Monday, December 31, 2007

Goin' out with a bit of Humor.....

A Texan Moves North

January 10th:
It's 5:00pm and it's starting to snow. The first of the season and
the first one we've seen in years. The wife and I took our hot buttered rum
and sat by the picture window watching the soft flakes drift down, cling to the
trees and cover the ground. It was so beautiful.

January 11th:
We woke to a lovely blanket of crystal white snow covering the land
scape. What a fantastic sight. Every tree and shrub covered with a beautiful
mantle. I shoveled snow for the first time in my life and loved it. I did
both driveway and sidewalk. Later, a snowplow came along and accidentally
covered up the driveway with compacted snow from the street. The driver waved
and smiled. I waved back and shoveled again.

January 12th:
It snowed an additional 5 inches last night and the temperature has
dropped to 11 degrees. Several tree limbs have snapped from the snow. I
shoveled the drive again. Afterwards, the snowplow came again. Now the snow
is brownish-gray.

January 13th:
It warmed enough today to cause slush which froze again when the
temperature dropped. Bought snow tires for both cars. Fell on my ass in the
driveway, $145.00 to chiropractor. Nothing broken. More snow.

January 14th:
Still cold as hell. Sold the wife's car. Bought a 4x4 to get her to
work. Slid into a guardrail anyway with considerable damage. Another 8 inches
of snow last night. Both vehicles covered with salt and crud. More shoveling
for me. The goddamn snowplow came twice today.

January 15th:
It's 8 fucking degrees outside. More fucking snow. Not a tree on our
property that hasn't been damaged. Power was off most of the night. Tried to
keep from freezing to death with candles and a kerosene heater, which tipped
over and nearly burned the fucking house down. Managed to put out the flames
but suffered 2nd degree burns on my hands plus lost all my eyelashes and
eyebrows. Car slid off the road on the way to the emergency room, and totaled

January 16th:
More motherfucking goddamn white shit keeps coming down. Have to put
on all the clothes we own just to get to the fucking mailbox. If I ever catch
the son-of-a-bitch who drives the fucking snowplow, I'll tear open his chest
and rip out his heart. I think he hides around the corner till after I've
shoveled. Power is still off. Toilet froze. Roof has started to cave in.

January 17th:
Six more fucking inches of this white shit and fucking sleet and no
telling what the fuck else will happen. I wounded the snowplow asshole with
an ice ax, but he got away. Wife left me. The car won't start. I think I'm
going snow-blind. I can't feel my fucking toes. haven't seen the sun in
weeks and more white shit forecasted. Wind chill is 22 below. moving back to

Goodbye 2007.....

What to write about…..what? What? I am bored. Yes, bored. Here I have been harping about wanting time to be in bed and rest and now that I am doing it, I’m bored. I have watched more TV in the last two days than I’ve watched in the last two months. The only reason why I’m not going through my stash of 29 unread books is because of this rotten headache that just won’t give it up. I have consumed so much ginger ale and water I feel like I’m going to float. I have no appetite to speak of…which is good. Maybe I can lose that 70 lbs I’ve been trying to lose. HA! I am much better than I was a few days ago, but I am not 100% by any means….more like 50%. Something how we take feeling ‘normal’ so much for granted. Maybe I needed a little lesson. Just a few days with a bug and I’m about ready to go nuts. I want to feel like I felt before this bug….hip pain and all. I’ll take it. (that’s desperation talking…I’d RATHER have NO pain, but I think you get my drift).

True to form, we have winter weather advisories up….snow, snow, snow…possibly 6 to 8 inches of the glorious stuff. Well, its better than ICE any day. We seem to always get horrendous weather on the last night of the year. It doesn’t deter most from going out and partying but I haven’t done that scene in many years. Its just way too crazy out there on this night. I used to give parties myself on New Year’s. I always would serve food too so no one would get too drunk. Everyone seemed to have a good time, including me….but after a while, it, too, just became a lot of extra trouble. Working women have to set their priorities. My job was very demanding and extremely stressful so I couldn’t afford hangovers or the time it took to get over them.

I think maybe I’ll go see about a little breakfast….cereal with some fruit maybe. I wanted to post today just so I could tell everyone who stops by to have a wonderful and safe New Year’s Eve and I wish a wonderful year ahead for you. That goes for our Nation too. We sure do need a break. So, see you ‘next year’……

Friday, December 28, 2007

Nasty night.....

When I finished up my workday today I knew I didn’t have to be back until January 7 and the thought of that made me tingle with happiness. Not that I hate my part time job or anything, because I don’t…..but I am just worn out and desperately need the rest. I think I’m close to having pneumonia to tell the truth. The holidays have just about done this old girl in. LOL I need a hot bath and a warm bed for several days in a row then I should be right as rain.

Speaking of that….weather-wise, tonight is one of the most miserable nights I’ve seen in a long while. It was nearly dark by 4 pm, 34 degrees and raining hard. By 5 pm, 33 degrees, the rain changed to sleet and it was dark. The wind was brisk and bitter on top of that. I have a rough time driving at night and the rain/sleet just made it all the worse. I was so happy to reach my driveway and pull into the garage and into safety.

Needless to say my jammies were on in record time, a stiff drink in my hand and I had my butt parked in front of the computer to check on my mail and blog comments. I have no reason to leave this house for a week and I hope nothing comes up that makes me have to leave.

So I am going to finish my drink and then get to bed. I sure hope I feel better by tomorrow morning. I hate sounding so whiny - I don’t even feel good enough to read more of my book.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

My dog needs a Xanax.....

Well, it was early afternoon and the granddaughters, age 3 and 5, opened their gifts. The Barbies were checked out and clothes removed faster than a teen on prom night. Itty bitty shoes and accessories were scattered in the carpeting for grandma to step on in her bare feet, which is always a treat. What I don’t find with my bare feet, the dog will find and chew up. Next came the various other toys; strawberry shortcake dolls and accessories, Dora and the oh-so-street-wise Bratz. If Dora hangs around the Bratz for long, she sure will be getting an education on stuff I’m sure isn’t on her “map”. She’ll be wearing eyeliner and thongs with low rider jeans and end up skipping school to get 20 piercings just on one ear. (ever notice how the teens dress now? The girls wear 2 sizes too small and the boys wear 2 sizes too big. I have honestly seen the crotch of some kids’ jeans almost at their knees. I cannot fathom how they keep them up. But this is a whole ‘nother story)

My evil ex bought the one granddaughter a Wazoo or whatever its called…that toy totally disappeared after she blew on it LOUDLY for 10 minutes straight. If I have my way, it will never be found again. Toy ponies and cow girl hats and doll house furniture….it was like a toy store exploded in my living room. Within 30 minutes I heard the girls running and squealing with delight…back and forth they ran and an odd popping noise accompanied their laughter. I had to check and what I saw confirmed my belief that kids don’t need all this expensive crap. Those girls were playing with big empty boxes, wrapping paper and bubble wrap, as their toys lay in disarray on the floor. They were popping the bubble wrap at each other in a game of cops and robbers as they were running and hiding and also antagonizing the dog with it a great deal. Such fun. They played with that more than their toys. Next year I can save myself a lot of money….just go to the grocery store and get some empty boxes and then buy a couple rolls of bubble wrap and I’ll be all set.

Christmas is wonderful, but this grandma is tired out and I’m glad its over for another year. My dog is exhausted and stressed out to the max. The weather cooperated and we did have snow, although it was only about an inch or less. We all got together in the same house and there were no arguments, no hurt feelings, angry outbursts, snide remarks or injuries during this small period of time. This is as close as we can get to “The Waltons” but I’ll take it.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Christmas thoughts.....

With today’s economy being like it is, I am wondering how much the average person spent on gifts this year….not the amount but if it is lower or higher than last year or years before.

I found myself really being aware of the price of things this year. Groceries, for one thing, have gone up tremendously. So its going to cost at least 1/4 more to have that great dinner we always have at this time. As for gifts, I scanned the stores for sales and found that even the sale items seemed to be priced way too high. I know I have gotten these same items in previous years for less money…say, perfume, for example. So, for me, I bought less this year. The love is still there, in every present given, but there are not so many this year. I’m grateful that we are able to buy what we do. Don’t get me wrong…the kids are getting some nice things…just not as many. And we adults are not exchanging at all and that has really saved not only money but a lot of stress too.

A friend of mine starts her Christmas shopping in July. I always laughed at her for that and thought it was a bit strange….but now I am seeing that there is a method to her madness. She is able to buy a lot more and not have it strain her budget so much because she’s doing it a little at a time. I think I’m going to start doing that myself this coming year.

While shopping for others, I did see one thing I wanted for me. At night I turn down the heat, so I’m cold when I first get in bed at night. I decided to buy an electric blanket to pre-warm the bed. I received it and took it out of the package and laid it on top of my bed….not plugged in yet or anything. I came back to it about 2 hours later to find a hole chewed in it and the wires pulled out and chewed in half. Yep, my precious little dog at work. Thank God I didn’t have it plugged in. I had no idea she would do such a thing….so it’s a blessing in disguise. What if I would have put it on the bed, plugged in it and gone to sleep (the dog sleeps with me)….wahoo…fried dog and maybe even fried GRANDMA. So there’s $60 down the drain but I learned a lesson.

I am joyous and grateful for everything I have and thank God every day for the blessings He has given me. I wish each and every one of you a Merry Christmas or a Happy Holiday, whichever it is you prefer. I probably won’t post again until after Christmas, so stay safe and be happy. Big hugs.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

and the tears came.....

