Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Bathroom during..........................................

June 29, 2010

Does it not look fantastic!!  Yeah, okay, we are not done with the bathroom yet.  We do have a very nice hole in the wall where we can pretend we have a medicine cabinet.  We also have a bucket that if turned over becomes a toilet.  You use the pencil to make a reservation.  "Table for two" takes on a whole new meaning.

It is actually not that bad, and we should have a finished bathroom tomorrow.  We had to bring in a new guy, named Joe, to finish some things and to fix things not done correctly the first time.  When shopping for a handy man, do not ever hire someone you know your brother-in-law used to smoke pot with.  Just a tip.

So Joe is redoing the plumbing so we can use the drawers in our new vanity.  That white pipe you see in the picture has now been moved to the left.  If you can access the bathroom before photo, you will see our old sink used to be off center over there to the right.  He is moving the electric outlet so we can have electricity in our bathroom.  Neat.  He is installing a new mirror and moving the light fixture so they will be centered above the sink.  All these things sound like a good idea.  I will show you hopefully tomorrow night.

So here's what else is going on with remodel 2010.  What you see above are Beth's drawers next to the bed.  Teeeeeeheeeeee.  Who is incredibly immature?  Me and whomever else just laughed at my Beth's drawers joke. 

What you also see, are the reasons we are not done with the kitchen yet.  I dutifully cleaned all the handles we took off the cabinets only to be reminded that we are switching to satin chrome handles.  Not an issue, they were the cleanest thing we put in the garbage.  On the window sill, what you see are the hinges that used to be up that we were going to spray paint silver.  I had them cleverly labled according to what door they went with and whether they were an upper or lower.  OCD much?  Not really, I just assumed that if I did not do this, the hinges would not fit correctly and I would be frustrated and the project would be held up.  Yeah.

So spray painting the hinges did not work out.  We found and purchased new hinges which I installed today with Joe's help.  All done you ask?  No, Beth would not let me put the handles on yet since she wants to do the touch up paint first.  I did put in the new shelf liner and put most of the contents back in the cabinets.  Our front rooms no longer look like we belong on any of those hoarders shows.  Whew!  I may be able to take kitchen during photos tomorrow night.  You will see the new white cabinets and help us pick out counter tops and floors and a wall color.  We need help. 

We had a floor guy out today and a counter top refinishing guy out today.  We have done plenty of research on laminate floors and granite counter tops already, but the in-home people today did measurements and gave estimates. 

ARE YOU SERIOUS!!!!  Counter tops are $3000 for 30 square feet!!  And laminate wood floors are $1500 for 140 square feet!!  Have you seen the most recent appraisal amount for our house?  Shouldn't we just tape twenty dollar bills to the counters?  Great gooogly moooogly!

What's that Joe?  You can remove the old counter top and install laminate with a new sink for us?  You can install ceramic tile?  Joe, I think I love you!!

Hey Joe, where are you going with that caulking gun in your hand?

By the way, most faithful reader 12days, were you in our neighborhood this week?  We did have our old sink out by the street so we could have it picked up on garbage day.    A few hours later, it was missing.  Gross.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Bathroom After

I know what you are saying, Steve, those look a lot like kitchen before photos, not bathroom after photos. 

Boy, I cannot get anything past you guys.  Okay, here is what ha-happened.  In the bathroom, the vanity is installed, the sink top is installed (and looks freaking mahvelous, I think),  and the faucet has been installed.  Almost.  There was an issue with the plunger mechanism and the accordion pipe.  There was some threading that was too short thus making the connection not as tight as we would like.  Did I sound like I knew what I was talking about?  Let me remind you that there is a reason I did not do this project myself.  The tool my father used the most when I was growing up was either the phone to call someone to fix something or a high ball glass to hold while he watched someone else do the project--after he called them.  One time, I think we just moved as opposed to getting some things fixed around the house.  Therefore, my abilities were not honed as a teen.  I have learned to do some things I never thought I could, but plumbing is not something to mess around with.

We think the faucet had some bad parts in it, so Beth has bought another one, AND, installation from Lowes.  The last faucet was installed by a friend of Beth's brother (for half the price of professional installation), but you get what you pay for.  So we are having a real plumber give it a shot before we wrap up this bathroom vanity project.  He is due out on Thursday.  I was going to take an almost finished picture of the bathroom, but Beth's eyes said no while her mouth said it was okay.  Since looks can kill while words can never hurt me, I went with Beth's eyes for guidance on this one.

