Thursday, April 30, 2009

Snack Bar Stories Episode 5

Another Week
Another incident.
This week was a doozie!
More parents giving me lip
City selling our land and 2 fields from underneath us
City cutting our water and power to the two fields prematurely...
Such fun!
The good news? I only had to be there 3 nights this week, not five!
I'll start with the incidents I was actually present for.
Remember a couple of weeks ago, I said I was only hiring a select few teens and all...
well, one Mommy got HER panties all in a bunch when she realized that ...
A. I did NOT call her daughter for an interview (I never told her I would)
B. No, she could not just send her daughter in there to work, and tell her daughter to push herself in the door if she had to... cuz Mama wasn't gonna pay the $20 to some stranger.
yes... I had to have another "come to Jesus".
This Mama sidled up to me... hit me on the shoulder ("hit" not tap, mind you) and said these words to me...
"Hey... I thought the people in the Snack Bar were cut and dry... only people you hired... no kids under 14, no exception. What are the little brats doing in there, jumping around?"
To which I replied...
"Excuse me? That CHILD jumping us and down in there is doing so, so he can get a bag of sunflower seeds down SO HE CAN SELL THEM FROM HIS CART!!
And furthermore... lady... NEXT YEAR, when YOU take over the Snack Bar and you do all the running around, and stocking, and printing, and shopping, YOU CAN HAVE ANYONE YOU WANT IN THERE! It'll be YOUR show lady... and maybe then, you'll realize how important it is to have just a few hands in the till, instead of every Tom, Dick and Lucy's! YOU can have your angels working for you, since you seem to be a much better Mother than I am."
She said...
"Oh really? You think you can just talk to me that way?"
I said...
"Yep... and I think I just did. I don't answer to you... maybe next year you can get your daughters application in before the first half of the season is over."
She said...
"Well, you make it seem like the Snack Bar is running like a well oiled machine, and I see kids jumping around in there."
I said...
"I have a number to a good Otolaryncologist, have your ears checked... You didn't hear me so well... excuse me... I need to go check on my staff and tell them "Job well done" and "Keep Selling"...
She stood there, watching me, with her mouth open... then she went to her seat.
You know what? I saw her at that window more than anyone else... and my son Johnny told me he tried selling her what she wanted from his cart and she said to him..."I don't buy from brats".
Yeah.. she had better never order food when I am in there... that's for sure.
I hope I see her again next week.
She and I are gonna have a little chit chat.
Maybe I'll tell her we don't sell to B*&%$&!!!!!
Saundra's gonna have FUN!
The City sold two of our fields to our new High School, but failed to tell us until 4 days before our Opening Ceremonies. Nice.. huh?
So we are scrambling around... trying to accomodate everyone, get in as many games as we can...
and for the most part... we have a great group of parents that have gone with the flow really well. But there are a few... you know there is always a few... that DRIVE ME UP THE WALL!
One coach... asked me... no less than 5 times in one day.. if our schedules are up to date...
THEN he asked someone else... RIGHT IN FRONT OF ME, and kept doing it all day long on Saturday. So last night.. he shows up... and low and behold... what is his question?
Yep, except this time... he has the schedule printed up and highlighted.
We have told him time and time again that we all need to be patient and flexible, and to take it one day at a time. Nope... not good enough for him... SO HE SENDS HIS TEAM MOM to ask me...
She is clueless as to what he has been up too, so I take pity on her and fill her in.
She was mad. Lol!
He must ask 500 doctors for a diagnosis for a common cold.
So, now we have no water or light for the fields... THAT THEY AREN'T GOING TO TOUCH UNTIL AFTER OUR SEASON ENDS!!! But we can't use them anyway.
Makes so much sense huh?
On the bright side... my teen girls I hired are taking ownership of the Snack Bar, are doing really well, are following direction well, and are learning new skills.
They send me little text messages that they love me, and they got asked to Prom.
They are so sweet.
One calls me Mamado, (deux) for Mama 2.
I figured out why God didn't want me to have girls... and I am soooo fine with it.
I am VERY, VERY, VERY protective of those little ladies... and they aren't even mine!
I wish I could post a picture of them...but I won't.
Maybe I'll take one of their hands.
yeah... I'll do that.
We are still getting 50's and 100's... I don't get it.
People return a churro because they dropped it, and want another one... for free.
Really? So if I bang my car door on a wall, do I get to take it back to the dealership for a new one too?
I mean.. if a kids drops it, especially if I see it... I'll give them another one...but a grown adult?
But they try... oh.. do they try.
Some try multiple times a night.
Good grief.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Writers Workshop

Who really helped you get over something... write about that person...
is the prompt I have chosen for MamaKat's writers workshop.
THE person that helps me get over things is, and always has been... my Mama.
She, above all other people, has this way of helping me see my situation (that, at the time, I think is dire and life threatening) as just a small bump in the road.
She has this infinite ability to break it all down into the such small components that all I want to do with the problem is flush it.
Since I was a little girl... whenever I told her about a problem, I felt instantly better after she
gave me either her advice or her sympathy.
I sure hope I am the say way with my boys.
I hope that after they talk to me... they feel calm, and better able to handle their situation.
My Mama cried with me, laughed with me, consoled me, held me, held me at arms distance when necessary, stuck up for me, told me to take responsibility for my actions, and
taught me how to stand up for myself.
She helps me to this day. Mostly... she helps give me perspective. For instance... when I am having a particularly challenging day with my boys, or with others, she always
helps me get perspective by saying something like...
"You know, Sandra (she doesn't like that I added a 'u' in my name when I was 21)
Pina would give her eye teeth to have your problems right now, her baby is in the hospital, and she would kill have the problem you are having."
Mama's are so good at the perspective thing. Don't you agree?
Or... she'll make a huge list of all the good that is going on and help me focus on those things instead of the one bad thing that is happening.
I always feel better after talking with her.
Her birthday is in 2 weeks.
I think I'll tell her all this in a letter.

