Werewolves be damned. I’ve worked my ass off today! Yesterday, after my “I have done NOTHING” post, the girls and I made a chart of all our meals. We planned out pretty much all of them, leaving one opening to discuss with Beloved. He filled the slot and made me a list of ingredients.
Today I woke up late, because the weather was so beautiful, and the cool wind was caressing me in a delightful autumnal way and made it impossible for me to leave my bed. Late meaning 9 a.m. rather than the 7 a.m. required for a gym outing. E was not home – I left her at a friend’s last night after watching High School Musical 2, and she was due home at an undetermined time (another reason I didn’t want to be at the gym … I wouldn’t have been here to coordinate E’s homecoming). E got home shortly after 10, and I forced her and her sister to accompany me to Starbucks for the daily injection.
Again, the lovely weather! We stepped outside, me wearing jeans and a short sleeve shirt, and immediately turned back into the house to get sweaters. Sweaters! The sky was royal blue, and the clouds puffy and white. I was in heaven. It felt like 55 degrees, tops and the wind was fierce. Fall is coming! Fall is coming!
We had an enjoyable walk, where we commented on houses we passed (typical conversation in this house, since I’m obsessed with houses) and then ran across a turkey. Yeah, a turkey. This isn’t the first time. They live in our neighborhood. They started out as tiny little things, no bigger than ducklings, back in April or May. There were 10 babies who would follow their mother around, crossing streets, strolling through parking lots, etc.
Just the other day, Beloved returned home from a shopping excursion with my parents’ car, and came in the apartment laughing. He said, “The parking spot was taken when I got home – by turkeys! The babies aren’t babies anymore!” The girls ran outside to catch a glimpse, but were too slow.
The one we passed by today came up to J’s chest … probably my waist. It stood up on the curb staring across the street. We laughed that it looked like it was waiting for the light to change. Only there was no light. Ha! It stood stock still, just staring. I said perhaps it was waiting for its babies to come home. Perhaps they said they’d be home, and were late, and she was watching out for their return, worried that there had been an accident. The girls told me, “mom, they aren’t babies anymore!” I told them it doesn’t matter, moms will worry no matter how tall their babies have gotten, and told E that she is still my baby (so there!). She then tried to convince me that she’s all grown up.
Newsflash: While she is turning 11 in a month, and while she does seem to be passing through some of the younger stages into the more adolescent ones – she is NOT grown up! No! She is not! She cannot go out without telling me where. I will be watching the sidewalk for at least 10 minutes before the time she’s due home. I will be continuing to talk with the parents of her friends to be sure we’re all on the same page with after school and extra curricular activities. See? NOT grown up.
We arrived home to spend 3 hours lost in the land of property acquisitions, bankruptcies, intrafamily loans, and hotel-building. Ah, yes, we are Monopoly addicts. I eventually, at 2 p.m., had to pry myself away so that I could start to plan my multiple-store attack in preparation for camping.
It seemed so overwhelming at first. I don’t remember the last time I had to plan more than one meal at a time, thanks to Beloved’s prowess in the kitchen (and at Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s). I had all these meals (9? 10?) and various ingredients, all of which are best purchased at particular stores, and at particular times, and it was a little scary.
So I made another chart.
I had to go through 3 different phases of lists. First of meals. Then meals with ingredients. Then a store-by-store list, where I crossed the ingredients off the meal list as I added them to the store list. Only during the last phase did I realize that it was, in fact, something I was capable of.
I could not cry uncle prior to that point, and ask for Beloved’s help. First of all, he had shouldered the lion’s share of Europe planning, a la bar exam. Second of all, he’s not feeling well. Third of all, I have pride. A good deal of it.
Between list phases, I had gone down to our storage closet and extricated the camping gear. I loved finding all of our stuff. It had been so long since I last laid eyes on it. We have, really, everything you can imagine. We even have an AXE!! An axe!! We had plastic cups. And we have tongs! A tea kettle. A mosquito candle thingy. Pots and pans. A grill pan. A stove. Bowls. A tupperware full of sugar (crystallized, rock hard and useless, but still … we had that in our stuff).
I realized that we had lent our gear to my parents, and since we passed it on without opening it up first (most of our stuff is in a storage bin), I didn’t realize just how complete our stuff is. I was sort of impressed with us on their behalf. How nice it would be, to be handed such a complete camping-kit. Stove, lantern, propane, cooking utensils, etc.
Yeah, we rock.
And now we get to enjoy the benefits of our rockitude.
Then I went to Trader Joe’s, where I spent $89, but would have spent only $69 had they not seemed to be running out of my new-favorite wine and also had they not been advertising a new Pinot Grigio which I found appealing. Despite how crowded they were, I was in and out in what felt like 20 minutes. And I had a lot of stuff! And I called Beloved at least twice, and he called me once. And I sampled a weird wine. (Yes, it was weird. I don’t even know what kind – because the name was weird).
I dropped stuff off at home, drank a giant glass of my favorite, just-purchased orange sparkly water, and headed to Whole Foods.*
$54 later (huh? I spent less at Whole Foods than Trader Joe’s? What exactly is going on here?), I went to Stop & Shop, because Whole Foods didn’t carry the BIG ravioli’s (tonight’s dinner), and I didn’t see ANY baked beans (for beanie weanies, at the campsite).
Once I brought all of that stuff home, I piled the kids in the car (I’d left them home for the previous trips) and we went to Target for: propane for the gas stove, S’mores ingredients, paper plates, batteries for the lantern, and a white t-shirt for me, because I stained my other one.
Finally, at 6:45, I came home. To stay.
Now I’m doing laundry loads #s 3 and 4, and in 7 minutes, have to go downstairs and start numbers 5 and 6 – mostly towels from the beach, since our campsite does (thank god) have showers, and I need my crappy towels to be clean.
And I still have to pack!
* At least in our town, we have a huge uprising of reusable grocery bags. Beloved and I have been a part of this movement since our Berkeley days, and own several canvas, plastic, and even woven grocery bags. I always, of course, forget to bring them with me. Especially since I often am out doing other things and then impulsively think, “oh, I’ll just stop at the grocery store.” Of course I don’t carry my bags with me everywhere. Right? That would be … bulky. This results in me feeling guilty at the thought of receiving yet more paper or plastic, and then purchasing MORE reusable bags. Both our frequented grocery places sell them for as little as $1, which I find more than worth it. [Ha! While searching for a photo of the bags, expecting to find it on Whole Foods’ site, I found that someone is selling one on EBay! For $9.99! What the hell? I bought it today – the very one – for $1!]
I have recently used the Whole Foods bag, similar to the one linked to above, and found it to be absolutely the best bag I’ve bought. The Trader Joe’s ones are plasticky, and their handles aren’t long. The Whole Foods one is a thin cloth, and the handles are long enough that I can put it on my shoulder. It’s also bigger. While the TJ’s one is the size of a normal paper grocery bag, the Whole Foods one is at least 150% that size, which means it holds more. I’m a strong person. I can easily carry (especially on my shoulder) a full bag that is 150% the size of a paper bag.
So today, I bought another one. And I am very happy. I was especially happy to see that a new season (or hint thereof) brought a new bag design. Otherwise, I would have probably just jammed all the groceries into the one bag. A new design, though? Who can resist? [The right answer is probably: “Any normal person.”]
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