I’m Not A Fish, But Know How They Must Feel In Their Bowls

Some of you know this story already, but I’ll be brief, keep it snappy, and tell it here so that the title of this post makes sense to you, my gentle readers.

After 4 1/2 months of waiting we finally got new replacement windows on the front of the house.

It was a tedious, anxiety-producing process that started with a 3 1/2 month wait, involved delivery of mis-measured windows, a thwarted installation, a makeshift faux installation of the wrong windows to fill the holes in the house created by the thwarted installation, waiting… waiting… waiting again…, and then correctly-sized windows properly installed.

A Christmas Pella miracle, she says with a hint of sarcasm.

The result of this home improvement project is: 1) we no longer have leaky broken windows;  2) we are noticing how much quieter it is in the house with new windows;  and 3) we have no blinds, my preferred window treatment, to put on the new correctly-sized properly installed windows on the front of the house.

Specifically blinds for the windows in the home office where I sit at the desk while using a desktop computer to write this blog.

Forsooth.

But here’s where it gets fishy. Now that it’s darker outside in the early morning, and with no blinds on the windows, I feel like a guppy in a fishbowl sitting in this room. Passersby, whether they be kids on school buses or runners or adults walking their dogs, can see me swimming around sitting at the computer, under the overhead light, doing my early morning bloggy thing, often in my pajamas.

We taped a plastic super strength high density painter’s drop cloth over the windows in an attempt to make this room less noticeable from the street, but it just blurs me, doesn’t hide me.

Ptooey, she says with a hint of defeat.

I don’t like the idea of being on display here each morning but until we get blinds on the new correctly-sized properly installed windows, that took longer to manufacture and install than building this house did, I’ve no choice but to live my life like a fish in a fishbowl for everyone who goes by to see.

And ain’t that grand?

Please Stand By

We are experiencing technical difficulties here at Chez Bean.  My desktop computer, Cora, has stopped working & I’m writing this post on a laptop that I believe does not have my best interests at heart.

Thus, instead of fighting with a machine that makes me snarly, I’m going to bug out of the blogosphere [again], returning in a few weeks when I have a new desktop computer.

[Don’t judge.  Desktop is my preferred style of machine.  Yes, I know it’s old school, but so be it.]

In the meantime may I suggest that you take a gander at my blogroll and go visit some of those fine folks.  They have good things to say.  In fact while you’re there be sure to tell them that I say “hi!”

Honestly, if it’s not one thing around here it’s another… 

Goodbye Spring: Excuse Me While I Kiss The Sky, NOT

Purple petunias in terra cotta pot as seen in humid, hazy light. No filter involved. Photo taken mid-morning.

With a hat tip to Jimi Hendrix, I’d like to share with you, my gentle readers, that this has not been a wonderful spring.  This makes me sad because I love late spring.

It’s my second favorite time of year. Oh yes it is.

However this year, to continue quoting Jimi, “Lately things they don’t seem the same, Acting funny, but I don’t know why.”

Which is me alluding to the fact that all it does around here is rain.

Soggy parsley.

I’m talking inches of rain, daily. Flash flooding. Mudslides. Slippery sidewalks.

Overwatered pots of formerly beautiful geraniums and petunias, now looking like death warmed over.

Pots of herbs so wet they are existing in a weird soggy stasis, looking pathetic.

Sad basil.

In the parlance of ye olde weather forecasters who claim to know why we’ve had this excessive, soul-sucking rain: there’ve been “numerous ripples of energy” that have brought more rain showers and thunderstorms to the region than are normal.

Uh huh. That’s nice.

However, be that as it may, while the rain continues unabated I’ll just contemplate “am I happy or in misery” while I’m stuck inside the house today in my own version of a caffeinated, irritable, non-psychedelic purple gray haze.

Me happy. NOT.

Stone steps down to terrace as seen in humid, hazy light. Again, no filter involved. Photo taken mid-morning.

The Sound Of NOT Silence Thanks To A Water Drip In The Chimney, Again

Photo of light reflected through paperweight then filtered to look snazzy so that I have an image to include on this post. Think of it as water dripping or my mind frazzling. The choice is yours.

~ ~ 🏡 ~ ~

I LOVE OWNING a house in this suburb.  I’m not being facetious here.  Really, I do.

We are extremely lucky to live in a home built for us by a builder who was a pain in the ass to work with, but in the end he built a good solid house.

Comfortable and inviting. Most of the time.

However, last week after a huge spring thunderstorm our chimney started leaking water… again.

It’s been twenty years since we had this house built and this is not the first time this has happened. Nor is the first time I’ve been DISPLEASED about the drip… drip… drip… sound coming from rainwater as it runs down the inside of the chimney and drops onto the top of the metal chimney insert in the fireplace in the family room.

Drip… drip… drip…

MOST IRRITATING.

~ ~ 🏡 ~ ~

WE HAD THE chimney cap replaced about ten years ago and that took care of the drippy sounds back then.  But there was large hail during this recent thunderstorm and I’m guessing that it damaged the chimney cap in such a way as to allow the water to drip… drip… drip… as water is wont to do.

In two weeks we’ll be meeting with a representative from the company that made the chimney cap and he’ll take a look at it.  And also he’s going to give us an estimate about how much it’ll cost to have the roof replaced on the house because it’s getting close to the time to do that, too.

