Wednesday, March 31, 2021

What I Buy Wednesday

Well, my buying this week really is only about groceries. 

Here's the thing. Everyone---and I mean  EVERYONE raves about Trader Joe's. I only went one time a few years ago (or maybe last year--I cannot keep track of time). I went that one time and said I would never go back. 

The stress started as I pulled in to the parking lot. There isn't much parking. People and cars are coming and going everywhere. Just navigating the lot feels like you are in video game of Frogger (now there's a throwback)! That feeling continued as I entered the store. There didn't seem to be any rhyme or reason as to how the store was laid out or how people were shopping in it. Now, I don't know about you, but when I shop, it's sort of like I drive. I stay on the right with my cart. Not at TJ's. The carts were every which way. I ended up picking up a couple of produce items and then exiting, vowing I'd never go back---if, I could even get out of the parking lot!! OMGosh, it was a nightmare.

As they say, "never say never." Here it is a few (or one) year later and I'm back. I learned about some things that TJ's carries that I wanted to try. Sooo, I really planned this time. I went early---8:30 a.m. I parked easily. The store wasn't all that crowded and, due to Covid, they are limiting the number of people who can go inside at one time. I went with a list, but had absolutely no idea where I might find the items on it. So, I decided that I would just take my time and try to understand how the store was laid out. 

It's still pretty confusing to me---like assorted crackers above the ice cream case. I just decided I just needed to go with the flow and not try to figure out any sort of reasoning. I found a few of the items on my list. I'll save the rest for the next trip. In the meantime, I'll share what I found on this trip--none of which we've tried yet.
I've never heard of these before, but decided to give them a try. We've been having assorted lettuce wraps, so I thought these might be a nice change. They are only 15 calories for 2! Since they advertise they are great for tacos, I'm going to try them.
Another reason I wanted to go to TJ's was that I read that they had a pretty big selection of lower fat cheese. You just about cannot find low-fat cheese in Kroger or Publix--once in awhile, but not when you really need it! So stocking up on cheese was a real win. That bottle in the back is some homemade green goddess salad dressing that I impulse bought. We did have that on our salad yesterday. It didn't taste anything like green goddess at all, but it was pretty good for a super low-fat dressing--10 calories per tablespoon. I liked it well enough.
I scored pretty big in the freezer section. The shrimp stir fry and langoustinos were on my list. I used to get the langostinos at Red Lobster years ago. I have no idea what happened to them, but I'm happy to give them a try. As for the cauliflower gnocchi---Mindy recommend them. She said that they love them. Okay, I'll give them a try. As for the andouille chicken sausage, that was an impulse buy. I'm going to use it in jambalaya and see how I like it. 

Okay, so my second experience at Trader Joe's was not so bad. If I like most of what I bought, I'll be willing to give it another try. 

What about you? Are you a Trader Joe's shopper? If so, send me your favorite purchases. Sandy told me about some of their favorites, but since I didn't write them down, I don't remember. Of course, when she told me about them, I wasn't sure that I would ever go back anyway. I wouldn't say that I am "ga ga" over TJ's, but I'm not as against it as I once was. Just goes to show that you shouldn't make a judgement on just one experience! Ahem---Butch! I'll let it go at that!!

Tuesday, March 30, 2021

Travel Tuesday

Well, this post is in anticipation of our upcoming trip. We leave on Saturday for our Route 66/Grand Canyon/Sedona trip. Stephanie and Nicky are going with us. This is the trip we had planned for last year that had to be postponed. We are just excited to be doing something. Plus, Butch and I have had both shots while Stephanie and Nicky have had their first. We're feeling pretty good about getting out.

Butch is the master trip planner and this one is no exception.
He creates a separate binder for each trip. 
He prints out information sheets for every attraction, geo-cache, restaurant, etc. He makes reservations in advance for everything he can. There are still a few things that have not yet re-opened. Still, we have a jam-packed schedule.

He even anticipates how long it will take to get from place to place and about how long we'll spend there. He leaves nothing to chance. That's how we see absolutely everything there is to see. We love all the little things too---like a stop in Winslow, Arizona just so we can stand on the corner!! 

