Tag Archives: one of few things I didn’t make up

Open the screen door or the maltipoo gets it.

I am non-confrontational to a fault, many times kicking myself after the fact for being walked on or a silent observer when I could have spoken up. I craft clever comebacks days later while waiting in traffic.

Since having A, though, a more assertive streak has been slowly developing. I don’t know if it’s entirely a  Mama Bear thing or the sheer fact that I have way less time and brain power to process 16 different hypothetical scenarios if I were to to say something in a given situation.

This newfound confidence/lack of caring can sometimes mingle with my pregnancy mind and exhaustion, and then it just gets silly.

Case in point:

Our neighbors on all three sides have small yappy dog-ish type pets. Two of the neighbors have two dogs each. Lotsa tiny but powerful voice boxes. Every time any of the dogs are let out, it’s a screech fest. Which is fine, you have a ridiculous, obnoxious pet, that’s your problem. But the instigators—two miniscule balls of fluff prancing around the yard behind ours—are the worst. They rile up any other dogs who may be outside within three blocks and it’s all out yipping pandemonium.

As a reference, imagine a combination similar to this:

maltipoo plus hyena

(Source & Source)

Normally Clayton and I just roll our eyes. I’ll let a few frustrated grunts trail into the back yard as I’m closing the sliding door at nap time because those punks have been let out and could wake Addison up. Beyond that, what else can you do? The other night, I found out.

It was after 11 p.m. and the back neighbors released those crazed rat mongrels. They screeched and yapped for 19 minutes. NINETEEN MINUTES. Almost midnight, our kid is sleeping, we would like to try to sleep soon, and there are two Real Housewives-level canine hissy fits happening feet from our room.

I was losing my mind. I walked into the yard a couple of times without knowing what I could do. I peeked over the fence but saw nothing useful…like a loaded BB gun within reach. The owners weren’t even outside. I guess I couldn’t blame them because wow, can you imagine having to listen to that nerve-fraying racket for 23 straight minutes? How annoying would that be?

Finally, I straight up lost it. Clad in my most fetching maternity nightgown and breezy bathrobe, I marched into the backyard, crouched down low by the fence and just started pounding.

I don’t know if I was trying to scare those pooches initially, but I do know after a few raps it became more about releasing a couple decades’ worth of pent up aggression. It didn’t really matter by then if they kept barking; I was responding. Sure, insanely, but reacting nonetheless.

Believe it or not, the owners did not issue a restraining order. Instead they let the dogs in within minutes of FenceBash 2015. If this assertiveness isn’t gaining respect, at least it might incite some fear of the crazy barefoot pregnant lady in pj’s next door. Either way, those dogs haven’t been out after 9 p.m. since.   

Imma, Imma, Imma Bee

This morning I decided to take advantage of rare low humidity and exceptional cloud cover by working on the patio. Addison was napping, so I was really grooving in the work zone, apparently tuned out from most goings on around me.

Then I felt a little pinch on my thigh, not painful but noticeable. So I look down and see a tiny black tip of something poking through the fibers of my pajama pants. And then the something moved underneath my pants.

Enter that sense of sheer terror that you know is so unfounded and irrational but also too overpowering to counteract. I. Am. Going. To. Die.

But the terror mixed with the reality of being outside where neighbors are just a few feet away and my sleeping, possibly teething baby could not, under the direst of circumstances, be awoken.

I threw my computer off of my lap, grabbed a handful of my pants where the winged demon was last spotted and let out some sort of guttural, stifled, extended yelp as I prance-tripped through the sliding doors into the kitchen. I promptly attempted to de-pants myself, which proved a challenge given the state of my mental faculties (read: absent) and the death grip I had on that swatch of pant leg. Finally, the pants were off and the black, hideously oversized, buzzing bee-ish Creature emerged, pissed off of course, and began flying around my head.

More noises from the pit of my soul.

