How old is too old to be a “girl”….


I had to go to Safeway on the way home for dinner items – no stop meant no dinner.  Just nip in and then get home and relax with a glass of wine before whipping the ingredients into something to put on a plate.

I chose what I thought was the smallest queue.  Well, it was ..there were only 4 ladies in it, but each one of them had food stamps and each one wanted to buy things not covered by the stamps so it became the equivalent of 8 people with problems in front of me.   

The check-out chick had a packet of chips open and in-between scanning items would take a few chips and munch away – mouth open.  Then she had to have a drink.  Then she had to talk the guy operating the register next to her.   I had 9 items and cash and my patience was wearing thin. 

After 40 minutes (seriously) it finally became my turn …. but then the woman behind me asked the check-out chick something about the cheese that is allowed on food stamps. 

Check out chick tells woman that the cheese has a special symbol on the tag.
Woman – well, there isn't any.
CO Chick – yes there is.
Woman – no there isn't.
CO Chick – well she  (pointing at woman in front of me packing her groceries into a trolley)  just got some.
Woman -  Oh -  can I look at your cheese?

Okay – I don't have a problem with one woman showing another her purchases but can the CO chick please ring up my items while they do it?   No …..she munches a few more chips and watches the exchange which is happening over the top of me!

I'm now up to 45 minutes and I'm thinking an entire bottle might be needed to chill me out.   I head out of the store and power walk to my street where I quickly catch up with an elderly lady.  As I'm about to rush past her getting closer to my wine, she says hello and I realise it is Miss Elise from across the street. 

Now I'm in a dilemma – of course I will respond but I really want to get home.  Miss Elise is nearly 90 and walks at a pace marginally faster than a snail. She had back surgery in March and every evening she takes a walk around the block.   Uncharitably I think this wouldn't be a problem if she was walking on her side of the street.   But, the thought was fleeting and I do slow to walk beside her – once I get to it, that first sip of wine is going to taste so good. 

We get level with my yard and she mentions how good the chillies were that I gave her a few weeks ago.  Oh – I see I have some more ready ones and I feel that I have to offer her some of these. I run inside for scissors (and yes I do consider having a quick gulp from the bottle while I'm passing through the kitchen).

As I hand her 6 or 7 peppers she says:  "Oh thank you, you are such a nice girl"

When I finally got to the wine it actually tasted so much better knowing that Miss Elise was across the road enjoying my peppers served straight up sprinkled with some vinegar!

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The pillow weirdness

I got my replacement pillows last week.

I got the weirdest little package.  It was long enough but only about an inch thick.  My first thought was that I had made some hideous mistake when ordering;  my second thought was that the company had made a really annoying mistake.

The outside of the package said "contains two pillows"   – well, that's a good start.

When opened I found two pieces of foam shrink-wrapped and Princess SJ and I became hysterical with laughter.

These are not "pillows" !!!!!!!

I checked to see what the packing slip said and it stated that they were indeed pillows and that they are packed like this for easy shipping and that I should lie them out for 36-72 hours during which time they would grow to their full size.

This was the weirdest thing I have ever seen or read – but when I got them out of the shrink wrap they did indeed start to expand – and really quickly.

I was laughing so much that I did not think to grab the camera quickly enough to record the thinnest stage.   But here is Princess SJ holding them about 10 minutes after the unwrapping:

And here she is with them after another 20 minutes:

After 3 days there did not appear to be any further growth so they went on the bed.   They did not grow to the promised 5.5"  though!  My middle finger measures 3".

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Stolen pillows ..


Today I went online to check the status of the delivery of my two king sized pillows … (no-one mentioned that if you buy a king size bed you will need to upgrade the pillows because standard pillows look bloody ridiculous).

Anyway,  I found that Fed Ex delivered them to my doorstep on Thursday!!

So ,,,  imagine the disappointment the thief felt when they got my box home and opened it only to find pillows!!

Though, obviously they were not disappointed enough to return them!!

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Where’s the parsley?

I sent the astro-dweeb off to the supermarket with a list of items I needed for a recipe.   One of the items was Parsley.

