Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Get Your Butt In Here

Alone at last with my computer, 2 bowls of cereal and Tivo.  I have time to blog today because...

1. My brain will explode if if don't.
2. I know how to successfully pawn my children off on other people
 and make it seem like it was their idea.
3. My house is LITERALLY wrapped up like a cocoon in plastic and there is NO WAY OUT!

Yes, Mr. Painter Men are here again.  It took them awhile to come back after the peep show.  And all the men are suddenly wearing large hats and sunglasses.  And I am in a parka.  And there is plastic covering every window and door.  They say it is to protect the door and window frames.  But we all know it's so they don't have any chance of seeing the 43 year old white woman in her birthday suit. I feel like we are in a large science experiment and we're being quarantined. Soon those men from the movie ET will break in and want to analyze us.  I just want to "phone home".  Or  go to Nordstrom's Cafe.

We are still in home staging/improvement/repair hell.  Monday the electrician was here, tomorrow the carpet cleaner and then hopefully Vern Yip from Design Star to put it all back together for me.  And just so I can say his name some more.  We are shooting for an Open House on Saturday.  I have always wanted strangers wandering through my house, checking out my underwear drawers and critiquing my cleaning and decorating skills.  So yes, the Open House is a dream come true.  (If you would like to come there will be a special viewing for blog friends.  The first 10 to show up will get a shirt that says "I saw Linda's underwear drawer and all I got was this dumb t-shirt").

So while people are traipsing through my house I will be taking in a quadruple feature at the movie theater. Any movie having to do with airbenders, vampires, or Tom Cruise running fast will do.


Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Peep Show

As we continue on our "staging" journey I begin to welcome strange men into my house.  The other day it was "painters".  Very nice Hispanic gentlemen. They were going to be outside all day so I would remain comfortably in my house.

I opened the blinds and curtains of my upstairs master bedroom to let the sunshine in as I do every morning.  I locked to bedroom door to avoid any traumatic encounters with my kids and jumped in the shower.  Ahhh.  Every time I shower I think I should do this more often.  I toweled off and walked into my  master bedroom wearing nothing but what God gave me.

And right outside my bedroom window was Mr. Painter Man.

I squealed (maybe added a swear word or two) and ran into my closet. Holy Crap, I just flashed the poor guy.  I don't think he saw me and was praying for a benefit of the solar shades that the manufacturer never intended.

I got dressed and very casually walked to the window and closed the blinds and curtains.

I texted my husband to tell him about the peep show.  And my sweet husband, who is forever defending my honor, texted this back:

"Make sure he subtracts that value from the total bill."

Or, as I pointed out, they could end up charging us hazard pay.


Wednesday, June 16, 2010

The Only iPad I Can Afford

My new iPad.

It is extra absorbent.

It has wings.

It comes deodorized for that not so fresh feeling.

It also comes in a mini and maxi. 

It fits right in my purse.

I am having trouble with a few of the apps. though. 


Monday, June 14, 2010

What I wish I had time for...

What I am NOT doing this summer.

It seems my life is not my own anymore.  Not my blog life, my commenting life, my reality TV life, my Gilmore Girls life, my out-to-lunch life or my play-mindless-games-on-my-iPhone life.  Right now it is all my Moooooom-life and moving-sometime-in-the-future life.  No time for anything else.  Right now as I am doing this it is cutting into my Laundry-Maven life.  But I will sacrifice a batch of stinky underwear for my blog-life.  So here are a few things I wish I had time to write about...

*How I took two little boys to the drive-in last week in my husband's whiny, finicky car and the battery died before the movie was over.  No radio.  I told Coltito to stick his head out the sunroof so he could hear the movie coming  from someone else's car. I then had to ask big-white-truck man  and yellow-shirt guy for help.  I did not know how to pop the hood nor where the battery was.  It was in the trunk.  Stupid car, deserves to get hit again.  All the while JarBear slept in the backseat.  Wish I could have traded him places.

*How I am having to "stage" my house to get it sold.  It is not enough to just clean the toilets and pick the toys up off the floor anymore.  Apparently my house of seven people is supposed to look like no one lives here.  No family pics and very little furniture.  So my SIL who is an interior decorator and should have her own show on HGTV and my MIL, came over to help me stage.  We moved out furniture, packed up boxes of games, books and stuffed animals. (Wish I could pack up kids. What? I would leave air holes)! I am having to make everything look organized and pristine.  Two words that have never been on my agenda.  So now I have to rent a STORAGE UNIT, for MY furniture.  So tiring, so overwhelming.  So makes me want to hit the chocolate and go into a diabetic coma.

