Monday, September 23, 2013

Why you never paint masonry: A cautionary tale.

Our house was built in the 30s and has stone walls. It's mostly indestructible.

Now, once upon a time, probably in the 70s when lots of bad choices were being made, someone enclosed the porch on our little house. So, we've got this cute 30s house with a rotten enclosed porch that brings a certain "Ozarkian Meth House" flair to our home.

My Guy and I are on a quest to open up the porch. We got a bid from a contractor.

That bid was $18,000. Ha! Hahahahaha! Also? Ha!

So, we're doing the work ourselves. This weekend, our initial foray into Project: No More Shitty Porch was sandblasting the interior walls of the still-enclosed porch.

See, in addition to the poor decisions about enclosing the porch, the former owners of our house also painted the stone walls enclosed by said porch. That paint needs to go so that when we take down the walls, our house isn't multicolored.

Powerwashing will not rid limestone of paint. No. You gotta rent a sandblaster for that business. The sandblasting bucket thing is only $50, but you also need 4 different kinds of hoses, protective gear, a respirator, and a giant generator that you pull behind your truck. Oh, and you have to drive across town to buy a very special kind of sand.

All told, it was about $500.

And it didn't work. And about 3 hours into messing with it, we figured out that My Guy had food poisoning.

Ha! Hahahahaha!

He sprawled across the couch, moaning and refusing to drink water. I put away all the hoses and tried to make peace with the fact that our house was covered in sand and tarps and looked even worse than usual. I'm still trying to figure out: Can I shopvac the sand out of our yard?

My Guy moaned some more. Finally, he crawled upstairs to our bedroom, where he was prepared to spend his end days.

I got him a cold washcloth for his face. We were able to laugh a little bit about the weird turn of our day - we were out $500, he might die, and, as he so eloquently stated, "No fart can be trusted."

We were trying to be positive about the whole situation. Really, we were.

And then? Then, Lil' Frankfurter peed on the bed.

It was on my side.

My Guy could not even begin to face getting off the bed. He asked me, "Can you just live with it?" He pleaded with his eyes - mostly because every other body part hurt.

No, no I could not live with it. But I could work magic, stripping and then remaking the bed with my husband still in it. Martha Stewart got nothin' on me.

Finally, after cleaning and fetching Pepto and washing some of the sand off my face, I fell into bed, only to be confronted by a husband in the middle of said bed, sweating and moaning.

At least it wasn't dog pee.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

And who doesn't love an ugly cry?

Yesterday, my cousin posted the good news on Facebook: his wife gave birth to their son, a fat, pink baby who is perfect in every way.

They named that sweet boy after our grandpa.

It took my breath away. Oh, Grandpa. I miss you terribly. I can hear your laugh - the laugh I heard through the house when we got the call that my brother was born, the laugh that I imagine you'd give hearing that one of your grandkids named their child in your honor. A wonderful, wonderful name.

I have a thing for family names. I think names should mean something, and always thought I might name my kids after my grandparents.

So when I caught my breath at my cousin's big news?

It was so confusing. I was happy about the healthy baby, and touched that he was named after someone I love so much.

And I was hurt. Oh, sweet Oprah. It hurt me.

When it comes to not being able to have kids, I am Officially Fine. My brother and his wife are expecting their first child any second, and everybody has been Very Concerned about how I feel about them having a baby ... like I might just snap and be super angry at them for being so fertile. Like I'd paint my face in camo and swing in on a vine like Tarzan and steal the baby at machete-point.

No. Just no. First of all, I am not that outdoorsy.

It's not like they stole my baby. They are giving me a niece, and I am a mostly sane, mostly well-adjusted sane-like lady.

But my cousin naming his baby after our grandpa?

Well, I cried. I ugly cried. And all I could think about was the scene from "Julie and Julia" where Julia gets a letter from her sister. The sister has written that she is pregnant - something that's eluded Julia.

Julia tells her husband, "Oh, isn't that just wonderful news? Isn't it just wonderful?" And she sobs.

And then hottie Stanley Tucci just holds her and kisses the top of her head and gets it.

Happy and sad and confused. It was like that.

My Guy held my hand. He got it, too. He also suggested gently, "I think you might be a really tired lady."

Well, yes. That was true. But also? Grief is a fickle bitch. She pops up when you least expect her - and would really rather she just fucked off.

Monday, September 16, 2013

A supposedly dumb thing I'd do again.

I've been on vacation. You know all that footage of the horrible floods in Colorado?

Yeah. That's where My Guy and I were. Right there.

My Guy and I hiked for the 2 days prior to the "Holy Shit, The World is Ending" rainfall. We hiked during the "Damn, This is Annoying" rainfall. So, 2 days of poncho-wearing sexiness.

Actually, it was a day and a half of good-natured poncho-wearing sexiness, and half a day of soaked, exhausted, and muddy "Dear God, we're all going to die."

Do we know how to vacation or what?

We didn't really know what we were doing. We looked at the weather and all, but just decided to hike on anyway. We were kind of dumb - and extraordinarily lucky.

So, we got rained on. At one point, I asked My Guy if I looked like a drowned rat. He quickly responded, "Probably. I've never seen a drowned rat."

The man has a way with the ladies. Clearly.

About halfway through our second day of being outdoorsy, it started to rain harder. Luckily, this coincided with a) realizing that we'd taken the wrong trail; and b) getting on the correct trail, only to find that it was really steep and headed toward a destination that would suck due to the weather. Yay!

It was during this wet, uphill trek that My Guy made up for the drowned rat comment. Out of nowhere, he said, "You would've made a really good football player."

I stopped on the trail, mostly because I was looking for any excuse to rest my screaming quads. "What? Why?"

