Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Laundry Much?

This is what yesterday felt like around here.
All quiet on the vomiting front here, but we're still operating at ThreatCon Delta. There are 5 more people in this house who are trepidatiously monitoring their innards for any sign of gastrointestinal distress. The puke bucket remains strategically deployed, and any laundry is promptly processed in order to avoid a repeat of the Great Laundry Room Back Up of the year 2000. If memory serves me correctly, we lost a couple of sleeping bags in that particular battle, after we stuffed their puke-laden selves into plastic garbage bags with the intent of getting around to doing the laundry later.  Later never came; or, rather, it came too late to save those bags, unfortunate victims of seasonal stomach flu that they were.

That was also the vomiting event whose incredible blast radius and devastating collateral damage drove us to instate our "Vomit in Place" policy; but I digress.

In a rather futile attempt to forestall any more illness, I washed all the Ektorp slipcovers that the children (and Larry) had been so inconsiderately breathing on while ill.  I considered buying surgical masks for everyone, but decided against it, as enforcement of their use would have been rife with difficulties. Also, it would have frightened the neighbors.

So here we are, trying to stay positive and cheerful in the midst of this plague, and Harold Ramis up and dies on us.  How the heck are we supposed to cope? I have the polka music from Groundhog Day running through my head nonstop.  NONSTOP, I tell you. And this scene from Ghostbusters, of course...

Print is dead, and now so are you, Harold.  RIP.  And thanks for all the laughs...

[Laundry woman image: Incredible Art]

Sunday, February 23, 2014

I'll Skip Lunch, Thanks

Gosh, was it only a week ago that I had the temerity to state that no one has barfed around here in a while?  Time sure does fly when one jinxes oneself, doesn't it?  Here it is, only 7 days later, and Susie has decorated our powder room in recycled strawberry sauce from this morning's pancake breakfast.

Bright side - there is one extremely clean bathroom in my house right now.

In addition, Larry seems to have brought some weird virus home from his travels - part head cold, part sore throat, part just make you feel like you can't move around much.  After pushing through the work week, he's been sitting around like an old man all weekend, blanket over his legs, sipping his tea and obsessing over events in Ukraine (the guy was a Soviet Studies major, way back when there was a Soviet Union).  Since he has generously shared this virus with me, I've been having to lie on the couch to recover after going up the stairs.  It's like a weird glimpse of our lives 25 years from now.

Larry actually knows where this is, unlike the rest of us.

Excuse me, did I say Larry was SIPPING his tea?  Wrong word - he slurps it.  Tell me - how can I have been married to someone for 23 years and only now realize that he slurps (LOUDLY) his morning coffee and his occasional cup of tea? Oh, my Lord, one of these days I'm going to snap, and  he is going to sit there wondering why there is a cup of hot liquid dumped upside down on his head.

But the sun is out today, which reassures me that someday we may move beyond this season of colds and viruses and getting on each other's nerves.  I spent half the afternoon hanging around outside, enjoying the sunshine and talking to the neighbors.  And probably infecting them with whatever plague we are incubating in our house, come to think of it...

[Map image: World Maps]

Friday, February 21, 2014

DIY Science

You know, I think that sometimes I sell my husband a little short.  I mean, here I am thinking that, while Larry is supportive of homeschooling our kids, he really doesn't do much on the academic end of things.  Oh, yeah, he's into taking them on history field trips - the kids have seen more costumed reenactors than I can count, and they are practically experts on maple-syrup making and ice cream churn cranking.  Other than that, though?  Not so much.

A favorite of scientists everywhere
But this evening I learned that I am wrong.  Apparently, Larry invests a lot of time in researching educational science lab ideas on the Internet for the kids; why else would I have found this fascinating beer experiment video on one of my browser tabs this evening?

I mean, I'm SURE he Googled "Leidenfrost Effect" to find this video, and not "Fun Things To Do With Beer."  After all, the latter would be just too immature for a 46-year-old father of 6, don't you think?


