Thursday, August 28, 2008

Random Thoughts

Definition of “Random Thoughts” – stray thoughts that have popped into my head (these in the last few days), that, though always with cause, are basically note-worthy, but not substantial enough to create individual blog posts around.

Equation to Remember: roughly ½ a bottle of good red wine (imported all the way from California) + family stresses + a friend in need of a heart-to-heart – food (none since noon) – water = random crazy dreams followed by a morning punctuated with extreme sleepiness and a half-a-hangover headache.

Note to Self: It is best not to apply such equation in the middle of the work week.

I wonder what the two skater-looking guys standing outside my office building, gazing at me as I walk by in my obviously professional black pin-striped suit and my pearls, would think if they knew I was rockin’ out right now to AC/DC on my IPod. Or that my IPod also, among many others, contains Drowning Pool, Smashing Pumpkins and Green Day.

Why is it that I can slam my leg into something and think “OUCH! That’s gonna leave a mark!”, but then two days later when I have a bruise on my leg, I can’t imagine what I could have possibly done to injure myself so badly?

Ugh. It’s Fall again. When can I go home to Wyoming? What’s today?

My shoes are not ‘80’s shoes! 1985 did not call my stupid bil and tell him they want their shoes back! These shoes are adorable! Right? RIGHT??
Note to self: try not to think of things that agitate, upset or otherwise anger you while stirring anything with the least bit of liquid in it.

Why do all Audi owners drive like a#@h$%&s? When you go to buy an Audi, do they take you for a test drive? “I’m sorry, m’am, you don’t qualify to own an Audi. You are entirely too safe and polite a driver for a car such as this.”

Why do you have to learn an entirely new language just to order coffee? I mean c’mon! A Quad Vente Iced White Mocha or a Quad Grande Caramel Macchiato can’t possibly be English, can they? (Incidentally, there are actually websites out there that give assistance for ordering coffee in coffee houses. How sad that we need assistance to order a cup of coffee….*sigh* Did you know there is such a thing as a “Single Tall Why Bother with Room”? I didn’t either, and I’m still trying figure out what it is! These two sites are pretty cool, though, check it out here and here.)

Laziness annoys me. Why do people think mediocrity should be accepted in all forums? Or any forums?

Maybe I should go home and look inside my dryer to make sure no mouse has crawled up the dryer vent, through the dryer motor and eviscerated itself on the edge of the drum while trying to turn around in the tiny space, thereby splashing disgusting, yet Downy-fresh, mouse blood all over the inside of my dryer…. (Lee, this one’s for you!)

Note to self: when freshening a room with a spray air freshener, it is much better not to spray such freshener above an open, half-full can of Coca-Cola. Much better.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Thank You

Today is a historic day. Today I reached 2,000 hits on my blog. Woo hoo!! “Please, please, hold your applause until the end.” It only took me…11 months to get there. Oh well. I may not have a large audience, but at least you’re loyal. So, to all my fabulously loyal readers out there who continue to read, even when there is a month between posts, or when the posts are not so great, thank you. Couldn’t have made it here with out you! “I’d like to thank the academy…”

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Move Over Picasso

Last night I had the pleasure of partaking of one of the long lost loves of my childhood years: coloring. That’s right, coloring. As in lying on my tummy on the floor, ankles crossed, legs bent at the knees as my feet were bobbing up and down, coloring a picture from a coloring book right along side my 4 ½-year-old daughter. It’s an activity I have not participated in for years. And now I remember why I loved it so much.

Before I get into it, let me give you a little background here. I did not just walk into Sweetpea’s room and say “hey, let’s color!” Nor did I swipe a coloring book and crayons to covertly color in my room with the door shut…though, on second thought, that’s not such a bad idea, considering how much fun I had. No, this was a project we were working on. You see, my niece, we’ll call her Dragon Child (you’ll see why in a minute), fell earlier this week and hit her head, resulting in a deep gash, gushing blood and a trip to the ER.