We're all really looking forward to it. Hopefully, I'll actually have a chance to post something next Tuesday! We are on the go from early morning to night, so we'll see how much downtime I have.

I know some of my friends over the pond are still on lockdown, so I'm not trying to make you feel bad. I just hope things start to ease up soon for y'all. It's been soooo long!! 

Monday, March 29, 2021

Monday Mystery

I'm sure you remember my "rock project." Well, little did I know that my rocks would reproduce!! Apparently, the two rocks I left must have been a male and a female! The one on the left with the rainbow and the little one in the center with the turquoise flower with the pink center are the ones I left behind. 
This just makes me so happy! I think the kids who live in this house are having a good time too! I did go ahead and pick up a couple of theirs to deliver around the neighborhood. I just have to remember to bring a couple of mine to replace a few. 

This has been such a fun project for me. And, there's no mystery about that!!

Friday, March 26, 2021

Friday Funnies

Let me just start with something that was not so funny. We had heard that many people were getting sick after their second dose of the vaccine. Wellll, we were no exception! We got our shot on Tuesday morning around 8:15. By 8:15 p.m. I was starting to feel "woozy." I went upstairs to sleep so as not to bother Butch. By about midnight, I was feverish---freezing cold---shivering so bad that my teeth were chattering. I had a sheet, blanket, comforter on top of me. I then added a big down comforter on top of that. I was burning up but my feet were freezing! I was so weak. 

Butch came up to check on me around 8 a.m. (that's crazy long sleep for me). I told him I'd be down later. I did make my way downstairs only to go back to bed. He was sick too, but decided he was fine on the couch. I slept the entire day and didn't get up until 5:30 p.m. I stayed up about a half hour and went back to bed. That was Wednesday. By Thursday morning we were feeling somewhat better, but not to the extent that we could just get back to our regular routine. 

When the girls were little, Butch always said, "Just take a shower and you'll feel better!" Well, I did that and it helped some. Still, I was down for the count. After sleeping all afternoon, I was feeling better and ready to get back to my life! After losing two days, we feel pretty behind. But hey, we're retired. We really don't have anything we have to do! 

I'd love to know if any of you had a similar experience.

And now for your Friday enjoyment:

Wednesday, March 24, 2021

What I Buy Wednesdays

The new porch furniture for the beach was delivered last week.
We had a table and 4 chairs before, but decided to go in a different direction this time. This is perfect for happy hours, lunches, hanging out with your computer or even just relaxing with a book. 
The chairs are those spring type---very comfortable and you can rock. Butch was the one that found this first. I loved it right away. The colors...just love them. Then I got to thinking about the coral shutters. We have no control over the outside colors. Now don't get me wrong, I'm fine with the coral--I actually like it. But then I started looking for pillows and rugs to go with coral and couldn't find anything I liked better than the blue and gold combo. So, we just went with it. When the time comes that we need to replace them, I'll go to At Home and find something else. They have so many choices. I probably could have found something there with coral if I wanted to. I just fell in love with this combo--mainly that rug! It will be interesting to see how well it holds up down there. We've moved the cushions and pillows inside before we left, but left the rug. That would be way too much trouble to keep moving. I hope it doesn't get all faded. We hope that by putting the cushions and pillows inside, that will extend the life. When it comes to buying replacement cushions, you are just about better off buying a whole new set! 

Darn, I forgot to take a picture of the other side of the porch. We bought a "deck box." 

This is not the exact one we bought--what we bought is a little nicer, but you get the idea. It holds all of the beach chairs, umbrellas, floats and toys. Now we don't have to have all of that sand inside. That's a real plus in my book! 

Remember all the sand Butch sucked out of the dryer? Update on that. His little gadget which involved a tube and an empty water bottle worked! He was able to get the rest of the sand out. Anyway, I guess when you have a beach place you are bound to have a lot of sand. Did I ever mention that I hate the sand?

Sunday, March 21, 2021

Some Things For Sunday

We've only had one beautiful day until today at the beach. It's supposed to be nice and sunny today. It's kind of hit or miss at this time of year. I'm glad we're ending with a nice day since we leave tomorrow. 