In other news, we are sick AGAIN.  Yet another  head cold/scratchy throat/achiness combo has entered our household, presumably via the mucus membranes of those nasty little disease vectors formerly known as our beloved offspring.  I have to drag myself from my sickbed tomorrow morning to go score some authentic Sudafed from my local pharmacy.  If I'm not dead by then...

Are these even safe?
Also? These Ricola cough drops I keep sucking on are giving me either acid indigestion or a bleeding ulcer - I'm not sure how to tell the difference.  And I keep getting a sharp pain in my upper left rib cage that I can only assume is pancreatitis.  Hypochondria much?

In the meantime, Larry (a fellow mystery-virus sufferer) is conducting his own personal science experiment - can beer cure the common cold?  Or -- at least -- make you feel as though it has?  Maybe he should have the kids make a chart of his results and submit it to a homeschool science fair.  I mean, if the Leidenfrost effect thing doesn't work out...

[Beer image: Boston Business Journal]
[Ricola image: JillandKate's Blog]

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Extrovert For A Day

Brian made $70 shoveling snow the other day. That's just downright ridiculous.

Or maybe I'm just jealous....

Well, I received my (nicely worded) rejection email from Listen To Your Mother yesterday.  I guess they didn't want to feature a snappy piece about my son leaving the toilet seat up - I can't imagine why.  Not heart-felt enough, I guess...

I don't do heartfelt very well.

Or maybe I just didn't read it well.  Who knows? Part of me was bummed to learn I wasn't selected, and part of me was relieved that I wouldn't be standing ON A STAGE in May reading about toilet seats to approximately GAZILLION PEOPLE.

I mean, really, now - just WHAT was this introvert thinking, auditioning for something like that, anyway? I guess I was a tad bored and looking to shake things up a bit.  I mean, no one has vomited around here in ages. And no mice around, either.

And, as far as excitement goes, LTYM seemed a lot safer than bungee-jumping, say.

So it's a win-win, really - I get to feel proud of myself for braving the audition without actually having to follow through on the whole shebang.  And I won't have to explain to Larry why I am taking to the stage to expose my son's bathroom habits to an admiring public...

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Have At It, Mother Nature

Oh, praise be to all the gods, there is SNOW outside.  Our first great snow since 2010, and the children are suitably impressed.  Brian has already stumbled out the door, shovel over his shoulder and dollar signs in his eyes, in search of warmth-loving neighbors who want their walks shoveled and cars dug out; the rest of the kids soon followed suit, but with sleds instead of shovels, determined to turn out nearby sledding hill into an Olympic-worthy venue, complete with ramps and whatever else they dream up.


Those of you who do not suffer snow deprivation cannot even begin to appreciate how wonderful this is.  You know how traumatized we've been by 3 years worth of essentially snow-less winters?  So traumatized that I dreamed last night that we woke up and the grass wasn't even covered and the snow had stopped.  So when I REALLY woke up, I was scared to look.


Oh, you have to live in our busy area to appreciate the blessed quiet - airports shut down, cars off the road, and the muffled sound of the shovel ringing through the land. Everything is closed, and people are home resting from yesterday's requisite pre-snow runs to the crowded supermarkets.  And best yet? I've got 2 pairs of socks on the needles and a (albeit still problematic) linen-stitch scarf.  Best. Day. Ever.


[Snowman T-shirt image: Natural Cloud Cover]

Saturday, February 08, 2014

When Bad Things Happen To Good Knitters

This should be an awesome day - Larry and Brian off skiing, the girls playing at a friend's house, me with PLENTY of knitting time on my hands, right?  But, unfortunately, 2 of my 3 knitting projects are in a timeout for misbehavior, and the 3rd is being knitted on high-priced metal needles that mysteriously became bent, making for an inefficient knitting experience.

I'm thinking maybe you don't understand.  And that's all right, I don't really either.   I need to woman up and deal with my knitting problems, instead of passive-aggressively complaining about them online.  I need to face the fact that one set of two-at-a-time socks should have just been ripped back to the beginning 10 days ago, because I could have reknit them by now.  Instead, I keep waiting to do the more painstaking task of ripping back just to where I made the mistake, because that would SAVE ME TIME.


