Safe Shopping

Remember the days when you saw ‘safe’ used as an adjective it was probably describing ‘sex’? Now, we’re using it to explain shopping experiences. πŸ™‚

Lowes opened at 8 a.m. yesterday, and we were there at 9:15 a.m. for a curbside pickup. I went to lawn and garden for potting soil. Insert your favorite expletive here.

It was like the Saturday of Memorial or Labor Day and fewer people had face coverings. What the heck, is the virus gone and no one told me? Not only was I trying to maneuver around way too many people, but it was kind of scary to not have other people taking recommended safety precautions.

I wanted out of there, but that’s when I realized the checkout lane was backed up into the covered area that stores fencing. There were 17 people that I could count in front of me with two checkers.

Never was I so glad to finally escape to the parking lot where what did I see but a line of shoppers waiting to get in. Good luck.

I have to wonder if this less than fun shopping experience played a part in the success of our first online Master Gardener plant sale over the weekend.

We overwintered about 450 plants at a MG’s house, and we needed to move them out of his side yard.

I set up a rather simple page with a poster linked to a PDF spreadsheet on the MG WordPress site.

I sent emails out to MGs and 202 previous customers around 1 p.m. on Friday and by 9 p.m. we were sold out.

We pulled the orders at his house, and folks drove up in the driveway, handed a check/cash out the window, and the plants were put in their trunk. Next plant sale, I’d like the entire committee back instead of two of us pulling it off. πŸ™‚

Everyone wore masks, and speaking of masks, does anyone else have the issue of their glasses fogging up. I’ve had suggestions to push it under my glasses or clean my glasses with glass cleaner – did both, it doesn’t make a difference. I’ll keep wearing my mask, but I sure can’t imagine what it’s going to feel like mid-summer.

Last week’s highlight was scoring a 24-pack of toilet paper, but today I have a Library book ready for curbside pickup!

Life is good today – gardening and a library book. Ah, a small fleeting sense of normalcy.

Best wishes that your Monday is a good one too. Stay well, shop less, garden more. 😎

About NewEnglandGardenAndThread

Master Gardener who enjoys gardening, quilting, photography, and traveling.
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78 Responses to Safe Shopping

  1. I had a similar experience at our local Ace Hardware. I could maneuver around the store but the check out line was really long. I went outside to find a cart and when I went back in the power was out and no more customers were allowed inside. I left empty handed. Congratulations on your plant sale!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Dan Antion says:

    I had a similar encounter at Home Depot two weeks ago. It was the scariest thing during this period of isolation. Neither the store management nor the customers seem to know about what safe shopping meant.

    Congrats on the flower sale! That was fast thinking and a job well done.

    I’ve had luck with washing my glasses with dish soap, rinsing then lightly and letting them dry. The slight soap residue (not so much ad to be noticeable) make it hard for the fog to form. Not perfect. There is an anti-fog spray (it works the same way) but it’s harder to find that toilet paper.

    I hope you have a good week, Judy. Ours looks to be wet.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. There was a smaller line at Home Depot in Merrimack. I might need to either start going early in the AM or on weekdays.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Agway here in Ithaca has curbside pickup. We use that. We scope out each shopping situation before hand. If it is like Lowes we turn around — not work the risk to our lives.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Glad you have a good curbside option because that way you are only dealing with one person. I can’t tell you how many times, we’ve looked at lines outside a store and just turned around and gone home. As you said, it is not worth it.


  5. germac4 says:

    Well done on such a successful plant sale Judy, I hope the buyers appreciated all the work that went into it.
    Some shopping experiences are amazing…. what do people not understand about social distancing?
    I agree….a new library book after a successful plant sale is as good as it gets!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Murphy's Law says:

    I think this long term lockdown is sending people out in droves for plants and gardening supplies that they never were interested in before! It’s a place they’re allowed to go and they go home with something to do. Pure madness.

    Congratulations on a successful MG plant sale. Well done. So sorry it was “business as usual” that only a couple of you had to shoulder the whole event. Why do people join organizations like this if they’re not going to participate in the work that’s involved?

    Congratulations too on grabbing the 24-pack of toilet paper! πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚ A 6-pack is all that’s been available here so far.

