Category Archives: Home Improvement

WHAT? Lettuce is NOT suppose to freeze in fridge!

This is news to me. I thought everything that was in the back of the fridge is suppose to freeze – – cheese, veggies, lettuce, everything and anything. I was reading The Haggler, the New York Times column written by David Segal, and I came across a Whirlpool update: ” I wanted to let you know that the new refrigerator was delivered on Tuesday. And it sounds like a normal fridge! Also, I put a bag of lettuce toward the back of the fridge and it didn’t freeze.

WHAT?!? Is this is a joke? I had my own nightmare of a fridge and after a year of constant repairs (the water dispenser kept freezing) I finally connected with a wonderful helpful rep on the phone and she actually had it replaced. I wanted to write a nice letter to her supervisor but I was afraid they would fire her for replacing the fridge . . .  since absolutely no one else I spoke with would do anything except send a repair person over with lots of sticky tape! Read my February 23, 2011 post for details:   https://thesommertimes.wordpress.com/tag/kitchenaid-nightmare/

I can’t even begin to tell you how many veggies, cheeses, and just about anything in the back of my fridge has to be thrown out because it all freezes if I leave it in the fridge for more than a day. So I read the column last week, went shopping, bought some chicken cutlets to stir fry, put the package in the bottom drawer and by the next day it was frozen. And when I say bottom drawer I don’t mean the freezer! I still dream of trashing my Kitchenaid fridge and I’ve talked several of my friends out of buying one . . . but, probably, not enough to make a difference.

Spread the word — And the word is NOT Kitchenaid.

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Filed under Food, Home Improvement, Long Island Living, Real life

Never enough hours in the day for shredding

My shredder can’t keep up with me. It pooped out on me again. I’ve been shredding for hours and the shredder can’t take it. It is now on break, once again. I don’t know how long this will last but there is nothing I can do about it. I just have to wait until it is ready to shred again.

I’m trying not to read each document I shred but I’m afraid I’ll shred some important piece of information. Or, maybe even a credit voucher that I forgot about and can’t be replaced — like the one I threw out years ago. I was cleaning out the files — just like I am doing today — no shredder then, just a big garbage bag — and threw out an airline voucher. Can’t remember how much it was for but it was from an airline that was going under and this precious piece of paper was all there was to prove that I was able to use a credit towards another flight somewhere somehow. Well, as precious as that piece of paper was, it went right into the garbage and that is probably why I save so much crap now. I’m pretty sure tomorrow I am going to need one of those pieces of paper that I shredded today.

While the shredder is on coffee break maybe I should try to clean off the dining room table. This is where my organizational skills really kick in. I go through all the papers on the table and make various piles. I’ll throw something out and I will probably move a few things to the kitchen counter to be brought downstairs to be filed (or shredded.) Then I will take the new piles of stuff and stack em up to make one pile. I will then take the pile and move it to the other end of the table. Voila! Done.

Hmm, break over — time to shred.

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Filed under Empty nesting, Home Improvement

Lots of Eggies, Plenty of Painting, a Bit of Rain, and Janet’s First Time

A busy Memorial Day Weekend. Lots of  omelettes were made, the deck railing was primed, the gazebo is up, Rachel surprised us, and Janet arrived. Ended up with a friend and family filled bbq ending with a dose of South Park — which, by the way, was Janet’s first time (watching South Park, that is.)

Where's Vicki?

 

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Filed under Family, Food, Gardening, Home Improvement, Long Island Living, Weather

Cleaning With Ezra

I am exhausted. Steven, my nephew, came back today to finish cleaning up the laundry room. Filled up two vacuum cleaner bags and tons of garbage bags. The living room is filled with give-away stuff. I want to say we did it but it is more like he than we.

I picked Steven up from the train today and drove right to Home Depot to pick up a steel shelf. It weighed 60 pounds and I couldn’t lift it the other day so I waited for him.

I tried to keep an eye on him while he went through everything in the laundry room because his first choice is always, “I think we should throw it out.

I kept offering him food. “Wanna take a break and eat something,” I ask in between wheezing (from all the dust.) “No thanks, Aunt Vicki, I want to get this done.” Damn, who says this? Doesn’t everybody want a break? He wouldn’t stop til it was all done. We found all my windup toys — can’t get rid of them. Boxes and boxes of old pictures — can’t rid of those either. But there was plenty of stuff that we (he) did get rid of. Trying not to think of it — getting a headache.

