Saturday, August 30, 2008

Oh!! The Humanity!

**Warning to my readers who are a little faint of heart: This post may not be for you. I am not in a "good place" right now, so I may offend. Please proceed with caution!

So a couple of weeks ago, Dunkin Donuts made a comeback to the Valley. They have been shunned for the last several years by Phoenicians and Valley-ites. Thanks goes to Krispy Kreme and the sugar-induced hypnosis they brought with them. KK's donuts are only good when hot, but they thought it was in their best interest to over-saturate the market with those glazed dough-fluffs until almost no one wanted another donut in their life.

In fact, about two years ago, Darrell and I were watching a Boston Red Sox game. On the back wall of the Green Giant, is a huge ad for Dunkin Donuts. We talked about how long it had been since we had been to a DD and talked about our favorite of all time donut--The French Cruller. We went to sleep a few hours later and I dreamt of French Crullers. When I awoke, I told Darrell we HAD to go. We tracked down the one Dunkin Donuts left in business and made the trek. Oh the Joy! Oh the Deliciousness! But since this shop was far enough away (and in the Mesa Grid of Stupidity--a post will need to be devoted to this later), we didn't go back.

Fast forward to the present. (Insert your own sound effect here). Yesterday I missed the turn to get on the freeway from work, so I took an alternate way home. I passed two billboards for Dunkin Donuts and decided we had to go. Darrell was not about to argue with me, especially since this meant I would be out of the house on an adventure before noon on a Saturday, with no prodding from him.

We get to Dunkin Donuts and there is a line almost out the door. This means that we have time to get REALLY hungry. We also have time to decide we want more than one donut. We (finally) get to the counter and order our French Crullers. Here is how the order went down:
"We don't have any," said the Dunkin Donuts Employee (DDE for short).
"Are you just out?" I ask kindly.
"No," replied DDE.
"So you don't make them at all?" I ask. I like that I have to use my communication skill acquired from several years of annual customer service training. You know the training....Active Listening 101, where you learn the difference between hearing and listening, reflecting vs repeating, etc.
"No," replied DDE. (Do you notice a trend with DDE? No Active Listening 101 for her--she must not be a "Career-Path" DDE.)
"NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!" I cried, falling to my knees, hunched over, as if the wind had been knocked out of me. It wasn't "as if," because it had.
YEARS of anticipation--gone out the window. Like yesterday's donut-frying vat o'grease!
Why? Why have I been forsaken? I'm a good person! I call my mom. I don't litter. I don't pinch babies and make them cry. I've never even run over an animal (not even the tarantula I tried to squash in Tucson!). I'm a good person. Is this the thanks I get for years and years of doing the "right thing?" (I do need to give Darrell credit for this line of thinking--it's something he's said for as many years as I've known him and I want to make sure he gets the credit.).
So now I have to learn to make French Crullers. And this means I probably will need to buy a deep-fryer. And that will probably lead me down the road of making other fried-foods best left to professionals. Not because I can't make food as good as the professionals, but that I shouldn't. I mean, easy access to FRIED FOOD (a drug of my choosing) can't be good.
Thank you Dunkin Donuts.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Yeah. It really IS all about me!

Leave a comment on my blog of a MEMORY that you and I have had together. It doesn't matter if you've known me for a short time, or a long time, anything you, re-post these instructions on your blog and let people leave a memory about you. After all, a blog is nothing if it isn't self-promotion.

Along with (as my friend Jennifer says) self-deprecation, as evidenced by the above.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

How I saved $41.96

Me, "We need to go to the grocery store tonight."
Darrell, "Why?"
Me, "They have a great sale on hamburger."
"Do we need hamburger?"
"We can freeze it."

Just before going to the store I sort the mail. We got a coupon pack in the mail, so I look to see if there is anything good. There never is, so I'm just doing my part to look like I save money. But this time, there's coupons for $1 off two jars of PB. I AM getting a little low on PB. And there's a coupon for those soft pretzels in the freezer, and we will have just enough room in the packed freezer for the hamburger and pretzels. So we leave. With the coupons.

Darrell, "Should we get a basket?"
Me, "Yeah, I guess so."

Keep in mind, we go to the store to get hamburger and now 2 jars of PB and 1 box of frozen pretzels.