    Enjoy your library book. Send me a picture of it. I forgot what they look like!! Lol.
    🐾Ginger 🐾

    Liked by 1 person

    • I went by the local greenhouse at about 10:30 this morning, and the line of people standing outside waiting to get in was wrapped around two sides of the building and onto the road. There must have been 45 people standing out there. I turned around and headed home. No way was I getting in that line, and the checkout line would be worse. But, you are really going to be jealous because when I went to pick up my book, there were two books waiting. I can hardly stand the anticipation. πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Sheree says:

    I’m all for less shopping!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Hi Judy – Masks fogging up – Make sure your mask has a nose wire. Form it snug over your nose. I’ve found a high quality pattern for SEWING, not embroidery machine here – This mask is the same style as the one I have been doing on the embroidery machine. I just downloaded the sewing pattern and am going to give it a try. Same designer too. The wire in the nose bridge is key. Sounds like you had a good sale. We’ve been “avoiding” shopping in big stores for 2 months, doing lots of online ordering. I feel sorry for the delivery people bring the 38# of cat litter this week.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. What an experience at Lowe’s! So far, the only shopping we have done has been online, including Instacart for our groceries. I expect we’ll be shopping this way for quite a while. However, sounds as though your plant sale was a safe success. Yay! And best of all, a library book.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I had a very similar experience at the grocery store Friday evening. I went after 6pm thinking most people would be at home having dinner. It was very busy and only a hand full of customers and the checkers had masks on. One old guy…older than me snickered at me when he met my eyes at the deli counter. Neither or his wife wore masks or gloves! In my county we only 4 active cases 21 recovered, no deaths so I think people feel pretty safe. I’m not quite there yet. I may carry on wearing a mask and gloves to the grocery for the rest of my life since that’s where I seem to pick up almost every cold or flu the other source my elementary school-aged grandson and before I know it our Littlest will be in school picking up every cold.

    I bought a new ebook last week and cracked it open yesterday afternoon, and only put it down to have dinner with He-Man! It’s far too windy here for any outdoor activity for a couple of days so, I’ll probably finish this book today, and buy book 2.

    I have given our library a bit of time to get going with the new curbside service before calling then with my password issues, but it’s on my to-do list.

    Congratulations, on the successful sale! Happy gardening!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I heard a story first hand from a person who was at a local farm store for animal supplies. She said everyone had masks except one man who proceeded to get up on a soapbox and go off on all of them about wearing masks. Strange times. We’ve had a lot of wind here too. Picking up the books was interesting. They had a table under a portico with the books lined up and marked with your first name and part of your last name. If you had more than one, they were together with a rubber band. I must admit to spraying them with Lysol when we got home and so far we haven’t touched them yet. I miss ‘normal.’

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Donna says:

    H Judy. I agree about the masks foggng up. Russ sister has made us several to get the right size. That makes a difference. She has started putting pipe cleaners in them as a clip. Works much better. Gives a tighter fit around the nose. Shopping is awful. People are stupid. Exciting news though. I have a hair appointment to get my hair cut. Small one operator only two miles away and only by appointment. Can’t wait. Congrats on plant sale.

    Liked by 1 person

    • The ones I’ve made I put a wire in the top and that works pretty well, but I still fog up. A friend made me two beautiful ones in a different pattern, and I put them on and they fall down. I’ve tried to adjust them so I could wear them, but haven’t been successful. I wear one every time I go somewhere and will continue to do so regardless of what others are doing which seems more and more like they prefer not to wear them. Hair appointment – you go, girl!


  12. Almost Iowa says:

    Everyone wore masks, and speaking of masks, does anyone else have the issue of their glasses fogging up.

    And smearing too.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. John Hric says:

    To keep with the safe sex theme – avoid shopping orgies. Even if it means you can’t always get what you want. Just get what you need. And get out quick. Hmmm maybe it is time to drop the theme…

    Liked by 3 people

  14. Joyce says:

    Oh man…as much as I’d like to wake up one day (preferably soon!) and say, “Yay! It’s over!” (like the end of a harsh winter), it’s now settling in that that is never going to happen. My husband ventured to a garden center a few days ago for our annual purchase of red and white impatiens flats, but gave up when he encountered a scene like you described here. He’ll try again later this week. (No hurry because it poured rain all day yesterday and the same is expected today.) He reported little social distancing and 50% mask wear-age. The non-compliants included a fragile and ancient little old lady pushing her cart along at a snail’s pace!
    Anyways, if everybody operated their personal lives and businesses with the efficiency and respect demonstrated by your MG group I think we’d really eventually see the petering out of this nasty thing!

