Vacation Week

Last week was Vacation Week here in Maine. If you are picturing me lounging in the sun, fruity drink in hand, keep dreaming.  The only downtime I got was Sunday, between the hours of 12:30 and 2pm.  I didn’t see a single fruity drink the whole week, unless you count the orange juice I had to wipe off the windows when the kids missed the sink.  The one highlight? My husband also took the week off. Normally this would have rocked beyond belief.  But since we are LIVING THE DREAM of 250 year old home ownership, Vacation Week was Hell.

Highlights of Hell included:

Cleaning out the basement.  Normally I wouldn’t complain, a little tidying here & there, but our basement was so congested we had to rent a jumbo sized construction dumpster.  It arrived Friday afternoon.

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A washer, a dryer, & a couple of cats.

Good morning all.  Today I need to get some things off my chest.  I know that life seems pretty peaches & cream here at the West Philly palatial estate, but let me tell you.  LIFE IS HARD.  At least when you like to complain.

Back in August we adopted two kittens. These kittens, Ziggy and Pepper, have now entered advanced *FRISKY* stage. So they spend most of each day shredding our leather furniture, hanging from the woodwork, killing countless potted plants and STALKING.  Just look at these photos.

Until recently, these reenactments of WILD KINGDOM had been tame.  But the altercations between Kiwi and the kittens have grown in intensity.  Yesterday I found my ox-pecking appendage of a bird cornered beneath a table on the back porch, the kittens primed for the kill.  Kiwi is so damn feisty and DUMB she actually FLEW DOWN TO THE FLOOR to have it out w/ them.  The bird is ornery.  She is jealous.  She REEAALLLLLLLLLY wants to kick their ass.  But if she doesn’t wise up soon, she’s gonna be 2 bites of meat for one of these cats.

We have tried a dozen different tactics.  Locking Kiwi in her cage – which she HATES.  Locking her in a room.  Which she HATES.  Locking the kittens in a room.  WHICH THEY HATE.  Letting them all range free – which they ALL LOVE but will lead to one or more deaths and/or maimings.  I have to face facts.  If we keep these cats, I will lose my bird.  and it will be ugly.

SO. Several months ago I posted about our dishwasher dying. WELL. Seems all our appliances have a 7-year life cycle, b/c wouldn’t you know? As of 3 weeks ago, our dryer’s done gone dead.  It was working fine – then BLAMMO.  Nada.  The thing just won’t turn on.  John has concluded the motor’s burned out.  And now, 3 wks later, the washer has joined it in solidarity. We’ve all heard of couples, when one partner dies, the other loses all will to live.  Apparently my washer-dryer were a match made in heaven.  No matter how hard I beg/plead/sweet talk to this machine, I trudge down to the basement umpteen times a day to find a tub full of water and half-washed clothes.  I fill the machine, run the sucker, and once it’s “done,” I check it.  Inevitably, the washer has somehow mysteriously completed the cycle w/out emptying.  HOW DOES IT DO THIS??  Go through spin w/out any spinning.  Or draining.  Or ANYTHING.

I know I am a throw-back to the 50s housewives of yore, But I love doing laundry.  LOVE IT. It is the ONE HOUSEHOLD CHORE (besides cooking) I enjoy.  I love the smell of fresh laundry.  The feel of it.  The sense of satisfaction only 5 baskets of neatly-folded clothing can bring.  And I love my laundry room.  Even though it’s down in the filthy basement where most people hate to go, it’s my home away from home – in my home.  I’ve hung the peeling walls w/ pictures drawn by my children.  Scenes of the African plain, animals, signs reading “I LovE you MoMMy, YOUR the BEST!”  It doesn’t get any better than that.  Rather than resent my family while I labor at their behest, I think fondly of them all.  My laundry room.  My happy place.  UNTIL NOW.  Now that both machines have broken.  BREAKING MY REVERIE.  Leaving me neither high, nor dry.

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How one simple thank you can make a whole world of difference.

Hellloooo there! Hey!! How’s it been? I am so glad you stopped by. You’re looking good! So, did I just hear you click through from The Daily Dish?? Oh, you did? Why that’s terrific. Wow. THANKS! I welcome you all (*big hugs*) and find it incredibly rewarding to know that there are people out there who find even me (a stay-at-home-mom with a dry sense of humor, bizarre obsession with food and weird disease) interesting enough to merit a minute away from whatever else it is you do.

But I gotta tell you people that – lately, I am just not feeling the love. Yes, I KNOW you’re all reading my site, and downloading the recipes, and spending hours pouring through my photos. But frankly, it’s just not enough. Bet you didn’t guess I have a bone to pick today. Maybe a little axe to grind? Oh, you didn’t? Well, let me explain. You may think I’m great, and I may think I’m great, and my family most certainly does, and maybe that guy who saw my daughter pull my pants down at the supermarket (true story), but I AIN’T NO MIND READER! I have been hurting, people, and no one’s been bandaging my booboos! WAHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!

Over the past days I have become increasingly cynical – well, I’ve always been at least semi-cynical, so that’s not quite what I’m getting at, but over the past days I have noticed myself wrestling with an increased level of stress and sense of dissatisfaction with what can best be described as (if I did work outside the house) my day job. You see, apart from being a fulltime mother and jet-setting entrepreneur, I have also been writing a low sodium cookbook for the masses, which a year ago I converted to electronic format and put online gratis for all the world to see and use. Now you must trust me when I say this has been neither easy, nor fun. Well, it has been sort of fun, but in that heavy work way where you know you shouldn’t be getting paid for having so much fun, but in my case I am REALLY NOT GETTING PAID. Anyway,

I am not nor have I ever been a “computer person.” I received my very first computer of my whole life this year for my birthday – and I am 35 (UNBELIEVABLE SEXY, not haggard and exhausted) years old!!! I didn’t even have my own computer through graduate school – we were still chipping at rocks, scribbling on slate boards and using those ancient overhead projectors and microfiche – not to mention SLIDE RULES for God’s sake. But happily over the past year I have taught myself some toddler-level code and my computer skillz have slowly been improving, but it’s been a grueling uphill battle. And apart from all of the computer blahblahblah, creating all of these recipes, purchasing the food and necessary supplies, cooking them, cleaning up after them, photographing, typing everything up, proofing it, and THEN converting all of it to HTML and publishing them on a website that – although humble and modest in appearance – I built from the ground up all by myself – and all FOR FREE, is DAMN EXHAUSTING. Try doing all of this while simultaneously entertaining, educating, and generally putting up with 2 rambunctious, over-the-top female types and YOU’VE GOT YERSELF ONE FRICKIN HARD JOB!

And yet, I have taken it upon myself to do this, not only for my own fluctuating sanity, but for the betterment of mankind. And all I’m asking for in return is a little thanks. A little acclaim. Yes, I know it’s hardly rewarding when you have to beg – but I’m sore people. I feel used – like that snotty tissue no one wants to pick up cause it ain’t theirs, and so I keep getting tread into the filthy restroom floor till the bathroom cleaner has to come and scoop me up – but you know she’s wearing plastic gloves and feels totally repulsed too!

What I am trying to get at here, people, is that if you love me – tell me so. If you love me, let me know. If you love me, say you’ll stay. If you love me, don’t toss me away! I am feeling NEEDY. I am feeling underappreciated. I can’t do this forever. for no pay and no nuthin. I can get a job you know! I HAVE DEGREES PEOPLE!!!! I know how to count on my fingers – and I’m not afraid to use them. I may be raising one soon.