Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Sara Lee Update

My favorite part of their response is that they, from time to time, experience "product irregularities." That is hilarious. I wonder how long it took their marketing people to come up with that phrase.

Dear Jeanna,

Thank you for contacting Sara Lee. It is always important to hear from our consumers, and we appreciate the time you have taken to contact us. We apologize about your poor experience with the Sara Lee pie.

Sara Lee Food and Beverage is committed to providing our customers with the highest quality products. Although we use "state of the art" production and inspection systems at our facilities, we still experience product irregularities on occasion. Fortunately, consumers like yourself bring these issues to our attention which allows us to take measures to correct the situation. Our Quality Assurance team has been notified.

In appreciation of your time, we would be happy to send you a complimentary coupon to be used on a future purchase of a Sara Lee product. You can expect the coupon to arrive in 7-10 business days via the mail. Should you have any comments or questions in the future, please contact us via our website at www.saralee.com or by calling our toll-free number, 1-800-323-7117. Our representatives are available Monday-Friday between the hours of 7am and 6pm CST.


Sara Lee Customer Affairs Representative

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Consumer Advocate, Part Deux

Here is my latest attempt at consumer advocacy:

Dear Sara Lee,

I purchased, for the first time, your Mince Pie. I lived in Scotland for a while and have enjoyed the flavors of mince pie for some time but have never had one here in the U.S. (where I am from). Last night I saw your pie in the freezer aisle and decided it was time to relive my Scottish experience. I had to talk my husband into the pie as he is not a raisin fan, but from the picture on the package we both thought he could pick around the raisins and enjoy the rest of the pie.

I baked the pie and when I served it I was extremely surprised to see that there was no way to pick around the raisins. The actual pie was in fact the exact opposite of the picture. The picture portrays mostly apples with some raisins thrown in. The actual pie had mostly raisins with a few applies thrown in. Even I, who likes raisins, felt there were WAY too many raisins in the pie. Not only that, I felt the pie was misrepresented by the picture on the package.

I did enjoy the flavor of the pie, so kudos to you there. But, I will never be purchasing a mince pie from Sara Lee again as there were way too many raisins.

Note to Bloggers: I talk about "writing a letter" all the time when I am dissatisfied with a product. But lately I have decided, why make a decision about not buying a product without letting the supplier know? I will be interested to see what Sara Lee has to say, and of course I will let my fellow bloggers know as well. Don't you feel that the picture of a product should be a fairly accurate portrayal of the actual product? I don't mean that the piece of pie has to look as perfect as the one on the front. I get that my pie making efforts can flop and even though it looks sketchy it tastes great, I'm okay with that. I just think that the apple to raisin ratio was misrepresented in the Sara Lee pie.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Snow Shovel Woes

All last winter I used a broken snow shovel. It had a crack, but if I treated my snow shovel right, it kept on working. The way I would "treat it right" was to get out and shovel snow while it was only a few inches. No matter the storm size, if I did this, this helped me stay on top of my walks being clear. It would also help ease the burden put onto my sweet snow shovel. I would also spread some Ice Melt and that would help as well.

Yesterday it snowed off and on pretty much all day. We didn't get nearly the amount of snow that other cities in Utah County did. Harold kept calling me all day long, "How much snow do you have?" "Is it snowing there now?" "You should see the snow here, I bet we have a foot now!" He works in PG, so is 30 miles north of us.

I was locked inside all day having to work and do various other projects. I am fine with that. I don't mind staying indoors on days like yesterday. Too cold, too wet, too many crazies on the road and I don't want to add myself to the mix. Every time H. would call I would have to 1. Put the phone down, 2. Go upstairs, 3. Pick up the other phone, 4. Look out the window, 5. Give the weather report, 6. Possibly put the phone down again, 7. Walk to the front door, 8. Visually assess the number of inches on the ground, 9. Walk back to the phone, 10. Give the revised weather report to H.

After I FINALLY showered yesterday, I got myself ready to go shovel the walks. We had about 5 inches. And the snow was WET. And my poor shovel....the crack had advanced and the heavy snow was weighing it down. I had to basically bend over at a 90 degree angle to get only so much snow on the shovel and heave it to one side or the other.

I'm a 39-year-old woman. I expect that one of these days while shoveling snow I will throw my back out. And, if my shovel is any indication, that day is coming soon. How much stronger can my back be than a snow shovel, right?

