Friday, November 14, 2014

On Washers, Friends, Critters, and Gross Stuff...and the Weather, Because that's My Thing, TToT #74

Can we all just agree that our first thankful is that we don't live in Minnesota where a foot of snow fell this week?  And we can also be thankful that we don't live in Denver either, where the actual temperature was -23 or some such ridiculous number.

And for any readers who do live in Minnesota or Denver...sorry.  I don't know what you could possibly be thankful for this week.  If I were you, I'd be huddled in my blanket fort, whining and wailing about the unfairness of life.

So, even though I am living in a place that has a dusting of snow on the ground and temperatures which refuse to go above the freezing mark, I can find some things for which to be thankful.  I don't have it as bad as those schmuks in the north or in the mountains.

3.  We did have one gorgeous day on Monday.  We took advantage and played/worked outside as much as possible.

4.  Mrs. G is thrilled to bits about us getting her yard raked.  We're not done yet, but we've made a significant dent in the work.  Last night I was approached by a woman who asked me, "Are you the guardian angel who takes care of Mrs. G's yard?  She calls you "my girl".  She appreciates you and your family so much."  Apparently Mrs. G talks about us a lot.  I've heard the same thing from her hairdresser.  I'm so glad we were paired with her 4 years ago, and that my kids are so willing to help her out each year.

5.  I'm very grateful for our working furnace.  While our house is never toasty warm, it is above the freezing.  With a few layers, I can be warmish.

6.  Giant and Star's coach has been bringing them home after most practices.  It has been a huge help.

7.  Making the move to high school is a big deal, for both the kids and the parents.  When they are in elementary and middle school, they are in a bubble.  A bubble full of people we know.  When they move on to high school, they move into an environment full of strangers.  They talk about people I have never heard of or met.  It's quite an adjustment.  This week, the high school has it's musical, and we had 4 tickets.  All of our older boys had practice, so I took Buttercup and two of her friends.  It was nice to spend time with them and get to know the people she talks so much about.

8.  I have officially used my washer and dryer for the last time.  New ones are being installed this weekend.  It's been two years in the making, and I cannot be more excited.  Don't expect much out of me next week.  I'll be washing all the things!  Stuffed animals!  Blankets!  Curtains!  Clean, clean, clean!!!

9.  As happens every year, with the harvest ending and the cold temperatures moving in, field mice descended on our house.  For a few days, the kids were forever telling me, "I just saw a mouse".  Every time I went in the basement, I caught a glimpse of one running off to hide.  Bryan was out of town, and I can't stand mice, so I needed backup.  I told Phoenix that it was time for him to learn a new skill he would need when he moved out on his own.  He helped me set the 12 snap traps I purchased, and when we caught one, he disposed of it for me.  We caught several more since then, and it's been at least 3 days since I saw any sign of a live mouse running around.  Hopefully we're at the end of the infestation.

10.  With the cold weather, I was forced to do inside chores.  For some reason, I tackled all of the grossest ones first.  Not only did I clean out the drains, but the worst was changing the toilet lids in the two bathrooms the kids use.  You know that phrase, "where the sun doesn't shine"?  I have discovered that there isn't a single place where the pee doesn't "shine". I won't get any more graphic than that, just in case you are eating while you read.

While I am thankful to have the new, clean seats, it is the kids' reactions that I'm really thankful for.

We had to discuss the new lids many times that first day, since each time a child came out of a bathroom he exclaimed, "Hey, you got a new toilet!"

Cuckoo made me cringe and laugh at the same time when he said, "The lid doesn't make a sound no matter how hard I try to close it!"  (I bought the slow-close lids.)

Who knew that a bunch of kids could be so excited about new toilet lids?  I guess my strategy of not buying them anything, ever, is paying off.  :)

This week in my never-ending travels I am off to Kentucky for my annual shopping excursion with my mom and sister.  I am always grateful for the time I get to spend with them, almost as grateful as I am to get a few clothes for myself without having little kids in the dressing room with me.

What's shining moments have you had this week?

Have a lovely day!




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52 comments:

  1. 1.-2. You and me, both, sister.
    3. We did, too! 80 degrees! Mother Nature is cruel.
    5. Especially without working fireplaces.
    7. I can't keep up with all the new names since high school.
    8. Lucky!
    9. My offer still stands for me to bring Ruby. Do you consider those snap traps to be disposable, because I certainly do.
    10. I can only imagine what I have times 5.
    Happy shopping!

