Monday, March 28, 2011

Where did all this STUFF come from?

About two weeks ago, I decided to start decluttering. We're trying to put a better spin on it though. We've decided to tell folks, "We're beginning to consolidate as we anticipate downsizing in the foreseeable future."

More precisely, between the two of us, we've been putting "stuff" in this house for over 35 years. As with most folks, more has come in than has ever gone out. It's one of the down points of staying in one place too long. No one has ever forced us to thin it out. At least when you move frequently, you have to go through all that accumulated stuff once in a while.

Actually, it seemed easy enough. I needed something from a shelf in the basement and had to move several things that were in front of what I wanted. As I moved them, it dawned on me that the only time I even looked at these things was when I needed to get something from that shelf. I really am not appreciating them. They're just sitting there - year in, year out. I brought all three of those items with me when I moved in. All three have sat on an out-of-the-way shelf for well more than a decade (or two). I came to the conclusion that someone else might love them more, now.

As they really are collectible items, I thought it should be easy enough to simply list them in my Etsy shop as Etsy allows the sale of handmade items, supplies and VINTAGE pieces. Etsy defines "vintage" as at least 20 years old. These things definitely qualified there. I took a few minutes and photographed them, scribbled down a description, determined a value and posted them in a new "Vintage" section in my shop.

I made the mistake of mentioning this at dinner. The Big Guy embraced the idea with open arms and proceeded to point out all kinds of merchandise we could sell just to clean it out of our house.

Check out all the vintage items that have been packed away in one small cabinet for over 25 years, never seeing the light of day in that time!
Most are actually bonafide collectibles, too. In order to list these things in the shop, I need to research each one as to it's origin, manufacturer, etc. (These were not mine to begin with so I'm learning about each as I go along.) This has been no easy quick task. It is quite tedious and time consuming. And, then...

There's the challenge of getting each item photographed.
Glassware and miniature items are quite difficult to get good shots of. It has been a learning experience all 'round for me. Believe me, I'm still learning in this area.

At least I HOPE I am learning as my photography skills NEED improvement - LOTS of improvement. For now, I tell folks I really need a better camera!)

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Wednesday !!! Already ?!?

How'd it get to be Wednesday again so soon? I've been so busy the last few days, time has simply slipped past !

Last week, I began a new section in my online shop featuring vintage items. At this time, I am fully stocking this new department from "treasures" we've had lying about our home and in storage in the garage, basement, closets, and, yes, even under the bed. It's the first tentative steps toward downsizing in the foreseeable future.

Among the first listings in that section are these sweet little white bone china miniature rabbits. Tonight they were featured in an Etsy treasury called Vintage Easter Treasures curated by a great vintage shop, Toys of the Past. Please take time to check out the treasury and to check out that interesting shop.

I've also been working on completing so many Works In Progress that somehow got pushed to the side or put on a back shelf or for whatever reason seem to be languishing. So on Friday, after kicking off those shoes and finally letting my toes wiggle a bit after all that shopping, I dug out my lamp that I started before the Christmas holidays got in the way. It really didn't take long to finish it up. Actually, the most time was consumed in waiting for the layers of varnish and then the polyurethane to dry. I got it finished, photographed and in the shop today. What do you think?
I DO so like painting the fishes and sea creatures ! The front of the lamp features Fancy Goldfish and the back has several Zebra Danio fish among the sea grasses.

I told you all about the shoe shopping frustration on Friday. Well, I'm a glutton for punishment. We went shopping again on Saturday - this time for clothes for that upcoming wedding. We've still got about five weeks to get ready but we've got a lot on our plates and will be out-of-town for part of that time so we really do need to get our act together.

We haven't been to a wedding in a few years (after a slew of them over about an 18 month period back then!) I also haven't had to go anywhere formal for a while so I really don't have a thing to wear. Unfortunately, my aging hubby still seems to be a growing boy and has outgrown all of his dressy clothes. So, we set out on that beautiful sunny Saturday to the shopping mecca of Lancaster, Pennsylvania.

Though known as an outlet capital, all stores in Lancaster are not highly discounted clearance sale facilities selling last year's outdated merchandise or seconds (although there are many such stores there.) Many of the stores are simply company owned retail outlets, no different than those in your local mall. There are, however, MANY stores concentrated in a small area which is quite conducive to shopping. The thought that you might really find a bargain is also a great motivator. We shop there often for all kinds of things - clothes, furniture, goodies, gifts, and more.

