What I've Been Reading Instead of Cleaning My House

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Lois the Antenna

When I was younger (in the days before cable), our TV would only get good reception if someone sat BEHIND it. Since I was the youngest, I was always relegated to the position of "antenna."

One Halloween my siblings wanted to watch "Trilogy of Terror" starring Karen Black. I'm telling you, the only thing worse than watching a scary movie as a child is LISTENING to a scary movie as a child. I still have nightmares.

That Explains a Lot

Nigel's very first memory is of a Frankenstein statue in his room right next to the crib. That explains a lot.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

"I'm Boiling a Tongue"

Disclaimer: My mother, Dot, is actually a very good cook -- in fact, she makes the best scrambled eggs ever -- but sometimes she has some SCARY food ideas. Here are just three:

We always dreaded a special occasion, because these inevitable words would come out of my mother's mouth, "Dad got a raise, so I'm boiling a tongue." You could smell it a block away. Not only would there be a huge cow's tongue coiled inside of a pot of boiling water, but she would stud it with cloves. CLOVES! I still can't go near those orange pomander balls at Christmas time. Actually, tongue is very delicious, but it's best eaten with your eyes closed.

Dot is anemic, so we ate a LOT of liver. I loved the onions that went with it, but it was hard choking down that liver. We ate so much liver that we used to collect the "liver lids" and use them to make home-made "Shrinky-Dinks" (for those of you who don't eat organ meat, liver comes in a little tub with a clear plastic lid).

My mother is best known for her "butter sandwiches." After making school lunches for nine kids and five foster kids every day, you can quickly figure out why. The sandwiches consisted of two pieces of white bread and one pat of butter (Butter? Who am I kidding? It was margarine, or "Oleo" as Dot likes to say). The margarine was always straight out of the fridge, so it couldn't be spread at all. It was just a square of solidified vegetable oil in the middle of the bread. So lunch time usually went something like this -- bite bread, bite bread, bite bread, bite a HUGE CHUNK OF MARGARINE, gag, try not to throw up, bite bread, bite bread, bite bread. Needless to say, I quickly got a job in the school cafeteria and ate school lunch everyday.

Monday, October 29, 2007

From the Scary Minds of Toddlers

I was sound asleep and Alice-Grace crawls into bed with me. No big deal. Then a few minutes later, Jeffrey crawls into bed with me. A little crowded, but nothing out of the ordinary.

Then I smell something really weird. Why do my kids smell so bad? I go to ruffle Alice-Grace's hair and and instead of her usual tangles and dreadlocks, I get a hand full of goo! I touch Jeffrey's head -- again, a hand full of goo! What is going on here?

I turn on the lights and realize that Alice-Grace and Jeffrey had gotten up in the middle of the night, gotten into a can of Cheez-Whiz (why we even HAD Cheez-Whiz, I'm not sure), and made themselves toupees out of processed cheese product! I guess you can say that they had "Cheez-Wigs."

It was so gross. It was all over me and all over the bed. Nigel and I had to get up and give them baths in the middle of the night. We had to wash their hair about eight times before we got all the grease out of it.

I know that I should've taken a picture of this, but I was too tired and too angry at the time. Let's just say that there's nothing scarier than two bored toddlers up in the middle of the night.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

"Lick the Spoon!"

I just had a baby and I was feeling miserable and I must've been suffering from postpartum psychosis or something because this happened:

Nigel had killed a spider (a real spider this time) and for some reason, his weapon of choice for killing spiders is a spoon. Not a shoe, not a book, a SPOON! Being Nigel, he left the spoon with the squished spider still attached to it on the dresser.

Every time I walked by that dresser, the voices in my head kept saying, "Lick the spoon! Lick the spoon!"

Of course I never licked the spoon, but it was scary enough that I even THOUGHT it (or the voices in my head thought it).

Are you technically "crazy" when you can realize that what you're thinking is crazy? Now whenever I'm afraid I may start "gardening with the fairies" (Rena's phrase for going cuckoo), I call it a "lick the spoon" moment.

Saturday, October 27, 2007


So I was pregnant AND sick with the flu and just felt miserable. Then I started hallucinating that I had been bedridden for so long that spiders had spun webs all over me.

