When Life Throws You a Curveball, Make Lemonade.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Why do I hate Earth?

I don't really, but you would think I did by my actions.  I try to be green.  I recycle as much as I can in my city that seems to reject more recyclable items than it accepts.  I throw into my recycle bins all my cans, newspapers, recyclable bottles, and any other thing I think will not be rejected by the recycle trash guys.  There is one area, however, that I just can't seem to break through......using my paid-for green grocery bags.  I have about 10 of them, and I bought them with the best intentions.  I had 2 or 3 of them originally, and was standing in line with them at the grocery store waiting to check out.  I noticed that the lady in front of me bought as many as she needed to bag all her groceries, so I began to feel guilty.  I knew I could not possibly fit all my groceries into 3 bags, so I decided to follow suit (not a great testimony to my ability to resist following the crowd as a teenager).  I bought not only enough bags to bag ALL my groceries, but I even bought an extra bag to boot!  What an earth-friendly person I was!!!  I proudly watched as the cashier stuffed every single item into these bags.  I could practically hear the trees singing to me as I walked out to my car and unloaded my groceries!

That was the end of my euphoria.  I cannot, for the life of me, remember to take those silly bags back into the grocery store with me.  It hasn't been for lack of effort.  I added the bags to my grocery list to remind me to take them with me.  The bags never leave my car, for fear that I would absentmindedly leave them at home.  They travel to every single store I visit.  I have left them in the back of my car, in the back seat of my car, and even today in the front passenger seat, under my shopping list.  They were still left in the heat, never to be remembered until I was in the check out line.  I cursed myself under my breath, and wondered what it would take to make me remember to take the bags into the store with me.  Would I have to hang them to my rear-view mirror, pin them to my shirt, or just simply buy more bags every time I shopped?

I would give up my earth-friendly quest, but I can't face the beautiful, majestic oak trees in my yard.  They would be so disappointed in me.  So for them, I continue my quest.  Maybe next time, my recycle bag friends.  Don't give up on me yet.

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Thursday, August 5, 2010

I wasted $10.53 on what?

Things have been a little tight in the Taylor household.  For the longest time, we weren't really affected by the economic downturn that had crippled the rest of the nation, but the euphoric world in which we lived blew up almost overnight.  Clients weren't paying at my husband's small business, and clients weren't paying at the law firm where my husband is employed.  I felt like we got kind of slapped across the face with it.  But slowly, surely, we've been crawling out way out of the hole we were in.  I've been trying to be frugal and pay attention to where our money was going, since I'm the lucky one who gets to pay the bills and balance the checkbook.  

My hubby said that for the next couple of months were were going to have to be extra cautious with our money.  We have one kiddo starting her second year of college and all the fun expenses that come along with that, and two more at home in need of school supplies, clothes, and all the fun expenses that come along with that!  Needless to say, the crunch was on. So I tightened up my belt and waged an all-out war on our budget.  I clipped every possible coupon, scoured the ads for good sales on groceries, toiletries, and school supplies.  I even made a trip to the grocery store and recorded the price of all the items I usually buy so that I could compare them to the sale prices to make sure I got the best deal.  I have just about driven myself crazy with it, but I feel like a woman empowered with great and mighty knowledge on where to find the best bargains!

Anyway,  fast forward to yesterday.  My family had gone on a cruise recently with my parents, siblings, aunts, and uncles  to celebrate my parents' 50th wedding anniversary.  A great time was had by all!  On one of the days of the cruise, we stopped at Nassau, Bahamas, and went snorkeling on the coral reef.  I bought all four of my kids an underwater camera, hoping we would get some great pictures of the beautiful salt-water fish you can only see at the reef.  When we got home, I dropped my pictures (pictures my youngest had taken) off at Walgreens to be developed, not realizing that it would be twice as much to develop (I'm supposing that this is the case since they have to take an extra 10 seconds to open up the plastic case containing the disposable camera).  Even if I had realized there would have been an extra cost, I would gladly have paid it in anticipation of reliving the fun memories and gorgeous underwater scenery.   Boy, was I in for a letdown!

I picked up the pictures and thumbed through them, noticing picture after picture of blurry blueness, with the occasional photo of a close-up of one of our family members in their mask and snorkel.  A picture that could just as easily been taken on the boat with an above-water digital camera.  I think there MAY have been one blurry picture of fish, but the rest may as well have been of the bottom of our pool.  All I could see was the time I had wasted clipping coupons and scouring adds to save that $5 to $10, and then just taking that saved money and throwing it in the trash can right there at Walgreens.  What made it worse is that the photo counter cashier was trying to convince me that I should order a CD of ALL my pictures in case my house caught on fire and I couldn't save all my photo albums.  She keeps all her photo CDs in one place so that she could grab them and go.  I kept thinking, "Lady, did you actually LOOK at any of these pictures?!"  Exasperated?  Yeah, a little.  

The things we mothers do.....

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