Angies Wordful Wed

Johnny and his Snack Mobile... he sells out of this to our bleacher customers.
It works well! He even makes tips!
Ugh... my home away from home... where Snack Bar Stories was born.
Where Snack Bar Stories will go to die. No... those legs do not belong to me... sadly... that is one of my awesome teen workers. I am soooo over being Snack Bar Czar... everyone can't work their day... and the only replacement is me... it seems. Not happy. Not happy at all.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Plinky Prompt Tuesday

What's the worst way I've ever dumped or been dumped?
I chose this because I've always kinda felt guilty about the way I treated boys when I was growing up.
I was fickle.
It drove my Mama insane!
She could NOT understand me.
I would pine over a boy, write his name all over my book covers, pass by his classroom so he could see me, find ways to "bump" into him, smile... the whole shebang.
Then... when I found out through the grapevine that he liked me... I was done.
The thrill was gone.
On to my next conquest.
Harmless in the beginning, when I was first starting to notice boys as suitors and was able to actually talk to them without giggling and rushing into my house.
But as I got older, and the boys got more mature and more ready to express themselves with their lips and seemingly other parts of their bodies... I got nervous... but still... I wasn't nice some of the time.
One boy... in particular... I was in 11th grade, so was he. He was a great football player, and I was in the Drillteam. Someone told me he liked me and I decided to give it a shot and see if I could withstand going out with a boy and liking him back for an extended length of time.
He was exceedingly polite, sweet, he drove, was tall, not ravishingly handsome, but cute,
and looked at me like I was the Only Girl in The World. Everyone liked him. He was a good guy.
He found out that I was going to an early morning Swap Meet one Saturday and offered to drive me there and take me shopping. We had fun, flirted, he bought me silly trinkets I touched once,
we shared a shake, and a couple of times we held hands for a few minutes.
He wasn't my first date, but he was a good date.
We talked easily, and he walked me to the door that morning, and leaned in for the kiss.
Ugh! It was AWFUL!
He moved his head in these crazy circles that made his lips slosh all over my mouth.
When we were done kissing, he pulled his head back in this huge, bright smile.
He was giddy.
I knew it wasn't gonna last from that second on.
But did I tell him right away?
That would have been the right thing to do.
I didn't major in 'right thing to do' when I was a teen.
I... did the next best thing on Monday morning at school.
I avoided him.
Like the freaking plague.
Turns out he was waiting for me that Monday Morning all ready to let me wear his letterman jacket, and he had a flower for me.
I parked my car in another parking lot.
I avoided him for 2 days.
Then I got a letter from him.
At the very top, he had written in quotes 'Let the Music Play" by Shannon, my favorite song at the time, and one he had purchased while we shopped and repeatedly played over and over for me on our way home. (I know... I was SUCH a jerk)
The letter was long, and asked what had happened, why I was avoiding him, did he do something wrong, won't I please talk to him...he was falling in love with me... blah, blah, blah.
The love thing threw me. I got mad at that.
How do you love someone after one date! At 16!
He was waiting by my car on day 2.
I couldn't avoid it.
I told him it wasn't going to work out.
No less that 10 people told me how awful I was the next day.
I got "How could you do that to such a nice guy!"
"You do know he is on the football team right?"
His parents did not like me after that... and rightfully so.
I didn't get asked out again by anyone for a long time after that.
Shortly after... my good friend ended up dating him for over a year,
and we became good friends too.
At my 10 year reunion... he came over to me... and whispered "Let the Music Play" in my ear, and flashed me a huge smile. Then he asked to see pictures of my kids, I only had two at the time.. Alex was only 9 weeks old.
I apologized to him that evening.
He told me he appreciated it, and was hoping I would say that someday.
No worries... Karma is a real $&%*#
I got my just desserts a few years later when I was smitten with a long time friend, who had been smitten with me since I was 11. He and I shared a night of making out on my front porch when I was 19. When he left at 3 a.m., I was sure we were an item.
But no... he told me a few days later, on that same porch, that the feelings he had over all these years, that had not been reciprocated... were not there any longer.
I was heart broken.
I deserved it, though.
Last year, his wife and daughter came to a Pampered Chef show at my house.
She had heard all about me.
I don't like it when my reputation preceeds me.
She was a sweetheart.
I have learned my lesson.

Money Monday 5th Edition

This weeks edition is about kids again.
I don't know about yours... but mine lose stuff ALL THE TIME! Especially my 15 year old.
Cell phones, shoes, clothing, watches, Ipods, calculators, you name it.. if it has value... it gets misplaced for a very long time.
All that stuff costs money.
Show of hands... how many of you run right out and buy a replacement whateveritis, so Junior will be happy? Come on... no ones looking... how many of you?
Can I just say this?
Let Junior pay for the replacement. Please?
I know... some of you are saying... "But Junior is only 5... he can't possibly pay for anything."
Oh... yes he can...
There are THOUSANDS of ways to make money.
You need three basic things...
1. Need.
2. Ambition
3. Time.
Most kids think they NEED an Ipod to survive. Fine. The first one may have been on you... but the others should be on them... always.
A child learns about money and how to respect it faster when it comes out of their own pocket.
It is SO easy for them to spend your money... they run up to the toy aisle, or the computer game aisle or the DS aisle and pick out two or three things they NEED you to buy them.
But make a child earn and use their own money to purchase something and suddenly... they become miserly... weighing options, checking the label and price tag and mentally doing
the math in their heads.
The first time you explain what tax is on an item... they are ready to hold up signs in Washington to repeal all taxation. Ahhh youth... it is so wasted on the young... don't you agree?
So... what can Junior do at the age of 5-12 to earn money?
1.Collect bottles and cans. My kids scour the trash cans and bleachers for bottles and cans after every baseball game. I arm them with gloves, and trash picker upper... and they will probably earn $300 by June, and save our environment a little bit. It's like a treasure hunt for my 10 year old. He knows those cans are money. And no... I don't worry that my kids look like they are scavengers looking for used things. It's recycling, it's humanitarian, and we don't have the time to be uppity and worry about what the Jones' are thinking. ~~
2. Car Wash business... go door to door to the neighbors and ask to wash cars.
3. Pulling weeds or cutting grass of neighbors... okay maybe not for the kids under 10, but the little ones can offer to water gardens or plants for people.
4. Older kids 12-17 can take referee classes and umpire classes and precide at local games and make great money!
5. Snack Bars... although... ya gotta find a Snack Shack Czar less controlling than me... but if the kid is chosen... there is about 100 bucks a week in it for the kid!
6. Offer to tutor kids in their specialty.
7. Walk dogs
8. Wash dogs
9. Have a kid stuff yard sale... and include homemade pastries/lemonade for the customers to buy.
10. I know I would love it if a group of great kids came over and offered to
clear out my side yards and dispose of the debris for me. I would gladly pay $200 for it.
Help your children see how many jobs/days/tasks it will take to reach and achieve their goals for repurchasing the lost item.
Teaching kids to work for what they want reaps rewards for the child down the road.
One reward is not having fear of good, honest hard work.
They will always feel like they can take care of themselves... no matter what happens.
It's a gift you are giving your child that is bigger and better than any gift in a box you could ever give.
When you let them earn what they want... they are getting so much more than the item.
They are getting self esteem, pride, accomplishment, goal setting skills, ownership, and best of all, self sufficiency.
I have never met a person that earned their own things as a child, that wasn't a success in their adult lives. The people that were handed things without work, have an air of entitlement that is a real detriment to their lives, and to their families lives.
William bought his own replacement phone this week, and he is going to pay the $5.00 per month insurance fee I made him get on it. His new phone is exactly what he wanted... and he is treating it very differently than he did the other phones I purchased in the past.
He is working very part time as an umpire at our local little league, and it will cover the fee, and help him to purchase the coveted Itunes credits he so desperately needs, but the music can only be purchased after I have heard a snippet and see that it isn't 'explicit' in nature.
So... in short (okay long... who am I kidding...) all kids from 5 on up can learn the value of money and it's uses. It will only harbor good, ethical, respectful use of it in the future.
Roots and wings.
That's our job as parents... right?
Roots... and wings.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Snack Bar Stories Episode 4

