Warning: this is one of those posts where you need to put your drink down before reading. You’ve been warned.
Another installment in the Life of Beth sponsored by IdiotsRUs and Cripes, Not Again Ltd.
You all know I make my own laundry detergent and fabric softener…….well, you do now. So, we got the new washing machine and I’ve been washing laundry like a fiend. I was very happy that my homemade laundry detergent is super low sudsing and works beautifully with the new machine which only takes HE (high efficiency) laundry detergent. Well, after 4 loads of laundry I ran out of fabric softener so I decided I’d make more so I could finish up the laundry tomorrow.
I keep my laundry detergent and fabric softener in re-purposed gallon jugs that lemonade comes in. So I took my empty jug for the fabric softener upstairs and gathered up my ingredients which are incredibly cheap and proceeded to dump the required quantity of each directly in the plastic jug. I did have the presence of mind to set the jug in the sink mostly because I needed hot water as one of the ingredients. In the back of my head I was thinking “I wonder if I mixed this in a bowl last time and then poured it in the jug??” I had to much stuff yet to do before dinner and so decided to just go with what I’d started and mix it directly in the jug. Stupid me. I poured in the vinegar (1 1/2 cups). I poured in the hair conditioner, cheap VO5, (1 cup), I added 3 cups of hot water, and 2 TBS of baking soda. I just heard one of you say “OH NO!!!” Yeah. I did that. Something that even a third grader with the IQ of turnip knows better than to do. Hold on, I get dumber. I then decided I needed to mix it good so I put the top on the jug and gave it a little shake. Obviously at this point my common sense had left the building knowing what was going to happen while the efficient part of me was on autopilot and no one was at the wheel. The jug began to quickly expand………like it was taking in a big gulp of air. I thought I guess I should let some of the pressure out so I unscrewed the cap a little and that’s when the nerdy third grader in me said “Fire in the hole!!!!” and I drew my hand back quick. Luckily I have excellent reflexes or I’d probably be typing this minus 3 fingers. Well to say the least it all went to crap from there.
The top on the jug rocketed off………that is not an exaggeration. The damned thing made a noise like a loud pop gun and shot up and hit the ceiling hard, bounced off the top of the cabinets and went careening into the nether regions of the kitchen under the table. Hang on, it gets better. The fabric softener geyser-ed up and hit the ceiling (the spatter area on the ceiling was about 4 feet across) and spattered across both sets of cabinets on either side……2 feet in one direction and 5 feet in the other hitting the cabinets above the stove. The entire wall and window above the sink were coated including the onions in the wire mesh hanger. The sink area was coated. The counter to my left was splattered for a good 18” including the fruit bowl. I got it all over my hair, my clothes, my face, and on the floor. I lost half of my fabric softener. Let me say here that this stuff is not watery, it’s a little on the thick side though thinner than conditioner.
So, I’m standing there with fabric softener dripping off the ceiling onto my head and looking at a thick coating of it running down the window and the only thing I can think to says is “Shit. I guess I did mix it in a bowl.” Of course, at this point after hearing the pop Alex came in the kitchen to see what was going on. At first he was speechless and then asked what happened. I told him. He laughed so hard at me he cried. All I could think to say was “I bet your friends don’t have this much fun at home.” He agreed that they did not;) Then he went to get me a roll of paper towels as the half roll on the counter wasn’t going to cut the clean up I had to do. It took me almost half an hour to wipe down cabinets, walls, the freaking ceiling, the counter, the sink area, the window and the trim, and rinse all the produce that got spattered. Me, I’m still covered in fabric softener but I smell good and my kitchen is way cleaner than it was before the explosion. Now, I’m going to dig in the pantry and see if I can find that tiny bottle of brandy to add to my coffee before this day proceeds any further.
P.S. You would not believe how clean my window and the trim are now……..cleaner than they have ever been!!! Nothing I’ve ever cleaned them with got them this clean. Guess what I’m using when I clean the rest of the windows and trim in the house, you got it homemade fabric softener…….that I will mix in a bowl;)
Eric, Katie and I went and did a little shopping this morning…….we are expecting more snow Monday night, UGH!! I personally think we’ve gotten our fair share for the season! Katie wanted to get 4 small goldfish at Walmart. She got a little 3 gallon tank 2 months ago and it’s been set up for 2 weeks with the water. So there we are in Walmart and there is NO ONE to help with the fish in the pet area. Hmmm.