This is an update. After me feeling sorry for myself and saying that I'd be getting no son surprised me tonight. He gave me a gold ring that says MOM on it. Has a little heart for the O in mom with diamond cutting on it. He's been paying for it a little at a time. I was so surprised....I broke down and cried. This really did affect me in a profound way. I needed that at this time. I really did.

Oh yeah.....and I'm glad to know that I'm not the only mom who stashes goodies. LOL

This n' that and all that.....

Well, here’s a little rundown of the latest. My daughter’s car is having another hissy fit. Just won’t do anything. Turn on the key….NOTHING. So, us not being mechanically inclined, assume it has something to do with the battery and have left it for THE SON to diagnose and, hopefully, fix. It WOULD be wonderful if said fixing could cost nothing, but that’s doubtful. We will have to wait and see. In the meantime, I will have to run her places.

Like last night….I was so tired I could barely see and had to take her to the grocery store. I had been up since 4 in the morning, worked a full 8 hour day and just wanted my bed. But, I waited in the car while she did her shopping…..for over an hour. You never know how bad your butt can ache until you sit on it in a car with limited movement for over an hour. I had a headache to boot so I wasn’t in the best of moods. I couldn’t even entertain myself with people watching, which is one of my favorite things to do. When like this, its just best if I keep my mouth shut….which I did.

The woman I work next to at work gave me a present from her to me. She made me a lovely Christmas basket just filled with homemade cookies, breads, candy and fudge. OMG. It is gorgeous and for the very first time in my entire life I made up my mind right then and there that I was going to be horribly selfish and NOT share it with ANYONE. I brought it home and put it in my bedroom closet. I have been sneaking goodies from it here and there ever since. I know this just sounds awful…but I can justify this….really. See, I will get no other presents. Both my kids are out of work and since I have such a tiny family, there really isn’t anyone else. So…my one and only present is going to be totally FOR ME. The rest of them all will have presents from me….so they aren’t suffering. In the meantime, I’m being a Ms. Piggy and lovin’ every minute of it. LOL

Like I mentioned before, I received a lot of compliments on my dressing…which was my contribution to the Christmas luncheon we had. Wow, that makes me feel really good….but I really didn’t do anything that special. Its Pepperidge Farm dressing in a package…which I add a few things to. I guess maybe its just that stuff always does taste better if you don’t make it yourself. LOL

I still have 3 or 4 things that I haven’t received from my online Christmas Shopping that I did on December SECOND. These are toys for the girls. I’m not happy with the store I ordered from….I had had problems with them once before and gave them a second chance. NO MORE. I will NEVER order from them again. Wish I could tell you their name but I don’t want to get sued by them. HA…now THAT would be the topping on the cake. Seriously late with my purchases and then sue me for saying so.

Well, this about wraps it up. I work tomorrow so today I’m resting up as much as I can. Just hope I don’t have to take my daughter too many places. Did I mention that my son’s car is on the fritz too (transmission)…so I have the only running vehicle in the family right now. Hope the angels watch over it and protect it for me.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

So tired.....

I am so tired that even my hair hurts. We had our office Christmas dinner at noon today and my dressing was a big hit...that made me feel good.

I hear my comfy bed calling my I'll write more tomorrow.

Sunday, December 16, 2007


After my son shoveled things up a bit, we will be getting in and out with ease. Note the snowmobile tracks across my driveway. They've been having a ball out there. Brrrrrr!

Oh the weather outside is.....

This is what we woke up to and I guess we’ll be getting more of this glorious stuff all day long today. The wind is very brisk and its just bitterly cold. These pictures can’t do it justice….on how miserable it is outside …..unless you’re into snow sports…then I guess you’d be happier than all get out. Hope your Sunday is a good one. I’m going to snuggle in and read my book.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Home at Last.....

Lord have mercy! When I got home this evening I wanted to kiss the kitchen floor. Talk about a jungle out there! People are absolutely INSANE. They are driving like idiots, honking and squealing tires, cutting people off, slamming on brakes at the last minute. I had one guy miss me by INCHES…he had drifted over into my lane. I still can’t figure out how he missed ripping off my mirror on the side. Then I almost rear-ended someone because they stood on their brakes to turn into a store at the last minute. Good thing I keep a good distance back. Traveling on today’s roads is not for the meek, that’s for sure.

I came in my house, threw off my coat, thanked God for seeing me home safely and promptly made myself a stiff drink. I still need a few things at the store but I’m honestly afraid to venture out tonight….so I will wait until Monday morning. I conveniently have that day off so I’ll make the most of it.

Yes, I’m planning another family night tomorrow. We will watch the newest Harry Potter and Shrek III. I’m fixing a ham with baked beans and au gratin potatoes. I may even make the holiday meatballs too. Can’t think of a good dessert yet (its got to be easy). I’ll come up with something…maybe pumpkin bars.

In the meantime, I’m now in my jammies and have finished a drink so I’m feeling much calmer. Hope you all have a happy Friday…Oops…my weather alarm just went off and we have a “Winter storm watch” in effect. Possibly up to 8 inches of the S-word by Sunday night. Good heavens……pour me another drink.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Holiday Meatballs

Just in time for the holidays, I have a recipe for you that is so simple and so delicious that your friends and/or co-workers will think you are a god or goddess, whichever the case may be. This recipe was given to me by my boss (a man) just before I retired. He brought it in to work every year for our Christmas party and everyone loved it. So, here it is:

Holiday Meatballs

2 12 oz. Jars Heinz chili sauce

1 1 lb. Jar of grape jelly

2 medium pkgs. (60 to 70 meatballs total) Frozen Armour meatballs

In a crockpot, blend chili sauce and grape jelly. When jelly has melted into the chili sauce, add the meatballs. Cover and cook in crockpot on high for 2-3 hours or on low for 5-6 hours.


Wednesday, December 12, 2007

With a song in my heart......

The other night I went to bed with my mp3 player. I must have close to 200 songs on it and each one holds a memory. Isn’t that really what songs are all about? I probably listened for over an hour before I got so sleepy I knew I’d better shut it off. The songs today just can’t hold a candle to those songs of my youth and herein defines the generation gap.

I can remember my mom thinking that Elvis was really a dirty boy and that his song, “Hound Dog” was just awful. His hip gyrations were considered to be too sexual. How can you listen to such garbage, she would say. Sound familiar? I have said that to my children in reference to some of their songs and now I’m saying it to my grandson, who is 17. Oh my Lord, what would my mom say about the language in songs now, not to mention the language and scenes on regular television?

In remembering back, I know I listened to those songs because I truly LIKED them….not because I wanted to rebel against my parents. I still think the 60’s had the best music ever, even though a good song will come along now here and there. I have always tried to be objective and therefore think to myself that my grandson listens to these songs because he likes them, not because we DON’T. But, unfortunately, I find nothing to like about some of this music, if you want to call it that……unless we’re talking about Country, of course. Country music never seems to change….its real life set to music. Some of it so hurtful you can’t bear to listen because, its YOUR LIFE they are singing about.

Like they are supposed to do, I guess….they evoke emotions…some songs make me sad, while others make me happy. A song that has never let me down as far as making me happy is “Low Rider”….don’t know why, but it just puts me in a damn good mood. So, I’ll bogie out of here to the tune of Low Rider, feelin’ happy for all my blessings and not letting other thoughts creep in………like how I’d like to kick the a$$ of the guy who honestly RAN to beat me to the ATM machine. (what a putz). I keep visualizing how funny it would have been if he would have tripped and fallen as he was running to get ahead of me. Aren’t I sadistic? (evil snicker)

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Poked, probed and x-rayed......

This morning it was freezing rain and foggy and….OF COURSE….I had to go out in it. I had a doctor’s appointment and his office is approximately 5 miles away. I got there without any trouble and was surprised that I didn’t have to wait long….maybe they had some cancellations. Anyway, I had a new nurse this time. I love that because as she stopped at the scale I said…”I don’t want to do that, I’m not in the mood” and…..I got away with it! Wahoo! I HATE weighing in. It always puts me in a rotten mood….and with a new nurse you can usually get away with intimidation…at least once.

Well, after checking my x-rays, my arthritis is worse and now he wants me to see an orthopedic surgeon for my hip. Even though he says I don’t have to do this immediately, we are talking surgery here and I’m not pleased about that. He is also going to try a new medication and see if that helps; and is doubling up on my pain pills. I can’t believe that I once used to jump up on a horse and ride bareback at a full gallop. Oh well….at least I’m glad I was able to have that experience in my lifetime. Those are sure happy memories.

To soothe my nerves, as soon as I got out of the doctor’s office, I swung by Dunkin’ and got a coffee and some coffee cake muffins. Oh my…if you’ve never had those muffins, try one. They are great. (now you know why I skip the weighing in).

I’m also concerned about my friend, Jamie, who is having surgery today. I know they have had a horrible ice storm in her neck of the woods and I sure hope that everything went ok in spite of that. I’ve been thinking about her all day. If you get a chance, stop by and wish her well.

I had a great time at the party that Anonymous Boxer had last weekend. I visited a lot of blogs and had a lot of party-goers visit me. AB, if I didn’t already do this….thank you for the invite….sorry I didn’t stick around to help you clean up.

The movies we watched last weekend at my family night get together were pretty good. There was a slight change and we watched Spiderman 3 instead of Shrek III. It was very good…lots of action and a pretty good plot. The other movie, TRANSFORMERS….was pretty good too. Its definitely a “male” movie. My grandson was in seventh heaven. I have a couple complaints about it…one, it was pretty long at 2 ½ hours and two, I sometimes had a hard time telling the good guys from the bad ones. But lots of action and the graphics were impressive. The plot was a bit shallow but they threw in some comedy to make up for that. All in all…not a bad movie.

