Monday, July 20, 2015

Possessions of the World's 1st Daredevil is Coming to Kansas!

“Kids come up to me all the time and say, 'Once I was going through a really bad time, and I saw you crash and get up, and it inspired me.'” – Evel Knievel

If you haven’t heard of Evil Knievel, I’d ask what rock you’ve been living under!

Evel Knievel was an American daredevil who became an icon in the 1970s for his incredible motorcycle stunts.  In his career, he attempted more than 75 ramp-to-ramp motorcycle jumps between 1965 and 1980; and, in 1974, a canyon jump across Snake River Canyon (which failed) in the Skycycle X-2, a steam-powered rocket.  He suffered more than 433 bone fractures in his career, thereby earning an entry in the Guinness Book of World Records as the survivor of "most bones broken in a lifetime" {Wikipedia}

In early summer 2016, a traveling exhibit of the possessions of the world’s first daredevil will make its final landing in Topeka, Kan.  How exciting is THAT for the Sunflower State?!

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Dear Cashier-

Dear Derby (KS) Dillon’s Cashier-

First of all, I’ll start out by saying that I hope that your night got better after I left.  I know that me having a cart full of groceries and you being the only cashier in the front lane when I pulled up must’ve looked impossible that you would ever get through it.  But you did!  And today is a new day!!

You see, I knew that when I went shopping at 9:00 last night that the store would be slow and that I’d (for once) have plenty of time to think about everything I was going to get and that I could take my sweet time and enjoy it alone. And boy did I.

If you don’t have children, some day, when you do, you will realize that going grocery shopping – sans your brood – will be comparable to a luxury vacation!

I will also tell you that, even if you have the most well behaved children, sometimes … you just need some time alone.  Trust me, I would know!  I have GREAT kiddos.  They don’t ask for anything and if they do, they don’t cry when I say no.  They don’t touch everything in sight and they’re not loud or over-talkative.  They put their tiny little hands on the sides of the cart and they help me when I need it.  I’ve received compliments on how good my children are.  They rock the supermarket!

So why would I not take them with me and go during the day when there are more cashiers?

Well, we went to a movie earlier that afternoon and pigged out a little too much.  The oldest was not feeling well and the youngest had diarrhea. And because my husband was on-call for work until 9pm, I had to stay home and take care of them in case he was called in.

So why wouldn’t I wait until Sunday when again, there are more cashiers?

We do church Sunday morning.  Sunday’s are our family days since we can guarantee that dad won’t be on-call. The last thing we want to do are chores.  And anymore, grocery shopping is a chore.  It takes time away from our family time and that’s frustrating.  But I will say this, Dillon’s always seems to make that chore a little less painful.

Unlike Wal-Mart, I’ve always found the Dillon’s employees to be kind and helpful.  My husband and I were just talking about this a couple days ago.  We live in Rose Hill so we have the choice to either go to the Dillon’s in Andover or the Dillon’s in Derby.  And regardless of which one I choose to go to that day, the staff is always polite and obliging.  But at the Wal-Mart supercenters {primarily the Derby Wal-Mart}, I feel as if I’m a nuisance.  The store is dirty and the shelves are never stocked.
So when I say that going grocery shopping at Dillon’s – sans my brood – is like a luxurious vacation, it truly is.

Until last night.

Last night, when I started unloading my groceries on the belt, you had another Dillon’s employee checking out.  She was buying a pie and it wasn’t ringing up right.  Which is to be expected on specialty sale items.  I get it.  I worked retail for five years as my first job.

I also get that when you see somebody pull up in your lane with a LOADED cart and you’re the only cashier, it can seem overwhelming.  But as you found out, you have some very helpful coworkers – and customers.

Once you were able to get the price adjusted on the pie and that associate finished with, it came time for me – that annoying customer who just made you work for your paycheck.

I’m sorry if that sounded brash.  But that’s exactly how you made it seem.  You never once said hello to me.  It wasn’t until you were nearly finished ringing through my items that I started to realize that maybe YOU were the one that needed the hello first.  So I said it.  I mean, after all, I was the one doing chores as I stated above.

The more you stood quiet and the more I realized that you were making it known that you were annoyed with my abundance of groceries – because of the way you were throwing them to the end of your counter towards the bags – the more I realized that maybe YOU needed me to ask you how your night was.  So I did.  In which you merely turned your head towards another associate to tell them to “cancel” something.  Maybe it was to bag my groceries, because you realized that I wasn’t just somebody that was going to stand there and stare as the line grew when I am fully capable of bagging my own groceries to help speed up the process. Again, it's the whole "chore" thing that I have my mind set on.

Anyway, I never did find out how your night was.  But by the way it looked, it was not going well.  You were young, cute and it was 10:12 on a Saturday night.  Remember, I was young and in retail once too. And also cute.  But that’s beside the point.

But those five years in retail taught me more life experience than any of my other careers combined!

I learned that, regardless of how crappy my day had been, there would always be someone who is having it worse than me.
And maybe that person will be one of my customers.  Early on in retail, I learned that my smiling face and friendly hello may be the ONLY smiling face and friendly hello that my customers receive that day.