So the pictures you see above, if you can still scroll that far back, are of our now beginning kitchen project.  Those cabinets you see will be painted white.  Hold on, that is the man's version of what is about to happen.  First the cabinets will be washed, then sanded, then primed, then painted.  As a card-carrying dude, I would have skipped some of these steps.  I may have even skipped the take everything out of the cabinets step had Beth been out-of-town while I took care of things.  Beth out-of-town may have also meant Steve calls painter friend on phone for that part.

So I am stalling while the work needs to begin.  The Code Red Mountain Dew you saw on the counter in the picture is starting to take affect.  I should be ready soon.  The Dawn you saw in the picture above is not from Austin.  (Not all of you will get that one, just Bye Bye Pie readers). 

If my sister, the interior design graduate from the University of Cincinnati, is reading; the rest of the plans are stainless steel refrigerator and range to match the dishwasher, dark wood-like floors, a granite-like counter top that will probably be black, and a wall color from the green family.  The colors I have seen so far are light green close to the gray family.  One of them was so gray, I like to actually call it gray.  I cannot tell you the words Beth's eyes were saying after I made that comment.

Okay, I am off to work on the kitchen, wish me luck.

Friday, June 18, 2010

It is new bathroom day!!

Here is the before picture of our old vanity and sink top.  Beth had already removed the side splash and the cabinet doors.  You can see the original color of the wall tile where she removed the side splash.  The wall color is not as white as it looks in this photo, and the original wall color was a bit more mauve than it appears here.  Fortunately, the new vanity is taller and will cover that wall imperfections.  It is being installed as I type, so I will post an after picture when they are done.  Fingers crossed as it is not without some difficulty that it is taking place.

Yes, there are more males that live here than females, so the lid to the toilet seat is up.  Some morning I may find Beth wedged in the toilet, but so far she has been careful.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Oh, the hu-vanity!

June 16, 2010

Beth sure is tricky.  We were taking CJ to drum camp yesterday morning and Beth said she would buy me a cup of coffee.  She might even throw in breakfast if I wanted.  Coffee for us is a nice $1 cup of half Cappuccino, half French Roast from the AM PM store at BP.  Just in case you are one of the many folks mad at BP for the oil leak, I am mad at them also, but I think they need the money to pay for the clean up.  Therefore, I give them $5 a week for coffee.  Anyway, Beth bought my coffee and lured me out on the road for breakfast.  As it turned out, breakfast was at Ikea.  They serve a small breakfast for 99 cents in their cafeteria.  I was driving, so I really wasn't completely fooled, but I knew we needed to see "our" kitchen one last time.

On previous visits to Ikea, we had seen a model kitchen they had that we both swooned over.  The main pieces of desire were the dark cabinets and the granite counter-top.  Something about the color combination made us want it in our kitchen.  However, the more we have talked about redoing our kitchen and bathroom lately, the cabinets in the kitchen have been designated for a white assignment.  We figure either the cabinets would be white and the floors darker, or the floors lighter and the cabinets darker.  We have quite a few cabinets for such a small kitchen, and in a kitchen in a previous home Beth had made the cabinets look very nice painting them white.  Currently, they are something of a maple color.  They are tired.  Our floor is also an exhausted vinyl linoleum that has started to peel up and has lost its appeal anyway.  We really like the idea of a Pergo-esque wood floor in some sort of mocha or dark color.  The search will continue and we are still working on building resistance to the sticker shock.  We have designated the money we may have spent on vacation this year for the home remodeling of the kitchen and bath.  Since our vacation was not a trip to Europe or the Far East, we didn't designate as much money as it seems people want to redo your kitchen or bath.  I will keep you updated on the kitchen as I know you are intrigued.

However, we have made progress on the bathroom.  Gone are the whimsical dreams of the $800 vanity that Beth found on-line.  I think she was partly sold by the guest service person who helped her on the phone.  I personally hate it when I go to try to buy something and the salesman doesn't seem as interested in selling me the item as I am in buying it.  For a package of toilet paper, no problem.  For an expensive new floor, I want some butt-smooching.  Ron at the flooring store was not interested.  It may have been past his bed time even though it was noon.  He is another example of someone who would have liked to retire at 65, but still needs to work due to this wonderful economy.  Anyway, Sarah at the vanity on-line place was so nice that Beth was ready to plunk down $800 for a vanity.  It started when Beth was surprised that Sarah answered the phone right away and you did not have to go through an automated menu to get to a real-live person.  Sarah told Beth she could punch 1 on her keypad if she wanted, but she would still be right there.  Polite sarcasm, love it.

