Small Victories & Occasional Randomness

I went to the store the other day, in need of a new pair of jeans.  I have a certain brand and cut that I like, and alas, they are phasing that cut out.  No big pile with four washes from which to choose, which is how it was the last time I went to the store.   So I looked all over, dug through pile after pile, and the only pair I found was 7 sizes too big.  Rats.  Every other pair in the store was a stupid low rise cut, meaning I can’t bend over without people knowing what kind of underwear I have on.  I don’t like that, and I doubt anyone who would be forced to see my crack would like it, either.  I’m not a plumber.  When I came home, I tried the online store, and look, they still have them!  Plus, a coupon for 30% off!  So I get my jeans, and save money.  I hope I don’t regret only buying one pair.  Perhaps I should have bought two.  But since they’re going away, I kind of think it might be a good idea to look around and see what else is out there.

There has been a constant drip drip drip coming from our bathroom vanity, and our water bill went up this last time.  Neither Ted nor I are plumbers (as I mentioned above), nor do we play one on TV, but at the same time, a drippy faucet seems like it should be solvable without calling a plumber and paying $75.  Friday was my day off, and Ted replaced our bathroom shower head a few months ago, so I felt like, perhaps, if he can do it, I might be able to do it, too.  I looked online, and saw a video that showed how to remove the faucet, but blurred through the complicated inner workings.  Mostly it said, take it apart, take the parts with you to the hardware store to match them correctly, then come home and put them back in where you found them, and voila, problem solved.  Well, that’s a mighty optimistic telling of how it could go, isn’t it?  I was able to get it pulled partially apart, but not completely.  I wasn’t sure whether to fight it and break it, or if maybe I needed a tool.  So I took some pictures and went to the hardware store.  There, they told me that it was difficult to disassemble because of hard water deposits, and I should just yank on it.  OK.  Back home, and now Ted’s here (he was out giving Maya a driving lesson on the freeways, which I am happy enough to miss…they make me nervous), so he just gives the darned thing one yank, and off it comes.  Yay for big man strength!  Back to the hardware store I go, with the spigot or whatever it’s called, but I didn’t bring the washer.  So they sell me what they think might fit, and back home I go.  I put it back together, with Ted’s help, though again, neither of us are plumbers.  Get everything put back together, turn the water on, and out it comes…even though the spigot is turned off.  Not working at all.  Drats.  Turn it off.  Take it apart.  Look at the washer, which has a hole that is slightly bigger than the hole in the original washer.  I wonder if that matters.  I don’t know.  Back to the hardware store I go, this time with my worn out parts, where they dig around and find yet another kit, with a washer that looks much more like mine than the first one.  Back home. Put it together.  Run water.  No better.  What’s wrong?  Could it be that I have the spring/washer combination put together backwards?  Ted pulls apart the other side of the sink to see, and yes, it does indeed appear that way.  So we try it again.  YAYYY!! This time, it worked.  No more dripping faucet.  No more wondering how much it’s costing me to have it drip, and thinking about the dry January we’ve had, and thus far, dry February as well, so the guilt of wasted water.  And it only cost me $3, four hours, and 3 trips to the hardware store.


Lots of construction around here, jackhammering apart our swimming pool. That was fun. Working from home has its benefits, but listening to someone jackhammer your pool for 5 continuous hours is not one of them. After they tore it apart, thankfully, they put it back together, re-tiled, re-plastered, and filled it with water. Then, walking by the other day, there’s this new sign. WTF? The thing is, even though we live in a condo complex, which is sort of private property, it is not one person’s property. So the pool is subject to all kind of county regulations. Like when they made us add new tiles a year or two ago, to add ‘ft’ to the ’4′ and ’6′ on the sides of the pool. Homeowner money had to go to adding signs to tell us that it was feet, not meters, even though diving isn’t allowed anyway. Frustrating. Anyway, I’m assuming that the sign is a county regulation, so we have no choice but to put it up, no matter how disgusting it is to walk past every day.

Awhile ago I mentioned that I have an avocado tree that needs a bigger pot.  I had contemplated going and asking some people down the street if they’d be interested in selling me their lovely blue glazed planters, and I actually did knock on their door once, but they didn’t answer.  I’ve noticed more often lately that even when people are home, they sometimes just don’t answer the door.  That’s their right, I suppose, but I find it a bit odd.  Anyway, I considered leaving them a note with my phone number, but after knocking, I went and played a bit with the planters, and GOSH they were heavy.  I tried to imagine them with a small tree inside, and I lost my will.  So on the first of my three trips to the hardware store yesterday, I picked up a huge plastic planter and a bag of potting soil, and after we finished fixing the faucet, I re-potted the avocado.  My fantasy is that someday we’ll get fruit off of it, but I’m not getting my hopes up too high.

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Valentine’s Day can be a busy, horrid day to eat in a restaurant. There are three days that I do NOT like going to restaurants in a year, and they are: 1. Valentine’s Day 2. Mother’s Day 3. New Year’s Eve. Too crowded; special, expensive menus; harried service; grumpy customers, due to the first three items, plus you probably had a reservation and still had to wait 45 minutes for a table. We don’t go out to eat on any of these days. But we do celebrate, which means some kind of yummy feast. February is mid to late winter, which is prime crab season in NorCal, so we decided to have one of our favorite meals…cracked crab roasted with garlic, butter, more garlic, and more butter, and noodles, with garlic, butter, olive oil, and a few more things. Gah, it was good. Ted had his beloved bok choy, and Maya and I had salad, as we do not belove bok choy. Then, to top it all off, Ted made an amazing apple cake that I think we’ll be having for Thanksgiving this year, because it was SO delicious. Really, really good.  If you behave, perhaps I’ll post the recipe for you.

