Owning up and ripping Sheetz a new one

First off, before I even start this entry let me give my poor customer service representative Justin a shout out for his professionalism, patience and calm.

Second, before I get too far let me admit that I have now reached my heaviest ever weight, about ten pounds heavier than my natural set point with no muscle tone left. Push-ups, planks and heel-touch crunches used to be my jam– I could do 20 push-ups, a sixty-second plank and 100 heel touches without feeling tired or compromised.

At one point I had visible abdominal muscles, then I had abdominal muscles like stone beneath a layer of fat. That is now done. I struggle to walk up hill. I have no muscle tone. Where I once used 25-pound dumbbells for my bicep curls, I now huff and puff with ten.

This past year has been cruel.

This is the owning up portion of today’s blog. Yesterday, I woke up exhausted and hot but still motivated myself to do an ab workout. But then, I didn’t quite meet my step goal. And ate half a Papa John’s pizza and an order of their jalapeno popper bread bites. I meant to share them with the teenager but they were way too spicy. And I ate them all, even though they were kinda gross.

Jalapeño popper bread bites

I blame Dominos for the pizza binge as they sent me a push notification that they had two new pizzas–chicken taco and cheeseburger–but both turned out to sound boring and the $5.99 promotion seemed unavailable so rather than order my free two topping I spent $26 at Papa Johns.

The Zesty Italian or Tangy Italian, or whatever pie it was, was delicious in that trashy kind of way (though I hate Papa John’s tomato sauce I am reminded now). And the meal has led to a type of intestinal distress I don’t normally experience. I also gained 3 pounds.

The teenager tells me the pizza was good, but Dominos is better in her adolescent opinion.

Speaking of adolescent behavior, the teenager went back-to-school shopping with the paternal grandparents. She wanted a milkshake from Sheetz for lunch and her grandparents vetoed that and took her to a diner she does not like. I will withhold the name here as it is a fairly popular spot.

So she came home a little upset over the meal situation as she had just had “the worst quesadilla of my life.” She pined for that milkshake as it is 90+ degrees outside and she has marching band tonight.

“Mom,” she said. “If you buy me a milkshake at Sheetz, I won’t eat anything else today.”

I told her to throw in some extra chores and we could talk. She agreed. I downloaded the Sheetz app as these days, I don’t go anywhere without looking for coupons. I went to create my Sheetz account. Now, my husband has the Sheetz card. I have the Sheetz key ring.

The Sheetz card has a security code that the key ring does not.

You need the security card. The app forces me to call customer service.

Customer service tells me I have to find my security code, have my husband call them and say it’s okay, or use the general random Sheetz card.

To which I say, “If I use a random card, I won’t get the points. Isn’t that the point of the loyalty app?”

I launch into a fiery tirade. Because our Sheetz card/account is in my husband’s name, I cannot log into the Sheetz app. I find it odd that a loyalty app would have such strict security. I merely want to look for coupons and then go buy my daughter a milkshake.

Well, poor talented and patient Justin the Customer Service rep tells me, some people have credit card information in the app.

Yes, I say, but this one does not, because this account has never downloaded the app. So it does not have anything in it. I added that I can tell him my husband’s birthday and his social security number and probably the password he used if we ever tried to set up an online account. But he still needs my husband’s permission.

So I tell him that I refinanced my car over the phone the other day, and that I stayed on the line while the previous loan holder talked to my new financer. That I gave them my permission to share my account information with my new bank.

If I can do that over the phone, I should be able to buy a damn milkshake for my kid.

As a compromise, he called my husband at work and asked if he was allowed to give me access to our Sheetz loyalty account. My husband, of course, said yes.

He told the teenager via text that the customer service people didn’t verify his identity. They asked for no proof that he was indeed my husband.

Now let me add that if I were vindictive, because after all my husband and I have been separated for 14 months, why would I go to the trouble to steal his Sheetz loyalty number which is 16 digits, hack into his account, and run up his credit card with Sheetz purchases? Perhaps I would go squander his non-existent stockpile of reward points.

The app apprised me that we had 523 loyalty reward points and Sheetz requires 500 for a free regular milkshake.

I bought myself a pretzel with nacho cheese sauce and while the cheese sauce had a barely perceptible layer of spice to it, it had no flavor whatsoever.

The teenager enjoyed her milkshake.

Their mobile order system is very convenient.

Casual Update

There’s so much good activity in my life right now — I’ve been too busy to catch everyone up.

  • My last day at work is tomorrow and my colleague, Mr. Accordion, is coming over tonight.
  • I have been working hard publicizing Aspire to Autonomy’s upcoming events, and they have given me the title of Communications Director. I am working with a fantastic intern on public relations and I think, I hope, she is having fun.
  • Gayle, the teenager and I, went for a nice walk in Easton Cemetery last night. Every time I go up there I find more cool things!
  • Gayle, the teenager and I went to Porter’s Pub last night after the walk and they let me eat all the “stinky cheese.” Gayle bought me a very delicious salted caramel chocolate porter from Saucony Creek. To celebrate new beginnings!
  • I cashed in my free medium 2-topping pizza from Dominos.
  • I’ve been making Nala puzzles every morning to try and keep her busy.
  • We found someone that can get Mama cat spayed for free. (Did I mention we were out on a walk and our kittens’ mama came to us and we brought her home. She’s pregnant. Again.) We thought the organization would let us foster her and her kittens until they found homes… but now we’re being told they might keep her. So we are a tad sad.
  • And for multiple days in a row I have made 10,000 or more steps a day!