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    1. 1. I know, 'cause we're twins.
      3. She certainly likes to mess with us.
      5. Especially.
      7. So many new names. I didn't know any of them last year, seeing as how the oldest doesn't talk. I'm basically having to learn twice the number of names now.
      8. You have no idea.
      9. When I'm having to dispose of the mouse, they most certainly are. Bryan reuses them.
      10. Don't imagine it. You'll be scarred for life.
      Thanks! It was fun!

      Delete
  2. It's been cold and stormy for the last few days where I live, but I'm thankful we haven't had the first snow yet.

    Have a great weekend.

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    1. Cold and stormy isn't any fun, either. Hope your snow holds off for a good long time.
      Thanks!

      Delete
  3. We got hit with snow pretty good too this week and more coming so I know this time it's not going to melt. I'm pretty sure we got the last of our mice too. My husband made this huge trap. It's a board and attached to it there are 4 or 5 snap traps. He wrote across it "The Death Zone". It usually does the trick as the mice usually come in through the kitchen.

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    1. Oh, I'm sorry to hear about your snow. Stay safe driving in it!
      Wow! Your husband is serious about his mouse trapping! Ours come in from different spots in the basement. There are plenty of ways for them to get in, seeing as the house is old and still has a coal shoot. We have to place traps everywhere.

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  4. I've got two boys - there isn't a single place within a two foot radius where the pee doesn't shine.

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    1. It boggles the mind how thoroughly they miss the toilet bowl.

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  5. I totally get the toilet seat thing. I asked for a new one for a birthday present, thinking it would be an easy thing. We don't have round or oblong, we have squarish, ovalish. Special order. I finally got it right before the house guest came last week and it was installed after she got there. So it was sitting on the family room table when she first arrived. But, oh, well, it's family. The slow close lids must be awesome. Stay warm.

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    1. Hahaha!! This makes me laugh for so many reasons. Glad you finally got the new seat installed. :)

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  6. I am really weird and would prefer to use layers and blankets to stay warm than a heater. Heaters always make my sinus's hurt and then thinking is really hard.

    NEW WASHER AND DRYER!!! I am so jealous! OUrs is dying but it is not something we can replace anytime soon.

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    1. I know. The heat really does dry out the air and cause me some problems. Our heat isn't on very high. We're still bundled up in the house.

      I'M SO EXCITED!! Our washing machine hasn't spun the clothes out in about a year. We've had to wring them out before putting them in the dryer, and the dryer was on its last legs, so it took three hours to dry the clothes. Not good when we have 8 people in the family. Hopefully you can get a new one before this one completely dies.

      Delete
  7. We've had nice weather here in central California. Upper 60s everyday and we are currently on our boat for the weekend. Life is good.

    I laughed out loud with the new toilet lids. It's the little things in life right.

    Have a fabulous day. :)

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    1. I've noticed your lovely weather when I watch the news. I think about moving there every morning.

      It is the little things. If we simply waited for the big things, we'd be miserable.

      Delete
  8. ewww " me whispering the word mice" you are so brave LOL - happy that Phoenix was able to help -my James would have to do it too if Nick wasn't available - for me well i have my own escape route LOL I truly hate critters - but I do hate the cold too - keeping warm has taken over my mind - have a great time with your mom and sister and yes keep warm!:)

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    1. I'm most certainly not brave when it comes to mice. They give me the heebie jeebies. I don't think I emphasized enough how thankful I was to have Phoenix here to help me.

      Keeping warm has definitely been on my mind, too. A lot!

      We had a great time, and were mostly warm, despite the fact that we went to an outdoor outlet mall.

      Delete
  9. 9 - I'm not keen on the idea of snap traps to catch the mice. I love mice and would much prefer to use a humane trap and set them free outside - well away from the house obviously - once caught. We had a couple in the canteen at work a few months ago, the boss baited a humane trap with over-ripe banana and caught both within two days - and knowing I like mice he saved each one for me to set free in the fields on my way home.

    10 - I smiled at the toilet seats/lids, especially Cuckoo's comment. And I could probably beat you on cleaning gross toilets, in my line of work I've cleaned some that were really and truly mega-gross - and all of them left in that condition by adults who should really know better :(




    ReplyDelete
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    1. That was awfully nice of your boss. We have the only buildings in the middle of 200 acres of corn. All of the mice head our way. If we were to take them out to the field, they'd only come right back. We're fighting a war against lots and lots and lots of mice. They have to be snapped.

      I have no doubt you have come across some nasty toilets in your line of work. Just seeing what people do to the bathroom at the soccer field gives me some idea. I don't envy you, that's for sure. And yes, adults should really know and behave better.

      Delete
  10. surprisingly skip was a great deterant to the mouse issue here .... dunno how its gonna go this year as his hearing is gone as is his mind... and I can hear rustling...

