Saturday, January 30, 2010

A Pretty Good Saturday

I have not left the house today. There are very few days when I can do that and I really enjoy the few I get.

It gives me time to do things like this:

I got to use one of those kitchen tools that I buy and never take out of the package. It was quite fun once I figured out how to use it. I am injecting strawberry jello in these.

Then I took these naked strawberries

and dressed them in chocolate, nuts and coconut.

Oh, my, what a treat they were on this cold winter day!

Earlier this morning I worked on my 3-inch quilt blocks.

and I did a minimum of housework while DH did the grocery shopping (he bought those wonderful berries).

All in all it's been a good Saturday.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Forgive the Subject Matter of Today's Post, But....

Today DH was stacking a new 24-pack of TP on the bathroom shelf. He noticed that it was not stacking quite right and reached behind and pulled out the disobedient roll. wonder.........the back roll appeared to be a half inch higher than the rolls he was stacking. We were outraged to learn that Northern had been so sneaky in charging us more without our realizing that we've been had.

We have no idea how long that roll has been back there, but according to the article below, it's been a long time!

I found this on

Beginning about April 2000, Fort James Paper Company (800-243-5384) reduced the number of sheets in the regular size rolls of its Quilted Northern brand of toilet paper, from 280 sheets to 200 sheets. Not only that, but they decreased the length of each sheet from 4.4 inches to 4.0 inches. Concurrent with this change, they began adding "triple" rolls to their existing "double" rolls and regular size rolls.

The old double rolls had 560 of the 4.4 inch sheets, the new triple rolls have 600 of the 4.0 inch sheets. If you multiply these numbers out, you'll find out that the triple rolls are actually 2% shorter than the old double rolls. The combined effect of these changes is a price increase greater than 50%, assuming that the price per roll remains the same.

2000? We've been duped for the past decade and didn't even realize it!

Maybe it's time to go back to the Sears Robeck catalog...........or we could all print off some of those 1,000 plus page bills in Washington, that no senator or congress person had time to read before voting in. At least they would be useful for something.

If you really want to know the history of TP, go and read this CNN article, entitled "Toilet Paper Belongs to America." I found it quite fascinating.........I learned that the average American uses 57 squares a day...

Now I wonder would that be the old 4.4 inch sheets or the current 4.0 sheets?

Sunday, January 24, 2010

This will surely give you a case of cabin fever in January.

I've been looking through my old deck pictures. As I mentioned before, it's that time of year for me. Last year I did not use my old grill planter. Look how nice the petunias look spilling out of it.

I also did not use any of the wall planters. Maybe I will use them this year -- and maybe not. I do remember how great it was this fall not to have any containers to dump out and scrub clean. I only used the big guys that stay planted and stored as is all year.

Here's a bunch of the big guys, from a few years back. I missed the purple fountain grass last year.
You may recall that I did not buy any extra annuals to add to the big pots. I just used what was already planted. I saved at least a couple hundred dollars from previous years when I bought at least a dozen hanging baskets and many flats of annuals.

Here a collage of last year's deck with the vividly painted new furniture accents and the deck quilts.
I did not paint the bright accents until late August so I didn't really have much time to enjoy it. I can hardly wait to get it all back out--it's still 4 months away.

It seems like last fall I ordered some new bulb from Breck's that does not ship until spring. I can't remember what it was. I will have to go back and check my blog entries so I know what to expect. I hope it's something I really love!

Update: Oh, yeah, it was this pineapple lily:

I will be planting it in a pot on the deck so I can give it lots of tender loving care.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

I Hope the Big Kahuna Does NOT make Me Start Doing this Job

Human bed warmers 'help' Holiday Inn guests sleep

No kidding......this is verbatim from the release:

Guests staying at the London Kensington branch of Holiday Inn will be able to avail of a rather unusual service this week.

Human bed warmers are being employed at the hotel to help guests get a restful night's sleep.

Staff members dressed in all-in-one sleeper suits will be sent to warm guests' beds for five minutes before they get under the covers themselves.

A spokesperson for Holiday Inn said: "People want to leave the cold outside and climb into a warm bed.

"The bed warmers service is a bit like having a giant hot water bottle in your bed, warming it up before guests climb in to give them a great night's sleep away from the cold - of course they jump out before you jump in."

Commenting on the move, Dr Chris Idzikowski, director of the Edinburgh Sleep Centre, said it could help people get a good night's sleep as a warm bed, with a temperature of approximately 20 to 24 degrees, is the ideal environment for rest.

I swear if he starts making me perform this job,I'm out of here!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Is David Using My Rug?

That is the question that has been consuming the last hour of my life.

I was half watching Color Splash with David Bromstad on HGTV as I worked on my Christmas tree skirt quilt. At the very end of the show I caught a glimpse of a rug he used on the outdoor area he is designing. I thought it looked just like the one I bought last year.

By the time I got out my camera, the area with the rug was gone. I just caught a glimpse of it at the very end of the show.

