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Thursday, May 26, 2011

Organics and Oz

Next Monday is when the boys' "Sky's The Limit" Maui Adventure begins. We've poured our hearts and souls into this adventure. It's been a labor of love. The fundraisers were so successful, that we were able to not only arrange a helicopter tour of Maui, but a paragliding session, a round of golf at a nice resort, and still have a bit spending money left for them as well should they want to have a nice dinner somewhere. Bryson and two other friends paid for their own airline tickets and accommodations. The "Sky's The Limit" fund covered the activities (thank you again to everyone who helped). So, after months of preparation and planning, the time is close at hand.

I'm on a mission. I want to pack little snack bags for the guys for their trip. Airline food isn't that terrific and it's expensive for what you get. Now, packing snacks for four college boys sounds easy. Most twenty-somethings of the male persuasion will eat just about anything you put in front of them. Especially if it's free.

One thing, however, poses a bit of a challenge. Jeff and his parents are very proactive in his healthcare. While he's been waging war against his nemesis cancer through chemo, he's also very careful to eat only healthy, organic foods. That is to say, when he feels well enough to eat. His mom raises her own veggies and herbs, their fruit is all organically raised and she makes her own keifer. Labels are read and re-read, and they keep an extensive library of herbal supplements. Their kitchen and pantry look like the inside of a Mother's Market. So, I figured my best bet was to visit the Organic Farmer's Market close to my house and my favorite place to shop; Trader Joe's.

I took my time, walking up and down every aisle and painstakingly reading label after label. I found some awesome items that were not just healthy, but fun as well. Clif Bars are always a hit and I knew I couldn't go wrong with Trek Trail Mix, and some Blue Corn Tortilla Chips. Found some Apple-Carrot Juice squeezers that were only 3 oz., so I knew the TSA wouldn't take them away and Clementines are small, sweet, and easy. I was feeling pretty happy with my choices, and excited to be able to "pack lunches". That was something I loved doing when the kids were little that has long since been retired. It was nice to reminisce.

I just wanted to find one sweet thing to balance out the savories I already had, and began my walk up the second to the last aisle, when I noticed a package of Seaweed Snacks (Nori sheets) in the cart of another shopper. I stopped, pointed to the package and asked the lady where she found that. OH MY GAWD...epic mistake. I got a four paragraph soliloquy on every nook and cranny in the store. She couldn't just point and say; "over there." She had to give me a turn by turn directive. I kept trying to stop her with a polite "Thank you, I'll head that way now." But that wasn't going to happen.

As I started to walk in the direction she had indicated (I think), she began to move with me, all the while telling me about the digestive and health merits of the seaweed. I heard how she hadn't yet tried them, but that she had been watching Dr. Oz and he was a great proponant of this type of snack, etc. etc. I tried to tell her that I regularly bought them, had been eating them since I was a child, and that my kids all love them, but I wasn't able to get a word in. She just kept going on and on, walking with me, and soon, we were both standing in front of the display.

"Here you go, Honey! I hope you enjoy them. I can't tell you how they taste becase I haven't had them yet. I just know Dr. Oz says...."

At this point I've completely shut her off. Had she listened at all to anything I tried to say, she would know I could tell her how they taste. But, I decided it was useless. She just wanted to talk. To anyone.

I was ecstatic to find that the snacks were on sale for $.99, and so I began to grab them by twos and throw them in my cart. By the time I had loaded the 5th or 6th package, the eyes of Dr. Oz's number one fan were the size of saucers.

"My goodness! You're taking a big chance on those aren't you? I know Dr. Oz likes them, but how do you know you will?"

I pointed to my cart. "Organics...brain food. Gives me ESP."

She didn't follow me anymore after that.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

If my dog is staying, I'm staying...

Rapture Pet Care Services©
by Charlie Huffine

The very best pet care for the Pre-, Mid-, or Post-Tribulation Pet!

With the end of the world coming soon (May 21st), Rapture Pet Care Services© will be offering extended care services for pets that are left behind when their loved ones are “raptured” away on the 21st. We have multi-tiered plan that will provide the level of care individuals desire for their pets to have after they are gone.

