Monday, October 29, 2007

Holy Giveaway!

I'm not being facetious -- this really is a holy giveaway from Kim at Life in a Shoe. She's offering $250 dollars of materials from Vision Forum! I'm so impressed with their catalog it almost makes me want to homeschool.

At any rate, if I won here's what I would pick...

Passionate Housewives Desperate for God
So Much More
Parenting from the Heart
Mother/Home-Making Set
S.M Davis Family Rebuilders Library
The Sinking of the Titanic and Great Sea Disasters
Jonathan Park Set

There were so many other wonderful books and CDs, but this is what I whittled it down to.

If you want to enter the giveaway, head on over to Life in a Shoe and check it out!

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Spice Cabinet Cleanup

First, I confess that I alphabetize my spices. Also, I try to buy only McCormick spices because I like their bottle design best and it makes my spices look pretty all lined up on the shelf.

OK, now that confession is over, I'll tell you how I spent an hour this evening. I went to the McCormick website and checked the age on every single one of my spices. Yeah, I'm that geeky.

Most of my spices were purchased within the last decade, and I'm OK with that. I'm not going to buy into the current marketing rage that says that all spices have to be thrown out every six months or a year or every few years. I'm not that Martha Stewartish.

However, one of my spices was from 1980. That's not a typo. My glass bottle of Cracked Black Pepper was, indeed, 27 years old. It was manufactured before Madonna's Borderline, before leg warmers, before jellies shoes. My memories of 1980 include listening to KC and the Sunshine Band, watching Erik Estrada on CHiPs, and being tormented by the biggest bully this side of the Mississippi.

How I acquired such an ancient bottle of pepper, I'm not sure. I own a pepper grinder and tend to use that whenever a recipe calls for it. So I happily tossed the bottle of rancid pepper into the trash and felt an iota better about my cooking abilities.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

You Tube Tuesday - Tension Breaker

From the classic movie "Summer School." I could use a good primal scream this week, too.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Kitchen Nightmares

If you're new, you need to go back and read about my oven that's been broken for nearly a year. Go ahead, I'll wait.

So imagine my relief when my husband announced that it was finally time for a new oven. Problem: He wasn't on board getting a nice oven with all the bells and whistles that my old oven had. So he ordered a not-so-nice oven and I quietly dealt with it.

After several weeks of personal prayer and turmoil, hubby conceded the lesser oven wouldn't be the best investment. Problem: He had already removed the broken oven and it was sitting in our dining room. Oh, and the new oven had been delivered by Sears and it, too, was sitting expectantly in our dining room. It was like an appliance Stonehenge in there.

So he ordered the better oven and we were told it would "be a few days." That was 10 days ago. It's been an interesting 10 days trying to feed my family without an oven. Crock pots and microwaves can only take you so far, you know?

Glory be, the new oven was finally ready for pick-up (because Kevin refuses to pay for delivery and installation). He fetched it last night and maneuvered the 300+ pound monstrosity into the kitchen where it sat there all day giving me hope that the oven saga would soon end.

Mm hmm. Let the record show that it is now 1:43 in the morning, and we've been trying to install the blasted oven for more than FOUR hours now. The entire reason Kevin is trying to install this thing himself is because Sears wanted to charge us $165 for installation. I can understand his point, especially since Sears did a less than stellar job hooking up my washer and dryer. They got the hot and cold inlets reversed and I did three loads of laundry before figuring it out. Rinsing clothes in 140 degree water is not a good idea, by the way.

I admire Kevin's desire to spend our money wisely, but I'm not comfortable with the idea of heaving a $2000 appliance into place. I'm highly concerned about breaking a door or, worse, the entire stinking oven. I don't think we're under warranty here.

That said, Kevin built a fairly impressive ramp out of cinderblocks and two-by-fours. We hoisted the oven up the ramp and discovered that it was too big for the cabinet cutout. We thought it was only the screws that were too wide, so Kevin carefully measured and cut out four neat little notches for the screws.

Attempt #2 failed as well. Kevin shaved off part of the left side of the cabinet. Attempt #3? No go. This oven seems to be expanding with each trip up the ramp. As does my anxiety. Kevin keeps having to flip the oven down on its face and work on the cabinet opening. Every time we try another attempt, the oven doors flap open and the oven starts beeping incessantly. Oh, mercy, this is not going well.

[Excuse me while I go help for Attempt #4...]

Thirty minutes and a whole lot of sawdust later, the oven seems to be in place. Almost. It's sticking out about a half an inch from the front.

$165 for installation. Five hours to install, five hours of worry and fret and heart palpitations on my part as I envision 375 pounds of metal crashing onto my husband and $2000 going to pot. That works out to be about thirty bucks an hour, right? Yup, I would have paid that.

I still have a glimmer of hope that the oven will get installed correctly and that my kitchen nightmare will end soon. My in-laws are arriving in 34 hours and I would kind of like to be able to cook a meal for them. Then again, restaurants are good. I'll let you know how this turns out.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

YouTube Tuesday - Praise Aerobics

I'm starting a new trend in the blog world. Lots of bloggers do Menu Plan Mondays and Works for Me Wednesdays -- I'm starting YouTube Tuesday. I could only watch 90 seconds of this video...

Thursday, October 11, 2007

And Miles to Go Before I Sleep...

This is one of those weeks where, if I stopped to think about how much I have to do, I'd break down in tears and get nothing done. So instead of throwing myself a pity party, I'm choosing to embrace the non-stop adrenaline rush and pray that I'll be able to keep all the balls in the air with letting any crash on my head. Back to the grindstone...