Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Useful Things

You know how it is with some gifts. They are very nice to receive even if you aren't quite sure what you're going to do with it.

I have received my fair share of those kinds of gifts and I'm certain blog readers have received some head-scratching gifts from me. We try and select something we think the recipient will like and appreciate and use. In our mind's eye, we see them lounging in their bathrobe eating their morning oatmeal out of the flourescent heart shaped bowl we found ON SALE, at that one place over there. In reality, the recipient opens the gift and wonders just what possessed you to purchase the item let alone give it to them. Then they weigh whether you'll ever see it in use versus selling it at a garage sale.

Sometimes, setting the item aside and coming back to it later gives you an "aha!" moment, where it really is a very useful item and why didn't you think of this before. I am enjoying a couple of these right now.

This is the first item I am enjoying. It's a reed diffuser Carole gave me for Christmas a couple years ago.

If you've done any reading of the blog you know I can't have a real Christmas tree because of the huge amount of chemical sprays on the trees to keep them healthy and then preserve them once they are cut. I even have difficulty walking on a tree lot. My eyes get itchy and I start to have upper respiratory distress. But I miss that wonderful pine smell.

Yankee Candle has done a great job of recreating the pine smell I miss. Yes, it's probably all done with chemicals and I can't have a candle burning for longer than a couple hours or I start to notice it.

The diffuser puts a very light pine scent in the air. It sits in the living room and I don't always even notice it unless I linger near where the diffuser is. If it was in the office, where I spend a lot of time, I probably wouldn't be able to have it, as I'd start coughing. This works very well and I do like the smell.

This is the second item. This is a miniature tea pot. It's in the Winterberry Christmas pattern from Pfaltzgraff. I like this pattern and for a long time, Carole and her dad would get me pieces of this for my birthday and for Christmas. There are only a few things I don't have from this pattern, but I don't really need them as I don't entertain where the whole set would be nice.

My mother gave me this for Christmas some years ago. You make the tea in the top part and pour the tea into the cup. It makes 2 full cups.

I drink a lot of tea and was looking for a way to have tea ready to go when I play my game in the evenings. This has been sitting behind the microwave for a long time, untouched. I figured why not try it out.

I love it and I'm kicking myself for not using it sooner. I make a cup of tea and put the bag into the top portion with more hot water. I just leave it. I have, then, 3 cups of tea ready for consumption. Yes, it gets cold, but I just nuke the cup and am ready to go. The cup itself is about 10 ounces so this lasts for a good half hour or so, depending upon how hot I make the water.

You can bet, when it's clean, I don't put it back behind the microwave anymore.

Beverage: China Black tea


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