Well, The Big Guy did well, coming home with a new jacket and dress pants to match. He still needs to get a new dress shirt. I bought all sorts of things but only one piece of clothing. It's one of those, "if nothing else turns up, this might work" items. It's a fairly simple blue top with some glitz to it. I can make it work with a long black skirt if I don't come up with anything else in the meantime. I am still actively looking, though. Oh yeah, I still need shoes!

On Sunday, we did the monthly family dinner. You know, the one where the 18-year-old cooks. All I need to provide is the dessert. I can do that. (I did that great peanut butter brownie again and a cherry swirl brownie too.) Remember when the younger generation first went out on their own and always took a care package home from family meals ? Well, the tide has turned. WE get to bring the care packages home, now!!!

That's our cook and her helper, Rudy.

Once again, the menu consisted of pizza and stromboli (N's specialties) and we had a huge selection. I believe she made two strombolis and four or five pizzas - each different! Tossing the dough was a bit of a challenge as she now has a 6 month old Dalmation, Rudy, who thought it resembled a frisbee. She had to grab fast to be sure he didn't grab it in midair and run!

The puppy is endearing himself to his grandmom. (They live in her house.) He still has some of those puppy ways - like chewing. We were sitting there after the meal, chatting when she noticed this little "faux pas" on the dining room wall. It was obvious who was at fault as he left incriminating claw marks!!The scene of the dastardly crime!!

Rudy's mom was summoned to the scene of the crime and asked for a comment/explanation/whatever. She looked at it closely and then exclaimed, "No wonder he had an upset tummy!!" This wasn't the answer her Mom was looking for. Isn't it great when they're not YOUR kids?(Or your dining room wall. ) You actually get to chuckle about it.

In addition to leftovers, I also brought home a huge bunch of forsythia that was just ready to bloom. I love to bring them indoors and force them to open up just a bit early. Aren't they gorgeous?

Since then, I've been busy trying to organize the first phase of the vintage items I want to list. This involves a lot of computer research to determine just what they are and what kind of prices they should draw, estimated shipping costs, etc., and then photographing them, writing the listing and actually getting them into the shop. In between, I've been working on those various painting projects that need to be finished up and trying to keep up with the house, prep for our Spring Midwest tour AND begin making the Easter candy. (After all, I do need to take some out West with us.)

Well, hopefully, I'll write some more tomorrow in between all the "To Do" items on my list. Have a great Thursday, ya'll!

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Oh! My aching feet!!!

I desperately need new athletic shoes. Since we’ve an evening wedding to attend next month, and I’m guessing those athletic shoes won’t still look shiny, clean and spiffy, I suppose I’ll need to find something for that occasion, too. So, I set out to buy TWO pairs of shoes. Oh yeah, the budget is a little limited, so I was trying to look for reasonably priced foot gear.

Now, as a little background, let me tell you about these wretched appendages at the ends of my legs that the world refers to as “FEET.” Mine are a bit pudgy through the main part of the foot. (Makes sense, as I’m pudgy all over - I prefer the term “fluffy”, though.)

I have short stumpy toes but I also have a narrow heel. My instep is high and the arch is fairly flat - and getting flatter every year. I’m told the latter is a function of both age and weight and is a common ailment as women get older. To go with that high instep (a problem I’ve had since childhood - through thick and thin!), I have what I call a “short heel”. The distance from the floor to where the ankle starts to bend is quite short. This makes the heel of most athletic and oxford type shoes hurt where they hit the bottom of my ankle bone. To round out the whole dilemma, I have bad knees that complain quite adamantly when the shoe just isn’t right or throws my gait off a bit.

Okay, I KNOW I’m not the only gal out there who thinks she has problem feet. One of the best known and most vocal is Kelly Ripa who claims to have “DUCK FEET” - wide toes and narrow heel. I would kill for feet like Kelly’s and the ability to slip into some of those fantastic designer shoes she wears!

My brother-in-law swears by New Balance shoes. I have literally tried on every shoe New Balance makes in my size. Obviously, their definition of foot shape has nothing to do with mine. He has, to paraphrase, noted that I must be exaggerating when I’ve made that statement. There is “no way” (direct quote ) that such a statement could be true. Hey, I’ve tried my size, a size and a size and half larger, wider, narrower, etc. ** Don't get me wrong. I have nothing against NB and I'm sure their shoes are well made and very comfortable for many folks. They simply don’t make one to fit me. (I’ve offered to let him call my local New Balance store. Fitting me one day became things legends are made of! The entire staff got involved.)

