May 31, 2022

Actual short post: paper towels do not a fancy kitchen make, miming, clothing resale, and starring - not in that order

As busy as I've been, I managed to have a family member garage sale yesterday. It was invitation only. Mandatory attendance. I laid out all the young men's clothes that have littered my house this school year. Emphasis on LITTERED. Boxes half full of clothes in the study, bins in the bedroom. Clothes on empty beds, dropped in hallways. Who does it belong to? You're guess is as good as mine. Did the college boys leave these items at home? Did they expect to wear them again, or were they cast-offs? Did they hand them down to Reg and forget to tell him, or did they tell him and he wasn't paying attention? It was time to CLAIM their stuff, or risk not eating dinner. I meant business. 

All items remaining will be donated. 

Tank tried to shop and leave the room, which was against the rules.

Me:  Excuse me sir, I need to write your name in these items that you've selected to cut down on confusion. You can't check out until I've marked them with my Sharpie. 

He thought I was joking, I wasn't. 

Attention offspring, I'm taking back my house, one pile of crap at a time. 

I've recently discovered how to star emails. Wow. This little click makes finding emails SO.MUCH.EASIER. The question is:  am I now starring too many emails? Will the favorites soon be so crowded that I'll be as confused as ever? I'll share updates as the situation warrants. I know you're on the edge of your seat with this revelation, and you're checking your calendar to see what year it is and scratching your head in wonder at how far behind I am. 

CLOSE THE DOOR, sorry for yelling . . . untrue, I was really miming. I so wish I had a video of Wilhelm from last summer. I was sitting on the deck, sunning myself. Mini was technically babysitting. I told her to send him out on the deck to play. Fresh air, etc. We were trying to get him to be more independent. He came out on the deck and didn't quite close the screen door. 


 To him, it looked like it was closed. I motioned and said:  "Push it more."

He turned towards me (with his back to the door) and when I held my two hands up like I was going to do WAX ON, WAX OFF - but one hand above the other, facing the same direction. I pretended to close the door as if it was hanging in the air,. Wilhelm faced me and replicated my actions EXACTLY  - holding his two hands up and closing the 'air' door. I don't think my describing it does it justice. It was SO funny. Excited for Wilhelm. His future as a mime is BRIGHT. 

I aborted the mission and got up and closed the door myself. Obviously. 

Our kitchen addition/remodel was done in 2017. Well that's an inaccurate sentence, because technically it was STARTED in 2016, and if we bypass the two fired contractors who ripped us off in varying degrees over the YEARS (yes, I said years - not a typo, probably obvious by the all-caps), I'm still confused about how to pinpoint the year we did our kitchen. It was completed in fall of 2020 after the installation of the long-awaited hood, so there you have it. 

Anyway - Coach doesn't like how the water sort of pools under the faucet handle. If your wet hand reaches back to turn off the faucet, then water drips or gathers back there. He's begun sticking a paper towel along the backsplash there. Because? Because that looks awesome? Because a wet paper towel makes the area magically dry? There are no words for how this makes me feel, so I will just share a photo and assume that you grasp my emotional need to combust at the sight of the soggy paper towel. 

We have a beautiful kitchen. This paper towel is distracting from that. 

STOP IT. See, words don't do my feelings justice. 

What trick do you use to rid your home of discarded items? How do you handle the water that may gather under the handle of your kitchen faucet? How do you handle the spouse who rigs stuff that makes a situation look worse than it is? Do tell. 


Nicole said...

Everything about this made me laugh. The garage sale! Wax on wax off! And yes to the starring of emails, that's like me "favouriting" things I want to go back to, and then I have a list a mile long. But the funniest is paper towel behind the faucet - COACH, NO. NOT A GOOD LOOK!

Ernie said...

Nicole - Glad I provided you with a chuckle this morning. I haven't felt 'funny' lately, more like I've been too rushed when posting to be successful at humor. I drafted this post a while ago, and then realized last night when I was falling asleep on the couch that I hadn't prepared something. I added the garage sale bit to this little collection of laughable moments. All that to say, happily Coach has abandoned his persistent paper towel obsession since I wrote this. He didn't respond well to my scolding, so it became a battle of him placing the paper towel, and me throwing it away. I eventually won. Thank heavens.

Pat said...

I love all of this. Family garage sale, invitation only yet mandatory attendance. I only wish you’d made them pay for items they chose. I really can sympathize with stuff all over the house. My kids were the same. You try to get them to pick stuff up but then it seems like all you do is nag at them. Garage sale- brilliant! And yes that wet paper towel is not attractive.

Ernie said...

Pat - Exactly. The abandoned items are super irritating and then when no one knows who the stuff belongs to - DEAR LORD. How is it possible that you don't recognize your own clothing. Reg gets a free pass here, because I think they toss stuff his way on the regular and he then doesn't recognize it as his. That paper towel thing. Ugh. Almost as bad as Coach adding water to the hand soap dispenser . . . during a pandemic (drives me crazy no matter when he does it, but when we are VERY aware of germs? Come on now).

Jenny in WV said...

Love the yard sale idea! I occasionally star emails purposely, but usually I hit the star by accident scrolling on my phone.

