Showing posts with label Winston-Salem. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Winston-Salem. Show all posts

Friday, February 5, 2010

Snow Again!

It's not your average winter here in North Carolina.  I mean we do get snow and sometimes a lot of it all at once, but that doesn't happen every year, and some years we're lucky (or unlucky if you dislike snow) if we get a dusting.  This is an unusual winter because we've had three ground-covering snows since the middle of December.  We even had a white Christmas thanks to the deep freeze that descended on us after that first snowfall.  Lots of times it snows, and the next day the temperature is 50 degrees.  Bye-bye snow!

Not this year.  No sir.  Why we even went sledding.  I dusted off my nearly antique sled, waxed the runners and took off.  We bundled up and went over to Ashley's to sled on their street.  Unfortunately, since I said we wouldn't be able to go sledding by 11 a.m. they made other plans.  [pouty face].  They did stay and sled for about 20 min. before they really had to leave.  They said "Go to Mt. Carmel".  There is a hill there beside the church that is just the best for sledding.  We weren't first.  There were lots of kids (big and little if you know what I mean).  We were among the "big" ones.  My sled did OK, but it is made more for street sledding where the snow is really packed down and slick.  This hill was snow-covered grass but it had been semi-packed by the tube sleds.  Those are great, by the way.  We borrowed one for a few trips down the hill, and it was a wild ride.  You end up spinning around and flying down the hill backwards.  It leveled out to a flat straight away and some tall grass before you go into the woods.  Such fun.

Later I paid for that fun with sore muscles over the entire body.  I'm not too old for this.  Repeat.  I'm not too old for this.  I have recovered and would do it again except now all we have is white slush, and we are engulfed in a cold rain.

Here are some more pics from the last snow on Sunday after the sun came out.  Compare with these.  What a difference the sun makes!

View from the front door.

Street view looking left.
  
Street view looking right.

Here is what it looks like today.  We got about 2.5 inches of snow overnight, and the road was snow covered about 7 a.m., and then the rain started.  These were taken around 11:30.

Today's view from the front door.


Slushy footprints on the sidewalk.


Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Eating Out For Less!

We all like to eat out now and then, and now we can do it for less.  Restaurant.com offers deeply discounted gift certificates of $10, $25, $50 (and up) to many restaurants.  For example, you can get a $25 certificate for $10.  After the initial purchase, that equals a $15 savings.  Go here to see what restaurants are available near you, and enjoy the savings.  Just enter your zip code (or any zip code where you will be dining) in the "Find a Restaurant and Save" box.

Now here's where it gets even better.  These certificates go on sale every so often for up to 80% off.  That makes a $25 certificate only $2  Wow!  I got a $10 one for La Botana for just 80 cents.  We used it Monday and got $10 off our $21 total.  We had two entrees and one beer on the bill.  The meal was delicious, by the way. 

Just to be clear, there are restrictions such as a minimum purchase amount, and some restaurants do not include alcohol in the required purchase amount, so read carefully before you select your certificate.  They e-mail you the certificates and you print them out, so you don't have to wait for snail mail.  They make great gifts, too.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

A Snow Day

It was a snow day in the not-so-sunny South.  For all y'all who don't live here, this is what it looked like this morning.


 
 This is the view from my front door. There is a street straight ahead in the picture

  
This is at the street looking right.

 
This is at the street looking left.

The snow began about 5:30 last night, and started sticking immediately even though it was slightly warmer on Thursday (upper 50s).  It appears that we got the bulk of the snow under cover of darkness.  Isn't that the way it goes?  I love to watch it snow, but it seems we get most of ours during the night.  It was sleeting when we got up this morning, and that lasted until after lunch (maybe 2 p.m.).  We bundled up and went for a walk.  Mind you the temperature was about 20 with a wind chill of 6 or 7 degrees.  Our faces were freezing, but hands and feet (at least my hands - I wore gloves, 2 pair actually) were quite warm.  Long johns help a lot, too!

To combat the chilly willies tonight, we had Shrimp Creole & garlic bread, washed down with half a bottle of Manyana Tempranillo.  This is some good wine for a good price.  I got it for $6.99 at Harris Teeter.  Might not be everyone's choice with Creole, but it went down quite well.

