I have a new blog here: http://theglossedandfound.wordpress.com/
I thought if anyone still stopped by you might like to follow. 🙂
It still smells like I’m living in an auto body shop which is really unpleasant. After basically freaking out on every social media channel I’ve gotten some advice to follow. Several people told me to place sliced onion in small bowls of water inside and on top of the locker. Reluctantly and a bit quizzically I’ve just finished doing that and crossing my fingers that it will absorb the smell rather than adding to it.
I figured I’d post some pictures to show the final placement that I fought for as well as a few shots of my loft to explain why I thought this particular piece of furniture was a good idea. I’d love to get your feedback and see if you agree. Sorry the photos are a little dark. We have a million windows in here with southern exposure (okay, 8) and they make it really hard to get a good shot.
This was where I thought the console table was going all along (and where it finally ended up). Note the little dachshund prince who is bored with this whole thing. He’d like me to sit down or throw a baby.
Slightly improved version of this picture:
The rest of the living room area. We’re planning to start a slate tile installation floor to ceiling on the wall with the TV soon. I’m nervous about it though because what if it doesn’t look like we thought it would?
We have a lot of wood components and the dining table isn’t quite as modern as I wanted it to be so I thought a modern industrial console table would help even that out. Also, I thought introducing a new medium (more metal) would keep things interesting and play off of the metal accents on other pieces.
Our kitchen, which isn’t really relevant, but I thought I may as well post it since it’s all visible at the same time with the open layout.
I know I haven’t been very active (okay, active at all) on here lately. I apologize for that and can only offer the usual weak excuses that I’ve been busy with work, school and real estate. The real estate portion is over now – we sold our condo in June and bought the new loft in September. Whew!
Since then we’ve had some more big life events like my husband getting laid off and (thank God) quickly finding a new, better job. The new, better job means that he travels four days a week though. My being left unsupervised has led to some silliness, the latest of which being that I recently baked a $36 pan of brownies.
I was more or less done with my homework for the week and knew that I’d be bored that night, so when I saw the muffin top pans at Marshalls I got excited. It was one of those neato non-stick pans that make six perfect little muffin tops without any of the boring leftovers; I was sold. Smiling like an idiot, I paid for my new prized possession and started walking over to the supermarket for muffin mix. This is when things start to get stupid.
To make a long story short, I’ll summarize with the email I sent to my husband:
I randomly got it into my head to make muffins so I went and found a muffin top pan ($5.99) on my lunch break. Of course we don’t have a mixing bowl so I bought that too ($6.99). Then I was walking to Shaws to get muffin mix and vegetable oil but thought CVS might have it – they only had brownie mix. So THEN I bought that and went BACK to Marshalls and got a brownie tray ($7.99). Try not to kill me; you like brownies, right? Brownies!
This was just two days after he hinted that maybe I shouldn’t keep buying things on my lunch break when I get bored. The brownies came out awesome, by the way.
Notice that I said “a mouse” not “the mouse”. That’s because the mouse we caught was a baby: a little, tiny, dark brown baby mouse. Super Mouse is gray and appears full grown.
I took a photo but it didn’t come out very well, what with the gray smoky mouse trap between us. So instead I’ve included a better representation over to the right. –>
Husband calls me into the kitchen with this announcement and he pulls the no-kill trap out of the cabinet. We have no idea how long it’s been in there. He only went after the trap to throw it out because it clearly wasn’t working. There was enough poop inside to suggest that it had been there for at least a day. Either that or the peanut butter didn’t sit so well.
So we stand there staring at the little mouse inside the trap. Minutes pass. “What do we do with him?” he asks.
“I don’t know.”
“It’s just a baby. Can it survive without its mother? It’s so cold outside. Where would it go?”
“Probably back in here.”
“This is why we should get an aquarium, so we can take care of them until it gets warm and then let them go outside.”
I veto that again, explaining why it’s still a bad idea, not least of all because we’d have to clean mouse poop out of the cage. I have no problem picking up my dog’s poop in a little plastic bag but for some reason I’m repelled by the mouse pellets.
In the end, we released the mouse back into the cabinet to go find its family. Yup, right back into the cabinet. What else were we going to do?
I started with Pillars of the Earth and just couldn’t get enough. After battling two monstrous hard backs roughly 1,000 pages long I decided it was time for an e-reader. Also, our bookshelves are more than full. I usually handle this by using swap.com but now I don’t want to wait; I want the next Follett book like I need air. Screw the iPad, I couldn’t wait.
Monday, home from work because of the blizzard, I suddenly had to have one right now. So I did my research and decided that I either needed to get the Nook Color or the Kindle. The Nook Color appealed to me initially because it’s kind of like a watered down iPad for half the price. It has some pretty neat functionality like web surfing, a few game apps, Pandora and that sort of thing.
After some thought I went with the Kindle for these reasons:
So far I’m very pleased. I forget that I’m holding a device and get lost in the books just like the paper versions. I miss the smell of books but I’ll never give them up completely. I’ve been using it non-stop and haven’t had to charge it once. The sleep screen delights me with a different picture every time and it fits into my Marc Jacobs like a glove.