The clincher is this.....after I finished shoveling (I actually did a pretty pathetic job, but I blame my tool!) I went to Wal-Mart where I proceeded to purchase a few things I needed and FORGOT to get a new shovel. (I forgot the hair spray, too.) It's a good thing I live so close to WM....or a bad thing.....I go there almost EVERY SINGLE DAY. On the other hand, I take one look at the price of a snow shovel and I can't bring myself to buy one. I know, $12.87 isn't that bad. But when I buy stuff at WM my mental limit for a single item is probably $3. Any more and I get a little skeptical. I stop and ask if I REALLY need this item. The answer for the hair spray (3.48) is yes. The answer for the two-pound block of cheese (5.97 on sale) is yes. The snow shovel.....well it can last a little longer, right?

Friday, December 19, 2008

My Top 10 Quirks, or at least the first 10 I could think of...

1. I type with my toes. Ever since I took the job as a transcriptionist, if I am not typing with my hands, I am typing with my toes. I do this while in conversations, in church, watching TV, etc. My toes are in constant motion, and this sometimes irritates my husband.

2. I cannot stand still. If I am standing, I am swaying back and forth. This started when I was pregnant, I call it "rocking."

3. I sometimes get completely ready for the day, hair and makeup, before I get dressed. (Please don't picture this.) I don't like getting makeup or hair on my clothes or undergarments.

4. I will rarely, if ever, leave the house to run an errand without having showered, done my hair and makeup. I HATE being dirty. Hate it. I wash my hair every single day. I will never be one of those people who think their hair turns out better on day 2.

5. I peruse all printed material for errors. Punctuation, grammar, and spelling being the top three offenders. (I do not do this with my blog.) The place I feel the most guilty for doing this in is church. I do this with the newsletter, the bulletin, and posters advertising activities.

6. I often talk about my finances with people when I shouldn't.

7. Repetitive noises make me go insane. I used to do this when I was younger and couldn't understand what was bothering my mother so much. Now I know.

8. I won't ever go to the restaurant "El Pollo Loco" because I feel the name in and of itself makes me want to run another direction. Kind of like when a chicken has its head cut off! I have never patronized the place and never will.

9. I can pick my nose or toes in front of Harold, but if he does it, it grosses me out.

10. If I am at home, I check facebook a bazillion times a day to see if my sister Amy has played a word in our Scrabble game. If anyone out there wants to play, let me know!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Christmas Goose, aka I got "goosed" for Christmas

Last night our family went to a party/dinner thrown by the facility where my grandmother resides. They provided a nice buffet dinner and the local cub scout troop came and sang some merry songs. We had a nice time visiting grandma (even though she asks the same questions over and over--I see my future!), visiting with my parents, SIL, nephew, aunt, uncle, cousin, and her children. The most difficult part of the evening was that the kids got stir crazy and we were having a rough time keeping them calm. Okay, who's kidding who? They weren't calm at all. My grandmother's room cannot fit more than 3 or 4 people in it, so once we retired to her room the kids were pretty much stuck in the hallway. At one point cousin Julie came up with the idea of giving the kids some M&Ms and asking them to make a pattern. That activity was pretty funny. Some of the kids made great patterns or pictures, but my favorite was Sam who made a quick Christmas-y picture and promptly asked if he could please eat the M&Ms now? I watched as some of the M&Ms that had been man-handled by the children and dragged all over the hallway floor made it back into the mug my grandmother has for her personal use. Ewww....

As we were driving home my husband and son say, "How about that goose?"

Me: What goose?

Harold: The goose they served for dinner....

Mackson: No, that was duck.

Harold: I heard the staff say it was goose.

Me: I only saw Turkey, ham and chicken.

Harold: That wasn't chicken.

Me: SHUT UP! Really?

Harold: Yep.

Bad news to the two Julie's in my life. That was goose. No wonder it was "tough."

Friday, December 12, 2008

Ice Cream Update

While I wasn't super professional about the letter I wrote to Good Humor-Breyers, my readers should know that I haven't lived in Payson long enough to be stripped of all of my letter-writing ability/personal dignity. However, I wasn't letting them off the hook, I needed them to know how their icky concoction affected my life. Plus, I tend to exagerate for the sake of my blog, saying what I really want to say instead of smoothing things over for the sake of propriety.

Here is the actual letter I wrote:

I picked Caramel Praline Crunch because I enjoy caramel and pralines,
not because I enjoy coffee. If I had wanted coffee ice cream, I would
have bought coffee ice cream. We do not enjoy the flavor of coffee at
our house and my children and I were sorely disappointed when the coffee
flavor permeated the ice cream. Can you explain to me why you would put
coffee into an ice cream entitled, "Caramel Praline Crunch?"

