Thursday, November 25, 2010

For those who participate in Black Friday.....

A Dollar’s Worth
By Alisa Dollar

Black Friday is aptly named. For me anyway. When everyone else is standing in line and grabbing this or that and checking out–it’s all black for me. I’m snuggled down and snoozing in bed with Max right beside me.

I don’t get it. I mean if I owned a store, or was in retail for a big chain, I’d understand. Some of my friends get up at 4 a.m. to meet the cruel, cold, and dark early morning to meet friends and family.

I’ll readily admit I’m not that good a friend or sister.

I do, however, have experience in this mania. I tried it once years ago. I left the house all bundled up because, as my luck would have it, it was freezing snow with rain.

Husband said I should wait. I told him I had to get this one thing. He said wouldn’t that one thing wait till noon? I said no it was listed in the paper as one of those “get it now or you’re toast” ads. I didn’t want to be toast.

He demanded to know what “it” could possibly be that I would get up that early to drive across town in drizzly freezing rain at 5 a.m. I said I couldn’t tell him because it’s something for him. He said I don’t want it. I said I think you might.

I go to the store to stand in line after searching for a parking place. While I was driving around the small shopping center I was saying all kinds of tacky things to myself about no parking at 5:30 in the morning.

I was probably the 30th person in line. I finally get in the store and “it” was gone. I wanted to pitch a fit and yell truth in advertisement!

“Where’s truth in advertisement? Hello! “

But I didn’t. I figured they had at least one.

I had something in my hand and some little old lady grabbed it. I said excuse me? She said that’s what she’d been looking for. I said you’re welcome. She said oh yes, thank you.

I went home.

Husband says you didn’t find the thing you went for? I said it’s in the trunk, don’t look, I’m going to bed.

Just a teensy fib and I did eventually get it. I couldn’t tell him he was right all along, now could I?

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Thanksgiving 2009 Article

  (For those who haven't read from day one....Bree is my good friend....I gave her that name because of Bree on Desperate Housewives....yes....her house is THAT clean and she is THAT organized and yes, she likes me anyway; Prof and family are friends I work for and with; Betty Crocker is my oldest sister who won that damn award (I still don't think it's real); and Cheerie Cheerleader is the next in line sister who was a cheerleader (yeah and then there's me!); and Kathryn is my longtime friend who is the biggest mess ever for a little thing. We played havoc on SWT for several years.......) 

A Dollar’s Worth
By Alisa Dollar

It’s another Thanksgiving with many reasons for thanks. We’ve lived through times good and bad and have witnessed changes in technology, worship, means, and ways by which we conduct daily life.

Traditional holidays have changed. In some ways, good because we’ve incorporated many other customs and values to add to what most of us have celebrated throughout the beginning of our country.

One thing I hold dearest is freedom to practice what we love with family. One irritating thing is being told I cannot do it out loud, by display, or by tradition. So far it really hasn’t bothered me because I’m a rather loud person and please don’t tell me I can’t do something! The most challenging word mother said to me was “no” and I’d say okay and do it anyway. Kathryn helped with the “no’s” told by our mom’s. See how well we turned out?

Back to Thanksgiving.

What I love about Thanksgiving is the quietness it brings. Bree brought this to my attention when she said they were meeting family for a big meal in East Texas and then to Ft. Worth to visit daughter and go to the Tech vs. Baylor game. May I insert “Go Tech Go!” here?

“What do you mean quietness?” I asked.

She said it was her favorite holiday because there was no fuss and harried shoppers. Everyone cooks favorite items (gee where do I fit in here?) to mix in with others.

Prof, Mr. Prof and boy prof can’t wait to get to Houston to visit folks and help mom “prep” for Thanksgiving. Prof “preps” everything from research to meals at home. You gotta love her!

I thought about this and agree. The camaraderie of sharing stories, watching football, sneaking pie before meals, and not having to dress up if you don’t want; no competition, just love.

Betty Crocker is going to a Dallas Cowboy game. I’ve requested a picture with a big ol’ Cowboy player.

Cheery Cheerleader and family will be together.

We’ll celebrate without children but they’re in our hearts. Hopefully we’ve taught them to have thanksgiving in their hearts; not in a pocketbook or what’s in the fridge.