As I was getting dinner ready, we had another band of light snow come through.  It looks like everything has moved out for now, although we may get another round later depending on if it shifts a little further south.  I'm not a fan of the cold, windy days of winter, but I do love a good snow.  The temperature is supposed to dip to 14 degrees tonight.  Might be good sledding tomorrow!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Recycle your Christmas Tree

Christmas has passed, the decorations are packed away, and the tree is bare.  Do you put your tree out by the curb for recycling, toss it in the woods, or take to a drop-off point, or does it get picked up by the trash collector and wind up decaying in the landfill?  The latter is of no benefit to anyone, and the tree is wasted.  Let's all put our trees to good use.  Recycled, they become mulch to beautify the landscape and enrich the soil.  Even those who recycle their trees in the woods are benefiting the environment by returning the tree to nature, and even creating a winter sanctuary for birds and animals.

The cats especially enjoy having a live tree of their very own (or so they think anyway).  Sophie and Dood like drinking the water from the stand.  I'd rather they didn't, but it hasn't seemed to do them any harm, and it's not like they don't have fresh water in their bowl every day.  I guess it's the Eau du Frasier Fir that's so appealing.

So now it is January 6th, the day of the Epiphany, and the day many people take down their Christmas trees and decorations.  The date varies for me, depending on how our tree is holding up.  This one is great, still takes up water and smells nice.  We had a tree one year that was so great we kept it up (lights only) until mid-January - I just couldn't throw it out.  They're not all like that, and some shed so bad that right after Christmas you want to get them out of the house. 

Anyway, I took all the ornaments off this morning, and all that remains are the lights.  It is still beautiful, but I need to let it go.  I'll be vacuuming up needles for weeks to come.  The cats carry them all over the house since they like to sleep under the tree.

So when do you take down your tree?  Are you motivated to get your house back to normal, or do you carry out the tradition of the 12 Days of Christmas, culminating in the Epiphany?  Whenever, I hope you remember to recycle.  It's good for all of us.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Winter Weather, Winter Food

Hi.  Just more ramblings today.  I thought I would start with the local weather report.  We have the first Winter Storm Watch of the season for tomorrow and Saturday.  There is apparently a big blow coming up from the Gulf.  The moisture will come up and collide with the cold air here, and poof...Snow!  Like many of these forecasts, things change and we end up not getting anything, so as usual I'll believe it when I see it.

I'll be staying on top of the forecast and following the progress on the radar.  Now I really don't care for cold weather and the bitter windy days of winter.  However, I have always liked snow, especially long walks like I used to take with my Mom.  We had such fun walking in the woods with the snow clinging to the pine trees.  One time we even took my sled and went sledding down the path made by trail bikes.  It was hazardous to say the least, but thankfully we never crashed.  Alas, those days are gone, and so are those woods.  They are now a housing development with no sign of their former beauty.

Speaking of cold, snowy weather, it is time to break out the soup pots.  Playing in or shoveling snow builds up a big appetite, and soups and stews are a warming, filling antidote for the chilly-willies.  This is where the crockpot comes in handy.  Just toss in a chuck roast, some onions and carrots, flip the switch and you've got a hot satisfying dinner in the making.  What I did the other day was take some of the broth from the roast and made a gravy.  I whipped up some mashed potatoes and it was pure deliciousness on a plate.  A hearty, healthy, homemade dinner can be quick and easy when you let the slow cooker do the work for you.  Dig in, everyone.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Why I Don't Like Shopping at the Mall

Are you a mall shopper?  Do you favor the specialty shops or the high-end department stores?  What trips your trigger about mall shopping?  Is it having all those stores under one roof even though you have to walk at least two miles to see them all?  Not me.  During my teenage years, and through much of my working life, I would shop the mall regularly.  It was a mecca of activity during the holidays, and the huge poinsettia tree was a thing of beauty.  Ah, those were the good 'ol days. 

Now it's a horse of a different color.  You can't walk from point A to point B without being accosted by someone selling something, offering to "lotion" or "perfume" you or wanting to see your nails.  They approach you from their kiosk, "Hey lady, can I ask you a question?"  "NO", keeps walking.  Reminds me of Tiajuana.  Really, I just want to get what I came after and leave as quickly and peacefully as possible.  I don't like being rude, but gee people give it a rest.  If we want to see what you're selling, we'll stop and ask.  Otherwise, just leave us alone! 

