It’s my last night sans fridge. Thursday will bring about shiny, new stainless steel-ness (that’s right, stainless steel-ness, I said it) to my kitchen to replace the old stainless that graced my home for the past ten years.
After enough time without a fridge to have created new habits, I have… drumroll… created new habits. What a concept! If you’ve been reading this blog from the beginning, you know that I suffered from the following:
2. Aimlessly eating at night after dinner because it was there
3. Buying groceries every week that I never used and ended up throwing out
As I embark on returning to a life with a fridge, I think about the fact that I don’t really want to readjust after the way I’ve been living for the past 25 days. I’m going to tie a little something onto the fridge handle (which I’m sure will be pink and sparkly) to remind me to stop and think before opening aimlessly.
I keep checking my bank account. I keep going over my bills and trying to confirm that I didn’t miss paying one of them this month, because suddenly, I have more money than I’m used to having left every two weeks. You know why? Because I’m not spending $100 at the grocery store every week on crap that I won’t eat. I’m not buying a package of four sausages when I’m only going to eat one. I’m not buying a pound of ground beef when I’m only going to eat a fourth. I’m not buying stuff to put in the freezer to eat “whenever.”
Yesterday (day 23), I spent less than $3.16 at the store for my dinner. I bought one sausage link ($1.40), one organic tomato ($0.51) and one organic orange bell pepper ($1.25). I made a fabulous pasta dish out of it. Photo below. Just cut up the tomato and bell pepper into small chunks. Take the sausage out of its casing and brown it, throwing the tomato and bell pepper in halfway though. Add a little white wine and some cooked pasta. Toss it with a little parm and manga!
So, what did I make on my last night sans refrigeration? Absolutely nothing, and I’ll tell you why.
It all stared a while back, when a friend told me I had a brake light out on my car. I’m not going to lie, I completely forgot about it. Dad, when you read this, don’t get mad. I legitimately forgot. When I remembered, it was time for me to get an oil change anyway, so I made an appointment to drop my car off this coming Friday.
After work today (day 24 if you’re counting), I was on my way to my massage (ps if anyone in the P.H.X. needs a good masseuse, lemme know, she is awesome!) and this crazy lady starts honking at me on the freeway and trying to pull up next to me.
Have I mentioned that this is Arizona and everyone has a gun? You kinda tend to be worried when someone is tailing you, honking and trying to get your attention. Her lane slowed down and she cut off a few cars to get in the lane next to me on the other side. Honking and pointing at me.
My car seemed okay, I could feel all the tires were still inflated, there was no smoke coming out. Finally she caught up to me (going full speed on the highway and still continuously honking). I rolled down the passenger window, not sure if I should be more worried about her or about what was so earth-shatteringly wrong with my car.
“You have no brake lights!!!!!” she screamed at me and sped off. In hindsight, I wonder if this woman realized now much she put herself in danger by spending four minutes cutting off traffic to yell at me.
So yeah, I was a little freaked out. Like, I knew one was out but could all three really be out? This B is probably just crazy. I made it to the spa and tried to not be worried about driving home while trying to relax and enjoy my massage. I figured, this chick is nuts. It’s sunny out, I use cruise control a lot, I bet all my brake lights are not out.
I rode home, scared the entire time that someone was going to hit me, but I made it. When I got home, I asked my neighbor to look for me (it’s kiiiiind of hard to check your own brake lights). She was like, nope, all your lights are on just fine. So I stepped on the brake. Yup. NO BRAKE LIGHTS. Not a one.
After a brief moment of panic, I remembered that I’m working from home tomorrow because the fridge is being delivered. I have AAA, everyone should, especially if you are a single white female. Actually, the white part has nothing to do with it. It just sounded catchy. I could chance it or I could have AAA tow my car to the dealership. It would work out. It always does. Super calm!
Then I started thinking…how hard could it be to change a light bulb…ok three light bulbs? I started YouTubing it. Maybe it wasn’t the light bulbs, maybe it was the fuse said a chat room post. So I YouTubed that. That didn’t look so hard either.
Remember at the end of It’s A Wonderful Life (one of my favorite movies, by the way), the note that Clarence (the guy trying to get his angel wings) writes in the book that ends up in the basket of money? It says “Dear George, remember no man is a failure that has friends”. I think of that quote all the time. All of my family is 2,500 miles away. Without my friends, where would I be?
