Release the Kraken!

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I wanted to cry, “Release the Kraken!” this morning.

The Kraken!

The Kraken!

Spanish moss

I had intentions of pulling weeds in the front and back yard, but I knew I had to trim the bushes a little bit too. I didn’t want to lug out the hedge trimmers and extension cord. It was already hot out this morning! So I found the pruning shears my husband had unearthed during his garage-clean a couple of weeks ago and went out front.

I trimmed the very pointy holly hedges that bracket the front porch then looked at the live oak tree on the corner of the property. It was lush and lovely and draping low now over the sidewalk and street. *sigh* So off I went.

Being a little bit shorter than average (ha!) I had to reach up and pull down the branches I wanted to clip. I went along, getting a nice little pile going as I made certain no one would lose an eye cutting the grass or walking on the sidewalk, and then thought I’d attack the Kraken. Spanish moss, for those of you unaware of the resemblance to the mythical beast. I trimmed and snipped and then reached up to release a branch killed some time before by the moss and barely hanging on. Aargh! Moss and dirt and bark rained down on me!

I brushed off and finished the job, cursing under my breath since kids were walking by on their way to school, and finished the weeding. So that’s done. And the next time the tree needs trimming? My husband can do it.

Release the Kraken!

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Peanut’s back in town, baby!

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Peanut is back in town, baby! Our crazy cat is now back in Florida and, seemingly, doing well.

Peanut at home

Peanut at home

As backstory, when our house was overcrowded with too many people and too many pets, Peanut’s quirks ratcheted up to high-strung territory. Hissing. Hiding. Rage-peeing. As a remedy, we moved her up to Connecticut to live with my mom and dad. Almost immediately, I saw a difference in her.

Over time my parents grew to love her and she loved being the solo pet in the place. Even so, I’d promised my mother it would be a temporary arrangement and she made me keep my word, lol. Since the “too many people and pets” thing resolved itself when my daughter’s family finally found a house for them and their pets in February, I had no excuse come August. And although Peanut was so content there, we made arrangements for her to fly back home with me after my next visit.

So it was with much trepidation that we booked her passage and bought her a nice, new carrier. Then we took off. She travels well, actually. Which is never more surprising to me than to everybody else. We got home and after a few hissy fits, she growl-ate, growl-drank her water and growl-peed in the litter box. That was a week ago and, after only one peeing-in-the-sink incident, things seem to have settled down.

Yes, fat cat Spike bugs her and chases her. Even my sweet little dog Bailey starts up but leaves her alone for the most part. So Peanut is back home, where it’s nearly as quiet as it was at my parents’ house.

So far, so good!

Mints on the Pillow

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Don’t judge me, but I want my mints on the pillow.

Turn down service?

Turn down service?

I don’t like to get into bed unless the sheets and comforter are turned down now. The sheets smoothed and crisp and cool. I came to this realization slowly over the last few days.

This turning-down-the-bed stuff started a couple of years ago, actually. Here’s the reason. My husband. In a nutshell, the man just doesn’t know how to get into bed. He tosses the plump pillows in their shams to the floor He swirls and tangles the sheets. Kicks off the comforter to use the wrinkled sheet by itself. Pulls the sheets from my side of the bed, too. And all this is way before he falls asleep!

I like the sheets folded over the comforter. Even and precise, as weird as that sounds. I’ve been known to tug and pull at his side before I even get in. Folding the comforter and sheet over him like I’m making the bed with him still in it! This drives him crazy, of course. Does that stop me? Nope! As long as I get my side of the bed in some semblance of the order I prefer, I’m happy.

So I’ve started turning down the bed in the early evening myself. This way I know I have a better shot of him getting into the bed without causing a ruckus. Even if he’s working out of town, I do the turn-down thing for myself. Hey, I like the touch of civility when I finally turn in.

There are never any mints on the pillow, but maybe I shouldn’t have sweets right before bed, lol.

I love Ikea!

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I love Ikea. Not ironically. Not because I’m supposed to. But just because it’s friggin’ fantastic!

Ikea Love!

Ikea Love!

I don’t know if it’s the ginormous warehouse feel or the big, oversized shopping bags, but I find I just don’t get there often enough. I like eating in the cafeteria-like food court, things like salmon wraps and Swedish meatballs. These little broccoli-potato cakes that I could probably make at home but why bother? Oh, and making our way from the top down through the many departments looking for treasures.

 

Sure, we laugh as we attempt to pronounce the names of some of the things. Why is my rechargeable drill called a “fixa?” Wait. I think I can figure that one out. On this trip I bought bathmats and more pieces for my grandson’s wooden train set. The aforementioned drill and a package of drinking straws. Oh, my daughter declared that they weren’t trying any longer, since the straws were just called “soda.” Seems on the nosey, but not bad.

