Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Whither, Gravy?

Over the past week, in preparation for the big food day, I've made 4 or 5 grocery store trips.

Never in all the years that I've been cooking Thanksgiving have I had as much trouble getting my hands on a few jars of Heinz Turkey Gravy. (There's chicken flavor, sure, but just because it's poultry doesn't mean it's the same.)

And before you start, yes, I use gravy from a jar, I admit it. And yes, and I know how easy it is to make gravy, but with so many people under foot on that day, with many things cooking at the last minute at the same time, a very few gravy fans, I've found it's best to just pop the top and plop it into a dish to zap in the microwave so everything is piping hot and ready to go.

Seems like everyone else has been scarfing up the gravy in my neighborhood, thinking the same thing.

So if you need me, I'll be at store number 6, looking for turkey gravy (or maybe even store #7, but let's hope it doesn't come to that).

Have a Happy Thanksgiving!

Friday, November 13, 2009

What's It For?

F is for fabulous. Which is what a very kind coworker of mine is. Fresh from a trip to Italy, she stopped by my office to give me a really lovely package of Venetian beads she picked out in Venice! It was such a lovely thoughtful gesture, that I was just stunned. I will be making something with them for sure this weekend, so I'm thinking about what to make.

Sunday, November 8, 2009


Yesterday, our entire yard was blanketed with leaves. The chilly November air causing more to tumble down with each passing minute, the leaves click-clacking like ticks and tocks of a clock.

Raking took hours, sweeping into piles, then lugging tarpfuls to the curb. Back and forth, back and forth. By the end, my back ached, but not too badly. Just enough to know it was time to stop.

Went to bed early (9:30, on a Saturday!?), exhausted, arms and legs jittery from overuse.

Slept a solid 9 hours, restorative and deep.

This morning, I tackled indoor chores. It was hard to keep going, but thanks to Mr. Spandrel's help, we got through it.

By lunchtime, we were ready for a break and ventured outside. It was beautiful; 65 degrees that felt like 75 compared with yesterday's cooler temps.

We headed to a new place nearby for lunch, thrilled - and surprised - to see that their outdoor seating area was fairly empty.

After lunch, languidly enjoying the last of a black currant iced tea, I shuddered at what a wonderful weekend it had been.

Tons accomplished:

1. A solid night's sleep.

2. A gorgeous day.

3. Yard work plowed through.

4. A bit of household organization.

5. Time spent with my favorite person.

They say each day is a gift. Some days, I'd rather return in the box it came in, get my money back - especially lately.

But this one? Priceless.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Grace issue 56

During a long slog of a day, you get something done right and well, you get credit for bringing a solid idea to fruition, and a hearty
thank you to top it all off - the trifecta of project management.

Too often, we move too fast to appreciate our own daily accomplishments, however small. Gotta savor those moments as they happen!

Monday, November 2, 2009

Grace: Issue 55

  1. Full moon light through the leafless trees.

  2. Cool fall air, unmarred by the snap of winter's chill.

  3. Roasted chicken picked up on the way home.

  4. The key turning in the lock, arriving home after a long day.

  5. Going to sleep early.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Unexpected Elegance

The Diana Exhibit at Philadelphia's National Constitution Center is really a surprisingly sweet look back on the former princess's life and fashion.

The piece de resistance, her iconic wedding dress, was there in all its glory, flanked by video of the wedding day. I remember as a teenager, watching this wedding unfold like a fairy tale on television, enthralled by all the pomp and the yards and yards of silk. Today, more than 25 years later, the dress seems fussy and a little too-cute in parts, embellished with puffs and bows and volume. But it was still a thrill to see it up close.

Diana's later fashion choices, from the beaded evening gowns to the boxy day dresses that were all the rage in the 80s -- my God, why did anyone think all that shoulder paddage was necessary? -- evolved into the fluidly draped silk dresses with intricate beading that caught the light as she made her entrance on every red carpet, elegantly exiting the limousine ever-ready to shake the hand of whomever was greeting her.

It is impossible to imagine living life enduring such scrutiny.

I'm no Anglophile, but it was still interesting to view some of the dresses that have appeared in photos over the years -- in all, a lovely way to spend a fall Sunday afternoon.