How I spent my summer vacation ...........or 3 hours in Clinton, IA.

Since our 401K has become a 201K and Honey's employer thinks a 1994-sized paycheck will pay the 2009-sized bills, any thought of vacation has been vanquished from discussion! Yep ........ I canceled the European holiday. I put the cruise to the Bahamas on hold. And we said "Aloha" (good-bye version) to Maui.

Then ....... Honey's employer did a mandatory shut-down. No pay .... you can take vacation pay or if you had accrued DWOP-days (Days without Pay) you could use those.

It's summertime in Iowa and I grow flowers for a living so there is no leaving home for a B&B any place. So what does that leave us???

Yep ............ we are going to Clinton!!!! (OK -- we are easily entertained! After all, The Great Adventure last summer was delivering The Leader paper route on Thursday night. And we do date night at the Tuesday night farmers market!)

First stop.......... Paul's. Note ..... Paul's is Iowa's largest home owned discount store. And if Paul's doesn't have it ........ they don't make it. If you would shop Paul's and Farm and Fleet, you are covered!!! Paul's does not carry chicken feed. But seriously, that is about it!

You first walk into Paul's and you have to be impressed by the shear volume of plastic worms they carry!! Now ... I know nothing about fishing, but they had more worms than there are fish in the Mighty Mississippi! But I digress!

There is one major reason I love Paul's .......... the canning department!

Yep --- this is my idea of heaven! Every shape and size of jar available. I quickly grabbed some jars, a brush to remove silk from an ear of corn, new blades for my 40+ year old Korn Kutter and the ultimate prize ......... the new Ball Blue Book!!!! Yea .......I could have died happy right then and there!

I went through the gardening department, grabbed some re-useable traps for Japanese beetles (they have zip closures like plastic freezer bags!) and then went to the hardware department. I passed automotive department and the paint department.

Then on to the kitchen gadget department. Almost as good as the canning department. Yep ...... they have everything. After all, getting your fingers wet when retrieving a pickle out of a jar is embarrassing! What well-stocked kitchen would be without a pickle picker?? Actually, mine will be ....... I passed up that little beauty!

After discovering that Paul's also has a webbing replacement kit for lawn chairs (Do you know how hard it is to find those????) we were on the road again to our next stop.

Yep ........ we went back in time to the Smith Brother's General Store. So ....... ya need cast iron cookware?? Pieces for your stove pipe?? Maybe a new wicker laundry basket? This is the place to go. We were getting more spattered enamel dishes for the corn-zebo.

But I am thinking about a crock to do sauerkraut in (maybe one that hasn't had a previously job as a planter ...... which is why I do my sauerkraut in a food-grade plastic bucket!) And if I ever get into the moonshine business.......... they have the jugs to use!!!

Seriously, these are their shelves. Not much has changed in 75-100 years. I kind of like that in a store! They don't take checks ........ but unlike the State of Illinois e-pay for speeding tickets ..... they do take Visa! (Please don't ask me how I know that ........ it has something to do with listening to ABBA while driving!!)

A visit to the Salvation Army where we found a brand-new duo (both electric and hand-crank) ice cream freezer for $25 ................... we were on our way home to Donahue!!

So ........ I'm betting your vacation will be more exciting ....... but no more fun. After all, vacation is a state of mind and wonderful company. And I had it all!!


Carol said…
Ok, I loved it! What fun places to visit. My only question is what is that thing to the right of the super pickle picker? Just couldn't figure it out! Thanks, Cathy - you make me smile!
corinne said…
First off, I can't believe you passed up the pickle picker, second, I thought you already made moonshine....oh, was that supposed to be a secret?
girlwithasword said…
now that's my kind of shopping!

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