This girl is funny...not skinny.

This girl is funny...not skinny.

Monday, April 27, 2015

Maybe the kids DON'T just get it from ME.


Good morning!




I'm not what you'd call a silent driver.  I sing, I talk to the people on the radio, I provide commentary on radio commercials.  But most of all, my favorite thing to do in the car is scold other drivers.

I don't know when this started.  I certainly haven't been doing it my whole life.  I remember a time when I didn't talk to other drivers and point out what they were doing wrong.  That was probably during my driver's test.  All I know is that I'm one of those drivers who scold and lecture and yell at other drivers from the privacy of my own car.

It's not even something I thought other people in the car knew I did until one day I had a car full of children and I said something to a driver ahead of me like, "Oh, well, that you very much for using your directionals," or perhaps, "hey, idiot, aren't you SO glad you blazed past me at 40 miles an hour in the middle of a school zone so that we could sit side by side at the same red light?"  After my rant, I heard a small voice from the back seat say the following:

"No, she's not yelling at us. Mom yells at other drivers."

You'd think knowing that my children not only heard me, but had to explain what I was doing to other kids, would make me stop raging at other drivers.  You'd think wrong.  Instead, I used this as a teaching tool for anyone who happened to be riding in my car. 

Friends will tell you that I'm perfectly capable of carrying on a conversation with someone in the car while interspersing verbal road rage.  It sounds a bit like this:

"So I was reading the new Phillipa Gregory novel yesterday and I was thinking that her take on the Tudors might be, WHAT ARE YOU SOME KIND OF IDIOT, USE YOUR STINKIN' DIRECTIONALS. OR MAYBE TRY NOT DRIVING LIKE A MANIAC WHEN THERE ARE PEDESTRIANS TRYING TO CROSS THE STREET, a bit skewed based on how sympathetic she seems to be toward Henry VIII. I mean, sure, she outlines his paranoia, but it feels like she blames his surroundings more than, SERIOUSLY DO YOU NOT SEE ME TRYING TO MAKE THIS TURN?  DO YOU NOT GET HOW BIG OF A DENT MY CAR WOULD PUT IN YOUR CAR IF YOU HIT ME? giving him any personal responsibility for his brutality."

I wouldn't be blogging about this if I were just allowed to be me and carry on like I'm a normal person. I know what my issues are.  It's not like I chase people around on the highway or anything like that.  I yell at people as they drive around me.  BUT, it's something that annoys Hubby.  

Much like the Christmas light thing, and yes, we've reached the point in the year when I do roll down my window and yell, "TAKE THEM DOWN" as we pass by houses that still have Christmas lights on their houses. Seriously, it's April 27.  What is wrong with these people?  Yelling at other drivers is something he'd like me to stop doing because he feels it's something that makes me angry.  Quite the opposite, yelling at other drivers gives me a release, makes me feel calm and peaceful.  But he doesn't understand that.

And none of this would matter except our children sort of do the same thing. Granted, I haven't ridden in their cars when they are driving all that much, (once children achieve that level of independence, parents don't typically ride with them...until the parents lose their licenses.  I'm not quite there yet.)  But the few times I have I've listened, with pride, as Skippy and Peaches both lecture and berate other vehicles for their traffic shortcomings.  Skippy's a bit better at it. He's a far less tolerant person overall.  Peaches is still more of a free spirit.  Hubby doesn't like that the children do this.  He places blame on me, "They get this from you," he says.

And I was quite ready to shoulder that responsibility. The children have to get something from me, and I'm the one who drove them all over the planet until the day they got their licenses, so why not?  I was really okay with it.  I wasn't crazy about how Hubby made it seem like a shortcoming, but I was okay with it.

Until this weekend.

Friday night it rained.  It rained hard, like one of those end of the world rains.  Around here, those kinds of rains happen periodically, but don't last too long.  Maybe half an hour, maybe a bit longer, but a super heavy rain doesn't generally last all day.  It poops out after a short bit.  So we of course chose to run some errands during this rain.  By the time we were done with our errands, the rain had stopped.  Simple enough, right?

