Monday, January 28, 2008

The Best Medicine

There really is nothing better to soothe a troubled spirit than laughter. It truly is the best medicine. Thank goodness I have friends that have the ability to make me laugh until I cry. That is so much better than starting with the crying! Every so often, a friend of mine will email me excerpts from her online diary. Last night was just one of those occasions. The email was entitled “Isle of the Idiots”, and began, in part, with “I have somehow landed on the Isle of the Idiots and my life raft drifted away.” She stated, “Common sense is not so common”, (a thought that has crossed my mind more often than not in my 11 years of involvement with the bankruptcy practice.) She then offered to demonstrate “what it’s like to navigate LaLa Land”, and proceeded to regale me with tales of an Office Administrator who “inadvertently” cancels the entire company’s insurance while attempting to cancel that of just one employee; a landlord who doesn’t bother to cash a tenant’s checks until they have expired, and then complains about the $250.00 in penalties for doing so; a former employer who elects to pay $850.00 in owed contract wages, court fees and costs rather than cutting to the chase from the get-go and paying the balance of the contract wages of $720.00; and an employer who continues to send W-2s to former addresses, despite several notifications of the employee’s change of address over the last year and a half. Since I don’t have permission at this time to disclose further details of these hilarious examples of our country’s lack of education, I’ll have to just leave you with the knowledge that had I not been sitting at a desk, I most likely would have fallen to the floor and rolled with the laughter these stories brought. Thank you, Heather, I needed that like you wouldn’t have believed!

I have had other sources of laughter. I remember one of the reasons I am so thankful to have my daughter. She makes me laugh as well. She’s such a joy – well most of the time. Forgetting for a minute that she can be so stubborn and difficult strong-willed that she makes me MISS the Terrible Two’s, there are times when she does things so off-the-wall hysterical, that I can’t hardly stay angry at her. For example, the other night I was once again fighting with her to put her pajamas on, as it was getting close to bedtime. After repeating “put your pajamas on” for the 1500th 15th time, I was on the verge of pulling her my hair out. “Fun With Dick and Jane” was on tv. It came to the part in the movie where Dick was driving to the orientation meeting after he gets his promotion and “Smooth Operator” by Sade plays. (Couldn't find a decent clip of that scene.)

All of a sudden Sweetpea, in her princess underwear, starts dancing. But, it wasn’t just any dancing. She starts bouncing her body up and down with the beat while keeping her feet flat on the floor, swaying her hips back and forth, with one hand…well, on her butt! I FELL OVER I was laughing so hard. After that I just couldn’t be mad at her for the pajamas.

I did not really realize until lately that Sweetpea is a very literal person. I don't really know if that is because she is a child, or because she is just going to be one of those black and white people that doesn't see the grey areas. I also didn't realize how often I speak to her as if she were an adult. In an attempt to help her in the bathroom, we recently purchased some of those flushable wipes. Unfortunately, Sweetpea had a reaction and developed a rash from the wipes. The rash was bad enough that it spread nearly up to her lower back. When she complained of pain, I discovered the rash and applied Aquaphor ointment (for those new parents out there, this stuff is FANTASTIC, I highly recommend it.) Aquaphor is the consistency of very thick Vaseline, and will leave marks on clothing similar to grease stains. In an effort to protect her pajamas and sheets from the staining, I put two pairs of underwear on Sweetpea under her pajamas. When she asked why, I told her it was to keep the medicine from bleeding through and making a mess on her sheets. It didn't occur to me that she would take that statement literally. When my husband went to tell her goodnight, he came back telling me that she was thought she was actually bleeding, and that is why she had two pairs of underwear on. I went back in and tried to explain that I meant the medicine would leak through her clothes, but no matter what I said she was absolutely, utterly convinced that she was bleeding. Like I said, stubborn strong-willed. Since this is not something that scares her (thanks to the not infrequent bloody noses in the winter) I finally just gave up and told her that if she went to sleep there wouldn't be any more bleeding.

Recently, Sweetpea has also come up with a new saying. It wouldn’t be nearly so funny, except she has misunderstood the actual saying. She has been going around the house exclaiming “holy hockamoly!” Do not ask me where she got it, I don’t know. I do know neither my husband nor I use the phrase “holy guacamole”, which is where this comes from. Hmmm. I say her interpretation is much better.

