Dahlia, taxes, oven, pool

Lydia the Disgruntled Masseuse did, apparently, take a position with the new company she was telling me about last week. And so, my appointment transferred over to Dahlia. Tiny, dark, Monroe-sporting Dahlia. Who is cheerful and shy at the same time. And who can bring you to tears with her strong hands and her delightful massage cream that contains both ivy and arnica.

Arnica?! Oh, a gal after my own heart.

***

But before my massage, I did our tax filing.

But before I did the tax filing, I was on hold with the mortgage company for almost 30 minutes, because I needed some 1098 info.

But before I called the mortgage company, I discovered that there were charges to my debit card for a membership to Black Singles and several purchases from Craig’s List. Yeah, um, no singles sites for me, and I’ve never bought anything from Craig’s List.

Okay, so once all those calls were made, and the taxes filed, I went for a VERY well-deserved hour of relaxation. And relaxing it was, except for the parts where she made me cry.

***

The oven mystery is still not resolved. I bought an oven thermometer and discovered that the oven beeps to indicate it’s reached 350 degrees well before it actually does reach 350. No worries, though, since with the thermometer I can just wait until the temperature truly is 350.

Still, though, a test batch of carrot cake cupcakes went in, rose promisingly, then deflated and sank. Tragedy! Maybe the heat in there is uneven, somehow? I am stymied by this turn of events. And I am not happy to have grated, by hand, so many carrots to no avail.

Anyone have any thoughts on what this could be about?

***

And last but not least, we are thinking about what to do with our pool. I don’t use it at all, The Cop uses it a handful of times each summer, and the thing sucks up electricity.

Oh, side note: we received our water bill and there was a bar graph of last year’s usage by month compared to this year’s usage. January’s graph rocks! Less than half the amount of water we used last year. The Cop’s redesign of the front yard (no more grass, just desert landscaping) is a huge success.

Okay, so the pool. No use to us, and if the world carries on as it seems to be going, perhaps we will all be getting greener, and pools will no longer be something one keeps in order to tempt future owners? The Cop found this fellow who makes beautiful custom wood covers for pools. You can put a patio set out on it or something like that.

The Cop, lover of huge projects, has been contemplating tearing out the whole pool, and I have my own little dream of a zen rock garden out there, but the smart thing is probably to cover it for the time we’re here, and then see what makes sense some day in the far future when we might want to sell the house.

We are also discussing this year’s home improvement project. I’m kind of thinking the master bathroom, but we’ll see what happens. No doubt I’ll be complaining soon, if indeed we decide to do some remodelling.

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4 Responses

  1. Hi Karen
    Sorry your carrot cupcakes deflated. Do you have the right recipe? Does it need to be adjusted for the type of geographical region you’re in?
    As far as the pool, if you go with the cover idea where you intend to walk over it, I would make sure the deck you create is structurally sound to carry people. Otherwise you might have a lawsuit if a guest falls through, or someone in your family could get hurt if the deck does not support them. If you go with taking it out, when it’s time to sell the house you might be appealing to buyers as sensible as you who see the costly craziness of maintaining a pool in a desert. Mentioning to a potential buyer that you took it out because of your interests in being green is very positive.
    Cheers,
    Arturo

  2. You don’t live at altitude do you? I do, and I’ve had cakes rise and then fall like that. When I adjust for the altitude, it helps.

  3. Nah, it’s not the altitude or the recipe. We’re at approximately 350 meters, and I’ve tried a few different recipes to try to solve this mystery. And it’s not that I can’t bake — this is a sudden development in an otherwise successful baking career. šŸ™‚

    I like your idea that people may actually agree with our idea that green is more important than a pool, Arturo.

    Here’s the website for the pool covers — they’re kind of interesting to look at: http://www.deckover.com/

  4. Having sold real estate for over 25 years, and taking into consideration that people are thinking green, I think you are wise to get rid of the pool.
    By the way, we had a pool and my husband and I never used it. We were like pool maintenance people for our kids and their friends.
    I love the Zen n garden idea. Especially looking to the future for resale value. And in the meantime just think of all the pleasure you will get out of it!!
    Good luck whatever you decide.
    Can’t help with your stove problem.

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