Wednesday, December 11, 2013

WNBP: Of Cats Coupons And Cranberries

I suppose I have a lot to cover.  It's been a while since last I checked in.  I know this because Daddy Sheep keeps track and lets me know when my commitment to responsible blogging flags.

What can I say?  It's been busy over here.  Probably no more busy than any other year, but I think my age might be showing.  I can't recall ever being this tired after a day of teaching.  Sometimes I feel like I'm in one of those old buddy cop movies from the 80's.  My character would be the jaded veteran who periodically runs a hand across his haggard face and mutters, "I'm gettin' too old for this stuff."

It's that or I was always this tired and am only just getting around to realizing it...

But I'm here now and ready to catch everyone up.  Let's look back at the bullet points from the past month or so and see what's what.

*An Open Letter To The Enthusiastic Extreme Couponer Ahead Of Me In Line At The Drugstore:

Dear Enthusiastic Extreme Couponer,

Happy Holidays to you EEC.  I trust you are well.  I just wanted to take a moment and go over a couple of points with you.  Please put down your scissors for a second and tune in.  I promise I'll be brief.

First, you need to know that I do not think less of you or your frugality.  I actually kind of admire your ability to turn little bits of paper into piles of free merchandise.  I'm fascinated by it and think your dedication to the craft praiseworthy.

I do not mind waiting in line behind you at the store.  I'm as entertain as you (almost) watching the register count down to something close to zero dollars.  I'm perfectly willing to hang out and let you do your thing.  No harm/no foul.


I do mind the educational lecture that goes along with it.  Were you simply making your purchase and moving along, there would be no issue at all.  My time is your time when it comes to the actual transaction.  I do not need to know how it happened, though.  You don't have to tell the story behind every free item or where each coupon came from.  From the look on the sales clerk's face, I think it is safe to say that neither of us needed to see your coupon caddy or know that there was another couponer in aisle twelve who has an even nicer one that you wish to describe in exacting detail.  Let's agree to let the magic of couponing remain an alluring mystery once we've hit the checkout line.

If you are interested, I could refer you to several of my couponing friends who can share with you how they handle checking out.  Each of them is very much aware of how their transaction can slow up the works and they plan ahead for that.  It's part of the game when it comes to coupon wrangling, or so they tell me.

Thank you for your time, EEC and I look forward to watching you work your magic again someday.  Preferably in reverent silence.

The Soaking Wet Lady Behind You Who Just Ran In From A Torrential Downpour To Grab A Couple Of Things On The Day Before Thanksgiving.

* gotta love 'em!

*Well, the worst has happened over here at The Manse.  It's pretty much the end of the world as we know it.

*The Absurdly Gi-normous Kitty has figured out that water will not melt the skin from his bones.  

*Water was all I had when it came to defending my property.  A quick squirt from the spray bottle was all it took to get him to back off long enough for me to put my dinner together or pour myself a beverage to go with.

*Not so now.  It's over.  I'm officially ousted as Head Of Household.  

*He's pretty much living on the counter and nosing his way into anything and everything he thinks might be edible.  

*When he's not doing that, he's lounging in the sink waiting for a refreshing waterfall to cascade over him.  

*Seriously.  I have nothing left.  Holiday baking has been a trial, let alone the daily act of providing myself with sustenance.

*The Very Complicated Kitty still trembles at the sight of a mere droplet, but it's only a matter of time.  He's been seen on the counter multiple times.

*Although he seems more interested in gnawing on my wooden spoons so maybe I still have time to turn this one around.

*If the splinters left behind after stirring things with what's left of my wooden spoons doesn't kill me first...

*I may have mentioned earlier that I made cranberry sauce this year.  I'd never done that before.  In my world, cranberry sauce came from a can with lines molded into it so you knew where to cut a slice.

*But I liked the homemade, whole berry stuff so much I ended up making a second batch.

*Then I got to thinking that everyone I know might want to eat my homemade cranberry sauce and had to run out to buy more cranberries.

