Thursday, November 29, 2012

Black Friday #2: The Creepy Thing I Found in the Walgreens Toy Aisle

A picture really is worth a thousand words. I saw this in the toy aisle of the Marshalltown Walgreens.

In case it wasn't clear from that picture, it's a ready-to-paint Spider-man! I'm not sure this was a great idea for a toy. It may have sounded good on paper, but I would have thought someone would have put the breaks on the project after seeing a sample.
I was tempted to buy it, but was trying really hard to be responsible with my Black Friday budget. I couldn't stop thinking about this thing! So the next day, I went to the Waterloo Walgreens and found a whole stack of naked Spidies on top of the shelf above the adult diapers. I was SUPER excited! Until.......Until. I had a few minutes to examine the figurines while I waited for the Walgreens guy to come with a ladder. The Waterloo Spidies didn't seem as "well off" as the one I'd seen in Marshalltown. I wasn't sure if I had built it up in my mind, so I brought up my pictures of the originally spotted Marshalltown Spidey. The one in my pictures definitely appeared to be better off. Either there was a Spidey miracle or something went right wrong with that mold! 

I do hope that someone saw the potential in that one-of-a-kind Spidey in the Marshalltown Walgreens and that he brings joy to a special someone!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Black Friday #1: Why my sister and I went to the Kmart four times

My sister, Sara, and I had a blast on our traditional Black Friday shopping adventure in good ole' Marshalltown, Iowa. There's no Target, no Best Buy, no Home Depot, no Lowe's, no full-line Sears, no Gordman's, no Kohl's, no Old Navy. BUT, there were only a fraction of shoppers, and that's why we love it!

Here's the first part of the story about my most critical purchase. Black Friday #2 will tell the tale of the creepy thing we found in the Walgreens toy aisle.

Trip #1 to the Kmart
Approximately  9pm on Thursday
Sara and I were so happy to find our own cart that we didn't even mind the attached baby seat or the discarded empty beer can. We scouted out the 5am "big things" Doorbuster that I was dead set on getting for the girls. I was nervous because I needed three of them. It was no where to be found, but I vowed to return. (I can't tell you what the "big thing" is because it will ruin the surprise!)

Trip #2 to the Kmart
Approximately 4:40am on Friday
We arrived early for my "big thing" 5am Doorbuster. It was frigid! We waited in our car, like a few other eager beavers. We strategized about what the other people were after, convincing ourselves that their "big things" weren't the same as MY "big things".

I couldn't stand the anticipation and got out of the car at 4:49. We were about 12th in line, and I was sure I would get my "big things"! The funny thing is that NO ONE in line talked about their "big things". It reminded me of lining up for a track event. Intensely competitive.

DOORS OPEN!! HEART BEATING FAST!! Sara and I speed walked directly to the electronics department, but they directed us to customer service. We rushed over and were first in line. We spotted three of my "big things" behind the counter. Hoo Ha! Then the customer service girl told me that two were already spoken for with vouchers, so only one was available. BOO!!! I pointed out the ad that said "At least 6 per store," but the associate said they'd only received three. Not cool, Kmart! I didn't know what to do, so I bought the one remaining "big thing".

The lady in line behind me also asked for the "big thing" I had just cleaned them out of. I felt a little badly because I didn't even know if I would keep the one I had just bought.

We left the store with me mumbling about something being fishy. Something very fishy. I vowed to call Kmart headquarters and to get to the bottom of the situation. At least 6 per store. At least 6 per store. At least 6 per store! Grrrrrrrrr!

I bought three things that were disappointing replacements for the "big things" I couldn't get at the Kmart. But it was important to get three of the same "big things"!

My sister and I asked for help finding the chain binder on my dad's list. Three helpful Menard's men helped us find the chain binders and thoroughly demonstrated the gadget. They emphasized that we would want two chain binders. But they didn't understand that our dad is extremely precise, and the item was singular on his list. So we took two chain binders. Then we waited for the Menard's men to go away, and we put one back. And we were right. He wants one chain binder.

Trip #3 to the Kmart
6:40am on Friday
I went to return my "big thing" at the Kmart since it was no bueno unless I could get three. The customer service rep was excited to see me. She told me one more of my "big things" was available. So close, but I needed three, not two. Then she leaned forward and whispered that the third one would be available for  me in 20 minutes if no one came forward with the voucher. :D Yeah!

Trip #4 to the Kmart
7:00am on Friday
I GOT THREE "BIG THINGS!" Christmas is saved at la casa de Schaffer! Fa la la la la! La la la la!

