73 thoughts on “Our Daily Thread 11-30-20

  1. The header is Rudolph, the pink-nosed whitetail. Isn’t he a beaut? I was standing in my driveway when he mated with a doe across the street. After coming back inside to get pants on–I didn’t want to cross the street to get closer in my pajamas, and he and the doe were moving back away from the street–I watched them for another fifteen or twenty minutes. The doe seemed nervous about my presence, but he was far more interested in her than in me. I did make sure I was a safe distance away, and I also figured these are “city deer” who are somewhat used to people. A doe that will stand for a buck, and a buck that will cover a doe, ten feet from a fairly busy street are deer that can probably handle a photographer twenty yards away and with a lens focused on them.

    And when I saw that pink nose, I thought I’ll recognize this buck if I ever see him again. A day or two later I saw another buck half a mile down the street, but he was eight points to this one’s ten, and the other one didn’t have a pink nose.

    Liked by 5 people

  2. HAPPY BIRTHDAY CHERYL
    Good morning Rudolph and everyone else.

    Cheryl wants to see her critter again?
    Look at them horns. They could kill you. And he would have no compunction about doing it.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Early birds are up and at ’em this morning!

    It’s been rainy, and now it is windy and cold. We will be having our coldest days of the season this week with dips into the twenties and we could even see some flurries.

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  4. Well here we go again….Word have given me an alias to sign in for some reason 😳
    That buck up there almost appears to be unreal…and ornery….great shot!
    Happiest of Birthdays to the Real Cheryl!! Not to imply the other Cheryl is not real but the Real Cheryl does belong to the Real…got it? 🙃 May this special day bring many sweet moments as we celebrate the gift and creation of YOU! ♥️ 🎂

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  5. Happy Birthday Cheryl J. We appreciate you as well as AJ. I hope this is the best one yet.

    Somehow over the weekend I managed to get two trees up and the house mostly decorated. Mr. P put the lights on the tree. They are somewhat clustered and there are blank spots, but you know what???? I didn’t put them on, he did. I can live with that. He has some antique ornaments that beloned to his grandmother. They are too fragile to go on the tree, but I put them in a long, narrow “bread basket” I recently bought and they look rather nice.
    There is the “MiMi” tree and the “family with a little girl” tree. Mine is all white lights, gold and silver ornaments, with gold Pottery Barn Super Sale large snowflakes. I didn’t like how it was looking so I went to Hobby Lobby Saturday and bought some rose gold plastic snowfakes and some floral leaves and stuff and some rose gold sparkley ribbon. It looks better. I have to go to Hobby Lobby again today and buy some more of the ribbon.
    The Family Tree has multi-colored lights and a mish-mash of all sorts of ornaments. It’s the one the presents will go under and Santa will leave Christmas presents under. As you can probably imagine there is only one person who has all of the presents so far.
    This afternoon a third tree will go up. It is about 3 ft high and is prelit with colored lights. When BG was a little girl I collected the Hallmark Doll ornaments for her (WHY???????) Anyway that will be the tree that Little Miss can decorate. It will be on her level and she can move the ornaments around to her hearts content. I also cleared off a spot on the bottom of the bookcase where she can but her Nativity Set and move it around too.

    I am finishing up teaching this week, and will then worry about the rest of the month. I really have to figure out what to get everyone else. It really is hard when they are adults.

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  6. As to Christmas decorating: this morning I plugged in the white Christmas lights son had hung over the archway between living room and kitchen last year or the year before, that we don’t take down because we leave them on so long. It lends light in dark times and is joyful. And I plugged in the outside party lights on the front porch, since the porch lights went out I thought they were a good alternative. So we could now be fully decorated for Christmas. But I doubt people will settle for it. They will want the Christmas cross lit up and perhaps the tree set up and and some outdoor solar lights on some trees and……

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  7. We are still mulling over Christmas decorating options. My husband has a card table and light set up (for doing puzzles) where the tree would normally go. I have fabric on the floor from the quilt I am making and I need to dust and vacuum everything before putting anything out. My shoulder is still sore and has limited motion. No one will probably set foot here except for us unless there is an emergency. I am sure we will do some. I normally love to do that, but don’t have a lot of enthusiasm this year.

