Tuesday, August 30, 2005
  Spider Dance

Most mornings the alarm clock goes off at 4:45. AM. Then Sarcasdad and I begin a well choreographed dance in which we share the bathroom, the kitchen and the bedroom , in such a manner that he gets to work on time and I get to the gym. I am generally out the door at 5:10 after have washed up, dressed and made smoothies for breakfast, Sarcasdad's for the road and mine for when I get back.By the time I am pulling the front door shut I am fully awake, walking full stride, across the porch and down the front steps. And that's where it gets me. The spider web. In the earlier summer months it was almost daily. Unable to be seen in that early morning grayness the web would be stretched from post to post across the wrought iron gate at the top of the concrete steps. And I would walk right through it. I hate the way it feels. It gave me the heebie-jeebies as it clung to me in a dozen spots . I was still picking it off myself 12 minutes later when I got to the gym. Yuck. And I felt bad for the poor spider. Who knows how long it had toiled to spin the web I had destroyed in less than a second. I Of course I got wise after the first few times. But so did the spider. Sometimes the web would be low to the ground. Other time much higher and hanging from the porch roof. Devious little arachnid.

As summer moves to fall the mornings are darker and the air is cooler. The spider, even more crafty. He (she) doesn't spin every day. No. He is most random about it. Lulling me into a false sense of security. He sees me get to the top of the steps and stop. He watches me test the airspace with one extended foot, and then an outstretched hand, before I venture down to the sidewalk. I am pretty sure He is laughing.

This morning as I started down the steps to the sidewalk I got that old familiar feeling. Thank goodness it is dark out. I don't think too many of my neighbors were up to see the "get this thing off me" dance that followed. If they were I am going to claim that I was warming up for the gym.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005
  Suggested Reading

Okay, I know that I am hardly an unbiased reader when it comes to this blog. Yes, she's my daughter. And yes she's my Fairy Blogmom. But this post is just too good for you all to miss. We look a lot alike, we share a sense of humor( much to the chagrin of others) , and I like to think I had something to do with her love of writing. I think I know her pretty well, and still even I am amazed at what comes out of her head. She has quite a few loyal readers, but if you aren't one yet then have a visit and see what you think.

  Free Range Babies

Recently I did a little internet shopping for a playpen in anticipation of the Cutie Pattotie coming to stay for awhile. Because he is walking! Yes walking! At 8 months. Just like his mother. Our aim is not to restrict his movement , but just to have someplace to keep him safe if we need to run down the basement and throw in a load of wash. I was a stay at home Mom for awhile. I remember how this goes. What I found online , and in stores alike is that you can no longer buy playPENS. They are playYARDS, or PACK N" PLAYs or even in one case a playZONE. You can search for a playpen but what your search engine will return are sites that sell playYARDS. Except for sites that originate in the UK and a link to Target that offers a playpen for your pooch! I mentioned this to the CP's Mom. She opined that from a marketing standpoint, a playPEN probably sounds too much like punishment or incarceration whereas a playYARD sounds like fun. She is probably correct. Another thing therapists can blame on Mom. "She penned you as a baby. No wonder you are maladjusted"

Thursday, August 18, 2005
  All The World's a Scam, and All the Men and Women Merely....

...scammers*. Or so it seems somedays in Backwards Borough. We have a customer I'll call LuLu. She arrives by cab, uses a walker to get into the store and has someone bring her an electric cart so she can motor down the aisles with her portable oxygen tank in the basket.. She has her problems, and we all listen, and sympathize and when she's done we call her a cab to go home. She can be a little heavy on the self pity, but I always felt kindly towards her. Until the first time she tried to scam me. She had a money order that she claimed her daughter had mailed to her and she wanted us to cash it for her. From the serial on the money order, I knew we had sold it to her , and recently. I didn't call her on the lie, but I did tell her we are unable to take money orders under any circumstances. She argued a bit but in the end, no, was no and she gave up.

