Yes, indeed, I am pathetic at spending money. This week, both of the grocery suppliers for chain stores had incredible deals on money off for gas petrol. If you spend $100, you get 15cents off a liter. If you spend $200, you get 25cents off. If you spend $300, you get 35cents off and if you spend $400, you get a whopping 50cents off a liter. Not a gallon, a liter. That's almost $2 off per gallon. We got our 50cents off, but we almost didn't. 'Why?' you may ask. Well, because I've always been cheap and it's just a part of me to spend as little as possible on any given item. See, I usually spend just over $400 every two weeks a fortnight on groceries, so it shouldn't have been a problem at all to get the maximum cents-off. But I decided to go to the local store and went shopping at 7pm (they close at 8), neither of which I usually do. To my dismay, they were more than a bit low on meat. Not a worry. We can do this. So, in addition to the rest of my regular shopping, I have the thought in my head that I should pick up some 'extra' things to be sure I get to my quota of $400. I'm looking at everything as I slowly roll down the aisles even though there's not a lot of comparative shopping to be done and I am happily trying different pastas and some frozen meats that I usually don't buy. I'm taking my time and deciding of the family will like some new stuff. Then I catch myself. I am still looking for the lowest prices. I start giggling to myself because my brain knows that I need to spend money but my penny-pinching heart won't let me do it without a fight. In the end, I just passed the $400 mark. The cheapness is strong in this one.
I love trivia. Most word and phrase origins are lost in antiquity, but I really enjoy finding 'facts' that make sense. I don't know if the following 'facts' have any basis in reality, but I don't care. I like the sound of them, so please don't tell me they are wrong. You can't prove they are wrong any more than I can prove they're right!
In the late 1700's, many houses consisted of a large room with only one chair. Commonly, a long wide board folded down from the wall, and was used for dining. The 'head of the household' always sat in the chair while everyone else ate sitting on the floor. Occasionally a guest, who was usually a man, would be invited to sit in this chair during a meal. To sit in the chair meant you were important and in charge. They called the one sitting in the chair the 'chair man.' Today in business, we use the expression or title 'Chairman' or 'Chairman of the Board.'
Did you know the saying "God willing and the Creek don't rise" was in reference to the Creek Indians and not a body of water? It was written by Benjamin Hawkins in the late 18th century. He was a politician and Indian diplomat. While in the south, Hawkins was requested by the President of the U.S. to return to Washington . In his response, he was said to write, "God willing and the Creek don't rise." Because he capitalized the word "Creek" it is deduced that he was referring to the Creek Indian tribe and not a body of water.
In George Washington's days, there were, obviously, no cameras. One's image was either sculpted or painted. Some paintings of George Washington showed him standing behind a desk with one arm behind his back while others showed both legs and both arms. Prices charged by painters were not based on how many people were to be painted, but by how many limbs were to be painted. Arms and legs are 'limbs,' therefore painting them would cost the buyer more. Hence the expression, 'Okay, but it'll cost you an arm and a leg.' (Artists know hands and arms are more difficult to paint)
As incredible as it sounds, men and women took baths only twice a year (May and October) Women kept their hair covered, while men shaved their heads (because of lice and bugs) and wore wigs. Wealthy men could afford good wigs made from wool. They couldn't wash the wigs, so to clean them they would carve out a loaf of bread, put the wig in the shell, and bake it for 30 minutes. The heat would make the wig big and fluffy, hence the term 'big wig.' Today we often use the term 'here comes the Big Wig' because someone appears to be or is powerful and wealthy.
Personal hygiene left much room for improvement. As a result, many women and men had developed acne scars by adulthood. The women would spread bee's wax over their facial skin to smooth out their complexions. When they were speaking to each other, if a woman began to stare at another woman's face she was told, 'mind your own bee's wax.' Should the woman smile, the wax would crack, hence the term 'crack a smile'. In addition, when they sat too close to the fire, the wax would melt;therefore, we get the expression 'losing face.'
Ladies wore corsets, which would lace up in the front. A proper and dignified woman, as in 'straight laced' wore a tightly tied lace.
