What else did you do this year?

Yesterday, January 2, one of the women in an online book group posted a conversation she had with her husband. He asked her how many books she’s read this year, already knowing because he followed her Goodreads feed. The answer was 9.

The conversation continued. He asked if she’d gotten anything other than reading done in the past two days. She told him that yes, she’d also bought a hat on Amazon.

The book group wanted to know details about the hat.

Make him work for his money

When I was at the grocery store the other day, it became obvious to me that I had wandered in on the day that the employees were getting their bonuses. The younger employees were all getting in the checkout lines to cash their checks. It didn’t take long, but it was unusual enough to make me ask questions.

I ended up in line between two employees. One was almost finished cashing her check. The other was waiting for me to check out so he could cash his check. The first person finished and was chatting with the bagger while she waited for the second. The checker finished up my transaction and was I was paying when I heard the first person and the bagger start laughing. The bagger told the cashier to turn off the belt. The employee who was in line behind me was trying to endorse his check, using the conveyor belt as a table. He put the check down and tried to get his pen ready. The check would move along the belt. He’d pick the check up again. He put the check down. He tried to get his pen ready, and the check was down the belt again. He had to pick it up and start again. It was funny to watch him attempt this over and over. I looked at the checker and told her to make him work for his money. She offered to speed up the belt to make it funnier. I left, so I never knew if he eventually got his check endorsed. It was certainly part of my entertainment for the day.

But the homeless guy said it would be ok

I hate grocery shopping these days. I had trouble with Instacart delivering the wrong items, so I insist on doing it myself. I did not want to order green bananas and get plantains or order canned corn and get canned baby corn. Once was enough. If you want something done right, do it yourself.

Because of this, I limit my trips to the store, but I am still out there at the grocery store with the rest of the crazy people. There’s always something unusual going on. There are people trying to squeeze past me into a three inch gap between me and the freezer. Spacial issues? Your butt is bigger than that, Lady. You won’t fit. Another time, there was a woman who decided that my almost full cart looked just like her almost empty cart and took off with it. Then she came back with it and showed me that the carts had almost identical items in it. Umm, no.

This week, the actual filling of the cart went smoothly. I got in line, and I was the second one in line. The lady in front of me had no cart. Just a personal shopping bag with all of her groceries in it. The checker was very calm and apologized to her. He calmly explained that the store does not allow personal bags right now, and she was welcome to take her groceries outside to fill her bag, or she could load it herself, or she could use a regular bag from the store, with no charge. This was UNACCEPTABLE! Oh, great. Just what I need. At least I wasn’t in a hurry.

The woman takes her mask off and starts yelling at the checker. The checker at the register next to them squeezed out silently and got security to come. The woman with no mask continued to yell her point that if she is given a bag, no one better charge her for it. Then she started yelling that she was given permission before she brought it in. She wanted the manager to know that the guy by the front door is telling people they can bring their bags in. “He must know what he’s talking about, since he lives here!” It comes out eventually that she asked the homeless guy who sits on the bench outside the store. He must be the ultimate authority, right? He sees everyone coming and going, so he knows.

I decided to change lines. I was in and out of there with three households’s groceries in the time that it took security to calm the lady down. She was still in there when I wandered off and loaded my car. I can’t wait for the next adventure. Yes, I can. Grocery shopping is no fun right now.

Entertainment at the Grocery store

As usual, I find entertainment in many of the things I do. Right now, I pretty much just go to work, the post office, and the grocery store. Other than that, I’m entertaining myself at home. Of these places that aren’t home, the grocery store seems to have the most entertainment, but I can’t always see it at the time. Sometimes, I need to reflect on the trip in order to see it. Other times, it just comes to me.

Check out time is entertaining to me. Most people are grouchy these days. I try to not be, but I know that I can be. The checkers and baggers aren’t happy to see me with three orders. I don’t dawdle, and I am ready with the payment for the first order before the second order is ready to be rung up. It works. The checker is usually confused, but it works out.

I usually try to chat with the checker and bagger. Most of the time they are too tired or busy to do more than say hi. I understand. But I still try.

The last time I went, the checker and the bagger asked if I was shopping for Instacart. No. Just family members who can’t get out, and I’m already at the store, so I add their lists to the cart. I do request that they put one order in the child seat, one order in the big part, and one order at the bottom of the cart. It’s easy to sort in the car, and then I usually get the right items to the right household.

The baggers are usually fairly new and don’t seem to understand the basics. I had one bagger tell me that I have a bag of eggs in the cart, with chips on top, so I should be careful. Ok. Thank you for the heads up. Next thing I know, she puts a 2 liter bottle of soda on top of the chips and eggs. I move it, and then she replaces the bottle with a gallon of juice.

The next time I saw a bagger, I had a lot of bread in the cart. I told him, kiddingly, that if he could put the bread on the bottom and the rest of the groceries on top, that would be great. He looked at me and said, “I’m sorry. They train us to not do that.” The checker told him that I was kidding. The checker thanked me for not being a grouch like most of the other people who had been through that day.

