September 16, 2014

My Husband Thinks I'm a Genius....

I know!  I'm as floored as you are!  But it turns out, he only thinks I'm a genius because of this one, teeny-tiny, completely common-sense thing I said to him.

But, apparently, this one, teeny-tiny, completely common-sense idea absolutely astounded him.  It struck him as the most glorious idea that had ever been spouted.

Something, that I have ALWAYS done.  And he's just never noticed.

It all began as I was emptying the dishwasher.  The very same dishwasher that he had thoughtfully loaded earlier.  One of the chores he dislikes - but will do - is emptying the dishwasher.  I don't mind emptying the dishwasher, if it's been properly loaded.  Which, it never is, unless I load it.  But I think that is probably pretty much the same for everyone; we all have our own ideas about how the dishwasher should be loaded and that's fine.

But, just so you know, I am THE master at loading that dishwasher and I have it down to a SCIENCE...so my way is the best way hands down.

Be that as it may, this particular evening I was emptying the silverware caddy and I mentioned, in passing, to the Husband, that if he would load all the like spoons into one section, all the like forks into another section, all the like knives into another section, and let all the random silver go into the remaining slots that removing the silverware would be a lot less tedious.

I said this in passing, never really thinking that he would actually hear and process this information.  Much like he has never heard or processed other bits of wisdom I have passed onto him.

But hear and process he did.  Because for the next three times he emptied the dishwasher, that he himself had loaded, he proceeded to proclaim that was a GENIUS idea.  And every single time since, that I have emptied the dishwasher that he loaded, I find all the like silverware separated into separate slots.

Now, if I can only convince him that to listen to few of my other common-sense nuggets, then maybe this house would run like well-oiled machine.  But so far?  It hasn't happened.

September 6, 2014

From the "Eerie" files....

Once, a long time ago (approximately three years ago), a light bulb went out. 

This particular light bulb was in a sconce in the hallway.  A sconce that had a little, screw-in thingy that held it up.  A little, screw-in thingy that somehow escaped the Husband's fingers as he un-screwed it and then disappeared.

It literally disappeared.  We scoured the hallway.  We moved the bookcase.  We moved the buffet.  When it didn't turn up, we branched out.  We scoured the intersecting hallway, the staircase, the floor below, that little, screw-in thingy was GONE. 

So we headed out to our local home improvement store in search of another screw-in thingy to anchor the sconce to the wall.  We found one.  But, of course, the new screw-in thingy's finish didn't match the finish of the old screw-in thingy's.  *sigh* 

As a compromise, we switched out the un-matching screw-in thingy with another fixture; one that I wouldn't see on a daily basis - because the whole un-matching thing would have made me twitchy.  Seriously.

We had fully expected to find that piece in our move.  It didn't happen.  Where in the hell had it gone?  Was there a tear in the universe?  Had it somehow slipped into an alternate universe?

Flash-forward (approximately three years or so; and a whole move later) - guess what I found the other day?

The screw-in thingy.  And the eerie part?  In a Stephen King book.

*cue the scary music here*

In a Stephen King book that was amazing that I even kept - despite my adoration for Stephen King.  Why?  Because I normally don't "do" short stories.  I usually want "whole" stories.  But, I adore Stephen King so every single one of his books made the cut.

Including the one that has held the screw-in thingy for the past three years.

I suppose this is supposed to "tell me something."  Like maybe how what seems to be lost isn't really gone?  It's only hiding away, waiting for the right time to reappear.

Nah.  More likely - it was just one of those weird things that happen in life.

September 2, 2014

Seriously, Husband?

I love my husband, I truly do.  One of the many reasons I love him is the fact that he is "manly."  That he is the one I can count on to open stubborn jars, and whatever else he does that is "manly" around here.

But... (you knew there had to be one, didn't you?)

Sometimes his "manly" strength irritates the life out of me. 

Like whenever we are dealing with something plastic.  If he is the one in charge of repairing it, it inevitably gets broken further.  Because a "twist" isn't just enough when a full on "wrench" is surely better.

Or like this morning. 

