Wednesday, March 25, 2015

The Asylum: Better than a Soap Opera

Last week, Twatwaffle called Tiny and me to her office to get our advice on which sales reps to invite down for a corporate mandated pow-wow with the Germans. We offered our suggestions, provided her with contact information and thought that was the end of it. 

But no one wanted to come, which kinda cracked me up.

Corporate wasn't going to admit to the Germans that we no longer have any relationship with our sales reps at all, so they came up with their own list. In the end, there were two sales reps out of a list of about 35, one German and his interpreter. One of the reps was Larry, a jolly, white haired feller who is all salesman, 100% lovable bullshit artist. The other was the gorilla head lookin' mother effer that was hired as sales manager between Bossholio and Doctah Chili and lasted all of 24 hours. He had neglected to mention that he was still employed by his old company, running it even, while working for us. 

Conflict of interest much?

Let's stop here and review a few things, shall we?

1. Corporate asked for Magilla Gorilla to be invited, yet they knew his history.. hell.. they're the ones that told TW she had to fire him. 
2. Sparkles now works for the Germans, driving two hours to work each day.
3. TW confided that Sparkles, through the Germans, is still calling some of the shots.

Just file that stuff away, as Thelma would say, "in the important part of your brain." I have a feeling it will be significant later.

Anywho...

Below is the view that greeted our guests upon arrival:


Some of the steps at the main entrance fell off. Literally just crumbled and tumbled to the ground. No one's even swept up the crumbs. That's masking tape ensuring our safety.

Once inside, they were tempted by goodies:


Grocery store cookies, a cup of leftover Christmas candy and some cheap bottled water, displayed lovingly on a wrinkled old sheet, still bearing Mickey Mouse and clown patches from Twatwaffle's 25 year old son's youth. 

Seriously. I took pictures just to prove that I don't make this shit up.

For someone who thinks she's all high fallootin' and better than the rest of us, you'd think she'd have enough friggen sense to pick up a plastic tablecloth from the dollar store.

I don't know what happened during the meeting. No one from corporate showed up. Why would this German company want to meet our sales reps? 

Larry stepped out of the meeting early, hollering back "Ya'll have a nice visit," then came up to my office to talk business. I got the impression he wasn't really being included in the conversation.

I'll bet ya'll a dollar that by fall, Big Ol' Gorilla Head will be the new sales manager.. and I will be gone. This man got fired for playing both ends against the middle, then called corporate and said I was talking smack about him to his former coworkers (which I did not.) 

My tolerance for BS is dwindling fast. If that happens, I'm riding my unemployment check until I get my head screwed back on straight then finding employment elsewhere. 

I honestly don't think my nerves will take it. 

Anyhooters... 

The plot thickens. I'll keep ya'll posted.

 Later Taters!



Friday, March 13, 2015

Coupon Clipping Ninja Skills Redefined


It's warming up in the holler. I may have to mow this weekend.

This week I jumped back on the coupon clipping bandwagon. Those of you who have been around for a while will remember how I used to keep a Winnie the Pooh binder full of hundreds of coupons, obsessively chasing down deals and threatening to blow up our paper girl's car when she didn't bring my Sunday delivery.

The truth is, I would normally end up buying stuff we didn't need, driving 40 minutes to save on a bottle of shampoo and stressing out if I paid full price for anything.

Living in the holler and trying to save pennies means unique challenges. For instance, Wally World is  way cheaper on groceries than the local grocery store, but the closest one is 45 minutes over the mountains and through the woods. When you factor in Jolene's healthy appetite for gas, it's actually costing me more.

Plus, the nail salon is beside Wally World. I must not be lead in to temptation. I'm currently sporting the fat-vienna-sausage-finger look.

This go 'round, I'm limiting my clipping and comparing to just 3 stores. The DG, literally in sight of my house, the local grocery store, about 20 minutes up the road and the FD (think real hard now.. you'll figure it out) in the old shopping center across from the grocery store. I'll have to admit, those CVS Extra Care Rewards are tempting as hell and you can end up with stuff for free, but it's not worth the gas. However, The Amazon works right by there and has agreed to make a pitstop when needed. For now, though, I'm sticking to the three closest stores, at least 'til I get back in the swing of things.