    I am enthused about finishing this quilt, however. I have the main body completed. The fabric is paper doll themed. The main body is large paper dolls. There will be a fabric envelope on the back of the quilt to put the fleeced back doll clothes, which I still need to back and cut out. I bought this fabric for my oldest granddaughter. Then I thought I would make it with her this summer for her two little sisters. She couldn’t come here, so I decided to just go ahead and make it myself. I also have the same fabric line in Christmas themed dolls. Those dolls are smaller and I will have to see if I can find fabric to match it. I will make that one too, so each of these littles will have their own. I just happened to pick this Christmas fabric off a remnant table and didn’t think to see if their was compatible fabric at the time. Or maybe none was available. It was a long time ago. 🙂

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  8. Cheryl, when you read a book for ‘fun’ do you struggle with errors and other stuff you might come across, or can you just let that go and enjoy the story?

    Liked by 2 people

  9. Mr. Christmas decorated outside on Saturday and dumped all the Christmas decorations on the floor in the living room for me to sort through and “deal with.”

    I’m on a deadline and I already stacked the photo albums in his nearby office, so I’m just not walking into the living room for a few days.

    Stargazer doesn’t think it’s safe to fly and while he could drive 13 hours in a rental car, neither he nor I are enthusiastic about that idea. The EMT, however, is relentless.

    Meanwhile, what do I do with his presents?

    #FirstWorldProblem.

    In other news, the Neighborhood page is still complaining about our church, but the woman who wrote the original post thanked me for my response. I’m going to leave it at that and move on to real life.

    But, I’m also praying for those fellow citizens who are so blinded by fear of COVID that nothing will shake them. Maybe we should all pray against the fear that is so prevalent in our society these days.

    Liked by 4 people

  10. So glad you enjoyed Verity and the first Codebreaker, Cheryl and Kare! It’s so satisfying to make a suggestion people actually like! LOL

    Cheryl can answer for herself, but I have a hard time with books that are poorly edited. When I start moving the words in sentences around and can’t get past the puzzlement, I usually quit unless the story is so compelling I can’t put it down.

    Occupational hazard.

    I read The Swan House over the weekend, after Janice recommended The Promised Land, the third book in the series. I’d read The Promised Land over Thanksgiving and liked it well enough to hunt out the “prelude.”

    Wept my eyes out at the end. But it was tricky to get through. Too much repetition and a bit slow, but I liked it.

    It helped that I’d spent a day in Atlanta with Janice last year and she’d pointed areas of the city out to me. I’ll have to return for a longer visit someday! 🙂

    Wait. Travel? Seems impossible.

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  11. I have a question about the vacine. From what I’ve read, which may be incomplete or over-simplified, the proof of effectiveness is the presence of antibodies in the blood of the test subjects. OTOH, I’m hearing that it has not yet been determined if folks who have recovered from the virus can be reinfected. If the latter is true, of what use is the former?

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  12. Is it fear or more of a desire to control behavior? It’s interesting to me that there seems to be also a political divide on how draconian restrictions ought to be and how much control government should have (or we all should have over our neighbors).

    So it makes me think it’s something more (or different) than fear, maybe just more of a mindset difference among people when it comes to how “society” ought to be controlled or not controlled. And it makes sense that in a free society like ours, this all has been very rough waters to get through. In a place like China, probably not so much.

    This also became somehow political very early on, thanks, I think, to both “sides” of the political divide.

    It’s wise to be cautious of the virus — and it seems to me that with the surge in our particular county, especially, it simply makes sense to rein ourselves in a little bit, anyway, just until things settle down again. But people are adults and that needs to be respected as folks make their own choices.