When he got home I said "where's the parsley?" …………

Him:   Oh, I saw that and thought you must have meant cilantro.

No,  I wrote parsley because I meant parsley!!    Sigh!

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Must shopping malls be so hot?

Princess SJ was up really early this morning – before going to bed last night I promised to take her to a shopping mall if she could get up before lunchtime!  

Shopping malls here are huge mini-cities in comparison to Sydney ones  – though Westfield’s started in Australia and I see more & more here.

A 20 minute train ride and we were there and ready to spend and spend big. But, it was SO hot in the centre and individual shops that I just could not browse comfortably.   Those shops lost dollars today because I could not stay anywhere long enough to even impulse buy!!

Except …  the Godiva store!  Ah!  bliss in more ways than one.  A comfortable shopping temperature, – I know it is to preserve the product, but I needed some of it for reviving me – and they have a great product.

When I got home with the bag carrying over $130 worth of chocolate I presented it to the astro-dweeb and said “these are for you to give me for Christmas”.  Well … I needed to spend that much to justify staying in the shop long enough to cool down! (The receipt was destroyed before the bag was handed over!!!!)

I can tolerate interminable carols if the volume is not overwhelming and actually I did not notice any today – but I can not stand to be too hot.

I realize why it is that I enjoy internet shopping so much – even if the UPS guy is sorry we ever moved into his run!

This is Princess SJ with our meagre shopping  (note the gold Godiva bag is hidden until I can get the evil receipt out!). 

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Curbside delivery

The king sized bed arrived on Friday.

The astro-dweeb was at work and Princess SJ was asleep on the couch (well, it was daytime) when a huge truck pulled into our street and took up space in front of about 6 row houses.  Actually, what had alerted me to the arrival was the sudden disappearance of all light from our front windows!

A big cranky looking man emerged and the following “conversation” occurred:

Him: I don’t take nothing inside.

Me:  Okay

Him:  They shoulda tol’ you that.

Me: Okay

Him:  My boss sez I only gotta put it here on the sidewalk.

Me:  Okay

Him: Okay.

He got into the back and took down 3 boxes:
A long narrow one – the frame
A fat heavy looking one – 2 single bed sized box springs (the base of the bed)
One huge box holding the mattress – box was in two parts with 2 strips of wire around it.

After determining that neither I, nor a combination of, Princess SJ and I, could move these inside the house, I also decided that no-one walking along the footpath could steal them unless they brought friends or a trolley – or a very big truck!

It was only about half an hour of worrying that someone MIGHT come back with friends etc, before the astro-dweeb appeared and we totally took apart and reassembled the queen bed from our room into the spare room. He then took the frame box upstairs and erected it before we attempted to wake Princess SJ to request help.  

With Princess SJ’s help we got the other two boxes along the garden path and up the front steps.  We took the box spring bases out of their box and the astro-dweeb & I carried them upstairs – leaving Princess SJ to hold the mattress box upright.

Now, the Princess is 115 lbs and the mattress & box weighed 150 lbs, so holding it upright is possible  – on a calm day!  But first an inquisitive squirrel came along trying to get into the space where the two halves of the cardboard met so the Princess was already getting wobbly when a big gust of wind blew up and over went the box with the Princess still holding on!

I looked out and saw her half squashed between the box and my azalea bush (she saved the plant!).   There was much giggling and laughter coming from under the plant and two men walking along the footpath stopped to help her.

Once the hilarity died down we took the mattress out of the box and started a mammoth struggle to get the bloody thing up the narrow and height challenged stairs. There was not enough “head” room for the mattress so the top side was getting more and more compressed.  Eventually I said “that squashed side is yours”  (this whole thing was his idea!)

Suddenly the mattress sort of popped free, everything came uncompressed and it was just a matter of maneuvering it onto the box springs.  I still made sure that side was on his side of the bed – I’m sure it is weakened in some way!

So, after two night’s sleep on this new bed I have to say that I do not like it at all!!  But do you think we are going to send it back and try with another??  No way!   Five years is the estimated life of a mattress – that’s not that long…….    

