Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Buying embarrassing products

Once upon a time, someone gave me some homemade dog biscuits for my dog.
She loved them and gobbled up every morsel and then for a couple of days that poor dog had the worst gas ever. Gas on an 85 pound dog is not something you want to experience even once but the poor thing had it for days!!! I read that you could give them Gas-X to help so off I go to the drug store to buy some.
I managed to find the product without having to ask and they even had a generic brand that I could buy. I proceeded to the check- out counter and with all the luck that I seem to have that product wouldn’t scan. So what does that clerk do????
Why, of course, she goes on the loudspeaker to get a “price check on store brand Gas-X”????

 Arghhhh……really?!!! What happened to the privacy laws????? We can’t just think before we speak. Awkward moment follows as I looked at the clerk and the person behind me and say….
“Guess it won’t help if I say it’s for my dog?”
To which, they just smiled. It would have been better if they had laughed because then I would have thought maybe….just maybe….they did think it was for the dog. But a smile….nope…. that means they are pitying me and then they immediately look in a different direction and step a few feet away….in case….. well…. You never know how bad the "situation" could be.

This reminds me of a discussion I had one day with someone who was describing having to go to buy feminine products for his girlfriend. It was an emergency he was told. She texted him the exact size, box description, amount and all the details for the product he was to stop and purchase on the way to visit her. He proceeds to describe to me how he waited in the self checkout line because he knew many of the checkers there and didn’t want to be teased about buying such stuff. As he is describing his embarrassment and confusion about the different products, absorbency, styles, etc.  I begin to smile. He looks at me and realizes that it is my “I’m gonna blog about that” smile and the conversation ceases…immediately. 
My husband enters the conversation then with words of advice…..”Don’t forget to buy the ones with wings. That’s important for some reason.”
See…..he does listen to me on the important stuff.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Anyone else feeling squirrely today?

My big sister is afraid. This mother of three boys who has survived living with snakes and reptiles and dirty gym socks in her house is afraid of rodents.
I also am afraid….. I’m afraid I won’t be able to tell the story of what happened to her last week without laughing yet again!!
The Scene:
It’s Friday afternoon and she’s down to the last week of her summer vacation. She’s been shopping and preparing for a surprise BBQ the next day for her son who just came home from a year of working for Americorps. She’s been storing all the paper plates and hamburger buns in the extra room off the living room so that her son can’t see them. She goes in to put some more items in there and something runs by the window. Was it inside? No, the screens are all closed. It can’t be inside. Then she hears it….”Scritch, scratch”.
She begins to call (ok….really she is screaming) for her teenage son ready to walk out the door for football practice. Now, she didn’t tell me but I like to imagine him being all suited up in helmet and shoulder pads ready to “tackle” mom’s fear.

They go outside the house and peek in the window to see what could be in the house. There in the middle of the floor is a squirrel…..eating her newly purchased buns!!

They decide that my nephew will go get his air pellet gun and try to shoot him out of the house. Now….you need to know this about my sister….for years she tried to not allow toy guns in the house. A noble idea but she finally gave up when the boys began making guns out of fruit, Legos, their fingers and anything else they could point. He runs to his room and instead decides on the broken hockey stick.
Running down stairs, he finds his mother standing on a chair.
Yes….folks on a chair. Good thinking…..cuz I don’t think squirrels can climb chairs…..yup….. pretty sure only trees! She yells at him not to club the thing because she does not want blood in the house.  He runs back up the stairs to finally find the air pellet gun but can’t find the pellets. Arghhhh….hate it when that happens and there is a squirrel in your house!!! So he brings it downstairs and begins shooting.

 I’m told it sounded like a machine gun going off all the while she is screaming her foolish head off. Great mental picture isn’t it.
After making lots of noise, they decide to run outside? Not sure what they were thinking at that point but I wasn’t there and it wasn’t my hysteria. As they run out the door, the contractor working next door at the new neighbor’s house (they’ve only been there a week....”But it looked like such a nice neighborhood.”)  comes out to see if he can help should get the hell out of there? He tells her to open all the doors and windows and it will leave on its own. Now, my sister, the usual rational one who doesn’t get rattled easily, tells him that most definitely she is not waiting and wants it out now!! I’m adding a photo of how she is a take charge kind of gal….this is her on one of those Amphibious Duck Tours…..yes, she took over the wheel and looks like she is driving them all into the water. Don’t mess with my sis!

