Okay, “wondrous” might be overselling it a bit. There are varying degrees of wondrous. Like, there’s a whole spectrum of interesting that spans all the way from “truly wondrous” on down to “WTFness.” And I will leave it to you to place the following along that continuum as needed.
[Sidebar: Let us pause for a moment to acknowledge that anything you hear from me today or for the next several weeks will be completely allergy-addled. I woke up this morning and had to chisel my face open. For a few minutes I thought maybe I had pinkeye, but no, it's just regular ol' allergies. I guess. Everything and everyone I love is currently coated in a thin layer of yellow grit, and my eyes---long my favorite facial feature---are buried somewhere behind the crusty, puffy skin that has conveniently swollen to twice its normal eyebag size all the way to HOLY HELL WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOUR FACE. The pollen is taking over the woooooorlllld! And I am very cranky about it.]
Anyway. Wondrous. Wondrous! Yes, the miracles of ordinary life keep bowling me over. Allow me to knock you down with them as well. Don’t worry, there’s a nice soft pollen-drift right behind you to cushion your fall.
Really Quite Wondrous: On Saturday, Otto and I went to the Farmer’s Market and paid an excessive amount of money for a very small amount of food, plus I bought a headband/wrap thing (what?) because the teenager who made it seemed very sweet and my sense of what things should cost while I’m walking around the Farmer’s Market becomes completely skewed. “Oh, $5 for a handful of kale? OF COURSE.” I like to do this because rah rah local rah rah fresh, and let’s face it, I rarely regret spending money on FOOD. Juxtapose this with…
… while running errands the next day, the children and I found ourselves out of our element. This is to say, we’d wandered more than ten miles from home in our quest to Do All The Things, and I was clinging to the GPS for dear life. We’d finished our errands and were headed back home. And then I saw it: An Aldi. I’d never been to an Aldi before, though of course I’ve HEARD of them.
I swung the steering wheel back around and pulled into the Aldi parking lot. “What are we doing?” asked the children.
“We’re going to Aldi!” I replied. “I’ve heard they have really cheap groceries. Let’s go look.” There was some grumbling, but we headed in.
First of all—and I don’t know if this is all Aldis, or just the one we were at—the shopping carts are all chained up at the front of the store, and you have to put a quarter in to release one. I stood there, staring at the rows of chained carts, probably looking like a complete moron, while I wondered if I’d actually taken us to the airport. I have never seen chained up carts at a store, before. Then I started digging in my purse for a quarter, but a nice lady came up to return her cart and just gave it to us. “I can give you a quarter!” I assured her, still digging in my purse. But she waved us off and left. So now we had our cart and we could go in.
So, I guess the deal with Aldi is that they have naked, compromising pictures of all the bigwigs at various major food brands, because the food they carry there IS the regular food you see at the supermarket, but it has a different NAME, and then it only costs half as much. Weird. Like, we bought some bagels that were CLEARLY Thomas’ Cinnamon Raisin. The packaging was exactly the same. The ingredients were exactly the same. But the brand name was “L’oven Fresh.” (Fancy!)
I bought a container of rolled oats that was approximately the same size as Monkey. It cost $2. We got a few other things, too, but mostly I found the experience kind of overwhelming, because it was crowded (and these are not your ordinary shoppers, no, these people are HARDCORE about their deals) and also because my children were bickering and I was considering chaining them to the big line of carts out front. (I didn’t, of course, because how much would that’ve sucked for the unwitting shopper who then paid a quarter for them?)
Then we went to check out and it turns out that part of the way Aldi keeps the costs down is by just scanning your stuff and throwing it back in the cart. Then you have to kind of scoot off to the side to a counter there and bag your own groceries. Which… okay, I guess. I was prepared to deal with that (we didn’t have much stuff, anyway), but then it ALSO turned out that they don’t accept credit cards. LUDDITES. So I paid via debit card because if I have a dollar of actual paper money in my wallet it’s a good day.
Regardless, I shall return to Aldi again, better-prepared and less teenager-encumbered! I shall bring a fistful of cash and a desire to buy off-brand foodstuffs! Because I’m not kidding, those oats were practically free, and I’ll be able to make granola for a month with ‘em. I cannot even bring myself to tell you what I paid for a tiny bag of granola at the Farmer’s Market.
Kind Of Wondrous (by which I mean, ewwwww): The garden is IN for the season; all of the boxes and containers have been mucked out and refilled and we went on several different garden-store missions to round out our plans for the year. The sacks of soil that so flummoxed Licorice have all been emptied into the appropriate locations. Seeds are planted, actual plants are situated, and I am looking forward to all the garden shall yield.
[For the curious: I have three raised beds, a large herb box, and an assortment of containers for the stuff that doesn't fit in the raised beds because I always buy more than is reasonable. This year's crop will include three kinds of tomatoes, hot and sweet banana peppers, jalapenos, bell peppers, Japanese eggplant, snap peas, bush beans, zucchini, cucumbers, and then basil/rosemary/oregano/thyme/mint. (If you are new here, please stay tuned for someone to yell at me that I should never plant mint in my herb box because it will take over the planet. It's a little rite of spring which I enjoy.)]
I am always very pleased with myself once the garden is all set up—so pretty! such promise!—but then I remember that it requires regular watering, and that’s kind of a drag. I mean, you can neglect your garden a little more once the plants are all established, but in the beginning you really have to be vigilant. Sooooo every night I wander outside after dinner and commence filling up my watering cans from the rain barrels and dumping water everywhere. Um, mostly on the plants.
Last night I was doing my thing—filling the cans, walking up and down the beds while I water—and the spout on my can clogged. Leaves and twigs and pollen and stuff can get stuck in there, so I just shook the can a little and then upended it over the zucchini sprouts… and a large, bloated, very deceased lizard PLOPped into the garden box while I yelped like a little girl.
I HAVE SO MANY QUESTIONS. Did he somehow get into the rain barrels?? (Otto says that’s impossible, and I think that makes sense.) Was he in the watering can when I filled it up and I drowned him? (Noooooooooo!) Did he drown or die of natural (or Licorice-related) causes? Where did he come from?? I will never know.
But I did make Otto come remove the corpse for me. (You know, because I was still busy watering. And also because it was disgusting and I’m a delicate flower.)
Wondrous?: We have a problem. It turns out that Clocky is no longer waking Chickadee up. No, Clocky’s not broken. CHICKADEE IS. I am not exaggerating when I tell you that her bedroom and our bedroom are as far apart as two rooms in this house can possibly be—and, granted, we hardly live in a mansion, but still, GENERALLY SPEAKING sound tends not to travel quite that far in our home—and this morning Clocky somehow got stuck by her door, which meant that Chickie completely slept through the various beeping and booping and thumping UNTIL I ran upstairs and threw her clock at her. (Hyperbole! No clocks or teenagers were harmed during my tantrum!) Her clock woke US up, and she was still sleeping through it. I don’t understand.
I need a foolproof method of waking this child up in the morning, and short of stapling Clocky to her forehead, I am out of ideas. I don’t even know how a person sleeps through that level of noise. It is baffling to me.
A) Find an even more annoying clock. (Seems impossible.)
B) Arm Clocky with matches, and if she doesn’t get up within 10 seconds of it going off, it sets fire to her room. (Seems imprudent.)
C) Slip some cocaine in with her evening meds. (Seems illegal.)
Listen, I didn’t include a picture of the bloated lizard, so I think it’s only fair that you solve this alarm clock problem for me because I was so nice.