Friday, March 27, 2015

More Photographic Evidence Of Spousal Insanity

Pictures of Larry's latest insulation project, wherein he tore out my kitchen wall, my front hallway wall, AND my pantry:

Doesn't that look lovely? And now the whole neighborhood can look in on us until the project is completed, because the plantation shutters that normally cover those windows are stacked in my living room.

Above is our front hall.  Welcoming vibe, isn't it?  I mean, in an Addams Family sort of way... it totally looks haunted.  Coming down the stairs at night is a very creepy experience.

And there is/was my pantry. We tore out the pantry because we hadn't had a door on it for at least 5 years and we finally decided that, hey, maybe we should buy a door.  We're nothing if not problem solvers. Then the handyman came up with the idea of widening the pantry a bit before we ordered a door, so that we could actually fit the broom in it (because, up to now, we just shoved the broom in the corner between the pantry and the hutch, whence it would invariably topple and hit someone on the head as he/she walked by).

But now I'm wondering, why even have a pantry when you can just leave everything on the kitchen counters and knock stuff over a zillion times a day?

Here they are - the counters, I mean.  You might have trouble seeing them under all that pantry clutter.  Note the attractive plastic dropcloth hanging in the background.  Who needs drapes?

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Thursday, March 26, 2015

Sing It, Joni

Hello! I'm still here! Recovering from Mulch Weekend and all that, you know.  In fact, I woke up Monday morning and lay in bed a few extra moments (oh, all right, an extra half hour), luxuriating in the thought that I had a peaceful week ahead, with time to focus on the children's schoolwork, maybe clean up the house, etc.  Oh, lovely thought!

And then I went downstairs, where I found Larry and the handyman discussing when exactly to tear out the front wall of our kitchen.  Yes, folks, my spouse is at it again.

So I was up late Monday night (well, into the wee hours of Tuesday morning, actually), preparing for Larry's next fit of destruction by emptying our kitchen hutch of 14 years worth of leftover craft materials, photo albums, CD's, and cookbooks.  Then I had to relocate what wasn't thrown away PLUS the myriad other piles of kitchen crap that kept jumping out at me every time I turned around.  Oh, and did I mention I also had to empty the pantry? It was a daunting task, made easier only by my discovery of an unopened bag of mini Reese's peanut butter cups left over from our New Year's party.

Finally, at 2 AM, I faced an empty hutch.  In case you didn't know, 2 AM is an excellent time at which to get maudlin. EXCELLENT. So, yeah, there I was, eating peanut butter cups and feeling all weepy about the passage of time, reminiscing about the day Larry and I dragged 4 kids under the age of 10, including one baby, to IKEA, where we managed - in an unwonted episode of spousal harmony - to agree on a table and chairs and a matching kitchen cabinet. Considering that all our furniture prior to this purchase had either been bought used or found next to the apartment dumpsters on Moving Day, this was really a big moment for us.

Looks empty, but it's actually full of memories.

That hutch? It became our catch-all for all the craft supplies my children have used over the years.  I can't tell you how many times a day we have rummaged around in there for construction paper, glitter glue, paints, playdough, beads, craft sticks, magic markers, etc. And now, all those days, all those hours spent creating at the kitchen table, gone!  Nothing left of them but an old wooden cabinet with its doors falling off its hinges and a getting-old woman in not much better shape, alone with her memories and her Reese's.

I did mention maudlin, didn't I?

The next morning (after a refreshing 5 hours of sleep), I watched the handyman break that cabinet up into pieces and haul it off to the dump.  I managed not to cry, but "You don't know what you've got 'til it's gone" played non-stop in my head for hours. Because, dammit, it's true.

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Saturday, March 21, 2015

Enslaved By Boy Scouts

It's Mulch Delivery Day.  I was forced to get up at 6 AM, which is almost physically painful for me, because it is still dark at that hour.  Lest you look down on me for my weakness, please consider that I spent 18 years or so being woken up every single night by one child or another, often more than once, while still rising out of bed bright-eyed and optimistic by 7,  at the latest.

In other words, I am DONE.

You've got mulch!
So, Mulch Day.  We were up and out by 7, setting up the food tent, feeding breakfast to some very cold Scouts, generally getting things organized.  Then I sped off to yoga, where I hurried up and relaxed for an hour and a half, before picking up my 2 neglected girls at home so we could head off to help at Mulch again, where Larry (the Mulch Czar, remember?) assigned me to play traffic cop.

My job involved preventing people from parking in the parking lot we had rented, no small feat considering there was a huge Tae Kwon Do exhibition going on at the high school and approximately gazillion games and scrimmages taking place on the playing fields. I spent a lot of time explaining to distraught parents that their precious soccer players would be just fine if they dropped them off at this end of the parking lot and allowed them to walk ALL THE WAY across the tarmac to reach their teammates.

I was relieved of my duties because I was starting to get sarcastic.  Who knew?

So I brought the girls home to play for a couple of hours, but we are due back down there soon to take our shift handing out grilled cheese sandwiches and replenishing granola bars and grapes at the snack station.  What can I say? It's a glamorous life, this existence of mine. And tomorrow, I might just get to sleep in until 7.

What more could a middle-aged gal with sleep-deprivation PTSD ever want?

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Thursday, March 19, 2015

Lesson Learned

So, a few months ago, I was feeling nostalgic for my younger days, when my friends and I would sit around the barracks and play cribbage to while away the time.  Remember, this was in the dark ages, before anyone even knew what the Internet was and hardly anyone had a screen of his/her own.  I think we sang along to The Traveling Wilbury's as we played.  So, yeah, a LONG time ago...

Anyway, I located a cheap cribbage board and, having managed to decipher the instructions, convinced Susie (who likes to play games, unlike most of her siblings, who unfortunately take after Larry in this regard) to play with me.  Susie took to the game like a fish to water, displaying a surprising facility for counting hands and computing odds.  I played with her any chance I got, And maths.

My Christmas present
We upgraded at Christmas to an honest-to-goodness professional board, complete with unbreakable metal pegs and a sliding top that hid a storage compartment for the cards and such.  A beauty, really. During the Great Homewrecking of Winter 2015, our handyman noticed this cribbage board and said, "Oh, hey! Do you play? I love that game - used to play for a nickel a point."

Hmmm, I thought.  Here's a good chance to show Susie that gambling doesn't really pay. "Hey, Susie," I said, to my unsuspecting youngest. "Do you want to play for money?" She agreed, happily, and I proceeded on my mission to show her that probability and luck tend to even out for two players of similar abilities.  Because, hey, I am at least as smart as a 9-year-old.

Except...not.  Turns out, Susie is REALLY GOOD at cribbage.  Long story short, over the past month? Susie has netted 15 dollars.


And now she thinks gambling is an awesome way to earn money.

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Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Feeling Green

Still alive, just too busy to write. And believe me, THAT'S busy. I'm telling you, this being-an-adult gig is for the birds. I am just keeping my eyes fixed on this coming Monday, when I can go back to my customary lackadaisical approach to life.

Well, except for that taxes thing - I'll still have to take care of that.

Anywhoo, St. Patrick's Day has passed unmarked here this year. Due to the unfortunate corned-beef-and-cabbage barfing incident of 2014, no one seems to want to ingest our traditional St. Patrick's Day dinner ever again.

Oh, wow, I went to link to a post about that night a year ago when I stayed up to watch Brian repeatedly deposit regurgitated corn beef into our barf bucket, and I realized that I have never regaled you with that particular tale. I know you're disappointed.

Oh, well, never mind. Be sure to enjoy those St. Patrick's Day leftovers tomorrow, though! Yum.

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