My Tree

I was sitting here finishing up my dinner when I glanced over at the little Christmas tree. I noticed the white lights on the top half of the tree were searingly bright. Uh-oh! Usually, lights do this right before they burn out.

Sure enough, right as we finished up, I looked over at the tree and the lights are off. Holy, Moly!

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After thinking this over and debating the final solution, I decided that tomorrow morning I will completely take the tree apart, remove the bad string of lights and restring the entire tree with new ones.

Then I had another genius idea!

At the end of this Christmas Season, I will put a clean sheet around it, and store it until next year.

It’s not that I don’t enjoy decorating Christmas Trees, but stringing the lights and all that is not my thing.

All will be well in the end. I just didn’t think I would have to put up two trees this year!

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Go You Chicken Fat, Go Away!

I’d prepared a lovely meal for Jack and me, and I was in the final stages of cleaning it up when disaster struck!

Now although it was terrible, it is perfectly okay if you find yourself giggling, because in five or ten years I hope I am giggling too! Here’s what happened…

I’d made a lovely Perdue Rotisserie Dinner with a side of Asparagus and fries for Jack. Really it tasted great. The only problem with using the rotisserie is that it extracts a lot of fat from the bird, which goes into a drip pan underneath. The pan had a lot of chicken fat in it, and I was getting the fat can out from under the sink while holding the pan with all the fat, and suddenly, the fat can slipped, the pan with the fat flipped and I was covered in chicken fat!

It was no small accident. It was in my hair, all over my clothes, even onto my slippers! Needless to say, the countertop and the floor and the throw rugs all were covered as well! Ugh!

I stripped down quickly to my shorts and tank top, and took off my glasses and washed them and set them aside to dry. I grabbed a sponge, and a towel and started cleaning it all up. I got out the Clorox Wipes and after I got things cleaned, I took the scented sheets of Clorox (smells like Coconut), and wiped everything down again! Then I washed the floor.

Once that was done, I put the rest of my clothes and slippers in the wash and jumped into the shower to wash the chicken fat off of me!

I’d never given this much thought before, but I am here to tell you that being doused with chicken fat is gross, really gross! It was cold (thank goodness) and in some ways that made it even worse!

Now  I am clean, and the first of three loads of laundry is washing in the basement.

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I told Jack that this has to be one of the dumbest things I have ever done. He kept from laughing but managed an “I hope so”.

Ok, did you laugh? It’s okay if you did. Really I think in a few years I will be laughing too!

Phishing

I got a scary, yet interesting email this morning. The email told me that the person was in possession of a Porn Movie of me. They said I had two options. I could either pay them $7000.00 and they would not do anything to publicize this Porn Movie, or if I didn’t pay they would send it to all my contacts.

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I felt very uncomfortable about this. I have never been threatened like this before. I thought about it and decided to call my Internet Provider.

The young man said it was a Phishing Scam, and to block the address on my Spam filter and then completely delete the message.

While I was speaking to the young man, Jack piped in “How come I’ve never seen this movie?”

Both the Technician and I burst out laughing! The Technician said I had just made his day!

It leaves me feeling uncomfortable though. This wasn’t your usual Phishing Scam. This was a downright threat. All I could think was, “What is this world coming to?”

When It’s Not All Easy-Peasy

Remember last summer when we lost the Main Control System for our hot water and heating system? After many weeks, a new Control System was installed, and rather pricey it was too!

Fast forward to September 23rd when we woke to 42-degree temperatures outside, which lowered our home temperatures into the 60’s. Time to get the heat on so in the event that the temperature drops even more while we are gone, our House Sitter and the dogs do not freeze.

We were assured that these thermostats were the best and easiest to use. They certainly were pretty. At the time our outside temperatures were in the nineties, so after installation, the heating system was turned off.

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We got out the instruction booklets and started to read. When your eyes cross and you start doubting the sanity of the person who designed these, your turn to the Internet and see what it has to say.

I saw several Youtube Videos and the one thing they all had in common, was frustrated users, who all agreed that this was not an easy thermostat to program!

They all warned of doing too much and getting locked out! And by almost unanimous vote, this device was hated by everyone who has it. Yikes!

Okay, I always function on the less is more belief, so I went over to the first thermostat and hit the mode button and the temperature we wanted flashed overhead. I toggled the + and – buttons to select the temperature we want and then I hit the mode button again as the word set was flashing above it.

I did this to the two other thermostats and then went down to the cellar to check on the furnace. Sure enough, the system was on and the zones calling for heat were illuminated.

Now I am no genius, and I really hope I did this correctly, but even I, who usually look at things and understand them, was confused by this device.

Should I ever have to replace a thermostat again I will go for an easy-peasy to operate one, that my two-year-old grandson could program. Heat should not be that difficult to figure out!

Well, I Must Be Crazy!

For a few years, I had a cute collage of my family on my fridge. My problem? I am so lazy, I had not done one since Quinn’s birth, two and a half years ago. So when I got this coupon from Walgreens, I set about designing a collage of my little family.

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I think it came out really well, and it makes me smile when I look at it.

