Friday, July 30, 2010

Thoughts of a Twitterless Thinker July 30, 2010 edition

I may not tweet, but I do think.

For the past few years I have noticed that the manufacturers of shampoos and conditioners have done us a “favor” by making the bottle caps a permanent feature. Was this done to keep caps and bottles together when recycling? Was it done to keep klutzes like me from dropping bottle caps all over the bathroom? Was it with the consumer in mind that they made the removal of the bottle cap so difficult? I don’t think so.

No, the reason the manufacturers keep the cap securely attached to the bottle is so that obsessive-compulsive frugalistas like myself will go ballistic when they can’t get the last little bit of conditioner out of the bottle. In the olden days, when the cap and bottle were separate entities, a gal could run a little water inside the bottle, swish it around, and end up with one last conditioner application. Not anymore. Just try running water through the tiny hole at the top of the cap. Doesn’t work unless you are hip about standing there trying to coerce a trickle of water through the opening for about fifteen minutes. One thing I hate worse than wasting money is wasting time.

After being annoyed by this situation for the past four years or so, I finally had my Eureka! moment while taking a shower the other day. (Four years. I told you I’m a thinker.)  I would go in from the bottom!
(See disturbing scissors shot.)

I simply stabbed a hole in the bottom of the bottle and made a hole big enough for running water. I got one last application out of that bottle!  Their cheap ploy to get me to buy more conditioner before I am ready no longer works with me, no siree. I am smarter than the bottle.

My son asked me the other day what we were having for dinner. Apparently he didn’t like what was on the menu because he said, “I feel like all color and flavor has gone out of my life.”

This body hasn’t seen a swimming pool in a couple of years so when I heard that Computer Geek’s family was having a family reunion at a local lake I thought I’d better get a jump on the situation and get some mild tanning done.  I didn’t want to burn or cause shock amongst the relatives at the exposure of my pasty white legs. For a few weeks before the event, I sat outside in minimal clothing, praying that no one would choose that moment to come a visitin’.

The day of the reunion showed me that my tanning efforts were pointless.

The rain didn't spoil it for Neo and Gnome

A little later, I took the kids (Hoolie and Weston) down to the lake and good fortune, i.e. the sun, smiled upon us.  They walked around looking like geeks with their shorts hitched up until I finally begged them to please get wet.

They played for a couple of hours until a kid came running down to the water’s edge screaming, “There’re leeches in there! Get out! Get out!” Kinda spoiled the mood. 

Despite the intermittent rain, we had an enjoyable time with extended family.  I came away with a good idea to pass along.  CG’s family always has an auction at their get-togethers.  People bring items that they either no longer want or have created. The other members of the family bid on the items, with the proceeds going into a family fund. They have an assigned family treasurer who keeps track of the funds, and then the next time they get together, they use the money to hire caterers.  This reduces the amount that each person has to pay for meals. Slick, huh?

Speaking of cool party ideas, my daughter Em came up with a few winners for her dear friend’s baby shower.  Em’s friend, a girl who I love as if she were my own, was pregnant with her fourth child. My daughter knew that the only thing her friend, Tiny Dancer, needed was a stroller. Yet, how to ask people for money for a stroller? 

A raffle, that’s how! Tiny Dancer makes beautiful baby quilts and had lots of leftover material, so Em asked her to make two quilts, one for a boy and one for a girl. At the baby shower, Em and Tiny Dancer raffled off those quilts at a dollar a chance. It was a nice way to get the funds she needed, yet also a face-saving way for women who only had a buck or two to spend on a gift to participate.  The winner of the girl quilt was a young woman who is due to have a baby girl, and the winner of the boy quilt just had a brand new baby grandson.

Instead of the usual shower games, Em and friends blew up lots of water balloons and played water balloon volleyball. It’s played using a sheet and is tons of fun! 

Word of warning from Em---Don't wear cream colored pants

Em and I took kids to the park the other day. My dear aunt loves to take photos of kids from behind, when they are not looking. I decided on this outing to try taking some shots like that because they really are quite interesting.

Chunk and Avatar (Airbender, not blue people)

Chunk, kissing his look in the mirror


Tough dudes, Weston, River and Dash

Hoolie and Webkin friend

Tiny Dancer had her baby, a beautiful girl on July 27. She’s a lovely little lady who I am sure I will eventually manipulate into calling me “Grandma.”  I haven’t thought of a stage name for her yet. Her real name is so poetic I don’t know how anything I come up with will do her justice.

Do you ever wonder why some people are really good at self-sabotage? Why, Mel Gibson, why? He used to be one of my favorites and now he is just making me sad.

