Tales from Retail: Episode 2 – Paw Patrol

So apparently I vastly underestimated the popularity of ‘Paw Patrol’ among the child population. Don’t make my mistake.

At the store I work at, we sometimes have little events for kids or teens where they have crafts, games, contests, and the like. Each one has a different theme or purpose. This time, the theme was ‘Paw Patrol’. It’s a show on the TV channel Nick Junior about a group of rescue puppies. If that doesn’t sound adorable, I don’t know what does.

I was offered a three-hour shift on Saturday to help man the Bean-bag throw game. Let me tell you something right now. Kids can throw way harder than you think they can. One boy managed to nail an old guy who was just trying to get his groceries. One little girl managed to lose the bean bag beneath a display of yams. Yet another child had no idea what to do, and instead of throwing the beanbags tried to run off with it.

The golden moments were when the kids went to pick their little prizes from a bucket I had sitting next to me. For the most part, every kid took their one prize and got out of the way of the other people in line. There were several examples, though, where this was not the case. One little boy tried to make off with a handful of prizes while my back was turned, and yet another one kept trying to find a Yo-Yo among the huge bucket of prizes, even though there weren’t any.

While it was only three hours, the shift completely exhausted me for that day. Little did I know what would come soon after.


A few uneventful days after the paw patrol event. I was working on the express lane during the rush hour when an interesting looking individual came through the line. The person in question had a rather impressive mustache and beard, with shoulder-length hair dyed green. They were sort of on the heavier side, and thus appeared rather adrogenous. The only clue I had going was the facial hair and the fact that the person in question was a baritone at the very least.

I rang up their order just fine, but when I said “Have a good day, sir!” they replied curtly with “It’s ‘Ma’am’, actually.” In their deep, baritone voice.

Horrified, I turned to apologize, but the person in question had wandered off. The next customer gazed over my shoulder with a confused expression on his face. “I thought that was a guy! We even had a conversation…” He then proceeded to try and comfort me by telling me about his time working in retail as a teenager, and he accidentally called his manager ‘Mom’.

The confusion was not limited to the one guy, though. The next people who were in line, including a woman and her children, some old fart, and one of my coworkers, were all equally bewildered. To be honest, I’m still confused. Maybe the guy was just messing with people’s heads. Or maybe they were a very unfortunate-looking woman.

Well, that wraps up this week’s episode of Tales from Retail! I hope you guys are enjoying my job as much as I am, because it’s been a blast!


Tales from Retail – or my new job.

As many of my friends and family in real life know, I now have a great paying job at an up-and-coming store. It isn’t Walmart, but just for security reasons I’m not going to tell you the actual name of the store because something-something-policy-blah and the fact that I’m not store Corporate. What I am though, is a grocery clerk and checker (yes, totally classy) and in my first few weeks at working in retail, I already have a few interesting tales to tell.

Since I have a little less time to add food to this blog, I’ll add stories instead! Now, without further ado, I present to you, the (slightly) embelished tales of my time in retail so far. This week’s episode brings us an interesting viewpoint on Millenials, and two women in burqas arguing about the price of a picnic table.

1 – A tale of two tables

This was a few days after I started work, and while It wasn’t at a store that I worked at, it was at a retail store, so that counts. I was looking at some bath towels when I heard two female voices arguing in a foreign language. I turned around to see two women in burqas bickering and gesturing wildly at the foldable picnic tables that were on clearance. There were multiple tables in a wide variety of sizes, but they were all the same price for this sale. I was thinking that maybe they needed some help, and was about to get an employee for them when one of the burqa gals burst out, in a strong American accent “STOP BEING CHEAP! THEY’RE ALL THE SAME PRICE!” and with a huff, she hefted one off the larger tables into their cart and pushed it away, the other woman muttering in tow.


2 – It’s the great pumpkin, Mrs. Aanderson!

I was checking on a Thursday afternoon, and we’ve had our Autumn displays up for a while, so a lot of people were buying Pumpkins, squash, gourds, and lovely wreaths. One of the customers was a regular, a one Mrs. Aanderson (this isn’t her real name, and even if it were, this is Minnesota. We have a lot of Aandersons.) and her little boy. This little boy was always extremely well behaved in the store, never knocking stuff down, never throwing fits. So, according to my store’s policy, the cutey got all sorts of little freebies. Little balloons, lollypops, flowers… nothing expensive or anything, just cute little things that kids like. This little boy, however, didn’t want any lollypops or flowers. For whatever reason, every time he and his mom came into the store, they had to get him a miniature pumpkin. These mini-pumpkins ran anywhere from .25 cents to a dollar. So he got his little pumpkin, and because the pumpkins were so cheap, he was able to get a lot of them because his mom had a rewards card of some sort. Naturally, these pumpkins stacked up over time. Mrs. Aanderson’s apartment is, according to her, “filled with pumpkins.” that her son wanted to pick up every time they ran errands.



