A bright spot in the midst of inflation

sofas ordered during pandemic took months to arrive
We ordered these sofas for our new house in the Fall of 2020. It took more than six months for them to arrive.

I read an article yesterday in the Wall Street Journal that said big discounts are headed our way. That would be some good news with gas over $5 a gallon and meat prices going through the roof.

In an article called Stores Have Too Much Stuff. Here’s Where They’re Slashing Prices, reporter Rachel Wolfe shares the good news that items that were popular during the pandemic and were hard to find because of supply chain issues are here two years later. The stores have too much inventory and we should expect “discounts like you’ve never seen before.”

“Retailers are getting ready to cut prices of goods that were popular during the pandemic. Expect ‘discounts like you’ve never seen before.”

The items most likely to be discounted according to the article are patio furniture and sofas — things that take up a lot of room in stores. Other items that will be slashed in price are the stay at home remote working wear like sweat pants.

Target, Walmart and Macy’s announced recently that they are starting to receive large shipments of outdoor furniture, loungewear and electronics everyone wanted, but couldn’t find, during the pandemic. 

The problem for retailers—that these goods are delayed by almost two years—could be a windfall for those in the market for sweatpants or couches. Look for prices to start dropping around July 4, analysts say.

Retailer discounts are part of an effort to get shoppers interested in buying things again as Americans shift their spending to concertseating out, and travel they missed out on. Deep discounts are expected on oversize couches, appliances and patio furniture that are more expensive for companies to store in their warehouses, analysts say. 

https://www.wsj.com/articles/stores-have-too-much-stuff-heres-where-theyre-slashing-prices-11655170243?mod=life_work_featured_strip_pos3

With the stock market tumbling, inflation sky high and the possibility of recession on it’s way — I could use some good news. However, I don’t need any of those things.

What did you want to buy but couldn’t find during the pandemic? What do you think you’d like to buy at a discount?

So far, so good

My husband is recovering from Omicron. He’s up and around — but not anywhere near me. I’m hanging out in the casita. I discovered things the casita needs to make it truly a separate living space from the rest of the house. I’m enjoying setting it up.

cat on a dresser with ceramic cat
Olive in the casita.

Amazing that you don’t realize what is lacking until you live in a space for a few days. For example, the casita now boasts dish towels, oven mitts, real dishes, a bath mat, condiments, laundry soap, trash bags, aluminum foil and clear wrap. Lots of little things to make it functional.

My apologies to previous guests who’ve stayed in our casita. It was really more of a glorified bedroom. Now, it’s a complete living space — and we’ll never even have to interact with our guests again. Just kidding.

I’ll be in this space for the next five days while my husband is quarantining. I didn’t want to traipse into the kitchen whenever I needed something, because he’s been in and out of the kitchen for a week with COVID. Something I’ve heard about Omicron is that it stays on surfaces. I have no idea if this is true or not. Have you heard that? But, thanks to my sister-in-law’s suggestion, I bought Clorox wipes. I got those at Target along with everything else.

I was fighting myself on the first night to not go into the master bedroom to check on my husband, and to stay out of the kitchen. He was so sick and in so much pain, I decided it wasn’t worth it to get it, too. So, here I sit in my own little space. The casita was a life-saver when we moved in because we bought the furniture from the prior owners. Our furniture didn’t arrive with us, so at least we had a place to sleep!

The casita is connected to the rest of the house by a hallway. It has it’s own vents, heat and air, so I’m not being infected with my husband’s germs. Kitty Olive has decided this is a good place to be, so I got her cat food, litter box and cat grass and she’s hanging out with me.

Have you or family members quarantined with other people in the house? How did you manage? Have you thought about preparing a place for someone who gets sick to be separated from the rest of the family? Why do you think some people in the same family get COVID, while others do not?

kitchen with yellow oven mitts and dishtowels.
Getting the casita stocked and organized. Like the oven mitts and dish towels?

7 Tips for parents of college freshman on move-in day

Move-in day for the parents of college freshman can be overwhelming. Here are a few tips I wrote when we moved our daughter into her dorm room this week four years ago.

 

The check-in table at Move-in day.

The check-in table at Move-in day.

Yesterday was move-in day for our youngest. It was easy to spot check-in with bright red pop-up tents, a field of red carts and dollies, and a line of students ready to help move us in. Not us, but my daughter. It sure felt like us, though.

