We Have to Pay What for Internet?

I haven’t posted in a bit because my sister needed some help at her trade show in New York City. So I was busy getting work done and packing so I had no time to ask Mr. Basketmaker his Friday’s Questions!

And I thought I would have plenty of time to make up for it when I arrived in New York. But my sister and I were greeted with this sign in our room and we both said “No free wi-fi”??

I could understand this at the many “really cheap” hotels Mr. Basketmaker and I find ourselves sleeping in. However, at this hotel, my sister is paying over $350 a night! So I found it absolutely ridiculous that 1 hour of internet would cost $4.99!


We ended up purchasing 24 hours since we had to get some files out to our clients this morning. Which meant that when we returned to the hotel after the show this evening, I had a chance to whine about how expensive New York is! Five dollars for a fountain drink, or a single yogurt or a small juice! Absolutely crazy. Definitely not a place for a strict budget-following-wife of a basketmaker!

Piggly Wiggly… DONE!


Here is a perfect example of how my life’s aspirations are not grandiose by any measure. Like many people, I have a “things I wanna do” list before I cannot do them anymore. And one of my must-see items was to shop at a Piggly Wiggly. I’m not kidding.

Being originally from New England and living half my life there, you only heard of Piggly Wiggly’s by watching TV or seeing it in the movies, like “Driving Miss Daisy.” Only Miss Jessica could make Piggly Wiggly sound so aristocratic. And for me, Piggly Wiggly is a simple slice of true Americana.

Now this probably was not on my list a decade ago. Before you think I’ve always been in tune to the “simple life,” I have not. When I lived in a certain big city (to remain unnamed, but if you have been following me for awhile, you already know that I’ve lived in Boston, Dallas and Chicago, including a couple months in London, so you can narrow it to those), I used to shop at a very exclusive boutique (to also remain unnamed). This shop was so exclusive, you had to ring a bell to get in. And if you wanted to get in a second, third or fourth time, you had to drop a significant amount of money the last time you were so graciously allowed to browse their exclusive racks. Let’s just say, I was never turned away.

Now I’m not bragging here. It’s more to embarrass myself. Why I would think, back then, when I was a naive and ignorant version of my current self, I would enjoy wasting my money on a pair of pants I would probably only wear twice, is beyond me. I call it a very brief lapse in judgement. However, in my defense, I was working at various ad agencies at the time. I was making more money than I ever thought possible when I was growing up in rural New Hampshire. And I was traveling around the country for my job and staying at posh places, like the Four Seasons in Beverly Hills when working on a photo shoot for one of my clients.

So I might’ve slightly bought into the farce that “you are what you wear, drive, drink, eat, furnish your house with… etc. etc. etc.  However, I never totally bought into it, since my frugal roots had a firm grip and though I might have shelled out some significant hard-earned money, it was always cash. When I worked at my big city job, I was never in debt. So I wasn’t totally ignorant. Or, my parents did a very good job bringing me up. I think I will go with the latter.

And, despite frequenting some very pricey boutiques, I also enjoyed thrift shopping. So I sort of had a double “shopping” life of sorts… now this will probably sound odd but it made perfect sense to me way back when. I would buy all my pants, skirts and shoes at high-end shops. But all shirts, tops, hats and accessories were found at local thrift stores or bargain outlets. To me it was a perfect balance.

Now today, I don’t care where I buy anything, as long as it’s not a waste. Mainly, it’s bought at a thrift store. And I could care less if it is trendy or if I’m wearing something that is out of style. One thing I know for a fact, and from experience, there is a huge freedom in only buying what you like, not because of a trend or what the label says. I can honestly say that I’d rather be a starving artist (as I am now) than a superficial consumer!

Okay, I’m on a huge tangent here. Back to the point… Yes, my aspirations to shop at a Piggly Wiggly. I am publicly announcing that I can scratch that off my list and one of my goals have been fulfilled: Piggly Wiggly… DONE! And, at the next town over, here in Tennessee.


My New Urban Scarecrow in the Country

Today is our Anniversary and this morning when I got out of bed, Eric was looking out the window and told me to “come quick” because there was an animal in our garden. I was too scared to look at first. But with his coaxing, I cautiously peered over to view and saw….


…a pleasant surprise! A sculpture from our favorite ironworks artist, Joe DeRobertis standing guard over our little garden! Joe made our wedding rings and I’ve been telling Eric that we really need to buy one of his eclectic outdoor sculptures!

So while we were back in New Hampshire, Eric drove over to Joe’s house while I was visiting with my parents and did a little bartering — a basket for a sculpture. Brilliant! But he did miss his stepdad’s concert — he plays the saxophone in a band. Eric told me he felt bad about missing it but that I would be really happy that he did. I didn’t understand what he meant but now I do! (Sorry Bruce)

What a great anniversary gift. But it really wasn’t fair because we agreed to no gifts! However, he bartered for it, so I’m all for that on our artist’s budget! Therefore, no complaints from me. I now have a cool, urban iron scarecrow protecting my tomatoes, and my basil, and Eric’s peppers and cilantro! Thanks Joe and Mr. Basketmaker!

If you are up in New England, Joe will have a booth at the well-known League of New Hampshire Craftsman fair in August. He sells lots of unique, handcrafted jewelry at this event. So if you’re in the neighborhood, visit Joe!