Thursday, August 23, 2007

Furniture Under Pressure?

After a year of searching, the china hutch that we ordered was delivered on Saturday. From across the room, I love it. It's elegant--I love the curvy wooden thingies on the doors, it matches the table, it could hold all the glasses that have been in storage since our wedding. It's fabulous.

But, like many things, when you get a little closer, you start noticing

little pock marks all over. Some aren't even so little. Without admitting REALLY publicly what we spent on this item, let's just say that we are MUCH closer to a free flight with Southwest Airlines right now. For that amount of money, we're thinking we'd like to make our own dings in the thing.

Even thought I don't generally follow such things, even I realize that the "distressed" look is very big, though in my naiveté, I did not realize there was a subcategory called "distressed formal." While I will admit that hosting formal parties might be a bit stressful, I'd like our furniture to be able to take it in stride.

A gent from the store will be arriving on Saturday to either make arrangements to replace it or to take it back. Being so obviously not "with it," I did not know I should specify that I would prefer the non-beaten look. We will make sure we ask in the future.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Crock Pot 37, Toni 0

I love the idea of slow cookers: an appliance making dinner while I am at work. Walking in the door to the wonderful aroma of a home-cooked meal. Knowing that when I get home from work, all I have to do is set the table.

This is the fantasy.

The reality:

Toni puts a frozen roast in the slow cooker on low for 8 hours and leaves for work. Andy gets home to find a large dog's chew toy in the slow cooker with 2 hours left to cook. While Andy is willing to attempt to consume anything Toni fixes, Toni is not willing to shoe leather and orders pizza for them.

Toni tries her favorite soup recipe in the slow cooker. Four hours later, the mulligatawny is lukewarm and the vegetable are only starting to soften. It's crunchy soup for lunch--and not in a good way.

A slow cooker recipe book suggests a chicken and rice dish, and following the directions exactly, Toni puts the rice and chicken in and leaves for work. She is greeted by chicken breasts in rice pudding. She calls it "British Cuisine" and serves it anyway. Desperation is, if not the mother, at least the great-aunt of fiction.

Thinking she has this figured out now, she puts the chicken in the slow cooker but asks Andy to add the rice when he gets home, leaving it two hours to cook before dinner. In a splendid show of nonconformity, this time the rice stays crunchy until 9:00 PM. Toni apologizes for the disparaging remarks she made about the inventor of the crockpot--she realizes he probably does not do things simply to "mess with people's heads."

Toni starts to develop a tick above her left eye every time she sees the works "easy" or "convenient" in reference to the slow cooker. While not ready to admit that she's getting her tail kicked by a kitchen appliance, she is willing to admit that they may need some time apart, and perhaps a little precooking counseling. In the meantime, she intends to see more of the cute little ice cream maker she found in the back cupboard.....

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Mystery Revealed!

It's a wing.

OK, only one side is a wing.

The Mystery Stole's theme is Swan Lake, and the black stoles represent Odile, the daughter of the evil sorcerer, Von Rathbart, who turned the princess Odette into a swan in the first place.


I love ballet, took lessons for 10 years, and love Tchaikovsy's music. I love knitting and new challenges, and am so hooked on the beaded lace idea that I've been half tempted to add beads to everything I'm working on, which worries Andy as one of the projects is a sweater for him and while he may admit to being more in touch with his "feminine side" than most men, beaded clothes seem to fall in the "When He__ Freezes Over" category. HOWEVER, I now have a mostly-finished stole with, though it isn't supposed to be one, a rather evil-looking face on one side, and what will be a wing on the other end, representing an evil ballet character. It may be just me, but does that strike anyone else as being not very high on the gift-giving possibilities???

Our youngest cat, Prometheus (Theo for short), has apparently been so thrilled with the whole wing concept that he brought a small bird on Saturday, which he immediately released in the sewing room, and which my loving husband caught after racing up the stairs to see why his wife was shrieking like a banshee. Not to be outdone, the other cat, Calisto, promptly presented us with a grasshopper. Guess which cat received the catnip.....:)

Fall! Finally!

Even without extremely hot summers, I've always loved fall.  A little coolness in the air, leaves starting to turn, sweaters coming out-...