Monday, October 31, 2011

Trick Or Treat... Smell My Feet...

Another Halloween has come and gone.

Yesterday I went to Costco and bought chewy granola bars to hand out, and thought I was done buying for Halloween. After dinner the doorbell rang. When I opened the door, there were two teenage boys standing there. They told me they were from the drama department of the local high school, and for Halloween the group was collecting items for the local food pantry. One of them handed me a flyer with a list of the items they were asking for. On the way home from work today, I stopped by the store and bought enough things to fill a bag.

For the last two years Tony's been gone on business on October 31st. This year, I told him he was in charge of the door. However, he had a meeting that started at 7:00, so he left the house shortly before that. During his shift, there were only two five trick-or-treaters! I got to do the rest, which turned out to be about fifty children. Our neighborhood is definitely getting older.

I always ask for a "trick" before I hand over a "treat", and usually get a joke. This year's best:
  • What do vampires eat? NECKtarines
  • What do you call a blood sucker on the moon? A luna-tick
  • What is a ten letter word that starts with gas? Automobile
  • Why couldn't the skeleton cross the road? Because he didn't have the guts.

One girl had a quite philosophical questions for a trick...If a turtle loses it's shell, is it naked or is it homeless?

Sunday, October 30, 2011


I've been trying to incorporate more "whole" foods into my diet. However, sometimes they cost more than their more-processed counterparts, so I go to a variety of stores to get the best prices.

Take rice, for example. At the grocery store, a one pound package of brown rice is somewhere between $1-$1.50, depending on what kind of sale they're running. Aldi doesn't carry brown rice, and Costco only carries a fancy organic variety, so buying it at either of those stores isn't an option. However, I've figured out that the ethnic food store has a great selection of rice. The only downside is that in order to get the best price you have to buy a sack; depending on the variety that's somewhere between 20 and 25 pounds. I sometimes split my purchase with Son Donald, but if he doesn't need any it's not a big deal. Whatever doesn't fit in the rice container in the pantry I can store in the freezer downstairs.

A couple of weeks ago I used up the last of the rice, so it was time to get some more. The last time Hubby Tony and I were running errands, we stopped at Global Foods Market in Kirkwood. They have dozens of types of rice from all over the world...white, brown, jasmine, basmati. Short, medium, and long-grained. I chose the cheapest bag of brown rice they had; the 25 pound sack was only $16.

Tony carried the rice. I had a shoppingbag for the rest of the things on my list (and the inevitable extras that I find). As we were walking through the produce section, a man looked at Tony, smiled, and said something. I was pretty sure I heard him correctly, but when he walked away, I had to ask Tony just to make sure. The man's comment? "That's an awfully big bag of rice for a white guy."

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Gathering Ginger

Last year I planted a piece of ginger root (or more accurately, a ginger rhizome), and grew it in a pot on the deck. At the end of the season I overwintered it, and was thrilled when it sprouted again this spring. Once again, I put the pot outside when the weather got warm. Ginger, being a tropical plant, loves our area's hot humid summers. Once things start cooling off, the leaves start getting brown and straggly and ginger season is over. Instead of overwintering the plant again, this year I decided to harvest the ginger.

Here's the plant before I started:

I upended the pot in the grass, then picked up the stones that had been in the bottom of the pot. The ginger's roots were a tangled mess. As I started pulling them apart, a wonderful ginger-y smell filled the air. When I was done, this is what was left:

I cut off the roots and stems and threw them in the compost bin. (I bet the pile will smell good next time I open up the lid to add something to it!)

The next step was to bring my harvest inside. I cleaned it in two changes of water, scrubbing the crevices of the roots with an old toothbrush to get all the dirt off.  When I was done there was an impressive pile of ginger. I weighed it to see just how much I had--there was one and a half pounds.

I don't remember how much I started with two years ago, but I know I spent less than a dollar on the piece I planted. (Ginger costs somewhere between $5 and $6 a pound.) I'm thrilled with my bounty. Now I just have to figure out how to use all of it.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Invasive Species Alert: ZOMBIES!

Just in time for Halloween, I found this on the Missouri Department of Conversation Website:

Be warned of our state’s newest invasive species threat--ZOMBIES!

While zombie management is largely left to the police, military and health agencies, conservation plays a role in protecting Missouri's fish, forest and wildlife resources--and Missourians--from this invasive species.

Hunters, campers and others in the outdoors and on conservation areas should know there is always the chance they may encounter a zombie while out in the field. Good preparation helps you know what to do if you encounter this newest invasive species in Missouri.

