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Thursday, January 29, 2015

Getting Organized And...Mortified

So I fell off the face of the earth. Again. But there was the getting ready for Christmas business and strep throat decided to pop back into my life (after 20-something years) the weekend before Christmas, bringing with it glass shards each time I swallowed and a fever of a hundred and three. Then, not quite recovered from that, I got sick again (the weekend after Christmas) and stayed that way for what seemed like a sweet FOREVER. Then, THEN, just as I was getting back to some sense of normalcy, Dracen got sick. And when Dracen gets sick, I hear Mommm approximately sixteen thousand times a day. 

Also, I've jumped on the I-will-declutter-and-organize-this-entire-house-if-it-kills-me train over the past couple of weeks and the exhaustion sets in about 4pm every afternoon. I blame it on this book.

It is written by a young Japanese woman, Marie Kondo, who has become quite the celebrity in Japan. While she does have some great advice and I'd definitely buy and read it again because HELLO MOTIVATION, she does express a few coo-coo beliefs regarding objects. For example, she says to never, ever ball up your socks, not only because they take up more room in the drawer and have the elastic stretched out, but mainly because it is their time to "rest" from all the hard work they've done in keeping your feet warm. Oh yes.

She also tells her house (and belongings) hello and goodbye each time she comes and goes and daily thanks her possessions for their services. The best thing I took away from the book is her advice on getting rid of things. She says that, while decluttering, pick up each thing and ask yourself, "Does this spark joy in me?" If the answer is no and it's not something you have to have, let it go. For some reason, that has made all the difference with me since I have already packed up and given away more than a dozen bags of clothes, bags and shoes. 

Though Ms. Kondo would probably say I failed the thankfulness part of the KonMari process because (although I gave it my best shot) I found it a bit difficult to thank old t-shirts for "serving me well" before sending them on their "journey". Still, I'm quite proud of myself for what I've accomplished thus far and am determined to go through, sort and discard or organize every single object in this house. I'm about a third of the way through the kitchen drawers at present because you know how most people have one junk drawer? Well, we had about five. Not even exaggerating.

In other news, let me tell you about the latest gray hairs given to me by my youngest child...

Yesterday afternoon, after I picked him up from school, I stopped at the eye doctor to pick up my contacts and was then headed to the post office and dollar store and was then going to pick up a few groceries and get them put away before picking up Devin from his after-school workouts around 4. But while I was in the post office, I got a text from him asking if I could just pick him up at normal time because he forgot his gym shorts. Once I got back to the car I texted him back to see if he wanted me to bring him some and he said that'd be good.

So, since I had to go home first to get the shorts, I postponed the dollar and grocery stores and started driving toward the house. I asked Dracen to please text his brother back (on my phone) to let him know we'd pull up on the side at the school and to come out and get his shorts when last period was over. I'm driving down the road when he asked (while looking at my phone), "What's Group MMS?" and there was a little panic in his voice. 

"WHAT did you DO?" 

Turns out, he thought it would be funny to send Devin a text back that read, "Coming Were gonna do this deal on the side as long as you got the cash I got the hash". 

And y'all. How I kept that car on the road is completely beyond me because he had just sent that to all the parents of kids on his basketball team, most of whom I do not personally know. HOW-WHAT-WHY...just WTH????!!! So I'm driving down the road physically shaking and screaming and questioning and just basically having a breakdown behind the wheel and not even knowing what to do or say or anything because first of all, HOW IN THE FLIP DO YOU EVEN KNOW WHAT THAT IS AND WHY WOULD YOU SEND THAT TO YOUR BROTHER (AT SCHOOL!) IN THE FIRST DANG PLACE????

So then he was flipping out and shaking and stuttering, "I-I messed up! I thought it'd be funny-I heard it on a movie-and I didn't know what it meant!!! Tell them it was me-Just tell them it was ME!!!! I'm sorry! I'm SORRY!!!!"

I didn't know which one of us was going to hyperventilate first, especially after I started getting replies back, like "Umm. I think you need to check your numbers unless someone on the team needs some hash." Just shoot me. Now. Once I got to the school and parked (Dracen ran in the house somehow during all this and got the shorts that ended up being too small anyway so he didn't stay for workouts) at the school, I just replied with "I am so sorry! Somebody thought it would be funny to play with my phone and sent that to the wrong number."

Nothing but crickets.

Fabulous. Now I'm the neighborhood hash dealer.

Needless to say, I did not make it to the dollar store or the grocery store and I'm still sick on my stomach about it. When we got home, without my even asking, he walked in the house, got his laptop and phone and turned them in to me. When Charlie got home and heard the story, his reaction was almost as bad as mine so he sent him to his room where he fell asleep before eight o'clock. This morning he was grounded and told to write a letter of explanation and apology this afternoon that we will make copies of and hand out to all the parents of the team tonight at his game.

Should be great fun for all. 

Also, I was so flabbergasted and out of words that I failed to find out exactly what movie he heard this in and WHEN but I see a whole lot less t.v. viewing privileges in his immediate future (and possibly for the next seven or so years before his eighteenth birthday).

Deep breaths...DEEP breaths.

This too shall pass, 

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Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Christmas Tree Trouble, Part 2

Charlie took that Christmas tree back to Home Depot last Monday and on Wednesday I pulled up in the driveway to see the one I ordered from Balsam Hill already here. Sweet, I thought.  But as I dragged the box in the garage I realized it was no way big enough to be holding a 9ft tree. And I was right. I had half a tree. Half.a.tree. Fit to be tied does not even begin to describe the state I was in. So I got online to get their phone number and dialed it at rapid speed only to sit on hold for a sweet for-everrr. 