Thanksgiving is a truly an art we Americans can give to those that don’t share our traditions or beliefs. It is a blessing to contribute while we do the same with understanding theirs.

Happy Thanksgiving! Bless and be blessed!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

I'm on a roll here......goodwill to all?

A Dollar’s Worth
By Alisa Dollar

I love bargains. Someone’s ‘junk’ waits being my treasure.

Recently, preacher’s wife and I went to see a chick flick. Afterwards, I wanted to go to a Goodwill store to check the knick-knacks.

While I walked aisles of dishes checking for something to jump in my basket, Preacher’s Wife trailed along behind chattering nonstop about Matthew McWhatever’s movie. I added this was the first movie I’d seen him not bear his soul. Okay, chest. He does, after all, have other wonderful qualities–like perfect white teeth.

Minutes passed without one word. I turned to her hugging a coffee mug. I squelched laughing because of the pitiful look. Giving in, I asked what was wrong.

She held the cup to her cheek and pointed like the teacher she is to the words imprinted, “World’s Greatest Grandpa” Sighing heavily, “Some little kid gave this to grandpa and grandpa didn’t want it.”

I laughed and said, “No, some world’s greatest grandma decided to clean the cupboards and grandpa doesn’t know it’s gone.”

Later I found her petting a picture album like a puppy.

“What now?”

I braced myself knowing if grandpa’s cup bothered her, this had to be good.

“Somebody put memories in this pile.”

“You mean pictures are still inside?”

“No. It’s just sad this brand new book ended up here before the memories started.”

“Oh puh-leeze....they probably got three just like that one. Or, maybe the wedding was cancelled.” On a roll, I added, “Or maybe bride found groomzilla with the bridesmaid and ended everything before it started!”

“That’s sick, Alisa. Can’t you think of some good reason it’s here? Besides, that sounds like the movie we just saw.”

Trying to placate her strange desire to reason someone giving cups and wedding memories away, I found a perfect resolution.

“Grandpa died. He was the preacher. Bride and Groom decided to wait till Grandma’s grief abated. When Grandma brought a box of Grandpa’s stuff, she accidentally picked up the Greatest Grandpa cup and the yet happened wedding memory album.”

Not enough, she had a “rest of the story” look.

“Grandma died before she could come back and retrieve the items?”

Preacher’s Wife head shook in pity knowing I didn’t understand why she felt pain of their memories lost.

I walked out with prize in hand wondering why I didn’t wonder why my treasure was taken to Goodwill.

I guess it takes all kinds.

It's a girl thing......

A Dollar’s Worth
By Alisa Dollar

I was putting on my face (that’s what husband calls it) this morning after nearly a week of sporting my real face during Spring Break.

I looked in the mirror and groaned. I asked myself why I do this for work and not at home around husband and dog.

The answer is simple.

One, they love me unconditionally; even without my “face.”

Two, I didn’t want to scare the people at work.

As I put on my base (that is girl-speak for try to get even color tone but better than your real tone), I smeared on one side then the other, then across the chin and lastly, the forehead.

In other words, makeup splotched all over my face like a really bad Picasso.

I remember having one of those home makeup parties. Husband had to be smart mouth and ask what we had to make up, had we been having catfights. Men.

I’d had my first knee replacement so I hobbled around watching how everyone applied base.

Bree splats and rubs. Prof dot dot dots on each cheek and gently blends. Another put hers on both hands and used both hands to rub (not gently) on her face. I couldn’t help but wonder how she washed it all off her face.

Others were the basic plop and smear and hope it’s not streaked, like me.

The eyes were a much harder task. I found myself holding my mouth just right like each of them to get that line straight across the eyelid. There is an art to getting it straight. It’s the mouth. It has to be scrunched up over to the side mascara and eyeliner are being applied.

Don’t ask me why. It’s pretty much universal.

I don’t wear lipstick, so it was lots of fun watching others. The splats and rubs followed suit, as did the dot dot dots and the plop and smear. Even both hands applied with as much vigor as she did the rest of her face.

The universal lipstick trick is to make a taut “O” with your mouth. Why? Who knows, but it must work.

Blots are different. There’s the blot blot blot. The blot and quit. And my favorite, the blot and wipe.

As anyone can see, putting on a face is no easy task!

Men don’t appreciate what we women go through to look presentable to them.

Women know.

