Monday, Monday

Posted in Everyday Life on December 5th, 2011 and tagged , , , , ,

Don’t you just hate when you run out of certain household staples and a trip to the store becomes imminent whether you planned it for that day or not?  Happened to me today, and wouldn’t you know, it was a cold December rainy day.  Complicating what should have been a simple run to the store were my 5 kids and the fact that the rain decided to change over into sleet and ice during the trip.

As always, it took us almost an hour to get ready to go.  It takes forever for the kids to listen well enough and to stop playing long enough to pull on socks, shoes, and coats.  Since 2 of my kids are in diapers and one is being bottle fed, my diaper bag these days is huge and takes some time to pack every time I leave the house; especially when I have to take breaks from packing it to tend to the baby and the various needs of various kids.  Finally, we were ready to leave the house, but somewhere in the melee I decided to leave my 2 oldest kids home.  Contributing to my decision, Sammie was having a rough and crabby day, so I decided it would be most productive for the family if she and her brother were separated since that’s where today’s fights were centered.  Except that meant that I had to come up with a home-schooling project for the girls to do while the rest of us were out, which meant further delay.

I get most of our family’s staples at Walmart because they are usually cheapest and it’s the whole one-stop shopping thing.  Except that their milk prices are horrible, so today I found it worth the savings to unload all 3 kids (ages 2 mos., 3 years and 5 years) to make an extra stop at Rite Aid.  Besides, I’ve had a hankering for some Combos and Rite Aid often has them on sale.  But wouldn’t you know it, today was a Monday and there wasn’t a sale on Combos, nor was there any milk on the shelves at all!  “The truck is usually here by now,” said the clerk when I asked about the absence of milk, but his musing didn’t help me any.  So I re-loaded all the little kids and headed to Walmart – by now the rain was turning to sleet and the driving visibility was compromised.  We made it across town safely with a quick pitstop at the gas station because it was coffee Monday, which meant all sizes of coffee are just $.89.  But they were out of 24 oz. cups.  Which meant that I had to have a 20 ounce cup for the same price as a 24 ounce cup would have cost – the kind of stuff that normally gets my goat.  No matter, I shouldn’t have coffee greed anyway, but now I was cold, wet, and slightly irritated…  and I had all these KIDS with which to deal…  that extra 4 ounces of coffee could have served me well!

On to Walmart where I had to circle the lot 3 times to find a decent parking spot.  Not that I’m lazy, but it makes me nervous to walk through the parking lot with so many little kids, at least one of whom doesn’t listen well and tends to run off whenever he pleases.  I got a break because my parking spot was next to a cart return, so I loaded all 3 kids into a cart – though it was a bit of a feat to fit them all in along with my huge diaper bag.  We had plans to switch into a more kid-friendly cart once we got inside, but the kid-rider carts were all buried behind other carts, leaving me no choice but to leave my kid-filled cart in the path of every other shopper who entered the Walmart in that particular 5 minute span.  The shopping itself was uneventful, unless you count the fact that my son tumbled out of the cart (did it have to be while he was explaining to me how he likes Justin Beiber’s songs just not Justin Beiber himself?  And one wonders what that all even means when coming from a 3-year-old…)  We had to stop a few times to nurse his wounds and to feed his brother, but then we were on our way.  I didn’t realize until my groceries were all bagged up that I forgot my wallet, meaning that I had to drag all the kids back out to the car in the now freezing rain (it actually made noises as it bounced against our cheeks) to get my wallet and then  to return to the store to buy our groceries…   not to mention maneuvering BACK to the car to load up all the kids and the groceries…

Following that, my intentions were good; I was going to bring Hubby a special half-price fountain drink from Sonic for Happy Hour, but I ran out of gas.  Well, I didn’t run out of gas and get stranded in the cold, so for that I’m thankful.  But after all of the illustrations of Murphy’s Law I witnessed on this Monday, I decided not to risk stopping at the gas station again for gas – coffee Monday or not.

In case you had the same sort of Monday and need a theme song:

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Warning About Potty Training At Walmart

Posted in Kids on October 18th, 2011 and tagged , , , , , ,

My little boy Christopher is 3 years old, and we’ve been working on potty training for a while now.  He gets it, but he just doesn’t remember to make it to the potty every time he has to go.  The other day we were in Walmart, and he wanted to use the potty.  Because he was with mom, he had to go in the ladies’ room, and because he is an independent little guy, he wanted to go into the stall by himself.  Next thing I know, there was a huge CRASH!

