Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Thawing out

Rumor has it that temperatures will finally climb into double digits above zero tomorrow. Into the twenties maybe by Thursday. Cue the rejoicing.

The university actually closed at 4 p.m. yesterday. I found out from a text alert; I had already taken the afternoon off. The temps kept going down yesterday, to minus double digits by the time I would normally have left work, with a wind chill thirty degrees below that. My lungs close down in even five minutes in that air, and they hadn't recovered from the stint outside during the frigid spell two weeks ago.

We are closed through, well, half an hour ago. They still expect to hold night classes tonight. And we will have students crazy enough to wear shorts...why yes, I've seen at least half a dozen so dressed during this and the previous extreme weather. Kids.

Nice day today. Got up fairly early, made breakfast (and we know my love of homemade breakfasts), talked to a friend for a while, then finally started in on a few little things.

A floor lamp is broken. Taking it apart for the trash was easy, as was the putting together of the base of the replacement. Where I ran into trouble was the strange, made in China shade. You see, the lampshade came...flat. Much like a dome tent, you slightly bent the ribs of the shade to slide them into little brackets in the top ring. The lining of the shade was sewn to the bottom (wide) edge of the shade, so the next step was to slide the ring at the other end of the lining into the clips on the inside of the top ring of the shade (where you already tucked the ribs into their slots).

I may not be explaining this terribly well...let's just say getting that last rib into place was a trial, and it took me eight minutes of muttering and scraped fingers before I realized that the ring for the lining clipped over and not under the other one. Still, I persevered, and the lamp looks nice.

Made out a tentative menu for the murder mystery dinner. It's set in a California winery, and I'm thinking Mexican food - guac and that Velveeta queso along with fresh fruit for appetizers, enchiladas, mexican rice and a big green salad for the main. Don't know about dessert yet. Since I'm playing a part (and have NOT peeked at the solution), I don't want to spend a lot of time in the kitchen. The enchiladas can be made ahead and frozen. The rice I think I can make the night before and reheat. The queso takes care of itself, provided you get it in the crock pot early enough. The guac would have to be made that day - an interesting endeavor, since I don't like the stuff and will have no idea if it is edible.

I did the taxes today as well, though the IRS won't take them until the 31st (which I keep repeating, because it really steams me that some petty little pencil pusher said in an interview that people who are used to filing early and getting their refunds will just have to wait - nice customer service attitude there, missy). I expected a much smaller federal refund, as I'd changed my withholding. The state is bigger than I anticipated. Between them, I've the start of the fund for a cabinet for the new sewing machine. The machine fits in my current cabinet (if I never close it, which I really don't), but the lift mechanism isn't really strong enough for the heavier machine.

It's a bit difficult, as the furniture in the studio is all faux-cherry (except the bookcase, which actually is cherry). That finish is rather out of style right now, so most of the cabinets are available only in oak, a light beech or a horrid white. Sigh. This search may take a while. In the meantime, I can't reach the knee light unless I hike the chair up so high my toes barely reach the foot pedal. Come to think of it, though, I don't actually have to use the foot pedal at all to run the machine...

I'll stop babbling now. This is low(er) blood sugar talking. Lunch was a long time ago. Time to do something about dinner.


Mariel Mohns said...

Murder mystery dinner parties sound so fun. I should've put one of those on my 30 before 30 bucket list. Guess it will have to wait until after!

Stay warm!!

Diane said...

I may well have another one in early summer...I can invite you and Matt to it, and you can cross it off before it even makes it on a list!