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IMG_1420This morning, I was sitting at the computer doing things and stuff, and was informed by the central division that it had been some time since foodstuffs had been sent down.  I got my empty glass, the half full bag of Ritz roasted crackers I had been munching on, and made my way to the kitchen.  On the way to the computer about an hour previously, I had taken note that the poop box Needed Attention, and filed it away in my To Do, Only Not Right This Minute, and now it had reached the Do It Now stage.  So I rolled up the bag of Ritz, sealed it in a freezer bag and stashed it in the pantry and put my glass on the counter ready to refill and realized I needed to take a potty break myself.

IMG_1415Currently, I am using up the receptacles that came with the new one.  Taking care of the poop box took about 20 minutes right there as I not only had to empty the container, but I also had not vacuumed the area since Sunday. The poop box in question is a Littermaid, and requires an electrical outlet.  Since there is not one handy to the hall closet where it resides, I’ve snaked in an extension cord from the full bath next door to the right, securely taped to the door frame and baseboard, to accommodate it and the vacuum cleaner, a little Eureka canister model that I’ve had for probably 20 years (money well spent!).  The hose is hung over the closet pole handy for cleanups on the kitty aisle. The little leopard print rug I had placed strategically as a litter trap was doing its job admirably, trapping litter particles caught between kitty paw pads before it gets carried all over the house.  I am able to slide over the closet doors and pull the vacuum out, which I did, and am delighted to say that the cord is long enough that I may actually be able to vacuum the whole place without having to unplug the vacuum to move it to a closer-to-where-I’m-vacuuming plug.  This says more about the size of the apartment and the vacuum’s central location IMG_1411than the length of the cord, actually.  So, after litter box cleaning and light vacuuming, I finally made it to IMG_1412the kitchen and gave my hands a good wash.  Then I decide that I need to move the CD shelf into place, which entails moving the things I’ve set on it and clearing leeway for it to move from where it is to where it goes (see right).  I set the “Bless this house” thing I made on top of it for now to get it off the top of the microwave.  In the process, I emptied out another plastic bin.  Two more to go (see left).

During the process, I decide I’m going to put my framed picture puzzle of the  rose window at Notre Dame de Paris cathedral over the DVD cabinet and put beside it over the CD shelf  the print of the photo I took of it in person in 1974 with the Argus C3 camera my dad bought before I was born, find those two pictures and put them by the CD self to hang later.  I’ve decided I can live with the minimal amount of leakage from the sprayer until the Teflon tape resurfaces.

Now I’ve started pulling together a lunch menu.  I open the fridge and notice that the little container that I had the brisket in had the wrong top on it and it’s popped up and broken the seal.  I have two sets of two containers, one set that has blue rubber tops and one set that has red tops.  The red tops fit the dishes they came with snuggly; the blue tops fit theirs somewhat loosely.  You’d think the glass dishes would be the same size.  They’re both made by Rubbermaid.  Think again.   The blue lids work best on the “red” dishes, and vice versa.  I get out the dish of brisket and switch out its red lid for a blue one.  I put a ciabatta roll in the toaster and get out the mayo and horseradish sauce, and put a couple of pieces of brisket — enough for a sandwich — in a little bowl and cover it with a paper napkin to prevent grease spatter in the microwave.  I decide that right that minute, I need to put the new sprayer on the sink faucet, so I find my big adjustable wrench and take the aerator off the sink spigot, and screw on the sprayer.  It leaks.  I spend the next ten minutes looking for my Teflon tape, without finding it.  (It’s here somewhere but where I put it down last  is unknown at the moment.)

IMG_1419 IMG_1418By now the brisket is warmed, the ciabatta roll halves are toasted, the microwave has beeped at me three times to take out what I’ve just heated up, and I realize I’m going to need silverware.  As I have mentioned previously, there are only two drawers in the kitchen, neither one big enough for my silverware tray, so it is in the top drawer of the sideboard.  There is a little partition to the right of the kitchen (picture at left) and to the left of the dining area (picture at right) that separates the two, so I have already come to the realization that I’m going to have to plan ahead and get all I’m going to need at one trip, or I’m going to be backing and forthing a lot.  I’ll need a knife to make the sandwich, and a fork to eat the melons I plan to have on the side.  While the brisket is warming in the microwave I nip into the dining room to get a knife and fork.  Sandwich made, a serving of IMG_1417mixed melon put into a bowl, and I get out the last bottle of peach tea to recharge my glass, and put half a tray of ice cubes in it, which means I have to refill the ice cube tray with water.  Filling an ice cube tray is an art — centering the stream over the divider so that the water runs down both sides of it, and tilting the tray at just the right angle so that the pairs of cube basins fill at the same time from the overflow from the basins upstream.  The mastery of this skill is OCD at its finest.  (I have already mastered the skill winding the cord into a loop that is just the right size that the ends overlap and can be secured by a twist tie. See left.)

