November 28, 2022

updates: my riddle explained, GW, the history of our mess, a new meal, etc.

Great news:  Curly did NOT get sick. In fact, no one got the 'plague' from Mini. Phew. 

"Just remember that you love me":  (this was my riddle, but that post was so long ago, you might not remember) I said this to Coach when we were on a walk. This was a week or two ago when the weather here was still freakishly summer-like. Then it became Januray, like overnight. Ugh.

Anyway, I reminded him of this before revealing that I've been looking online at cute little houses in South Bend, near Notre Dame. I'm in a FB group for parents and sometimes another parent will let everyone know the availability of their rental property. 

How great would that be? Imagine, we could stay there whenever we wanted. Walk to our own tailgate. Attempt to rent it out the majority of the time. Come graduation, we'd have a place to stay. When I want to visit Mini, I'd be all set. 

Ed's college is in Bloomington, IN and he pays $800/month. The place is a dump. There are 5 of them living there. The landlord is rolling in dough. I told Coach we ought to buy a house there. He said that would be a headache, and he's probably right. 

I'm sure you will be shocked to know that Coach still thinks I'm crazy loves me after all these years. I enjoy looking at houses online from time to time. 

No hostages were taken here:  Remember back when we were trying to figure out if we should buy a newish van to replace good ole GW? (Great White). I suggested we just pay to fix it, because buying cars are so pricey. Well, everyone poo-poo'd my idea . . . until suddenly it made sense. 

Lad's dealership uses a repair place around the corner to fix cars that they don't have time for, etc. Lad hooked us up with them over the summer. It was expensive, but not as expensive as initially thought. I think it was $3,000 and our mechanic had guessed around $5K. Look at that. A bargain to spend on a van with like 150K miles on it.  

We got a bit of a discount if we paid in cash, so I went to the bank and withdrew 3,000 big ones. I was careful not to twitch my face or use any sideways glances lest the teller think I'd been kidnapped and had come into the bank under duress to withdraw this large sum out of fear for my life. Someone watches too much TV. 

Well, I don't watch too much TV currently, but over the course of my life I've seen a show or two. 

Speaking of TV. There's a new documentary out about ADHD. It's called Disruptors. We bought it, because I want Tank and Lad to be able to watch it at some point, if  interested. It was very good. Our boys didn't have the hyperactivity component. They sure had impulse control issues, well mostly Lad.

One day when he was about 12, Lad caught a bird. Like a real live bird. No idea how. He took the screen off of a window in the girls' room to make a cage for it. The same day Reg (who was just little at the time, so behaving like a 4 year old) crawled out into the attic from a tiny, hidden door in my walk in closet. He found pool toys and brought them into the house. He and Tank (I think) filled the noodle water-shooters with water and started a water fight in the upstairs. It was someone's birthday, so my sister Marie called and whoever answered put the phone down to come get me, but then never came back. She said it sounded like a circus. Well, not far off. 

Did you know that Coach worked late A LOT? To say that I was outnumbered is an understatement. Coach worked until 9 pm or later three nights a week. The kids also liked to pull mattresses off of beds and pull them into one bedroom. It was their early version of a trampoline room. When we moved here the living room had horrid vertical blinds. The kids figured out that if they yanked a blind off of the window it made a great road for their matchbox cars. They'd drag furniture around and create little hills and loops, then send their cars down them. 

I've decided this is why my kids are OK living in a messy house. I couldn't keep up with the messes they made. We just lived with stuff EVERYWHERE. Let's not talk about the giant bullfrog that got loose in the basement once. I refused to go down there to get a gallon of milk from the fridge until he was found.

If only I could whisper in my younger self's ear:  STICK A FRIDGE IN THE CORNER OF THE DINING ROOM. It would've solved so many problems. 

One pot spaghetti

All that to say, I made a chore schedule and hung it on the fridge. Coach's name is included along with Lad, Curly, and Reg. I almost fell over Wednesday when Coach started dusting the light fixtures in the kitchen without warning. We weren't having a party. 

Not everyone is staying on top of their assigned duties, but there's progress.

I made a great new meal a few weeks ago. This was the Sunday before Coach's birthday, when we could actually celebrate since he was working late on the 15th. My gluten-eaters are very excited about it. Tank caught wind and wants me to make this one-pot spaghetti meal when he's home. 


Kids:  don't try this at home.
Not a GF compatible recipe.
He tried to say I was expecting too much. How could he leave home and have his at-home possessions ordered? Um, Ed manages. 

Here is the link to the dinner that I made. Sadly, I tried to make it GF for me and it turned into a congealed GF pasta clump with almost no flavor. I laughed out loud as I tried to eat it. It was THAT bad.

I'm avoiding red meat at the moment, so I made it with ground turkey vs ground Italian sausage, which didn't help its cause. 

More soon on other updates like pinkies, medical bills, cholesterol, etc. Gosh, this sounds exciting. 

