Perhaps because I’m in a Comcast frame of mind, meaning “things that need fixing,” I was just thinking of little things that “niggle” me from time to time.
Making toast for my husband and me just now, I reminded myself to empty the crumbs from the catchplate at the bottom of the toaster. As on previous occasions, it irked me that I had to unplug the toaster first, turn it around so that I could remove the crumb catcher. I wondered why Oster didn’t just place it on the other side where all the buttons were located. That might make it easier to remember to empty the catcher more regularly than I do.
Another manufacturing snafu is that the catchplate is as flat as a pancake. How do the crumbs stay put, until they’re emptied? They don’t. The day I found mounds of the stuff in my appliance cupboard is when I realized the drawbacks of my toaster. Its vintage look and fabulous red color were what drew me to purchase this particular model. It toasts well, but what’s left behind just plain “niggles” me. The manufacturer should’ve hired a “professional” toaster maker to test the product, before it was rushed onto the assembly line. Real moms who’ve been using these items regularly for years and years, not the ones on TV, like “Desperate Housewives,” or “Housewives of OC, NYC, NJ, ATL, DC, and BH.” I jest, of course!?!
When our kitchen was remodeled a few years ago, we didn’t install a garbage disposal. Having an in ground septic tank take care of our household disposal needs, we didn’t want to overload it with waste that could be recycled, like food scraps. Catching all those small tidbits before they race down the drain, however, is messy and tedious. Relatives of ours had the solution we needed, a small strainer that fit snugly into the drain. Voile! Problem solved!
A carpenter I’d used some time before we did our remodel, recommended I not use granite or purchase stainless steel appliances. But of course, I did. Just as he said, fingerprints are a chore to remove from the stove, refrig and dishwasher. Water stains are a constant source of irritation on the granite surrounding the sink. Imagine when I hold a dish or pot under the faucet, the water splashes all over the beautiful, dark green granite. I’ve learned to live with stains, for no matter how many times I clean them, they reappear as if they’d never left. I do love how the granite slabs and stainless appliances enhance the look of our kitchen, as long as I don’t look too closely.
Before the remodel, we had a gas top stove. I’d only cooked on electric prior to that, so the change took a little getting use to for me. I found cooking with gas to be fine, but it wasn’t “to die for,” as with the majority of cooks. The thing I liked least about it, was cleaning all the grease and grime that would collect in and around the burners. When I lived away from home with my daughter who was training to become a ballet dancer, my husband, who remained here, hired a housekeeper. Reluctant to keep her upon my return, I soon found Lucy to be worth her weight in gold. The gas top stove was flawless after she “waved her magic cleaning wand.” Poor thing, after many years cleaning others’ homes, Lucy returned to Brazil for back surgery. Our home has never been as clean since.
Litter dust that is perpetually tracked up the staircase, and along the hallway, also “niggles” me. No amount of vacuuming with my upright, or hand-held, does the trick permanently. And I’ve tried every form of litter known to man, clay, wheat, corn, lavender-scented, baking soda-added, newspaper pellets, pine-scented, scoop, non-scoop, flushable, non-flushable, multiple-cat. Wish I’d toilet-trained my 3 cats, and my daughter’s 1, when they were wee things. Now that they’re full-grown, ranging in age from 6 years through 15 years, they’d probably all tell me to flush myself down the toilet if I tried to alter their potty habits. Wouldn’t you?
Plugs that don’t completely fit into sockets also make me nuts. As I’m vacuuming I’m constantly aware not to yank the chord, otherwise I’m retracing my steps to plug the chord in again. Try doing this 15, 20, 25 times in an hour. You’d also want to shoot a hole in the wall where the socket is. But that was then; years of repetition have made me really good at having to put the plug into the socket only once or twice, the entire time I’m vacuuming. Yehhh, for me!!! I know, I know, the piece inside the wall just needs replacing. Well, my on-site repairman is going to get around to it, “later.” And that’s fine with me. I’ve figured a way to get around the problem, and there are other things I’d prefer getting done sooner, rather than…”later.” Picking my battles, you see.
Last year after Christmas, we retrieved the huge plastic bins from our garage to store away the holiday decorations. We found that mice had found their way in from the cold. Droppings were everywhere. Yuck! We had to clean and sanitize the garage before replacing the bins. Clorox wipes were handy helpers for wiping down the surfaces, along with a lot of elbow grease. My husband purchased poison-filled pouches, placing them into nooks and crannies. My contribution to the effort? Good, old-fashioned mothballs!!! I Rolled them out of the boxes until they covered a good amount of the garage floor beneath the shelving units. They worked! The potent smell kept those buggers away. Thank goodness I find the scent rather…refreshing, like being in the alpine. Mice poop, now that’s a “niggler” to end all “nigglers!”
After being married as long as we have, there’s bound to be things that “niggle” my husband and me about each other. I’m certain one HE CAN LIVE WITHOUT is hearing his name echo throughout the house when I’d like something done. I’m sure one “niggle” that’s had me “talking to myself” for almost half-a-century is when he asks me where something is, before he’s even searched. Or upon beginning to search, my husband is done looking, before he’s even really started. I guess it’s easier, ON HIM, if I drag everything out, to find that it’s always been right in front of his nose. “Niggling” is the “other face” of true love! Even bliss takes a break, now and then.
I’m sure we’ve all got things that “niggle.” Even our pastor, Father Brian, is “niggled” by inadequate church parking, a less than adequate parish budget, rising early to say 8:15 a.m. Mass. Looks like even the holiest among us can’t escape being “niggled,” once-in-awhile.
so go ahead and rant, about whatever “niggles” you…hugmamma.