At this point, I high kneed it into the bedroom, still swatting at the bug’s invisible remnants on my leg. This was not a retreat. I’m no coward. I was simply regrouping under adequate cover. When I confirmed that my leg was, in fact, still attached to my body and not sawed off by a miniscule yet remarkably powerful stinger, I made a game plan. Numero uno: grab the camera and take a picture, obviously.

I wish I would have had Addison or the dog or a bird of prey for size comparisons, but time did not permit such luxuries. After snapping a shot or six, I failed at the tip-toed, bent over, flip-flop toss at the general direction of The Creature. Wily little bugger. It was time to call in the big guns. Lysol. Perhaps not exactly prescribed for insect annihilation, but I never read the fine print on those bottles, so who knows? I had injured The Creature enough to keep it in my sights for a solid 30-second stream of chemicals. I recycle. Stop judging me.

Suddenly realizing I was performing these athletic maneuvers sans pants abruptly ended the onslaught. But I think I made my point. And gave the neighbors a fantastic show for their hump day morning.

pants

I’m leaving The Creature as it lies so that my husband cannot simply pretend to listen to my seemingly exaggerated story. I am making sure I have half-alive props for the ensuing reenactment. I hope The Academy is watching.

DSCN1581

I don’t want to wait for our lives to be over at the hands of a 14 year old.

Wait a minute. So you’re telling me that just because I up and had an adorable, sweet baby that in 15 years I have to take care of a teenager?

Well then I quit.

Yesterday my friend and I decided to grab subs at a nearby Publix for a late lunch. We strolled (literally, we had two strollers) around the corner to sit at the tables outside a frozen yogurt shop, across the street from a high school. Ten minutes after we got comfy in our almost-but-not-technically pajama’s, the floodgates of adolescent awkwardness burst forth with innumerable teenage miscreants.

It was like Showtime’s version of Dawson’s Creek. And it was terrifying. I felt like they were closing in from all angles and were going to attack us and our sleeping babies at any moment. Not for flesh, like zombies, which would be entirely more comforting, but to devour any hope that we had of raising decent, fully adjusted children. You know, children that are NOT planning late night secret brawls with the distinct goal of “busting that bitch up.”

Profanity. Cleavage. Sombreros. It was a really weird half hour.

We tried to pick out—if we could find them in the lot—kids that might resemble our future high schoolers. To our right sat the 98 pound hoodlum adorned with a beanie and skinny jeans that was ring-leading the aforementioned chick fight and defending that one time she cracked a girl’s head on a vending machine. She was out of the running (but would later appear in my nightmares knocking down my door and beating me to death with Baked Lays). To our left sat a greasy haired clan of sophomore boys eager to dig into a pack of cigs they stole from some neglectful parent, older sibling or the unsuspecting Circle K owner. They were out.

Then a beam of heavenly light shown through the yogurt shop windows and there she was. Straight blonde hair, a headband no less, sitting perfectly contentedly with her mother AND GRANDMOTHER daintily snacking on a low calorie after-school treat. “Dibs,” I thought. “That’s the one I want!” Girlfriend was even wearing a cardigan. The symbol of all who are studious, chaste and shop at The Gap rather than Abercrombie and Fitch.

I know this is sounding creepy, but we were really desperate for some sort of redemption at this point. Otherwise we were handing our kids over to the smokers who were too young to hold a driver’s license and getting the heck out of there. Game over on the whole parenting thing.

I am trying hard to rationalize this experience and remind myself this was a skewed sample. These were the handfuls of kids who had no pre-planned, free time-stealing activities awaiting them after school…or a ride home, for that matter. We eventually saw the sprightly track team running through the school’s parking lot, which represented the athletes who would be stuck at practice just long enough to miss an invitation to bust any bitches up. And then there were the adorable geeks who were all worked up in a discussion about school supplies. With a glow appearing on her face and no doubt the vision of her future pubescent little boy in her mind, my friend said hopefully, “And it’s not even August!” We loved the nerds.

If I thought my job as a parent was difficult before, this afternoon added to that by pounds and pounds of mascara, low cut tank tops and iPods. I have my work cut out for me, especially with a stunning little lady on my hands.