Family night was a 6 on a scale of 1 to 10. If my son hadn’t decided to have ten one too many beers, it would have been a 9 or 10 for sure. We are still going to have family nights even if I have to pull hair to make them do it. Sigh ~ its not easy being mom.

We still have weather advisories up and I sure hope we don’t get what Iowa got. In the meantime, I’m gonna snuggle in with a good book. I’m reading Dean Koontz’s last one: The Darkest Evening of the Year.

Friday, December 7, 2007


Welcome, all of you from Anonymous Boxer's party. Come in and sit a while, make yourself at home......the bar is alongside that far wall over there. Make your own drink......however strong you want it. For those of you who don't drink alcohol, I have soft drinks in the fridge or a fresh pot of coffee on the kitchen counter. Help yourself. There is also freshly baked lasagna and garlic bread, should you wish to indulge. I'm a firm believer of drinking on a full stomach. Sorry you had to walk through all this snow to get here but that's what you get when you live in snow country. I'm not too fond of it myself. Leave me a note that you were here.......or not. Bathroom is down the hall and to the right. Enjoy yourself and stop by again. Nice meetin' you.

Snow is Another Four Letter Word......

This morning as I was plucking my chin hairs, I decided that if your mood depends upon your state of mind, then I'm changing my state of mind. It may be cold and icy and snowy in my neighbor's yards, but in mine its balmy, the palm trees slowly swaying in the breeze as the fragrance of night blooming jasmine lulls my senses into a peaceful sense of well-being.

AHA.......what have I been smoking you say? Why nothing. I'm just tired of the cold ALREADY. I need a warmer climate. I need to move. To think that we have at least 4 more full months of this crap gives me heart palpitations. I read about people who crave snow........who would give anything to have it. Well, let me tell you, they certainly would have a BIG change of heart if they knew just what it was all about. Slippin' and slidin' everywhere you go. Shoveling the walks, only to have to do it again a few hours later. Shoveling your driveway and then having the county snow plow go past your house and make a berm of snow across the entire width of your drive that will ensure you getting stuck when you pull in or out. It's a mess, I tell you......and every person who lives in snow country knows I speak the truth.

There is no getting the mail without putting on snow boots and a heavy coat. Usually the snow will go over the tops of the boots anyway and manage to get your feet wet. With me being so short, its common for the snow to be knee deep for me. I keep asking myself this same question every single year.......why do I stay here? Roots. A simple one-word answer......roots.

Sigh ~ why didn't grand-daddy decide to settle in the South.......or maybe Hawaii? You know we always want what we don't have. I imagine if I never saw snow I would be complaining about THAT.

Anyway........God Bless the UPS packages are coming in every day.

Tomorrow night is family night......both my kids plus the grandkids will be here.......we are making a huge pot of chili, chips and dip on the side......then settling in to watch not one, but TWO movies. Number one is TRANSFORMERS and the other one is SHREK III. I'll let you know my opinion of them in a future post. Oh yeah.......and I'll let you know what I think of the movies too. LOL

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Rude is a four letter word.....

People are truly crazy this time of year. This is supposed to be the season of caring.......HA!

I had to take my granddaughter to school yesterday. daughter did not warn me about the MESS in the parking lot. No parking spots to be found unless they are nearly a block away. If you're LUCKY, you may snag one just as someone else is leaving. I figured I would try for that.

I was sitting there with my turn signal on, waiting for this guy who left the building and entered his vehicle. He was taking his time, obviously. Just as his brake lights came on, this WENCH pulled into the lot from the opposite way and also saw the brake lights, stopped and sat there with HER turn signal on. WHAT? I'M CHOPPED LIVER? She can't see me sitting there? blood pressure went up 150 points. Amazing how fast something like this can make you FURIOUS. His back-up lights go on........she's still sitting there. I am fuming. The only thing that saved me was that he had to pull out and come my way because there is no exit the other way and she actually had to BACK UP in order for him to get out. As he backed out, I immediately whipped into the spot he had vacated.

I was happy it turned out like it did because it was justice. I HAD been waiting for a while .......way before she even entered the lot. What I have a hard time believing is that she actually was going to try and steal that spot from me. She had young children in her vehicle too.......the same as me. What kind of behavior was she promoting to her children? SHAME on her. Even though it turned out in my favor, I'm still mad over it. Peace on earth........good will toward men. I guess no one listens or comprehends that anymore.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Dare I say it......

I think I’m done. Yep, I think I have finished my shopping. All I need to get is wrapping paper and ribbon and, of course, the food for our Christmas feast. I even have the gifts for our ‘Secret Santa” exchange at work. And I remembered to order more ink for my printer so I can print out the pictures I will take this Christmas...…got a rebate on that too. Of course…I don’t have them in hand……but they are all ordered and confirmed and supposedly on their way. I received two boxes today already and I just ordered from that store on Sunday. I managed to get free shipping from every place except one and that was only $5.99 so I don’t feel bad at all. I saved twice that much in gas.

I can’t say enough about online ordering. I’ve been doing it for years now and have found the best buys and received everything in time and in good condition. Of course you can’t wait until the day before Christmas Eve to order and expect to receive it in time. No battling the crowds, the heavy traffic… looking for a parking spot and waiting in lines to cash out and then having to walk through snow to my car and unload everything. No worrying about getting mugged on my way to the car. This is just too easy. I may even……shudder….begin to like shopping again. I did like it once….when I was young and had plenty of energy and no children to lug around. Add the fact that I did it all in my jammies while sipping on a cup of coffee or a mixed drink….depending on the time of day it was…to the above attributes and this is just about a win-win situation here. I guess I am, indeed, a walking advertisement.

But I have been in the trenches. Oh yes I have. Stood in lines until I thought my back would break, had rude people try and take cuts in front of me….they were lucky they lived after THAT encounter. I may be short and mild looking…but I’m like a lioness protecting her cubs when it comes to taking cuts in front of me. Had people hit my heels with their shopping carts, over and over…...even had people take stuff out of my cart when I wasn’t looking when I found a good deal on something and there were no more left. Oh yes….shoppers are an evil bunch…ruthless I tell you.

The best time I ever had shopping was when I went with a girlfriend who was in a wheelchair because of knee surgery. Her guyfriend had driven us there, dropped us off and parked the vehicle so we didn’t have to walk far. We were (she and I) half in the bag from an earlier Christmas party and we had so much fun that time. I guess it was because we just really didn’t care if we found stuff or not and because of that, we had pretty good luck. The only bad thing was that we had to wait in line for over an hour. She almost fainted (for real) because the store was so hot. She had taken off every article of clothing she could take off without getting in trouble and she still got overheated. It was memorable and it was fun. When I got into their van, I went to sit down and sat between the captain chair seats in the back and landed on the floor on my butt. We all laughed like fools and then went out for breakfast to sober up. We were laughing so hard we even had all the waitresses laughing. Ahhhh…the good old days……..such good memories. I'm so lucky.

Monday, December 3, 2007

Things That Go Crash in the Night.....

I was awakened with a start during the night by the sound of something crashing. I think I went straight they do in my bed. My dog went tearing out of the bedroom to check it out. My son was also running to check it out; he thought at first I had fallen down the stairs.

Come to find out a shelf I have on the wall in the downstairs landing had broken its supports and fallen to the floor, taking numerous canned goods with it. Thank goodness my basement stairs are carpeted or I think I would have had a terrible mess. Four glass jars of spaghetti sauce were among the things on the floor. Out of the four, only one had its cap loosened but not enough to spill the contents. I will have to use it within a couple days now.

It always makes me wonder about what it is that causes that last little bit of a nudge to cause something to fall over or to break like that. I've heard a lot of things go bump in the night. When I had a cat, I used to blame her. Sometimes I investigate.....sometimes I wait and see if I hear anything more before I check it out. What causes those little bumps in the night after long periods of a house being dark and quiet? GRAVITATIONAL PULL...... That's it. The same damn thing that's the cause of my double chin, drooping breasts and baggy buttocks. Sigh ~ its one thing to attack me personally, but a whole 'nother ball game when it starts messin' up my house! You just can never get ahead anymore.......its always SOMETHING!

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Leaf me alone.....

Friday at work was a bit stressful for a lot of folks. The weather that we've had here this fall has somehow encouraged the leaves to hang on to the branches for dear life. Not many have fallen to the ground except for the past 3 days or so........and it hasn't been good leaf raking weather or circumstances. One of those days we had winds gusting to 45 mph.

At work, I was getting a lot of phone calls complaining about the garbage company, who also pick up yard waste. Seems as though the cut-off date for yard waste is November 30. People want an extension and, of course, took it out on me when told that probably wouldn't happen. Its not the township's fault, its not even the garbage company's fault. You see, the compost site where this stuff has to be dumped closes on November 30, so after that there is no place to take the leaves and such. Boy.......people were angry! I'm in the same predicament as they are, but that is forgotten when they're talking to me.......or should I say YELLING at me. Only thing you can do is just rake them into a pile off to the side of your yard somewhere and wait until spring, unless you know someone who wants to dump them in their garden. Burning leaves has been prohibited for several years now.

Everyone is just so stressed out that they use every little opportunity as an excuse to rant and rave. Frankly, I can't see coming unglued because of a bunch of leaves, but you know what they say........different strokes for different folks.

Our big snowstorm was impressive during the night last night, but now it has warmed up and its raining so the snow is rapidly melting. We have dense fog advisories out right now.

