Friday, November 09, 2007

Feeling Scarfy

Halloween, Samhain, and Dia de Los Muertos are over, although my decorations are still up. Thanksgiving is happening at my son's house this year. Yule and Christmas are much too far away to start decorating for. So I'm stuck inbetween holiday seasons. Instead of holidays, I'm thinking of travel again even though, alas, our plans to travel this spring have been postponed due to an overabundance of miscellaneous spending and unexpected car expenses. We want to get back to a debt free space before piling more debt on our cards. I know, very unAmerican of us.

I'm not disappointed about it though. Instead it's making me feel more determined and inspired to make it happen. And it coincides nicely with my determination to buy less (due to not only expense but clutter issues) and spend more time creating instead of consuming. I've done a bit of window shopping to see what sort of holiday decorating the stores have up already but I haven't wanted to buy anything. Instead I'm thinking of how much my style has changed over the years and how I want to dig out all my decoration boxes and reduce it down.

Oh, not true. I'm lying. Not on purpose, I just forgot. I bought some giant candy canes at the dollar store as over the years we have lost some of the ones we already have and I know from past experience that these things are snapped up quickly. And I also found a bag of little treasures at the thrift store this afternoon but I don't really count second hand purchases. I know, they still take up space. But since I didn't buy them new, it's easier to use 'em or lose'em without feeling I need to keep them because I spent money on them. Does anyone else have any of these wierd little "rules" - kinda like the diet rules - if you eat it standing up, it has no calories - that sort of thing? (You can see the thrift store finds if you want over at Laume's Studio.)

Still, budgeting or not, we tried the new French restaurant in town last night. Yes, you heard me. Podunksylvania has its very own French restaurant now. First a French decor boutique, then an English tea room and now a French restaurant. I'm loving it although I'm also wondering when it's all going to go out of business and we'll be back to nothing but Walmart and burgers and fries in this small western town.

I found out that the reason we have a French restaurant in town is because a Parisian chef found his way to San Francisco where he owns and serves up $100 plate cuisine and then, it's a small world after all, met and fell in love with a local girl. So Yah for us!

We pretended to be somewhere European. I wore one of the dozen new scarves I brought home last week. Oh, yeah, did I forget to mention that? Apparently people buy or are gifted with beautiful scarves and then, because they don't wear them, purge their wardrobes. I just discovered they all end up at thrift shops. I loved the ease of scarves for both warmth and wardrobe spiffing even before my visit to Paris but I can't pretend that the french scarf habit isn't factored in now to my love of scarves. Last week they had a $1 a bag sale and I brought home all sorts of pretty new ones. But I digress. I tossed on a scarf, a pretty sweater, a hat, my black windbreaker that has really been to Paris with me, and off we went.

The food was really good, the service was fine. We'd just bought and watched (I rewatched) Ratatouille so of course there were jokes about rats in the kitchen. It was really cute because although the cuisine was definitely first rate, the "ambience" was Paris sophistication meets Cowboy hometown. The young guy who was our waiter tried to pronounce the specials, counted heavily on us not knowing how the words sounded either, inserted a knowing nod of his head and a "It's very good" when he couldn't think of anything else to say and finally he gave up being fancy schmancy to comment that he knew hubby and son from the local gym. The best part of the evening though was that William was really chatty and animated, enjoying all the pretending and reminiscing about his world travels. It was a bit pricey, but it was worth it for such a nice evening as a family.

More French dreaming, look what I found at the local market.

Although I love what I call "Paris shabby chic", I've always considered scattering Eiffel Towers around one's home as sort of a cheat way of decorating. They're very popular nowadays. You can find them as paperweights, garden sculptures, bookends, on the face of clocks, and of course posters galore. I've deliberately avoided bringing any of them home, the only Eiffel Tower in my house is the tiny one we hung on the tree last year. No, two we hung on the tree, a friend bought me a second one. But I couldn't resist this one. It was filled with yummy peppers and was discounted so they cost no more than a regular jar of 'em. And while I'm mentioning things I found at the grocery store....

Okay, I know it's really just like adding flax to the recipe - it's a roughage thing. But still, they've got to know people would do a double take and maybe buy it just because it's, well, funny. Not that it was anything I used to do back in the 70's but hey, I did live in the San Francisco Bay area so I knew lots of people who baked .... uhm.... enhanced chocolate brownies on a regular basis. Groovy, man.


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