    Liked by 1 person

    • For a while it seemed like we were all on the same page about the face coverings and the social distancing, but somewhere along this ‘preliminary’ road to recovery some folks of all ages decided to do their own thing. Now, tourist season is about to be kicked off in all 50 states which is like stirring the soup pot. I will be wearing my mask and showing up the moment the store opens from now on to ‘try’ and avoid as many folks as I can. Tomorrow’s attempt will be at our local greenhouse because yesterday when I tried mid morning there were 40+ people lined up around the building onto the road waiting to get in. Ugh. Stay well, friend, and know that every time I see impatiens, I think of you with a smile.


  15. We did two “drive-bys” for Home Depot before my husband got up at 6 a.m. to go there. He got in and out easy peasy. Going any later than 9 a.m. is chancy locally.

    Liked by 2 people

  16. We seem to have similar likes plants and books, here in Idaho we have been lucky we are starting phase two this week. Stay Safe!

    Liked by 1 person

  17. ruthsoaper says:

    I’d rather garden than shop ANY day. πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Eliza Waters says:

    Congrats on the MG sale sell-out – nice work!
    Garden centers are normally busy this time of year, but with distancing, limited customers allowed in, etc. it is a nightmare. Today I went to the largest nursery in our area, figuring Monday wouldn’t be too bad. I was surprised how busy it was! Most were wearing masks, some just barely, with noses exposed (hmmm) but it is mandated in public, so compliance seems in order. What was odd was the shifty looks some folks were giving, like ‘others’ were the enemy. Sigh, it is going to be a long haul.
    Hope your week is a good one!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I really wish we had face coverings mandated right now because I think it would benefit us all. Yes, I think we’ve gone from dealing with ‘road rage’ to dealing with ‘shopping rage.’ It is going to be a long haul. Happy gardening, Eliza, and the best part is gardening at home doesn’t require a mask. πŸ™‚


  19. I saw that the other day somewhere in the Phoenix area, a bar had reopened and was jammed with customers (absolutely no social distancing and probably a lot of unsocial) without masks and holding up their 32-oz. beers. Big fat sigh!! I’ve made several trips to Lowe’s for garden items and haven’t had a problem with too many people, but then they’ve been open all this time. I’d say more than half the people aren’t wearing masks in most places I go. We are and will continue to do so for some time. And I’ll continue getting groceries for my parents for the foreseeable future as well.

    A librarian friend in Ohio said she’s going back to work (not sure if the library is actually open or just book pickup). I asked about how the books will be disinfected and she said once returned. they’ll be quarantined for quite some time. E-books are quite popular now which is a mixed blessing as there’s a wait for almost all the new books and this library system only allows a few holds, not unlimited the way the ones in Illinois did. πŸ™‚ I’ve been re-reading some favorite authors whose books I don’t have in the library in my closet here (hee, hee), so haven’t had as much trouble geting them.

    Stay well.


    Liked by 1 person

    • I can only imagine how grateful your parents are to have you in the area now. I don’t understand the bar scenes, but I’m way past that era anyway. Our Library buys all the ‘new books’ but not necessarily the ‘new ebooks’ so the selection on line is older, and we’ve read all the ones by our favorite authors. I’ve put the two books I picked up in a room and will leave them there for a couple more days, but I sure am anxious to read something new. Stay well, Janet.

      Liked by 1 person

  20. I haven’t been to the shops but Mr ET had a similar experience at the hardware store last week when he went to buy paint. He said the carpark was chockers and so was the shop. Ghastly! I’m happy to stay home. What is your new book?

    Liked by 1 person

  21. Ogee says:

    Haven’t been to the garden store this season. Ordered a few things online and had dirt delivered. The grocery store is hazard enough!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I went to the grocery store this morning. I hadn’t been in two weeks. I wore my mask, followed the arrows, bagged everything myself, and couldn’t wait to get back to my vehicle where I drenched myself in hand sanitizer. I always took shopping of any kind for granted. Now, it’s like you are approaching a war zone and you have to watch all sides and sprint to the door. It’s barely tolerable. Stay well.


