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Showing posts from November, 2017

Holiday Prep

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Today was a cooking day. Cranberry sauce and brandied sweet potatoes and stuffing...LOTS of stuffing. Throw in an orthodontist appointment and a trip to the bank, and it was a pretty full day. I got it all done, though, so I'm feeling pretty pleased with myself here.


The house didn't get cleaned, however. Maybe I'll get to it tomorrow, maybe I won't. All I know is, day after tomorrow? Is Knitting Day. That's the day I get to just sit and knit, in a (maybe) clean house full of leftovers. Also, yarn stores have gotten into the whole Black Friday thing, which explains why a former Black Friday refusenik such as myself is leaving the house at 7 AM on Friday: I've got to take advantage of a "30% off everything from 8-10 AM" yarn sale.

We all have our price.

Brian, retail wage slave that he is, has to work from 4:30 to midnight on Thanksgiving  (THANKS A LOT, BEST BUY).  Folks, before you run out to shop on Thanksgiving evening, think a second: those people…

Cut-Rate Entertaining

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So tonight I did what I know I shouldn't - I tried another "copycat" recipe from the Internet, this time for Nando's amazing Portuguese rice. However, unlike my previous attempts to imitate beloved restaurant food (and don't think for a second that Brian isn't still scarred by my attempt at Panda Express Orange Chicken), this rice turned out not quite the same as the restaurant version, but...close. Very close, is what I thought when I tasted it. I would call it a win, but Susie deemed it unsatisfactory. Rachel ate her rice uncomplainingly, but she hasn't had the real thing yet, so her opinion doesn't really count.


So, yeah, back to Nando's for more research, I guess. Luckily, one just opened nearby. People, words cannot express (although you know I'll try) how good their chicken is. I mean, you take a bite and suddenly you are no longer an adult, assessing calories or fat or whatever else we adults think about to ruin our meals. You're a …

Doing The Can-Can

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Wow, the Internet is helpful! I ended up going with the razor blade approach that a number of people suggested (turns out Larry has an entire collection of these little thingamajigs that hold straight razors) and then some WD-40 towards the end, to get off the last of the film. It worked great. Maybe one scratch on the stove, but I don't care.


Today Susie and I spent the morning sorting food the Boy Scouts collected for the local holiday food drive. The church basement we met in had full grocery sacks piled high (HIGH) in one corner. The rest of the basement was filled with tables pretty much groaning under the weight of donated comestibles, already sorted. The walls were lined with shelves holding even more food. It was an impressive sight.

I probably wasn't as helpful as I could have been, because my OCD kept kicking in when I'd see the different types of soups all jumbled together on their table or the different boxes of pasta practically screaming at me to be organized…

5-Alarm Applesauce

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Good news of the day: my house didn't burn down!


Bad news: I still have to figure out how to get dried melted plastic off the glass cook top of my stove.


Feel free to chime in with suggestions, because I've lost the capacity for rational thought at this point. I was counting on Larry to come up with something, but he came home from work in a rental car and explained that his car was in a body shop, getting repairs for some extensive rock damage incurred on his way to work that morning. All the poor man could do was stare at the stove as I explained - again - what happened and say, "Uh-huh, uh-huh" while attempting a knowing nod that looked weirdly off kilter. And then he went to the basement fridge and got a beer.

What happened? I was using the Instapot as a crockpot, simmering apples for sauce, and at one point I pushed it further back on the stove and then left the kitchen. I didn't realize it had somehow hit the stove knob in the back and turned the rear burne…

A New Day Dawning

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So I was throwing something away in my bathroom the other day when I spotted something strange in the trash. I looked closer. Could it be? Was it possible?

Yes, it was.


Larry THREW AWAY AN EMPTY TUBE OF TOOTHPASTE. Long-time readers of this blog will know that this is an event which is about as frequent as the appearance of Haley's Comet. In fact, I have always been the one in this marriage who finally discards a squeezed-out tube and replaces it with a new one. It's as if we've been playing an ongoing game of Chicken for the past 27 years, a game that I have repeatedly lost.

This means, of course, that anything is now possible in my marriage. ANYTHING. Maybe Larry will purchase a household item without first creating several spreadsheets documenting the pros and cons of every similar product on the market. Or perhaps he will someday refrain from embarking on some household maintenance task a mere 2 hours before a major social event. It might even mean that - dare I say it…

No Thanks

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[A repeat, from previous Veterans Days - STILL relevant]

There's a lot of talk on a day like today about how selfless military people are.  People left and right in the blogosphere are thanking veterans like me for our service.  So I just want to set one thing straight.

