Shrinking cookies and cake loving goat

Photo courtesy Lunds & Byerly’s

Here in Minnesota we have Lunds & Byerly’s, a family owned grocery chain. Lunds & Byerly’s prides itself on the shopping experience they provide for customers which includes free samples, free cookies for kids, in-store cooking classes with noted experts (at the St. Louis Park location), courtesy grocery carry out and home delivery. I shop at the Ridgedale Byerly’s frequently on my way home to St. Paul from Minnetonka.

So, I was there recently with my daughter and, as is our norm, I asked for a cookie for her (she is 12 years old and still loves getting the kid’s cookie at the grocery store and the free lollipop at the bank but often feels shy to ask for one.) The bakery specialist said “Of course!” with a big smile and a gracious manner. She had a sheepish look on her face when she handed my daughter a very small cookie though, and added as if in apology,  “We’re having to give out smaller cookies now because of the recession.”

I would probably have just thought they were sampling out the mini cookies if she hadn’t said anything (if it were me, I wouldn’t have said anything — why bring thoughts of the recession to your customer’s mind when she’s shopping?). But knowing that they were doing that, I started looking around to see what else they might be skimping back on and — sure enough — no samples!

I am not complaining. It is not like consumers are entitled to food samples and free cookies. I am just making an observation: you know you are in a recession when the cookies shrink and the samples disappear.


Photo of goat courtesy of Kentucky College of Agriculture


A cake a dog and a goat

And here’s a story about a different type of  “free sample”, one that involves a cake, a dog and a goat.

The Capital Times reports:

Goat breaks into home, eats cake

TOWN OF WESTFORD — What do you get when a
goat follows a dog into a house?

For Sherry Shirley of Westford, the answer is
a big mess.

When she opened the front door of her home on
Lake Road to let her dog in Saturday morning, a full-grown goat
burst into the house, jumped onto a kitchen counter and helped
itself to a freshly baked chocolate cake, according to the Dodge
County Sheriff’s Department.

Deputies responded to a call from Shirley at
11:43 Saturday morning, but a neighbor had dragged the goat from
the home by its horns before officers arrived, patrol captain Molly
Soblewski said.

“The goat didn’t do a lot of damage. It
knocked some dishes to the floor that broke and began eating the
chocolate cake she had just made,” Soblewski said.

The chocolate cake caper, however, was far
from a perfect crime. Deputies followed the goat’s tracks to a
nearby farm on Mill Road and had it behind bars by 12:35 p.m.
Saturday.

Soblewski said the owners of the goat will
not be cited.

“It was just an unfortunate circumstance,”
she said. “I feel sorry for the lady, but it is kind of funny.”

So, I guess Ms. Sherry Shirley of Westford  can now say that her baking is so good that a goat once broke into her house for one of her cakes.

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Family living in cave faces foreclosure

Unable to refinance, Missouri family puts their cavern on eBay

ABC News reports:

You’ve heard plenty of stories about foreclosures, but the latest victims of this brutal recession are about to lose their cave.

That’s right. For nearly five years, Curt Sleeper and his family have
lived in a cave. His mortgage is about to come due and, like millions of other Americans, he can’t refinance.

So now, the 17,000-square-foot, subterranean home is being auctioned off on eBay.

Sleeper is asking $300,000 for the home but is also looking preferably
for somebody to refinance his mortgage. After all, he and his family
did put five years of their lives into building the three-bedroom,
two-bathroom house into the cave. (During construction, Sleeper, his
wife and their two kids lived in tents in the back of the cave and
washed dishes and laundry in buckets. Their third child, a son, was
born last week in the cave.)

Link to full story.


Photo via ABC News

Link to photos of cavehouse


Troglodytes

Among the many reasons that modern day cave dwellers choose to live in a cave and transform the rough basics of nature into domicile and comfort are: tradition, economic necessity; environmental and artistic reasons.

Cave dwelling is very popular in Southern Spain. In Benalua, a suburb of Guadix, everyone lives in a cave. In addition to the cave houses (casas cueva), there are cave theaters, cave restaurants and cave spas. In Granada Province, cave dwelling has existed at least since the Arab invasion of Iberia in the 8th century. In fact, Granada Province has the largest cave dwelling population in Europe.

In Cappadocia, Turkey, famous for its cave dwellings, the troglodyte lifestyle extends to elaborate hotels, like the Gamirasu Cave Hotel.


Spelunking

Annette Marie Hyder

Here at the root of things
I can hear the hushed sound
of the quiet of the grave
(without the irrevocability)
and listen to the things
that are normally not on my radar.

My newly unfurled bat ears
rub their velvet against
the growing pangs of stone
and the music of cold
that is almost as deep as time.

I begin to hear something
that sounds like the bones of things,
like the very marrow of those bones,
singing to me of the first cave, the first opening
breached, of rock’s grating groan.

The voice that I listen to has a name.
The name I hear is Endurance.