Friday, July 23, 2021

Ev'rythin's Up To Date!

 Ev'rythin's up to date in Kansas City
They've gone about as fur as they c'n go!

I didn't get a TToT post written last weekend, but I had a good reason! It was an extremely busy weekend, and when I finally had a little down time on Sunday evening, I realized I had no internet. Ready to rock the list now:

After weeks of apartment hunting and finding out that our list of must-haves had to be whittled down to four walls, a roof, and an indoor bathroom, my daughter found an apartment that she really loves and can almost afford! Last weekend was move-in weekend, and guess who her moving crew was...?

I am eternally grateful to my brother and his wife for opening their guest room to us while we searched and again as a home base while we moved Emma into the apartment. During this time, my SIL had knee replacement surgery and my brother had a kidney stone, and they still let us impose on them.

It took us less than three hours to unload an SUV, a minivan, and a small car, all three stuffed to the gills, and that included playing parking space musical chairs with the only space available in front of the building.

Did I mention there is no elevator in the building? And that she lives on the second floor? And that there is a flight of stairs from the sidewalk to the front entrance? And that the stairs from the sidewalk to the entrance are irregularly spaced and inconsistent heights? And that the inside stairway, while a straight shot that didn't allow me a reason to yell, "Pivot! Pivot!" was quite narrow? Those aren't thankfuls, but they did lead to a thankful, and that is we are thankful that that was the last time we physically help anyone move again. My husband and I have officially retired from the moving crew!

We decided it would be easier and cheaper to buy Emma a new bed than to move a queen sized mattress and box spring from the lake house to the new apartment, and I still stand by that, but the purchasing of the bed was no easy task. We got a mattress at IKEA (it was 56 pounds, and I know that because it was on the label) and rolled up like a burrito, but when we loaded a VERY HEAVY (more than 56 pounds) bed frame onto a cart with the mattress, then went to find the needed slats, we found they were out of them. Out. Of. Them. And didn't know when they would get them in. We put the bed frame back, bought the mattress, and went to Nebraska Furniture Mart, where a very nice salesman found us an affordable platform bed that was EXTRAORDINARILY HEAVY but had all its parts, and we are grateful for that.

We didn't get a divorce over putting the bed frame together, although it was touch and go for awhile there....

My husband and daughter did assemble the bed frame (without me after I quit the team over differences of opinion with the one who isn't my daughter), and I can somewhat gleefully report that he did, indeed, put the headboard together wrong, but it doesn't compromise the integrity of the bed; only the aesthetic of it. 

My husband left on Saturday morning (there's a thankful of its own, since I was still harboring leftover pissed-offyness from the day before), and Emma and I spent the next two days cleaning and arranging and buying until we turned the empty apartment into a home. Nothing hung on the walls yet, because she wants to take a little time to think about it all first.

We may or may not have scraped some paint off 
the banister whilst lugging this futon up the stairs....

Cute little kitchen. She now owns her first
set of dishes. Alas, no eating utensils,
but that's what fingers are for.

Headboard attached too high but
I didn't say it....

Teeny, tiny bathroom, but hey,
it's indoors!

Emma and I rewarded ourselves for all of our hard work with walking to have dinner on the Country Club Plaza*. It took us three minutes to get to the restaurant, and all we had to do was cross the street, walk through a (narrow) park, and cross another street, and BOOM! we were there!

In front of the JC Nichols fountain, the buildings
of the Plaza behind us, her apartment a block away.

I remembered to get renter's insurance for her this week!

That's a pretty fine list of thankfuls, which I believe number ten. And for the first time in AGES, my post is not only done before Monday evening, it's done BEFORE THE HOP GOES LIVE ON FRIDAY MORNING! Perhaps I've turned over a new leaf... PAHAHAHAHAAA! We know that isn't true.

Now it's YOUR turn! Write down ten things of thankful and link up with us! We would love to have you!

*for those not familiar with Kansas City, the Country Club Plaza, usually known as just "The Plaza", was built in 1923 as the first planned shopping district in the country that was separate from downtown and was built to accommodate shoppers arriving by automobile. The area is known for the Spanish architecture and contains high-end retail establishments and restaurants, and is surrounded by upscale apartments and mansions. It's a destination for both tourists and locals and is a prestigious place to live.

