We bought a mini-ranch, and this blog has just gone. to. hell. Hasn’t it?
Sorry, kids, but ranch and work and commute make awesy here not so awesy-ish. Or something. See, now I’m just rambling.
Where was I? Oh, right, I had not yet begun had I?
Begun what? You ask.
Today’s post, which in retrospect is probably not funny but desperate times and all that…
The hubs is a machinist.
Trust me, it looks like it’s random sitting up there by itself, that statement. But it’s important to the story. Or maybe I’m bragging.
Definitely one of those things.
We have been unpacking and sorting and decorating the ranch for elebenty-hunnert months now, and in one of the guest bedrooms we were missing bedside tables.
Tired of hearing guests curse whenever they went to either turn on a lamp, or lay their phone/keys/wands on the nightstand only to find there were none, we decided to buy some.
Only here’s the thing, we were adamant about re-purposing an old set.
Do you have any idea how hard it is to find just the right set of old nightstands that aren’t covered in Scooby-Doo stickers, have things growing in the drawers, are missing a leg, or have been painted over so many times they are collapsing under the weight of the paint?
You know what, never mind. That isn’t even really what this post is about.
Suffice it to say it’s hard to find the right nightstands. Also, we did…after looking for six months under every Flea Market rock in the land (or at least the land we live near), we found two gorgeous tables. We also scored big on these solid wood babies, because it was approximately the surface-of-the-sun hot that day, and the poor vendor at the flea market booth was literally melting in front of our eyes – no shit, I’m not exaggerating (much) here..he was over six feet tall when we first spotted his tables. By the time we’d negotiated price, he was only five foot three. The rest of him was pooling at his feet.
We got them home, and then proceeded to place the set of gorgeous lamps the previous homeowners had left us on the tables.
Except, one of the lamps was missing the whazzit that you use to turn the switch on. It had the stem part – the part made of machined glass that will cut your fingers to ribbon if you can latch onto it , which you can’t so you have to either unplug the lamp every time you want to turn it off or keep a pair of pliers on the table so your guests don’t require stitches. But you see, pliers really aren’t in my decorating scheme and unplugging the lamp is just too much work.
In steps the hubs…the machinist who tells me he can make a “knurled knob out of black metalkote”.
The next day he does in fact bring home a knob-thingy. And it’s black. And it doesn’t fit.
“Well, I was guessing,” he says, “I thought it was a 256, but it’s gotta be a 440”
“Clearly” I said, haughtily. “You should have asked me. I coulda told you the standard 256 won’t work on these. Ya gotcher non-standard 256, but that’s risky. Idagone with the 440 from the git-go.” I said.
“You don’t have a clue what I’m talking about, do you?” He said, smugly…and right-ly.
And, the next day he brought home the 440 and it fit like a glove.
Of course, I could have told him that if he’d of just asked me in the first place.
Elebenty hunnert years ago a little movie called “The Wizard of Oz” was made.
Almost as many years ago a young girl sat in front of a movie screen, transfixed.
Suddenly, the chaos of her world could all be left behind if she could only get somewhere over the rainbow.
There a magical land, peopled with magical folks, would be singing and sunshine.
Well, most of them anyway. The rest should watch out for houses. I’m just sayin…
The world of Oz was ordered, and beautiful, and kind, and a deep yearning was fulfilled in the end. And, home was everything it should be – soft and warm and safe and filled with love.
The little girl in front of the screen longed for a home like that. So much so, that she was convinced if she got some ruby slippers and clicked her heels together, the magic would sweep her away to a land where everything was lemon drops and dreams.
The little girl grew up, as little girls are wont to do, but the magic of Oz never left her. In times of trouble, she’d dream of the land over the rainbow.
When she was a young woman, the girl married a man as kind and big-hearted as the Wizard himself, and in time he made all her dreams come true, including this which was waiting for her when she got home from work last Thursday…proving that sometimes the man behind the curtain is great and powerful.
And when I told you about my lifelong love affair with a mixer?
Yeah, well last week this happened in my kitchen.
Miss Belle, Everyone.
Everyone, Miss Belle.
She’s was waiting for me when I got home from work one day last week. A surprise from my husband.
I’m in love.
Sunday I made an apple-spice cake with cream cheese frosting with Miss Belle, and it was yummy, moist, gooey and delish.
I think Miss Belle and I will be very happy together, and I know my husband spoils me absolutely rotten. I’m a lucky gal.
I remember watching my grandma’s fancy stand mixer turn out amazing breads, cakes and pies. I’d stand on a chair mesmerized by the constant motion and *whirr*whirr* sound it made.
It was thirty pounds of metal and white porcelain, a Kitchenaid by Hobart, and it was magical.
I grew up and in my
poverty frugality decided I could make do with a $10 hand mixer.
