Big Mama Blog

Benjamin Franklin. Salute!

I cannot even begin to explain how windy it was here yesterday. But I will tell you that I woke up in a strange colorful land surrounded by singing little people and discovered I’d inadvertently killed a witch wearing ruby slippers.

Or maybe I saw that in a movie one time. I can’t really remember.

P had warned me that the weather forecast had called for wind gusts up to fifty miles an hour but I didn’t really take him seriously because I never believe the weather is going to actually do what anyone predicts until it actually does it. This is a direct result of growing up in Texas and spending way too many days being disappointed by some fool weatherman who predicted snow and school closures, only to wake up the next morning and find the reality was I had to go to school while a chilly rain fell.

But the wind prediction turned out to be right.

Unfortunately, I had to go to HEB because I have spent the last three weeks being a piecemeal grocery shopper. By which I mean that I just made about three short trips to the store a week to get whatever five things we needed to make it through for a couple of days. Frankly, I just didn’t have the time or energy to develop a well-crafted, comprehensive grocery list.

But yesterday was the day. It felt like it was time for me to return to reality. And it helps that we are looking at two solid weeks of a pretty normal schedule. So I made a list that included real things like vegetables and milk and not just Nilla Wafers and York Peppermint Patties. Then I decided to head to the store sooner rather than later so I didn’t have to dread it all day.

I fought the wind that nearly blew my car door off the hinges and made my way into HEB. I perused the produce section and picked out ingredients that had the potential to become real meals. And then, with a full cart, I walked towards the back of the store to get milk and butter and eggs.

(Why do I all of a sudden feel like I’m narrating a feature on Sesame Street?)

And as I opened the freezer doors to reach for the milk, it happened. The power went out. In the whole store. It was total and complete darkness. And all I could think was how mad I was going to be if this meant the cash registers weren’t going to work and all my grocery shopping had been for naught. WHY CRUEL WORLD, WHY?

I pulled my cell phone out of my purse so I’d have a little light and a sweet elderly woman behind me exclaimed, “OH HONEY! That is perfect! Now you can help me find my Coffee Mate!”. Because that was obviously the most important issue at hand while we stood there with full shopping carts in pitch black darkness.

So we searched for Coffee Mate for several minutes and finally found the right one (I had no idea there were so many choices) just as the generator finally kicked on. And to my eternal gratitude they announced the cash registers were indeed working and customers could check out.

I walked up to the front of the store and unloaded all my groceries on the conveyor belt only to be reminded by the checker that the conveyor belt wasn’t working because, you know, ELECTRICITY. And so I had to manually move all my groceries toward the cash register like I was Caroline Ingalls. I have never been so grateful for Benjamin Franklin and old what’s-his-name that invented the grocery store conveyor belt.

I know you are all astounded at this point by this harrowing tale of grocery store bravery.

Anyway, I came home, unloaded my groceries, caught up on a few things and then it was time to pick up Caroline from school. I’d promised her we’d go get pedicures after school as a reward for a good report card and a few other things, so we went straight to the pedicure place. And Caroline begged me to not choose some “polish that’s the color of poop” like I usually do. It would seem she’s not a fan of the browns and grays I’ve favored lately. So I went with a deep red Essie color called Head Mistress and she went with a subtle turquoise, purple and neon pink combination. Her toes look like little Easter eggs.

But while we were in the midst of our pedicures, P called to ask how long the power had been out at our house. And I was unaware that the power was out at our house. After a quick online search, I knew that City Public Service was on the scene and we headed home to wait for the power to return. And I was reminded again of all the things that require electricity. Specifically the washing machine and the dryer.

I am not cut out for the pioneer life. And God knew this, which is why I was born in 1971. He knew I’d have a lifelong love of things like indoor plumbing, electricity and KC and The Sunshine Band.

The silver lining in all of this was that I wasn’t going to be able to cook dinner without electricity. And while that may not be technically true, I had big plans to use this excuse to the fullest. Around 5:30 I was mentally planning what type of food I wanted to have delivered to the house when I heard the whirr of the computer starting up and lights started to turn on.

So that’s how I ended up cooking chicken spaghetti for dinner last night. With just a little trace of bitterness over all the hardship I’d suffered and the fact I hadn’t been able to use any of it for good.

And by good, I mean pizza delivered to my door.

****

On a non-pioneer/my-life-and-times-without-electricity note, I had the chance to meet these sweet girls in person this weekend.

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I already knew Kelly and Sophie and they know me very well because I threw up in front of them on a bus in Ecuador. Good times. But I got to meet Sheaffer from Pinterest Told Me To and Shay from Mix and Match Family. (Shay also happens to be Sean Lowe’s sister. Sean is the bachelor as in THE BACHELOR this season.)

