The Exorcism

Wabbitat ICON 2016-smallThere are times (thankfully not many) that I get up during the night to use the bathroom. I really hate when that happens! In the past few months, I have noticed a puddle on the bathroom floor during some of those times. I examined. I pondered.

Could it be one of the cats? There was no color, no odor – and we all know how foul-smelling cat urine is! Did a person (we won’t name names) miss? Again, no color, no odor, and no logic! Was it coming from the toilet? A leak? An overflow? These are old, old pipes. Could the apartment above be causing a problem?

Sometimes we woke up in the morning to find a puddle. There was no water – not even one drop – on the floor when we went to bed the night before and we both slept soundly. There were no water marks on the ceiling.  The puddle didn’t appear every day. When it did appear, it was usually there in the morning upon awakening – but not always. Most days there was no sign of a problem at all. ‘Twas a puzzlement!

After weeks of living with the mystery leak, we called the super. He surmised the leak was coming from the bathroom sink, not the toilet, but he could not find the source. “Call me when you see something,” he said. At 4 a.m.?

More time passed, and the super stopped by just to check on the situation. We had a collection of water in a beaker now beneath the sink, but still no wet pipes, no visible drips. So the super called his plumber friend.

The plumber ran the water full force, the hot, the cold, and both. He filled the sink to challenge the overflow holes He splashed. Finally, he scratched his head. “You need a priest,” he finally declared. “Your pipes need an exorcism.” And he left.

The super stopped by again a few days ago. This time he observed a small leak from a pipe under the sink. He suggested we replace two pipes. It will cost us $14 for each pipe and $30 for his labor.  Can’t beat the price!

He arrived this morning, new pipes in hand. In a matter of minutes the pipes were replaced. “Twenty-five dollars,” he said. Nothing makes sense.

BOOK REVIEW: The Stranger in the Woods

Wabbitat ICON 2016-smallThe Stranger in the Woods

by Michael Finkel

Chris Knight disappeared into dense woods of central Maine in 1986 at the age of 20. It seemed to have been an impromptu act. He said no goodbyes to his family. He simply was not heard from again for the next 27 years.

Image result for the stranger in the woods cover Chris lived as a hermit in the woods. He set up camp and obscured it from view and detection by deliberate and planned means. He was only a few miles from home and only about a mile from nearby cabins, yet nobody knew of his whereabouts.

He did not plant seeds and grow crops to feed himself; he did not forage for berries or wild mushrooms; he did not hunt nor did he favor any forest critters for pets. He stole. He stole from the nearby cabins – food, clothes, batteries, toiletries, bedding, whatever. He stored excesses. In fact, living in his makeshift camp, he may even have lived the life of a hoarder.

He evoked fear in the community. Tales were told of the North Woods Hermit. Children were scared.  People living in the cabins, many only part-time, tried various means of protecting their homes and their possessions. Over the course of 27 years, they learned the hermit’s preferences and even left him packages, hoping he would  take those items and leave others untouched.

When finally caught, he was returned to his family and was ordered to pay restitution (a mere $2,000) to the families from whom he stole over and over again. The author lamented the hermit’s doom of having to live in his childhood bedroom (steps from a toilet and hot shower and steps from a fully-equipped kitchen, not to mention the care of his family).

I enjoyed my time of voyeurism into the wacky world of Chris Knight, learning how he managed and survived all those years. However, I felt no compassion. I felt no sense of awe. I felt no sadness. I was hoping for a story of survival and personal conviction but instead I got a story of survival in the realm of self-indulgence. That was a disappointment.

BOOK REVIEW: The Handmaid’s Tale

Wabbitat ICON 2016-small The Handmaid’s Tale

by Margaret Atwood

Sex. Sex on every page. This book was written 30 years ago, and somehow got past me unread – until now.

Kate is a handmaid, a woman believed to be fertile and forcefully made available for child-bearing. She, with so many others, are rounded up, ripped from their families, homes, and employment, after a totalitarian takeover. There is no time to prepare; everything is sudden, overwhelming, and unexplained. The handmaids are stripped of individuality, of possessions, of thoughts, of desires. Their sole purpose is to bear a child for a childless couple of the elite.

Image result for the handmaid's tale Based on strict biblical interpretation, the handmaid’s life is replete with rituals and rigid adherence to law. Pregnancy is a requirement, and failure to conceive has its consequences, too. Memories of another life (not so long before) squeak through. There are those who will not comply, who will rebel – passively, aggressively, and passive-aggressively.  Mayday!

Some readers see current political trends in this dystopian society. I would not disagree.

Kudos to the author. There are sex scenes aplenty, and not once is there even a hint of arousal or eroticism – an achievement I did not think was possible!

Image

Room 101

Meme Time

 

Room 101 Melissa - c

____________________________________________________________________

 

Room 101 - c

 

____________________________________________________________________

 

Room 101 Melissa - R

 

PlayDough Comes to Life

Wabbitat ICON 2016-small

Make PlayDough with kids and see what happens! In the hands of adults, the newly created orange and yellow PlayDough (colors selected by innocents) take on a life of their own.

Thanks to Marcy Wilson from Glyndon, Minnesota, who unknowingly supplied the recipe. The artists shall remain anonymous.

 

Big Collage

Vegetarian Ain’t Easy

Wabbitat ICON 2016-smallWe are well on our way to vegetarianism. This is actually moving along faster than planned. In the past two weeks, we had one Sunday brunch of lox, eggs, and onions (yum!) to finish up the lox in the freezer, and one fish dinner. Chicken stored in the freezer remains untouched still.

For the most part, we have been successful maintaining a healthy vegetarian diet. Finding new ideas and recipes has been time-consuming. Finding the necessary ingredients in stores has been challenging. My pantry now looks like it belongs to someone I don’t know.

Dinner preparation has been the supreme challenge. I have pored through hundreds of recipes and what often looks simple and is even touted as “quick and easy” has turned into hours in the kitchen. Apple fritters, for example, required me to grate 2 apples, peel and crush fresh garlic, slice and dice and saute onions,  cook quinoa and put it all together with even more measured ingredients to then be fried pancake-style. Oh, the pots and pans and utensils that needed cleanup at meal’s end!

I have had successes, however. The kasha varnishkas I made (loaded with carmelized onions) – a delicacy I have made many times in the past without thought of vegetarianism or anything else – and served with steamed and seasoned brussels sprouts, came out great!  Portions are now frozen for my future microwaving pleasure, too. The hummus bagels topped with onions, scallions, and tomato slices were wonderful. Last night I discovered a delicious veggie burger at our local Cheeburger Cheeburger restaurant. Really! I look forward to another!

And I am thankful. I am thankful for finding a few (for now) vegetarian dinners I can actually enjoy. I am thankful for desserts that can be eaten with unbound pleasure. I am thankful for having lost 3 pounds so far, and without even trying!

Onward vegetarian!

Trumpery

Wabbitat ICON 2016-small

trumpery

Definition

by Merriam-Webster 

(and others)..

 1a :  worthless nonsense

1b :  trivial or useless articles :  junk

a wagon loaded with household trumpery — Washington Irving

2  archaic : tawdry finery

trumpery

adjective