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  13. DJ, are people adults – in the sense of having common sense and using it to make the best decisions – though? I work with people with chronic health conditions and there is a subsection of the clientele that will not help themselves, expect us to fix the results of their willful neglect, and then blame us when we cannot correct damage already done. I spent several minutes listening to one such person rant at me over the phone that we did nothing, that a complaint would be lodged, and a lawyer contacted and then maybe that would get us to do something. Meanwhile, this person had repeatedly failed to attend the appointments we had booked for them, and we had wasted a great deal of our time in trying to contact them. I so much wanted to tear a strip off of them in return, but the requirements of the profession were that I wait until they had finished their rant and then repeat the information I had just given them, which I did.

    BUT, when people refuse to listen to the guidelines, get something like COVID, and end up needing extensive medical care, healthcare ethics mandates that we do not refuse to give care. That is an ethical requirement that exists for the protection of the general public, and no one would benefit from us ceasing to hold that ethic. So, adults should be able to understand that life is not about them, and that they should, to the best of their respective abilities, act in the interests of others and not only of themselves.

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  14. The pandemic hit amid what’s been almost a social and political meltdown in the U.S., aided in no small part by social media and the breakdown of a national media that can be trusted.

    It seemed to usher in a whirlwind period in which everyone decided they could decide on their own the merits of a virus that had become a global pandemic. People “dug in” and everyone now has their own opinion that cannot be changed.

    This seems to be a phenomenon mostly limited to the U.S., from what I can tell, and has made a bad situation much worse.

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  15. Kare, when I read a book for fun I am reading it a bit differently. For instance, I’m not good at remembering who characters are if there are too many of them, but if I’m editing, then I have to keep track. When I’m reading “for fun,” if I lose a thread I usually shrug it off rather than go back and find it. (Often I go back, but not always.) Editing, I have to go back–because the author may have made an actual error and I’m not just “losing” the thread.

    All in all I’m sure I’m less likely to see errors when I’m reading books on my own. However, yes, I do see them. A few days ago I finished a novel based on a true story, written about the holocaust (The Children’s Block). It wasn’t initially written in English, so I couldn’t have edited it, but I wished so badly it could have had a good editor, because it had so many holes and irregularities in the plot that it was ultimately unsatisfying. For instance, the author has a plot device of a lost-and-found journal that simply doesn’t work and should have been abandoned. But he also has several small storyline “oops” occasions. I can’t at the moment think what any are, but dumb stuff like having one’s hair shaved totally off and later in the same scene running one’s hands through that (now non-existent) hair. Oh, if anyone was interested in The Children’s Block, there is a different book written about the same events by a different person, and a much better book, The Librarian of Auschwitz. Neither is a book one would read “for fun.” Both are horrific at times, but I’ve read a lot of books about the time period and this is something I knew nothing about (the “family camp”).

    It also was a bit “different” reading about Nazi Germany when our own land has frightening hints of what many people would do to Christians if they could. A lot of the scenes felt more vivid and threatening than they ever have in the past, something I could “imagine” more readily now than I might have a decade ago.

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  16. Mumsee, no freedom is absolute. Or murderers could claim their right to murder under the right to freedom of expression. Where freedoms are generally curbed is at the point where the safety of others is threatened.

    As to the answer to Linda’s question, I do not know it at this moment, but know where to look, which I will do when I have opportunity.

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  17. Roscuro, agreed. Just mentioning that being an adult does not in the definition, require best interest thinking. Though one could say that such a person (not thinking in best interest) is not fully developed and therefore not an adult.

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  18. So, what I am finding is that the 95 percent effective rate comes from actual COVID cases developing post vaccine in the control vs. the the experimental group. High quality studies always have a control group which to compare with the experimental group. In this case, the control group were injected with a harmless substance (probably saline), while the experimental group recieved the vaccine. The 95 percent effective with the Moderna vaccine comes from the fact that while 90 people in the unvaccinated control group have become infected with COVID-19 at this point (11 of whom became seriously ill), only 5 people in the vaccinated experimental group got COVID and none of them were seriously ill – the entire sample number of both groups combine is 30,000 people. It is not known how long any immunity will last at this point.

