Wednesday, November 21, 2007

'Twas The Day Before Thanksgiving

...and all through the house, everything stopped working at the same time, including my left knee.


When I woke this morning and started to get ready for work, I noticed our pitcher of fruit juice was nearly empty, so I went to the freezer to get more concentrate...

...and the freezer was completely defrosted. In fact, it was nearly room temperature in the freezer. We would have done better to leave all our food on our rooftop; at least it was cold outside last night.

The freakin' ice cream had separated into about two inches of water-based liquid at the bottom of the tub, and a fatty white-creamy substance floating on top of it. We've all seen ice cream melt, but I suspect that few of us have ever seen ice cream go that far, before.

We had to throw out most of what was in the freezer, and a good portion of what was in the refrigerator; and we don't yet know that we've dumped everything we need to.

Well. Among the things in our freezer were all the pomegranate seeds that we've been preparing to use to make jelly. We figured that they were probably fine; they don't go bad all that quickly under normal circumstances. Besides, we're making jelly with them; the high temperatures kill off any bacteria present. So long as we can get the jelly made fairly soon, we'll be just fine. So we decided that Tonya would juice the seeds today. Then we'd be prepared to make several batches of jelly before the weekend.

So, I got a call from Tonya at work today.

The blender died too.

It was one that we've had since we got married, over seven years ago, and we've gotten a lot of good use out of it. But it was rather an inconvenient time to have it go, no? So anyway, Tonya figured that instead of juicing the seeds in a blender, she would do it the old-fashioned way: put them in a sealed plastic bag, and smoosh them. Works like a champ, especially given that the seeds were already defrosted. (Although when she was straining them later, she would occasionally come upon an un-smooshed seed, which she would then squish with a spoon to get the juice out. This, of course, put a large number of lovely red-purple spots all over the wall near the stove.)

Well, work wasn't very productive today, what with half the people already off on their vacation, so I talked my boss into letting me take a half-day off so I could go home and help deal with crises. Dad to the rescue! Right? Um...

Well, sometime between 10 and 11 this morning, my left knee started to hurt. No obvious reason, no obvious cause; it just started aching. Then it started aching worse. Then, by One O'clock or so, it became excruciating to put any weight on it. I managed to get home--driving a stick-shift, no less--then had to put on a knee brace we had lying around, and took a few Tylenol. My wife made me lie down and rest (although it didn't take much coaxing, actually. After writing that huge post about Beowulf last night, I was sleep-deprived and needed the nap).

Ultimately we got through the day. The Sears repair-dude showed up at about 5:00 (turns out, Thanksgiving Eve is one of their busiest days of the year! Go figure), and the refrigerator fix was a fairly simple one: an electric switch that regulates the starting of the compressor had shorted and needed to be replaced. It's a common repair, and he had the necessary part in the truck. As for the blender, we've decided to give it the Extreme Unction and send it off; they're fairly cheap, actually. And my knee is feeling better, though the kids kept trying to climb up on it (ow...) and I had to drive to a local Chinese restaurant for takeout (ow...) and work the parking brake with my left foot (Ow!Ow!Ow!Ow!Ow!oooooh....) I might be limping around a little at my extended family's Thanksgiving Dinner tomorrow.

I've got a few more chores tonight, but hopefully I'll be safely in bed before anything else goes wrong today. ;-)

Postscript: It occurs to me that the first sentence of this post would make a halfway decent entry in the annual Bulwer-Lytton contest, in which the contestants compose just the first lines of the worst novels never written. Imagine a novel that begins with the line:

'Twas the day before Thanksgiving, and all through the house, everything stopped working at the same time, including my left knee.

Methinks it has possibilities!

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