Author Archives: Wendy Thomas

About Wendy Thomas

Wendy is a journalist, writer, blogger and teaches writing at Nashua Community College.

Primary weekend in New Hampshire – this is what it’s like

Tomorrow is Primary Day! in New Hampshire and so (naturally) we spent the weekend attending as many political events as we could.

Friday was called a snow day due to the storm that came in overnight, but that didn’t stop us from catching this candidate at her Nashua office. (She sure brought some impressive women along to stump with her.)


Later that day we saw Rachel Maddow broadcasting live.


She met the girls and took a Presidential Selfie Girls photo.

maddow prez

And when she learned I was their mom, she signed her book like this:


We even ran across Jim Gilmore who is technically still a Presidential Candidate. (Gilmore’s in the HOUUUUSE!)

On Saturday the girls got to take a photo with Vermin Supreme (again). He’s a NH performance artist who comes out for every primary. (Equal opportunity candidate, he switches parties each year.)


Marc and I took a short break from the campaign trail to watch a show in Boston. (It was FANTASTIC – last time I had seen it was in 1972.)

pippin show

Yesterday we started the day off by seeing Marco Rubio (again.) (“Sure I repeated that line in the debate and I’ll repeat it again and again because it’s the truth”)


Then we hightailed it to catch the very end of a Ben Carson diner visit. I think he spoke there, but I’m not sure.


After that we saw John Kasich (again) at a town hall event where they placed us (two of my kids and me) directly behind Kasich.


Then we went to see a Carly event. Where I got to go up to her and tell her that I *did* think that she should have been allowed to be in the debate.

“So that means you’re going to vote for me?”

“ummmm, *crickets*” ( I’ve said it before, we are an H.P. family – ain’t no way… but I’ve got to give her credit for asking)

After that we went up to the hotel where all the news agencies are broadcasting from. A little star sighting with MSNBC’s Mornign Joe  – Joe Scarborough.


Then we went home, watched the Superbowl and crashed.

Today Marc works and I have classes to teach, but you can bet that if the snow holds off, we’ll be attending an event somewhere this evening. (Right now we’re considering the Trump event.) Why not? Come Wednesday morning, all the candidates are going to pack up their bags and bug out and for the rest of the winter you’ll only be hearing about New Hampshire when we get our famous blizzards.


Wendy Thomas writes about the lessons learned while raising children and chickens in New Hampshire. Contact her at

Also, join her on Facebook to find out more about the flock (children and chickens) and see some pretty funny chicken jokes, photos of tiny houses, and even a recipe or two.

Like what you read here? Consider subscribing to this blog so that you’ll never miss a post. And feel free to share with those who may need a little chicken love.

1 Comment

Filed under Uncategorized

I simply must attend – primary week in New Hampshire

I know I haven’t written all week, BUT it’s primary week in New Hampshire. Between that and teaching my college classes, I’ve been a little busy. So what’s the big deal with primary week you might ask?

It’s when all hell breaks loose on the campaign trail and we, New Hampshire residents, are treated to a non-stop carnival (and if you live for politics like I do, you enjoy every minute of this.) Here is just a sampling of what’s gone on in the last week.

I went to a town hall event with John Kasich. I like this guy. Not going to vote for him but wouldn’t be *that* unhappy if he won. I was able to tell him about the time he specifically addressed my daughters and told them “don’t do drugs.” It made a lasting impression.



Drove 30 minutes north and met this amazing woman: Gloria Steinem. Who (surprisingly) gave me great parenting advice. Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Lesson 1367 – Online Auctioning – lesson 4

As you have more and more auctions on eBay, you begin to get a sense of what sells and what doesn’t sell. You also begin to create a large pile in your home of “things that didn’t sell, but that I don’t know what to do with because they are still worth something.”

This can be a kiss of death for many households. Your house can easily get overrun with eBay discards. (Trust me, I know.)

The best thing to do is set some boundaries. When an item of mine doesn’t sell I evaluate it.

Did it not sell because it wasn’t seen? Sometimes things I *know* would sell just don’t get picked up. If that’s the case I relist the item as is at the original price.

Did it not sell because my price was too high? If so *and* if I think someone will bid, I relist with a reduced bid amount. Often I go down $5 or if it’s a lower priced item, I’ll cut the price to approximately half. After all, I’d rather have a few bucks in my pocket that that really cool vintage tape measure sitting in a corner of my office.

Note: I’ve had a few items that started at that “half-price” price that eventually went over the price I initially asked for in the first auction. It’s all in who wants what when.

Did it not sell because it won’t? This one is a tough call. It’s usually one that’s made after you get a “good feel” of eBay. Some items just have a hard time selling on eBay.

If you did a Hail Mary with an item and listed it to see if someone, somewhere would bid on it and they didn’t – make the decision to cut your losses. Create a donation pile and once a week, move that stuff out of your house (or give it to someone who can use it.). Don’t obsess about how much money you *might* be losing, trust me, there will always be more stuff to sell. If you stick with eBay, it will all come out in the wash anyway.