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Packages, packages

Yesterday was a wonderful day!  Just about ALL of my packages arrived.  The astro-dweeb watched with growing horror as the UPS guy made FOUR trips with my loot!!

He has gone to his office today so I can try on skirts, tops, a dress and boots without anyone worrying about the state of the credit card!   I got new curtains for the sunroom and they look great and the king sheets & quilt are waiting for the new bed which should be delivered this afternoon.

Two boxes were delivered by the mail-lady last night  -  when I opened the door at 7pm I couldn't see anything as a  huge miner's light was shining in my face!  I cracked up laughing -  I live in the middle of the city – the last place you would expect to see this! 

With only a couple more things expected this afternoon, I am a happy internet shopper!

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Why is it that when…

Why is it that when you are waiting for something to be delivered it takes forever, but when you don't want anything to come you get multiples?

I did a lot of internet shopping on the weekend based on the sites saying it takes "1-2 days to process" and then ship.  So I assumed this would be fine and things would turn up on Thursday – my first day off.

Wrong!   All these retailers must have hired extra elves who are working themselves silly 24 hours.  Orders placed on Sunday were shipped on Monday!!!

Yesterday I came home to find a UPS sticker on my door.  Today I found a UPS (for 2 packages) a FedEx sticker AND a  post office notification.  After calling UPS to reschedule the delivery for tomorrow I looked closely at the FedEx slip to see what I had to do. 

That's when I noticed they had delivered it to "Other" and the scribble seemed to suggest it was hiding under my front azalea bushes!  The light does not shine into the bushes so there I was in the dark bashing around looking for a box thinking how much I looked like a burglar sussing out the window!  

Just as I had the thought that someone had stolen my box I found it – and it wasn't even an exciting package but rather a  cover for a new mattress we bought which is not due to be delivered for another week!!  

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My neighborhood Supermarket

I went to the local supermarket yesterday – this is only my second trip since moving in to the neighborhood and the first one was an in and out trip for milk. Yesterday I had more time to look around.


This is a major chain supermarket but it is more like the corner rip-off store in selection, prices, out of date items and general appearance.  But, under a huge sign proudly proclaiming “Lunch Meats” is the most amazing choice in pre-packaged, sodium, potassium & chemical laden lunch “meats”!!   The area is about the same size as other supermarkets devote to their entire dairy section.  Despite the attractive array I did not see anything I was remotely tempted to try.  


Then, in just about every other supermarket I have been in here, the pharmaceutical type items are right there on the shelf with the toiletries etc – but not in this one.  Here they are locked up in their own room and things are dolled out by the pharmacist and his assistant through a meshed up security window!   I am not talking about prescription items or even “pharmacy only” items but things like Claritin,  eye drops and nasal sprays.


The hand lotions, like Lubriderm and Nivea, and liquid soaps have stickers all over them with the store's name and a blurb about how they are sold in this particular store and if they are found in any other store you should call a 1-800 number and report finding them!


So, things were a little different to what I am used to but I have to say that the staff in this store were the happiest and most friendly I have yet met in retail.

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Trauma of boot buying

While my sister has skinny feet and her own shoe shopping problems, I have "developed" calves which means that buying boots is a traumatic & depressing experience.

My feet are size 7.5 which seems to imply that the calves are like sticks.  The sales assistant stands and watches as I attempt to get the zipper further than the bottom of the calf.  God knows what they are thinking as they watch me attempt to squash the flesh in!!

I have managed to get through 7 winters here with the one pair of boots!  They only do up mid calf but longer skirts cover that unseemly gap.  In these 7 years the boots have not stretched one bit and having that silly gusset giving an extra inch of width is no use if you can't get the zip to the top.

These boots are not going to do an 8th winter so this year I HAVE to buy a new pair.  Last week I had a horrible trip to the stores and now I've resorted to the internet.  Now this could be scary – but I found a site called which seems to be ideal – they sell boots for normal width feet but have different calf sizes!.  I have ordered a pair and can hardly wait for them to arrive.  Maybe if we had a car and I didn't have to walk everywhere my calves would fit into normal boots!

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