Anyway, as we went through our 4th store yesterday (yes, I do love my wife), we decided that the $200 vanity would work just marvelously.  Couple with the $170 sink top we found at The Home Depot, this Lowe's vanity would give us the look we are hoping for.  We also have a family friend who can handle the installation.  Friday is new bathroom day.  Maybe I can figure out how to take a before/after photo so you can not only see how the look changes, but what it will be like to go from a 30" tall vanity to a 34" tall vanity.  This should be a nice change for CJ as I see him continuing to grow, but if Beth and I start shrinking, it could be a problem.  Bummer.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

95 and hasn't lost a step

June 13, 2010

Today is Aunt Retta's birthday.   Aunt Retta is Beth's great aunt on her mother's side.  Officially, she is Sister Miriam Thomas since she entered the Sister's of Charity order back in the 1930s.  Today she turned 95 years old.  She is one of the sweetest people you would ever want to meet, and I am not just saying that because she has been known to say I am one of the most handsome men she has ever met.  By the way, you know it is forbidden for a nun to lie, right?  She says her father and me are the two most handsome men.  I do realize that Aunt Retta falls right in line with my normal demographic-older women and very little girls.  Please do not stray into the gutter, these are the age demographics of females who find me good-looking.  For the record, pregnant African American women have been known to want some of this, but that is another story for another time.

So Aunt Retta was telling stories today, and my favorite reflects not only how long she has been on this earth, but how times have changed.  She told us how cars had just come into being and some of the wealthier city-folk were replacing their horse and buggy transportation with motor cars.  She and a friend thought that this was strange and used to go out to the street and yell things at these people when they would drive by.  She and her friend would yell, "Get a horse!"  Can you believe it?  The trash talk?  Do you think she had to confess this sin before she entered the convent?  Whew, times have changed.

Several sisters kept stopping by to to say Happy Birthday to Sister Mariam/Aunt Retta, and it was rather obvious that she was both respected and well-liked.  One of the sisters who stopped in was Sister Mary Eunice.  She had time for a couple stories and was quite entertaining.  She explained that her name meant bitter victory.  She had looked it up, probably in her I-Phone, and found that Mary means bitter and Eunice means victory.  Beth's given name is Mary Elizabeth which is the same as her mom's (no really...Mary Elizabeth, Jr.), and she was aware that Mary meant bitter or contrary.  Sister Mary Eunice went on the explain that her name came from the anxiety she had over her calling.  Her mother had informed her that she had given her up to God at the age of 3 months.   Sister wasn't real excited at this prospect as a little girl.  So she went into a closet of their house in which she knew her father had just installed a new light bulb.   I don't think it was one of those energy efficient ones as Sister Mary Eunice is about 80 years old.  Anyway, when she got into the closet, she closed the door and told herself that if she pulled the chain on the light and it did not turn on, she would carry out her mother's will.  Of course, she pulled, the light did not go on.  She looked at the Heavens and said, "just kidding."
Eventually, when she was 16, she consulted a priest who said that she only needed to have three qualities to enter the convent.  First, she had to go through life avoiding mortal sin.  Check.  Second, she had to be good at doing what she was told.  Check.  And finally, she had to be a good eater.  Apparently, Sister was a little heavy as a teen, so she qualified again.  She went directly across the street to the convent and rang the bell.  The rest is history. 

Now when my family and I used to belong to a local Catholic Church, they used to have open houses for young women of the parish who were interested in joining the order.  I always wondered why they offered pizza as part of the gathering, but I guess now I know.

We had a tremendous time and look forward to seeing Aunt Retta for her 96th birthday.

Congrats to Team USA for their tie with England in the World Cup yesterday.  Lucky goal, but in the end all that matters is the score.  A victory over Slovenia on Friday would put them in good shape for reaching round two.

Today is the last day of my vacation.  Sniff.   I must go and console myself. 

Friday, June 11, 2010

We may need an intervention. Or two.

June 11, 2010

We are home.  We decided that CJ's allergies and semi-boredom level were getting the best of him, so we were better off getting home a little earlier than originally planned.  He missed his PS3 a little too much.  We may need to take him on the show where family members gather together to tell one member that they need to save themselves by getting off the alcohol or drugs.  I do not think PS3 is ruining CJ's life quite to that degree, but he did whisper sweet-nothings to it when we walked in the door.  Something about never leaving her again...creepy.  However, he is down there playing right now and talking on his headset with his friend.  He seems to be telling lots of stories about his cousins.  They are all stories about how cute they were singing there little songs and jumping on him and such.  I think he really did like them and misses them.  If there had been some cousins around more his age, we would probably have stayed longer than anticipated.

Speaking of missing someone, Beth is having major withdrawal symptoms.  She has buried herself in laundry and caulking the shower in an effort to not miss the little munchkins so much.  In one breath she asked if I would invite them to visit us soon, and in the next told me she was caulking the darn shower because I have been known to invite random guests to our home.  (I have done this once in 19 years).  

I think the missing someone thing might be mutual, unless my sister was pulling my leg last night.  I sent her a text to let her know we made it home safely.  Earlier in the trip she had texted us that Beth had left her pajamas in Atlanta.  We were too far away to circle around, so Beth told her that she was allowed to burn them or put them out for garbage day.  It may have been time for Beth to buy new ones anyway.  Parting with her bubby was going to take another form of intervention similar to that of Michael Keaton and his flannel shirt in Mr. Mom.  However, after I texted my sister of our arrival, she texted back that there were three kids missing their Aunt Beth so much that they were sleeping with her pajamas.  Beth may have teared up a bit after that one.   I did not want to find out my sister was only joking. 

As for me, I miss that crazy bunch too.  Beth, CJ, and I helped out yesterday by cutting the grass.  Kay's house is on a rather large lot next to a pond.  It is hilly and looked like a handful to cut with three kids running around.  So we found a couple of working mowers and had at it.  I reminded myself of a couple helpful expressions as I cut into the underbrush.  Leaves of three, let them be.  Beware the moving sticks.  Poison Ivy and snakes were not memories I wanted to have of Atlanta.  Fortunately, with red clay as dirt in Atlanta, there isn't really a lot of grass to cut.  It is mostly weeds, thin grass, or ivy.  It did not take too long and we got it done before the heat got too bad.  I wanted Kay to have some good memories of our stay when she looked at her yard.  At least for a couple weeks. 

When we were leaving, it kind of dawned on Kay and myself that this was the best quality time we had ever spent together.  She and I were not way close through our teen-age years and had gone our separate ways for college and our lives thereafter.  Whenever we have gotten together after that, it has usually been at by brother's house in Louisville.  Kay and my brother have kept in touch a little better and have gone on family vacations together.  I have never made it to those.  They also usually get together in Atlanta around Thanksgiving.  I cannot make that kind of trip being a slave to retail and all.  Therefore, I think this trip was not only good to see the kids, but for Kay to see that I do really like her and am not such a big meanie.  We hugged a couple times before we departed and it was nice.   Sniff.

Okay, it is time to wrap up as the World Cup soccer tournament starts soon and I will be one of the few Americans watching.  The USA plays tomorrow against England.  I am hoping for a draw, but we will see.  If any of you care, let me know and we can double our fan interest.  Until then...

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Fish can be works of art.

June 10, 2010

We are still at my sister's house in Atlanta.  We have been having a great time catching up with my sister and her adorable children.  There have been things that have happened that have made my sister groan.  When I ask what's wrong, she replies that she is just worried that this stuff is going to end up in my blog.  I had to tell her about my new rule that states:  no one that I know, yet don't live with can be made fun of in my blog.  I don't want anyone to not want to be around me for fear that something they say or do will become blog fodder.  It is mostly due to my coworkers because they would rather embarrass themselves on Face book, but that way they get to pick their moments.  That leaves me writing good things about coworkers and extended family, or poking fun at strangers and Beth or CJ.  They love me and cannot stay mad at me forever.  Beth and CJ, not the strangers.

That being stated, I do need to tell you about our activities the past couple days down here.  Yesterday included a trip to downtown Atlanta and the Fish Museum.  At least that is what my nephew calls the Georgia Aquarium.  We love that name and it is semi-appropriate.  If you have never been to the GA Aquarium, it is fantastic.  A lot of money was donated by one of the founders of The Home Depot, and it has become the largest aquarium in The United States.  I am not going to be very factual here as I do not have time to Google facts and I did not memorize them while there.  I am on my sister's computer, and time is limited.  However, I can tell you that there are four or five exhibits there and in each one are things that make you say wow.  It kept 3 little kids entertained for several hours, so mission accomplished there.  We even ate lunch there and Beth was very relieved when my meal was actually chicken fingers and not fish sticks.  I hope I have some photos for you when we get back home as the youngest niece insisted on wearing her Tinkerbell costume to the museum and was quite the hit on the train ride down there.  It is always good when you can make commuters on their way to work smile in the morning.

