Bucket list

It’s going to be absofreakinglutely beautiful out today and I could be outside at home getting work done but intstead will be at work getting work done since a) that is what I get paid for and b) if I manage not to blow any more vacation days hanging outside my house on a ladder I can have two weeks off in December.  Besides that, buy viagra I have accepted that I will not get the house finished this year.  I will not even get the third side of the house finished this year even though I have the first story scraped and all the windows on that side reglazed because I can’t reach the peak on that side.  Technically I could, bulimics but it would require borrowing the big ladder from my father and finding a way to put it up and convincing my family that I’m not going to die a horrible death from falling off said ladder.  So we were to hire a painter to do the high-up bits on that side and the back, but he’s gone MIA and I fear that the nice weather will got MIA next.  I’m working very hard to accept this, but it rankles every time I walk in the house.  The side in question is the one that faces the driveway.

In lieu of painting yesterday I replaced the threshold on the old front door.  It started out simply enough – remove old threshold, cut new threshold to fit, install new threshold.  Ignore the fact that the screws to hold the new one down don’t screw into anything since they line up with the gap in flooring underneeth.  Install rubber gasket in new threshold.  Try to close door.  Realize that gap under door is not even.  Examine to see if it’s because door is cut crooked or hung crooked.  Take door off hinges and out onto porch to cut 1/4″ off 2/3rds of bottom of unevenly cut door.  Stand around and talk to neighbor who shares the wisdom that all projects end up more complicated that originally planned.  You don’t say?  Remove door sweep before cutting.  Find out that previous owner who “stripped and refinished” the door’s interior didn’t bother to remove the cheap ass sweep and there’s a 2″ strip of white paint along the bottom.  Shrug.  Cut door.  Rehang door.  Squeeze door shut over new threshold gasket and hope the whole thing compresses to the point that it is someday functional.  Remove decorative trim from inside of door winow and seal up gaps with caulk and add nails so that window glass no longer rattles in frame.  Replace trim.  Walk away from door and eat pie.

Pie:  I baked pumpkin pies from scratch yesterday.  I’ve always wanted to try this.  Some people have always wanted to try bungee jumping.  My ambitions are less likely to break my neck.  I had two “sugar pie” pumpkins which I cut in half.  One of them cut easily, but for the other one I seriously considered getting out the Dremmel.  I have never encountered such a tough pumpkin – it was like wood on the outside.  The tiny pumpkin saws from our jack-o-lantern kit finally enabled me to get the thing open without opening an artery in the process.  That was the toughest part of the whole process.  I cleaned out the halves and put them face down on a pyrex baking dish with a little water for an hour at 350 until they softened.  Well, one of them softened.  The tough one remained rock hard on the outside but got soft on the inside.  I let them cool and scraped out all the flesh.

I used a small food processor to puree the flesh and had enough for two pies (4c) with a cup leftover which went into the freezer for later.  I baked the pies using the recipe that came with the pumpkins.  I’ve heard two schools of thought on baking pumpkin pies from scratch:  one camp says it doesn’t taste appreciably different from canned pumpkin, the other says that the flavor is better and worth the extra effort.  My verdict?  The flavor is different if you really pay attention, but if I hadn’t known they were from scratch, I wouldn’t have noticed.  And it’s not better or worse, just a little more. . . pumpkiny.  But having smelled pumpkin in its various stages all day long, I was rather tired of it by pie eating time. 

Mark “Make pumpkin pie from scratch” off to-do list.

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