PlazaJen: The Blog

Riding the Bike with One Pedal.

Whoa, Nelly.

Look at the clock! Where did that time go? Let’s see… it’s now July 14th and I may have to kick this random-orts old school style.

1. Our washing machine committed suicide at the end of June. Dramatically, in fact. It decided to screech like a feral cat and imparted a burnt-rubber odor to the items being washed. We ended up getting one of those front-loader machines and the thing looks like R2D2 with about as many lights, choices, and buttons! So far, it seems pretty nifty and is very water-efficient.

2. There’s nothing like finding out disaster has struck again via Facebook. Husband posts something about finding out the hard way that pliers and a passenger window don’t mix. Followed immediately by a post “liking” Safelite Replacement. Yep. Because of the Honda windshield we replaced a while back, we got a frequent-customer discount! And another can of magic window cleaner. Woo!

3. Because bad things happen in threes (or more, who knows, it’s just superstition), our air conditioning slowly petered out on the holiday Monday after the 4th. The initial diagnosis was a coolant leak, that could go one of two ways – keep refilling it each year, or it would hemorrhage in a couple weeks and then we’d be looking at big bucks to fix it, as much as half the cost to just replace it. Yuck. But then! The technician couldn’t get it to load coolant, and he realized we had a clogged line – which was resolved by taking out the piston. Apparently particles from the wire can gather for a cocktail party, and once enough of them get together, it results in a kegger of microscopic particles, which form a paper-thin seal and the a/c won’t work. At that point, I would have been happy to kiss the receipt, because anything under $200 without the specter of a $3k bill on the horizon is a-ok with me.

4. I turned 42 the day we fixed the a/c. The day itself held little fanfare, though I did make my husband go into DQ and get me an ice cream cake. I love those things! We did have an early party – a whole bunch of the knitting crew and family met up over the weekend to celebrate, and I got some very lovely pressies and the enjoyment of being with my fiber-lovin’ brethren.

5. Tomato season has begun. Last night’s dinner was homemade French bread, goat cheese, and a garlic-basil-tomato bruschetta. Oh how I love the tomatoes! This year, I’m paying more attention to tasting them like I would judge BBQ or evaluate a wine – it’s kind of fun, and gives the master gardener of the house good feedback. There have been a few standouts, but the black tomatoes are far and away the kings of the fruit. Later this week, there will be fresh pico de gallo….

6. Speaking of bread, I am elevating my breadmaking skills by challenging myself to try new recipes. I bought The Bread Baker’s Apprentice, and my first recipe turned out beautifully. (We needed hot dog buns so I made them, along with hamburger buns, and they were utterly fantastic!) Yesterday’s French bread was an old recipe, because many of the breads in  my new book require 2 days to complete them.  It’s fun, and I’m going to get a sourdough bread loaf I’m happy with if it kills me!

7. We went to the lake this past weekend and had a good time – the dogs got to swim and retrieve a lot, including a mis-adventure with James, who had leashed them to a large, unwieldy, wrought-iron bench as he threw out the dummies.  They were so excited, they ignored their leashes, and promptly dragged the bench straight off the concrete landing and into the water with them. I wish I’d been there to see that, but hearing about it was enough to give me the giggles. Of course, when I showed up, everything was soaked, including my husband, and it seemed a little early in the day for swimming…. but our driven dogs were going to haul that bench like a sleigh, so in he went to rescue them!

8. We came home from the lake about 6 hours after the microburst of storms went through, to a house with no power. Fun. After tending to the garden, we both showered and decided to high-tail it out of the sweltering house, to dinner and a movie. We saw Despicable Me, which is the must-see movie of the summer for the 8-year old set, and it was entertaining enough, certainly, but the fact that our power still wasn’t on was weighing on my mind. (We would keep trying the home number, to see if the answering machine would pick up.) On the drive home, we mulled our options – tough it out or call Momma Linda to get us a hotel room through Priceline, get dry ice in the morning for the deep freeze – and as we inched down our street, we felt a little bit of optimism creep up, and thankfully, as we crested the  hill by our house, saw that the porch light was on. 12 hours of power outtage, we didn’t lose anything in the freezer. I feel bad for residents East of us, as even today they are still trying to restore power and the heat index is going to HOT PINK crazy, upwards of 110.

9. I had a comment on my Circle of Life post, from the Realist, who told me I was ‘thinking too hard and feeling too much, kid’, and it was phrased exactly the way my father would have said it to me. In fact, I read it on my phone, and it took my breath away a bit. Thank you for that comment, because it was not only true – the story of my life, in fact – but it reminded me in a wonderful way the pragmatic was delivered from my Dad over the years. I was his kiddo, and I miss him like crazy still. Feeling like pieces of him are still around me are surprising, unexpected gifts.

With that, I leave you for today. I have some knitting to share, and will take pictures of this next awesome-o bread I’m going to make. It has bits of hard salami and gouda cheese in it. Oh yeah.

2 Comments

  1. Let me know if you’d like some sourdough starter. I have a good one right now.

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