Side note: Coincidentally, I also use that movie as a barometer to know when I really love someone. When George goes over to Mary’s house and she puts on the Buffalo Gals record and they are both talking into the phone receiver to Sam Wainwright (ok, I watch this movie too much) and he grabs her and tells her all the things he’s not going to do and the person he’s not going to be and then kisses her!? That!
Back to friendship. I am lucky enough to have amazing friends in my life, who also make me feel like a part of their family. My work-husband (yeah, that’s a thing) is great with anything home improvement related. For those of you who don’t know, a work marriage is like when you look out for and take care of each other a work, minus all of the fringe benefits, hassle and responsibility of a real marriage. It’s great, everyone should have one. My work-hubby is great at carpentry, tile and plumbing. He drew up the plans to build me floor to ceiling shoe-purse display case two years ago, but has since had a slew of surgeries on a torn achilles, which led to the need for back surgery. Man, some guys will do anything to get out of their honey-do list…
But the issue today was car related, so I called the friend that knows the most about cars: Mt. Pita. For those of you who don’t know how Mt. Pita got his name, go back and read the blog. It’s a funny story.
I shared the issue with Mt. Pita and asked him if he was up for an adventure. He’d been talking about craving pancakes earlier in the day, so I thought, hey, this is perfect, I can pay him in pancakes!
While I waited for him to get here, I went over my the owners manual (just pull that stuff up on google) and felt fairly confident that it was a blown fuse. I mean all THREE brake lights? What were the chances? Except actually it was two brake lights (left and center), because the right one I already knew needed fixing.
I’m the sort of girl that doesn’t like to get her hands dirty, unless I’m learning how to do something knew. I am notorious for eating things with a fork and a knife, especially pizza. I don’t eat bone-in wings because you have to pick them up. There’s also a story floating around that I once used a fork and a knife to cut a Snickers bar, but I think that’s a fake, because I don’t recall that happening…and you’d think of all people, I would remember! My mom says I’ve been like this since I was little. I despised mud pies and finger painting. When I’m cooking, I hate when I get breading or anything else that coats your hands on them for too long. It makes me feel trapped and claustrophobic.
But give me sledgehammer for tile, a paint brush or anything else hands on where I am learning something new, and I am in! (I might just wash my hands a lot).
Did you know that you have multiple sets of fuse boxes in your car? Do you know how to find a fuse, take it out and tell if it’s blown? Did you know that your car comes with a little tool to pull out said fuses and even comes with spare fuses to use if you blow one out? I didn’t – until tonight! If anyone wants me to check their fuses, I charge by the minute (something has to make up for the fact that I’m getting my hands dirty.)
After checking the rear light fuses and realizing they were fine (like, geez, don’t blow a fuse) we dismantled the rear right side taillight to check to see if the bulb had blown out. To do this, you pop off the thingies (yes, thingies-technical term) that keep the lining of your trunk (that carpet-like stuff) in place. Then you unscrew two bolts and voila, your entire tail light section comes off! Twist out the light that’s having this issue, pull out the bulb and oh yeah, mine was burnt out.
After getting in the zone…AutoZone that is (that’s right, get their jingle stuck in your head too) twice, and spending a total of $11.93 on light bulbs…in hindsight, we should have gotten the third tail light bulb out before we went the first time…all three of my brake lights were replaced and working. Total, not counting the two trips to AutoZone, it probably took thirty minutes. Even at that, it probably only took thirty minutes because I was slow-Mt. Pita made me do the left brake light myself.
We went to IHOP in celebration and in search of all you can eat pancakes (Mt. Pita, not me. Three pancakes and I’m out). As we approached the front door, a homeless man took something from the outside trash can, looked at us, pointed to the trash can and said (very emphatically) “That’s MY business!” Okay then. I don’t know what he took out of the trash can, but obviously, that’s none of “my business”. Two re-orders of pancakes and $20 later, we left feeling accomplished.
I never thought I would be able to check a fuse or change a break light. I can tell you the dealership would have charged me soooooo much more than $30 worth of parts and pancakes! It just goes to show: with preparation, logic and a friend, you can accomplish anything!
P.S. Car light bulbs are commonly sold in packs of two, including the center brake light (the one in your back window) of which you only have the need for one. Next time I see another Altima driving around without a third brake light…maybe I’ll offer to change it and give them my extra bulb…and make them buy me pancakes.