Tuesday, July 31, 2012


"They want you to cook the dinner; at least they ought to let you shop for some of the groceries. " -Bill Parcells

That quote is from one of the best football coaches in my lifetime, explaining why he also wanted to be general manager of the team and pick the players he was coaching. "Shop for some of the groceries," if you will. That is why I do the food shopping in our house. I cook the meals, so it makes sense that I shop for the groceries.

I have it down to a science. I go alone. I am usually in and out in 45 minutes. (Remember: I don't lollygag. Ever.) I also do my own bagging and unloading. (The kitchen is my domain. And I'm a control freak.) I keep a running list of items we need on a pad of paper hanging on the refrigerator.

The quality of my penmanship is inversely
proportional to the urgency with which I am writing.
Occasionally, My Director will add some item that I might consider exotic - things I wouldn't normally buy. Sometimes, I ask for an explanation. Maybe she's baking something special, or signed up to bring something for a school event. This day, she put bottled water on the list. Wait... what? I am a chronic penny pincher who takes special pride in coming in under budget on groceries every month. So I didn't ask for an explanation this time, I demanded one.
"It's for the hermit crab. The lady who sold it to us says tap water will burn her gills."
Yes, she said that with a straight face. Tap is good enough for us. It's good enough for our dog. It's good enough for our daughter. But the hermit crab needs bottled.

Meet "Pinky." She joined our family - appropriately enough - on the 4th of July. The birthday of America.
Peanut loves Pinky
Pinky trying to escape
This amounts to hermit-crab torture
Now is where I apologize for making you think the words "New Addition" in the title of this post meant we are having another baby. We are not. Maybe not ever. That's the topic for another post. (But it made ya read, didn't it?)

Our nightly routine now includes feeding and exercising Pinky. My Director even built this pretty impressive Lego maze for her to crawl around: 

This currently lives in our den
Once again, Pinky tries to escape us
She sees an open door...
And takes it.
She did that at the recommendation of the crazy, obsessed lady at the sea shell store that I mentioned above. A woman who not only recommended bottled water and building Pinky a Lego gymnasium, but suggested we bring her back for FOLLOW-UP visits in September and May. Yeah, lady. I'm gonna drive two hours both ways to a shore town off-season so you can inspect my daughter's pet sand rat. As if the bottled water isn't high-brow enough, we have to feed the hermit crab what we eat. Luna doesn't even get that much table food. She is justifiably pissed:

"This is insulting."
(Remember: Cheech Marin voice)
And God forbid if and when this thing dies. I only say "if" because the crazy sea shell store lady had a few giant hermit crabs that were at least 18 years old. 18!! One of the first things I said when we brought her home was, "This is how we're going to teach Peanut about death, isn't it?" I think My Director took that as a challenge to keep Pinky alive for a lot longer than we'd ever imagined. There is also the potential for me crushing Pinky with my grotesquely large feet as she's getting her workout in the kitchen. I've come dangerously close a few times. She's more wily than she looks.

Peanut is just as aware of Pinky's mortality as we are. "If she's still alive at Christmas," she offered just last night. "We should get her a Santa hat." She's got herself a deal.

And Pinky seems to be doing just fine for now. 

So if you'll excuse me, I need to go food shopping. We're out of bottled water.

Luna also wasn't thrilled when we pet-sit a neighbor's Guinea pig. Click here to read about that.


  1. I had several hermit crabs, but they lived in my salt water fish tank. One was five years old when the octopus took him out. :(

    Might I suggest though, that in lieu of a Santa hat, you get a shell from the craft store, slightly larger than the one he currently has and allow peanut to paint it in whatever Christmas theme she see fit. Leave it in the cage about a week before and usually he will "move" in.


    1. Good idea, Juli! I have a feeling Pinky is going to be around for a long time.

  2. We also just became "proud" owners of a hermit crab. Embarrassingly enough, we bought it to entertain our two cockatoos (who are pretty much our children). Apparently, our pets need their own pets. Lol. Anyway, I found this very useful site about hermit crab ownership: www.hermit-crabs.com. It has a cheaper and much healthier alternative to buying bottle water for your crab, but it also says that you should own more one crab. Good luck!

    1. You're funny... but I know you're not trying to be. The crazy sea shell store lady insisted on bottled water. But we will check out your site. Thanks for the reference.

  3. Again, thank you for your wonderful story. I'm sharing this with my grand-daughter who used to collect snails and therefore will find a kinship with your new pet. Good luck enjoy these times!

    1. What a great compliment that you like this post so much to share with your granddaughter. Thank you... and we're doing our best to enjoy these times.

  4. My eight year old is always asking for all types of pets, mostly poisonous. Maybe I should look into a hermit crab. Then perhaps my boys would actually build something with their Legos rather than scattering them all around the house. Looking forward to more Pinky stories. ;)

    1. If there are to be more Pinky stories, then I'm in trouble. ;-)

  5. Legoland for a hermit crab~ I love it. My kids would have loved that for their Hermie. Hermie was not so lucky to live 18 years. I have three boys so I'm afraid to know the truth about what really happened to the poor guy. ;)

    1. Hahahaha. I guess that will remain a mystery for the ages.


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