Not quite what I was thinking buddy

Wednesday is my grocery shopping day.  I’m one of those price checking chicks.  The new ads come out Wednesday morning, so I rake over the sale prices, matching up the discounts with my necessities, then head out for the hunt.

One might think, with all the preparation, I actually enjoy this experience.


I loathe grocery shopping.   The squeaky, wobbly carts, the slow, aisle blocking shoppers, moving the same item six times just to get it in your kitchen cabinet.   And yet, the people I live with keep eating, so I have to go out week after week.

So, every week, I have a competition with myself to see how fast I can get in and out.  I time myself from parking lot entry to parking lot exit.  My goal yesterday was 1 hour.   The sun was out and I had a pool lounger calling my name.

I entered the lot at 2:19.  Start the clock.  Short list, minimal fellow shoppers impeding my path, open and quick-moving check outs.  As I started the ignition to leave the lot, my clock time read 3:05.  I WIN!  (Nothing, but I win, so there!)

All that stood between me and the pool was getting this stuff in the cabinets.  As I quickly unloaded the goods, I chucked the package of TP at T-Dog, asking him to put it away.

“Ok Mom.”

3:34 Groceries are away.  Here I come pool!

I rounded the hallway corner, I saw this.

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Well I could have thrown it down the hallway, plus I clearly remember asking him to put it away and him answering in the affirmative.  Instead of nagging, I simply stepped over the tissue, got into my suit, grabbed my towel, and walked out the door.

I’ve decided I’m starting a silent wait-and-see protest a la Ray/Deborah/and the stinky cheese suitcase.  My question now is, how long will it be there before someone puts it away, because I’m not touching it.

Technology to the rescue

The Infamous Peter is very good at remembering holidays, birthdays, anniversaries, special occasions.  What he is not good at is planning for them ahead of time.

IP owns and runs his own business of which he is the sole employee.  When all the work begins and ends with you, you are on the clock 24-7, ever minute of nearly everyday is spent attached to a client or a project.  I know, I know, it’s going to be hard for you to believe, but I have been known to pout at times due to the lack of attention I receive compared to his keyboard, but I couldn’t be more proud or supportive of my successful hubby.

He’s never lacking in love, caring, and thoughtfulness….what he’s missing is time.

During his 90+ hour work week, IP regularly forgets to eat, so planning ahead to shop for a special occasion never makes it into the iCalendar.  Now, remember I said that he never misses an occasion, so he’s usually ‘that guy’ rummaging through the picked over shelves the day of a holiday, grumbling over not finding what he is looking for, settling for something he is less than thrilled with, all the while trying to come up with a convincing story as to why check-out lane candy and a set of bath towels is the epitome of an excellent present.  (No really, that was a mother’s day gift one year.  He sold me on the idea it was a ‘spa package’ present.)

On Valentine’s Day last year, he tried to do something different.  He dropped into a business the morning of V-Day to order an edible arrangement.  Surprise, surprise, he was too late to get an order in for that day.  Hello rock, meet hard place.  He put the order in anyway, for a delayed sweet treat (good man), and then went the tradition route.  In between meetings, he ran to a floral shop and picked up a quick bouquet, dropping it off himself on the way to a shoot.  Valentine’s Day saved.

~Sidebar~  Men, please be careful when choosing your floral arrangements.  A co-worker received these at work today.  I wonder what he REALLY wants for Valentine’s day…..

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This year, technology and the modern world collided to create a fantastic Valentine’s Day for me and score major bonus points for IP.

When IP’s alarm goes off in the morning, he turns on Mike and Mike in the morning, transitioning from peaceful slumber to crazy work day with the soothing sounds of a little sports talk in the AM.  Apparently, on Monday morning, Mike and Mike set out to rescue their viewers from a potential Valentine’s Day dog house by offering an on-air special.  By ordering through a specific website and using a designated promo code, a husband could get free, expedited, guaranteed by Valentine’s Day delivery on an order.  IP, being the smart man that he is, jumped on that offer and let Valentine’s Day come to him this year…and saved money in the process.

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IP wins major props today.  If anyone needs me, I will be in a chocolate strawberry wine coma.  I will see you all tomorrow….maybe.


All dressed up

A couple of times a year, my husband and I have the opportunity to attend a few fancy, fundraiser dinners for some of his clients.  Being that we are part of ‘the help,’ it’s fun to get all prettied up and rub elbows with the movers and the shakers of our city, dreaming of one day maybe being on that side of the tracks.

One such night was on Saturday.