The Kitchenaid was never far from my mind, though.
Recently we finally paid off the grocery debts from feeding four teenagers for…umm…ever, and now visions of a pretty butteryummy yellow Kitchenaid stand mixer have been dancing in my head.
Naturally, I posed the question of getting one to my husband.
Hubby: How much does one of those cost?
Me: Oh, three-hundred something.
Hubby: *gasps*chokes* WHAT?
Me: Are you okay?
Hubby: Yes, I just could have sworn you said you wanted to spend $300 on a mixer.
Me: I did.
Hubby: Are you completely insane?
Me: Yes, but what does that have to do with a mixer?
Hubby: No, I mean are you insane enough to think I’d agree to spending $300 on a mixer?
And so began hubby’s endless pursuit to convince me that at $350 (as I later found out) no mixer is worth it, unless it churns out real fecking gold…by the pound.
He dug through every post, review, sale, and blurb he could about the Kitchenaid Stand Mixer.
He found it.
Apparently, when the Hobart Corporation sold it’s interest in the Kitchenaid mixer (and other items), to Whirlpool Corporation in the 1980’s something happened. And it wasn’t a good thing.
What had once been a damn-near indestructible hunk of metal and porcelain was now metal and plastic/nylon – specifically the gears – and that means it breaks.
When Hubby told me this, I had to concede that if I was going to by a stand mixer with a limited life I could buy a $100 one and be just as happy, and less likely to get stabbity when it does break, than I would be if I spent $350.
So, another sweet childhood memory and lifelong dream bites the dust.
Unless………I think I’ll see if Ican convince Hubby to put as much effort into finding a vintage working Kitchenaid stand mixer as he did in finding a reason not to buy a new one.
If you haven’t seen the movie “Date Night”, this post will not make any sense.
Come to think of it, this post may not make any sense anyway.
I blame the heat – it’s 153 degrees here in Texas – you can blame my natural tendencies towards mental leapfrog.
On the Epic Road Trip of 2012 we ate like royalty. I mean we went to every kind of restaurant, with every kind of pricing, you could imagine. The only rule we had was to not eat at a place we could go to back home – so no Chili’s or TGIF’s.
One restaurant was an extremely expensive and high-class mecca to the seafood gods in Florida. There was a ginormous saltwater tank in the lobby that wrapped around the bar area, and a piano player added to the ambience. He’d of added more if he hadn’t attempted to sing, too. As it was, though, his singing just gave us more to snark about.
The first thing I noticed was how seriously under-dressed we were for the occasion. As women glided by on gossamer cocktail-wear and the men sauntered behind looking like they’d just stepped off the pages of GQ – The Caribbean Edition, I looked first at me and then at hubby, both wearing flip-flops with him in a t-shirt and shorts and me in a sundress.
Undaunted I approached the hostess stand and the fact that the hostess’ face showed her disdain was not lost on me. It was also the reason for the following conversation:
ME: How long is the wait for two people?
HOSTESS: 1 – ½ to 2 hours.
ME: Whoa…um okay.
HOSTESS: *picks up one of those pager-thingys and starts to write down the number as she asks my name* Name?
ME: Tripplehorn, and please don’t hand me that bacteria-laden device. Can you just call our name when it comes time to seat us? We’ll be at the bar.
HOSTESS: *looking down her nose at me, but nonetheless now grasping the pager-thingy in her thumb and forefinger and holding it away from her* Umm…sure.
Hubby and I were barely able to withhold the giggle-fest as we sat at the bar and expectantly awaited a snooty hostess to come by and say “Tripplehorn?” repeatedly when it came our time to be seated.
I wish I could say we had an epic night, ala “Date Night”, but after seriously considering jumping into the tank to snag a clown fish (don’t look Nemo!) for dinner we were so hungry, we decided to eat at the bar.
We did not, however, remove our name from the list, so two hours later as we finished dessert a second snooty hostess walked through the bar and lobby repeatedly saying, “Tripplehorn? Tripplehorn, party of two?”.
We weren’t the only ones laughing.
….see us leave…at the buffet we visited during the Epic Road Trip of 2012
We all have bucket lists.
Mine consists of things like swimming with dolphins, seeing the Grand Canyon, and visiting Graceland.
You know, cool stuff.
Hubby’s bucket list is shorter, visit the ocean, fart the ‘William Tell Overture’, etc.
It’s now one item shorter.
He’s always said he wanted to feast at an all-you-can-eat lobster buffet.
Well, we found one during our road trip and boy did he feast.
When he piled the first three whole lobsters on his plate the buffet-person glared at him.
Apparently the sign that says “Take ONE lobster at a time, please” is there for a reason.
And hubby is beyond reason.
After the glare-fest he’d go back and get one lobster at a time and then send me up to get another at the same time.
