Last night I introduced Joe to the joys of tofu.
He remains unimpressed.
Okay, he did eat a few bites of it. Next time I try serving him tofu I will (a) press it for longer so it will have a more firm consistency; (b) not tell him there’s tofu in it, although I couldn’t have gotten around it last night, because the only thing in the refrigerator besides two things of yogurt and some juice were the veggies and tofu; (c) cut it into smaller pieces so it mixes in better with the veggies and noodles.
Last night’s dinner was veggie-tofu stirfry over noodles, another no-brainer. I used half a package of extra-firm tofu (froze the rest–I heard that changes the texture in a pleasant way), chopped it into about 1″ squares, and marinated it in some garlic-sesame sauce and pressed it while I was doing the other prep work. Got the noodles cooking (the rest of the angel hair pasta box from Sunday). Sauteed onion & garlic in sesame oil; added the carrots & broccoli and cooked until those were as tender as I like. Then I took them out of the pan, put in the tofu, and sauteed until it was sizzling hot. I put the veggies back in the pan with the tofu and added the rest of the veggies (snow peas, sugar snap peas, squash) and sauteed a few minutes. Then I added some more garlic-sesame sauce and kept cooking it. I wanted a slightly sweeter sauce, so I put a little agave nectar in, and that perked it up beautifully. I’m eating the leftovers for lunch today. And Joe did eat two plates of it last night, so he didn’t hate it all; he just wasn’t crazy about the tofu.
I’m in rather a bad mood today. The car still wasn’t ready yesterday, and the $800 in repairs has shot up to $1K. So Jehara graciously said she’d pick me up from work at 4 today and take me over to pick up the Rodeo. I was planning to take her to dinner afterwards to thank her for her kindness–and we will still do dinner–however, Joe called me totally pissed off this morning when he got to Dallas.
I have to backtrack for a moment here. When we first got the Chevy, our gas mileage was just abysmal. Joe was convinced that someone in our neighborhood was siphoning gas; I thought we just got bad gas mileage. But he insisted on putting a locking gas cap on, and when our gas mileage continued to be abysmal, he finally conceded that we’ve just got a bit of a lemony car here. One of the keys to the gas cap went missing, so I put the other on my keychain so it wouldn’t get lost as well. Now fast forward back to Joe’s phone call.
He’s out of gas. He had enough to get to the school this morning, but not enough to get back home tonight. Where’s the key to the gas cap? On my keychain. Here. So now instead of having a nice relaxing evening with Jehara and the incomparable Izzybella after I pick up the Rodeo, we’re taking Jehara’s car back to Izzy’s house and leaving it there, and I’m taking the two of them out to Dallas with me so we can drop off the gas key for Joe (who has decided that we’ll just put a non-locking gas cap back on. Good idea, in my not-so-humble opinion.). And we’ll get something to eat out there. I’m thinking Cosmic Cafe, since I had to miss it AND Regina Spektor (mumble-grumble inaudible swear words) thanks to the stoopid strep throat.
Thank heavens that we’d built up a bit of a contingency fund over the last couple of years, because this last 30 days or so has completely used it up. If we didn’t have it, we’d be using credit right now, which would be a very bad thing. We had to buy the refrigerator last month (I forget right now, but seems like it was around $600), plane tickets for 2 to Buffalo ($1000), and now $1000 to replace the clutch in one of our vehicles. It’s not that bad, though, because Joe will be in Hollywood for 6 months for work. That means our living expenses go back down; I spend a lot less on groceries, gasoline, etc. when he’s not home. So we’ll have that contingency fund built back up again pretty soon.
We still haven’t closed on the sale of part of our property to the state; I contacted the person who was working with us to find out what the hold-up is. He said they’re awaiting the partial release of lien from our mortgage-holder, after which we’ll close. I still don’t know if the cash will come to us or to our mortgage-holder. I hope it will come to us. We have pretty much decided to funnel it back into the house and get some truly necessary repairs and improvements done. That will include–I hope–replacing the furnace, replacing the outside doors (we’ve bought one, but will buy the other and hire someone to hang them both), painting the trim on the outside of the house, and redoing our kitchen including cabinets, floor, range, dishwasher, etc. I don’t know how tightly we can squeeze this money to get all that accomplished, but it will definitely improve the quality of our lives and the value of our house. We agreed that getting a fixer-upper when we’re not particularly interested in performing the fixing-up ourselves wasn’t the wisest course of action. The next house will not, I repeat, NOT be a fixer-upper.
Speaking of money, I have to take a moment to brag on myself. I got a catalog in the mail, a new one, one I’d never seen before in my life and have no earthly idea how I got onto their mailing list. It’s got all kinds of Victorian-style tchochkes, clothing, housewares, etc., and I was drooling over it. I have a little extra cash, since I have spent less than half my allowance for the past pay period, so thought I might go ahead and get myself a few things. I decided on an absolutely darling hat, a box with 3 or 4 bottles of ink and 2 blown-glass dippable pens, and a Christmas card assortment. I figured out how much everything would cost, including shipping and the $5 discount on orders of $35 or more if I ordered it online. $71 plus some change. And I sat there and looked at it. Okay, the hat was absolutely adorable, but realistically, how often would I wear it? I don’t know. And do I *really* need that cool ink and glass pen assortment? No, not really. I want it, still do, but cannot even claim to needing that. And Christmas cards, well, I can get equally cute Christmas cards for the same cost or less without having to pay shipping. So I threw the catalog and order form in the trash. Go me! And since I’m taking credit for being financially virtuous, I’ll go ahead and point out that I’ve brought leftovers for lunch every day this week. (Yeah, I don’t have a car at work this week. What’s your point?)
I did get caught up at work yesterday. It’s amazing how being out for a day and 2 hours can get me so far behind, but it happens. Fortunately, with my having been dependent upon Joe for transportation, I was at work for an extra 2 hours both days. Yesterday I broke my own personal record for the number of credit bureau reports pulled in one day. Pretty impressive, although it’s not going to get me any extra money or anything. Being the one person in this department who’s not eligible for performance bonuses or anything truly sucks. I know I could apply to transfer over and be a collector, thus becoming eligible for bonuses as well as guaranteed overtime, and possibly make more money, but I don’t know if I’d be any good at it. And being not good at that job means one doesn’t last long, nor does one get those bonuses. Of course, the overtime’s still there, but when things are crazy busy for me I can get 3-4 hours of OT a week as it is.
The incomparable Izzybella has the blues today as well. Why don’t you stop by and tell her hi, okay? Thanks.