Feel like I have to rent a van just to donate all this stuff. Thinking I should check through it because I know that there is something in that pile that Hannah wants, needs, and will probably never use again.

I can’t wait to clean out the garage!!!! Oh, by the way, that’s Steven Ezra.

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Filed under Empty nesting, Family, Home Improvement, Long Island Living

Die, Dandelions, Die

I went outside to paint a small sample on the side of the house and that’s when I saw them . . . all of them. they were big and happy. Dandelions, happy healthy dandelions . . . all over the place. Well, I’m happy to report that I snapped the tap on every one of them.

happy no more!

I was panicking because I spoke to my painter and he wants to start prepping the house this week. Wanted a turquoise color but think I like the wythe blue. Can’t seem to find a turquoise I like. Decision making time. More on this after I get Drew feedback.

Would you still visit me?

Ran into Laurie at Pat’s Farm this afternoon. We’ve been veggie buddies for years. We were both part of a CSA. Every year we would sign up for weekly shares at Golden Earthworm. We took turns picking up the shares. Every year I say it will be my last. I love the veggies but one little piece of broccoli does not a meal make. Potatoes we don’t eat and I always need to fill in lots around the edges.

This year I didn’t renew. I hope I won’t be sorry. Laurie signed up. Hope she doesn’t start emailing me during the season to tell me how good the arugula is, or the beets, or lettuce, or ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhh . . . what did I do? I’m going to have to find a good local farmers market.

Laurie was buying nuts and yogurt today. She was looking for lemon yogurt. I told her about the chocolate yogurt I buy once in a while in Trader Joe’s. And then she said, “Have you tried the mint yogurt from Trader Joe’s? It’s the best.” I’ve been thinking about it all day but I was nowhere near Trader Joe’s — and with gas over $4.00 a gallon I like to consolidate my travels. Maybe Wednesday for mint yogurt.

I’m mentioning all this because today I bought an impulse item — mint chocolate chip gum. I don’t know what got into me. Must’ve been all that talk about mint and chocolate. I was on line at the store and I saw New Extra Dessert Delights, sugarfree gum. I opened up the packet to this: Have Your Dessert & Chew it Too! I’m chewin’ but this ain’t no dessert!

My in-depth review of The Book of Mormon: Fabulous, absolutely fabulous. Best musical ever.

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Filed under Baby boomer, Family, Food, Home Improvement, Long Island Living

Everybody’s Out Bending But Me

The sun is out. I’m delivering Meals On Wheels and checking out all the house colors. Nothing worked for me. What I did notice was tons of heads popping out from all over the place — behind shrubs, cars, garbage cans . . . It seems like everyone was out weeding, planting, raking, etc. Me? I took an Aleve this morning. Still recouping from Monday night seder when my back failed on me. I really need to get out and pull up all those dandelions. I love to feel the snap of that tap root. I guess I’ll wait til the next sunny day which, according to the weather report, will be on Tuesday. Back should be better by then.

I’m around 80 dollars into paint samples for the exterior of my house. I started out with red/purple.pink, gold, tan, khaki, and am now buying blue/green paints. I’m thinking of turquoise. Today I bought a sample that might be the one. It’s more green than blue. I’ll show it to Drew tomorrow.

I’m thinking of cutting back these daily entries. It’s not hard to write 300 words every day but I’m already boring myself. Sometimes I write a little something and then go back and add words just to get to my quota. And seriously now, who cares but me? So I guess I can change all the rules.

New rules: I’ll write at least 5 days a week and there is no word limit.

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Filed under Everyday Woman, Home Improvement, Long Island Living, Real life

Whipping With Scallions

Barely made it through the seder last night. My leg has been hurting for days and Sunday I felt a twinge in my back — only the right side. Sometime in the afternoon the day of the seder my back went out. I took aleve, I iced my back. I didn’t know how I was going to make it through the night. I think I mentioned this in yesterday’s post.

Well, I barely made it through the night. Didn’t think I would be able to get up off the couch by time everyone left. Hannah did a lot of the cooking yesterday. I walked around the table and placed the silverware — that was about all I could handle.

