The Mysterious Can Opener Caper

IMG_3274

The very new and the very old and why are those apples so shiny?

It’s obvious to me by my title choice that I have been reading way too many crime stories lately, featuring detectives who are enamoured of their own wit in naming cases.  I download sometimes up to three free e-books a day with not a hope in hell of ever reading all of them.  But I do it for a couple of good reasons.  One, they’re free.  And two, if I can’t get past the first chapter I have a minimum amount of remorse hitting “home” and choosing another title.  Because hey,  they were all FREE.

As usual, I digress.  I have a can opener story.  I mean, come on, doesn’t everybody?   It wouldn’t surprise me to find authors giving them away for free on Amazon.  Get Book One of the Suspense Filled New Can Opener Trilogy Thriller!  I’m a sucker for that kind of thing.

Anyway, this little black electric can opener I’ve had for many years was on sale for less than ten dollars way back eons ago.  I never thought at the time what possible reasons there could be for such a low price, but I wonder if the freaking racket the thing makes had something to do with it.  There can be no stealthy opening of cans in my house.  Unless you want to root around in ‘the drawerfor the hand held quiet ones.  We still have three of them I think.  Pretty sure two of them still work.

As with many such incredibly cheap items, this thing refuses to die.  If I’d picked up a forty dollar deluxe model it would have broken down in six months.  There is no doubt some Murphy’s Law about that very thing.

With use, however sporadic,  the little blade gets gooped up with the liquid from whatever I’m opening, and the little wheel that turns to rotate the can also gets grungy, as does the handle I press down to start the gawd awful wake-the-dead noise because I normally open a can only when I’m in the middle of some kind of complicated messy food prep. Like making tuna salad sandwiches. Trust me, I can make that complicated and messy.  So my point is, the thing gets dirty. And although I always have good intentions of cleaning it up in a timely fashion, the task does get overlooked.  Until it’s so disgusting I can’t do that anymore.

Yesterday afternoon I realized a soapy wipe was not going to be good enough this time around, so I armed myself with a pointy paring knife, dish soap, an old tooth brush, and super hot water from the sink sprayer, thinking if water somehow gets into the motor and ruins it, well it is old and cheap and who cares unless I electrocute myself later.

As I was scrubbing away and cursing the man who designed this impossible to clean piece of crap (it’s always a mans fault when something is hard to keep clean, have you ever noticed that?) the silver handle popped off and clattered into the sink.  And suddenly it was super easy to wash, and the little wheel was now exposed and clean in no time.  Seriously. And it all popped back together again.

It was one of those eureka moments.  The piece comes off so you can throw it in the dishwasher.  The guy who designed it (probably a woman) was not such a moron after all.  This is the second time I’ve been dumbfounded in the kitchen this month.  (Contrary to popular opinion, this does not happen on a daily basis.)  My son unscrewed the top from my immersion blender so it’s easier to clean the blade half.  I did not know it was meant to come apart.  Well, now I know two new things.  I wonder what other totally obvious things I’m missing.

This is why life for some people is a continuing exciting adventure of discovery.  In which a small thing like getting your can opener cleaned up can be the highlight of your day.

Okay, so this wasn’t really a caper, and also not particularly mysterious.  It’s about a kitchen utensil, so I don’t know what you were expecting.  I did hint at death by can opener, and that was pretty exciting, right?  And the story is free.  So we’re all good.

Happy last day of April.  Hope you’re enjoying the sunshine.

Advertisements

Weird Things

IMG_3172

(from Facebook, not sure who to credit, but somebody deserves a lot of it)

I don’t remember where this list came from, but “weird things about me” is a prompt I found hard to resist.  Is that weird?

I suppose the real weird part is having it sit in my drafts folder for six months.  So “hard to resist” may not mean what I think it means.  Anyway, here you go.  Feel free to copy and paste the questions so we can compare weirdness.
1.  Do you like blue cheese?

Absolutely cannot get past the appearance and smell to put it in my mouth.  So I guess that means no.

