Thursday, November 30, 2017

How That Man Saved Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving has come and gone, and I am thankful...that it's done!

No, really, I love Thanksgiving.  We invite a bunch of relatives, I cook up a storm, we eat, we talk, That Man takes pictures, we study the Black Friday sale ads...  It's fun!

But sometimes our Thanksgivings are, um, eventful.

One year, long ago, when That Boy was two, and That Girl wasn't at all, he had chicken pox.  Needless to say, we didn't have any company for the holiday, and we didn't go anywhere.  I prepared a private feast for the three of us.  I had baked yeast rolls, my timing wasn't the best, they came out of the oven before everything else was ready, so I put them on one of the stove burners, turned on super low.

When That Man took the first bite of a roll, he said, "These rolls are burned."  I picked one up, turned it over and over, examined a couple more, and pronounced, "No they aren't.  Just look at them."  He swore they were and challenged me to eat one.  I took a bite.

Oh,  My.  Gosh.  They were TERRIBLE.  No apparent burning, but the interior was definitely smoke-damaged!

This event became a running joke - "Don't burn the rolls!"

That was the worst Thanksgiving for a LONG time.  But the past two years, I've managed to have stove top fires, from things boiling over and going up in flames.

So the new running joke became, "Be sure to invite the Fire Department!"

I'm pleased to report we had no fires this year!


There are always floods.

Oh me.

That Girl and The Grands arrived Tuesday evening.  While I pumped up the inflatable kid bed, the Girl Grand watched The Spongebob Movie on TV.  Suddenly, sound, but no picture!  "Turn it back on, Grandma!" she said, loudly (several times), as I tried to troubleshoot the problem.

No luck.

After the bed was arranged and the child installed, I alerted That Man.  He volunteered to buy a replacement the following day.

Yes, please!  Saved!!!

I follow a written Thanksgiving schedule I made several years ago so everything gets done on time and I don't have to figure it all out every year, so most of the things that could be made before The Day were made.

Wednesday came, That Man went shopping for the new TV, and That Girl and I got busy.  We made a cranberry gelatin salad and pumpkin pies.  We had bean soup and cornbread for lunch.  We boiled eggs.  I worked on the last minute cleaning.  It was going so well.

We REALLY like deviled eggs, so we decided to cook TWO dozen eggs instead of one, and after I peeled all those eggs, I put the shells down the garbage disposer, instead of into the trash.  That smell.  Down they went, but after I turned off the disposer, water started backing up into the sink.


I trudged upstairs where That Man was connecting the new TV.  I confessed my transgression ("You're going to kill me, but...").  He sighed and said he'd have a look.  That Girl, The Grands, and I made a dash to The Colonel's for a bucket of chicken.


When we returned, the kitchen looked like he had detonated a bomb!  Everything that had been under the sink was out on the floor or on the counter.  Water and wet towels were everywhere.

That Man, bless his heart, had tried to clear the drain with a plunger.  He produced enough pressure to blow a pipe joint apart, spewing water and bits of egg shell all over the kitchen and into the adjacent carousel base cabinet.  He cleaned up the worst of the flood, unclogged the drain, and reassembled the drain before we reappeared bearing fried chicken.

Saved again!!!  You just can't do Thanksgiving without a functional kitchen sink.

After chicken, I sent That Man, That Girl, and The Grands to bed, took over, and started cleaning.  I washed, dried, and replaced all the stuff from the cabinets, sopped up the rest of the water on the floor, and mopped, and mopped, and mopped.

It took HOURS.  Ugh.

Thursday, THE day, dawned.  I got up, showered, and started work on the turkey.  I always buy the cheapest turkey I can find, and those usually comes with a pop-up timer.  I cut off the netting and the bag, pulled out the bag of giblets and the neck, and...where the heck was the pop-up timer?  I checked the packaging - yes, it said it had a pop-up timer.  There was a hole where it obviously HAD been, but, alas, no timer.

Several years ago, I had bought some pop-up timers (yes, you can actually buy them in the store!), just in case I got stuck with a turkey without one.  So I rummaged through the junk drawer, but they were apparently either previously used or AWOL.  So, That Man came to my rescue again!  He ran out to the nearest grocery store and bought a couple of packages of pop-up timers.  I stuck a timer in the hole, and got the turkey into the oven.  Big sigh of relief!

Saved yet AGAIN!!!  What would I do without him?

From that point on, I sailed through the day fairly smoothly.  The pop-up timer did its job, all the food was good, and everyone enjoyed themselves.  I didn't start putting food away and cleaning up until the extra people had gone.  I was almost done cleaning up the sink, turned on the garbage disposer, and...what's that terrible racket???

Turned off the disposer, stuck my hand into its ravenous maw, and pulled out...the missing pop-up timer!

Thursday, September 21, 2017

We Drive Well-Used Cars

A while back, I got one of THOSE phone calls.  Not a telemarketing call per se, because it was from a local business I visit every few years - my car dealer.

"Hi!  This is Laura from Cars R Us.  How are you today?" 

The phrase, "How are you today," over the telephone always makes me defensive; it's meant to elicit the first of a string of positive responses.  Why yes, I'd LOVE to throw away my life savings on some swampland in Louisiana!

Because it IS a business I frequent, I didn't say what I usually do (never mind what that is) to unsolicited callers trying to sell me something, but instead, "Fine, fine, what's up?"

"Well, we've noticed you have a lot of positive equity in your 2011 vehicle." 

Wait.  What?  Positive equity?  Is she kidding?

"Hahaha!  Well, yes.  Yes I do.  It's paid off.  A couple of years ago.  Hahaha!  Positive equity - I'm sorry, but I find that really funny!"

She laughed, too, then went on with her spiel about how they need "pre-owned" (another hilarious marketing term) cars like mine because their inventory is low.  Of course the way to obtain said fabulous and desirable "pre-owned" car is to sell me a NEW one.  

Uh, no, thankyouverymuch.

When it comes to cars, our family is odd.  We buy new cars, then drive them until they don't drive no mo'!  

Back when we were first married, That Man had a small pickup truck.  He drove it for years and years.  The headliner in the cab came unstuck and he tore it out so it wouldn't sit on his head while he drove.  One of the doors rusted through, so he welded a piece of metal over the hole, then spray painted the new piece a color somewhat similar to the original.  Classy!  He finally sold it to a co-worker for $400.00 for hauling firewood on his farm.  It had over 280,000 miles on the odometer.  No, it was NOT an import.  

I had a minivan for nearly 10 years.  The only complaint I had was that the TV ads showed a slew of  hunky cowboys jumping out of it.  Imagine my disappointment when, after I drove it home, no cowboys ever appeared, hunky or otherwise.  Darn!  When we finally let it go, it had over 270,000 miles on it.  I'm pretty sure the real reason we traded my minivan instead of a different car was That Man didn't want me to break his mileage record,  I was willing to take it to 300,000.  It just needed a new parking brake cable and fuel injectors.  Poor ol' minivan.  Not an import, either.
I have a crossover now, and it's well on the way to being another high mileage USED car.  The odometer reads over 150,500 miles.  Again, not an import.

I don't really believe the dealership wants/needs THIS particular car.

I'll drive it another few years.  Maybe this time I'll sieze that record!

What's the highest mileage you've racked up on a car?  Leave a comment!

Monday, September 18, 2017

What NEXT?

These are the times that try men's souls.  And women's.

I'm currently struggling with everyday life because my right hand and wrist are in a splint following tendon repair surgery (see previous post).  I celebrated tying my shoes yesterday - yes, really, tying my shoes!  No more old lady slip-on Skecher mules for me!  Fastening the seat belt in my car is a contortionist's nightmare, but I get it done.  I still can't fix my hair, though.  There's just not enough grip to go around for the styling brush AND the blow dryer.

I'm dealing with it, and doing as much as I can.


Today, I ran a couple of errands after work, and arriving home, I decided to eat some leftover pizza.  Popped it in the oven, moved the laundry to the dryer, put the pizza on a plate, opened a can of soda, and noticed I'd BROKEN A TOOTH.

What. The. Heck.

When did it happen?  Why didn't I notice?  How could this huge chunk of enamel and dentin have sheared off without any pain?  The entire front half of the tooth is gone, exposing a metal amalgam filling top to bottom!

I noticed my missing dentition at 5:01 p.m.

The dentist's office closed at 5:00 p.m.

Of.  Course.

I called anyway, and left a message. Miracle of miracles, the receptionist called back, bless her pea-pickin' heart!  I have an appointment tomorrow.

I'm guaranteed royal treatment - I'll be getting a crown.

After the dentist, I'll mosey on over to occupational therapy for my weekly torture session.

Looking forward to a FUN day.

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Not Very Handy Right Now...

A couple of weeks ago, I had surgery on my right hand.  Why?  Well, it's the aftermath of a cat bite.

Back in mid-May, I was trimming one of the cats' claws, and...RAWR!!!

She got irritated, started up her warning "siren" (which I stupidly ignored), then bit me.

Just look at that sweet face!  Surely she's not capable of such a dastardly deed.

Don't be fooled.  This is the Demon Cat from Hell.

When she came into our home as a kitten, she wasn't well socialized.  She didn't like to be touched or picked up.  She growled and yowled.  She didn't clean her fur very well.  She was Grumpy Cat times ten.  However, after YEARS of work, she can give a good imitation of being somewhat pleasant.  I can no longer sit on our sofa without her immediately taking over my lap.  Of course, it's all on HER terms.

No matter how she pretends, she is NOT a nice cat.  The other cats get out of her way.  She terrifies the dog (the BIG dog).  She sits where a gorilla would sit - wherever she wants.

Anyway, she's not a fan of being handled.  So she bit me.


I detached her from my hand, then wrapped her up in a towel and finished the job.

She was NOT going to win.

Long story short, the bite got infected, I went to the emergency room twice, was put on pain killers and two heavy duty antibiotics, lost some movement in one finger (on my right hand), tried occupational therapy (FAIL), then had surgery that repaired two tendons.

Here's how my hand looked afterward.  My whole arm was numb until the end of the next day.  It felt like a telephone pole in its sling, and was about as useful.

I've since graduated to a different, slightly abbreviated splint and bandage.  I have to wear them 24/7 for three weeks - ugh.  At least I can sort of use my fingers.  I get to take it all off once a day and do a little gentle massage.

Meanwhile, I'm working - slowly.  I try to write left handed (oh my - barely legible) and use the computer (hunt and peck).  Getting dressed is an Olympic event.  By the time I have all my clothes on, I feel like I've competed in the decathlon.  And lost.  I'm ready to lie down and take a nap.

I keep telling myself it will be worth it in the long run.

It will.

It really will.