Sunday, August 22, 2010

Caution: freezer contents aren’t frozen forever.

Yes, here it is, the third (and final, I think) installment of the freezer saga, posted early because I was in a writing mood and had a little time. (Parts one and two previously.)

So, there I was, happily pulling spices and rye flour from the tub on the kitchen floor and loading them into a plastic basket to be put into the chest freezer in the garage.

*Sniff* something smells strange…

very strange.

Turns out, Mom accidentally left a cow tongue out of the kitchen freezer.

A cow tongue, you see, which was now very stinky, smelly, gross, and unappetizing.

(Not that it was ever meant to be appetizing in the first place. The cow tongue was an AWANA Council Time illustration piece that my mom has used for years—ever since I was in AWANA, I think, so nigh on eight years now. For those who don’t know, AWANA Council Time is like a short children’s Sunday School meeting.)

Back to the cow tongue. To make things even ickier (is that a word?) this cow tongue had leaked… some type of fluid along part of the bottom of the tub. (The little plastic bag of garlic was compromised, I believe.) So, not only did Mom and I carefully dispose of the green-and-gross cow tongue (with the help of many plastic Wal-Mart bags), I also had to thoroughly wipe each and every item that had come near the tongue or been sitting at the bottom of the tub. Fortunately they were mostly glass jars of spices (except for that aforementioned baggie of garlic).

And of course I had to thoroughly clean the tub. But that was a given.

So after getting those spices into the basket, I pulled out a lot of frozen meat from the kitchen freezer for my brother to put into the chest freezer in the garage. Then I turned my attention to the cooler full of a large turkey and little bags of rhubarb—those frozen food items which had somehow survived the original paring-down of questionable foodstuffs.

*opens cooler lid*

*faints*

OK, so I didn’t really faint. But the stench was rather nauseating.

To make things really fun, that large turkey—still intact, within its intact plastic wrapping—had ballooned up as far as the filled cooler could take. That wasn’t a very good sign, so I gingerly picked it up, with the hand that was wearing a rubber cleaning glove, and placed it directly into another handy-dandy black garbage bag. I tossed the rhubarb in right after it.

(I later heard the turkey pop like this:

>POP!<

as I was taking more things out to the freezer. Thank goodness it was after I’d put it in that black garbage bag.)

Then, after so disposing of the turkey and the rhubarb I discovered… the icky reddish goop in the bottom. And shut the lid pronto. There were still two icey things (freezie packs… whatever those things are called) left in there, but I wasn’t about to dip my hand into that mush, glove or no glove.

So what does a girl do when such a situation defeats even her brave soul? She calls her brother, of course.

And, this girl’s brother indifferently agreed to take the cooler out off the back porch and dump it. I don’t think he was fully aware of the stench trapped inside. (And really, I did warn him it would smell!)

To my credit, I took the black bag of ickyness out to the garbage can myself. :)

And so ends the saga of the freezer. With only one week left at home, I have reasonable hope of escaping another such adventure… for now.

The saga of the freezer continues

So, you may now read the rest of the freezer story….

We left the freezer on the driveway for a couple days to completely thaw out, defrost, and otherwise be rid of the layers and layers of ice coating the entire inside. We even tossed out some large ice pieces partway through the defrosting process.

And then came cleaning. Which involved turning the freezer on its side, thereby dumping the goop (and gross bit of meat that had been embedded in the ice), and aiming the garden hose into it.

I got all wet. Not comfortable.

Anyhow. Once the gunk and grossness was generally removed from the freezer, it needed a thorough scrubbing. I had to go to work, so Mom took over from there.

I returned to find a shiny white freezer sitting upright, drying, in the driveway. Very nice.

It sat that way for a while. Not so nice.

We finally got to move it back into the garage, where it belonged, after it had sat out for a couple days drying from the thorough cleaning. Of course, we picked the one day it rained, so it had to sit drying in the garage for a little before we could even plug it back in.

*Sigh*

But, inside the garage it went, with the cord hanging up to dry to make sure we avoided any sudden shocks. And then, I plugged it in the next morning, and that evening put some food back in the large freezer, thus rescuing several spices from a tub on the kitchen floor and relieving an overstuffed kitchen freezer.

