Monday, March 24, 2014

You know what? That's not sanitary.

Every time I buy myself new underwear, I face a strange ethical dilemma of my own making. 
Since my husband was diagnosed as Asperger's, I've been exploring new thinking and old thinking, true thinking and untrue thinking.  Ethical dilemmas about underwear falls under the category of old thoughts.  I'm going to write about it. 
It's fun to buy new underwear.  New underwear holds so much promise.  It's fresh.  It's bright.  It fits better.  Sometimes it's sexy so that when you walk from your bureau to your bathroom wearing just your underwear, your husband grunts at you when you cross in front of the television.
My old underwear was still in good shape but it was falling off my behind. This is part of my ethical dilemma and old thinking...spending perfectly good money on new underwear when the old underwear hasn't worn itself so thin that you could tell if I was circumcised or not.
That joke doesn't work because I'm a girl.  I haven't got a better one so you'll just have to stay with that imagery.  Let me know when you're finished.
The second part is after I've decided to buy underwear that will stay on my body, I hesitate to throw away the old underwear, because there might be a perfectly good use for all that cotton knit.
I want to emphasize right here and now that my old underwear did indeed end up in the trash.  New thinking eventually won out.  All my old underwear went right into the trash.  After I washed them.  Because you never know where your underwear is going to end up once you've thrown it away so they might as well be clean.
Old thinking...that's the thinking I had when my hoarding Grandma was still alive, when I was growing up on the farm, when I was a dirt poor newly married mother in college.  The thinking that you use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without. 

That platitude is fine and dandy when it comes to a lot of things.  There are some days of the month that it's way better to wear your old saggy underwear than to do without.  But making do or wearing something out has it's limits in polite society.   There are never days where it's better to figure out how to crochet a rag rug for your mud room out of strips of past due granny panties.
Yes, that is where my old thinking took me.  It's fun to recycle!
When my new underwear gets old, I'm looking forward to deciding against crafting with them.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

It takes a lot of work to get a toilet to flush properly.

Last November, my child was cleaning his bathroom and told me that there was an issue with the toilet.
Expecting a little leak in the water feed, I soon found that the issue had grown into a flood.  That's the term to use when the toilet flushes and the flush goes out from under the toilet all over my floor.
I thought I only had to replace a toilet seal and we'd be good.  Upon closer inspection I discovered I also had to replace the tile around the toilet and the vanity to the side.  Luckily I did not have to replace drywall.
On the whole, not good.  I was annoyed at first but soon I was overcome by the tingling sensation of HOME IMPROVEMENT!  This is an activity I enjoy very much even when I cause myself bodily harm while doing it.  I could brag about bruising myself but instead I'm going to brag about an ultimately successful bathroom makeover.
The before photo of the boy's bathroom of yuck and doom:
Unusable!  But then, all by myself, I:
Removed the sink and faucet.
Removed the vanity.
Removed the toilet.
Removed tile.
Ground the cement flooring around the toilet flange more level.
Installed a new toilet flange and seal.
Cut and installed new tile and grout.
Installed a new vanity.
Shortened a drawer in the vanity to allow for plumbing.
Resurfaced my old countertop.
Installed the old sink.
Plumbed and installed a new faucet.
Plumbed and installed the toilet.
Installed bead board paneling.
Installed new trim.
Installed a new wall cabinet.
Installed a new light fixture.
Installed new bathroom hardware.

My husband reads my list over my shoulder and begins to sing, "All by myself...I wanna be...All by myself!"

He might be too, if he keeps that up.  He can't hit one correct note out of five.
Anyhow, after photos of the boy's bathroom of dry and awesome!

I cannot recommend enough the product I used to refinish old laminate countertop.  I used one kit to do my kitchen counters more than a year ago.  They've held up to hard use fabulously.  That's why it was easy to choose this product again.  Daich Coating has paid me nothing for the recommendation for it's Spreadstone Countertop Finishing Kit, nor will they ever have to.  At $125 dollars and free shipping, the kit covers 50 square feet of ugly counter without odor, mess or much hassle.  It comes in several colors.  I chose ivory.
I chose this color blue as it matched my master bathroom.  I like this color so much that I painted my kitchen bar this weekend.  It adds a lot to the whole room. 

Next up, refitting my pantry.  I love power tools.

Wednesday, March 05, 2014

An Open Letter to Rachel Canning (Who I know nothing about, except what I saw in the news and could glean from her Facebook page.)

All day I've been chuckling over the news story of the eighteen year old New Jersey high school student suing her parents for support.

Have a YouTube:

Dear Rachel,
I apologize for chuckling, but I laugh because, oh girly, you don't know how good ya had it.

...and you don't know how good you're about to have it.

Because when you are eighteen years old, you've graduated high school, you've got a job, you're living on your own, and you're paying your own way, you can make all your own choices and do exactly as you like.

