Thursday, May 20, 2010

Magic Machines


Very important for life.

Very important for cleaning too.

There are these nifty things in my house that use water for cleaning. Machines you may call them.

There is one that magically cleans clothes. You put the clothes in. You add some soap to the dispenser (the area that says "soap"). Press a button.

Less than an hour later, it's magic. The clothes are clean and ready for the dryer.

There is another machine that magically cleans dishes. You put the dishes in. You add some soap to the dispenser (where it says "soap"). Press a button.

More magic happens in this machine. When it stops the dishes are clean.

It's amazing.

Why is it that I'm the only person in my house seems to be capable of using these machines? There are only three steps to operate either one of them.

I'm going out of town - God help the fam.

Silver Lining:

  1. I'm only leaving for six days.

  2. I'll make sure they have a week's worth of socks, underwear, pants & shirts. Although they may not get out of the PJ's on Sunday, which for them, means changing underwear is optional.

  3. They could be in trouble on the dish front though. There are only ten melamine kid plates and we have two kids and I'll be gone for more than five meals. Good news is we have Corelle for the grown ups - it's is really just the grown up version of melamine. In a pinch, the kids could use the grown up plates. As a back-up, there are paper plates in the cabinet - about three shelves above the Margaritaville Machine (One that uses water of the frozen variety. Of course, Hubby knows how to operate this one. And I'm sure it will get used while I'm gone.)

PS - Hubby, this does not excuse you from attempting to use said machines while I'm away - I just gave you the basic instructions. I'm positive you'll try to keep the house in some kind of orderly fashion while I'm gone (or at least you and the girls will make a mad dash to make it look that way on Friday night before I get home).

Thursday, May 13, 2010

The Battle of the Bird

We have a transom window above our front door. It doesn't open; it's just for decoration.

As such, there is a little bit of a ledge. Apparently, just the right depth for a bird nest.

Or so a particular robin seems to think.

I don't think so.

We use the front door a gazillion times a day. We have a three car garage in the back of the house which we access via an alley. The garage is full of unorganized stuff, so we don't park in it. That's a story for another day. (I know, I think I've been saying that for a couple of years now.)

I am not parking on the driveway, walking around the garage (in the generally wet or snow covered grass), and across the back patio to reach the back door.

Oh. My. Gosh. That's like, 60 feet. At least.

It is so much faster to park on the street and be just a few feet from the front door.

Anywho, back to the bird.

A couple of months ago, I noticed a bunch of grass and whatnot on the front porch right in front of the door. I swept it off into the mulch.

The next day, it happened again. This time I also observed a robin heading toward the house and making a dramatic turn when it saw me.

Gears started turning in my head. No, there wasn't any smoke emanating. I've use my brain often enough to know you have to spray some WD-40 up there once in awhile.

I made my eyes all squinty-like, pursed my lips and thought to myself, "That bird is trying to make a nest up there."

Now, I don't have an issue with birds building nests. I know there would even be interesting learning/observation moments for the kids. But I can't have a bird nest right above my front door.

Birds poop.

A lot.

And their nest isn't their bathroom. It would be my front door and porch right below the nest. I have a home based business and I can't have a front door that is constantly covered in bird poop. Also, since this is our main point of entry, I can't have a bird dive bombing us every time we use it because we're getting too close to the eggs/baby birds.

Sorry, birdie, we were here first. You are going to have to go some place else. A tree perhaps - there is one only ten feet away with a nice amount of leaves to provide adequate coverage. There are even a couple of other places where the pillars support the roof of the porch that would be good nesting spots.

Just not right above the front door!

Well, I couldn't have him building his nest there so I scooped up all his fallen materials and threw them in the trash. I wasn't going to give him easy access so he could just try again.

After I threw away the mess, I saw him up in the transom window trying to build the nest. AGAIN! Doesn't he get that there just isn't enough room up there????

I opened the door, screamed, "Bah!" at him, and he flew away. I looked like a crazy woman in my bathrobe screaming, "Bah!" at my front door for a couple of days afterward.

Whatever he was using to try to build the nest wasn't staying up there anyway. I was constantly cleaning up my front porch and filling my trash with twigs, dried grass, that netting they use to keep sod together, etc.

After a few days, I didn't seen him anymore and thought he had found himself a nice tree to make a nest in.

Until yesterday.

Let me mention we'd just had a real nice storm and the ground was sopping wet. Some would call it muddy.

The bird would call it glue.

