Disappearing Dishes

September 17, 2015



Pottery Barn Emma Dishes

There's a mystery in my home today and I don't know about you, but I am not fond of mysteries. My tale begins many years ago, in the houseware's department at Macy's. I was newly engaged and registering.

I had fallen deeply in love with a set of dishes from Italy and my mom bought them for me as a shower gift. They were so pretty, chunky and white, hand painted, with small yellow tulips and purple and green accents. Gosh, I loved that set.

We ate dinner on those plates every night in our newlywed apartment and they were the main decor inspiration when we bought our first tiny cottage the following year. I was a pastel girl back then.

Go figure.

When we moved into our current home and installed glass cabinets, it became very clear that my beloved set was not going to work. It did not match the decor any longer, as I had moved on to my red phase. Plus, the dishes were almost a decade old, some had broken, still others were faded or chipped. I needed a new set.

White Cottage Kitchen

I scoured the catalogs, hit the stores and finally found one at Pottery Barn. Boring and predictable. I know, but I really liked them and the price was right. It wasn't that intense first love feeling I had with my Caleca set, but I was smitten.

So Emma came home with me. I bought service for eight in yellow. I grabbed an additional setting for four, in the same pattern off the clearance shelf, to mix in a few bold pops for drama.

They were red.

Perfect.

As the years passed and I lost many of those pieces, I displayed just the yellow. When the yellow pieces broke, I picked up more and then even a few more to keep on hand in case there were additional casualties. I was always afraid they would discontinue the color and I would be stuck with an uneven number of dishes.

The horror.

We could eat on paper plates, but I could not have poorly decorated cabinets. Those dishes were more than functional, they were lit up behind glass and artfully arranged. They were a focal feature, flanking my hood. I needed symmetry and I wasn't taking any chances.

However, accidents happen and things break. Bowls always seem to go first. With this in mind, at one point I believe I had about ten of them. You know, just in case.

A year or two later, there were nine.

Two weeks ago I counted eight.

Today, when I emptied the dishwasher, I was down to four.

Four.

Four??

What? I looked all over ~ in cabinets, the fridge, the kids' rooms, the freezer, the garbage pail, the pantry, my room and even the basement. No bowls.

I questioned my husband first and then moved on to the kids. Everyone gave the me same blank stare. I promised them I wouldn't be mad, I just wanted to know what happened to them. I asked if anyone knew where they were, did you lend them out, take them somewhere, throw them away by accident, break them?

No, no, no and no were the answers, except from the baby, who told me, "Mom, seriously, if I broke them do you think I would clean them up by myself?" She is fifteen...and sadly the answer is no.

So where are my bowls?

Well, the kids are convinced we have a ghost. Last summer we had to buy new silverware because all of our salad forks disappeared one day, also without explanation.

Although, I really think that someone borrowed those and never returned them. My family lives close by, we share everything, have parties and holidays together and we all have keys. That one is easier to explain, even if no one is copping to it, but four yellow Pottery Barn bowls in one day?

Really? Who wants those?

Apparently, nobody.

I asked.

Well, ghost or no ghost, I am down to four yellow bowls. It's very upsetting and I have banned everyone from using them. Pottery Barn still carries them online, but I just can't bear to lose another one. In the meantime, the kids are fighting over the remaining red bowl and a few plastic storage containers, telling me it's impossible to eat cereal off of a plate.

I'm sorry, but I don't have any sympathy. I'm too busy missing my pretty yellow bowls. They may not have been my first love, but I really thought we were in this for the long haul. I have grown to love them and cherish them. I need those bowls back.

Oooh.

Did you know Emma comes in white?

Hmmm.

Have you ever lost dishes?? I mean this one is odd, right?


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88 comments:

  1. Oh boy, what a mystery tale indeed! My guess is that one of your extended family members may have "borrowed" your bowls, and perhaps intend to return them. Maybe you need to set up a security camera in your kitchen when you are not there, lol! As for the missing bowls - have you looked on eBay? Often you can find just about anything there. It would be a good place to start if you do want to continue your bowl collection. Good luck solving the mystery! :)

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    1. Maybe I DO need security cameras! It is a totally mystery. My husband thinks that they inadvertently got tossed when cleaning out the fridge. I can see that happening to one…but four? Hmm. Thanks for weighing in!! ;)

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  2. I've lost silverware, forks especially, but we moved a lot and I think they got lost in the shuffle. Ebay came to the rescue. Look there, you might be lucky.

