This week...

"When the world seems loud, we must be quiet. When the world seems evil, we must be good. When the world seems terrifying, we must comfort each other. " ~ Momastery

The Onion put up a post a few days ago about this week - before the manhunt that consumed Boston for the better part of 24 hours on Friday - and it really summed up my reaction to this week:

“Maybe next time we have a week, they can try not to pack it completely to the @#$%^&* brim with explosions, mutilations, death, manhunts, lies, weeping, and the utter uselessness of our political system,” said basically every person in America who isn’t comatose or a complete sociopath. “You know, maybe try to spread some of that total misery across the other 51 weeks in the year. Just a thought.”

So very true. In Hawaii, there was this plant called 'Sleeping Grass'. If you touch it, it responds by withdrawing and closing up. If I had a plant Doppleganger, Sleeping Grass would be mine. I spent the better part of Monday trying to come to terms with the fact that a woman I know online had to say goodbye to her 5 year old son. Gavin was amazing - their whole family is amazing - and I cannot begin to imagine the horrible pain of losing a child. And then Boston...I had friends there. Trying to track them down and make sure they were (literally) all in one piece was exhausting on top of everything else and by the end of Monday, I was ready for the week to be over. But it just kept going: political worthlessness (what's new?), conspiracy theories and tinfoil hats, explosions, more casualties, and so on. 

By Friday, I was done. Stick a fork in me and call me dinner DONE. Thankfully, life conspired to keep me away from both the computer and the television and for that, I was grateful. And now, it is Saturday. The manhunts are over. The Monday-morning quarterbacking (or Saturday, as it were) has begun and I just can't handle it. It's taking what little self-control I have not to rip people to shreds for criticizing how the manhunt in Boston was handled ('martial law'? Really? Shut up.) and looking for conspiracy theories where there aren't any. If people have enough time on their hands to come up with that kind of tripe, they need to get on the horn to their CongressCritter and demand a full - PUBLIC - investigation into Benghazi. But Boston? 

No. Not Boston. 
But rather than pick a fight with crazy people, I retreat like Sleeping Grass and call it a day. It's just too much. Maybe I'm becoming soft in my old age (is 40ish really 'old' these days?). Or maybe the events of the past 12 years have just worn me down to a point where I can no longer tolerate some things without being overwhelmed. I don't know. I saw a tweet on Twitter the other day that about sums it up for me: "
Beginning to think that getting your news a day later on a piece of paper really was the way to go." So true.
So true.


- hfs


April Challenge

Do you have an Aldi grocery store near you? I had never heard of them until we moved here. They carry the equivalent of store-brand goods. They are bare-bones: bring a quarter to 'rent' a shopping cart if you plan to use one (you'll get it back once you return the cart) and bring your own shopping bags. Credit cards are a no-no but they do accept debit cards and cash. I had poked in for a walk-through a while back and have decided that this month, I will try out a few items - items that I normally buy at the 'big box' grocery store or the commissary. I'll be posting what I buy and our assessment of them over the next month or so.

This month, I bought trash bags, some Belgian-style cookies (Aldi is a European-owned corporation so I've found a lot of European foods there), chicken nuggets, and smoked Gouda cheese.

First up are trash bags. I managed to throw away my receipt before I noted the price but I believe I paid $3.99 for this box of 45 bags. So far (we've used about 10 of them thus far), they have held up nicely and I can't tell the difference between the Boulder brand and the Glad brand that I normally buy. For my next post, I'll do a better job of posting the price from our 'normal' grocery store in comparison.
** VERDICT: worth the money. I won't buy trash bags at the 'big name' grocery store again. 

My children like chicken nuggets. If I were a better crunchy mom, I'd make my own by dicing up free range chicken, coating it in non-GMO bread crumbs, and baking them myself but I have about 10,485 other things that need my attention during the day (to include Facebook. Don't judge.) so bagged nuggets once a week are my go-to. This bag was $3.99 for a 32-ounce bag. The same sized bag at our normal grocery store would run me at least $5.99.
** VERDICT: The Girl said she didn't notice a difference but she has a lousy sense of smell (and, therefore, taste) so I only give her opinion so much weight (sorry, baby!). The Boy said his tummy hurt after eating them but his tummy hurts often so I'm not sure we can attribute that to the nuggets. We will have 1/2 of a bag left so we'll try again.

We love chocolate in this house. And we love cookies. And when you combine the two, we have a happy house. So we grabbed these for $2.99 and hoped for the best. Similar cookies in either the grocery store or commissary would run easily more than $5.00 so this was an easy call. I mean, really, cookies and chocolate (dark, at that!) for under $3.00? Who can say no to that?

** VERDICT: The chocolate, as European chocolate is known to be, was wonderful - smooth, creamy, rich. The cookies themselves had an odd chemical taste but that was mostly overpowered by the wonderful chocolate. I would have just sucked the chocolate off the cookies and thrown the actual cookie in the trash but my children elbowed me out of the way (The Girl has bony elbows!) and then viciously declared that I was not allowed to touch them. Heh. They have to sleep at some point. 

We also bought a wheel of smoked Gouda but I failed to get a picture of it before it was devoured. If there is anything in this house that is devoured more quickly than chocolate, it's cheese. We like cheese on our cheese. This cheese was mild and creamy with a good, solid hint of smoke to it. Perfect. It was$2.99 for a 7 ounce wheel. A perfect price for a small indulgence. 

MacGyver hit the commissary today (soldiers who are involuntarily separated from the military maintain access to the PX and commissary for 2 years) and they had cereal on sale so we stocked up there. I'm still working my way through some stuff I have in the freezer for meals so I don't need to do a major shop just yet. I do need to go pick up some frozen veggies and the everyday stuff (bread, orange juice, peanut butter, etc.) but I'm going to put that off as long as possible. We managed to stay close to my $300 budget last month but went over a smidge so I'm trying to get closer this month. 

Still no word on the job front - still waiting for a few pieces to fall into place. If you're the praying type, we could definitely use them.

Have you shopped at Aldi? 


- hfs


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