Getting the best ice cream

Life is full of nuances and small ways to get the best things possible.  The saying and ideas that the little dive shops are sometimes the best in the town are many times true.  I would imagine that the same goes for ice cream as well. 

At least in my local towns that I have lived in it was always the small place that never seemed to close down that was the most popular.  Back in my past I can attribute this to brand loyalty and also to astounding service.  The service I always received at those places was what always won me over. The first place was called Frosty Boy

Frosty Boy was a small shop located in the country.  The town was so small you could drive through it in 2 minutes and it mostly was frequented by individuals needing gas.  But there was a small store in the middle of the town that drew more people than gas on most summer nights and that was Frosty Boy.  They sold some of the best ice cream in the State.  The reason why was because they offered the best flavors of all the candy boxes imaginable.  They would literally take the candy boxes of all your favorite brands and line the windows of where you ordered with them.

  That away you could point to and pick which flavor you wanted in your ice cream.  The best part was each size was always twice as big as the competitors size.  If it was a cone a small was a medium and a medium was the equivalent of the competitors large.  The large sizes were super size and were almost always way too much.  But the best part was that they did all this with the most competitive prices in the State.  I image that they had a really good supplier and with all the foot traffic that they brought in they were able to survive very well and be profitable but wow was it impressive.

The next best place is located in my current town and they are smack dab in the middle of the city. They are a walk up ice cream shop and are open year round.  What sets them apart is that they seem to have the best flavors of any other ice cream shop I have had to date.  The flavors are all custom and each one is unique. All I can say is that the hidden gems are simply that. Gems!

Home Ideas for Quarantine

This year I found myself at home for the last 8 weeks. It was not by choice and as a matter of fact it was not for any personal health reasons. And no I was not fired either.  The reason I am at home is because of the Covid-19 Pandemic that has spread across the world.  The state I live in created unconstitutional laws that forced me to not go to work.  My job was labeled not vital enough to go to work for.  So I have been at home and it has actually been rough.

Physically my body was really struggling due to not having my work gear at home.  So I have had to improvise to create a work environment that is capable of going to each day.

At home I do not have my own desk.  I started out working from my couch and with a laptop computer.  This was workable for several days until my back began to hurt.  It started at a slow pain that was manageable and I started working out more thinking I just needed to keep moving.  Instead it began to get worse and my back pain turned into my sciatica nerve shooting pain all over my body.  It turns out this was due to the couch not providing enough support.  So I spent a week on medication to lessen the swelling around my nerves. 

From there I went on a journey to find a better way to work.  I brought in kitchen chairs into my living room and created a makeshift desk and sitting chair.  I found that my wrists started to hurt after days of typing because the keyboard was not at the proper height.  I then decided to grab some games which are made from cardboard boxes to prop up my laptop and mouse. 

This eliminated my wrist issues and my back slowly started to become more comfortable as well. From there I actually used side tables to put my cardboard boxes and computer on.  This allowed me to pull my chair up under it and make it a very small and mobile desk.

The mobility allowed me to then put it all back after work was done.  This gave me the psychological break I needed between work and home that I was also struggling with. Work cannot go on all the time and need not be thought about at all times of the day especially from home.  So be adaptive and safe as you are trapped at home too.

Cake and Candy

Ever since I was young I really liked making food.  I think it came from my Mom because she was always baking.  A little bit of my passion came from my Dad as well since he would always make breakfast in the mornings. Both of my parents were happy to let me tag along and make breakfast or bake with them and I found it to be fun most of the time.

Candy Dish Layered Cake

  Either way it sure was a great way to spend time with them and that may have been the base of the foundation for it on both ends.  Taking the love for making food I actually have continued to do it and found out some great things.  One of my favorite things was the ability to make a candy cake.  It is really a pudding cake which involves any of your favorite candy boxes dn some other good things as well.  Let’s go through how to make one.

The first and most important part of the whole process is having a giant bowl.  I mean a popcorn sized bowl which is at least 1.5 feet wide more like two feet wide and a foot deep.  If you don’t have one when you go to the grocery store to get your candy boxes and cake mixes you need to pick one up.  The heart of the candy cake is to be able to layer it all in one place and it takes a lot of space to be able to do that.

