Earlier this month, we wanted to go shopping at one of our local antique shops, so Best Friend and I got ourselves together and first headed out for an early lunch.
We stopped by a little grille, nestled in a shopping mall between a seedy-looking thrift store and a storefront mission. This grille has some of the best home cooked meals in our town, and we never had a bad meal there.
The lunch crowd was thinning out, and we were able to sit in a corner booth. Best Friend ordered steak and eggs, and I chose a half tuna sandwich with broccoli soup. We enjoyed our conversation about this and that, we ate our meals, and soon we were ready to head to the counter to pay our bill.
I caught a glimpse of a lady, perhaps in her late 40s-early 50s, who was at the counter paying her bill. By the time we got there, she was gone.
Best Friend took out his debit card.
“It’s paid for,” said the cashier.
“I’m sorry,” replied Best Friend. “What’s that?”
“Your bill is paid for by the lady who was just here. You owe nothing.”
We both were speechless. We were so surprised, so shocked at this, that we didn’t know what else to say, except for, “Wow. You only read about this sort of thing in the newspapers.”
The cashier smiled. We gave her a large tip (for she was our waitress, too), and we went on our merry way.
The morning air was brisk this morning as I headed down to the kitchen for a cup of hot coffee. After pouring my cup and taking a sip, I turned to look out the window at the burgeoning dawn. The sky, while a pale robin’s egg blue, it was the ribbon of yellows and oranges that caught my eye. But it did not last. Within the minute, it disappeared while the sun rose above the horizon.
This past weekend held a flurry of activity here at The Oasis at Four Queen Palms.
Best Friend and I were, in a way, held captive at home Friday while we waited and waited for the cable man to come and replace the DVR black box that burned out. It turns out that the fan inside it died out, and the entire box needed to be swapped out with a new one. The funny thing is that the box was only three years and two weeks old.
So much for technology.
We spent the next morning putting away our Christmas decorations. We are traditionalists, and our decorations come down on Three Kings Day (Epiphany – January 6), or at the most, the next day. This year, the dismantling was fairly easy, since we only decorated the main house. I am questioning the point of decorating to the full extent anymore, but time will tell when the calendar turns to November later this year. Stay tuned.
That same evening, Best Friend wanted to treat us to a very nice dinner out, and I thought it was a grand idea. It’s something we don’t do very often. He mentioned that he wanted to go somewhere where the booths are very comfortable, so I recommended the nice restaurant across the road. We don’t usually go there except for once in a great while. So, once we got our usual Saturday housework and business done, we got ready to go out.
We both dressed up since the restaurant is somewhat fancy (for this area). Best Friend wore a French cuff shirt with cuff links; I wore an all-black dress and carried a silver clutch purse.
We sat at our usual quiet corner table in the bar section of the restaurant. I had a clear view of the outside, and Best Friend had a good view of the bar. This made for a pleasant atmosphere. One of the things I like about this restaurant is the roomy couch-like chairs that are so comfortable. I have mentioned in the passing conversation that they would make a great addition to our dining room, if we were so inclined to replace the table suite at home.
We placed our orders – rib eye, a Peroni, and a pinot noir – and the two of us carried on light conversation. That is, until a couple of patrons entered with a bit of bluster.
They spoke loudly, which made it difficult to concentrate on our private table conversation for the time being. The two women who entered recognized two other women at the bar, and we all in the room knew it for the rest of the evening! Moreover, it was aggravating to be forced to hear gossip (for they spoke loudly during their meal) about a neighbor. Always remember, I thought, when someone gossips about one person, you can be sure they will gossip about you!
It also appeared that some of the men patrons at the bar live in our neighborhood, so that told me that the bar in our neighborhood isn’t always the go-to place.
One other point that both Best Friend and I observed that night is that although this restaurant is one that conveys some class (it is not a fast-food joint by any means), the patrons’ mode of dress did not reflect that. We saw people dressed in loungewear, shorts, T-shirts, and one wore black leggings and a faux leopard fur quasi-bolero jacket that emphasized her ample rear end and squat legs. In fact, Best Friend stated that it seemed that the evening crowd dressed very sloppily as compared to the daytime lunch crowd. He is right.
