Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Be Reasonable!

My husband left ten days ago.  Not for good.  I don’t think?  No, he’ll definitely come back.  He doesn’t know how to do laundry and he’s too frugal to keep buying new clothes every week.

I’ve done pretty well on my own.  I remembered trash and recycling day.  I fixed the ice maker when it broke.  I moved a piece of furniture single-handedly.  Well, I used both my hands, so…double-handedly.  And I kept the kids in line.  Once or twice, a literal line, but mostly I mean their behavior.  I locked all three doors approximately four times, and only left the garage door open at night once.  I should get at least a C for safety.

I have been trading everything from cold hard cash to warm soft cookies with people in exchange for babysitting so that I can go exercise.

Yesterday, reinforcements arrived in the form of my mother.  She came to provide a legal defense for the kids anytime they step out of aforementioned line.  And to make sure they have enough sugar to keep calmness at bay.

But, she also came bearing expensive antibacterial hand soaps.  She always does.  It’s kind of a strange offering, but I’m anti-germ and pro-Bath and Body works, so I appreciate it.  I always buy the cheap foaming hand soap from Target, because it seems to clean and disinfect our hands just fine, and because we’re not the Rockefellers and can’t afford high end luxury hand soaps.

My mom’s not a Rockefeller either, unfortunately, but the people at Bath and Body Works don’t know that.  She refuses to leave any scent of hand soap or “wallflower” air freshner untested.  And, in her quest to control olfactories the world over, she stockpiles these items in her home and deposits them to all of her travel destinations.  (Mostly my house and my brother’s house.)

She doesn’t hoard anything else.  Nothing useful, like bottled water, canned goods, flashlight batteries, or cash.  The odds of her ever stockpiling cash are slim to none because she spends it all on Wildberry Hibiscus and Summer Escape hand soap.  Any leftover money goes to Dollar Store investments for her grandchildren.  My brother, a stock broker, investment banker, computer wizard type guy has probably already deducted that in lieu of soaps and bubble wands, she could’ve bought our kids college educations, but hey, what’s the fun in that?  And a college degree won’t disinfect your hands, that’s for sure.

All that to say, it will be refreshing to have The Voice of Reason home again.  My home is running on fumes of reason at best right now.  And, I prefer to have my doors locked for me!Photobucket

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

The High Life!

Sorry about the disappearing act; I had actual work to do.  I'll try not to let it happen again.  But lest you fear I was ONLY sequestered away in my office editing the next great American novel, I should mention I also went on vacation.  And got so wrapped up in the NBA playoffs that I started calling personal fouls and 24 second violations on the kids at bedtime, but that's not much of an excuse for blog silence.

My vacation was a dream!  And a nightmare, but I'll come back to that.  We went to the mountains.  Boone, North Carolina.  I grew up in the mountains so I thought it was going to be like Mickey Mouse vacationing in Disneyworld, but it wasn't.  For starters, we stayed at a resort.  We not only had a luxurious two-story condo, but there was also a swimming pool, hot tub, steam room, paddle boats, putt-putt golf, play areas with swings and slides, a basketball court, and a quaint little game room that Milton Bradley probably made a fortune off of.  The only amenities I had growing up were running water and a tree house.

The laughter, smiles, and giggles from my children on our trip were the best, but other highlights include:

1.  Reckless getting excited and thinking she'd won putt-putt because she had the highest score.  Brainy was lightning quick to correct that misunderstanding.

2.  All of my kids sleeping until at least 8:30 every day!  I never tire of the thrill of extra sleep.

3.  The weather was perfect, 72 degrees, sunny, and zero humidity.  It cooled down drastically at night and I needed my favorite gray sweater!  Do you know how awesome it is to need a sweater in the middle of June?  Those of you west of the Mississippi and north of the Mason-Dixon line, don't answer!  (I'd like to mention to those same people that they're missing out when it comes barbecue and Mexican food.)

4.  The food.  I suspended my regular healthy eating habits to enjoy the local fare.  I had the best New York style pizza I've ever had, and I've been to New York several times.  I had a sandwich at this hippie sandwich shop that tasted life-changing when I bit into it.  (Though hippies have been known to bake LSD into rye bread, so that might've been drug induced.)  And we shared some three story nachos and other waistline expanders that had more calories than I normally consume in a week at a local pub.

Luckily I didn't suspend my exercise regimen.  In fact, I tested my strength and endurance more than ever before.  Welcome to the nightmare part.  While my in-laws (told you it was scary) took the kids to a railroad amusement park, my husband, his sister, and I went hiking and mountain climbing.  Our death-defying adventure lasted three hours and ended with me literally kissing the asphalt of the parking lot.

The tallest peak of Grandfather Mountain is 5,946 feet, and by the time I stood on it, I felt like I started at sea level.  I climbed and dangled and scaled sheer rock face that was at maybe a 95 degree angle.  The times that it was straight up 90, there were wooden ladders to help us ascend.  No rails or ropes or harnesses, three feet to the left was an opportunity to plummet a mile to my death.  I told myself that the nation's top structural engineers probably came to test the soundness of those ladders every day.  But there were times that I was terrified.  I try to live a fearless life, because I think the only healthy fear is the one of God; all the others cripple us in some way.  But when we were faced with the most treacherous and challenging part of the climb, I almost chickened out.  I had come so far already though, and knew that I would regret the missed opportunity.  Well, not if I died seizing it, but I figured my chances of survival were at least 60/40.

All three of us made it to the top, without anyone crying, and the view and sense of accomplishment were totally worth it.  But the worst part of getting high is coming down.  My nerves and knees were equally relieved when we got back on solid ground.  Ah, vacation, so relaxing :)Photobucket