After 33 years, I would expect things to have changed.  In some cases not all changes are for the better. 

There are some good sales and deals to be had, though, if you can bear the harassement, the parking, the  traffic and the crowded stores especially around Christmas.  I try to limit it to one visit over the holiday, and that was today, probably the coldest day of the year thus far.  What a joy.  I treated myself to lunch at McD when I was done.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Target "Manufacturer" Coupons...Not Really

Target has issued "manufacturer" coupons with their logo on them, so which are they?  Coupons issued by the manufacturer to be used anywhere or store coupons useable only at Target?  Didn't they used to say "Target" at the top and not "manufacturer", and you could use them with  manufacturer coupons on the same item.  I printed some the other day and one said Target Web Coupon (which I understand to be used only at Target) and the other two said "manufacturer" which I assumed I could use anywhere. 

I used the one for Purina Cat Chow at PetSmart, and the cashier didn't even blink.  Today I tried to use the $5 off 4 Kellogg's cereal at Wal-Mart, and argued up and down with two cashiers that it was a manufacturer's coupon and not Target-specific even though it had the Target logo on it.  That was all they could see, and said they were told not to take coupons with other store names or logos.  They wouldn't even scan it to see if it would work.  I gave up and told her if I wasn't able to use the coupon, I wasn't buying the cereal.

The point is that a store-specific coupon should not say "manufacturer" on it if you can only use it at that store, and that a true manufacturer coupon should be valid any place that accepts coupons.

Anyone care to share their experiences?

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Cheers to You!

A while back, around Halloween maybe, I mentioned our Cheers group, a bunch of friendly, wine-loving folks who get together about once a month to share wine, food and friendship.  I promised to tell the story of how we all came together.  I think it was late in the year 2004, a small wine shop called Carolina Winesellers opened in Lewisville, NC and they specialized in North Carolina wines.  That wasn't all they sold, but it was their primary focus.  This came at a time when, although there were local wineries that had been around for some years, the bulk of the North Carolina wines were just arriving on the scene.  As with most wine regions, it takes a while to get started.  The vines need some maturity  before they produce grapes that make good wine.  We tasted a lot of local wines over the next two years, much of which we found utterly lacking when compared to more mature areas such as Napa, and Europe.  Now, we wanted to support our local wine industry, but  the price point was far above the quality of wine being produced at that time.  That, I am happy to say, is changing.  There are now a number of fine wines being produced around the area. 

Anyway, back to the wine shop.  On most Saturdays there would be a tasting at the wine shop.  The owners are great folks and have become friends,  We would go quite often on Saturday afternoons and hang out around the tasting bar meeting people and talking about wine or whatever else was on our minds.  Unlike most retail shops, occasionally they would host wine dinners, and/or have other entertainment such as live music or movie night.  I think one night they showed Sideways (we'd already seen that, and while we enjoyed it, we didn't feel compelled to see it again).

I guess I should really get to the point.  After about 2 1/2 years they determined that they really weren't "making it".  The shop was essentially breaking even or paying for itself, but not contributing to the family income.  Since they had two boys still in school and were looking at college, they decided to sell the business or close up shop if they found no buyer. They sold wine by the glass and people started gathering there on Friday evenings.  During their last month or so of operation, they decided to have potlucks each Friday night.  Folks would bring appetizers, and buy wine.  We would sit around and get to know each other over wine and food.  Food always brings people together, and add a little wine (or more) since you always got your money's worth at Carolina.

As the days counted down to the close of the shop, we were filled with sadness because we had all come to love the shop and had made friends there.  Memorial weekend in 2007 was the last days of business, and on Memorial Monday, we all got together at the shop for a farewell cookout with hotdogs, hamburgers and everything imaginable to go along side, plus all the wine you could drink (within reason and legal limits of course).  It was on this day that we decided we wanted to stay together as a group.  This was just too good to give up, so we passed around a paper to collect e-mail addresses, and thus our group was born.  I don't know exactly who to credit with giving us our name, but several people remarked that we were like that group on the TV series Cheers.  It stuck!  Our get togethers are referred to Friday Night Cheers, although many times now it's held on Saturdays which is more convenient for some of us.  

