Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Shopping Around For...

* new blog friends, I found Shelby Dupree and Tired Mummy. Music suggestions. Honest stories about depression and children with special needs. Beautiful photographs. And reasons both to smile and to cry. Their stories sound a lot like the stories of so many other people I know, but they both write with strength, candor, and resolve. I find encouragement on both websites. Take a look if you get a chance.

* new pens, I found the perfect pen for me: a ball point pen with a metal tip. I have trouble using pens for long because I press so hard when I write. Usually within a few days, felt tips and even plastic nibs are demolished in my heavy hand. Made by Zig/EK Success and simply called, "Ball", these new, .5 mm, archival, hard-headed beauties come in single packs of black, four-color packs, and eight-color packs. I ordered several of the 8-color packs from Scrapbooking-warehouse.com. They arrived a few days ago. I'm still drooling over how beautiful the packs are. Because there are a few pre-owned plastic-tipped pens that I haven't completely destroyed yet, I haven't opened the new ones yet. But I plan to do so within the next few days.

(I'm a lot like my father in this area of my life. When he passed away in March of 2001 and we went through his closet, we discovered that my father had left behind many, many packages of things that he hadn't opened yet: handkerchiefs, mints, pajamas, cosmetic things, and more. If I died today, there would be enough soap, perfume, deodorant, body cream, Mary Kay skincare, pens, journals, and nail polish for any normal woman to not need to replace them for six to nine months. Kind of a hoarding sickness I think, honestly inherited from my dearly loved father.)

* groceries earlier today, I carried the following list into Lowe's supermarket:

- salad (we eat salad nearly everyday. We all prefer romaine lettuce.)
- tofu (Kristiana and I are partial to extra firm cubed tofu on our salad.)
- celery
- fruit (watermelon, nectarines, apples, bananas, cherries, and seedless grapes are family favorites around here)
- cold cuts (honey ham and provolone cheese)
- sausage (chicken sausage and cajun andouille for a cook-out tomorrow)
- pancake syrup
- pancake mix
- hard pretzels
- Paul Newman hint-o-mint cookies (beat Oreos by a million miles!)
- coffee beans flavored with Viennese Cinnamon (does Vienna have any real connection to cinnamon or is that just to make me feel more sophisticated as a coffee consumer?)
- cans of garbanzo beans (also for the salad)
- olive oil (a month in Spain led to an addiction to oil and vinegar on aforementioned salads. Rarely do we use anything else. Sometimes flavored vinegar is all we reach for)
- pasta sauce (who needs six boxes of whole wheat pasta with nothing to put on top?)
- smart balance oil (mostly for use in brownie recipes)
- soy milk (fat free vanilla for me and the girl child. I am moderately lactose intolerant, and she is more than moderately concerned about eating as healthfully as possible. No cow's milk for her if she can help it.)
- orange juice (with calcium, of course, since so little cow's milk is consumed around here.)
- jelly beans (for me! Red apple, mango, peach, and juicy pear are my favorite Jelly Belly flavors)

Off-list acquisitions included - Breyer's ice cream (because it was on a "buy one, get one free" sale), yogurt-covered raisins, and cold drinks for the kids to enjoy on the way home. There was no complaining on the ride home, none whatsoever.)

I am one of those rare people who actually likes to go to the supermarket. Produce, bread, meat, soup, pickles, wine, beer, cookies, pasta, sauce, cereal, nuts, sauces and spices of all kinds, crackers, bread, soda, chips, detergent, butter, eggs - all in copious quantities - it literally moves me to tears sometimes, right there inside "my Harris Teeter." I am amazed every week by the blessings that literally and figuratively fall off the shelves at the market and in our home.

In this country, most of us are overwhelmed with food choice in a state, in a nation, and in a world where billions of people go to bed hungry every night. I do not take our wealth and privilege for granted. My mantra as I walk through the market, put all the loot into the car, drive home, and put it all away is this: "Thanks be to God for these indescribable gifts."

When the cashier begins to ring up my goodies, he or she routinely asks, "Did you find everything you needed?" I almost always say, "Yes, and plenty of stuff I didn't need."

* reasons to be angry at myself for buying things we don't need, for spoiling the children with too much ice cream and too many hours in front of the television, for feeling sorry for myself because it's too hot to play tennis, I once again stop those self-pitying thoughts and remind myself that gratitude ought to be the only attitude I have at the moment. We have a home that keeps us cool in the summer and warm in the winter. We have money to buy the things we need to eat and so many of the things we want. We have books to read, televisions to watch, art supplies to make use of, and life, health, and a reasonable portion of sanity with which to enjoy it all.

* What on earth do I need to go shopping around for?
I already have all that I need for this life and the life to come.


Shelby said...

Thank you so much for the mention.. I really love reading your words and spending time here..

take care and happy wednesday today :)

jmgb said...

Hey Gail!

I was introduced to your blog a few months a ago through a Williams connection and I wanted to say that I have thoroughly enjoyed your reflections on faith an family. So thank you...for sharing of yourself so readily and openly.

May the Lord bless you and your children during this season of changes...