Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Old and Crotchety - Part Deux

Some people have road rage, others have no patience with drive-up orders "I said SPRITE! NOT DIET!", me, I have laundry rage. Oh yes. I hate to post two negatives, but on a morning (mourning) where I'm waking up late anyway, yet still tired - and far from refreshed (thank you kicking baby!), I find a little black cloud over my morning activities. Why? Self pity and a family with poor laundry etiquette. The top things that drive me wild:

1. Tossing something CLEAN in the wash. Laundry, in all it's glory, is not much fun. It's a necessary evil (unless you are a bachelor), but not fun. Cleaning CLEAN laundry, however, is just an outrage. Duplication of efforts, and wasting MY precious time! I JUST CLEANED THIS! My eyes narrow, and I think to myself, "ALRIGHT! If tossing clean laundry back in the bin seems like such a good idea to you, I'm gonna start sharing this misery with you as well." Is it okay to foist laundry duty on a very guilty 7 and 3 yr old?

2. Crap left IN clothes (not ON, I expect that . . .). There's benign crap, like the crumbs left in the table cloth, dirt from the sand box, and accidental spills. And then there is the crap that ends up messing up my load: tissue in your pocket. Tissue in your JEAN pocket, which produces a load of speckled darks. A PEN in your pocket which effectively ruins the entire load of laundry. TOYS left in the pockets which make it sound like washer is broken, and irreplaceable permission slips that did NOT make it to school, but were just shoved in a pocket! These discoveries usually, for me, come AFTER I have needed to wash a quick load so that I have something to wear that day.

3. Tomato stains. This is my own fault. I see my kids in white, and therefore I feel like serving them Spaghetti-O's. It's crazy. I recognize and understand this pattern. I also like to pull on a pair of long jeans after painstakingly shaving my legs "all the way to the top." Stupid. But right after we have successfully dodged a dinner of getting the sauce on anything, my kids get it on their elbows, down the front, and a dribble/smear on every conspicuous spot during the clean up. Yes, Zout works, but usually only after I have sifted through the soggy whites, found the offending piece, and discovered that the Zout only worked a little. Reapplication, and then recycle it into another bin of whites; lather, rinse, repeat,: ad nauseum.

4. The one Black sock in the white load. Completely the fault of my spouse who tends to disrobe for the shower in an "all-in-one" motion. In my effort to not hate laundry and just keep on rolling through, I often miss the hidden sock which goes on to make my white load gray. GRRRR! I will need to take out the offending sock, and then re-soak with BIZ! Duplication of effort!

Of course, sometimes revenge is sweet and I get to hand him a bleached black sock that will never match it's partner. Heh HA! Hee hee, THAT'LL TEACH YA! It never does, mostly because he doesn't care, and will eventually replace it, with no thought of my laundry trauma.

5. The last wrinkled load. In another attempt to not hate laundry, I try to just maintain it through the day in a see-saw manner; one load soaking, one load drying SWITCH! *quick fold.* One load drying, one load soaking . . ., But something about the END of the day does not leave time for that last quick fold. Homework, dinner, "The Office," just SOMETHING pops up that leaves that last load wrinkling in the dryer. I can hear it from my alternate activity "wrink wrink wrink." This, then, forces the question, do I a)give my family wrinkled clothes, and offer the job to them if they complain? or b)toss another load of equal colors on top of it, so they get re-soggy, and hopefully won't wrinkle this time? I hate to admit how often "a" wins out. Grrrrrrr.

And that's all the time we have for today. On our next laundry list, we'll discuss the issue of running out of detergent because the toddler decided to scoop it all out on the floor (then tromp it through the house while you're on an important phonecall), and what to do when the same said toddler dumps the laundry room garbage can directly into the washer - old lint and things that won't wash etc. Please let me know how YOU are dealing with your laundry rage!

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Church Pet Peeves

Supposedly the older you get, the wiser you become. Having just turned 36, it has occurred to me that I have started on the path known as "old and crotchety." I have recently become aware of my church pet peeves.

#1. People who pass the sacrament tray right next to me or directly in front of my "bosom". I have to pull up my arm like a T-Rex, using only my two long fingers and thumb, to try and grab a cup. C'MON! Hold it out by the hymn books so I have a shot at it! I need full range of motion so I don't have that "sacrament dribble" going down the front of me.

