Tag Archives: G

When the Pieces Fit Together

G and I spent this weekend as one being, locked in a torrid frenzy of…cleaning house. I ripped off his pants and threw them in the washer with the other seven loads of laundry. Not to be outdone, he shredded my old shirt then used it to wipe streaks off the windows. I screamed his name over and over and over again because he kept taking the whole roll of paper towels. He made me all dizzy and tingly when he used all that bleach in the bathroom and forgot to turn on the exhaust fan. In the dark of the fading afternoon, we squeezed and poked and fumbled until all the bathroom towels fit neatly on one shelf in the closet. With Disney Junior keeping the kids distracted, we crept off to the bedroom to rotate the mattress. And I do mean “rotate the mattress.”

By Sunday night, I was spent. He was out on the deck smoking and staring off across the treetops, like men with organized Tupperware cabinets do. It was magical.

Seriously, is there anything sexier than a man who smells like bleach? I think not.

As awesome as our newly organized bathroom closet is (and y’all…THREE BAGS of trash came out of there) it wasn’t the high point of the Big Clean for me. These two puzzles were:


So, can I talk to the people who have small folks in the house? Can you empathize with me when I tell you the delicious joy of finding ALL THE PIECES of these puzzles? For years, I’ve been considering throwing every puzzle piece out in one big sweep, but I couldn’t bring myself to do it. It seemed so wasteful. I kept hanging on to a piece here and a piece there and one under the bed in Vivi’s room and one in the vase beside the dining room table and GAHHHHHHHH. My kids have played with this farm cube puzzle for eight years. I remember the first time Vivi put the horse together by herself. But it’s been scattered all over the house for a while now.

Even though the clutter was driving me crazy, I held on to the pieces whenever I found one and this weekend, after an unanticipated discovery in the bottom of the old toy box…all the pieces came together. I can’t describe the satisfaction and the joy.

It’s like storytelling–you hang on to random scraps and pieces and think about giving up then one day, it all falls together and makes a picture.  So I guess what I’m telling you is–hold on to the pieces. It will make sense one day. Maybe.

I wiped the smudges off the puzzle cubes and put them neatly in their tray, then slipped the whole thing in a gallon-sized Ziploc bag. Because we are homo sapiens and we learn to use tools. And not two minutes later, Vivi spotted it in the Donate box and cried, “I LOVE THAT PUZZLE!” I reminded her that she hadn’t played with it in years and she said, “That’s because it was missing most of the pieces.”

Dammit. She has a point. So the puzzle has gone back to her room–in the plastic bag–and I will watch for a week to see if it gets touched. If not, it goes along to some other child with a more organized mother.

Carlos got a fantastic puzzle for Christmas–a magnetic array of the 50 U.S. States. He loves it and we’ve been putting it together, together. But on the day after Christmas, we misplaced Wisconsin and I spent THREE DAYS haunted by that damn state.

Finally found it when G and I were thrashing around on the living room rug, all sweaty and sticky from picking up Christmas tree needles. I scared the bejeezus out of him when I yelled, “YesYesYes! Right there! Right there by your thumb! Wisconsin! WISCONSIN!”

Hot Pants

Tonight at about 8:30, we had the kids settled in after a long weekend of staying at home, all up in each other’s business (but in a good way). Alone at last! I plopped myself down on the loveseat to watch the tail end of last week’s Downton Abbey before this week’s episode began. G went outside to smoke.

It’s right at the part with the fire in Lady Edith’s room when G comes in from the deck and takes his spot on the couch. We’re following the show in silence when G says, “Do you smell something burning?”

Ha ha, G. Real funny.


So Downton Abbey concludes (I can’t wait for the day that Lady Edith just up and slaps Lady Mary for being a shrew) and we’re watching the little special about Edwardian manners and how rigidly polite everyone was…when G leaps up into the air and starts swatting at his thigh.

The man’s pants were on fire.


And not in a Tony Gillingham way.


After a good 10 seconds of WTFFrenzy, G got himself extinguished. I sat there across the room from him, giving him my best Lady Mary Face. “Now that you mention it, I DO smell something burning. It’s your leg, darling.”

Apparently, he misflicked a cigarette ember and it had landed in the front pocket of his sweatshirt. That was a good, thick sweatshirt because it took quite a while for it to smolder through the pocket, the sweatshirt itself and then through his pants.

Just another Masterpiece Classic evening at our house, watching the denizens of Downton Abbey with just a touch of sizzling thigh hair to perfume the air.


Is There Anything ON?

I got home from work today to discover the girls playing Sonic All Stars on the Playstation that’s been broken for almost two years. G had fixed it…Hooray! While they duked it out with controllers, Carlos played matching and sorting games on his iPad mini, just like the one they use in school.