And if all else fails, Pinterest better have some tips on the kitchen-as-classroom situation because Mama’s little hoodlum is getting homeschooled.

Addie dress1

Craigslist: Helping New Parents Abandon Reason Since 1995

Preparing for a baby will leave you in all kinds of situations you never imagined. Take our search for a dresser/changing table, for instance. Under normal circumstances, Clayton and I might have greater self-preserving instincts. Like, when we have to lock the car doors and speed away from the gas station a block away from our destination because we are being approached by the man with a grocery cart full of aluminum cans…that would typically present a red flag for us. And maybe we would u-turn ourselves out of that neighborhood and find solace in a panhandler-less Circle K.

But not this time. This time, I’d been searching for a dresser for our well punctuated baby for weeks and finally found a good deal on Craigslist on what appeared to be the perfect fit. So we wound our way farther away from safety and into a part of town that could probably give you an addiction and/or Hepatitis from touching the sidewalk. I honestly don’t think I’m exaggerating.

We missed the street three times, and each time contemplated just scrapping the trip in favor of not getting car jacked. But then the vision of $400 price tags for wood laminate dressers flashed in our minds, and we headed back into the darkness. Except that it wasn’t dark yet or I would have ended this mission immediately. By the time we found the house, I had already committed to not stepping a foot outside of the car. Clayton had committed to carrying the cash in his jersey shorts pocket and not having his wallet anywhere on his person. And we’d both committed to silently praying to get out of there alive from the moment we saw the man with the can-cart at the gas station.

Once we parked on the side of the “road” (slightly widened sidewalk?), we were greeted by the incessant, charming barking of a Rottweiler that didn’t seem to be joking around. The chain length fence seemed awfully short at that point. Clayton took the route behind the three cars parked in the driveway, opting to not walk along the fence. I opted to continue praying. And check for the tenth time that my window was up as far as physically possible in the case of stray gunfire or Rottie teeth.

The door to the house opened, and then closed, and then opened again. Clayton went in. As soon as Clayton left my sight, I regretted this whole mess. I would have called Pottery Barn Kids that second and placed an order for any overpriced dresser they had to get him out of that house. I fought with tragic scenarios and escape routes and guilty tears (and maybe one little daydream about where the new changing table would go in the nursery) before he reappeared. Sans blood or stab wound, that I could see. And then I saw our beautiful, glistening espresso-colored dresser with changing table attachment and all was right in the world. Also, he was being assisted by an overweight middle aged woman with glasses who just didn’t fit the profile of my previous fears.

I even ventured outside of the car to offer an obligatory gesture of helping. I was outside long enough to make a few awkward jokes and offend the woman, and then I hopped back to my post in the passenger seat. We exited feeling somewhat victorious but mostly just plain lucky that our stupidity and frugality didn’t have more homicidal consequences. But that dresser sure does look pretty in its new home.

How not to welcome your new neighbors to the ‘hood

Knock on their door unannounced on moving day

Reveal that you “peeked” through the fence during the renovations to their house

Recite every last project you watched being done to their house

Tell them that now they can finally start working on their yard

Mention that you already know the wife is pregnant and the husband’s profession without explaining how you know these facts

Discuss golf

Gossip about the previous neighbors

Start a sentence with, “I don’t want to sound prejudiced, but…”

Point out the slightly uneven decorative detailing on the front of the house, noting “It’s all I see when I look at the house.”

Ask if you can come in and look around

Drop hints that you would like to see the master bathroom after they have already let you intrude into the living room and guest bathroom

**********

Yes, we moved into our new house this weekend. And on the same day, all of these things happened. We are scouring our contract for the addendum on unbelievably nosy and tactlessly pushy neighbors, but no luck yet. In the meantime, a “No Solicitors or Obnoxious Retirees with Miniature Dogs” sign in the yard should cover it.

The Staunton Series, Part 2

Believe it or not, drenching all our electronics, extra clothes and snacks on the FIRST rapid we encountered, (which was less than 30 seconds into the trip and a solid Class 0.25) was not the most embarrassing thing that happened to me while kayaking.

