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Fireworks and sweet potato fries in Lodi

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Posted: Wednesday, July 10, 2013 3:54 pm

Here it is, the Fourth of July, and again a day to stay inside for old people and old cats. Going out is like stepping into a sponge! Great for the garden, though. First Daughter said it even sprinkled a bit in Stockton this AM.

My wish for rain to cool things down is always offset by a concern for what that might mean to various area crops. They are, after all, the basis for the local economy. A hint along the way: ice cubes in outside pet water dishes work wonders.

We have been pretty quiet around here lately, and very grateful to friends and family for helping us through a minor crisis or two. Nothing serious but just some additions to the yoke of daily tasks. The garden has threatened to get completely out of hand: needing more water because of the heat and then growing too fast because of the water. Can’t win for losing!


Still searching for a replacement for Apple Market. Seems to be a case of go here for the best of this and there for the best of that. Discovered Save Mart on Lodi Avenue and liked that. Also, visited the new Curry Farms locale on the north side of E. Turner Road, just past Casa de Lodi, to which area, I was told, the new market’s owners will be delivering. They have a good selection of fruits and vegetables, all grown in the Hughson/Fresno areas. Tony Ferreira is the owner. The lady in charge told me they are soon adding an air-conditioned room for diary products. Well, one way or another we’ll get by, but it’s not like Sell Rite or Apple.

On the subject of food, California Al’s has changed its hours. Now open from 6 am to 2 pm on Saturdays through Mondays, and from 6 am to 5 pm Tuesdays through Fridays. And I’m afraid I really didn’t explain Gary DeGrande’s story very well.. He is, indeed, very much still in Lodi in the areas of catering and concessions. A lot of people got their back hair in a swivit thinking he had left us for good. Take a deep breath and calm down — `t ain’t so.

If you want to have the best sweet potato French fries ever (to me), go to School Street Bistro. And I have heard great things about Cut the Mustard. Have been meaning to get there — if there’s ever time. Far-reaching errands and visits are a little hard to fit in yet. Some day!


Hope everybody’s fireworks sales went well. Of course, as a Legion member, I am pulling for them because all the proceeds will go for overseas troops and returned veterans. For that matter, every group with a booth any year uses its proceeds for good and worthy causes. I’ll cheer their efforts even though personally, I don’t like any fireworks except sparklers. They are silent! So I hope you all kept your pets indoors or sheltered in some way during all the noise.


A little humor to leaven the heat: John Hilscher, sales manager for Marina Boats and Powersports, recently compiled a list of headlines you wouldn’t believe. They were forwarded to me by a friend. Herewith a couple: “Man Kills Self Before Shooting Wife and Daughter” (this is possible?) “Something Went Wrong in Jet Crash, Expert Says” (really?) “Typhoon Rips Through Cemetery; Hundreds Dead” (you don’t say!)


I don’t know why I keep on fighting to get our English language used correctly, except that I think somebody has to so that when current cultural trends reverse (and I pray they will, some day) there may be some guidelines around for those in the dark. Seen lately: “viscously” attacked instead of “viciously” Check out how dangerous a viscous attack just might be!

“baited” breath instead of the correct “bated” breath. (Going fishing?) Icicles hang from the “eaves,” not from “eves,” which are usually times of celebration. No chilly areas there. And of course I will never cease to lambaste all and sundry who use “lay” instead of “lie” when they mean to put themselves in a prone position. To me, that one particular error cheapens the writing in which it is used and weakens my trust in the writer. Harsh words, I guess, but honest. To lay means to place or put something other than oneself; it takes an object.


Interesting people: Recently, at breakfast at Phillips Farms, we ran into Arthur Brogli, also a breakfast regular. He styles himself as a Swiss yodeler who entertains rest home and Alzheimer patients. He adds singalong polkas and waltzes, accompanying himself and his singing audience on the “squeezebox” accordion. What a nice thing to be doing with one’s musical talent.

And then there’s Dr John Lindsey, who has joined the staff at Oakwood Veterinary Hospital in Woodbridge. He is bringing his skills with acupuncture and Chinese herbs to help treat all the aches and pains animals can get as well as humans. Personally, I like that idea rather than giving pets a lot of pills and shots. I have two old cats that may like it, too. Speaking of Oakwood, it is now open after regular office hours some part of almost every day of the week. A boon in emergencies.

And one to end with: There are none so blind as those who will not see. — Anon.

Gwin Mitchell Paden of Lodi is a retired teacher and journalist.

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  • Ted Lauchland posted at 1:05 pm on Thu, Jul 11, 2013.

    Ted Lauchland Posts: 261

    Yes yes I know I made spelling errors such as "be" instead of "been" and "Clever" instead of "Cleaver" and even in this sentence grammatical errors as well. Thank you for noticing. I hope your art of being exact never fades. A lost art is hard to regain.

  • Ted Lauchland posted at 12:53 pm on Thu, Jul 11, 2013.

    Ted Lauchland Posts: 261

    For many years specialty table grape varieties on a small scale were - an after the main wine grape harvest - interesting thing for me to petal to the local independent grocers . As time progressed it became more and more complicated to accomplish and eventually led to non existance on this small scale. Independants were able to deal directly with local growers easier than today. I now notice the commercial put out by Walmart claiming the "local" fame.

    To prove a point once I jumped through the hoops necessary going through Raley's distributor to untimately watch my speciality variety sit next to another well known on Raley's shelf and outsell in comparison .

    The downtown farmers market has be a good source of local produce. Vine ripened goes a long way.

    Concentrating on wine grape quality was necessary and it's associated diversity as I now have a few table grape varieties just to eat personally and several wine grape varieties to do my mad scientist experiments on to be satisfied with and benefit from it's resulting knowledge.

    Too bad that I no longer deal with the independants. I kind of miss that.
    Selrite, Apple Market ,Centromart, Food King and many others had their customers that seem to look forward to when the variety would be coming in as the grocers indicated to me.

    I had even created a plate garnishment demand at the "Cask and Clever" restaurant in Lodi that was something special of sorts.

    Time moves on though as we all continue to seek that special place that we can feel good about. Sometimes regulation is nothing but what I would call counter productive at a point.

    Hope somewhere you will find it again Mrs. Paden (or Mitchell as I once knew you). I haven't seen your children in ages. Say hi for me.


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