Thursday, September 27, 2012

Why I Love My Small-Town Grocery Store

Jeff's Market

That's where I do 90% of my shopping.  For the last 14 years.

It has about 9 aisles.  I think.  Produce and meat/deli counter included.  Plus you can get your morning coffee  or a lunch there too.  Or pick up some fried chicken for supper.  Or something for the potluck-dinner that you need to bring-a-dish-to-share.

It's the only grocery store here in my small town.  I know a lot of people who shop the big supermarkets which are about a 20 minute drive from here.  Some things would be cheaper to buy at, like, walmart.  And Hyvee definitely has more produce and choices.

But I prefer my small-town grocery store--Jeff's Market.  And my system for shopping here has actually saved me some money over the big stores.  Here's my TOP 10 REASONS why I love my small-town-grocery-store over the big super-centers:

10.  I SAVE $:
Let's face it...sometimes the bottom line is about the bottom dollar.  I get that.  Actually, much of my life is like that.  Here is how I save money at Jeff's Market:
They have a weekly flier and coupons in the mail.  I plan my grocery list every week around this.
I shop every week and buy things I use that are on sale.  Even the items that you would think are cheaper at walmart, like laundry soap and toilet paper.  When these things go on sale, I buy more than I need for that week.  It lasts me till it goes on sale again.

I have actually thought about sharing recipes here based on things I buy on sale at Jeff's Market.  I've got some good ones.  Anyone interested?

When my babies were actually babies, I remember going through the check-out line and mentioning that if they sold "Luvs diapers in size 4" I would never need to leave town.  (that was the only thing I really needed that I couldn't get at the store).  The next week, there were the exact diapers I needed on the shelf.

Now I ask for my favorite bread (nature's pride, nutty oat) and when I need a certain cut of meat....they cut the meat.

Sort of going back to #1 here....9 aisles doesn't hold as much as the big grocery stores in town....but I find what I need and I don't spend as much as I do when I am in town.

One of the kids came home from school full of nutrition/health/diet information.  She asked me what "diet" we were on in our house.  I explained we were on the "Jeff's Market" diet.  Whatever is on sale at Jeff's Market fits in to our diet.  You won't find this in any diet book, but it works.

I have 4 kids.  Sometimes one of them gets sick, but you still need to feed everyone else.  I have been at walmart and had a kid throw up.  It was okay....they don't make you clean it up or anything.  They just loud-speaker "clean up in aisle 9" and you walk out of the store with no food and a sick kid.

I have also had a kid puke in the last aisle at Jeff's Market.  That means my cart is full of food...but I have to leave it there because my kid got sick all over the floor.  (i'm sorry)  I took my girl home and cleaned her up. Less than an hour later I get a knock on my door.  Someone from Jeff's Market is standing there with her car filled with my groceries.  She carries them in to my kitchen and tells me to stop in the store later on and pay my bill.

Walmart didn't do that.

So there was this time when I was in a hurry to run to the store and get a few items.  I put my debit card in my pocket and ran out the door and into the store.

At least I thought it was my debit card.

Turns out my debit card looked a lot like my victoria's secret credit card.

Unfortunately I didn't realize this until I was at the check-out counter with all of my things scanned.  I doesn't really work to buy groceries with your underwear credit card.

I'm not sure if this sort of thing happens all the time at Jeff's Market....but they acted like it did.  I took my stuff and ran home and grabbed the right card and ran back to the store and paid my bill.

Don't think hyvee does that.

Even after having #5 and #6 in my history of shopping here.....often times one of the high school kids who works at the store will start carrying bags of groceries out to my car even before all of them are scanned and paid for.  If one of the kids are not available, sometimes Jeff (as in Jeff-from Jeff's Market) will carry them out.

I love the cashiers here.  They get me.  They know when I show up at opening minute to pick up 4 boxes of fruit snacks or cereal bars.  This means that I forgot about snack day at school and laugh.
And they know when a candy bar, a bottle of wine and a box of kotex crossed the scanner that I may not speak without tears.

Both scenarios happen on a regular basis.  They get me.

