Monday, January 31, 2011


Dear Fellow Menard's Shopper,

I get it. Menard's new grocery section is quite handy. They don't have a lot but it's nice to run in and get a gallon of milk, some butter and eggs. It's especially nice when you just need a few items before hunkering down at home to wait on the newest snow storm; and you don't want to fight the crowd at The Walmarts.

That is why I was at Menards today - to pick up a couple of necessities, namely pet food and kitty litter and ketchup.

Oh and - most important - Hershey's Kisses with Almonds.

Here's the thing, Fellow Shopper. When you are at the checkout with your last minute groceries, the idea is to bag your own groceries while the clerk is ringing you up. See, you really aren't supposed to stand there and watch while the clerk who is more than twice your age heaves a 25 pound bag of dog food off the bottom of your cart because you "can't get it." You really could help a little bit.

And if you don't want to help lift the heavy things, you could be bagging your other groceries while the clerk does the dirty work. It's just a teeeeeny tiny bit irritating for those of us in line behind you if you wait until all of your groceries are in a pile at the end of the conveyor belt before you even move down there to claim them.

And then, when you do get down there, it's really not very considerate for you to stand and read every item on your receipt, using your finger to guide your reading, in an effort to make sure you have not been cheated. If you'd like to check your receipt, great. But could you bag your groceries and move yourself out of the way first? I mean, that'd be great.

Because the rest of us? Well, we want to get out of that store too. We want to get home and eat our chocolate.

And none of us likes the grocery pile up that occurs when the clerk continues ringing up groceries while the shopper at the front of the line IS NOT BAGGING HER STUFF SO THE LINE CAN KEEP MOVING!!!!!!

I keep saying I am going to write a book on grocery store etiquette but I simply CANNOT DO EVERYTHING. I am only one woman, after all. *sigh*

So this letter is just my humble attempt at helping you, Fellow Menard's Shopper, to become more efficient and considerate when you leave your home.

That is what I am here for.

To make the world a better place one snarky letter at a time.


Saturday, January 29, 2011


Today was the ultimate girls day for KaylaBeth and me.

We went shopping for a prom dress.

After driving to my cousin's house to meet her and her daughter, we all piled in their van and headed out to start the hunt. We had three shops in mind, map quest directions in hand, prom magazines dog eared and bookmarked, gentle reminders of budgets peppering the conversation.

We walked into the first shop and I became almost giddy.

I will be 44 years old in a week and I wanted to put on a prom dress. Really I did. But today was not about me and that was totally okay.

Oh the colors! The sparkles! The ruffles and poofs!

Oh the twinkle in our girls' eyes as they told the clerk they'd like to try this dress. And this one. And this one. Oh, and could I please try this one too? Oh the fun of tip-toeing through the maze of dresses so as not to step on hems and trains. If only that was the only kind of mine field our world would ever know.

And the excitement of walking into the shop and finding a classmate of KaylaBeth's just finishing up her successful search. Two mother-daughter pairs had turned into three.

Color us happy!

This is just the kind of day I needed with my girl.

She tried on aqua and baby pink, lime green and bright pink. She tried on bright orange-red. She sparkled. She twirled. She laughed and preened. She let me take picture after picture.

She made me so happy to be her mama. Again.

She chose a dress at the first shop - a dress that was her size and needed no alterations. A dress that got to come home with us today in a big plastic bag that will be tucked away in the guest room where it will tease a certain teenage girl as she waits for prom night to arrive. And since the other girls also chose dresses at shop number 1, we had time for a wonderful sit down lunch before heading home to show Daddy the gown his princess had purchased.

Oh it's just a perfect day - such a perfect day.

Pictures will come soon but if you are curious about THE dress - think "Rainbow Sherbet."

Tuesday, January 25, 2011


While Blake was in boot camp he got to call home twice (not counting his "I've arrived safely" call) and, thankfully, I was home for each call. Each time he was allowed to talk for about 2 minutes but I was thankful for any little crumb I could get during those days.

Yesterday was the first time I'd missed one of Blake's calls in the six months he's been in the Marine Corps.

Can you believe it's been six months since his ship date? Wow.

Just wow.

Anyway, I felt a little bad for missing his call but, in my defense, I had been given faulty intelligence.

I had been told that there would likely be radio silence during mid day chow so I silenced all communication devices and hit my rack to do a little gold bricking.

I took a nap.

Sadly, my marine found a moment to open communications after all and tried to call during that brief time.

*sigh* This is what you get when dealing with the government....