She has also recently become enamored with Achmed the Dead Terrorist. For those of you who don’t know, this is a ventriloquist’s dummy. The ventriloquist’s name is Jeff Dunham, and if I ever get the chance to see him in person, I’m there! If you ask Sweetpea what Achmed says, she responds with “I kill you!” in a very high, shrill voice. She also spells his name: “A…C…Phlegm…” followed by phlegmy throat noises. Yes, I am completely aware that there are people out there that will/do think I am a terrible mother for letting my 3, almost 4, year old watch this sort of thing. I say, PLEASE. There’s more violence in the cartoons she watches. I’m not worried about a few minor swear words, or someone making fun of suicide bombers. But, in order to grasp the full gravity of the hilarity of this, you MUST see Achmed. So, today I leave you with these video clips of Achmed the Dead Terrorist, and Jeff Dunham. (Warning: these do contain a few “questionable” words, so if you are easily offended you may not want to watch. Of course, if you are THAT easily offended, you probably shouldn’t be reading my blog. They are also a little long. The first is 11 minutes, and the second is 5. Enjoy!)

Friday, January 25, 2008


I haven’t felt much like writing lately. It’s because of something that happened recently, to a complete stranger, that has been bothering me for the last week. A few months ago I began reading another blog by the name of “Because I Said So”. I have mentioned the blog before, authored by Dawn Meehan. Dawn has a friend whose young son, Julian, has been suffering with cancer for quite some time. Thanks to Dawn’s blog, I have been following the plight of this child through the regular updates posted by his mom, Mimi, on Saturday evening came the post that Julian had passed away. I read the news Sunday morning, and his funeral was Wednesday. Julian was 4 ½ years old.

I have been struggling with this. Why? He was a stranger, his mother is a stranger. In fact, I know no one in his family. I certainly can’t relate, I’ve not lost a child. For one thing, no parent should ever have to bury their child, no matter how old. (Incidentally, I am aware that there may be one or more parents out there reading this that have lost a child. I apologize if this opens old wounds, and I have nothing but the utmost respect for you and the deepest of sympathies for your loss. I cannot imagine what you must have gone through, and still go through every day.) But the fact that someone, whose story I have become entwined in just through reading about their terrible situation, has lost a child very close to the same age as my own daughter, strikes the fear of God in me.

Appropriate phraseology, I suppose, since it has also made me reflect on my own faith. Mimi has handled the whole ordeal with amazing, unshakable faith. She has put her trust in God, and believes that Julian is now safe with Him, and that someday she will be with him again. I, on the other hand, cannot imagine how she is able to do this. It makes me wonder, would my faith be a support for me in a situation like this? Or would it be a burden? Those of you who know me well know that I have never been a big supporter of organized religion. I won’t go into the reasons for that here, as I do not intend to use this as a soapbox to preach about what I view as wrong with organized religion today. However, I do believe in God. I have no doubt He exists, and I have always had faith in Him. But I wonder, if my daughter was taken from me like Julian was taken from Mimi, would I still have that faith? Would I still believe that there is a reason for everything? How could I not be utterly, bitterly, eternally angry for the loss (or theft) of my child?

In a situation like Julian’s, there isn’t anyone to blame. It’s no one’s fault Julian had cancer. It’s no one’s fault he could not beat it, though he fought hard and long. But we humans always need someone or something to blame. We always need a place to direct our anger, even if misplaced. I can’t help but feel like, were it my child, I would be blaming God. I can’t imagine not being angry at Him for stealing such a wonderful being from me. And I have no doubt that is how I would view it. I know I would be so angry at the unfairness of it all, that someone so small and defenseless had to suffer so much, and never got the chance to experience all life has to offer. And that I would never experience all she had to offer. I imagine Mimi must feel at least some of this, though she handles it all with a strength I can’t fathom, but that I certainly admire. How do you put your life back together after something so tragic? I suppose you just continue to live each day as it comes, and find a way to deal with the pain a little at a time. Mimi’s way seems to be her faith. I don’t know what my way would be. I pray I never have to find out.

In the meantime, I am thankful for what I have. I realize how very lucky I am to have the people I have in my life, and I intend to let them know it. I am thankful that we are all healthy and safe, and that we have each other. My heart breaks for Mimi and her family, and I do keep them in my prayers.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

What Did I Do?!?

