In Which Daisy Worries about all the Wrong Things

We heard scratching and bumping noises in the chimney. Oh, dear, something was living in there! We called an exterminator. He said nope, can’t help with that. We called the chimney cleaning crew. Nope, they didn’t deal with live animals. We investigated animal control and found out they would charge $150 to set a trap and hope the critter wandered into it.

Then the noises stopped for about a week. And then I noticed an odor in the room. Oh, dear, something had most likely died in there! So we called the chimney crew and got them scheduled. The earliest date on their schedule was two weeks out. In the meantime – I duct taped the door to the fireplace in the hopes that I could contain the odor and still watch my HGTV and Jeopardy without a clothespin on my nose or a full fledged gas mask. And I worried – what if we had a storm with a power outage and we needed a fire for heat and cooking?

We didn’t have any bad storms. And it turned out that there were no animal carcasses in the flue. Aw, heck. Maybe Amigo had BO that day. Heck, maybe I did! Maybe I didn’t change the litter box soon enough. And so on, and so on, and so on.

But all is not well in the O.K. Chorale’s fireplace. The crew couldn’t inspect the outer ring of the chimney, the opening for fresh air to get in. Our neighborhood electric lines are in the way. They have to come back another day with their full equipment so they can climb up the other side of the roof to get at the chimney.

Meanwhile, I hope we don’t have a major storm that would take out our power and make necessary a fire in the fireplace for heat and/or cooking. Oh, gee. What else could go wrong? Wait, no. I didn’t say that. Nope.

Random Thoughts of – spring?

Someone called me the Compost Lady recently, and I realized I hadn’t written as ComposterMom in ages. A lot of my shorter posts end up on Facebook. I’m on the computer all day at work, so I don’t automatically pick it up when I come home. I need to be offline for a while every evening.

But anyway, random thoughts.

Shopko is bankrupt and going out of business. Their clearance and liquidation sales are disappointing a lot of people. I haven’t even stopped in to check it out, to be honest. They’re at the point where the liquidation company, not the Shopko corporation itself, is running the show, and shoppers can tell. Discounts are weak, inventory isn’t very high quality, and there are more complaints than deals. We did get lucky with the smaller Shopko Express’ clearance. They transferred most of their inventory to other stores before the ax fell, but they couldn’t do that with their liquor stock. We picked up wine and specialty beers for pretty darn cheap. And that was all.

Meanwhile, we reminisced about the irony that is our kitchen. We bought some very high quality pots and pans and other equipment dirt cheap from not one but three high end kitchen stores that were going out of business. One was in Green Bay, one in my little burgh, and one in Rochester, Minnesota (we were there for a barbershop chorus competition). Those were small shops, not corporate entities, and the owners were interacting with customers as they made deals.

Oh, what a difference! Cast iron cleaning tools, towels, scrubbing cloths, and the best, a really nice wok. The Wire Whisk had used the wok for cooking classes, so we made an offer. The owner accepted the offer and reluctantly let it go. She talked about cooking classes, gave me good advice about seasoning it, and I think she shed a tear or two as I left with this wonderful piece of cookware in my arms. I hope she knew we’d treat it well – literally and figuratively speaking.

Meanwhile, we are appreciating the newly remodeled kitchen and especially the storage space. The pantry cabinet has so much room it feels like a luxury. We have cupboard space for basic everyday goodies, and we have room to stock up when there’s a sale. I haven’t reached prepper stockpile level (yet), but it makes more room for my own canned goods, too. No longer do we have to trek down the basement for a new jar of jam or pickles.

So on we go, my friends and family. It’s a crazy world out there, and I hear there’s a possibility of another late snowstorm next week. I hope the forecasters are wrong, but you know the saying – whether the weather, we’ll weather the weather.