Yup, now he had dried grass & twigs & mud.

When I woke up and walked down the stairs, I could see something in the corner of the transom window. More eye squinting and pursed lips. "That bird is back."

I grabbed a coat hanger and knocked down what little he had up there. I scooped up the meager mud hut beginnings and threw it in the trash.

I took my shower and got the family ready for the day.

An hour later, as I walked down the stairs, I actually saw the bird in the transom window with a mouth full of muddy grass. He saw me and flew off into a tree. Where he belongs!!!!!

I grabbed the hanger and knocked down a bigger wad of mud and grass. As I was doing this, I heard, "Gack! Gack! Gack!" I looked at the bird and said, "Don't you talk back to me. You can't build a nest here." I was very stern. I even wagged my finger at him.

I had to run out for a bit. When I returned an hour and a half later, that gosh darned bird had an even bigger wad of mud and grass up in the transom window.

Obviously, my stern warning wasn't enough of a deterrent. I know, it doesn't really work with the kids either. I don't know why I thought it would work on something that didn't even speak my language.

I marched up the porch steps and grabbed the coat hanger. I left it out on the porch earlier. Perhaps it was a passive attempt at a threat, but that didn't deter the bird either.

I flicked the mud off that ledge and it landed with a splat.

I needed a new plan.

To the garage!

After a brief search, I came up with water balloons. Hard to believe it was a brief search in that garage, but it was like a beacon of light was shining on the balloons. Not really, they just happened to be at the end of an eye-level shelf right in front of the access door.

I blew up several and tied them to a string. Ran to the basement for a nail & a hammer. Scrambled to place a chair under the transom window. Stretched on my tippy toes to hammer the nail into casing and tied on my string of balloons. That bird was getting faster at building his mud huts so I had to execute ASAP.

The fluttering balloons should keep him at bay.

I'm determined. I. WILL. WIN.

Silver Lining:

  1. 24 hours and counting and there is no more mud in the transom window.

  2. I've always resisted putting any nails in the casing around the door and transom window for Christmas garland so my front door has always had just a boring wreath on it. It's a pretty wreath, but just so cliche. Now that the first nail has been driven, I might as well put in some more when I go to put up the Christmas decorations this year.

  3. I'll get a head start on those Christmas nails. The balloons are pretty deflated today so I'm going to evenly space some nails and hang old CD's from them using fishing line. Hopefully, they won't be to obvious from the street (and get me in trouble with the HO association), but will flutter enough to keep the bird away.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Don't You Hate It When . . .


. . .your day has been filled with "Don't You Hate It When . . ." moments?

. . .you make up a pot of coffee, painstakingly clean a travel mug that you retrieved from the trunk of your car after three weeks, & drain the last drop of milk into the mug (so it's cool enough to guzzle), then, dash out the door only to realize half way to work that you left your coffee on the kitchen counter?

. . .the shirt you really wanted to wear was too wrinkled for Downy Wrinkle Releaser to get the wrinkles out. Heaven forbid, the ironing board get hauled out. Jeez, do you know how many piles of laundry I have to climb in order to do that?!?

. . .the air conditioner is not functioning properly at work and it's 90 degrees outside? Or it is functioning on overdrive when it's only 70 degrees outside?

. . .your child whines about having to brush her hair before her teeth? As long as you don't mix up the brushes, what does it matter?

. . .it's trash day, you're late for work, and you've forgotten to take the trash down to the end of the driveway? And did I mention the trash can is overflowing because the same thing happened last week? Our garage is in the back of the house which we access with an alley. We park in the front of our house because we don't have room in the garage to park the cars. As a result, I don't notice all the other trash cans until I've gone down the street and happen to glance down one of the alleys.

. . .people try to stuff ten pounds of trash into a five pound bag? This is totally a case of the pot calling the kettle black, but I hate it when this happens none the less.

. . .the dishwasher is empty, but there are a TON of dishes in the sink?

. . .the dishwasher light says that it's "clean", but there are hardly any dishes inside? Because the family has been "harvesting" dishes as needed instead of actually emptying the dishwasher.

. . .your back scratcher has gone missing and all you can find to use is a toilet brush? This wasn't actually me, but I saw a guy with crazy hair and missing teeth using a toilet brush as a back scratcher on Tosh.O last week. Why would you do such a thing? And video tape it? And put it out there for others to see? Ewwwwwwwwwwww!