I like to visit with people that I grew up with, am neighbors with and do business with.  I like it when I pick up a loaf of bread and someone who is there having a cup of coffee tellS me that they read the article I wrote earlier in the week for the newspaper and they loved it....and they are wondering when I'm gonna write a book.

Admittedly, it is hard to fit my ego out of normal sized doorways after this....but I still love it.


Can I get the "Cheers" theme song into your head here?  Because it is totally appropriate.

When my youngest child was the only one home, I decided to take her with me to Hyvee.  She got to ride in one of those fun carts.  I even took a picture of her because it seemed like such a huge outing for her!  We finished shopping and were in line at the checkout when she got all nervous and needed to talk to me.

She said:  Mama, what if they don't know our name?!
and she was worried about this.

Because everybody at the local grocery store....the place she had been used to shopping since she was born (and vaguely remembers puking in)......they always knew us and addressed us by name.

So that's my top 10 for "Why I Love My Small Town Grocery Store."  I'm not kidding when I say that I could add to this list and start mentioning people by name.....
....but not without the "cheers" theme song playing in the background.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Do you follow your head or do you follow your heart?

When your heart is in the game
And your head is still recovering from a hard hit....
.... follow the doctor's orders.

No more football this year for the Wildcat.

He's home from school this week to rest his brain.

He's a smart kid.

He gets it when you tell him that his future success is not going to be in the game of football.  That it's his brain that is going to take him places.

But then the sophomore quarterback in him kicks in.
He can't help it that his heart is in the game.
But his head needs to rest.
Doctor's orders.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

song to click on while you scroll thru photos...

Some Homecoming Pictures

My kids clean up all right.....don't they?

Mom and dad helped me clean up my van a bit

So I could drive this amazing group around

But before I could do all that, I had to get this girl to sit still for a few shots....

It worked.
For now.
Since she is a freshman and needed me to drive.

But this kid.....

...doesn't really "need" me anymore for any other than food and a shower.

(thank goodness he is a hungry kid who likes to smell nice)

His date was the homecoming queen.

Isn't she just absolutely beautiful?

The Wildcat and his date gave me approximately 42 seconds to take all the photos I wanted. I snapped till they drove off.

Happy Homecoming.

(on another note for anyone who is local.....i thing the homecoming "schedule" with the parade and pep-rally was really out of line with the tradition of this small town.  and not only that....what works for people with kids in town....whether they are originally from here or not.  what do you think?  no answer is wrong, just curious.)

Friday, September 21, 2012

Homecoming Queen

We Love Her.

She is our date.

By "our"....I mean she is the Wildcat's date.
Not the"wildcat" in this photo.  

The Wildcat that belongs to this blog is a sophomore....
....with a "concussion"

this is him...with his back towards me in the hooded sweatshirt.

It's cold out tonight.

Here's the cheerleaders.
I don't get nearly enough shots of them to do them justice.

My bad.

I leave, tonight, with a poem.

One that a sophomore who asks as senior (who ends up to be homecoming queen) can be proud of:

Hey there Brandie
Welcome to class
I've got a little 
Question to ask....
Are yo busy the 22nd of September?
It's the Homecoming dance
In case you don't remember.
It's okay if you have a new
I just wanted to
take a chance.
It's a long shot for me
Since it's your senior year
But it sure would make this sophomore 
It would make me happy 
if you said yes.
I'd buy a tie and a flower
to match your dress
Back to the reason 
for this letter I wrote...
(I hope I don't get in trouble
for passing this note)
Will you be my homecoming date?
Your friend always
(aka: nathan)
P.S. if you say no
it is no crime.
but don't you like
my cheesy rhyme?

(flower was stolen from the neighbor's yard)

Thursday, September 13, 2012

A little bit of football, followed by more football, a fundraiser, a family night and then there was the football....

That sort of sums up our last week in review.

Last Friday our good friend who left us for bigger and better things like college rolled through town with her football team.  She's the football manager.  The team stopped at our high school to use the field.  The Wildcat got out of class for a minute-and-a-half to say hi.

I showed up so I could say hi and give her a hug and give her a walmart bag of granola bars a gatoraide and breath mints.  Cuz that is all I had.  Even though I should have had time to get something better.  Somehow, I didn't.