 She then calls her husband at work to tell him to come home and deal with this. He works for the Town Hall. Can you just hear it? "Mr. S., hysterical squirrel lady on line 2 for you.”  My brother –in-law gives her the same advice….leave the windows and doors open. Having been married for 30 years to my sister….he must have had second thoughts on his advice and where he would be sleeping that night if he didn’t take care of “the situation”….he made it home in 10 minutes. Smart man!!
By now, I’ve read it on Facebook (got to love how connected we all are….. news travels so fast I could almost hear her screams.) So, I call her to have a chuckle (ok it was more like rolling on the floor laughter) and remind her of the eccentric neighbor lady that we had as kids growing up and wasn’t it nice that she was giving her neighbors such fond memories for years to come.
The next  morning, I get the following text message:
Her: There’s squirrel (excrement…but not her word) in the LR and it got into the pantry last night and destroyed a box of croissants. I’m freaking out.
Me: BAHAHAH…hate when that happens. Hope you are still up on the chair because they only climb trees.
Her: I know…my son pointed that out to me last night.  Thank you for your support. Even the damn dog who barks at floating leaves outside the window is useless.
Me: The squirrel is bigger than your dog….there’s a clue there.
So….in an attempt to be supportive like she asked I sent her messages to join the Facebook fan page called “Squirrels” or the Rocky the Squirrel fan club. Or the following picture that my other sister took when I asked for family recipe contributions to put together as a wedding gift for my new niece:

She didn’t appreciate any of our humorous attempts to lighten her mood. She was not happy that her new pet had not taken the peanut butter and bread bait in the cage trick. Nor was she happy that her office now smelled like a hamster cage.
So….. I did what I had to do…..it’s what she would have done if the “cages” were turned. If you’ll remember from an earlier post….my sister loves to send the perfect gift (See “Bleep my sister sends)….except that it’s all bizarre stuff that you’ll never use. So….I found the perfect squirrel….without the stuffing in it so it looked like road kill. I wrapped it all neatly with a note that said….

"It’s National Be Nice To Squirrels Week"

And I sent it off with a return address that said from “PETA”.
She got it yesterday. Now she’s training her dog to…..hmmmm….not be afraid of squirrels….go ahead play with them. Again....good thinking!

Guess being “nuts” runs in our family.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Grati-Tuesday, part 3

1.       I am grateful for the off button on my TV and computer. That way when the news reports are too depressing….. I can choose not to watch.

2.       Grateful that when all the news is about people losing money and applying for food stamps and unemployment….someone still reports on a certain celebrity’s $10million ridiculously extravagant wedding. Why am I grateful for that you ask? It shows that if a person’s claim to fame is only a reality TV show with no real acting or talent then people like you and I can still dream and hope for a better life. Isn’t that what the American dream is all about?

Doesn't this seem more appropriate for the times?
Instead of a $20k wedding cake that wasn't even served to the guests?

3.       Grateful that I wasn’t invited to the celebrity wedding which as I said above wasted a ridiculous amount of money when people everywhere are hurting…..because I would have been tempted to give the story of Marie Antoinette as a wedding gift and that would not have been too nice on my part.

You'll have to google it if you don't know the story.

4.       Grateful for the freedoms that we have in this country. Freedom to speak about things that bother us. Freedom to believe in what we feel strong about.

5.       Grateful for the men and women that fight for our freedoms.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Rite of Passage

First  job, driver’s license, starting college…these are just a few things that mark coming into adulthood. My cousin, Beth, and I each have 2 daughters and they are spaced about 1 year apart for all 4 of them….so it’s taken a while to get them all to age 21. My daughter, Melissa, was the final one this past April. For a year now, we’ve been planning this “special day” for all the cousins.
These 4 young women who used to delight in fancy dress up clothes and tea parties…..

