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21 August: Friday

La Quinta, California: I have been confused with my days over this entire week. Walked when I should have biked. Made the meatballs last night that were planned for tonight. Had soup (we were supposed to have last night) tonight.

Maybe my confusion is due to our complete change in plans. According to my pre-COVID calendar, we would have been in Los Angeles this week to celebrate Lucy and Lisa's birthday. 

Back up! We were supposed to leave the Motorcoach Country Club (in our RV) early June, for Eugene, where we would attend the US Olympic Track & Field Trials at the newly-renovated Hayward Field. After a few weeks in Eugene, we were going to move the RV over to the Oregon Coast for a week or so, then to Portland where we would visit with family and friends. Later, we were going to spend several weeks in Central Oregon - "camping" with Lisa and her family, and spend time with my family in the Sisters-Bend area. Then we would begin heading back to our campsite in Indio, in time to get over to Los Angeles to celebrate the birthdays of our two favorite girls.

Didn't happen.

Instead we had a pandemic, didn't go anywhere, so just bought a house. (Also, by the way, we had no idea our house in Portland would sell so quickly... neighborhood average is well-over one year.)

I know many of you have been traveling in your RVs during the lock-down, but I figured if we can't go to a museum, park, zoo, restaurant, or anywhere, we may as well just stay home. (Don't forget: just because a museum, park, zoo, or restaurant is OPEN, doesn't mean we are willing to go there.)

Which leaves us not in Los Angeles to celebrate Lucy's birthday on the 19th, nor our Dear Daughter's birthday tomorrow.

Up yours, Pandemic!

Sorry, I know I said that yesterday. Honestly, this is the most polite way I can express my non-PC sentiments about the horrible virus that just wants to killing us, and is disrupting so many lives and businesses. The amount of disposable gloves, wipes, and face masks going to the landfill every day is another thing keeping me up at night. When our groceries are delivered (in plastic bags!), we throw them away. Decades of recycling, wiped-out.

Which is why I was swapping-out cabinet door/drawer knobs this afternoon instead of baking a birthday cake. For some odd reason (the 90s?), none of the upper kitchen cabinet doors in our new house have knobs. All of the drawers have knobs. All of the lower cabinet doors have knobs. I suppose it wouldn't matter, except the cabinets are so shoddy, it is difficult for us to figure-out if we are supposed to reach for the left or right side of the cabinet door to open the door - and we have lived here three weeks! Also there are no indentations/cut-out under the cabinet doors one could use to open the door. It's a free-for-all.

When the cabinet company we hired to install shelves above my desk came out to measure, I asked if they could drill holes for knobs. He stared at the kitchen cabinets, and was so surprised to see no knobs. There are no knobs on the upper cabinet doors. It just looks so odd.

FYI: It's the same situation in the laundry room. Knobs on the lower cabinets/drawers - nothing on the upper cabinets, so we are virtually clawing our way into cabinet doors to access laundry detergent. How did the past owners stand this? For years?

Instead of trying to match 15+ year-old knobs, I harvested the 26 needed knobs from the master bath and a guest bathroom (every cabinet that has a knob in this house, has the same exact knob - no diversity), then ordered new (similar, yet a bit more current) knobs for the bathrooms. It didn't take 30 minutes to install the new knobs... even though each new knob came individually-wrapped in a foam bag... inside a plastic bag... with 2-different-sized screws... and each screw was individually-wrapped. Seriously.

26 old knobs from the bathrooms await their new destination in the kitchen next week. At least something is traveling!

Brunch/lunch today (above photo). Our groceries this week came from Gelson's, and they are having a Hatch Chile festival. We had chicken sausages (already cooked) made with Hatch Chiles. Dang, they were so good, stir-fried with potato, onion and green bell pepper. Yum. 

Dinner: yesterday, when I thought the cabinet guys were coming, I put all my vegetable scraps (that I keep in a container in the freezer, until it is full) to stew all day in the slow cooker. Usually I boil these things in a pot on the stove - often with a chicken carcass or a lamb bone... or whatever - but with workers in the kitchen, thought the slow cooker would be a better option. Turns out, I really liked the result and maybe will try this method more often. Less fuss. No need to watch/check/add water for several hours. 

This particular batch of scraps was heavy on celery and green onion bits, so I knew it would be a lighter broth. At the last minute, I tossed-in a lot of minced ginger and a blob of miso paste. Wow, did that smell good all day! The veggies stewed for 8 hours. When cooled, a bit of soy sauce and sesame oil were added to the strained broth. One quart went to the freezer (perfect for ramen) and the other two cups went into soup for our dinner tonight.

Since we were having such a light supper - vegan soup - I made a teeny amount of creamy dip for potato chips for our appetizer. Yoghurt, sour cream, minced dill, and green onion, garlic powder and black pepper. It wasn't until a chip was poised over my little plate that the jar of Ranch dip in the refrigerator came to mind. Dolt! Idiot.

I only added cubed tofu and fresh spinach to the soup stock - garnished with chopped cilantro. The broth was just so flavorful and rich... but we couldn't help ourselves, and each scooped a bit of chili sauce into our bowls.

Su Spicy Chili Crisp - 甦香麻辣油 - Made in Taiwan

After dinner we watched a live track meet from Portland (via YouTube!) on our new fancy television.

Tomorrow, we rest, and celebrate our daughter's birthday (via Facetime). Insert sad face here.

Until my next update, I remain, your knobby correspondent.

One thought

  1. My daughter just bought a house that has the very same type of kitchen cabinets. I was looking for a groove at the bottom but nothing was there. Everything else is top quality, just a bit confusing.

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