After we realized this part of the James River was really slow-moving and not-at-all treacherous, Clayton and I both got a little cocky. Even though the kayak/canoe rental dudetold us to “stay to the left” during most of the harder rapids, we started seeking out the areas that looked the fastest. I mean, hello, by this time we had a good half hour of kayaking experience under our belt. I’m surprised sponsors haven’t contacted us yet. Well, I guess they might have tried, but we’d never know because of our phones’ aforementioned early morning swim in the back of Clayton’s kayak. Oopsies.

Much to my surprise (and probably no one else’s that has actually kayaked for more than 1800 seconds prior), the water moves fastest in the areas where the big, scary rocks sit. See, the water is redirected by all the sharp, pointy edges of the boulders. Would’ve been good to google “beginning kayaking for athletic snobs” before hopping in the water in my Rainbows.

When we got closer to our end point, I felt like I’d really gotten the hang of this sport. What more would I need than 3 hours of practice to call myself a professional? NOTHING, that’s what. So I’m scootin’ along, checking out how the sun hits my triceps in a really flattering way and being almost overwhelmed with my rowing capabilities, and we come across a family on the bank. The adults are sitting in camping chairs and the four kids are swimming and playing on the rocks. “Cute,” I thought, as the little rugrats splashed about. “I bet I look so cool to them, slicing through the water in my awesome rented kayak.”

When I was perfectly parallel to them, one of the women in the chairs waved. They’re so friendly in these parts, and I love a stranger2stranger wave. I get so excited every time I’m on the receiving end. So, in all my goofy appreciation, I flail my arm in the air, with outrageous exaggeration, to wave back. In mid-motion, arm fully extended over my head, there’s a long scraaaaaaaping under my kayak. In a second, my kayak is almost completely up out of the water, sitting motionless on top of a huge rock. Stranded. It was like that epic scene in “The Little Mermaid” when she flings herself up out of the water on that rock, except void of all sex appeal and with me wanting nothing more in this whole lifetime than to be burrowing under da sea as deep as I can.

The dastardly woman on whom I blame this entire scene yells back whatever part of the word “sorry!” she can spit out between bellowing laughter. The children’s mocking laughter still haunts my dreams. One of the little curly-haired monstrosities was obviously impressed with my nautical prowess because he shouted, “way to stop!”

Hey, kid, way to help this situation with your idiotic condescension. How about I stop this paddle dead center in the midldle of your smart-ass mouth!

I didn’t say that to him. But I thought it with a deep fervor. I didn’t have time to talk because the science class drop-outs who created The Kayak made it impossible to move those silly half-boats without looking like you have a severe psychological disturbance. It takes the perfect combination of aggressively wiggling your butt towards the direction you need to go while finagling the too-heavy paddle in between rocks to create some kind of steadying effect for the butt thrusting. It’s very complicated business, and nothing you want to be doing with an audience of seven inbreeds staring directly at you.

I finally freed myself from the shame of my waterlogged failure. And escaped into the comforting embrace of my husband’s unending laughter.

After the kayaking knocked my self esteem down a few pegs, I figured bathing, washing my hair and putting on makeup was not going to be enough to redeem the day. So we changed in a gas station.

Next up, we took to the Natural Bridge, which they claim is one of the seven natural wonders of the world. I couldn’t care less about confirming this fact, so take it or leave it. It was somewhat overpriced considering they just put up a fence around something they had no part in creating and charge you almost $20 to walk through the gate and tilt your head. But whatevs. I may have been in a sour mood from the earlier embarrassment and the severe burning soreness in my legs after our hike the day before.  

We are all about a discount, so we did the package deal and saw the caverns, too. “The deepest caverns on the East Coast,” they will tell you. Again, research ain’t my thing. All I know is that it was a 54-degree escape in the middle of the summer and there were handrails to disguise my geriatric gait. Verdict? Superb.

