Small town service

Even though we don’t exactly live in a small town, I’m still impressed with the kindness and considerate service we receive at our favorite local grocery. Whenever we go there, everyone is thoughtful and friendly, helpful beyond what is normally experienced in today’s anonymous laden shopping experience. Today however, they were helpful beyond measure. If you can shop at a Fareway, do it!

I got all our groceries for a couple of weeks, carefully choosing what is most nutritious while at the same time keeping an eye on the bottom line. After 45 minutes or so, I was more than ready to check out. The cashier rang up all my groceries, and then…

my debit card was declined. Then declined again. And again. I was starting to feel quite nervous and embarrassed, especially as I had no alternative form of payment with me. No cash, no checkbook, not even a back up credit card. I was sure that it was somehow my fault, as I hadn’t checked our bank balance before I left. The cashier was kind and gentle, the man who was patiently waiting to carry out my “purchases” was not even rolling his eyes or shifting his weight from side to side, and the cashier at the adjoining register even came over to see if she could help. I said, “That’s ok, I’m just going to come back later and shop again.” They wouldn’t hear of it. Finally, after standing there for an eternity, they paged the manager over my protestations.

He tried the card again, it was declined again. I was feeling smaller and poorer by the second. They wrote me out a charge slip, and all I had to do was sign.

On the basis of my good name, they trusted that I would come back at a later time and pay for the groceries. I was dumbfounded, and ever so thankful.

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Definitely not one of my brightest ideas

I got out this box of Styrofoam peanuts for Aviana to play in. I said, “Now let’s keep the peanuts in the box or the tub. We can’t get any on the floor, because we don’t want Brielle to choke on them.” I turned to put the baby in the exersaucer, just in case.

In case of this! I snapped a few pictures in hopes I could see the humor in the situation, but I was just too darn irritated to really enjoy myself. Aviana was enjoying herself immensely however.

Oh, and what in the world is my ragamuffin toddler wearing, you may be asking yourself. I had put Brielle in overalls, and Miss A wanted to wear some too. She found this pair of Brielle’s overalls in the wardrobe they share, and insisted they would fit. I insisted they wouldn’t. Finally I said, fine, try to put them on, see for yourself. I guess we were both right.

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Stormy weekend

We had an ice storm this weekend, topped with some snow.

We lost some branches, and we’ll have to fix the netting over the chicken pen as it came crashing down when a branch fell on it, but other than that, no lasting damage. The cattle got out on Sunday morning–with the electric fences not working, they thought they would just roam a bit. They eagerly followed Kevin right back into captivity when he went out to feed them.

Our power finally came back on around 10 Sunday, after 18 hours. Not too bad. Kind of an adventure. I’d like to get a gas fireplace or wood so we’d be warmer if that ever happened again. We do have a propane heater in our playroom, so we camped out in there.

Kevin and the girls went to bed around eight thirty, while I stayed “up” and organized some pictures by candle light. We have three kerosene lamps and tons of candles, so I could see fairly well. I can totally understand why our ancestors went to bed so early though.

I took all the pictures that were at least halfway in focus and of worthy subjects out of the magnetic, horrible for pictures albums from Kevin and Connie’s childhoods, and put them in a regular album, for now. The plan is to pin down my mother-in-law to tell me stories to go with the pictures, and eventually get that recorded with the pics. The first twenty years of Kevin’s life are now in one album.

It’s pretty funny comparing how much picture taking has changed–I have four very thick 12 x 12 scrapbooks, two picture boxes and one 600 photograph album of Miss A’s first two years!

Back then, there were a few pictures of Christmas, Connie’s birthday in February, maybe Easter, Kevin’s birthday in July, maybe one on the first day of school, and perhaps a few incidentals, like of a new tractor, a huge cauliflower, really deep snow, or downed trees from a windstorm, and that was one year.

Sunday, all four of us went with Kevin to deliver papers at two in the afternoon–there were, of course, people waiting for it. I’ll never understand the obsession some people have with their paper. One guy was actually on his way to buy one at the convenience store, even though he has a subscription.

The roads are actually worse today, as now it’s completely frozen. We got our Saturday mail delivered to us at 7;30 this morning!

Pretty boring weekend all in all, but I’m still super tired. The girls didn’t sleep well, but at least no one wet the bed (although she did fall out of it!)

My mom is coming up today which will be so welcome.