2. Coke or Pepsi?

Not sure (in a blind taste test)  if I’d be able to tell the difference.  I think I prefer Pepsi but I’ve been buying Coke Zero.  A lot of things in my life are confusing like that.

3. Do you own a gun?

Nope.  Although there’s still a couple of shot guns in the house from W’s trap shooting days, complete with permits.  They are locked away, separate from ammunition.  We are good law-abiding Canadians who will have to fend off intruders with kitchen knives and random blunt objects.  I don’t really have a clear plan.

4. What flavor Kool-aid?

Never touch the stuff.  Raspberry Crystal Lite is pretty good.  I prefer making my own lemon water with Truvia.

5. What do you think of hot dogs?

I think it’s bizarre that white bread with mystery meat and a pile of condiments can taste so good.

6. Favorite tv show?
7. Favorite movie?

I refuse to answer questions containing the word “favourite” especially when it’s spelled incorrectly.

8. What do you drink in the morning?

Water to swallow daily meds and coffee to improve my disposition.

9. Can you do a push-up?

Not likely.

10. Favorite jewelry?
11. Favorite hobby?

Leave me alone.

13. Do you wear glasses?

Yes, when I’m driving.  Otherwise I squint a lot at things in the distance and may appear to be rude and stuck up when I don’t recognize your face at twenty paces and ignore you.

14. Favorite cartoon character?

Cartoons are stupid.

15. Three things you did today?

Went to our accountants office to sign some papers.  Ate a McDonalds breakfast.  Whipped off an email to my baby sister to wish her a happy birthday and let her know her card will be late because I’m a procrastinating moron.  That last part she knows already so I didn’t have to actually point it out.

16. Three drinks you drink regularly?

Coffee. Times three.  And LOTS of water if that counts.

17. Current worries?

Why is life so expensive?  That’s about it.

18. Current hates?

Politics.

19. Favorite place to be?

Home.  Drinking coffee.

20. How did you ring in the new year?

Blissfully unconscious.  Probably snoring.

21. Where would you like to go?

Back to Ontario.

22. Favorite color?

Red. COLOUR.  I know, I’m being anal.

23. Do you like sleeping on satin sheets?

No clue.  But the slipperiness might be weird.

24. Can you whistle?

Very badly.  One barely audible note.

25. Where are you now?

On the couch in my living room. From here I can observe the approach of intruders, assuming they choose to gain access through the front door.

26. Would you be a pirate?

Probably not a very good one.  Not a fan of ships and oceans.  Or looting or swords.

27. Favorite food?

Not blue cheese.

28. What’s in your pockets?

Air and lint.

29. Last thing that made you laugh?

The news.  It also sometimes makes me cry.  And the picture at the top of this post. OMG the look on that cats face.

30. Favorite animal?

Stop it.  Okay, it’s that cat.

31. What’s your most recent injury?

I have a huge bruise on my left leg at the knee.  Must have bumped in to something.  Can’t give you any more details than that.

32. How many tv’s in your house?

One.

33. Worst pain ever?

Crushed disc in my lower back pushing on a nerve.  I spent about eight months on muscle relaxants and pain killers before surgery to remove it.  That’s how long it took to get a proper diagnosis.

34. Do you like to dance?

Not. At. All.  Because AWKWARD.

35. Are your parents still alive?

No.  I miss them.

36. Do you enjoy camping?

No.  Camping is even more stupid than cartoons.

Happy Thursday!  If it’s your birthday today the card from me is gonna be late, sorry!

This all ended up considerably less weird than I expected.  I’ll try to do better next time.

Oh Canada

IMG_3109

So this happened….

I don’t know, is there anything more Canadian than two RCMP officers dressed in red serge mounted on magnificent black horses in a Starbucks drive through? Well yeah, they maybe should have picked a Tim Hortons, but still. Lots of weird stuff happening during our country’s 150th birthday year.  This was in June (click on pic for link).

The only reason I know about it is because I looked it up on Monday morning after I was walking through my living room on my way to somewhere else and heard the clippity clop of big horse feet, and thought that’s pretty weird shit for this or any random little residential street.  So I looked out my front window as two mounted police went by my house.

This is the kind of thing that makes you wonder if you’re hallucinating, insane, deluded, dreaming, or all of the above.  I could so easily have missed it.  There was no time to grab my phone to take a picture because although they were going at a very leisurely pace, they were there and then they were gone in the time it took for me to pick my jaw up off the floor.

The only thing I could find online was this coffee run picture from a month ago.  I guess they may very well be doing these patrols intermittently all summer around here.  And I would have been oblivious to this news if it hadn’t walked by my front yard.

So, here’s a list of things I have seen this summer although I don’t live in a rural setting or by a pond or in a forest:

  1. A big black and white cat.
  2. Many dogs on leashes walking their humans
  3. A coyote
  4. A pair of mallard ducks checking out the neighbors driveway mud puddle
  5. Two jack rabbits. Or could be more, they all look alike.
  6. The resident squirrel and the encroaching squirrels he chatters at and chases away
  7. Many big black crows
  8. Lots of gorgeous magpies
  9. A few bluejays
  10. HORSES for the love of God.

So what’s next, elephants and UFOs?  I’ll keep you posted.

Hey, speaking of posted, I read in the local paper that postal workers want to bring back door to door mail delivery here.  Maybe not-so-disgruntled mail carriers will be the next thing I see from my very own front door.  Not holding my breath for that one though.

For the Love of Flat Bread

Funny what counts as inspiration and makes me want to blog all of a sudden.  This is mostly for my recipe-sending sister, to let her know I take her seriously when she makes a recommendation even if it takes me forever and three days to try it out for myself.

It’s coconut flour flat bread!  I followed the recipe!  Except for the part at the end where my one act of rebellion was to cut it into shapes instead of rounds.  Rounds give you too many left over pieces you just want to throw out.  This was less wasteful and more interesting.  The two pieces sort of shaped like Manitoba were just happy accidents.

It smells great when it’s baking and tastes really good with garlic and herb cream cheese.  And yeah, that was breakfast.

Here’s how easy it is.  Maybe you know what a big fan of easy I am.

Ingredients

½ cup coconut flour

2 (two) 15 ml Tablespoons + 2 (two) 5 ml teaspoons xantham gum

¼ cup melted coconut oil

1 cup boiling water

optional: 1 tsp spice of your choice (I used Italian)

Directions

Preheat oven to 355 F
Whisk dry ingredients together

Add water & oil. Mix with fork until no lumps and dough comes together.

Knead with your hands until well mixed.

Roll out dough in between 2 sheets of parchment paper

Cut into rounds with cookie cutter or oiled drinking glass

Line cookie sheet with parchment paper & fill with cut outs like cookies

Bake for 20 min until golden brown
Next time I might add some salt, and flip them over in the last five minutes so both sides get a bit crispy.  And of course experiment with the spices.

I’ve been so incredibly antisocial for such a long time this summer, if that’s what it takes for an introvert to recharge, I should be at about 120 percent by now.  I admit I sometimes talk to myself out loud lately.  You know, just to see if my voice still works.  This morning I had a staring contest with a jack rabbit until I asked him wtf he wanted and he took off.  The other day I watched the squirrel on our fence taunting three squawking crows.  Perhaps you are getting an inkling of why I haven’t been rushing to my iPad to record these and other extraordinary events for posterity.

And it’s been so hot.  When I shop I go early in the morning, get the mail from the day before, half close the blinds to the direct sunlight and read my kindle with a fan blowing in my face.  Play some computer games, check out the idiotic crap going on in the world, see if there’s weather watches or warnings.  Get quite excited for myself and my grass if it rains.  Wasn’t so thrilled with the latest tornado watch, didn’t like the black sky and hung out in the basement for a bit one evening.

Other than that and having family here for the Canada Day weekend and talking to and texting W sporadically, there is nothing to say.  So I have been saying nothing.  And doing next to that.

I am alive and eating flat bread.  Life is good.

How to Make Your Eyes Look Like Eyes

IMG_2924
Or like deep, daring, slightly hypnotic black holes in your face. Your choice.