All of our plans include the following:

■ Day after follow up phone call to verify rapture.
■ Next day pickup by pet care professionals.
■ Optional notification of family members that you are gone and your pet is being provided for.
■ Five sessions with Certified Animal Psychologist to help your pet with the sudden loss of his or her master and acclamation to their new environment.
■ Early Departure Clause: Individual who’s pet (or themselves) die prior to the rapture date are entitled to a full refund (refund form must be filled out, signed, and returned to Rapture Pet Care Services by one of the individuals listed on the policy within 20 business days).
■ Early Termination Fee: For individuals who decide that “This Service Isn’t For Them” prior to the Rapture Date identified in the policy are entitled to full refunds minus a 25% early termination fee (minimum 48 hour Pre-Rapture Date notification required).

Optional Coverage:

■ Rapture Insurance - If the rapture does not occur on the anticipated date stated in the policy, we will offer a 50% refund of the total amount paid, or we will keep your policy open and intact at no additional charge for the next rapture date of your choice (additional charges for insurance may apply).

Rapture Pet Care Services Care Plans:

Frugal Family Plan: This is our basic plan which treats your pet like the animal it is. Basic food and water are given twice daily with twice-a-day access to our Self Service Potty Arena©. Your pet will be kept in our large Group Housing facility, where it will have plenty of company each and every day. This plan provides basic care for your pet for one year from the Rapture Date. It may not sound like much, but it’s better than your pet being on its own. Also, this plan allows you, the owner, to take up to one full year in heaven to make arrangements for your pet to be “Raptured” as well (not included in God’s original Rapture Plan) prior to the termination of your policy.

Pricing: $666.00

Frugal Family Extended Plan: This is the same as our basic plan with the option to purchase an automatic six (6) month policy extension, up to a total of (but not beyond) three years. Extension will be purchased on your pets behalf 24-hours prior to the end date of your policy. VISA, MASTER CARD, OR DEBIT CARD must be on file with our office (this provides for individuals who made theological errors in judgment related to being a Pre-Tribulationist, Mid-Tribulationist, or Post-Tribulationist but guarantees that your pet doesn’t have to suffer because you were a theological dummy).

Pricing: $333.00 (For each 6 months added to policy.)

The Silver Lining Plan: This plan goes beyond the Frugal Family Plan, but keeps in mind that you’re not made of money. This plan will save money in the long run and offers care for your pet for a period of three years (linked to key tribulation time periods). This plan also provides three meals a day with fresh water at each meal. Not only will your pet have access to the Self Serve Potty Arena©, but will be offered one walk around the Arena twice weekly. Your pet will be upgraded from our Group Housing Facility to our newly-developed Pet Hostels©. Your pet will still have plenty of company each day; however, each hostel limits the number of occupants to twenty (20). You can feel better about your choice for your pet while taking up to three full years in heaven to make arrangements for your pet to be “Raptured” prior to the termination of your policy.

Pricing: $3996.66

The Golden Opportunity Plan: This plan offers your pet the best of our budget pet care plans. Your pet will receive everything in the Silver Lining Plan with these extra options: pet treats between meals, walks around the Arena five times a week and limited contact with a Surrogate Master (10 minutes per day, twice weekly). Plus, your pets living conditions will once again be upgraded from our Pet Hostels© to our Happy Pet Hotel© where you pet will live with no more than ten (10) other occupants. You owe it to your favorite friend to consider this extra special plan.

Pricing: $3996.00 (Plus an additional $30.00 per month.)

The Platinum Pet Plan: This plan offers everything and shows that you care for your pet like it’s one of the family…but not. You get everything the Golden Opportunity Plan offers but with the following extra benefits: name-brand food for your pet at each meal, walks twice daily (five days a week), Surrogate Master time of 30 minutes (five times a week), and all of the pet treats your pet can handle. Once again, your pet’s accommodations will improve as they find themselves in the Playful Pet Park Pet Condominiums©. Here, your pet will be living with no more than five (5) other companions. Take your time making other arrangements, your pet will be thinking it’s on vacation instead of in the end times.

