The Hub

I know some people who recently opened a restaurant in Hanover, PA.  The restaurant is called The Hub.  They serve burgers and wraps.

Unfortunately, they opened when the exchange students were here and we spent entirely too much money.  We didn’t want the students to get a bad impression of Americans.  There we were, feeding them tomatoes and corn (“Only poor people eat tomatoes and corn in China”), so we had to put on a good show and…turn on the lights.  Ugh!  There were, like, 4 light-fixtures on at the same time each evening.  For hours.  It was making me twitchy.

In fact, we often (often) use the light from our ipads to maneuver around the house at night, like carrying a candle in the olden days.  Did you know that it costs only $1.36 to charge an ipad…for a year?!  I’ll repeat it:  It costs a buck 36 to charge an ipad for a year!  A year, people!  I am not kidding.  Here’s the link.   Providing electricity for four blazing light fixtures costs way more than a buck 36.

And it wasn’t just the blazing lights–we had to feed the students food, take them laser tagging, take them to Li’s Buffet, buy them Nerf guns.  The list goes on and on.

So, we didn’t go to The Hub when it first opened.  We wanted to save up some money for a bit.

But I finally got to go tonight.  Remember my Soup friends?  I used to meet with a group of women every other week for lunch.  We always ate soup.  We don’t meet as much anymore–only every other month or so, so we missed two birthdays.  We arranged to meet this evening at The Hub to celebrate the birthdays we missed.

There we were at The Hub, being cackling 30/40 year-old women and talking entirely too loudly.  After we had dinner, it was time to sing Happy Birthday.  Now, as you all may recall, when my family sings Happy Birthday, they sound like those dying giraffes I’ve told you about.  But since there was no family around, I had a chance to sing it normally.  And loudly.  Oh, I wasn’t the only one.  They were all belting it out.  Nice and loud and…on key.  Yes!  On key!  And when we got to the last “Happy Birthday to you”  three of the women in my party broke into a perfect three-part harmony.  A three-part harmony!  I’m telling you, other patrons in the restaurant had to dab the tears from their eyes, it was just that beautiful.  That’s what happens when you sing Happy Birthday with three members of the church choir.  Choir people sing loud and proud, on key, and in harmony.  I’m hiring them to come to the next Lizard family birthday party.

And now, the food:  Oh yum–it was delicious.  They have some sort of seasoned fries with some of the seasoning at the bottom of the basket so you can roll your fries around in it.  Or, you could get chips instead.  I was imagining a bag of nasty old chips, which is why I went with the fries, but no.  No!  Not at The Hub.  At The Hub, you get homemade hand cooked chips.  Mmm.

And don’t forget the friendly service.  I got a few pictures of Joy.  Here’s one:

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I love her look.  I plan on going back to The Hub when there’s better light in the windows and taking more pictures of her.  While I eat chips.  Those were some good chips.  Joy was polite about me taking pictures of her.  I forget that people aren’t used to having their pictures taken with big ol’ cameras.  Cell phones, yes.  Big ol’ cameras, no.  But she managed to ring up my bill, even with all the whirring and clicking of the camera directed her way.  A true professional.

After eating, we hung about for a bit on the sidewalk saying our good-byes when a friend of ours passed by in his mini-van.  He rolled down a window to holler out a friendly insult.  I missed exactly what he said, but it was something about being hooligans on the street corners, or some such thing.  Now, that’s not a very exciting story to tell you, until you get to the part where one of my friends didn’t recognize him and was getting increasingly upset.  “Oh, that’s just disgusting!” “Oh, seriously?!”  “I just…splutter…splutter…!”   She was on the verge of hurling insults his way when the light changed and he drove off.

So, there you have it:  ipads are a cheap source of light, bring a choir with you when you sing Happy Birthday, the food at The Hub is yummy, and Tim was not trying to pick up a group of cackling women while driving around Hanover, PA in his minivan.

More Tips on How to be Thrifty

So…I drove the new stick shift to my friend, Stacey’s, house to take pictures of her family for their Christmas card.

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I’ve driven the car only a few places and this was by far the most challenging.  As you’ll note from the picture, the car is covering the sidewalk just a wee bit.  I started off further into the driveway, but I made the mistake of thinking, “Gee, I should pull in some more,” but instead of going forward, the car zipped back with alarming speed toward the road.  That 3 second hill-hold is just not enough.

Oh, I know what you’re thinking, “That’s not a steep driveway!”

Yes.  Yes, it is.  See?

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Here’s a nice picture of the family, with Stacey and Bella having a good laugh together.

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But before the normal nice shots, I took the most amazingly wondrous picture of the family.  They let me have a bit of fun with them, and we staged a shot that I love, love, love.  (Love, love!)  It hits just the right note for this family: not crazy-goofy, but gently humorous.

But you’ll have to wait until January to see it.  It wouldn’t be fair if I took Stacey’s fun away and showed it to you before she has a chance to send out her cards.

Next, we went to Dad’s house to borrow his truck so we could get a Christmas tree.  This is a picture of Darling Husband and Dad.

