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Can we just jump to January please? - 2014-11-14
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2:03 p.m. - 2011-03-07
LA to the rescue!

Hate to start off with a complaint, and it's not really a complaint, more like a status report. The scratchy throat thing kicked it into high gear while I slept and now my raspy gravel voice could give Nick Nolte's voice a run for the money even if he'd just come off a 4-day bender. I said something to Princess earlier and she scrunched down and barked at me! She let me pet her but she walked off looking over her shoulder, plainly confused about why Mom sounds like a cement mixer.

I rescued the toaster oven from a pre-mature death this morning while I waited for the kettle and the coffee maker. (I'm not usually a two-fisted drinker but with this ouchie throat slugging back as much hot liquid as possible sounded good. Coffee for the jolt and tea for the soothing.) Anyway, the toaster oven. Mick likes toasted croissant sandwiches (current fave: turkey and muenster) and since very few cheeses are croissant shaped a bit of the cheese often drips off onto the heating element. Mostly when that happens it's just a little stinky and after it cools a quick wipe with the kitchen sponge and the element is as good as new. Not so the last time I made Mick's lunch. Somehow a HUGE blob of muenster got down in the works and ignited. Kitchen fires aren't that unusual around here, I'm a rather enthusiastic cook. I keep the lid to my cast-iron frying pan handy for just that reason. It does an excellent job of smothering any errant flames. But only on the stovetop. A 14" round chunk of cast-iron doesn't do diddly for a toaster oven bent on self-immolation. But go me! I got the fire put out, rescued Mick's sandwich, and after unplugging it I gave the toaster oven a reassuring pat and promised to do what I could. After me the hardest working thing in the kitchen is that toaster oven, it's the one appliance I let the guys use without direct supervision.

Hey, don't look at me like that. It's for everybody's safety. I've already talked about my guys' inability to grasp even the most basic of cooking skills. So using the stove is out. And with the sole exception of popcorn I had to forbid them the microwave too after I caught Mick trying to reheat a small bowl of ziti and he'd set the timer for 12 minutes. And I'm still having flashbacks about Wolf and the microwaved marshmallows. (Thanks a lot, Bill Nye- Science Guy. I am so gunning for you, pal.)

You'll all be pleased to hear the toaster oven will live. It's all clean and I ran it through the toast cycle without any weird smells or scary flames coming out. Yay!

"Scraping bottom, LA. What's the big deal about getting burnt cheese out of a toaster oven? It's not like you invented penicillin."

That's just it, most things in life AREN'T a big deal. However I've been blogging over a decade now and have found the stuff that's supposedly so trivial is actually the stuff that binds us together. I've written plenty about the Big Bads in my life, oceans of soap boxy political and socio-economical commentary, and other Very Important Things. It's fun, necessary, occasionally educational, cathartic, and many other fancy-sounding adjectives. But you know what? Say something about how the deer ate all of my tulips and I'll get a dozen comments. Or that a heavy meat sauce is better over fusilli than angel hair. Or that the speedometer needle on the Escort goes wonky if I hit a big pothole. Or that Wolf outgrew another pair of sneakers before the laces even got dingy and suddenly everybody's nodding and thinking, "Hey! I get that! Cool. I'm not alone with my headless tulips/pasta issues/wiggly speedometer/expensive outgrown Air Jordans."

It's the nitty-natty everyday mix of small triumphs and little grumps and ho-hum yadda which are both the fuel and the glue for keeping us connected. For bridging the sometimes much larger gaps of age, race, gender, beliefs and distance, and reminds us, okay, reminds me that while I might not drink cow's blood straight from the vein like a Maasai herder or make felt from yak sheddings or work in an office on the 48th floor, pretty much everybody has had an inconveniently full bladder or restless night or a good hair day.

So if I want to write an overly dramatic goofy story about my toaster oven it's okay. Little things can and do mean a lot.


Off now to perform an amazing feat of derring-do with my dryer's lint trap. ~LA

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