In Balance

One Year + 5 Days

Isn’t this anticlimactic? I’m back for another post (see flimsy justification below).*

It is probably neither important nor interesting to explain why my older daughter and I happened to be walking behind the grocery store yesterday. But we were.  Anyway, we were carrying our groceries.  On the way into the store, I said, “Oh we need toilet paper.”  But, the lure of 32 ounces of strawberries on sale for 2.99 sidetracked me and I left without the one item I actually needed.

I hate when I do that.

As we were walking along suddenly I spied a TWELVE PACK OF CHARMIN lying right there—in the alley.

Just waiting for me

Can you believe it?

I KNOW; IT WAS A MIRACLE. (I swear I am not making this up)

I looked both ways to make sure I wasn’t being set up for some candid camera type YouTube channel.  That is not the way I would like to go viral.  Anyway, when I was sure the coast was clear, I danced over and triumphantly held it up and said to my daughter.   “Look, I found toilet paper.”

She instantly looked around as well.  I think less out of fear of hidden cameras, and more out of your garden variety embarrassment.

“I don’t know mom.  Isn’t that sort of stealing?”

“No, look it’s lying in the street and a car has even run over it.  It isn’t stealing.  It’s more like picking up litter.”

She peered at the tread marks on the package and said, “I don’t want to wipe my butt with something you found in the parking lot that a car ran over.”

“BUT, it still has its plastic on it and the car only ran over these three rolls, that leaves nine good rolls.”

At this she rolled her eyes and just kept walking.

I figured that not only was I doing planet earth a favor, but I saved about eight bucks—everybody’s happy, except maybe my daughter.  But, she’ll get over it.

Five days after my year is over and we are still living simply. (Let’s just go with that description)

On a somewhat related note, our kids take horse riding lessons.   OK, it’s not really related at all.  In the past, the kids just borrowed a helmet and any other necessary gear.   This year, we got a letter that STRONGLY ENCOURAGED that the children have their own protective headgear.


So later that day at lessons, I mentioned we were going to buy helmets afterwards.

Suddenly realizing who she was talking to, I got a stern warning from their instructor that helmets needed to be new.  They were no good if they had ever been in an accident and they “deteriorated” after five years from their manufacture date.

They say the same thing about car seats.  I have actually never understood this given that it takes Styrofoam and plastic approximately 300 years to degrade in a landfill.  It seems those things should last a bit longer than five years.  I have always suspected that the manufacturer might just be hoping for “additional purchases” when they slap the gloom and doom warning labels on the side.   But, like all parents out there, I’m going to err to the side of caution when it comes to the safety of my children.

My cynicism is only eclipsed by my maternal anxiety.

So, that is how after a year of not buying, one of my first purchases was in the Big R Farm, Ranch and Home store where I shelled out $140 for two helmets that are apparently going to start to spontaneously self-destruct five years from today.

After a year of not buying, I had severe sticker shock. So, it is a good thing I got my toilet paper free.

You see–that is how the universe maintains its balance.

Thank you universe

Ready for the hunt club

Ready for the hunt club


*I know I told you that I wasn’t posting anymore, but that was incorrect. Mainly because I still haven’t gotten the new blogger situation worked out (If you don’t know what I mean, look here).  Also, I was going to entertain you with fabulous guest posts from other simple living bloggers during the interim, but I waited so long to ask them  (meaning I forgot) that I think there may be a lapse before they can get anything written.

So you are stuck with me for the moment.


12 Responses to In Balance

  1. So glad you are still blogging. I’d really miss you if you stopped. Your sense of humor and writing style ALWAYS brings a smile to my face no matter what you are writing about. So down to earth, so refreshing than the standard advice. Thank you for the smiles! You Rock!!

  2. Glad to be ‘stuck with you’ Kerry, this is such a funny story, I would have done the same and my children would have been mortified! Thanks for sharing.

  3. Safe or not, we did the used helmet . . . and used pants . . . and used white show shirt . . . and used blue show jacket . . . and used English riding boots. I just couldn’t bring myself to shell out the dough for new stuff when it was all right there at my favorite resale horse stuff store begging me to help save the earth (and my bank account). Not a scratch on the helmet . . . and it’s adjustable. Totally hoping it lasts longer than 5 years because I know she won’t grow out of it before then!

    Glad to have more stories from Kerry land 🙂

  4. I’m really glad you posted the toilet paper story. I had the same thing happen to me a few weeks ago – only not quite as many rolls as you scored. I wanted to post it on my Facebook but thought surely there’s no one out there who would share my excitement over such a find…LOL!

  5. I both agree and disagree with the whole “no used helmets” line of thinking. When I rode as a teenager, it was common practice if we outgrew our helmets to pass them on to the younger kiddos at the barn, as long as they were in good shape. We would have our instructor give it a good once-over to check for anything we might have missed. While they won’t spontaneously disentegrate after 5 years, if they’ve been left out in the sun, dropped alot, etc., they do start to lose their integrity after a few years. I’ve seen some pretty “tired” looking helmets in my years that I wouldn’t put on my kiddos’ heads.

    If, however, the helmet had been in an accident, they were a strict no-go on passing along. For instance, when I was 11, I had a horse go up and over on me and knock me out. My helmet definitely saved my noggin from permanent damage. When I finally got back on a horse six months later, at a new barn, the instructor insisted that I not use the same helmet that I had worn in my accident. When I asked him why, he made me look very closely at my helmet and sure enough, there were tiny cracks starting in several different places from the force of my head hitting the ground. With a casual glance, they were all but invisible and even up close were hard to see. However, if you’ve ever seen how easily cracked styrofoam loses its structural integrity when force is applied (even at levels much less than what an accident would produce), it would be pretty easy to understand his concern. If I’d have had another head-hitting experience, that particular helmet would not have given me the same level of protection the second time around.

    Horse-back riding is such a wonderful activity and I think it is fantastic that your kiddos seem to love it! I wish you joy, safety and good deals in all your horsey adventures! 🙂

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