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About KarenNC

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    Amateur Bee Keeper
  • Birthday January 10

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  1. Thanks for the additional suggestions. I forgot to add that I also have access to BJs.
  2. Yeah, that's what I'm afraid of, particularly with kids. The turn out is pretty low right now, so trying to make it appeal to as broad a base as possible. It looks like Krusteaz does a gluten-free as well. Anyone tried that one? It'd be good to have that as well. I know one family who does gluten-free did it last month and brought a separate griddle to do those.
  3. Thanks, it looks like they're in the area. Would the buttermilk one be the safest bet for a large group? I personally like whole grain versions of basically everything, but I'm a bit concerned it might not be as popular as one made with regular flour for those who don't do whole grain regularly?
  4. What's your favorite just-add-water pancake mix commercially available in the US that isn't Aunt Jemima? We make ours from scratch at home on the rare occasion we have pancakes, so I'm not up on the various brands. Because it's being served to the church family, I'd rather it were commercial so that anyone with food concerns could easily check the ingredients. I need to feed about 10-20 (along with regular and veg sausage and fruit), so a regular package is fine, doesn't have to be industrial-sized. I have fairly easy access to Walmart, Target, Trader Joes, Harris Teeter, Publix, Aldi, Lidl, Food Lion, and Lowes Foods. We've started having a monthly pancake supper at church and I've offered to buy the pancake mix in an effort to find an alternative to the Aunt Jemima mix that one of our younger members has been using. I know that they changed the logo back in 1989 so she probably doesn't realize the context, but there are still plenty of us around who grew up with the "Mammy" image and all the negative connotations for that. In a church that is working hard to try to address issues around race and white supremacy, it sends the wrong message, IMO, at absolute best a tone-deaf one. Thanks!
  5. KarenNC

    How long do you keep your cars?

    The property tax is in addition to the tag fee and in NC is paid to the DMV along with your registration renewal. In NC, we also have to pay personal property tax on boats, motors for boats, jet skis, motor homes, campers, RVs, unregistered vehicles and motorcycles, planes, hot air balloons, helicopters, mobile homes that don't count as real property, trailers (tagged and untagged), and blimps. Looks like an antique tag wouldn't necessarily get one out of property taxes in NC
  6. KarenNC

    How long do you keep your cars?

    It's not just those with large families--we only have one kid, but it's still making a virtue out of necessity since we've been a one mid-level income for the last 18 years, and are trying to help our daughter through college. It was a voluntary choice, but does have certain consequences. Frugality is the only thing that's made it at all possible.
  7. KarenNC

    How long do you keep your cars?

    We replaced my husband's 2005 Matrix this year at about 260K because, in addition to a/c that couldn't seem to be repaired, lots of bad body dings, and bits held on literally with zip ties, it started leaking exhaust into the passenger compartment. We bought a six year old Prius V, as he has a long commute daily. We now use this one for any trips out of town. My car is a 16 yo Camry with a bit over 230K. It's running (knock on wood!), though the headliner is falling down, the paint is failing, and only one speaker still works.
  8. KarenNC


    I've been seeing reports since at least Saturday from the local TV meteorologist I follow on FB here in NC and it's been showing up in my Google newsfeed. I don't have regular TV or cable, so can't really compare, but I am not surprised to see less media coverage here, since our main impact will be some heavy rain for a little bit, but I would expect more in Florida. I know I was actively constantly seeking out the latest updates on Florence because of potential personal impact, which would skew my perception of how much coverage was out there. I agree that I think that the speed it's developed could be a factor, since it was only updated to a hurricane yesterday. Keeping my fingers crossed for the schools that are closing in Florida. My UNC-Wilmington student just started back to class yesterday after a month out due to the evacuation from Hurricane Florence (her last class was Sept. 10), and there is still one part of housing that isn't usable so there are still a good number of students displaced.
  9. KarenNC

    Wool dryer balls at Trader Joe's

    We've been using wool balls for a few months and my husband (who does most of the laundry) feels it makes for a shorter drying time.
  10. We did the same thing here in NC. These were Christmas cookies, and we had one bowl of sugar dyed green and one red, so that the cookies could be stamped with our choice of colored sugar using the glass, though you had to dampen the glass first so the sugar would stick.
  11. KarenNC

    advent calendar?

