SeedI did it again.

I lost all control in the seed aisle at Menards.

I don’t know what caused it – the sunshine, springlike temperatures, the bright orange sale sign – but something snapped.

Jan found me standing in the aisle with a silly grin on my face randomly throwing in seed packets.

A handful of lettuce varieties, several melons, herbs, 3 kinds of winter squash and zucchini  – I was on a roll!

Two different kinds of broccoli – never mind that I haven’t even harvested a broccoli head in the last three years! I’m sure this year I will be able to grow not only the traditional – but a cool Italian variety with spiky heads!

Sunflowers, sweet corn, cauliflower, sweet peppers – you name it – it was probably in my cart.

And it would not have been alone – there were many seeds in my cart.

Sixty-three packets in all. Yes – 63.

So what did my sweet husband say?

Nothing. After all – he had seen this behavior before. 🙂

He simply bought the seeds, took me home, and listened patiently to my grand garden dreams for the year.

Then – two days later – he took me out and showed me where  we could enlarge the garden. 🙂

Is it any wonder that I love this guy?!

I’ve linked this post up with The Tuesday Garden Party at An Oregon Cottage.

No ‘Nard’s!

MenardsWe went to the big city on Saturday – and like every trip to the big city – we had to stop at my husband’s favorite store – Menard’s.

Now for those of you who have never experienced this Midwestern phenomenon – Menard’s is a regional home improvement store.

You could almost call it a red-neck Home Depot.

My husband loves it. My dad loves it. My father-in-law loves it. My brothers-in-law love it. My brother loves it.

Our kids – not so much.

When my niece was much younger she would recognize the store as they pulled in and scream from her car seat, “No ‘Nard’s Daddy! No Nard’s!” (She is now a normal well-adjusted college student with no lasting ill-effects from so much time spent in Menard’s during her developmental years – although she has an amazing knowledge of home improvement terms!)

My own children have spent so much in Menard’s that they have learned to make it fun. On this trip the girls systemically picked out a new dream kitchen – complete with cabinets, counter top and appliances. Meanwhile the boys were walking around the store planning their defense – MacGyver style – in case of Zombie attack – things like how they could use duck tape to modify nail guns.

Okay – maybe I should have limited their Mountain Dew intake at Arby’s during lunch!

At one point I heard them discuss how they could make a bomb using garden fertilizer for nitrogen, cellulose and battery acid.

Oh dear – I wonder what people thought!

But then you see all kinds of people at Menard’s – like the older couple wearing matching striped bib overalls or the dashing stranger with the black cape coat and long sideburns. He looked like he should have a dagger hidden in his belt and rescue the fair princess from the evil dragon.

Hmm…maybe I should have limited my caffeine intake at Arby’s! 😉

Personally I have come to appreciate Menard’s. Where else can you pick out a scented candle that will cost you 75 cents after rebate while listening to a video across the aisle telling you that you will save thousands of gallons of water over the lifetime of the toilet.

No – I’ve come to realize that Menard’s is much more than just scented candles, toilet seats, garden seeds, a new rake, water softener salt, electrical conduit, dry wall, PVC pipe and cabinet knobs.

I now see every trip to Menard’s as a promise that a project will soon be finished.

That’s why this wife says, “Yes, ‘Nard’s!”

Home Improvement Stores

We can finally see the light at the end of the tunnel in regards to our massive home renovation. After 8 years and countless hours, we are actually planning the finishing touches.

Which lead us to spend an afternoon at several home improvement stores.

Since we live so far from anything, we don’t just “run” to the local Lowe’s to pick up what we need. We usually wait until we have a lengthy list before we drive the 2 hours.

It requires a great deal of thought and planning. It also means added stress.

We had quite a list as we pulled into Menard’s. The list was so big that I needed a clipboard to keep it all straight. (Which must have made me look official since I was mistaken for a store employee! Me? An expert about paints?! Now that’s funny!)

We started out strong with a game plan, but that was quickly tossed aside as we struggled in the lighting section, unable to find the first things on the list.

The afternoon deteriorated from there.

I almost hyper-ventilated in the paint aisle trying to figure out basement floor sealer and what to use on the stairs. Enamel or latex? Semi-gloss or satin? Silicone additive? Arghh!!!!

I almost cried at the dismal collection of vanities to purchase for the bathroom. Cheap particle board junk with hefty price tags.

My husband bravely set out to conquer the plumbing section to find the last few pipes and valves and whatchamacallits to finish up hooking everything up. He came out an hour later with his eyes glazed over.

Then there was the caulking. Fifty different color choices. Ten different kinds: windows, doors, sinks, and more. Who knew you had to caulk so many different things! Help!

We move on to Home Depot.

More dismal vanities. Longer and higher rows of plumbing gadgets. The caulking choices stretch to the ceiling. We look in vain for a salesperson to ask.

Frustration is mounting. Exhaustion sets in.

Then, finally, we scored two lights for the bathroom! Three hours into this adventure, I thankfully cross the first item of our massive list.

On to Wal-Mart where we pick up speed and quickly find everything on the list and mark them off with big bold marks.

Encouraged by our success we head back to Menard’s determined to overcome.

It was then that the miracle occurred.

Sales people actually found us.

They helped us.

They answered questions.

They were even friendly.

In a blaze of glory we finished the most important things on the list, deciding the rest could just wait.

After a mad dash through the store to find a bag of Sun Chips to munch on the way home, we headed for the car, exhausted but triumphant.

We had conquered.