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    1. I totally get it! I lost a set six champagne flutes in a move...and we just moved across the street! Where does this stuff go? ;)

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  3. Well, I have found amazing things at thrift shops and sometimes antique shops...plus the joy of the search!! I suggest you look in those places too...often priced at almost nothing. It is indeed odd that so many left all at once. I have always kept 2 sets...one more for company or holiday meals...and then have lots of "everyday" stuff...that way kids, who never appreciate such things, and husbands who rarely do...can abuse them all they want to!!

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    1. That is a great idea!! I should have an extra set and a display set! Brilliant! :)

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  4. Hi Kim, well this is a mystery for sure. I have never lost bowls, but have lost my precious stainless from my wedding set, missing a fork and 2 spoons. I figured someone accidentally threw them away. Anyhow, I did find a company to replace them and I was so happy to have my complete set back again. It was a wedding gift from my aunt and meant a lot to me. I am sure you can google the make and style and find something possibly on ebay or even etsy and other sources. That is if your family doesn't have them from a past get together.
    Your kitchen is beautiful. Best of luck solving the bowl mystery!! Hugs, cm

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    1. Thanks so much, Celestina Maria! It's my favorite room in the house, even with uneven cabinets!

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  5. Wow Kim this is quite the mystery. I hope you can find your bowls or at least some replacements. How weird RIGHT?!!!! 4 all at one time. Maybe you do have a ghost!!! Just sayin that is weird.
    Kris

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    1. Right?? I think it’s very weird, Kris. I am totally stumped!! :)

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  6. Our silverware (stainless steel, everyday stuff) disappears sporadically over the years. I USED to blame all the teenagers in and out ... BUT ... well, seems like forks still tend to take off too. I don't know if they get scraped off into the trash bag or what. I had a very nice set at one time, and all that's left now are knives and all sizes of spoons. Hey, Kim, that first photo today ... I have a creamer and sugar bowl in that (cream colored). Fun.

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    1. Silverware is tricky isn't it? I think it does get scraped into the trash more than we know. I am less convinced that it happened to four bowls in one day...but at this point, I am completely perplexed! :)

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  7. Well, you know, you COULD have a ghost! I had a house in NNY that was haunted - real honest to goodness haunted. But it would be funny; first you're missing forks, and now bowls. I wonder how they plan to use the two together??
    I lost a large set of old metal cookie cutters in one move. And an old opal ring. And a silver bracelet. The last two arrived out of nowhere, and went back to the same location! When it's time to make Grandma's Brown Sugar Cookies for Christmas, I miss the cookie cutters.

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    1. I'm sorry about your cookie cutters, Nancy. How come it's only the precious stuff that seems to disappear? ;)

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  8. There are only three of us in this house....two of the male species....and I am constantly missing stuff!! I get blank stares also! I totally relate to this whole post and I feel the same about my stuff and my dishes! The male species doesn't seem to care at all.....:-)

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    1. My husband doesn't seem to care either. He is perplexed by their disappearance, but it doesn’t really bother him! ;)

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  9. Oh my gosh. I can't believe you wrote this post because I've been thinking of writing the same thing! Our dishes and our silverware are disappearing. I think the silverware disappears in the trash can periodically...not on purpose but you know.... The dishes get broken here and there. Our everyday dishes are Mikasa and they don't break easily. I've been looking around for new dishes but it seems like so many of the new ones chip real easily. I'm trying some bowls right now that are Food Network from Kohls. They are so cute but the reviews do say they chip. We will see.

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    1. My Pottery Barn set chips, too, but not a lot. It's pretty tough, but if the dishwasher isn't loaded just right, I get chips! ;( I hope your new set works out.

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  10. That is crazy odd, for sure! Ghosts do like pretty, shiny things...and sometimes even pastel dishes. :-) I try to stay with white-ish colors, because I can easily mix and match. But I do have some pale blue plates I treasure and could never match or replace if they were broken.

    And you are right, there HAS TO BE symmetry in open cabinets...no exceptions! It throws the entire house off balance if the items in the cabinets are unevenly distributed...it's just the way it works! I'm glad I'm not the only one who refuses to let some of the dishes be used....LOL

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    1. Thank you! I feel like everything is off balance when my decor is not lined up properly, too Benita. Of course, my husband thinks I’m crazy, but he also thinks that plaid shorts with a striped shirt is ok. Oh boy. ;)

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  11. LOL! oops. shouldn't laugh in the face of your dilemma.
    but this read like a darling little novel.
    i actually would have been more sad at the loss of the 'newlywed' set.
    your kitchen is absolutely beautiful.
    my minimalist self could move about there VERY easily!
    and red is so cheery.
    hope your inner poiret kicks in and you find those dishes. or at least the CULPRIT!

