Tuesday, November 27, 2012

they call it Save a lot...

A Save-a-Lot has opened in town and I'm wondering how we afforded to eat for the last 2 years.  Sheesh!  So people in town are talking about it and wondering what it's like.  One family I know to be not paying their own grocery bill said they wouldn't go because it was so crowded.  It's been a few weeks and the town has had a chance to see what it's all about.  Today I went twice!  Both times it was very empty with the few shoppers there clearly unsure of this non Publix world.

So here's my defense of Save-a-lot.

They don't sell brand names, mostly just their own high quality brand, for half the price of what you get at the larger grocers.

It looks like a warehouse because they don't have a large staff.  The inventory comes in boxes ready to be sold out of the box, which are just stacked.

If you are living on food stamps you will never exceed the provided amount.

Customer service is very limited.  It's Save-a-Lot, not Publix.

To me Save-a-lot is like a dream.  I don't like having unlimited options, let alone having to search the length of a football field to find it.  Malls are terrible.  So many stores, how will I ever feel like I got a good deal or found what I would like best.  With just one brand of Rasin Bran, being sold for $1.99 a box, I can confidently put 5 in my cart.  I don't have to wait for sales, or buy in pairs to satisfy BOGO requirements.

Bags are not free and the cashier doesn't bag your things.  Are we not living in an eco enough time to recognize that this is good?   The strategy I use is to search for a box while I shop, like the cereal boxes, and put my items in it, in the cart.  At the check out I put my items onto the belt in a way that the cashier can easily put them back in the box as they put them in the cart.  They get rid of a box, Win!

After 2 years of trying to shop the sales and use coupons, I'm glad to just go back to the lazy way of shopping at a store that sells food for the actual price, rather than wildly inflated so it can go on "sale".

One negative about Save-A-Lot is that it's perhaps uncomfortable.  If you say you need to save money, but not that bad, you're pathetic.   If you expect 5 star service as a matter of course when you're paying 2 star prices, that's just crazy.  Service costs money!  I have enjoyed shopping at Publix, it has been a pleasure.  I'm sure I'll still go there for prescriptions and other high end items.  I am so glad to have another option now for Milk, Eggs, Bread, Cereal, etc... you know the things we eat every day.

Monday, November 26, 2012


I've been teaching recorder/music to a group of homeschool kids.  They use a very fancy recorder that doesn't need forked fingering to play Fa, so it's very intuitive to play using solfege.  I love it.  As I've been trying to explain to the children why we do this crazy thing, I've come up with some funny stories.  My favorite is to tell them that we're learning the relationships of the notes. 

Imagine you have a group of girls and boys.  Helen, Simon, Lily, Derek, and Shaylee.  We can guess at the male or female status of them based on the names.  But can you guess why Helen and Simon should not date?  Because they are related.

Imagine you have a group of kids and adult women.  We tend to memorize the children's names and simply memorize the women by their relationship to the women.

The relationship between Do, Re, Mi, Fa, Sol, La, Ti, and Do are predictable.  Mom,  Dad, Brother, Sister, Aunt Uncle tell you the relationship of each member to the others in a family.  To describe altered relationships in families we use terms like "half", or "step".  In music we use "sharp" and "flat" to describe these accidentals. 

Friday, November 23, 2012

catching the moment

 The kids took a moment on Monday to pose for me.  I don't think I took any pictures in October.  We have a nice homeschool group that meets weekly and when G doesn't have school he comes along.
 lP has figured out how to hold up the fingers to sign "I love you."  It's deliciously sweet.
 M and G took the camera and photographed themselves being silly at grandma's house.
 Don't tell them I posted these cute pictures because I scolded them for using the camera.
Our contribution to the world of Thanksgiving crafts was to make sugar cookies in the shape of hands and decorate them like turkeys.  Cute, I know.  Turns out that sprinkles are a very imprecise medium.

Monday, November 12, 2012


P comments that I never follow recipes.  Part of this is my shameless self confidence that things will work out fine because I'm such a good cook.  Part of this is that I am often unwilling to use as much butter, cheese, or whatever premium ingredient the recipe calls for.  I think I know best.  Really we eat just fine.

We went camping this weekend and parts of it were fairly miserable.  We haven't committed the resources to have a really enjoyable camping experience.  Eating our hotdogs around a flashlight rather than a lantern, freezing under our duvet rather than in sleeping bags, M wearing G's Saturday clothes because she had and accident and I didn't pack spare clothes because space was limited in our faithful compact Sentra.  We're not willing to go into debt to have a nice camping experienced, or to get  a minivan so we can always have everything we need all the time... so I can't be surprised that sometimes I don't have a great outing.

I am grateful that P and I(myself rather than some mysterious new person whose name starts with I) are willing to commit the resources for a happy marriage.  It is miraculous how often one of us needs the other to jump in when we're feeling grumpy and un-enthused about the screaming.  And it is even more miraculous that we have not yet in 12 years of marriage had a complete break down in this juggling act.  Awesome.

I learned on the camping trip to bring a string of Christmas lights, rather than a lantern.  String them up and you've got general lighting and mood!  I've got Christmas lights.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Back from staycation

I've been having a few bad weeks of health and motivation.  So my main room has been scattered with a daily smattering of toys etc...  I didn't have any visitors that my health, and busy schedule couldn't dispel.  Also, I was sucked into the vortex of the last 3 novels in my favorite series.  It would have been worse if I had all 5 books.  Bad enough with 3.  So except for reading, and cooking, I was on staycation. 
But now I'm back and I got things cleaned up and even vacuumed.   Also, it was cold last week.  Cold as in 50 some days.  I know, we're wimpy Floridians.  But it warmed up today and even though my neck is still not sure it wants to stay with this body, I was able to muster some energy to get some chores done.  I don't suffer from a perfectionists dilemma of "Clean All The Things".  I just do what I want, shamelessly, grateful for P's patience.