Friday, December 30, 2011

Kitchen Confidential

The elusive egg poachers.
I love kitchen stuff...any kind of kitchen stuff...but especially unique stuff. I can add the simplest item to my old kitchen and I feel like I've redecorated. So, this week, after the crowds subsided, I took a trip with a friend to a mall I rarely visit - first, to make an exchange and then, to visit stores I rarely if ever go in and, on the top of the list, those 'kitchen' stores. This shopping trip is brought to you by a gift card...yippee!

After taking care of that exchange and a visit to Bath & Body Works, it was onto the 'kitchen' stores...and I was on a mission.   I recently spotted these cool silicone egg poachers in a Solutions catalog and was hoping we would discover something similar.  We struck out at both the Pottery Barn and William Sonoma.  WS had the egg poachers but you had to purchase them with a pan and the entire setup amounted to over $100!  Yikes!   I know I had a gift card but I wanted to make it go a little further than just one pan!
Thermal glass mug, double-side coffee
measure and that crazy spoon that's
also a straw.

This disappointment left us hungry so we stopped at a really great restaurant... McCormick & Schmick's Seafood Restaurant - blackened catfish, steamed rice, broccoli, and curly onions for just $10.  Excellent!  Fortified, we continued our quest.

Bright Red!
Through a drenching rain, we made our way to an area adjacent to the main mall and found Crate & Barrel.  This was the first time I had been in this store (yes, I know, I've been sheltered!) and we went nuts.  Eureka!  They had two types of poachers - silicone and non-stick metal.  At $3.95 each I went for the non-stick.  With my gift card warmed up, I grabbed a shiny new coffee measure, two long-handled spoons that are also straws (wonderful for iced tea), a lidded basket for the bathroom vanity (to hide a ton of 'stuff'), a bright red thermal carafe (on sale!, for my Saturday morning coffee), a bright red tea pot (on sale!), a hand-blown glass mug (I think it goes well with my French press), and a new kitchen timer (with 3 settings!).

I suspect it will be quite sometime before I set foot in a mall again...I'm not thrilled with the crowds or the prices.  So, this adventure of sorts was just that, an adventure.

Tomorrow morning I will treat myself with two poached eggs and coffee in a new mug poured from a shiny red carafe.  It's a good thing to treat yourself well.  It keeps you happy, it keeps you sane, it gives you strength to carry on.  So, while you are treating everyone around you, make sure you don't forget you.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

What was I thinking?!

Nathaniel demonstrates the fine are of
unwrapping to Uncle Ken.
As we move toward the New Year, I'm thinking of resolutions.  Here is my not go shopping the day after Thanksgiving or the day after Christmas.  For the past 20+ years, I have never gone shopping the day after Thanksgiving.  This day is reserved for putting up the tree, decorating the house, and just getting things in order so I can really enjoy 'the view' through December.  No problem.   So whatever possessed me to go to a store today, the day after Christmas?  Was it the ads and the subliminal message they were sending out in the Sunday papers?  Could it have been the traffic report that I only heard part of telling me that traffic was light.  Hmmmmm, I missed that part where they talked about what was happening around the malls.  Or was it that gift certificate from Santa that was calling out to me like a Siren....spend me, spend me, spend me NOW!
Gift wrap from.....Shop Rite!

Whatever it was, I found myself in the Target parking lot, making my way toward those front doors and the super, stupendous, magnificent bargains inside.  Well, those bargains applied, of course, only to the holiday items and some toys.  After picking up what I originally went in for (a coffee carafe and place mats at full price) I did manage to get into the seasonal section and pick out some really nice wrapping paper for next year.  Then onward to the toy area to grab something for a grandson's birthday next month - 30% off these items.  All in all, it was not such a bad excursion.  Not bad until someone grabbed my cart and everything in it while I wasn't looking!  This - after spending an hour gathering all those items.

Something to keep me warm...a beautiful
shawl from a dear friend.
Well, onward to Shop Rite.  Let the resolutions begin!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Waiting for the joy...

To Ron - Happy Birthday
(12/24/49 - 2/11/04)

There he sits, all of us - waiting for Christmas, waiting for the joy, waiting for the peace.  I have faith we are not waiting in vane.  I'm looking forward to these next few days - to spend with family, to spend alone, to pray, to think.  I sincerely wish you all the best this season has to offer.  May you enjoy the warmth of your family or the kindness of a friend or the peace you may find in quiet solitude.

Merry Christmas!

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Dance fever...

My 40+ year old ballet slippers hang in the foyer.
If someone were to ask me what were the best memories of my childhood, I’d probably say they were the hours spent in dance class. In fact, thoughts of those classes come to mind at least three times a week – usually when I’m on my way home from work and pass by the ballet school across from the office or when I take a moment to glance out of my office window and catch a ballerina pirouetting across the school dance floor. When the trees are bare and the sun has gone down, you can see the ballet class practicing in the building across the street.

Not all the moments spent in class were joyful. There were those awkward painful years when the baby fat was holding on for dear life and I was well into my teens. Or those moments spent standing in the stage wings waiting to perform at the annual recital and you were sure the ribbon you had just sewn onto your ballet slippers was about to break...again.  But, for the most part, the 13 years spent in those slippers were loved and cherished.

All those afternoons when Miss Arlene kept nagging us to stand up straight, put your shoulders back and smile did not go to waste;  and the memorizing of routines and the endless practice was not for naught.  All of that did make a difference; it did have an effect.  I know all the dancers out there with 'dancer's feet' will agree with me.

And now that the ballet days are over, maybe I will take those piano lessons I so longed for as a child.