This week:

  • Someone purchased a purse and then told me they didn’t have the funds to pay for it. I relisted the purse and it already has a few bids on it. The auction ends soon.
  • I had a bunch of McDonald’s employee pins that I had listed for $9.99. No one bid, but I did notice that quite a few people looked at the auction. When the auction was over I relisted the pins at $5.99 – they already have a bid.
  • I had listed a vintage Christmas tree topper that didn’t get a bid. I’m fairly certain that that item will bring in some money so it’s being set aside for *next* year’s holiday season. (Yes, I do hold onto a few things, usually in the seasonal category.)
  • I had a vintage deer pin set. From the time I took the pins out for the photo to the time I sat down to write the auction the mama deer lost her green rhinestone eye. The set has been listed twice with no success. I suppose I can go out and buy a rhinestone to replace the eye with, but you know? For me it’s not worth it. The set is already in the donation box. Done and done.
Mama without an eye

Mama without an eye


I had a student in one of my eBay classes who had bought one of her kids some expensive wool blend long underwear while they were vacationing in Switzerland. The set had never been used and was still (many years later) in its original packaging. She listed the underwear at a high price (after all she had paid a lot for it herself.) The item didn’t sell. She listed it again, it didn’t sell. She listed it again and again without lowering the price (and incurring eBay fees each time.)

I’m not certain, but I can make a pretty good guess that that set of long underwear is still sitting on a shelf somewhere in her house because she can’t let go of how much money she spent on them.

Part of working with eBay is learning to move on. Unless you want to have piles of stuff in the corners of your house (again trust me on this one) you’ve got to figure out when it’s time to let go.


Wendy Thomas writes about the lessons learned while raising children and chickens in New Hampshire. Contact her at

Also, join me on Facebook to find out more about the flock (children and chickens) and see some pretty funny chicken jokes, photos of tiny houses, and even a recipe or two.

Like what you read here? Consider subscribing to this blog so that you’ll never miss a post. And feel free to share with those who may need a little chicken love.

Leave a comment

Filed under eBay

Lesson 1366 – Instant Pot Pressure Cooker Barbecued Ribs

Okay another pressure cooker recipe. This time my husband, Marc and son, Griffin decided to make ribs in the cooker. They made this decision in part based on this pressure cooker ribs video. Combine that video with the fact ribs were on sale at our local grocery store, and by watching me they knew that no one was going to die using the pressure cooker anytime soon and it was a done deal.

The recipe calls for you to braise the ribs in apple cider and vinegar for 32 minutes at high pressure in the cooker. Then you take them out of the pressure cooker, put them on a baking sheet, cover them with barbecue sauce and bake for 15 minutes. Continue reading


Filed under Recipes, Tiny house cooking

Lesson 1365 – Identifying Chronic Lyme in Your Family

Honestly, I am getting more and more people contacting me (which, by all means, please ask your questions.) about strange symptoms their kids are having this winter.

Last night a mom told me about her son who had tested positive for Lyme disease in November/December, was treated with one round of antibiotics and is now having some knee/joint issues where the knee is swollen and hot. (First comment – ticks are usually not around in these months and so if you test positive in December, chances you are have a full blown infection that’s been there for some time. Second comment – a “round” of antibiotics (typically 2 weeks) is probably not going to do anything for Lyme disease, especially if it’s set up shop in your body.) Continue reading

1 Comment

Filed under Lyme Disease

Lesson 1364 – Dave Ramsey Financial Peace University Lesson 3

Lesson 3 in Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University is all about creating budgets. (This follows Chapter 3 in his Complete Guide to Money book – which I saw at Costco this week for 12.99 – just sayin’)

20160126_090747I thought I was pretty good at making a budget (in my head) but when I sat down and put it on paper I realized that I had a little work to do. Dave tells us that the first month, your budget will not work.

Huh! I was going to prove him wrong. I was going to be an A+ student in this class. I took my anticipated monthly income and *before* it was deposited in the bank I sat down and allocated funds to bills and expenses. I even set aside $100 during the month for “Mad Money.” My goal was to have about $500 extra at the end of the month to put toward our debt. Continue reading


Filed under Financial Peace University, Inspiration, Personal, Points to ponder, The Family

Lesson 1363 – A Year of Nothing New

Kristin Skarie is a friend of mine whom I met through my son when she did workshops at his college. Like me, she also loves to do life experiments and one of her finest was going a year without buying anything new. It can be done,  she’s even written a book about it! Here’s Kristin to tell you about what she learned when she didn’t buy anything new.


Hello and thank you Wendy! In 2010, I made a decision to buy nothing new for a year. A friend had shared her recent nothing new experiment so I decided on the spot to give it a go – no preparation, no stocking up, no plans. In many ways this was an answered prayer to remedy a BAD 2009 (don’t ask!) and it gave me a welcome distraction – an active, positive focus on the pending adventure. Continue reading


Filed under Life Lessons