The broken kettle should have been easy enough to replace. It was maybe $25 at Walmart nearly two years ago (well outside the 90 day warranty), and there happens to be a Walmart right outside the base. After wandering around Walmart like a couple of lost tourists for a while, I found an associate and inquired about the location of their kettles. Two associates later, they all agreed that they don't carry tea kettles at this Walmart, kettles being "seasonal" items and all. Needless to say, I did a mental table flip the whole way home (and every time I think about this exchange, for that matter). Let's start with the broader issue first. I'm willing to admit that this may be another strange regional thing, but I'm used to people boiling water for warm beverages all year long. And they want a selection of kettles to suit their needs. Maybe down here, though, they drink everything except coffee over ice, and I just have to get used to it. Now for the second (and most idiotic) part: "seasonal?" Walmart, it is getting well into October, and you've cleared half your teas off the shelf to make room for hot cocoa and cider mixes a month ago. 'Tis the season!
Well, having been failed by Walmart, we betook ourselves to Target. Target did have a selection of tea kettles, but none looked like they'd be any more functional or durable than our broken one. We passed on Target's kettles, therefore, but we did buy some candy and drinks for the movie we were going to see (we saw Pitch Perfect, which was hilarious and unexpected). In the end, I caved and went to Bed Bath and Beyond. Their in-store collection of kettles wasn't great, but better than Target's. I finally went with a nice looking kettle that has a whistle built into the lid, thus removing the need for any spout mechanism entirely. We'll see how it goes.
My kettle quest complete, for a time, I decided to use the rest of my afternoon by stopping in at all the little thrift stores we normally drive past on the way home from Bed Bath and Beyond. I'm really glad I did this, since I learned quite a bit. One store, aimed mostly at men, was really big and one big, tidy man cave. They had everything from gently used hunting gear and sports equipment, to silly neon signs and bar sets made out of coconuts, to say nothing of the entire room of stylish menswear. The next store I stopped in was much smaller, everything was very cheap, and quite nice. It was there that I found a gorgeous navy blue ball gown from David's Bridal. I tried it on, and apart from the fact that it's as tall from hem to bodice as I am from head to toe, it fit perfectly! It's dark blue taffeta, with two tiers of pickups and two pieces of matching blue beaded applique. It has some sort of strap that comes with it; a halter maybe? I can't find any pictures of it so far. Maybe once it's been altered I'll share some pics. When I came home I was so excited to show Clayton my find, and I'm glad to say that he was excited that I found something so perfect and so far under budget. In the next couple of days, we're both going to take a trip to the seamstress to get our respective ensembles cleaned up.
That's all for now, but we'll be having a very busy month, so stay tuned!
P.S. In case you're wondering why I'm so excited about finding a ballgown, it's because Clayton and I will soon be attending the annual Marine Corps Birthday Ball, which is a formal event. I have a bunch of dresses that fit the bill for semi-formal, but I was long overdue for a new formal gown. We just took our duds to the respective tailors to get them altered today. It turns out that my dress had had several rows of pickups, which someone had removed for reasons unknown. Once the seamstress had pinned the pickups back into place, it looked like she'll only need to hem half an inch on the bottom of the gown. When I do my final fitting, I'll be sure to bring a camera so you can all see in the light of day what it looks like. Ooh! I'm so excited!