Which, of course, requires a little bit of a backstory.  Yesterday we were attending a cookout to celebrate Labor Day and Hubby was the designated driver.  (That's probably THE shortest backstory I've ever given you)

As the designated driver, he drove us home and parked the car safely on what must be the shortest and steepest driveway in the history of the world.  A driveway that definitely necessitates using the parking brake.

And everything was fine. 

Until this morning when I found myself struggling to release the brake.  As he does with most everything he hadn't just tugged on the brake; he had YANKED the brake.  Making sure that he YANKED that brake as hard as he could.  What he didn't realize while he was YANKING on that brake was that his wife - the one with the puny arms and thumbs - would be the one fighting with the brake the next day...after he had already left for work.

After five minutes of struggling, I sent him a text telling him of my dilemma.  He gets credit for immediately calling and asking what he could do - he was even willing to drive home and fix it.  But as I was scolding him and reminding him that not everything in this word requires brute strength; that sometimes a little finesse is in order, all while still fiddling with the brake and getting more and more frustrated and then?  Success! 

Apparently, adrenaline finally kicked in and I was able to unlock the brake and drive to work.

Now, what are the odds that he is going to remember this the next time he drives my car?  My bet?  Slim to none.

August 17, 2014

Luckily, I had the foresight to take tomorrow off...I'm gonna need it.

Yesterday was "the" day.  The day that Man-Child moved back to school; this time by-passing the dorms and headed straight for an apartment.

The Husband had borrowed the van from work (remember this; it's key) which we proceeded to load up with his dresser, night stands, bed, and other paraphernalia.  Then we filled up Man-Child's car.  Turns out, I was to drive up with Man-Child...while sitting in the passenger seat (YIKES!).  To be honest, I had hoped that there would have been a need for a third car so that I could drive up myself.  That didn't happen.

Apparently, the work van has magical capabilities (aka removable seats) and my car wasn't necessary.  So there I was; stuck being a passenger both ways (with a maniacal driver one way and a very, very slow driver on the way back) *sigh*

I am not a good passenger, according to my guys.  But this is just not true.  My passenger abilities are directly correlated to the person driving...and usually, the drivers just aren't up to par.  Yes, maybe I do have control issues...

Turns out, Man-Child isn't that bad of a driver.  On the highway.  The in town driving?  Terrified the hell out of me.

The Husband got a head start...but we quickly passed him.  We waved and went on our merry way, figuring he would eventually show up at the apartment...probably about 20 minutes after we arrived.

After several near misses at a couple of red lights; one time found me slamming my foot against the dashboard as I braced for the obvious imminent impact (much to Man-Child's annoyance); we found ourselves *this* close to rolling into the college town when my phone rang.  It was the Husband.

When I answered, he asked where we were.  I told him.  And then he proceeded to tell me that he had just passed a certain landmark and that the transmission was shot on the van.  Oh. My. Hell!  The only blessing?  He had made it UP the mountain before the damn thing failed.

He said that he was going to try to limp into town and was going directly to a shop.  He didn't want us to come back for him.  At least not yet.  Once we hung up, I started to look for shops that might be open on a Saturday.  Luckily, the Toyota dealership/Service Station was open AND it was located at the edge of town.

I called the Husband back and told him where to find the dealership.  He told me he'd call me once he knew what was what.  Man-Child and I headed to the apartment wondering just how in the hell we were going to transport his bed, etc., from the dealership to the apartment with nothing more than his teeny-tiny, two-door car.

The Roommate was there when we arrived.  We explained what had happened and the first words out of his mouth were, "What can I do to help?" and I knew I liked this kid.  Despite the fact that two days before we'd received notification that "someone" hadn't yet paid his half of the rent...(let's hope this was the oversight he claimed it was and not a *trend*).  As I was hanging Man-Child's brand new shower curtain (note to self: those curtain rings are crap and I should never buy that type again) the Husband called.

The Toyota place couldn't fix the van.  He was going to have it towed to the Dodge dealership and asked me to come pick him up.

What I neglected to mention was the fact that this was THE weekend for everyone coming back to school.  Which means that traffic was BEYOND horrific.  So I offered to go pick up the Husband and the Roommate, helpfully, offered up his truck to go the Dodge dealership to load up Man-Child's stuff.  The fact that this Roommate had a truck was like a gift from God, at this point.

So I went one way and they went another.  I'm sure they sat at that Dodge dealership for at least an hour.  Why?  Because I was stuck at one light for at least four cycles.  It took forever to go what was, probably, four miles away.  I wish I was exaggerating.

While I was waiting in traffic, I called the Husband and informed him that the boys had a truck and would take the stuff from the van back to the apartment.  The relief I heard in the Husband's voice was palpable; that was one less thing to worry about.

So eventually, I picked the Husband up and we fought the traffic to get to the Dodge place, where the boys were waiting.  The Dodge place promised that they would have the parts to fix the van by Tuesday, now how long it would take to actually fix it is up in the air, as they were slammed.  The Husband's boss was unbelievably kind about the whole thing.  He was more concerned that we were all okay.

The boys loaded one load into the truck and drove away.  The Husband and I sat with the van since we couldn't lock it.  Well actually, we could have locked it but that would have been pointless since just the day before BOTH windows had failed.  In the down position.

When the boys returned, we refilled the truck and headed away.

For some reason, I had this crazy idea that the desk I'd bought Man-Child would be easy-peasy to put together.  It wasn't.  The Husband doesn't have much patience for those types of things, so I took the lead on that.  And about two hours later it was assembled.  And then, and only then, were we able to  bring in his bed, dresser, etc.  Why?  Because putting together that damn desk took up the whole room and some of the living area as well.

Is that the end of the hell we were living through?  No.  At one point during the assembly, I stepped outside to stretch my legs only to watch a police officer walk up to the neighbor's apartment.  Luckily, she had called him and he hadn't been called about her.  Apparently, there was some sketchy guy hanging around the pool ogling her daughter.  Lovely.  So it's only now that I realize that the apartments my only child will be living in are not only not just for students but there's a sketchy guy in the neighborhood.  A sketchy guy that the police, as I overheard, are already aware of...needless to say, I was ready to pack him back up and take him home.  He can afford to skip a year of school, right?

But then there was the problem of getting home.  How?  The lone rental car agency was closed.  Of course.  Our only option was Man-Child's car.  *sigh*  Our weekend just got that much more crazier.

After feeding both boys (and "medicating" the Husband with alcohol; he obviously needed it) we stole borrowed his car and I drove us back down the mountain.  Both exhausted and not really looking forward to the fact that we had to drive back UP the mountain today to return Man-Child's car; which in reality he will need since he is no longer living on campus, and to cover the van's gaping windows with plastic since there is a possibility of rain in the forecast.

The Husband declared that we would be heading up early, early, EARLY in a bid to save some of the weekend.  But he must have taken pity on me after realizing just how exhausted I was from yesterday, he let me sleep in.  Until 7:30 am.  Not to be rushed, I had a cup of coffee and perused the paper.  Finally, we headed out about 8:30 am, me in my car and the Husband in Man-Child's.  Whereupon, I immediately lost him.  How I don't know.  Eventually, we re-connected and headed over to the apartment.  It was a good thing we re-connected because the Husband had no idea how to find it since he'd been sidelined as a passenger the day before.

After spending some time buying essentials that Man-Child needed (i.e., food) and taping up the windows to the van, we took him for a very, very late breakfast/lunch; because obviously, when we are there we are there to feed him.  And somehow I found myself driving us home.  This is surprising because the Husband is much more a control freak about driving than I am.

So now we are home.  Exhausted, spent and ache-y.  The house is quiet - kind of (the tv is on but not at its usual ear-splitting decibel) and the Husband is napping on the couch; and I can feel "it" - the Boy isn't at home, it's rather lonely.  I will adjust after a day or so - or maybe a week - of him being gone.  The knowledge that one day soon he won't be coming home to stay ever again teases the back of my brain; but I refuse to acknowledge that just yet.