I felt vindicated on that one when my niece (not his daughter) recently posted a similar story on her blog about working her way through every shoe in the New Balance store. Funny, without knowing it, we both hit the same poor store. Luckily, our married names prevented them from knowing it. In fact, she apologized for wasting so much of their time and they told her that was okay, some other lady had spent even more time doing the same thing not long ago. (I had to break down and call her the day she made that post. We laughed together until we cried.)

It’s not just N.B., I have tried ALL of the major brands. Then, I moved down to the less major and , finally, checked out any shoe that looks even vaguely like it might serve as a functional walking/stretching/ aerobic shoe. For a while there, K-Mart actually carried a line of very reasonably priced shoes that offered good support and a fair amount of durability. Alas, they’ve changed the design to make them look more streamlined and sexier, their words - not mine, and I find them to be somewhat uncomfortable now.

Just after Christmas, I found myself shopping for (surprise!) athletic shoes. After five full days of shoe store after shoe store and lots of time at Dick’s and Sports Authority, I finally bought a fairly inexpensive pair of Champion shoes at Payless. They were rated fairly well in several fitness magazines and by Consumer Reports. They felt pretty good. I wore them at least a dozen times and for entire days of activity on my feet. No problem. I was pleased. And then….

All of a sudden two weeks ago, they “just didn’t feel right.” I wore them anyway. Last week, I threw them on and ran to the grocery store and made a few other stops. My feet hurt so bad that I could hardly stand it. By the time I got home, I walked like I was crippled. They came off just inside my front door. My feet and legs hurt for several days. I put them on again Wednesday and ended up taking them off before I even left the house. They are now in the Goodwill bag and I’m looking for replacements.

Which brings us to Friday . . .

Friday’s shopping spree turned out to be a dud. It just wore me out and left me totally frustrated. On the up side, who needs to exercise after a day of trying on shoes all day - you know, getting in and out of the car, walking through the stores, and bending (Oh ! The bending!!!) up and down, up and down to put shoes on and off and then walking thirty feet back and forth to see how they feel. I had to come home and soak my feet!As for the dress shoes - it’s an evening wedding. I think I’ll wear a long dress or skirt. Maybe it could be color-coordinated to my Crocs.

Stop laughing. My Crocks are a nice brown, more like a standard clog. Do you think they’d be more formal in black? Wait. I just looked at the Croc website. They DO make dress Crocs!!!! Maybe these would work.
Or, maybe these . . .
Wow!! These would look dressy, although I'm not sure my feet would like them, even if they are made of soft rubber!

You know, a lot of us "older folks" laughed, but maybe these high school girls have a point when they’re wearing flip flops, high top tennis or army boots to prom with their gowns.

Thursday, March 17, 2011


What a great excuse for a parade!!

May you have a world of wishes at your command,

God and his angels close at hand,

Friends and family their love impart


Irish blessings in your heart!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

The Ides of March are upon us!!

Do kids still study Shakespeare in high school? For that matter, so they study ancient history and know who Caesar was or do they just associate him with a casino in Vegas?
If your answer is "No" and you are among that younger generation who have no clue, the Ides of March is the name given to March 15th in the Roman calendar and probably referred to the day of the full moon. The 15th of May, July and October were also referred to as the Ides.

So, why does March stand out? The Ides of March gained fame as the date Julius Caesar was killed. On his way to the Theatre of Pompei (where he was killed) he stopped off to see a fortune teller (okay, they called them "seers" then). This psychic had previously warned him that harm would come to him no later than the Ides of March. He gloated, "Well, the Ides of March are upon us," indicating nothing had happened. So there! But the seer responded with, "Ay, they have come but they are not gone." Before the night was over, Caesar died, stabbed 23 times. And so, the term the Ides of March has come to represent coming danger.

So much for the history lesson.

In our modern culture, the term is often used as a promotional phrase for everything from a reason to party in the local bars (like we need a special reason this close to St. Paddy's Day!!) and for clearance sales in the department stores. Some folks try to look like they are paying homage to history by conducting some sort of annual event.
Photo is taken from the Rome Hash House Harriers blog site
which incidentally boasts their self-proclaimed label as
"a drinking club with a running problem"

My favorite of these is the Hash House Harriers in Rome who celebrate each year with a toga run through the streets of Rome, winding up in the spot where Julius Caesar was killed. Yep, picture a fraternity toga party on the move! (The Hash House Harriers is an international group of non-competitive running, social and drinking clubs.)

