Friday, September 28, 2007

Creative Temper Tantrum

Jonah is my creative child. He has lots of ideas and completely loses it if his skills are not equal to the idea in his head. This morning he wanted me to make a paper fan for him. I told him he was old enough to make his own fan and I showed him how to do it by making one for Isaac.

With a nice piece of scratch paper, Jonah attempted to make his own fan. His first fold was disappointingly skewed to the right. He smashed it a little in the middle which caused the fold to over-correct itself to the left. The mini-meltdown that followed that one small paper fold reminded me of the tantrums Don Music used to have on 1970's episodes of Sesame Street.

It went a little something like this (substitute paper folding for lyric composition)...

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Meet Jacob

This is Jacob, Ethan's hamster. Ethan came up with the name and I'm not sure what inspired it. Jacob is nocturnal but has been pretty gracious about being woken up several times through out the day to entertain us in any number of ways. Mostly, we make him run around the house in this little ball. It's a torture I'm sure is covered somewhere in the Geneva Convention.

Here are two things I never, ever wanted to hear in my life, but that have now been uttered in my presence since getting this hamster:

#1 "Eww, the hamster just pooped on me. Eww! Now the poop fell on the floor and Isaac stepped in it."

#2 "Mom can you make a teeny hamster Halloween costume?"

And here is something I will admit, but if you breathe a word of this to anyone, I can not guarantee your personal safety: At night, before I go to bed, I sneak into Ethan's room (creepy-mom style a la "I'll Love You Forever") and check out little Jacob running away on his wheel like he's late for is own wedding. He will run and run and run, then jump off the wheel, run through the toilet paper tube, climb up on the salt lick, jump in his food dish, and head right back to the wheel and start the whole process over again. It's pretty cute, but reminds me of my day and why I'm so tired.

And finally, here is a hamster fact. According to my diligent fact-checking (verified by 2 different websites) a hamster runs around 5 miles a night on his wheel. Crazy!

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Things To Do

1. Blog about my fabulous new mattress.

2. Blog about life with a small, nocturnal rodent.

3. Welcome my newest reader (I believe that makes 6!) Molly, I'm glad you tracked me down.

Things are a little crazy right now so that is all I can say about any of those things. Just know that I haven't forgotten about my blog.

Until I get my butt in gear and post a real post, please enjoy this photo from Jonah's first soccer game. He played against our neighbor Anna's team. The teams are made up of kindergartners and first graders. Anna is in first grade. Can you guess whose team won?

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Holy Small Rodent Batman!

I don't want a pet. I don't, I don't, I don't!! I have cleaned up enough poop to last a lifetime. I have no desire to add a smelly animal to our household. No desire, I tell you!

Yet, it seems I can avoid it no longer.

Of course I can avoid it! What am I saying? I'm the Mom for crying out loud. "Because I said so" is the trump card I guard carefully and use sparingly. I don't have to have an animal in the house if I don't want one.

Unfortunately, in a moment of weakness, I told Ethan that if he did a report on hamsters and kept his room clean for 2 weeks, he could get a hamster. What in the world was I thinking? Maybe that there was no way he could possibly keep his room clean? For someone who loves basketball, he can't seem to "shoot" a single dirty sock into the laundry basket.

So, here it is, 2 weeks later. Ethan has been marginally effective keeping his room clean and I suppose I need to keep my end of this totally crappy bargain. And when I say crappy, I mean I am sick and tired of cleaning up poop!

Ethan jumped off the bus today after school and asked if we could go to the pet store to get his hamster. I told him I would take him the minute he finished his homework. I'm not going to say anything to him, but it seems like he's been distracted and isn't doing his homework at the moment.

Maybe, just maybe, I can put this hamster nightmare off for one more day.

Monday, September 17, 2007

The Most Expensive Date Ever

The Good News: Robert and I got to go on an actual date this weekend where we went out to dinner and had adult conversation (about taxes and politics of course!) and we didn’t have kids interrupting every 3.6 seconds with: Can I have a hamster? How did pioneers roast marshmallows? I have to pee! Do you want to see my bug collection? Can you wash these smashed tomatoes out of my hair?

The Bad News: The date cost us over $1,600.

Here’s how it happened:

Robert: That was a great dinner. Let’s go into this electronics store and look at electronic equipment we have no intention of buying.