 

So we got to pack up our huge blue shopping bags with things I needed and some I didn’t, and made one last stop before checking out. The market.

 

Hey, I can’t leave the place without at least two bags of Swedish fish!

 

New Couch!

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At last I’m getting a new couch. Couch and loveseat, actually. Meanwhile, I feel like I’m living with a college couch. Here’s the story. I’m waiting for my new couches, which had to be ordered. No biggie. I was told they would take a week or so. And instead of using our old couches while we wait, we’re using a daybed from the guest room.

New Couch!

New Couch!

This daybed is a pretty little white iron thing, but it looks ridiculous in my family room. It’s a step away from a futon. I told my husband all we need now is a bookcase made out of cinder blocks and planking. He suggested milk crates, lol.

If you follow me on Facebook, you know the kids moved out the other day. They’d been living with us for over two years, with their two cats and my adorable grandson. No tears, though. They moved about 8 miles away which is terrific. Now, here’s why I have no couches.

We gave the couches to them. They needed couches. These were only a little worn and their cats had used one side as scratching posts a few time. There was no way we were going to get leather while those clawed kitties still lived in the house. Our fat, lazy clawed kitty Spike should leave the new couches alone. He’s never scratched the others. But just so he knows, I’ll be watching.

Oh, and the couches are coming tomorrow!

Jingle All The Way!

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I ran at night again, wearing bells so I would jingle all the way! Our little “town” had its winter festival over the weekend, but I didn’t get a chance to explore the booths. As it was, the snow machine broke so there was no snow. Oh, did I mention we live in Central Florida? The promise of snow is a really big thing. So the snow was a no-show. But the main attraction for me wasn’t the snow or the ice or the slides. No. It was the 5K run to benefit the high school cross country team. And guess what? I took first place in my age and gender!

Harmony Christma5K!

Harmony Christma5K!

Now, this is my first anything in any race ever. My pace isn’t blistering by any means. It’s right around 10 minutes per mile. I’m psyched about that, though. Considering when I started running a year ago it was closer to 14! But back to the night run.

We started from the town center and headed out toward the far lake. Just like I do for my longer runs. It’s really weird to run it at night, though. The race started at 6 and it was dark. Really dark. We have those darn dark-sky compliant streetlights that really don’t cast much light on the road, either. But, with so many people running with so many bells tied to them getting lost wasn’t a problem!

I had bells on my head, wearing a silly elf hat. Bells on my shoes, courtesy of the organizers. It was a lot of fun. We hung around later for the awards, but I was certain I wasn’t going to get a darn thing. I was stunned. First place among women 50 and over! Yes, I’m 50. But I was a whole two minutes faster than the chick who came in behind me so ha!

I’m really proud of my daughter, though. She took first in her age, first overall for women over 18 and third over-over-all! She’s my coach, by the way. And she’s tough, all 100 pounds of her.

So I run now. I run in races. I win races. Jingle all the way, baby!

Freezer Update, Day 3

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I think I fixed my freezer! It was a mystery for a while there. Why was there a puddle on the floor in front of the refrigerator every now and then? Was ice falling out of the in-the-door thingie? That’s happened before. I also had a dog that used the water dispenser like he was a hamster. Swear to God.

Tuffy. He was no hamster.

Tuffy. He was no hamster.

Finally I thought to open the freezer side of the side-by-side and I saw there was a sheet of ice on the floor of the compartment. WTF?

After reading extensively online to try to figure out the problem, it seemed that the defrost drain on the freezer side of my fridge was clogged. How? Who knows. It wasn’t draining at all, so water would pool, spill over and freeze inside. Like a glacier. And if I didn’t chip and remove it twice a day? Water on the floor. Grr.

Several sites I found online said to remove the back of the fridge. Guess what? I couldn’t access the drain pan from back there. I did bend back the cardboard panel–seriously, cardboard? So glad the fridge cost over 2K nine years ago–and saw just where I had to get to. Oh, I also vacuumed out enough cat hair to knit another cat so it wasn’t a total loss.

Luckily I finally found one thread that actually showed which panel to remove and how to fix it! From the front. Of course I had to remove everything inside the freezer. Racks and drawers and stuff. And to remove the panel I had to fold myself and cram inside to work the screws out. Have you seen the episode of I Love Lucy when she puts herself in the trunk? Yep, that was me.

Hot water, turkey baster, plastic spatula to chip and remove all the ice, screwdriver to jam and poke at the clogged and frozen drain. Guess what?

It seems to be working! I check it obsessively, par for me, and so far so good. The best news?

I only cut myself once.