This is something I – we – notice when we are out in the world. For some reason, people don’t dress nicely nor neatly anymore, nor do they comb their hair. Parts in the hair are all over the place, like a winding road in the mountains of Monaco. Overall, it’s a look of sloppy fashion that seems to deteriorate as every season passes. It is as if people don’t have respect for themselves, let alone for anyone around them.
One of the simple enjoyments I have during the holiday season is dressing up, particularly if the occasion or activity calls for more than jeans and a shirt.
Presenting oneself in an appropriate ensemble with good personal grooming is key. Too often today, in our laid back, sloppy world, people view “dressing up” as wearing faded jeans, gym shoes, and a wrinkled sweatshirt to any occasion these days, no matter the casualness or formality of it – I have seen such “fashion” at weddings, wakes, funerals, church, concerts, and nice restaurants. I have seen people wear pajamas in public, and one huckster on television hawks his slippers that you can “wear any time, any place.” Well, there’s nothing like promoting slovenliness!
Best Friend and I were at a holiday philharmonia concert a few weeks ago. We couldn’t help but notice the varied modes of dress: ripped and faded blue jeans, a wrinkled cotton housedress, a forest green lamé pantsuit, colorful sequined jackets, sweatshirts, oversized ugly Christmas sweaters, dark suits and ties, and the most shocking of all was the micro miniskirt with thigh-high suede boots.
Why, even the current leader of the Ukraine spoke in person to the United States Congress last week in nothing better than cargo pants and a tired-looking sweatshirt. And that isn’t even the traditional Ukrainian national dress, so there was no excuse for not wearing a suit and tie. In fact, his ensemble loudly proclaimed disrespect and thuggery. Moreover, I believe there is a guy who will be going to the United States Senate next term who wears oversized hoodie jackets and jeans everywhere as his signature ensemble.
The manner in which you dress and groom yourself presents to the world how you view yourself, and it shows the world what you think of everyone else.
The way you dress also has an impact on how you communicate. I believe that when a person is dressed in clean and ironed clothing and personal grooming is neat and fresh, respectful comportment and language follows. You cannot help but feel good and speak with intelligence. This isn’t to say that is a one hundred per cent fact, that once a person combs his hair and puts on a tuxedo that magically he is metamorphosed into the personification of etiquette and the King’s English, but it does ring true in my experience with others – that a well-groomed person feels better about himself and thus exudes respect towards others in manners and language.
A person doesn’t have to be a slovenly slob at home, either. In fact, there are days that even if I stay home all day, I still comb and style my hair, put on a little makeup, and wear stud earrings. That little bit of simple grooming goes a long way into making me feel good about myself. To be an unkempt slob is to not care a wit about yourself or others.
The 2022 holiday season is drawing to a close, and soon it will be written as yet another chapter in my journal for the year. If you are attending a New Year’s Eve party, being a guest at someone’s house, or just staying home to celebrate the incoming new year, why not think well of yourself – comb your hair and dress up!
Our weekend festivities turned out well, and though we experienced the icy blast of winter weather that blanketed the North American continent, we stayed warm.
We began our weekend by dining out on Friday at one of our favorite Italian restaurants. It was crowded, yet we were able to secure a table in a good spot. Though it wasn’t the usual private booth we prefer, the table was nevertheless in a cozy setting.
We started with a glass of Peroni – an Italian beer favored by Best Friend – and a glass of pinot noir – my go-to wine at this Italian restaurant.
As I glanced around the dining room, it was good to see that the restaurant was as busy as it was, for it told me that the restaurant is managing to stay viable, and that people are still enjoying themselves, making the best of whatever their situations are.
My attention returned to our menu, which we perused, and then ordered. Our waiter, Gerardo, brought a bowl of pasta e fagioli soup and a cup of Italian wedding soup to our table. We immediately noticed that the amount of soup in the bowl was more like a cup’s worth, and the cup of soup was only halfway filled.
So much for keeping costs down, but it’s understandable.
Our meals arrived just as we conversed about our observations of the other patrons – Gerardo was attentive, and he did a swell job keeping up with everyone despite the crowd. Best Friend enjoyed his beef ravioli, and I enjoyed my chicken picatta with the ginormous capers (they were the size of Queen olives), though I could have done without the slick lemony-oily spaghetti.
