New Windshield Wipers

I ordered new windshield wipers for my 2015 Nissan Versa Note from EZWipers.com .

The Anco brand wipers arrived in short order.
The Anco brand wipers arrived in short order.

The wipers were easy to order because you just have to know what kind of car you have and put it into the search engine. They arrived by US Mail in 2 days.

The new wipers were slightly shorter than the originals.
The new wipers were slightly shorter than the originals.
The top wiper (original) is slightly longer than the new one.
The top wiper (original) is slightly longer than the new one.

My friend who knows a lot about automotive things tried her best to attach them but they weren’t the right size.

Just above the arrow is a smear that remained after the new wipers swiped the window.
Just above the arrow is a smear that remained after the new wipers swiped the window.

So she took my car to a nearby automotive store to get an exact replacement which wasn’t easy because the databases seem to have the wrong information.

The dark area in the center of the photo is the place on the windshield that the wipers miss.
The dark area in the center of the photo is the place on the windshield that the wipers miss.

I ended up sending EZWipers the following email:

None of the wipers were the same size as the original ones on my 2015 Nissan Versa Note. The shorter front wiper and the rear window wiper wouldn't fit at all. I had to go to a local store and buy new ones.  Please refund my payment.  

Thank you,
Jo

Their guarantee is: “If your wipers don’t fit we’ll give you a full refund. You don’t even have to send them back.”

Perhaps the measurements are slightly wrong.
Perhaps the measurements are slightly wrong.

I’m sorry they didn’t fit because the EZWipers service, prices, and products seem to be good.

Update:  I received the following email from EZWipers:

Hi There,
I’m sorry to hear that the wipers did not fit. I have refunded your money back to your credit card. Confirmation copied below. You can dispose of the ill-fitting wipers.

Refund Confirmation

I was not perked or paid to give this review.

Do you do your own car repairs?

We Skewered

Getting ready for Game Night I was inspired by skewered food.

First items, cut everything into similar bite-sized pieces.
First items, cut everything into similar bite-sized pieces.

With a friend’s help I skewered 3 different menu items.

Tomato, tortellini, mozzarella, tortellini, tomato
Tomato, tortellini, mozzarella, tortellini, tomato

First: pesto tortellini, mozzarella, and grape tomatoes marinated in balsamic vinaigrette.

Marinating skewers are refrigerated.
Marinating skewers are refrigerated.

The ingredients for the vinaigrette:

  • balsamic vinegar
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • water
  • sugar
  • pesto
  • Dijon mustard.

I’ll have to work out the proportions for the marinade another time because I just mixed everything together until it tasted good.

Charlie was out taste tester. He anted to size out a mouthful of combined ingredients.
Charlie was out taste tester. He wanted to size out a mouthful of combined ingredients.

Second: mozzarella, chicken sausage, sun-dried tomatoes marinated in olive oil. Just skewered each item. The winner.

A variety of 4 fruits on a skewer mixed-up so you could choose your favorite.
A variety of 4 fruits on a skewer mixed-up so you could choose your favorite.

Finally:  Fruit skewers with Galia melon, purple grapes, pineapple, strawberries.

Plain fruit.
Plain fruit.

The additional food was:

I’ll update later which of the skewered foods was a hit, if any. The favorite of the above skewers is mozzarella cheese, chicken sausage, and sun-dried tomatoes.

Favorite party food?

Find the Right Recipe

I’m planning to have a dinner party sometime in the next few months.

In Paris drippings from the rotisserie chickens flow onto roasting potatoes.
In Paris drippings from the rotisserie chickens flow onto roasting potatoes.

Wanting to serve something a little more chichi* than a rotisserie chicken, I remember in the long ago past having made a recipe called “Chicken Barbarossa.” The only thing I can recall is that it uses Galliano in the ingredients.

Galliano

After searching the web for both “Chicken Barbarossa” in all its various spellings and chicken recipes with Galliano, I came up empty.

A very personal cookbook.
A very personal cookbook.

Then, as I was cleaning up the back bedroom,  I found a blank recipe book, called Culinary Heritage Family Recipes Handed Down Yours and Mine,  that my mother had given me.

Culinary Heritage Cookbook
Culinary Heritage Cookbook

The idea is that the wife’s side and the husband’s side both submit recipes that will all be in this one book.

"Chicken Barbarossa" recipe in my own hand.
“Chicken Barbarossa” recipe in my own hand.

I had only written a few recipes down because I usually just make things up in my head. Lo and behold, there was “Chicken Barbarossa” in the poultry section. The one ingredient I was sure about (Galliano), however, is actually Amaretto.

*pretentious and overelaborate refinement

What do you remember for sure?

The 10-Day Challenge

So here I am on Day 2 of  Ruth Soukup’s Unstuffed 10-Day Challenge.

Good tasks to get me on the declutter track.
Good tasks to get me on the declutter track.

And I’m keeping the journal that she has available for download.

The living room is really the first room that I can say meets my expectations.
The living room is really the first room that I can say meets my expectations.

The first day I was supposed to create a “Vision” for my home.  I want my home, The Glade, to be welcoming and ready for anything.  That implies that it is uncluttered and clean. I’ll be able to find things easily because they will be in their place.

