Lowe’s Foods – Southern Pines

XSeeZH1qD3TOP3u-NeeXY357FeA6G9LXxVMnhMQWo5kpX92IBI had breakfast at Famous Toastery in Southern Pines this past Saturday morning.  Afterwards I rode around Pinehurst and then decided to do some grocery shopping before heading back home to Fayetteville.


I stopped in to the Fresh Market and bought some Carolina Shrimp, Andouille Sausage, some olives and pickled cauliflower, Peppadews, a bag of potatoes, some Ale Nuts, Wasabi Peas, a loaf of whole seed, Rye bread, and some seeded crackers.

20180623_104726As I was coming up on Lowe’s Foods, I decided to stop in (I had not been to this location before.) and get some corn on the cob.  I did not wander about the store, but almost immediately found a Tomato Bar and saw some little yellow grape tomatoes.  If you were at a farmers market, it would be standard practice to try one before buying it.  I looked down and saw a sign that said just that… try it, get a container and fill the container.

20180623_104732I also started to take a few pictures of the tomato bar and a nearby Produce Manager asked if there was something wrong.  I said, “Oh, no.  On the contrary, there is something right.  These little yellow tomatoes are delicious.”  We had an extended conversation.  He suggesting that I try the larger red (local – greenhouse) tomatoes.  I bought one and had it 20180623_104723in a tomato and bacon, with mayo, on whole seed Rye bread sandwich for lunch once I returned home.  *It was a good flavored tomato.

I walked over and bought a couple of ears of corn on the cob, in the husk, and later realized it was a white, sweet corn.  The husks looked withered, but the corn was fine for my Frogmore Stew for dinner.

I didn’t roam about the store, but went to the checkout and stood briefly behind a man and his young daughter (a baby, but sitting up in the cart).  He started to move the cart around to the side of the checkout and caught the cart a couple of times on the edge of the checkout.  I almost said something like, “Well, he hasn’t even started drinking and he’s running into things.”  Not sure why I started to say that, unless I had subconsciously  picked up on the gist of his purchases.  *I stopped myself, and looked down at his purchases.  Not all, but most of the items were various beers.

I had purchased a mix-n-match six-pack of assorted beers at the Fresh Market.  *I don’t like the flavor of beer, but every once in a while, I think about giving it another try.  Here was my chance to try several beverages without having to waste my money on a six-pack of each.  I bought an Angry Orchard “Rose” that I had seen recently advertised.  One of the Stella Artois, another cider and a dark lager.

I tried the lager for lunch and yep, hated it, but I decided to use the rest in the Frogmore Stew.  I had the Angry Orchard Rose for dinner, and with a little “sweetner,” that became palatable, pleasant.  The Carolina Shrimp were large (21-25).  The Andouille Sausage was a little chewy.  The potatoes were good, and I added a chopped onion and the two ears of corn cut so that there were six smaller sections.  Added the Old Bay Seasoning, some chicken broth (beef would have been okay, if I had it).

Forgot that I left the corn on the cob in the husk and microwaved them for a little less time than I normally do, and then cut them up and added them to the stew for that last little bit of cooking and flavoring.

I used one of my mid-sized, glass bowls and put all the Frogmore Stew in it with just a little liquid.  I remembered from the previous time that I shouldn’t have a large bowl of liquid to slosh around, while I’m watching TV from, my easy chair;-)


Repackaging for 2x to 3x the price…

I’ve visited the Deli in Harris Teeter for many years.  While I am ordering some Pepper Ham and White American Cheese (Harris Teeter Brand) and having it sliced “sandwich” sized, I often look for other things… bread, olives, other cheeses.  I have bought the below item at least a couple of times.  This is Boars Head brand.  *I forgot that when I unwrap the paper, the salami is wrapped in plastic as are those shown to the right of the paper wrapped item.