Now entered the world of ………….

                                  Wine Tasting!!!! Makes a momma proud!!!
So since I’m pretty sure this was NOT the first drink for ANY of them……maybe the rite of passage was more for us moms than for the girls. Maybe it was more about not having to cut up anyone’s food anymore, or nag I mean tell them what to do or how to dress, maybe it was about being able to relax and enjoy the fact that we got them to adulthood in one piece. Nothing but time to enjoy our adult daughters and that my friends...... is what we did!!

We still had to teach them a thing or two........
                   Look for the coupon specials!!! Get a better value for your dollar!

Wine is an acquired taste. You need to find whether you prefer lights or darks I mean reds or whites.

                  It's a multi-generational activity!!!
                 Aunt Jane found something she liked!!

                        Nani and Danielle dancing to the saxophone player. So sweet!!

              Chocolate wine cup shots!!! Don't they look like they know what they are doing?
              Maybe not their first time?

Time for photo ops:

                                          Don't we look like sunglass models?

The Bloopers: Takes a few shots for us to get a good one...

I highly recommend this as a great girls day out!! 

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Another Grati-Tuesday

Today…. I am grateful for……
1.       Chocolate….lots of it and the darker the better. There’s something about chocolate that you just can’t be angry or in a bad mood when you are eating it. Bonus---- dark chocolate is good for you!!!

2.       Working from home. How awesome is it to be able to “go” to work with no makeup on or my hair undone!!!

Perhaps others should consider working from home.... I'm just saying....

3.       The fact that my husband can’t sing words to songs correctly.  Hearing his butchering of songs reminds me that I have my hearing and for that I am grateful. See….sometimes you have to really look for the blessings…but they are there.

4.       For books and being able to read. There are still so many people in the world that are illiterate. I love books….. I love to lose myself in a good book. I love to learn and keep expanding my mind. A news report today stated a study was conducted that said people that watch over 6 hours a day of television lose about 22minutes of their life for every hour of television.  Seriously? Someone paid for someone to study that?
***Warning....clicking on and reading this link will also shorten your life span.

5.       For silly studies and news articles that tell us things we already know or which are painfully obvious without spending time and money studying. These things make me shake my head and laugh.  My cousin Terry shared this one on Facebook the other day. I agree with Terry and the author.....that is a good presumption. Duh!!

Friday, August 12, 2011

Communicating with my husband

After 28 years together, my husband and I are still having trouble communicating. Is this a Mars/Venus thing or is it the language barrier? I'll let you decide.

He says he is going to take out the trash (which involves driving it to his shop dumpster) and he comes back with this.....
          I'm not sitting on that until he cleans and re-paints it!!
                And who has time to sit on a park bench?

I ask him to put his clothes in the hamper......

                                           I said "IN" not "ON".
                       After several days of nagging reminding him, what does he do?
He pulls out my clothes and puts them on the top to make it look like I forget too!

I'm thinking/dreaming of a new car......

He brings me this........

And has this devilish grin as he pulls up with it.

He says..... "Let's get a boat."
I'm thinking this.......

He brings me this.......

                                                      I give up!!!!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Find the blessings.... on this Grati-Tuesday

I don’t know about you but I can hardly stand to turn on the T.V., radio or internet…..negativity reigns!!!

For a while, my friend, Robin, was posting her gratitude list on Facebook every couple of days and I found myself enjoying reading what she was thankful for and I would agree or think of my own things to be thankful for. In order to not get overwhelmed by it all….. I find myself playing a little game and I challenge you to play along….called “Try to Find the Blessing”. The tougher the situation or news…..the more of a challenge it is and the more I like it…in my snarky sort of way.

Ok….so here goes…..
1.       I’m thankful for the fact that I need to exercise, which I HATE to do, because that means that my body is healthy enough to need it. If my body was not healthy….no one would recommend I do it and then I would miss it.