Common entertainment included playing cards. However, there was a tax levied when purchasing playing cards but only applicable to the 'Ace of Spades.' To avoid paying the tax, people would purchase 51 cards instead. Yet, since most games require 52 cards, these people were thought to be stupid or dumb because they weren't 'playing with a full deck.'
Early politicians required feedback from the public to determine what the people considered important. Since there were no telephones, TV's or radios, the politicians sent their assistants to local taverns, pubs, and bars. They were told to 'go sip some Ale and listen to people's conversations and political concerns. Many assistants were dispatched at different times. 'You go sip here' and 'You go sip there.' The two words 'go sip' were eventually combined when referring to the local opinion and, thus we have the term 'gossip.'
At local taverns, pubs, and bars, people drank from pint and quart-sized containers. A bar maid's job was to keep an eye on the customers and keep the drinks coming. She had to pay close attention and remember who was drinking in 'pints' and who was drinking in 'quarts,' hence the phrase 'minding your 'P's and Q's'.
In the heyday of sailing ships, all war ships and many freighters carried iron cannons. Those cannons fired round iron cannon balls. It was necessary to keep a good supply near the cannon. However, how to prevent them from rolling about the deck?
The best storage method devised was a square-based pyramid with one ball on top, resting on four resting on nine, which rested on sixteen. Thus, a supply of 30 cannon balls could be stacked in a small area right next to the cannon. There was only one problem....how to prevent the bottom layer from sliding or rolling from under the others. The solution was a metal plate called a 'Monkey' with 16 round indentations. However, if this plate were made of iron, the iron balls would quickly rust to it.
The solution to the rusting problem was to make 'Brass Monkeys.' Few landlubbers realize that brass contracts much more and much faster than iron when chilled. Consequently, when the temperature dropped too far, the brass indentations would shrink so much that the iron cannonballs would come right off the monkey; Thus, it was quite literally, 'Cold enough to freeze the balls off a brass monkey.' (All this time, you thought that was an improper expression, didn't you.)
I was, you know, just saying my prayers before I go to bed.
I always say the Lord's Prayer.
It makes me feel good,
kind of like fulfilling a duty.
Well, all right.
Okay, Hallowed be Thy name.
Hold it right there.
What do you mean by that?
By "Hallowed be Thy name"?
It means, it means . . . Good grief,
I don't know what it means.
How in the world should I know?
It's just a part of the prayer.
By the way, what does it mean?
It means honored, holy, wonderful.
Hey, that makes sense.
I never thought about what 'hallowed' meant before.
Thy Kingdom come,
Thy Will be done,
on earth as it is in Heaven.
Do you really mean that?
Sure, why not?
What are you doing about it?
Doing? Why, nothing, I guess.
I just think it would be kind of neat if you got
control of everything down here like you have up
there. We're kinda in a mess down here you know. Yes, I know; but, have I got control of you? Well, I go to church. That isn't what I asked you. What about your bad temper? You've really got a problem there, you know. And then there's the way you spend your money -- all on yourself. And what about the kind of books you read ? Now hold on just a minute! Stop picking on me! I'm just as good as some of the rest
of those people at church!
Excuse ME! I thought you were praying for my will to be done. If that is to happen, it will have to start with the ones who are praying for it. Like you -- for example . Oh, all right. I guess I do have some hang-ups. Now that you mention it, I could probably name some others. So could I. I haven't thought about it very much until now, but I really would like to cut out some of those things. I would like to, you know, be really free. Good. Now we're getting somewhere.
