Saturday, September 13, 2014

Disappearing Act

Saturday, September 13, 2014

I always struggle a bit on Saturdays.  I am the music director at a church, and therefore, must look presentable and be present to play for Mass around 4:30 each and every Saturday.  This fact tends to lurk in the back of my mind all day...."you can't really go anywhere, because you need to get back for church."  "You shouldn't start any big projects, because you will have to stop in the middle of it and get ready for church."  This sort of thing.   So, instead, I tend to waste the entire day, thinking about all the things I would do...if I didn't have to go to church.
My husband, on the other hand, has chosen today to take on the garage.  Apparently he thinks it would be a good idea to actually park the cars in it this winter.  (Last year, I managed to fill it up with furniture.  Projects that I was planning to "paint in the fall and sell!  We will make a bundle!")  That didn't happen....until the day before my first garage sale this summer...and I ended up keeping everything anyway.   Speaking of garage sales, that is what he is clearing out right now.  What is left of two months worth of garage sales/house decluttering/"I don't know what to do with this so I will throw it in the garage"/etc.  Apparently he already made one trip to the dump.  (That is his solution.  Take it ALL to the dump.)  He came into the house and said "Wow!  It was only five bucks to get rid of the TV, two DVD players, and that typewriter."  Um....excuse me?  That WHAT??!!
I realize that typewriters are rather obsolete, but this is the thing I took to college with me.  The magic machine I typed ALL my papers on.  The machine I may have decided to take with me to a remote location and type my "Great American Novel" on one day!!  That is what the people in all the movies do!  They create their masterpieces on TYPEWRITERS!  And when stick that last piece of paper in, scroll down, and hear the satisfying click of the keys as you type
But now it is lying in a garbage heap at the dump.
He just came in and said "So, should I just toss that green chair that was down in Lexie's room?" Obviously, my reaction over the typewriter was strong enough that he knows now to ASK before throwing.  I have said on numerous occasions that I LOVE THIS CHAIR.
  There used to be two.  

Then I got Bennett.
And he ate it.
He did his best to follow up with the second chair for dessert, but I salvaged what I could.
When Bennett lived here, many things disappeared as well.  One morning, I woke up, and reached for my glasses, as I always do.  (I am blind as a bat without them).  They were no where to be found.  There was no question who had them.  Whenever he took something he knew he wasn't supposed to have, he would bring it to the back yard.  That is where they were, lenses popped out, bow chewed almost through, a sad, sad heap of very expensive plastic.  Yes, the backyard would be their final resting spot.  The only time he didn't drag something back there, was when he took the stir stick out of my (full) paint can. (Just a day or two before the above pic was taken.  He wanted the floors to match the newly painted cupboards!)  First, he walked it through the house (the entire house)  and then hopped on the couch to sit and chew on it, as he managed to smear the paint from the stick on just about every visible surface.  Unfortunately, (for me) fortunately (for him) he had this:
the cutest damn face on the planet. So yes, he got away with ALL of it.

Lucky for this one, he has a pretty cute face too.....
So, I suppose, for today, he can get away with it too. 