Afton: No, let’s go into Macy’s and look at all the shoes and pick me out a swanky pair of boots!

Robert: How about going to look for a mattress?

Afton: OK

The Good News: In 2 to 4 hours, our new mattress will be delivered. We have 90 days to try it out and we can return it if we don’t like it.

The Bad News: They are going to haul away our old mattress, so we will have to end up buying a new mattress one way or the other. Also, if the new mattress gets any moisture on it (including sweat or condensed breath) the return policy will be void.

The Good News: Mattress World conveniently had a moisture proof mattress pad available for sale. Outrageously overpriced, (I think it was around $150!) the chances of the mattress getting wet are very, very low.

The Bad News: The mattress we bought is 3 times as heavy as a traditional spring mattress and our old bed frame will most likely not support it.

The Good News: They had a heavy duty steel bed frame for sale (how convenient!) for only $50 and can deliver it with our new mattress.

The Bottom Line: The next few nights are going to be crucial to our happiness. If we sleep well, life is good. If we don’t sleep well, and (heaven help us) we have to return this mattress, I predict weeks of misery.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Summer Read-Fest, Part 3

I’m posting another list of books I read over the summer. This list consists of books I really enjoyed, were thoroughly entertaining, but which didn’t make the cut into my “most loved” books of the summer for one reason or another. Mostly, it was personal taste. I’m not a professional reviewer or anything. (In case you didn’t notice.)

Rex Zero and the End of the World by Tim Wynne-Jones, Interesting, good story, well written, very Canadian with a few bomb shelters thrown in.

Leonardo’s Shadow by Christopher Grey, Great story, interesting characters, still a few things not explained.

An Abundance of Katherines by John Green, Too much math, kind of formulaic, (no pun intended.)

Notes from the Midnight Driver by Jordan Sonnenblick, Feel good book, great story, like a “Tuesdays with Morrie” for the YA audience…at least that is what it said on the back of the book.

One Whole and Perfect Day by Judith Clarke, Didn’t really like the 3rd person omniscient voice.

Cupid: A Tale of Love and Desire by Julius Lester, Personal voice tells the story of the myth of cupid and psyche, pretty good.

A Drowned Maiden’s Hair by Laura Amy Schlitz, Clever writing, fresh and original at times, but could see the ending coming a mile away.

A Great and Terrible Beauty by Libba Bray, A fun escape, a little bit of a page turner.

Rebel Angels by Libba Bray, Fab follow up to A Great and Terrible Beauty, fun twists and turns.

Angus, Thongs and Full Frontal Snogging by Louise Rennison, Fun, but not much point. Supposedly a YA version of Bridget Jones. Did appreciate the glossary of British terms: it was double cool with knobs.

The Book Theif by Markus Zusak, Lots of death, in fact, he narrates the book. Lots of Nazis too. Heavy and desperate at times with a few rays of hope, but not many.

How it Happened on Peach Hill by Marthe Jocelyn, This story is practically the same as A Drowned Maiden’s Hair with a few minor differences.

Girl, 15, Charming But Insane by Sue Limb, Way to overcome serious humiliation, not preachy, just fun.

Girl, Nearly 16, Absolute Torture by Sue Limb, Not as much humiliation in this book, but still fun and entertaining.

Girl, Going on 17, Pants on Fire by Sue Limb, Desperately and tragically funny with a sweet ending.

Breath by Donna Jo Napoli, It took me until the last two chapters to figure out this was a retelling of the Pied Piper. A little heavy, lots of death, but most of them deserved it.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Long Cake Recipe

Key Lime Cream Cake
1 cup graham cracker crumbs (15 squares)
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter or margarine, melted
2 TB Key lime or regular lime juice
1 pkg. yellow cake mix
1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened
2 tsp. grated Key lime or regular lime peel
3 eggs
Creamy Key Lime Filling (below)

1. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease bottoms only of 2 round pans, (8 or 9 inch), with shortening (dark or nonstick pans are not recommended). Line pans with waxed paper. Grease top of waxed paper and sides of pan; lightly flour. Mix cracker crumbs, sugar and melted butter in medium blow. Spread 2/3 cup of mixture in each pan.

