Category Archives: disasters

Crisis

People who know/see me IRL know that things haven’t all been jolly-jolly here. To the point where I thought I would have to talk to a lawyer about divorce. The issue isn’t something I’ll talk about here, because frankly, the sordid details of my life aren’t up for public discussion.

Suffice it to say that I’ve been dealing/coping with potentially life-changing issues. Last time things got this bad, about 20 years ago, we got help. We may do that again, or may not. The last time we thought we’d acquired the skills to deal with whatever potential problems we might encounter, unfortunately, that may not have been true.

I always wondered how people who stayed together for more than 20 years could then just split? You had it beat, didn’t you? We’ve been married 37 years and together 39.

The one good thing I know that’s happened as a result of this is what I said in my post here. No matter what, I’ll weather it. I know that again. For a long time I wasn’t sure there was any of the fighter left in me to face a major change. But whatever way things work out, I’ll make it.

Energizer-Bunny-300x270

A new favorite word

It seems I’m living like this, these days.

See here: Definition of zugzwang

atomic-bomb-test

Amazing! Much more concise than “between a rock and a hard place.”

I love adding to my vocabulary when it’s pertinent to what’s going on in my life!

J

Always Unplanned

I picked up a load of stuff from my car last night and brought it in. Remembered, just now, that my phone’s battery needed charging. Phone wasn’t in any of the places where it gets put away, no ringy-dingy when we called it. Thought I’d left it in the car?

Nope. It had fallen out of my hands onto the ground last night. And it poured last night and poured. My phone is almost certainly dead. DH said, “Well, maybe those $60 waterproof cases are worth it?” because my case cost $20 and as far as I was concerned it should have been $10. We’ll see. The phone currently sits in a bowl of rice. My bet is that it’s fried.

sick cell phone from images.google.com

I guess I need to do a spot check, every night: phone, wallet, and keys. I usually do that as I’m walking out the door. Too late then if I’ve left it somewhere or dropped it, like this.

Blast!

J

Phone was in its case. We removed it and put it in a bag of rice. Last time we tried this, it didn’t work. But this time, it did! My phone is working.

What To Do?

I got the runners I’d intended to use for the stairs, yesterday. The pieces visible thru the clear plastic they were shipped in didn’t resemble what I thought I’d ordered. Looked like stripes instead of checks. I opened one.

The jute in at least one place was dark and unattractive, but the piece was sound, and striped. DH and I talked about it. It was cheap. What to do? We decided to return it. If the image had resembled what’s here, I never would have ordered it. I cannot imagine using striped anything on a staircase, good way to set yourself up to fall. I do NOT want an optical illusion on my staircase or anything which might confuse us about where the edges are.

During the talk with their customer service person I said it wasn’t defective, it isn’t, it’s whole and sound. Looks like hell, but it’s sound. They wanted $33+ (on a $60 order) to return the 3 pieces. I arranged, finally, to pay to ship the things back to them, without them charging me 1/2 of the cost in a shipping charge. (Shipping had been free.)

So, after all of this, I am feeling rather like I’ve just been ripped off. The image, although it’s the right colors and materials and says it’s the right line, only vaguely looks like what arrived. Because of the conversation about the  insane shipping return fee, I went looking for reviews.

What has happened to me has happened to others. Apparently, they are a thinly veiled bait & switch company. They buy up goods from other companies, sell the best stuff, and the worst they don’t change the image, and make it difficult/impossible to return.

When I got up this  morning, I had all but resolved not to return the stuff, as I can probably get about 1/3- 1/2 of my $ back selling them thru the booth. But I have since decided against that too. Even if they charge me for the package I opened with the dark jute (arrived that way, as I said, I had the package open < 1 hour before I asked for a return authorization), it’s $20. If they try to charge me for the 2 packages I never opened? The easy answer for that is to take pictures, lots of pictures, before I ship the return, today.

Is it worth it? At this point, the way I feel is that either:1) they’re a legit company and they’ll do it right or 2)they’re creeps and even if I only get $20 back, I do, and it will cost them more to process it and deal with me and 3)Whether I get all my $ back or none of it, I will tell my friends, however it works out. I know how retail and mail order work and are supposed to work. I ran a mail order business for 10 years. I will make noise, a lot of it, file a complaint with the BBB, etc.

They sent me a customer service survey right after I talked to whoever to get the authorization. I won’t fill it out until I find out what they’re going to do.

First time I’ve really regretted closing my FB account. Having 500 “friends” online to post about this might just have guaranteed my getting all the $ back.

We’ll see. Continue reading

Carrot Cake Disaster — Working Hypothesis

I’ve had various bits of the cake the last 2 days. Every time I do, for a long while afterwards, everything tastes purely awful.

I had some this morning and my coffee tastes burnt. Asked DH if the batch of coffee tasted burnt to him? Puzzled look — “No.”

So it’s me, it’s this stupid cake, again.

We have 2 layers, now crumbled up from having been split in 1/2 to eat up. I may put part of it in the freezer, I’d like to taste something  decent before next week.