Their response:

Hello Jeanna,

Thanks for writing!

We apologize for the experience you had while using our product. Before
marketing our products, we conduct extensive consumer tests. Our
manufacturing and packaging operations are strictly supervised, and
inspections conducted to ensure Consumers receive a superior product .
The recipes are proprietary information. We always recommend reading
the ingredients list for any potential allergy or taste restrictions as
these may change at any time.

We will be more than happy to share your comments with our Brand Manager
and the appropriate staff. Consumer comments are very important to us
and are evaluated on a regular basis.

Thank you for forwarding your complete address. We are sending you a
replacement coupon via postal mail for your inconvenience.

Kind regards,
Your friends at Good Humor-Breyers

Next time I'll pick something safe, like Triple Chocolate or Strawberry. Yum. But, I'll be checking the ingredients from now on.

Carmel Pray-line Crunch

The other day, Wednesday in fact, I was in the mood for ice cream. This mood had persisted for several days so while I was at Wal-Mart I start perusing the freezer aisle for a luscious creamy/sugary delight. I looked at Breyers because I like the way they do ice cream, and their price was right. I found Caramel Praline Crunch. Mmmmmm, sounds yummy. Caramel swirls, caramel ice cream, with crunch bits of praline? Come on! You cannot go wrong with that combo. Surprisingly, I didn't used to love caramel ice cream of any kind. If I was going to indulge, it was definitely going to be chocolate related, and preferably chocolate with peanut butter; however, I have come to appreciate other flavors of ice cream, i.e. Peach Cobber (Ben and Jerrys), Cherry Garcia (B&Js) and on Wednesday, Caramel Praline Crunch.

Mack got wind of my ice cream purchase and was begging to have some. I assured him that after pack night he could have some (even though they served sugary stuff at pack night for treats.....bad mother award, I know).

We get home from pack night, Mack bee-lines it over to the freezer and wants a scoop or two or three or whatever he can get away with. I scoop him up his ice cream and Harold and I are cleaning the kitchen and generally picking up around the house when we hear this:

Mack: This ice cream tastes like coffee.

Me: Well, its not coffee ice cream, so you are mistaken.

A minute later....

Mack: This really tastes like coffee.

Me: How would you know what coffee tastes like?

Mack: No response.

Then another moment later....

Harold (from his position in the freezer): He's right, there's coffee in the ice cream.

Me: What? Let me see.....

Sure 'nuf, coffee in my Caramel Pray-line Crunch (mack's pronunciation).

What the heck???? Why in the name of all that is holy in ice-cream land would anyone include coffee in caramel ice cream?

My first response was to just declare this particular flavor of ice cream my personal favorite so that I could assure that NO ONE would eat any but me. So, I had some ice cream that first night and didn't love it, but was determined to make my new favorite work. Then last night I had more. Mack questioned why I would eat ice cream that contains coffee. Harold gives me the sideways quizzical look that means he wants to know the answer, too. I tell Mack that I don't feel having coffee as an ingredient in ice cream is a problem, and I proceed to eat. One bite, two bites....

Then, I whip out my laptop, go to Google and type in Breyers ice cream, find their website, hunt for the "contact us" button and proceed to ask my question:

Why would anyone insert coffee into caramel praline crunch ice cream? It PERMEATES the whole dang thing. Ick.

You better bet I have issues with your QUALITY, Mr. Ice Cream Maker Man. Dang, what the heck were you thinking?

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Pack Night

If you have ever had a boy who is a Cub Scout, or a brother who was a Cub Scout.....

Tonight was Pack Night. Our little pack has gone from about 4-5 families to a dozen or so, including leaders and their spouses and children. Suddenly our primary room has become too small, which is a good thing. I enjoy these little get-togethers. My son loves putting on his navy shirt with his Bobcat and Wolf patches attached, his little yellow and red beads hanging, telling tales of months and years now of efforts on the part of his leaders and his parents. My son gets to see his friends, play fun games, get awards, run relays, and have treats.

Tonight was particularly fun because Santa came and handed out the awards and gave gifts. Now here is the part where mothers and fathers everywhere get a chill down their spine. The gift my son (and every other cub scout) was given was a Pinewood Derby car kit. EEEEEEKKK! Why am I having such a negative reaction when I turned the car over to my husband and informed him that I was washing my hands of this affair? Because I will spend the next month worrying over when they will get to making the car, I will get question after question from my son over when dad will finally have the time to help him make his master creation, I will probably have to run to the store for supplies (or my kind friend will, because undoubtedly my husband will go to their house to craft the one-of-a-kind masterpiece). I will spend the next month NOT getting ready for Christmas, but getting ready for the Pinewood Derby.