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  19. The question becomes how far does (or should) government be allowed to go to enforce ‘bad’ behaviors, such as not wearing a mask or even simply venturing out if not deemed “necessary.”

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  20. It is my opinion that these matters ultimately should not be decided by the government, particularly when there is such a low death rate among the population at large and even among those actually infected. The *entire* rational for government ordered shutdowns was to preserve the healthcare system. Rather than preserving it, hospitals laid off drs and nurses, and locally, we are still recovering from that.
    Local businesses could and should be empowered to mandate masking and social distancing. Government is more useful when it confines itself to producing and disseminating accurate health information and assisting in emergency development of therapies, vaccines and cures.

    I’m afraid we’ve gone overboard, and some are drunk with power.

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  21. Our infaction control lady spoke at our last staff meeting and said there are 2 distinct strains of covid. There are many mutations, but the predominant strains are Asian and European. Immunity to one does not necessarily mean that you have immunity to the other.

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  22. I think that for the government(s) – local, state, federal – they’re “damned if they do and damned if they don’t.” IOW, no matter what they do, one subset of citizens will be unhappy, one will be furious, one will be happy, and the rest don’t give a $@#%.

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  23. Local businesses are at a disadvantage in that they are not effectively able to confront and enforce such guidelines. My eldest Niece works at a grocery store in the US. During this pandemic, she witnessed a customer opening and sampling berry containers. When she said to the customer that they should not be doing that, the customer replied that they could do as they pleased. When she informed management, she was told the store has a non-confrontational policy towards customers and nothing further was done to stop the customer. So much for basic health and safety regulations, never mind the COVID guidines being able to be enforced.

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  24. Mumsee, the containers that the customer was sampling from were now both contaminated and no longer contained the quantity they should, affecting other customers who wanted berries. That is the problem, one person who demands absolute freedom for themselves is also, by default, demanding that others lose their common freedoms for their sake. When those demanding freedom to do as they please are rulers, we call them tyrants, when they are laypeople, we call them bullies.

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  25. Thanks for your answers, Cheryl (and Michelle). If there are big plot holes or a character that gets left in a situation and then never menionted again, that bothers me a lot, but I don’t fuss over punctuation and such. I still remember reading of a pair of sisters who went for ice cream and the one sister went into the shop while the other stayed outside and was subsequently attacked. There was no further mention of the first sister… would she not be concerned about the events? 🙂

    Michelle, I also enjoyed the Verity Kent mysteries, but I don’t think I’ve been able to find the last one yet. I moved onto the Lady Darby mysteries which I’ve also enjoyed.

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  26. What the article may not tell you is China has mandatory tracking on all telephones and they’ll come after you if you leave your city. The controls China has enacted on their people are unacceptable to the “free” world. In addition, they are mandating NOT wearing masks at the present time while the factories we’re familiar with, have told their employees they cannot work if they do not wear masks at work.

    Also, take everything China says with a grain of salt (Roscuro’s article is out of The Lancet, not China). Those glorious hospitals they built in 10 days?

    Warehouses. No meds and a guard at the end of the room with a gun to prevent you from leaving.

    My EMT pretty much agrees with Roscuro about the possibility of reinfection.

    Still thinking of giving blood just to find out if I have the antibodies.

    Liked by 3 people

  27. Michelle, the Lancet article does note that what China has done would not be possible in other countries. It is just an article discussing possible reasons for why China seems to have controlled it. Being the Lancet, it is British in outlook. Besides, Taiwan has also controlled it well, and Japan has done a decent job too, and they stand in opposition to all that mainland China stands for (Japan because of the history of unease between the two peoples and Taiwan because it refuses to be swallowed by China), but, their citizens still do not view mandates such as wearing masks as an impingement of their freedoms.