Then I began searching my hard drive for the pictures of my rug. I couldn't find any. I guess I deleted them. I was pretty bummed until I thought to go look on my blog.

Sure enough I had a pic of it.
O.K. I guess his rug is a bit different. At least it appears to be from this picture. Darn! I would get a real kick out of picking the same (cheap) rug as a highly paid designer!

This tree skirt I am making is beginning to be a bore. Each block is exactly the same and I am getting tired of making them. I am only about half done. I hope I get a spurt of energy and finish them by this Sunday. I really need to clean off my ironing board so I can use it to iron some clothes!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

What Happened to Walmart's Broccoli Salad?

Whenever I find something I like, it changes.

I used to love Walmart's broccoli salad. I had some for dinner last night. This is what it looked like:

Here it is in March of '06, when I first posted extolling its virtues. It looks very different from the chopped up mess they sell today.

What happened to the full heads? Now it's mostly small chunks of stem. I used to like the contrasting textures of the stem slivers among the full heads. Now it has carrots in it and the one I had was very strongly flavored by the red onion. The golden raisins were quite sparse also.

They must be saving money. I guess I will have to start making my own.

Our local newspaper is asking for books for some charitable organization. After work today, I pulled a few from my book shelves to donate.

While looking I found a culinary food mystery
that I don't think I have read yet. I am in the mood for a good read. I just hope I don't start reading it and then remember that I have already done so. That would be a real bummer!

Monday, January 18, 2010

To Plant the Arbors or Not to Plant, that is the Question

I spent a bit of time looking through gardening pictures to get some inspiration for the coming season. Last year I did not put anything on my arbor(s). Some years I have really decked them out, but they take a ton of effort to keep watered, deadheaded, etc. so I opted out lsst year.

After looking at a few pictures from previous years,

I am thinking it's worth the effort to plant them to the hilt. I hope I feel the same when June arrives. :)

Friday, January 15, 2010


To celebrate the weekend's arrival, I just popped the cork on my Christmas party hostess gift from Christina.

It is a very fruity and delicious peach apricot Chardonnay from a Michigan winery.

Thank you, Christina! I bet you are probably sipping a Margarita under the hot Cancun sun. You lucky lady!

Today my Mom stopped in to see me at work and brought some gifts.

She was reading my blog about the SC jewelry and brought me a couple more pieces.

This is the brooch that matches the Deep Burgundy ring. Oh, I just love it!

Here's another white enameled brooch that will be perfect for summer.

And she brought me the bracelet from the uncle who went to Greece. Gorgeous! Thanks, Mom.

Earlier in the week, we bought a fresh pineapple that was quite sour, so for dinner tonight, I took it and caramelized it with some bananas. I loved it, but DH did not like warm bananas at all.
I have no plans for the weekend. I really must spend a few hours cleaning. After that it will just be whatever piques my interest. Right now surfing the net sounds appealing, so I am off to do just that!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Out with the Roosters -- In with Sarah

After my last post, Balisha sent me this jewelry link.

Once I got there I was mesmerized by all the vintage bling and went through all 45 pages in a two-hour session. What fun I had becoming a Sarah Coventry sleuth. I found that I owned a number of pieces that I did not even know were SC.

I got out the magnifying glass and jewelry containers and every time I saw something that looked familiar I dug through it all.

I found these pieces right away. I just love that flower petal mesh diamond shaped necklace--never knew it was a SC.
I know I have more, but I didn't get them out.

Ever since I gave up collecting roosters, it's been pretty boring going to thrift stores or garage sales. I think I will start looking for Sarah jewelry -- it's small and inexpensive--many pieces are under $20. My first hunt will be for the matching necklace for this ring. I never knew there was one until I saw it on that site. I tried to order it, but it was no longer in stock. Darn! My mother gave me this ring and she said she has the matching brooch, which is giving me as she never wears it anymore.

While searching for more Sarah, I discovered that it was produced under three marks - Sarah Coventry (first used in May 1949), SC (after Oct. 1953, and Sarah Cov after 1960. There are also many unmarked pieces, which makes for a bit of a challenge when trying to identify the piece.

So thanks, Balisha, for getting me started on a new collection!

Oh, I never did the necklace below. Maybe it's not SC after all. I did find a bracelet that I was thought an old great uncle brought from Greece... LOL. I was way off on that one!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Vintage Necklace

I wore this vintage Sarah Coventry necklace today. At least I believe it is a Sarah piece.

Does anyone remember those in-the-home parties for Sarah Coventry jewelry?

My mom went to few back in the day. I think she gave me most of the pieces she purchased (I hope my sisters aren't reading this or they will whine because I got them and they didn't!).

I must say that the jewelry was very good quality. The pieces I have look as good today as they did when she bought them in the 1960's.

I get compliments almost every time I wear a piece of S.C.

Has anyone ever seen this piece before? I would like to know if it is in fact a SC piece.

Monday, January 11, 2010

The Weekend Zoomed By

I received a gardening magazine in the mail on Saturday. It has me almost in the m ood to start looking through last year's pictures to give me ideas on what to change this year.