42284126-zoomer-puppy-lilac-01After dinner, Carlos played with his robot puppy. Yes, Santa brought Vivi a Zoomer puppy–the world’s loudest, most annoying toy. Then G went out THE NEXT DAY and bought Carlos one for his birthday. Now we have TWO of the world’s loudest, most annoying toy. I got on my notebook and downloaded some Bobbsey Twins books to Vivi’s new Kindle from our Kindle Unlimited subscription. Vivi clicked a little too soon and sent The Boxcar Children: Cupcake Caper to my old Kindle (not my new one), but I moved it between devices. While I was at it, I downloaded the Fitbit app to my phone.

So we’ve got one kid with a robot puppy, one kid reading books that fly through the air in seconds, and one kid downstairs watching football and talking to her friends on her phone.

And right in the middle of it, G is setting up a Roku…because lord knows, we need some distraction up in this house.

He fiddled with it and mashed buttons and typed in secret codes. I turned off the robot dog, got the Bobbsey Twins in their proper spots, synced my Fitbit, charged my Kindle and phone. I got the kids in their pajamas and teeth brushed. G read Carlos a story then sat down on the sofa with the Roku remote and a galaxy of entertainment at his fingertips.

He started scrolling while I played Scrabble. He scrolled.

And he scrolled.

And he scrolled.

My friend, Saralyn, posted on FB that her fella was setting up a Roku. I posted updates to her status every fifteen minutes….”still scrolling.”

G scrolled past movies, British TV, the NASA channel, the documentary channel (I even saw Spencer flash by for “How to Survive a Plague.”), Ninja Turtles, Pandora, Brasil TV.

He kept on a scrollin’.

TWO HOURS. Paralyzed by choices.

Finally? At almost 11 p.m., he settled on a show.
MV5BMTMzMDUwNDQ3MV5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTYwNDQ0ODQ2._V1._SX450_SY299_Space: 1999 from 1975. It’s a British sci-fi series starring Martin Landau and Barbara Bain. It’s set in a distant future of cardboard computer terminals with three blinking red lights. Apparently, all the futuristic technology of that time had been focused on developing breathable pantsuits for the active man.

I gawped at the clunky visual effects. I snorted at the dialogue.

I looked over and saw that G was fast asleep on the couch. Seventeen minutes into the episode.

There I was, laughing at the outdated idea of technology from 1975, while surrounded by gadgets and gizmos that they hadn’t even dreamed of forty years ago. All so commonplace now that they put us to sleep.

At least that’s what I told the robot puppy before I went to bed.

A Tidy Kitchen Will Break Your Heart


A tidy kitchen.

“Just.  Wash. The. Godforsaken. POTS.”

That’s what I was growling under my breath tonight as I clung to the edge of the kitchen sink and tried not to pass out from the bleach fumes.  See, G is a chemist by training and he thinks that there’s NOTHING that bleach can’t fix.  Especially pots and pans.  He–being both a chemist and a MAN–refuses to just pick up the f’ing scrub brush and scrub the pot.  Instead, he leaves this morning’s waffle batter bowl sitting in the sink with equal parts bleach and water until the concoction eats through the stuck on stuff.  And my last nerve.

This makes me NUTS.  Just wash the pots and be done with it!!!!  His bleach fetish is also why most of my tshirts have a little line of bleached out dots right across the belly, where I’ve leaned up against the sink too soon after he’s “done the dishes.”

Is it just me or is your blood pressure up too?  GAH!!!!

So I finished up all the dishes once my eyes could focus from the fumes.  Done and done–ten minutes and NO DAMAGE to anyone’s respiratory system.  But the fumes did remind me of a story and a lesson I learned about 10 years ago this summer.

A few weeks after Richard and I bought this house and moved in together, my sister called me.  “So how’s it going?” she asked.

“It’s great…except there are a couple of things that are hard to adjust to after a few years on my own.”

She thought I was talking about manstink, but I assured her we had separate bathrooms.

“No, it’s the fact that he NEVER shuts the kitchen cabinets!  Or drawers!  He’ll walk into a perfectly clean kitchen to make a cup of coffee and leave the cabinet door hanging open, the spoon drawer sticking out, a sticky spoon NEXT TO the sink, and the creamer on the counter!”

My sister hooted.  Turns out her husband does the same thing and it makes her crazy too.

For months, Richard walked through the kitchen doing his thing and I walked right behind him tidying up.  (Which, if you’ve been in my house since I had kids….is no longer my practice.)

