Sunday, July 10, 2011

Markets, Salesgnats and Other Weekend tales

It's hard to believe that another weekend has passed and it's already winding down. It feels as though I just got off work on Friday and am about to start relaxing.

Still, for a weekend where I didn't have any plans, it ended up being rather productive, as weekends so often are.

I decided that even though I'd gone to Findlay Market here in Cincinnati last weekend with my mum, I'd go back again this weekend. One of my favourite vendors at the market is Kroeger and Sons who specialize in meats, particularly sausage. They make a wonderful Swedish potato sausage that has the best flavour- I'm not quite sure what they add in with the pork but I know there's coriander in there. The sausage is tangy and delicious both hot and cold. My dad is a huge fan of these sausages and I'd promised we'd get him some last weekend. Alas, being the weekend before the Fourth of July, they were already sold out of the Swedish potato sausage last week just over an hour after they opened.

So, this weekend, I decided to go back and get my dad his sausages. In addition, it was a wonderful excuse for me to go back and get some more fresh veggies from the farmer's market as well as some sausages for my own freezer. Sausages aren't exactly the healthiest thing when you're watching your weight like me but I've learned if you moderate what you eat with them, they make a fine dinner.

So, I got up even earlier on Saturday than I normally do to go to work. This is because of my Fear of Finding Parking at Findlay Market. However, even though I managed to get up, get the dogs walked and hitting the road by 7:30 a.m., the fates were against me. There was construction on the interstate.

This was a nuisance because they had closed two lanes. The annoying thing was that when traffic slowed, the 'smarty pants' drivers all decided, "Hey, look! the left lane is moving fast, why don't I hop over there." These Smarty Pants people clearly hadn't read the giant flashing "Left Two Lanes Closed on S. I-75" sign that I had. These stupid twits in their eagerness to bypass the traffic jam ended up being the CAUSE of the jam as they slowly realized, "Oops, I have to get over, my lane is closed".

I felt like I was back in L.A. Fortunately, this meant that I kicked into my, "sigh...freeway traffic blows" mode and relaxed while caterwaling along with Def Leppard, Green Day and Lady Gaga.

By the time traffic improved and I made it to the market, it wasn't nearly as early as I'd hoped it would be. Nevertheless, the fates decided to be nice and I found a parking space easily.

The market wasn't as bustling as last weekend and I got my sausages, fresh bread and veggies without much bother. I also relaxed with a cup of coffee in the earlyish morning sun with a good book. It was a lovely start to the day.

I decided then to investigate the unfinished furniture store I"d found online. The prices they listed were very reasonable and i had visions of getting a few pieces, staining them in antique-y Tuscan colours and finally finished my Tuscan room.

Alas, this was not to be. The store was a third of the size I'd envisioned and I was...the only customer in there. I'm sure you've experienced this phenomena. It's horrible. This means the salespeople leech onto you and you can't look even when you politely tell them you 'just want to look.'

Sadly, the furniture was over double the price they'd advertised online and, while nice, was not what I was seeking. I was also being watched like a hawk. Thus, I was relieved when another customer came in. I seized my chance to leave while the salespeople were converging on her.

I decided to continue my morning of 'New Things' and decided to give in to the cupcake obsession that Saz instilled in me by introducing me to the Magnolia Bakery in New York. I had done my research and found that the second best place for cupcakes in Cincinnati was downtown. The first best place was, unfortunately, closed this weekend due to vacation.

Thus, I headed to Abby Girl cupcakes in Downtown Cincinnati. I rarely go downtown so it was actually a treat to be reminded of...why I don't go downtown. As most downtowns are, it's a mixture of one-way streets, hard-to-see traffic lights and 'no turn on red lights'. I found the bakery, got by cupcakes and headed home.

I'm sad to say the cupcakes were...ok. They were better than the average grocery store but lacking in flavour. They missed the bite and tang I'd been spoiled with in New York.

I thought I was done for the day but I got a second wind and decided to go to the Value City Furniture by my house to see if they had anything remotely Tuscan.

This was a bad idea. Value City Furniture was even worse than the place I'd been to that morning. The salespeople were like those gnats that find you when you're outside. No sooner have you swatted one and squashed it and there's five more. It made the whole experience extremely unpleasant. All I wanted to do was look and each aisle I walked down had a salesperson waiting. I was approached no less than seven times in ten minutes. This is not an exaggeration. Needless to say, I got tired of being harassed and I left. I simply don't understand why you can't browse without someone trying to help. If I need help, I'll ask which is what i politely told the first four salespeople. I didn't have energy to say that to the last three and by the time the last one approached me, I'd had enough and I walked away, leaving the store.

Still, salesgnats aside, it was a nice Saturday. Sunday has been nice too. I managed to mow the lawns, whack some wheeds, plant some flowers, edit a novel, make my first homemade mojito and am now blogging. I plan on spending the rest of my evening relaxing.

So, even though the weekend whizzed by, I can't say I wasted my time. I find that as I get older, it's harder to sit around and do nothing. In my younger days, I enjoyed turning on the TV and finding something to watch. Now, I'd rather weed, work outside or find something to do.

I'm sure the rest of my evening won't be wasted either. I find that productive weekends make it far easier to go back to work, even though I have to face the start of a Monday. I'm hoping this won't be a tradition, moody Monday but, even if it is, I'll just look back and think about what a nice weekend I've had.

And, also, thank my lucky stars I don't work in a furniture store.

Thanks, as always for reading. Have a great Monday!

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