#2. "I'm so nervous when I speak . . .", oh no! It's the wild call of the boring speaker. Admitting that your guts are churning is another way of saying, "Since I couldn't bear the thought of talking to you, I brought something you definitely would NOT want to hear. I plan on mumbling the first half and crying through the last half." It's going to be boring. Nervous speakers never tell jokes or stories that you can relate to.

#3 "I read this talk (an hour ago) and thought you'd enjoy me rereading it, with bad emphasis, over the pulpit." UM NO! NO, actually, I DON'T! Send the link, I'll take a look. I would MUCH rather hear about the time that you and your cousin stole a carton of cigarettes and smoked them on the roof of your grandma's camper until you got completely green and sick. THAT is the story I want to hear over the pulpit. I mean, THAT I can relate to!

#4 Bad programs. Man. You don't have to go overboard or anything, but how hard is it to get an interesting picture up front? Or maybe throw in a crossword to entertain us while someone is rereading a talk? Have Mercy!

Okay, so those are only the top four. I will refrain from the skankily clad YW, the tennis shoes on YM, 70's polyester ties on kids born in the 90's, boys with girls haircuts "Is that Dorothy Hamill? NO, it's the Smith boy . . .", people who fall asleep on the stand, any story that involves your medical history, and talks that are a big ole heaping serving of that old cuisine known as "scripture links."

It's self awareness, and I can't say I'm totally proud of my old, um, ness. But that is what self-discovery is all about, learning to see yourself for what you are. Happy Birthday to me - and TUCK IN YOUR SHIRT GOSH DARN IT! What were you raised in, a BARN?!!

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

The Nielsen's Visit Arizona Temple & Science Center!

Here are some pics from our visit with the cousins. It's always a good time when the Nielsen's get together.

And for my Birthday the Dentist showed to Me . . .

9 CAVITIES! You must understand how awful this is: Armageddon must be upon us! I have formerly been every dentist's sweetheart & poster child. Attending the U of I Dental college was a treat. You could flash to the other patients in Morse Code with the mobile overhead lights. I KNEW every flavor (and time duration) of every flouride treatment! (Never do the bubblegum or tangerine - they totally make you gag, but the tropical punch had a nice aftertaste . . .)
How embarrassing then, to go to my dental appointment today and have them pull up a screen and start identifying my cavities. "*ping* "Lower left, #5 . . .lower left #6, a kissing cavity - covering both sides. Lower left #9 . . ." *ping! ping!*"
I've been around dentists chairs enough to understand some of the lingo: emesial buckle, loose amalgum on the posterior, gingivitis extreemus on the lingual composite, I know what you're looking at! As my dentist looked, it was like discovering lottery numbers,
"#12 AND #13, *ping!* and an extra pinhole cavity on the anterior! *ping ping!*"
They gave me an "estimate" to fix my dental indiscressions. Almost $3,000. Because you'd want porcelain there up front so that no one could tell how badly you've fallen from grace. "That'll be extra, of course . . .your insurance doesn't cover that."
What a let down! How could this happen? I didn't get praise. I didn't get paraded around to other patients as proof that a soul CAN take care of their teeth. I got a flossing lesson and a new tooth brush to use, "with little circles, circling, circling . . ."
I KNOW HOW TO BRUSH MY TEETH, GOSH DARN IT! I'm the dentists SWEETHEART! I show OTHER patients how to brush! After feelings of self-pity and cold hard photographic evidence of my cavities, I have begun to feel like Ebenezer Scrooge; perhaps there is still time to change! Maybe we'll fix these little, cavities, and I'll be back in every dentists good graces again! Yes!
Then I think of the Final Judgment. I'll bet it's a lot like today's dental appointment. "Yah, I could tell I was slipping a little, but I didn't know that it was bad enough to get demoted to a lower kingdom . . ." Right now I'm salving my hurt feelings with Jell-O. I'm going to get better pretty quick. After I use this crutch to get over the trauma. I need more pudding.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Brent Blizzard - Chevron Car of the Month

Okay Mish, this one is for you. I was talking to her on the phone, and admitted one of my very shameful fetishes: I like Chevron Cars. You buy them at Chevron gas stations. They're about $8 - 9, and STURDY. The first one we bought was Brent Blizzard. Mish asked if I owned enough cars to do a "Car of the Month." In shame, I hung my head and admitted, "yes."