We were at a light and my husband started talking.  "Hey, Camry, you can turn off your wipers now. It's not raining anymore."

I was really surprised.  I looked around. Sure enough, there was a Toyota Camry just ahead of us, and yes, their windshield wipers were on HIGH, slapping back and forth wildly as if brushing away a frantic deluge.  It had stopped raining.  Even stopped like we were, only a few drops hit our windshield.  I didn't say anything, I just looked at him, wondering if I'd heard him correctly.

"No, really, go ahead, it's not raining anymore, just turn off the wipers.  You can do it."

I couldn't help it. I just stared at him, trying to keep from laughing at him.  

The light turned green and we made the left hand turn behind the Camry.  Their wipers continued to slap back and forth on high.

"It's not raining anymore!"

I couldn't suppress it any longer. I started laughing.  He is such a calm guy, I couldn't believe this was what was setting him off.

"Oh stop. It's just like Christmas lights with you."

Well, no it's not, but I didn't point that out.  "Honey, it's just that you always scold me for talking to other drivers.  And look, you just turned on our wipers again."

"Right, because water is kicking up from the street.  But it's not still raining, they don't need to have their wipers on high."

I sat in silence for a full minute until we came to the next red light.  He turned off our wipers and then shook his head.  

"I know," he said.  "I'm in the blog."

Oh yeah ya are!

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Vigilante Undecorating.

Good afternoon!

This past weekend, Peaches and her friends had a rummage sale at the house.  I'm not telling you this because I want to advertise the fact that you missed a rummage sale at my house or the fact that four teenage girls and their endless stream of fellow teens poured through my house for three solid days and I'm only just now, on Tuesday, starting to feel like I don't live in an episode of "Hoarders meets Facts of Life."

No i'm telling you this because on Sunday it fell to Hubby and me to walk around the neighborhood and take down the signs for the sale.  The girls put them up on old curtain rods, the flimsy metal kind that come in two parts and can slide apart.  Easy to use as a sign post.

While walking around our neighborhood, we noticed something.  Yes, yes, it's April.  It's LATE April.  And it's been seriously nice weather at least a couple days a week for the last several weeks.  And this past weekend the weather was all but PERFECT.  

So why, please tell me, do people still have their CHRISTMAS LIGHTS ON THEIR HOUSES?

I'm not talking about white lights that could be festive all year 'round. I'm not talking about red white and blue lights to celebrate a summer full of patriotic drinking holidays.  Nope, these were icicle lights.  Icicle lights hung poorly, and starting to fall down. (If they were ever hung properly.)

Friends, as we walked by the house, and as I was holding the hooked end of an old curtain rod, a thought occurred.  Of course, Hubby spoke first.  "Hey, you could pull those lights off that house with these."

"Yes,"  I said, "Under cover of darkness, I could spring around the city, removing Christmas lights from homes that look ridiculous with them now that it's APRIL."

Yes, this is EXACTLY what I look like.  There are
hidden slimming panels in my
vigilante costume!
"What, like some kind of vigilante?" he asked, with a touch of fear in his voice.  I'm never quite sure, if he's afraid I'm going to actually do something about the Christmas light nonsense, or if he fears being mentioned in the blog.

"Yes," says I.  "Exactly like a vigilante.  A vigilante undecorater."

Look out Waukesha. There's a new form of law in town!




Saturday, April 18, 2015

But...you do sell donuts here, right?

Good morning!

So Peaches and her friends are having a rummage sale this weekend.  For those of you not familiar with the concept of the rummage/garage/yard sale, this is where people take all the rubbish out of their house, clothes, books, dishes, things they just don't want anymore, and instead of sending them to Goodwill or the Salvation army or something, they spread the stuff out on the lawn or in the garage and try selling it to passersby.  Here in Wisconsin, the first rummage sale sighting is as much an announcement of spring as the first robin sighting.