I actually worked the time out in my head it would take to get some assistance. 10-15 minutes to find someone who works at Walmart. That person will call to the front (this is ALWAYS the case) and have them send someone to the back of the store where the pet section is (no guarantee this person knows how to get the fish). It will take the called person 10-15 minutes to get back to the pet section because we all know they will get distracted with something half a dozen times on the way back there. So, I guesstimated we would stand around for 20-30 minutes before getting any help with the fish from someone who probably didn’t know squat about it…….I say this from previous experience. Anyway, 20-30 minutes to get help with 4 gold fish that will cost $7 in total…….I DON’T FREAKING THINK SO!!! I looked at Katie and said “Screw that! I’ll get the damned fish myself.” You should have seen the look on her face
(o.O ) priceless. She said “But we need a bag and what if someone says something??” Me, rifling through cabinets at the fish section “I found the bags and if someone says something anything they’ll get an ear full about how hard it is to get ANY help in this store and competent helps is a rare beast indeed!”
I’ve watched pet store people get me fish a million times, I knew what to do. So I stared prepping and gathering fish and Katie was looking around like I was trying to crack the code of safe full of gold bars and was expecting the SWAT team to jump out from behind the mountains of dog food and arrest us. Really? They’re fish. This is Walmart. We’re only suspicious looking because we’re not in our PJ’s. She loosened up after the first fish……..she was then asking me to get the cute ones and showing me which ones she wanted;) I told Eric about it and said when I was 20 years younger I would have NEVER done that. At 45 I just didn’t care what people thought all I wanted was to get the fish and go home. It was liberating;)
What’s up?? Okay, just remember you asked…………here goes. Oh, unhand the coffee lest it come out your nose while reading;)
So, last night all was going as usual. Eric had finished up making dinner and was going to take the dogs out for a “potty break” while Katie and I got our plates. Well, the dogs started barking and going bonkers. This is not a strange occurrence. They do this if they see a squirrel, a bird, a deer, or their own reflection in the glass. They bark if a car goes down the road. They bark if a leaf blows or a tree branch moves. They do not, however, bark at bears in the yard eating bird seed from the feeder because bears are scary and have large teeth. We found this out the hard way. So, the dogs are going nuts and we’re all rolling our eyes. Eric and the dogs go outside. Less than a minute later Eric brings the dogs back in……..I doubt they even had time to pee. I don’t know about other people’s dogs but our dogs have to find just the right spot to do their business and this can take up to 15 minutes.
Eric said to keep the dogs inside, they were not to come out. WTH??? He doesn’t tell me why so I have to ask. It was very windy and the ground here is super saturated from all the rain and snow melting over the last week. Apparently there was a huge tree that fell across the road in the woods. The tree also brought down a power line which was live and sparking………it started a fire in the woods. Don’t freak out, it wasn’t a huge fire but I would say at least “campfire” size and was sparking like cheap fireworks. “Well hell, somebody grab the marshmallows and hot dogs before the wind spreads it across the road to our house” was all I could think. I just want to say here that we do have sense enough to stay away from a live downed power line though Eric kept an eye on it in case it spread. So, I go in the house to call 911 and the fun begins.
I’ve never called 911 before and I must say it’s not at all like in the movies where you get a fast talking on the ball person asking lots of pertinent questions. The guy I talked to sounded like he just woke up…..it was around 8:30 something by this time. I told him what was going on………we had a large tree fall downing a power line and the live wire has sparked a fire in the woods across the road from us.
911 guy: Well, how big is the fire……..he still sounded half asleep
Me: How big is it?? I’ve only seen it from across the road because I’m not getting near the live power line so I don’t know exactly how big it is……………..I just want to say here that apparently size matters. You’ll see why later.
911 guy: Is it as big as a school bus?
Me: If it were that big I’d be evacuating my house because it would have already engulfed our car and I certainly wouldn’t be on the phone. I don’t know how big it is, maybe campfire size or a little large but I am worried it will spread to the house………its’ VERY windy up here.
911 guy: So it’s not very big. Where are you?
I gave him the address and he said he’d dispatch the fire department to our house. Our fire department is only about 10-15 minutes from the house. Eric comes in by now and calls our electric company. They were on the ball! They wanted to know what happened, our location, and told Eric to tell the fire department to NOT put out the fire until their guys got there and turned off the power. So we ate dinner and watched the fire from the window waiting for either the fire department or our electric company to show up. And we waited. And we waited. After half an hour all I could think was if our house had been on fire we’d be toast and half the mountain would be burning. This is where it occurred to me that possibly the fire department used a mathematical equation of taking the circumference of the fire, estimated wind speeds, and distance to said fire’s location to determine how quickly they need to be on location OR my sleepydispatcher took a pee break, talked to his buddy in the hall, grabbed a doughnut from the break room, and checked his email before calling the fire department. Now don’t get me wrong, I appreciate what our volunteer emergency folks do but I was not prepared for the slowness of it all.
