Tuesday, July 07, 2009

For a Limited time only....

Small Businesses!

Yes, they still exist!

Personal customer service.

Local, farm-fresh produce!

They eliminate the middle man so your food is cheaper!

Yesterday in my gracious gift of time because of teaching, I found two little Bryan, Texas treasures that I had been meaning to visit. The first is a Farmer's Market that sells locally-grown fruits and vegetables. The second is a Norman Rockwell hardware store in downtown.

I was standing at a bin with a puzzled look on my face and a very attentive employee walks up and asks if he can help me with anything.
I say, "Is a yam the same thing as a sweet potato?"
"No, but actually I can show you EXACTLY why its not."
Me: "Ok."
Employee walks me over to a laminated book and flips some pages to where there is a chart noting ALL the differences betweens yams and sweet potatoes.
"more than you ever wanted to know, huh"
"yeah, thanks!"

A yam is a tuber, but a sweet potato is a starch. One of them has 20n diploid somethings. Apparently that is yam Mendelian genetics. So you can't cross them? I'm not sure.
I was just looking for something to make sweet potato fries with, and if yams are dry tubers, then that is NOT what I want.

They have really adorable mini shopping carts. The same adorable carts are very difficult to maneuver throught the isles. But not a lot of people know about this secret little gem, so its not a huge problem.

Finally, you almost get swept away in its charm. I felt like I was in an underground European market. The brick walls and outdoor feel, yet with air conditioning is quite different from your normal Superstores.

For more information visit this website:


Parker-Astin Hardware store:

My goal is to create something like this:

The goal is to attractively display jewelry in such a way that it is also easy to see everything you own, and organize. So, you take an empty frame and turn it over. Then you staple gun? mesh wire to the inside lip. I'm probably going to add a picture or two. I'm secretly making one for my roommate and I would also like to make one for myself, if I figure it out.

In my quest for "mesh wire" which I actually begun refering to as "tiny chicken wire." No one understood. So after a trip to Home Depot, Lowe's, Wal-Mart, Hobby Lobby and JoAnne's, and after many employee giggles, I discovered that its called wire mesh, and NO ONE carries it. Come on! who doesn't want a jewelry holder?!?

Because my mother is in the know, even though she doesn't live here, I think its because older people are just more wise, she KNEW where I could find some.

So, finally, I broke down and drove to the Astin-Parker. Its adorable. I've been here before, they have a kitchen section, and a hardware section. Ok, I love Home Depot and Lowe's just as much as the next person, but half the stuff they have is USELESS! Not at Astin-Parker. I always want to buy everything that I see. Dangerous. But, they have twine, and those gift wrap sets that include the matching bag, tissue paper, and bow for one price. And they have hard to find kitchen items and good knives. These people KNOW. I don't know how, but there must be some very wise old lady, that secretly knows exactly what a person would need in their house, and what is just junk. All of that to say: they do not sell junk.
But they sell mesh wire!!! And plumbing supplies, and good shovels, and snicker's bars.

Again a very helpful attentive employee helped me find what I was looking for and cut how much I needed! I didn't have to buy 50 feet of the stuff! Amazing! What would I do with all of that wire? And since I didn't have to buy a lot of extra it was super cheap!

But I want you people to keep them in Business. They need loyal customers. You need good produce and perhaps a good shovel or two.

Please visit!!

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