Catching Up

I’ve been without internet for about three days (yes, it was hell) so I’m trying to catch up now.

Mollie changed a provider we had, so anybody who signed up to get notifications of new posts, they’ll look different.

I am very far behind in the comments–THREE DAYS, PEOPLE–so if you had a question that didn’t get answered while I was at MacDonald’s scarfing their Wifi, please ask again.

I just realized one of my favorite romances used smirked incorrectly. Damn it. Still one of my faves, though.

I am contemplating potstickers from my freezer. The power was out for twenty-six hours, so technically I should throw everything in there out. If you don’t hear from me again, it was the potstickers.

Edited to Add at 5:30AM: TWELVE PAGES OF COMMENTS. And still no potstickers. Life is harsh.

57 thoughts on “Catching Up

    1. Yes, that’s what I’ve realized. I’m throwing out everything. Well, except the stuff that doesn’t tank at room temps.

      1. If the potstickers were meat, toss; if veg, you can probably cook them safely. My supermarket’s rule of thumb is to see whether the package is still chilled. Once it’s room temp, it goes.

  1. I hope you hadn’t just been to the grocery to stock up when the power went out. We lose power here fairly often. The worst was after I’d just come home with the full weekly shopping, unpacked it, and the power went out for more than 30 hours. We had to throw away a full refrigerator of food. 😩

      1. My friend is a professional cook (and a former nurse). I always hear her voice in my head when I’m wondering if something is still safe to eat. She says: When in doubt, throw it out.

        So I sigh, and I do.

  2. And this is why I bought a generator. I figured that one outage could cost me as much as the generator and we have them frequently. Should have done it 20 years ago!

  3. What I meant was the food in the fridge and the freezer that spoiled could cost as much as the generator. Clarity, George, Clarity.

    Wait. Is clarity the word I want? Precision? No. Well, Damn, I can’t think of the word I want so Clarity will have to stand. Old age is hell.

    1. Clarity is good. Make it clear.
      I’d spent $100 at the grocery the day before. A good generator is about $5000. Still, peace of mind . . .

      1. A really good generator on a permanent foundation running on diesel (aka home heating oil) that gets delivered is expensive. A portable emergency generator to keep the reefer/freezer running starts at $400.

        (I’d rather have the good one, too.)

      2. I bought mine for $300. It’s adequate for keeping the fridge and freezer running. Everything else has to wait.

  4. After Hurricane Sandy in 2012 (I think), we bought a whole house generator. Haven’t needed it since we put it in. I guess that means it works? lol

  5. I remember many, many years ago there was a horrible ice storm over most of Quebec that caused week long power outages because of downed lines and being unsafe to get to them and a friend was telling me that her mom lost all of her frozen food because of the power being off. When I asked her why her mom (not incapacitated and living in a condo with a big balcony) didn’t just put the food outside where it was, ya know, below freezing, she looked at me like I’d sprouted a 3rd head.

    1. It’s like telling someone they can keep ice cream cold by wrapping it in a blanket and they look at you like you’re crazy because everyone knows blankets keep things warm.

    2. I was affected by that ice storm. As were other family members.

      Where I was, we were without power much longer than that and without phone for parts of it (before cell phones were common). And we had just moved so stuff was in boxes, not much food stores etc. And we weren’t allowed out to get supplies because of dangerous ice on roads and from falling branches. But yes, what we did have of milk we put on the deck outside to keep cold and it worked. And since my son had to live off basically that and PB &J, we felt lucky to have that deck! But it worked for more fridge-level cold not so much freezer.

      If we had had lots of freezer food at the time, what couldn’t be immediately consumed probably would have been pitched like Jenny’s stuff. But gotta say, with a hubby and young (at the time) son, not much couldn’t have been consumed quickly if need be;)

    3. I’ve had to do that during power outages in upstate NY winters. (Not often, thankfully.) At that point the outside might as well be a freezer.

  6. Yes to the generator. Since we put ours in, we’ve only needed it one day for about three hours. It tests itself every Wednesday at 3. Very reassuring.

  7. We have a generator and it goes on frequently here in the DC burns. Less than years ago because after a major ice storm Pepco got much more agressive about cutting trees that threaten power lines. So the people who complained most about outages complained about the trees…

    I’m told if you freeze a cup of water and then put a penny on top of the ice you can use it to measure how bad an outage was if you were gone. Penny on top, food fine. Penny half way down, food can be used. Penny at bottom of cup, throw everything out. This seems a good starting point but surely what the food is also matters.

    1. My sister has lived in the middle of no where in Alaska for more than 60 years and for many of those years her electricity was provided by her generator which broke a lot. And most of the food was stored in freezers – what wasn’t canned or smoked. She told me anything with red blood should not be refrozen. Fish she refrozen if it had thawed but not warmed up but the taste and texture could be not as good so she cooked it with lots of spices. Now her generator is more for backup and she has more than one store and when the ferry is running she goes into Juneau to Fred Meyers and Costco. And she makes her kids take the boat out and just get her more fish.

  8. Re: using smirked incorrectly- Joan Hess always used the word ‘apt’ in a way that was unfamiliar to me. I wondered if it was a geographic variation ( I am in Canada). She used it where I would use ‘likely’ – “she’ll be apt to slap my face if I show up there”, whereas I understand it as ‘ being prone to’ — “ she was apt to be moody on Sunday afternoons”.
    Anybody apt to have have insight?