Now lunch is ready and I can thread my way back to the ‘puter in spite of my two-kitty security escort.  There is an obvious bottleneck in the hallway where the laundry hamper is currently residing.  It’s permanent home is currently occupied by boxes of CDs and office supplies.

Daddy sitting yesterday was a piece of cake.  He slept in his chair the whole time.   I went home by way of The Fortune Cookie — I was seriously jonesing for some Chinese food.  The Fortune Cookie has these 1-, 2-, or 3-entre combination platters with your choice of servings from a list of 8 different entres, like almond chicken, beef with broccoli, sweet and sour chicken or pork, chicken chow main and something called Shanghai chicken wings, which is like the Chinese answer to Buffalo wings.  Each platter comes with a scoop of rice and an egg roll.  You can get the desired number of entres in any combination you want, but  I invariably get two 2-entre platters, with two almond chicken servings on one platter and two Shanghai chicken servings on the other, and an order of cheese fried wontons.  I can get about four meals IMG_1410IMG_1409out of that amount of food.  I got home, served me up some Chinese food, put the rest away in the fridge for later, sat down in front of the TV and pigged out – a good sized dollop of almond chicken over rice, three Shanghai chicken wings (you get 8 wing sections), an egg roll, and two wontons (you get six).  I then leaned back and had an unscheduled nap.

I was awakened from my nap at about 4 p.m.  by the phone ringing.  It was my BFF inquiring if I was coming by to help her set up her computer.  I was.  I said I’d be by about 7 p.m.  Spurred into action, I cleared away my dishes, and hung some more pictures in the living room — as many as I had hangers for.   After a rethink,  I’m going to move the lamp and the vase of flowers on the little escritoire by the door (right).  The lamp is superfluous and will find a new home.  The flowers are going in my bedroom.  I am going to relocate the picture next to the blue curtains (above) to my bedroom.  It’s an old print — entitled “The Village Wedding” by Sir Samuel Luke Fildes, and is possibly one of the original 1880′s gravure prints.  I don’t want to disturb the framing to put protective glass in as it’s all original, but I don’t want to risk it being sun-faded, which can happen in this part of the world with ridiculous ease.  Up until this very minute, I did not know IMG_1408who the print was by or anything else about it except that some people gave it to my mother’s oldest sister J and I got it when J moved from Houston out to El Paso — I’d seen it in her home in Houston since I was a child and always loved it, but had not known who it was by.  I tried searching for it just now, guessing at the title — not too difficult a guess –  and whaddayaknow.  Yes.  I am the Google Queen.

IMG_1416I used this long narrow picture (right) of irises — my favorite flower — to hide the old plate for the wall phone.  The switch plate for the light switch is cattywompus, not the picture.  Not much I can do about that.  The green of the irises’s foliage matches the dining area drapes and the blue of the flower petals match the living room drapes and ties in the color schemes.  That’s the pantry door just to the right of the picture. In the full bath, I’ve used some of my “oxblood” red pots which match the towels nicely.  Most of the clutter on the left of the sink will be relieved when I get my over-the-toilet shelves assembled.  See below.   I was able to empty another bin and was down to three until today when I emptied another one.  See above.

I played computers over at my BFF’s house til almost 11 p.m. and then stopped by Walmart on the way back to get a stopper for the sink that has the disposal attached.  Neither sink had a stopper, but I don’t use one on the other side as that’s the side with the dish drainer in it.  I got some picture hangers, and another foam mat for the kitchen.  The three together are just the right size to cover the whole kitchen floor.  They are foam mats about an inch thick and more comfortable to stand on than the laminate over concrete floors.

Other than previously noted, I did squat today but play on my ‘puter.  I initially had trouble finding the right music, but settled on Chopin piano music.  I insist that the pianist not have a mushy technique or slur notes.  Their renditions must be crisp and concentrate on music over style and precision over pyrotechnics, so I’ve been periodically switching over to my Rhapsody playlist and deleting the ones that don’t measure up.  My mom loves Chopin and I first heard his music in utero.  Either that accounts for my love of his music, or else it’s genetic.  She and my dad went to concerts in Hermann Park in Houston while she was pregnant with me, and she reports that I didn’t like Beethoven either.  (Neither does she.)

We’re supposed to have highs of 100+ F/37.7+C the rest of this week so I plan to stay indoors as much as I can.  After my herculean effort to get moved, I’m taking it easy.  I’m in no hurry to get settled in.  I plan to be here for a long time.