Showing posts from April, 2015


After many months and many car miles, the girls and I have just finished listening to Jim Dale's recitation of the Harry Potter series.  I feel, in a word, bereft.  What now? Is it all downhill from here? Has Jim Dale RUINED audio books for us?
How could one person have done all those voices so convincingly, anyway? With the exception of Luna Lovegood, each and every one of them was spot on, even during those confusing scenes, when everyone is talking at once.  I can't help imagining Mr. Dale, at age 6 or 7, as one of those little boys who irritated the heck out of his parents and his teachers because he never shut up.  Keep THAT in mind next time you want to put a silencing charm on one of your kids, right?
Except teens, when they are complaining about how hard their lives are - then it might be a good idea...
So, now we have to choose a new audio book (although I am tempted to simply listen to the whole Harry Potter series over again). The reader has to be REALLY GOOD and pr…

Is Flu Season Over Yet?

Well, I think we can rest assured that Larry NEVER reads this blog.  You see, we were crisis cleaning (AGAIN) last weekend because my brother and his girlfriend were coming to visit and all the junk I had moved out of the kitchen was still in the dining room and for some reason there was no longer any place for it in the kitchen and now it is mostly piled up in my bedroom, which is making me weep.

Where was I?  Oh, yes, Larry.  Well, we were trying to clean up when Larry held up my prophylactic half-empty bottle of 7UP and said, "Well, we can get rid of this thing, anyway!" The poor man looked rather startled when I yelled, "NO!" as I grabbed it away from him.

Can you believe him?  He almost single-handedly inflicted the plague on us.  Would it kill him to keep up with what is happening around here?

In other news, David managed to get hired at the meth lab.  I'm so proud. He had to fill out tax forms and everything, so I guess it is legit, after all.

Tomorrow i…

Email Used To Be Fun - What Happened?

I saw my first stinkbug of the season in my living room last night. I tried to get a picture of it to share with you all, but - given that I have no desire to go anywhere NEAR a stinkbug ever again and that my phone camera does not have a zoom feature - all I came up with is that fuzzy dot on a freshly painted (Lenox Tan) wall there on the right.  It's too bad they've already handed out Pulitzers this year, or I for sure would have gotten one for photography.

When I am not busy engaging in prize-winning photo shoots of household pests, I busy myself with this stupid trick of avoiding my email for a day, or even part of a day, so I can live  my real life, the one happening out here, away from the computer.  You know, the life with children in it, who might actually need me to pay some attention to them?

Unfortunately, the longer I avoid the email, the harder it is to open it back up.  And the longer I wait to open it back up, the more anxious I get about what might be waiting…

Executive Decisions

Our handyman stopped by Saturday morning, to touch up some paint and hang our plate-holding, decorative whatzit back on the kitchen wall.  Then he said good-bye, which was sort of an emotional scene for us, considering how much of our money he was walking out with.  But he left us with what felt like a brand-new kitchen, albeit with the same cabinets, floor tiles, back splash, and counters:

I don't know whether or not I am ever going to let the kids use it, actually, it looks so pretty. Please note the wainscoting that is dressing up the 46-year-old cabinets.  Also, the $4.99 flowers that are sprucing up our 14-year-old IKEA table.

We like our old cabinets so much, in fact, that we installed MORE of them, ones that we had scavenged from neighbors' kitchen remodels over the years. See the new hardware on those cabinets, there to the left?  The discussion surrounding its selection made the Iran nuclear talks look like a peaceful chat over cups of tea.  I was pulling people in of…

Ow. Ow. OW.

Navhelowife recommended - after reading my whiny screed about canker sores the other day - that I send Larry to CVS to buy Peroxyl, a mouthwash that would supposedly help with this problem.  Well, it is too soon to tell whether or not this product is actually speeding the healing, but it sure as heck hurts while I am swishing it around in my canker-sore-ridden mouth. HURTS. Tears were running down my face as I swished, Navhelowife - just so you know...

So, yeah, still suffering - and now I have an annoying cough to top it all off, which makes me sound like a TB patient on a bad day.  I'm sure Anna of An Inch of Grey will really enjoy hearing me clear my throat of phlegm approximately 15 times a minute throughout her book chat this evening.  I'm determined to show up, however, as I still haven't managed to have my copy of Rare Birdautographed.

We all need goals - mine are just simpler than most.

The handyman is still here, painting our kitchen, finishing up baseboards, watc…

Stoicism Was Never My Strong Suit

Whine, whine, whine - that's what I have been doing all day.  I'm sick with some sore throat/head cold thing my kids brought home (wait, am I allowed to say that when they are homeschooled?), and I am not dealing with it well.  ALL WINTER I did not fall ill, and now - now that the grass is greening and the trees are leafing and the daffydowndillies are nodding their lovely yellow heads - I am stuck inside whining away.