Here is what we bought:
4 2-pound "logs" of hamburger (Darrell, "Why do we need so many?" Stephanie, "It's a good price.")
Creamy PB
Chunky PB
Blackberries (Darrell, "Do you promise to eat this fruit? You never eat the fruit." Stephanie, "Yes. I promise." Let's see if I keep this promise.)
2 Axe shower gels (Darrell, "Which scent should I get?" Stephanie, "Get them both, it's on sale.")
4 boxes of Fiber One bars (Darrell, "You better buy them--they're on sale.")
Williams-Sonoma cookbook on Soups, Salads and Starters (Darrell, "Why do you need that?" Stephanie, "Don't you see a book you like?" Darrell, "Let's get out of here before we find more stuff.")

So, our little trip to buy hamburger saved us $41.96. Nevermind that we spent $79.87.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

My Life Recapped, or at least since the last post

Okay. So my life hasn't been exciting enough to blog about recently, but then I realized that I don't think anybody who blogs has a very exciting life. I don't mean anything rude by that, it's just that we all think our lives are dull and everyone else has a more exciting life. But PUH-LEASE all you friends (and strangers) whose blogs I read--do NOT stop blogging. I would have nothing to do, except be productive. There really isn't anything more disappointing that going to all the blogs I have bookmarked and finding that there have been no updates to any of them. I guess it's too much to ask for people to blog 6 times a day.
So, since the bowling adventure, let me tell you what has happened in la vie de Stephanie....
We went up to Flagstaff to visit Darrell's dad. And to get out of the 375 degree heat. Okay, so it' not really 375, but sometimes I think of jumping into the oven to cool off. Oh, but before we left, Darrell donated blood. It was his first time and he was excited to give blood, since so many people had given blood to help his mom the last 16 months of her life. He wasn't nervous, but didn't know how he would react, so he asked that I drive him to the church, in case he was too lightheaded to drive home. I stayed with him until it was his turn. He had decided to donate plasma (I think). They take your blood, remove what they need and then give you the leftovers. He was told it would take about an hour to complete this process. I went home and loaded the car with all the stuff we would need for the overnighter. I will have you all know, I am a severe overpacker. I just need to make sure I am prepared for any situation that may come up. For Flagstaff trips, though, I am an under packer. I took one change of clothes. Yep, that's it! I picked Darrell up and told him we needed food. We drove through the restaurant that rhymes with McRonald's.
Darrell's dad (Dennis) suggested that we drive an alternate route. I didn't know there was such a thing. We always take the hellacious I-17. He told us we could drive up through Payson and then cut across. It apparently only takes about 15 minutes longer. We decided to go that way and it was worth it! No semi's that think that since they can drive 37 MPH through the treacherous mountain passes and the truck in front of them is going 36.5 MPH they should pass. No more crazy people driving like fools. It was wonderful! I think this will be the way we drive in non-snowy months. Next time, we may even stop at some of the cute little shops in Payson, Pine and Strawberry.
We got up to Flagstaff and said our hellos. Dennis rode up on his new bike as we pulled up to the house. His new bike was Darrell's old bike we were going to give away. Last time Dennis was down, he spied it and asked if he could take it. We obliged. After all, we had just taken a bunch of stuff from his house. We are recycling, within the family. No one can say we aren't green. Just don't call us environmentalists!
Back in May, Darrell and Dennis went to the Last Chance dog shelter in Flag and chose a dog for Dennis. He already had a rez dog, named Hoshi that he adopted after Darrell's brother's family couldn't keep her. But Hoshi was feeling sad by herself all day since Darrell's mom had passed away. And Dennis loves dogs almost as much as he loves anything. In fact, there's almost nothing he loves as much as dogs. So, in May, he adopted Kid. Darrell had been anxious for me to meet Kid. Kid is a great dog, who would even be welcome in my house. (And she is much too big to be the acceptable size, but she is so mellow, it makes up for her size.).