Actually, I think I’ll start with her. Dragon Child is a little hellion. Completely adorable, but a hellion. And, unfortunately for my sister, is exactly like her. No, my sis won’t be angry at me for saying so. She knows it. I give you Exhibit “A” – a recent telephone conversation between my sis and I:

*phone rings*
Me: Hello?
Her: I’m going to kill her.
Me: (without having to ask who) *laugh* Why?
Her: Because I’m afeared she’s EXACTLY like me.

And, incidentally, that is not a typo. She actually used the word “afeared”. Anyhoo, if I thought I had my hands full with Sweetpea, let me tell ya, she’s got nothing on my niece. This child is stubborn as all get out, and even gives dragon-lady glares just like Lucy Liu did as Ling in Ally McBeal (hence the nickname I just invented for her). And, my oh my, but does she seem to find trouble. Just a week ago my sister took both her children next door to my grandparent’s house to use the internet while my grandparents were out of town. (And before you ask, yes my sister lives next door to my grandparents, and no she does not have internet of her own.) She had only been in the computer room for about five minutes when her son, we’ll call him Scoob (after his favorite cartoon Scooby Doo), came in and handed her an empty salt shaker. When she looked blankly at him, he said, “Dragon Child spilled the salt.” Now to fully appreciate that comment, you must understand that my grandma keeps all of her salt and pepper shakers completely full at all times, without fail. Groaning, my sister headed to the kitchen to find that not only had Dragon Child unscrewed the lid and emptied the entire salt shaker out onto the kitchen floor, but she then had sprinkled pepper on top. Not emptied the pepper, just sprinkled it. On top of that she had placed my grandma’s butter dish. This is one of those rectangle-shaped, glass dishes with the cover that goes over the top of the butter. Dragon Child had placed the butter dish in the middle of the pile of salt, then taken the lid and jammed it into the butter so it was standing straight up and down, like an upside-down T. My sister is forever and a day cleaning up messes. Not to mention the climbing. I think Dragon Child was only about 14 or so months old when my sister sent me a video via text message showing her climbing up over the arm of the couch and onto a very tall cabinet (which doubles as an end table) sitting next to the couch. The title of the message? “I think I’m in trouble.”

Well earlier this week, Dragon Child, who is very small for her age (she’s 2 and is still wearing 12-month clothing), climbed up on a couple of giant Rubbermaid totes my sister had stacked in the family room. My sis said she had been pulling the kids off of them all day, and continually telling them they would fall and get hurt if they climbed on them. Well Dragon Child stood on top of them, and since my sis wasn't in the room, we don’t know how it happened. She fell off, and hit her head on the entertainment center. She of course screamed at the top of her lungs. When my sis came out of the next room to see what had happened, she found Dragon Child standing there crying, with her little hand clamped onto the top of her head. My sis asked her if she hurt her head, and Dragon Child said yes. My sis asked if she had been climbing on the totes, and again received a yes answer. My sis then reminded her that she had said climbing would mean getting hurt. About that time, Dragon Child took her hand off her head, and suddenly blood began to gush everywhere. You know how scalp wounds are. Even the small ones bleed horribly. So about that time my sister freaked out, hauled Dragon Child to the bathroom, grabbing the phone on the way by, and tried to stop the bleeding with a washcloth as she made calls to her husband and my mom to get there RIGHT NOW. Thankfully the cut wasn’t so bad as it could have been, resulting in about an inch-long gash square in the middle of her head about an inch or so up from her hairline. It was pretty deep, however, so my sister and her husband took her to the ER, while my mom took care of Scoob. Three and a half hours later, they left the ER with a cleaned and surgically glued wound. No stitches, no staples. She’ll probably have a pretty bad scar, and maybe her hair will have a funny part from now on, but at least she didn’t suffer a concussion or something worse.

So, to make her feel better after her wounding, I decided to send her off a little treat, and asked Sweetpea if she’d like to color a picture for her. Two nights later I finally told Sweetpea that I was mailing the package today, and if she wanted to include a picture in it, she had better do it right then. We went upstairs to her room, and she began sifting through her coloring books to find just the right picture. She finally settled on Apple Dumpling from her Strawberry Shortcake coloring book (which, incidentally, happens to be the only one she owns with perforated pages for just such an occasion), saying it looked like Dragon Child. We tore out the page, and since it was so late in the evening, I told her I would help her color so we could get it finished faster and she could go to bed. She agreed.

