Good intentions

Mary wanted scrambled eggs.  I gave her a bowl and told her she could have ONE egg.  She would crack them all if I didn’t specify how many.
She is surprisingly good at cracking eggs.  Rarely does she get any bits of shell in the bowl.  I think she’s better than some of her siblings.  She’s had a lot of practice.  I have not encouraged this practice.  She has insisted on learning.

I also gave her a spoon.  She likes her eggs beaten with a spoon.  I don’t argue with her, even though I disagree.  The spoon works.

Peter saw Mary beating her egg and decided he wanted one too.  I gave Mary another egg and added a bit of milk.

Mary knows I usually put oregano in my scrambled eggs.  Have you ever tried that?  It’s quite good.  She went to the spice rack on the back of the pantry door.  She selected the lemon pepper.  She’s only three; I guess I can’t expect her to read.  I showed her the label on the oregano and pointed out the letter “O”.  We’ll see if she remembers next time.

She went to the bowl to add the oregano.  Peter objected.  “I don’t like that,” he said.  I narrowed my eyes and stared at him, but decided to not say anything.  As I said, I usually add oregano to my eggs.  He eats it that way all the time.

Sweet Mary, though, was concerned for the finicky palate of her sibling.  With oregano in hand, and poised over the bowl of beaten eggs, she pointed to one side of the bowl.  “This is my egg,” she explained, “and that is yours,” indicating the other portion. 

Fortunately, Peter didn’t seem overly aware of the whole scrambling process.  And also, fortunately, he really doesn’t mind oregano in his eggs.

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Circular savings

Twice in the last few weeks, I’ve tried to fill the 30 gallon tank of my 12 passenger van, and I’ve been cut off at $100, a few gallons shy of full.

I’m definitely avoiding unnecessary driving.

But today, I have a meeting on post, which is about a 25 mile trip.  After the meeting, I will head to the commissary (grocery store) which really does offer significant savings on many products.  They claim a 30% savings over the typical grocery store.  I believe them.  Even though they sell very few generic brands, often the brand name is cheaper than generic at the store.  Plus you can use coupons.  And meat is always cheaper, even cheaper than the sale prices I see locally.

But with the price of gas, I’m not sure if the drive is worth it.  Piggy-backing the trip because of the meeting, it is.

*******

Yesterday, the kids were distraught over the breakfast selections.  I was not making pancakes, and they were left with Cheerios.  There was moaning.  Resigning themselves to a lengthy fast, they thought ahead to lunch and discovered that we had no bread.  There was more moaning.

I dropped everything to bake bread.  Lunch was saved.

My kitchen was hot.

It’s been A/C weather for at least a month down here in GA. 

Bread is expensive, especially good bread, yummy bread, healthy bread.  I’d like to make my own all the time, but I wonder if, in the summer, the increased cost to cool my home is worth the savings. 

I thought about baking all the bread on one day, the old-fashioned way.  I would need to bake at least 8 loaves for the week.  I only have 2 loaf pans.  That’s all day baking.

I thought about buying 6 more loaf pans.  Loaf pans, new, cost $10-$12 at Amazon.  I could spend $60-$80 on loaf pans, so I could bake bread all at once, so that I could save on A/C costs, and so that I could save on bread costs. 

I’m not quite sure if spending $60 to “save” money is worth it.

I thought about hitting some thrift stores or yard sales to see if I could find any loaf pans.

That would use gas.

Spending money on gas to buy used loaf pans to save money on groceries and A/C costs doesn’t seem so brilliant either.

Since I’ll be on post, I’ll check out the P/X (which is like a department store) to see if they have any decent loaf pans for less than Amazon.  I’m not hopeful, since their selection is usually poor.

*******

My husband works not far from the commissary, and sending him to the store on a regular basis is another option for saving on groceries without spending money on gas.

I am loathe to lengthen his work day by another hour.

Then there’s the grocery shopping learning curve to deal with.  Buy this kind, not that kind.  Check to see if the coupon saves money over the usual brand.  Look to see what’s on sale and stock up.  Suddenly remember something not on the list.  Prioritize.

