One Grocery Shopping Trip, Three Unexpected Observations

When they ask you, my gentle readers, when did you first notice that Ally Bean was beginning to fray around the edges, please point them to this.

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OBSERVATION #1 {inside the grocery store}

Our store is having what I’ll call a re-shelving extravaganza in the middle of the store.  I don’t know why they’re re-setting the store, but many items that were somewhere on a shelf, are now somewhere else, often many aisles away.

I couldn’t find the crystalized ginger which was part of the healthy food department, so I asked an employee where it might be now.

Without a hint of irony the employee said: “It’s in aisle 7, under the sign that says Meat Snacks.”

And so there it was, by the beef jerky. 🤨

OBSERVATION #2 {in the grocery store parking lot}

Leaving the store walking to my car, I noticed a bumper sticker on a newish SUV with a license plate that said it was from this county.  The vehicle appeared to have kid stuff in the back seat.

I mention the possible kid angle because the bumper sticker was, to my way of thinking, a bit coarse for a family vehicle around here in this God-fearing politically conservative community.  I wasn’t clutching my pearls because of it, but I was surprised.

In large letters visible from far away the bumper sticker said: BERNIE F*ck This Sh!t.  [I’ve modified the message because this is still a PG-13 blog, but you get the gist of what it said.]

And so there it was, on a vehicle parked next to the cart corral for all to see. 🙁

Observation #3 {driving home from the grocery store}

Driving home, slowing down to make a righthand turn at the light, I noticed that on the large community calendar electronic sign in front of the fire station there were three words that seemed out-of-place.

While we live in an upscale subdivision, most of this township and county are less well-off and rural;  hence the conservative MAGA political nature of things around here.  Thus when I saw what I saw I was bemused, but slightly baffled.

Not because of anything rude, but because I cannot fathom why the community calendar electronic sign in front of the fire station said: “Et tu, Miami?”

And so there it was, a classic Latin phrase made famous by Shakespeare + a reference to the North American Indian Algonquian people. 🤔

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So, things making sense where you are? Or are things slightly off-kilter everywhere you look?

Let Us Talk Lettuce: Roaming For Romaine

Walking into the grocery store, my list in hand, looking for first item on my list, green leaf lettuce.

Am about to grab some green leaf lettuce when I’m approached by young woman, early 20s, cute in a confused but earnest way, who asks me if she can ask me a question.

And so the conversation began…

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HER: I’m supposed to buy my dad some romaine lettuce.

{pause}

ME: Yes…

{pause}

HER: I don’t understand where the romaine lettuce is…

ME: It’s down the way to our–

HER: This isn’t romaine lettuce, is it?

[She has a plastic bag filled with something green and leafy.  She puts the plastic bag directly in front of my face, about 6″ in front of my eyes… because I’m old, I guess, and she wants to make sure that I can see what is in the bag.]

ME: No, that’s Napa cabbage.  It’s not romaine lettuce.

HER: This is CABBAGE?  In the lettuce department?

ME: Yes, it’s leafy and looks sort of like romaine lettuce, but it’s cabbage… and won’t work if you’re looking for lettuce.

{pause}

HER: What does it taste like?

ME: Cabbage.

{pause}

HER: Is that lettuce?  It’s red.

ME: Yes, that’s red leaf lettuce.  It’s lettuce… as is the green leaf lettuce beside it that I’m going to buy.

HER: Lettuce can be RED?

ME: Yes.

{pause}

HER: I don’t understand lettuce.  How do you know which one is which?

ME: There are little tags on the shelves below each kind of lettuce that tell you what it is.

[She takes the opportunity to turn her head sideways and notice the little tags, reading a few of them.]

HER: Huh. That’s helpful.

ME: Yes it is.  Now if you go down the way to our right–

HER: LOOK AT THAT! The tag says Napa cabbage.  That’s what I picked up.

ME: Uh huh.  Down the way, to our right, there are bags of–

HER: What am I going to do with this Napa cabbage that I don’t want?

ME: Put it back. On the shelf. With all the other Napa cabbages.

{pause}

HER: I can do that?