Coloring with a 4 ½ year-old on the same picture is not altogether easy. For instance, the chosen mediums will invariably be different. Sweetpea prefers markers for her medium of art. Me, I like colored pencils. Luckily I had our recent move on my side, and I have no idea where her markers are presently. And since neither of us really cares for crayons, we settled on the colored pencils. There’s also the difference in styles. I have discovered that I am a purist. I had to find a sticker portraying Apple Dumpling in Sweetpea’s sticker book to see what color we should be coloring her dress. Sweetpea, on the other hand, prefers to improvise, shake things up a bit, and will change the color of something halfway through the actual coloring of it. I actually stopped her from coloring Apple Dumpling’s face blue with a pen, and caught myself asking her why she would want to color it something it isn’t. Inside my head I could hear the voice screaming “It’s ok! It’s just a picture! Don’t stifle her inner creativity!” But I absolutely could not help myself. I won, we colored the face peach. Another problem is Sweetpea’s tendency to lean very…very…far…forward…very…slowly…until her face is centered over the picture and her hair is hanging in such a manner that it completely surrounds and hides the picture from view, making it impossible for anyone else to color simultaneously. *sigh*

Even so, despite the fact that every time I picked up a colored pencil and began to color, Sweetpea would decide that that was the color she wanted to use, I really enjoyed the task. There’s something totally relaxing and soothing about coloring a picture. It’s therapeutic. Not that it is a completely mindless activity. It’s not, unless you want it to be. Instead it seems to help focus your mind. You are only required to think for a minute or two about what color you may want to put where, and after that your mind is free to wander, and ponder anything that may need perusal. For me, I was finally able to focus on one thought at a time – something I’ve been unable to do at all for the last week and a half. My thoughts were very clear, very organized, and I was finally able sort out the feelings I’ve had going on since last Monday. By the time we finished with Apple Dumpling, I was so enjoying myself that I picked up the coloring book and colored pencils and carried them to bed with me. I colored another picture before I went to sleep myself. And today I feel a whole lot happier and better than I have since last week. Apple Dumpling is safely on her way to Dragon Child, and my picture is hanging neatly from the cork board behind my computer screens, right where I can see it out of the corner of my eye. It makes me smile to look at. Here’s a pic of it, see what you think:
What? Why are you laughing? You should have known it would be a cake, shouldn’t you? Eat your heart out Rembrandt! Even Picasso ain’t got nothin’ on me! Well, maybe he does. Anyway, I have decided that the world would be a happier, nicer and friendlier place if everyone took a 15 minute break and colored a picture every day. I think I’ll pitch the idea to my boss.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Where Is That Written?

So yesterday was one of the worst days of my life, for reasons I won’t yet go into. All I have to say right now is, life is really not fair. And even though this is a fact I know, I'm having trouble getting past it. But, as always, all of life can be summed up in words from The Princess Bride: "Well who says life is fair? Where is that written? Life is not always fair."

So, back to yesterday. The day just started out completely out of sync anyway, and I should have known it would be a truly awful day when I couldn’t find jewelry to match my outfit, and then couldn’t find jewelry to match each other when I found something decent to go with the outfit, and then somehow managed to make it out of the house without any earrings on at all! Let me give you a picture of how it went.