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter

Wednesday, July 21, 2021

Shift: A Six Sentence Story

At the time I learned to drive, my parents owned a 1972 Chevy Impala in avocado green and a 1971 Chevy Nova in harvest gold, and while neither of them were exactly hot cars, the Nova was at least slightly cooler, being a 2-door and with a three-on-a-tree transmission (3 speed, gear shift on the steering wheel column). I drove the 4-door Impala for about a year, but yearning to drive something closer to a sports car (and by closer, I mean like a bottle of Two Buck Chuck from Trader Joe's is closer to a fine French wine than Boone's Farm is), and I begged my dad to teach me how to drive the Nova. 

One Saturday afternoon, my dad took me to the junior high school (it had a huge, flat, empty parking lot and everyone went there to learn to drive) and taught me the ins and out of driving a car with a manual transmission. After about an hour, my dad determined that I had caught on well enough to drive us the two miles home, but as we neared our neighborhood, my dad had me stop the car halfway up a steep hill, then turned to me and said, "Now go on up the hill."

I slowly let out the clutch, the car rolled backwards, I panicked and hit the brake, and the car died; this sequence was repeated over and over and over, me sobbing and crying while my dad calmly sat in the passenger seat and said, "You can't drive this car until you can start and stop it on a hill, so keep trying."

I rolled all the way to the bottom of the hill, crying the entire time, when I finally, FINALLY was able to let the clutch out and press on the gas pedal without rolling backwards; I then drove the rest of the way home, and from that day through the rest of high school and college, I drove that little hotrod (not) Nova every chance I could, and with that, I'd like to add that I'm sure glad cars can't talk, because boy, oh, boy, that car knew A LOT....

Linking up with Denise at Girlie On The Edge's Blog for Six Sentence Stories with the prompt "shift"

Wednesday, July 14, 2021

Center: A Six Sentence Story

He attended the party begrudgingly, worn down by his work mates who were tireless in their efforts to get him back into circulation. It had been 27 weeks since she vanished, 27 weeks since he came home from work to find her morning cup of coffee still sitting on the kitchen table, cold as death, the newspaper neatly folded to the crossword puzzle, every square as blank as his stare, the very center of his being now as hollow and as empty as their bed.

The party was uptown and promised to be one of THE events of the season, if his office mates were to be believed, and as the door opened to the opulent space and the music and laughter swelled out into the hallway, enveloping him, he began to relax for the first time in 27 weeks as he felt himself drawn to the gaiety inside.

One of the men from accounting clapped him on the back and handed him a drink, the alcohol quickly spreading its warmth throughout his body and soul, and before he knew it, he was enjoying himself, laughing along with the others, savoring the smooth bourbon that never seemed to empty from his glass, even going as far as to dance with a few of the charming young women who graced the party.

The hour grew late, the crowd began to lessen, and he bid adieu to the host and hostess, thanking them for the lovely evening, content that he had finally taken the step needed to free himself from the past. He walked home with a lightness in his step and a fullness in his chest and was so caught up in the thrill of the evening that he didn't see the car careening down the street until he had already stepped off the crosswalk, catching only the gleam of familiar blue eyes before the impact.

Linking up with Denise at Girlie On The Edge's Blog for Six Sentence Stories with the prompt "center"

Monday, July 12, 2021

Ding Dong, The Mouse Is Dead

I mentioned last week that there was a mouse in my car. Here's how it went down: I got in the car at 6:30 in the morning two weeks ago today to go to work. It was pouring down rain, I had the wipers on and was about to back out of the driveway when I saw something zip towards the front of the car on the passenger side floorboard. Just a shadow from the wipers, I thought, but then - zip - it ran back the other direction. Shadow? In the dark and the rain? Zip -it ran back to the front, and ZIP! I was outta there.

I ran in the house and up the stairs and woke up my husband by shouting, "THERE'S A MOUSE IN THE CAR!" He rolled over, pulled his CPAP mask off (sexy, I know), and said, "What?" "THERE'S A FUCKING MOUSE IN MY CARRRRRRR!!!" I replied, and he said, "What do you want me to do about it right now?" "TRADE CARS WITH ME" I responded. He tried to say something along the lines of it will be fine, just drive it to work, and I was getting VERY PISSY as I was now going to be late to work, oh, and THERE WAS A MOUSE IN THE CAR when my daughter, who happened to be home for a couple of days, came in the room and said she would move my car out of the driveway so I could take the other one (right after she got in my car to move it, she realized SHE was now driving a car with a live mouse running around, and had it run past, which it fortunately didn't, she surely would have driven right into the side of the house).

