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.

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?