Walgreens Does Their Job

December 31, 2008

There is a reason Walgreens is open on Christmas… greed. I just came from there and I am hopping mad because I have known for years that the generic brand of a medicine is the same damn thing as a name brand only you pay double or more for the name that makes you feel good like Johnson and Johnson, Bayer, Tylenol or whatever makes you yearn for your mommy. Some of my favorite classes in college were health classes where we took apart the health industry. I have always known to buy the store brand of something at the grocery store instead of the name brand because it is the same thing if not super close. You can save over $3 or $4 buy just looking right next to the name brand and getting the imitation. On some things it makes NO DIFFERENCE WHATSOEVER. On things like Oreos, Nutter Butter, ice cream, and certain other products where the taste and texture could not be copied then you MUST buy the name brand but on most things it is better to save money because who is going to be impressed by the name on the box?

So my husband is at Walgreens and has to see the pharmacist because his nose is SO runny. (He refuses to acknowledge that his smoking plays a part in his messed up respiratory system.) The little pharmacist intern immediately reached for the expensive box of brand name decongestents. I said, “No, get the generic ones to the left about 5 boxes to your left.” So he gets the generic brand but a huge box for $15.99. I said, “No, there is one just like that with less in it for $5.99. See it right there to the left, right in front of you?” and the manager piped in and said, “Let him handle it, M’am.” I looked at him questioningly. He said, “Let him handle it.” I got so infuriated I just put my merchandise down and walked off because I didn’t want to cause a scene by asking for what I wanted. NOTE TO HUSBANDS: When your wife walks off because she has been insulted, this is your cue to follow her.

What did my husband do? Stay in there. Get railroaded and walked out with a $13.99 box of brand name junk. Didn’t even take the cue to follow the furious wife out of the store. There isn’t even medicine in medicine any more because of the meth heads in America and you may be saying, “Damn, it was only $9.00 difference. Why is she making such a big deal out of it?” The answer is because of the way I shop. I could turn $9.00 into 2 shopping bags full of groceries. I feed my family like royalty on a matter of a few bucks a day if not less because shopping is a skill. I went with a friend to the store and said, “What are you doing?” I saved her $75.00 just by showing her how to shop smart by comparison shopping and buying what was on sale.

None of this gets my husband out of the doghouse with me by the way. I hate the idiotic waste of money. Everybody is now looking at how to save money and cut corners here and there when I have been doing it all my life. I wrote an excellent article on the psychology behind grocery shopping and how the stores are designed to get you to spend your money. You may not believe it but it is their job. Walgreens did it well tonight and for talking to me like the pharmacist did, I am not going back.

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That’s MRS. Betty Crocker to you.

December 28, 2008

I said that this next year was going to be my best year. I said that I  resolve to try new things and this is what happens when you actually do go for it.

I entered a cookoff today. I had only made this cake once before and had even modified the recipe so I gambled.

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It was a pumpkin-caramel cake with pecans on top and pumpkin/Cool Whip filling in between the layers.

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There were other desserts as contenders.

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There were lots of different types of entries.

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but people seemed to like mine.

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“You like me, you really, really like me,” was Sally Field’s most stupid line uttered so I didn’t say it.

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Betty Crocker called. She is not happy. She wants her cut.

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I hope everybody reading this blog takes the challenge to live the next year with more gusto and willingness to take that extra step and really involve yourself in living life. I refuse to passively watch others living life actively and enjoying it. I plan to go for it and relish every moment I can. It feels great to try and win, instead of not try and let life pass you by. May we all enjoy this next year as best we can.


Truly Shocking Christmas Photos

December 27, 2008

I was hit by nothing but bad news today from many different issues going on so I had feelings of anger, frustration, disappointment and sadness taking turns at #1 in my head. This upset was so bad that no chocolate or candy could console me. My husband asked, “Is there anything else you want?” when we were at the grocery store and I snapped back, “Do they sell happiness in a bottle? Oh yeah, its at the bar,” and he glared at me because alcohol has ruined so many lives as these following pictures I took today in Port Isabel, Texas will attest. Please, remember that alcohol is a drug too and it should be used in moderation. These images are graphic so please, if there are small children around or if you have a weak stomach, please, go no further. These shocking images are called, “Christmas, The Day After.”

The first step is admitting you have a problem.

 

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This havoc was created by some very strong winds and none of these decorations were injured in this filming. Seriously, I have some friends who DO need your help. My friend, Bill Plouffe, fell 30 feet in a horrific accident a few days ago, broke his back and is paralyzed. He is in critical condition and his distraught family needs your help. Please donate whatever you can to help defray expenses as their income is now zero. They don’t know what they are going to do, but for now, let’s help them get through this horrible tragedy. Please contribute to the “William A. Plouffe Fund” at Lone Star National Bank Acct No. 2905004843. The bank can be contacted at 956-982-8530.


Love, Faith, Peace and Joy

December 25, 2008

 BEAUTIFUL  1

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ELEGANT!

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and … CREEEPY

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That is how you can describe some of the lights we saw in Brownsville, Tx.  this Christmas.

