I have posted for sale ads in so many locations in an effort to lighten our load before our move. It’s gotten so bad, I have to consult a “cheat sheet” when someone responds to an ad to remember what it was I said about the item, and how much I asked for it.
A very nice woman drove the two hours from Sacramento yesterday to look at our portable dishwasher. When she arrived, the dishwasher was in the garage with the door still half open from the cleaning I’d given the inside earlier. After circling the machine, I would presume to check for dents or scratches, she inquired, “Does it have any extras I should know about”. As it had adjustable racks and shelves, I reached down to fully open the door to show her how everything worked. A small whiskered black and white face looked up from her napping spot towards the back of the lower rack and offered a welcoming “meow”. I explained that the feline in the bin option had only been available in the 2004 models, but was soon discontinued due to hair cloggage issues occurring during the rinse cycle. Deciding to forego the feline option and rather opt for the pared down model, money was exchanged and my dishwasher was loaded on her truck. This, as it turns out, was an excellent choice on her part because we found out from the vet later on in the day that our foundling is carrying, if you will. And, by this I do not mean her NRA membership card is current. Ach. Do you suppose it’s the word “patsy” boldly stamped boldly in red letters on my forehead that alerts animals that I’m a registered sucker for a furry sob story? Sigh.
Informing my mother of the latest sale, silence ensued on the other end of the phone. “Hello?” It seemed she was under the impression that I’d sold the dishwasher in our kitchen and that we were now without one. What would I do? Would my hands actually have to submerge in soapy water and scrub the food off manually? Aren’t there people for that? I adore my mother, but “hothouse flower” is what she calls herself, and truly she does her level best to live up to the name.
In the past I’ve occupied two homes not equipped with a dishwasher, as well as one with no garbage disposal. Truthfully, I would pick the garbage disposal over the dishwasher if I could only choose one. That, was really annoying. In France, when we visited my other half’s mother in 2002, I was fascinated to find that in her building a garbage disposal was simply an opening in the sink where you deposited your food scraps. After being deposited they were propelled by gravity to a community bin in the basement to be later emptied and disposed of. Voila! If I redeemed the money I’ve shelled out on repairs for mine, or replacement costs, I could upgrade my housing search on Yahoo and add a third bedroom and a swimming pool. From what I understand these are no longer acceptable in France due to hygienic issues, so no point in tearing your disposal out and giving it a go.
One huge benefit to renting, as opposed to owning your home, is that when something goes wrong in a rental, you pick up the phone and somebody is sent out to repair it. Your wallet remains in your purse unopened. When you own, you look around the room and find you are the only person who gives a damn that you’re standing ankle-deep in two feet of soapy water your new dishwasher has just deposited on your carpet, and, if you wish to do something about the situation, you’d better have your checkbook and a pen handy before you place a call.
In my experience, if an appliance decides to go south, it’s usually ten days following the expiration date of the extended warranty. Either that, or the part that malfunctions is the one and only part not covered under the warranty still in effect. Uh-huh. In our ten years in this house we’re on our third dishwasher, our third stove, our second refrigerator, and we’ve replaced both the garbage disposals in the main kitchen twice and the one downstairs once. Our recreation room has been completely restored, done incorrectly, completely torn down, and partially restored once again, plus one ceiling has totally collapsed in the office put back in place. It’s like my kids used to say, “we must still have money, there are checks in the checkbook”. Wouldn’t it be nice if it worked that way? I’d order checks by the gross.
I remember another time, when we first moved in. Busy decorating the downstairs area, putting up pictures, etc., I noticed that suddenly the hall light wouldn’t turn on. After exhausting everything we had at our disposal to correct the situation, an electrician was summoned. On the following morning an electrical contractor and one young helper arrived. The two of them spent four hours trying to diagnose the problem. Finally unable to locate the issue, the contractor began happily working up an estimate for removing the entire wall to access the electrical system, with an assumed guarantee to syphon the last dollar from our savings account. Happily, we were informed, the total would include the $468.00 we’d already racked up. I felt better already. Just prior to giving him the okay, his apprentice made a startling discovery. It seemed someone had hung a picture over the second light switch accidentally turning it off. What? Some might argue that this was my fault. I would deny it.
In truth, until the loan is paid in full the bank owns your home, as is evident by how many foreclosures are on the books these days. Still, home ownership brings with it a kind of “warm fuzzy” feeling of security whether deeply based on reality or not.
It’s amazing what you find you can live without. Who knew, I could get along without that third colander, and that second lettuce dryer? I now have room in my cupboards for storage and haven’t given a second thought to all that I’ve already boxed up. Maybe there’s something to living less encumbered?? We shall see.
Greek-Style Green Beans in Mushroom Tomato Sauce
1 1/2 lbs. fresh green beans
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
1 yellow onion, chopped
1 cup button mushrooms, thinly sliced
1/3 cup ripe olives, sliced
1 28 oz. can diced tomtoes with juice
1 Tbsp. parsley flakes
1 tsp. dried oregano
1/2 tsp. salt
Freshly ground black pepper (2 grinds or as desired)
1/2 cup Feta cheese
Cook green beans in large pot of boiling salted water until almost tender. Remove from heat and drain. Set aside.
Heat olive oil in large deep skillet. Saute onions and garlic for about 5 mins. until onion is translucent. Add tomatoes, mushrooms, olives, oregano, salt, pepper and parsley flakes. Bring to boil over med. heat. Reduce heat and cook on a low boil for 10 mins. to slightly reduce sauce.
Add beans to skillet. Cook 8-10 mins. until beans are tender. Sprinkle with Feta cheese. Serves 6.