I sat up in bed and freaked out. The next thing I know I've dragged my husband out of the bed, across the floor and into the closet. The whole time I'm yelling, "Spidos! Spidos are going to get me!" (Good to know that in times of stress, those six years of speech therapy go right out the window)

My husband then stripped the bed and started smashing my (imaginary) spiders. By this time, I realized that it was just a dream and I crawled back in bed and went right to sleep. Poor Nigel was so confused. Here I was freaking out about spiders one minute, and then happily sleeping the next.

Friday, October 26, 2007

"No, But My Cat Can"

This is a favorite family story. I wasn't there when this happened, so hopefully I have all the details correct:

Late one night, my parents, Dot and Ardale, were sound asleep. A loud KNOCK, KNOCK, KNOCK came to the door. Dot and Ardale cautiously opened the door to find police officers on the porch asking if they were OK. My parents said that they were all right and asked the police what this was about. The police replied that they had received a 911 call from this address and were here to check it out. Neither Dot nor Ardale had called.

"Is there anyone else in the house?" asked the police officer.

"Just our son, J.D." answered Ardale.

The police and my parents went up to J.D.'s room. Sure enough, they could see that the long extension cord that connects to the upstairs phone was in his bedroom, but the door was closed. Dot and Ardale were starting to panic, wondering what kind of danger their son was in. The police motioned that they had to enter the room first.

The police kicked open the door and swarmed into J.D.'s bedroom. Of course, J.D. wakes up freaked out of his mind to see himself surrounded by police. They soon realized they he was OK and hadn't called 911.

Ardale finally asked, "Are you sure you have the right house? What phone number did the call come from?"

The police told him the number and they realized that this was the other phone line located in Ardale's office in a small building in the backyard. Now my parents' minds were really racing. Did someone break into the office and get hurt? What's going on?

The police went through the backyard to the small back house. They gingerly opened the door and there they saw our cat -- sitting on the speed dial button for 911 with the receiver knocked off the hook.

Many months later, a salesman telephoned to try to get Dot to purchase a security system for the house. She replied that she wasn't interested because she has dogs to protect her home. The salesman said, "But can your dogs call 911 in case of an emergency?" Dot answered, "No, but my cat can." And promptly hung up on the salesman.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Scratch, Scratch, Scratch

When I was a young tween (back in the days before anyone knew what a "tween" was), my parents were gone for the evening and left me, my sister Rena, and my brother, Stillwell (and Stillwell's friend, Red) alone in the house.

I went into my parent's bedroom to find the TV magazine, which was usually on the organ bench. Yes, my parents have a full-size organ in their bedroom (the kind that plays MUSIC, not a kidney). As I was looking through the newspaper, I heard a "scratch, scratch, scratch" coming from the organ. I stopped, looked around. Nothing. Again I searched through the pile of newspaper. "Scratch, scratch, scratch." I looked closer at the organ just as a big black, hairy thing came out from the keyboard! AAAAAHHHHH!

I ran to get Rena (a bad choice since Rena is the most paranoid person there is on the face of the planet, but Stillwell and Red were busy playing "Risk" and didn't want to be bothered). I dragged Rena into the bedroom. She didn't even have to wait to hear the "scratch, scratch, scratch," she was already running out of the room.

Finally, my parents (Dot and Ardale) got home. Rena and I told them what was going on. Of course, they just rolled their eyes and ignored us. We begged and pleaded for them to check, and finally they relented.

With Ardale lifting the top of the organ off and Dot lecturing us about how we shouldn't watch scary movies -- BAM! A huge black cat leaped out of the organ and ran terrified out of the house. We, of course, all started jumping up and down and screaming.

Somehow, the neighbors cat had gotten into our house, crawled up into the organ and then couldn't get back out! Who knows how long it was in there! (And judging by the smell of the inside of the organ, it was a while)

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

"Because I'm Worth It"

Someone once asked my mother-in-law, Lilu, why she dyed her hair. She said, "Because I started going prematurely gray at such a young age." The person retorted, "Well, but now you're 45, it's not premature anymore." She thought this over logically and replied, "You're right." And she never dyed it again.

I've always been impressed by that since I am also one that started going gray way back in high school. Well, I'm not quite 45, but I've decided that it's not premature anymore and I've stopped dying my hair.

Those old L'Oreal commercials ended with the tag line, "Because I'm worth it." Well, I think that I'm worth a lot more than a box of hair dye at the local drugstore.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Watch It Jiggle?

