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The 3 Places I Should Never Work

Tamara and her saw

There are 3 places I could never work because I would spend every penny that I earned buying things. These three things are both my passions and my weaknesses, and I am sharing them with you in an effort to help people get to know me better before I launch my podcast.

1. The First Place I Should Never Work: A Bookstore

I am an avid reader of fiction. Give me a fantasy, action or adventure with a twist of clean romance and I am there! I will devour that book!

I don’t prefer self-help books or memoirs or sad books (my heart is just too tender). Plus I deal with enough drama in real life that I don’t want to read about it when I am relaxing and getting ready to sleep.

I am sure that some of you find it quite ironic that I am writing a non-fiction book, huh? That is not my preferred genre to read. Oh well! Sometimes God points us to do things that are a little out of our comfort zone.

Here are some fun facts about my reading habits:

  • Reading is relaxing and exhilarating to me. I love letting my mind get caught up in the story and visiting imaginary world with imaginary people that do incredible things. I love characters that grow and evolve and learn something about themselves throughout the process. Sometimes it is nice to escape real life during hard times into the pages of a book.
  • I would rather read a real book vs a Kindle or electronic version ANY DAY!!! There is something magical about turning the pages with your fingers.
  • I am a corner folder to mark my spot. Gasp! I know some of you book purists are cringing at that. Sorry! I have had way too many bookmarks fall out and have lost my page too many times (and I hate losing my place). So, I just turn the corner on the page and I haven’t lost my place since.
  • I love and use my local library, but I also buy used books at second hands stores and I have for years. After reading most books, I donate most of them back for someone else to read–but I do have 6 bookcases FULL of books (and that doesn’t even include children’s books) that I do keep of my favorites that I or my children will read or re-read.
  • Embarrasing truth: I also have a 3-foot tall bookcase by my side of the bed in the master bedroom. My husband finally got tired of my stacks of books on and beside my nightstand that he finally said, “Tamara, get yourself a bookcase so it at least looks organized.” So, I did. That is where I put my “to be read” books and books I recently finished and am ready to donate.
  • Yes, I really did read with a flashlight under my covers when I was a teenager into the wee hours of the morning…and I am sometimes prone to even still do it as an adult if I can’t put the book down–but I don’t bounce back as quickly from lack of sleep as a used to.
  • The reason I sometimes can’t put the book down and read until 2:00 am (even as a responsible adult) is that if the book is super-awesome, I have to have closure. If I stop and go to sleep, my brain will try to figure out the ending all night while I am sleeping. Ha! I guess I am too much of a problem solver and I have to figure it out.
  • I love audiobooks as well! When we drive to visit family during the summers or holidays we will ALWAYS listen to a book. We have done the Harry Potter series at least 2-3 times, the Percy Jackson Series, the Fablehaven Series, the Michael Vey series and several other series. It is a fun way to spend the 11-hour drive to and from grandma and grandpa’s house in Arizona or California.
  • My favorite book that I have read in the last 5 years: Edenbrooke by Julianne Donaldson. I love this “proper romance” it because it makes me laugh and has some mystery and adventure in it. I have actually re-read it about 5 times (and I NEVER re-read fiction books).

So my friends, I must admit that the first place I should never would would be a bookstore. I would spend all my money buying new books. A better place for me to work would be the library because I could be surrounded by books and not be tempted to buy all of them:).

Does anyone else have a book weakness?

2. The Second Place I Should Never Work: A Fabric Store

It all began innocently in high school with deciding I would sew my choir dress instead of paying someone to do it for me. My mom pulled out her old sewing machine and I decided I would and could do this.

I headed into the fabric store to buy the fabric and the pattern. I had never sewn anything in my life, and yet with the help of my friend (who happened to be an expert seamstress), I sewed my first dress. By the time I had graduated from high school I had sewn a few other articles of clothing and even my first quilt.

Here are some fun facts about the evolution of my fabric collection:

During my college years I found a book about making simple quilt patterns and it fascinated me. I made my second quilt and found I loved combining colors and patterns. I began a small pile of remnant fabric that probably could have fit in a shoe box.

One of my first Christmas presents after I got married was a basic sewing machine. Another friend in my apartment complex taught me how to make items like curtains out of sheets, baby blankets and other simple items. I found sewing to be a fun way to express my creativity.

Soon I started browsing the dollar fabric at Walmart anytime I was shopping there (it was all we could afford). But even in the dollar bin I found beautiful and fun fabric that began “calling” to me.

And so, the fabric obsession began. If I found fabric that I could incorporate into my home either in decor, pillows, or that could be turned into quilts, I bought it.

