Tag Archives: disasters

Monday’s Six & Unexpected Flurries. . .

I’ll explain the unexpected flurries first. DH over the weekend bought a bin to house our paint sprayer, which has been in its original cardboard box inside a laundry basket, and stashed in the wood shed. It needed to be put into the attic and it needed a better container for all its bits. So we bought one Sunday.

Sunday night here we had a huge storm. Bad enough we had no power or internet when we woke  and there were branches and pine cones and asst. stuff all over our yard when we got up. It seemed pretty obvious we’d be without power for some time, so DH took the day off to haul wood or water, help clear the yard, etc, In between other chores, he decided he’d pull out the paint sprayer. He took the box out of the basket and brought it inside and started pulling the pieces out.

Then he yelled my name, loudly! I came pelting down the stairs to find out what was wrong? There had been a mouse in the box. It was now loose in our kitchen. Ack!

He took the remaining packaging outside, no more mice. He pulled a loose piece out of the basket and there were suddenly mice, a pack of them, everywhere all over the deck and scurrying away from the nasty human who’d upset their home. The bad news? We have a mouse in the house (we have 2 cats), not great, but it will be dealt with either by the traps we set out or one of the cats will get it. The good news? The other mice didn’t get in!

After we went and got water (didn’t have what we needed, remember my backlogged goal?) we also got mousetraps. Set the traps, stored the water and went off to go stock the booth and get some organizational bits for the workshop.

As we were driving down the state road which leads to the next town en route to the college town where my booth is, I noticed a movement to my left. Fortunately, DH did more than notice, he swerved! The large pine tree which I’d noticed moving FELL all the way across both lanes (we were in the right one) and DH missed it by pulling the car onto the verge. There was a sort of whoosh followed by *crack!* as the tree hit the ground and a kind of cloud of pine needles. (The 2nd flurry of the day!)

We turned around and started pulling the tree out of the road. The fellow behind us stopped. The two cars coming the other direction stopped and between us the tree’s pieces were removed from the roadway. Instant community!

After that? No more flurries, of mice or pine needles, but that was plenty!

Okay. Today’s 6:

  1. Stitch together the two smaller rugs you’re using as a runner, so that it IS a runner.
  2. Get the measurements so DH can cut the plywood for the fan storage.
  3. Get the coffee ad framed.
  4. Get the rest of the burlap and stick it down onto the hill for erosion control.
  5. Clean part of the upstairs that hasn’t been touched in some time.
  6. Double check the emergency supplies. (fill in)

The backlog:

  • Put away the canning supplies if not in use.
  • Remount the last yardstick.
  • Find a new home for the basket which holds the “cat towels.” (Old towels used for whatever is needed: car washing, spill clean up, whatever!)
  • Pick up the yard, put more items away for winter.
  • Put up the 3 missing hurricane clips
  • Replace the saved emergency water supply. (I deliberately used the old water supply this summer.) Mon. 1:00 p.m.
  • Put the tile in the basement. (I recently acquired a LOT of mosaic tiles.)
  • Get the ladders put away for the season.
  • Get the supplies for the knitted pillow all in one place so you can finish it!
  • Get the rest of the better paint into the attic.
  • Clean the office chairs.
  • Find a place to put away the dehydrator racks and do so when appropriate.
  • Use up the ice cream base in the freezer.
  • Put garden hoses away for winter.
  • Recaulk the bathroom as needed.
  • Figure out a new way/place to store the yarn and put it away.
  • Look at the stored snow tires. Need new ones? In the budget?
  • Examine winter coats for flaws, etc. 

Chores on hold or in process, for whatever reason:

Make up/try the Naval Academy brass polish. Deferred because I have THREE containers of general metal polish. I want to use up at least one of those before I make up more. I sure don’t need 4!!!

Go thru the record collection, cull. First part done. Moving to in-process 10/27

Wash the net curtains. First pair pulled from over the dry stores 4:30. Washed Tues. 10/24 a.m. One pair to go. Two pairs to go.

Use up the eggplant from last week. Used the first one for Sunday’s dinner. 2nd one used Fri. lunch. (2 to go!)

