WEATHER OR NOT

How is it that the weather can be a controlling factor in what I do each day?

As a kid and as a teacher a snow day meant staying home leaving me with hours to fill. It would be a play day—one to watch TV, knit, put a puzzle together, or some other entertainment. It was not a day that I‘d spend cleaning house, doing laundry, or catching upon work.

Even after being retired, I continued that pattern. When the snow portended a shut down of business and schools, it was time to watch the Weather Channel. Where was the storm going to drop the most snow? What I should fix to eat. Intemperate weather seems to make me hungrier than usual. I have a friend, when faced with low winter temperatures, turns on the oven and bakes.

The same thing is true in the summer when the temperatures soar above 90 degrees and the humidity seems to match. I retreat indoors with the windows and doors closed, and the air conditioner cooling the air to comfort.

I no longer treat the day as an ordinary one where I spend my morning writing. My mind says you can sit at your computer and write, but I find it hard to do. I can’t sit outside with my laptop, my office is not air-conditioned. I turn on the TV weather. How hot is it going to be? Will we have storms?

Weather. How does it affect you?

 

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UNIT PRICING AND HAPPY SHOPPING

Unit pricing in the grocery store is a big plus because it is easy to find the best buy. Not always.

Today I wanted to buy a jar of roasted red peppers. Initially I picked up the one on sale:

a 10-ounce jar for $1.77, surely the best offer, right?

I saw a little larger jar, 14-ounces for $2.79;

Then on the bottom shelf, 24-ounce jar for $3.49.

 

Which one? I checked out the unit price:

10 ounces at $5.69 per quart

14 ounces at $3.18 per pound

24 ounces at $1.99 per pint

Quarts, pounds, pints, or apples and oranges. To make a comparison, you obviously need the same standard unit.

I stood in front of the shelf trying to determine the price per ounce of each jar.

$1.77 divided by ten: easy, 17.7 cents per ounce

2.79 divided by fourteen: one with 13 left over; 139 divided fourteen (14, 28, 56, 112, 126, 140) OK, it’s nine: so it’s 19 plus cents per ounce

3.99 divided by 24: one with 15 left over; 159 divided by twenty-four (24, 48, 72, 96,120,144, 168), it’s 6: so it’s 16 plus cents per ounce.

By the time I’d figured out the cheapest of the three jars per ounce, I’d become annoyed and went to ask to speak to the manager.

He immediately offered to show me the one on sale for a savings of 52 cents. When I began to question him, he thought I was angry and upset. I assured him I wasn’t and asked that he look at the shelves with me.

He easily saw why I or anyone else would be confused and he took out his calculator. He figured out the first two. I suggested the one from the bottom shelf. He assured me it was a more expensive product but pacified me by working it out.

“It’s the cheapest,” he acknowledged. “You’re a smart shopper.”

I wasn’t trying to be obnoxious, but I thought it was worthwhile to point out to someone in charge that they need to check such points to give the consumer the best buy.

Sometimes the smaller jar or can ends up being cheaper, if you cannot use all of the product that you buy and must throw some away, you have saved nothing. But in this case, I need quite a lot of roasted red peppers and they will stay useable in the refrigerator for several days, or I will freeze those I can’t use immediately.

PS: When I checked out the 3.99 item it scanned with a sale price of 3.49 or 14.5 cents per ounce. Wow!

HAPPY SHOPPING!

 

STAY FOR DINNER

When I was growing up, our table always had room for one more.

My mother told me about her grandfather, who insisted an extra place be laid on the table in case anyone should come.

This was part of his faith. The extra plate was for Jesus. Jesus, himself, did not appear, but my great grandfather also believed that a person who arrived at meal time was a guest to be treated as if he were Jesus.

…“for I was hungry and you gave me food. I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink…. Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these, who are members of my family, you did it to me.  Matthew 25: 35, 40

No matter when they arrived, my mother offered her guest or guests food and drink. There was always a ready supply of cookies and water to heat for tea or coffee.

Perhaps it was my mother’s influence, but my husband and I always loved having guests, friends, and family. If the person was unexpected, we shared whatever simple meal we had. One friend was thrilled to be offered creamed chipped beef on toast with a salad.

There were times I planned a formal meal for special guests, but it wouldn’t be long before I’d drop the formality. Our guests always seemed more comfortable afterward.

I think that guests do not like to feel that they are “putting you out.” Guests sense when their host or hostess is uncomfortable. It is not the meal that is important, it is the guests. When guests feel comfortable, everyone has a great time.