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  28. Roscuro, I totally agree, and was simply saying the child sampling may have been in adult body but clearly needed an adult close at hand to correct her behavior. We have a lot of those in this country, which is one of the reasons I prefer never to eat out and to grow my own food. The one incident clear in my mind was a server taking something from his mouth and hurling it across the room toward the dirty dishes, over the salad bar. In plain view of all. No thank you. I don’t want people tampering with my food.

    So, because we have a culture of non adults mixing with adults, it becomes difficult.

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  29. Here is details on Taiwan’s mask policy:
    “As in many Asian countries that had experience with SARS, Taiwan had an established culture of face mask use by the public. It also has a very proactive policy of supporting production and distribution of masks to all residents, securing the supply, and providing universal access to surgical masks during the COVID-19 pandemic from February 2020 onwards. There were also official requirements to wear masks in confined indoor environments (notably subways), even during periods when there was no community transmission.” https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lanwpc/article/PIIS2666-6065(20)30044-4/fulltext

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  30. I know from my own experience in seeing international students from Asia while in the city, that they carry their mask wearing habit even outside their countries. You could guess which among the crush of Chinese students on the bus must have coldlike symptoms by who was wearing a mask. Second, who was in Japan for 3 months said the same applied there (she was there post-SARS, when the mask wearing culture started). It is no bad idea, really, for those with respiratory symptoms to wear a mask if they must go out.

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  31. Sampling fruit unless offered by the store is stealing, IMO. I am not sure why it is still tolerated. Every store wants to go overboard to not make customers angry, of course, especially in the day of social media. Unless someone reaches the tipping point, management will do nothing, which is always a problem for employees.

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  32. Referencing RK’s point in 1:45, I found this:

    ~ Because the vaccines being developed are based on an immune response against multiple sites on virus surface proteins, the small amount of variation that exists globally in SARS-CoV-2 isolates to date is not likely to make a difference in vaccine efficacy. ~

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  33. Caught up with my neighbor who’s back from their holiday in the desert, she made the comment that it’s hard to tell how serious the virus outbreak now is because “we’ve been lied to so much.”

    The other point that’s often raised is the increase is due to more testing, so I usually point folks to the hospitalization numbers.

    We also seem to be at a point in the U.S. where conspiracy theories of all kinds, political/medical, etc., are enjoying something of a rebirth.

    Liked by 2 people

  34. Kathaleena, agreed. “The customer is always right” policy does not fit here. Sampling is stealing unless it is set up for sampling, which I hear is no longer available. But the store people also have to be concerned the “adult” might pull a knife or gun or throw unknown liquid or whatever. Difficult society.

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  35. I think conspiracy theories can become mainstream when there is a lack of public accountability. And that’s all I’ll say about that lest I beeak my self imposed restriction on political self indulgence. ;–)

    But Roscuro’s example about the berries is related to something I’ve been thinking about for awhile. Our civilization is really not held together so much by law as it is by trust and agreement. When I went to a store in a neighboring town I saw many unmasked people. When they walked into the store an employee would state that they were required by law to wear one, but some just ignored it and walked right on in. No one said or did anything else.

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  36. Debra, I would agree, and where trust breaks down, society fractures. That is why conspiracy theories have so much potential for destruction when widespread – they sow distrust, by causing people to think they are being intentionally misled and decieved. Proverbs says that the whisperer separates even close friends (16:28). Paul warned against giving heed to profane and vain babblings, because their words will eat like a malignant sore (II Timothy 2:17). Words, unlike the glib saying that words can never hurt, can bring down entire civilizations – “the tongue can no man tame, it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison… it sets on fire the course of nature and is set on fire by hell” (James 3). The spreading of rumours is a dangerous and deadly game.

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  37. My understanding has always been that it is permissible to eat a single grape to make sure they are not sour, but opening a package to get at fruit that has been weighed, and doing so in a time of pandemic, is a different matter entirely. (I’ve never done the grape taste testing, but have seen others do it when they fully intend to buy the grapes as long as they are not sour.)

