I Need Your Help!

I cleaned out my kitchen cabinet yesterday. I’m not the kind who wakes up one morning and decides that it’s cabinet cleaning day. I need motivation to get me into the scrubbing mood. I must say that a spilled half jar of honey is a pretty powerful motivator.

I spent a half hour scrubbing and trying to salvage what I could, cursing all pollinators in general and honeybees in particular. I had to throw away two cookbooks because they were spackled to the bottom of the cabinet. Technically, one was only a half cookbook. It broke into two pieces about ten years ago. Maybe I should have thrown it away sooner instead of letting it make three moves with us. Except that may be the cookbook that has my gingerbread recipe. Poop. It’s trash day. Oh, well. There’s always the possibility that the recipe I need is in the other half, which is still living in the cabinet somewhere.

I did a little purging while I was at it. I’m a big believer in the three Rs, so I tried to repurpose what I could. I am sure the kids won’t mind packing their goldfish crackers and apple juice in breast milk storage bags. And I have a Happy Baby food grinder that is up for grabs.***  I didn’t even know I had one of those. It doesn’t appear to have ever been used. Weird. I wonder what we fed Squish when he was a baby. I didn’t buy his baby food.

Anyway, in my investigations, I came across something pretty special, something that I clearly cannot throw away. And here’s where you come in, dear reader.

I don’t know! You’re supposed to tell ME what it is! And why are all my images oriented to the right now?

What the heck is this thing? It is clearly critical to the function of whatever it attaches to, but what that might be, I have no clue!  Need another view?

So pretty, right? Almost sculptural, yes? Unidentifiable, no?

It doesn’t match the color of any appliance or gadget I could find, but I know the moment I throw it away I’ll find that this stupid piece of plastic is critical to the survival of the free world. I’ve learned that lesson already.

So who knows what this thing is? What does it go to? Is it a cockroach racer? I don’t have roaches, but I know where I can get some.


***disclaimer Happy Baby food grinder does not in any way guarantee a happy baby. We are all responsible for our own happiness, even Junior. It’s a harsh world, you know.  

Is It Just Me?

It seems my whole life revolves around indiscriminate urination. The seventeen year-old cat, a Squish, and now the refrigerator. I’m not so fussed about the first two. The cat likely won’t be with us much longer and is, at least, choosing places that are easy to clean. And Fireman Squish will one day learn the value of aim. The refrigerator, sadly, is more problematic. When a refrigerator pees all over the floor in the dead of night, it is not a good thing, and the problem usually can’t be rectified without feeding it money calling a repairman. So I did.

And now I have a problem. Not having a refrigerator is inconvenient, but it’s not the worst. On two separate occasions last year, we spent several days without power, air conditioning, showers. We hung out in the living room and read books with our wind-up lantern, lit our gas range with a match to cook our meals. It was like a camping trip with fewer bugs. Not having a fridge isn’t the problem.

Figuring out what to do with the ten packages of hot dogs in the freezer is not the problem. Although having ten packages of hot dogs in the first place may represent a hoarding special problem of its own.  I figure those suckers have enough preservatives to keep them safe for another day. All the chemicals will kill us eventually, but this time they may keep us from being killed. Let’s let them do their job so they can feel good about themselves.

The melting ice cream is a non-issue, as well. Grab a spoon, kids! The breakfast of champions for you!

I haven’t been to the grocery store in a few weeks (I was all set to go today), so there’s not a small fortune in food meeting its demise and requiring replacement.

Here’s my problem. It’s the rats. The rats are always the problem. There are only two of each size rodent left, so I’m not worried about wasting them. It will be feast day for the snakes. I’ll just thaw them out and serve them up.

Here’s the catch. I don’t feed my snakes in their cages. Doing so leads a snake to develop what is referred to in the hobby as a “feeding response,” a nice way of saying your pet snake will attempt to eat you every time you open the cage. Snakes aren’t the mental giants of the animal kingdom. Each time the cage is opened, the snake thinks to itself “Self, I see that the lid is being removed from my kingdom. Do you think we’re about to dine?”  Yes, I believe my snakes think of themselves in the plural, kind of like Gollum, and I’ve heard at least one of them say “My preciousssss.” (Why doesn’t spell-check recognize “Gollum” as a word? I thought the people who created computery stuff were all geeks.)  About half the time, it will guess wrong.

What happens next can range from “Oh, my gosh! Look at this little cutie trying to nibble my pinkie!” to “Oh, sweet Lord! It got me! Call my wife and kids and tell them I love them…” So we train to avoid the feeding response. Removing them from the cage to eat doesn’t create a connection between cage lid and dinner. Problem solved. Except for me. Now I have a new problem.

Severus Snake eats in a large cooler. As in, the large cooler that I store my family’s food in as we wait for a diagnosis on the fridge. Which one of us gets to eat? Eenie, meenie, miney mo. There’s a three hour window we’ll be waiting for the repairman, so not enough time to get ice after the snake is fed, and the rodents may ruin if I wait to feed.

Hungry humans, or hungry snake? Choose wisely.


I know everybody else has run into this conundrum at least once this year. What do you do? It’s not just me, is it?