Friday, January 04, 2013

Day Three Good Deed and some Cookies

Remember yesterday-how I told you about the kitchen sink?  Well, the plumbers did come today-and I offered that glass of water (Good Deed!)...but not to the first round of plumbers that showed up.  Curious?  Ok, here's how it went...

A couple of nights ago, we ran the disposal, which worked just fine until we shut it off.  At that point, it regurgitated everything back up the drain in both sinks, pretty gross.  So, my husband did his best to figure it out but eventually had to admit defeat and call our property managers.  When they finally called us back this morning, it was after 11:00 am and I had a box of irreplaceable things packed in case our house burned down.  See, when I walked in the door after dropping Hubby off at work, all I could smell was hot, melted plastic coming from the kitchen.  I was a little freaked out.  I discovered that the source of the smell was coming from the cupboard under the sink, so I immediately unplugged the garbage disposal and made a call to my husband who called the property managers yet again.  Our response (the 11am one) came two hours later with the promise of someone coming to our rescue on Monday-IN THREE DAYS.  That would be three days without using our sink or dishwasher with the smell of melted plastic hovering about the sink.  I was slightly panicking, which is why I packed the box.  Anyway, the manager called me directly and I was able to explain the situation.  She responded with " Well, I'll see if I can call someone to come help, but I don't think it'll happen until late this afternoon." Great.  How comforting.  My house is melting around me and you don't care.  Fine, I can handle this.  When the plumbers called me, they also told me that they could come out on Monday.  Did no one understand?  What was going on here?  Where was the communication?  Once again I had to explain the potential melting pipe situation and finally...FINALLY someone understood!  Forty-five minutes later, there were two plumbers standing on my doorstep.  Two butt-crack angels of hope with the capability to save my home from certain doom.  I was so relieved.

Once again, I explained the goings-on and then went back to the business of my Scrappy Trip Along quilt.  Five minutes later, Butt Crack 1 and Butt Crack 2 informed me that my disposal was fine, the melting smell was being caused by a continuously running disposal motor (keep in mind that this thing was unplugged and that it had been turned off already for at least 36 hours.) and that the problem is that the pipe outside was clogged.  Oh, and they couldn't smell anything...probably because I had just baked cookies and that was the prominent smell in the house.

I thanked the Butt Crack Twins and sent a text to my husband with this puzzling development in the Sink Saga.  We weren't very pleased at all.  

Twenty-five minutes later there was another knock on the door.  It seemed the Butt Crack Duo had an additional member to their party.  He was late to the party and, surprisingly, without information from either the plumbing company or the property management.  I found myself yet again explaining the situation.  I expected him to say "Oh, ok, one of our guys was already here and they couldn't fix it?  I guess that's it then, see you!"  But instead, he asked if he could come in and take a look at it.  Ten minutes later, the sink was fixed.  FIXED.  I was so grateful that I skipped right past that offer of a glass of water and gave him a bagful of cookies.  He tried to refuse but I gleefully insisted and I think he was secretly happy to take them.  (I imagine that he scarfed them down before he even got out of my driveway.)

I have since ran the dishwasher and noticed that the melty smell is completely gone.  I am so thankful that there was a miscommunication going on.  I wouldn't have a working disposal and peace of mind otherwise.  I loved that I had something to show my gratitude to the guy who came in despite the fact that his co-workers couldn't fix it.  I loved even more that he took the cookies, he had a big smile on his face and that small gesture of thanks opened him up to a small conversation about our weekend plans: he has to work, I'm going to sew.  Those cookies bridged the gap of being a customer and serviceman to two real humans.  I wasn't just a clogged sink and he wasn't just a butt crack in my cupboard.  Isn't it funny how something so very simple can bring us back to humanity?  I think all the world's problems could potentially be solved with cookies.  The banana is wrong, cookies are the world's most perfect food.

So, how about a recipe?  My friend Tammy passed this one on to me a few Christmases ago.  It's pretty easy and is pretty unbelievably delicious.  I'd be willing to bet that you have all the ingredients on hand already.

