This weekend, we did the most Hawaiian thing of all Hawaiian things. We did not attend a luau. We did not make lei. We did not go fishing, surfing, to the beach, not any of those. We tented.
For those of you unacquainted with tenting, this is how it works. The tropics are delightful to not only people, but also termites. Man, they love it here. They love your house, especially. They would like to eat your house right down to the studs. So, periodically you must tent. You call a tenting company, they evict you for a while, and it looks like the circus has arrived in your neighborhood (the covers are usually striped). For those of you considering a move to Hawaii, think again. I'm serious. There are hassles, and then there is the tenting. I believe Floridians must also tent; they'll back me up on this.
Besides writing a large check to the tenting company, you will need to find a place to go. You may have family, or maybe you make a weekend of it by going to a hotel. Before you think of this as a junket, let's review what has to be done.
On the exterior, all brush and crap around your house needs to be moved, so that they can get the circus tent secured snugly.
Pets cannot be left home. Off to the kennel. However, pets going to kennels usually need vaccinations, so better check with your vet. Then you need to complete the kennel's 2 - 3 page boarding agreement and sign their little furry lives away.
On the inside, let's talk about the food. Food needs to be double-bagged in these very special plastic bags you will be provided. This means the pantry, the spice cabinet, the refrigerator and freezer. If you like to cook, like I do, this is a major undertaking. I try to rotate stuff around, but every time we tent, it is a reminder that I actually failed in this Mormon-inspired rotation thing. I'll be honest: I had stuff in the freezer marked "2013" and cans in the pantry marked "best by" 2012. So yeah, it's a mixed blessing. The pantry is now a thing of beauty. Our food is current.
Pet food also needs to be bagged or taken out of the house. And pet snacks. But definitely the pets.
The chemical administered is a gas. Supposedly, you can leave beauty/bathroom products at home, unbagged, but this seemed weird to me so I bagged all of ours. My neighbor was so hinky about tenting she'd also pack up her underwear drawer. I'm not that phobic. Close, but not there.
Tenting reveals how good of friends you are with your neighbors. We took several boxes across the street and were also offered refrigerator space. Those are cool neighbors. It's a major hassle, and you find out who your friends are.
At a certain point, I was so tired, I found myself not really caring anymore about careful food-bagging. Nearly-full bag of quinoa? Don't give a crap. Out it goes. Three-quarters bottle of Bloody Mary Mix? Down the drain. For dinner the night before, I made pasta with whatever was left in the refrigerator, and although I had two kinds of noodles and a bizarre combination of leftover squash, we ate it. It didn't go to waste.
When you are allowed to enter your house, a little over a day later, the fun ain't over. The bugs are dead, and now it's time to clean. And clean. We're talking spring-cleaning, here.
I thought about ending this post, usually mostly about menus, by saying, "And this is why we are eating pizza all week," but you know I don't like pizza that much. I am, however, taking it easy. Also, having done a massive inventory, I know exactly what the contents of my food storage are. P.S.: I buy too many cans of beans.
The aftermath is nice, though. The yard is clean and organized. The bugs are dead. Once you get your house put back together, it's clean. You make a grocery store run. Things will be dandy until . . . the next time you need to tent. GAAAAAAH
The menus are strange this week. I just popped into Safeway, the closest market to the kennel we used, and grabbed stuff that was either on sale or looked practical. I was really tired (we had also gone camping, and more about that, later) so I bought some odd stuff. In looking at it this morning, this is what I envision:
Sunday - Mother's Day - Kalua Pork Quesadillas with Pinto Beans, Lettuce, Tomatoes, Onions, Salsa and Avocado
Monday: Stuffed Peppers (Turkeyburger, Rice, Cheeses); Rolls
Tuesday: Chicken-Apple Sausage Hash (Sausage, Red Potatoes, Onions, Peppers) Topped with a Fried Egg
Wednesday: BLT's on Toasted Sourdough
Thursday: Chicken Thighs, Kabocha Squash, and Rice
Friday: Home-made Chicken, Vegetable, and Noodle Soup
Saturday: Out to Dinner!
I hope you have a wonderful Mother's Day and great week.