Sadly not the good kind of surprise, although not really bad either: when you are expecting a kid-free interlude, as you normally have every other weekend, and two days before you are informed that no, you will have kids. If you are the sort of extroverted introvert that I am, this is not great news in that all the glorious alone time you were anticipating suddenly winks out of existence, but only a truly churlish and selfish person will do more than mourn for a few minutes and move on. Like, you know, I’m trying to.
So far it’s been a pretty productive day overall. I have done many laundries. I have had the oil changed in the car. I shall now travel to the musical instrument purveyor to have the youngest child’s rental trumpet inspected for some kind of mysterious malfunction. I have put away some things and failed to put away other things and really, really come to grips with the several things that I need to spend tomorrow doing, such as swilling out the office. The youngest child, by some miracle, has managed to actually make headway in the cleaning of her room. (Pointing out that even her less-well-organized sister’s room is in better shape may have helped in this regard.)
Tomorrow I’ll be cleaning the office, and then researching a project that I held out in front of myself throughout the long, tedious slog through the master’s degree: the building of an astromech droid. From scratch. By me. I’ll have to learn a few new skills: working with wood, styrene, electronic components. But I am really looking forward to it, and now anyone wanting to know what I would like for any gifting holiday will get the same answer: “… uh, let me just send you a link to my wish list on GoogleDrive…”
In other news, the children are all doing well, the wife is trudging wearily through nurse practitioner school, and the chickens are laying eggs. Well, one is molting and looks a fright, but everybody else is laying eggs. And a little bird is hopping around on the back porch looking for bugs.
Also my back patio slider really needs a good cleaning. Ugh.
So The Lovely Rhonda and I are at the beach. We are here to relax, because going away from your home causes you to not do so much laundry or cleaning of litter boxes or taking out the garbage while you are gone. No, going away means you do those things in a giant push of clean-up and preparation before you leave and then you do them all again in a huge scramble of clean-up and unpacking when you return. Hence the two hours of concentrated toil this morning.
Anyway, we are here and staying at a bed-and-breakfast. It was recommended by a co-worker. They had a last-minute deal going and we just decided to throw caution to the wind. Sometimes this will turn out very well, as it rather is today. Occasionally you end up staying at the Inn of the Crazy Lady, as I memorably recall doing once in Tok, Alaska, but there's no way to predict and would you really want to? There fun is in the surprise.
This particular B&B is run by the most adorably sprightly and miniature woman and her invisible husband. …Okay, he may have a corporeal presence and we just haven't seen it yet. That may be true. I grant you that. But — she has mentioned him several times in a way that implies he could be just off in another room, maybe puttering in a shed or the garage, yet there is not even the faintest shred of evidence that he actually exists. Not a pair of forgotten reading glasses on a counter or cardigan thrown over a chair.
As with most privately-run owner-operated B&Bs, this one is a bit on the homespun side. There appears to be a reliance on black duct tape for some installments and repairs, and it is aggressively well-lit with an astonishing variety of night lights plugged into most, if not all, of the interestingly-placed electrical outlets. The house was built in the 40s and features a quirky layout after the nook-and-cranny school of architecture.
But the best part? By far: the décor, which appears to be largely 80s-based, with a heavy thematic presence of calico. It's as though Laura Ashley came here to retire and brought her valances with her.
I hereby confess my ignorance that such a thing existed as a plunger cozy. I am wiser now.
Friends. I’m in a weird place (metaphorically speaking; I’m physically at home in my filthy little office) and I am also about to leave for Europe on a long-awaited ten day trip to three different cities.
Normally when at a crossroads I would not necessarily go on an admittedly expensive (though not lavish) trip but this was booked and paid for months ago, before Shenanigans Ensued About Which I Shall Not Elaborate On The Internet. But a) it’s not refundable and b) it will be beneficial to heart and soul. So off we go, The Lovely Rhonda and I.
In other news not related to any Shenanigans or metaphorical crossroads, my kid, along with her BFF, won first prize in their category for their National History Day project about Irina Sendler, the Polish nurse who rescued children from the Warsaw Ghetto during WWII. The project consisted of a large display board with photos and information about Irina Sendler as well as an interview of both girls about their subject. They will go on to the state competition in a couple of months. Here are some photos of them jubilating:
First a thumbs-up:
….And now with eyebrow.
