Monday, April 28, 2008

I Need a Weekend to Recover From My Weekend!

Spring has officially sprung in the Hudson Valley. Just step outside and you'll hear the whir of lawnmowers, weed trimmers and the like. Signs for garage sales are springing up like early daffodils along the roadways.

This weekend we found ourselves dealing with our spring fever in an odd ADD sort of a way. We jumped from one project to the next in a way that not only defied logic but should also have prevented success. Instead, we thrived and managed to get a huge amount done.

Here's a peek at how the weekend went. We'll jump back to Thursday evening to start things, since that's when the lower element in the oven caught fire. That's when we learned that you could cook pizza on a cast iron griddle if you use a cookie sheet as a lid. Cast iron pans with the lines on the bottom work really well when covered too. Creativity is clearly born out of necessity around here. BTW, if you've hung around this blog long enough you'll know that this was my second fire in the oven experience.

Task 1 for the weekend: Find out where to purchase the oven element, buy it and replace it.

Then there was the problem of Mel, our leaky little bichon. He's 9 1/2 and he leaks. You could walk him to the moon and back but he still leaks. He wears doggy diapers in the house but he leaks through them with alarming regularity. He's already ruined the living room rug. In fact, it was so bad we ripped it up to get rid of the smell. But since you can't just have a plywood floor in your living room, a new one was already on its way (an eco friendly corn based product but more on that another time). The carpet store called Thursday to let us know that the carpet we ordered had come in and they were coming to install it Tuesday.

Task 2 for the weekend: Solve the Melly leaks problem without killing or rehoming the dog.

My parents had an outdoor dog pen that they weren't using. A quick phone call later and we had an outdoor pen lined up for Mel. In the nice weather, he can spend his days outside. The pen is even big enough for Biscuit to hang out with him. (Don't ask me about winter or bad weather, I haven't gotten that far yet.) He can spend his nights in his crate inside, which is where he likes to be anyhow.

Task 2 amended: Pick up pen at my parent's house.

We were having friends over Friday evening and Friday had been a busy day so Jim ran to the store while I waited for Rob to finish swim team. Last minute trips to the store are rarely frugal and this one was no exception. It happens. While our friends were over they told us about an appliance parts store in the area.

Task 1 amended: Go to appliance store and purchase oven element.

It sounded like things were getting easier but actually this is when things got screwy. Since it had been a hellish week, we slept in Saturday morning. This was obviously a huge mistake. When Jim called the appliance parts store, we discovered they had the part but they closed in 45 minutes and they were a 25-30 minute ride away. Jim ran out of the house without finishing his coffee but he got there before the store closed. Within two hours of the phone call, the oven was in working order again.

Thge rest of the tings we hoped to accomplished seemed pretty manageable. Mow the lawn, have the girls really clean out their closet, empty the living room in anticipation of the rug coming Tuesday and see if we couldn't clean out the garage a bit.

Then we discovered we would be entertaining on Sunday afternoon. Skip taking the living room apart. Plan a snack menu as well as a dinner menu, just in case. Another trip to the grocery store was required since our bulk food order wasn't coming until Wednesday.

The Jim tried to adjust the flood lights outside our garage door and the metal fixture broke off in his hand. I wish I had a picture of the look on his face but I was too busy saying something like, "I can solve this problem" to snap it. The perk of decluttering is you never know what you'll find along the way and sometimes, it's pretty useful stuff. I was pretty sure I had come across a motion detector floodlight fixture that we'd bought about nine years ago but never installed. Forty five minutes later, we once again had a working light fixture outside the garage doors and it was a motion detector too!

In between this madness, I started attacking the areas of the garage that are largely my domain, namely kids stuff. We had 5 pairs of cleats that fit none of my kids, 2 sets of training wheels that are gathering dust...the list grew everytime I turned my head. So I embarked on a freecycling and garbage removing frenzy while Jim worked on the light.

I won't bore you with the details of the rest of the day but it went on and on like that. So did Sunday morning. Sunday's snacks were prepared or purchased with the idea that they would easily become lunch snacks or part of dinner. For example, the veggie platter became part of the Jerk Seitan that we had for dinner last night, nuts were divided into containers to take with lunches. You get the idea.

As it turned out, our guest had to leave before dinner so the barbequed lentils that I had cooking in the slow cooker will be tonight's dinner. Since our guests left earlier than we'd expected we ran over to my parent's house, got the dog pen and set it up here before dinner.

Not the way I'd planned it, but everything got done and we had a lot of laughs along the way.


Anonymous said...

I'm with you! I wish I were at home today dozing instead of at work; my weekend was really busy. Productive weekends are great, though, aren't they?

Anonymous said...

At least you were laughing, instead of swearing, which is what I probably would have been doing on a weekend such as yours.


Anonymous said...

I'm not sure if you know this already but a lot of bladder leaking in older dogs is caused by a dip in hormones and can be corrected with medication. My 4 year old spayed female started having leaking problems a few months ago but since going on medication has been leak free.

cindy24 said...

Wondering if you have a recipe for soy jerky. My niece is living in Niger with Peace Corps. I have sent her some but it is expensive and she could really use more. The food choices are very limited. She can get tofu once a week only. No frig or food storage where she is. Any tips would be so helpful.

Ruthie said...

LOL Katie, you're a riot! :-)

Poor Mel. I'm sure you've had him checked out for a UTI, bladder stones, etc. Being an old dog is so hard.

You might want to ask your vet about Phenylpropanolamine, or PPA or Proin as it is sometimes called. It's a relatively inexpensive drug that helps a lot of leaky dogs, mostly older spayed girls though.

Cindy ~
We love the jerky recipes in How It All Vegan. Totally good for road trips.

Katie said...

Oh I was swearing too but I just couldn't muster up too much anger, it all seemed so ridiculous! It did feel good to get so much done though.

Mel's been checked out and doesn't have anything "wrong" with him (bladder wise). It seems to be a crazy behavioral thing that's gotten worse as he's aged. He breaks all the behavioral rules (ie. won't pee in crate, won't pee with belly band on, etc.)

As to the soy jerky recipe, I defer to Ruthie since I don't really have one. I'll keep my eyes open though.

Chile said...

I'm glad it was a productive weekend, despite the constant change in plans. I have far too many days (and weeks) like that; they usually leave me pretty fried.

Good thing you didn't freecycle that spare motion detector, huh? ;-)