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Sunday, October 10, 2010

I can't think of a better way to end this near perfect week than a birthday celebration.
My grandson is 19 years old today , 10-10-10.
A once in a life time event.
These dates only happened for twelve years. Starting in 1-1-01 and ending 12-12-12.
Dylan is the only family member to experience this special birthday date.
When I look back on the past 19 years, the time passed so fast.
He was a preemie baby, so small. Preemie clothes were too big. Preemie diapers had to be folded to fit. Now he is tall, well built, very nice looking and going to Oregon State Collage.
We can't keep them from growing up but we can have beautiful fun filled memories of all the good times we had while they grew up.
This past week has been one of the best I have experienced .
I I had to rate the week fro 1 to 10, it would be 9.9.
Monday I started out with a great money saving shopping trip at the Goodwill.
Tuesday I got some jewelry made. No work problems.
Wednesday I shopped at another Goodwill. It was 10%off senior discount day. I again found some great buys. The best buy I found by accident. I was not looking for sweaters.
But a black sweater that seems out of place caught my eye. I seems drawn to it. I reached out and felt the sleeve. It felt very soft , the material felt familiar. Could it be cashmere?
I looked at the label, it was 100% cashmere, plus a well known expensive brand. I checked the price, $6.99. Something must be wrong with it. Even Goodwill has got pretty good about spotting extra expensive items and marks them more than other things.
With an eagle eye I examined it, it was perfect. Didn't look like it had ever been worn.
So in my basket it went. I half expected some clerk to come and tell me it was priced wrong and I would have to pay more for it. I would have paid up to $19.99, even thought it was worth a lot more, that would have been all I could afford.
One thing about the Goodwill shopping, if you really look, there are great buys and a person can get carried away. Just as in any shopping one had to set limits.
When the prices are so cheap it's easy to forget even cheap prices add up.
Wednesday also brought me a surprise weight loss of 2 lbs.
Since I had been sick the week earlier I had not worked out as much. I didn't know if I would lose any weight.
Thursday , another problem free work day. I also got paid for some jewelry sold in one of the shops I have merchandise in. Always happy to receive money. At least the money I had spent on my shopping trips was covered. A little out a little in, not bad.
Friday, I had planned to go out with a group of friends, dinner and the casino.
If you get 8 to 10 people, can get the limo, a meal voucher all for the cost of $10.00.
I limit my gambling money to $20.00. Just so I will not have a moment of weakness , I leave my credit and bank cards home.
I used to live and work in Vegas. I saw too many people get into gambling so deep they could never get out of debt.
My Grandmothers used to say that if your right hand itched it meant you would come into money.
My hand itched all day. I was looking for some more checks to come in for jewelry sold.
I always get paid for items sold at the first part of the month.
I never thought about the casino. And that might bring me some money. That's foolish dreaming.
We all piled into the limo and drove to the casino about 45 miles away.
Got our vouchers and had some dinner.
Then it was slot machine time. Since I am on a limited income I only play slots now.
I used to hit the 21 and crap tables. The best money can be made at the crap table.
The slots are the house's biggest money maker.
But for limited income and just playing to have fun and stretch out your money the slots are the game to play.
There are penny, nickel ,dime, quarter and higher amount machines.
I start out with the dime. Then go down to nickel, ending up with the penny ones.
One thing about the casinos in Oregon, there are quiet. No bell and whistles. No big noise when you hit a jackpot. I miss the noise of Vegas or Reno. It's fun to have lights flash and everybody turn to stare when you hit.
I started off with five dollars in dime machine. I play all lines. You don't want to hit a line and you haven't played it and won't be paid.
I was on my fourth dollar when the machine started clicking and the money amount I had started adding up. I checked the lines to see what it had paid out. Wow it said ,2500.
It took a moment to register that it was 2500 dimes. But that $250.00 . My heart was racing , I looked around, my neighbor slot players on either side of me were watching my machine as it keep clicking as the amount was added.
When you quit, you press a button. and the machine gives you a slip that you use at the cashiers window to cash out.
But I wasn't ready to quit. I still had most of my original gambling money. So I looked for another free machine. It was really full, so I stayed where I was.
I slowed down paused between rolls trying to kill time. I always think once a machine gives up a jackpot , it's time to move on.
But this time I was wrong after 5 or 6 dollars played I hit again. The machine just keep adding money to my balance. I looked to see that this payoff was and it was 5000. That's $500.00.
By now my heart is racing I thought I was going to have a heart attack. None of my exercises gets my heart to race like that. I was shaking, I wanted a drink stronger than the bottled water that I was drinking. The machine finally got quiet, I looked at the balance I had to play with $758.00. I started out with $20.00. I had used $12.00. I pressed the cash out button and went to the cashier and got my money.
Now I got to thinking, I know how luck runs, someday it's there and then it's gone.
I experienced that when my daughter got married in Vegas. I won so much money it paid for the whole wedding and then some. I never left a table or slot without hitting. The whole family still talks about my lucky streak.
Could I be experiencing this again? Should I go to the crap table and try my luck. How about 21, I am a very good player. Maybe I should play poker. Oh believe me, my head was spinning. I decided to sit a while and think things through. I got a drink. Mild one.
We still had a hour to go before starting back home. What should I do?????
I decided that I still had $8.00 of my original gambling money and I would use that and that would be all. Why push my luck. I needed the money I had won. I wasn't as financially well off that I used to be 20 years ago, when I was in Vegas for the wedding..
I found a nickel machine and put my 8 dollars in and sat to play and kill time.
I had only played a couple of rolls when my neighbor said, I quit, I have played this same machine for over an hour and nothing but little bonus payouts, just to keep me hooked.
I smiled said that's the way they are sometimes. But when she got up I moved over and slipped five dollars in and thought why not give it a try. Now I had two machines going.
I had only played a couple of dollars and the new machine paid off $75.00 dollars.
The lady had only moved a few seats away and she saw what happened and was so mad. She said that payoff should have been mine. I said that's how the machines are. I tried not to smile. I know how it feels to lose.
Well to rub salt into a wound it paid off again , $50.00.
And to cap off the night the other nickel machine paid out $25.00.
So was I just lucky for the night? I do believe in fate and destiny and I just think I was due for some good luck. Someone was looking out for me. I came home with $850.00 more than I left with.
Saturday I slept in, got a good 8 hours sleep. Went to return cans and found that recycling has become a cottage industry. Whole families are returning large amount of cans and bottles. Some going to taverns to get the cans and bottles.
Everyplace was jammed up so I only returned a few of my huge stock pile, will be working on that all next week.
As I think about the week to come I wonder what in store for me??
This past week will be hard to top.
But as long as I stay healthy, get things done, have time to exercise and still enjoy leisure time, I will be happy. I don't have to win money to be a winner. I'm winning in many other ways. My batle with weight. Which has led to so many improvements in my life. My lovely family, who are always there for me. I live each day a winner. I'm very fortunate.
My unexpected windfall will help me this holiday season spread some joy around.
Our ladies who dine are going to sponsor two families for Xmas. That's a group I am with.
But there are so many who need help, we all have to do what we can.
"Great opportunities to help others seldom come, but small ones surround us everyday." Sally Koch
To all my Spark friends , I value your friendship and support. We are all on the same journey
just different parts of the road. So keep the Spark alive, keep positive thoughts and your goal in sight. It's closer than you think.
Peace always.

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