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How a kitchen appliance reminded me of magic

Tuesday, August 9th, 2011

I find it harder and harder to believe in magic these days.

Life isn’t easy, you know.  It can be full of tough things.  We learn to suck it up, because no one is going to come along and fix it for us.  Right?  We’ve waited and waited, but with no imminent rescue, we eventually make up our minds to stop wishing, and just do what we have to do.  It’s a long and lonely road, but after some time, we learn to just walk forward – head down, no questions.

Do not want.  Do not need.  Do not wish.  Do not hope.

And this doesn’t leave room for much magic.

I have to tell you: lately, I’ve been living without hopes or expectations.  Time has taught me that expectations, however small, will eventually lead to disappointment – so instead of hoping for good things, it’s easier to just take whatever life deals you.

But my birthday brought me a little magic.

Beyond the fact that I saw a black bear, and climbed Mt. Princeton, and sat on a tailgate of an F-150 drinking PBR and talking about Rebecca Black and O.J. Simpson with a new friend, when I got home I had a huge package waiting for me that said it was from “Your Fan Club.”

My fan club.

And I opened the envelope, and realized who it was from: so many of YOU.  People who I know and have met only thanks to blogging.

And in the box was the hot rod of kitchen appliances: a bright red KitchenAid stand mixer.

I shrieked, and then bubbled over, gushing, saying things like, “AND I DIDN’T EVEN HAVE TO GET MARRIED.”  I have always wanted a KitchenAid mixer, but it’s one of those things seemingly reserved for the espoused – because who would ever be able to justify that kind of money on themselves?

I have burned through hand mixer after hand mixer, only to abandon them altogether and stir things by muscle.  And remember, this is fine – you learn to not wish or hope for anything better or easier than what you have.  “You get what you get, and you don’t throw a fit” is a popular motto these days.

But every now and then, people surprise you.  They pay attention, and take action, and bring you the happiest shock you can imagine.  They conspire behind your back to bombard you with love.  They choose red because they think you’re “a red hot siren” (OMG).  Their kind words are sprinkled like magic, and all of a sudden, a little bit of hope is renewed.

I am humbled and grateful – not only for the KitchenAid (although it is one of the kindest, most generous gifts I have ever been given), but for the reminder that magic is worth hoping for.

Thank you, friends – you know who you are – from the bottom of my hope-filled heart, and my cookie-filled tummy.

The stuff of horror films

Tuesday, March 8th, 2011

This time last year, I was seeing ants in my kitchen. I eventually discovered that they had raided my sugar bag, so I threw it out, and from that point on, I’ve kept my sugar in the freezer – and thus, an ant-free kitchen.

But a few weeks ago, I saw an ant.

And you know what they say: where there’s one ant, there are lots of more ants. (I don’t know if that’s what they actually say.)

For weeks, I have seen ants in my kitchen – but I was never able to figure out their point of genesis. I cleaned the kitchen cabinets, Cloroxed the counters, sealed every food item, and cleared every crumb after every meal.

Still, the ants came marching one by one.

The other night, I was setting my coffee for the next morning. I poured the water into the machine, and as I did, I caught sight of an ant camouflaged on the side of the black coffee maker.

I killed it.

And then, I saw another ant come crawling out of the machine.

So I killed it, too.

And all of a sudden, there was a flood, a deluge, a gushing of ants coming out of my coffee maker.

My coffee maker.

The hotbed was IN MY COFFEE MAKER.

Shockingly, I didn’t scream, but I made a pathetic, drawn out, traumatized noise of some sort – somewhere between a moan and a cry and a “Die, scum” sob. I aimed the bottle of Clorox at the teeming swarm, and just started spraying – spraying like a stream of Charlie Sheen nonsense. Finally, I slammed the lid shut, took the entire coffee machine, dumped it in a Hefty bag, and marched it to the dumpster.

You do realize what this means, right?

For weeks, I have been drinking coffee that has been STRAINED THROUGH ANTS.

I will never, ever recover from this.

A conversation in Wal-Mart

Thursday, August 5th, 2010

Micah: Auntie Oonis, I know that you want to get married and have kids someday.

Annie: Who told you that?

Micah: Grandma.

Annie: Oh.  Well, she’s right.

Micah: Why aren’t you married yet?

[Because God is just busy building some lucky man’s character, bank account, and biceps.]

Annie: I don’t know, buddy.

Micah: Well, if you ever do find a husband, he’d better buy your ring RIGHT THERE.  [points at the Wal-Mart jewelry counter]  … whoa, did you see that girl in Spiderman pajamas?

– – – – – – – –

Don’t worry, Micah – I am living proof that a girl needn’t be married in order to own this sexy piece of machinery:


Best birthday present ever!  Thanks, Mom and Dad!  I’ve waited my whole life for this moment!

And the very first thing I’m going to make?  Debbie’s curry hummus.

Look out, Denver.

The life and times

Monday, September 28th, 2009

I am currently dog-sitting for a delightful dog named Shelby.  She jumps the fence and eats band-aids out of the trash can, but I like her anyway.  Yesterday morning, I took her to the dog park to let her run, and she immediately befriended a greyhound.  She chased it around, but unfortunately, did not have the capacity to understand that she was chasing a GREYHOUND, so she never quite caught up.

Shelby has no idea that she’s just a little mutt.

Sometimes, I wish that I didn’t know my limitations – that I felt free to run as hard and fast as I can, giving no thought to my deficiencies or how I stack up against others – just completely at rest with who I am.

I should take a lesson from the little mongrel.

– – – – – – – –

And now, tidbits worth mentioning but not really worth blogging about:

1) People, the weather.  My stars.  Last year, this didn’t happen until October 2 – but I am thrilled to report that this year, the change happened a few days early.

2) I have never seen anything so magical.  Is this too good to be true? Because I am coveting like you would not believe.

3) I finished my EP.  I’m listening to it right now on my headphones!  This IS worth blogging about, just not yet.  Stay tuned – I cannot wait for you to hear it.

4) And I know that you’ve been on the edge of your seat all weekend, so: no, I still have not barfed since I was 14.  Don’t you worry your pretty little head for one tiny second.  All better.  Back at work.  Just caused a coffee flood in the kitchen.

Everything is back to normal.

Ignored by England

Wednesday, July 9th, 2008

I don’t think that women should wait until they get married to get good kitchen gadgets. That would be a drag. And so a couple of years ago for my birthday, all that I asked for was a set of sharp knives in a cutting block, and a really awesome blender.

Note: this was the same birthday that my then-boyfriend gave me an iron and a tube of wood glue. And no, I am not joking.

However, my parents came through, big time. My knives are truly sharp. My blender is truly awesome. And copper! Not your average Wal-Mart appliance – this is a serious grown-up-lady contraption.

Which is why I was upset when I discovered a crack in the base a few weeks back. Sarah and Grant “the man that I [used to] live with” came over for dinner, and our margaritas turned into a tequila-doused countertop and a sticky floor. In fact, I continue to find sticky spots that I missed in the mop up.

A lazy person might toss the blender and get a new one. But not me. It is a sexy piece of machinery, worth more than I am currently willing to spend on a blender, and I should be able to get a new plastic base, right? Just go to the website, click Customer Service, send them an email and…

They only serve the UK.

[exasperated groan]

They don’t even recognize my model number. To the Brits, I do not exist, and neither does my blender. I emailed them back to ask if they have an American counterpart, and they said no. The Russell Hobbs RHCBL3 is an anomaly. It’s a mystery.

And a crying shame.