Expensive Lesson and Math Skills!
Numbering limestone tiles with a Sharpie pen + trying to
remove the numbers with Goof-Off and acetone and discovering
that when they say Sharpie is for permanent marking
they are actually serious, and when they say don’t put
chemicals on limestone they are also serious =
trouble! Our contractor found this out a few weeks ago. I
had cringed when I first noticed he’d numbered hundreds and
hundreds (and hundreds) of dollars worth of tiles, and after
coming home from work one day to the fumes and seeing
slightly faded numbers left on chemical-etched limestone
tiles, I knew this was not a good thing. . .
Sometimes even simple math isn’t obvious and needs to be
explained. If it hadn’t been so expensive for my
poor contractor to have to replace, it might’ve been amusing. It wasn’t! We
start over this week to an instant re-play of the
construction mess, a replay of the dust that takes weeks to
finally settle, and a replay of me trying to clean up after
contractors’ sawdust footprints, track-ins, and mess.
Back When I was Stripping:
So, I'm searching in Google for something-another, and
accidentally find myself on somebody's estate sale site.
There, I see an antique piece of furniture that I actually
have one of sitting right in my living room--an Eastlake,
circa 1870 dresser! My sister had picked this up at a
garage sale for $10 (which included all the original
hardware) back in the late 1980's. At that time I had found
myself addicted to stripping furniture and turning the uggos
into beauties. (Wait a minute! Did you think I meant
something else by the title, "Back When I was
Stripping?" Potty-brain!) Anyway, at the time, I was
trying to do my part to remove as much of the 1960's blue
fad paint from the earth as possible. This piece seemed
like a worthy candidate in need of some attention, and the
ones who were selling it were happy to get $10 for it! With
my gift of stubborn and unbridled determination, and after
huffing on the fumes of paint stripper for about six weeks,
I was so thrilled with my sister's $10 investment that I
planted this whatever-its-called right in my living room,
and it's been sitting there for over twenty years.
Just for the heck of showing off one other little project
from my stripper years, this next one came from a neighbor's
garbage! (Yes, I was one of those neighbors that lurked
around the night before garbage day to see what might've
gotten thrown out and needed to be rescued.) I think I was
looking for a challenge because I was told that there was no
way I could make it look decent. Um. . . Excuse ME? Did I
hear someone say I "couldn't" do something?
One of my daughters told me years ago that their father, in
some conversation they were having with him, mentioned that
despite our differences, he missed my chili. (Or was it my
meatloaf?) The conversation probably went something like, “The
only thing I miss is her chili.” Oh well. . . it was
still a hidden, but huge compliment seeing that he is Mr.
Creative Whiz-Chef in the kitchen, himself! (It has also
given me great satisfaction knowing that it is something he
hasn't been able to duplicate, even with his extraordinary
culinary skills!) Anyway, chili lovers from near and far
get a hankering for my chili once they’ve had some, and I
don’t think anyone has ever not asked for the recipe,
or has at least wanted to know my “secret.” I gladly give
them the recipe of "a dash of this" and "six splashes of
that" but always admit that my actual secret is in the
vintage crock-pot, itself. That baby is something that only
I have, and like a well-seasoned cast iron skillet, it is
only getting better with time! It is over 30 years old and
has been mended, patched, and repaired more than Evil
The knob on the top has been glued back on, soldered back
together, and now sports a clever DIY fix by way of a screw and little bolt thingie.
control knob broke off sometime back in the 80s, so now
I have to use a pair of pliers to change the temperature!
The darn thing isn't real purty, and it heats up slower that
a 1954 Chevy in the dead of winter, but there is something
in that crikey little crocker that for the past 30 years has
been absolutely ideal for bringing a pot of chili to the
brink of perfection. (Probably lead.)
So. . .
What's your chili secret?