Things I tried to do over Christmas break

If you are familiar with Star Wars quotes, you know what Yoda says about “trying.”

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Well Yoda, I beg to differ. Sometimes, especially as  a mom, all you CAN do is try.

Here are some things I tried to do recently, with varying degrees of success:

I tried to have a telephone conversation while all the kids were home on break.

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I tried to fix my hair nicely on Sunday morning.

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I tried to find my teenage daughter’s orthodontic retainer in the outside dumpster.

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Here’s the score, out of 3 things tried:

  • Almost succeeds: 1
  • Mostly fails: 1
  • Complete Fails: 1

That Bucket-Filling Tip

I keep seeing this tip on pinterest for filling big buckets.

:)

I finally decided to try it. Here;s the setup.

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The first problem I noticed is that my dustpan has a hole in the handle (for hanging it up).

In fact, I believe every dustpan I’ve ever seen has a hole in the handle. 

Anyways, I switched on the water to try it.

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It turned out the water just filled the dustpan and flowed backwards onto the back of the sink instead of out through the handle. This is due to the fact that my sink is not sloped downwards.

I’ll bet no one else’s sink is sloped downwards is either. Because the point of a sink is to HOLD WATER IN, not dump it on the floor.

So I tried to figure out how to prop the dustpan up so that IT would slope downwards.

I jammed a plastic cup under the dustpan and tried turning on the water again.

Surprise! This actually worked.

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So the verdict is: This tip works, with some minor modification, but I think it’s more effort than really necessary.

Bug Spray Alternative?

I saw this on pinterest and I was skeptical:

Use alcohol in a spray bottle to kill bugs in your home instead of the toxic stuff. Alcohol dries clean with no oily residue and is more eff...

But to my surprise… It actually worked!

I found a swarm of ants under a pile of toys (The twins had left a crust of bread on the floor and buried it in the toy area. Ugh.)

I sprayed the whole area with the alcohol and the ants all died. Then the alcohol evaporated and nothing was left behind but the dead bugs. 

Bwa ha ha!!

Also it didn’t smell like bug spray, which was cool.

Apparently there are a whole lot of other things you can do with rubbing alcohol. Check out this blog if you are interested.

Still, pinterest has also informed me that rubbing alcohol is TOXIC. (Duh. That’s why I wanted it to kill bugs. So they would be DEAD.)

Rubbing alcohol is toxic and its use and production is terrible for the environment. It is NOT a green cleaning agent. Isopropyl is made from fossil fuels and ethanol-based rubbing alcohol is adulterated with methyl ethyl ketone and acetone.
Rubbing alcohol is toxic and its use and production is terrible for the environment. It is NOT a green cleaning agent. Isopropyl is made from fossil fuels and ethanol-based rubbing alcohol is adulterated with methyl ethyl ketone and acetone.

So, I guess I can’t pat myself on the back for being “green.” Oh well.

But it was cheaper and better smelling than bug spray and that works for me.

What to do with Christmas cards after the holidays?

I save photo cards after Christmas and make holiday place-mats with them.

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My grandmother actually did this years ago and we used to LOVE looking at Christmas 1965 or whatever underneath our plates. (Oh look! There’s Aunt Jodie strangling the cat in front of the Christmas tree!!)

My own kids love it too. I have a place-mat for every year since 1996.

Obviously there are too many for the table now, so last year I started hanging them up for display.

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Anyways, if you want to use this idea, all you have to do is make a collage of the cards and take it to Kinko’s (I mean Fed-Ex Office) to laminate. Keep it to around 11″ x 16″ so you have a good seal on the edge around it, unless you want to get them to laminate it for you on the big machine.

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I use the self laminator after the Place-Mat Disaster of ’02. (Their big machine ate my beautiful collage. It was horrifying. I managed to replace it, but still.)

This costs $3.99, which is not bad for the amount of fun we get out of looking at them year after year.