Charlie is the king of "box it and save it".
Charlie is the king of “box it and save it”.

I was also asked to consider with whom I share my home. At this point in time only Charlie and I live in our home.  He is a self-professed clutter-hound.  He just mentioned something like that to me yesterday morning. I think he would like everything to be calm and organized so I’ll need to be helpful to him in that area.

One of Charlie's boxes of goodies.
One of Charlie’s boxes of goodies.

The one thing I thing I took away from Session 1 is that my reality should match my vision.  Which led right into Session 2: Get rid of 10 things.

Can anyone think of a reason to keep these lampshades?
Can anyone think of a reason to keep these lampshades?

Take away #2: Our clutter problem is not an organization problem it’s a we-have-too-much-stuff realization.

A box of extinct electronics.
A box of extinct electronics.

So here’s what I’m getting rid of:

  1. Journal — I dropped it off to new owner on Tuesday night.
  2. Books  —  Planning a book swap.
  3. Kitchen utensils — Offering all duplicates to family and friends.
  4. Sheets — Giving to son for his home.

    I filled the bag with sheets and let it go.
    I filled the bag with sheets and let it go.
  5. China — Giving full sets to the next generation.

    A set of china we're ready to let go of.
    A set of china we’re ready to let go of.
  6. Furniture — 3 pieces, at least destined for new owners.
  7. Clothing — I could pick 10 items just from my clothing.

    Until our closet is complete my clothes are relegated to the bed in the pink bedroom.
    Until our closet is complete my clothes are relegated to the bed in the pink bedroom.
  8. Pens and Markers — If they don’t work they’re gone.
  9. Old Papers  — Anything more than 10 years old (except income tax returns and house information) is history.
  10. Ironing Board — I have 2 ironing boards in the house so taking this heavy, awkward third one to church for the giveaway table.

    I loaded this heavy, awkward. out-dated ironing board into the car and left it at church.
    I loaded this heavy, awkward. out-dated ironing board into the car and left it at church.

I feel lighter already.

What are you getting rid of?

Book Swap Planning

I am on a rampage to get rid of stuff.

I'll be keeping my collection of etiquette books.
I’ll be keeping my collection of etiquette books.

One thing that I have recently signed up for is Ruth Soukup’s Unstuffed 10-Day Challenge.

On the shelves in the Treetops Room I found a pretty blank journal and a family recipe book.
On the shelves in the Treetops Room I found a pretty blank journal and a family recipe book.

Among my belongings I found an unused journal that I’ll be gifting to my dear friend. She is a beautiful writer but has never tried keeping a journal.  I think she’ll be surprised just how inspiring her writing is.

Book Swaps are not difficult to organize.
Book Swaps are not difficult to organize.

Finally, Charlie and I have set the date, May 7th, for a Book Swap.  The inside of the invitation reads like this:

Hey Bookworms,
              Is anyone else out there struggling with clutter including perfectly good BOOKS?  Everyone has books at his/her home that he/she would hate to throw away but really doesn’t want anymore. In honor of the culmination of “Teacher Appreciation Week”, May 7, 2016, Charlie and Jo invite you to a book swap where you can bring your old books and walk away with some new reads. The books should be in good condition but can be of any genre including children’s books.
The Rules
1.  Each person should bring no more than 10  books that you didn’t want to throw away but are ready to part with.
2.  On the day of the swap bring your books and pile them in front of the sign that closest fits the category of your book.
3.  When everyone has deposited his/her books on the surface provided you can check out the selection.
4.  You will be given a signal to grab as many books as you brought to a maximum of 10.
5.  Unclaimed books are fair game for anyone who would like them.
6.  All leftover books will be donated to The Book Thing of Baltimore where anyone can go and help himself to free books (description follows).
We all seem to have lots of attractive books.
We all seem to have lots of attractive books.

Refreshments will be served!

Are you ready to get rid of some books?

A DIY Idea

I work in a century-old mansion which has a library.

The library is used daily by the family to read, play games, greet guests, and even watch TV.
The library is used daily by the family to read, play games, greet guests, and even watch TV.
Sometimes the curtains are closed to keep out cold drafts and summer heat.
Sometimes the curtains are closed to keep out cold drafts and summer heat.

This is a roomful of heavy, interlined drapes.

New upholstery on the library settee.
New upholstery on the library settee.

When the settee in the library at work was recovered, the curtains were changed to match the upholstery.

The curtains are fully lined and interlined.
The curtains are fully lined and interlined.

When the drapery maker’s son came to hang the new curtains he brought them in on some useful hangers.

The curtains have been changed and a small stool has also been reupholstered in the new fabric.
The curtains have been changed and a small stool has also been reupholstered in the new fabric.

He told me they custom make the hangers by fastening a heavy cardboard tube to two hangers that have been taped together.

Heavy duty hangers for carrying well-pressed fabric like tablecloths.
Heavy duty hangers for carrying well-pressed fabric like tablecloths.

Since I could think of a dozen uses for these special hangers I aksed if he was leaving them. He said sure.

If you need something like this I'm sure you could DIY these hangers with no problem.
If you need something like this I’m sure you could DIY these hangers with no problem.

Now they’re hanging in my conservatory closet very near the tablecloths.  Uh huh.

Have you made something practical and useful?