*How during our staging process on Saturday, four weary, stinky, smelled-like-Smokey-the-Bear, campers camp home from their week-long adventures.  My house immediately smelled like campfire and my laundry piles begged to be doused with lighter fluid and taken out of their misery.  My hubby had grown a beard to enhance his male bonding experience.  It was thick and red and would have been the envy of any Kris Kringle wanna-be.  (For the sake of our love life, it is now shaved).

*How five of my kids are home. All. Day. Long.  How I have to-do lists for them that are greeted with eye-rolling or a glazed over stare.  How by noon I am so tired of the word "mom" I want to scream.  (But they are already screaming, so they wouldn't even notice).  How I would love the "what are we going to do today mom?" question turned into "what can I do for you today mom?".

So those are a few of things I would like to blog about but don't have time.  Maybe in September, when the kids are back in school, I will catch you all up on the Life-and-Times-of-the-Insane.


Thursday, June 10, 2010

The No-Crack Plumber

Today I found some mad plumbing skills that I had no idea even existed.  With the help of my dad and brother, and after about 6 beach towels and the now multi-functional large plastic popcorn bowls, I fixed the plumbing problem that I myself created.

I started out the day with much different intentions than being a plumber.  I was cleaning out the refrigerator and was going to move on to packing up some things and clearing out some clutter.  So I was emptying out bowls of what used to resemble food.  There was corn, roast beef, rice and something that I think was spaghetti sauce.  My garbage disposal was on full munch mode when I noticed the water backing up in both sinks. Ah crap.  I looked under the sink hoping there would be a blinking neon sign that said "Here is the problem."

Normally I would wait for the hubby to come home so he can pretend to use his plumbing skills but he is out of town this week. (I hesitate making that public knowledge, incase there are any crazies reading this who want to take advantage of my situation.  But let me warn you I have a fierce dog that can almost catch rats and I have seen every episode of ALIAS, and in my mind, I can kick some serious butt). So I did the next best thing...DAAAAAADDDDY!

Yep, I called my dad.  At that point I thought it was just a clogged garbage disposal.  So within 30 mins. Daddy was there with a tool.  He would fix everything.  Well with his tool he determined it was not the disposal.  So then, after emptying the water out of the sink he unscrewed some pipes.  No clog there.  He determined it was further back in the pipes in the wall.  Great.  I called the plumber.

Shortly after my dad left my big brother, who lives over 500 miles away, called.  This was not abnormal. He is nice like that.  Being the huge do-it-yourselfer that he was I started picking his brain about the clogged pipes.  Did I have a snake he asked?  Well we have a corn snake that we feed dead mice to, but  that is not what he meant.  I found our plumping snake thing and with my brother still on the phone, unscrewed the piped under the sink, got drenched in gross water and shoved it in.  Okay.  Now what? I screwed the pipes back together and turned on the water. Still clogged.  Then my brother mentions a plumbing balloon that he uses.

Plumbing balloon.  Or as I called it, the Water Weenie.

Yea I know what it looks like.  Go ahead and giggle and then get your minds out of the gutter.  So being home bound with two little boys and no babysitters I once again called my dad.  He went to Lowes for me and showed up awhile later with the phallic symbol that would unclog my pipes.  First I had to bring the hose in through the heavy trafficked doggie door.  I screwed the weenie on the end of the hose and shoved it in the pipe as far as it would go.  Then we turned the hose on.  The balloon inflates with water, and then shoots a very high powered stream of water out the end. (Yes, there is a hole in end.  Stop giggling).  Okay.  Was it working?  With my brother on the phone, Dad went outside to turn the hose off.  So with the water off the balloon deflates and all the water we just sent into the pipes shot out at me like Niagara Falls.  There may have been screaming and cussing.  I now had gross pipe water all over me and an inch of it all over the kitchen floor.  Enter the beach towels.  

Then my brother suggests calling a plumber.  Thanks a lot.  

So flash forward a couple of hours.  My favorite plumber has not called back.  But my brother does.  He asks if there was a pipe on the outside wall close the kitchen sink.  I have only lived here 8 years how should I know? Why by golly there was!  Now what?  I found a large pipe wrench and screwed off the end of that puppy.  Out came the foulest smell and gook.  My brother suggested I just shove the hose in to see if I could flush out the clog.  So I did and out shoots more gook and some RICE and pieces of ROAST BEEF.  All. Over. My. Patio.  Nice.  But it wasn't quite unclogged.  So I called my dad who had taken the balloon home.  The saint that he is, he came back.  Once again, there was screwing and inflating with water.  Voila! The water flowed and did not come back out like a backed up dam.  


