Attitude of Gratitude, November 1

I usually do this on Facebook and I usually make it about 10 days before I get distracted and forget, but a daily reminder of things to be grateful for can never be a bad thing.

I wasn’t going to do it this year at all, because it does tend to get repetitive but this morning has been A JOURNEY which is likely a sign from the universe that I need to take a breath before I go completely off the rails. Over-reacting to little things is kind of how I cope with life, and it leaves me free to react appropriately to the big things. Sometimes.

Anyway, today I am grateful that I have a kitchen in which to prepare food for my family. It’s not my dream kitchen by any stretch of the imagination and yeah maybe we could have prioritized that more in our house search, but the house itself, overall, is what we wanted and where we wanted it.


Maybe I’m cursed when it comes to kitchens. Or blessed, depending on how we look at it. My first kitchen was a small, eat-in affair located in the front end of our single-wide trailer. Yeah, I spent the first 12 years of my life in a trailer park and it was a surprisingly awesome place to be a kid, all things considered. Our house was small and I had to share a bedroom with my idiot little brother and that sucked but we had everything we needed, most of the time.

Anyway, the kitchen in that joint was small but intuitively set up. There was no counter space to speak of, but we had an ENORMOUS (especially for the space) kitchen table that did the job admirably. The best thing was the gas stove, which is what I learned to cook on and what I prefer.

Then we moved across town to Castle Boring, so named because it’s a mile and a half away from town. After the trailer park, which had tons of kids to hang out with and/or beat the shit out of, not having any neighbors at all was kind of a culture shock. The trade-off was Holiday Sands, which was literal heaven for three months out of the year.

The kitchen in that house, though… well, it’s a special place, let’s say. The biggest issue was that the stove was ELECTRIC, which SUCKS DONKEY ASS. Cooking on an electric stove is the dumbest possible way to heat food and I hate it with the fire of a thousand STDs. But we managed. It was the late 80s/early 90s and we had a microwave, after all.

The next time I had a gas stove to cook with was when What’s-His-Name and I bought our first house. Oh, I did love that house, a cute little 2-bedroom townhouse just outside New Brunswick, NJ. Fairly spacious kitchen with a gas stove!

We were happy there and likely would have stayed a lot longer if not for the unexpected but not unwelcome arrival of The Jillian. Their appearance in our lives made us think we needed a bit more space (and a yard and better schools) so we started the house hunt.

43 viewings later, which included a couple of houses I wouldn’t put a dog in, we found The House of Flying Pigs. Spacious kitchen! Gas stove! What we didn’t know until everything was signed and done was that the previous owners had done a down-to-the-studs DIY renovation of that kitchen and apparently their budget was $432 because holy fuckballs, you guys.

Instead of doing a proper kitchen renovation, like normal people would, we… put a whole-ass second floor on our house instead. It was worth it and over the years we did end up replacing the stove and the refrigerator and we likely would have done the renovation eventually but then 2020 happened (regular readers will remember that we… failed at riding bikes) and all of those things snowballed into “let’s move, to Ohio of all places.”

Which brings us to now, here at House of Flying Pigs (West). The kitchen is… not great. Electric stove aside, it’s a bit small but is set up in such a way that I do have some counter space to work with. It’s fine for now, but the cabinets are too heavy for the space (and an ugly off-white veneer situation that I can’t even paint) and whoever decided black granite was a good choice for kitchen countertops should be beaten with a stick.

Still, I’m able to produce outstanding food (humility is for other people) and feed the family and the guests and do experiments that are even occasionally successful! I am a damn good cook IN SPITE OF the various inadequate kitchen situations I find myself in, so it’s fine.

Not a digression: Lately, I have been testing out various medications for ADHD. Last month I was on Strattera, which is a non-stimulant, and it did fuck-all to help me harness The Squirrels and make them do my bidding. This month we are trying Vyvanse, which IS a stimulant and OH MY GOD YOU GUYS, IS THIS WHAT NORMAL PEOPLE FEEL LIKE?

I mean, my brain is still going 1000 miles an hour but now I can direct that energy and actually DO THINGS. I have a list in one of my 16 notebooks called “Projects.” This is a list of things that probably should get done in and around the house, at some point, eventually, I guess. It has things on it like “deep clean 3rd floor carpet” and “scrape/repaint office window” and other fun things that you end up having to do when your house is nearly 100 years old (built in 1925).

“Clean oven” has been on the list for AWHILE and… you know what? Just don’t look in there. It’s fine. We’ve only set it on fire once.

Today, The Squirrels decided was “let’s clean the stove” day so that’s what we attempted to do! I think the last time this thing was truly, properly cleaned was right around the time Lindbergh was crossing the Atlantic so it was well overdue. I managed to get three of the burner knobs off in order to clean underneath them but the last one, attached – OF COURSE – to the burner I use ALL THE TIME, decided to just… snap off the little thingamajig that attaches it to the stove.

Since it’s a piece of the STOVE that popped off and not just the knob that’s broken, it’s not something I can fix easily, which is a bummer because now this stove, which I detest, is going to cost me some fucking money. I can’t justify replacing it just now, since it DOES work well enough and anyway when we get to the replacement point, we’re going to try to have a gas line run into the kitchen for a gas stove LIKE GOD INTENDED. I mean, we have gas to the house (for the boiler and hot-water heater) so why, why, WHY IN FUCK would you NOT have a gas stove? The kitchen was renovated in 2010 or thereabouts so why wouldn’t they have put in a gas stove?

Oh, because THOSE PEOPLE SUCKED, according to our old neighbor. She hated them for the 20+ years she lived next door. I kind of hate them too, because when we bought the place, we could only open 3 of the 28 windows in this joint because most of them were PAINTED SHUT. What the fuck, people? Gah!

So here we are – after doing A BIG SCREAM and then scheduling a repair guy service call thing for tomorrow, I am taking a minute to remember that despite these small speedbumps, I still have a kitchen that is 99% functional, and for that, I am grateful.


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