Sunday, January 31, 2010

Dear Dillards....

Please speak to your employees about talking to me when ringing up my purchases. I found the sheets on my own just fine. I found the very cute little pink travel pillow that my daughter liked without any trouble. I also found it very rude when your sales associate asked me if the travel pillow was for my granddaughter. Even at my age it would be PUSHING IT for me to have an 8 yr old granddaughter.

To make matters worse, I had just touched up my gray AND was wearing my new Bare Minerals foundation.

Don't be upset if I drive out of town to buy my sheets at Macy's from now on.

Sincerely,

Debra @ September Acres

PS. My husband found much humor in this...

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Food 101...


Did you catch 'Oprah' yesterday? It was all about food. The down and dirty about food and where it comes from. It should keep me from eating. But it probably won't. Darn...
Really though it makes you think about what you put in your body. I am a firm believer in food being really critical to our health - I think so many things can be helped with the right diet (I am not a doctor and don't play one on TV; this is just my opinion) -type 2 diabetes, headaches, stomach aches, puffiness, etc. I know how I feel when I eat well and I know how I feel when I don't. And sometimes (lots of times honestly) I don't eat well.
This show may change that. The author of the book Food Rules' , Michael Pollan, was on. I love some of his rules:
  • Don't eat anything your great grandmother wouldn't recognize as food (no Cheetos!)
  • Don't eat anything with ingredients a third grader can't pronounce.
  • Eat meat of animals who themselves have been fed a healthy diet.
  • Eat as much junk food as you like, just make it yourself (make your own french fries)

There are many more rules, those are just a few that stuck with me.

The thing that I think affected me the most was the story about the beef & chicken. We've all heard the stories of them being cooped up unable to roam, not getting outside at all, gaining tons of weight in a short time (getting a bigger bird more quickly). Seeing the pictures was the worst. I will look into buying grass fed beef and free range chickens. I am not sure what I will find in my small town or how it will fit into our budget but I am on the look out for it. I eat meat but I have always tried not to think about where it comes from and what happens to it before it gets to our table. Now I can't shake the scenes I saw today. Most of them came from a movie called 'Food Inc' which apparently we all need to see. Oprah viewers can get it at Amazon for $9.99 until Friday night.

On another subject I just have to say this: GOOD FOR YOU ELIZABETH EDWARDS.

It looks like she finally had enough of that good for nothing scoundrel she has stood by for years. No one knows the nitty gritty and there are two sides to every story (wouldn't you love to know his??) but I am sure it was hard for her to do this. I need to say that I do not encourage divorce and personally would do what I could to avoid it so I am not cheering her on because I think divorce is great. It will surely be hard on her and her kids and it may seem like she's throwing in the towel but her life on this earth may be nearing it's end and she should go out and enjoy what she's got left. Oh, and I read that he is 'extraordinarily sad' over their split. Should have thought about that a few years ago, huh buddy?

That's all...

Monday, January 25, 2010

A simple pleasure...

Wander through a hardware store.
Even if there's nothing you need today, there's always tomorrow.
~H Jackson Brown

I LOVE going to Lowe's (or Home Depot or Ace, but Lowe's is my favorite) just to look. I especially love looking at the paint dept, and the kitchen and bath areas. I could spend hours there. Enter the husband who goes in, gets what he needs and drags me out of there much too fast.

We had to go out on Saturday to get 8 ft fluorescent bulbs (fun, huh?). Yes, I was excited! There was also some speculation that we might be needing a new dryer soon. I heard a noise and smelled a smell last week. Our dryer is 10 yrs old so it's not out of the realm of possibilities that a new one would be needed soon. It's been 10 yrs since I last shopped for a dryer and boy have things changed. Everything is so fancy. So many choices and all those pretty, pretty colors. The sales man was very nice and helpful, educating us on the latest dryer info.

I picked up a $14 vent cleaning brush set and hoped that, for now, that's all I would need. So far so good...

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Eight...

Little Miss turned eight last weekend. Eight. I am not quite sure where the years have gone. I say that every year. She had a slumber party with a Barbie theme. I decided to make a handbag cake and ended up totally copying this one. I thought it turned out cute and so did everyone else. I don't even think they noticed it leaning to the right.
Here's a picture of LM upon seeing her gift. My parents took her for a few hours on Sat morning so my husband and three of his friends could put it up without her seeing it. As you can see, she loved it. I am quite enjoying it too.
Another year ahead of us. Wonder what it will bring?
PS. I am linking up to Life as Mom's cake roundup. Take a look at some of these great cakes!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Light on...

