Monday, December 19, 2011

Hitting The Motherload

My sister called me recently and told me a story that I almost couldn't believe. Almost. But I do believe it. Why? Because you can't make this stuff up.

Side Note- I should also add that this is how our phone conversation started out:

Sister: "I just wanted to let you know that I really embarrassed our sister today."
Me: "Oh good! How?"

This is just who I am. I have accepted and even embraced it. My much embarrassed sister however, I think is still a little ashamed of the actions that took place. I'm not. I'm jealous that I wasn't there, really. So without any further ado...

An 18-wheeler on the way to make a delivery at a Sam's Club got into a bit of a wreck near where my sister resides. The front of the truck was basically ruined, but considering that the truck was full of food, nobody would tow it to the junk yard until all the food was gone. Apparently a junk yard is just no place for rats and bugs. Their junk yard must be a lot nicer than the ones I've been to before. Anyway, the driver didn't know what to do, and the company said there wasn't another truck close enough to come save the day, so he should just give the food away.

What kind of food was in the truck? Cookie Dough. Oodles and Oodles of cookie dough. An entire mack truck full of cookie dough. And he was just giving it away. When sister got word of this, she and her friend decided to go to the site, just to see if it was true. I mean, somebody says "free tractor trailer load of cookie dough" and I might have to investigate, too. She came upon the scene in her large SUV (she doesn't hate the environment, she has 3 kids who all play sports, so let it go), and found that there was, indeed, a truck full of frozen treats right there. The driver told her that the peanut butter cookies were toward the back so they were all gone already, but there were plenty of other types behind that. All she had to do was crawl up in the truck and get them out. And she did. God bless her, she did.

Her friend began to protest at this point. Hadn't they come just to make sure it wasn't all a cruel lie? But my sister was not about to let free cookie dough just go to waste. She convinced her friend to help her. And they loaded up the SUV. The driver then told them there were other types of treats besides cookies in the very back. She got some of those, too. I love my sister. I love her so much, I'm not going to directly ask her to share the wealth, I'm just going to write a post about how awesome I think she is because she did this.

After all, she estimates that she was able to make off with approximately 8,000 free cookies. Let me say that again 8,000 FREE COOKIES. If that's not hitting the jackpot I just don't know what is. I mean, I'm a woman, I know that most of us (about once a month) can only dream of just this sort thing happening to us. And now, it has happened. And to my sister, no less. She is my hero right now. And my other sister is embarrassed. Ridiculous. She should be proud. But not to proud to shamelessly ask for cookies.


Thursday, December 15, 2011

Early Christmas Presents

I know I promised good posts after I was out for a while after my tonsillectomy, but I got a little busy with Christmas preparations. Trust me, you'll live.

I have told you before that my husband and I tutor under privileged children through a program at our church. Well, every year, since we know money is always tight with their families, we put up a tree at church and put the name of every student in the program on it, so that members can come by, pick up a name and buy that child a Christmas gift (or several) so that they can have a little something extra (or in some cases, anything at all).

Now, we have a pretty big church, but with so many different programs to volunteer for, and Christmas parties to throw, and people to buy gifts for, sometimes it is hard to make sure every child gets picked from the tree. Our program leader works so hard to make do with the small budget she has if any kids are left, but it just seems so unfair sometimes. Of course the younger kids get picked first, and some of the older kids are left behind. Well, this year, two of the kids that my husband and I work with were still on the tree just a few days before our Christmas party (at which the gifts are distributed).

Now, I will admit with our own obligations, and celebrations, and doctor bills this year, we had hesitated to pick their names off the tree. However, the thought of them not getting the reward they deserve for how hard they are working in school and with us just didn't seem right. One member of our church agreed to chip in a little to help out, but she didn't have time to shop, so our program leader gave the money to me so that my husband and I could buy gifts for both of our students. And we, of course, put in some of our own money to round things out (which means, those of you who are friends or family, yes, we may have spent less on you this year, in order to give gifts to kids who otherwise might not get anything. So thank you, because those gifts were partially from you, too). And let me tell you, I shopped the discount stores, I used every coupon I could, and I shopped the clearance aisles, which, thankfully, are actually pretty awesome this time of year. We were able to give those boys some new clothes, new fleece throws to keep them warm, and even some new sports equipment (they both play for their respective schools), plus a little Christmas candy.

The party was this week. They didn't know those gifts were from us. They never will, and that's okay. One of the boys was unable to attend the party because he had a basketball game, but his mother stopped by. I sat and talked to her for a while and she just kept telling me how much her son talks about us at home and how much of a blessing we are to him. She is one of the nicest people I have ever met. Her husband passed away a few years ago, leaving her with three children and a severely diminished income. She works hard to give her family everything she can, but since she has to work a lot, she signed her son up for tutoring help so that he always has someone to give him the help he needs. Her son has a disability. The doctors have told her that he will never really progress past the age of 12. He is 14 now. But she never lets him use that as an excuse. She still makes him work hard and try the best he can at everything and you can see her influence on him every time he comes through the door. He doesn't make excuses for himself. He gets a little embarrassed, but he knows we are here to help. He is the sweetest kid. He even called us the other night to tell us thank you and Merry Christmas, since he didn't get to come to the party. I almost cried a little. It is hard not to tear up now, just thinking about it.

