Sunday, September 14, 2014

Update from Grafton

The sun finally returned yesterday! We are still waiting for the water level to recede south of us, but the river looks better here in Grafton. The number if loopers waiting here keeps growing. There are at least 30 boats here. We can't all leave at once because the only stopping place within a day's travel can only accommodate 5-6 boats. 

The parasailing boat was out and about, although the sailors are not wearing swim attire this week.

Meanwhile we drove our rental car across the river to the St. Louis area. I wanted to go to the Container Store and Whole Foods in Brentwood - a very exclusive part of town. We oohed and aahed over the gorgeous homes. 

The Container Store is my all-time favorite store! If you love organization this place is heaven!  They have containers of every size and shape, closet systems, and just plain cool stuff I didn't even know I needed. These stores are only located in the biggest cities, so for me they are a rare treat. I've been to them in Minneapolis, Chicago, Miami and now St. Louis. Even though I hate the traffic and crowds, to shop here is worth the hassle. I wanted an efficient way to organize my spices- all those jars take up too much of my tiny cabinet space. The storage system also had to be air tight and protect the spices from heat and light. After searching for ideas I came up with this:

I used 3x5 zip-type bags that are 4 mil thick. I made labels with my beloved label maker and placed the spices - alphabetically of course- in this container. 

The box was designed as a Japanese first aid kit- note the picture of nurse Yuki on the latch. It happens to be the perfect size, and has 3 rows in it. My 20-some spices are a good fit. Things like this excite me- but then I am a nerd.

After the Brentwood stores (including Whole Foods and Trader Joe's) we headed back.  We saw a Walmart at exit 29 on I-70 and decided to pick up a few more things. Little did we know we were in Ferguson, MO. We should have known something was up since we were the token white folk. We did find the powdered milk needed to make yogurt, and cheap beer. We didn't stay to look around. It was a totally weird feeling to be the minority.

What else have I been doing? Making yogurt! Who knew this was even possible?? It can be hard to find decent yogurt so I decided to give this a try. I don't have the required 3-cup thermos on board so Mark suggested using our 2 Contigo coffee mugs. The yogurt has to be kept warm for several hours, so these work great. When we put coffee in them, it is usually 45 minutes before I take a test sip. They are awesome!

The yogurt is actually good! Sometimes I amaze myself!

If you are wondering about Mark, you will not be surprised to hear that he has made friends with everyone in his path. He knows everyone's name, their boat, their life histories, etc. just like at home. He's doing well.

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