I'm making meatloaf, baked beans, mashed potatoes and cornbread muffins for dinner today. Nothing like some good old comfort food to take your cares away........or at least shove them on the back burner for a while. Hope everyone has a restful Sunday. I'm curling up with a good book.

Friday, November 30, 2007

Not too bright.....

The ignorance of some people totally amazes me. You would think that criminals would give their anticipated crime some…..thought. You know, wear non-descript clothing, drive an ordinary looking vehicle… other words….BLEND.

The other day, at work, just before quitting time I heard a broadcast being put out by one of our dispatchers. Seems as though three people had made off with a bunch of DVD’s from one of the area stores. They made their getaway in a pick up truck completely painted in camouflage patterns of green and brown, duel rear wheels, with a rack on the roof consisting of three sets of lights. This vehicle probably has no duplicates within the tri-state area so it was a no-brainer that an officer spotted it only seconds after the broadcast.

I passed the patrol cars with the truck pulled over alongside the highway on my way home. Shaking my head, I remember thinking to myself that these people would most likely be spending the night in custody. What with all the technical advances that the stores have done in loss prevention, people still try to get away with it. Granted, a lot of them do manage to pull it off but it’s only a matter of time before they get too brave and reckless and then they get caught.

Remember back some years ago when those sneakers first came out with those red lights in the soles? A kid wearing those broke into a house and the police were on the scene so quickly that he had to leave his loot and take off running through the woods in the dark. He was eventually caught, which was easy since he was wearing those lighted sneakers and all the officers had to do was follow the lights. Talk about a screw up! Not the sharpest knife in the drawer for sure.

I hope no one I know becomes a victim of a crime, and that includes myself. You have to be ever-vigilant these days. Unfortunately, some people would rather steal than work and that all boils down to our unethical society and the morals, or lack of, created by that. Sure wish I knew of a cure for that. I’m sure Big Al knows of one.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

A Green Tree Hugger.....

Well, not quite that bad maybe. After Tuesday's post and my ranting about all my mail.....fiwa was nice enough to suggest a place she's thinking of trying and its called Green Dimes. For $16 total, they will eliminate 90% of your junk mail and catalogs, plus they will plant 10 trees for you. This sounds good to me. I checked it out and joined it. Thank you Fiwa!

I knew my mail was getting out of hand, but this was ridiculous. Right off the bat, I listed 13 catalogs I did not want to receive. That only covers about a third of what I get. I will have to go back in and add more as time goes on. They even eliminate the 'occupant' ones too.

When I got up this morning I was thinking that maybe paying out money to have my mail reduced was a little overkill......until I went to the mailbox. I received 11 catalogs today in addition to my regular bill type mail and personal letters. Now, I'm glad I did it and can't wait for the results, which can take 2 to 3 months, they say.

Like Jamie, I do almost all my shopping online. Its wonderful.......especially for a crabby bitch like me who hates going into stores and hates dealing with lines and cashiers. Don't get me wrong, I'm never mean, unless you try and take cuts in front of me... (grrrrr snarl).....but I often wait in line doing a 'slow burn' just cause I have to wait a long time.

Online, I wait until the store either offers Free Shipping or I have a promo code ( for it. Like Soul, I hate paying for shipping and just won't do it. More and more stores are figuring this out as a lot of them are offering free shipping a lot more often. Sure, there is a may have to buy $50 or more to get it, but if you're doing your Christmas shopping, that's easily met.

In the meantime, there are just SOME things you have to venture into WackyMart to get. Invariably the four things you want are at the opposite four corners of the store. I think they do this purposely to keep you in there as long as possible so you will be tempted to pick up extra stuff. Now......let me tell ya, I hop on one of those electric carts and zoom my way through the store. Good thing they don't have speed limits in there cause I have the throttle all the way back. Not only is this fun, but its FAST. Plus that, you're not tempted to buy things you can't you're whizzing by the shelves so fast. I don't feel bad about this because I really am handicapped in a way.......I have a bad knee and also a bad hip. So it takes me a long time to walk that whole store, not to mention the PAIN! My daughter says I should apply for a handicapped sticker on my car but I can't quite do it.......I keep thinking that there are so many others more deserving of that handicapped parking spot than me. As long as I can get fairly close, I'm ok.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Boy, I've got mail.....

The mail came today and my mailbox was leaning with the weight of all the catalogs contained within. Lawdy, lawdy, I was amazed. After getting the wheelbarrow to bring in no less than 1900 catalogs and various pieces of other mail, I made a pot of coffee and settled down to peruse my stash. 7 catalogs from different places that sell shoes. 3 toy catalogs, 9 catalogs that sell clothes, 3 different catalogs from the same store, 1 jewelry catalog, 1 catalog that sells pajamas (for $50 apiece those suckers better be made out of gold), 3 selling food baskets and/or flowers, 2 that sell unique items (omg.... I just looked in one of them and found an ornament that says, "She is too fond of books, and it has addled her brain." THAT'S what's wrong with me!), 1 that sells dishes, 1 selling misc. items, 1 selling dolls that look like your child (kinda spooky, me thinks), 1 natural food catalog and a partridge in a pear tree.

This time of year is when my house gets out of control. I save these books for "when I have time" to look at them and pretty soon I've got the equivalent of the national forest in paper products. Sigh. I know I shouldn't complain because it IS easier for me to order things rather than go to the ...... shudder......mall. But, anymore, there are just TOO MANY choices. And I also know that if I throw them out, I will find that I just HAVE TO HAVE an item that was featured in one of them. You know I'm right.

The various other pieces of mail consisted of 1 bill, 3 offers of life insurance in case I croak before I get my loan paid off (but they won't say how much this is going to cost me....they want MY PHONE NUMBER so they can call me. HA, not on your sweet bippy) and the rest were requests for donations, none from places I'd heard of before. Oh, and a thank you and receipt for my recent TOYS FOR TOTS donation.

Not because my daughter used to be a mail carrier, but my heart really DOES go out to them this time of year......especially the ones who have a walk route. Your back-breaking work IS appreciated, even if your boss doesn't acknowledge it. Honest.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Suddenly....the S-word

I can admit I sure didn't want to get my ample butt out of bed and into work this morning, especially in the cold. I zip through a drive-through for coffee and cinnamon minis on the way for me and my co-worker and that starts the day off nicely. We were fairly busy today and the day went fast. I looked out the window in the afternoon to what looked like a blizzard. The police calls were going crazy with accidents. Ahh.....the first significant snowfall and people are sliding around and off the road like bumper cars. About now, I wanted to be home, in my jammies and on the couch with a good book and a hot cup of coffee.....or maybe my favorite mixed drink....a White Russian. Thankfully I don't live too far from work and I was anxious for 5 p.m. to arrive. Yep, the roads were bad and I swear it seems like every year we have the first snowfall, we also have an abundance of drivers who have forgotten how to drive on slippery roads. I think we received about 3 inches of heavy, wet least. I was never so happy to reach my driveway. Other drivers make me seriously nervous.

My son has the house decorated in Christmas lights that look so inviting but nothing was as inviting as my jammies and the White Russian drink I fixed myself 10 minutes after I pulled into the garage. Ah yes......matriarch of my domain.

My co-workers who ventured out on Black Friday had horror stories like you wouldn't believe. Even though a few of them got some bargains, they all admit that it was not worth all the hell they went through to get them. Frankly, I was quite happy with a purchase I made the Monday before Thanksgiving......a $160 winter coat for my grandson for $80 and free shipping using a promo code from All done online within the comfort of my home. Maybe I'll get through the holiday season with my sanity intact this year.

In the meantime......we have snow. Quite a bit of it. I'm sure it will melt within a few days. In my corner of the world, the weather changes at the blink of an eye. However it is a prelude of things to come; several months of bitter cold and snow covering most everything. Its beautiful for Christmas but after that.......its really not that enticing since I'm not a snow bunny with a 44 inch bustline and 23 inch waist who looks great in a skiing outfit. I think I was refilling my plate at the buffet when God passed out those attributes and I missed out entirely.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Saturday thoughts.....

Its late afternoon Saturday and the dog and I are alone. The house, once more, is quiet. No little footsteps running up and down the hallway, no bursts of childish laughter, no temper tantrums......and that's just the adults. Just kidding.......or am I? Really though, its been wonderful having my family here but its also nice to kick back and relax in the silence. My batteries need recharging badly. Plus that, I have books calling my name.

I'd like to give a big hug to the person who coordinated a Spongebob Squarepants Marathon for all day long yesterday. What a brilliant idea. It kept the kids occupied and out of trouble a great deal of the time. It also amused me. Am I weird or what? I love Spongebob. He is so irritating that he is endearing.

If no one pops in on me I have enough leftovers for my dinner tonight. Yum. By tomorrow I will be totally sick of turkey and all the trimmings but tonight it still sounds mighty good.

We still have light snow covered ground and its lightly snowing now. Supposedly tomorrow its going to warm up to 40 and then rain. Then its back to work on Monday. We are not going all out on Christmas presents this year.......only the kids will get presents. As adults we will give hugs and blessings. Everything is just so darn expensive and in most households money is very tight. Since so many toys have been recalled, I will have to be very careful in my selections.