Anyway, so the girls filled my house with all sorts of stuff this week (think "on this episode of "Hoarders"...) and now it's all on my front lawn.  To celebrate the moving if the crap, I told the girls I'd get them some donuts.  Typically I get them from Kwik Trip.  I love  Kwik Trip donuts.  But I thought I'd streamline my morning and just hit the drive through at the Dunkin Donuts.  

Me...at the best donut place in the Midwest.
I haven't been to the Dunkin Donuts often.  Again, I typically go to Kwik Trip for my donut needs and honestly, since eating a whisky glazed bacon apple fritter at Glam Doll donuts a couple weeks ago, I'm ruined for donuts made by anyone not mega pierced and tattooed.  Yeah, I need to go back to Minneapolis RIGHT NOW!

Anyway so I get in the Cube. (I'm really starting to love this car.)  And I head on out to Dunkin Donuts.
The Cube...my donut getter.

Once there it's obvious that the drive through isn't happening.  There are about seven cars in line.  And if I've learned anything about waiting in line at a drive through it's that it'll take less time just getting out of the car and walking into the store.

So that's what I did.

But looking at the line which, once I joined it, actually left the building, I wondered if that was the case this time.

I realized the problem immediately.  They had no one dedicated to the cash register...and everyone was tripping over each other making things.  See, this is what happens when a donut place diversifies.  At Dunkin you can now get bagels and breakfast sandwiches and coffee drinks that all take ten minutes to make.  And the four people working were name able to keep up with the demand.  So here we all were, waiting. ("Time to wait for the donuts.")


After a healthy wait, one in which I considered leaving the line and going to Kwik Trip, (and why didn't I?  Because I would never have had this story) it was finally my turn.

"I would like two dozen assorted donuts, please.  But please be sure I have at least three vanilla frosted long johns."  (Peaches make a request)

The young gentleman behind the cash register looked as if I'd just whipped a gun out and suggested he empty the cash register. (I was, in fact, holding my debit card, ready for a quick transaction.)  He stopped an even younger looking blonder girl and asked her a question.

She turned terrified eyes to me.  "Did you place the order?"  She asked in a tremulous tone.

What the what?  I've ordered donuts before. I've ordered donuts at this place before.  Since when is a two dozen donut order requesting three long johns a problem?

"I'm placing an order," I say in my teacher voice.  I was hungry and tired from waiting in line.  I wasn't messing around. I went right to the teacher voice.  The next stop is angry mom voice.

"But someone called before..."  The blonde is almost in tears.

At this point, a middle aged fluffy girl walks up to the other cash register.  She looks at me, then she looks at the guy and at the girl I've now named "Puddles" because she's literally got tears in her eyes.  The woman looks at me again and says, "No, she came in, walked up to the register, and placed an order. Now go get her donuts!"

I've never wanted to hug a woman more in my life.

For the record, since I'm sort of in training for a 5K this year, I only had one donut.  And it didn't taste very good, so the calories don't count.

No, they don't.


Thursday, April 16, 2015

Okay, now I get why people need personal trainers!

Good afternoon!

I haven't thought about KRAM, my wonderful personal trainer from my Golds Gym days in a long time.  Okay, that's not exactly true.  I think about him every time I eat a donut because I eat donuts I think of the guy Golds Gym first put me with, the donut crumb blower.  And then I think about Golds Gym, and then I think about KRAM.

Household finances forced us to abandon the Gold's membership a bit more than a year ago.  But my friend, Dee has stayed on, working out, and becoming an instructor. The time she's worked with a personal trainer and she's shared some of the stories.

They sound just awful.  I mean, why would anyone allow another person to force them to do something until 1)  it hurt  2) it bled or 3) it made you throw up?  Nope, unless Dolvett Quince himself showed up on my doorstep and started yelling at me, I'm not doing anything until I throw up.  

Or so I thought.

Let me tell you just exactly how stupid I am.

Last night I signed up for a 5K.  It's for charity.  It's with my friend Marie.  It's going to get me a free ticket to see "Dirty Dancing" (the play) that night.  (Okay, Marie sent me a text asking if I wanted the ticket and I said sure and she said she was doing a 5K in the morning and then we'd go to the play and I said, "sign me up!")  