I wonder what Revlon thought they looked like before she put all that shit on them?

I’m certainly not anti makeup, don’t get me wrong.  Artfully applied it can bring out your best features and play down whatever you think your flaws are.  When I first started experimenting with eyeliner and mascara, and yes that would have been in and around 1964 when this ad came out, I confidently believed a heavy hand and bold strokes were the way to go.  God forbid anyone should guess what I looked like with my face washed.

My mother was pretty tolerant although she did suggest that sometimes less is more.  Then apparently even she got used to my new face.  Once I came down to dinner with no make up on at all and she wondered if I was sick.

IMG_3013

Happy first day of Spring everyone.

Guinness and Double D’s

IMG_3022

Infographic credit: Leo Kavanagh/Global News

Yes I am a day late for St. Patrick’s Day but I still would like to share what I learned yesterday so we can all get it right for next year.

Do not shorten the name Patrick to Patty.  If you do, some true Irish person will have a stroke.  Double D’s everyone.  It’s PADDY.  Keep the other one for hamburgers and peppermints.

And Green beer is sacrilegious.  Gotta be Guinness.

I feel qualified to school you on these points because I have at least one Irish ancestor.  My maternal grandfather was mostly Irish.  There’s also English, German and a lot of Scottish in my roots.  W’s roots are French, Swedish and although no one talks about it, possibly Iroquois.  So that makes our kids absolutely one hundred percent Canadian.  My son somehow inherited a love for the occasional Guinness.  Obviously from his great great grandfather who didn’t drink but I’m sure that’s just a minor detail.

During my little blogging hiatus I started many drafts but I have decided to delete most of them because they are turning out to be a lot like my “memories on Facebook” in which my eight year old status updates make absolutely no sense. I’m sure at the time they meant something profound but now all they’re good for is proof of possible insanity.

One such ‘draft’ here says only “illegal bowling pants” and nothing more.   That one I can still explain.  A kid in Newfoundland won a bowling tournament but was later disqualified because of the black pants rule.  His black jeans had faded so it was decided (probably to appease some disgruntled whining parent) that they no longer met the strict kids bowling tournament dress code.  All the shit going on in the world and in Canada this makes for big news.

Happy Belated St. Patrick’s Day!  Happy Birthday today to our middle (of three) granddaughter who is twelve.  TWELVE!  She was three a couple of years ago wasn’t she?  Time for kids drags on and on and for us years disappear when we blink.  Or also when we consume too much Guinness our concept of time can go a little wonky. It’s not all about age.

This Tree

“I read the news today, oh boy” (McCartney/Lennon)

Every morning while we sit drinking our coffee, W and I trade interesting or funny or unbelievable crap we read about on our different news feeds.  Sometimes it’s really entertaining tuning in to the next instalment of the current gong show going on in our neighbouring country.  Sometimes it’s downright frightening.  I’m afraid that all the attention, no matter how negative, simply feeds the beast.  I’m afraid we all might soon be buried alive in alternative facts (a new and improved name for bullshit). I’m afraid there might be some devious method to their madness, piling it on so high and so deep that we lose the will to claw our way out from underneath it.

So in the interests of not feeding the beast (while at the same time not turning my back on him either) here is a slide show of our wintry ice-foggy  backyard.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

I snuck in a couple of shots of my bad hair day to show you how I am becoming one with nature.  By resembling a half dead tree.  Or something way more poetic than that.  This awesome big old tree is the same one in which my sisters grandson discovered an alligator nest last fall.  We had no idea it was harbouring such an amazing thing. Around Christmas time this same grandson explained to his grandma how he could recognize Frosty from the other snowmen by the brown hammer in his mouth. For sure this boy is going places.

I hope gazing at this tree with its magnificent icy alligator nest sheltering branches towering above the other frozen things in our yard on this cold grey January Monday gives you a brief respite from whatever doom and gloom crap is taking up valuable space in your brain.

If not, here’s something completely different.  Not all news is bad.

Family of boy in Justin Trudeau town hall photo to name baby after prime minister