avanta7: (Joy)
In case you're interested, you can see closeup photos of the new button acquisitions here.

In case you're not interested, I give you a photo of my favorite from the new purchases:
Vintage Glass
avanta7: (Contemplate)
Yesterday, my mother, sister, and I went shopping. At estate sales.

We wandered through the houses of dead people, picking and choosing and coveting and wondering why on earth anyone would choose orange velour upholstery for a chair. It's kind of sad, really: a person's entire life as revealed by the possessions left behind after death. I know that's what will happen to me and spouse after we pass on -- I sincerely doubt our nieces or nephews will want our stuff.

Sis bought a large antique mirror to use in her bathroom (they're remodeling); and Mom bought an enormous Lane cedar chest and an antique vanity. Although I had brought the pickup just in case we found something that wouldn't fit in a car, we had to call my brother-in-law. He brought his truck and my nephew, and they did the heavy lifting: the cedar chest in the back of my pickup and the vanity in the back of his. While we were waiting for them to arrive, we had to fend off many many many other folks who tried to buy the cedar chest and vanity. In fact, one couple went out to the garage and actually PAID for the cedar chest after my mother had told the woman inside the house she would take it. They came into the house and started to carry the chest out when the inside sales lady stopped them. Finally, the woman running the sale brought little "SOLD" tags to put on the pieces so we could stop being so vigilant.

I bought stuff too, by the way.

Santas, teapots, and a bowl )

And the best thing... )

(Flickr is apparently being non-cooperative today. If the pics don't show up, please click through to their Flickr page.)
avanta7: (Wicked Witch Feet)
So last weekend spouse indulged me and we went shopping for new clothes. I spent a shocking amount of money on apparel thanks to Uncle Sam returning some of our taxes, and sent spouse into a near catatonic state. Which was a good thing, because after we were done at Dillard's, I dropped him off at home and went shoe shopping.

See, I know you don't care about the clothes, but you're dying to see the shoes. Prepare for a photo-heavy entry.

First up are a pair of ummm, "granny pumps" is probably the best way to describe them. They're suede and they're a luscious berry color, and they're probably the highest heels I've worn in a very long time.

Suede )

Next we have some rather staid business pumps in black, navy, and bone, but each pair has a certain detail that makes them special.

Staid )

Now we get into the sheer indulgences: two pair of patterned suede-like leather pumps...I guess the uppers could be considered nubuck, but I've never seen nubuck shoes with this sort of fine detailing.

Bronze and Shimmer )

I couldn't find a pair of red shoes that I liked at this store, so I told the sales clerk he should suggest to Bella-Vita that they make a red pair like either the bronze or the gold shimmery pair. He laughed and said shoes like that would be pure sin. I said I'd buy them in a heartbeat. He rang up the sale, and then threw in the tweed flats I had considered and set aside earlier as a bonus for buying so many pairs of shoes at once.

Tweed )

I very seldom see an old-fashioned family-run shoe store anymore, much less one that actually understands that the process of buying shoes requires personal attention from a sales clerk with patience. With this kind of service, you can bet I'll be doing business at this store again.

Once home, I continued my search for the perfect red shoe online. I found zilch at Zappos, which surprised me. Then I went to Shoebuy, and there they were.

And here they are )

The professional shoe wardrobe is complete. Let the preening begin!
avanta7: (Default)
The latest happenings here in Avantaland:

A couple of weeks ago, Marysville started holding a farmer's market every Friday evening downtown on D Street. This past Friday, I finally remembered to get some cash from the ATM after work so I could go. I came home with three pints of blackberries, six pounds of nectarines and apricots, a couple of pounds of cherries, and three zucchini. For $20. *beam* I also sampled some locally grown olive oil. Not bad, but not the kind of olive oil spouse and I prefer. The local oil is pressed from Spanish olives, and doesn't have enough peppery bite to it to please me. Too bad: I like to support local growers, but why buy something I won't use?

While downtown, I stopped in at The Sew-So Shop, which, despite the name, also carries knitting and crochet supplies. My favorite clerk was manning the store, so we had a nice meow-y gossip. Somehow I managed not to buy any yarn. (I kept thinking of the mountains of it at home in the yarn closet.)