5K is roughly 3.2 miles.  I haven't walked that much, uninterrupted, in a row...maybe since Marching band years.  (You know, back when dinosaurs roamed and we measured everything in feet and miles because the metric system was really more mythology than math.  Now, the metric system is all about SPORTS, so, still mythology.)  Those were the years we'd march almost from sunup to sundown. Of course, we were in high school and after marching all that time, we still had the energy to sleep on a gym floor and eat junk food and sing pop tunes.

I don't mind walking.  I do it almost every day.  It's just that I prefer sitting so much more.

Anyway, I'm off the topic.

So I decided today that I should really try and train for this 5K thing coming up the end of May.  I decided that this morning.

Then I worked.  Then I found out my lunch plans had fallen through and here I was all dressed up in my nice jeans and a clean shirt and my hair was done  (let's just working at home has really given me a reason to go 'natural' many days of the week.)  so I decided to go out.  And I was going to go to the one place Hubby refuses to take me:  The big Chinese Buffet.

I really do like Chinese food. Of course, I've been cutting down on carbs, or trying to, for the last
couple months, so when faced with roughly 5K of steamer tables full of food, I eschewed the rice and noodles table.  Score one for me.  (Don't get used to it.  That's about the only point I score in this story.)

I filled my plate sparingly.  I went back to my table, ate, drank water  (okay, that's my second score) and read a book.  I had three servings, all sparing.

All pretty much made of General Tso's chicken.  

I had no idea I liked the stuff so much.  In fact, I didn't even know what I was eating until I LOOKED UP at the tags on the steamer tables.  Basically I was going back for the shiny chicken dish.  (oooh, shiny.)

I felt bad about how much of the General's chicken I'd consumed, so I topped it off with a handful of grapes and some cantaloupe.  Oh yeah, I'm a health nut.

As I headed to my car, I realized it was a perfectly lovely day and I was a few blocks from the biggest park in the city and it was a perfect day for a nice walk.  I drove to the park, Parked the Cube, got my iPod all geared up, noted the time and the steps on my step counter, and figured this would be a great time to START MY TRAINING.

Anyone see what's coming?

So off I set, wearing my dressy jeans, the heavy ones, a lace trimmed shirt, and my purse, and wearing shoes built to cushion senior citizens' feet when they mall walk.  I was wearing the wrong shoes, I was wearing roughly 10 pounds of extra weight in clothing and purse, and I had a belly full of General Tso's Chicken.

WHAT COULD POSSIBLY GO WRONG?

That I figured out about 50 steps into the walk.  My stomach bloated and my whole body felt distended.  It was hard to move quickly...I actually had a problem catching up to and passing the guy with the walker.  Seriously...the guy with the walker.  But I managed to pass him without breaking any...laws or passing any...other people.  I rounded the corner which put me on the other side of the river and it was on.  A race against time, against fat, against a sore toe, and against the monster flatulence I knew was building inside me.

My body tensed with each step. I was determined to make it around this path, which runs between two city bridges over the river, without stopping, without slowing down, and without blowing the seat out of my pants.

About a quarter of the way in, as I was huffing and puffing in an attempt to pass an 80 year old woman with a fanny pack and a limp, I realized I was going to lose at least one of those four battles.  But, I'm a lady.  So I waited until I was cleared of the 80 year old to open the jets, as they say.  

Can't make this up.
Ah, that felt better. For about six seconds and then the pressure in my gut began building again.  I reached that point in any hike that's the worst:  the furthest point from the car.  That's the point you know you're halfway, and it doesn't matter if you turn back or if you go forward, the distance is the same which means the moment of relief is the same. And that's when...and I'm not making this up because I'm not that clever...I saw the sign.

Yep, my sentiments exactly.

By the time I reached the second bridge and was able to turn for home, my stomach was at about 9 months pregnant, so I fit right with the rest of the walkers on that side of the river, but my chicken fueled gut bomb was no longer my biggest issue.