Remember the old-fashioned lights from yesteryear? Well, this is them on steroids.

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 Lit up, they looked beautiful.

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This was the side of somebody’s garage and their front window.

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 This was a very large Nativity scene.

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This trailer parked in front of a house made us wonder how they made the money to pay for their fancy country club house.

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 It was nice to see the ones who went all out.

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This Santa with the reindeer in mid-flight looked cool.

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This was a garden in someone’s back yard.

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This tiny ladder caught my eye.

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 These tiny creatures climbing a ladder to the roof had to have been the most adorable decorations I saw.

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 Some houses looked spectacular in just plain white lights.

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While others jazzed it up a bit with bright colors.

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 This house lit up one corner on Boca Chica Blvd.

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  This house was beautifully decorated.

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The girls put the reindeer’s size into perspective when they stood by it.

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This was the sight I longed to show them: Christmas lights reflected off a resaca’s surface. A resaca is the kind of bodies of water we have down here in this tropical area.

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We live in a tropical area so seeing a decorated palm tree was nice. This one was 40 feet tall. They had to have thrown the ornaments up there because they were waaaay up there.

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This was a regular tree but the lights created the illusion of a palm tree.

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 These girls were pooped and tried to sleep on the way back to Port Isabel.

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 Tried to, anyway. 

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The night I took this picture was the night the father of these beautiful twins was injured in a horrific 30-foot fall. His back was broken and he is paralyzed. Please pray for him, these girls and their mom and brother. If you can contribute to the fund that was set up to help them with the incredible blow that has befallen them, please donate whatever amount you can to the : “William A. Plouffe Fund” at Lone Star National Bank – gift account 2905004843. He is in critical condition and the family needs your help badly. If you and 99 other people give just $5.00 that would be worth a million to us. These girls are only 13 and their world has been rocked by this tragedy. Their daddy was the major breadwinner and now Mom has taken a leave of absence from her Walmart job to be by his side. There is no other income but what is donated out of the goodness of people’s hearts. Please help them for as time passes, people’s interest will wane but their dad’s condition will stay very, very serious. Thank you for your kindness and know that we appreciate everyone’s prayers. May God bless you and your family as well as the family of these beautiful girls who brighten up a room like a ray of sunshine when they enter it. Have a blessed Christmas.


A Christmas Tragedy

December 22, 2008

My incredible father was a very handsome and intelligent man. He was a civil engineer and graduated from A&M Summa Cum Laude. Because he created things, it was not hard to dream and see those dreams become reality. He would draw things up as blueprints and then make them. Next thing you knew, there was another building or street he made, so it was not hard to believe that what he said, would happen. He was my symbol of strength and possibilities being made reality. With him dreams came true. He was strong and handsome and smart and our everything. He worked everyday to provide for us as best he could. We were not rich but our needs were met. We had plans, too. He had blueprints of the nice house we were going to live in that even had a pool. We never got to live in that dream house. It never made it off blueprints.

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Tragically, he died of a sudden massive heart attack brought on by too many sequential insulin reactions. His heart just couldn’t take it anymore in spite of how strong he was. I was crushed. I was twelve, my little sister ten and my brother became the man of the house at fifteen. Losing your father, the cornerstone of your house, family and heart, the symbol of strength and stability in your family can be a devastating blow. You can read an extraordinary and fascinating tale of how my father was able to come back from Heaven to let us know he was all right here. I believe in the eternity of the human soul. I believe that the bonds of love last forever. I don’t know why there is so much tragedy on Earth and why we have to go through it; I just know it is a part of life and no one knows when it is going to befall us. When it does, it can destroy all the plans and dreams you had for the future. My first marriage was destroyed by alcohol. I thought it was going to be the end of the world. One night I was fighting with my husband (ex) and I couldn’t take it anymore. I walked outside, looked up into the stars and thought, “God, I want to find a man who loves me for me, who is intelligent, interesting, admirable and funny, who doesn’t drink or do drugs, who is older and settled and doesn’t cheat on his wife or go out to bars at night. I want someone romantic, who doesn’t have a wife and kids, maybe has a dog he loves.” Then I pictured an older man with his dog by his side in a mobile home pulling into my driveway to deliver me from the hellish life I was living. Wouldn’t you know three years ago I met him. He is a local captain with a great reputation for honesty, intelligence and had all the qualities I was looking for. He owns Gladiator II Offshore Adventures which means he takes people fishing and helps them catch fish either offshore or in the bay. You know the funny part? When we met, he did not live in a mobile home. That was the only part different from my dream image. He lived in a 5th wheel which is pretty darn close. Can you believe that? Is God wonderful or what? We got married six months ago on June 21st.

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My brother stood where my father would have been.

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God’s gift to me was willing to take on a child from another marriage and love her as his own.

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God allowed our paths to cross and we are perfect for each other. May God continue to bless our marriage and I hope all others searching for that special someone KNOW that God will provide the right person when it is time. Only in God’s time will it happen.