Anyway, I have a few random things to share.
Have you ever heard of Color Street Nails? They are basically nail stickers. You literally just stick them on. My sister, Jeanne's friend sells them. They are around $10.00 and easy to do. It took about an hour. They are supposed to last for about 2 weeks. I suppose they would, but after a week, I started picking at them. Another drawback, you have to do your own cuticles, filing and lotion (minus the hand massage). I told the "friend" that I would probably just continue getting manicures but will order a couple sets to have on hand in a pinch and to give as a little gift to my granddaughters. I like the pampering of a manicure and it only takes 20 minutes. I'm all about efficiency! Still it was fun to give them a try. I do enjoy trying new things. 
Speaking of new things, I tried a new dish. We went to our favorite place for lunch---well, one of our favorite places--Surf Hut. We usually like to eat outside, but it was way too breezy (and chilly) this time. I settled on this dish--smoked tuna stuffed in baby bell peppers (trying to choose healthy). It was delicious! I saved three of them for happy hour! I usually get their Endless Summer Seafood Salad (my most favorite), but decided to try something new. Now I have two things I know I like!
Stephanie was at the beach working. She took Friday off, so we all went geo-caching. She found this one---with her eagle eye. Do you see it? There in the corner? It's a little magnet.
It's tiny!! 
Still, even that little, it has a log inside! We opted not to take this one out. Sometimes those tiny ones are really hard to get back in.

We updated our virtual aquarium. We felt like we needed a few more fish and more dimension. I'm actually going to make one more little change, but it's not worth changing this post for!
It all looks better with the lights on. But when taking photos, the light just made a glare. We're happy with how it came out. I know, that's a lot of dust collecting stuff! But, it's easy to clean it once a year. Also as for those faux plants, I just dunk them in dishwater, give them a good swirl and swish, spray off and leave outside to dry. They come out as good as new. I don't baby anything! And I am not going to clean each individual leaf. They are not exactly under the sea plants, but they serve the purpose.
The azaleas are in full bloom and look so pretty.
The azaleas at home are blooming too, but I haven't taken any pictures of them yet. 
It's so pretty with all the palm trees.
I spend a lot of time walking around.

I had every intention of going down to the beach this trip, but didn't make it. Thursday was the nicest, sunniest day, but the wind was crazy! It was windier than we've ever experienced down here. Butch and Stephanie had gone down to the beach to walk. Afterwards, Steph stayed down there. Butch said it wasn't fun at all. He said that the sand was whipping so hard that it actually felt like pin pricks hitting your legs. 

Uhhh, no thank you. Something you should know about me. I HATE the beach. Actually, maybe that's a little strong. I only like it when it's not too hot (which is usually never) or there are no biting flies (that's what happened the last time I was down there--a beautiful nice day--not too hot, but then the flies). And then there's the sand! It gets in everything! There's no preventing that.

Now don't get me wrong. I actually DO the beach when I'm with family or friends. I like to say I do it for love. I go down for a couple hours--until lunch and then I hit the pool. It's usually just so blasted hot. I can't take it! I need to remember to bring my misting bottle that I bought at Disney. After all, I have two of them. I forgot to bring it one time I went, so bought another. I love that thing. It really works well. You fill it with ice and then water, mist yourself and then turn the fan on to keep you cool. 

I'm not really a baby about the beach, but maybe I am. I do enjoy walking around seeing all the palm trees and houses. It's a nice change of pace. Which is exactly why we come. 

Hope you are having a quiet Sunday. 

Thursday, March 18, 2021

Five Things Thursday

This craft desk was made from an old piano. What a clever idea. I love old things that have been repurposed in to something unusual. This definitely fits the bill. I pulled this photo from my blog friend, Susanne's blog, Snaps and Snippets. Check her out!
Oh, yeah. I remember running around the outside to take my turn at spinning everyone and then jumping on for a 5 second ride! It slowed down so fast. The fun part was then jumping off and stumbling around---all dizzy. Funny thing is, I don't have to be spinning at all to be stumbling around---all dizzy these days! Just a little "old age" will do. it!
OMGosh! I pretty much HATE this. I don't think it's clever at all. It's sort of sickening. Okay, I'll admit, it's unusual. Not for me.
This could not be truer!! Books definitely "spark joy" for me--even if they are electronic these days. I'm sure Marie would condone hundreds of electronic books--they take up so little space! Still, I have many, many, many, many books. Just NONE on the nightstand!
And then there's this. I love the flowers---and the bike used as a mailbox holder. But, I'm not crazy about the little wooden fence. I'd prefer that it just be a little flower bed or a little wrought iron fencing so the plants could wander and trail through. Plus I would paint the mailbox something that blends in a little better. 

Wednesday, March 17, 2021

What I Buy Wednesdays

Happy St. Patrick's Day! One of these days, I'd like to be in Ireland for it. I'll bet they have some great parties! Well, maybe not this year, but most of the time!

Not much to report this week. I got my StitchFix box, but didn't like a thing in it, so I sent the whole thing back. In fairness, I have enough nice clothes. As a result, I'm being really picky. Plus, I cut down to getting the box every other month. It's just fun to get a surprise in the mail.

I did make a donation to get this:
A little background: for Christmas, I made donations to save the whales, sharks, sea turtles and elephants. In exchange for the donations, they send bracelets along with cards with your animal's name on them. There's a website that you access by using your phone on the little bar code thingy (don't know what it's really called). Then, a map opens up and shows where your animal is and has traveled. It's not in real time because they don't want to give the locations away to poachers. Still, it's pretty interesting---AND it's for a cause. All the "kids" (who are now adults) really liked the bracelets and what they stood for---even Butch!! Well, I got an email that now they are also trying to save the polar bears. Of course I made another donation with the intention of surprising the "kids" with a new animal to follow. Well, when the bracelets came in, there was this one. I just HAD to keep this one for myself. It makes me happy that there's a polar bear named Barbara out there. She's a female (obviously), 35 years old, who has a set of twins! Love that! 

In case you are interested, you can check out Wild Life Collections here! It's really a cool website.

And then I did buy these:
By the time you are reading this, we are on our way to the beach. So, you'll just have to wait and see what I do with them! You know me---always with the ideas!

I hope you have a great Wednesday.

Tuesday, March 16, 2021

Travel Tuesday

We had a fabulous week --weather-wise. We wanted to take advantage of it AND get out of the house! So, Butch planned a little closer to home Adventure Lab (geo-caching) in Leipers Fork, TN. It's about 30 minutes away. Our friends, Bill and Nancy live there. It's a beautiful little community out in the country. Leipers Fork is also home to lots of country music stars--Tim McGraw & Faith Hill, Chris Stapleton, the Judds and not country, but Justin Timberlake, plus many more--not that I'm a name dropper or anything! Just wanting you to understand what a beautiful place this is--still old-timey without a lot of commercialism. 

An Adventure Lab takes you on a little journey, often through history and points of interest. You gather clues as you go along to find the actual cache at the end. The adventure took us to 4 different locations.

The first one was this bench in front of Puckett's Grocery. It's actually dedicated to another Butch, but we just couldn't resist this picture.
There are a few really old churches in town. Old churches are common locations for caches or clues.
This church was started by three men who pooled their money and bought the land for $100 in the late 1800's, then built the church. One week it was for Baptists, one week for Church of Christ, one week for Methodists and one week for Presbyterians. That's a lot of different religions for such a small community!
We came across a couple rocks too. I love that. I wish I'd thought to bring one of mine. I'll have to remember that the next time.
Many of the old houses have been renovated. I love that they leave important "things" from the past. Do you see it?
The old water pump is still there. Now it looks like they might be using it for irrigation. Good idea.
More beautiful old houses.

This old "Andy of Mayberry" style car greets you as you arrive in to Leiper's Fork.

We spent about an hour browsing around town. 

Ultimately, the clues led us to the cache:
Guard rails are common cache locations. Can you see it?
It was a fun little jaunt. And, we were home by lunch time!! I love the short trips too!

We will actually be traveling tomorrow. We're headed back to the beach for a few days. Stephanie will be there working. Nicky will fly in on Friday night. Then Butch and I will come back on Monday--in time for our 2nd dose on Tuesday!! Yippee!