Yooper Stewart’s Grocery Games

Grocery shopping: a constant test of discipline and concentration.

Yooper Stewart and I don’t have a good history of grocery shopping. One day we walked into Meijer with a list of 8-9 items. We left with a cart full of food and a $180 bill. After that I decided we shouldn’t shop together anymore. The Meijer is, unfortunately, not very close to my house, and I don’t like to drive. YS works a couple of miles from the store, so it’s tempting to send him there after work. We’ve tried this route a few times, but we still have a few kinks to work out.

1. Coupons: I’m not sure how he does it, but Yooper Stewart can’t keep track of coupons. He’s prone to leave them in his car or, my personal favorite, see a coupon for one brand of coffee creamer, but come home with the other.

2. Tired wandering: Yooper Stewart has a physical job. After work, he’s tired. Meijer doesn’t just sell food; they have garden supplies, camping gear, and Legos. It can sometimes take him over an hour to buy a dozen items.

3. Four pears, three people: YS isn’t the greatest buyer of produce. We now have three adults in our home, but he doesn’t think about that when buying fruit. He buys just enough to fill the produce bag. That often means four pears for three people, which translates into another trip to the store, which usually means another night of cruising the Lego aisle.

4. Sales: YS loves a sale. He can’t pass them up. I once asked for a bottle of antacids. He came home with five bottles (and thousands of tablets). We haven’t bought Tums in years. More recently I wanted some cream cheese. Instead of 4-5 8 oz. blocks of cheese, I ended up with 10+ 7 oz. tubs of plain and flavored cream cheese. I didn’t really need it (or want it), but at least it didn’t cost much.

We still haven’t figured out a fool-proof shopping technique, but we make it work (even if it means using honey cream cheese in the lasagna). At least it keeps dinners interesting!

The Organic Influence of Yooper Stewart

Meet my nephew, Butter Bean. He lives on the other side of the country. His dad is a city boy from Long Island. His uncle, however, is Yooper Stewart. Notice the influence:

Yooper Hipster

Camouflage – check

Something Lego – check

Something Star Wars – check

Scruffy beard – give it a few years

Butter Bean has tapped into his city-boy roots, though, and loves to wear some stylish headgear. For that reason he has earned himself a new nickname. You may now call him Yooper Hipster.

“All Men Are Babies,” but Are All Women Jerks?

I had great plans for my next Yooper Stewart post, but a week with the flu has thrown off

This picture has nothing to do with the post, I just like to show pictures of Yooper Stewart.

This picture has nothing to do with the post, I just like to show pictures of Yooper Stewart.

my schedule. It’s also opened my eyes to yet another difference between my husband and me – how we deal with sickness.

Yooper Stewart is your stereotypical whiny-guy. He’s pretty sure his bout of the stomach flu is a life-ender and we should get the prayer chain started. Every ache is the worst, fever is the highest, and nose is the most congested of all time.

On top of his difficulty coping, he doesn’t know the difference between decongestants, anti-inflamatories, or cough suppressants. If I can convince him to take meds, I have to harass him to keep taking them (two Tylenol on Monday morning should be enough to battle his fever for the week, right?). It’s not that he doesn’t want to get better, it’s just that illnesses have an immaturing effect on him. It makes me crazy.

I wish I could say I handled my flu like a champ, but the truth is I was a b!%$#.

I’ve spent my time researching supplements, herbs, and medicines, so as soon as I felt the flu coming I started a daily routine of elderberry, vitamin C, oregano, raw honey, and acetaminophen. It made my three days on the couch bearable for me, but not so much for Yooper Stewart.

As a work-from-home wife, I am in charge of the day-to-day operations of our house, so when I’m down, house hold functions cease. YS tries to help out, but it’s hard during the winter. He spends eight hours at work moving tons of salt (literally) and removing snow. That leaves him pretty exhausted when he comes home, and now he has to do all of the snow removal at our house, plus the cooking and cleaning.

Normally I’m relatively understanding, but not when I’m sick. When there’s a virus roaming through my blood stream, nothing’s good enough – the floor is too dirty, presents aren’t wrapped nicely enough, and you can be sure none of it gets done fast enough. When I should be resting and drinking orange juice, I turn into Attila the Hun, storming around the house destroying those who oppose me. It’s not a pretty sight. When I start to mend, it’s a celebration for everyone.

I may give Yooper Stewart a hard time for his inability to care for himself, but I really should be more gracious. At least he’s never made anyone cry when he was sick.

Life with a Master Gardener

I like to tease Yooper Stewart that I married him for two reasons: his snowplow and his leaf blower. In the eight years that we’ve been married, I’ve never raked the yard – it’s wonderful. It does come with certain side effects, though. I used to rake the leaves in the fall. YS does SO much more than that.

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Notice the giant pile of branches? It’s bigger now. I let the leaves fall – Yooper Stewart takes down as much of the tree as possible. Where as my only concern is cleaning up the yard for the fall, YS plans ahead – this is all part of his springtime prep work.

Part of that prep includes the garden beds. He layers grass clippings, leaves, and mulch so they can compost under the snow throughout the winter. We can provide our own leaves and grass, but we have to find the mulch.