Over the last 6 months when we have gone to Flagstaff we have helped Dennis sift through Lynda's (Darrell's mom) things and determine if they are special and saveable or not. Most have fallen into the "not" category. I was tasked this time to go through the some of the kitchen things Darrell's sister Marilyn had sorted last time she was up. I found 6 big boxes of all sorts of things. I sorted through them and saved some of the more exotic kitchen things she had and brought back 2 big boxes. Somehow after sorting, we still had 6 big boxes to donate to a garage sale Lynda's friend is having soon.
Dennis also wanted help in his search for a HDTV. We went to Best Buy and Sam's Club and ended up buying one at Dead Sam's. We ate yummy dinner at Bun Huggers--a local hamburger place that flame grills the burgers. We love that place!
The next day we went packed some of the china Lynda had left for me and headed back home. That is adventure number one.
Adventure number two would have to be last Sunday. There are 3 wards that meet in our building. While we were in Flagstaff, the stake presidency announced that there would be some re-aligning of the wards that meet in that building. So the following Sunday, there was a fireside to announce the changes. I really believe they should not have announced it so far in led to much speculation and it was difficult to go about callings, not knowing if what you were planning would even matter. So, I went to the meeting with my pal Lucinda. We got there early so we could get soft seats. I hate sitting on the hard chairs, plus if you end up in the cultural hall overflow, it is so echo-y you can't hear. Well, we live in what is now the Ray 1st ward. (For those not-in-the-know, we were in Ray 2nd Ward). I was the Enrichment Counselor in the Relief Society and we were having Enrichment meeting on Friday after the changes were announced. The presidency decided to have a hello-goodbye night, since what we were doing was so flexible.
SO, on Friday night we did just that. We had Midnight Madness--a non-slumber slumber party. We encouraged people to wear their PJ's, which most people did! We ate a nacho bar and goodies brought by the sisters in the ward. We played games and had karaoke, but mostly just talked. It was such a fun evening. It wasn't anything that we had planned, but it was a success. Sometimes we just don't have time to be with the sisters in the ward and talk. I was running like a chicken with a cut off head. The building was double-booked. The kitchen was being used by a family doing a wedding reception. We heated up most of the food in crockpots in the part of the cultural hall we used. My good friend Becky Haymore (Georganna's sister) took the meat to her house to cook and brought it back just perfect. Everyone either was flexible or pretended well. We just sort of flew by the seat of our pants. Thanks goes to so many of the sisters who helped me that evening. I'm not naming names, but if you are reading this and were there, consider yourself named. I got home just after midnight and it took about 2 hours to calm down enough to sleep. I had been suffering from insomnia all week, so I really was tired Saturday. I had 2 naps, even.
Today is Sunday--the first day in the new ward. It was good. The church is true in the Ray 1st Ward. Or at least it was today. There are lots of friends from the 2nd ward that were there. I even know a couple of people that have been there for awhile. (Thanks to book club!) (Ooh! I need to read the book!). Things will be okay. I miss my friends, but since they haven't moved to Jupiter, I should be able to see them. Movie night, girls' night, pedicure parties--we'll be okay!
Oh! And I can't forget Malena! My niece, who turned 3 the end of July! She is shy around adults and lives far, far away. I've done one video call with her in the past and she wasn't too excited. Last Sunday, while at the fireside, my cell phone rang. Yeah--in the middle of the fireside. It was Jennilyn, my sister. She left a voicemail, with Malena screaming, "Me talk!" Malena left a voicemail that she loves me and to call her. I called Jennilyn the next day and was told that Malena had asked to talk to Pop and Grandma (my parents). Jennilyn started the video chat, when Malena had a complete breakdown. "Not Pop! Not Grandma! I want Aunt Stephie!" She doesn't even really know who I am!! So Jennilyn tried to see if I was available. We decided to try on Monday evening, so I connected everything up to the new computer and started the chat. Okay, my microphone wasn't working. So, I called on the phone. Malena was not excited about this. Who is this crazy lady talking to her? Once she got to hold the phone, she was better. We chatted for a couple of minutes and then she sang songs. It was hilarious! Demanding to speak to Aunt Stephie, but not really knowing what she was in for.

So, I've been typing for about an hour and caught you up on most of my life. Check back sort of often. Leave comments. Say hi!

***Editor's Note: The dog above was purchased from Second Chance Dog Shelter, not Last Chance. Don't fret, they don't execute the ones that aren't chosen.