Category Archives: grocery trip disaster

Reasons to Celebrate

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On August 29th, we are to celebrate games and the rules of cards, while enjoying

According to Hoyle Day! It is simply crazy to imagine the fact that Edmond Hoyle,

the “Master of Games,” was originally a tutor for students. When lessons were

completed, they would play card games, such as “Whist.” They did not have any

books with the rules for them, back in the 1740’s so Hoyle made a booklet to

pass out amongst his students, friends and family. He eventually published the

book, “A Short Treatise on the Game of Whist.” Edmund Hoyle lived almost to

97 years of age, which reminds us all to~

Play More, Enjoy More! Live Longer!

One thing led to another and soon, we all know this expression,

“According to Hoyle. . .”

Another reason to celebrate it today is Friday!!

It is the beginning of some lucky people’s three day holiday weekend!

Last but not least, a new way to package a well known product just came out on the

market. . .

Have you heard of the new 99 Cans of Beer? (You may purchase this for only $99!)

It takes two burly men or three or four average men to pull this long carton of beers

out of the store’s cooler.

Then, guess what?

You may not fit this into your car.

It was not easy to put it into a truck, in the advertisement shown on the television

news show I was watching this morning!

But, remember this, it would be perfect for gatherings of over 21 years old age,

since they may be able to consume it before it warms up!

(Imagine having to transport, unload, then find place to put this elongated package!)

There is no pre-requisite to having to sing several stanzas of:

 

“100 bottles of Beer on the Wall,

Now take one down and pass it around, 99 bottles of beer on the wall!”

 

Now are you laughing?

I am and so is the guy who suggested this in his beer company’s marketing meeting!

Raising the Bar

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Happy 40th Anniversary to you, Dear Bar Code! Can you believe there is even

a day of celebration for this invention? I am laughing at this!  I just saw this on

a poster at Advance Auto, where I was clocking out from work.

I used my picture badge, with my bar code, to ‘wave’ in front of the time clock.

I was trying to fathom how bar codes have made our everyday  lives ‘easier.’

I can think of how it has made my shopping experiences ‘easier.’

Besides, bar codes do help me at work, due to making accuracy much easier to

check.

Grocery bar codes, first known as GSI linear coding, were initiated in 1973

in Troy, Ohio. A year later, the UPC codes became literally a universal way

of coding products.

On June 26, 1974, the first bar codes were ‘stuck’ on Wrigley’s gum packages!

If you are the type who wishes to toast an anniversary, you may wish to try

something with Crème de menthe, since their first brand of gum was mint!

I am one who would rather have mint chocolate chip ice cream or if it were

available 12 months a year: Peppermint Stick ice cream! It has a creamy,

more vanilla-mint flavor than the strong peppermint flavor of those iconic

light green Wrigley’s packages of gum.

Or you may indulge in a cupcake with green food dye and mint flavored

frosting. A chocolate one would be my good friend, Jenny’s flavor to choose.

Mine would be to make a vanilla cake with cream cheese frosting with just a

smidge of peppermint flavoring added. Yummy!

Last, but not least, while in Cleveland this weekend, my grandchildren asked

to have McDonald’s milk shakes. Micah loves chocolate, my daughter got one

of those also. My oldest grandson, Skyler, asked for a strawberry one. While

we were ordering, we weren’t sure why they are again offering their green

minty “Shamrock” milkshakes?

We wondered what got this back on the menu, long past St. Patrick’s Day?

Do you know why McDonald’s around Cleveland, (I have not checked out

locally, so don’t want to generalize this phenomenon!) are offering these at

this time of year?

Are there some Irish festivals in the summertime inspiring the company?

Do people complain loudly, after St. Patrick’s Day, about their short term

offering of this delightful shake?

Have I gone far enough ‘left field’ that I may venture back on the path to

finding reasons to celebrate UPC bar codes?

I came up with a short list, no references need. No website that I went off

and looked this up on…

Robin’s Short List of “Why Bar Codes Have Improved Our Lives:”

1.  Self service lines in “box stores” and grocery markets alleviate long lines.

Thanks for those UPC bar code digits, we are able to scan our own products

and “go on our merry way!”