For me, the 15th of March carries a whole different meaning. In my mind, it marks the point where we begin to really move into Spring. We rarely see snow after this date and usually we do start seeing some green sprouts breaking through the ground. I can see buds forming on the forsythia (although our ground is too soggy for me to get close enough to post a picture of these). This week, it seems the sun has come out and it actually feels Spring-like. I sat outside and simply inhaled the fresh air on Sunday. I watched the geese and ducks play at the edge of the pond. (Yes, that is an actual pond and not a puddle, although all that rain last week makes it hard to tell the difference!)

Well, it's sunny again today and I want to get out there and soak up some rays. Hope y'all are starting to see Spring in your near future, too. (Spring officially arrives on Monday!!!)

Friday, March 11, 2011

What can you do with an empty PBR can?

Who among us hasn't seen some dude wearing a crocheted hat of some sort that incorporates his favorite beer can? (Okay, so don't admit to such atrocities -but we know you have !)

Missed this unique craft show last Saturday. Gotta mark the calendar for next year. Maybe I'll even think about participating. I kind of like the creativity challenge.

The 3rd Annual PBR (Pabst Blue Ribbon) Crafting Challenge was held in Philadelphia on Saturday featuring 20 tables of vintage PBR items and crafts made from or depicting PBR in some way, shape or form. Oh yeah, PBR also sponsored some great refreshments. I've heard tell beer flowed freely (and yes, "free" was a price quote.) They did ask for an $8 donation at the door. Admission included free refreshments, games with prizes, and live entertainment by five bands throughout the day.

I came across the listing late on Friday night and couldn't convince The Big Guy we should check it out on Saturday. Not even free PBR could draw him in. (He's become a craft brew man in his old age.)

I can only imagine what a world of wonders were presented at this event held by the Philadelphia Independent Craft Market. I'm sure there were the usual pinwheels, airplanes and trucks made from empty cans. Perhaps there was some interesting jewelry, too. Lightbulbs are starting to flash in my brain.

With this in mind, I went online to see what unique creations might have been there. I was impressed. Bear in mind these pics are not necessarily using PBR cans, but you can use your imagination. (I just googled "beer can art - images.")

Yep, that's a car made from Bud cans. I'm not sure it is actually road legal but it is an eye-catcher, even if it must be a trailer queen.

For those with a smaller project in mind, I thought this peacock was quite creative, don't you?

Or, you might like to start small and work on a babe like this one.

Carrying the concept a bit further, I couldn't help but be amazed by this chandelier using booze bottles. Now, who wouldn't want one of these in their clubroom? Okay, I'm off to try to locate something as interesting to do this weekend. I'll keep you posted. Have a good one, y'all.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

My kingdom for an ARK !!!

Does anyone have any actual plans for an ark? We could use one about now.

I'm keeping my eye on my neighbor's boat in their yard. When it starts rocking with the waves, I'm climbing aboard. We've had 4-5 inches of rain since last midnight and we're getting awfully soggy.

Seriously, we have many closed roads in the neighborhood. One actually closed about an hour after I used that section of highway. I told Bill I knew it wouldn't be long before the water encroached on the traffic lanes. Most of the road flooding is more from runoff than river overflow (although they are overflowing). When we went to dinner, I was actually trying to formulate an alternate route home as I had doubts about getting out the way we went in. The County actually announced this morning they would be closing roads before they actually flooded as there were way too many water rescues during the last big rain and they don't want to endanger the rescue crews. (That was a week or so ago, when an Amish wagon was actually washed off a roadway in Kentucky by the same storm!) When the base of the bridge comes within 6" of the water level, they'll be blocking the roads off.

One would have to see just how many rivers, runs and streams surround us, as well as marshland, to truly appreciate this. I made a trip to the Post Office about 2 p.m. This involves traveling around the lake at the end of my block which has a raised embankment (we're talking a 12'-15' berm) which then comes downhill to the roadway. Today there appeared to be a moat around the outside of that embankment at that point which was then flowing over the curb at one end and flowing toward a sewer hole. I then use an 4-lane interstate highway that runs parallel to I-95. In a little over 2 miles, I cross three "runs" ("Runs" are larger than a stream but smaller than a river - I believe runs are tidal and streams are not), a lagoon and multiple marsh areas which are divided by the roadway. All were high - VERY high at 2 p.m. The lagoon was actually lapping at the white line at the edge of the highway. (There's usually a 5'-7' grassy area there.)