Tonight was one of those nights.  Everyone (or couple) brings a bottle of wine and something to eat, either savory or sweet.  It is like the box of chocolates right out of Forrest Gump, because you never know what you're going to get, or who you're going to see.  Not everyone can come every time, but we are die hards and are there pretty much whenever the call goes out.  Tonight there was a selection of dips and crackers, smoked turkey (from Honky Tonk Pig on Jonestown Road), ham, rolls, a broccoli & cheese cornbread, shrimp, chips and salsa, and pecan pie.  I took pecan pie mini muffins that I made from a recipe I found on southernplate.com.  These were a hit, and I brought home an empty plate - always a good sign.  Wine wise, our theme for tonight was Pinot Noir and Gewurtzaminer (is it possible I spelled that correctly?)  There were a lot of Pinots, but I think only one Gewurtz.  There was a tasty Albarino.  Not holding with the theme, but very good nonetheless.  There is no right or wrong at Cheers...it's all good! As always, a good time was had by all, and that is how we came to be.  
Edited to correct spelling - it was a late night!


Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Wine Lover's Club Monthly Meeting

Do any of you drink wine?  Maybe you enjoy a glass with dinner or like to share a special bottle (or several) with friends.  If you do, then maybe you'd enjoy being part of the American Wine Society by way of a local group of like-minded, friendly, wine loving folks known as the Wine Lover's Club.  We started out as the Lewisville Wine Society with meetings held at the former Carolina Winesellers shop in Lewisville.  We were soon the largest chapter in NC with 40+ members, although our numbers have diminished somewhat in part due to economic times and personal circumstances.  We would love to have you join us for a meeting to see what we're all about, and how much fun we have (you are allowed 3 visits before becoming members).

Here is a little about what went on tonight.  Since it is the week before Thanksgiving, we had the traditional turkey, stuffing and several versions of cranberry salad (made with cranberries, apples and other goodies), which I thought of as dessert since it was sweet.  The official dessert was raspberry brownies.  We were served 4 pinot noirs from California, Oregon and New York.  The objective was to taste each wine with each type of food and determine which we thought paired well.  That is not my strong suit, so I pretty much just enjoyed the food, wine and camaraderie.  I don't know, maybe my palate is just not as fine-tuned as a lot of folks.  I will say that I enjoyed 3 out of 4 wines and thought they went well enough with the food with the exception of the brownie.  I just don't care for a dry red wine with chocolate in most cases. 

In light of the fact that we had hot, tasty food to enjoy, we held the meeting in reverse in that we had our food and wine before attending to business.

Meeting information:
We meet on the third Tuesday of each month at Sociale located at 380 Knollwood Street, Winston-Salem, NC at 7:00 p.m. [update:  this location information no longer valid]


Sunday, November 15, 2009

Saturday in the Park

Yesterday friends and family gathered at Tanglewood Park to celebrate a birthday.  The birthday boy was a whopping 6 years old.  It was a beautiful day considering it is the middle of November, and we were just out of a mini-monsoon season courtesy of Ida.  Birthday-boy's Dad made a wonderful devil's food cake with homemade praline & chocolate icings.  It was rich and wonderful and oh so filling.  It hit the spot and was sure to cure any sweet tooth for miles around.  He claims not to be a cook, but you know when he's in the kitchen there will be something delicious on the table.  BDB's Mom made him a round brownie color wheel cake.  BDB doesn't eat just anything...

We were the only ones not directly related to BDB.  Others there were his grandparents (Dad's side), his other grandfather, his aunt, uncle and two cousins, Mom, Dad and older brother. We watched him open his presents, and play with a radio-controlled car that belonged to his grandfather.  After everyone had had their fill of cake, soda and playtime, we packed up the stuff, and toddled off for a walk to look at the Christmas lights.  I'd never seen the lights at Tanglewood before.  After breaking off and going in separate directions, we all eventually met back up at the cars.  By that time it had gotten dark, and the lights were really pretty.  We made a slow drive out enjoying the scenery.  We decided to forego the pizza we had planned for dinner in favor of a quick dinner out at a Mexican restaurant in Clemmons.  We hadn't eaten at Cozumel in years, but we used to like it a lot. We split a 3-enchilada plate with extra rice and beans.

Not to worry that we were deprived, however we had the pizza tonight. Yum!

Saturday, November 7, 2009

A Veteran's Day Thank You

Wednesday, November 11, is Veteran's Day, and several Winston-Salem restaurants are saying "Thank You" to those who have served our country and those currently on active duty.  