And not buy things that look yummy just because you are shopping at dinner time.  Right there, I think we’d lose any savings.

*******

Anybody else feeling the gas and grocery price pinch? 

pretty, happy, funny, real

round button chicken

I’m playing along with Leila today.

{pretty}

The girls performed their dance recital at a local Easter Egg hunt on Holy Saturday.  Pretty and graceful.

{happy}

I got this chaise lounge for free from friend and fellow blogger, Katherine.  It has spent the last 2 years in two garages awaiting re-covering.  When I found out that there was a woman in town who did re-upholstery, and she had reasonable prices, I asked my husband if it was OK to take it in. 

“Oh, you mean that thing in the garage I keep tripping over?  YES.  Please get it recovered.”

Happy husband AND happy wife.

{funny}

Alexander the Great

“Mom.  I’m gonna paint that guy.”

I consider that premeditation.

{real}

I bought two of those large bouncing balls at the store.  Cheap fun.

Well, not so cheap fun when they play indoors and break your favorite statue of the Blessed Mother.

Playing Hookey – Again – on a Monday

Lessons from the beach:

If you go to the beach with a friend who inspires good conversation, you may miss your exit, and not notice it for, oh, 14 miles or so.

That’s only a half hour extra in the car with cranky kids.

*********

If your strawberries fall in the sand, and you wash them off in the ocean, they will be salty.

Sea salt on chocolate – works.

Sea salt on strawberries – no go.

*********

If it is sunny and warm, but not hot, you may forget to reapply sunscreen.

This will be bad.

*********

Three hours at the beach in perfect weather means nobody, even you, will be happy that it’s time to leave.

Tangled Web

A very long time ago, I occasionally watched television.  My husband would flip around to different channels as I sat next to him and read, and, sometimes, something would interest me, and I would set aside my book.

Once, we watched a show on children and lying.  Some researcher theorized that young children – under the age of 6 or so – were incapable of telling a lie.

Now, many years and 6 children later, I theorize that the researcher had very limited experience with young children.  But at the time, I, myself, had very limited experience with young children, and so I watched with fascination as the show led gullible me through the methodology employed to test the theory.

A little girl was given a Snow White doll.  The researcher explained that Snow White was on the run from the Wicked Witch.  The researcher helped the little girl hide the doll in a model tree or house and explained that she must not tell where Snow White was hidden to save Snow White.  The researcher got the little girl to agree that hiding Snow White was the morally correct thing to do.  Then the researcher had a Wicked Witch doll enter the scene, and she (the researcher) faked a Wicked Witch voice and asked the little girl where Snow White was hiding.  Repeatedly, this little girl and others pointed out Snow White’s hiding place.

Conclusion: young children can’t lie.

I wonder if that researcher, like me, now has a bunch of children.  And I wonder if she’s really embarrassed.  Because no matter what your preconceived notions of children are, you can not live with young children for very long before realizing that lying just happens.  Perhaps the little girls in the show were actually smarter than the researcher realized; they knew it was just a doll, and knew they didn’t have much stake in what happened in a fictitious story.  And they knew the researcher already knew where the Snow White doll was.  Duh.

I have a better way to test the same theory.  Put a child in a room with a bucket of crayons…and no paper.  Leave her alone for 5 minutes.  Bad things will happen.  And the child will definitely lie about it.

Last night, I was picking up the house.  In the corner by the front door, someone had propped an umbrella.  As I grabbed it to put it in the closet, I noticed scribble marks on the wall.  Mary was nearby, and I called her over.

“Is that pencil or crayon?” I asked her.  Note that I did not ask her if she did it or not.  I know the answer to that question.

“I don’t know,” she claimed. 

“Yes, you do, Mary.  Is it pencil or crayon?”

“I didn’t do it,” she said.

“Yes, you did, Mary.  I know you did.”

“Am I in trouble?”

“Oh, yes.”

Round 874 in the Naughty Chair. 

Now, I’m not saying that the average 3 year old could give a convincing cover up if the Wicked Witch is hot on your trail.  But “incapable of telling a lie”?  What parent in the world thinks that research was a good expenditure of tax money?