We went to a petting zoo Tuesday that was some sort of wild animal game ranch.  Pretty limited on the facts again, but we were able to pet and feed wild animals such as deer, squirrels, chipmunks, ducks, pigs, wild cats, and rabbits.  The bear exhibit did not include petting but an informative session was led by a game warden named Lefty.  We listened closely when he said to be careful feeding the bears.  The best part was when we got to the bunny rabbit enclosure.  The visitors are allowed in, provided they follow two rules:  do not chase the rabbits and do not pick up the rabbits.  The older children did very well with the rules, but the youngest really liked to chase the rabbits with full intent to pick up the rabbits.  What surprised me the most was that she was able to catch the rabbits and pick them up.  Future sprinter, that one.

So I better get off of here so I can watch Wacky Races cartoons and eat my homemade freezer pop.  Good times had by all.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

I know why God makes little kids cute.

June 8, 2010

Here we are at my sister's house in Atlanta.  We just got finished eating a wonderful meal of homemade Chinese food.  Beth and I took the two older kids with us to see The Cyclorama and to go to Target.  We took CJ with us as well.  Cyclorama is an historic sight of a mural and diorama of the Civil War.  It more specifically depicts the Battle of Atlanta.  I am not so much into the historical references, but the artwork amazes me.  This is the third time I have been there, but the first time in 20 years or so.  I had never taken Beth there, and CJ had never been either.  He actually liked it.  Keep in mind that he is 13 and does not love history.  Those two aspects made it unlikely he would like this place.  However, he paid attention and even asked a question of the presenter at the end.  You can google Cyclorama, but I will tell you that if you live near here, it is a 30 minute experience that is pretty cool.

As for the trip down, it went very well.  You learn how much you like the people you are with by being in the car with them for over 6 hours.  We encountered no bad weather of traffic issues.  Sure, I had to have a conversation with the other drivers who pass you on the down hill and then you have to pass back on the up hill.  Does your vehicle not have cruise control?  Is it too complicated to push these buttons and set the accelerator?  I guess you can drive however you want, but when I have my seat reclined and my feet up on the steering wheel getting a good stretch, it annoys me when I have to hit the brake to disengage the cruise control.  Perhaps I need a highway just for me.

I think I need to go so this family can talk to their dad.  Steve Out.

My sister and her husband just had a Skype call from Qatar.  If you have read before, you know that is where he has deployed to until September, and that is also why we are visiting my sister.  No, not because we did not want to see her husband, but because three kids with no spouse can be a handful.  CJ has had it reinforced that he loves being an only child, and Beth and I realize that God only gives you what He thinks you can handle.  One great kid, that's it for us.  My sister does a wonderful job with these little rugrats, and they are adorable.  One will be in First grade next year, another in Kindergarten, and the third is still in diapers.  They are cute because it makes you forget the times when they are bickering, or when they are whining, or when they are honest with you.  You also do not look for revenge when they jump off the couch onto your family jewels.  I am thinking about wearing a cup.  Little kids do not have a censor yet, so they do not shy away from telling you that your breath is bad, or your face is funny, or you're going the wrong way on the highway. 

So we will continue to have some fun with these guys, and we will see if we can also entertain a 13 year-old with no PS3 or unlimited computer access.  It is like we went through a time machine all the way back to the 1970's.  What DID we do for fun back then?

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Perhaps beer is good for you.

June 5, 2010

Vacation, day 1.  I have been waiting for this break from work, and they have probably been waiting for this break from me.  They made it seem like they were going to miss me, but they were just being nice.

So, tomorrow is our departure for Atlanta to see my sister (unless you are reading this to gauge when to break into our home, then we actually don't leave until 6/12).  Today we are volunteering for Target down at the Lung Walk in Cincinnati.  There will not actually be lungs walking, but I think it is meant to raise money and awareness for prevention and treatment of Lung Cancer.  Several members of my store are meeting me down there to volunteer.  I told the smokers it would probably not be a good idea for them to choose this event as their one volunteer event of the year.  Yes, we have mandatory volunteer events.  Oxymoronic much?

