Sunday, July 13, 2008


Bob was upstairs this morning getting ready for work, and I was in the kitchen making his lunch -- a ham sandwich on rye bread, Fritos, and a little container of pineapple chunks and mandarin oranges. When he came downstairs to get coffee, he said, "I read your journal entry. Sabrina wants to know what you've been eating." I laughed, and said yeah, I had seen that. He said, "I always enjoy the ones about what's in your purse." I'm pretty sure that was sarcasm, although he said not.

As far as what I've been eating, for lunch I've been taking a sandwich--Gouda or Cheddar cheese on rye bread with Dijon mustard--and potato chips (the Target brand (Archer Farms?) ones, the thicker-cut, crunchy kind. Sometimes I just want something that's really normal. Another favorite is "Vigo" brand saffron (yellow) rice with green onions olives. My friend Anna at work told me about that, and she also gave me a recipe for something else I've been eating lately--a black bean salad/dip that is similar to recipes for "Texas caviar" (black beans, vinaigrette, tomatoes and onions) with tortilla chips.

And as far as what's in my purse, well, maybe it's the purse itself that's a little more interesting. This summer I've been carrying a Vera Bradley tote bag, and using my matching accessories. I don't usually do the "matching" thing, but with Vera Bradley things, it seems to work.

"My" pattern is Emily. I remember buying my first bag several years ago with some birthday money, and thinking a long time before I chose a pattern. I picked "Emily" because I thought it was pretty classic, and would go with a lot of things, particularly jeans, given that it's a lovely medium blue, with red. I also liked the lining fabric, which is a very pretty red, blue, and yellow plaid. The one I bought was the "Miller" bag -- a medium-size tote bag with a zipper, long straps and inside pockets.

Over the next couple of years, I bought a few more pieces--a smaller bag ("Betsy") that is very similar to the Miller bag, just smaller, and an open tote bag ("Toggle Tote"), which I'm currently using to carry my Franklin Planner, handily combining two obsessions into one.

Then, of course, the pattern was discontinued.

Up until then I'd never really been a particular Vera Bradley fan or collector. I liked the bags, I thought they were exceptionally well made, and for whatever reason I just really liked them a lot. The Vera Bradley company is pretty smart. They retire the fabric patterns every couple of years or so, so if you start buying a particular pattern and want more pieces, you'd better buy them, because they won't be available forever. I hadn't bought any of the accessory items, but once I knew the pattern was discontinued, I started paying attention, seeing which things I wanted to own before they disappeared.

There's always eBay, though, of course. So over the last year or so I've been buying accessories--a wallet, cosmetic bags, an eyeglass case, and a coin purse. I also have a couple of "wristlets" in the two different sizes, one of which I use as a case for my digital camera, and another that I use to hold knitting odds and ends when I carry the toggle tote as a knitting bag. I'd love to have a cellphone case, but unfortunately, they discontinued the Emily pattern before they started making that piece, so there won't be an Emily cell phone case.

I purchased a laptop bag on eBay, but decided that it was too expensive to justify for the amount of good I would get out of it, so I put it back on eBay and resold it. I never did buy any of the huge luggage-type bags or totes, and I kind of wish I had, but it's too late now.

The only things I seem to find now on eBay are wallets, and I don't buy used stuff, so unless someone has a secret cache somewhere, I think I have all I'm going to get. My bags are still in really good shape--even though they're cotton, they seem to last a long time, and I take good care of them, being sure not to get them wet or dirty, or anything like that. But they won't last forever. And then what? I would have to choose another pattern, and I'm just not ready for that. It seems like a big commitment--oh, Bob will laugh at that, I'm sure, although I just remembered that he has a favorite camo pattern, and anytime he buys a new piece of camo clothing or accessory, it has to be that pattern, and you just don't mix and match unless you absolutely can't help it. So he should understand.

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