May 30th, 2010

Dining RoomPeonies

Our three day weekend started out lovely enough.

We’ve been calling our newly redecorated home: The Jones Bed & Breakfast.

Mr. J got up and made omelet’s w/his proprietary recipe of special ingredients and we sat down in our gorgeous dining room….for the first time in our married life we actually have a dining room table and chairs….drinking my favorite Caribou Coffee: Mahogany.

I stepped outside to our flower bed and carefully snipped off a few peonies: magenta and light pink, making sure the ants which are vital to opening up the blooms are nowhere to be seen; I settled into my favorite chair and contemplated what we should do for the day.

We decided to take a drive downtown to the Farmer’s market. We have an awesome outdoor market: over the years we’ve taken stunning pictures there of the flora, veggies and fruit available with just a little kitsch thrown in for good measure. My dad loves to go there and pick up leather work gloves for $10 a pair. I try to look the other way, afraid they have fallen off the back of a truck somewhere.

On the way downtown we saw two little critters sitting on the side of the road.

Ever since I was a child, when my father would point out wildlife to us during road trips, I always keep my eyes peeled for animals. Today we saw two little guys, who after some searching on the internet we decided were young muskrats. I doubled back and we sat and looked at each other from the car: us at them, them at us. They were so darn cute. I wanted to get out of the car, snatch one up and give them a cuddle but Mr. J put the kibosh on that plan.

Anywho – downtown we went. In and around the Farmer’s Market was a madhouse. No park to be had. After circling for fifteen minutes I gave up, discouraged and then missed my turn and ended up in Interstate Exchange Hell. I swear we “looped” the dang city five times before I managed to get us on the right road, headed back to the ‘burbs where I was going to stop at Trader Joes for some awesome chocolate “Expresso Pillows.”

If I’m drinking wine (which I plan to be doing this weekend) I want a little chocolate with it. These aren’t too bad calorie wise and they taste like sin!

Without too much hassle at TJ we went to my local Co-op where I found out they’ve discontinued my favorite line of Raw Food. What?? That is why I joined that silly Co-op to begin with!

Then to Target. I love and hate Target at the same time. Today mostly hate.

I fill my prescriptions there using their Target credit card: after every 10th prescription I get a 10% off coupon to be used all day at Target. Love that. Today, I go to the pharmacy to pick up my monthly prescriptions…seems like the quantity of those grow the older I get: go figure.

I swipe my card to pay for today’s haul of prescription drugs. The card declines. Or so the wet-behind-the-ears young man tells me. Funny: the electronic keypad in front of me says, “Sales Complete.” He has me swipe it again. And again. Finally he takes the card from me and swipes it himself, behind the counter.

I’m getting suspicious now and begin to wonder if I’m going to find that I’ve paid for my drugs like, oh, I don’t know: six times??

I finally give up and use my debit card. Miffed, I stalk up to the Guest Services counter and demand they tell me what the heck is going on.

“We have no information on your Target Credit Card.”

Of course you don’t.

“You can use our phone if you’d like to call them.”

“I have my own phone,” I say, barely civil at this point. The ineptitude of this place amazes me!

After another annoying five minutes wading through telephone Voice Recognition Unit hell, I finally hit “zero” so many times there is no choice to but “Get me to an agent”.

“What the HECK is going on with my card?” I bark into the receiver.

“We haven’t received your May payment. Your account is closed until such a time that we receive your payment.”


“We didn’t receive your May payment. It was due May 20th.”

Dear God! Could it be that I’ve made a mistake??

I slink off back to Mr. J and tell him my sad tale of woe. Being in the banking field he assures me that since I’m only 10 days past due, my credit rating should not be damaged.

I spend the rest of the Target visit muttering to myself about how I can’t do anything right: can’t even pay my !!#$$%#$ credit card bill. I do all of my banking online through one financial institution. The Target credit card is the only one that I cannot seem to keep on top of and that is because it isn’t issued by my primary bank.


Just so you know: I did go back and apologize to the Pharmacy Clerk whose ears I’d pinned back 15 minutes prior. Clearly my karma has already taken enough hits for the day.

Then we were off to Costco. Costco on a holiday weekend should be empty, right?


Talk about total chaos! They had more food giveaways and more clearly starving people than were probably at the overcrowded lakes this opening weekend of the summer season here in the United States.

Every where you looked there were stations of food giveaways: marbled Colby cheese, golden pineapple, strawberries, sausage, crab dip, taquitos, chips and salsa, chocolate “protein” bars.

We picked up our standard fare:
• Avocados
• Tomatoes
• Gluten Free Crackers
• Orange, Yellow and Red Peppers

Once home, well after 2pm, we worked on fixing a quick lunch.

And in keeping with the theme of the day the quart of grape tomatoes we’d just purchased decided to jump out of the refrigerator and play 52-card pick up: spilling and rolling everywhere: under the refrigerator, into the pantry, under the cabinets. The cats were in heaven: soccer balls!

We are trying to corral tomatoes and cats, both bent on getting away from us and wreaking havoc to my otherwise spotless kitchen.

I kept taking long, deep breathes and trying not to scream. Mr. J had the decency to look away as he chuckled. Smart man.

Even still: I decided he could round up the wayward tomatoes himself. After all I had a delinquent Target credit card bill to take care of.

I tried logging on to their website to pay my bill. And tried logging on. And tried logging on: guessing (poorly) as to what my login and password might be until I had locked myself out of my Target account completely.

Really? Really?

Having had enough we decided to take a nap. I mean: surely it would all be better after some sleep. Kind of a level setting of the day: resetting expectations, etc.

Four hours later found us prepping dinner. I was slicing up pepper rings to grill on the brand spanking new George Foreman (with detachable plates) when I felt the knife slip and cut deep into my right pointer finger.


This is the reason my mother could never stand to see me with a knife in my hand! My left handedness sometimes makes for clumsy cutting….or at least: bloody cutting.

Who knew that cooking dinner was such a blood sport??

After a yummy dinner courtesy of Mr. J grilling everything that couldn’t get away from us, I glanced over at him, my eyes dropping suggestively.

Every couple has a short-handed way of asking if their partner would like to mix it up between the sheets.

I spoke our code word to Mr. J.

He promptly burst out laughing.


“No way,” he said. “Not given the day you’ve had.”

“Not even if I promise not to take the knife to bed?” I wheedled.

“No chance,” he said. “That is equipment I can’t afford to gamble with.”


I am sure Sunday and Monday will be better.