Soon I noticed many eyes following us up and back, up and back, as we visited the buffet taking no notice of the other tasty items offered and zeroing in on the whole lobsters.
The only reason he ate a dozen lobsters was because he could.
He ate a dozen whole lobsters.
I wouldn’t be the least bit surprised to find on a return trip new signage that reads – “All-You-Can-Eat Lobster Buffet, Except You Crazy Texan With A Seemingly Hollow Leg”
His picture will be posted next to the sign.
He’ll be holding up two lobsters and wearing one of those silly bibs.
It’ll be a proud moment for the whole family.
….when I called hubby from the Big Box Home Improvement store to ask him a few questions about the list of nail-thingys and other fixy-thingys he asked me to pick up.
Do you realize there’s like a hundred gozillion different sizes of nails?
And the types? Fuhgeddaboudit!
He wasn’t answering the phone. That was odd.
Odd and irritating.
I was, after all, doing him a favor by getting those nail-thingys so the least he could do was answer his phone when I tried calling.
I had questions. Lots of questions.
Finally, I found what I thought were the right thingys and went home.
I walked in the front door, ready to yell at him for not answering the phone when I saw that he was standing at the kitchen sink, muttering under his breath and furiously scrubbing his hands.
“I can’t get this stuff off me!”
“What ‘stuff’ are you talking about?”
“The de-greaser,” he said and nodded in the direction of the garage where he’d been cleaning the floor with some type of solvent.
I went out there and picked up the jug of cleaner and began reading the label.
By the time I got back in the house my hands were shaking and I was sweating.
“Did you even read the label?!”
“No, but I’ve used it before.”
‘This?” I said holding the jug up in front of him as he continued to wash his hands.
“Well, no, not that, but something like that.”
I rubbed my brow.
“Honey, it says if you get this on your skin you should SEEK IMMEDIATE MEDICAL ATTENTION!”
“Now you’re just trying to scare me.”
I shoved the jug in his face, “Here, YOU read it.”
He kept scrubbing his hands.
“Were you wearing gloves?”
“Did you splash it on you or…..”
“No, I used a brush to clean the floor with it and then I was sopping up the excess with a sponge and wringing the sponge out in the bucket.”
“WITH YOUR BARE HANDS???”
Hubby stopped scrubbing and dried his hands.
“They’re sticky feeling…before, they were slimy.”
They were also shiny, red, and the tips of the fingers on his right hand were blistering and peeling.
I grabbed the phone and dialed Poison Control. The helpful “Medical Professional” on the other end strongly urged us to go to the ER…like five minutes ago.
I dragged hubby to the ER, the whole way there he’s marveling at his now stinging/burning/hurting red hands and muttering, “..they should put better warnings on the label….done this before….if I’d of just used gasoline, like when I was a kid….”
Me, I’m breaking every speed limit on the way – and where is a cop when you need one?? – and telling him that he’s just acid-washed his hands and we’ve got to neutralize the acid to stop the burning process.
The ER was another voyage to the strange and weird.
He saw three nurses before the doctor.
You know what EVERY ONE of them asked?
Two things – What did poison control tell you to do? Uh..come here, dumbass. Okay, I didn’t actually call him a “dumbass” but I wanted to.
…and…the other thing they asked?
What do you expect us to do?
I swear, visions of tackling and pummeling the entire ER staff did dance in my head for a few seconds before I managed to gain my composure and…
….stare, blankly, at the idiot nurse who had asked the question.
Maybe my “blank” stare translates to “murderous-daggers-and-flame-from-eyeballs” stare on the receiving end, because she turned pale and retreated backwards out the door and said the doctor would be right in.
The doctor knew what to do. Thank God. He has no idea how close he came.
Oddly enough, the solution is to neutralize the acid with a base (this I knew) but the coolest/strangest part is the base they use is something called “GoLightly”.
If you’ve ever had a colonoscopy, and who doesn’t love a good colonoscopy, right? Anyway, if you’ve ever had one you will recognize the name. It’s the stuff you drink to clear the plumbing prior to the big day.
Hubby had to soak his hands in this solution for twenty minutes. Then they slathered this silver-based cream on his hands and wrapped them in gauze.
He looked like he was wearing mittens.
The next day we had to soak his hands again and since they felt so much better there was no need to slather on the cream (which, we were told, would turn his hands a lovely and permanent tan color – it didn’t though) or re-apply the mittens.
His hands are still shiny – a result of stripping the epidermis and leaving the dermis exposed, much like the chemical peels women pay a fortune for at high-end salons – and the tips are kinda raw and sore. They are also swollen, but all in all he’s much better.
It coulda been a LOT worse.
So, after the ordeal I asked my husband one question.
“So, what did we learn from this?”
To which he replied,
“Next time, use gasoline.”