It seems that Christopher had taken off his diaper and tried to throw it away in the little “garbage can” that they have in each stall of a ladies bathroom.  The receptacle somehow fell off the wall, clattered to the floor, and now used tampon applicators were rolling everywhere.  Beyond disgusting, right?  How are those things not a bio-hazard?  Being the considerate little boy that he is, Christopher tried to pick up the garbage, but thankfully I was right there and shouted NOOO just in time before he touched anything.  After that happened, my sensitive little guy was trying to finish going potty with his hands on his ears.  He wouldn’t let go, not only because of the loud noise the “garbage can” made when it fell but also because the automatic flushing toilets really scare him too.  After we got all that sorted out, he did pry his hands off his ears long enough to wash them, but then those darn automatic energy-saver hand dryers got the best of him – those things are loud!  In the end, potty mission accomplished, but in the future, it might just be easier for us to stay home until we’re done with this potty training business!

Still Here… Somewhere

Posted in blogging on May 22nd, 2011 and tagged , , , , ,

Realizing I haven’t blogged in awhile, I’ve been trying to think of something to write about.  I have plenty of material; I just don’t feel like writing for some reason.  Plenty of material, not plenty of time is part of the reason.  I’ve even started a few drafts, but at least one ended up being a laundry list of complaint about my dogs’ behavior and other things that have been stressing me lately, and I don’t feel like publishing it.  After all, Walmart complaints are fun, tongue-in-cheek ways to vent about how I feel ripped off after shopping at Walmart, but when I write huge rants of real life complaints I annoy myself, so I can’t imagine my readers’ feelings.  Plus all the complaining doesn’t ease the stress, nor does it help me fulfil the main purpose of my blog – which is giving my family a virtual diary of our lives while the kids are growing up.  Sure, it shares the information, but I want their reading experience of our family blog when I’m gone to be a good one, not something like, “Hey – I DO remember when mom was stressed all the time!!”

So I wanted to drop a quick line to let it be known that I’m still here, still a part of blog world, still interested in posting blogs.  My kids are not any less cute these days, nor my life any less busy or exciting…  just much more stressful, which kind of puts a damper on my creative writing spirit I think.  I’m hoping maybe that will change here soon…  if not this summer, something tells me I might feel  better in October or November with less of the negative pregnancy symptoms and more of the ‘new baby joys’ to focus upon.  Can’t wait!

Crazy Cat Lady = Me?

Posted in Everyday Life, food on January 3rd, 2011 and tagged , , , , , , , , , ,

Seems like it’s been a long time since my last griping-about-Walmart blog post.  Either I’m getting used to their secretive price-gauging ways, or I’m too busy in my personal life to spend as much time feeling wronged by the corporate giant.  Maybe it’s a little of both.  But a few weeks ago, a couple of Walmart employees made themselves worth mentioning on my blog for their roles in turning a normally hectic pre-Christmas nighttime shopping trip with 4 little kids into quite an irritating adventure.

After wandering past empty shelf upon empty shelf and compromising my shopping list due to all of the out-of-stock items there were (and I’m talking everyday items, nothing gourmet nor exotic), my frustrations were growing.  But finally I was finished in the grocery section, so I split off from my family and headed for the garden center.  It might seem like a strange time of year to get those cement garden-border-blocks, but they are just over $1 at Walmart, so I use them as a cost effective way to keep my puppy from digging holes under our fence.  He digs a hole, I stick in a Walmart cement brick and solve the problem for under $1.50 – done.  It won’t be long until I have a pretty little brick fence bordering my chain link fence.  Except that my puppy dug a hole the other day, and just because it was December in Ohio (never mind the thunderstorms and rain we’ve been having), Walmart decided that they are going to lock up their cement bricks in the outdoor garden section and not let customers back there to get them.  I get back there and find the door to the outside blocked with a bench (so THAT’S where they’re putting the benches they removed from the entire store.  Why Walmart decided to make seating scarce in their store is beyond me.  Don’t shoppers stay longer and spend more money if there is a place to rest their feet?  Don’t they want to come back to a store that lets them rest while their shopping companion goes at it?  But that’s a whole ‘nother post, I guess, even if I entertained the tangent).  So anyway, I hunt down  an employee and ask her about the cement bricks, and she tells me that the garden center is closed for the night and to come back another day.  And this is AFTER I’ve already spent almost 2 hours in the store, wandering amongst empty shelves that it seems they don’t know how to stock.  It was difficult to explain to her that I had come there that night with all my kids and that this would not be happening again any time soon.  Take a bunch of kids into a store that sells toys that time of year if you want to know how draining it can be – go on, I dare you to borrow some kids and do it next year.  But the bottom line is, Ms. Walmart employee was not nice when she told me to come back another time, and she didn’t offer to go back there or have someone else get me a brick or two or anything.  She acted like we were both just stuck there in Walmart, and if she could deal with it, so could I.  But guess what?  She is GETTING paid to be there, while I have to PAY to be there – see the difference?  She did not.

