Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Bathroom Waiting Game

Shout out to adooma who sent us this link to the NYC saw festival!  It will give you a taste of our Thanksgiving Eve.  Our saw guy plays most like the first man shown in the video.



We're this far and now we wait:

Actually we are a little farther.  I took this just before Snooky the Taper came. Apparently there is an art to taping and very little actual tape.  Now we wait for it to dry and then Snooky will come back 2-5 more times.  Then we paint because the floor guy doesn't like the painting done after he installs the floor because the ladder can dent the flooring . . . or something.  Then we wait for the tile guy who has two houses to do and the owners want them done before Christmas.  (Do I not want my bathroom before Christmas?)  Then we wait for the electrician again.  Then . . . I get a little foggy.  There's more.

So, to be honest, Brent and I were getting a little whiny this morning.  We want our bathroom nooooooowwwww.  We didn't know we would have this long to waaaaaaaaaait.

But then we remembered this video from Sunday:
And we remembered that when our bathroom is finished clean, drinkable water will flow out of those brand new faucets -- all we want.

Maybe everything else is bonus.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

A Poem for Tuesday

I'm going to sneak this little one in just under the wire.

November Night
Adelaide Crapsey

Listen . . .
With faint dry sound,
Like the steps of passing ghosts,
The leaves, frost-crisp'd, break from the trees
And fall.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Post Thanksgiving Blues

I've said it before and I'll say it again, you must get some adult children.  They are just so handy.

What a great weekend.  Oh, I won't lie to you.  I got tired. That was an awful lot of excitement from my average day to day existence, but how fun.  Our Thanksgiving Eve started out with church service at our old church which features a guy who can play the saw and then we ate pie.  What's wrong with that evening, I ask you? Nothing.

Thursday all of Big Daddy's children ate cinnamon rolls and watched the Macy's parade.  Then they helped me clean up and cook for our big party that evening.  I got so busy eating side dishes covered in cheese and my own tasty stuffing that by the time I got around to the turkey, I didn't even eat it.  Too bad too.  I make a tasty Alton Brown turkey.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Thanksgiving Camp Out

All of Big Daddy's children were safely under one roof last night.  This is in our spare room, and that was a problem:

No, not a problem.  We can work around that.

Since D's room has the most floor space, I thought we'd put s'on Jeremy and Rachel in his room.  When D saw the camp out in his room he decided he wanted to join. Can you see him over there?  The dog chose this room as well.

It made me think of this song.*  Jeremy and Rachel get my vote for best Thanksgiving Eve sports.

Colin got a sleeping bag and moved onto our floor.  (You will recognize the carpet, of course.) He's under there.  Trust me.

This left favorite s'daughter Shelby alone in Colin's room -- which is sort of funny as she is the most social one of us all.

What a good day to count our blessings whatever they are -- indoor plumbing, children, a good sense of humor.

Happy Thanksgiving, my blessed reader friend.

* Only the Holly Arlo Ronnie Pete way.  You either know what I mean or you don't. I hope you do because it's worth it.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Brothers and Bathrooms

When Preschooler D was born, Colin took one look at him in the hospital and said, "I don't want this any more."

Too bad, kid.  He stays.

Jeremy was staying with us at the time to help out, and I understand he and Colin had some sincere discussions about the benefits of being a big brother.  I'm not sure Colin was convinced.

Now, Preschooler D, like any busy kid, does not like to take the time to stop and go to the bathroom.  He's had a few accidents lately, and it irritates his mother. Oh . . . I mean me, I guess.

Yesterday he had another accident and in a firm and authoritative voice I told him to march upstairs and find clean pants. He marched -- wailing all the way.

Colin came into the kitchen where I was and asked, "Are you mad?"

No, I answered him.  I just want D to understand that he needs to stop and use the bathroom.

A few minutes later I went upstairs prepared to finish the battle with my small son.  I found Colin in the room helping his brother with his pants.  "This happened to me when I was little too."

D looked up at him and said, "It did?!"

"Yeah, it happens to a lot of people."

Oh, friends and loved ones, when I am tiny little old lady in the nursing home, I will remember this moment of brotherly comfort passed from oldest brother to middle brother to youngest in a way ol' mom never ever could.

I still need D to stop and use the bathroom, though . . .

Monday, November 21, 2011

This is it! . . . maybe.