2.  Scanning codes sometimes may ‘catch’ sale items much better than using

‘human-applied sales labels.’ This is a pet peeve of mine, when I find something

that is ‘supposedly on sale’ and the clerk ringing it in, sometimes doesn’t seem

to catch the sale. But, with the ability of scanning bar codes, there have been

less ‘errors’ at some of the places that used to just stick a colored dot on products.

3. When products that are on sale ‘run out,’ I like to ask for “Rain Checks.” This

UPC bar code helps make the rain check ‘more valid’ and ‘usable’ due to its

accuracy. Also, handwritten out, most people can copy numbers from a label.

4.  A problem with our bar codes at work is, that sometimes we are needing to

check the last 2 digits and sometimes even the last 3 digits, since Receiving and

Away departments have ‘dyslexic’ workers, or so it seems to the Bin Order

Fillers who find lots of errors where we are supposed to have ‘Pick Ready’ bins.

5.  When I am up in the Mezzanine area, I am able to wear an armband held

small computer. It is called an “RF” which has a Blue Tooth scanner attached to

my pointer finger. I use my thumb to press the side button to shoot a laser at

the product’s bar code label. (Most people like it on their middle finger and

simply press their pointer finger on the scanner button.)

This is a much better device, than the one I used to have to use in Heavy Bulk.

That contraption involved listening to a operated ‘order’ where it would

give you a five numbered area to go to.

The five numbers were usually double digits, this took a lot of my brain power

Often, I had a headache at the end of the day! It did ‘like’ my voice, usually more

than my fellow coworkers who had made their template in an unnatural voice,

then using their ordinary, regular toned voice they would try to ‘confirm’ their

orders… The voice in their earpiece would say, “The number you are trying to

confirm doesn’t exist” or “Please say the number again.” I cannot even remember

the irritating repetitive words, sometimes my coworkers would give me their

headpiece, which definitely ‘would not recognize my voice commands.’

So bar codes were originally a ‘pain in the patooty’ at  my work! I did not like

the way they would tell me to go to “49-13-22-6-2” which meant row 49, look

on the 13th rack, go over 22 bins and go up to the top shelf (6th shelf) and

pick two products.

Now, when I use the Blue Tooth ‘finger scanner’ or the ‘gun scanner’ on the

tablet sized “RF” I can simply point, press and if the product is wrong, I

will ‘back order’ it. This is much to the chagrin of the Cycle Count people

who have to come and find out why someone stocked the wrong product

or put the right product in Timbuctoo! I checked the spelling on that one,

folks!

How does the bar code effect your area of work?

Do you feel it improves your shopping experience?

Is there some other area of your life this happens to help you out?

As I leave the library, I will be signing off my computer, taking my bar coded

library card to check out some movies for the week…

Happy Monday to you all!

P.S. The wedding event of my year was one of my top 3 favorite weddings I have

ever been to! I loved seeing all the grandchildren in their new and nicely colorful

‘dress up’ clothes.

I enjoyed how much fun my Mom had, with many special moments where little

ones gave her hugs, along with her being allowed to reminisce to her content.

The weather was absolutely lovely and there was a time, after bubbles were

blown, food and delicious cake from Fragapan Bakery, were eaten, faces painted

and the smallest ones allowed to dip in a baby pool, while the older ones were

escorted by my brother, designated “Life Guard” to Showse Park Beach, only

two houses down from the wedding.

Time spent with the lovely bride, my niece, and her sweet and terrific husband

was wonderful. So many memories of times where we were mentioning our

fireworks off the beach below my parents’ cottage, sparklers lit off the deck

and just so many more memories.

I am blessed that my youngest brother chose a woman with children with

ages close to those of my own. Holidays and gatherings, they could pair up

in play.

Innumerable activities since they became part of our family.

Thus, my niece was only 6 and my youngest only 4, when my little brother

married my only ‘sister’ in law.

