Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Potholder on Fire! . . . and other miscellany

My "daily living" lately hasn't provided much excitement to blog about. Think the cliché, "watching grass grow," or, more realistically, "watching printer printing."

On the way to the dentist last week for the check-up on my tooth extraction, I stopped at the grocery store in the city for a couple of items, and there was a tempting sale going on. Then I got the bad news on what I couldn't eat. Unclear was what I could eat, but nothing that might easily lodge in the tooth socket, where a bone graft is supposed to be healing and integrating.

I don't think this was one of the edibles.

Taunting me
All the while I felt like I was starving, I ate soft-boiled eggs and bananas for breakfast, and Jello chocolate pudding (sugar free), yogurt (fat free), and ice cream (fat free) for other meals. It felt like a diet of pure cholesterol and/or sugar.

I rediscovered Campbells' Cream of Tomato soup. The first sip sent me into a nostalgia flashback. I had tomato soup and a PB & J sandwich nearly every day of my childhood. I was a picky eater and the soup was one of the few ways Mom cold get me to ingest milk. Blech!

Then one day many years ago, Campbells put their soups in stupid pop-top cans (or tab pulls or whatever they're called). They hurt my finger, splatter food all over, and a sharp dangerous piece of metal springs back at me.

I complained to Campbells that I would not eat their soup as long as they had the stupid tops. (If I recall, they sent me some free soup with pop-top cans.) And I haven't, until now. I love Cream of Tomato soup, yet will soon give it up again.

As the days went by, I finally began to leave the pan of water sitting on the stove so I could just drop the eggs into it to boil each morning.

Yesterday morning, as I glanced back at the stove from tasks at the sink, I saw a flare of flame at the bottom of the pan. It was a lot like the flare when I'd dumped macaroni into boiling water, which caused a flare when it overflowed, before completely dousing the flame.

Only this flame was getting bigger. Yikes! Potholder on fire! I grabbed it -- and doused it under the faucet. It's a favorite potholder. I'll cut off the charred corner and re-hem the edge, but it's a lesson to be learned on how easily and inadvertently fire can start in a kitchen.

Opening today, or maybe it's tomorrow, is the English-language version of "Girl with the Dragon Tattoo," by the Swedish author Stieg Larsson. The other day I saw the question raised somewhere online: "Do you plan to see the new "Girl with the Dragon Tattoo?" Responses ran the gamut of opinions, comparing the three-film Swedish version (and lead actress) with projected negative expectations of the ability of an American film to truly portray the darkness.

Naturally, my reaction is that I want to see both Swedish and English-language versions. I have in my hot little hand the Swedish version of GWTDT, but as uneventful as my life has been, I haven't had an available 2½ hours to concentrate on the film. I was given pause when the American actress playing Lisbeth Salander, Rooney Mara, said she hasn't seen her film yet because she doesn't want to watch it in such a public venue as a premier, yet she is afraid to watch it alone. (Film clips and interviews look great to me.)

Unfortunately, watching grass gr... er, the printer printing does require periodic attention (that long Christmas letter I mentioned in my last post). My new printer, although doing an excellent job, is slow, slow, slow, even after lowering print quality from "fine" to "standard." The ink cartridges are smaller than in my old printer, and this full-color printing just sucks down the ink.

I got the last of my Christmas cards printed late last night and mailed today.

You can see the printer, quite incidentally, crawling along in this picture, which I took when I noticed Chloe on top of the buffet, keeping an eagle-eye on Jean-Luc down on the carpet.

Setting the scene
 The scenario plays out.
Chloe: Jean-Luc is going to attack . . .

Henley: I'm staying out of it.

Jean-Luc: Who, me??? I'm innocent.
I wasn't fast enough with the camera to capture the attack. Which occurred immediately.

After being scolded,
Jean-Luc: Let's get in the bag with the computer cartridges.
(Mama had to rescue me.)

Last week, I cleared out my coat closet and washed several jackets for donation. It seemed the appropriate time, as the weather has turned bitingly cold ... not super-low temperatures, but oddly penetrating.

I came across a membership jacket I'd had in an RV club, all logo'd up with group and sponsor ... and my first name. It's the kind of thing you wear at the group's events, not years afterward and far away. I emailed a contact in the current group -- with photos of the jacket -- to see whether anyone might want a "vintage" club jacket (lightly worn).

Why, yes, came the answer. They even have a "Lee" it will fit. I love finding a good placement for something like this, so much better than ripping out embroidered words and tearing off organizational patches, just to salvage a shell.

For an update I haven't done in awhile, on the way home from the big Christmas card mailing, I stopped by to see progress on Brother-in-Law's dream garage. It's shaping up and may be finished ahead of schedule.

Progress on Brother-in-Law's Dream Garage - The Back

Entrance to the Lower Garage

Street view of Lower Garage

Entrance to the Upper Garage

It will resemble a house from the outside, rather than a big "car barn," as my Grandma used to call it.

I'm going to spend Christmas with family at my son's house. My daughter has just moved back to California, so if the timing works out right with her work schedule and her trip to her brother's, I'll be able to stop by see the house she moved into.

See you soon.



  1. There are 2 safety issues on this blog- the chips and the cat in a plastic bag. Scary!

  2. Yes. The plastic bag with cartridges has been stowed in a closet. The chips were "posing" there. They are more remote from any flame.

  3. My cats used to be obsessed with plastic bags too, I just didn't get it!