Monthly Archives: July 2009

Shopping Tips

Have you ever wondered if you might save time by shopping really early in the morning–thereby missing out on the crowded checkout lanes, etc?

Short answer: No. At least, not in Moses Lake. 
First of all, Safeway doesn't open until five. FIVE. I know. The gall of some corporations.
Walmart, on the other hand, is open, and the aisles are crowded with helpful salespeople eager to know if you've found everything you need. (I know this stretches the limits of credibility, but it's true–they only come out at night.)The problem is, none of those helpful people seem to have been trained to work at the checkout. If you can grab a couple of other early-bird shoppers and agree amongst yourselves to make your line look extra long, an especially alert aisle-wanderer might notice and call for an official checker. Otherwise, you might as well lay down on your cart of s'more ingredients and take an early nap. 

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My six-year-old has been waking at the break of dawn every day for a week. Running upstairs, then creeping back down. Hmmm. 
This morning I was out on the lookout when he raced into the kitchen. He took inventory of the various camping supplies I've started to assemble and then started back down the stairs before catching sight of me. 
"Whatchya up to?" I asked him. 
"Well," he said. "Every morning I check to see if the food is still there–and then I know you didn't go to the cabin without me."
"We wouldn't go to the cabin without you!"
"I know, but I might be really hard to wake up, and then you might not notice."
Vote of confidence from the peanut gallery. Maybe he's noticed the size of the baggage under my eyes lately–if he only knew I've developed allergies to the very air I breathe (apparently) and is worried about my mental health. Maybe? Who am I kidding? He thinks I'm a lost cause. 

We are (read: Mom is)  trying to pack for a two-week camping trip, for eight people. Food for ten-ish. (Two of them are over 65, will only be there 5 days, and may or may not eat much, but one doesn't want to discount them entirely in the menu, correct?)

Whatever gave me the idea this would qualify as a vacation?
We don't have enough clothing to live in civilization for a week without doing laundry–therefore I'll be doing laundry in the river no matter how much I pack, so . . .  I'm thinking we'll really keep the baggage to a minimum and just take a clean change of clothing for the trip home.  They can wash themselves and their clothes in the river every morning, at the same time–right?
Set that one to agitating for now, on to food. Do you have any idea how much food it takes to feed eight people for two weeks? How much ice to keep it cool? Because I'm not willing to live on packaged/preserved food for two weeks.
Best of all, departure is scheduled for thirty minutes after the last children leave tomorrow. You know what I'll be doing tonight.
On a brighter note–the forecast where we're headed is at least twenty degrees cooler than here every day we'll be gone. Ahhhh. We've been sweating through triple digits the last few days and it's going to get hotter. 
And with any luck, whatever allergen is in the air here right now here won't be there.

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Boogers, Lost and Found

There was a box of Boogers on my counter this morning. 

I have no idea where they came from, but the label promises that all 3.5 tangy ounces were "Picked Out Especially For You!" and  that they "Look and Feel Real!"
I haven't been brave enough to look inside, yet, to verify such a thing. I started to, but just touching the box induced my gag reflex, and so I moved them across the room. 
So far nobody has claimed ownership.

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Got Stress?

I read an article that claimed men can suffer for up to an hour after a rush of cortisol (the stress hormone) while women can suffer for several days. But for some reason, the researcher made no comment on this statistic; applied it to none of her conclusions about male/female relationships. 

So here's the deal–you aren't imagining things! When you have an argument or experience a stressful event, your husband really does roll over and go to sleep leaving you to hyperventilate all night, all by yourself. They are hardwired to do this. 
I pointed this research out to my husband. That he can go to sleep any hour of any day he wants, because he has this incredible ability to overcome the cortisol "hangover" as it were, so quickly. He disagreed; "No," he said, "I think it's because I don't have arguments. I keep my mouth shut."
So true. He doesn't argue. With anyone. In his contracting days, when customers didn't pay him, he walked away. I'd stay awake all night composing threatening letters in my head. He doesn't attend social functions and never answers the telephone. When intruders breach the threshold of his castle, he retreats into the farthest recesses. It's a peaceful existence. And as for those of us he can't avoid altogether–well, he's right. He keeps his mouth shut. 
Which brings us to the next topic of the article–a man's tendency to clam up when we want to talk. That's hardwired, also. Talking about problems makes them worse for him. (Granted, if we believed we could solve any problem in less than an hour by just avoiding it altogether, maybe we would too!)
Here's my question–if the hormonal/chemical effects of a stressful event last days in women, when are we ever not suffering from elevated levels of cortisol? Really–do you ever go days at a time without a stressful event? 
How do we survive
Although, when I went to the dentist a few weeks ago my blood pressure was 70/42. The hygienist joked that no wonder I could do daycare, with blood pressure that low–who knows, if cortisol raises blood pressure, maybe I need more than my misanthropic counterpart, just to stay conscious. Maybe a stress-free life would kill me.
So here's to the tattletales, the whiners, the climbers, the dumpers, all the checkers at Safeway and the employees of the US government–bring it on! A girl's got to survive.

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On my way home from returning a DVD rental this weekend, I realized that not only had I not stopped at the video store to return the rental, it was still at home by the door. I did, however, pick up those ten gallons of milk and had filled up my gas tank. Since I was out returning the DVD, anyway. . .

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Sleep (or The Interruption Thereof)

Two nights running now, I've woken at two a.m. Wide awake, and itchy. Everywhere. Inside and out. The roof of my mouth, my eyeballs, inside my throat. I have to disrobe in order to scratch the most maddening spots on my thighs. Random episodes of violent sneezing. 

I'm beginning to look a little owl-eyed, but I'm getting a lot done with all this extra time on my hands.  Finished a novel. Sorted the silverware into spoon/knife/fork bins. For about six months now, we've just dumped the silverware basket from the dishwasher directly into the drawer. Why sort when it's all going to be used at the next meal? (Seventy-five pieces of silverware. Twenty-three different patterns. Where are all my spoons?) Threw away at least a third of the things in my kitchen cabinets. 
I don't do well with antihistimines, so no, I haven't taken any.
On another note:
Specifically the bright yellow note I affixed to the door leading from the main house into the day care, about thirty minutes into nap time today, (after exactly seven episodes of door opening/shutting/waking small people) that reads: STAY OUT. 
Who do they think I wrote the note for? Clearly everyone who reads it feels that they are the exception. 
The ten-month old has just woken, and is sitting in the middle of the floor, singing. The kid's got volume, if nothing else. Good thing she's so darn cute. And she is. I think this is my favorite age–just beginning to crawl, irresistibly clever and funny. Pure humor–they have no jealousy, no self-consciousness, no inhibitions. Pure joie de vivre. And lots of drool.

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"Mom, can we watch a movie tonight?"

"Ummm. Yes, if you clean the bathrooms first. You two on this one, You two clean that one."
So off they go, cleaners, rags, brooms. Pretty soon I overhear one of the older boys ask the youngest brother, in a voice that clearly intimated baby bro was a hopeless imbecile: 
"What are you doing?!!!!!!
"Cleaning the toilet."
"Why? Mom didn't say clean the toilets, she said clean the bathrooms!"

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