Yet, our conversation is something I wish to touch upon in this essay. It was somewhat difficult to carry on a low-volume conversation at our tale. The patrons who sat in the booth behind us spoke so loudly that I, for one, felt I was sitting with them, rather than with Best Friend. At one point, I said to Best Friend, “I’ll be back in a few minutes. It seems I am sitting at the booth being forced to listen to their conversations.” And with great aplomb, Best Friend smiled and understood.
I trust that when people are dining in a restaurant, many do not know their voices easily carry to the other tables and booths. Occasionally, it is the design of the room’s acoustics that help to project loud talkers’ voices to all corners. Sometimes it is just the unaware loudness of people’s voices; they are used to yelling everywhere. No matter the reason, being forced to hear strangers’ conversations is discourteous.
With that in mind, Best Friend and I find it easy to modulate our voices to a low volume, and we still understand one another without shouting across the table. Sometimes, the yelling from other tables is so distracting that we don’t talk with each other during our meal. Instead, we wait until we are out of the restaurant to continue our conversation.
It is most considerate to keep your conversations to your own table and nix the booming “look at me” volume so prevalent these days. No one really wants to hear your political leanings or vulgar language or how perfect your children and grandchildren are.
This is a season in which to sparkle and revel in your own considerate style.
Being the holiday season, Best Friend and I decided to attend an evening at the philharmonia orchestra, where the playlist promised holiday songs from classic to popular. It was that, and so much more.
We dressed warmly since the weather was chilly, and that called for something hot to eat. We began our evening with a hot meal of barbecue at an establishment near the performing arts center. As Best Friend noshed on beef brisket and I on pulled pork, we noticed a trio of old houses across the field.
After eating, we drove past the houses, I grabbed the addresses, where further research revealed that they were built in 1924. Two of the houses have one bedroom and one bath, with a whopping 620 square feet of living space. The third house is a two-bedroom, one bath with 727 square feet of space. The houses need quite a bit of work to return them to their original glory, and I wished that my research had a glimpse of their interiors, but sadly, there was none.
We arrived at the performing arts center and took our places in the orchestra left center seating. The auditorium was packed; I didn’t see an empty seat, but then, I wasn’t inspecting every row. I was entertained with the visuals of the incoming patrons before the concert began.
There appeared to be a favoritism of red sweaters and vests throughout; so much so that when I spotted a woman wearing a sparkling forest green pantsuit, it was a feast for my eyes. Unfortunately, I was unable to snap a photograph of her fashion statement.
And speaking of fashion, we saw everything from ripped jeans to three-piece suits to sequined blouses to ugly sweaters over yoga pants. There were so many different fashions that it would fill a book – which might be a thing to do for me, one day.
There was a young woman who sat in front of me. Her fashion statement was interesting. Her long hair was a bright turquoise blue, save for the black roots, and she was heavily made up, right down to the tarantula-like false eyelashes. She wore a beige velour top that barely covered her tuchus, and her black suede high heeled boots came well above her knees. I could only whisper to Best Friend at this sight, “Hi, G. I. Joe. I love you long time.” To which Best Friend replied, “Five dollah.”
The music was good, as was the singing, to an extent. This philharmonia orchestra (as they call it) is a group of volunteers who do not necessarily sing and play musical instruments as their full-time employment. For example, one of the singers is a preacher who has his own congregation in an adjacent county. Best Friend nicknamed him “Country Jesus Elvis.” I will leave the idea here for you to picture him in your own imagination. I silently panicked when he started going up and down the aisles singing his tunes, and I dearly hoped that he wouldn’t get as far as our row. After all, if he was going to encourage patrons to sing, too, I don’t do that for free, and I knew that wasn’t coming. Thankfully, he never got as far as our row.
The music in the second act was jolly in its own way, but it did not follow what was printed on the playbill, for there was a bit of juggling around to add several more songs. I wondered if the singers were becoming tired, for the usually peppy songs and the more religious ones were sung almost at a dirge-like tempo.
All in all, it was a pleasant evening for the both of us, with a few visual curiosities not on stage thrown in for good measure. Though the orchestra was not what we thought it to be – we anticipated a more reverent experience that a philharmonic orchestra brings – we got sort of a cruise ship-Disney feel to the entertainment. With that in mind, the entertainment was still worthwhile. We’ll just know for the next time we are looking for philharmonic rather than Disney.
We have several more festive avenues to experience before the arrival of Three Kings Day. I will be sharing some of them with you over the next several weeks.