And speaking of that........what is with some of these toys coming out? I was totally surprised at some of the offerings. A dog that you feed 'biscuits' to and those same biscuits come out as poop when you push its tail. You take those same 'items' and then feed the dog again with the same result. What kind of message is this sending? I'm not getting good vibes about that one. I've heard its one of the ones that's been recalled because of lead. Go figure..... How about the doll that you feed 'special' baby food to, only to have it come out the other end in a diaper? What ever happened to imagination? Aren't these little girls going to have enough diapers to change when they grow up? Now they have to change their TOY'S diapers. And isn't that going to make a yucky mess INSIDE the about a breeding ground for bacteria! Oh.......and how about the dog I just saw advertised today......he is a plush toy but he lifts his leg and pees. read that right. You have to buy little 'pee pads' for it. Toys are supposed to be FUN.........this sounds like work to me........not to mention I bet those pee pads and special baby food and diapers all cost a pretty penny to keep in supply. These marketers really have a money thing going here. I am NOT going to buy my granddaughters anything like this......I think its terrible. But that's just my humble opinion.

Friday, November 23, 2007

After the feast.....

And oh what a feast it was. Everything was so good. My family was present and no big problems erupted. Most of the problems revolved around the two young granddaughters getting along….or not getting along….it could change at a moment’s notice. They are 5 and 3 and are first cousins.

After we were full and lazy, we watched two movies on DVD as the snow continued to fall. Sometime during the evening I heard my ‘alert’ for bad weather conditions go off on my computer. It was a warning of ‘black ice’ on the highways. My daughter decided to stay the night rather than venture out.

At 8 this morning I was awakened by my 5 yr old granddaughter crawling in bed with me. She nestled down under the covers and fell back asleep. Now I had not only the dog at my feet but a child near my head. She is the grandchild who has enough energy to power Manhattan and she moved something, be it arm, leg, hand, foot or entire torso, every 3.67 seconds. I finally just gave it up and got up. Maybe I can take a little nap later in the afternoon.

Today is bright and sunny but very cold; everything is coated with snow. Its more or less a picture perfect day. I have friends who were planning on getting up at 3 a.m. in order to hit the stores at 4 for Black Friday. Call me what you will, but I just can’t see putting my body and my car through that. Its like a feeding frenzy and good manners are left at home. I do most all my shopping online and this year some of the stores have extended the Black Friday good deals to online purchases. I may browse and see what they are offering but it will be in the comfort of my jammies, while sipping a hot cup of coffee. Life is good.

I plan on lounging all day long, maybe doing some reading or watching a good movie or two. We have plenty of leftovers for today’s dinner. The biggest thing I have to do is help referee two young ones. In the meantime, they are pre-occupied with watching Spongebob, bless his little squarepants.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Rural Town Problem-solving.....

I was thinking about how so many things have changed in every segment of our lives. Some changes were blatant and drastic, others more quiet and subtle, but they were changes nonetheless. Sometimes changes are good…..but sometimes the old ways were better.

Before retiring, I worked as a police and fire dispatcher for a small rural town. After many years at the radio, I then worked as a DB secretary, eventually finishing up as Administrative Secretary for the entire department. The radio years were the most stressful but they were also the most interesting.

One of our officers, Big Al, who was as big as his name implied, always carried a .44 magnum on his hip. Big guy, big gun. (picture Jackie Gleason) He smoked big cigars and had a wickedly wonderful sense of humor. I think Big Al had been with the department since its inception. It being a small town, you know most of the residents by first name and it seemed like Big Al knew everyone. Not quite Mayberry, but pretty close. And….yes, we did have an officer that resembled Barney Fife. Those stories will be for another time.

Every weekend, this elderly couple who lived in the south end would hit the sauce and then get into an argument over something stupid, which would escalate to the point of one of them calling the police. Since it was a “family fight” type call, two officers had to be sent. The officers would go in, referee or listen to each of their complaints, and basically act as marriage counselor and then leave with everyone being happy until next weekend when it would start all over again. This one particular weekend, Big Al was running from call to call like mad. It surely must have been a full moon because we were busy. Sure enough, in came the call from the old folks, arguing as usual. As soon as they were available, I sent Big Al and another officer. When they cleared the call in a surprisingly short few minutes, you could hear the chuckle in Big Al’s voice. I got the story when they came in to the station.

Big Al had told his partner as they exited their vehicles outside the old folk’s place that he was going to do something to get these people to stop calling like this and to play along with him. They knocked at the door and were invited in. Right away, as usual, both of the old folks started talking at once, each pointing the finger at the other. Big Al cleared his throat and took out a cigar. He put it in his mouth and lit it, blowing a nice smoke ring into their living room. All the while, the old folks were still talking at the same time, getting louder by the minute. Then Big Al slowly unsnapped his holster and removed his gun, which was impressive, I kid you not. He held the gun, pointed at the ceiling and cleared his throat once again. By this time the old folks had stopped talking and were looking at him with wide eyes. Big Al said, in a very matter of fact way, “you know we’ve been coming here for years every weekend and the chief has decided that you two just are never going to get along, so I’m going to have to shoot one of you. Which one is it going to be?” You could have heard a pin drop as they both instantly sobered up. They then assured Big Al that things were fine and he could leave….really, he could….they were fine….as they quickly ushered him and his partner to the door Big Al slowly returned his gun to his holster and said, “ok, but remember what I just said”.

We never had another complaint call from those people. Maybe some won’t see the humor in this, but I do. It goes to show you that sometimes a little rural, small town justice in the way of a bluff is just the thing to solve a problem.

An officer today could never get away with this. There would be lawsuits and internal affairs investigations and disciplinary action taken. Even in this same small town, which has had its population tripled in the last 25 years, changes have been implemented so that if a police officer just pulls his gun, a full report has to be written. Big Al would be going “humph” over that. I think now he’s basking in the warm sun somewhere, loving his retirement. God Love ya, Big Al, and thank you for finding a way for those old folks to appreciate each other for the remainder of their lives.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

On Recovery Road.....

Well, I think that NyQuil® and I have managed to beat back the germies and my inner immune system is waking up and starting to get to work. I don't feel wonderful but feel a whole lot better than I did a few days ago. I actually lived in my bed, making a tent of comforters and quilts and practically rubbing down my whole body in Vicks®. Unfortunately my daughter and granddaughter managed to catch this and now they don't feel so hot. I really hope they will be OK for the holiday but it will be close.

Someone had told my daughter that if you ever want to know when you've been exposed to a germ, to count back 4 days from when you first come down sick. I did that and it coincided with a visit to the beauty shop where I get my nails done. I remembered that when I was there this guy was in there working on installing new fluorescent bulbs in their overhead lighting and he was coughing. BINGO. The culprit has been fingered. I have mental pictures of abusing him severely for going to work 'sick'. I wonder if my nail tech came down with this too.

I think I can venture into work tomorrow. I called in sick on Friday. Not only did I feel like death warmed over, I did not want to be blamed for infecting the whole building. The last time I worked was Tuesday so if anyone caught anything from me on that day (doubtful) they would have it by now. Tuesday night was when I really came down with it hard. Before that it was a little stuffiness and a sore throat. I think my poor immune system was trying hard to fight it off but apparently I have a lot of lazy soldiers in my platoon. Most of them were sitting in front of a TV playing video games or maybe playing poker.

I can tell I'm a lot better because I am HUNGRY. I am "chew on a table leg" hungry. I have a chuck roast in the crockpot that's been there since this morning and the whole house smells wonderful. It has a couple hours to go and I'm panting in anticipation. (wouldn't want to waste away to nothing here)

Thank you to all my readers who wished me well, either in the comments or by email. It certainly is appreciated. Hopefully I can get back to writing with more frequency again.....unless all the work from Thanksgiving cooking does me in. LOL In the meantime, stay safe.....take your vitamin C's and beware the germies. Oh, and what an evil bunch they are, too.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Intruder Alert.....

I don't know how it happened; I'm usually very cautious. He crept up on me when I wasn't looking. He wrapped his germy cape around me and whispered gleefully in my ear - "Gotcha". In an instant he was gone, running off in search of someone else, laughing; muha ha ha ha ha. It started out as a scratchy, sore throat. I gargled and that was gone by Monday but I was stuffed up to the max. NyQuil® and I have been battling this cold since then. Yesterday I felt just awful; today I'm not a lot better. I think I had a fever on top of everything else. NyQuil wiped his brow and told me he's doing the best he can for me. The only good thing about this is that I'm confident I'll be all better by Thanksgiving. It should have run its course by then. Hopefully. (hear that, NyQuil?)

In the meantime, stay safe out there. The germies are out and about and looking to get you.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Chop chop good.....

Especially for you, Fiwa. This is quite good.


You will need:

1 Lb. Ground beef
1 cup chopped celery
1 medium onion, chopped
1 1/2 cups water
1 can Cream of Mushroom soup
1 can Cream of Chicken soup
2/3 cup uncooked white rice (not minute rice)
4 tblspns soy sauce (Kikkoman works well)
1 16 oz. can of bean sprouts or small can water chestnuts, drained. (your choice)
1 small can chow mien noodles (crispy ones)

Preheat oven to 350. Brown hamburger, then drain. Add rest of ingredients except noodles. Mix and bake covered for one hour. Uncover and sprinkle with noodles over top and return to oven, uncovered, for additional 25 minutes. Serves 8.

A friend indeed.....

Is there anything better than a nice visit with a cherished friend? I don’t think so. An old friend came to see me today; she came from thousands of miles away. I can’t begin to say how much I have missed her; our chats over never-ending cups of coffee either at her kitchen table or mine. She is not only my best friend, she was my neighbor as well. But she flew off to a better life and I’m happy for her. Things are great for her and that makes me feel wonderful because she’s special and she deserves it more than anyone I know.

I can only hope that everyone could have the experience of having such a true friend. We can go years and not see one another but pick up as if we’ve never been apart when we see each other once again. I am blessed.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Gathering of the carnivores.....

