Monday, July 16, 2012

Return To The Mountains

West Prong Trail - Great Smoky Mountains National Park
February 2, 2012

I am writing this on Sunday evening because tomorrow morning when this posts, I will be on my way to hike in "my" Smoky Mountains for the first time since May 1.   It is no secret that summer is not my favorite season to hike, but the mountains still call and when I can find someone willing to travel to the highest elevations, I am more than willing to go.  Even here in the valley, our temperatures have finally moderated to "normal" levels, but in the area where we will hike tomorrow, the predicted high is 67 degrees.  That's pretty near perfect!!  It will be a brand new trail for me and although it will take a while to get to the trailhead, the trail itself is a mere seven miles.  That's about the same as the longest distance we did while in New England, so I should be good to go.  I am so excited!

We spent a most enjoyable and quite productive day with MIL on Saturday.    The pantry had become woefully bare, so these..........................

 after a full day of hot, hard work, became these...............................

and these.........................

We canned 48 quarts of tomatoes!   In the past, we'd often spent a summer Saturday canning tomatoes with Bill's mom and dad, but had not done so since his dad died two years ago.   With the stock down to almost nothing, it was time to revive the family tradition.  We had a lot of fun, enjoyed some walks down memory lane and did a lot of laughing.   There'll be some good chili and soup this winter.    
After we finished, there was some of this......................

On another subject, Karen @ Garden Girl posted a link which I found very interesting so thought I'd pass it along.  Found here on the BBC News Website, by entering very basic data (age, height, weight), you'll be shown some interesting (and quite telling) information as to how your BMI ranks GLOBALLY and also in the specific country where you live.  I'm always interested in knowing what my personal BMI (body mass index) is and whether or not I am "normal," but can't say I'd ever thought about where my current statistics ranked among the rest of the population.  Check it out!

I came across another article recently that was of interest to me and I remember bookmarking it thinking I'd stick it in a post one of these days simply because I wondered how my blog friends might react.  (Obviously, I have no deep philosophical thoughts flowing out of my brain this evening, so the mishmash will have to do!  LOL!)   The article as seen here ranked the 12 Worst Grocery Stores in the US. It was first released back in early April and the survey had asked 24,000 people to rank 52 grocery store chains on a list of criteria.  Those who have read this blog for any length of time know that I have a love affair with grocery stores and thoroughly enjoy visiting new ones just to see what they have that is different.  Having just spent seven weeks in unfamiliar territory, I've visited a lot of new grocery stores some of which just happened to show up on this list.  Of the twelve stores, only one is found in my area (you'll be able to figure out which one when you read the list), but we actually shopped at two of the others while in New England. Both were new stores and very nice.  Needless to say, I was surprised to see them on this list.  So, I'm curious!  What do you think of this list?   Do you shop at any of these stores?   If so, do you agree that it belongs on the list or is a "generalized" list such as this unfair?  

Well, I've got a backpack to load and lunches/snacks to pack so that's all for now.  I'm excited to say that I'm inching ever so slowly, but ever so closely to goal and will be there soon.  Have a couple of new recipes that I'm hoping to try this week including the correct version of the now famous, Summer "Steel Cut Oats that is Supposed to be Quinoa" salad!!  (You'll have to read my last post to figure that one out!)

What Does Your Week Look Like?


  1. Thanks for the link back. I know that BMI is not a good measure for all people, but to see how the countries rank in ave BMI was an eye opener.

    Safe traveles this week hiking. The canned tomatoes look wonderful. Glad you are carrying on the family traditions. Brings back memories of the mid West.

  2. Those tomatoes look great and brought back a few memories of my canning days of long ago.

  3. My week is my own except for Tuesday. I am so looking forward to walking again. The temps have moderated here as well, so I'm eager to get with it.

  4. I'd go on a hike with you!

    We shop where we have to, because we're in the boonies :) But I remember Food Lion being SO awful when we lived in MD. We only have Shaw's and Hannford's here (about 25 min away) and they both kinda stink in my opinion. I think that's what happens when you have no competition, and a low population base. You end up with over priced stores with little selection.

    That BMI calculator is interesting and scary at the same time!

