Here are just a couple of examples of what I'm talking about (warning, this will let you know that sometimes I am just flat out lost in this great big grown up world!)...
We are big homemade ice cream lovers. I got an ice cream maker back in collage, and got all of my roommates addicted to it (fresh raspberry homemade ice cream, yummmmmm - my mouth is watering just thinking about it!!) Why do you need to know this detail? Well, I'll tell you - one of the basic needs for homemade ice cream is rock salt. You layer that with the ice to help it get colder to harden the ice cream, yada yada yada. So, we move to Detroit where apparently they have some unwritten ban on homemade ice cream in the summer because I searched high and low for rock salt and all I got were weird looks from the grocery store people as they told me, "um, yea, rock salt, well, you see that's a seasonal item... used for icy driveways in the winter... and it's 90 degrees outside... so, no, we don't stalk that right now"...
Okay stay with me, I am getting to my point of the post :). Fast forward 5 years (please fast forward, because the slow motion play of those five years is very scary, and not one I would like to relive again in this lifetime!) and we pull into Rochester Minnesota (in the heart of the summer, mind you!), and the first thing I notice is that EVERY gas station, grocery store, and drug store has HUGE stockpiles of rock salt outside. Not only that, but they have about 5 different varieties to boot! So where does my thought process take me? "Man, they really like homemade ice cream around here - we really have hit the jack pot!!" I get so excited to make ice cream that I pull it out and rev it up after it's much mourned hiatus.
Fast forward again (this post is long enough already, so I'll spare you the interim details!) and I start to notice hard water spots on all of our dishes. I knew the previous owners had told us that there was a great water softener system in the house, so I'm a bit perplexed by this. I casually mention this dilemma to a friend, and she replies, "Oh, did your rock salt run out?" What? Rock salt? what other use could there be besides making ice cream?
I go to the basement and find the big bin that is our water softener, lift the lid and sure enough, it's a big bin of nothing. I grab the manual to see what's supposed to go in their. Yep, Rock salt. Not only that, but come to find out "they" say you should NEVER let your rock salt run out, or apparently it can do great damage to your whole water softening system. Great. It would have been nice if "they" would have come to my front door and hand delivered me a telegram with the fact on it a few months earlier - that's about what I need sometimes!
Example number two: So, I've learned my rock salt lesson and now have become rock salt obsessed, checking the 'bin' at least twice a week just to make sure we don't run out again! Life is good, we start going about our business. Being the happy homemaker that I pretend to be, I have some plants that I religiously water. Since I have no semblance of a green thumb whatsoever, only the hardiest of plants have made it through and stuck with me through all of our moves. But I notice that even these diehard ones are getting a bit, well, not so diehard. I don't think much of it as I go about life, until I am sitting in church one Sunday and the teacher in Relief Society brings in two plants as an object lesson. One, the pretty and perky one, she says has been watered with fresh, pure water, while the other (the wilty, puny plant) has been watered with house water, and she says, "you know they say you shouldn't water your plants with soft water because salt isn't good for them..." and she goes on with the lesson.
I can honestly say that I don't remember what she said next, because I had one of those 'boings' go off in my head and thought, "oh, yea, salt (the rock salt that I so religiously put into the bin)+plants = not such a good combination, duh!"
Again, where was I when "THEY" had that seminar? I obviously missed the 'rock salt does and don'ts' section entirely!!
So, if any of you made it to that meeting, could I get the notes from you, please? And if there are any 'they' meetings that you become aware of, please let me know - I need all the help I can get!