Meanwhile, we’re rearranging our Office Room and adding a full-size bed. After a great deal of shopping, I finally convinced Jack that the best price was on Amazon.com. It’s been ordered and should be here on Friday!

After going through a bunch of useless crap items on the office shelves and filling a wastepaper basket, something distracted me and led me to our linen closet. I opened the door and started tossing things on the floor and in piles. Things to donate to the homeless shelter, throw out, or freshen and return to the linen closet.

I am not sure why I started on the closet because as I got more involved, it became apparent that this is a giant task! I must be crazy!

There is no stopping now, but there has been a serious slowdown, as my neck and shoulders can only do so much in one day. (This is my story and I am sticking to it!)

Once done, this closet will be amazingly organized and anyone can go in and find what they need easily. Best of all, after I launder the towels in there, it will smell lovely and fresh.

I did find my puppy kit. All the things I used when I was breeding the girls. Colored neck bands to distinguish each pup, my surgical sheers, and a warming block. Much of this I cannot use any longer, but the sheers and warming block I can definitely put to use.

I also found a box of wires and cords. Some I know what they are, but some, I have no idea. So while I watch the tennis today, I will be going through that box to see if there is anything to salvage. I suspect not!

Tuesday I plan a day of washing much of these sheets, towels, and tablecloths. Then carefully folding them and organizing the shelves.

After the linen closet is done, I will go back into the office and dust vacuum, and wash windows getting this room done, once and for all!

This poor room is so neglected really. Since laptops became the rage, we almost never go into the office, except for Income Tax time. Now that we will have this fixed up as a nice guest room we can entertain more if we would like.

Happy Monday to Everyone and Happy Labor Day to all in the USA!

Prime Rib Night

Last night we’d made a date to meet our neighbor for dinner at a small Tavern in town. Friday and Saturday they have Prime Rib and I felt like this would be a nice meal for us. Prime Rib for under $20.00 is a deal in these parts!

We arrived at 6:30 and the place was so wild I couldn’t believe it! Then I remembered we are still in the summer tourist season, so that would explain the wall to wall people! It was also Friday, date night, and of course the Prime Rib!

I’m usually patient about these things, but for the love of all that is good and kind, I waited about 15 minutes before I went in search of the waiter.

He was the only waiter they had working! There was him, the bartender, and two people in the kitchen. One cook and one bus-boy/dish-washer. They all looked harried.

I asked about him coming to get our order. He smiled (rather a pitiful smile) and said he would be right there. I returned to our table and we waited 15 more minutes before he showed up, wiped our table down and took our drink order.

I got a Tuckerman’s Pale Ale, Jack got a Budweizer Light, and Paul got another beer, which is escaping my brain right now. It took about 10 minutes until he returned with those, and I told him to hold on so we could order our meals.

It was easy, three Queen Cut Prime Rib, fries and green beans. All three were to be medium rare.

Then we set about talking and drinking our first beer. We sat, we talking and before we knew it, an hour had passed, our beers were gone and we all started looking around for our poor, harried, waiter!

He finally returned and said they didn’t have three medium rare Prime cuts. They had two and an end cut. I can say that I felt if the order had been placed quickly and delivered quickly then we would all have gotten the medium rare cuts, but, because we were committed to the meal at this point, I said I would take the end cut, and we all wanted more beer!

Again we waited another 15 minutes and finally, I saw the waiter bringing our three meals. I said, “Oh look, our meals!” and Jack said, “Don’t get your hopes up!”

Luckily, they were our three meals! I mentioned to Jack and Paul that this had better be the best Prime Rib ever or I was never coming back!

We all took our first bites and it was so good!!! After that, there wasn’t a lot of talking as we three ate our meals. We all agreed that it was so crazy due to all the tourists, but in the winter when it is just us town folk, this will be a great place to come for Prime Rib on a cold Friday night!

And my end cut was amazing! I got all of the wonderful spices and delicious flavor! I had almost no fat or gristle on my piece, but Jack and Paul had plenty. Now, this is a good thing. Everyone’s meat was very tender, but the fat helps to keep the meat like that. All scaps were put into a container and brought home to feed Greta and the other pooches!

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We did not arrive home until well after 9 PM. I was so tired, but I needed to unwind, and I guess it was closer to 10:30 before I got to bed. Well past my bedtime!

Still, I must say, this was a nice enjoyable night!

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Long, Hot, Summer!

It’s been a very long, hot summer. It’s been a long time since we’ve had a summer with this kind of heat.

Monday started with Jack’s nose incision showing signs of infection. I told him not to worry and I got it cleaned out and a good dressing applied. I need to do it again before bed, but I just wish they would schedule his Mohs Surgery and be done with it. I have a feeling that it will not heal until after that surgery is done and they actually stitch him up.

After that, we did things around the house because our thermometer was climbing outside 80, 90, 100! And humid too. Just wildly unpleasant!

Late afternoon, about the time I usually start to do the prep work for dinner, Jack began to defrost his beer fridge’s freezer. That wasn’t too bad. But it did leak a bit on the floor.

