Thursday, April 9, 2020

The Rose That Didn't Bloom

It's remarkable how much the stay-at-home order has affected our lives.  As an old (and face it, we are) retired couple, we didn't do much that is being discouraged now, but the fact that we are prohibited from doing things we had no desire to do a few months ago is getting on my nerves. 
Another thing I've discovered is that things we might not have even noticed in April of 2019 have assumed huge importance.  
For example - Honey's favorite rose is a pink beauty called Belinda's Dream.  We have been watching the first rosebud of the season getting fatter every day for the past week. Then this morning we went out to find the bud on the ground.  Overnight something had severed the stem.
In a normal world, we might not have even noticed, but today we were almost in mourning.

Monday, April 6, 2020

Curb Your Enthusiasm

Tried placing an order for curbside pickup at HEB.  I got a notice that said ALL pickup times were taken, and to try another store.  I tried three other stores and got the same message.
I'm holding my order for now and may try again later.  Meanwhile it reminded me of this cartoon from 2011....

Saturday, April 4, 2020


Remember Imelda?
I have posted several times about the flood damage we suffered and the repairs to our home.  The inside is complete and we have been back in the house for months, but we have been going back and forth forever with the insurance folks over what to do about the exterior of our house.  
The appraiser and our contractor finally  came to an agreement and a figure was sent to the insurance company for payment.  Then some genius bean counter decided that - since the water only came up a foot and a half or so - they should only pay to remove the bottom two feet of brick.  The appraiser tried to explain why that was a stupid idea, but couldn't get through to the genius who was holding the checkbook.
They finally agreed to consult a structural engineer - who may or may not come look at the house - and go with whatever he decides.
Meanwhile, we just have to wait.

Wednesday, April 1, 2020

Curbside Shopping - HEB vs Kroger

I reported last week about my first experience with on-line shopping and curbside pickup at HEB.  This week I tried Kroger, with pickup at their Atascosita store.
The on-line portion of the experience was very much the same - both websites are, generally speaking, user friendly.  If there is an edge, it is very subtle, but probably goes to HEB.  Kroger more than makes up for it with a day or two shorter lag time  between order and pickup.  HEB does let you modify or add to your order closer to pick up time, Kroger has a 24 hour cutoff.
Pick up at both stores was painless and went without a hitch, so I'll rate that as a tie.
Both stores warn that items ordered may not be available by the time your order is processed, and each gives you the option of allowing substitutions. I'll give the edge here to HEB, mostly because two of the items I ordered from Kroger (Kroger brand zip lock freezer bags in quart and gallon sizes) were not available even though they were listed as sale items on the front page of their website at the time I placed my order.  No substitutions were offered on either size - have freezer bags become the new toilet paper?
I had no serious complaints about the quality of the fresh items from either store, but the overall feel was that the items from HEB were generally fresher.  That corresponds to my past experience when I was actually shopping in their stores.
The bottom line - when going head-to-head, neither store scored a knockout, but, in a split decision, HEB wins on points.

Monday, March 30, 2020

Eight Seconds

I can't tell you why, but for some reason I got up this morning thinking about eight seconds.  
Eight seconds doesn't seem like any time at all if you are checking a text on your phone or the GPS on your dashboard. But, if you are only going 30 miles per hour, in those eight seconds you have traveled over 350 feet. 
To add a little perspective - assuming that you are an average reader, it has taken you about twenty seconds or so to read this far in my blog post.
In discussing curb appeal, realtors will tell you that it only takes eight seconds for a prospective buyer to decide if they are interested in a house.
Eight seconds seems to go by awfully fast - unless, of course, you are on the back of a bull at the rodeo.

Sunday, March 29, 2020

Covid-19 Poem

The stay-at-home order distressed Mary Lou
She’s a regular church-goer, has missed very few
But she ate lots of beans on Saturday night
Got up Sunday morning, and to her delight
She was able to pray in her very own pew

Friday, March 27, 2020


We ordered take-out from a local restaurant yesterday with peach cobbler for dessert.  The cobbler was excellent, but in addition to cinnamon, it had some spice (nutmeg?) that we couldn't identify.  That got me thinking about taste.
I have a good friend who has been on a combination of some very strong antibiotics and some very strong pain meds because of complications from surgery.  As a result, he lost his sense of taste entirely.  It is starting to come back, but for a while, except for the consistency, he couldn't tell one food from another.
By defining the frequency, you could explain Blue to a blind man or D-flat to someone who is deaf.  You couldn't make them experience sound or color but given the necessary equipment, they could be taught to reproduce D-flat or Blue.  
It strikes me that odor or taste would be much more difficult.
I know that there are companies in the business of producing artificial flavors, but the chemistry involved in breaking down a product , extracting the esters produced and in what amounts has to be a daunting task.  I don't think they ever get the artificial flavors quite right, but I guess that's just a matter of taste.