Here's an entry from my mother, Dot, who lived through the Great Depression, so she's totally awesome at staying within her budget:

"I have always prided myself in the fact that I could whip up a meal from my food supply or find a substitute for a missing ingredient.

"One time I even looked through a cookbook for a recipe that used just the staples I had on hand (I found one that was called Tuna Roll-Ups. It was made with tuna and celery wrapped up in Bisquick like a jellyroll, and then topped with gravy -- I substituted Cream of Chicken soup. It turned out great). With such experiences, I began to feel confident in my ability to "make do."

"Then came the day -- we were having guests for dinner. I believe they were the missionaries serving in our ward at that time. I had everything prepared, except for the beverage. I wanted a fruit punch to give color to the table, but did not have any on hand. No problem. I would substitute Jello and use it like Kool-Aid. I heated the water to dissolve the gelatin. It would be a delightful cherry flavor. I added the cold water and then poured up the "punch" into the crystal goblets. It all looked so pretty. I had tasted it, and it even tasted better than cherry Kool-Aid. It just needed to be a little colder, so just before sitting down, I put ice cubes in the goblets. BIG MISTAKE! After saying "grace" and starting our meal, to my horror I discovered too late, the the ice cubes had "set" the Jello!"

Monday, October 22, 2007

Lois Gets Dragged Kicking and Screaming into the 21st Century

I always prided myself on NOT having a cell phone. I come from a long line of phone haters and the thought of actually carrying one of those horrid things around with me was too much to bear. As my neighbor likes to say to the cell phone kiosk salespeople in the mall, "I would rather have chlamydia than a cell phone!"

Then, one day I was driving on the freeway quite a ways from home with Jeffrey and Alice-Grace in the car. I took my eyes off the road for one second and BOOM! I must've hit something because my rear tire just shredded up. I pulled over to survey the damage. Of course, I didn't have a spare tire.

I raised the hood of the car and waited for someone to stop and help me. Nothing.

I got little Alice-Grace out of the car, held her on my hip and tried to look pathetic on the side of the road. Again, no one stopped.

I figured out pretty quick that they don't have emergency call phones on this freeway.

Looks like I was going to have to take matters into my own hands. There were no buildings or houses around, but there was a frontage road running parallel to the freeway with cars going considerably slower that I could easily flag down.

I got myself, Jeffrey and Alice-Grace out of the car and over the freeway barrier. I then hopped off a ledge and brought the kids down with me. Then I had to crawl under a fence (I tried to climb over it, but let's just say that my chain-link climbing days are over). I got a truck to stop and the man very nicely let me borrow HIS cell phone to call AAA.

I then crawled back under the fence, boosted the kids up on the ledge and then -- OOPS! I had easily hopped off the ledge, but soon discovered that it was about a six foot drop with no foot holds and I couldn't get back UP the ledge! Now I was stuck between the freeway and the frontage road.

Then I noticed a steel spike sticking out of the freeway barrier and I got Jeffrey to loop my purse strap to the spike (luckily it has very long straps). I then held on to the purse and used it to help me scale up the wall to get to the top of the ledge.

Success! The tow truck guy soon came and got us and our car back to home.

Needless to say, by the next month I had bought a cell phone.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Visit Your "Loco" Library

When Frances was little, she was watching PBS and came into my bedroom and asked me, "Mom, what does 'loco' mean?" I replied, "It's Spanish for crazy." Hey eyes got really big and she clapped all excitedly, "Oh, mom, can we go to our loco library?"

I like to say that I have a storage unit full of books -- it's called the public library.

I had a coworker who once said that the most important item in her purse was her library card.

I love the library. It's my favorite "free" thing. Not only can you get books, videos, music, DVDs, and access to FAST computers, but they have so many fun programs. There's family activities (puppet shows, mimes, musical acts), children's classes (who knew kids could be so enthralled learning about Sputnik or the Titanic?), story times (though we miss Mr. Glen and Mr. Nathan), and movies.

The library is our home away from home (and it's a lot cleaner, more organized and quieter!)

Thursday, October 18, 2007

"Do You Have My Quarter?"