  22. Joanne Sisco says:

    This is going to sound really disgusting, but spit on swimming goggles prevents them from fogging up. I’ve never tried to use that method on my glasses though. Hmmm – something to experiment with πŸ˜‰

    Today many retail stores with direct access are allowed to open here – with appropriate safety precautions. I won’t be rushing out any time soon though. I don’t even like grocery shopping in this new world, so other shopping isn’t high on my list.

    Liked by 1 person

  23. Nancy says:

    I saw these SAFE shopping lines at Costco… and it made me more nervous. I will not stand in those lines especially when the masks are not on the others waiting in line.

    We have opened up here in AZ. Bars in the University area of Tempe were extremely busy and crowded. But out here in the burbs… social distancing is taking place, I hear. I am not in any hurry to sit inside a restaurant.

    A friend on the Alabama Gulf coast says she has never seen so many people flocking to the area like currently. She has lived there for many many years!
    I just hope a second wave does not come upon us.

    I’m glad your plant sale was a success but more help is always better!

    Stay well my friend!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I honestly don’t know how we will avoid a second wave with tourist season kicking up and restaurants and bars opening around the country, but I’ll keep hoping we do. I won’t be shopping except when necessary and for sure I won’t be found in a restaurant for quite a while. We’re on day 65, and after that much time and the fact that the number of cases certainly haven’t stopped rising, I think I’ll hang around home some more. Stay well, and if you get to go to PA, safe travels.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Nancy says:

        I hear ya! We are doing the same here! Except I ride along with sweet man golfing. The golf course sterilized the cart… then I did too. It was just us. No one in front or in back of us. It was safer then going to the grocery store.

        Liked by 1 person

  24. Ally Bean says:

    I want to check out our Lowe’s to see if they’re offering curbside pickup. I want more annuals, a tomato plant, and we need some perennials as we re-do some areas. I’m feeling like its time for me to get in the garden. Hallelujah.

    [Where did you get your masks? Staying at home all the time as we are, we’ve yet to buy any and cannot figure out which ones to get let alone where to buy them.]

    Liked by 1 person

    • Lowes has curbside service, and it has worked quite well for ‘in store’ items. Here, it is not available for lawn and garden. I did use Tractor Supply for curbside pickup of several lawn and garden items including 50# bags of soil which was pretty darn convenient. Masks – now, there’s a topic. πŸ™‚ I made several of the pleated type on my sewing machine. A friend made me a couple of the cone shaped ones which I have trouble with because they don’t seem to stay up even after I shortened the elastic she used. We also had some blue gauzy ones like medical professionals use that were left from some woodworking projects that my husband did. If you buy one online, make sure it has a wire over the nose so you can crimp that part down. And, if you need to go out and don’t have one, look on line for a ‘sock mask’ tutorial which all you do is cut a sock up per the directions, and you’ll at least have a covering for your face. Stay well and stay safe.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Ally Bean says:

        Thanks for the advice Judy. I’ll look for the sock mask tutorial. I’ve not heard of that. Didn’t know about Lowes not doing lawn & garden. Bummer, as that is what I want. Wouldn’t you know?

        Liked by 1 person

  25. Congrats on the library pick-up. I heard our local branches just reopened with limited service (I’m not sure what that means, but I assume the holds I request online will be easier to get now). We couldn’t believe the contrast between the supermarket and the Lowe’s here: literally no one but us was wearing a mask at Lowes (including the workers), but nearly everyone was at the supermarket. I’m not sure what that means, but there you have it. – Marty

    Liked by 1 person

    • Since I won’t be going anywhere this holiday weekend, I’m going to enjoy my library book like never before. πŸ™‚ People wearing or not wearing masks seems to be a store by store ‘thing’ and I can’t understand it. If I go to a small to medium sized store, there seems to be a large percentage of masks, but if I go to a big box store there is almost no one with a mask. I’m just staying away from folks as much as I can to see how this all shakes out as things open up. Stay well.

      Liked by 1 person

  26. We’ve really wanted to get some flowers and veggie plants but we’re not willing to go anywhere unnecessary currently so they might be waiting until next year. We’ll see. Stay safe!

    Liked by 1 person

    • We have one nursery in the area that I know of that will put together an order for you and bring it to your car and Tractor Supply here will also assemble plant orders. The bigger stores aren’t offering it which is too bad for consumers. Stay well, and I’ll try to do the same.