The stuffed cooler, on the other hand… will have to wait for another post. Maybe tomorrow.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

One week until move-in…

…and all my projects are finally wrapping up.

1. The church photo directory. I’m getting all the photos from the photographer today, and it should be a snap placing them all into the document. Then, PDFing the document, and sending it on to the assistant pastor to get it to the printer… and voilá, I should be all done with this.

2. I actually got the neighboring town’s coroner’s office to fax an autopsy report to the newspaper! And all it took was a little specific information, a couple phone calls, some courtesy, and some patience. Well, the patience thing was easy, since I got so busy I forgot to call back until a week later… which worked out. (The lady I talked to had also gotten busy, so we both picked up where we left off at the same time!)

3. One more week left of work at the warehouse!!! I’m so glad it’s almost over.

4. Gearing up for the semester of editing the campus newspaper. Well, I got everybody to pick some assignments, and did my own; and the ads manager and I got together this morning (via Skype; isn’t technology wonderful?) to fix the ad prices.

5. Now all that’s left is to pack. Gah, I need to pack….

Sunday, August 15, 2010

This is a freezer. No, the ice doesn’t belong.

You know a chest freezer needs defrosting when there is old meat actually embedded in the ice along the walls of the freezer.

I helped empty out a medium-sized chest freezer today—one which hadn’t been defrosted in years. It had ice built up a hand’s-breadth thick along all the sides of the freezer, and even had ice building up inside the lid. (Therefore, the lid would not stay up like it ought to, and would slam on your head if you weren’t careful.)

So, I proceeded to pull the contents out, parcel by parcel. The family staples (bread, milk) had already been reduced on purpose, in preparation for the large defrosting task, but there was still quite a bit of foodstuffs left.

Much of the foodstuffs was comprised of meat. Oh, and little freezer baggies full of cut-up rhubarb. Anyways, I believe I tossed all of the meat except one large turkey into the handy-dandy garbage bag I had next to me.

Mostly because it was all from the 1990’s or something.

No seriously! There were two parcels of meat actually dated from 1993.

Back to my story. The frost-filled meats were too heavy for one black garbage bag, so I think we ended up with three bags partly full. (And I don’t think that included the two turkeys that were not salvageable.) Once the freezer was pretty much empty, I moved a few things around to get the freezer out onto the driveway, and my brother and I managed to dolly the thing out to just in front of the garage… in full sunlight, thank goodness. Chest freezers are very heavy.

But wouldn’t you know it, it would start thundering (despite the sunlight) just as we got the thing outside. Fortunately there was a handy-dandy length of plastic sheeting (in the vicinity of the handy-dandy garbage bags, of course), so we draped that over the freezer and its accompanying dolly.

The funny part? My brother and I took turns dunking ourselves in the still-cold air of the recently-unplugged freezer. My brother joked about shutting himself up in it because he liked the temperature so much. (It was hot today…)

And the moral: defrost your freezer once in a while. And for heaven’s sake, don’t eat meat from 1993.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Lazy, hazy days of summer… not…

The nice thing about finding interesting links is that it’s a ready-made blog post. If I’m too tired or too rushed to actually come up with something interesting myself, I can say “hey! look at this!” and it counts as a blog post.

But when I’m not having a relaxing summer—on the contrary, when I’m working overtime and helping a lot at church—it’s hard to sit down and write something original for ze blog.

That, and sometimes blogging is relegated to 2:30 A.M., when I’m hardly awake, much less cognizant and creative.

So I shall sleep. Goodnight.

Sunday, August 01, 2010

Caring for the orphans

As you may recall, I’m participating in a Boundless Webzine summer challenge. One of this week’s tasks had to do with adoption, and I found out that Focus on the Family had a website devoted to the ministry of adopting children: ICareAboutOrphans.org.

It fits the mission of Focus on the Family, so it shouldn’t surprise me; also, it appears as thorough and organized as most of the other FotF ministries do. I just found it incredibly interesting…

…especially since a presentation in church today emphasized the church’s call to care for the widows and orphans (and orphans was particularly pointed out, in this case).

…and especially because I’ve already come to respect two particular families in my church who have adopted multiple children through the local foster care system. (One lady ended up with 24 children, 3 of whom were biological.)