Tuesday, December 25, 2018

Remembering my Grandma on Christmas

Merry Christmas everyone!

Homeowner chaos has continued here at chez Cat. It's been a whirlwind of broken appliances, idiot repair men, clogged drains, and many, MANY trips to the "home improvement" store - which I'm sort of thinking is a bit of a misnomer, at least in my case... It's more like the "home just-trying-to-get-things-back-to-where-they-were-a-month-ago" store. Seriously folks, I've had issues and problems with, literally, every single major appliance in the past month.

To be fair, the fridge issues actually would qualify as improvements, since they stemmed from the plumbers adding a new water line behind it, so I can now use the icemaker for the first time ever. It's wonderful to have ice on demand, but I did have to install a filter on the line and order a few parts to make it all work.

And I suppose the dryer problems could also sorta be considered an upgrade. That too was fallout from the plumbers since they managed to punch a hole in the duct pipe - which had apparently been installed incorrectly - so I had to spend 3 days with my head stuck in a hole in the basement ceiling trying to get that sorted out. I now know more about dryer ducts than I ever wanted to.

And the washing machine and dishwasher are both intact - I just couldn't use them for a few weeks - first because there was no incoming water, and later because the drain pipe in the floor got clogged and they couldn't drain. Still not sure if the drain clogging is somehow related to the plumbers installing new pipes, but I sorta doubt it since they only replaced the incoming pipes not the outgoing ones.

And then there's the saga of the oven. The day after the water finally got turned back on I went to cook CatMan a nice birthday dinner. I filled the oven with a lasagna, some veggies to roast, and a pie - came back half an hour later to check on it, and it was all still cold. UG! I'll spare you the details of the idiot repair people, but suffice it to say, a new range will be arriving on Thursday - along with a new freezer to replace the one that died earlier this fall.

You know, It's not that you don't expect this sort of thing as a homeowner, you just don't expect it all to happen simultaneously! Clearly, I have offended the gods.

But hey, looking on the bright side. I now have new pipes and fixtures throughout the house, a new hot water heater, a better dryer duct, a functioning ice maker in the fridge, a clear drain pipe (with improved strainers and lint catchers on the way for every drain in the house,) a filter on the bathroom sink (did I mention the water from the new pipes tasted horrible, so I had to install filters everywhere?) and a new oven/range and freezer arriving the day after tomorrow.

Whew! I won't bore you with the story of the bank freezing my business account and impounding the money because I supposedly hadn't used it enough. But if anyone out there is still using Wells Fargo, I'd move your money if I was you.

Well ANYWAY, I'm heading over to my dad's house for Christmas dinner later today, and I really hate to arrive empty handed. Since there hasn't exactly been a lot of time for shopping this season I was sitting there yesterday wondering what I could do. Normally I'd bake something, but since I don't have a functioning oven...

Then suddenly it occurred to me that somewhere in the chaos that is my basement (things are still not quite put back together after all of the repair jobs down there) I still have my grandmother's pizzelle iron. It only took a small bit of digging and, voila!

The thing is probably over 75 years old by now, but amazingly enough it still works fine. Now, THERE's an appliance that was built to last!

If you're not familiar with pizzelle, it's a traditional Italian Christmas cookie, and my grandma used to make them every year. This is my favorite photo of her.

So I spent the evening last night making pizzelle and thinking about my grandmother. She was always a calming influence in my life, and honestly, with the way things have been going lately, I could use a bit of calming! Besides, I'm sure my dad will appreciate the reminder of his mother much more than he would some store bought basket of goodies.

So I guess every cloud does indeed have a silver lining.

Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas!


  1. Wow, you have been through a lot lately! Your cookies look wonderful. Merry Christmas

    1. I'm trying to remind myself that in the broad scheme of things, it's a privilege to have this sort of problems. I think perhaps that message will sink in more once I get caught up on laundry and sleep! And I'm pleased to report that my dad & stepmom loved the cookies! Hope you had a Merry Christmas!

  2. Oh Cat, what a frustrating series of events. Are you bald from pulling your hair out??? I hope your appliance life is on the upswing. Sheesh!

    I think the pizzelle was a brilliant idea. Perfect for gift-giving.

    Enjoyed your kitty-cat pictures (especially of the one in the sink) and your grandmother was so pretty!

    Merry Christmas.

    1. I know, right? I have definitely acquired a new appreciation for modern conveniences like hot running water.

      My grandmother was very pretty. And the hair... imagine how long it must have taken to make it do that with those neat little rows of waves. Of course, she looked different by the time I knew her, but the essence was the same. She actually won a beauty contest once - she was named "Miss Leadville" of 1923. I guess it's not so surprising that she became a professional hair dresser!

      Hope you and yours had a very Merry Christmas!

  3. well, your troubles have caused loads of challenges. Glad you are on way to repair/replace/improve. We've had a few 'issues' with home equipment recently too. Wasn't it Roseann-Roseannadanna who said 'its always something!'
    Those pizzelles look good - what a nice idea.
    Hope the new year brings you much enjoyment of all those improved home helpers.
    Jan in Ohio

    1. As my nana Nana Roseannedanna used to say to me, it's always something. If it ain't one thing it's another. Wither you've got a basement full of water or your oven dies. Oh, how I miss Gilda Radner, the world is so much poorer for having lost her too soon.

      Thanks for the well wishes. As my dad pointed out last night, there's not too much left to break! I'm sorta afraid to believe him though... tempting fate and all.

      Best to you and yours for a very happy new year!

    2. Hmmm... that was supposed to say "either," not "wither." I wonder if there's any way to edit a comment in blogger. Oh well, Wither thou misspelleth!

  4. Whew, no, that's a bit of a nightmare series, isn't it? I hope it's all behind you and you can breathe easy for the next decade or two on the appliances front!

    We still have to figure out quite a few things ourselves, but we are starting out new with the kitchen appliances at least so my hope is that any failures will be staggered.

    Hope you're having a happy new year!

  5. I'm very late to reply here but I'm sorry that all the appliances are revolting against you. Like you said, it's expected that they break but not all at once.

    Those pizzelle look amazing! I remember having some as a kid. Maybe it's time to look on eBay for a new appliance...

  6. Hi! New fan as I'm a Cat Lady, too (well, in my case, it's, "Kat"). I love your blog and will be going through your archives until you get around to a new post.
    Blessed Be,
    Dee / Kat


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