I've been wanting to buy a smooth-surface, double-oven range for some time now so imagine how excited I was to discover the only working large burner on my current, cheapo, non-self-cleaning, range no longer worked.
(The other one went out pretty much from Day One.)
(That’s not entirely true, actually. The other one works just fine as long as you don’t put anything on top of it like, say, a pan.)
So naturally I immediately clicked over to Lowes to pick out the perfect slide-in range…only to discover slide-ins are TWICE the price of free-standing ranges.
RANGE #1, $1,300: smaller oven conveniently located above large oven but you have to reach over the cooking surface to operate the controls. Not good for Shortie McShortersons like my mom. Also, no bridge element, which I would really like.
RANGE #2, $2,500: controls conveniently located at the front of the cooking surface. No bridge element here, either, but it has lovely “luxury-glide” oven racks.
Before you get all “But Sheila, the slide-in is an Electrolux, hence more expensive” I ask you to go price slide-ins on your own. FIND ME A SMOOTH-SURFACE, SLIDE-IN, DOUBLE-OVEN FOR $1,500.
My kitchen is currently set up for a slide-in range but could easily accommodate a free-standing one. It could also accommodate a complete remodel. Sadly, my budget cannot.
So I can get a free-standing double-oven range with pretty much everything I want except for the whole reach-over-hot-elements-to-the-controls thing, or get a sleeker slide-in one for way more money.
BUT WAIT. What’s this? The cleaning lady took out the burner element to clean the drip pan and missed the plug-in connection when she put it back? So now my old oven works just fine, as before?
Drat, foiled again.
As a lifelong tea drinker, I have been enjoying mom’s Mrs. Tea brewer for several months now. You coffee people have the luxury of a machine you can fill the night before and set to have brewed your stinking beverage by the time you wake up. Not so we tea drinkers.
The closest I ever got was to put the tea bags in Mrs. Tea and fill the water reservoir the night before, but I still had to push the button and wait for it to brew and steep in the morning.
Real tea drinkers just threw up in their mouths a little bit. That is because REAL tea drinkers pour FRESH water JUST OFF THE BOIL over FRESH tea LEAVES, not those ridiculous bags of tea dust.
But I got used to it, god knows why. Lately, however, Mrs. Tea began experiencing…ahem…incontinence issues. I searched and searched The Wise Internet for a cure to no avail but I did find this: Mrs. Tea Retires. The first three paragraphs about Mrs. Tea’s decline are spot on, not to mention hilarious.
After I first read it, I didn’t understand why she had to be retired. MY Mrs. Tea, after all, only leaked a little bit from the top of the brew basket when I first poured the water in. I put a paper towel down to absorb it the light shower. More recently, however, it has been more of downpour. The evidence:
Note the wetness of the paper towel “mat” EVEN IN THE BACK. So I think it’s time to retire her to my newly organized workshop area in the garage for future dissection. After all, I have some lovely teapots I never use:
Maybe I’ll even start buying loose tea again, like a proper yea drinker.
What started as a chic Kitty City:
Has been downsized to a slightly smaller village:
Or perhaps more of a Kitty Corner. Ziva Zone? Pet Parkway?
Bring it on, people!
The real reason I moved the main structure is because Tiger peed on it. ::sigh::
I let Ziva sleep with me all night for the first time last night, hence I was up at 5:00 am because THE PURRING. MY GOD, THE PURRING.
At least she didn’t bite my face in my sleep, which was my biggest worry. Well, that and the possibility of rolling over and committing kitty smothercide. But it was an uneventful night except for the part where every time I made the slightest change in position, the purring motor started and she migrated to whatever side I’d turned to and started grooming me. My chin and lips are exceptionally clean. And somewhat chapped.
So I got up at 5:00 and freshened the kitty dry food in the pet playpen, after which Tiger moseyed in to sniff around, which he has done before. I figured it was only fair he poach some of her dry food since Ziva is always eating his. Then he sniffed the litter box.
I saw it coming, really. He squatted to pee, then halfway through raised his rear end up and peed over the side of the box, onto the inside of the playpen, out the mesh “window” and all over the floor.
Hence the cover over the litter box in the second photo. Don’t need it for Ziva. It is solely protection from big boy pee.
I suppose it was time to let her roam free 24/7 anyway but, man, it sure was nice having her essentially crate trained. Can’t find the kitten? Go look in the pyramid in the playpen. Getting tired of the kitten? Zip her into the playpen and relax without fear of suddenly feeling tiny claws climbing up your leg.
She can often be found in other sleeping places, these days, such as my bed or the top of one of the kitty trees, so I don’t think she’ll miss the playpen much. She did used to play on top of it as well as use it as a bridge from one side of the dining room table to the other when she was trying to be stealthy but so far this morning she is bounding around like it was never there.
Look at all that white hair coming through making her all salt and peppery! I finally settled on the name Ziva* for Terror Kitty because, well, no explanation needed if you watch NCIS. If you don’t, here’s a wiki page on Ziva David. (That’s “dah-VEED” not “DAY-vid,” by the way.) Let’s just say NCIS Ziva is rather capable.
Because “killer” sounds so rude.
Lest you think Ziva is an inappropriate name for the sweet, adorable, sleeping kitty pictured above, here’s a clue:
Note the bulging pre-attack eyes. Then she mysteriously disappears and before you know it:
So my Labor Day weekend consists of K Y L:
Kitten, Yardwork, Laundry.