Yesterday morning, at 7:00 AM, I discovered we had no coffee. We usually only make coffee at home on weekends, and spouse neglected to tell me he used the last of it last week. He narrowly escaped being murdered in his sleep. Thank heavens we now have a Walgreens less than two miles from us, and we no longer need to drive 17 miles into Marysville when we run out of essentials like milk or bread. Or coffee.

After getting home from the store, while waiting for the coffee to brew, I took advantage of the lack of caffeine in spouse's system and...How do I say this without it sounding like spouse has major money control issues? Not "got permission". How about "obtained consent"? "Reached agreement"? The deal is: if either of us wants to buy some non-essential something with a purchase price of over $100, we discuss it first. I wanted to buy a new sewing machine -- my 30-year-old Kenmore gave up the ghost a month or so ago -- and I'd found one on sale that suited my needs. Spouse perused the ad through bleary eyes and said "It sounds like a car lot come-on, but if that's what you want, go ahead."

So I did.

New sewing machine

It's not a dream machine (which would come from Husqvarna Viking, Bernina, or Pfaff, AND cost nearly as much as a used car), but it's a decent basic sewing machine, all mechanical, no electronics, made by Necchi, and should serve me well for the limited amount of sewing I do these days. It will probably last about as long as that workhorse Kenmore.

Yesterday, I watched In Cold Blood, with Scott Wilson, Robert Blake, and John Forsythe. It was more than a little weird watching this film knowing that some 40 years later, Blake went on trial for murdering his wife. Still, it's a beautiful movie: the black & white cinematography, the perfectly composed shots, the chilling musical contrast between the harsh experimental jazz in scenes featuring the killers and the gentle orchestral pieces in scenes of their victims. The book has been sitting on Mt. TBR for a while now. I'll read it soon, I think.

This morning I saw Bringing Out the Dead, with Nicolas Cage, Patricia Arquette, and Ving Rhames. Not nearly as impressed with this feature. It wasn't awful but if, as I suspect, director Martin Scorsese was going for Taxi Driver in an ambulance, he missed the mark. But it served to interest me in reading Joe Connelly's novel.

Plans for the rest of the day include turning in these discs at Blockbuster and coming home with something new, some light grocery shopping, and a load or two of laundry. And the first items on that list require going out in public, so I guess I ought to get dressed.
avanta7: (Default)
Thank you, everyone, for the advice and suggestions on a new camera.

I went to several different stores, including the only local camera store that isn't a chain, and tried out cameras by several manufacturers: Sony, Canon, Kodak. (I wanted to look at this Fuji camera in addition to the others under consideration, but no one in the immediate area sells Fuji, and I did NOT want to drive into Roseville or Sacramento today.) In the end, I went with a Kodak product:

Kodak EasyShare Z1012 IS

It was a little more than I originally intended to spend, but that extra $50 came with some nifty additional features: more options for different light levels, panoramic photo stitching, a deeper zoom.... Plus I like the way it feels better than any of the other cameras I handled.

Give me a few days to figure out all the bells and whistles, and then we'll see what mischief I can make with my new toy.

*rubs hands together with glee*
avanta7: (Ice Plant)
Because I had a little overtime and therefore a little extra money in my current paycheck, I want to buy a new digital camera. My trusty HP Photosmart 735 with 3.2 MP is on its last legs....it's been dropped once too often, I believe.

At any rate, my criteria for a new camera are as follows:

  • Under $200.00 USD.
  • At least 8 MP, preferably more if possible within budgetary limitations.
  • Has an actual viewfinder, not just a playback screen. Yes, I'm old school. I prefer to frame my shot through a viewfinder.
  • A capacity for "rapid-fire" shooting is desired, but not required.
  • Both internal memory and memory card capability are desired, but not required.

I'm giving serious consideration to this Canon PowerShot, but I have to go look at it first.

Recommendations gladly accepted.

New toy

Dec. 10th, 2007 07:58 pm
avanta7: (Default)
New Toy
Happy Merry freaking Christmas to me! (And spouse, too: we bought ourselves identical laptops last night.)

It's a Hewlett Packard Pavilion dv6000. It comes with, well, lots of stuff....it's more computer than I'll ever need, and I'm plumb tickled!!

Popping in

Dec. 8th, 2007 09:13 am
avanta7: (Day Pass)
Hi folks,

My PC is giving me fits -- it's gotten incredibly slooooww in loading pages and spouse can't figure out why. So I'm stealing a few minutes on his PC to pop in and say howdy.

