Showing posts from August, 2012

I Heart Modern Conveniences

Yes, I am now the proud owner of a working dryer.  But it was a tough road to get here, people; I won't lie to you about that.  A week of wandering around our neighborhood with wet baskets of laundry while my neighbors pretended not to be home (at least, that's what I assume); a canceled repair appointment yesterday, because the repairman was running late at his other jobs; and then, finally, this morning - 15 minutes late - he walked in my door (and into my heart).

Because I'm not just a one-serviceman type of gal, I guess...

Again, like last week, I sat upstairs listening to productive-sounding clangs and crashes.  This time, however, I spent the time plotting what to do should he tell me there was yet another part to be ordered.  I had just settled on the idea of holding the repairman hostage until it arrived, when he announced that he had indeed fixed the dryer.  He even invited me downstairs to check out how hot it was.

There's a joke there, but I'm not taking…

Nutrition Alert!

According to the Los Angeles Times, "The California maker of Red Vines issued a voluntary recall of its Black Licorice Twists this week after the state’s Department of Public Health warned of high levels of lead – more than double the amount deemed healthy for children."

WHO KNEW there was an amount of food-based lead actually "deemed healthy for children"?  I'll have to check my kids' gummy vitamins to make sure they are getting their RDA.

[Image credit: LA Times]

Unwonted Sentimentality

You know how you turn around one day and realize that one of your little kids - no, not just one of your little kids, but the really cute smiley one who looked like a teddy bear when he was two, the one who sat on an armchair in the living room and looked at you nursing his new-ish baby sister and asked, "Mommy STILL holding baby?" in a wistful tone of voice...

That kid - that kid is 12.  Actually, he turned 12 over 4 months ago; but I just noticed.  Just noticed there will be no more little boy smiles coming from that direction, no more simple happiness emanating from his corner of the house.  Oh, he's a pleasant enough 12-year-old, Brian is; but he's growing up.  Changes are gonna happen.

And you would think I'd be used to this by now - this letting go of the little boy to welcome the young adult, right?  I mean, he's my 4th kid to reach this milestone, for heaven's sake.  But this one...this one is hitting me hard.  I love his smile.  I dread that the …

Dry Me A River

The repairman showed up bright and early on Thursday and spent a good 45 minutes making productive-sounding clanking and banging noises down in the utility room where my broken dryer resides.  Then I heard him coming up the stairs and saying, "Well, I'm done!"

"That's great!" I said, running for the nearest basket of wet laundry.

"Oh, it's not fixed yet," he said.

I'm thinking that repairmen need to be trained in their bedside manner, as it were.  For example, don't use the word "DONE" unless it's "FIXED."  Is that asking too much?

Turns out we need a new igniter.  Because, after all, the dryer is 5 years old already (or, to be fair, it is 12 years old in appliance years, due to the volume of laundry in this house).  12 years? 

You know, at my father's house (where we stopped on our way home from our vacation), I did our leftover camping laundry in the washer/dryer he and my mom bought while I was in high sc…

Al Gore Was Right

Okay, so all week I have had the chorus of "Mad About You" stuck in my head for no reason whatsoever.  In a desperate attempt to recall the rest of the song, I searched for it today on YouTube.  Because, really, I have nothing better to do.

Belinda Carlisle?  Of The Go-Go's?  Wasn't she the wild girl of rock-and-roll back in the 80's?

So I watched the video.  I mean, it was either that or do some housework - what would you have chosen?  Here it is, from a live performance in 1988.  Just take a quick look.

Do you see what she is wearing

Long-sleeved jacket?  

Leggings down below her knees?  

Boobs tucked safely inside her shirt?

I swear, most women go to the office nowadays wearing less than that.  Tell me, did we all used to walk around so well-covered?  Has modesty truly fallen by the wayside over the intervening 25 years?

Or maybe modesty isn't the issue here at all.  Maybe this is just another indicator of climate change.  Yeah, that's it, that's w…

Line Dry? Moi?

Okay, I imposed on a neighbor and resolved the wet laundry crisis.  But, judging from the comments yesterday, a number of you still labor under the unfortunate delusion that I am a dead ringer for Ma Ingalls.  Hang up the wet clothes?  Really?  Do I sound that domestically inclined to any of you, ever?  And have you any idea of the quantity of laundry we are talking about here?  And where would I hang it?

I mean, I suppose - in theory -  I could have strung a clothesline across my living room...

(with thumbtacks, maybe? See? I don't even know HOW)

...but having that mess in my face all day would probably have robbed me of the will to live.  And hanging them in the basement, as one commenter suggested, would only have resulted in my finding those ubiquitous centipedes clinging to the damp clothing the next morning.

Next thing I know, you'll be telling me I can manage just fine without flush toilets.

Anyway, on the bright side, I remembered to renew our appliance protection pla…

Et Tu, Dryer?

I'm thinking it is SO WRONG that my dryer should stop working only 2 days after my return from our family camping trip.  SO WRONG.  Heaven forbid I enjoy the luxuries of civilization for more than 48 hours...

So now I have 2 large wet loads of laundry that are going to stink by tomorrow, and more loads piled up waiting to be washed.  And, no, I can't hang them up to dry.  We live in the climatological equivalent of the Amazon around here - it's either raining or it's so humid (how humid is it?) you practically drown when you inhale.

And if I did manage to hang them up outside?  They would just get covered by bugs or fall in the dirt.  Or both. You know, if I wanted to play pioneer woman, I could have just gone on living in our pop-up camper in central New York.  At least we didn't have mosquitoes up there.

Look, I'm angry.  I rage against my dryer-less fate.  Next will come the bargaining - dear Lord, break the stove, break the dishwasher, but give me back my c…

Thoughts On Camping

Crocheting by the light of a campfire might not be a good idea.  Unless, that is, you don't mind that the top half of your handcrafted market bag will be inside out...

It might sound pretty to hear the rain drumming rhythmically on the roof of your tent trailer EVERY SINGLE NIGHT; but it sure does make for some muddy mornings.  In my opinion, drought conditions are underrated.

At some point during an 8-day family camping trip, you might get the urge to sit alone in the car and eat a vanilla sandwich cookie (or two).  Go with that feeling.  You've earned it.

Apparently, New York State does not have any insect population to speak of.  In 8 days of living in the great outdoors, I received one (count it, ONE) mosquito bite.  Meanwhile, back at home, I will be drained of blood by myriad biting insects merely by having the temerity to stand on my front stoop for 5 minutes. 

In other words, I'm moving.


At Glimmerglass State Park campgr…

Gone Campin' (Still)

Still gone camping.  Back soon.  Feel free to pray for me - there is only so much nature one woman can take.  Also, does it really need to rain EVERY night?


Scene: 2 nights pre-vacation, Larry accosts me, worry etched on his face.

Look, honey, we're planning a FAMILY trip.

Oh, really?  I guess that would explain why I'm packing for 7 people then.
I saw what you were Googling earlier.  Do you think that's fair to us?  What about me?  Our marriage?

I don't know what you are talking about!
Denial - that's a dangerous sign.  Look, right here in the search history...

"Ithaca Yarn Stores"?
Yes!  Is that necessary?  I thought you had quit.

Yes, the sneaking around, the nights yarn-crawling, all that...

I'm NOT that bad.
Oh, yeah?  What about our vacation in Acadia?  What then?

Look, your sister Kate and I were just taking a walk.  We didn't know there was a local yarn shop right down the street.  Or that Bar Harbor had a nifty fabric store....
That's what I mean!  You're just enabling each other.

No!  We were on vacation!  We were just looking!
Every time she comes to stay here, it's a craf…

Crowd Control

After spending 2 hours on Tuesday waiting in line for Obama rally tickets, and then another 5 hours waiting in various lines at the actual rally on Thursday, I found myself on Sunday suffering from what could only have been some variant of queue-ing withdrawal.  I mean, here it was, another 95-degree day (and really, can someone up there just QUIT IT with this weather, already?) and I was lounging around in the comfort of my air-conditioned home.  It just didn't feel right.

So, instead, I agreed to take Brian to BrickFair, a Lego fan festival that is held once a year in our area.  People, this is a very big event.  VERY BIG.  I managed to park, and then -- with Brian and our neighbor's daughter in tow -- I headed for what looked like the end of the entrance line.  It stretched across the front of the large convention center and several small shops.  It turned a corner.  We walked for what felt like approximately 5 miles (remember - HOT SUN) and the line turned a second corner.…

Secret Agent Man

It's taken me 2 full days to recover from my adventure at the Obama "grassroots event" on Thursday.  Having had no idea what to expect, I ended up dehydrated, exhausted, and generally useless all day Friday.  Herewith is my hard-won knowledge on how to survive a campaign rally:

1. Bring water.  Lots of water.  Enough to pour on your head repeatedly as you wait in the 95-degree heat for the shuttle bus that will take you to the rally location.

2. You know those 2 sets of crutches in your utility room, left over from various kid accidents?  Bring them along - they can dramatically shorten your wait time for the above-mentioned shuttle bus.  (No, I didn't - but I wish I had.)

3. Bring more water, enough to pour down your back repeatedly as you wait in the 95-degree heat for another hour in order to go through the security line.  Chat with fellow waitees and try not to think about how politics makes for strange bedfellows.  Very strange bedfellows...

4. While waiting, re…

Who's The Boss?

Ooh, guess who acted all spontaneous and carefree and ditched her kids just to stand in line for 2 HOURS last night for some awesome free tickets?

 That would be me.  I might not have had the discipline to wait long enough to snag those Bruce Springsteen tickets I wanted back in 1984; but it seems that age possesses the persistence that youth, for all its spontaneity, might lack.  So take THAT, my 21-year-old self!

Although, given a choice, I might still have preferred tickets to Springsteen.

[Bruce image:]