Category: Roaring (rants)

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7 Reasons Winter Must End

PermalinkPermalink 02/10/11 09:18:14 pm


Roaring (rants)

The forecast for next week is in the 50s.

I can't lie. I'm excited.

Actually, mentally, I'm doing triple backflips in a swimming pool of full of dolphins on prozac. I'm that kind of happy.

It's that time of year when I'm just ready for winter to be over, and here is why:

1. Our coats are all dirty.
Yes. I know I have a washing machine. And no, I'm not going to use it right now to wash the coats. Why? Because it's been so cold, we all wear more clothes, which makes more laundry, which leaves less time for laundry. Plus, the time and effort that it takes to empty everyone's pockets and run the darn things through one at a time becomes a little prohibitive when it seems like we're wearing them half of our waking hours.

2. I want to look out the windows.
Our house is old, the windows are leaky. So, every winter, we put up window plastic that we might try and save a little bit on heat, and not be able to fly a kite in the living room when the wind is from the north. This is a task that is surprisingly harder than you'd think. Waking up the next morning to find out that the cat has, with surgical precision, cut himself a hole in said carefully applied plastic that he might have better windowsill access is one of those things that explains why cats have nine lives. In short, after patching that hole, I may or may not have gone just a little crazy with the packing tape, taping all the curtains to the wall so the cats couldn't even approach the windowsills. Which means I can't open the windows either.

3. I'd like to wear just one shirt, please.
Seriously. I'm getting a little tired of wearing half my wardrobe just to go to work.

4. My feet scare small children. No open toed shoes=very little in the way of foot maintenance. It's a pedicure emergency.

5. All the snow has turned grey.
In fact, the very brief spate of warm weather we had last week, combined with an active dog romping around the back yard, followed by more below zero temps means that things have melted and refrozen until our back yard resembles the surface of the moon. That is, if dogs do their business on the moon.

6. The kids are going insane.
Or maybe that's me.... Anyhow, not being able to go outside makes them stir crazy, which, in turn, just makes me crazy.

7. I need sunlight.
Not just the awareness that it's sunny, either. I need it to stay sunny long enough after I leave work that I can absorb a little bit of it. I'd make a terrible mushroom.

There's more, but that's enough to go on with.

Now I must go. The seed catalogs are beckoning.

Parenting by Murphy

Because Murphy is too busy writing his law to dabble in parenting advice, you will never find a parenting book that warns you that for every unwashable item you discover in a pocket before you wash those pants, there will be one that makes it through the wash. When that unwashable item is, say, change, or a rock, or even a piece of paper, it's not that bad.

Crayons, however, are another story.

Especially red crayons.

This morning, eyeballs still scratchy from staying up late wrapping gifts, I slipped down to the basement to grab the children's clothes out of the dryer before waking them, so they would have something to wear to school, only to discover someone had slaughtered a pig in my dryer. The clothes were red, the dryer was red, even the lint was red. And there, wedged between the door and lint trap, was a suspicious red lump. A brief examination (which yes, included tasting--you know you're a mother when you nibble something you found in your dryer to determine how to treat the stains it left.) proved it to be crayon.

In the past, I have rescued our digital camera from a pocket, just as it was about to take a dip. When I calculated the replacement cost of what amounts to the children's entire wardrobe, I decided it would probably have been cheaper to have washed the camera.

Still, my good friend the internet proved to have a few solutions for me. So far, they've proved fairly helpful, although there are still some items of clothing that need to go through a second soaking, and possibly more drastic measures. All I'm going to say is that OxyClean and Magic Eraser are my friends. Those Magic Erasers are obviously made of pure magic.

This event, of course, set the tone for my entire day, a day that included a mystery stain on my sweater, a server crash that took a good hour out of my day, and a bent needle on my sewing machine.

But you know, someday, I'll just look back on all of this and laaauuughh......

....right about the time one of my children calls me for advice after they've just washed and dried a crayon.


So, according to the 24/7 Christmas radio station, and the music playing in pretty much any store I poke my nose into, it's the most wonderful time of the year.

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Things come together...Things fall apart

Once, a reader commented here (and yes, I AM too lazy to go looking for it right now!) that everyone needed a Lion in their lives. Not only is he amazing with anything to do with computers, he's a top-notch shadetree mechanic, and quite the handyman to boot (not to mention being a great husband and an excellent dad!). The reason I'm singing his praises this week? As of Saturday at 1 am, the majority of my new bathroom was actually IN the bathroom! Hooray! It looks great. There's new flooring, vanity, sink, faucet, mirrored medicine cabinet and toilet. Now mind you...that doesn't mean it's done, by any stretch of the imagination. I still have to paint, and wallpaper, and we still have to install the shower. The amount of work that Lion crammed into one day, and the fantastic job he did on everything was simply amazing!


With so much going right in the home improvement department, it was only to be expected that aggravation would strike our belated Thanksgiving celebration on Saturday with friends and family. Having picked a time that we thought would benefit everyone involved, and still give us plenty of time to get everything ready, we began our preparations Saturday morning. By the appointed time, the turkeys remained obstinately below temperature, despite several hours in the smoker, something that had never happened before. As luck would have it.....I was woefully unprepared for such an occurrence, and ended up feeding my poor guests cracker and processed cheese, and carrots with ranch to dip them in. By the time we finally managed to raise the temp of just one turkey to an acceptable level, it was past dark, past at least one younger guest's bedtime, and way past my threshold for stress. On the plus side, everyone did say it was delicious, a comfort, since my tastebuds had succumbed to worry about an hour before. Also on the plus side, I got to rock our youngest guest to sleep, which was unexpected, and probably just as soothing to me as it was to him.

Then there was the plumbing lesson, in which I learned several things:
1. Most plumbing, besides having drain pipes that go down, has vent pipes that go up to the roof, for gases, and well, other reasons that make plumbing work right.
2. No matter how plugged, you really shouldn't plunge a kitchen sink with a full size toilet plunger.
3. The water that spews out of the roof vent when you do plunge your big, plugged kitchen sink will run right back down along the pipe to the floor of your (thankfully) unfinished basement.
4. A sponge mop only picks up water off the basement floor about a quarter cup at a time.

Still, I guess you live, and you learn. We know other things we can do now, should the turkey smoking go awry in that fashion again, and as long as we don't mightily plunge the sink, the plumbing issues are non-issues.

All things considered, when you can wash your hands in a bathroom sink that comes with it's own acre of countertop, and all your stuff, is neatly tucked away out of sight in it's own little nooks and crannies of the bathroom furniture, it's still a pretty good weekend.

I KNEW Murphy wasn't done with me yet!

There they sat. Four lovely, perfect pumpkins, souvenirs of a trip to the pumpkin patch a couple of weeks ago. Procrastination having combined with a busy week and an minor automobile accident, we were finally getting around to carving jack-o-lanterns the night before Halloween.

Now the reason those pumpkins were sitting in the corner of the dining room has everything to do with my belief that I am right more often than not. Lion insisted they should go outside, and I insisted that they must remain inside to avoid the depredations of the squirrels.

Well, those pumpkins stayed inside, but the victory was no one's but Murphy's. Lion went to pick up his pumpkin, only to have the entire bottom drop out of it, splattering rotted pumpkin guts everywhere.

So, four pumpkins, three jack-o-lanterns, and one mess.

(But you know what, I was a little bit right. Just a little bit. Once we put the finished jack-o-lanterns outside, the squirrels acted like we'd just set out a buffet just for them. Still, not planning on keeping large squash in the house again anytime soon.)

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