Wednesday, July 18, 2012

I NEED a Bigger Brain

Around age 38 my brain hit full.   It is filled with all sorts of things, both helpful and trivial, but it can't fit one other bit of info inside it.

Unfortunately, I still have lots of things to learn.  When I learn something new, my brain immediately drops something else.  I really wish I had control over what was dropped and what was kept. 

If I was in on the conversation, I would say, "I really don't need to remember that we had a dog named Sugarbear when I was growing up."

Instead my brain keeps me out of the loop and decides that I no longer get to remember the name of my best friend's child.  Turns out to be quite embarrassing when I see him and say, "Hi, Bart!" when his name is actually Tony. 

This week, I had a lot to learn.  I am afraid of what my brain has dumped in order to store this new information. I will, as always, have to find out the hard way. 

Today, I will let you in on all of the new, important things now in residence in my head.

1.  Van maintenance should include more than an oil change every 5,000 miles.  The van has 97,500 miles on it, and the warranty expires at 100,000.  The steering wheel does some serious shimmying and shaking when it reaches the speed of 50mph, and it needed some service anyway, so I got it in to the shop.  I get a call a couple of hours later.  Not a good call.  There are two issues that are covered under the warranty, something about power steering fluid leaking.  The rest is not covered, as it is out of sheer stupidity that it needs done.  The shaking is caused by the fact that my tires haven't been rotated since we bought them.  So, I need new tires.  The brake pads are down to almost metal to metal.  And the car needs aligned.  Basically, he called to tell me, "Come up with a nice big chunk of change to fix this mess you created." 

2.  The kids are actually listening to me.  Sure, it's only so that they can use my words against me, but they are listening.  We frequently have to discuss the difference between needs and wants.  "I need" statements elicit quite the speech from me.  First, do you really "need" it, or do you simply really "want" it?  (or do you "need" new socks because you haven't done laundry in ages and don't have clean ones???) And secondly, do not just tell me what you need and expect me to hop to it and get it for you.  If you actually do need something for school, ask me politely, tell me when you need it, then write a note to help me remember.
Yesterday, we had some craft time.  Giant wanted me to take a picture of his Skittle creation.

I then turned to Turken, bent down to take his photo, and said, "I need one of you, too!"  Without missing a beat, he answered, "You don't need a picture of me." 

3.  We are more of a danger to our tomatoes than the drought.   I was so very excited to see the number of tomatoes on our plants.  Bushels of them.  Of all varieties.  And then last week they started to turn red.  I would pick one, then come to find that the bottom of it was completely brown and squishy.  Rotted, if you will.

I was seriously bummed.  Luckily, we live just down the street from a major vegetable farm.  I went there to get the tomatoes I would need for the party on Saturday, and told the woman about our tomato troubles.  She said, "Well, that sounds a whole lot like bloom rot."  She whipped out her smart phone, looked it up, and sure enough, that's exactly what was going on.  Supposedly it is caused by extreme drought or over watering.  Oh, well that answers that.  We are in the middle of one serious drought!

Hubby wasn't convinced.  He Googled it and found that it is actually caused when there is an extreme drought, and the doofus gardener gives them lots of water, waits a few days, which is long enough for the ground to dry again, then waters them, then lets it dry, then waters, ...  Yeah, that's exactly what we were doing.
So, we stopped watering.  And now we are getting some lovely, tasty tomatoes.

4.   The show "Duck Dynasty" is absolutely hysterical.

5.  The washing machine is actually learning from my kids.  My children are given chores to do every day.  All told, they spend maybe half an hour a day doing them.  We've had some trouble here lately with them not doing their best work.  They will make a good start, then putter out and not finish the job.  I am having to find just the right way to talk to and help each child actually get the chores done properly.  My washer is now doing the same thing.  Each day, it is given a chore to do.  One it was made for.  And it will start out all gung-ho, washing and agitating, and rinsing.  When I go to empty it, I find a heap of sopping wet clothes.  In order to get it to spin (finish its job) I have to find just the right way to talk to it and help it along so it will actually spin the clothes.  (I set it on spin and turn it on while the lid is open, reach in and wiggle the drum, then give it a good Wheel of Fortune spin before I quickly shut the lid and let her go.  Don't ask how I finally figured out the system.)  And just like my children, it won't accept help from anyone but me.  When the kids do their laundry, I have to do the whole spin dance for them.  Fortunately, I am not as attached to the machine as I am the kids.  I will have no trouble sending it on its way and replacing it with a much nicer machine as soon as we get home from vacation.

6.  Colorfully dyed hair is cool.  Whether it be accidental

or intentional.

Which leads us to...

7.   Kool-aid is an inexpensive, temporary way to dye hair.  Buttercup really wanted to dye her hair this summer.  She did the research to find out how to do it and how long it lasts.  It should come out within 3 weeks, and school doesn't start for 4 weeks, so I let her do it, as long as she dyed just the ends.  It wasn't until the bottom 3 inches of her hair were red that I told her, "If this isn't out before school starts, we are going to have to cut your hair."  The look on her face was priceless. 

8.  Lastly, we figured out how to grow potatoes.   We knew that you were supposed to mound around the potato plant throughout the growing season, as the potatoes turn toxic if they hit the sunshine.  That first year, Hubby mounded them with straight compost dirt.  Burned every single plant.  Last year, we figured out how to deal with potato bugs.  This year, we put all of our knowledge together to grow this:

Plus another bucket and a half worth.  Yippee!!

This afternoon I will be canning potatoes for the first time.

9.  Fix-a-Flat is for emergency use only.  I thought there was only going to be eight things.  However, I just got a call from Car Guy.  He noticed that we had used Fix-a-Flat at some point on the van tires.  (Totally blaming Hubby on this one!)  Apparently that stuff is horrible.  It sloshes around in your tire forever and throws the balance off.  Plus, it eats away at those fancy new sensors that tell you when your tire is low on air.  Basically, Fix-a-Flat ain't fixin' nothin' but the economy, as it would cost me $400 to replace the sensors it ate up.  I'm thinking that I do not need those fancy new sensors.

And there you have another edition of "What I Learned This Week." 

I'll be on vacation next week, and I'm planning on not learning a darn thing the whole time I'm gone. 

I'm afraid that if I learn something, my brain may decide that I don't need to remember how to get home.

Have a lovely day!


  1. I agree with you on # 1 Need vs Want... it is not yet working with my kids I hope yours are faster learners...
    #4 I KNOW WE LOVE IT!!!
    #5 I am so sorry I know your pain! try looking it up on youtube or someplace see if you can watch a video and fix it your self? I know a great repair company hahahah

    Did you know that you have a sensors in your spare tire too? ours is indicating it is low. hope to remember to fill it before the next leg of our journey, do not want a flat and a flat on the side of the highway.

  2. Hahaha! Sears may be getting a call from me when I get home. That, or I'm getting myself a bigger washer before the school year starts. Which means the start of millions of pounds of laundry.


Thank you for taking the time to tell me what you're thinking!