My throat hurts.  My head hurts.  And, worst of all, my tongue and the inside of my lips are COVERED with cold sores.  I'm hungry, but it hurts to eat anything but ice cream.

Today was free ice cream day at Ben and Jerry's, and I was too sick to go.

And the handyman is here every single morning, which I know is a good thing, because Larry's latest destruction/construction project is nearing an end; but it is hard to have a stranger in the house when I feel like crap.

Have I mentioned my throat hurts?  Oh, I have?  Well, okay, then...

On the bright s…

Hail, Britannia!

The kitchen pseudo remodel isn't done yet, but I do have to share that we actually managed to settle on a paint color and (BONUS) we actually like it.  All of us.   The selectee was Benjamin Moore's Britannia Blue, which is really a dark grey, only it isn't, because we had a dark grey as a runner-up (Englewood Cliffs, if you must know) and it looks nothing like it.

So, maybe it is blue, I think, every time I step out of the kitchen.  And then I go back in and think that no, it isn't blue (despite the name), because it's too grey for that.  No matter, it's dark enough to make the white cabinets pop and not-grey enough to keep Larry (a US Navy retiree) from chanting "Haze grey and underway!" every time he walks into the kitchen.

I call that a win.

So now all we have to do is agree on the cabinet hardware and we are all set.  I had always dreamed of being one of those families that bond during their extensive travels to fascinating places, but apparent…

Vowels Are Important

David, as a high school senior, is taking his courses at the local community college this year. This is a fine arrangement for me (Yay! I don't have to make him do schoolwork) and also for him (ditto). And, considering that there is a campus shuttle bus that leaves from the train station near our house, I am one happy homeschooling mama with this set-up.

So! Last night David told me he needed to be at the station a couple of hours earlier than usual.

"Sure!" I said. "Why?"

"I'm volunteering for a couple of hours in the meth lab at school," he said.

Meth lab?

Seeing my puzzled look, David elaborated, "If I do okay, they'll pay me to work there."

"Uh, what will you be doing, exactly?"

"Helping other students, I think..."

"At a METH lab?"

David looked startled. Then, "Oh, no, no - the MATH Lab. Students come for help with MATH."

Oh. Okay, then...

[Meth lab image: NY Daily News]

Color Me Crazy

See that picture up there? It's the sort of thing that makes divorce lawyers rich.  How fortunate that we can't afford one, considering we've spent all our remaining money on paint samples and handyman services. I have invited all my neighbors in to look at our paint stripes, and everyone has offered a different opinion.  I posted the stripes on Facebook, where I got MORE opinions.


Larry wants gray.  I don't, because only a narrow door frame will divide a gray wall from the Lenox Tan wall that will be in the front hall.  They don't look good next to each other.

Plus, I'm menopausal and I DON'T WANT GRAY.

Larry voted for cranberry.  But it looks too purple.  Besides, one of my neighbors said it was an old lady color. Did I mention I am menopausal? No cranberry.

I voted to paint the whole kitchen Lenox Tan, to match the fabulous color we already have in the living/dining room and the front hall. FABULOUS. It would set off the black…

Paint And Taxes

Just finished our taxes, only I didn't really, because there is one more piece of information we have to dig up, and boy did Larry look happy when he heard that.  Actually, he hasn't looked happy since his second visit to the paint store today, after which he painted MORE samples on the kitchen wall and I said they were all the wrong ones.

Which experience actually made doing the taxes seem fun by comparison, come to think of it...

Anywhoo, I'd be going to bed to dream sweet dreams of paying the IRS too much money, but instead I have to wait up and hide Easter eggs.  I had assumed that everyone here was too old for such shenanigans, but apparently Rachel and Susie still want to get up early on Easter morning and put way too much work into finding a couple of handfuls of jelly beans.  The thrill is in the chase, I guess, and so I am staying up to find places to hide the eggs that won't endanger anyone.

Because, remember?  Most of the kitchen stuff has been relocated to…

Easter? Really?

Kitchen/front hallway destruction/construction continues apace.  Pantry is built, just waiting for the doors.  Our neighbors' cast-off cabinets are sitting nearby until they are built into the wall where the hutch used to be. Free cabinets! And they match the ones we already have!

We've had those cabinets knocking around our family room in the basement for years, where they would occasionally topple over and fall on unsuspecting children (both ours and guests).  I'm glad that we can finally use them and discard the extras and stop worrying about liability issues.

I only fell for one April Fool's joke this year - the one about winning a flight in Space X with George Takei. I told David, thinking he'd want to have a chance at it, and he looked at me in a pitying sort of way, obviously wondering how many years were left before he would have to find me a full time caregiver.

God, I hate April 1st.

I've been informed that today is not only Good Friday, but also the…