The zombie invasion is like the feral hog problem in parts of Missouri, and its management is similar. We do not encourage organized zombie hunts since that may encourage the intentional release of zombie swarms. It can also disrupt wildlife and hunting opportunities for the more than 500,000 living Missourians who enjoy hunting.

Zombie Identification

Some indications that you have a zombie in view:
  • It has a gray-green dull skin tone.
  • It is wearing inappropriate clothing for the season or terrain (no coat or shoes, for instance).
  • It has open wounds, other injuries and/or missing or damaged limbs but no sign of bleeding.
  • It does not respond to verbal stimulus or exhibit any interest in its immediate surroundings.
  • It is trying to eat you.

Zombie Hunger and Habitat

Zombies require meat and brains. While human is the preferred source, fish and wildlife are another ready source of nourishment.

While zombies are primarily found in populated areas, there are zombies in undeveloped rural areas, far from cities and towns. Evidence suggests that these zombies are transient, and moving to populated areas in search of their primary food source: brains. They are known to travel in packs or swarms, especially near food sources, but it is not uncommon to find solitary zombies in the field.

Cold weather slows down zombies. When the weather is below freezing, zombies may "hibernate" under leaf litter or underwater until warmer spring weather.

Hunter/Outdoor Safety

Whether you are out in a tree stand, in a wetland or in a field, a few precautions combined with everyday hunter safety can ensure that you make it back alive.
  • Always let someone know where you are hunting (or fishing, hiking, walking, camping) and when you expect to return. Leave a map or GPS coordinates with your family and in your vehicle.
  • Avoid cauliflower fields. Since cauliflowers appear brain-like, they often lure zombies.
  • Meat processors and other areas of concentrated meat and brains also attract zombies. (Tip: MDC offers programs and events, including how to process your own deer.)
  • If you encounter a large pack of zombies, escape rather than trying to fight them alone. While you may be able to run faster, remember that zombies are relentless at pursuit. Get to a vehicle and a safe zone.
  • If in the suburban outdoors, remember that shopping malls and big-box stores may serve as fortresses against the walking dead, but also attract zombies in large numbers.

Tree Stand Safety

A tree stand is a readily defensible position, but keep in mind that free-standing tree stands can be toppled by a small pack of zombies. Follow manufacturers' instructions when setting up your stand. There are unconfirmed reports that some zombies may be capable of climbing tree stands.

Always practice proper tree-stand safety and wear a safety harness. Falling from a tree stand can injure you or make you dead. Falling from a tree stand into the gaping maw of a zombie can make you undead.

Waterfowl Hunting and Hunting with Dogs

Zombies do not require air and can stay submerged underwater for extended periods of time. While MDC managed waterfowl areas are believed to be zombie-free, use caution when wading through murky water and always check your blinds before entering. Consider wearing a shark suit or other body armor over your waders to prevent zombie bites from breaking through both your waders and your skin. If you use a boat to retrieve your game, put a spike or hammerhead on one end of your pole to use as a handy defense tool if you encounter the undead.

Dogs are usually very sensitive to zombies and will alert you to their presence. They cannot, however, sense submerged zombies. Scout out your wetlands before hunting and do not let your dog retrieve game if there are signs of zombies. Don't let man's best friend turn into man's worst fiend.

Remember that deer and turkey cannot be taken with the use of dogs.

Field Tips for Foresters and Others in the Woods

Chainsaws, axes and machetes are excellent weapons in quickly "dispatching" zombies. Remember that a severed zombie head can still bite.

Controlled fire has shown to be a slower-but-still-effective weapon in "dispatching" the walking dead. Complete incineration or explosion of the zombie is necessary to prevent further animation.

Always wear proper personal protective equipment (PPE) during close encounters with the undead to prevent direct contact with blood and brains since these are known to transmit the associated virus.

Note to Anglers

If you snag a zombie, CUT THE LINE!

Trout anglers, now is a good time to replace your porous-soled waders and boots with something non-porous and zombie-resistant. This has the added benefit of reducing the spread of rock snot (didymo).

During the fall gigging season, a gig is an effective tool against zombies.

Happy Halloween!
This was your trick! Suggested treat: BRAINS!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Rock, Roll, and Run

I have no desire to ever run a marathon, but today I watched one. DIL Nicole was running in the first-ever St. Louis stop of the Rock 'n' Roll Marathon series. Hubby Tony and I went to support her and cheer her on.