Thank you customer service girl at the Marshalltown Kmart!!! 

Monday, November 26, 2012

The Day I Sent a Text to the Wrong Person

I had an unfortunate texting incident. I sent a text to my hardworking husband. Only it went to my hardworking husband's FRIEND. This particular friend happens to be my husband's lieutenant at the fire station.

TJ was about to finish up his shift at his part time job at Dick's Sporting Goods on Black Friday. He was about to join me at my parent's house. I wanted to encourage him after a long day and also asked him to bring me a couple things.

To best experience this post, you must now pretend you are my husband's lieutenant. And you've just received a text from me.

Start reading with the text I wrote in green.

I about died.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Four Funny Things I've Seen at The Walmart

I'm sure I've seen more than four funny things at the Walmart, but these are the things that stick out.

Thing #1: Woman Admits She Steals Hand Sanitizer from Her Workplace

I was in the check-out line behind two women and a little girl. The little girl picked up a little bottle of hand sanitizer and asked if she could have it. Her Auntie said, "Girl, why would we buy hand sanitizer when yo mama works at the hospital and can bring home as much as she wants!" Then she turned and looked at me like she was hot stuff. Like maybe I should be jealous of her free hand sanitizer situation.

By the way, in our house, we shorten hand sanitizer to hanitizer. That was Gwen's idea.

Thing #2: A Clueless Employee

I know...shocker, right? A couple weeks ago, I made a quick to trip to the Walmart for a birthday gift. I thought I would chug through a express lane. Little did I know that the cashier was about to slow down the express train.

Me: I would like a gift receipt for this.
Miss Walmart: A what?
Me: A gift receipt.
Miss Walmart: What's that?
Me. A giiiiiifffft receeeeeipt.
Miss Walmart: (speechless)
Me: It's a receipt that doesn't show the price, but can be used to return the item.
Miss Walmart: (speechless)
Me: So the person who receives the gift can't see how much you paid for it.
Miss Walmart: (with disbelief) No. We don't do that. I've never even heard of such a thing.
Me: What? (thinking for a second that I might be the crazy one) I've gotten them here lots of times.
Miss Walmart: Nope.
Me: Yes, I'm sure you do them.
Miss Walmart: (speechless)
Me: I'm not going to buy this unless I can get a gift receipt.
Miss Walmart: (hollering to a cashier at the next register) Hey, have you ever heard of a gift receipt?

To Miss Walmart's surprise, the other cashier came over, pushed a few buttons and magically printed out a gift receipt. TOLD YA, Miss Walmart!

Thing #3: A Fake Service Dog

A few weeks ago, I was in the cereal aisle and noticed a family shopping with a large dog. The dog was on a leash, but it was pretty excited to be in the Walmart. It was jumping around smelling other customers and things on the shelf. The dad had a smug look on his face like he wanted people to notice or comment on the dog. Like everyone else in the aisle, I completely ignored it.

Then I rounded the corner and saw two employees huddled together. I heard one say, "He said it was a service dog, so there's nothing we can do about it."

I've never seen a service dog jumping around smelling things or sniffing strangers crotches, so I'm 99% it was a fake. I wish you could have seen it because I can't seem to find the words to tell you how funny and weird it was!

Thing #4: Flowers in the Men's Room

TJ took this picture for me of some flowers that were unexpectedly displayed in the Walmart men's room. Even though he didn't buy the flowers, I loved that he sent this picture even more than if he had sent the flowers to me. This man gets me!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Dairy Queen Blizzard Spoons

I submitted this request to Dairy Queen through their website on Monday.
I am a DQ fan and am curious about your Blizzard spoons. Why are they shaped the way that they are? To clarify, I'm talking about the long spoons that are opaque white, with a four-sided hollow cube tube handle, and a hook-like thing on the end. I've always wondered about the spoons, and Google disappointed me.
Please help me solve one of life's mysteries! I would be very grateful, and I promise to eat more Blizzards, even when it's cold outside! Thank you, Dairy Queen Queen (or Dairy Queen King if you are a guy)! 
P.S. I noticed that the photo of the Blizzard on this very page has a regular old red plastic spoon. Is that because it's prettier than the actual spoon or do some DQ's use different types of spoons for their blizzards? 
P.P.S. I like the Blizzard spoon, even though it is not photogenic. I'm not photogenic either, and most people seem to like me.
Here's a picture of the spoon I was talking about.

After crafting such an eloquent message, I'm sure you can imagine my disappointment when the form had technical issues and did not submit.