Okay. End of tutorial. More jokes tomorrow!

I read a scary book

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image from goodreads.com

I realize this doesn’t look like a scary book. But that’s because it’s specifically designed to frighten ME personally.

(The book is Calling Invisible Women by Jeanne Ray.)

In this story the protagonist, a doctor’s wife and mother of nearly-grown children, suddenly turns invisible. And no one in her family notices.

 As long as they get their dinners cooked and laundry washed, they don’t care if Mom is there or not. Wow, huh?

I’m pretty sure this could happen in my house rather easily. 

This idea REALLY scared me, so I asked my husband and daughter:

  • Me: Would you notice if I turned invisible?
  • GG: What?
  • Hus: Are you kidding? What are you talking about?
  • Me: Well, there’s this book I’m reading. I wondered… Like if you kept getting your food on time and stuff, would you notice if I just disappeared?
  • GG: Of course I would.
  • Hus: Where’s the food coming from?
  • Me: Well, from me. I’d just be invisible.
  • Hus: That’s stupid.
  • Me: But would you notice?
  • GG: I mean, it might take me a while, but by nighttime I’d be like, Where’s Mom?
  • Hus: I’d call the police. I’d say, Hey, my wife is gone and some stranger freak is putting out food.
  • GG: Yeah that’s creepy.
  • Me: But, I mean… would you notice? That I wasn’t there?
  • Hus: What kind of books are you reading anyways?
  • GG: So…what’s for dinner?

Needless to say, these were not reassuring answers.

But I guess it’s about what I would have expected.

So I guess I’ll go make dinner now…

House Not-So-Beautiful

Remember when I posted a braggy little piece about my lovely new living room rug?

my new living room rug

This is what I would like for you to think that my house looks like.

Unfortunately, it only looked like that for the three seconds it took for me to snap that photo. Then…

THE KIDS CAME HOME.

First this happened. (They call it “playing.”)

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And then someone broke the refrigerator. (And left it. Just like this.)

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And then someone else got ahold of some scissors and attacked my couch. (WHY??!!)

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This is why I can’t have nice things…

Back From Death’s Door

I’ve been sick all weekend.

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And by the above title, I do not mean I was “Knock-Knock-Knockin on Heaven’s Door.”

It’s more like, “Scratching Helplessly at the Doggie-Door of Death.”

I don’t get sick often, although it’s interesting to note I got sick at this same time last year.

(To read that heart-warming story click here.)

In any case, this time it was step throat that almost killed me.

But I did not die. I rose from my bed of sweat and snot and sickness, and I went forth… to cook for and clean up after people.

What an anti-climax, right?

My new living room rug

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I bought a new rug for the living room. Doesn’t it look nice?

It was on clearance. Really.

My husband came home and I proudly showed him the new rug. (I also mentioned the low price of course. Twice.)

He walked over and examined it. Then he patted it and said, “I’m sorry.”

I said, “WHAT? Why are you apologizing to a rug?! Because it had the bad luck to be bought by ME?!”

He shrugged and nodded a little. “Well,” he added. “You know that everything in our house gets destroyed.”

The sad thing is, I can’t even argue with that.

Trash Day Tragedy

One Tuesday morning, I was calmly brushing my teeth when I heard a rumbling noise outside.

Hmm, I thought. That sounds like a the trash truck. Good thing I put the trash out last night.

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Then I thought, Wait, DID I put the trash out last night?

I remember INTENDING to put the trash out.

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But when I first thought of the trash, it was raining out. “I’ll do it later,” I told myself.

I remembered again after dinner. ‘I’ll do it after I finish the dishes,” I told myself.

The next time I remembered, I was already in bed. “I’ll do it in the morning,” I told myself.

GAH!!!! I realized. IT’S MORNING NOW!!!!

I ran downstairs and flew out the front door… in time to see the trash truck disappearing down the street.

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I know they saw me chasing them.

I can’t imagine why they didn’t stop…