Nicole's been working up to her first marathon since running a half-marathon back in the spring. She, Son Brian, and a friend of theirs who was also running came in town yesterday from Columbia and spent the night at our house. I cooked a pre-marathon dinner of baked chicken, spaghetti, salad, and bread. Afterwards, we relaxed and watched the Cardinals win another World Series game in decisive fashion.

The race started at 7:30 this morning. The runner's car left the house a little after 6:30, and Tony and I got on the road 20 minutes after that. When we got downtown, we parked on the south side of the race area, and got there just in time to see the impressive array of runners (which stretched for blocks) waiting for their turn to begin. Between the marathon and half marathon, there were 20,0000 entrants. They started in waves, based on the finish time they'd estimated. All the runners with similar times were assigned to a corral, and there were 23 corrals.

A sound system was broadcasting loud classic rock music. As each group of runners came up to the starting line, the masters of ceremony announced them, then sent them on their way. In the front of each group there were pace runners carrying tall signs signifying the projected finish time. The first couple of groups (which were the faster runners) looked like they were taking the race very seriously, but people further back in the crowd seemed to be having more fun. I even saw a couple with their cell phones out, taking pictures of the event.

Once all the runners had gone by we were able to find Brian, then walk back to the car to execute our plan for the day. At the Rock 'n' Roll Marathon, there's a live band playing on each mile of the course. We thought we'd drive to several different spots along the route and listen to the music while we waited to watch Nicole run by, then end up at the finish line. We had studied the course map (and list of bands) ahead of time, and chosen a few that sounded interesting.

However, we'd not factored street closings into the plan. After we had to turn around a couple of times before we even got out of downtown, we revised our program. Instead of Mile 6 for our first stop, we headed towards Mile 9. As we got out of the car, I could hear the music (even though we were a block away). When we got to the main street, there were quite a few spectators cheering on the runners. We chose a spot on the sidewalk to sit. Runners flowed past us, some individually and some in groups. Every ten minutes we saw the pace banner carriers, so we used those to gauge when we might see Nicole. Ten minutes before her expected time I looked up and she was running by, in a bright shirt that was easy to see. We yelled her name and she turned her head to acknowledge us, giving us a friendly wave.

After Nicole was gone, we walked back to the car for our next stop. However, once again we ran into problems with closed streets and we didn't know if we'd be able to make it on time, so we changed our plans again and headed to Mile 19. When we got there we parked the car and again headed towards the music. While we were waiting for Nicole, I saw some people go by for a second time. There was a couple dressed in superhero outfits, a man with a bright red Mohawk, and a woman with a pink Lady Gaga wig. This time it took about a half hour for Nicole to run by. Once again she gave us a wave when she saw us, although she looked like she was getting pretty tired.

We got back in the car and headed for our last stop, the finish line. We had to drive around downtown for a while to find a parking space, but when I saw someone leaving Tony made a quick U-turn and we nabbed that space, which was only three blocks from the finish line festival area. The actual finish line was three blocks farther; we had to navigate through a big throng of already-finished runners and their supporters. We took up places along the fence and waited for Nicole. When she ran by she looked exhausted, and didn't even hear us call her name.

We met her at the end of the runner's Secure Zone. After a few minutes she decided it was time to go home. Brian was driving, so she could stretch out and relax.

Thursday, October 20, 2011


Last week I was at my local Aldi store buying produce. Right around the corner from the bagged apples was a display of caramel apples. I was hungry, and the individually-packaged ones were only 29 cents, so I decided to get myself a snack.

When I got to the car, I opened the package, took a big bite of the apple, and tasted chocolate! A closer look at the package told me that I'd bought a Happy Apples "Select" apple, which has chopped peanuts, milk chocolate, white chocolate, and semi-sweet chocolate chips. I've never had chocolate on a caramel apple before, but it tasted fantastic. The apple was a little difficult to eat in the car. Several chunks of nuts and chocolate fell off the fruit onto my lap, and halfway through the apple came off of the stick. I had to hold it in my hands, and when I was done my hands were a sticky mess. It was worth it, though.

I was back at Aldi yesterday doing the "big" shopping. They still had the display of caramel apples. This time I bought two--one for me and one for Hubby Tony, and served them for dessert last night. After we cleared the dishes, I brought the apples over and we dug in. Halfway through I noticed that my apple had greenish-yellow skin, but Tony's was red. That surprised me; I would have thought that the company would standardize things. However, my apple was delicious (again) and I didn't hear any complaints from Tony, so his must have been good too.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Batter Up!

