Photo Essay Interlude …

Because old printed pictures tell a good story ….

First, the entire 8 foot by 8 foot Michigan Hot Sauce Club store! (See “Club?” blog)

Hand stamped spirals, hot pepper curtain, plastic shelves, and register counter.

2017 10 24 MHSC Store Layout jakorte

Next, the continuation of the driveway corn experience! (See “Canned” blog.)

We cooked 3 – yes 3 – pots of corn. Canned some plain, some with green peppers, chili peppers, onions and celery.

2017 10 24 Canned corning jakorte 10 24 2017

 

Plus, Jeff’s sense of humor and creativity – cabbage and cookies!

2017 10 24 Jeff took this picture cabbage

Stay tuned for next week’s blog: Stockings

 

 

 

 

 

Oatmeal Deviation

Everyone’s got that one thing that completely contradicts what they’re about.

I mean, we all have things that seem odd for us and odd to us.

Mine apparently is oatmeal. Who knew? When it came to my attention, I laughed. A lot.

According to my informer, I am incredibly precise about everything being done correctly and uniformly.

Yet, daily, my morning oatmeal ranges from runny to mushy to perhaps over-cooked and occasionally under watered.

Last Christmas (or maybe the one before) I gave my honest informant a special bowl that I thought would not boil over and measuring cups for her morning oatmeal routine. Because she’s not that fond of it, but stands by the fact that it is good for you, and filling.

I hit the yogurt wall a few weeks ago. Seriously, I cannot fathom ever eating a yogurt again. Not Greek, not low-fat, not full-fat, not whipped, not extra creamy, not organic, not even extra sugary dessert type which claim to black forest cake or lemon meringue pie. No.

Lately, eggs have joined the not-gonna-happen list. Hard-boiled, scrambled, cooked in a circular ring on a greasy grill – no. Although, my toothless stand-by of Impossible Pie has not been over-used or become unappetizing, thank goodness.

What exactly is my resistance to measuring oatmeal and water? Laziness… possibly, but I think I’d rather go with Scientific Variation.

Like that spin? I do think it could be considered more fun to eyeball and see what happens –  who doesn’t like a daily experiment? I have through tedious research and trial and error conquered the overflow factor with an obnoxiously large bowl which sometimes leads to a larger than the dietary proclamation of recommended daily intake/allowance/suggested serving size.

The bowl has also seen better days. The plastic base is beginning to show white stress marks radiating from the little bumped-up mould release spot in the center bottom. One of these days, I’ll likely end up dealing with the slimy mess of unrestrained oatmeal lava.

Still, that’s not enough to convince me to search out another dollar store cheapie. I own 3 sets of the same pattern dinnerware. Two open sets are cabinetted in separate groups of 4; the other remains an unopened wedding gift from 2001. I haven’t broken a deep soup bowl, yet, or a shallow cereal bowl, or a salad plate, or a dinner plate, either. The only items incurring damage have been coffee cups. None have cracked or shattered. A few have unfortunately chipped, which is quite unfortunate since mugs are the only non-backed-up food service item.

The oatmeal appropriate bowls don’t microwave as well my yellow plastic vessel. The asbestos-glove-required outside nukes up faster than the actual gruel. I do use the deeps at home nestled into the bottom of an old Meal-in-Minutes microwave bottom boat, which makes home hot food handling on tippy-toes as I reach for the over-the-stove unit designed for normal (taller) users just a bit safer.

At least laziness doesn’t play a role in this scenario. I’m know not too lazy to drag one to work.  I also know I’ll be annoyed with the microwaved results unless I also drag the pink thing and a potholder.

I could leave the potholder, but I’d have to carry the Tupperware on my daily walks to and from work. It’s seriously one of my best kitchen tools.

I should buy another. It’s rather contradictory that I don’t already own two, because, well… yeah.

