December 18, 2020

Wait, where are my hashbrowns? And other adventures

Today I ran to the grocery store. At 11:00 in the morning. 

This daring feat was made possible by the fact that I had babysitting-aged, responsible e-learners home, aka Mini and Curly (my apologies to Tank and Reg who are both fine if I'm absent for 10 minutes, but let's not push it)

The kids were giddy with 'it's almost Christmas break' happiness. Which made it a good time to slip out and not have people ticked at me. Or, so I thought. They each kept entering the kitchen to make me aware of the number of hours, or homework assignments, or Zooms they had left till break.(I kept nodding at each countdown as I baked cookies for the families I babysit for to go along with the homemade photo collage ornaments we made late last night, prompting Mini to ask the pressing question:  WHY DO WE ALWAYS WAIT UNTIL THE LAST MINUTE TO MAKE THESE?)  

My ornament making sweatshop. Should I be concerned
that Curly is addicted to modge podging?
I also had a car. Temporarily. Tank would be taking it to his job when the half day of e-learning wrapped up. 

The clock was ticking. 

The twins were my only charges today. They were napping. Should I have bolted the minute I laid them down and done the cookies later? These are the unknowns my mind grapples with daily. 

I never said it was easy being me. 

Curly was e-learning in the kitchen and she agreed to listen for the twins and get them if they woke up. I hoped not to be gone long. 

I never said I wasn't delusional and silly. 

Curly turns 13 on Saturday. She invited a few friends over to bake cookies. I'm crossing my fingers that it'll be fine. She hangs with them outside of school pretty regularly, so they're in our bubble. I guess. 

My mission at the grocery store was to load up on baking supplies. And liters of pop. And some other stuff. Well, lots of other stuff. I overdid it. An older woman  gasped loudly when passing me:  OH, YOUR CART!

I considered sharing a true story with her:  after we quarantined for 2 weeks I came to the grocery store just before Thanksgiving and pushed two carts to the tune of $700. But the clock was ticking and the store was crowded.

I decided to grab a few bags of frozen hash brown potatoes in case I decided to make a breakfast casserole for Christmas. The isle was crowded, so I left my cart at the end of the isle and grabbed the spuds. I darted to the chip isle next to stock up on salsa. **Lord, thank you for making chicken tacos possible in the crockpot, and thanks for reminding me that I struggle to keep the salsa in my pantry while I was still at the store and not just after I'd gotten home.**

I grabbed salsa and loaded it into my cart . . . um, but the cart WAS NOT MINE. This mystery shopper also bought butter, and yogurt, and Christmas tissue paper but WHAT THE HELL WAS ALL THIS OTHER CRAP?

I've NEVER done this. To be clear, I'm not sure if I took her cart of if she took mine. I've decided this fun sawp-o-rama could only happen if we were buying a few similar items and if we had our carts filled with about the same quantity. With all those boxes checked, it now lead to a fun adventure which caused me a bit of a panic. I didn't have time to retrace my steps. This was a covert operation. 

I raced back to the frozen isle. A woman was wandering around with a few items in her hands looking somewhat confused - I could read her expression despite her mask. 

Me:  Are you looking for your cart? I think I took yours (OR she took mine, but I wasn't about to point fingers and since she was without a cart, I'm going to admit fault. People around us laughed).

Tank called me. He wanted to know when I'd be home. Both babies were awake. I told him to have Mini warm up bottles. I was on my way to checkout. 

My total was $400. So much for a quick run. 

On my way home, I called to make sure the babies were now drinking their bottles.

Me:  I want all of you on the driveway ready to unload. 

One of the 9 mo old twins refused her bottle. She likes me to feed her, even then - crapshoot. After hauling in enough to feed a small army, we discovered that we had no room in the Inn fridges. Ms. Fussy Pants was crying. The kitchen was covered in groceries. The twins needed lunch. My teenagers were hollering at me for taking so long. I needed a do-over button. Or a Mike's Hard Lemonade.

Me:  (to my teens) Zip it. You seem to like to eat food. You're welcome. You don't want big loans for college, right? Well, my babysitting fund is your tuition ticket. You're welcome, again. Pitch in and help, it won't kill you.

(to the twins) You're fine. I'm-a-coming with the lunch food. Chill. (tosses a handful of Cheerios on their trays while unloading a grocery bag with my free hand).

(to Reg, who I heard did little to help while I was gone) Don't leave this room until all the cold stuff is put away (cringes as he grabs milk gallons to bring down to the basement).

While the girls ate their finger food, I organized the main fridge. Coach came home and was like: DID I FORGET TO TAKE THAT GARBAGE CAN OUT? HOW DID WE FILL AN ENTIRE GARBAGE CAN TODAY? 

Me:  That was stuff from when I cleaned out the fridge. 
The kids like to ask me to buy more cream cheese, but they don't throw away the empty containers. (insert 18 other examples). HEY FAMILY, YOU'RE WELCOME!  

Another person who should show me some gratitude:  the woman in the grocery store whose cart I briefly hijacked. Bet she didn't even KNOW that she wanted two 30 oz bags of frozen hash browns. Since my two bags never made it to my freezer, I assume I left them in her cart. You're welcome!

Also:  In my rush to race to the store, I failed to take inventory. Oops. We are currently storing 10 dozen eggs and one dozen hard boiled eggs. You're welcome, breakfast lovers. 
What on earth is wrong with me? I do plan
to do a lot of baking, but this is a lot even for me.