Applebee's is offering all Veterans and active duty military a free entree with proof of military service.

Outback is giving a free Bloomin' onion and beverage (non-alcoholic or a draft beer) with proof of military service.

Krispy Kreme is giving free doughnuts to all Veterans and active duty military.

Golden Corral is honoring our nation's Veterans on November 16 with a free dinner buffet between the hours of 5-9 p.m.  They are doing this the Monday following Veterans Day so as not to conflict with other offers.

This would be a good time to join the special Veteran(s) in your life for dinner (or a doughnut).  See the websites for details.

Charitable Donations Needs for the Winston-Salem Area

This is the time of year when the needs of others should stand out in stark relief against the backdrop of the sparkling Holiday Season.  Too much time, energy and money are poured into "keeping up Joneses" so to speak.  Every Christmas there are ads all over TV for individual "gift ideas" that just one alone, would deplete the holiday gift-giving budget for many.  We are made to feel cheap if we don't give to everyone, right down to the mailman and the trash collector.  Next thing you know we'll be sending gifts to the tax collector for sending out our tax bills.  I guess that is an exaggeration, but not by much.

Now you may say that it is better give than receive, and I agree wholeheartedly.  That brings me to the point of this post.  I have compiled the following list of organizations that need our help.  The need is there 365 days a year, but during the Holidays it is much more evident when there are families who have to choose between having heat, food and medications, and are unable to buy even the smallest gifts for their children.

I don't want to sound preachy or self-righteous. I'm not rich or perfect, and I am certainly not pointing fingers, nor am I trying guilt you into digger deeper than you can afford. Only you know what you can do. I just want to bring to the forefront some of the ways in which we can help make Christmas a little brighter for some.  See the end of post for ways to stretch your donation dollar.

This information was gathered from the Seasons Greetings NC website, and this a partial list of organizations and their needs' lists.  For more details and contact information, please visit the website.

Bethesda Center for the Homeless 930 N. Patterson Ave., Winston-Salem, NC 27101, 722-9951.  http://www.bethesdacenter.org

Needed: Cash donations to help pay for winter utilities, such items as socks, ear muffs, first-aid supplies, handkerchiefs, winter wear (hats, gloves, scarves for men and women); toiletries, new or used blankets, bath towels, soap and shampoo. 

The Children’s Home Inc. 1001 Reynolda Road, Winston-Salem, NC 27104-3200, 336-721-7600.   http://www.tchome.org.

Needed: Monetary donations, item donations and volunteers throughout the year. Christmas gifts such as toys, games, sports equipment, clothes for ages 0-18.

Crisis Control Ministry Inc. 200 E. 10th St., Winston-Salem, NC 27101, 724-7875.  http://www.crisiscontrolministry.org

Needed: Canned juice, nonperishable food items for the food pantry, and money. Shampoo, toothpaste, razors, baby products, washing detergent, donations.  

Elizabeth and Tab Williams Adult Day Center (formerly the Senior Services Adult Day Care and Alzheimer’s Center), 231 Melrose St., Winston-Salem, NC 27103, 724-2155.

Needed: Such gifts for clients as women’s and men’s handkerchiefs, gloves, scarves, warm hats, toiletries, shaving items, bingo prizes, socks, hand lotion, craft supplies and colorful seasonal paper supplies for meals and snacks such as napkins and paper plates.

Family Services Shelter P.O. Box 604, Winston-Salem, NC 27102, 724-3979.

Needed: Money and such gifts for women and children as dishes, pots and pans, flatware, glasses, irons and ironing boards; kitchen appliances; towel sets, dishcloths, new pillows, sheet sets, blankets and comforters (twin and full); baby items; sanitary napkins and tampons; laundry baskets, alarm clocks, flashlights, batteries, cleaning supplies, hand sanitizers, car emergency/safety kits, hair dryers, hair products, bedroom slippers, socks, flip flops, underwear, umbrellas, phone cards, gift cards, grocery gift cards, reading glasses (+1.75, +2.00, +2.50, +3.00); new smoke alarms, space heaters, fans and family games/playing cards. Monetary gifts are always appreciated. No used clothing accepted.