So what’s with the Walmart policy of selling an item but not letting customers buy it?  Are they hoarding cement bricks to build a top-secret Walmart price-gouging planning party fortress or something?  Well, I was crabby that night, but I was not going to cause a scene; I don’t like to be the scene-causing type.  I had some good advice from a fellow tangenteer floating around in my head, “Walmart employees are people too”, so I got over it and moved on.  But by the time the second Walmart employee wronged me that night, I was really mad…  The woman at the check-out did not want to take our coupon, even though it was clearly for the item we purchased.  Not even worth writing about now; I might as well move on to the incident that inspired the title of this post – thought I would throw an amusing Walmart story into my grab bag of gripes…

I had to run to Walmart on New Year’s Eve.  Yes, New Year’s Eve, the day when even our normally not-so-full rural Walmart is filled to the brim with people who can’t wait to get where they’re going to stuff themselves, get drunk or do both at the same time.  The mood in Walmart was festive, but I couldn’t find a parking spot.  I opted for one a mile away, especially because the weather decided it wanted to be more like May than December; it was in the 50s.  I’m picking up some last minute New Year’s goodies, and I notice that the mixed shelled nuts are on sale for only $1 /pound.  Cracking fresh nuts is one of my favorite ways to  snack – hold comments on this please, this isn’t Facebook, it’s a mostly family-friendly blog 🙂  – nuts are nutritious, one of the natural foods I believe the human body is meant to consume, plus I have a monster parrot that loves them.  So I called Hubby, and he told me to buy 30 pounds.  By the time I got done putting 30 pounds of nuts into sacks (still holding on the comments), my little boy had bitten through an orange I was going to buy (I put it back instead –  haha, just kidding, I had to buy the dehydrated orange at the end of the trip), and I had fielded the same exact question from at least two different people: “What are you going to do with all those nuts?”  I had some conversations about my parrot and my 4 kids, and then I had had enough and wanted out.  Here’s the funny part.

We returned to our friendly local Walmart on January 2, and my husband runs in and finds the same nuts for now only a quarter a pound!!  I’m not going to think about how much money I could have saved, not going to do that; it’s not the funny part.  At a quarter a pound, they were out of the nuts, so my husband asked an employee if they had any more (wait, the 30 pounds I bought weren’t enough?) to which he replied, “No, some lady came in here on New Year’s Eve and bought most of them for all of her cats.”  My husband thinks that somehow my stories of us having a nut-eating pet parrot turned into Crazy Cat Lady Buys Nuts among our local Walmart employees, and that’s ok with me – I could be crazy cat lady.  If only I weren’t allergic to cats…

Happy holidays from me and Walmart!

A Trip To Walmart That Made Me… Happy?!?

Posted in Everyday Life on April 27th, 2010 and tagged , , , , , ,

It’s been awhile since I’ve posted a venting complaint post about Walmart.  It seemed like every time I went there, they were changing around their prices in some way that added to their profits from my pocket – it was aggravating.  I got used to it, and I haven’t noticed anything new (or let it get to me anyway) for awhile.  Today after a very long day, I had to go to Walmart, and I actually left happy about THREE things!

