“Laugh it up in the summertime…”

Now that I have your attention (yes, I’m a cornball, and every time I’m in Sioux Falls, that building just cracks me up)….I feel like today’s kind of gotten away from me. We got up at normal weekday time, because I managed to get an appointment down in Sioux Falls to get Junior worked on. He needed an oil change, as well as an inspection as to why there was a strange knocking/clicking sound any time we’d turn right. An oil change, new CV axle, transmission flush, and tire rotation (as well as 4 1/2 hours) later…We got to do some shopping. For once, there was nothing I needed, and other than breakfast, a bottle of water, and a latte for the ride home, I didn’t spend any money. That is extremely unusual for me! For some reason, though, I’ve gone into conservation mode…I want to try & save up a bunch of money for awhile, although I don’t have any particular goal in mind.

I had the intention of booking a flight home in September, for my best friend’s baby shower. However, the car repairs cost a bit more than I was anticipating, so I while I have the available credit, I cannot justify the added expense right now. And I feel bad about that…I was hoping I’d make it home this year, but I don’t know that it’s going to happen. Not any time soon, though.

All that aside, we did have a good day. More sunflowers have popped up in front of our house (the original ones Jay started indoors were shredded by some bastard squirrels once they bloomed):

They’re my favorite flower. I was explaining to Jay on the way to Sioux Falls why I liked them so much. I’m usually rather cynical and pessimistic, but sunflowers are so bright and cheery–They’re the floral equivalent of Ska music–I just cannot be in a bad mood whenever I hear Ska or look at sunflowers!

We also have a few more things growing around the house/yard that are looking more and more edible:

Our first ripe tomato! Sadly, it got a little too close to the ground, because part of the bottom was moldy. However, we did cut that part off, and ate the top half of the tomato, just because we (Jay) grew it ourselves (himself). Jay’s also going to have a large number of sweet peppers, as well as pepperocini:

It’s difficult to see in that photo (I should’ve held my fist next to it or something) but that pepper is a monster! We’re not sure what that blemish is, but hopefully it’s nothing too bad. Jay said it’s been there since the pepper started forming. We also have a pumpkin that may or may not be ready to pick:

I have no idea when to pick pumpkins–I should look that up. I’m more excited about opening that puppy up, and pulling out all the innards, and roasting up some pumpkin seeds. Delicious!!! And I suppose I can make a pie or some pumpkin bread with the flesh. Yum!!! There’s another pumpkin that might be ready soon:

Jay brought in a couple other things this morning for our first official “harvest”:

The bambino was all excited to try part of that tomato, but once I cut it up, he wanted nothing to do with it. He didn’t try the pepperocini, but he did take a bite of the sweet pepper. He claims he liked it, but he refused a second bite. I tried it, and while I don’t care for peppers, I think I’m going to have to learn to like them, since we’re going to have a LOT.

Once we got back from Sioux Falls, I opted to go to the grocery store. It was a little depressing, to be honest. I’m really weird about grocery shopping…I love grocery stores, and will find almost any excuse to go to the store whenever I’m back home, or visiting a new town. While we were waiting on the car to be finished, we not only went and had breakfast, but in our wanderings, we popped over to the Hy-Vee across the street from the KIA dealership. I like the Brookings Hy-Vee, I really do. I know a few people who work there, and it’s been remodeled since I moved here. They’re also incredibly willing and helpful whenever I’ve had special requests, and they do their best to accommodate their customers whenever they can. However, the Minnesota Ave. Hy-vee is newer, shinier, larger, and better-stocked. TONS of organic produce. Milk in glass bottles from a Nebraska dairy! Organic Smart Chicken! Pomegranate and Raspberry Chobani! They even had Fage, which I’ve NEVER seen in Brookings. Jay asked if I wanted to come back and get some stuff, but with it being hotter than Hell today, and us having a 45-minute trip back to Brookings, I said no. Instead, I tried to make the best of what I have here in town. And I spent another buttload of money:

I spent about that much last week too, but that was food for the par-tay (and yes, the wine review is coming. Please be patient and stay tuned!). Once again, though, I didn’t buy any meat at all. For one, it’s been too friggin’ hot to cook anything substantial (which is why we’ve either gotten George’s or eaten out a lot last week). For another, a guy Jay works with gave us a TON of meat as a thanks for having to work last Saturday morning. A ham that’s about the size of the bambino. More grass-fed beef (although this stuff’s from Montana, and sometime this week, it will make its way to my grill for some cheeseburgers), bacon, and some sage sausage (also from Montana). I stocked up on a few things:

Mainly dairy, as we’ve all been out of yogurt for a few days:

Jay is far more adventurous when it comes to yogurt than I am. That, and he is also kind of a cornball, and he likes the fact that each flavor of yogurt features a different Greek god on the top label. I, on the other hand, like my yogurt with just a hint of flavor, and since the Chobani was once again virtually sold out (I saw one container of the Honey flavor left), I got myself some Vanilla Oikos:

Thanks to Kellogg’s and the FoodBuzz Tastemaker Program, I’ve had cereal for breakfast everyday last week:

I like the taste of the Cinnamon Oat better, but the Berry Yogurt flavor keeps me fuller longer. And it’s just been too hot to make oatmeal. Now at least until the cereals are gone, I can alternate some Oikos with granola and some fruit:

I used some of the Flat-Outs to make some paninis (again, it’s HOT outside!):

A couple nights ago, I picked up a couple pints of ice cream, but dinner was filling enough that I didn’t want/crave dessert. And because it’s been a long day, and I’m tired from walking all over Sioux Falls, I think I’m going to call it a night!