Monday, August 31, 2009

Your Weekly Horoscope

*This week I plan to be a bit old fashioned and consult my astral charts and my telescope to help you with your astrological potential.

Capricorn: You haven't been calling people back lately!

Aquarius: You may get a hankering for seafood.

Pisces: You are ready to relentlessly spy on your neighbors again.

Aries: Why don't you scour your bathroom floors?

Taurus: You are busy planning exciting fall activities.

Gemini: You will exact revenge on a retail employee.

Cancer: You will put on a hoodie and go running. Long distance running, cross country running.

Leo: You will experience your first cold of the season, don't squander tissue paper.

Virgo: This is a good week to glut yourself on reality T.V.

Libra: You will consider licking spilled milk from the floor.

Scorpio: Something in the woods will spook you.

Sagittarius: You will be busy planning for your fantasy football league.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Unfortunate Shopping Experience

CVS Pictures, Images and Photos
I am a serious couponer. I learned about coupons at an early age and continue to find new ways to use them to get free or very cheap items. The frugal path can often be a hard road to walk. Some people seem to be inherently suspicious of coupons and others just don't like the idea of folks not paying full price. I've weathered a few battles at customer service and have had clashes with cashiers, but most of the time, the effort is worth it. I stay at home with my kids and I try my hardest to stretch every dollar that I can. Today, I lost a huge battle and a little bit of pride...

For nearly two year, I've been shopping at the well known drug store, CVS. They have a great program that features "extra care bucks". You get money back in the form of coupons that can be used like money for future purchases. You can also use manufacturer coupons and CVS coupons to combine with these Extra Care Buck sale items. It is a little complicated, but it basically means that you can get items for mere pennies or free most of the time. I originally started shopping at CVS to earn extra care bucks to pay for diapers. Not only was I getting free health and beauty products, but I would often make a little extra that I would use towards those diapers. I frequent the same store and really like the young male cashier who rings up my purchases every Sunday.

On this particular Sunday, I made a mistake purchasing a product. Some items were mistagged and instead of checking, I just assumed they were correct and bought them. After my receipt printed out, I realized my error and wanted to return and repurchase the correct items. A new manager was called to the front and because I paid with these extra care bucks, I would only get back a refund in my out of pocket cost which was very little. It meant losing $13 in extra care bucks! That may not seem like much to most people, but it's CVS Monopoly money and it can go very far. I've made a couple of returns in the past and would receive my refund on a money card. I told the manager this, but he refused it and proceeded to be rude, angry, and loud in his refusal. I was humiliated. I left the store with my depleted extra care bucks and was proud of myself for not bursting into tears until I got into my car. (I'm not always so girlish, but he hurt my feelings!)

There really is nothing humorous about this story and I'm missing my beloved extra care bucks right now. I refuse to go back to that store, it would be just too damn shameful. That really leaves me with no options for CVS since most of the other stores near me have become 24 hours stores and all the other crazy couponers go shopping at midnight to clear the deals off the shelves. I am not interested in getting into that race. I plan to contact their customer service line so that this doesn't happen to another customer. It's one thing not to know your own store policies, it's another to berate a loyal customer over your own ignorance. It will be hard to divorce CVS and give up those free diapers, but I just have to be brave and do it.

Thanks for reading my vent. I feel a wee bit better even if my pride is still sorely wounded.

Friday, August 28, 2009

White Trash Recipe of the Week

ice cream soup! Pictures, Images and Photos

Ice Cream Soup

*This dish is best made a buffet bar ice cream station because it involves less prep and no clean up.

1 scoop of ice cream
Hot Fudge sauce
Pineapple sauce
Strawberry sauce
Chopped nuts
Caramel sauce
Butterscotch sauce
Whipped cream
Sprinkles, various candies, cookie crumbs (*optional)

Put ice cream in bowl and then load bowl with all other ingredients. Stir the mixture over and over again until a thick soup consistency.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Would You Rather Wednesday

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

New Poultry Possiblities

chicken little Pictures, Images and Photos
My husband doesn't go to the grocery store very often, but when he does, he often brings home things that are new or interesting to him. One time he brought a giant box of White Castle burgers home because they were little and easy to make. He had planned to take them to work. I guess he forgot that he doesn't really eat beef so that big idea fell through. It was amusing to see his excitement over those little burgers, but I ended up having them for my own lunches.

