July 12, 2021 – The events of the day.

After sitting down in front of my computer for the last 30 minutes, I still haven’t figured out what I want to talk about. Today was filled with so many activities and I have yet to whittle them down to just one. The only expectation I had for this afternoon was an open house and that did happen, although the results were disappointing. However, in addition to the open house, there was a last-minute showing, a mind-blowing first in my culinary repertoire, talk of ‘mantras’, and a delightful place we discovered while being completely spontaneous. See what I mean? Which one do I pick? Or do I just pick them all? I suppose I could just go through the events of the day as they were unlike any other. There were many similarities, of course. Knowing that an open house was scheduled, we started out the day by fiendishly cleaning the house from one end to the other and ‘sprucing up’ the yard. That whole process is becoming ‘old hat’ but I would prefer it not be. Spending hours each day cleaning my house is not my idea of a good time. A lot less cleaning and a little more lounging sounds a great deal better.

Until the house sells (it it sells), I’m afraid that’s going to be the way it is around here. I have gotten it down to a science since I’ve done it so many times. Closing the doors to two of the bedrooms has helped immensely in reducing my workload. It took me a ‘little’ while to figure it out, but I realized that if I close the doors, my dog cannot access those spaces. And if she cannot access those spaces, that means I save myself a bunch of time and energy NOT having to sweep and/or mop the floors, wipe down the vertical glass surfaces, and vacuum the upholstered chairs. Why did it take me seven years to figure this out?! Why??!! My dog did manage to pull one over on me today despite my attempts at restricting her access. When I went up to my master bedroom in order to clean it thoroughly, I thought I latched the door behind me. It became apparent that I didn’t when, after thoroughly washing the inside of the slider glass and stepping outside, I noticed a snotty nose pressed against the glass and two large eyes watching my every move.

To say I wasn’t pleased is an understatement as there’s nothing I ‘enjoy’ more than cleaning something and then having to clean it again in less than a handful of minutes. After returning inside, I did manage to shoo her back downstairs, ensuring the door properly latched after she stepped out of the room and into the hallway. Once I cleaned the master bedroom and bath, I made my way to the entryway and sunken livingroom (aka ‘the chapel’). That’s always the hairiest room in the house since that’s where my dog likes to hang out. It’s also the first thing people see when they enter the house so I really want it to look clean. I have to vacuum up untold amounts of dog hair from both of those spaces, from not just the floors, but also from the couch seat cushions, the speakers, the glass table tops, as well as the walls. My God, that hair sticks to everything! Needless to say, when I finished up ‘dehairing’ the sunken livingroom, entryway, and regular livingroom, I went into the kitchen in order to empty the vacuum canister, briefly glancing at my phone after entering the room.

It’s a good thing I did because I noticed that my realtor had been trying to reach me. “Call me pls,” the text message read. When I called, my realtor answered and immediately asked whether we could accommodate some folks for a showing in about 35 minutes. Ack! Thirty-five minutes? After checking with my hubby and getting ‘the nod’, I informed her that we could and would. My hubby and I both then went racing off in the direction of a bathroom in order to take a shower and rinse off ‘the stink’. We nearly made it out of there in time but the potential buyers arrived a few minutes early and caught us on our way out. In case you’re wondering, I’m referring to when we exited the house (fully dressed) and not the shower. Once we reached the car and climbed in, my husband started it up, put it into gear, and then proceeded to drive around aimlessly. Within a matter of minutes, we then decided (after stopping ever-so-briefly at a nearby park) to return home and get some lunch before the open house was scheduled to start. The potential buyers had left by the time we returned, so we were able to have a meal and relax before making ourselves scarce yet again.

In the process of making ourselves scarce (the second time), we decided to drive to a touristy town which is located about 40 minutes away. Because we had the dog, we weren’t allowed to go into any of the buildings. Fortunately, a river cuts through part of the town, and there are no restrictions as to who or what can access it. Trying to find a place to park our car was a nightmare but eventually we came upon an out-of-the-way community park (we had never been to before) which had several parking spaces available. I love it when we’re spontaneous and find ‘hidden treasures’ like the one we found today. While exploring the area, we noticed several trails going off in various directions, all lush with vegetation (which supplied us with much-needed shade). The trail we picked eventually lead to the river where we noticed dozens of people floating by on innertubes or sitting at the shore with their feet dangling in the cool water (trying to get some reprieve from the oppressive heat). Even our dog got in on the action by wading in and taking a brief swim. The scene was very peaceful and a nice break from ‘the norm’.