That's the gift your parents have given you and the gift Judge Peter Bogaard has given you.  The opportunity to make it on your own steam.  The opportunity to know exactly what you are capable of.  The opportunity to find value in what you've worked for.  The opportunity to take responsibility for and learn from the consequences of your own mistakes.

That makes you one lucky young woman.  You can take that and run.

As a parent of a kid just older than you are, a kid just younger than you are (who I would have named Rachel had he been a girl), and a kid a decade behind you, I can't say that your family life and rules were much different than in my house, not that my telling you so would make you feel any better this evening.

...Well except that I didn't provide my oldest with a car, because he didn't meet the line we'd drawn as parents to earn that privilege.  Had he met that line, he would have had to pay for his own gas and his own car insurance.  My other kids won't find the car rules any different.  Otherwise, their legs aren't painted on.

We don't provide our kids with cell phones unless they can demonstrate a need for them, and then if they do need them, they will have to find a way to earn money to pay for it, and there will still be parental controls in place.  Portable wifi-capable devices for kids aren't allowed in my home.  If they are minding their manners they can access all that on the desktop in the family room where I can monitor them.

We weren't going to finance a private school education because that money just wasn't in the bank.  Public school can be a great education if you work at it.  Likewise, we are limited in funding extracurricular activities and school social functions, both because it's not in the bank and because those extras and a social life are earned, not given.  Nor are we banking entire college educations because if they are responsible for half of it or more, it won't be a wasted experience.  Scholarships are much emphasized any way you can get them.  (Someday let me tell you about the whiny over-funded girl I stared down in one of my college classes.  Her sense of entitlement was outrageous.)

We wouldn't allow our kids to continue in those extracurricular activities at all, despite great grades and scholarship offers, if they had been caught drinking under age or had ever been suspended from school.  Even if their cheer leading squad had earned a spot at nationals.  In my house that's serious and won't be tolerated.  If there is any drug use at all I'm going to be the first one to call the authorities.

We scrutinize and judge the kids my kids hang out with and my kids know it.  If we have to limit time with those kids, friends or romantic interests, we will, because that is our job and our right.  Again, a social life is earned, not given.

While in my home, even if my kids are living with us at age 35 which I hope they are not unless it was an emergency, they will still have to be polite, be orderly, be a contributor to the household, and let us know how late they will be when they are out.  When they are under eighteen these are rules meant to help them develop into considerate adults and to keep them safe.  When they are over eighteen these are expected because I will have raised considerate adults.

With all this I remind my kids exactly what I said above...when you're 18, job, paying your own bills, yada yada, do what you like.  I'm serious about that too.  If they want to ride the roller coaster with the rest of the grownups, I won't stop them from that point on, with all the fun grownup stuff that entails.

I'm told that my kids will hate me and my husband for our house rules.  That's okay.  I comfort myself with the fact that neurologically it won't last.  You see, the last parts of the brain to develop in young adulthood are those governing decision making and impulse control.  (Those are the same bits that make the terrible twos such a laugh riot until the kid is four years old.)   When they get older they will be able to see why I laid down the law.  By the time they have teenagers of their own they'll see it clearer than ever. 
Hopefully, and before you've done too much damage, you'll understand more of why you're parents demanded of you what they demanded of you...and I say that knowing that I have no experience with your family life and I live clear across the country in Podunkville.  From the looks of things clear over here your life has been blessed and what you've been asked to give has not been at all unreasonable.

The path you've chosen is not an easy one.  Choose it you did and you are entitled to exactly what adulthood is.
It will make you into a better woman.  Woman.  Not the girl you are now.  Count on it. 

(Ask me how I know.)

Monday, March 03, 2014

Defying Gravity

So, Ellen broke the Twitters and Oscar ratings were the highest in years.
Good!  Because I love The Oscars.  I don't get a flying duck about any other award show that famous people show up at to give each other warm and fuzzy feelings but The Oscars holds a place in my heart.
I say this even though it's been years since any of the films nominated were presented through the medium of interpretive dance.  Selfies aren't quite as interpretive but at least Kevin Spacey was in there.
So, it's my pretense and my pleasure to bestow upon Hollywood the Absent Minded Oscars Best Dressed and Worst Dressed awards.
This year I had an easy time of it.  My best dressed stood out from the beginning and though 97% of the attendees were dressed well, our winner for Best Supporting Actress was stunning.
Lupita Nyong'o chose a simple style, a daring well tailored decolletage, and a color that stood above all the neutral tones you usually see at The Oscars.  Lovely.

And the worst dressed.  This also stood out from the beginning, even though a bra-less Liza Minnelli got a chuckle, and near had me rolling on the floor.
Out of all the pregnant ladies attending, Elsa Pataky took her glow a wee bit too far.  It's difficult to shove a nine month pregnant body into an evening gown and I've never had to do so, but I do know that if the occasion had arose I wouldn't have gathered my sheer beaded tent under my belly and revealed all that side boob at the same time.
Special appearances of my side boobs are reserved for trips to the grocery store and make out sessions in automatic carwashes.
...and I am so out of milk.

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