Wednesday, February 27, 2008

If You've Gots the Poison, I've Gots the Remedy

Nothing says first-class parenting like letting your children fall asleep on the couch while your catch up on email. Nothing.

Also first class? Getting into a bicker with your husband over the damn turtle and hey! Guess what! He knew the turtle had an algae problem on his shell and thought I heard him when he muttered about it across the house. Did I mention it's Aaron's birthday? Happy birthday two thousand miles away. Sorry for trying to convince you to let me organize the house. I didn't mean to piss you off.

Did you know freshly-minted six year olds shower? They do. They don't know how to wipe their own ass but they sure as hell prefer a shower over a bath.

Let's talk mops!

Now, I'm the first person to admit I'm a sucker for cleaning supplies. Part of it, I'm sure, is due to the fact that during the majority of my childhood my dad was married at a psychotic Southern Baptist (aka, my stepmonster) who had me fully trained in cleaning everything in the house by the age of eight and she instilled that whole cleanliness-is-godliness bullshit because if you think about? Really? God made a lot of dirt. I mean, if you believe in what she believed God made the earth and made man out of sand and all that stuff so really... how's cleanliness next to godliness?


Also? I'm OCD. The children have taken a lot of that away from me, but I dream perfectly white linens and get a wee bit obsessed with stains.

Aaron claims my cleaning obsession is "almost cute" the way I like to try new products (what's not cute about it? the piles of the shit that don't work in the basement because Aaron won't let me throw them away; that's not cute).

Disclaimer: in no way is my house ever clean to my satisfaction. Ever. Don't come by unannounced because I may not let you in because I'm not happy with it. Also, I may not have a bra on.

So, here's what I use around my house no. I'm proud of the way I manage to pare down the amount of stuff I use.

For the small jobs:

The swifter. God, I love this thing. And yes, it's dirty. Because it gets used a lot. I use it for light sweeping and for wet-swiftering when I think the floors need a pick-me-up and need to be a bit more sparkley.

Don't look at me like that. You know sometimes you want your floors to be a bit more sparkley too.

In the kitchen area, I dry swifter daily and wet swifter every few days.

When things get serious around here, I pull this puppy out:

The Bissell Flip-It. Just so you know, if you're not? You should be oooohhhing and aaaaahhhhhing right now.

I asked for this for my birthday a few years ago when Darwin had just discovered that food is sometimes wet and gravity always works. Dude. Toddlers. Seriously.

You can vacuum bare floors with it and when the big stuff is vacuumed up you turn it 180 degrees and WHAMMO, it mops and squeegees the floor dry in one pass.

And (hold on to you hats!) it has different pads for different kinds of floors and it has different cleaning solutions for wood floors and other floods (we have wood floors underneath our carpet, which someday will be exposed so help me Goddess).

Once I got this, I didn't need anything else. Or so I though.

Which brings me back to my scrub-your-house-clean mop...

This, by far, is my favorite type of real-mopping mop. The squeeze action of getting all the nasty water out of the sponge rocks and now with the additionally green bristle things... ::swoon:: the dried sewage covering my basement floors isn't gonna have a chance in hell.

So, that's all I have as far as mops go. Now, if you'd like to discuss dusting cleaner, laundry detergent, bathroom products... woowee, I could chew your ear off about those things, honey.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

The More of This or Less of This Or is There Any Difference

I ran into Alicia today at the grocery store. I showed her the great new mop I was buying to properly scrub all the ick in the basement.

I pointed out the super cool green bristles. "See? It mops and scrubs," I pointed out.

She sighed and gave me a sympathetic look.

Yeah, it's not nearly as fun as talking about fabric. I know.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Break it Down Again

My house has officially staged a revolt.

Last week, we replaced a ton of our return plumbing. Last night, an old pipe burst. Our kitchen sink exploded and the plumber is just gonna have to move in.

As Aaron was leaving this morning, the back door fell off its hinge.

Sixty-five years old and my house is telling me it's ready to retire.

I'll be back on when writing about sewage isn't the center of my life.

postscript: guess who needs to tear out a wall and have the main water valve replaced.... go on, guess!


They dug up my yard. What they needed to fix isn't broken. Now, I get to tear out a wall in the basement and have my main system replaced.

Of course, Aaron's on a business trip.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Ain't No Finer Boy in Town

Today, Griffin, you are six.

I'm not quite sure how that's happened.

