Friday, January 17, 2014

Flammable objects, Mjollnir, and a bit of insanity.

This week has been challenging. My psychiatric health issues have been making it difficult to get much done. Feeling exhausted all the time didn't help very much either.

I picked up the crochet hook and started working on a simple project to help me keep my wits together. It sort of worked. I think as I continue forward and deliberately put time aside for this kind of thing, I will get more benefits out of it. I am pleased with my first 'sanity' project of the year. I call it the Buzzy Bee Bag.

Beloved and the bag
I wrote up the pattern and posted it up on Triond.
We'll see if it gets a bunch of views or not. Right now, I am just pleased that I finished this project with out running out of yarn. I was a little bit worried that I was going to run out of the black before I got near to where I wanted the top of the bag was supposed to be.

I had planned initially to have two stripes of black on the yellow flap but I didn't have enough for that. I'm not going to be grumpy and upset, however, because the bag looks good either way.

I mentioned flammable objects. One object was intended to be flammable. I took up the wax that I had sitting around from old candles. I melted it into a glass container with a pre-made wick. Thus, I created for myself a candle out of 90% recycled materials. I dedicated it to Dea and burned it for my little Full Moon observance. My plan is when I meditate, pray, or otherwise focus on Dea, I will burn this candle for her.

My habit of burning jarred candles has me acquiring a good number of jars. Because I don't trust them to be food safe, I have been working on coming up with alternate uses for them. I picked up a package of chalkboard labels that I slapped onto half a dozen jars. I think I am going to sell the clear ones on Etsy. The ones that are made out of pottery, I am going to keep. I have a plan to use one for buttons. I haven't decided what I will be doing with the other. I will figure something out, don't you worry!

I have been looking for a little over a month now and having no success for a crochet flat Mjollnir. I have been attempting to make one but I am not pleased with the results thus far. The first attempt here was based off of altering a cross pattern. Beloved and I have made several cracks about how it looks like a mutated form of Yoda from Star Wars.

My most recent attempt is on the bottom and it looks vaguely closer to
what I have been seeing people craft out of wood. I'm starting to think that this is going to be more challenging then I had initially thought. You'd figure from looking at the image that is popularly used for pendants that it would be fairly simple to create a flat shape like that in yarn. This is what I get for thinking it would be simple.

Now to return briefly back to the matter of flammable objects. My stove caught fire again. It happened as I was attempting to boil water. (This seems to be a theme. I attempt to boil water and something catches on fire. It's almost funny, if it weren't so damn annoying.) Now, the last time this happened, the drip pans (which I had thought were matte black finish) were so caked with grime and debris that they were a fire hazard waiting to happen. Seriously, the things were actually supposed to be shiny aluminum.

Apparently, they had NEVER been cleaned. I first attempted to clean them. When this ended poorly, I broke down and bought new drip pans. We didn't have any problems until last night. Now, let me first preface this with I regularly clean my drip pans (every month, and after I cook something greasy). When I was baking earlier in the week, I smelled something a bit burned. I thought it was the scones. When I took them out of the oven they looked ok, so I figured that it had to be that some batter had dripped down into the bottom of the oven and I paid it no more mind.

How does the baking relate to the attempt to boil water, I hear you asking. Well, it is very simple. Let me present you with exhibits A and B.
To the left, we have exhibit A. There's a little bit of mess from a few things splattering. All of which is easily wiped up with a warm, damp, soapy cloth. This does not look like it would be a fire hazard.

A touch messy, but not terribly dangerous (unless you're compulsive about cleaning.)

The drip pans are clean. There is no debris near the burners.

To the right, we have exhibit B. This is the space under the range top and over the oven proper. This is what caught fire last night. This is what it looks like after a good scrubbing by yours truly. It looked worse.

The truly disturbing bit about this is not the mere fact that it is utterly filthy under here. It was the fact that it was bolted down to the rest of the oven. Not only that it was bolted down, but the fact that ALL of the areas under the burners look this bad, if not worse.

The gods were watching over us last night. It is the only reason why I can think of that the whole bloody thing didn't catch fire. It is making me seriously think that I should move my bakers rack with books and such on it. I was too stunned to laugh in the property manager's face when he brought me a fire extinguisher. His solution to this mess: give it all a good scrub down.

Let's forget the fact that this area has at least one hole in it (note that gap in the center of the circle area with the scorch marks around it, that's what was burning last night). Let's forget the fact that this is not the first time I've had this problem with this stove. He brought me a fire extinguisher and basically stood there, pointed at it and said 'well, THERE'S your problem.'

My friend Lily is strongly encouraging us to take the cost of the cleaning supplies off of our rent check. I've already decided that if I can't get this bad boy clean, I'm going to demand a new stove. It has been almost a year now that I have been dealing with this nonsense. I am at a point where I am honestly questioning the safety of my stove. What other problems are lurking with this damned thing that aren't going to show up until I'm attempting to cook dinner?

Do I need to be worried about my home burning down just because I'm trying to make something to eat?

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