Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Awwwwwww yeah, bullet point post baby

With bonus jam porn. Or porn jam? Oh, no. Nononononononononononono. Jam porn is definitely preferred! Spiced Cherry Blackberry jam, to be precise. Which is a really fancy way to say that tonight it was "eat random shit from the freezer or I am throwing it away" which is just a frog hair more appetizing than what my granny sometimes said, which was "here, this needs to be eaten." So I ate ever so gently freezer burned shrimp for dinner, and some french fries that my husband cooked that ranged from blackened to raw and flaccid, the concept of "single layer on a baking sheet" seems to escape him. I made a peach crisp that was surprisingly tasty for just throwing some crap on frozen peaches. But still, precious freezer space was being taken up.
So...why not jam?
Hell yeah, JAM!

the suspects

So I looked at a bunch of recipes, gathered the not-as-freezer-burned-as-I-suspected berries and cherries and went for it. Since I'm not canning it, I admit, I basically winged it. I also added in some cinnamon, ginger and vanilla bean chunks. Because it's the holidays and therefore I must put ginger and cinnamon and vanilla in ALL THE THINGS right now.
I ended up with this:
ruby red jars of loveliness

Now onto the random:
  • I am back on the hexipuffs. I am remembering why they so much fun to knit. 
  • Since Hellvis died in August, the other two cats are still working on their new dynamic. Lately Erma has been really aggressive toward Marge. Mainly because she wants to lay on him because she is cold. Marge isn't having it.  Also, Hellvis used to walk around the house yoweling for no reason. Marge seems to have decided it's his job now and does it at random times. 
  • I brought all my holiday crap down from the storage closet upstairs, I even put some lights and wreaths up outside. And I put up the disco forest on the freaky orange buffet:
  •  And then I ran out of oomph and have been living with assorted plastic tubs and totes for the past few days. The tree is in a box in the living room, arranged just so it takes up as much floor space as possible while still allowing the u-verse remote to see the box so that Colbert Report can be viewed. 
  • My reindeer moss wreath really does smell like pee. Old, nasty pee. And now it's like..molting.
  • And that wraps it up for now!

Sunday, December 2, 2012

An oldie, but a goodie

I am reblogging this, it was originally posted to my old livejournal blog in March of 2006, it happened in our old house. We got a new chimney cap in 2008 when we had a new roof put on. And then we moved away in 2010, one of the first things we checked here was if the chimney had a cap. It has a screen, squirrels. :)

How to remove a squirrel stuck in your water heater vent pipe in 11 easy steps.

1. Freak the hell out over a noise in the basement.

2 Call husband and tell him he needs to go find some men at work and ask what to do because there seems to be a bird stuck in exhaust pipe that leads from the chimney to the water heater. Once he realizes that there is a real live wild animal trapped in the house he stops arguing that he IS, in fact, a man and says he will call back as soon as he finds some. Then wait for him to come home so I can make him clean it up if the bird dies during extraction. I do plumbing, but corpse removal has always been J's department in this marriage and I see no reason to change this now.

3. Prepare to take the vent, um, thing, the little hat business, off the heater and have a pillow case ready to catch the bird, which is fighting and screaming in there. When several minutes pass with NO BIRD, shine a flashlight up in there, squabble with your husband over who has to look up the tube, lose that fight and gingerly take a peek and realize it's a SQUIRREL and it's looking right at you with it's beady eyes.

4. Freak the hell out again. Oh LAWD, it's a SQUIRREL, it has beady little eyes! Take a few minutes to scream right into the tube which will cause the squirrel to scream back at you. I did this around 4 times for good measure.

5. Realize this is one of those things you are going to have to lay out some money to deal with and soon find out after a series of phone calls that there are some things people just don't want to help you with, even for cash money. Who knew?

6. Finally call the humane society and have a wildlife expert talk me through Squirrel Relaxation and Removal 101. The guy will have to stop and laugh several times during this conversation. Just suck it up and take good notes.

7. Cover all your basement windows with cardboard to black them out. Use plenty of duct tape, it will stick to spiderwebs. This is not the time to freak about the spiderwebs. Turn off all the lights in the basement, BUT wait til right before you go up or being in a pitch black basement will still give you the freaks, even if you are 32. Shut up, it was DARK. Put a large bowl of ammonia down there to stink up the basement and stink out the squirrel.

8. Open the back door wide open and let the sun and fresh air stream down the stairs and hope the little bastard will make a break for freedom. Sprinkle flour by the back door so that you can see the tracks after it escapes. Sprinkle more flour after your husband walks in it with his big manfeet. Also, you can put a few peanuts in the shell out under the tube to entice the squirrel. That was The Man's idea.

9. At this point the wildlife experts advise leaving the house. However, other experts in the local wild life, such as my neighborhood watch liaison, Officer Shelly Lubis, would advise one to not do anything as stupid as leaving your house wide open like that. You will come home and find no squirrel, but quite likely also no washer, no dryer, no television and no computers. So I just quietly knit and J read on the sofa until he went upstairs to take a nap with the cats who were in jail. Also, no I did not call the MPD to ask about that. For reals.

10. Wait 3 hours until you hear thump, screech, rustle rustle skitter skitter skitter and VOILA! You have removed your first squirrel from your dwelling! Check the floor for tracks, realize several peanuts are missing and go bang on the pipe and joyfully hear silence! No scratching, no screaming, no squirelling! Victory is yours.

11. Let out the cats and be shunned by Marge who had plans for that squirrel and will never forgive you for keeping him locked away for all the good stuff. Clean up all the damn flour and peanut shells.