1.  No promises we’ll hit forty but I’ll try.

2.  Last night was the first time I cooked dinner in…oh, let’s see…my word, I think it may be since Christmas Eve dinner.

3.  We had leftovers the following day and then illness slowly crept into the house so…y’know.

4.  I picked a relatively easy chili for meal prep reentry — other than chopping onion, mincing garlic, and cutting up chicken the rest is basically dump and stir.

5.  The recipe even calls for pre-shredded cheese. EASY PEASY.

6.  Side note: a TikTok creator recently included “easy peasy” in his Things White People Say series.

7.  Guilty as charged.

8.  Come to think of it, “guilty as charged” was on that list too.

9.  Whoops.

10.  DAMMIT. “Whoops” was as well.

11.  Anyway, let’s call it a win that I only had one little chest tightness episode and didn’t have to sit down at all while cooking.

12.  Baby steps.

13.  This week was my first foray into getting groceries since…well, since Christmas week I suppose.

14.  I’ve been doing curbside pickup for a while now. I was too picky about produce and meat to let anyone else choose them, though, so I’d pop in to pick up those items then grab the rest of my things curbside and head home.

15.  Not this week. This week I planned on keeping my covid-recovering rear end out of any stores.

16.  I threw caution to the wind and requested the whole kit and caboodle curbside. A lot of it made it into the car but there were some weird items missing.

17.  Like carrots. And celery.

18.  I was perplexed. It’s not like they were specifically out of either organic or regular — apparently the whole carrot/celery section was desolate.

19.  There were a couple other soup ingredients I needed for this weekend, though, so I decided to hit a second grocery store yesterday morning.

20.  I just needed a handful of items so I figured I’ll sport my KN95, pop in, pop out, and settle back in at home.

21.  You know what I didn’t factor in? The weekend’s winter storm warning.

22.  I’ll translate that to North Carolina dialect: THE IMPENDING WINTER STORM, Y’ALL. THERE’S A WINTER STORM COMING.

23.  Snow and/or sleet predictions bring out all kinds of NC shoppers.

24.  Like the guy on his phone reassuring someone he’s got ten cases of water but he’ll buy more on the way home.

25.  Plus the woman with a basket piled so high stuff slides off the top as she maneuvers down the aisle.

26.  Then there’s the woman standing in the meat section, dumbstruck. There’s no ground beef. There’s no GROUND BEEF?!

27.  As well as the shopper toting gallons of milk, sugar, sweetened condensed milk, and vanilla because if you don’t make snow cream is it even winter?

28.  All of a sudden my fifteen minute dash in-and-out became a forty-five minute scavenger hunt.

29.  By the time I checked out I’d made progress but was still missing a few things. #$@!%

30.  BrightSide to the rescue.

31.  He’d been at a conference overnight but didn’t bat an eye when I texted “Stores here are pre-snow nuts. Can you stop someplace on the drive back to pick up things still on Cozi?”

32.  Unfortunately for him, his conference was also located in North Carolina so he didn’t escape crazy shoppers but he did find ground turkey so WIN.

33.  Because while some people hear winter storm and think snow cream! I hear winter storm and think mom’s turkey chili!

34.  Anyway, back to my Thursday store run. I found celery then grabbed carrots from a section with only seven bags left in it.

35.  Almond coffee creamers were gone but Coffee Mate’s weird flavors including a bizarre M&M creamer sat front and center. No thanks.

36.  I stumbled onto the last two bags of shredded Mexican cheese; most of the section had been bought out. Big time lucky there.

37.  There was an entire freezer section sitting empty. Was it frozen pizzas? Dinners? Tater tots? Who knows, I just kept it moving.

38.  I actually found bacon at this store, an item that’s been randomly out of stock at my usual place.

39.  As I walked through the store I remembered this feeling from summer 2020, a kind of forced flexibility required for cooking. I hate it just as much now as I did then.

40.  And look, we made it! By 11pm, too. Hope you all have a safe and wonderful weekend.