(i bet you wish you were my friend passing through town, huh?)

I need to warn you about this next photo.  It was windy out.  Which made my hair look like a flashback from the '80s.
I am posting it only as a reminder of how much I hated the '80's.
And so you all can see how I really need to lose 30 pounds.
(or learn how to use photoshop)

We ended the evening with a varsity football game at home.

On Saturday, Brian and I drove up to Fayette to visit Ty and watch some Upper Iowa Football.
Here is Brian acting like he is giving Ty advice about the game.
And here is Ty acting like he is listening.
 Warming up before game:

I sure am proud of this kid.  
And I feel so blessed to know him.

That was Saturday.
Sunday started just after Saturday ended.
The high school softball team did a fundraiser that I had sort of volunteered to help out at.
And I have no pictures to prove it.
But I can tell you that after Sunday was over, I went home so exhausted that I cried.
The end of that story.

Monday was another football game.
The Wildcat is back in the game after recovering from a concussion.

 We won.
And we were all so proud.
And last night we had our first family night of the year back at church.

Family night at church is really fun.

 Plus I didn't have to cook.
Or clean up after someone else cooking.
Which makes it even more fun.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

It's a List more than it is a Blog Post


My life this week can be summed up with a series of lists and sticky notes.
And a bottle of wine.

Some weeks are just like that, you know? 

1.  Had to dog-sit for my parents. 
While they were off having a good time someplace else (which they do not do often enough) the kids and I took care of doggie and doggie-do-do matters at their house.  Fortunately, there was no question un-answered thanks to my moms thoughtfulness in leaving a sticky note or list that covered everything from cereal to night cream. 

(i'm not ready to own this yet....but there is a possibility that i could maybe sort of take after my mom)

2.  Concussion. 
Got to enjoy some football along with some more football, and every joy and concussion that goes with it.  The wildcat had a mild concussion. (see post below).  But that did not stop him from talking football every other second he turns around.  His brain may have sufferred a blow, but his heart is still beating for the game. 

And I'd like to take this opportunity in my list to mention that I LOVE watching the kids play football.  I love standing on the sidelines to take photos.  I am really great at not reacting to some of the sideline talk that I hear.  And I'm really good at not calling plays that I am thinking in my head.  Not that I know the plays.  But I do know when I'd like to see # 6 go to the right and #88 go long and to the left for a pass from #9.  I'm proud of myself for not shouting that out when the thought pops into my head.  I'm also proud of myself because sometimes I know what is gonna happen and I am right where I need to be from a photography perspective. 

It's true that my inner introvert is occassionally over-ruled by the loud wildcat football fan that lies within. 

3.  I'm "in charge" of a softball fundraiser to take place this sunday.

By "in charge" I really mean that I do not have a single stinkin clue....but nobody else volunteered so here i am. 

Just when I think I have something figured out, I find out that I really don't. 

If I ever get the thought that I may want to volunteer to 'help out' again....i think i may re-think that thought. 

4.  Work. 
I'm working out of two different places.  Add to that the freelance work from home.  This requires sticky notes to keep track of everything.  Not complaining about having work, though.

5.  Love & Cherish. 
you may think it odd that I need to add this to my list.
But the reason i have a list is because I love and cherish the people that the chores are for.  It's sometimes too easy to lose track of the reason behind the pile of things to do.

6.  Make a new list.
After reading through my list, I do actually realize that I have turned into my mama-who-makes-lists.

I am going to go make a new list on ways that do not make me think that I have turned into my mom. 

oh wait.
that would defeat the purpose. 

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Word of the Week:


I've got tons of great pictures of the Wildcat vs. West Branch JV.

And all of them include great shots including teammates and a great run for a great ballgame.

But this is mama's blog.

And mama sees this:

This is the wildcat having a hard time picking himself up.

In the last week, the Wildcat has had to put up with me checking on him every four hours.

To wake him up.

Just to make sure he woke up.


I was glad to record on paper that he woke up "normally" every 4 hours I checked him.

Meaning irritable.

I would be too.

Note to anyone:  Don't wake me up every 4 hours.  
And definitely don't wake the wildcat up. 

That's not normal.