Tonight my son and I ventured out to a local grocery store for their annual ‘meat sale’. It’s a 3-day event and this was the last day. I knew I should have gone on the first day but you know how that goes. It was crowded but everyone there was orderly and pleasant. I was amused to see the crowd patiently waiting for their ‘meat’ to be placed out on the counters so it could be snatched up with eagerness. How far we’ve come from our ancient ancestors who would snarl and club someone else to get at a piece of food.

They ran out of chicken breasts and ground chuck while I was there and I didn’t see any more pork roasts either. I managed to get several packages of the chicken and ground chuck before it was gone and I also got 4 chuck roasts. I’ll divide the ground chuck into one-pound packages and freeze them. I’m practically the queen of hamburger, preparing it as many ways as possible. I can even make chop suey that tastes pretty darn good. I have an easy recipe for it if anyone wants it. Just leave me a comment and I’ll post it.

When freezing ground round, chuck or hamburger, let me give you a helpful tip. I usually divide them up in one-pound portions and put them in freezer bags. I flatten the meat out once its inside the bag so its only about ½ inch thick. Make sure you get all the air out before you seal the bag. The meat will be about the size of a piece of paper…8x10 maybe but only 1/2 inch thick. This way I can stack the packages on top of each other neatly in the freezer. If space is a problem, you’ll find you can get much more in your freezer if they are like this. Give it a try….I think you’ll like this idea. Another big plus is that it reduces the thaw out time dramatically. I kid you not.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Another quickie recipe for a cold night.....

Southwest one-dish supper

1 lb. Ground beef
1 package (4.9 oz.) au gratin potato mix
1 can (15 1/4 oz.) whole kernel corn, undrained
1 can (14 1/2 oz.) stewed tomatoes, undrained
3/4 cup milk
1/2 cup water
Dash salt and pepper
* 1 rounded tblsp. taco seasoning
1 cup (4 oz.) shredded cheddar OR shredded
Mexican style four cheese

In a large skillet, cook beef over medium heat until no longer pink; drain. Stir in the potatoes, and contents of sauce mix, undrained corn, undrained tomatoes, milk, water and taco seasoning. Salt and Pepper to taste. Transfer to a greased 3 qt. Baking dish. (I save time by using a dutch oven to cook the hamburger, drain, then add the remaining ingredients, cover with lid and pop into oven.)

Cover and bake at 350 for 65-70 minutes or until potatoes are tender. Sprinkle with cheese and bake uncovered for 5 minutes longer.

*Taco seasoning may be doubled if you like your food a little more spicy. I prefer mild and have adjusted the seasoning for my taste.

Serves 4-6 hungry people

Who's on first.....

My granddaughter is in Pre-kindergarten and my daughter went to the first parent-teacher conference tonight. I babysat while she went and when she returned she looked a bit dazed. I wondered if something was wrong, but she said everything was a matter of fact, the girl was doing above average in everything. She handed me her "report card", which was basically a sheet of paper. I glanced at it and saw that she had a C. I said this is not above average, but at least she's not below average. My daughter said no, she is above average.....see here is the explanation of grades. C is a B and a D is an A. What??

Seems like they've once again changed the grading on us. I think its part of a diabolical plot to keep us all unbalanced. Sure enough, A means lowest grade, then C is above average and D is the highest grade you can obtain.

I couldn't help but be reminded of the old Abbott and Costello comedy bit of "Who's on first" and what a confused frenzy and play on words it was.

So the bottom line is: My granddaughter is doing above average and this is a good thing. She is so full of energy that we are pleasantly surprised that its not affecting her school work. She LOVES school and is a good helper. I hope this trend continues for the next eighteen years.

In the meantime, I need a drink.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Recipe for a cold night.....

You will need: 1 package of 4 to 6 chicken breasts (preferably boneless), 1 envelope of Lipton’s Onion Soup Mix, 1 can of Cream of Mushroom Soup, 1 can of Cream of Chicken Soup, 1 cup of uncooked white rice, 1 “soup can” of water. Mix together the soups, can of water and the rice in a 9 x 13 pan. When thoroughly mixed, carefully place the chicken breasts on top. Cover with foil and bake in a 350 degree oven for about 1 hour and 30 minutes. That’s it! You have a wonderfully delicious meal without a lot of mess or bother. You can serve a side of green beans and salad if you wish. Enjoy. This is another of my "stressed-out working mom recipes”.

Shoo Flu.....

The other night on my way home from work I stopped in at my local CVS Pharmacy to pick up my prescription refills. While there I noticed some signs posted in the store stating that they dispense flu shots at their “Minute Clinic”. Since my doctor’s office is closed when I get off work, I decided to check it out.

I was able to get my flu shot, which my insurance totally paid for, in less than 10 minutes. I’m a firm believer in flu shots. I have gotten them every year now for the last 15 years and I can tell you that they really DO help. I’ve only had the flu a couple times in that time period and both were mild cases.

I used to get them either at the Health Dept. or the senior center for a small fee (started out being $3, then eventually went up to $7.) but they have cut back on that it seems. Lately I’ve gotten them at my doctor’s office when I could find time to get there before they closed, but insurance never covered them for me until this year. I’m glad they are finally getting wise and are starting to pay for them.

So, “Kudos” to CVS and the Minute Clinic. They were very professional and administered the shot privately behind a closed door. I was promptly treated by a “nurse practitioner”, in full uniform. They claim that they treat several other minor things, as well as give other vaccines. Seems like we are going back to the way things used to be maybe 100 years ago when the neighborhood “drugstores” were like doctors. The local pharmacist was as highly respected as was the town doctor as far as dispensing medications for common ailments. With all the waiting you have to do at the doctor’s anymore, maybe this is a good way to get the ‘little’ things taken care of. NOW….if only some people don’t abuse it, we may have a good thing going here.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007


If anyone ever asks me what the scariest movie is that I’ve seen, it would have to be John Carpenter’s Halloween, without a doubt. I remember when it first came out, my kids aged 8 and 11 at the time, begged me to take them. I had no idea just what I was in store for, thinking it was a kid’s movie. I was a stressed-out working mom then and didn’t take time to do any research, shame on me. I worked a job with split days off, so on one of the off days, I took the kids, along with a girlfriend of my daughter’s, and went to see this movie.

It was early evening, not yet dark when we went in. Typical small town fall day. We lived on a tree lined street and the colorful leaves carpeted the ground and scampered across the roadways in the brisk fall winds. Much like the setting in the movie, I might add. The theater was a small one with only a handful of people there on this week-night. The kids excitedly sat themselves in the first row and I positioned myself half way back in the middle. I had hurriedly gotten dressed to take them, choosing to put a wig on rather than fool with my hair. That was the thing back then; wigs were popular.

The movie started and it wasn’t but a few minutes into it that I was wondering if this was really a kid’s movie. A few minutes more answered my question. In a matter of minutes my kids, along with my daughter’s friend, were leaping over seats in a mad attempt to reach me, eyes wide with fear. They resembled a herd of buffalo coming right at me. I was attacked on both sides by kids, the youngest one in my lap with arms hugging me. My wig went askew on my head and it didn’t fall off and land under the seats only because I had a firm hold on it. My kids were terrified and so was I but I had to be the STRONG ONE. I couldn’t show my fear and kept saying, “its just a movie”, but I was nearly hyperventilating. The bad guy just WOULD NOT DIE. And that haunting MUSIC...omg, brings chills to your whole body cause you just KNOW somebody's gonna get it. I never wanted a movie to end so much in my entire life. At the end, my youngest had to ask….’where did he go’….when the body, ONCE AGAIN had disappeared. To avoid nightmares later I said, oh the ambulance guys already picked him up, hoping to appease his curiosity. But, of course, the question was in MY mind too.

When the movie let out, OF COURSE, it was dark and basically deserted outside in the parking lot. I mustered up my courage, straightened my wig, hiked up my bra straps and ventured out, looking like I’d just fought the Boer War. I could barely walk because my kids were glued to my sides. They kept saying everything I was thinking and trying to talk myself out of….like, what if he’s under the car, what if he’s IN the car. What if he waits until we get in and then gets on the roof and rides HOME with us. Its bad enough to THINK this stuff but when its said OUT LOUD, well, it just makes it all the more intense. If someone would have said BOO about then, I KNOW I would have just peed.

I have watched the movie several times in the safety of my home, doors tripled locked, which of course would never keep HIM out. It still scares me at my age, which proves that for everyone, no matter what your age, there really IS a boogeyman. (just like the good doctor says in the movie) I don’t think a scarier movie can ever be made than the original, first release of Halloween. Now, I won’t talk about it anymore.

Tomorrow is November first and when most people should be thinking of Thanksgiving, what did I see being set up on the shelves of the drugstore tonight? You guessed it……Christmas stuff. This is just plain ridiculous. Its just shy of being TWO months away…….give me a break! And WHY was I in the store tonight after work, you ask…..well, to get Halloween candy of course. Procrastination is my middle name.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Before Harry Potter.....

Have you ever wanted to pretend to be something you’re not….just to see if you could pull it off? I have and actually managed to convince a couple of 10 year olds, although they’ve been sworn to secrecy and probably are still afraid I’d turn them into a couple of toads or something if they told.

Hubby was into dirt bike riding, climbing hills and falling and getting hurt and all that kind of stuff. He bought me a smaller version of his dirt bike and thought I would participate. Wrong. I did enjoy trail riding, which to me means leisurely cruising around on country back roads and enjoying the scenery. So one weekend we got together with old friends who also had dirt bikes and we traveled about 200 miles by truck, with bikes on a trailer, so we could ride in the country and he could climb all the hills he wanted and get as dirty as he pleased. We met up with a bunch of other people, families with kids, who also had dirt bikes. The next morning the men set out to get hurt on the hills and the women and smaller children set out on the trails to do some cruising.