I really should have my head examined. Over the last couple of months, people in my office have been discussing their individual needs/desires to start exercising regularly. Of late I have also become somewhat dissatisfied with my own flabby physique, and immediately voiced my agreement. Unfortunately, I forgot we have a go-getter marketing whiz that works in the office as well. She has now put together an exercise program of sorts. It’s a little like an exercise club. Here’s how it works: each participating person pays $1 at the beginning of each month as a “buy in” to become a member of the club, all of which go into the membership pot. Thereafter, each member must exercise for half an hour a day, five days a week. After each exercise session, the member must then check off the day next to his/her name on the posted checklist. If a member misses a day, he/she puts a quarter into the pot. Saturday and Sunday are make-up days, so if an earlier day in the week is missed, the member can make it up on the following Saturday or Sunday and get his/her quarter back. At the end of the month, all members completing all their required exercise days get their dollar back, plus the possibility of rewards depending on how many quarters got put in the pot. There are a lot of people in the office that seem to lack the motivation and/or will power to continue to exercise regularly on their own (guilty!), so the idea is to give them some kind of better incentive to keep it up. Or punishment when they don’t, I’m not sure which.

So, when the marketeer extraordinaire came around recruiting for the club, I immediately signed up. I did so for a couple of reasons: 1. because it was partly due to my complaining that this came about, and 2. because I felt like if I had something to keep me in line, I might actually be able to get a little bit more healthy and maybe lose a few pounds in the process. The program started this week, and I have now experienced my first solid half hour of real exercise in I can’t tell you how long. Probably since before I graduated from law school. I now remember why it is I haven’t exercised seriously in that long, and why it was I hated exercise even back in my heydays of high school when I was actually in shape.

We have in our basement an elliptical machine that I insisted we needed during the post-holidays sales last year. At that time, my husband’s family was taking bets as to how long my exercising would last. This week was the first time I’ve been on it. I don’t know who won the bet. It’s been down there long enough with no use that the electronic panel needs new batteries. Since I was not inclined to change them at 5:30 in the morning, I have no idea how many calories I burned, what my heart rate was and was unable to use any of the “resistance” features. (Not that I would have, since I thought I was gonna DIE after about five minutes, and the machine’s default is the easiest setting available.)

So there I was, rolling out of bed before dawn just to put on gym shorts, a t-shirt and tennis shoes and saunter downstairs to the torture chamber. I must admit, my attitude at that time was quite out of character for me. Though I wasn’t exactly thrilled at being up that early (since I am NOT a morning person), I was nonetheless excited to finally be doing something good for me for a change. And then I got on the machine.

I am reminded of a forward email that goes around about this time of year. It is about a parent whose sweet, thoughtful, adult child has purchased them a gift of a gym membership and week’s (I believe) worth of sessions with a personal trainer. The personal trainer suggests that the parent keep a diary as it will somehow help with their motivation to continue to work out, and the email is written from that perspective. At the beginning the parent is excited to get started and raves about how beautiful/handsome the personal trainer is, as well as what a great, motivational personality he/she has. By the end of the week, the parent can’t hardly even write in the dairy for the pain, and is calling both the child and the personal trainer every name in the book. I can relate.

I’m the type of person who needs a distraction while exercising, or else I’ll never finish more than five minutes worth. When I was in law school, I used to walk with a friend, and then later studied or read a book while on the elliptical machine. Since my IPod STILL doesn’t have any music on it (why did I want that thing again?) I took a book with me to read. The book is “A Horse and His Boy”. It’s the third or forth book in the Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis. If you’ve ever read this, you know it is not difficult reading. They are, after all, children’s books for the most part. For the first three minutes of pumping away on the elliptical I kept thinking, “I can do this, this isn’t so bad” and read away. By the fifth minute, I was looking up about every 10 seconds to check the clock to see if my half an hour was up yet, and thinking “OMG, what did I do?!?” I started having difficulty reading, as sweat began to pour from my brow and blind me. This problem was compounded by my glasses slowly slipping down until I had to crane my neck back to read through them on the tip of my nose. (My fault for not putting my contacts in first.) This, of course, caused me to have to put the book down to push them back up again, since this elliptical does not have a nice place to rest your book and to hold your water bottle like the fancy ones at the University of Wyoming. It was either put the book down or stop exercising so I could let go of the machine with the other hand without launching myself 20 feet across the basement. I didn’t even finish one chapter.