Pricing: $6660.00

“One of the Family” Plan: This is our premier plan. It lets others know that your pet was cherished. This plan provides Top Notch care for your pet for a period of seven (7) years, the full Tribulation Period. This is unheard of in the “End Times” pet care industry. Competitors can’t touch this plan for the price we are offering. Your pet will be provided with four square meals a day, consisting of brand name foods for two of the four meals with the other two meals consisting of pure table scraps - just like home! Your pet will be walked three times a day, seven days a week. They will be personally escorted to the Potty Arena© each and every time they need to go, followed with a full hour of time with a Surrogate Master. This include snuggle time in front of the television every evening. Your pet will be kept with members of its own kind (cats with cats, dogs with dogs) and will have its own personal pet house. And if that’s not enough, your pet’s new home will include three pictures of you, unlimited treats, and conjugal visits with any of his or hers new friends. With this plan, no further arrangements are necessary as the World Ends at the end of the Seventh Year. However, unlike the rest of mankind, you will have the knowledge that you pet was cared for in your absence. Enjoy your new world!

Pricing: $10,000.00

Just think about it, can you put a price on your Pet’s happiness?

I didn’t think so.

Monday, May 09, 2011

Best Mother's Day Cards EVAH!

I think this about says it all. My kids' personalities in a nutshell. It's a funny thing about Mother's Day cards; when they're little you get darling, crayon and construction paper works of wonder. Then, they grow up.




Gone golfing. Card by proxy.

Saturday, May 07, 2011

Silicone Marriage Saviors

No, you cheeky buggers. I didn't get a boob job. I got these:

Now, I know, without benefit of a visual size reference, these might look like some sort of kinky sex toy, and probably some of you might be thinking back to that
swiveling buttplug leash incident at the surf shop moons ago. But I promise you, it's nothing as titillating as that. These, my dear friends, are earplugs. Or, as is listed on their packaging; hearing protectors. However, were I to rename them, I would call them marriage protectors.

You see; my darling husband snores. Loudly. Sometimes he snores so loudly that he even wakes himself up. Which is then usually followed by an exclamation of; "Damn!", and then a chortle, and then right back to blissful snoring. Me? I am not chortling. I am lying there, wondering if I should go to the living room couch. But I know that if I make a move to leave our bed, it will wake Charlie in an instant and he will chivalrously offer to move he, and the offensive snoring, to the living room. That would leave me feeling guilty, and then I will not sleep anyway. So, I lie there in the dark, listening to his rhythmic nightime cacophony. Of course, he always tells me; "Just nudge me and tell me to turn over", and for years, I have done that. Countless times a night, I turn toward him, gently rub his arm and tell him to turn, and he, without ever complaining, complies. But I would often wonder how good can HIS rest be if I'm constantly waking him to turn over?

I began to think we were not only heading to Ozzie and Harriet twin beds, but even worse, we were heading for separate bedrooms. The horror! In all honesty; I was truly worried. If we couldn't find some sort of solution to this nightmare, we were going to end up like my parents, relegated to divided sleeping quarters on opposite ends of the house. Fear took hold. I probably worried about it more than Charlie did. In fact, I don't think he gave it much thought. But it did give me cause for concern.

One night, a few weeks ago, I found this little container of what at first sight appeared to be jelly beans, next to Charlie's wallet and loose change on his dresser. I asked him about it and he told me that sometimes, when he has to go to the manufacturing lab at work, he has to wear these protectors because some of the machinery is so loud. Makes sense. And then it hit us both like a ton of bricks. I put the little vial of soft, pillowy treats on my nightstand. "I'm using those tonight, Honey!"

Sure enough, that night I had the best night's sleep I'd had in ages. So, I continued to use them, and the good sleep continued. I would always have to say to Charlie that he needed to remember that I was using them should there be a house fire or emergency of some sort. Sometimes, he'd forget and leave for work without waking me and I wouldn't hear the alarm clock and I'd be late for work. But for the most part, I was so happy.

Then, one morning, Charlie mentioned to me that he had been sleeping really well too. Again, an epiphany! If I was sleeping soundly and not being disturbed by his snoring, which in turn would cause me to wake him up to have him turn over, then he was sleeping through the night as well. It was a bonus; a true win-win. Our little pluggie friends were bringing the joy of sleeping together back into our world.

Last month, I was talking to a customer about Charlie's and my wedding anniversary and how we were going to celebrate. She asked how long we'd been married and I responded with a proud smile; "Married for 29 years, together for 31."

"Wow, that's awesome! So, what's your secret for a happy marriage?"

Without hesitation, I responded; "Earplugs"