So, about 30-40 minutes after I called 911 a small fire truck shows up. As a side note, Katie said “Firemen are coming??” I told her they would look nothing like the firemen on TV…….they will probably be in bib overalls and hip waders, they’re volunteers and we live in a rural area. I was close but I will say they were very competent when they finally got here. So now everyone is waiting for the electric company, fire department included. Eric informed me the electric company would probably turn the power off so the fire department could put out the fire and then the electric company would fix the lines. I’m spinning during all this by now having finished dinner. The power company shows up, walks around a lot, walks up and down the road and right in the middle of my NCIS episode, cuts the power with no warning. I kept spinning. Yeah, you really can spin without seeing the fiber;) Well by now it’s closing in on 10:00 and we have no power so we decide to just go to bed. Get in bed and that’s when we hear the chain saw start up. Not the best lullaby. They were up on the road outside Katie’s window with all the vehicles, lights, chainsaw, etc. so she heard everything. This morning through gritted teeth she said “They finally left at 2:00 a.m. Wanna know how I know that?” No, not really………she’s was looking a little dangerous. So, all is well this morning and next time I call 911 about a fire I’m telling them it’s as big as a charter bus and to pick up some extra hot dogs on the way. I need a nap.
Good morning???……….I’m still debating on that. I got back from the bus stop and used what we refer to as “Katie’s Bathroom” to tinkle. I flushed the toilet and the water kept running long after it should have. This is not an uncommon occurrence so I lifted the lid on the toilet to check the chain on the flap thingy….it gets kinked up and is usually the culprit. So, I’m leaning over and lift the lid off and get hit in the face with a geyser of COLD water spraying up from one of the mechanisms in the tank. I’m soaked. The wall is soaked. The floor is soaked. The sink counter is soaked. The underside of the wall cabinet is soaked……..I’m sure this is all that prevented it from hitting the ceiling. Well hell. I put the lid back on and told Eric he needed to tame or slay (his choice) the beast spewing water in the toilet tank. I needed a shower but this is NOT what I had in mind. Now I definitely need a shower;) It can only get better from here right??? I mean what is worse than getting soaked with COLD toilet tank water at 7:40 in the morning?? ;)
So, last night Eric was cooking dinner, I was weaving on my loom, and Katie was in her room doing homework. Suddenly (I actually jumped) Jasper, Katie’s dog who is in her room with her, starts barking, hackles up, and going bonkers. What the heck? Katie came out of her room looking like a vengeful Valkyrie at her homework being interrupted. I asked her what was going on. She said “Something is scratching at my window screen and I want to see what it is……..I’ve heard it before” She steps into the mudroom where all the outside light switches are and there are windows all around so she can see her bedroom window from there. She flipped the light on and I think I heard her say “Holy shit! It’s a bear!!” She obviously is not allowed to cuss but it slipped my mind to correct her because all I could think was “Holy shit! It’s a bear!” Yes, a bear. A black bear to be exact. It was up on it’s hind legs hitting the bird feeder at her window knocking out the seeds.
Eric wandered out to the mudroom to see the bear. He said “Oh it’s just a little bear, probably only weights 50 or 60 pounds. Not as big as the one on the back deck last year…..that one was about 150 lbs.” Yes, we had another black bear on the back deck last year…….I happen to be outside on the front porch at the time and NO ONE told me there was a black bear just around the corner from where I was standing. They were all to busy glued to the kitchen window watching it to come to the door and tell me maybe I should come in the house. Maybe they thought I was scarier than the bear that early in the morning……..we may never know. I digress.
Anyway, in turning the lights on outside we interrupted the bear and he ambled (when you have razor claws and super sharp teeth why run?) onto the front porch so we got a really good look at him or her…….I wasn’t going to ask it to raise it’s skirt to find out. It looked huge…….meaning big enough to cause a problem if it wanted to. Then it ambled out to the driveway towards the woods. Eric, who I’m quite sure now is crazier than I am, picked up the ax and went out on the porch and followed it out into the driveway talking to it like they were old war buddies. What do you say to a bear? How’s it hanging?? And an ax? Seriously. What did he think he was going to do with an ax, fell it like a tree? All I could think was I hope that bears goes on off into the woods, I’m just to tired to go to the emergency room and explain that my husband went a round with a bear using an ax and by the way could you do a CAT scan on him while we are here to make sure his brain is still all connected because I’m starting to question that. Oh, and a prescription for me please……something in little purple happy pills if you have it. Mean while Katie is just mumbling “What is he doing??” over and over. Yes dear, your father is stark raving mad……..it’s one of his more endearing qualities.
