26 steps to Grocery shopping in subzero conditions!

Well hello there 🙂

It has been a while since my fingers and thoughts have culminated in a post. Life has been… a whirlwind and for the first time in months, I actually feel sane enough to compose my thoughts! 🙂

(Leaving our warm NZ for a wintry America)

Since I last posted, we have flown across the world to the beautiful, yet wintry North of St Cloud, Minnesota. Hubby is here for work and I, plus four cherubs have come to. Which brings me to the theme of today’s post…


1. Children toileted, bag of tricks packed, jackets on, apartment keys on hand… check!

2. Two littlest in pram to save back and set off down the lift to the apartment foyer.

3. Leave two bigger kids in charge (repeat instructions 10 times!) and walk to garage which is certainly not near the foyer entrance. Walk slightly quicker as the temperature permeates clothing. Pull hood down over face and utter a few clean muttering words as nose starts to lose  feeling.

4. Drive car from garage round to entrance (remembering to stay right!) and load children quickly… QUICKLY into car. Watch ice on ground!!

5. Try and stay cool, calm and collected while warding off multiple questions from the back of the car as you REMEMBER to drive on the right, stop for pedestrians and indicate with the indicator not your windscreen wipers!

6. Unload already ill tempered children and find trolley… OOPS shopping cart! When no double seated “shopping cart” can be found, resort to the rather laborious, extra long cart with plastic car attached to front and use body weight and downwards pressure to steer.

7. Slowly work through the isles reading packages as if they were in a foreign language and try not to run over any unsuspecting old lady as you take the corner on the left!

8. Gradually strip off the many warm layers as the balmy, subtropical environment of the supermarket causes you to work up a sweat.

9. Balance groceries precariously on shopping cart as you start to shop for two weeks!  The prospect of doing this again soon, makes you rather faint.

10. Usher groceries and children through check out, micromanaging turn taking on the ride on horse and understanding the young man’s accent on til.

11. Pile children and groceries into TWO shopping carts, do some deep breathing as you manage a screaming 3 year old, navigate out one set of doors, jackets on, navigate across the freezing desolate landscape of the carpark (now with 2 crying!) and get everyone and everything into the car. RUB and BLOW on hands to regain feeling!!

12. Drive home… (notice external temp is 21 degrees Fahrenheit)

13. Realise that you live on the 2nd floor and you have a boot full of groceries and four tired hungry children.

14. Park car near entrance. Unload 3 children and get them into foyer. Go back for sleeping baby, who wakes up when cold air hits his cosy warm cheeks!

15. Take everyone upstairs and into apartment. Put one wee man to bed and set up others with paper and pens.

16. Downstairs (16 of them… not that I was counting :))

17. Get first few bags out of car, through one heavy door using some good bum action and realise that the next door will have to be unlocked each time. Unlock door, put groceries inside and back out.

18. Repeat step 17, 7 times. Resort to holding keys in teeth so they are easy to reach.

19. Finally stand breathlessly looking at the pile of groceries and then at the stairs… and then at the groceries… and then at the lift….

20. Choose stairs! First load up and into apartment… feeling good! Empowered! Like I’m on the Biggest Loser!

21. Second load… paper bag handle breaks on heavy bag… now feeling like a big loser as you snatch at the bag trying to save the contents from spilling out. Stagger the remainder of the way…

22. Repeat…

23. Bring the final load up and peel off jacket so that you can breathe.

24. Kids are now “very hungry!”

25. Crack open the new box of Gluten Free Chocolate Chex cereal, pile 3 bowls high, pour in milk, hand to rather gobsmacked kids and LIE DOWN!!!

26. Remember to ask hubby VERY NICELY later to put the car in the garage! 🙂

Ordering online is looking OH SO tempting now for the rest of winter, that’s for sure!!!!





  1. *chuckle* …part way through I was thinking, “oh, Ruth, Coborne’s Grocery delivers!” I do have to admire your grit in thriving in this totally new environment …can’t wait to get together again…I really think you and Matt need to extend your stay…it is flying by WAY too fast, and I haven’t got to know you nearly as well as I’d like! Blessings, you ROCK! *grin*

  2. oh Ruth! I was only halfway thru reading and was thinking “order online, order online” – either that, or wait til Matt can do it, or be at home with the little kids … blessings xxx

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