1.  They had my shoes back!!  The black Brahma Bravos they haven’t carried for a  year!  It was enough to put a smile on my face and for me to give my cashier an earful about my quest for shoes.  I’ve been toiling over my shoe issue for about a year, and now I found the exact ones I wanted, for the price I wanted – YAY!!!  So tempted to buy two pair, just to put one away in case they decide to shoe-starve me again, but that would just be a waste of money…
2.  The whole reason I went to  Walmart in the first place was to find a snack for my daughter’s Kindergarten class.  Our turn to bring snack is tomorrow, and you are supposed to bring a snack that coincides with the letter they are learning about that week.  Our letter?  X – quite possibly the most difficult letter in the alphabet!  I’ve been pondering this one for a few weeks ever since the snack list came home, and I came up with nothing.  That’s why I had to make the last-minute trip to Walmart today, exhausted as I was.  So I went up and down a few aisles, searching for X snacks –  I had long since decided to settle on a snack with an X in it instead of one that started with X, so that made  it a bit easier.  Trying to also be budget conscious (there are about 20 kids in my daughter’s class), I boiled it down to 3 choices:  Trix, Chex Mix, or Stax potato chips.  Hmm, tough decision.  Of those, the cereal seemed the most healthy, although the Chex Mix had a double-x…  I could not decide.  But then again, I was up at 6:30 this morning to get to the middle school to attend a puberty talk with my daughter.  More on that later, aren’t you excited?  So I called my husband about the X snack – I was so tired, I just couldn’t figure it out.  He said to go with the Stax based on how much the kids would like it and the fact that it was the best value.  Fine.  No one ever said these had to be healthy snacks.
3.  I found a booster seat for under $15.  Ohio is one of the last states to pass that booster seat law –  you know, the one where kids under 8 years old or shorter than 4’9″ have to be in a booster seat?  Well, that would include two of our kids, and we had only 1 booster seat.  I think it’s a dumb law; sure they say it’s safer, but who funded the studies -Graco et al.?  I’m from the 80’s – you know, the era where we kids lay sprawling in the backs of the station wagons, free as birds, feeling safe as can be while our parents braved the Chicago expressways…  Me and everyone I played with in the back of our parents’ station wagons made it into adulthood just fine…  not that I’m saying it was safe, but I just spent $13 on a booster seat, so I deserve to go off a little.  But I expected to pay much more, so I was happy.  Besides, like I told Hubby, $13 is a heck of a lot cheaper than the $100+ ticket it would have cost had our kids not been in the booster.  And I have a question – what about adults who are under 4’9″?  Do they have to ride in a booster seat in Ohio?  You know what, I won’t go there – it’s rude 🙂

So, yeah.  Three reasons Walmart made me happy today; that’s unusual.  Maybe they’re messing with my brain – I had 5 items on my list and came out with a $60 bill; how could that make me happy unless they’re brainwashing me?  That must be it…

Or maybe I’m just excited to have gotten out of the puberty talk at the middle school unscathed.  My husband (bless his heart) was the only male in the room.  We asked our daughter last night if she wanted both of us, just me, or none of us to go, and she chose both.  I won’t go into detail, but it was kind of a reality check.  Man, kids sure don’t stay little for long, do they?  Luckily for us, the talk was given by the school nurse, who is also a friend of the family from our church.  She handled it wonderfully, primitive sketch and all.  And that’s all I have to say about that.  1 (puberty talk at school) down, 3 to go…

Let It Snow… Well, Just For Tonight

Posted in Everyday Life on January 7th, 2010 and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , ,

I am glad to be home.  I’ve got a nice warm cup of coffee next to me as I sit at my computer…  but don’t let my facade of relaxation fool you.  I’ve already changed 3 dirty diapers and broken up 4 squabbles in the past hour since I’ve been home, with more of both sure to come.  But my errands today went even worse – one of those days where most things, even the littlest things, are going wrong – too many things to list, and I’m exhausted.

And it’s snowing, which made everything I did today more difficult.  It depends upon the news outlet of choice; the radio says we are to get 2-4″ of snow today with another possible inch tomorrow.  I am also a fan of weather.com, who says my area is due for a possible 3-5″ today, and another 1-3″ at night.  Basically the same forecast, but I know they weren’t exaggerating this time – there are already at least 3″ of snow on the ground.  I know because I had to trudge through it, both on foot and in the car.  The roads are terrible, but walking is a breeze thanks to the boots I got a few months ago.  Well, it would be a breeze if it weren’t for all the little ones I have to bundle and re-bundle and lift out of the car at every stop.  I had so many stops to make and was so sick of the snow today that I decided to not go to the library and pick up the second Harry Potter book.  I know, it sounds great to be snowed in with a good book, especially because hubby is working all night, but it’s difficult to imagine that I will achieve any kid-less time.  I just couldn’t bring myself to make that extra stop, especially when the day’s other errands had already gone so awry.  Some of it was just plain bad luck and some had to do with the fact that all 4 kids – well, ok, 3 of them, but I’m not mentioning any names –  have been terribly behaved lately.