We have been home from the walk for awhile and have also accomplished some clothes shopping for vacation.  No time like the last minute.  In reality, the only time I can get Beth to buy clothes is when we are going on vacation.  I know, who is the lucky dude?  I am.  My wife does not spend money on clothes.  Won the wife lottery there I did.

So the walk was a bit boring, but otherwise not very exciting.  We did our share by cheering on the walkers and finding a short-cut for the walkers who were taking an hour longer to walk the course than everyone else.  To be fair, they did both have canes and it was great that they were showing support for a lost relative-someone named "Paw".  Apparently, he will be missed.  We then helped clean up the event and avoided any participation in the air guitar contest that was going on.  I have done my one stint in an air guitar contest that finished with me fully dressed in a pool.  If I have never told that story before, perhaps another time.  I will need to revisit my own past posts.

In two bits of other news, Diane and 12days, the sound you are not hearing is our new dishwasher.  It is running right now and the only issue I foresee is that I will have no idea when it is done.  Weird, the technology.  Beth picked this one out.  Scratch and dent days are gone.

Finally, Beth and I actually went out the other night.  I haven't posted much about going out shenanigans because we rarely do anything social that does not involve CJ.  However, we went to a local church's summer festival on Friday night.  A coworker of Beth's had texted her that a band they liked would be there.  Beth had worked with one of the band members 20 years ago, so she wanted to see if she could tell which one he was in the band.  It took some doing, but Beth finally had to ask the sound crew which one he was.  No hard liven for him, apparently, he looked good. 

However, while Beth was checking out the band, I saw the wife of my college roommate walk by.  I was friends with her too back at Xavier, but her husband and I always got along great and it was good to know he was in the neighborhood.  I have not done a good job keeping up with anyone from college since I had moved away with Kmart when I was in my early 20's.  By the time I moved back to Cincinnati, either we had lost touch, they were busy with their own families, or they had moved out of town.  So Brian and I had a beer together at the festival and caught up on things.  We may even be able to get together with our other college dorm mates as one is moving back from Tennessee soon and Brian has kept up with a couple of the others.  One he has kept up with is a guy who is married to a girl I dated for two years at Xavier until she cheated on me with him while I was away for a weekend.  I see them around about once a year, and it is still a bit awkward.  Perhaps that will make for good blog fodder one of these days.  I am surprising myself with some blog topics for later that I didn't remember I had in the crevices of my brain.  It is weird how suddenly drinking beer is jogging old memories.  I thought it was supposed to have the opposite effect.  Maybe I better go buy a 12 pack and see if I can remember what I did with my first wedding ring.  Oh look, another story!!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

How many states are there?

June 2, 2010

Vacuum guy came to visit this morning.  Beth digs vacuum guy.  If she weren't already hooking up with bring home the paycheck guy, she would totally cheat with vacuum guy.  However, I was thinking of wearing a muscle tee while I vacuumed, so how could she resist that?  I know that since I am from Kentucky that I am supposed to call it a wife-beater, but I am already expecting hate mail from Oregon and Georgia; why add Kentucky to the list?  "Because they can't write", the people from Ohio say.  It is not a pretty border war up here. 

Why did the people of Ohio build the bridge across the Ohio river?  So they could swim across in the shade.

Why do the people of Tennessee paint their garbage cans orange and blue?  So their kids think they are eating at Howard Johnson's.

Grade school was perhaps not as affective for learning as my parents had hoped.  We were kinda busy with smack talk against bordering states.  We might never have learned anything if, your mama is so fat jokes, had made their way to Kentucky back then.

So it is not a wife-beater.  Didn't take too long to make that point, did it?

Yes, I remembered to hang the throw rugs on the back porch so Beth would know I was vacuuming.  Beth came home while the project was still in progress, so I made sure there was a lot of noise, some expletives, and plenty of furniture moving so she would understand what an undertaking this project is.  She must have caught on, because the big salad I just finished for lunch was way delicious.

In other news, we went to visit Beth's mom yesterday while Beth's twin brother, Chuck, was at her home.  He was hauling away the remnants of a chipped stump from the back yard.  We were going to help, but he said he was alone on the project.  Twisted our arms till they hurt to get us away from shoveling mulch in 90 degree humidity.  We did get a funny story out of the deal though. 

