Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Kroger, Publix

I hit any number of grocery stores any given month. I go to the DeKalb Farmers Market once a month, Wal-Mart, Kroger and Publix at various times. Each store has something the other doesn't so I have to vary. Greg (my husband) is a traditional eater, I tend to travel the extremes.

In a couple of my blogs I talked about my quest for the least expensive raw honey (Kroger).

Yesterday, I popped over to Publix to pick up a few things they carry that none of the other local stores stock. I really like Publix. It's clean, the people are friendly, they'll stock anything if you ask them.

However, I was shocked at the price difference in some items.

I buy a black tea at Wal-Mart and Kroger, same brand, common name. It's usually on sale at one of the two places for $2, regular price being $2.19. I've seen it as high as $2.39 but that's rare. It was $3.19 at Publix. A dollar difference. I've always known they were a little higher on some products, maybe a penny or two. Now all of a sudden prices have jumped. And when I say jumped, I mean sky-high jumped!

I thought that was an anomaly, but it wasn't! Maybe it's just because I buy things that aren't always mainstream items, but almost every thing I picked up ended up going back on the shelf. The were consistently close to a dollar higher on many things.

I still ended up spending $62 so I didn't walk out empty handed! But I put more things back than I bought.

I don't think I'll be going back to Publix any time soon, much as I like some of their foods. Just to end this on a positive note, I really like the selection of healthy foods at Publix, and I like the way they have them with the regular foods instead of stuck off in a section somewhere. I would imagine they sell quite a bit more that way.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Out riding around

I've always considered myself an optimist. I enjoy life. I love the life I have here in Fayette County.

That said, I'm becoming pessimistic about the future of our county. According to some of my friends, I'm late coming to that way of thinking.

Yesterday (St. Patrick's Day) Greg & I went to the first ever St. Patrick's Day parade in Tyrone. It was great and I'd call it a huge success. Lots of reason for optimism when you see all those wonderful folks coming out to watch the parade, participate in the dog contest, and enjoy all the other events planned for the day.

After the parade we rode around a little. Later in the day we met some friends to go out to dinner and that entailed driving across the county, seeing a different area.

Every time I go out anymore I see signs that we're heading slowly, hopefully very very slowly, toward being just like all those counties that so many wanted to get away from. If we're not vigilant, we're going to be there sooner than most in this county would want.

It seems if there's an empty space someone is building. In Tyrone, a developer wanted to put eight houses to an acre right in the middle of town. It was turned down by a 2 to 1 vote when it came before the City Council! The Mayor lives next to the property and would benefit, so she recused herself. It came down to Mike Smola, Gloria Furr and Grace Caldwell to decide. Smola said yes, Furr and Caldwell said no.

In the late 1990's I went through Leadership Fayette. We split into groups and each did a "report" on a town in the county. I didn't have Tyrone, but I know all those who did and I heard their report. They surveyed a fairly good sampling of people living in the town, asking them what they wanted for their home city. They all wanted growth to bypass them. They wanted deer in the backyard. They wanted restaurants in Peachtree City close enough they could get to them but not in their quiet, friendly little town.

If you haven't been to Tyrone lately you have missed an explosion. There are some on the Council who are staying true to what the residents want, and others who seem to want the town to become a big city overnight.

It's not just Tyrone though. It's all across the County. Some can't be stopped due to legal considerations; some can't be stopped because of poor past planning or poor past decisions by those in government.

There is almost an inevitability to the path a city and a county takes. Especially if decisions are made looking at the short term instead of the long term. Especially if the people living in the county don't take the time to monitor their government.

The only way to stop our county from becoming like any other county in the metro area is for those who live here to get involved and fight to protect what we have. Unfortunately, realistically, most people are "NIMBY's" (Not In My Back Yard). Until something directly affects us, until some developer wants to put 8 houses to an acre on the spread next to ours, we wear blinders.

Take a ride around the county. Look at how growth is nibbling at the edges of many areas in the county. Once an area is rezoned, the one next to it can be changed... and then the next... and the next... If you like what we have, get involved now.

Friday, March 16, 2007

Turkey on the Porch...

How many of you have ever walked up to your front porch and found a wild turkey perched on it? We have some HUGE wild turkeys that wander around our yard off and on.

Wild turkeys traverse wide swaths of territory each day and we've found they don't stick to the same routine. Last year we had a bunch of baby chicks that seem to have been hatched under a large growth of wild looking bushes in the back. Once they were out and about they certainly didn't hang around for long!

We'd see them on occasion. They started out a gaggle (is that term for geese only?) but ended up dwindling down to two. There was one who never seemed to stick with the rest of the group. He'd stray off into the bushes or lag behind pecking at whatever struck his fancy. He lasted longer than I initially thought, but one day he just wasn't there anymore.

I imagine our local fox enjoyed a nice turkey dinner whenever he could.

It's hard to get attached to turkeys, but I did hate to see the little ones disappear.

Anyway, back to the turkey in this story (no, not me!). I headed out to my studio one afternoon and saw something huge getting ready to knock on the door.... yeah, you guessed already, it was a turkey. This monster turkey stayed on the porch looking in the glass window for quite some time. He (I assume it was a he) seemed to be fascinated with his reflection.

I had to wonder what was going through that tiny little turkey brain as it peered at the window. It didn't get mad, didn't show off its huge array of feathers like they do when they're strutting or trying to be imposing (or trying to show off for the opposite sex). It didn't peck at the window (thankfully).

I hope we never lose our turkeys, our wild fox, the hummingbirds, and all the other wonderful wildlife that flits in and out of the yard. We have some chipmunks (really cute) that scamper around back near the studio. It's fun to watch them jumping around.

It seems that so much of Fayette County is being built-out. There are houses going up everywhere. So much commercial growth is happening in the cities. One of the things that makes Fayette County such a special place to live is our large open spaces, the large lot sizes and the quality of homes we build.

If we want to keep our way of life, we have to be vigilant. We have to be involved. There are too few who are involved and it concerns me at times. So many of my friends, and others I encounter, are saying they're planning to move. They think the county is on a downhill slide, that we've peaked and it's time to get out before it gets too bad.

I hope they're wrong. I plan to do what little I can to try and keep our way of life like it is. There's not much one person can do, but hey, you gotta do what you can.

Readers Beware!

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Watch what you click on blogs! When I put a link on my blog just know it'll be easy to tell it came from me.