Category Archives: life in general

life without trader joe’s


Or, How Sabrina is Coping Poorly Outside of Her Natural Habitat.

I miss Trader Joe’s.

That can pretty much sum it all up.

But I’ll explain, because that makes a better story.

Okay.  I’ve lived within reasonable proximity to a Trader Joe’s (2-4 miles) for the past 8 years or so (and Whole Foods, but they’re becoming over-rated).  Oh, you don’t know what a Trader Joe’s is?  Let me fix that.

Trader Joe’s is essentially a haven for wanna-be foodies who have a budget, hippies who desire vegetarian, organic, and alternative fare, and it is also friendly to those who live gluten-free.  In Southern California, Trader Joe’s is frequented by yuppies; in the PNW, well, Trader Joe’s is a given for almost anybody.  There you can find the yummiest coconut milk ice cream, the cheapest organic spaghetti sauce, the tastiest dark chocolate covered almonds with sea salt, some of the most innovative food creations, cheap, organic veggies, the best junk food paraded as healthy food, and mostly, I was a very happy human being shopping there.

For four of those years, I’ve lived in the Pacific Northwest, where I naturally acclimated as a nerd, quasi-hippie, musician, bookworm, and an individual who is generally interested in the arts.  Health food stores are a given there (Marlene’s was the best!  Who knew local health food stores could have such lovely delis!), and vegans are so common that no one bats an eyelash in encountering one.  I was safe, happy, and comfortable in this environment.  I shopped every week at Trader Joe’s, because, for the things that I normally buy, it was the least expensive option.  When I first moved to the PNW, Trader Joe’s was a welcome, familiar place.  I also frequented Marlene’s…surprise, surprise.

I moved to the South in July.  And boy oh boy, was there plenty of culture shock in the food department.  Nearest Whole Foods?  60 minutes away.  Trader Joe’s? Around the same.  Nearest health food store (a tiny one, without a deli)?  A good 6 miles away.  The nearest grocery store?  Kroger.  The only grocery stores in town?  Food Lion, and…Kroger.  I’ve had to reassemble life without inexpensive access to organic baby carrots, natural peanut butter, free-range chicken, gluten-free snickerdoodles, sweet potato chips, organic olive oil, vinho verde, and…basically everything I’m used to snacking on.  Any (rare) equivalent I might find at Kroger’s is around 100% more expensive.

The funny thing is, Trader Joe’s requires a high collegiate population in order to place a store in that city.  Lynchburg is teeming with undergraduate and graduate students.  Why no Trader Joe’s?  Why?

And it’s not just Trader Joe’s I’m missing.  I still mope over the fact that I can’t pop over to Metropolitan Market and grab a vegan, gluten-free cupcake.  Those kind of cupcakes don’t exist in Lynchburg.  I’d have to scrounge up the ingredients to make them myself, and would seriously luck out if I didn’t have to spend half a day traveling to find them.  BUT.  I would be very happy if there was just a Trader Joe’s nearby.

There’s something to be said for eating familiar foods; it’s good for the soul, don’t you think?  Somehow, everything else will be okay, as along as I can put familiar foods in my belly.  But for now, there’s an ache in my belly and consequently, my soul, because they miss Trader Joe’s.

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God help us all…

..I’m actually going to need a semi-grown-up planner for this upcoming school year.  No more of those simple monthly spreads.

I have this perspicuous reminder in front of me ; I’m getting older, and I forget more things every school year.

Ergo, the planner.

Dang it, I knew I shouldn’t have already made a rough time map, but as they say about me, curiosity kills.  (I have a million lives, though, so no worries there.)

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i won’t bore you; i promise!

Today, I:

-tripped and fell, whilst carrying a 30+lb box o’ books.  The box saved me.  Think of it as a shield of sorts.

-cut my finger with an exacto knife.

-locked my car key (and wallet, etc.) in my car.  It was still hanging from the ignition.  And the only reason I noticed my keys were missing was because I needed to unlock ze auto to pop the hood.  Why did I need to pop the hood?  Why, to jump start ze auto, of course.  Why did I need to jump start ze auto?  Duh.  (I think it’s a malfunctioning starter.) The only thing I had not locked my car was my phone.  Thank God for friends!

a not-original observation

It bears restating, though, even if I have already said it here.  🙂

It’s truly amazing that as I (or anyone, for that matter) seem to gain knowledge, all that knowledge boils down to is the realization that I don’t know much at all.  Hardly anything, actually.

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quite occupied, thank you very much

Sorry, friends.  Faithful few.  You’ll be lucky to get a new blog before the year’s up.  Well, besides this one, but this one hardly counts.  This one is just a courtesy.  This one will only take me a few minutes to type.

But, back to my blog post heading.  I’ve got work; choir, ESL ministry; a 20 page paper to write dealing with the intertexuality of Hannah’s song, David’s song in 2 Samuel 22, and Mary’s Magnificat in Luke; three exams, and at least several hundred pages to read in about a month’s time.