Tonight's the first game of the World Series between the St. Louis Cardinals and the Texas Rangers. After dinner we'll be turning on the TV and settling in for an exciting night of baseball watching.

It's great to see the hometown team in the Series. Back in August, no one thought they'd be playing now; they were 10½ games back, and didn't qualify for the postseason until the last day of the regular season. Then, they had to win series against the Philadelphia Phillies and the Milwaukee Brewers. They did all that, and here they are!

In honor of this premiere baseball event, here's a poem written by Helen of Living Boldly.  Helen, thanks for letting me repost it.

Batter Up!

When summer fun has ended
And autumn leaves begin to fall
Baseball takes the center stage
For the greatest show of all

Frenzied fans will pack the stands
Will scream and shout and cheer
It's time for the World Series
For the best games of the year

Fans keep track on scorecards
Pitch by pitch and run by run
Through each of the nine innings
Or 'till the game is done

They boo the home plate umpire
Its three strikes and you're out!
No spit balls, scuff balls, mud balls
Umpires must leave no doubt

When the games have ended
And the champion has been crowned
They know they've been a part of something 
Something quite profound


Monday, October 17, 2011

Season's End

The retreat I helped plan this past weekend was a great success. It started on Thursday evening, ended on Sunday morning, and was jam-packed with activities. We got up before sunrise and didn't go to bed until long after dark. The weather was beautiful. We were able to some of the activities outside, under sunny skies with a few puffy white clouds. During breaks, it wasn't uncommon to see women strolling the grounds.

The retreat center we were at used to be a school for men studying to be religious brothers. The dormitory building is old, with thick walls and beautifully-worn hardwood floors. Each bedroom was large enough to hold a single-sized bed, upholstered chair, small desk, and sink. There was a closet off to one side, and a radiator under the window. The communal shower and bathroom facilities (one for each floor) were clean, but the water pressure wasn't as strong as what I'm used to at home, and I had a hard time regulating the temperature of my showers. There were also quite a few other women that needed to use them in the morning, so all my showers were hurried affairs.

I had my phone turned off all weekend. When I turned it on Sunday morning, there was a message from my boss asking if I could work Monday afternoon (starting at 2:00) instead of my usual morning shift. I was thrilled, because that would allow me to sleep in after the busy weekend. When I woke up this morning, it was wonderful to use my own bathroom. I stood in the shower for quite some, letting the warm (not too hot, not too cold) water beat down on my back as I planned my day.

This morning I put the garden to bed for the year. Vegetables like the tomatoes and peppers I'm growing don't tolerate cold weather, and our warm temperatures are coming to an end. Yesterday we had most of the windows in the house open, and it was nice enough to wear shorts in the afternoon. Later in the week, the lows will be in the upper 30s. Tomorrow is trash day, and one of the trucks that come through the neighborhood picks up yard waste, so I could pull up the plants and immediately get rid of them. I carried the "green" trash can out to the back yard and got started.

This summer I planted three pepper plants and four tomato plants. Over the months, they'd grown and become intertwined and morphed into a tangled mass of plant, so I started by removing the larger stems from each plant, removing the fruit and putting it in a bucket. As each individual plant was revealed, I pulled it out and added it to the can.

Next, I removed the weeds that had sprouted underneath the tangle of plants and next to the chicken wire fence that protected the garden. They got tossed into the trash can, too. The last job was to pull out the stakes that held the chicken wire surrounding the small plot. I wound the wire around the stakes so it would be ready to use again next year, then carried everything to the garage.

When I came inside, I washed the vegetables and spread them on a towel to dry. The bruised or blemished fruits went into the "broth bag" I keep in the freezer that holds odds and ends I save to make broth. Everything else got poured into a five quart bowl (and filled it to the brim). The majority of the tomatoes were of the cherry and grape varieties, although there were a few standard-sized ones. There were also a half dozen sweet green peppers and an equal number of hot ones. I'll decide what to do with all my bounty tomorrow.

Thursday, October 13, 2011


Retreat (riˈtrit) A retirement or a period of retirement for religious exercises and meditation.
By the time you read this, I will have left for a retreat weekend with a group of women from church. The retreat officially starts tonight after dinner, but since I'm part of the organizing team I have to get there early and set things up.

Although we've been working on the retreat since July, this week has been a flurry of last-minute activities.  Each day I've gotten multiple emails from different team members, reminding me of things not to forget.  Be yesterday, I had a large pile of shopping bags in the dining room.

