The other person I would encourage you to visit is Syd. Syd has a couple of blog posts about navigating the health care act and attempting to purchase insurance. Her information is concise, accurate, and readable. I encourage you to stop by and check out this information, whether you need insurance or are totally out of the loop. It's always nice to read information from someone who hasn't, as a friend said, "drunk the koolaid.". I met an intelligent, educated, aware woman the other day-who thought everyone HAD to sign up for the ACA. No matter your perspective, check Syd out.
Today I needed to pick up some painters tape. I've spent the last few days gathering the supplies to make Thanksgiving and Christmas house centerpieces and it was time to return to quilting. Rather than using it for painting, painters tape is what this quilter uses to mark the straight lines that guide the sewing on the finished product. Yesterday my son mentioned that he had gotten our keys made at an ACE hardware. Always one to avoid big box stores when possible, I headed in that direction. I was reminded that ACE really does have almost everything except for lumber. Not only that, but while they are a "chain" in one sense, stores are individually owned and meet my goal of trying to shop locally owned when possible.
While out and about, I decided to "check out the neighborhood" a little bit more. The same small shopping center (three blocks away)presented me with an independent quilt shop and large bookstore. It seems that the bookstore is getting ready to go out of business in the next few months. I've been told however, that it's not a sad occasion-at least for the owners. They've simply decided it's more than time to retire. It's the rest of us who will be sad, I expect. This particular bookstore is three storefronts wide and five rooms back. I ran inside to "look around for just a minute" and found more shelves than I knew what to do with, and books piled high on the floor as well. It will require a chair and some time the next time I enter.
I may have already mentioned that I also have an independent "new" bookstore. In theory this is also a chain, except that it's locally owned and there are only three-all in the Denver area. This is a bookstore where the seating area is large with deep comfortable sofas and the cafe is like a locally owned Starbucks-and much better. Although my drive was brief today, I also found an independent toy store, a custard store, a non chain hair dresser that was reasonable, and three or four micro breweries that also serve food.
Lest I give a mistaken impression, there are also the requisite big box stores and chains including Target, The Sports Authority and an AMC 25 (you read right, 25) seat movie theater. While I'm sure I will hit the movie theater and the Target occasionally, I expect I will spend much more time in the local "mom and pops" I find along the way. Even on a fixed income, I prefer when possible to keep my money local and support local businesses. What about you-do you search for smaller independent stores or hit the closest multipurpose place to get all your errands done in one fell swoop? Both methods have their rewards in am sure.
In other news, I had a new volunteer opportunity. I mentioned previously that I prefer my volunteerism to be out of the box a bit. That is I prefer to work with people who have the most need, and the important word here is with-not at, for, or to. Tonight was a perfect example of that, a new group that I will continue to work with. This was a group of families that stay every night in a church-a different church every week. During the day they get support and assistance in every sense of the word and they return to the churches at night-where various groups provide dinner. The difference here is that everyone-volunteers and guests-eat together family style, and every one cleans up. this is a perfect opportunity for me to volunteer with those in need, while getting to meet new friends up close and personally. I will surely continue with this volunteer activity.
And finally, the Colorado fall has hit home. Yesterday I raked four garbage bags full of leaves and swept the walk and porch. Today? The ground was covered and no one would know any raking had been done. The tree out front is not even a third empty, and none of the other trees have dropped their leaves. I'm so glad that yard maintenance is someone else's responsibility. Meanwhile, I'll simply enjoy the colors and watch them as they fall.