In the meantime, keep your holiday season festive.
One of the things that I enjoy doing is homemaking. Yes, honest-to-goodness homemaking. And that includes preparing and presenting meals at home.
I always held the belief that eating at home should be just as elegant as dining out at a nice restaurant. For that reason, most of the meals at home are on a properly set table, with our good china and silverware, nice napkins, crystal wine glasses, lit candles in crystal holders, and perhaps a flower centerpiece. This arrangement goes for breakfasts, lunches, and dinners. Sometimes we’ll tune into a Mantovani or a Tony Bennett CD for some mood music. It’s all covered.
Now, sometimes when Best Friend and I are eating light and having only a simple thrown-together sandwich, we might eat it off of paper plates, although those paper plates are invariably good quality and the seasonally decorated ones (not the flimsy boring white ones), with matching paper napkins.
Yes, the two of us eat at home with all the class and decorum of hosting a dinner with invited guests.
We generally put aside our technological devices at the table. I admit that sometimes I will have mine nearby out of horrific habit, but I am getting better at not using it as some awful crutch. We might quickly use a device to clarify a fact of some sort with the conversational topic we are having, but other than that – no devices at the table.
This set-up of eating at home in an elegant manner is a year-round tradition in our home, not just for those special occasions and holidays. Each day is extraordinarily special in our book. Think about some of the characters on the program, The Office, who ate lunch together at work once a month, eating off of good plates, using good silverware, and holding intelligent conversation. It’s easy to do if you try it, and you will find that you will feel good about eating like a civilized person.
I do recommend it for everyone, even for the singles who live alone. For the time I lived by myself, I ate my meals at my dinette table with good dishes and well-made and well-presented meals. If I stopped on the way home from work for an Italian beef sandwich, when I got home that sandwich found itself on a real plate on my dinette table, along with a good napkin and silverware. If I also brought home something to drink, I poured that drink in a good glass – no drinking directly from the bottle or can! (Would you drink straight from the milk jug in the refrigerator? Hmmmmm?) And I did not eat while watching television. One enjoys the taste of the meal better when fully engaged. (I did not, in fact, watch television for years, and the only time I turned it on was to watch an old movie on TCM, and that waiting until I was done eating.)
I cannot imagine dining at home in a helter-skelter and sloppy manner, when it is so easy to eat like a civilized person.
The day arrived, finally! Today, most of the country is celebrating Thanksgiving, and if you are, I wish you a wonderful and gratitude-filled day.
Best Friend and I already chose a different date to observe our annual day of thanksgiving here at The Oasis of Four Queen Palms. It was a day filled with serenity and balance, good company, excellent wine, and great food. We played old, traditional music (think Sinatra and Bennett) in the background and lit a couple of candles placed snugly in the crystal candle holders. We set the table with our Fiestaware china, in the following colors: Butterscotch, Paprika, Meadow, and Scarlet. These three warm colors and one cool evoked the beauty of the changing of the leaves that is magnificent this time of year. A bouquet of silk autumn leaves in the centerpiece brought it all together.
This year, I veered a bit from our traditional menu fare. Sent away on holiday was the usual fare we have every year and brought in for a premiere showing were several new-to-us foods. But Tom Turkey was still the star of the meal. For reference, I picked up a 15-pound bird for $23.39. that is pretty good, given we will have a lot of leftovers to freeze and bones from which to make turkey soup.
To begin, our first and second courses were a bit quirky; something one wouldn’t think of to serve on Thanksgiving. The cup of Japanese Onion Soup we both had was good, and a suitable choice since it was mostly a light broth. It was simple to make a day ahead. The Apple-Raisin-Walnut Salad with Pumpkin Bread Croutons was crisp and cold, with the fresh Orange-Ginger Dressing being the perfect accompaniment.
The Herb Roasted Tom Turkey was perfectly browned and moist. My Apple-Raisin-Walnut stuffing to go with it turned out moist and crispy, just as we like it. I forgot to buy the raisins, but that did not deter from its mission as a side dish. It still tasted good! Leave it to me to forget to buy the raisins, although my forgetting something is not unheard of.
I prepared the Cranberry Sauce with Red Wine a couple of days in advance, and that was to its advantage, since the flavors melded well. I served this delightful side dish chilled, but I imagine it would taste just as good hot, too.
