Tag Archives: necessities

Tomorrow, Tomorrow, I love you, Tomorrow, You’re Only A Day Away

In 1 Day We Get Our BED Back!

I left the best for last, obviously.  I have an unusual relationship with my bed.  I love it very much.  It pretty much got me through college, and I often get a huge grin on my face right before I take a flying leap and jump into it, fluffy down comforter and all.  It’s one of my favorite things.

Being without it hasn’t been as hard as you’d think.  I’ve had a lot of odd sleeping arrangements over the years, so an air-mattress wasn’t too daunting. Plus, we’ve slept on an air mattress tons of times, and, while not the most comfortable things ever, it was usually more than sufficient.

So we got here, purchased the nicest air mattress we could find (double high with flocked top for comfort), and went to sleep. Sort of. I don’t know what exactly it was (I actually blame the SUPER LOUD air conditioner more than the mattress), but I didn’t sleep for a week. Plus, Nate is a snorer usually, and the (apparently extra firm) pillows we bought were making it way worse. After many very cranky days and right before we decided to pack up our two suitcases and fly back to our house, we went back to Target and made two more essential purchases: a softer pillow that did not encourage Nate’s snoring and a foam mattress topper with all these crazy patterns in it that’s supposed to make sleeping more comfortable.

Made Bed

And all was well and right in the world, and I was sleeping again, UNTIL the fateful day when we woke up ON THE FLOOR. So sad. Our air mattress had sprung a leak, which is a bad thing in general, and extra bad when it is the only soft surface in your home and you are getting tired of sitting on the floor. Being the thrifty people we are, we decided to find the hole and patch it. I wish I had taken pictures of Nate in the bathroom trying to stuff the double height queen air mattress in the tub. It doesn’t fit.

Finding the Leak

I did, however, take a picture of the afternoon I spent making a slip-n-slide in my living room while trying to find the leak. No luck, but it was fun! Hard to explain to Nate why the carpet was all wet when he got home from work, though.

We thought we patched the hole, woke up on the floor again, and repeated this for several days, until we finally ditched the mattress completely and slept on the foam topper on the floor until we could accurately find and patch the hole. Which we did for a week. ON THE FLOOR.

Foam Topper Bed

Patching the Leak

Nate patching the leak. It never actually held, but we were persistent and kept patching it!

We finally gave up after about a week an a half of this nonsense. But this time we even knew we were moving and getting our stuff back, but a few more weeks was too long to sleep on the floor. We purchased a new air mattress and are back to mostly-normal sleeping arrangements. I’m really looking forward to having our real bed back, though!

Lamp in the Corner

Our realtors lent us this lamp and side table – it’s made such a difference making our bedroom more homey (and, you know, light when it’s dark out)

1 Day

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In 2 Days We Get Our Couch Back!

I was having trouble  thinking of what I missed SO MUCH today. I’ve covered pretty much everything that I continually said “man, I wish I had my…” about. I thought maybe I would make a list of the little things I’ve been missing (the spatula every time I make a smoothie and can’t get the last bits off the sides, my fun jewelry last night when my shirt alone was pretty boring and we were going to dinner, etc). Plus, I already said that I would prefer our dining table and chairs back over the couch! But then I looked over at Nate curled up between two metal folding chairs – one to sit on, one for his feet – and decided that yes, the couch was very important. When we watched the olympics, we dragged the bed out to lay on, or made a pillow pile on the floor. When Nate’s playing video games or watching football, he sits on the folding chairs. When I read or really do anything, I sit on the floor, my back against the wall. The olympics was fun, and if we were to watch a movie or something, we probably would bring out the pillows again. But the other two set-ups are just uncomfortable after a while. So I’m ready for the couch back, if only so we can sit next to each other sometimes without being on the floor.

2 Days

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In 3 Days We Get Our Microwave and Toaster Oven Back!

I call this a necessity because we have become so dependent on these appliances in our day to day life.  The funniest part about not having a microwave was that in the welcome basket that the apartment complex left for us when we moved in, there was a bag of microwave popcorn!  It is still un-popped in our cabinet, because the apartment did not come with a microwave.  But it’s one of those things that we just assume everyone has.  I also bought some oatmeal that has very specific directions in ALL CAPS that you must ONLY USE THE MICROWAVE for this product.  No cooking it with hot water or on the stove.  I cook it on the stove.  It works just fine.

We’ve been heating up leftovers in a pan with some water in it and a lid.  It takes about a thousand times longer than the microwave, but it’s worth it when that’s your only option!  We make toast in the oven under the broiler.  This mostly results in burnt toast, but we have gotten better at judging how long it takes.  We make popcorn by my favorite oil-in-a-pot method.  I prefer it, but it also takes longer.  I think we could do without the microwave and toaster – we’ve become pretty good at returning to the old-time methods of cooking, you know, on the stove and in the oven – but they will be nice to have back!

