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Tuesday, November 14, 2017

It's windstorm season, again, and other stuff

Monday evening was super windy. We lost another tree. Usually the trees come up roots and all. But this one snapped off and splintered a stump, about 6 feet from the ground. It didn't do any property damage, but these trees are massive, and this will be a mess to clean up.

Then, Tuesday evening, the winds started again. It's not expected to be as windy as Monday, but with the soil so wet, and root movement in the soil after the earlier segment of this storm -- I'm a bit nervous when the wind kicks up.

Other things, I unclogged the drain hose from the dishwasher's airgap, using, of all things, picture hanging wire and boiling water. First, I took a long piece of stiff wire, made a loop at one end, and snaked it up and down the hose, through the airgap. I pulled out what look like  sticker from a piece of fruit or a piece of a label. It was coated in gunk, so hard to tell exactly.  The hose would still not allow water to flow through. So, I poured boiling water down the draining section of the airgap. If you take the cap off of the airgap, there are two sections, one for incoming drainage, and the other where the dirty water will flow back down to the garbage disposal or drain. I used the wire and poured the boiling water down the latter of the two sections, using a narrow-spouted watering can to get the water into the narrow hole. At first, the boiling water just sat in the upper part of the hose. then I heard a whoosh and I knew I'd unclogged the drain. The clog was likely a combination of fat and food particles which clung to the inside of the hose. I have to do this about once per year. Our dishwasher was only out of commission for one dinner, until I could work on it. Not bad.

What else? Lite Mock Apple Pie. This is my latest dessert-in-a-jiffy creation, using applesauce, cinnamon-sugar, saltine or graham crackers. You can see where this is heading, right? Put two saltines or one square graham cracker in a microwaveable bowl, topped with applesauce, sprinkle generously with cinnamon and sugar. Microwave for 15 seconds. Mug cakes are sometimes too heavy, that's when a lite apple pie is just perfect.

And now, I think I'm actually going to get a good night's sleep, after last night's wind storm. Have a great day!


  1. Oh, I like the idea of the light apple pie, how neat. I'd say that tastes really good. Glad you were able to unclog your dishwasher's drain. Fixing something like that would be very satisfying to me. Sorry that you lost a tree in the wind storm. I hope the winds remain calm for you from here on out. Hope you have a great Wednesday too. :)

    1. Hi Belinda,
      The applesauce pie is my go-to dessert these days. Very yummy and quick. It's still very rainy, but the winds have dies down this morning. On my drive out of the neighborhood I saw several trees down, in various stages of clean-up. At least ours didn't fall on the house. That's something to be thankful for.
      Have a great day!

  2. Glad you checked in, Lili. I was worrying about the wind up there. It's always sad to lose a mature tree. Glad there was no damage to your home, but YES, that's a huge clean-up. Do you guys have a fireplace you can burn the wood in, at least? That's the only thing that makes me feel better about lost trees.

    Good luck on your busy week, and kudos on the dishwasher fix. Sara :)

    1. By the way, Lili, I've been thinking about your "so-so dinner" last week. You know I love to cook and provide myself and my family with a variety of tasty things. But I also realize, not every meal is going to be an adventure. Some might even not be that tasty, for any number of reasons. Don't you think that that's the time to just appreciate that we're lucky to have something to eat and someone we love to eat it with? I know that sounds Pollyanna-ish or preachy, but lately I really just appreciate every day and every moment with friends and family. And I have a goofy sense of humor, so I can get a lot of mileage out of minor things like a so-so meal. :D Glad you had the soy sauce, though. It's amazing how much nicer life is with a variety of herbs, spices, condiments... even salt and pepper light up my life, in their own little way. :) Sara

    2. Hi Sara,
      I don't know if you saw much news on the wind storm, but one woman lost her life, as a tree came down while she was driving and hit the car. Property damage and mess are a nuisance to deal with, but I'm very sad for this woman's family.
      I agree with you on the so-so meal. I figure that I'm doing well to provide decent meals almost every time. Previous generations have not been so blessed to have a bounty of ingredients with which to work. So most of the time, the meals are delicious. Just every once in a while they're "meh." C'est la vie.
      I hope that you're having a great day, Sara!

    3. Yes, I did see the death and damage on Spokane news. So sad. A young guy in our county passed away suddenly the other day, and it's just so hard to imagine how the family even processes what's happened, let alone goes forward. Sigh.

      That's interesting about the hemlocks. I didn't know that (hemlocks are so pretty, especially when the new growth comes out). When I was a kid, we had a similar situation to Alice's at a neighborhood park-- probably a dozen HUGE pines went down in one night. Thankfully they didn't hurt anyone or destroy any of the buildings, but it was a shocking scene when the sun came up! I remember climbing up and down the trunks with other neighbors for a couple of hours before the city decided that was too dangerous, and shooed us away. Sara :)

  3. oh, wind, that is bad. We aren't known for a lot of wind but every once in a while we can get some pretty bad ones. When we lived in our previous home, it was Christmas Eve night and it was warm and the wind was so bad and loud. We couldn't see outside very well but the morning showed pine trees uprooted--probably six on the neighbors yard and one in ours. The roots are quite shallow on pine trees so they are easily uprooted.

