August 29th, 2005



Since I was avoiding book sales by staying in today, I found myself low on groceries. Forced to use what I had in the house, I cooked vegetables and melted cheese for dinner.

While the oven was preheating, there seemed to be a burning smell, like toast. I ignored this and went on to make my food, but the smell lingered.

Hours later, after a nap (where I awoke to a toast-like smell), I decided to investigate. There appeared to be a dark mass in back of the oven. My heart sank, as I wondered if I had the guts to remove what could be a dead mouse. I got the flashlight and aimed it at the offending object. It was small and roundish, dark brown or black... a croissant!

Whew!! I had heated some mini-croissants (700 calories for the whole box) the other day, and one must have fallen out of the pan. So the toasty smell was actually toast. Charred and blackened croissant-type toast.

Far preferable to dead animal toast.

Pennies from heaven

Over on "The Next Best Thing", Dean talks about redeeming his lifetime collection of pennies, which deserves a blog entry of its own here.

I've had the Commerce Bank penny arcade on my list of things to do ever since I read about it somewhere.

I don't have a lifetime of coins, but it's been quite a while since I last cashed them in. I had wrapped up a bunch but they've been sitting around so long (at least 10 years) that the wrappers have long since unraveled and stray coins have leaked out.

At one point I got a plastic device to separate and help wrap coils of coins, but it's full and I don't know where the empty wrappers are (well, I know where they might be but it's too daunting to go through all that stuff).

So most of the pennies are stored in inverted Mickey Mouse ears that say En in Disney script, the nickels are in a smiley-face mug, the dimes are in a royal blue piggy bank shaped like a turtle, and the quarters are in a light blue piggy bank shaped like a...pig.

The piggy bank filled with quarters was originally a present from my (Great-)Aunt Pauline for my sweet 16 birthday. Unfortunately, I learned after I spent them that she specially got silver quarters for the occasion. I used to hoard quarters for laundry, but we switched to prepaid cards a few years ago.

Additional pennies are in a tarnished gray metal pig-shaped piggy bank engraved "Ellen Joan from Jeffrey." I got it when I was born, either from my distant cousin Jeff T or my mother's friend Seena's son Jeff C (no one quite remembers). When I lived in Boston, the piggy bank sat on my window ledge. I once accidentally knocked it off when the window was open, and it went plummeting down - 19 stories. Even though this was the middle of the night in Roxbury, I ran downstairs and managed to find the treasured item, in a grassy area in back of the building, unscathed.