Tuesday, January 07, 2014

Oranges and Lemons

"Oranges and lemons, say the bells of St. Clements..." It's the beginning of an old English nursery rhyme and singing game, and it kept echoing in my head on Sunday while I was harvesting my citrus crop ahead of our Big Freeze. In a good year, I can leave the fruit on the trees all winter and simply wander out to pick some whenever I need it. Last year I had freshly picked and squeezed orange juice every morning until the fruit finally ran out in March. Not this year, alas. I've packed my fridge, and the fridge at my mom's old house, and the rest is going into bags for friends.

At the same time, I'm also dealing with another sort of lemon. Anyone who has read this blog for long has heard me whinging about my LG Katrina Klunkers. In the last few months, I've finally given up and replaced both my refrigerator and my hot water heater. Well, the Saturday before Christmas (as we were leaving for the airport to pick up a friend coming in to spend the holidays with us!), my dishwasher made a sound like a rocket taking off and then crashing back to earth, and quit. And then, the day after Christmas, I was typing up some plotting notes for Sebastian #11 when my range suddenly started shrieking and flashing all its lights (I wasn't even using it at the time), and also died. So I now have a new dishwasher, and the range is supposed to be delivered this afternoon (fingers crossed). The timing, needless to say, was lousy. But maybe I could send a bag of lemons to LG?


Anonymous said...

c- it must be fate. first though - your citrus looks awesome. much better than anything you can buy in a store. enjoy! So I live in a rental apt. same spot for 100 years or at least it feels like it. about 7 years ago my landlord redid the kitchen. the cabinet doors were falling off....anyway I got a new fridge then. small apt fridge - no frills - lucky its frost free. right after thanksgiving it started turning off and staying off - for 12 or more hours. then would come back. stay on and then off again. long story short - its been doing that for a month. I finally convinced my landlord I needed a new one. it comes on Saturday. needless to say my oven is very similar to the easy bake oven I had as a kid. but that's another story....good luck with new appliances! and LG would be lucky to get your lemons.
best, ali

Charles Gramlich said...

Always seems to be something. Wow.

JustWingingIt said...

Sounds like your appliances are in cahoots. Skynet, is that you? O_O

The lemons and oranges(?) look amazing, however. How many trees do you have? My father has two small orange trees and they yielded just enough fruit for each grnadchild to have one (with a few left over). The insides looked more like grapefruit to me but they were the best oranges I've ever had.


lmhess said...

Oh, Candy, I'm so glad these things happen to other people. I thought I was the only one that had appliances die horribly when they go. You're in good company. The lemons and oranges can be sent to my house, please. I'm very jealous and love oranges...just let me know:)

Suzanne said...

Wow, we all seem to be having appliance issues! Just before Christmas I was cooking and a blinding white light went off behind me. The element in my oven had blown up. About a week later my PC died and I had to but a new one. Now my fridge is making jurassic park noises and I am getting worried about it. At least I can't complain about the fridge. It was my Grandfather's and must be getting on for 40 years old. They don't make them like that anymore.

Your fruit looks lovely. Well done. I am always in awe of people who can grow things because I can't.

Barbara Butler McCoy said...

Oh, that citrus is mouthwateringly gorgeous. I love the smell of beautiful fresh citrus - the oil on the zest, you know. As regards the appliances, I value reliability quite highly. There's enough work to do in a day without having your tools crap out on you. I wouldn't throw those lemons before LG, to paraphrase an old proverb ;0

cs harris said...

Ali, the guy who installed my dishwasher told me they rarely last more than 6 or 7 years these days. It's like the seven year itch, appliance version. When I redid my kitchen right before Katrina (great timing), the oven and dishwasher I took out were as old as the house--30 years--and still working fine, although they looked awful.

Charles, it is indeed.

Veronica, I have one orange tree that last year produced over a hundred oranges, although it wasn't anywhere near as full this year. I have one large lemon tree that produced all the lemons in the picture (plus the ones up high that I decided to abandon), and a smaller Meyer lemon in a pot. And I have a clementine tree that is only three years old and produced its first crop this year. If I had more room...