Then he got sick.  And he went to Baltimore for treatments.  I went up there on his heels for the first week but I had to come home eventually.

One morning, I walked into the kitchen to get something for breakfast and there wasn’t a thing out of place.  Except him.  The cabinets were fine, but he wasn’t.  I sank to the floor, right there in front of that clean sink, and sobbed until the dogs got worried and started to lick me.

A tidy kitchen will break your heart.

Sharing a life with someone takes compromise.  Sharing a home with other people is hard.  It’s messy.

Wonderfully, wonderfully messy.

And that’s not just the bleach fumes talking.


Daddy Did My Hair

Vivi has a riotous head of fine, curly hair.  It can get a little bit snarled up while she sleeps.  My sister dubbed her “Sideshow Bob” one morning when we went to New York:





A few months back, I wrote about the magical silliness that happened when Daddy Went to the Grocery Store.  This time, he went to the beauty supply aisle. God help us all.  Here’s what happened…

G is convinced that Vivi’s hair will remain silky through the night if she sleeps in a sleeping cap.  Remember those?  I sure do.  My Grandmama Eunice wore one every night to keep her hair fixed.  I was thinking of something like this:

hair net


Granted, the pink one is pretty grandmotherly–that’s too prim and fussy for a first grader.  But I know they make sleeping caps for kids too, something cute and practical like this:

hair net kids

That’s what I thought we were talking about when he said he had picked up a sleeping cap for Vivi while he was at Kroger.

I didn’t really expect this:





What…was she robbing a 7-11 and stopped to take a nap?

It reminds me of that scene in Raising Arizona:



The one when Hi robs the convenience store and Ed gets so mad she drives off so he has to carjack some old man who says, “Son?  You got a panty on your head.”

Tonight, she told me it’s comfortable, so she wants to sleep in it.  But she thought it was a little plain, so she duded it up with some St. Patrick’s Day leftovers:


hair net


There you go.


Married Bliss

mr-rightIt’s 12:28 a.m. and I may never sleep again.  The scene of depravity that I just stumbled on in the den has burned itself into my brain and it will fester there until my last moment on this earth.

I went to bed at eleven, and left G still on the couch watching TV.  After reading myself into a trance (Junot Diaz’ “This Is How You Lose Her”–ironic, given the way this story is going), I switched out the light and tried to fall asleep.  I almost had, then jerked awake because my nose was stuffy.  12:05 a.m….dangit.  I poked around in the medicine cabinet for one of those sexy nose strip things and couldn’t find any.

So I walked toward the den to grab my phone and type a note to get breathie strips tomorrow.  As I opened the door from the hallway, a guilty looking G whirled his head around from where he sat on the couch and I heard a strange clunking noise as he tried to hide an object on the lower shelf of the coffee table.  My eyes darted to the TV, expecting to see some horrifying adult pay-per-view. Nope, just a sci-fi movie (and not even a sexy one at that).  Then I looked closer at the object he had tried to hide.

What do you think it was?  Given the level of panic on his face, you might guess crack pipe.  Then he started to giggle and I saw that the secret object was my kitchen shears.  My fancy German steel kitchen shears.  The ones I protect from the children when they want to cut paper.  The ones I squawk over when he uses them to slice open a plastic bag.  My precious.

The father of my children was using my kitchen shears to cut his toenails.  He was staying up late, waiting for me to sleep, so that he could do perverse things with foreign objects.

As the truth of the moment revealed itself to me, I stood frozen in the doorway, one hand covering my gaping mouth.  Seconds ticked by as he waited for my outrage to pour forth.

“I would rather have found you in here with a woman.”

He cringed and laughed.  “The clippers just don’t do as good of a job.”

Like he’s done this BEFORE.

“I was going to put them in the dishwasher.”

We laughed so hard I bent over double.  When I finally got myself back together, I said, “You KNOW this is going in the blog.”

So that’s why I’m sitting here in bed typing at 12:40 a.m.  Some stories just beg to be told.

And damn if the fool didn’t just come in here and waggle his eyebrows at me in a suggestive, “Hey, the kids are asleep” fashion.  I met him with a steely glare.

“You have GOT to be kidding.”

He plopped down on the bed beside me and said, “Hey, at least I wouldn’t scratch you.”

Saturday Snort – Courtesy of Dr. G

Living with a chemist isn’t always easy.  We go through more bleach than your average household.  He thinks the swimming pool is a big lab for experimenting.  When I wanted to use a pressure washer on the concrete in our new screened porch, he said that was crazy talk…we should use hydrochloric acid instead.  Much safer.

But he’s funny, that G.  He found this easy-to-understand infographic about the way our weights would differ on other planets:

weight on other planets