ME: Yes, and down the way, to our right, there are bags of romaine lettuce that have three–

HER: THREE!!! Yes, that’s what my dad said.  Bags of three. Where are they?

ME: Down the way. To our right, where the big sign talks about–

HER: Yes, yes.  I see it.  How did I miss it?  Thanks.

[She scampers off to buy a bag of romaine lettuce, leaving me to finish my sentence, unheard and definitely unheeded.]

ME: — where the big sign talks about the current dangers surrounding consumption of romaine lettuce.

~ The End ~

No Salt For You: A Circular Dinnertime Conversation Between The Married People

You know how in the movies married couples have these amazing heart-to-heart conversations over a home-cooked meal? We’re not like that.

Our conversations are more like a Looney Tunes cartoon.

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Me, putting a plate of hot food in front of him: Don’t want any salt on your dinner.

Him: Ok.

Me, sitting down to eat: How does it taste?

Him: Tastes good. It doesn’t need salt.

Me: Good. Then you don’t want any salt on it.

Him, giving me an odd look: Yes, I don’t want any salt on my dinner.

Me: Excellent.

Him, still staring at me: Yep, quite tasty as it is.

Me: Uh huh.

Him: ARE YOU EVER GOING TO TELL ME WHY I CAN’T HAVE ANY SALT ON MY DINNER?

Me: Oh, sorry, you don’t know. We’re out of salt so don’t want any salt on your dinner.

Him: You’ve said that.

Me, distracted by the merry-go-round of thoughts in my brain: What?

Him: I don’t want any salt on my dinner.

Me: Well, good. That’s what I told you to do.

Him, giving me a sidelong glance: Yep, you did. Happy to cooperate. Wouldn’t want any salt on my dinner… oh. no. I. wouldn’t.

Me, half listening: Uh huh… what? Ok.

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Could it be that The Merry-Go-Round Broke Down is the Looney Tunes Theme? Why by golly, it is.

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That’s all Folks!

My Week: First There’s No, Then There’s Yes

From the title of this post… you might infer that I’m going to talk about how to be a better sales person.

I could do that.  I worked in sales for years and know a thing or five about how to manipulate encourage buyers to say “yes” to whatever it is you’re selling.

But that’d be boring for you, my gentle readers.

And honestly as an introvert, I try to forget about those years when I dragged greeting card sales samples around with me and drove all over everywhere and made cold calls.

*shudder*

So instead of babbling about… sales strategies, today I’m going to share some photos that explain, in a silly way, the lows and highs of my week.

Sometimes I feel like nuanced thinking does not exist and I live in a suburban morality play that centers around a simple dichotomy of No or Yes.

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NO: Seen by the side of the trail in the park, this box suggested that I’d find a Magical Gem inside it.  It was empty.

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YES: Found in the Kroger parking lot, these pennies were just laying on the ground.  I snatched them up anticipating 23 days of good luck for me.

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NO: Growing wild in the forest primeval behind our house, this daffodil had no interest in being photographed.

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YES: Sitting pretty in our foyer, this particular nosy tulip peeked around the corner into the hallway to watch me in the kitchen.

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NO: Seen on a parked car bumper, this sticker spoke to me, explaining why lately I feel like I’m stuck in a causality loop.

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YES: Changing each night in the sky above, the moon has been visible lately, reminding me that things move at their own pace… so be chill.

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At The Pharmacy: But I Don’t Like This Answer, Said She

Never ask a question until you are prepared to hear an answer.  

That’s basic communication theory and common sense, I do believe.

Lawyers know this.  Teachers know this.  Police detectives know this.

Bloggers come to know this, usually the hard way.

Ask a question you assume you know the answer to: “Don’t you agree that Muskrat Love is the worst song ever?”  You may think that everyone will say: “Yes!”  But I’ll guarantee you that someone in the comments will say “No” and then explain why it’s their favorite song of all time.

• • •

Anyhoo, getting to the point of this post, I found myself laughing at myself because I asked a question to which I was not prepared to hear the answer.

OH. NO. I. WASN’T.

You see, I was at the pharmacy picking up my prescription.  It was the first time this year that I had it refilled.