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    1. As a writer, your comment just completely made my day!! :) Now you have me laughing!! :)

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  12. So weird.... I did loose my several little white cafe bowls. They told me they had food in them. I suppose they were thrown out rather than washed. We also lost a gold plated fork, from my wedding set. I only use them for special events, and I count them before I put them away. Well one disappeared even though it was put away, and never to be seen again. It was probably taken to the backyard for digging in the dirt, but noone thinks so. xoxo Su

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    1. It is weird, Su!! I really think mine were thrown out, too…odd. Maybe you’ll find your fork in the garden one day!

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  13. Ha, the same thing happens in my house...the missing bowls, the pleading and telling them you won't get mad, and the blank stares. Then they all just blame the dog. ;) Love your pretty bowls.

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    1. That’s funny, Kristi! Poor pup! :)

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  14. This story is hilarious! I guess I should be more sympathetic and say, "I am so sorry to hear about the loss of your bowls". Better? In all seriousness, I have no idea what happens to our treasured pieces. They just seem to run off and find a new home. We are working with only 2 spoons around here and I keep a constant count on my vintage jelly glasses that I am the only one allowed to drink out of!

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    1. It's so strange Gigi...it's like they did run off all by themselves! Two spoons, huh? You're good! :)

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  15. Allllllll I can do, is droooooool over your kitchen!!!!!!! Oh be still my heart. -Happy sigh-

    Tessa

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  16. I can't say I've ever lost any dishes, however, silverware is a whole other matter! I've been complaining about it for years. I'm convinced my family is throwing them away! It's terrible too because when I do track down replacements to my set, it's $12.00 for one teaspoon. I refuse to pay $12.00 for one spoon!

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  17. Ha! It has happened to us as well. Ghosts? maybe?? It is our spoons. No one has a clue?? All of a sudden we only have 6 spoons!!
    Loved the part about your baby :-)) I am still chuckling. I can hear those very words in this house as well. :-))
    Carla

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    1. I am so glad to hear that I am not alone with that baby remark! Ugh! ;)

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  18. That is odd...someone must have borrowed and completely forgot about them??? I used to be good at keeping things...rarely lost things even when I was a kid. But now that I am older, and I have a kid, things keeps disappearing in the house! :D

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    1. Funny how that happens, isn't it, Annie? ;)

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  19. Congrats to Lynne!

    I haven't really lost any dishes except when I've used them to bring a plate of food to a party. Now I make a point of washing my plate, bowl or platter and bringing it home no matter what. My biggest mistake EVER was getting place settings for eight from Ballard's for over $200.00. They started to chip and scratch almost immediately and the warranty was pathetic. And they discontinued them about 6 months later. I'm ready to trash the remainder of them and start a new set but definitely from a reputable place where I can get pieces of the pattern when I need them.

    Good luck finding your dishes. I wish I had a way to help. :(

    Jane x

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    1. Thanks Jane, it’s a true mystery. I am stumped! It’s so frustrating when you buy something that’s pricey and it doesn’t work out. I am sorry about that. Looks like we both may be shopping for new dishes in the near future. Good luck! :)

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  20. Wow four bowls at once that is a new record indeed. Trying waking the girls and your husband in the middle of the night when their defenses are down, you might get to the bottom of the mystery!
    Tracy

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    1. Ha! Tracy, you are an evil genius! (In a good way!!) ;) That is a great idea...I will keep you posted!!

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  21. Love reading you . . .
    The mystery, four yellow Emma bowls . . . vanished.
    How can that be . . .
    I have never lost bowls or dishes but the silverware thing has certainly happened to me. And it is always the salad forks . . . Hmmmmnnnn . . .

    I am so excited to be the Stencil Pillow winner . . . THANK YOU!

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    1. It is a completely mystifying situation, Lynne. I keep thinking that I am going to find them in the laundry room…or garage!! ;) And congrats!! :)

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  22. I always love to see pics of your kitchen! Such pretty colors! You do a great job! Lynn

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    1. Thanks so much, Lynn! You just made me smile! :)

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  23. Hilarious post! You are quite the funny one!! lOOK UNDER tHE BEDS! Your sure to find the bowls with the spoons stuck to them! Ha! I very had kids and grand kids! Take care! Enjoy your new dishes! Your kitchen is darlingToo!

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    1. You may be right, Cindy! Off to peek right now. If I find them there, I will come back and let you know!