The bear did amble off into the woods and knowing Eric they’ve probably set up a date for a Friday night poker game. Cripes, that man! He took down the bird feeder so it won’t come back and will hang it back up when it gets cold here like winter usually is. It’s been unseasonably warm and hence, the bear has not gone in to hibernation. When Eric came back inside I said “What were you thinking?”. He said “It was just a little bear.” Oh well, then that’s okay…….that means the heart attack I had when you were outside with it with an ax over your shoulder like it was a baseball bat talking politics and world news with the bear was just a small one. Hand me one of those purple pills will you? Actually, make it two.
Eric had fun yesterday. He had to drive Alex up to Winchester for his DEP call (an Air Force thing) which is 45-60 minutes away one way. Well, when that was done they were leaving Winchester to come home and guess what, no brakes. Yep, you read that right NO BRAKES. All I can say is I’m glad Eric was driving and I wasn’t there. Eric figured out what the problem was…the metal in the brake line had corroded because the vehicle is 17 years old. So, he crept to a Walmart and bought something like 2 gallons of brake fluid. Apparently you could stop twice and the second time you used the brakes all the brake fluid leaked out of the van, like a dog taking a whiz is how he described it. Picture this, Eric and Alex driving in the rain on the highway and stopping every half mile or so to add brake fluid and hoping they missed the stop lights and traffic cooperated. If it had been me I would have parked it and called a taxi after leaving a note on the windshield………PLEASE DO THE OWNER OF THIS CAR A FAVOR AND STEAL IT. Eric is, of course, making good use of the lower gears and the emergency brake during the drive back. Alex, I’m sure, was crapping his pants……he’s not terribly adventurous when danger is involved. So my guys make it to Front Royal 30 minutes from our house and the closest “town” we have. Eric pulls into the car dealership where our van originally came from when the previous owners bought it. He lets them know the brakes don’t work….at all. After they managed to get Alex’s white knuckles pried off of the door to the van they rented a car while ours was in the shop. This thing looked like a space ship……a very small space ship. Yep, it had all the computerized stuff and I half expected to hear Captain Kirk’s voice telling me the star date and our destination when you start it up. Seriously. It had seat warmers. Why the heck do I need my butt warmed up?? I am not a pot roast! What I need is that warmer in the back of the seat….if it was on my lower back I’d never get out of the damned car. The kids loved the little space ship car but Eric and I did not. It’s so small it makes you feel claustrophobic, I felt like I was sitting on the ground, I could not see over the dash board (I heard someone laugh!) and despite all the computerized doo dads there was no warp speed button. Seriously, if you’re going to make something that looks like the Starship Enterprise inside it should have a Warp Speed button even if it doesn’t do anything. It didn’t even have a key, you pressed a button. NO KEY. ??? Alex laughed at me and said “welcome to the 21st century Mom”. I guess I’m old school. Of course, if it had the Warp Speed button and came in purple I could be ushered into the 21st Century with bells on, until then no dice.
I hope I’m not the only one………………
So I just finished wrapping all the Christmas gifts with the exception of the ones Katie and Alex are giving. I always get stuck with the wrapping. Why I don’t know, it’s not like I’m super good at it and Eric has two fully functional hands to wrap with. We bought wrapping paper this year and the man who never wraps gifts thought we should get ribbon AND bows to wrap the gifts with. Really? Ribbons and Bows?? We only got bows because bows are easy….peel the thingy off, smash it on the gift and there you go. Done. I asked him if he was going to take the time to do the ribbon on the gifts. He said, “Bows are good.” Yeah, that’s what I thought. I’m digressing, sorry.
So, as I’m wrapping gifts I notice something. When I started I was very carefully folding the paper, using my best handwriting on the tags and choosing a bow whose color coordinated with the paper. This lasted about 3 gifts in. As the wrapping progressed things went downhill. By the end of it it looked like a 3 year old hyped up on caffeine and sugar had folded paper willy nilly over some misshapen unidentifiable mass, scribbled unintelligible names on tags (we’ll figure out whose is whose after we open them), and grabbed bows out the bag without looking. I learned something about myself………I don’t like wrapping gifts. Next year everything is going in a bag with tissue paper……….and maybe a bow;)