Sundry information, thoughts and links to sort us out

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Paper Trail

Today on my favorite radio show - Wait, Wait, Don't Tell Me - they had a bit about how a woman's purse has more germs than a toilet. Disgusted, I, of course, immediately had to clean my purse! Now, this is something I generally do a couple times a month, but that cleaning usually consists of taking everything out of the bag, sorting it, throwing out/filing items I don't need in there, & putting everything else back in neatly. Today, I did that, but also sprayed the bag & all the individual contents (while removed) with Lysol. Then I left the items on the table to dry before replacing them in my purse.

Like most women, I have "regular purse stuff" - like lip gloss, aspirin, & business cards - in my bag. All that routine stuff goes back in after a cleaning. What comes out is paper, mostly receipts & a few shopping lists. I am always amazed at how many receipts I find stuffed in the various pockets of my purse! But I really shouldn't be.

Anywhere you purchase something, you're bound to end up with at least one receipt. At a restaurant, for example, they'll bring you one receipt to review before submitting payment, & then return with two additional receipts (if you pay by credit card, which most of us do) so you can sign one for them & then keep the original & the duplicate "for your records."  In our household, "for your records" means Bruce hands the receipts to me, I stuff them in my purse, & a week or so later, pull them out & stick them on top of the filing cabinet until I shred them.

Why do we need all those receipts? Why do we use up all that paper? I know a lot of folks with small mom-&-pop businesses who ring up purchases by swiping the buyer's credit card through an attachment to their smart phone. The app they use offers the option of emailing or texting the receipt to the buyer.

Isn't that brilliant? Why can't everybody do something like that? Restaurants could bring a tablet out to your table, you could review the bill, they could run your card, & you could complete the transaction on the tablet, sending yourself an e-receipt. It saves paper & trees, makes filing your receipts easier which in turn would make filing taxes easier (wouldn't it?), & means less stuff (although not necessarily fewer germs) for me to stuff in my purse.

Sunday, May 5, 2013


Bruce & I discovered The Melting Pot over 15 years ago.  We were driving home to Cleveland after visiting friends in southern Ohio, & had made it about as far as Columbus before the pouring rain became too heavy to see through.  We pulled off & started looking for a restaurant, figuring we'd have dinner while waiting out the rain.  The first likely place we saw was The Melting Pot - if you're going to wait out a storm, a fondue restaurant is the place to do it!  Dinner takes like 2 hours!

Seriously, though, it is fantastically yummy & lots of fun & we have been hooked ever since.  Our Kalamazoo group ate there during our 10th Annual New Years Bash.  Bruce & I have eaten at two of the NC locations since moving here & even introduced one of my K interns to The Melting Pot.  I'm in their Club Fondue, so I also get special offers via when it's my birthday!

So, we marked my 45th with a fabulous dinner at The Melting Pot!  A couple of my choir chums noted that one of the early prayers in our church service did say to "delight in rich foods," so this was obviously the right restaurant.  We opted for the traditional swiss cheese fondue for our first course, salads, the steak lovers selection cooked coq au vin style for our entree, & pure dark chocolate fondue for dessert.  Really, when you get to dip fresh bread & apples into melted cheese & garlic, cook excellent cuts of steak in hot wine & herbs, & dip strawberries & rice krispie treats into melted dark chocolate - all accompanied by a glass of wine - what is not to like?! Mmmm....

Plus, as always, the wait staff was super.  Our waitress was great fun - & told us that they actually do all-you-can-eat once a year, gonna have to keep an eye out for that special!  The hostess who booked our reservation also went out of her way to make sure I could use my Birthday Coupon that got me a box of chocolate-covered strawberries to take home - yum!  Plus, the couple at the table next to us popped in & gave us an extra coupon they had which brought down the cost of dinner - too nice!

If you thought fondue was just a kitschy 70's trend, think again.  The Melting Pot is classy, but casual, fun & friendly, & too tasty for words!  It's worth half an hour per course, & you go home happily full.  Happy birthday to me!