What dinner have you made that turned out super gross because of your own substitutions?  Have you put off buying a car during this crappy-time-to-buy-a-car?


mbmom11 said...

My daughter had to buy a used car recently: her car broke down on vacation 1000 miles from home, and the only thing that was wrong was a part that is unavailable for at least 6 months. (Something about a dual transmission module? If you have ford focus 2011-2016 expect it to break and be out of luck). She rented a car to get home and began the search for a used car. Every car she looked at from dealers went up in price overnight-and then she found a private seller with just what she wanted. However, he wanted cash- show up in a random parking lot with $11K in cash?!?. She offered a cashiers check but no - no checks- cash only. So she kept looking. A day or two later, the guy calls her as no one would pay cash, and his wife explained to him that a cashiers check is really just like cash. So the day was saved, and she got the car just before moving to her new apt. Her old car she had transported to her boyfriends parents house ( still 700 miles from where it broke down, where it sits like a 2000 lb paperweight, waiting for the mythical part to appear).
As for new recipes, a vegetarian pot pie at Thanksgiving- turned out well but the recipe made enough for an army. If you add 8 different types of vegetables to a dish, it gets big fast. A lot went into the freezer.

Nicole said...

Did you buy the house near ND or are you just "looking?" Rents and housing prices are so insane right now - and so are used car prices!!
Cooking GF is so tricky. I think it might be the trickiest thing to substitute.

Ernie said...

mbmom - Wow, that is a heck of a car headache. I hope the part comes in for the paperweight sooner than later. Then will she sell it?

I can imagine that adding 8 kinds of vegetables will make a dish get big. I feed an army often, so I am all about those kinds of recipes.

Ernie said...

Nicole - Heck no - I simply looked at little tiny houses near Notre Dame. The used car thing is nuts. It isn't a great environment to work in- so cut throat between co-workers. I'd like Lad to swtich jobs. He had an offer last week, but change is hard for him. Not sure this is the best time either. *sigh*

I wonder if I cooked GF pasta every now and then, maybe I'd have been more aware of how fast GF pasta cooks. Coach told me he was going to eat my GF dish, but I woudn't subject anyone to that. He and I both hate to waste food.

Busy Bee Suz said...

The rental house situation sounds exciting!
When our girls were both in (the same) college, we were tired of paying $$$ for dorms, and worse than the $$$ was the moving out each summer. We ended up buying a little condo near the school, and this is where Linds and her roommate still live. They pay rent to cover all expenses, so it's worked out good for us.

I've never understood anyone who doesn't love leftovers because I live for them. The one-pot spaghetti looks great! Sorry your GF version wasn't so good.

"If only I could whisper in my younger self's ear: STICK A FRIDGE IN THE CORNER OF THE DINING ROOM. It would've solved so many problems." That made me BELLY laugh!!

I ordered a new car a few months, I might see it in July. I think the price was what I expected, but buying USED seems to be where they are really gauging you.

Beth Cotell said...

Your husband was dusting light fixtures?? That's awesome! Also, your description of the house when the kids were younger is making me realize that your husband was working so late to stay out of the circus! :)

The car I drive has over 200k miles on it and I'm praying that it lasts until both kids are out of only 3.5ish more years.

Nance said...

My husband was in a head-on collision (not his fault) a year ago September, which totalled his car, a 2007 Toyota Highlander Hybrid with absurdly low mileage (79K). You know what the car market was like in 2021--forget it. We ran into delay after delay with the other driver's insurance company, and Rick needed a car. We had to buy something, so we did. About three weeks later, the other insurance company finally contacts us, says the other driver has "accepted fault", and do we need a rental or anything? @%#$*&!!!! We hired a lawyer, got a sizeable payoff for the Toyota, and it's still in litigation. The car market--new or used--is still horrid.

We hate wasting food, too. I use up everything somehow. But honestly, sometimes you have to wave the white flag, and that GF starchy thing may have to be when.

Cindy said...

I like your idea of a house near ND! It solves a lot of problems.

I don't like to cook so I find 5-6 things when the girls were small and between those (and variations of those) we did okay. Now, it's just 3 of us and I rarely cook. We always seem to fill our bellies every night though! :)

We bought new-to-us cars about 5 years ago and paid them off right away. I hate making car payments. My husband wants to buy a new car but I keep putting it off. The prices, the payments, ugh.

Suzanne said...

That documentary looks really interesting!

And I think your rental house idea sounds fabulous.

Kara said...

We are having a spate of car troubles. Middle Daughter let her friend (unlicensed, uninsured) drive her car, and friend drove into a fence (this was two or three months ago now). We have finally gotten it repaired, but it really needs an alignment and probably a new set of tires. Oldest Daughter's engine started smoking when she turned it on during Thanksgiving Break. It was dramatic, and maybe just because it sat too long, but now it needs to get looked at. My husband's car needs an oil change. Our truck needs an oil change. My car needs an oil change. Looks like everyone is getting car services for Christmas this year!

