Saturday, February 25, 2017

LLBean Casual Skirts

Since I retired a year ago my wardrobe has completely changed. Gone are the suits and skirts that I wore entirely for the work setting. In comes the LLBean walking outfits made for any kind of weather. I waited a year to see if there are other items that I would still wear - and I never do. I really need to edit the closet again soon. However, some of staples I was lacking were casual straight skirts. I had a couple skorts, but that's not the same as a longer length a line or straight skirt that can be dressed up or down, is good for travel, and errands. So we went to LLBean last week to see how they might fit. Unfortunately they can only be bought on line. I was very hesitant to order any because I'm in between a size 10 and 12 depending on the cut. Twelve is oftentimes too big in the hips, but good in the waist; 10 is good in the hips and tight in the waist. So I gambled and ordered size ten and kept my fingers crossed. They were all on sale, I had a coupon and ended up with three skirts for next to nothing. They are all different styles, and lengths. I have to say they all fit okay - I liked the one with the stretchy waist band the most and they all come with some "flexible" fabric. When you get older, you want to be comfortable -  but not too baggy. So I'm hoping they work out. It's amazing how tatstes change as the decades pass by. Things are getting back to a much more simpler and easier pace.

Friday, February 24, 2017

Target Threshold Indonesia Salt and Pepper Shakers

We left a full set of fine chine and a other set of lovely dinnerware in the Midwest when we moved here. We now have Williams and Sonoma French Apilco Porcelaine salt and pepper shakers that match the white dinnerware pieces. We got this Apilco set when we moved here because our son and daughter in law had the same brand - and we could borrow whatever we neeeded if we needed it. Well, they moved a couple of years ago and that advantage no longer exists. But the salt and pepper shakers were never an issue - except the bottom plastic piece that you need to remove to refill the salt and pepper was impossible to take off. They now look like they've been chewed up. So we have been on the lookout for replacements - they needed to be white and plain. So when we were in target the other day for a few Corelle replacement bowls and Oneida flatware, we checked out the salt and pepper shakers there. Although they are bigger than what we prefer, there was a nice porcelain set from Indonesia under the Threshold brand. What made them even nicer was that the small plastic piece on the bottom comes out without even a slight struggle. So as pieces of our French Apilco chip, they will be replaced with Corelle and Threshold. We are long past making any impressions. These pieces work nicely. Let's hope they last.

Thursday, February 23, 2017

A Costco Run

We always wonder if having a Costco card is worth it with a $55 annual fee.  We haven't been to Costco since late summer, so it was time for another run and decide - again - if we should keep going. We end up shopping there probably twice a year. So we went to the warehouse in Arlington. It was packed - but it was also noon. That's not a good time to go. We always start at the electronics and home end, work our way towards the groceries, and end up by the toiletries and medicines. Some of our favorite items are there and are really worth getting just for the major discounts on Boursin and p'tit basque cheeses. Two huge bottles of olive oil are unbelievably cheap. Some of the products come in such huge volumes it will take forever to use them - but they are daily use items like paper towels, napkins, lotion, and razor blades. Of course the huge pack of Hersey chocolate bars for $21 was the best purchase. Batteries and light bulbs are always needed, and we even ended up with regular paper and photo paper for my printer. I use the photo paper for displaying my digital artwork on my gallery wall at Wagtime. We would have gotten more grocery items but the quantities were just too much for just the two of us. Will we keep our membership? Yes. Is it worth it? Yes. Is it tiring? Yes. Do we still need to go to the grocery store on Saturday? Unfortunately yes. There are just some things that aren't available in the brand we like and the size we need. Maybe I should look at what is available on line. Or maybe not!

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

The Best Seat in the House

No matter where you are, the birds have it made - at least for the best views from on high. From the rooftops, to the treetops, to the light posts - all are great perches for our fine feathered friends. The crow's nest on a ship was named for a good reason. We've seen a hawk viewing us from above from the corner of the Smithsonian air and space museum building. At the Smithsonian gardens the black birds are hanging around the very top taking in the visitors who pass below them. On the gulf coast of Florida the fishy birds hang around the top of the seafood shops and take in the catches of the fisherman near by. And at the pond, they hang around the island away from anything that could reach them by foot. What it must feel like to fly and land pretty much wherever you want must be exhilarating. We had several parakeets growing up and always had bird baths and bird feeders wherever we lived. Even though they are always so afraid of any movement coming their way it is fun to watch them in their natural surroundings. A little food and water always helps. Isn't that true for just about anyone?

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

An Early Spring in DC

On our morning walk along the National Mall things are changing dramatically! With the delightfully warmer weather we have had for most of the winter, all the buds are growing and getting ready to burst! We haven't had this wonderful of a winter since we moved here from the Midwest ten years ago. It felt like winter all year 'round there - we couldn't even plant flowers until after Memorial Day for fear of freezing temps. So with the sunny skies and brighter days the trees and shrubs love it, and today the flowers were beginning to show their faces not only in the gardens by the Hirshhorn but all the Smithsonian museums we passed by. Some people are upset there hasn't been any snow, but I am thrilled to have more of the other three seasons. Someone is coming to visit us around cherry blossom time at the end of March. I'm not so sure there will be any blossoms left at the rate things are going - and it's going to stay warmer for the next many days. I'll be sure to take a lot of photos in case she misses it all!

Monday, February 20, 2017

Kraft American Cheese and Kirkland Plastic Food Wrap

Our house is full of cheese. We have a few favorites including Boursin garlic and fine herbs, Alouette Brie, P'tit basque, and assorted kraft cheeses for pizza. We do use Kraft American cheese slices on English muffins to make homemade egg Mcmuffins. The last time we went grocery shopping we picked up Kraft deli delux 2% American cheese rather than the good old American cheese slices, but neither my husband nor I looked at the label closely to see that the slices were NOT individually wrapped. He found out this morning when he made breakfast and was mildly cursing about the cheese package. Luckily for us, we also have a large box of Costco Kirkland brand food wrap. The wrap comes in the best dispenser we have ever seen. It's not the jagged cutting edge that never seems to work and the wrap always seems to get stuck on itself; rather, it's a plastic edge that cuts seemlessly and stays in place to easily store and reuse. Today we needed 24 square cutttings to store the now opened package of unwrapped cheese slices. So we made a production line...I cut the plastic wrap and my husband wrapped the cheese. In the end, I would have just stuck it all in a baggy, but my husband wouldn't hear of it. Lesson learned is to read the package. But at least we had an easy fix. That reminds us - it's time for another run to Costco!