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Changes in Girl Scout Cookies

Thursday, February 19th, 2009

I can understand that times have changed since I was a kid, but it seems like the core Girl Scout cookies remained the same until recent years. I hadn’t noticed differences in my favorite Tagalongs, Samoas, Do-si-dos, or Thin Mints since I was a kid. I had noticed the changes in prices, but that is certainly to be expected. I think when I sold my first box of cookies, the price was less than a dollar. Now they sell at $3.50 per box. I’m not complaining about the price, and I am supportive of the Girl Scouts organization.

In recent years, they changed the names. Tagalongs are now Peanut Butter Patties, Samoas are now Caramel Delights, and Do-si-dos are now Peanut Butter Sandwiches. They will always be Tagalongs, Samoas, and Do-si-dos to me, but that’s ok.

Costs of making the cookies have risen, and I hear that there’s less cookies per box than there have been in the past. I can understand this change as well.

I even understand the need to make the cookies “healthier” in order to continue selling them effectively, though I would prefer they offer some “better” choices and leave the old fatty cookies alone. Offer the original Tagalongs and a new Tagalongs Lite, if you want. If given a choice, I’d buy the original recipe cookie EVERY TIME. The Girl Scout cookies have been under scrutiny for excessive calories, trans fats, etc. I even noticed that a few varieties have high fructose corn syrup. Let’s be honest – we’re not ordering Girl Scout cookies because they fit into our diets. It’s a darn good thing that they only arrive once a year.

I really miss my old Tagalongs. I hear that they made a huge change to the cookie recipe last year, and they claim that the old recipe is back. It is still different. I’m just glad that I didn’t try it last year. Having eaten MANY boxes of Tagalongs through the years, I contend that the peanut butter is NOT the same. The consistency and flavor is different. The cookie is smaller. Also, it used to be one of the most satisfying snack foods for me, given my weird snack food tendencies. The edges no longer have peanut butter, only the center. This makes it almost impossible to peel away the chocolate (and formerly peanut butter) edges first, then the chocolate/peanut butter in the center, then eat the cookie insides. I know, this probably doesn’t make sense to most of you, but it’s just not as satisfying. It’s not quite as tasty, either. I have to say that it didn’t keep me from consuming an entire row on my way home from work yesterday. They are still tasty…just not the cookie I have known and loved for so many years.

I may have to choose a new favorite. The Lemonades are quite the candidate. I had a box of those for the first time this year, and I’ve already put in an order for another box. I hear I will love the Thanks-a-Lots as well. I’m looking forward to trying those, too.

More random things about me

Tuesday, January 27th, 2009

I felt inspired to write another list. I am really enjoying reading everyone’s lists on Facebook!!! They keep making me think of more things that I could have written, so I’m going to do it. It’s my blog, and I’ll do what I want. So, I’ve decided to post another 25 Random Things About Me.

