Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Observations from the Homefront

Just random thoughts today...

I went into a grocery last week, one of those with Starbucks near the entry.  I love a good cup of coffee and was more than ready for one that morning.  I seldom go into fancy coffee places.  I ordered a small coffee.  "One tall coffee?" asked the clerk.  "No, no, a small.  I said 'a small coffee' ".  "That's right, one tall coffee" he said and pointed to the sign next to him which explained their sizing.
Maybe the more sophisticated (Kay for instance,  who sort of uses Starbucks as her personal library space) knows that in Starbucks a small coffee is "Tall".  A medium coffee is "Grande" and a large is "Venti".  A small  Tall coffee, good as it was, cost $3.29.  I contemplated the offerings and determined that part of their pricing is due to their terms.  If I'm paying $3.29 for a Tall coffee I feel a little less like I was overspending. 

Did I enjoy my coffee?  I did, indeed.  Would I be tempted to indulge daily?  No.  For just $2.50 more I could buy a half pound of the freshly ground organic Kona we really love.  I think my regular coffee mug is a "Tall"...

All this business about sizes makes me think of ordering fountain drinks.  Long years ago, when you ordered a small soda, you got a cup similar to what is now used for a kid's meal.  A medium drink was about the size of today's small and a large was the size of today's medium.  Forget super size drinks, because they didn't exist.  For some reason, I can't acclimate myself to today's measure.  I can't name the number of times I've ordered a medium and been shocked by how big it is.  Heaven help me the one really horridly hot day I go out and order a large at the drive thru and they hand out a half gallon sized cup.  I'm always horrified and feel compelled to drink every single drop besides...

One of my favorite scenes in "Pride and Prejudice" is when Miss Bingley asks Miss Elizabeth Bennett to walk with her, while Mr. Darcy writes a letter.  The sight of those two young women walking arm and arm around the perimeters of the room, heads bowed together, always makes me feel that Miss Austen knew a great deal of the intimacy of women.  Mind you, we all know the scene between the two women is hardly friendly, but just as it must have appeared to Mr. Darcy, it is decidedly feminine and sweet.

Saturday we had guests at our synagogue.  A large family came (the mother and six of her eleven children).  The family is full of boys but the two girls are in the middle of the four boys and they are lovely girls, with long flowing ringlets.  They wore pretty dresses that day.  After we'd eaten , I happened to glance up and my breath caught.   The two sisters were walking the perimeter of the cafeteria, arm in arm, heads bent together.  It was like a modern day re-enactment of that lovely scene from "Pride and Prejudice".  One of those simple magic moments that will stay with me a lifetime.  No one else seemed to be paying attention and were involved in conversations, so I couldn't even interrupt to point out how lovely the scene was.

I put a wading pool in the backyard for Maddie, thinking she might use it to cool off in.  However, she has totally ignored it....I did spy her with damp feet walking away from it the other day, but I've yet to actually catch her in it.

I told Chance it wouldn't go to waste however, if she refused to use it.  I promised I'd find another use for it.  I sat here Sunday morning and watched as the mockingbird splashed and bathed several times in it.  And he did the same again on Monday morning.  I didn't have time this morning to see if he enjoyed it again, but I reckon it will stay where it is as long as someone is getting pleasure from it.

I've just spent the afternoon looking through blogs.  None in particular, just sort of following one link to another and on and on.  Most all of the blogs I looked over had to do with home decor.  Some homes were finer than others, some well worth envy and some more comparable to my own.  I wasn't really making comparisons but just looking in general.  I was curious about how we each take similar objects and put them together in a way unique to us.  What every one of these blogs has in common is one simple thing:  we all love our homes and the little things we do to improve them and make them pretty shows that love to the blogging community. 

Mama and I went out the other day and instead of shopping we took a long slow drive.  How relaxing it was to drive down one country road after another looking at the sites along the way.  I think in the last years of high gasoline costs I've missed pleasure rides more than anything else.  However, I'm about to re-think my 'saving' gasoline.  It seems to me it costs far less to take a pleasure ride than I spend 'just looking' in any store.  Pleasure rides don't clutter my home with impulsive little extras that cause my budget to leak, nor do pleasure rides necessitate storage.  I often find in these drives that I feel more peaceful and relaxed too.  Yes, I definitely think pleasure rides should move higher up on my list of things to do!

When we ate our lunch I had real mashed potatoes...that may sound like nothing special but these days to have real mashed potatoes instead of instant or pre-cooked/reheated is something indeed.  Once more it was strongly brought home to me how much better made from scratch real food tastes.  Even if you're buying the produce from the market (which may be 'fresh' but is not the same as homegrown fresh) food tastes better when it's cooked from the whole food instead of from processed foods.  I vowed a few years ago to go for quality whenever I could food wise.  I think that vow needs to be renewed.

This came up on Facebook as a post.  Goodbye pyramid and hello MyPlate.  This is the second time in a few years time that the government has 'revised' the old food guidelines.  I probably don't want to know the answer but what do you suppose it cost us to have yet another suggestion from the government on how to measure our foodstuffs? I'm willing to bet this wasn't a free deal...

While we're on the subject of food, let's return to my first observation:  when is the restaurant industry going to stop pushing mega portions at us and start serving normal sizes?

 And that ends this batch of observations. 


BelleDiabolique said...

I'd hazard a guess that the latest revamp of the FDA portion suggestions cost well into the multi-millions. Rather like that absurdly depressing illumination I received with you last Sunday about the exercising shrimp. What on earth? I know our health is important, but right now I think there are a lot more important things to be researching, developing, and allotting government funds toward.

Rhonda said...

Gavin is sitting on my lap as I read your blog
He wants to know if your pretty kitchen tins have cookies in them?