Category Archives: Uncategorized

When you are so done before you are done.

I just put up another beef stew in the instant pot. If I never see that thing again, I will be just fine. The multipurpose room currently looks like this:

and I am almost one hundred percent sure that the can opener is somewhere here in my laundry room: I am close, but not close enough.

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The Way We Live Now

I am officially at the point of the home renovation project where I am waxing nostalgic. That’s right, I looked at the kids today and said there soon may come a time when we miss all the coziness of cooking, eating, working, and lounging in a small space.

Given that, this is the current state of affairs:Behold: the kitchen table/counter/storage/homework/random crap space.

My beloved living room couch covered in shmatas and then backpacks and a gazillion hoodies. Also shoes. On the couch. Because I am beaten down, I say nothing.

And this window, which is open because the house smells like paint most of the time. Because the house isn’t crowded enough, this is also happening. It’s fine for Lois to come in and out of the window. But her outdoor kittens (who we feed and vaccinate, so please don’t come at me), have taken to leaping indoors or just sitting outside and crying for attention.Neither of these cats is Lois. The larger one, Scout, got into the house and woke me meowing at three a.m. An hour and a half later I fell back to sleep. He may have also peed under my bed. I am not in the least bit cranky.

They say we are weeks away from a kitchen. They’ve been saying that since the fall.

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2019 – the year of project completion, decluttering, and some coupon jazz.

I am certain of this: One way or another, the kitchen will be done this year even though the ground floor of my house currently looks like this.Among other 2019 resolutions I may or may not keep, I hereby resolve to be neither negative nor anxious about the kitchen situation.

M resolved to declutter his side of the closet. As I’ve explained before, after a long battle with sentimentality and clutter, I was pretty much Marie Kondo before Marie Kondo and have been culling and purging for years. M, on the other hand, likes to wear T-shirt’s from the Clinton era – and I’m not talking about the fantasy alternate universe in my head.

Yesterday he went through the closet and proudly presented me with this: (Oh, in case you were wondering, that thing on top is apparently a beer horn. It appeared in the house recently, courtesy of M, and did not qualify for the purge. It is going in the basement in something we like to call the Costume Box.)

He was feeling quite pleased with himself until he asked me for some help picking out a shirt to wear and I discovered THIS. That’s right, three heaving bags of giveaway and THIS beauty made the cut. If you can tell me how much this vintage tee from a 2013 New Orleans Coupon Convention will fetch me on the open market, I’ll send you the shirt.

In the meantime, happy 2019 everyone. May all your projects be completed and may you all rid yourself of all types of unhelpful baggage, coupon convention shirts included.


Filed under home improvement, Remodel, Uncategorized

Genetics and Two Right Feet

It would seem that at least one of my kids has inherited my packing disability.

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Doctor, there’s a toaster on my toilet…

We apparently don’t not have enough power in our multipurpose room to boil water and run this machine at the same time. We had to get rid of our traditional toaster because it’s too dusty now, much like everything else in the house. I thought I was being clever when I found this, which can also act as an oven, but it needs more juice than the room can handle. So… #NoKitchenNoProblem

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Yesterday, before leaving for the day, I put a turkey roast and vegetables in the outdoor crockpot. Feeling especially smug, I even got busy with the (indoor) rice cooker.A couple of hours later, from about five miles away, I couldn’t remember if I’d turned the crockpot on. (More than once I’ve come home, expecting to be greeted by the aromas of slow cooking, only to find a crockpot of raw food.)

I text a friend, S., who lives nearby, and on her way out, she checked the pot: all systems go.

Three hours later, worried about over-cooking, I texted another friend and neighbor, R., and asked her to run over and flip the roast.

I was feeling pretty good about things when the roast was cooked to perfection at 6. I felt less good when my 16 year old ate half the roast before anyone sat down to dinner and I had to order Chinese.

Oh, and it seems I forgot to turn the rice cooker on.

Sometimes you really can’t win.

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Brisket in the Rain

Because the kitchen renovation has me making toast in one room, coffee in another, and eggs in a third, this is where I plug in the crockpot.Outside. On our back steps.

Several hours after I plugged it in, M came home for a meeting with the contractor, architect and engineer and sends out a message to our family Snapchat group (hush, now): RAIN!

Even though Weatherbug showed zero chance of precipitation, it was pouring.

I immediately sent him a hysterical tweet: BRISKET IN YARD. PLEASE CHECK THE BRISKET!!!!

Turns out, the meat was fine — or so I’m told. Also turns out brisket is even better when it’s cooked outside — who knew? It was quite an operation getting it back into the kitchen, or at least I made it look that way. I made a big show of it as I passed by the team of men in whose hands the fate of my kitchen rests, huffing and puffing as I walked through.

Now I just have to wash the crockpot out in the downstairs toilet.

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