The next day a young male employee comes to me and says"Boss, there's a lady who wants to return a money order. I told her we can't take it and she's crying and I don't know what to do. " Guess who is at the customer service counter, leaning all her weight on it for support with the money order in her hand, and really big tears streaming down her face. "please" she's sobbing, "I have no money to eat". Remember, she takes a cab to and from the store. "Lulu" I said, "I told you yesterday we can't cash the money order". The crying stopped immediately. Lulu stuffs the money order in her purse and in the same movement pulls out a wad of lottery tickets. " Well check these then." she said ."I think they are winners"

Today Lulu makes her presence known and after settling into the motorized cart she asks a clerk to check her balance on her government sponsored welfare card. The card has foodstamp benefits, and cash benefits. The clerk , makes the inquiry and hands Lulu the slip with the information. Lulu proceeds to shop, a process that can take several hours, mostly because to her it is a social event. She checks out her sizable order, which the cashier has unloaded form the cart, totaled, bagged and packed back into the cart ready for the cab ride home. The cashier comes over to me and asks if there is anything we can do for Lulu. Because Lulu is all ready to go home, but she has no money for the cab fare. Which obviously she was well aware of because she checked her cash balance before she started shopping. Of course she was smart enough to know her plight would be that much more dire with a cart full of groceries than without, so she shopped anyway. She can't return any of the groceries for cash because they were paid for with Foodstamps, and that is not permitted by law. There weren't a lot of options. Find away to get her home or listen to the sobbing. Lulu said she thought her cab fare would be about $7. I went to the top secret hiding place where we stash the store's Sunshine Fund. There was a whopping $12 in it. Just in case Lulu was wrong about the cab fare, or wanted to tip the cabdriver I gave her the whole $12 with an admonishment that it had to be paid back. This was followed by several seconds of gratuitous "thank yous'"and "bless yous" and the like. "How much is here?" she queried. "$12" she was told. "Oh she said brightly."So then I have enough to get a pack of cigarettes too!"

Imagine you were me. As it was, I am not sure there wasn't cash in her purse all along. I give her money that truthfully isn't all mine to give , granted as much for my sake as hers. She is breathing with an oxygen tube up her nose and she wants to use the money she was so desperate to get for a pack of cigarettes! I was slightly put out. I told her to give me back the extra $5. Two big tears started down her cheeks. "And crying doesn't work on me" I reminded her. As before, the crying stopped immediately. She quickly shoved the whole $12 down her shirt and motored on out of the market. I bet the cabbie didn't get a tip either.

*apologies to William Shakespeare

Sunday, August 14, 2005
  Bear Crossing

I was grocery shopping after work on Friday. The following sign was posted in the produce section where the corn on the cob was stacked.

"Due to severe weather we are experience a shortage of corn.
Please bare with us."

Yes, apparently they are shucking more than corn at the local market!

  Leggo My Ego

Twice today I saw something on television that dealt a blow to my ego. First a national morning news show advertised a segment to be aired on a future date. It's called "How to Be Fabulous After 40".Why forty I wondered. I tried to pass it off as the media's love of alliteration. But if that was the case then they could just as easily have called it Fabulous After Fifty. No, apparently 40 was not an arbitrary choice of age. Someone has decided that our ability to be fabulous naturally disappears with our thirties. I was unaware. All of you thirty-somethings out there take heed. Make hay while the sun shines! Use it while you've got it. Once 40 comes, it's all over.Personally I have found it somewhat liberating being 50. Part of it comes from within. A change in priorities and attitudes about life and self. A lot of it stems from the fact that other people seem to expect less from you once you hit that half century mark. Stands to reason. After all you haven't been 'fabulous " for a good 10 years by that time.

The second ego buster was an ad for a weight loss company. The girl on the commercial is identified as being from some reality show, so obviously I have no idea who she is or what she looked like before. I know now though that she is so happy with her body because she went from a size 10 to a size 4 in two months. A size 10!!!!. I have just barely dieted down to a 10 and until this commercial was quite pleased with myself. Only to discover that I still qualify for fat cow status. The average dress size for the American woman is 14. How can a size 10 be the poster girl for being overweight?