The Green Bean Gremolata was a new-to-us vegetable recipe. We liked the just-kissed lemony drizzle and the few shavings of Parmesan cheese sprinkled on top. For the yellow vegetable, I opted to make Cousin Stanley’s Roasted Squash, just as he made it, roasted to tenderness, and drizzled with a touch of local honey.
For our starch in the potato department, Best Friend had a twice-baked potato, and I opted for one of my own favorites – boiled sweet potatoes. It’s a treat for our dogs, too, sans the butter and pepper!
And what about dessert? This year, instead of my fresh homemade pumpkin pie, I made a small carrot cake, a favorite of Best Friend. I made this just as our own moms did – with fresh grated carrots. Heavenly!
This year’s celebration was successful, and we like the fact that we chose a non-traditional day to observe the annual Thanksgiving Holiday. As I wrote in my previous essay, WELCOME TO THE OASIS, we are not bound to have our annual Thanksgiving on the designated Federal date – every day could and should be one of thankfulness and gratitude.
I hope you had a perfectly marvelous Thanksgiving, if you celebrate it today.
Today is a beautiful autumn day here at The Oasis of Four Queen Palms. Early this morning, I walked out to the terrace to take in the crisp air as the dawn splashed pinks and yellows across the eastern sky. My peach-colored hibiscus still has a good crop of blooms, but most of my other flowering plants are spent for the season.
The approaching Holidays means that life gets a little busier for me, and there is so much to do. Most important in my routine is the deep cleaning of the house. It’s also time to pack away the warm weather things and bring out those for fall and winter. The seasonal decorations will need to come out of storage, sorted through, and put up around the house. The writing of Christmas letters and addressing greeting cards is nigh. And then there is the preparation of menus ranging from Thanksgiving to New Year’s Day.
Best Friend and I decided that this year, we will observe the annual Thanksgiving celebration on a date not in concert with the Federal holiday. We picked out a day, and it will be ours to savor.
I already chose the colors of our Fiestaware china for that day: Butterscotch, Paprika, Meadow, and Scarlet. These three warm colors and one cool, evoke the beauty of the changing of the leaves that is fabulous this time of year. I plan to arrange a table centerpiece that will include a Fiestaware large disk pitcher in Scarlet, that will hold a bouquet of silk autumn leaves. Of course, lit wax candles in crystal candleholders will also make an appearance.
I believe that eating at home should be a lovely experience, and not only for the Holidays and entertaining otherwise. In fact, all year ‘round, I consistently set a pretty table with delightfully presented meals that one might only enjoy in a good restaurant. My family is important to me, and I show it as best as possible.
And that brings me back to our first celebration of the season.
Best Friend and I picked out the date for our Thanksgiving. With that set, I now have the menu decided upon. Here it is, for your wonderment:
Japanese Onion Soup
Apple Salad with Pumpkin Bread Croutons
Roasted Whole Tom Turkey
Apple-Raisin-Walnut Stuffing, Cranberry Sauce with Red Wine, Green Bean Gremolata, Cousin Stanley’s Roasted Squash, Boiled Sweet Potato, Twice Baked Potato, Homemade Fresh Mushroom Gravy
Homemade Carrot Cake
Mogen David wine
As elegant as this feast might be, the most important factor of the upcoming day for us will be the sincere gratitude we have in so many ways.
Welcome to my essays on life and elegant living at The Oasis at Four Queen Palms.
Upon awakening this morning, I dressed and headed to the kitchen to pour myself a cup of hot black coffee. Before I dressed and left the bedroom, my best friend hurried me to the window to witness the dawn together, where the sun was in the midst of a fiery red and orange rise above the horizon. It was a glorious morning sight, and pity that I did not have film in my camera to capture it for posterity.
A few oohs! and ahhs! were shared between us, a few words of wonderment expressed, whereupon I dressed and headed to the kitchen to make our coffees. I then went on to the terrace to drink my coffee and ponder my thoughts.
There is something to be said about the hazy, lazy days of summer, but what about life after October?
Indeed, once Halloween is over and the decorations and the masquerade costumes go back in storage here at The Oasis of Four Queen Palms, the pages on the calendar seem to invariably flip faster and faster each day. It never fails. In fact, when the calendar turned to November, I put away the few Halloween decorations I have (a ceramic haunted house my aunt and uncle gave me and a Jack O’Lantern from my other aunt). Then, as I was setting up the ancient paper turkey on my cellarette in the foyer and hung the wreath on the front door, I gave a few thoughts about Thanksgiving.