I hadn't brought water along.  My mouth was parched and I was breathing heavily because I was determined to NOT slow down.  Still, not my biggest problem.

No, remember, I was wearing heavy, dark, denim.  I was sweating and chafing in a way I never have and I suddenly felt a new found respect for Rupert from Survivor who cut his jeans into a skirt
because jeans and hot and exercise do not go together well! 

So there I was, hot, heaving, chafing, panting, bloating, and probably limping.  It's a wonder no one called the cops or something on me.  Then again, it is downtown Waukesha...colorful characters abound. Usually not at 1 PM on a Thursday, but they abound.

My rule for this little walk was to stay on the cobblestones because if you jump from cobblestone to black top you can actually shorten the walk significantly.  The final turn on cobblestone, however, would have added some 300 steps to my walk and by the time I reached that fork in the road I knew if I didn't get to the car and stop moving for a minute bad, bad things were going to start exploding out of my body.

I got to the car finally.  TAH DAH!  The walk was 1.5 miles, and I did it in 36 minutes.  I'm not burning up the track here, but I managed to outpace the guy with the walker.  

That's not the end of the story. OF COURSE NOT.

So there I am, in the cube, thirsty.  And the only two forms of fluid I have in the Cube are a travel mug of coffee, leftover from who knows when, and some very warm carbonated water.

Well I'm not drinking the  days old coffee.  There's cream in there.  That's can't be healthy.

Nope, I opt for the carbonated water.  And I instantly regret THAT.

Carbonation does what?  STRETCHES THE STOMACH.  

Yupper, that's what it does. And when the stomach is already stretched, well, then it's just a ticking time bomb until either the stomach explodes or the release valve is opened in an appropriate place.

See, a personal trainer would probably have advised against a long walk after eating General Tso's chicken.  A personal trainer would probably have advised against eating General Tso's chicken.

So next time I'll know better.  Right?

Monday, April 13, 2015

Why I drink coffee. (It's not what you think.)

Good afternoon!

Most of you know I love all things coffee.  I am, yes, one of those people who doesn't go too many places without a travel mug in my hand.  I don't even go to church without a travel mug of coffee.  I used to drink coffee all day long, morning, noon, and late into the night.  Then I got older and realized that my endless coffee consumption might have something to do with my sleeping problems.  So now I only drink coffee in the morning...until about 1 Pm.  I still don't sleep, but at least I knot it's not because I'm drinking beautiful, lovely, delicious coffee all day long.

Coffee is one of those few legal things that isn't fattening, at least not on its own.  (Much like the potato, it's what we do with coffee to make it more magical that also makes it bad for us.)  I can't quite drink it black, but I'm getting closer.  However, there's something to be said about a big travel mug of thick, buttery gas station cappuccino, which was my first real coffee addition drink of choice.  (Thank you for that to my good friend Julie.)

It hasn't always been that way.  Growing up, my father, a parochial school principal and later a high school English teacher, drank coffee like some people now drink bottled water.  He was never without his American Eagle coffee mug.  (No not a mug from American Eagle, the store.  A mug with an American flag and an eagle on it.)  He was a purist when it came to coffee.  He never brought that mug home because when he did, my mother would wash it, which, he ascertained, ruined the flavor of the coffee.  During the seventies, when coffee was expensive and when people said coffee was bad for you (mostly because it was so ridiculously expensive, buying it often caused stress on the pocketbook and the heart) my mother tried and make dear old dad drink Postum. 

That's NOT COFFEE!  That's barely anything more than brown water.  And, much like yellow snow, one should not drink brown water.  Just sayin'.

Mom tried a lot of things over the course of their 49 years together to get my dad off the coffee, but nothing worked.  Because why?  Because coffee is awesome, it tastes wonderful, it smells delicious and it works!

