December 13, 2021

lights by a lunatic?, pool open, party recap, THE game, and fridge on the fritz

I wrote a post for today and was frustrated that it was longer than I wanted for a Monday. I moved it and wrote this. It isn't short. I have stuff to share and who better to share it with than you, my faithful readers. I know everyone is busy this time of year, but I do appreciate you and I hope I'm not losing you as my readers, long-winded as I am. 

Timely updates:  In order to get ready for the somewhat last minute Christmas party I hosted last week, I asked Lad to pull out the Christmas lights before Coach and I left for Arizona. We're gonna go with IT'S THE THOUGHT THAT COUNTS, but he hung the lights and they looked a little, shall we say, OFF- not as in they wouldn't turn on, but as in they weren't hung with any thought or system.

While we were away, he 'fixed them' or added to them with other strings that they didn't need from his work. Mini texted us a photo. Coach and I were at the airport about to fly home. We were ASTONISHED, thinking the lights couldn't have gotten worse . . . but alas.

We were like, what on earth? Strings hung down so low that it was hard to approach the house without getting close-lined. They were all over the place, like maybe a crazed lunatic had hung them. This made no sense. Lad is actually a great artist. I begged Coach to fix them before the party.

Mini made fun of the snow I used to
 cover up the wires the next morning. I
had more snow that I should've used
 UNDER the house to make it look more
 natural, but wait - these are miniature,
 ceramic houses, they're cute but not real.
 The end. No more fussing over them.
Let's all just remember that Coach is NOT the most dedicated lights guy. We keep the bar very low and I'm sure the neighbors refer to us as the people with few flowers planted, kayaks stowed behind scraggly bushes, and an annual weak Christmas lights display. But THIS, this looked crappy even for us. 

Coach adjusted them, and those that he didn't have time to adjust he didn't plug in before the party.


Before we left town, I put up my Christmas houses. What is it about going away in early December that throws off the whole month? I've been playing catch up ever since - but hey, my houses are up and they look great. The tots, who sometimes have separation issues when they get dropped off, are loving the houses. I might have to keep them up all year. 


Table for 1.

When we were in Arizona, Coach left one morning with the breakfast voucher in his pocket. I've mentioned that I won't let anything stand in my way of free stuff, right? So, I approached the front desk and explained the husband teaching a class and how he had our meal ticket with him. She wrote me up a new ticket. No prob.

While she wrote it, I read a notice. It.Freaked.Me.Out. for a moment. 

The hotel was getting their pool resurfaced. The pool would be closed. A nearby pool would accommodate hotel guests, but hey, I had no car, etc. Hello, read the fine print crazy lady who has been derailed by a closed pool on more than 2 occasions . . . the pool would be closed the day after we left. Panic attack avoided.


My alumnae club Christmas party was very nice. The first floor looked clean and non-daycare-ish. The food was all done in time. I was beyond tired, not having slept enough the night before. I stupidly stayed up late, wanting to add fake snow around the Christmas houses and I also decided to make peppermint bark. I stuffed all my paperwork and my desk calendar into my big cabinet/locker in the kitchen. The next day, I decided to enjoy the cleared off counter top. Not getting my calendar out was a strategic mistake. The day after the party, I was in writing mode. I need to finish editing the chapter I want to read tonight (Monday) at the writers group.

So pretty though.

 Party & aftermath recap:

1. I forgot to take out the peppermint bark that I stayed up late to make.2. Coach brought home his work coffee maker and set it up and I forgot to make the coffee. 

3. I was super tired the next day and took not one nap but TWO. (I wasn't babysitting)

4. While I was taking my second nap, I turned down my phone and forgot to turn the volume back up. I missed a call from the dentist at 5:08 pm - Tank had an appointment and without my calendar out, I forgot all about it. I should've put a reminder in my phone, but I was busy when I made the appointment and I didn't do that. Duh. The dentist was very understanding. I've NEVER done that before.

Wait, who lives here? 

5. Tank flew home during the party and in my head I thought he was landing at 8 pm. Um, I spoke to him the day before and still didn't put 2 and 2 together that he was leaving campus to get to the airport in the afternoon. It doesn't take 6 hours to fly from Omaha. I was thinking of his return flight being at 8. He was supposed to land at 5, but was an hour late. Thank goodness, because Coach was already doing all of the basketball/dancing driving while I was in party mode. 

You know what makes a great
 picture? A baby. A dessert. A dog. 