What do you overbuy? Do you live with people who don't toss empty containers? Or people who open ANOTHER identical, giant salad dressing?


Suz said...

When I was a working girl, our babysitter used to make me such cute things with photos of Lolo on them; this brought back a sweet memory.
I laughed at your cart mixup; I hate it when that happens and now you've got me wanting hash browns!!
We have a suprlus of eggs right now because we have friends who have chickens. Surplus for me? wine? oatmeal? fruit?
No one would get away with not emptying something and putting it in the recycle bin because, hello. Only two humans live here.
I hope you have a good weekend!

So. Are the kids on Christmas vacation? Now? Now? NOW!!??

Kari said...

OMG, the swapping of grocery carts made me laugh. I could see myself easily doing this. I leave my cart all the time to run down aisles in the store to get things. I hate people in general in the grocery store. I should write a "can't stand people" post as it applies to grocery shopping. I think it is from all the years I worked in retail. Anyhoo, I didn't see that this comment would become therapy, but here we are. THANKS, ERNIE! :)

Looks like some egg salad is in your near future. And omelets. And scrambled eggs. Eggs over easy. Eggs Benedict. Maybe get started early on dyeing Easter eggs?

Have a good weekend, friend. :)

Ernie said...

Suz - I know who the don't-throw-stuff-away culprit is . . . 'WASN'T-ME' - at least that's who my people tell me it was. Grr.

I was so relieved when I found my cart as I imagined starting all over again. I was also like WHAT IF THE PERSON GETS MAD AT ME? This is the kind of thing they do all the time on the show Impractical Jokers, but not as much fun when there isn't a hidden camera.

Curly finished school this morning after one fun Zoom class that she did from inside her dollhouse top bunkbed. High schoolers finish today. Reg is in-person all 4 days that in-person is offered (he was NOT successful at e-learning) and he didn't realize he needed to take the bus. I slept until my backup alarm went off at 7:15 - that never happens. It was an ugly morning. Apparently we need a break.

This to say - no scrambled eggs got whipped up this morning. Maybe tomorrow.

Most importantly, this is my last day of babysitting for break. Hooray!

Ernie said...

Kari - I am with you, I prefer to shop without lots of other 'friends' in the store. People move their carts so slowly. Some people deserve to have their carts stolen. Someone at Von Maur started talking to me on the escalator the other night. I was rushing to pick up Curly from dancing and at first I was like "DO I know you?" - but I think she was just being friendly with her "Did you get some stuff off your list?" conversation starter.

Yes, I need to get on this egg surplus over here. Didn't happen this morning. If Mary Ann continues to badger me about her missing packages, I could egg her house, perhaps. Kidding. Sort of.

Kara said...

There are currently 10 bricks of cream cheese in my fridge. Because I kept forgetting if I bought it or not. Plus a large tub of no-bake cheesecake filling. I guess I'll be making something cheesecakeish for Christmas.

Beth Cotell said...

I always seem to over buy condiments. My cabinets are loaded with extra mayo, hot sauce, soy sauce,etc. I think I have a problem because even though I know I have plenty I still can't help myself.

Ernie said...

Kara - You WILL definitely be eating something chesecakeish for Christmas. I work off a list, but sometimes I think I know stuff. Clearly, not the case.

Ernie said...

Beth - Admitting it is the first step, or so they say. Hilarious. I shouldn't laugh though because I have needed mustard for a recipe and realized we are out. We don't do hot dogs enough, apparently.

Bibliomama said...

Sauces for us. We frequently have a full fridge but nothing to actually eat - my husband always says "we need to do a Sauce Purge."

Cheryl said...

Your life makes my head! But I get it only because I grew up the way you are living right now! lol! I can actually see you tossing dry cheerios on the baby's trays while unloading groceries, kicking the fridge door shut with your foot and directing the workforce...all at the same time. It's a good thing you work out and stay in shape!

There's a reason you have so many kids, besides the fun of making them..they are supposed to help you! My Dad always said he had so many of us "cause he needed cheap labor"! lol!

That's alotta eggs! I can see lots of omelettes and frittata dishes being served in the next week!Push comes to shove, you can always toss them at the mean neighbor woman's house, been there and done that.

I overbuy on lemons. Weird, I know. I love lemons! We have an Aldi nearby and bags of lemons are cheap. (I think I watched too many pirate movies growing up and am afraid of getting!) I make a mean lemon meringue pie (my fav) and even if the lemons go bad, I toss them down the garbage disposal and it makes the whole kitchen smell awesome! Ah...I love lemons!

Ernie said...

Ali - I guess we are boring eaters because sauces are not a hot commodity in our house. Maybe I should try an empty container purge.

Ernie said...

Cheryl - We were the only ones without a garage door opener growing up. My dad used to say that we didn't need one, because us kids could hop out and put up the door. Whoever was sitting closest to the door would have to get out in all kinds of weather and hoist up the door so we could get in the garage.

Yes, you're vision of what my kitchen was like with two squawking babies and angry teenagers and mountains of food and me directing traffic is dead on.

Today is Curly's b-day. I'm banking on her being excited about bacon and eggs, and then maybe more eggs.

Huh, lemons? That would not have been something I would've suspected. I buy lemons when I make honey mustard chicken, but otherwise not a staple.