Thursday, December 1, 2022

Resourceful or Stubborn, Who Knows

Today is Thursday, December 1, 2022. I am 75 years old, but I still try to keep up the usual Christmas traditions. I should be working on that now, but I don't feel like it. That is the beauty of being 75. Every year I vow to cut back on decorations and on buying gifts, but so far I just can't. It may take me a bit longer, but I get it done. Actually the pressure is on from before Thanksgiving and everyone feels they have to be completely ready before December 1. Since I start earlier things are getting done as they always have. Buying online makes it a lot easier and fun. I can sit in my chair, order things and have the fun of having boxes delivered to my door, but that isn't what this blog is about. I may not have the job experience, several college degrees or a brand new house and car, but I have common sense and will always try to figure things out.

I am telling these stories from just one week of my life for my grandchildren and the great grandchildren I may have some day. They can say that this old grandma was resilient and resourceful.

Almost everyday something comes up that has to be figured out. It may be computer issues, mechanical issues or just why the light in the bedroom isn't working when it has a new lightbulb in it. My solutions may not be done to the standards set by others, but so what. Some of them work and others don't, but I always try. The night before Thanksgiving I decided to take a short cut and buy my pie shells. I always like to pre-bake the crust a little to prevent the soggy bottom that can happen with pumpkin pies. I put the shells in the oven for four minutes and they burned. I can't imagine why other than the crusts were made from oil, but they did so at 10pm I made pie shells from scratch. They weren't the greatest but I got the pies baked before bed. As you can see from the photo I overbaked them a little but I actually like them that way. I really need to check the temperature of my oven, but that's another day.

Next I wanted to put up my All Through the House decoration.  The collection was started by my mom, but I have expanded it to the point of too many pieces. It is actually a living room setting at Christmas released by Dept. 56, so to make it more realistic I bought a bath mat and I'm using it as carpeting.  

Then my printer kept powering off.  I did the usual and unplugged it.  That was an easy one, it worked after that.

My dishwasher was next.  I loaded it up and turned it on.  Nothing happened and the lights began to flash.  I turned the breaker off and back on.  The lights stopped flashing but began again as soon as I pushed the start button. I have to admit, I went to YouTube. I tried several things and then came upon a video saying I needed to reset the electrical panel by pushing certain buttons alternately five times and wait for the restart. It worked and my dishwasher went through the whole cycle just fine. I haven't tried it again and I'm sure it's a sign of the appliance failing, but at least I didn't have to unload and wash those dishes by hand. If only appliance repair people were easily available. I see a new dishwasher in my future. I know many people think dishwashers are unnecessary, but I am not one of them.  I make the broth, I make bread, I experiment with things all the time. I need the help of a dishwasher.

I won't go into all the little things a person has to figure out on a daily basis, but this is something my children and grandchildren will just shake their heads at. As many of you know, I make bone broth to drink every morning. I have done it for almost seven years and have blogged about it a few times. I buy my bones from a local farm that raises grass fed cattle. Some of the bones are large and don't fit into my pressure cooker very well. It was never a problem. I had a dedicated saw blade in the drawer and would just cut them to size. As I have gotten older, I don't have the hand strength I once did. Today I remedied that situation. My husband had a lot of power tools that are just sitting on a shelf in the basement. I went down and found a saws-all or saber saw. I'm not sure the name, but it was cordless. I popped the battery in, found and sterilized a new saw blade and cut the bones into sizes that will fit my cooker. My daughter told me not to do it while I was here alone, but geez how else am I going to get things done. It worked like a charm, and I still have all my digits.

Oh yes and I put the hood up on the car and checked things.  Remember when I made mouse poison out of salt, peanut butter and birdseed. I put some in the garage and the next couple times I drove the car I could smell cookies baking. I was worried the little varmints had hidden some poison in the engine. I finally remembered to check and found a few leaves but nothing else. Maybe someone in the neighborhood was actually baking. I was a bit worried about how I would explain an engine fire that smelled like cookies.

I also used the leaf blower to dust the stones on my fireplace and the ceiling fan.  Of course it was before I vacuumed but it was amazing all the little dust bunnies that fell to the floor.

Another thing I did this week involved repurposing and feeding the birds. Last year I was gifted a beautiful Bird Lodge. The birds loved it and I re-coated it several times during the winter. I used a method that involved mixing flour and corn syrup. It was pretty messy, but it worked. This year I received another one.  

Within a few days, the birds ate almost every seed. I had saved the house from last year and I tried a new technique. I just painted on corn syrup without anything added. It was very sticky and I sprinkled safflower seed all over it. I let is dry for a while and put it outside next to the new one which I will have to work on soon. The birds love this one too.  

I am certain there are many of us in this older generation who refuse to throw things in the garbage until we know for sure they are completely broken and unusable. I am certain it would never occur to young people to improvise like we do, but maybe they won't have to. I have a robot vacuum cleaner cleaning up after my leaf blowing activity. Who knows what the future holds. There may be a robot that does all the chores while a person is off to work or just having fun. Look how everything has changed in the last few years. Y2K was almost 23 years ago. Remember how afraid everyone was that the world would shut down. We didn't miss a beat and life with all the technology continued to move faster than we have. Good or bad, we can't stop it now. We just have to hang on tight and do the best we can do.