Another time, G said he discovered a new chicken. He said it was "Thai chicken" and only cost $2! He said that we could just cook with this now since it's cheaper than the usual breast we buy. I went over and looked at the package and it was thigh meat. I had forgotten that he doesn't always pronounce the "t-h" sound so I was thinking we were going to be eating some kind of Bangkok special for the rest of our lives. I told him it was dark meat and that he doesn't like it. Of course, being as stubborn as me, he insisted on making it, trying it, and pronouncing it gross and smelly.

This weekend was another adventure in poultry. G likes to get a skinned and cut up whole chicken to make into curry. We will usually go to a butcher to get the meat how he likes it. Apparently in the last few months, both butchers closed and so G was driving aimlessly around feeling sad about not having his deconstructed chicken. I told him to just go to the grocery store and get a chicken to do it himself. He comes home with a Cornish Game hen and some excitement about how tiny and cute it is. It took him a good 30 minutes to de-skin and take that thing apart, but he seemed proud. The hen has become his new best friend; magic meat for his curry.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Your Weekly Horoscope

*I am picking a character from Jane Austen's classic novel Pride and Prejudice that will reflect your own character this week. Be most assured that it is at random...

Capricorn: (Lady Catherine De Bough) Somewhat imposing and haughty, but also kind of kick ass.

Aquarius: (George Wickam) You are a little devilish and scheming, but infinitely charming.

Pisces: (Mrs. Bennet) High strung and frivolous, but you have a good heart.

Aries: (Elizabeth Bennet) You are sensible and astute, but can be somewhat prejudiced.

Taurus: (Jane Bennet) You are calm and usually unaffected by undue emotions.

Gemini: (Mr. Bennet) You like to mock people and then retreat into a corner with books.

Cancer: (Kitty Bennet) You are a little silly, but sweet and kind natured.

Leo: (Fitzwilliam Darcy) You have a bit of a temper and a huge amount of pride, but have a secret heroic nature.

Virgo: (William Collins) Sort of uptight and priggish, but generally harmless.

Libra: (Charles Bingely) You are not especially bright, but are cheerful and quite amiable.

Scorpio: (Charlotte Lucas) You are prefer a quiet life, but have a surprisingly strong and determined character.

Sagittarius: (Lydia Bennet) Self centered and vain, you are always very concentrated on your own pleasures.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

I Carried a Watermelon

'I carried a watermelon' Pictures, Images and Photos
I didn't spend my summer in a fancy family resort in the Catskill Mountains dancing my heart out, but I still managed to learn some life lessons along the way. People say they like lists, so I decided to condense this summer with my crazy kids into my own list.

Saturday Night (or any night) is Alright for Fighting
Even with a 4 year age difference between them, my kids are really enjoying all the manifestations of sibling rivalry. They fight over toys, books, food, cartoons, and YouTube videos. At any given time, each wants what the other person has. My son will whine, my daughter will screech. I never have to worry about a scarily silent house, there is always the constant music of bickering. They are fighting right now because who likes Cartoon Network besides 6 year old boys? I am being a good mom by ignoring it and typing away.

Eat at Fat Eddie's with the Pigs
Aside from my sister, I doubt that anyone will understand the above title. It comes from a collection of songs recorded dutifully on cassette by the two of us as kids that unfortunately never made it to the Billboard Chart. It also happens to fit how much my kids have been eating this summer. Gallons of milk, aquariums of Goldfish, entire farms of produce, and enough rashers of bacon to feed a Dickens' orphanage. It seems I'm always at the grocery store, which leads to more fighting (see fighting) and more fun. My son always enjoys boredom eating on his vacations and my daughter hasn't met a food or quantity of food she didn't like.

