Wednesday, October 26, 2016


Um, hi! I would have written sooner, but I have spent the better part of the last, oh, 10 days coughing uncontrollably. So much fun! And no, it's not bronchitis or pneumonia. It's just an irritating thing in my windpipe that is freaking out absolutely everyone around me.

Nothing that a lot of Halloween candy can't cure, I am sure...

Kidding about the candy cure - I used this, instead

It has also cut short my not-so-illustrious career as an elder companion - seems that no one wants to let you drive them to the doctor when you sound as though you have TB (I don't - we checked). Technically, I AM on the upswing here - I mean, the past few days, I have even been able to sleep through the night instead of sitting up drinking tea and coughing sporadically for hours on end.

So, yeah, there's hope.

In the meantime, Halloween has snuck up on me. In desperation, I ordered a Hogwarts robe from Amazon for Susie and told poor Rachel she's on her own. I bought the candy at Costco and have managed not to open it yet (although I did have an unfortunate falling down with a bag of candy pumpkins from Target a few days ago).

My precious...

Despite my apparently imminent demise, I managed to finish a lovely pair of fingerless mitts for my friend's birthday. I would show you a photo of them, but I forgot to take one. That's annoying, because my new phone would have snapped an awesome picture of my work. I have this new phone because Brian took charge around here and got Larry and I signed up on Project Fi (awesome deal, people!) and helped us pick out phones and then showed us how to use them. Because we are helpless like that.

Turns out I have a flashlight function on mine - who knew? Brian wants me to stop shouting "Lumos!" every time I use it, but I can't stop. I don't WANT to stop.

So, anyway, now I can actually add apps to my phone, because it has more than 8 GB of storage, and I can even download my email. And the girls don't play with it because I've coughed all over it.

Have I mentioned I'm coughing? Oh, okay then...

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Fall Color (Virus Edition)

I don't often blog, but when I do, it's at 3 AM, apparently.

Susie and I went to Lake Placid last week, to visit a friend and her girls who have a place up there. Oh, how fun to go on a road trip with just one child! We were like Thelma and Louise, only without the shooting or the 7-11 robbery or the suicide. So, really, not at all, I guess. And that's a good thing, I'm thinking.

See? Gorgeous.
Where was I? Oh, yes, Lake Placid, which was experiencing peak color (the Adirondacks in NY, you know) and crisp fall air and everything was absolutely perfect for hiking and checking out the cute little town and oohing and aahing over the scenery. Naturally, we wouldn't want a vacation like that to be all unalloyed happiness and cheer, so I managed to come down with a vile head cold the same day we arrived. My hospitable friend spent over 48 hours watching me clutch a tissue box and complain about how my head felt. She also did an emergency run to RiteAid for Sudafed and Ricola.


I blame Larry, of course - he had a cold right before we left home. I still found it within myself to pick up a few birthday presents in Lake Placid for his diabolical self (maple sugar fudge, huge lemon bar from Cake Placid, and UBU ale), but I won't say I didn't harbor a bit of resentment all weekend. We got home on his birthday, let him unwrap his presents, and then I went off to Bunko, because he and I were both still too sick to care about going out to dinner.

I did promise to give him my winnings, which unfortunately ended up equaling zero; but hey, it's the thought that counts, right?

So, anyway, I was feeling perfectly all right Wednesday and Thursday, and had even started entertaining thoughts about cleaning the house and cooking a meal or two for my neglected children; but now I seem to have come down with the same cold all over again. Have I mentioned how miserable I feel? How my head hurts and how the roof of my mouth is torn up from sucking on too many Ricola cough drops? Yes? Well, then, my work here is finished.

Time to try to sleep again, I guess...

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Hostage Situation

I'd like the non-haunted version, thanks
So, as already mentioned, Larry and I decided that we could try doing what normal people do when they need household renovations - that is, hire a professional. I know! It sounds so radical! But my neighbor recommended the guy who is currently redoing her kitchen, so he came by and measured our two decrepit bathrooms and talked about tile and vanities and lighting and such. By the time he left, I was feeling optimistic that FINALLY we would have all working bathrooms in our home - complete with toilets that don't mysteriously flush themselves in the middle of the night - AND that the work would be completed in a timely fashion.

Really, I should have known better, right?