My husband took the mouse mobile to Walmart later in the morning and bought mouse traps and glue boards, then liberally, and I mean LIBERALLY spread peanut butter on all of them, including putting a dollop in the middle of the glue board. I saw this when I came home that afternoon, looked in the car, and saw that he had put five traps, a glue board, and the what must have been half of a jar of peanut butter in there. There was so much peanut butter, in fact, that my little mouse friend was able to eat for several days off it and only set off one trap, and no, he did not meet his end doing so. I could envision the mouse lying on his back next to a trap, reaching a little mousy arm out and taking swipes from the peanut butter, then lazily licking his gooey mouse fingers IN MY CAR.

By Thursday, all the peanut butter was gone.

That afternoon, before leaving town for 4th of July weekend, my husband reloaded the traps and we left town (in the other car, of course). There were two problems with that: one, I REPEATEDLY asked him to put the traps inside empty cracker or cereal boxes with a hole cut in the corner, so when the inevitable (hopefully)  happened, there would be no, um, mousy bodily fluids on the interior of the car, and two: we were going to be gone for FIVE DAYS in July in the midwest with temperatures in the 90s. He did neither.

I tried not to dwell on it over the long holiday weekend. When we got home Tuesday evening, the first thing my husband did when we got out of the car was to check the mouse mobile, and immediately crowed, "I got him!"

And yes, yes, he DID get him, but not before the little fucker drug the glue board onto two umbrellas and a tarp and then perished rather untidily in a trap. My husband did the removal, I continued to refuse to drive the car until the traps, peanut butter, and mouse turds were cleaned up. 

On Saturday, my husband took the car out to run errands, and apparently, the first errand he felt was a priority was to buy a giant bottle of Febreze and spray the entire contents all over the inside of the car. Hmmmm. I then spent half an hour with a shop vac removing every last trace of poo while my husband tried to get sticky glue board residue off of two umbrellas and a tarp. Hmmmm. On the advice of my dad, I also stuffed dryer sheets under all the seats (it's supposed to deter future mice from moving in with a bonus of giving off a fresh scent).

The car still smells like peanut butter and not very fresh mouse and clean laundry, but it's MOUSE FREE.

And that's my Ten Things of Thankful post, because not only is the mouse dead, but he (or she) didn't bring nine other members of its family to take up residence in my car (and yes, I checked EVERYWHERE).

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter

Monday, July 5, 2021

4th of July Thankful Math

Thankful math is getting me again this week, and I have 4th of July holiday to blame. The child development center was closed Friday and Monday for the holiday, Monday because the 4th was on Sunday and therefore is considered "observed" the next day, and Friday because someone higher up was being really nice to us. We work a 4-day week during the summer, half of us taking Mondays off and half of us taking Fridays off. I'm a Monday person, and since everyone got Monday off, then Monday people got Tuesday off as well, and I thought today was Sunday but actually it's Monday and my Ten Things of Thankful is going to come in under the wire and THIS IS WHY I BARELY PASSED ALGEBRA IN HIGH SCHOOL.

Carrying on. Here are my thankfuls:

There is a mouse in my car. I am thankful that we have two cars, because I'm not setting foot in the other one until the little fucker is caught.

My daughter was approved for an apartment we found in Kansas City. This is a HUGE relief for all of us. Move in should be easy, since she only has a small arm chair, a desk chair, three cups, a couple of bowls, a sauce pan, and way too many clothes.

I had a dream I peed myself, and I woke up pretty relieved to find out that it was just a dream.

Made brownies in a bowl that was entirely too small and didn't slop it all over the counter.

Poshmark, which makes my addiction to Allbirds shoes affordable.


We can sit on the dock at the lake house and watch the fireworks display at Branson Landing without the crowds. 

Milo's zero calorie sweet tea.

Pleasant weather for the 4th of July weekend: warm during the day, cool in the evening, and low humidity.

Good tweezers.

I'd invite you to join us this week at the Ten Things of Thankful, but you're going to have to be quick, because the link closes soon!

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter

Sunday, June 27, 2021

Thankful I'm A Year Younger!

 Another week, another list of thankfuls! (Did you know if you accidentally type a "K" instead of an "L" in "thankful" that you end up with an entirely different word and what would be an entirely different blog hop?) Here are mine:

1. The College Boy who became the Med Student and is now the M.D. had a birthday this week! We jokingly called it his Emancipation Day, because he is now 26 and off our insurance, but he also started orientation for his residency and now has his very own big boy insurance! He's had quite a busy spring: Match Day, wedding, graduation, moving to a different state, and now his residency beginning. So proud of all he's accomplished!