This is a blog I stole from Babs about her paper route as a young girl:

"...speaking of those 8 doors i delivered to, there was an old man that lived at one of the houses and he was always on his porch when i came by. When i would hand him the newspaper he would be kind enough to give me a quarter. well, this happened so much that i came to expect it. One day he wasn't on the porch, so i rang the doorbell and when he answered the door i gave him the newspaper and said, do you have my quarter? yes, I'm a selfish little girl, but who cares, i got my money!"

(Note to Babs -- what's with the lowercase letters? Are you taking a stand against the hierarchical nature of capitalization?)

Wednesday, October 17, 2007


So I'm talking to Fred about how some cafe was ripping me off. They were charging me a whole dollar more for a combo with juice as opposed to a combo with soda pop. Now I know that juice normally costs more than soda pop, but if I bought the drinks by themselves, they were both $1.25 each! Why should juice be magically more expensive just because it's paired with a sandwich and chips?

Frances pipes up, " And they're totally over-charging for the juice to begin with because right on the bottle it says, 'Hi, me five cents.'"

Fred and I look at each other -- What the heck?

Then it dawns on me that Frances was reading HI ME 5 CENTS -- as in if you live in HAWAII or MAINE, you get a FIVE CENT deposit on the bottle!

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Choose Poverty!

Why am I so budget conscious?

Well, long story short, Nigel and I decided that he would quit his job and concentrate on his art. Ever since he finished school, he's been working hard to support me and the kids. I didn't want him to be on his death bed regretting that he had never tried to make it as an "artist."

So instead of him working full-time and me working part-time, I'm now working full-time and he works on his art full-time (well, as much as he can while also taking care of the kids). I guess you can say that we're choosing poverty.

Now I really have to work on staying within my budget. No extras, no luxuries. Do you think I can do it?

Not Freegan Buying It

I first started really thinking about the psychology behind consumerism after reading the book "Not Buying It: My Year Without Shopping" by Judith Levine. I love stuff like this. I still need to read the book by the lady who wore the same dress every day for one year (OK, I'm so pathetic that I've practically done that without the intent of writing a book about the experience) and the book by the women who went a year without buying anything made in China (I do that when I take the kids to the toy store -- "You can buy anything you want, but it can't be made in China!" -- that explains all the Legos and Playmobile stuff in our house).

I then looked into the Freegan movement. This is a group of young people who are sticking it to "the man" (who is "the man"? Am I "the man"?) by not buying anything. They dig their food out of dumpsters and live in abandoned buildings. They also don't believe in holding jobs. OK. I don't quite get this. You're not paying for anything, but someone else DID pay for that food and building you're using. I'm not a big fan of the something for nothing philosophy.

Now I'm way into Freecycle. Freecycle is a group of people who post things on the Internet that they either want to receive, or want to give away. The thing is, it all has to be FREE! So far we have given away coupons for craft stores (I don't craft) and we've tried to give away a scout shirt and school workbooks (though the problem with Freecycle is a lot of time the people never show up to get the items). I have received an awesome dress from a nice woman who replied to my pitiful pleas for clothes (I hate shopping for clothes, but let's save that for another blog). I've seen kittens, baby clothes, food, furniture, and even a car listed for free. It's great.

Another great way to get free stuff is to help people move. Since we live in a high-turn-around area (read: lots of college students), people are constantly moving in and out. Nigel and I always help them move and inevitably, they get sick of loading up their belongings and ask, "Do you guys just want to have the rest of our stuff?" This is how we got the majority of our furniture, a PIANO and even our pet frog, Bluto.

Then there's the free hot-dogs and pizza at R.C. Willey. I figure that I bought a bed and a TV from there, so they owe me some free snacks and soda pop.

What are your favorite "free" things? Please comment!

Monday, October 15, 2007

CAR-nal Knowledge

I've come to the conclusion that all my money woes come from cars.

When I was first married, I had no problem keeping in my budget -- and I think it's because we didn't have a car. And I'm not talking about the cost of the car, insurance, gas and repairs. When you don't have a car, you can only buy as many groceries as you can carry. When you have to load up your dirty laundry in a duffel bag and walk for half an hour to get to the laundry-mat, you have no desire to buy more clothes. You can't even get to any place where you can spend your money.