Oh joy.

THAT BEING SAID FACETIOUSLY.

~ ~ 🏡 ~ ~

NOW YOU ARE in the loop about what’s going on here in Chez Bean.  As a loyal and true personal blogger I had to tell you, my gentle readers, because like they say, write about what you know.

And I know that you’re EITHER thinking to yourself thank goodness we don’t own a house OR you’re thinking to yourself about that sad time in your life when you had to shell out the big bucks for roofing repair &/or replacement.

Thus I shall end this post in which I’ve talked about the realities of life by telling you that when it is raining outside and I’m at home, I’m hiding in the rooms farthest away from the family room wherein the drip… drip… drip… is the loudest.

Because woman on the edge here.

NOT ALTOGETHER HAPPY.

Ms. Bean Is Cold Today And Would Like To Tell You Why

Snoopy, my spirit animal, sitting with a room thermometer on top of a bookcase in the only sort of warm room in the house.

IT SNOWED LAST NIGHT, not much, but a definite covering of the white stuff.  That however is not exactly why I’m cold today.  Nope, the reason, to put it succinctly, is that it’s 54ºF… INSIDE the house.

Thus I am huddled in our home office with the French doors tightly shut, sporting a ruana over my flannel + fleece jammies, sitting in front of my desktop computer with the little electric heater swaying to and fro behind me.

What has happened? WELL I’M GLAD YOU ASKED.

You see, yesterday was the last day of February, a short month of days that are soul-crushingly long.  A month that should never be trusted.

However, in the morning while waiting for the furnace service tech to get here for our annual check-up, I indulged in a moment of unbridled positivity.  Yes, I forgot myself and sighed a happy sigh of joy about making it to the beginning of March unscathed by February’s negativity.

I mean all that was left on my calendar for February was for the furnace to be serviced and then I had March, the action verb month, calling to me.

I like March.

• • •

WELP, I WAS WRONG to let down my guard regarding February, and by 3:00 p.m. our furnace had gone clunk.  Come to find out there is a breach in the heat exchanger at the 3rd and 4th cell of the primary, meaning that the whole system as been red-tagged and shut down… by law.

Also, the tech guy accidentally broke a switch which turns the gas on and off.

So, you know, WE GOT TROUBLE.

The cutest little electric room heater that ever was.

Hence I am sitting here this morning, the first day of March, waiting for a phone call from the furnace repair company to tell me IF they have the parts we need & WHEN they might be able to get here again to fix the furnace.

If there is a moral to this story it would be something like never count your chickens before they hatch, but my moral would involve swearing, muttering, and not just a little bit of self-pity because honestly, February is the SUCKIEST of all months.

The One About Unexpectedly Making A Noteworthy Mess In The Kitchen

Don’t do this.

I can’t say for certain that I created my worst kitchen mess ever, but I can say that what I did was so far beyond my usual kitchen messes that it is worthy of note.

And belongs on my Top Five Biggest Kitchen Messes Ever List.

If I had such a list.  But I don’t.

Here’s what I did. 

I got the wok out and put it on the cooktop because I was getting ready to stir-fry some vegetables for dinner. 

Then I grabbed the canola oil from the shelf and opened a new 32 fl.oz. bottle.  

Made of flimsy plastic.

I went to pour some oil into the wok but I lost control of the lightweight, squishy, poorly designed, this-is-really-not-my-fault bottle.  Thus I ended up pouring canola oil:

  • into the wok; 
  • onto the cooktop; 
  • onto the granite counter beside the cooktop; 
  • into the utensil crock filled with spoons and spatulas sitting on the granite counter; and last but not least 
  • onto and into the wooden knife holder, filled with knives, sitting beside the utensil crock filled with spoons and spatulas sitting on the granite counter beside the cooktop.

Say good-bye to half a bottle of oil.

As you can imagine the spilled 16 fl. oz. of oil immediately began to spread across the cooktop and the granite counter, dribbling down the front of the cabinets, leaving puddles of oil on the floor.  

This, you expect.

And, of course, the oil got inside the utensil crock, pooling in the bottom, where it stayed until I washed the crock and everything in it.  

Again, this is what you expect. 

But the big surprise is that once the oil covered the outside of wooden knife holder, it quickly oozed into the knife slots.  There, in an instant, the oil was absorbed into those slots in such a way as to make the wooden knife holder, that suddenly had begun to smell like mold, about as un-washable and un-usable as anything I’ve ever seen destroyed in a kitchen.

This sort of mess I did not expect.

So there you have it, another story in which my life is not as idyllic as one might hope.  A story, in fact, that lends itself to me asking you a question, my gentle readers:

What’s the biggest cooking &/or baking mess you’ve made in the kitchen?

Just Curious: Tell Me, What’s Your Least Favorite Holiday?

This is a question I’ve pondered lately.  Everyone I know is quick to tell me about holidays they like, but rarely do I find myself in a conversation about a holiday someone does not like.

So I made this poll, basing my answers on my Judeo-Christian Middle Class American experiences.  I know that around the world there are lots of other holidays than the ones I listed here, so if your least favorite holiday is not on my list you may add it to the poll using the “other” category.

If you, my gentle readers, want to tell me why a particular holiday is your least favorite, the comments below are the place to do it.  Certainly everyone has one holiday that bugs them while everyone else around them is enjoying it.

Tell me about it!