July 5, 2022

(somewhat) sleepless in Chicago, large party seating, and other unconventional perks of residing in the Shenanigan home

Sleepless in Seattle, sleepy/sleep late in Chicago:  My sleep patterns have been off for over a week. I don't know how to snap out of it. Suggestions are welcome.

I wake up at 4 or 5 am after maybe four hours of sleep, and then I lay awake for an hour or two. I read sometimes, or just lay there. Eventually I go back to sleep until 8 or 9 am. This isn't ideal as I'm not a lady of leisure. 

I cancelled our flights to Atlanta for various reasons. As you read this, Reg and I are driving to GA for his basketball tournament. Reg can drive a bit here and there, but I'm dreading the long drive. What if I don't get a normal sleep the night before? There's no way I can squeeze in a later-morning nap as is my new custom, as I plan to leave early. Plus, I'll be way too anxious about driving to nap. 

Prayers offered for our safe travels this week are much appreciated


Think 12 Days of Christmas, but our version is:  2 MICROWAVES, 3 REFRIDGERATORS, AND TABLES FOR 8 OR MORE EVERYWHERE:  

I still have Lad's college microwave, pulled from my crawlspace, on my kitchen counter. I filed a complaint with Thermador over the premature breakdown of our pricey, built-in microwave drawer a few months ago, and have heard nothing. Somehow including a reminder on my list of things to do hasn't helped me carve out the time to actually make that phone call. Maybe I'll call them on Bluetooth while driving to Atlanta. Multitasking is the only way, apparently. 

I still have a partially working, cold-drink-chilling extra fridge in my dining room. I love it there. If having a dining room fridge is wrong, I don't wanna be right. 

I have a dog, that doesn't belong to me, tied to my back door, or nudging my hand off of my keyboard when he wants me to pet him when he's allowed to roam the uncarpeted spaces on the first floor while not tied to the back door. 

Finnegan vs. my mouse - the struggle is real.

*(editing to add:  after reading about the passing of sweet Barkley, Nicole's dog at Girl in a Boy House, (HI NICOLE) I must admit that it is not lost on me that Finnegan is crazy about me, wagging himself silly when I come home from somewhere. Finn has stolen my heart despite the fact that I wasn't asked permission to add him to our busy, non-puppy-proof household. RIP Barkley).

And, drum roll, I have an extra, VERY old kitchen table and chairs in my living room. 

The day before the grad party, I spotted said kitchen table at a garage sale down the street. I went and checked it out. Ed, interning in the basement most days, texted his buddies to see if anyone had procured a table for their college house. They still needed one. I was busy getting ready for the party, so I sent Tank down with the $50 to secure it, saying we'd pick it up later.

The morning of the party, I woke up with a lightbulb moment. Does anyone else wake up with clarity, like things they remember they were supposed to do or just great ideas? I decided that it might make sense to pick up that table and set it up in the living room as extra seating during the party. 

You might recall that we, Hillbilly-wannabes, repurposed our living room coffee table to support Lad's bed - in combination with the bottom section of the dismantled bunk bed. This arrangement has left the living room, which we thought would be an excellent space to keep Lad's dog, fairly bare. The problem? Finnegan DOESN'T want to hang in the living room alone. He'd rather follow me from my laptop in the kitchen to my desktop in the study, tucking his nose under the palm of my hand and nudging my hand off of my mouse, begging to be petted. Never having lived with a dog, is this normal, or is Finnegan just exceptional? 

I paced myself fairly well with the grad party preparations. Mark this party as a turning point in my life. I'm not a rock star at pacing. I usually end up un-showered and panicked as people are arriving. There is a first for everything though, and while I wasn't 100% ready and eating bon-bons while reclined on the couch, I was basically in good shape. 

A few hours before anyone arrived, I saw a window of time - even though I was still sweaty and un-showered after my run, so getting to the push-the-envelope stage as far as how I was allocating my time. I tend to run off the rails with my I'VE GOT TIME FOR THIS mentality. What can I say? When push comes to shove, I start to believe I have super powers that don't necessarily exist. Am I alone? 

I grabbed Curly. We trotted down the block to the garage sale with my wagon in tow, turned the table upside down on the wagon, and hauled it home. The sellers offered to deliver the chairs in their car, which was handy. 

I never shared the stationary bike story. Ah, another day. No one will accuse me of having an HGTV-esque flair for decorating. We bought the living room couch, but the end tables, lamps, art, all hand-me-downs. I made the curtains. Come on over for dinner, I've got frozen pasta from the grad party, and plenty of seating. I thought I had a photo of us bringing the table home  on the wagon - the leaf wasn't inserted, so it was doable. 

No one ended up needing to eat at the extra table, because the threat of rain turned out to be a slight (albeit annoying, because large intermittent drops persisted for about 30 minutes) fat drizzle. The kitchen table and outdoor seating proved sufficient. Now, Ed has a table and I have available seating for a crowd that I don't expect to actually show up before the table departs with Ed in August. 

Coming up next is the exciting information we've gathered about the goings-on under and above our deck. I have video that you won't want to miss. Any guesses? Here's a tip, it's not a raccoon. 

Anyone have unconventional home setups, furniture-wise or otherwise? Are you good at party prep? Successful at mimicking HGTV decorating tips? Since I'm in my 50's, I do dream of one day being rid of hand-me-down furniture, but admittedly not a priority. 


mbmom11 said...