It seemed harmless enough, just a little car - ONE! One car, just like the ones that the cousins had. But then, like the mafia, we got sucked in. Oh yeah! It's not just me, Matthew likes them too! It's an addiction. They have so many cars: collector cars, old cars, snazzy cars, limos, convertibles. Forget the kids, I started collecting these beauties for myself! They are the perfect size. You don't step on them, and heaven forbid that you do, they don't break! They can go in the dirt, on linoleum, and even survive a number of washings in the tub. It's madness.

Oh? Where can you get one? Well, like any addiction, there are legit sources, and black market sources. You can try and go to a Chevron station that sells them. Some stations do, and some are freaking apostates! If you don't want to be seen at these shady establishments, or feel like you have to drag along a child, "Uh, this is my son, and he's looking for Hank Hot Rod . . .", well you can have it delivered to you - for a price. Here's the site: http://www.chevroncars.com/

Go ahead, take a look around, it won't hurt - until you find something you can't live without, or *gasp* the one you want that has been DISCONTINUED! Horace n' Trailer, it goes with Pete Pickup truck that we already own. Why can't I find it anywhere?! For the longest time I could not find it. I had to go to the black market of eBay to find one. Paid more than $8 *curses!* and the box the toy came in was CRUSHED. It's a good thing that I'm sane, and not a collector. I might have been upset!

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

It's Like High School

Some people are born bloggers, some blog to "get it out," I feel more like, um, "everyone else has one, where is yours?"

How do I know that this is peer pressure? Because I've been staying up nights trying to think of a clever name. Something to really *snap* make people stand up and say, "Hey! What an Awesome Blog!" I've never heard anyone say that, about anyone's blog, but, I imagine that there are cool ones out there that everyone wants to read. I wanna cool blog. It's like picking out a prom dress. You want it to look totally awesome, but also stand out amongst all the other fluff.

I've named ours after a memory, and a motto. "Catch the window", grab what you can, look around you before you are suddenly faced with a cardboard licorice ad. Life moves pretty fast, and you never know when that moment to act will arrive. For you see, on a Thanksgiving trip from Iowa City to Cleveland, all my siblings and I were told to do just that, "Catch the Window!"

On that fateful trip, one of our van windows, wired shut with a coat hanger, and constantly getting bashed each time the sliding door opened, started to waver. Then to tilt. It caught my dad's eye; and because he was driving 75 MPH in freezing slush in the dark night, he did what any normal person would do - he started screaming, "Catch the Window!! Catch the Window!!" We were all asleep in the fold down seats, and as my dad was making a racket, my mother said, "I was having this dream, and someone was yelling - 'Catch the Window! Catch the Window!'" But it was too late. The window dangled for a brief second before coming completely unhinged and whooshing into the night slush, somewhere in the winter night off I-80.

Trying to soften my dad a bit, Mom rubbed her eyes groggily and said, "Should we go back and get it?" My dad, now in a full on rage, sliding on black ice said, "OH RIGHT! And where we gonna LOOK Midge?!"

Now fair reader, the tension was so high, so unbearable, that the first person who giggled set everyone else off. What a ridiculous situation! A family of 8 all driving in the "Nerd Van" without a window! How sad and pathetic are WE! We started mouthing to each other, "Catch - the - window - ! AHHHHHHhhhh! - Ahhhhhhhhhh!" and making all sorts of faces and mimicking the window as it hinged and then *WHOOSH!* went out into the icy night.

We had the giggles far past the rest stop where dad did a duct-tape/licorice cardboard patch job. What a way to show up to the relatives. We looked like nothing short of Hillbillies with our cardboard window covering, and dad's pistol-wielding Yosemite-Sam mud flaps that said "Back Off!"

We still laugh about it now. Except my dad. But ya know, that is life. Tense, with really funny, ridiculous, stuff in the middle. So, there isn't a "Craneium", or a "Crazy Cranes", or anything "Cranetastic", but I'll let you know when it's time to "catch the window" in our lives. :D