Friday, August 28, 2015

U.S. Flag: To Wash or Not To Wash

The Man and I elected to establish an American Flag--the U.S. Flag, which ever you prefer--on the front of our house within a month of purchasing it several years ago. We have flown it nearly every day since, only removing it for days with high winds. The all-weather flag is also lit by a dedicated solar spotlight during the dark hours. We both know the Flag Code and take the responsibility of flying the flag seriously.

After last summer, we retired our first flag and acquired a new one. The old flag hangs in the garage (off the ground!) waiting for an opportunity to go to the American Legion for permanent dispatch. This old flag has a pretty large rip between some stripes, and even with my sewing skills, I just couldn't patch it properly.

The new flag is a year old now and has been waving all summer through Oregon's hot, dry, smoky madness. I have pondered the idea of washing the flag, but I run into a few problems. No where in the Flag Code does it say that a flag cannot or should not be washed. On the other hand, the flag should not touch the ground or be lowered disrespectfully. I'm not sure that throwing the flag in the washing machine with dirty clothes is the most respectful thing either.

Part of me is also saying "It's just a piece of fabric!" The flag is a symbol, not a relic or antique or prized possession. We've left it outside to get filthy all summer in the name of patriotism. Taking the flag inside to wash it and make it look better isn't any worse.

My plan is to take the flag to my big bathtub and wash it by hand (not with other dirty clothes) and line dry it inside. Technically a bathtub isn't the "ground," and washing it by hand is more gentle than the machine. If I use some Oxyclean to brighten the colors and remove the filth, I should achieve a respectful clean, right?

Am I being patriotic by cleaning the flag and rehanging it, or am I being disrespectful by lowering the flag into water?

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

The Wasp Invasion

The Man and I are living through a home invasion. Our master bathroom vents (not the heat vents, the suction vents) have a wasp nest somewhere between the vent cover hanging in the ceiling and the pipe sticking out the roof.

At first, we were only seeing one wasp per week just hanging out on the bathroom floor. I thought little of it, figuring that one had flown in through an open door. Annoying, but easily swatted. By August, they were steadily invading one or two per week, and they've been increasing to one per day. This last week, we had two in one day. No thank you! We called our pest company, and they were at our door within half an hour. The guy took a look at our vents, looked into the attic, looked around on the roof (from the ground), and decided to spray a bunch of wasp deterrent into the vents to hopefully push them out. He sealed the vents off for a few hours, and we were supposed to remove the covers the next morning, which we did.

Eight hours later, I walk into the bathroom only to find another wasp chilling on the floor. Seriously?! I have insecticide-resistant wasps invading my vents?!

I should mention that throughout this ordeal, every time The Man opened the door to the bathroom while I was in the bedroom, I just about lost it. I've never been stung by bees or wasps, so I don't know if I'm allergic, and I'm not really a fan of pain or itching, so I am not interested in taking chances. These suckers fly, so it's twice as bad as a spider in my opinion. Let's just say I've not been sleeping well lately, and I'm just not interested in sharing my house with winged drill bits from Hell.

I bought some screen fabric today and taped it to the ceiling on all four sides of the vent. Just for added measure, I stapled the mesh and tape all the way around as well. If the wasps are able to penetrate the screens, we don't need an exterminator, we need an exorcist.

Does anyone have any suggestions or stories about wasps invading homes? I'll try just about anything short of flamethrowers to get rid of them.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

The Great Chicken Roasting Redux

After my disastrous attempt at roasting a chicken a few weeks ago, I thought I'd try again with a few changes. Like not setting off the smoke alarm. Who's with me?

Thursday, August 06, 2015

My Kitchen is a Deathtrap

Remember how we all learned that fat is evil and sugar gives us energy? Turns out that is completely backward. Sugar is horrible for us, and non-trans-fats keep us feeling full and moving all day. Our brains are actually made of fat and water, and sugar makes our brain run slower.

I did some investigating in my pantry this week to see where the hidden sugars are hiding.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

In Which I Roast a Bird

I'm not sure I'd call myself a great chef, but I'm fairly confident in the kitchen. I know my sauces, am comfortable with a knife, and have an idea what all of the spices in my cabinet can do to a dish. If I'm given a recipe and some basic instructions, then I'm almost always successful (unless the recipe is bad, in which case it's not my fault).

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

I Can Haz... a Bidet?!

I'm just going to start by apologizing for this entire post. Sorry.

But now that you know things are about to get, erm, dirty, we can all put on our grownup pants and behave like adults. Right? Right? *sigh

The Man and I bought a bidet.

Wednesday, July 01, 2015

He is not Me

I'll admit, sometimes I just don't know the answer. And I am terrible at explaining how I feel. But I've had it being told what to think and how to feel.

You see, I'm married to a wonderful man that has strong opinions on many subjects, and he has no problem explaining why he feels and thinks things, and he stands on a soapbox making statements that are loud and proud and stop talking already! I love that my husband has convictions, and I know his beliefs are well researched and supported. He isn't crazy. He isn't even too far off the mainstream.

But I can't compete.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

The Social Stigma of a Childless Housewife

After my first month as a housewife, I am taking the opportunity to reflect on what has been the most challenging part of my new job: social stigmas of childless housewives including resentment, confusion, and judgment.

Thursday, June 04, 2015

Cost Comparing Safeway, Fred Meyer and WinCo

With my new role as housewife, one of my biggest jobs is managing household finances. That isn't to say that The Man doesn't also manage money, but that without my additional income, I now contribute real value by decreasing costs or using money even more wisely. We've cut corners wherever we can in the rest of our budget, so looking to food to save money is the next step.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

I'm officially a housewife.

I can't sit here and write to you without acknowledging the six month gap between blog posts. Despite my love of writing, I have been unable to put thought to words for a long time. Life has thrown me several curve balls lately, all at work. Since I don't blog about my professional life, I can't go into many details. The short of it is that my wonderful manager left a year ago, and she was replaced by someone not up to the task in several ways. I struggled to make things work, then suffered through many months of bullying. Sitting down to write at the end of long, painful days wasn't even close to happening, and I haven't had much to say otherwise.

Two weeks ago, The Man and I reached our breaking point with my job. We sat down and adjusted our finances, paid my last student loan payment (hooray!), and realized we could live on his income alone. We both agreed that being on a strict budget and living within our means were better than having stress and health issues. I gave my notice, and I left the following week.