Friday, September 12, 2014

Against the clock

Friday, September 12, 2014

I wish I could say I was one of those people who is always on time.  I really do strive for that, and sometimes I do achieve it.  When it happens, it typically means I have arrived ON TIME.  As in exactly on time.  Not one minute early.  Unfortunately, my arrival tends to land in the 5-10 minute late category.  It does not matter if I set my alarm to an earlier wake up time.  If I have more time to get ready, I will simply find a way to fill it, and be late anyway.
To complicate this issue, I also struggle with "planning ahead".  I, once again, strive to be one of those perfect planners, who has her clothes set out the night before, lunch packed, all necessary items for the following day neatly stowed in my sassy satchel (that coordinates with my fabulous outfit, of course) and ready to go by the front door.  All I need to do is get ready and go!  All I need to do is go shopping for that sassy satchel!
Shall we step back into reality?
Today I am meeting my sisters for an afternoon of fun at the fair, followed by dinner with our families.  This sounds simple enough, right?  Well, thrown into this day of excitement are a few appointments that we need to attend to.  We have to get mom to the Dr. at 9:30, then a hair cut at 11:30, my nephew is playing with the jazz band at 12:30 and then my niece needs to get the staple removed from her head at 1:15. (A sewing machine fell on her head.  I can't make this stuff up.)  This sounds simple enough, except we have three sisters, coming from three different directions, at three different times, and I am the only one who has a cell phone.  I won't even go into the number of phone calls we have made already in an attempt to figure out who will meet who where, and what will happen when.  If we actually manage to locate each other (I am not even going to get into the fact that there are 12 kids between the three of us that factor into this whole potential disaster) then we need to start making more food.  Feeding a brood of 19 is always an adventure, especially when there are 4 bottomless-pit teenagers, and 8 toddler through middle schoolers who may or may not benefit from a good strong dose of ritalin, and three husbands who conveniently disappear 3 minutes after we all arrive, only to re-appear 30 minutes later, as they "inconspicuously" sneak a couple cases of beer downstairs to sit in front of the TV, while we do all the cooking and deal with the hoard of children.  Since we are excellent parents and would never dream of doing something as simple and pain-free as ordering pizza, we always opt for a nice, big, home cooked meal.  Fortunately, both of my sisters happen to be quite gifted in the culinary area.  Even more fortunately, my sister Emily has a farm, and she knows how to do amazing things, like grow vegetables, and raise animals, and farm things like that!  And even better, she takes those vegetables and animals and turns them into some pretty fabulous food.  (Seriously, if you tasted her cooking, you would REALLY wish she was your sister!!)  I, of course, steer clear of the "turning animals into food" part.  I enjoy the food part...but the "turning" part....I just can't bear.  I am still boycotting pork after watching a horrible video of mean men working at a hog farm, doing terrible things to little piggies.  Don't even get me started on that.  I would have a pig sanctuary in my back yard if my husband would allow it.  
Wow.  I wonder why I run late.  Back to topic.  I admire my sisters for not giving into the money sucking world of phone technology, but I can not begin to tell you the number of times we have said "ugh...if only you had a cell phone!"  My sister Kris does have a banana phone. really is just a plastic banana with people's phone numbers written on it, so it doesn't help out much.  I believe she does carry it in her purse, in case of emergencies.  Anyway, I need to go pack up some matches and blankets, so I can send smoke signals once I arrive on location.  They will surely know that I am signaling them, right? I would call to tell them to look for my smoke, but attempt would be futile.
Speaking of will have to wait a bit longer for my "after" pics.  My cooking took precedence over the "creating the magical mud-room" yesterday.  The fabulous birthday dinner, however, was a lovely success.  Bethy Crocker did herself proud. ;)

Pretty birthday bouquet
Roasted chicken with lemon zest and rosemary
Obnoxious, "I'm posing for your pic" birthday boy!
 Yummy apple cake

