Don't know what you've got till it's gone, right? Wasn't that a song by Cinderella?

I know; I digress. I'd like to ask you a serious question. I don't want you to rush your answer. This requires thought, analysis, concentration and focus. Rushing your response will only lead to embarrassment. Ready? OK ...

When was the last time you functioned properly in your kitchen without a microwave oven?

Go ahead, laugh. We'll still be here when you pick the paper back up.

Why do I ask, you ask? Well, as fate would have it, I've been forced to live without one for close to two weeks now and I am about to lose my mind, pick up all sorts of bad habits and maybe even do physical harm to myself if I don't get some radiation back in my kitchen, pronto.

I mean, could we take anything we use nearly every day any more for granted? Try going without one for a day, much less two weeks.

Dig, if you will, a picture.

The picture of me dragging my feet into the kitchen for a cup of coffee. Yes, nine times out of 10, I am one of those "nothing happens before coffee" people, as I told my wife just today.

I am an espresso drinker. Black is beautiful, yes, but I prefer some milk. Growing up, we called it "café con leche" (coffee and milk), and I am near worthless until I get my jolt in the morning, especially since we started "Eat It and Like It."

Ok, so back to the kitchen. I make my coffee, the room smells great and I open the fridge for the milk.

I add a little milk, then turn to walk over to the micro- (here is where you insert the big, red X from "Family Feud").

Now my hot espresso is lukewarm thanks to the cold milk that I can't heat up in a minute and 40. This is ridiculous. I'm not drinking this!

I look around, expecting a quick fix to fall out of the sky, then realize that if my quick fix for this particular problem fell out of the sky, I'd be in ICU.

What do you do?

"Well," I tell myself, "What did we do before microwaves?"

Here is when I was taken back to my childhood, with my grandmother Luz Maria heating up milk for us at night. In a saucepan.

More times than not, she had that grandma radar that just knew when it was hot enough, but I did catch her on occasion popping her finger in the pot on the stove to check the temperature. Of course, she always denied this, even if we caught her with her finger in her mouth.

So I reach for the saucepan, pour my tepid cup of Juanito into it, turn on a burner, place the saucepan on it and wait. And wait and wait.

I mean, you would have thought someone asked me to walk to Atlanta.

I was angry. I just don't have time for this garbage. Six minutes to heat up my coffee? Outrageous!

This cannot continue; I will hurt someone. So outrageous, in fact, that while I've gone without a microwave, I've switched to regular "American" coffee.

It comes out hot and only gets a splash of milk, so there is no need to heat it up. Only problem is, I feel like I need about six cups to satisfy what my two shots of espresso do for me in the morning. That's just the start of my day.

My dog, Cocoa, and I enjoy some popcorn late at night when I am winding down after a long day. Sometimes it's 11 p.m., sometimes later. He enjoys it so much, that just the sound of me opening the cabinet late at night sends Cocoa into a frenzy.

He jumps, scratches at the door and then races, I mean RACES down the stairs to the kitchen, where he usually finds me making popcorn.

I had to laugh the other night when he slid into the kitchen like something out of Scooby Doo, only to find me standing there with an unpopped bag of popcorn and a look of disgust on my face.

Seems I figured out at some point between opening the cabinet and the walk to the microwave that these corns weren't poppin'.

Cocoa stared at me, watched me sit down and watch TV, but quickly decided that if little white fluffs weren't flying at him, he would return to bed. My bad, dawg. Sorry.

So why don't we just go out and buy one, you ask? We are talking $40-$50 or something for a quick fix, right? It's not that easy.

You see, the dearly departed appliance was estimated at about 15 years old. Probably a little older. We are approaching the end of a full kitchen remodel and with all of the things that need to go into this space, the microwave was designated as "last" unless it died.

Well, Sheila finally texted me the other night that she was filling out the toe tag. This guy had bitten the dust.

The good news was that we could get the one we wanted. Via mail order. A mail order that was delayed three days due to Snowmageddon 2014.

Well, how about I tell you that it finally arrived, days later annnnnnnd it doesn't work? Yes, the new one. It goes back and as I write this, I am still microwave-less, still standing over the stove like an urban cowboy trying to kickstart his mornings without incident. It's not as easy as you would think.

One of these days, I'll get one of those in here, and all will be right with the world again. I might just overheat my first cup of coffee simply because I can.

At the end of the day, though, you just have to laugh at how easy life is now when all of our tools are in place.

I mean, what ever did we do before Al Gore invented the
Internet? We've got it pretty good, don't we?

Gotta go, I think UPS is at the door.

See you on TV, Jesse