Every year Laura at Hollywood Housewife hosts something she calls One Day, in which people all over the world post pictures of their activities on instagram. I’m the kind of person who appreciates it when people leave their curtains open at night so I can peek in (in a totally non-creepy way, of course) as I drive past, so One Day is right up my alley. I don’t normally leave my curtains open at home — did you know there are weirdos out there who peek in your windows while they’re driving past? — but I did participate in One Day this year. Here’s a little of what we did yesterday:
I feel asleep not long after the cake and the baseball. How was your day?
This time last year we were heading into battle. It was a battle for the ages against a foe I doubted we’d ever overcome. It was a fight for olfactory purity, and it was being waged in our home.
It started in the darkest corners of the basement, where neighbor cat Boo Radley (yes, really) liked to sit in the window wells and taunt JJ T. Cat. It smelled musty, sure, but “Hey,” I told myself oh-so-naively, “that’s just what basements do.”
I didn’t put two and two together until JJ brought the fight upstairs and I witnessed him at work.
JJ was spraying.
I didn’t know it yet — not until I bought a little black light and investigated just like I was Horatio Caine and JJ was a Miami uber-criminal — but JJ was spraying everywhere. The walls. The front door. The filing cabinet. And most hideously of all? He was spraying into the heat register in Pete’s bedroom. (We discovered that when we turned the heat on for the first time last fall and suddenly the kid’s room smelled like the swamps of Dagobah.)
We were at war against the cat, and the cat was winning.
A little Google research let us know that the war would have to be waged on two fronts simultaneously. I couldn’t make the house smell clean if JJ was still spraying, and JJ wasn’t going to stop spraying until the house smelled clean again. So I set to work cleaning every surface — Pledge wipes on the walls, carpet deodorizer on the floors and Nature’s Miracle Urine Destroyer on every surface — and we took JJ to the vet for a checkup.
The cleaning worked well. The vet? Not so much.
JJ was perfectly healthy, the vet said, but nothing was going to make him stop spraying. He was unhappy being inside, where the neighbor cat could taunt him at will. We had a choice to make: JJ could be an outdoor cat, or we could have a funky-smelling house of horrors. Emotionally, it was a difficult choice to make. I never wanted an outdoor cat. It’s dangerous out there. But logically, I knew what we had to do.
JJ T. Cat has been outside for almost a year now. I’ll admit to missing his presence inside every now and then. He was an excellent snuggler. But now he’s the king of the yard. Boo Radley keeps his distance, and JJ gets to lounge on the sidewalk to his heart’s content. He also has his own private entrance to his suite in the garage, because it gets cold here in the winter and I have a softish heart.
It was a tough decision to make, but you know what? I’m really looking forward to the house still smelling clean after I turn the heat on this year.
Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post for Acorn: An Influence Company‘s #SmellsClean campaign. The “sponsored” part means money and some product changed hands. Acorn didn’t tell Nichole what to write, though, which was probably obvious as they almost certainly wouldn’t have suggested that she write about flying cat urine.
Seattle’s Best sent us some of their coffee to try, and resident coffee expert Rockford liked it. I asked him to write a review of it for me, but he doesn’t talk about coffee. He just shambles into the kitchen in the morning, brews some joe, tosses it back and then springs off to work like a feisty little squirrel on the trail of a big ol’ mess of acorns. It’s exactly like “Shaun of the Dead” + “Fight Club” + “Ice Age,” except completely different because my husband is neither zombified, nor Edward Norton, nor an antediluvial squirrel nor — spoilers, maybe? I haven’t actually seen or read “Fight Club” — delusional.
He’s just very busy. He really does love coffee, though. As evidenced by Exhibit A:Anyway.
Rockford rarely drinks more than one cup of coffee at home, so last year we traded our old “normal” coffee maker in for one of those bad-for-the-environment single-cup models. After he’d used the K-cup sample from Seattle’s Best, we used the so-called “pour over” method to make the ground House Blend they’d sent.
(Lifehacker says the pour-over is for coffee snobs; I say it’s for people who do have a bag of coffee but don’t have a coffee maker. Tomato-tomahto, Lifehacker.)
For Rockford’s pour-over coffee, I put a little cream and sugar in the bottom of the mug and a tablespoon of ground coffee in the be-filtered pour-over funnel thing. Then I slowly pour in 8 ounces of almost-boiling water, and a few minutes later it’s coffee time. I don’t drink much coffee myself, but I do have a cup of hot cocoa most mornings. Some mornings require more of a kickstart than others, though, so I have also been known to give my morning cup of hot cocoa a lift by doing a “lite” coffee pour-over into my cocoa mix. I use about a teaspoon of ground coffee and 8 ounces of water for my DIY mochas. It gives my drink just enough oomph, and it’s considerably easier than making a whole cup of coffee just to season my cocoa.
Vaguely Related Sidebar
I never drank coffee until I was in college, but it wasn’t because I was pulling all-nighters or anything like that. It was because I worked at the front desk of a hotel. By and large, it was a pretty easy gig, aside from occasionally being required to unclog a toilet or getting yelled at by an irate businessman or when the person on the midnight-8am shift decided not to come to work and the assistant manager thought it would be a fine idea to have the person who’d worked 4pm-midnight (i.e. me) go ahead and cover it. That last part is why I started drinking coffee, because that happened more frequently than you might expect, and it’s where I learned that I prefer my coffee spiked with chocolate.
My guy might not be so outspoken about his love of coffee, but Seattle’s Best has rounded up a bunch of guys named Duncan who are. Here’s what they had to say:
Even if your name’s not Duncan, Seattle’s Best would like to give you the opportunity to try their brew. Go to the Seattle’s Best Coffee Facebook page for a free sample of their House Blend; it’s available now through April 30, or while supplies last.
A sample isn’t enough to fuel your day? Then you should definitely enter to win one of five coffee kits that we’re giving away! Each kit includes a bag of House Blend packaged coffee, a House Blend K-Cup sample and a Seattle’s Best Coffee travel mug. Good luck!
Congratulations to Hannah, Mary, Amy, Karla and Don! There is coffee in your future.