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Getting Started

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Starting.  This is probably my biggest challenge in life.  I am so amazing at coming up with great ideas, making lists, dreaming up brilliant plans, getting my adrenaline pumping with excitement over the life-changing project I am about to take on.  And then it's time to start....and all I want to do is take a nap.
You may wonder why "bedbethandtheblog?"  I honestly sat for a long time, debating between "beth" and "bath"...because my bed and bath are the two places where I would choose to spend the majority of my time.  (So sorry for those who might come to this blog thinking "ooh!! "Bedbeth"...this is going to be one scandalous and racy read!") I suppose if the idea of a 42 year old woman wearing sweats, surrounded by dogs, crossword puzzles and magazines, festering in her bed is your idea of sexy scandal, then this IS your dream come true!!.
Back to my topic.  Let me give you an example of how I attempt to get "started".  When my house is a complete disaster (98.9% of the time) I like to find ways to motivate myself to clean it.  My typical routine is to go to my magazine archives. (yes, I am organized enough to have magazine archives, but I spend at least 3-5 minutes every day trying to figure out where the hell my purse is.) I choose a couple of season appropriate selections, run myself a lovely bubble bath, and peruse inspirational photos of beautiful homes.  I have learned that it is always a good idea to get my hair washing and shaving out of the way prior to the magazine viewing, as sometimes looking at those photos really gets my juices flowing...and it just is never fun to have to jump out of the tub to use the facilities and then get back in.  The bubble bath magic is gone.
So, once I am good and inspired (this usually happens before I even get to the end of the magazine)  I am ready to get to work! Unfortunately, I still have to go through the whole "get ready" routine.  Drying off, getting dressed, blah blah blah.  This takes far too much time.  Once I am finally ready, my cleaning mojo has pretty much evaporated with the bath water.  So, I make my way to my bed to look at just ONE more magazine and get re-inspired.  A few years ago, we invested in a king-sized, memory foam mattress, and topped it off with a 2 inch memory foam pad.  Needless to say, my bed is heaven.  It beckons me.  It pulls me toward it at all hours of the day and night.  It is my best friend and greatest enemy.  My bed is the reason I get NOTHING done.  Once I give in to it's beguiling ways, it's all over.  I am done.  And then something even worse happens.  That bed whispers in my ear...quietly, yet oh so furtively..."turn on the TV."  And with that, my "start" becomes a definitive "end".
Today is my husband's birthday.  Most fortunately, he ordered his gift from me a few weeks ago.  All I had to do was gather all of the the checks I had hoarded from my side jobs over the past couple months and deposit them in the bank.  (Happy Birthday honey!)  He bought a "fat bike" and is planning to bike to work everyday...regardless of the weather.  I will not be asking for the same when my birthday comes around.
One would think my job as a good wife is done, but alas, this is not the case.  I have ingredients for 4 different meals in the refrigerator, as well as a couple of desserts.  My family is not being helpful in any way as far as choosing what they would prefer.  It is almost noon, and my goal for the day is to get the house looking festive and lovely, make a stunning dessert (or two?) and prepare a meal worthy of kings.(Which meal that will be still remains a mystery.) Oh, I also had hoped to create a "stunningly beautiful mud room" area out of our little back entry disaster.   So far, I have taken a bath, looked at Facebook about a dozen times, sold a bike on craigslist (yay! that was productive!) and...that's all. I am obviously struggling to get started.  So in an effort to hold myself accountable, I will post "before" pics, and share the nightmare (that is currently my life) with you.  And, if I can tear myself away from the computer, this evening, you will have the pleasure of viewing my amazing transformation.  This, of course, is assuming that my evil bed does not lure me back into it's devious (yet oh so fabulous) lair.

Grocery bags filled with ingredients for mystery meal
South view of soon-to-be-fabulous entry area
North view
Site where dining magic will occur...we hope.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Man or Beast?

Wed. September 10, 2014

A couple of nights ago, I was wrenched from a deep sleep by the pungent odor of rotten eggs, corroding my already over-sensitive nasal passages.  My first thought was "Oh my God!  We need to call Xcel Energy NOW!!"  My husband Mark must have sensed my subtle moans of disgust, followed by the jolt of movement toward my phone, and turned toward me.  I very calmly exclaimed "WHAT THE HELL IS THAT SMELL?!!"  His response: "Oh.  That is probably my butt.  Those mozerella sticks kinda did a number on me."  Then he rolled over and went back to sleep.  Obviously, this declaration made the odor even more upsetting, not to mention nauseating.  Seriously, how does this man expect me to get any sleep when he is invading my olfactory receptors in such a heinous way?
This leads me to the question: What is it with men and farting?
When my son was a toddler, it began.  The raucous laughter whenever the word "fart" or "poop" was uttered.  Now, I can understand a child finding this amusing, but the fact the the majority of the laughter was coming from his then 30-something father confused me a bit.
I honestly had my husband convinced that women did NOT fart for the first several years of our marriage.  I actually found this pretty hilarious.  One, that I pulled it off.  Two, that he actually fell for it.  I finally realized that it was soooo not worth my effort, and once I finally let one fly in front of him, and his response was a enthusiastic "GOOD OUT!!" I figured we had moved past the days of being demure.
I should mention that this was a huge step for me.  I vividly remember being a young kid (I would guess around 7 or 8) and I was visiting relatives on my mom's side of the family.  (This would be the "no holds barred" side of the family.)  I accidentally let one rip, and their response was to laugh at me.  I was absolutely mortified, and I locked myself in the bathroom for a very long time, and cried.  I was horrified of ever drawing any sort of negative attention to myself.  I NEVER wanted anyone to laugh at me.  As you can see, this is still a HUGE issue with me. ;)
Back to the men.  Just the other day, I was sitting with my husband, and he burst out laughing.  After inquiring why, he went into a story about how earlier that day while talking to his colleague, the two of them used farts as punctuation at the end of their sentences.  Might I mention that this man is going to be 43 tomorrow?!  How is this completely acceptable behavior with men, but a faux pas when it comes to women?  And while we are on the subject, why do men's gaseous renderings tend to have such an amazingly strong and, well, room-clearing odor?  I won't even begin to talk about how long they spend in the bathroom...or the damage done while there.
In our home, a lot of the interesting odors that are floating around get blamed on the dogs.  Conveniently, both my husband and son are horrible liars.  Both can not lie without looking up to the right, and acting completely guilty.  Even my male dogs look guilty when asked if they were the culprit in the crime of "stinking up the house".
At any rate, I now know to check with Mr. Stinky before I call the gas company....and after almost 19 years of marriage, I can guarantee that 98% of the's NOT the dog.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