Imhess, the really sweet thing is that we came home from running out to order a new dishwasher to find that our house guest had washed all the dirty dishes stacked in the dead machine. And I keep telling myself it could have been worse--the range could have gone out in the middle of cooking Christmas dinner. If you were here, you'd be awash in citrus fruit; everyone picked their oranges, lemons, and grapefruit and is desperately trying to give bags of it away.

Suzanne, they just don't make them like they used to. I know I should also replace my computer and my washing machine--in fact, I had planned to do so after the new year. But these recent, unexpected purchases have temporarily put the kibosh on that.

Barbara, the smell of the lemons, especially, was heavenly when we were picking them. And I've made it a practice to ask the various repairmen who've come to my house to recommend the most reliable appliances, and they always make the same face and say, "None of them are any good anymore."

LOgalinOR said...

Lemons, broken appliances, arctic cold weather and asthma, oh my! You need to take very good care of yourself, staying sane AND healthy this new year. Asthma is nothing to shake a stick at---avoiding the triggers and stressors. It must be like a little bit of heaven to go out each morning to pick oranges and enjoy fresh squeezed juice. The photos of your lemons and oranges look amazing!
On the other hand, we won't mention lemons and broken appliances together in the same sentence. What can you say about that, other than they 'just don't build them liked they used to'. Of course, they push you to buy all the extended warranties and 'insurance' coverage like crazy-LOL. Remember the old commercials for Maytag appliances and their servicemen being bored with nothing to do?

Anonymous said...

I'm so sorry to hear about your appliances. Hopefully with the new ones you'll at least have 7 or 8 years of peace. Excited to hear you are working on #11 plots. It seems so far away with us still waiting on #9, let alone #10 which is still a year off. Only two more months for Kings; we're on a count-down and I'm starting to get so excited. Can't wait to meet the baby. Starting to get nervous and hope everything goes smoothly. Anxious... Sabena

Essex said...

I really like the pic of brightly colored fruit in equally brightly colored bags. It is so cheerful, particularly to myself, as we are enjoying typical gray, drizzling Pacific Northwest weather. Not that I have any right to complain given the devastating weather that crippled the rest of the country.
Sorry about your appliances- I sympathize, since my fridge and dishwasher both decided to kick the bucket within a week of each other. They both lasted about 11 years, which I guess is good these days.
Good luck with Seb # 11. March is just around the corner so I am quite pleased.

Helena said...

Your fruit looks lovely! Have you thought of making marmalade? That would be a way of preserving it.

As for the appliances - I do hope you have good a good back-up system for your computer, because it sounds as though your luck is out!

Anonymous said...

Hi Candy,

A quick question that I was wondering, I know you are a great writer, and I have enjoyed your sister's books as well, but does anyone else in your family write? Do your girls like to write?

cs harris said...

LOgalinOR, it was the asthma--and the drugs they used to treat it--that almost killed me the spring of WHEN MAIDENS MOURN's release. So believe me, I respect it!

Sabena, so far I'm liking my new appliances--and eyeing my washing machine and thinking, Time for you to go, too!

Essex, yes, I loved the way the fruit looked in those buckets, which is what inspired me to take the photos. Sorry to hear about your appliances. I guess 11 years is considered good these days. But they've become so expensive that loosing two--or three or four--all at the same time is a real shock.

Helena, I have never made jam of any kind. I have vague memories of watching my grandmother make jam when I was a kid, but that's it.

Anon, my dad was the author of two nonfiction history books, one on the Luftwaffe in the Spanish Civil War, the other on the Spanish Blue Division on the Russian Front. My mother wrote wonderful short stories she never published and that I only found after she died. And my younger daughter just this week had her first ever scholarly article published in a psychology journal. But Penny and I are the only two published in fiction.

Dennis Cannon said...

The refrigerator and water heater are two of the most important appliances in our house. It must've been quite disappointing that it both got broken at the same time and are not repairable. But it's good that you got a replacement soon after. Now you’re assured that the new appliance will not be break anytime soon.

Dennis Cannon @ Laird & Son

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