In what has turned into a ranting blog post of complaints, where was I?
My husband had a major issue with his work in December, so he needs to work basically whenever he’s awake to get our family back on track.  I lost my other best friend in this house in December, and it feels kind of lonely when the people you hang out with all day do nothing but poop, cry, or argue, sometimes all doing all 3 things at once.  And I started today on such a good note; where on earth would I be right now if I hadn’t?  I stayed positive this morning while I cleaned the poop out of the bathtub, and I even smiled when my son pooped again on the floor and slid on it like it was a banana peel – disgusting, that’s obvious, but you have to admit that it makes for a humorous mental picture (no one was hurt, unless you count my bathroom floor).

The trip to Walmart today went surprisingly well, even though I didn’t leave myself enough time for lunch.  But then the kids lost it as I was loading the groceries into the car, and between the yelling and the snow, I realized I was not really IN the drive-thru at McDonald’s – I was kind of taking up the drive-thru lane AND the drive-past lane simultaneously.  It was too late for me to move over, at least not until the car in front of me moved, and sure enough, there came someone squeezing past me…  I turned my head, ready for the dirty look I knew I was about to receive, and the driver did not disappoint.  He glared at me, and that’s when I saw it was a county sheriff, and I sank low in my seat – how embarrassing.  And great – I feel sorry for the other red vans that get pulled over if this guy is looking to get revenge on me; he looked awfully perturbed at my ignorance.

So then I get home, and my little boy has fallen asleep (only took 15 minutes of crying in the car), so I put him in his crib and venture back out into the snowstorm because I  forgot milk – a morning requirement in this house o’ kids.  But because it was today, and because anything that could go wrong was going wrong (remember that I’ve left out still most of the gory details), the first store I check is completely out of milk.  So I go to another place, and they do have milk, but there I run into an acquaintance with whom I am forced to make chit-chat.  Normally, I’d be ok because I like most people I meet, but there are a select few (usually those afflicted with P.A.S.) who really get on my nerves.   Enter this guy, today, one of “those days”.  But I’m nice, I’m still in a positive mood, I’ve got my milk, and I’m on my way home.  When I slide into my driveway (reminding me it has to be shoveled later), I want to sit at my computer with my cup of coffee and relax, but I decide instead to play a game of Dora Candyland with my 3-year-old because it’s something we can’t do when her brother is around and wreaking havoc.  No sooner do we get out the Candyland than her brother wakes up – great, so all I accomplished during his nap today was getting milk!  No “me” time and worse yet, no quality one-on-one time with my daughter – just errands, UGH!

Well enough ranting for now, let’s just say that I did end up with my cup of coffee and my quiet time.  But if you think the kids relented and gave me this on their own, you should read more of my blog posts because that is SO not the case.  My husband had to take a break from work and spend it with the kids.  So now it’s my turn, and my quiet time is over.  But let it snow – we don’t have anywhere to be because Girl Scouts was canceled this evening due to snow.  Maybe we can counteract some of today’s unpleasantness by spending some quality family time together tonight while we’re snowed in….  but please, not another day off school for the kids – after today, I don’t think I could handle a snow day!

Quack Doctors

Posted in Everyday Life on October 26th, 2009 and tagged , , , , , , , ,

I know I promised to stop whining about my sore mouth, but it’s amazing how little focus I have for other things when I’m not eating – all I can think about is pain and food, but sometimes I think about food and pain.  The good news is that today when I woke up, the pain was loads less than yesterday.  Today marks the first day of improvement since this thing began last Tuesday.  But there is also bad news.

Even though I was feeling better, I decided to go to the doctor because this is totally and completely interfering with my daily life.  I can’t really talk, and it’s really hard to chat with, guide, or discipline my kids throughout the day without being able to talk loudly.  I can’t eat, and I can’t drink without pain, so my energy level is very low.  So the bad news?  The doctor told me it was canker sores after only looking at my tongue.  He prescribed me “Meyer’s Magic Mouthwash”, a concoction listed on a piece of paper unlike any prescription I’ve ever seen.  It looked like a cooking recipe, and my name was scribbled on top and the doctor’s on the bottom.  I should have taken a picture of it, but I was so anxious to get it filled.  The pharmacist used a word that I can’t recall at the moment, but she basically meant that they were going to have to brew it up like a potion.  It was going to take a few hours, at least.

