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Archive for August, 2018

Grocery Market Snob

August 31st, 2018 at 08:03 am

I've concluded I'm a grocery market snob.

I'm not saying that I only shop fancy stores. Hardly. Aldi is my number one store and Kroger is number 2 with Dollar General and an Amish bulk food store filling in for different things. Plus DH raises tomatoes, lettuce, onions, bell peppers, and herbs.

Actually, I think I'm just a food snob.

A couple of years ago DH and I went to Dollar General to buy some cleaning supplies and we are standing in line with my fistful of coupons behind two women who each have a cart full of 2 liter soda pop. They pull out their SNAP cards to pay for them. All I could think was what a waste of money and nutrition.

Don't get me wrong. I am not totally against drinking soda. My dad worked as a warehouseman for Coca-Cola for 22 years. Of course, when I was growing up, having a bottle of pop was a luxury, not something you did all the time. Back then you had either a 6 ounce real glass bottle or a 6 1/2 ounce bottle and you paid a deposit on the bottle. It was made with real sugar. Granted, it still wasn't the healthiest, but one wasn't slurping down 32 ounces at a sitting. I've noticed in the store that there are small cans coming about and I wonder if it is because people are realizing that huge bottles and glasses aren't the best. At our local gas stations they have something called "Polar Pop" and I asked someone what the draw was and they said it was because it was cheap and you got a lot. I guess it is a huge styrofoam cup with your choice of soft drink. I can admit I've never bought one. I drink mostly three things: coffee, tea, and water.

As for the snob part, there are certain teas I really like. We found a cinnamon tea with citrus added that makes a wonderful iced tea that tastes a bit sweetened without sugar. Yesterday I brewed 5 quarts of it to have in the fridge to enjoy with our lunches.

I also look at what people buy in their carts at the grocery store. One person I know brags about only shopping once a month. I was wondering how that could be until I saw her cart. Cases of beef stew, pork and beans, and bags, and bags of chips and cases of soda pop. Not a canned or frozen or fresh vegetable in the mix. I guess it is more reasonable to buy all this, but I just can't imagine it is very healthy.

I've been reading more and more about eating a mostly vegetable diet and all the benefits it can provide. I'm not sure DH and I are ready to fully embrace that, but we do have a few meals (besides breakfast) that are meat free. Although I cringe when I have to buy fresh produce at the store, but think it is cheaper in the long run if it helps us keep healthy.

So sadly, I have to admit that I do sort of think I'm a snob when I see someone who only has junk in their basket. I'm not talking about the one or two item folks who just run in to get something to fill in. I'm talking about the basket full folks who have all processed foods and very few nutritious choices. I'm not talking the poor who fill up on starches. I get that. I'm seeing people who make a good wage. I just wonder if they are doing the best for themselves when do buy the cheap stuff.

So, I'm a grocery market snob. Hopefully a healthy one!

Problem with SA site

August 30th, 2018 at 07:58 am

Anyone else having problems with the SA site? It says I have to log in, which I do and it says I am logged in, but if I go to comment on anyone else's blog, it says I'm not logged in. So, I have to manually put in my information if I want to comment. Frown

Monday Musings

August 27th, 2018 at 02:41 pm

We have stayed busy.

On Saturday we took a bus trip to a city about two hours away to go through thrift stores. We visited 7 shops. Four were actual thrift stores and 3 were consignment shops/antique malls. But it was a fun day. The trip also included a box lunch and it was really good. There was a choice of turkey and cheese, chicken salad, or ham and cheese on a croissant, and then pasta salad, a bag of chips, fruit salad, brownie, and a small peppermint. The lady who runs the travel agency also provides water for us as well throughout the trip.

DH and I did find a few things, but we were not the big spenders on the trip. I think we spent less than $20 total on our purchases, but it was fun to look around. We were on a different bus than what the travel agency normally uses. Sadly, the bus company she had been utilizing suddenly shuttered after 75 years. Two years ago the owner sold the company and the investment group that bought it ran it into bankruptcy. I just hope this doesn't make this travel agency owner also have financial problems because she had paid for many of the trips in advance.

The funny thing about the trip was the fact we were on a bus, but these folks shopped. At the end of the day, there was a church pew, a rocking chair, a couch (yes, a big couch), an end table, a floor lamp, and a child's ride on motorcycle toy under the bus besides all the boxes and bags. At the last stop, the antique mall folks said they would stay open past their closing time and they had bags of popcorn, cookies, and water for us. Pretty nice gesture, for sure!

Yesterday we had church and after we came home and had brunch, DH watered his garden and then picked tomatoes. Finally we are starting to get more tomatoes. He also picked bell peppers. I used a bunch of the tomatoes and peppers to make a spaghetti sauce. I canned that today and realized 2 quarts and a pint of it.

Our knitting group met last week and we are up to 895 hats. Our goal if 1000 seems attainable. We have had some problems though with people bringing donations of yarn. I am trying to think positive, and hope they are just being nice, but three of the last four donations of yarn were really nasty. One smelled of mildew and the yarn was filthy. Another smelled of smoke. The last one just smelled and the white yarn had yellowed. You would hope people would realize no one would want to work with the yarn in this condition and hopefully they didn't use this as a means to dispose of it. I would hope not. But, yuck.

It's really hot and humid here in Central Illinois. Many of our schools had early dismissal today and plan to do the same tomorrow. I no longer work in those schools, but I'm glad for the students and the staff because I remember how miserable it was working in those conditions.

Thrift Store Bargains

August 12th, 2018 at 12:14 pm

I feel like I've hit the bonanza the past couple of weeks in thrift store shopping.