It’s universal.

This was last year.....we just celebrated yet another year.....

A Dollar’s Worth
By Alisa Dollar

Have you ever wondered why the love verses in 1 Corinthians start with “love is patient”? All you have to do is be married 42 years—or 5 minutes.

We celebrate 42 patient years together this week. Son’s marrying this week to a lovely young lady.

While talking about the upcoming nuptials, he laughed at something I said about his dad. I reminded him his life as a single, only 'think and/or take care of yourself days' are numbered.

He informed me that he’d lost that when they committed to marriage.

I laughed because idealistically he truly believes himself. When reality hits for both of them, they’ll understand my laughter.

Marriage is a wonderful institution. I took vows knowing I would do my best to keep them. What I didn’t know was how hard it is to keep them!

I really thought I’d be June Cleaver in sweats, barefoot, sans pearls. I thought hubby would be Ward in a button down oxford shirt, jeans and boots. We’d have two perfect children and live happily ever after.


I suppose there are those that have a perfect, pearly, clean house, three hot meals marriage.

That is truly wonderful. I wouldn’t be able to stand the quiet. Think about it. Did Ward ever yell at June? Did June scream at Ward or Beaver and Wally? No. She put her hands on her hips and shook her head and said in even tones how things needed to be.

I’m a believer in letting it all out, get it over with, hug, kiss, and as that TV comedian says “Git’r done!” By the way, I don’t really understand that guy, but that’s another column.

After visiting with son, I thought of things just this weekend that would reiterate love is patient.

The time changed Saturday night. Husband says aren’t you going to bed, remember we have church and communion at nine. Of course I know all that, but I don’t say anything. Love is patient.

Sunday morning ten minutes before time to leave, I hear “Do you know what time it is?” Love is patient.

Sunday afternoon I’m cleaning my closet to put winter in and summer out. “Are you going to clean this mess up?” Love is patient.

I know why this is listed first. Marriages wouldn’t last without patience.

Love is patient.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Blondes Really Can Have More.......Fun----

A Dollar’s Worth
By Alisa Dollar

Has there been a moment you looked into the mirror and cringed at white hair? If so, I hope it wasn’t after nine in the evening on a Sunday night.

I used to be blonde (please, no comments) and white caught me off guard. I didn’t think much about it because I was too busy and didn’t really care. And besides, it was premature and I didn’t feel older.

That particular night my hair made me glaringly mature. Advice–don’t ask husband what he thinks, especially if the Dallas Cowboys are fumbling about.

I went to my favorite grocery store on a blonde mission. My favorite because they seemed to understand last minute “drat I forgot’ type cooks. This time I sought younger hair.

I couldn’t believe how many blonde colors were available and in so many brands! Since it was Sunday and God had blessed me with nice authentic color blonde that surely this fake blonde would be no less sanctified.

Perhaps it was the piped music rather than a sign of powerful recommendation on high because my hair did not even remotely resemble the hair color on the box.

I was mortified and hyperventilating through what seemed to be strangled screams while gasping for breath.

My hair was green; not even a nice shade of green. It was gag green if you get my meaning.

I called my preacher’s wife who, in addition to that, owned a hair salon.

“Alisa, what have you done?” is how she answered the phone. I’d like to think because it was nearly eleven, but she added “to your hair.”

I cried in one long sentence what I’d done, the color and how could I go to work with green hair?

She told me to meet her at the shop. I said no I don’t think anything can be done except shave my head and I wasn’t ready for that.

“Have a little faith, Alisa,” she replied a bit sternly.

“Yeah right—that’s why it’s green.”

She didn’t laugh but definitely pegged the exact color number and brand I’d bought admonishing me all the while she was working on my green head. The scary thing, I wasn’t allowed a peek. 

She turned me to the mirror; my hair was gorgeous! How?

Simple—everyone knew she styled my hair and if they thought she’d done that coloring, clientele would run.

‘Twas indeed a miracle.

Baby Cruelty???

A Dollar’s Worth
By Alisa Dollar

In the last several months I’ve helped with baby showers. During this time I realized my two were mistreated as newborns.

The most newfangled thing I used with son was an absolutely amazing creation called disposable diapers. Wear, wet, dispose!

They were expensive, but I’d figured out to the penny I saved by not having to use hot water, bleach; wash again and rinse in smell good stuff; then the dryer.