Quote for the Week:

2015 09 22 Consistency and inconsistency jakorte

 

Enjoy This Week’s Discovery Links:

Plastic Parties: http://www.tupperwarecollection.com/v2/tw_index.php?page=home_parties_history

Don’t Do This: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/06/13/microwave-cooking-tips_n_5488231.html

It’s Complicated: http://www.webmd.com/diet/oatmeal-benefits

 

 

Under the Category of…

Condo Chronicles, February 21, 2015: The Dust War

Saturday morning assessment: the bathroom work needs clean-up work. Drywall and sanding and flooring and painting in a 7 x 7 space left a fine film of dusts and almost minuscule plops of mediums… everywhere.

 

Under the Category of “If You’re Gonna Do It, Do It Right.”

Me (to nobody in particular, well, actually to no one, at all):

“Do I really need to wipe down all the walls?”

Walls (mine do talk): “Yes.”

Me (halfway to pretty sure I don’t): “I’ll take a swipe.”

Me (still skeptical): “I can hardly see a difference.”

Sponge (scientifically): “I can confirm that.”

Me (noting the blue is more lightly beige): “Eh, I’ll rinse and swipe once more to be sure.”

Bucket (with a list of its own): “I can confirm that.”

 

Under the Category of “Ear Worm – Get It Out.”

Me: (in an endless loop as I one-way wipe away dust, sidetrackedly stuck by unexpected ancient paint blotches) “If You’re Gonna Do It, Do It Right.” “If You’re Gonna Do It, Do It Right.” “If You’re Gonna Do It, Do It Right.” “For the Love of George– I’m doing it right! Get out of my head.”

Me (rational alter-ego): “Music would help.”

Me (scrambling for the phone and charge): “Slacker, Slacker! I’m no Slacker – but I’m glad I’ve got Slacker.”

Me (rational alter-ego): “You just ear wormed yourself again, didn’t you?”

 

Under the Category of “One Down, Two Down, Why Bother Counting?”

Me: Four hours later, winning the war against bathroom grit and numerous swipes of tell-tale sloppy decorators’ toilet tank paint. Obviously without any realistic notion of how long total de-dusting takes, and annoyingly burdened with weighty acknowledgement gleaned from having moved the ceramic-ton toilet and the unassembled shower door assembly, out and back into the shower.

Me: Two hours later, winning the war against kitchen grit and appliance atrocities. Reliving lessons previously not learned; recognizable (late) as errors. The Magic Eraser affair continues – removing grease and rust build-up, re-whitening (as much as possible due to previous neglect) appliance seal strips, door knobs (eventually slated for retire and replace-ments.)

 

Under the Category of “Oh, Yeah.”

Me: (years ago) Scoffed at the mother who allowed her toddler to play with the mysterious cleaning product and then complained when, after rubbing it all over his face repeatedly for an extended period of time the child developed chemical burns. It’s a cleaning product, lady, and why weren’t you supervising your kid?

Me (years later): Scrubbing a rental floor to a less dull shine, dissolving my fingernail tips and stripping the pads a bit, crashing into membership as an unfortunate inauspicious of the same “Duh” group.

 

Under the Category of “I’ve done this before.”

Me (lazy): “Oh, this should just take a couple wipes.”

Dishwasher Seal: “You don’t really believe that, do you?”

Me (in discovery mode): “There’s some more, and there’s some more and…”

Me (doing the whole thing, without a single intelligent consideration despite the incompletely eradicated worm-bastard): “If You’re Gonna Do It, Do It Right.”

Refrigerator (orange-ish-ly snarky): “Hey, what about taking another go at mine.”

Me (playing fair, addressing the other sealants in the room):  “If You’re Gonna Do It, Do It Right.”

Me (frantic for an antidote): “Argh! The phone’s not registering my really tender fingertip taps!”

Me (sheepishly sore): “Foolishness. You’ve done this before.”

 

Under the Category of “Break-Time!”

Me (finely, remembered): Finally remember to lift the yogurt lid away from my face, thus avoiding facial, eye-glass and wardrobe splatter.

Me (again): “Break Time!”

Me (not so long after) “Break Time!”

Me (the heck with this noise): “Nap Time!”

 

Under the Category of “Finished.”

Me (uncomfortably and somewhat numbly bumbling along my Android keys):

“An hour and a half in the kitchen. Two and a half hours in the living room/dining room/hallway. One hour in the bedroom. Forty-five minutes in the office, and one broken window shade: finished. I will likely do nothing else this weekend.”