I was really curious, so I called the DQ headquarters in Minneapolis. Charlene in customer service was friendly, but she did not know the answer. She offered to ask some of her coworkers. They said I was actually describing the spoons used in McDonald's McFlurries! (Oh, boy, did I feel STUPID!) She went on to explain that the spoons are designed to attach to McFlurry machines and are used to stir in the mixings. That way they don't have to clean any attachments.

Well, that explains the shape and hook thing on the McDonald's McFlurry (not DQ Blizzard) spoons! It also explains why the photos on the DQ site do not show these spoons. The McFlurries on the McDonald's website are shown without spoons, in case you were curious. My taste for both McFlurries AND Blizzards partially explains why I'm not photogenic. You're welcome for solving many mysteries.

Monday, November 12, 2012

A Western Themed Day

I woke up early Saturday morning to take the 8th and 9th grade Girl Scouts to volunteer at Aspire Therapeutic Riding. We cleaned the horse barn, picked up "apples" from the pasture and winterized the memory garden. The girls worked very hard!

I was pretty tired when I got home and accidentally parked with one wheel off the driveway. Click here for a story about another one of my bad park jobs.

That night I watched Emma perform in an unbelievably good junior high performance of Oklahoma! 
I once saw a performance of Oklahoma! that starred John Schneider. I met him after the show, but was completely star struck! Look how pretty he is!

After Oklahoma, we hosted the cast party for about 30 kids at our house. It was great fun and I would totally do it again!

When we were finishing up at Aspire Therapeutic Riding earlier that day, a lady said she had a leftover sheet cake and wondered if we could use it. Yes! I was actually going to make a cake for the cast party, so that would save me some work! I couldn't believe my good luck (hehe see the horseshoes?) when I saw the cake because it was decorated PERFECTLY for Oklahoma!

I posted a couple notes for the party to keep the kids out of trouble.

When I started planning the party, I googled "How to plan the best junior high party." Well. WELL. What I found was advice written by junior high students. A couple of the suggestions were Spin the Bottle and a Makeout Room. That's why you don't let kids plan their own parties!

Instead, I bought the latest Just Dance Wii game and set out games like Jenga, Twister, Spoons and Apples to Apples. They did play the games, but I learned that the key to a good junior high party is to have plenty of pop (soda for you here for the rules of my blog). I tried not to hover too much, but I did quickly intervene when a group of about seven boys and girls locked themselves into the bathroom. That's when I announced the rule about one person in the bathroom at a time. Next time I'll write a note about that. Seriously, I will.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Random Text

This morning I had a text from a number I don't know. I replied truthfully, but I did add in some jive. They are white. I am green. (I'm talking about the color of the bubbles on my screen, not skin color. Sheesh!)

That last one was an accident. I meant to text TJ because I have the day off and wanted to walk the dog. I wonder what keishya thought I meant by that! Oh, I looked up the area code, which is in Houston, TX. I don't think this text is from the couple of people I know from Houston.

Also, I wonder if someone was trying to trick me. First they said they were keishya. Then they were looking for her.

Oh, and I got a call from this number a little bit ago, but I got nervous and didn't answer. That was before I accidentally texted them about the leash.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Here's why you shouldn't bite your fingernails. Or your toenails.

This post is going to sound a lot like last month's The wart is gone. If it comes back, it can stay.

I don't know about you other parents, but I hear daily complaints about a sore neck or a hurt knee or a blurry eye or an injured finger, etc, etc, etc, etc, etc. And like most good parents, I ignore it all. At least until the patient has complained several times about the same thing for at least two days. I followed that rule and then finally took a look at Alli's sore finger. After all, how serious could a sore finger be? Well, I felt pretty guilty when I saw it. The whole end of her finger was swollen and red, but the thing that disturbed me was that the "moon" on her nail was puffy and GREEN! So off we went to the convenient clinic.

The nurse took one look and said, "Oh, boy. We're going to have to stick a needle in and get that drained." One thing you should know is that Alli is terrified of needles. Here's what instantly happened to her face:
- Her eyes got huge and started leaking
- Her nostrils sucked in sealed shut
- The center of her lips poked out and the sides squeezed in
- Her little chin crinkled and shook

The nurse felt badly for making her upset and then broke the news that we needed to wait about 30 minutes for the doctor. Alli calmed herself down by making up a song to the tune of She'll be Coming 'Round the Mountain. The first verse went something like, "She'll be coming with a needle through the door!"

We got a straight-shooting Indian lady doctor. Her worst grade in medical school was probably Bedside Manner 101. But maybe just a C, not an F. At least she tried. She felt she could calm Alli down by explaining every detail of what she was going to do.

