October 20, 2013

Fried Green Neighborhood

Two weeks ago woman on the neighborhood Yahoo group offered up her green tomatoes. I didn't reply because I figured someone would beat me to it.

A week later she gave final warning and I jumped on it. I brought her Meyer lemons and Mexican tarragon in exchange, and left with a vast quantity of tomatoes. Happened to have a shopping bag in my purse, so I divided them up and swung by the Precious Family's house on the way home to drop them off.

Here's my haul. Thank you, nice lady!

I immediately set about making fried green tomatoes.

Fried Green tomatoes are an amazing treat. I made them just like my Pop would (flour, salt, pepper, paprika). The smell of browned flour in the frying pan reminds me so much of him, as do the tomatoes. 

Wish you were here to share them, Pop :)

The Baby. An Explanation

At a recent baby shower at the forklift factory, we made a gift card for the expectant mom. The card featured everyone in our department holding a big Kewpie doll. At the baby shower, someone suggested that the mom take home the baby doll, which was mine. Without thinking I blurted out "No!!! He lives in my bathroom!"

Everybody wanted to know why the baby lives in the bathroom.

In answer to their question, he anchors my display of little friends. That's what he does.

Here's our medicine cabinet with knick knack shelves. As you can see, my big baby lives on the bottom right. He doesn't quite fit, but he doesn't care, and his sweet little expression makes me happy every time I walk in the room.

I have a long history with Kewpies. I love the little guy stuck in the mah jongg tile in this part of the display below. I saw him taped to the cash register at a Family Mart in Kaohsiung and begged them to let me buy it. They gave it to me because they liked my hair.

The Kewpie doll in the Japanese lamp came from Osaka. The one in the little Yakult Swallows uniform came from a Tokyo Yakult Swallows baseball game. The two who have corn and a tiger hat on their heads came from the deinstall of the forklift exhibition in Kaohsiung. The wind-up sumo wrestler was given to me at the Singapore deinstall by a colleague, and the big old Kewpie came from a craft store in the basement of Kyoto Tower. Mom found me Wig Lustre at a an estate sale "Don't you need this?" she asked.

Keeping on the baby theme, Big Baby! And some more sumo wrestlers that you put on your thumbs and wrestle with, and a light up Donald Duck that I bought for 5 Euro in Mantova in a palazzo after midnight, from a guy who was pretending to be deaf. I still regret not buying his flashlights, also.

Rounding out the display, a librarian action figure, an acupuncture point model of the ear

weird preparations, including the best psyllium husk label ever made, and Klutch denture adhesive.

On a non-Kewpie note, lack of shampoo in the bathroom made me stoop to removing the Dr. Liggett's shampoo bar from my display. My review of it as a product? Not so much, and it quickly went in the garbage. Ordinarily I'd feel a little guilty about cannibalizing the display, but it's the only item whose origin I can't recall.

October 19, 2013

A Walk

As soon as I knew we were moving, I started researching our new city in greater depth. That's how I found the Trekkers. Today we went on our first walk with them.

It turns out that four doors down from our new place is a set of stairs to a hillside trail and fields that you can walk in.

I love nature, but I also love when you can be in it and see the man-made world around it. This spot is the perfect mix.

These stairs are in a neighborhood nearby, and lead to open space:

At some point we had to walk through this neighborhood to get to the next trail. Our new house is up there in those trees somewhere:

If you walk down our street, down some stairs and walk a short trail and *then* cross a busy street, you end up on this trail. We'll definitely come here again.

Movin On Up

I told a friend from work that we were moving. When he asked where I live and I said "The City of Pride and Purpose," and he asked me where I was moving and I said "The City with a View," he started singing the Jeffersons' theme. I admit to feeling slightly guilty about moving to Whiteyland, and to be leaving this city that I love and am proud of.

I will deeply miss this city. My neighbors are wonderful, and we went to our last neighborhood potluck last week. The city is interesting, diverse, with fractious politics and people who are really invested in its future. We even had a semi-pro basketball team that one year. We have national historic monuments, a gorgeous waterfront -- I could go on.

And I'll miss our sweet first house. We fixed it up a bit, and every time I walk into my kitchen and my bathroom, they give me such pleasure because they're such a reflection of mrguy and I. Some of our bandmates are wistful about leaving our first home, too, as we rehearse weekly in the living room.

But it's time to graduate. We will finally have a guest room to offer people, and different rooms to hang out in, and the cat box will no longer share space with us in the bathroom. We literally redesigned our current bathroom around our need to have a cat box there. We will now have 2 1/2 bathrooms, which feels completely deluxe. None contains a cat box.

We sign the loan docs on Monday.


October 12, 2013

We Bought You A Sewer Bond

You better be ours.

The dream house is within our grasp. It's been a complete roller coaster. Escrow is due to close at the end of the month.

Right now our issue is the loan. Before we were looking for a house we'd deposited some checks for larger amounts, and the lender wants to know what they were for. One was a gift from mamacita (thank you, mamacita) and one was reimbursement for a computer that I'd purchased for a friend.

Mom's going to send a letter stating that her check was a gift, middlesisguy sent us mom's cancelled check, and now we have to prove the computer reimbursement. mrguy south's dad had paid for the computer. So mrguy contacted mrguy south to help us get a similar letter from his dad. Bummer! His parents are on a cruise. Then mrguy remembered that mrguy south's dad had sent us a thank you letter with his check. This might do!

Unfortunately, I went on a cleaning binge on Monday and threw it out. 

So on went the rubber gloves, and somewhere under the cat litter was the letter. It happens to be signed, dated, mentions the amount he was sending and is covered in egg yolk and other festive discoloration.

No school like the old school, man. The letter is currently drying in the man room.

So we're hoping that with my receipt for the computer and the letter from dad, we won't have to get a copy of the cancelled check from people who are on a big ass boat trying to relax.

I no longer sleep very well.

October 6, 2013

The Day's Haul

After reading many engineers' reports, we needed to clear our heads. mrguy selected an estate sale for us and I shopped my little head off. I have a HUGE affection for old cleaning products, and there was a bonanza at this particular sale. I mostly took pictures and left footprints, but there were a few things that I had to have.

Come on -- Free Expression Paint. How could I not buy this? I left the items below for someone else to cherish. Awesome labels:

Vano, which makes dirt vanish.

And Soil-off, the INSTANT cleaner for painted surfaces.

In addition to purchasing Free Expression, which I think of as a priceless God-given right, I bought some vintage cleaning products that were discontinued decades ago. 

They will probably kill me, but they'll make my world momentarily spotless and shinier before I die.

Live for the now!

October 5, 2013



Look at that!

October 4, 2013

October 2, 2013


The unexpected happened and we're in contract on the house we really want.
We thought there might be a chance that when the other people outbid us they might bolt during the inspection contingency period, and they did.

Today's loan officer day, tomorrow we meet with two inspectors and then we'll know everything we need to know to make our decision. I want this house, so we have to make this work.

I'm still in shock, but a good kind of shock. On the 11th I reached out to our agent to ask about a house that I thought I was curious about. 3 weeks later we're buying a house.

So good.

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