It was a beautiful day and the scenery was gorgeous. About noon some of the women knew of the location of a small restaurant so we headed there for lunch. We had a great lunch and when we went to start up our bikes to resume our journey back to the camp area (probably a good 25 miles), one of the boys in the group could not get his started. I would say that he was probably about 10 years old. He didn’t know me at all and I had never seen him before either but his mom was there with others in the group. He had his friend with him, also about 10. After many attempts, he was very upset that he couldn’t get the bike started so I went over to him and whispered to him that if he could keep a secret I would start his bike for him. I swear my horns were out that day and I was really feeling my oats. I told him that I don’t normally tell anyone this but because I felt bad his bike wouldn’t start, I revealed to him that I was a witch and to stand back while I did my work. They both looked at me with widened eyes. In the dirt parking lot, I made an X in the sand on all four points of the bike with my boot, saying some stuff under my breath at each. Then I wiggled my finger and mumbled some more stuff. Looking over my shoulder, I whispered to him that he could go ahead and start the bike now. He got on it and it started right up. The look on those kids’ faces was worth a million dollars. I reminded them to keep our secret with a wink and a wave and we all went on our way. I’ve never seen that group or those boys since then.

Every time Halloween comes around I think about this with a smile on my face and have often wondered if those boys ever told anyone. I wonder if they still remember me and further, if they still believe…….rather than realizing it was just flooded and needed to sit awhile before being started.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Timely meanderings.....

I was doing some computer bill paying earlier today when I happened to come out of my fog to glance at the clock in the lower part of my monitor. Hmmm.....not as late as I thought. No, Wait! I glanced at the clock on the hour's difference! Oh no. Here we go again. Daylight savings time. How could I have forgotten? I was just about ready to start changing all my clocks when something told me to double check.

I googled it online and sure enough.....we don't have to change our clocks until the first Sunday in November, that being November 4. WHY do they keep messing with us? Who dictates this garbage? Is there a group of mean-spirited gnomes sitting around somewhere slapping each other on the back, laughing their butts off at all the confusion about to be unleashed this weekend? How come Microsoft, in their infinite wisdom, did not release a patch that would have made our computer clocks correspond with the "real time", whatever that may be? Is this a conspiracy to drive us all nuts? Scratch that last thought.....sometimes I get carried away. (although it DOES make one wonder).

I have never really understood "daylight savings time". It doesn't really "save" anything, not even your sanity. They need to just LEAVE. THE. TIME. ALONE. One hour backward or forward is not saving us enough of anything to justify the confusion caused, not to mention our inner clocks being thrown all out of kilter.

They should split the difference to make everyone happy and then LEAVE IT ALONE. So, on January 1, I promote that they put the time AHEAD one half hour and then leave it alone forever. Let time go on, unhindered, and let us get used to something stable in our lives.

Plus that, now all the Halloween trick or treaters will be begging in the DAYLIGHT and what the heck is SCARY about THAT!!! If I were a kid again I would be protesting this big time. Where is the ACLU when you need them.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Son to the rescue.....

My son has redeemed himself. I will forget about what he did to my laundry because he worked on my car and probably saved me about $150 in labor.

If any of you follow astrology you know that Mercury is retrograde right now and when that happens things to do with communication, contracts and transportation can get messed up, misunderstood or break down. I’m not into this in a big way but I do know that a lot of times when it happens, something of mine needs repair; last time it was my garage door, the time before that, my computer. After that my mind draws a blank. Its an age thing.

So I was not surprised when I drove home Monday evening and my dashboard light came on next to my battery gauge. My battery was low…….very low. So I came home after my stop at the jewelry store and put the car away for fear I would get stranded somewhere, which is not a fun way to spend an evening. I didn’t have to work again until Friday so I knew that I was going to have to get it fixed within the next 3 days. Visions of dollar signs danced in my head.

I called my son and described the symptoms to him and he said it was probably my alternator – definition “big bucks”. Or I may need a new battery…which costs a lot less. He came over and fiddled around with it and said, Yep, it’s the alternator. (of COURSE it would be, YOU knew that) He called around and got a price then took my money and picked it up. He got his tools and went to work. How did this offspring of mine, who I had such a hard time potty training, learn how to do this stuff? I was impressed. He fixed it for me, saving me the labor costs. I offered to pay him, but he refused, saying….I might need a favor sometime. That caused my blood pressure to rise just a bit and my heart to skip a beat. Anyone who has children knows that a “favor” can be a loan of $5 or a request to co-sign on a new vehicle. I just hope his favor won’t be too expensive.

Monday, October 22, 2007

All that glitters.....

I just HAVE to share this story with you. A few days ago I spoke of giving to a few of my favorite charities. I actually mailed those off on Friday on my way to work. Remember how I said that when you give, you also receive? Ok…. now I have to back up to about 6 months ago.

I had a diamond ring that belonged to my great aunt. The ring was very old (probably 80 years or more) and the diamond very precious, not only because it was valuable, but because it had sentimental value as well. One day at work I looked down and to my horror, discovered an empty setting in my ring; the diamond was gone. I was absolutely sick. I knew I had seen it on my hand the previous evening at home. But I had covered a lot of ground since then. I looked everywhere I could think of to look. Against all odds, I even looked in the toilet when I got home. No luck.

I kept thinking to myself that I would find it but days turned into weeks, which turned into months and I finally began to accept the fact that it was gone.

Today, Monday, I was working updating some business books at work and when I went to put the one binder back in the cubby on my desk I noticed something nestled in the corner inside the cubby. I took my nail and nudged it and as it turned around I could see it was shiny on one side. Upon closer inspection it looked like my diamond….but I had never seen a loose diamond before and I wasn’t sure if maybe it wasn’t a fake rhinestone that may have fallen from someone’s bracelet. I was too scared to let myself HOPE.

I could hardly wait to get off work. I drove directly to the jewelry store and asked the man to look at it, telling him the story. He said it was a diamond….a nice one at that. Worth about $750 all by itself. I cannot think of words to express how elated I feel. But in the back of my mind I keep thinking about what I’ve always believed. Karma. This is my pay-back. This is my reward for helping others less fortunate. I am not a lucky person, so I know it wasn’t luck. To find it after 6 months is amazing. And yes, I did remember to thank God.

Isn’t this a great story? I think this may be one that will be told and re-told in our family. In the meantime, I am going to get it re-set in a new ring; this time with 2 extra prongs to make sure that stone is super secure.

I’ll end this post with a little reminder. If you have diamond rings, take them to the jeweler and have the prongs checked twice a year. Won’t cost you a thing and may save you the heartache of losing a precious stone. I’ve learned my lesson.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

My Endorphins are Missing.....

I was making the rounds of my favorite blogs and on one of them exercise was discussed. It brought back some vivid memories.

A girlfriend and I decided we are tired of looking frumpy and signed up for a free trial of exercise sessions at a local business that specialized in that. We had visions of being clones of Suzanne Somers dancing in our heads. She and I, dressed like the Bobbsy Twins in black leggings and sweatshirts, enter into this world of the fit and fabulous. The first thing I notice is that we are the heaviest two in the whole building, including the janitor and the butt-crack showing plumber working in the restroom. I cannot see one inch of fat on any woman in the place. The biggest female there is maybe a size 6, if that. This does not make you feel like you're one of the girls. You immediately feel like an outcast, the red-headed step-child at the family reunion, so to speak. But you stiffen up your upper lip, hike up the bra straps and venture on.

These women are bouncing around, happily using the equipment and chatting with one another as they adjust their sweatbands and flip their ponytails. You can tell they all feel very comfortable. They all look fantastic. We start out on one of the simplest pieces of equipment, that being the stationary bicycle. I had never in my life felt so out of place as I did then. The walls are covered in mirrors so there is no way you can avoid seeing the image of yourself as you are puffing away, putting effort into the pedaling. Where the other women look cute with the thin line of sweat on their upper lips, you only look like a sweating pig. All that's missing is the grunts and snorts. There is absolutely NO way to regain any kind of self-esteem you may have had before you entered through the doors of this building. Endorphins? Where the hell are they? They sure never showed up to make ME feel great. They had packed their bags and deserted me a long time ago. Even when I was sweating copious amounts and grunting like a pig, red-faced, on that bicycle, I had absolutely NO indication that endorphins were happily surging through my body. They had jumped ship.

I tried various pieces of equipment. Some of it I was unable to do. I kept going back to the bicycle and eventually just stayed there. At least I could sit down while doing it. I must have pedaled 1900 miles on that bike that day. My friend was a little more adventurous than I because she tried more things but also ended up doing the bicycle more than anything. I think its because we felt comfortable with it and lord knows any sort of comfort was worth grabbing in this hostile atmosphere.

The next day I could barely walk. I had hurt my knee badly with all that pedaling and so ended my journey to having a beautiful body. (which would have taken no less than 2,900,000 visits and the frequent use of a highly skilled plastic surgeon). We felt more comfortable doing stuff in the privacy of our living rooms in front of the TV with no mirrors and no sized 2 females prancing about. We kept it up for maybe a couple weeks before getting side-tracked onto something else. Some bodies were just not meant to be put in these awkward positions......besides I had a lot more important things to do like tweeze my chin hairs and nap.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Those pesky critters.....

Reading Janet's blog yesterday brought to mind my battle a couple years ago. I opened my silverware drawer one day to find itty bitty mouse turds. Yuck! I actually couldn't believe it. I've lived here all these years and have never had a problem with those critters. So, keeping in mind the old quote, "know your enemy", I went to my trusty computer and googled "mice". I read all I ever wanted to know and then some about them.