Of course, we have been really lucky in the car department. Our first car was a loaner from my military brother, Spence, while he was stationed in Korea. When he got transfered back to the States, he very nicely let us keep it. FREE CAR! We loved that little car, but eventually we had three kids in car seats and no longer fit in a little two-door Toyota. We passed on his kindness and gave it to a family who desperately needed a car.

Then my sister, Rena, bought a new minivan and gave us her old one. ANOTHER FREE CAR! That was great until it kept dying on us (usually in the middle of an intersection or on train tracks) and no mechanic could figure out how to fix it. We donated that one to the Kidney Foundation.

My other sister, Lorna, then stepped up to the plate and gave us her old minivan. A THIRD FREE CAR! I mean, you can't beat that.

What will I do when this car dies? Well, I've got five more siblings...

No Good Deed Goes Unpunished

So I write about donating blood and what a great thing it is and then today I get a letter from the American Red Cross stating that one of their employees lost a laptop which contained personal identity information -- mine. So now I have to put a fraud alert on my credit report. Oh joy.

The Devil's Department Store

The Devil's Department Store -- Satan's Supermarket -- Beelzebub's Big Box

People are always floored when I tell them that I have never stepped foot inside a Wal-Mart. That's right. I've never seen a "greeter," ordered McDonald's food while buying a blouse, or been hit in the head by "falling prices."


Well, first of all, there are no Wal-Marts where I grew up, so it wasn't something that I was accustomed to. Wal-Marts are a more rural phenomenon, and I lived in a big city where you had to wait for a place to burn down before you could put in a Burger King or other store (with the riots, you would've thought that would happen much more often).

When we moved to Parvo, we didn't have a car and the local Wal-Mart was quite a ways away. It just wasn't something I ever did.

Then IT happened. I got a phone call from my sister, Rena. She was ranting, railing, gnashing her teeth, foaming at the mouth, etc. She had just had a "Wal-Mart experience." It goes something like this:

She had been shopping at Wal-Mart and they were offering a special photo special for family portraits. She made an appointment, paid her sitting fee and was all excited. When it came time for the photo, she spent the whole day bathing and dressing and combing her four children. She made her husband get off work early in order to be in the picture. Finally, they were all ready to go. They quickly drove over to Wal-Mart before somebody barfed on their new clothes or gave their sibling a black eye. They scurried in to find out that there was no photography studio, no record of an appointment, nothing. They talked to manager after manager, nobody knew anything about it.

She was so mad, she went home, immediately called me and made me swear that I would never go into a Wal-Mart for as long as I live.

And I haven't.

Super (Supper) Club

So in my never ending quest to save money on food, we've started a Supper Club (I once accidentally typed it "super club" in an e-mail and that's what my husband constantly refers to it as -- that's what I get for making fun of his cake we got at the Mexican bakery that had "Hoppy Birthdoy" written on it). Every Saturday, me, my sister Lorna, and my nieces Babs and Ginger (and sometimes Molly when she's in town), each make a big dinner and then divide them up amongst ourselves. That way we have a variety of meals for almost the whole week.

I have to say that I love it. It actually makes me excited to go grocery shopping because I have a plan (instead of wandering the aisles moving things off and on the shelves -- yes, the can of peas in the diaper aisle? That's me). It makes me look forward to cooking and then I get to hang out with my wonderful sister and nieces.

Oh, and the food! It's been great. The best part is that Lorna goes totally nuts. She can't just give you one or two cookies with your meal, she has to give you a whole package! She doesn't just do a serving of lasagne, it's a whole pan full! Everyone should have a sister like her (me? I'm the slacker who willing sits back and receives -- it's not my fault she's an overachiever).

Seriously, this is the best thing ever. Not only do I stay in my food budget (of course, that's also thanks to Frances), but I get lots of delicious dinners ready to eat. Yum!

Sunday, October 14, 2007

When Life Gives You Lemons...

So my son, Jeffrey, is obsessed with money, candy, and Legos.

When he was really little, he used to collect money. Not to spend, just to have -- like stamps or rocks. His cousin used to let him take money from his change dish, but we had to stop that since Jeffrey then thought it was OK to take money from ANYONE's change collection! We weren't allowed to visit many of our friends' homes after those incidents.

