Friday, May 19, 2023

7 Quick Takes about Strange Happenings in the Grocery Store, Disappointing My Pilgrim Ancestors, and Things I'd Rather Be Doing Than Sitting in a Traffic Jam

It's 7 Quick Takes Friday! How was your week?


My 19-year-old has spent a week recovering from her first year at college and is back to her grocery store job. But with a twist: she's getting trained as a bookkeeper and getting a raise! 

When she told me the news, obviously I started singing The Jefferson's theme song but it was totally lost on her. I feel sorry for her generation.


Speaking of my daughter's job, she came home from work one day and said, "Well, I got a complaint at the customer service desk I've never gotten before."

Apparently there were two kids running on top of the stand-up freezers in the frozen foods aisle.

After someone complained about it, she went to check it out and one kid about 9 or 10 years old was still up there, having crawled up an endcap display of paper towels stacked beside the freezers.

"Where were the parents?" A friend asked when I related this story to her the next day.

I'd asked my daughter that, too, and she said that the dad was right there. He just wasn't paying attention, I guess.

"Wow," my friend said. "That's, like, something that should have been on even a dad's radar."


The hunt for rocks for my mailbox landscaping project continues. My kids were mortified when I saw a house with a big pile of rocks out by the road and I stopped to knock on the door to ask if they were getting rid of it. 

It turns out that they weren't, they were about to use them to build a rock wall.

"Hey, that's what I'm going to do, too!" I said. "I just can't make myself pay for rocks!"

The homeowner nodded sympathetically. "What would the Pilgrims think if they were alive today, seeing us pay for things like rocks?"

We laughed about it, and a few days later I found someone at church who was taking down a rock wall on her property (I told you they were everywhere in New England) and said I was welcome to come take whatever I wanted.

I did the pointing, Phillip did the lifting.


Having secured rocks to make sort of a low retaining wall around the mailbox, next I needed a good quantity of fill dirt. 

Which I payed for, much to the Pilgrims' dismay.

This is what 7 tons of sand/dirt looks like.

When the kids got home from school the day of the delivery, they wanted to know (1) if they could jump in the pile and (2) how much it weighed. 

I told them (1) no, and (2) they had to guess.

I think they worked their way up from 100 pounds, and when they finally guessed the correct weight my 11-year-old immediately yelled, "Can I help shovel it?"

Because that is a totally normal reaction upon hearing that there's 14,000-lb pile of dirt in your front lawn.


My 15-year-old has this friend James who always gives him the strangest gag gifts. For his last birthday, James gave him a 2-foot-long retractable fork so he can steal other people's food at mealtime.

Another time (no particular occasion) James gave him a box of Tic-Tacs, but it was wadded up in a humongous ball of plastic grocery bags and packing tape that took 20 minutes to unwrap.

So when the doorbell rang and we opened it to see this sitting on the front steps, we knew right away who it was from:

This is not being held by one of the little kids to make the jar look bigger. My full-size 17-year-old is holding it.

That day we had grilled cheese pickle sandwiches for lunch, and by the contents of the jar I can tell there are going to be more Google searches for pickle recipes in the near future.


Since the weather has gotten nice, my three youngest kids (ages 7, 9, and 11) have been spending more time outside. Lately they've been climbing two trees in our front yard and inventing lots of games that involve going as high as you can.

Recently I went outside and my 11-year-old called to me "Look, Mom! I brought books up here!" She'd somehow hauled up a bag of books and hung it on a branch, and was reposing on a limb 15 feet in the air flipping through one of them.

That totally would have made it into the posts I wrote about 8 years ago about her older siblings ("9 Telltale Signs Your Kids Read Too Much" and "9 More Signs Your Kids Read Way Too Much"). Now all she needs up there is a mini-fridge and she'll be set for an entire afternoon.


My 17-year-old is done with her student orchestra for the school year, and not a minute too soon. I love attending the concerts, but driving into the city for rehearsal every week is slowly sucking the life out of me. The traffic has been so bad, I just can't do it anymore.

On Tuesday she had a dress rehearsal for her final concert, and not only did the terrible traffic make her late for rehearsal, it was also terrible in the other direction and it was obvious that I was going to miss something I had been looking forward to that evening.

So I was in a pretty foul mood on my way home, until I saw the bumper sticker of the car stuck in front of me:

It genuinely did make my day a little better.

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Anonymous said...

So sorry you had to take one for the team so we could enjoy that wonderful concert!

PurpleSlob said...

It bothers me that I pay for water 💦!