Sometimes, as I’ve said before, life is such that you just have to laugh. As we are planning for a move and a downsize from our present home, I’ve been sorting and deciding what to keep, what to sell, and what to donate. There are three floors in the house. The upper, or first floor as we refer to it, is where we spend 95% of our time, with the second floor being reserved more for guests or entertaining and below that is the third floor which is really a mother-in-law unit with a full kitchen, bath and play room. On that floor we had a nearly new portable dishwasher which I decided to sell, and did just that on Craig’s List this past weekend for $150.00. Whoo-hoo.
Murphy has been toying with me lately in a big way. For every step I take forward he grabs a hold of my leg and drags me two back. I went down to the third floor yesterday to pull meat out of the freezer and found a puddle of water on the floor where we had disconnected the dishwasher. Oh-oh. Since we bought the house we’ve been relying on a local handyman for jobs of this sort, so I placed a quick call and alerted him to the situation. Mack is most probably in his 80’s but still firing on all pistons. An old ex-hippy, as he describes himself, with a past of overindulgence in both Jack Daniel’s and a joint or two, he has since found the Lord and traded in his shot glass and bong for a strong cup of coffee and a handshake at the local AA meetings. He has a kind heart and an old soul, and reminds me of a person who has made some serious mistakes in the past and is doing his best to make up for them in the present. I’m just saying.
Our house is built on the side of a rather steep hill. There is access to the third floor on the outside of the house via a long slanted driveway that looks to me to be about a 7.5 grade. I actually had Thanksgiving one year on the bottom level and although well prepared made the trip up and down so many times that I felt I needed to add 911 on my speed dial, and make sure my organ donor card was current.
Mack is a lean man, slightly bent but flexible, and probably weighs in at about 170 pounds, work boots in place. Dressed in a tank top and safari shorts with a Bwana hat he strapped on his tool belt and headed down the hill. Concerned, I watched out the window as with each step his pace was increasing to the point that I thought he was surely going to break into a dead run and overrun the platform at the bottom and be propelled towards the marina. I know about this, because of the Thanksgiving I mentioned above. I bought four sets of inexpensive dishes in fall colors, to handle the extra guests. All boxed, I got the brilliantly blonde idea of hauling them down the grade on the dolly. The dolly was the brilliant part, putting it behind me instead of in front of me was the blonde part. At the midpoint, it started to catch up with me, and just past the second floor it passed me completely. With me holding on for dear life it picked up speed and flew down the remainder of the hill depositing boxes of dishes and me at points along the way. Jeez.
Surprisingly, no dishes were broken and no bones, but don’t try this at home. Mack made the trip down and back up without the need to file an insurance claim and announced that he couldn’t fix the problem because it was copper wire and Mack doesn’t do copper. It appeared we needed a specialist which at best adds up to around $85.00/hr. Since the only thing we’re going to enjoy about our home in two to three months is our last view of it in the rear view mirror, this was not great news. Let’s do the math here. I got $150.00 for the dishwasher and it’s going to cost me $450.00 to repair the pipes. Hmmm. I will look at it with a glass half full attitude and say it’s now only $300.00 because I’ve banked the money from the sale. Uh-huh, yup, that’s almost working for me.
People are staying in the work force longer these days, and I’m not sure I think it’s a bad thing. Perhaps it keeps them in the mainstream and vital. Not that I’m discounting traveling all over the world wouldn’t be an excellent way to spend your retirement, if, you have the money. These days that “if” is capitalized, underlined, and has an exclamation point behind it. Unfortunately, most of us do not, so keeping your foot in the door not be so bad.
This reminds me of a gentleman who game to fix our pool liner last year. He was recommended by our pool supply clerk. I opened the door to find a balding man in his late eighties wearing emerald green coveralls and carrying a briefcase so old it could have been a prop in a Charlie Chaplin movie. Bearing a striking resemblance to the Wizard of Oz, I half expected his briefcase to contain a brain, a heart and a dose of courage. After being shown the pool and apprised of the problem, he opened his valise, removed some bottles for water samples, and after testing them stripped down to his bathing suit and dove in the pool. After many trips underwater to the drain he identified and fixed our problem without even getting winded. Impressive.
Anyhow, since I don’t have a boarding pass for places warm and tropical, I am cooking for the weekend and doing laundry. I know, I know, life on the edge. Here’s a great recipe for tortellini salad. I’m breaking out all my summer recipes as soon fall will be poking its nose in the door.
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Zesty Tortellini Salad
3 1/2 cups frozen cheese tortellini (tri-colored if possible-just for asthetics)
4 Roma tomatoes, chopped
1/2 red onion, chopped
1/4 cup green pepper, chopped
1 3.8 oz. can sliced ripe olives
1 ripe avocado, chopped
1/2 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
1/2-3/4 cup Newman’s Lite Caesar Dressing (or your favorite)
8 1/2″ slices hard salami, chopped
salt and pepper to taste
Cook tortellini according to package directions. Drain and rinse in cold water. Combine all ingredients in large bowl. Mix well. Adjust seasoning as necessary. Refrigerate until ready to serve. Serves 6.