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  24. I imagine that my missing cookie sheets, tupperware, bowls, serving platter etc are in either of my son's cubboards :)

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    1. Can you check to see if my bowls are there, too, Deb? ;)

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  25. This is so funny! And yes, bowls and silverware have disappeared around here, too. Though the disappearing bowls were temporary...I have discovered that one would be in the fridge holding grapes. Or that I used one for the cat's water bowl when their regular bowl was in the dishwasher. As for the silverware, my husband was the culprit - he had been taking forks to work along with his packed lunch!

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    1. I know, Melanie, I was sure they were in the fridge or the dishwasher…we don’t have a cat, but trust me, we used to and that was a thought! It’s just a total mystery. And I get the work/ fork thing. I pack the kids plastic now. I lost too many to the cafeteria garbage pails!! :)

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  26. Reading the comments is almost as entertaining as your fun post. I was also going to suggest under the beds. Those bowls look to be perfect for bedtime ice cream... on a related note my college aged niece is living off campus this year in a house with some girlfriends and they have had some mysterious noises and are convinced the house is haunted. One of the first days they lived there my niece noticed that one of her shirts was missing. None of the roommates admitted to borrowing it and it will likely turn up eventually but maybe it was the ghost. Good luck with finding your missing stuff. My daughter has been searching area thrift stores and I have been accompanying her when she is looking on the west side of the state and there is a lot of partial sets or individual pieces out there. And the hunt is fun.

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    1. I am excited to hunt...for something totally new now, Lorri. I could get the bowls at PB, but they are so pricey when you buy them individually that I could get a new set for not much more!! You're so right about the comments, I love reading them, people share some great stuff.

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  27. Hi Kim, I see my comment that I left you yesterday did not appear. Maybe there is a ghost! Lol. I will leave my comment again.
    Ok, yes I agree the situation is strange. As you said about outside family dropping by, maybe they took them or yiu gave someone leftovers in the bowls.
    If you want them then I would check out eBay.
    Good luck with the mystery.
    Thanks for all of your sweet visits too.
    Enjoy this beautiful weather and have a nice weekend.
    Julie

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    1. Hi Julie! That’s funny, I didn’t get another comment…maybe there is a ghost! Halloween is on the horizon after all. Although, today, when I went into Tuesday Morning, all I saw was Santas!! ;)

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  28. What a great tale, Kim! I am intrigued, I must say! I haven't had dishes go missing, but silverware? Constantly. And I'm pretty sure we have a ghost in the house, too, but I don't think it's taking the silverware. I think I can thank my son for that --silverware seems to get tossed into the garbage frequently. Love you writing style!

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    1. Hi Amy! Thanks for stopping by and leaving such a nice comment! I keep trying get it out of the kids, because you’re right, they are the usual suspects. So far, no one is talking! ;)

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  29. Kim,
    How funny. I have the same issue but with forks. Oh boy, no one knows where the missing forks are at. Crazy how things disappears.

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    1. It is crazy, Vanessa…and it’s driving me crazy!! :)

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  30. LOL. I actually like mysteries but I've yet to solve the case of the missing teaspoons. However many I buy, they keeping disappearing.
    Amalia
    xo

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    1. I really hope that my bowls don’t keep disappearing! It’s very frustrating.

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  31. love your blog! read all of it and it is a beautiful mix of all the good things. I plan to try a few of your recipes, looking forward to that!!!

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    1. Thanks so much. I appreciate the comment and enjoy the recipes!

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  32. Like, Amalia, teaspoons disappear frequently in our home, with no trace of their whereabouts! Very intriguing tale, Kim, but I'm thinking that maybe this mystery is better left unsolved, and a new investigation should begin that leads you to new dishes!

    Poppy

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    1. I like the way you think, Poppy! ;)

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  33. I don't think I've ever lost a dish, but recently my husband noticed that we are missing at least half of our spoons! And since we are empty nesters, we can't blame it on the kids. (Although they do come for dinner about once a week.) I need to replenish them, but it still bugs me that they just disappeared into thin air.

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    1. It really is frustrating, isn't it? Ugh!

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  34. I was just looking at the white Emma from PB too, Kim. I love the hob nail border.

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    1. It's very pretty, Susan...I am beginning to rethink my bowl dilemma and get excited about new....

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  35. I'm convinced my washing machine runs on socks, so I guess my dishwasher run on silverware and plates. I have "lost" four salad forks and various dishes. I live alone so I have no one to blame it on. It's maddening.

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    1. Perhaps my dishwasher ate my bowls...I am still looking, but I am losing hope!

