regularly walk off-leash that aren’t necessarily designated as such, so I will regularly go on a “poop hunt”. It is gross and disgusting but so satisfying and hopefully will keep these beautiful places free for dogs and humans alike!

    1. Carolyn, you definitely deserve the award for The Most Unselfish Having Fun activity!! Wow, a volunteer scooper – beautifying the world a scoop at a time!

  18. I love to swim at the YMCA,, take a hot power shower and relax in the steam room. Sometimes I choose the suana depending upon my whim. I apply olive oil souffle to the body, tinted day hydrator to face, a great lip gloss and walk into the world a new woman.

  19. I’m like Sandra. I send birthday and anniversay cards and get well notes. I think people like something they can hold. My 87 year old mother-in-law just had a birthday and she so enjoyed showing me all her cards. I make baked goods once in a while and take them to the grocery store where two of my sons work for the employees to enjoy on their breaks. They seem to like when I do that. Should do it more often.

  20. The very best, and surprisingly fun, thing I have begun doing for myself is to walk the 3-mile length of my village road every morning. Some mornings it’s a power walk to see if I can beat my (formerly) best time, and other mornings it’s a much more leisurely pace because I see all the neighbors out in their gardens and the kids walking to the school bus stop and you simply must stop and talk to everyone. This morning, a neighbor two miles down the road that I had never met called out a greeting and I stopped to introduce myself and chat. I complimented her on some recent home improvements and she told me that her husband, an out-of-work home builder, had done all of the work. So I got his business card and now I have someone to come help me with my never-ending list of projects. He’ll be happy for the work, and I’ll be happy to have the help. Win-win. My favorite thing in the world – chance encounters, random connections, new friends. And good exercise to boot!

  21. A hot bath with essential oils of cedar and orange. The cedar grounds the scent and the citrus soars. The hot water relaxes.

  22. I take my dogs on a leash (one at a time!) with me when I ride my bike. They both love it and it’s good exercise for all of us!

  23. I love getting up early and if the weather is nice, doing yoga on my deck. I love to wander around my yard and pull weeds in my bare feet, just the little ones!

  24. I walk two miles…absorbing the New England seasons…
    Mother Nature presents herself in amazing ways each day…

  25. My favorite thing to do for myself in this waning Minnesota summer is just to sit outside my home with my labrador on my left and a stack of good books on my right and try to soak in enough warmth to keep me through winter.

  26. If someone is having a particularly bad day at work, I like to leave a little chocolate something in their locker to discover. I have found that chocolate can get us through a lot of “stuff”:)

  27. I have a special coffee mug for weekends. I set it out Friday night so when I get up Saturday and Sunday mornings and see my mug, I know it is a relaxed day filled with possiblilties of fun ahead.

    1. Cynthia, I love that! the little things, like just “a” mug set out – I have mugs and tea cups, they are all so special to me because I remember where and when I got each one, not only because the mug or cup is beautiful, but most of all for the memory of the time I bought it, to remind me of a moment special in time.

  28. I do a lot of needlework while watching tv in the evening. I like to choose someone and surprise them with a piece of my handiwork …just because!

    Sandy M

  29. I go two times a week or more with a good friend to help at our local humane shelter. I love to take the dogs out of their pens and give them a run and walk and lots and lots of love. I also love using Mary’s soothing balm.

    1. Hi Myrna,
      Keep up the wonderful work that you at the shelter with our mutual good friend. I am glad that we are getting to know each other through Mary Lee and through Mary Muncil. Keep loving those critters.
      Mary Solomon

  30. What I really like to do, when I have time, is go to a book store and just spend time browsing. It just makes me feel good to spend time with books. Love it!

  31. My favorite thing is to take walks in my neighborhood. I am fortunate to have a few parks VERY near my home and lovely homes to walk by. I feel I have it all right in my own back yard. My 3 cats also give me lots of pleasure.

  32. I LOVE to knit. Recently I made a necklace for myself from crazy variegated yarn with flecks of silver in it. I wore it today to our group that knits for charity. We had a picture taken of the group to frame an give to a member who has ALS and must leave us to live with one of her children.

    Since I live in a small town we do it all – baby caps, preemie outfits, cancer caps, hats, scarves, mittens, and sweaters (especially to keep the children warm, but for adults as well), and prayer shawls. It’s almost harvest time; so, I started a children’s pumpkin hat at our meeting this afternoon.Some child’s head will be warm and may have the start of a Halloween costume. Wish I could send a picture!

  33. What a fun contest, and so many creative ideas here for self-nurturing!
    This is silly but I will admit it publicly: sometimes I let myself sleep in til 10AM. It seems like such an indulgence, like being a kid without responsibilities. 🙂

  34. Mary, I so enjoyed this question, both for the great ideas that I have learned from others and for the fact that it made me think a bit deeper about my own response. In thinking about the fun little things I do for others, a pattern dawned on me that I had not thought about before. I take pictures, compile them into little albums, sometimes with a bit of text, and give them to friends. There was the album I made and gave to the woman who bought a starving horse from a dealer and gave her to me. The album for her consisted of pictures of a much recovered horse several months later. There was the album I made and gave to a friend that had brain surgery. He missed the life he loved, the farm, his tractors, his horse, pictures of which he had to hold in a book and touch while in rehab. There were the pictures I took of three friends who rode in a fundraising trail ride, a photo journal of their day. There was the album of photos I took of a neighbor’s herd of cattle one summer; he mentioned that he had never stopped to take pictures like that himself. And more little albums. It had never occurred to me that these album gifts were a pattern of mine, each just seemed compelling to make in its moment. What makes this especially fun is that I am by no means a proper photographer; I use a simple little camera and take pictures from the heart. Thanks Mary for giving us all the opportunity to learn from each other and to learn something about ourselves in the process! Barbara

  35. I love to go into the woods with my dogs and find a quiet place to just sit for a while. Another lifelong favorite thing for me is sitting on the porch reading a good book.

  36. flowers make me happy – picking them from my yard and bringing them in the house – or buying and inexpensive bunch somewhere- i enjoy looking at them in the coming week

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