This Snack Bar gig is primo blog fodder.
And... NO! I do NOT try to create the fodder myself.
Believe me when I say... It truly just happens ORGANICALLY!
I couldn't make this junk up!
Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday were in the 100's, so it was HOT! Wouldn't you know it...
All the electricity in my storage room that houses 1 huge freezer and 2 refrigerators
I lost some food to spoilage.
So much for purchasing on sale and having a food inventory.
Now I'll have to shop more often again.
THAT totally sucks eggs.
Had some LOVELY one-on-one face time with two 'ladies' this week.
I use the term "ladies" loosely.
"Lady" number 1, didn't want to pay one of the teens I have as workers to work the snack bar for her... she wanted her "18" year old son to work it for her instead, because she wouldn't have to pay him.
He had a pierced lip, and pierced eyebrow, tattoos all up and down his arms, an Ipod stuck in his ears, a cigarette (unlit) stuck in his mouth, and a foul disposition that put a permanent sneer on his face. I know a little about his friends too, and he hangs out with the drug dealer family on my street. Beautiful.
I kindly told her that her choices were working it herself, or paying someone to work it for her.
And no, her son would not be able to work in it, I didn't know him, but I did know he was only 16, or approve an application for him, therefore, he wouldn't be able to ever work it this year. I went about my business of organizing the pictures we got from our photographer and she yelled at me and and said...
I told her there was a new sherriff in town, and I cared about who or what touches the food and deals with my customers, who are mostly kids under 12. If she didn't work it herself, OR pay a teen, her coach would be charged for her time.
She huffed and puffed and walked into the snack bar and sat her butt down on a chair and didn't move except to call the druggies on the corner and tell them what I did and said.
THEN SHE HANDS HER SON AND THE DRUGGIES SON A COUPLE OF CIGARETTES THROUGH THE SNACK BAR WINDOW... in front of 6 kids, and tells them to go ahead and smoke in the parking lot, since there was no smoking on the park property.
She is a really cool, classy Mama.
After her stint was done in the snack bar, her other sons joined her, she has 4 kids, they all look the same, huge baggy shorts, black socks, black shoes, piercings all over the place, tats, black hats, black nail polish, eyeliner.
They couldn't figure out what to be... Goth or gangster.
Someone asked me which car was mine in the parking lot, because they were all walking towards a car with keyes pointed outward. I pointed to my car, and ALL 6 of the family members of
Gangsters R Us, turned around as I was pointing to my car.
That Mama, walked all the way back to me and said this...
I stood there... dumbfounded... what,... were we in JUNIOR HIGH now?
A man came to my rescue and said I was pointing at my car... and she said...
"We wouldn't do anything to your car... those boys are all 4.0 students, they are good kids..."
I choked and laughed!
I don't mean to be judging books by their covers. I know LOTS of awesome people with tattoos and eccentric personalities... BUT HOW MANY VALEDICTORIANS have you seen
dressed like the 4.0 gangstas... I mean REALLY!!!
I lost it.
I just stared at her, and gave her a huge "W" with my fingers. Whatever!!!!
Where do these people come from!!!
What rocks did they crawl out under!
Another "lady" told her 18 year old daughter to LIE TO ME and say she was her 11 year old sisters MOTHER!.. I totally believed her and let her work in there... and we were laughing and having a great time joking when her best friend came up to the window and asked her if she was DONE WITH HER HOMEWORK!
I looked... very slowly... her way... and asked...
"Was I just lied to?"
and she looked down and said...
I calmly and quietly said... "You are excused... I don't appreciate being lied to, your coach will be charged for your time."
Her Mother marches over, and says...
"I told her to lie... I wanted to watch my daughters game, and I was told by someone to lie and get out of paying the money..."
I asked her to tell me who told her to lie, and she said the name I just shook my head.
It figured.
They were on the same team!
Out of 17 teams... this is the ONLY team that gives me problems.
Everyone else is AWESOME and so sweet and caring of my staff.
I had a "Come to Jesus" with her and told her how detrimental it will be for her for telling her kid to lie for her. I hoped she was ready for the consequences, because she just opened up a can of worms.
She was a hag, who totally didn't care. She was tickled I was fooled for a few minutes, and told me so.
Class act again.
I went to get something from storage, and came back to over hear her bad mouthing me to my staff and telling them I don't know what I'm doing, and the Snack Bar is the worst it has ever been.
I told her I would happily relinquish my post on the board if she could do such a better job, and I took her hand was walked her out of the Snack Bar to tell another board member she was the new Manager.
She balked.
I kicked her out.
The team Mom for the team came over and worked the remainder of the shift and apologized profusely for the badgering I had taken the last two games they played, and told me she would
let her team know it was unacceptable behaviour.
I overheard her speech to them after the game.
She's good. She made good on her promise too.
Now SHE was a real class act.
We are still being passed $100 bills... recession? What recession!
Kids have taken to stealing ketchup packets and stomping on them across the park.
One kid grabbed a sugar container and proceeded to dump a load of sugar into this mouth. I guess he didn't have a quarter for a sucker.
A little girl ran her bike smack into my condiment table, and got mad at us because it was in her way.
She was 5 and the table is in front of the snack bar.
Her Mama is in sooo much trouble when that kid is older...
The little girl had obviously never been told she shouldn't do certain things, because when I went over to help her and asked her not to ride her bike in front of the Snack bar again, she stared at me incredulously and started to bawl, and told me I was mean and rotten and she was gonna tell her Mama.
Good grief.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Writers Workshop