The seder was fun. We Skyped, read, we sang, we drank, we whipped each other silly with scallions, and we ate. The Moroccan carrot swiss chard salad was a hit. Next year we will have to triple the recipe and, as usual, Cousin Paulie’s cheesecake was loved by all. Hardly anything left the next day. I was fading quickly throughout the meal.

Tanya and Thera have become the new Pam and Jan. Jumping up to help even before I get out of my chair. Rachel took forever to eat. I think the dishwasher was running and all the food was put away before she took her last bite.

I’m tired and have to lay down now and ice my back and already it is late. Probably take another aleve to get me through the night. Made it through the second seder at Eli and Jenny’s. Took lots of pictures with my new camera. Did I mention my new camera that I think I got for my birthday? It’s a Canon G12 and I think I like it. Still small enough to fit in my pocket.

Damn, Drew’s relaxing on the couch. Gotta go annoy him.

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Filed under Family, Home Improvement, Long Island Living

Ding Dong the Shed is Gone

They took the old shed away, but first they had to empty the truck to make room for the pieces:

Random pickings?

Every year I say the same thing, “I have to get rid of this awful rusty leaky shed.” And every year I also say, “Damn, I should have ordered a shed. Now it’s too late, the perennials are popping.” Well, this year is different. I finally ordered it and I’m nervous. Did I pick the right color? Size? I’m looking over at the corner and now I’m thinking I should have ordered a smaller shed. Maybe a different color? Did I really need the window?  Eh, whatever it is it will be new. Right? Did I even need another shed in that spot. Maybe a vegetable garden would have been better. Ahhh, enough!

More importantly, what’s with the squirrel? Well, this morning I took a hammer and started banging on the plywood covering the crawl space. Hannah stood outside to see if a squirrel ran out in the yard. Nope, nothing. It is very quiet in my yard. I don’t see any happy playful squirrels dancing in the sun.

All yesterday I was thinking of elaborate ways to tell if there is a squirrel coming in and out of the opening. Whatever it was that I thought of pretty much flew out the window when I had to crawl on the ground and stick my head under the cantilever. (Am I using this word correctly?)  I could barely reach the two openings. So I took two white plastic garbage bags, crumpled them up, and shoved them up each hole.

Here’s what it looks like:

garbage bag plugs

I already checked tonight and they are untouched. So far, so good. No traps out tonight. If the plastic plugs are untouched tomorrow, OMG, I think I may have stumbled on a new career — squirrel trapper. I’ve learned so much about the ways of a squirrel these past few weeks. Maybe I should calm down and take it easy. I just want this to be over. Close it up and get on with it.

Tomorrow my new shed is being installed. The contractor is coming over to fix the leak by my front door and fix the air conditioning vents that the squirrels destroyed.

Hey, wait a minute  —  March 20 at 7:21 pm EST — Happy Spring! (Did I hear snowflakes in the forecast this week?)

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Filed under Home Improvement, Long Island Living, Squirrel Trouble

I Want a Little Camera I Can Love

I’ve fallen out of  love with my Canon Powershot  . . . it’s way too slow. I’d like to get a camera before we leave for Seattle but I can’t figure out what’s important. Size? Changeable lenses?  I’m pretty sure size matters. My camera should be a necessary item —  like my wallet. Need to have it, stick it in a pocket or purse before I run out the door. Not like an umbrella – should I bring it or not? Will I need it and who wants to carry it? If it’s too big I know I won’t carry it around. But I will wish I had it whenever I didn’t.

BREAKING NEWS: Went down to my laundry room and saw a piece of out-of-place insulation. Pushed it in and casually banged on the panel that seals the crawl space and heard a shuffling — and then I saw Stanley stick his head up and out of the crawl space. Damn, he’s still around. I was really hoping that he found his way out. He doesn’t seem as active — don’t hear any chewing. I called Arrow and they said they could send a specialist over to assess the situation for a few hundred dollars (which would go towards whatever it is they recommend.) So I called my guy and once again, we set traps in and out of the crawl space. An hour later I heard him scurrying in the dining room ceiling. Is it possible that he is getting in and out? Is it possible that there are two?

Well, enough squirrel talk. Going to dinner with Sylvia soon. This morning Drew asked where we were going for dinner. I wasn’t sure — probably meet at Borders in Farmingdale and eat at the pizza place around the corner, Bellagio Pizza. “Why don’t you go to Croxley’s or . . . ,” he rattles on. “Did I ask you for suggestions? No, I did not!” My Drew is always full of advice.

