I'd like to precede this post with a request. A friend of mine is looking for a good writing workshop for her husband. She'd like to sign him up as a Christmas present. They live in the Baltimore idea, and he writes abstract fiction. If you get any ideas, let me know!
On Sunday, I was supposed to meet with The Laughing Man's wife to interview her for my book about wedding planning, My Wedding, My Way: Real Women, Real Weddings, Real Budgets.
When I woke up, it was to the sound of sleet hitting the windowsill. I looked outside, and the roads looked clear, so I planned on meeting her anyway.
But as I was downstairs sipping some coffee The Gryphon had brewed for us with a coffee maker we got as a wedding present, I got a call from The Laughing Man's wife. She sounded miserable and told me that she had a migraine.
As a migraine sufferer, I know how much they incapacitate you. I told her to just relax and take a day off. We would find another time to do the interview.
This gave us the entire day, especially since The Gryphon decided he wasn't going to go to PAGE (Philadelphia Area Gaming Enthusiasts). After lounging about and eating breakfast, giving the weather a little time to clear up, we packed up the microwave to return it to Linen N Things.
Now this microwave, an Emerson, had been on our registry, and we'd received it as a wedding gift. We were looking for a microwave to replace the old, bulky one that The Gryphon has had for about 15 years. The first Emerson microwave we received was defective and would overheat, turning itself off. If you touched the top of the microwave, you'd risk burning yourself!
We'd exchanged that at the store, and the second Emerson microwave worked better but wasn't even as good as the aged microwave we had been using. You could stick a bag of popcorn in there for six minutes and it was still only half done.
So we agreed to return it and upgrade to a better microwave. After reading some consumer reviews of the other microwaves they sold, we chose the Cuisinart 1.0 Cubic Foot Stainless Steel Microwave, a 1,000-watt microwave with a stainless steel interior. We took some of our wedding gift money along to pay for the difference.
While we were there, we looked around to see if there was anything else on the registry we might want to pick up. It took us a while to get the list printed out, because I sent the print job twice. The printer is in a cabinet and you have to reach through a slot to get the printout. I didn't realize this, which was why I sent it twice.
Most of the items, it turned out, weren't in stock, perhaps because it's so close to the holidays. We can always order them online if we like.
We checked out the knife section, because The Gryphon wanted to get a boning knife. We bought a Henckel, which is one of the best knives. A store employee had to open the cabinet for us and was talking up the quality of the knives, saying that you get what you pay for and that it's worth spending for the better knives. The first knife he showed us, though, was $69.99 and wasn't the right knife anyway. Finally, after a bit of searching, he found the correct knife, which was about half that much.
While we were in the utensil section, we also picked up a new thermometer/timer, ours having broken on us recently. And we got a scraper tool which is safe for scraping nonstick pans.
The additions used up the wedding money we'd brought, plus some extra besides. Most people didn't give us cash, opting for either checks, gift certificates or wrapped gifts. So we still have a bit to spend on household goods. Merry Christmas to us!
When we finished, we were hungry, so on the way back, we stopped at a little lunch counter for a bite to eat. I had a chicken wrap with roasted red peppers was was delish. The Gryphon had a reuben sandwich, one of his favorites.
We stopped at the grocery store on the way home to do a shop ad to pick up ingredients for The Gryphon to make his famous split pea soup with smoked turkey (since I don't eat ham). When we got home, he started cooking, and the smell permeated the house until we finally got to eat it a few hours later.
I like weekends because I get stuff done, unless I have a lot of scheduled activities. So while the soup simmered, The Gryphon came upstairs and hung out with me in my office while I wrote a holiday letter to enclose in our Christmas cards. I've been doing that now for several years, and I've been told that once you start doing it, you can never stop. Still, it doesn't take too much effort: just writing about the highlights of the last year, printing it on festive paper and folding up one for every card.
Then I used my little Canon photo printer to print out photos to enclose with thank-yous to our vendors. The idea was to include samples of their work. This included photos of the flowers for the florist, of the cake for the baker and of the setup of the event for the event coordinators and banquet managers.
I wrote out the thank-you notes and enclosed everything in photo mailers I'd bought for that purpose. The only thing I forget was a photo of the whole wedding party for the florist, because I knew how interested he'd been in what we were planning. I thought he might like to see how everything went with the formal attire.
In addition, I scanned in the rest of the fiction pieces for the upcoming issue of Wild Violet.
This still left us time to relax and enjoy some quality time watching Iron Chef on the Food Network. As far as I was concerned, it had been a great day.
Nothing makes a Type A person happier than getting things done.