In my thinking and deep ponderings, the act of thanksgiving should be/could be a daily celebration. Sure, it is nice that we have a national holiday dedicated to it, and most working people have the day off. But does it have to be the fourth Thursday in November?
Best Friend and I discussed this very idea recently. Why couldn’t we have Thanksgiving on another day that we determine? After all, we are not going to the little shindig that our neighborhood diner is setting up (Their offering of Cheese Whiz on Ritz crackers, pressed turkey with canned cranberries and instant potatoes turns us off – and the cost per person is unreasonable for microwaved mass-produced food). No family nor friends are making the trek to holiday with anyone, either. So, we decided to forego the November 24th date this year and pick another day to have our own private thanksgiving, with our homemade foods, music of our own choice, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera.
Indeed, this will be a different Thanksgiving holiday, one that for the first time in our lives won’t be on the Federal holiday date. It will be on our own terms.
And that brings me around to a question that a friend and fellow author asked me, paraphrased: “Does it take a recession and wild inflation for people to learn to be thankful for what they have?”
Perhaps. Perhaps it does. You see, I published a few short stories about people living during The Depression and learning what is important and what it means to be appreciative. I chose that time in history because I have a great affection for those times. Not that I was alive then, you see, but there is something about the music, the movies, the fashions, and the history that attracts me to no end. I suppose The Depression slapped a little reality into some people, and those heady days before those rough years were thought to never, ever end. Perhaps they thought prosperity and overabundance would remain forever; but who truly knows? Yet hard times did materialize, and sometimes that’s what it takes for people to realize what is truly important. It does not take a depression, recession, or impossible inflation to make a person’s life difficult, either. Circumstances vary.
And now returning to Thanksgiving 2022: Sure, we can make do with a lovely and lavish meal with enough turkey leftovers to make soup from the bones and Turkey Tetrazzini for the week, et al. Yet, the most important feature of whatever day we pick to celebrate, is but one of 364 days of thanksgiving. And that is what we will do on a day we determine to be our day of annual thanksgiving.
With the upcoming Holidays, I put my writing on pause for the next couple of weeks, which could be a good thing. I’ll have time to think about my books and the plots as I make the preparations for the upcoming observances.
I already prepared four batches of cookie dough and froze them, so they’ll be ready for a quick roll, cut, decorate, and bake for both Thanksgiving and Christmas entertainment. (Did you know that cookie dough can be frozen raw for several months before using?) Right now, I am baking my homemade pumpkin bread which will then be made into croutons for salads to be used over the next couple of weeks, including Thanksgiving dinner.
Yet, there are more tasks to accomplish: I need to finish writing out the Thanksgiving dinner menu, decide upon the Holiday décor, finish writing the Christmas letter and review my Christmas card list for this year, and so much more in the realm of secular entertainment and religious observances.
Yet, although the time might be flying, I am getting projects and tasks done. Writing itself isn’t always the mechanics of sitting down and putting pen to paper. It is an involved process, at least for me, that ideas float around my mind and marinate as I formulate plot outlines and conceive witty phrases. It was like that for me in college (for those twenty-plus page dissertations), and at work (for those technical orders and communications) – and it is always this –> take a short break, do something else, and go back to that paper or project. I haven’t had much good quality time to write lately, although I do have a slew of outlines finished. It seems that every time I sit down to work on my books, Mr. Rat Terrier needs something. No matter that Best Friend might be available to meet His Highness’ needs at the moment. Nope. It is I, and I only, who can fulfill Mr. Rat Terrier’s whims, from a doggie snack to being let out in the yard. Thank the heavens above that Miss Doxie and Mademoiselle Petite Chatte require little in the way of attention.
This introductory chapter is the first of my blog, The Oasis at Four Queen Palms. I plan to write an essay each Monday and Thursday within the realms of lifestyle and experiences. Indeed, I have been writing blogs for well over ten years now in different formats and names (and all but one is defunct), but this is the one that will settle specifically on life here at The Oasis of Four Queen Palms.
Well, time to get back to the kitchen. The pumpkin bread should be just about ready to take out of the oven.