    We sent our daughter back with a Halloween countdown calendar from the Vermont Christmas Company via Amazon (had planned to mail, but she just went back after a month-long evacuation due to the hurricane). They have a lot of different types of Advent calendar options for Christmas--treasure box, greeting card, fabric, chocolate, stickers, etc. She's a freshman, so I haven't done a Christmas one for school yet. I do have a box with a mini tree and tiny ornaments/lights I got in the after Christmas clearance last year that I'll be sending back with her after Thanksgiving. Inspired by Target's 12 Days of Socks calendar, last year at home I did a sock Advent "calendar". My daughter generally wears mismatched low cut socks, so I went to Old Navy and Forever 21 and bought 12 pairs of cute socks, separated them, and put them in a bag. She pulled one sock a day out. You could wrap the socks and put in a box or mix and match with other items. This year I'm looking forward to the Aldi cheese calendar ? but I'm not sure that is easily shipped. Two years ago we did a makeup Advent calendar from Nyx with mini lipsticks and eyeshadows. If that sort of thing might be of interest, search "beauty advent calendars 2018" and you'll find them in a variety of prices from various companies, some including skincare and other items. Some will be the full month, some 12 days. Ulta had some half price last year on Black Friday. Since she will be home in mid-December, you could include a "coupon" for some of her favorite holiday activities to be redeemed when she gets home (along with whatever treat). Comfort items for during exams would be a nice touch for the early days. Duncan Hines has a tasty line of single serve microwave mug cakes this year which only need water added. Each box has 4 packets, so you could mix and match flavors. We tried the Betty Crocker ones and a Dr. Oetker one, but liked DH the best. Haven't tried the Ghiradelli ones yet, but I'll bet they're really good. Does she like tea or cocoa? Packets of those would work well and be relatively easy to mail. Check the after-Halloween candy clearance. Not all of the candies/food have specifically Halloween packaging, and the individually wrapped small sizes are ideal for stockings and Advent calendars.
  12. KarenNC

    I need a super easy potluck item

    Marzipan. Hot dogs and sausages are technically in their own tubes. If you consider a tube to include anything in a cylinder, you are home free---most canned/jarred foods, Pringles, some candy, cookies, etc. ?
  13. We're in NC. My daughter wanted a smaller to mid-size school, within driving distance of home, shooting for one where her stats put her in the top 10-20%. She investigated a ton of schools and we made visits to many of them (several more than once), but she narrowed the list for applications to: Roanoke College, Catawba College, Lenoir Rhyne University, Appalachian State University, UNC-Greensboro, UNC-Wilmington, UNC-Charlotte. She applied to the honors colleges at all but Roanoke.
  14. KarenNC

    Spelling for gifted learner

    I found that Spelling Power worked well for my daughter. It's set up to let the student work only on words they don't know and move at their own pace. I liked the placement test rather than grade levels to find the point to start, and that it was just one book for multiple grade levels.
  15. KarenNC

    I need a super easy potluck item

    Well, for a party last night, I took a summer sausage, cracker cut cheese, box of assorted crackers, container of spinach dip, container of caramelized onion dip, and some chips. We have to travel an hour to get to the party and had a couple of errands to run first, so I stuck the cheese, sausage, and dips in a small cooler bag with an ice pack. Trader Joes had out frozen mini-meatballs cooked in apple cider jam and sriracha sauce out for tasting yesterday and it was quite good, though I might lessen the sriracha a bit for a party with kids. For fall, mixing their pumpkin butter with softened cream cheese and serving with the ginger cats cookies, ginger snaps, or apple slices is tasty. Costco's mini brownie bites are really good, or bake your brownies in a mini muffin pan. I like smaller servings of desserts for a potluck since folks like to try several. I've even bought inexpensive pizza and cut it up into small squares a couple of times. Unfortunately it's past watermelon season, as that is one of my go-to for potlucks when they're available. Makes a ton, cheap, and easy.
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