<Whew> makes me tired even now to think about that.

I had baby showers given me and received many useful items.

It seems to be a trend these days to find the best, creative and (I think) most outrageous gifts.

You know you’re a nana when you ask “And this is......” hesitating just long enough for another younger mom to squeal “I got one of those and my little darling just loved it!”

If pregnant mom hadn’t declared she was having a boy and this ‘thing’ was pink rather than blue, I’d have sworn it was a re-gift. I would’ve on the grounds it was ugly, looked evil enough for baby to have nightmares, and it squeaked way too loudly.  I turned it all around and upside down and decided pacifiers should still be in style.

If that wasn’t interesting enough, new mom-to-be opened a water pail in several graduated layers of primary colors. My first thought was this baby isn’t even born and couldn’t play in sand until next summer.

Before I could ask, another new mommy clapped her hands while in a sing-song voice said “You’ll love that!”

I for one was hanging on her every word. I wanted to know what it was.

Finally she added baby’s head would be so much easier to wash and rinse because of all the storage areas to release at a given time.

I didn’t know whether to laugh or feel guilty and I remembered I must have been before my time because I used a set of primary color cups lined side by side. I could’ve invented that bucket!

There’s all sorts of new swings, rattles, and bottles. I think my favorite is the potty in pink or blue that sings if something is released to the potty. It sings different songs for the different releases.

I can just hear these kids in school years later hollering “It won’t sing and I’m done!”

What’s wrong with the old ways?

Chick Flicks

A Dollar’s Worth
By Alisa Dollar

Standing in a grocery line a while back, I glanced at a magazine courting the sexiest men alive. Keep in mind the key factor “alive”-- far be it a dead sexy guy.

The picture of a young man who is the new G.I. Joe popped out. He was also in a movie about a kid from the wrong side of the tracks who meets girl from the right side and they mix his type of dance with hers.

For those not chick-flick savvy that means hip-hop and ballet.

Notice ugly or ill built people never play these parts. Not that we’d notice, right? Men can drool and talk all they want about the merits of some woman they don’t know, but we women can spot a hunk.

Bree, Prof, and I went to the movie. Staggering age-wise, we still had the same love of chick-flicks on occasion sans husbands.

As the movie progresses and we snack on popcorn and diet cokes, Mr. Sexy dons a tank top and tights rather than his usual sweats.

Popcorn stops mid-air. Bree and I drooled and not because of popcorn while commenting how nice he looked. Okay, he was drop dead gorgeous.

The prof (and youngest) gasped she just couldn’t see him that way because he looked like her brother.

We simultaneously let these words escape our mouths: “You’re brother has a body like that?”

“No! He looks like him!”

Again, simultaneously, “You were looking at his face???”

Prof dropped the popcorn, covered eyes and ears and pronounced herself too young for this!

Bree and I looked at each other knowing she’d grow up someday to enjoy the finer artistic value of chick-flicks.

While in line paying for yet another chick-flick, I noticed the same young man is G.I. Joe. I commented I wanted to see it and yet another friend asked why I’d want to?

A man buying tickets in front of us commented “Yeah, why?”

I didn’t know this guy and the real reason I want to see the movie is because G.I. Joe was ‘the thing’ when my son was young.

However, I couldn’t help myself.

“Have you seen that guy without a shirt?” came rolling off my tongue.

The poor man sputtered, “No.”

Friend laughed out loud.

“That’s why.”

What does this say?

Chick-flicks are aesthetic to the eye.

Don’t stand in line with me.

If so, don’t ask questions

Friday, November 12, 2010

Buffalo part 2

A Dollar’s Worth
By Alisa Dollar

Do you ever wonder why you do things you know aren’t going to work? Remember when I tried buffalo once because it is supposed to be healthy, lean, and all that stuff I can’t remember. I bought a roast and it was not favorable and certainly lacked flavor.

At the grocery, I saw ground buffalo right next to ground hamburger. I thought to myself (which was the first mistake) that ground buffalo should be better than buffalo roast (second mistake) and mixed with lean ground beef (third mistake) would be quite tasty (fourth mistake) and healthier.

I stood there long enough on the Saturday before Easter, in a crowded store that would be closed the next day contemplating my newfound thoughts on buffalo, that people coughed or cleared their throats loudly behind me in order to move me further down the meat display so they could buy meat.

