Thursday, June 30, 2011

SUZI: Liking 36

I’ve never had a problem telling my age.  Some people might say that that’s because I’not that old.  But I’m planning on always freely giving my age when asked.  I have more wrinkles around my eyes than ever before.  I’ve noticed the skin on my neck is a little looser than it used to be.  I have more grey hair than I’ve ever had.  I won’t be covering them up…I’ve earned every one of them!   But right now I’m really enjoying being 36.

I recently had an incident happen to me that made me realize I’m happy with where I am in life.  I had just finished having my teeth cleaned at the dentist and needed to run to the restroom before I hit the road.  Our dentist remodeled a few years ago and has a lovely space…natural paper wallpaper, soothing earth tones, local art.  It’s all lovely.  The only problem?  The lock on the bathroom door is odd.  It’s just this little lever-thingie on the handle that you push over.  It’s hard to know if you’ve locked the door.  You can’t test it because pushing down on the handle to see if you’ve actually locked the door actually opens the door.  Sooooo….someone knocked on the door.  I responded.  He didn’t hear me and tried the door.  (Can anyone guess at this point what happened next?)  Apparently, it wasn’t locked.

In an effort to be discreet, let’s just say that he didn’t see anything.  However, I could tell this man was mortified by what just happened.  I hurried up and finished and decided that I would laughingly tell him about how difficult it is to tell if the door is locked and make some sort of small talk to make this stranger feel better.  However, when I opened the door, he was standing in the hallway, turned completely away from the door, his back to me and his arms crossed.  He wouldn’t look at me or say anything.  I thought it best at that point to just slip past him without saying a word.

As I was heading out the door, the only words that came to mind were, “Sir, I’ve given birth…in the Middle East…this little incident cannot possibly faze me in the least bit.”  I giggled as I walked to my car.  I truly felt sorry for the guy.

There was a day when I would have been the mortified one.  I would have apologized all over myself.  I would have played the incident in my head over and over.  I would have felt stupid.  But instead, I laughed.  It’s funny what grace and life teach you.

Yeah, I’m really liking 36.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

No, Virginia, they didn't look like this...

I gotta tell ya'... I laughed out loud when I saw this on a Biblical research site recently.  There's blond, blue-eyed Cain or Able with, wait, that's not his mom & dad!  That's Garden Barbie & Ken!  Collect the whole series... Malibu Barbie now comes with a sheepskin wrap and matching fig leaf slippers!

It never ceases to amaze me the lengths people will go to create their view of history.  For the record, there's a pretty good chance that the first family looked more like someone from Palestine than Pasadena.

And Adam wasn't a Dapper Dan Man.  I'm positive.

Friday, June 24, 2011

"Green" Grass mowing

First off, I'd like to thank a previous owner of our property for putting in the retaining wall in the front yard.  I love retaining walls and am excited I didn't have to deal with the headache.  They also planted these lovely lilies which happened to bloom this last week.  I've never had lilies blooming in my front yard.  I feel special.

And all this talk of yards means that, yes, I have a yard and thus, I have a yard to mow.  I haven't had that pleasure since...ah, maybe 2004 when we lived on Windsor.  I don't have a large yard.  It's a decent amount, a postage stamp up front, but long, narrow and sloping out back (perfect for another retaining wall!).  
When looking for a lawn mower I got all goose-pimply about a reel mower.  Yep, like old-school Leave it to Beaver kind of thing.  Fiskars (of scissors and sharp things fame) decided to put their prowess to work on turf reduction in a grand scale.  No trimming here.  Their Momentum reel mower drags your grandpa's torturous process into the Jetsons' realm.  It's smooth, sharp as a razor and requires no gas.  There's 4 inch height adjustment and near edge-to-edge cutting.  Do I sound like I bought one?  You bet I did.  And now I can listen to the cicadas scratching out their dirge instead of a Briggs & Stratton muffler.  The neighbors ask questions... kids walking by want to try it out.  It's pretty cool. 

Now, it's not all roses and rainbows.  You have to stay on a pretty short schedule or the lawn length will get away from you.  The longer weeds and dandelions don't get sucked in like a convention mower, so you have to go back and get them by hand (see shot below... there's long weed sticking up right in front!).  And it doesn't work well without long straight, smooth lines to cut.  You can't do short hops easily.  I'm having to fill in spots in my yard from burrowing canines... it just makes for a happier experience.  Overall, I'm pleased as punch with the thing.  Plus, it's great cardio.  Swing by... I'll let you take it for spin.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Happy Father's Day

I've been trying to include Cooper in stuff that I do around the house... of course, it also means he's cleaning other people's baseboards now.  But, sometimes it makes for some enduring experiences... like the coffee table we put together recently... together.  The li'l guy loves screwdrivers... but not hammers.  Thankfully.  And the reverse button on the drill.  Why not the trigger, dude?  Nope, just wanna hit the reverse button, Dad.

Yuck... again.

Some of you may remember the flood we experienced in Jordan.  While we enjoyed the country, that was one event we'd rather not have had to do over.  (Insert maniacal laughter here... and foreshadowing music that lets you know, the following ain't gonna be pretty.)

We've moved into an 85 year-old house.  We've lived in these types of places before.  We know the character that comes with the property.  Creaking floors, scary basements, it's all part of the game.  One of the first items of business was a carpet cleaner.  We'd noticed some... odors.  Now, I'd like to give this word of warning to those of you with cats.  I've lived with cats.  I know what they're capable of.  If they're not happy, they'll take a dump in your shower (personal experience with that one).  And if they're using your closet instead of their box, no amount of carpet shampoo or smelly soaps will clean it up.

After the cleaner dude was gone, there was still a lingering atmosphere that just had to go.  First, we stripped the carpet out of Cooper's closet, bleached the floor and continued our "sniff-tests."  We're talkin' nose to the... um... grindstone.  While the front entry way wasn't in terrible shape, we'd had some comments from more gentile nostrils.  When I pulled back the carpet our fears were confirmed.

 But it was when we pulled back the padding we knew we'd entered a new level of reconstruction.  We bleached and scrubbed.  And bleached and scrubbed.  And at the end of the night it looked better.  But, you can be pretty sure this isn't the end... anybody wanna do some unexpected carpet shopping?

Monday, June 13, 2011

Is he getting this?

We've been working on the house pretty hard... Suz all day and me once I cut loose from the desk.  Cooper's been right there in the middle of it with us, sometimes in one hand while the other hand is scrubbing or drilling or painting.  It's an old house and there's plenty of corners to clean.  If you wonder how much time you spend doing something, maybe you should turn around and see what your kids are doing... chances are, they're imitating you.

Tonight, we were putting together a futon for Cooper's room (I know, it's never too early to get them ready for college... next he gets a lava lamp and a mini-fridge of Red Bull; there's another story to that, but it's not my point here.). So, I turn around and in walks Cooper with a screwdriver he picked up.  He goes right to the boards and starts trying to tighten the screws down.  One by one.  Well, we're just proud as punch, but then he leaves and comes back with a brush from the bathroom... and begins to scrub the thing down.

Yep, we're teaching him something alright, at least he'll be clean... hopefully it doesn't scar him for life!

Friday, June 10, 2011

I Wanna Be this Cool

Some dad's have all the fun... and some kids do too... Great story!