Last night I started packing my suitcase and getting my things together. The weather will be beautiful, but with a forecast for temperatures in the low- to mid-70s, it's hard to know if I should bring short sleeved or long sleeved shirts. I packed both, including two "church" outfits for Sunday. I've gone on week long vacations with a lighter suitcase!

Time to load the car and get on the road for my adventure!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

I'm late! I'm late!

I've been so busy getting ready for a big affair at church this weekend I almost forgot the social event of the season...The Willow Manor Ball!  A lot of my bloggy friends will be there, so I wanted to stop in for at least a few minutes and say hello  to everyone.

What to wear?  Many of my friends got their dresses weeks ago (and posted pictures of them so we could all ooh and aah). Since I'm doing this at the last minute, it was a bit of a scramble. Fortunately, I work at a mall, so yesterday after my shift I ran from store to store and finally found something perfect.  Can't go wrong with basic black.

I didn't have time to get new jewels, so I'm recycling the earrings I wore two years ago. I think they're classics, though, don't you?

I decided to rent a convertible for the trip. I hope the weather cooperates so I can put the top down!

For the past two years I've taken a date with me, but this year I'm going by myself.  My plan is to talk with all the sensational guests and listen to the fantastic music, although I suspect that if I want to dance I'll be able to find someone who'll sway with me.

Maybe I'll see you there?

Monday, October 10, 2011

In Fourteen Hundred And Ninety Two...

Today is Columbus Day. I had to work. Hubby Tony did not.

Usually he's left for the office by the time I come downstairs in the morning, so it was different having him there today. As I got dressed for work, he was downstairs making his plans for the day. When I left, he had already started on his activities.

In my experience, Columbus Day is celebrated by the post office, banks, government offices, and some schools. I don't know how many people got to stay home today, but it was enough to affect traffic in a good way; the bottleneck I always run into getting onto the highway wasn't there.

While I was at work, I had a dinner inspiration. Since Christopher Columbus was born in Italy, wouldn't it be nice to celebrate his day by having Italian food for dinner? In between fielding questions at the Customer Service desk I put together a menu and wrote out a grocery list.

I asked Tony to pick up a loaf of good bread while he was out. After I left work, I drove to the grocery store and picked up the rest of the ingredients. My list started with a head of romaine lettuce for salad. The main dish was pasta (whole wheat rotini) with sausage and vegetables in red sauce (salsiccia, a container of sliced baby bella mushrooms, and a can of crushed tomatoes). I already had onion, garlic, red wine, and beef broth.

When I got home I fed the cats, then put the sausages in the oven to bake. I cut an onion into large pieces, then started sautéing it while I minced garlic. After five minutes the garlic went in the pan, too. I added the mushrooms, turned up the heat, and cooked them until they were dark brown. A big splash of red wine to deglazed the pan, then I poured in a cup of beef broth and the can of tomatoes. I seasoned the sauce with basil, oregano, and a teaspoon of sugar and let it simmer. When the sausage was done, I let it cool for a few minutes, then cut it into bite-sized pieces and added it to the sauce pot and simmered it while I cooked the pasta.

I prepared the salad and put it in a bowl. Tony came home bearing bread and cups of spumoni for dessert. It didn't take long to slice the bread and set the table. I plated the pasta, but put everything else on the table so we could serve ourselves. After we'd finished, I asked Tony to "serve" dessert. He got the ice cream cups from the freezer, took off the lids, and added a spoon to each. Couldn't be easier.

The whole meal was wonderful, and there's enough for leftovers tomorrow, too. I'd like to think Christopher Columbus would approve

Friday, October 7, 2011

Mobility Tour

The mall I work at has a supply of wheelchairs and electric mobility scooters available for customer use. Usually people come to the Customer Service desk to pick them up and drop them off, but if someone is unable to walk that far they'll ask for special assistance. If there's more than one person at the desk we're happy to do it; otherwise one of the Security officers takes care of it.

The other day I got a call from a woman who was finished with her scooter. Would someone come and pick it up? I volunteered to take care of it. The lady and her companion were waiting right where they said they'd be, close to one of the entrances on the far side of the mall. After helping her get through the exit door, I sat on the scooter and prepared to ride it back.

