things and such, plus some booknotes

As these things go, the division-of-property has been going fairly well. Especially since T. has essentially left it up to me, with a few notable exceptions.

I’ve had to replace a few items, including dishes and pots/pans. They say not to make any major decisions while going through huge life changes — do dishes and cookware count? Well, I needed them, so had to decide anyway. Here’s what I chose:

  • I always love pretty dishes, but one can tire easily of patterns and color. So I ended up getting a set of Crate and Barrel’s Cafeware II dishes; they were on-sale when I ordered them: bonus! Inexpensive, classic, sturdy. I just got the dinner plates, salad plates, and bowls; no mugs. I like choosing a different mug each time I have tea or coffee and mugs take up a lot of space for something I wasn’t going to use that often. I LOVE these. They are heavy, sturdy, plain white dishes with a nice lip all around the edge which works great to keep sauces, crumbs, etc. on the plate and not, say, on my lap. The bowls are really nice and big, too.
  • The cookware was more difficult to decide upon. T’s dad gave us his old set of All-Clad, which was of course wonderful and I loved using them, but each piece is so freaking heavy. She wanted the cookware (since her dad had given to us; can’t really argue with that), and I decided that I loved the way the clad cookware worked but a) didn’t want to spend over $1000 on cookware to replace the All-Clad (seriously!!) and b) All-Clad is really, really heavy. So I did some research and came up with the Cuisinart MultiClad Pro set. All the reviews say it’s like All-Clad only not as heavy and not nearly as expensive — plus the set was very reasonably priced on Amazon. These arrived tonight and I joyfully unpacked them — so pretty! And although they feel like very nice cookware and have a nice heft, they are definitely not as heavy as the All-Clad, which is a relief as I have sort of weak and injury-prone wrists. I think I will really enjoy these and hopefully I won’t ever need to buy another set of cookware again as these seem quite sturdy and well-made. I like that the set comes with plenty of lids, even for the skillets. And the handles are actually noticeably more comfortable to use than the All-Clad. So, WIN!

I had to convince myself that it was okay to buy these things new and not just get a hodge-podge of “it’ll work for now” from the thrift store or whatever, but ultimately I decided that I would be happier getting quality things that I really liked. They’re classic and will hopefully last many many years so I won’t have to do that again anytime soon.

I’ve been very tempted to get new sheets but I have very comfortable, fairly new sheets and don’t need new ones (although am seriously pining for plain white sheets, which I do NOT have…)  Other than that, I don’t think I will need to replace much else. Maybe some bookshelves. A few copies of a few books. Not too bad.

In other news, I’m down to the last Harry Potter re-read, and will post a review of the series when I’m done. My reading mojo is back and it’s such a relief. I was getting worried. I’ve been able to read for a few hours at a time; I still have times when I can’t read more than a page or two, but what a vast improvement. Thanks to J.K. Rowling — it’s pretty difficult not to get sucked into Harry Potter books, and I think it helped get me back in the habit.

As I think I mentioned before, I am very tempted to just re-read old favorites this year, with some classics thrown in. Don’t think badly of me, but I’m sort of tempted to re-read Judith Krantz’ Scruples, which is deliciously gossipy and naughty. Maybe this summer. I have started listening to Oliver Twist — a good recording, and of course the story is fun and I am appreciating the Dickens style, but I think I’m going to have to listen a bit longer before I get truly sucked in.

Going to finish up The Princess and Curdie this week and then I have a few other old favorites to get through before they have to go back to the library. I’m also thinking that I might want to read some more Elizabeth Von Arnim. Stefanie had a review of Solitary Summer that sounds lovely.