MamaKat had some doozies this week. I chose two... but we'll see how long the first one is, and if it's too long, I'll only write on one.
Write about an interaction with a salesman.
I live in a cute, quiet (most of the time) neighborhood.
It's a Cul-de-sac, and I am at the very center of it, in the part that is round.
We get a lot of solicitors around here... Mormon boys, Jehovah's witnesses, our little local churches, kids selling candy etc... you know.. the normal stuff.
I am a stay at home Mama, going on 15 years now, in this very house.
We have lived in this house 16 years.
NEVER in my lifetime... have I EVER encountered a 'salesman' like the one I am going to tell you about... before or since.
It's just a regular day, the kids are all at school, I was watering my backyard garden, when I heard the doorbell ring.
Something inside me told me to just let it go... but I'm one of those people that can't let phones ring or doorbells chime without wanting to know who it is.
I NEVER, EVER answer the door before asking who it is, and looking out my window.
My hands were wet, and my feet were grassed up.
I peeked out the window and asked who it was.
He says, "Hello Ma'am... my name if Pete, and I've got a great new product to share with you, if you would just open the door and let me tell you about it,I'm sure you'll be so happy you did!"
My reply... from my window, so he could see me
"Oh, I am sorry Pete... I'm in the middle of tending to my garden, my feet are dirty and my hands are a mess, I won't be able to spend time today... I'm so sorry..."
Then... silence.
about 30 seconds.
Then this...
Then I was silent.
about 3o seconds...
Then he started walking off... not to the next door neighbors house... but up the street off the cul-de-sac.
I ran and cleaned up my feet and hands, and quite frankly, put on a bra... 'cause I don't wear one around the house when I'm alone... (yeah, there's a tidbit of info for ya!) and I GOT INTO MY CAR AND CAUGHT UP TO HIS BUTT!
How DARE he call me a racist!
I pulled right up next to him and just stared at him until he stopped walking.
Then he said "Lady, I don't need this right now!"
I was DONE!
Here's what I said...
You want to sell cleaning products? BE RESPECTFUL! All you had to do was ask when a better time would have been, or for referrals...
You've got problems.. Pete.. and it isn't your skin color... your skin color is God given and is a gift... your tongue is a gift too, and yours is forked... dude.
How would your Mama feel about how and what you said to me?"
He put his head down... and quietly apologized.
He said he had been turned down by every single house.
I told him sales was a numbers game, the more houses you go to, the better your chances.
I told him he looked very good, was dressed well, and had a nice voice... but got a little too
Farakhan with me. He needed to be selling something better, like cars, or medical stuff.
Spray cleaner was not going to make him a success...
but he needed to work on his attitude and temper first and foremost.
We both calmed down... and he apologized again.
I forgave him, and told him how lucky he was that he got me and not some crazy lunatic of a woman. He laughed and said no one had ever chased him down with a car before.
He went about his business and walked up another street.
And I became the proud owner of 3 bottles of Miracle Clean... guaranteed to lift, sanitize and deodorize any stain... for the rest of my born days.
Pete... I hope you are a millionaire now... come to my door now... I'll open it... I'm not gardening today!
Yeah, I know... in hindsight, I SHOULDN'T have followed him... what if he (AND NOT BECAUSE OF THE COLOR OF HIS SKIN... white people commit crimes too... remember Timothy MCVeigh?) had a weapon or was trying to lead me out... I know how stupid it was to do that with ANYONE... MAN, WOMAN, WHITE, BLACK, ORANGE , POLKA DOT...
But I was NOT going to allow someone to leave my house thinking that about me.
No way!

Wordful Wed.

Stop of over to Angies by clickin the above button... and join in on the fun!
yes, my son does his homework everywhere... there's so much of it... he has to!
Will's school is just around the corner... so I had a friend drop him off so I could feed him too.
Alex, my middle boy, was umping a Farm baseball game.
Ugh... I did these backwards again! Oh well... this, above, is my Johnny, posing in his 'model' pose for me. He won a coloring contest at Famous Daves BBQ and we attended the winner's dinner last night. His eyes are huge... aren't they? If I had had a girl... she would probably never get such big eyes.
He was pretty darn proud of himself. This is Wilbur... he needn't have worried...we don't eat pork... This was the winning picture. He added the verbiage and the flames on the guitar.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Tuesday's Plinky Prompt

