Replacements or All New Flatware?

I bought my flatware set years ago. It’s an Oneida pattern that I fell in love with the moment I saw it on the shelf at Macy’s. The pattern is called Mooncrest, and it is modern, sleek design that goes with just about any contemporary dinnerware pattern. I even like the name, Mooncrest – it brings to mind silver moonbeams shining on my dinner table.

I bought a complete set with 8 place settings and also a 6-piece set of serverware. Over the years, a few pieces ended up missing. So I went to the Oneida web site and ordered a few replacement pieces, but they are expensive when you buy just individual pieces, and you have to buy four at a time. But they fill out the set again so I can set a pretty table when I have family or friends come for dinner. The forks were $4 each and so were tablespoons, so I bought a set of each about 2 years ago, and last year I had to order 4 dinner knives. I wish they sold steak knives in this pattern and I would also love iced tea spoons, but those are almost impossible to find in casual flatware patterns. You have to go up to actual silverware and pay big money for all the fancy extra pieces, and I just don’t want to spend that much money on everyday flatware – especially if pieces are going to go missing.

For some reason, six teaspoons have gone missing. I have searched the entire house and cannot find them. I am angry and frustrated and totally puzzled as to why 6 spoons and no other pieces are suddenly gone. I gave up the search and decided to buy some replacement spoons from the Oneida web site. But darn the luck, it looks like Oneida is discontinuing my pattern and you cannot buy teaspoons any longer.

I searched Amazon and even Alibaba and cannot find teaspoons in the Mooncrest pattern. Finally, I found a site that sells replacements for hundreds of fine flatware and silverware and they do have some teaspoons listed, but they are charging $10 per teaspoon. That is crazy – I would have to buy two sets of four and that would be $80 to replace just teaspoons from that site. I can buy a complete set for 8 place settings for only about $50.

Sp then the question becomes, if you are going to buy a complete set for 8, do I want to stay with this pattern that is being discontinued? Or should I get rid of the Mooncrest pattern and just shop for a totally new pattern?

Laundry and More Laundry

For some reason I always thought that the winter months meant more laundry for me to deal with, but that is not proving true this summer. The days have been so hot – and it is only June! – that we seem to be seating more and playing outside means the kids are getting dirty and needing to change clothes two and three times a day. And since there is not school until August, they are not wearing uniforms most of the day – they are wearing play clothes that get dirty from playing instead of sitting at a desk in class all day.

When my air conditioning went out a couple of weeks ago, we had a very hot house to live in until the repairman could get here to fix it. I have small oscillating fans that we scattered throughout the house and the living room has a big ceiling fan. But the house was so hot, day after day, that we were seating in our sleep. It is difficult to sleep when it is very hot – the sheets feel sticky and the pillowcase gets damp. So I ended up having to strip all three beds every morning and wash all the bed linens. Usually I just keep one pair of sheets per bed and put the clean linens right back on the bed the same day. That way I don’t waste time folding sheets to put in the closet. My washer and dryer were certainly getting a workout that week.

Thankfully, the air conditioning is working again and that is not a problem. But it made me wonder, how often do most people strip the beds and wash the sheets? What about blankets and pillows? For me, unless there is a problem that comes up during the week, I strip the beds on Saturday mornings while the kids are eating breakfast and get the laundry started. Saturdays are always hectic but it is easy to incorporate a couple of loads of laundry if you just plan ahead. The kids are old enough to help me make the beds at night and it doesn’t take very long, even when we are tired from the day’s activities.

Come to think of it, the kids are old enough now to strip the beds themselves and put the sheets in the hamper. I should get them started on that while it is summer and they have time for more chores.

Do You Have a Favorite Coffee Mug?

All of my friends know that I must have a cup of coffee in the morning before I can function. I like to tell people that it takes a least 1 cup of coffee and half a Poptart for me to even be human.

