Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Holiday Things

What was I thinking???

A trip to the grocery store late this morning resulted in more than I ever imagined coming home in the trunk of my car....much more. But let me start at the beginning.

Feeling somewhat "bah humbug," I decided to get outside and put the lights up on the front bushes. It's been so dadgum cold and wet this past week, I've hated the prospect of getting out there in it. So procrastination took over ever since I returned from my trip to Hawaii over Thanksgiving.

All of the outdoor lights are stored in the garage in a cardboard box on one of the shelves. It's really quite painless to get out there and do this task...when the weather is nice. I have maybe 6 or 7 strands of outdoor lights and every year I end up replacing half of them. This year would be no different. The "plug-in" test showed three of the strands wouldn't light up; one or more circuits were dead. I've learned -finally! - after all these years of trying to find the bum bulb, that it's easier to just buy a new string. Heck! They're only $3.00 or $4.00 each at a discount store (including Walgreen's) so it's just not worth the hassle. I wrapped the front foundation plantings with what strings of lights still worked and then went inside to clean up and get ready to head to the grocery store. I added "lights" to the shopping list, since the front row of hollies were now 3/4 lit and 1/4 unlit, the working strings of lights being not quite enough to make it across the front of the house.

So here's where the trouble began. I had the usual list of groceries, needing to re-stock after being away for more than two weeks, and having depleted the fridge and pantry contents sufficiently prior to departing on that trip, not to mention that it took me a full week upon returning to finally get to the store. The list had the usual suspect items on it: fresh fruit, salad makings, bread, sandwich meat, Cheerios. But on the way to the sandwich meat and bread section of the store, after leaving the produce department, I cruised the aisles in the meat department. Boy, that turkey sure tasted good at my son's house at Thanksgiving. And I don't get turkey very often. And did I mention how good that turkey tasted? Magically, a 14-lb turkey just jumped into my shopping cart. Just like that.

Well, since there's now a turkey in my cart, I might as well back-track to the produce department for some fresh cranberries. I have a recipe for cranberry salad - it was my mom's recipe - and a turkey dinner just isn't the same without that salad. So this meant a couple of additional items just got added to my shopping list in order to complete the recipe.

Recovering lost ground, I continued on over to the cracker/cookie/cereal aisle and resumed my shopping. But wait! While I had pumpkin pie at my son's house, no holiday ever passed me by without my making my signature pear galette. So...back to the produce department to buy 3 lbs of fresh Bartlett pears. Now this has added a couple more items to my shopping list: the ingredients for my secret pie crust recipe, none of which I currently had in the house.

This was becoming a two steps forward-two steps backward shopping expedition, since the produce department is right next to the entrance to this store. Okay! Moving right along...

Next it was on to the baking goods aisle to get the remainder of the salad ingredients and some flour for the pie crust. Forward progess at last!

This is nuts! What am I doing, buying a 14 lb turkey, the ingredients for cranberry salad, and the fixings for a pear pie??? It's just going to be me, myself, and I home alone for Christmas eve/day. I will have leftovers coming out of my ears! Oh, who cares!! As I continued to work my way down my shopping list, I worked hard at convincing myself that I was doing the right thing: It might be nice to have half a leftover turkey lolling around in the freezer somewhere down the road.

I continued to work on my list and progressed through the store aisles until I came to the area set aside for "seasonal items." This would include Christmas wrapping paper, ribbon, boxes, ornaments, wrapping tape, tree stands, and the like. Four boxes of multi-color lights, 100 bulbs per indoor/outdoor strand. $2.39 per box. Perfect! I only need two of these strands to complete the outdoor lighting and will have 2 boxes of new lights for next year's inevitable off-season death of Christmas lights.

I made it nearly to the cash registers and oops!! I forgot the Cheerios! Leaving the cart, I dashed back to the cookie/cracker/cereal aisle to grab a box. Can I count this toward my weekly run mileage?? This is a giant HEB grocery store. Easily a quarter mile back there to that aisle and then another quarter mile back to my shopping cart!

Now I think I have it all and proceed to checkout. The store wasn't too crowded and I gloated at finding a register with no one ahead of me. I further gloated at having gotten my Christmas dinner shopping done a full week earlier than most others will. The interior of this store will look totally different a week from now.

Groceries put away, freezer rearranged to accomodate the turkey, I headed outside to get that last string of lights put out on the front row of hollies. That was, afterall, the start of this whole thing, wasn't it?


  1. I'll come for turkey dinner!

  2. Oh, how cool. Now how many people do I know that can make such an experience from grocery shopping????? None!

    Bill Willias

  3. Tell Jo to pick me up on her way down :) LOL