Being 15 minutes early was an excellent idea. There was parking. There were carts. There was a small line. Later in the day — parking was in the outer limits — and it was wall-to-wall students and parents making their way to the dorms with carloads of matching “Big Box College-Bound” gear.

In her dorm room getting settled.

In her dorm room getting settled.

Once in the room, we began lifting bedding, towels and clothing out of the cart. I wondered if I’d be strong, without tears, and how I’d get through the day. 

Here’s what worked and didn’t work:

1. Don’t try and unpack for your kid. Don’t try and put things away. This is their space, their new home. They need to make it their own.

2. Don’t hover and stay in their room. Make sure they have what they need and leave them alone. Be sure to be nearby for when they will invariably call.

3. Be prepared to shop multiple times during move-in day. We made one trip to Bed, Bath and Beyond, Home Depot and Costco — and five to Target. This was after we drove a packed-to-the-hilt Sequoia through four states with everything she needed.

4. Make lists. The large stores have lists for your student to make shopping easier. Of course, they have way more things on their lists than you actually need, but it’s a good starting point. Make your own list with the store’s list as a guide. After you move in your freshman’s things, you’ll discover what you didn’t think about or forgot — like strips to hang up pictures and art. Revise and rewrite your list as the day goes on.

5. Don’t try to stay up with the roomie. Some roommates will come equipped with flat-screen TVs, $1,000 bikes, and the best and latest technology. Don’t worry about what they have and you do not. In a dorm room, keep remembering the mantra — LESS IS MORE!

6. Don’t go out and buy a router for the dorm’s WiFi until you read the section on technology on the college’s website. Most likely routers are not allowed and it’s a simple passcode that is needed instead.

7. Feed your student. He or she may be so intent on getting unpacked and settled and meeting dorm mates, that he or she won’t take time to eat. Make sure to stock bananas, apples, yogurt and other healthy snacks in their room and fridge.

The swim tee shirt quilt I made for my daughter's dorm room. Years of memories.

The swim tee shirt quilt I made for my daughter’s dorm room. Years of memories.

I made it through the day without tears — mostly. It was a long, busy and tiring day. When my husband and I stopped for lunch — alone — and I realized that we were truly alone — the tears ran down my cheeks. I wiped them off and prepared myself for battle for the next stop at Target. When it’s time to say goodbye — well, I’ll tell you how that goes. You can read about how I said goodbye here.

18 years ago.Here’s a song “Teach Your Children Well” that fits my mood today. Listen and enjoy!

1 Tip on How to Say Good-bye to Your College Student

University of Utah in Salt Lake City

University of Utah in Salt Lake City

Last week I wrote about 7 tips for parents on Move-In Day. At the end I wrote: “I made it through the day without tears–mostly. It was a long, busy and tiring day. When my husband and I stopped for lunch — alone — and I realized that we were truly alone — the tears ran down my cheeks. I wiped them off and prepared myself for battle for the next stop at Target. When, it’s time to say good-bye — well, I’ll tell you how that goes another time.”

Kat during our 6th trip to Target

Kat during our 6th trip to Target

So, how did it go when we said good-bye?

We had planned to stay until Sunday. Move-In day had been Thursday. We wanted to be around for a few days in case she needed us. She wanted us there on Thursday, but by Friday — not so much. It began to make sense for us to leave a day early. We didn’t want to hang out and wait to see if she wanted us around. It didn’t make us feel good and we weren’t enjoying ourselves exploring the city that much. We had a long drive ahead of us, too. So we went out for an early morning walk Saturday and talked about how we’d let her know that we felt it was time to leave.

She texted us at 7 a.m. Saturday. 

text from Kat

text from Kat

Okie dokie.

It was time to say good-bye. We walked on over to her dorm. I took a deep breath. I said a prayer to be strong.

“Do not cry. I can do this,” I repeated in my head.

She opened the door, I wanted to say something profound and loving. Something she’d remember — but I said nothing. My husband said a few things and I nodded my head.

I opened my mouth, my voice cracked and wavered. At this point I cannot remember what I was trying to say.

“Mom! Mom! Stop it!” she said. “Don’t!”

She held my face in her hands, like I was the child. “It’s going to be okay.”

A view  during our walk on campus

A view during our walk on campus

Tip 1:  Make it short and quick.

Bill and I walked out of her room into the bright cool air that is Utah. We walked all over campus for two hours and I felt much better — amazed at what a strong beautiful woman we had raised.

Sage Point dorms at U of U

Sage Point dorms at U of U, the athlete housing for Winter Olympics 2002.

Here’s an update:

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