Ernie,  the plumber AND the electrician are here.  Fortunately, I have a coffee date with my good friend Bess, so I am leaving.  I'll probably buy some extra gravy in a jar while I'm out. Shhhhhh . . . don't tell my mother-in-law.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Silence of the Bath

Our neighbor is having his roof redone. Last night when we went to bed the contractor's trailers were there.  This morning they are gone and the roof is only half done.  I'm not sure what that means, but it doesn't seem good.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

The Afterbath (HA! HA! Get it?)

That Ernie Birt doesn't mess around.  Check out the hole upstairs that used to be the bathroom.  Can you see on the wall that there was a second outlet behind the mirror.  Can you say plug in the electric toothbrushes AND the nightlight?! Why would you cover up an outlet?  I suppose the great-grandma who owned this house for 50 years before us didn't need it.  She probably wash and set her hair.  No need for dryer or curling iron.

Also there you can get a little peek at the vintage flooring that's underneath the vintage flooring.  It's very cool, but it's about to be covered up, so enjoy it now.

The pink/orange of that cupboard never really bothered me, but -- wow! -- look at it now.  That may require some paint.  Of course, I'm not sure how much of it will be left when the shower goes in.

The plaster on the walls was done against a steel chicken-wire like mesh which fascinated and tormented Ernie.  He'd never seen anything like it, so certainly I had not.  It's gone now.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Demo Day 1

When we moved into this house 11 years ago, I found the 60's decor in the main bathroom "fun."  Maybe even "quirky" -- in a good way, of course.

But can you see what's missing in this photo?

That's right.  There IS a groovy tinted glass two way cabinet where Brent and I enjoyed acting out this commercial for several weeks when we first moved here.  There IS NOT a shower.

So today my contractor Mr. Ernie Birt (no, really) is coming to make my bathroom less Mad Men and more . . . well . . . shower-ish. We shower in the basement now.  It's not a huge deal, but as we have discussed my basement is not the tidiest, and it will be nice to not have to send guests on the carefully marked trail through the basement to the shower.

It really humbles a gal to have to do that, you know.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Leaving in the dark

Before I fell asleep last night I was thinking about traveling to visit my great aunt.  She lived in Karlstad, a little town on the Canadian boarder.  I was sort of named after her.  She was Lisa D.  I was Lisa S. I wonder if my memories of trip to see her are what really happened or if my age at the time and time itself have confused things.

I don't know how many trips I might have made, but it all seems like one to me. I'm pretty sure it wasn't just one trip -- but that they were similar.  We would leave while it was dark.  I would be carried from my bed in my jammies and laid out in the backseat of the car -- Mom and Grandma and maybe an aunt.  Where did the aunt sit?  I suppose I didn't take up the entire backseat.

I suspect I started thinking about this because I saw a big steel thermos while shopping yesterday and I immediately thought of Mom and Grandma having a thermos of coffee in the front seat with them.  I remember stopping to eat breakfast and changing into my clothes -- but I also remember taking food along.  Was that lunch?  Once you leave the town that had breakfast, there isn't much chance to purchase lunch before you get to Canada, so maybe we did.

I read one time that the problem with childhood memories is that they planted in our heads from the perspective of the age we were when they happened.  What a four or five year old noticed on these trips are what is stuck in my head and the pieces that would make them make sense to a 42 year old are not -- like why on earth did we leave so early?

But there I was walking through the store, and I spotted the thermos and I thought of heading for Karlstad in the dark.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

A Poem for Tuesday

There's no significance to today's poem.  It just made me laugh.

Daddy Fell Into the Pond
Alfred Noyes

Everyone grumbled. The sky was grey.
We had nothing to do and nothing to say.
We were nearing the end of a dismal day,
And there seemed to be nothing beyond,
          Daddy fell into the pond!

And everyone's face grew merry and bright,
And Timothy danced for sheer delight.
"Give me the camera, quick, oh quick!
He's crawling out of the duckweed." Click!

Then the gardener suddenly slapped his knee, 
And doubled up, shaking silently,
And the ducks all quacked as if they were daft
And it sounded as if the old drake laughed.

O, there wasn't a thing that didn't respond
           Daddy fell into the pond!

Monday, November 7, 2011

Gifts for the Teen

Having children spread so far apart means that for the past 10 years or so I have run into the same gift giving problem . . .