I got through the day, made it back over to pick up the medicine where I learned that it would be $308 and insurance wouldn’t cover it of course.  Needless to say, I am not going to buy $300 mouthwash!  I’m angry that the doctor shrugged off the internet diagnosis without so much as a look or a test for hand, foot, and mouth disease.  I’m mad that he didn’t give me anything for the pain and that the medicine he did give me costs so much.  What a waste of time and money.  I had better things to do today than to sit at the doctor’s office – and who knows what else I picked up.

That reminds me, when I was at Walmart today stocking up on my favorite meal as of late, Equate shakes, I saw a lady wearing a medical mask.  I wonder if she was trying to keep something to herself or trying to keep other viruses away?  I wonder if mask-wearing will become more common as this swine flu business becomes even more serious?

New TV!

Posted in Everyday Life, Movies on October 8th, 2009 and tagged , , , , , , , , , , ,

Last night, my husband and I decided to visit an old friend we haven’t seen  in some time – The Redbox.  You all know the Redbox – the dvd rental machine that sits like a swollen ATM at many Walmarts, Meijers, Walgreens and the like.  Dvd rental at the Redbox is $1 per night, and one of the perks of the Redbox is lack of selection.  Yes, I said lack of selection.  In this day and age of rushing from here to there, who has time to actually make an extra stop to go into a video store and browse hundreds of selections?  We really enjoyed our Redbox summer, renting a movie almost every night and exhausting pretty much the entire Redbox collection.  Now the kids have been in school for a few months already, and time has gone by without us having time to think about our long-lost Redbox bud.  So anyway, last night, with the cold wind howling outside, we thought it to be the perfect night to stay up a little too late with a random Redbox horror movie.  It was Seventh Moon, and it seemed to actually be pretty scary, except that it is a ‘dark and shaky’ type horror movie – the camera moves around a lot, and the entire movie takes place  in the dark.  We turned off our lights in the house, but we still couldn’t really see.  Remembering what a repairman had told him once, my husband suggested we take the front panel off the tv and dust a little mirror inside – supposedly we would get a brighter picture.  Thinking it sounded easy (?), I agreed and we began to unscrew our tv.  We get the panel loosened and discover that there isn’t any dust on the screen!  And, you’d be surprised at how much empty space there is in a big tv!  But anyway, we started to put it back  together when CRACK!  Uh, oh.  Here’s a hint –  if you ever decide to tackle a home improvement project on the suggestion of someone else, no matter how small the project, always remember who told you to do what so that person can be held accountable!

So we are trying to put the tv back together, and we were thinking that at this point, we would just like to go back  to our movie, however dark it might be, we just want to be able to WATCH the movie on a working tv.  But then my husband sees the small mirror at the bottom that is FULL of dust!  I rigged a paper towel rod with a dust cloth, and reached in there and dusted off that little mirror.  We tried again to put the tv back together, encouraged and excited by the fact that we might have actually been able to fix it.  We put the tv back together, but we had cracked something, so it’s not really properly lined up and is now missing a few screws, oopsie.  BUT…  the picture is SO much brighter!  Not only were we able to see the rest of the movie (which was a nice ‘n suspenseful creature feature), but now we can actually watch tv during the day!  Oh, if only we had discovered our new tv during those bright summer days months ago when the Chicago Cubs were still invited to play baseball…

Tale Of Tartar

Posted in Everyday Life on September 4th, 2009 and tagged , , , , , , , , , ,

I did not go to Walmart yesterday, but I still have enough of a complaint to sit and write a blog post about the place!  In case you’ve missed my other (many) Walmart rants, I’ll save you the search and link to a few of the various episodes depicting the times they wronged me.  Like this time.  And this time.  And this time, to name a few…