From the park, we headed back home. The open house had concluded by then and the coast was clear. Upon entering the kitchen, we noticed a handwritten note (from the realtor) left on the counter. It stated, “One person came to open house. For showing, husband liked, wife ‘thinking’.” “That’s a good sign, right?” my husband asked as he glanced in my direction. “Not so much,” I replied, “The women or the wives usually drive the sales. If the wife is ‘thinking’, that probably means she wasn’t too thrilled with it.” Ok, let me explain. From my perspective, whenever my husband and I are involved in a substantial purchase, if I say I’d like to ‘think about it’, that means that I’m not interested in the purchase but I don’t want to say it outright in front of the salesperson (to avoid a possible awkward encounter). Another argument to support my viewpoint is the saying ‘Happy wife, happy life’. There’s a good reason why the saying is so commonplace. It’s because it’s true! If the note had said, “Wife liked, husband ‘thinking’,” I’d say we had it in the bag. But because it was the other way around, I am seriously doubtful we’re going to hear back from the realtor with an offer.

Before I say anything more, I should mention the ‘talk of mantras’. My husband has decided that in order to sell our house, we must chant 10x each day, “The house is going to sell!” And, yes, I’m a bit embarrassed to admit it, but out of desperation (and in an effort to appease my husband) I actually participated in this activity. I cannot say whether or not it helped but my husband is convinced it did since we got the call about the showing shortly thereafter. And now that I have that interesting tidbit out of the way, I have to tell you about the ‘mind-blowing first in my culinary repertoire’. No, I didn’t eat a monkey’s brain, or a chocolate covered cicada, or a large brick of stinky tofu, I ate honest-to-goodness Indian food (for the first time in my life)! Even more surprisingly, I really liked it! If you had any idea of the lengths I’ve gone to to avoid Indian food, you’d probably be as shocked as my husband was when I made the suggestion. He looked at me like I was an alien! It might seem unusual to wait so long to try something but if you only knew how many times my mother made negative comments about how awful Indian food was (throughout my life), you’d probably have a better understanding.

My husband made me laugh because when I shared how much my mother has influenced my food choices, he said, “You cannot trust your mother to be a good judge of food!” And he’s right! My mother’s idea of a ‘good meal’ is a bland, baked chicken, some Rice-a-Roni, and a steamed head of broccoli. She has never used garlic or onions or peppers in any of her dishes. I started out cooking that way but after being influenced by my husband’s adventurous palate, I rarely cook a dish without garlic, onions, peppers, and plenty of spices/seasonings. I just find it all so interesting because much like when I lamented earlier about it taking 7 years to learn how to restrict access to my dog (and reduce my workload) by closing and latching doors, why did I wait until I was 54 years old to try Indian food? I ordered chicken jalfrezi and my husband ordered chicken tikka masala. We also ordered some garlic naan. The naan usually comes with cilantro but I asked for it without and I have to tell you, it was delicious! It all was delicious! I ate all of my food and I even ate some of my husband’s!

Is there a lesson in any of this? I suppose there is. As common as the saying ‘Happy wife, happy life’ is, you could pretty much say the same for ‘Don’t knock it until you try it’. There are certain things I’ve tried and I’ll never allow them past my lips again (if I can help it). Those items include cilantro, raw tomatoes, beets, parsnips, rosemary, and salmon. I’d rather go hungry than eat any of those foods, they literally make me gag. Fortunately, because I stepped out of the ‘no’ zone today, I have learned that (unlike my mother), I actually enjoy the taste of Indian food. I cannot say that I like all of it because I only tried two dishes, but it’s a start. If you were to encourage me to try a monkey’s brain or a chocolate covered cicada or a brick of stinky tofu, I’d probably pass. They are all a bit on the extreme side. I love chocolate but not when it involves an insect. However, if you were to offer me some flavor-packed Indian curry and naan (for an entrée) and some creamy rice pudding (for dessert), I’d say, “Bring it on!” I’d also probably say, “And if you have any more in the kitchen, I’d love a second helping. Just please be sure to leave off the cilantro, thank you very much!”

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