It has been rainy and dreary here all week. The other afternoon I realized how dark it was on one side of our living room. We only had 2 lamps which really wasn't sufficient. I really hate rooms with bad lighting. And I had one. We have overhead lights but I don't like them on unless it's really necessary. Even then it's not the same as a lamp.
Above is the area before the lamp (you can see it there in the photo but I kept it off so you could see what it was like before)
Here it is with the light on (I took the lamp from our bedroom so I'll have to replace it pretty soon). What a difference light makes.
Like I said, we have had rain all week. Since Monday. This is very rare for us. Two, three days tops of drizzle is the norm a few times a year. We are now on day four and with the exception of Monday it has been rain, not drizzle. LM does not own a rain coat or rain boots but she really could have used them today. Really. Looks like we still have another day or two of this.
I know, this is nothing like living in the north where this rain would be snow but we're not used to it. And did I mention that I kind of need new windshield wipers? Of course...

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

(Baby) Facebook...

This morning I took LM to school and waited with her for the bell to ring. While we were waiting LM's friend, H, asked me "Can LM be on Facebook?"

UM, "NO" (as in h*** no, although I would never say it- just thought it), I said.

"M is on it to", says H

"No, I don't think so", I reply. (I THOUGHT, well M also has her hair colored so I am not surprised at all)

Tell me then, are all 7 year olds on Facebook? Is this the norm these days? If they do this now, what will they have to look forward to when they are older? Am I just too old to 'get it'? Should I have been born 100 years ago? Is it just me?

I'd love to hear others' thoughts....

Eat from the Pantry Challenge-Week 3

This past week was a little different since it was Little Misses birthday and we had a slumber party on Saturday (I'll post some pics from that later). Other then what seemed like 20 lbs of butter cream frosting, some veggies, fruit, ground beef (on sale) and candy for the party I really didn't buy much. This week will likely be pretty much the same - just some perishables toward the end of the week.

Here's the menu:
  • Sunday- over to my parents for LM's birthday (this was a change from last week's plan)
  • Monday- leftover pizza & veggies from LM's party
  • Tuesday- Spaghetti and a veggie platter
  • Wednesday- Chicken, rice, green beans and corn
  • Thursday-sandwiches (hockey night)
  • Friday- Breakfast for dinner
  • Saturday- LM has a sleepover so we will probably go out
  • Sunday- steak, potatoes, sauteed mushrooms, salad

I used all my grocery money this week but I think that's because of the party. I am hoping I can go one more week without much purchasing.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Think before you speak...

This post sort of relates to my last one as it hits on one of my pet peeves: personnel (this time at the bank) that do not remember you even though you have dealt with said employee umpteen times.

I had to go to the bank today to open an account. When I arrive one of the employees greets me (nice gesture), asks what she can help me with and then says "You look familiar".

Let's see, I may look familiar because I have been banking here for 10 years & you have been here for about 4 or 5 of them. Or could it possibly be that I am at the bank 3-4 times each week making deposits? Or could it be that you wait on me at least once a week? Gosh, what could it be?

Of course I was kind of dumbfounded when she said this. I replied by saying that I am in the bank several times a week & THEN, it slipped out, honest, I said "I can't believe you said that". It was early, she was the first person I encountered and it just slipped out. But it's also how I really felt. Then she went on about how I look different in the drive thru (I use that sometimes and she often waits on me). Funny, she doesn't look any different in that little window.

When I finally got to meet with the personal banker she said "Hi, long time no see. How have you been?"

That's more like it....

Monday, January 18, 2010

Dear Retailers...

Thank you, but NO, I do not want to go home and log on to your website to take a survey about how I was treated in your store today and be entered in to a drawing to win a bazillion dollar gift card.

No, I would rather you spend your dollars training your employees to be kind, helpful, effective, knowledgeable and interested instead. If you do that you will know how I feel because I will keep coming back and spending my hard earned money in your store.

Let's bring back REAL customer service, okay?

Sincerely,

Debra @ September Acres


Does anyone else out there feel like this?


Friday, January 15, 2010

House Hunter...

LM's birthday party is this weekend so I was in the playroom trying to clean up a bit. I noticed all the furniture that belongs in the Barbie 3 story town house was on the floor. So I picked up the bed and put it in the bedroom.

LM walks in and says "that was on the floor because Barbie and Ken are playing House Hunters". (if you watch it you will know that often the homes are empty during the tours)

Alrighty then...

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Eat Your Veggies...

Today is Life as Mom's ultimate recipe swap. And the topic is Veggies. Most of us don't eat enough and I know I am always looking for new and exciting things to do with them. My family gets bored easily so a new twist on an old favorite is always welcome. One of our family favorites is this easy, easy sweet potato recipe. And they're not sick of it yet!

Roasted Sweet Potatoes

1 sweet potato
1-2 tsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp brown sugar

Cut the potato in wedges, toss with oil, sprinkle with brown sugar. Cook in 400 degree oven for about 20 minutes. When you take out of the oven toss them again and enjoy.