Yea the whole job took about 8 hours from start to finish but I saved some money and never had to see a plumbers crack.  Nor did I have to bare mine.  After cleaning up food off the concrete, washing 6 beach towels, and putting my kitchen back together, I felt a sense of satisfaction.  Who needs a man anyway? Except for runs to Lowes and about 4 phone calls to by brother I am sure I would have figured it out. 



Monday, June 7, 2010

How to not catch a rat.

Some of you may recall our rat.  Not the cute kind of rat that wears a chefs hat and knows how to cook.  But the kind of rat that lives in your kitchen, eats your food and creeps you out just knowing it's around somewhere.  Watching. Waiting.  We tried the humane traps.  Then with no success we moved on to the "snap, yuck" traps.  Nothing.  We thought he was gone.  We got comfortable again.  We left our bananas on the kitchen counter. Vulnerable and alone.  They never saw it coming. We woke up a few mornings ago to see the familiar hole chewed in the side of one of the bananas.  HE was back.  Or he had never left. Shiver.

Whatever.  He was immune to our human made traps.  He was smarter than us.  Obviously.  And he had to prove it once more.  Our dog had to this point been useless.  If the rat had looked like a shoe or smelled like cheese he would not have had a chance.  But it seemed our Westie, Rex,  was oblivious to any rodent moving in on his turf.  But the other night at about 10 pm Rex finally turned into the hunter that would have made his ancestors proud.  He had been digging around the bottom of the cabinets on the island in the kitchen.  Maybe he had found a gold mine of crumbs.

I was upstairs when I heard my husband squeal like a little girl and shouting at the dog.  We all ran to the kitchen to learn that Rex had finally rooted out that rat, chased him across the kitchen and into the family room.  The rat used his smaller size to his advantage and slipped under and inside our large stuffed chair.
We know knew where he was and he was not getting away without a fight.

First my husband handed everyone a large plastic bowl.  Because everyone knows that should be your first arm of defense against a rat.  I guess we were supposed to trap it under the bowl when he came running out from under the chair.  That would have been difficult from on top of the chair I was standing on.  I was not about to put my feet on the floor while there was chance a rat would coming running towards me.
The rat aftermath.  My chair defaced.  Carpet turned over.  
And Rex still sniffing him out after he was long gone.

My husband was now in hunter mode along with the dog.  They both circled the chair wondering how to get the rodent out.  He tipped the chair on it's side.  We could hear the rat scurrying inside the char, under the bottom interfacing.  So only one thing to do.  Cut up my chair.  My husband proceeded to cut the bottom interfacing off my chair.  Sure.  Deface my furniture for the sake of the hunt.

While we were still armed with our plastic popcorn bowls and one kid with a blanket, hubby shook the chair and the rat came running out and under the couch.  Hunter Man then armed himself with the blanket to throw over the rat as my son flushed him out from under the couch with a broom.  Then there was screaming, yelling, squealing as the blanket trap actually worked.  For about 5 seconds.  The rat escaped out of the iron clad blanket plan and ran straight out the doggie door.  Holy Crap.

My house was a wreck and the rat is now living it up pool-side.


Thursday, June 3, 2010

How I Plan on Getting Fat this Summer

I seem to have a plan, no matter how unintentional the plan was.  But at the rate this non-intended-plan is going I will have reached my non-intended goal in no time.  My plan seems to be to get as little done as possible and get fat while doing it.  It goes something like this:

1. Sleep in every morning until 9 or 10 am because I can.  Because there is no school to get to, no diapers to change and my kids are perfectly happy eating popsicles for breakfast.

2.  Pay for a gym membership.  Buy gym clothes. Every-night when I go to bed plan on going to the gym in the morning.  Wake up at 9 or 10 am and NOT go to the gym.

3. Eat two bowls of cereal upon waking up.  Watch Gilmore Girls and So You Think You Can Dance on my Tivo.

4. Watch my kids swim, get exercise and sun while I watch, still wearing High School Musical jammies.

5.  Take kids to Denny's to celebrate the end of the school year and order a "French Toast Slam".  Which is also known as a "Vanishing Waist-line and Cholesterol Slam".