Ernie said...

Jenny - Turns out the inside of our home is an internal garage sale waiting to happen.

Busy Bee Suz said...

You are a trip. I was laughing through the post and I actually DID the wax on wax off motion; I too can MIME.
So brilliant to do the In House Garage Sale.

The paper towel. STOP THE MADNESS. I can't with that.
I'm pretty good at filling up a bag for donations. Of course, I don't have the number of bodies in my house, so it was much easier.

Ernie said...

Suz - The only reason we miss having Wil here is that he was so quirky, he kept us laughing. Remember when he stood in the kitchen while potty training when he refused to walk to the bathroom without being prompted? We all ignored him, hoping he'd 'get there' - to the potty, but instead he stood next to the table and stared at Mini as she ate breakfast. Mini raised her hand and said I FELL UNCOMFORTABLE.

I kid you not, I am finding the recently claimed clothes laying around the house. STOP THE MADNESS. Tank tossed a pair of shorts in an empty laundry basket in my room. Reg wore a dry fit quarter zip after the sale, and this morning it was discarded on the family room floor. Just when I thought I'd cracked the code.

I am happy that the soggy paper towel has been cancelled successfully.

Colleen said...

I love the invite only garage sale. Gonna file that one away for later :)

Suzanne said...

HA! I love your sharpie marking rules! And I bow down to your organizational and time management skills!

Ernie said...

Colleen- If I hadn't found a trail of 'claimed' clothing scattered around the house today, I would endorse this process whole heartily. It is nice to at least know what things I can donate.

Ernie said...

Suzanne- I wrote their first initial.AND the date. This way I won't get any kids saying THAT FIT ME LAST YEAR. There is a method to my madness.

Bibliomama said...

The garage sale is hilarious - took me a minute to figure out what you meant. Such must be life with that many kids. We don't really have a system for getting rid of unwanted items, other than "let unwanted items pile up for months and months and then get rid of a shit ton of unwanted items in one fell swoop, just before discovering that we probably need one of the unwanted items"

Ernie said...

Ali - Ha. Well, I told my mom what I'd done with the in-home garage sale today on the phone and she didn't really get it apparently, because she asked me how I advertised. I was like HUH? NO MOM- IT WAS JUST SOMETHING I MADE MY BOYS COME TO TO CLAIM THEIR CRAP. Needless to say she got a good chuckle out of that.

Beth Cotell said...

We have the same problem. The issue though is that we don't put a paper towel back there and the water eventually causes mold to grow in the grout/whatever that stuff is that you use to fill the space between the back splash and the counter. And the I scrub and scrub and the grout/whatever the stuff is that you use to fill the space between teh back splace and the counter COMES OFF. And while my husband doesn't notice or care it DRIVES ME INSANE. So, I have him regrout it. And that DRIVES HIM INSANE. After having regrouted just a few weeks ago, I started putting a paper towel back there but that DROVE ME INSANE. I have determined that we will just be constantly regrouting for years to come. My original plan was to wipe it down after every use but that lasted one actual day. And if I'm the only one doing that then it isn't going to do much good anyway.

Hmmmm.....apparently I have some feelings on this issue that perhaps I need to work through. :)

Kari said...

Yesterday, I literally LITERALLY said out loud, "How in the HELL does Ernie have time to write a book and a blog with six kids, laundry, a day care..." because I am overwhelmed with just ONE more child living at home. And now you've added a garage sale to the mix.

The book you NEED to write is how you manage it all. Xoxo

Ally Bean said...

Water pools under our kitchen faucet like it is doing under yours. I tried wrapping a kitchen towel around the base of the faucet, but it didn't help. I don't like how it looks, but have decided to focus on the fact that we have working faucet. Always the optimist, me

Ernie said...

Beth - I do get the frustration because the white grout stuff IS discolored and I feel like the quartz counter top right there is also discolored. I feel like I should invent a rubbery looking incline to wedge in there that will serve as a mini waterfall and direct the water back to the sink. I could make them in various colors to match kitchens. Right? Let me get on that.

In the meantime, I'm beginning to wonder if that is why they created the faucets that you turn on and off without a handle, like by waving your hand under it or tapping the top of it or something. Because then the water won't be dripping off of your hand as you reach back to grab the handle. Hmmm.

Ernie said...

Kari - Ha. The way I do it is that NOTHING gets put away if I am trying to write. The garage sale was literally just a collection of the crap my kids drop around the house and THEY were the only 'shoppers'. It was more or less a way to get the kids to claim their clothing that no one will admit is theirs. I wrote their name in everything and the date. Now I can hold it up when they discard it again and say THIS. . . YOU SAID THIS WAS YOURS ON MAY 30 '22 SO WHY IS IT LEFT LAYING AROUND?

When they are all home and capable of doing their own things and taking care of things, SHOULD be when I get the most writing done, but alas. I have a plan for it. Will share soon.

Ernie said...

Ally - I love your optimistic thought process. Back in 2017 our kitchen sink faucet broke and water would splurt out right in our face. We stopped using it for over a month (I think, at least it felt that way) because we were about to demo the kitchen. That was a frustrating time period.