Organizing, Grocery Shopping, and Coffee Beans

If someone would have told me someday I would spend four solid hours of in-the-store-actively-grocery-shopping, and loving nearly every minute of it, I would have never believed it.

There is still some adjusting from being a career woman to a homemaker. Emotionally. Mentally. Financially.

  • Emotionally– I can’t use “work” as a way to find my “self-worth”.
    • The Blessing: This has resulted in more time in prayer, the Word, and working to serve my family. Drawing closer to my Savior, my Faith, and having more time to invest in my marriage, my family, and hopefully soon my church family.
  • Mentally– I don’t have these big complicated scenarios involving money, clients, or other things like policies and procedures to challenge me. So I have to find other things that are challenging and allow me to use my brain a little.
    • The Blessing:I started writing a novel (lifelong dream), playing Sudoku (so addicting), and figuring out how to merge my Blogger blogs over to WordPress (which was a HUGE win that took several hours. IT FELT SO GOOD TO BEAT THE CHALLENGE!).
  • Financially– I can’t go throwing whatever I want into the buggie (also known in the north as the “shopping cart”). Just because Pumpkin Spice coffee has finally been released at Dunkin Donuts and Starbucks doesn’t mean I can drive all the way into town every day to get one. (Or Two).
    • The Blessing: I get to be crafty and learn new things. I have researched several options online for “making my own” and will be making my own Pumpkin Spice coffee tomorrow. (Bonus: It will be for a fraction of the cost AND a fraction of the calories. SCORE.) Also, I have more control over how my family is eating, what they are eating, and the reality is we can eat far healthier and better for the same amount of money OR less.

All in all, I am appreciating these days and this time in my life. I’ve also gone through the house and done some organizing of things.

Martha Stewart Home Office™ with Avery™ Dry Erase Weekly Planner as found at Staples

The first is a meal planner. This helps me to know what needs to be prepped for when. I bought the Martha Stewart Home Office™ with Avery™ Dry Erase Weekly Planner from Staples a long time ago. It’s coming in handy now!

It fits right to the front of our fridge and the dry erase markers make it easy to keep it updated. There is no “hardware” to have to deal with. Very easy, and very inexpensive. It has a backing that sticks if you want, or as I prefer, stays easily with one or two small magnets.

I personally recommend it.

The second is my “house calendar”. We have a paper showing when it is my husband’s turn to run sound at church. A paper showing when we help on the church’s chair team. A paper for Ryan’s school days. A paper for my mother-in-law’s work schedule so we know when we can plan family things. Then of course there are the papers everywhere for doctor appointments, car appointments, birthdays, party invites, etc.


Which brings me to my awesome find. While I would love to have this someday in a Dry-Erase version, for $1.00 at Wal-Mart I could not resist getting a desk calendar.

All of those papers are now carefully tucked away in my “organizing bag” and we have one main calendar on the side of the fridge with all information on it.
At the start of each month, I can simply update the latest and greatest calendar, and moving forward we can all refer to the same one. Hopefully this will protect us from double booking ourselves! (A bad habit I must personally break.)

Yes. I loved most of my shopping time today. I made a day of it. Looking at things. Thinking of projects or crafts I can get into moving forward. Meal plans. Lunch box ideas. The best sales. The best values. Of course, I also took time to check out some clothing, some jewelry, browse books, movies, and then organize my buggie Like A Boss.

Now you’ll notice earlier, I said I loved nearly every minute.

There was an incident.

We buy Eight O’Clock Bean coffee in the BIG bag. You know, the biggest bag they sell?
We typically buy whole bean and then grind it fresh. Sometimes, being lazy, I grind it while I’m at the store just to cut down on the morning prep time.

So today we needed coffee.
Now, I’m at one of the Super Wal-Mart stores. You know how these stores go, totally and completely crowded. I’ve been in this particular store for about 2 hours by the time I get to the coffee.
I get my big bag of Colombian goodness and make the decision to grind it in the store.

Now, I’m 5’3 to 5’4. Not a very tall person by any means. The coffee bean grinder is within reach, however, I can’t see down into it. It’s just above my eye level ability. (And I’m wearing platform flip flops too BTW.)
I open up my huge bag of whole beans and proceed to dump it into the the grinder.

Apparently, the coffee grinder in this particular store does not hold the full contents of one of these large bags.
Because of the height difference, I find this out only after coffee beans go EVERYWHERE.

They are ping ponging off the shelves onto the floor in a symphony of chaos.
More beans are rolling out across the isle to overtake any pedestrian even thinking about tea or coffee.
With absolute horror I look up to see the mountain of beans spewing forth out of the top of the grinder like an angry volcano erupting, and there are still a fair amount of beans in the bag.

So what do I do?

Like any good citizen who suffers from severe anxiety and turns so red she can feel her entire body on fire, I set the partially-filled-with-beans bag back on the shelf next to the grinder (beans still trickling down the shelf in a little sing song “ping ping”), grab another unopened bag of Whole Beans, drop it in the buggie and walk away as quickly as is humanly possible in platform flip flops.

Lord forgive me. And please bless the poor soul who ended up cleaning that mess. 

Sigh. I have to work on the anxiety thing still.