I was in Lidl over the weekend, visiting a new location in Sanford, NC, and saw the below plastic wrapped salami.  7 oz. Dry Italian Salami.  I thought to myself, now this looks hauntingly similar to the salami I bought at Harris Teeter recently and it’s about half the price.


I’m not at home, as I am writing this, but the plastic wrapped salami non-Boars Head looks very similarly wrapped.  And, I tried a taste test last night and they are so much alike that I don’t think I could tell the difference without the packaging.

And, see below.  I paid $1.10 for a GALLON of milk, and $1.35 for the dill pickles.  This was at the Lidl in Havelock, NC (the first one that I visited).  I can tell a little difference between the Lidl brand of dill pickles, but the milk is “spot on” no difference for me.


I’ve visited about four Lidl locations.  Sanford was selling milk for about $2.10 a gallon.  Rockingham for under $2, Havelock for $1.10 and I don’t recall the Morehead City pricing for milk.

Black’s Tires

I had my engine replaced for my 2011 Honda Civic at a Blacks Tire location on Ramsey Street.  I trust this location, although replacing an engine means there is abundant opportunity to forget to tighten or add a forgotten nut or bolt.  Below is a picture of both the Civic and the Camry parked in front of Blacks Tires last Saturday morning.


The Civic is now Jeff Mitchell’s car… and problem.  A “smoke” test had revealed that a couple of bolts had been forgotten and had caused the car to cut off at high speed.  But, the engine was under warranty so, we were checking to see if Jeff could be reimbursed for towing and/or correcting the missing bolts problem.  The Blacks Tire rep was nice, and took the info to pass along to “corporate” HQ.  It probably did not hurt the cause to bring Ashlyn Mitchelly along as a tough negotiator.


Ashlyn, Jeff and me headed to the Rainbow Restaurant just a short distance up the road for breakfast afterwards.

As we are seated, I realize that ordering something for Ashlyn could be a problem.  She ended up getting some hot chocolate… and I think she and Jeff turned in to Dunkin Donuts after we left the Rainbow.


A Poll

Touching Base

20180504_082937I took off last Friday and headed down toward the Coast.  Indeed, Helen’s Kitchen was 20180504_090215again open and I had my favorite breakfast of country ham, eggs over medium, home fries, biscuits, red-eye gravy, and coffee, leaving a good tip because it made me feel good.

Looks like fresh yellow paint on the walls, and definitely a new wood floor.  The paintings of Janis Joplin and Jim Morrison were gone, but most of the other items had been returned to the walls.

I then went to the Onslow County Library on Doris Avenue.  I like the bathroom, and then to quickly peruse the current issue of Our State Magazine.  Before leaving, I asked a Librarian at the front desk if many people checked out the movie DVDs.  She said yes, and I asked if they would be willing to take some DVDs that I wanted to donate.  She said, “Yes.”  No reason to try to palm them off on the Library if they didn’t want or had a demand for them.  *I have two dresser drawers full of movie DVDs, most of which are Sci-Fi, but not all.  I plan to take them down the next time I visit Jacksonville… a couple of months.

I then headed up to New Bern with the goal of heading on to the Minnesott Beach – 20180504_113149Cherry Branch ferry.  I used the navigation in the car, and made it to the ferry just before they started loading.  Only about 10 cars total, so we were on and heading across the water in no time.  *I used the “head” on the ferry.

Instead of going right to Havelock, I turned left and came the long way back into Beaufort.

I drove along the waterfront in Beaufort and then headed back over to Morehead City.  I 20180508_160000stopped at the Belk in Morehead City… to use the bathroom, and to see what they had.  *They had a pair of men’s Nunn-Bush sandals and it looked like they were marked down from $70 to 20.99 in red ink pen.  No clerk was around, and I couldn’t find a box for the shoes, and they did fit, so I took them down to a far end register.  The woman clerk checked and instead of being $20.99, they were a little over $10.  I also bought a belt, marked down from $34 to $25.  They fit fine, and they have heavy-duty soles.

