Friday, December 21, 2007

While the Gettin's Good

We have a former plumber visiting. Like all smart old home owners, we jumped all over that and put him to work immediately. A new faucet in the downstairs bath. Repairing the shower faucet in the upstairs bath. New drain lines for the AC in the basement. Installed drainage rock around the sump pump. Drained and removed the old water heater from the basement. And he even helped install a really big, really heavy mirror above the upstairs vanity.

We also have a quilter visiting. Like any smart quilter, I jumped all over that with a whirlwind quilt shop hop and lunch at the Olive Garden. We enjoyed ourselves so much we're going back out again today armed with coupons. And we may need to go again next week. You know, to use the rest of the coupons.

Ya gotta get while the gettin's good!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Attention Family Members

If you happen to be one of the incredibly lucky people on this planet to be related to me, may I have your attention please?
At the beginning of this holiday season I merrily decked the halls, paying great attention to detail. Each ornament was carefully chosen and placed in an eye pleasing arrangement on not one, but two trees. The Christmas village was assembled in such a fashion as to make you almost feel like you were looking at a tiny winter wonderland. Each package was wrapped with the utmost care, their shinny ribbons twinkling under the lights of the tree.

Obviously, I forgot about the cat.

So, if you are indeed one of those incredibly lucky people, I would like to set your expectations accordingly before you arrive…

No, I didn't forget to decorate the bottom two feet of each tree. The cat has amassed a stash of ornaments somewhere. I'm sure I'll find them in July.

No, there wasn't an earthquake registering 5.0 on the Richter scale near the village. One fell swoop of the cat's tail is all it takes to obliterate the entire town.

No, I didn't forget to put lights on the tree in the front hall. They mysteriously stopped working. I'm sure the cat climbing on them had nothing to do with it.

And finally no, I didn't intend to give you a tooth marked package with nothing but a shred of ribbon left and fuzzy hair stuck all over it. Just consider it her way of adding her name to the gift card.

So, now that we have all of that straight.

Looking forward to seeing you all!!

Monday, December 17, 2007

Let There be Cake - Season Finale

After a few hours of shock therapy I was able to explain my dilemma to my hardworking hubby who had been MIA all week hosting his technology summit. I don't think he believed me at first, really how hard can having a range installed be? Finally, we agreed that upon arrival of the range he'll take a look at it and see what he could do. He IS a certified computer engineer and the instructions didn't specify what kind of certification was required.

So I have to digress here just for a minute and shout out a big kudos to H.H. Gregg. Not only did they deliver what they promised, they were even early. And both the sales staff and delivery persons were extremely helpful and courteous. Evidently they've done some staff training since I'd last used their services.

I conveniently needed to be 100 miles away while DH tinkered with the new range. You know, just in case it's the house that's cursed. No need for both of us to join Mr. Kurtz. Upon my return home he had it hooked up. Never mind that it was shooting five inch flames from the bottom of the oven.

My brother showed up about that same time and we all agreed to go to our local steakhouse to have our last meal, er I mean a meal, before any further tinkering would be done. Two hours later my DH and my brother were trying to convince me that the shooting flames were normal. Just think how fast I could cook a pot roast?!

I handed them the installation manual and they spent the next hour making adjustments.

So FINALLY, after two weeks, three days and two and one half hours, and six migraines...LET THERE BE CAKE!

And to top off that cake, the guests are stuck in a snowstorm in Canada!

Anyone want to start a pool on how long it will take for the LP company to finally "get around to calling"?

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Let There Be Cake - part two

(Or perhaps it should be titled, You Know You Live in BFE When...)

So all I needed was to get the range converted to LP and hook it up. Seems simple enough, eh? Of course appliance retailers don't provide this service. It seems not just any Joe Blow or handyman can do this conversion. Seems that it is supposed to be someone "certified" according to the installation instructions. Cause it's so highly complicated and all. The retailers don't want to have to pay their delivery people enough to be "certified". Nor do they want the liability issue. You know, in case the darn thing blows up.

So I called around, and around, and around and no one was willing and able to do this. Not a single soul. They all told me that my LP provider would have to be the one to provide such service.