Growing up, since my mother was a health food person and very anti food additives, I never woke to the heady smell of bacon.  No, I woke to the even headier (and fat free) smell of brewed coffee. I worked my way through high school and college brewing and pouring the black gold to customers at my local Big Boy restaurant.  But I didn't drink it.  Even in college, where staying up until 2 AM "Studying"  (Because I have pictures of me crawling into small spaces, liked driers, suitcases, that tiny space under my day bed in my dorm room...all of which were, without a doubt, done late at night and on a dare) I didn't drink coffee to keep myself alert during early morning classes.  Or late afternoon classes.  Nope, my ability to stay awake from 6 AM to 2 AM every single day of my life for four years was all based on youth and my ability to "catch up" with a six hour nap every Sunday.

No, I didn't start drinking coffee until late in life, a fact that people find surprising when I tell them.  (Mostly because CLEARLY I'm making up for lost time.) I didn't start really drinking coffee until I was almost 37.  That might be surprising, since most studies say if you avoid an addiction in your teens and younger years, chances are you're just not going to be addicted.  Well, let me explain how it happened that I was well on my way to middle age before I latched on to my several cup a day habit.

Hockey.

Yes, hockey is to blame for the fact that I now always have coffee breath.  Hockey didn't get me started on coffee, but hockey is the reason I drink it every day and loathe the concept of decaf.  (Seriously...decaf? What's the point?)  

See, in my early thirties I dabbled in the world of gas station cappuchino.  (Which isn't coffee, according to purists, but I loved it.)  My friend Julie got me into it.  It wasn't something I drank every day, but if Julie was coming by, I knew we'd be drinking it and I looked forward to that.  I felt like I was grown up, part of a social group.  Sure, I couldn't drink "real" coffee without the pound of sugar and half gallon of fatty goodness in every cup.  But I was holding a coffee cup.  That was enough.

About that same time Hubby and I got serious about being NHL fans.  I grew up near Detroit, so as a kid I was aware of NHL hockey and the Detroit Redwings and when I returned to Detroit as an adult to teach, I developed a passing interest in the sport.  When Hubby's sister got deep into the Colorado Avalanche, hubby learned about the game and, as we tell everyone, a mixed marriage was born.  (Hockey fans get this.)

Anyway, up until very recently, the Detroit Redwings were in the Western Conference.  This had little bearing on our lives since game coverage for hockey on any level is slim to none here in Wisconsin. BUT, during the playoffs, it became a very big deal because here I was,in the Central Time zone, watching playoff games with my beloved Redwings, and they were playing in Western Canada. Some of those games didn't drop the puck until 10 PM my time.  


The late hours didn't matter that much at first.  I worked from home.  I babysat and did a few hours a day as a marketing person for a janitorial company.  I barely had to be conscious the whole day.  Hey,
I could schedule nap time if I wanted to.  But about the time I turned 36, I got myself a real,honest to goodness, get up and go sit at a desk office job.

And then those late night play off games took their toll.  I would show up, bleary eyed to work and that did not sit well with Evil Bossman.  (Remember him?)

That's when I went full on into coffee.  I took a Mr. Coffee coffee maker to work and brewed a pot for myself on game day and the day after.  I still added sugar and creamer, but I was pouring the black stuff down my gullet all day long just so I could stay awake and watch the game.

I don't have one of these.
HOW DO I NOT HAVE
ONE OF THESE?
That's how it started, like any addiction.  "Just on game day" I told myself.  "Only on game day."  That turned into "Just at work. No coffee drinking at home."  Which turned into the "WHY DO I NOT HAVE A COFFEE CUP IN MY HAND" monster I am today.

The NHL has nicely moved the Redwings to the Eastern Conference now, to accommodate my age and the fact that I can't drink coffee 24/7 like I once did. Turns out, I do need sleep in this life.

So there you go friends, now you know 1) it is possible to start an addiction when you are way old enough to know better and 2)  it's play off time again, LET'S GO REDWINGS!






Saturday, April 4, 2015

It's Easter! No one is safe from my powerful rant!


Good afternoon all!



