Wednesday, August 29, 2007

goin' postal

I went to the local US Post Office a couple of days ago to buy ONE STAMP out of the machine in the lobby. There was no machine. So my only option was to go stand in line for my ONE STAMP. After counting the sea of people ahead of me in line and counting the number of postal workers, the math did not seem to be in my favor because there was no way I could stand in line that long for ONE STAMP and not go postal! I left...with no stamp.

Fast forward to yesterday, I had a box I needed to overnight to a friend and I remembered my experience just trying to get ONE STAMP. The thought of being still and bored for that long did not appeal to me. Surely there was another alternative. That is when I thought about the Goin' Postal store which is "conveniently" located near the real post office. I wondered if it was legit so I went to their website to do some research. I then called my friend who does business with Goin' Postal. After my thorough investigation, I added Goin' Postal to my to-do list.

I was the only customer in the store as I approached the counter with my unsealed box. I asked how much it would cost to overnight my package. When I found out it was LESS than USPS rates AND I would receive $100 worth of insurance on my package at no extra cost, I decided to go for it. The owner condensed my items into a smaller box, sealed it shut, asked me to fill out a shipping label, totaled my purchase and gave me a free Goin' Postal pen as a first time customer reward. I was also impressed when I checked out the countless stamp designs that were available. (Cute stamps are important to me.) This whole experience lasted five minutes tops!

The franchise name, Goin' Postal, is almost an oxymoron because the store makes you want to NOT "go postal". The people are so helpful and friendly you will wonder if it is for real or just a nice dream. I am Goin' Postal from now on. And if you value short lines, lots of cute stamps, great customer service, discount shipping, and a safe parking lot, you might want to consider Goin' Postal too.

Friday, August 24, 2007

cream of mushroom soup

Did you hear all of those popping noises across North Augusta on Wednesday afternoon? Those sounds you heard were the opening of cream of mushroom soup cans all across town. Casseroles were being made in full force when news of the following story spread through the area.

A few days ago my next door neighbor (Beth) had to take her hubby(Curtis) to the emergency room because....umm, let's just say his stomach was not pretty. He ended up in day surgery with plans of getting his gall bladder removed by laparascope. At Curtis' workplace, those who get a papercut are off work for six weeks and undergo physical therapy before they come back. Beth was hoping that Curtis' gall bladder surgery would get him off work at least until spring break!

While I was in the waiting room with Beth, inventing stories that were getting more exaggerated by the minute, the doctor came in and said that they ended up doing a full surgery to remove the gall bladder. If they had waited another day or two, the gall bladder could have possibly ruptured, putting Curtis in a very dangerous situation. We got on our phones to share the news with Beth and Curtis' Journey Team and the sounds of those soups cans being opened could be heard for miles.

Do you have friends that you can count on in an emergency without even having to ask? Are there people who you can share life with in the good times and bad? TrueNorth Church has Journey Teams where small groups of people meet on a regular basis to grow in their faith and their relationships. Signups are on Sunday mornings and now is the time to get plugged in. If you are not part of a Journey Team, you are missing out. Commit to at least trying out a group or two. You will wonder why you didn't do it sooner.

In case you were wondering, Curtis is at home recovering now and the casseroles are lined up in the refrigerator. Maybe they will have enough to share with their next door neighbor!

Thursday, August 23, 2007

deal or no deal

I love knowing that I got a deal on an item. My favorite bargain is the short black jacket I got on the clearance rack for $1. And then there was the $58 bathing suit I wanted this summer. By waiting three more days, I got it at 60% off. It helps to talk to sales clerks.

Shopping for school supplies in August is one of those times I go crazy. I call my office cabinet "The Office Depot". Need crayons? Come on over! Out of folders? I've got 'em. Also notebooks, pens, and pencils galore. And I got it all for dirt cheap.

Check out this week's Office Depot ad for example. Book covers, storage pouches, and wooden rulers are a penny a piece. One cent each! A quarter can get you either 10 Crayola markers, the black and white composition books that are hard to find, or a 3 pack of erasers. That's just crazy.

It is a good time to stock up for the rest of the year to avoid those runs to Wally World when the prices are back to normal. You are going to buy it anyway, so do yourself a favor and take advantage of those bargains while you can. But stay away from those drugstores or you'll pay triple the price! And that's no deal.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

high school musical 2

Last Friday night was the night we got Kacie's stuff packed and loaded up for college. She planned her whole day so that at 8pm, she could chill out with her sister and watch High School Musical 2 with 17 million other viewers. I stopped what I was doing to stand in front of the TV for about 30 seconds to see what all the fuss was about. Troy and Gabriella were singing a ballad that reminded me a lot of the scene in Grease 2 where Stephanie and Michael sang "Turn Back the Hands of Time". This is the part of the song I heard in the short time I watched HSM2:

I'm leaving today 'cause I've gotta do what's best for me
You'll be ok..I've got to move on and be who I am
I just don't belong here
I hope you understand
We might find our place in this world someday
But at least for now I gotta go my own way

Not what I needed to hear while getting my daughter ready to leave for college the next morning!!!!