2 – Exorcist

Every grocery store has one. That one check-out till that seems as if it’s possessed by ancient demons. Scanning stuff when it isn’t supposed to, or not scanning at all. In my store, it’s register 10. I have no idea what spirits take control of that machine, but they have caused it to rip up important checks when it should have scanned, it read Kool-Aid packages as coupons for bananas, it blatantly refused to scan oranges, eggs, and hedge-balls. It occasionally refuses to turn on. The phone rings on it’s own. The salt-circles haven’t been effective.

The worst of register 10 came when a frail, elderly woman needed to buy her food for the week. She decided to pay with a check, the check that was probably her entire income for the month. What did the machine do to it?

As I stood there, going through the “Did you find everything okay? Great! Do you have our [insert generic rewards card]?” script and finished scanning. The sweet little lady talked about her kids, grand kids, and this sweet little dog she met on her way to the store that day. She finished writing out the check and inserted it into the machine.

Wrrrrrrrrrr. *KACHUNK*

And with that, the front half of her check was jammed and shredded into the machine. Jammed so badly, in fact, that my supervisor had to come over, turn off the machine, and pull the remains of the check out with a pencil. We were able to tape it back together and explain the situation to accounting, but Checkout 10 has stayed closed since.


3 – Yo no creo que nadie en realidad va a molestar a la traducción de esta frase.

I was working register 6, when a family came through with a large amount of produce. This wouldn’t be a problem normally, except that every single item that they bought was sold by weight, and not by unit.

This meant that I had to take the fruit from the bag, lay it on the scale, wait for the scale to respond, type that number into the till, and wait again as it registered. Because my till has issues, I kept having to zero out the scale (meaning reset it) in order for it to accept anything on top of it. Around the fourth time I did this, a little blue light lit up above the scale and, for whatever reason, the till began speaking spanish.

“Restablecer la escala pulsando el botón ‘cero’.”

It repeated this several times before shutting down, meaning I had to find my supervisor to help fix it. After that family had left, it was about an hour or two before it, once again, proclaimed:

“Restablecer la escala pulsando el botón “cero”.

I still don’t know why it was speaking spanish.


So that wraps up today’s episode! I’ll be back soon with more fun from retail!


School Starts and Job Beginnings

Hello, everyone! Today is the first day of school for many of you or your kids. Since I’m finally free from those  shackles… *cough* I mean I start college next year…. I no longer have to worry about that. On the other hand, I did finally find a cool job that pays well and is a lot of fun. Oh, and I also found this weird box out in the garage. It has these cool angel statues on top of it and my Oma said that Nazis were after it in WWII and that it melted some losers face off.

Just kidding! I did not, in fact, find the Ark of the Covenant. I did get that sweet job though, so there’s that. Specifically it’s a job at one of the Hyvees  in my home town. (Hyvee is a great grocery chain the Midwest.) I’m saving up money to buy a car and move out, so I might be working there for a little while. Lucky for me, it’s fun. On the other hand, I also now have money to buy new cookbooks and new inspiration for this blog.

Along with the Victorian food lineup I’ve been working on, I made a nice little discovery at a second hand store that should add a little fun to the mix. You have all heard of some of the terrible foods that were popular from around 1950-1975 right? Well, my friends, do I have a treat for you!

Like, say, this.



*Twilight Zone Theme plays*

Shall we play a game?

In Memory of an Actor Whom We All Knew

After the death of Gene Wilder this morning, my little sister saw fit to write a post about him in memory. Without further ado, this is my sister’s take on the only man who could ever be Willy Wonka.



I don’t know if any of you have heard the news yet. My mom and I were shopping when she checked her phone for a moment and found out. A very good and great man, a role model, passed away. It …

Source: In Memory of an Actor Whom We All Knew

Fun with Applications or ‘What to do when your transcript doesn’t get in on time’

Howdy, folks! With school starting up again soon (What the heck happened to summer break? Do kids even have summer break anymore?) my family and I have been very, very busy trying to prepare for college. Or at least, we were.

For the back story, I went to an online highschool because I have autoimmune issues and kept getting really, really sick at normal schools. Online school was great, but it wasn’t easy. There’s a stereotype of homeschoolers that lists them as socially awkward and untrained in the real world. I’ve been called tons of names before by some people. Things like “Square.” and “Weirdo” and “Person who can read.” I got stuck with some pretty rough classes too.

I did my six years there and graduated, all went well. Then, because I hadn’t decided up to that point what I wanted to do as an adult, I chose a college and tried to apply. My mother helped me out and we got everything done in a few weeks. My counselor was supposed to send my transcript in in around April.

I received a letter in the mail three days ago that stated that, while my application had gone through fine, they still didn’t have my transcript. This happened on the fourteenth. I emailed my counselor and she hadn’t sent it out  yet, but would do so soon.

The application deadline for this semester is the 16th.


Needless to say, things have gone to heck in a handbasket. I do have some job interviews lined up so I’ll at least be able to do something for the next few months. On the bright side, this gives me time to work on my other skills and saving up money for my own place, I also have more time to work on this blog. So, win-win?

Food! Messing with Ramen

Most of us are familiar with ramen noodles. They’re cheap. They’re (kind of) filling. They’re the stock food of students everywhere. They taste like sadness and student debt. Well, I’ve never really liked how Ramen tastes, so when I was making lunch the other day and realized that was all we had left in the pantry, I finally realized that there was something I could do about it. Also, I was hungry.