 

Under the Category of “That’s Not Likely.”

Me (realistically, for a change): “That’s not likely…”

 

Quote for the Week:

I've done this same thing before  02 24 2015

Enjoy this Week’s Discovery Links:

Chemically: http://home.howstuffworks.com/magic-eraser.htm

Wormifying: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6W0d9xMhZbo

De-Dustify: http://www.howtocleanstuff.net/removing-interior-construction-dust/

 

Extra Extra: The Dust War Pictorials

20150221_080137 Dust line wall Slide2 Slide3 Slide4

Box Point

So, it’s official. Movers are coming in a little over a week.

And, it’s official: I’ve reached the Box Point.

It happens every time, and this time is no exception.

Three and a half months in the making, made for a little luxury room. The neatly numbered, detailed detail, lightly packed and stacked cardboard containers have been growing. Delays have made for slow-moving, “I-won’t-need-this-anytime-soon” relocations.

For the most part, it’s been fine. One dish, one bowl, one place setting, two glasses, two cups, a few less utensils and gadgets haven’t been missed much. Art supplies, have been missed a little. I have a small stash of generic,  but potentially alterable cards. I’m good with that.

My unusually optimistic assumption that two months would be a reasonable amount of time to accomplish a reasonable amount of repairs, resulted in recalls. I shut off the upright fridge and moved the frozen foods to the itty-bitty freezer part of the fridge in the condo. I ran out of chicken. I ran out of vegetables. I’ve been piece-meal recovering. I took advantage of a great pet supply sale, and stationed the spoils at the condo. At the ready, two bags of food and two buckets of litter. I’ve been bucketing food back to the kitties. I haven’t relocated litter, yet.

I’ve given notice to the rental, and they are being lovely. They will post the availability this week, and list as available March 2nd. Monetarily, I’d love the chance to not pay two more months of rent, utilities, insurance.

Now that there’s a date and notice, the kettle’s heating up, and I’m roiling toward Box Point.

If it’s an unsure pile of notes, or envelopes or spices, I’m adopting the “box it up and sort it later” stance. A long as-it’s in a box-going to the right room, or going-near-the-right-room, it and I am in. Never having to do this again is somewhat contributing to the sloppiness. I can tweak on the flip side, and I have a lifetime to do it. Don’t panic – I’ll handle what needs to be handled in a timely fashion, It’s just there’s a point when later becomes significantly better and more appropriate than now. That and knowing the high price of non-completion will be greater than the satisfaction of exactness.

Now that I’m ready to get my move on, transference is being hindered by negative temperatures. I’ve spent some time trying to determine exactly which items I own are freeze-proof and wondering if the insignificant  inherent moisture in plastics would shatter my shirt buttons. So far, wire shoe racks and pressboard bookcases have survived a few freezing hours in the back of my car. Truly, though I am sure I can drum up other stuff, like books, nothing short of 36 degrees will make me want to go back out once I’m in and warm. Stuff is staying put in hopeful piles of “someday-I’ll-be-able-to-tote-this-over.”

Miss Freddie and H-Blu are freely enjoying the free-form challenge courses scattered throughout the house.

I’m waiting for Mother Nature to stop this nonsense.

Quote for the Week:

I firmly believe there are times later better than now 02 17 2015

 Enjoy this Week’s Discovery Links:

How to Move: http://smallnotebook.org/2009/05/29/how-to-move-in-6-weeks-or-6-days-and-keep-your-sanity/

The Paper Problem: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/20140610152742-18266284-the-simple-way-to-tackle-paper-clutter

Weather Report: http://www.weather.com/weather/tenday/l/Detroit+MI+USMI0229:1:US

Duck Soap

I can’t remember what I said, but I remember the gesture that accompanied it. I didn’t understand the extent of my mother’s anger. I was standing with my back to her, rolling my eyes, mumbling something. The crowning of the moment was a jerky thumb point over my shoulder, a cock of my head and the implied “can you believe this idiot” hand motion. Like an angry, squinty-eyed Fonz using his trademark thumb as a way to say, “Get out of my sight.”

I don’t remember how I got there: ushered or dragged. I can remember being boxed into the tiny half-bath, meeting my mother’s eyes in the mirror. I remember the beige pedestal sink, the golden-toned soap, the taste, the tears and the gagging, the towel and the rinsing. And, unfortunately, I can remember this happening more than once.

I never had a dirty mouth. The problem was emphasis and tone, and a consistent failure at feigning innocence. Cursing, though, has never been my thing. My clever young-teen friends and I developed the opposite of an acronym. Not at all antonyms – but rather elongation of words we weren’t allowed to say. I don’t think the words would even make it onto a list of preferential parental no-no words for the last quarter century.

Sugar-Honey-Iced-Tea. Somehow, we even managed to justify dragging it through an ignorant impression of a southern draw; exaggerated, quite uncharming and probably fooling no one. Carp-Eggs was another; a tad more obscure. Flip around the two between the C and P. ‘Eggs’ was just added as camouflage; weak camouflage. Skating and twirling around the real phrases, I chose to go with close-ers: Son of a Monkey’s Butt.  Door knob.

Somewhere between there and here, I acquired comfortableness for playful cursing, for restricted use only in emphatically appropriate situations. A phrase involving a sexual act and ending in “a Duck” slipped out one day, in the presence of someone who should have never heard that, especially not from me. Despite our agreeable amusement, I insisted we be sworn to secrecy.

Somewhere in my recent timeline, the real McCoys have taken over. I’ve absorbed these words my whole, sponge life. Even saturated, I never intended to use them often and commonly. Behind the wheel, in the living room, alone, in private and public conversations, the nastiness rolls out as easily as the next breath rolls in. I enjoy the volume and shock. It feels good. It feels angry, and I’ve been very angry lately, mindlessly injecting inappropriate adjectives, repetitively

This reminds me of a story my father would tell, ending in a subtle menacing point. Having returned home from a teenage testosterone filled Boy Scout Camp summer, where boys do and say what coming of age boys do and say, he matter-of-factly requested that his father pass him the fucking salt. He didn’t get the salt. He did get a strong backhand. I got the message.

I have been emotionally caught myself up in my own net. Thrashing and shouting, getting meaner and meaner, and I’ve finally figured out that isn’t going to help and that it doesn’t feel as good as it did when I first allowed it. I don’t need to cut and slash myself loose. I just need to stop, sit still and wait for the moment to pass.

Going cold turkey isn’t on the schedule, yet. Maybe at the end of the Condo Chronicles I will revert back to the lady-like impression I strive to project. Until then, I’ve coined a few playfully offensive you-know-what-I’m-getting-at words to hopefully be used less frequently and more sparingly than I have been the real ones. Bumblefluck. Fidiot.  Maybe later on down the line, for lesser situations, I’ll tone it down to a more commonly feminine Ratsafrass or Dilligaf.

In the meantime, I have no intention of sucking on soap, and I’ll do my best not to disparage any more ducks.

Quote for the Week:

If you can’t find an appropriate word for the occasion 02 10 2015

Enjoy this Week’s Discovery Links:

Science Supports Swearing: http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/why-do-we-swear/

History of Soapy Mouths: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Washing_out_mouth_with_soap

Bad Jokes (some about ducks): http://www.recreationtherapy.com/tx/trajokes.htm

Confettiism

There are times you just cannot influence change.

I’ve been considering whether or not it’s time to remove the contingent cardboard kitty litter box enclosure. The plan was to employ just until the kitten that was H. Blu grew up a little and calmed down. I was counting this move as the opportune time.

I no longer believe that’s likely, though. He’s three. I obviously need to accept this quirk as a permanent part of his being. Blu’s a flinger.

No amount of loud hand clapping, shooing or physical removal has stopped him, yet. As soon as he’s unstartled, or lifted and placed down, he’s back at it: launching litter into the air like confetti, celebrating his every success. Every success. I’m not sure if it’s the deposit or the burial, but either way he’s off loading and damn happy about it.

Confetti. We could all use some.

Metaphorically.

Detail to the super-conscious environmentalists – I’m not suggesting we pollute the world.