This is how wacky my morning was: I slept like crap the night before and have no idea why, other than I couldn't get my brain to stop. It was like I kept thinking all night long, and now I have no idea what about. Except maybe that the new nightlight in the hallway (one of those new-fangled, fancy LED jobbies, put there so Sweetpea would not fall down the stairs in an attempt to make it to the bathroom in the middle of the night) is far too bright to be right outside our bedroom door. Then I was so tired yesterday morning, of course, I didn't want to get up. I was making excuses not to get up, even though I was pretty much wide awake. Things like, “I can’t get up yet because my husband is still in the shower and there’s no way we can both fit in that tiny, little, I’ve-seen-bigger-phone-booths sized space, and I can’t shower in the other bathroom because it will cause him to have no hot water whatsoever.” Or “maybe if I lay here with my eyes closed for a few more minutes, I’ll trick myself into thinking I’m still asleep and therefore not be so tired when I actually do roll out of bed”. Then, when my husband left for work, he brought Sweetpea to our room because he apparently woke her when he went to kiss her goodbye. So I laid there waiting for her to go back to sleep. And laid there. And laid there. Once she finally zonked out, about 20 minutes later, I got up and got in the shower, and wasn't there five minutes before I heard what sounded like an elephant thundering toward the bathroom, and then futilely attempting to open the pocket door to the bathroom. Though it only turned out to be Sweetpea, she couldn’t get the door open any better than the elephant could have. You know how pocket doors go. You pull them open or closed by anywhere but the handle, or with any sort of uneven pressure on any section of the door, and they stick, hopelessly wedged at some haphazard angle. I had to open the shower door to help her, and all she wanted was to go watch T.V. At 6:30 in the morning. Ok, whatever. Being the wonderful, stable mom that I am, who only looks out for the best interests of my child, I told her to go ahead. Five minutes later she was back again saying she had to go to the bathroom, (I don't know why she didn't use her own bathroom), and I was once again having to help her open/close the pocket door. Then, the toilet lid wouldn't stay up, due to my placement the day before of a brand new toilet seat cover, so I had to help her with that. All in all I think my shower lasted three times as long as it would have had she just stayed in bed!

So, after a while of me getting ready upstairs and her watching T.V. downstairs, I heard her yelling for me and she sounded panicked. I have discovered, incidentally, that sound does not travel well between floors in this house. Maybe it’s insulated well, and that should be a good thing. But then again, it was my lack of response when she shouted to begin with that caused Sweetpea to panic. When I got downstairs, I discovered she had another bloody nose (that would be either the third or fourth one in 24 hours, thanks to the fact that my child has a very sensitive nose that bleeds at the first inkling of dry air). And I mean a gusher. She was soaked. Good thing she was just in PJs and I hadn't gotten her dressed yet. So after we got the bleeding stopped, I basically had to strip her down and then wash her down since it was literally soaked through to the skin. And does anyone have any cleaning tips on how to get blood out of a furry, fluffy bean bag that’s supposed to look like a puppy?

Once I got her cleaned up, changed and packed her some spare clothes just in case she had more incidents at daycare, and got myself dressed, finally, finally, we were both ready to go. Or so I thought. Of course I didn't realize until my sister tried to call and I had no hands to answer it that I had left my bluetooth sitting on the kitchen counter. And I didn't realize until I got to work that I left my IPod at home, so I had no music yesterday. Ahem. Anyway, we only left the house about 45 minutes late. Good thing I didn't have to go to Court yesterday. I could just imagine having to explain to the Judge why it is I’m 45 minutes late for my scheduled hearings. “Well, you see Your Honor, it all started with this new-fangled, fancy LED jobby nightlight.”

By that time, Sweetpea was not going to make breakfast at daycare, so she told me she wanted tea and a Snickerdoodle from the tea store (which equates to the drive-thru coffee place I get my coffee at sometimes). Luckily there's one not too far from our house. So, being the wonderful, stable mom that I am, who only looks out for the best interests of my child, I said ok. But only if she had a banana, too. You know, because that makes up for all the sugar she’d have in the tea and the Snickerdoodle. As it turns out, they didn't have a Snickerdoodle. So instead she wanted a glazed doughnut. They were all out of glazed. So she wanted a chocolate doughnut. The trouble with that is that it was a chocolate doughnut with chocolate frosting on top. Thick, messy, smear when you breathe on it, chocolate frosting. So after getting the frosting everywhere - and I do mean EVERYWHERE – as she dug her fingers into it and then licked it off the fingers, she decided she didn't want the doughnut itself. By the time we got to daycare, I was actually really happy to be dropping her off. Is that wrong? You know, being the wonderful, stable mom that I am… I managed to get her cleaned up a little there, though wet paper towels don’t do much for chocolate frosting on green sundresses. Did I mention she used me as a crutch to keep her from falling while getting out of the car? Wet paper towels don’t do much for chocolate frosting on pink cotton shirts, either. When I at long last stumbled with her into the classroom, I told her teacher the extra clothes I brought were for her bloody nose, in case she had another bad one yesterday. The teacher informed me that she has one at daycare nearly every day. Well. That would have been nice to know, don't you think? I knew she had had a few, but apparently they have only been informing us when it's gotten on her clothes. So. The good news is she apparently had no nose bleeds at daycare yesterday. That they told us. Since she came home in the same chocolate-covered green sundress she arrived in.

