Monday, October 27, 2008

Visions of Sugar-plums Dance in my Head

That's right, it's that time of year again. I am preparing for the winter holidays! No no, don't stop reading; I'm not throwing the Christmas tree up anytime soon. I'm just planning presents and menus, I swear. Our Halloween is going to be pretty low-key. My Ursula costume was scrapped and I think I will dress up as a witch and hand out candy from the lawn. That out to be fun. It's funny because Halloween used to be my favourite holiday and now Thanksgiving and Christmas has kicked it down on the list. The joy of consumerism, you say? Nope. The joy of cooking!

Working Out the T-Day Menu

That's part of my menu up there, written on a piece of scrap paper. It's not done and things cycle frequently but I'm still excited as heck. Everyone in my family has their own wish and I think giving each member a favourite is an easy way to plan. Then again, I somehow still found myself with thirteen dishes on my list but only six people in the household. Hmmm. In case you missed my post last year, I always have a nice spread. So much for trying to make it smaller this year!

As for gifts, everyone's getting something homemade. I've been crocheting my grandparents a lapghan for a week or two now. Eighteen squares done, thirty to go. All the other females are getting jewelry, handmade by moi. The boys...well, I'm not sure what the boys will get. I'll work on that.

Ah, even as I'm sitting here waiting for the plumber I'm getting into the Christmas spirit. Three cheers for the holiday season.


Homemade Burgers

These babies came out LARGE but oh so good. I really should make burgers more often. My family liked these better than Five Guys.

Friday, October 17, 2008


An expletive! A sweet, short, unmistakable response to life at the moment. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck!

Surely I'm not alone in this; many American families are treading water, waiting for the one big emergency to derail their dream, to cut their lifeline, to pull them into the dark depth or the real estate market, bankruptcy, homelessness. I felt a shudder when we paid $900 in vet bills. I felt a chill up my spine when our car insurance went up. I even teared up when our energy bill was $422. But those were apparently a warm up for the real catastrophe.

A pipe. Yes, our real emergency is a pipe. I guess the sound of water was so low we didn't notice it at first. By the time we did, it sounded like a woosh, like air traveling through the walls. "It's just the water heater pulling water," my mother said. I'm sure, I'm sure. I was sure. At least until early this week when I went into the bathroom, stood still, and realized our little woosh had turned into a running faucet. And that's when it came. "Fuck."

So the good news we're not getting a leak inside the house. That's also slightly bad news since we have no water to show us where the leak is. What that means is our trusty plumber is going to have to do some exploratory plumbing. If we find the right pipe on the first try, not too bad. If not, it's going to run up until we do. We're talking $2000+. Now, there's another long term solution. Repipe the house. That's going to run us $6000 but it'll be guaranteed by our plumber and, of course, all new pipes (and new hose outlets, etc) means they shouldn't break down for the next twenty years. The problem with either option is also the living arrangements. We'd seriously have to be in a hotel for a week. It's not looking good.

We can't even afford the first option. So now we're going to have to sit down and figure out how we're going to do this. Hopefully the house won't float away while we reach a decision.

Sigh. Dammit. Shit.


Edit on 10/25/2008: We went with repiping the house and the whole process starts on Monday the 27th. I feel much better about it than I did when I typed this, thankfully.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Steak, Salmon, and Salad Dinner

Steak, Salmon, Spinach with Feta

Ribeye with sauteed mushrooms and onions, Atlantic salmon baked in a lemon pepper rub, and baby spinach tossed with deta cheese and honey dijon vinaigrette.

This was really good.