I forgot to mention the P.O. backs up to the river. About a block prior to the P.O. there's a small parking lot with a brick storefront (a tatoo shop) that sits just about on the river. The building and parking lot sit on a concrete slab which is surrounded on 3 sides by marshland leading into the river. The river was within about 3' of that parking lot this afternoon. I mailed my package and headed home. Today water had pooled at the base of the trees in the woods along the roadway at a point I have never seen before. I believe that area had to flow onto the roadway sometime tonight.

It's strange though. The stream that crosses the back end of our property is high but I've seen it much worse over the years. (Hurricane Floyd about 12 years ago brought 17 inches of rain in 3 days.) Our front yard has a dip from the street to the house and usually pools some water. It is worse there than either of us ever recalls in 35 years here. It's actually resembling a pond encompassing our yard and our neighbor's and has a true "flow" toward the small drain on the opposite side of our driveway! We've never gotten water in the house (great design and placement on the property) but occasionally have a small bit ease under the garage door. It's never flowed more than 4'-5' in though. (I haven't had the guts to look today. We purposely don't have anything near the door. There's nothing there for it to hurt.) Our 2-car garage is strictly for storage. A car has not been inside in 20 years!

On our way to dinner, we again pass over three rivers and a major run. (We're talking an 8 mile trip.) The first two rivers were within their banks at that time (barely) but the woods surrounding the second river were probably surrounded by a good 8"-10" of water for blocks (runoff). The third river had definitely overflowed its banks by quite a bit but was a good 4' or so below the bridge. (Lots of leeway!!) Again the woods in that area were completely soaked and flowing. The run was what I would refer to as "raging" but it is crossed via a "new" bridge built last year and raised about 10' from its old position. Had the old bridge been in place, that road would have been closed. The road coming into the restaurant was overflowing with runoff but was less than 6" deep. Had we not been meeting someone there, we probably would not have left the house!! The water had risen considerably by the time we left the restaurant (about 7) but had not flooded the roads yet.

All of these observations were made during the daylight. It has now rained, at times very hard, for several more hours. Who knows what lurks in the dark!!! (We've actually warmed up enough the past two weeks that I worry about snakes. When the ground becomes saturated they surface and begin to get a little too close for comfort in my book!)

Monday, March 7, 2011

A Mardi Gras meal !!!

Tomorrow is Mardi Gras.

For the second year in a row, we’re not having a party but we’ll celebrate anyway. Got some beads hanging around the house. The zydeco music is in the CD player, ready to play. I'll spend tomorrow making gumbo for our Cajun pleasure. Gumbo takes a while to brew properly and I usually prefer to make it at least a day ahead of time. However, I don't have a car here today and I'm missing some of the basic ingredients so I'll need to make a grocery run in the morning and then get my "mess a brewin'.
Wanna make some, too?

Here’s my recipe:

Gumbo, a Cajun specialty, can be many things. There are almost as many variations out there as there are cooks.. I pretty much took all the things we liked in many different versions and put them together to come up with this one. It makes a ton, freezes great and keeps our crowd happy ! The downside: it will take you the better part of a whole day to make the pot. (Remember, you can eat this for a long time, it does make a lot !)

1 ½ cups canola oil (It has better flavor if you use butter, instead!)
1 ½ cups flour
3 cups chopped sweet onions
2 cups chopped celery
3 cups chopped bell peppers
1 lb. smoked spicy hot sausage - cut cross-wise into ¼” slices
(I use andouille, but chorizo or kielbasa also works.)
3 tsps. salt
2 tsp. cayenne
6 cups of beef broth (I use low sodium)
1 medium-sized chicken, cut up (I use about 1 ½ lbs. of boneless breast cut into large bite-size pieces.)
3 cups chopped okra (fresh or frozen)
Cajun seasoning
3-4 Tbsp. of parsley flakes
2-3 Tbsp. file powder
1-1 ½ lbs. peeled shrimp
2-3 sliced jalapeno peppers (partially de-seeded)

Making the Roux -
(The roux is the most important part. Get this right and the rest simply falls together.)

