opinion poll

and I will tell you it might have something to do with one of these two things:

1. For lunch, we had crackers with Boursin Garlic and Herb cheese, Fiber One granola bars (9 grams of fiber, due to freakish amounts of chicory root extract, which is, presumably, very high in fiber, but adds what Derek says is a very “burnt” flavor, which I cannot detect, and confectioner’s shellac, which apparently isn’t an oxymoron, since shellac is edible. I looked it up. It used to be thought that shellac was derived from grinding up the wings of certain beetles, but it’s really a secretion from the female beetle that makes the bark of the tree they live on a little more sticky, so it’s easier to walk on. But in the harvest process of scraping the trees, inevitably some beetles get tossed in too, so shellac isn’t vegetarian, and is definitely not vegan), and a Diet Pepsi. Are you still with me?

Or 2. I was up from 2:30 am to 3:30 am performing my absolute least favorite parenting duty: cleaning up spaghetti vomit from the boys’ bedroom rug while simultaneously encouraging (ordering) the perpetrator to remain in the bathroom with his face pointed at the toilet, to stop crying, whining and yelling, and to try (skip this part if you’re susceptible) to snort out the piece that got jammed into his nasal cavity, causing pain and excess nose running. Curiously, the stuff running out of his nose seemed to have a little more wheat bran than is usual. Also, the poor delinquent has a very developed gag reflex, which makes the whole snorting part precarious. In the end, there was a joyful exclamation, “It came out!” and he went to bed without further ado.

I was, for the first time, really, really grateful for the garbage disposal. I don’t use it often, because of the energy and large amount of water consumed and the fact that it mucks up the water systems (I can’t direct you to where I read this information, sorry, but this will tell you a little), but when you have a towel full of recycled spaghetti, and someone hovering over the toilet, and you just don’t want to stick your hands in there anyway, the kitchen sink with the pig works just fine.

In any case, the stomach pain has ceased, only to make way for a new and exciting headache. Which should have been preempted by the Diet Pepsi, but what can you do?

Here’s another informal poll,

If you could buy a new fridge today, and money was not an issue, which would you pick?

Keep in mind that top freezers are the most energy efficient, bottom freezers are convenient because the normal stuff is at eye level and you don’t have to bend over to get an apple or a carrot, and side-by side fridge-freezers require less opening space, since the doors are narrower, but you can’t put a frozen pizza in them.

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Dangit, this isn’t working. I’ll try to fix it.

Last night, we took the whole fam to view a house. Up to this point, I have been doing the house-hunting solo, using various internet searches to plan my attack, browsing neighborhoods, dragging friends and cousins along, and hitting open-houses. We don’t nave a realtor yet, nor a loan, but I’ve taken the approach that, since it’s very much a buyer’s market, there’s no rush.

A few weeks ago, I passed a house that I thought was cute. I made a note about it on my increasingly chaotic notes page, and drove on. The next week, I drove by again, and noticed from my car that the house looks vacant. So I got out and poked around. It’s a 1920’s bungalow, not unlike the fabulous house I grew up in. It sits on a double lot, so it actually has a yard, and not a 4×4 foot patch of weedy lawn. There’s an ordinance that prohibits the owner from building on the side yard, so it’s the same yard it has had for almost 90 years.

There is a great big tree in the yard (among a bunch of other big trees) that appears to be a magnolia. I have a particular love for magnolia trees-they make me weep for the beauty of the spring blossoming. There’s a garage in the back that has the original barn-style doors. The yard is definitely big enough for a pick-up game of soccer, a vegetable and herb garden, a compost pile, and maybe couple of chickens. I’m so not kidding. One day, I will have chickens. If you don’t believe me, go read this and tell me what you think.

I took Sheila to the house when she was here, and we poked around again. The neighbor, Nick, came out to introduce himself, and ended up chatting away a good half hour. He told us about the neighborhood, and seems to actually know the neighbors. I think that’s a good sign.

We decided to call the agent and schedule a walk-through, since I had heretofore only peeked in the windows. He met us last night and showed us around. I had to keep biting my lip to keep from gushing about how great this house is. It’s got a few things that are not ideal, including very little counter space in the kitchen, on which to knead my bread, the cabinetry is new and cheap, though not unpleasing to the eye, the side door is on the yard side, not the driveway side, it’s not quite 1400 square feet, there’s a giant stump in the middle of the yard, it’s made of asbestos (solid, though, so no risk of airborne particles), and I haven’t quite figured out where I would put the piano.

As far as advantages: it’s cute. Big yard. Two car garage. Two story. Some hardwood floors that were refinished this summer. Antique fixtures that the previous owner had been collecting, including super-cute doorknobs and some fantastically beautiful light fixtures. Big porch. 3 blocks from elementary school. Nice neighbors. Finished basement. What else? Take a look and tell me your impressions.