  1. I’m excited that Gabe is actually working on his 25 things list. I really didn’t think that he would. I can’t wait to see what he has on his list!
  2. I like dogs…other people’s dogs. I have fond memories of my childhood dogs, and I enjoy my parents and sister’s dogs. I do not want my own dogs. I don’t want the responsibility of a pet. Cats are out of the question as I am allergic.
  3. I could *possibly* be convinced to get a small dog later for my kids, but I’m not planning on it. I know that no matter what they say, I’ll be the one that has to take care of it.
  4. If we get a gerbil, I will make sure that we get ONE gerbil or two same sex gerbils. My sister had gerbils when we were younger. We started with two. We ended up with hundreds of gerbils over the years. At one point, my sister’s room had over 120 gerbils. I’m not exaggerating. True story.
  5. I took art lessons when I was a kid. I wanted to be an artist when I grew up, just like my Aunt Frances. I still have a few pieces of my artwork.
  6. I also thought it would be cool to be an archaeologist. The digs and study of ancient people sounded neat to me. I’m way more fascinated with ancient history than modern history.
  7. Around the time that I was training for the triathlon, I decided to be a vegetarian. It felt healthier. I can’t remember how long this lasted, but I want to say it was around a year or so.
  8. According to the Myers Briggs personality test, I’m always an extreme extrovert – almost 100% on their little scale. This does not mean that I like public speaking or to be put on the spot in any situation unless I’m very prepared and know exactly what I’m going to say. I cringe when everyone has to introduce themselves and say a few words in a large group setting and desperately hope I don’t have to go first.
  9. The only time that I have spent the night in the hospital in my adult life (aside from giving birth to Maddie) was last year for my kidney stone when I was 8 months pregnant. I missed my own baby shower, though I hear it was awesome.
  10. I said multiple times that I would never, ever co-sleep with my child as recently as when Maddie was 4 months old. Maddie spends the majority of the night in our bed. It works great for our family, though I look forward to when Maddie regularly sleeps through the night. For now, I’m enjoying the extra closeness that I have with my daughter.
  11. I started having intermittent night terrors in college. I think that I will save this for a separate post. It’s kinda like a combination between sleep walking, talking in your sleep, and a panic attack.
  12. New Zealand, Greece, Egypt, and Italy are near the top of my travel list. I think it would be neat to go to Antarctica, though I doubt that I will. I would like to see most of Europe. The only countries outside of the US that I have visited are Canada, Bermuda, and Mexico. Mexico barely counts as I only crossed the border into Tijuana.
  13. I want to see the world, but I am a little nervous about visiting non-English speaking countries without some sort of guide or tour. I am also scared to drive a car in a foreign country.
  14. I have a fear of heights especially when there’s an open railing or floor to ceiling glass. Somehow I have always loved rollercoasters, airplanes never bothered me until recently, and I’ve done those really high free fall and swing things that you see at amusement parks. I’ll have to admit that those scared me every time, but it was awesome! After the third time, the falling was not as exciting and not worth the fear and anticipation. I won’t do it again. Somehow, I walked on the glass floor at the CN tower and even laid face down and looked at the tiny people below me. It was a little scary, but I had to trust the engineering. I loved rappelling the few times that I have tried it. I want to try bungee jumping, hot air ballooning, and skydiving, but I might be too chicken. Time will tell.
  15. I laugh easily. I’m not a bad person to have around if you need someone to laugh at your jokes. I might be a bad person to have around if you don’t like people laughing at you now and again. I can’t help it. I find a vast array of things to be funny.
  16. I’m particular about where I need to sit at a table in a restaurant. I think I need to face the majority of the restaurant with special emphasis on the exits. It’s more complicated than that, but I think that’s the general idea. I also have a strong preference for which bed and side of the bed to sleep on in a hotel room. For both, I feel unease if I’m not in the right spot.
  17. Autumn is my favorite season. I love the fall colors and temperature change.
  18. I have never broken any bones. I am a little superstitious about stating this. Guess I better knock on wood.
  19. I will pick up pennies (or any coins, really) that I see on the ground as long as they are showing heads. I admit to occasionally kicking coins until they flip over so that they are safe to pick up.
  20. I make every effort to not walk under ladders or step on cracks, yet I have no issues with the number 13. My birthday is on the 13th. Friday the 13th does not phase me.
  21. I have a hitchhiker’s thumb. My thumbs bend backwards a full 90 degrees. This sometimes creeps people out a little bit. One day, Gabe got very concerned about what had happened to Maddie’s thumbs. Turns out that she also has the hitchhiker’s thumb. Awesome!
  22. I can not only roll my tongue, but I can cloverleaf it as well.
  23. I owned a Galaga classic upright arcade game for almost 6 years. It got to be a bit flaky, and I didn’t know anything about fixing old arcade games. I sold it before we sold the old house. I miss it. I would have kept it much longer if it had functioned properly.
  24. I wrote my first computer programs when I was 6 years old. I wrote programs throughout my grade school years in BASIC, LOGO (go turtle go!), and later Visual Basic. It didn’t occur to me to pursue a career in computer science until I toured the computer science department at NC State’s Open House as a senior in high school.
  25. I met my friend Melissa in 3rd grade. We became friends after I asked her on a bathroom break if she would be my best friend. Life was simple then. Her family brainwashed me into being an NC State fan. Melissa and I decided in 4th grade that we were both going to go to NC State and we were going to be roommates. About nine years later, we did just that. We’ve been friends now for about 25 years!

25 Random Things About Me

Friday, January 23rd, 2009

My friend Cindy tagged me on Facebook on her note, 25 Random Things About Me. I have seen these in the past, though I rarely complete them. I always enjoy reading other people’s lists, though! Since I was tagged, I thought I would give it a try, especially after I saw Audrey’s list. As I was writing my list, my friend Robin tagged me on Facebook as well…I’m having fun reading everyone’s lists!

  1. I have always wanted to have kids, ever since I was very young. As it turns out, I absolutely love being a Mommy.
  2. I have one sister, and she is one of my bestest friends. I wish for my kids to have strong sibling relationships.
  3. I’m obsessed with photos. I like having my own to remind me of my life’s moments. I love looking at friends’ photos. I will even spend time looking at other people’s photos (like my friends’ friends’ photos on Facebook, for example).
  4. My daughter will be one next month, and I have taken multiple photos of her each and every day of her life. I plan to put together a book with one photo from each day in her first year. I think it will be neat to see how much she has changed.
  5. Gabe and I were married in Sedona, Arizona with a traditional Native American ceremony conducted by a Havasupai shaman. It was absolutely perfect and a very unique and moving experience.
  6. I love to play gamesboard games, card games, video games, computer games, word games, dice games, casino games, etc etc… I have an extensive board game collection (the list in the link is not complete) and host semi-regular games nights.
  7. I played the trombone for over 10 years in middle school, high school, and college. I loved every minute of it. My high school jazz band experiences and college marching and pep band experiences were some of the best in my life.
  8. I love to travel and wish to visit all the US States (and possibly Canadian provinces/territories). I have visited 36 states (though a few of them almost don’t count), DC, 3 provinces, and 1 territory. I’ll be able to mark off one more state and 2 provinces in September when we go on our cruise.
  9. I did a Sprint Triathlon in 2002. This was quite an accomplishment for me, and it could be the only one I ever do. The training was challenging, but the race was so much fun. I feel entitled to call myself a triathlete.
  10. I don’t cringe when I find myself turning into my parents (as I’m sure I will be doing more and more as Maddie gets older). I think my parents are pretty cool. Becoming more like them is not a bad thing.
  11. I love personal finance and enjoy my complicated budget and asset spreadsheets. I love planning things like when the mortgage will be paid and how I’m going to enjoy a comfortable retirement. I have even considered this to be something I feel I could do as an alternate career.
  12. I actually enjoy doing my taxes. Gabe has been doing taxes for his family for a while, and I enjoy helping him with those now, too. It helps when we get a tax refund, but that’s not the part that makes it fun to me. I just like the process and the organizing of finances.
  13. I graduated from NC State with a degree in Computer Science and a minor in Mathematics. I decided on my major before I arrived at school and never changed my mind. I directly use my degree in my career.
  14. I took piano lessons for many years, until I was too involved with the band to have time to practice both.
  15. I played in a handbell choir during high school and loved it!
  16. I have an intense fear of spiders. I hate to even think about the word, much less conjure up frightening images. I have to be really careful about what I watch or think, especially close to bedtime, or I have night terrors (note this is not the same thing as a nightmare).
  17. I’m a little bit weird about my snack foods. I tend to lick chips and eat candy bars and such in layers.
  18. I have seen They Might Be Giants perform live over 20 times. Pretty much every show has been different.
  19. I love to read and try to read as much as possible. I’m actively part of one book club and contemplating a second. My list of books that I want to read is neverending.
  20. Walter Cronkite and I share a common ancestor, or so I’m told. I’m apparently in possession of a letter from him confirming this fact. Herman Melville is another distant relative. My mom’s side of the family has some extensive genealogy records which are currently residing in my spare bedroom closet.
  21. When I was a kid, I thought it was neat that my first and last names were exactly 5 letters each. I could spell out my first and last names by writing one letter on each fingernail. I’m weird, I know.
  22. My friend Amie and I used to steal paper towels from the bathroom at our church when we were little. I say “steal” because we did not use them to dry our hands but to fold them up and put them into our socks. I think we liked how smooth they would feel at the end of the day. I’m weird, but I wasn’t alone in this one.
  23. I hate the sound of fingernails being clipped. It doesn’t bother me when I clip my own (or my daughter’s – they barely even make a sound anyway).
  24. I was extremely unoriginal in naming my stuffed animals during my childhood. I had a teddy named Teddy, another named Ted E. Bear, a duck named Chickie, an armadillo named Army, a polar bear named Poly, a bunny named Bunny, a blue and white checkered boy doll with orange hair named Boy, and many others. My Cabbage Patch dolls were always called by their “given” names. Care Bears were Birthday Bear and Cheer Bear. Other dolls were called by their package names, such as Jeans Beans and Baby Bath. My child is lucky she’s not “Baby.” We are not doing much better with her stuffed animals, as evidenced by her favorite Lambie.
  25. I love lists.