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    1. Good Skip! I knew he had a special purpose! (Name the movie?)

      Ooooh, hate that rustling sound. Good luck!

      Delete
  11. I actually do hope that weet a cold, freezing winter to kill off all the vermin we had to deal with this year without a proper winter. A child/free shopping trip sounds wonderful!! I may have to take Calvin for a little shopping trip into town, hoping that he doesn't decide that mommy trying on clohtes is the most boring thing in the world.. Some time out with your daughter and her friends sounds wonderful! I hope you all had tons of fun! Love the toilet seat story :-) I hope you have a wonderful weekend, Christine!

    ReplyDelete
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    1. You did have a mild winter last year. I wouldn't mind if the vortex air slid your way this year. :)

      It is the only shopping I do all year, so I take full advantage. Hope Calvin behaves for you if you decide to try!

      It was a good time with the girls. She has some funny, nice friends.

      Thank you! We did!

      Delete
  12. I'm shivering in my reindeer fleece as I write this... but I DO feel badly for those Minnesotans and Coloradoans too... They definitely have it much worse!!

    Mice. Gross.

    New toilet seats? NICE.

    Shopping excursion? AWESOME.

    Helping your neighbor? PRECIOUS.

    Lots of good goin' on!!!

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    1. Ah, fleece. That is some good stuff right there.

      I couldn't agree more about the mice.

      There is lots and lots of good going on.

      Delete
  13. A new washer and dryer? You will be in heaven. At least it sounds about as good as a new car to me. And we had our furnace fixed last week. Thank the good Lord. We got a real dip in temps this weekend.

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    1. Heaven is one way to describe it. I wasn't home 15 minutes before I put the first load in the washer. I have spent an embarrassing amount of time simply standing down there watching the clothes get washed.

      Oh my word, thank heavens that furnace got fixed!

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  14. Ahhh I'm so glad you've got a new washer and dryer coming. Are they going to go out in your awesome mud-room? I am slightly amused that you're going to be so excited about cleaning everything, but I guess one day if I grow up, I'll understand the joy.

    YES to toilet seats though, and no pee, and that being done! Ew!

    Buuuuut I like mice. And I'm sure they're a pain but I'd be all for humane traps and sending them away from the house. I'm sure that's idealistic and hugely impractical.

    Your #5 made me a bit sad though. Only warmISH, my friend? That made my heart get all heavy for you. Because cold. *sigh* I wish you WARMTH and HEAT and COSINESS. And I hope it finds you and stays.

    Glad that you made connections at the high school. That's a pretty big deal.

    I think my favourite is hearing about Mrs G, though, and how much she values you all, and your generous efforts on her behalf. Y'all are stars, in my eyes, and I love that she's kind of adopted you for it. You are a thoroughly good example, my dear.

    Have a LOVELY time shopping x

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    1. The are going in the basement where the old ones were. They would take up too much room in the mud room. It is unhealthy how excited I am. For over a year, we have been wringing out our wash because the spin cycle didn't work right. And it's been taking three hours to dry them, since the dryer isn't working properly either. I haven't stopped doing laundry since I got home.

      You can't imagine the amount of ew that job entailed.

      Yeah, we won't be doing any live trapping. We are the only house in a 200 acre area. They'd come right back to the house. It's a war against these buggers.

      Thanks. I can manage to get warm if I don't have to leave the house for a few hours at a time. :)

      High school is just so different than the school from which they came. It's easy for the kids to meet people, but much harder for the parents.

      Thanks. Mrs. G has done so much good for others, it's time for others to do good for her.

      We did! Thanks.

      Delete
    2. Whoaaaa that's a LOT of ew! Now I have more understanding of just HOW excited you are about the washer and drier. And I quite understand.

      Delete
  15. A new washer and dryer? Yes, you will be washing all the things. Very cool.
    We can't heat this place to toasty warm, either. I blame the very poor idea of the "open floor plan" for it. What that basically means is that it's as effective as trying to heat a barn on the main floor. The upstairs, however, has normal closed-off rooms. If we crank heat for the main floor, the upstairs is a sauna. If we drop the temp, the middle floor is freezing. We've tried closing the vents upstairs and that sort of helps. But not really. Truth is, though, that with the temps high, my sinuses go nuts and none of us can breathe well. I'd rather keep it a bit colder and wear more clothing.
    Winter makes me cranky.
    Yay for solving the mouse problem. If you need a few cats, we can farm out the Rotten Cats and see if they can help!

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    1. I haven't stopped washing all the things since I got home. It's unhealthy how much I love it.