My husband studied me in my high-fashion, trash bag-esque poncho. "You have mental toughness."

And that, my friends? That's the best compliment ever.

That's the compliment that compelled me to keep hiking, even when I was exhausted and soaked, even when I started hallucinating that I was NFL great Franco Harris.

Much like Harris, the dreams of an entire town - nay, an entire Steeler nation - rested upon my shoulders. Like Harris, I sported an oversized coat/jacket/thing.
And like Harris, I had some mental toughness.

I shared this with My Guy. As we hiked on, we occasionally shouted out, "Franco Harris!" as a rallying cry.

Finally, we reached our target - a lake that supposedly has gorgeous mountain views.

We didn't see shit. We did, however, capture our triumph with this masterpiece of phone photography.
Nice finger there, honey.

Then, we ran down the mountain, becoming more and more dismayed at the flooded trail. By the time we reached the trailhead, we were exhausted and just over it and really rather delirious. Like, we discussed having Franco Harris over for dinner, should we survive our hiking ordeal. Like a Hall of Famer would agree to go to the home of some randoms who aren't even Steelers fans because they hallucinated about him while soaked to the bone and suffering from some sort of elevation-related delirium.

It could happen, right?

My Guy and I laughed and celebrated our mighty hiking triumph. We had no idea that come morning, the trail would be flooded and that entire section of the park would be closed.

Sometimes, being dumb offers a special kind of protective force field.

When have you experienced Dumb Force Field protection?

Images courtesy of and Ione the iPhone.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

I can't have pride. I have a dog. A dog who poos at inappropriate times.

Growing up, we belonged to the local country club. I'm from a small town; it wasn't a big deal. My brother and I had swimming and tennis and golf lessons to showcase our general physical ineptitude (me) and athletic prowess (him). We also reveled in downing a Snickers and a can of Pepsi every afternoon at the pool.

Just the thought of that makes me want to die. If I ingested a Pepsi and a Snickers now, my heart would explode. First, it would stop, then it would beat me senseless, then it would explode into a million sugar-covered fragments.

Anyway. Country club. Lots of sugar. No big deal.

But now I live in the big city, and have reached an age where my friends are joining country clubs. It makes sense - their kids are old enough for the swimming and tennis and golf, and it can be a pretty sweet set-up if you have a neighborhood club where your friends and your kids' friends go.

My Guy and I don't belong to a club. Well, we belong to AAA. But I mean a country club.

Tonight, I remembered why.

Some friends who belong to a very chill country club invited us to the closing-the-pool party - The Doggie Dip!

I took Big Doodle to swim and socialize with other canines. I'd never seen him around water before, but I figured that seeing as he's a labradoodle - and "lab" is part of the breed name - that he'd take to water like, well, a lab.

Our hosts don't currently have a dog, and the hopes and dreams of their kids hung on Big Doodle's performance at The Doggie Dip. The kids desperately wanted to play with Big Doodle, to throw balls into the pool and laugh gleefully as he retrieved them. The kids wanted it so badly, they could taste it.

Guess who evidently doesn't care for water?

Lemme put it this way: Big Doodle got wet because the kids finally resorted to cupping their hands and dumping pool water on him. Oh, and he fell in the pool once, trying to reach a dog treat. But that was it.

Big Doodle spent a lot of his time just happening to meander by the buffet, just in case a hot dog - or braut - fell. He wasn't picky. He was just trying to be of service.

Big Doodle meandered, and sniffed other dogs, and tried to go home with a few other families. Then, he took a giant dump on the pool deck.

My sweet boy doesn't just stop and poo. He poos and walks, spreading giant chunks of shit as he goes. And have I mentioned that he's pushing 90 pounds? And that I make his dog food out of brown rice, veggies, and beef, so the consistency of his poo is ... not conducive to quick and tidy cleanup?

The good news is that I had a bag, and I ran over and picked up the poo before any other canines stepped in it or ate it. It's also good news that later, another dog took a much larger, much more heinous dump in the same area, and those owners didn't clean it up. Mega gross, but don't I look awesome by comparison?

Big Doodle is a dog and he did what dogs do. But as I was cleaning up the doo, I couldn't help but think, "We are never going to get invited to join this club." Like countless upwardly mobile mothers before me, my children had ruined my hopes of "getting in."

OK, not really. But seriously - my dog shat at the country club. Pretty sure this means that we're not country club folk.

Monday, September 2, 2013

I married well, part 1,658. Also, let's talk about food.

After my little diatribe about Double Stuf Oreos, I managed to work said cookies into every conversation for the rest of the day.

And lookit what my sweet husband brought me!
I'm not sure if he bought them to be nice or get me to shut up already. And I don't care. Also, he gets extra points for buying said cookies on his way to the gym ... and then going to the gym instead of just eating all the cookies in his car.

He's a good man. A strong man.

All of the blog comments about guilty snacking pleasures were really inspiring. So inspiring, that on Saturday, I ate a pork tenderloin sandwich, pizza, about 800 Oreos, and a bunch of chips.

Guess who felt like poop on a stick on Sunday? Ugh. That's the horrible thing about eating carefully - when you fall off the wagon, you kind of want to die. But at least it proves that you're doing something right the other 98% of the time.

Trixie asked for suggestions for sites about clean eating. I have a few that have been helpful:
However, I do feel the need to point out that the term "clean eating" always makes me think of eating Noxema out of the jar. With a spoon. Yuck.

I prefer to think of it as "not eating shit in boxes." Because really, if you cut out food that comes in boxes, you'll be in good shape. But I guess "clean eating" is more succinct and less pottymouthtastic.

Lest you think I'm all Little Miss Nutrition, I will point out that I had a fantastic holiday weekend. Yes, this means that all the Oreos are gone. Gone, gone, gone.