And tomorrow?  Thank God I had the foresight to take tomorrow off because that is when I will get everything done that I had planned to do today.


August 10, 2014

The hunt is on...

Well, that title's not technically true.  I've been hunting ever since we sold our house.  And let me tell you; Zillow (and other sites like it) are a wonderful way to sooth your nosiness.  Getting to peek inside homes without having to actually, you know, interact with people.

Of course, I've seen some homes that have left me scratching my head.  Like the one that was For Sale By Owner.  Which meant, of course, that all the pictures were taken by the owner and not a real estate professional.  Every single picture of this particular house showcased clutter.  EVERYWHERE.  So much so that I couldn't even focus on the house itself.

Other houses are devoid of any personality.  I realize that Realtors encourage homeowners to remove personal items, etc.  But somehow, I don't think they mean for people to remove every single piece of artwork or knick-knack.  It's that OR (even worse, in my mind) these people actually live in homes with no artwork on the walls; without pretty things that make them smile.

Well, now that I've gotten all that out of the way...on to what the true purpose of today's post.

Today, the Husband and I ventured out to a couple of Open Houses.  I had a list of five - which, to be honest, was probably over-reaching considering most Open Houses are from 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm.  The odds of being able to hit them all in that limited time frame was slim.

The list quickly got knocked down to four as the Husband had absolutely NO interest in one.  Fine.  As we were getting in the car the Husband asked, "What are we  going to do if we find a house we love today?" I responded that we'd call the landlord and see what could be worked out, since our lease is through the end of the year.  And then I added, "I'm fairly certain this will not be a problem since we can't agree on anything house-wise."  He agreed...finally, something we can agree on!

As we drove to the first one on the newly shortened list, he began grumbling.  "What do you mean this place is across Market Street?  I don't want to live over there.  Do you know what goes on over there?"

Turns out - the neighborhood, though nice enough, really wasn't what either of us are looking for - and the house wasn't actually "open" anyway.  So we drove off to the next house on the list.  This one had us hopeful.  The area is nice and the pictures online were fabulous.

The house itself?  It was okay.  But even I could tell that this house hadn't been built well.  The first thing I noticed in the living room was that the wall and the ceiling weren't exactly touching each other the way they should.  Plus there was creaking everywhere.  We won't even talk about the narrow stairs and the rickety banister.  Another one crossed off the list.

So we headed to the final house.  This one was GORGEOUS online.  I only had two reservations about this house.  It was built in the 60's so I figured there would be absolutely NO closet space and I was concerned about aluminum wiring.  When we first moved here, we put an offer in on a house.  The inspector informed us that there was aluminum wiring and then went into great detail about how bad that was and that the odds of the house catching fire and killing us all was massive.  Needless to say, we didn't buy that house.

Now whether or not this house had aluminum wiring, I have no idea.  This house was crossed off the list pretty quickly as the Husband thought the sunroom was poorly done - I disagreed in that I saw what the owners were going for by using the planked ceiling...but it didn't go well with the rest of the house.  This was a nice house but it was too chopped up for us.  And, as expected, closet space was minimal.

And as we all know, I will NOT be sharing a closet with my husband ever again, if I can help it.

So, as I said, the hunt is on.  But I have a stash of floor-plans and an eye on a lot in a neighborhood we love.  Why?

Because every other house hunt we've been on has ended with us building a house.  Somehow, I have a feeling this one might end the exact same way...


July 28, 2014

Call me optimistic...it's better than calling me delusional

As the date for Man-Child's return to college nears, I have found myself buying various items for his apartment.

I FINALLY got a list of the items his room mate will be bringing...it basically boils down to a toaster, a sofa and a table.

Not quite the bounty that Man-Child had led me to believe.  Until I can get into the apartment to see what kind of space I have to work with (hopefully one day this week), I'm holding off on the larger items needed (dresser, bed, etc.).