My Ken Follett fixation continues. Pillars of the Earth, World Without End, Fall of Giants, The Man from St. Petersburg, Trouble Over Water, Eye of the Needle and now on to Whiteout. I love this man. Thank God he’s written a lot of books.
Last weekend we went to Ace Hardware and bought the only no-kill trap they sold. I have to say I was surprised that they only sold one kind. There were a few others marked humane but upon closer inspection I realized that by “humane” they meant the mouse would be shocked to death “quickly and painlessly”. Riiight. I guess someone believes that.
We don’t want to kill our little mousie though. The trap we bought looks sort of like the base of a hardwood floor sweeper. You know, the kind restaurants use to clean up the crumbs. It consists of two entrances with little ramps that are pressure sensitive. The idea is that the mouse walks down the ramp, the door closes and he’s stuck in the well ventilated space until you come find him and release him outside.
The instructions say not to bait the trap. What? Why on Earth would the mouse crawl in there if not to get food? We decided to put a few pieces of his favorite snack (dog food) inside. We place it in the cabinet under the sink and start checking it hourly, sure that he’ll be in there. We don’t want him to be uncomfortable or scared, after all.
Days go by and nothing happens. We’ve resorted to moving the dog food out of the oven after the last mouse update and apparently he can’t get into the cabinet we moved it to. Yet, he’s not going in the trap.
A few days ago I notice that my dog’s eating; then it gets quiet and my mama senses start to tingle. Somehow I know that he’s still in the kitchen but he’s not eating now. I glance around the corner and he’s not lying in his kitchen bed either. Hmmm. I go to see what he’s doing and discover him standing in front of the fridge with several pieces of dog food placed in front of him and watching expectantly. My doxie is feeding the mouse.
When he was a puppy he would save half of his treat and try to give it to us. This little guy tries to share his food with you. I don’t know if it’s because of or despite being an only child. For this reason, as much as I’d like to say that he got super clever and decided to bait the mouse, I know he was actually feeding it.
Super Mouse has made a friend. We’ll never catch him now.
UPDATE: My wonderful Twitter friend @BookEmDonna kindly blogged about the mouse trilogy. Check her out here: http://www.allaboutthewriting.com/donna_j_cummings/2011/01/if-you-give-a-mouse-some-dog-food.html
Readers of RachelintheOC’s blog will be happy to know that she’s now publishing a book, A Walk in the Snark: The Best of RachelintheOC. As the name implies, the material is pulled almost exclusively from her website.
Rachel describes herself as a recovering pharmaceuticals rep and spends her spare time making us laugh. I say spare time because she’s a mother, a wife, and a full time snark. That last bit is why I love her so much.
She tells it like it is and isn’t afraid to laugh at herself – or the men around her. Her “Mancode” series attempts to make sense of the strange and often childish things that men do. You know, the things that annoy, inconvenience, or otherwise bewilder us. Like why they can’t remember that we need coffee while they’re at the grocery store and the impossibility of their EVER changing the toilet paper roll.
Rachel is a fiery red head that takes liberties in making up her own words, admits to needing vodka to survive and stands out in the sea of blondes that is Orange County.
In fairness, she accepts that women are creatures of mystery too. She explains why men should never say “we look fine” and why it takes so long for us to get ready.
She knows that the sexes speak different languages and has compiled a guide for both of us. Rachel put it best when she said “Men are from Seinfeld, women are from Friends.”
The first time I came across her blog I found myself reading post after post and laughing the whole time. This book is no different.
Check out A Walk in the Snark as well as the other books in the Blog Tour de Force at http://www.blogtourdeforce.com/Blog_Tour_de_Force/Home.html
This is the recipe for our delicious enchilada lasagna mentioned in the Mouse post. It was written mostly by Husband.
What you need:
2 large red onions
7-8 cloves garlic
16 oz can pinto beans
16 oz can pink beans
16 oz can vegetarian refried beans
32 oz can pureed tomatoes
Bag of shredded Monterey Jack cheese
8 oz Queso Fresco
bag of Quorn crumbles
8 oz jar Cilantro Chutney (in Indian food section of your grocer)
3 – 4 chipotle peppers & sauce OR good chipotle salsa
Small can mild salsa
Chipotle chile powder
Sal e pepe
24 small corn tortillas
Medium dice one large red onion. Add salt and sweat on low heat. When translucent, add minced garlic, a 2 tablespoons of chipotle powder, a tablespoon of cumin and a generous grind of pepper. Cook until the garlic starts smelling sweet. Add the mild salsa. Stir and cook for a few minutes. When the salsa cooks down a bit , add a splash of water and the drained beans. Cover and cook for twenty minutes. Incorporate the quorn crumbles. Cook for a few minutes, check for seasoning, then cover, remove from heat and set aside.
Fine dice half a large red onion and sweat over low heat for a spell. Add tomatoes, chipotles, two heaping spoons of cilantro chutney, some chile powder, cumin, oregano and pepper. Cover and simmer for 30 minutes. Give it a taste; if needed, add some sugar or BBQ sauce to balance out the heat.