By the time 10 minutes rolled around, I began to wheeze and cough, on top of the panting that had begun around minute 6. Now, granted, part of this had to do with the fact that I have regular year-round allergies and ran out of Claritin-D the day before. But mostly it’s because I’ve been a slug for the last 5 years or so. By the time I got off the machine and slowly, painfully climbed the stairs to go get ready for work, I was contemplating just paying my $4.50 for the rest of the month and being done with it. My face felt like it was on fire, as did the majority of my muscles from the chest down. I was so soaked with sweat I thought I might as well just skip the shower, towel off and go from there. All I could think about doing was going back to bed, and suddenly the 69 degrees that is normally too cold for me in our house felt like an oven. My husband took one look at me and, with great amusement, asked if he should call 911. If I had had the energy to lift my arm, he would have gotten slapped for that. He refused to kiss me goodbye when he left for work because I was, quote, “all sweaty and icky”. I spent the rest of the morning breaking into a sweat any time I did the least bit of anything physical. This includes washing my hair in the shower, getting dressed, putting on my shoes, picking up my daughter, yada yada. The rest of the day all I did is curse my big mouth. I think the next cross stitch I do will be this one, and I will do several copies, one for my office, one for my living room, one for my car…:

Monday, January 7, 2008

Say What???

Well, first I would like to say thank you to my friend Sid for leaving that wonderful, highly confusing comment concerning my hypothesis that Newton has a lost law of physics which applies to frosting:

Silly Lawyer - My guess is that your frosting is an example of a non-Newtonian fluid (thixotropic fluid in this case), i.e. a liquid that becomes less viscous when stirred (or vibrated)”.

Say what??? For those of you that haven’t guessed yet, Sid is an engineer (chemical?) and is currently working for an oil company in Saudi Arabia, at least until we get him back home in the U.S. after his retirement sometime this year. I am not ashamed to admit that I had to look up the meaning of two words in that comment, thixotropic and viscous. (It’s pretty bad, I think, when the id est doesn’t make any more sense than the original sentence! See, I still remember a little of my Latin.) Sorry, Sid, my lawyer/ENGLISH MAJOR brain just didn’t grasp it without a definition. So, for those of you that are right with me and don’t understand a thing he just said, here’s what I found out: thixotropic is the adjective form of the noun thixotropy, which, according to the American Heritage Dictionary, means “The property exhibited by certain gels of becoming fluid when stirred or shaken and returning to the semisolid state upon standing.” Viscous is an adjective meaning “Having relatively high resistance to flow” or “Sticky”. Hmmm. Does this apply to frosting? I dunno, I think frosting might be the opposite. I wonder, is there some fancy way to say “it dries out and then it breaks”? See, I can be scientific, too!

And speaking of science, I had the pleasure over the weekend of “experimenting” with Food Writer markers on my most recent cake. Here’s a pic of the final product:

You guessed it, I don’t like it. No, I never like my cakes. I can stand and stare at them and all I can see is all the things I did wrong. Eventually I just walk away. Once again, I learned a few things with this cake:

1. When leveling a cake, make sure your cake leveler is wide enough to pass by the cake board on which your cake rests. Failure to do so will result in a lopsided cake, and at least one piece of cake with 2 inches of filling (in this case frosting) in the middle, applied in an attempt to create an artificially level cake.

2. Never over-compensate: don’t buy wide-tip Food Writers when fine-tip will do.

3. Food Writers color/write much easier on dried substances, such as royal icing that has been allowed to set up, or molded and dried fondant.

4. Applying more pressure while using a Food Writer on moldable fondant will not make a darker line. It will, however, put holes and tears in the fondant requiring the writer to start over with new fondant.

5. Food Writer lines do not erase. However, they smear wonderfully.

6. Fondant that has been written on with Food Writers changes colors when mistakes are kneaded in.

7. When creating a “sign” out of fondant that is meant to be curved, it is best to cut a curved pattern rather than curving the fondant when placing it on to the cake. Otherwise, the “sign” becomes creased or folded, and the letters will look squished together.

8. Whenever you are looking for an image to copy or use as a template, every image you find will be too small, too big, too wide, too narrow…or just plain scary! Damn that Murphy.

9. When tracing an image from a template onto fondant, a light box becomes an irreplaceable tool. Light boxes are sold at craft stores, (and I’m purchasing one the next chance I get!)

