If You Open Up The Doors We’ll All Come Inside And Eat Your Brains

Sami and I treated ourselves to a video doorbell for Christmas last year. We don’t live in a high crime area but just in case – you know?

I didn’t really expect to capture a lot of home invaders but I also didn’t expect to see so much animal activity, either. So far, we’ve seen:

  • a cardinal bash straight into the front door, probably trying to land on that faux greenery
  • a cat that periodically takes a casual stroll across the path that leads to the tiny portico over the front door
  • a snake that appeared to emerge from the stone wall and slinked straight across the doormat
  • Godzilla, now a diminished senior retired to Florida too weak to activate the doorbell

I Quit Facebook

Any one of us could make a list of all the reasons why Facebook aggravates us.  I have my own list. But I did it. I actually did it. I quit as of May 1.

And now that it’s done, I’d like to tell you that I’ve been congratulating myself and how much my life has been improved but that is not the case. Two unexpected side-effects have occurred:

  • A break in my usual internet surfing routine. I am pissed at myself for becoming addicted to FB. Pissed, I say. And I didn’t even like it there – I never did. But I slowly got used to hearing from people who are non-blog readers and there was a different set of commenters  on the pics I cross posted  to Instagram. I guess I’ll get over it – it’s only been 2 days.
  • A sharp uptick in internet shopping. Because what else do you do if your sitting in front of a computer all day and you don’t have FB to aggravate you anymore? Here’s what I bought today:

Crocs™ Europe | Crocs Shoes, Sandals & Clogs | Crocs.eu

In my defense, I need clogs to get around on the stupid ceramic tile flooring over a concrete slab that is my home now. Those floors are hard on regular knees, never mind screwed up ones like mine. Also, I use them to help lift myself up out of the pool. The stair risers are evenly spaced and easy to navigate but that top one includes a 2 1/2″ bull-nosed coping stone which makes it very difficult (impossible) for me to get out unassisted. Also, I got used to owning shoes that I can blow the stink off of by rinsing them in the sink. So I  NEEDED rainbow crocs. And I had the time to shop for them.


A Reader Poll: Tell Me About Your Kitchen Appliances

ISirg6vlno5lcu1000000000 - Copy

Here’s the  realtor’s listing picture of our kitchen from when our house was for sale late 2016. The appliances are a matched set in black, which look good in the overall decor but individually are a disaster each of it’s own kind.

Refrigerator: The refrigerator is a side by side – the worst configuration ever invented. I miss the back-saving convenience of my NJ freezer-on-the bottom model, plus there’s a lot less room and a lot more pushing and pulling things around to see what’s in there. The outside is covered with scratches and magnet marks and the hard water here has etched the plastic parts of the water dispenser and made permanent tracks down the lower half of that door.

Stove: love love love the flat ceramic cooktop but have grave concerns about the oven. First, the thing runs hot and cooks unevenly.  a year and a half later, we’re still not adjusted to it. Plus I miss my NJ convection oven. The oven door near the bottom where the glass part meets the metal frame is buckled inward and I’m always worried it’s going to explode. In that small, work area, we’ll all get hit by the shrapnel.

Microwave: In truth this is the best microwave we’ve ever owned. The issues we have with it are minor and livable. It’s missing one light cover on the under side and it only uses a 4 watt bulb in each bay. Not enough work light to baste a midnight egg by.

Dishwasher: No complaints except intractable water marks on the outer surface.

So we are planning to replace 2 out of 4 appliances, but I really think we need to replace them all  We’ll be doing stainless steel and there’s a big difference between manufacturers in terms of color tones and surface finish of the facades. In that small space, any difference will be obvious (and unacceptable to me.) I suspect that appliances even by the same manufacture will look different if added over time instead of all at once.

But here’s the thing: the internet says everything is terrible. One brand has a great refrigerator but the stove stinks. Another has way too frequent breakdowns. And don’t even ask about the dishwashers unless you want a broken heart. This one is hard to get parts for and that one has a long wait for repair technicians and when they come they are unprepared to actually repair things.

So I turn to you: What brand of kitchen appliances do you have? What’s the repair/reliability record of your personal experience? Would you have made the same purchase again or are there regrets?

Please help.

The Three Faces of PAAS Color Cups

Has anyone started a class action suit against PAAS for their irresponsible release of inferior egg dye this year? Because I am 100% on board with that.

Let me tell you something – I’ve been using PAAS Color Cups for a number of years but this is the first time that PAAS color has let me down. Below are some comparative photos of the evolution of these sad eggs over a 10 hour period:

1. Deep even color of freshly dyed eggs.  2. The dry colored eggs were put into the refrigerator and 10 hours later they reemerged blotchy and streaky. 3. The baked eggs fared even worse – the yellow lost it’s color almost entirely and the green and blue turned into almost the same shade of neither green nor blue.

I thought it was just me but we had Easter dinner at my brother-in-law’s home and his eggs were exactly the same blotchy mess. He is fastidious about the details of presentation so I have to assume he was the victim of the same inferior PAAS Color Cup situation.

How many Easters have they ruined this year? Enjoy your profits, PAAS executive decision makers, borne on the backs of disappointed egg dying customers. They paid the price. Think about that while you’re out enjoying the evil fruits of your profiteering machinations.

I would also like to point out that the dye is not the only evidence of corner-cutting going on here. The cups themselves have devolved from the colorful and sturdy American plastic of the originals to flimsy clear plastic of the sort that they’d probably have in Soviet Russia. There was a mid-step in there of tinted translucent plastic but that probably ate up too much of the PAAS profits and some junior exec likely had to make do with last year’s yacht, so they had to go.

I would hate to put on my babushka and line up for 6 hours only to find these crappy clear cups were my only option.  Oh wait, I put on my flip flops and voluntarily chose these off the shelf in the Walmart. I suspect Russian interference with American egg dying process. That Putin is an evil genius. Or maybe  he’s  a PAAS executive.

I Didn’t Predict This At All

When we sold our family home in NJ, my plan was to leave everything behind and replace all of the mismatched and almost-good-enough stuff with things that were 1.) brand new 2.) coordinated in theme color and design and 3.) fully functional. While I did manage to jettison quite a lot of stuff , I also brought with me more than I intended.

This plan consisted of 2 parts – first, I had to leave stuff behind and then had to buy new stuff. Dream come true! Imagine the utter thrill of shopping for everything new. I could have a unified design theme. I could have up-to-date features and appearances. It was the ultimate fantasy for someone who “made do” for 32 years in the same location and collected a hodge-podge of things that added up to a pleasant but disjointed and uncoordinated living situation.

I threw myself whole-heartedly into dreaming, planning, and shopping for our new home. It took less than a year before I was sick of shopping. Sick. Of. Shopping.


I’m telling you this now because I’m shopping for a new stove and frankly, I am afraid that I’m just not up to it. Here’s what I want in a new stove:

  • a flat ceramic cooking surface
  • a convection feature
  • a double oven

The problem is that there are too many stoves that fit these criteria. The last time I bought a stove the choices were simple: you could get an electric stove or you could get a gas stove.  This time, I’m paralyzed because I can’t make a decision between the one with the preset pizza/chicken nugget setting or the one that has a Sabbath mode.  I don’t need either one of these features but I’m agonizing over the decision none the less.