Here's a genius thought (and I told their customer service as such in a snarky email), how about (since you are going to leave your customers on hold for an eternity) playing some Christmas music since it's, you know, a Christmas tree company and all because that elevator song playing in a loop over and over and over does not do much in improving the mood of the customer with a tree problem who has been sitting on hold for 43 hours. 

And of course, about twenty minutes into my holding marathon another call beeped in and it was the elementary school (welcome to my life). It was Dracen telling me he felt light-headed and dizzy and needed to come home at once (although there was only another 30 minutes left in the school day). But since he does have a history of passing out, I had no choice but to hang up before ever speaking to a single person about the whereabouts of the other half of my tree and get in the car to go pick him up. He ended up being fine after eating and resting but he did seem a bit out of sorts when I got to the school. 

Once I got him settled in, I dialed that number again and sat there and sat there and sat there some more and the more that sorry excuse for a song played, the madder I got. When I finally did get a live person to pick up, she didn't seem one bit alarmed that I had only received one half of my tree and no email notifications whatsoever. Then she proceeded to give me the FedEx tracking number for the other box so I could go online and track it myself or "get in touch with FedEx" as she put it, as if it was all their stinking fault. Grrr.

She told me she felt sure it would arrive "tomorrow". I, however, did not feel sure in any way, shape or form and it's a good thing I didn't look for it the next day because it was Friday before it showed up. I dove straight into that box and began to assemble it like a mad woman. Only after I got the part labeled '1' on, I couldn't find '2'. Oh it must be in the first box, right? Tell me it is in the first box. So I ran out to the garage where the first box still sat only to find no part 2 and another part 1. No lie, I think smoke came out of my ears.

Then I went into a rare manic state in which I began slinging those heavy branches around like they weighed nothing and shouting things like, "THIS TREE WILL WORK TODAY!!! SOMEHOW, SOME WAY!!!  OR I WILL DIE TRYING!!!" (I left out the profanity) (You are welcome)

And guess what? Where there is great will, there is a way because it worked! I still don't know whether they just labeled that part wrong since I do have two of those step-on and off plugs that go into the wall and that doesn't seem right, but it looks right and all the lights work so I am, at last, a happy Christmas tree camper. 

I know you are all so relieved to know that my Christmas tree woes are over. At least for this year. Unless some lights go out. But that will not happen. 

Oh one more completely unrelated thing before I go. Are y'all watching The Voice and did you see that performance by Craig Wayne Boyd last night? He sang The Old Rugged Cross live on prime time t.v. and it gave me chills. I immediately downloaded/bought it on iTunes and then took time to vote for him after the show because in this politically correct age we are living in, that was a great big deep breath of fresh air. 


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Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Christmas Tree Trouble

Last year I declared it our pre-lit Christmas tree's last year. We had a pretty decent run but have had to string extra lights to compensate for all the ones burned out for the past two years and it had also somehow developed a gaping hole on one side. Plus, I wanted a taller tree since we bought that tree before we moved and the ceilings are higher in this house. Well. Who knew how large a task I was taking on when I made that little declaration because where-have-all-the-good-trees-gone? 

There are countless beautiful life-like trees to be found online but my thought was that I'd end up with a problem tree and then have to deal with sending it back which would no doubt turn into an ordeal that would quickly cause my inner Grinch to surface. Not to mention the bordering-on-insanity costs of some of those trees. So Sunday afternoon we headed out to Home Depot because I saw online that they had some 9ft trees in stock and I must have made about five hundred thousand circles around those trees trying to pick one I deemed worthy before deciding I wanted to go look somewhere else.

Charlie and Devin were thrilled. Dracen had the good sense and forethought to stay at his momaw and popaw's house (which was a good thing because his commentary would have no doubt sent me over the edge I was already starting to teeter on). After hitting Lowes, Wal-mart and Michaels, we made our way back to Home Depot, whose trees were now beginning to look a whole lot better. I had the brief thought of going back to a real tree before coming to my senses and remembering the sinus infections I got for four years straight at Christmastime before being hit with the hey-maybe-this-has-something-to-do-with-the-live-tree-in-my-house realization. 

We (okay I) finally decided on one that was not on display but for reasons beyond my own comprehension, seemed like the best bet. It probably had something to do with the fact that Martha Stewart's name was on it because you can say what you want about her, but the woman does have some good taste. So we got it home, cleared out a place for it in the corner (a new spot this year) and was amazed at how easily it went up. But as I began the fluffing process, I noticed that about four entire branches were not lit and could find nary a cord disconnected. 

Charlie was busy but said he'd look at it shortly so I spent the next  hour and a half getting scratched up by those prickly needles as I fluffed and fluffed and fluffed. Then we spent another hour and a half checking every single cord, bulb and fuse on that tree only to walk away in defeat. As Charlie began disassembling it, I took to my keyboard in order to let out my frustrations via a bad review on Home Depot's website before ordering one from Balsam Hill that I'm hoping arrives very soon and in good working order because I'm experiencing a bad case of Christmas Tree Envy. 

Oh at the silly things we get worked up over. 

Speaking of silly (or maybe not-so-silly) things, remember the throwing knives Dracen has been putting on his Christmas list for the past two or three years? Well, they are back on there this year and will probably be there again next year too because not-in-my-lifetime, buddy. Not in my lifetime.

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