Shopping: Plants go round and round; chill out your buffet

It won’t float, but this inflatable buffet can be filled with ice to keep food cold. It’s sold at Bed, Bath & Beyond in Fairview Heights.
It won’t float, but this inflatable buffet can be filled with ice to keep food cold. It’s sold at Bed, Bath & Beyond in Fairview Heights.

I’m having a hard time remembering June. I’m blaming a soggy brain from all the rain. How can the Fourth of July be just a week and a day away?

I spied two items this week that just made me laugh. They are sort of silly, mostly because one has absolutely no practical purpose, and the other is hard to imagine anyone actually using. You decide.

First item: A Ferris wheel for your plants. While working the aisles of HomeGoods in Fairview Heights on Tuesday, it was hard to miss this faux verdigris metal vertical spinner for potted plants. Eight mesh metal buckets for your plants swing from the wheel, which stands at least 5 feet tall. Yes, it actually works. I expect it will be on display for a long time. There was only one and it was priced at $499.99!

One piece of good practical news: HomeGoods is now open until 10 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays.

Second silly thing: The $16.99 InflataBuffet, subtitled “the inflatable and portable salad bar that keeps food fresh.” Its size and shape, 54-by-22-by-4.5 inches, is the only thing that keeps it from being called a swim toy. You blow it up, set it on a buffet table (outside would be best), fill it with ice, then add dishes you need to keep cold. I couldn’t figure out if it had a drain plug, which would be a good thing. Color choices are white or blue-and-white gingham. If you’re interested, it’s sold at Bed, Bath & Beyond in Fairview Heights. Comes in a smallish box hanging on a rack in the middle of the first aisle toward the back of the store.

I spent last weekend celebrating my nephew’s high school graduation in Chicago. We played two of my favorite outdoor games — bocce ball and bag toss —with other family members. Just about everybody I know who has the bag toss game has a homemade set. In case you’re not handy or don’t know someone you can buy it from, Menard’s in O’Fallon has a foldable set made by Triumph Sports USA. It includes two backboards (with three holes), nets to catch the bags and six beanbags. The set also comes with a carrying bag with handles. It’s on sale right now for $16.99, regularly $26.99.

Here’s an outdoor activity that will keep the kids moving: The LED Parachute Launcher ($9.99) from Ben’s in downtown Belleville. It’s a 21st century version of a classic toy that sends a tiny parachute soaring into the air before opening for the descent. This one has a 4-inch plastic skydiver who comes flying out of his tube with a quick flick of the wrist. The colorful parachute — 20 inches in diameter — deploys and the jumper lights up with LED lights while he floats down to earth. The best part? No more strings to get tangled. The single nylon strap guarantees more play time. Best for ages 6-12.

Before summer is out, you may be doing some canning. If so, Old Time Pottery in Fairview Heights has 12-packs of glass mason jars for $6.96 to $8.96.

Talbot’s Red Hanger Sale is going on now through July 12. It happens only twice a year, so take 40 percent off already marked-down merchandise. Look for the metro-east store at The Shoppes at St. Clair in front of the mall in Fairview Heights.

Things Remembered at the mall has more than 500 items starting at $4.99 as part of its clearance sale. You’ll get up to 75 percent off. Deal good through Tuesday.