Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Friends old and new and favorite places

Today was for friends, old and new and a visit to a favorite place and doing things that bring me joy. I ordered on-line from Connecting Threads a new to me line of thread in colors I love. I brought two books on line from I chatting with my newest friend Peggy on the phone. We made plans for a lunch time-movie date on Saturday. All of these I count as joyous things. WHAT COULD BE BETTER? One answer to this question is; eating something you enjoy with someone you love and time spent spending someone elses money in a place you like shopping. All OF WHICH I DID TODAY.

I called my friend Kathy today. I invited her to eat out with me this evening. We choose the Olive Garden. It was easy for me to get to at rush hour and close to where she works so she could avoid the trafic as well. Now I know there are some of you who might turn your nose up at The OG's version of Italian crusine. Not I. I am not Italian. I have not been to Italy. I confess. I have uneducated taste buds as far as most ethnic crusine is concerned. All I know is I like what I like and I am subject to like some foods more than others especially if I do not have to cook it, serve it or clean the kitchen afterwards.

Therefore I am not the one to judge whether theOG is doing it right or not so right. I do not eat everything on their menu. Most of the stuff I have never tried. When I find something I like I tend to stick with it. My two favorite things I eat there when I go, which isn't very often of late, is their salad mainly because of their salad dressing. Even when I have brought a jar of it to take home, my salads just do not taste the same.

I love bread. Good bread and Baskin Robbin's ice cream , not eaten together. But jointly there are to blame for the extra pounds I carry. Forget the fact that neither one of these thing has the ability to jump into my mouth, decend into my stomach without me first lifting my hand, opening my mouth and swollening.

Forget Basking Robbins for the moments, let's get back to the bread. I do not eat the bread at the Olive Garden. Unless my stomach is eating the lining because I am SOOOOOOOO hungry I can't wait for the main course. I find no joy in eating long skinny air filled white bread thinly disguised as FRENCH BREAD. As uneducated as my taste buds might be, believe me, French bread by any stretch of the imagination this bread is NOT.

The other thing I eat is a dish I designed for myself. It begins with the ingredients they use for their shrimp scampi appetizer. Their shrimp scampi is a combination of boiled shrimp, black olives, onion, garlic, cherry tomatoes, grated cheese and olive oil which is served over toasted bread of a better quality then the long skinny stuff. For my dish I leave off the toast and have them serve the shrimp scampi mixture over angel hair pasta instead. WONDERFUL.

That is what I had for dinner followed by a glass of fresh seasonal berry served cold with a light vanilla custard sauce over the top. Very good!

After dinner Kathy and I went to Lowes to shop. This is where the second best thing of the day happened. I love hardware store and home improvement centers. Better still as I said, I got to spend HER MONEY. Kathy moved into an older condo several months ago and has been updating and decorating it a project at a time, as time permits between her working for a living, and being a Grandmother. The Motherly-Grandmothering things she takes very seriously.

I have put in my two cents into her decorating projects since the beginning along with two helping hands and some sweat helping her get settled in. Today's task was to select new counter tops, a new sink, faucet, over the stove venting hood and a garbage disposal. That done we looked at bead board for a short focal wall in her kitchen. We looked at and tore off several samples of wall paper and the co-ordinating border paper too.

Her house is being done in what I call comfy New England. She being originally from that part of the country I think this style suits her very well. It was fun to find home dec stuff that fits her decor and color scheme. She often tells me she doesn't know what she wants or likes. That not entirely true. I offer lots of suggestions. No one can tell you when it comes to home decorating, my house or others that I bite my tongue keeping my opinions to myself. Some advise she has taken and some she has dismissed. Which is okay with me. I feel less dominating and intrusive when she does.

I have always believed that half the job of making a decision is done when someone can tell you what they definately don't like or want.

We got a third thing done after dinner too. That third thing was EXERCISE---WALKING. It was NOT PLANNED. We did three times the amount of walking it should have taken in selecting the above list of stuff all because I laid my car keys done somewhere along the many aisle we transversed from one side of the store to the other in search of the above list of stuff. I discovered the missing keys as I was feeling in my jean pockets for them as we were exiting the store, with a samples of formica and wall paper in hand and visions of a newly re-done kitchen in our heads. (Oh well, maybe not Kathy's head, but definitely in mine.)

I did check with a man behind the service counter who said he did not know of any keys that had been turned in in the last 15 to 20 minutes before we went back to retrace our steps through the store, twice.

As we went we recited our conversations and rethought our decisions hoping that would jog our memory of where I could possibly have lain the keys. No luck, no keys. As a last prayful hope filled resort I checked at the Service Counter again. This time a little further down the counter then where I checked the first time. I asked of the man behind the counter if he could tell me where the Lost and Found was located. What luck. I was standing where the Lost and Found was located. When I identified my keys for the man, out of a locked drawer he pulled then. OH JOY....OH JOY!!!

I was in such a good mood for having had a good meal, a good time shopping and finding my keys, I stopped at Baskin Robbins on the way home for some ice cream.
Now I am on my way to lift my hand, open my mouth and swollow. Here's to friends old and new, found keys and spending someone elses money.

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