Sunday, November 11, 2012

Sad News

Wesley Chapel, Florida (high 82, low 59)

We got some bad news regarding some fellow rv friends. 

After a long fight,  Sherry  passed away on Wednesday.  Most of you know that she underwent a double lung transplant in August.  Sadly, she never was able to leave the hospital after having multiple complications.  Our thoughts and prayers go out to her family.  Rest in peace Sherry.

Things like this remind you to not take anything for granted.  Sherry was only 62 years old.


Yesterday,  I rode along with Al to Indian Rocks Beach, where he had a pest control account to do.  While he was spraying the house, I walked the beach and made a few friends.



It was warm and sunny and a great day to spend outdoors.

Unfortunately, we chose another option. 

Since we were nearby, we decided to go to our first Trader Joe’s.  I think this is the first one in Florida and everyone told us we just had to go there. 

Our first clue that this may have been a bad choice, was the parking lot was full and people were parking down the block. 

The store was so crowded you couldn’t even get to the shelves.  Walking down the aisles, was next to impossible.  People were getting on my nerves and I noticed more than one case of BO.  I don’t do crowds well, but since we were there, we wanted to at least see what they had.

Since we’re vegans, we eat a lot of produce, and we weren’t happy with the amount of fresh produce they had.  They didn’t even have fresh kale.

We walked around a few minutes, picked up a few things, then decided the check out lines were too long,  so we left.  There was even a line for the unisex restrooms (and I hate unisex restrooms.)

I thought Trader Joe’s was different than it was. I thought they had more  than wine and food products...  like kitchen items.   It seems more like a smaller version of Whole Foods, but since it was so crowded, we really didn’t get to see what all they had to offer.   So, we can now say we’ve been to Trader Joe’s…..   I’m sure we would have liked it much better if there hadn’t been 8 million people there.  I like Nutrition S’Mart better.

Should have stayed at the beach.


The sky was blue and there were some pretty cloud formations as we crossed over the Sunshine Skyway bridge.



  1. We went to our first (and probably last) Trader Joe's when we were in Vegas in March. Can't figure what the fuss is all about.

  2. We aren't huge fans of Trader Joe's. We don't do too much specialty buying.

    Sherry was a wonderful fun-loving lady. We met her and Charlie our first year traveling. What a nice couple.

  3. My heart broke yesterday when I heard about Sherry. She put up a valiant struggle.

    I think I've been to a Trader Joe's one time. However, somebody mentioned how good their sausageless sausage was and someday if I'm ever near one, I do want to try that.

  4. I agree with you about Trader Joes. They have a lot of prepared foods, very little fresh produce. Whole Foods is my choice for good, organic produce.

  5. "It was different than I expected, so I didn't like it." Sounds like you were the victim of your own grumpiness.

    Trader Joes is awesome for fruits and veg, but notwithstanding the greatness of the store, your old-style, curmudgeonly take on it is hilarious.

    1. If you are going to quote me, please do so correctly.

    2. Haha, I was not quoting you, poor dear. I was pointing out to you your own foibles. A trying thing to read at the best of times.

      In truth, I've enjoyed your blog and often commented, but I knew taking you to task for your closed-mindedness would mean I do have to hide behind a temporary anonymousness, as any comment that dares to disagree with the prevailing (closed-minded) mindset is flamed.

      And Sherry, hmmmm, you often get offended when people don't agree with you. No surprise you take the heavy-handed approval route, which means you delete any comment you disagree with, e.g. is 'different' from your own opinion.

      We're all different, yes, and that is what rankles me about Karen's entire take on something she was unfamiliar with. B.O.? Seriously? Has she always smelled as fresh as a daisy her entire life? Perhaps she's on some occasion or another exuded a scent that others have found obnoxious. Shocking thought! Ah well. May my words not fall on blind eyes.

  6. Hmmmmmm......I think people like what they like and not what they don't. that's what makes us individuals. It does not make us curmudgeons. Interesting that such a comment was posted "anonymously". A #1 reason I have mine set up for approval.

    I've never been in a Trader Joe's so I can't have an opinion. But I seem to be doing fine without them. Have heard they are a rather "yuppie" sort of place with exotic this and that but it's only hearsay.

  7. I feel so blessed to have had a chance to meet Sherry and her hubby. I've followed her journey as she struggled to prepare for the transplant and then the weeks following. I'm glad she is no longer suffering but my heart goes out to the family. I know what it's like to lose a loved one too early.