Anyway, Sheaffer had asked me a long time ago to do a Pinterest fashion inspiration post on her blog. And then I forgot about it. But today I did a version of one which really just means Sheaffer was sweet enough to just use the picture of me from the above photo since that was a Pinterest inspired outfit and technically counts.

But, wait, there’s more! Sheaffer is giving away two signed copies of Sparkly Green Earrings and one of those copies will also include this gorgeous pair of Garden Party Chandelier Earrings from Stella & Dot .

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Here’s the link to Sheaffer’s blog. Head on over there and leave a comment if you’d like a chance to win.

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Comments

  1. 1

    I’m cracking up because we are currently experiencing the weatherman-doesn’t-really-know what-he’s-talking-about episode right now. For days now they told us about a huge blizzard that is headed our way….so we went to the store stocked up on food, and thought of all the fun things we would do on our snow day. And then today, they tell us, oh wait the blizzard isn’t coming anymore, forget ALL YOUR HOPES AND DREAMS. Such a disappointment. And I have all the ingredients for about 5 pots of chili. Who wants to eat chili when it isn’t a snow day?!?!

    And I think I would freak out in a pitch black grocery store.

  2. 2
    peggy anderson says:

    I have never commented before, even though I never miss a day of reading your blog. Just recieved your book in the mail last evening, and laughed out loud in places, cried in places. Thank you for sharing with us! Too funny about your adventure at the grocery yesterday!

  3. 3

    Melanie! It was so nice to meet you on Saturday! You are gorgeous, funny and so full of His light. Thank you so much for taking time out of your busy day to say hello! Have a great Tuesday!

  4. 4

    First things first. Yes. You were EXACTLY like Caroline Ingalls last night. I’m so impressed with your ability to just put your head down and power through a difficult situation. Impressive. :)
    LOVED meeting you this weekend. It was such a treat!

  5. 5

    Your skirt Saturday morning was ROCKIN! Sooo cute. Wanted to say hi, but I was helping a friend at her FOR GIRLS LIKE YOU booth and every time you’d walk by, I was talking with a mommy about the magazine. :)

    The wind, OH, the wind. My car door flew open and hit the car next to me (side mirror) and all I could hear was CRACK! I waited a while and then had to leave, so I left my name & phone number. This wind is dead to me!

  6. 6
    Cheryl in Nebraska says:

    “A loaf of bread, a container of milk and a stick of butter.” I’m 56 yrs old and I STILL remember that Sesame Street feature. This is the first time I’ve commented on your blog, even though I’ve been a long time faithful reader. This time I just HAD to!

  7. 9

    I wish the power would go out so I could avoid all manner of unpleasantries–namely cooking, laundry, and my daily battle with the treadmill.

  8. 10
    Cassie sue says:

    I had the power go out in a supertarget. And it was COMPLETELY dark, like couldn’t see my hand in front of my face. I waited for something to turn on, but so many people were screaming, and a kid ran right into a big display and knocked tons of things off of the shelf. I felt bad for the kid (they were not hurt) but I’m not going to lie, I totally laughed at them (who runs in pitch black in an unfamiliar store?). Glad to hear you survived the wind, sad to hear you didn’t get out of making dinner.

  9. 11

    How do you stay so thin eating Mexican food and pizza?

  10. 12

    “And so I had to manually move all my groceries toward the cash register like I was Caroline Ingalls.” The greatest line in this post.

    This also happened to me in Target one time…completely freaky. I was sure someone was going to steal my purse in the dark….but I guess they would have to have been wearing night vision goggles to see my purse and I didn’t notice anyone pursuing the aisles wearing night vision goggles so I guess my purse was safe all along.

  11. 13

    Wind is vexing. It actually broke the door of our 1980 something Volvo in Nebraska where the wind can be fierce. It is quite expensive to have an entire door replaced with all the technical things that are required. We found a kid who welded the thing back together in his little shop. Ever since then when the wind blows I hold on tight to the door getting in and out of the car.

  12. 14

    I flew into San Antonio in the crazy winds yesterday… it was insane. Felt like I was in the middle of a hurricane!

  13. 15

    This post quite literally made me laugh out loud. My mom used to dress me like Laura Ingalls when she went to do presentations in classrooms about the Ingalls family (nothing a little therapy later in life coudln’t fix…) My given name, Caroline, is after Caroline Ingalls, so the Ingalls shout out in the midst of darkness struck a chord with me. Your writing is so warm and personable and REAL. I’ve only been following your blog for 3 days now, but you do not disappoint. Thanks for sharing your gift. I can’t wait to read your book!

