Things In General II

Wow. The kitchen is a complete wreck. My new dishwasher arrived yesterday, and I’m gonna need to really contemplate how to arrange my very small kitchen to fit it. Where the dishwasher itself goes is no question, it has to live right by the sink. But where to put the big storage shelf and trash that lived there before, I have not figured out.

Haven’t used the thing yet. My Man did the dishes by hand last night while I was putting the Babe to sleep, long story. Now I have to wait to make some dishes, which will be hard with such a messy kitchen!

I see one fatal flaw though. I knew it would need a prime spot next to the sink, and I was willing to give that up. But the hose that has to attach to the faucet is only (literally) two feet long! And since it exits the wrong side of the machine, which is itself two feet wide, this means that the dishwasher has to sit immediately in front of the sink, and even turned to face out, whenever it’s running!!!! That is going to be a pain in the ass. I mean, it’s on good casters, and we can run it at night, but nevertheless. C’mon people. Give up a few more bucks for a 6 fucking foot hose. Jesus.

If I were a real handy person, I’d put in a longer hose myself. But it would be pretty complicated. I guess I’m not real.

I got a bunch of exciting things (sort of) for my birthday. The dishwasher from my MIL, all the rest I bought myself. My Man and I don’t usually exchange presents for b-days. I don’t usually splurge thusly on myself either, but there were a few things I had wanted for awhile and now seemed a good time.

Looking forward to six months of heat I have been trying to scheme ways to cook without heating the kitchen up any extra. It just seems wrong to have to run the AC to counteract the stove, and anyway the kitchen is the one room without an AC unit. I bought a crock pot last fall at the sally, only to find that the really old models have a non-removable pot?!?! Meaning you can’t take it out to wash it, you have to lug the whole thing over to the sink, and then try to keep the electric parts dry. Stupidest thing I ever heard.

Believe it or not, I actually continued to use that MF quite a number of times. I’d spent $10 on it! I’m cheap! I knew I needed to get another crock pot, which seem great for cooking in the heat, but this time I wanted to spring for a really good one. I had dreams that there ought to be a crock pot with a more adjustable heat. After a little looking online I found out that there is such a thing as a “multi-cooker” which is slow cooker, pressure cooker, and rice cooker in one. Beautiful! I’ll take it! I did a little research, and bought a $100 unit made by Fagor.

I’ve never cooked with a pressure cooker before, though I’ve used them tons for canning. This little electric model is pretty damn slick. When I first used it (as soon as I got it, yesterday morning) I was disappointed to see it wasn’t making any kind of hissing or steam geiser. I thought it must not be working. I had read a review of someone who’s unit just didn’t work, and they had trouble getting the company to care. But no, after 25 minutes my chick peas were perfectly tender and delicious! I guess when an electric sensor is regulating the heat, you don’t need to have the geiser, which when I think about it is waste heat anyway.

But, I don’t want to tell you too much about my new toy, because I’m working on an If You Can’t Stand the Heat, Get Out of the Kitchen post. For all you Ozzies. And other hot climaters.

Other happy birthday to me things include the book Unconditional Parenting: Moving from Rewards and Punishments to Love and Reason by Alfie Kohn, and a Meyer lemon tree! The book was recommended by a friend, and looks really good. The tree is only four feet tall but the nursery assured me that since it is grafted, it’s a mature tree (?) and will set fruit this year. I hope so. I don’t know why I didn’t just go out and buy myself a lemon tree the moment we got off the plane. They are $30, and did I mention I’m cheap? and there’s lots of free lemons to be had here. But still and yet. I have always wanted a lemon tree, and when else in my otherwise Alaskan life am I going to get to have one??? I was so happy bringing my new baby home. I tucked her into a nice big pot with the sunniest location in the entire yard, gave her some composted chicken manure to munch on, and a thick layer of leaves. I hope she likes it here. I hope she gives me lemons.

The down side of a lemon tree is that now that damn Peter, Paul and Mary song is stuck on repeat forever after in my brain.

In family news, My Man has started looking for a job. It’s going to be a bit tricky, since he isn’t necessarily looking for a pre-existing job, but more to create and fulfil his own. We’ll see.

The spill is just a continually depressing subject. He went to a preliminary investigation/hearing type of thing yesterday, re: why the explosion happened in the first place. And I was reminded about what I don’t like about his work. He has to get caught up in the details of what went wrong, when the real issue (to my mind) is that things are going to go wrong, and we shouldn’t have been drilling there in the first place.

Of course, I saw some people at a Sierra Club rally with a sign that said, ‘No Drill, No Spill’ and it’s all well and good to be against offshore drilling, against ANWAR, against wars in the middle east for oil, against nuclear power, but you have to be against getting in your car to go along with it.

It’s not like I am going on any car fast to protest, though I’ve heard of some other kick-ass folks doing so. But the issue needs to be addressed, and no one ever wants to stand up and hold a sign that says ‘Use Less.’

Not in America, land of the free (enterprise).

Besides, where’s the ring to ‘Use Less?’ No one could sell bumper stickers with that slogan.

(Though I was thinking of putting a sign in the back window of our car that says, “Mad about the spill? Pledge to keep your car in the driveway one day/week” But since our car stays in the driveway most days of the week, not many people would see it….)

(Not that we’re any kind of heros. We’ll be flying back to Cordova for a few weeks in July, using up way more than the extra days worth of fuel.)

And the kids? I think we’re on the uphill of our cycle. Things are looking up, some days are pretty good. But some still quite rough. Last night, from 7 to 9:30 we were putting babies to sleep. The Babe took a full hour, and the Toddler an hour and a half. I was valiantly trying to stay up so I could speak more than 3 words in a row to my beloved. But I didn’t make it. Sleep has a powerful undertow. Well, apparently not for our babies, but for me!

And friends, that’s that. Gotta go clean the kitchen!