A fork in the road...or my side

Tuesday, Sept. 9  2014
Today was supposed to be "Take on the world Tuesday!!"  The best laid plans....
I have been enjoying the past several days of "mother-free" time, since my darling sister has been caring for her at her place.  This means I get to sleep in...or sleep through the night...or just sleep.  On a typical night, my mom tends to get up at some ungodly hour to begin her clothing prep.  (this is her "thing") She makes her bed, and begins to empty her drawers and closets of every item of clothing, folding each piece over and over, and making piles.  Then she starts hauling them upstairs.  (For those who don't know, my mother has Alzheimer's)  Then, she begins her nightly roam.  She enjoys taking a stroll through our bedroom, standing eerily over our bed and watching us sleep for a bit, then through the bathrooms, and main living area.  It's interesting how your instinct tells you "there is a person standing over you, and it might be a good idea to wake up and make sure you aren't about to get stabbed in your sleep right now."  It also makes for a rather crappy sleeping experience.  After I put her back to bed (usually around 4am) she is back up and raring to go by 5:30.  My hubby leaves for work by 6:30, so that means it's my turn to mommy-sit.  All. Day. Long. 
So, today, I looked forward to waking up when I felt like it, and taking on the world!  Until the dog started whining at 6:30.  My chihuahua jumps off the bed like a maniac every time he hears a leaf rustle.  The shi tzu, however, is fat and fuzzy.  When he jumps off the bed, he typically goes into a full body slide straight toward the wall.  It's fun to watch.  Apparently it's not fun to experience.  After catering to the furry dictators, I went back to bed, only to be awoken at 7:30 by a text from my daughter informing me that her 4 month old cello got banged up by someones case in orchestra, and now has a crack in it.  I should mention that this cello cost more than my first three CARS.  The TOTAL of my first THREE CARS.  (Granted, I drove three total pieces of crap...but for God's sake...this instrument is FOUR MONTHS OLD!)  I suppose it could be worse.  Her last cello (one that we were renting, thank God) met a much more painful demise.  While carrying it in her "back-pack" style cello case, she wiped out coming up the stairs to our house. (she considered becoming a world-class ballerina, but has since chosen pursuing other interests) She managed to smash the top of the cello into the front door, and snap the neck of the poor instrument completely off the body.  I was tempted to do the exact same thing to her.  
After falling back into a restless, stress-filled dream state, I finally woke up again at 10, and now my morning is shot.  I figured I would attempt to at least clean up the disaster of a kitchen that my darling family has left for me.  Seriously, how does one get SO much peanut butter on the counter?  We HAVE plates!  We HAVE paper towels!! Ugh.  Of course, no one has bothered to empty the dishwasher, because obviously, I do it SO much better than anyone else.  I open the door to find water still standing in the bottom.  Surely a result of the "Oops!  I accidentally put a little too much soap in!" comment I heard come from my daughters lips after a forced session of "YOU WILL CLEAN UP THE KITCHEN BEFORE YOU LEAVE THE HOUSE TODAY."  I suppose this is what I get for not doing it myself.  So here I am, 11:00, still in my pajamas, and thinking that perhaps today will be "take a time-out Tuesday"...or maybe "Tequila Tuesday" or maybe I will just shop for shoes. 