I have twenty tomato plants almost ready to start turning red. My husband thinks we will never eat that many. Silly Computer Geek.  I will eat all 480 tomatoes in my search for that elusive one that tastes like it came from Iowa.

Little granddaughter Hoolie comes over several days a week while her mom goes to work. Last night Computer Geek and I were eating dinner in the living room while we watched the news. When we were all done Hoolie walked over without a word and took our dishes out to the sink for us. It’s moments like that where you just have to admit that life is nothing without sweet children in it. May you and I always have children in our lives to bless us.


  1. love the photo of Hoolie and Weston in the water!

  2. Oh, and, sometimes those caps that don't look like they come off, do with a strong twist.
    Now I can fill up my smaller shower shampoo bottle from my gigantic value sized shampoo bottle. =)

  3. Jill: I loved that photo too because most times they just don't get along (usually Weston's fault.) I always love the photos where it looks like they do.

    You're a frugalista too, eh? I'll have to try harder I guess on those bottle caps. :)

  4. Randi---this post is chock full of good stuff. (While you're thinking, what is a chock?) Love the backwards photos, especially the one of Hoolie and Weston in the water. Weston's comment about the dinner menu is hilarious. The raffle idea for family reunions is wonderful. At a recent Foley reunion they raffled a copy of Swinging Sisters. How could I not like that?
    Speaking of shampoo, I find the enormous varieties of shampoo (and other products, i.e. toothpaste, cereal, don't get me started) on the market annoying. What can there really be to shampoo but soap and maybe a softener? I saw one that has caffeine in it. What? Does it make tired hair stand on end?

  5. Oh, I forgot. Too many tomatoes?

    LOL. Not if they're Midwest tomatoes.

  6. Hi Randi
    The family get together sounded pretty good. You are right; life is nothing without sweet children.

    I hadn't realised about the lids forming part of the containers these days...hilarious situation.

  7. Auntie M: What DOES it mean if something is chock full? I mean I know it's really full, but where does the chock come in? I'll have to do some searching on that one.

    Caffeine in shampoo? That is unbelievable. Maybe it makes your hair addicted?

    Yup--no such thing as too many Iowa tomatoes.

  8. Ken: The family get together was wonderful. Computer Geek's family always make me feel like one of the gang.

    How is your resurrected co-worker doing?

  9. Randi -

    As near as I can tell "chock full" derives from choke full.

    Though it may also have something to do with the term the Naval term "chock" which was a wooden block used to make sure things did not move around.

    My shampoo caps don't look like yours, so I don't have the problem you do with shampoo. Don't know the right term for em though..

    God Bless,

  10. WOW -- that all looks like fun. I really am enjoying your blog. Such good info. I was wonderful how long you can store water? I've put water in old milk cartons after washing them and feel like I need to get rid of them after a few weeks. Doesn't the water go stagnate? I like the idea of filling old laundry det. bottles with water so that you then have soapy water. Great one!

  11. Adam: Thanks for looking that up for me. I'm bookmarking that etymology site because I'm always wanting to know where words come from.

    Jan: Welcome to Foreign Quang (and thanks for being a follower!)

    Yes, the water can get stale. According to survival expert Jim Phillips, we should be rotating our stored water every six months. From personal experience I have had bad luck with plastic milk cartons springing leaks after 6-12 months. I use juice bottles which are a little heavier. You can even use 2 liter pop bottles. I'm glad to hear that you do store water already. It's saved me from lots of irritation when the city shuts off water without notice.

    I love your blog too! I am especially loving that paisley mailbox because I've been looking for an idea for my own mailbox. Also, that pond is straight out of my backyard dreams! Someday... :)

    [check out Jan's blog on my sidebar:bobbypinsboardwalk]

  12. Randi -

    One place I always go for a quick dictionary look up is:

    It searches a bunch of different dictionaries, & frankly I don't trust a lot of modern dictionaries. I like to have a 2nd or 3rd witness, since a lot of dictionaries tend to have biases built in to them. This is esp. true when you start studying Greek & Hebrew, there is a lot of theological bias as to how certain words should be translated or what they meant a long time ago is not the same as modern Greek or Hebrew.

    God Bless,

  13. I'm with you. I'm all about getting the last little bit of shampoo out of the bottle. I even do it with lotion. A teensy bit of water in the lotion is no biggie, and it helps you to get every last bit.

  14. Adam: Thanks for the info! I appreciate it.

    Jill @ Controlling My Chaos: You are my sister frugalista! My thought is "I paid for it--I want to use it ALL!"

    Are you ready for school? Are you teaching the same grade this year?

  15. Hi :)

    What was the top as well as most terrible film of 2010 in your oppinion? To me it would have to be:

    Best: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1

    Worst: A Nightmare on Elm Street

    Cheers :) <3


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