Wednesday, August 2, 2017

We had a busy day yesterday--much more than we planned. We thought it would be an easy three stop shopping day but it turned into six stops. We took our grocery list to Walmart--not because we like Walmart (we don't) but to explore options because the bankruptcy of the largest (like almost the only) grocery chain in the area left us considering possibilities. We hadn't shopped Walmart's grocery section for a very long time because we were extremely disappointed with on the last visit. Yesterday was another a major disappointment. Low prices--not so much because we are used to paying considerably less for almost everything and walked out with only three items. We were so bummed out we didn't stop at the Walmart gas station opting instead to swing into our usual station whose prices are about the same anyway. Because Walmart's garden shop had already packed away even basic supplies for the season, including what I wanted, our first unplanned stop was Menards for the items I couldn't get at Walmart.

To complete our grocery shopping we went to our usual supermarket, which we intended to bypass, where we had a pleasant surprise: It was shifting to new management. Evidently it was one of the 20 stores sold to a member of the family that founded the grocery chain almost 80 or so years ago and had run it well until they sold out to the company that crashed earlier this year. I hope the store will not just continue but improve. Another disappointment was no store had cider vinegar in gallon sizes--no one. I am in the middle of pickling season and no more gallons of apple cider vinegar.

Our last stop was our favorite spice/herb/tea shop to replenish our stock of tea and walnuts, and pick up a couple of spices Mom had run out of. At least we ended on a couple of pleasant notes.

Ah, well--on to other things. I had never heard of the term "flash drought" before but it describes the situation in Montana and the Dakotas very well. Evidently it is a real meteorological term referring to periods of high temperatures combined with low and decreasing soil moisture. The maps in the article show the conditions developing from late April through today going from normal to extreme drought in almost the blink of an eye. The Canadian plains are experiencing the same conditions which doesn't bode well for either the wheat crops or for cattle.

I got the dried herbs ground and another quart of pickles in the fridge. I found two more pickling cucumbers ready (one a bit more than ready) to pick and process. That is for tomorrow. And found another dragon's egg developing nicely. On my to-do list tomorrow: take the cucumbers and pickle them, pickle the cherry tomatoes already harvested, harvest whatever tomatoes are ready on the vines, and dry some more of the herbs. We'll see how far that list goes. I have said before that if I don't get it done in the morning, it doesn't get done--at least not that day.

We are seeing flashes of lightening and hearing rumbles of thunder. We may or may not get rain. And if we get any it may not amount to much.

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