Grocery Store Etiquette: A Few Rules

On This Day…

I love the “On This Day” feature on Facebook. It’s fun to look back over what I had posted in various years…sort of a written scrapbook of my life brought back to me in snippets. I had to laugh when I came across one of my memories from this day six years ago. It seems I had just returned from the grocery store and was frustrated. A bit of a rant ensued.

In lieu of an explanation, here is the post:

Grocery Store Etiquette

“There are some very important rules that should be followed by anyone grocery shopping, especially on prime weekend days.

Here are a few:

1. Keep your cart to the side rather than in the middle of the aisle when pausing to gather an item. Pretend there are imaginary dotted lines (like on the highway), and if you are going slow – ie browsing, collecting samples, comparing prices – stay to the far right to allow others to pass. 

2. Just like in driving, STAY OFF THE PHONE!!! There is this thing called paper; you can actually write a list of things you need on it before you ever leave your house…your SO*  (I am making a huge assumption here) probably could use the time to finish whatever they got you out of the house for in the first place w/o being disturbed. 

AND finally,

3. And this is perhaps the most important rule: do not wait until you are at the checkout line, checking out, cart fully unloaded with a line behind you, to realize you forgot something or need to question the cashier about one of your products, thus holding up the line for others.
Thank you and have a great day!”

*Significant Other

I stand by my rant. And that makes me curious, what are your grocery store pet peeves?

Breakfast For Dinner

I needed a quick meal tonight, and what can be faster than breakfast? I made a salad of cucumbers, tomatoes, peppers and radishes. Then I soft-scrambled a couple of eggs. Cantaloupe and a dollop of plain Greek yogurt rounded out the meal…

Now it’s time to dash off to my [Italy] meeting!!


My “Inner Censor”

“You own everything that happened to you. Tell your stories. If people wanted you to write warmly about them, they should have behaved better.” ~Anne Lamott

That quote is posted on a corkboard in my office. It sounds like sage advice, yet it is difficult to include others in my stories without worrying about how it might affect them. It is not my intention to do harm or incur pain on another from my posts. Yet I want to tell my stories in the way I experienced them. Sometimes the two don’t mix so well…

Today, I had a post all ready to publish, but at the last minute decided it might come across as hurtful to another, so I’ve decided to table it for now. It was actually never intended to be about the other person, but I re-read the post as if I were that other person. I asked myself, “How would I feel if I read those words about me?” I wasn’t sure, so I chose not to hit “publish.”

For now I will go to bed. In the morning I will look at the post with fresh eyes. I can decide then if I will let it stand, edit it, or write something completely different.

Good-night, All!


Just Look At The Thyme…and Chives, and Parsley, and Sage

Herb Gardening

My herb garden is a tad overrun. Tomorrow I will be out there trimming and scaling back much of what has become an overgrown mess. My winter kale is pretty much spent and my mint (not pictured) has taken over any bare spot it could find.

Today I bought fresh herbs to add in with what I already have growing. Soon there will be more sage, Italian Flat-leaf parsley, and chives growing alongside my established rosemary, tarragon, Greek oregano, thyme, and [overgrown] mint. When it becomes available, I’ll add my favorite summer herb: Genovese basil – perfect for Caprese salads, as an addition to Gin and Tonics…and of course for making pesto. Summer is right around the corner!!

Are Tomatoes In My Future?

I threw caution to the wind and even added a tomato plant in with the new herbs. Once again I will attempt to grow that most elusive of plants [for me] in search of that all-delicious, mouth-watering summer tomato. My success rate to date is zero. But I’m feeling lucky this year!! How great would it be to have home grown tomatoes to pair with that Genovese Basil? Or how about a tomato sandwich? [drool] Yes, it’s definitely worth the attempt. And if it fails? Well, there’s always the farmer’s markets…


Breaking [from] Bread: Going Against The Grain

Gluten-Free…For Me?

Question: “What do you call a fake noodle?”Answer: “An impasta!” Ha!

Ok. Let’s talk gluten. No, let’s talk gluten-free. Gluten. Free. I gotta admit, those are two words I never thought I’d ever associate with me. Yet, in January I received blood work results which , while returning negative for Celiac Disease, showed a possible issue with gluten. Rather than undergo further [and expensive] testing, I decided to just eliminate it and see what happened. Would I notice a difference? It certainly couldn’t hurt to get rid of some excess carbs. Diabetes runs in my family, so reducing anything that turns into excess sugar couldn’t be that bad.

The main reason I sought help in the first place was to try to reduce my migraines. I am tired of being overly cautious about what I eat and drink, when I eat and drink, and how I eat and drink. Granted, my migraines have lessened in severity in the past couple of years,  so I am now often able to function through them rather than having to slip into a quiet room to close my eyes for hours – or even days – on end. However, they have also become more frequent. Instead of 1-2 migraines per month I now may have 5-6 less severe ones. Neither way is any way to live. I was hoping to find a way to further minimize them. Blood work was the first step.

Long story short, at the end of January I cut the cord on gluten after receiving my results. I must say, it was not as difficult as I had imagined. We eat a lot of brown rice and quinoa with our meals anyway, so it was not too hard to leave bread and pasta off of the menu. Okay, I lied a little. The pasta part was harder, and I struggled more with that one. But I was surprised about the bread. I experimented with gluten-free breads and found one that’s not so bad to use for toast or bread crumbs, but I have not found any that I’m in love with for a basic dinner roll. The gluten-free ones are just not the same. Not yet anyway. I welcome any suggestions…

The Results Are In…

The big question: Did I notice any results? I was surprised, but YES! Where I noticed those results was even more surprising than the fact that I noticed anything at all. Within three days of eliminating gluten I began to have the best sleep since I was in my 20s. Seriously. Three days was all it took. Now, I go to bed, fall asleep, and STAY asleep. To be honest, I can’t remember ever sleeping so well. And I dream now. I suppose I have always dreamed, but only rarely did I ever remember anything I dreamt about. I have vivid dreams now. Again – Amazing!

The other thing I’ve noticed is that my skin is so much less itchy. I had been to a dermatologist a few years ago and she told me it was something that often happened to women as they aged (thank you Age Gods!). She said she could prescribe a steroid-based cream, but other than that there wasn’t much she could do to help. I passed on the cream and have just dealt with it. Until now.

Honestly, I had not noticed that change until I accidentally had a bite of something with gluten at a dinner about three weeks into my experiment. It was only one bite, but that night I slept poorly. The next day my skin was super itchy, which is when I realized how much of my skin issue had cleared after giving up gluten. Have I used the word “amazing” yet? A-mazing!

Right before Easter, which was about 2 months in on my GF trial, I decided to add a little gluten back into my life and see what would happen. I had not noticed any digestive issues with or without the gluten, so I figured I could eat a bit of my traditional Easter Coconut Cake, knowing I could expect sleep/skin issues for a little bit after. To my surprise, I did not have any sleep issues, though my skin did react some.

This past week we went to an Italian restaurant for dinner and I ordered a pasta dish for my main meal. I had been craving pasta for weeks. Seriously, I even dreamed about it one night (now that I am dreaming!). I ordered it and savored every bite. Every. Single. Bite. And I still slept that night, though admittedly not quite as well. Perhaps an entire meal of pasta (hence: gluten) is not the best idea, especially nearing bedtime. But it certainly sated my urge for some serious carbs. That is a trade-off I was willing to make.

My plan for now is to occasionally indulge. Most of the time I will eat gluten-free, enjoying the blissful nights of sleep and nicer skin. But every once in a while I’ll give in to temptation. Just a tad…