Friday, February 27, 2009

Its Braum's, Vern

First - you probably have to be at least as old as I am to understand the title.

Second - I'm on a diet. The first step is giving up diet coke for 30 days. The reason - I have a drinking problem. I drink a lot when I'm alone - about a pack a day. Not saying how many are in that pack. It was a difficult week with NO caffeine. Actually I cheated once but it doesn't really count because I drink canned diet coke and this was a fountain drink at a restaurant and it was watered down and didn't taste good at all. So I'm not counting it.

Caffeine withdrawal is no fun. I've been sluggish and I don't want to get out of bed in the mornings. I haven't wanted to blog or do business or clean my house. My bowel movements have changed but lets not go there. What can I say? It's caffeine withdrawal. I haven't been myself at all. I even let Audrey spend the night with a friend on a school night last night. What kind of mother have I become? It was actually very pleasant at home without her, so I really did it out of self preservation. And today is only a half day of school, so I rationalized it away.

This morning I REALLY didn't want to get out of bed, so I decided to sleep in until 6:30. My usual 4:00am alarm was just too early. THEN the phone rang and the Mister called to tell me that he forgot his cell phone like he does at least once a week. But THIS time he needed me to bring it to him. (23 mile drive in morning commuter traffic before a 9:00am meeting) So, I rushed the kids to get ready and out the door. They were reluctant and cranky and we left 10 minutes later than I had hoped for but we arrive at school with time to spare. Then I was off to Irving in the morning commute, which I do not miss at all. Traffic was bad and I had to take several alternate routes, thus taking extra time, but I finally made it. After delivering the phone with a kiss and a good luck I decided to drive home a different way - the long way. Then I decided ice cream from Braum's was in order. It has been a long time since I've been inside the doors of a Braum's ice cream store and I was amazed. As I perused the aisles of the dairy section I was both amazed and stumped by the number of flavors to choose from. Then I saw it - Cappuccino Chunky Chocolate. Yum!! I couldn't wait to get home and dig in. Just as I was approaching the checkout my cell phone rang. BUSTED! It was the Mister. I could have just not answered it but I knew he would keep calling. He's persistent that way. So I answered and spoke quietly. He said he couldn't hear me so I said I would have to call him back. A few minutes later, in the van, I called him back. All I could think about was getting home to eat the ice cream. He didn't ask what I was doing so I didn't tell. And I can write about it now because he doesn't read my blog.

Entering my neighborhood I was flagged down by a AAA driver with a very confused look on his face. I rolled down the window and he immediately pushed his cell phone into my van and said "please talk to her. I need directions." Using my most excellent secretarial skills I spoke to the woman on the phone, got directions to her house and her phone number just in case I need to call her back - which I did - and led the driver to her house a mile away. He was very grateful and relieved. She didn't give very good directions, so its no wonder he couldn't find her. Then again, shouldn't a AAA tow truck driver have a GPS navigator? I was just glad I could help and wanted to get home and treat myself with some ice cream.

I finally made my way home but couldn't find my house key. What next? I just wanted the ice cream!!! Frantic search, found the key, ran to the kitchen, yanked the lid off - how does Braum's get their ice cream frozen so hard? Its never like that at the grocery store.

Now - Full of ice cream, feeling better and blogging again. What a wonderful morning. If I had taken the most direct route home I wouldn't have stopped for ice cream or had the opportunity to help the AAA man.

Moral of the story? Take your time when you can. Otherwise you might miss the opportunity to help someone else in need. Sometimes delays in our agenda are providential. Then - Take time to enjoy the ice cream. :-)

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

What Boys Do

It's quiet here at home during the day when the kids are in school. At the beginning of the school year I took a lot of naps. But now that I have had time to adjust to being home ALONE during the day I figured out a cleaning schedule that works for me. The first load of laundry goes into the wash as soon as the I return home from the morning school delivery. And I do at least three loads every morning instead of waiting for baskets to fill up at the end of the week. As if it would take that long for baskets to fill up in a house with five kids. least twice a week I strip the beds and wash sheets and blankets.
Occasionally I find - lets call them interesting - artifacts under my boys' pillows. Things like multi tools and cameras. We're not just talking Princess and the Pea here. This is a treasure trove full of stuff. The Egyptians buried their Pharaohs with treasure for the afterlife. I can only imagine what my boys are thinking when they sleep with this stuff under their pillows. Here is what I found under one pillow today:
One progress report - not seen by mom until now
A car - for a fast get away?
One knife - to fight off the boogie man
One comb - to look good for the girls in their dream
One wallet - because you never know when you are going to need money - maybe to impress the ladies
One thumbtack - who knows, MacGyver would know what to do with it
One pom-pom - I'm lost on that one - MacGyver could use that too.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

The Smell Test

I find myself enslaved to laundry. Its everywhere. Clean laundry, dirty laundry - well lets face it, there are only two kinds. And I don't mind washing clothes. In fact, I love washing clothes. I really do. Its one of the easiest chores in the house. You put the clothes into the machine with some detergent and fabric softener and the machine does all the work. Then you transfer it to the dryer with two dryer sheets - yes I am addicted to fabric softener - and turn it on. Its that easy. Unfortunately for me, that is where the fun ends . I can happily go through the washer dryer cycle (we call it the hokey-poky - a story for another day) all day long. Its the next step that I don't like. You know - the part where you sort, hang and fold the clothes and then put them away so people can easily find them. Yuck! I have never enjoyed that part. It takes too long when I want to do other things like scrub a toilet or sit down and eat ice cream while watching a movie.

So, I find myself trying to find ways to be more efficient with the laundry process. Every morning, as soon as I get home from the morning school delivery, I go through the house and gather all dirty clothes and towels and throw them into the wash together. Never mind that towels are getting washed together with whites and brights. Its getting washed and I'm not wasting water on a small load. The challenge I have lies in my boys room at the end of the hall. Whether I fold and hang all of their clothes or even if they do it themselves - every day I find clothes on the floor in the closet or under the bed or next to the dresser. They are every where and I am so tired of washing them over and over again whether they are clean or not.

A few years ago I got tired of doing this redundant and unnecessary process so I instinctively instituted a new way to eliminate the excess - the smell test. Instead of picking up everything on the floor and throwing it in the trash or dowsing it with fuel and lighting a match, I grab the pants and underwear and give them the smell test - up close and personal. If it looks clean but I cant tell for sure, I bury my nose deep in the crotch and take a quick sniff. Yesterday, while standing in a somewhat dark room, I got a huge surprise wrapped up inside the seat of a pair of dark blue pants. It was the poop Du jur. So, no it didn't pass the smell test, and at that point neither did I!