What are your Grammar Pet Peeves?

Sunday, September 7th, 2008

Or perhaps I should say, “what are your grammatical pet peeves?” I’m not perfect, and I know I make accidental spelling and grammar errors all the time. I’ve probably even violated my greatest pet peeves. They bother me just as much when I see that I have done them. That doesn’t stop me from being critical of grammatical errors when I see them elsewhere!

These are my two biggest ones:

Ending a sentence with a preposition: This one drives me crazy mostly when I’m writing. Sometimes I just cannot figure out how to rephrase the sentence in order to avoid it. I have noticed that this rule does not seem to be quite as strict anymore as I see it EVERYWHERE. I notice it pretty much every time. Most recently, I noticed that Stephen King used it often in Duma Key. If I ever do end a sentence with a preposition, I can assure you that I gave it a lot of thought before saying, “screw it!” I admit that I cheat this one to make myself feel better. If I can’t figure out how to rephrase it (or I’m just feeling lazy), then I end up adding an adverb or some other word (which probably makes it worse). For example, instead of saying “I heard you stopped by” I might say “I heard you stopped by previously” or “I heard you stopped by yesterday.” As long as that preposition does not appear at the end of the sentence, I’m happy.

Misuse of affect and effect: For some reason, this is another one of my biggest pet peeves. Perhaps it is because I see it ALL THE TIME with my job. It’s not that hard. Generally, affect is a verb and effect is a noun (except in this sentence where they are both nouns, ha). Yes, there are exceptions, but this clears up most use cases.

What are your grammar pet peeves?

The alarm clock

Wednesday, October 17th, 2007

Oh man, this was one of my greatest yardsailing finds. I have an alarm clock that looks exactly like this one that I acquired around 1988. I have been unable to replace it with something just as reliable! It has been my trusty, trusty alarm clock for almost 20 years. (more…)

A Few Things I Hate (or “Suck It”)

Wednesday, June 20th, 2007

It’s about time for another episode of iamafreak. This time, we’ll examine a few odd things that really get under my skin: soda can spit and the sound of fingernails being clipped. (more…)

Letters to a Freak

Thursday, June 7th, 2007

Looks like I will be starting a new series…the Letters to a Freak advice column. I have received my first letter for my advice column. Since it touches on a topic that I have had on my list of things to share with my faithful readers, I felt that now would be a good time to discuss it. (more…)

I like Satin

Tuesday, May 29th, 2007

It’s time once again for an exciting episode of the iamafreak series. I know that you faithful blog readers have been going crazy waiting for another entry. I’ll try to be a better blogger and website updater. I won’t go so far as to say that I will promise to be better, but I promise to try. So, here’s a little bit about my satin obsession. (more…)

Hey, there’s no wrong way to eat a Reese’s

Thursday, April 12th, 2007

I’m going to stand by the statement that there’s no wrong way to eat a Reese’s. Can we just extend this to “there’s no wrong way to eat a snack food?” Moving to the lighter side of “weird things about me,” I bring you just some of my snack food eating habits. (more…)

Doorknob Bob and Me

Tuesday, April 10th, 2007

So, we started with the easy phobia…spiders. Now we’ll move on to another phobia of mine that I’m guessing is far less common. Doorknobs. I know what you’re thinking. It’s a germ thing, right? I’m afraid of touching doorknobs because they are germy! Nope, that’s not it (though thank you for pointing it as now I have more reasons to be afraid). The real reason is that they are going to shock me. And yes, I know your next question is “just in the dry weather or near plush carpeting?” Oh, no. This phobia is not limited to ideal static electricity conditions…it’s a persistent fear that causes some level of anxiety every single time I have a need to open a door. It seems like there should be a name for this one, but I have not found it. Feel free to comment on this post with naming suggestions. Just think of the number of people that you could help in giving a name to this phobia! I’ve counted at least two of us. Doorknob Bob and me. According to the blurb about the comic book, the writer has “been bombarded with letters from people across the country telling me that they too are afraid of doorknobs.” Certainly, there are many others too embarrassed to come forward with their fears. (more…)