The speed dial on our scooters are permanently set to the lowest setting, which is the equivalent of a slow stroll. Perfect for mall browsing, but not so great for getting somewhere quickly. I decided to make the most of it, though, and moved past the stores at a sedate speed, noticing all the new merchandise in the display windows, and making mental notes of things I wanted to go back and check out. Even though I was just crawling along, I almost ran into people a couple of times with my rubbernecking!

You drive the scooter by pushing one of two levers with your thumb. The one on the right controls the forward motion, and reverse is on the left. After the first hundred yards, my thumb was starting to get tired, but I forged ahead. I refrained from honking the tinny-sounding horn, because I didn't want to draw any more attention to myself. I finally made the last turn into the Customer Service area without any incidents. I pulled the scooter into the storage area and plugged it in so it would be ready for the next user...which I hoped wouldn't be me!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011


I've been looking a song for a church event next weekend. After a lot of thought and listening, I've narrowed it down to two that are completely different.

The first is "Answer Me" by Sharon Jones & The Dap Kings

And the second is "Down to the River to Pray" by Alison Kraus from the soundtrack of the movie O Brother Where Art Thou.

The director of the event has the final say, but I thought I'd also poll you, my bloggy friends. Which do you like better?

Monday, October 3, 2011

More Fun!

Back in August Hubby Tony and I went to Six Flags with Sons Brian and Donald and Daughter-In-Law Nicole. I hadn't been for a few years, and despite the fact it was close to 100 degrees that day I had a great time. There were very few people in the park and the lines for the rides were very short or non-existent. In four hours we'd done everything we wanted to do and left.

Brian and Nicole have Six Flags season passes, and yesterday they were planning on going again. Donald wanted to go with them, but he needed a ticket. He started searching around for a deal, but it was Nicole that came up with the solution. She and Brian wanted to get passes again for next year, and the park's currently offering a promotion: any season pass bought and activated now was good for the rest of this season and all of next year. To get the best price, they wanted to purchase a "family pack" (which included a free parking pass), but that required four people. After a bit of thought and discussion with Tony, we decided to join in. That's why, for the first time in my life, I'm the proud holder of a Six Flags season pass.

After Tony and I got back from church we piled in the car for the trip to the park. There wasn't much traffic getting into the park, and no lines at the admission windows. Instead of getting the usual ticket, we received paper vouchers that got us into the park, and served as our receipt at the ticket activation office. That didn't open until noon, so when we got into the park we took a quick vote on which direction to go and headed towards the first ride of the day.

Again, the park wasn't very crowded. The longest we waited in a line was 15 minutes. Until we got to the ticket activation office. That line snaked back and forth a couple of times, almost reaching the sidewalk, and moved in slow spurts. When we got up to the office, we found out they were having sporadic computer issues, causing all their terminals to shut down. Fortunately, they were all working when we needed them.

When I stepped up to the terminal, the first step was to scan the bar code on my voucher, then type inmy information (name, address, and email address). After that, I moved to the picture-taking station. The attendant scanned my voucher, which pulled up my information. He held up a small camera attached to his computer and told me to smile. Thirty seconds later he handed me a card with my name and photo on it.

This year's Six Flags season is over at the end of October, and it's only open on the weekends, so I don't know if I'll make it back before they close, but I'm looking forward to my visits next year. We had to designate one person to be in charge of the parking pass (it was one of the young people, since they'll probably go more than Tony and I will) so if I want to avoid the hefty parking fee I'll have to have quality theme park fun with them!

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Deals On Demand

Another weekend, another family visit.

Son Brian and Daughter-In-Law Nicole came in town late last night. This afternoon we watched the Cardinals game (sadly, after a great start they lost big time to the Phillies). After the game we were hungry, and started thinking about where we'd like to go out to eat.

I've been using Groupon for several months to get discounts at local businesses, but tonight I didn't have any for restaurants. However, the Website offers another option I've never used before, called Groupon Now!

Groupon Now! allows you to buy deals that are good for limited hours today and the next two days. They guarantee that if you can't use the deal within the stated time they'll refund your money.

The deals are divided by type. You can choose to:
  • Eat Something
  • Get Pampered
  • Get a Treat
  • Go Shopping
  • Have Fun
  • Exercise
  • Take Care of My Ride
  • Visit a Museum

Within each category, the deals are listed by when you can use them and how far away each place was. I used the Groupon app on my phone, which uses its GPS to figure out my location, and was pleasantly surprised to find that a Chinese restaurant just a couple of miles from the house was listed. A couple of clicks later I'd purchased the deal. Everyone got their shoes and jackets, and we were on our way.