I finished my Christmas shopping online this morning. Since all the gifts we're giving are being shipped elsewhere, the internet was the only thing that made sense this year.

E-F's nifty little spider arrived last week. I'll post a picture of it as soon as I find an appropriate setting.

I finished knitting spouse's scarf Thursday night, and now have to decide on my next project. Mom is sending me all of Grandma's knitting needles, crochet hooks, and yarn. There may be some pattern books as well. I'm half-inclined to wait until that box arrives before settling on a pattern or project. I also need to learn to knit and purl in the same row. It just doesn't look right on the needle, and right now I have no one to tell me if it's supposed to look like that. Come the new year, I must give serious thought to finding a new stitch-n-bitch group.

Weekend plans include cleaning house and putting up Christmas decorations; we won't be getting our tree until a week from Monday when spouse and I both have the day off from work. We'll drive up to Paradise again to cut a tree at the tree farm. I hope to get Christmas cards addressed and in the mail by Monday, as well.

We finally had rain Thursday and Friday! Very light rain, but steady on Thursday, and gone completely by mid-morning Friday. It looks like another dry winter here in Northern California; normally (can there even be weather that's considered "normal" any more?) the rains start in mid-November, with at least one good solid downpour by this time. I may not get as much use out of my new Wellingtons as I hoped.

I'll skim through my f/list, but probably won't be commenting. I expect spouse to kick me off his PC any minute now....
avanta7: (SnarkyAvanta)
A couple of weeks ago, I ordered jeans from Lands' End. They arrived. I liked them very much, but they were too big. I returned them and ordered the next size down.

The new order arrived today.

They're too small.

avanta7: (Smile Kitty)
Yesterday, spouse's plans for us were to go shopping. Shopping! Be amazed!

He needed pants, socks and shoes for work, and I needed more yarn, plus I wanted to stop at the Clinique counter. (It's Bonus Time, you know, although not at Macy's as I had previously thought, but at Nordstrom.) Off we went to Roseville to the Galleria Mall, where we spent many happy hours being good little consumers.

Full employment is a wonderful thing. Our respective paydays are alternating Fridays, and our pay periods end on alternating Sundays, which means we get a paycheck every week -- mine, than his, than mine, and so forth. Our bills are completely caught up and paid early, even; I don't have to watch every single penny when I go grocery shopping; and after nearly four years of scraping, I can even buy a magazine at the checkout counter without feeling guilty, not to mention indulge my Clinique fetish. We can contribute to our respective retirement plans at full capacity. The fact that he even has a retirement plan, finally, is a HUGE relief. So much weight has been lifted from my shoulders.

Today is laundry and putter around the house day. I need to throw on some clothes suitable for the public here shortly and go to the store. I might even get a few more pictures taken. There are several still in the camera awaiting upload.
avanta7: (Default)
I've been considering my options for transportation to Arkansas at the end of April. Flying is always fastest but not particularly comfortable. Driving is more comfortable but oh so tiring. And then there's the train...

I've never taken a train trip anywhere, so I checked out Amtrak for routes and accommodations. The seats looked comfortable and roomy enough (you should open that link in a new window), the price was reasonable, but the schedule involved me arriving in Malvern at 5:00 AM, departing at 11:00 PM for the return trip, and included a 2-1/2 hour bus trip between Springfield and Galena, Illinois, both coming and going. On an alternate route, I could have a 2-1/2 hour bus trip between Los Angeles and Bakersfield. And no baggage check for a good portion of the trip on any route. That would be an adventure. When I considered that I'd be on the train for nearly three days, I looked at upgrading from a seat to a berth (room) so I could sleep comfortably and have a little privacy, but then my fare went up to nearly $1400.00. Not gonna happen. I still want to take the train some day, but not this time. Some other time, maybe when spouse is with me. Not that I'm afraid of going by myself, but it will be less frustrating if he's there to help with the baggage.

After that little detour, I checked the airline ticketing websites and found a red-eye fare from Sacramento to Little Rock for under $220. It puts me at the Little Rock airport about 8:30 in the morning, and my departure time is in the early evening, making it easy on my mother to pick me up and send me off. Spouse, however, gets the privilege of taking me to and picking me up from Sacramento at midnight. I booked my e-ticket last night. I like buying plane tickets a month ahead of time. Fares are so cheap! If spouse and I plan things right and we can always get rates this low, we may be able to fly back on visits a couple of times a year.