I’ll skip over all that happened in the middle, since things just really went downhill once I got to work, and I’m not yet ready to discuss them. One good thing, as an off-subject side note, I did have a friend send me a link to a new blog, called Cake Wrecks. It’s FABULOUS!! If you get the chance to check it out, I highly recommend it. Make sure and read the notes down the sidebar, so you get some history on the blog material before you get too far into it. Incidentally, I think my current favorite is “Extra Terrible”. Thank you Iguana Montana (of Legally Bankrupt fame)! And I’m so terribly sorry I will be unable to make you your Millennium Falcon cake this year due to…uh…a prior commitment. Yeah, that’s it. A prior commitment. Let me tell you how very disappointed I am. Really.

Last night I needed to go shopping for a formal blouse, shoes for myself and shoes for Sweetpea for my mom’s installation this weekend. She’s being installed as Worthy Grand Matron for the State of Wyoming in Eastern Star (a.k.a. head hauncho for the State for the Masonic organization of Eastern Star). Needless to say, it’s a big deal. But also very dressy. I am to be an Emblem Bearer for the ceremony (i.e. I get to walk in carrying one of the emblems of the Order) which requires me to wear a white formal. Or a formal white skirt and dressy white blouse of some kind. Thankfully mom had a skirt that I can wear, but that leaves the blouse and shoes to me, since I also discovered in moving that every single pair of actual dress shoes I own, while all heels, are also all black. Now is not a really great time to be searching for white heels, let me tell you. But, I have no choice, and hey, maybe I’ll find some on sale. One can only hope. So last night I drag Sweetpea with me to Payless to try and find shoes.

Her dress is one she picked out all by herself, though not something I would have ever assumed she would pick. While in Wyoming visiting my family, we went shopping at the local shopping mall. Sweetpea found this dress, all by herself. I didn’t even take it off the rack or give it a second glance, since it is most definitely a party dress. It is a very pale yellow, with white polka dots, made of chiffon with a pleated skirt and a gathered bodice, plus sleeveless with ribbon straps. She absolutely fell in love with it, insisting she needed to have it. It wasn’t until my sister suggested she could wear it to the installation that I even considered the purchase. We sought out her size, tried it on (her first experience in a dressing room where it was her trying the clothes on), and made the purchase, with me being especially happy that the dress was on sale. I warned her that it was a special dress and we must save it for the installation. She agreed, and while she has asked to wear it since then, it has only been once or twice as we get closer to the installation. It didn’t occur to me until last week, however, that she has no shoes to wear with it. I have been able to get her to wear little this summer other than flip-flops, and I have a slight inkling that filthy, hot pink flip-flops will not match very well. In Payless we immediately found a pair of white leather dress shoes for her that were adorable. They are closed toe, but still strappy, summery sort of shoes, with cute little bows on them and faux heels. She insisted on trying on both shoes. So, once we had both shoes on her, she climbed on top of one of those benches Payless has with the padded top for trying on shoes and the mirror on them, and suddenly took a flying leap, landing firmly on her feet, without slipping, in a true Olympic gymnast stick-it style landing. She then turned, looked me squarely in the face, and said “ok, these are hoppy shoes, we can get these.” Ok then. Unfortunately I did not have the luck she did, and three stores and 45 minutes later (at closing time), I still had no shoes, and a blouse that turned out to be cream-colored instead of white. The search continues.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Moving Out, Struggling In

