My first Instant Pot lasagna.

I just did a quick taco lasagna with taco meat (from the freezer), ricotta and Mexican cheese blend, and some enchilada sauce at the last minute because I had no “sauce” in my layers (just meat). It cooked for 20 minutes, did a 10-minute natural release, and then I didn’t let it sit any longer because we were hungry, so it started to slide apart. But it was yummy. Owen even wanted seconds. Of course Katie didn’t like it at all.

And now a new water heater.

You know what sucks? Not being able to take a decent hot shower because the hot water runs out really fast (like less than 10 minutes).

You know what sucks even more? Discovering the hot water heater is…23 years old. And it was last serviced four years ago.

You know what’s cool? Tom is handy enough to know how to drain the sediment.

You know what sucks? Draining the sediment didn’t help.

You know what sucks the most? Discovering a slow-ish leak four days later after Tom had gone to bed. So I hooked up the drainage hose to a bucket and put something under the drip. I decided to check the bucket before I went to bed and it already had 2″ in it so I moved the hose into a 25-gallon garbage bin and went to bed, figuring it would be safe. But it apparently turned into more of a spray overnight and by the time Tom got up and checked at 5:30 the 25-gallon bucket was overflowing. We have some wet carpet—unfortunately some is in a place we can’t easily get to and dry (under 300# of loaded shelving) but nothing was damaged. And thankfully we got someone here early and it was a simple fix. (Apparently due to the age and type of tank, you have to unscrew/rescrew the tap a few times to get the gaskets aligned right.)

You know what’s the best? Our landlord, who is now replacing the water heater.

So if you’re keeping track, he’s replaced the garage door, repainted Katie’s room, has planned to replace a few windows, has replaced the kitchen/dining floor, and is now replacing the water heater…

Yay for new kitchen floors!

We got new kitchen and dining room floors while we were away! The grout in the original tile floors was disintegrating so the landlord agreed to put in new floors. Imagine our surprise when we walked in and saw this:

There’s a new vent in front of the sliding door! Huh? It had obviously been covered up by the tile?! Strange. They tried to get rid of the transition piece but couldn’t do it. They were able to get rid of it between the kitchen and front room though and it looks great!

Land’s End might need to hear about this.

I had this coat when I was in high school—I think maybe my junior/senior years. Then I gave it to my Aunt Marge and she wore it forever. She just gave it back to us for Owen…and it’s a bit big but he doesn’t care. He LOVES it. I might need to write Land’s End about this one. (I also know I have one picture of me in it, but it’s black and white in a yearbook…and I have to find it. Stay tuned.)

Ugh. Again.

When you finally realize that the fabric softener explosion from two weeks ago actually did run down the floor vent and came out through the duct and then dripped through the basement ceiling tiles and down the wall (and ledge!) and all over a plastic storage container (it’s going in the garbage because I have literally ZERO patience to clean it), all over a pile of Legos, and then pooled on the floor.

This is NOT what I wanted to come home to.

I came home from Sam’s Club and was unloading the car when I smelled something…odd…out of place… But I couldn’t put my finger on it. Unloaded some more. Sniffed. Hmmm. It wasn’t a bad smell but it was overpowering. No idea. I thought I’ll have to explore the house when I’m done unloading and then I happened to look into the laundry room… Oh shit.


The stupid washer is off balance and jostles things around quite badly. I forget (since our own washer was never this bad) and left it too close to the edge after starting a load earlier. 😣😭 On the bright side, it smelled Downy fresh. 

Of course Tom was worried that it went down the vent, but thankfully most of it seeped under the rug.

And very little actually went down the vent.


And me being the idiot I apparently was this morning, grabbed nice kitchen towels INSTEAD OF THE RAGS RIGHT BEHIND ME IN THE LAUNDRY ROOM. (I did remember the rags after the first batch of kitchen towels )

The rug was a total loss—it wouldn’t fit in the washer and it’s too cold to hose off outside. 

I spent about a half hour cleaning and wiping the spatter off the walls, doors, and floor (the spots made it way out into the other room and up the garage door). Annoyingly, blue fabric softener stains (ugh). 

On a positive note, that load of towels was the softest load of laundry I’ve ever felt in my life. 

My H wall!!

I’ve been collecting Hs for some time now but always kind of felt like it was overkill—I mean, just how many do you really need? And where do you put them all? But I kept quietly buying them when I saw one I loved. And then we went to a friend’s house and they had one whole wall of Ms and I had an AHA! moment. It took awhile, but…

And there’s room for more! The big plywood H in the center is just a placeholder for one Tom is making. My favorite thus far is the set of red Hs that were my dad’s JV and varsity letters from Handy High School.