We were raised with "Mickey", courtesy of Disney. Mice are supposed to be cute and sweet and make you go "awwww". This is definitely the other side of the coin here. This mouse in my house was causing a problem. I can't say I felt any sort of fondness toward it at all.

I trudged to my local hardware store and stocked up on mousetraps. I bought 6 of them. The guy there talked me into buying some sort of 'glue pads' too......DON'T EVER DO THAT! I'LL TELL YOU WHY IN A BIT. I only got four of those, thank heavens!

I read that one mouse can produce up to 80 turds a DAY. Hard to believe, isn't it? Also read that they have poor eyesight and tend to run with their side against the wall so you should set the trap against a wall, not in the middle of the floor. And THIS tidbit just made me feel so good. They LEAVE A TRAIL of mouse pee so they can find their way back and also as a map for others. AAA has nothing on them; they have their own little trip-tik. I won't go in to just HOW FAST they multiply but it was enough for me to want them out quickly.

I have one drawer next to my stove that I keep all sorts of envelopes containing mixes like gravy, meat loaf seasoning, cheese sauce, etc. Needless to say, my little visitor had found that drawer and was having a real ball ripping into every single one and trying them out. I think he bathed in the cheese one. That was the first place I set the traps. I put one at the back of the drawer and another one at the front just in case the first one missed him. I put two more traps in a bottom cupboard that I found some more turds in. Two more went under the sink, just in case.

The next morning I got up and opened that drawer like it was going to explode. I was amazed to find not one, but TWO mice, one in each trap. I checked the bottom cupboard and also found those two traps filled, under the sink got me nothing.

I reloaded and waited. Where I had thought I had ONE, I had FOUR. This time I used some of those glue pads in the bottom cupboard along with the traps. The next morning I checked to find the two traps in the drawer filled again and in the bottom cupboard the glue pads both contained a mouse, WHICH WAS STILL ALIVE.

Now this is the hardest part of my story. A dead mouse is just a dead mouse, but a live one is cute. Those big soulful eyes and cute little ears. The glue pads had them caught good and secure but they were very much alive and totally confused. This is why I say to NEVER buy those because I had to do the dirty work of killing them and I still feel guilty over it. I did it the most humane way possible (drowning) if you can honestly think that killing anything is humane. It was horrible and I never want to do that again.

All in all I killed nine mice that had taken up residency in my humble abode. Mama had shredded an oven mitt of mine in the back of one rarely used cupboard (only wide enough for cookie sheets) and made herself a lovely little nest. These cute little things caused me a LOT of work. Everything had to come out of the cupboards and drawers they had wandered through and everything had to be washed. The insides of the drawers and cupboards with bleach water and everything else in the dishwasher. I had to throw away all the mixes.....about $50. worth, not to mention placemats and of course the oven mitt.

I remember reading on the internet that if you can put a pencil through an opening, a mouse can fit through it. I never did find out how they got into my house......maybe it was just one that got in and the rest were all her children. But now I am ever vigilant. I am constantly looking for signs that they might be back. Maybe I should get a cat again.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Helping Where Its Needed.....

Well, its getting close to the holidays now and with it comes tons of mail from different organizations requesting donations. They are relying on your ‘good heart’ along with Christmas being the season of giving. My name must hit just about every list out there because I get so many requests. I do donate to a favorite few because they are dear to my heart for one reason or another. But I do have a pet peeve about a lot of these charities. I really wish they could be objective and really “see” what WE see on the receiving end.

What is with this enclosing a penny, nickel or dime in the letter while making the plea for your kindness in a donation? I can’t help but sit and think to myself that if they quit doing that, they could put a small fortune into their charity. What brainchild decided that this was an attention getter? If anything, its getting my negative attention.

So, please….you charities out there that are doing this….please stop it and put that money to good use. I don’t want to even BEGIN to think about how much money you’re giving away. For that reason, I have NEVER donated to a charity that does this. My first thought is that you must not need it that bad if you can afford to give it away, albeit nickels and dimes and pennies. They add up!

That being said, I sat down and wrote out checks to a few favorite charities. Sending early to Toys for Tots so they will have time to buy all those toys. Another one to buy a Thanksgiving meal for 15 who are less fortunate than I. Can’t forget about the animals so a check went to the Humane Society. Another one will go to a rescue facility. Another goes to disabled Vets. Every time you give, you get so much back. Even if its no more than a warm feeling, it makes you feel so blessed that you are ABLE to do something for someone else.

My daughter had surgery yesterday. It was some sort of nerve block on her spine. It was risky and we were nervous but put our faith in God as well as the technology that makes this type of surgery possible. She walked out of there only 3 hours later and is fine but it will be a while before we know if the surgery will do for her what its supposed to do. In the meantime I’m grateful for our blessings. Go hug someone today. I mean it. Makes you feel soooo good.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Laundry woes.....

My son, like so many others, got laid off and was in a mess. He’s a single dad, raising his 3 year-old daughter, so I told him he could move it for a while until he got on his feet. It was a huge adjustment for me since I’ve lived alone for so many years. Not to mention the stress level for my dog.

He was actually pretty good while he was here. He remembered to put the toilet seat down every time and I didn’t have problems with him hogging the remote because he had his own TV set up in the downstairs family room. He took it upon himself to get my yard in better shape and actually got on the roof and cleaned out the eaves. My yard hadn’t looked this good in a long, long time. He washed down my house and cleaned out the garage. He even cooked some meals and had them ready when I got home from work. It was kind of nice….until he took it upon himself to do MY laundry.

Oh merciful heavens! What that boy did to my laundry I will never know. HE doesn’t even know. He does know enough to separate whites from darks and he did that, but along the line something went terribly wrong. My whites are not too bad, although not as white as I’d like them. My daughter has since re-washed them all and brightened them back up. Its my lightly colored clothes that have suffered the most. They are dingy. Just no other way to put it….dingy. And I won’t wear them like that. I think maybe a three-year-old sized pair of blue jeans may have found their way into that load of my light colored. They could be easily missed and would do their dirty work just as well as a big sized pair. But what happened with the rest of the loads is only speculation.

My daughter is coming over while I’m at work and is trying to rectify his error. There are about 4 or 5 loads of clothes involved. It remains to be seen if she can accomplish this or not. I certainly hope so as there are some nice clothes affected, not to mention a majority of my bath towels and even a set of sheets. The white ones are light gray. Ughhhhh! I do have some Oxy-clean….so we will certainly put it to the test. Any suggestions??

I also had to throw away a navy blue sweater I’d only worn one time because it looks like bleach was spilled on it. No matter what, it was totally ruined. The spots were too big to even use the magic marker trick. I had to tell him that I appreciated his gesture, but to stop washing MY clothes.

So, even though men are great for doing all that nasty outside work, they are like bulls in china shops in the laundry room. I appreciate what he tried to do, but am a little miffed at MYSELF for not teaching him better…..or else…did he just decide on his own to take some short cuts? He would never admit it to me if he did.

However I am proud that he is raising his daughter; he has found out that its not easy being a single parent. I will give him another talk on how to sort laundry before he leaves. He is now in the process of moving out so he can be all settled before winter sets in. I’m glad I could help him out when he needed it but I’m also glad to have my privacy back so I can once again leap merrily from room to room adorned only in my birthday suit……..yeah, right. LOL

Sunday, October 14, 2007

And the Survey says.....

This morning I received a phone call from a ‘survey taker’. Now I would usually say that I’m not interested and politely hang up, but something about this young woman’s demeanor made me continue to listen.

She worked for a marketing firm and they were taking a survey about grocery stores. I decided to cooperate. I’m glad I did because in some very small way I was able to get my revenge on a local grocery store. I am not naming the store but it’s well known and I rarely go there anymore because of the ridiculous wait times. Also their meat is terrible. So for all the times I was forced to wait in line behind shoppers with full carts when I had only 3 items because only two registers were open, I was finally able to have my say where it may count. Muwa ha ha (evil laugh)

This store is nice and clean, the employees are friendly and its in an area that is easily accessible. However, no one I know likes to go to this grocery store (its not just THIS one either, its all of their stores) because of the extremely long wait times at the register. Grrrr.

I notice grocery stores are closing like crazy but this one still manages to stay in business. Maybe this survey is just a prelude to its demise. I can only hope. After the basic survey was through, she started to ask those dreaded personal questions…i.e. how many people are in your family, how much is your total household income, etc. I interrupted and said that I didn’t wish to answer any personal questions and she said that was fine.

After I hung up I started thinking about all the grocery stores that were once in existence. What in the world happened to them all? I can think of five right off the top of my head that we no longer have around here any more. I know of two empty buildings that are fairly new which used to be grocery stores.

Another thing that is changing, very slowly but changing, nevertheless, are the malls or shopping centers as we knew them. The super malls are beginning to be a thing of the past. In place of them are the mini malls or strip malls. I’m not in marketing so I don’t know what the appeal would be for them over the super mall except for maybe ease of entering and exiting. Also lots of kids are known to hang out at the malls and can sometimes intimidate the shoppers or just plain cause a distraction. The parking lots for these places are huge. Ever lose your car in one of them? I have and its downright scary. I used to imagine it would be great if we pushed the remote button on our key chains and your car would start up and come to you. A while back they sold these brightly colored balls that you could put on your radio antenna so you could find your car easily in a crowded lot. One big problem….lots of people bought them so you were looking at a sea of brightly colored balls sitting atop antennas. Glad I never fell for that one. I just look for the antenna that has nothing on it. LOL