I think about my friend, Amber when I say this.  She has four young girls at home.  Her brother lives in Colorado and her husband is an accountant.  She is a stay-at-home mom and lots of times, the first adult interaction of the day may be the cashier at the register when she goes to the store.

Amber’s mom is extremely ill.  She is in critical care in the hospital and is not doing well at all.
During the day, Amber stays at home with her girls, which helps keep her mind off of things.  When her husband gets home, she goes to the hospital to see her mom, optimistic that things will turn around, but still no answers as to when.
Afterwards, she may stop by the grocery store and stock up because this may be the only night she has to go.  Again, her family size is six.  So while I was refilling for two weeks, only half of a week’s worth of groceries would fill her cart.

So I thought about my friend last night after leaving your store.  If it were she instead of me last night, Amber had one last chance before going to bed to have somebody smile and say hello to her and you would’ve blown that for her.  And she's the last person that would have deserved that sort of treatment.  She would’ve been made to feel like SHE was the nuisance instead of me.  And that bothers me so much because Amber would do anything for anyone at any moment.  So in a way, I’m so glad it was me that annoyed you and not her. All I did that day was wipe hiney's and rub upset tummy's.  Pish posh.

I apologize if your night was actually going just fine and maybe I’m just blowing this all out of proportion.  But do you honestly think that I’d take the time away from my family to write a 1,300-word blog post for nothing?

I’m writing this in hopes that maybe I can help open your eyes.  Maybe you’re new and haven’t had the experience long enough to realize that sure, there are some customers who can be real assholes or some that just don’t feel like talking.  But there are also those customers out there that really need to see your beautiful smile or hear your friendly hello.  You can usually tell who is who --- if you would just take one second to look up, smile and say hi.  I promise, I would have been that customer to smile and say hello back.  Because I need it just as much as you do.

PS – I would’ve much rather have been told to 'have a good night', than how many fuel points I have.  But maybe that would’ve taken up too much of your time?  Regardless, I hope that your night got better after I left.

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Saturday, July 11, 2015

Summer is the Peak Season for Fresh Produce (Whole Foods Ambassador Post)

Summer is every foodie’s favorite time of year.  So many of our favorite fruits and veggies are in season and the recipe ideas are endless.  It’s the peak season for fresh, local produce like: peaches, cherries, plums, corn, and more!  Eating local this time of year is easy and tasty – and best of all, it will help your community and the environment as well!
Whole Foods Market is committed to supporting local producers, and you can too!

Benefits of Eating Local:

  • Local foods are picked at the peak of ripeness and delivered straight to the store without traveling much distance and often within 24 hours of being picked which allows for the freshest, best tasting produce.
  • Choosing to support local producers also helps you eat seasonally.
  • Local food supports the local economy. Money spent on local foods stays close to home and helps your town or city thrive.
  • Local foods have a smaller carbon footprint since they do not have to be shipped across the country. 

So this season, dig into local peaches, cherries, plums, pears, corn and more and help your local community and environment!

Friday, July 10, 2015

AdoramaPix: Turning Your Photos into Beautiful Keepsakes

As a mom who is always behind the lens of a camera, I would much rather see my babies in a book, than stored on my camera, phone or laptop with the risk that technology will fail me and I’ll lose all of my pictures.  So I was doing a little searching of products and came across a company called AdoramaPix.

DISCLOSURE: I have partnered with AdoramaPix to share info about their products.  Because I have shared information about their products, I may receive free keepsakes in exchange for my post.  This does not, however, change my perspective of AdoramaPix and I stand by their products.  The Procrastinating Mommy cannot be bought! 

AdoramaPix helps people turn their digital photographs from abstract computer files into beautiful keepsakes designed to last a lifetime.  Their custom photo books display your captured memories in rich color and vibrant detail.  Thick, durable, professional grade photo paper resists fading and ensures that your photos will be just as colorful for future generations to enjoy.  The binding is lay-flat, so even panoramic images can splash across two pages without any separation.

So now my family memories can live in a stylish, archival home with one of AdoramaPix photo books.

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Fun & Discovery Awaits at Camp Google

Summer is definitely in full swing by now with only a little over a month left of it before some of us have to start the school routines again.  In your opinion should these last several weeks off from school be a time for kids to sit back, sleep in and enjoy their time off?  Or should the time off be spent continuing your children’s education but in a MORE FUN approach?

What if I told you that you could do both?  Continue your child’s education via a summer camp … without having to set an alarm or change out of your PJ’s.

A new project called Google Camp, (yes, as in everybody’s best friend, Google) will help teach kids how to utilize their search engine services — starting from the ages of 7-10 years old, specifically. The program seems to focus on online project-based lessons and has weeks dedicated to discovering the ocean, space, nature, and music categories.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

5 Ways Tech Can Enhance Your Summer Travels

With the summer in full swing, temperatures are rising, which means many of us will soon be packing our bags and heading out for a much needed summer vacation. Vacations are an opportunity to “unplug” – literally. When it’s time to hit the road, some of us prefer to check our computers at the door. But, what about the tech that can actually help you on vacation? Below are tips to make the most of tech for your next getaway!