6.  Eat TWO Weight Watchers fudgesicles for a snack.

7.  Watch the kids do the Wii Fit and think "I should do that." Then go eat some jelly beans.

8. Drive to the mailbox which is 20 yards away.

9. Sit and read blogs every chance I get. All. Day. Long.

10. Stay up late, thus getting hungry again and make a large bowl of popcorn.

Now this non-plan may not work for everyone.  Like someone with a high, under 40, metabolism.  Or someone with any ounce of willpower.  But it seems to be my plan for the last few days. And with my 25 year high school reunion one month away it is my best game plan for winning the award for "the most changed."


Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Eat, Pray, Blog

I just returned from my very own "Eat, Pray, Blog" tour.  I got into my car last Thursday, all alone, and travelled 6 hours to Casual Blogger Conference 2010 (CBC). As I got into the car there were many things I was excited about.  After a hectic last week of school I was craving some me time, and then some more me time.  Aloneness.  Me, myself and I.  Did I mention I was so excited to be alone? Well I was.

I had planned my alone, car time carefully.   First, was the food.  I love to eat when I travel.  So I packed the essentials in the front seat next to me.  Diet Coke, Twizzlers, Whoppers and Jr. Mints.  Yes, I am my dentist's best friend.  Next was the tunes.  About 4 hours of "Glee" tunes to be exact.  And me singing at the top of my lungs.  Sing like no one is watching.  Right?  I awarded myself the "Suburban Idol Award" for my vocals on "Dream On".  Then when I started losing my voice, literally, it was time for my audiobook.  I started listening to this month's book club selection The Thirteenth Tale. 
Amazing storytelling and a perfect companion for the beautiful scenery of Utah.

First on the agenda upon arrival was CBC's Girl's Night Out.  It was an event that gave me butterflies in my stomach.  I was walking into a room full of women and bloggers that I had never met before.  And yet some of them I considered friends.   Would I recognize my virtual friends in person?  I mean everyone knows that a blog pic ads 10 lbs!  I was not in the room one minute when I heard "Linda!"  and there was cute, cute Serene!  I was immediately with friends.  (pics on her blog.  I was a lame picture taker).  What a surreal night.  Meeting women that I only knew through blogs but felt as though we had known each other forever.  And that is how the whole weekend went.  Meeting, hugging, saying "I love your blog."
Alexes and I representing Nevada!

And a highlight for me was running into a celebrity crush LDS singer/songwriter Hilary Weeks!  I have seen her perform and entertain on several occasions and own several of her CD's.  She was there as an attendee and I saw her walking to the same photography class I was going to.  And I could not keep my mouth shut.

Me: Hilary Weeks! I love your music. I have actually talked to you before when you were in Las Vegas. (lame comment #1)

Hilary: (thinking oh my gosh. why can't she just let me be.) Oh thank you.  So you have a blog?

Me: Yes! (And pointed to my tag with my blog name on it because I knew she wanted to read my chest. Lame comment #2).

Hilary:  I like your outfit.

Me: (Thinking 'oh my gosh',  Hilary likes my outfit.  Just say thank you. But I am way too lame to just leave it at that).  Thank you.  Some of this is from thrift stores! (lame comment #3)

Hilary:  (looking completely perplexed.)  Thrift stores like TJ Maxx?

Me: (Feeling perplexed.  I guess for someone like Hilary, TJ Maxx may feel like a thrift store) No, like the Goodwill and DI.  ( Yep, I just told Hilary Weeks that I shopped at the DI.  Nice.  Lame comment #4).

Then I was saved by my bloggy friends Krista and Lisa.  Hilary and I were both thankful for that.

Serene and Charlotte

In between learning about photography (apparently I have been doing it all wrong), blogfrog, realtionships, finding my voice (I didn't know I had lost it) and becoming a millionaire blogger, we ate.  And ate. And ate.  Can you say Chick Fil A TWICE in one weekend?  My tummy was as full as my brain.

I  extended my trip by a day and let my husband enjoy the kids alone for Memorial Day.  Yes, I am generous like that.  It is a bit scary how much I enjoyed travelling and being alone.  I did miss my kid's faces and kisses.  I missed my husbands embrace (but not his scruff he is now growing out for Scout Camp next week. Love being kissed by Grizzly Adams).

 I loved being alone with my thoughts.  Being alone with my blog friends.  Being alone with my snacks and my tunes.  Being alone with my lame comments and Hilary.  I am home now.  Soooo not alone.  Kids are all home.  There is something to do or clean or pick up everywhere I turn.  So I will continue my Eat, Pray, Blog tour with a few added distractions.



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