Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Cleaning the Oven

It is time to clean the oven when every time I cook, the oven smokes.

It is time to clean the oven when it is cool enough outside to open the windows.

We have a "self-cleaning" oven. It is wonderful. I don't use the oven much in the summer as it seems silly to run the AC and the oven. And the AC runs here in Texas at least six months out of the year. Our self cleaning oven comes with a locking mechanism, and three dials that must be set just so to make it go. It pumps smoke out into the kitchen as it burns off the grease, grime and spills. And one of my muffin expressions overflowed, so there is muffin poop on the bottom of the oven.

With the windows open, and the fan set up blowing to the north having checked the weather websites to see which way the wind is blowing, the oven is working away. My eyes are smarting. But, most of the smoking seems over.

Sallycat, however, is not convinced. She meowed to get out. She meowed to get back in, but then took one sniff, and stayed out. She is meowing at me now as if fussing at me for staying inside. I may pull the white plastic couch out front and watch the dawn. The birdies are starting to sing, and the sky has that inky-purple color.

I remember back in my Mother's Day, before the invention of self-cleaning ovens, you had to buy this nasty toxic stuff in a can, spray it on the walls of the oven, and scrub away. It was best to wear rubber gloves and not breathe. I remember that sometimes, it took two cans to get the oven clean.

I'll never forget one cold, winter day when I decided the oven just needed to be cleaned and could not wait until another day. I needed my head examined. We opened windows, and the smoke was still so bad that we had to go outside, and wouldn't you know it, but these people show up at our front door for a visit. They had kids our kids age, but it was not a pleasant visit. Those people moved to Clear Lake, so we have not seen them in years. I wonder if they thought we started cleaning the oven when they showed up just to get rid of them. It made it memorable.

I have been drooling over the weather maps. There is this cold side of the country just a few miles to the west of us. Wow. And rain, just out of reach headed the other direction. It is colder in Dalhart, Wichita Falls, and Sweetwater than here. Talk about a divided country. Envy is a sin. Our six months of cooler weather is coming.

And we are suppose to be memorizing Psalm 117 this week: Praise the Lord all nations; laud Him all peoples! For His lovingkindness is great towards us, and the truth of the Lord is everlasting. (some translations say, "tower over us" instead of "great towards us") I had to look up "laud", too. Applaud? Only God can give us the spirit of thanksgiving and praise. Anything I try to do on my own and in my own power is pitiful, and suspect. I marvel that God even gives us the ability to learn about Him and that He goes to a lot of bother to get through to us, don't you?

Update: The thermometer on a stick says the oven is pumping out 180 degrees out the vent. Wow. No wonder I am sweating. It is seventy degrees outside, and I have the fans going, but the inside thermostat says its 78 degrees in here. I should have waited until a much cooler day to do this. Oh, well. One more hour oughta do it.

Sallycat stuck her nose in and went right back out when I was putting clothes in the dryer in the garage. She is a smart cat. Smarter than me.

Uh-oh. I had a thought. Look out. How about a Texas version of Psalm 117?? Is that blasphemous? Here goes:

Praise the Lord, y'all. Yes, all y'all. Because His lovingkindness towers over us and His Truth is forever.

I don't know. What is the Texas word for lovingkindness? watchcare? supervision? or, in Texican, would God say, "don't make me come down there!" That would be the t-shirt version. But, He is already HERE. He sees everything. He is as close as a sigh. And He knows your are gonna sigh from eternity past. Abraham's Friend. King David's Strong Arm. Solomon's Wisdom.

Creator. And I just love that story of how God uses pirates to protect His Special People, Israel. There is this ship from Iran loaded with radioactive material and explosives that Somali pirates captured. Blogger Blackfive wrote about it. The pirates hair started coming out. The pirates started suffering radiation symptoms.

Go to Blackfive.net and scroll down to read it yourself. He also links to the story at another site at stop the aclu.

9:30am update: I survived. It got up to eighty degrees inside the house. And the oven pumped out 185 degree hot air for an hour. But, it is coming down now. I sat outside for a while as it was cooler out there than in here. Sallycat is trying to escape the neighbors overly friendly cats. She is too smart to come back inside just yet. And I saw her eating grass--so I wonder if that lunchmeat Bob gave her is causing a tummy upset.

Lunch with my friend, Mary today. We plan on going to Chick-fill-you-up. Good salads. I will pick her up at noon. Doesn't my life put you to sleep? Boring enough? If they are giving a boring prize, I'd win. I think that is why Ben moved out almost two years ago. We were just too boring.


Lisa said...

Joyce, your post got me thinking about how badly I've needed to clean my oven and how I've put it off for sooooo long waiting for the perfect day, not knowing how hot it would really make my house, how much smoke would have to be pushed out and whether it was safe to do it while we sleep or if I really need to be there to experience the whole thing.

Then I realized...oh yeah!!! We sold our dirty oven and the whole house around it!! I've got a nice clean oven in my apartment. :-D Ahhhhh...the first time I've been glad we're in this apartment since we moved in.

joyce said...

Wow--wait until I start talking about pulling weeds, Lisa. Then you will be really glad you have no yard right now ! Ha.