3 Days

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In 4 Days We Get Our Vacuum Back!

I am incredibly excited for this, because our living space has become pretty gross.  We also don’t have a broom, so our kitchen and bathroom floors are only cleaned by sponge and soap.  I was almost to the point of asking one of the women from our church group if I could borrow her vacuum, but then we decided to move and get our stuff back, so I’m just holding out on this one.  Also nice: we will get the vacuum back before we have to turn in our keys to our current apartment, so I can give it a proper cleaning before we vacate.  My Dad always taught me to leave places cleaner than I found them!

We are not incredibly dirty people.  We mostly walk on sidewalks so we don’t track a ton of dirt in.  Nate works indoors and I don’t often leave the house, but grime accumulates anyway.  Plus, I shed hair like crazy.

It’s kind of funny that I’m so excited for the vacuum.  Our house had entirely hard floors, so for the whole time we lived there I didn’t vacuum once.  I thought maybe it was one appliance I wouldn’t really need anymore, but I’m glad I didn’t get rid of it!  Our new apartment is almost entirely carpeted, and who knows what our eventual house will be!

4 Days

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In 5 Days We Get Our Spices Back!

This one kills me.  I now have time to cook and explore new recipes (Nate is THRILLED, I assure you) and not only does every new recipe require some crazy kitchen gadget that, even if I do own, I did not bring with me, they all require different spices.  Now, don’t get me wrong, I love spices.  In fact, I have a huge collection of spices!  We got a huge spice rack as a wedding gift, and that only accounts for about 1/4 of the spices that we have.  I’ll take a picture for you when we get them unpacked so you can see.  But, except for the salt and pepper mills, spices were not prioritized for the trip here.  So, as I’ve been trying new recipes (because, of course, I don’t HAVE any of my usual recipes) I’ve been making tradeoffs between which spices I’m going to purchase even though I already own them and which I will go without.

My saddest purchase was dried oregano.  You have no idea how much dried oregano I already own.  It’s one of the spices my Dad grows in his garden, and one that Erin and I grew on our deck.  Plus, the spice rack came with some, and I had a (very large) tin of it from some prior recipe.  Alas, I use it all the time so I bought more.  If you ever need oregano, let me know.  I have plenty.

But, seriously, I don’t know how people cook without spices.  I can totally understand why kids don’t like their (bland boiled canned) vegetables.  I wouldn’t either.  But cook it up with some garlic and butter, or sprinkle a little chile powder on it, it’s a whole new species!

5 Days

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In 6 Days We Get Our Bikes Back!

Tucson is a biking community.  There are bike lanes on almost every major road AND PEOPLE USE THEM.  ON BIKES.  Craziness.  And, since in 6 days we are also moving closer to the center of Tucson, biking will become a viable option for transportation!  I’m super excited about this.  I will finally be able to bike to the grocery store and the gym and maybe even to work (what?!).  This is also the item that Nate requested when I asked him what he missed most.  We have always wanted to bike more, but it wasn’t exactly feasible in our previous situations.  In our house it would have been fine, and I’m sure we would have gone on many bike rides over the summer (I hope they would have been more successful than the one we did attempt), but we only lived there in the winter.  Before that, our bikes were kept in the crazy jigsaw puzzle of our guest room/storage room and it was quite a task to get them out and then down the stairs.  We did take them out quite often, but it was no fun.

In our new place, we will have an enclosed patio where we will probably store them (chained and covered, it may be enclosed but we’re not that trusting yet) and I hope we will ride them often.  Plus, the weathermen say that Monsoon season is basically over, so I don’t expect it to rain for, like, 6 months.  Maybe more.  And, as the temperature goes down (slightly), the weather will become perfect for bike rides.

6 Days

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In 7 Days We Get Our Pots & Pans Back!

I would even settle for just a small portion of our pots and pans back – maybe one small pot and another lid or two.  Right now we have only one lid (OK, so we only have one pot and one pan also) so I can’t make two things that need a lid at once.  Or I have to watch my food spatter all over the stove, which is usually what happens.  Fortunately, if you clean it up right away, it’s not too hard to get it off the stove, even if its pretty burnt!  I’ve learned so many little cleaning tricks from this one.  If I ruin my one baking sheet (which I have, several times) I have to figure out how to clean it off.  My newest and best trick?  Baking soda and hydrogen peroxide left in a paste for as long as I can manage (I think I found this one on Pinterest. Also, I refuse to pin cleaning tips and workout plans. FYI).

Yes, I routinely burn stuff to the bottom of my only pot

It’s hard to make a meal with one pot, one pan, one baking sheet, and one baking dish.  It’s taken some creative planning, as well as some creative dinner eating.  Not only do we eat on the floor, but sometimes we eat in shifts!  Although I have become pretty good at planning either one-pot meals (jambalaya is Nate’s current favorite) or meals that only require as many cooking vessels as we own.

