Voyage of Discovery

Well, it’s been another exciting week here in the house. Last week, I spoke of being like Magellan, and once again, I’ve been on a voyage of discovery:

1) I discover a solution

After 15 years of having a small sitting room, which is a misnomer in that it only seats three, and which is completely useless since anyone who visits us always comes in pairs, I looked around it on Tuesday and said to Ken, “You know, if we turn the loveseat so it’s perpendicular to the fireplace instead of facing it, sell that big-ass armchair no one ever sits in, buy a smaller chair, and move that wing chair over here, we could seat 4 people in this room.” Ken turned to me with the long-suffering look of a man who has suffered too long from impromptu furniture rearranging schemes. “Sure,” he said, “but all the stores are closed. Oh well. Maybe in a month.”

“But wait,” I said, and his long-suffering look turned into one of resignation, the resigned look of a man who knows that his wife has been perusing the local Buy and Sell sites. “I just saw the perfect chair on Facebook Marketplace. We can sell ours and buy THAT one.”

And that’s exactly what we did. The whole scheme was accomplished using social distancing, of course, which meant that the old couple who bought our big-ass chair refused any help as they staggered down the 100-foot long walkway to the sidewalk carrying it, and loaded it into their SUV. It was snowing and I felt awful, but they waved off any offer of assistance and then e-transferred me once it was safely stowed. Then Ken and I drove to a neighbouring town where the newest member of the family room awaited us on a porch.

“It’s beautiful,” I whispered.

“It’s heavy,” Ken answered.

Nevertheless, we/Ken got it loaded up, drove it home, and it now resides in our sitting room, filling me with the kind of joy you only feel when you’ve been locked inside your house for weeks. The new (pre-owned) chair is the one on the left. I don’t know about you, but I have no issue buying furniture second-hand—in fact, we got the loveseat in the picture from the Habitat For Humanity Restore Store for 80 bucks, and Ken and I made the coffee table out of an old pallet we found. 

2) I discover an impossible task

When I was a child, I suffered from a nasty skin condition called dyshidrosis that only affected my hands. The causes of dyshidrosis are still not-well-known today, but for some reason, 50 years ago, dermatologists thought that the oil in orange peel was one of the triggers and as a result, I wasn’t allowed to touch oranges. I’ve talked about my obsession with orange things before, but the one thing I never mentioned was my undying adoration for canned mandarin oranges, you know, the ones that come in the syrup. I long ago realized that orange peel wasn’t really a problem, so usually at work, I have a bag of mandarins in my office so I can have one with lunch every day and avoid scurvy. But then I was at the grocery store a couple of weeks ago and I realized that you can still get the canned ones, only they aren’t in cans anymore—they’re in these plastic cups with peel-off lids. I was super-excited, and at lunch the next day, I took one out of the cupboard and started to peel off the lid, which resulted in mandarin orange syrup squirting out all over me. “I’ll have to be more careful tomorrow,” I thought to myself, undaunted.

Tomorrow came, and again, despite my care, the syrup shot out. I’d learned my lesson and had it pointed away from me, so it ended up all over the floor, much to the delight of Titus.

Me: What the f*ck?!
Ken: You’re squeezing it. Don’t squeeze the cup when you peel off the lid.
Titus: You should totally squeeze the cup when you peel off the lid. This is yummy.
Me: I’m not squeezing it! And stop licking the floor!

The last part was for Titus, not Ken, just in case you’re worried that the furniture rearranging had finally sent him over the edge. Anyway, it doesn’t matter. There is no possible way to open a Del Monte Mandarin Orange Cup without having the f*cking juice jet out of it. But it’s still delicious.

3) I discover something new to worry about…

…because I don’t have enough things to worry about already. Anyway, I’ve been spending a LOT of time in online virtual meetings, on-camera most of the day, which is fine because I only have to look fancy from the waist up. From the waist down (no, I’m NOT naked!) I’m wearing pajama pants, fuzzy socks, and slippers. So I’m like a modern-day mullet: business up top and Netflix down below. Time has currently become a noun for both Ken and me:

Me: I’ve got a 9 o’clock.
Ken: Me too. Then I have a 1 o’clock.
Me: I’ve got an 11 o’clock, and then maybe a 2.

But on Wednesday, my 3 o’clock was cancelled, which gave me a chance to grab a snack. I had my phone in my pocket and I was on the way to the kitchen when the doorbell and the phone simultaneously rang. My reaction to this sudden ominous turn of events was to yell, “What the absolute f*ck is going on here?!?!!” as I went to answer the door at the same time as I put the phone to my ear. There was a man backing away from the door who called out, “It’s just your Staples order” as I heard people talking and laughing through the phone. I smiled and waved at the man, then took the phone away from my ear and realized to my horror that I was on a VIDEO CALL and that instead of seeing my face, everyone had a great close-up shot of the INSIDE OF MY EAR. And now, on top of everything else, I have to worry about whether or not the insides of my ears are clean, which I would hope they ARE, but how the hell would I know?! So in consolation, I opened my snack, wiped the mandarin juice off my pajama pants, and sat in my new chair.