Today I’m off to give blood.  Back in November when my grandma fell and broke herself up, she had to have some blood, and I’ve been meaning to do it since then.  Other weekend plans, holidays, and sore throats have foiled my best laid plans, but today I’m all clear.  Eat a big breakfast so I don’t pass out, go give blood, and then come home and maybe have a nap, which is usually just what I want after giving blood.  I’d like to see a movie this weekend, but I still have two more days, so no rush, right?  Nice.   OH, I forgot to tell you, my Grandma is home!  She’s healed well enough that she is now home again, no longer on the schedule of the nursing home, taking their pills and doing exercises, all of that.  I hope she keeps up some of the exercises…stronger muscles make for a less wobbly Grandma, one who is less likely to fall down and break anything.  What a relief!  Yay Grandma!

9 thoughts on “Small Victories & Occasional Randomness

  1. I’ll have seconds on your cracked crab, and since I belove bok choy, I’ll have yours. Did you have wine? A Chardonnay or a Sauv Blanc? MMmmmmmm….!!

    That sign is yucky. And the addition of the awkward “persons” rather than “anyone” or “swimmers” makes it even ickier. But since I don’t have to look at it, I can chuckle at it a bit.

    I will trade apple cake recipes with you. Mine is horrible; full of fat and sugar and about a zillion calories per slice. It weighs a ton in the pan. It makes enough to feed a football team. Including the second string, water boys, and the coaching staff.

    Finally, the door-answering thing. I used to answer the door all the time, no matter what. Even if my hair was dripping wet or if I was in pj’s. I once got bogged down by some Mormons when I had half an eye mascaraed. Never again. Now, unless I am “ready to receive”, I let them knock.

    • Nance, we had a Chardonnay. The wine people will tell you that a Sauvignon Blanc is a better choice with crab, but most San Franciscans prefer our Chardonnay, sourdough bread, and crab combo. Mmmm.

  2. PS–When I say my apple cake is “horrible”, I mean healthwise. It is drop-dead delicious, of course. Why would I have a recipe for something terrible? And why would I offer it to you?

    • Nance, this one was also full of fat and sugar and yummy things, and then you put a sauce of more fat and sugar on at the end. YUM. Many things in life should be, and are, healthy. Cake is not one of them.

  3. I’m married to an engineer and have a son with mechanical aptitude. Those two can fix most everything. Because of this, I haven’t developed my own DIY skills in the area of minor home repairs. So I applaud you for Just Doing It and not giving up when you weren’t immediately successful.

  4. Now that sounds like it turned into a complicated washer replacement project. I agree…yay you for not giving up.

    Signage – eww that is a bummer sign.

    I thought of you as I was atremptjbg to WFH with a sinus headache while under the street sewer repair was happening outside the window. Even better when the toddler wouldn’t nap because of the noise.

    I heart bok choy and crab and butter and garlic and noodles oh my

    You may eventually get avocados but they won’t be Hass. :) Hass is a hybrid so the seed doesn’t reproduce the same fruit. I think I’ve mentioned this before so I don’t know why I said it again (stream of conscious). I’m very curious what the fruit will be like. I hope it fruits someday. You’ve taken very good care of your avocado seedlings.

    Yay blood donations! Someday I’ll be in a phase where they will take my blood. I hope.

    I think the door answering has gone aside, kinda like letters and phone calls. It’s sad and I also am guilty.

    And finally …. I bet your grandmother is soooo happy to be home. Yay healing grandmas!

    Ok one more thing. Go edit your post with a link to the cake so I can reference you blog post for it later. Sounds so yummy.

  5. Cherry, the washer replacement would not have been complicated if I had any idea of what I was doing. But between being afraid that I would break things, and not knowing what size things were, or whether the spring goes in before the washer or after, it was a mess. Next time won’t be perfect, but it will be easier.

    Sinus headaches suck, and to have to deal with work, and construction noise, and lovely but loud babies makes it all the worse. Ugh.

    I’m glad you repeated what you said about the avocados, because I had forgotten. I’ll let you know what you get, aka, give you some, if we ever do. Interesting.

    Regarding the blood donation, I say, when you’re ready (when your kids are old enough to give you some downtime, etc.), give it a try. Maybe in 5 or 6 years. You never know. Might work. If it doesn’t, just give them a $$ donation and go home. Not everyone can do it.

    Cake….I’ll post the recipe. Ted posted it in the comments, but I’ll make a blogpost, so it will be here at some point.

    Regarding the doors, it’s disheartening. Who wants to deal with religious zealots? No one. Aggressive kids trying to sell you magazine subscriptions? No one. But your neighbor, telling you you maybe want to bring in your iPhone from the car, because there have been break-ins in the neighborhood? That’s a door one should answer. And if you don’t answer, how will you know? I understand why people don’t answer, but as someone who has wanted to make actual communication with neighbors for a good reason, it can be frustrating.

  6. I know exactly what you mean about the jeans. I hate it when they phase stuff out. Personally, I’d have bought several pair. One of my guilty pleasures late at night is wheat thins with cold cuts and/or cheese. For a few years they made parmesan and basil wheat thins, which I fell in love with. Then they were simply: gone. I wish I’d stashed about a dozen boxes away. I don’t care if they expire. Seriously, weren’t crackers created as a way to preserve food? A few months after it’s expiration date, what, does it go toxic?

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