By the time we had been married for 15 years, that small pile of fabric turned into 7 bins full of fabric. I had two bins full of decor fabric, one for old jeans that I would turn into quilts or curtains, one for flannel fabrics, and the other three for cotton blends for quilts.

And I did sew and quilt. I think it was a creative outlet for me when I was so stressed having kids on the autism spectrum. I would get them to bed at night and I would sew. One year I made my daughter and two of my nieces quilts for Christmas. I had found a steal that year on some fun springtime fabric that a fabric store was clearancing out and the quilts just HAD to be made.

Just a year or two ago I finally organized one closet in our home to become my “fabric closet” so I could see all the fabric. You can see my blog about this here:

Organizing My Fabric Closet

Last year my husband’s aunt handed me grandma’s old quilting box because no one else wanted it. Grandma Anderson was also a quilter. With glee I rummaged through the old fabric, the leftover quilting squares, and the patterns she used. It was a blast! I ended up finishing and making several new quilts using her fabric and scraps. It was such fun problem solving and designing these quilts blending the old and the new.

Here is one of Grandma’s old quilting squares:

Grandma's quilt panel

And here is what the quilt finally looked like before it was bound when I was done. By the way, do you know how hard it was to match these rusty pink colors from the 1980’s? They don’t make fabric this color anymore. I ended up finding some of the fabric at a secondhand store.

quilt I made from Grandma's pattern

So, the second place it would be EXTREMELY dangerous for me to work would be a fabric store. Seeing and touching fabric starts my creative juices flowing and I have to suddenly have that fabric and make the design that is forming in my brain. Yes indeed, just being at a fabric store sucks money out of my pocket.

Interestingly enough, my podcasting closet now also houses my fabric. That fabric is wonderful at absorbing sound waves and so my fabric is now serving a secondary purpose.

My podcasting closet with fabric in it

Does anyone else have fabric in their closets?

3. The Third Place I Should Never Work: A Hardware Store

I got my first toolbox for Christmas when I was 12-years-old. My dad worked long and hard days to provide for our family and so he wasn’t around much when I was growing up to fix stuff around the house.

As I mentioned before, my brain likes solving problems and fixing things–so, I began fixing the toilet paper roll when if came off the wall, the drawer when it wouldn’t work, or the toilet when it wouldn’t flush. I loved seeing how things worked and figuring out how to fix it.

The hardware store just might be the most dangerous of the above three places for me to work. The reason: They have some pretty expensive stuff that it would be so much fun to own.

The hardware store is one of the places that it is actually hard for my husband and I to go together–because who is going to show self restraint when we both want something?

Here are some fun facts about my love of power tools and lumber:

Most women I have met are intimidated by power tools. I am not. I LOVE my power tools. This love began in my 7th grade Shop class. Yes, I took Shop in 7th grade and absolutely loved it! I loved learning to use power tools and creating things from simple materials: salt and pepper shakers, a lamp, and some other little things that we made that year.

I love the smell of lumber–especially as you cut it. I’m telling you–if they made a lumber-scented cologne I would totally buy my husband some of that!!! My Grandpa Klein owned and operated a lumber mill and I think I have wood and sawdust in my genes.

I guess it shouldn’t surprise you that I brought the toolbox to the marriage. I was more than happy to hand over the baby for a few minutes and take a break from mothering while I creatively fixed whatever was broken. And yes, my husband has given me a saw for my birthday, and I LOVE my saw. Here is a picture of me and my newest “baby.”

Tamara and her saw

Another Embarrassing Truth: I have a wood collection (much to my husband’s dismay). It is housed in our garage and it is probably larger than it should be. But I have to say there is something wonderful about having pieces of wood that you can convert into whatever you can imagine on a whim. And yes, I am spontaneous and have been known to get an idea and go and make it immediately. So, the perk about having a wood collection to choose from is I often can work on my project right away and not have to waste time driving to the hardware story to get wood.

Sad Truth: Every time we have moved, I have had to get rid of my wood collection and it breaks my heart. My husband refuses to move my pile of wood with me to a new location. Sigh! Oh well. All the more reason for me to visit a hardware store when we arrive at a new home:).

So, another reason I couldn’t and shouldn’t work at a hardware store is that my wood collection would grow exponentially and I would probably get myself many more tools.


Those are the three places I should never work: A bookstore, a fabric store, and a hardware store. I am sure I am not alone in my collections and hobbies.

What are three places you should never work?

About the author, Tamara

Tamara K. Anderson is a speaker, author, podcaster, and is a professional in HOPE. She has four children who struggle with autism, ADHD, anxiety, visions issues, and all bring her great joy.

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