I write 3 ladies each week. I try to have different cards and stationery because I think it adds to the experience. Two of the ladies are 95 and one is 88 and they like getting mail. I found 4 sets of brand new blank cards and envelopes for 50 cents each and some stationery also for 50 cents. So, I'm set for a little while on that.

I have almost finished most of my Christmas gifts for this year. I have a couple of things to crochet, but have been on the lookout for some other items to start for 2019 birthdays and Christmas 2020. At one thrift store I found a bag of cross stitch items for $1. There were two hot pads to cross stitch on and 5 bibs. Well, I didn't need the bibs, but for a buck, I figured I can work on them and donate them to the church bazaar. I gave two of them to another crafter so she can work on them. I found another brand new craft kit for $1 for hot pads, and a new kit for a table runner that you cross stitch on complete with thread for $1. I also bought two towels that you cross stitch on (kitchen towels) for 50 cents each. Fortunately awhile ago I bought a bag of embroidery floss for 50 cents and it has a lot of different colors, so I should be set. Just need to find some patterns for them, but I think I can find some free ones on Pinterest.

I have also found quite a bit of yarn for the hats I make with the knitting group at church. So far, I've made 7 hats from the yarn, and because one place had the new skeins of yarn half price, I think I paid $1 or less for the skeins. I still have quite a bit of yarn to use. I try not to stash too much because I have limited space and I don't want to have drawers and bags full of stuff not being used. Our knitting group met last week and we have 831 hats made so far this year. Our goal is to have 1000 and hopefully "adopt" three schools this year.

Being a plus size gal, it is often difficult to find clothing at thrift stores in my size that isn't worn out. I did find a nice blouse for $4.99. It was a name brand blouse and didn't look it had been worn a lot. It is a summer one and as warm as it has been, I'm sure I'll get enough use of it before putting it up for the winter.

I did score a small plastic thread holder yesterday. It is just an oblong box with spools sticking up and a lid. I have thread in a drawer and it is difficult to see what I have. For $1.50, it will help organize some of the thread.

DH found some like new kids books at a couple of the thrift stores. He reads to elementary classes throughout the year and although he often checks out books from our library, he likes to have some at home in case he doesn't get to the library. Most of the books were a quarter each. He also found some like brand new Wimpy Kid books to donate to the library of the my former school. They replace the worn ones with these books he finds. We figure it helps the school's budget by doing this and we aren't out much.

One of my friends teases me I always find great deals at the thrift stores. I tell her it is entertainment for me to go through stuff and look closely. Sometimes people go for the bling of things that are out in the open. I like to paw through some of the stuff and find things. I know I found some Christmas stuff awhile back that was reasonably priced to begin with and then they were having a sale for half off. My kind of deal!

Just an Observation

August 6th, 2018 at 12:37 pm

While waiting on the plumber, who by the way was early, I decided to work on some correspondence. Seven cards and letters made it to the mailbox today. Two were sympathy cards. One was a get well card for a friend who has been receiving treatment for liver cancer. And the rest were for the shut ins I write about every week.

I've gotten so used to email, I forget how much it costs to mail cards and letters.

Most of my cards and stationary are purchased at thrift shops, but it still ads up. Between the postage and the cards, I figured I spent about $1 for each card. Not a huge expense, but all at once...it sure adds up!

Another spendy week coming up

August 5th, 2018 at 12:32 pm

Last week seemed like a spendy week and this one, well more of the same. We did find out where our leak came from and fortunately it wasn't the roof, but a PVC pipe in the attic. It has been fixed, but we now have to repair the ceiling. We have that popcorn ceiling all over the house and there are a few areas where the nails have come through in other rooms so we figured we might as well have the person give us a bid on fixing the family room ceiling and those little areas. We do not want to go through the trouble and expense of having it all scraped off. Personally, I can live with the popcorn ceiling, although all the HGTV folks would probably have a fit. Guess I'm showing my age -- it doesn't bother me that much and why pay to have it all taken down?

I have had my ongoing struggle with our normal plumbing company. A couple of years ago we wanted the water spigot moved. For whatever reason, the builder had it inside the garage. So, if you wanted to use the hose or water something, you had to either squeeze between the wall and the car to get to it or move the car. I asked a plumber, he said he could do it for less than $300 and I said fine, when? He said he would call me. Four months went by and in between I called and asked again and was told he would call me. He didn't. Long story short, a friend of his mom's told the mom and finally it was done. A week ago Friday I had called and said I had two jobs in the same bathroom and would they please come out next week. I was told they would call us. I hate that. Why not say, such and such day either morning or afternoon? Well, this Friday I called a different plumber and the guy offered to try and work us in that day and I said no, Monday would be fine. So hopefully the new plumber will show up and do what we need done. We have a small leak in our toilet and we need something fixed on our shower. I just want it done. Sheesh. I've concluded so many companies don't want to deal with small jobs anymore -- they want big ones.

Our local Bergner's is going out of business like all the others in the country. We stopped by yesterday. I did wind up buying a couple of things at 70 percent off. I bought a new nonstick skillet, a new Dutch oven, and a new cutting board. So this morning after brunch I went through and got rid of 3 pans and I'm throwing out my very well used cutting board. I do feel guilty for spending the money. It's not like we don't have the money -- we do. But DH said as much as I cook, I should get decent pans. I haven't had a new pan in over ten years. I try to take care of what I have, but eventually, many things wear out. Except my cast iron. That will probably outlive me.

I found a small amount of green beans on sale. I canned them. They will be part of a birthday present for a friend. I also made some spaghetti sauce this week.

And, DH and I went to see the sequel to Mamma Mia -- the locally owned theatre has what is called "Tightwad Tuesday" and ran the show for $5 each. We enjoyed it. We haven't been to the movies in years so it was a nice treat.