Yesterday EJ and I went on a date.
Actually, we go on a date every Friday.
Ok, so when we were younger, dates meant going to movies, or festivals, or out to dinner. As we grew older, our weekly dates morphed into running errands. But we totally enjoy spending time with each other, chatting as we drive through beautiful countryside, and shopping together. We have an awesome time!
We often take Hannah Joy with us because she hates being left home and we enjoy having her with us. We had several errands to run, and we arranged our stops to best prevent Hannah from getting into things. It’s kind of like that old brain-teaser in which a man has to take a wolf, a goat, and some cabbage across a river. His rowboat has enough room for the man plus either the wolf or the goat or the cabbage. If he takes the cabbage with him, the wolf will eat the goat. If he takes the wolf, the goat will eat the cabbage. Only when the man is present are the goat and the cabbage safe from their enemies. The trick is to figure out how the man can get the wolf, goat, and cabbage across the river. Similarly, we can’t leave Hannah alone with groceries or pet food because she will eat it if she can figure out a way to reach it so we have to organize our errands so she’s never left alone for things she can eat. She has a seat belt fastened to her harness, but with enough time and persistence she has gotten herself free a couple times. Once she ate a loaf of bread.
Our first stop was at Meijers so EJ could buy his hunting licenses. Deer season begins in a couple of weeks. We also bought a couple grocery items, but nothing that Hannah could get into.
We have several farm stores that we usually shop at because each one offers something that the others don’t have. Yesterday we stopped at McG’s for wild birdseed. Their birdseed prices are more reasonable than at other stores and they package their own mixes that don’t have a lot of filler seed that the birds toss aside with contempt.
Next, EJ and I stopped at Oryana, a co-op that we’ve wanted to explore for quite some time. It had a lot of expensive specialty foods that are not in our budget but their bulk food section was totally awesome. Some of the organic, non-GMO foods were less expensive than less healthy items at the grocery store. We walked over to the customer service counter and bought a membership. Normally it is $20 per year, but they were offering a special at $15 a year. Right away we saved $5! With a membership we become part-owners of the business and are eligible for many discounts and sales, which makes the foods even more affordable. We didn’t buy anything this trip but we are so excited to begin shopping here.
Our next stop was the Habitat for Humanity resale shop. They had just relocated into a bigger, better store and EJ wanted to check it out. We enjoy browsing through resale and thrift shops. It’s sort of like treasure hunting–sometimes we don’t find anything but other times we SCORE!
Finally, we stopped at a new farm store on the far side of Traverse City. I had ordered cat and dog food on-line so we just had to pull up at the drive-thru and the bags were loaded in.
Then we drove home to unload. Then we headed off to the farm to buy more straw for the coop. Not only does the straw provide bedding for the chickens and cats, they like to roost on top of it, the bales provide insulation, and the straw can later be used in the garden. We had to leave Hannah home so we had space for the straw. After we ate, EJ carried the bales to me while I arranged them in the coop.
Finally, we were done with our errands. We had a tremendous date day.