*I ended up with a lot of cranberries before I took a good hard look at myself and realized that I might have a problem.  No one can eat that much cranberry sauce and I can only hand out so many jars of the stuff before I become known as The Crazy Cranberry Lady.

*I used up a bunch of the addictive little red balls making chutney, an endeavor that netted me about a billion jars of something with raisins in it.

*I don't really care for raisins.

*This did not occur to me until after the chutney frenzy but I figured I could give chutney to the people who didn't know about the cranberry sauce and I wouldn't look quite so crazy.

*After Thanksgiving, I took the two bags of cranberries languishing in the fridge and put them in the freezer.  They keep for up to a year and I could always use them later.

*You know...once the whole Sheepie Has A Cranberry Issue blew over.

*I found four more bags of cranberries in the freezer.

*Apparently, I had some sort of cranberry black out during the month of November.

*So, for those keeping track, I have about ten jars of cranberry sauce, nine remaining jars of chutney with yucky raisins in floating around in them and another six bags of cranberries in my freezer.

*And that's the last time I'm going to talk about it.  Some things should just remain shameful secrets as our forefathers intended.

*I put up my Christmas tree last weekend.  It seemed like the seasonal thing to do.

*Putting up the tree is always something of a production what with it being an Old School Kind Of Holiday Trapping.  

*No pre-lit, folding branches for this Sheep.  No sir!  We wrestle with strings of lights and try to figure out which branch belongs in which hole like they did it back in the day!

*This year, the whole experience was enhanced by my having sprayed the tree with bitter oil last season.  

*The Very Complicated Kitty is a chewer.  He chews everything.  Cords.  Shoelaces.  Paper.  And Christmas Trees.

*Also Christmas tree lights.  Spraying bitter oil is something one does when one wants to get another year out of one's old school tree and avoid some sort of electrical event involving a sparking feline with bits of colored lights between his teeth.

*I figured the oils would dissipate over the course of the year.  They did not.

*They marinated in the storage bag.  They perhaps even intensified.  It's OK now.

*But that first whiff was a doozy.  Not to mention what happened when I accidentally licked my finger before washing it.

*Today, I found the VCK merrily gnawing on the metal base of the tree.  It did not occur to me to spray the metal base of the tree.

*Because, well...why would it occur to me to spray the metal base of the tree?  It's metal.  Who chews metal?????

*Don't answer that.  I know who.  But, much like the cranberries, I don't believe I want to think about it too hard.

I think that should cover it for now.  I hit most of the highlights anyway.  I'm also getting really hungry and I think I have a small window of opportunity while the AGK steals ornaments from the lower branches of the stinky tree.  I could use that to cobble together something to eat before he rockets himself onto the counter to see what he can snag before I react.

Whatever I make, you can be reasonably certain of one thing.  It will probably contain cranberries in one form or another...



Donna Lee said...

I like cranberries and am usually able to find at least one bag in the freezer at all times. I used to use them in cranberry nut bread until I discovered that dried cranberries taste way better. So that last bag will just stay in the freezer. It's a good thing they don't put dates on those bags (well, they might but I've never looked too hard for them)

Anonymous said...

My kitty is very much like the AGK - water is his best friend. Add a bit of vinegar to the water, however, and it once again becomes a deterrent. Takes a little bit of getting used to your cat smelling like pickles, but at least the butter dish and house plants are once again safe. At least while I'm in the room...

Julia G said...

The VCK must be a Metal-Munching Moon Mouse from the old Bullwinkle cartoons :-) And I love making homemade cranberry sauce - this year I used it in my baked brie recipe to rave reviews. And the cranberry bag has a great recipe for cranberry nut bread, or you can use cranberries for half the blueberries in your favorite muffin recipe.

Anonymous said...

Are you ok? Missing your blogs! I hope it's because you're on a fantastic trip someplace...


=Tamar said...

Happy New Year, wherever you are...