Wednesday, April 28, 2010

More STUFF please!

Remember back in 2001 when we were a sad nation on the brink of war, yearning for intelligent leadership & guidance?.... our President gave us this astute advice: "Go shopping!" Yep, that'll solve all our ills. Didn't that just make your heart swell with pride?! Didn't it just make you want to go out and attach a hokey little plastic Stars & Stripes to your car's side window?


It's taken a few years, but we at Casa Pocketts have finally answered the call! Remember the Winter From Hell when everything that could go wrong pretty much did?! Well....everything that could break down pretty much did as well, or started showing signs that it would very soon. So, for the good of our country's economic prosperity (and general household sanity), we went shopping!

Here's what we got:

A new refrigerator! Yay! We've always had the style with the freezer on the bottom. We're tall people, we don't like to bend over. We didn't know if we'd like the pull-out freezer (as opposed to a regular door)....the verdict: we like it! And this one has an icemaker that works! Former icemaker died a few years ago; we calculated the cost of replacing the icemaker VS. the cost of buying bags of ice for special occasions and rummaging around the cellar to find those old ice trays we stored somewhere "in case the icemaker quits someday." A replacement icemaker didn't "pencil".... however, we sure got tired of making ice our version of "the old fashioned way." **[see below]
Oh, and the "French" door (why? what is French about this?!): it's actually pretty handy! Note, no ice/water on the outside of the door-- until they figure out a way to hook up my box of Sauvignon Blanc to that spigot, forget it! (Then it really would be a French door! ha!)

More Maytag.... the previous dishwasher was still in operation--some 16 years of near daily continuous use (I cook a lot)--but it was just a matter of time.... I don't hold much brief for Maytag; afterall, Whirlpool bought them out and promptly began breaking their promises and dismantled the Newton, Iowa plant that had brought generations of prosperity to the Midwest (I digress). It's the local dealership we like--our own Maytag repairman. (By the way, we ended up getting so much stuff that he said he could just put his truck on autopilot, take a nap, and he'd arrive at our house!) This dishwasher is quiet--very quiet. Interesting, considering there's so much stainless steel. It also has some mysterious quirk called the "silverware blast"--sounds fun, whatever it is!

Or should I say Radarange?! We have generational microwaves in our family. The most recent one we were using was my Mother-in-law's, purchased in 1986; we still have all related documents and receipts. (She was like that.) Previous to that, we'd been using one from 1982--one of the "spoils" from Mr. Pocketts' previous life. This new one has a lot of wattage--it's so fast! The old one was slowing down a bit. It's kind of weird complaining that your microwave is "slow"--like it takes 2.5 minutes to warm up some coffee instead of 1 minute! (I lead a frenetic life, I simply don't have time to be standing around waiting on things like slow microwaves. My time is important to me!) **[see below] The new microwave has settings on it that, I guess, pretty much reflect what America eats (but really not what WE eat): Chicken Nuggets, Nachos, Chicken Wings, Potato Skins, Cheese Sticks, Hot Dogs, & French Fries. All in all, a most excellent machine--we hope Sorena looks forward to inheriting it someday, bless her heart!

Didn't plan on this one at all; apparently the laundry room appliances were feeling neglected, what with all the hoopla in the kitchen. Two days after the fridge, microwave, and dishwasher were installed, and after 19 years of service, the dryer called it a day. Maytag repairman to the rescue--happy to oblige! This dryer is awesome--it's called Bravos. Well...Bravo, I say! The niftiest thing about it is, if you put in a load of wet clothes, some 50 minutes later they will be dry! I have still not recovered from the novelty! And it has the added bonus of playing a little song to you when you press "power." A cautionary note: this may freak out your unsuspecting daughter when she turns this on in the dark! **[see below]

Vacuums are generational too: we've been using an Electrolux that my Mom bought in 1984 and gave to us when she moved to her apartment in 1991. It was still working, but the handle broke--creating an apparently insurmountable problem--nobody wants to fix it, or they can't! Hrruummpphhh! So I got my dream vacuum and, if all goes according to plan, I will not have to purchase another for decades! This new one is not an Electrolux; I hold no brief for Electrolux--a Swedish company that emptied out their plant in Iowa and moved all the jobs to Juarez, Mexico. (I'm sure there were Swedes mad about losing their jobs to the Iowa plant generations before.... isn't world corporatism grand?!) This one is a Miele and it practically purrs when operated! Why, Mr. Pocketts can be upstairs vacuuming and I can't even hear him! This is a small matter of concern, as he may not get notice for all his wonderful, stupendous household help! **[see below] And why is it, when a woman vacuums it's a matter of a mundane "yes, that needed to be done" etc., but when a man does it, it's "isn't he a great guy for doing that!" (I digress...again.)

Still with me?! Phew! So much stuff.... It's exhausting just thinking about it! Coincidentally, as I type this, the Girl Child is downstairs bitterly declaring that her toast is almost burnt on one side and not even brown on the other. And thus, it continues..... **[See Below]

Have yourself a clean, energy-efficient day!


**Special announcement: This is an excellent example of what I refer to as "Champagne Problems." Really, if this is as tough as it gets around here.....

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Did you say it was snowing out?!

We spent a long weekend away. At home our blossoms are still patiently waiting for the right moment to burst forth; not so in places south. So many clouds of mauve, lilac, pink, and white everywhere! Cars that had parked under these trees looked like they were painted with pink polka dots. In some places, you might think it had just snowed! (But we're done with that snow stuff, right? Right?!?!)

Merrily, merrily shall I live now,
Under the blossom that hangs on the bough.
--William Shakespeare
"The Tempest", Act 5 scene 1

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