10. An image copied from your own freehand drawing will never be as good as the original.

So, as you probably gathered, I could not find an image of a skull and crossbones that was the right size to fit on the cake. So, I took a smaller image, pencil and paper and freehand copied it to increase its size. Then I cut out my drawing and used it as a pattern to cut the image out of the fondant. I did all the details on the inside of the skull as well, then traced over it with black marker thinking I could put the fondant on top and trace the pattern. Obviously from my comments above, you know that didn’t work out too well. So I ended up freehand drawing the image twice, once on paper, once on fondant. Even though I think the nose is off-center:

I think the pencil drawing was much better than the one on the fondant. Well, we are our own worst critics. I should sit down and write a couple thank you notes to a few art teachers, though….

Anyway, since I still have my Christmas decorations up in both my office and my house, I thought I’d finish up with a quick story. Last post I mentioned that I had to send my husband to the grocery store on Christmas Eve. If I could have avoided sending him, I definitely would have, but as it turned out we were out of a few things needed to make the French Toast Casserole (thank you Paula Dean) that we were having for breakfast on Christmas Day. As he was out gallivanting with his dad that day, he got assigned the duty. He came home with a story that reminded me why it is I make such an effort every year to have everything, and I do mean EVERYTHING, I need to accomplish Christmas at home no later than December 23rd. It also reminded me of the one thing I hate about that time of year: the fact that no one remembers what the season is really about by the time the day rolls around.

As he approached the grocery store, my husband thought it would be an ok trip. Even though the parking lot was full, he managed to get a space right up front since he was lucky enough to pull in just as someone was pulling out. When he got inside, however, that thought was quickly dashed to pieces. The store was packed, people everywhere rushing to finish their last minute purchases for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day treats and dinners. His report was that there was barely enough room to move. Filling his cart with the few things we needed turned out to be a painfully slow process, and he spent twice as long in the store that would have been necessary on any other day. Of course, he said there were people pushing and shoving each other to try to get to the things they needed, with no regard for anyone else. Finally, the last straw for him, was an older man in one of the aisles. The man apparently did not like how close my husband was to him with the cart. The man began walking backwards, slowly, until he had backed himself into my husband’s cart. Once there, he continued to walk backwards until he was literally pushing my husband backwards (and into other people). My husband tried to get his attention several times, saying “excuse me” louder and louder with each attempt. The man didn’t even acknowledge that my husband was there, or that he was doing anything out of the ordinary. Finally, when the man felt he had enough room for himself, he stopped pushing and walked away, never saying a word to my husband or the people he had pushed my husband into. When I asked about the age of the man, thinking that he may have been elderly and not realized what he was doing, my question was met with “Not THAT old!” Thankfully, the trip ended better than it started. My husband was standing in line when the manager came over, looked in his cart, and took him over to customer service to check out since he had so few items. He didn’t have to wait at all. All in all, though, I think it just goes to show all we’ve forgotten about what this time of year is supposed to mean, and what it’s now become.

Friday, January 4, 2008

Holiday Review

So I admit, I’ve not really been in the mood to do much writing recently. In all fairness, I have been a bit busy with the holidays, and now that they’re over, boy am I tired! I had forgotten how much work Christmas can really be! My only saving grace was that my shopping was done early. No last minute Christmas Eve dash because I forgot something someone wanted or because I left someone off of my list. Unfortunately I did have to send my husband to the grocery store on Christmas Eve…but I’ll get to that story another time.

I did struggle the last few days trying to find something to write about, and now I realize I have a ton I haven’t gotten to. I’ll try not to squeeze too much into today, so as not to ruin the continuity of the masterpiece that is my blog. *LOL* Yeah, ok. So here we go.

It occurred to me that I finished a cake at the end of November, and I’ve never posted pics of it. Maybe that’s because I didn’t learn so much with this cake as with the others. But there were still a few learned things, as with every cake experience. This was done for a co-worker’s nephew, I believe. Here’s how it turned out:

So, as you can see, the strings on the guitar did not survive the trip to work. They did look pretty good before I left the house, but I guess that leads me to my list of things I learned:

1. It is best to always take a picture of the cake before leaving the house.
2. Stringwork, done with buttercream icing, as opposed to royal icing, does not stand up well to vibration, such as that produced by a vehicle in motion. This is either the lost Newton’s Law of Physics or one of Murphy’s, I can’t decide which. (In truth, I haven’t done stringwork with royal icing, so it’s possible that this law may apply across the board.)
3. Transporting the cake is the hardest part. (Not new, just re-learned.)
4. When transporting a cake, other vehicles on the road will treat you as if there is a gigantic red bull’s-eye painted on the side of your car. (Again, not new, just re-learned.)
5. Red icing dyes everything, from the countertop to the spatula to your hands. Red food gel (just a more concentrated version of red food coloring, so it won’t alter the consistency of the icing) also tastes like crap.
6. It is important to purchase “no taste” red food gel. This is important because, in order to make white icing red, you need to use an entire jar of red food gel, and if you use “no taste”, the icing will actually taste the way you intended it to taste.