So today is the day that Christians get a break from Holy Week. If you are a Christian who doesn't miss church, you know what I mean. We've got Sunday, then Maundy Thursday, then Good Friday, then Easter Sunday and in between all that church is "get ready Saturday."  And if you sing in a church choir, like I do, well, then you're double duty on Good Friday and Easter Sunday.

Yep, I'm giving my Sunday best clothes a work out.

Wait, I don't have Sunday best clothes. I have black pants and whatever top doesn't make my skin burn.  I'm one step away from actually wearing pajamas to church.

Now, if you are celebrating Passover, or something else I'm not aware of, then happy and blessed Passover and any other celebration to you!  I don't want to leave anyone out, but I'm Christian so any sort of religious celebration is going to be that.

Anyway, where was I?  Oh, right.  Get Ready Saturday.

Now, my mother and my grandparents called it Holy Saturday.  Of course, these are modern times, but in deference to them, sometimes I call it, "Holy Crap I have to go back to the store AGAIN" Saturday.

Which brings me to the rant portion of today's blog.

It's not Friday, but I've got five rants, so let's call this the "Holy Crap it's five on Holy Saturday." (And I should mention that as I'm writing this, Hubby just came in and said, 'I have to go to the store for something.'  We just came from there.)


5)  And you don't have peeps why?

You may not like them, but Peeps are THE Easter candy.  At this house, we eat AGED PEEPS which means the Peeps I give the kids tomorrow will sit, in open air, for about 9 months.  (It gets humid here in the summer, so we have to wait for the dry winter air to properly age Peeps.)  Once good and stale, we will chip teeth on them and enjoy.  (The short cut method to this is frozen Peeps.  Almost no wait time needed.)

I bought what I thought would be enough Peeps for the people staying in my house, but them I realized we may have one more person on Easter Sunday, so I happened to be in a store that had nearly a mile long aisle of Easter candy...but no Peeps.  WHAT? WHO DOESN'T HAVE PEEPS?  (here's a warning...Blaine's Farm and Fleet doesn't have Peeps.)
GRRRRRRRRRRR.

4)  And this is why I have moldy strawberries.

I signed up to bring fruit to our church's Easter Breakfast.  I normally sign up for butter or milk or
Wine sampling at Sam's got a little out of hand.
something that's self contained and requires no assembly.  Sometimes I make coffee cake.  But this year I decided on fruit. Why?  No clue.  But okay, as luck would have I was also volunteered to bring fruit to my family Easter Dinner.  (My mother doesn't trust me to cook.   She'd rather we eat her over cooked ham than mine.)  So Hubby and I went to Sam's to get fruit.

Sam's is not a good place to be on a Saturday and when it's Get Ready Saturday, it's worse.  And who decided WINE SAMPLES WAS A GOOD THING AT SAM'S CLUB?  80,000 people with their screaming kids all trying to buy ham and fruit and you're handing out wine samples between those two spots in the store?  STOP IT!

But that's not the rant I have for #4. Nope, my rant is directed at the woman standing in front of the strawberry cooler, taking up all 9 feet of the cooler so no one else could get any strawberries while she was standing there searching for the HOLY FREAKING GRAIL of strawberry packs.  

Hubby brought several packs of berries to our cart.  I pointed out one that had several very moldy berries.  "We'll throw those out," he said.  "I'm not fighting my way back past her."

3) If you're going to bribe your kids, do it better.

We've all done this:  You're in a store, you've got the kids, one of them is howling for whatever reason, so you let them have a small toy. It's why we have over 100 Hot Wheels cars.  Skippy didn't like shopping, but a Hot Wheels or Matchbox car was a cheap fix.  But there was a mother today at Kohl's, of course, why wouldn't a bad shopping experience happen there, who was NOT doing it right.  Junior was SCREAMING. I don't mean the kind of "I want" demand howl most kids put up.  No, this kid sounded like he was one FIRE.  They were in toys, we were in housewares.  He could have been standing next to me.  This was also a prolonged, mom and junior moved from toys to bedding to children's to men's and I could still hear them!

I'm a curious person.  I had to see just how on fire this kid was.