. . .when it looks like there is enough toilet paper on the roll, but there really isn't? And another roll isn't handy because your bathroom is out of toilet paper because everyone uses it, even though there is a bathroom especially decorated all princess-like for the little princesses in your house. Of course that bathroom has a gazillion rolls of toilet paper in it. If only it weren't around two corners & down the hall.

. . .you have to do laundry? Enough said.

. . .you get busted for blogging at work? Hasn't actually happened yet, but I'm sure it's only a matter of time.

. . .you just can't ignore that little envelope at the bottom corner of your screen? You know it. It's the one that says, "YOU'VE GOT MAIL! Don't try to ignore me because I'm bright yellow, and I'll just sit here until you check your e-mail. Oh, yeah - I MOCK YOU!"

. . .it's only X:XX time? No matter what, it's ONLY not close enough to the time you want it to be - coffee break time, lunch time, meeting end time, time to go home, kids' bedtime, summer time. I could go on and on and on and on.

. . .you have to come up with something positive about a crummy day?

Silver Lining:

  1. That was yesterday and today is a new day. I actually got a good parking space even though I got to work a little on the late side. Whomever had that space and had to leave probably thought, "I hate it when I have a good parking space and then have to give it up early." I say, "Nah-nah, nah-nah, boo, boo."

  2. This is all in perfect timing for Random Tuesday Thoughts. Go visit Keely and the gang at for more randomness. Or click the pretty purple button up at the top of the page.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

The Fly

My husband has this tendency to leave his fly unzipped.

I don't get this. Normal operating procedure is:

  1. button/snap

  2. zip

Two steps. How hard can it be?

Yet, almost daily, I remind him to zip his fly.

So this morning, I signed and rolled my eyes. Then said, "Honey, your fly."

His response, "Heh, heh. I left that open for you."

I thought to myself, "Oh, the privileged life I lead. I live to wipe snotty noses, change pee soaked sheets, find missing socks and remind others to zip up. Yes, it's a privileged life."

Silver Lining:
  1. I have noses to wipe, sheets to change and those socks eventually turn up. It means we have children to love, warm beds to sleep in and clothes on our backs.

  2. I have a husband who makes me smile daily and whose absentmindedness on this issue reminds of me of the good things I have in this world.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

From Here To There

You know how scary it is when you arrive at your destination, but you don't remember the trip?

Routine places - work, home, market, liquor store . . .

I mean, really? What happened during the trip? Could I have run over a squirrel? Gone through a red light or two?

I have no idea because I remember putting on my seat belt and turning the key in the ignition, but the next thing I know 15 minutes have passed and I'm pulling into a parking lot.

That, seriously, just happened to me here at work. I wasn't driving - I'm at my computer.

I just happened to look up and there on the screen is a fully uploaded journal entry.

When did I do that?

Scary stuff.

Silver Lining:

  1. The entry was right.

  2. A mundane task was completed and I completely missed it! If only this could be the case with cleaning, exercising, explaining (yet again) why it's not OK to put your feet on the wall. . .

Monday, May 3, 2010

Semi Charmed Life

Doot, doot, doot. Doot, do-doot, doot. Doot, doot, doot. Doot, do-doot, doot. Doot, doot, doot. Doot, do-doot, doot. Doot, doot, doot.

You just can't help singing it once you hear it. It's one of those songs that sticks in your head all day long. I've heard these are called ear worms, but ick!

Anywho, that song came on last night during Bunco.

As happy a song it is, an argument ensued.

I was singing along, "Doot, doot, doot . . . I love this song. I remember working at Domino's when it came out."

My teammate made fun of me making pizzas.

I didn't make pizza, I was a delivery driver. I was 23 or 24.

You're not that much older than me. I'm 36 (which happens to be my age) and I distinctly remember this song coming out when I was in high school.

Well, I remember sitting in a drive thru with my Domino's uniform on and one of those light up do-dads on my car.
(I was probably getting hamburgers plain with salt for my boss at the time. As weird as that is, I still married into his family - the kids might be doomed.)

[With a neck swagger] Maybe that was the first time you heard it . . .

I threw one of my dice at her. It bounced off her glasses. But impressively, she caught it even after drinking half a bottle of spiced rum.

She pitched it back at me. Bounced it off my glasses and I caught it too - with my boobs. It was quite the bank shot. Impressive indeed.

Silver Lining:

  1. I'm not a loser as implied. The song came out in 1997. So if what she was saying is true, she was 23 and still in high school. Hmmmmm . . .

  2. Nobody's glasses got broken.

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