Today I am getting a haircut and going shopping. J.C. Penney and Gottschalks are both having good sales: I need pantyhose and want to look at some new clothes for work. Maybe a nice tailored dress or a suit. Possibly a new pair of shoes. Spouse needs new T-shirts and underwear.

After raining all night, we've got gorgeous blue skies right now. It's supposed to cloud up and rain again later today. I hope it holds off until I get my shopping done.
avanta7: (BookOwl)
Today spouse and I got up early and went to Denio's, a fabulous open air bazaar and flea market. We spent about two hours wandering around. The vendors have everything from cosmetics to automotive parts to clothing to lawnmowers, all in various shades of new and used. We were looking for a used refrigerator and/or washer & dryer, but scouted out household furnishings, decorator art and other nifty stuff, as well. We found a refrigerator, but the guy wanted more than we were willing to pay. No luck on the washer & dryer. We'll go back next weekend and look again. I love Denio's.

Although we got there before 8:30, the morning sun was brutal even through my sunglasses. I had to buy a straw hat. Spouse ended up with a headache and a sunburned bald spot. I'll have to remind him to wear a hat next week.

The rest of the day has been spent napping and watching TV (spouse) or reading (me). It's just too blamed hot to think about getting outside and doing anything. At least it's a dry heat. Thank goodness for small favors. I can't stand humidity, and am ever so grateful to be out of Arkansas.

I read Sharyn McCrumb's Bimbos Of The Death Sun today, and started on its sequel, Zombies Of The Gene Pool. Who can't love books with titles like that? They're excellent stories, and hilarious to boot.

We ordered a pizza for dinner. Spouse is slicing up the last of the watermelon for dessert. :-D I love my ordinary life.

Oh yeah! Spouse found the USB cord. *happy dance* Now I can upload the pics from the camera. A couple of days to organize them, then I'll post a chronicle of my cross-country exodus.


Mar. 7th, 2005 06:49 pm
avanta7: (NoSuchThing)
Monday. All day. I'm whipped. How long until my vacation? Gotta get that countdown clock doohickey figured out....

One good thing. I took that other book back to B&N and gained more store credit. I'm now richer by one hardcover-from-the-sale-table edition of Jasper Fforde's Lost In A Good Book, and still have a few book bucks to spare.
avanta7: (Default)
I found a fabulous-sounding pasta recipe on epicurious.com which called for a cup of dry red wine. We generally don't keep wine or liquor in the house, so I went to the grocery store. I had to pick up a few other things anyway.

Today I discovered that grocery stores in Arkansas don't sell wine. Beer, yes. Not wine. Okay, I can deal with that.

After purchasing the other items, I went down the street to a liquor store. I haven't been in a liquor store in years. I had forgotten how overwhelming they are with row after row after rack after rack of wine. I ventured only a few steps into the store, picked up one or two bottles off an endcap display, but decided they were too pricey for what I had in mind. So I turned to the young man behind the counter.

"I don't drink." He gives me a look that says Why are you here, then? He's handsome, so I forgive him. "I need a dry red wine for a recipe. It has to be something my husband won't turn up his nose at because he'll end up drinking the rest of the bottle. And I don't want to spend a fortune."

"Ah," says he. He is very handsome. And young. And hunky. "I have just the thing." Off he goes to the back of the store. I follow his handsome young hunky backside down the aisle. He picks up a Central Coast cab priced at $8.00 and hands it to me. "Very drinkable. I'm sure your husband will like it." Husband. Oh yeah.

"Great," says I. Purchase made, mission accomplished, back home I go. 'Bye bye, handsome young hunky liquor store guy.

I put the groceries away and begin the search for the corkscrew. After digging through the drawers a bit, I find the corkscrew. Remove the metal protective label, insert tip of corkscrew, turn, turn, turn, pull! Umm, pull! Crud. Lower the bottle and hold against my body for more leverage and pull! I said, pull! Crud again. Put bottle between knees, lean back against counter and pull! Pull! Crudsickles. Stupid cork. It won't budge. I'm afraid if it will break if I apply any more inexpert opening maneuvers on the blasted thing. I guess I won't have a fabulous pasta dish waiting for spouse when he gets home. He'll have to be home and uncork the silly wine before I can cook.