New Car for an Old Man



I went back to Hendricks Toyota in Fayetteville last Saturday and asked to test drive a Camry and a Prius.  I never got to drive the Prius, but in the feeding frenzy, bought this white 2018 Camry SE.  I know it is a sporty looking car, but the two things that really sold camry-first-fill-upme were:  40 mpg Highway, and the Entune 3.0 entertainment/navigation System… and payments under $350 a month.

I’ve put a bunch of miles on it already, and here is a picture of my first fill-up, which took over 11 gallons, and with the recent rise in gas prices, over $30 total.

But the car does feel good when I’m in it, and it has a bunch of bells-n-whistles that are exciting.  If the car drifts over the center yellow line, there is a warning, and the car slightly turns itself back into the original lane.  I let it drift first to the left and then to the right without me intervening and after the second warning there was a louder, flashier warning.  I didn’t see what it said, but it was probably something like, “Are You Dead?”  Not sure if it would have slowed the car to a stop, but that might be the next logical step.

I can hook my Samsung smartphone up by USB cable, and a real-time navigation map will display.  If the phone loses connection, the map goes brain dead.  I’ve found some dead spots in town where the map stops working for quite a few blocks and then starts back up.

20180413_124845I wasn’t looking at buying a Toyota, but drove a Corolla from Enterprise when the Civic died, and liked the mileage display and how easy my phone paired with the Entune System in the loaner.  That got me thinking about Toyotas.  I was still planning to try a new Honda Accord, and maybe even another Civic, but got sidetracked along the way.

Ford Fusion Gear Control

I did test drive a Ford Fusion and a Kia Optima.  Both vehicles felt good.  The Fusion felt really good and had a larger screen display and a knob for a gear shifter.  *I went back home after test driving the Fusion and found it was ranked 14th in the list with a Camry being 1st and a Honda Accord being Number 2.  **About a week ago, I saw something on TV that Ford was planning to phase out all but trucks and SUVs and that made it for sure that I wouldn’t buy a Fusion.





Last Thursday, I was returning home after having gone to the Mall, after work, to get a massage, and then dinner at KFC (Senior Buffet).  This was one of the “cleaning” days in which Marie spends two hours cleaning my apartment.  This is done every two weeks, on Thursday.

The massage went really well.  I hope I remember the masseuse, because he massaged hard enough, and around the shoulders to really make it feel good afterwards.

I then went to KFC for the Senior Buffet, which is about $8+ including tax and drink.

It takes about 12 minutes to drive from the Mall to home just off of McCloskey Road.  Everything was fine until I came to a stop, first in line (only in line, which was unusual) at the stop light for the ramp off of I295 onto Ramsey Street.  When I stopped, the dashboard light lit up and then most went dark.  There as a small puff of colored steam from under the hood and the engine went dead.  I tried several times to restart the car, but it wouldn’t.

Several light cycles went through and a man asked if he could help push me out of the way.  I thanked him and we managed to get my little Civic in what was a “blind spot” to the different traffic patterns beneath the I295 overpass.  Ramp traffic could get by, the two lanes.  The two lanes heading up Ramsey could go by, and the two lanes from Ramsey heading up the ramp toward Bragg could also pass.  I stood beside the car and waited for AAA and an police officer to arrive.

A Deputy Sheriff arrived shortly before the Mitchell’s tow truck sent from AAA.  I was quickly hooked up (the car) and the deputy blocked traffic, both ways so that the wrecker could do a U-Turn back up Ramsey Street to Black’s Tires.  This was after Black’s Tires had closed for the day, but I called them, first thing on Friday morning.

I was already scheduled to be on Vacation for Friday, so that worked out well.  Black’s Tires opened at 7:30 am, and I called then and let them know I would be bringing the keys by after I got a rental car.

20180413_124845Enterprise Rent-a-Car opened at 8 am, and I called, but it was going to be 1 pm before they could send someone to pick me up at my apartment.  It wasn’t an issue of not having the type of car I wanted, and I ended up getting a Black 2018 Toyota Corolla, which I liked.

