Friday, November 28, 2014

Christmas at Portland Nursery

We checked out Margie's displays at Portland Nursery this morning.

 Margie talking to John

Link to more photos posted on their Facebook page. 

Photo from Portland Nursery


I am using a batik fabric with a dragonfly design for a border on my quilt.  I am hand quilting/embroidering along the wing edges.  I like how it looks and it is fun to do.

Hiding the logo

I don't generally like logos and company names printed on my clothing.  So I fixed my new vest with a bit of batik fabric.  You can still see the last bit (the i and the a) sticking out but it isn't so intrusive.

Rainbow over the alley

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Oven Karma

Our oven died just a few days before Thanksgiving.  Over the years we've had multiple oven failures on or near Thanksgiving.  It must be oven karma.

This oven, which is a Fisher Paykel OB30DEPX1, didn't work when we purchased it new four years ago.  The problem was two wires which were crossed when it was manufactured.   And this time it was another manufacturing issue, a bad connection caused by damage to the cable connector.   The connector was so loose that it arced and built up carbon over the years until it finally stopped working all together.

It died when we were in the middle of preparing for a dinner party.  The cake was baked.  The corn bread (two kinds) was baked.  The pork verde was in the oven when it died and we had to finish cooking it on the stove top.  That worked pretty well but the consistency was changed.   And we were bummed to have a broken oven AGAIN.

Pork Verde prep

Corn bread with jalapenos and cheese

plain corn bread

 Verde ready for the oven

Verde just before the oven failed...

 John watching Steve work on the oven

It was a huge hassle when we had the original problem.  Fisher Paykel was not easy to deal with.  I think it took about a month of much time on the phone with them.  The first two techs who came could not diagnose the problem.   We had to wait a long time for parts that didn't fix the problem.  It was a terrible customer service experience.  And with a brand spanking new oven.

But finally we hit gold and got a technician who could really diagnose problems.  He read the schematic and found the crossed wires.  I saved his contact information and I sent him an email on Saturday night after our party.  When I got up on Sunday, I had a response.  I was so excited that I woke John to tell him.

And today our oven is fixed.  Ahhhh....

The oven tracks all sorts of statistics used in diagnostics.  In the four years we have had the oven we opened the door 4350 times.  We've never used the self clean cycle and the oven tracks that (it's not good for the oven).  We don't cook meat in it.  We've been good to the oven.  I wish it would be nicer to us!

Steve says he likes his job and intends to work there a long time.  We are very happy to know that.  If you can't rely on your oven, it's good to know someone who can fix it.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

A wonderful photo essay

This is the best thing I have read in quite some time so I want to share it.  Below is a photo from the piece.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Feeling bad for the living things outside

Our teeny tiny back yard is supporting a varied and thriving bird community as well as some squirrels.  We have Oregon juncos and chickadees, at least one blue jay, a crow, a family of house finches and a few others I can't name.  We give them water, black oil sun flower seeds and handfuls of walnuts.

The bird baths have been frozen every morning so I've had to add some water each day.  The hummingbirds lost their pineapple sage in the cold snap.  One hollered at us the whole time we were cutting down the sodden mess.  We are keeping the hummingbird feeders well stocked.  I think the next three nights may be cold enough to freeze them so I'll have to change the feeders as soon as it is light tomorrow.

It's sunny today, but cold (no cloud blanket to keep us warm at night).  The wind has died down so we did the stair master today.

I didn't venture out much for the past two days.  I have been mostly hanging out here,  spending my time hand quilting.  This is the view from my comfy spot on the couch.

That dark fabric over the radiator is Pippin's tent.  We call the radiator his iron maiden and he spends a lot of time next to her in his tent.  He gets so hot that I worry about him but he likes it.  He must be part lizard or something.