Before we moved in, our landlord told us that he would paint the front porch and over the summer. A couple of Fridays ago, he emailed us inform us that he would be coming by on the following Saturday to do the job and to let us know that the front porch would need to be cleared off and cleaned before his arrival. I cleared off the porch and used an old mop to clean it up, but when the landlord arrived the following day, he told me that that wasn’t good enough: I would have to scrub the porch.
Over the course of the weekend, the landlord didn’t finish the porch. Instead, he left us the paint, saying, “You can finish it.” Since when do people not ask when they want you to do something for them? I don’t take kindly to someone saying, “You’re going to have to get down on your hands and knees and scrub the deck. You’re going to have to spend the better part of a weekend finishing the job that I promised to do before you moved in, the one that improves the property I own.” So says you, Mr. Landlord! If you agree to paint the porch, shouldn’t prepping for the paint be part of the job? And shouldn’t you also finish the job? Such demands would be a lot easier to swallow if presented as requests, as questions rather than statements, or, if nothing else, if they were at least phrased somewhat apologetically: “Would you mind…?” or “I know it’s inconvenient, but I was hoping…”
The porch-painting last weekend wasn’t a particularly rewarding job either. Normally, a fresh coat of paint makes whatever it’s going on feel … well … fresh. The peach colour that the landlord chose (or as he calls it, “deck colour,” as though all decks were this putrid colour) looks dingy from the get-go. Not only have I never before seen porch this shade, but it does not match the existing exterior of the house, which is pale yellow and dark grey (and also due for a fresh coat), a colour combination that looks quite nice, actually. Oh, well. It’s done, and now we can move on to other things.
I baked Steve some cookies as a reward for his hard work. Oatmeal Chocolate Chip. Yum. The reciped came from Martha Stewart’s website; she took it from Lucinda Scala Quinn’s Mad Hungry (Artisan Books, 2011), and I modifyied what’s below, substitutuing whole wheat flour for the all-purpose (so they’re healthy cookies now, right?) and using 8 ounces of chocolate chips (well, maybe it all balances out, anyway).
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon coarse salt
8 tablespoons unsalted butter (1 stick), softened, plus more for the pans
6 tablespoons granulated sugar
6 tablespoons light brown sugar
1 large egg
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon water
1 cup rolled oats
6 ounces semisweet chocolate chips
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Butter or line 2 rimmed baking sheets.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt.
- In a large bowl, beat together the butter, sugars, egg, vanilla, and water. Add the flour mixture and stir to combine. Stir in the oats and chocolate chips.
- Drop by teaspoonfuls onto the baking sheets, spacing the dough 1 inch apart. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, until lightly golden in colour. Remove to cooling racks.