Everyone reveled in the casual atmosphere, showing such playfulness at the

lake cottage. The ‘Tent wedding,’ otherwise labeled on our invitations as

“Come to a BBQ Wedding and Reception!”

 

 

Recent Letters from Mom

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There are several people who are close to me, who I greatly admire,

that are caregivers to one or both of their parents. I have mentioned

my Mom moving from her (and Dad’s) Lake Erie cottage over a year

and a half ago. Mom had many choices of senior apartment centers.

These facilities have good safety practices in place, provide a more

interactive, “better” environment than living by herself.

She happened to (luckily) like the place that was almost directly across

the road from where my brothers and my sister in law live. The move

was definitely met with a deep sigh of relief when we had her there,

especially during the winter months! No worries about Mom falling on

unshoveled sidewalks nor icy steps out of her house!

I may have mentioned, more than once,  that we have corresponded

through the “snail mail” system since I went away to overnight camp,

college and moved away from home. I have been wanting to share

some of my mother’s noticeable changes and some of her wacky

character traits that have stayed the same. I enjoy her being a “wild

and crazy” 83 year old woman who is not just my Mom, but a dear

friend, too! She encouraged me always to be myself and to have a

spunky nature. She, on the other hand, has gone more towards being

full of “piss and vinegar!”

Mom’s letters have become erratic in their appearance and content.

I notice this especially since she uses a lot of dabs of white out along

with numerous misspellings and tangled words. Here is an example of

her attempting to spell the word, “survivor,” where you can tell, poor

thing, that she is sounding it out: “servyver.” I had to use the context

of the sentence to decipher it: “I am a servyver.”

Another sounding out and combining word sentence is describing her

favorite food from the dining room lately as “a huge sandsuage with

lettuce, tomato and onion.”  She later mentions by ordering this from

the (senior apartment center) dining room, it ensures she gets a lot of

beef! I can tell it is a combination of sandwich and sausage.  I wish to

point out that one sad part of her mind going just a bit is that she used

to do the crossword puzzles, up until the month she moved into her

apt. and had her minor heart attack. We could tell she was starting to

misplace things and she had bounced checks even before the medical

situation came along. All of this, is a little disheartening, remembering

her role as a teacher of English, Literature and Spanish. It is more

noticeable to me, not my brothers, who are no longer the recipients of

her letters.

She asked me after I left on my last visit in mid-September, in one of

her letters, “Did you take my key? I cannot find my checks nor my credit

card.”

My brothers and I have been trying to get her to establish a routine

with her keys, one is on a wrist band- the key to her apt. door. And the

other is on a lanyard, necklace around her neck- the outer door key.

I am sure because I have read some of your experiences on your blogs,

my older friends, that include this part of aging. This is both frustrating

and somewhat fascinating to see the parts that are held onto so tightly,

such as the distant past memories.

The threads that get most tangled up and show a complete loss of

understanding of basic functions are the saddest ones. I have to bite

my tongue when she repeats watering a plant within five or ten minutes

of the last time she did it. She wonders, aloud, why her plants seem to

“die more here” (meaning the center) than they did at home. I also,

have to not say a word, when for some inexplicable reason, she turns

the apt. key to the left, right, then left again to unlock it. Then, when she

is leaving, turns it to the right, left and then right again to lock it. This

new ritual is totally weird, to me!

She wrote in her letter last week, “They gave me another door key for

the one that got ‘lost.’ I just hope it doesn’t take off on me again!”

I guess I wish her “old” self were still able to write like she did because

I so enjoyed and treasured her letters! I did keep many which had

memories recounted, stories shared and her thoughts for many

years on all kinds of subjects! We even would carry on “debates” on

issues and also, would describe parts of shows to see if the other

managed to stay up ( and not fall asleep in the middle of them!) She

is much more of a “night owl” and thus, can sometimes ‘fill in the

blanks’ on our favorite shows. I have to remember the best blessing,

though, which several of my friends whose mothers have passed on,

that having her, no matter what shape her mind is in, that is the treat

and the pleasure. I also, know this is just the “tip of the iceberg” due

to her possible declining over time, both in mind and body…

On to the lighter, more funny side of Mom! She likes to daily order for

her dessert, chocolate ice cream and cookies “to go” which she saves

for guests and if we would like, we can take about 30 home with us

each month! My sister in law and brother sometimes take a few back

home across the street.  But the bulk of the cookies are all bagged up

and in the refrigerator for me!