The other student we bought for was there. And ya'll, the look on his face when he opened his presents might just be the best Christmas present I have ever gotten. He is one of seven children in his family. So Christmas, while always happy, is not always full of gifts. And like our other student, he is one of the sweetest kids. He is one that still says sir and ma'am, which warms my heart. And for those of you who don't live down South and realize how important that is in our culture, let me just say it is a REALLY BIG STINKIN' DEAL. And not enough kids do it anymore, but he always does. And he always says thank you, even when all he needs help on is to have me check behind him to make sure he didn't forget punctuation, or leave off a math problem. When he came into the party the first thing he did, before he got something to eat (we served dinner), before he got his gift, before he did anything else, he came and found me, gave me a hug and told me Merry Christmas. So later on, when I saw the light in his eyes, and the smile on his face as he opened his presents, I felt like the Grinch when his heart grows three sizes. I just kind of melted a little. And NOW I am in the Christmas spirit.

That was their gift to me. It came early. They didn't even know they gave it to me. But it was amazing. And I have to thank God for it. Because He is the one who blessed us enough to allow us to be a part of it all.

Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Bad Commercials

Recently, my husband and I became blessed with free DVR service (Thank you, DirecTV. You have never sucked at customer service and I have never regretted paying extra for you over cable because the local cable company is crap. Now, don't ever make me eat those words.). It has been great. I can record my favorite shows when I'm not home, or when I'm on a lot of medications and can't stay awake through the whole episode. It's awesome. And you know what? I actually prefer watching the shows once they are recorded, rather than live. Why? I can FAST FORWARD THROUGH COMMERCIALS.

Now, I realize that we are way behind on technology in the home. I mean, DVR has been around for a long time and we just didn't want to shell out the extra cash for it. I know a lot of you out there are over how awesome it is because you have gotten used to it. Well, shut it and let me finish because we just got it, not that long ago, and I'm still in the "THIS IS AWESOME" phase. Don't ruin this for me.

I hate almost all commercials. Most of them are stupid and some of the Hallmark ones can almost make me cry. That's right, I said it. Hallmark can almost make me cry within 30 seconds in some of their commercials. You know what else can do it? That Folgers Coffee one where the son/brother comes home for Christmas. I'm not ashamed. Well, maybe a little. But I digress. I hate almost all commercials, but there are a few that I specifically can't stand. They fall into one of two categories: commercials that creep me out, and commercials that gross me out. Let's start with the first one, shall we?

Commercials that creep me out. Hmm. Well, any of them with the guy from Progressive. You know the one with the 1970s facial hair that today is only worn by sex offenders. And he talks in a creeper voice, too. If I saw him on the street, I would refuse to make eye contact, and would avoid him at all costs.

The kid who has absolutely no emotions who is talking about "the old impromptu in-law visit" that is really for macaroni or something. That kid is creepy as hell. It is his deadpan emotionless droning. He is Shining-esque and I disapprove.

The Target Black Friday, awful red outfit lady is not the worst offender, but I feel that she could use professional help and heavy meds. She's creepy. She seems like the kind of woman who would be eerily nice to you, but if you accidentally took out her Christmas display that she would kill you in your sleep. Yeah, and again, she's not even the worst one.

The Velveeta skillet guy. LIQUID GOOOOOOOOLD. No. Just no. And the truth is that I don't think he is all that creepy, I just hate him. He's annoying.

When it comes to commercials that gross me out, the list is topped by that Above the Influence commercial where the girl is vomiting and it shows trophies and photos in the toilet. It's not even the glimpse of her life in the toilet that grosses me out. It is the actual sound of her throwing up. I can't watch it anywhere near meal time. I get the point they are making, but could they make it without the sound effects?

Any commercial with JELLO in it.

All of the commercials for the treatment of E. D. I don't need to know that Bob has that particular problem. I also don't need to know that his treatment is working and that ya'll are gonna get it on in the middle of doing laundry. I'm mixing commercials there I'm sure, but still. Ew.

Commercials for any of the channels that show America's Funniest Home Videos in syndication because they often show a baby throwing up on someone else. I just don't need to see that on TV.

And somewhere in the middle is the Hail to the V commercial. Where they open with things like "people have died for it" and then it turns out they are talking about, well, you know. I'm not a COMPLETE prude, but it's a weird commercial. And it's for Summer's Eve, which is just weird to see advertised, really.

There are, of course, more than that, but if I took the time to tell about all the commercials I hate, we could be here for a while. So I'll just leave it at that.