Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Just Wonderin'

I'm thinking there must have been something in the air tonight that zapped all logic from the brain of most every store clerk I encountered. At Chick-fil-a I must have picked the line with the new cashier. When I ordered my Southwest Salad, he had to ask the manager if the button that said "SW SALAD" was the correct one to push. Seeing that Chick-fil-a only has about 3 salads to pick from, I would have thought he could have gone out on a limb and skipped tracking down the manager on that one.

I am really getting into these reusable shopping bags that all the stores are selling; not because I'm all that environmentally friendly, but because groceries and such are soooo much easier to carry in them. Really, they don't cut the circulation to your fingers off when you carry the gallon of milk in them. However, I just hate walking around with an advertisement on my hip, so I decided to buy a more generic and cool looking one at Pier One (then I can stash the grocery store bags inside of that one until they are needed). After plunking my three dollars onto the counter, the sales lady asked if I wanted the purchase (my reusable shopping bag) in a plastic bag. Hmmmm...I'm thinking it doesn't take a rocket scientist to guess the answer I gave.

Armed with my new, hip bag, Hannah, Victoria and I headed next door to purchase some ink cartridges at Staples (and kudos to that clerk...the only one with a brain firing on all cylinders tonight and who actually dropped my purchase into the bag I was holding open). Next, we walked to the pet store a few doors down. Hannah selected a few things she needed for the dog and we made for the checkout stand. I plopped my handy dandy bag onto the counter for Mr. Pet Store to drop my items into. Of course, the collar/harness didn't have a bar code to scan, so Hannah picked up another one. Same problem. While she was getting a third one, bright Mr. Pet Store laid the two other harnesses on the counter behind him. Finally we hit pay dirt and the third harness scanned. Our cashier friend promptly put the third harness behind him with the other two. I informed him that, since I was paying for a harness, I was planning to take one of them home with me, and could he please put one of those three into my open bag? He finally finished ringing up the rest of our items, which he promptly put into a plastic store bag that was almost directly underneath my open reusable bag. Wow...I guess it's going to take a while for folks to get accustomed to using those things.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Spring Has Sprung

Oh, what a beautiful mornin',
Oh, what a beautiful day.

I got a beautiful feelin'
Ev'rything's goin' my way.

from Rogers and Hammerstein's Oklahoma

Not even gloomy newspaper headlines and doomsday predictions can keep spring at bay. Doesn't the change of seasons do wonders to
chase away the winter doldrums? The weather is delightful, flowers are bursting into bloom and the world just seems a friendlier place. Come August or September, could someone please remind of these days - refresh my memory so I recall why I love living here?

I suspect you've been plenty busy...so take a moment and smell (er, uh look at) the flowers.

This is the third year these little guys have come back.
I love annuals that get confused and act like perennials.

A bottlebrush bloom about to explode!

The birds LOVE this bush. The hummingbirds will visit it all summer.

Can you see the indigo bunting hiding in there?
Our bird book says he shouldn't be in backyards, but he's too blue to be anything else.

And here is our pine warbler!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

"Make sure....

you put that back when you're finished." I simply love the kids growing up. Don't get me wrong; I get teary just thinking about kids being out of the house permanently, but it's just so rewarding when glimpses of mature, responsible adults pop out of teenage bodies. The opening quote was Kevin joking with me, reminding ME to recoil the hose after I finished my latest landscape project. In an effort to refresh my memory, he reminded me that HE had put up the hose without being asked several times already in the week, after washing and waxing my car as well has his dad's. What a great kid!

Spring break has come to an end and it's back to school tomorrow. We all had goals to complete over the break, but I fear we were only somewhat successful. I did manage to get some yard work done, Easter planned and executed and a couple of movies watched during our down time. The to-do list never seems to end, but I think we made a dent in it and had some fun to boot.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Quote of the Week

"Honey, now WHY would you want to do that?" You might surmise that's me talking to one of the girls; me trying to urge them to think through some ill conceived plan. Nope, not this week. And besides, I don't think I call them "honey". Or you might think it was Patrick; him trying to urge me to think through some ill conceived plan. No, dear readers, you would be wrong again.

For many years I have had this love/hate relationship with Wal-mart. I despise having to go there, but the busyness of my life seems to dictate "one-stop shopping" all to often. I mean, really, where else can you buy lawn mower oil, packing tape, a new work out tee shirt, a package of socks, a baby shower gift AND your groceries all in one place. Please don't say Super-Target...we don't have one. And I confess, the prices are appealing. I actually like walking into a store and not feeling like I should be scouring the sale paper and letting it dictate my menu for the week.

But this last visit was the straw that broke the camel's back. For once, I was about to get a birthday card purchased and mailed on time. (Please, family members, don't faint) Since this Wal-mart trip was my attempt at Old Mother Hubbard filling her cupboard, I had already fit about 15 bags of groceries into the cart with more still to go when the stone-faced cashier scanned the birthday card. I glanced up from the cart and asked if I could just put that in my purse; you know, like you've done a dozen times with the package of gum you don't want lost amidst the groceries. She looked back at me and said, "No."

A bit taken back, I was speechless. I just stared it her with some kind of blank look. That's when she said, "Honey, now WHY would you want to do THAT?" Again, I was speechless. My mind quickly tried to think of what crime it would be committing to put a $3 birthday card into my purse after it's been scanned? Blank...couldn't think of a single reason to forbid it. She knows it's paid for, she watches me put it in the bag, presto...no harm done. It's not like I'm at Sam's Club where the guy guarding the door looks at your receipt and counts to see if the number of items in the buggy matches it. I have 400 items in my cart and a receipt the length of yard stick. I dare anyone to try to reconcile the two. Maybe she thinks I'm going to stuff it in my purse and run out the door without paying, abandoning the 90 minutes worth of decisions in the cart in order to steal an item worth three bucks. Not likely is it?

Maybe there is some Wal-mart policy forbidding such risky behavior. But for me, that's it! I'm a strictly Publix kind of girl. The cashiers know me, chat pleasantly, and possibly even joke with me about the last time I was in the express lane and the guy ahead of me with 25 items claimed not to have known that there is a 10 item limit. Life is too short to give up smiling faces and friendly chit-chat.
Apparently, I'm not alone. Just yesterday I saw Consumer Report rated Publix 3rd among all all national and regional chains. And, no surprise here, Wal-mart was rated 56th.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

To be, or not to be...the Quote of the Week

The kids are dutifully learning their lines for a small production of Hamlet that they and some friends are hoping to perform soon. And when I say small, I really do mean small: as in The 15 Minute Hamlet. Alyssa has two rather short lines as Ophelia before her death, Hannah is two different characters with rather short, easy lines, but Kevin, well, he has a bit more work cut out for him. As Claudius, Hamlet's murderous uncle, and Polonius, he has longer passages to commit to memory. We try to review the play each morning after our devotions to keep memorized lines fresh and work on unfinished ones. After Kevin's trip to Haiti, he was a tad rusty. One morning we were moving along quite nicely until we came to Kevin's line as Polonius, when he says to himself "He's going to his mother's closet. Behind the arras I'll convey myself to hear the process." Without missing a beat, Kevin quipped, "He's going to his mother's room. I'll hide behind the curtain and listen in." As we all started to crack up, Victoria said, "Hey, that's not right. You just said it in English." I'm not sure in what language Victoria thinks Shakespeare wrote, but I'm fairly certain he turned over in his grave, shocked to learn he didn't write in English.