So I guess that’s about it for this round of Learn-As-You-Make-Them Cake Trivia. I have another cake I have to do for Monday, so hopefully I’ll have some good pics – taken at home – to post once it’s finished. I am kind of excited, I get to experiment with Food Writers, which are just markers that you can use to decorate food because the ink is edible. Should be pretty fun!

Now, on to other topics. I hope everyone’s holidays were good this year, and not TOO stressful. I was very, very busy, but I enjoyed them overall. I did get some pretty awesome gifts that I’m excited about (and not one single “What the heck is that?” gift). And before you ask, no, I didn’t get the Care Bear or the My Little Ponies. But I did get money and will be headed to buy them! I really can’t name all the gifts I got, because I do get pretty spoiled every year, but among them, I GOT M*A*S*H*!!! I’m shouting this because this is something I have been asking for for a few years. Here’s what it looks like:

I used a “stock” photo, because the pic I took turned out entirely too dark and you couldn’t hardly see the case. This is the “Martinis & Medicine” collection. It is every episode of all 11 seasons of M*A*S*H*, two discs of bonus features including two reunion specials and an A&E Biography special (and, I believe, deleted scenes), and the original movie, which I’ve never seen. (I have not looked to see if these are the episodes that actually aired or the director’s cuts, but I hope they’re the director’s cuts. I’ve seen a few of those on Hallmark Channel, and some of them fill in some blanks I always had about a couple of the episodes.) It is 36 discs in all, plus a “collector’s guide” that I haven’t had the time to sit down and read through yet. I did see one version that came with dogtags and a t-shirt, but alas, I expressed my interest in those items a little too late for the purchase. I guess I’ll just have to buy the t-shirt separately, and I’ll be set. When am I going to have time to watch all of this, you ask? I have no idea, but that’s really not the point. The point is that I now have it and can watch whenever the heck I please. And no, you don’t have to tell me, I am completely aware that I’m a dork!

I also received an IPod, which has yet to be loaded with all my thousands of songs (I’m cursed as an eclectic that way), but has been clear-coated to avoid scratches. Hopefully that will be accomplished this weekend, since I hauled all of my CDs home to facilitate the task and now have nothing to listen to at work! I also got a spectacular cake book from my mil with ideas that are WAY out of my league. They’re awesome, but I’m not that good. In addition, I received a heated throw for my office (yay, no more freezing all day!). I have discovered, though, that to use the throw successfully I must turn it off and sometimes unplug it to avoid the uncomfortable buzzing it creates over the phone when someone calls. I also cannot move from underneath it while on the phone. If I attempt this, the throw creates enough static to cause a shock to jump from the handset of the phone to my ear, even when held at a distance of up to approximately 5 feet away. This beautiful blue streak of power will send enough electricity into my body to make my hair stand on end until I look like Chevy Chase on the cover of the Christmas Vacation DVD case,
(or Daniel Stern in Home Alone 2). In addition, it resets the time counter on my phone so that I no longer know how long I’ve been talking to the person, or, on the rare occasion, who it is I’m talking to! Despite these minor drawbacks, however, I’m quite pleased to actually be able to type since my fingers are no longer so frozen that I can’t move them.

My sister gave me this awesome Tea-For-Two set:
I know the picture is dark, but the answer is yes, it does have two spouts. How cool is that? It fits into my collection, which is made up mainly of miniature tea sets of all kinds from all around the world, but has slowly grown to include tea pots and tea-for-one sets. This is my first tea-for-two. I’ll leave pics of that collection for another blog. But yes, those are Christmas Bears sitting behind the set. My other collection. So, I thought I might finish off this post with a few pics of my bears. Just a few tidbits for your viewing pleasure: 1. no, I don’t know how many I have, I lost count a long time ago; 2. no, this is not all of them - some I don’t display, some are lost somewhere in my basement, this is not all the pics from that year’s display, and this display was Christmas 2005 so I’ve gotten several more since then. Other than that, just one more of my neuroses for you to enjoy!