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Sunday's bike ride ran so late that I didn't have a chance to attend to all of my planned chores, argdarnit. To top that off, on Saturday night, just as I got ready to bake a loaf of sandwich bread, I discovered that the gas oven had stopped working. The last time this sort of thing happened was when I was living in the Farmer house, trying to bake some scones. That time around, we managed to save the scones by firing up the gas grill, but I don't have that grill anymore, so I just stuck the bread dough in the fridge and crossed my fingers that the replacement oven lighter would show up sooner rather than later.

It finally showed up last night, so instead of working on an overdue manuscript review I took apart the oven and installed the replacement while thinking about how I don't really make enough money to afford to hire a handyman to do this kind of work for me (and no, I don't trust the apartment management to get this stuff done in a time-efficient manner; they always want me to stay home from work). It took much longer than necessary because I didn't think I had a wrench of the correct size and so I removed most of the tiny bolts with an adjustable wrench that kept slipping off of one stripped bolt in particular. Eventually I determined that the socket wrench set did indeed have the correct metric size and finished up the job. Now I want a handy-man merit badge for fixing the oven. The loaf of bread is really flat on top, and more sour than usual, but edible. I also made muesli and more yogurt, chores that I can usually wedge into everyday activities more easily. It's hard when they all pile up at the same time.

I also had to deep-clean the litterbox. On Monday, I noticed a tan smudge on the lid, which upon closer inspection was a full-blown mite infestation, the same kind of mites as we get infesting our cricket and ant colonies. They love dead and decaying material. I think the humidity just finally caught up with the wheat-based litter I prefer. So, time for a major cleanup. If it happens again after this deep-cleaning and complete replacement I may need to switch over to something else instead. The humidity has really been something else this year.

This morning, it was the worm bin that needed immediate attention. I'd hoped to empty it last Sunday, but had put it off, but too much new compost material has been accumulating. It's still kind of in experimental mode at the moment, but at some point I might go through to try and describe how I'm maintaining a worm bin for apartment living because there aren't enough good explanations of this stuff on the interwebs. My apartment method involves giving away a lot of worm dirt to various gardening friends because I'm producing more than I can use for my small collection of potted plants. I'm pretty sure my bin size is large enough for my personal vegetable consumption rate, but I'm less sure that it can accommodate both myself and scrottie. I also haven't been keeping it at quite the right ratio of vegetables to worm bedding because it has been on the smelly, moist side. Hopefully I can generate enough shredded paper to balance things out better.


( 6 remarks — Remark )
Jul. 30th, 2015 05:37 pm (UTC)
handy man
a man in hand is worth two on a bike..

; )
Jul. 30th, 2015 09:50 pm (UTC)
I've started tearing out the pages of bad paperbacks and using them instead of paper towels. Lots and lots of paper.

I'm too lazy for a worm bin, though...
Jul. 31st, 2015 02:30 pm (UTC)
That sounds like a better use than what that one guy in Denver did with his excess books!

And yeah, the worm bin is a commitment. Not for everybody. If only more cities offered municipal composting services...
Aug. 1st, 2015 05:04 pm (UTC)
Also after reading about "Grocer's Itch" and having an "AHA!" moment i started baking all wheat and corn-based cat litter in the oven on 175 for an hour as soon as I bought it. Mixing in a tablespoon of Diatomaceous earth doesn't hurt, either. I'm wondering if a puppy pad at the bottom of each litter box might reduce humidity? You can tell I spent a lot of time wrestling with sleeplessness last night sorry.
Aug. 2nd, 2015 10:25 pm (UTC)
WOW - that's really interesting! Now I want to learn more about "Grocer's Itch," too, insomnia or otherwise. :-) Thank you! This stuff is fascinating.

I haven't been doing anything to remedy the situation aside from changing out and washing everything, in this case. But I've got diatomaceous earth on hand, so it probably wouldn't hurt to mix some in, and the oven-baking also sounds wise.
Aug. 2nd, 2015 10:29 pm (UTC)
Yeah, "it feels like things are crawling on me but I can't see anything there" = grocer's itch, and also you need to buy a dehumidifier, and also you need to move out of the apartment that has squirrels in the attic and possums under the floorboards.
( 6 remarks — Remark )

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