Fertilize the lawn. Did the dooryard lawn and the lawn on the street side of the bulb bed. Tues. 4:30 p.m. Lots more to do!

Cull books from one “holding pattern” bookcases. Either they’re out or they stay!, in process Thurs. a.m. (I did the 1st shelf.)

Put family photos in the album. Can’t be done. Photos located, album missing!

Clean off DH’s desk. This is going to be delayed until he and I catch up. I pulled everything from the top drawer on his side of the dresser, we’re still going through all of that.

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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. . . .

 

Disasters

One car needed its CV joint replaced, had the appt, it failed 3 days before that. About 2 days after we got it back, the other car developed a problem, check engine light running rough and all. Between the 2, there was not quite $1,000 worth of work.

Okay, the furnace? We had it worked on pre heating season, for a large chunk o’ change. It has an intermittant problem, now. We’ve had 3 service calls and it works fine, for while, then doesn’t.

Today? Today I was taking a shower before going off to my bosses to deliver papers, and the shower drain is apparently leaking, downstairs.

Sigh. April is usually the month for disasters. I can hardly wait for April, I mean there’s nothing left to fail, right?

J

Disasters: animal, vegetable and home making

Spring light is coming in my window. Too bad it’s still too cold to work for long outside! I need to get my lettuce and peas planted, the trellis made up for the year, more raking done, more gravel put out, more stepping stones laid . . . you get my drift, I have a whole season’s worth of garden chores to do! I wish it was just about 10 degrees warmer. (It’s 31.) Oh well.

I have to work on the bedroom. If we’re going to rearrange it etc. (on my list to do this spring/summer) it has got to be cleaned/culled well first. In the process, dehoarding wise, I need to find a place to stash the out-of-season bedclothes. I don’t have a “real” place for them now. I have ideas, but haven’t managed to actually give them a home, yet.

The cat’s got a bum leg, and so we bedded her down in the laundry room last night. That way she’s not tempted to climb on or jump off anything (she doesn’t like the machines). She has a bench where she normally suns/sleeps/eats (She’s a very old cat). I’m taking her to the vet as soon as they open.

After that, we’ll see what I get accomplished? I do need to break out the sewing machine. I have all sort of sewing projects, things that are for the new direction we plan to take the house. Things even I should be able to do: cafe curtain panels, cushion covers (easy ones), etc We’ll see!

We’ll have roasted pepper soup for lunch with biscuits and maybe for dinner too. The hash was a success, although I had to add Worcestshire to it. Roasted citrus chicken made into hash is good, but odd. The added sauce made it a bit closer to a normal hash, but the citrus really wanted to dominate. You couldn’t have served it in a restaurant, but it was tasty and we ate it. I also used some of the “glue mashed potatoes” to thicken it up in a hurry. A good use for those!

Glue mashed potatoes? Ah, that was last weeks’ cooking “adventure.” I made mashed potatoes from red potatoes. Must have done it just wrong as they were the consistency of glue when I first mashed them. Added flour, milk, butter and whipping helped, but they were still odd. We ate them but there’s a margarine tub full to use up. Thickening gravies/sauces is probably the best use for them.

I never understood why people talked about red potatoes as being “waxy” before. Boy do I now!

When I worked as a waitress at a dude ranch (years and miles ago) the relief cook one night served the most elastic potatoes I’ve ever eaten. They tasted just fine, and actually they were lighter than mine. I always wondered wtf she did to get potatoes to do that? Now I know, or I think I do. I will NEVER EVER again (if I have a choice) make mashed potatoes with red potatoes!!! It was bad enough that if DH hadn’t been in the kichen with me I probably would have either thrown them out or added instant potatoes to them. I don’t mind instant, he says he hates them. I don’t think he would have noticed, but we’ll never know!

Now that I’ve embarrassed the hell out of myself. . . I’m going to go away! I have a full day ahead of me between cat caretaking, house cleaning, writing, and purging stuff! I’ll update this with a daily total tonight, like I did yesterday.

Have a GREAT day everyone!

J

old 8613 85.6% (1447 things gone) got rid of one more
thing than I bought
new 8612 85.6% (1448 things gone) sigh…