We'll work together -- You and ME. I'm proud of You. Look, Lord, if you don't mind, I need to finish up here. This is taking a lot longer than it usually does. Give us this day, our daily bread. You need to cut out the bread. You're overweight as it is. Hey, wait a minute! What is this? Here I was doing my religious duty, and all of a sudden you break in and remind me of all my hang-ups. Praying is a dangerous thing. You just might get what you ask for. Remember, you called ME -- and here I am. It's too late to stop now. Keep praying. ( pause .... ) Well, go on. I'm scared to. Scared? Of what? I know what you'll say. Try ME. Forgive us our sins,
as we forgive those who sin against us. What about Ann? See? I knew it! I knew you would bring her up! Why, Lord, she's told lies about me, spread stories. She never paid back the money she owes me. I've sworn to get even with her! But -- your prayer -- what about your prayer? I didn't -- mean it. Well, at least you're honest. But, it's quite a load carrying around all that
bitterness and resentment isn't it? Yes, but I'll feel better as soon as I get even with her. Boy, have I got some plans for her. She'll wish she had never been born. No, you won't feel any better. You'll feel worse. Revenge isn't sweet. You know how unhappy you are -- well, I can change that. You can? How? Forgive Ann. Then, I'll forgive you; and the hate and the sin, will be Ann's problem -- not yours. You will have settled the problem as far as you are concerned. Oh, You know, You're right. You always are. And more than I want revenge, I want to be right with You . . (sigh). All right, all right . . . I forgive her. There now! Wonderful! How do you feel? Hmmmm. Well, not bad. Not bad at all! In fact, I feel pretty great! You know, I don't think I'll go to bed uptight tonight. I haven't been getting much rest, you know. Yeah, I know. But, you're not through with your prayer, are you?
Go on. Oh, all right. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. Good! Good! I'll do that. Just don't put yourself in a place where you know you'll be tempted. What do you mean by that? You know what I mean. Yeah. I know. Okay. Go ahead. Finish your prayer... For Thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory forever. Amen. Do you know what would bring me glory -- What would really make me happy? No, but I'd like to know. I want to please you now. I've really made a mess of things. I want to truly follow you. I can see now how great that would be. So, tell me . . . How do I make you happy? YOU just did.
I quit smoking, gave up men except for one, try to watch my language, can live without alcohol, but can't live without my coffee.
Just before I left Kansas, I was lamenting that the casino where I worked had changed from fresh brewed coffee in the machines to Nescafe instant. Since I was used to the fresh brewed stuff, it seemed quite a step down. Little did I know that I would learn to love it.
When I got to NZ, the first thing I did was look for coffee. Boy, was I disappointed and I realized that I was spoiled in the US with so many choices of everything. I didn't recognize any brands of coffee except Nescafe instant.
Hubby did his best to appease my need for coffee. Since I had fallen through a shower door and got 60 stitches the second day I was here and not long after that, a runaway tire almost knocked me down a hill, he was a bit worried about my impression of New Zealand. So we bought a drip coffee maker. It used weird triangle-looking filters that didn't stay open, but I figured I could live with that. Then we looked for coffee. Trust me--there is no Folgers or Maxwell House on these islands. And the few coffees we found were not up to par. The one that tasted best gave us both heartburn, believe it or not.
So we ended up back at square one with Nescafe instant. At least, it was a name I recognized. And it was easy to make since 'kettles' (electric pots that heat water for tea, mostly) are abundant.
Ah, how we learn to appreciate what we have!
But, like everything else, coffee is expensive. In foil packs, Nescafe (which isn't the cheapest coffee by any means) is now about $6.00 for 100 grams--that's 3.5 ounces. Of course, the price goes up now and then but there are sales, too, on occasion. We use 3 or 4 a week. *The site I stole borrowed the above pic from is selling it for $11.00!!*
Then, I saw an ad on tv for an online store that sold 200 gram bottles for $5.99! I immediately went online and ordered 6, thinking I will get more when that runs low. Wrong. I forgot that supplies of anything here are tentative. Bummer. They are out of coffee.
So, before the last jar was gone, I see that the Warehouse (NZ version of Walmart) had 200 gram jars for $5.99. Thinking in American, I figured there would be a limit, but decided to buy what I could. As it turns out, there was no limit, so we bought 2 cases--24 jars--for half the price in the grocery stores. Yay!!
We have coffee for a while and I've been doing a *happy dance* all day!
When you have your next fresh-brewed cuppa, remember me and my instant Nescafe!