2. Add enough water to lime juice to measure 1 1/3 cups. Beat cake mix, softened butter, lime juice mixture, lime peel and eggs in large bowl with electric mixer on low speed 30 seconds. Beat on medium speed 2 minutes, scraping bowl occasionally. Pour into pans.

3. Bake 8-inch rounds 42 to 45 minutes, 9-inch rounds 36 to 46 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center, blah, blah, blah. Run sharp knife around side of pans to loosen cakes. Cool in pans 15 minutes. Remove from pans to wire rack, placing cakes crumb mixture side up and removing waxed paper from top of cakes. Cool completely, about 1 hour.

4. Place 1 layer, crumb side up, on serving plate. Spread with 1 cup Creamy Key Lime Filling to within 1/4 inch of edge. Add second layer, crumb side up; frost side and top of cake with remaining filling. Store, loosely covered in refrigerator. 12 to 16 servings.

Creaming Key Lime Filling
1 can (14 oz.) sweetened condensed milk
2 tsp grated Key lime or regular lime peel
1/2 cup Key lime or regular lime juice
1 1/2 cups whipping (heavy) cream

Stir together milk, lime peel and lime juice in small bowl; set aside. Beat whipping cream in chilled medium bowl with electric mixer on high speed until soft peaks form. Fold milk mixture into whipped cream just until blended.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Television Abstinence, Day Eleven

We are approaching 2 weeks of (almost) no TV and I thought I'd give a little update. Our "No TV" rule applies to weekdays. On the weekend, kids can choose to watch 2 hours of television and play 1 hour of computer.

The Good
The family room has stayed amazingly clean. I've gone from vacuuming every day to once a week. Battleship, The Simpson's Version of "Operation" and Stratego have seen a lot of action. Additionally, the kids have rediscovered Legos, the expensive wooden train tracks and our extensive collection of Fisher Price "Little People." Just today, Jonah was experimenting with making his own toys. This included action figures taped to plastic grocery bags (parachute guys), a ball point pen taped to a plastic dog (torpedo dog or writer dog) and another pen taped to a piece of paper (?).

Ethan has not been too distracted in the morning to find his shoes before the bus comes. He completes his homework right when he comes home so he can have plenty of time to play outside. He even helped me make the Key Lime Cream Cake by crushing 15 graham crackers into superfine crumbs.

I love not having to compete with the TV to get kids to come to dinner. I don't miss the local news or weather and I have plenty of time to read in the evenings.

The Bad
I'm getting almost no writing done (other than this blog), which is not a good thing. Jonah and Isaac do require a little direction and assistance from time to time in their creative play. It's a good thing that I'm playing with them more, but not so good that all the writing time I thought I'd have is not really happening.

The Ugly
Since I proposed our No TV idea as a "2 week with an evaluation at the end" program, Ethan is under the impression that in 3 more days, we will go back to our old TV viewing habits. I do recall saying something about evaluating and making changes, "if needed." Of course the potential changes I had in mind were more along the lines of changing the 2 hours of TV on the weekends to 1 hour.

Needless to say, I think Ethan will be pretty disappointed when we stay the course with the no TV thing. I'm so mean!

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Tzarist, 104 points

Angela and I play an on-line Scrabble game at In a recent game I... oh, how do I put this gently...swept the floor with her. I was already winning when I played the word "tzarist" and racked up a wad of points and a bonus for using all 7 letters. My final score, as you can see from the game board, was not only enough to win, but was well into the 400's. (If you can't read microscopic print, the final score was me: 462, Angela: 315.)

I asked Angela if she thought there was any one at Scrabble headquarters I could contact to submit my winning score to be published in some kind of Scrabble history book. There had to be some way to publicly acknowledge my Scrabble awesomeness. Maybe the Guinness Book of World Records has a category for something like this?

Angela assured me that she and Andrew would always remember my great game, but she didn't think my great score was worthy of publication. Darn!

So, in hopes of gaining a little public recognition, I'm posting our Scrabble game here, on my blog, where I know it will have plenty of attention. To be fair, Angela had a pretty good game too. She came up with tzarist"s" for something like 84 points. (very clever Angela!) However, it just wasn't enough to stop me.

And here is what Angela and I look like when we are playing on-line scrabble:

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

A Piece of Cake

Yesterday afternoon, I decided that with school back in session and two thirds of the kids out of the house for a good part of the day, I had plenty of time and no excuse not to make a really fun dessert for Family Home Evening.