Way back when I was a drunk, this was why I bought wine in screw-top bottles.
avanta7: (Default)
While at Target last night, I found nifty little pastel-colored plastic cutting boards in the $1 section. I bought four. Now we can retire the butcher block cutting board that finally lost its finish and started splintering a while back. I just took it to my "craft" room. It will be put to good use there as a work surface.

x-posted to [livejournal.com profile] non_entities
avanta7: (Default)
Got to the office at noon. Left at four. Heheh. I could get used to those kind of hours. Upon leaving work, I drove straight to Bed Bath & Beyond. That little gifty card was burning a hole in my pocket.

Exercising restraint at BB&B is extraordinarily difficult. I seldom go in there just to browse because invariably I buy. When I do enter the store, I'm on a mission.

So today, to preserve my pocketbook, I had already made up my mind what to buy and proceeded directly to the kitchen gadget section. We need new utensils! We haven't bought decent spatulas and ladles and what-not since, well, probably since before spouse and I even met. I know for certain the soup ladle we used (until it broke a while back) was the soup ladle my mother let me have when I left home at age 18, and heaven only knows how long she'd had it before giving it to me. I chose the utensils, tossed them in the cart, and walked quickly to the checkout, keeping my head down and eyes on the floor. I was a good girl. Drat.

Spouse is lucky there isn't a Williams-Sonoma store around here, or a Pottery Barn. I get the catalogs. That's torture enough.

But now we have lovely new non-stick-cookware-friendly spatulas and slotted spoons and ladles and mixing spoons. *beam*
avanta7: (Default)
That gift card from Bed Bath & Beyond arrived today. Guess where I'm going after work?
avanta7: (Default)
Today is Groundhog Day. I'm betting good ol' Phil sees his shadow. NPR talked about "cross-quarter" days this morning. Now that was interesting. Much better than giving Miss-Jackson-if-you're-nasty more grist for her dying career.

Let's see, this evening after work I can go to choir or listen to the President drone for an hour or more. I can do something I enjoy or I can cringe on my sofa. Sing? Become infuriated? Hmmm. Decisions, decisions.

Any conservative-types out there, I said the same thing about the previous two Presidents. Regardless of how much I disliked Reagan's policies, he was the only President in recent years who knew how to give a speech. Bush I was barely listenable. But Clinton and Bush II made/make me crazy with their delivery and intonation and phrasing. Ick, retch, phewie!! I read the transcript of the speech in the next day's paper and feel just as informed without all the aggravation.

Last night I stopped by Kohl's on the way home. Spouse needed skivvies. I should never go into Kohl's alone, especially when they're having a clearance. Luckily, I managed to restrain myself, and only picked up three long-sleeve Ts and two fleece warmup bottoms, all $5 each. And I promptly hid them in plain sight by wearing one set as soon as I got home, and folding and putting away the rest. Oh, and spouse got his skivvies, too. He's good for about another six months, I think. But he's hard on those skivvies. (No pun intended, believe me.)

Only one post on BookCrossing last night. In BookTalk. I never even looked at ChitChat. I'm almost sorry about that, for [livejournal.com profile] texaswren's sake.

Cold, wet, rainy. Bleh. When will spring get here?
avanta7: (BookOwl)
I just stepped outside to put the outgoing mail where the carrier can pick it up. It's cold and wet, with a light drizzle. Bleah. So much for my planned releasing expedition today! Of course, this will please my mother and sister. I'm going shopping with them, and they roll their eyes whenever I drop books on one of our shopping expeditions.
avanta7: (Default)
Today I went to the Union Rescue Mission, my favorite thrift store, for the purpose of stocking up on potential release-ables. I had collected a sizeable stack of paperbacks of all sorts, and was still hunting through the shelves when the clerk at the counter loudly announced, "We have an emergency. We are closing now! Bring your purchases to the register." So, I gathered up my books (had to make two trips to the register counter) and I was the last person she checked out. She took one look at my pile, and said "$5.00, I'm not counting them." It turns out she had just got word her husband's plane had landed at Little Rock AFB. He'd been in Iraq and she hadn't seen him in over a year. She was going home to see her husband, and I got 54 books for $5.00. A good day all around. :-)

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