Monday, September 8, 2014

Man in the Can

My husband is cleaning his bathroom.  By "his" bathroom, I am referring to the bathroom he shares with our 14 year old son.  This is also the bathroom that was damaged in many costly ways by our four dogs....but alas, that is a story for a different day.
I should mention that this is a bathroom I will only step foot in if I have a surplus of clean towels, and need to take advantage of the large linen closet that only the scary bathroom possesses.  And I will never enter without wearing shoes. Ever.  If he is voluntarily cleaning must be really bad.
The reason it is so gross has nothing to do with the room itself.  It is actually quite lovely in there.  Or it was.  Since the boys moved in, the toilet gets a scrub once every six months (if it's lucky).  There is no need for a garbage can of any sort, because all of the whisker clippings from shaving and goatee trimming simply just stay right there on the counter, or in the sink.  It is interesting how hair eventually shellacks itself to the sink after several weeks.  But, the icing on the cake this evening was when my beloved presented me with his bath mat.  The once fluffy, white towel/mat/rug thingy that made stepping out of the shower not just an event, but a celebration, had obviously been subjected to a life of misery and torture.  He held it before me in it's now brownish, yellowish, I-have-no-idea-what-that-color-is-state of moldy, flattened despair, and said, "So, is it worth trying to wash this thing?"  I paused, and I took a moment to ponder where I had gone wrong in the past 19 years of man-training that I had worked so hard at.  "Typically, darling," I said with sincerity almost oozing from my pores....almost. "Typically these mats are thrown in the wash with the towels."  I thought for another moment, and realized that he never threw his towels in the wash either....if I didn't grab them, he would attempt to use them until they could stand on their own.  It was time to get specific. "Once a week is a good goal."  He looked a little confused and said, "Oh. Well this is how I did it in college, so I wasn't sure."   Yes....I can see how one wouldn't be sure.  Suddenly, visions of his college bed sheets came flooding through my memory.  And those socks.  And the ONE kitchen towel....that I am pretty sure he used for at least two years.  I suddenly have an urge to do laundry. 

Monday's Conundrum

Monday's Conundrum 

Monday, Sept. 8  2014

Finally, after a few years of it first blog posting. :)
Last night was like every Sunday before.  A list of plans and goals for Monday went running through my head.  "Ok...this is the week we are going to get started!  Mom is at Emily's house, so you are FREE!!  We will exercise, (do you all refer to yourselves as "we" when you have conversations in your head?  Like you are a team with yourself?  I think I just may be my best friend...whoo hoo!  Go WE!! Weird.)  Anyway, we will clean the house, we will decorate for fall outside, and heck, inside too!  We will TAKE ON THE WORLD!!!
Well, it is 11:30, I am sitting here in my underwear (so sorry Mr. Mailman.) He just walked up and rang the doorbell.  We got a package.  He got a show.
I had great intentions when I woke up.  Get ready and get going.  Then "we" start talking again.  We is really a little $#*& in the morning.  At night, she is very motivated and gives awesome advice.  In the morning, she (I assume she is a she?) starts creeping in with this manipulative crap.  She gives me the "you could take that cup of coffee into the bedroom and turn on the TV, and we could watch just one of the shows you recorded last night.  I mean, you know how you (see how she blames ME here!) hate getting behind on your programs (I love that word...programs) and feel like you can never catch up." 
So, I stand in the middle of the kitchen, wondering what to do.  And the biggest problem here is that there are several genes I was lacking at birth.  I am sure this has peaked your interest, so I will list them here for you.
  1. Willpower
  2. Motivation
  3. Ability to stay awake for long periods of time
  4. Morning person-ness
  5. Ability to be pleasant when I am tired, hungry or have a headache. (or cramps)
  6. Desire to put things away
As you can see, these are pretty serious genes to be lacking.  #1 and #2 really hinder my ability to exercise or clean, or really do much of anything.  #6 doesn't necessarily hindering my progress in starting a's just the finishing part (aka: cleaning up) I detest.
So, let's consider today a success, since I did set up this blog, and I do plan to sit in the bath next, rather then my bed.  TUESDAY is a great day for taking on the world! :)