Normally, I'm the mom who thinks of Family Home Evening dessert about 2 minutes before we actually start Family Home Evening. And we normally start Family Home Evening about 15 minutes past the kid's bed time. Sometimes we play the game, "guess what our lesson is about tonight," where the kids take turns coming up with ideas for topics, games and scripture stories. When I hear something that sounds good, I announce, "that's it!" and begin my improvisational lesson followed by a game of scripture charades.

Eventually, the kids ask, "what's for dessert?"

"What do YOU think we are having for dessert?" I reply, and wait until the kids guess something dessert-like we already have on hand. (Correct! It's cinnamon toast!)

So, yesterday, I thought I would be proactive and make a dessert before we had to resort to games. I also wanted to give the kids a special reward for going without TV during the school week and mostly on the weekend (it's college football season for crying out loud. We have to watch TV on Saturday.) I decided to make Key Lime Cream Cake out of the April 2004 Betty Crocker cook booklet titled "Super Moist Cake Mix Recipes."

I love key lime pie and thought this cake sounded delicious. It said in the instructions that I could use regular limes if Key limes were not available, but I saw a bag of real Key limes at QFC and bought them. They weren't that much more expensive than real limes, and even though I had a bottle of lime juice already in the fridge at home, I knew that real, fresh, Key lime juice would make all the difference in my Key Lime Cream Cake. I did have a small moment of hesitation when I pictured myself zesting and squeezing those tiny little limes (smaller than ping pong balls!) to acquire the 4 teaspoons of zest and over 1/2 cup of juice.

The first step in the Key Lime Cream Cake instructions was to grease the bottom of the 2 round cake pans, THEN line them with waxed paper, THEN grease the waxed paper, THEN flour the greased waxed paper. I thought this might be going a bit over board, but I didn't question the recipe and followed everything exactly.

Each cake layer was baked atop a delicious graham cracker crust, which was made using a whole cube of butter. YUM! Then, I added an additional cube of butter to the cake mix and wondered for a moment just how a cup of butter worked into my supposed routine of healthy eating.

Squeezing the approximately 487 Key limes it took to get 1/2 cup of juice did cause a mild case of tendonitis, but I kept squeezing through the pain, thinking about how delicious the Key Lime Cream Cake was going to be.

And it was delicious! The kids' tastes were not sophisticated enough to appreciate the subtle nuances of the Key lime, and even though they probably would have preferred a scoop of vanilla ice cream instead of the cake, they ate the it and enjoyed it marginally. Success!

All this talk about cake reminds me that it's lunch time and lime juice has so much vitamin C, I'm sure a slice of cake would make a great lunch. Gotta go!
p.s. I am anticipating a request or two for this recipe. I have tried to find it on line so I could simply add a link, but I have not been able to locate the exact recipe. Since it's pretty long, I will include the recipe on a separate blog on another day. Maybe tomorrow, but I'm not making any promises. You will just have to check back every day until you see it. Ciao!

Friday, September 7, 2007

Summer Read-Fest, Part 2

Here’s the next installment in my Summer Read-Fest book list. The following books are all juvenile or young adult fiction books. All of these books were my favorites of the summer, but there were 4 books that simply “blew me away.” I’ve marked those 4 books with an asterisk.

The Invention of Hugo Cabret, by Brian Selznick, Brilliant use of visual storytelling, totally original, great story and plot.

The Earth, My Butt and Other Big Round Things, by Carolyn Mackler, You go Virginia! Way to figure out who you are, embrace it and love it!

*Dairy Queen: A Novel, by Catherine Gilbert Murdock, Loved it! Honest and original protagonist, I didn’t see where this story was going, but loved it.

The Off Season, by Catherine Gilbert Murdock, A follow up to Dairy Queen, Not as good as the first, but still, a great read.

Skellig, by David Almond, Symbolic, beautiful read, tale of the fragility of life.

The Lemonade War, by Jacqueline Davies, Did I just get a lesson in math, business and marketing? Fun story with a little dark streak.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, by JK Rowling, Duh!

*Hattie Big Sky, by Kirby Larson, Definitely worthy of it’s Newbery Award, excellent story, well written, great characters.

Kiki Strike in the Shadow City, by Kirsten Miller, Smart, tough and kick-butt girl spies. Loved it.