(here is where the creepy background music starts)

So thinking the end of all this mess was near, I gladly called my locally owned and operated L.P. Gas company. A lovely lady answered, we'll call her Mildred. I explained my situation and asked if I could schedule an appointment to get my range hooked up. Mildred responded, "Oh, I don't know, we don't make appointments."

Um, OK, so how do I do this?

"We can take your number and add you to the list. We try to do what we can for people, but we've got people who've been waiting a long time. Our guy only works in the mornings, he's the Minister at blah, blah Church. I'm not sure when he'd ever get around to it."

Um, OK, any clue at all how long it might take? I have guests coming the first of the week.

"Oh, he couldn't do it by then, we've got lots of people who've been waiting a long time. We'd like more notice than that."

Um, but the old range just stopped working so I had to replace it. I hadn't planned this in advance.

"Well, like I said we've got lots and lots of people...blah, blah. I don't think it would be before 3 or 4 weeks. We like to have more notice..."

(blink, blink) WHAT?? Three or four WEEKS?

"Yeah, we've got lots of people..., we try to do what we can.. I can take your name and number. Then when he can get around to it, he'll call you. Of course you'd need to have the new range ready."

I was so stunned I just gave her my name and number and hung up the phone.

(to be continued...)

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Let There be Cake - part one

So after teetering on the edge for a while I finally pulled myself out of the corner, wiped the drool from my chin, and headed to the big city. We found ourselves at the doorstep of H.H. Gregg. A place I had sworn many moons ago never to revisit. But I was a very desperate housewife.

Hold on to your girdles here... I don't like stainless steel. (the audience gasps) I'm evidently the only person in North America who has no desire whatsoever to install stainless steel appliances. I don't want to spend the rest of my days wandering around here with a bottle of Windex wiping every tiny fingerprint. Nor do I want my kitchen to look like a fancy restaurant kitchen, it's my home, if I want a fancy meal I go out. I also have no desire to own appliances that will soon become the avocado green of the new millennium. It might be all the rage now, but sooner or later people are going to realize they're a pain in the keester.

So all I wanted was a basic white self cleaning oven. I kicked the tires on several different models, deciding on three, none of which apparently are made in white anymore. So then I kicked a few more. Then I found one that came in white, but it had gray grates. With my cooking and housekeeping skills those things would have been stained and ugly in, oh, about two days. Come to find out, all the white ones have gray grates. So I finally gave up on the hope of ever having matching appliances and ended up with the same model in black. Black with black grates that will hide my spills and cooked on food. (Cause I have parades of people through here every day ya know.)

It will, at least, match the dishwasher. But most importantly, they could deliver it the next day. Now all I had to do was get it converted to propane and hooked up...

(to be continued)

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Teetering on the Edge

I've beaten my head against a wall so much with this range issue that I'm seeing stars.

Stars are pretty.

I like stars.

Stars make me think of the heavens.

Which reminds me to count my blessings.

I love cereal.

I like soup.

Most fresh veggies don't need to be cooked.

I have a microwave.

I could survive.

What the Hell the rest of these people are going to eat I have no idea.

But that's not my problem.

They're all old enough to fend for themselves.

I'm as obsolete as my range.

And that's fine by me.

The fact that the oven doesn't work prevents me from sticking my head in it.

It's all good.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

To make a long story short

I'll never do business with Sears again.

No one on the planet will help me get a range installed. (I called them all.)

If our house guests (whom I assume are coming sometime next week but I'm not sure since my DH doesn't feel the need to show me the courtesy of notifying me of their arrival) don't like it they'll have to go stay somewhere else.

I'm done.

Monday, December 10, 2007

How Homeschool Moms Have Fun

Mom: "Time for dinner!"

Kid: "What's that?"

Mom: "Salad"

Kid: "No, what's that?" (points at strange new food)

Mom: "Avocado, it's native to Mexico."

Kid: "The water is bad in Mexico." (silently decides the food must be bad too)

Kid: "And what are those?"

Mom: "Peppers and grape tomatoes"

Silence as the kid stares at the salad.

Mom: "If you eat all your salad you can have whatever else you want for dinner."

