A trivet is a three legged metal stand placed between a hot dish and a table.
How did I go through life for so long, not knowing what a trivet was? I have been using pot holders for the job of protecting my table but I don't like pot holders, they slide and require laundering. So when I came across an owl shaped trivet on Etsy I had no trouble forking over a few dollars for it.
Limey found the big rounds ones at the Salvation Army. They are pretty, easy to clean and useful. I'm starting to really like antiques and can't wait for yard sale season to begin!