6. With Tank home the leftover snack and dessert food has been very welcome and quickly inhaled. 


I wrote most of my annual year end  recap poem on the flight back from Scottsdale. Then last week after the party, I got busy adding to it, brainstorming, etc. Well, Saturday night after we all attended Reg's home basketball game, I did my first cold read. They liked it. They were polite. What? That's not how this works. People get their feathers riled. They have strong feeling about what I've shared. They boo and moan that some parts suck and are dumb and roar laughing at others. It was too tame. 

Tank urged me to include more about Mini. She has so much to point out, to laugh about, to share. He isn't wrong. I took his advice. Mini protested slightly about the extra info being added, but fortunately she can laugh at herself. We might be laughing harder. Not to worry, I will post one day soon about Mini's many mishaps. Brace yourself.  

This morning (Sunday), I added more lines and worked on the ones that weren't quite right. Re-rhyming them to improve the flow. I haven't added the photos to the margins yet, but I feel much better about the end product. There are people who get excited about my poem, or so they claim. Ah, the pressure. 

I was hoping to print my envelopes this weekend, but that didn't happen. Not sure if I trust myself to do it during nap time this week, because there is bound to be  swearing and ranting. 


Finally, Reggie played a home game last night (Saturday). When his team played last weekend, Coach and I watched the live stream from our hotel room. It was against Entitled High. That's the high school in our split district that tends to enroll wealthy, entitled students. Exceptions to every rule, of course. There was a kid talking trash to Reg. 


My kid is # 21. Blurry because the
nutty mama who took the
 photo was shaking.

Well. Have you ever? A kid making fun of my kid's shoes because they aren't $300 shoes? Reg does tend to shred his shoes, but these shoes aren't that old. No rips. So he didn't literally mean they were broken. I told Reg we ought to load up all of our old, broke ass shoes and dump them on Mr. Hot Shot's lawn. Entitled High romped on us and we lost badly. We are a young team. This is a building year. Yadda, yadda.

Then last night we attended his game. I wasn't expecting much especially after the Entitled High loss. We played a cross town rival. They're always good. It was a close game. Then we pulled ahead by 15. They came back a bit, but we ended up winning by 5. Warning, I'm about to brag:  Reg was the high scorer. He had 22 of our 68 points. He hit 5 three pointers. One of them was just over half court at the half time buzzer. We were all there minus Ed who won't be home from school till Thursday. I'm telling you  - crazy exciting. 

Tank at the sink, helping me clean out
 the freezer in the kitchen to make
 room for the food from the basement.
Welcome home, Tank. He was
 thrilled to help..


I know I already said 'finally', but remember last year when the dryer broke just before Christmas? Well, we've thawed the fridge since it spoiled my turkey and was actually only 44 degrees. It doesn't seem to want to make a comeback. The kids ate a severely freezer-burned pie tonight. Shoving food in all available spaces in the other fridges and not having room for a spare gallon of milk at the moment is getting interesting. 

Are your appliances behaving? Do you take your lights seriously? Do you host things and then forget to set stuff out? Maybe it's a sign that you're enjoying yourself. How often do you clean out your fridge? I admit, I put stuff in there and then I forget. Oops. 


Nicole said...

Congrats Reg on being the high-scorer!

Yikes, it is my fear right now that one of my appliances will die and I won't be able to get a replacement. Hope you can!

Anonymous said...

Just this morning my washing machine died. The odor of death still hangs in the air.
I don't do lights. Wait. That's not entirely true. I have a string of net lights meant to adorn bushes that I put up, oh probably a decade ago (maybe longer). There's no bush in sight, but I stretched them out between a couple of posts on the deck and the hummingbirds like to perch there in the summer, so they are permanent until they fall off. I live on a dead end road in the middle of nowhere; who's going to complain?
I'd say congrats to Reg, but it's kinda' what is expected of him? But you? You deserve congratulations for remaining upright in the midst of your over-the-top life.
Happiest of holidays to your entire clan!
P.S. Tell Tank the saplings are taking over the wildflower field. Pretty sure it's his fault.

Amy said...

Our range died a few days before Thanksgiving a few years ago. Well, it didn't completely die, but the oven would catch on fire every time I used it. A small fire, it was manageable, but still - no way were we doing Thanksgiving dinner in that thing. (Also, the oven was clean, that wasn't the problem). We managed to get a new one in time for Thanksgiving, but it was an ordeal. I'm still pissed off at Lowe's - we bought one from them, they gave us our delivery date and hours, then that morning a guy called to say he couldn't find the range we'd bought, it wasn't in the warehouse. Lowe's didn't do anything about it either, they totally dropped the ball. We ended up canceling our order and picking one up at another non-chain store. Lowe's lost out - we soon lost our washer & dryer after that, and we went straight to that non-chain store.