2.       I’m thankful that we live amongst avocado groves where we have dens of coyotes that come out and howl all night long and keep me awake….. it reminds me that there is a much simpler circle of life going on in the world around us. They are not worried about the economy, stock markets and S&P ratings…. only where their next meal is coming from.

3.       I’m doubly grateful for the person who invented the Tylenol PM that I took last night so I could finally sleep through the darn coyote howling for the 4th night in a row. They could have been chewing off my feet and I would not have known or cared.
4.       My husband is also thankful for the Tylenol Pm which allowed me to sleep so I woke up in a more stable mood today. Who wants a wife with moods shifting and crashing faster than today’s stock market?

5.       I’m grateful for the laundry I did today….that means that we have a choice of clothes to wear even when I look in my closet and can find nothing to wear….there’s stuff in there or I wouldn’t be washing so much.

6.       I’m grateful we live in a country where our hospitals and medical professionals do such a great job of caring for us. A friend is staying in a different country right now where his mother took a terrible fall, is in a coma and broke a vertebrae.  He said in an email that they have to constantly pay people a few bucks to get anything for her and the family needs to bring in many of the supplies that she needs. We are so lucky where we live!!!

So….I challenge you to “Find the Blessings”.

Let’s attract more blessings and maybe some of this crazy stuff happening in the world will go away or at least not consume our every waking thought. If you can’t find the blessing in it….ask someone to help you or message me…..I bet I can.
Have a wonderful week. Tune in next Tuesday for more….Grati-Tuesday thoughts.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Purse "Punking"

I love women who carry big purses….. they are just asking to be punked….Roldan style.

It all started several years ago when my father’s second wife came out to visit. There were lots of us sitting at a restaurant and she was deep in conversation. A few of us….not paying attention to the conversation decided to play a practical joke and stuff her purse with….. sugar packets, straws, silverware and a loaf of bread.
The waiter caught us and wanting to get in on it came over to her asking to see her purse. He said  that he believed she had stolen something from the restaurant. She was so embarrassed to open it and find everything in there. This started a tradition that has lasted about 25 years now.
Over the years, it has been fun to do it to unsuspecting women and to see my daughters and nieces keep the tradition going. Here’s a couple of my favorite stories:
One Christmas, my husband’s brother and his family were here for dinner. My sister-in-law’s father had been very ill and was in the hospital. She had been spending many hours at the hospital taking care of him and she was understandably exhausted and stressed. My daughters and her daughters decided they’d fill her purse that day to cheer her up. They put napkins, straws, matchbooks, even a package of Chanukah candles in her purse.
                                      (I have no idea….why I had those in my house)
We continued on with our family dinner. Later in the afternoon, she got a call that her father had taken a turn for the worse. They left in a hurry to get back to the hospital. After they left, we remembered the stuff….trash in her purse and felt bad about it. Later, while in the middle of a conversation with the doctor, my poor sister-in-law reached into her purse to pull out something and began finding the “treasures” we had left her. We had a good laugh about it later.
A couple of years ago, there were about four couples out for dinner. My cousin, Beth, was sitting next to me. She was in love with these cheddar biscuits that they served at this particular restaurant and kept commenting how good they were.

 There was one left in the basket and I could see her eyeing it but she wanted to be polite and not take the last one. So…..I thought I’d help her out. While her head was turned…..I began stuffing….. napkins, sugar packets, straws, and the one lone cheddar biscuit into her purse.  The next day we saw her again and she didn’t mention anything about the junk in her purse. I asked her husband….did she not find it? He confirmed that yes, she did. So….. I had to ask her…..what did she find in her purse?  She looked confused and then relieved (???) when she realized I had done it. She confessed that she loved those biscuits so much…..she didn’t even remember putting it in her purse to eat later. We had quite a laugh as we let her off the hook….no she wasn’t a closet eater.
Last weekend, her mother was here visiting and we told her the story of the purse stuffing. As she continued visiting with others in the dining room, my cousin and I found her purse and ……. well, you know the story. I spoke to my aunt last night…… she told me that she was “honored” to have now been “punked”. That wasn’t exactly what I hoped I would be remembered ….famous for…..but it’s a start.