At Sam’s

One day I was an early shopper at Sam’s Club. I walked to the usual door, my mind counting the items to pick up and I stopped dead. The door didn’t open. Only then did I notice the exit door had a sign welcoming early shoppers at that door. I trudged to that door, picked up a cart and rolled into the store.

Once inside, I noticed a table with coffee pots. Hmmm, I wondered, if those were for me? I didn’t investigate, but filed that note away in the recesses of my mind (hopefully I will be able to pull it out when I need it).

Still checking on my mental list, I wandered past the book section. They have Divergent and it is pretty cheap, so I added this item to my cart. (After all, I am on summer vacation, it’s time to catch up on some reading. 🙂 )

My list was complete and I stopped at the first self-check out lane. I swiped my card, it didn’t read it. I swipe slower, it didn’t read it. One more time, with my eyes narrowed, and aggravation building, it decides I am legit and it welcomed me. Ha! Some welcome!

There is a girl patrolling the self-check stands who wandered by my cart. She checked out my items and noted the Divergent book. “Oh you are going to read it before seeing the movie?” she inquired. Before I can respond she continued on, “I did that with the Hunger Games. I didn’t even know there was a book of Divergent.” I am thinking, Really, you didn’t know it was a book first? Do you live under a rock?

Meanwhile during this exchange, all my items are scanned, I slide the credit card and receive a message I’ve never gotten before. You have a chip in your credit card, use the reader under the credit card reader to complete your transaction. What? I always use the same credit card, what’s going on? It also said, Touch help if you need assistance.

I don’t need to ask for assistance, the help is standing right next to me exclaiming she has no idea what this is talking about. I discovered a slot under the card reader and it seemed to work because the receipt  printed.

“Huh, learn something new every day,” the girl announced. I mentally thought, You learned two new things today.




Have you been hearing the term first world problems? When I Googled the term I found this definition:  First World Problems are frustrations and complaints that are only experienced by privileged individuals in wealthy countries. It is typically used as a tongue-in-cheek comedic device to make light of trivial inconveniences.

Lately I have been plagued with first world problems. Today I share a few.

Example 1: “There’s something wrong with the hot water heater again,” my husband tells me. Eventually warm water is flowing from the tap, but we are concerned. The water heater is ten years old, so we are living (or should I say bathing) on borrowed time (according to Consumer Reports).

We call to have someone look at it. It is not the water heater, but the recirculating pump that is not working right. However, after the examination, it seems to be working fine (for a few days). Dare I say we are spoiled, we want hot water within seconds after turning on the tap.

The pump is replaced along with the water heater. We decide to be proactive and not wait for disaster to strike.

Example 2: I take a bite, H-h-h-hot my mouth screams to my brain. My mouth is burned but I don’t realize it until I take a sip of my decaf coffee later that afternoon. It is not a sensation I enjoy. Wish I’d known the meat was heated before it was added to the grilled sandwich, thereby creating a molten hot filling, not just a warmed grilled sensation. Not complaining, just saying.

3. I am working at my desk. All of a sudden my chair sinks a fraction of an inch. Moments later, it sinks another fraction. Slip, slip, slip, slowly I sink lower and lower to the floor. I never know when the sinking will begin. It can go days, no slipping or I can be adjusting the height every fifteen minutes. Perhaps it is telling me I need to go on a diet.

These are minor inconveniences, but they sure are irritating. I guess I’m a victim of first world problems. I continue to discover more and more each day.

Final Celebration for March

Here we are back to Saturday and time to celebrate moments of the week. This week has found me staying close to home. I’ve been able to:

  • start mornings slowly. sipping coffee while reading and commenting on slices
  • sort accumulated papers to recycle  or organize in binders
  • pick up tax papers (no big bill 🙂 )
  • make a new dessert (to celebrate no tax bill)
  • try two new dinner recipes (from Pinterest)
  • putter around my office rearranging some shelves
  • clear my blotter calendar of many post-its attached to the surface
A fresh page to begin collecting notes.

A fresh page to begin collecting notes.

Don’t look too closely at the blotter. It is from 2011. I don’t really use it for a calendar, but more for protection of my desk. It also is a great place to jot notes. After I looked through all the post-its attached, I removed the written on month of April. Now I have a clean slate to write on for the rest of this year. At this rate, the blotter will last me another eight years.

While cleaning off part of my desk I opened a notebook to discover I had a collection of a few quotes. I’d forgotten I’d jotted these down. So I will leave you with a couple of thoughts to ponder as you celebrate all your accomplishments this week.

“Good people bring out the good in other people.”

“The happiest people don’t have the best of everything, they just make the best of everything.”

Have a great week!

Slice of Life

Be sure to visit Two Writing Teachers for more slices of life.

Be sure to visit Two Writing Teachers for more slices of life.

Wednesday’s writing workout, rhyming nonfiction (link to the post) from Teaching Authors blog sparked a thought. Friday is poetry day in the blog world. I wonder if I can do this? What could my nonfiction topic be? How about Slice of Life? Writing in rhyming couplets is not so easy. I am thankful for my Scholastic Rhyming Dictionary to help me through several revisions as I chose words.

Small moments you share

Family and friends, beware!

When a tale’s well told

The words become precious as gold.

This month you discovered a new topic or two,

When March is over, are you through?

Tuesdays call for more

You can do it, writing is no longer a chore!

This month you learned writing is fun,

 Never say, “I’m done.”