I did wake up to a nice text from him after my nap and was able to speak to him last night before bed which always allows me to put my head on my pillow with an extra peaceful feeling in my heart. *second sigh*

In other news.

Kayla and I had an impromptu girls night last night.

Guess where we went.

No really. Guess.

Would it surprise you to learn we ended up at the mall?

It totally wasn't our fault.

Paul was working late so as Kayla and I sat at the counter eating our spaghetti somehow the suggestion came up that we go out for a while.

Which led to the only natural destination - the mall. I mean what else are we going to do when it is 19 degrees outside. Play tennis?

I think not.

Especially since I don't play tennis when it's 75 degrees outside.


I try - really try - to change things up when it comes to time spent with my favorite teenage girl.

But I JUST. CAN'T. DO. IT. There was that time Paul suggested the library but I told him his cruelty knew no bounds. (Silly man. I buy my books at the mall....)

At the mall, we get to walk. We get to talk. We get to challenge ourselves to find the best bargains. And it is healthy for our brains to constantly challenge our reasoning skills. They say brain puzzles will help prevent Alzheimer's and I'm simply trying to preserve my own health however I can.

Plus, clearance racks are wonderful opportunities to work on math skills, and all of the things Kayla got last night were from the clearance rack (well, not the jeans) including her faux leather jacket and her THREE DOLLAR dress.

So she was presented with many opportunities to work on her math skills - namely percentages.

I am all about promoting education no matter where we are or what we are doing.

I am just that kind of mom.

Plus, when I go to the mall with my girl, as opposed to by myself, she carries the sacks, which does nothing if not promote physical fitness for her. She is, after all, a pitcher and she needs to keep her arm strong year round.

So to sum up: Shopping equals math skills, problem solving skills and exercise.

And THAT is not faulty intel.

But don't quote me on that.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011


Both of my kids have been asking me when the next blog post will appear.

Blake has reminded me that he finds most interesting those posts that are about him.

Kayla has not been so self centered.

The only thing going on in my life lately has been my being sick. Sick sick sick sick sick. I'm still kind of sick. But that is not a journey you want to go on with me as it is a whiney one, so I'm just going to record here on this blog, what is going on in our life right now.

*We get to start shopping for a prom dress soon. I don't know that my heart is going to hold up very well seeing my girl in a princess dress. I held myself together very well when I saw her brother in his Dress Blues for the first time (okay I had to do a little deep breathing because Marines don't handle tears well - not well AT ALL) but my girl in a ball gown? I'm expecting to lose my dignity a little bit. I am not ashamed.

*Our Marine will be buying his first car in April, as soon as he finishes his school. This, of course is assuming he gets a stateside duty station. *Fingers Crossed* that he gets his first choice of assignments.

*Our kids are lucky. They have a financial adviser built into their support system which is quite helpful when a young man is buying his first car; however, when a young woman gets to buy her first formal gown, we might choose to ignore the sage advice of our money man. I mean he doesn't need to be bothered with such frivolity, does he?

*Has anybody seen our John Adams DVD set? I've been wanting to watch it again through the winter and WE CAN'T FIND IT ANYWHERE....

*We are participating in a Trivia Night fundraiser this weekend to raise money for the post prom party. Well, Paul is participating in the Trivia Night fundraiser. I'm on snack detail. Paul has a useless head full of knowledge (or is it a head full of useless knowledge?) while I know a lot about snacking so we will both be serving in areas of strength.

*I wish I could think of something to say about Blake so he'll like this post.

*I wonder if he's aware that Kayla is my favorite...

*My kids need to learn to leave comments on my blog.

*Did I mention I've been sick? REALLY SICK. Like so sick I soon stopped fearing I'd die and began to fear I would NOT die.

*I'm starting to feel better. Thanks.

*Oh!! Blake got a tattoo. Um....yeah. Not a fan of tattoos but he's a grown up now. A gold star for the person who can tell me what he got and where. It's the one time in my mothering career I did not feel sorry for my baby boy when he told me something hurt really bad.

*Did I mention Kayla is my favorite?

*My kids love my sense of humor.

*I think I'm going to make pineapple muffins today. New recipe you know.

*Oh!! We offered to take Kayla to New York City for Spring Break. She said she'd get back to us.....

*I look forward to 3 each afternoon when I can see my girl after school. She usually pencils me in for about 32 minutes after school before other commitments call her away.

*I look forward to 2 each afternoon when my boy calls on his lunch break to tell me hey. Last week he told me he was willing to bring me onto his financial team if I'd make insurance calls for him. I told him I'd get back to him....

*I'm drinking a cup of coffee for the first time in ten days.

Did I tell you I've been sick?