Saturday, June 25, 2011

Not Cheap, Thrifty.

I've been thinking about how my family is extremely thrifty these past few days.  It became pretty clear with my dad's birthday and Father's Day the past week.  Do you want to know what he got for Father's Day?  Handmade cards, breakfast and dinner.  That's how it normally is at our house.  Same with Mother's Day.  Ever since I can remember my sisters and I would each make a card and write a nice note inside.  Then we'd make her breakfast, go to church, and have a fancy dinner.  If we got her gifts, they were simple and nothing big.

I didn't think that was cheap until this year.

It was a week before Mother's Day, and I was talking with my manager and a friend at work.  I asked my manager what she likes for Mother's Day.  She said last year her daughter got her a months worth of tanning, and a pedicure.  Her daughter is 14.  I was shocked.

Then I said, "Seriously?  Last year I drew my mom a picture and wrote a note on the back."

My coworker: "What, are you five years old?"

Now, I can understand why my response sounded so ridiculous; I DID sound like a little kid, but I drew her a really nice picture of a mother and daughter!  Guess what I gave my mom for Mother's Day this year?

Yep.  A drawing with a note on the back.
You be the judge.

My mom even put our cards on the fridge.
Family birthdays aren't so bad.  We might get underwear and socks, but we also get presents we actually want.  This year, my dad didn't want presents.  I don't know why.  For some reason grownups stop wanting gifts.  I'm pretty sure we're material creatures our whole lives, so this doesn't make sense.  Anyway, I still wanted to give him a present, so I bought him Doritos.  But not any Doritos, the Taco flavored.  Hey, he likes those a lot.

My sister gave him a big bag of fortune cookies.

Since we felt bad that we gave him such crappy presents, Lily and I wanted to give an AWESOME card.  We decided to combine our talents and make one card together.  I made it look good, and she wrote the limerick.  The poem is written in the clouds.

FYI, it has a plane on it because he has recently found love for RC planes.

Like most families, we had less money when I was younger.  Combine my thrifty mom, and the fact that my dad is a financial planner, and you get one deprived child.  At age five, I didn't know what a french fry was called.  We hardly ever ate out.  I thought McDonald's was called Bowling Green, because the only time we got fast food was in that city on the way to our Grandparents' house in Indiana.

But I'm not complaining.  I'm glad I wasn't spoiled, but sometimes our thriftiness could be really embarrassing.  And that's when we return to the subject of birthday gifts. 

Birthday parties were a lot of fun when you were little.  You got to play with your friends, eat cake, and give/open presents.  Other kids would give brand new barbies, clothes, and toys to their friends.  Not me.  Nope, I gave them homemade aprons.  My poor friends. 

Of course I didn't give aprons to all my friends.  I gave them other homemade presents that only I saw the value in.  Later on in life I continued to give horrible and cheap presents to my friends because I chose to.  I started to get a bigger allowance when I was 7, and I was expected to buy my own clothes, toys, etc.  That included gifts, so I wasn't willing to empty my pocket for a friend. 

Jeez I sound so cheap.

Basically I bought all my friends bags of candy for their presents.  A lot of my other friends did the same, but they included a $20 gift card along with the candy.  They also bought their cards.  Only twice in my life have I actually bought a card.  Once for a birthday, and the second for a wedding.  Those things are a freaking rip off.  So that's why I make my cards. 

Once I forgot to make a card for my friend's birthday, so on the way to her house I wrote a letter on a yellow Wendy's napkin.

I now know that my mom is thrifty, but I am definitely cheap.

Sunday, June 12, 2011


I ate Spam and eggs yesterday.  If I tell almost anyone that they will answer with either:

"Eww you eat that stuff?"
"You know that's canned meat right?"
"You're weird."

All I can reply is simply, yes I eat it, and I like it.  I hate it when people say they don't like Spam, but have never even tried it.  One of my top pet peeves in general.  YOU CAN'T DISLIKE SOMETHING WITHOUT TRYING IT. 

Then they try to explain themselves away by asking me if I know what Spam is made of.  Well according to wikipedia, it's made of chopped pork shoulder meat, with ham meat added, salt, water, modified potato starch as a binder, and sodium nitrite as a preservative.  If you compare that to a hot dog, the ultimate mystery meat, Spam definitely wins.

So I'm sure you can understand my enthusiasm when I had two roommates from Hawaii.  They love Spam out there and eat tons of it.  Finally I wasn't the only person besides my family who ate Spam.  I never LOVED Spam, but then my roommates introduced me to Spam musubi. 

So. Freakin. Good.

Shout out to Tree who gave me a musubi press at the end of the year.  You can't get those things around here.
But seriously.  Thanks.

What is Spam musubi you ask?  Well, it's basically Spam, rice, furikake, wrapped in nori.  I've made it four or five times since I've been home.
Pressing the Spam and rice.
Finished product.  Beautiful.
I'm in love.
Spam, It's what's for dinner.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Dirty Work

I have a job at Subway, but I'm not getting nearly enough hours to make good money.  Lucky for me, my parents have lots of projects going on, and they need my help with yard work.  On Saturday I cut and rolled sod from our yard.  I was very surprised to discover how extremely heavy two inches of earth can be.  Sod is kind of cool though.  It's like a shag carpet.  FROM THE GROUND.
Doesn't it look like a cinnamon roll?  Or maybe poop...
This one looks like a snake.  Duh.

Today we got lots of dirt and moved it around.  Hey, it's a lot harder than it sounds.  I also mowed our neighbor's lawn who's out of town.  I raked all the cut grass because their lawn is growing ridiculously fast and looked horrible.

I am very tired now.  My dad passed on words of wisdom to me that his mom used to tell him. 

"It's better to work with your head than your back."

Man I'm glad I'm going to college.  I couldn't do yard work all day.  I'm pooped.

Also, there was something pecking and banging against our window the other day. 
It was this cardinal.

Stupid bird.  They never seem to understand the concept of windows.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Stick Shift and Gyros

I have some good news, and I have some bad news.  The good news: Jenai is coming home next week!  When she leaves, she's going to take the Element with her.  We will now have a car out in Provo.  (I would've used exclamation points for the last two sentences, but my writing professor says they are obnoxious and overused). The bad news: the car is a stick shift. 

I drove our Dodge Dakota in high school.  I made that truck look good.  I was originally supposed to learn to drive manual and use the Element, but since we had the truck I drove that instead and never learned to drive stick very well. 

Well, now I have to learn. 

Last Sunday I practiced driving in the parking lot of the middle school and around the neighborhood.  I didn't stall out once.  I was proud.  I was getting the hang of it, so today I drove the Element to work.  (Mind you, work is only a mile from home).  Everything went well.  I parked and started my shift at Subway.  Less than five minutes later I heard some people in the C-store asking whose Element was in the parking lot.  I said it was mine.  They said it was rolling backwards. 


I had used the parking break, but not enough.  That's why it took so long for the car to inch backwards.  By the time I found out it had creeped at least 10 feet out.  That was embarrassing. 

But I wasn't deterred.  I was still confident, so I drove the stick out on the busier streets of Medina to get dinner.  I only stalled out twice on the way there and once on the way home.  I stalled out three times in the parking lot...

Though I faced hills, stop signs, and embarrassment, we got our delicious gyro sandwiches and made it home safely. 
Lily looking lovingly at her gyro.
I think I'll stay home for the rest of the night.  I'm too scared to drive anywhere else.