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sitcom or reality

“Here’s a story of a lovely lady, who was …”

No, stop there! Not “bringing up three very lovely girls. All of them had hair of gold, like their mother, the youngest one in curls.”


Let’s try again…

“Here’s a story of a lovely lady, who is all about getting what she wants. She uses trickery and scams plus plans and schemes, and drives her youngest child insane.”

That could be the theme song for my own sitcom or reality show. Honestly, I drive poor Connor crazy with all my ideas. He desperately tries to resist, but somehow he can’t escape when I pull him into these plans, completely against his will and better judgment.


I’m going to give you the recipe today first, and then if you feel like hearing the story behind it, feel free to read all about it, after the recipe.

waffled ingred

This is a fun way to make grilled cheese.

3 cheeses

Use whatever cheese or cheeses you like.

the stufings

Top the cheese with your favorite additional fillings, or no fillings at all.

waffled grilled cheese

Waffled Grilled Cheese Sandwiches

6 slices firm sourdough sandwich bread
Thin slices of the cheese of your choice; such as smoked Gouda, Fontina, and Havarti
Slices of crisp cooked bacon
Thin slices of cooked chicken breast
Thin slices of avocado, pear, and tomato
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

cheese and bacon

Lightly spread 3 of the slices of bread with mayonnaise. Cover all slices of bread with thin slices of cheese of your choice.

the rest

On top of the cheese, place any or all of the remaining ingredients of your choice, except the butter, on each sandwich.

buttered top

Close the three sandwiches together and press lightly. Use a brush to brush the top side of each sandwich with the melted butter.

Preheat waffle iron on high until it is just beginning to smoke. Reduce heat to medium-high.

brush butter

Place sandwiches in the waffle iron, buttered side down, and brush the top side of each sandwich with butter.


Close the lid and cook until the bread is golden and crisp and the cheese is melted about 4 to 6 minutes.

3 sandwiches

Transfer sandwiches to a cutting board and cut each sandwich into 4 triangles.

Makes 3 sandwiches

waffled grilled cheese triangles

The Story: Several weeks ago, my dad asked me if I would help him pick out a television stand for his TV. Foolishly, I assumed this meant that he had finally gotten a new television. His current set-up was a very old very huge console television, which had not worked properly for over a decade.


Atop that sat another huge old tube television. This was the television he watched. So he was basically using the large console television as a TV stand.


I went to Costco to buy him a new TV stand for his birthday gift, for what I guessed was a nice new flat-screen television he had purchased for himself.

On Thursday evening, Dave, Connor, and I went to pick him up for his birthday dinner and arrived at the door with the large box holding the new stand. I planned on assembling it for him over the weekend. Imagine my surprise when I saw the same two huge televisions, one sitting upon the other! No flat screen in sight.

After all these years, he had just decided he wanted to get rid of the console and put the huge tube TV onto a real stand. Go figure!

That wasn’t going to do! Now I needed to buy him a flat-screen too. No problem. He does so much for us – I am more than happy to do that for him.

I need to backtrack a little to get to the scheming part of my story.

When I went to Costco to buy the stand, I needed help getting it into the cart. There was only the assembled floor model and one unassembled boxed stand left. I found an employee and asked if I could purchase the floor model. No, I could not, he informed me. Fine, whatever, I’m handy, I can assemble anything.

Now, you know how much I love Costco. It almost feels sacrilegious to say anything bad about the place, but this guy was rude. Not because he said no to me buying the floor model, but because he was condescending and rude. He made it clear that he wasn’t happy about helping me put the heavy stand in the cart, that he had better things to do. For future reference, we shall call him, Mean Manfred.

Fast forward to Saturday morning, I knew that my dad was out to breakfast. I told Connor I was leaving to buy a new TV for Grandpa, then go to his house and assemble the stand and set it all up. That I’d see him later.


Just as I was about to get in my car, I had a bright idea… What if the floor model was still there? I could just buy it, along with the TV, and take the assembled unit to my dad’s, move out the old televisions, and have it all set up before he got home at noon. No assembly required!

I knew that Connor had plans for 11:00. I begged him to come with me to Costco. If the floor model was gone, I’d just buy the TV and bring him back home. If it was still there, I’d buy it and would need his help to unload the assembled floor model and then place the heavy unassembled boxed unit back in my car to be returned to Costco. I promised that was all he would have to help me do, that it wouldn’t take long, I’d have him home by 9:45 if I only bought the TV, and by 10:15 if he had to help me unload and load.

He reluctantly agreed.

We got to Costco and saw the floor model. Hallelujah! I found an employee and asked if I could buy it. He said yes. He’d need to get a couple more guys to get it down from the high shelf it was on. He asked if we had other shopping to do. Why, yes, we need to find a television to buy, off we went.