    1. Sounds old-fashioned to me. I mean, I’m fine with how she used it, but I don’t think you’d hear it often now. Might still be in use in certain regions.

    2. Sounds like a case for Mark Twain. “The difference between the almost right word and the right word is really a large matter – ’tis the difference between the lightning-bug and the lightning.” Not that I’m apt to know the right word.

    3. “Apt” is part of my original dialect, used by mother, from Illinois, as a synonym for “likely.”

        1. I grew up with that usage (mother from Ohio, paternal grandmother a former English teacher).

  9. In 1995 there was a heat wave that caused a completely preventable fire at the electric substation nearest to my apartment. I was lucky enough to have an air conditioned place to wait it out in the suburbs, but the elderly who lived in high rises along the lake were just sitting ducks without air conditioning, refrigeration or elevators or water. Cleaning out my refrigerator and freezer at the end of 5 days was pretty disgusting, but at least I still had water and could take a cold shower in the dark.

  10. All those key words are leading me to talk about food. I made another batch of I Can’t Believe It’s Not Chili. Not that any two batches are ever the same. The main differences from the previous batch were that I remembered to add a little corn starch for thickening, and I supplemented the 93% beef with Hot Italian Sausage. I wouldn’t say the heat from the sausage raised the levels I normally reach. What it mainly raised was the carbs and sodium.

    I ate a pound or so on Wednesday, then put up leftovers in six Rubbermaid containers, 340g (3/4 lb.) in each. Four of them are in the freezer. Power survived TS Elsa, so maybe I have meals for a week or so. I just started on one for dinner, with whole wheat tortillas. Oh, yesterday was a bone-in pork chop, seasoned and baked. I don’t remember the side dish. I think it was Jolly Green’s riced cauliflower and broccoli florets with cheese sauce. Yeah, that’s the ticket.

    But now I have a craving for potstickers.

    1. Confession: As a dieter, my snacks are supposed to be healthy. As a chocoholic, my snacks are chocolate! I spend a lot of money on Atkins sub-lines, snacks, treats, and so on. The dotter raids my stashes. Yesterday, she not only snatched several of my chocolate covered coconut bars, she opened my can of lightly salted almonds, which I hadn’t opened because I hate stale almonds. The can is open. The clock is ticking.

      She jams the almonds into the coconut bar! She’s turning these Mounds into Almond Joys! And you know what she said to me when she did it. “Sometimes you feel…”

        1. I’ve never tried. I’ll keep the possibility in mind. Now I’m just trying to eat them before it’s a problem. With the coconut bars, like the dotter.

      1. I try to eat healthy, and it is my firm belief that a piece or two of good quality dark chocolate is a lot better for you than artificial crap that is marketed as “diet.”

        Mind you, that only works if you can stop at a piece or two. (I can, in part because that’s all I want, and in part because I get the expensive stuff and I have to make it last.)

  11. My daughter just posted a meme that I suspect applies to all of us.
    “No, that’s my emotional support pile of unread books.”

  12. Jenny, now that you have internet, are you going to watch the new Leverage? I’ve watched several episodes, but while I was supposed to be working, so with half my attention. I’m enjoying them, but my biggest takeaway is-the villains seem a bit cartoonish. Still better than a lot of other shows, though.

    1. I’m a few episodes in! Mostly I love it, but you’re right, there’s no Sterling-equivalent yet. The well-rounded antagonist who is actually on the teams level.

  13. Are email notifications for comments ever coming back? I am terrible at lurking in attempt to have convos in the comments

    1. Huh. I never got email notifications for comments. Just for the post itself, about a day later. (Recently they are actually within a couple of hours, so that must have something to do with the change. I love it, because I’m not 60 comments behind.)

  14. We live at the end of a road to no where, and we’re on a well. The pump doesn’t work without power, so once you’ve flushed a toilet, it does not refill. We put in a generator about 4 years ago, and it comes on several times a year, sometimes for a few days. It’s heaven.

  15. Working theory: Drunk-protagonist scenes are like coincidences—you get one good one per story. After that, it feels like lazy writing.

    In theory, I don’t have a problem with drunk protagonists. I think the problem happens when writers use “they’re drunk” as a way to get their character to do something convenient to the plot that they would otherwise never do.

    1. I think it depends on the context.

      Women who go out to bars and get falling down drunk are a bad idea because that’s so dangerous, and you don’t want your protagonist to be to TDTL.

      People who are sitting with a friend in private, commiserating or talking about old times or anything that makes the time pass without thinking are a different situation. It’s much easier to have too much in those situations.

      People who are in stressful situations and drink to be calmer are another option, although that really depends on the situation. If it’s an office party, no.

      If that leads to people making rash decisions, well, that’s human. Some times people drink in order to get up the courage to make rash decisions. That’s human, too.

      For more info, see Brad Paisley’s “Alcohol.”

  16. Glad everything is back on! I lost power for 6 hours, so not as bad and didn’t throw anything from the fridge or freezer out.

    I also have been gone a while. I was catching up on posts and comments but noticed that the June 28 post with Emily (love Emily! So pretty!) had comments closed. That’s new. How long do posts accept comments? Are they automatically closed or is this a thing because of the switch in providers?

    Also, curious about the +’s is the names. Perhaps I need to finish reading the posts.

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