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Creepy, huh?  Notice how they’re even in matching outfits.

At the Christmas Tree Farm, the boys were being their usual uncooperative selves about getting their picture taken, so I handed Alex to Darling Husband and said, “Get a picture of me posing in the trees.”

The picture was nice enough, except for goofy Boy10 skulking in the corner.

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For the next shot, Boy7 tried to race by during the picture taking, but I nabbed him.

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Darling Husband managed to fire off this next shot before Boy7 realized what was happening so he didn’t have a chance to ruin it.

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And then, since we bought the cheapest tree on the lot (no, I’m not kidding–all it needs is a little love), we could have dinner at Li’s buffet.  Yippeeee!

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I said to Darling Husband, “How long has it been since we’ve been here?”  His answer, “Four fill-ups in the new car.”  That equals three weeks.  Three weeks!  An eternity!  Jin’s married with 5 kids now.  How time does fly…

The day ended in a frenzy of electricity.  Look at all the lights that Darling Husband and the boys left on.  Ugh.

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I turned off all the extras.

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Isn’t that much nicer?  In honor of this holiday season, I’ll end with Darling Husband’s and my favorite quote from A Christmas Carol, “Darkness was cheap, and Scrooge liked it.”

Amen, brother.

And yes, we really do sit here with that single light on in the evenings.  If you wait long enough, your eyes adjust…

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P.S.  Jo-Ann says that all my thrifty blog posts are rubbing off on her and she’s been grudging about doling out money to her family.  “Seriously?  You guys want three meals a day?  You’re killing me!”

Sorry, Rob, for yet another frugal blog post.

Ghastly Monkeys and Shabby Hand Grenades

I took only 3 pictures today, and they were all of my soup at Soup Day, so that’s what we’ll have to go with for the Picture of the Day.  At least the spoon is facing the right way this time.  I’m pretty pleased with this picture.  Soup can look like dog food or vomit if you’re not careful.  This one doesn’t look like vomit, so I must be doing something right…

I have absolutely nothing to say about Soup Day today, so I’ll have to talk about yesterday.

Yesterday, I went to the Gettysburg outlets to try to find some knee-high black leather high-heeled boots. Wow. It sounds so racy typed out like that: Knee-high black leather high-heeled boots.

Can I just say that I hate buying shoes? Hate it.

It’s hard to find shoes that fit because I have square feet. I would post a picture, but I really don’t want all the wackos on the internet googling “foot” and seeing my feet. It’s bad enough that I’ve typed out “knee-high black leather high-heeled boots.” Posting pictures of feet is just asking for trouble.

Some people’s feet come to a point. Mine kinda go straight across. Years ago, I watched “The Witches” which was a dreadful movie based on the book “The Witches” by Roald Dahl. I tried re-watching it a few months ago, but I had to turn it off.  It was unsettling.  About as bad as Gremlins, which was an awesome movie when I was twelve, but just ghastly when I watched it a few months ago. (Yes, ‘ghastly’ is my new favorite word. You’ll be seeing it a lot.)

According to the movie, you can recognize a witch because she has square toes. I’ve been a little miffed about that ever since. Some of us are just born that way and we can’t help it! (Oh dear, this sounds like a political hot button issue. Born that way…)

Roald Dahl must have had an ex-girlfriend (or a bossy wife) with square toes.

Anyway….yesterday I set off to find boots, because both of my pair are getting shabby.

Normally I don’t mind shabby. Darling Husband and I are cheap…er…thrify, and shabby is ok with us. For example, we have many towels with holes in them. My mother gets so frustrated by that. “Look at your husband’s towel! It has holes in it!” I don’t see the problem. The towels still work. We get dry. Why would we need new ones? She got Darling Husband a new towel for Christmas that year.

The next year, she spotted my holey blanket. Guess what I got for Christmas?

I need to learn to hide these things from her so that I get better Christmas gifts.

Unfortunately, even though I don’t mind shabby towels and blankets, I do mind shabby boots. I’m vain that way. But boots are expensive! Oh, the conundrum! Vanity and Cheapness go together like a monkey and a hand grenade.

I never did find boots yesterday.
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According to my Meyers Briggs personality type, here are some jobs I would be good at or bad at:

Good:
Bounty Hunter: Bounty Hunter?!? I don’t think so. We all know what happens to bounty hunters! They get eaten by Sarlaccs.

Cia agent: Well, duh! Yes!

Fbi agent: Not as exciting as the CIA, but, ok—I’ll take it.

Bad:

Singer: What?! Singing in the car is my specialty.  I used to sing in the shower until the neighbors started banging on the wall. That’s a true story. I was singing the song from Sleeping Beauty: “I know you, I walked with you once upon a dream…”  They had religious convictions against Disney.

Bookstore owner: This personality assessment is wrong, wrong, wrong.

Photographer: Ha ha ha! Actually, this is right. I love it as a hobby, but would hate it as a job.

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While Darling Husband took boy9 to see Star Wars, I showed Boy6 Mary Poppins. He loved it. And there weren’t even any fart jokes in it.