30 November 2005

The Thrill of Laundry

Problem One: Drain line backs up, then breaks. Water all over basement. I am afraid to do laundry until pipe is repaired, since for all I know washer will empty directly onto basement carpet.

Laundry proceeds smoothly for about a week or so, other than the day the plumber came to install a new hose nib for the hot water hose. This involved shutting off the water to the house (he also worked on 3 out of 4 toilets in the house, as well as the kitchen faucet and hot water heater) and air hammering the old faucet out. The new hot water hose is leaking, but I think that's a matter of replacing a gasket; for now I just wipe up the puddles. Then we arrive at Problem Two.

Problem Two: Dryer is overheating. Dryer is about 17 years old and appears to be overheating whether it is venting through the house vent pipe or not. As a matter of fact, when we take it off the vent is smells downright carmelly, like something's starting to catch fire. Run out to buy new dryer (this is the weekend we're too sick to move, so this shopping trip was a Huge Deal).

Dryer is delivered about 3 days later. But, alas, it also starts overheating.

Problem Three: Vent line runs all the way under house (instead of venting to the front of the house, a distance of about 5 inches, it runs about 30 feet to vent in the backyard). Entire vent line is clogged with 27 years' worth of lint. VDad takes down drop ceiling in basement, manages to take apart vent line, extracts a trashbag full of lint. This is lint from undies worn 27 years ago! Eeewww! But, he vacuums it all out, and puts it back together. New dryer now functions. I now decide that the house is constipated, and all pipes leading out of it are clogged with something or other.

Unfortunately, it is now Thanksgiving week. So, no time to do laundry, since we're out visiting relatives all day every day. Then, when we're finally home, VDad, Donna and Wade install new laundry room cabinets. This takes 2 days...2 mare days I cannot do laundry.

BUT, for the past couple of days I've been washing anything I want, any time I want. Woohoo! I even washed a bunch of toddler clothes for the MotheringDotCom Mothers In Need, so they're all ready to mail out now.

Years ago in New Hampshire I knew a woman who hated to do laundry. When she ran out of clean clothing she would simply go out and buy more. The laundry pile grew and grew. I wonder what ever happened to it....

28 November 2005

Our Excellent Green Bean Adventure

Use a large roasting pan, sprayed with olive oil cooking spray. Dump in bout 5-6 pounds fresh green beans, washed, stem ends snapped off. Peel and slice a large onion. Peel and toss in about 12 cloves of garlic. Drizzle with a quarter cup olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper. Attempt to place in 400 degree oven, but realize roasting pan is too big for this oven. Quickly clean up lower oven (previous owners sprayed with oven cleaner -- ignoring the self-cleaning feature -- and never really wiped it out). Place in lower/larger oven. Cook at 400 degrees for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Cover with foil and take to Vi's. Serve with tongs.

Since that was so successful, I tried another new recipe the next day...we were in charge of a veggie tray for the get-together at Linda's house. I found a dip recipe that was totally nondairy (VDad isn't supposed to eat dairy). It was 3 cups of spinach, most of an avocado, some cucumber, garlic, parsley...sort of a cross between pesto and guacamole. I thought it was fairly tasty. VDad ate the ranch dip I had made with silken tofu (which, of course, has dried buttermilk, not to mention MSG in it).

Saturday night Mark and David cooked for the gang over here. They made steaks and kabobs on the stove top; they would've used the grill, but we threw it out when we moved. As Mark struggled to cook a decent meal on the smooth-top stove top he kept repeating, "I really know how to pray for you now, Gail," since obviously anyone who has to deal with those smooth-tops needs major intercession to keep them sane until they can ditch the blasted thing.

22 November 2005

God's will for our lives

So, Sunday morning we stayed in bed in lieu of getting up and going to church...we were both sick with some virus and needed the extra sleep (although one of us kept singing "Let's go Krogering" at random intervals, thus waking up the other).

The Sunday school lesson (which we missed) was on Nehemiah 11, which is when the people drew lots to see who would go live in Jerusalem. The personal application was to think about why God wants you to live where you currently live. When I asked VDad why he thought God wanted us here, he immediately replied, "Green beans...God wants us to take the green beans to Vi's house on Thanksgiving."

Well, you know, if we were still living in Ohio we couldn't bring the green beans. And, last year's designated taker-of-green-beans isn't coming this year. So maybe he has a point. And maybe that's why he kept singing about the thrills and delights of grocery shopping at 7a.m. Sunday.

19 November 2005

This week in Food News

The kids have decided to learn to cook. Our text is Rachel Ray's Cooking Rock's! 30-minute Meals for Kids. VKid2 made the Italian Alphabet soup with Cheesy Dippers one evening. The next night VKid1 tried her hand at the Meatloaf Muffins (which, frankly, suffer from Rachel Ray's obsession with Montreal Steak Seasoning by McCormick), smashed potatoes and cream cheese (we peeled the potatoes and left out the chives) and peas. Overall, the meals were successes.

As for me, I tried a new soup out of MY new cookbook, Simply in Season: the turkey-barley soup in the winter section. It was voted a success.

Coincidentally, the library had a food-related storytime this week. The kids made chef's hats out of card stock and tissue paper. And I checked out one of Emeril's cookbooks for kids.

14 November 2005

Hello? Hello?

And, will I ever pass this way again?