Murphy’s pulled his bag of tricks out of the closet again this week and is busy throwing his weight around. For the first time this summer towards the end of the week our temperatures are set to soar into the low 100’s. Up until this point, our air conditioner has only been called into use from time to time, but when the heat moves into those types of numbers we leave it running. This morning I woke up to our upstairs thermostat displaying a message reading “bAt Lo”. In thermostatese I believe that means new batteries so, I pulled several out, put on my glasses to see which way to insert them, and voila. “bAt Lo”. Really? Sigh. Okay coffee first, fiddle with the useless piece of, ummmm, later.
Both eyes open after a caffeine infusion, I approached the small mechanism again with optimism which, after removing the batteries, reinserting them, swearing at it in Yiddish (used to work for my boyfriend’s dad) and resisting the urge to rip the bloody thing off the wall and throw it over the railing into the pool, was soon replaced by frustration.
I logged onto my laptop and decided to search the web. What a wonderful gift the Internet is. Anything you want or need right at your fingertips. Last week I located a part for our refrigerator which the repairman charged us forty plus dollars for last year, found it for $14.00 with free shipping and installed it myself. It’s a miracle of technology. Before that I found a manual for the sprinkler system controls, a unit I might add that was installed just as the Egyptians were inserting the last stone in the pyramids, and figured out how to program the damnable thing. One thing I have learned about our advanced technology, however, is by the time I buy something, take it home, and remove it from the package it will be obsolete, if not before.
In the scheme of things I have noticed over the years that things have a habit of going wrong at precisely the worst time possible for them to do so. Our automatic pool cleaner, for example, hummed happily along all fall sucking up leaves and chomping on dirt. It buzzed merrily through the winter months never missing a bug or ignoring a moth. Then at the first hint of warm weather, it rolled over on its back, took one last gulp of chlorine, and bit the big one. If we were staying in the house that would be one thing, but the fact that we are paying to have things fixed that we will not have the pleasure of using makes the pill a little harder to swallow.
When we first put the house on the market the copper tubing behind the refrigerator for the ice maker sprang a leak, a major leak, but went unseen. I began to notice that my slippers were sticking on our wood flooring. Hmmmm. I mentioned it casually and mopped it regularly and pretty soon it began to bubble. Oh-oh. I believe I’ve written about this before but I went downstairs to get something on the second floor and found a bubble that looked like an xray of a pregnant elephant’s uterus hanging from the ceiling. Turning to run like mad to get my other half I heard before I saw the entire ceiling unload on the desk, the carpet, the bed, bringing along with it enough water to successfully launch the Ark. The Money Pit. One of my favorite movies BTW, because it is humorously based on what is so true about home ownership. If you haven’t seen it you must. Tom Hanks and Shelly Long.
Two weeks ago I was turning the faucet in the kitchen and it came off and water shot up like a fountain in a glorious courtyard in Rome. Fortunately, it couldn’t damage the flooring any further because it has now separated from the baseboard from the last leak and will have to be replaced. Walking across it these days is like traversing a sticky trampoline. Good God.
So, still concentrating on the thermostat when my other half left tracks along the hall towards the coffee maker, I appraised him of the new doings. Also needing to be fortified by the bean of the gods, he had a nice strong cuppa, also stuck on the glasses, and repeated exactly the same steps I had earlier. Now, he did this a) because he’s a man and assumes that I couldn’t possibly have done it correctly, and, b) because he’s a man and after the vacuum bag debacle of yesterday, he knew I would not say “I told you so”. In either case, “bAt Lo” still toyed with us on the screen.
I suggested that we pull the one from the second floor and replace this one as they do not run concurrently. Nothing. Okay, another bad idea from the blonde. Shortly thereafter I heard him also swearing at it, this in language I could fully comprehend and then like a miracle he came up with an idea. Why don’t we take the one from the second floor and exchange it with this one? What? Genius. What didn’t I think of that?
I’m making fun but I could never have made it work. I almost electrocuted myself with a sticky situation once between myself, a kitchen knife, and a Kirby vacuum thus developing a very healthy, and nearly paranoiac appreciation of the power of the amp. Under no circumstances will I touch anything that might be hot, speaking electrically naturally.
Well hey, it worked. Yea. Men are wonderful beings. They round us out in our soft spots and hopefully we do in theirs. It’s a nice pairing, if often confusing, but don’t despair, in the long run you will find it often becomes even more confusing. Oh.
These potatoes are just ridiculous. They are what I refer to as my “company potatoes” and if they weren’t so full of goodies I could eat them regularly. It is impossible to take a picture that does justice to the first forkful you place in your mouth, but they are awesome. A friend of mine gave me this recipe about eight years ago after a dinner party at her house where I hovered over the dish with a fork yelling “step away from the dish”. Give it a try, if you will and let me know the verdict.
Company Potato Casserole
10 medium potatoes, peeled and quartered
1 pkg. 8 oz. cream cheese, cubed
1 cup 8 oz. sour cream
1/4 Cup milk
2 Tbsp. butter, plus 1 Tbsp.
1 Tbsp. dried parsley flakes
1 1/4 tsp. garlic salt
1/8 tsp. black pepper
1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper
1/4 tsp. paprika
Peel potatoes. Place in large saucepan and cover with water. Bring to boil over med-high heat. Reduce heat and continue cooking for 20 mins. or until potatoes are fork tender. Drain well. (Note: To cook my potatoes uniformly, I large dice them before boiling.)
Mash potatoes. Add cream cheese, sour cream, milk, 2 Tbsp. butter, parsley, pepper, cayenne, and garlic salt. Beat with hand mixer until smooth.
Put in 2 quart baking dish coated with cooking spray. Dot with remaining 1 Tbsp. butter. Sprinkle with paprika. Bake, uncovered, at 350 degrees for 40-45 minutes until heated through and lightly browned. Serves 6
These flowers never cease to amaze me. My other half bought them for me for Easter years ago and since then they come to visit in the spring every year.