More silence. Finally the kid reluctantly eats, leaving the avocado.

Mom: "See, it's not that bad."

Kid: "I only ate the lettuce."

Mom: "Uh, yeah, that was spinach."

Kid: (mouth drops on the table) "You did that on purpose!"

Mom: (while doing the happy dance) "Mwah, ha, ha, ha! Now who's the smart one?"

Sunday, December 9, 2007

No-Bake Cookies Anyone?

I found the perfect excuse for no holiday baking. No oven. Yep, Sears isn't delivering my new oven as planned. This doesn't even remotely surprise me. I don't believe we've ever been able to make any major purchase without some sort of glitch. And this time it really seems to be a glitch. "The computer" didn't forward the order to the delivery department. So it's soup again tonight. If I didn't know better I'd think Oprah, her trainer and diet author Bob Greene and that perky Denise were behind all this. I certainly can't whip up that batch of forbidden brownies now can I?

In other news, it seems we may be creating some monsters with this whole blacksmithing stuff. Yes, monsters, plural. Yesterday was another session. Followed up with a few hours of surfing to locate a forge as it appears waiting another month to pound hot metal isn't an option. So now I get to choose if I want to allow my baby to have a "real bow and arrow with dull arrows" off his wish list or a gas forge. Being the over protective worry wart that I am, I'm thinking one could put an eye out and the other could theoretically blow up. I'd much prefer to go back to harmless matchbox cars and soft Kermit dolls.

I wonder if I could bake with a forge?

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Holiday Hubub

Busy getting ready for the holidays. The in-laws are coming to visit in about a week. Trying to get everything done before they get here. Planning to get the house clean. Planning meals. Planning what to take to one Christmas party. Planning what to wear to another. Planning what else to buy. Planning what else to wrap. At what point are we all going to wake up and realize all this crap is a lot of work and give it up?

Denise Austin is trying to kill me. Well, that's not right. Her workouts are trying to kill me. Previously unknown parts of my body are now throbbing in pain. If you don't see a blog post from me it's because I can no longer lift my arms. Or I've tangled myself up with curling ribbon under the tree. Either way, sending chocolate might be a good idea. Just make sure it's dark chocolate and only two ounces, as that's all that's on my approved list. (insert rolling eyes here)

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Cookin' with Gas

After the service technician finished his inspection and returned from his truck, estimate in hand, his first question was "How much do you love your oven?"

Sears will be delivering a brand spankin' new one on Sunday. I debated over the 5 burner model but decided I really didn't need it, I don't even like to cook with 4.

Fa La Freekin' La

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

I'll have you know...

Despite the cat's efforts to derail me; I did 10 minutes of cardio, 10 minutes of pilates, 10 minutes of yoga and survived! Three months ago, before I quit smoking, the cardio would have killed me. Today it was easy. Why on earth the cat was attacking my feet while I was working out I have no idea. I can only assume she thought I was having a seizure and was trying to warn me. I hear they do that sort of thing. She certainly isn't used to me flailing around the living room like that.

I also managed to hit my calorie target. And it's even shopping day! Normally, this would be the day that I would binge eat on whatever struck my fancy at the store. But today I bought some of those wee little ziplock bags and started portioning out my snacks. I'm hoping frequent small meals and the exercise will revive my gasping and fading metabolism. If not I may have to give up my beloved Cheetos. Yeah right, that'll be a dark day in...

Monday, December 3, 2007

Off Like a Hurd of Turtles

Since the fear of public humiliation worked so well for the quitting smoking thing I figured I'd share with you the next phase of Extreme Makeover: Healthy Lifestyle Edition. Yep, it's time to break out the diet and exercise.

I'm not one of those people who freaks out over every pound. I haven't even stepped on a scale in years other than at the doctors office. So a few weeks ago when my pants no longer fit, I just went out and bought new pants. I figure at my age, I deserve to buy bigger pants. But a new belt too? Houston, we have a problem.

So today I woke early, trotted downstairs, flicked on the TV and watched Denise Austin workout. After twenty minutes I decided it might not kill me, so I joined her for the cool down portion.

I feel better already.