Well, Mom was “dismayed” recently, written in her letter, that “They

are now cracking down on us residents and not allowing us to order

a dessert to eat and one to take back to our room.”

“I always told them,” she goes on (being a little sneaky and conniving)

to explain, “I need two cookies for my bedtime snack!”

Another totally funny (at least to me) direction she writes about is my

male friends and my different  dating experiences.

Here is how Mom addressed the recent turn of events with “new”

Mark. Also, the way it is going with my guy friends, Bill and Gary,

probably. She may also be referring to the Lenny fiasco! You never

know with my Mom! She keeps me guessing!

“Sorry about the beau dissapoinments. No fair! They took a lot of

your time. Guys just think of themselves!” (Yes, she misspelled the

word, “disappointments.”)

Another part of her letter to me,

“Don’t worry so much about being alone! I am fine being in my being

in aloneness. You will find things to occupy yourself. The dog makes

me feel useful, I sometimes sew and recently I take notes on the

lessons that are on the Catholic chanel, History chanel and some

science shows and I don’t know that chanel! I like watching the Hy-Sy

chanel, too.” (She missed “channel” and “Sy-Fy” which, even I,

occasionally write “Sci-Fy” instead.)

This next episode of her life, her trip to the grocery store on the bus,

may be amusing in its entirety.

“I filled my cart up with chocolate candies and dog chewies. I had to

get these since Nicki needs to use the few teeth she still has left in

her mouth. I bag up the candies for the servers in the dining room.

The kids like the candy and I like that they help me get my cookies and

a banana.  Then, at the check-pit: no credit card accepted except one

I don’t have—–So, I just left the stuff at the check-out. Said I was sorry.

What I wanted was unable to my taking home, what a waste of 2 hours!

I tried to think of the bus ride and the seerch for the items as some

form of an exercise.” (I think you will get the gist of what she was trying

to say without my pointing out spelling and syntax errors.)

Before Mom signed off on this letter about her grocery trip, she wrote

a thought someone else had suggested about the men in my life:

“Give the guys a foot to rump. (at least in imajunation!) And be aware

that is it their loss, not yours. You are speshul and happy weather to

you!

Love, Mom

Hugs! NIcki sends xxxxs!”

If you are taking care of a parent, other relative, are a home nursing or

hospice staff worker, you are very special indeed! I admire your strength

and courage to face this daily. I hope you will feel free to write some

helpful suggestions on how to stay in a positive frame of mind. I also,

wonder, how to help her with the keys and the credit card, checks and

money. We want to give her a little and yet, if we give more, it can be

lost, misplaced or stolen.

P. S. In the nursing home, where I was the Activities Director, we would

go to the office with the elderly clients, they would “sign out” their cash

and we (my activity assistant and I) would put the money in an envelope

to hold for them. Once at the store, we would help some of them choose

their purchases, then when checking out, we would pass the envelopes

to each person.

This worked well, but took a lot of supervision, time and energy. We

usually took 10-12 people in our wheelchair accessible bus. It amazes me,

when I think back upon those times. Maybe partly due to the fact I was

(10-14 years) younger at the time. But mostly due to the fact that we were

not related to any of them, it went so much more smoothly!!

Additional facts about Caregivers provided by the Family Caregiver Alliance:

44 million Americans provide unpaid care for an adult family member or

friend.

2/3rds of caregivers are women.

Average age of caregiver: 48 years old.

Average number of hours given during a week to caregiving: 21.9 hours.

70% of caregivers have to cut back on their profession or work, reducing to allow

more time to give care to their family member or friends.