  14. 16

    new commentor here. just wanted to tell you i read your book over the weekend. i didn’t buy your book, but i DID get it from the library! that’s cool, right? that your book was at my library? i thought so. i don’t buy books b/c i wouldn’t be able to walk in my house if i did…anyway, your book was so good that i read it in a matter of a couple hours. my daughter is the same age as your daughter (although, she still lets me pick out her clothes and do her hair b/c she’d rather do crafts and read). i could relate to a lot of what you wrote about, especially when you described why you have one kid. i have 3, but i wanted 4, and i came to the same conclusion after my 3rd as you did w/ caroline. it was a hard decision and hard to face-up to my limitations even though i would like to think i’m wonder woman. *sigh* your book made me laugh, and it read a lot like your blog, which was fun. great job and congratulations.

  15. 17

    I completely feel for you with yesterday’s wind.. I did not believe it was going to happen either… We had it here in the Houston area too. Several years ago we had a wind like this and I was crossing the street, downtown, at the same time as an elderly gentleman. I got so giggly watching him walk. He as trying to step over the wind by lifting his legs up in a high march. I thought of him yesterday as I crossed the same street.

  16. 18

    Weathermen in my area are notorious for being wrong most of the time but lately ….the little freaks have been more right than wrong…we are supposed to get some rain/snow showers tonight but no real accumulation – I kinda hope they’re wrong…I feel like I need a grown up snow day….lol. Thanks for the link to the giveaway:)

  17. 19

    “And so I had to manually move all my groceries toward the cash register like I was Caroline Ingalls” – Oh, I laughed and laughed. Love you Big Mama!

  18. 20
    Marie M.C. says:

    I have NO idea how people managed without lights, hot water, gas heaters. In a ten day period my electricity went out twice, my hot water heater broke, the gas heater to the house stopped working, the refrigerator had some kind of problem then the oven broke. Wait, it gets worse. I dropped my glasses then cleverly stepped on them. Called the optometrist to see if he could salvage them since my bank account was now getting lower by the minute. Got into my car to go to the eye doctor, my car wouldn’t start. Came upstairs to call AAA, turned on my computer which in keeping with everything else around me promptly gave up the ghost. NO, I’m not kidding, not making this up. I too am utterly thrilled I live in the age of electricity, indoor plumbing, freezers, eye glasses, cars, phones and pizza one can order and have delivered. But when they ALL stop working . . . one truly appreciates and thanks God to be alive in 2013 and not 1813.

  19. 21

    I had the same thing happen. You are lucky the registers were working.

  20. 22

    Hubs and I were never able to have kiddos but that hasn’t stopped me from reading your book. I am loving it! This morning after a chaotic week of getting medical tests and a procedure scheduled, maybe…I can’t get the Dr office to call back, but I digress. Anyway, I was reading your book before Bible study and Psalm 121 when you felt you were all alone but of course you weren’t really spoke to me and the situation. Yes, my comings and goings and I hope it covers call backs from the nurse.

    I thought we were having a hurricane without the rain yesterday. I live in the Houston area.

  21. 23

    my daughter would love these earrings.

  22. 24

    I’m pretty sure that the Coffee Mate lady must have been my children’s adopted grandmother. She shops at HEB and that scenario sounds just like her. A cute, petite little strawberry blonde lady–and if it was, thank you for helping her. :). By the way, my uncle was a Junction Boy so I love any reference you make to the Aggies!

  23. 25

    I am still cracking up over your Caroline Ingalls reference! I mean, seriously. A cash register line without a working conveyor belt?!? I probably would have stood there staring at the cashier stammering, “But it needs to move…the little belt needs to move…” :)

    Mindy
    http://www.thesuburbanlife.com

  24. 26

    I am new to your blog… I just got your book… so happy I got a real copy and not one on my kindle plan to pass this on to my two daughters…they are going to love it too… what a fun read . Thank you for using God’s gift to you to bless all of us.

  25. 27

    We are getting a lovely, slushy, wintry mix (I love that term – Wintry mix – heard it in Tennessee and wondered why you never hear it on the weather network in Canada, where we are FULL UP with Wintry mix!) – anyway, I think it’s the remnants of the storm that hit Texas……I can imagine how the winds must have been for you! Never been in a grocery store when the power went out, thank goodness you were able to check out! Talk about first world problems!

    Almost finished your book, plan to read the rest today while I lounge on the couch enjoying our snow day!

  26. 28

    1971 was a beautiful year to be born. It seems that anytime I attempt to buy groceries and actually meal-plan, we get a stomach bug. Or lose power for 3 days. I’ve given up. Hope the chicken spaghetti (and, what IS that, actually??) tasted a little better than the bitterness.

  27. 29

    I was right there with you, sister! hanging out in the frezing cold, but our sport right now is baseball. All day, every day! ok, slight exaggeration, but only slight!! Love your blog!