Just as sharing how a hot-cocoa’ed peep looks without its sugar-skin doesn’t support animal abuse.

Stop harassing me for having a sense of humor. Stop paying attention to my drivel if it drives you bonkers.

 

Andy Warhol advised, “You need to let the little things that would ordinarily bore you suddenly thrill you.”

 

Start paying more attention to the amazing things in your own life.

Throw a little mental confetti.

When you tie your shoes. When you wash your lunch bucket.

When you solve a problem.

When you see someone you love.

Better yet, when you see someone you don’t. That’ll make ’em wonder.

Envision sparkly, multicolored, floaties celebrating every success.

Envision viciously leering, flotsam knick-knacks pelting your nemesistic issues.

Dare you, and dare you again.

Try not to smile too widely when thrill overrides containment.

 

Pardon me, now.

Acceptance commands: the time has come.

Commence construction of the next litter-catching cardboard castle!

Moats are pretty amazing.

#imakemyselflaugh

Quote for the Week:

Every Day should be a confetti day Feb 3 2015

Enjoy This Week’s Discovery Links:

Awesome Things: http://tinybuddha.com/blog/25-awesome-things-we-take-for-granted-most-days/

One Month Challenge: http://zenhabits.net/the-mindfulness-guide-for-the-super-busy-how-to-live-life-to-the-fullest/

The Mindful Difference: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/04/30/habits-mindful-people_n_5186510.html

Dissolution of a Down

Forcing the issue isn’t working. The ‘Don’t Resolution’ is perhaps the swiftest failure of a New Year’s plan: to date, qualifyingly leaving space for possible worse scenarios.

I’ve been in-the-making of collages since I entered the social cyber world. Storing away tidbits of uplift for encouragement, aimed at providing a gentle environment to embolden and nurture with an occasional reflective cutting remark, allowing for some fun. I’ve plenty of fodder for those in trouble, in need, down-cast, insecure or out-cast, but none of them seem for me.

It’s hard to be inspirational when you’re feeling semi-permanently uninspired, labeled ‘semi’ for the sincere hope that someday the down-talk will cease. I call myself out, which isn’t much of a solution; like a carousel with no brass ring, just endless, relentless strips of self-assessing log. Mentally beating myself up hurts just as badly, if not worse, than anyone else’s ‘helpful’ fault-points. My call-downs are not vague. Specificity is sharp, slicing cleanly, making it that much harder to heal.

Soul stitching, like wound stitching, can be self-endured. Minor reachable fixes in cases of emergency, where we grab the needle without even thinking and try to put our lives back together again, not realizing there may be damages we cannot reach, and wounds we don’t even know are there.

Put-downs are easily learned, and difficult to unlearn. The highest muster of self-praise comes down to a check-box: I got the mail. I moved a box. I did something that needed to be done under micro-self-management, and two-seconds after acknowledging a ‘win,’ my heart hears the shake of my head as “really?” Wind-swiftly, whatever the opposite of a pat-on-the-back may be, swoops in ~ brushing contentment right off my shoulders.

Rooting the negativity spot, dust-piles of former praise, formerly minor bumps – have somehow turned into mountains covered in annoying scraps of optimism. The only way to break through is to tear them off, one-at-a-time, chewing slowly, digesting thoroughly before ever moving on. One-a-day, or one-for-two days, or one-for-a-week or month, if it’s particularly hard to swallow; but not a year. There will be no room to stand if standing still is the plan.

Push is as different from drive as self-motivation is from force-feeding. Push requires someone to move you; drive requires you to move yourself. Forward, then, I cannot promise 52, or Mondays or Saturday or any other day. I will not play catch-up, and will not regret it.

I will pick one. Carefully consider. Pass it on.

Encourage dissolution of downs.

Quote for the Week:

Standing Still 01 13 2015

Enjoy This Week’s Discovery Links:

Don’t worry: http://tinybuddha.com/blog/3-reasons-to-stop-worrying-about-your-negative-thoughts/

Just Stop: http://www.sparkpeople.com/resource/motivation_articles.asp?id=614

Defined: http://www.themms.com/corporate-education?id=110