Yesterday, while working on the squash beds, I was thinking ahead to working on the beet and carrot beds today.
Forgetting completely that today was our day to do our monthly shop.
Which turned out to be a good thing, since it also turned out to be a day of intermittent rain, so I wouldn’t have been able to get much done outside!
So my younger daughter and I made the trip into the city with our itinerary. It’s taken almost three years, but we’ve got the routine for ordinary stocking up down to a pretty efficient routine that also ensures the least amount of time for frozen and refrigerated items to be in the van. Ice packs and insulated bags are good only so far! We didn’t have any unusual things to get this time, so it was just breakfast (drive through, then eating in the parking lot) and the three regular stores we go to.
I was a bit concerned this time around, since the city’s “casedemic” resulted in mandatory masking, with fines, beginning rather arbitrarily two days ago. My views on the usefulness of masks aside, I really can’t wear one. (My daughter wears a home made cloth mask.) I’d heard some people had been given a hard time already. With medical exemptions, we should be able to just say we can’t wear one and that’s it. I’d heard that some people had letters from doctors demanded of them, which is ridiculous. For starters, as far as I know, doctors have been instructed not to give those out. Plus, it’s against PIPA to ask that information. Not all employees are told this, though, and some are are… shall we say… far more aggressive about it then they should be.
Thankfully, I had no reason to be concerned for the places we went to.
The first stop was Walmart, which is where we get some of our cat food. They have more flavours than Costco does, and we like to give the cats some variety. The last time we went there, there was someone at the entry that tried to offer me a mask, but was okay when I politely said I couldn’t wear one. This time, there was no one at that station at all. The sanitation station was still there, so I used some on my hands, but there wasn’t anyone at that station, either. Almost everyone in the store had masks, though I did see a few without. I might have gotten some startled looks from other customers, but with only half their faces visible, I’m not sure.
The next store was a local international grocery store franchise that carries a few things we can’t find anywhere else. It’s also where we get our fresh produce in smaller-than-Costco quantities. This place has always been awesome. Aside from some signage, nothing had changed. I wasn’t really paying attention, but I think I only saw a couple of staff without masks, and that’s it.
The last stop was Costco. The last time we were there, there was someone at a booth offering masks. Again, there had been no issue with me saying I couldn’t wear one. Just a rather startled response. I think. Hard to tell behind the mask. In spite of all the booths, counters and cash registers being shielded, all the staff had to wear masks, though I did see a few face shields, instead.
Today, the woman in the booth with the masks, who had both mask and gloves on this time, immediately started using some kitchen tongs to pick up a surgical mask to offer me. I just told her “I can’t wear one, thanks”, and that was it. I think I saw maybe one or two other people without masks. I saw no staff wearing face shields this time.
In each place we went, things went smoothly. The only hitch was at Costco. The section where the toilet paper, facial tissues and paper towels usually are, was empty. Not a single product! Just a couple of pallets! I’d heard that people were starting to panic buy toilet paper again, but really? I wish I’d thought of it earlier and picked some up while we were at one of the other two stores. They had plenty of inventory. We have enough to last us a little longer, though. We’ll see if we have to make a second trip into the city later in the month. That partly depends on when we can get a plumber in to switch out the well pump, and how much that ends up costing.
Still, we managed to get pretty much everything we needed, and it was all nice and quick. No one gave me a hard time, which was greatly appreciated.
As we started heading out of the city, though, I did have to pull over and get my daughter to drive. My mystery pain in my side decided it was a good day to kick in. While shopping, I can use the cart as a walker, but it was getting difficult to sit up straight while driving.
The drive home saw us going through several downpours along with way, with wind gusts trying to push the van off the road. !! It sure felt good to get home – and to be restocked for at least most of the month, again.
Oh, I did have one splurge while at Walmart. I found and picked up a package of fermentation lids. I’ve never seen any other store with fermentation lids! These have a cap to fit a wide mouth jar, with a build in airlock and, instead of a fermentation weight, it has a spring to push things down.
Too bad we didn’t have these when we were pickling our squash! 🙂
I’m thinking maybe we should pick up another cabbage and try making small batch sauerkraut again. 🙂
Meanwhile, it looks like it will continue to be wet, chilly and unpleasant outside.
I think it’s time for a nice big pot of tea!