Notes: You can double or triple (or more) this. I often put them in the microwave for about 3-4 min to cut down the actual roasting time and they still taste great. I have only ever made these in a Pampered Chef baking stone pan so the times are based on that. I am not really sure if another pan would cook differently or not. But it is a really easy recipe and if you keep an eye on it the first time you make it you'll figure out what works best for you.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Pantry Challenge....


We finished the first week of the eat from your pantry challenge. I would have to say it was pretty successful as I only purchased perishables, a pack of bratwurst that was on sale, peanut butter and some popsicles for LM. And I used up a bag of pretzels, nuts & 2 boxes of cereal making Chex mix, which is great for snacks & school lunches.
This week's menu:
  • Monday- Breakfast for dinner.
  • Tuesday-Chicken enchiladas, salad
  • Wednesday- Left overs from Tuesday & salad
  • Thursday- Subway after hockey
  • Friday-Spaghetti & salad
  • Saturday-LM's birthday party - it's a sleepover so I will order pizza for their dinner. Will also have a veggie tray & fruit kabobs (a hit at her last party) as well as cake and ice cream.
  • Sunday- steak, baked potatoes, roasted sweet potatoes (for LM), sauteed mushrooms(I have 14 jars right now!) & salad

I have to run to Walmart on Friday to get some party things and will probably pick up some food that I like to buy there because it usually less than my regular store. For example: rice, granola bars, sauce mixes.

Full Disclosure: That is NOT my pantry above (it is courtesy of Better Homes & Garden). But isn't it fabulous???

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Should I stay or should I go...

In December (the last day of school before Christmas break) Little Miss came down with pink eye. It was her first bout with it but I was pretty sure it was contagious and the school nurse confirmed that and suggested that she go straight to the doctor. Easier said than done, apparently.

LM has been going to the same pediatrician since she was born. She has been for all her scheduled checkups to this same doctor. I have only had to take her ONCE in almost 8 yrs for something other than a checkup (she had swimmers ear when she was about 2). I am not one of those people who call for an appointment every time she has a sniffle. Apparently, that doesn't mean anything. At least not at Dr. O's office.

I call in the late morning to see if LM can get in for her (contagious) pink eye. The receptionist says WITH A STRAIGHT FACE 'let's see, we can see her on Jan 6th.' OH, apparently she didn't hear me say she had pink eye. Yes, she heard me and then babbled on about how they are shorted handed, Nurse Practitioner is out until end of the year, blah, blah, blah. That's all good and well but what do you suggest I do with my contagious child? TAKE HER TO URGENT CARE. I explained to the desk lady that I am very disappointed, we have never called unless it was necessary,etc. Desk lady didn't care. She acted like she didn't care one bit.

So, I make an appt with urgent care for 3:15 that day. She was seen right away and they even had a pharmacy that was able to supply me, I mean LM, with the proper drugs. I am quite happy with urgent care, thank you.

My dilemma is whether or not I should keep my appt with Dr O or take LM to a family practice Dr (the one my husband sees) for her 8 yr appt. Does she really need a pediatrician at 8 since she is pretty healthy? I will call Dr W tomorrow to see if she can take her and if I would have a problem getting her in if she were ever to need to come for something (contagious pink eye, for example). I would like to think they would tell me the truth and not just say 'yes' to get another patient. I kind of think that moving to a family practice doctor would make sense long term but I am not sure. The other pediatricians in town (2 others) are not as well respected as Dr O so I can only imagine what it would be like to move to one of them.

Any thoughts? Has anyone else ever had to deal with anything like this?

Give Kellie a visit when you get a chance to see her beautiful new little ones!

Friday, January 8, 2010

Kind of like church....

We are out of town this weekend for a hockey tournament. LM's team plays bright and early tomorrow. She finishes in the early afternoon and then she and I are riding home with a friend and her boys while our husbands stay to play the mens' league games. My friend J said that before she leaves she needs to drag her husband N to Crate and Barrel. FUN, I think.

I mention this to my husband on the way up here tonight and he said 'oh that sounds like fun for you. '

'You are going with us.' I say.

'Great', he says. 'Kind of like church only different.'

As in, 'oh that's almost as much fun as going to church' - where I also drag him from time to time.

And if that's not enough, from the back seat the Peanut gallery (LM) adds, 'I don't really want to go to CREATE and Barrel either.

Alrighty then....

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Low Fuel Warning...

As a general rule, I think my car is pretty smart. On the (not so) rare occasions that I drive around town until my tank is almost empty I will hear a little 'ding' and my monitor will ask me if I would like to know where the nearest gas station is. Um, NO, I know where the gas station is. I am just too lazy to stop there BEFORE the ding.

Yes, it happened again today. Honestly, it has been a while & I have been meaning to stop. Just didn't manage to do it until the very last minute. You've got to love technology...

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Eating from the pantry...