  5. I have not shopped at any of those grocery stores. But Safeway is on my VERY BAD LIST. Ever since they 'upgraded,' their prices are really ridiculous. They mark things up to a ridiculous price that no one would pay, and then give you a discount and you're supposed to be happy about that. The other day, I had to stop to get two things that my other store was out of. They were literally twice the price. And then the lines were ridiculously long. For those prices they should be able to bring more checkers up during busy times. I put my stuff back and vowed never to go there again. Its bad for my blood pressure!

    Oh, now what were we supposed to be talking about? I'm glad you're getting a hike in today, and can I have some of those tomatoes??

  6. The only one on that list of grocery stores that I have shopped in was the Jewel. That was in Illinois and where we shopped.

    I actually really like our chain of Hannaford. They have good prices and the stores are usually very clean and well stocked - if you don't go Saturday night!

    We have a couple really hot days, then the humidity should break. I am hopefully going to meet up with a blogger on my bucket list this week if all goes as planned :D

  7. That Global BMI comparison was fascinating. I have never thought of of myself as terribly thin, but my BMI was 20 and I'm most like a woman my age in Sri Lanka. The only thinner country was Ethiopia.

  8. Happy hiking! I am just back from a 19 mile rode around the lakes and hills of NW WI. Lovely.

    Your tomato stock looks fabulous. Over the years, I have made my share of home canned tomatoes and sauces. I have not done much of it lately, but now that I am growing a wonderful assortment of peppers, I am hoping to make some salsa.

    I do not shop at any of the grocery stores that were featured on the worst list. My very favorite grocery is local and small and yes, more expensive. I also love coops.

  9. I think a list like this is probably unfair and that the stores likely vary. And, of course, it depends on one's criteria. The only one near me is Walmart and they do have great prices on grocery items but I don't tend to buy a lot of fresh stuff there and it is rather dingy in terms of the store look and feel. Many of those I remember from my childhood back east and I've been in a Ralph's near my teen' LA campus.

  10. The only one of those near me is WM supercenter, and I shop there about twice a year for home. Unfortunately, on my road trips to small towns, they're often the only option. At least they have good yogurt and nuts. :)

  11. Have to work all week...:( but hoping to get out on the trails this next weekend.

  12. Hi Sharon, Hope you have a good day today ---and stay COOL up there on the mountain. It's hotter than hot here ---no rain, but HUMID.... The cooler temps of last week are gone... Dang it!!!! Welcome back to summer.

    I don't care for those ratings things... Usually they don't effect many of us in the USA anyhow... Everything is usually geared for the northeast and midwest.... The south is usually left out.. SO--I don't pay much attention.

    Our Food Lion is gone ---and we didn't go there much anyhow. AND--we shop Walmart every week... People either like Walmart or they hate it... We happen to like it --even though their stock is not kept up very well... Don't care much for their produce ---so for that and other specials, we go to Krogers... Krogers is usually more expensive though ---unless I have coupons or get their specials...

    Have fun..

  13. Well, thanks for that very depressing BBC link... don't worry, I'll get over this depression you just put me in. Kidding, kidding.

    As for the stores. I totally agree with the Food Lion being on there. The only reason I'd ever go to one is if it's the only grocery store in a 20 mile radius. They just don't have a good selection. I prefer Food City over them for meats and produce. As for Walmart, we do grocery shop there, but only for the "processed" items that seem to be cheaper there and paper products. We don't buy their meats or produce except banana's...I love the chiquitas.

  14. Hi Sharon. I'm a new follower of your blog from Texas :) I enjoyed this post and the BMI was of interest to me so thanks for sharing it.

  15. Those tomatoes are beautiful, Sharon! I love that you have a summer canning tradition. It sure is hot, hard work, though.

    I don't know about the other grocery stores on that list, but I certainly agree with the assessment of Food Lion. We had one here, and I sometimes went there, but only because we have limited food-shopping choices. They were terrible in every way---surly employees, poor stock, dirty floors...just terrible. They finally closed that store, and I don't think anybody misses it. I sure don't.

    I can't wait to hear about your hike!

  16. I've never canned anything but have put up a lot of produce in the freezer. It takes a lot of work and I'm so impressed with all those cans. Wow!

    We don't have Food Lion here, but in VA we did and they were terrible. Terrible.

  17. Hope you had a good hike. 67 would feel good after our 101 yesterday!! Hope you post about your hike:) Can't wait to do some hiking in the Smokies in Sept.
    We just picked our first tomatoes. It's not been a good year for gardening but hope I get enough to do some canning. Salsa is first on the list.