      Oh, that temperature disparity between upstairs and downstairs is a big pain. But, at least there is a warm spot in the house. :)

      We don't do inside animals, but thanks. :)

      Delete
  16. Hooray for slow-close lids! Those are the best. And congrats on getting new washer/dryer! Our dryer was out of commission for about 6 days and it suuuucked. The inside of my house looked like a garage sale with all the clothes hang-drying. I was very happy to get it back up and running! I never take appliances for granted. Especially my dish washer. OY.

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    1. Those lids come in extra handy when someone gets up in the middle of the night. No toilet slamming to wake me up!

      I will never, ever take appliances for granted. Not with the amount of laundry and eating we do.

      Delete
  17. Mice and the first freezing wave make for an interesting life. I don't miss that at. all.

    Boys toilet seats! Say NO MORE. I like your tactic though, of simply replacing the seat. I might have to do that.

    Highschool is a whole new world of people. I love hearing about your relationship with Mrs. G. It warms my heart.

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    1. Interesting is one way to put it. :)

      Change the seats. Do it! We need to do it every few years at least.

      High school is a whole new world of people. People who are hard to meet and really get to know before the kid graduates.

      Delete
  18. How have I never heard of slow close lids on toilets? I must look into this! I hear you on the cleaning of the toilets. Boys are gross I won't say a word about weather. As a matter of fact, I think I'm going to stay silent on the weather front all winter....
    A new washer and dryer is very exciting. I guess we know where to find you if we need you :).
    I think it is such a great thing that y'all help Mrs. G out.

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    1. They aren't expensive, either. Most certainly worth a look!
      Yes, probably a good choice to stay out of the weather conversation. ;)

      No joke, I haven't stopped doing laundry since I got home from the shopping trip. So much fun!

      Delete
  19. A new washer and dryer AND new fancy toilet seats? You do realize that Christmas is next month, right? ;-)

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    1. Ha! But my birthday is this week. :)

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    2. Well, that explains it. ;-) Happy birthday!

      Delete
  20. winter does, indeed, suck. I know that there are activities that some people claim are enjoyable that can only be accomplished when the earth is cold enough to turn water into a solid…but other than shoveling snow (which is a deep passion for me, in a rather odd twist… I believe I've already mentioned it), no good can come of having the air temperature below 70 degrees
    hey! maybe the mice could be trained to provide an alternative energy source! little treadmills…. hooked up to a generator?

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    1. Indeed.
      I'm not into those cold-weather activities either, though I spent my entire childhood outside all year long. And I grew up in the snow belt of Ohio. Weird.

      Um, no thanks. :)

      Delete
  21. I read this a couple of days ago and failed to comment. Nevertheless, you were on my mind when I cleaned the toilets this morning. I thought about how disgusting it would be if I detached the seats and nearly gagged. I am jealous of your new washer and dryer.

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    1. Hahahahaha!!! Hopefully people think of me in times besides when they are doing disgusting things. :)

      The washer and dryer have been a long time coming. Exactly 2 years, actually. You are welcome to visit and bring all the laundry you want to do.

      Delete
  22. Well, as one of the schmucks in the mountains, I am grateful that we have beautiful sun to go with our snow and cold and that we don't last in the deep freeze for long. Also thankful that I found a place that sells actual German chocolate from Germany... This is a very dangerous discovery, but an enjoyable one.

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    1. Ha! I knew someone from the north or mountains would reply. You do have some gorgeous views and things to do to balance out the cold.

      Oooohh, what a wonderful discovery. Enjoy! You can always take a hike in the mountains to burn the chocolate off. :)

      Delete
  23. "...those schmuks in the north or in the mountains." I love your ummmm people skills. :P

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    1. Ha! Schmuks is a term of endearment! Honest!

      Delete
  24. I'm always thankful for great appliances, I still adore my washing machine and it's 3 years old now!
    And a warm house, OH what a gift right now.
    Shall I send Rose to you to help control the mice?

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    1. Appliances make my life so much easier. I'll never take them for granted.

      Yes, you are even colder than we are. Warm houses are certainly a gigantic gift.

      Will she mind staying in the basement?

      Delete
  25. I definitely am eating as I read so thank you! Hahaha! Now that we live in AZ, when I read you guys all talking about it being cold in the winter, I feel the same way as you do right now about the Minnesota and Denver people. Yipes. I do not miss being cold in NJ in the winter not one bit. So nice of you all to do that woman's yard. I love it. I definitely know what you mean about high school. It definitely took my family a minute to get used to who we might be talking about once we all transitioned there. It happened for me as well in middle school.

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  26. Haha, kids and toilet lids. That is too funny!!

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