A challenge. I'm in!

I like the idea of eating from your pantry. I tend to stock up on basics when they're on sale and eating from the pantry is a great way to use your bargains. I am not sure exactly how long I'll be able to do this since I spent much of December eating from the pantry when we weren't either entertaining (buying food for 'special' dinners) or at others' homes celebrating. I'd like to make it through January but I'm not sure if I'll quite make it. I know I will need to get milk, eggs and other perishables but hopefully that will be it.

This week's menu:
  • Tonight- hamburgers, baked beans, roasted potatoes (chop up 4-5 potatoes toss with olive oil & Lipton onion soup mix & roast at 400 degrees for 30 minutes or so), raw veggies (carrots, cucumbers, red peppers)
  • Wednesday - sandwiches (hubby has hockey so I don't cook a big meal), pineapple (fresh one I purchased last week for $1 each - need to eat it now!) & chips. I don't often buy chips but over the holidays I managed to accumulate a couple of bags which are now open and need to be eaten. The family will enjoy them since they know this might be it for a while!
  • Thursday- spaghetti, salad,fruit (probably the rest of the pineapple). LM has hockey so I need something quick. This fits the bill.
  • Friday- we are out of town for a hockey tournament.
  • Saturday - home from the hockey tournament in the late afternoon so we'll do sandwiches again - probably tuna - from the pantry & raw veggies & fruit.
  • Sunday- Ribs, baked potatoes, salad, sauteed mushrooms.

I will try to post next week's menu on Sunday or Monday.

How long do you think you could eat from your pantry?

Monday, January 4, 2010

Customer Service...

Since I so often 'complain' about poor customer service I thought it only proper to mention some good customer service (since it happens so rarely anymore).

When I went to my sister's in December we flew instead of driving. Flew on Delta. The flight home was delayed about 2 1/2 hours due to weather. Not horrible. I got home later than I wanted but it could have been much, much worse. Over the weekend I received a letter from Delta which I thought was going to say my frequent flyer miles were about to expire or something. Imagine my surprise when I opened the letter and I got an apology for the delay (again, weather realated - beyond anyone's control) and 1000 miles credited to my Skymiles account. The Delta employees at the Salt Lake airport were really great through this, too. People yelling at them left & right for something over which they had no control and they were courteous and calm the whole time.

Have you had any good customer service experiences lately?

Sunday, January 3, 2010

"Why...

do you watch that, Mom?" asks Little Miss.

Speaking of the 'Real Housewives of Orange County'.

I DON'T KNOW.

I usually watch a few episodes on the weekends - you know, when they do the marathon type showings, back to back. I spend the whole time groaning, ugh-ing, asking what is wrong with these girls, are they really for real, etc.

I saw the episode this weekend where Lynne and her daughter had plastic surgery on the same day. UGH. Let me say that I am all for plastic surgery if you want to do it. I may do it one day. The husband of a good friend is a plastic surgeon, it pays their bills and those of their employees. I have nothing against it. I am, however, a little miffed as to why a parent would let their young (18 or 20, or so) daughter do it for no good reason. I don't think Lynne's daughter 'needed' the nose job but please correct me if I am wrong.

And, the girls are one thing but the husbands - UGH. The only one I remotely like is Vicky's husband and she treats him like dirt. He must really love her. Or really likes being on TV. Lynne's hubby seems okay too, but she and their girls walk all over him. The other guys just seem sleazy to me. Speaking of Slade - UGH. I know he really likes being on TV. It all seems to be about the 15 minutes of fame thing.

So I don't know why I watch it.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Resolutions...

Do you make them or not?

Every year I 'kind of' make them. I don't officially write stuff down or anything. I just kind of think things in my head. Very vague things usually. I am not sure why I do it. This year it's pretty much the same thing. But let me write them down to make them 'official':

  • Eat healthier. If I do this I will surely lose weight. My meals are basically really healthy and balanced. It's the stuff in between that does me in. So I need to forgo the in between meal stuff.
  • Exercise more. Consistently. I'll go a few weeks and work out almost daily. Then I hit a bump in the road, a schedule change, whatever and I end up off track and it takes me a while to get back on. Walking with Smokey will do both of us some good. He has soooo much energy that he needs to work off. So we'll do it together.
  • Be nicer. Not the 'oh, of course I'll volunteer to watch your brats, er kids, for the weekend' kind of nice but the being patient kind of nicer.
  • Manage my time better. I try to keep a schedule each week. I set aside time to work, do things around the house, just hang out at home, as well as the things I have to do like work in LM's class, scrapbook, etc. My schedule is pretty tight. But I will give in if someone asks me to do something and then wonder why the house is a mess, work doesn't get done, etc. I guess it's all part of the 'saying no' thing.

I'm thinking these things will keep me pretty busy and adding any more 'resolutions' will just be counterproductive.