Monday, June 28, 2004

Continuing Outlet Saga

(Originally posted on Monday, June 28, 2004 by Tim)

You're probably going to get sick of hearing about outlets before I'm done, but this one was a major victory. Replacing an old outlet is the worst. On this one, the metal box was buried behind drywall and lathe and plaster. To get the thing out I had to cut way too large a hole in the wall. This resulted in a space showing from behind the plate when the finished outlet was assembled. This isn't the first time we've had an outlet with this pathology, but it's the first time with this wallpaper which I would like to keep. In addition to the sizable hole, the combination of drywall, lathe and plaster was too thick for the "ears" on the outlet box to get a grip on the other side. As you can see from the picture I managed to solve all these difficulties and get the outlet level. My new secret tool is a high tech device called a wood chisel. Martha Stewart recommends the wood chisel for making decorative license plates during recreation time in cell block D. I find that it is also handy for lowering the hole for the outlet (yes that does make it bigger) and making room for the box ears to swing out and grab behind the lathe in the wall. In the end, I had to use an oversize plate on the outlet to cover everything, but I think it turned out quite well.

To fully appreciate how important it is to me to have the outlets be level, flush with the wall, and have no holes showing, you had to take a close look at the outlets in our Mukilteo house. I am fully convinced that the outlets in that house were installed by drunken chimpanzees in a hurry to make happy hour at the local bar. My proof of this is that the closest bar to our house was aptly named "The Monkey Trap".* If that's not a smoking gun, I don't know what is. Besides, the quality of installation was reminiscent of blind folded hippos using lefthanded power tools which everyone knows is equivalent to chimpanzees who are just starting to sober up.

*The Monkey Trap was shut down about two years ago for featuring topless waitresses one day a week without a license, but that's another story.

Thursday, June 17, 2004

Modi got a truck

(Originally posted on Thursday, June 17, 2004 by Tim)

Well, things are coming together. We sold the Toyota today and managed to rent 3 dozen furniture blankets. In addition, the truck was dropped off this morning (a day early). I tried to get our two big guys in early tomorrow instead of late, but fortunately I failed. I don't think we will be ready for them first thing in the morning. I'm not ready to push back our Saturday morning departure, but I'm not confident we are going to make it either. We will have to see how much energy we have tomorrow.

Wednesday, June 16, 2004

Working hard or hardly working...

(Originally posted on Wednesday, June 16, 2004 by Cathy)

Yeah, we're working hard
Honest, really, we are! We've had hardly any time at all to dress dogs up in silly hats!

Strawberry-Pineapple Smoothies

(Originally posted on Wednesday, June 16, 2004 by Tim)

I've decided that I'm too obsessive to be a professional packer. It takes me far too long to pack a box. If professional packing was an art form, I might have a chance. When I am filling a box, the most important things to me are that all the space be used, and that everything in the box follow a theme. Some excellent box themes are as follows.

1. Rice bowls, cereal bowls and small plates (things from the kitchen).

2. Christmas ornaments, Jenga and juggling clubs (things from the games closet).

3. Telephones, headsets and digital alarm clocks (things that have speakers).

4. Beef jerky, vienna sausages and dog biscuits (things Cathy wont eat).

5. Concrete blocks, weight lifting equipment and a hydraulic jack (things dogs can't eat).

In addition to me working on making each box just so, we've also been trying to make meals that use up as much of the stuff in the fridge as possible. This has resulted in us making some meals, like snow pea risotto, that we haven't made in some time. We've also had as many smoothies this week as we have had in the previous 6 months combined. Here's my smoothie recipe.

Strawberry-Pineapple Smoothies
2 cups frozen strawberries
3/4 cup frozen pineapple
1 frozen banana (can be thawed)
3/4 cup orange juice
1 six ounce yogurt (any kind will work)

Place all ingredients in blender and puree on highest setting. Pour into glasses and enjoy. Feel free to add more orange juice if you want something that doesn't require a spoon.

Saturday, June 12, 2004

Did we buy the right house?

(Originally posted on Saturday, June 12, 2004 by Cathy)

We got the title in the mail today, and according to the title, we now own 508 W Main Street. Unfortunately, we're under the impression (and so is the mortgage co, insurance agent, etc etc) that we bought 805 W Main. Spiffy. Time to call the lawyer on Monday. :P

Wednesday, June 9, 2004

Someday, this will all be ours

(Originally posted on Wednesday, June 9, 2004 by Cathy)

We're officially the owners of a house again! Go us! Now if we could just get the grading done, the packing done, and the moving done, we could actually go LIVE in it. :)

Tuesday, June 8, 2004

What I want in my kitchen...

(Originally posted on Tuesday, June 8, 2004 by Cathy)

Wish I could figure out what's behind that built in fridge in the corner of the room by the windows. Looks perfect...

Wednesday, June 2, 2004

Chocolate Birthday Ice Cream

(Originally posted on Wednesday, June 2, 2004 by Cathy)

Here's the ice cream we had for my birthday:

2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup sugar
6 oz unsweetened chocolate
4 cups whipping cream (Tim says "not the double super heavy stuff")
1 Tbsp vanilla
1 tsp instant coffee (yes, really)
1 cup of chopped walnuts

Beat the sugar into the eggs.
Put the chocolate into a sauce pan with 1/2 c of the cream, the vanilla extract, and the instant coffee. Melt over low heat, mixing chocolate into cream. (If the chocolate clumps, then add more cream.)
Add more cream and stir until mixed. Keep adding cream, up to 3 cups.
Increase the heat to medium high, stirring continuously until the chocolate mixture starts to steam.
Stir the hot chocolate mixture into the eggs.
Stir in the remaining 1c cream.
Freeze in the ice cream maker. Stir in walnuts when the ice cream is nearly done. If you want more solid ice cream, put it in the freezer a few hours before eating.

Makes 1 quart of ice cream, which for the record, is enough to keep two people (one of them a chocoholic) in ice cream for at least a week - possibly longer. :)