We found the TV and were heading back to where the stand was. As we turned the corner, I saw that Mean Manfred was one of the guys working on getting the floor model down. I stopped in my tracks. I was sure he would recognize me and figure out my devilish plan to buy the floor model and return the boxed unit. I sent Connor to handle it and hid in the clothing area. I was thrilled with my “SCORE” … while Connor was less impressed.

We arrive at my Dad’s. We unload the floor model and set it down. We pick up the large tube TV (those things are heavy!) and place it on the dining table.

Next, we need to move the massive piece of furniture that is the console TV. Connor says, “Where are we going to put this?” I say, just in the kitchen or maybe into the garage.” Luckily, we discover it is on wheels. We roll it into the garage. Connor sees the look on my face and says, “No!”

I say, “Come on, it won’t be that hard to lift it into the bed of Grandpa’s truck.”

“Mom! I knew you’d turn this into more of a production than you promised!” he said.

I implored, “Connor, do you really expect me and Grandpa to lift this thing into the truck ourselves?”

Jeez. Fine!

Now, that massive console TV, really a piece of furniture, was super heavy! Front heavy, we nearly lost it, but we prevailed and got it into the truck.

Of course, then I had to haul out the vacuum and clean up before we moved the new stand into place. He was glaring at me the entire time. I knew I couldn’t push my luck anymore by asking him to help me set up the flat screen. We got into the car so I could take him home.

On the drive, we both started laughing about how I always do that to him. I involve him in some scheme or plan of mine. He is always the unwilling accomplice.

Even when he was little, I’d say, “Connor, do you want to run an errand with me? I’ll get you ice cream while we’re out.” Then I’d make a half dozen stops along the way, dragging him along. He’d fall for it every time. I think it was the ice cream, he does love his ice cream. Now I think he goes along because he knows that I won’t give up until he does. I’m relentless in getting what I want. Sad, but true!

We were discussing how it would go down if outsiders were watching us, like on a sitcom or reality show. How after each episode, they’d light up social media with comments about what a pain I am and what a poor kid, what a sweetheart agreeable person he is.

It was funny and I know it’s true. I do love my boy! I told him that I’d make him whatever he wanted for dinner. He said that he wanted bacon.

I agreed, “Of course, yeah, OK, I can make you something with bacon.”


He says, “No, not something with bacon, just a pile of bacon!”
He is funny!

Oh, and I did have him home in plenty of time to get to where he needed to be by 11:00. At least I kept my promise on that part.

I dropped him at home, got some cleaning supplies, and headed back over to finish the job. Afterward, I stopped to buy the stuff for his much-deserved “Bacon Dinner.”

Later that night, I made the waffled grilled cheese sandwiches with bacon and with a big side of bacon for my very agreeable, sweet, and “very patient with his crazy mom” son.

I love you, Connor! Now, I just have to take back the television stand that’s still in the box. Wanna come with me?

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1 Peggy { 04.21.13 at 9:33 AM }

I love this story! You do love a scam, don’t cha? … So, How much $ did you save buying the floor model?

And haha to “Mean Manfred”! Linda prevails every time!!! ?

2 Linda Hopkins { 04.21.13 at 9:37 AM }

Oh, that’s another funny part of the story. There was another more expensive piece of furniture nearby that was the “floor model only” and it was discounted $90. The television stand floor model hadn’t been marked down yet. I tried to ask for a discount at the register and they said I’d have to ask someone from the department how much they could take off. I was so afraid that Mean Manfred would be the one to come to the register, that I just said forget it. In all honesty, I would have paid extra to have the assembled unit. No discount, but that’s OK. I still got what I wanted. 🙂

3 Betsy { 04.21.13 at 9:58 AM }

great story !!

4 Amy Kilpatrick { 04.21.13 at 10:17 AM }

You crack me up! I sure do love you big sis!! xoxo
Now, are you good at getting prickery thorns out of fingers? I think I just made up those words, ha!!

5 Jeanie { 04.21.13 at 10:34 AM }

Too funny! I have tried the “I just need a couple of things” routine with my son. If I go to put a third thing in the cart I’m in big trouble! Connor is a good sport!

6 Lisa { 04.21.13 at 11:09 AM }

🙂 A good boy!

7 Pat { 04.22.13 at 2:13 PM }

You (and Connor) made my day! I was laughing so hard. You should write a book about all the schemes–or maybe Connor should write one about all he’s been roped into and probably Marissa & Dave, too. Love you all!

8 Linda Hopkins { 04.22.13 at 3:19 PM }

Update: I returned the boxed unassembled TV stand to Costco today, with no problems. I bought the unit from the Scottsdale Costco that is 3.25 miles from my house. I returned it to the PV Costco that is 2.37 miles from my house in the opposite direction. I share this info with you to let you know that the PV store still had the floor model and 2 more boxed units available. I tell you this… so you don’t think I was so mean that I returned it to the Scottsdale store that no longer had a floor model to display. I most certainly didn’t want Mean Manfred to have to do any extra work on my account. 🙂

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