The Mud Wallow and Other Exciting Activities
My kids have constructed their very own mud wallow in the backyard. It is a sizable hole filled with mud, ringed by rocks. They throw rocks in, they take rocks out. They dip their body parts in and then track it into the house. I strip them down, let them play, and then rot in my lawn chair ala Kate Gosselin (except I have no one to call on my cell phone). Basically they can do what they enjoy as long as it doesn't cause too much undue stress to my person. They can always be hosed down. Other fun times have included playing in the rain, jumping from beds onto pillows, and building forts made out of bedding. If it doesn't directly involve me and there is no fighting, they can have at it.

The Mathematics of a Mess
There is a formula to messes, but not being very good with math has left me trying to figure it out. Say that I'm cleaning up a destroyed cornbread muffin in the kitchen, Child A is stacking all the VHS videos in the morning room and knocking them down while Child B is dumping out a huge box of Legos. That is 1 mess being cleaned up to 2 messes being made. I go and clean up the Legos, but there is still the VHS videos and now Child A is pulling down a roll of toilet paper while Child B is spilling pink milk all over the floor. That leads to 3 messes which will lead to 4. Is it multiplying itself exponentially? What does that even mean? It's too complicated for my muddled mommy brain, but it explains why my house is always nightmarish. The best way to solve this problem to do is sedate both kids and clean all the messes and then start from scratch in the morning.

In Conclusion
I think I hit all the fine points of this summer vacation. Everyone is still alive and my vocal cords hurt from yelling, but it's all in good fun, right? I bought a 16 lb watermelon to celebrate. It's a serious bitch to cut, but the kids seem happy with it and maybe it will last 2 days? The last time I had such a huge melon, I was throwing it into the street and scooping up the flesh with my hands under the scorching Georgia sun. As much as it's nice to fall into a reverie of the past, you have to make new memories. You have to carry a watermelon.

Friday, August 21, 2009

White Trash Recipe of the Week

Fried rice Pictures, Images and Photos

Inauthentic Egg Fried Rice

1 1/2 cups of day old rice
Handful of frozen peas and carrots
2 eggs
Soy sauce
1/2 tsp minced garlic
Pepper to taste
1/4 minced onion
1 tbsp oil

Heat up the oil in a wok and add onions. Crack the eggs into a cup, scramble them and set aside. Cook the onions until really brown. Add garlic and mix. Then add peas and carrots. Once the veggies are no longer frozen add the rice and mix again. Once everything is mixed together, start shaking on as much soy sauce as you like and then put the pepper too. Make a circle in the middle of the wok and add the eggs. Let them cook a little bit in the middle and then mix with the rest of the rice. Cook the rice until eggs are done and the rice is as crackly and browned as you like.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Would You Rather Wednesday

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Fun Highway Sights

highway Pictures, Images and Photos
I hope to keep a running list of all the interesting drivers that I see on the highway. I only have two, but now that there is a post for them, more will follow. (Murphy's Law and/or The Secret)

Erotic Truck Art
One day my husband and I were traveling somewhere and we happened to notice a truck a little ahead driving quite erratically. G decided since he was driving so weird, it would just be better to pass him and put a huge distance between us. As we approached, I noticed that the license plate read STROKR. As we got further ahead, we saw that he had some naked ladies doing interesting things painted on the side of his car. That was a good laugh. He still continued to drive crazy, but we left him far behind. Maybe he was stroking while driving?

Happy Hour
On Sunday, I happened to noticed a motorcyclist ahead of me doing some crazy maneuvers. Weaving, braking, moving his hand in an odd way. Luckily, he was not a strokr, just a guy wanting a beer. He was trying to drive and open up a can of Miller at the same time. Unfortunately it sprayed all over his face, terrifying him so he did some major swerving and then tossed to beer can to the side of the road. The can flew all over the highway, but luckily not on my side. I think it was about 2 in the afternoon.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Your Weekly Horoscope

*I will be using Cross Creek, a little read gem by Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings to help divine your fortune this week. I will randomly place a finger on a line and it is up to you to apply it to your own life.