      Liked by 1 person

  27. Isn’t the world a crazy place at the moment. I did enjoy this post, thanks. Your mask is wonderful.
    I am totally locked in because I have severe health issues so am at great risk. I cannot go outside our garden so like you we are reading and gardening and loving doing both.

    Liked by 1 person

    • It is without any doubt, the craziest time I’ve ever experienced. We go out for essentials, but the rest of the time we are here at home. I must admit we sure have gotten the outside spiffed up. Stay well, and if a person needs to stay in a garden, yours would be one I’d love to visit.


  28. Karen says:

    I’m still doing my grocery shopping online, actually it is very convenient. I must say that toilet paper is still illusive, hopefully that will change soon. My husband read that it is not because there is not enough being made but that it takes up a lot of space so stores don’t want to stock it. I’ve gone out twice…once to get my hair done and once to a restaurant where we ate outside. At both, everyone wore masks and gloves and kept strict social distancing so I felt “safe”. Glad your plant sale was a success but too bad you didn’t get help, unfortunately that is typically the way it is these days,

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sounds like you’ve found some safe places and have the groceries figured out except for the toilet paper. I went to Walmart right after it opened one weekday morning to return something I’d purchased online. Because it wasn’t really busy yet, I decided to check the paper aisle, and was I ever happy to find it in a huge package so I could stop looking. I’ve lived a long life, and never once before this have I ever thought so much about toilet paper. πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  29. quiltify says:

    Regarding your glasses steaming up, my understanding is you clean your glasses with regular gentle soap and let them airdry before you leave and before you put the mask on. I’ve only done it once and it seemed OK for a while up until this weekend…so maybe was able to wear a mask on two separate days before they steamed up again.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you. I’m open to trying anything, and I’ve found different materials respond differently. I had a mask on one day last week in the outdoor garden center of Lowes when it was mid 80’s. Wow, was I ever glad to get back to the car and take that thing off. It was hot. Stay well.

      Liked by 1 person

  30. Glad you were able to shift your Master Gardener sale to online. I have had mixed experiences with garden-related shopping. Not usually a fan of Home Depot, but they did a good job managing lines and crowds and enforcing the mask requirement. Similar situation at a garden center a few miles from my house. What I did have a problem with was the limited choice of annuals and other plants.

    Liked by 1 person

    • You can’t get into a greenhouse/nursery around here unless you want to stand in ghastly lines. Home Depot does not have their garden center open so you drag stuff in a cart, stand in line to get in, shop for other things inside, and then get in line to get back out. Lowes has opened their garden center so you can at least get everything you want and only be in one line. It’s challenging this year not only because of stock but also because of so many new folks trying gardening out.

      Liked by 1 person

  31. Oddment says:

    First of all, congratulations on your very successful plant sale! But there are dimensions to success, and a little of that is lost when the work falls on a few. As for shopping, I did not go to any store between mid-March and late May. I wasn’t sure what to expect, and it sure is a mix out there. I can’t offer any advice about the fog on the glasses, but I sure can sympathize about the heat in the mask! Getting back to the car, bathing in sanitizer, taking off the mask, and turning on the ac is the goal of every errand. Then get me home to soap and water! Soon we’ll be wearing snorkels just to buy a dozen eggs.

    Liked by 1 person

  32. in says:

    the mask is bothersome with glasses on, yup

    Liked by 1 person

  33. slfinnell says:

    Judy! I have a little idea my mother-in-law posted about folding a tissue across the bridge of the nose and then putting your mask on over it. It is supposed to work like a charm on keeping glasses unfoggy. So far haven’t been anywhere I need a mask so I cannot testify but I’ll take her word for it πŸ˜‰ We’re only doing curbside pickups, online ordering and my dear hubby does the mail drop off (with a mask). We are still holding down the fort here in Mid Mo as the Lake of the Ozarks folks do their thing causing more passing of the virus. I am pretty sure I won’t be open any earlier than August (if I’m lucky).

    Liked by 1 person

    • I will definitely try the tissue trick – thank you! We watched the Lake of the Ozark folks on the news and cringed. I’m guessing the numbers will start creeping up because of it. Seems like we take a step forward and two backward. Stay well, and I’ll be hoping to see photos of your little people before long.

      Liked by 1 person

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