I dislike grocery shoppers who know exactly what they want and have a list. Groceries probably like me better because I am an aisle shopper. In other words, I impulse buy. I don’t have lists and I don’t plan meals so it’s anybody’s guess what’s for dinner.

Hurriedly I decided the mixture would make great tacos.

The meat didn’t stink like the roast and I couldn’t decide if it was because it was mixed with beef, whatever, it was a good sign. No grease, another good sign.

It was even pleasant to the palate.

I don’t know exactly when I stopped chewing and couldn’t swallow. My cheeks were full and I looked like a squirrel with a mouth full of nuts.

I turned to see if I could escape and get rid of the goods and found four eyes staring. Max immediately went into mini-doxie prairie dog beg and husband smirked.

I tried. I really tried. It dawned on me what I was eating and truthfully, it just didn’t seem quite right.

This time was different because it tasted okay, but I started wondering where that buffalo had lived. I mean really, do you know anybody that has a herd of them?

I convinced myself I was eating an endangered species and it was attacking my taste buds because I gave in to marketers.

Finally able to swallow, I wished I weren’t a visual person, especially about food.

Husband laughed at my species connection. He even said it was ridiculous.

I don’t care. It works for me and I promise… more buffalo articles.


Buffalo part 1

A Dollar’s Worth
By Alisa Dollar

On the way to church recently, husband asked what I was thinking with such a frown.

“Kevin Costner.”

“You don’t like Kevin Costner, why are you thinking about him?”  Laughter seeped through his question.

“You know.  The movie he made with the wolves.”

“You didn’t see that movie.” It dawned on him where I was going with this train of thought.  That’s the good and the bad of being married forever.  “You’re thinking of the buffalo meat in the slow cooker, right?”


I promised I’d try it.  Husband said its leaner meat.  If that’s the case why did it stink and look dark like old roast instead of new cow roast?  Tiny gags escaped while preparing Buffy like a pot roast. I’d thought a cute name would help.  Not!

I covered him up as quickly as possible by adding veggies and water.  It could’ve been my overactive imagination, but I swear that buffalo did not smell like real roast.

Real roasts have savory smells as you walk out the door, leaving a great anticipation to come home to a nice tasty meal.  I’m sure many preachers have been invited to this type lunch after church.

Thank goodness our preacher wasn’t coming over.  Buffy didn’t smell any better coming in the door.

I put potatoes and carrots on a platter; then the leaner, better-for-you buffalo meat.  I’ll have to admit, Buffy was tender and falling apart but I couldn’t help but notice he still looked like an old roast.  He also still stunk.

I fixed husband a plate (yes he is spoiled rotten) and one for me.  I don’t like anything hot but thought of cayenne pepper sauce when husband took a bite.  I watched covertly with a keen eye trying to act as though this was no biggie. I wasn’t about to dig into Buffy until husband chewed, swallowed and didn’t choke.

He took another bite, so I took a bite. I tried. It tasted like old roast. Really. I promise. There was not freshness to it that cows have.  This might be the meat for some, but I could tell it wasn’t mine.

“Well, what do you think?”  Husband asked.

“I don’t like Kevin Costner.” I attempted to laugh with husband but decided I’d make a sandwich instead. 

A sandwich of roast beef of course.

What have I done?

I've thought about doing this for a long time, but as per my usual procrastinative (is that a word?) nature, I've put it off.

I'm starting today because of my experience with buffalo and Lissa. Not related other than she's warped like me and wanted to read something I'd written for a weekly newspaper about buffalo.

Then there's Jan who's addicted to venison..... intention is to put forth some already published articles I've written for the Frankston Citizen News---a top-notch small town newspaper in sleepy east Texas. I of course, live in wide-awake Lubbock and hope, even though I can't name names in the articles, I pray people don't come and hunt me down after reading them!

The picture is of me when I was 9; full of grandeur ideas of becoming an actress, ballet dancer or writer. I chose writing and though I'm not as good as I'd like, I have lots of friends who are and kind enough to prompt me to continuing my dream. Other reasons include living in Luling didn't lean toward acting (although some friends might think I still 'perform') and I'm not graceful enough to do ballet.

I do wield a mean pen though......