Wednesday, June 25, 2014

A Doozy of a Day

What does a flood, waiting around, curtains coming down, wasps, and tomato soup have in common? For me, they share a memory of a doozy of a day! Bear with me as I attempt to explain . . .

It all started just this past week when Anthony woke up at 2:30 a.m. to what sounded like rain. He walked into the kitchen only to discover that our kitchen was flooding. The "rain" he was hearing was coming out from under our kitchen sink! Anthony quickly surveyed the situation, turned the water off as best he could, and then woke me up! I scurried out of bed to see the commotion. Anthony asked me what I thought we should do. After thinking a second, I replied, "We could open the back door and sweep the water out with the broom." That's precisely what we did. The carpet in our dining area and bedroom was already wet. I dammed up the entrance to the kitchen with bath towels, hand towels, washcloths, a beach towel, baby blankets, and a wool blanket. Once we got the situation under control, i.e. most of the water out the back door, I took some pictures. Anthony tried to stop the water that was leaking under the sink, and was able to curtail it, but not completely. He then placed bowls and a bucket under the sink. He changed them out, and dumped them outside as they became full.

We called our apartment emergency maintenance line, and Anthony explained what was going on. I went back to bed. Anthony waited up an hour, but ended up leaving a note on the door for maintenance that included his phone number, and stated that he was going back to bed. At 8:30 a.m. a man from apartment maintenance came.  He said he had been by our place around 5:30 a.m., had read the note on our door, left, and had just returned. We discussed with him what had happened at our apartment earlier that morning. We had hardly finished our story when apartment maintenance had fixed the leak under the sink, and was about to leave. We were almost incredulous at such a short turn of events, it seemed apartment maintenance did not believe our tale! We asked what was going to be done about all the water in the carpet. Apartment maintenance asked what we wanted to be done. Anthony asked if some fans could be brought in.

Before Anthony left, he turned on the air conditioner unit/dehumidifier to help dry out the apartment. I waited around all day for the fans to arrive instead of going for a walk because I thought I needed to be there. Later, Anthony told me I could have just left because apartment maintenance did not need me to be there to get in. About halfway through the day no progress was being made whatsoever towards our apartment drying out. I called Anthony. I asked if I should switch plans, maybe open the doors and windows to let hot air in. He said sure. I did so, tearing down some of our curtains in our front room on accident in the process. I then nailed our curtain hanger back up into our window frame.

Little did I know that having bright lights on was an invitation to wasps to invade our apartment through our open doors. All at once I perceived three large wasps swirling around our apartment as the overhead fans helped propel them about. I freaked out. I don't like insects. Shastya was laughing at my excitement. I tried shutting off the indoor lights so that the wasps would exit our apartment in search of light outside of it. I got most of the lights out, a wasp out, and one door shut. One door was still open. I shut it, and a wasp flew out from behind it! Ahh! I opened the door back again. There was still a third wasp that had flown into our bedroom. I went looking for it, hoping the second wasp would fly out the front door while I was in the bedroom. Then I beheld the third wasp, buzzing and dangling from the ceiling in our bedroom above the doorway I had just entered. It was hovering as if trying to build a nest, a home, in our home. I had baby Shastya on my shoulder the whole time, with my other hand I grabbed a broom and attempted to joust with the wasp. When it flew at us, Shastya freaked out too, and I ran outside with Shastya still on my shoulder. I texted Daddy, "can you come home." Over an hour later, Daddy rode the bus home. Shastya and I just camped out on a patch of carpet that wasn't wet in our front room until Daddy arrived. When Daddy got home, he found a great wasp in our closet where it had gone attracted by our closet light. He killed the third wasp with the broom! The second wasp must have flown out the front door earlier. It was nowhere to be seen.

Daddy brought home with him a mini dehumidifier from a friend. He also called and asked one of his Clemson PhD advisors if he had a wet vac we could borrow. Anthony asked his advisor because his advisor has a house, unlike a lot of our PhD student friends that have apartments similar to ours. Anthony's advisor generously let us use his wet vac which improved our apartment disaster tremendously! We thanked God for the wet vac.

After Anthony used the wet vac in our apartment, I made grilled cheese and tomato soup for supper while Anthony returned the wet vac to his advisor. Around 8:30 p.m., as we began enjoying our supper, Shastya spilled a bowl of tomato soup all over Mommy(me), baby, the floor and the wall. We didn't laugh or get mad, we just looked at Shastya. Daddy wiped us off a bit before Mommy went for a shower, and baby went for a bath. Daddy cleaned all the tomato soup stains out of the carpet. We could have snapped a picture with the tomato soup all over us, but I just thought that was a little too much. What would we have done, froze and then said "cheese?"

Where had the day gone? Let's see, Mommy washed and dried four loads of towels and blankets somewhere in there. I wonder if apartment maintenance would have believed our flood story if he had seen our pictures? How could we blame him for not fully comprehending our story? We had done such a good job getting rid of the water. Who would have known that there had been a flood? The kitchen floor looked mopped. All the towels had been drying unseen behind the closed back door on the back porch. Our day was over. It was time to get some sleep before meeting our friends the next morning at 3 a.m. for a hike to see a sunrise from a fire tower in Rabun Bald, Georgia.

Vegetable Lo Mein

Pork Buns & Dumplings

I made up my own recipe for the dough for my pork buns this time. This was my best dough yet for baozi/ steamed buns! And yes, I will share my recipe. Next time I think I will food process my filling so that there are not chunks, and roll it into meat balls before forming dough balls around it.

Baozi Dough:

1 Cup Warm Water
2 Tsp Bread Machine Yeast
3 TB Granulated Sugar
2 3/4 Cup Bread Flour
1 Tsp Salt
1 TB Oil

1. Combine first three ingredients until frothy, about two minutes.
2. Add the rest of the ingredients.
3. Use the dough setting on your bread machine.

Fusion Cuisine: Baked Purple Cabbage Egg Rolls With Fresh Homemade Guacamole

I created this combination and it worked! Anthony and I really enjoyed this fusion meal. He doesn't usually care what I put together as long as it's tasty!

Baked Purple Cabbage Egg Rolls:

8 Carrots Grated
1 Onion Chopped
2 TB Sesame Oil
2 TB Soy Sauce
Salt & Pepper

1/2 Head of Purple Cabbage Chopped
2 Cups Water

Egg Roll Wrappers

1. Combine first five ingredients in bowl. Transfer ingredients to skillet. Add cabbage and water. Cook down slightly.
2. Grease pans. Roll up egg roll filling in egg roll wrappers. Brush with olive oil. Sprinkle with salt. Bake for 15-20 minutes at 400 degrees.

Fresh homemade Guacamole:

2 Ripe Avocados
1 Lime

1. Peel avocados and remove pit.
2. Cut lime in quarters. Squeeze lime juice over avocado pieces. Mash and mix.

Shastya and the Toilet Paper

Shastya is just over eight months old. I was letting Shastya play with a roll of toilet paper on the floor while I did my hair at the mirror in our bathroom. I have let her play with toilet paper before, but this was the first time she unraveled the roll. The next thing I knew it, she was standing next to the toilet, scooping up the toilet paper and trying to get it in the toilet! Wow. She puts things together. The toilet paper was all connected so she couldn't get it into the toilet. I ripped off some and handed it to her, into the toilet she slipped the toilet paper. The toilet paper began to slip beneath the surface of the water. Shastya cried out and tried to retrieve it! I stopped her. Shastya is so bright and funny. She keeps us laughing.