I always forget the new things I planted in the fall. I keep a file on the computer with just the new things in it. Usually in February I look through it and get all excited about what will be coming up.

I found this issue lacking in worthy content--even the pics did not do much to inspire.

Every magazine I get goes downhill with the first issue of the new year.

I also did just a bit of internet shopping over the weekend. Last week I threw away a tattered handbag, so I had to replace it.

I love red handbags and have not had one in a while. So I bought one of those.

Then I saw a purple one. I like that color, too. Truth be told, I like just about every color in handbags. This is a nice slim organizing model.

I played around with some quilt blocks this weekend, but did no cleaning or cooking. There is always next weekend for that stuff. :)

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Most Days I Really Like My Job

I know, I know. I just came off a work rant, so now I will balance it with a positive post.

I was so busy today that 9 hours passed in what seemed like two. I had no time to even think about my new glasses, so I guess they must be a good fit and I can see just fine with them.

The first couple of months of the year are very busy for me. All the meeting planners are finished with the holidays and thinking about their meeting and sleeping room needs for the year.

Right now I am working on the final details for a convention for the weekend after this one. That takes a lot of time doing contracts for every little thing they do. I have to get every detail from the sleeping rooms to how many bags of whipped cream they want for their pie throwing event. Then I have to relay all the info to every department in the hotel. If I get something wrong, it could ruin the entire event. So I am on the phone talking to and emailing my contact person all the time.

Today I did 14 contracts for that convention and then redid most of them after the meeting planner made changes to his count and set up needs.

In between I also blocked off rooms & did contracts for two summer weddings and booked a year's worth of meetings twice a month for a service group--24 written entries in the big book and a contract.

I talked to a potential customer for well over an hour -- my ear was actually RED when I hung up the phone--but he booked two meetings for next week so that was good (then I had two more contracts to do!).

I had to do all the computer work for a new hire and worked just a bit on getting all the earned vacations ready for 2010 (remember I am also Human Resources).

You get the idea---my day was BUSY-- but I loved it!

One of my work friends is retiring due to ill health at the end of this week. She has been there over 30 years--started when she was barely thru her teen years. I am really going to miss her. She always has the latest on what's happening in every department. Now I won't know any of the good gossip or what guests she found in amorous positions in the electrical room!

I came home, did one load of laundry and cooked a beef roast for dinner. I just cleaned up the kitchen and am now finished working for the evening.

So how was your day?

New Eye Glasses

Yesterday I got some new glasses with a lot of bling!

I debated whether to go with a boring pair that would match everything or something fun.

I went with fun -- black and pink with 3 glittery gemstones on each side. I love eye glasses as a fashion accessory and wish I had a pair in every color. These won't go with a lot of outfits, but I can still wear my last pair for days when I am not in a pink mood.

Today will be the first day I am wearing these. I hope I like them!

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Welcome 2010

I am happy to report that I did stay awake until the new year came in.

I didn't get very many pictures because it was dark and it's kind of embarrassing when the flash goes off and everyone looks in my direction. :) I assured everyone at my table that I was not getting their faces, just table and hands toasting shots. So you won't see many people, even though there were about 300 attendees.

Isn't this the cutest robot? He was going up and down the corridor as we were all waiting to get into the banquet hall for the NYE party. He would stop and talk and make funny little jokes. I thought it was quite a unique way to keep people waiting in line entertained.

This was our dinner table -- nothing too special about it--just your typical banquet table.

I thought this was a little interesting -- one chocolate confection atop an upside down water glass with a silver bow.
Dinner was steak & chicken Parmesan, garlic redskin potatoes and creamed asparagus.
Dessert was banana split cheesecake.

We enjoyed the band. They were very young, but they played a lot of music from the 70's/80's --DH and I even danced a little after dinner - something we haven't done in a while. I snapped this pic as were we walking in to the room. The band had not yet started.
See all those balloons on the ceiling?

You should have seen the mess when they all dropped at the stroke of midnight and everybody spent the next 15 minutes stomping on them until each one was popped.
I am glad I did not have to clean it up!

I did not end up drinking any Cosmos, but I did enjoy the bubbly...I only had two of these tiny little glasses, so I certainly did not over indulge. It was a good thing I drank so little because I would have hated to miss this sunrise outside my window at 8:15 a.m. on New Year's Day.
What a way to welcome 2010!

Friday, January 1, 2010

Here it is 2010

Wow! Time does fly.

I have had a jean jacket sitting in my closet for over a year. Remember that I told you I never return anything I mail order--too much hassle and by the time I pay postage/handling both ways, I may as well keep it.

This jacket has an annoying ruffle all around the front, right up over the neck and back down to the other side. I think that is why I have never worn it.

So I decided to cut the ruffle off and fray it.

I cut it to about a quarter inch, sliced it every 1/4" and put the jacket inside an old pillowcase (to catch the debris), tossed it in the washer, removed it from the pillowcase and dried it.

After a bit of tweaking it looked like this:

I like it much better now. I think I may actually wear it in 2010.

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