Then we had to hurry back to Staunton and get ready to get sloshed to some Shakespeare.

The Staunton Series, Supplement to Part 1

I wasn’t honest with you. And for that, I am sorry. When I mentioned that Clayton and I helped ourselves to copious amounts of our hotel’s complementary coffee, I didn’t say why. But after what happened on our first morning in Staunton, five cups became the Just in Case Standard.

This is what I had already journaled before 11 a.m. on the first morning of our vacay.

I woke up at 3:45 a.m. and couldn’t sleep. I worked from 4:45 until finally dozing off to drool on my laptop around 7:30. Clayton finally forced me up (with an atomic piledriver) at 10:10 to search for the mysterious continental breakfast. (If you read Part 1, you know how that turned out.)

We grabbed free coffee and headed back to the room to change into not-our-sleep-t-shirts since breakfast now required interacting with the general public. Not amused, party of two.

Quick change and we’re back on the elevator. Clayton gets a stern warning eyebrow when he almost spilled my coffee on me. This is foreshadowing.

Before we get to the lobby, Clayton performs one of the awkward, unthinking, quick-jerk dance moves for which he is infamously known, and splishsploosh. The husband’s b’fast outfit #1 is drenched in coffee.

Back up to room.

Lightning fast soak of t-shirt and another (his third) quick change and we’re back on the El-train again.

As we near the lobby, the rickety elevator jerks with one of the scary, ear-popping, law suit inspiring movements it’s infamously known for, and guess where Clayton’s remaining coffee ended up? His crotch, which, until this moment, has been untainted with filth (of the caffeinated kind).

He stares at me in disbelief, legs spread out uncomfortably wide, hips thrust forward to give me a full frontal snapshot of the situation.

I laugh and decide to skip the FOURTH trip to the room, hopefully removing some of the variables from this ridiculous equation.

I have no idea what this says about the rest of our trip, but I do know we need to stock up on gray casual tees stat.

Besides the front desk gal needing Dramamine from our back and forth, thankfully this little incident was not indicative of the rest of our trip. And I made a MUCH bigger fool of myself the next day.

P.S. Re: that hike

It wasn’t Niagara or anything, but we were pretty stoked.  And also, we scared a beaver with our giggly girlish squeals.

How to Succeed at Moving without Really Trying

I’m going to do you a solid here and share a few tips and tricks I’ve learned from moving 11 times in 9 years. Use them if you dare, or follow my #1 piece of advice to NEVER, EVER MOVE. Not from your parents’ house, not from your 10×10 college dorm room, not from living next door to that guy you saw on “To Catch a Predator.” Just be happy to have the sum of your life’s possessions safely scattered about your living space and not teetering on dangerously constructed piles in the back of a moving truck speeding over pot holes at 50mph.

I’ve organized them by chronological category. Can’t you already tell how awesome I am at this?

Prep

Eat any previously opened food while packing, namely chocolate covered Oreos, chewy granola bars and trail mix. Not only will you be exceptionally fueled for the day, you will have to pack seven less pounds of food. In 24 hours, those pounds will become new additions to your thighs that you can name after the reality TV star of your choosing. “Jeff” and “Probst” are already taken.
Create a pile of stuff. Grab a box. Close your eyes and put stuff in box. Whatever doesn’t fit goes in the trash. (This works best with boyfriend’s/husband’s/significant other’s stuff. Of course you need every article of clothing, mismatched sock and five year old bottle of mascara in your possession, so bring it along, sister.)

Stop to read a few blogs every 45 minutes. There’s a scientific article somewhere that proves this is good for you.

If you’re tired of it, want a new one or think it’s just too heavy to waste your time on, sell that ish on Craigslist. Make sure big, barking dog is home when sketchtastic purchaser shows up at your door.

I don’t care if you’re moving across the country or next door, shut up, pay the money and get the U-haul.

Dust the things you haven’t dusted since your previous relocation BEFORE friends/family arrive to move said objects. No one likes a hairball/dust avalanche in their face when they pick up your hanging shoe organizer.