She's smiling, because her scarf cooperated.
And my scarf - my beautiful linen-stitch scarf, which was going along so swimmingly, has lost a stitch, which I have to locate or I will throw off the entire pattern.  I keep looking for the darn thing, but I CANNOT FIND IT.  So I keep counting the stitches, hoping that it will miraculously reappear. 

Yet knitting is supposed to be "extremely relaxing." It's supposed to reduce stress and anxiety.  Oh, yeah?  Then why am I SO STRESSED OUT?  WHY? 

I'll tell you why - I have 3 weeks to finish 2 pairs of socks and one scarf, and they are NOT COOPERATING with me.  3 weeks, or my knitting plans for the year will be irremediably derailed.  I have a schedule, people.  I need to stick with it.

So I can't for the life of me figure out why the above-linked article says that "knitting offers a break from busy schedules."  What's up with that?

[Scarf image: Needlework Unlimited]

Wednesday, February 05, 2014

Not Dead Yet

Oh, I WISH...
The children, generous souls that they are, have kindly gifted me the cold they have been passing around.  Naturally, that makes me feel like curling up on the couch with a good book and Words With Friends, in front of a roaring fire, while the ice melts off the trees outside and the wintry winds blow.

But, hey, I'm still a mom, so I didn't get to do that today.  Instead, I drove the girls to Girl Scouts, supervised schoolwork, told assorted young people to PUT THINGS AWAY DAMMIT, and made sure the laundry got done.  Such is the life I have chosen.

But in my next life?  I'm getting myself a salaried position with sick leave.

[Out Sick image: FMLA Insights]

Sunday, February 02, 2014

Anyone Else Sick Of Cooking?

Looks like dinner to me!
Hey, no one noticed my question yesterday, so I'll try again. If you didn't have the kids to feed, what would you make yourself for dinner?  Personally, I'd be happy with granola and yogurt each evening - I'm sick of fussing about the kitchen when I'm already tired and just want to sit and knit. 

I'm not too sure I could sell Larry on that menu, though...

[Yogurt image: Love Grown Foods]

Saturday, February 01, 2014

Super Bowl Lament

NO ONE has invited us to watch the Super Bowl with them tomorrow.  What am I supposed to do, pay for cable TV myself?  Next thing you know, I'll have to buy my own guacamole, too. 

I think I'm making the wrong sort of friends.  Oh, yeah, I have the let's-watch-Downton buddies and the let's-go-on-knitting-retreats acquaintances; but, apparently, I have neglected to cultivate any friendships with people who actually like televised sports.  Dreadfully shortsighted of me, I must say.  Now I will have to wait until Monday to hear about all the commercials.

That's why we watch the Super Bowl, right?  The expensive commercials?  Which teams are playing, anyway? 

I BENT these. They are made of METAL.
Anywhoo, I'm not going to be sitting around like Cinderella pining to go to the ball.  It's not like I don't have plans for tomorrow already.  I mean, I have to dash to the local yarn shop (LYS, for us insiders), due to another knitting emergency involving indestructible needles that I have somehow managed to bend; I have a 2-hour yoga workshop to attend, in my ongoing effort not to become a cripple at the age of 50; and, for some reason, my family expects me to make them some dinner (see above re not being invited anywhere). 

I do hope my kids realize that, if this intensive yoga regimen doesn't work, I'm not going to be able to stand up long enough to make them dinner anymore, anyway.  Aren't ages 8, 11, and 13 old enough to start fending for oneself?  The girls do happen to be very excited that they have learned to make scrambled eggs in the microwave.  Brian will even whip up a pan of brownies (from a mix), so long as he can convince his siblings to do the clean-up. And David can cook, when he's not making up lame excuses like "Calculus" and "College Chemistry" to get out of kitchen duty.  He's so self-centered these days...

Personally, I could be happy for the rest of my life eating Greek yogurt with homemade granola for dinner.  You?

[Knitting needles image: The Natural Stitches Newsletter]