gratitude: looking for the glass half full

Ah, the summer wind down.

The days when my kids are alternately bored out of their skulls, dreading the start of school, and feverishly pitching ideas for activities just in case they haven’t managed to cram enough fun into the 9½ weeks of summer gone by.

These are the days when I juggle last minute appointments and school prep, except this year my house decided to mutiny.  So while other parents are shopping for binders and book covers, I’m listening to a demolition.

No dramatic flair – there is literally a man with a sledgehammer knocking out tiles, walls, and flooring in my bathroom.  I never in my wildest dreams imagined I’d hear these sorts of crashing noises inside our home.

On the up side:  We didn’t go crashing through the shower floor ourselves before the water damage was discovered, it didn’t happen during the madness of our summer rush, and the kids (HALLELUJAH) will be back at school in a couple of weeks.

Now, we’ll be talking major gratitude once I have a bathroom of my own again.

the witness protection program: not just for snitches anymore

Ah, the good old U.S. Witness Protection Program.  There’s something vaguely reassuring about knowing, if I’m ever in the wrong place at the wrong time and see a hit go down, my government will whisk me off to a safe location and provide me with a brand new identity.  Knowing my luck, that identity would be a waitress in Idaho but hey…at least I’d be alive.  

It seems my laundry room has instituted its own version of witness protection.  Apparently certain articles of clothing in the house felt at risk and have been relocated for their own safety to an undisclosed location.  Unfortunately for me, no one thought I needed to be clued in on the transfer.

I blame the dryer sheets.

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SoCS – does anyone know a project fairy?

My brain is bouncing all over the place with this week’s prompt.

Bear has a book fair project due soon.  I walked into her room last week and stopped dead in my tracks – the place looked like a crime scene, just with clothes everywhere instead of blood.  I called her on it (if you can say sputtering “but what…I mean, how…what on earth happened in here?!?” is calling her on it), and as I crossed the room Bear actually had the gall to say, “Well, that’s my book fair project.”

Umm…okay, sweetie pie, this right here might be your project, but All The Rest is just mess.

We’ve passed the absorption point on home projects.  You know how it can rain up to a certain level and the ground happily drinks it up, but then there’s that tipping point when the flooding begins?  Our house is like that right now.  If there were soil we’d have worms swimming to the surface to play with the dogs.

Everywhere I turn there’s a project that needs doing.  Floors need two weeks straight of mopping just to peel off all the dog paw dirt.  Blinds need dusting and closets need cleaning out.  Laundry needs folding (yes, again), the storage room needs organizing, and the kitchen cabinets are a wreck.  I can’t even think about the garage, and cleaning out the office is a “project” like climbing Mount Everest is a “hike.”

It’s gotten to where I turn around four times, realize there’s just too much, and crash with the dogs.  I guess I’m waiting for the Project Fairy to pay us a visit one night.

I’d even be willing to leave her a little something for her trouble…

SoCS 2

Linda’s Stream of Consciousness Saturdays are open to anyone who’d like to participate.  Pop over and give her blog a visit.  This week’s prompt is “project.”

our socks may rebel once I lose my memory entirely

At the risk of branding myself overly obsessed with all things laundry, there is trouble with a capital T brewing in this house.

No, I’m not talking about the overpowering stank at the bottom of the kids’ hampers.  Or socks so stiff and crusty they could walk themselves to the laundry room.  It’s not even the omnipresent mountain of clothes that creates a real danger of suffocation should it collapse.

The passage of time has brought forth a new problem, and the struggle is real.

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when the learning curve is more like a learning crawl

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Why oh why oh WHY?!?

T-man and Bear are some pretty sharp tacks, but there are things that seem to be simply beyond comprehension for these kids.  Now, to be fair they are children, so it’s not like I’m expecting them to understand nuclear fusion or metaphysics.  They’ve gotta have something to study in college, after all.

That being said, there are some very basic concepts that I’d really think would be no brainers by now.  Unless I say “when you feel like it” then I truly mean “now, please” when I give an instruction, regardless of whatever iPad game has its hooks in you.  “Putting your shoes away” means a great deal more than shoving them under the nearest coffee table or chair. Leaving empty boxes in the pantry is just mean, and dirty clothes don’t teleport themselves to the laundry room.

But today?  Today we’re talking about trash versus recycling.

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the cleaning lady saved our marriage (or at least our sanity)


If the blog could speak, you’d hear that in a four-letter-word tone of voice.

Granted, housecleaning works on a sliding scale for me – some jobs are simply more onerous than others (oooohhh, points for vocabulary) – but I can’t say I dance with joy around my house as I clean.  As a matter of fact, it’s pretty safe to say they’ll never cast me in one of those commercials, smiling gleefully as I swish my Swiffer around the room.

If I lived alone this wouldn’t be a problem, but I live with two small humans who leave a wake of destruction that would rival, well, hurricane Gracie.  And I can’t exactly claim to be the neatest person in the world.  Plus there are two dogs wrecking their own havoc.  ‘Nuff said.

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all in…now let’s play!

We’ve started a new game at our house.  Here’s how it goes.

Take one small round basket filled with clean socks and underwear.  Place it on the coffee table, making sure it’s smack dab in the middle of everything.

Watching tv?  The basket’s there.  Reading a book?  The basket’s there.  Taking a nap, playing your iPad, or cuddling with the dogs?  The basket’s always right there.

Proof positive that clean socks and underwear actually exist in our home.

So the question is this: how many days will everyone stare at a basket of clean socks and underwear without folding it?  (Note I didn’t say “touching it” because we seem to have no problem pawing through the pile to take out one item at a time.)

And the answer is…

The kids?  Indefinitely.  That basket could sit there ’til hell freezes over and there’s absolutely no chance one of them would fold what’s in it.

BrightSide?  Until I ask him to fold them.  Then he’ll spend the next 45 minutes asking, “Are these yours?”  “Bear’s?”  “What about these socks?  Are these Bear’s or T-man’s?”

Me?  My record stands at one week.  The current basket’s been sitting there since Monday so I have a few days left to bring it in under the wire.

There’s probably something wrong with conducting a social experiment using the clean laundry, but darned if I can think of what it is…

Let the bad days go…

Sometimes it feels like we go from typical life to DEFCON 1 over nothing at all.  The kids have a bad day, I’m stressed out about my own stuff, Gracie steals one too many items and we’re off to the races.

I should probably print this post out and put it up someplace where I’ll read it every morning.  Every evening wouldn’t hurt either.

“I gave in to temptation and colored my hair right before bed.  And then at 11 o’clock P.M. I washed my hair 37 times because hair color called Espresso is called that for a reason…”

It’s a Bad Day, Not a Bad Life