Our local grocery store is pretty expensive when compared to others, farther away. What they DO have though are double coupons (limited to .50 and less,) and frequent BOGO deals, which when combined with coupons can really add up. They also sell gas and give cents off per gallon based on points earned while shopping.

If I lived ANYWHERE else, I could compare prices, choose where to shop and get the best deals, but this is what I've got and I'll figure out how to make it work. DG is cheaper on cleaning stuff and I always have a $5 off $25 coupon for Saturday. Instead of running down there every fricken day for this and that, we now keep a list of stuff we need and get it all on Saturday, using the $5 off coupon plus any manufacturer's coupons. Now, they also have "digital coupons." You can log on to their website, add the coupons to your account, which is tied to your cell phone number. When you check out, you enter your cell number and the coupons AUTOMAGICALLY come off.

Haven't tried it yet. We'll see.

The only exception to my self-imposed shopping limits, is critter feed. With two bunnies, five chickens, three dogs and two cats, one must consider the expense of feeding all those little pewp machines when trying to save money. The absolute best deal I've found is at Tractor Supply. I feed the dogs Pedigree, which is often on sale at the TS for around $20 bucks for 50lbs and I usually have a $1 off coupon. Sometimes Kat has extra 20% off coupons for TS that she shares with me. I need to figure out how to get on that mailing list.

Have I bored ya'll absofuckinlutely to tears yet?

No?

Great cuz there's more!!!

In addition to drinking the coupon clipping Kool-Aid, I found this app called Ibotta that gives instant rebates when shopping at certain stores. And? Those stores include DG, FD and our local grocery. SCHWEET! I've earned a few rebates already, but I've not attempted to cash them out yet. It's pretty easy so far. If you are so inclined, you can use referral code gpvgryo when you sign up and I'll get $2.

Anywho... That's what's been on my mind this week. I'm sure I'll bore you with pictures of my future grocery hauls.. if I'm successful.

We'll talk again real soon. Ya'll have a good one.

Later Taters!





Saturday, February 28, 2015

Mad Stalker Skills and a Trip Down Memory Lane

It's about forty-ish in Frog Pond Holler today. My little corner is still covered with a layer of white, while everything is a lovely muddy brown across the road. 40° feels like a heat wave after the hellish cold that we had last week. I've got water, power and innerwebs. It's all good.

My drugs got here from India last week and as far as I can tell, they're the real deal. I ordered from safemeds4all.com  for those of you who might be faced with a similar situation. That's not a paid link, just sharing. I felt much better after a few days back on the C. I guess it took a while for it to build back up in my system. There's hope for this ol' nag after all.

The past week at work was rough, I get more quote requests than I can get to, but Kat's been awesome keeping up with returns and Thelma's been running interference on the phone. As much as I hate to admit it, they've been a lot of help.

I guess Twatwaffle could sense I was having a lousy one because she slipped me a bottle of homemade hooch the other day. One of the welders makes wine that'll make you wanna slap your grandma. It's a sipper. You feel that chit going down. Good stuff. Carlos supplies TW with a bottle with every new batch he whips up, but TW being the high falootin' snot she is, only drinks the stuff they brew over at the Biltmore House. She always quietly passes her Vino de Carlos to me after everyone else leaves.

I guess she's not ALL bad.

I took a drive by Mamaw's house on the way to the grocery store last night. We were out of everything and spending way too much money eating from the DG, so I forced myself to go. As I turned down the old road, down to the holler where Mamaw and Papaw's dairy farm once thrived, for a moment I could still hear the crunch of gravel beneath the tires. When I was little, we used to come down here for vacations and whenever someone died. It was always the middle of the night when we arrived and I was usually asleep in the back seat of our 1968 Plymouth Sport Fury. I could still feel the vinyl seat peel away from my cheek as I'd slowly sit up, hearing that crunch and Ma telling me to "sit up and gitcher shoes on." The car would slow to a crawl, the fog so thick you could barely see beyond the headlights. There was a tiny one room church on the right, with an outhouse a few feet up the bank. I used to tell Ma I was going to get married in that church, but it's since burned down. The outhouse was left standing for years, but it eventually toppled over and disappeared. I still remember exactly where it was though.