What to buy the teenager in my life?

This is an especial problem here in the early teen years when they want games and toys -- but not really -- but maybe they do -- but they don't want to be seen "playing" with anything -- but they'll be disappointed if all they get are clothes and practical gadgets.

I asked Colin this morning what was on his Christmas list.

I dunno.  (This is a standard answer for nearly every question.  What would you like for supper?  How was school today?  Would you like a swift kick in the butt?)

Well, maybe a racing game. (Okay! Now we're getting somewhere!)

For a PlayStation 3. (No.  We don't have a PlayStation.  We have a Wii.  A PlayStation 3 is outside of the Christmas budget, especially for a family who just returned from "Central Florida.")

Colin looks at me and smiles and dashes upstairs.

I am back at square one.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Writer's Block Friday

Blah, blah, blah . . .

  • I want to make it perfectly clear, I was not driving my car while trying to balance a wine glass on the center console. I was sitting in the driveway.  I have reckless moments, but that is no longer one of them.
  • I just realized I have not eaten a fruit or vegetable since last Friday in the bus on the way to the airport when I ate a bag of grapes one of the boys rejected.  This is bad parenting by example.  This is bad for my general health.  I'm not even sure how I managed it.  I am usually better than this.  I am going to eat a piece of cake while I drink my second cup of coffee and think about this.
  • It was leaf pickup here yesterday afternoon.  My lawn looks clean and tidy and ready for a heavy blanket of snow. Hooray.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

What's that smell?

So last night the fancy schmancy radio in my car needed a little tweak which required me to sit in the car for a few minutes while a satellite zapped some information to my radio.  Brent and I were having a little wine with our pasta, so here's what I thought to myself, "I shall take the rest of this glass of wine out to the car with me while I sit and wait for the zapping of my radio."

I got into the car and realized there was no good place to set my wine glass.  Well, there shouldn't be, should there?  There should NOT be a wine glass holder on the driver's side of the car or, really, anywhere in the car.

Now, this is the moment I should have said to myself, "This is not a good idea, dear.  Take this glass back into the house."  But -- no -- I did not do that.  I placed it on the center console . . . and immediately knocked it off all over myself and the front seat and the front floor mat and all those handy little cubbies they put in the front of cars for you to stash your coins or maps or whatever.

You saw that coming, didn't you?  Why didn't I?

I cleaned up the best that I could, but I just really, really, really don't want to get pulled over in the next few weeks.  What am I going to say?  "Well, officer, I had this bag of grapes and they slid under the seat and we didn't notice until they fermented . . . um . . . into wine."

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

The day I put the shorts away

Well . . . I've got the laundry done and I put the shorts into storage right out of the dryer.  In some ways, this was easier than most years.   Minnesota has sort of fickle weather in the fall.  On the occasional odd year you can trick or treat in shorts.  Other years you need snow boots.  It can be difficult to know when the moment has arrived that it's time to actually switch to long sleeves and pants.

This year there was no question.  I needed to leave our shorts out until our trip.  It was time to put them away when we got home.  Easy peasy.  Wouldn't it be nice if there were more situations like that?

Take little Kim Kardashian, for example. Apparently there was a lot of gray area in deciding to get married 72 days ago.  The question, "Shall I marry a man on national television who wants me to give up my semi-celebrity lifestyle and have children and move to Minnesota" was a more complicated decision that it might appear on the surface to me. Now I believe Minnesota to be a more hip happenin' place than the rest of the country might think, and I believe we would have welcomed Mrs. Humphries with open arms.  I think first, though, we as Minnesotans would have asked her, "Kim, dear, are you sure?  Are you sure you're sure?  Are you ready to spend six months of the year covering your . . . um . . . assets?  Because that's the bottom line to living here.  Also our sense of celebrity is a little skewed.  We elected a pro wrestler governor.  We open our doors to find Prince doing his Jehovah Witness work and we just politely say no and offer him a decaf pop (soda) before he goes on his way.  We honor Sinclair Lewis as a hometown boy even though his writing mocked everything for which we stand.  The rest of the world understood that.  Us not so much."

No, little Kimberly wouldn't have been able to cut it here.  Sometimes we put our shorts away in September and sometimes November.  I imagine she doesn't put hers away at all.