Not a problem.

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Matt left the house to get some mulch from our local DPW; a few minutes later he came home with this truck behind him.

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That’s right – Yooper Stewart went to get some mulch and he came home with front-yard delivery service.

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Could it get any easier? Only Yooper Stewart …

Happy Birthday Yooper Stewart!

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Happy birthday to the love of my life! I can’t believe how blessed I am to know him. He challenges me, supports me, frustrates me, encourages me, and loves me through all of our personal and marital joys and struggles. Love you, honey!

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Yooper Stewart Cooks … Sort Of

Last week was a crazy-busy week for me, so I asked Yooper Stewart to give me a hand. He was skeptical, but when I showed him that I already had the ingredients – he only needed to put it together – he agreed. There’s no one cuter in the kitchen (over the age of 12) than my honey, YS.

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Even in the kitchen he wears his uniform – jeans and a hoodie. It amuses me that he cooks with one hand in his pocket.

 

 

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Sloppy Joes – he had the onions and peppers chopped and measured about two hours prior to dinner time. The house stunk because of the red onions, but it’s a sacrifice I’m willing to make to get a little bit of help in the kitchen.

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Without question the most entertaining part of the evening included Pillsbury biscuits. It was late before I realized I didn’t have any buns, so I suggested insta-biscuits. Yooper Stewart was more than leary – he actually read the directions!

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And then he pondered the instructions. “Don’t these can’s explode?” he asked. I assured him it would be a controlled blast, but he wanted to see the directions for himself.

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No honey, you can’t bake the biscuits like this. (He wasn’t really going to … I think).

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Viola! Relaxing with a tasty meal cooked by his own hands (please ignore the mess – this is Lego-Central).

Yooper Stewart in His Element

Earlier this week I found an SD card while cleaning off a book shelf. I had to plug it in to see what I had. It was quite a delight to find photos from 2006 – our first cat (Roo), my niece as a baby, the tiny house we used to rent, and Yooper Stewart’s trip to Kentucky. I wish we could afford to send him on more week-long adventures, but time and finances don’t always allow for it. Since we can’t ship him back to his comfort zone more often, I’m glad we have some evidence of his last major trip to nature. Here’s a look at a younger Yooper Stewart and some of his favorite vacation accommodations.

Bedtime - I'm pretty sure he'd rig up one of these in the basement (if we had a basement).

Bedtime – I’m pretty sure he’d rig up one of these in the basement (if we had a basement).

This is why I don't go camping with the hubs - I prefer four walls (and a floor, ceiling, coffee maker).

This is why I don’t go camping with the hubs – I prefer four walls (and a floor, ceiling, coffee maker).

I'm noticing a clothing trend...

Is it any wonder why I love this man?

Is it any wonder I fell in love with this man?

I’m noticing a clothing trend…

Forget treadmills - this is how YS likes to exercise.

Forget treadmills – this is how YS likes to exercise.

I swear to you, he owns shirts.

I swear to you, he owns shirts.

What's not to love?

What’s not to love?

 

 

Life with YS: Learning a New Language

With MattMarriage – a wonderful, holy union between a man and a woman. Just turn on the television and you don’t have to flip for long before finding a show dedicated to brides, weddings, or wedding planners. I’ll tell you what I haven’t seen, though – a show about a woman who grew up with sisters, then marries a wild, hairy mountain man.

As if living with a man wasn’t a big enough surprise – the eating-in-bed, peeing-in-the-backyard, lounging-in-underwear – no one ever mentioned that I’d have to learn to speak Yooper Stewart-ese. I knew when we met that we had different styles of communication, but I wasn’t prepared for a lifetime of learning.

My first clue should have been when we announced our engagement. We picked a date, venue, and attendants. I bought a dress and all the accessories, which I showed to YS’s sister. You would have thought I was showing her a Yeti pelt. Why?

Me to my family: YS and I are getting married.

YS to his family: We’re thinking about getting married.

There you have it, the fundamental difference between YS and me – absolutes and possibilities. Seven years ago we left one rental for another. Our first landlord was pretty shocked when I told him I’d leave the keys in the house at the end of the month (two weeks away). Why? Because YS gave our notice: We’re thinking about moving closer to my job …

Those events happened in our first year of togetherness, so I should know better by now, right? Yeah, right.

YS is a LEGO man. He creates, plays, researches – if it’s LEGO, he loves it. Most recently, he’s been buying and selling them. To be more accurate, he’s been buying them – lots and lots of them. It finally reached the point that I had to put my foot down, no more buying until he starts selling.

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Last week YS gave me some money to deposit into our checking account. Why? Because he’d been buying again. And what about the selling? Well, he did sell … one lot … for about 1% of the value of what he’s bought. Technically yes, he sold some LEGOs, and our agreement was that he would sell before buying again, so, technically, he met the standards of our arrangement. Sneaky, sneaky.

It looks like I’ve still got some learning to do, but I’m planning on being with Yooper Stewart for a good long time. Maybe I’ll figure out Yooper-speak in the next few decades.