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Hunting and gathering gives way to cooking

Three of my favorite pastimes are shopping (a/k/a hunting and gathering), cooking and hosting small dinner parties. As I’ve not yet pursued virtual social engagements, this past week focused on the first two.

Having discovered ample supplies of toilet paper at a Walgreen’s near me and being well-stocked with hand sanitizer and disinfectants, I turned my attention to food shopping—which led to an enjoyable experience late last week.

Having decided to shop at Costco, no wait, Sprouts, no wait, King Soopers, no wait, Target, no wait…I finally relented on hunting/gathering at all. By the time you go through the store’s social distancing protocol and spray down everything purchased, it’s becoming quite an ordeal.

So, I turned to cooking instead. I made a game out of it. First, I gathered up pretty much everything left in my pantry and refrigerator and decided to create as many dishes as possible on the fly. This would minimize the need to hunt/gather for a few more days and spur creativity along the way.

Three hours later, meat loaf, a zucchini-based “pasta” and meat concoction, peanut satay chicken, tilapia and green bean medley were prepared. It was not only great entertainment and distraction but proved once again how resourcefulness can result in some truly tasty dishes.

There was, of course, the usual kitchen cacophony to get there. What can I say? It’s part of the creative process, and also led to a “creative” cleanup.

Also new on this week’s to-do list:

  • Exploring a small, little-known wetlands park near here, discovered by my best friend Fran last week. Sounds like a bit of heaven amid the hustle and bustle of everyday living. And, there are ducks, ducks, ducks—which led to some research about their sex lives based on a comment made by a park visitor. If you’re looking for a chuckle or two—and a distraction—Google it! 😊
  • Going to Costco, maybe. My reportorial nature led to finding out that the second lowest shopper store in Colorado is in the metro area. Fewer people means easier navigation and, hopefully, less waiting. What can I say? I’m having Costco withdrawal.
  • Researching streamed exercise videos that can add to exercise diversity. Daily walks are great, but I want to change it up a bit. (I thought about buying some old-fashioned roller skates, but am on hold for the moment.)
  • Making the 8 PM “howling” event a regular—if not nightly—interlude. In case you’re not aware, people are coming outside and howling for a few minutes at the appointed time every night. I don’t know if it’s just a Colorado thing, but it’s hilarious and worth at least a few laughs.
  • Moving forward on my podcasting program currently in testing. Yes, I’m working amid everything else going on—and am eager to conduct more interviews.

Make it a good, productive and discovery-filled week!

Self-administered customer service is especially important right now. Try finding and appreciating people, places and things that give you joy and “customer satisfaction.” They’re all around and plentiful. This is truly an opportunity to explore and expand horizons. Give it a try.

Mark Lusky

Do you have customer service snafus or stellar experiences to share? If so, feel free to comment on this post or email your thoughts to

Author of A Wandering Wondering Jew… and co-author of Don’t Get Mad, Get Leverage,  Mark (aka The Happy Curmudgeon) is the owner of a Denver-based marketing communications firm.

Mark Lusky is a veteran writer, storyteller and author, with 40+ years of public relations, advertising, marketing and journalism experience.

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