2. Trader Joe's Cholatey Cats Cookies for People. Truthfully, I would eat them if they actually WERE marketed for cats, because they're pretty darn good.

3. Well, it wasn't the stomach flu.

4. When you have a known food allergy or sensitivity and you decide to eat said food because it looks really good and then you have gut-wrenching pain that somewhat mimics the stomach flu, be thankful you figured it out and have enough sense NEVER TO EAT A BITE OF CANTELOUPE AGAIN AS LONG AS YOU LIVE.

5. A friend had a birthday the other day, and as we were talking about our ages, I said I was 61, then stopped and said, no, wait, is that right? After much debate and some hard math, I figured out that I am actually 60 (for a couple of more months, anyway). Since I've been THINKING I was 61 for some time, I am thankful I was able to make myself younger FOR REAL. 

6. One of my little nugs was drawing on the sidewalk with chalk with his mom. He wanted her to draw a picture of me, so she asked if I had straight hair or curly hair. He told her I had CRAZY hair, and I couldn't love that more! In fairness, he ALSO has crazy hair (which, by the way, interprets to curly), but he got it cut recently and it's not AS crazy as mine is currently! I sure love that boy!

7. While we started the week with cool weather, we ended it with blistering heat, followed by severe thunderstorms. Friday afternoon, it was SOOOOO hot that I wasn't going to take my littles outside again. They were playing in centers when my student worker and I kept hearing sirens. We hear them quite often, as there is an assisted living center about half a mile away, and a fire truck and ambulance gets dispatched there nearly every day, but these sirens were loud and then stopping abruptly. Finally had the sense to look out the window, and there were five fire engines, an ambulance, and several police cars parked right across the street from the school! I gathered up my kiddos and took them out front, where we sat in the blazing sun and watched the firefighters put out a small attic fire at the apartment complex across the street. Emergency vehicles are DA BOMB when you are a preschooler, and this was a terrific teachable moment, especially since it was a small fire and no one was injured. 

8. As the firefighters began to disperse, one of them came over to his truck and called out my name. Surprise! It was a boy (okay, man) my daughter went to school with from kindergarten all the way through high school. I was touched that he recognized me in a situation in which he surely wasn't expecting to see me, and the kiddos enjoyed seeing a firefighter up close in full gear (if only he wasn't about to melt from the gear plus the heat).

9. My daughter and I drove through a severe thunderstorm on the way to Kansas City on Friday. Lots of lightning and blinding rain, but no hail and no tornadoes. I was able to keep another vehicle's taillights in sight, and that made me feel somewhat safer. 

10. Don't want to jinx anything, but it is POSSIBLE that we may have found an apartment for her for the upcoming school year.

Link up with us at the Ten Things of Thankful! You will grow from the simple act of compiling a weekly list of thankfuls and have fun at the same time!

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter

Saturday, June 19, 2021

Really, The BEST Of Intentions

I had the best of intentions on Friday, really, I did. 

When I arrived at school that morning, I hit the ground running. Father's Day kind of slipped up on me, and I had been rushing all week to get the gifts made for my kids to give to their dads (or grandpas or other significant men in their lives). 

Naturally, I had had technical difficulties with getting photos I needed printed in the size I needed (thank you, Annie and Addison, for getting me past THAT hump). I neglected to take a picture of the finished product (which wouldn't have been finished without Annie's help - darn her for getting a "real" job and leaving me at the end of the summer to teach first grade), but they were river rocks (thanks, Vandine, for purchasing them for both of our classes to use), painted with acrylic paint (another thanks to Vandine for buying paint; I thought I had some - and I DID, but it turns out I only had white, black, and springy, Easter egg shades). A half-dollar sized photo of the child was glued onto the rock, "My Pop Rocks" was written on them, and then they were painted with Mod Podge for protection and an aesthetically pleasing glossy look (four more thankfuls to Annie for the circle cutting, gluing, writing, and Mod Podging). End product is a paper weight, if that's not already obvious, and it was a project I used to do with preschoolers at my previous school; in fact, my husband still has the one my daughter made nearly 20 years ago ("I can't throw it away - it has her picture on it").