We got rid of our big long comfy living room couch and replaced it with 2 small cheap loveseats. Our current decor looks like a college lounge.
I'm betting possum or feral cat- hopefully not skunk- under your deck.
Good luck with the drive, and I hope you get some decent sleep.

Nicole MacPherson said...

HI ERNIE. Thanks for your kind words about Barkley. When he was younger he used to do what Finn is doing - follow me around, nudge, etc. In his later years he was more of a napper.
Good luck on your drive today! That's a long way to go!

Amy said...

We turned our enclosed front porch into a bedroom for one of the kids. When we forget to remind people to come to the back door, they end up at the front and have to go through her bedroom. Not at all awkward. lol! (In our defense, she moved out, so we let her younger siblings stop sharing a bedroom and each have their own, which they definitely needed. We didn't think she'd moved back in!)

Anonymous said...

First of all, we have a drink fridge in our dining room, my husband thought I was crazy when I wanted it but it is the hit of the house and people I know have bought their own. And it is completely normal for dogs to follow you around, the kids used to always ask me how it didn't drive me nuts but it got so I didn't even notice the dogs nose in my butt.

Kari said...

When my parents lived in Chattanooga, I made the drive(ish) alone with two kids. I understand because it is long. Hopefully, you'll be able to sleep while he drives. Xoxo

Kara said...

We spent last night in Georgia, as part of our cross country trip. The fireworks were ridiculous.

Weird furniture- we have a twin bed in the loft. Sheets and blankets on it. Mostly the dog sleeps on it, but the middle child likes it too (she just loves a good nap to tell you the truth). We also have a bureau in the family room that holds all of the family’s socks, kids bathing suits and the kids underwear. My husband does the laundry, but draws the line at sorting underwear and bras, so into the bureau they go.

ccr in MA said...

Oof, I hope it's not a skunk!

Ernie said...

mbmom11 - I'll say this . . . you are a good guesser. My entire house looks like a college dorm room right now, crap tossed everywhere. I think I'd prefer a college lounge - it sounds cozier and less messy.

I slept well last night, which may or may not have been influenced by a pitcher of margaritas the night before. Thanks, we made it to GA without any issues.

Ernie said...

Nicole - Of course. Finn is a nudging bandit. We made it here without issue, and you are right - it WAS a long way to go. I admit, I had a moment of WELL, IT SOUNDED LIKE A GOOD IDEA AT THE TIME as we were starting out

Ernie said...

Amy - If any of my kids ended up sleeping in a bedroom that people had to parade through as they entered the house, we'd probably lose a lot of friends. Or someone would have us investigated for living in such a state of disarray.

Ernie said...

Anonymous - See, I'm on trend with the fridge in the dining room. I knew I couldn't be the only one. Our dining room is pretty big, thank goodness. It's working for me at the moment. The kids have gotten confused when I tell them something is in the fridge and I only wave my hand in the general direction. "WHERE?" "Oh, sorry, the DINING ROOM FRIDGE."

Ernie said...

Kari - Driving that far with two young-ish kids, yikes. You are brave. I slept great last night, and long enough to not feel fuzzy in the head and exhausted while driving. I assumed I was going to feel too nervous to sleep while Reg drove, since he just got his license in early June, but I did nod off a few times. I'm hoping that he finishes early enough on Saturday that we can drive a few hours and sleep somewhere to break it up.

Ernie said...

Kara - GA fireworks, ridiculous as in they were a great show, or ridiculous as in they went on into the night while you were trying to sleep?

(throwing my hands up in defeat) You win - bureau in the family room? Although if my husband agreed to do the laundry, and having a family room bureau was part of the arrangement - I'd be all about it.

I'm with the napping daughter. A twin bed in a loft? What's not to love. Sounds inviting.

Ernie said...

ccr - It is not a skunk. Thank goodness. Ed hit a skunk in the red car a few weeks before Mini totaled it. Every time I went to get in that car for about a week, I couldn't help but think that someone was gonna think we'd just been smoking pot. Good grief, the smell.

Busy Bee Suz said...

Not only are YOU a multitasker, but your home is also.
I think the extra dining table was a good idea and will be gone before you know it.

I hope the trip to GA was uneventful and that you were able to get some rest when needed.
Have you ever tried herbal 'sleepytime' tea before bed? I find that it helps me have a more restful night.

I generally wake up at the weirdest times with an epiphany. Why can't that happen at noon?

Callie who wasn't petted for the first 8.5 years of her life will knock a coffee mug out of your hand with a not-so-gentle nudge that she needs attention. I get it.
Damn, Finn IS a gorgeous boy and he has chosen YOU.

Ummmm do you have baby deer under your deck because if so: AWWWWWW

Ernie said...

Suz - yes, our home is now arranged to make things happen, seating for large, unexpected groups who might want cold drinks or a dog to give them some luvin'.

So far the extra dining table has served Mini. That's where she wrote her grad thank you cards. Did she leave envelopes and pens and discarded beverage containers on said table, why - yes, she did.

I agree, noon epiphanies would be most timely.

Finn started a new behavior since I left for Georgia, because he wants us to think of him often. Ugh. He has chosen me. And I didn't know Callie had a no-petting period. ;(

Baby deer would be super cute, but not exactly.

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