Instead say, “I’ve just begun!”



Ham Salad

Are you a meat salad eater? As a child, I don’t remember ever having a sandwich made from chopped meat and assorted crunchy additions.

Tuna sandwiches were bread spread with Miracle Whip and canned tuna set on top, maybe a lettuce leaf was included. There was no such thing as chicken salad. If you had a chicken sandwich it was sliced chicken meat on buttered bread (sounds a bit dry doesn’t it?). Ham was another sandwich choice, but it was slices of ham on Miracle Whip (we called it mayonnaise, little did I know that was not mayonnaise). Now with the ham you probably got a slice of cheese. That was all I knew about sandwiches with meat.

Years later, I mean I was an adult, before I knew of the tastes of chicken salad, tuna salad, and ham salad as options for sandwiches. So now when we have ham, the leftovers will be ground up and a ham salad is created.

What do you put in ham salad? I tend to add and add until the bowl is brimming. There might be hard boiled eggs, celery, sweet pickle relish, some finely chopped onion, shredded cheddar cheese, perhaps a dab of horseradish sauce, and of course, Miracle Whip. Any or all ingredients will find its way into my ham salad. It’s never the same twice.

Often I will bring my mom some of the food I fix for dinner. This way she gets some variety and she doesn’t have to cook. I mentioned to my mom that I was going to bring over some food and ham salad was one of the items I named.

“You don’t have to put so much into the ham salad,” she tells me.

I’m confused, “What do you mean? It’s not ham salad if I don’t put in celery, relish, and other stuff.” What I’m figuring out from this conversation is she doesn’t like my ham salad.

“What if I just bring you the ground ham, and you can put in whatever you like,” I suggest.

That would be perfect. So now I’m wondering, what constitutes ham salad?

Tax Time

Question of the day: Will I owe money to IRS or do they owe me money? Keep reading to find out.

At 6:20 p.m. my cell phone rings. I look to see who the caller is but only the number shows. As it rings I study the number, do I know this number? It is in my area code, so it is local. I answer. It is the accountant’s office, our taxes are ready to be picked up. No clue if it is good news or bad news. “Great,” I say, “I will come over tomorrow and pick them up.”

I am not too worried, whatever it is I know that we will be able to handle it. My husband, on the other hand, continues to fret. “This is going to be expensive. I know we are going to have a massive tax bill.” He is concerned because he had a few part time jobs last year and no taxes were taken out. I understand his concern, but still I don’t think he made that much that it should be an issue.

I used to do our taxes. First I just muddled through on my own, then I began using Turbo Tax, which made it much easier. But as time went on and our circumstances changed, I had more and more difficulty understanding where to put what number with Turbo Tax. My stress level would rise as I watched the numbers on the computer grow. We always owed money and that was after paying extra taxes quarterly. The spring was never joyful.

Finally I had enough. We found an accountant to take over this onerous task. The tax story changed when he took over. We began getting money back. We paid less and less on the quarterly tax. Now tax time is not such a terrible time. I happily fill in the worksheet, stack receipts, and turn it over to him. A few weeks later, I get the call. Now spring is joyful, especially when we don’t have a huge tax bill. Once again, the accountant knew where to put the numbers and they came out in our favor. No taxes due! A refund will be deposited in our checking account. Now that’s good news!

To celebrate taxes I made Chocolate Peanut Butter

A Pinterest find, I think I will keep it, yum!

A Pinterest find, I think I will keep it, yum!

Cheesecake Cookie Bars for dessert. Who would of thought there’d be reasons to celebrate tax time? I hope you have good news on your taxes too.

Breakfast Out

Sunday evening, my husband and I realized that we didn’t have to be anywhere on Monday. That realization brought big smiles to our faces. “You want to go out for breakfast?” he asked me.

“Definitely!” I responded.

There’s a little breakfast/lunch place that we love to visit. Some would refer to it as “a hole in the wall” kind of place. Weekends are crazy busy there. People wait for an hour to get in and have a bit of comfort breakfast food.

On Monday there is no wait, we have our choice in seating. I chose the booth (wrong choice for me, read on for reason). We settle in, coffee comes quickly. I notice my usual choice is the special today, $1 off. I am tempted by the cinnamon swirled French toast, but stay with my usual. Two eggs over easy, sausage links, hash browns, plus a biscuit smothered in white sausage gravy will fill me up until dinnertime.

As we wait, sipping coffee, I notice there is a cold draft blowing on my right leg. I reach down to check if it is true or am I imagining. Yes, there is a definite draft blowing. I tell my husband about this cold air, he feels nothing. Maybe it is a draft from the windows at the booth behind me. Must be, I figure. This is an old building.

My food arrives, eating distracts me from the uncomfortable feeling from the cold draft. Once I finish, I am again noticing this cold air. I move over on the booth seat. It’s a little better. Wait, the air is following me. I move over more, if I move again I will be sitting on the floor.

My husband looks under the table. There is a vent on the floor, next to the wall. Someone has placed a magazine over the vent to block the air flow. It has been shifted, allowing air to escape. Apparently they did not like the arctic blast blowing against their leg either. With my toe, I readjust the magazine. The polar blast subsided. I sure wish I’d figured this out earlier. Next time I won’t select this booth, but if there is cold air blowing, I will look for the source rather than endure it.

photo 2 (6)

Gailey’s, where we love to go for breakfast.