I mean, I've been around, I'm paying attention but it's like you magically went from a screaming baby to this person that builds stuff with Legos and constantly comes up with original ideas and I'm all, dude, what happened to mah baybee?

You categorize life into they way you want everything to fit together. Like, how you say, "Mom, one days you're gonna wake up and say 'no rules today' and it's totally gonna be the best day of my life even though you will have obviously lost your mind."

As if that hasn't already happened.

You prefer your daddy over me, I think mainly to piss me off. You constantly build stuff with Legos. You're starting to recognize words and you can easily sound words out but you still don't like school. As you say, "they have no science, Mom, why go to school if there's no science?" and "we don't get recess everyday and that's just ridiculous." But you go to school and tell me about gym class and what kids got sent to the safety seat that day. I'm sure they all appreciate your neurotic tendencies to remember such details for months.

Your biggest concern in life, other than preventing people from breaking apart your Lego creations, is having a social calendar. Unfortunately, even though we have lots of friends, we aren't able to have playdates every single day and you act as though the Earth is going to tilt off its axis if we go one day of not playing with friends.

Because, you know, hanging out with me is just awful.

Six. Wow. The years keep flyin' by.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

When the Going Gets Tough, the Tough Get Goin'

Know that bullshit saying that bad things happen in threes?

That should totally be the motto of my life. I swear. Holy hell.

Our bathtub (now, let me just say right here we have two bathtubs in the house; unfortunately, a few months after we moved into the house eight years ago, Aaron broke one and never got it fixed so we essentially have one bathtub in the house) has been draining slowly for about two months now and it's nearing the point of not draining at all.

I've been wanting to call a plumber, but Aaron has these grandiose ideas of fixing things himself, like that one time? Where he snaked our washer drain line? That's like a three foot straight shot to the main drain? And it took him over 12 hours to do it? And I have to stand by and pretend to be all supportive and impressed with his master manly super hero skills? Yeah.

So, I've been waiting on Aaron to snake this god damn drain for over six weeks ("I can totally do that myself!") and this weekend I was all "Dude, I'm callin' a plumber" and he was all "No, you're not" and then he gave Darwin a bath and it stuff backed up into the tub and Darwin completely lost his shit and then Aaron was all "Okay, you can call a plumber now" on Monday night.

So yesterday I called around and found someone who could come out that afternoon and it was gonna cost less than a hundred bucks and I was all "woo hoo! I' can take baths again!"

So then the dude comes out and snakes and snakes and GUESS WHAT HAPPENS NEXT.

He decides to take some pipes apart to see what's happening because the tub still isn't draining and he finds...

[I really hope you aren't eating anything.]

[Because this is really gross.]

[And by "gross" I mean really fucking nasty.]

Dude. The pipe is full. The left side (full side) is original to the house, cast iron which is rusting and essentially clogging itself.

So now the plumber is here to rip out a shitload of pipes and our mainstack and replace it all.

And I'm looking for one-way tickets to get the hell out of here. Someplace with alcohol and running water without drainage issues.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

If You Didn't Come to Party, Don't Bother Knockin' On My Door

Yes, I saw the doctor yesterday. And yes, it was as fabulous a visit as I expected.

"So, Laura. Why are you here?"

"Doctor D pulled some blood work on me and I wanted to go over the results."

"O-kay. Why are you seeing me then?"

Dumbfuck. "Because Doctor D left a month ago to go to his other practice."

"Why didn't you see him before he left?"

Oh my hell. "Because my results were just came in Tuesday."

"Why'd they take so long to get in?"

Because your office is ran by a bunch of fucking imbasols. "I have no idea."

"Why aren't you just seeing him at his new practice?"

It's nice to know I'm a valued patient, asswipe. "Because insurance doesn't cover me there."

"Alright, well let's take a look" ::clickety, clacketing away on his computer:: "I don't see any test results for you."

"Yes, they're there."

"Nope. I don't see anything for you since November."

Cocksucking fucktard. "No, he ordered them and pulled them in December."

"Oh, it was just a lab?"

No, it we met up in Greece for rough sex and an appointment first. "Yes. Just a lab."

"O-kay, here they are. Huh."


"Well, these don't mean anything. Have a nice da-"

::Aaron walks in the door::

"Hey, did I miss anything?"

"Um, YEAH. The doctor claims my test results don't mean anything."

"I didn't say that"

Sexist Pig, yes you did. "Yes, you did."

