Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Let's Try Again...

I posted this the other day but I was still fighting with Blogger ...and losing miserably ...to allow comments on my posts.  I think the problem is resolved (thanks to MDR and Sista!) so I'm reposting this as a test run.  If there is an option to leave a comment after I publish it ...I will be a happy camper.  If not, I'm going to be thoroughly disgusted (again) with Blogger.  Cross your fingers!

Repost of
'Three Grapes ... ?'

I witnessed something amazing this morning.  I stopped at the grocery store on my way to work and felt fortunate to be only second in line at the only register open that early in the morning.  The lady in front of me had only four items, including a very small bunch of grapes.  She asked to pay for the grapes separately.  Not unusual.  Maybe she was picking them up for a friend and needed a receipt.  The cashier rang up her other purchases ...less than $10 total.  She swiped her card and got cash back on that purchase.  I'm not sure how much cash she got back ...it was three bills and one of them was a $10 bill.  The cashier reached for the bag of grapes and laid them on the scale.  She said, 'No, I need you to ring them up SEPARATELY ...one grape at a time.'  I'm sure my eyebrows went up, it seemed an odd request.  The cashier was undaunted though and pulled the grapes out of the bag.  There were three of them and they were all loose, as if she had plucked them separately from a bunch before putting them in the bag. 

He put one grape on the scale.  The screen read 2 cents for the purchase.  The lady swiped her card, then got cash back ...another three bills, one of which was a $10 bill.   Okay, now I was intrigued.  The cashier placed the second grape on the scale ..again, the total was 2 cents and the lady got three bills in cash back on that purchase.  She looked at me apologetically and said, 'Sorry ...just one more.  This is the only way I can get all my cash off the card.'  I smiled and said, 'No problem ...but how did you figure this out?'  She said her mother worked at a grocery store and told her how to do it.  Awkward silence and she went on about the business of swiping her card for the last grape.  Dumbfounded, I was thinking to myself how ingenious people can be when they are trying to find loop holes.

My train of thought was interrupted at that point when I heard her tell the cashier, 'You can just throw those grapes away.'  She had paid for and pocketed her 'cash back' on the last of the three grapes and they had served their purpose.  They weren't food to her.  They were a means to an end.  Each grape merely represented a 2 cent surcharge that allowed her to extract 'her' cash from the food stamp card she was using to pay for them.  Is anyone else shaking their head?

Food stamps in Texas are distributed in the form of a debit card and only work for certain purchases.  If you buy something that is not an approved item, you have to pay cash for it.  Why in the world should 'cash back' be an option on a food stamp card?  How is that appropriate?

I could not see the denomination of all the bills the lady got back today.  But I could see that one of them was a $10 bill each time.  She got three bills back in cash on four separate purchases.  Assuming the other two bills each time were only $5 bills, she just 'cashed' $80 worth of food stamps.  What if each of the bills I couldn't see were $10 bills ...or $20 bills?  The lady in the line in front of me this morning purchased less than $10 of actual food, and left the store with somewhere between $80 and $200 in 'cash back' on her $10 purchase.  Adding insult to injury, she told the cashier to throw the grapes away!

Again, I ask, is anyone else shaking their head?

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Now I Need to Decide

Yeoldfurt converted from Blogger to Wordpress a while back and after much soul searching has deleted both blogs. I don't think he'll be back. 

Maintaining a blog does take a lot of time, especially if you try to post with any regularity.  The benefits used to be there ...a sense of community, a sharing of ideas and information.   I'm grateful that we had the privilege of meeting some of you face to face and grateful for the friendships we've made, even with some that we only know in this cyberworld format.  But could the hours I spend at this keyboard every week be put to better use in the garden, with the animals or perhaps even researching new skills?  Probably.  No, not probably ...absolutely.  When money is short, you get frugal and watch every penny before you spend it.  Well, time gets spent too, folks.  And time that is wasted or misspent in less productive endeavors will be far more costly in the long run than money wasted or misspent. 

Though my readership is more now than I ever thought it would be, I am seriously leaning toward following Yeoldfurt's lead and shutting this blog down.  If I do, please know that I appreciate everyone who clicked 'Follow' and has stuck with me through the many dry spells of sparse posting.   

Monday, March 5, 2012

Exceptionally Good Weekend!

My weekend got off to a great start since I was off work on Friday for Texas Independence Day.  It was an optional holiday at work.  If I had gone in to work, I would have earned comp time, but I had the option of not going in and that sounded like the better deal to me! 

Modern Day Redneck and his family were coming to visit on Saturday so I had plenty to keep me busy  getting ready.  Yeoldfurt and I had the pleasure of meeting MDR and Mrs MDR a few months ago when they dropped their oldest daughter, BEB, off for her freshman year at Texas A&M.  We were looking forward to seeing MDR and the Mrs again, but this would be the first time we would get to meet the girls so we were really looking forward to it. 

If you are familiar with Modern Day Redneck's blog and have been reading his posts for any length of time, you will know that he is very proud of his three girls.  After meeting the girls this weekend, I can tell you that he is not just blinded by fatherly love ...those are some truly awesome young ladies! 

When I found out a few weeks ago that they would be coming to our place, I decided to make lasagna for dinner while they were here.  I made a grocery run that Tuesday before and accidentally grabbed two big packages of MONTERREY JACK instead of MOZZARELLA cheese.  They're both WHITE cheese and I was in a hurry, what can I say?  I discovered my mistake when I got home and resolved to pick up the CORRECT cheese on Thursday ...which I did.  Unfortunately though, I did not have the foresight to put the MONTERREY JACK in the freezer and far, far away from the MOZZARELLA cheese in my fridge.  Nope.  That would have made too much sense.  Instead, I put them next to each other in the fridge and again ...they are both WHITE CHEESE and I was in a hurry Friday morning so I grabbed the wrong one! 

I did not discover my mistake until the lasagna was made and I was cleaning up the kitchen.  I grabbed the bag of cheese and there in big block letters were the words MONTERREY JACK CHEESE.  When I realized I now had a FIVE-POUND pan of lasagna made with the wrong cheese, a couple of rather non-churchy words escaped my lips.  Okay, it was really only one rather non-churchy word repeated several times in rapid succession.  

I confessed my mistake to MDR in email and left it up to him whether to forewarn the rest of the family that the lasagna would have a bit of a southwest twist.  I told him I hoped it would still be good ...I thought it would still be good and that I experiment on Yeoldfurt with recipes all the time.  But I was a little freaked to be subjecting HIM and his FAMILY to such an experiment, especially considering it was not a PLANNED experiment.    He graciously laughed off my concern with "I don't know if there is such a thing as wrong cheese.  No worries." What a nice family those Rednecks are! 

All's well that ends well though.  We had a great time catching up with MDR and the Mrs, and really enjoyed finally getting to meet their three girls.  Yeoldfurt also managed to get the tractor running again so he no longer has to roll round bales by hand.  Yup, it was an exceptionally good weekend!  

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