Another checker in the lane next to me was closing. Break time. I hear him tell the line, “please don’t get in this line, I’m closing.” “Please don’t put your things on my belt, I’m closing.” “See? My light isn’t on. I’m closing.” over and over. Eventually, it was in a monotone. As he’s counting his drawer, I look at him from the line I was in. “Are you closed?” He looked at me stunned. I explained that I was kidding and I had heard him, and I work in a hospital and was used to people ignoring instructions. He laughed and said that he was happy that someone understood how he was feeling and had had a rough day. He thanked me for the laugh.

I am entertained by the people who wear their masks around their chins. How do you expect it do anything when it’s covering nothing? Even if it’s just covering your mouth, your nose isn’t covered. Where do you think you breathe from?

I am entertained by the people who don’t understand that if there are six inches between me and the shelf on the left, and six feet between me and the shelf on the right, passing on the right is acceptable. Passing on the left is nearly impossible. Even if you are six inches wide, your cart is more than that. Maybe think about where things fit?

Remember, we are all going through a tough time right now. Supplies are limited. People are stressed out. Be kind to each other. Laugh about what you can. Be grumbly in writing, not to their faces. A lot of people just don’t understand that there are other people who might be having a bad day, or they just don’t realize there are other people around.

Peddlers Village

We went to check out the shops at Peddlers Village, Pennsylvania.  There was a scarecrow competition going on.  I took photos of a lot of them.One of the stores.  My mom refers to my daughter’s room as her mole hole, so I needed the photo of the sign.

The water wheelThere were a lot of jerky stores on my trip. Of course we found a bookstore. The carousel in the children’s area.This has to be the fastest carousel I have ever seen. another bookstore
We headed to Rocky Horror after we finished looking at everything.   I was happy to stop fighting with the umbrella that Michelle made me bring with us.

Rocky Horror, New Hope

A week or two before my trip, we decided to get tickets to a play.  Michelle chose one of the movies that I have memorized.  We decided to go to the Sunday matinee.

We were among the youngest in the theater.  I guess that’s what we get for choosing the matinee. 

The drink menu was entertaining.  I chose dammit Janet.  Shirley Temple and vodka.We got a goodie bag in our seats. 
We couldn’t take photos inside, other than at the very end.  I hope Michelle posts some of those.  Video, too.

After the show, we found a bookstore. 

We passed a few things, looking for a place to have dinner.The sign on the bathroom door.Happy hour!  Mine is the blackberry basil drink.Fries with gorgonzola and bacon jam.My shrimp scampi with rice noodles.
And, Michelle’s cauliflower tacos in the background.

We went back and slept.  The rain did us in, too.  

Reading Terminal Market

There was so much here to see, eat, and buy.  It was overwhelming.

This stand had beef jerky and lots of other types of jerky.

The view down just one of the aisles.I had been sent for butter cake, so I figured I should try some.  Nope.  Not my thing.I ended up getting chicken coconut soup for breakfast.This was a spice, nut and candy store.  They sold in bulk.  You brought the container to the cashier and they weighed out what you wanted.Another view down an aisleI was going to get one for the pups at home, but they wouldn’t have stayed fresh long enough to make it home.Vats of picklesI wandered for a long time here before heading down to the Constitution Center.

Saturday afternoon

I had a quiet afternoon planned for Saturday, since my original plans were cancelled.  Somehow, my sister sensed the cancellation and invited me to go visit her and her kids.  I had to stop at Starbucks first to get the energy.

She suggested we go to the playground, but it was so cold and windy, we thought better of it.

We ended up going to Target.  Why not?  I am not used to keeping track of small cars, but I managed.

 

This toy set off several rounds of “The Wheels on the Bus” from the two year old.  He seemed surprised that I knew the words.  He had the song stuck in his head, but kept singing different verses, at least.

I am not sure why he thought that the eagle needed to live in the dollhouse, but it kept him quiet and busy for a while.

I ended up getting my contact solution and several other items while we were out.

I took the older boys on the hunt for the contact solution.  Her middle son asked me what we were looking for.  “oh, I hope we don’t find it.  Once we find it, our mission will end.”  This somewhat explains why children can’t find things in front of their faces.

It was a fun day, and I definitely needed the caffeine for the outing.

Another long weekend away

I left after work on Tuesday to head to the condo to be poolside for the week and weekend.

The kids helped me bring stuff in to the condo when I arrived.

I settled in with a drink almost immediately.

Homemade whiskey sour. Yum.

I managed to get lunch in before my friends arrived.

We had poolside snacks.

A house guest gift.

There was a candy store in town.

There were a lot of types of candy I hadn’t seen before or hadn’t seen in a long time.

I bought nothing.

There was a cute little gift store.

We found a bookstore in town!

Of course, I found books I didn’t have yet. Again, I bought nothing.

We took the time to get a pedicure.

This guy was parked semi legally near the nail place.

This little one comes by frequently for pets and asking for snacks.

I got several movies watched while I was away. Things I’ve been meaning to see, but I don’t get the chance at home. The Upside. Isn’t It Romantic. Five Feet Apart. The Book Club. Crazy Rich Asians. I am sure I’ll remember what else.

I have another quiet today today, I hope. I’ll post about it later.