Archive for January, 2011

Grocery Store Woes

If you’re like me, you spend a lot of time in grocery stores. Boy, has customer service changed! Clerks rarely make you feel welcome, checkout lines are long, and full-service checkout is suffering the same demise as the Sony Walkman.

Is it just me, or have you noticed that checkout clerks don’t seem happy to serve their customers and they really don’t want us to “come again”. We’re either interupting their gossip with a coworker, interfering with their text messaging or phone calls, or expecting them to return our plastic forms of payment or customer loyalty cards (as if they know what loyalty means) to our hands and not the check-writing counter. Speaking of counters, who still writes checks in stores? That’s a topic that deserves it’s own discussion.

Another trend has emerged within the past decade. Stores don’t seem to schedule enough people to work and they only open a small number of available registers even during expected rush-hours. What do they care? They already have you waiting in a line as long as a football field with a cart full of goods right? Not always! Twice in the past month, I’ve walked into a grocery store just to have to go right back out in search of a grocery cart. Seriously? Not a cart in sight? Yes, seriously; not a cart in sight.

Finally, what’s up with the move toward self-checkouts? I’m OK with self-checkouts for a small number of items, but why do these pennypinchers expect me to scan and bag large amounts of my family’s latest wants and needs? One local superstore typically has only 2-3 manned registers. Our checkout options aren’t very good; we can: use the express self-checkout lanes, use the “I’ve got a ton of groceries – maybe a cart or two” self-scan (and bag everything by myself!) lanes, or wait in a long, winding line for full-service. By the way, full-service doesn’t always include help bagging items and loading them into your cart. Many-a-times, the clerk handed over my receipt and began the next victim’s order – whether or not my items have been properly prepared for the trip home.

Fellow shoppers aren’t being let off the hook by this writer. The next time you’re finished loading your groceries onto the conveyer belt, please be courteous and use the divider thingy – especially if you’re much closer to it than the person behind you. Oh, and don’t forget to say, “please” and “thank you” to your checkout clerk – even if they don’t make you feel welcome. Then tell a store manager, so that future shopping trips can be a more pleasant exchange of money and service.

Maybe telling a manager won’t even matter, because one day, I’ll walk into a store and the only employees available will be self-scan registers that sometimes go haywire and have to reboot in the middle of my order. But hey, at least they’ll have good enough manners to thank me for shopping with {insert grocer or superstore here}.

Love to all! Let’s discuss.


Are You Content?

Merriam-Webster defines content simply as “satisfied“. While the apostle Paul was imprisoned, he wrote a series of letters to other believers. Many of his letters contained directives on how to live a life that is pleasing to God. Yes, even Christians need to be reminded to exhibit Christ-like behaviors. In one prison stint, Paul wrote to the members of the church in Phillipi about contentment with one’s circumstances.

11 for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. 12 I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. 13 I can do all this through him who gives me strength.” Phillipians 4:11-13

Put yourself in Paul’s shoes for just a moment. If you were imprisoned, particularly during the era of imprisonment without television, radio, three meals/day, and access to showers and exercise equipment such as what is available in modern prisons, would you have the same attitude as Paul? Would you be content about being beaten? Would you be joyful regardless of your circumstances while still giving praise to God?

Now, think about your current circumstances. Are you joyful about your relationships – even hopeful about ones that seem shattered? Do you praise God for the shelter and food available to you? What about gratefulness for access to the Internet on which you’re reading this blog? Are you grateful for these things? Are you content with what you already have and for who you are, or do you wish you were someone else, with other talents, in a different body, with a more superior mind?

Let us not confuse contentment with a lack of motivation, but even more, don’t be overly eager to block the blessings of God, because His thoughts are not our thoughts and His ways are not our ways.

8 “For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
neither are your ways my ways,”
declares the LORD.
9 “As the heavens are higher than the earth,
so are my ways higher than your ways
and my thoughts than your thoughts.

Isaiah 55:8-9 (NIV)

So, I ask again: Are you content? Let’s discuss!

Love to all!


This discussion was inspired by the topic discussed on my Sunday school class this morning.

I Love Jesus!

I love Jesus! I love being in His presence, I love talking to Him, I love the peace that the Holy Spirit showers upon me, and I love that Father God showed me mercy that I did not deserve.

In a few hours, I will go to church to worship in His house with hundreds of like-minded Christ-followers. The highlight of each week is attending Wednesday evening prayer service and Sunday’s sermon and Bible study. Looking forward to tomorrow’s message!

Love to all!


Is This Thing On?

Welcome to the first blog post of Best Books Network! My husband thought that my random thoughts might benefit the masses, so here I am. Shh, I think his blog idea has one of two purposes: 1) for dear husband to snoop or 2) for me to talk off someone else’s ear.

The pressure is on for me to create enough content to keep this thing interesting, so I need your help. Read and comment often. If there’s a topic you’d like to discuss, post feedback, so that we can begin a dialog.

Much love to all!


You Paid Retail? Gasp!

I’m a bargain shopper who nearly keels over at the thought of paying retail for just about anything from groceries to clothing to school supplies to nail polish. Joyful is the shopper who uses coupon codes for online purchases!

If you didn’t already know, coupon codes for online shopping are just a click away, so before you check out of your next virtual shopping cart, take a trip on over to coupon codes sites such as Retail Me Not, Coupon Cabin, and Current Codes. Why waste your money?

Love to all!



Two of our four children are homeschooled. Well, technically they’re e-schooled. They are part of a fast-growing movement in which parents, students, and educators are able to communicate via the Internet in amazing fashion. In this new-age world of learning, they share documents using electronic chalkboards, chat with students in other parts of the state, attend student government meetings, and participate in babysitting, yoga, and Lego clubs. Parents and school districts have embraced the benefits of online learning. A platform that was thought absurd just a few short years ago, has taken on new life as parents and administrators look for alternative ways to deliver lessons.

Parents love e-schooling for many reasons including religious reasons, bullying in brick and mortar school buildings, having control over their children’s learning environment while still receiving the support of professional educators, eliminating physical or emotional barriers, etc. School districts have embraced e-schooling as a matter of learning continuity in cases of school closures due to weather, for example.

In the same way that many companies conduct meetings with colleagues around the globe and offer training to hundreds or thousands of employees via the web, parents, students, and educators have embarked on a whole new way of learning.

If given the opportunity to homeschool or e-school would you embrace it?