Since sparkly dresses and high heels are not part of my social worker attire, it was a perfect opportunity to get out and get my shop on.  I ventured into a couple of different stores, trying on dress after dress, finding nothing that would work.  Maybe it was because I’m 37 and they only make dresses for either teenagers or old ladies.  Maybe it was because it was January and the flourescent lighting against my pale winter skin made me look sickly in everything.  Maybe it was because I was wearing these,

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and all dressed looked ridiculous paired with them.

After trying and having no luck at other stores, I finally went back to my tried and true dress shop, the one that, despite its poorly named brand, has never failed me when I was in a dress crisis…. Dress Barn.  If you’ve never been to a Dress Barn, you should really give it a try.  I always avoided entering the store myself.  I saw the name on the marquee and assumed that it held racks of country, square-dancing style frocks that I would not like.

Luckily I was proved wrong.

I had a true dress emergency one fine summer day.  My son was two.  We were sitting in the third row at my cousin’s wedding when I heard the beginning sounds of a projectile vomit beginning to emit from his body.  With my cat-like reflexes, I was able to cover the first come-up-ence with his blanket.  Then I did what any good mother would do, I spun him around into my chest and took the full brunt of the second round into my chest and all over my dress.  As discretely as possible, I walked out of the ceremony.  When my husband caught up with me, I passed off the messy boy, grabbed the car keys and took off to find something new to wear before the reception.  This was the day I discovered that Dress Barn not only sold nice dresses I liked, but also pants, tops, jeans, and accessories, all at reasonable prices.  I’ve been back for all my dress needs ever since.

I walked in, looked right, and immediately found my dress for the evening.  Since I didn’t want the gas to the store to go to waste, I decided to look around and found this cute outfit to add to my closet….both the top and the jeans were on clearance.  SCORE!

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The night of the event, as I was getting myself shoved into my pantyhose and then wedged into my full body shaper, my daughter walked into our room.  “Is that your dress?”, she asked.

“No. It’s my shaper.”

“Why do you need that?”

“Because I’m 37 and things aren’t always where I want them to be, or not be.  Being a woman is fun.”

I think I may have scarred her.


All sucked in and pushed up, off to the event we were!  It was a great event.  Beautiful venue, wonderful food, stealing a night out without the kids, surrounded by people with money and dreaming of actually being able to afford all the arts, trips, and bobbles that were up for grabs at the auction.

A diamond encrusted, heart-shaped ring.  Slightly more than the usually Valentine’s Day chocolates.   A trip to LA to attend a red carpet movie premiere, complete with a custom gown.  The kids would love to be left home alone, but then, they would be more mad I had to sell them to buy it.  A personal chef comes to your house to cater and evening for you and 12 friends, then you are wisked off to the opera.  I would need to skip the mortgage payment to make the bid, so where would I host my soiree?  A original Jeff Hanson piece of artwork that went for $11,000.  Darn, if only I hadn’t already bought groceries this week, I might have been able to nab that one….

Having fun with things with won't be bidding on.

Having fun with things with won’t be bidding on.

As I took a quick look around the room, I noticed something I hadn’t expected.  A majority of the people in the room did not look happy.  Sure some were, but many were not, some unhappy, some bored, some looking obligated, others annoyed.  Somewhere inside of me, even though we all know that “Money doesn’t buy happiness“, I still believe that if I had more money, I would be incredible happy.  Being able to buy anything I needed, would take all the unnecessary stress out of my life and I would just leak with joy.  It’s a fancy night out, drinks, food, dancing, sparkles all around, but people didn’t look happy.  People at a mid-July outdoor concert, knee-deep in mud; they look happy.  People at a Renaissance Faire, dressed in their garb and reenacting scenes; they look happy.  These party goers, with money burning a hole in their pockets, they just didn’t look happy.

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Dinner had, speeches given, and desserts consumed, there was nothing left to do, but top the night off with some coffee.

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Where’s the #&*%in’ coffee????  You would think if they went through the trouble of putting coffee cups, sugar, and creamer on the table, that they would come around to offer a lady coffee!?!?  Oh well….

We got home, peeled off the fancys and layers of compression, jumped into our sweats, turned on the Keurig, and kicked back on our couch.  As I looked around our house, I smiled.  I may not have the most expensive, largest, or most lavish house, but I am truly happy with the life Peter and I have made for ourselves.  We met when we were 18 and 20.  We had nothing, literally.  We’ve worked hard for what we have and have earned every bit of it.  We are truly blessed to have a house filled with family and love.  Money couldn’t buy this if it tried.


Grocery Cart Confessionals

I go grocery shopping every Wednesday.  In my twisted logic, it’s the perfect day: the new ads are out, there’s no weekend crowd, it’s mid-week incase we need anything to get us to the weekend, plus, the weekend’s in sight, so you can stock up for it.  As an added bonus, I go at 3:30 when I get out of work before all the ‘normal’ people get their release.  (Before you ask, no, I do not consider myself normal.  I purposely work as a school social worker with behaviorally and emotionally disordered kids.  It’s crazy, but, then, so am I!)