The rest of my shopping trip was a complete and utter blur. What I do know, is I came home with WAY MORE OJ than I needed, and three containers of Pumpkin Pie Spice instead of one. Not to mention a bunch of other stuff that put me WAY over the original budget I set for myself, which them prompted me to drive over to meet my husband for a bit on his short break at work, and burst into tears feeling like a complete and utter failure.

Today was an adventure.

On the plus side, it felt great talking to my son about his school day, making dinner for my family, and soon to be snuggling on the couch with the hubs for some quiet time before bed.

Life is an adventure. Life is good.
I am thankful for this opportunity.
And maybe, someday, in the far and distant future, I will try to grind my beans at a store. For now, home grinding will be the only grinding for me!

In Love & Faith,

Give To Me The Coffee – And Take From Me The Pizza

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

The pizza.
The Chester’s Chicken.
The fried potato wedge.
The Ranch Dressing. Not Fat Free Ranch. Not Light Ranch. The Real Deal Ranch.
The Oreo Brownie.
The Blueberry Muffins.
Cape Code Waffle Chips. With Sea Salt. Mmmmm. Waffle Chips.

Oh yea.

Yesterday was a “Food” day. A “Dive off the wagon with hair blowing in the wind” day. Continue reading “Give To Me The Coffee – And Take From Me The Pizza”

Vinegar, Cayenne, and What Am I Doing?

My first day as a homemaker was fairly mellow. I actually accomplished nearly everything on my To-Do list for the day which I was pretty impressed with. I’m still finding a lot of difficulty with getting into a grove. My husband has bronchitis and attempted to go to work, however, had to admit defeat and come home. His goal should be trying not to move because moving = breathing and breathing too hard may = losing a lung. Either way, the bonus for me is that he is here and is the perfect excuse for a distraction to my transition.

The second day was a national Holiday. Independence Day! Which means everyone is home!
And I develop a nagging cough that is not going away. AWESOMENESS. 
Sadly, my son was very disappointed that both of his parents were too sick to really want to do anything other than lie in a comatose state watching Netflix. Not to mention, mom is finally home and now she’s sick. Lame.

We did manage to go out on a little mini adventure, and start a game of monopoly that I’m pretty positive I’m going to lose this evening. (Hey, Go Big or Go Home).

We did get a little treat last night after deciding we would not be traveling anywhere for fireworks. Our neighbors apparently didn’t want to travel either and decided to put on their own light show. WOOT!

All in all, it was good. Today the hubs will be home sick again. I myself may be making a trip to the doctor. I don’t have the huge hack he has, however, I have a Zell sized hack and I’d really rather not be sick all of Maine’s short summer.

Speaking of which, this brings me to my latest topic. A friend on Facebook recommended that I start drinking Raw Apple Cider Vinegar (with the mother, which my first thought was honestly “what does my mother have to do with this?) with a dash of cayenne pepper.
It took me awhile to truly wrap my brain around what she was suggesting.
Then of course, I did some MAJOR Google stalking of Raw Apple Cider Vinegar as well as Cayenne Pepper.

I’m still not sure if I believe all the “healing powers” the online forums say this concoction can have, yet, why not try it? I’m game for giving this a shot over some man-made chemicals that come in an easy to swallow pill.
So during our little mini adventure yesterday, we stopped by the grocery store and picked up the key ingredient. The Raw ACV. This morning, I went for it.
As suggested by my friend, I put 2 tablespoons of Raw ACV (with the mother, which thanks to Google I know now what is) in 8 ounces of water and dashed some Cayenne pepper on top. Stirred it a bit and drank it. 
WOWZA – This will wake up any non-morning person I guarantee it.
Now she recommends drinking this twice a day. I’m not sure how long this is going to last. I will say that normally I cannot function in the morning without coffee. I am NOT a morning person. However, I’ve now been awake since 5am. I drank this first thing and here is what I’ve accomplished without yet having my first cup of joe:
  • Fix boys breakfast
  • Make coffee with our broken coffee pot (I’ll include a picture another time)
  • Pack son’s lunch for camp and fill out camp paperwork
  • Got into my Bible for some reading time/prayer time (post found here if interested)
  • Update my To-Do List
  • Blog this blog, HA
My point is, I’m just now starting to feel like I’m going to have to get that cup of coffee before starting on the rest of my list. If for nothing else, maybe this will be worth it to get my eyes wide open first thing so I don’t keep going for snooze or naps.
Today’s focus is getting the To-Do list done, trying to nurse the husband back to health, try to not hack up my own lung in the process, and see if I can find the ingredients for making my own laundry detergent. (Oh Pinterest, I forsee you becoming an ally in this homemaker gig or an enemy. Judgement is still out on that one).

I end this blog with the following funny:
At the end of Tuesday I was talking to my hubs about my fears and worries of being a homemaker. Here is our conversation:

Me: “I guess the thing that is the most difficult, is I don’t have a job description. I mean, like an official job       description with expectation guidelines. I feel like I need that.”
Hubs: “Are you saying you want me to give you a job description?”
Me: “Ummm…maybe?”
Hubs: “Would you like monthly performance appraisals as well?”
Me: “Does it make me a bad person if I say yes?”
Hubs: “No. Psychologically unstable and extremely concerning, yes. Bad person, no.”

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