Now, with the news of a Pinewood Derby on our horizon you can do one of two things:

1. Rub the fingers on each hand with one another and say aloud the words, "Crumby, crumby, crumby."


2. While circling both your arms together in a 2-foot diameter, clap your hands and offer a "round of applause."

Cub Scouts Rock! (and so does my good friend Ann who rocks the Cub Scout world in our ward like no other!)

Monday, December 8, 2008

It's a Band-i-ful life!

It's been a while since I posted about my lapband, and since I had a major "band moment" yesterday, I thought I would share.

I got stuck. This is a familiar term for people with lapbands. Getting stuck means you have eaten something that isn't passing through the smaller stomach that your band has created to the lower stomach (which is the larger part of your stomach that is below the band) and now your little tummy is full and overlowing back into your esophagus.

I have had minor feelings of "stuck" before yesterday, but yesterday I was super, duper, majorly stuck. I had not eaten (Fast Sunday) and decided to eat a roll first. The first time a lapbander eats in a day, the the band is "tight" and it is hard to eat anything, fluids are best. Also, white bread tends to get all paste like in anyone's stomach, but for a bander eating white bread on an empty stomach, not having eaten anything previously, becomes a real problem.

I ate. I didn't think about any of that. I just popped that sucker in my mouth without much thought to bite size or chewing well. Next thing you know, WHAM. I'm stuck.

I spent 20 minutes in the bathroom freaking out, hyperventilating to the point that my arms became all tingly. It was awful. The only way to relieve this pain/pressure, freaky feeling, is to throw up, or wait for the food to pass. Well, I went with option A. I felt immediately better. I have learned my lesson. No white bread on an empty stomach. No more eating without thinking about bite sizes and chewing.

I am officially a lapbander and I need to act like one.

Postscript: One of the kids ran to get H. when all of this happened. He busted home (he was out doing the ward mission leader thing) and was there to help me. He saw the bad and the ugly. Oh, married life. I know Jeff, this is why you are NOT married! :)

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Postop-Part Deux

Apparently I did a little too much complaining about the amount of support I received when I was postop. I admit, I am a bit of a baby and want some time to heal, some time to do nothing, to have someone wait on me a little bit. Harold did that, but he stopped before I was ready. He may have given all the support he felt I needed, or that he would need if the table was turned.

Now the table has turned. I offer to get him a drink, his pills, a meal, a pillow, blanket, ice pack, etc. He likes to turn me down. Is this to prove that I didn't need as much help as I thought? Or is he just being an obstinate male? This annoying habit gets on my nerves. You are sick, postop by 1 whole day, you need help. Let me do it, please!

I know you could probably make your own darn toast, that doesn't mean you should!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008


Harold would probably be mortified if he knew I was posting this.....but I'll do it anyway. Because that is the kind of person I am, I have to get a laugh at the expense of Harold.

Harold got his gallbladder removed today. We went in around 7:30 a.m. and he was released around 12:30 p.m. So, 5 hours in and out, wham, bam, thank you ma'am. He has four tiny incisions and at this moment he is resting comfortably in bed.

When the surgeon came out to tell me all about how the surgery went (in 30 seconds or less, because that is how great the bedside manner of most surgeon's is) he relayed to me that Harold's gallbladder had cholesterol deposits inside and that was probably what was causing the gallbladder to have problems.

I get called back to his recovery room and he is SUPER out of it. He asks what the doc said and I tell him about the cholesterol deposits, then I proceed to make a crack about how if there are those kinds of deposits in his gallbladder, then there most be some in his heart as well. "NO FAT FOR YOU!" I declared.

Then, in the most out-of-it state Harold has ever been in, he says, "then I shouldn't have had my gallbladder taken out."

Me: "What, why?"

H: "Because there weren't any stones."

Me: "But you knew that going in, the ultrasound never showed any stones."

H: "I know."

Me: Stumped.

Okay, give the guy some slack. The anesthesia is messing with him.

Later on.....

H: "So I shouldn't have had my gallbladder out."

Me: "Why do you say that?"

H: "Because...."

Me: "Dude, this operation cost us LESS money than the ER visit, or any subsequent ER visits the pain might have incurred."

H: "Yeah..."

Me: Stumped again.

Then later.....

H: "Did the doctor say I have this problem because I am fat?"

Me: "No dude, he never said ANYTHING about you being fat."

Me: Stumped again.

Maybe I missed my calling in life. I should have been a nurse in same-day surgery.