Next you need ingredients.  So head to your local store and follow social distancing rules.  What you are looking for is two boxes of chocolate jello pudding and two boxes of chocolate cake mix.  Then make sure you have the eggs and milk on hand to be able to utilize those mixes.  Then and most important is to pick you favorite chocolate candy.  For me this is reeses peanut butter cups. Grab a whole bag of them because you will need it.  Then get two bowls of whipped cream.  That is all you will need.

Now when you get home, bake both boxes of chocolate cake in separate pans. Then set them aside to cool.  Make the two packets of chocolate jello pudding and get them ready in a bowl. Now cut the cake into small cake piece squares and make a layer in the popcorn bowl. Then spread a thin layer of jello pudding and whipped cream on top. Then add some reese peanut butter cups. And after that keep layering in the same fashion till the bowl is filled. Then on top just put the rest of the pudding and whipped cream and place reese cups on top. Yum, enjoy your easy breezy beautiful candy cake. 

Facts about The use of Cardboard

The world has become increasingly smaller and people are now able to get items from all across the word.  This has been marvelous for economic reasons and allowed many places in the world to thrive where their local economies would not allow it. It has also had some detrimental effects on different areas including the environment. 

In particular the use of cardboard has been increasing not only in the last few years but centuries.  It was created in the 17th century and slowly become the leading item for packaging supplies in the world. The United States per household throws away roughly 13,000 separate cardboard boxes every year.  That number will most likely increase due to the covid 19 pandemic.  Now since most Americans are forced to stay at home we are ordering more from online stores and being shipped our items in cardboard boxes. It has become possibly its own pandemic in a way due to the excess amount made and the inability to dispose of it properly.

A fact that will blow the average individuals mind is that the amount of energy used to create cardboard.  If the amount of cardboard that was thrown away each ebay was instead used to heat houses. Then 50 million average households would have the energy to heat their homes.  That amount is staggering and it shows that we spend more on creating cardboard then we most likely should.  In the United States alone we throw away 850 million tons of paper and cardboard. 

That number is staggering to me and what that really means is that 1 billion trees were mostly likely cut down to create that amount of waste.  This means that the average American uses 7 trees all on their own just in paper waste. For me personally that would mean I would cut down every tree on the property I own in one year.  This for myself would be unsustainable because it would take 40 years to get my trees to grow back to the same size and that number and time involved is hard to wrap my mind around. 

The amount of waste we are creating and the amount of energy we are spending to create that waste is most likely not sustainable.  If we could instead recycle every amount of paper we might be able to slow the degradation of our tree population down. This at the very minimum should be what we all due.  So keep in my the need to recycle and try to do so with your paper products.

Shopping in the Grocery of 2020

Looking around things don’t look like they have changed. I look out my backdoor and I still have a yard.  When I go onto my front porch I still see neighbors walking in my neighborhood.  We wave and say hi, but I have noticed a trend. It is almost like its halloween night and everyone is tricker treating.  Everyone is wearing a mask.  The children playing basketball only with their family members, are still wearing masks.  The neighbors from down the block are walking passed my driveway and waving wearing medical masks or home made flannel masks.  COVID-19 has struck and the biggest difference is at stores.

Driving anywhere feels like a ghost town.  So many stores are closed and only large chain stores are  allowed  to be open.  The parking lot is packed full of people and there are lines to get into the store.  It is as we went into a communist state.  Lines and people telling you where you can go.  When you get into the store many sections are roped off and you have to tell someone want you want to go get it for you. I don’t see the point if someone is directly going to touch the candy boxes I pick out and ask them to get.  The chance of getting the COVID-19 virus is still the same if the same person who gets my candy boxes give and received to 1000 other people on the same day.  There are rules upon rules for a virus that has barely even effected my area.

 Thousands of people have died from Heart Disease and Cancer in my city in the last week, but they simply don’t matter.  Only the 10 that have been infected by COVID-19 matter.  Nursing homes are losing people to other illnesses at an alarming rate due to their lockdown and people not being allowed to live even a semi normal life.  They are totally alone and away from families and my relatives who are being kept from us are struggling. 

 These are my thoughts as I am walking through the store.  I get back to my car and have hand sanitizers wipes and regular hand sanitizer and go over all of my groceries.  It is honestly hypocritical of me because there is still such a low chance that COVID-19 is on my groceries. There is even less of a chance that it will matter. I am a healthy middle aged male and it would only be like getting the flu. Shopping is no longer fun and I hope things get back to normal fast.