Found out today that we have a cougar in our neighborhood. Obviously this is in addition to the middle aged female down the street who is dating high school boys. But this one is actually of the non-domesticated feline variety, with claws and big teeth and excellent vision in the dark.
So I decided at an extremely inopportune time of the day - right before I should have been feeding kids dinner and after rewarding myself for mowing the lawn with a beer - that the inevitable necessity of defrosting the chest freezer could be procrastinated no longer. Because 15 months of avoidance makes the next 12 hours IMPERITIVE in this process, apparently. I think it was a combination of the picturesque ice waterfall in the southwest corner of the freezer, and the fact that my freezer content is at an all time low, that made This Very Second the "right" and "necessary" time to undertake the ominous task.
Never mind that there is a MOUNTAIN LION living in those trees right behind me. Nevermind that I am piling three boxes of semi-frozen, raw and slightly freezer burned meet right here on my back porch. Never mind that it is Dark. And Very Dark, and Slightly Frightening Outside, and all of those things.
It took me three gallons of hot water to realize that while the beautiful ice sculpture was gradually shrinking, the plug in the bottom of the freezer, even when removed, led to absolutely no where, so every drop of water that went in combined with every crystal of ice that had lovingly developed to embrace the s-l-o-w-l-y decomposing food in the morgue of my kitchen, and none of it was coming out. I consulted with the semi-resident-semi-expert, i.e. my little sister, to confirm the fact that tipping a chest freezer on it it's side would A) upset the freon equilibrium and prolong the wildcat baiting experiment I was running and B) probably hurt my back and disrupt several GIANT spiders that I have no interest in knowing exist anywhere, let alone between my freezer and house. This left me with nothing to do but scoop water and ice, in much the same physical movement as that weird routine that the PE teacher made me do with one of my SPED kids and a medicine ball earlier today. Shoveling water isn't nearly as easy as it sounds. It's slippery stuff. It took a lot of coercing to get it corralled and shipped out, as well as two dirty dishrags and an old roll of paper towels that some rodent or angry wiener dog had chewed one end out of.
End of story is a successfully defrosted freezer, with no Cat Encounters, and a back patio that looks like someone plundered Arendelle and took all of the fun out of Queen Elsa's ice age. Plus a few bags of random unidentifiable substances that are probably better off luring Cougars in to the mountain of trash that I have NO IDEA what to do with than being consumed by human beings.
All of this, combined with mowing a yard that more closely resembled a jungle, earned me more than one beer. And that's not even counting the day I had at the the job that I quit several weeks ago. I will never understand how stupid around-the-house jobs like this don't burn more calories than running. It's a total racket. Also, on a related note, I am eternally grateful that my scale broke and my only choice now is to quit looking.
Now that the yard feels semi-managed and the freezer will close properly, I need to see about getting it back up on the covered porch where it was replaced by a house-sized table saw that I can neither move nor use. If you know of anybody who wants one.... My freezer needs to get out of the rain. And snow. I feel like there are half as many hours in the day for what I need to get done. Before winter hits. Slowly, painfully, I am chipping away at my list of junk to get done. Pounding on that ice waterfall with my BBQ utensils until it gave way was like a metaphor for my life right now. I don't have the right tools, but I will figure it out. Without upsetting the freon equilibrium or, Lord willing, getting eaten by a cougar. Really the motivating force was the buried hope that underneath all of that, somewhere, just maybe, there was a couple scoops of leftover double chocolate fudge brownie ice cream. But no joy. Here I sit with a glass anticlimactic water and a trio of exhausted dogs from working mountain lion and freezer scrap patrol.
So for future reference: when defrosting freezers, pick a time when you have more than an hour to kill, or if you drank a bunch of caffeine and can't sleep. Not on a night when you're being stalked by a huge cat AND you know that they're gonna call you in to work in SPED in the morning AND when you already did all that junk with a medicine ball earlier in the day.