Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Kitchen Reclamation Day, plus no Pinterest links

Today is Kitchen Reclamation Day on the ol' Howard Avenue Homestead, and the side-by-side fridge/freezer thing is the Appliance of Damocles™.

Imagine, if you will, an embarrassing photo of the open fridge and freezer here.

The primary goal today is to clean the AofD™, and then set it up so that keeping it clean is manageable. The smaller, auxillary goal is to curb my impulse to attempt to instantly change every habit I have. Thus, I am going to limit myself to only two fridge/freezer changes.

  1. I'm going to give the ol' Press'n Seal® shelf liner trick a spin around the block.  I thought about giving the ol' Plastic Placemat shelf liner trick a spin, but I want to keep the shelves plain and as see-thru as possible. (I was planning to link to a pin that shows the ol' Press'n Seal® shelf liner trick, but every pin I found said something like "GENIUS!" or "BRILLIANT!" or "MIND = BLOWN!", and frankly I don't want to encourage such behavior. But I think you can figure it out:  line your fridge shelves with Press'n Seal®.  BAM.  Done.)
  2. I'm going to move all the jars of things from the shelves to the fruit and vegetable drawer, and move the fruits and vegetables to the shelves.  I know, the drawers are supposed to be "climate controlled" - even though they are not air-tight and do not have a control on them - and the fruits and veggies will supposedly stay fresher longer in the drawer and blah blah blah, but the fact is that in my house, out of sight = out of mind. Those fruits and veggies tend to be ignored and go bad before they get eaten, so it's not like moving them to the shelves will shorten their lifespan or cause them to go to waste more than they are now.  

Finally, (I know I said only two changes, but this is not a change), I'm going to continue and build on a trick I've been using for the past few years:  stashing gallon jugs of water in the back of each shelf. They help keep things from shoved to the back of the bus.  That makes them the bad cops and not me. I'm going to put another gallon on each shelf and force things to stay even closer to the front.

In the freezer I'm going to, uh, do stuff.  :)  More of the ol' Press'n Seal®, and figure out why the ice piles up on the side of the ice maker bin and gets stuck.

I promise to post a real picture when I'm done, so you must promise to cheer when I do.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Something about socks and fall and karate and the weekend

So tomorrow Ella has an all-day karate seminar, which means that I get to have an all-day knitting session.  Since it's fall, my current project is a pair of socks from yarn I've been hoarding for no reason whatsoever.

"Bronzed Berry Stripes".   Would love to see this colorway rendered in lipstick.
I knit my socks toe up, two at a time on different sets of needles.  If I only knit them one at a time, I will never have a complete pair because I haz a SADD (Sock Attention Deficit Disorder).  I knit 10 rows on one sock, then knit 10 on the other sock--back and forth--when I get to the end of one sock, I only have 10 rows left on the other one.

I keep my current project in a ziplock bag because I haz a CATS (Creatures Attacking The Stash).

Also, despite what you see here, my couch is not in fact neon, although now I regret that it is not.

When I cast on, I leave a very long tail.  After I have completed the toe, I use that yarn tail as my row counter.  Every 10 rows I weave the tail out or in, whichever way it needs to go, to mark the beginning of the next set of 10.

Star toe.  Because of my aforementioned SADD.

Remind me sometime and I'll put together a tutorial on how I knit this toe.

Unlike my beloved friend Elizabeth Dehority, I cannot knit a pair of socks in record time, unless the record is for how long it takes to finish knitting a pair of socks.  This pair will probably take a bit longer than usual because I'm going to try a new-to-me heel method called the Fish Lips Kiss Heel, which is available for download on Ravelry.  This pattern looks like something I can manage without much gnashing of teeth or rending of cloth.  I have hopes - hopes, I tell you! - hopes of finishing this pair of socks in one pass!  (Psssst!  I'm Rostitchery on Ravelry.  Add me so I can add you back and then we can form a mutual add-miration loop.)

What are you doing this weekend?  Please tell me that it is something with a magical name on par with Fish Lips Kiss.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Fight Fire with No Fire

Aaaaaaaaaaand, we're back. It's fall, ya'll!  I hope you had a great summer.

Which brings me to batteries.  Specifically 9v batteries, like this little beauty.  9v batteries cost about $5.00 each and they will save your life.

Isn't it cute how it's all "Yeah, I'mma save your life."

See, the received wisdom in the US is that we should change the batteries in our household smoke detectors every six months so they are always fresh and ready to save our lives.  As a handy-dandy way to remember to do this, the Consumer Product Safety Commission suggests we replace the batteries in all our smoke detectors when we change into and out of Daylight Saving Time.  The problem is that the dates for springing forward and falling back have been moved so much over the years that now there are just four months between the fall and the spring change, then 8 months between the spring and the fall change.

That's not, by definition, every six months.

Thus I change our batteries on the Spring and Fall Equinox.  Those dates are always, by definition, six months apart, and they apply all over the world, so readers in Philippines or in Denmark or in the South Pole, I'm pleased to announce that you are back in the loop.  You're welcome.

You might see a good sale on 9v batteries in the next month or so because of the aforementioned CPSC recommendation.  Don't stock up.  You want fresh batteries.  That's why you're changing them, remember?  Fresh batteries will save your life.  Old batteries that have been sitting in the utility closet for three years have the potential to mock you in the worst way possible.  Just go ahead  and spring for enough new batteries to get you thru the winter.  It's pretty cheap insurance.

ProTip:  the battery you take out of your smoke detector is probably not dead, and in fact might have quite a bit of power left in it.  Not enough to bet your life on, but plenty to run things like a clock radio or a remote-control toy.  Draw a big X in permanent marker on all sides of the battery, to indicate that it shouldn't be used in your smoke detectors, and save it for other uses.  Then when it has really and truly run out of power, take it to the recycling center so it doesn't clutter up the landfill. The earth thanks you.

PS--A while back I started a newsletter and then let it go to sleep.  Sorry about that.  If you want to keep up with my homemaking or homeschooling or homesomethingelse-ing, you can sign up on the sidebar. I promise you'll hear from me often enough to let you know what's happening but not so often that you feel like you're being stalked.