Second Harvest Food Bank of Northwest North Carolina 3655 Reed St., Winston-Salem, NC 27107, 784-5770.  http://www.hungernwnc.org

Needed: Food and Food Drives: Canned meats, soups, fruits and vegetables; packaged rice and pasta; canned tomato sauce and stews; peanut butter.

Silas Creek Manor 3350 Silas Creek Parkway, Winston-Salem, NC 27103, 765-0550.

Needed: Hats, ball caps, handkerchiefs, costume jewelry, small games, playing cards, lap blankets, soap, hair products, lotion and wrapping paper. Radios and cassette players.

Winston-Salem Rescue Mission 717 Oak St., Winston-Salem, NC 27101, 723-1848.   http://www.wsrescue.org.

Needed: Underwear, handkerchiefs, socks, disposable razors, flannel shirts, especially sizes extra large and 2X, gloves, deodorant, shaving cream, bath soap and plastic soap holders, toothbrushes and plastic holders for toothbrushes, toothpaste, nail clippers, foot powder and staple foods. Money for Christmas gifts and dinner are needed as well as unwrapped Christmas gifts.

Winston-Salem Rehabilitation and Health Care Center  1900 W. First St., Winston-Salem, NC 27104, 724-2821.

Needed: Donations of lotions, jogging suits, Kleenex, socks, clocks, throws, large-print books and word-search puzzles are needed.

As you can see, there is a wide variety of needs to be met.  Topping the list are cash, food, toiletries and personal care items, and winter clothing.
 
For all you "couponers" out there, here is where you can use your money-saving skills to build up donation boxes, bags, baskets, or unload some of your bounty from recent bargain hunting.  If you are new to the whole coupon-clipping, rebate-seeking concept, there are several good sites that have coupon/sale matchups, and they give you the heads up on where to get the best deals.  The more you give, the more you get, and the more you get, the more you can give.  Hip to Save and Southern Savers can get you started in the right direction. 

You may want to bookmark this post to refer to as you make your shopping list, and as always, please feel free to share your ideas and experiences.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Time Out For Lunch

I took time out for a long lunch today with a friend from exercise classes at the Y.  We met a few years ago while waiting in the hall waiting for our class to start.  She had just moved back to North Carolina from Switzerland.  We do a lot of the same classes including Zumba.  If you haven't heard of Zumba, it is half dance and half aerobics done to Latin-style music

Anyway, we get together occasionally for lunch, and today it was La Botana, located just off Hanes Mall Blvd. about a block from Jonestown Road.  It is a small place with friendly staff, good service and very tasty food.  They serve up a variety of Mexican fare.  We both had the chicken enchiladas verde.  Tender chicken rolled in tortillas covered in a piquant verde sauce, served with rice and salad on the side.  I can't elaborate on the rest of the menu, as the lighting wasn't great and I didn't have my glasses, but if this is any indication of the rest, it is definitely worth a return visit.

It was nice to just sit and talk for a while and a great way to de-stress in the middle of an otherwise busy week.  If you like good Mexican food, and you haven't already tried La Botana, you should check it out.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

There's a New Restaurant in Town!

Let's celebrate the grand opening of Senor Bravo, located at 241 S. Marshall Street in Winston-Salem (former South By Southwest location).  Senor Bravo is owned and operated by the same folks who run Las Estrellas on Silas Creek Parkway.  I understand there is about a 60% overlap between the two menus, and the larger kitchen at Senor Bravo will allow a wider variety of authentic Mexican fare.

While I haven't had the chance to eat there yet, I've read good things about it, and I'm looking forward to checking it out.  To make it even more tempting, there is a coupon in today's Winston-Salem Journal good for 15% off on your next visit.  Please leave a note in the comment section if you go.  I'd love to pass the word!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Junk Mail Is Not Trash!

How many of you get a mailbox full of unsolicited ads, catalogs, credit card applications, etc.?  The other question is what do you do with it?  Do you just toss it, unopened, in the trash?  Do you sort out the personal, financial stuff, and trash the rest?

I know it's a pain to process this unwanted barrage of junk mail.  Opening, sorting, shredding (we're all aware of identity theft) and recycling.  Did you know you can even recycle your shredded material?  Just place it in a bag that can be secured so it doesn't blow out.

Not only does recycling save space in our landfills and conserve our natural resources, it helps conserve energy, water and cuts down on air and water pollution.  We have but one planet, and its resources are not without limit.

