Food For Thought

So, here in the cornfields. in our little town, we have a grocery store crisis brewing. For almost a hundred years, we had several little independent grocers, of which, two, which became Hilander, and Loglis, were the two largest. Both were locally owned til 10 or so years, ago. Then, the family who owned Hilander, wanted to retire. The chain, Kroger bought them. Ok, not bad for the first year, then service and selection plummeted like an Acapulco cliff diver. As best I can recall ( it gets confusing) Loglis were sold in the same manner, to Schnucks, out of St. Louis. A couple years later, Kroger sold the Hilander chain to Schnucks, who now owned the bulk of supermarkets/grocery stores in town. Enter more Acapulco cliff diving of service and selection.
A year or so ago, a Meijers decided to come to town. We have a Woodman’s, from Wi, here, and it’s a pretty good place to shop, but not as handy as the several aforementioned stores. With the Meijers monster coming to our part of the cornfields, Schnucks, displaying their amazing lack of business ability, started closing the stores they had recently acquired.
First, the one in our neighborhood, which, had, in the last four or five years, turned into a store straight out of the ‘hood. Not a good place to go. Along with that, they cut back every employees hours to part time, thus cutting pay and benefits. They are now in the process of closing every other store in town. More than half a dozen in an area of 200, 000 people.
In a brilliant stroke of business sense, Schnucks has managed to destroy a century of local business, unemploy hundreds, and remove any local grocery stores from around the entire city…

Thanks, Schnucks, for your brilliant business strategy, and, dedication to community…. We really appreciate it…

Friends, Music, and Memories

20120812-183108.jpg

Two days in an empty cow pasture-almost empty, except for surprises left by the cows, and a chance to turn it into something special.

20120812-183313.jpg

600 of our closest musical, quirky, entertaining, interesting friends joined us there, for a chance to leave a lifetime impression on us all.
Camping in little caravans, tents, airstreams, motor homes, and the back of a station wagon.

20120812-183639.jpg
We wait anxiously until noon, on the dot, before we are allowed to enter. Then the ‘mad’ dash to stake your claim in your usual spot. We had 12 of us in our compound this year. Four tents, the aforementioned airstream, and motor home, along with 7-I think- easy ups for shade, too. We outdid ourselves this year. Almost 40 feet of camping and music paradise.
It’s like a Motel Six of jamming and conversations til past midnight. Quiet coffee and breakfast in the cool morning. Catching up on recent past, and planning the weekend, and the future.

20120812-184449.jpg
Jam, listen to the excellent musicians around us, and plan our set on the stage. Our big moment!

20120812-184620.jpg

20120812-184638.jpg

20120812-184658.jpg
More jamming back at Biltmore compound, and trying desperately to stay awake, so it won’t be Sunday when you get up, and have to disassemble the dream, and head back home, loaded with wonderful images locked away, and happily anticipating the reassembling of the gang again soon!

20120812-184952.jpg

20120812-185000.jpg

20120812-185010.jpg

20120812-185023.jpg

20120812-185031.jpg

A Fourth to Remember

20120705-120819.jpg

Ah,
After a wonderful Independence Day, we relaxed on the back porch, with bagels and coffee. It was 90* already, so thus the Las Vegas coffee mug.
We were resting from adventures of the 4th. Maggie baked cupcakes

20120705-121045.jpg
To take down to our fireworks adventure. The company I work for opens up the property, right along the river, and provides bratwurst, sides, porta potties, a cooling center ( a sprinkler), and a secure spot, DIRECTLY across from the launching site of the largest fireworks display in the state.

20120705-121355.jpg
We invited some friends, and, in our ‘designated’ spot, set up our party.

Food, friends, and fireworks- what more could one ask for, on a summer evening? Everyone had a great time, and, much oohing and ahing ensued.

20120705-121703.jpg

20120705-121713.jpg
When the finale finally faded away, we headed out into the fray of traffic, but we all made it home, to start thinking of next years colorful adventure…

20120705-121853.jpg

20120705-121910.jpg

20120705-122008.jpg

20120705-122158.jpg

Summertime, and the living’ is…

20120701-075920.jpg

20120701-075932.jpg

20120701-075944.jpg

20120701-075955.jpg

Summertime. My favorite season. I apologize to my friends for going on and on and on about what a great time of year this is, but… IT IS! Sure, we have paralyzingly hot days. More sunshine than some countries get in a year. Yard work and chores up the perverbial wazoo, but, it’s all worth it, to see that morning glow, or the red dusk. In between, we manage to slip in-besides work 😦 – cookouts, bike rides, visits to other cuties, and musical venues. We have trips to Wisconsin to see parks and lakes and guitars and friends. We cherish breakfast on the screened in back porch, listening to Pandora’s Bossa nova channel, listening to the multitude of birds, and planning what adventures that will consume our days.
Yea, I’ll take this season, and and use it up!