So anyway, back to last night – I needed tartar sauce for dinner and didn’t realize it until after the kids got home from school, so I ran out (for what I thought was going to be) really quick to get some.  I went to Walgreens first, but they don’t carry tartar sauce, so I went across town to Dollar General, and they don’t carry tartar sauce either.  Is this a side effect of living in a small town – it’s hard to find the things I need last minute if needed?  If so, I will gladly take it in exchange for the traffic, air pollution, and the general stress that exudes from larger cities (see hubby’s blog post about a recent news article about the most stressed cities – ew).  But most likely the apparent lack of tartar sauce in rural NW Ohio is due to scenario #2 – ever since we got a Super Walmart a few years ago, the competitors have phased out certain grocery non-necessities like tartar sauce.  Why should they carry old crusty tartar sauce when no one buys it there because everyone shops at Walmart?  I begrudgingly include myself in that category – you can read those previous posts of mine if you really want to know more about my Walmart paradox and why I shop there.  (At least my kids were never slapped by strangers, and I haven’t shown up here – yet.)

If you’re still with me – I’ve linked all over the internet in this post, so I wouldn’t be surprised if I’ve lost some people –  I’m going to blame Walmart for my lack-of-tartar-sauce problem.  And in case you’re wondering how it all turned out, it really wasn’t a problem after all.  We just convinced the kids to try ranch dressing instead of the tartar sauce, and they actually liked it – well, until the ranch dressing came out too fast and spilled and incited a tantrum that caused a chain reaction that ruined dinner, but that’s another post!  And before my comment board lights up with healthy eating advice, I’m already aware that the kids really shouldn’t grow up so sauce-dependent.  But in these parts where the kids outnumber the adults, you must adapt to survive, and “pick your battles” is essential parenting advice!

Redbox Junkies

Posted in Movies on September 2nd, 2009 and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Now that the kids are back in school (2 out of 4 anyway), I have some (stress on the some, not a lot of) extra time to sit and blog again –  something that wasn’t made a priority over our busy summer.  Among our summertime fun and adventures were many trips to the Redbox.  Surely you know what I’m referring to, for if we have such futuristic technology here in the NW Ohio boonies, then it must exist in most places.  The Redbox is a machine (about the size of a gas station ATM on steroids) that distributes $1 one-night dvd movie rentals.  You can choose a movie for $1 from any Redbox location (our small town has 3, just an example of how they are everywhere), and then you return your movie to any Redbox location by 9:00pm the next night.  We first got hooked on the concept when we were on the way back home from Florida and the kids got sick of the movies we had brought for the car dvd player (poor things!  Who’s with me from the days when we were lucky enough to bring our Walkman on the trip with a couple of tapes!) .  So  anyway – we stopped at a Redbox at a McDonald’s in Tennessee, the kids watched the movie a few times, and we returned it at a Walmart in Ohio – for just $1!  Ok, this is quickly and unintentionally turning into a plug…

So anyway, my husband and I got kind of hooked on the Redbox this summer, watching a movie almost every night – seriously!  We went through a horror phase and watched many of a series called After Dark Horror Fest: 8 Films To Die For, and even though many of the movies (there were 8 movies in the series, but the series ran multiple years) in the series were low-budget, many were actually worthy of the recognition and worth watching.  Among our favorites of the horror genre was Hack! starring none other than Danica McKellar, Winnie from the late ’80’s / early 90’s tv show The Wonder Years; as well as The Hamiltons, a surprisingly great-for-what-it-is little horror flick.

Somewhere within the mix was a forgotten (though I liked it slightly more than my husband did) Michael Moore parody (making fun of Michael Moore movies, not done by Michael Moore) and the best Redbox movie ever called Sunshine Cleaning.

I highly recommend Sunshine Cleaning.  Don’t let its similarities with another movie called Little Miss Sunshine get you confused.  The two movies share the word Sunshine in their titles, an actor (the late Alan Arkin, wonderful in both roles), and some producers – but neither their plot lines nor their characters intersect.  You can check  out Little Miss Sunshine for yourself if you haven’t already – I recommend that one as well.  But Sunshine Cleaning is less mainstream and my husband and I enjoyed it immensely.  It stars the talented Amy Adams as a single mom who, along with her flighty sister (Emily Blunt, also a really good actress), start a cleaning business, though it’s not your normal, everyday cleaning business –  they are hired to clean up extreme biological hazards, ie, crime scenes.  What follows is a heartwarming tale which takes many entertaining and at times, comedic turns.  The characters are well developed as is the plot, and the movie just makes for a well-spent evening – especially for just $1.  Again, I’m at risk here for sounding like a plug, but oh well!  Go get Sunshine Cleaning from your local Redbox – you can even reserve online for pickup before you go!