Our Christmas lights look terrible too. I've been doing them for years, but hubby wanted to take it over this year. Fine with me! But now it's still not done, he's hanging lights without testing them first, and it's just a mess. Grumble.

When we entertain, we ALWAYS forget to put out the rolls, or we forget them in the oven and burn them. ALWAYS. It's ridiculous - we remind ourselves, set reminders (paper & phone), tell others to remind us, but nope - no rolls at our dinners, ever.

Kara said...

I don't think I'm in the minority that I like your longer posts, serious and funny posts.

Terrible/half-assed light displays are a joy. They are one of my favorite things about the Christmas season. We don't do out side decorating. This year, it looks like the Christmas tree is the only holiday thing going up.

My dishwasher is on it's final days. We need to take it apart now every few weeks, just to keep it partially functional. It's clearly not draining correctly. Which is the same thing happening to my washing machine. It's going to be a race as to which appliance dies first. I'm hoping to get to 2022, and hope for a good appliance sale.

Jenny in WV said...

Congrats to Reg! 22 points is awesome!

I didn't put up a lot of Christmas lights this year. I have a bush that I want to tear out (it's too big, scratchy, ugly and in the way - I want it gone!) and then I will revamp the holiday light display next year. This is also what I said last year. lol I should just go buy a saw and get started.

I don't have any dead appliance horror stories, but one time in college a professor asked the class how Thanksgiving break had been and I said, "Great, except for the small oven fire!" My apple pie had bubbled over. Now we leave the pie making to Marie Callender.

Busy Bee Suz said...

Reg is awesome even in his Broke Ass Shoes. (the NERVE!)
I love your Christmas houses and the snow is, interesting. ;)

I used to put out lights, and once, I even paid someone to do it, but no more. It's too much work!! It does kind of look like a 'special' person' hung them for you. Sorry!
Yay for a good party. Yes, I've forgotten to serve food and coffee before!

Yikes on the fridge; there is a shortage so you'd better start looking NOW.

Baby, dog, dessert==all delicious!

Ally Bean said...

Our oven and cooktop are dodgy, rather irrational about when they'll work. We ordered new ones last week with an expected delivery date of... wait for it... May 2022. Fingers crossed and prayers said our refrigerator hangs in there until this supply chain mess is over.

Kari said...

I don't want to talk about my appliances for fear that they are listening. ;)
I loved hearing, "my second nap." You are living life right, my friend.

I love peppermint bark. I used to make it every year, but I haven't made it in a long time. You've inspired me to make some.

Ernie said...

Nicole - Thanks, Reg was super excited. We keep telling him to remain humble, but we also keep reliving the excitement of it.

I had forgotten about the supply chain difficulties until I read your comment. I do hope the appliance guy will fix it. He isn't coming till end of the week. Freakishly it isn't even cold enough to stick some stuff in the garage. Main fridge is on overload.

Ernie said...

Anonymous - I love that the birds are enjoying your on-the-bush lights that were never put on the bush. Yikes, a broken washing machine is tough to deal with. I guess a dishwasher would be the least difficult to deal with - there's always paper products and washing in the sink.

Ed was always really into basketball, but Reg has surpassed him. I think younger brothers are at an advantage - they see what it takes and then they go that extra mile to be seen.

Merry Christmas to you too.

I will let Tank know that he was expected to be out there and that he has failed you. :)

Ernie said...

Amy - I'm always rooting for the underdog and the little guy made the grade. Glad you got something in the nick of time.

Kindred spirits in the light department.

Yes, the rolls. So easy to forget. I hear you.

Ernie said...

Kara - I'm glad that you will take what you get in the form of blog posts and you tend to be fine with whatever I throw at you. Gratitude, my friend.

I am laughing at your love of crappy light displays. We are noticing the half ass jobs out here and chuckling about them. Same boat, people. SAME.

Good luck with your appliances. We usually run up to our local Sear's store - which is now called something else. It's like last year models and that's fine for us for our basement. Could care less about color, etc. But please, in the name of all things that are holy, let there be a way to repair it - or allow the Sears like place to have something that will work for us and fit down the stairs. I'd like something to be simple.

Ernie said...

Jenny - Thanks, 22 points is awesome and we were really blown away. So happy for him. It's been tough for him to find a friend group in high school and then he did and they all decided to date one another which is so weird. He really loves the basketball guys, but they aren't his age. Oh well. Happy is happy.

I'm laughing (with you) about the bush that needs to go.