We had given him our gazebo/tea house out of our back yard not long after we moved in.  He hauled it out to his house and plopped it on his property.  He did not realize that it was going to increase his property value and, thus, his property taxes.  He is now hoping no one stops by to reassess since he recently built a new structure something like a shed out back.  He is calling it a tree house.  Beth has helped him with his story by saying to tell the property assessor that they planted a tree, built the tree house on top of the seedling, and are waiting for the tree to grow and lift the tree house up with it. 

Boy, these people in Ohio are smart.  Rats, more hate mail from another state.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Beth is the best Aunt ever!!

June 1, 2010

We don't get to see my sister or her children very often due to geography. 

Hold that thought, CJ's school bus just went by our house at the normal time it used to when school was in session.  I would sit here on Tuesdays after CJ walked to the bus stop and wait for the bus to drive by.  CJ would be cringing as I always threatened to be out in our front yard waving, or holding a sign, or blowing kisses or something equally annoying.  So, do you think the bus driver got the memo?  School is done for the year.  Will she continue to drive her route every day until someone stops her?  Will she become a big rolling ice cream bus during the summer?  Instead of the theme to The Sting, or A Small World, the speakers will be blaring math facts. 

I gotta believe trying to get kids to buy ice cream from a school bus would be an epic fail.  Unless of course, you offered them Silly Bandz as an incentive.  That is the segue I needed to get back on topic.  You could probably even skip the ice cream if you were selling Silly Bandz from a school bus/ice cream truck/scary van. 

Silly Bandz and their knock-off cousin, Goofy Bands, are how Aunt Beth became the hero to one little boy this summer. 

My nephew is the middle child between two sisters.  He is not mistreated or left out as his dad is a military guy and there is always plenty of sports or rough-housing going on.  He has plenty of toys from the Cars movie and Toy Story.  Don't worry about him.  However, dad is out of the country right now, and Silly Bandz became huge after dad got deployed.

For those of you who do not have children or any need to watch Nickelodeon, (or live out in God's country..say Oregon), Silly Bandz are simply a rubber band bracelet in the shape of an animal or princess necessity.  You wear them, then take them off, and they stay in the shape of the dress, wand, or monkey they started in.  They are incredibly hard to find in stores right now.  You can trade gold for Silly Bandz.  Straight up.  There are desparate moms out there.

I asked my sister what the kids were into down there in Georgia as we plan to spoil them a bit when we visit.  We were told Silly Bandz.  I gotta believe my sister had some revenge in her heart when she uttered this phrase.  Did she know Beth and I would do whatever it took to come through on this request?  She also, correctly, calculated the fact that my kid is 13 and not into Nickelodeon any more.  We would have no idea of rubber band bracelet phenomena.  Years of torment as a younger sister were washed away by telling me that her children would really like to have some new sea animal or princess Silly Bandz. 

So on to the Internet we went.  We found out where these Bandz were being sold, and got in the car.  We thought maybe it was only a Georgia fad and had not made its way to Cincinnati yet.  We temporarily forgot that nothing happens in Georgia first in the way of fashion trends.  People down there still have Chia Pets and Pet Rocks on their Christmas lists.  Maybe we will be able to "clap on" this time when we get to our hotel room.

DISCLAIMER:  Georgia people, that was sarcasm.  At your expense, yes, but sarcasm nonetheless. 

I will be visiting Georgia this upcoming week and want to make it out alive.  All in good fun, Georgians.

Back to this saga.  So our car trip to 3 stores quickly netted one pack of a Silly Band knock-off at Party City.  We did not know how grateful we needed to be for these.  Everywhere else we went was sold out. 

The next day at Target, we received Goofy Bands.  I looked at them, saw they were in shapes of fast food, military stuff, and something else not princess or animal related.  I arrived home, told Beth about not purchasing these Goofy Bands since they were not what was requested (and that they were $5 for a 24 pack).  Beth looked at me, frowned, and said, "You're right, there is no way Ben would want anything military related."  Once again, sarcasm comes into play as an effective form of communication. 

In the car we were, Goofy Bands were purchased, and immediately shipped to Georgia.  Two days later, my sister and 5 year-old Ben are on the phone telling Beth how she was the best aunt ever and how she had made Ben's whole month. 

Who will be welcomed into my sister's house with open arms?  No, not favorite, cool, blood-relative Uncle Steve.  Cool Aunt Beth, that's who.