To say that Man-Child has absolutely NO interest in decorating his apartment; much less outfitting it, is an understatement.  Once I realized that, and acknowledged it, I was able to shake off any indecisiveness that I may have had regarding buying things like dishes, flatware, glasses, etc.  He just doesn't care.  I could buy him a purple and green paisley shower curtain and pair it with yellow and orange striped towels and he wouldn't even notice this hideousness of this combination.

(Let's not even THINK about all the stuff I gave to Goodwill that he could  have used when we moved!  NO.  We will NOT think about that...dammit, if only I could have foreseen the future...we could have easily supplied him with most everything he will need!  But NO!  We aren't THINKING of that....*sigh*)

Today, in a fit of optimism, I bought him cleaning supplies.  Yes, I know.  I KNOW! I am deluding myself to think that he will use these supplies on a regular - or even irregular - basis.  But I remain hopeful.  I have been hammering home the fact that he will be ON HIS OWN.  And he will need to TAKE CARE of his abode - particularly since we would LOVE to get our deposit back.

But considering that his bedroom currently looks like it was ransacked by DEA Agents in pursuit of finding the drug kingpin's stash.  And his bathroom?  UGH.  Actually, I don't even want to TRY to string together the words that would describe his bathroom...because the situation is THAT disgusting.

Yeah, I know...I AM delusional. *sigh*

Further adding to my delusion?  That I'm determined to send those supplies.  And will demand that he use them.  Often.  Or, at the very least, frequently.

Yeah, I know....

Those cleaning supplies will NEVER get used.

Dammit...

July 23, 2014

So, what keeps you amused and inspired during that LONG eight hour day?

The day in and day out drudgery of work.  Oh sure, I like my job - quite a lot, actually - but the whole get up early, get dressed and go out to interact with people five days a week part?  That part doesn't appeal to me as much as you might think.

So in an effort to keep myself amused and coming back every day, I have accumulated a few things, as one does when living in an office by day, that make me smile whenever I see them throughout the day.

Like this little guy...



Now, ordinarily, I'm not a "gnome" person.  Oh sure, I have ceramic toadstools and other little things that hang out in my yard (when I HAD a yard);  but gnomes aren't a part of my collection.  Usually they don't appeal to me.  But *this* little guy?  He makes me smile every time I see him.  Particularly, when I find him fallen off his perch and in the dirt.  How he lands in the dirt EVERY TIME - and not shattering himself on the credenza - I don't know.  It must be part of the gnome magic.

And that little guy behind him?  The one you can barely see?

He is like a metronome.  His little head goes back and forth all day long.  And the complete phrase that he is standing upon?  "I'm in my worry free zone."

Okay; fine!  Here's what he looks like in all his glory...

Why yes, that IS a sandal-shaped notepad behind him.


And then, there is always THIS guy...he NEVER fails to make me smile when he catches my eye.



He's a little Martian-type guy with a magnetic head to hold onto his "hair".  I call him my Google Guy; since Google is imprinted upon his tummy.

And then there is this whole menagerie of creatures...

Yes, the photos in the background are included in the menagerie of "creatures."  

The unopened can of Diet Coke?  Yeah, I can't even remember WHY it's there.  The mug with the phrase, "I've got an attitude and I'm not afraid to use it" is to remind others not to bother me before I've had my coffee...and even then...to tread carefully, as I don't have time for the asinine.

In addition to the things that make me smile, several quotes can often be seen floating around my cubicle.

Like those that remind me to have fun...

"I miss recess" which is a little Nigglywiggly from a random Hershey's Kiss that I came across once.  I loved it so much I taped it to one of my walls.

I also have quotes scribbled on Post-It Notes that remind me to be kind.  Such as this one...

"Kindness is in our power, even when fondness is not." -- Samuel Johnson

I don't remember where I came across that one - but it struck a chord.  A deep chord.  Particularly in the workplace...where I often come across people that I'm not fond of, unfortunately.  So, the reminder is nice.

Taking a little tour of my desk, every once in awhile, and remembering how and why I have that tiara or the shoe tape dispenser...or the Google guy, for that matter, never fails to bring a smile.

So...what about you?  What do you keep at your desk that makes you smile, reminisce or inspires you?