When Sylvia and I meet, it’s not just about the food, although good food is a plus. It’s about a place to eat and chat and not be rushed. A place to laugh and discuss important issues. “What color should I paint my house?” I’ve already packed the paint chips. Wonder if she’ll give me some good suggestions. We’ve got a big night planned. Bed, Bath and Beyond, Borders, and dinner. tired just thinking about it.

Better nap and get ready for my big night.

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Filed under Empty nesting, Everyday Woman, Home Improvement, Long Island Living, Squirrel Trouble

I Am Not a Joiner — But I Do My Share of Volunteering

I found Jack through a phone call to LIMA. And I found the Human Bean Coop through Jack. I was looking for a food coop like the one I shopped at in San Francisco. It seemed the hippy healthy thing to do.

My dad was sick . . . well, that’s an understatement. He had kidney cancer and we were all searching for the miracle cure. I went the way of macrobiotics. I took cooking classes with Pam and Jan, always making sure to mention my nut and sesame allergies before signing up.  Jack said it would be no problem. My first class was in his kitchen. There were around 6 or 8 of us sitting around the kitchen counter. He was making a cauliflower tahini sauce in the blender. (Ah, did he use tahini?) Then he emptied the blender and, without rinsing it, he filled it with ingredients for the next dish. I felt like one big itchy hive. I couldn’t eat anything and asked for my money back. He said that was not his policy. Apparently eating this way does not make you a good person (or a smart one.)  What good came of it? He told me of JoAnne’s Farm Stand and the Human Bean Coop. So you could say that was why the divine spirit led me to Jack.

I volunteered and shopped at the coop and I started cooking my own macro food. I felt great. Didn’t get those 4 o’clock sleepy blues. My dad didn’t fare so well. He died within a year of his diagnosis.

I stocked shelves, priced items, and brought toddler hannah along to help. Then I volunteered to put together a newsletter. This involved interacting with other people. I went to the board meetings. Always arguing. I stopped volunteering, stopped shopping there, and soon after, they closed up shop. (No, I can’t take blame for that.)

The next newsletter I edited was the PTA Post. I was a good mommy. I was involved. I helped out during pizza Fridays, and worked the plant and book sales. And for most of my years spent as a Camp Avenue mommy I edited the PTA Post (with the help of my friend Pat S.) And because of this I felt I had to go to all the PTA meetings. Why is it that some people take this time to bring up an issue that has only to do with their child and they want an answer now. Zzzzzzzzz, boring. Some one needs to slam down that gavel and say, “Not now, make an appointment.” Doesn’t work that way. Everyone argues, “I think we should donate the extra twenty dollars to the Save the Whales Fund.” “What? No way, we need to buy  a new book for my child’s class” “How about buying a gift for the crossing guard . . . ” This could go on and on and on. Hey mommies and daddies, aren’t we all here for the children. We should all be on the same page. I did not want to be there. It had to end. It did. My girls were on their way to middle school.

After that I unwittingly volunteered to edit the temple newsletter. But first I went to a few sisterhood meetings. Nope, not for me. Then somehow, I don’t know how this happened but I received a call from Betsy B., “How would you like to put together the message?”  For some reason I thought she was referring to writing short classifieds or something. “Yeah, sure.” The next day I am given a big box full of old stuff. Old newsletters, old pictures, old articles. What have I done? I went to a few board meetings.  I didn’t want to be there. I’d rather be fooled into thinking everyone liked each other and got along.

Done with that! Sleeping through the night. Then the phone call from Gerda, “Vicki dear, the hort society is looking for someone to take over the newsletter. You would be perfect. What do you think? We’ll get to see each other at the meetings. It will be so much fun.”  She thought it would be a good way to get me to meetings so we could hang together. Ahh, an organization in need. I thought about it and figured it would keep me involved in horticulture, so why not? I became editor and then a member. So what happened to Gerda? Apparently she was too busy being a grandma to care about me.

So now I am done with the LIHS newsletter and I have replaced it with my daily blog. Please don’t make me join anything!

Dinner tonight: Last night’s leftovers and a fresh eggplant dish.

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Filed under Baby boomer, Everyday Woman, Home Improvement