Be annoyingly specific about how the strong folks are supposed to be packing your things. Deep down, I think they appreciate it. I’m pretty sure that’s what they’re muttering under their breath.

Don’t mislead anyone. Moving comes with enough disappointments as it is.

Day-Of

Bribe friends to help with pizza and beer. Move until the wee hours of the morning or fake an injury so you don’t actually have to follow through with this promise.

If you have a back, knee, shoulder or similar medical concern (or if you don’t, I’m not judging), mention it loudly and often. Repeat as needed when the furniture transport begins, so you don’t look like a tool when you grab the cushions rather than the futon itself.

Always have more boxes than you assume you’ll need. Inevitably, the last walk-throughs will create the world’s most random assortment of leftovers that need to be carted away.

Lotion, Trader Joe's coffee can filled with nails, mug o' pens, important legal documents, necklace, Dolphins decal

Real shoes, people. Flip flops are ticking time bombs for legitimate injuries and trips to the E.R. that will really eat into your designated U-haul reservation time. And no one is volunteering to rummage through the mound of boxes labeled in your husband’s hieroglyphics in that hotnasty truck to find the first aid kit.

Use the U-haul ramp. Don’t make up “X-treme Moving” games in your head and cannonball it off the back of the truck with two Rubbermaids in your arms. No one likes a show-off.

Don’t stack clean linens so high that they touch your sweaty, unwashed face in transit. Your future guests would prefer not to land face first in old, dry, flaking sweat when they lie on your fancy throw pillows.

Lock your dog in a basement. Retrieve in 3-6 weeks.

Leave plenty of room for company.

Settling In

Never trust a lease, landlord or management company. Keep those boxes handy so that you can reuse them 4 times.

Unpack only the essentials: coffee maker and coffee for morning-after-moving exhaustion. Though you feel like it, I can assure you—in most cases—you were not actually run over by the U-haul.

Beware of previous tenant’s spot cleaning. Clean the bathrooms and the kitchen before using either. The last thing you need right now is a case of the itchies.

Organize the bedroom first. You can close the door to all that madness in the common areas and have at least a small amount of familiarity.

Wait to schedule cable hook-up until determining if you’re receiving it illegally. If so, grab the beers your friends never got and flip on some 30 Rock.

If you can’t find what you need, use what you can find. Bryson is about to be served on a crystal bowl that weighs as much as he does that was purchased for wedding decor. Brat.

For Tree

It’s Saturday morning. 5:41 a.m. I have about an hour until my alarm goes off suggesting a morning run and about an hour and three seconds until I toss it out the window. Clayton and I (and Bryson) are awoken by the sound of the entire house shaking, like someone with an otherworldly wing span grabbed the four corners and went to town for a few seconds.

In the same breath, Clayton darts up, says, “sounded like thunder,” and falls right back to sleep. Bryson and I are still double checking that we didn’t wet our beds and looking around furiously to make sure we haven’t been swept up in a Kansas-style twister and hurled into a world of dancing little people. Neither seemed to be the case, but I thought maybe I should check things out because the friendly giants usually shake us awake on Thursdays, not Saturdays.

I ever-so-courageously took 20 minutes to peek around the corner of the bedroom doorway into the hallway. Clear. The rest of the house, all doors and windows, were clear, too. Then I looked in the backyard. And our weekend plans changed a bit.

Meet Tree!

Tree was so tired of standing still for years and years and years. He got so bored in the neighbor’s yard never getting played with or talked to, and he saw all this fun we were having in our backyard, with grilling chicken, working out (yeah, I do in the backyard, move on), roughhousing with a big adorable dog. It all looked SO EXCITING to Tree. And standing there holding onto all that rain was so, so heavy on his limbs. So he decided to make a move. A big time, game changing move for his life.

And Tree up and moved to our yard. Loudly. Awkwardly. Without asking. And really, really inconveniently.

