On the Beauties of Refrigeration

Yesterday morning, I had a glass of milk with breakfast.   And as I was drinking, it occurred to me — this milk tastes a bit warm.  Odd….  So I went to the refrigerator, and no blast of cold air greeted me when I opened it.  I placed my kitchen thermometer (usually used for making yogurt) in for five minutes, and when I took it out, it read only 70 degrees!

YIKES!

I proceeded to  very calmly inform my husband that we needed a new refrigerator. run around the kitchen randomly removing things from the refrigerator and freezer while yelling for my husband to come there right now.

Long story short, we ended up unexpectedly paying our fifth visit to Lowe’s this week.  We were able to find a very serviceable fridge/freezer combo at a reduced price (due to a new model coming in), with the promise of a free ice maker, and, of course, free delivery and take away.

It is not a lovely side-by-side like our previous model, but I have high hopes that it will also not suddenly decide to stop working on a Friday morning for many years.

The ice maker is also a bonus because we did not have one in our old freezer, and my husband is quite famous for his love of ice.

In the end, I am thankful that one year ago, we decided to take a class by Dave Ramsey that encouraged us to start a budget and begin a small emergency fund.  We still have a long way to go down the “getting financially healthy” road, but I am grateful that a minor disaster is just that — minor. 

And I am also grateful for Lowe’s dudes with trucks that know how to move furniture.

And I will not take cold milk for granted.

That is all.

10 Things We’ve Learned Since Owning a Home…

My husband and I bought our first home almost a year ago.  We’ve enjoyed having our own space though home ownership has been a bit of a rollercoaster.  It has also been a veritable education.  Here are some of the course descriptions!

1.  The price of the home on paper is just the beginning…

2.  If your garage door starts squealing loudly and getting stuck halfway up, you should not wait to call a repairman!

3.  Just because your older sister could have her house unpacked and organized within 2 weeks (while 9 months pregnant) does not mean that you can do the same (even if you are not pregnant)…

4.  If you live in Florida and own a cat, it’s not a matter of whether fleas will come… it’s a matter of when fleas will come.

5.  Just because the home inspector says your house is safe, that is no guarantee that the homeowner’s insurance company will agree with him.  You just might end up directing an exterior paint job from your vacation at the beach.

6.  Gardens don’t just happen.

7.  There comes a time when you have to get over the fact that you don’t know how to do something, and just make up your mind to keep trying until you figure it out.  You might surprise yourself.

8.  Cat hair may cause tufts on the carpet, but it causes tumbleweed on tile floors.

9.  Cats usually do not respond to reasoned requests that they stop destroying your new-used furniture.  But they may be bribed.

10.  Lowe’s is your new home away from home.  Just bring a sleeping bag — tents are provided.

Adventure comes without knocking

Come spring, the garden-lust surges in my blood.

Spring arrives early in Florida, particularly this year, so my fingers have been itching to bury themselves in dirt for several weeks.

Unfortunately, the demands of lesson plans, papers to be graded, and various other teacher-related detritus stood in my way.

But now, spring break is upon us.

So, my darling husband and I paid a visit to Lowe’s. 

Since we moved into our house in June last summer, this was our first chance to establish a garden of any type.

And we had no clue what we were doing.

We bought our soil, seeds, and spade, then headed to the lumber section for materials to build our raised garden bed (soil in Florida is notoriously poor, and a raised garden bed is the only way to go).  After an encounter with a rather rude employee, who was most definitely not helpful (rare at Lowe’s), we were finally able to find out what we needed by calling our brother-in-law.

As we pushed our loaded cart to the check-out, it occurred to me that there was a strong possibility that my car was not ten feet long — and the wood was.

A quick test once we got to the car confirmed my suspicions.  Alas, we would not be bringing the wood home in that vehicle.

We were rescued within the half hour by a mother-in-law in shining armor in a silver steed (or a Camry if you prefer).

Thus our unexpected adventure ended happily.

And our newly planted garden lends an air of mystery to our backyard.

What other adventures will it bring?

I did it!

After way more procrastination than is necessary (hmm… am I seeing a pattern here?), I finally managed to make my own chocolate syrup!

Can I just say…wow!!??

I would have done this a long time ago if I had only known.  In the end, inspired by a concern about some of the ingredients in Hershey’s chocolate syrup, in addition to its less than stellar quality of chocolate taste, I found this recipe:  Annie’s Eats DIY Chocolate Syrup

You have to go look at it to believe how easy it is.

Not only that — it tastes like real chocolate — rich, deep, sweet (but not too sweet), and not even slightly metallic.  And for a 20-minute time investment (most of which is not too intensely supervised)?

I am only too happy to say…see ya store-bought chocolate syrup (or maybe not)!

P.S.  I would post a picture of its beautiful, dark, delicious beauty in its super-cute glass bottle, but…  I left my camera in New Hampshire (a story for another day).  So go look at Annie’s Eats if you want to make your mouth water.  Believe me, it will.

Inspiration!

It suddenly occurred to me that not all blog posts have to be profound.  I know, I know — duh.  I’ve been struggling to write regularly on this blog for over a year now…and I have struggled because I’m always waiting for the lightning to strike and the clouds to scroll back with the topic of my blog post engraved on the sky.  Yeah.  So now you know why I haven’t posted much.

As I was cutting vegetables with my husband for a healthy, yummy meal, I thought: Of the blog posts I enjoy reading, probably 80% are everyday posts about everyday things.  The other 20% are profound or profound-ish.

So this post is a tribute to everyday posts about piles of laundry and making soup.  May there be more of them in my future.  And may my profound posts be more profound in the halo of their influence.