Emma Jean Lazarus Fell out of a Tree, by Lauren Tarshis, Smart, borderline Asperger’s main character tries to help out classmates, well written and fun story.

*Speak, by Laurie Halse Anderson, Surprised by how much I loved this book. Dark and sad, yet sarcastically funny and hopeful.

Coraline, by Neil Gaiman, Cuh-REEPY good. I think I had dreams about long nailed hands scuttling about after reading this book.

His Dark Materials Trilogy, by Phillip Pullman, The Golden Compass was slow going at the beginning, but quickly sucked me in , The Subtle Knife was a great follow up and made me excited to read on. The Amber Spyglass was big and deep and sometimes confusing, but overall, very good.

Uglies, Pretties and Specials (trilogy), by Scott Westerfield, Great first book, be sure and have Pretties right next to you because when you finish Uglies you won’t be able to wait. Specials kind of took a turn, showed the future of cosmetic surgery, maybe? I wasn’t sure about the ending, but overall a great trilogy.

The Goose Girl, Enna Burning, and River Secrets, by Shannon Hale, Goose Girl was a lovely and engaging story, kept me reading til the end, re-read parts. Really enjoyed Enna Burning, not exactly a sequel, but more of a lateral tale which still includes a little about characters in Goose Girl. River Secrets was fun, great character development and a few surprises.

Princess Academy, by Shannon Hale, Wonderful tale, unpredictable in a good way.

*Twilight, New Moon, and Eclipse, by Stephenie Meyer, I think I just fell in love with a vampire! Twilight is far and away my favorite, Edward has lost his mystery by Eclipse and Bella has become a bit whiny, but I’m confident things will turn around by Breaking Dawn.

Life as we Knew it, by Susan Beth Pfeffer, Serious, interesting, heavy, frightening, thought provoking, I want to know more!

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Summer Read-Fest 2007

As previously stated on this blog, and thanks to my obsessive nature, I spent the summer reading almost non-stop. I read late into the night and when morning came, I rolled over, grabbed my book and started reading again.

I read at the community water fountain while my boys played in the water. I read at the amusement park while my boys rode the Frog Hopper, Kiddie Coaster and Big Pink. I sometimes read at stop lights and once at the swimming pool. I read in hotel rooms, at the beach and at Chuck E. Cheese.

I read a few books that blew me away and others that were purely entertaining. Some of the books were adult level books, but most were juvenile or young adult fiction. There were a handful of books that I didn’t care for at all.

If I were to list all the books I read, this post would go on forever. As it is, this post is already pretty long. So, I guess I will start with the adult books I read and loved. I have included very brief comments that sum up my overall feeling of the book. I will list more books on upcoming posts.

Outlander, by Diana Gabaldon, Historical fiction with time travel and a tall, kilt-wearing Scottish Highlander make a great combo. Will re-read!

Dragonfly in Amber, by Diana Gabaldon, Love this series and love Jamie and Claire.

Voyager, by Diana Gabaldon, Fascinating historical details, great romance.

Drums in Autumn, by Diana Gabaldon, Yea! It’s good.

Fiery Cross, by Diana Gabaldon, not the best, but I still couldn’t get enough.

A Breath of Snow and Ashes, Diana Gabaldon, I spent no less than 5 days in mourning when I finished this book, can’t wait for the next one.

The Thirteenth Tale, by Diane Setterfield, Good story, engaging, kept me going, some things a little too neat and tidy at the end and some things not resolved.

The Glass Castle, by Jeannette Walls, Fascinating, hard to put down, amazing story of survival.

A Thousand Splendid Suns, by Khaled Hosseini, Shocking at times, maddening, hopeful, and beautifully written.

How Elizabeth Barrett Browning Saved My Life, by Mameve Medwed, I totally gasped at the ending, GREAT! Fun, quick read about antiques and life and getting a backbone.

Austenland: A Novel, by Shannon Hale, Super fun read, chicklit at its best, laugh out loud funny in parts.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Television Abstinence, Day One

Today was the first day of our new "no TV" policy. When I asked Ethan to rate how hard it was to go with out TV on a scale from 1 to 10 (1 being very easy and 10 being very hard) he immediately said "Ten!"