I am looking forward to not having to think about that when planning dinner.  Want to make two things that require pots?  No problem!  Look!  I have two pots!  Fantastic.

7 Days

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In 10 Days We Get Our Knives Back!

I remember my Grandma complaining about my parents’ knives when I was a little kid.  I think she eventually got so fed up with them and bought them new ones, or my parents finally just bought them on their own.  It was a long time ago, so I don’t really remember.  But I thought it was funny that she cared so much about the knives.  This same Grandma also thought we needed new plates and bowls, and bought them for us too.  Which, maybe we did, I don’t know, but now we use both old and new sets at my parents’ house.

I did eventually figure out why knives were important, and, when I was old enough to begin cutting vegetables, my Mom taught me that dull knives were more dangerous than sharp knives, and to be very careful.  With all knives, for the record.  When we bought our first nice knives, I was adamant about them being good quality.  It was one of the things I wanted to spend more money on to get a higher-quality product that would last longer.  But when we were packing to move down here, I obviously couldn’t pack the whole knife block in my suitcase!  We were already over our 50 pound limit (I can’t remember, have I told this story?  The one where we put our suitcases on the scale and they were both over 50 pounds, so we had to put the extra weight into our carry-ons, and Nate’s was already full of books and paperwork, and his handle broke before we made it through security, and we were already late for our flight, so he had to carry the thing through the airport while running?  And then our baggage didn’t arrive with us and Nate almost had nothing to wear for his first day of work?  True story.)

Refocusing.  My other Grandma gave us this cute picnic set when we got married and we basically cannibalized it for stuff to bring with us.

Something like this picnic basket

We took the plastic plates and cups, and with it (although I don’t think they actually came together) was this little knife set in a little carrying case.

Our knives in their wood, leather, and blue velvet carrying case

Perfect!  So those were the knives we took with us.  Two knives that turned out to be mostly dull when we got here.  Because I didn’t think to actually USE one before we left.  Those are still the knives I use most often, BUT, during our first trip back to Cincy, Erin SAVED MY KNIFE SANITY.  Seriously.  She had a knife set she’d gotten for free with something, and, since she also prioritizes good knives, she didn’t need.  So she gave them to me and they basically changed my cooking life.  The knives aren’t high quality by any means, but there are many of them, which means I can cut up vegetables and meat at the same time, and they come with a sharpener!  Which means I could rescue the knives that I had and keep the new ones in good working condition.

While my knife situation has certainly improved since we first got here, I’m very excited to have good knives back!

PS: I had no idea I had so much to say on the subject of kitchen knives.  Sorry 😦

10 Days

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In 11 Days We Get Our Table and Chairs Back!

Not only is this very exciting because eating dinner on the floor is only exciting for so long, but I am convinced that my lack of getting much of anything done is due to not having a place to work.  The floor is not very good for organizing your thoughts and getting work done.  I figured this out several weeks ago, and started to take over the table in the living room, which has basically become Nate’s workspace.  While I’m sitting there I’m fairly good at accomplishing things.  But it’s not my space, and in order to work it usually requires that I move Nate’s computer out of the way.  There isn’t really anywhere to put it, so I stick it on the back of the table and basically it’s a very cramped environment.  And if Nate’s home, this table also holds the TV and both gaming consoles.  It’s a pretty busy place!  But I need a quiet place to work, so it’s not very productive.  Which led to me going to coffee shops a lot, which is fine, minus the limited time I have there (they are cold and I don’t like to leave all my stuff out if (when, because I usually just drank a ton of coffee) I need to go to the bathroom.

Does this look like a good work environment? I think not.

But soon I will have a table to work at, more comfortable chairs to sit on, and all of this near a WINDOW!  in a DINING ROOM!  Positives all around – for dinner and for working.  I’m so excited.  I am also excited to get my living room furniture back, but if I had to choose between a couch or a table and chairs, the table and chairs wins.  Obvi, because that’s what we bought when we got here and have been living with.

11 Days

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In 12 Days We Get Our Towels Back!

Our good bath towels originally made it into the suitcase to come with us, but got cut because they took up half a suitcase which was just too much space when you only have two suitcases to take everything you think you are going to need for an indefinite period of time.  It was a difficult decision, but probably the right one.  Nevertheless, I miss fluffy towels.  We each have one bath towel, and it is small and wimpy, and leads to a lot of not-being-very-dry.  We originally also had only one dish cloth, one dish towel, and one hand towel.  Extras of those were either purchased when we got here or were prioritized for the first trip back to Cincy, because it’s almost impossible to use only one dish cloth and not do laundry every day.  Which I don’t.  Laundry is a whole different pain, but I’m not going to get into that.  But they are cheap, and bath towels are expensive, and I really want all my towels back.  Which will happen in 12 days!  Of all the things I thought I’d be super excited about in my life, I’m pretty sure towels were not one of them.

12 Days

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