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Moose Lake Agate stampede

Today was busy, but very fun. I spent the day with my family up in Moose Lake, Minnesota for the yearly agate festival and stampede. There were a ton of people there and many sellers of all kinds. The grab bags are typically the best deals, in my opinion, but I did find some pretty beads to make jewelry with and a neat agate that kind of looked like Jupiter.

Our trip started off at five in the morning, this went about as well as you think it would, with everyone trying to get everything done at once, even though we thought we were prepared for everything the previous night. Everything from the pets (we can’t leave them for more than a few hours, we had to replace my birth certificate because one of the dogs went psychotic) to the family (WHY DOES ANNE HAVE TO HAVE A GIANT BACKPACK!?) and the bags and tools for looking for agates.

It was a three hour drive from our home to Moose Lake, and we only made a few rest stops. At one of these spots, Anne found a four-leaf clover. We figured this meant that the rest of the day would be pretty good. It was! For the most part. We explored the festival and the bazaar sort of area first, but there were multiple hosers smoking like chimneys and I ended up having an asthma attack (thank you, Anne, for carrying one of my inhalers) and went inside where the smokers weren’t.

I would definitely recommend the Agate festival for people who love cool, hand-made things, gemstones and rocks, and cool fossils. There’s also a lot of neat people to talk and listen to. A lot of people at the festival have been around the world in different places, either just traveling or looking for more rocks. The festival is pretty kid-safe (aside from the smokers) and the stampede itself is fun, but might be somewhat overwhelming for smaller children.

The stampede usually starts around 2:00, but before that two large trucks filled with gravel, including agates, granite, fossils, and more, along with twelve dollars in quarters, are dumped along the street. A police line keeps people from running in before the bell sounds and everyone runs in to collect rocks. It’s a lot of fun, but the driver of one truck screwed up one year by dumping every rock in a single pile at the end of the street. Needless to say he narrowly escaped being stoned by fossils and was subsequently fired.

Aside from that one incident, the agate festival at Moose lake is one of my favorite summer traditions and one I would most certainly recommend to anyone who has a means to get there.


Hello! Yesterday was rather fun for me, I had to lifeguard a pool party for some little kids. 13 boys and 2 girls.  They were pretty wild, but at least they behaved themselves the whole time. Since the people running the party were my uncle and aunt my payment was a Pinata stick and a few pizzas to take home. It was an awesome fun time!

On another note, these posts have been pretty sporadic for a few good reasons, my Mom has been really sick for the past few months and will be in surgery soon, so I’ve been taking care of things around the house and with my siblings.

The other things I’ve been working on are nearly complete or getting toward a stage where I can share them easier and have people like them. One of these is that E-book I previously mentioned, ‘Lavender’, and the other is this ‘constructed Language’ I’ve created to fill in the signs and literature of my Minecraft world.

But this is foremost a food blog, and before those get shared this blog will once again be filled with delicious food, because I planned out a lineup of meals I’ll make for the blog. Most of these are going to be pulled out of a Victorian cookbook of mine. While some of the recipes are questionable at best (Turtle soup, Head Cheese and the ‘BOIL ALL THE THINGS’ mentality toward veggies) I’ve picked out the ones that sound great. Also, since my Mom will be recovering from surgery I’ll be making different dinners and meals for my family, so that gives me a much better excuse to get off my bum and back to cooking.


Happy Fourth of July!

Happy Fourth of July to each and every one of my followers! Today is the day that America celebrates it’s independence from Britain during the American Revolution. I hope that everyone has a safe and happy day as we celebrate with fireworks, fun, and food.

Just some safety notes however:

1 – More animals go missing the week of the fourth of July than any other week, keep your pets inside because the fireworks will terrify them and you should try to make this as comfortable for them as possible.

2 – Bring ear plugs for small children, the noise may bother them and nobody around you wants to hearing a screaming baby.

3 – The loud noises of fireworks can damage hearing aids, so older folks might turn theirs off so it doesn’t damage them or cause them discomfort.

4 – Don’t shoot off fireworks near flammable shrubbery, this should be simple common sense but you’d be surprised at the amount of people who don’t think of this (see the ‘bootleg fireworks’ video)

5 – Have fun!

Kittens in the Air vents

We had a bit of an adventure with some of our fosters yesterday…

To set the scene: I am in bed, since last Wednesday I have been very sick. My older sister is down in the living room, watching TV with my Dad. My younger sister and my mother have gone out shopping with my Grandmother. We have a large kennel in the living room where three feral kittens are sleeping, we’ve been charged with taming them so that they can get adopted. They’re very adorable, but aggressive.

We decide to let them out so that they can run around the house for a bit, all the dogs were outside and the older cats were fast asleep, so there wouldn’t be any danger to them. Most of our house is kitten-proofed because of all the fosters anyway, so they couldn’t go chewing up wires or crawling into tiny spaces and getting stuck.

Or so we thought.

*dramatic music plays*

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