    Where we live now, we have had wind but no trees down. But the neighbors all have a ton of pine trees that look like they are on steroids. I would be so afraid if any of those come down.


    1. Hi Alice,
      Here, it's the hemlocks with shallow roots. The firs can withstand a lot of wind, but hemlocks are the ones that have come down in our yard. That must have been a terrible surprise for you and your neighbors on Christmas, that year.

      I hope that you're having a great day, Alice!

  4. Sorry about your tree! We removed one from our back yard (too huge and too close to the house for comfort) several years ago and it seemed like it took forever to get everything cleaned up--and that was a planned event! Does hemlock burn well in a fireplace? I know we avoid certain kinds of wood as they tend to build up creosote in our chimney quickly.

    I like your quick dessert idea! Sometimes I just want something a little sweet--that would fit the bill.

    I've never done the extensive dishwasher work you have done, but I did get pretty good at cleaning out our previous dishwasher. I disliked doing it but felt like I extended the life of that appliance because I was willing to get in and work on it. I'm still reaping the benefit of my husband cleaning out our clothes dryer exhaust duct. I can't believe how quickly our dryer works now and am SO happy not to have to purchase a new one. It's great that you take the time to do that task and then save money by doing it!

    1. Kris, I empathize! We were having trouble with our dryer for a year and a half, and we all THOUGHT that hubby had cleaned the vent duct. It's under a large deck, so hard to see or get to. A month or two ago, he decided to double-check, and voila! the dryer works like a champ. I felt so silly, but it was one of the happiest days of the whole year. LOL SOOO nice, as you said, not to need to buy a new one, AND to have the clothes dry so quickly and smell so fresh, again.(I'd been having to run the clothes through three cycles to get them dry, so they never smelled quite right.) Simple joys! :) Best -- Sara

    2. Hi Kris,
      We've burned hemlock before, but I don't know whether or not it creates more creosote. I will have to look into that at some point. For the time being, we're not using out fireplace. The chimney needs inspecting. Our house is 40 years old. A couple of our neighbors have had to have portions of their chimneys rebuilt -- cracks. We had a chimney fire a couple of years ago, and thought it would be safer to just not use it, until we get it inspected. Age can lead to cracks, and so can chimney fires. We enjoy an electric "fire" in the other room instead, for now.
      Isn't it amazing how just a little fix, like cleaning an exhaust duct, can make an appliance run so well?! And most of the time it's just a matter of a small amount of work.
      Have a great day, Kris!

    3. Aha! I'm not the only one who ran clothes through the dryer for two or 3 cycles! After my hubby cleaned the vent, I thought, "where was my brain?? Why didn't we check this out sooner?". Sometimes the stuff of life Keeps me from noticing an obvious problem, and that's what happened there.

      Lili, we had the same issue with our fireplace. We had to repair the masonry and replace the chimney cap. It was not a cheap repair, but we use our fireplace a lot and we plan on living here for many more years, so we decided to bite the bullet and get it done. Seems like that kind of stuff happens to us every year. I had really hoped to replace some of our carpeting by now and re-do our 1/2 bath (and replace some light fixtures that I'm sure were here when my house was built in 1960!) but sometimes ya gotta choose between aesthetics and essential functions. We have a warm, dry, cozy home, and I can live with "dated". :)

    4. Hee, hee, Kris, a kindred spirit! It was the same thing here -- a hectic year and many "bigger" issues kept us from figuring out the obvious. But AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH, what a joy once it worked right, again. It really made me count my blessings, adore my hubby for figuring it out, and actually ALMOST enjoy doing laundry. If I don't love to do it, still, I sure love it more and find it more rewarding than I did when it took so long. (Though still better than a laundromat, etc., that was really a chore, and required planning so I would have time to get it all the way dry before bedtime.) Sara :)

  5. Wet ground and high winds are not a good combination. We had our fair share downed branches and trees at our old house and I always dreaded the cleanup. Do you have a chainsaw to use?

    Also, do you remember the Mock Apple Pie recipe on the Ritz Crackers box? I thought there was no way crackers could taste like apples, but they sort of did. I wonder if anyone makes those any more.

  6. Hi live and learn,
    I have always doubted the tasty-ness potential in that apple pie recipe, as well. The texture would just be mush, even if you could get crackers to taste like apples. Someone, somewhere (and probably lots of someones) really, really liked it.
    No chainsaw, but they can be rented at Home Depot.
    Have a lovely evening, live and learn.

  7. So glad you are safe. These days the weather can be a bit extreme. I don't remember howling winds too often my entire life, but these days it happens so often. Right now, in fact.

    We're still eating coconut gelatin with whipped cream after almost every lunch and dinner. I add our garden fruit (pomelo) to the bottom of each cup, after finding a recipe on the internet that suggested this combination. I switched my statin medication to allow this type of grapefruit in my diet. For so many years I couldn't eat this fruit, I thought being on statins was it, but then I read not all statins, and verified this with the pharmacist. Just saying, in case, anyone didn't know this. Not many people are grapefruit lovers, but I loved this fruit so much we planted it 27 years ago.

    I love easy, light desserts, so will keep your mock apple pie recipe in mind. You're right about too heavy desserts. We keep them frozen in small serving size for when the craving hits. Daily we like light.



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