Combine refried beans, cilantro chutney and half of a finely diced red onion in a skillet over medium heat. Cook for a few minutes.
Ask wife for help – especially if you live in a city and your kitchen is the size of most suburban bathrooms – as you’ll need to assemble the lasagna without dropping something on your dog and without the benefit of ample counter space. Or move to a larger condo.
In a large Pyrex baking dish, layer sauce, tortillas (6 should cover the layer), more sauce, black beans, other beans, shredded cheese. Repeat until full. On the final layer place only tortillas and sauce then cover with thin slices of queso fresco.
Cover with aluminum foil and bake in preheated oven at 350 for 30 minutes . Remove foil and bake for an additional 10 minutes or until cheese is bubbly. Allow to cool slightly before serving as the layers will glue themselves together. Cut and serve with a spatula.
The mouse is not trapped under the cabinets. Nor is it starving.
Living in Boston we have limited cabinet space so we’ve resorted to storing the dog food in the oven while not in use. We have a separate container that we fill for daily feedings. Tonight we’re making enchilada lasagna which requires the use of not-oft-exercised oven.
As I was emptying it to pre-heat, I discovered a hole had been chewed in the bag of dog food. This is Super Mouse. His love of dog food is such that he has found a way in and out of our oven. The little bugger is teleporting.
I’m standing there telling husband about my findings and he’s telling me no way when the mouse darts out from behind the oven and hangs a hard right around the corner. Our little doxie does see it this time and semi-quickly follows it into the bathroom.
Guess what? We can’t tell where the damn thing is. Husband concludes that he must be under the sink so he opens the cabinet and conducts a search only to remember that the cabinet is full of stuff – mostly mine. He begins an expedition which mostly involves picking up random objects and asking what they are and why I need them.
Finally, he points to a box of tampons. “I get those. I don’t get the rest of this shit.” And with that, he gives up.
We went back to cooking and put the food in the oven (it smells delicious).
Long story short, we need not have worried. The mouse is in the hizzouse.
And apparently he didn’t get my note.
P.S. I found a place to buy him clothes.
A few days ago Husband and I were standing in the kitchen when we heard a strange sound. After some searching I saw the tail end of a cute little mouse scurrying away behind our microwave. We pulled out the microwave to discover that he had disappeared. We pulled out the refrigerator as well. We could hear him but not see him. Suddenly all was quiet. Husband was scared that he’d squooshed him when he pulled out the fridge. By now our doxie has come to investigate and stands in front of the refrigerator whining to alert us.
As we stand there discussing the possibilities, the mouse suddenly scampers behind my husband and into a hole next to the cabinets we’d never noticed before. Brilliant hunter that he is, my doxie does not take notice.
After that, Husband starts shredding up last weeks’ Time magazine to fill the hole, despite my telling him that it will never work. As he sets himself to the pointless task, I hear the mouse traipsing around under the sink. Oh, so that’s why we keep getting holes in the trash bags. The futile task is now abandoned and we pull everything out from under the sink to discover mouse poop.
As we clean it up, Husband starts talking about capturing it and releasing it outside. How does he plan to do that, I ask? He has no idea. Hilarity was about to ensue but the mouse got smart and went somewhere more quiet where he couldn’t be detected. We give up and go to watch TV.
The next day I tell my co-worker about the mouse (I’m shameless) and she tells me that we need to get spray foam and fill the hole. Now that makes sense! I tell Husband and surprise! I’m sent off on my lunch break to procure it in the freezing cold Boston weather (on foot). The hardware store is, of course, located roughly half a mile away.
That night we plug the hole but discover that there is a hole around the water valve under the sink that the foam is no way going to fill. Husband tries anyway, despite my protests, emptying the can and no doubt creating a huge pain in the ass for any plumber we might need in the future. Sigh.
All this morning I hear a strange sound from the kitchen. I imagine that the mouse (mice?) is trapped under the cabinet now. I start to think how much it’s going to suck when it starves, dies and starts to stink. Then the cost and annoyance of having someone come in and rip out the cabinet s to remove the body – but only after my totally unhandy hubby tries to do it first, bungling the job and making a huge mess.
Tonight I discovered mouse poop under the sink again. So. The mouse is able to get into the cabinet but probably can’t get out to the rest of the house (we think). I tell Husband and now he says that we have to feed it, lest it starve, until we can go get a humane trap and release it somewhere whereupon it will most likely beeline back to our condo and find a way back in.
So what did we do? I put some dog food under the sink. Husband said I should have used crackers because he thinks they would like them better. I respond that dog food probably has more nutrients. He agrees.
The dog food is gone.
So I asked Husband again where he plans to release them when they climb politely into the no kill traps he plans to buy. He suggested an aquarium if there are several of them. I promptly vetoed this idea in light of how aggravating this would be to our doxie. He then, quite seriously, stated that it would need to be somewhere warm. Boy, did they wander into the right condo.
If our dog is any indication, they’ll soon be wearing clothes.
Dear mouse (or mice),
I don’t want you to die. I just want you to get out of my house. We should talk.