"No, nonononononono, I said I didn't know what they mean."

What the fuck you don't know what they mean? How in the hell did you get your MD license? "What? What do you mean you don't know what they mean?"

"I don't know what them mean, so obviously they aren't important."

Oh my hell, do you know how to wipe your own ass? "Dude. They are way off. They are important."

"No, they aren't."

OH MY GOD! "Yes, they are!"

"So what do you think they mean?"

"That one shows I had rheumatic fever as a child."

"No, it doesn't."

Don't fuck with me, asslicker. "Dude, you just said you don't know what they mean. Now you're trying to tell me you magically know what they mean?"

"Yeah, they don't mean anything."

He's lucky I don't like guns. "I have an idea. Why don't you refer me to a doctor that actually knows something. And you're gonna pull some blood work on me."

And that, my dear friends, is how the doctor's visit with a new-to-me doctor at our family center went. I convinced him to pull three tests on me (he even threw a hissy fit because he wanted to do his lyme instead of the one I was told to have done, so he pulled both) and refer me to someone else.

The office he referred me to is for HIV and Bird Flu patients. Because, he's an asshole and obviously doesn't know shit about medicine.

So... we need a new focus around here.

What do you think about that weather?

Sunday, February 17, 2008

The Smell of Hospitals in Winter and the Feeling That it's All a lot of Oysters, But No Pearls

This is my submission for BlogHer's Plans for Living Healthier for 2008, I've been sitting on it for awhile because I'm having issues accepting what's going on right now.

Last week I got a phone call from my doctor.

Back in December he told me he was leaving our family practice to go to work for an alternative practice.

Now, I love me some rockin’ alternative medicine. No doubt about it. He decided to run a blood panel on me checking some stuff out, just as practice for going to his new venture.

My results are in.

In my doctor’s words, I’m “pretty damn sick.”

Now, I’ve always had a myriad of medical problems – polycystic ovaries, Celiac Disease, Wilson’s Syndrome (a thyroid disorder), multiple food allergies and intolerances.

The blood tests, mostly used to check levels for antibodies, are pointing to Chronic Lyme Disease, Cancer and Lupus.

For those of you in the back: LYME DISEASE, CANCER AND LUPUS.

Now the tests don’t necessarily say I have those, the results show that I potentially have those and that my body is a nice breeding ground to create cancer. It doesn't mean I have it, and I'm holding on to that philosophy.

So, the new resolution around her? Figuring out what exactly is going on. Perhaps, finding a label to my chronic health issues I’ve dealt with for well over 20 years.

Twenty God damn years and maybe, finally we'll have a label.

Amazing how life can jump up and bite you in the ass and give you new motivation.

Friday, February 15, 2008

So Let's Sink Another Drink, 'Cause it'll Give Me Time to Think

Busy week.

Valentine's Day + Griffin's sixth (holy fuck, sixth!) birthday party tomorrow + headcolds = a week of stressed-out awesomeness

Why, oh why, does the computer and the internets does not have an official "not equal" sign? My life is hopeless and empty without a not equal sign.

Is three o'clock too early for a rum and coke?

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Every Time I Think of You I Feel Shot Right Through with a Bolt of Blue

I miss the melodic hum of my sewing machine.

Unfortunately, life keeps getting in our way.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

I Like, I Like when We're Quiet with One Another

More cold + more snow = glitter glue time

"Look Dar, it's snowing"

"It's snowing?"

"Yeah, pretty soon it's gonna look like a winter wonderland!"

"But I don't want a winter wonderland! I WANT SPRING!"

Aaahhhhh, dude, I totally agree.

(Gluten-free banana bread recipe is up!)

Monday, February 11, 2008

Been Crazy All Day Long and it's Only Monday

"Mom, I'd like a snack."

"Okay Griff, would you like an apple or a blood orange?"

"I would like chips."

"Apple or blood orange?"


"Apple or blood orange?"

::gruff:: "Fine. A blood orange."

::cutting orange::

"Um... I don't think I can eat that. It's actually bleeding!"

Just out of curiosity, why do I need to recover from weekends? I mean, it's not like much got accomplished around here and Mondays just seem to be intensively more crazy the older I get.