The Hendricks called on Friday morning to ask how I was doing.  They had seen me standing by my car the night before, but by the time they had turned around I was already gone (with the tow truck).  Funny, but I had seen the Hendricks also, not realizing they had seen me.  They were passing by closely looking

The Hendricks driving away in their new Avalon, after dropping me off.

at my car, but not at me.  I wasn’t sure if they recognized my car, and didn’t know they had already seen me.  *They were nice enough to stop by, with their new Avalon, and take me to Black’s Tire to leave my keys.

Black’s Tires called and I was going to need a new engine.  They had two choices, a used engine with 67K miles on it, for about $3.9K,  or a rebuilt engine for about $5K.  I went with the cheaper choice.  *I was already planning to give Jeff Mitchell my car, so that Chad, his oldest boy could have a car.  Chad is taking Driver’s Ed in June.  I might have kept the car longer, but now plan to get me a new one sometime by June and give him the white Honda Civic (2011).

The engine install was supposed to take until either Thursday or Friday.  Ordered on Friday, but not expected to arrive before Wed.  But, Black’s Tire called yesterday, Tuesday, and said my car was ready to be picked up.  I asked if I could pick it up this morning, Wed., to which they said, “Yes.”  The bill was an even $3,884.  I moved money around in my MFCU account last night and wrote the check this morning.

I ate breakfast this morning at the Rainbow.  Afterwards I leapfrogged to Enterprise and was checked out quickly for about $189 total.  They drove me down to Black’s Tire.  *I forgot to get my parking pass, leaving it on the mirror in the rental car.  I only noticed this just before entering FSU and had to turn around.

The car wasn’t at Enterprise.  They had taken the return rental to Firestone for an oil change.  I went  to Firestone and, yep, the parking pass was hanging from the mirror.  I got it and headed on to work.  *I need to let the FSU Police know that the sticker is back on my own vehicle.


I go to lunch after noon and on the way back to work I hear a squealing beneath the hood.  I turn around and head to Black’s Tire.

Black’s looks at it, fiddles a little and sends me on my way.  I don’t make it to the next traffic light before I hear a flapping under the hood toward my right front tire, and the battery light comes on, bright red, and stays on.  The power assisted steering is gone but I make it around onto Ramsey Street and then right back into Black’s Tire.

They take another look and after about an hour I’m told they had the wrong sized belt.  I wait, and wait, and eventually I am told they have tried 3 different belts and none of them have fit.  *Ends up that, probably when I turned on the air conditioning, something that wasn’t bolted down came loose and part of the air conditioning unit that includes the belt shifted, and this caused the total belt length to modify and not fit correctly.  They finally figure this out and I am pulling out of Black’s Tire at 4:59 pm… to head home.

Seems to be working.  I made it home and now this morning to breakfast and now am at work.

Macado’s Redux

20180323_142633Not quite a year later, I revisited Salem, VA and Macado’s Restaurant to try another Pastrami Reuben, with fries.


The sandwich was different.  It was a good sandwich, but it wasn’t the Pastrami Reuben that launched a thousand ships.  I wish I had taken a picture of the original experience.  I think the bread was different.  macados-reuben04The way the pastrami was layered in the sandwich was different.  I wrote about the “large cut” french fries, well these were crinkle cut… and I know I would have said crinkle-cut, if they had been crinkle cut.  *Overall, the original experience was life changing, but this second visit wasn’t;-)

I can’t find any pictures of Macado’s french fries that aren’t crinkle-cut, but here is somewhat how I remember them from the original experience.  Rustic, rough cut… an expereince.


I do see from other Macado’s pictures that the pastrami was layered, not like the return experience.


Now that I look at the photo above, this looks more like corned beef (a true Reuben), but the pastrami was layered in a thick pile on the original sandwich.


And, there was a dill pickle, and a small cup of catchup which went well with the thick fries.


Here is what I had this time.