First things first:
The Shop Tart I have decided to drop the third person thing. It’s time, right? Right. I started to feel like I was talking about the Shop Tart behind her back, which was kind of awkward. Anyhow…
As many of you know, my father died in August. (I can’t bring myself to say “passed,” because it happened so suddenly.) I’ve been laying low, taking care of work and family and finding time to visit with friends. Please enjoy this list of things that have made it a little better.
1. This awesome photo ornament the lovely Cherry (of Cherry’s Delight, 432 Center Street in West Columbia) sent me. She used a picture of toddler me with my parents. Sure, most people would save it for the tree. I’m keeping it up year round! This would make a great holiday gift, or a gift for no reason at all. Call Cherry’s Delight and find out how to get yours. 803-739-0357. Many, many thanks to Cherry. This was such a sweet gift, at the perfect time. Feel free to be totally jealous of my fab Lacoste mini dress.
2. These shoes from a recent Coplon’s sale. Dang. I love me some French shoes, love them even more when they’re on sale. There are probably a few sale things left. (I may or may not have had a couple of other things in my bag. Okay, I did. A pair of pink Current Elliot jeans and a very practical cream colored top.) Sale or not, Coplon’s is stocked for fall and the upcoming holidays. Go see! Then head next door to Sakura for lunch. Doesn’t that sound lovely?
3. This porch. About a week before my Dad died, my husband and I tore down the rails and screens on this porch. (Excellent marriage therapy, by the way.) Unlike most of you, I have no love for a screen porch, especially not one like mine, with a painted floor. The paint is always peeling, pollen gets trapped in there forever and ever, and the screens warp and break constantly. Joe Viggiano, who I know many of you know as an excellent carpenter, built the new rail. Walker Daves, who stopped by after Dad died, was kind enough to install the fan. (This was a pretty good deal, as Walker is a well-known builder with mad skills. I may or may not have conspicuously left the unopened fan on the porch in hopes that someone would be gracious enough to install it. Okay, I did, but you knew that. Little did I know it would be one of South Carolina’s most talented builders.) Though I had planned to do the painting myself, I scrapped that plan, on account of painting is not as much fun as demolition. Our painter was John Wright. Just in case y’all are curious, none of this is a paid endorsement. We paid for all of the work. Except the fan installation, of course. We owe that guy a few drinks, for sure. This is the last thing my father helped me do, and I love it, but it’s bittersweet. That swing is the perfect place to sit and chat, read, or just sit.
4. Il Giorgione. This is my neighborhood bistro. The food is just right, the service is perfect, and, especially this time of year, you can’t beat the patio. This place feels like home to me. Except the food and service are a lot better, and I don’t have to clean up any spills.
5. The slow cooker. It’s like having someone else cook for you. I love it even more now that it has a spout. Throwing a bunch of things into a pot couldn’t be easier, and coming home at the end of the day to the smell of a home cooked meal is heaven. It makes me feel twelve years old again. Might I recommend Philly cheese steak sandwiches made with venison tenderloin?
6. Revente. The other day, I dropped off a few things that had been taking up space in my closet. This is the best way to make space: You make a little money and you get to visit with the sweet ladies at Revente. Anyhow, years ago, I had to pass on a Marni blouse at Coplon’s. Five years ago, to be exact, in 2009. In my mind, this blouse had become epically awesome. It was the one thing that was missing from my wardrobe. Guess what. Spotted it at Revente the other day and snapped it up. Hooray! Still love it.
7. The Happy Cafe’s freezer. Need a little comfort food? Don’t want to make it? How about chicken pot pie, taco pie, casserole, or tamales? Anything you find in the Happy Cafe will make an excellent dinner. The other day, I pulled out two bags of tamales from the freezer, chicken with red sauce and mushroom and goat cheese. By that night, they were ready to be fried in a pan. They may not be pretty, but they are delicious. Want to bring a casserole to a friend and don’t have time to cook? Once again, Happy Cafe has got your back! Stock up for a rainy day.
There you go, a few things that have been making life a little better. What’s making you smile?