I asked him if he'd not had fun playing Frisbee with his friends at the park, which is what he did after school instead of watching TV. He thought for a moment, then revised his original remark and rated the difficulty at about a 6. He said it was hardest in the morning before school because he just had to sit and wait for the bus to come.

Jonah and Isaac played several board games together today and I only had to intervene minimally. Jonah went on a long walk with his dad and came back with 6 cups of blackberries. Ethan worked on building a roller coaster out of K'nex building parts. Robert even read a whole book!

I didn't really end up with any extra free time, but I predict there will be less crushed pretzels and popcorn kernels on the floor right in front of the TV. That means I won't have to vacuum as often, so I have that going for me, which is nice.

Sunday, September 2, 2007

How to Not Eat Fudge

Lesson #1: Don’t Buy Fudge
The first step in not eating fudge is to not buy fudge. When you visit a quaint beach town, where every other store for 38 blocks sells no less than 22 varieties of hand-made fudge, do not go in the store. Don’t go into the store under the pretense of only buying salt water taffy. The salt water taffy is merely and instrument used to get you to buy fudge. Do not fall for it.

If you must go in the store because, for example, your husband is in there picking out the wrong flavors of taffy, or because you think you spotted a rice cake and just want to check it out, stay away from the fudge counter.

Head to the back of the store where they stash the nasty candies with names like toxic waste, cry baby, viper blast, dragon fire, and atomic fizzion. Feign interest in the floor tiles or inspect the store front windows for fingerprints. Do not look at the front of the store near the cash register where the spacious glass case houses 22 varieties of fudge, displayed in large, pan-shaped chunks.

If your husband left his wallet in the car and needs you to pay for the taffy and you place yourself, through no fault of your own, with in sniffing range of the 22 varieties of fudge, breathe through your mouth until you can safely exit the store. Do not, under any circumstances, look at the fudge.

Except of course you might happen to notice a particularly curious bit of fudge, creamy brown with orange swirls running through it. “What in the world is that?” you ask yourself. You’ve seen fudge with M&M’s, rocky road fudge, fudge with green mint swirls and even white chocolate caramel swirl fudge. This orange swirl fudge is simply a mystery. Whatever you do, do not approach the fudge to get a closer look.

If you are like most people who don’t eat fudge, you will probably need to find out what kind of fudge this is, simply to satisfy your curiosity; for research, of course. Once you know what new flavor has been added to the old line up of fudge stand-bys, you will be able to leave the store and not think about fudge for the rest of the day. So, peek if you must, at the little tag stuck into the fudge with a little plastic pick, but do not linger.

When the fudge peddler offers you a free sample of the fudge you’ve been drooling over, whatever you do, do not accept. (And why were you drooling in the first place? It was supposed to be a quick peek, no time for drooling!)

If you must, fake a foreign accent or total ignorance of the English language to quickly escape the free-fudge-sample-pusher and run for the door. Do not try to explain that you really shouldn’t, that you don’t care for fudge and that you were just curious. Don’t smell the little sliver of fudge on a toothpick, don’t look at it, and for heaven’s sake, don’t take it. Just back away, slowly and deliberately, then turn and run.

If you linger too long, you might realize the toothpicked, free fudge sample is really just a wafer-thin sliver. It’s nothing, really, compared to that giant pan shaped block mocking you under the glass. The fudge man probably can not put the free sample back with the rest of the fudge now that it’s been severed from its block. He will just have to throw it away. You may as well take it and complete your fudge research by tasting the little bit of fudgy goodness.

You might realize all these things and more, but they will be misguided rationalizations. Do not take the free sample.

The free sample tastes delicious of course. We all knew you’d eat it. Just get it over with and put as much distance between you and the fudge as soon as possible. Ignore the way the creamy fudge feels in your mouth. Pay no attention to the endorphins that are being released in your body: you’re not happy, it’s just chocolate! And please, please don’t take notice of the multi-sized boxes available to take fudge home in.

Of course you would never buy the box that holds 5 hunks of fudge and a 6th hunk for free. It’s $10 after all and someone who spends that much on fudge clearly has a fudge problem. The $5 box may not be as good of a deal, but it holds fewer hunks of fudge that you will not be eating.

Buy the small box of fudge, not for you, of course, and leave the store while you still have a shred of dignity.

Next Week, Lesson #2: How to Hide Your Fudge