No, I have not been on vacation. Or sabbatical. Or hiatus. Or even a work conference (though that did occur during my absence from my blog). No, I’ve been doing something much, much worse. Moving! That’s right. We finally went ahead and bought a house. After 5+ months of searching, much arguing and quite a few tears, we finally offered (twice) on a house on the other side of the valley. After an initial outright rejection, and then a few counteroffers, they finally accepted and it was a done deal. We are definitely paying more than we started out wanting to spend, but we also have more house than I thought we’d get for the money. So since the beginning of July, I feel like I’ve been lunging forward, head first, at breakneck speed through life, with no way to stop it or slow it down and no way to protect myself from any danger that I may literally run into on my way. It’s definitely not been the most pleasant experience in my life, but someone told me moving is the third most stressful thing that people go through. I believe it. Throw actually buying the place you’re moving into on top of that, and I think it ranks right up there toward the top. (I think #1 is death of a family member, so I am not so presumptuous as to assume my suffering has been worse than that!) And suddenly it’s August.

There are a ton of things that I need to write about, and my time away has certainly not been for lack of material. But I think I’ll just start with the most obvious thing: the move. While packing happened a little at a time over several weeks prior to the move, we were no where near ready once the day finally came. And boy did it come - in a whirlwind! We moved an entire household in two and a half days, and then spent the remainder of the third day cleaning the old residence. The good news is we got our full security deposit back. The bad news is that the new house has a garage and a spare bedroom packed wall-to-wall and nearly floor-to-ceiling with boxes and totes of various sizes, shapes and colors waiting to be unpacked, and the remainder of the house is cluttered with random full boxes, empty boxes and miscellaneous crap strewn everywhere. My fourth day away from work was spent unpacking as much as I could, but by that time the work had seriously slowed, as all my help had fled town (or, for some, back to their respective CLEAN residences.) No one room is, as of yet, fully unpacked, and certainly not fully functional. I made a very large dent in the mess in Sweetpea’s room the night before last, and unpacked probably six or so boxes just in there. I still can’t figure out how I had all that stuff packed into her tiny little bedroom. Or, for that matter, why a 4 ½ year-old needs that much stuff!

I am happy to report that my injury count as of right now is only limited to 9 bruises, 2 scratches and 1 broken nail. Ok, 10 bruises if you count the one on my cheek, but that one wasn’t my fault! That happened when Sweetpea decided to stand up all of a sudden and rammed the crown of her skull into my cheekbone. Ok, maybe 11 if you count the one I’m pretty sure I gave myself the night before last while trying to get an exceptionally large, but thankfully empty, box down the stairs, and dug the corner of it into my leg when it suddenly caught on the railing. Even so, any of you who know me well know that that’s pretty good considering the massive undertaking that was move, and the potential it had for injury. Especially since I can’t seem to walk through a doorway or get up from a desk without giving myself a bruise somehow, and at no time have less than two bruises somewhere on my body. My sister calls me a klutz, (and I’m not convinced she means it with love!) I disagree with that turn of phrase. I say I am hyper-focused. Meaning that I am generally so focused on what I am doing and where I am going that I don’t pay attention to what might be in my way, even if that something is a very large desk or even a wall. I regularly walk into walls, sometimes hard enough to knock myself backwards. One of my former co-workers got so used to it, he didn’t even look up anymore when I would ram into the door frame of my office – though he did glance up still when I would fall OUT of my office (don’t ask how I did that, because I don’t really know.) My mom tells me I’ve done these things since I was a child, and blames my near-sightedness for the problem, even though I wear contact lenses. Hey, what can I say? The shortest distance between two points is a straight line, and it seldom matters to me if there is some other object in the middle of my straight line.