Tammy's Flourless Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

preheat oven to 350*

1 cup peanut butter
1 cup brown sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup chocolate chips

Mix peanut butter, sugar, egg, vanilla and baking soda until creamy and well-blended; stir in chocolate chips.  Drop by rounded tablespoonfuls on a cooking spray coated baking sheet.  Bake for 10-12 minutes; allow to cool on cookie sheet for 1-2 minutes before transferring to a rack to cool.

Happy Baking!

PS Tomorrow's good deed will be: Tuck Your Sweetheart In.  Get ready!

Thursday, January 03, 2013

One Good Deed: Pick Up the Tab.

Last night our garbage disposal quit working.  It pretends that it's grinding up the offal and swallowing it like it's supposed to, but as soon as it's turned off, it regurgitates everything back into the sink.  It's really gross.  My husband decided to try and fix it himself.  He took everything out from under the sink and discovered that the u-shaped pipe wasn't even sealed to the connecting pipes.  What's that all about?  So, he sealed it properly, wiggled and jiggled the garbage disposal components and then finally taped a plastic bag over the faucet with strict instructions that we couldn't use the sink for 24 hours while the sealant was setting.  Fine.  I can make coffee in the bathroom, no problem.  AND!  We can go out to dinner!  Yay!  (I'll take any excuse...)  

We went to one of our favorite Mexican restaurants, not because the food is extremely fabulous or anything, but because they have the most incredible homemade flour tortillas that we affectionately call "fluffy pillows".  Seriously, these things are like 1/4" thick, chewy, warm and so darn fluffy.  I would happily weigh three times my weight just to eat them every day.  Yum, yum, yum.  When our server dropped off our check, I pulled out my wallet and paid the tab.  I didn't even think twice about it or all of the fabric I could've bought with the money.  Instead, I sat back satisfied that I was able to treat my family to a dinner out for once...take some of the responsibility from my husband, who usually pays.  It was nice to be able to do that for him.  He works so hard for us and I never really get the opportunity to pay our restaurant bill. 

I've been glancing through the book, and I'm trying to decide on an easy Good Deed for tomorrow.  One suggestion was to offer a glass of water to the meter maid, electrician or other service person that I come in contact with.  I have a feeling that will be the plumber...

Until tomorrow!

Wednesday, January 02, 2013

One Good Deed A Day: Day One

Available here!

A few weeks before this past Christmas, I met a friend for coffee in Seattle.  We decided to do a little shopping on our way back from visiting our mutual friend, Keli, at Dry Goods Design. (Absolutely adorable shop, by the way, check it out if you're around!)  Now, I can't remember the name of the shop that I picked up this journal, but it was such a great little place; full of gifts and treasures and gorgeous, well-made, inexpensive furniture.  The kind of place that I could spend hours in, perusing all of the wares and dreaming up interior decorating schemes for my house.  I made only one small purchase: the One Good Deed A Day Journal.  The purchase was only small in stature.  The gesture in itself, if completed, is huge.  I generally try to live in a way that is kind-hearted and thoughtful, but occasionally I find myself being cynical, sarcastic and sometimes just plain bitter.  I don't like this about me because I find that it reflects a certain type of negativity that I don't want my daughter to pick up.  She is a very happy, observant and thoughtful child and I'd love if those traits carried on into her older childhood and beyond.  Why not continue to nurture such endearing characteristics so that she can continue to be a person who is much admired and respected?  The kind of person that brings joy and light to the world, the kind that everyone wants to be friends with?  She inspires me on a regular basis to be a better person, to enrich my life with happy thoughts, positive feelings and good deeds.  So, when I saw this little book lying on a table top, it sort of reached out to me and asked me to buy it.  I decided that if I could turn this small purchase into a journey and share it with all of you, then perhaps we could all benefit from it.  Are you interested?  Would you like to join me?