I Loved this one.
Oh... to be a superhero!
Okay... first let me describe my bodacious superhero body...
125 lbs
Strong with Angela Bassett or Michelle Obama arms
Long, thick, jet black curly hair.
(yeah, I know... I sound like Wonder Woman)
High Cheek bones.
Size "C" cups... that DID NOT SAG... EVER!
(non sagging boobs would be one of my super powers, mine would never sag, and I would be able to "lift" all my friends "girls" with my mind, but don't ever piss me off... or you'd be scratching your "girls" around your ankles... just sayin')
Green eyes.
Legs, armpits and upper lip that never needed shaving or waxing
My costume would be a cute jogging suit, so I could move freely when kicking villian butt.
My super powers... hmmm...
I would DEFINITELY be able to fly. No question.
I would also like the ability to heal people...
I would be able to read my kids minds... oh... er... scratch that.. maybe not... better not open that can of worms... forget I said that.
I would also like to be able to build anything I needed, furniture, cars, boats, houses, etc...
Since I would be able to fly, I really wouldn't NEED a car or transportation... but I would use it anyway... you know.. to show I'm down with my peeps.
I would drive a 1966 midnight blue convertible Mustang, and a 1976 Cadillac Barritz Convertible... white, with tan suede interior. No.. not at the same time! Duh!
My insignia would be a gorgeous, calligraphy "D" for Diva or Domestic Diva.
or maybe an "SS" for Superhero Saundra, but very swirly and lovely... in purple, of course.
When anyone needed me, it would shine in the sky like Batmans, or you could just text me at
1-800-superhero and text the word "Diva".
No charge for the text.. of course.
My superhero lair would be a tropical island, with perfect weather year round.
My cabana boys would all look like Matthew McConahottie, Tom Selleck, and Johnny Depp when dressed as Jack Sparrow. Yum. Oh yeah... Clooney too.
I would put all the worlds villians on a deserted island, all of them together, so they can hash themselves out. They would get all the worlds disease. So say goodbye to Amadinajad, Bin Laden, Castro, Chaney... oh... did I say that one out loud? hmmm....
Thus freeing up jails and all that money can go toward finding cures for Cancer, Aids, Heart Disease etc...
Oh, I'd also be able to eat without gaining an ounce.
Great superpower huh?
I think Sandi over at LuckyThirteen Plus One has that super power!
What would SuperHero YOU look like?
Oh how I wish I knew how to do a Mr. Linky that works...
Comment please... I'm curious what super powers you'd have!

Monday, April 20, 2009

Name Brand or Generic? Does it Matter?

In answer to the title of my post... "It depends."
Am I right... or am I right...
Certainly, we can all attest to buying Generic or Name Brand Groceries...
Most of the time... generic or STORE BRANDS cost less...again I say MOST of the time.
I know people who would rather die than buy anything generic.
Me? Not so much.
There are a lot of great store brands out there that taste and function the exact same as name brand. But like anything and anyone else... there are a few things that I don't or don't want to buy generic.
1. Toilet Paper. "Nuff said.
2. Foil... generic stuff tears all over and is hard to get out of the box.
3. Toothpaste... I just won't buy generic toothpaste.
4.sandwich bags, ziplock... generic leaks and tears easily
5. Shampoo... hey, my Mama is a hairdresser...she won't let me... so she brings me the gallon sized Paul Mitchell or Joico or Goldwell.
But buying most items generic is a great way to save money, and one shouldn't be embarrassed to buy generic. Have you tried the Kirkland Signature brand at Costco? It is AWESOME!
I will ALWAYS buy the Kirkland brand if it's offered. It's ALWAYS dollars cheaper than anything else, and it functions and tastes great!
How about Smart N Final? Get a free SmartVantage Card and it saves dollars... not cents.
I also like their generic brand of goods. Virtually no difference in flavor or function...
Some grocery store brands are great. Try them. Your wallet will thank you!
Make a deal with yourself this month, to buy as many generic brands of the products you use, and put the money saved into a piggy bank for something you want to save for.
Watch how fast it grows.
Here is a list of my favorite items to purchase store brand
Paper Towels
Glass cleaner
Coffee (ground)
Coffee filters
oil (veg)
vinegar (white distilled)
OJ(our store brand is better than national brands.. hands down)
and so on, and so on...
I rarely spend more than $100 at our local supermarket for groceries, for my family of 5, three of whom have hollow legs and eat 24/7.
Costco is another story...but I always end up buying beach towels, batteries by the billions,
and cool shorts and shirts for the men...
The prices are awesome on the grocery items, so it doesn't hurt the wallet to buy the other items
once in while.
What items are your MUST HAVE name brand, and what items can you get generic and be fine with?
It really is a great way to save a little money, and buy something of lasting value instead of food and other groceries for too much money. I'd love to see your lists!

Friday, April 17, 2009

Snack Bar Stories...Oy vay...