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  38. The New York Times

    BREAKING NEWS
    The virus surge could overload California’s intensive care units in December, the governor warned, saying the state may need to take “drastic action.”
    Monday, November 30, 2020 5:23 PM EST

    California is one of several states that had appeared to have gained control of the virus, only to see it spread rapidly throughout the fall. On Sunday it became the first state to record over 100,000 cases in just a week, according to a New York Times database.
    ++++++++++++++++++++

    I’m not sure what “drastic” action would even entail

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  39. I googled the “free grape taste testing” question, and I came up with one discussion that it had been a “heated” discussion in their office, with one person (Julia) saying definitely it’s OK. So the writer posed the question on social media and then he checked with stores:

    I was so curious about the huge debate this question ignited, I went to visit some in-store produce managers to see what their thoughts were. I hit a trifecta around my neighborhood: a neighborhood grocer, a medium-size chain supermarket, and a fancy chain.

    Not sure how I’m going to break this to Julia’s detractors, but every produce person I talked to shrugged off grape and other pre-purchase fruit-tasting like it was no big deal. Nobody had ever said to a customer, “Hey man, no free samples.” The neighborhood guys considered it common practice, while the medium chain said not with blueberries, but definitely grapes. I asked him, “What if they taste a grape and they don’t even buy that bag?” He said, “Oohhh, yeah. That happens.”

    The fancy store guy told me that tasting is even encouraged. “I had a manager once tell me, like if somebody asks about a certain apple, you can cut off a slice and say, ‘I’ll try it with you.’” He says the worst fruit-tasting culprits are cherry fans, because people spit the pits right back into the bag. Hopefully the one they’re planning on purchasing.

    Here’s a response from a different article, having asked several stores:

    Coles declined to comment, and IGA, Harris Farm Markets and Woolworths did not respond.

    A spokesperson for ALDI, however, had bad news for testers.

    “Our fresh fruit and vegetables are so well priced, they’re already a steal! While our grapes might look too juicy to resist, unfortunately any form of taste testing before purchase is considered theft and not something we allow in store.”

    Whether the other chains’ silence can be taken as tacit approval of taste-testing or they were just too busy to help us with the greatest moral quandary of the modern era, we may never know.

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  40. I have to say, before my niece told her story, I had never heard of such a thing before, and certainly never had seen anyone do it. Certainly had never heard it was OK to eat a single grape. I was raised to determine the quality of produce by look, smell, and, for harder fruits, feel, and that one should inspect something like a berry container for signs of crushed fruit or white mold before selecting one to buy. Practice will tell you from a simple inspection whether a fruit is sound, there is no need to taste test it.

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  41. Remembering the fruit and veggie store in Germany. I would go in and hand select each item, thinking I was oh so mature, though I did not have a clue what I was doing. The lady would always offer to help and I would politely decline. Then one day there was a sign in the fruit, in English, please allow the store keeper to select your produce for you. I pretty much knew the sign was for me. Oops. Yet another silly American tourist.

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  42. My stepmom is the wizard of picking melons – watermelon, cantaloupe or honeydew. I don’t eat honeydew most places, but know that if she is serving it, it will be delicious 🙂

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  43. I’m pretty good at picking most produce. I know what bananas are going to be good when ripe and what ones won’t ripen well, and I know which grapes will be flavorless, how ripe a pineapple is, etc. I still do a poor job with avocadoes.

    I have at times had inedibly sour grapes and while I haven’t done the “eat a single grape” test, if I had been the one buying those sour grapes, and I were buying grapes at that same store again, I probably would taste one. They wasted my money last time, and this time I’m going to be sure they’re worth buying. Since you can’t return food if it turns out to be bad and have the store put it back on the shelf, it keeps either you or the store from “eating” the cost of a bad purchase. I’m not inclined to do it myself, but don’t think it’s stealing, either.

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