MAybe if I tell people I'm 50 they will cut me some slack.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005
  Going Grocery

We have all been on the receiving end of bad customer service. I have blogged about it myself a few times. But anyone who wears a name badge at work can tell you that dealing with the public can be a challenge. I have been doing that in one capacity or another for all of my working life. Usually I can take it in stride. Lately however, the public, is on my last nerve. Is it the long hot summer? Have I just gotten to the natural limit of my patience? I don't know. I do know that it is not just me reacting to the customers in Backwards Borough. My co-workers and I have been discussing "Going Grocery". We aren't quite sure what that would entail. It would be somewhat like "going Postal" except instead of bullets we would be armed with some over ripe produce, or maybe some out of date dairy products.
My first volley would be at the customers who use their debit-like, state funded welfare card to purchase lottery tickets. Not even just a ticket or two , but $40, $50 dollars worth or more. My tax dollars at work.
Then there are the lazy people. Last Friday night I was shopping after work when approached by a customer. "YO MISS " In case you are not from the area the term "YO" is a lot like "aloha" in Hawaii. It can mean hello or goodbye. With the correct inflection it can have other meanings as well. Anyway as I said I was shopping, not working. A hard distinction I'll grant you. I was still in uniform, minus the name badge. But you would think the purse, a cart full of groceries and a fist full of coupons would be a hint. "YO MISS! REAL QUICK! !WHERE IS THE DISTILLED WATER" Real quick? Why? Is there an emergency or natural disaster requiring the immediate application of distilled water? Let me tell you it is really a good thing that customers can't hear what I am thinking. I directed him to aisle 14, ten aisles away. Had I been on the clock I would have gone with him, but as I said , I was shopping. I watched him go, aisle 6,aisle 8 ,10, 11, 12, almost there! Aisle 13, and wait-he spies the frozen food manager stocking a shelf. "HEY YO BUDDY! REAL QUICK! WHERE"S THE DISTILLED WATER?" What happened? Did he forget what I said? Did he think I was lying? Or did he merely need the attention of every single store employe in his time of need? Of distilled water.
The list goes on. The people who can't work the Coinstar machine. (Pour in the coins and push the BIG GREEN BUTTON!) because it involves reading directions. Customers who want to play the Word Association Game. The man who walked to the front of a line on Saturday because the people already in line had more items than he did. The guy who berated me for telling him that trash bags were in THIS aisle and they weren't. I had directed him to assail 10 and he was in aisle nine, however that was also my fault. Oh, and if you plan to pass a bad check, do not use it to purchase six cartons of cigarettes and ask for $50 in cash back, Those are always dead give aways.
Thanks for listening. You may have saved someone from the business end of a rotten tomato !

Monday, August 08, 2005
  Today the News is Sad

"Someone will come at us in the middle of the day with a particular story that I know, just instinctively that I want to know the other side of the story. I lived in the Middle East for a long time, and the one thing I learned after living there was that there is no one absolutely essential truth for all people, and that every time I look at a coin, I instinctively want to look at the other side."

Peter Jennings

We looked to Peter Jennings to be a knowledgeable and fair presenter of the news. Especially in times of crisis. We trusted in what he had to say, much as our parents generation looked to Walter Cronkite. His chair at ABC news will be hard to fill .

  A Couple of Tips

My SIL emailed this list to me. I like the slinky idea for the CD's. I'm not sure why you would want to out toast in it though.