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But it was during this procedure that I mentioned that our deep freeze downstairs really needed to be done. (Thinking, you know, another day?) A few minutes later, the phone rang and it was for Jack, and I was looking for him. Where was he? Downstairs defrosting the deep freeze! Sheesh!

So while he was on the phone, and had the freezer turned off, and all the food on tables in my laundry room! Crap! So while he was on the phone I got all the ice out of the freezer and off the freezer walls and then started to organize it.

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The bending, stretching, and lifting was pretty darn tough, and by the end, I was feeling it. But the freezers are now defrosted and thank goodness the other two are frost free!

However, I still managed a decent stir-fried chicken and vegetables. And now as I near the golden hour of 9 PM, I am just about ready to fall asleep, know I will sleep very well tonight!

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Hot Water!

I returned home from the Beach Trip with Savannah, only to find we have no hot water. Now, I wish it were as simple as the need for a new hot water tank, but alas, that is not the case.

We have under the floor, radiant, hot water heating. This is run by a Master Controller, made by Tekmar. It’s a great system, or should I say, it was until the Master Unit died. And when it is dead, it is really dead!

The unit is almost 20 years old, so I cannot fault it for its demise, but…have you ever tried to live in a house with 4 dogs and a husband, and no hot water? It’s…ah…unpleasant!

Now our system isn’t the easiest to work with. Most people say, Tekmar? What’s that? So we were lucky enough to get three names of people who do work on our system. The thing is, by the time we got those names it was late in the afternoon on a Friday, and so…no hot water for us for probably a week.

I’ve been heating water for sponge baths, and for washing my hair, I heat several containers to just wash it and rise. Then, I use a leave-in conditioner. But people, I am telling you, I am ready to run away from home!

Meanwhile, our dishwasher has a water heating setting, so at the very least, our dishes are clean and sanitary.

I’m only just slightly stressed but will feel so much better when we can actually reach a person to fix our system. Being in limbo is no fun at all!

The Fridge

Have any of you ever opened your fridge and not recognized any of the contents? Honestly, this morning I opened the door to get some cream for my coffee and it looked like a bomb had blown up in there.

I have several household chores that I really hate doing. I really dislike filing, scrubbing the toilet, and dusting. All are Ugh! chores. But at the very top of my list is thoroughly cleaning the fridge.

Today, since things were in such chaos, and I leave Jack tomorrow for a few days, I decided that a thorough cleaning had to be done! I pulled absolutely everything out of the fridge. As I was pulling each item out, I opened and check it out. I checked for mold, date of purchase, etc.

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I will not give you the number of items growing mold, after all, who knows, perhaps I have science experiments going on in there. I also will not reveal how many items had expired. *Groan*,  I will say that is was a very good day to do this, as it will make my absence easier for Jack to handle. He will be able to find foods that are not going to poison him!

I washed each shelf and drawer and carefully put the fridge back together. This time I left a little more room on the middle shelf, as this is the one that is easiest for Jack to see.

I bought him some Hungryman TV Dinners, and he has some Frozen Breakfast Meals he likes too. I also purchased some fresh P&P Loaf for sandwiches, oh yes, and fresh bread.

So, the fridge is clean, and now all I need to do is clean and organize the Freezer Compartment. That’s on my list for this afternoon. Crazy, yes. But I guess it simply must be done.

Pass me my mittens!

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Cleaning!

Mothers Day was perfect. I was taking a slow day, watching some mindless TV, preparing to cook a nice meal of fresh Scallops, and working on stripping and trimming the dog’s feet, so make it easier to spot and get off unwanted ticks.

All was well until I was standing at the stove cooking the Scallops. Suddenly I felt my lower back just go out! I groaned in pain, and Jack asked what was wrong. I told him and he suggested my back brace. I have a really good one since this has happened before.

After dinner, I tried to get comfortable, but to no avail, so I just went to bed, hoping that this would do the trick. Allow me to relax, and have the slippery disc slip back into place.

Monday morning I woke to the smell of last night’s Scallops! Only the next day, things don’t smell as good, you know? So before I even got my first cup of coffee, I was cleaning the kitchen, again! This time I cleaned not only the stove top, but I threw in the grates to the stove top in the dishwasher. I also took every container near the stove, put the contents into airtight containers, and washed each canister in the dishwasher. All in all, I worked from 6:30 AM until 10 AM, just washing things. All without coffee!

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I must have looked a fright as I was cleaning in my nightgown, tennis socks, and my black back brace! Certainly hilarious, I am sure.

I reached the point of having everything clean, but still, the scent was lingering. So I mixed up two pots to absorb the smells and perhaps help it to smell more pleasant in here. The first pot contained the morning used coffee grounds. Just add to water, and simmer away. The second pot contained water, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, and ginger. Again, simmer and hope it helps. To a certain extent it has, but I have a feeling this is going to take time. Ugh!

With my back out, I decided after lunch to just put my feet up and rest it. Oh crikey! I just hate it when the back is out. I will be very glad when the disc slips back in. Meanwhile, I think I will get my crocheting out, as I can do that while I sit.