As a postscript, I’m happy to tell you that my publisher has finally made both my novels available as Kobo e-books, which is great news because for the last two weeks, The Dome has been showing as “Currently Unavailable” on and has disappeared completely from since somehow the title has been changed to “Dome” and the search link is broken. The word count for both Kobo e-books is completely wrong and less than half the actual words I wrote, unless a) Canadian words convert differently to American, like kilometres and miles or b) over half the words are actually missing, which will make it a real treat for readers to try and follow the plot. Here are the links in case anyone is interested:

The Dome:

64 thoughts on “Voyage of Discovery

  1. Our canned fruit section at work (some of it is still in actual cans) is huge, and is one of the sections that has gotten hit hard during this craziness. Apparently people want to make sure they’re regular enough to use all of that TP they’ve stowed away….

    Liked by 2 people

    • So the prunes are all gone then? We’ve never really eaten canned fruit before–Ken doesn’t like anything besides apples and raspberries, but I do love me some baby oranges!


  2. Wow…lol, I love your writing Suzanne! Only you can manage to write about furniture rearranging, canned mandarins, Titus, Ken and video meetings so interesting and fun. 🤣😃😝
    AND have it make sense because it all ties in together. Only in your life, so completely hilarious.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I’ve found that carefully holding down a plastic container of fruit in syrup and cutting off the top with a sharp knife minimises, although doesn’t completely prevent, the spillage. I suppose the companies that make fruit cups could put an end to the problem entirely by not putting so much syrup in the containers, but that would deprive Titus, and I don’t want that. He’s a good dog who’s helping you keep the floor clean.
    And when it comes down to it I’d rather buy a book from a small business than Amazon. Not that I completely avoid Amazon, since it’s fine sometimes. We just live in a world that needs small creeks as much as it needs big rivers. And speaking of small that sitting room looks like a lovely place to sit and read. Or have a video conference.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. It’s true: American words are longer (or shorter–which way does that work), and that accounts for the rearranged word count. We also have a habit of runningourwordstogether. That explains both the word count and the political situation we’ve gotten ourselves into: We don’t understand what we’re saying either.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. I thought it was me, my inability to find your books. Saw this ‘unavailable’ thing too. Then I saw Kobo the other day so yaaay to that.
    Now mind you, I recently bought 5 books and am currently reading 2 so it might take a while…But I’ll get there…one day.

    And yes, I miss Staples. What we have here is not nearly as good and the prices are nuts.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. When we were young a group of us would take the pre-packaged oranges and bite into the side of them, let the contents fly all over the place, suck in what we could from the incisor-holes, then open the top and guzzle the entire thing down.

    Wait. That might have been beer we did that with.

    Regardless I had an interesting experience with furniture this week, too. When the mobile (what do they call those people that have to watch you sign documents?) NOTARY (that’s it!) came over to watch us sign documents I realized why other people might not want the house I could not live without: the dining room is pitiful. We have a dining table, and chairs, but they’re always pushed against the far wall and the table is used for, you know, throwing stuff on top of when we get home from work. We NEVER use the table for eating, that would be weird. But now, suddenly, I needed this table in the middle of the small dining area so we could sit 3 people around it, and it was difficult to arrange!

    Thank god we’re TV tray people. Otherwise, this Magellan-esque discovery would force us to sell the house we just re-bought.

    Oh, I do go on, don’t I?

    I’d add more to this and make it a Canadian-sized book but I’ve got a 10 o’clock.

    Beer. My 10 o’clock is beer. Don’t judge.

    Liked by 4 people

  7. In my head I was warning you about the mandarin squirt.
    I know it well.
    Luckily there is another option, there are also plastic “jars” with resealable lids.
    I’m actually not supposed to touch oranges either!

    Liked by 2 people

  8. It’s definitely gotten to the point where Zoom calls are the new How do I get out of this? social obligation. I’m already thinking I might absent myself from any more of them for the coming week. I suppose I can tell everyone I’ve come down with a case of dyshidrosis…

    Liked by 2 people

  9. Modern day mullet? Omg! I laughed out loud when I read that part and my husband frowned at me because because it was right during the start of the epic battle in The Two Towers. I got banned to the other room to finish reading🤣 You are amazingly funny my super hero friend🤣

    Liked by 2 people

  10. Love the snazzy new chair, and the penchant for furniture rearranging. Joe may have a surprise project when he wakes up. I am a huge fan of the rearrange! And the mandarin!!!! Unsurprisingly, I am not a phone person, but I have taken a bit to the video thing and had some chats with my best friend in Ireland and two other friends here. It is very handy!!! Most importantly, I am just over half way through The Dome, and it is crazy good, Suzanne! I love The White Witch!

    Liked by 2 people

  11. Nothing wrong with buying used furniture, we do it all the time here. Congratulations on the ebooks! You’re not alone in your frustrations with Amazon. When you type in my name, it comes up as Mark Bittman. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    • Amazon is a real pain in the butt, isn’t it? They promised to contact me two weeks ago, but still nothing! Glad to know I’m not the only one having issues with names, but at least they got mine (which is very long and hard to spell) correct, even if no one can find my dang book!

      Liked by 1 person

      • For awhile, they were not allowing me to post reviews. I tried to get an answer, but of course, nothing. For some reason, the last book I reviewed and threw the dice with posting a review, they allowed it. I keep checking to make sure they don’t remove it. Say what? 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  12. My daughter had one of those plastic cups of mandarin oranges this afternoon. She rushed into the living room immediately upon opening it to tell me that she did it without spilling a drop of syrup! I, personally, don’t like the oranges. But I do like the peaches. What I do is hold it by the rim and peel just a tiny bit to let some air in there… then I pull back the rest of the way and I’m good. No spilling! Best of luck in your future orange endeavors.

    Liked by 3 people

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s