Saturday, March 17, 2012

Learning to deal.

I no longer trust my coffee pot.
I know this is only a gadget, but you have not seen the things it is capable of, nor felt the sting of it's wrath. To fully understand you have to listen to the tale of this unfortunate series of events.

It all started with stupid Pinterest. That time vacuum that draws you in to all sorts of possibilities. Things you can craft, things you can cook, things you can improve on. When I first started with this phenomenon, every time I pinned something it came with a wave of euphoria, because when I was pinning...well it felt like I owned a little more of that thing. Amazing Sunday dinner idea? Super! I PIN you and you are mine! Darling little outfit that is nowhere near my size? Yes! I definitely pin you and I feel thinner already, ooh and I love this cotton! But as any true pinner knows...this drug will only take you so far before the side effects begin to wear off. You realize you have an entire cyberspace of pinned-ness, but nothing has actually STUCK in real life. You have to start DOING things.

So this is where the story picks up. While browsing through these ideas and needing a fix for that "I did something" feeling, I came across some boards for organizing/cleaning tips. Now folks, this was right up my alley, because my husband and I do not have the budget to buy 1/2 the things I see on that website as far as clothing, nor do I have a cooking bone in my body. And since Pinterest's main showcases are these three things, I decided to start doing the one thing I figured anyone could do. Clean up shop.

With spring in the air as my main motivation, I meticulously laid out my game plan for the weeks to come. We aren't talking your typical weekend chores. I'm talking, break out the rags and vinegar and scrub down walls, vacuum under the couch, and wash down dirty window screens. My sights were set high, but as all the websites said, "Just break it down"!

Oh I broke it down all right.

This weeks room to tackle was the kitchen.
Not the MOST used room in the house, but by far a near second.
I sat at my desk and wrote an overview of everything that would need to be done.

Fridge. Inside and Out.
Silverware drawer.
Cabinets. Inside and Out and organize.
Hand Scrub floors.
Wipe down walls.
Clean coffee pot.

(Ah yes, there is foreshadowing even outside the lines of literature. It makes its way onto steno pads in list form.)

And so I began. Last night was the perfect night for it I decided. "Why wait until Saturday?" I said to myself. The weather was beautiful, the windows were open, and my guy needed some downtime before preaching this weekend. So I slapped on some headphones, cranked up the tuneage and began doing some real life pinning.

There were a few set backs along the way, that I should have seen as warning signs, but of course when you are in the zone and listening to Journey, you don't really stop to read the signs, just as much as you don't stop believin'.

For example, the first cabinet was what I had come to refer to as the coffee-baking-dusty cookbook-I don't know what this is-cabinet. It was cluttered to be sure, with the main shelf being teas and coffees. This one I visit daily so I was most excited to get my cleaning groove on.

I had fun (yes fun, how naive I was) pulling everything out and discovering some coffee blends that I didn't even know we owned, as well as my collection of Japanese teas. There is a particular brown rice tea that my family enjoys and when I saw it jammed towards the back behind a bag of brown sugar, I lunged for it. Big mistake. Because this is my favorite rice tea, it was of course OPENED. And because I am not typically a cleaner/organizer it of course was not SEALED. A downpour of brown toasted rice. Awesome. I remember glancing behind me sheepishly to see if my hubby had noticed. Fortunately, he had not, and I attributed this as a minor set back. Irritating. But minor.

The other drawers were mostly the same. A few puzzling discoveries. For example, for the life of me I cannot figure out how we had grains of white rice in nearly every drawer. How does this happen? What goes on when I am not home or when we are sleeping? I kid you not, I found rice in the lowest cabinet in the very back next to a waffle maker that I have not used since our marriage began. Does anyone else have this problem?

Other discoveries included things like multiple condiments. For example. I had no idea that I was the proud owner of 2 unopened BBQ sauces, 2 creamers, 3 cartons of sour cream, 2 lemon juices, 3 lime juices, a whole crap ton of popcorn (which baffles me since we never eat popcorn so I am not sure who is purchasing this snack), along with...and this is shameful really to type...4, count em, 4 tubs of ice cream in our freezer. It would seem we get really excited about a flavor and then immediately dump it for something better/newer. Who knows. We have commitment issues apparently when it comes to our frozen dairy products.

Anyways. Back to the subject at hand.
Due to my days as a barista, and the fact that our friends and family use Bodum coffee pots, I have always been partial to my coffee being brewed that way. Saturday mornings for example are always Bodum mornings because we have time. However, every other day of the week (Sundays included) we have to be out the door a little quicker than our Bodum allows. So we have our trusty top of the line (not really) Black and Decker (yes, the same company that makes vacuum cleaners),electric coffee pot. Which up until yesterday, I was fine with. But no more.