If you have a good bean soup recipe, I’d love to have it. I’m looking for one online right now, but I may be out of luck for today since I forgot to soak the beans overnight. It just sounds like a comforting food for an icy bleak Monday, so maybe I’ll make potato soup or grilled cheese instead.

What’re your favorite comfort foods?

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‘Cuz I know you’ve been in picture withdrawal

Aviana is sound asleep. She can barely hold still, even while slumbering.

Winter time uses for pool noodle:

We also limboed–todler style, did a marching game, and balanced it. Fun for all (and an energy burner to boot, which is always a plus.)

A ploy for a bath:
Really. I was obviously not supervising as well as needed, and she painted herself because she wanted to take a bath. Luckily, the power had come back on by that point and I could give her one.

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Friday Five or Fewer

I will read and re-read and read again:

1-Quick Cooking (now called Taste of Home’s Simple and Delicious) and Country magazines
I plan my menus from my Quick Cooking magazine stash. I’ll pull out the appropriate month (really, any month would be fine, but the winter months tend to underscore comforting stews and warm breads, while summer months feature grill recipes and fresh fruit–I love a bit of seasonality in my food!) , choose several recipes, make my grocery list based on those recipes ane we’re golden for two or three weeks. I prefer a list instead of a “Monday it’s Meatloaf and Tuesday it’s Southwestern Chicken” kind of a format. Then I don’t feel tied down to one option, and can still make what I feel like making.

And Country: LOVE IT! Gorgeous photography, regular down home people, no models or advertising, high standards and morals, good old country values, funny quips and quotes, poignant and entertaining articles: LOVE IT!

2—Books by Max Lucado
Bring me closer to God. Help me rethink, reevaluate, reorganize my internal meter

3—Baby Blues
Funny before I had children, absolutely fall out of my chair (that only happened once) hilarious now

4—The Mitford Series
Sweet, without being cloying, laugh out loud funny, enjoyable characters, scenery (at least in my head) that would blow your mind, fabulous plots with meaningful messages and lessons, and it’s odd I love these so much because the protagonist is a 60 year old Episcopalian priest, and I just don’t have a lot in common with a 60 year old Episcopalian priest.

5—Greeting cards
I have several cards sent to me saved that I’ll go back through when I’m feeling out of sorts, but if I’m feeling really surly, it’s a good time to give me 20+ minutes in a card shoppe and voila– I walk out a whole new person!

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Sweet sleep!

Guess everyone was worn out by the traveling! Kevin’s unwakable in the recliner, Brielle is a lead weight in my arms and Aviana went to bed without a fight. She fell asleep on the way over to Grandma’s house (a two mile trip!) at 11:30 and Grandma rocked her back to sleep for a 2 1/2 hour nap which closely resembled Brielle’s marathon sleep back at home.

I, on the other hand, am wakeful and content. Kevin gave me the night off and I went out to dinner with dear friends and cruising the mall. We complained about Victoria’s Secret and dished on our husbands, got mall food and coffee, looked at clothes we would never wear, and some we would, reminisced about the 80’s, tried out perfumes and kvetched about kids.

I got a catalogue and a Biblezine. Never heard of that? Me either. It’s a New Testament designed to look like a magazine, with other articles and photos in addition to the Bible text. I plan to keep it next to the nursing chair & look through it instead of catalogues.

Although, I must say I do love a good browse through a catalogue. Especially L.L.Bean and J. Crew. Everyone looks so outdoorsy and fresh. I want to be out on the front porch of my log cabin in my cute flannel, long johns and boots, hair attractively touseled, my mug of steaming coffee in hand, watching my adorable husband carry wood for our fire clad in his equally cute flannel, long johns and boots, while our precious children play merrily in the snow that is not too cold or wet, before coming in to cozy under a wonderfully detailed comforter (preferably monogrammed) to string cranberries and popcorn for the birds.

I just love the world inside my head. Don’t you?

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She wuvs me bester

Aviana has recently been refusing to let her daddy help her with anything, always loudly protesting, “Mama do it!”. Well, that’s not completely true, she will acquiesce to letting him carry her into the Dairy Queen for a tasty treat, or going to get her warm milk and honey.

I was trying to discuss this with her, as much as one can discuss anything with someone whose age can still be measured in months, and asked her why she is so mean to her daddy.

She said, “Betuz I wuv you bester.”

Which is obviously better than best.

While I ache for my sweet husband who absolutely adores our little brat, I can’t help but feel all melty inside.

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