Naturally we could not be prouder.
And the reply:
After speaking with my manager, we would like you to send us a copy of the invoice. We will review and contact Dental to determine the amount they would have covered on your claim and pay the amount. Please let us know if you have any questions.
I rarely post about work but this is too funny not to share.
Rhonda is on my dental benefits and they requested we submit a copy of the marriage license. We did this in 2015.
Recently we found that she had been dropped from my dental insurance because
Apparently there was an issue with the marriage license we received back in 2015. It showed that it expired on 2/6/13 so your spouse was removed. I can add her back on Dental effective 1/1/17.
Thanks, (HR person)
…Okay, so first off it might have been nice for them to have told me this, but okay. I’m easy.
I said that I needed her added back for last year since we had dental bills that should have been covered last year. I was sent the following:
Good afternoon Debra,
Unfortunately, since the attached documentation appeared not to be valid during your new hire enrollment, your spouse was dropped from Dental. As a courtesy, we are enrolling her now however, we still don’t have a valid marriage certificate. Please let us know if you have any questions or concerns.
Thanks, (HR person)
I was sent a copy of the license with a circle around the offending article.
I sent it back having marked it for clarity. Can’t wait to hear back!
Stay tuned for further thrilling installments of THE MARRIAGE LICENSE THAT ALMOST WASN’T!
So the other night I took a couple of the spawn out to the Smart(ish) Kids Program Family Game Night. The third and youngest spawn was unable to attend owing to her lack of engagement with the Clean Your Damn Room initiative of November 2016. This meant that The Lovely RhondaTM was forced to stay home with her and thus
avoid miss the teeming mayhem of fifty children between the ages of 7 and 12 allegedly playing games with one another.
What actually occurs is that fifty children between the ages of 7 and 12 mostly chase each other around popping the hundreds of balloons that some genius had the bright idea of inflating and distributing around the room. So it goes.
The Family Game Night has previously been held at an education service district building pretty near by, and so because I failed to pore over the email for location details because I am not smart, I operated on the assumption that it would be held in the same place this year. Silly me. Thus we found ourselves, the two older spawn and myself, unsupervised in a large, empty parking lot with the goal of quickly reaching the middle school a couple of miles away.
Friends, I am not a crazy driver. I do not speed (much) and I largely obey the rules of the road, using my turn signals and coming to a complete stop whenever indicated. But this is a large, empty parking lot, we have to get somewhere fast, and I am heady with the fumes of Friday night.
“GUYS I’M GOING TO DRIFT!” I yell, and dash around corners of the parking lot at slightly reckless speeds. The parking lot has a long entry road and there is no one around. I punch it and we bomb and weave toward the road in front of us.
The children and whooping and hollering and the oldest child splutters, “MAMA YOU ARE BEING THE DRIVER THAT OTHER DRIVERS SWEAR ABOUT! THEY ARE ALL ‘GOSH DARN YOU FLABBER GABBING THING A MA BIBBER!'” as she claws around for something to hold onto.
And I laugh until I can’t breathe, and we head off to the middle school sedately, obeying all traffic laws and using the turn signal, for two hours of
balloon popping chaos Family Game Night. The end..
Today was kind of hard.
One of the kids left the chicken house open. It opens at the top. The poor kid, she didn’t mean to leave it open and she didn’t know that chickens can fly a little, or that they could climb up the perches to the top and jump out. And I’m sure she really didn’t know that an ordinary house dog like one of ours would kill a loose chicken if given the chance. She was devastated and it was just an accident. One chicken gone and another a little stressed out but otherwise unharmed.
I had to be an adult about all of this and it sucks to be an adult. Adults have to gather up the remains of the chicken and later explain why we could not bury it in the back yard where the dog would dig it up, even if we buried it very deep in the ground. I hate being an adult.
Later in the evening I found out about a friend who chose to bring his life to an end on his own terms, facing as he was a terminal diagnosis and treatment that was not working. I don’t question his decision nor his right to do as he did. I am just sad that it ended this way, sad for him to have to choose to go alone, sad for us left behind him. He was not a close friend but always a good one, an unforgettable man, and the world is poorer without him in it.
Hug your loved ones and be good to one another. Nothing else really matters.