I joined the Navy because I needed a job.  I had student loans to pay; I was ashamed of not being on my own (unlike many "kids" in their 20's nowadays); and no one wanted to pay a fresh-faced History major anything close to a living wage.

In other words, I joined the military for totally selfish reasons, as do many in the armed forces.  I joined for money, I joined to gain my independence, I joined in the hope I would get a chance to travel. What I got was a lot more.  For the first time in my life, I worked and lived alongside people of another skin color.  For the first time in my life, I saw African Americans in positions of power.  And I came into close contact with those heretofore exotic people kno…

Gonna Fly, I Am

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The dishwasher man is here. He pulled into the parking lot just as my sisters-in-law were pulling out after their week-long stay, if you want an example of the antithesis of perfect timing. And now I hear him on the phone to someone else at Geek Squad, describing some problem with the dishwasher he just found, which worries me. I mean, this thing IS getting fixed today, isn't it?

Tuesday I drove with Aunt Mary and Auntie Kate to IKEA. Because Auntie Kate had never been there, we pulled out all the stops: a slow meander through the entire showroom, the Swedish meatballs plate for lunch, an even slower meander through the entire Marketplace, a stop in As-Is, and then, after the registers, an ice cream cone (plus the purchase of 6 cinnamon buns to take home).

What I'm saying is, we know how to do IKEA right. Also, I somehow ended up with a small desk I had totally not planned on buying. But that's pretty standard for a trip to IKEA, I'm thinking.

Wednesday (yesterday) I t…

All Washed Up

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Little time to write, what with entertaining sisters-in-law, changing clocks, and washing dishes the livelong day. I generally like the fall time change better than the spring one, but I have been SO TIRED in the evening. I crashed by 9:00 last night and I was going to do the same tonight, only Larry wouldn't let me because the bed wasn't made because I pulled the bedclothes out of the dryer too soon without realizing it. For some reason he didn't want to sleep on wet sheets - go figure.
I'm feeling pretty pleased that I got to use the word "bedclothes." I've been in love with that word ever since I read it in the book "Five Little Peppers and How They Grew" when I was a kid. Feel free to comment and share your own favorite words from antiquated children's books!
Hello? Anyone?
We've been doing the "take your guests to all the places you mean to visit but never do until guests come" routine. Also, it turns out that Auntie Kate …

Wherein I Don't Even Mention Candy

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Okay, so yesterday I buzzed around the house cleaning up the Halloween stuff so we could put the Halloween bins in the attic before my sisters-in-law arrived today. I kept thinking I was done, but - just as with the Christmas decorations - I kept stumbling across more items (and believe me, we don't have that much!). So, finally, after stuffing the Halloween place mats into the almost full bin and feeling confident I had slayed that particular beast, I asked Larry to put everything in the attic.

We know where this is going, right?

Not half an hour after he did so, I entered the kitchen (where I had spent at least HALF my waking hours that day) and saw this facing me from the opposite wall:




Yup, not exactly hidden - but, hey, after the paper chains incident from January, I suppose I knew anything was possible.

As discussed in these pages recently, our dishwasher has chosen this week to go on the blink. Normally, this wouldn't be a big deal. I'd feed the kids cheap pizza hal…

Possessed

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Well! November! Let's do this thing!

I spent all day yesterday wondering why Halloween was so hard and why I didn't enjoy it anymore. Seriously, I didn't even want any candy. And I didn't know what any of the little kids coming to my door were dressed up as, which irritated me.

I decided I must be getting old and boring and that poor Susie would spend the next 6 years living with parents who were no fun whatsoever. For some reason I failed to attribute my poor attitude to the fact that I had a bad sore throat/head cold and had been running full tilt all day despite it.

But then at 4:30 this morning I woke up feeling miraculously better (I could swallow! I could breathe!) and decided Halloween was pretty cool after all. Hooray! I love happy endings!

So today I have a new lease on life - I feel like Scrooge when he wakes up and discovers it is still Christmas Day. I celebrated by eating some candy corn for breakfast. Then I cleaned up the kitchen because - oh, happy day …