First of all, kid? Not on fire. Nope.  And not so junior.  Nope.  Junior was probably seven, maybe eight.  Well beyond the age of spontaneous howling in a store.

But the thing that got me was he's walking alone side the cart, yelling and howling and screaming and mom's saying, "No, we are done in toys.  You got your two Lego things.  And the bunny is coming tomorrow!  You've got your toys now and the Easter Bunny is coming tomorrow."

Oh dear.  Mom....if you're going to use a mythical holiday character to shut your kid up, using the reverse works better as in, "If you don't stop screaming right now the Easter Bunny is not only going to not come to our house tonight, he's going to come in your room and take away the toys and candy you already have!"

Telling a kid to stop asking for toys because you're buying him toys and he's getting more toys tomorrow is like telling the kid to keep screaming.

I was shocked when her method didn't work.  



2)  It's not brain surgery, it's scratch offs...oh wait...is that brain surgery to you?

I'm an optimist and as such I buy a lottery ticket now and then.  And when I do buy lottery tickets, I typically get them where I get my gasoline because it's convenient, and it's right there.  I go to Kwik Trip because they are local to Wisconsin mostly and because I know where everything is in a Kwik Trip.  They don't have everything, but if you're making a run for the basics, they have it.  
Which sometimes tempts people to do all their grocery shopping there.  And that's about the time I get behind that person.  

So I went in to buy a lottery ticket.  This is a transaction that should have taken exactly forty-five seconds.  Maybe a full minute if I got behind someone.  Which I did.  A little old lady with one bag of onions.  Easy peasy.

Nope.  Her husband walks up past me to her with an armload of stuff....at the same time the cashier is done ringing up her onions.  And something doesn't have a tag.  And something has to be weighed. And we get all that sorted and then she says, "And I'd like a Power ball for a dollar and a megabucks..."  

Well the clerk had to stop her there because as the lottery ticket buying public knows, Power ball is TWO DOLLARS.  And yes, the clerk explaining that to her wasn't just a one sentence thing either.  So she gets her groceries and she gets her tickets and I'm thinking, okay, we are ready to move up. \

Nope. NOW she had to pick out her scratch off tickets.  And if you've been to a Kwik Trip or pretty much any gas station, you know there are like fifty different scratch off games.  And this woman had to find out, from the clerk, who didn't know, which ones still had the top prize available.  (I don't play scratch offs myself...it's too silly.)  About the time she was pointing to the fifth ticket she wasn't going to buy, I made some sort of noise and a clerk down the line called me over. I told him I wanted a Power ball and I handed him a five dollar bill.  I waited for my ticket and three dollars.  I got a ticker and two dollars.  Now, I know Power ball didn't go up in price because the clerk three feet to my left just said they were two dollars.  So I had to point this out to the clerk.   Who had already closed the cash register.  Who was also a trainee who didn't know how to open the cash register.

Next time, I'll buy my lottery tickets on a Tuesday morning like God intended.

1)  Oh you knew this was going to be number one like you know your own name. 

Remember several weeks ago when I ranted about how sick I was of winter and hey, let's all keep our twinkle lights up until winter goes away?

Yeah, kids, it's APRIL!  TAKE THE FREAKING CHRISTMAS DECORATIONS DOWN!  Take those nasty brown wreathes off your house.  Take your lights down.  Take the SANTA OUT OF YOUR YARD!

At one point today I saw a house that had Christmas decorations AND ST. PATRICK'S DECORATIONS up.  I said to Hubby, "Yep, I may have to egg that house."
If this is still on your house, be prepared.  I'm coming
to mock you HARD.

Hubby thinks I should write holiday greeting cards.  His suggested my first one be:  

TAKE YOUR D*** CHRISTMAS LIGHTS DOWN.

and on the inside it would say:

HAPPY FREAKING EASTER.

Maybe that's the career path I should follow. There's got to be a market for cards like that, right?  I mean, we can't all keep giving each other those "awkward Family photo" cards.



Happy Easter all!  

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