We were at the mechanic once and Jeffrey wanted some candy from the vending machine. We didn't have any quarters, so he decided to just reach in and grab some. He immediately got his arm stuck in the machine. He was crying and wailing and I could not get him out. The mechanic came running with a tool. Jeffrey took one look at that big wrench and really started screaming bloody murder and trying to climb on top of the vending machine (his escape route of choice is always straight up). Finally, the mechanic bent the machine's opening enough for us to get his arm out -- with his hand still grabbing a box of Lemonheads.

Once I came home from work to see my then five-year-old boy alone at a busy street corner selling "lemonade." He was completely alone and his lemonade consisted of paper cups of water mixed with dirt. I asked him what he was doing. He said that he needed to earn money to buy Legos. I promptly found his father (Nigel was in the house, completely unaware that Jeffrey was out there alone) and chewed him out. The worst part of it was that he had actually made some money! People had actually come and bought dirt water from him!

Foodland Security

I am pretty good about staying in my budget and not spending money, but not when it comes to grocery shopping. I have no desire to buy shoes or clothes or make-up or get my hair or nails done (my kids say that my neighbor looks prettier mowing her lawn than I did on my wedding day -- and it's true), but I have no problem at all spending tons of money on food.

I've tried all the tricks. I'm no longer allowed in those wholesale discount warehouses. I go in for a gallon of milk (or two gallons, you can't buy just one) and I come out with $200 worth of stuff! I try shopping only around the perimeter of the store (only fresh products, no mixes or frozen dinners), and I still buy too much. I've tried using only cash. I've tried not going to the store while I'm hungry. I always fail.

So what has worked? My daughter, Frances. She is one of those by the rules, color in the lines, don't go against the grain type of people. Most people can't bring their kids grocery shopping because they fill the cart up with candy and cookies. Not Frances.

She makes sure that I use only the small grocery carts (so I can't fit so much food in it). She makes sure that I don't buy any chips or unnecessary food. I tell her my budget and she adds it up as we go and even makes sure we account for tax (yes, our state charges sales tax on food).

Even when we have a few dollars left over and I ask her if she'd like a treat like a carton of ice-cream, she says, "No, save the money."

So far, it's been working. Frances, head of our very own Foodland Security.

We are Not Amused

OK, so Nigel just read my blog and told me that the correct title of the book is "Amusing Ourselves to Death." Sorry.

He's amazing. He remembers everything and has the incredible ability to never spend money. I mean, he can have the same $20 bill in his pocket for months on end and it never occurs to him to spend it.

Of course, he's also done the same thing with paychecks. Once I was putting away his laundry (OK, who am I kidding -- me, putting away laundry? I was probably rifling through his drawers looking for money he never spent) and found paychecks he never cashed. This wouldn't be a big deal, but the company no longer existed!

It may be because he's above this whole money thing, or just because he's an artist, or maybe that his memory isn't as great as I said it was.

Entertaining Ourselves to Death

So my husband, Nigel, once had a book titled, "Entertaining Ourselves to Death." I never read it, but the title has stayed with me. I would like to think of myself as being above the things of this commercial world, but I'm always getting sucked into it.

I hate the idea of buying things I don't need with money that I don't have, just to spend the rest of my life dusting it, moving it, and having to take care of it. I'm always thinking that this new purchase will make my life complete. Well, surprise, surprise, it doesn't.

Sometimes I am good. Often times when handed a coupon for some "must have" product, I just look the much too peppy salesperson in the eye and say, "Want to see me save even more money?" And I promptly crumple it up and throw it away and walk out of the store.

Anyway, so my daughter, Alice-Grace, and I are totally bored. In America, what do you do when you're bored? You either spend money or eat. Mostly, you end of going to the mall and doing both. What's the most common problem with Americans? They're too fat and in debt. So, I had to come up with something to do that would entertain us, not cost anything, actually do some good for someone else, and maybe even get some food out of it. Then it came to me --

DONATE BLOOD. I called the local American Red Cross chapter (they're always calling me anyway because I have a very common blood type and I'm a "bleeder") and set up an appointment. I grabbed Alice-Grace, headed out, and we made a day of it.

I got to sit and relax and read a magazine, they had a children's play area for Alice-Grace, I did something good for someone else, AND we got free cookies and juice afterwards. What could be better than that? Plus I got a very pretty pink bandage around my arm.

We skipped happily out of the building with our boredom gone and our tummies full. Plus, I had the satisfaction of knowing that for once, I didn't give in to my urge to spend money.