1. Budweiser beer conditions the hair
2. Pam cooking spray will dry f inger nail polish
3. Cool whip will condition your hair in 15 minutes
4. Mayonnaise will KILL LICE, it will also condition your hair
5. Elmer's Glue - paint on your face, allow it to dry, peel off and see the dead skin and blackheads
6. Shiny Hair - use brewed Lipton Tea
7. Sunburn - empty a large jar of Nestea into your bath water
8. Minor burn - Colgate or Crest toothpaste
9. Burn your tongue? Put sugar on it!
10. Arthritis? WD-40 Spray and rub in, kill insect stings too
11 Bee stings - meat tenderizer
12. Chigger bite - Preparation H
13. Puffy eyes - Preparation H
14. Paper cut - crazy glue or chap stick (glue is used instead of sutures at most hospitals)
15. Stinky feet - Jello!
16. Athletes feet - cornstarch
17. Fungus on toenails or fingernails - Vicks vapor rub
18. Kool aid to clean dishwasher pipes. Just put in the detergent section and run a cycle, it will also clean a toilet. (Wow, and we drink this stuff)
19. Kool Aid can be used as a dye in paint also Kool Aid in Dannon plain yogurt as a finger paint, your kids will love it and it won't hurt them if they eat it!
20. Peanut butter - will get scratches out of CD's! Wipe off with a coffee filter paper
21. Sticking bicycle chain - Pam no-stick cooking spray
22. Pam will also remove paint, and grease from your hands! Keep a can in your garage
23. Peanut butter will remove ink from the face of dolls
24. When the doll clothes are hard to put on, sprinkle with corn starch and watch them slide on
25. Heavy dandruff - pour on the vinegar!
26. Body paint - Crisco mixed with food coloring. Heat the Crisco in the microwave, pour in to an empty film container and mix with the food color of your choice!
27 Tie Dye T-shirt - mix a solution of Kool Aid in a container, tie a rubber band around a section of the T-shirt and soak
28. Preserving a newspaper clipping - large bottle of club soda and cup of milk of magnesia, soak for 20 min. and let dry, will last for many years!
29. A Slinky will hold toast and CD's!
30. To keep goggles and glasses from fogging, coat with Colgate toothpaste
31. Wine stains, pour on the Morton salt and watch it absorb into the salt.
32. To remove wax - Take a paper towel and iron it over the wax stain, it will absorb into the towel.
33. Remove labels off glassware etc. rub with Peanut butter!
34. Baked on food - fill container with water, get a Bounce paper softener and the static from the towel will cause the baked on food to adhere to it. Soak overnight.
Also; you can use 2 Efferdent tablets, soak overnight!
35. Crayon on the wall - Colgate toothpaste and brush it!
36. Dirty grout - Listerine
37. Stains on clothes - Colgate
38. Grass stains - Karo Syrup
39. Grease Stains - Coca Cola, it will also remove grease stains from the driveway overnight. We know it will take corrosion from car batteries!
40. Fleas in your carpet? 20 Mule Team Borax- sprinkle and let stand for 24 hours. Maybe this will work if you get them back again.
41. To keep FRESH FLOWERS longer Add a little Clorox, or 2 Bayer aspirin, or just use 7-up instead of water.

Thanks Bernie!

Wednesday, August 03, 2005
  We Are Doing the Dance of Joy

As you can see on the right sidebar, we are once again counting down to the arrival of the Cutie Patootie. And his Mom. They are the advance team for their family unit. Dad gets to stay behind and pack up their military life and send it into storage. They are coming " home". Home to the place my daughter and her husband both were born, grew up and fell in love, but haven't yet lived in as a married couple. Home to the place the CP is from, but has only spent 18 days of his seven and a half months. Home to where they don't have a house of their own, jobs, a pediatrician or even a favorite local pizza joint. But home nonetheless. Home to family and friends who are glad they are coming. The rest will happen in time.

  Pass The Mustard

Am I Funny? Am I funny? Sarcastic maybe. Funny, I'm not so sure. Assuming I am humorous at times, this test has pegged me as:

the Ham

(47% dark, 52% spontaneous, 16% vulgar)

your humor style:

Your style's mostly goofy, innocent and feel-good. Perfect for parties and for the dads who chaperone them. You can actually get away with corny jokes, and I bet your sense of humor is a guilty pleasure for your friends. People of your type are often the most approachable and popular people in their circle. Your simple & silly good-naturedness is immediately recognizable, and it sets you apart in this sarcastic world.

PEOPLE LIKE YOU: Will Ferrell - Will Smith

My test tracked 3 variables How you compared to other people your age and gender:

free online datingfree online dating
You scored higher than 0% on dark

free online datingfree online dating
You scored higher than 99% on spontaneous

free online datingfree online dating
You scored higher than 0% on vulgar
Link: The 3 Variable Funny Test written by jason_bateman on Ok Cupid

( as seen on whatchutawkinbout )

Monday, August 01, 2005
  Timing Is Everything

This morning on the news I heard about a new cell phone service called Eggalert. It sends a text message to the subscriber to let them know that the time is right to conceive. It is for the woman on the go who doesn't have time to figure all that timing stuff out for herself. My question is , if you are that busy are you sure you have time for kids? What do you think? Cingular for a girl and Nextel if it's a boy?

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