I’ll get back to you in due time.  I know you’re patient.  🙂

ah, yes.

the green, the grey, partly cloudy days, slow drivers, great food, wonderful music, yummy coffee, intriguing art, free spirits, lovely rain, gobs of studying, beautiful books, old friends…yeah, I’m back in the Pacific Northwest, friends!

Until I get settled into the new groove, there will not be a whole lot of blogging goin’ on.

Catch you then!

in other news…

…I’m applying for re-admission to NBS for the continuation of the Master of Divinity program there.  Hopefully I’ll be able to make my way back up to Washington State before the year is up, but I have a feeling I’ll end up there one way or another.  An omen?  Maybe.  Not going to say one way or another.

Speaking of omens, you should read The Alchemist (Paulo Coelho) for an interesting tale of destiny, fate, and omens.  It’s short, and if you like a good philosophical novel, you will not be disappointed.  There are some things to ponder, and some other things that are simply not true, but, hey, it’s a novel.  Whaddya expect?  It’s an enjoyable read, so go read it.

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getting in touch with my girly side

I will be the first to say I’m not a girly girl, even though I may look like one.  Here are some tip-offs:

1) I don’t like to shop.  That’s practically female treason. Well, I like to shop for books – that’s a given. What kind of nerd would I be if I didn’t like to peruse bookshops?
2) I own only a few pieces of clothing that have feminine prints (i.e., flowers or lacy things) on them, and I hardly ever wear them.
3) Facebook said I was 0% girly. Okay, maybe that’s slightly fallacious (very fallacious) quiz, but still.
4) I detest wearing heels. I’m a komplete kween of klutziness when I wear them, and they hurt.
5) I’d rather not carry a purse. A book bag will suffice, or nothing. Nothing’s good.  Because I usually carry enough to fit in my hands or pockets, or a load of books.
6) I am not a fan of diamonds.  Oy!  Sorry, that was probably harsh sounding to some of your ears.
7) I’ve only perused Etsy one or two times, mainly because a friend had started one up. And boy oh boy, I was sorely unaware that so many people (probably females) use Etsy, until Sunday.  I guess you’re not a girly girl unless you shop Etsy.  😉

Sunday afternoon there was hosted a lovely Blogger’s Lunch, in the L.A. area, by Dionne.  I think everyone of the girl bloggers (in cluding Dionne and Lindsey) has an Etsy page except for me and Maggi, who is considering setting one up because she makes these fab purses, and Bethany (okay, so that’s only half of the us female bloggers…I guess Etsy is kinda overwhelming 😉 ).  And not only that, but each of the girl bloggers got a little gift basket chockfull of gifts from insanely creative Etsy sponsors, Danni one of them.  There were many squeals and exclamations of gratitude and delight at the discovery of the little things within that basket.  I have to admit, the stuff is cute, and I do like wearing earrings and rings, which everyone scored in their baskets.  Oh, and Danni also won the door prize, which also produced delighted squeals.   I get tired of squealing and exclaiming so much, so you didn’t hear any squeals from me.  Fortunately, none of the guys like Eric or Andrew or Jon (who just got a blog yesterday) or Evan or Nick were squealing or exclaiming, so I was in good company.

I’m not going to summarize the Bloggers’ Luncheon on here, because Maggi, Lindsey, and Dionne all have nice summaries and sweet (and silly) photos on their blogs.  Check ’em out, and check out some of the cool Etsy shops, if you’re into that.  I will probably explore Etsy a bit more when I secure a real job.

Thanks to Dionne for helping me connect with my girly side.  I think there is one on me, somewhere.

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over the past few days…

I got officially lost, for the first time, and skipped the first in this season of baby showers as a consequence.

Tried to articulate a book review onto digital paper, and failed (still in the works).

Dealt with fraud and won.

Have developed a loathing for craigslist.

Laughed at doofuses.

Cancelled my e-crapimony account.

Baked & ate too many cookies (chocolate chip; vegan and gluten-free).

Blanked out on some basic chords during Sunday’s worship service, and realized that I really do depend on green tea every a.m.

Took a break from computers for over 50 hours, and now find facebook and email to be quite tiring.

And I miss my MacBook.  Very much.

How was your memorial weekend?

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the quest

I am a classic jack-of-many-trades.  Good at many things, I excel at nothing, and dabble in everything, right-brained and left-brained, creative and analytical, writing and mathematics; you get the picture.  I am still looking for my niche.  It is quite possible I will never find it, and that I will have decide which of my “trades” can be my “niche”.  I think I will always be close to living in a cardboard box, though, because I don’t really care about money.  

I would rather be a missionary overseas more than anything else.  

I really do not have a preference as to what I end up doing as a missionary, I guess I just have to choose a “niche” and a location.

Perhaps I am not searching.  Maybe I am procrastinating.  Perhaps the answer is right in front of me, and I have yet to rub the sleep out of eyes to gain a clear focus.  Excuses for my lack of quick-decision-making skills.

After all, it is not rare for me to use half an hour in determining which flavor of soy /rice/coconut milk ice cream I want.                        



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