Friday, February 08, 2008

Making Some Sense Where There's No Sense at All

Finally, finally, the Thrifting Gods have smiled upon me (it's nice to know they are sharing the love)...

a men's plaid shirt (I keep "collecting" men's shirts to make the boys quilts with, someday it will happen) and funky striped curtains (Rachel agrees, some sort of funky cotton velour ::swoon::)


know what it is?

wait for it...

pure, unadulterated AWESOMENESS. An old, old, old typewriter that doesn't plug in. The boys love it. Well, they love it when they aren't jamming it.

We are looking forward to the weekend here. Supposedly it's gonna be jacket weather and supposedly Aaron's gonna fix two light fixtures (both of which have been broken for over four years) (go ahead, laugh on with me). As for me, I foresee sewing time (gotta do something with my 20-something red and white fat quarters) (it's an illness, I agree) and wishing on stars for magical fairies to come clean my house.

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Workin' for a Livin', Livin' and Workin'

"Knock, knock, Griff."

"Who is it?"

"It's Dar."

"What do you need, Darwin?"

"I need to go potty too, Griff!"

"Sure!" ::opens door:: "Come into my office!"

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

You Could Say I Lost My Faith in Science and Progress

Remember that time I went to the Kansas caucus and stood outside in freezing temperatures forever?


You don't?

Well, go grab a cup of coffee and I'LL TELL YOU ALL ABOUT IT.

The Kansas Democratic caucus was last night. Now, from what I can tell the caucus is an old-school way of voting. You don't really vote but your presence gets counted and the delegates get determined based on your presence. Or some shit like that.

Now, that caucus was to begin at 7 p.m. The doors to the caucus opened at 6 p.m.

My friend, Kristi, and I were to attend the same caucusing location so we decided she's pick me up. We found a parking spot at 6:15 p.m.

Google maps measured and said we parked a quarter mile from the caucusing location.

It was freezing, well below 32 degrees fahrenheit and pretty damn windy. Kristi and I, along with her seven year old son, walked from the car to the caucusing location.

But the line, THE LINE. By the time we got to our place in line, at 6:20, we were here:

It was DAMN COLD. But we were talking to people around us, telling my friend's son how we were surrounded by Democrats and It Is Glorious. We watched near-car accidents and watched how the line kept expanding. We estimate well over 1,000 people ahead of us.

At 7 p.m. the caucusing people stopped allowing people to get in line. We estimate over 3,000 people in line to caucus. Here's where we are:

Sometime around 7:30 I became aware that this line is barely fucking moving. It was cold. And windy. With freezing drizzle.

This is also the point with the belligerent asshole starts acting crazy. Now, when you have a group of people this big, there's always gonna be a belligerent asshole and it's my role in the Universe to somehow always be next to him (or her). He begins screaming, "Don't think you've been to a caucus" and "This is not a democracy!" and "Ever been to a caucus breakfast?" For the rest of our time in line, he never shuts up.

Around 7:45 they began to offer some people to go inside another building to warm up. Kristi and I take turns taking her son inside.

Sometime around 8pm people began to tell us what! a! good! job! we're! doing! And how every! vote! will! count!

At 8:15 they started to tell us the results of our polling. Remember -- at this point I've been standing outside for nearly two hours. The first batch was Obama 150, Hillary 80. The second batch was Obama 105, Hillary 37. The third batch of 50 people was being let in.

Holy fucking shit. We've been standing outside for two hours and only 372 out of well over 3,000 have been allowed to caucus?

Then it comes to light that they only expected 200 to 300 people. They don't have their shit together AND they are taking smaller batches in for caucusing.

I call Aaron (again, I had been calling every 30 minutes or so) and he says his mom (in Michigan) heard the announcement that Obama has taken Kansas in a landslide. He looked it up and Obama is winning but no official announcement yet.

Meanwhile, I'm whining to him that I need to get off the phone, when I'm on the phone with you my hands freeze. My toes are numb despite all the fidgeting. my ears hurt. I had on a light jacket and short-sleeved shirt. I'm fucking cold.

8:20 p.m. Over 300 people still ahead of us. They barely let anyone in. And Kristi's son is Officially Losing His Shit. Now, I don't blame him, he has been amazing through this whole thing but the way he loses his shit is similar to the kind of shit-losing when you're suppose to smack someone across their face.

We decided to leave. Finally.

We take about 20 steps away from the line, headed to the car, at it starts sleeting. A down poor. We're walking as fast as we can, ice cubs are ricocheting off my nose. It hurts. The sidewalks are getting slippery. I can't feel my toes.