Capricorn: She is always a little drunk.

Aquarius: The jessamin waits wisely until the frost is over.

Pisces: A powerful young buck begins a song.

Aries: We used the gasoline and forgot to read the papers.

Taurus: Why does a hard-shelled cooter lay a soft-shelled egg?

Gemini: Nothing had ever enraged me like that fried fish.

Cancer: I was more than satisfied with her.

Leo: Now you mass your Scuppernongs the very same day you pick 'em.

Virgo: I dismissed her for I could not trust my temper.

Libra: A person allus gets out of life what he's entitled to.

Scorpio: The sun shone benignly, without virulence.

Sagittarius: The Lord stands high, but He sees low.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

My Elfin Child

anime child elf Pictures, Images and Photos
My daughter is very petite and thin. Compared to most children her age, she is half their size. As tiny as she is, A. is packed with lots of energy and words. She loves to eat. She loves to play. She loves enjoy the world. Instead of people noticing what a spunky, fun girl she is, they never fail to comment about her size and it's never in a nice way.

Conversations with random people always start out with "How old is she?" and when I tell them. There is always a look that is comprised of horror and confusion on their faces. I don't quite understand it. Many times this is followed up by "Well, what is wrong with her?" The first time I heard it, I was very incensed and dumbstruck. How can you ask that of a child standing right there who can understand everything you say? I assume they meant is she a little person or have some form of dwarfism. I don't really consider that having something wrong. Something wrong is having no troubles issuing rude comments to strangers. I try to be polite though and tell them that she is fine and healthy, just a wee one. Of course, this leads to furtive whispered conversation about my daughter when they think she's out of earshot.

Yesterday, I took my kids to a mall play area and just let them run. They are very much like unbroken horses and it's better they run in a specified galloping area rather than around the clearance rack at Gymboree. There was a group of moms and their kids about 10 feet away from me and I noticed that they were pointing at my girl and obviously talking about her. I whispered "motherfuckers" to myself and just tried to enjoy watching my kids really indulge in their equestrian activities.

Unfortunately, just talking about her wasn't enough, they had to call out to me "How old is she?" I told them and then they said "How much does she weigh?" I told them and one mother had the nerve to say "Are you sure you're telling the truth?" I replied tersely that she just had her 2 year appointment so I was pretty sure. I then rolled my eyes and thought about scooping up my kids and leaving. They were chatting furiously now, very concerned I guess about my child's size. How exactly that affects their life, I don't know. Maybe they have CPS on speed dial and plan to call about malnourishment? Little do they know that this pint size toddler can polish off a Happy Meal in mere minutes. (I know, you aren't supposed to give kids Happy Meals, but I do!)

A few minutes later, one of the mothers' toddlers wandered over to me and proceeded to sit and buckle herself into my stroller. I thought that was awesome. What should I do about that? The mother comes over and sits on the ground and says "Toddler Girl (don't remember name) how old are you?" and her daughter answers "1". "When is your birthday?" and this kid says "October". Meanwhile the girl is 2X the size of A. and I guess this conversation was another comparison about how big kids should be. Then the mother looked at me and asked how much my daughter weighed when she was born. Honestly, I don't know why I didn't go into full expletive mode, but there were kids there so I just answered. She said "Well, that is normal. What happened to her?" I just icily said "I don't know."

Moments like these really help contribute to my intense hatred of the human race. It's one thing to think things in your head, but why inflict it on others? Most American kids are quite sizable. Much more so than they were in years past. I am not a tall person, my daughter's paternal family comes from a country of much smaller people. She is on her own curve, she is healthy, she is normal. I wonder what would happen if I commented to a mother "Did you know that the vacant stare and extraordinary size of your child is very much bovine?" After they looked up bovine in the dictionary, I'm sure they'd be pissed and rightly so. Think your shitty thoughts, just don't pollute the world with them.