You know... I really and truly thought that
over the course of a few weeks, the stories would stop coming... but... alas... I was WAAAAY wrong.
Let me start off by saying... it really isn't that bad being the Snack Bar Czar now.
I've gotten kinda used to it, and the first two weeks it completely consumed me...
Now... it's easing up, and I have a GREAT group of young ladies that work in it to alleviate
the stress for me immensely!
Thank you so much Tina, Serena and Paige!
You are the best!
My fellow board members are awesome too. Very understanding, and they are sticking by my side in my decisions to only have a select few working the Shack. I am truly grateful.
Now... on to the shenanigans that go on... daily.
We still have people trying to hand us $100,and $50 bills.
Now I just ask if they want the remainder to go into the tip jar.
I mean... really!
$100 bill at a Snack Bar?
One guy pulled out a huge wad of $100 bills, and he was asked if he had anything smaller.
Well, you and I know what was smaller, anyone that needs to pull out a was of cash at a Snack Bar to get attention is compensating for SOMETHING! Right?
Come on!
Okay... people and their dogs.
I know you love your pooch like it's human.
I get that.
No problem.
I see how cute they are in your pockets, in your purse, down your shirt... whatever!
Does your dog REALLY, REALLY,REALLY need to sniff the Airheads?
Do you realize where it's paws and butt have been?
I have purchased a BOAT LOAD of bleach wipes for all the ROCKET SCIENTISTS that don't realize that animals and food establishments DON'T GO HAND IN HAND.
I spend half my night informing GROWN ADULTS that their animal does not have the same
free reign here, that they do at home.
THEN! I put their name in my little book and put "NEVER EAT AT THEIR HOUSE" next to it.
I do not want to eat something a cat or dog may have licked first... call me weird...I don't care.
Those people need to be hosed. Period.
I had another altercation with a crazy Mama this week.
It seems her little darling is 16, responsible, and she only wants him to work for her when it's her turn for duty.
I, of course, politely tell her the new policy, and I would be more than happy to
have one of my workers work for her, but, no, I am sorry her son won't be able to do it.
She got all beligerent and started asking questions like...
"Well, who are you to decide who works in here or not... my son did it all last year... why the change.. WHERE'S THE MANAGER!... I WANNA SPEAK TO THE MANAGER!"
I just stood front of her... and waved.
She got louder.
"Why is it okay for any parent to work in here, and you need to interview the teens! It's a good thing you didn't check my BACKGROUND, I could be ANYONE! Why don't you check my
background... blah... blah... blah..."
I said "Lady... I am the Manager this year. If you don't appreciate the way things are running this year, feel free to take over my job next year, when it is vacant. Until that time... I'm going to run it this way... thank you so much for inquiring. I've got work to do now."
She walked off still mumbling.
It has to suck to be her.
So much combativeness.
As I was pouring scalding water into the sink to clean the crock pot that night...I pictured her in the crock pot. Very satisfying.
The BEST one all week?
The complete space cadet Mom that worked with me one evening.
I now know more about her than I do my own kids.
I know how much she hates her 79 year old Mama, I know how many drugs she did as a teen, (and might I add, I suspect is STILL doing?), I know about her teeth, which ones needed to be pulled, which one are healthy, I know all about her hair colors over the years, and how she is still in love with her ex husband, but when he calls her, she can' help but be mean to him...
how much better her son is getting in baseball (that was actually sweet), I know what size shoe she wears (7 1/2) and I now know that she attended private school all the way to Jr. high school, that whenever it's cloudy she gets depressed, what her favorite movies are, how many boyfriends she has had since her divorce... and the best bit of information of all! How one of her sons was just suspended for having razor blades and a knife in his backpack.
I immediately asked what school he went to.. and it's somewhere in Idaho. She was sooo mad at the school!
She was upset that they didn't suspect that someone else may have put the contraband into his packback.
I had a little "come to Jesus" with her.
Since her son didn't deny the stuff was in his backpack... he DID IT! She would NOT have it.
She was mad that I would even suggest it.
Yeah... no wonder the kid lives 3 states away.
I don't know that woman's name.
(of course, even if I did, I would NEVER post it)
but she was a piece of work to say the least.
She literally NEVER, EVER, STOPPED TALKING! She followed me around the snack bar, outside the snack bar, to the storage room, back into the snack bar...
I had a freaking shadow!
When I was washing dishes, she bent over to see my eyes while she was talking!
I was ready to throw a big pan of ice water in her face!
She would NOT shut up!
Oh, how I wish more parents would just pay the money to have someone work the snack bar for them!
I don't know how many more weirdos I can stand.
The nice thing is... there are many, many, many more nice normal, pleasant parents around too.
They cheer for their little guys, and show up wearing the team colors... have pom poms...
It is sooo awesome to see parents get all into their kids games.
I just seem to attract the ones off their rockers.
More next week...
I can almost promise!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Mamakat's Writers Workshop

MamaKat's Writers Workshop!
Come play! It's the best!
The prompts
1. If I gave you $400 dollars today, what is ONE thing you would spend it on and why.
2. What are your kids talking about?
3.Tell us about a local news story that's all the buzz right now.
4. Share some blogging advice.
5. Tell us about the time at the playground when that thing happened.
1. I would have to spend the $400 on new shoes for the boys. I am actually gonna have to do it whether MamaKat gives me the $400 bucks or not. These kids KILL me in shoes! KILL ME! They need new shoes every 3 months, like clockwork!
It's the weirdest thing!
For William, we don't even call them shoes anymore... we call them CANOES!
You can literally take a vacation on one of those shoes! They are huge!
I have tried the uber expensive $200 shoes, the ultra cheap shoes, the made of elephant skin shoes (not really), rubber shoes, leather shoes, pleather shoes, EVERYTHING!
It doesn't matter. All the shoes end up holey, blown out messes.
I have tried buying them 3 pairs a piece, to even out the wear... nope... doesn't work.
So, before next week, when Spring Break is over, they will all need new shoes AGAIN!
We just bought some in January!
What else would three boys talk about... baseball and GIRLS!
3. Local news story? I don't watch the news at all. But what I read of the news... our economy is still in the toilet, a young Angels player met an untimely, horrific death, (very, very sad... he was 22)
and our local school district named our new High School a stupid name that needs to get changed... but I am focusing more on getting the drug dealers off my street, I care about the name change, but I care about my kids living in a drug free neighborhood, and being able to walk to the park without having 40 yr old Mom's yell obscenities to me and my kids, while she is high... much, much, much more. Just because you live in a lovely community, doesn't mean drugs don't exist... it just means they can afford more of them.
4. Blogging advice... hmmm... hate word veri, and I don't like it when people have cuss words in their titles.
Because then that cuss word ends up on my blog roll, and I try not to have that on my pages.
In the text of their post is fine... if that floats their boat...but the title should at least stay neutral.
My playground story is way too long.
Now if I'd been asked about Snack Bar Stories... THAT'S an entirely different thing!
More on that on Friday! Sheesh... there are some doozies!

Wordful Wed.

Spring Break... 2008. I was a bad Mama this year, and didn't get my camera out at all.
To see more Wordful Wed posts... click on this!