Mango nectar and Diet Coke

I suppose I have to let go of my birthday and start referring to my time on vacation— but how awesome is it that my birthday bled right into a holiday weekend and then into paid time off from work!

For more on my recent birthday:

Kicking off my birthday

Pre-Birthday Magic

Feeling the love

The end of my birthday

Vacation Day 1; Birthday day 4

I’ve been with my agency for 14 months now. I think in that time I took off my daughter’s birthday, two days before my daughter went back to school (and to go the Iron Pigs baseball Game and see her marching band perform the national anthem—Warrior Band at Iron Pigs), one planned day when my daughter had surgery, and one sick day.

So this time is deserved.

And before I left I learned I got the PA Food Recovery Infrastructure Grant for our food pantry which will pay for a new commercial freezer for our food pantry.

So after my delicious burgers from Tucker Provisions (who with the generosity of their customers and via Easton Hunger Coalition donated cases of eggs from the Zimmerman farm to ProJeCt of Easton’s food pantry), I got home late last night and between the kittens getting wound up and myself feeling a second wind, I didn’t get to bed until 1 a.m.

Luckily the animals let me sleep until 8. Even Nala, my Goffin’s cockatoo, was patient.

I got up, fed the menagerie, started dishes and laundry and my mom came down to help me clean. We gave the downstairs a thorough dusting, shining, vacuuming… and I’d like to say Mom and I made a good tag team. The teenager worked on her room.

I told her I’d buy her a pizza for lunch.

We ordered Domino’s. I got a spinach feta pizza with black olives, Parmesan bread bites, and since Mom was here a bacon jalapeño cheesy bread. The teenager asked for wings. We also ordered Diet Coke, which we mixed with mango nectar.

I’ve been drinking it all afternoon. If I had peach schnapps or vanilla rum, it would be even better.

I organized my closet— since I recently got some new clothes from White House Black Market some of the old ones had to go. I have a small wardrobe. And a small bedroom.

I took a 30-minute or so nap.

And Mom might be coming back Tuesday to have coffee and bagels and help me clean and organize my kitchen cupboards.

That sums up vacation day 2.

Wednesday

Yeah, Wednesday. That’s what I got. I’m thirsty, I’m tired. I’ve written so many grants my eyeballs hurt.

But I’m surrounded by birds and kittens.

Fog

Fog was the kitten trapped last. You can’t manhandle her like a tame cat, but she’s sure starting to like cuddles.

I also just ordered a pizza.

The teenager is with her dad. I cleaned bird cages as that is a Wednesday ritual as we prep for garbage day. Nala seems to enjoy her pellets I got her— I mixed ZuPreem nut flavored pellets and Kaytee fruit flavored pellets in with her parrot mix which had a lot of nuts and seeds in it.

The dishwasher is doing its thing on all the pet dishes.

And I think I ate fairly decently today and I’m surviving my work week so I will get that pizza. Buffalo chicken pizza. And a cold beer.

For breakfast I had a bagel, half with hummus and half with butter. And half a cup of my favorite coffee with half and half. Morning snack was a protein matcha coconut milk drink. Lunch was spaghetti squash, chick peas, tomato sauce, kale and feta. And for my afternoon pick me up I had about ten really good gummy bears.

Okay so note to self: more fruits and veggies tomorrow.

My plan now is to get the birds their water bowls, wait for my pizza, and hopefully work out a new budget. My tax refund came, but I owe more than that on my medical bills so it didn’t offer me as much breathing room as I hoped. I’m still in the hole, as they say.

But that’s where clever budgeting comes in. And I hope to share with you some of my budgeting tricks. Stay tuned!

The Pizza Weight Loss Plan

If you’re reading this after seeing the title and thinking I am proposing pizza as a fad diet, step away. I am joking. This is a light hearted, humorous piece about how Dominoes and Little Caesars have become my stress foods.

I can cook. I can cook well. But stress eating is a hobby of mine.

My daughter introduced me to Little Caesars as they have one pretty much across the street from her high school (and a block away from the other high school).

The pizza there is mediocre, the deep dish is pretty darn good, Crazy Bread is delicious and Im addicted to their cheesy jalapeño dip.

Now I can blame my current job for Dominoes. If our CEO orders pizza, it’s Dominoes because it’s close to the office and cheap.

When my teenager had ear tubes installed in November, she wanted pizza and I thought of Dominoes. She’d never had it before. And she found the pizza tracker extremely entertaining.

But now between the Parmesan bread bites and the seasoned crust, I’m a junky. I’ve been ordering Dominoes about once a week and Little Caesar’s about once a month.

Irony is, I’ve lost almost 3 pounds. But that’s stress. Not pizza.

Pizza and a bottle of wine

Tonight’s blog entry will be short.

I’ve had a lot on my mind and on my plate for days. Weeks? Months?

I did something big for me. I reached out to a friend and asked her to have a drink with me.

We had intended to go OUT for a drink, but we’re both kind of broke so I invited her here to my home to meet Nala, share a bottle of wine from my holiday party, and order cheap pizza. Dominos.

Except I didn’t think she’d like the Beaujolais I had. I feared it would be too woody for her.

I told her so.

So she brought her own bottle. And I ordered the Dominoes. One white pizza, the garlic Parmesan sauce, with feta and pineapple. The other with robust marinara, banana peppers and black olives.

(The teenager is floating the idea of vegetarianism again.)

And we got the chocolate chip cookie brownie.

I blame that damn $5.99 mix-and-match promotion.

It felt so good to mindlessly talk, just sit and do nothing, eat pizza and share wine.

I am grateful to have a friend that will do that.