First, make a chocolate brown roux. Heat oil in heavy -bottomed pot (or cast iron skillet) over medium heat. (I found my club-ware pot - although heavy - did not work real well. I use a cast iron Dutch oven bottom for this and it is perfect. I do, however, need to switch to the bigger pot once the roux is working. This makes a big pot full!) Gradually add flour (about a ¼ cup at a time), mixing with a whisk or wooden spoon until each addition is well integrated.

When all flour has been added, constantly stir over medium heat (lower heat slightly as necessary). Roux will gradually change from light caramel color to peanut butter color to a rich brown. This process should take about 20-25 minutes.

If black, burned specks appear in the roux, throw it out and start over. Be careful, this substance can splash easily and does stick and burn any skin it touches.

Now that you have a good roux, add the onions, celery and bell peppers and continue to stir for several minutes until wilted. Add the sausage. Add about 4 cups of beef broth. Stir until the roux and broth are well combined. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low. Cook uncovered, stirring occasionally, for 1 hour.

Season the chicken with Cajun seasoning, being sure to coat it well. (I put this in a plastic bag and shake it well, then let it sit in the bag soaking up the seasoning until the gumbo has cooked with the sausage for that hour.) Add the uncooked chicken pieces at the end of that hour. Add the okra, parsley and file at that time, too. Let simmer for 2 hours. Stir occasionally.

Taste test occasionally during that time to determine if you need to add more of the spices to suit your own taste. (Remember, the spices “expand” and get a little richer while the gumbo sits in the fridge overnight or the next day!)

Finally, add the shrimp. Simmer for 8-10 minutes. Turn heat off. Shrimp will finish cooking in the residual heat.

To serve: Prepare a bowl of white rice. Fill a soup bowl about 2/3 full with the gumbo and top with a spoonful or two of rice in the center of the bowl. Add a good fresh crusty bread will for a complete meal.

Friday, March 4, 2011

National Pound Cake Day

I was surprised to learn today is National Pound Cake Day.
Thank goodness I have plenty of eggs, butter and flour on hand. I can whip up one of my Gran's signature pound cakes. We (all of us cousins) simply call it "Gran's Pound Cake." It does have a slightly different flavor than most pound cakes and the secret ingredient is "mace" (the spice not the personal security device). I've shared this recipe here before but in honor of this special day, here it is again:

(A Hazel Sibley Standard!)

1 lb. (2 cups) butter
3 ½ cups sugar
1 tsp. mace
½ tsp. salt
4 tsp. vanilla
10 eggs
4 cups flour

In mixer bowl, cream butter, add sugar and beat until fluffy. Add mace, salt, vanilla and 8 eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in flour, a little at a time; add the remaining eggs. Combine and mix well.

Lightly grease and lightly flour bottom and sides of pans. Pour into 2 4-qt. tube pans or 6 loaf pans. Bake at 300° for 1 ½ hours or until done. Cool in pan for 15 minutes. Turn out onto rack to cool completely.

***Best if made 3-4 weeks or more ahead of holidays; wrap in plastic wrap and then in heavy foil. Place in freezer. Get out of freezer and thaw to room temperature for 1 hour before serving. The freezing intensifies the flavor and slightly changes the consistency and texture of the cake.

To serve, cut into slices. Good served topped with ice cream or fruit such as strawberries.

**I never said it was diet friendly!!!

Now, about that mace ....
The Big Guy and I had been out to dinner one night and were on our way home when he asked the standard question: "Is there anything we need, want or desire before going home?" In other words, "Do we need to stop at the store?"
I knew I was going to make Gran's pound cake the next day for a family event and knew it called for mace. Our ensuing conversation went something like this:

Me: I should probably stop and get a can of mace.
Him: Mace?
Me: I'm not sure I have an open can in the cupboard.
Him: I guess not!
Me: I don't want to have to run out for it first thing in the morning.
Him: Yeah!
Me: I really do need it. I'm just going to go ahead and pick up a can. (With this statement, I pulled into the parking lot of the grocery store.)

Now, since I was driving, I had not seen his facial expressions throughout this talk. Now, he stared at me in disbelief, shaking his head and saying, "You've GOT to be kidding, right?"
It was then, I realized he only knew mace to be a weapon! He had absolutely no idea it was a cooking spice!! (Just what did he think I expected to happen at my family's dinner?)You do know, mace is a spice made from the bright red covering that partly encloses the nutmeg kernel, don't you?