I make a pot of coffee in the kitchen each morning with a little 4 cup coffee pot. I used to have expensive coffee makers, but they never lasted more than a year or so. When I switched to the cheaper Mr. Coffee brand coffee maker, it has lasted for almost 4 years now. *knock on wood*

I have a favorite coffee mug at home. There is a short story behind how I got it. I was dating a guy who worked at the Clear Channel studios downtown as a radio producer. That is a fancy title for a boring, tedious job of working on a computer in a tiny soundproof room. And if anything goes wrong, it is up to the producer to fix it – fast.

Besides getting free tickets to just about every show in town, this guy had access to a whole closet full of radio station swag. There were tee shirts, nerf footballs, pens with radio station call letters and logos, bobble heads, baseball caps and……coffee mugs in all colors, shapes and sizes. There were a few coffee mugs from an older radio format that had been switched by management, so those mugs were obsolete and about to be thrown out. My boyfriend grabbed 4 of them and asked me if I wanted them – I said, yes.

As it turns out, those four mugs are my favorite coffee mugs. Not because they came from the radio station or because my boyfriend – at the time – gave them to me. I love them because they are made from ironstone, have a comfortable handle, and they are a cone shape, so that the top of the beverage cools quickly and the bottom stay warm longer. The ironstone is a good natural insulation and they are dishwasher safe. These mugs are perfect, and it would break my heart if any of the ever got broken, as there is no way they could ever be replaced.

What is the Story Behind This Dilapidated House on the Beach?

photo of dilapidated house on the beach

We spent many summer days at various beaches along the Atlantic Ocean during my childhood. My parents took us out of town for vacations every chance they got. Sometimes we drove a couple of hours to get to an ocean beach or a lakeside cabin. Other times we took the train or flew to someplace exotic, like the Bahamas or Puerto Rico. Usually our vacations were centered around access to water – lakes, rivers, bays or oceans. Worst case, a nice swimming pool at the hotel.

We almost never got a hotel room for the beach – my parents would rent a large house right on the beach or maybe a 1 block walk from the beach in high season. My mom liked having a kitchen when we traveled, although we did eat out a lot, too. Dad always said that a vacation should mean no cooking for my mom, but many times it was more practical to have breakfast and lunch right there, then a nice dinner out together as the sun went down.

If you have seen the beach houses along the New Jersey shore, you know they are a mixture of sizes, styles and materials. Some are even like this photo of a dilapidated house that one of my friends shared.

When I see an old house that has been abandoned to the elements, I always wonder what happened to the people who built this house? Why is someone letting the house fall apart? Is it up for sale or is it a part of an inheritance dispute? Is the person too busy with an important job or large family to worry about taking care of the house?

I have no idea where this old house might be, but the fact that someone installed boards across the lower level door is puzzling. There are two windows with no glass in them on the same level. Putting a handful of boards across the door is not going to stop anyone from getting inside if they want to. I wonder if the locals tell children that it is haunted? Do teenage lovers sneak in through the windows and have some privacy that is so hard to find when you are young and in love?

Amy Irene White’s Book on Amazon

My friend, Amy, has her first book for sale on Amazon. It’s available as a paperback or as a download for Kindle. Her next book is coming out later this year – I can’t wait to read it!

Amy is a very strong, brave, rowdy woman who rides her Harley Davidson without a helmet and thinks nothing of dropping the hat and taking off somewhere across the country. Her last big trip was to the Washington DC “2 Million Bikers for America” biker gathering on September 11 2013. She rode was a growing envoy of friends, starting in Arkansas, riding through Mississippi, Alabama and Georgia, then heading north to DC through South Carolina and North Carolina. They rode all over the DC area and participated in a march/ride down Constitution Avenue in DC with thousands of bikers.

This year she plans on participating in a ride to Detroit in March, and then she heads to Los Angeles for a couple of weeks visiting friends up and down the west Coast. She writes blog posts and sends Facebook messages with photos from the road. Most of the times she travels with a good friend, Libby, who tries her best to keep Amy out of trouble. She is a real hoot!

This is the paperback link:

This is the Kindle download link: