Friday, October 29, 2010

The thrill is in the hunt . . .

I've hit a lot of thrift stores recently for Halloween costume items.  After being in several of them I remembered that I wanted to get mis-matched crystal candlesticks for my dining room table.  I'm sure that I missed all kinds of them -- darn it!  But the last 2 stores had these three that I liked:

I'll keep watching for more, although I will always want an odd number of them.  I added the bobeches to catch drips, but unless I want to pay close attention to them while they're lit, I'll probably still want to put something underneath the set to be safe.

I actually had bought a 4th candlestick in another thrift store, only to come home and see that it matched one of the ones I already had!  How random was that?  But, apparently meant to be, because I pushed too hard when I put a candle in one of them, and the crystal cracked and fell apart!  But then, the matching one was in the drawer!  Hmmm... what are the odds?

The mini pumpins are a seasonal addition... I'd like to figure out something non-seasonal that is a mixed texture to have out all the time.  Something rustic to mix with the crystal maybe?  I expect that will be a "I'll know it when I see it" item.

My New Favorite Magazine

I haven't looked to see how long this has been in publication, but -- !  How have I missed it?
There are a variety of titles that may have been appropriate for this post:

It almost made me want to cut my hair!

I have company coming!

Procrastination: It can be Productive!

Read on, and I’ll let you choose your favorite…

Let's get this out of the way:  There are several note-worthy things about today:  One of my sisters has a birthday today.  HAPPY BIRTHDAY sister!  And another one of my sisters is flying in to visit me today for the weekend!  DON'T BE LATE FOR THE AIRPORT, sister!  And because we like to play fair in our family, a shout out to my middle sister who has been working really hard lately (not to say the others have not --!  remember, we are fair here -- ) HAVE A GREAT WEEKEND, sister!  And last but not least, to my sister currently enjoying the Greek version of Tapas in Crete, Greece -- HAVE ANOTHER GREEK OLIVE, sistah!  It's also FRIDAY -- TGIF and -- drum roll -- according to a late night telephone call that I received last night, the IRS is going to close my file today and deposit the remainder of my first-time-home-buyers refund into my account.  T O D A Y.  Thank you, Ms. B in Ogden, UT for working late.

Airport.  Company.  Weekend.  Frivolity.  Yeaahhhh!  Bring it on.  But first, let's review the things-to-do spreadsheet.  It's part of the ritual.  I did a post here a long time ago about living by lists.  I do love lists.  Also, as per ritual, as the deadline approaches, I go off list.  As in tangents.  Rabbit trails.  Off track.  Okay, if you must:  p r o c r a s t i n a t i o n.  It's a trait that I share with my best girlfriend.  One morning when trying to get out of of town for a business trip she called me --from the back of her closet.  She had decided that THAT morning was the time that her closet positively had to be sorted through and organized.  I so get that!  Did she have time for that?  No!  Was it even ON her to do list?  Of course not.  (Yes, she loves lists too -- ahh a friendship is born.)  Nonetheless, there she was.  And calling me to tell me how ridiculous but compelling it was.  Was calling me on her list?  No -- but I digress.

I was rather pleased with myself Wednesday night.  I proclaimed that I really only had a few things to do -- clean my car and bathe the dog.  I sat with my feet up all evening with Red, watching baseball.  Bliss.  I wasn't even twitching. 

Yesterday I got off work early.  I wanted to get the least pleasing items off the list first:  Car wash.  Check.  Garden hose dog bath.  Check.  The house was tidied... and then oh right, spot clean in the bathroom.  Scour tub.  And then --

My tub has been draining slowly lately.  Hey, it's an 81 year old house with some prior DIY plumbing that counters basic laws of gravity in key areas.  Not my work, mind you, but well, now I guess it is mine.  I know about it, but... well, old house?  Plumbing?  That's a can of [I cannot say worms here, tempting fate] that I do not care to open until I am pretty much forced.  So some slow draining drains?  I've got nothing but time.

But, when a tub drains slowly, sometimes soap bubbles linger.  Maybe they dry on slick surfaces.  Maybe your morning shower becomes a twisted version of the ice capades.  Okay fine, call it a hazard.  Call it a broken neck waiting to happen.  Fine.   I look at my newly polished tub.  I think about my impending house guest.   I give in. 

Ironically the sister who is visiting is like minded in the "I can do anything" category, and accordingly as a house-warming gift last year (just last year??) she gave me the very large hard bound newly revised 2005 version of Reader's Digest's Complete Do It Yourself Manual.  I've broken it out before, and I must say -- glowing reviews.  It's fab.  Color photos, great instructions...(make a note) great house-warming gift.  Especially if you house is, oh, on the downside towards 100 years old. 

So yeah, I spent the next who knows how many minutes dismantling my bath tub drain and stopper mechanism.  Let's just say that it revealed original parts.  Vintage.  But functioning, I'll give them that.  (Look!  It lasted longer than SIXTEEN MONTHS!!  Rock on!)  A flat head screwdriver, some baking soda, a couple batches of boiling water ... It was a total breeze and not even very gross.  (I had an accumulation of Bon Ami -- easily taken care of.  "Five Simple Ingredients!"  the label proclaims, which easily rinsed away.)  Quite pleased, I scoured the tub.  For a second time.  Returned to my list to cross off "clean tub" and resisted the urge to add to the list and immediately cross off:  Dismantle and clean bath tub drain and stopper."

I turned around, and the sink mocked me.  Suggested to me that it, too, needed a little love.  You can guess what happened here.  The same routine... and here you can choose the title, "It almost made me want to cut my hair."  I'm certain that men who live alone do not have this issue.  Oh my gosh!  How do I even have any hair left on my head??   That's all I'll say, because I think you are a nice person and you may or may not have recently eaten.  But my sink also now drains beautifully, thankyouverymuch.  List crossed off.  Reference book back on shelf.  Cost?  Maybe an hour of sleep.  There is a sense of satisfaction that comes with problem solving. If the solution doesn’t cost you anything but time, the satisfaction is even greater!

Alternating between my two crowns Queen of Rationalization and Queen of Procrastination (those close to me will attest that I do my best work under a deadline) I currently stand at my laptop at 5:45 a.m. in my fleece pants drinking coffee, and typing.  I am not vaccuming.  I am not at the store buying flowers and limes.  For that matter, I have not showered for work.   But I'm pleased -- I really only have a few things to do before I have to go to work and on to the airport.  I'm not even twitching.

Coming to Dinner?

Yes, I know I haven’t posted in a while.  I haven't been doing any big house projects!  Little things, but they don't seem worthy of a post.  Instead, I offer you the following... and no, I didn't get my new steps yet -- the most exciting house project on the horizon – but there is the smallest bit of intrigue involved. I know. I love intrigue too.

Let's get the not post-worthy posts out of the way:

Front door exterior refinished (beautiful, photo worthy, currently obstructed by webs)

Porch doors:  new handles and hooks and eyes.  Redeeming, but boring.

My week began Monday morning with the discovery that over the weekend my refrigerator had died a slow death. Not the freezer mind you – it was frosty and healthy – but the fridge? Mmmm. Not so much.

Exhibit A:  Note the  f a b u l o u s  tangerine orange Kitchen Aid on top!

This is a post-mortem photo of my old friend, Fridge. Fridge is 16 months old, and was born at the Whirlpool factory. It's nearly a one-of-a-kind. (Backstory, not that interesting, another time.)

Last week, determined to return to old habits, I scoured my recipes (and some of you have seen my very voluminous recipe pile) for a few that I wanted to try, and drove myself to Kroger. Yes, Kroger. Not Wholefoods. (Further evidence of the old habits.) I bought great ingredients, and even made 2 of the 4 recipes, and had leftovers in the fridge. Also with the leftovers were the ingredients for the remaining – and what I can only presume would have been – stellar recipes.

Alas, Monday after work I filled and toted three garbage bags of (possibly warmer than) room temp groceries to my dumpster. (It seems fitting to tell you here that my garbage pick up day is Friday. Uh huh. Which is good, because at the time of the demise my city dumpster was empty. What’s bad is that today is Friday again. I’ll let you make that very aromatic deduction.) The bottom line? Money, time, anticipation of great meals and a feeling of accomplishment – Poof!  Murphy is alive and well.

I won’t torture you with the details of back statements from my friends (they are, really – I do love them) at American Express, the hunt for that 4 foot long receipt from my acquaintances at Lowe’s, and the eager anticipation of an email from the Lowe’s archive department. (Who even knew? I didn’t. But I hope that it entails more than one employee on dial up in a cubicle. If not, I am going to lobby on their behalf for better working conditions.) No, I won’t go there. But I will say… I think my fridge is going to be famous. Uh huh. F A M O U S. It appears that very soon I will say “farewell, friend” and send it on a cross-country trip alone, never to see it again. (Wake up – that’s the intrigue!) Today I cannot divulge details. But if you are an insider and you know what Red and I do for a living, maybe you can hazard a guess. And if you catch us on the phone or in the bowling alley? Stroll right up and ask us.

At any rate, for the next we-don’t-know-how-many-days, there will be one less large appliance in my kitchen. A neighbor was kind enough to loan me a little cubic dorm refrigerator (bad memories – bad!) that she had in her garage. So kind. I look at it, and it’s lovely. But what could possibly fit in there? Say I do buy say, salad stuff. And when I say salad stuff, I mean the stuff for that Red calls "the big salad."  The two types of dressing. The eggs to hard boil. The fantastic pepperocini peppers. (Thank you, CA sister!) Olives! And – and… and then I look at the little fridge. Hmm. Yeah, probably not. Not to mention I would have to sit on the floor to get all that stuff out. So you know what’s in there? Brown rice, for Greta. Red’s Italian take out leftovers. And 2 beers. Hey, c’mon, a girl has needs. I can’t feed you if you come to dinner, but I’ll give you my last beer. That’s love, baby.