Monday, April 13, 2009

Money Monday Sorta

Before I start this weeks post... I just want to clear the air.
I, apparently, have been "preaching" to all of you about money.
At least that's what one emailer told me. She said, and I quote. "You think you are so savvy. You think you have it all together. You think you have all the answers.. well, maybe some of us like having Starbucks every day, and maybe some of us feel better about our parenting skills when our kids get to 'buy' their lunch instead of bringing their lunch like a loser, and
and maybe we don't mine spending $1200 a year on eating out, if we can afford it, leave us alone! Not all of us have to be penny pinchers like YOU!"
That was just a smidegeon of the filth she wrote. Then she got personal, and I got pissed.
Well... to you Sarah... yes Sarah... I mentioned your name on my blog... piss me off some more and I'll print your last name and your IP Address. ")
If you get your jollies from overspending money in our current economy, and relate your parenting skills to buying your little darlings lunch, and continue to call other children that bring their lunches to school "losers"... please kindly NEVER READ MY BLOG AGAIN!
You are obviously a child yourself, who can't get passed the fact that other people live on this planet too.
I am merely trying to help others, with the knowledge that I learned from others.
I care about my friends and family, and I want them to be able to live well, and have money later on life... not just right now. Living in the now is what got us all into the mess we are in now...
Time to save for a rainy day...
Sarah... remember to flush twice when you brush your teeth.
So... onward and upward.. shall we?
I don't know about you... but my kids are getting older by the second. My oldest is almost 15, and in 6 months he will be taking drivers ED.
With Driver's Ed, comes INSURANCE...
Have you seen how much boys cost for insurance?
Holy Cow!
I thought private school tuition was a lot!
Living in So Cal is even worse. This place is car central. There are more cars than people in LA county, and one look at our freeways proves it.
We only have 2 drivers in our household, but we own 5 cars and one motorhome. 3 of which are actually on our own property. So, yes, we are part of the problem.
Thank God we don't have to buy William a car. We are going to refurbish my old Bronco. It runs great, but it's mint green, and midnight blue would be more fitting a boy.. don't you think?
So we are shopping around for car insurance that won't take us to the cleaners.
Do you have a soon to be driver in your household?
Are you going to buy him/her a new car? or a used one?
Might I suggest a used one?
Save your money... buy a good, larger, car. It's safer in big cars for teen drivers.
I'd rather pay more for gas, than visit a morgue or a hospital room. No, I am not insinuating that that you can't ever be hurt in a big car... but those really small ones... they scare me. They look like a fender bender could kill someone.
I love the law that states they can't have other passengers in their cars under 25.
Best Law yet.
Spend money on good tires, good engine, and good mirrors and windows. Don't waste money on stereos, seat covers and other unnecessary accessories. Just my opinion... I know you didn't ask... I know...
I am sooooo not looking forward to this new venture.
There are a lot of crazies out there, that don't know how to say when... when it comes to drinking and driving. I just don't get it.
I know... this wasn't much of a Money Monday post.
Sarah, the hag, got me upset... I shouldn't have let her.
I'll block her.
Have a wonderful day!

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Sleepless Saturday

I haven't been sleeping again. The Human Snore Machine has had a cold,
and his breathing (and snoring) have doubled during the night.
Such fun.
BUT!!! Because I couldn't sleep one night, and didn't feel like typing, I went to the TV for comfort, and I got some!
I found a fabulous new show on HBO called
"The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency"
What a beautiful show.
I could listen to the lilting accent of the people of Botswana for days and days.
I love Jill Scott, she plays the lead.
Check it out if you can... it's funny, tear jerking, heart warming, and just an overall delight.
William's Spring Break ends tomorrow, and Alex and Johnny's begins.
No great plans... we have baseball practices and games, and so does William, and of course, I have the Snack Shack thing going on, so no vacation this year.
This was the first year they didn't have the same Spring Break anyway.
It's okay, we have our new bedroom and bathroom addition to look forward to, our new pool resurfacing, and a new roof to do... it should keep us pretty busy.
We just need to get our taxes in, pay those puppies, and get it over with, and get on with livin'.
I have a date with my washing machine.
The house is empty, they boys are all at the baseball park, and I have the house to myself.
Sanitary cycle... here I come.
Oh... I lead SUCH a glamorous life!
Have a lovely holiday all!

Friday, April 10, 2009

Snack Bar Stories week 2

Snack Bar Stories
Week 2
Can also be titled...
"Holy Crap... what have I gotten myself into!"
You've all been to Little League Snack Bars... right?
Not exactly a culinary hub... ya know?
Not too many CIA graduates working in them... okay?
(For those who are kitchen impaired CIA = Culinary Insitute of America)
So why is it... WHY IS IT... that so many people expect freaking
NACHOS to be a gourmet party in their mouths?
I. Don't. Get. it.
Some dude walks up to the window... orders a nacho... chips with globs of melted cheese.
Not brain surgery by any means.
2 ingredients.
Easy Peasy.
We oblige.
He takes a bite. He shoves the Nacho back under the window and says...
"Isn't there anything else you can put on this to make it better?"
My answer in my head? "Yeah buddy, what would make it better is a medallion of Lamb Chop, with mint jelly, some mashed potatoes, fresh homemade bread and a lovely salad of mixed micro greens in an orange vinigrette."
What I actually said?
"Ummm.... you ordered Nachos... we gave you Nachos. What else do you want on 'em. If I have it, I'll be happy to oblige."
He said "Oh I don't know... some chopped onion, cilantro, fresh shredded beef etc..."
My answer..."Oooohhh.. you want NACHOS CULINARIO FANTASTICO! Why didn't you SAY so? Sure I can do that for you! Hang on just a sec. I grab some paper, and proceed to give the guy directions TO THE NEAREST GOURMET RESTAURANT that serves the masterpiece he wants, and ask if he'll bring one back for me too!"
He says "Aaaahhhh... You are funny! I was just kiddin' ya!"
I was not amused.
I pictured his face on every ball my kid hit.
I am trying to run a tight ship.
I have hired a group of ladies that are fantastic young ladies.
They are courteous, hard working, prompt, and lovely.
Unfortunately, the last one brings lots of young boys to the windows... 'just to chat' and ask for free food. My girls do not oblige.
Last night, while I was watching my son Alex's baseball game, a boy who applied a few nights ago to work in the Snack Shack walked right up to me and proceeded to bombard me with
questions like this.
"Ummm... Mrs. Whatever your last name is... (yes, he said exactly that), ummm... I applied
to work in the Snack Bar, and I want to work in there right now.. so.. ummmm. can I go in there and work?"
My reply... "My name is Mrs. Shaver, and I already have a full staff in there, plus two parents and a board member. I don't need anyone in there right now... these girls are here every night, and they show up early. I have about 15 people on my list, and you are one of them, and I'll call you when I need you, when we have more games scheduled and such."
His answer to me...
"Uh! But I put my application in! You accepted it! Will I EVER get to work in there? Can I work for free? For community service? That's NOT FAIR! How come THEY get all the work and time!"
My answer... "Kind sir... they get the work because they show me respect, and don't talk to me in this manner... AND they learned my last name before talking to me."
He put his head down, proceeded to call me a "b*&^%" and walked away.
Yeah... I'll call him alright.
2nd time in two weeks I've been called that name.
I think I'll buy a great big "X" stamp and start stamping the front of the Snack Shack with "x's"
and when someone asks why they are there, I'll tell them
"That's how many people we lost when they complained about the Snack Shack, poor people... we just don't KNOW what happened to them!... may they rest in pieces... PEACE! I mean PEACE!"
There were more incidents... but I'll save them for episode 3.
So that was my week in the Snack Shack.
I didn't have to work so hard this week. My fellow board members started their shifts
and it went well. I also have a friend that goes in there every day at 2:30 and starts prepping all the stuff... what a Godsend she is.. THANK YOU EILEEN!
More next week.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