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  36. I enjoyed this post so much, your kitchen is gorgeous. I wonder where your bowls can be? I hope you find them again. In our home it is teaspoons that disappear the most. And I always chip and break the nicest mugs and the ones I am not so keen on seem to last for ever.....
    Helen xox

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    1. Thank you, Helen! I wonder where those bowls are too...I think about them every single day. Very curious...and yes, it's always the good stuff that breaks!

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  37. I doubt it was a ghost--don't they hang around in gloomy depressing spaces? Your kitchen is far from that, it is beautiful! I will not cast suspension on your children or husband who wears plaid shorts with striped shirts, no indeedy. Well, I think this mystery is going to keep me awake tonight. Please share again if it is solved someday.

    Like others, I've lost a few pieces of silverware, even my wedding silver. Those I count now after every use and a few times missing ones have been found in the trashcan. I nearly went nuts last summer when I began looking for an old McCoy pale pink dish shaped like a scalloped seashell. Who had swiped it? Oh the people I suspected of that, including the dishwasher repairman. Months later I found it in a bedroom drawer under the Christmas stockings where I guess I'd not noticed it. Humiliating to think of my mental accusations.

    But your bowls? That's a real mystery.

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    1. Dewena, you are so nice! Thank you for the lovely comment about my kitchen. My kids and color blind husband are still suspects in my mind. ;) I am not taking this lightly, I keep searching, but so far, nothing! I would love to find them in my bedroom drawers. I just don't think that's likely! Too bad.

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  38. September 22

    Happy Autumn Equinox Eve!

    Gentle hugs,
    Tessa

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    1. Thanks Tessa! Right back at you! :)

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  39. Definitely, I have lost spoons and forks but not dishes! Hmmmm, I think someone's been using them for some other things or sneaking some extras into their rooms perhaps? good luck with the sleuthing!

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    1. I will continue to sleuth, thanks Vel! :)

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  40. I had the same thing happen. Both Annie and Alex, said they had no idea what happened to the missing bowls or forks, but then Alex moved out and I found two of them in his room... under the bed... with stuck on old food. In my defense, he kept his room clean, so I never thought about it. The rest of them... who knows. It's like socks.

    I feel for you though, I really do.

    xo

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    1. I know…mysterious. I looked under the beds, in closets, behind dressers. I still think those kids are responsible, but the proof evades me! ;)

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  41. That is sooooo odd and funny! I haven't had it happen yet, but I'm sure its just a matter of time! ;P

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    1. Oh boy, I hope not Sarah, it's maddening! ;)

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  42. I am laughing big time.....I so apologize to you, but the story of my life with three kids, always included hunting dishes and silverware :^) I swear to you that I would be throwing a hissy fit if all of my bowls disappeared on one day - BUT, the truth is, I threw a NUMBER of fits, and to this day have not found the dishes!! My kids are all grown and have good sized kids of their own, and now come complaining to ME about how their dishes and silverware disappear.......
    hah....some things NEVER change!!!!
    Thank you SO much for a bright spot in this LOOOOOOONG Friday!!!
    Blessings,
    J

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    1. Do not apologize, I totally get it! Life with kids is funny and messy and mysterious! I still can’t find my bowls either…and since I have teenagers, I think it’s going to be a long time until this mystery comes full circle! ;) Glad I could make you laugh!

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  43. I'm so glad Lynne won the paint a pillow. She's a sweetheart. Funny I should read your post just after talking to Dennis last night about a Pottery Barn cup that's gone missing. Of course, I haven't unpacked every single box yet, so it could turn up. Or maybe I broke it and just don't remember. One of those senior moments donch-ya-know. I like your PB Emma. Mine is du jour, which I don't think they carry any longer. xo ~ Nancy

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    1. They are still missing, Nancy…a total mystery! I do like my Emma, but I may go for something else, if I have to replace four bowls. My goodness they are pricey…I could get a new setting for four the price of the a la carte bowls! Yikes! I hope you find your cup in a box.

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  44. Such a well written piece on an everyday object. You had me enthralled till the end. I used to barricade my weddding set behind the glass doors of cabinets but now after a good 27 years of marriage I don't mind so much if they break a plate or two. I take them out and use them... especially the bowls. It sheer pleasure reading this.

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    1. I like your words, too, Mary...barricade! ;) My mom used to do that. We could look, but not touch! Maybe I should've done that with these silly bowls and made the kids eat flat food from now on! Of course, I'm just kidding, but they are still missing. SO glad you liked the piece...music to this author's ears!

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