    Add me to those that has never gone in Trader Joe's.

  8. I am another one that will miss Sherry's blogs. I enjoyed her comments on my blog and kept her in our prayers. Our prayers will continue now for comfort for Charlie and the family.

  9. We could never do a complete shop a Trader Joe's, but it is definitely an important part of our grocery store route. It has taken several years to discover many of their best products that they have and no one else does.
    We almost never eat at restaurants, and 99% of my cooking is from scratch, but I find having things like their vacuumed packed steamed lentils and baby beets, vacuum packed in serves-two-size portions frozen fish, some of their candies (for Craig not me) and their "shelf stable" items like the Almond milk I use on my Uncle Sam's cereals very handy to have.
    I am an adamant price and quality comparer. I eat some dried fruits, particularly prunes as a snack on a daily basis. Trader Joe's are lower in cost and better tasting than the grocery. I find Whole Foods prices much higher and have often found expired products on their shelves.

    I usually don't buy much produce there because of the way it is packaged, but I do buy their bags of avocados because they are smaller and less expensive than at the regular store. I like to eat them plain, as a snack so the smaller size is preferable. Also their price is the same year round.

    I know you don't eat eggs, but they have the best and cheapest eggs in town.

    I hope you will try Trader Joe's again sometime when it is not so busy. As a Vegan you would probably enjoy their sausage-less sausage very much! I had some for breakfast.

    1. We'll probably try Trader Joe's again some day...when it isn't so darn crowded. There were so many people there that you could barely walk through the aisles, much less try to do so with a shopping cart. I never got close enough to any frozen foods to see what was there. I believe this store opened recently and we made the mistake of going on a Saturday. They did have some nice brussell sprouts right on the stalk. I would have bought them if the lines hadn't been so long.

  10. We have been almost exclusively vegan for a couple of months now... sounds like the Trader Joe's we've gone to in Danbury, CT, Columbus, Oh and now in Ft Worth, TX have a lot more to offer than the one in Florida We were told that the one in Ft Worth had very limited parking and had other negative comments when it first opened, but we've gone there a couple times lately (during the week) and have had success in finding lots of organic veggies and a large variety of vegan foods. Maybe you just got there at a bad time.

  11. Karen,
    Not sure where the Trader Joe's was located .....maybe Sarasota since you had the great Skyway photo..... I am with you, the size of the store and the crowds are such a challenge ...... The parking......forget it ..... I have made four attempts at parking .... Finally, made it..... Ventured inside the store, the aisles were swamped .... Had to abandon my cart after ten minutes ..... Soooo I'm right with you ..... Hopefully, some day I will drive by see a light day and give it a second try ..... Not really sure what everyone is after but I appreciate Merikay's
    suggestions.......they sound great ...... Guess we will have to check it out again when we get a more conducive day to return ....... Thanks for sharing !!! By the way, I love the RED sun photo !!! Sally

  12. I, like many in the blgoshere only knew Sherry and Charlie through their blog. Sherry displayed great courage and determination during her struggle and has been an inspiration to many.

  13. Karen
    I have a question for you. Are you still happy with your blend-tec? Do you think it was worth the investment? We bought one and and I like it, I just don't know it I will use it enough to pay that kind of money for it. Your output will help me decide, to keep or not? that is the question????
    Never been to a trader joes. Maybe i should check one out. Anonymous must be having the bad day to think that you were grumpy. He/She took you too seriously.
    Have a good day

  14. I used to shop at Trader Joe's in San Diego for specific things. Not often, though.

    So sorry to hear about your blog friend, Sherry. I never read her blog, but clicked on the link and read some of the latest updates from her daughter. Poor thing, Sherry went through a lot, but sure was a fighter. May she rest in peace. And my best wishes to her husband and family.

  15. We love Trader Joe's only because there are some wonderful things we've found nowhere else...inexpensive but quality whole wheat and unbleached all purpose flour, whole grain pancake mix, yummy canned refried black beans, whole wheat pasta noodles that taste great, and pasta sauce made with real tomatoes rather than puree. And their raw nuts are a great price. We eat 2 brazil nuts each a day (for selenium) and their price beats anywhere else we've shopped! I have to agree with you on the produce...we go elsewhere for that. Sorry you caught it on such a crowded day. That always makes it hard to browse...


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