Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Weekend Antiquing

The weekend started with bad news. We had been expecting a visit from my mom, but she called Friday morning to tell me that her dear, sweet kitty Bobo is very ill. He has a respiratory infection, can barely eat and is getting very weak. Anyone who is inclined to do so, he sure could use your prayers!

With the visit postponed, we decided to make it a weekend for poking around the antique stores in Avon. Friday night when my Beloved got home from work, I had to greet her with the news that I had prepared a bum crockpot recipe. Not enough liquid was called for and the cooking times were off. It burned. So, we decided to have dessert first. I made a reasonable facsimile of Applebee's white chocolate walnut blondie, a treat I was introduced to by my friend, Evvi. It is delicious and this version was no less so!

With our bellies full of sweets, we headed to the bookstores. My order was in & I used my gift certificate for that. It is a book called Refuse to Choose by Barbara Sher. It was recommended to me by my life coach. I hosted a book signing for Barbara Sher when she was touring for her fabulous book, I Could Do Anything (If I Only Knew What It Was) and found her to be a delightful person. I also picked up a (so-far) thoroughly enjoyable novel by Kris Radish called Annie Freeman's Fabulous Traveling Funeral. I've been eyeing it for a few weeks & finally decided to pick it up. I limited my magazine intake to 2, Weekend and Somerset Studio Home. I've already begun to implement one of the ideas in that, an old tin plate embellished with vintage photo images. J got C.J. Cherryh's Chanur trilogy, a book on vocabulary for those who don't need it and a book of 100 vampire stories (this last $1.00, a penny per story!). After shopping, we wandered across the street to Hoggy's for some barbecue. It wasn't Bubba's Q, but it wasn't bad. I had a brisket sandwich and macaroni & cheese with chili poured over it.

Saturday morning, I made scrambled eggs with salsa & cheese, eaten dipped up in pinches of tortilla. This craving was brought on by reading The Hummingbird's Daughter by Luis Urrea. What a great book! After breakfast, we hit the antique stores. We had an absolute ball & ended up finding all kinds of wonderful vintage photos, a darling little 1930s table for J's stereo equipment (I decoupaged vintage beach & lake photos on it yesterday & it looks really neat) and some old shutters for an advent calendar project I've had in mind. We also ended up accidentally meeting someone who knew my cousin back when he was playing hockey for the Cleveland North Coast Barons. I paid with a check & the owner expressed surprise over seeing my last name. I figured perhaps she knew my uncle or aunt, who also live in this area. However, it was actually my cousin. Her son played hockey, too, and they took my cousin in just when he needed it most. I have long heard about how kind they were to him. She now owns an antique store.

Lunch on Saturday was so good that we made reservations for Sunday on our way out the door. We stopped at The Tree House Tea Room, which isn't actually a tea room, but is definitely a purveyor of lady food. J had lobster bisque so good that she had to order another cup and half a tuna salad sandwich. I opted for chicken artichoke soup and chicken salad. All served with copious amounts of fruit. For dessert, we split the decidedly old-fashioned grasshopper pie, feeling like we should break out the bridge hands next.

Dinner on Saturday wasn't as good. I got started cooking late & by the time we ate, it was way too late for lamb, which is what I made. It was a great gourmet meal, but all either of us really wanted at that hour was salad. We have made a pact that if we get in late & it looks like we won't eat until after 9 if we cook a fancy meal, we will simply eat out or have something simple and quick like soup & sandwiches. We eagerly devoured our iceberg wedges with homemade Maytag blue cheese dressing and toasted almonds. We picked at our wine-braised lamb shanks & lemon caper mashed potatoes.

Sunday morning, we tried a new church in Cleveland. I think it may be a good fit for us. The structure itself is beautiful, the service was to our liking and the people were friendly, encouraging us to eat our coffee hour watermelon at their table. There was plenty of diversity, in economic status, race, orientation, age. There were lots of kids, too. I hope they will take me on as an intern for the coming year.

After church, we headed out for more antiquing and another Tree House lunch. This time, we both got the lobster bisque and I tried their quiche, which was nearly as good as my almost-grandma's. J had the lobster salad, which was also great. Instead of being in the back room, this time we got to sit on the glassed-in porch, surrounded by greenery. It reminded me that I would really like to have a sleeping porch on our new house. My grandmom's stories about the sleeping porch when she was a kid have affected me.

We poked around Michael's & picked up some craft supplies, went to Kohl's & picked up some gifts for my cousin's new baby & clothes for our kids and checked out an open house, a beautiful 2 story house with a huge kitchen. I wish our other house would sell soon! The apartment is wonderful for a temporary space, but I want more storage room!

Sunday night, J suggested we grab dinner out. We were mulling over the possibilities when I suggested the Savannah. It was really smoky the last time we went in & we ended up turning around & leaving. On a Sunday afternoon, though, the smoke wasn't too bad. And the cheeseburgers were amazing! We ran into my aunt's sister, too, which was fun. All in all, it was a very relaxing weekend, which we need in the middle of all this custody craziness.

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