Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Walmart = Money Spent

Having a Walmart almost within walking distance is really not the best idea for your budget .

I admit that I love to do a little Walmart shopping every now and then. Since the Walmart near us has groceries too, it's a good excuse to stop and take a little look see, PLUS avoid the grocery store.

If you ask the husband, he will invariably tell you that I call him weekly on my way home from work to say, "I'm just going to stop real quick at the Walmart and pick up a few things."

I have a real problem with just "wandering around" the store JUST TO LOOK. I waste more time "wandering" because I get in that store and think "maybe they got a new shipment of"... sandals or flowers or whatever happens to pop into my brain.

I was looking for a receipt to take something back the other day and my husband happened to notice all the many receipts I was searching through. (Here's a news bulletin: I'm a bit compulsive and have kept all my receipts for the last couple of years.) He was giving me a hard time about that and asked why I needed to keep several years of receipts.

While I had them all lined out on the counter, it became obvious that when the Walmart was located on the other side of town, I didn't frequent Walmart much.

As they say, a picture is worth a thousand words:

Receipts from Walmart within walking distance:
Receipts from Walmart across town

Now I know there are some out there that do not and will not support Walmart because of some of their policies. We have one friend that Hates Walmart and will expound on why we should not support it. I agree that they could improve on some things. I know from my experience of filling out disability paperwork and return to work notes for some of my patients over the years that Walmart does not make it easy for their employees sometimes. One time I had to write a note saying that one of my pregnant patient's needed to take a bathroom break every so many minutes/hours and the same for getting drinks of water!!?? That is ridiculous that a person needs a note to get a drink!

It doesn't stop me from enjoying wandering around and "finding a deal".
I had a few errands to run the other day, and Walmart was on the list.
When I came home, I was talking to my husband and I said that I hadn't stopped at Walmart.
He very calmy said, "I know."
I said, "How did you know I didn't stop there...I just got home."
He said, "You weren't gone very long!"

Unfortunately, Walmart = Money Spent and I would definiately have more money if the Walmart was still located across town!

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Chocoholic dog

I've just got to accept that we have a chocoholic dog!

Lucy is the BEST DOG IN THE WORLD except for perhaps a little neurosis and a nose that can find matter where it is!

Lucy is now 12 years old and I'm surprised that she has managed not to kill herself from all the chocolate she has eaten in her life. She is really smart and can sit, dance, bark, sneeze, rollover, go to her bed, shake, grin, and bow. Most of the time on command, but some of the time, when she is not sure...she will go through all of her tricks all at once, to get her treats.

She is getting a little, shall we say...Plump? avoid hurting her feelings. As my husband says, he has a happy dog and he doesn't care if she is fat or not! Her being chubby is not from eating chocolate, but if she had her way, she would like more of that substance any chance she gets.

Because she is so smart, it has long been established that you cannot leave any sweets (mainly chocolate, but also gum) down in her space.

Most of the time, we remember not to leave stuff in her range, but it never fails that we occassionally forget. Christmas and Easter are usually a given that some form of chocolate will be left where she can get to them. This has been going on since we got her and I can guarantee that every Christmas and Easter, that dog gets her chocolate! For years, I reminded the boys to "keep the candy away from Lucy," and for years, someone always forgot.

She has, on one occassion, even managed to get into the pantry and pull over a bag of chocolate chips. That experience was almost the deadly one, because she really got sick from the dark chocolate. My understanding is that the darker the chocolate, the more lethal it is to dogs.

The other chocolate occassions are usually random occurrences, but there are many stories of Lucy unzipping my purse, pulling out everything in the purse to get to a chocolate mint that I had forgotten about. Almost every visit that mamaw makes to our house results in Lucy getting into her purse for the ever present gum!

She is pretty amazing when it comes to UNZIPPING backpacks. There are numerous occassions that she would manage to get ahold of left over chocolate bar or gum or whatever else she smelled in the boy's backpacks that they had long forgotten about.

Last week, the backpack unzipping dog struck again and below is the evidence:

Jeffrey had left his backpack down on the floor and that little devil unzipped it for the M&M's she smelled. Jeffrey did not even remember that those were in there, so there's no telling how long they were in that front pouch.

She is smart enough to know she is not suppose to get into things. When I came down the stairs, she was cowering on the stairs. I couldn't figure out if this was because of her normal "neurosis" or for some other reason. I though I better have a look around before I started working. As I walked around, she was like that game of hot/cold. When I went toward the real response from her. (colder) When I went toward the living room (the scene of the backpack), she cowered more.(hotter!) I happened to be working from home that day, and she stayed away from me all day.

She always gives herself away with bad behavior because she won't come to greet us when we come in. One day she stayed upstairs for over an hour, before she would come say hello. You would think we beat her or something, but she is just neurotic and really doesn't like to be yelled at...if only the boys had been that easy when they were little!

Even being a chocoholic, she still is the best can you not love that look on her face?

It pretty much says: I know I've done something I shouldn't but I'm too cute to not love!

Sunday, August 13, 2006


Another OBB has now come and gone.
This was the fourth annual Owens Backyard Bash (OBB).

For those of you that don't know, we started this tradition as a “wouldn’t it be fun to have a party with all our friends” before the kids return to college.

That first year it actually became Tommy & Becky’s wedding celebration.

It was quite the surprise when they said, “all our friends have RSVP’d that they are coming for the OBB, so we were thinking it would be a good time to get married.”
That was just two weeks before the first OBB and let me tell you that that was a pretty BUSY two weeks!
Tommy finally had to write on the e-vite that “NO Becky is not pregnant!” because they got asked so many times if that was the reason for the quick wedding.
The real reason was that they were buying a new house and had been engaged for almost a year and were just READY!
All the numerous details involved with weddings were quickly whittled down to bare necessities and the wedding and OBB wedding celebration turned out great!
As someone said, and I agree, “If you have one year to get ready for a wedding, it takes one year…if you have 2 weeks for a wedding, it takes 2 weeks!”

We have continued the OBB tradition because everyone seems to really have a good time getting together, drinking, and enjoying the music.

Now out of those reasons, my favorite is always the music (since most of the music is my boys!)and getting to see everyone.

Being the “I know someone who died like that “ kind of person, I always worry about the drinking part. Fortunately, most of the guests try to abide by the drinking rules: No drinking and driving. A lot of the guests do sleepover and that really is one of the fun parts of the OBB.

People always ask if we are going to do the OBB next year, and the answer to that is always conditional on the outcome of each party. If there is a “drinking problem”, that would be one way to cancel future OBB’s in my mind. I guess that means that future OBB’s are dependent on the current guests.

I was a little nervous this year because of our short visit last year from the city police. They had a complaint about “loud noise and band.” The funny part about that visit was that they had a little trouble finding a parking spot out front due to all the parked cars. By the time they found a parking spot and located the “responsible party” (that would be my husband and I), the band had already broken down. They were very nice and didn’t stay but about 5 minutes. Some of the party guests didn’t even know they were present. They left stating that if they got another complaint, we would have to move indoors but both officers indicated that they did not see any problems. We didn’t have any visits from the “city’s finest” this year, so I would mark OBBIV as a success.

I understand that the tentative OBBV is already scheduled for Aug. 4, 2007. Check out Jerry’s blog with the official OBBV countdown. Jerry’s parents were saying that he rated the OBB right up there with Christmas and Thanksgiving and that he definitely would not want to miss it.

This year the OBBIV started out pretty quiet. We have discussed moving the start time later since the 11:59 AM time makes for a long day. The majority of partygoers usually come around 4:00-5:00. I really enjoyed the quiet start this year and the early start allows the band members get a chance to eat before they perform. The time detail will be discussed prior to OBBV evites going out.

This year I thought the music was very eclectic and, for the most part, pretty good.
When I say “ for the most part”, I mean that there always are those request songs that the band hasn’t really practiced much. I am always amazed that the band can perform those requests “off the top of their head” and still sound reasonable. Phish, Alison Krauss, Indigo girls, Dave Mathews, Justin songs, Johnny Cash, “the Boss”, the Beatles and many more were all represented musically. (Gee Justin…that’s a pretty good group to be listed with….)

The OBB is always a time for many performers to join the OBros and this year was no exception.

We didn’t get a performance with Uncle Gary this year on the drums and I’m not sure how that happened. Uncle Gary was the first drummer to ever play with the boys, many years ago.

I personally always love the Fri night before the OBB, because that is “Practice night”. It is always a blast to see all the Owens family, (Dad & uncle included) playing music together in the basement.

I said a couple of times during the OBBIV, “OH, I have to listen to this song…this is one of my favorites”.
One of the partygoers said to me later in the night, “I have heard you say that more than once today.” I guess most of the songs the boys play would be “my favorites!”

OBBIV was a record breaking moment….It was Michal’s debut singing venue. That was pretty fun to see him joining in the vocals and it looked like he had a great time!

The weather this year could not have been more perfect!! It was much better than the 90+humidity that we had last year.

The OBBIV had the traditional flip cup game and the traditional “WVa hot dog” fixings. Pretty soon we may have a lot more converts to the WVa way to make a hot dog. (This is a hot dog with homemade chili and topped with cole slaw. )

Finally, my 80+ year old neighbor that I traditionally take cookies to after the OBB for tolerating the OBB once a year, said she enjoyed watching the action from the comfort of her home. She is pretty cute with her comments.
One year she asked “what the kids were doing around the tables?…it looked like they were playing a game.” I then had to explain flip cup to her…that was kind of surreal to be explaining a drinking game to your 80+neighbor!
She said that she could remember when her parents were not too thrilled with the jitterbug and “new music.” This year she commented that it looked like the kids were growing up…more babies present…slightly less wildness.

It is always a lot of hard work both before and after the OBB. It was a couple of days off work that involved yard work, food shopping, and house cleaning. The poor lady that kept trying to shop around me and my flat dolly at Price Club definitely didn't like the OBB preparations. The day after is always a pretty long day cleaning up after all the "Fun." Fortunately, the boys and Becky help with the clean up. I missed getting a picture of the "morning after shot" and the husband in the kitchen...that was a lot of cups, bowls, etc to wash!

But the OBBIV= 102+guests, 8 kids, 4 dogs, 96 hotdogs, 40 hamburgers, 2 loins of barbecue, 2 lbs macaroni, 2 lbs potato salad, 6 dozen cookies, 2 batches of brownies, rice krispie treats, 3 kegs of beer, 1 bottle of tequila, 0 police.....All in all: PRICELESS!

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Still Here...Barely!

Just a quick line to say the blog topic about the OBBIV will be coming soon and that I am still here...barely!
I caught what I am referring to as an OBB cold and my stamina is about nil after preparing for the OBB, cleaning up after the OBB, and returning to work after the OBB.
I keep telling myself I will write a quick synopsis of all the fun, but haven't really had the creative juices available to do it justice.
So...coming soon....the OBBIV review and hopefully pictures.