I plan to just tell people from now on that my daughter was descended from elves. It will probably stifle my urge to punch them all in their self righteous faces.

Friday, August 14, 2009

White Trash Recipe of the Week

pizza icon Pictures, Images and Photos
Quiggley's Pizza Surprise!

After a tiring time vandalizing your neighbor's back shed, you come upon a large trash can with a pizza box sitting on top. You open it up, see a mostly full pizza, and decided to scarf it down with your partners-in-crime.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

When Skating Frees You

roller skating Pictures, Images and Photos
Roller skating was always a big part of my childhood. There was nothing better than endlessly gliding around on some smooth asphalt. I had the best skates in the world; long and white with yellow stripes. I could do a few fancy tricks on them, but I mostly preferred just to ride.

After school, we'd race off the bus and go to our houses to throw on our skates. We'd skate to South Palm, the only road that had been recently paved and skate away those long, hot Georgia afternoons. We usually had a good sized crowd on our outdoor skating rink.

The first time I went to an actual rink, I was ten. I went with this preteen/teen youth trip. It was also the first time I realized that skating and boys could go hand in hand. I watched as older kids skated around the rink holding hands, listening to hair bands under disco lights. I was envious. I was just some skinny kid with huge bangs, a V neck sweater, and tight rolled acid washed jeans staring wistfully at something I was still too young to enjoy. While I skated backwards to myself, I vowed that one day, I would be skating with my own boy.

A few years later and it happened. Music and fashion changed, we were now listening to R&B and wearing silk shirts, but there were still disco lights and boys available to me! As excited as I was about skating next to a dude, I soon realized that I couldn't really enjoy skating anymore. I felt trapped in an endless loop having to come up with conversation and worry about my lip gloss. I started missing my solo skating and the freedom that comes with having the wind on your face and road flying behind you.

Last weekend, I got to revisit my skating past. My sister came to visit and we decided to go to a rink. It was family night and it meant that it was mostly preteen boys whizzing by us. I did show my senior citizen status once when I told one boy "Watch it, kid!", but I didn't let that deter me from a good time. The music was nearly two decades changed and that was a hard blow to take. I wanted to recreate the skating magic in every way, including the music, but I still soldiered on.

I was very, very rusty. I did not try any of my fancy tricks. I just worked on staying upright. After an hour, I felt like I was settling into my old routine. There was wind on my face and rink flying behind me. I might have spread my arms out like an eagle and said "I'm free!" at one point. It was a blissful time, just me and my thoughts. I don't have many moments when I can just think on my own, so I treasured every minute.

Maybe some moms scrapbook or play Bingo, but I now plan to be a roller skating mom. I just hope I can convince the DJ to play some Spin Doctors just for me.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Would You Rather Wednesday

Monday, August 10, 2009

Your Weekly Horoscope

*This week I've randomly drawn some beloved Garbage Pail cards from a deck to help you with your astrological potential.

Capricorn: Polluted Paul It seems as if you may be swimming through the sewers this week.

Aquarius: Blasted Betty You have a lot on your mind and it's giving you migraines.

Pisces: Coiled Carl You might as well be in the belly of a snake because you have been too busy to see the world around you.

Aries: Stinker Belle Your puke is rainbow colored and you feel like flying.

Taurus: Ham Actor There is nothing more thrilling than having someone's rapt attention.

Gemini: Viv E. Section You've been paying very close attention to your innards.

Cancer: Foul-Towel Raoul You can't seem to control the messes you make.

Leo: Birthday Kate You are still recovering from a wild weekend.

Virgo: Hy-Cholesterol It's probably not a good idea to indulge in Monsterburgers this week.

Libra: Nasty Nick You have a decided to become more vampire-like in your seduction.

Scorpio: Play Penny You have had enough of being Mrs. Summer Fun Time.

Sagittarius: Itchy Mitch This hasn't been a good summer for avoiding bug bites.