If you followed that whole paragraph of the making of the paper weights, go back in time with me to the portion that says I had to have photos printed. After much frustration, I was finally able to get an 8x10 photo printed at Walgreens that was a collage of individual photos of each child (correction: all but TWO children, because it appears I left two of them off; the only good news is those students weren't at school that day, so their gifts to their pops were going to be belated anyway). That's one thankful for getting the collage made and printed, minus a thankful for leaving two photos off. The thankful math is getting as convoluted as this story.

So I drive to Walgreens to pick up the photo while the kids were outside with Annie and Addison. It was boiling hot outside, already 90 degrees at 9:30, so I texted Annie and said I would bring back candy and Sonic drinks. I was super proud of myself for using the Sonic app for the first time, ordering three Route 44 drinks (if you aren't familiar with Sonic, they are 44 oz drinks) for half price (also paying for them through the app), pulling into a stall, and getting them delivered to the car in a flash. The car hop brought them out on a tray, then seeing I was alone, asked if I would like a drink carrier. Hmmm, I thought, as I had just planned to stick them in the car's cupholders (foreshadowing here), that would make them SO MUCH easier to carry into school, so I said yes, he put the drinks into the drink carrier (the flat kind that pops into a 4-hole box with handle), and I put the drinks on the floorboard of the passenger side of the front seat and headed back to campus. One Diet Coke, one Diet Dr Pepper, one Vanilla Dr Pepper. Several thankfuls there.

It was only about a mile or two, straight down the main drag, and all was well until a traffic light ahead of me suddenly turned yellow. I am a rule follower, so I hit the brakes to stop at it instead of blowing through it like most people in town would have, and CRASH - the carrier tipped over to the right, dumping the drinks onto the floorboards. I threw the car into park, took off my seatbelt, said ALLLLL the bad words, and set the drink holder upright, but not without one of the cups losing its lid and spilling its contents all over the floor of the car.. I texted Annie that, due to a rapid stop at a light, I was now one drink down.

I continued down the road, CAREFULLY turned onto the road leading to the campus while bent over, my finger hooked in the edge of the drink carrier as I did so. Whew! I waited for traffic to clear, slowly, S-L-O-W-L-Y made my next turn, and CRASH - over it went again. I whipped into the parking lot of the school, set the carrier upright again, aaaaaand, another drink down.

I parked the car, texted Annie that I had lost yet another one, picked up the soggy drink carrier with two empty cups, one mostly full but quite battered cup, the photo I had printed, and the candy and trudged, dripping, into the building. I set everything down in the room (Annie and Addison were trying not to laugh at my idiocy, but they were unable to hide it), told them I didn't know whose drink it was that actually survived, and went back outside to deal with the car.

As I approached my car from the passenger side, armed with a trash bag and a roll of industrial paper towels, I saw that a small stream of soda was actually running out the bottom of the passenger door onto the parking lot. Running. Out. The. Car. Door.

Opening the door, I was greeted with about a half inch of soda with crushed ice swimming around in it; the rest of the soda (and let us remember that it was 88 OUNCES OF LIQUID) was both UNDER the floor mat or absorbed INTO the floor mat. I swear that floor mat weighed ten pounds when I pulled it out of the car and dropped it onto the parking lot. I used the paper towels to absorb all the liquid I could out of the floor board (turns out "all I could get" was less than a sufficient amount), then dragged the floor mat to the front steps of the building, leaving a trail of soda across the parking lot. I lifted the mat up by the corner to rinse it off, and soda continued to pour, POUR, out in a stream onto the ground, so much that I could have refilled one of the cups with it. I'm really thankful that we had hoses hooked up to the spigot in front of the building (thank you, Ceason, for buying new hoses to use for summer water play, watering the garden, and the occasional washing of car mats that have absorbed half a gallon of soda) and I rinsed and rinsed and rinsed and RINSED and was able to declare them relatively soda-free (and a lot cleaner than it was before). I laid it out to dry (didn't take long in that heat, by the way) and finally returned to my classroom.

By this time, my kids were already sitting down to lunch (thanks again, Addison and Annie). I walked into the room, sweaty and disheveled, feet sticky, hair wild, and asked which of the three different drinks survived the trip. In unison, they said, "Yours." Oops.

So, see? I really DID have the best of intentions by getting the drinks to offset leaving to get the photo while Annie and Addison supervised the little nugs on the playground. I tried, I really did. 

A swing and a miss.

Trail o' soda

This was a live photo and was easier 
to see that way, but you can see the
stream of soda pouring from the lower
right corner

I took this selfie as I was heading out
on my errand because I was having
a really good hair day. I did not take
an after photo, but I can assure you
it was the opposite of this....

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter