Gmail email emoticons

Call me a dork, but I’m totally excited that Gmail has (finally) added Gmail emoticons. Hoorah. I love my gmail, having had it when you needed an invite to get it. I use it for work and personal use, but it has lacked some of the traditional bells and whistles of rival web-based email (Yahoo, Hotmail). It is nice to see these little improvements coming along. Hopefully we continue to see improvements being made in Picasa as well. Keep it up, Google.

Reusable Grocery Bags

Another day in the land of Grocery Shopping…

Last week I buckled down and did some BIG shopping at the store I specifically use for BIG shopping. Frank was working overtime and we were in desperate need of some groceries. I had to be done. I didn’t have all the elements set for a large shopping adventure (missing: meal plan and list – and husband or helper to push 2nd cart), but I had time, some money and the kids were all in school. That counts for something.

I grabbed every reusable bag I could find in my van (missed 2 actually) and headed in the store. Woodmans doesn’t have the best paper bags (no handles), and when you’re loading oodles of bags in the car and carrying them into your home, handles are nice. ‘Can’t tell you how many times I’ve had a Woodman’s bag rip in my arms as I lug it into my house.

I tried to keep a mental note of what I wanted, what I needed and what I could stand to stock up on. I took my time, which was an indulgence I don’t always have. I could spend 5 minutes comparing prices on toilet paper, if it tickled my fancy. Lucky me. Normally I’ve got at least a couple kids and a husband in tow. Between the Can I get _______ and Hey look at this!! I get very little done and always end up spending more than intended and having not a whole lot to show for it.

About 3/4 through the store, about the time when I hit the meat and dairy isles, my cart was about to explode. I tried to balance the 2 jugs of vinegar, 2 bags of rice and 4 gallons of milk in precarious places, but had to move the cart so slowly it was ridiculous. Even at the slow pace I lost an item every 10 feet. A man walked by me as I picked up my milk and said, Why you need 2 carts. I laughed and blathered something about my husband being the 2nd cart pusher and hewasatwork, blabla, laugh laugh, curse under breath.

And then I gave in and made the turtle-walk to the other end of the store to grab my second cart. I needed it if I were to:

1.) Make it out of the store without killing a gallon or two of milk
2.) Finish my shopping, getting what I needed

I transferred some items from Cart 1 to Cart 2 and finished out my trip in the frozen foods and bottle drinks section, then made my way to the checkout line. I wondered if I’d have enough bags, and then for a split second, wondered if I’d have enough money. I wanted to stay under $400, and it was looking close. Usually I can guess within $10 of the total, but my mind was to weary to even try that day.

I checked the total after the first cart and it was low enough that I was safe to continue on my second cart. I was fearing the big “$400” but hoped for a lower amount. Total? $300. Score. $300 was just dandy. And I only went over my wonderful reusable bag limit by 2 bags.

“Drive up?” They ask.

“Nope.” Momma likes a challenge.

Wouldn’t you know when I got to the car, there were 2 more reusable bags that I had missed? Perfect!! I double-bagged my handle-less paper bags into the reusable ones, emptied 2 carts full of groceries into my van and headed home, hoping Lootie would be there to meet (and help me carry the groceries in) me. Sure enough he was. God love the kid, he’s a workhorse (not to mention he’s happy to see groceries come into our house). He helped carry them up for me with no complaints.

Some of our groceries:

Deflated bags:

I finally got to use my Earthbound Farms bag. I had a couple Bratfest bags thrown in there as well. But I have to say, as far as reusable grocery bags go, the Whole Foods bags are my favorite. I use them before any others. They’re only $1 each, too, when many I’ve seen sell for 3x that (or more). I love my reusable bags. Only drawback of using the recyclable bags is the lack of paper bags to put our household recyclables in.

Buying Durable Towels

The other day as I was drying off after my shower (yeah, a visual you don’t need…), I held the towel by both hands, drying my back and heard a riiiiiiiip. The towel began to come apart right in my hands. I noticed our towels were beginning to fray at the ends, not all but some of them. As this happened, my mind began to ponder on towels.

Why were my towels ripping? I surely hadn’t had them that long. I have towels from JcPenney, Wal-mart and ShopkO. Maybe Kohls, too. I never put that much thought into towels. If they match the bathroom somewhat, they are good. On thing my thoughts came to rest on was the fact that my mom has towels that are at least 20 years old. Some maybe 30 years old. Standing the test of time. Are her towels that much better than mine? Or is it true that they simply “don’t make stuff like they used to”? I’m simply not sure. But I do wonder where people buy their towels from, and if anyone noticed their towels to be in as sad a state, as ours are?

The Child Whisperer

We watch The Dog Whisperer. Not with any consistency, but if it is on, I’ll leave the channel there. I’m completely not a “dog person” but for some reason, the way Ceasar Millan is able to take a little shifty punk-headed canine and whoop it into shape with a Shhht!! and a smile makes me be like, daaaaaaang.

I need me a Child Whisperer. Send me that and I’ll be your slave for a month. I mean I try the whole Shhhtt!! thing with my kids, but they’re onto me since they’ve seen the show. Strangely, they’ll actually sometimes pay me mind, though when I do it. Whining? Shhhtt!! and they give me a look, sometimes echo my Shhhtt!!-ing, but they often will Shhhtt!! it.

Go figure.