Despite all my planning and list making, it never fails that the moment I get home my ridiculously over-priced haul, I am inundated with items I forgot to pick up.

And this is how you get a grocery cart confessional.

Yesterday after work, I ran back to Wally World to get the random 6 items that were left out.  I get the most entertainment out of watching the face of the cashier as she tries to figure out my life based on the hodge-podge of items I have decided to buy together.  This was yesterday’s purchase:

Pizza Crust

Italian Sausage (Admittedly, those first two items do go together.)

Light Bulbs


Dog Treats

A Prescription

What, your don’t have a dog with a low thyroid, who doesn’t like to knit in the dark while enjoying a slice of pizza????

Well I do!


What were they thinking?

I’m a pretty lucky lady.  I have a group of friends from high school that I still get together with every month.  At Christmas time, we have a Christmas Party, complete with an ornament exchange.  To spice things up a little, it’s an ornament exchange with the ability to steal!

Year after year, we’d all go out and buy these beautiful, thoughtful ornaments, vying to find that one special ornament everyone would take a liking to, that would get stolen repeatedly.

Then one year, a few of us decided to throw a wrench into the plan.  We still bought a very nice ornament to give to a friend, but we also decided to buy the ugliest ornament we could find and wrap it up as our real ornament.  When the first ugly ornament was opened and the fake excitement was displayed by our dismayed friend, a new tradition was born.

Now everyone searches high and low, hoping they have struck ornament gold, with the tackiest, gaudiest, ugliest expression of holiday joy.  After the endless fights and rounds of steals, the owners of the ugly ornaments are rewarded with their beautiful consolation prizes, and a side ache from all the laughing.

After many years of ugly ornaments, the hunt to find the ugliest gets tougher each passing year.  Here are some of the contenders from this year’s hunt.

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Happy hunting!

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Who doesn’t need a Luau Gorilla?

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Everyone’s Cool in the Pool!

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This one I just don’t get.  Who puts mustard on a tree?

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Namaste…  To answer your question, yoga hippo was my purchase this year and  a real winner.  I loved it so much I almost bought one for myself!

In case you were wondering, this is the BEST ugly ornament I have ever received.  I think it’s supposed to be an owl, but I think it looks like a deranged C3PO.  I LOVE IT!!!

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May the force be with you.


Nature’s Miracle is right!

Butter and Red Pants do not mix.

Remember that day a few weeks ago when my daughter sat in butter?  Remember how she still thought they were clean?

Well they weren’t, so I threw them in the wash, spot treating them first, of course.

Then I committed a laundry sin.  Sorry Mom.  I put clothes in the dryer when the stain was still in the fabric.  In my defense, the oily butter stain was not visible in the red denim when the jeans were wet.

After pulling the still stained and fearing ruined jeans from the drier.  I promptly apologized to my daughter.  Luckily, she didn’t seem phased, as she still lives by the rule ~ If it came out of the washer and dryer, it must be clean.  She put them on anyway and wore them around.

When the jeans reappeared in the laundry the next time, I grabbed the Nature‘s Miracle Pet Stain remover that I use on the carpets.  (I have two extremely old cats, cats my husband loving calls the cats that won’t die, who eat and puke up their orange food on my downstairs carpets.  It’s the only product I’ve found that actually removes the orange disgustingness.)  I figured, what could it hurt?

To my utter surprise and delight, these are the pants I pulled out of the dryer.

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IT WORKED!!!  The butter is gone, the jeans are saved, and my Daughter can go back to her trend setting ways!  I wonder if Nature’s Miracle sells a product I could use on my son’s toxic smelling feet?


Butter Ball

After braving the stores for some early morning shopping, I stopped at home to eat lunch, watch my Nebraska Huskers beat those stinky Iowa Hawkeyes, and check out some prices on the web, searching for more deals.  Once I was properly re-fueled and re-hydrated, I decided to venture out back out into the crowds.  As I was getting ready to leave, I asked my mini-me if she wanted to join me this time.  My fashionista jumped at the opportunity.

As we were walking in the first store, I noticed this on the back of my Paige’s jeans.

“Hey Paige.  The back of your pants are wet.”

“No, I sat in butter at Grandma and Grandpa’s house last night.”

“Before we left the house, I asked you for any dirty clothes because I was starting a load.”

“I know.  I gave you my dirty clothes.”


“I know, but they’re clean.”

No, Paige, no they’re not…  Man I see there are a few life skills lessons that we need to go back over again.