I wasn’t exactly sure what the next step was in this situation. We are new to being attacked by nature. I woke Clayton up, but I didn’t want to completely freak his freak. I kept my Dog Whisperer calm-assertive engery in check and simply said, “Clayton. There’s a tree on the roof.”

We are renting this house, and because nothing of ours was damaged, we didn’t feel the need to deal with the tiny problem of a tree protruding through the roof until closer to 9 a.m. It’s the weekend, hello. I’m guessing the realtor/property manager is glad we felt that way.

Kickball playoffs were also Saturday, and we really couldn’t be bothered with this mess while trying to focus on taking home the gold. “No, realtor, we cannot stick around for five hours and make sure raccoons don’t start renting out rooms in the attic or setting up a secret neighborhood gambling ring. WE HAVE KICKBALL PLAYOFFS.”

The realtor, who manages our house as more of a favor to a family friend than an actual job, has never been much for going above and beyond the call of duty. We’re still waiting on a response about the water heater that a professional said could “go at any minute.” In February. He called Clayton after we had secured a victory in our first playoff game and said the tree service could not come until the next day, and he would try to get the roofers to patch the roof early next week. In the meantime? Call him if it starts to rain, and he’ll head over with a tarp.

Really? We need to alert him if it rains? Doesn’t THE RAIN alert you when it rains? How about we get plain out of control and just put the tarp on now? I know, I know, it’s so much more fun to scale a ladder in a torrential downpour and try to secure a slippery tarp to a failing roof in the middle of a thunderstorm while avoiding the massive tree-shaped hole, but I’m just spitballing here.

Obviously, we were quite concerned about the salvaging of our rental house. I mean, we could have gone straight to the cookout celebrating our mediocre kickball performance, but we didn’t. We went home for a half hour first to move our television away from the potential drip zone. Clayton couldn’t spend one second longer away from the Action Area, and before I put my purse down, I see his hot pink kickball shirt darting up the ladder onto the roof. The unavoidable, masculine drive to “check things out,” I suppose.

He actually had an impressive moment of inspiration and used an extra* shower curtain liner and the heavy duty stapler we got at JoAnn Fabrics (don’t ask) to create a makeshift cover that the idiot raccoons would hopefully not be able to figure out. Pick another attic, a-holes.  

And then we left for the rest of the night, repeating the mantra “It ain’t our house.” Is that mean? Whatevs, I had some cornhole redemption to take care of (which I did NOT) and Doritos to consume (which I very much DID).

This morning the tree service showed up bright and early and got to work. I pretended to sleep for two more hours, but it’s difficult with size 10 work boots stomping around the roof and chainsaws buzzing away.

This was not the future Tree had imagined, I’m afraid.

*Edit: My mistake. We are now missing a shower curtain liner in our bathroom. 

An Ode to My Blow Dryer. Kind Of.

If you have hair growing out of your scalp, and you do not happen to have a penis, you’re going to want to nominate me for sainthood when I tell you what I’ve been doing for the good of my family.

For the past three weeks, I’ve been living life sans blow dryer. I know. I’ll give you a minute to process the shock and admiration of it all. It was a truly risky move considering how it’s coinciding with my wanting to grow out my hair. But, in the interest of complete honesty, it had become necessary after my old blow dryer started shooting sparks into the air every time I used it. Clayton told me, very somberly, that it was time to say goodbye. And also that he would not stay married to me if my hair caught fire due to my stubbornness. And so I parted ways from the trusty, dependable ConAir I’d had for about 11 years. Give or take. That ol’ girl had seen me through more than one questionable celebrity-inspired trip to the stylist. And even if I hadn’t gone in months, and I couldn’t boast evenly trimmed ends or a professionally washed scalp, I could know for certain that my hair was, without question, dry.

But life is about change. And not making headlines for a freak apartment fire in which the tenant lost half her hair and one eyebrow due to a malfunctioning blow dryer. So, goodbye, dear ConAir. You probably won’t be missed because, let’s get real, those sparks scared the crap out of me. But you will represent a period in my life when paying for a new work shirt for Clayton came first, and – pneumonia be damned - beauty came second.