Box Pain and Yoghurt Toxins

One of my family members is making yoghurt in the living room. Oh, I’m not talking about one of those nice little warmers with the jars. I have one of those. They’re nice, but I rarely make yoghurt these days, except when I take too long to do the dishes. I’ve never had the nerve to taste the shit that develops when a glass of milk is left on the counter too long. It’s too dicey. If it hasn’t been primed with real yoghurt, I could be growing something toxic.

When I make yoghurt with my nice little warmer, I spoon in my favorite brand, add milk, stir, and screw the lids tightly onto those little jars in case any of my floating toxic yoghurt germs plan to drop in and start to grow. It makes me think of a book I used to love called Momma Makes Up Her Mind, in which the main character wonders about the safety of eating her Cheerios while her mom is throwing possibly toxic mushrooms onto a white sheet of paper on the kitchen table in order to identify the spore pattern. 

In spite of all that care with my little jars, I made some pretty bad yoghurt. Did you know that when you use real cream, you get this greasy layer on top of what you fermented? I guess that’s butter, but I didn’t want to eat it. Then, I tried to make skim yoghurt for my husband. It was too watery and he didn’t touch it. One of the jars fell over in the fridge and all that sticky muck spilled all over the inside of my fridge. I thought those jars sealed. Guess I was wrong.

On a whim, I tasted the cheesy little glob of stuff that stayed inside the jar after all the sticky mess had drained out. It was delicious. Really! I’m not kidding. I’ve never recreated that stuff, though I’ve imagined the mess I could make trying to let the wet skim yoghurt hang in cheesecloth for a few days while the sticky part drains out, preferably not under my cheese drawer in my fridge.

These days, I’m too damned busy to make yoghurt, rather, the intentional kind. I should, even at this moment, be packing boxes. No, I’m not moving. My mother is coming. My husband has decided that it’s a good time to add stress to that fact by insisting that we get new flooring in our den and guest room, a.k.a., my office, before she arrives.

If you’re breathing differently and have a mini-panic attack just trying to imagine your mother coming to visit, then you may know what I mean. If you’ve got that kind of mom whom you rush to call when the baby spits up for the first time on his own, then we’re in different camps and you just need to keep quiet and nod your head while I whine.

This insistence my husband has to finally get around to putting in a floor over the painted concrete foundation after twenty-three years of living here means:

1) My husband is indeed cowed by my mother’s personality after twenty-three years of acting all cool and wise while visiting her house.

2) I’m in charge of boxing everything up – the contents of four bookshelves, all the Christmas ornaments and stuff stored under the stairs, all the camping gear, all forty-six blue decorative and commemorative plates his grandmother used to decorate the walls of her apartment before she died, and all the toys and clothes my boy has outgrown but we can’t seem to throw out or donate.

3) We seem not to be able to part with a lot of stuff, but this activity definitely puts us out of the running for the next hoarders episode. I’m pleased to tell you that all parts of things that might have been repaired if we just had more time are now history. I just knew that the toasted toaster oven was never going to work again, but I quietly nodded my head at my husband’s insistence that he’d get it working again. In another life, he did indeed get that stuff working again. Someday, you can ask me about the TV in our bedroom, repaired six times without a schematic.

4) This means that my stress levels about cleaning the cobwebs off the second floor windows has just quadrupled because I don’t think I can wash all those windows AND pack half of our possessions into boxes so that careless men can come to my house and do a shitty job laying flooring a week before my mother comes to visit.

5) My neck hurts from hauling all this crap over to our new storage garage. Maximum amounts of anti-inflammatories, ice, massage and procrastination have not loosened it. Right now, it’s hard to drain my Perrier because my neck doesn’t go that direction. So when people ask me how I’m faring with my boxing project, I can say, without blinking an eye that it’s a pain in the ass, I mean, neck.

6) While I’m procrastinating packing all those damned boxes, I’m also ignoring my usual duties and there is yoghurt growing in my  living room. Maybe I’ll taste some this time, toxins be damned.

Thank you for listening, jules


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