A small pie fire is enough of a situation to cause a fuss. We once had an enormous fan that was my grandparents and it caught fire. It ended in the blink of an eye because I unplugged it, but it left me thinking WOW THAT CAN KND OF THING CAN GET OUT OF HAND FAST.

Ernie said...

Suz - Yes, the b-ball game was exciting. Funny because he's been saying that he needs new shoes but to look at them they look fine. There was no reason to get all in his face about them - unlike the shoes he wears to caddy. That's a whole different kind of trash talk - like DUDE YOUR SHOES ARE TRASH. Huh?

I could live without lights. Just like I was fine living without dragging my Halloween decorations up. And so on. But if we're going to have lights, prefer they don't look like someone hung them while intoxicated.

Fix it guy comes later this week. If the dang thing can make it to 41 degrees, I'm hoping he can just fix it to make it to the desired 37 degrees. Work with me, fridge. I had to grocery shop today and ended up putting my fresh vegetables down there because I don't think they'll mind being cold and not VERY cold. It's a juggling act.

That baby is so dang cute. but I'd prefer she nap more regularly so I can make a dessert or write a post without her needing to sit and watch me or beg me to hold her. I get a whole week and a half off at Christmas and I'm ready for it.

Ernie said...

Ally - MAY '22? That's nuts. I haven't really tuned into the appliance shortages since we just did the kitchen and replaced the dryer last year. We're crossing fingers that it can be fixed . . . but we won't know till he comes out later in the week.

Ernie said...

Kari - I laughed that your appliances might be listening. hee hee.

Two naps is a lot even for me, but I was CRAZY ASS tired after coming back from AZ so late on Sunday night. I could barely see straight by the time the party happened. I like to listen to my body . . . and it happened to be my day off, so I liked that my body told me to sleep TWICE.

Peppermint bark is so easy to make and yet it looks so professional and it's fun to eat and gluten free, so I vote you make some.

Beth Cotell said...

THankfully every appliance we own is working right now. Unfortunately, Sarah's car is giving us some problems. :( That peppermint bark looks delicious, by the way!

Pat Birnie said...

I hear you - we were in Hilton Head first week of December, that has put me way behind - but I do not stress about what gets done & what doesn't. Congrats to Reg on the game; that comment from the other player about his shoes made me SO angry. I cannot stand that attitude - probable because my kids were often the recipient of those comments. They had used bikes and certainly no high brand shoes. It still stings a little, many years later. I wish he had scored all those points against Entitled!

Bibliomama said...

I remember one year it wasn't even both of us away in early December, just my husband, and it made me feel horribly behind all of December. This year I've gotten to 85 percent earlier than usual but now I feel exceedingly disinclined to stir my ass to do anything more.
Awesome basketball game! Five three-pointers, you must have been going insane. And what an asshole comment about the shoes - snotty rich douche-bro much?

Ernie said...

Beth - We had an expenisve year with car repairs. That's never fun. We are STILL driving the Great White, waiting for them to find us a replacement. Yes, the peppermint bark was pretty . . . would've been even prettier if people got to enjoy it.

Ernie said...

Pat - There's nothing quite like getting to warmer temperatures, but yes - I'm scrambling to keep up. I don't really care if some things don't get done, but I'd still like to carve out time to get the tree up. Decorate it. I ordered my cards back in mid November, but I just finished my poem last night. So getting my cards addressed and notes written in some is my next priority. Oh and Tank is home from school and wants to know when I am whipping up is birthday meal. It.Never.Ends.

Oh my gosh - the shoes thing. I know some very nice kids that go to Entitled, one of my dear friends kids go there. Majority though - brats. Understatement. I, too, wish Reg would've lit up the scoreboard against them. He will be playing varsity the next few years since he's only a sophomore so maybe that'll still happen. The kid who said that is a junior who has ALREADY committed to a Big Ten school for baseball. The fact that he has talent in more than one sport and can say whatever he wants is gross to me.

Ernie said...

Ali - Yes traveling and then hosting a party - has me off my A game. I'm never one to be ready early and the party did force me to get my houses up early. Aside from that and having a clean first floor for a few days- I'm thinking I might need to give the kids IOUs for Christmas. Time is not my friend this year.

Yes, douche-bag, snotty, rich ass hole - that's who would make a comment like that. Reg's shoes aren't even all that bad. He bought them new last year in January. He's shopping for a new pair, but price will come into play. No $300 pairs here. The kid then followed him on Instagram. I don't get that, but I'm not really into social media. If you're an ass hole to someone, then do you follow him? Anyway Mr. Ass is a junior who has already committed to a Big Ten college or baseball. Of course.