After her finger was numb, I held Alli's head and good hand while she laid back. Dr. Indian Lady (DIL) showed Alli the blade, which looked like any Exacto blade. Bigger eyes. Bigger tears. Then DIL said she was going to poke. Alli was freaking out, but I was holding her close, trying to keep her still. DIN asked Alli if she wanted to watch. Really? No.

Then DIN said, "Mom, Mom. Look at dis. Look, Mom!" (It reminded me of the lady who threaded my eyebrows.) I really had no choice, so I looked. And and I got to see DIL squeeze the pus out of a hole she had cut. Boy, I sure am glad I didn't miss that! I realized I was in a difficult situation, needing to choose a reaction that revealed no sign of disgust, that gave the doctor the appreciation she was looking for, and that did not alarm my freaked out kid. It went something like this. "Oh, yes. Oh. Ummm hmm."

It must not have been enough for DIL because she asked if I saw the pus. Alli lifted her head to see, and I gently shoved it back down, out of range of the puss. I tried to better express my reaction, using a little more enthusiasm. Then DIL asked the nurse for the blade and said she needed to make the hole a little larger. Alli paniced and tried to lift her head, but I firmly held her forehead down. She got through it just fine, and DIL saved the little finger.

This is kind of gross, but here's a picture of her finger 24 hours later. The fingernail may or may not make it through.

We think the infection started because she bites her nails, so that's how I came up with the title of this post. Please don't bite!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Election Day!

Here's a video I took of Gwen tonight before bed.

And here's the craft she made last weekend. It's a cow she made out of paper bags. I'm sure glad to have it!

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Things in Sky Mall: Neck Pillows

My dad says it's ok to change careers before you're 40. But statistically, your retirement savings is negatively impacted if you have a drastic career change after 40. Uh oh! I just passed the turning point! And just when I finally identified my dream job! I aspire to work on United Airline's Sky Mall catalog. I would like to be a Sky Mall buyer or writer. Please let me know if you have any connections!

Sky Mall prides themselves on offering things that are surprisingly innovative. Things that you never knew you needed until you see them in the catalog you are flipping through because you can't turn on your kindle for about 20 minutes before, during and after take-off. There are many, many items that make you want to nudge the stranger sitting next to you so you can share a hearty laugh.

It's tough to choose where to start, but I'm going to focus on the neck pillow category. There's nothing wrong with neck pillows, but they just aren't for me. Kind of like turtle necks. Turtle necks and neck pillows both look fine on other people. As for me, I like to leave my neck out in the open because it's one of my most slender body parts.

Top Five Neck Pillows in Sky Mall

5. The Handkerchief Sneaker
I call it that because it looks like you're trying to fool people into thinking you're wearing a handkerchief instead of a neck pillow. Officially it's called the "Releaf Neck Rest". I wonder why it's Releaf and not Relief. No explanation is given. Any ideas? 
It easily fits into a purse, briefcase or pocket. I assume they are referring to some pocket other than the front one in your jeans. It's a bargain for $19.99
4. The Princess Leia
The unique shape of this neck pillow transforms you into a sleeping warrior princess.
I suggest you do not attempt to awaken this little gal.
Sky Mall says this one was "lovingly designed by an RN." It's $39.99, and the matching blanket is $19.99.

3. The All Around Most unComfortable
This looks about as comfortable as a C-Collar used by paramedics, but it's called the Komfort Kollar.
The inflatable version is just $27.85. (Your flight will be over by the time you finish blowing up your Komfort Kollar.) The memory foam version is a pricey $59.85.

2. The Neck Contraption
Requires the sleeper to sit back on straps that hold the contraption into place. Pray you do not slump forward in your sleep because the back straps will release, your face will hit the seat in front of you and your contraption will go flying. I can picture my coworker, Steve, in this thing.
The UpRight Sleeper is $39.99. You can watch a video here.

The Neck Contraption Cover
If you embarrass easily, conceal your contraption with a cover that doubles as a carrying bag. It also looks a little like the magician just pulled a head out of an empty bag. Wow! Amaaaaaazing!
$9.99 and available in satin or fleece!
1. The Snuggler
Is it a quiver? Is it a club? No! It's an inflatable pillow, shaped to fit around your body so you can comfortably snuggle it on the plane. Less embarrassing than a teddy bear? Debatable.
Did I mention that it can be tethered to your body or to your seat. It does all that and more for $29.99.
P.S. Seriously. Let me know if you can get me that Sky Mall job.