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Amparo Bertram

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08:16 pm: A drop in the bucket
I've finally written the check that will officially pay off the first $10K of my mortgage, and I'll be dropping it in the mail tomorrow. It feels like a big milestone...until I think about how much is left to go.

Aside from that, I didn't accomplish much of note this weekend. Yesterday I set out to check a couple appliance showrooms. Due to the limitations of public transit, that took up pretty much the entire day. My main take-home lesson from that was...there is no accounting for taste. Refrigerators with bottom-mount freezers are currently all the rage; both showrooms had tons of them on display. One of those monstrosities would totally drive me crazy. It just seems to make accessing the freezer ridiculously awkward. Give me a standard top-mounted freezer any day.

I was explaining my refrigerator preferences to a salesperson at one of the showrooms, saying that I grow my own fruits and vegetables and need a lot of storage space for the harvest. Then I mentioned that I would love gallon-capacity door shelves because I frequently drink milk.

Salesperson: Oh, do you have your own cow, too?
Me: ...Um, no...my yard isn't THAT big...
Salesperson: Well, you can't drink milk directly from a cow anyway, it has to be processed first, right?
Me: O_O

Clearly a city boy.

The one productive thing I attempted was making a batch of nightshade berry jam. It was going really well...until I sat down to flip through a book while it was simmering and I lost track of time. I wound up scorching it. It's a real shame, because the color up until that point was a lovely brilliant purple, but now it's an unappealing coffee brown. At least it's still edible, more or less. I did discover that the seeds are rather bitter if bitten down upon. Next time I'll strain all the seeds out and make jelly instead. The plants are producing well, so it should probably only be another week or two before I'll have enough.

I'm definitely going to have to do a lot of work out in the garden next weekend.

Comments

[User Picture]
From:mangaroo
Date:July 9th, 2012 05:12 am (UTC)
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Congratulations on the first mortgage milestone!

Hee...the salesman sounds like me. "She grows her own vegetables. She likes milk. She must own a cow!"

I sat down to flip through a book while it was simmering and I lost track of time.

I'm sorry for the impact on the deadly jam, but this makes me feel so much better. It's not schadenfreude, it's just that this is me with 90% of my kitchen adventures. I have seriously compromised two frying pans because I wandered away while heating the oil in the first step of the potato/tomato curry. Uneven heat on my electric burner + super-hot oil resulted in two pans with permanent burn marks in one quadrant. I can only be grateful I haven't yet sprung for my dream cookware set.

Edited at 2012-07-09 05:13 am (UTC)
[User Picture]
From:spacealien_vamp
Date:July 9th, 2012 01:09 pm (UTC)
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it's just that this is me with 90% of my kitchen adventures.

Yikes!

The sad thing is that I should know better. I did something similar when I was making a batch of kiwi jam several months ago. The lure of the books was just too great.
[User Picture]
From:kirbyfest
Date:July 9th, 2012 11:30 am (UTC)
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I just don't get the bottom-mount freezer thing. I lose track of things in the back of my nice, eye-level, top-mount freezer-- how much more would I lose if it was down on the ground? Hello?

I like a side-by-side, because I can SEE things. :)

Do you have a good chest freezer? A nice energy-efficient one? If anyone should, you should.
[User Picture]
From:spacealien_vamp
Date:July 9th, 2012 01:07 pm (UTC)
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I lose track of things in the back of my nice, eye-level, top-mount freezer-- how much more would I lose if it was down on the ground?

No kidding! Plus, I felt like I was going to whack myself in the knees every time I tried to pull one open.

Do you have a good chest freezer?

I have a spare upright freezer in the garage, but right now the door is blocked by piles of remodeling supplies, so I can't use it yet. I'm looking forward to having the extra storage.

The refrigerator that came with the house still works, thank goodness, but it's 16 years old and no doubt would fail modern energy efficiency standards.
[User Picture]
From:sara_tanaquil
Date:July 9th, 2012 01:30 pm (UTC)
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Heh, I pay so little attention to the actual balance of my mortgage that I didn't know what you were talking about at first (I thought you were talking about prepaying a lump sum on the mortgage, or something). Especially at the beginning, it was just so depressing how slowly the balance dropped. I do check it every once in a while now.

Good luck with the refrigerator hunt! I am happy with my new fridge (anything would have been better than the old one), but I was severely constrained in my choices by having to fit it under the existing (low) cabinet height.
[User Picture]
From:spacealien_vamp
Date:July 10th, 2012 01:56 am (UTC)
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I pay so little attention to the actual balance of my mortgage that I didn't know what you were talking about at first

I'm just the opposite--I follow the numbers obsessively. I got an amortization schedule spreadsheet from the loan agent, and I plug the numbers in each month to keep track of how much I have paid (and when everything will be paid off). However, I'm currently paying the principal down by an extra $650/month, so the progress is noticeable.

I was severely constrained in my choices by having to fit it under the existing (low) cabinet height.

I'll be replacing all the cabinets, so at least I can choose the fridge first and design the cabinets around it.
[User Picture]
From:wednesday_10_00
Date:July 10th, 2012 12:35 pm (UTC)
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I follow the numbers obsessively.

I can tell already that I'm going to be like this with my car loan. But maybe having a debt to pay off will help me spend less frivolously, since the extra money will go towards something that will make me feel so much better. (I mean, I like seeing money add up in my savings account, but the pressure is different, with paying off a debt.)

Anyway, congrats on your first 10 grand!
[User Picture]
From:megory
Date:July 14th, 2012 03:00 pm (UTC)
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What a great benchmark to reach, the ten thousand mark, around the first anniversary of having your home! As less of the money goes toward interest, the next ten thousand may come even sooner!

I think that the reason they put timers on stoves now is precisely to help you avoid overcooking. I think they know there are way too many distractions around us. We'll never be able to resist the books or phone calls or whatever. I've burned plenty of meals.
[User Picture]
From:spacealien_vamp
Date:July 15th, 2012 09:57 pm (UTC)
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As less of the money goes toward interest, the next ten thousand may come even sooner!

Definitely!

I think that the reason they put timers on stoves now is precisely to help you avoid overcooking.

That only works if you have a specified amount of time to cook it, though. This is just "simmer until it reaches the gelling point," however long that is.
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