The worried look on the pharmacy tech’s face probably should have warned me, but when she said: “oh, your prescription has gone up in price” I instantly said: “how much?”

Trust me when I say I was not prepared to hear the answer to my question.  An answer that was: “oh, 200%– or a little more.”  

HUH?

I didn’t throw a hissy fit, nor did I get upset with this pharmacy tech, she’s just the messenger of bad news.  I went ahead and bought this medicine that technically I could live without;  I need the script to see straight in a comfortable way, not in a life or death way.

But I will say that I was shocked by the answer to my question, and kind of startled into remembering that no matter where you go, or what you do, the answer to your question may not make you happy.

COMMON SENSE, RE-LEARNED.

In Which The Beans Discuss The TV Remote Control, Unnecessary Complexity Of Said

ZEN-DEN POLITELY EXPLAINED TO ME that I needed to re-frame my irritation.  That I had to let my mind embrace a new way of thinking about some of the little daily irritations that bug the snot out of me.

“Chickiedoodle,” he said, “it’s all just dust in the wind. Insignificant.”

[Yes, he sometimes call me Chickiedoodle.  Grow up people, we’re married & cutesy nicknames happen.]

“It’s not worth worrying about these small things.  I respect your feelings about them, and you’re right– but you gotta let it go.”

There’s a reason why he’s called ZEN-Den, you know.  He can get mellow, philosophical at the interconnectedness of life, almost without trying.  Little things in daily life don’t bug him so much.

But me?  I see the faults.  I remember the faults.  And then I tend to mutter.

Which is how this conversation started.

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Artist’s rendering of sensible TV remote control that has only what is needed on it, written in large letters and numbers.

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YOU SEE, I WANTED TO watch something on cable TV, but I was once again thwarted by the unnecessary complexity of our remote control.

Hence, I was muttering to Z-D about how ridiculous it is that to turn on the television one does not use the “TV” button on the remote control.  No, one uses something called “Input” while ignoring the button that you’d think logically turns on the television.

But it doesn’t.

And if by chance you forget and hit the logical “TV” button, then everything goes wonky on the screen, and you’re left not watching television because you, a woman who dislikes gadgety things on principle, can’t remember how to turn on the darned television.

So I end up not watching cable TV, while complaining loudly about the intentionally irritating nonsensical TV remote control.

Dust in the wind?  Not buying it.

It’s a conspiracy to drive me crazy crazier.

In Which Ms. Bean Finds A Recipe & Makes It Her Way

Saw the recipe. Thought it sounded good.

Made the recipe using ingredients I had on hand.  Ingredients that were close enough to those listed in the recipe.

Similar.

Didn’t have apple cider, so used pomegranate juice instead.  Most of a small bottle.

Didn’t have the specific aromatic spices required so substituted Penzey’s mulling spices.  Put about a teaspoon of them in a tea ball, so I wouldn’t have to strain the mess through cheesecloth later.

Lazy, but thinking ahead.

Didn’t have a clementine in the house.  Contemplated using a grapefruit, that was in the house, but decided that the tanginess of the pomegranate juice would not be improved with grapefruit zest in this recipe.

Also, I’m a messy zester, thus it came to be that no citrus was added.

Didn’t have any fresh ginger, so used crystallized ginger.  Two pieces.

Didn’t have the requisite amount of castor sugar, so used the end of the cane sugar in the bottom of the sugar bowl.  About three tablespoons.

Probably.

Put tea ball with spices into juice in a saucepan.  Brought the mess to a boil, allowing it to simmer on the stove top for a while.  Took out tea ball, added sugar.  Mixed mess around until sugar dissolved, then let sweetened mess simmer on very low heat until it thickened into a syrup.

The result?

Delicious, drizzled on fresh fruit salad. Or added, a splash at time, to a glass of red wine.

The recipe?

Vaguely adhered to.

The friend’s response?

Shock + dismay that I didn’t follow the recipe as written, but a request for the recipe exactly as I made it.

As if I have any idea… 🙄

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QUESTION OF THE DAY

Do you follow recipes precisely as written OR do you wing it as you go along?

And how does that work out for you?

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