Have some bar-b-que for me, won’t you?
*Hat tip to my bro-in-law Dave for the name suggestion.
Not the kitty, silly! The name. She is no longer skin and bones and, as much as I adore Star Trek, “Bones” simply doesn’t fit my girly girl. Here she is 2 days after she fell into my life:
We’ve been calling her Bonesy, because Dr. Google says cats respond more to names that end in “y,” but that doesn’t really fit her either.
So, I need your help, Oh Wise Internet. The kitten needs a brand new name. Here are a few possibilities but I’m counting on you to provide more:
To give you an idea of how much she has grown in 3 weeks, here are 2 cat scratcher comparison photos. The first is the one at the beginning of this post taken Sunday, July 29th. The second was taken today, Sunday, August 19th:
I’m even farther away in the second photo and she still looks like a giant compared to 3 weeks ago. The respective weights are: 8 ounces (1/2 a pound) versus 29 ounces (1.8 pounds.)
MAH BEHBEH’S GROWING LIKE A WEED!
I’m relying on you people to come up with the perfect kitty name. Don’t let me and whats-her-name down.
I have a new kitten. I blame my friend Janice.
She called me Friday morning in a panic to say her daughter’s step-mother found 3 teeny tiny kittens by the side of the road and brought them home Thursday night.
This woman is apparently brain damaged because:
She dumped them in the front flower bed and let them fend for themselves overnight.
Seriously, I just want to punch her. HOW CAN YOU DO THAT TO SOMETHING THIS CUTE?
Some size perspective:
She was covered in fleas so an extended bath in dishwashing soap (I’m told flea soap is too harsh for such tiny kitties) was first on the list. A bunch came off in the bath but many were quite stubborn and congregated around her face and in her ears. I now know tweezers are an indispensable kitten grooming tool. This is what I got off after the bath:
Gross, huh? I count over 60 fleas in there. At 7.95 ounces, that puts her at about 4 fleas per ounce, not counting the ones that came off in the bath.
By the way, did you know you can kill fleas simply by putting them in soapy water? And flea combs don’t work worth a crap on wet fur?
If you’re wondering what happened to the other two kittens, one had run off by morning and the wicked step-mother took the other one to the pound. (!!)
Why did she take only one?! Not that I want her to have taken ANY of them to the pound, but I have serious doubts about this woman’s judgment. I tell myself she must’ve panicked and/or could only catch one of them but, seriously, they are too tiny to be able to get away from giant humans and their teeth and claws are not developed enough to hurt you if they protest to being captured.
Look at that face. Who could take that to the pound?
Her name is Bones, by the way. It satisfies both my Star Trekkiness and her general state of health when I acquired her.
Oh crap, now I have to go to the pound and look for her sibling(s.)
Remember when I was an alternate on the jury of a criminal trial? GUESS WHAT?
Okay, I haven’t actually been picked yet but I am in the box. So far, the judge has read us instructions and both he and the prosecuting attorney have asked questions. Jury selection continues Wednesday, where the defense attorney gets his turn to ask questions. I suspect I will be excused by the defense attorney for reasons I am forbidden to tell you just yet, but we shall see.
All I can tell you right now is it is a criminal trial and should be over by Friday, so nothing terribly exciting.
Oh, and I’m annoyed. Let me tell you why:
Let’s see if I’m still on the jury by the end of the day.
I started with this:
And ended with this:
The stuff in front of the washer & dryer is temporary and will soon go to new homes.
I used the rafters whenever possible: rolled up rugs, extra vertical blind vanes, kitty door I no longer use…
Oddball project leftovers like extra inserts for modular shoe racks in closet…
But the pièce de résistance (that’s French for ZOMG!!!1!!!PONIES!11!1!) is this:
That’s two – count em, TWO! – cars parked in there. Has anyone ever parked two cars in a 2-car garage? I’ve never seen it, only in a 3-car garage where they have the 3rd space for all their crap.
My baby looks happy.
Seriously, that looks like a smile to me.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go dive into a giant bowl of S’Mores ice cream. BECAUSE I DESERVE IT.
I finished stuffing the shed like a sausage. Man can that thing hold a lot o’ crap. I made sure it was still functional, though, i.e. I can still walk around and get to everything AND actually open bins to get stuff out, should I need to.
After last weekend’s head start and making of space into which to put stuff, I had four giant black bins of loose things from the garage to be sausaged in:
One of them was previously crammed full of all my clothes that no longer fit but I cannot bear to part with because I WILL get back down to that size, goddammit.
(Shut up. I’m eating better and getting exercise by doing my own yard work and hauling stuff back and forth between the shed and garage and falling off ladders and stuff. It could happen…Okay, if I still can’t wear them by next summer I will donate them. Are you happy now? Nag, nag nag.)
The clothes took up 4 red flip-top bins and are already in the shed. You can see one of them on the shelving unit. Note that 3 of the 4 giant black bins are full of old paint, half of which was here when I moved in. My prior owners kindly left me their wild paint colors in case I needed to touch up this:
Or perhaps this:
Okay, that last one’s not so bad but not really me. I repainted the entire house a lovely latte (read: beige) color before moving in. You can see all the before and afters on my Flickr page. So why, WHY, am I still keeping that old paint? Possible future craft project? I don’t know but it all fits on the bottom shelf of the shelving rack so there it will stay for now.
After moving all the paint and paint supplies in, I brought in as many boxes and bins as I could fit from the garage. The final result:
Can I cook, or what.