A Trip to the Grocery Store

So, I was at the grocery store with my wife the other day, and I said to her, “Oh, by the way, I need some strawberry preserves, I am almost out.” I say it this way, because she doesn’t eat it so would not have noticed that I was low and put it on the grocery list. Similar to there are things she eats I would never know that she was low on if she didn’t tell me. I was just lucky that we were both off to do the grocery shopping together this week. Strawberry preserves is my preferred part of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.

As we go through the store, we get to the aisle with the jams, jellies and preserves and she walks right on past it. I stop and say, “Hey, I gotta get my strawberry preserves.” She tells me to just get the strawberry jam. I tell her that they are not the same thing and I prefer preserves. She laughs and says yes they are. Well, I find my jar and bring it over to the cart, where she is laughing at me because I am so particular. Below is a post I stole from some website telling the differences between Jelly, Jam and Preserves. If you have been fortunate enough in your life to experience all three made from the same fruit, I am sure you will find your own favorite.

Jelly, jam and preserves are all made from fruit mixed with sugar and pectin. The difference between them comes in the form that the fruit takes.

  • In jelly, the fruit comes in the form of fruit juice.

  • In jam, the fruit comes in the form of fruit pulp or crushed fruit (and is less stiff than jelly as a result).

  • In preserves, the fruit comes in the form of chunks in a syrup or a jam.

Pectin is an indigestible carbohydrate (fiber). It is found in the cell walls of most fruit. When heated with sugar in water, it gels, giving jam, jelly and preserves their thickness.

So, yes wife, I love you dearly, but jelly jam and preserves are not the same thing. Texture wise they are very different.


Our grocery trips together always take another turn for the hilarious side of life, at least according to my wife. This happens when we get to the checkout lane. Now, having at one time in my life gone through bagger training school (yes it actually exists), I know what products go well together in a bag. I have a system based on what is in my cart in order to achieve proper item to bag ratio and to make sure that things like bread and chips/cookies end up in the final bags and do not mixed in with canned goods. Every time we go to the store, I can feel the apprehension from my wife as we approach the checkout line. She loves to try to unload things in the improper order and watch my OCD, as she calls it, kick in and I start rearranging things. It is almost a game to her. I play along because I love her, but sometimes I wonder how she manages to get the groceries home without crushed bread or broken chips when I am not around. Maybe she is just messing with me? If so, I think I just realized I love her even more.


Life – (Feeling Philosophical)

Life is funny sometimes. There was a time when I never would have considered fatherhood for myself, given the poor example I had in my own biological father. Today though, sitting on the floor in the living room helping my son with fractions and multiplication/division problems, I couldn’t have been happier. Using plastic Easter eggs to demonstrate how many times a number fits into another number was so much fun. When I could see it click in his brain that he could use his multiplication tables he has been practicing to work the division problems in reverse, I was so proud. I can’t believe I once considered never putting myself in a position to experience fatherhood. Sure, it can be stressful at times, and I certainly struggle with having higher expectations for my son than is sometimes fair for a child his age, but he took up residence in my heart the moment I met him.  Life’s stresses can cause frustrations abound, however it is those little miracles of fatherhood that make the work worth it. I found an old poem about “Life” in my archives that I thought I would share.



In Life
We are merely ships on a sea
This Life
Causes us joy and causes us pain
We Live
By our choices in this life

In Life
We strive to be all we want to be
This Life
Has much to lose and much to gain
We Live
With our joy, pain, bounty, strife

Life sometimes throws us many curves
Like the steady driver who suddenly swerves
We cannot know the strength of our nerves
Till we snap…

Dark Haired Angel (Poem)

This previously untitled work of poetry was written for a friend of mine who was going through a rough patch in her life. I hadn’t posted in awhile so I decided to reach back in my archives and post something.

Darkness looming
Framing her pale face
Like the dark locks of her hair

Sadness forming
Deep inside her heart
Storm clouds hover in the air

Her downcast eyes
Barely hold back the rain of tears
But within the dark clouds
Lies an untapped strength

The bitter wind beats at her soul
Trying to wear down her resolve
Flash of lightning, peal of thunder
Awakens something inside her
A stirring deep within

She raises her eyes from the ground
The flash of lightning reveals a fire
Burning deep and strong within her heart
Fists clenched at her sides
She finds the strength to carry on