Thursday, July 26, 2012

Mugging for the camera

I didn't intend to leave that sad post up at the top of my blog for so long, so I'd better post something to lighten the mood.  Which means, it's time for a kitten picture again!

I think I've finally decided that the orange and white one in front here is my favorite...

So Darn Cute!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Goodbye, old friend

This past weekend, our neighborhood grocery store closed.

Fiesta was a great grocery store.  Our neighborhood is quite a mix of ethnic backgrounds and monetary income levels and the store did an amazing job of catering to everyone in such a small space.  The produce was always fresh and varied, there was a Hispanic section with everything you could imagine, an additional "ethnic" section with all sorts of imports, and one of the managers was the self-appointed wine steward for the entire neighborhood, getting awesome deals on really good wines and passing his knowledge and savings on to the customers.  I could run to the store, grab milk, wine, grapes, flour, and parmesan cheese and be back home within 10 minutes.  Plus, they played "oldies" music from the 50's and you couldn't go shopping there without singing along with the tunes.

Last year, though, the abandoned old apartment complex across the street from Fiesta was bought by another grocery store chain, HEB.  They made quick work of tearing down the old and putting up a brand-spanking new grocery store.  It opened in November last year.

Now, don't get me wrong, the HEB is a very nice store.  They had a web contest where neighborhood people could choose from three different architectural designs before they started construction and they built the winning design.  It has a large organic produce section, a bakery, a cheese section (complete with cheese expert who will help you find whatever you want), a big wine/beer section, a pharmacy, and an outdoor patio where they regularly have live music playing.  It's pretty much everything you could ever want in a grocery store.  They even built the parking lot around the huge oak trees out front and they have a permanent "food truck" in the parking lot.  Very fancy and very politically correct.

So when the HEB opened, everyone started wondering when Fiesta would go out of business.  I mean, who would go to such an old, run-down store right across the street from such opulence?

Me.  That's who.  And apparently everyone else who ever frequented the Fiesta.  Every time I went to the store, the HEB parking lot was full, but the Fiesta parking lot was just as full as it had ever been.  And I would run into the same people I used to run into at the store.  After the initial fear wore off, we all became confident that our beloved Fiesta would be able to weather the storm.  It seemed that the people who shopped at HEB were not former patrons of Fiesta.  We weren't sure where they were coming from, but don't question a good thing.

And then it happened.  It was rumored that a developer bought Fiesta's shopping complex.  But no announcements were made and business continued as usual.  Then it was confirmed that Fiesta's shopping complex had been bought.  But no announcements were made and business continued as usual.  Then suddenly, at the beginning of July, Fiesta announced that its last day of business would be July 15, 2012.  They're going to build a big apartment complex on the site.

Trying to look on the bright side, I told myself that at least now I wouldn't have to feel guilty about the little shopping that I had already started doing at HEB.  I mean, when you have a cheese expert available to you, why not take advantage of that?  And if the organic section is as big as the whole produce section in the little Fiesta, doesn't it make sense to go there to grab the ingredients for your salad?

So, this past weekend, we stoically made our last shopping trip to Fiesta and bought several things we didn't need - as a sign of solidarity.  And even though I was sad to see the rusty old shelves peeking out from the last of the canned goods, I thought it wouldn't be all bad to have a bright (naturally-lit-through-skylights!), fresh environment to add to my shopping pleasure.  Here I come with my guilt-free conscience to HEB!

But last night we needed to run to the grocery store for milk.  Like we end up having to do about three times a week because our refrigerator is so small (don't get me started about our refrigerator...) and we were struck with the sudden knowledge that we wouldn't be able to just run into the store, grab some milk and be back to the car in the span of about two minutes.  We wouldn't even be able to make it to the dairy section in the span of two minutes after parking, walking through the parking lot to the store, and then walking through the entire store (with intentionally mis-aligned aisles, which must somehow either make the store not seem so cavernous or make people buy more stuff, but end up just pissing me off), and a wave of sadness and regret washed over me.

New is nice, but our friendly neighborhood store, that timed their over-buying just right and ran extension cords from generators to their cash registers during the power outages of Hurricane Ike to make sure nobody went without staple foods, will always hold a special place in my heart.

RIP, Fiesta

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Kittens - Week 3

Today, the kittens around the corner are 3 weeks old!  I texted our friend earlier today and made her send me some pictures so I could update my blog.  ;)

Peek-a-boo, I see you!

We visited the kitties on Tuesday evening and hopefully we'll get to see them again tonight.  They're still just a little wobbly on their feet, but there are two of them that don't mind getting picked up and cuddled.  I plan to take full advantage of that tonight!

Monday, July 02, 2012

Not-so-smart Spot

Spot is such a cute little kitty, but she's not really very smart...

Wow! What is out there?!
She loves to sit inside our shower and look through the glass blocks at the TV or whatever happens to be on the other side.

While I was taking these pictures, the husband started playing with her through the glass blocks. Not so bright, but oh-so-cute! :)

I'm gonna get you!