There have been some bad things we’ve had to deal with with the house. The former owners left a lot of the house still dirty. The furnace room, which doubles as a storage room, was actually left with a large pile of dirt and debris piled in the middle of the room. We found out, too, that that pile contained left over DeCon from the apparently former rodent problem they had in the house. While the inspector told us there were no mice or rats in the walls, it’s not so wonderful to find old DeCon floating around a room these people used for food storage, and in which we intended to keep the cats’ litter box. My cats are dumb enough they’d eat that crap. So we had to clean that up. The “craft room” was also filthy, and it looks to me like these people hadn’t vacuumed any room in the basement (which contains two bedrooms, the furnace room and the craft room) in several years. Plus, instead of leaving the garbage cans out for the city to pick up on trash day, they hauled them back behind the fence still completely full. To top that off, we are still finding odd items they left in the house. It’s become a little like a treasure hunt, with little things popping up here and there: a dining room table; a very old, very large chest of drawers; a workbench in the garage (ok, these three we knew about since they asked if we wanted them); a bookshelf; a whole set of cast iron pans plus two broiler pans in the oven drawer; a pretty hand-painted crafty shelf still hanging on a wall; a brand new oil air freshener in a linen closet; a shower curtain and liner complete with starfish hooks still hanging in one bathroom; curtains still hanging throughout the house; a quilt hanger still hanging on the wall; a small plastic trash can – full of trash, of course – under a bathroom sink; a child’s book on the back of a toilet; two unopened glass bottles of Coke from the 2004 Men’s College Basketball Final Four tournament; lots and lots of old Time Life magazine covers, including one from the assassination of JFK; and what seems like hundreds of pennies scattered throughout the house. While all of this is technically a breach of contract since they were supposed to have all items removed and the house clean and free of debris, I figure there’s no point now in screaming foul. Because what will be done about it? Nothing, as far as I can tell.

In addition we’re finding other things we’re not pleased about. The kitchen cabinets were not leveled and evened out when they were set, so the opening for the fridge, while standard size across the top, is approximately a ½ an inch too narrow across the bottom. Thus the cabinets on one side have to be moved, and we cannot install our microwave until that has been taken care of.

The house has two sliding glass doors, one of which was supplemented with a removable additional pane of glass with a pet door on the bottom. It was this addition that contained the locks, and how the door got past the inspector. When we moved in, we discovered that the addition had been removed, and suddenly the door doesn’t lock at all. The other door, which opens onto a balcony from the master bedroom, somehow managed to get past the inspector unnoticed, but it doesn’t lock either. Come to find out now, the doors are old enough that the home improvement stores not only don’t carry handles and locks to fit them, but also no longer carry the parts needed to retrofit them. So now, while two new doors were on the agenda to begin with, they have been moved up in priority.

We also discovered that the house has Hobo spiders, which, of course, is the part I am the LEAST happy about. My sister killed one in the basement the first night we were there, my mom scared several out from around the house in both the front and back yards while sweeping the patios, and I discovered one of their funnel webs in one of the bedrooms in the basement. I’ve killed several spiders since we moved in (but didn’t get close enough to find out their type), I had terrible, horrific nightmares both Sunday and Monday nights, I pick anything up that’s been on the floor in the family room with my fingertips and shake it out, and I’ve as yet only ventured once more into the basement. Again, how do these things happen to me? Me, Mrs. Mega Arachnophobe, moves into a house containing not only spiders, but spiders that can be extremely damaging if not deadly. It’s got to be karma. Maybe someone’s getting even for all those spiders I’ve killed over the years. After all, my mantra is “no spider lives in my house”. Or maybe Murphy has a more twisted sense of humor than I thought. Whatever the circumstance, I now have to have an exterminator come to the house and spray. With Hobos I’m not taking the chance with any store bought pesticide or spider bomb. I’m calling in the experts! We’re on the schedule to get sprayed for what looks like the beginning of next week. Until them I’m having an awful time relaxing in the house, and I’m counting the days until they all are dead.

So, I will try to post pics of the house as soon as I can figure out how to photo shop out the huge, cartoon-style numbers of the address nailed to the very front of the house. After all, there are some people who read my blog who I DON’T know! And while I seem to have no qualms in sharing every other detail in my life, as well as every thought that seems to come into my head, I’d like to keep my address a secret from those I don’t know. Wouldn’t want any stalkers you know. LOL! Anyway, a preview of coming attractions: pics of the new house, pics and stories from my trip to San Francisco for a work conference, pics and stories of our back-woods Jeep adventure in June, and several pics of cakes plus maybe a story or two. Stay tuned!