I am asking for special prayers of healing to be sent to the father of these beautiful twins who are my daughter’s best friends. They have just had their world devastated by a horrific accident in their family. Their father fell 30 feet and is paralyzed. We need prayers for healing for the whole family. I would be so lost, scared and devastated had that happened to us. Please keep them in your thoughts and prayers this Christmas. The hole for their pool in their dream house was already dug and concrete poured.

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Today I am going to see how to set up a gift account at the bank to help them pay the electricity, water, and other bills. Their mom works at Walmart and there is no way that that meager paycheck can cover what needs to be covered. They don’t know what they are going to do. Losing the business is a given. If he can’t walk, there is no way he can do construction. He can’t even move from the chest down. His wife said they will lose the house and car so I want to help find some kind of Plan B since Plan A has been destroyed. I know you will find it in your heart to help these beautiful 13 year-old twins, their 15 year-old brother who has just been thrown into being the man of the house, and their devastated mother. This man was a healthy 41-year-old man yesterday and today is paralyzed. Please help.

I just got back from work. A lady walked into the office. She had no business with us – just walked in and gave me some pamphlets for her bank. Since the bank I had called to see how to set up an acct. never called me back, I told her somebody had gotten hurt and I needed to find out how to set up a gift account. She asked who got hurt and I told her. Her hand shook from the shock and she had to sit down, shaken. Turns out she has known them and the family for years. She said she would do what she could to help out. She said before she left, “I don’t know why I came in here. I didn’t know you were here. I just felt I needed to open that door and come in here.” I said, “I know why you came in here. Because you were EXACTLY what was needed and God works in mysterious ways.”

The information is “The William A. Plouffe Fund” and the acct. no is 2905004843. It is set up so nobody can take money out but you can deposit whatever you can to help this poor family out. The banker lady and I were just instruments needed to relieve the fear and terrible pain that family is feeling right now. The bank is Lone Star National Bank, 601 Padre Blvd., South Padre Island, TX 78597. (956) 761-1130. Thank you so much for your angelic help and may you have a Merry Christmas. God bless you and yours.


You Dirty Dog

December 21, 2008

I spent time with my BFF who was complaining about her ungrateful child. You want to see ungrateful?

Our Schnauzer got out after I had just given her a bath.

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She really could not stand smelling nice.

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She’s like, “What?”

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“Hide me, PLEEZE!”

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There’s a bad dog? Where?

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Surely, you can’t mean me.

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Guess who had to get right back in the washatron?

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This One is for Sunclay

December 21, 2008

My best friend said, “Let’s go to the flea market,” and I agreed because there is not much else to do in Brownsville, Texas if you are not doing something that you are doing that is not on the TOP 100 THINGS TO DO IN THE SOUTH PADRE ISLAND/BROWNSVILLE AREA list. Someone recently implied that it must be a sorry place that announces fresh produce as one of its major things to brag about. I beg to differ. This place is paradise. My best friend has lost 150 pounds and if it weren’t for the fresh fruits and vegetables that are so plentiful here, her diet would have been outrageously expensive or so bland it would have been impossible to stick to. My best friend looks beautiful and is now doing some modeling.

 more-bottles-0231 I absolutely love my BFF. She is awesome!

She has invited me on her trip into Checkmeoutnowland and I have lost 3 inches at my waist and 15 pounds so far. I want to look good on the beach this summer. I have begun on my New Year’s Resoluting already because I can’t afford to waist time waiting for the 1st of the year. (I figure I need a headstart with all I gotta go.) My new resolution is to get in shape and stay there awhile instead of  just look good at the event I aimed for and then go back to my regular lifestyle of eating popcorn while I watch exercise tapes, riding my bike to the nearest ice cream shop, asking the nurse to weigh me again AFTER she takes a blood sample to see if it makes the number lower, ordering a bacon cheeseburger, fries and shake with a DIET Coke and so on. If there were not such a proliferation of fresh fruits and vegetables to choose from, I would not be succeeding as well as I am now on this self-imposed deprivation or as you call it, dieting. These are some of the vegetables we have available here now a week before Christmas.

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A friend whose moniker is Sunclay informed me about what it is like up north and told me the ground is frozen up there. I can’t comprehend that. Frozen dirt? WTH?

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I haven’t traveled anywhere really and never up far up north so I can’t comprehend cold or the seasons of fall or winter. The seasons we have in Texas are: almost summer, summer, late summer, and winter where it may go down into the 30’s for a day or so.

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We are thankfully NEVER at a loss for incredibly sweet, luscious fruits.

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Juicy citrus is the norm here.

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There was an episode of Gilligan’s Island where a crate of radioactive vegetables washed up on shore and the vegetables had extraordinary effects on the person who ate them. Mary Ann ate the carrots and could see for miles. Seeing the size of these carrots, bought today – Dec. 20th, at the local flea market reminded me of that episode.

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I placed the salt and pepper shakers next to these fruits so that your mind could be blown too when you find out that these are Valley lemons not oranges.

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These fruits reminded me of that catalog I loved to look at so much, Gardener’s Choice, where you can buy freak trees and plants such as this. I always suspected that the genetic engineers there came up with their freaky ideas after work at the lab while sharing a bottle of Jack.