Pat Birnie said...

Sorry the GF version didn't turn out -- What I've learned from my celiac sis that GF pasta is good but it cannot sit in sauce or it gets mushy. That rule kind of defeats the purpose of the one pot recipe I think. (I'll ask if she has any brand recommendations though) Re the leftovers, my friends daughter hates them as well; she used to refer to it as "old food". I ordered a new Hybrid car early March; there is still no date whatsoever as to when it will come in. The annoying thing is that at order time we were told 2-3 months, so we sold my car as my husband has a summer only sports car. Well, here it is November and we are down to 1 car. Frustrating.

Kari said...

I love you whispering to younger you about putting a refrigerator in the dining room. You were in survival mode. I don't know how you did it, but you did it. Sometimes I have to remind myself that this part of parenting isn't as hard. But it's a different kind of hard, if that makes sense?

Ernie said...

Suz - Investing in a rental house does sound like a great idea. It is an idea though - one Coach will probably never wrap his brain around. Ah, well. One can dream. How great that your condo is still coming in handy for Linds.

Leftovers are the BOMB. Yes, that one pot spaghetti did look great. It got great reviews from my people. Putting my pot of nonsense next to it made mine look even more pathetic.

I mean Reg did drop a gallon milk on the stairs and it EXPLODED, so I guess that was more like a 'tossed a gallon of milk' on the stairs. Remember? So, yes. The extra fridge would've been so handy. Hindsight.

Imagine if our current selves could've whispered to our pre-pandemic selves: buy a car NOW. Well, that would've been super handy.

Ernie said...

Beth - Coach is 6'4". He should ALWAYS be dusting light fixtures. We should have no cobwebs in our home at all, because they are at his level.

Coach definitely dodged a lot of CRAZINESS with his work schedule. Or, the craziness happened because of his work schedule.

Good luck getting that car to keep chugging along for another 3.5 years.

Ernie said...

Nance - Oh, gosh. That accident is so scary. Glad he wasn't seriously hurt. The whole thing sounds so frustrating. Good grief. I hope you get your money out of the litigation process soon.

Love the 'wave the white flag' thought. If ever there was a wave the white flag moment - this was it.

Ernie said...

Cindy - I like the idea of the rental house near ND too. Unfortunately, I don't think it will ever progress beyond an 'idea'. Coach will not be comfortable with that.

I LIVE for leftovers. It simplifies everything. I am the queen of load a crockpot, cook the crockpot, stick the crockpot back in the fridge, a few days later - reheat the crockpot. It's genius, in my humble opinion.

We've fortunately never had a car load. We also haven't bought a new car in forever. Being good friends with a car dealer helps. I rely on them to hook me up with something barely used that has no issues. Dang cars are so depreicate so much when you drive them off the lot.

Ernie said...

Suzanne - It is a well done documentary. Very relatable for us.

I like my idea too, but I doubt it will progress from there. Maybe I should just keep shopping to see if I can get him to agree. Perseverence pays off.

Ernie said...

Kara - That IS a ton of car troubles. Goodness. I hope none of it is too costly. A smoking car is never a good thing.

Ernie said...

Pat - I should not have assumed that I could work in some GF pasta when I never cook it to begin with. Oh my gosh, it was so awful. I should've had someone take a video of me trying to eat it. I could not stop laughing.

No! I can't believe the car is taking THAT long to arrive. And you've already sold your car. Yikes. I keep thinking this will be the stories we tell our grandkids one day when they call us up to interview us about how we survived the pandemic. For my grandparents, we were asking them about surviving the depression. Who'd have thought cars were going to be so impacted?

Ernie said...

Kari - I was for sure in survival mode. Housework was the thing that went to the wayside. Per the usual. Parenting is different now - so different. Parts are easier, but so much is harder. I keep looking at my folks and Coach's folks. Each had 5 kids a piece. Neither family had the kind of issues that we are dealing with. Zero. It's a different world. Although, epilepsy was around back then.

Bibliomama said...

I once tried to make a meat loaf from the milk calendar that had milk and oats in it, except I doubled the recipe but forgot to double the ground beef. It was... oaty.
Given the price and scarcity of new vehicles right now, I'm sure you made the right choice to repair the van.
I've also seen the way the landlords around Eve's university are raking it in, but I also agree with your husband that being a landlord would be a giant headache, especially if you're not willing to be a slumlord, which I am not.

Ernie said...

Ali - I'm trying to grasp what that meatloaf that sounds light on meat tasted like.

Ha, being a slumlord indeed. I'm more thinking about rentals for football weekends, but that would not be as consistent as renting to students and thus not as profitable. Being able to tap into the parent FB page would be ideal, because parents would seemingly be less gross. Still, probably will never happen.