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Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Storing your holiday dishes

Many of us keep special sets of dishes and serveware just for holiday meals. Cute mugs with snowmen for hot chocolate, plates with Santa and all the reindeer, special cutting boards for the turkey, etc.

Unfortunately, I often find these items stashed in the back of closets, tossed in a box in the garage or gathering dust on the highest shelf of a cupboard.

Like everything else we own, taking good care of dishes and silver will prolong their life and make them easier to find and use, when the appropriate holiday arrives.

I always recommend that dishes and glassware be stored in zippered cases, preferably with some kind of protective layer in between each dish. I've successfully used paper plates and coffee filters between dishes when stacking them on cupboard shelves.

Likewise, glassware and stemware can be kept in cases or boxes with dividers between each glass.

Silver should be polished and stored in special silver cloth to keep down on the tarnishing.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Feeling overwhelmed all the time

This week I returned to the home of one of my clients because her home office had gotten completely out of sorts. A remodel had forced her office to be used as the "holding" room for furniture and stuff from other places in the house and she was overwhelmed with having to dig herself out - not to mention the time lost from keeping up with her business.

We live in a very fragile manner these days. I can see this for myself when I am away from my own office for a few days, how quickly it all piles up - the mail, the email, the calls to return, the stuff to check on and order, the blog to keep up, the forms to fill out and the endlessness of trying to figure the computer stuff out. Even I can be overwhelmed, throw up my hands and head out the door to Peet's to run away from it all...

I think OVERWHELMED is the word that best describes us this decade - everyone I know is overwhelmed with just about everything. There's too much coming at us too fast. Too much to do, too much to keep up with, it's just all too much!

For myself keeping up with electronic/computer stuff is my personal torture...everytime I figure Google out they come up with something else that I have to spend countless hours delving into. I am not a computer fan...I use it because I have to, but I still don't understand it, nor do I have time to...

SPEED is another killer - literally - people are dying on the Bay Bridge because they simply can not slow themselves down by 10 miles an hour to travel it safely. Driving the speed limit on the freeway will get you killed because the person behind you is trying to go faster - in the slow lane! Everything seems to be moving at the speed of light. I've lost potential jobs because I didn't get to the phone fast enough and I mean within minutes - not hours.

I don't yet have answers for a lot of this. I can only do what I can do in a day...

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

A postcard from San Francisco

My niece emailed me yesterday that they had the first snow fall in the Midwest. While I do miss the snow (on Thanksgiving and Christmas Day), I feel obligated to share with all of you do not live here a November 3rd day, in the bay area. It was 73 degrees yesterday, not a cloud in the sky and no wind to interfere with our enjoyment of the day.

I am working with a business client who has an office, at the Ferry Plaza, in San Francisco. So I hop on the ferry here in Oakland and in 25 minutes I am sipping coffee at The Blue Bottle Cafe in SF. So, here's what the day looked like...

For those of you not familiar with SF some background... This part of San Francisco was, up until 1990, almost useless space. It was old, run down and neglected. The reason was because a major freeway had been built running through this entire portion of the city and the area around it was a deserted wasteland, part of the old port of San Francisco, no longer in use by commerical shipping. Then in October, 1989, an earthquake changed everything. Portions of the freeway collapsed and the decision was made to tear it all down. When the freeway came down, we looked at the fantastic unobstructed views and decided to develop and revitalize this entire portion of the city. Now it is the hottest, hippest place to be! The center of this jewel is the rebuilt Ferry Building and Plaza, which is home to the Ferry Plaza Market. The market is a collection of local businesses that revolve around food. (Similar to the Pike's market in Seattle.)

So, this is from the back of the plaza where the ferries from Marin and the East Bay dock.

Here's the Ferry Building clock tower and the front of the building. On Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays, local farmers come and set up booths in front of the building.

Facing Market Street and a view of all the relatively new buildings that sprung up after the quake. This is the city's Financial District.

Inside the Ferry Building, some of my favorite shops and restaurants...

The Blue Bottle Coffee Company.

Miette Bakery.

Il Cane Russo.

The Gardener.

Prather Meat Co.

Cowgirl Creamery. 2,000 cheeses!

The Fungi shop.

Sur La Table.

Crispy Noodles - my lunch at Slanted Door.

Heading home...

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