I crept up the road, the creek rushing by on the left side of the road, as it always has, and Cousin Miguel's house on the right, next to the old barn where I used to stand, horrified as I listened to my dad and my uncle inside "breaking" horses. I'd hear kicking and that awful scream horses make when they're terrified, the two men laughing and hollering, lashes delivered with an old rope. They used to brag about punching them in the face to teach them a lesson.

I hate that fucking barn.

The Fucking Barn
Originally it was built with rocks where cinder blocks are now.
Cousin Miguel keeps his derpy little horse there now, along with a few calves. I'm pretty sure he's raising them to sell to slaughter. I guess someone has to. Apparently the nut doesn't fall far from the tree because it was only about a year ago that Cousin Miguel lost his coaching job at the high school after having a "relationship" with one of the students.

A couple of weeks ago, the police scanner fired up with a call involving two children who'd dialed 911 while hiding in their bedroom. Their parents were divorced but Daddy had showed up and they were screaming and fighting. They said he'd threatened Mama with a knife.

Turns out it was Cousin Miguel.

Hen House
I'm pretty sure Cousin Miguel added the steer skull.
Next to Cousin Miguel's house, stood Mamaw's farm house. The last renters painted it pink for some ungodly reason, adding to the dilapidated state.

The Old Farm House
I could make it pretty again.

Across the road (and the creek) another house barely stands. My uncle lived there when he first got married. I used to sit at Mamaw's kitchen table and watch his horses on the hillside beside it. There's another old barn there too. I think it's still part of the property. The old bridge has seen better days, but we always drove across the creek anyway. Amazingly, that house's old outhouse still stands. You don't see many of those anymore. It amazes me how far the outhouses were from the house. I can barely make it to the bathroom on the other side of the trailer when nature calls in the wee hours of the morning. I can't imagine hiking through the weeds to pee. I guess that's why Ma always kept an old paint can in the hallway at night when we stayed at Mamaw's house. She did eventually get indoor plumbing, but I can remember when she still had an outdoor potty.

Uncle Mike's Old House
You can see the bridge in the background on the right and the trench where we drove across the creek.

When I was about 13, I spent a couple of summer weeks with Mamaw. This strange old lady with long white hair, layered skirts and work boots came to visit. It was one of Mamaw's sisters who'd moved in to my uncles old house. At 13 I was all angsty and uninterested. I kick myself now.

The Hillside Across the Creek
I used to spend hours on the front porch watching Uncle Mike's horses grazing. If  you look closely, you can see the other old barn, on the far right kind of in the background. It's a few yards behind the old house Uncle Mike lived in.

As I drove by, I got to thinking. There's plenty of flat land beside the old house across the creek. There's an old barn. There's pasture.. access to the creek. If ya know.. unfortunate things happen to my dad and I become part owner of the property, I could move my trailer beside the old house. It's almost paid for. I'd have to get a septic tank dug and get power lines run over there... No one's using that part of the land for anything...

Just a thought.

Anywho... well THAT turned in to a long rambling trip down memory lane.

I'm more wore out from grocery shopping than I should be and I'm nursing a headache.. sinus/allergy junk. I got up this morning and drug about half the unnecessary bullcrap out of the cabinets, so I've got that to finish when the ibuprofen kicks in. Laundry's piled up to heavens gate and I'm still drinking coffee out of a Styrofoam cup, so there are dishes to wash. My weekend is planned. At least I've got everything I need, I won't have to venture out in to public and I'm moving around better than I have since Christmas.

It's all good.

Ya'll have an awesome weekend. We'll talk again soon.

Later Taters!!!!!

P.S. All photos are courtesy of Google Earth and my mad stalker skills. My dad lives somewhere down in that holler and I'm pretty sure if Cousin Miguel saw a strange old fat lady stopped in the road taking pictures I'd meet the business end of a shotgun.