5 things I’ve learned so far this month.

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1. Don’t run important errands with your kids the day after Halloween. In fact, don’t go anywhere. Make like Charlie with his golden ticket and take those sleep-deprived suckers straight home. October 31 may claim to be a holiday of all things spooky, but November 1 is the true day of little zombies and monsters. Nothing is more frightening than a 4-year-old throwing a five-alarm tantrum while waiting in line to vote early. I was attempting to vote at a library (of course the quietest of all the places), and was so flustered that I ran out of there with her and a book I did not check out under my arm.

2. I have a doppelgänger at Walmart.  I live in a two-stoplight town just north of Asheville. “The Walmart” is the epicenter of everything. It’s the closest place to buy all the things without driving into The Big City. Judge if you must. So I was at The Walmart, when one of the employees tapped me on the shoulder. I turned around and he was all, “Whoah! You’re not her, but you look just like her!” He didn’t know her name, but apparently there was a woman who used to work in customer service there who is my twin. Apparently she still shops there a lot even though she no longer works there, so perhaps I will run into her one day. And if I see her in the check-out lane with a case of Mountain Dew, I’ll remind her what refined sugar does to our midsection.

3. Job hunting is like, HARD. Searching for a full-time job after freelancing part-time and mom-ing full-time for the past nine years feels like re-entering public school after being homeschooled. Only there aren’t any cool kids wearing pink or even art freaks dying to take me under their wing. I just keep putting myself out there, trying to sit with anyone in the proverbial career cafeteria who has an open chair. And I’m wishing I spoke Korean, had technical writing experience, or a deep love of vaping. Because that’s what these companies want, and I don’t have it. That being said, if you know of anyone looking to hire a stellar communications professional in Asheville or to work remotely, I’m your woman! (Kidding, not kidding.)

4. The “Insta” in Instagram is lost. I’ve really noticed more and more that both professional and personal accounts on Instagram have taken the instant spirit out of what used to be a spontaneous social media platform. If you’re scheduling out your Instagram posts or running your images through Lightroom and not simply using the filters readily available or (gasp!) #nofilter, you’re going against the entire purpose for which Instagram was intended. I’m an old school Instagrammer. That’s why most of my images aren’t of the highest quality and my comments are only as quippy as my brain is sharp at that instant.

5. “Funky Cold Medina” is a song about date rape. They’ve revived this song on one of my favorite radio stations, and the more I listen to it, the more horrified I get:

She said, “I’d like a drink, ” I said, “Ehm – ok, I’ll go get it

“Then a couple sips she cold licked her lips, and I knew that she was with it

He also drugs his dog, and there are definite anti-transgender undertones as well (remember Sheena?). And I used to roller skate to this shit. Can you imagine if this song came out today? Although there was “Blurred Lines.” Nothing blurry behind the meaning of that song.

That’s all.

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5 Reasons Why Walmart’s Online Grocery Shopping is My New Everything

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I know, right? It’s so big. And boxy. But when you live in rural North Carolina, a trip to “the Walmart” is as much a part of your week as going to the post office… or the ABC Store. It may not be as white and shiny as Target, with its “affordable” lines of clothing from high-end designers. The lighting may be depressing, some of the clientele might be equally depressing, and you can’t find specialty items like hemp hearts…

Wait, I had a point. Oh yes. Their new online grocery shopping! If you like the idea of Walmart’s prices, but the idea of going into Walmart depresses the crap out of you or stresses you out to no end, this is the perfect solution. It has changed my life. Let me count the ways:

  1. It saves time. It takes some time to pick out my items online, but nowhere near as much time as it does to walk through the aisles at the store. Especially considering I usually have a kid or two in tow, which leads me to my second point.
  2. It saves my sanity. My 2-year-old daughter can Houdini her way out of any shopping cart seatbelt, so it’s no surprise that she won’t stand right beside me quietly while I compare prices on pasta. I can pick out my items from the comfort of my couch rather than picking up every item she pulls off the shelves as we go. This reason alone is enough to shop online.
  3. No impulse shopping. I admit it. I’m the one who walks by the displays right before checkout and has to have that Breakin’ 2: Electric Boogaloo DVD for 4.99 (true story). And what’s that? Lip balm in a cute ball-shape container? Yes, please!
  4. Two words: Savings Catcher. This feature of the Walmart app finds out if an item you bought is being sold elsewhere for less and puts the difference on a gift card for you. So if you buy Silk Almond Milk at Walmart for $2.98, but it’s on sale at Harris Teeter for $2.50, the Savings Catcher will “catch” that and pocket the 0.48 for you. All you have to do is enter the TC# from each receipt into the app, and let it do the rest. It’s literally mindless and it adds up. This is something you can use whether you shop online or in-store, but I just discovered it and am pretty obsessed.
  5. It’s free! Yes, I know Publix has free online grocery shopping, too. But the closest Publix to my house is 45 minutes away and it’s not quite budget friendly enough to be the go-to store for my weekly basics.

I admit I was concerned about the produce, but I couldn’t have picked out a better bunch of bananas myself. All of this being said, the one thing that kills me is that I can’t use my own shopping bags. But I’m hanging onto the hope that following this whole hand sanitizer ban, the EPA will find that plastic bags are actually good for the planet. In the meantime, reusing and recycling alleviates my conscience enough (oh, the things you can make with plarn).

If you want to try it, use this link. You’ll save $10, and so will I.