Yesterday in attempt to “clean” my palette, I ate an orange, couldn’t taste it. Added demerra sugar, could barely taste the sugar. My dinner was a few slices of bread, a tomato (which tasted past it) vinegar I know I love (and couldn’t taste), olive oil, salt & pepper — tomato salad, one of my favorite things. Could barely taste it. Even the toothpaste tasted off last night.

So it’s me and this cake.

Great. Now I have to figure out what it is in the cake that takes out my palette.

What I needed — a new quest!

(I tossed all my powdered sugar of course. Now I need more, sigh.)

 

 

The Yummy Carrot Cake Disaster

So.

I decided to make that carrot cake, you know the one the guy (Ian Cumming) made on GBBO’s finale. Not 5 layers, but the same cake. The recipe is on BBC, you can find it (here).

Except, that I’m not a patient cook. Also my kitchen and supplies are all in disarray because of the great painting project and the long-still continuing refrigerator saga. In the midst of the long rennovation effort and my fridge dying (twice!) about 1/2 the food in the fridge was pitched. The food in the fridge’s freezer was moved by DH to the new freezer, etc.

This means a few things:

  1. I don’t have the supplies I usually have on hand.
  2. If I do, I’m not sure where they are or how much I have.
  3. The same is true of my cooking tools.

So I started to make a 4 egg cake with 2 eggs in the house. I’d bought pecans, but hadn’t noticed they were to be roasted and chopped. I finally (after looking in many, many markets) found star anise, but it wasn’t ground. (Our pepper may taste “peculiar” for a while, the pepper grinder was the only thing other than the coffee grinder I could find which would work. We use the coffee grinder EVERY DAY, the pepper grinder not as much and it’s smaller.)

I bought cream cheese to make the topping even though I shouldn’t eat it and DH isn’t fond of it, but decided tonight that I’d put the glaze on and maybe make up icing for a few other people. Put the glaze on.

Couldn’t resist — tasted the glaze: powdered sugar and orange juice. Should be yummy — right? Tasted like soap.

SOAP?????

Thought okay, it’s the knife, had soap on it. Got a new utensil, rinsed it, dip it in the remains of the glaze in the bowl.

More soap.

I’d already drizzled this on the warm cake layers. Cut them in 1/2. The unaffected 1/2 layers are just great big carrot muffins, unglazed or iced — right???

I can still taste that soap, and I have no idea wtf happened. The sugar was put in a clean canister < 4 months ago. All I can think is that I got something with an adulterant in it or a f’d up recipe  — which ruined mine!

The star anise is an ingredient used in the original recipe and omitted on the BBC’s version for some reason. (If you look at the baker’s twitter feed he talks about it there.) I love this recipe, will make it again, but will do these things:

  1. Do all the prep work beforehand I should have this time (like counting eggs! If I didn’t have a neighbor who raised chickens, that could have been a disaster too.)
  2. TASTE my glaze before I put it on the warm cakes.
  3. Remember that I don’t have a springform pan, but that one 9″ removable bottom pan and one 8″ removable bottom pan work just fine.

What do you do when you’re avoiding being stressed? If you’re me and you have several hours where you know you’ll be stressed, you start a complicated recipe, with many more steps and ingredients than you ever use and don’t do the prep work, you’re going to “wing it.”

I’m lucky it turned out as well as it did! If I’d only tasted that glaze first . . . .

Note: Acc to DH, the cakes are just fine. After both of us nibbling bits here and there, our conclusion is that I have an aversion to star anise, at least this much, this way, or maybe it’s the fresh-ground cloves. Either way, DH says the glaze and all is very tasty. Reminds me of what happened after the motorcycle accident: most foods smelled rotten to me, except garlic. I ate a LOT of marinara! I don’t know what this is, but the next time I make this (later this week, probably) I’ll omit the white raisins, cloves and the star anise and see what I think. If it’s okay, then I’ll make another batch. I loved the smell, but something in there. . . .

 

The Week. . .

I’ve had weeks from hell before. I had a week where I was hosting 7 authors and 20 attendees for a writer’s “workshop” at the store. Had a car crash about 4 days before this event I’d spent 3 weeks frantically planning. My car was totalled and my ankle sprained. I got the last of the chores done with my desk chair zooming around the store.

Had the event. It was a success. Great. Three days (two?) later, a challenged person, with a minder comes in my store and wants books like Robert Jordan’s, but not his. Took quite some time, finally found him some books — then the guy has an epiletic seizure and collapses. His minder dealt with most of it, but not the vomit soaked paper towels. The bag of those I put in the dumpster, to be yelled at by the guy who owned the dumpster and threatened to have my shop removed from the center.

That was pretty bad.

I had a few times when I caught my current guy with someone else — always in April. Why was it always in April? That happened like 3 years in a row, 3 different men — all before DH.

This week hasn’t been that bad, but it hasn’t been easy.

Osteo arthitis.

Dead Fridge.

Scratched Cornea.

I have a dentist appointment tomorrow. I’m afraid. I’m very afraid! But I guess I have to go anyway.

J