There are 365 suggestions in this journal Every page has a few blank lines to fill in so that the writer can reflect on their done deed.  I am taking to my blog for these reflections and I offer you to do the same in your own blog, if you like.  Or, I would absolutely love to hear about your experiences right here.  Just leave a comment with your thoughts and/or feelings about your Good Deed.

Today's Good Deed (chosen at random) was: Register to Become an Organ Donor.  I wasn't sure how to do this, so I googled "organ donor registry" and chose the one that seemed the most straight-forward.  It took me maybe eight minutes, but I am now registered to donate my eyes (corneas and "full globe") heart, pancreas, liver, kidneys and lungs.  I'm not really sure why, but I declined the donation for "Upper body bone", veins and skin.  I would like to learn a little more about those three donations before committing to them.  I don't know, if they take my skin, can I still be buried in an open casket or not?  What happens to my body if they harvest my ribs?  Will I be lying in my coffin looking like a deflated balloon with legs attached?  These are some of the hopelessly ridiculous thoughts that were running through my head, but I have to find out those answers before I can say yes.  I like the thought that I might still be able to help someone after I am gone.  It was a bit unnerving to be alive and well, but still planning for my eventual death.  At the same time, I am satisfied that I signed up.  Maybe one day I'll be the perfect match for someone in need of a transplant.  It might be some comfort to my family that even after death, I have the potential to live on through organ donation.  

In the meantime, I'm off to research answers for my questions.

Happy Day!

Tuesday, January 01, 2013

Resolutions, of course!

Just a girl and her Guy the Giraffe

We went snowboarding today.  Guy the Giraffe went with us, here he is having a conversation with his most favorite person in the whole wide world about what to have for breakfast.  Apparently he adamantly refused to share Roo's cheese omelet and he did not want pancakes.  No matter, Roo was able to order her own meal and Daddy was nice enough to share his French Toast with Guy.  Whew!  Crisis averted!  Thanks, Daddy-O!

 The drive was beautiful, especially because I was a passenger for once.  I got to sit in the backseat with Roo and hold her hand as we watched the world go by.  She kept asking me when we would be there, and I told her "As soon as we start seeing snow on the hills, you'll know that we're getting close."  Little did I know that there was snow to be seen almost immediately.

Mt. Si, just outside of North Bend, WA.
She was so excited when we finally got there!  We went to the lodge to buy our tickets and then headed back to the car to get dressed.

We gave her the snowboard for Christmas last year, when she was a month shy of being three years old, but this was the first time she had been up to the mountain with it.  She rode it last year in the neighborhood when it snowed eight inches, so she had an idea of what she was in for.  

Magic Carpet!
She did really well riding the Magic Carpet for the very first time, she giggled and laughed all the way up.  There were a lot of little kids on skis, but she was by far the littlest and youngest on a snowboard.  Isn't she cute?

She was able to ride about 10-15 feet without holding our hands and she got the hang of riding both her toe edge and her heel edge.  She seemed to lack the confidence to start on her own, but I think that in a very short amount of time she will be shredding the slopes without thinking twice.

After a few hours of learning, we decided that it was time to get some hot chocolate and head home.

Spending the day with my little family was a perfect way to start the new year.  I hope to make this year even better than last year (holy cow, I can't even believe I'm saying last year in reference to 2012!!)  I have made my resolutions, but would prefer to call them goals.  There are the usual goals: lose weight, get in shape, eat better, quit drinking soda and drink more water...  But then there are my personal goals: be more patient, stop swearing, complete the tasks in my "One Good Deed A Day" journal (and then blog about it on a daily basis) complete two patterns a month, learn a new quilt block every day-although this might become a weekly challenge, add more designer fabric to my stash and create more. 

Most of these things are goals to drive me to be a better person, which I feel will in turn make me a better mother, wife, friend and business owner.  I realize that my daughter is my biggest fan, she looks up to me and I want to be the right example for her.  I see my flaws and I can accept the ones I cannot change.  I cannot accept the ones that I can and WILL change.

So, I leave you for now with this challenge: what will YOU change? 

Here's to a very blessed New Year to all of you.