gratitude: splish, splash, ahhh…

There’ve been a few things in life that brought me sheer joy.  The kinds of things that drop me to my knees in gratitude, kissing the ground because…well, because why not, it’s something people in the throes of joy do.  Things that swept me off my feet in terms of my word, this is life changing and I will never forget this moment even if I live to be 105.

Finishing our bathroom remodel was one of those moments.

I know, I know…it’s not curing cancer or finding a solution to hunger, but it rocked my world.  There.  I said it.

I fully own that these are first world problems because hey, any indoor plumbing at all, can I get a hell yeah? But finding that moldy and rotting subfloor beneath our shower’s tile was beyond distressing.  There was the psychological factor of omg, how long has it been like this, and how long is it going to take to fix, and how am I gonna live anything resembling my real life while they do.  Then there was the physical trauma – how long had I been breathing crap into my lungs, the illnesses I lived with while they tore out and removed the bathroom materials, how my body reacted when I passed through that space to get something from my closet during demo and construction.

Compared to all that, sharing a bathroom with my 13-year-old son was relatively painless.  Although I don’t know if he’d say the same.

At any rate, after a number of blips and blunders (all of which were fixed by our second contractor, a group I shall forever refer to as The Saviors of Our Master Bath) the remodel was finally complete at the end of November.  Yep, you read that right.  September, October, November, plus those two weeks in August – three and a half months of insanity in our house.  It’s kind of a miracle we all made it to the other side.

But when we did…my word.  I stand in this room now and am blissfully, ridiculously, unbelievably happy.  It is my peaceful space, and I am ever so grateful for it.

just in case wallpaper is part of your new year’s plans

My earliest memory of wallpaper is a foggy one.  My mom and dad were putting up some in a bathroom – it was one of those small half baths, the kind you have to turn sideways in to pass someone at the sink.  I’m not sure what inspired the home project, but I vaguely recall some rather sharp tones floating out into the hallway.  No death threats, mind you, but it was still a shock for a kid who never heard her parents fight.

But as an adult who has (by choice) had very limited practice with wallpaper?  Let’s just say I’m surprised I don’t remember anything getting thrown across the room.

The wallpaper experience is not for the faint of heart.

Continue reading

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.

Continue reading

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.

Continue reading

when the learning curve is more like a learning crawl

Screen Shot 2015-04-06 at 5.23.24 PM

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.

Continue reading

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.

Continue reading