Monday, August 20, 2007

i heart my friends

Tracy. Beth. Kelly. Cheryl. Jenny Lou. Margie. Melanie. Deborah. Claire. Tena. Becky. Nan. Laurie. My mother and my mother-in-love. They have all called or emailed to check on me since Kacie left for college and since Matthew and Allison started school today. I thought the house would be quiet, but my friends and family made sure I had no peace.

THANK YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

happy new year!

Every mom knows that January 1 is not the start of a new year. The first day of school usually signifies all things new in a household with school-age children. New clothes, new teachers, new friends, and (yawn) a new schedule. In the Owings household it is not just a new chapter in our book, it's like a whole new UNIT.

Kacie. We had The Last Supper with Kacie Friday night...spaghetti, which is her favorite and her last request before going to Clemson. Move-in was a bittersweet experience. I am so proud of her, but missing her like no other! She has the biggest tears I have ever seen. I mean they are HUGE...and I can't get them out of my mind. But her tears were short-lived, because now she is talking about new friends with yuppie names like Turner and Sara Beth, who I will probably never meet!

My "no, I'm not nervous" daughter is in her first day of middle school as I type. I am sure that she is keeping check of every detail of her day and when she gets home, she will be give me a full report, leaving nothing out.

Matthew. Unlike his sister, Matthew will probably tell me nothing. I mean, he IS a boy. Alan took him this morning for his first day of elementary school and he said there were a lot of crying mamas at the school. That is why I didn't take him.

I am all cried out for this week. Or am I?

Monday, August 13, 2007

i caved

So...I hear through the blog grapevine that one must have a picture of oneself on one's blog. After a years' resistance, I caved and decided to go for it. The picture in my blog header is ginormous! Does anyone know how I can reduce the size, but still fill up the header space? Please hook a sista up with some instructions!

Also...I've had some close friends imply that my tag line (A whole lotta lovin' is what I'll be bringin') is "suggestive". So I changed it. Then I changed it back. It is part of the C'mon Get Happy song by the Partridge Family. Unless Shirley, Keith, and the rest of the family try to take me down, I think I will stick with it.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

The Hot Seat with Allison

1. Happy 11th Birthday, Allison! What do you want for your birthday?

Clothes, money, Vera Bradley, and to go eat at Salsa’s!

2. Pick one. The Jonas Brothers or Zac Efron?

Zac Efron...duh!

3. What are you looking forward to in middle school?

Meeting new people and getting to change classes.

4. Do you know what you want to be when you grow up?

I have no clue. I don’t think about that.

5. Hey Allison, is my lip gloss poppin’?

Mom! You aren’t wearing any!

chillin' with my peeps

I just got back from chaperoning the Element Middle School Beach Trip…22 kids and 5 chaperones. When people found out I was going, the overwhelming question was “WHY would you do such a thing?” Having a rising sixth grade daughter was the number one reason. But having been involved in the middle school department at my last church and having another daughter actually survive middle school, I have learned a thing or two about that age group:

Middle school can be hell. I don't know any other way to put it. I hyperventilated more during the summer before Kacie went to middle school than the summer before she started high school. It is a scary place where kids first experience puberty, peer pressure, social stress, bullying, and cliques. Then there are locker combinations, seven different teachers, changing classes, and (gasp!) dressing out for PE.

The terrible twos weren’t so bad. It’s the terrible 12’s that can be more challenging! You know the attitude…hand on hip, finger pointed, neck moving in circles saying “Oh no you didn’t just sing in the car in front of my friends, Mom!” When Kacie did this to me, I ran straight to the bookstore with tear-stained cheeks, looking for a self-help book for parents of middle schoolers. I ended up with “When We’re in Public, Pretend You Don’t Know Me” by Susan Borowitz. What I learned was that they don’t want us around, but they don’t want us to get too far away either!

Middle schoolers are fragile. It doesn’t take much to tear down their self confidence. They want to fit in. They are little kids in big kids’ bodies. And the choices they make during these years will put them on the path of who they will become in their high school years and beyond.

I had fun hanging out with the TNC middle schoolers this week. I fit in better with them than I do some adults! Please pray for this group of kids as they begin a new school year of good times and trying times!

I miss them already!