As I was scrubbing out the insides of this plotting machine, I actually thought to myself "this is good. this feels good, shining things up a bit". I had just finished wiping everything down when I remembered that at work, my desk mate Ann always runs a cycle through to get whatever is left behind with the boiling water. Perfect. I am not just a cleaner, I am super cleaner!

I filled up the water reservoir to the very top and placed the pot underneath. I even meticulously wiped down the electric cord to make sure no water remained that would bring an unfriendly shock when I went to plug her back in. Then I hit the power button and stood back to watch. I heard the familiar spitting sound it makes when it is heating up in the morning and confirmed that yes, this will work, I can move on to other things. So I turned around to start scouring the sink with baking soda.

I'm not sure what it was that made me turn around, but just as a mom knows when I child is up to something they shouldn't be, I peered slowly over my shoulder to confirm what I felt was happening. Spillage. Starting for the counter. From the looks of it, I had caught it early but that didn't assuage my anger. This machine had bested me before on other mornings when I had forgot to actually place the pot under it, but this time, it was just being downright rebellious. Thinking though that I had caught it just in the nick of time, I threw open the lid where the water goes in and unplugged the beast.

What happened next is difficult to write. It all happened so fast. But in order to save others from the terror I went through, I shall press on.

The moment I threw open the hatch (for reasons unbeknown-st to me, it was just an initial reaction) the pressure spout (which until know I never knew existed) SHOT OUT BOILING WATER AT ME. I am not talking spilled over onto the counter and onto my feet. I am talking projectile spew-age all over my stomach and arms.

I am not sure what upset me more at that immediate moment, the burning sensation on my body, or the fact that I had just been assaulted by a machine. I once again turned around to see if my beloved had noticed. He had. And was staring at me.

I ripped off my headphones and all I could utter was "I'm hurt you know."
So he came rushing to my side and asked what had happened. I glanced down at my arms and stomach at this point and saw an angry red splotch appearing where I had been attacked. Being the sweet guy that he is, he immediately opened the fridge and grabbed me a bag of frozen beans.

Again, I am not sure of the details, but the rest of the next 10 minutes went even further downhill. This was NOT how Pinterest said it would be. This was supposed to be relaxing and feel good, but up until that point I had successfully accomplished burning myself and getting rice tea everywhere.

The disappointment turned to frustration at that point, and the anger began to percolate. I rebelliously thew the beans back in the freezer. "I don't need these dumb things" I said and slammed the door. To which Luke retorted and said that it probably would not be a good idea to do that, that things could blister. To which I huffed and said, "FINE", and opened the door to grab the frozen beans again.

Only I had not grabbed the frozen beans. I had grabbed the frozen peas which we had used for dinner the night before. And as we have already touched up on earlier in this story, I am not nearly organized enough to have something to seal an opened bag back shut. In an attempt to show how frustrated I was a this whole downhill process I slammed the peas on my shoulder.

That's when the third rain of the evening happened. Frozen peas everywhere.

My poor husband. Since I couldn't in all sanity yell at a coffee pot or a bag of peas, the minute his smile started to form I went into full attack mode, banishing him from the kitchen and cursing the domestic gene the seemed to have passed me over in all things home related.

At that point in the night I really wanted to give up and crawl into bed. All along I had thought that my ability to clean was my saving grace in my lack of all the other wiferly skills. And now it would seem I didn't even have this. I wanted to sit down in the middle of the floor, wallowing in the disaster that was my kitchen and as I thought so dramatically that evening,the disaster that was my LIFE. Oh yes. Drama queen sitting in her ocean of hot water and peas. Watch out.

But some days don't we all walk around feeling like that. That nothing is in order. That things are out to get us. That we are ill prepared, that our best laid plans seem to go down the drain, that everything rains down all at once, and that we can't seem to get a handle on accomplishing even just one thing?

I feel this a lot.

Well for some reason last night, the Lord spoke to me.
Not audibly. I never seem to hear him audibly. Which is ok.
Because I think it would scare me.

But I heard Him tug at my heartstrings and tell me that I'm alright.
That sometimes, in order for things to be really clean,
things have to get really messy.
But that He's there through it all.

And this was enough for me.
So I stood up (somewhat shakily to avoid tripping on whatever else had made its way onto our kitchen floor), apologized to my forgiving husband, and pressed slowly on.

There's not much to tell after this.

I went to bed long after midnight, but I finished.
And it feels great. Sans the tender spots on my skin of course.
But I thank the Lord for His lesson that night found even in accomplishing a list of chores.

There is of course a second lesson I learned that night as well.

As I said.
I no longer trust my coffee pot.
I am a Bodum user for life.
And if it means getting up a little early to boil a pot of hot water.
So be it. I'm staying away from that foxy little electric minx.