Whitesboro is really not that far away - really, I need to just periodically bite the bullet and go there when I need a fun day out. The only thing, really, they lack is a bookstore, but they have a lot of the other things I regard as life-enhancing (yarn shop, quilt shop, antiques shops, place that serves a frou-frou lunch at least some days of the week).
Yarn shop first. (Quixotic Fibers). They are in the process of moving next door to their old shop (expanding, I hope....). They had more stuff. Including this:
Rowan yarn for that vest I was wanting. Exactly the color I wanted - a darkish medium blue and it has some lavender overtones (which don't show up in the photo). And it's Rowan, which is a straight-up luxury yarn. (Or at least in my budget category it is). I bought four skeins (all she had left of the color) even though the pattern tells me three should have been easily sufficient (the pattern CLAIMS to only require 570 yards for my size but I feel totally unwilling to believe that. So I bought the extra yarn and have well over 800 yards, just in case). This will most likely be my next sweater-type project, I am that excited about the pattern. (Leftover yarn, if the pattern is right, will be easily enough for a hat)
I also bought some other things: the needles I needed, an "inspirational" book (I feel the need for some knitting inspiration) and two sockyarns. The Aurora one was on a "secret sale" (the store owner does that) and I got it for a good price which makes me doubly happy. It's a thicker yarn, between sport and dk, for wintertime socks.
The other yarn was just too pretty and I have a lace sock pattern in one of the new Britknit magazines I bought when I was up in Illinois (my one fun thing) that I want to do.
And then the quilt shop. The three novelty fabrics are for the hexagon quilt I am still slowly working on. The others, I had to have because bees. (I actually have a pattern for the charm squares that I could use and probably will.
And a quick run through the antiques shops. Not too much that grabbed me at them except for a couple of books:
One is a Lidia Bastinach book - I try to catch her show on Create when I think of it, I've always enjoyed watching her cook and listening to her stories. It was only $6 and it MAY be the one I've had on my Amazon wishlist for a while (so I better delete it if it is). Antique/resale shops are sometimes kind of odd about books: sometimes you get lucky and find something in really fantastic condition and that you want for cheap, because it was part of a lot and they just want to sell it without a lot of headaches. But other times, you see really beat-up books going for inflated prices because they are "old." (It pays to know a little bit about the value of older books).
The second one is a Heritage Press book for $12, which is a pretty good deal given it's in decent shape and still had the copy of the "Hourglass" stuck in it. (Heritage Press was a thing of the "middlebrow" or "striver" culture of the 1950s: often-classic books, reprinted in nice editions with illustrations and a slipcover and with a little explanatory flier sent with them.) I have a bunch of these; they are kind of like not-quite-as-fancy version of Folio Society books.
It's an Anatole France novel called Revolt of the Angels. I've never heard of it but I read a sample page in the store and think it looks intriguing.
Then I grabbed lunch: today is one of the days Lovejoy's serves lunch, so I decided to try it. Even though it was probably more sodium than I normally should have*, I got the combo: a small slice of Quiche Lorraine and a small ham and swiss sandwich.
The quiche was really good. Surprisingly, it had little bacon in it (normally commercial quiche lorraine is so full of bacon...) but it also had what I think must have been kale (it was thicker and darker than spinach) in it. So I guess I voluntarily ate kale today. (I couldn't taste it; the quiche mainly tasted of the swiss cheese in it, so that was good). It was very good and I would order it again given the chance.
Also, this is the mark of a good small restaurant: I mentioned to the waitress before ordering that I had a celery sensitivity (I was quick to say, "It's not REALLY an allergy...") and she immediately said, "The soup has celery in it but the quiche and sandwiches do not." Sometimes at chain places it's really hard and there wind up being several rounds of "let me check with the kitchen on that"
(*then again, it seems the odd higher-sodium meal has relatively little impact on my blood pressure, so I don't know)
I then ran to Sherman. Looks like Books A Million is not doing the British knitting mags any more, at least for the summer, but I found the new Simply Knitting UK at the JoAnn's.
And then, food shopping time.
At the natural-foods store, stocked up on the canned sweet potato puree I use so much (and also HFCS-free cranberry sauce). The young checkout guy was trying to track down one of the employees - Dave - because apparently someone he had agreed to sponsor for some charity thing had shown up to collect the donation, but Dave was not to be found.
I was really tempted to say "Dave's not here!" (warning: Cheech and Chong humor) to him, but he looked awfully young and I was afraid he'd not get it. (I probably would not have when I was 20 or so; it wasn't until late in grad school that I first heard it, thanks to an office mate making the joke).
Also, you never know if someone at a natural-foods store might take offense to someone referencing what is stoner humor. Some of the earnest natural-foods types are the "pure in body, pure in soul" kind who don't appreciate that sort of thing.. (And I admit, I kind of am. Maybe not so pure in body because I DO eat refined sugar, but...)
In general, though, it was nice. Nice to get out and talk to people about stuff I care about (quilts at the quilt shop and also the young woman at the JoAnn's who cut some "cheddar yellow" fabric I was getting for a future quilt top - she was talking about how proud she was of her mom, because her mom taught herself to quilt and even made a DENIM quilt out of old jeans, and even went so far as to go to Home Depot and ask them to cut plexiglass (!) to the dimensions she wanted for templates).
I also got to pet the brindled pug dog at the yarn shop. (And again, I'm contemplating if maybe, allergies be damned, I need to think about pet-proofing my house in the future and getting a dog or cat. Because it would be so nice to have someone in my life that was simply happy to see me when I showed up. I'm not really a dog person thanks to some bad experiences in my childhood but certain friendly dogs - like the pug today - it's just nice, you know? They don't care who you are, they are just happy to see you. All they want from you is maybe for you to pat them on the head or scratch them between their shoulder blades...Then again, as I said: some days I get busy and forget to feed myself, and it's 2 or 3 pm and I'm shaky and hungry and wondering why, and it wouldn't be cool for another life to be depending on me to feed it.)