Christmas Decorations

Here’s one. Mike Bennett had a popup shop near the Living Room Theaters and I bought this cute little ornament that has the old PDX airport carpet on it.

And the card holder has filled up nicely, though I know more are to come. When your card senders are teachers, often the cards aren’t dealt with until winter break begins.

And that’s it. Perhaps next year the decorations can start to appear again.

New Dishwasher and Microwave with Range Hood

Here is our new dishwasher. I don’t love that we’ve been buying during a period of stainless steel popularity. It’s hard to keep up with the fingerprints and I find the industrial look to not be very homey. But still, I’m excited to have a functional appliance.

I’m also excited for this separate silverware rack. No more forks getting tangled in the basket.

The old dishwasher was indeed leaking. I had to remove things from the under-sink cabinet for this install, and I could see where the wood warped due to water exposure. It also warped the cabinet wood in the next cabinet over, too.

Aside from a new dishwasher, we also welcomed a new microwave and range hood. I’ve long wanted a better range hood. The one that came with the house never seemed to work, and the handywoman who installed the cat door told me it was probably too far away to do any good. By filling the space with the microwave that was probably always intended, we can lower the fan much closer to the burners.

Less exciting (and super frustrating) is the fact that when we bought this unit in August, the salesperson neglected to tell us that we would need to have an outlet to plug the unit into. Had we been told in August, we could have gotten on the electrician’s list and it would have been installed by delivery time. Instead, we have this workaround. And an electrician appointment in March.

Last Day of the Dishwasher

In August, when the stove died, we also bought a dishwasher because ours was making a lot of concerning sounds and we learned with the stove that if you need to buy something today your choices are limited. So we have waited nearly four months for the arrival of said dishwasher, but the day has nearly arrived and the new dishwasher will be delivered tomorrow!

In late September, the floorboards in the front room started to warp. I thought about it for about a week or so before I put together the small amount of water that sometime appeared at the foot of the dishwasher with the fact that perhaps even more water was coming from the dishwasher and getting under the floorboards. So we stopped using the dishwasher for a two-week trial.

And the floors went down a little, so we just kept hand washing the dishes. Talk about a chore that is thankless! I remembered why, in my pre-dishwasher days, I only kept four forks available.

This was the dishwasher that came with the house and it’s showing its age. Matt got tired of having to carefully place the silverware in the basket to avoid the holes and he bought us a new basked a few years ago. But the rest has done hard work getting our dishes clean for 15 years. You can see how some of the prongs on the racks have broken off and become rusty.

While I think 15 years is a bit on the low side…[pause for googling]…No, and Consumer Reports says 10 years is how long many dishwasher last. So we got an extra 5 years out of ours. Thanks dishwasher, for all your cleaning power!

Matt and I Make A Lot of Cookies

Plus some fudge.

Working my way through the America’s Test Kitchen Best Ever Christmas Cookies, we have Maple-Pecan Swirls, Lemon Snowflakes, and Vanilla Icebox Cookies. These were shipped off to far-flung locales, and given as presents.

I enjoy a good vanilla icebox cookie. I liked the subtle flavor of the maple-pecan swirls and the lemon bite of the snowflakes.

The fudge was a bit crumbly, but still good.

Macramé for the Win

After many years of taping birthday and Christmas cards to the wall and then taping them again to the wall when they fell off, I finally googled “card holder” and found Barrington Butik’s shop on Etsy. She offers a long list of customizable colors for the rod and the macramé. I chose gray and yellow. Voila! My macramé arrived just in time to show off my birthday cards.

It’s going to be great for Christmas cards and will also look nice hanging there without cards.

Placeholder Stove Cover

As mentioned before, the new stove has a cooktop I’m not looking forward to keep looking nice. I brainstormed with Graham and Julie about what type of cover would be best (Graham voted for butcher block and Julie voted for a nice thick plastic cutting-board type.) But then Julie pointed out that it was a fairly large space and I might find myself not putting the cover back on because it was too heavy and hard to move. She suggested having a placeholder for a while until I was sure I wanted to haul the cover back and forth.

Et voilia!

I asked my brother if he could cut me a scrap of plywood down to 32″ by 22″ did just that. It was also my birthday present.

He said it was scrap wood from The Emerson School, where I used to work. I wonder about that though, because TES didn’t celebrate holidays, so there wouldn’t have been an advent calendar section of shelving. But it might be left over from when the Montessori school was in the building.

Backyard Excitement at The Orange Door: Cat Version

Antares was very interested in being on the catio, and after squinting a bit, I saw what was capturing his interest.

There was a black cat sitting on the fence.

And a calico cat sitting on the porch roof.

Sentinel also wanted to have a look, but from inside.

As with most cat encounters this one ended with the cats wandering off. But it was fun to have four cats in sight.