MamaKat's Writers Workshop

Mama Kat's Writers Workshop

Of the five prompts... I chose the one entitled.

"Describe a hard time you gave a teacher... what would you say to him/her today?"


I was in 8th grade, Jr. High. I had to take Algebra. It was required. I didn't want to.

I could barely add two and two... I am that bad at math. I still, to this day, add on my fingers.

I HAD to take Algebra. I was in an Advanced Placement program, and Algebra was a required

horror I was dreading. I sailed through 7th grade Math. Mr. Walston was exceedingly nice to me and gave me extra help and sat me next to the cutest and smartest boy in class. When Dehn spoke... I listened... swoon.

But Dr. Rubio's class loomed ahead of me. I remember one sunny day in 7th grade, I had passed by his classroom to go to the restroom and his door was open. He was yelling at the top of his lungs, the integers they were supposed to know. I grew up in a loud household. Italians are way loud people. No problem. Dr. Rubio had a hard to understand Filipino accent that sent shudders through my spine, even when he just spoke in a normal voice. Add to that, the fact that I was expected to know a lot of stuff before entering his classroom, and I just wanted to die right then and there.

So 8th grade arrives and Dr. Rubio is my 4th period teacher.

First 5 minutes of class, he quizzes us on quadratic equations, exponents, integers, prime numbers, etc... We each had to stand up at our desks, and when he fired a question at us, we had to know the answer immediately or we had to stand in front of the class and tell everyone we aren't ready for Algebra yet. The worst part... when the someone didn't know the answer...He would yell

"YOU DON'T EVEN KNOW THAT YET?!?" and bang a huge stick on his desk.

My turn. The question...It was the square root of something... Of course I have no clue,

so he does his thing with the yelling and the stick... and I walk to the front of the class.

I am the first one.. AND THE LAST ONE, at the front of the class. He points his stick at me and says to the class... "This one... she will not pass this class...I am very disappointed in her." then he sat down, had the other kids sit down, and he made me stand there for another minute.

Remember... I had been on stage by this age... for about 9 years now. Being in front of my peers didn't bother me, but being called out as dumb? NO! THAT wasn't okay. When he asked me to sit down, I walked... very slowly to his desk, leaned in juuuust a little and whispered to him...

"You aren't allowed to treat me like this. I'm going to see Mr. Rossi after school"

He replied... "Good... I'll escort you."

I sat down shivering with hatred.

I went to Mr. Rossi's office, and Dr. Rubio was there too.

Dr. Rubio got to go in first. I didn't think this was fair. I was the one with the problem. What could he possibly say about me? It was my turn next, and Dr. Rubio was still in the room. I was shaking. What do I say? What do I do? I'm just a 13 yr old kid!

Then I calmed. Yeah... I thought... I'm a 13 year old kid with great parents that taught me to never back down, and to stick up for myself, no matter what.

I was a blithering idiot. I cried, and blurted everything out like a weak little rag doll.

Mr. Rossi handed me a tissue, and I yelled at Dr. Rubio. I said "How dare you tell everyone I won' t pass the class! You don't know me! You don't know what I can do! You are a mean, rotten man!"

HE LAUGHED! He just stood there and shook with laughter, placed one hand on my shoulder,

pulled my chin up with a finger and said these words to me.

"You come from fine stock, young Ms. Bruni. I know your parents well. They have come a long, hard way to this country to give you the very best of everything they did not have. I know you passed last year because of your teacher's compassion, and you must learn the concepts to fulfill your potential. I am sorry I embarrassed you.. but you have an air of defiance I needed to break down. Mission accomplished wouldn't you say?" All I could say in between sobs was... "You know my parents?"

He laughed some more. Mr. Rossi, a family friend, Italian, and my Principal, giggled too.

I softened as soon as he mentioned my parents. I suspected he had risen from extreme poverty and a life of turmoil also, and had made good in America. His children, I came to find out, were 1st Generation Filipino, and much was expected of them also.

He apologized to me in front of my class, and proceeded to tell all of them my parents journey to America... he knew almost as much as I did. I warmed to him a little after that.

I saw him about 15 years ago. He pointed to me and said "What's the square root of 144?"

I said "12" and you went easy on me."

He laughed again and he mingled amongst the crowd. He wanted me to know he hadn't forgotten about me.

If I were to see him now...I would bound up to him and happily tell him the Math gene skipped generations, and my three boys are MATH GENIUSES! Truly... they are soo ahead of their peers, it's ridiculous. I inherited the love of the written word, spoken word, lyrical word, all words.

I never did get above a "C" in his class. My only "C" I ever got in my life. I never worked so hard for a grade in my life either.

That "C" in my book, was with A+ effort.

Oh.. and 2+2 is 4!

Aren't you proud of me?

Wordful Wed.

He says washing his pants would be bad luck.
I reply that his being able to sleep inside the house that evening would be even better luck.
I won.
He hit a triple.