8:50 p.m. I arrive home after a short jaunt to get Kristi's son some hot cocoa. I'm dripping wet. I was so cold I didn't realize I was wet. I walk in, strip down, get the shower ready. I have red splotches all over my legs, my toes and ears are bright red. I take a warm shower and huddle in bed with five blankets. I can't get warm for hours. By 9:30 Obama takes Kansas with 70-something percent.

Lesson: Well, I wish there was a good one. I really wanted to caucus and I'm disappointed I didn't have the opportunity. It's great the Obama won Kansas with such a large landslide but it's a stab to the heart that my voice wasn't counted. It's a disgrace that this happened, and it wasn't just me and my location either. Over 1,100 people at my location did get the opportunity to caucus. The last one started after 10:30 p.m. Well over 2,000 people left without voting.

And I'm pretty sure that I chillblains on my toes and on my legs. So I'm never standing outside in below freezing temperatures with freezing drizzle ever again.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

I’ll Think I’ll Write My Congressman and Tell Him to Pass a Bill

I'm going to caucus tonight. I don't know what to expect other than snow, lines and donuts (which I can't have; wheat - you evil, evil bastard).

This is my first opportunity to caucus. We didn't caucus in 2004 (Kerry already got the nod, which was fucked up because Howard Dean was way fucking better than John Kerry) and in 2000 I wasn't yet an "official" Kansan.

Shhhh... listen... you hear that? Yeah, that's the sound of my children locked in their room. They both had to be put in time out multiple times in Whole Foods. If I was cursin' type of person, I might call them little bastards. Luckily for them, the curses only (well, mostly) come out of my fingertips with a clickity-clank on the keyboard.

This is a cricket Tuckie refuses to eat.

See? The pussy turtle is afraid of the cricket.

(This is a new low... turtle blogging... someone send me some sunshine.)

(And warm weather.)

(And alcohol.)

Monday, February 04, 2008

My Mind is Set On Overdrive, the Clock is Laughing in My Face

I'm starting to think that maybe, just maybe, my goals are a wee bit lofty. Even for myself.

Shocking, I know.

So... take for instance the weekend. I wanted to do some sewing, some errand running, give Aaron some time to do stuff and relax. Now, I wouldn't think this would be such a crazy idea but apparently the Universe likes to jump up and bite me in the ass and be all hells no and force me to sleep all weekend.

And not even that lackadaisical beauty-rest, oh hells no. More like thrashing around, being a zombie and totally cranky afterwards kind of sleep.

Was I sick? Nope. Broken bone? Nuh-uh. Doped up on muscle relaxers? No. So, what the fuck?

What the hell was up with the sleep then, Universe? What the hell?

In other news, our turtle is a total complete pansy-ass and thinks the world revolves around him. He won't even eat the nice, tasty worm I got him cuz he "wasn't in the mood" for it.

I wonder where he gets it from?

In case you're living under a rock, here's some videos you should watch:


(do NOT watch at work!)

Happy Monday. (I swear... I'm not gonna go take a nap)

Friday, February 01, 2008

Listen to the Wind Blow

I am so over winter.

I'm tired of being stuck in the house. I'm tired of feeling tired (mommies should get naps). I'm tired of the wheezing woosh of the winter wind whipping (damn, that's some fine onamonapia right there) around my old house.

While were at it, other things I'm tired of:

a broken oven (we've been here eight years [the oven is well over 25 years old] and it's always had issues but now, now, when you set it to 350 it will either heat up to 225 or 435)

college leftover bedroom furniture (including a 30 year old mattress; I try not focus on that much)

cold, hard soil

husbands working weekends

road salt on my shoes

screaming, banshee children running around the house because they can't go outside

starbucks costing over five dollars for a latte (which is why I don't get them anymore, hmph)

a broken ice maker (thanks, aaron) in a refrigerator that spoils uncooked meats in two days

carpets on hardwood floors

caves (::cough, cough:: Aaron ::cough, cough::)

messy basements

incompetent digital cameras

explaining to a three year old that no, we can not go swimming today

waking up to a 52 degree bedroom (no, I'm not shitting you)

Things that aren't so bad:

homemade ice coffees with lego-shaped ice cubes

a well stocked pantry

pixar dvds

the internets

quilts + comforters

fuzzy purple socks

gluten-free chocolate cinnamon bread

trips to the craft store for valentine supplies

old furniture (and pianos, despite what the piano man says)

the hum of the sewing machine

husbands working to take care of the family

two non-broken feet