The goal for paper recycling is to recover 60% of paper consumed by Americans by 2012. 

For more information on recycling, Paperrecycles.org has a section on frequently asked questions and other recycling facts, and Curb to Consumer has videos on paper recycling.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Recycling 101

It is recycle day in our part of the city, and as I drove by the many bins at the street, I noticed that some people still do not understand how to recycle. Here are some guidelines:

Just because an item is marked with the recycle symbol doesn't mean you can put it in the bin.

Paper goods consist of newspaper, junk mail, office paper, phone books, chipboard and corrugated cardboard.

All paper goods must be separated from the commingled items.  Use 2nd bin or brown paper bags to hold the paper.

Commingled items consist of glass, plastic, aluminum and steel.

Metal and plastics lids must be removed, and container must be rinsed.

Items such as pizza boxes, deli containers, margarine tubs, and waxed paperboard such as frozen foods come in are not recyclable.

Do not put items in the bins in plastic bags.  The exception is shredded paper, which must be tied.

Break down all chipboard (like cereal and soda boxes) and cardboard.

See Recycle Today's Frequently Asked Questions for more information on how to recycle.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Christmas in October?

What's this, Christmas in October?  It's not even Halloween and already stores are getting their Christmas stuff in.  Early marketing can make us tire of the holiday season before it even arrives.

In this case, however, I'm talking about people in need.  Our senior population, who have given so much throughout their lives to their families and their communities.  This is one small way in which we can give back.

Senior Services of Winston-Salem has a Senior Stocking campaign where they collect items for seniors for Christmas.  This is a worthy program, and we, especially couponers, can make a difference in the lives of these people.  If we just go through our coupons and match up to several items on their holiday wish list, or look through our stockpiles, we could make a valuable and much-needed contribution this holiday season.


Gifts may be delivered to:  2895 Shorefair Drive, Winston-Salem, NC  27105

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Recycle Plastic Bottles - It's the Law Now

Effective today, all plastic bottles such as water, soda, detergent, milk, juice, etc. must be recycled.  These items are banned from the landfill going forward.  Here is an excerpt from the city's website:

The city’s curbside recycling program accepts all plastic bottles that have a neck smaller than the base or widest part of the bottle. It does NOT accept bottle caps or tops; antifreeze, pesticide, motor oil or other hazardous material containers; containers that are not bottles, such as deli or yogurt containers, margarine tubs, or flower pots; plastic bottles that are not marked with the recyclable symbol; wide-mouth prescription bottles; plastic bags of any type; plastic wrap, or Styrofoam.  For more information about recycling go to the Recycle Today web site.

I urge all of you to please recycle these items.  North Carolina has several facilities that turn used plastic bottles into new ones.  Another plant makes carpet from plastic bottles.  This will benefit us all by reducing our dependence on foreign oil (plastics are made from petroleum) and providing more jobs by increasing production in our recycling facilities.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

It's All in the Name
(How I Named my Blog - Part II)

Hours, days, weeks, endless searching for just the right name.  What do I want to write about?  Will I be able to come up with good content?  Will I be consistent about posting?  All good questions, and no perfect answer (see previous post on the quote of the week).  Everything I thought of was either taken (the good ones always are), or it didn't describe what I had in mind.  I wanted to write on a variety of topics, but still it needed focus and direction.  I bounced ideas off my husband, and he would say that sounds like....OK, so I would switch gears and take off in another direction.  How about this?  Oh, that sounds like...  Frustration was setting in and I asked if I was just trying too hard.  Probably!  When you find the right one, you'll know it.  Well, guess what?  He was right, and roses2rainbows was born.  It springs from the evening spent at Reynolda Gardens, a walk among the roses and the rainbow we saw when the sun came out.  Good times, good friends, makes the world go 'round, and helped name my blog.

Friday, September 25, 2009

The Wines of North Carolina

Michael Hastings, from the Winston-Salem Journal, writes a series of wine reviews of called "Uncorked - North Carolina Wine of the Month".  Today's edition features McRitchie Winery and Ciderworks in Thurmond, NC.  The featured wine is the 2008 McRitchie Chardonnay Foggy Mountain Vineyard.  Go here for the complete review.

I haven't had the opportunity to taste this wine yet.  If you have, please share your thoughts in the comment section.

This wine is available locally at City Beverage.

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