Just Heather

This morning before my meeting at the news station, I panicked about the fact that I have never been on a job interview before. I am 30 years old and I have never had a real and actual job interview. I got all my jobs because I knew someone who knew someone, and then I became a stay at home mom.

I wonder if I can use that term now. Starting next Friday I have a job as a morning news weekly contributor on the subject of savings and coupons. I will have a 3-4 minute segment each week, primarily discussing the top 5 deals of the week and directing viewers to my own website for more information. It is basically a big advertisement for my business, only they are going to pay me.

They want to come up with a name for me and/or my show. I need something catchy, but I’m drawing a blank. I did suggest Smart Shopper or Shopping Smart, from a previous comment, which they liked but we’re still brainstorming. I also came up with Good Buy Girl, which seems fun though I don’t know if they’ll go for the Neil Simon wordplay.

I’m still kind of in shock over how quickly this is all happening. I am excited, and I’m sure the nervous part will come next week. My mom reminded me that if I can handle the national evening news, I can do this. The difference is this is live and being local actually makes it more important to my business. I have 9 more days to panic so for now I’m just enjoying the excitement—and the idea of a paycheck—not to mention the fact that my father actually seems proud of me.

A couple weeks ago I was contacted by a reporter from the Indianapolis Star. She was working on an article about rising grocery prices and had stumbled across FeedIndy.com. She came to the house to interview me and then followed me to the grocery store to see what I do. Her focus was on how local families were combating higher prices at the store.

I figured the local coverage could have a bigger impact on our business than CBS and the Chicago Tribune. I couldn’t have been more right. Since the article was released, we have seen a remarkable increase in traffic and I have been contacted by many people—old friends I had lost touch with, family members who saw my face (quite large and a little creepy) staring up at them and the news director for a local television station.

I have been invited to join their morning news team as a weekly contributor on the subject of shopping and savings. We have discussed the idea via email and phone. On Wednesday I will be meeting the news team to see if we are a good fit and discussing further details with the director. He already has several ideas on topics for my live segment. Me! On live television! Every week!

I am a very picky eater. Even if you completely discount that some of it is medically necessary, you would still say I am a picky eater. I feel sort of bad about that because the hubby is a pretty adventurous eater and would prefer more variety than I typically provide. Now and then I do try to find something new that I think we will all enjoy.

Tonight I stumbled on a new dish by accident. I had intended to defrost pork chops for the sweet-n-sour recipe I found last year. Instead I discovered I had defrosted a pork loin. Not to be deterred, I headed to a couple cookbooks, and my favorite web resource, to find Herb Roasted Pork (which I modified slightly for the pressure cooker since I did not discover my mistake until it was too late for a traditional roast), almond green beans and buttered hashbrowns.

We sat down to dinner and my middle child announces “This chicken is really tasty!” The almond green beans weren’t a big hit. My oldest child didn’t like them (big surprise!) because they were “too sour,” an excuse she came up with based on overhearing me mention they had a bit of lemon juice in them. I wasn’t a big fan of the lemon juice myself, but they were certainly not sour. Brenia didn’t like the “all mans” mixed in. The baby, on the other hand, ate the “geen beans” like they were going out of style. She even managed to use her fork to spear them—and the “taytoes”—a few times for good measure.

All in all it was a successful dinner. The roasted pork really was tasty. Plus it had the added bonus of ending with the baby announcing, “I potty” to which we all cheered and ran off to watch (it didn’t happen, but it was an exciting concept nonetheless).

I have been called a tree-hugger, a hippie and who knows what else to reference my green Earth tendencies. The funny thing is, I’m not even obsessive about it. All I do is recycle paper, plastic, metal and glass. I make a conscious effort to reduce, reuse and recycle. That’s it. Apparently, because I don’t get anything out of it (I actually pay someone to pick up my recyclables each week instead of collecting them until the scrap yard will give me a dollar), I am an obsessive green freak. Whatever.

I was actually the first in my neighborhood to participate in the pickup program. I called before we ever moved in to get it all setup. I got green buckets, filled them up and set them on the curb every two weeks. Occasionally, they would miss me and I would have to call. That’s how I found out there was no one else in my entire neighborhood of 1200 people who recycled. A few others have jumped on board and pickup is now weekly because we were filling the truck too quickly. A good sprinkling of homes in the area have their blue buckets set out each week. Mine were green. They apparently changed equipment in the 2 years it took for someone else to join the program.

Now I set my blue buckets out every most Wednesday nights. I loved my green buckets—they just seemed so representative of their purpose—but they disappeared awhile back. I thought they blew away in a storm, but recently I have noticed a house down the street sporting old, beat-up green buckets for their recycling. I know those are mine. No one else has ever had green buckets. Don’t think recycling a few of your beer bottles is going to erase your bucket-thieving karma.

When I was growing up, my father owned a small, regional chain of video rental stores. This means that my siblings and I grew up on movies. We have watched and rewatched movies most people have never heard of. Family classics include Clue, Harry and the Hendersons and The NeverEnding Story. We watched all the usual 80s favorites too—Dirty Dancing, The Breakfast Club, Ghostbusters—but there is nothing like the B movie classics.

Every now and then I’ll find an old family favorite on DVD in the dirt cheap (because who else wants it?) section. This weekend—on an emergency holiday liquor run—I picked up Three Amigos, Murder at 1600 and Don’t Tell Mom the Babysitter’s Dead. I’m excited to add them to our ever-growing DVD collection, though finding someone to watch them with me is quite a challenge. We recently counted no less than 30 DVDs on our shelves that we haven’t actually watched since their purchase.

We just finished catching up on the Harry Potter movies and today we are starting Back to the Future. That makes 5 movies down, but we still have a long way to go in watching all the movies we own. I’d say we need a buying hiatus for a bit, but we’ve bought 10 new DVDs in the last week so I don’t see that happening any time soon. You gotta love the $5 bin not to mention Best Buy Reward Zone.