We got the quote yesterday, and it was, well, quite a bit higher than I thought it would be. Larry, seeing the total, shook his head. "I can do the tear-out myself," he said. "No way I'm paying someone $1200 per bathroom to do that!"

"We could get our handyman to do the new drywall," I suggested. "And the painting. Look! They want $700 to paint that teeny-tiny room!"

"I can buy this tile for WAY cheaper than $2000," Larry said. "That's highway robbery. And I bet I can find someone to put it in."

What scares me, people, is that I found myself agreeing with him. Me! Encouraging Larry to take on yet another DIY project, this time involving major amounts of plumbing! What is happening here? 

Is it temporary insanity, brought on by the stress of sharing my one working shower with a husband, 2 hygiene-obsessed teens, and a tween? Perhaps it's a weird DIY variant of Stockholm syndrome, wherein a captive spouse empathizes with her husband's renovation plans, no matter how much havoc they wreak on her sense of well-being.

Or maybe it was the $2500 worth of sticker shock we just experienced at the orthodontist - that could definitely be a factor here, too, come to think of it...

[Toilet image: Clipartix]

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Online Shopping Run Amok

I'm not going to make excuses for not showing up here lately, because there are none. My muse, it just up and left. She didn't even say good-bye. Oh, well...

Larry keeps threatening to tear out the basement walls, but he doesn't because there is all this STUFF down there and I'm thinking he's not sure what to do with it. I went so far as to have someone in to give me a quote on redoing the 2 bathrooms we have to fix, but then I never heard back from him. I take that as a sign from above that the 5 of us should simply continue sharing the one shower here that actually works.

This weekend I went to yoga (twice), took Susie to a local fiber festival (meh), and managed a trip to the commissary to stock up on everything cheap. Except toilet paper, of course - I've got that covered.

The Holy Grail

You see, while I wasn't blogging in September, I was spending money online. In a desperate attempt to lessen the amount I spend monthly on the girls' favorite hair conditioner, I scoured the Internet, where I discovered Not only did it have lower prices, but it offered 15% off my first 3 orders and free shipping. All of which explains why we have, oh, 4 gallons of Garnier Sleek and Shine, 4 55-oz bottles of my favorite liquid soap, and (drum roll please) 82 rolls of Scott single-ply 1000-sheet toilet paper in our house right now.

I've got to hand it to Larry - he came home to 3 27-packs of toilet paper stacked in our bedroom and he never said anything. Not one word. 

The latest in master bedroom decor

This isn't a plug for, by the way - some of the prices are good, some aren't. But at least I get a month off from looking for sales on conditioner, right?

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Life SHOULD Be A Beach

I'm trying to adjust to school and fall and schedules - I really am. But then I threw the whole thing in the air by going to the shore for a weekend with 3 other knitters, one of whom married well, apparently, because her in-laws own a beach house that they share generously. So we did that and had a great weekend and now I am back at square one re that whole adjusting-to-fall thing.

When I got back home, I told Larry that we need a beach house. I suggested that he retire right away and we could sell our current abode and buy a house on Long Beach Island, and he mumbled something about money and kids and food and blah, blah, blah. Let me tell you, that man is NOT a visionary.

So now I am focusing on FINALLY getting 2 of our bathrooms redone (one of which hasn't been touched since 1969). That way, I am ready to sell this house once Larry sees the error of his ways.

Living within your means is vastly overrated.

My picture of hell
The problem with redoing bathrooms is that I have to set up appointments with contractors, which means I have to know when I will actually be home, which is really difficult since my entire job description at this point is driving my kids places. And then, once we do hire a contractor, I'm going to be forced to make decisions: what vanity, what toilet (although, really, I'm pretty well-versed on that subject), and what tile. People, this is really hard for me. I mean, I'm supposed to decide which tile I want to look at in my bathroom for the next 30 years (unless Larry comes to his senses), when I am already tired of the nail polish I picked out two weeks ago for my pedicure.

It's stressful. I know it is a first-world kind of stress, but still...this is why we haven't done any of this sort of thing yet, even though we have been living here almost 10 years. Get this: in a house with 3 1/2 baths, we are all taking turns in one shower in the morning, because the other 2 showers are out of commission. As you can imagine, this scenario does not always play out well. Actually, it NEVER plays out well.

You know, beach houses come with outdoor showers. And you don't even have to tile those.

[Postcard image: CardCow]
[Tile store image: All Things G&D]


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